Tuesday, December 31, 2013

When I'm Not Writing with... Maria V Snyder (Taste of Darkness Tour)

Taste_Of_DarknessI'm super happy to have Maria V Snyder on the blog today to celebrate the release of Taste of Darkness, the last book in the Healers series! Please welcome her warmly :)


"When I'm not writing" logo


When I’m not writing, I’m Mom.  I do all the typical Mom things - drive my daughter to flute lessons, attend soccer games, go to concerts, etc… I cook meals during the week (we eat out on weekends), do laundry, go to the grocery store, clean house.  All those boring chores.  I’m not a clean freak, but I do like the clutter put away (it gives the appearance of being clean).  When I’m not Mom, I’m playing volleyball.  I’m a setter for a church co-ed team and I set the ball since I’m not tall enough to spike it over a men’s net!  I also play pick up games once a week.  Nice thing about volleyball my son, husband, and daughter all play as well.

When I’m not playing volleyball, I’m skiing.  I love to ski and will go as much as I can from January to March.  When I’m not skiing, I’m traveling.  I love to travel and will use any excuse to go on a trip.  Since I can write anywhere, I frequently tag along with my husband when he’s traveling for business.  I’ve been to most of the European countries and Scandinavia, Russia, Dubai, Malaysia, China, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, and a bunch of other places.  Traveling feeds my imagination for my writing.  When I’m not traveling, I’m taking pictures.  I enjoy photography and try to have a camera with me at all times.  My favorite light is at dusk and I take a million sunset pictures.  I also like zooming in really close (like pores the size of dinner plates close ;).  My pictures have won some ribbons and been used to accompany my magazine articles (which makes me a photojournalist!  Wow – I didn’t realize that until now!).

When I’m not taking pictures, I’m handling the business part of writing like answering emails, posting on Facebook, writing blogs, and scheduling book events.  I also consider research for my stories in this category as I’ll take classes to get hands on experience or spend the time reading through books or interviewing a person of interest. When I’m not doing the biz, I’m working with my students at Seton Hill University.  I mentor students in the MFA program at Seton Hill (not Seton Hall ;).  Every month, they send me pages of their thesis novels, and I read and critique them. I also teach during the five day residency we have twice a year.  It’s a wonderful program and I love helping new writers.

When I’m not mentoring/teaching, I’m sleeping.  Gotta get my 7 hours or I’m very grumpy.  When I’m not sleeping, I’m writing.

More about Taste of Darkness:



Taste of DarknessShe's fought death and won. But how can she fight her fears?

Avry knows hardship and trouble. She fought the plague and survived. She took on King Tohon and defeated him. But now her heart-mate, Kerrick, is missing, and Avry fears he's gone forever.

But there's a more immediate threat. The Skeleton King plots to claim the Fifteen Realms for his own. With armies in disarray and the dead not staying down, Avry's healing powers are needed now more than ever.Torn between love and loyalty, Avry must choose her path carefully. For the future of her world depends on her decision.

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & Noble

My review


giveaway bannerLucky for you, there's a tour wide giveaway! Don't miss your chance!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Keep following the tour to learn more! Complete schedule can be found here.


About Maria:



MariaBorn and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Maria always had a fascination with big storms. Dreaming of chasing tornados, Maria earned a bachelors of science degree in meteorology at Penn State University. But she discovered, much to her chagrin, that forecasting the weather wasn't one of her skills. In order to chase tornados you had to predict where they might form. Creating fantasy worlds where she has complete control of the weather was more agreeable to her.

Maria lives with her husband, son, daughter and yellow lab, Hazelnut, in Pennsylvania where she is at work on more LUNA novels. She is also pursuing a master's degree in writing popular fiction from Seton Hill University.

Where to find her: Website/Blog/Facebook/Goodreadstynga


Monday, December 30, 2013

Alexandra Ivy's Born in Blood tour + giveaway

BORN IN BLOOD Tour Button


Today we're taking part in Alexandra Ivy's tour for BORN IN BLOOD, her newest release, out today! BORN IN BLOOD is the start of a brand new series from Ivy and Kensington and it's a lot of fun. (My review will show up in the near future.)


For our stop, we're hosting Part 5 of a short story that Ivy has written for the blog tour. You can read the first four parts by visiting earlier stops, available here. There's also a tour-wide giveaway at the end, so be sure to stick around!


Without further ado, here is Part 5 of A SENTINEL LOVE STORY by Alexandra Ivy.


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Part Five


He traced the shell of her ear.  Jayne swallowed her groan.

“If you’re worried why didn’t you go to the front entrance and ask to see him,” he demanded.

“Because I couldn’t be certain he could speak freely.”

The silver eyes abruptly narrowed.  “Ah.  Do you suspect torture or mind control?”

“Don’t mock me,” she muttered, telling herself to pull away.

Of course she didn’t.  The pleasure of his touch was like an addiction that she had no intention of resisting.

God.  How long had it been since she’d been attracted to a man?  It felt like years.  And never, ever had she’d ever encountered one that had captivated her with a single glance.

“Do you know what I think?”  His fingers skimmed down the length of her neck, a satisfied smile curving his lips as they found the pulse that thundered at the base of her throat.

Damn.  He knew exactly what he was doing to her.  The realization gave her the strength to knock away his hand, a scowl marring her brow.

“Do I have a choice?” she growled, frustration humming through her tense body.

“I think you had to sneak in because Charlie didn’t want to see you.”

She stiffened, still raw from the fear that he might actually be right.

“Charlie loves me.”

The starkly beautiful features abruptly softened, the silver gaze peering deep into her eyes.

“Of course he does, but he’s fifteen years old and he’s a boy.”

Her scowled deepened.  “What’s that supposed to mean?”

“He’s tired of being smothered by his older sister.”

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And here's the scoop on BORN IN BLOOD:



Born in Blood by Alexandra Ivy (Sentinels #1)In a stunning new series, Alexandra Ivy lures readers into the dark, seductive world of the Sentinels—humans outcast by their hidden abilities, treading the line between life and death, good and evil, pleasure and pain. . .

In The Heart Of Darkness

Sergeant Duncan O'Conner has seen it all before. Beautiful erotic dancer, murdered at home, no suspect, no motive. But there's one clue: she's missing her heart. It's enough to make the hard-bitten Kansas City cop enlist the help of a necro--one of the dead-channelling freaks who live in the domed city of nearby Valhalla. It's a long shot, but desperate crimes call for desparate measures.

Lies The Kiss Of Death

Unlike the other "high-bloods" in Valhalla, Callie Brown considers her abilities a gift, not a curse. But when she reads the dancer's final thoughts, she senses a powerful presence blocking her vision. This is no ordinary homicide. This is the work of a legendary necromancer who controls souls. A ravenous force that will put Callie's skills to the test, O'Conner's career at risk, and both their hearts on the line. . .literally.

Read an excerpt


Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository



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To enter the tour-wide giveaway, just read the story and answer the questions!


First Place:  $50 GC to Amazon or B&N
Second Place: $25 GC to Amazon or B&N
Third Place:  $10 GC to Amazon to B&N


a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Alexandra IvyAlexandra Ivy is the New York Times bestselling author of the Guardians of Eternity series, the Immortal Rogues series and the Sentinels.

Alexandra graduated from Truman University with a degree in theatre before deciding she preferred to bring her characters to life on paper rather than stage. She currently lives in Missouri with her extraordinarily patient husband and teenage sons.

Website | Facebook | Twitter


Jenn

Cursed by Destiny by Cecy Robson + giveaway

We're part of Cecy's blog tour so there's a giveaway at the end of the post!
Thanks, Cecy!


Cecy Robson brings the heat in CURSED BY DESTINY, the third novel in her Weird Girls series. Celia and her sisters get drawn deeper into the supernatural community, the Tribe is becoming more brazen and dangerous, and Celia's love life somehow manages to get ever more complicated.

Celia's a girl in trouble. Her heart is bound to Aric, but he is a pureblood were who must deny her or risk condemning his species to extinction. And that's just her love life. She's also been called to take down a group of demon terrorists looking to overthrow the paranormal world. (No pressure.)

The Aric-Celia-Misha love triangle gets a lot of page time. I don't usually take issue with love triangles, as long as they're organic and work within the story, but I find myself getting really tired of Aric. I understand that he's torn between duty and love and that it's causing a lot of internal havoc for his wolf but I cared less while reading CURSED BY DESTINY. I guess I'm Team Misha because I found myself becoming quite fond of our resident manipulative but oh so compelling vampire, especially since Celia's living with the vampires and we get to see Misha's softer side. He'll always be machiavellian but his feelings for Celia are genuine and he's much more upfront with her than Aric, which won him major points in my book. Robson also introduces another man for Celia -- though Celia isn't terribly impressed by him. The were elders, on the other hand, are definitely on his side, which makes everything just a tad more complex. For my part, it seems unnecessary since Celia already has two options but perhaps the newest guy will grow on me (and Celia), and I'll be more invested in Celia's love square.

Celia's sisters are also experiencing ups and downs on the romance front. In each case, it really shows a lot about the girls' characters and lets us get to know them better, which is great because what we knew before this book was relatively superficial. That's not to say that they're not good characters -- it's just that we spend so much time in Celia's head that we know her much better than the other Wird girls. We see a lot of growth from Emme in particular, which I loved because she's probably my favourite sister, but both Taran and Shayna also get some nice page time.

CURSED BY DESTINY ends on a very exciting and serious note and it's left me extremely curious about where Robson will take Celia and her friends and family next. Robson is a talented writer who manages to surprise me time and again, which definitely makes her a Must Buy author for me.

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Cecy is offering one (1) prize pack (a signed copy of CURSED BY DESTINY, a magnet, lip balm, and bookmark) to a lucky reader!


Open internationally


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Jenn

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Heart of Brass by Kate Cross

When it comes to good steampunk novels, it's important to have interesting and original mechanical gadgets. In this book, not only are they interesting, some are also pretty scandalous. I found it very bold for the author to introduce us to her steampunk world with a gadget similar to our modern day vibrator. For those of you who didn't know, hysteria used to be a catch-all female ailment that affected affluent woman and it gained popularity in Victorian England. One of the treatments then for hysteria was orgasms and it's around this time that the vibrator was invented to help these women. This novel is  an historical steampunk romance, and while it does mention vibrators, I would never qualify it as an erotic novel. Another gadget introduced in HEART OF BRASS is the A.R.O.T.S. machine that allows someone to see the last images of someone's life, an apparatus quite useful while investigating someone's murder. Body enhancement apparatuses were also very popular in this novel and overall, I think the steampunk elements tied in very well with the story. It might have been courageous in some cases (vibrator, cough) but everything was elegantly done.

Arden Grey, also known as Lady Huntley, is a brilliant female lead that creates and fabricates some of these mechanical gadgets. Ever since the disappearance of her husband 7 years prior, she has buried herself in her work with the Wardens of the Realm, a secretive organization that protects the Crown, for the London Scotland Yard and in building her machines. This escape into work isn't because she's mourning. Not at all. It's her way of coping because being alone is difficult for her, but she never had any doubt about her husband's survival. Even after 7 years, she thought her husband had simply been captured and would return to her well and alive. And return he did. Luke, or Lord Huntley, returned a completely different man, ordered to assassinate Lady Huntley, and with no recollection of his life prior to 7 years before. Captured by an enemy organization to the Crown, his memory has been wiped in order to transform him into an ultimate assassin with mechanical upgrades.

I think I expected to see more scenes of Society and social calls but I'm quite happy the author concentrated more on the mystery surrounding Luke's disappearance and the murder mystery Arden is trying to solve with Scotland Yard. I was disappointed a bit on how abruptly the murder mystery was solved. It didn't seem like much investigation was done to find the savage murderer of Society's debutantes, and personally, I found the ending too abrupt and clean cut. What did intrigue me however, was Luke's amnesia. The idea of brainwashing a man into assassinating his wife is very clever. The interaction between Arden and Luke in the beginning of the book, while he still doesn't remember his past, was brilliant. His mind and body was fascinated by how strong and unique Arden is and he felt something hindering him in completing his deadly task. With or without Luke's amnesia, the scenes with Luke and Arden are so fun to read. Their personality and feelings for one another clashes from time to time to create great banter and romantic scenes.

A romance book at heart, HEART OF BRASS is about two people falling in love again, despite hardships and a confusing past. The merging of steampunk elements into the story was very well done and I applaud the author for taking risky and scandalous chances. I will definitively be checking out the next book of this series soon.

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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Stacking The Shelves [88]

Stacking the Shelves


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!


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


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This week was a week of gifted books! Merry (belated) Christmas, everyone!


Gifted


Eona by Alison Goodman (Thank you, Skye!)


Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (Thank you, Gillian!)


A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller (Thank you, Gillian!)


The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani (Thank you, Ashleigh!)


All These Lives by Sarah Wylie (Thank you, Ashleigh!)


Unhinged by A.G. Howard (Thank you, Inky!)


Don't hesitate to link me to your STS posts this week!


lilisig


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Friday, December 27, 2013

Taste of Darkness by Maria V Snyder

The war is still running full force and it seems like nothing will stop any of the leaders but death. Ryne is still running his operation, trying to give the kingdom back to its people, despite his questionable methods. Cellina, Sepp and Wynn are running havoc with Tohon's army now that he is in stasis, but where does their alliance lay? The Skeleton King, a cannibal more viscous even than Tohon can't be neglected either. Who will win the war? Who will survive and who will perish? That's what Taste of Darkness will reveal!

This third, and last, installment in the Healers series was just as amazing as the previous books and I have no choice but to bow down in front of Maria V Snyder's plotting skills. The complexity of all the simultaneous events happening in different places,  combined with the delay in which news reach each different party was very impressive and intricate. It's a wonder people got anything done back then when you have to count multiple days for a messenger to reach its target, a far cry from our instant text messaging. The slowness at which information traveled contributed to the unbearable suspense of the plot and the insecurity of each character's well-being.

I loved how the plot revolved not only around the war itself, but also its side plots. Their are multiple small missions along the way, such has trying to save Estrid to gain the help of her army, saving Mom's daughter from the monastery, rescuing Poppa Bear, Flea's quest to harness his new powers and finding a cure to the new plague, to name only these. I was engrossed in every details, working hard to keep up with all the subtleties, but I have to confess, Snyder lost me with her cure of the plague. Being a scientist I know how simply impossible her cure is. I don't want to go into details, but unless Avry has a certain blood type, her 'cure' would kill half (or more) of her patients.

As usual, I enjoyed the complex relationship between each characters, may they be friends, foe, or somewhere in between. Aside from the close-knit gang we love, interactions with others are often in shades of grey, enriching the story. Of course, I tremendously enjoyed rekindling with our beloved merry gang and was happy to see them evolute all together once more (after many struggles!).

Even though I am mostly satisfied with the conclusion, I thought that it felt rushed compared to the slow pace we grew used to. The characters had to play smart and make big sacrifices to succeed and not everybody survives the final battle. It is also a good way to end the series, but I really wished Snyder had grant us a peek into the after-war future. I would've loved to see the characters prosper after living so many difficult years.

The Healers series is definitely a must read for high fantasy lovers out there. Snyder is a stellar author and her writing won't disappoint you!

Read an Excerpt


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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Happy Holidays!

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In the name of Team Tynga's Reviews, I'd like to wish you all Happy holidays


May you have a special moment filled with love amongst your families and maybe I little reading in there too ^^


My family is already having a great time with all the snow we got in the past few days ^^lilysnowDSC02254DSC02262


 tynga

Monday, December 23, 2013

Night Reigns by Dianne Duvall

I'm behind on this great series so I'm trying to get caught up. I really enjoyed DARKNESS DAWNS, the first book in Duvall's Immortal Guardians series, so it's high time I dove back into this interesting world. (You can learn more about the setting on this page of Duvall's website or by reading my review of DARKNESS DAWNS.) This review will contain spoilers about DARKNESS DAWNS so don't read any further if you haven't read Book 1 and want to remain unspoiled!!

NIGHT REIGNS showcases a different couple: Ami and Marcus. As you know if you've read the first book, Ami is an extraterrestrial who was tortured by American scientists when she arrived. Seth rescued her but few members of the Immortal Guardians and their teams know about Ami's origins. All most people know is that she's important to Seth. Emotionally scarred by her experiences -- and who wouldn't be? -- Ami is slow to trust but she is devoted to Seth and David. So when Seth sends Ami to be Marcus' second, there's no question that she will do her duty. And thanks to her extraterrestrial nature, she's a bit faster than a human and heals remarkably, two attributes that she needs desperately, as you'll see as NIGHT REIGNS progresses.

Marcus is something of a bear. He's a loner who lives for the thrill of the chase. The adrenaline rush is all he has until Ami is forced into his life. He fights against her presence even when he's dazzled by her. His reluctance to open his home and his heart to Ami is huge because of a past relationship but their chemistry is off the charts so it's not long before he starts to succumb to her charms. I know that makes it sounds like Ami is a giant seductress but it's the exact opposite -- Ami is completely unaware of her appeal because her culture is so very different from Earth's and because she's not at all superficial. She's a babe in the woods compared to Marcus, at least when it comes to the romantic stuff, so NIGHT REIGNS is as much about Ami's sexual awakening as it is about Marcus' heart opening up again. Their relationship is actually very sweet and I really enjoyed watching them fall for each other. There's something very innocent about parts of their romance, even though the sexy stuff is pretty steamy. There's a really nice blend of sexy and sweet in NIGHT REIGNS and it made for a great story.

In the greater immortals vs. vampires storyline, we see some world-opening developments. There's a new vampire king on the rise, after Bastien's capture and realization that he is actually an immortal, plus some new interested parties are on the scene. As much as I love the romance, I find this part of the story so very intriguing. I can't wait to see what else Duvall has in store for us as the immortals' world gets more dangerous. Jenn

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Hawksong by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

Many of us have a few books that hold a special place on our bookshelves because they will forever remain favorites. For me, HAWKSONG was a teenage favorite of mine and I've stopped counting how many times I've read it. It's not because it's written exceptionally well or because it has an amazing story. On the contrary, the writing is relatively simple and the story, while being original, could be a little bit more detailed. I think it became a favorite of mine because as a high school student, about 10 years ago, this genre was just starting to become popular for teens and this was simply the book that caught my attention.

The book is about Danica Shardae, an avian shapeshifter who is heir to the avian throne, and Zane Cobriana the serpent shapeshifting king. Ever since avian and serpent history can remember, their two courts have been at war, killing each other for a reason that has been lost over the years. Both these leaders wish for peace and the end of senseless killings, but both also fear assassination despite wanting the same thing. Together, Danica and Zane work together to form an alliance, that will forever change their courts and their lives. They both agree that marriage is the only thing that will keep their subjects from retaliating against the alliance but despite their good intentions, the violence doesn't end.

War and political intrigue might be the main themes of the story but I truly believe it's a love story at heart. Danica always thought she would marry another, a childhood friend of hers, but when the marriage to Zane is first proposed by peacekeepers, she is almost disgusted by the idea. Danica is a stoic person and adheres strongly to the Avian reserve, always keeping her feelings to herself, while Zane is more liberal and free with his feelings, like all Serpientes.  Zane lives in a culture that thrives on touch and affection, while Danica's people tend to frown upon displays of affection in public. Their cultures couldn't be more different, yet they decide to try as hard as possible to find a way to keep the peace. Love might be too strong a word to describe what goes on between Zane and Danica but I truly believe they end up caring for one another.

The way the author portrays the racism and hate between the two culture is quite realistic. Obviously I'm not talking about the shapeshifting part but about the different beliefs and ways of thinking. Our world can definitely improve when it comes to accepting different cultures and I think I read this book at the right time because I strongly believe the message of acceptance must be grasped by everyone, especially teens.

What I find really special (and maybe a little confusing) about this book is that you never really know if this is a fantasy world, or if it's a hidden society in our human world. The author doesn't reveal much about the actual setting and despite this fact, it really doesn't matter because the story holds on its own. The author doesn't reveal much about the time frame either because wars are fought with swords and arrows, but the women wear pants and are included on the battlefield.

Like I said, HAWKSONG is a personal favorite of mine, and I don't think anyone will ever be able to change my mind. I have no clue if it's because I have a biased opinion because I read this book as an impressionable teen or not, but one thing I know for sure, even after all these years, I can read this book time and time again.

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Friday, December 20, 2013

Stacking The Shelves [87]

Stacking the Shelves


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!


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


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Every book I got in the past weeks were for review. Unfortunately, I don't have time to record a vlog, but here's my haul. I'd like to thanks the publishers so sent me all those awesome books <3


STS


Desire Untamed, Obsession Untamed, Passion Untamed, Rapture Untamed, Hunger Untamed, Ecstasy Untamed & A Love Untamed by Pamela Palmer
Revelations by J.A. Souders
Reaver by Larissa Ione
Shadowdance by Kristen Callihan


Happy Holidays!


tynga[inlinkz_linkup id=352951]

Reaver Giveaway!

Hachette is having a super generous giveaway to celebrate the release of Reaver by Larissa Ione and I'd like to invite you to participate! First though, here's more about the book!
Reaver



Reaver is an angel with a past, a record, and a less-than-heavenly attitude. Powerful enough to fight alongside the fiercest battle angels-and crazy enough to risk his wings on a one-way mission to hell-he's agreed to go where no angel has ever gone before . . . to steal the most seductive and dangerous prize of Satan himself.

Harvester is one of the Fallen, a once-heroic angel who sacrificed her wings to work as an undercover agent in hell. But now her cover has been blown, and she's doomed to an eternity of agonizing torture. Even if Reaver can snatch her away from Satan's lair, even if they can fight their way out of the underworld's darkest depths, there is one thing Harvester can never escape-her newfound thirst for an angel's blood. . .

Also, here's an excerpt to put you in the mood!

“R-Reaver?”
Reaver held Harvester’s frail body tight against his as he navigated the final steps of a winding ledge that dropped them into a world of weird. “It’s me. It’s okay. We’re safe.”
Relatively safe, anyway. Relative meaning that they weren’t dead. Yet. He just hoped the same could be said for Tavin, Matt, and Calder. When he’d left them to sneak into Satan’s realm, they’d been engaged in a battle they’d initiated as a diversion. It had been a risky move, and Reaver could only pray they’d make it to the rendezvous point.
A hunter’s horn sounded in the distance and was answered by another, closer horn signal. Satan’s minions hadn’t gained ground, but they were spreading out. Damn.
He scanned the landscape of thorny plants, hills of blackened earth and trees, and twisted, abandoned structures. Nothing moved.
He looked down at Harvester, and as before when he first saw her hanging over a pit of acid, he felt sick to his stomach. He didn’t like Harvester even though he was grateful for the things she’d done, but she didn’t deserve this; her naked body too thin and mottled with bruises and ligature marks, her once silken black hair tangled and dull, and worst of all, missing her gorgeous green eyes.
Under ideal circumstances, an angel could heal from even the most heinous injuries within hours. But these were far from ideal circumstances, and Harvester’s source of power, her wings, had been severed. Without wings or medical assistance, it could take weeks, even months, for an angel’s body to fully heal.
“I can’t risk healing you more than I did,” he said. “My power isn’t reliable right now, and I could do more harm than good.”
“Reaver,” she croaked, as if he hadn’t spoken. “Why…how…”
“Shh.” He tucked her face into his chest, quieting her. “We’re going to meet up with some friends, and then I’ll answer all your questions.”
Reaver and the assassins had worked out a plan A and a plan B. Plan A had been shot to hell when iron gates had prevented Reaver from getting out of Satan’s realm to the south, where his companions would have been waiting. Now, with demons in pursuit, they were on their way to plan B. Hopefully Tav, Matt, and Calder had realized quickly that Reaver’s escape route had gone bad.
Inhaling the stench of rotten vegetation that permeated this section of Sheoul, he started away from the skeletons of some burned-out buildings and toward a mountain range as expansive as the Rockies. He moved swiftly, outrunning the sounds of pursuit and pausing once to blast a group of imps with a ball of lightning. The sphere struck the leader, and from there sent electrical strikes at each of the surrounding imps, frying them all in a handy eight-for-one.
Harvester slept in his arms, barely stirring when he stopped to listen for anyone following them. By the time they neared the plan B meeting site, Reaver was sure they’d lost the demons—temporarily. Reaver wasn’t naive enough to think they were off the hook. The demons chasing them were only the first wave, the security detail unlucky enough to be guarding the dungeon Harvester was kept in.
Once Satan got wind of this, if he hadn’t already, Reaver and Harvester were going to have legions of minions on their heels.

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1 winner will get a grand prize of a Kindle Fire and 4 winners will get a signed set of Larissa Ione’s Lords of Deliverance Series: Eternal Rider, Immortal Rider, Lethal Rider & Rogue Rider!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

You can find Larissa Here: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

tynga

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Shadowdance by Kristen Callihan

Two years after being tortured for is his blood by demons and being rescued by the lovely Mary Chase, Jack Talent is still trying to recover from the mental damage. His own brand of therapy includes murder, which would be frowned upon considering he is an investigator. All is well though, until the SOS decides that Miss Chase should become his partner and she starts poking around. His strategy to keep the woman his heart desire as far away as possible is utterly destroyed.

Shadowdance had a very different mood than the previous novels in the series and I enjoyed it all the same, if not more, because of it's dark complexity. Talent and Chase have been lashing at each other for four years, since they first met, and things don't get better because they are partnered. See Talent has a terrible secret involving Chase weighting him down and he cannot risk her finding out. So despite his desire to keep her close and cherish her, he does his best to be despicable to her and keep her at bay. Not knowing better, the poor Chase reciprocates teeth and nails and it makes for some quite heated up exchanges. I truly enjoyed their colorful exchange even though I felt bad for them. Callihan did an awesome job keeping their angst and banter believable.

Both main characters are highly lovable individually and they are a diamond in the rough when together. Each of their tormented past is endearing and I can only command Kristen for the complexity of their past. They are entwined in a much deeper way than we are first led to believe and I enjoyed discovering the different layers of their involvement. Their feelings of betrayal and unworthiness felt true and broke my heart on more than one occasion.

I found the main plot line to be jaw-dropping and engrossing. Despite discovering early on who the Bishop of Charing Cross (the killer) is, many plot twists kept us on our toes as a copy cat started mocking the first series of murder. Miss Callihan also introduced new supernaturals we hadn't encounter in the series yet and I enjoyed learning more about this new lore. A new character also made an apparition and I can't wait to know more about him! Lucien also really grew on me and I really hope he gets his own novel in the future.


I really liked how the conclusion played out and I have to say I had all kinds of speculations going on as to how it would end and I got quite a scare at some point! Thankfully, I got my feeling of happy feelings in the end and even got a bit teary-eyed, emotional mess that I am lol


I haven't found information on a fifth novel in the series, but the conclusion leads me to believe their will be an other novel, this one featuring Will Thorne, an old friend of Jack Talent. The Darkest London series is an extremely well written and engaging paranormal romance series and I would definitely recommend it to lovers of historical settings. Steampunk lovers will also find elements they'll like in this amazing series!

tynga

 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Defy by Sara B. Larson

"True beauty is what lies inside of us, not what the world sees."


    Defy by Sara B. Larson immediately caught my eye when several readers compared it to Graceling by Kristin Cashore, which is one of all-time favorite novels.  I was a little wary of Defy because the description emphasizes the fact that there's a love triangle and at this point, I'm beyond sick and tired of love triangles. Despite my hesitation, I immediately delved into the world of Defy and I have to say that this is one of the best fantasy novels I've read this year. Defy by Sara B. Larson is an intelligent fantasy with an extremely appealing protagonist and a great balance of action and romance.


     Alexa disguises herself as a boy and serves as Prince Damian's royal bodyguard and guard. For years, Alexa has been keeping up this charade and I found it extremely hard to believe that Alexa never let her facade slip. It just didn't feel possible to me at all and I couldn't suspend my disbelief this much. Other than that, I really loved Alexa and she was an extremely entertaining protagonist. I immediately became a fan of Alexa and Larson does an excellent job of making readers feel empathic with Alexa. I really look forward to learning more about Alexa and I hope she is just as awesome in the sequel!


     I was frightened to get to the section of this book where the love triangle was introduced, but much to my surprise, I actually enjoyed the romance in Defy. The love triangle isn't that big of an aspect in this book like the description implied and I think the romance worked extremely well. There were a few instances where the romance read a bit like a soap opera and was extremely dramatic, but I was strangely enthralled by this love triangle. The romance is a bit reminiscent of Throne Of Glass, but Larson manages to set apart Defy's romance with unique plot twists. My biggest complaint with the romance was Alexa's tendency to ogle and swoon over mens' chests often; Alexa concentrated too much on chests to the point where it became strange.


           Defy by  Sara B. Larson is one of the  best debuts of 2014 by far and it really satisfied my fantasy craving. Defy is full of intense action scenes that will make readers feel as if they're actually in the heat of battle and there's so much I loved about this book. I am dying to read book #2 and I'm extremely confident that the Defy series is going to will capture the hearts of readers who enjoy fantasy novels. This is definitely a must-read!


jonsig

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Guest Post with Alyxandra Harvey + Giveaway

I am very happy to host Alyxandra Harvey, popular young adult author of the Drake Chronicles, Haunting Violet, and Stolen Away, for her new young adult fantasy series that will take readers through the streets of magical 19th century London. A BREATH OF FROST, the first installment in The Lovegrove Legacy (published by Bloomsbury Childrens) goes on sale January 7, 2014. It’s full of witches, magic, family secrets, goblin markets, deer-people, and boys in cravats!


Emma's POV: A Conversation with Emma about Cormac


My name is Emma Day. I’m  seventeen years old and the daughter of an earl and a madwoman.
No one knows why my mother is the way she is, only that sometime after my birth she lost her rational faculties. I’ve only seen her a couple of times in my entire life and she has never recognized me.

I live in London with my father who is a very proper man. Thismostly means that he is deadly dull and will never talk to me about anything interesting at all. Actually he never talks to me much to begin with.

Thank God for my cousins Gretchen and Penelope. Without them I fear I would go as mad as my poor mother. We are able to survive the debutantes with their iron-edge curtsies and diamond-hard stares. We all made out curtsies at St. James recently, but I still feel like a mouse among ferrets. Mostly because  I have no interest in being a ferret. It seems to involve a lot of sighing and whispering behind fans. I’d rather look at the stars, hide in the library with Gretchen, or listen to Penelope swear in a strange collection of Shakespearean quotes.

Oh, and there’s one more reason I don’t exactly fit in. I’m a witch. Did I forget to mention that? It’s rather new information to me as well. I’m still not sure how I feel about it, to be honest. Though if I could figure out how to aim the lightning I seem to call out of the sky, I might just singe Cormac’s backside.
I knew him before all of these secrets and spells. Over Christmas, he snuck a kiss under the mistletoe. I have never been kissed like that.

And then he went off to school, or so I thought, and never spoke to me again. I had thought he might court me, that we might dance the waltz, and he would let me tell him all about  star constellations.  Instead, he pretended not to know me. I know now that it was because he became a proper member of the Order of the Iron Nail, and the Order really, really does not care for my mother.

And that is a mystery I am going to have to solve…no matter how many times the infuriatingly handsome Cormac gets in my way.

 

About A BREATH OF FROST:


912ezFIQjgL._SL1500_In 1814, three cousins—Gretchen, Emma, and Penelope—discover their unknown family lineage of witchcraft when their individual magical powers unexpectedly begin to manifest. Now, beyond the familiar manicured gardens and ballrooms of Regency London, a dangerous, alluring underworld available only to those with power is now open to the
cousins.
But by claiming their power, the three cousins have accidentally opened the gates to the Underworld. Now ghouls, hellhounds—and most terrifying of all, the spirits of dark witches known as the Greymalkin Sisters—are hunting and killing young witches for their powers. And, somehow, Emma is connected to the murders … because she keeps finding the bodies. Can the cousins seal the gates before another witch is killed …or even worse, before their gifts are stripped away?


Want to learn more about A BREATH OF FROST? Be sure to check out this "First Look" interview with Alyxandra Harvey!


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Follow the "first look" tour and win enchanting prizes!


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About the author:

AlyxHarvey2_LightenedAlyxandra Harvey lives in a stone Victorian house in Ontario, Canada with a few resident ghosts who are allowed to stay as long as they keep company manners. She loves medieval dresses, used to be able to recite all of The Lady of Shalott by Tennyson, and has been accused, more than once, of being born in the wrong century. She believes this to be mostly true except for the fact that she really likes running water, women’s rights, and ice cream.

Among her favourite books are ‘The Wood Wife’ by Terri Windling, ‘Jane Eyre’ by Charlotte Bronte, and of course, ‘Pride and Prejudice’ by Jane Austen. Elizabeth Bennet is her hero because she’s smart and sassy, and Mr. Darcy is, well, yum.

Aside from the ghosts, she also lives with husband and their dogs. She likes cinnamon lattes, tattoos and books.
Connect with Alyx at her Website | Twitter | Tumblr | Pinterest

tynga

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Spider by Jennifer Estep

Can you believe that THE SPIDER is the tenth book in Jennifer Estep's Elemental Assassin series? And that it's still so good? Not many series make it to double digits and stay fresh but Estep's managed to do it with Gin and her increasingly dangerous lifestyle. But in THE SPIDER we see something a little different since the bulk of the story is a flashback to one of Gin's early assassinations and the fallout that ensued. It's fairly obvious that she survives since it's a flashback but it's also a seminal moment in Gin's development as an assassin so it's pretty cool to be able to see a younger, less experienced Gin getting her feet wet. What should be a straightforward assassination ends up being something much more layered and complex and it puts Gin through the wringer, both physically and emotionally. (One of the trademarks of an Elemental Assassin novel!)

For me, the best part of THE SPIDER is the opportunity to see Fletcher Lane in action. He's one of the major influences in Gin's life and it's really cool to see him doing his thing as the Tin Man. I've always wanted to know him better since what we've seen of Fletcher (primarily through Gin's memories) thoroughly intrigued me and THE SPIDER finally gives us the opportunity to see Fletcher Lane in his prime. We also get to see Finn when he was a bit more brash, which was a real treat since he's so suave and composed during most of the series.

There are some great little cameos in THE SPIDER. Some of them were quite unexpected so I don't want to spoil it but I will say that some familiar names will pop up outside of Fletcher, Finn, Jo-Jo, and Sophia. It's great to see some of the first meetings between characters and it's fun to see the threads that Estep is able to sew into the series with this novel.

As always, kudos to Estep for crafting a delightful novel. THE SPIDER is a really fresh entry into one of my favourite series. It puts the ongoing mystery of M. M. Monroe on hold but it gives us a great opportunity to delve into Gin's history and see just why she's so good at what she does. Origin stories are always a lot of fun and while this doesn't tell the full story of Gin becoming the Spider, it does give the reader a great deal of insight into how she went from an angry teenager to an incredibly patient and lethal assassin. I truly hope there are more flashback stories in our future.

Jenn

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Lover Unleashed by J.R. Ward

J.R. Ward keeps surprising me every time I read a new Black Dagger Brotherhood book, because I always expect to get bored with the series. On the contrary, while the main themes remain the same or similar throughout the series (love, angst, strength, good vs. evil, etc.), the actual stories and characters couldn't be more different. With this ninth book, I'm still hungry for more and I definitively need to play catch up for the release of the twelfth book early next year.

This story is mostly about the vampire Payne, a female that has been imprisoned by her mother for ages and Manny, a human surgeon who has been plagued by the disappearance of his friend Jane and by his lonely life. An unlikely pair, an impossible pair, since a vampire will always outlive a human. I'm glad the author brought it up early in the story because it makes it that much more realistic instead of having them ignore the elephant in the room and deal with the "aging differently" later on. Their chemistry seemed a little odd to me at first, especially since Manny was more or less turned on by her when they first meet and she's on a hospital bed with a broken back. Eventually, with her naivety and his constant need to help everyone, they grew on me and their attraction became relevant and intriguing. Not that there weren't any other bumps on the road because there most definitely was, including an overbearing brother named Vishous. Just a name like that would force any man to have second thoughts.

I'm pleased that this book also allowed us to revisit Vishous and Jane's story. They are obviously in love and have great chemistry, but with a troubled history like Vishous', things from the past are bound to resurface and cause marital problems. I'm glad that Vishous and Butch's friendship is also on display because it allows us to see how deeply V is affected by his past. I guess you could say that this book is really about the brother-sister twin duo because V and Payne are more or less equally represented in this one.

I can't finish this review without mentioning the Quinn and Blay saga. While I'm not usually a fan of homosexual relationship books, this is one relationship that I can't wait to read about. J.R. Ward is such a tease for making this story stretch out over a number of books, and I almost feel like skipping book 10 to jump right into their main story in book 11. The few scenes we get in LOVER UNLEASHED are exactly that, teasers that make you anticipate their own book.

There' s a reason why J.R. Ward keeps winning the Goodreads Romance Choice Award almost every year. LOVER UNLEASHED won the prize back in 2011 and that goes to show you how much of a fan base this series has. Not only do the fans love reading about the brothers, but they actually believe the brothers' stories are #1. The only reason why this series didn't win this award last year is because it had to compete with the erotica phenomena, that included E.L. James and Sylvia Day's notorious books. In my opinion, J.R. Ward is a great storyteller because her books can be read so easily and effortlessly. You shouldn't expect literary masterpieces when it comes to her books but if you haven't pick up this series yet, you're in for a treat. I've recommended this series to a few friends that never read paranormal books but love romance books, and none of them have been disappointed so far!

stephsig_thumb-25255B1-25255D6

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Stacking The Shelves [86]

Stacking the Shelves


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!


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


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Hey everyone! I don't have many books to share with you this week since the Holidays are approaching, and what I've been purchasing isn't for myself, but gifts for others. However, I did manage to go to the library and pick up a few books. I've been hooked on historical novels recently, which is quite obvious by what I chose.


sts 86


Borrowed


Heart of Brass by Kate Cross


Lady and Her Magic by Tammy Falkner


I have these books temporarily stacking my shelves. What did you add to your shelves this week?


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[inlinkz_linkup id=350826]

Friday, December 13, 2013

Amazing Kindle Deals

I got an amazing selection of kindle deals to fill your ereader for the holidays! Don't miss this opportunity :)

tynga

Captive: The Forbidden Side of Nightshade by A.D. Robertson

Sarah is setting off to an extremely dangerous mission. She is to sail to a mysterious island from which no one comes back. The Keepers are keeping something valuable on this island, and she must find out what it is. Unfortunately, she was caught right as she finished climbing the rocky cliff and no part of her training could've prepared her to this fate.

Captive: The Forbidden Side of Nightshade is an adult spin-off series of the Nightshade world, initially a young adult series, written under the pen name Andrea Cremer. Andrea had a thing for steamy scenes that weren't appropriate for a younger audience and The Forbidden Side of Nightshade series was born. If I am not completely mistaken, it also takes place twenty years or so before Nightshade.

I kind of have mixed feeling about this novel and I'll try to tell you all about it as clearly as possible ^^ Let's get the negative out of the way, shall we? One element I am not sure about is how miss Robertson introduced the lore in her adult series. Having read the first two books in the Nightshade series (admittedly a long time ago...) I had a good idea of what I could expect, yet I have to admit I was a little bit confused at first. I am not sure someone diving into this world for the first time would be able to fully grasp the gravity of the situation between Keepers, Searchers, and Guardians, and their origins.

Another element bothering me is the time table. The whole novel happens over the course of a week, give or take, and it's 'enough time' for Sarah and Tristan (her kidnapper/jailer) to fall madly in love, and for one of them to betray their side. I am quite aware this is fiction, mind you, but it's just way too fast to be anywhere near believable. Her being a virgin also interferes, in my mind at least, with the quick flammable sexual interactions between the two of them.

If, accent on the 'if', I completely ignore the timeline, I actually enjoyed their flourishing relationship. Tristan is bored and lonely and Sarah is the only interesting thing happening to him for as far as he can remember. He is completely enthralled by her and would do anything to keep her. Despite his questionable actions, namely keeping her hostage, he treats her kindly and he is sincerely, genuinely attracted to her, which I appreciated. Sarah's falling for him was harder for me to grasp (Stockholm syndrome anyone?) but I understand the romantic/sexual appeal of such a  situation in a romance novel.

The plot line was pretty straight forward, without that many bumps in the road. The whole thing revolved around their growing relationship and the only suspense really was to figure out which one of them would leave their old lives behind.

I grew particularly fond of Seamus, the leader of the Guardian pack protecting Tristan, and the closest thing he has to a friend on this secluded island. I loved his personality, his 'spunk' and his sense of humor. His strong loyalty toward Tristan was also commendable. I also really liked Sarah's maid. The girl was shy and scared, but she became a friend to Sarah and she stepped up her game when the time came.

The end was fashionably action-packed and turned out to be satisfying. The actual very end felt like a bomb and the revelation somewhat shocked me. I truly didn't expect it and I loved the connection to the Nightshade series. It might not have to same effect on someone who hasn't read the YA series, but I got a nice jaw-dropping moment lol

Overall, this novel was a good read and if I ignored the small flaws, I had an enjoyable ride. I'll be honest, I haven't decided yet if I'll keep on reading this series, but it's definitely worth a try :)

Read an excerpt


tynga

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Shadowlands by Kate Brian

I've had my eye on this book for a while. The great majority of reviews I have seen for it have been overwhelmingly positive and many friends have promised me that this is a unique tale that'll easily grab my attention. Unfortunately, I can't say I fully understand why this book is so greatly adored. While admittedly a quick read that I got through in a single day, the characters were flat, the plot was predictable, and the overall story reminded me more of a bad teen horror story than a novel by a hugely adored author.

Initially, I thought that was going to be an amazing book. The very first chapter is the attempted killing of Rory Miller by the famous serial killer Steven Nell. To make matters even more interesting the chapter is told from his perspective. It was so chilling that I can only describe it as creepily cool. It kept me excited and on my toes. But, shortly after, all of my hopes were dashed because most of the story is told from Rory's perspective. Her bland, slow, uneventful and normally frustrating perspective. It's like I lived for those random chapters told by Nell's perspective that were scattered throughout the book, even though all of them were shorter than two pages. His creepiness resonated with me so greatly, and it's sad to think that Rory's plight had such a small emotional impact on me in comparison.

However, the overall creepiness of the book just didn't have an impact on me either. I'm normally one that can easily be scared to the point of not sleeping for the night, but I barely batted an eye with this one. It almost felt like some of the scenes were taken right out of a bad horror movie. To make matters worse, some aspects of the story and the investigation were just hard to believe. For example, Steven Nell is supposed to be this genius that has eluded the FBI for over a decade, but wouldn't the FBI be able to detect someone right under their nose? Shouldn't they prove to be somewhat of an obstacle if the killer wanted to contact his mark? If turning to the witness protection program, wouldn't they want to protect their victims more? Oh, and the most obvious thing ever...wouldn't a brilliant serial killer know never to act around a large group of people because it will always backfire? Cases like this are constantly occurring in the book. It frustrated me because I wanted to shake the characters and ask why they aren't acting nearly as smart as they claim to be. It seemed like common sense rarely made an appearance in this novel.

Rory's family is similar to the cliche broken young adult family that is often found in novels these days. Her father is still suffering five years after the loss of his wife to cancer. This loss tore the family apart. Darcy, Rory's older sister, is incredibly materialistic and shallow, which also made her frustrating. While they're sisters and they can't help but love each other, I felt no inclination to like Darcy at all. She's not painted in a decent light therefore she isn't that likable. However, Rory's father goes through some great character growth throughout the book that I really enjoyed. My one other issue with characterization is that everyone was so flat I tended to have trouble keeping everything straight. And, to make matters worse, this book pretty much felt like a parade of hot guys. It was hot guy after hot guy after hot guy that were all hot in different ways. Relationships felt more shallow and physical than emotional. I can see a budding romance, but I don't think it shows any true promise since the male Rory is interested in likes to keep secrets and is rather sketchy. But, hey, he's hot!

In the end, I know a lot of people enjoyed this one. Heck, I can't even count the people who I know disliked this one on one hand. I'm simply the black sheep in this case because this book just wasn't for me. While the big twist at the end leaves me curious about book two, I'm not in any hurry to continue this series for myself. However, I recommend this to mystery thriller fans who like a hint of paranormalcy that makes an appearance at the end of the book. Its presence is heavily promised in the rest of the trilogy, too.

lilisig

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd

"Genius or madness-- it all depends on who's telling the story."


       The Madman's Daughter was one of the most promising books of 2013, but it ultimately let me down. I hoped that Her Dark Curiosity would raise the bar and that it would be a vast improvement over it's predecessor. Much to my disappointment, Her Dark Curiosity takes almost everything I loved about The Madman's Daughter and sacrifices these elements for an extremely ridiculous and unnecessary love triangle. This is not a retelling of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by any stretch of the imagination, it's merely an illogical romance that left me rolling my eyes.

Her Dark Curiosity is riddled with plot holes, there's so much left unanswered and Shepherd doesn't even attempt to answer any of my questions. How did both Edward and Montgomery end up in London? Juliet never gives a thought to the fact that both guys are supposed to be trapped on the island and have miraculously returned. What a coincidence! There are too many moments where things just magically seem to fall into order easily. Not to mention, the fact that there are blatant errors in terms of the biology that Shepherd is referencing in this book, the science in Her Dark Curiosity is faulty and illogical at best.

The plot in Her Dark Curiosity is majorly lacking and the romance is the only force that truly keeps the plot from reaching a stalemate. There is way too much emphasis on the romance and Shepherd unsuccessfully uses the romance to forward the plot. I don't care for Edward or Montgomery at all, I truly don't see anything appealing about either romantic interest. Both guys are extremely untrustworthy, duplicitous, and lack moral decency; both guys seem to act like they can control Juliet at times and this really bothered me. Juliet  kept on striving to create this facade where she was this strong-willed, powerful woman and yet, she let Montgomery and Edward push her around like a rag doll. Usually, I favor at least one character in a book's love triangle, but I couldn't care less about the romantic ventures of the trio in the slightest bit.

Megan Shepherd is extremely adept at creating a creepy, gothic atmosphere and compelling readers to continue reading about Juliet. Even though I wasn't interested in the plot of this book, I kept reading just for Shepherd's vivid, spooky imagery. Her Dark Curiosity really needed a big dose of creepy, macabre elements; I truly missed the peculiarities of Moreau's island and I yearned to read something that was idiosyncratic. Megan Shepherd is so talented at writing horror, both subtle and blatant, in the Madman's Daughter series and I really wish there was more of an emphasis on madness and other quirks of Juliet.

The last portion of the book is the most exciting part of the entire novel, but it is still rather dull. I really was curious to see what classic Shepherd would be retelling in book, but truthfully, it's so obvious what novel Shepherd was going to tackle from the get-go. I didn't see the conclusion coming at all, but then again, I was so disinterested in Her Dark Curiosity that it didn't leave an impression on me. I'm so over this series at this point and I can't really glean any excitement for book #3, but I have a feeling my dark curiosity will get the best of me and I will end up reading it.

Her Dark Curiosity is one of the most disappointing sequels I've read to date and it failed to deliver. I really wish The Madman's Daughter had been a stand-alone because as a series, it is extremely ineffective and frivolous. I could care less about the wretched love triangle and I'll be reading the 3rd novel just to see how this series ends. I have really high hopes for Shepherd's upcoming series, The Cage and I really hope that I enjoy more than Her Dark Curiosity.
jonsig

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

"When I'm not writing" with Mark Henry + giveaway

Mark HenryOur guest today is the incredibly funny Mr. Mark Henry! You may be familiar with his Amanda Feral zombie novels published by Kensington, or his YA books under the name Daniel Marks. He's on tour right now to celebrate his new series, which kicks off this fall with PARTS & WRECK, the first of what will hopefully be many Parts Department novels from Entangled Covet.


"When I'm not writing" logo


I hear a lot of writers talk about their work as the great love of their life, that thing they “have to do” like breathing or sex, and I love writing to, it’s fun, I enjoy it, but it’s not my “Great Love.” That’d be cooking. My mother was a great cook in her day and as an only child, she’d have me with her most all of the time, teaching me everything she knew and lots of stuff that to an outsider would have seemed far beyond my capabilities. Spice combinations, technique, the difference between baking soda and powder, that kind of thing. By the age of nine, I was the resident bartender at my parents cocktail parties. Shit, it was the seventies, don’t make that face.

So I cook. It comes natural and I do it every day. I love it. It’s how I relax and think. I set up my laptop on the kitchen table with my work-in-progress open to whatever it is I’m tinkering at and start my mise en place (despite being a professional writer, I have no idea how to put those little accents where they need to go on French words). I’ve come up with some pretty amazing plot twists while cooking. It’s calming, inspirational and, yeah, fattening.

Which brings me to the internet. I’m hugely guilty of producing #foodporn (seriously, follow me on instagram.com/mark_henry. I’d feed you if I could but since you’re probably not living on my street I just have to share when a dish turns out so right. And then the recipe requests come…

Here’s one that I always get requests to reveal. It’s easy-ish and a really quick fix if you realize (on the day of) that the holiday party you’ve been invited to is actually a cookie exchange. I got this recipe a few years back from Angela James of Carina Press fame and since then I’ve had fun changing it up. It’s super flexible and magically delicious!

CrAcKeR CaNdY


(serves: 24 polite eaters or 1 holiday binge-eater)




  1. Preheat oven to 350.

  2. Line a jellyroll pan (cookie sheet with a surrounding lip) with tinfoil, coat with non-stick spray. Place a single (tight) layer of crackers (any kind will do, I’ve tried both Saltines and Ritz, Townhouse, whatever). If you use a round cracker, break up some pieces to fit in the bare spots of pan.

  3. In a saucepan, combine 1 and ½ sticks of salted butter and 1 and ½ cups of brown sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring over medium high heat. When the mixture is rolling in the pot, pour it gently and evenly over the crackers. Spread it around but don’t worry about getting it perfect.

  4. Bake for 5 -10 minutes until the whole thing is bubbling and evenly spread. Remove and add two cups of candy chips. Traditionally, semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips are used, but I find that semi and butterscotch is my go-to. You can use any variation, white chocolate, peanut butter, whatever, as long as it’s chips.

  5. Crumble top. You can use a cup of crumbled crackers, nuts, crushed candy canes. Whatever. It’s going to taste amazing.

  6. Refrigerate pan until it’s set. Break up into single servings or just eat the whole damn thing like the pig you are!!!


You will not regret making this! Oh wait, yes you will, because it’s like crack and by the end of the day you’ll be shirtless, covered in chocolate and laying on the floor with an empty pan promising sexual favors for more.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

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Thanks so much for visiting us, Mark! I'm definitely going to try out this recipe!


Check out the links below for more Mark or click on the banner for other tour stops:


Website | Facebook | Twitter


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Here's the scoop on PARTS & WRECK:



Parts & Wreck by Mark Henry (Parts Department #1)Wade Crowson, a brutish and brooding playboy and veteran vivisectionist for the Parts Department, runs into more than he bargained for in new partner, Lucid Montgomery, a quirky beauty with a bizarre secret and a string of psychiatric diagnoses she tries hard to keep hidden.

Loving Luce will stamp a demonic target on her back and thrust Wade into a frenzied whirlwind of hilarious misunderstandings and, quite possibly, a stripping gig for emptynesters. Can they withstand the savagery of an exorcism (with or without the split pea soup) and come out alive and …in love?

Read an excerpt (scroll down)


Purchase: Amazon



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Mark and Entangled Publishing are giving away a whole mess of stuff: signed copies of his adult and YA books and PDFs of some of his work!


Follow the Rafflecopter instructions to enter!


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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 favourite authors will be able to participate but we’ll try!


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


Jennsig