Welcome All Book Lovers

Welcome All Book Lovers

Monday, August 31, 2015

Ragnarok by Walter Simonson

Ragnarok... the Twilight of the Gods in Norse mythology... the destruction of the Nine Worlds. And now, three hundred years later, the birth of vengeance. Collects issues #1-6. Walter Simonson returns to comics in a BIG way with an all-new series. @goodreads


https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1379531981          5 STARS

 This graphic novel is awesome! I loved the main characters Regn, Brynja and their daughter Drifta. One sets out on a quest to kill The Stone God with a group of assassins they hire. The assassins were a bunch of idiots let me tell you now!

The reason the person sets out on this quest is because their daughter was threatened, so... what else would you do. Unfortunately, that person doesn't make it..or do they?

The Stone God is awoken and trying to figure what he is doing in this strange land, what happened to all of his people. I'm sure you can imagine from the picture who this skeleton person is, at least those that know the Gods.

Anyhoo, I thought this book had such amazing graphics. I only wish I could have found some for my blog, but I don't think what would be right since the book isn't out yet, but still!

I recommend to all of those that love graphic novels and Norse God Mythology etc.

*I would like to thank Netgalley and Diamond Book Distributors for making this available to read for my honest review.*



Circus of Horrors by Carole Gill

What exactly is wrong with this circus?
There are demonic, flesh-eating clowns, murderous midgets, there is a fat lady with some peculiar tastes and there is an old man with one hell of a secret. Old Pa keeps a trunk with some very special souvenirs. When a stranger joins up who has second sight (among other talents) the old man's son gets nervous.
If that isn't enough, there @goodreads


https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1379190845        4 STARS 

 Holy Circus!!!!!! Talk about a book going in a direction that I certainly didn't see coming. I mean I knew something was off, but it was more off than I was thinking.

You first meet the crew from Fred Dodger's Circus, really they just travel around in a van and try to work wherever they can. They live off the land in the beginning, among other things that I'm not even going to tell you!

So there is Fred Dodger and his dad who goes by Old Pa, Fred takes care of his dad and his little group of misfits as best he can. There are the three clowns, Happy, Danny and Noble. The two midgets, Hank and Al and the fat lady, Baby Alice.

These are not your NORMAL people, and I'm not talking about them being characters in a circus! They all have some freaky stuff going on!

Then one night out of the blue this hobo named Joe wanders into their camp telling them stories of a circus they can join and never have to move again. Well, of course, this makes everyone happy. They soooo want a place that is home.

I'm going to put it mildly here, that circus is not a place you want to call home and if you read this book you will see all of the freak show (no pun intended) that is really going on! I think all horror fans would like this or just someone interested in crazy stuff.

*Graphic violence, Gore, Sexual Situations* Just wanted to add that for the kiddie's, this isn't for the kiddie's :)

I really liked the book because it was so odd and the cover is so awesomely creepy!!!!!! 



FIGHT: Stepbrother Romance Novella by Stephanie Brother

I’m a fighter.
I fought to survive on the streets after running away at seventeen. I did what I had to, and I make no apologies for it.
I fought and clawed my way up from illegal street fighting to a UFC contender.
I fought my fear and came back to this wretched place, where my stepfather made me so miserable eleven years ago.
I could fight how much I want my stepsister, who’s suddenly all grown up.
I could fight to keep my secrets hidden.
I could fight.
If I wanted to…
Couldn’t I?

This is a standalone novella, approximately 125 pages/35,000 words, with no cliffhanger.

Be prepared for dark moments, haunting secrets, pain, redemption, and sexy times ahead. For adults only. @goodreads


https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1379149513              4 STARS 

I thought I would take the time to read another novella. I'm quite enjoying these kinds of books :)

This is an erotic novella. I'm not sure all of it is in my taste, but the book had a good premise and I liked it a lot over all.

Paxton is a UFC fighter who hasn't spoken to his mom in 11 years. He gets a phone call from his stepsister, Mia, telling him his mother is dying. So he has to go back to his home to see her, the same place his evil stepfather resides. There is a horrible secret behind his hatred of his stepfather, but I'm not going to tell you what it is, just know he's a horrific person!

As you can guess, Paxton and Mia end up together, but I like how the author didn't make it out to be some kind of one night stand kind of thing. It had a really nice ending and retribution for the evilness the stepfather Dirk caused many years ago.

A nice quick little read :) Uh, no one under 16 in my opinion! 

Amazon Link:


An Apprentice to Elves by Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear

Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear return with the third book in their Iskryne trilogy, An Apprentice to Elves. The trilogy began with A Companion to Wolves, and continued in The Tempering of Men. This novel picks up the story of Alfgyfa, a young woman who has been raised in the Wolfhall by her father, Isolfr.

The warrior culture of Iskryne forbids many things to women—and most especially it forbids them bonding to one of the giant telepathic trelwolves. But as her father was no ordinary boy, Alfgyfa is no ordinary girl. Her father has long planned to send his daughter to Tin, a matriarch among the elves who live nearby, to be both apprentice and ambassador, and now she is of age to go. @goodreads


https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1362975898             4 STARS

 I thought this book was pretty good. I loved the wolf concept as wolves are my favorite animals. I did not read the first two books prior to this one, I would like to find out the whole story so I can understand it a little bit more. But, this is fine for a stand-alone book, it doesn't continually refer to the past books to make you confused.

So the men bond to wolves but women are forbidden to do this, and to that, they can kiss my arse :)

Alfgyfa is an apprentice to the smith Tin. Tin is finding out that Afgyfa has a telepathic link to a wolf/dog, which is a big no no. Good for you Alfgyfa. I think she is a strong character and I love how she just does what she wants no matter what the rules.

I think this book is very unique in ways that at times left me confused, but like I said before, I might understand it better if I start from book one. The whole idea of being telepathically linked to a wolf is awesome, but it's so much more than that, there is a great deal more involved in this link. The men almost seem wolf like in their behavior, you just have to read it for your self as I'm not the best at explaining these types of things :)

I do have to mention I think the cover is absolutely beautiful. I not sure if this is a trilogy or if it's going to be an ongoing series, but I would like to get them in some kind of boxset if they are, the other titles sounded really good as well.

*I would like to thank NETGALLEY and MACMILLAN/TOR-FORGE for giving me the opportunity to read an ARC of this book for my honest review.*

Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Cellar: A Post-Apocalyptic Novella by Richard Dela Cruz

A hundred years after The Event, the earth has become a vast, barren wasteland. In this dying world, seventeen-year-old Daren is the sole hunter for his village. But food is scarce, and it’s only a matter of time before they all die of hunger or worse…until he discovers a can of beans, new and pristine, as if fresh from a factory. Where did it come from? And will he discover its source in time to save his people? @goodreads


https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1378246731              4 STARS

 Well this little novella threw me for a loop. It was so freaking good. I'm not sure I get what was going on at the end. I have it in my mind with little hints through out the book, but I need someone to tell me. Hmmmm, maybe I will find the author and get the 411 :)

So you have Darren as the main character. He is part of one of the villages that are made up for people to try to stay safe in, they had to build large walls and such to keep raiders out. Although, this didn't always happen, but they held their own most of the time.

Darren's mom is like the leader of their village and she's bad to the bone. Her name is Arianna. They have a few people in their village, unfortunately some were killed and they die from starvation, that sort of thing. There is Logan who watches the wall at night and Murphy who is only in his 50's but considered a very old man in this day and age.

Darren is the only hunter left in his village, the others were killed by raiders. He's worried how he is going to keep these people fed. They are like walking skeletons!

The back story is that there was an Event and the Unseen One smashed the earth with his fist to punish the sins of our ancestors. There is also a story about the Angel of Death coming for you.

And.... some of the peeps start seeing what they believe is the Angel of Death. I mean a cloaked figure that glides along the ground and has an creepy glow to it. What would you think!

When the alarm is sounded and Darren's mom finds out this Angel of Death story (not matter who all has seen it) she gets mad and puts some of them on latrine duty. And for extra punishment she sends Darren out into the night to hunt. Now, you know these raiders are creeping around and this is not good for ole Darren. But..... there is also the Angel of Death out there creeping around. What do you think is going to happen?

The end of the story just blew my mind.. just a little. I didn't see that one coming and I'm still trying to figure out what really happened. Like I said before, there are enough hints in the book that I have an idea, but I would like to know for sure.

This was a great book and I'm glad I took the chance to read it. :) Fin



Starscape by by Benita J. Prins

A legend that tells of a star… more beautiful than any other… even before the sun… thousands of years ago… wiser than the wisest of men… a song of unearthly beauty…

It was no more than idle talk in the marketplace that began it.

When Pluriel is accidentally reminded of an old prophecy, he and three companions begin the long journey to Nevarra Swamp. Their mission? A nearly hopeless attempt to recapture the Sword of the Star, stolen centuries ago by Jalavak. This Sword is the only weapon which can defeat the Dark Lord, for he was wounded by it in the war of the Valintari at the dawn of time. But what can Pluriel, Ringard, Galdore and Tristal do alone? For if the prophecy is to be fulfilled, the Star itself must fall from the sky – and how could such a thing come to pass? @goodreads


https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1378028879    4 STARS 

 *I won this book in a giveaway*

You have an evil Dark Lord called Javalak and so many people want to see him fall. There is a story that tells of The Sword of the Star, guarded by the dragon Nevarra, that can kill Javalak.

Ringard and his brother Pluriel decide to go looking for the sword and kill Javalak. Galdore, who owns The Silver Spear Inn decides to go with them, along with his brother Tristal.

These group of people are called Startern and I thought it was cool how they could look straight at the sun without bothering their eyes as nothing is too bright for them to look upon.

Along the way they meet a deranged old man named Gonor. I think he is so sweet and his story is so sad. He was tortured, among other things, and this brought him to a madness.

The group has to fight different creatures that Javalak has sent after them to stop their journey.

They make it to a town with a few mishaps while they are there and they pick up another traveler, a girl named Eloderay. She was a servant but had gotten tired of being beaten so she ran away.

They also have another woman that comes and goes in their group, she calls herself Assiel, but she is something very different and that is not really her name. I'm not going to give that part away :)

Even though this is a short read, there is a good bit of action, plenty of sadness, and some goodness. I really liked the book and it is always nice to read something short that has a lot of meaning. I loved all of the good characters, you got to know them just enough to feel for each thing that happens to them.

The Guardian Stones by Eric Reed

1941 Britain: Children are vanishing from the village. Is it the powers of an ancient stone circle at work, or a modern predator? In mid-1941, children evacuated to the remote Shropshire village of Noddweir to escape the Blitz begin to vanish. It was not uncommon for city children faced with rural rigors to run away. But when retired American professor Edwin Carpenter, pursuing his study of standing stones, visits the village and discovers bloody clothing in the forest, it is clear there is a more sinister explanation. The village constable is away on military duty so the investigation falls to his daughter Grace. Some villagers see the hand of German infiltrators bent on terror. The superstitious, mindful of the prehistoric stone circle gazing down on Noddweir, are convinced malevolent supernatural powers are at work. And Edwin, determined to help Grace find whatever predator is in play, runs into widespread resentment over America's refusal to enter the war. This atmospheric mystery will appeal to readers of Rennie Airth, Maureen Jennings, and both Ann Cleeves and Ann Granger @goodreads


https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1362977376                    2 STARS

 I really thought I would like this book from the blurb, but I couldn't get into it myself, but I'm sure there are plenty of people out there that will like it so you decide for yourself.


The book is happening during 1941 and the people of the little village area of Shropeshire are worried about Hitler finding them and bombing them every day. At night they keep the lights to a minimum.

Then you have this retired professor from American just moseying on over to study these stones called The Guardian Stones. Now I don't know about you, but if Hitler was still around causing trouble, I sure as hell wouldn't be going over to look at some stones, but I digress.

The town has taken in some children from town hoping they can keep them safe, but most of those kids are evil little jerks! I won't tell you all the stuff they did, you will have to read that for yourself, but you will want to lock them up in some kind of boot camp.

The whole time Edwin (the professor) is there they are looking for a missing child named Issy. They think she may have just ran off to live in the cities when they can't find her. Then other kids start going missing. Something is just weird in this town and some of it's people. There are also weird stories about the stones.

I mean can all the kids be traipsing off to the city or can they?

I definitely wasn't expecting that ending. It was crazy and totally turns things around in the story.

I did like some of the characters in the book, the professor (Edwin), Grace, who's home he stayed in while he was there and Jack the blacksmith. These were all strong characters in the book.

I really wished I could have liked the book more.

*I would like to thank NETGALLEY and POISONED PEN PRESS for giving me the opportunity to read an ARC of this book for my honest review.**

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization's collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity.

One snowy night Arthur Leander, a famous actor, has a heart attack onstage during a production of King Lear. Jeevan Chaudhary, a paparazzo-turned-EMT, is in the audience and leaps to his aid. A child actress named Kirsten Raymonde watches in horror as Jeevan performs CPR, pumping Arthur's chest as the curtain drops, but Arthur is dead. That same night, as Jeevan walks home from the theater, a terrible flu begins to spread. Hospitals are flooded and Jeevan and his brother barricade themselves inside an apartment, watching out the window as cars clog the highways, gunshots ring out, and life disintegrates around them.

Fifteen years later, Kirsten is an actress with the Traveling Symphony. Together, this small troupe moves between the settlements of an altered world, performing Shakespeare and music for scattered communities of survivors. Written on their caravan, and tattooed on Kirsten's arm is a line from Star Trek: "Because survival is insufficient." But when they arrive in St. Deborah by the Water, they encounter a violent prophet who digs graves for anyone who dares to leave.

Spanning decades, moving back and forth in time, and vividly depicting life before and after the pandemic, this suspenseful, elegiac novel is rife with beauty. As Arthur falls in and out of love, as Jeevan watches the newscasters say their final good-byes, and as Kirsten finds herself caught in the crosshairs of the prophet, we see the strange twists of fate that connect them all. A novel of art, memory, and ambition, Station Eleven tells a story about the relationships that sustain us, the ephemeral nature of fame, and the beauty of the world as we know it. @goodreads


https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1329056184              3 STARS 

I'm in the minority here. I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it. I thought it was okay. I only read it because of the high reviews, but my experience is to read something that sounds good to you and then if you don't like it that much you don't have to say.. I TOLD YOU SO..

It wasn't into the beginning of it, but I thought when the flu started killing people off that it was going to get really good, but it didn't go the way I was hoping. I'm not really sure what I was hoping for really.

I thought the idea of a traveling symphony going around after the collapse was very original. I give all of my stars to that, because it's just a really cool concept to me.

I didn't really relate to any of the characters. I know, what is wrong with me right? I think with the going back and forth with the time frame is what got to me. I like that thing in most books, but not so much this one.

Oh well, to each their own and I'm glad so many people could get more out of it than I did because that is what is so wonderful about reading :) 


The Secret of the Old Clock by Carolyn Keene

A special treat for Nancy Drew fans! Out just in time for Nancy's 80th anniversary, we're releasing a limited number of copies of The Secret of the Old Clock , the first book in the series. It's the exciting mystery that readers have fallen in love with for 80 years, with a terrific new look and bonus material! Collectors won't want to miss this. @goodreads


https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1375919535          5 STARS

This edition here actually says it has two Nancy Crew mysteries, but I read my book from childhood and it's the The Secret of the Old Clock.

It was so nice to take a little step back into my childhood and read one of my favorite books. I loved Nancy Drew and always wanted to be a sleuth like her, among other things :)

I recommend these books to anyone that have little girls that love mysteries. I think they would get great joy out of this series.



Friday, August 28, 2015

Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

An anxiety disorder disrupts fourteen-year-old Audrey’s daily life. She has been making slow but steady progress with Dr. Sarah, but when Audrey meets Linus, her brother’s gaming teammate, she is energized. She connects with him. Audrey can talk through her fears with Linus in a way she’s never been able to do with anyone before. As their friendship deepens and her recovery gains momentum, a sweet romantic connection develops, one that helps not just Audrey but also her entire family.


 https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1361594371            5 STARS

 Once again I find myself sitting down to a book that I have to read the whole thing! I loved Audrey, I felt for her, I have panic disorder, among other things so I can understand her anxiety. I hate that so many kids have to go through these things concerning school.

I loved Audrey's brother Frank and his friend Linus. Frank is so funny and I think he does just fine. I loved that Linus talked to Audrey in the way she was comfortable and didn't make fun of her.

I wasn't a big fan of the mom throughout the story. I was waiting for them to say she has something happen to her or she had a disorder herself but, unless I missed it, she seemed an extreme mom! Some parts she was really funny, but half the time she's yelling and I wanted to cringe!

I loved reading about the family dynamics and Audrey's session with the video camera, some of those were classic :) Oh and how could I forget about the little brother Felix, he was just precious and funny in his own right :)

I just really loved this book and it is now on my amazon wishlist to buy.

Amazon link:


Undertow by Michael Buckley

Sixteen-year-old Lyric Walker’s life is forever changed when she witnesses the arrival of 30,000 Alpha, a five-nation race of ocean-dwelling warriors, on her beach in Coney Island. The world’s initial wonder and awe over the Alpha quickly turns ugly and paranoid and violent, and Lyric’s small town transforms into a military zone with humans on one side and Alpha on the other. When Lyric is recruited to help the crown prince, a boy named Fathom, assimilate, she begins to fall for him. But their love is a dangerous one, and there are forces on both sides working to keep them apart. Only, what if the Alpha are not actually the enemy? What if they are in fact humanity’s only hope of survival? Because the real enemy is coming. And it’s more terrifying than anything the world has ever seen.

Action, suspense, and romance whirlpool dangerously in this cinematic saga, a blend of District 9 and The Outsiders.


 https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1200246471      5 STARS

 I fell in love with this book. I have never read anything remotely like this.. yet.. anyway.

The whole concept of these different species of aquatic people called the Alpha is so cool to me. I'm already looking forward to the next book!

I love most of the characters, the bad guys are really bad and just suck though!

So the Alpha's want their kids to start going to school with the human kids and this causes all sorts of chaos as you can imagine. I mean there are cops, military out every day watching over the school and all of the kids. They are in the schools and in most classrooms. It's a cluster going to school with all of this going on.

You have Lyric and her best friend Bex who go to the school. Lyric's dad is a police officer so he's pretty much watching out for her and Bex as much as possible.

Lyric finds out she has to befriend, so to speak, the Alpha Prince they named Fathom as you can't really say their real names unless your underwater. Anyhoo, this freaks Lyric out and she starts getting threats from people for being a fish lover. Jerks! Lyric and Fathom have to meet in private every day for lessons to teach Fathom about the human culture. So many things go right and wrong with situation.

Some really sad and disturbing things happen with certain friends of Lyric and Bex. There are riots and a whole lot of wackadoo going on. We also find out that Lyric and her mother are not what they seem, you pretty much find that out at the beginning of the book.

I love how this first book ended at a good place. Well, relatively good at any rate. I'm excited for the next book, I think I said that already :)


 Amazon Link:

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Escape To Anywhere Else by Robert Rippberger

Ivey Jane Doede is about to turn eighteen and is trying to leave home. She lives with her younger brother, Louie, and parents in Kansas with nothing but miles of cornfields in every direction. Ivey's mom is abusive and her father is an alcoholic. Family life gets worse after a religious cult comes into the neighboring town, offering salvation. Escape to Anywhere Else connects to that part in all our lives when numbing is no longer enough. Ivey Doede must take a stand if she is to make it out alive. @goodreads


https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1375899221      4 STARS

OH. MY. LORD. I had no idea this book was going to be like this, it is so disturbingly good.

Ivey and her younger brother Louie live with their parents on a farm out in the middle of nowhere. I'm amazed the bus actually makes it out there to pick them up the way they describe it. Talking about descriptions, the front of the book is beautiful with this creepy dilapidated old house and the back of the book shows the inside dining area which is just as rustic and creepy looking, I love it.

But, let me tell you, these kids mom is bat shite crazy! Well, okay the dad is too, but he's just doing things the mom tells him to do. This woman beats the crap out of these kids...uh..with ropes that have tacks embedded in it. She beats and spouts out scripture... really?

This is not even half of what goes on in this book. You think that is bad you haven't read nothing. I wish these kids would have ran off a long time ago to get away from this sadistic stuff.

It's a fairly short book, but really good. Disturbing, but good.



Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

A lyrical novel about family and friendship from critically acclaimed author Benjamin Alire Sáenz.

Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be. @goodreads


https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1371114749            5 STARS

 There are almost no words for how much I loved this book. I got chills, I cried, I got mad, I fell in love with both boys.

Ari and Dante are both different from other people. They are loners, they don't really know how to react to people, although Dante is a little more outspoken than Ari.... well I guess you could say Dante is a big soul just trying to be contained :)

They become friends at the swimming pool when Ari is sort of floating around because he doesn't know how to swim and Dante offers to help him. They become fast friends in their own strange way.

It was so wonderful to read this story unfold right before my eyes.

Ari has a lot of problems with never have been allowed to meet his brother who is in jail. No on in the family will mention his name, there isn't even a picture set out of him. Imagine turning seventeen and still not know your own brother. Ari has two older sisters as well and they have families of their own and they won't talk about him either. Ari's parents are nice people, his dad has problems from the war and is not to outspoken. This causes some issues with Ari as well.

Dante is so funny and quirky, he just does whatever he feels like doing. He doesn't worry about what people think of him. His parents are wonderful and a little quirky too.

I hate when I get to this part because I don't want to give away any spoilers!! I just felt like these are two boys I could be friends with if they would let me :) They have their own little world where they take care of each other. I mean one almost dies for the other one. That's the part that gave me chills!

It was emotionally draining, but such a feel good book.


Into The Dangerous World by Julie Chibbaro

At a family meeting, Ror declares her purpose:
            I am an artist.
But she doesn’t really know what that means. Raised on a commune, she’s never attended a day of school, and has seen little of the outside world. What she knows best is drawing. To her, it’s like breathing; it’s how she makes sense of the world.
            When her father torches the commune—and himself—Ror’s life changes. She, her mother and sister end up in a homeless residence in Manhattan, where she runs into trouble—and love—with Trey, the leader of Noise Ink, a graffiti crew.
            On the city’s streets, and in its museums and galleries, Ror finds herself pulled in different directions. Her father wanted her to make classic art. Noise Ink insists she stay within their lines. Her art teacher urges her to go to college. What does she want?
            What kind of artist am I?
             Ror’s journey is a seamless blend of words and pictures, cinematic in its scope--a sharp-edged, indelible work of art that will live inside your head. @goodreads


https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1374678637      3.5 STARS

Aurora (Ror), her mom, her sister Marilyn and her dad all live in a commune, squatting on land that they don't own and making a home selling things they make and from animal produce. Their dad brings in a few more people into the commune. But their dad isn't all together there and soon everyone leaves but Ror's family. Their dad does something drastic and Ror, Marilyn and her mom are left on their own.

They end up staying at a shelter for a little bit until they can get some kind of housing. Ror didn't like the shelter, she wanted to just go outside and stay somewhere.

The place stank of anonymous farts, pit funk, dollar store perfume.
*End Excerpt*

They end up in this community motel place, which just seems like an old apartment building to me, but anyway, they have a room, a tv, a hot plate and a couple of other things. They have to use a communal bathroom.

Marilyn and her mother want Ror to wear a wig so she doesn't have to wear hats all of the time. The back of her head got burned so she was a bit of a skin head back there. This is Ror's interpretation of what she thought!

I looked in the mirror. I looked like I belonged in that movie Hair. Like some tv hippie. I pulled the headband thing down around my neck, flipped the wig sideways, and bared my teeth. Now I looked like I was in a band with Sid Vicious
*End Excerpt*

Needless to say, Ror didn't wear the wig.

Ror is a really great artist. Even the local man in the paint, etc store thinks she should show her work to galleries. He's nice and I liked his character, his name was Jonathan.

But Ror ends up in a graffiti crew. She drew some really awesome things with this group. I was afraid she would end up doing this and blow her whole supposed future away when she started skipping some school.

It all worked out okay in the end. I'm not sure whatever happened to Ror, but I would like to know if she went on and became something.

There is also some really nice graphics throughout the book.

*I would like to thank Penguin Books and Julie Chibbaro for giving me the opportunity to read this book for my honest review.*

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

All Of Us And Everything by Bridget Asher

For fans of Eleanor Brown’s The Weird Sisters and Liane Moriarty’s The Husband’s Secret comes a smart, wry, and poignant novel about reconciliation between fathers and daughters, between spouses; the deep ties between sisters; and the kind of forgiveness that can change a person’s life in unexpected and extraordinary ways. @goodreads


https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1362976337                   4 STARS

 I loved reading about the characters in this book. They are all related, but their lives are so very different.

Augustus gave birth to three daughters, Esme, Liv, and Ru. Not long after she leaves their father Nick because of what he is.. can't tell you about that.

Esme's husband Doug leaves her and their daughter Atty for another woman. Their world is totally ripped apart as you can imagine.

Liv has problems with drugs and alcohol after getting a divorce from her third husband.

Ru gets engaged, then runs off to Vietnam to do research.

They all come back together at Augustus home after hurricane Sandy causes a lot of problems, needless to say.

This is a story of the lives of women and family finding each other and finding things they have lost.

It was very poignant and had it's moments of comedic relief.

When all things seemed so impossible for these women, things fall into place and works out for the better.

**I would like to thank Netgalley and Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine for giving me the opportunity to read this ARC in exchange for my honest review**

Blood Lily by Jenny Allen

When vampire and independent forensics expert, Lilith Adams is sent to investigate disappearing family members, she teams up with her new partner, Chance Deveraux, to face a whirlwind of violence, revenge and terror leading to a secret that's been buried for over 600 years. Lilith Adams wasn't the latex-clad, Hollywood version of a vampire. She had a normal, simple life in New York City as an independent forensics expert, but she always wished for something more adventurous. When her uncle goes missing from a small town in Tennessee, Lilith's doting father sends her to investigate with his head of security, Chance Deveraux. What they find defies the laws of science and plunges them headfirst into the world of the supernatural. When the mutilated bodies of family members start surfacing, they quickly get sucked into a whirlwind of violence and terror that uncovers a secret that could not only cost her everything, but points directly at Lilith's father. To survive, they'll have to find powerful new allies, but trusting them might be the biggest mistake of all. Blood Lily is a suspenseful mystery that challenges every relationship and deals with the true emotional grit of loss when the odds seem overwhelming. @goodreads


https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1370996069             4 STARS

**I would like to thank the author, Jenny Allen, for giving me as signed print copy of her book for an honest review**

Just when you think you can't find any more takes on vampires, you do :) The vampires in this book are not like the normal vampires, they have a heartbeat, they can get beat up, shot, etc. But they still drink blood from the blood banks they own, and they can heal if they can get blood in time. There are also a few other creatures that are in the book that have different abilities as well.

Lilith (Lily) is an independent forensics expert, I thought her job was cool. Well, not for me per se, but I thought it was a cool that you have a Vampire as a forensics expert. Now, she doesn't have the smell senses and all of that stuff, she's just good at her job. Her partner Detective Alvarez is a good man that I liked a lot even though he wasn't in the book much.

Lilith's uncle Duncan goes missing and her father, Gregor, asks her to head down to Knoxville to see what is going on. He has Chance, another vampire that she has known for years, to go with her and act as her body guard. Note: I love the author added Knoxville, TN as the place for the new crimes as I was born down the road from there and have family there :)

Anyway, they go down to Knoxville and find out more of the family is missing and turning up dead in horrific torture scenes. Gregor seems to suddenly know who is doing all of these massacres and wants Lily home right away. Of course Lily refuses because she's really cool and her and Chance end up in a world of trouble that spans centuries.

I thought the book was great and I loved all of the characters, even the evil ones were played out really good. This is a large book with a massive amount of information and things going on, but it's nothing that will confuse you. I should know, I get confused a lot. There is a part where they were talking about DNA and mixing and matching this that and the other that made me faze out, but I digress :)

There is a little bit of romance thrown in, but not too much, they are all too busy trying to stay alive and just when you think you might get a breather at the end..... a whole other can of worms opens and it ends on a cliffhanger.. to be continued... 


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell

Nicolette’s awful stepsisters call her “Mechanica” to demean her, but the nickname fits: she learned to be an inventor at her mother’s knee. Her mom is gone now, though, and the Steps have turned her into a servant in her own home.

But on her sixteenth birthday, Nicolette discovers a secret workshop in the cellar and begins to dare to imagine a new life for herself. Could the mysterious books and tools hidden there—and the mechanical menagerie, led by a tiny metal horse named Jules—be the key to escaping her dreary existence? With a technological exposition and royal ball on the horizon, the timing might just be perfect for Nicolette to earn her freedom at last.

Gorgeous prose and themes of social justice and family shine in this richly imagined Cinderella retelling about an indomitable inventor who finds her prince . . . but realizes she doesn't want a fairy tale happy ending after all.


https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1323356526         5 STARS

 I totally loved the book. I must say when I first saw it, I had one of those, choose a book by it's cover moments. I read the blurb and promptly put it on pre-order, got it today and read the whole thing.

This is an awesome rendition of a Cinderella steampunk novel. But this isn't the fairy-tale ending you are used to so if your going for that, it's not going to happen.

You have Nicolette, Nick for short, who is learning to make mechanical animals, bugs etc from her mom who is an excellent mechanic with the help of Fey magic. A few things go wrong and the Fey are banished from the land and their magic.

We all know the story that Nick's mom passes away, I'm just not telling you from what :) Her dad marries the evil Stepmonster and the jerk sisters that are a package deal. They are the ones that eventually name her Mechanica which is cute and I love it. It's her name mixed with her being a mechanic.

I love all of her little mechanical friends, but Jules is my favorite, he is her little horse. That changes a bit toward the end but I won't say how.

This is a book that you are going to just love or not like at all, I'm in the love category. I thought it was brilliant and magical.

 FYI: If there are any mechanics out there that can make me some steampunk animals and bugs... send me a message :)

Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica

A chance encounter sparks an unrelenting web of lies in this stunning new psychological thriller from national bestselling author Mary Kubica

She sees the teenage girl on the train platform, standing in the pouring rain, clutching an infant in her arms. She boards a train and is whisked away. But she can't get the girl out of her head...

Heidi Wood has always been a charitable woman: she works for a nonprofit, takes in stray cats. Still, her husband and daughter are horrified when Heidi returns home one day with a young woman named Willow and her four-month-old baby in tow. Disheveled and apparently homeless, this girl could be a criminal—or worse. But despite her family's objections, Heidi invites Willow and the baby to take refuge in their home.

Heidi spends the next few days helping Willow get back on her feet, but as clues into Willow's past begin to surface, Heidi is forced to decide how far she's willing to go to help a stranger. What starts as an act of kindness quickly spirals into a story far more twisted than anyone could have anticipated. @goodreads


https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1193939360                   4 STARS

This book is sad on so many levels it's unreal. The thing is, so many of the things that happen in this book actually happen in the real world. We live in a world that loses track of people, loses track of what's right, loses track of it's humanity. Just from reading this book makes me think that people need to wake up and look around just a little bit more. Have a little bit more compassion with things in the world, slow down, stop rushing and pushing things aside.

The woman rolls her eyes, closes the file before her and says to me, "This alleged sexual abuse. Tell me about that."

This book is a great psychological thriller, you don't have a clue what is going to happen or what happened until the author lets you in, lets out snippets of the story until the bitter end.

The story is told from three POV, there is Willow, Heidi and Chris all telling their parts of the story, how they are feeling, what's happening with them. I thought that was great!

Pretty Baby is definitely not what I thought it was going to be, the author took it somewhere else.

The first time I see her, she is standing at the Fullerton Station, on the train platform, clutching an infant in her arms. She braces herself and the baby as the purple line express soars past and out to Linden. It's the 8th of April, forty-eight degrees and raining. The rain lurches down from the sky, here, there and everywhere, the wind untamed and angry. A bad day for hair.

I would recommend to those that like psychological thrillers. 


Monday, August 24, 2015

Her Eyes Matched The Sky: Feral, Episode One by P.J. Post

This romance brought to you by the end of the world...

She was looking forward to her junior year of high school, obsessing about prom, getting her driver's license and maybe even meeting her first boyfriend, but September finds her on the run, from the bombings, from looters and much, much worse.

No more homecoming.

No more homeroom.

No more home.

The United States of America is dying, dragging civilization down with it. No electricity, no cars, no phones, no infrastructure, nothing but anarchy remains. The survivors, families and struggling communities are migrating west, away from the invading armies. Some are praying for the lights to come back on, but others are embracing the New World Order, living for today and taking what they need, but mostly, what they want.

Among them are the orphaned children, scraping by in the shadows with fewer and fewer surviving the cold nights of the approaching winter. But they don't have to be the forgotten generation.

All they need is a leader.

And she's found him. If she can keep him alive, they may all have a chance.

Author's Note: Feral is an ongoing Serialized story. @goodreads


https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1372821249                4 STARS

This is a brutal little novella! I enjoyed it and am looking forward to more of the series.

The main characters don't give their names to each other, if they do that then they have to care.

He calls her Feral and she calls him a-hole and douche :)

The book doesn't really go into how the apocalypse started. It starts after the fact, when everything is just gone, electricity, everything. They have to fight for an existence involving some cruel people. Everyone is looking for the same things, food, supplies, water. They are just trying to survive, but there are always those horrible people that just kill, maim, rape, take...take...take..

I liked the budding friendship with the two characters. They both have their own traumas they have been through seeing people they love being killed etc. Hopefully together they will have a chance. And now they have Emily to care for, who is Emily? You know what I'm going to say.... read it and find out :) 


Of Ice & Magic by Hugh B. Long

Epic Fantasy
From a land of ice and fire comes a tale of Vikings and Magic
Magic still lurks in the dark corners of the world. At the ends of the Earth in an ancient land of ice and fire, the last remaining life-forger plies his trade, crafting legendary living-blades for those few Viking nobles who can afford them.

Betrayed and on the run, Fornulf and his family must enlist forgotten allies and forge new alliances to rid their homeland of evil. To defeat the usurper king and save his people, Fornulf is forced to make a choice no man should have to.

- Filled with magic, betrayal, heartache, and courage, "Of Ice & Magic" defines Epic Fantasy. * A Novella (19,300 words)

Although Of Ice & Magic is Fantasy, the tale is firmly rooted in history and combines a detailed historical setting--medieval Iceland--with Norse Mythology and Viking supernatural beliefs.

In this epic tale you'll find examples of Magic which the Vikings believed in and practiced:

Seith - spirit walking among the nine worlds
Galdr - chanting the runes to cast spells
Runic Divination - using the runes to divine possible future outcomes, predating Tarot by many centuries.@goodreads 


 https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1372688251         5 STARS

The old gods died. Magic died. I wept to see them gone.

Wow! Who knew that a novella of an epic fantasy could be so freaking good! I totally loved this book.

What do I say without giving out spoilers :) I just want to talk about the whole thing.

Okay so you have have Fornulf (which means ancient wolf), he is the last living-sword, life-forger. Although, his son, Karl is his apprentice and has been for four years, so hopefully this will continue on in the family.

Fornulf forges a sword for the evil Lord Torgny, but at the time he didn't know Torgny was evil.

When Fornulf forges a sword, not only does it take a lot of materials, it takes a willing sacrifice that say the words to the sword that they give their soul willingly. Well... when I say life-sword, I mean LIFE SWORD.

Fornulf also has a daughter named Brynn that is very good with weapons, better than her brother even.

When Fornulf and Karl go to the towns for a couple of days to buy supplies and nice things for Brynn and their mom Hilde with the large bag of money they got for the sword the jerk Torgny comes back to their home attempting to kill them all. Some did get killed but I won't say who.

This leads to an alliance with Torgny's nephew Gunner and brings the townsfolk together to help forge another sword for Gunner. They also have magic and sorcery that help in this endeavor. What occurs is just so awesome and sad that I'm holding back from telling everything what happened. OH and the end is so good I can't hardly stand it. Talk about getting revenge!

I recommend to all high fantasy book lovers! 


Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast in this sweeping fantasy about one girl's journey to fulfill her destiny and the monster who gets in her way-by stealing her heart.

Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle—a shifting maze of magical rooms—enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex's secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love. @goodreads



When I first started the book I was disappointed and thought I would not like it because it seemed to drag for me. It took a few chapters for me to get interested, pretty much when Nyx got to her wonderful husband's home, the evil Ignifex.

She is supposed to be killed by her husband at some point in time, how is that for a honeymoon! But, and there is always a but, Ignifex is not what he seems. Yes, he has the corpses of his eight other brides in a dungeon all laid out, but I digress. He seems to be under some kind of evil spell and he's not like I said what he seems to be.

I love the hell out of Nyx snarky attitude, she is great and doesn't take any lip from Ignifex, which he finds divine and doesn't seem to want to kill her. They have this wonderful banter together, he kisses her, she threatens his life, that kind of stuff :)

I do not know why, BUT, I didn't like her sister Astraia at all. Why? I don't know, I just said that, she just rubbed me the wrong way throughout the book. She can suck it and go on down the road.

So, Nyx has to find out all of these clues to try to save her world. I'm not going to go into all of that, you can read the book, or read another review. :) She is finding... that she wants to save Ignifex because she knows he's really good inside. How does she know? She just does!

There are creepy demon shades roaming around in the book along with some other weirdness. Nyx gives her all to save Ignifex and in the end it all pays off.






Sunday, August 23, 2015

Identical by Ellen Hopkins

Do twins begin in the womb?
Or in a better place?

Kaeleigh and Raeanne are identical down to the dimple. As daughters of a district-court judge father and a politician mother, they are an all-American family -- on the surface. Behind the facade each sister has her own dark secret, and that's where their differences begin.

For Kaeleigh, she's the misplaced focus of Daddy's love, intended for a mother whose presence on the campaign trail means absence at home. All that Raeanne sees is Daddy playing a game of favorites -- and she is losing. If she has to lose, she will do it on her own terms, so she chooses drugs, alcohol, and sex.

Secrets like the ones the twins are harboring are not meant to be kept -- from each other or anyone else. Pretty soon it's obvious that neither sister can handle it alone, and one sister must step up to save the other, but the question is -- who? @goodreads


https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1371112773              5 STARS

This book was amazing and it tore me apart :( I had a feeling I knew where it was going and it did but in a little bit of a different way. It's so very sad. This author can write some amazing ~ heart-wrenching books.. the sad thing is she knows a lot of this stuff from experience.

You have Kaeleigh and Raeanne that are twins and they both have such crappy lives that I almost have no words. It breaks me into pieces.


Eyes firmly planted on Daddy,
who follows. Why does it have
to be just the two of us here?

I want my sister. I want my mom.
Surely he won't trail me into
my room. Won't watch me undress.


The things that Kaeleigh endures while Raeanne has to watch and feels helpless is so atrocious, but it happens.

Raeanne spiraling down the sex and drugs road. Kaeleigh... cutting..purging..........

Their mother is gone all of the time running her campaign. Their father is a judge and starts drinking when he comes home among other things. What happened to these people in their lifetimes? It's not a pretty story, all things come from somewhere... and someone is always the one to let it happen.

I was so ripped to shreds by the end of this book and the ending is so broken. But it will be put back together.

This is a brilliantly sad story and I will continue on with all of the author's books I have yet to read. 


Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

Greg Gaines is the last master of high school espionage, able to disappear at will into any social environment. He has only one friend, Earl, and together they spend their time making movies, their own incomprehensible versions of Coppola and Herzog cult classics.

Until Greg’s mother forces him to rekindle his childhood friendship with Rachel.

Rachel has been diagnosed with leukemia—-cue extreme adolescent awkwardness—-but a parental mandate has been issued and must be obeyed. When Rachel stops treatment, Greg and Earl decide the thing to do is to make a film for her, which turns into the Worst Film Ever Made and becomes a turning point in each of their lives.

And all at once Greg must abandon invisibility and stand in the spotlight. @goodreads


https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1371117842             4 STARS

 I certainly didn't expect this book to crack me up! During the first of the book when Greg was explaining high school I thought I was going to have a stroke and laughing so hard I had all of my parts hurting!


Basically, being a senior means that when people throw things at your teeth, it's accidental. In other words, being a senior is awesome.

All morning before school, and then all day, that was how things went. It was kind of a perfect day in that regard. I spent a few minutes in the parking lot with a gaggle of ill-tempered foreign kids led by Nizar the Surly Syrian, then exchanged some hellos with the soccer team, and this year none of them tried to grab and injure my nipples. Dave Smeggers, noted stoner, began telling me a long and excruciatingly pointless story about his summer, but was soon distracted by some birds, at which point I made my escape. Vonta King tried to get me to sit with him across from room 318, so I pretended I was on my way to a meeting with a teacher, and he accepted it without argument. And so on and so forth. Also, at one point I almost walked into one of Madison Hartner's boobs. Her boobs are about at eye level for me.


I thought Greg and Earl's friendship was great if not a bit over-the-top, but who's isn't when they are young :)

I'm not sure if Greg's mom should have pushed him to go and visit Rachel. They were sort of friends when they were kids, but he didn't seem too keen on seeing her now that she's the dying girl. He seemed really remote from the whole thing, but he did express these feelings in the book and felt bad about them.

I do like that sharing some of Greg and Earl's video's and antics made Rachel laugh and feel good. It doesn't seem she really had a life growing up.

Greg seemed to have a lot of issues of his own about the world and I'm not sure if he actually had real problems with himself mentally or what. You have to meet his dad though, I think all of the cheese fell off his cracker as well. He was some kind of a hoot. His mom was a dictator and never seemed to listen to what anyone said. It was funny reading Greg and her talking over each other. I just got an image of Lynn from Bob's Burgers! :) Greg's two sisters don't make too many appearances in the book. They are just younger and stomp around a lot :)

Poor ole Earl's family I won't even go into. They cracked me up when they got going, but it was really a sad situation.

Overall I liked the book and I thought it was funny and sad. And there you have it, one more opinion goes out into the world!

Fin :)

Saturday, August 22, 2015

My Life As A White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland

Angel Crawford is a loser.

Living with her alcoholic deadbeat dad in the swamps of southern Louisiana, she's a high school dropout with a pill habit and a criminal record who's been fired from more crap jobs than she can count. Now on probation for a felony, it seems that Angel will never pull herself out of the downward spiral her life has taken.

That is, until the day she wakes up in the ER after overdosing on painkillers. Angel remembers being in an horrible car crash, but she doesn't have a mark on her. To add to the weirdness, she receives an anonymous letter telling her there's a job waiting for her at the parish morgue—and that it's an offer she doesn't dare refuse.

Before she knows it she's dealing with a huge crush on a certain hunky deputy and a brand new addiction: an overpowering craving for brains. Plus, her morgue is filling up with the victims of a serial killer who decapitates his prey—just when she's hungriest!

Angel's going to have to grow up fast if she wants to keep this job and stay in one piece. Because if she doesn't, she's dead meat.

Literally. @goodreads


https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1281439537             4 STARS

 "You're a zombie." he said, tone flat and curt. " You eat brains. What more do you need to know?"

I loved this book, I thought the different take on zombies was really cool.

Angel Crawford has the unfortunate opportunity to find out what it's like to be a zombie trying to exist in the real world. She wakes up in the hospital not knowing what happened to her. They say she overdosed on pills, but when I found out what happened at the end I wanted to put the beat down on someone! Lets just say she was in the wrong place with the wrong person at the wrong time.

Anyhoo, so she's left a lunchbox with some funky looking stuff blended up in jars saying that she needs to drink one a day. Needless to say she doesn't know what is going on and it's nasty as all get out. Uggg... I don't think you will find a brain smoothie at Dairy Queen. Gag a maggot! Now that that is out of my system, Angel is so confused as you would be. She can't even remember what happened to her until later.

She also has to take a job at the morgue for the drug charge. Now Angel has a very weak stomach and can't understand why the site of the autopsies are not making her sick and holy crow what is that delicious aroma. Who knew a brain could smell so good!

After awhile she finds out she's a zombie and can luckily get brains from the morgue. She has to deal with other zombies wanting brains, other zombies being brain lords dealing in selling brains. Really? And she's also learning a lot from this hot cop that she keeps running into. She is learning in a sense to become a zombie detective, which helps out when she has to find out who is now killing zombies!

I think this was a really cool mystery/zombie book. I look forward to reading the other books!

Spanelli by Elle Alexander

Twelve Year old Spanelli McQuillen works at The Museum of Oddities, the family owned antiques shop. When her mother purchases Hamley House, an abandoned home that sits on a hill at the edge of their small neighborhood, Spanelli gets the feeling that something isn't right with the grand, old estate. After she discovers an eerie letter tucked between the pages of an old book, her fears are confirmed and she is taken on a wild adventure as she discovers the frightful mysteries of the old house. @goodreads


https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1336245444                    4 STARS

 I totally love the cover of this book! It is just the cutest little picture.

This is a really great children's book. Spanelli and her mom Ann moved into a huge old creepy house called Hamley House. Spanelli works at their antique shop called The Museum of Oddities. How cool is that name. I want to go to a shop like that and see what I could find.

So Spanelli and her mom find some things in their new house they could sell at the shop or just keep. One of the things is an old painting with children in it. The painting is kinda creepy. Everything in the house is kinda creepy to Spanelli.

Spanelli's cousin Eugene comes to stay a week with her while his parents go out of town. Boy are they in for an adventure. You see, Spanelli's mom hires this woman to come and homeschool Spanelli and she is a weird lady. Eugene has to join in on the lessons as well since he's there for a week.

Then suddenly Spanelli's mom leaves for two days to go check out an old classic car. I mean who leaves their kids with a woman that they have known for like a day!

Anyway, there are some really spooky things that happen, ghosts come forward and it's up to Spanelli and Eugene to save them. And sweet Miss Crew, the teacher, is not so sweet after all!

I think this is just a wonderful little book and I would recommend to all parents with children that like creepy little ghost stories. And me being an adult I'm guessing you can read it too :)

The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks

From New York Times Bestselling author Brent Weeks...
For Durzo Blint, assassination is an art-and he is the city's most accomplished artist.

For Azoth, survival is precarious. Something you never take for granted. As a guild rat, he's grown up in the slums, and learned to judge people quickly - and to take risks. Risks like apprenticing himself to Durzo Blint.

But to be accepted, Azoth must turn his back on his old life and embrace a new identity and name. As Kylar Stern, he must learn to navigate the assassins' world of dangerous politics and strange magics - and cultivate a flair for death. @goodreads


https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1364069180               3 STARS

 Durzo gazed into the frothy brown ale as if it held answers. It didn't, and he had a choice to make. The usual forced gaiety of the brothel swirled around him, but nobody male or female bothered him. Perhaps it was Retribution unsheathed on the table in front of him. Perhaps it was merely the look on his face.

I enjoyed the book and liked some of the characters. I didn't love it and I didn't hate it. Azoth/Kyler was a nothing, a low-life that was in a bad situation along with many other kids. But Azoth didn't want that life any more. He wanted to be an assassin like Durzo Blint. And Durzo didn't take apprentices, but this time he did, he changed Azoth into Kyler Stern. He tried to make him a strong killing machine with no heart. He showed him how to poison, how to fight, how to use magic... but.. Kyler still had a heart.

Kyler did the one thing Durzo told him never to do. Do. Not. Fall. In. Love. It will get you killed. Durzo pretty much knew what he was talking about in this book. But alas, Kyler can not help falling in love with the sweet Elene, who happened to be someone from his past.

It turns out that Durzo happened to love after all, and most things he told Kyler always came to pass, if he told the truth that is.

"I'll miss you. You're the closest to family I'll ever have. I'm sorry I brought you into this life. Momma K and I did everything we could to make you a wetboy. I suppose it's to your credit that we failed. You mean more to me than I ever thought another person could."

Kyler blinked back tears. There was no way he could kill the man who'd written this. Durzo Blint was more than his master; he was his father.

Durzo and Momma K (who runs a brothel) took Kyler out of a bad situation and tried to teach him book learning and how to kill. Seems kinda funny when it's read in that context, but that's how it is. Momma K tried to help a lot of kids as much as she could. I don't like the fact they called assassins wetboys, it sounds just weird to me, but I digress.

I was really shocked at some of the things at the end. You just never know what you will find out and why people hold things back until they die.


Friday, August 21, 2015

Q & A with the author of The Camelot Shadow ~ Sean Gibson


Sean Gibson is not a professional mini biography writer (if he were, this would be much more compelling). Instead, he’s a marketing professional by day, hangs out with his amazing wife, son, and daughter by night, and writes somewhere in between. He holds a BA in English Literature from Ohio Wesleyan University and an MBA from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, but he really wishes he had been able to matriculate at Hogwarts (he would have been in Hufflepuff for sure). Sean is a fan of sports teams from Detroit, a distressingly large number of bands that rose to prominence in the 1980s, and writing in the third person.

Sean has written extensively for Kirkus Reviews, and his book reviews have also appeared in Esquire. The Camelot Shadow is the first of what he hopes are many novels to come.

  “A chance to save her. Improbably, impossibly, inconceivably.”

Lord Alfred Fitzwilliam spends each day in much the same way: caring for his terminally ill wife and trying to lose himself in the dusty tomes that fill his library. Everything changes when he receives a visit from a man representing a clandestine organization operating with the backing of Queen Victoria herself. The group seeks his aid in finding an Arthurian artifact that, legend holds, can cure its bearer of any wound or disease.

Skeptical but desperate to help his wife, Alfred is convinced that the fabled item might actually exist after witnessing a seemingly impossible display of power by the organization's leader, James Nigel. He decides to pursue the treasure, accompanied by an eccentric scholar, a deadly druid, and his best friend, a sardonic bookseller who is far more than he seems. As he follows an arcane trail of clues from the gas-lit streets of London to the wilds of Scotland and deep into ancient catacombs in Italy, Alfred becomes enmeshed in a web of hidden agendas, secret societies, and ancient enchantments. Along the way, he learns a dark secret about Nigel’s past—and the true power of the artifact he seeks.

Steeped in a compelling mythology and filled with unexpected twists, The Camelot Shadow will leave readers stunned, breathless, and wrestling with an impossible question: what do you do with an object that has the power to both save the world and destroy it? @goodreads
 1. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

  Sometime during high school, I started to fully realize the powerful effect stories had on me, and I felt a desire to do for someone, in some small way, what my favorite authors had done for me—make me laugh, make me cry, make me think, and, above all, given me hope and courage and strength when I needed it most. That sounds horribly cheesy and melodramatic. Really, I’ll be happy if I can just entertain a few people.

2. What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
My writing time is rather scarce these days, with a very busy job and two young kids. I tend to do most of my writing during my commute, sandwiched between hopefully friendly and clean-smelling strangers. Incidentally, the nattily attired gentleman to my right says hello. The frowning woman across from me does not. And I’d rather not talk about the guy to my left who is LITERALLY CLIPPING HIS FINGERNAILS RIGHT NOW. Ah, the joys of public transportation. Not exactly optimal for concentration, but certainly provides ample inspiration for quirky characters.

3. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

My inability, or perhaps I should say my reticence, or just my hesitance, to use one word when I can artfully deploy five (or more) utterly unnecessary words instead of, or perhaps in addition to, that single clear and concise word.

 4. Where do you get your ideas or information for your writing?

  I find inspiration in a lot of places—it might be a character or scene in another story that sparks an idea, or something I read in a non-fiction book, or even a snippet from a song. Sometimes an idea pops into my head while I’m walking around or drifting off to sleep. Depending on the nature of the story, I’ll do a fair bit of research to get ideas, but, for better or for worse, I’m not slavishly devoted to that information—I’ll pick and choose the pieces that are useful and make up the rest. While I love to give stories as much accurate historical flavor as possible, my goal is to tell an entertaining story, not be a historian (a declaration that has historians everywhere breathing a sigh of relief given my occasional blatant disregard for facts). 

 5. When did you write your first book and how old were you?

Technically, I was 8—in second grade, I penned and illustrated the glorious Cheesecalibur. But, I was 22 when I wrote my first novel. While the concept was, I believe, decent, the writing was…terrible. It’s unlikely a mountain of dead skunks would mask the stench if I released it into the world. Consequently, it has been jettisoned into deep space. I’m given to understand that it is the reason there is no longer life on Mars.
6. Hang out with my family, which is fortunate, because with two young kids, that’s about all there is time for when I’m not working! But, I’m also an avid reader, big sports fan, and gym rat. At some point, I’d love to tithe my inner geek and get back into role playing games, which is a hobby I haven’t had time to partake in for many years.

6. Do you hear from your readers much? What kind of things do they say?

Mostly, they want to know how such a ruggedly handsome apex of masculinity can be so clever and loquacious, as it hardly seems fair to the rest of the humans.

Well, no, that’s not true. Really, they want to know why I’m such a wordy rambler and why I can’t just hurry up and get to the point, and why my nose is so disproportionately large.

Okay, so, that’s only partially true. Truth be told, I have been overwhelmed by the supportive comments and constructive feedback I’ve received from people who have read The Camelot Shadow, especially people who are active on Goodreads. I’ve said this to more than one person, and I’ll continue to say it—there are a billion amazing books in the world, so it’s incredibly humbling when someone spends some precious reading time reading something you wrote. I feel so fortunate to have found such a passionate and engaged audience, especially as an indie author. 

7. As a child what did you want to do when you grew up? 

I was in kindergarten, I was obsessed with dinosaurs, so I wanted to be an archeologist. When I was 8, I wanted to be a Ghostbuster (still do, actually, though apparently it’s not an actual profession, which I find both disappointing and ridiculous). When I was a freshman in high school, I wanted to be a forest ranger. By the end of high school, I wanted to be a writer. And now I work in legal marketing. Life is weird.

 8. Is there going to be a sequel?

When I initially set out to write The Camelot Shadow, I conceived it as a stand-alone tale. As I wrote, however, I became so enamored of the characters and the world that I started noodling on ideas for a sequel. I decided not to do one as a matter of course, but only if I came up with a good idea that offered a legitimate reason to continue the tale, as I think the story concludes in a way that doesn’t leave any loose ends. I have, however, hit upon an idea that I think would be a lot of fun for a sequel, so I’m in the outline phase now. 

 9. Just a little different for a mix up, what is your favorite movie?

Bar none, the greatest movie ever made is Ghostbusters. I’ll brook no debate on this point because any dissenting opinion or contrarian view is factually incorrect. As a writer, what I’ve taken away most from Ghostbusters is the tremendous value of chemistry between characters in an ensemble cast. Alfred Fitzwilliam is nominally the hero of The Camelot Shadow, but there are several characters who get as much ink as he does, and I tried to do each of them justice and give them the spotlight in a way that made them shine, just as Messrs. Ramis (RIP) and Aykroyd did in scripting Ghostbusters. I won’t pretend that I succeeded in any way that approximates what they achieved, but it’s a heck of a good template to work from, and will forever be my gold standard. 

 10. What are your favorite genres? 

I’m a fairly omnivorous reader, but I tend to read a lot of historical fiction, fantasy, classics, and history. I gave alien smut a shot one time, but decided once was enough. Or perhaps one time too many.

 11. What influenced you to write this book?

One of the first chapter books I ever read was a ripping yarn about King Arthur and his knights (basically a simplified retelling of pieces of Le Morte d’Arthur), and I’ve loved Arthurian lore ever since. I’ve also had a thing for Victorian supernatural and adventure tales since I discovered Dracula in second grade and Sherlock Holmes soon thereafter. My love for fantasy tales grew exponentially in high school, and my love for legitimate Victorian lit blossomed further in college. As I was drifting off to sleep one night, I envisioned the opening scene of Chapter 1, where Alfred sits pensively in his library. I had to know why he looked so thoughtful, so melancholy, and what was going on in the world around him, so I started probing the depths of my imagination. There, I found the answers I sought, all of which were shaped by the tales and genres that I’ve grown to love over the years. I didn’t want to leave anything out, so I basically just mashed them all together and, voila—instant story (one that only took about 7 years to get out to the public).



https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1291029717               4 STARS

I was given a copy of this book by the author for an honest review.

OMG! This book was so sad. Hmmm, maybe I shouldn't have started off with that :) The sad things are the people that die and the fact that Alfred is looking to cure his wife Ellen. Poor man almost drinks himself to death.

An evil man named Nigel and somewhat normal people come to Alfred saying his wife can be cured if he helps them find Excalibur. Yep, that's what I said. They say it has the healing abilities to cure his wife, so even though Alfred is skeptical, he is on this crusade like a dog with a bone!

Some of my favorite characters were Trusty John, Will and Stephen.

I loved the atmosphere of the book, all of the background the author put into the book. I felt like I was in Alfred's library at times or outside looking in from the beautiful grounds that I imagined.

There were even some undead in the book :) I thought that was a really good edition to the story. Ok, I have to add a **SPOILER** Especially when Trusty John kills one of the bad guys and remarks he guesses he will have to kill him again when he gets brought back as a zombie and has to fight him all over again. :)

The Epilogue is both comical and sad at the same time. I hope Alfred gets better.

The story is very rich in history of Camelot or more so Arthur, Merlin and the gang. I enjoyed it and I look forward to any more books from this author!