Friday, December 31, 2010

Chomping at the Bit: 2011 style

Here are just a handful of upcoming releases for the new year!  I can't wait to get my eyes into these!




Flip This Zombie, the second part of Jesse Petersen's Living with the Dead Series is set to release on January 3rd.  Better get those slaying shoes on!








Larissa Ione is coming out with the first installment in her Lords of Deliverance series: Eternal Rider on March 29th.  I adore her Demonica series so I have high hopes for her future novels!







 
Charlaine Harris is at it again!  Her eleventh book of the Southern Vampire Series, Dead Reckoning, is slated to hit shelves on May 3rd.  I am excited to see what mayhem Sookie will be stuck in next.









Karen Marie Moning will be wrapping up her five part Fever Series on January 18th with Shadowfever.  I am currently reading the fourth novel, Dreamfever.  Spectacular is what immediately comes to mind!










And of course, JR Ward is coming out with another Black Dagger Brotherhood novel: Payne's story, Lover Unleashed, on March 29th.






What novels are you aching to sink your teeth into?

~Helena

Wishing you a Vampy New Years

San Francisco, the city of Rice-A-Roni, is boasting a vampire tour tonight!  Tickets can be purchased here.


Blurb taken directly from webpage:

"Join us on this exciting tour on New Year's Eve for an experience you will never forget! You might call it, "History with a Twist." San Francisco's Nob Hill has holds many secrets of the night! Discover the mysteries from an exotic 127-year old Vampire who tells tales of Grace Cathedral.
For over 100 years, the upper class Nob Hill area has been home to San Francisco's rich and famous citizens. Mighty railroad barons built their mansions atop the hills. Some of the cities finest hotels and restaurants are there today.
But beneath all this wealth and opulence lies a secret: vampires live in tunnels below here. That's according to an exotic 127-year-old vampire who sleeps during the day in Grace Cathedral. Our Vampire is the main character and guide of the tour as you learn the darker side of San Francisco's Nob Hill."

Sounds like an interesting unique way to ring in the new year!

~Helena

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Recommendsday Review - Hollowland by Amanda Hocking


Today's Recommendsday review is Hollowland by Amanda Hocking.


I came across this gem when searching for cheap books for my Nook.  Hollowland promised zombies, romance, and plenty of action; I was hooked at "zomb-".  The price is crazy affordable, just 99 cents more than free; and nestled nicely into my college student budget.  Hocking is a very talented author who boasts many ebooks for the Kindle and Nook.  Along with a love for paranormal romance, Hocking and I are mere months apart in age.  That's right, Amanda Hocking is 26!  I am in awe of all she has accomplished in less than a year (according to her blog) and her success is very inspiring.  Now onward to my review!

Remy is on a mission in zombie infested waters.  After a horrific invasion of her compound by zombies, Remy's little brother is whisked away to another installation miles away.  Remy is desperate to find her brother and desperate times call for desperate zombie ass-kicking moves.  (Yes I just morphed two cliched phrases within a few sentences...envy my brainwaves).  Teamed up with a spoiled tween girl, Harlow, a rockstar, Lazlo, and a medical student, Blue; Remy fights her way toward her goal.  Humor and sarcasm pepper the nailbiting action.  I devoured this book in two sittings, only stopping for that pesky responsibility known as classwork.

The character development is superb.  I absolutely loved Remy with all her fire and determination.  Rip roaring action is around every page.  Speaking of roaring, did I mention there is a zombie eating lion?!  I didn't, well hot dog!  I think I about busted a gut when Ripley first entered the fray.  Honestly, in a nut shell, I completely adored this book.  My only misgiving is the ending; it seems very abrupt and left me wanting more closure with the characters.  I am hoping that means a sequel is on its way...fingers crossed! :)


Rating: 5/5

~Helena

Just because...

I was rummaging through my laptop and came across a season 3 true blood promotional poster.  I smiled.  I felt all warm and fuzzy.  I heard the blood in my veins sing...then I posted. :)

~Helena

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Book By Its Cover - Waking the Witch

Today's book by its cover review is Waking the Witch by Kelley Armstrong.


Synopsis:

At twenty-one, Savannah Levine-orphaned daughter of a notorious dark witch and an equally notorious cutthroat sorcerer-considers herself a full-fledged member of the otherworld. The once rebellious teen has grown into a six-foot-tall, motorcycle-riding jaw-dropper, with an impressive knowledge of and ability to perform spells. The only problem is, she's having a hard time convincing her adoptive parents, Paige and Lucas, to take her seriously as an adult. She's working as the research assistant at the detective agency they founded, and when they take off on a romantic vacation alone, leaving her in charge, Savannah finds herself itching for a case to call her own. (She's also itching for Adam, her longtime friend and colleague, to see her as more than just a little girl, but that's another matter.)

Suddenly, Savannah gets the chance she's been waiting for: Recruited by another supernatural detective, she travels to Columbus, Washington, a small, dying town. Two troubled young women have been found in an abandoned warehouse, murdered. Now a third woman's dead, and on closer inspection small details point to darker forces at play. Savannah feels certain she can handle the case, but with signs of supernatural activity appearing at every turn, things quickly become more serious- and far more dangerous-than she realizes.

Helena's Thoughts:

LOVE this cover.  I find myself drawn to the blue/green urban covers most, purple power color second, ha.  Storm clouds seem to gather energy from the radiating model, or vice versa...regardless she seems connected to nature in a raw way that is highly appealing.  Bad ass motorcycle - check!  Bad ass shoes - check!  Lack of typical black leather cladness - check!  Yay, finally a heroine that looks freaking awesome and formidable in a pair of jeans and a wife beater.  The tree in the background is pretty sweet too.  I adore this cover if you haven't caught on to that yet!  Stellar job Armstrong!

Lily's Thoughts:

(Yea Lily, I decided to post this without you.  Bite me! ;p  I misses you)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happy Holidays!


(you can buy this wonderful creation here)

~Helena

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Public Service Announcement

For those who still have trouble distinguishing one type of zombie from another, a chart:



I don't know who submitted this, but I am grateful.

Happy Holidays!
~Lily

Friday, December 17, 2010

Review - Married with Zombies by Jesse Petersen

Does your marriage need help?  How about a few counseling sessions with a certified therapist...how bout one that has been zombified?  Ok, how about just zombies in general?  Meet Sarah and David, a busy couple in Seattle, who embark on their now routine marriage counseling session; only today proves to be far from a routine day.  It all starts when they walk into their appointment to find their therapist eating the previously scheduled couple.  Yes...eating them; thus starts the first installment in Jesse Petersen's Living with the Dead series, the delightful Married with Zombies.

Petersen weaves a tale of adventure and pure terror in the face of a zombie apocalypse.  Snarky comments kept me rolling through every chapter.  The characters were perfect.  I connected completely with Sarah and David.  Found myself on edge during every zombie fight, sighing with relief every time they had two seconds of breathing room, and even shedding a couple tears.  This is a rip roaring comedy that will keep you flipping the pages all night.  You may even find yourself wondering if your own relationships might benefit from a little zombie therapy ;p  If you have even a slight enjoyment of zombies and a good laugh, make sure to start in on this series.  You will not be disappointed. :)

Rating: 5/5

Flip This Zombie, the second book, will be available in January 2011!  Make sure to check it out.  First chapter is posted here for your viewing pleasure.  Eat, Slay, Love is book three slated for a June 2011 release.

~Helena

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Review - The Frenzy by Francesca Lia Block


Francesca Lia Block's novel 'The Frenzy' features a green-eyed redhead who has a secret even she does not fully comprehend.   Olivia is a werewolf with all the issues of a normal teen taken to the extreme.  The town and family that Olivia grows up in is extremely close minded.  As a result, she feels compelled to hide her interracial relationship, her best friend's sexual orientation, and obviously her "little" moon induced hair problem.  

Block has the beginnings of a wonderful idea; however, the execution fell a tad short.  The character development is sub par.  I had a hard time relating to any of the characters; so much so, that even in the face of complete tragedy I did not feel for those involved.  Simply put, this story is way too short.  Block wove a very detailed action packed plot with many powerful messages; however, those are all lost when connection with characters doesn't occur.  Many times, we are told how the characters have to hide who they are because of the town's ideals; however, there are not many times where we are shown how the town reacts in situations.  The same goes for the characters, we are told through Olivia's words how the people look, how they think, etc but we are never really shown it through enough character and scene interactions.

The premise behind Olivia's curse is a novel one and definitely refreshing.  The way all the characters intertwine is also neat; however, I feel like this story is more of an outline lacking complete detail and fleshing out.  I missed dialogue and more explanations of actions.  I was left feeling like the woods and the other werewolves were never really explained completely.  Most characters only had one side, and presenting more viewpoints would have helped the storyline and character connections.

Sadly I feel that Block missed the boat on this story.  I have heard good things about her other novels, so I suggest picking one of those up instead.  Great outline and plot sequence, just lacks important details.

Rating: 2/5

~Helena

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Are You Ready?

The new cover for upcoming Black Dagger Brotherhood release Lover Unleashed has been announced. And yes, it is pretty.


RAWR!



Bring ON the release date!
~Lily

Monday, October 4, 2010

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Ideal Paranormal Pet

So, I am currently studying for a neurology test (ugh, I know), and I came across the cutest picture ever.  Since we tend to run random cat pictures every once in a while I figured this one fit the bill.  This is a syndrome that causes cyclopia and ain't the lil bugger all kinds of cute?  I want one!  Too bad they are always still born or quickly die, well I guess not bad for the kitten, it would be really messed up medically and otherwise if it did live.  Please don't do your job one time Mother Nature so I can have the coolest "paranormal" kitty on the block.

Note: yes, I realize this is insensitive...but you can't deny its cuteness factor.

~Helena

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Renesmee Cast for Breaking Dawn

It seems the powers that be at Summit Entertainment have cast the half-human, half-vampire crotch dropping offspring of Twilight's Bella and Edward for the final films. 9 year old actress Mackenzie Foy, who looks so angelic she appears otherworldly, will join the cast of Breaking Dawn as Renesmee Cullen. There's been no word yet on how Foy will portray the supernatural Renesmee, who ages at an accelerated rate.



Is it just me, or does she actually look like she could be the progeny of Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson?
Seriously? It's kinda startling.

~Lily

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Goodbye to Jennifer Rardin

Jennifer Rardin, urban fantasy author of the popular Jaz Parks series, passed away unexpectedly September 20, 2010. Our thoughts and condolences go out to Ms Rardin's family and friends. Her unique voice and entertaining characters will be missed in the genre.

The seventh book in the Jaz Parks series will be released this coming November. Ms Rardin completed the final book in the series before her passing, and it will be released in June 2011.

~Lily

Friday, September 24, 2010

Zombie + Unicorn = ....Team Zombicorn!

Zombies or Unicorns, which is the ultimate species on the fast track to stardom?  Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier are on a mission to declare the winner once and for all.  Zombies vs Unicorns, boasts an anthology by many well known authors of paranormal and teen fiction of the present day all vying for their team of choice.

Team Unicorn is headed by Holly Black and includes stories by Meg Cabot, Kathleen Duey, Margo Lanagan, Garth Nix, Naoini Novik, and Diana Peterfreund.  Reviews follow:

We will start this journey with Garth Nix's story "The Highest Justice".  Nix weaves a tale that includes unicorns and gasp...a zombie?!  The unicorn is portrayed as a purveyor of justice for a jilted lover against her cheating spouse.  This is a very short tale that I found to be a nice intro story for the anthology.

Story 2 in favor of the unicorn is "Purity Test" by Naoini Novik.  The old association between unicorns and virgins is as strong as ever, and one such bond is necessary to vanquish an evil baby unicorn stealing wizard.  Sarcasm is star in this story and kept me highly entertained.  Score 1 for Team Unicorn!

Next up is "A Thousand Flowers" by Margo Lanagan.  Many small stories are linked together by a shifting of character focus.  A small character becomes the major in the next scene, etc, etc.  At first, it was hard to follow and piece the bigger point of the story together, it does come full circle at the end.  The implied bestiality was a bit much for me; otherwise, it was a very strange story with the overall theme that true pure love conquers all.

Diana Peterfreund's "The Care and Feeding of Your Baby Killer Unicorn" was fantastic.  The fresh view of unicorns as connoisseurs of raw flesh, animal and human, really makes this story stand out.  Humor and pitfalls face the main character as she accepts her gift of unicorn tamer and raises a killer baby one of her own.  Score 2 for the Team Unicorn!

"Princess Prettypants" by Meg Cabot is next on the unicorn bandwagon.  This story embraces all the traditional views of unicorns as perfumed rainbow huggers and the strong bond that a girl shares with her single horned equid.  As the story unfolds, the main character loses her temper, and not far behind follows her new pet.  Entertaining tale that is worth a few laughs.

Last but definitely not least is Kathleen Duey's "The Third Virgin".  The darker side of these symbols of purity is once again explored.  Unicorns are blessed with the innate ability to heal the sick and dying, but this comes at a price.  Instead of feeding on the flesh of their victims like Peterfreund's tale, this unicorn feeds on their life force.  As every addict, our hooved protagonist begins ingesting more life juice and even goes so far as to kill.  Disgusted with himself, the unicorn travels the world far and wide to find a virgin to which he can confess his sins and seek comfort.  This was my favorite unicorn story followed very closely by the baby killer unicorns.  Score 3 for the Unicorns!

That puts Team Unicorn at 3.  Let's see how the zombies did!

Team Zombie is led by Justine Larbalestier, members include: Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Maureen Johnson, Carrie Ryan, and Scott Westerfeld.  Reviews shuffle on:

First off is Alaya Dawn Johnson's "Love Will Tear Us Apart".  A love story unwinds between a human boy and a partially zombified boy-zombie.  Certain phrases like those comparing the humans smell to mac and cheese made me chuckle.  Despite the obvious opposition to their pairing, the couple runs off to start a new life together.  Score 1 for Team Zombie!

Second in line is "Bougainvillea" from Carrie Ryan.  This story was fantastic.  It jumped back and forth from pre-zombie reminiscing to zombie breach attack of the main character's fortress.  At the end the story comes full circle and ties up very nicely.  Beware, fast moving zombies star in this tale.  Overall this wins as my favorite of the undead stories.  Score 2 my undead friends!

Maureen Johnson's "The Children of the Revolution" is genius.  Very tongue-in-cheek, this tale had me rolling constantly with peals of laughter.  Johnson unveils a new religion where becoming zombie is considered reaching enlightenment.  Stabs at celebrity life and their enthusiastic adoption of foreign children and fad religions prevail.  I am sure many of you will be able to guess exactly who Johnson is poking fun at.  Wonderful story, a very close second favorite of mine.  Score 3 zombies!

Next up is "Inoculata" by Scott Westerfeld.  This tale involves a small compound of adults and teens/kids training intensely for the imminent demise of their fencing and face to face death match with the flesh eating undead.  One character harbors a "mutant" strain of the zombie disease and proceeds to share it with her comrades in an attempt to escape and survive the onslaught.  This story was entertaining.

Cassandra Clare offers "Cold Hands" to this collection for team zombie.  The detailed world building that Clare is known for in her Mortal Instruments series is alive and well even in a short story.  I love her ability to perfectly set a scene.  Characters are accessible and the action plugs along at a steady pace.  The message at the end is intense and powerful.  Zombies are a definite representation of society and social standing within this tale.  Well worth it.  Score 4 for Team Zombie!

This collection of stories ends with Libba Bray's "Prom Night".  All the adults have been infected and removed from the town.  Teens and children have been forced to grow up fast and take over the governing of their society in hopes of survival.  This installment was not one of my favorites, but the ending is gut wrenching and a perfect final scene for the anthology as a whole.

So the tally is in and the winner is....Team Zombie!  When I picked up this collection, I already figured zombies would win out; however, the unicorns did give a great fight.  This is well worth the read!

Rating: 4/5

~Helena

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Book By Its Cover - Sin Undone

Today's book by its cover review is Sin Undone by Larissa Ione.


Synopsis:

HER TOUCH IS DEADLY

As the only female Seminus demon ever born, master assassin Sinead Donnelly is used to being treated like an outcast. She spent decades enslaved, and now vows she'll die before she'll relinquish her freedom again. Then Sin's innate ability to kill her enemies goes awry: She creates a lethal new werewolf virus that sparks a firestorm of panic and violence.

HIS HUNGER CAN'T BE DENIED

Half-werewolf, half-vampire Conall Dearghul is charged with bringing in Sin to face punishment for the plague. And she's no stranger: He's bound to her by blood, and the one sexual encounter they shared has left him hungering for her raw sensuality. Worse, Sin is the underworld's most wanted and Con soon learns he's the only one who can help her . . . and that saving her life might mean sacrificing his own.

Helena's Thoughts:

I love Ione's Demonica series.  As the only known female Seminus demon, Sin's story is bound to pack a punch.  The cover is fairly simple and formula-istic (by now, you know I make up words to suit my thoughts ;p).  Tribal tattoos are bold and of typical placement for this breed of demon.  Black leather is present like every urban fantasy/paranormal romance.  However, the caduceus is completely unique to this series.  Below is a close up...I love the story and ingenuity behind it.  Definitely excited to start reading TODAY! :D


Lily's Thoughts:
 (Hurry back turdface!  I am lonely without you!)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Skip A Starbucks Day


This is Lily, back from my nuptials and hijacking the blog, as I've been known to do every once in a while.

Today is Skip A Starbucks day. What's that? I'm so glad you asked! Skip A Starbucks Day is your opportunity to take the small amount of money you would spend on a personal indulgence, like a piping hot cup of over priced Starbucks coffee, and instead make a very large difference in Someone's life.

I don't mean "someone" in the vague karmic sense of paying it forward and reaping the rewards, I mean "Someone" (or in this case, "Someones") in the literal, tangible sense. The Someone is a friend of mine, a fellow writer and a resident of Nashville, and her family. CJ Redwine and her family are adopting a daughter. They've been waiting for this precious little girl for so long the paperwork has expired, the deadlines have been extended, and the fees have multiplied. Read CJ's personal account at her blog. Now they are in the home stretch, their daughter is waiting for them and all that stands in the way is the final few dollars they need to bring her home.

This is not a standard donation request. Instead, CJ is hosting Skip A Starbucks Day. For a minimum donation of $5, you can be entered to win PRIZES. Lots of prizes. What kind of prizes? Vampires prize packs, Percy Jackson Prize packs, Harry Potter prize packs, ARCs galore, and many MANY more.

Head on over to CJ's blog, make a donation to help bring their little girl home, and in addition to the intrinsic reward of knowing you've done something positive in the world, enter for a chance to win some pretty awesome prizes. Starbucks can't offer even half of that.

~Lily

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Review - End of Days by Max Turner

As previously promised, here is the much anticipated second installment in Max Turner's Nightrunner series, End of Days.  Release date is scheduled for September 28th!

Blurb on back of book:

"While Charlie struggles with his vampirism, he, Zack, and their friends are pulled into a conflict with the mysterious Mr Hyde, a creature who hunts vampires.  As the story unfolds, and the ties between Zack and his girlfriend Luna intensify, the network of support around them collapses, forcing them to redefine their notions of good and evil and find a way forward."

I recently reviewed the first book in the series, Night Runner; and while I enjoyed the notion and premise behind the novel, I still found it lacking in parts, particularly sentence flow.  End of Days fixed all the glitches that previously had me tangled up.  Characters blossomed and gained dimension, the action never let up, and the dialogue and sentence structure variation were huge breaths of fresh air.  In short, I adored this novel...on a longer note, let me begin my review. :)

The story begins when Charlie's party boy personality collides with his new vampire traits at a rave.  Enter hot girls, flashing lights, dancing (much to Zack's dismay), and...a couple of looming black figures hauling butt straight for the boys.  At breaking speeds the boys take off, and so starts their novel's worth of running; honestly I felt like I was falling behind by not flipping the pages any faster, haha.

A few new characters emerge; however, most of the old ones return and return with a vengeance.  We are introduced to Mr. Hyde, a colossal creature, definitely not human but not really vampire either.  Mr Hyde has made it his personal agenda to take out vampires everywhere, naturally Zack can't let that happen under his watch.  The vampires, Zack's crew of teen vamps, and police all band together...and butt heads...while on the search for this mysterious animal.  The action culminates in a tangled web that you just have to read for yourself to fully understand.  There was only one scene during the ending fight sequence where I felt there was a hole or gap within the action.  Huge improvement over the debut novel particularly with flow!

The sarcasm and humor I fell in love with in Nightrunner has a star spot within End of Days as well.  Here is a short list of my favorite lines.
"I hate to break it to you, Edward, but you aren't in Forks anymore"
"Cheese!...Yeah, I'm definitely tagging you on my Facebook page"
"Hell hath no fury like a demented vampire.  I'm sure Shakespeare said that somewhere."
I literally laughed out loud at parts, fell in love with various characters, and rushed to keep up with the fast paced storyline.  I highly enjoyed this installment and would definitely check out future releases within this series.

Rating: 4.5/5

~Helena

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Stephanie Meyers, we're looking at you

Thanks to the delightful folks at Cracked.com, we have traditional monsters, Twilight style.

~Lily

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Book By Its Cover - As Lie the Dead

Today's book by its cover review, Kelly Meding's As Lie the Dead, released June 27th.

Synopsis:

Evangeline Stone, a rogue bounty hunter, never asked for a world divided between darkness and light . . .

. . . or the power to die and live again in someone else’s borrowed body. After a murder plot meant to take her out leaves an entire race of shapeshifters nearly extinct, Evy is gnawed by guilt. So when one of the few survivors of the slaughter enlists her aid, she feels duty-bound to help—even though protecting a frail, pregnant shifter is the last thing Evy needs, especially with the world going to hell around her.

Amid weres, Halfies, gremlins, vamps—and increasingly outgunned humans—a war for supremacy is brewing. With shifters demanding justice, her superiors desperate to control her, and an assassin on her trail, Evy discovers a horrifying conspiracy. And she may be the only person in the world who can stop it—unless, of course, her own side gets her first.


Lily's Thoughts:

(Lily is on her honeymoon this week!)

Helena's Thoughts:

Ahhh!  It is Indiana Jones!

Well I mean the similarity is just too good to pass up lol.  Love the winged thing in its aggressive pose.  The falling sky effect is quite nice as well.  Are they in a tomb or is that an ancient greece/rome backdrop?  Oh holy crap, another cover just caught me off guard...winged thing is crouched on a CAR.  Here I thought it was a craggy bluff with moonlight or a flare or something glaring off it.  Ok really neat, just won some more points in my book :D.  Glowing knife point is a tad much, but goes with the general atmosphere.  Sounds like an interesting read, had me at gremlin actually :)  I am always up for new supernatural experiences!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Review - Night Runner by Max Turner

Night Runner is Max Turner's first novel.  He is quite active with his fans and can be contacted (like everyone and their mom) on facebook.


 Synopsis:

"For Zack Thomson, living in the Nicholls Ward isn't so bad. After his parents died, he developed strange and severe allergies, and the mental institution was the only place where he could be properly looked after. As strange as it was, it was home. He could watch as much television as he wanted; his best friend Charlie visited him often enough; and Nurse Ophelia--the prettiest no-nonsense nurse ever--sometimes took him bowling. Of course, that didn't mean he had it easy. His allergies restricted his diet to strawberry smoothies, and being the only kid at the hospital could get lonely. But it never once crossed Zack's mind to leave...until the night someone crashed through the front doors and told him to run. Now he's on a race for answers--about his past, his parents, and his strange sickness--even as every step takes him closer to the darkest of truths."

I came across this novel while browsing ARCs.  The End of Days, the anticipated second installment in the Night Runner series was available for sign up.  Piercing orange eyes apparently draw me like a moth to a flame, fast forward two days and Night Runner was downloaded to my Kindle and devoured.  Ever since I have been stalking my mailman for the second novel, which came in the mail today!  Expect a review in the next week or so :)

Night Runner is a refreshing addition to the young adult vampire lore of today.  Turner presents a DNA altering virus which converts bitten individuals with debilitated immune systems into creatures of the night.  Creating a degree of diversity, every bloodsucker develops a special unique ability, like shapeshifting, invisibility, scuba diving sans air tank (ability to breathe underwater), etc.


Zack is unaware of who, what, or why he exists.  All he knows is where...the looney bin.  Apparently the only place that can offer a safe haven for people with allergies to the sun and most foods is the crazy house; kind of a stretch, but I can deal with it.  Every day...well night...is the same ol' same ol' until CRASH! BANG! enter old man on motorcycle through the lobby windows and into Zack's life.  And with one phrase uttered from the man's mouth, Zack's life is changed forever "Run...Don't let the cops get you.  He's coming.  Run!".


Eventually Zack does what any sane person from an insane asylum would do...run.  The novel unfolds with a steady level of momentum, revealing bit by bit his true past, the secrets behind his allergies, his parents and the story behind their downfall, and even a dash of teen love with a decent helping of friendship.  Turner sprinkles in one liners chockfull of sarcasm and humor that had me chuckling.  Any novel that actually puts the word "powned" in black and white is a win!


The sentence structure was simple and a bit choppy at parts; however, the plot twists and turns kept me interested.  As mentioned above, the humor pulled me through the rougher spots to a worthy conclusion.  Night Runner is definitely worth looking into.  It is a light and refreshing young adult read that can be finished within a day or two.  Pick up a copy, chat with Turner on facebook, and keep checking back for my review of the End of Days.  The Night Runner series has great potential that I hope with continue through the second installment.


Rating: 3.5/5


~Helena

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Book By Its Cover - Twice Bitten

Today we're judging Twice Bitten: A Chicagoland Vampires Novel by Chloe Neill.

Synopsis:

Shapeshifters from across the country are convening in the Windy City, and as a gesture of peace, Master Vampire Ethan Sullivan has offered their leader a very special bodyguard: Merit, Chicago's newest vampire. Merit is supposed to protect the Alpha, Gabriel Keene-and to spy for the vamps while she's at it. Oh, and luckily Ethan's offering some steamy, one-on-one combat training sessions to help her prepare for the mission. Unfortunately, someone is gunning for Gabriel, and Merit soon finds herself in the line of fire. She'll need all the help she can get to track down the would-be assassin, but everywhere she turns, there are rising tensions between supernaturals-not least between her and a certain green-eyed, centuries-old master vampire.

Helena's Thoughts:

Obviously the whole mysterious warrior woman clad in black leather is nothing new.  Beyond the promise of a couple bad ass chick fighting scenes, this depiction really does not sway my novel choices.  Now the backdrop is another story.  The full moon, the cityscape, the dark alley we are peering out of, and the soft green-yellow glow are all appealing.  The shadows also add a sense of dimension.  oOo and the promise of shapeshifters are all definitely promising elements.  Nicely composed even though I could take or leave the cliche model.

Lily's Thoughts:

[Lily is currently wrapped up in wedding plans.  She will return to everything lovely and vampiric shortly :) ]

Saturday, August 7, 2010

*Rises from Coffin*

Hey y'all...both of our authors took a short hiatus from the blog.  We sincerely apologize.  I was in texas for seven weeks on a veterinary externship.  Had a blast and learned a ton of neat things, honestly I would go back in a heartbeat and I miss it like crazy.  Internet and cable didn't exist in the place we stayed though, so I have been living in a hole.

Lily is busy planning her wedding.  She gets married this weekend in New Orleans.  Wish her all the best!  I can't wait to see how it all turns out.

I will begin the normal posting schedule asap.  Thanks for reading!

~Helena

Saturday, July 17, 2010

In the Name of All that's HOLY?!

This. Just...this. THIS is why I am in favor of selective breeding.



















Any brain dead moron can have a child, but you have to have a license to fish.

A temporary tattoo is not child abuse. Growing up in the hands of a "mother" (see in this case, "incubator") who has 1.) an obvious fixation with a phenomena intended for a far younger age group/maturity level and 2.) thinks it's acceptable, and even cute, to express her own preferences in the form of a mark known by the name "tramp stamp" on her infant daughter may indeed be a foreshadowing of future neglect/poor decision making/bad parenting.

This makes me far angrier than it probably should.

~Lily

Friday, July 16, 2010

Young Adult Friday

Welcome to another Young Adult Friday. Check out these YA paranormal titles, whether you're an adult or a teen.

Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Quincie Morris has never felt more alone. Her parents are dead, and her hybrid-werewolf first love is threatening to embark on a rite of passage that will separate them forever. Then, as she and her uncle are about to unveil their hot vampire-themed restaurant, a brutal murder leaves them scrambling for a chef.

Can Quincie transform their new hire into a culinary Dark Lord before opening night? Can he wow the crowd in his fake fangs, cheap cape, and red contact lenses — or is there more to this earnest face than meets the eye? As human and preternatural forces clash, a deadly love triangle forms, and the line between predator and prey begins to blur. Who's playing whom? And how long can Quincie play along before she loses everything?

~*~*~*~~*~*~*~


Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

There were no surprises in Gatlin County.
We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere.

At least, that's what I thought.
Turns out, I couldn't have been more wrong.
There was a curse.
There was a girl.
And in the end, there was a grave.

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

~Lily

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Recommendsday Review - Neverwhere



Today's Recommendsday novel is Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere.

Synopsis:

Richard Mayhew is a plain man with a good heart - and an ordinary life that is changed forever on a day he stops to help a girl he finds bleeding on a London sidewalk.  From that moment forward he is propelled into a world he never dreamed existed - a dark subculture flourishing in abandoned subway stations and sewer tunnels below the city - a world far stranger and more dangerous than the only one he has ever known...

The Minneapolis Star Tribune hit the nail on the head tagging Neverwhere as "a dark contemporary 'Alice in Wonderland'".  Mayhew starts out as any ordinary Londoner, going about his day to day life and keeping his nose out of everyone else's business.  That all changes when he meets Door, a girl bleeding on the street.  Due to his good nature, Mayhew helps clean Door up and becomes sucked into her world of adventure, danger, and London Below.  Yes, you read that right, London Below...ever ride a metro train and hear the recording "Mind the Gap" repeated ad nausea?  Well what happens if you fail to mind the gap and instead fall down it?  You end up in a world where the rules are all backwards, where earls, angels, bishops, and henchmen gather within the sewers and tunnels....you end up in London Below.

Poor unsuspecting Richard is now stalked by the same hitmen after Door and the only way to get back to the world he knows (London Above), is to go on a quest.  Joining the duo, are a bodyguard/assassin appropriately named Hunter and a slimy twofaced good for nothing (can you tell I despise him?) turdface called the Marquis of Carabas.  Many almost Monte Python-esque trials await the group; however where Python is silly, Neverwhere is just as dark and corrupt.

Characters are well rounded, plot is off like a shot every chapter, and the dialogue flows with no effort on the reader's part.  I had a very hard time putting the book down, even after I finished I contemplated starting all over again.  The world Gaiman weaves is nothing short of amazing.  I even caught myself peering down gaps in the elevator wondering what lay below ;p.

Mind the gaps as you run off for your own copy!

Rating: 5/5

~Helena

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Book By Its Cover - Unchained

Today we'll be reviewing the cover of Sharon Ashwood's new release Unchained, on Book By Its Cover Tuesday here at Vamps R Us.

Synopsis:

Faced with a custody battle for her daughter, monster-killer Ashe Carver has hung up her stakes and taken a job at the public library. But then after centuries guarding a supernatural prison, the dashing Captain Reynard strides into her world. He has only weeks to live unless Ashe finds the thief who took his soul-and he's too drop-dead gorgeous to die...

Helena's Thoughts:

I almost feel like this is an urban hero/graphic novel. The likes of Sin City come to mind in particular, or the Watchmen, as far as typical scenery/world building go. The cover seems almost cold and inaccessible; I don't have that "drawn in" feel. Appeal wise, I am pretty apathetic on this one.

Lily's Thoughts:

I like bikes!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

It's Friggin' Twilight, Yo

Here's a Independence Day gift for you. Twilight...Jersey Shores style!


video

Apparently, the Jersey Shores cast is really good at parodying themselves and anything else in pop culture. For a recent Jimmy Kimmel Live Twilight-themed special, the cast of Jersey Shores pulled out all the stops.

Enjoy!

~Lily

Friday, July 2, 2010

Young Adult Friday

It's Young Adult Friday. Indulge your younger self with these great reads.

A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb

Someone was looking at me, a disturbing sensation if you're dead. Though I could not feel paper between my fingers, smell ink, or taste the tip of a pencil, I could see and hear the world with all the clarity of the Living. They, on the other hand, did not see me as a shadow or a floating vapor. To the Quick, I was empty air. Or so I thought.

In the class of the high school English teacher she has been haunting, Helen feels them: For the first time in 130 years, human eyes are looking at her. They belong to a boy, a boy who has not seemed remarkable until now. And Helen–terrified, but intrigued–is drawn to him. The fact that he is in a body and she is not presents this unlikely couple with their first challenge. But as the lovers struggle to find a way to be together, they begin to discover the secrets of their former lives and of the young
people they come to possess.

~*~*~*~~*~*~*~

Old Magic by Marianne Curley and Jeannie Lee

Jarrod Thornton is mesmerizing, but Kate Warren doesn't know why.

The moment the new guy walks into the room, Kate senses something strange and intense about him. Something supernatural. Her instincts are proven correct a few minutes later when, bullied by his classmates, Jarrod unknowingly conjures up a freak thunderstorm inside their classroom.

Jarrod doesn't believe in the paranormal. When Kate tries to convince him that he has extraordinary powers that need to be harnessed, he only puts up with her "hocus pocus" notions because he finds her captivating. However, the dangerous, uncontrolled strengthening of his gift finally convinces Jarrod that he must take Kate's theories seriously. Together, they embark on a remarkable journey — one which will unravel the mystery that has haunted Jarrod's family for generations and pit the teens against immense forces in a battle to undo the past and reshape the future.

~Lily
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