Thursday, May 31, 2012

Random Act of Kindness–June Edition

The girls at Book Soulmates started a very cool project. The concept is to post a wish list and someone might just send a gift to you! Of course, you might wanna be nice to and offer someone something from their wish list as well!

Random Act of Kindness

Here are the details, from their website.

Rules:

• Sign up each month you'd like to participate in.

• Show off your participation! Grab one of the buttons available :)

• Create a wishlist and post it in the Google Doc located in each R.A.K post for the month.

{Post on your blog, Amazon, where ever as long as there's a link to it.}

• If you choose to do a R.A.K for someone, check out their wishlist and contact that blogger for their address.

• At the end of the month, SHOW US YOUR R.A.K!

Make a post saying 'Thank You' to whoever granted one of your wishes and share it with us :)

OPEN TO EVERYONE!

Let's keep our International bloggers in mind and in our hearts.

Remember, there's always the Book Depository and they offer FREEshipping!

I was offered a RAK this month, but haven’t received it yet, hopefully it will be here soon enough :)

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Here’s my wish list for this month ^^
My Birthday is June 8th, so if you needed any excuses, you now have one =D

If you wish to offer me something, just email me at TyngaUF(a)gmail.com and I will give you my mailing addy

  • Lover Reborn by JR Ward
  • Eon & Eona by Alison Goodman
  • Prized - Caragh M. O'Brien
  • Article 5 by Kristen Simmons
  • Fallen in Love by Lauren Kate
  • Wraith by Phaedra Weldon
  • The Rift Walker -  Clay & Susan Griffith

I really hope you join the fun! I think it’s a great way to meet new bloggers as well as give a bit of joy in this world!

tynsig

Daring You To Read… The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley

0daringyou_thumb[2]

Daring You To Read is a weekly feature here on Tynga’s Reviews where we dare you to read some of our favorite older releases (at least 6 months old). All the books/series we choose to feature are titles we adored and think you should give them a shot! We think it’s a super awesome way to discover that special book who might have slipped off your radar!

You’ve already read the book? Let’s us know what you thought!
You are accepting the dare? We’d love to know!
Have a dare of your own? Leave a comment ^^

This week, I’m daring you to read a YA fantasy, that reads more like a romantic fantasy. I began reading as many book by Robin McKinley as possible, when I fell in love with her writing, while reading Sunshine. However, out of all her books, my favorite remains THE BLUE SWORD, and that’s why I’m daring you to read it.

I must warn you: don’t be fooled by its cover. I admit, some people might avoid this type of fantasy cover because they aren’t very fond of the genre. I felt the same way at first. It might not be the most attractive cover out there, but the imagery in the book makes up for it a thousand times. Robin McKinley created a wonderful world and described everything so well. After reading the novel, it felt as if I had truly visited the hills of Damar.

While the novel has many fantasy elements, it’s also a book of romance, friendship and self-discovery. We follow the main character, Harry, as she embraces her new life among the Hillfolk. Forced into this new life, I really felt her hesitancy and fears when she was kidnapped. While Robin McKinley romanced the idea of kidnappings a bit, I love the fact that I never considered Harry a prisoner. She was simply an addition to the Hillfolk camp and started to dress, act and speak like a native in no time. When I realized that the Hillfolk King, Corlath, kidnapped her because of something he felt through his kelar (or magic), it’s only then that I understood Harry was no ordinary girl. The romantic tension between Harry and Corlath was very subtle at first, even non-existant, but as I learnt more and more about the two characters, I began cheering for them and their fight against Northerners.

If you haven’t read a book by Robin McKinley, you’re really missing something. Here’s a bit more about THE BLUE SWORD:

mckinley - the blue sword

Harry Crewe is an orphan girl who comes to live in Damar, the desert country shared by the Homelanders and the secretive, magical Hillfolk. Her life is quiet and ordinary-until the night she is kidnapped by Corlath, the Hillfolk King, who takes her deep into the desert. She does not know the Hillfolk language; she does not know why she has been chosen. But Corlath does. Harry is to be trained in the arts of war until she is a match for any of his men. Does she have the courage to accept her true fate?

Newbery Honor Award
ALA Best Book for Young Adults
ALA Notable Book

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

 

The Newbery Award Winnner, The Hero and the Crown is the prequel to The Blue Sword. The prequel can either be read before or after The Blue Sword. Also, both can be read as standalones.

mckinley - hero and the crown

 

0stephsig

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Kiss of Pride by Sandra Hill

Kiss of PrideKiss of Pride by Sandra Hill

Book stats:
Reading level: Adult
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers
Release date: April 24th 2012

Series: Deadly Angels #1

Source: Edelweiss

Reviewed by: Christine

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

SOME MEN ARE TOO BAD TO BE TRUE...
Is he really a Viking with a vampire’s bit? An angel with the body of a thunder god? A lone wolf with love on his mind? Alexandra Kelly, his prey, thinks Vikar Sigurdsson is either flat-out crazy or he’s trying to maneuver her into his bed--which is hardly where a professional reporter should conduct an interview, tempting as that prospect might be.

SOME MEN ARE TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE...
Until Vikar does something a teensy bit unexpected, and Alex begins to wonder whether her mystery man could really be everything he says he is: a Viking Vampire Angel on a thousand-year-long mission with his pack of sinful brothers—and a man who’s finally found the woman of his dreams. By then, Vikar is already wrapping his chiseled arms around Alex’s body...and sinking his wicked fangs right into her neck. If this is sin, why does it feel so good?

Kiss of Pride was not what I expected. I thought I would get a steamy romance with sexy Viking vampires.
Well, there are Vikings in Kiss of Pride but the tone of the whole story is very lighthearted, bordering on silly sometimes. Right at the beginning, there's a conversation between God and the archangel Michael and even that conversation is written in that slightly silly tone.

I found it very hard to take the characters seriously. Vikar is a vampire/Viking/angel or simply called vangel. He is also one of the VIK, along with his six brothers. They've been punished for their wicked amoral ways, sentenced to save innocent humans from committing sins. Right from the beginning, he comes of a bit grumpy, but changes his behavior rather quickly. His fondness for snuggling with Alex doesn't really make him seem very dangerous.

I also had problems with Alex. She is supposed to be a clever young woman, yet she denies for the better part of the book that Vikar might be anything he claims. Even though he bites her, tries to cleanse her blood. Even I know denial is not just a river in Egypt... Also, for someone that hell-bent on revenge like her, she falls awfully easy for Vikar. So, with two not-so-good main characters, I couldn't really make myself care for them much.

The villain of the book is also rather pale. In his most memorable scene, he is ranting about Twilight and a wussy vampire Bill while watching Buffy re-runs in his La-Zboy. Unfortunately, that doesn't really inspire fear in me nor does it help me to take him serious.

I have a feeling that everything about this book is a little bit over the top. Tone itself with the too many references to vampires and even some of the characters (like a vangel teenager with a lisp obsessing over Michael Jackson). Even the parts meant to be funny felt a bit too forced.

The world building is solid though, if not overly surprising and new. I think the author should have sticked to one name for her gang of Viking vampire angels/vangels/VIKs. The pacing of the story was good. Only the rather easy solution at end irked me a little bit.

Well, all in all, I had a hard time with this book. I wanted to like it, but I expected something different, something more serious. That doesn't mean that others won't like Kiss of Pride.

Find out if Kiss of Pride is for you by reading an excerpt!

Chrisig

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

"When I'm not writing" with Jaye Wells + giveaway!

Jaye Wells

Today's guest is the fabulous Jaye Wells, author of the Sabina Kane books. Jaye is an absolute delight and I strongly suggest following her blog and/or Twitter feed because she writes fantastic books and she's got the best sense of humour. The last Sabina Kane book, BLUE-BLOODED VAMP, has just been released. I hope you've got it ordered or purchased because it's sure to be a wild ride!

Find out what Jaye does when she's not slaving away on her next novel and make sure to stick around for the giveaway!

WINW_logo

People ask me all the time what I do when I’m not hunched over a keyboard making stuff up for a living. I think people imagine that since authors have such rich and exciting imaginary lives we must also have very exciting real lives.

They are correct.

Never for a minute should you imagine that I spend my non-writing time watching bad reality TV or daydreaming while eating brownies for breakfast and staying in my PJs until unseemly hours. Never, ever think that is the case. cupcake

The truth is that I can barely fit writing in among all my many and varied exciting hobbies. Verily, it’s a struggle to get my daily word count done in between all the delicious gourmet treats I bake for my family, the Ninja lessons, and the extensive crime fighting I do every night as my alter super-ego “The Bullet Catcher.”

Admittedly, it’s difficult to juggle it all, but I do it because I am such a humble and giving soul. Back before I wrote, I spent four years volunteering my time in a leprosy colony outside Honolulu. This was before I joined the USO to entertain the troupe with my amazing dancing skills. Anyway, during my time among the lepers, my best friend Stumpy gave me some life-changing words of wisdom. “Jaye,” she said, “can you hand me my nose?”

I’ll never forget those words. They taught me how important it is to stop and smell the roses. Therefore, every day, I try to carve out some time to thank the universe for giving me an imagination that allows me to spin webs of lies like an incredibly witty and sexy black widow spider. I do this in between my tantric yoga sessions and my daily massage from members of my dude harem.

I kind of pity those writers who are so obsessed with stories that all they do is write, eat and sleep. In their free time, they go to writing conventions or sign up for weird classes to research their next books or meet other writers for coffee to talk about books. Every new hobby they try always ties back into their books because they’re so into writing that it’s become the center of their universe.

Not that I know anyone like that.

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Thank you so much for visiting us, Jaye, and writing such a fun post!

For more information about Jaye and her books, check out her website or follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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Here's the scoop on BLUE-BLOODED VAMP:

Jaye Wells Blue-Blooded VampThe epic conclusion to the amazing Sabina Kane urban fantasy series.

Sabina Kane is on the hunt. Her prey: Cain, the father of the vampire race and the one who murdered her family and her friends. Unfortunately, Cain is hunting Sabina, too.

The one man who holds the key to defeating Cain is, of course, Abel. A mage with secrets to spare and, hopefully, the power to match it. Unfortunately, for Sabina, he's in Rome and may not want to be found.

Sabina sets out for Italy with her friends, Giguhl and Adam Lazarus, to track down the only man who can get her the revenge she hungers for. But will he help her or oppose her? And just who is Abel, really? Worst of all, when Sabina figures out the goddess Lilith has a plan for her-she realizes this trip is getting deadlier by the minute. As they say: when in Rome-SURVIVE.

Read an excerpt

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

Here's the rest of the series, including the e-novella. You can find out what Tynga thought of the first two books by clicking on their covers.

Jaye Wells Red-headed StepchildJaye Wells The Mage in BlackJaye Wells Green-Eyed DemonJaye Wells Violet TendenciesJaye Wells Silver-Tongue Devil

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giveaway

Jaye is generously offering one (1) set of the first four Sabina Kane books to a lucky reader!

To enter the giveaway, obey the Rafflecopter!

US only

Ends Monday, June 11, 2012

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Do you guys have suggestions for who you’d like to see featured on the blog? If so, you can make your suggestions on this page. No guarantees that your favorite authors will be able to participate but we’ll try!

Authors, would you like to visit and share with us? Please email me at jennblogs (at) gmail (dot) com and we’ll set it up!

Jenn

Monday, May 28, 2012

3 years blog-anniversary!

3years

On June 28th, I will be celebrating my 3 years blog-anniversary and to celebrate the occasion I want to hold a huge giveaway, starting now! Today is a special day because, not only is it 1 month before the big day, it’s also my first wedding anniversary and my daughter turned 1 month yesterday, so I say it’s three good reasons to celebrate!

I want the party to be huge, and to do so, we need a huge prize right? Here are the details!

There will be 3 winners, with potential of a 4th one!

1st prize winners gets a 20$ shopping spree on Book Depository.

2nd prize winner gets a 15$ shopping spree on Book Depository.

3rd prize winner gets a 10$ shopping spree on Book Depository.

Now if I reach 500 entries (not 500 entrants) on the Rafflecopter form, I will add a 4th winner and that person will also get a 10$ shopping spree on Book Depository.

*UPDATE*

We reached 500 entries so there will be a 4th winner who gets a 10$ shopping spree on Book Depository.


Entering will be super easy!

Just fill the Rafflecopter form below and you’re in!

You don’t need to be a follower to enter & because I want this giveaway to be BIG there will be more ways to earn extra entry than usual.

Also, you might have noticed you can earn +5 entries by purchasing via my Book Depository affiliate link. No purchase necessary, don’t worry! But I am financing the blog & giveaways (including this one!) with my book depository affiliation and I thought it would only make sense to give a little extra chance to those who contributed. Your purchase placed since April 13th, 2012 are eligible.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Open Internationally (where BD ships for free)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends June 28th, 2012.

tynsig

Blood and Bullets by James R. Tuck

Blood & Bullets James R. Tuck Blood and Bullets by James R. Tuck

Book stats:
Reading level: Adult
Genre: Urban fantasy
Mass market paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Kensington
Release date: February 1, 2012

Series: Deacon Chalk: Occult Bounty Hunter #1

Source: Review copy from author

Reviewed by: Jenn

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

He lives to kill monsters. He keeps his city safe. And his silver hollow-points and back-from-the-dead abilities help him take out any kind of supernatural threat. But now an immortal evil has this bad-ass bounty hunter dead in its sights. . .

Ever since a monster murdered his family, Deacon Chalk hunts any creature that preys on the innocent. So when a pretty vampire girl "hires" him to eliminate a fellow slayer, Deacon goes to warn him—and barely escapes a vampire ambush. Now he's got a way-inexperienced newbie hunter to protect and everything from bloodsuckers to cursed immortals on his trail. There's also a malevolent force controlling the living and the undead, hellbent on turning Deacon's greatest loss into the one weapon that could destroy him. . .

James R. Tuck blew my mind with THAT THING AT THE ZOO, his introduction to Deacon so my expectations were high for BLOOD AND BULLETS, his first full-length novel. I think novellas are harder to craft than novels because of the length restrictions and I was quite excited to see what the author would give us with more pages at his disposal. Unfortunately, my reaction is mixed.

Don’t get me wrong, there are good qualities a-plenty in BLOOD AND BULLETS and, as a whole, I liked the novel. There were just a few things I didn’t love, and they ended up distracting me from the story, which is never good. My biggest issue was how repetitive certain things were. We get told over and over again that Deacon lost his family to vampires and he misses them terribly. The first couple times, it was poignant and I empathized but I eventually started going, “Yeah, yeah, yeah,” as the novel progressed because I’d been told about his tragedy so many times. It was the same sort of thing about Deacon’s physical appearance. I don’t need to be told every seven chapters that there are women out there who love big, burly, bald men covered in tattoos and leather. It came up organically most of the time but it did detract a little from the story for me in the latter half of the novel. Let me be clear: these are minor notes about a strong novel but they're definitely things that pulled me out of the story every once in a while.

Now that I’ve gotten my mini-rant over with, I can focus on the positive parts of BLOOD AND BULLETS. First and foremost, Deacon is a cool character. He started hunting monsters after they killed his family and, along the way, he was gifted with powers, making him more than human and better able to fight the baddies. I love that he’s atypical in the sense that he’s big and tough and drives a muscle car -- he’s the kind of protagonist we don’t see much of in urban fantasy right now. And James R. Tuck has done a great job of giving him a voice that’s his own, which I enjoyed despite my quibbles about repetition. Plus, Deacon is surrounded by interesting people. I love that he uses his club to fund his war and that his dancers and staff are all folks who have been touched in some way by the darkness. His two main allies are Kat and Father Mulcahy, two people who couldn’t be more different but who give him the support he needs to get his job done. They both have pasts but it’s Father Mulcahy who I’m most intrigued by. A priest who used to do exorcisms and is happy to fire rifles at vampires? Part of me wishes he’d get his own series. I feel like he has lots of stories to tell. There's also a nifty shout-out to a few urban fantasy series with characters with similar careers, like Anita Blake, Cat and Bones, Blade, Sam and Dean from Supernatural, and Buffy. (There was one reference -- to a Blue Woman -- that I couldn't place. Anyone know what series he's talking about?)

All in all, BLOOD AND BULLETS is a promising debut. James R. Tuck has built a strong foundation for future work and I look forward to seeing what happens to Deacon and his friends next in BLOOD AND SILVER.

Read an excerpt

Jenn

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The First Days by Rhiannon Frater

frater - the first days

The First Days by Rhiannon Frater

Book stats:

Reading level: Adult
Genre: Horror
Trade paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Macmillan (Tor)
Release date: August 14, 2008

Series: As The World Dies #1

Source: Personal shelf

Reviewed by: Stéphanie

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

The morning that the world ends, Katie is getting ready for court and housewife Jenni is taking care of her family. Less than two hours later, they are fleeing for their lives from a zombie horde.

Thrown together by circumstance, Jenni and Katie become a powerful zombie-killing partnership, mowing down zombies as they rescue Jenni’s stepson, Jason, from an infected campground.

They find sanctuary in a tiny, roughly fortified Texas town.  There Jenni and Katie find they are both attracted to Travis, leader of the survivors; and the refugees must slaughter people they know, who have returned in zombie form.

Fast-paced and exciting, filled with characters who grab your heart, The First Days: As the World Dies is the beginning of a frightening trilogy.

I was urged to read this book by a couple of book bloggers (Ashley, a.k.a. The Zombie Queen from The Bookish Brunette and Giselle from XpressoReads) when I showed some interest in zombie books. My only regret is not reading THE FIRST DAYS sooner! After only a few pages, I was hooked! The first scene really captured my attention since it’s so realistic, even for a zombie scene. It’s where we meet one of the main characters, Jenni (with an “i”), as she’s facing zombies for the first time. Her zombie husband and two boys are trying to get out of the house to eat her, while she’s on the porch, looking at the monsters her family has become. That scene is truly touching and engaging. I applaud Rhiannon Frater for creating such a visual and credible scene.

As Jenni and the other main character, Katie, flee the city, that’s when we realize how bad their situation is. We join them on their journey to survival as they search for a safe place to stay. This book is genuinely about what happens during the first days of the mass infection and invasion of the zombies. Thankfully, as Katie points out, no one gest holed up in a shopping mall. Instead, Jenni and Katie find a group of ingenious people that have built a fort in the middle of a small Texas town. Once in the fort, the two women are able to slow down a little and ponder their situation. Katie really starts to grieve her dead zombie spouse. Jenni, however, goes a little loca as she tries to get her revenge by going on a zombie killing spree.

One of the geniuses that built the fort is Travis, who plays the role of main “hero” that every zombie story needs (and who is probably the only Texan in the book that’s a little gun shy!). He is loved by everyone, including Jenni and Katie. Personally, I love how they both want his attention, but not really for the same reason. Or so we think at first. You have to love the good old love triangle and the jealousy that ensues. However, this isn’t your average kind of love triangle…

I could go on and on about the great characters of this story but I’ll stop at these three. The banter and the dialogue between the character is what really made this book enjoyable. I probably enjoyed the characters and their relationships more than the story itself, if that makes sense. The only little problem I had with the novel was the pacing. Everything seemed to happen slow at first, especially when they were just driving around, and then so much happened in the the last few pages. The ending was a great way to hook the readers and have them anticipate the sequel, but to me, it felt just a bit too rushed. Mind you, I bought the sequel right after finishing this book, so I guess Rhiannon knows how to do her job!

Even if you don’t like zombie books, I think anyone could enjoy the main storyline, which is trying to survive in a broken world. The way the author depicted the survival of the characters was very convincing. I could feel their anguish about losing everyone they loved and their pain when they had to let go of their old lives. However, if you really can’t stand gore and killing, you might want to skip this one. For those of you who LOVE zombie books, this is for you! You have to go and read it right now!

If you want to know more about the book, I urge you to read the awesome scene that started it all!

0stephsig

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Stacking The Shelves [5]

STSmall_thumb[2]

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

Guidelines resume:

  • Create your own Stacking The Shelves post. You can use my official graphic or your own, but please link back to Tynga’s Reviews so more people can join the fun!

  • You can set your post any way you want, simple book list, covers, pictures, vlog, sky is the limit!

  • I am posting Stacking The Shelves on Saturdays, but feel free to post yours any day that fits you.

  • Visit Tynga’s Reviews on Saturday and add your link so others can visit you!

  • Visit other participants link to find out what they added to their shelves!

If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!

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Sadly I didn’t receive any books this week, but here’s what Stéphanie added to her shelves!

StS - 2012 May 26

For Review

Breaking the Devil's Heart by H.A. Goodman [Amazon | Book Depository]
The Guardian's Wildchild by Feather Stone [Amazon]

Won

Radiate by Marley Gibson [Amazon | Book Depository]
A Perfect Storm by Lori Foster [Amazon | Book Depository]
Accidentally in Love with...A God? by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff [Amazon]
Accidentally in Love with...A Vampire? by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff [Amazon]

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What did YOU add to your shelves?


tynsig

Friday, May 25, 2012

Kissing Sin by Keri Arthur

Kissing Sin (Riley Jenson Guardian, #2) Keri ArthurKissing Sin by Keri Arthur

Book Stats:
Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Dell
Release Date: January 30, 2007

Series: Riley Jenson #2

Source: Personal Shelf

Reviewed by: Tynga

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

From Melbourne’s gleaming skyscrapers to its throbbing nightclubs, Riley Jenson’s world is raging with danger and desire. A drop-dead-gorgeous werewolf–with a touch of vamp coursing in her blood–Riley works for an organization created to police the supernatural races. But when she wakes up naked and bruised in a barren alley, she knows only that she must run for her life.

Within moments Riley collides with the sexiest man she’s ever seen: steely, seductive Kade, who is fighting a life-and-death battle of his own. With old lovers and enemies gathering around her, Riley knows she is being pursued by a new kind of criminal. Because in Riley’s blood is a secret that could create the ultimate warrior–if only she can survive her own dangerous desires….

Riley Jenson, half-Vampire, half-Werewolf, has been deceived by her lover.  In hopes of impregnating her and creating perfect half-breed offspring, he sneakily fed her drugs and ended up kidnapping her. Talk about destructive relationship. She managed, with the help of her friends, to escape this mad man, but she’s not out of trouble just yet. Words that she has special genetic has spread among an undercover genetic organization and many would love to get their hands on her. Will she be able to avoid being turned into a lab rat?

Kissing Sin starts pretty hardcore. At the end of the first book, Riley had a car accident and was kidnapped. The second book starts eight days later, when Riley wakes up in a research facility, with no memory of how she got there and what happened to her. She manages to escape though, with a new friend, a Stallion shifter and the action never really stopped until the end. It’s one of the main things I liked about this book: the pretty much none-stop action.  Of course at some point you wonder how the bad guys always manages to have the upper hand, but everything is explained at the right time!

On the flip side, the overwhelming dose of free sex bothered me. I totally understand that in the world Keri Arthur created, werewolves are free when it comes to intimacy and often have multiple partners at same time. To them, sex is just sex, without any emotional connections. And even though I do get it, I don’t think it was that necessary to have so many sex scenes within the novel. The Riley Jenson series is more a hybrid of Urban Fantasy (because of the action) and Erotica than Paranormal Romance, because even though there is love potential with a certain vampire, the possibility is choked under the abundance of carnal pleasures Riley insist to have with other partners.

Riley is a good character, even though she is really stubborn and annoying at times, she is determined to get control of her life and is willing to make sacrifices. I don’t agree with many of her decisions, but it does make an interesting read! I love her twin brother to pieces and I would definitely go for Quinn (aforementioned Vampire) if I were Riley, but obviously I’ll have to agree to disagree with her choices. Misha was probably the most interesting character of the book. He is somewhat a bad guy, he is very mysterious but Arthur gifted him with a multi-layered personality and the more we discover, the more interesting his motivations become. 

Overall I did enjoy the book and I plan to keep on reading the series even though the Erotic aspect is somewhat disturbing. The things I like in this series overweight the negative sides. I would recommend this series only if your not bothered by abundant carnal pleasures, the action and the characters will engross you, but it’s clear the series isn’t for everyone.

Read an excerpt

tynsig

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Daring You To Read… Touched by an Alien by Gini Koch

daringyou[4]

Daring You To Read is a weekly feature here on Tynga’s Reviews where we dare you to read some of our favorite older releases (at least 6 months old). All the books/series we choose to feature are titles we adored and think you should give them a shot! We think it’s a super awesome way to discover that special book who might have slipped off your radar!

You’ve already read the book? Let’s us know what you thought!
You are accepting the dare? We’d love to know!
Have a dare of your own? Leave a comment ^^

My choice for today’s reading challenge is Touched by an Alien by Gini Koch.

Now I usually don’t read science-fiction, but after I read a lot of raving reviews, I eventually caved and didn’t regret it. Katherine “Kitty” Katt is one of the most hilarious, resourceful heroines I have ever met. I mean, every girl can fight with a sword, but kill an alien using a Mont Blanc pen? That takes guts and brains!

Accidentally killing an alien is not the strangest thing that happens to Katherine “Kitty” Katt – that would be finding out that there is life in outer space and her whole family seems to know about it!

Another huge advantage: all of the male aliens in this book look like male models and the always wear Armani. Is there anything else you can wish for? Why? yes of course. An action packed story with explosions, crazy alien technologies, a powerful adversary that needs to be defeated, witty dialogue and a rocking soundtrack for each book? This series has it all and more. The love story between Kitty and Jeff Martini is sweet, scorching hot, honest and heartfelt. The supporting cast is almost deserving of their own spin-off and each story is unique and the world expands a bit more with each following book.

Touched by an Alien

How can a sexy marketing manager join forces with an Alpha Centauri male in Armani to save the planet-using hairspray, a Mont Blanc pen, and rock n' roll?
Easy...
She's Touched by an Alien

Marketing manager Katherine "Kitty" Katt steps into the middle of what appears to be a domestic dispute turned ugly. And it only gets uglier when the man turns into a winged monster, straight out of a grade-Z horror movie, and goes on a killing spree. Though Kitty should probably run away, she springs into action to take the monster down.

In the middle of the chaos a handsome hunk named Jeff Martini appears, sent by the "agency" to perform crowd control. He's Kitty's kind of guy, no matter what planet he's from. And from now on, for Kitty, things are going to be sexy, dangerous, wild, and out of this world.

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

All in there there are five books out in this series, as you can see in the picture below:

Katherein Kitty Katt series

Chrisig

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Blood Seduction by Pamela Palmer

A Blood SeductionA Blood Seduction by Pamela Palmer

Book stats:
Reading level: Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Horror
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Avon
Release date: May 29th 2012

Series: Vamp City #1

Source: Edelweiss

Reviewed by: Christine

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

Vampires live only for lust and pleasure in the eternal twilight of Vamp City. But the city’s magic is dying. The only person who can restore it? A beautiful woman from the mortal world...one who knows nothing of the power she wields.

Quinn Lennox is searching for a missing friend when she stumbles into a dark otherworld that only she can see—and finds herself at the mercy of Arturo Mazza, a dangerously handsome vampire whose wicked kiss will save her, enslave her, bewitch her, and betray her.

What Arturo can’t do is forget about her—any more than Quinn can control her own feelings for him. Neither one can let desire get in the way of their mission—his to save his people, hers to save herself.

But there is no escape from desire in a city built for seduction, where passion flows hot and blood-red. Welcome to Vamp City.

Pamela Palmer's latest book, A Blood Seduction starts rather harmlessly: Quinn, a researcher is different than your average human, weird, as she characterizes herself. Her clothes change colors spontaneously and she has flashes of visions of another place overlapping with the real world, nothing too dangerous. Then, people start going missing, including Lily, Quinn's brother’s best friend. When Quinn and Zack start searching for her, they cross over into a different dimension: a dark, violent version of Washington, called V. C. or Vampire City. For this version of the Capital is ruled by vampires who have only two use for humans: as food and as entertainment.

Humans are on the very bottom of the food chain in V.C. It's an incredibly dark, violent and brutal world Pamela Palmer has created. Vampires are depicted as sadistic creatures that thrive on human pain, fear and blood. Don't expect to encounter a vamp you can swoon over in this book. Some of the scenes happening in this book are so violent and appalling that I was about to stop reading several times. It is tagged as urban fantasy, but it felt more like horror, not a book for the faint of heart. Personally, I could have done with a less vivid description of all the violence, torture and even rapes. The fact that the minds of their victims are mostly erased afterwards didn't make said scenes easier to stomach. Yet somehow, I found myself reading fervently.

Pamela Palmer knows how to make a reader sympathize with a character. Quinn is a woman driven by the love for her brother Zack. Her bravery and resolve are admirable and make her a truly great character. Those traits were also one of the reasons I finished the book, as I desperately wanted for her to escape this horrible place with her brother. I’m also very curious to see how her “powers” will unfold in future books. The story arc about Quinn’s magic missed out a little bit. I would have liked to see her develop her magical talents a bit more, but I guess we will read more about that in the next books.

Arturo, her master, savior and seducer is one of the reasons Quinn can't escape. He is also one of the "good" vampires, though to call him that might be exaggerated. I  had difficulties feeling the attraction Quinn felt for him. How she could have be attracted to someone who almost raped her the first time he met her is beyond me. Even worse is the fact that she feels she can’t trust him. Trust is one of the most important things in a relationship, so his betrayal made it that much harder for me to like him. Still, I kind of wished he would get his act together and choose Quinn over his master, that's another reason why I read the entire book.

Beside Arturo, there were several other, interesting characters including Bram and Cassius, two of Arturo's vampire friends, who also have more moral than the rest of the vampires and seem to have an interesting story. And then there's Grant, a sorcerer and slave, who forms a tentative bond of friendship with Quinn. Throughout the story, I couldn't shake the feeling that there is more to his magic than meets the eye.

Right from the start, there is a lot going on. This book is full of tension and action and if you can make it past all the violent scenes, you'll get sucked into a story that hardly allows you to catch your breath. The end packs another punch: it makes you question the relationship between Quinn and Arturo and makes you want to know how things will unfold.

Personally, I would have enjoyed A Blood Seduction much more if some of the scenes were less violent or only hinted at and left more things to the imagination. Tell me, how much violence can you stomach in a book and where do you draw the line? Is too much graphic violence a reason for you to DNF a book? Go ahead, share your thoughts!

Want to get a taste of Vampire City yourself? Here’s an excerpt for you!

Chrisig

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

"When I'm not writing" with Jennifer Estep + giveaway!

Jennifer Estep

I'm so very excited about today's guest! Jennifer Estep is one of my favourite authors and an exceptionally talented writer. She currently has two amazing series: the Elemental Assassin series featuring the butt-kicking Gin Blanco and the young adult Mythos Academy books, the series that brings her to the blog today. The Mythos Academy series focuses on Gwen Frost, a 17-year-old Gypsy girl who has the gift of psychometry (the ability to know an object’s history by touching it). Gwen ends up at Mythos Academy, a school for the descendants of ancient warriors like Spartans, Valkyries, Amazons, and more. Jennifer's currently on (blog) tour promoting her third Mythos Academy novel, DARK FROST, which comes out on June 1.

Find out what Jennifer does when she's not hard at work on her brilliant books and remember to stick around for the giveaway!

WINW_logo

Greetings! First of all, I want to say thanks to Tynga for hosting me on the blog again. Thanks so much, Tynga!

So today, Tynga asked me to do a post about what I do when I’m not writing. Not writing? What’s that like? LOL.

Seriously, though, since I write two series, it seems like I’m almost always writing or working on revisions, copy edits, or page proofs for one of my books. Not to mention all the other things that authors do like answering e-mails, social media, and getting the word out about their books.

But I also think it’s important to make time for yourself. So whenever I finish a big project, I try to reward myself with a book I’ve been wanting to read, a TV series on DVD that I’ve been wanting to try, or something like that. Even if it’s something small, like a new lip gloss or ordering dessert, it makes me feel like I’ve accomplished a little something and motivates me to move on to the next project.

I’m pretty boring when it comes to what I like to do in my spare time. I like to read, watch TV, go catch a movie, and just spend some time with my family and significant other. Of course, those last one often ends with us watching TV or catching a movie. LOL.

I also enjoy hanging out with my friends. Every few months, a group of us make time to get together and have a cookout, which we have jokingly dubbed Meatfest since it always seems like there are a lot of meat dishes on the menu. Everybody makes a dish or two (or two or three), then we meet at someone’s house to eat and just hang out for a few hours.

It’s a great way to catch up with what’s going on in everyone’s life. Sometimes, we’ll play card games or Trivial Pursuit or something like that. During football season, we’ll eat while we watch a game or two and root for our favorite teams. Good food, good company, good times. It’s a winning combination for me.

What about you guys? What do you like to do in your spare time?

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Thank you so much for visiting us, Jennifer!

For more information about Jennifer and her books, check out her website or goodreads page, or follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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Here's the scoop on DARK FROST:

Jennifer Estep Dark FrostI've seen so many freaky things since I started attending Mythos Academy last fall. I know I'm supposed to be a fearless warrior, but most of the time, I feel like I'm just waiting for the next Bad, Bad Thing to happen. Like someone trying to kill me—again.

Everyone at Mythos Academy knows me as Gwen Frost, the Gypsy girl who uses her psychometry magic to find lost objects—and who just may be dating Logan Quinn, the hottest guy in school. But I'm also the girl the Reapers of Chaos want dead in the worst way. The Reapers are the baddest of the bad, the people who murdered my mom. So why do they have it in for me? It turns out my mom hid a powerful artifact called the Helheim Dagger before she died. Now, the Reapers will do anything to get it back. They think I know where the dagger is hidden, but this is one thing I can't use my magic to find. All I do know is that the Reapers are coming for me—and I'm in for the fight of my life.

My thoughts

Read an excerpt

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

Click on the cover to read my thoughts on the first two books in the series:

Jennifer Estep Touch of FrostJennifer Estep Kiss of Frost

You can also check out the e-prequel, FIRST FROST:

Jennifer Estep First Frost

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giveaway

Jennifer is generously offering one (1) copy of DARK FROST to a lucky reader!

To enter the giveaway, obey the Rafflecopter!

US only

Ends Monday, June 4, 2012


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Do you guys have suggestions for who you’d like to see featured on the blog? If so, you can make your suggestions on this page. No guarantees that your favorite authors will be able to participate but we’ll try!

Authors, would you like to visit and share with us? Please email me at jennblogs (at) gmail (dot) com and we’ll set it up!

Jenn

Monday, May 21, 2012

Welcome to the First Annual Chicagoland Vampires Spring Fling!

I am super stoked about today's post because we're participating in the First Annual Chicagoland Vampires Spring Fling! I've been in love with Merit and the world of the Chicagoland Vampires since I picked up SOME GIRLS BITE and the series has gotten bigger and better with each installment. The sixth book in the series, BITING COLD, comes out in fewer than 80 days and Chloe Neill has set up this lovely one-week tour as part of the celebration! (Plus, May is Chloe's favourite month.)

About the Chicagoland Vampires Novels: Turned into a vampire against her will, twenty-eight-year-old Merit, the heroine of Chloe Neill’s New York Times bestselling series, found her way into the dark circle of Chicago’s vampire underground, where she learned there was more to supernaturals than met the eye—and more supernaturals than the public ever imagined. The sixth book in the series, BITING COLD, will be released on August 7, 2012.

Chloe Neill Hard BittenWhy I Love these Books: Merit's an amazing protagonist who jumps off the page and she's surrounded by a cast of equally compelling characters. (I adore all of the Cagodan vampires we spend time with but I have particularly soft spots for Lindsay and Malik.) Plus, the overall story arc of the series gets bigger with each book and watching Merit and the other Cadogan vampires rise to the occasion makes for an absorbing and fast-paced read. There's also a lot of humour in the books, even with all the heavy moments, and I love a book that brings the funny. And, of course, there's Jonah. Love him. I'm sure most people are on Team Ethan but I think Jonah's the bee's knees. My favourite book so far: HARD BITTEN. Here's why.

Did you Know?: Merit, the heroine of the Chicagoland Vampires novels, is obsessed with chocolate? She kept an entire kitchen drawer stuffed with chocolate delights, including chocolate-covered pecans and giant, gold-wrapped bars of Lindt chocolate that remind her of the chocolate bars in Charlie & The Chocolate Factory?

The Spring Fling is your chance to get familiar with the Chicagoland Vampires novels and get excited for BITING COLD so I hope you'll visit each and every blog on the tour. There are fun facts and amazing giveaways on each blog and I'd strongly encourage to visit each one.

Chloe Neill First Annual Chicagoland Vampires Spring Fling

May 21
Mystifying Paranormal Reviews
Tynga's Reviews

May 22
A Book Obsession
Goldilox & the Three Weres

May 23
Literary Escapism
Under The Covers

May 24
Nina Reads
Wholly Books

May 25
Looksie Lovitz
Starry Night Book Reviews

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So what's up for grabs here at Tynga's Reviews?

An amazing prize pack for one lucky reader (I wish I could enter this giveaway!):

Chloe Neill Some Girls Bite
* one (1) signed copy of SOME GIRLS BITE (to get you hooked) *

Chloe Neill Charmfall
* one (1) signed copy of CHARMFALL (the third Dark Elite novel) *

* DRINK DEEP/CHARMFALL bookmarks *

and

I survived Hard Bitten

* various CV swag, including "I survived Hard Bitten" buttons, quote postcards, CV stickers, and signed Cadogan House bookplates *

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Here's the scoop on SOME GIRLS BITE:

Chloe Neill Some Girls BiteThey killed me. They healed me. They changed me.

Sure, the life of a graduate student wasn’t exactly glamorous, but it was mine. I was doing fine until Chicago’s vampires announced their existence to the world-and then a rogue vampire attacked me. But he only got a sip before he was scared away by another bloodsucker… and this one decided the best way to save my life was to make me the walking undead.

Turns out my savior was the master vampire of Cadogan House. Now I’ve traded sweating over my thesis for learning to fit in at a Hyde Park mansion full of vamps loyal to Ethan “Lord o’ the Manor” Sullivan. Of course, as a tall, green-eyed, four hundred year old vampire, he has centuries’ worth of charm, but unfortunately he expects my gratitude-and servitude. Right…

But my burgeoning powers (all of a sudden, I’m surprisingly handy with some serious weaponry), an inconvenient sunlight allergy, and Ethan’s attitude are the least of my concerns. Someone’s still out to get me. Is it the rogue vampire who bit me? A vamp from a rival House? An angry mob bearing torches?

My initiation into Chicago’s nightlife may be the first skirmish in a war-and there will be blood…

Read an excerpt

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

And here's the rest of the series. You can click on HARD BITTEN and DRINK DEEP for my thoughts on these books.

Chloe Neill Friday Night BitesChloe Neill Twice BittenChloe Neill Hard BittenChloe Neill Drink DeepChloe Neill Biting Cold

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giveaway

Chloe has generously provided the prize pack described above to a lucky reader!

To enter the giveaway, obey the Rafflecopter!

US/Canada only

Ends Sunday, June 3, 2012

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Jenn