Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Boy Proof - Book Review

Boy Proof
by Cecil Castellucci

What is it about:
What happens when an antisocial cinephile meets up with the worldly new guy at school — a quick-witted artist who's savvy enough to see through her sci-fi disguise?

Meet Egg. Her real name is Victoria Jurgen, but she's renamed herself after the kick-ass heroine of her favorite sci-fi movie, Terminal Earth. Like her namesake, Egg dresses all in white, colors her eyebrows, and shaves her head. She always knows the right answers, she's always in control, and she's far too busy — taking photos for the school paper, meeting with the Science Fiction and Fantasy Club, and hanging out at the creature shop with her dad, the special-effects makeup wizard — to be bothered with friends, much less members of the opposite sex. As far as Egg is concerned, she's boy proof, and she likes it that way.

But then Egg meets a boy named Max, a boy who's smart and funny and creative and cool...and happens to like Egg. Could this be the end of the world — at least as Egg knows it?

What did I think of it:
I picked this book up after reading Castellucci's Tin Star, because I was curious if her other books were just as good.

This book is even better in my opinion!

I devoured this book in one sitting. I just couldn't stop reading.

This is such a recognizable story. Egg is a bit of an outcast. She doesn't know how to fit in, and therefor has decided to close herself off from those around her. She's a bit of a know-it-all at times, but otherwise I could totally relate with her.

When Egg meets Max, she's so used to hiding inside the armor she built around herself that she doesn't know how to connect. All she knows how to do is push people away to keep from being hurt.

It was heartbreaking to see how Egg tries to find her place in the world, and tries to connect with the people around her. Being a nerd myself, and having dealt with lots of the same issues as Egg when in school, this story resonated with me, and I will confess there were a couple of scenes that made me cry.

All in all this is a beautiful story about being yourself, and figuring out where you belong. It reminded me at times of Tall, Thin and Blonde by Dyan Sheldon, a book that deals with the same kind of issues, and which I also love. I will most certainly reread this book, and I will check out more books by Castellucci as well.

Why should you read it:
It's a beautiful, touching Young Adult read.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Deadland's Harvest - Book Review

Deadland's Harvest (Deadland #2)
by Rachel Aukes

What is it about:
It has been one hundred days since the zombies claimed the world. Cash, along with forty-two survivors, have found safety in the secluded and well-guarded Fox National Park. The leaves are changing colors, a beautiful, brutal reminder that winter is coming. As the survivors prepare for freezing months without electricity and not enough food, they learn of massive zombie herds several hundred miles north…and headed their way.

To save the park, Cash must find a place for the survivors to hide from the migrating herds. If Cash and her small band of volunteers don’t succeed by winter, the Fox survivors just may become Deadland’s Harvest.

(Deadland’s Harvest is a journey through Dante Alighieri's classic tale on the seven deadly sins… zombie apocalypse style!)

What did I think of it:
Some of you might remember how much I loved 100 Days in Deadland, the first book in this trilogy. So you can imagine how excited I was when I got a digital copy of Deadland's Harvest for review.

And this book is awesome!

Aukes uses the seven deadly sins as a guideline for her story, but in such a way that it doesn't interfere with your reading pleasure. You can easily identify the sins in each part of the story, but the things that are happening, the action, and zombie mayhem make sure you are totally engrossed in the story.

The story starts where 100 Days in Deadland ended, and with only a small reprieve Cash and her friends are once again caught up in the horrors of the zombie apocalypse. The story is intense and full of action. Zombies, greedy humans and more make surviving difficult. There's lots of death and destruction going on, and Cash and those close to her have to fight for survival. I was hooked from the start and had trouble putting the book down. I had to keep reading to find out what would happen next.

Aukes doesn't pull any punches and there were some gruesome scenes and deaths that shocked me. I can say I was glad that most of my favorite characters survived, although not without wear and tear. And the ending...

It's not a cliffhanger ending, but so many things have happened, so many things might still happen: I seriously need to get my trotters on the last book in this trilogy!

If you haven't started on this trilogy yet, I can only tell you to pick up the first book asap, because these books are so good. You can count on it that I'll be rereading this book, and I'm stalking bookdepository, so I can buy this book in print as soon as possible.

Why should you read it:
It's an awesome zombie read!

Find buy links here

Monday, 28 April 2014

The Mark of the Tala - Early Book Review

The Mark of the Tala (The Twelve Kingdoms #1)
by Jeffe Kennedy

What is it about:
Queen Of The Unknown

The tales tell of three sisters, daughters of the high king. The eldest, a valiant warrior-woman, heir to the kingdom. The youngest, the sweet beauty with her Prince Charming. No one says much about the middle princess, Andromeda. Andi, the other one.

Andi doesn't mind being invisible. She enjoys the company of her horse more than court, and she has a way of blending into the shadows. Until the day she meets a strange man riding, who keeps company with wolves and ravens, who rules a land of shapeshifters and demons. A country she'd thought was no more than legend--until he claims her as its queen.

In a moment everything changes: Her father, the wise king, becomes a warlord, suspicious and strategic. Whispers call her dead mother a traitor and a witch. Andi doesn't know if her own instincts can be trusted, as visions appear to her and her body begins to rebel.

For Andi, the time to learn her true nature has come. . .

What did I think of it:
Voodoo Bride and I are big fans of Jeffe's work, so we were very happy when we heard about this trilogy. We were even more happy when Jeffe sent us an ARC of The Mark of the Tala.

This is a wonderful story.

I loved reading how the three sisters interact with each other. It was very recognizable. I could relate with how Andi felt, and why she seeks her solace away from court and family.

And that's how she meets Rayfe. I wasn't sure what to think of Rayfe at first. He's mysterious, a bit dangerous, but very intriguing. I really liked how Andi is torn about him and what happens as well. There might be an immediate attraction, but by no means insta-love. Instead Andi does the sensible thing at first: defend herself, and run away.

Then Andi discovers important secrets have been kept from her, and suddenly two countries are fighting over her.

I really love how Andi tries to do what is right, even if that means doing things her family doesn't approve of. She is faced with difficult choices, and is willing to sacrifice herself for those she cares about.

The complex relationship between Andi and Rayfe is also great to see develop. There's attraction, but Andi isn't foolish enough to mistake that for love. She keeps on her guard, and I loved seeing the two of them slowly getting to know each other better.

The ending was satisfying, but also leaves lots of things open that made me wonder what will happen next for the three sisters. All in all this is a beautiful story that captured me and has me eager for more. I can advice this to anyone who loves Romantic Fantasy. I will most certainly reread this book often, and I'll eagerly await the next book in this trilogy.

Why should you read it:
It's a wonderful Romantic Fantasy read.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Sunday, 27 April 2014

TBR Orphans - April Update

Time to see how I did with my challenge.
I know April isn't over yet, but I'm not planning to read more Orphaned books this month.

My first try at reading an Orphan was The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse. With a title like that it sounded like it could be a really cool book.

It started out nice enough. I will confess I thought Rankin was trying too hard to write funny, but I was curious enough about the story to endure. Until about halfway in, there was such a lame fat-joke, I decided I had enough, and I tossed the book.

So the first Orphan became a DNF*.
Still I managed to get two Orphans read after that.

The City's Son was a book I got at the World Fantasy Con in November.

Alchemystic is actually a book that I DNFed in 2012, but a comment by the author on my DNF review made me decide to eventually give the book a second chance. Which it got this month, and this time I read it all the way through.

I will review these two books soon.

All in all that means I read two and a half books that had been on my shelves for over 3 months.
I'm doing well.


*DNF = Did Not Finish

Friday, 25 April 2014

Nightmare Ink - Book Review

Nightmare Ink (Living Ink #1)
by Marcella Burnard


What is it about:
With her art and magic, Isa Romanchzyk has the power to create or destroy. In her tattoo shop, Nightmare Ink, Isa helps those in need by binding the power embedded in their Live Ink—the magical tattoos that can enhance the life of the wearer, or end it. But binding tattoos has earned Isa the contempt of her fellow artists—including her former lover Daniel.

When a friend comes to the shop with a tattoo on the verge of killing him, Isa can’t turn him away. For the first time in years, she works Live Ink—something she swore she’d never do again. But a broken vow soon becomes the least of her problems.

The real nightmare begins when she’s abducted and inked with a Living Tattoo against her will. Now, saddled with a powerful, amoral entity willing to do anything to win his freedom, Isa must fight to keep her Living Tattoo from consuming her completely...

What did I think of it:
I absolutely love all of Burnard's books I've read so far, so when I heard she had written an Urban Fantasy I had to read that as well of course.

And this is such a cool read!

The idea of Live Ink is really intriguing. At the start of the story there are a few hints about what these magical tattoos are, but later in the story it gets more and more clear that people who get Live Ink are in for a lot more than they know.

Isa is a complex, but very likeable, heroine. She wants to do the right thing, but it's hard at times for to see what the right thing is. She has been hurt, has her secrets (even for herself) and this made her cautious. She's not your average Urban Fantasy kick-ass heroine, but she has an inner strength that keeps her going.

There are lots of other cool characters as well, I really liked Isa's friends. They were there for her when she really needed them.

The story was suspenseful and had me hooked from the start. I kept worrying and wondering where things would go, and if Isa would find a way to survive what's happening to her. There's lots of intense situations, and lots of action.

The ending had me eager for more. Some major plot-lines get a resolution, but there are enough things left open that I need to know what will be next. I will most certainly get my trotters on the next book once it releases.

Why should you read it:
It's a really cool Urban Fantasy read.

Buy from Amazon

Thursday, 24 April 2014

On McPig's Radar - Noble Ark

This sounds like it might be a really cool SciFi read. You can bet I'll be reading it once I have the time.

Noble Ark
by Colette Black

Mwalgi pirates, parasitic aliens who consume human spinal fluid, are boarding the Noble Ark.

When Larkin Trovgar, a half-human member of the attacking alien ship, turns on his own people, saving Aline Taylor’s life, she feels duty-bound to watch over the impossible monstrosity. Despite his easy-going charms and virile physique, she’s determined to see him as she would any Mwalgi—nothing better than an animal.

As Larkin’s presence brings out the best and worst in the human crew, and the Noble Ark is harassed by more Mwalgi ships, will Aline look past Larkin's alien heritage to find love, or will mistrust cost her everything?


Buy Noble Ark here

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Stolen Songbird - Book Review

Stolen Songbird (The Malediction Trilogy #1)
by Danielle L. Jensen

What is it about:
For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the trolls to their city beneath the ruins of Forsaken Mountain. Time enough for their dark and nefarious magic to fade from human memory and into myth. But a prophesy has been spoken of a union with the power to set the trolls free, and when Cécile de Troyes is kidnapped and taken beneath the mountain, she learns there is far more to the myth of the trolls than she could have imagined.

Cécile has only one thing on her mind after she is brought to Trollus: escape. Only the trolls are clever, fast, and inhumanly strong. She will have to bide her time, wait for the perfect opportunity.

But something unexpected happens while she’s waiting – she begins to fall for the enigmatic troll prince to whom she has been bonded and married. She begins to make friends. And she begins to see that she may be the only hope for the half-bloods – part troll, part human creatures who are slaves to the full-blooded trolls. There is a rebellion brewing. And her prince, Tristan, the future king, is its secret leader.

As Cécile becomes involved in the intricate political games of Trollus, she becomes more than a farmer’s daughter. She becomes a princess, the hope of a people, and a witch with magic powerful enough to change Trollus forever.

What did I think of it:
I will confess: this is yet another book where the beautiful cover lured me in. The mention of trolls sealed the deal.

I should have known of course that it wouldn't be the kind of trolls I was hoping for. But when I came at that point of the story I was intrigued enough by what was going on to let it slide. At least the trolls in this story are actually different from humans in important ways, and are not just humans with a bad hair day, like in another troll book I once read.

The troll issue out of the way:

This is a beautiful read.

Jensen created a wonderful underground world, full of mystery, darkness and danger. I will confess it took me a while to warm up to both Cécile and Tristan, but this story is so captivating that even if they hadn't grown on me, I would still have loved it. Luckily both undergo some changes during the story that made me like them. I liked how they start out not liking each other at all. The character development, the interaction between the two were very well done.

I loved several of the other trolls as well. One of them, Marc, is especially interesting, and I hope there will be more about him in the next two books.

The story is full of intrigue. Cécile has to be careful who to trust. She longs for freedom, but with everything going on around her she soon finds herself fighting to just stay alive. She has some important choices to make, that will not only have an influence on her own life, but on others as well.

Although I had a feeling where the story might lead to, it kept surprising me, and then left me with an ending that made me anxious to get my trotters on the next book, but I'll have to wait a year! I will have to reread Stolen Songbird for sure to tide me over.

Why should you read it:
It's a beautiful and captivating YA Fantasy read.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Dark and Deadly - Promo Post

Dark and Deadly: Eight Bad Boys of Paranormal Romance Boxed Set is now available worldwide for a special introductory price of only $0.99!

This ebook boxed set of eight hot paranormal romances by eight New York Times and USA Today best-selling romance authors features powerful alpha male bad boys who will satisfy your darkest, most deadliest desires.

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Dark and Deadly: Eight Bad Boys of Paranormal Romance
By Jennifer Ashley, Alyssa Day, Felicity Heaton, Erin Kellison, Laurie London, Erin Quinn, Bonnie Vanak and Caris Roane

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BODYGUARD by Jennifer Ashley
Elizabeth Chapman is saved from an armed attacker by a Kodiak bear who shifts into a tight-bodied, naked human male. Ronan takes Elizabeth to Shiftertown, becoming her 24/7 bodyguard. The mateless Ronan has adopted a houseful of orphaned Shifters--having grown up in foster care, Elizabeth is touched by his protectiveness. Ronan only wants to keep Elizabeth safe, but the sassy woman is triggering his long-buried need to mate.
He’s a warrior, hardened by years of protecting his town from vampire attack. She’s a garden witch who sees the world in shades of sunshine and delight. Opposites don’t only attract, they go supernova in this sizzling tale of magic and mayhem.
BEWITCH by Felicity Heaton
A vampire with a bloodstained past and a soul tainted with darkness, Payne is perfect in his self-control, never surrendering to his darkest desires. Now a beautiful witch in the shadowy fae underworld reawakens long denied hungers and tempts him with pleasure. When one incredible night of fulfilling their fantasies leads to more than just keeping a promise and saving a friend, will they be able to overcome the barriers that stand between them and forever?
DARKNESS FALLS by Erin Kellison
Agent Malcolm Rook is hunting for people with the rarest of talents—the ability to master dreams. He finds the undeniably gifted Jordan Lane, but she’s wary of mysterious Rook and resists his pursuit as long as she can. Yet the dreamwaters they enter are too exhilarating to resist, and attraction soon ignites electric passions. Delving too deep stirs a nightmare, one they must defeat, or be forever lost to darkness. 
ROGUE’S PASSION by Laurie London
Blaming himself for the death of a friend, Iron Guild warrior Asher Kane vows to bring those responsible to justice. After he’s hurt on a mission and nursed back to health by a beautiful yet mysterious woman, this dangerously sexy bad-boy finds himself falling for Olivia…even as he struggles to stay away. But stalking them on the streets of New Seattle is a cruel and vengeful evil—one that threatens to destroy them both…
Alex’s mission: Kill the hellhounds that have invaded earth and return to his home in the Beyond. But from the start, things go horribly wrong. The hounds are cunning and a human female witnesses their attack—she intervenes and saves Alex’s life. Now he must keep the alluring Lilly alive while fighting his desire for her. When passion flares, Alex risks all to protect her and defend the forbidden life he craves.
THE MATING HEAT by Bonnie Vanak
Werewolf Kara Mitchell fled with her brother Aiden to Montana after their alpha father punished her for kissing sexy omega werewolf Ryder Carrington. Left scarred by her father’s cruelty, Kara believes no one can love her. After killing his alpha to save the pack, Ryder now rules, but needs a mate. His blood runs hot for Kara. Ryder will do anything to claim her, even risk an all-out pack war that could cost them everything…
TRAPPED by Caris Roane
Mastyr Vampire Zephyr, a one-man fighting force, struggles to save the life of a woman who despises his warrior ways. She’s been a thorn in his side, but he has one goal: to keep her safe. For Alesia, however, she just wishes he’d leave her alone since she can never approve of his profession. She broke up with him months ago and wants to start a new life. The trouble is, he’s still the one man who can curl her toes.

Dark and Deadly: Eight Bad Boys of Paranormal Romance is available from Amazon Kindle, Kobo Books, Barnes and Noble Nook, Apple iBooks stores and other retailers. Find the links to your preferred retailer at:

“Here’s the deal, Lizzie-girl,” Ronan said. “I go with you, or you don’t go.”

“Stop calling me Lizzie-girl.” Elizabeth jabbed her finger at his chest. “It’s my store, my life, my sister, and we’ll do this my— Hey! What are you doing?”

Ronan had his giant hands on her soft waist, and he lifted her off her feet. She squirmed and glared, but he lifted her higher, higher, until she was over his head. He often picked up Olaf like this, and Elizabeth was not much bigger than the cub.

“Ronan, you put me down!”

“Nothing doing, sweet thing. Not until you realize that I’m your bodyguard now, and that’s all there is to that.”

“You arrogant . . .”

Ronan saw her hand coming at him, fingers stiff, right for his eyes. He ducked out of the way in time, but the move made him lose his hold. Elizabeth kicked out, not contacting him, but with enough force to twist from his grip and land on her feet. She never touched him, and yet, there she stood, a couple yards from him, hands on hips, breathing hard, triumph on her face.

Ronan growled. “You fight dirty.”

“I learned how to a long time ago.”

“You know something, Lizzie-girl?”

Elizabeth canted one hip . . . Aw, wasn’t that adorable? “What’s that?” she asked.

“I fight dirty too.”

Before Elizabeth could scream, Ronan ran at her and lifted her again, letting the momentum carry them forward until her back was against the outside wall of the Den. Ronan pinned her tightly, his body against hers, so that she couldn’t squirm, kick, or do any neat karate moves with her hands.

Elizabeth struggled, and she glared, and the more she glared, the more Ronan wanted to laugh. She smelled sweet, like the honey she’d poured on her toast. One drop of that honey lingered on the corner of her mouth. Ronan leaned down and licked it away.

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Dark and Deadly: Eight Bad Boys of Paranormal Romance is available from Amazon Kindle, Kobo Books, Barnes and Noble Nook, Apple iBooks stores and other retailers. Find the links to your preferred retailer at:

Monday, 21 April 2014

The Goblin Emperor - Book Review *

The Goblin Emperor
by Katherine Addison

What is it about:
The youngest, half-goblin son of the Emperor has lived his entire life in exile, distant from the Imperial Court and the deadly intrigue that suffuses it. But when his father and three sons in line for the throne are killed in an "accident," he has no choice but to take his place as the only surviving rightful heir.

Entirely unschooled in the art of court politics, he has no friends, no advisors, and the sure knowledge that whoever assassinated his father and brothers could make an attempt on his life at any moment.

Surrounded by sycophants eager to curry favor with the naïve new emperor, and overwhelmed by the burdens of his new life, he can trust nobody. Amid the swirl of plots to depose him, offers of arranged marriages, and the specter of the unknown conspirators who lurk in the shadows, he must quickly adjust to life as the Goblin Emperor. All the while, he is alone, and trying to find even a single friend... and hoping for the possibility of romance, yet also vigilant against the unseen enemies that threaten him, lest he lose his throne – or his life.

What did I think of it:
I have a weakness for goblins, I will confess. So yes: the mention of a half-goblin hero made me want to read this book, even though I feared the story might be a bit too dry for my usual tastes.

This turned out to be a beautiful read though!

Maia (the lead character) turns out to be half goblin and half elf. The goblins in this book are another kind of goblin than I hoped for, but that was about the only disappointment I encountered, and there was lots of good stuff to counter that disappointment.

Maia has been living secluded - with a mentor who despises him - for most of his life, when at nineteen he is suddenly pushed in the role of emperor, because his father and older brothers all die in a terrible accident. I liked Maia from the start. He's young, unworldly, and has no clue how to be an emperor. He does know he doesn't want to be like his father, so he tries hard to find his own way to be what people expect him to be.

I will confess I hadn't expected to love this book as much as I did. I've read my share of court intrigues, and they can be boring if the author isn't careful. The Goblin Emperor didn't bore me for one second though. I was totally gripped by Maia's struggles to learn how to rule, figure out who to trust, and keep holding on to his ideals in the process.

I was surprised by how much emotion there was in this story. I must admit I shed more than one tear while reading this book. Of course there's lots of politics and back-stabbing going on, but at the heart this story is about Maia, his search for who he is, and where he belongs. After a lonely childhood, Maia longs for friends, and his attempts at reaching out are heart-breaking at times. I rooted for him to find people he could rely on, and to succeed in becoming the emperor he wants to be.

All in all this is a wonderful read that moved me and drew me in. I was sad when I finished it, because I didn't want to say goodbye. I will most certainly reread this pearl in the future.

Why should you read it:
It's a beautiful Fantasy read.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

* This review has previously been posted on Between Dreams & Reality

Friday, 18 April 2014

Grigory Legacy Scavenger Hunt

Didn't win my Grigory Legacy giveaway?
Then this is the scavenger hunt for you!

Join in the fun and visit all participating blogs to find all the secret words that form a sentence that could win you a fabulous prize!

Read this post and find the secret word (which might be hidden in the text or a picture). Hint: it has a nice orange color. Visit the other blogs listed in the schedule, find all words, put them in the right order (see the schedule for which clue/word fits where), and enter the rafflecopter giveaway!

Don't feel like hunting all over the place, or can't find the secret word? No problem: you can also enter the giveaway without joining the scavenger hunt. Those who do find all the words just get more entries in the giveaway.



Linda Poitevin is the author of the dark urban fantasy series, The Grigori Legacy, from Ace/Roc Books. Linda lives near Ottawa, Canada’s capital, and in her other life is wife, mother, friend, gardener, coffee snob, freelance writer, and zookeeper of too many pets. When she isn’t writing, Linda can usually be found in her garden or walking her dog along the river or through the woods.

Author links: Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter /


The Grigori Legacy: Goodreads / Amazon / B&N


SYNOPSIS: A detective with a secret lineage. An undercover Hunter with a bullet-proof soul. And a world made to pay for the sins of an angel...

Homicide detective Alexandra Jarvis answers to no one. Especially not to the new partner assigned to her in the middle of a gruesome serial killer case-a partner who is obstructive, irritatingly magnetic, and arrogant as hell. Aramael is a Power--a hunter of the Fallen Angels. A millennium ago, he sentenced his own brother to eternal exile for crimes against humanity. Now his brother is back and wreaking murderous havoc in the mortal realm. To find him, Aramael must play second to a human police officer who wants nothing to do with him and whose very bloodline threatens both his mission and his soul.

Now, faced with a fallen angel hell-bent on triggering the apocalypse, Alex and Aramael have no choice but to join forces, because only together can they stop the end of days.

Sins of the Angels book links: Goodreads / Amazon / B&N


SYNOPSIS: When homicide detective Alexandra Jarvis sees a photo of Seth Benjamin on a police bulletin, she knows that Heaven's plan to halt Armageddon has gone terribly wrong. As the only mortal who knows of Seth's true nature, only she can save him. Aramael was a hunter of Fallen Angels until a traitor forced him into earthly exile. Now, with no powers and only a faint memory of Alex, his mortal soulmate, he will stop at nothing to redeem himself-even if it means destroying Seth in the name of the Creator...

Sins of the Son book links: Goodreads / Amazon / B&N


SYNOPSIS: Heaven and Hell are on the brink of war as Lucifer builds his Nephilim army and waits for his new agenda to become a reality — that of having a Nephilimchild of his own bloodline to lead his forces to cataclysmic victory.

With rumors of the pending war rampant on Earth, Alex fights to save humanity from its own panic –­ leaving little time for her fledgling
relationship with Seth, the man with heavenly origins who has captured her heart. But when Nephilim children begin to disappear, along with Alex’s own vulnerable niece, the inevitable war between Heaven and Hell becomes as personal as sin.

Heaven has its own plans to fight the coming apocalypse, but first it needs Seth back. Asked to betray the man she loves, Alex must turn for help to the soulmate she thought she’d given up — the Archangel Aramael, who may be her last chance to save her family and humanity from the ashes of Lucifer’s Armageddon.

Sins of the Lost book links: Goodreads / Amazon / B&N


Clue #1: Pearls Cast Before A McPig
Clue #2: Romancing The Darkside
Clue #3: I Smell Sheep
Clue #4: Kelsey's Cluttered Bookshelf
Clue #5: Book Mood Reviews
Clue #6: Bea's Book Nook
Clue #7: The Demon Librarian


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Tin Star - Book Review

Tin Star (Tin Star #1)
by Cecil Castellucci

What is it about:
On their way to start a new life, Tula and her family travel on the Prairie Rose, a colony ship headed to a planet in the outer reaches of the galaxy. All is going well until the ship makes a stop at a remote space station, the Yertina Feray, and the colonist's leader, Brother Blue, beats Tula within an inch of her life. An alien, Heckleck, saves her and teaches her the ways of life on the space station.

When three humans crash land onto the station, Tula's desire for escape becomes irresistible, and her desire for companionship becomes unavoidable. But just as Tula begins to concoct a plan to get off the space station and kill Brother Blue, everything goes awry, and suddenly romance is the farthest thing from her mind.

What did I think of it:
This is such a great read!

I love that this is a story that actually uses real aliens instead of aliens that are basically the same as humans in appearance. Even better is that Tula ends up being looked at as the alien, being the only human on the space station, and humans being a rare sight for the other aliens. I think this book would have deserved a place on my keeper shelves just for that alone.

Luckily there's lots more good things about this book. It's a really cool and intense read.

I loved the aliens, especially Heckleck, Tula's mentor. Castellucci manages to keep him alien, while still giving him qualities that make you like him and relate to him.

I liked reading about the space station, the aliens living there, and about how Tula adapts to her new life. It's surprising how Castellucci makes you fall in love with the space station and its inhabitants with just a minimum of world building.

Then the humans arrive and Tula has to decide how to deal with that.

Not often I've come across a book where you can understand the aliens better than the humans, but this book is one of them. I didn't trust the humans at all, and felt like warning Tula about them. It made for some intense reading.

Some events I saw coming, but others caught me off guard and left me shocked. The ending (although leaving some things open) was satisfying, but I was so in love with this story and world by then that I was eager for more.

All in all this is a really beautiful and suspenseful Young Adult SciFi, and you can bet I will get my trotters on the sequel once it releases. I will also try another book by Castellucci in the meantime.

Why should you read it:
It's a YA SciFi with actual aliens!

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Alien Collective - Early Book Review

Alien Collective (Katherine "Kitty" Katt #9)
by Gini Koch

What is it about:
Despite not having run for office, nor wanting to remain in office, Representative Jeff Martini is being wooed as the vice presidential running mate for a charismatic senator who seems likely to win the campaign. While the Diplomatic Corps has to deal with the pressures of a political campaign sure to uncover secrets they don’t want shared with the world, Ambassador Kitty Katt-Martini has other worries—handling the reemergence of her most potent nemesis, thought dead and buried.

What did I think of it:
I can't believe we're already on book nine in this cool and funny series. It seems like only yesterday that I picked up Touched by an Alien on a whim, lured by the beautiful cover, and cool sounding blurb. Even more surprising is that Gini Koch keeps delivering time and time again.

Having read a couple of Fantasy books before starting on Alien Collective I will confess I struggled a bit during the first few chapters to get into the story. But once I made the switch from serious Fantasy to quirky and fun SciFi I was hooked.

If you haven't started on this series yet, I can really advice you to go buy Touched by an Alien and dive in. Because this series is addictive and fun. Many things have happened since that first book, that made me fall in love with Gini's writing, and although maybe some people could read this book without having read the previous books, I tell you: you want it all!

This book is a typical 'Kitty Katt' book. It's full of humor, wittiness and bizarre situations. Kitty is a fun heroine, who you know will save the day... eventually. But before she does, you get taken on a wild ride that is well worth it.

There's tons of cool characters, both old and new. There's action, suspense and intense emotions. And there's one particular event in this book that made this piggy a very happy camper! I won't spoil too much, but let me tell you: some authors actually listen to my requests! I hope this will become a trend ;-)

So once again Gini Koch manages to entertain and delight with a witty, funny and cool story. I hope she keeps them coming, because I need more books to feed my addiction.

Why should you read it:
It's a quirky and cool SciFi read.

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Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Teaser Tuesdays - Perfect Ruin

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: - Grab your current read - Open to a random page - Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) - Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

I want to wrap my arms around him. I want to give him my warmth and soften the marrow and make him better.
But he would push me away, remind me that I don't understand.

(page 103, Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano)

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Monday, 14 April 2014

Pack of Strays - Book Review

Pack of Strays (Fangborn #2)
by Dana Cameron

What is it about:
Archaeologist Zoe Miller has only recently learned she is Fangborn, a secretive race of werewolves, vampires, and oracles dedicated to protecting humanity. But after she discovered and opened Pandora's Box, the fabled item has lived up to its myth, and for Zoe and her friends, all hell has broken loose. Now she's on a double mission: to prevent a politician from revealing the existence of the Fangborn and to foil the diabolical plans of the powerful Order of Nicomedia, a group dedicated to eradicating her kind.

But Zoe is also noticing disturbing changes in herself - new and unique abilities. Her visions are intensifying too, drawing her to faraway places to find more artifacts like the bejeweled bracelet embedded in her wrist.

In a world of dizzying shifts, who can Zoe trust? For while her former lover wants to turn her in, her former adversary seems dedicated to helping her mission succeed . . .

What did I think of it:
I loved the first book in this series, so I have been eagerly awaiting the release of Pack of Strays.

And this book was well worth the wait!

Just a couple of pages into the book I was hooked, and if not for my eyes refusing to cooperate at a certain point, I'd have devoured it in one sitting. It's so good!

Zoe gets thrown from one dangerous situation in the next. She stumbles upon conspiracies and secrets that have her fighting for survival. Each piece of the puzzle she manages to discover, leads her to a new mystery.

There were some new characters in this book that I really liked, and some returning ones as well. I hope to see lots more of some in the next book, while I hope others will get what they deserve.

If there's one thing I didn't get into in the first book it was the romantic storyline. I just really didn't like Will. So I can tell you I was so happy to see a second love interest in Pack of Strays. Normally I'm no fan of love triangly stuff, but here I could only cheer to see Zoe get attracted to a man I could root for. I'm readying myself to be disappointed (as I am so often) in who Zoe will eventually end up with, but I'll keep hoping and rooting until the end!

The story was thrilling and action-packed. Rarely Zoe gets time to catch her breath. I love how Cameron takes the story to all kinds of different locations and countries. In my opinion Cameron succeeds in making those settings feel real, and making them a natural part of the developing story.

The mythological and historical elements in this series are also really well done. It's clear Cameron did her research, but she manages to blend the information into the story without it becoming info dumps. There are some dream/vision sequences to reveal some things, but they never felt disruptive or out of place. Instead they added to the suspense of the story.

All in all this book is even better than the first. And the ending! I need the next book! You can bet I will get my trotters on it as soon as it releases.

Why should you read it:
It's an action-packed and cool Urban Fantasy read.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Friday, 11 April 2014

An Interview with Rainy Kaye - Summoned Blog Tour

Today Rainy Kaye visits my blog.
There's an interview, info on her book Summoned and even an excerpt and giveaway.


Is Summoned your first novel?

No, but yes. But no. I've completed four other manuscripts before Summoned, but they are all part of another series which is not quite ready to be plopped onto Amazon. My friend, author Natasha Larry, and I decided to take a break from our usual made up worlds and each try something else. Sixteen days later, I had written the draft of Summoned. A couple of months later, I signed with my lovely agent, Rossano Trentin.

Do you intend to write any more novels?

Yep. While Summoned was written as a standalone novel (no cliffhanger), there are likely to be a few more adventures with Dimitri. He's way too much fun to write. Plus there's that other series in progress, and a few other outlines floating around in my brainspace.

Why did you decide to write about genies?

I didn't decide to write about genies. I decided to write about Dimitri and, as it turns out, he's a genie. He doesn't live in a lamp or use magic, but you wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of a wish he has to fulfill.

Why did you write about a male character?

The primary protagonist of the other series is also male, so even though Dimitri is nothing like him, it wasn't something I had to give any real thought. Despite the fact “kick ass females” are a big thing right now, I think you just kind of know if your character is going to be male or female.

What was the most difficult part of writing Summoned?

I was working a day job and then turning around and pulling another eight hours writing. I did this nearly every night for sixteen days. So, basically, the hardest part of writing Summoned was recovering from the caffeine addiction.


Summoned (Summoned #1)
by Rainy Kaye

Twenty-three year old Dimitri has to do what he is told—literally. Controlled by a paranormal bond, he is forced to use his wits to fulfill unlimited deadly wishes made by multimillionaire Karl Walker.

Dimitri has no idea how his family line became trapped in the genie bond. He just knows resisting has never ended well. When he meets Syd—assertive, sexy, intelligent Syd—he becomes determined to make her his own. Except Karl has ensured Dimitri can't tell anyone about the bond, and Syd isn't the type to tolerate secrets.

Then Karl starts sending him away on back-to-back wishes. Unable to balance love and lies, Dimitri sets out to uncover Karl's ultimate plan and put it to an end. But doing so forces him to confront the one wish he never saw coming—the wish that will destroy him.


Summoned is represented by Rossano Trentin of TZLA.

Find out more at

Buy from Amazon

Author Bio

Rainy Kaye is an aspiring overlord. In the mean time, she blogs at and writes paranormal novels from her lair somewhere in Phoenix, Arizona. When not plotting world domination, she enjoys getting lost around the globe, studying music so she can sing along with symphonic metal bands, and becoming distracted by Twitter (@rainyofthedark). She is represented by Rossano Trentin of TZLA.


Excerpt from Summoned:

I dislike having to murder someone. Kidnapping is worse. At least when I setup a kill, I know what's coming. No connections, no honesty, no surprises. Everything I say and do are just steps to luring in my victim. Once the victim falls right into the trap, the next move is swift: crushed windpipe, fatal concussion, or a good ol' fashioned headshot.
Kidnapping, on the other hand, is a little trickier. First, the victim has an opportunity to respond. I don't like this. Sometimes they cry. Sometimes they manage to alert the authorities. And sometimes they escape, usually by inflicting bodily harm on me.
Dead people don't retaliate.
The second major difference between killing and kidnapping is my conscience. I get in and out with a kill. We have no chance to bond.
Abductees require a little more one-on-one. As much as I try to keep the switch turned off, I can't help but listen to their pleas and demands. And I usually realize I'm a jerk.
That's exactly where I find myself one late afternoon in June. I prefer doing this at night, but moreover, I would prefer not doing this at all.
Instead, I have a belligerent nine year old girl sitting in the passenger seat of my Honda Accord, shackles on her wrists and ankles and a small stuffed bunny on her lap. She's eying me in a way that makes me self-conscious. Like I'm the bad guy.
Probably because I am the bad guy.



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Thursday, 10 April 2014

On McPig's Wishlist - Frost

This sounds so intriguing!

Frost (The Frost Chronicles #1)
by Kate Avery Ellison

In the icy, monster-plagued world of the Frost, compassion might get a person killed, and Lia Weaver knows this better than anyone. After the monsters kill her parents, she must keep the family farm running or risk losing her siblings to reassignment by the village Elders. With dangers on all sides, she can't afford to let her emotions lead her astray.

But when her sister finds a fugitive bleeding to death in the forest, a young man from beyond the Frost named Gabe, Lia does the unthinkable. She saves his life. Giving shelter to the fugitive could get her in trouble. The Elders have always described the advanced society of people beyond the Frost, the "Farthers," as ruthless and cruel.

Lia is startled to find that Gabe is empathetic and intelligent-and handsome. And she might even be falling for him. But time is running out. The monsters in the forest are growing bold and restless. The village leader is starting to ask questions. Farther soldiers are searching for Gabe. Is compassion-and love-worth the risk?

Finally, when a startling discovery challenges everything she thought was true about her life, Lia realizes exactly what she must do.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Silver Mirrors - Early Book Review

Silver Mirrors (Apparatus Infernum #2)
by A.A. Aguirre

What is it about:
As powerful magic comes creeping back, dangerous days are dawning…...

Criminal Investigation Division inspectors Janus Mikani and Celeste Ritsuko were lucky to make it out of their last mission alive. Since then, strange troubles have plagued the city of steam and shadows, apparently as a result of magic released during the CID inspectors’ desperate interruption of an ancient ritual. The fabric of the world has been unsettled, and the Council has assigned Mikani and Ritsuko to investigate.

They soon discover that matters are worse than they imagined. Machines have developed minds of their own, cragger pirates are raiding the seas with relentless aggression, and mad elementals are running amok. As the chaos builds to a crescendo, Mikani and Ritsuko must fight a war on two fronts—and this time, they may not be able to turn the deadly tide….

What did I think of it:
I loved the first book in this series, so you can imagine my excitement when I got an Advance Reader Copy of Silver Mirrors.

And this yet another great read.

I will confess I had my doubts at first, when Ritsuko and Mikani left the city. I very much enjoyed that setting in the first book, and wasn't so sure if I'd like a sea adventure, which seemed what this story was going for.

I shouldn't have worried though. Andres and Ann know how to tell a compelling story, no matter where that story is set. Soon I forgot all about the city, and was gripped by the unfolding events.

New characters were introduced, some who I liked from the start, others I had to warm up to, but all were intriguing and added to the story. There was action, adventure, disaster and intense situations. The relationship between Ritsuko and Mikani is still a complex and difficult one, and there were some other people with emotional investments towards the two as well, creating tension.

All in all this is a cool and action packed story with an ending that makes me hungry for more. I will be keeping my eyes open for the next book in this series for sure.

Why should you read it:
It's an action-packed Steampunk read.

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Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Teaser Tuesdays - Stolen Songbird

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: - Grab your current read - Open to a random page - Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) - Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

A bit more than 2 sentences, but this is just such a cool teaser.

Tentatively, I reached out and plucked the book from the pile, half-afraid the thing would burst into flames at my touch. It was in surprisingly good condition considering it was over five centuries old. I touched the runes engraved on the cover, which was made of a strange sort of leather that I'd never seen before.
"Human skin," Martin said helpfully.
I dropped the book.
(page 247, Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen)

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Monday, 7 April 2014

Twisted Miracles - Release Day Alert

Today is the release day of Twisted Miracles by A.J. Larrieu.
It sounds like a great read. I will be getting my trotters on it as soon as I made a dent in my TBR pile.

Twisted Miracles (The Shadowminds #1)
by A. J. Larrieu

Cass Weatherfield’s powers come with a deadly price.

Cass knows it was her telekinetic gift that killed a college classmate five years back, even if no one else believes her. She’s lived in hiding from her fellow shadowminds ever since, plagued by guilt and suppressing her abilities with sedatives. Until the night her past walks back into her life in the form of sexy Shane Tanner, the ex-boyfriend who trained her…and the one she left without saying goodbye.

When Shane tells her that his twin sister, Mina—Cass’s childhood friend—is missing, Cass vows to help, which means returning to New Orleans to use her dangerous skills in the search. But finding Mina only leads to darker questions. As Cass and Shane race to learn who is targeting shadowminds, they find themselves drawn to each other, body and soul. Just as their powerful intimacy reignites, events take a terrifying turn, and Cass realizes that to save the people she loves, she must embrace the powers that ruined her life.


Go to the Book Page on the Author Website for more info and an excerpt

Buy from:
Carina Press - Amazon - B&N - Kobo

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Divergent - Movie Review

Divergent (2014)

What is it about:
Set in a futuristic dystopia where society is divided into five factions that each represent a different virtue, teenagers have to decide if they want to stay in their faction or switch to another - for the rest of their lives. Tris Prior makes a choice that surprises everyone. Then Tris and her fellow faction-members have to live through a highly competitive initiation process to live out the choice they have made. They must undergo extreme physical and intense psychological tests, that transform them all. But Tris has a secret that she is Divergent, which means she doesn't fit into any one group. If anyone knew, it would mean a certain death. As she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, this secret might help her save the people she loves... or it might destroy her.

What did I think of it:
I loved the first two books in the Divergent trilogy, so I had to see this movie. I will confess I was a bit apprehensive: often if you read the book, the movie disappoints. I also had my doubts about the actor they cast as Four.

Still my curiosity was greater than my apprehension, so on April 3rd (the release day of the movie here in the Netherlands) I managed to drag my owner and her best friend (who hasn't read the book) to the theater.

And it was awesome!

I will confess my owner and I both wished Jai Courtney (who plays Eric) had been cast as Four, but we also had to admit that Theo James grew on us eventually. That aside: the casting was very well done. Special kudos to Kate Winslet, who I loved in her role as Jeanine.

They stayed close to the book, cutting out a lot of scenes of course, but I think the movie captured the important things that were in the book. I didn't feel like I was missing important things. The visual world building fitted with how I had imagined it in the books as well.

The camera work was luckily not as spinning and dizzying as some other movies these days. Instead it stayed close to Tris in a way that drew me into the movie and kept me there. The action scenes were well executed and, although fast paced, easy to follow. I was totally invested in the story from beginning to end.

All in all I loved the movie and it made me want to go reread the book right away. Only my towering TBR pile is stopping me.

Afterwards I of course asked my owner's best friend what she thought of the movie, curious to know how someone unfamiliar with the book would experience the movie. She loved the movie as well, and apart from not completely understanding the motivation of the bad guys, she felt like the story was easy to follow. She even loved it so much, she will be picking up the book.

So I can only say I think this movie is a success!

I can advice anyone who loved the book to go see it. And if you have a friend who hasn't read the book you can drag him/her along without being afraid they will be lost.

Why should you see it:
It's an awesome Dystopian story with lots of action

Friday, 4 April 2014

Chasing Magic - Book Review

Chasing Magic (Downside Ghosts #5)
by Stacia Kane

What is it about:
Magic-wielding Churchwitch and secret addict Chess Putnam knows better than anyone just how high a price people are willing to pay for a chemical rush. But when someone with money to burn and a penchant for black magic starts tampering with Downside’s drug supply, Chess realizes that the unlucky customers are paying with their souls—and taking the innocent with them, as the magic-infused speed compels them to kill in the most gruesome ways possible.

As if the streets weren’t scary enough, the looming war between the two men in her life explodes, taking even more casualties and putting Chess squarely in the middle. Downside could become a literal ghost town if Chess doesn’t find a way to stop both the war and the dark wave of death-magic, and the only way to do that is to use both her addiction and her power to enter the spell and chase the magic all the way back to its malevolent source. Too bad that doing so will probably kill Chess—if the war doesn’t first destroy the man who’s become her reason for living.

What did I think of it:
I love this series and preordered this book back in 2012, so I'm still wondering how it ended up being overlooked until recently.

Because this is a really great read.

I love how Kane succeeds in making me root for Chess and Terrible. They're a pair of unlikely heroes after all, Chess being an addict and Terrible being a thug. Still I love them both and want them to overcome all their problems and save the day.

I've said before that this series is driven by the characters and their interactions, and that's again true in Chasing Magic. Sure the overall story is good (and they're getting better each book in my opinion), but it's the characters that keep me invested and make that I can't put the book down. And not just Chess and Terrible. There are lots more characters that are so intriguing you want to know more about what makes them tick.

All in all I fell in love with this series all over again and I will have to get hold of all the short stories I haven't been able to get my trotters on so far.

Why should you read it:
It's a gritty and awesome UF read.

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