Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Kicking It All New Tales of Murder, Magic, and Manolos Stories Written by: Rachel Caine, Chloe Neill, RobThurman and more...

Why hello there fellow book readers, my what a crazy time life can be eh? I must say I love shoes, love the fact that depending upon ones footwear ones entire persona can be changed and even enhanced, am I the only one here who feels this way? Now, pair an awesome kick ass pair of boots add them with an equally kick-ass soundtrack and book... And oh my, are we not ready to curl up kick some serious booty? The best part readers? You will not have to scruff up your perfect boots because you can just read the awesome adventure... so why are all my shoes scuffed and leather boots always in need of repair? Ha, okay so I was gifted with this latest book I read, and to receive this gift from this person was such a surprise and then to have so much fun reading said book was even more of a treat! So, I was not just rambling on about boots for nothing I assure you. It seems the general theme in all of these short stories was well... boots! Kick ass boots, witches, detectives, gods, magic, vampires, gargoyles, angels, pecs, curses....what more could a girl ask for? Nine amazing stories with nine amazingly kick ass heroines each tale similar and yet wholly different in such special ways. Seriously readers, if you are looking to just pick up a book of short stories and do not mind not understanding the universe that each tale is based in or the characters then this is so your book. I am tempted to pick up a couple, few, all of these series to give them a better chance. Each author had their own voice and distinct tale to tell. I will just list each tale and their author and not give anything away since each tale is short enough that me saying anything might give away the tale!
Rachel Caine: Forked tongues
Shannon K. Butcher: Stolen Goods
Chris Marie Green: The Girl with No Name
Faith Hunter: The Devil's Left Boot
Chloe Neill: High Stakes:
Lucienne Diver: The Parlor
Christina Henry: Red Isn't really my color
Rob Thurman: Snakeskin
Kalayna Price: Ruby Red

So, if you want to read 349 pages of awesome kick butt heroines then readers this is so the book for you. Granted, I have a feeling there are a few spoilers here, but I think that should be fine.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

She's Gotta Be Mine A Cottonmouth Novel Book 1Written by: Jennifer Skully

Why hello there readers, okay, I needed a fun book, a let’s not think too hard book, but I didn’t feel like reading an erotic tale, at least not the kind I’ve been reading…so what’s a gal to do? Well, I read the description of this book and knew this was going to be a hilarious read, even though it’s a tad dark. Roberta Jones Spivey has just been…dumped? Yes, that’s it dumped, her husband has dumped her for his high school sweetheart that he hasn’t seen in twenty years. And, Roberta is not going to lay down and just except this. Instead, Roberta decided she’s going to reinvent herself and becomes Bobbie Jones with a new haircut and dye job, new name, new attitude; Bobbie Jones is now equipped to follow her soon to be ex to the small northern California town of Cottonmouth. Now readers, what could possibly be a better way to show the man you’ve been married to for fifteen plus years what he’s missing then by finding the sexiest and dangerous local guy and make him swoon. Of course said local bad boy is also reputed with being a serial killer and you’ve moved in right across the street from him… But, Nick Angel is devilishly handsome and oh so sexy, basically readers he’s perfect, oh and he’s an artist…. Who can resist the tall dark, handsome, brooding artist who also does yard work? It seems it is all going exactly to plan too readers, Bobbie is just a delight, she gave up her life of luxury and high figured job to just let go and be…granted she’s on a mission but, she seems like she’s enjoying herself a lot more at least. There’s some great comedic moments in this tale that had me laughing out loud quite a few times and shaking my head at Bobbie’s, Nick’s and the town’s antics… I especially loved Bobbie making two statements that I just have to share. “Only a confident, self assured woman would dress up in a skimpy cocktail dress and ask for a table for one. And that same woman would buy birth control without embarrassment, because it was her God-given right as a woman.” Lady needs to pump herself up and gives herself a few pep talks that are very I am woman roar! And then there’s the statement that just made me love this book, “Nobody is an accountant, it’s just a profession.” This readers, makes me so happy, I’m in the finance field and went to college (only thing work would pay for) for accounting, and honestly I may have a bankers lamp, but there’s no way in hell I’m my profession. I hate when people assume being in this field you’re automatically a certain way, nope so… yay Bobbie for saying that! Right, everything is going to plan readers, there’s a bit of flirting, a bit of revenge, a lot of tight clothing, and a whole lot of sexual tension, but then… well a real murder rocks the town of Cottonmouth, and of course Nick didn’t do it, did he? An absolute curl up and laugh kind of book with quite a few steamy and romantic scenes. Absolutely adored this book.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Hour I First Believed Written by: Wally Lamb

I don’t have a past readers, at least not an ancestral past, maybe that’s why I’ve always caught myself since I was a little girl trying to find out people’s stories to find out their history and their families history…because I don’t have one. Sure, I have a family now, but prior to my adoption as an infant I really have nothing. I was given a name by those who took me in, but later that was changed, and I come from a country that’s rich in history, but I’ve never been back and I don’t speak my native language so I am without a past. All of us at some point wonder where we’re from or what our ancestors were like especially as we grow older and wonder “whose nose do I have? Will I lose my mind? Could I have heart disease? Does cancer run in my family? Do I get my temper from my grandmother?” All of those questions to me and many like me readers are completely foreign…they simply do not exist, and I’ve tried to find out, I have, but it’s simply not there. I’ve always kind of felt sorry for myself and been bitter at people who don’t give a shit about their pasts, I’ve felt they take the fact they have a history for granted… that is until I read stories like this one. Caelum a high school teacher, and his wife, Maureen, a school nurse. They are a couple who have faced many hardships in their lives readers, and quite a few of them are because of their families and their families decisions, but that's getting a head of myself. Let us focus upon the present. It seems that plagued by some of their own past mistakes the Quirk couple decide to move to Littleton Colorado, and both of them obtain employment at Columbine High School. Then in April of the year 1999, while Caelum is away dealing with one tragic event, Maureen finds herself in the library at columbine facing another, cowering in a cabinet and expecting to be killed. This I warn you readers is very hard to listen to and the book in general is extremely graphic and can be quite real in its harshness at times. Once again Caelum and Maureen flee to an illusion of safety on the Quirk family's Connecticut farm, but there they discover that the effects of chaos are not easily put right, and further tragedy ensues. This book I listened to readers, and at times had to just stop listening the narrator George Guidall does a well enough job reading especially with giving Caleum his own voice... I loathed this main character on so many levels at times, but I'll let you make up your own mind concerning Caleum and his plight. Maureen is also quite complicated, these two people are very real and very damaged, it is really quite tragic. Columbine, the victims of the massacre, the reverberations from that day and going forward, and just how those two boys actions can keep hurting people. Quite the profound read readers. Once again Lamb gut punches we the readers and keeps us wondering just what the heck do all of these plot threads have to do with one another and then the reveal, again quite profound.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Friend Zone I: A Wild Night's Encounter C.J. McLane

Why hello there fellow readers, I hope you're all ready for more snow here in America, the Olympics in Sochi, and of course valentine's day, which single or not can prove to be quite the interesting event. So much going on and I decided I needed a light read. So I picked up this little novella... and well it is certainly something. Beautiful, smart, and young, Laila is dragged to a frat party by her friend whom I'd determined to get laid. Laila just wants to go home and curl up with a good book and just relax. So, her plan is to just sit back and enjoy a few beers an orgy? Seems that even Laila isn't immune to the heated atmosphere of this particular party, and so she has decided to partake in the festivities as privately as possible, but it seems she isn't quite careful enough. Eric, a daredevil who is extremely handsome opens the party up with a big stunt and is clearly bored with his current life, but is a major flirt who sees Laila and just can't resit her, but from what was hot and steamy quickly turns embarrassing. Upon catching Laila in her very compromising position Eric has a proposition for Laila. This was an okay read, nothing entirely special about it, the scenes that were mean to be erotic and steamy kinda came off as creepy and quite invasive especially when it came to people filming other people..not exactly what previous generations had to worry about when they let their hormones run wild. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Apart from Love Written by: Uvi Poznansky

Why hello there readers, phew been a few days, but I finally managed to read and finish a book…particularly this book. I usually don’t say this, but reading this book was quite the chore. I have been reading this book since early December, but I had such a tough time getting into it, that can happen from time to time, like a piece of clothing you buy that you think is right for you, but after several times trying to wear it, the article of clothing just doesn’t feel right or fit you. Well, this book was highly recommended by Book Bub and had wonderful reviews, and I suppose since it’s almost Valentine’s day that a tale of love for this week works out timing wise… so the plot of this book is told by two characters Ben who is a twenty seven year old ex student whom is trying to find something perhaps a place in this world? Then we have Anita 26 years old, a plain spoken (Painfully plain spoken her dialogue and how it is written gave me chills from how raw and poor it was), uneducated, spunky in spirit, and recently married to Lenny, Ben’s, aging father. Lenny is an odd character a once devoted husband and father he at some point becomes a tom cat and skirt chaser… and not just any skirts but young women….more like teenagers. But, Lenny is lost torn between his past, present life, and future. Now, the synopsis claims the two narrators find themselves drawn together trying to fight perhaps…love? However, Lenny is also fighting to keep a secret from both Ben and Anita… which goes back quite a few years and has affected each character at some point in their lives and is still affecting them. It sounded like quite the interesting book, the taboo where father fights son for a ladies hand and affection, alpha vs. omega, but I was rather disappointed. The story itself is very disjointed and the time frame is all screwed up causing me to go back a few pages every now and then or flip through pages to figure out if I had missed something? Maybe I had fallen asleep, and somehow kept reading? But, no, that was just the way the book was written, also it felt like the author didn’t know what kind of voice she wanted to give her male characters at times they came across more like petulant children and then they were lost poets who spout about music and love… it was just odd. This book also felt grubby, as if I really were peaking into the private affairs of people, and though that was kind of cool it made me feel like a peeping tom. There’s a lot here too that just didn’t jive quite right as if it was a collaboration of many pieces of a tale that didn’t equal one full story, but it seems readers that this was actually done intentionally. Now, I’ve seen other books written similarly to this book, particularly for this purpose, but where I’ve seen it done successfully in the past this book just came off as poorly written and jumbled. There’s some very interesting concepts, but mostly I was not impressed. This book felt more like a first or second draft, but a final draft that was published? Not quite… perhaps others would love and fall into this book but I just couldn’t get into this tale.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Angel of Darkness Written by: Caleb Carr

Why do we do what we do? Seriously readers, why do some of us live lives in which we will never take another human life, a life which perhaps would seem dull dare I say even boring compared to our historic counterparts, and yet we the people of today at times romanticize murder. So, why is it that some of us in the world of today (And by some I mean quite a few) find it simple enough to snuff out the life of others? Caleb Carr once again tries to tackle that question, but not in the time of today no, Carr decides to once more take us to the time of yesterday precisely to an era which is indeed romanticized by the world of today even though it was a hard time in America's history. Carr transports us and transplants us to 1897 in New York City a city filled with unparalleled corruption and a city filled with well to do's and grand splendor...funny it hasn't really changed then has it? Oh, but the world has indeed changed readers, where the people of today particularly those who are not well read or have their heads so far up their asses and find themselves in denial say America was so much simpler back in the world of yesterday. I would ask those same people, politicians, relatives, friends, etc... to really read just what America was like a little over a hundred years ago. Carr weaves history, psychology, murder, forensics, fact, and fiction all into one suspenseful tale daring to expose us to the secret sins of American society. Even today readers, as I have said before it is much easier to call a person a "monster" "Not right" "abnormal" rather than face the fact that America or any modern society would birth such a person whom would take the life or lives of so many whom we dared claim to be someone we considered normal and one of "us."  But, Carr won't let that slide now will he? A sequel so to speak to Carr's previous book The Alienist Carr has gathered his previous books core group of characters. Dr. Kriezler tough still a bit battered from the first book and under investigation due to a patients suicide is what the group needs in order to tackle this current case which it seems is more horrifying that the first book, because readers this particular tale of murder according to the world of Miss Howard, Mr. Moore, Stevie, The Isaacson brothers, and of course Cyrus. This tale is told by not Moore this time, but the grown Stevie, and he tells such a tale that it will cause you great anger, horror, and a whole slew of other emotions and give you such thoughts that perhaps you have to ask yourselves, are you ready for such a tale my fellow readers? Are you ready to question the "American family, and their home?" There is a child, a little girl, whom has been kidnapped....and though all children are precious this little girl it seems is a bit special as she is the daughter of a Spanish dignitary. During this time there is tension between Spain and the United States, and a war in Cuba seems inevitable. So, no official investigation will be opened concerning this missing child, but the mother of little Ana Linares is desperate and turns to Sara Howard, and so we're back to the investigation. This investigation forces the team to ask and face many ethical questions... could the acts of a woman murdering her own child be seen as her trying to gain control over her life and her world? What happens readers, when someone is told their entire life that they are alive for one purpose and only one purpose and then are told they are no good at their purpose, and worse prove they are no good? What happens to that person? We live in a world much more advanced no? Then again, even today women are told they can have it "all" but what is it "all" readers? Why in today's world is a woman still defined by so many aspects? Why must we define a woman at all? Why can a woman simply like a man, just be? Why do the titles virgin, wife, spinster, whore, crone, and mother still an acceptable way to define a woman? This question and so many more arise in this tale readers. I had to read this book slowly and found myself growing angry, anxious, and fully absorbed in this penetrating tale. I will close with this concerning this book "It is not ahving been in the dark house, but having left it, that count." Theodore Roosevelt.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Trapped Book 5 Iron Druid Chronicles Written by: Kevin Hearne

Oy, have you ever read a book or listen to a book readers, and it’s all rush, rush, rush, aaaaaaaand…The End? Most recently I’ve experienced this with the latest Hobbit movie…I admit I enjoyed the first one immensely and I even enjoyed this second one, but it felt like there was so much rushing around and nothing happened…I mean things happened, but really we could’ve put a bit of this in the first movie and the upcoming third movie and it would’ve been just fine…that being said in this latest Iron Druid book I felt like there was a lot going on a lot of running around aaaaaand The end! I absolutely enjoyed this book, but it was just frustrating how it ended like we had begun an entirely different book! This series is really heating up, or perhaps boiling over at this point? It’s only book five! But, the author did something very creative something I never actually see occur in books of today’s long series. Time passes, and not a small amount of time either. Twelve years! Yup, twelve years has passed for Atticus O’Sullivan which in his long life isn't exactly a long time, but to those of us whom were still in their teens 12 years ago, twelve comes off as a fair amount of time. So, for twelve years in secret Atticus has been training his apprentice Granuaile and is now ready to bind her to the earth and have her be the first new Druid in over a thousand years! Of course something most go wrong, Atticus opened up Pandora’s box twelve years ago (No not really, but it’s a good comparison here especially since he pissed off enough pantheons) and some of those issues Atticus created need to be made up for, which seems pretty impossible… So having no other choice, Atticus, his trusted Irish wolfhound, Oberon, and Granuaile will have to travel to different planes of existence, deal with multiple pantheons with Gods and Goddesses all itching to get a bit of revenge, and go to the base of Mount Olympus eventually. And, readers let’s not forget in a few books Atticus our favorite Iron Druid decided to tell a few lies in order to save his own skin and those lies are definitely coming back to bite him in that oh so cute behind of his. Bacchus, a vampire, a band of dark elves, an old god of mischief, and a few other characters are all calling for Atticus’s blood and the end of his existence. I am beginning to wonder just how wise Atticus really is reader or how on Earth he actually managed to survive this long, as I listened to Luke Daniels narrate this book in his melodious cadence I before Atticus the character began catching onto how deep in the mud he was before he did… even Oberon seems to catch on quicker than Atticus. I love this character because he is so flawed and delightfully awkward. This book has it all, love, loss, sex, battles, hand to hand combat, ancient lore, comedy, tragedy, vengeance, and a whole lot of conspiracies and action. Hearne’s writing just flows in his tales bridging the world of today with the worlds of yesterdays and millennium ago. I mean who out of all of us hasn't just had to crack a joke or reference something from pop culture to get through a stressful event? Somehow instead of being utterly ridiculous Hearne manages to just sync the graceful with the hilarious. With how this book ended I cannot possibly stop following this series I am fully invested in just what is going to happen to Atticus, Oberon, Granuaile (whom we learn a lot more about and get a better sense of just who she is) the various Pantheons and the world….is Ragnarok going to happen? How can it happen when most of the Aesir who are supposed to be involved in it are dead? Also..where in the old prophecies did it say “Automatic weapons would aid in the destruction of the World tree and all its connecting dimensions?” Hearne has created quite the jumble of chaos…I can’t wait to see what happens!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Vampire Knight Volume 17 Art and Story by: Matsuri Hino

Well, Matsuri Hino did it again, I am lost once more! I picked up volume 17 and read upon the back of this delightful mind twisting series of a book. "Kaname has returned to Cross Academy to kill Sara Shirabuki, Zero has joined forces with Sara, leaving Yuki in the middle of the conflict. Even if Kaname's ultimate goal is kill all purebloods, is Yuki ready to fight him?" Woah, woah, woah, wait just a Kaname, Yuki your darling not quite little sister, but ancestor whom you have loved for how long just so happens to also be a pureblood no? So what about Yuki? Also, what exactly is going on with Zero and Yuki now, and just what the hell does Kaname have planned? I read this book a few times, and this is what I have learned.... NOTHING! Enemies are friends, Friends are enemies, Hunters are protectors, Hunters are killers....Cross is losing, but is he really? Plus this cursed love story that involved it seems another now? It's just absolutely mind boggling and the ending of this tale just is pure what!?!? It seems that Matsuri Hino wants to keep her story to the very end an unsolved puzzle. There are very few books left it seems according to Matsuri, and I am both sad and happy, because maybe just maybe everything will become clear once this is over? Things it seems are becoming ever more complicated and how long until finally someone very dear to us someone we're not sure is a good guy or a bad guy who've followed this series will die? Can you face the end of this series my friends?

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Tricked Iron Druid Chronicles Book 4 Written by: Kevin Hearne

Why allo should always keep your word right? No matter what? After all, it's terrible to be an oath breaker....but, what if keeping your promise and being a person of your word could end the entire world...and not just this one, but all worlds? Well, Mr. Druid Atticus O'Sullivan hasn't stayed alive for over two millennia to not have gained some Celtic tricks. So, now we have a fair bit of Thunder Gods looking for some payback, and Atticus has to come up with a plan to avoid some perhaps deserved vengeance? Then again Atticus has been alive long enough to make some well note worthy acquaintances and friends with whom he can pull off a perfect prank that may save Atticus a bit of problem. Coyote a Navajo trickster God let's the would be killers of Atticus think they've chopped up our favorite Iron Druid's body in the Arizona Desert. Now Atticus has been warned before about certain deals and decision's he's made and this deal is no different...Coyote is not above a little sleight of paw, and soon Atticus realizes he might just have drawn the short end of the deal again. What can be shorter than having everyone believe you're dead? If that's the good part of the deal...well what's the worse part? What's left of the ol' gang is all here readers, but there's some definite crazy bad mojo going on here. I definitely think Oberon stole the show here too, this dog just causes me to laugh out loud all the time, and yet he can bring me to true emotional tears, he's a Druid's best friend. I don't know if Hearne is aware that Luke Daniel's is reading these books, but the voices he's given Oberon is just pure magic and has me wishing there was just a book about this dog, he's that amusing and insightful. Atticus too, still has my heart, but the mistakes he made in the last book simply because he felt he "had" to keep his word seems quite weak now looking at the outcome of his decisions to help a certain Vampire. Okay, I know you're probably thinking but "You as the reader have hindsite." Um, if you read the previous book you'll see Mr. O'Sullivan knew what was on the line. Plus, Atticus also has a pupil to train, and with him being the last Druid you would think that might carry a bit more weight considering being a Druid carries a weighty responsibility? Oh boy is there some sexual tension there and the way Hearne has Atticus deal with this little bit of tension is absolutely hilarious. Granuaile, let's talk about her for a moment eh? I cannot decide if I fully trust or like her, she's nice, witty, beautiful, smart, but I don't know readers. Maybe it's because I think she's a bit to gun ho to believe Magic will trump everything? That her teacher is invincible? I don't know, something is just off. Maybe it's because she's adjusted so fast? For a guy over two thousand years old this Druid can be quite immature and naive...poor guy. I had to listen to this book a few times to really get a feel for it. The ingredients were all here (yes I've used this cooking metaphor in other reviews, but c'mon it's a good one!) but, at times the story itself felt a little slow and then rushed and then like Hearne had to fit certain events and characters in the book, but upon listening a second and third time I began to catch what was going on in between the lines and fall in love with this book too. This is definitely a plot set up book, sure a lot happened here and sure a lot of good and bad events occurred and yup a few more people had to die, but this was definite to be continued kind of tale. The world and stories of Coyote's people are pretty awesome, I love all the world culture, religions, and icons these books bring to the story and how each world overlaps one another. Plus throw in all the pop culture allusions and BAM! Bon-apetite! I absolutely enjoyed this book and really can't wait to see how Atticus will continue on his quest.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Killing Time Written by: Caleb Carr

Allo readers, well…hmph what to say about this book, I love the Alienist written by Caleb Carr, but this recent book I read/listened to well… I didn’t so much enjoy. Where in the previous writing I was introduced to a highly detailed and story focused author who wanted to have every detail placed precisely so this book was not so flushed out, actually Killing Time felt like just that to me, that I was just killing time listening to this book. The book is also narrated by Caleb Carr and I was greatly excited, but Carr it seems is quite limited in his voice acting skills as he muffled quite a bit of characters voices and has quite a noticeable lisp that each character in turn thus have. The story itself is quite dry and  I felt apart from the tale as if my subconscious might be grasping what I listening to more so than me. I was reminded of the movie Nemo where this young boy is plucked and plopped into a fantastic world and for some reason he is important, but you never quite understand why this boy is important only that without him we wouldn’t have a story to tell. This book takes place in 2023 the not too distant future readers, but… is all or “any” of this future accurate? We are introduced to criminal profiler Dr. Gideon Wolfe whom I absolutely detested he was quite a useless character in all but the fact that we needed him to introduce us to the more important characters. Dr. Wolfe is investigating the murder of a prominent person and then due to this investigation he is then forced to investigate the murder of a friend in New York City when he is then thrown for another loop and caught p in the company of a beautiful woman, her ingenious brother, and a band of techno-terrorists who are at war with the world itself and it seems the cause of a few of those battles leading up to this war. Don’t get me wrong readers, there are some very interesting concepts in this book and you can very easily see with what is going on in our own time just how and why a future like 2023 could occur. Just the other day I saw a picture of teenage Gotham characters placed in a High school and thought…”OH NO! They’re going to make a BATMAN High SCHOOL SHOW NO!” it was a hoax, but looking at that picture seeing it on a site and reading the comments posted under said picture it seemed all the more plausible that this monstrosity was going to be a real show… now, that’s just a show based on a comic! (albeit a marvelous comic that has impacted the DC universe and thus our own) What would happen if a moment in history a monumental moment in history was altered and believed! What would happen if all our lives we were taught the sky is up and then to be shown through absolute proof that no, the sky is actually down. The concept of this story is brilliant the examples and possibilities eerie and quite fascinating, but the execution is just subpar I feel. Feeling anything for these characters or for the bizarre twist this tale takes towards the end is difficult. I feel like I listened to an outline of a brilliant book rather than the actual fleshed out book. The characters were just missing so much to them to bring them to life that special spark an author can give their creations. I liked this book okay, but felt like 1984 did it way better even if 1984 could easily have been the end result of this 2023 timeline. Still look what is going on in VA right now and with our oceans and the air in China and human rights all over the world… the future it seems is always at an impasse, but what will occur? So, did I love this book? No, did I like it? Kind of…but still some gem moments and concepts in this book that almost made it fully worth listening to it twice.