Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Fifty Shades Freed Winner


Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway for Fifty Shades Freed and thank you for all for your comments.  I can announce the winner as picked by Rafflecopter is Magan Bagan.  Congratulations Magan I hope you enjoy Fifty Shades as much as I did.  To cheer the rest of you up here are the guys you suggested as Mr Grey.  Enjoy!!!


Michael Fassbender

Rob Pattinson

Paul Walker

Chris Hemsworth

Matt Bomer

Gaspard Ulliel

Gabriel Aubry my version of Mr Grey

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Review of Aftermath by Ann Aguirre


I have come to the end of my Jaxathon having just finished Aftermath the fifth book on the Sirantha Jax series by Ann Aguirre.   I must admit my Jaxathon has been hard going at times and I am a little relieved that it has come to an end even though I did enjoy it.  Anyway here is the blurb.

Sirantha Jax has the right genes—ones that enable her to “jump” faster-than-light ships through grimspace. But it’s also in her genetic makeup to go it alone. It’s a character trait that has gotten her into—and out of—hot water time and time again, but now she’s caused one of the most horrific events in military history…

During the war against murderous, flesh-eating aliens, Sirantha went AWOL and shifted grimspace beacons to keep the enemy from invading humanity’s homeworld. The cost of her actions: the destruction of modern interstellar travel—and the lives of six hundred Conglomerate soldiers.

Accused of dereliction of duty, desertion, mass murder, and high treason, Sirantha is on trial for her life. And only time will tell if she’s one of the Conglomerate’s greatest heroes—or most infamous criminals.

This book has been testing for me, even as I write this review I don’t know what rating to give it.  The first half of the book I really struggled with.  So much happened but with no real detail to back it up.  I found it to be Jax did this then Jax did that and then this happened whereas in the earlier books the events would have been fleshed out.   Then I got to the middle of the book where Vel and Jax have an adventure and it was brilliant and riveting.  But then the ending of the book was written much like the first half.  One thing that kept me going to the end was Vel, oh I love this character.  However one character that made me annoyed and I have had enough of him is March, he has been such a disappointment.  The other reason that may have contributed to my less than enthusiastic review is that this book doesn’t have lots of the old team involved such as Dina, Hit and Argus and I missed them.  They do make an appearance but it is mostly about Jax and Vel.  I am intrigued to see how Endgame will play out the story I can’t even see how this will end but I will be there for it.  I am going to give Aftermath 3 laser beams. 

Friday, 27 January 2012

Review & Giveaway of Fifty Shades Freed by E. L. James














*Please note that there is adult content in this post*

If you haven't heard of the Fifty Shades phenomena where have you been?  No seriously how have you not heard of these awesome books?  I was pretty late to the party myself, only reading the first two books in December.  These are not the type of books that I normally read but I was hooked immediately and life will never be the same for me again.  Fifty Shades is a trilogy telling the love story of recent graduate Ana and the mega gazillionnaire Christian Grey and the kinky stuff they get up to. I was so happy and excited to be included in this blog tour (a first for me) and giveaway, details of which are at the end of my review.  This is the blurb for the last book Fifty Shades Freed.

When unworldly student Ana Steele first encountered the driven, damaged young entrepreneur Christian Grey it sparked a sensual affair that changed both their lives irrevocably. Shocked, intrigued, and ultimately repelled by Christian’s singular sexual tastes, Ana demanded a deeper commitment; determined to keep her, Christian agreed. 

Now, together, they have more – love, passion, intimacy, and a world of infinite possibilities. But Ana always knew that loving her Fifty Shades would not be easy, and being together poses challenges neither of them ever anticipated. Ana must somehow learn to share Christian’s opulent lifestyle without sacrificing her own integrity, identity or independence; Christian must somehow overcome his compulsion to control, and lay to rest the horrors that blighted his past and haunt his present. 

Just when it seems that together their love can conquer any obstacle, misfortune, malice and fate combine to make Ana’s worst nightmares come true. Alone and desperate, she must face down the poisoned legacy of Christian’s past. 

Seductive, shocking, sad and funny, Fifty Shades Freed is the compelling final volume in the Fifty Shades trilogy.

And here is my review.

From: Claire
Sent: 27 January 2012 06:00
To: Christian Grey
Subject: Emotional Roller Coaster

Dear Mr Grey

We meet again…well not literally but this is my third email to you.  Did you ever read my first email about Fifty Shades of Grey or my second about Fifty Shades Darker?  Probably not but then you are CEO of Grey Enterprise Holdings and busy with your new wife Ana. By the way congratulations Mr and Mrs Grey, I wish you a long and happy marriage.  Well I suppose this will be my last e-mail to you as I have read the final part of the Fifty Shades trilogy Fifty Shades Freed.  Mr Grey you have had me on such an emotional roller coaster with this book, from happy to sad, angry to laughing, worried to….Ahem! Yes well we won’t go there the less said about that the better *blushes*.

Once again I have loved being with you Mr Grey but you are very bad for my physical and mental health.  I have had very little sleep whilst reading about you and you have consumed my every waking thought just like the last two books.  I was concerned about what was going to happen with your life now and what story was left to be told but I needn’t have worried.  Whilst we did not have the excitement and chase of when two people first meet we still had the excitement of two people getting to know one another and all the other little problems along the way that you both faced.  I liked seeing how you and Ana grow and change adapting to married life.  I’m glad that you and Mrs Grey still had lots of kinky fuckery, just because one is married does not mean that one has to give up their kinky ways and boy were they kinky.  I can see why Ana would misbehave so much when the result is a punishment fuck.  But on another note Mr Grey I really do not know how Ana has the patience to put up with you sometimes, you really are fifty shades of fucked up. There were times when I was screaming at you ‘what the fuck are you doing?’. Really what was going on the Red Room of Pain when you were ‘caught in the moment’?.  I am so glad that Ana did what she did otherwise I would have lost all respect.  And this brings me onto Ana, our girl has grown up Mr Grey and I am very proud of the way she had turned out.  She has changed so much from the young lady who fell into your office.  I have grown to love her too.

Mr Grey you have created quite a stir.  People are either totally in love with you or they hate you. Well I for one say that this world would be a boring place to live if everyone liked the same thing. What is one person’s soft limit is another person’s hard limit.  It is much better that we have differing tastes, don’t you agree?  I must say how thrilled I am that you chose Ms James to write your story.  I think she is an amazing writer and I love her voice, I could read her writing all day long.  Please thank her for me.   

Mr Grey I have had a blast and I shall miss you terribly but I do feel like I have some closure now that I have finished your trilogy.  I think people will like the ending to this part of your life.  It could have finished a bit earlier for me but then again I am a few shades of fucked up myself.  I don’t feel like the last two times when all I could think about was getting my hands on you again.  Don’t get me wrong if I had the chance to have you one more time I would, but I now feel replete.  I just hope that I can get back to normal life and not be so obsessed with you.  I will never forget you Mr Grey you have rocked my world and I think this book deserves 5 spanks.     

Claire x
Your ever devoted fan

Giveaway
I am hosting an international giveaway on behalf of The Writers Coffee Shop to win a copy of the ebook version of Fifty Shades Freed.  So if you are a Mr Grey fan or you would like to know more about Mr Grey please enter using Rafflecopter below.  The only mandatory things are that you are over 18 and that you leave a comment on this post.  If like me you can never think of anything to put why not tell me which actor you think could play Mr Grey if Fifty Shades were a movie or where you and Mr Grey would go on your honeymoon.  You can also earn additional entries by tweeting etc. Please make sure you fill in the Rafflecopter though or your details will not be entered.  The competition is open from now until 12.01am EST on Tuesday 31 Jan.  The winner will be announced here and also notified by e-mail.  The ebook will be sent directly from The Writers Coffee Shop.  There are other opportunities to win this book click here to see the blog tour. Good Luck everyone.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Review of Killbox by Ann Aguirre


Killbox is the fourth book in the Sirantha Jax series by Ann Anguirre.  Here is the blurb.

Sirantha Jax is a “Jumper,” a woman who possesses the unique genetic makeup needed to navigate faster than light ships through grimspace. With no tolerance for political diplomacy, she quits her ambassador post so she can get back to saving the universe the way she does best—by mouthing off and kicking butt. 

And her tactics are needed more than ever. Flesh-eating aliens are attacking stations on the outskirts of space, and for many people, the Conglomerate’s forces are arriving too late to serve and protect them. 

Now, Jax must take matters into her own hands by recruiting a militia to defend the frontiers out of the worst criminals, mercenaries, and raiders that ever travelled through grimspace.

This is one heavy, emotional and intense book, so much so that I’m not sure if I even enjoyed it.  I must admit it was a bit of a slog.  I mean it was brilliant don’t get me wrong but it wasn’t a happy read and it shouldn’t be either because the Conglomerate is at war with the Morgut.  I was so wrapped up in the story that I dreamt about it twice.  In one my boss was using me as bait to trap a Morgut so he could cook and eat it and the other I was solving quadratic equations to make the ships engine more efficient.  Why can’t I have a nice dream about sexy March?  Anyway Jax suffers with terrible loss in this book as her friends are leaving her to fight the war and March distances himself from her yet again as he also takes up the fight.  Because of this Vel doesn’t appear too much and I really missed him I love Vel. Ms Aguirre creates even more of a vivid world as we find out more about the Morgut and there is more science involved too.  As I mentioned this is a very emotional book and twice I had a tear in my eye.  I also warn you now that there is a massive cliff hanger at the end. I’m so glad that I have the next book ready to go.  I would like to give Killbox 5 laser beams.  

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Review of Storm Front by Jim Butcher


Storm Front is the first book in the Harry Dresden series by Jim Butcher.  Here is the blurb.

Harry Dresden is the best at what he does.  Well, technically, he’s the only at what he does. So when the Chicago P.D. has a case that transcends mortal creativity or capability, they come to him for answers.  For the “everyday” world is actually full of strange and magical things and most of them don’t play well with humans.  That’s where Harry comes in.  Takes a wizard to catch a…well, whatever.

There’s just one problem.  Business, to put it mildly, stinks.  So when the police bring him in to consult on a grisly double murder committed with black magic, Harry’s seeing dollar signs.  But where there’s black magic, there’s a black mage behind it.  And now that mage knows Harry’s name.  And that’s when things start to get… interesting.

Magic. It can get a guy killed.

This is the first book from the Harry Dresden series that I have read.  Well when I say read I mean listened too because this was also my first audio book.  Friends have been raving about this series (although they did warn me that the first book was a weak one in the series) for some time.  I had started reading the book a few months back but couldn’t really get into it so put it to one side then last week I decided to try out the audio version of it.

First off I want to talk about the story.  I thought it was ok.  I was excited about reading Harry due to what people had said but I was also a little wary because those same people had also said this was a weak book compared to the rest of the series.  I didn’t want to start at book 2 because don’t like missing a book in a series so it felt like it was an endurance test I had to pass to get to the good ones.  It was also a bit odd for me reading from a male protagonist point of view as I normally read from a females perspective, but I found it interesting if not a little chauvinistic at times.  The plot was interesting but a tad predictable and I enjoyed reading about a wizard for a change.  I did tend to get bored somewhat throughout the story.  There was a lot of Harry in a fight then Harry investigating then Harry in a fight then Harry investigating etc but there were some excellent scenes too.

Now for the audio, it did take me some getting used too.  I thought it would be great having somebody tell you a story but it took a lot of concentration then again I listened to the book at work and whilst driving maybe it would be easier listening to it whilst not trying to do other things.  James Masters (remember Spike from Buffy?) is the narrator and I think he did an excellent job I loved how he tried to put a feminine voice to the female characters.  He also put a lot into the narration it wasn’t just flat toned speaking.  The speed of his narration was perfect.  Am I going to read book 2 in the Harry Dresden files?  Yes I am.  Am I going to listen to an audio book again?  Yes I am. In fact I think I will listen to book 2 so I can hear some more of James Masters telling me a story.  I would like to give the book 3 fangs and I would like to give James Masters (or is that James Masters can give me) 5 fangs.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Teaser Tuesday (19)


Today is Teaser Tuesday which is a weekly meme hosted by Miz B of Should Be Reading 

Anyone can play along just open the book that you are reading to a random page and share 2 teaser sentances from somewhere on that page.  Please do not post spoilers and make sure you include the title and author of the book so that other TT can add the book to their tbr list if they fancy.

Today my teaser is taken from page 90 of  Killbox by Ann Aguirre.  Here is the blurb.

Sirantha Jax is a “Jumper,” a woman who possesses the unique genetic makeup needed to navigate faster than light ships through grimspace. With no tolerance for political diplomacy, she quits her ambassador post so she can get back to saving the universe the way she does best—by mouthing off and kicking butt. 

And her tactics are needed more than ever. Flesh-eating aliens are attacking stations on the outskirts of space, and for many people, the Conglomerate’s forces are arriving too late to serve and protect them. 

Now, Jax must take matters into her own hands by recruiting a militia to defend the frontiers—out of the worst criminals, mercenaries, and raiders that ever traveled through grimspace.


That's when it occurs to me.  March must be his last name.  I've been with him this long, and I don't even know his name?  The absurdity amuses me..

Thank you for stopping by, if you would like to play along please leave the link to your teaser, or put your teaser in the comments below if you do not have a blog.  Happy reading.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Fifty Shades Freed Blog Tour


The infamous Mr Grey from the Fifty Shades trilogy is going on tour! Can you believe it?  Here is his itinerary.  I hope you can visit him.

23 January - PA Lupton (Review, Interview, Paperback giveaway)
 
24 January - Fiction Vixen (Review and Giveaway)

25 January - Bookish Temptations (Review and Giveaway) & Ja Ĩitam, a ti (Review)

26 January - My Secret Romance (Review and Giveaway)

27 January - Here! yes Mr Grey will be reviewed and given away here.  Oh my!

28 January - Under The Covers (Review, Character Interview and Giveaway)

29 January - The Book Pushers (Review and Giveaway)

30 January - Reading Lark (Review, Interview and Giveaway)

31 January - My Life One Story At A Time (Review and Giveaway) Alpha (Review and Giveaway)

1 February - SER's Awesomeness (Review, Guest post and Giveaway)

2 February - Bona Fide Reflections (Review and Giveaway)



3 February - Endlessly Bookish (Review and Giveaway)

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Review of Doubleblind by Ann Aguirre

Continuing on my Jaxathon, Doubleblind is the third book in the Sirantha Jax series by Ann Aguirre.  Here is the blurb.

Sirantha Jax isn’t known for diplomatic finesse. As a “Jumper” who navigates ships through grimspace, she’s used to kicking ass first and taking names later—much later. Not exactly the obvious choice to sell the Conglomerate to the Ithtorians, a people whose opinions of humans are as hard as their exoskeletons.

And Ithiss-Tor council meetings aren’t the only place where Ambassador Jax needs to maneuver carefully. Her lover, March, is frozen in permanent “kill” mode, and his hair-trigger threatens to sabotage the talks—not to mention their relationship.
But Jax won’t give up on the man or the mission. With the Outskirts beleaguered by raiders, pirates, and the flesh-eating Morgut, an alliance with Ithiss-Tor may be humanity’s only hope. Which has Jax wondering why a notorious troublemaker like her was given the job…

Hot on the heels of finishing Wanderlust and feeling the love big time for Jax I was eager and excited to start Doubleblind however I have to say that I was a little disappointed with it.  Don't get me wrong I still really enjoyed this book but it just wasn't Wanderlust.  This book picks up immeadiately where book 2 ended with Jax, who is now an Ambassador, landing on Ithiss-Tor, Vel's home planet, and it is here on Ithiss-Tor that we stay for the whole of the book.  Ms Aguirre does an excellent job of inventing a new planet with its inhabitants and their customs.  I loved the world building of it where everything is so different from what us 'soft skins' as we are known are used to.  However there isn't a lot of action going on, as Jax is undertaking her role of Ambassador and acting as a politician toeing the line staying out of trouble and behaving herself.  I missed the old Jax a little bit.  It is because of this that I found this third book to be a little bit slow.  We find out a lot about Vel and why he left Ithiss-Tor in the first place and we also have to deal with March and his fallout from the battle on Lachion in Wanderlust and it broke my heart a bit.  Constance, Hit and Jael are also part of the team now and they bring great parts to the story however Doubleblind centers on Jax and Vel and I just want to say how much I like Vel.  Not as good as book 1 and 2 in my opinion so I would like to give Doublebling 4 laser beams.



Saturday, 21 January 2012

Review of Wanderlust by Ann Aguirre

Wanderlust is the second book in the Sirantha Jax series by Ann Aguirre.  I'm currently doing what I have dubbed my Jaxathon and reading all of the books one after the other.  I recently re-read the first book Grimspace but click here for a review I did of it some time ago.  Please be warned that here may be some spoilers here for Grimspace if you haven't read it.  Here is the blurb for Wanderlust.

Sirantha Jax is a “Jumper,” a woman who possesses the unique genetic makeup needed to navigate faster than light ships through grimspace. Jax has worked for the Farwan Corporation her entire career. But now the word’s out that the Corp deliberately crashed a passenger ship, and their stranglehold on intergalactic commerce has crumbled—which means that Jax is out of a job. 

She’s also broke, due to being declared dead a little prematurely. So when the government asks her to head up a vital diplomatic mission, Jax takes it. Her mandate: journey to the planet Ithiss-Tor and convince them to join the Conglomerate. 

But Jax’s payday is light years away. First, she’ll have to contend with Syndicate criminals, a stormy relationship with her pilot, man-eating aliens, and her own grimspace-weakened body. She’ll be lucky just to make it to Ithiss-Tor alive.


What an awesome book!  I thought it was better than the first book, as I am now aware of what grimspace is and what it is to be a jumper, I'm familiar with the world building and the characters feel like friends.  We have the usual crew from the first book obviously there is Jax, her lover and pilot March, ships mechanic Dina and bounty hunter Vel.  Doc is back on Lachion after Vel had locked him away whilst he stole his identity when he was capturing Jax.  We also meet some new characters in this book but I won't go into that as I don't want to spoil it for you however I will say they are fantastic.  There is action galore and quite a few times it felt very much like the film Aliens.  There are also quite major shocks, one in particular that left me feeling betrayed and reeling.  Jax is definitely changing in this book from the self centred prima donna she is quickly becoming a caring unwitting leader.  Vel also comes into his own in this book and is fast becoming one of my favourite characters.  This book flew by and totally engrossed me all the way, I thoroughly enjoyed it and would like to give it 5 laser beams.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Follow Friday (14)

Follow Friday is a weekly blog hop hosted by Parajunkee and Alison can Read.  It is where you hop around blogs and follow them and they follow you back.  Please click on one of their links for the rules.  This week’s question is.

Q. What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to get your hands on any particular book?


A. I haven't done anything crazy to get a book.  I live in the UK so we don't get any author signings over here for the kind of books I read.  But if we did I would travel anywhere in the UK to go to it and would queue for hours to meet my hero.

Anyway thank you for stopping by, please leave a comment below and if you are a new follower please let me know so I can come and follow you back.  Have a great Follow Friday and Happy Reading.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Teaser Tuesday (18)


Today is Teaser Tuesday which is a weekly meme hosted by Miz B of Should Be Reading 

Anyone can play along just open the book that you are reading to a random page and share 2 teaser sentances from somewhere on that page.  Please do not post spoilers and make sure you include the title and author of the book so that other TT can add the book to their tbr list if they fancy.

Today my teaser is taken from page 89 of  Wanderlust by Ann Aguirre.  Here is the blurb.

Sirantha Jax is a “Jumper,” a woman who possesses the unique genetic makeup needed to navigate faster than light ships through grimspace. Jax has worked for the Farwan Corporation her entire career. But now the word’s out that the Corp deliberately crashed a passenger ship, and their stranglehold on intergalactic commerce has crumbled—which means that Jax is out of a job. 

She’s also broke, due to being declared dead a little prematurely. So when the government asks her to head up a vital diplomatic mission, Jax takes it. Her mandate: journey to the planet Ithiss-Tor and convince them to join the Conglomerate. 
But Jax’s payday is light years away. First, she’ll have to contend with Syndicate criminals, a stormy relationship with her pilot, man-eating aliens, and her own grimspace-weakened body. She’ll be lucky just to make it to Ithiss-Tor alive

They've been here.  Chunks of flesh litter the floor.  I imagine the hunger, the frenzy that drove them to this.  I imagine the spilled blood as an intoxicant, reacting on their alien body chemistry.  To them, we are, quite simply, delicious.

Thank you for stopping by, if you would like to play along please leave the link to your teaser, or put your teaser in the comments below if you do not have a blog.  Happy reading.

Friday, 13 January 2012

Finding Fresh Characters In History


I am super excited today because for the first time my blog has been hijacked by the awesome writer Elizabeth Hunter who is writing a guest post.  Elizabeth is the author of The Elemental Mysteries series.  I have read the first book which I really enjoyed please click here for the review.  So without further ado may I introduce to you Ms Elizabeth Hunter.  


When you’re writing in a genre as crowded as paranormal romance and fantasy, you always worry about creating fresh characters that readers will find interesting.  For the Elemental Mysteries series, I decided to delve into the past, rather than try to create a whole new mythology.  For a history, mythology, and travel lover, it was a wonderful opportunity to explore things I love within my novel.

For A Hidden Fire, I looked back to the colorful and complex Italian Renaissance.  With scheming dictators, brilliant artists, and philosophers of all kinds, there were plenty of mysteries to choose from, and plenty of opportunities to tweak that history with the paranormal.  Introducing my main characters, librarian Beatrice De Novo and the mysterious Dr. Giovanni Vecchio, as they search for a lost library was just the most appealing one to a book lover like me!

In This Same Earth, I took the same characters (and a few new ones!) to some of the places I love most in Europe.  Beatrice and Gio travel to Ireland, the UK, and France as their world becomes even more complicated and their relationship grows.  Sequels are difficult, but so far, I’ve been blown away by the response to my second book. Readers seem to love the blend of mystery, romance, history, and the paranormal.

The Force of Wind comes out at the beginning of March, and I’m so excited to take readers to the far East!  Asian mythology and history adds another facet to the growing world of the Elemental Mysteries, and things are about to get very, very interesting for our favorite couple.

Right now, I’m writing the fourth and final book in the series, and I’m having a fantastic time weaving all the threads from the first three books together.  But will this be the end for the mysterious Dr. Vecchio and our favorite librarian?  Though their story will be finished in four books, I do see the world of the Elemental Mysteries continuing in other novels.  I’m excited to revisit my favorite characters, along with some reader favorites, too!

Thanks for reading today, and please visit my website, ElementalMysteries.com for links to the books, sample chapters, teasers, and trailers.  And thanks to Claire for letting me take over her blog today!  I really hope you check out the books if you’re a fan of paranormal romance with a historical twist.

A Hidden Fire is available at
Amazon
Amazon UK
Barnes & Noble
Smashwords
CreateSpace

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Review of A Hidden Fire by Elizabeth Hunter


A Hidden Fire by Elizabeth Hunter is the first book in The Elemental Mysteries which is a paranormal/mystery series.  Here is the blurb.

"No secret stays hidden forever."

A phone call from an old friend sets Dr. Giovanni Vecchio back on the path of a mystery he'd abandoned years before. He never expected a young librarian could hold the key to the search, nor could he have expected the danger she would attract. Now he and Beatrice De Novo will follow a twisted maze that leads from the archives of a university library, through the fires of Renaissance Florence, and toward a confrontation they never could have predicted.

I really enjoyed A Hidden Fire, Ms Hunter gives us a different paranormal take on beings and an interesting story that goes back to Renaissance Italy.  The book starts off introducing the character Giovanni who is some kind of supernatural.  I won’t tell you what he is because we don’t find out until 20% into the book but I will say that Gio is old, like really old, even though he looks to be in his late twenties.  He cannot touch electrics such as computers or mobile phones etc without shorting them out but he can manipulate fire.  Whilst having his own substantial collection of books and documents Gio also finds artefacts and books for his clients.  We are then introduced to Beatrice or B as she likes to be known.  B is a 22 year old University student who works part time in the Special Collections dept in the University library and it is here where she meets Gio.  Over the coming weeks Gio and B form a friendship which even survives B finding out what Gio really is and discovering a whole new world and secrets about her dead father.  Gio offers B a job working for him and B finds herself unwittingly drawn into Gio’s dangerous world.  Gio and B are likeable characters with a great supporting cast, especially Carwyn, Gios’s old friend whom I particularly liked.  I liked the relationship between Gio and B, it was nice to see how it grew but it was also frustrating because they wouldn’t open up to each other.  I found it interesting to read how Gio feels about B and even though they look to be of a similar age he cannot really relate to her at times because of her youth. 

The plot is an unusual one involving a mystery surrounding old texts.  I must admit that I was a little confused at times with historical references and the mystery of the texts.  Geeky as it sounds I would advise you to really pay attention or make notes because the information is spaced throughout the story and it involves lots of people.  I enjoyed Ms Hunters writing style immensely however I did find the book at times to be quite slow paced and I would have preferred some parts of the story to be shortened however it made a nice change for me to read a book where there isn’t lots of fighting and gore.  There were some scenes in the book which I found incredibly exciting.  There is a moment between Gio and B where he can smell an ‘other’ on her, one where Gio walks in on B and Lorenzo and one where Gio wakes up next to B and I would have like Ms Hunter to expand some more detail on them to lengthen and heighten the tension.  I will say that I was not expecting the ending which we got, I truly thought something different was going to happen and I look forward to reading book 2 This Same Earth to find out what happens next.  Because I found the pacing to be slow at times I would like to give this book 4 fangs, and I would recommend this book to those who like mysteries with romantic kick.  

Please join me this Friday when Elizabeth Hunter will be writing a guest post and telling us more about The Elemental Mysteries.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Teaser Tuesday (17)

Today is Teaser Tuesday which is a weekly meme hosted by Miz B of Should Be Reading 

Anyone can play along just open the book that you are reading to a random page and share 2 teaser sentances from somewhere on that page.  Please do not post spoilers and make sure you include the title and author of the book so that other TT can add the book to their tbr list if they fancy.

Today my teaser is taken from page 269 of  A Hidden Fire by Elizabeth Hunter.  I am really enjoying this book and I am thrilled to announce that Ms Hunter will be here at this blog on Friday doing a guest post so if you get chance please stop by.  Here is the blurb.

A phone call from an old friend sets Dr. Giovanni Vecchio back on the path of a search he’d abandoned years before.  He never expected a young librarian could hold the key to the mystery, nor could he have expected the danger she would attract.  Now he and Beatrice de Novo will follow a path that leads them from the archives of a university library to the fires of Renaissance Florence, and into a fight they never could have predicted.

She looked at Giovanni, whose face was grim as he watched the retreating officer. "Not going to lie, that was more than a little creepy Batman."

Thank you for stopping by, if you would like to play along please leave the link to your teaser, or put your teaser in the comments below if you do not have a blog.  Happy reading.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Interview with Heidi Ruby Miller

I am so excited today because I have the fabulous Heidi Ruby Miller with me who is the author of the amazing Ambasadora, a Science Fiction Romance novel.  Please click here for my review.



Thank you for joining us today Heidi.  For those people who may not know you can you tell us a little bit about yourself please? 
I write stories where the relationship is as important as the adventure. I also teach creative writing at Seton Hill University, where I graduated from their Writing Popular Fiction graduate program in 2007. The writing guide MANY GENRES, ONE CRAFT, which I co-edited with Michael Arnzen, is based on the Seton Hill program, and my novel AMBASADORA was my thesis novel there. 

What got you into writing Science Fiction Romance? 
I loved Science Fiction from a young age, including all the STAR WARS films. Seeing Han and Leah together made me think, "Love in space! Perfect!" Then came TV series like FARSCAPE, BSG, and FIREFLY, and, though I didn’t know what those types of story lines were called at the time, I knew I loved it. 

I imagine it is quite challenging writing Sci Fi with all the world building and new terminology that you need to create. What inspired you to write Ambasadora? 
I wanted to write a story that I wanted to read, and it was difficult to find books which used the backdrop of a Science Fictional world to tell a love story. The worldbuilding was part of the satisfaction. It took me six years to come up with the main aspects of the Ambasadora-verse and its six moon system. 

I love the character Rainer. It really shocked me what happened in Ambasadora with him. Do you have a set plan for your characters or do they take on a life of their own and develop throughout the writing process? 
Most female readers loved Rainer. I've had some fans tell me they liked him better than Sean, even at the end. There was a different ending to AMBASADORA once upon a time, which was why I had to go back through and make Rainer's responses to Sara much colder than in the original draft. I liked him a lot, too, so it was difficult making him a secondary villain. One reader told me she still looked at him as a hero because he stayed true to his message of family throughout the novel. In the next novel, readers who thought Rainer deserved a second chance will get their wish. 

But I digress…To answer your question, I always know my characters inside and out before I sit down at the laptop. Lots of daydreaming and coming up with backgrounds and trying them out in many situations. But, there is always room for development and a few surprises during the process. 

If one of your characters came to life, which one would you like to meet and why? 
Give me Rainer or Sean or David. Do we need to go into the why? Though I have to say my new favorite guy is David's brother Ben, who we will get to meet in the next book. 

If you were to write a new book using a character from Ambasadora and a character from another author’s book, which characters would you use and where would the book be set? 
This is an awesome question!! I'd like to pair up Mari (before she met David) with Finn from Sara Creasy's Scarabaeus series (before he became a prisoner of war). They are such complete opposites, but that would be the fun of it. 

Ambasadora features a virtual world known as the V-side. What would your V-side be like? 
An endless library on a beach at the top of a mountain on the edge of a nebula.... 

Ok now for some fun questions. 

Cats or dogs? 

We have a little kitty named Francesca "Puddahs" Miller. 

Heels or flats? 
I love high heels—maybe because I'm 5'6" and my husband is 6'3". 

Lipstick or gloss? 
Lipstick—Maple Sugar from Estee Lauder. 

Sweet or savoury? 
Both! Preferably in a hot fudge and peanut butter sundae. 


Heidi is very kindly giving away an ebook of Amabasadora to two lucky winners.  Please enter using Rafflecopter below.  The only thing that is mandatory is to leave a comment on the blog post or if like me you can never think of anything to say leave a comment answering this question.

If you could travel to the V side (virtual world) and meet anybody, real or fictional, who would you meet? The competition closes on 15 January at 12.01am EST winners will be posted here and notified by e-mail.  Ambasadora really is an awesome book so Good Luck.  If you would like more information on Heidi please visit her blog.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Review of Storm Born by Richelle Mead

Storm Born is the first book in the Dark Swan UF series by Richelle Mead.  Here is the blurb.

Just typical. No love life to speak of for months, then all at once, every horny creature in the Otherworld wants to get in your pants. . .
Eugenie Markham is a powerful shaman who does a brisk trade banishing spirits and fey who cross into the mortal world. Mercenary, yes, but a girl's got to eat. Her most recent case, however, is enough to ruin her appetite. Hired to find a teenager who has been taken to the Otherworld, Eugenie comes face to face with a startling prophecy—one that uncovers dark secrets about her past and claims that Eugenie's first-born will threaten the future of the world as she knows it. 

Now Eugenie is a hot target for every ambitious demon and Otherworldy ne'er-do-well, and the ones who don't want to knock her up want her dead. Eugenie handles a Glock as smoothly as she wields a wand, but she needs some formidable allies for a job like this. She finds them in Dorian, a seductive fairy king with a taste for bondage, and Kiyo, a gorgeous shape-shifter who redefines animal attraction. But with enemies growing bolder and time running out, Eugenie realizes that the greatest danger is yet to come, and it lies in the dark powers that are stirring to life within her...


I thought this book was mediocre.  There were parts that I enjoyed, such as when Eugenie travels to the Otherworld and I found the world building there exciting.  I also liked it when Eugenie meets Kiyo for the first time.  Then there were other parts…well the rest of the book actually that was just ok.  I didn’t particularly like Eugenie I found her to be a bit whiny and she bugged me with her indecisions and contradictions.  Kiyo was an interesting character but it was Dorian who I really liked.  The plot was neither boring nor exciting it was just ok however I did find the story and action to be repetitive with an action/fight scene followed by a trip from one world to the other.  There was some interesting parts for me with who to trust and who not to trust but that was about it.  I also found the ending to be well strange.  This is difficult to discuss without giving anything away but I did not understand why things happened on a journey that Eugenie makes in order to try and save someone’s life.  I want to know what happens in the next 3 books but I just do not want to invest the time in reading them.  I much prefered the graphic novels of this book to the actual book.  I would like to give this book 3 fangs.       

Friday, 6 January 2012

Follow Friday (13)



Follow Friday is a weekly blog hop hosted by Parajunkee and Alison can Read.  Please click on one of their links for the rules.  This week’s question is.

Q. Go count the number of unread books sitting on your shelf.  How many?

A. I stopped counting when it was over 200 I am ashamed to say, although this does include books on my Kindle too.  I still cannot stop buying new books either I am always searching for that next great book that will be better than all the rest.  Thank goodness for ereaders of my house would be bursting at the seams.

Anyway thank you for stopping by, please leave a comment below and tell me how many books are your tbr shelf.  Have a great Follow Friday and Happy Reading.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Teaser Tuesday (16)

Today is Teaser Tuesday which is a weekly meme hosted by Miz B of Should Be Reading 

Anyone can play along just open the book that you are reading to a random page and share 2 teaser sentances from somewhere on that page.  Please do not post spoilers and make sure you include the title and author of the book so that other TT can add the book to their tbr list if they fancy.

Today my teaser is taken from page 89 of  Storm Born by Richelle Mead.  My teaser is a bit more than two sentances this week but it's one that will tease I think.  The dialogue is between Eugenie and King Dorian in the Otherworld.  Here is the blurb from Goodreads.


Just typical. No love life to speak of for months, then all at once, every horny creature in the Otherworld wants to get in your pants. . .
Eugenie Markham is a powerful shaman who does a brisk trade banishing spirits and fey who cross into the mortal world. Mercenary, yes, but a girl's got to eat. Her most recent case, however, is enough to ruin her appetite. Hired to find a teenager who has been taken to the Otherworld, Eugenie comes face to face with a startling prophecy—one that uncovers dark secrets about her past and claims that Eugenie's first-born will threaten the future of the world as she knows it.
Now Eugenie is a hot target for every ambitious demon and Otherworldy ne'er-do-well, and the ones who don't want to knock her up want her dead. Eugenie handles a Glock as smoothly as she wields a wand, but she needs some formidable allies for a job like this. She finds them in Dorian, a seductive fairy king with a taste for bondage, and Kiyo, a gorgeous shape-shifter who redefines animal attraction. But with enemies growing bolder and time running out, Eugenie realizes that the greatest danger is yet to come, and it lies in the dark powers that are stirring to life within her...

Here is the teaser
 "If  I offered my hand again, I don't suppose you'd take it?"
"Not a chance.  I don't want to give them any ideas."
"Oh.  Well.  I'm afraid it's too late for that, once they see where we're going."
I cut him a warning look.  "Where are we going?"
"Why, to the most provate of places.  My bedroom, of course."

Thank you for stopping by, if you would like to play along please leave the link to your teaser, or put your teaser in the comments below if you do not have a blog.  Happy reading.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Review of Crossroads by Jeanne C. Stein


Crossroads is book 7 in the Anna Strong Chronicles a UF series by Jeanne C Stein.  Anna is a bounty hunter who lives in San Diego in the past year she was accidently turned into a vampire when she was attacked and raped.  It is an existence which she reluctantly accepts.  In the previous 6 books we have seen Anna get into all sorts of scrapes and at the end of the last book she finally took her place as the Chosen, a vampire in charge of all vampires.  I don’t think this is a series that will suit everybody.  I find the writing a bit more mature and whilst there is tons of action the pace is a bit slower and for those reasons I really like it.  Here is the blurb.
 
As a bounty hunter, Anna strong knew how to find trouble.  But now that she's a vampire, trouble seems to have a knack for finding her...

The death of Anna's old vampire mentor is causing ripples in the mortal world. His forensic report has brought up some anomalies and people are asking questions-questions that no vampire wants to answer. Anna needs to lie low, but the sudden discovery of a slew of drained bodies near the Mexican border brings an old flame back into her life and with him, a new challenge. Then, some stunning news from an unexpected source sends Anna and her friend Daniel Frey on a journey that may change both their lives-forever.

As with all of the earlier books I really enjoyed this instalment.  I did however find that the book seemed to be 2 stories.  There was the beginning of the book which dealt with Anna’s life in San Diego then the second half which dealt with Anna’s time in the desert.  Both parts were equally good but I just thought it was a bit strange.  It wasn’t until the end of the book that I remembered the beginning and didn’t understand why it was included.  So it was in what I am calling the first part of the book where I was really missing the were-panther Daniel Frey, then low and behold not only does he make an appearance but the whole second part is all about him.  He and Anna travel to the desert, in particular to a Native American reservation where his ex- girlfriend and son live.  I thought Ms Stein’s world building was very vivid and creative and I could easily imagine the landscapes.  I like Anna and it is interesting to see her powers as a vampire grow and slowly see her humanity wearing away.  One of the main points in the book is that Anna thinks and cares too much about humans but her vampire side is coming out more and more and she is finding it easier to kill.  The story was very good and kept me guessing all the way.  There are some sad moments too so keep a tissue handy.  I thought this was a really good and enjoyable book.  There is only 2 left in the series and I can’t see how it will end but I will be along for the ride anyway.  I would like to give Crossroads 4 fangs.   
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