Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Book By Its Cover - Sin Undone

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



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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


"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


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Book By Its Cover - Twice Bitten

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


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!

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