31 October 2014

Trailer: The Casquette Girls - Alys Arden



The Casquette Girls by Alys Arden 
(The Casquette Girls #1) 

Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult


I have already read this book and I loved every second. Quite creepy, a nice bit of paranormal and some great voodoo references. Very interesting in terms of history and storyline.


Synopsis:
Seven girls tied by time.
Five powers that bind.
One curse to lock the horror away.
One attic to keep the monsters at bay.
* * *
After the Storm of the Century rips apart New Orleans, Adele Le Moyne and her father are among the first to return to the city following the mandatory evacuation. Adele wants nothing more than for life to return to normal, but with the silent city resembling a mold-infested war zone, a parish-wide curfew, and mysterious new faces lurking in the abandoned French Quarter, normal will have to be redefined.
Events too unnatural – even for New Orleans – lead Adele to an attic that has been sealed for three hundred years, and the chaos she unleashes threatens not only her life but everyone she knows.
Caught suddenly in a hurricane of eighteenth-century myths and monsters, Adele must quickly untangle a web of magic that links the climbing murder rate back to her own ancestors. But who can you trust in a city where everyone has a secret, and where keeping them can be a matter of life and death – unless, that is, you’re immortal.
Trailer:



PurchaseAmazon.com

Author Bio:
Alys Arden grew up in the Vieux Carré, cut her teeth on the streets of New York, and has worked all around the world since. She still plans to run away with the circus one day.

www.facebook.com/TheCasquetteGirls
www.thecasquettegirls.com
www.alysarden.com

30 October 2014

Review: Remnants of the Damned - Gavin Hetherington

As it's closing in on Halloween, I've been trying to creep myself out, and this book reads just like a classic horror film. It was perfect, but apparently I have a very tough skin.

The first book in The Abyssal Sanctuary Series is a standard horror story. There is a lot of bloodiness and a fair bit of gruesome gore. A lot of vicious attacks and a bit of murder and cannibalism, all in one city. Oh, and people in masks. However, if I had to rate the creepiness factor, it's about a 6 for me, but I have a feeling that reading all these bloodthirsty YA novels has had a hand in it, because the blood loss no longer scares me, and being hunted by things just means you have to fight back.

The narrative comprises of five viewpoints of the main characters, who all saw the aftermath of a murder at their workplace. Something connects all of them, and someone is trying to kill all of them, too. The book begins as a young girl if horrifically murdered in front of a crowd of people at a cafe, including her own sister, and the viewpoints culminate to one event, where they team up to find out what on earth is going on.

This book is seriously bloodthirsty and full of action, perfect for those of you who like a bit of gore. It is not especially frightening, though people are dying all the time in quite horrible ways. The thing it seemed to be lacking is character development. Although this is realistic, (because who on earth develops within 24 hours anyway?) it doesn't give the depth of character that we need to like and care about these five. You do root for them, but it is half-hearted as most of them seem too nice and innocent to be real. Maybe there will be more development in the next book as it seems like the town isn't quite done with them yet, and there is a lot being left unanswered here.

There were a few spelling a typo issues, but the most obvious one to me was 'smelt' instead of 'smelled'.

Overall this was a good read, but not exemplary. However, in a horror genre, I do not expect mind blowing things to happen, so this was fine by me. It was quite scary, but not enough to give me nightmares.

Kyrax

27 October 2014

Blog Tour: The Zodiac Collector - Laura Diamond


The Zodiac Collector
Laura Diamond
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Date of Publication: September 23, 2014


Synopsis:

For almost-16 year-old Anne Devans, the annual Renaissance Faire means three things--her dad spending weeks in the smithy, her bipolar mom doing some manic costume making, and another ruined birthday for her and her twin sister, Mary.

This year, Anne wants things to be different, and she's going to do things her way. On the eve of the Faire, Anne, along with a reluctant Mary, conjures up a spell that will make their 16th birthday party a whirlwind event. Little do they know that it's a literal request.

After the mini tornado in their room subsides, the girls realize they've invoked the power of the Gemini Twins, Castor and Pollux. That's the good news. The bad news is they also caught the attention of a sorceress named Zeena who has been collecting children born under each Zodiac Sign to enhance her power. Once she captures Anne and Mary, Gemini twins, the entire Zodiac, and the world, will be hers.

Anne leads the fight against Zeena, but her one-sided decisions could throw them into a world so far from home, even the Renaissance Faire would seem like a brilliant vacation. Between managing their new Zodiac powers, dodging their manic mother and trying to stop Zeena, they'll get a 16th birthday they'll never forget.

Available at: Amazon - BN - Book Depository

About the Author:

Laura Diamond is a board certified psychiatrist and author of all things young adult paranormal, dystopian, and horror. She’s a lucid dreamer, meaning she can direct her dreams while they’re happening. When she’s awake, she pens stories from her dreams and shares them with her readers.

Laura has many published titles including the Pride Series (New Pride, Shifting Pride, soon to be re-released, and Tsavo Pride), the Endure Series (Endure and Evoke, soon to be re-released), The Zodiac Collector, a novella Sunset Moon in the Lore anthology, and several shorts stories. When she’s not writing, she is working at the hospital, blogging at Author Laura Diamond–Lucid Dreamer, and renovating her 225+ year old fixer-upper mansion.

Facebook - Twitter - Goodreads - Amazon.com - Blog
Kyrax

26 October 2014

Review: We Were Liars - E. Lockhart

At first, I was confused by this book. The writing really wasn't my kind of thing, with short sentences and paragraphs that didn't quite flow in terms of narrative. At first, I couldn't care less about the beautiful Sinclairs, and I didn't care about these spoilt kids who spend all their summer on a stunning Island with servants to do their cooking and cleaning for them. In all honestly, it got to bout the middle before I realised there was something a bit fishy about the whole thing, until I realised that perhaps there was more here than met the eye. It turns out there was.

This book sets off at a rather slow pace and carries on for quite a while in that way. The tone is confusing until our protagonist tells us about her head injury, and then it makes more sense. The tension never builds, but my interest did peak when I realised there was something pretty dark going on.

And then the truth comes out and hits you like a ton of bricks. You haven't been able to piece it together, it's completely unexpected. I loved that. I loved the way so many things began to make complete sense. I felt a huge loss at all the little things Cadence spoke about doing before, the normal things that were suddenly so far out of reach.

As characters go, Cady is really interesting and her whole group have a good depth to them. They weren't the perfect Sinclairs, they were the ones who value their friendship more than any possessions. Gat is a really great character and a nice love interest. I found all the characters to be quite normal, with their weak points and their strengths. Sometimes I was disgusted and other times I was surprised by some coherent thoughts that were put together by these teenagers.

It was a short book, but it felt longer to me. I was slightly bored by the mundane things, the inconsequential conversations and general glimpses of life. But I kept reading and I am glad I did, because the end, although slightly drawn out after that punch in the stomach, was really good.

Kyrax

25 October 2014

Mini Film Review: Django Unchained

Synopsis: 

A freed slave and an ex-dentist take up bounty hunting together in 1858 America. Django has other plans to save his wife, who is trapped as a servant in a Mississipi cotton plantation.

The Good:

  • Excellent story about love and revenge, really bringing to life the hardships of black people in this place and time.
  • Interesting in the way that Django handles himself, especially towards the other slaves. Is he acting, or is he enjoying it? You honestly can't tell.
  • Christoph Waltz excels as Dr. King Shultz, the ex-dentist, with Jamie Foxx and Leonardo Dicaprio not far behind him.
  • It's got Samuel L. Jackson in it. As we all know, a film isn't a film without him.
  • Funny at times, especially when Waltz says and does clever things.
  • Cameo from Jonah Hill anyone? Two cameos from Quentin Tarantino himself.

The Bad:
  • So, so, graphic in terms of violence, sometimes utterly unneeded.
  • A bit ridiculously bloody nearing the end.
  • Too much use of the word 'nigger' for my taste.
  • Really long.

The Overview:

Honestly, not a bad film at all. Quite entertaining but not something I would actually choose to watch again thanks to the overload of violence.
Kyrax

24 October 2014

Review: Crane by Stacey Rourke

This modern retelling of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow features Ireland Crane, Ichabod's feisty descendant who lives in present day. Ireland runs away from a broken relationship and finds herself a new job as a school counsellor in Sleepy Hollow. The town is pretty normal, but there is one hitch; people are getting murdered again, and some believe that the headless horseman has come back.

I loved so much of this book. It was really creepy and once again perfect for my Halloween-a-thon. It was a ghost story, but filled more with memories than actual hauntings, and of course, there were a few gruesome deaths.

I can't pretend. I haven't read The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, but now I really really want to, because from the sound of it, the film is nothing like it, and neither is this book. Crane really plays with the Sleepy Hollow story as it cleverly blends The Legend of Sleepy Hollow with Washington Irving's other story, Rip Van Winkle, and features Washington Irving himself. This is really very clever and lends a whole new twist. This story plays havoc with the original as it twists all the events that happen to skew everything in a light much more similar to Time Burton's adaptation where Ichabod is the hero. It makes excellent use of the viewpoints of Ireland and Ichabod to give a mystery to the novel, even if you have read the original.

As characters go, Ireland is a very suitable heroine, but she also makes a fantastic, grudging villain. I loved that idea and was very happy with how she acted throughout with her feisty remarks. I liked that Ichabod was included as a viewpoint as this went back to the original story nicely and their symmetry was quite pleasing to read. Rip was also a nice touch, with excellent use made out of his peculiar sleeping habits, which actually made sense. It was also good to have a character who had lived through both timelines, as this made it easy for explanations and so the pace was very good.

The only thing was that I felt something was missing with this story. Maybe there could have been a subplot or something that could have made the plot more complex. Instead this was quite short and it was over far too soon, with all the action happening very quickly. I would have preferred the suspense and action to carry on for much longer, as it still would have been an engrossing read.

As you would expect, the novel is quite bloody and fairly disturbing. I wouldn't say it gave me nightmares, but it certainly affected me as a few visions made their way into my sleep. The story is suspenseful, made worse when there is suddenly a time limit. A great read with a suitable ending which, unfortunately, you could see coming. All in all quite satisfying.


Kyrax

23 October 2014

Film Mini Review: A Million Ways To Die In The West

Synopsis: 

When Albert's girlfriend dumps him, he loses his will and nearly leaves his hometown, only to be persuaded to stay by a mysterious woman he hardly knows, who can shoot a gun better than any man.

The Good:

  • Western comedy full of modern references, and lots of laugh out loud moments.
  • Seth MacFarlane. Also starring Charlize Theron, Amanda Seyfried, Liam Neeson, Sarah Silverman, Neil Patrick Harris.. the list goes on.
  • Look out for funny cameos from the likes of Ewan McGregor, Jamie Foxx and Ryan Reynolds, oh and the voice of Patrick Stewart.
  • Nice bit of romance and danger elements.
  • Loved that the main character was so normal and kind of cowardly.
  • The moustache song.
  • Acting is actually really good!


The Bad: 

  • Fair bit of unnecessary swearing.
  • Tiny bit of toilet humour (I am just not a fan)


Overall:

A great film and brilliant for a bit of fun. Those with a penchant for dark humour would really enjoy this, or anyone who likes Ted or Family Guy. Totally recommend for a non-serious night.

22 October 2014

Wednesday Wishlist #26 - Fantasy and Retellings


This week it's fantasy and retellings. Yay!


The Queen of the Tearling - Erika Johansen
A nineteen year old girl must claim her right to the throne and become the fearless leader her brutal country expects. She battles against all those that would do her harm, but can she survive long enough? Magic, mystery and romance.. sounds pretty interesting!

Ella Enchanted - Gail Carson Levine
I watched this film as a kid and I loved it! It's a fairytale about a girl who is given the 'gift' of obedience. She goes on a quest to get rid of it by finding the fairy responsible and ends up falling in love with a prince along the way. A Cinderella story, but not as you know it.

Cruel Beauty - Rosamund Hodge
Beauty and the Beast gets a makeover in this fantasy retelling. A girl has been betrothed to the powerful, immortal man who has issued a curse over her people, and she is trained to be the one who kills him. But he is not as expected, and soon she finds herself beguiled by his charms and his magic. A love story at heart, but with a nice bit of fantasy mixed in to make thing interesting. I must read this.

Kyrax

21 October 2014

Release Day Celebration: Loop - Karen Akins



Loop by Karen Akins

Loop #1
Release Date: October 21, 2014
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin




At a school where Quantum Paradox 101 is a required course and history field trips are literal, sixteen year-old time traveler Bree Bennis excels…at screwing up.


After Bree botches a solo midterm to the 21st century by accidentally taking a boy hostage (a teensy snafu), she stands to lose her scholarship. But when Bree sneaks back to talk the kid into keeping his yap shut, she doesn’t go back far enough. The boy, Finn, now three years older and hot as a solar flare, is convinced he’s in love with Bree, or rather, a future version of her that doesn’t think he’s a complete pain in the arse. To make matters worse, she inadvertently transports him back to the 23rd century with her. 


Once home, Bree discovers that a recent rash of accidents at her school are anything but accidental. Someone is attacking time travelers. As Bree and her temporal tagalong uncover seemingly unconnected clues—a broken bracelet, a missing data file, the art heist of the millennium—that lead to the person responsible, she alone has the knowledge to piece the puzzle together. Knowledge only one other person has. Her future self.


But when those closest to her become the next victims, Bree realizes the attacker is willing to do anything to stop her. In the past, present, or future. 


Loop on Goodreads - Barnes and Noble - Amazon.com


Praise:
"A creative take on romance in a high-stakes, high-concept mystery that trusts its readers' intelligence." - Kirkus.


"Loop is a page-turning adventure with some brilliant and original twists to the time travel genre. I devoured the entire book in one sitting!" - Julie Cross, Author of the Tempest series.


"Hilarious and suspenseful with a delicious dash of romance, Loop is a mind-bending good time!" - Melissa Landers, Author of the Alienated series.


About The Author


Karen Akins lives in the MidSouth where she writes humorous, light YA sci-fi. When not writing or reading, she loves lightsaber dueling with her two sons and forcing her husband to watch BBC shows with her. 


Karen has been many things in her life: an archery instructor, drummer for the shortest-lived garage band in history, and a shockingly bad tic-tac-toe player.


Facebook - Twitter - Goodreads - Tumblr Instagram - Pinterest - Wattpad



Must be 13+ To Enter | US Only
One winner will get a signed final copy of LOOP + a swag pack


a Rafflecopter giveaway
Kyrax

20 October 2014

(Early) Top Ten Tuesday #23 - Books Made Into Film and TV I Need to Read

Top Ten Tuesday is a Meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish where I will be picking from their top tens and attempting to reveal what my thinking is behind these choices.


Books Made Into Film and TV I Need to Read

A bit of a long-winded title isn't it? But never mind, it gets across exactly what I wanted! All of the following books are or have been made into films or TV series and are all sitting on a shelf or in my kindle awaiting some reading.


1. I Am Number Four - Pittacus Lore
2. Before I Go To Sleep - S.J. Watson
3. How I Live Now - Meg Rosoff
4. The Help - Kathryn Stockett
5. The White Queen - Phillipa Gregory
6. Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn
7. The Fault In Our Stars - John Green
8. The Thirteenth Tale - Diane Setterfield

These two I haven't actually got yet:

9. If I Stay - Gayle Forman
10. The City of Ember - Jeanne DuPrau
Kyrax

19 October 2014

Review: The Grimm Legacy - Polly Shulman

Elizabeth is just your usual nerdy schoolgirl, until she lands herself a job at an unusual lending library that deals in objects. Among the antiques and collections of spoons, there is a basement full of exciting and interesting objects. One collection catches Elizabeth's attention though: The Grimm Collection, objects with magical qualities that were collected by the Grimm brothers themselves.

This is a definite teen read, but also one that can be enjoyed by adults who have a vested interest in fairytales. The content is mostly about friendship and romance, but there is a good mystery here as to who is stealing the Grimm Collection and why. You have a feeling about who it is, but really you can't guess for sure until the moment is already on you. As the book surrounds a mystery, I would have liked some more investigation into it, and that is fairly sparse. It would have elongated the book and made it a bit more engaging for me.

This book centres around the objects in the Grimm Collection, so it stand to reason that you must know a little bit about fairy-tales. The research into this is really good, and I liked the way it was not just the well-known fairy-tales that were used. It really made me want to pick up my book of tales and flick through it, because some of the stories sound really interesting to read. Although this story is about fairy-tale magic, there are other collections in the dungeon that interest me, such as The Wells Bequest. This is actually dealt with in the companion book of the same name so I think I shall be reading that at some point.

So with the characters, I thought Elizabeth was great. She is pretty normal and kind of nerdy, reminding me of myself in the way that she is kind of proper in some ways. However, I didn't find myself invested in many of the other characters. Their personalities were good and quite realistic, but I found them also to be bland. This meant that when things did happen to them, I didn't really care. I did fins Aaron intriguing and I definitely enjoyed reading about Jaya the most although she did have a smaller part to play.

There was a little bit in the way of themes, with trust being the most prominent. Friendships and responsibility are also high on the list, but there weren't made too obvious.

I quite liked the way that the items were deposited for. Since the items were magical, instead of money you would deposit a part of yourself; your firstborn child, your sense of humour or smell. It's kind of creepy when this actually happens and it makes the characters realise that even the smallest parts of them are important and it honestly makes you value things you didn't realise you should, like a sense of direction.

This is my kind of book, and I am now even more interested in antiques and workmanship. It's a good read, but needed a bit more guts to it. Perfect for teens and lovers of fairy-tales.

The Grimm Legacy on Goodreads
Kyrax

18 October 2014

Review: Spell Check - Julie Wright

I am totally gearing up for Halloween now and so I started off with a nice witchy YA story.

Ally finds out that she had powers on Halloween, when she accidentally curses most of the cheerleading squad after a vicious prank was played on her. Unfortunately, Ally can't stop wishing, and she can't stop the way that her wishes turn out which, usually, is badly. When her Swedish Grandma turns up on the doorstep, Ally realises there is something else she should be worrying about.. her impending trials that will secure her powers... or kill her.

This story is really good. It has everything you could possibly want in a piece of YA fiction. Issues to do with your family, ranging from fighting parents to mad Grandmas and annoying little brothers, bullying, school, strange and interesting magical abilities and even a bit of romance sprinkled in. May I say though, that I loved the fact that this romance was actually pretty cool because it flowed into the story well and wasn't a sickening kind of puppy love. I liked the morals about believing in yourself and standing up to others, whether that may be bullies, trolls or witches.

Ally is a strong, powerful heroine and saves the day by standing up for her beliefs and not letting others rule her decisions. She is clever and does what she believes to be the right thing, even if she messes it up sometimes. She has a very good character arc as she gradually finds out that she is a witch and learns about her powers and how they work. She does grow up in this book and realises that sometimes parents aren't meant to be together. She learns not ot be selfish and to accept the human nature of others, even if she can't stand them.

The world building is really good. I loved the way that things that happened in the past were brought into the book by with magic to make an image in your head, rather than the character simply being told the events. It makes it much more memorable and gave the ideas more meaning. I also liked the trials and the descriptions of their home. I'd have liked to know a bit more about how the magic works and what exactly it feels like to control it as it was a little bit vague on the details.

For a short book, there is a lot packed in and to be honest it was a little bit too short for me. I'd have also liked a bit more difficulty in setting things right or perhaps a couple more challenging predicaments for Ally before the book ended. There will definitely be more books and I will be looking out for them so I know what happens with Ally and her new powers.

Kyrax

17 October 2014

Mini Review: Pompeii - Film

Pompeii - A Quick History Lesson: 

The city of Pompeii was an ancient Roman site near Naples that was mostly destroyed when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD. The population was 11,000, and most of them did not survive, having been blasted by heat at 250 degrees Celsius and being killed instantly.

The Good:
  • Kit Harington is really good, and I love that Emily Browning was there too. Oh! Emily Browning's parents are some pretty big names too, so watch out for them.
  • The film ties in with what many already know about Ancient Rome. The gladiators being slaves and seeking their freedom by fighting their way to it is a fairly well trodden path. I liked how this was incorporated in the film to create a background for our protagonist and supporting characters.
  • Absolutely full of action, the fight scenes are great.
  • Nice bit of romance and a nice little friendship between gladiators.
  • Realistic as far as I know, in terms of how the people reacted (by fleeing to the port) and as to how long the eruption would have taken.
The Bad:
  • The ending! Maybe slightly too realistic, and that is all I can say.
  • Some of the effects (take the chariot chase scene) ended up looking like a video game.. but not state of the art.
  • A lot of people die. I mean, I expected it, but they do kill off some great characters.
Overall:

Really watchable and really enjoyable. I will be watching this again soon, I can tell! 
Kyrax

16 October 2014

Book Blitz: Dead New World by Ryan Hill


Dead New World by Ryan Hill 
Published by: Curiosity Quills Press
Publication date: October 13th 2014
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult, Zombies


Synopsis:
Zombies aren’t mindless anymore.
Before the world fell into chaos, the undead existed only in the imagination. Now, more of them walk the earth than living. Zombies move about freely, while humans entomb themselves inside concrete barricades to stay alive.
All that, while the leader of a powerful cult – known only as Reverend – becomes the next threat to the rebuilding United States. Believing zombies to be God’s latest creation, making humanity obsolete, he wants to give every man, woman, and child the chance to become one. With his combined army of humans and zombies, he may well get his wish.
Best friends Holt and Ambrose went up against the Reverend once. Holt lost a foot and a zombie bit Ambrose…though he survived the virus, only to become a human-zombie hybrid, reviled by the living and unwelcome among the dead. When the Reverend kidnaps the woman Holt loves, the race is on to save her from a fate worse than death.

Purchase:

Excerpt:
“Thanks. For helping me with, you know,” I said in a hushed voice. The Lancasters, or Baker, for that matter, didn’t need to hear me thank my friend for saving my life. Again. “Been a while since one of them got within spitting distance of me, and that includes last night.”

“No problem,” Ambrose said. He kept his eyes on the terrain for potential threats.

“Why did it listen to you?”

Ambrose looked at me funny. “What are you talking about?”

Ray cast a suspicious look back at us. I managed not to laugh when he bumped into the corner of a car. Scowling, Ray faced forward, rubbing his leg.

“The zombie. It was trying to bite off my face when you yelled ‘no.’ It stopped and stared at you. Like it understood what you said.”

“I didn’t notice.”

Just like him, to play dumb.

“Probably because you were busy blowing its head off. But it did look at you. I know you can kind of sense when they’re around, but maybe there’s more to it than that.”

“You saying I can talk to them? Ask them what they like to do when they’re not trying to eat people’s brains? That’s stupid.”

Was it, though?

“I mean, maybe you can control them or something, like the Reverend.” I kicked a piece of burnt metal off the road. “I don’t know. That kid did say you were one of the chosen ones. And, if you can, that could be useful.”

“Shut up. That’s an order.”

“Yes, sir,” I said in a snarky tone, and I mock-saluted. If he didn’t want to talk about it, fine. Two could play that game.

Author Bio:
Growing up, Ryan Hill used to spend his time reading and writing instead of doing homework. This resulted in an obsession with becoming a writer, but also a gross incompetence in the fields of science and mathematics. A graduate of North Carolina State University, Ryan has been a film critic for over five years. He lives in Raleigh, NC, with his dog/shadow Maggie. Ryan also feels strange about referring to himself in the third person.

Author Links:




This is an international giveaway for one $25 Amazon gift card.

15 October 2014

Wednesday Wishlist #25 - Fiction Edition


It's good old fiction this week. Here are my picks:


The Miniaturist - Jessie Burton

Nella arrives in Amsterdam to become the wife of a reclusive merchant, who gives her a cabinet sized replica of their home as a wedding gift. To furnish it, she enlists the help of a miniaturist, whose creations appear to mimic reality in strange ways. This helps Nella to understand the people she lives with, but then she realises that everyone there is in grave danger. I've been pining for this for forever because it sounds so awesome.



The Half Life of Molly Pierce - Katrina Leno

Molly Pierce feels like she is missing parts of her life, and now she is remembering her past and the secrets that come with it. There appears to be a bit of romance in here too. I am really interested into what Molly has forgotten and more essentially, why.


Rebel Belle - Rachel Hawkins

Harper Price is given strange abilities after a run-in at the homecoming dance. She becomes an agile and strong fighter with lethal instincts, because she is now a Paladin, a guardian who is charged to protect others. The issues is, she hates the guy she has been given to protect.. at least, she thought she did. I love Rachel Hawkins and this sounds like a lot of fun!
Kyrax

14 October 2014

Book Blast: Wicked Misery - Tracey Martin + Giveaway


Wicked Misery
Miss Misery #1
Author: Tracy Martin
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Urban Fantasy



It s all quasi-legal fun until somebody gets framed for murder.

Jessica Moore thrives on misery. Literally. Thanks to a goblin's curse, she gets a magical high from humanity's suffering. A shameful talent like that could bury a girl in guilt, so to atone, she uses her dark power to hunt murderers, rapists and other scumbags until one of them frames her for his crimes.


In desperation, Jessica seeks refuge with the one person she trusts to not turn her in, a satyr named Lucen. Like every member of his race, Lucen uses his lusty magic to control Boston's human population, and Jessica isn't immune to his power. But the murder victims belonged to a rival race, and when they discover Lucen is harboring Jessica, dodging the cops becomes the least of her problems.


With only five days to find the real killer, Jessica faces a danger far more serious than the brewing magical war. The danger of succumbing to Lucen's molten seduction.


Warning: Contains a heroine with a lust for misery, creepy murders, and creepier goblins, satyrs so hot you'd sell your soul for one, and scaly sewer rats masquerading as dragons. Who said magic was all sparkles and tiaras?


Goodreads -  Barnes and Noble - Amazon.com

About The Author

Tracey Martin grew up outside of Philadelphia, the lucky recipient of a drama-free childhood, which is why she spent so much time reading about other people’s lives. It was while she was working on her doctorate in psychology that she had an epiphany–imaginary people are way more fun than real ones. And so she began writing. Never able to choose just one of anything, she currently writes both urban fantasy for adults and contemporary stories for teens.She likes her coffee simple, her music epic, and her movies to contain explosions. A city girl at heart, she doesn't understand how she and her husband ended up living in New Hampshire, but writing keeps her off the mean, small town streets.

Media: tracey-martin.com, @TA-Martin 


Must be 13+ To Enter. Shipping requirements vary by prize.
One Winner will get a signed copy of Wicked Misery, plus $10 Amazon or B&N gift card (U.S. only). One Winner will get an e-copy of any of Tracey Martin's books, plus $10 Amazon or B&N gift card (International)


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Kyrax

13 October 2014

Review: A Beauty So Beastly - RaShelle Workman

Beatrice is American royalty, and she certainly acts it. She doesn't appreciate her friends, her relatives or her servants. She is crue lto everyone around her, selfish and vain. But this isn't the real Beatrice, and once a counter-curse is laid on her, she soon begins to feel a flood of new emotions: pain, joy, guilt... love. But her feeling are only part of the problem, and Bea soon discovers a whole new side to herself.

This modern paranormal take on Beauty and the Beast is pretty good. I loved the way it was gender-swapped and twisted in a way where the story is nearly unrecognisable. There are a couple of Disney references in Mrs Dotts (aka, Mrs Potts, the teapot) and the name Adam, who Disney fans will know is Beast's real name, but really apart from that the book is startlingly different to the original and the Disney version of the story.

Bea's character arc was brilliant in the way that she was learning the entire time. Yes, the arc was pretty steep to begin with, but it soon smoothed out. Bea came from being an unfeeling snob to being completely changed into a caring, loving girl, willing to put others before herself. She definitely came to terms with all her new-found feelings and abilities rather faster than expected and with a lot less freaking out than usual. This was actually kind of nice because the freaking out can get annoying.

Anyway, I also loved the way that her relationship with Adam grew quite steadily. There was an initial attraction for her, however, they never manifested themselves fully until very late in the book. Instead we see a great deal of uncertainty. Adam as a character was very nice but didn't quite have the prescence that Bea did. He seems like a good guy, but this proves uncertain as Bea learns more about her past. This is great to keep you interested.

This short book is great for teens with virtually no attention span and it is easy to remember where you left off. The pace is fast, the read is exciting and compulsive as the full situation finally gets revealed as to who Beatrice is. This is made really quite obvious, but it was good reading anyway. There is lots happening in this book and I really liked the world building that went on as it progressed. Things got even more interesting when other paranormal entities came in to play: Dragons, Vampires, Werewolves, Gargoyles... and I bet there are loads more where they came from.

While, as I mentioned before, some parts were obvious some almost unnecessary, I didn't really mind as the book was so fast I would forget it soon after. It was a good overall read and a nice fairy tale with a paranormal makeover. I am interested to read Rashelle's other works now to get more of a feel for the world, and there MUST be a sequel some time soon, too.


A Beauty So Beastly on Goodreads
Kyrax

12 October 2014

Book Blitz: Isla's Inheritance - Cassandra Page + Giveaway


Isla’s Inheritance by Cassandra Page 
(Isla’s Inheritance #1) 
Publication date: October 9th 2014
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult


Synopsis:
Isla was content to let her father keep his secrets, but now she can’t stand the touch of iron and her dreams are developing a life of their own. She must discover the truth — before it’s too late.
Seventeen-year-old Isla Blackman only agrees to participate in a Halloween party séance because Dominic, an old crush, wants to. She is sure nothing will happen when they try to contact the spirit of her mother. But the séance receives a chilling reply.
SHE IS NOT DEAD.
Isla doesn’t want to upset her father by prying into the family history he never discusses. When the mysterious and unearthly Jack offers to help her discover the truth, Isla must master her new abilities to protect her loved ones from enemies she never knew existed.

Purchase:
Amazon.com

Author Bio:
Cassandra Page is a mother, author, editor and geek. She lives in Canberra, Australia’s bush capital, with her son and two Cairn Terriers. She has a serious coffee addiction and a tattoo of a cat — which is ironic, as she’s allergic to cats. When she’s not reading or writing, she engages in geekery, from Doctor Who to AD&D. Because who said you need to grow up?

Author links:


This is the International Blitz-wide Giveaway for a $50 gift card at Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Ends October 27th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Kyrax

11 October 2014

Review: Desperate Reflections - Shay West

Ok guys, first up there is some major spoilers for the first two books in this review, and second, if you have absolutely no idea what will happen, look away now. (However, I think what I say is kind of a given). You've been warned...

Alex's powers are steadily growing as she experiments with them and learns more about what she can do. In this book, we see her struggle dramatically with the weight of responsibility put on her by her powers as well as having more family issues to deal with when her mother begins dating again. The tension builds as things get a lot more personal with Drifter and his Master. Alex seeks out some old friends and finally gets the help she has been sorely lacking in. Her life is getting ever more dangerous, and Drifter gets ever more desperate to end her life.

Wow, what a finale. The tension is ridiculous in this book and the emotions are soaring. The thing I told you I was waiting for in the last review? It totally happened and I couldn't be happier. Turns out it was kind of integral that it did and it works out ever so well. It's pure awesome. As said before, you can guess some of the plot, however in this book you can't guess all of it. You're sitting there, entranced, wondering how on earth Alex is going to survive all this.

Ok, there are a couple of things nagging at me. Alex yet again doesn't develop hugely as a character apart from with the whole family thing, but it isn't such a huge development and nothing actually feels life-altering. She will still be the same girl and act in the same way after this book. This is alright really as the pacing and the rest of the plot carry this through, but some extra character arc would have been quite nice.

The other? The mantra. By this point 'Get a grip, Alex' is being used so frequently as Alex begins to completely freak out that it actually begins to grate on you. There are only so many times you can read the exact same sentence before it becomes really boring and kind of annoying. Sometimes it's good to mix up phrasing!

So this book has a great ending. It's full of emotion and has been built up slowly through the books to get to this one final showdown. The book actually gets pretty terrifying as things get very real very quickly. It's no longer about time travel.. it's about a sadistic madman tracking down a teenage girl so he can kill her. I loved that her two lives pretty much collide in this last book. It is a very fulfilling ending, I loved how it played out and how everything came together.


Desperate Reflections on Goodreads
Kyrax

10 October 2014

Book Banter #5: Female Protagonists


If there's one thing that annoys me about books, it's when the female characters are awful. It doesn't matter how good to concept, the writing or the ideas are. If the protagonist is female, and is annoying, I struggle to read the book. The worst thing is if the female protagonist is whiny, or has no self-confidence. Its worse if they are whiny and annoying about their relationships.

Recently I've been reading, or shall I say, trying to read Goddess Legacy (Part of the Goddess series) by M.W. Muse and Mandy Harbin. I've read the first two books, and while I think the idea of new gods and goddesses created in the likeness of old ones in today's world is a good one, the main character is really getting on my nerves. She's slow to work things out, yet is supposed to be intelligent. She cries at everything, especially anything to do with boys, and she's just a bit naive. Her problems, in my opinion, could be easily sorted if only she had common sense and wasn't mooning over men. I wouldn't recommend those books, by the way, unless you are a particularly emotional teenage girl who needs a reality check.

There are many female protagonists that have annoyed me in the past. It is mostly because they make a huge deal out of relationships or are particularly whiny and self-loathing. One such example is Bella from Twilight. She's worried about getting old and her boyfriend not liking her any more. She's clumsy in an over-the-top fashion and she's constantly second-guessing herself. 

Then there's Cho Chang. I have absolutely no idea what Harry Potter ever saw in her. She is a bit pathetic, but it's fair enough seeing as her boyfriend just died. But still, she has no personality. Since she isn't a protagonist, so I'll let her off with a warning.

I'm also not particularly fond of Katniss Everdeen. To be honest with you, I always thought she was a bit of a cow. She basically plays the boys against each other and takes three books to decide which one she likes most, and I don't think it's the best of reasons either. She's lethal and ruthless but at least she does have a heart. However, she couldn't be the Mockingjay without all those qualities.

There have been far too many female protagonists like this, and it is seriously starting to get on my nerves. I can understand why some of them are written this way, but others are just ridiculous. For all the writers out there (especially those writing YA), I'll give you a few ideas of good female protagonists. Please feel free to take notes:

Hermione Granger. She has it all. She's loyal, clever and fierce. She can definitely take on enemies, yet she has a vulnerability too. She's perfectly well rounded.

Pretty much all the women in A Song Of Ice and Fire series (Game of Thrones to me and you). They are the most well rounded ladies I've read, they each come into their own and have reasons for doing things, even if it is something terrible like killing their husband. I didn't say they had to be nice.

Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice. She stands up for what she believes in even though the norms of society says she shouldn't, as well and her mother and sisters.

Lucy Pevensie from the Chronicles of Narnia. She was my first major heroine. She dared to go where no-one else would and stood up for what she believed in. In my opinion she pretty much saved the whole of Narnia from the White Queen. She is 'Lucy the Valiant', Queen of Narnia after all.

Now that's how to do it right.
Staceyx