Review- Greywalker

I am going to try and make it through this review without gushing all over the place.  That's going to be a bit of a challenge considering I'm ready to erect shrines in honor of Kat Richardson and her brilliance. Oh wait,  I'm not suppose to gush...whoops.   Needless to say, this novel had its hooks in me from the very first page and thankfully never let go.  

The plot begins with our heroine, Harper Blaine, fending off an attacker and barely coming away with her life.  Actually, she dies for 2 minutes and this story is all about the costs of her non-death.  Harper, discovers she is now very aware of an in-between world called the "grey" which is all around her, and completely un-avoidable.  

The story line is a slow-burn; in a good way.  This natural ebb and flow makes all the events and character introductions so damn believable.  I have no doubt that a private investigator's life would mirror Harper's.

Harper Blaine is an original, well thought-out narrator.  She's vulnerable and caring, and downright believable.  Her character makes statements so profound I realize, only after reading them, that I feel the same way.
"No matter how much of it I've seen, other people's grief leaves me feeling embarrassed, as if I've peeked through their bedroom windows."
The "grey" is an imaginative realm where ghosts are non-corporeal, but have memories and motive. The world is always around us, but we're just not adept to seeing it.  The descriptions of the "grey" makes me wonder if Richardson is a physics-lover; researching string theory and borrowing ideas from it.  Additionally, each character is crafted with precision and purpose, and my hope is that every character will have a role in Harper's future stories.  

Greywalker was the best writing I've come across in a long time. I can't wait for more.

5 stars

Teaser Tuesday

 KMM always delights us with a new snippet each month, keeping us all anxiously awaiting the release of Shadowfever, the final installment of the Fever series.  I found this month's excerpt especially teasing.  

(I have my theories about this...wanna geek out?!  comment or email me)

“I heard Cruce hated the king, wanted his concubine, and cursed the Silvers to keep the king away from her, that he planned to take the king’s woman, and all the worlds inside the Silvers for himself,” I said.

V’lane shook his head, golden hair shimmering in the sun. “It was not so simple. Things rarely are. To use a human word, Cruce loved the king, first and above all.  The creator of the Unseelie is a being of unbearable perfection.  If he is indeed Fae, he is from the most ancient, most pure line that ever existed. Some say he is The Father of All. Some say he had outlived hundreds of queens before the time of the queen he slew. Many of the forms he can take are beyond even Fae ability to absorb. He has been described as having enormous black wings that can enfold the entire Unseelie Court.”

I shivered. I’d seen the hint of those wings in the White Mansion. I’d felt the concubine’s awareness of them, had empathically shared her fascination with their feathery touch on her naked skin. “I thought the queen was the most powerful of your race.”

“The queen is heir to the magic of our people. It is a different thing. That magic has never accepted a male of The True Race, although…”

“Although what?”

He gave me a sideways look from beneath his lids. “I tell you too many things.” He sighed. “And enjoy it too much. It has been a long time since I knew another worthy of confidences. There is an ancient myth that should all the contenders for the matriarchal throne be no more, the magic would likely gravitate toward the most dominant male of our race. Some say our rulers are your Janus head, your yin and yang: the king is the strength of our people, the queen is wisdom. Strength draws from brute force, wisdom draws from true power.  In harmony, the king and queen lead a united court.  Opposed, we war.  We have been opposed since the day the king killed the queen.”

“But other queens came along. Couldn’t the king make peace?”               

“He did not try. Again, he abandoned his children. Upon finding his concubine dead,
through his act of atonement, he did what he had sworn never to do. By pouring all his dark knowledge into the pages of an ensorcelled tome, he inadvertently created his most powerful “child” yet. Then he vanished.  It is rumored among Seelie and Unseelie alike that he has been trying to—as you humans would say about a lame horse—put it down ever since.  The Hunter you saw the other night was allegedly the kings’ own for hundreds of thousands of years. It carried him from world to world, hunting his nemesis. The king, like any Fae, loves nothing so much as his own existence. As long as the Book is free, he knows no peace. I suspect if his Hunter is here in your city, the king is, too.”

I gasped. “In Dublin?”

V’lane nodded.

“In human form?”

“Who could say?  There is no predicting one such as he.”


Review- Stray

There are a few series out there that I have yet to start, and Rachel Vincent's Shifter series was one of them.  I'm not sure if it was the book covers that deterred me, or if I was being swayed by the mixed reviews out there. But this week I decided that it was time for me to decide for myself, and I can see where all the difference of opinions are coming from.

Faythe is forced to leave college and come home after her family discovers there's a murderous stray who seems to be targeting female cats.  See, there are only 8 female werecats in the United States, so each is fiercely protected, and highly sought after.  Upon her arrival home Faythe must face everything she's been avoiding so carefully, including her place in the pride, and her ex-fiance.

Faythe's character is one-dimensional. She comes off spoiled and selfish, just like a princess should, but doesn't show any depth by being funny or snarky.  And she refers to her father as "daddy" throughout the entire book; that was slightly annoying for reasons I can't put my finger on.  I'm hoping that she's made to act this way because over the next 4 books Faythe's character grows up, in-turn gaining perspective and personality.

The first 200 pages of the story takes place in a singular location;the family home.  There are many great 1 setting stories out there -The Breakfast Club, Saw- sadly this is not one of them.  In my opinion, the choice of setting slightly staled the progress.  But, it did help the huge twist seem that much more shocking; maybe that was the point all along.  Maybe the jokes on me.  

From here the story turned incredibly suspenseful and I couldn't put it down.  The addition of some brutally mundane scenes kept the suspense dial turned high for the end of the book. I kept thinking, "there must be a reason for this scene.  Something is going to happen any second." It definitely kept me on the edge of my seat. 

Like I said, I can see where the mixed reviews are coming from, but I think the characters warrant another look.  I will definitely be reading Vincent's next book Rouge.

3 out of 5 


What to do, What to do...

I consider myself a pretty loving wife.  Hubs and I have been together for 7 years and we share most of the same interests, except for 1 (or 100, but that's for another story) MadMax.  As a boy who grew up in a tiny village in Ireland he was constantly outdoors doing boy things, only to return when the night was pitch black.  So of course he loved MadMax. To this day, I'm tortured anytime MadMax is re-run for the millionth time on TV.  Here's where we get to the wife guilt.  I just came across Wasteland Weekend, a MadMax re-enactment of sorts in the Southern California desert and my fear now is, if I tell him about it he might actually want to go.  Now, I'm a sci-fi loving girl like any other, but "re-enactment" is not something I want on my cred sheet.

Now what's a girl to do?!


Review- Pure Blood

It's been a few months since Luna's adventures in Night Life.   Remember, her cousin has moved out, she's been outed as a Were to her fellow law officers, and Dimitri has been ordered away after being infected with a demon's bite.   Luna is pretty low. She comes back to work only to be assigned a new partner who she can't stand and a new captain who can't stand Luna.  Luna is restricted to "low-hanging fruit" type cases, but her first OD turns into something much more than what it seems.

The fact that Luna's first case back develops into a citywide war is slightly cliche, but I can accept it.  The story was well paced and only digressesd slightly.  CK's writing is the biggest improvement in my opinion.  I had a better understanding of our character's decisions and the needless outbreaks (my earlier grumble) are relatively non-existent. 

Luna's character is a lot different from the last book.  She's more vulnerable, and was even funny at times.  She's still fighting for everything tooth and nail, but it just came off much more believable, approachable this time around.  Throughout the story, I sympathized more for Luna.  She finally became a narrator that I want to care about.

Dimitri is still making decisions unlike any male I've ever read before, but I'm chalking it up to the Were in him. After all, what do I know about being a Were?

A few of the minor characters from the first book popped up throughout the story which gave it a sense of familiarity. But most of the new characters didn't really have an effect on me, except for the introduction of Luna's "maker" Joshua.  I hope that he shows his sorry face again soon.

Overall, I liked this book and I'm looking forward to the next in the series.

3 out of 5

Inquiring minds want to know...

 In case you couldn't tell, I'm a pervious psych-major who still finds the depths of the human subconscious, one of my favorite places to explore.  And what I want to know is:

How much can your current mood, everyday life, stress etc. effect what you're reading?

I'm currently reading Pure Blood by Caitlin Kittredge and yesterday I was having a bit of a rough afternoon. The heroine/narrator was also going through some pretty heavy things and I found myself all of a sudden much more into the book than I was earlier that day.  The book is an ok read, but I found myself almost in tears at one point thinking, "It'll be ok Luna.  You don't need those people anyway!"  LOL!  

So I wanna hear from you.  When was the last time (if ever) a book took on more than what it should have based on outside factors?


An Award

Here's how this award works:
1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you this award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Pass the award along to 15 bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic for whatever reason! (In no particular order...)
4. Contact the bloggers you've picked and let them know about the award.

*Thanks to Melissa of Books and Things

7 Things about Me...
I am a trained chef
I have 7 sisters
I hate watching sports on Television
London is my favorite vacation destination
I could eat Indian food every. single. day.
I LOVE live shows, If I could go to a gig every night I would.
When I was little I had a horse whom I named Dolly Parton 

I pass this award to: (im only doing 10 b/c I'm just soo new)
Books and Things (i know that listing Melissa again is actually cheating, but it's my award)

Review- On the Edge

Some books you just have to accept for what they are.  On the Edge is a romance novel.  And I'm not really into romance novels.  Don't get me wrong I love a little "action", need a little "action" ,but straight up romance novel plots are usually pretty weak, and characters declare true love entirely too fast.  So, even though I purchased this book under the impression that is was an urban fantasy I have to come to terms with the fact that is a romance novel in disguise.

Rose Drayton and her two younger brothers live in a world called the Edge, a place situated between 2 realms, the Weird and the Broken.  The Broken is meant to be the world as you and I know it, where Magic doesn't exist and people shop at Wal Mart.  The Weird is the world you read about in fairytales.  A place where aristocracy reigns supreme and bluebloods are muscle-clad with piercing eyes and shoulder length wavy hair.   The world in which Rose lives in is confusing.  It is an anarchic society, where matters are handled with fists and double-cross. And people are merely surviving.  

Rose has a special gift that no other "edger" can perform and she has had to isolate herself in order to survive. So when a blueblood from the Weird named Declean shows up on her lawn, she assumes he wants her for her power like everyone else.  From here our story falls in line with a basic romance novel plot. 

Rose's two younger brothers are the highlight of the story.  Georgie, is a bleeding heart who can raise anything from the dead, and does often.  In order to keep these creatures alive he is giving up a small part of himself each time and is becoming sick because of it.  Jack is the youngest and can change into a lynx.  He is a free spirit who wants to run free. 
Each character is unique and lovable.

The writing is solid and the book is good.  

3 out of 5


Review- Monster

Honestly, I bought Monster because I thought the cover was pretty bad-ass, and I'm really into yellow lately.   For whatever reason, I was not aware of A. Lee Martinez nor any of his stories.  I sat down to start this book and 15 pages in I'm laughing my ass off, and saying "This is gonna be gooood"  So I'm wondering, am I the last person to find this amazing author?  But, I was reassured that "No... There's a guy in Quebec who is still holding out."  

Enter a world, where magic exists but humans are just too dumb to remember it, or sometimes can't even see it right in front of them.  A set of circumstances involving a Yetti, a supermarket, and the frozen foods isle put Monster, a Cryptobiological Rescuer, and Judy, a down-on-her-luck supermarket employee, on the same path.  

For a guy named Monster, he sure is a pansy.  He gets beat up by at least 3 girls I can remember, and complains about how bad a punch hurts when he does throw one.  His girlfriend is a demon who runs his life and completely belittles him, and he wont do a thing to change it.  I must say, I found his character refreshing and hilarious.  Often in fantasy stories "the guy" always puts our heroine first, thinks only of others, and never falters.  I liked watching what can happen when you take all of that away. Favorite Monster quote:
"Let me guess. Her name is Charity. Or Chastity. Or Modesty. Still can't figure out why angels all have stripper names."

Judy has been plagued with bad luck her whole life. So much so that she finds herself the family outcast, without friends, working at a job she hates.  She quickly becomes part of something she can't possibly explain.  Again, Judy's character is different than most leading ladies.  She's basically given up on life and is slightly depressing.  (but since I know how this story ends I think she is a symbol of hope)

For such a twisted tale, I laughed out loud A LOT.  One minute Monster's girlfriend is getting completely turned on remembering how she tortured some little kids.  And the next minute Judy comes off like a complete nut job writing reminders on her body so she wont forget what she's seen.
"Magic. Is. Real." She tapped her temple. "And I don't care if there is something wrong with my brain - this time, I'm going to remember."
The story is a cross between Hell-boy and Beetlejuice, and a breath of fresh air.  Have a case of series-itis?  Go forth and read Monster and call me in the morning.

4.5 out of 5

In The Blogs

Happy Friday!
Get caught up...



Review- Succubus Blues

In honor of the reprint of the Georgina Kincaid series, I figured it was time for me to finally read Succubus Blues. I bought the book nearly a year ago, if you can believe it, but there was always something else that I was told I “just have to read” and never enough time.  After finishing the book, I’m left with regret….for waiting so long to start this entertaining series!

Georgina Kincaid lives in Seattle, works at a bookstore, and oh yeah she’s a succubus.  The purpose of her existence is to lure men and “suck” parts of their soul away, but she’s not happy about it.  She’s the only succubus with a conscience.  I knew it would be easy to connect with Kincaid’s character the minute I learned about her quirky reading habits, and saw that she has a crush on *secretly stalksher favorite author, Seth Mortensen.  Meade made it easy to forget that Georgina is technically evil and works for a demon.

“I only read 5 pages a day.”
“…because it’s so good, and because there’s only one chance to read a book for the first time, and I want it to last. That experience. I'd finish it in a day otherwise, and that'd be like...like eating a carton of ice cream in one sitting.”

I quickly liked Seth’s character.  He wears vintage tees, has that scruffy facial hair thing, is shy and caring, and smart.  He comes off tender without being oversensitive.  But he’s not the only guy in town seeking Georgina’s attention. 

Rowan is the typical gorgeous, smooth-talker, with piercing eyes kind of guy.  He says all the right things to entertain our heroine, which is the problem.  She only “sucks” from guys that have low moral character.  She wouldn’t take from anyone she actually cared about.  And she is beginning to care about both these men in her life.

Georgina’s friends are demon, angel, and vampire alike. Each character has unique neurosis, and add some humor to the story.  And when someone in town starts killing off immortals she’s in contact with, she fears for the safety of her friends both mortal and not. 

This was a quick, easy, and delicious read (of the adult persuasion).
4 out of 5



I don't know why, but I can't get into Red Hot Fury.  I've picked it up twice now and have put it down twice. I apologize and hope that I'll be able to get back to it soon.

Giveaway: Signed copy of Double Cross

To commemorate our first "Virtual Book Club" on Sept 3rd, where we'll be discussing Mind Games by Carolyn Crane, I'll be giving away a signed copy of her much-anticipated next novel Double Cross.  

If you haven't had a chance to read Mind Games yet, do!  Because to be entered to win you must stop by on Sept 3rd and comment with me.  Each comment gains an entry.  

Hope to see you there!

*This is not an ARC, but your signed copy may arrive slightly before its release Sept. 28th. This contest is limited to the US.


Behind the pen...

I find the psyche of an artist captivating, and an author is no different. I'm convinced that an artist's brain operates just a little different, "all the colors of the rainbow" and all that adage.  

I follow author Shiloh Walker on twitter and found a recent tweet of hers, pronouncing that she had just trashed her wip and is starting all over again, interesting enough for me to email her.  The analytical part of brain screamed, "Surely you can make it work!  Don't just throw all that work away."  (see different O/S)  Here's what commenced...

Email out:
What does it take for you to trash something you've work so hard on?  I mean let's say you have a 100 page WIP vs 20 page WIP  and you decide you don't like it;  would they both get tossed or would you try to work with the 100 page WIP b/c you've put so much more into it?  I mean, as an artist once you've decided against something is that it no matter what?  And how do you truly start over, how do you not let your old ideas get in the way of your fresh start? I'm not a writer so maybe it's like trying to explain to a child how to perform brain surgery, but as an avid reader I'm very intrigued.
Email in:
Eh, sometimes a story just isn't the going the way it needs to go and basically, the only way to get over it is trash it.
Think of it like cooking, maybe.  You're baking a cake and realized you accidentally threw in salt instead of sugar and even though you spent all afternoon working on it, if you want it to turn out right, the only choice you have is to dump it.
some of the idea might still be usable, but right now I'm too frustrated with it to even try.
It happens.  With some of us more than others, but eh...there ya go.  O.o  As to the page count-it doesn't really matter, if I realize I'm stuck and the only chance to fix it is a fresh start, then I'll dump it all.  I've trashed a 200 page wip without batting an eye lash-sometimes it's just the only way to go. 

Review- Magic Burns

After finishing Magic Bites, I became a tad bit obsessed.  Stalking the web and IA site for short stories, behind the scene info, anything that I could get my hands on to stay enveloped in Ilona Andrew's fantasy version of Atlanta, Georgia.  I started Burns three seconds after I finished Bites, and I think this follow up has added fuel to the fire. 

We're back in Atlanta 3 months after our last story ended.  And I don't think I like that events have happened that I don't know about.  It lends interest sure, but I feel a little gypped; like I've missed out on so much.  This time around Kate Daniels is hired by her favorite pack leader, Curran, to retrieve a set of maps that were stolen and quickly discovers that there is much more afoot than simply the stolen maps. 

The plot was solid, even if at times I had to remind myself of Kate's true objectives, but the characters remain the golden ticket in this series.   A couple of new characters are added in this book and they each fit easily into the story.  

Bran is probably my favorite new character.  He's an errand boy of sorts for a God who is looking to enter earth due to the recent spike of magic surges.  He pushes all the right buttons of our heroine and even though he's technically on the other side you often wonder what he's up to throughout the story.  

There was a subtle undertone that everyone is ruled by someone or something that I found thought-provoking.  I think it's interesting to push at character's vulnerabilities, because in life every decision is influenced by something.

This sequel was not a Godfather II, but I am looking forward to the next in this series.

4 out of 5 stars


Virtual Book Club-Mind Games

 I'm so excited to recommend Carolyn Crane's Mind Games for this month's virtual book club.  

"Mind Games follows the adventures of Justine Jones, a hopeless hypochondriac who longs to be normal. Instead, she is recruited to join a psychological hit squad in a city terrorized by criminals with strange powers…only to fall for her most dangerous target! " -goodreads

Carolyn has been kind enough to supply us with some great discussion questions that should really get the conversation going.  I will post the questions Friday, Sept 3rd at 9am (pst) and the discussion can go on all day.  Join at your convenience, I can't wait to see what you have to say.

*also, by joining in on the conversation you'll be entered in for a chance to win an autographed copy of Double Cross (US only)


Review- Magic Bites

How much am I in love with Ilona Andrew's Kate Daniels series?  It's taking every ounce of strength I have not to start on the next book right away and write this review instead.  Daniels and her cast of quirky characters have a new fan....ME!

Kate Daniels is an Order drop-out turned mercenary for hire.  After discovering her mentor and father-figure,Greg Feldman, was murdered she is determined to catch/kill the person responsible.  She is thrown into a world that consists of vampires who are not pretty, shapeshifters who are ruled by a merciless King, and Zombies hunting for their next victim.   

Imagery can be hard to accomplish for me, but that wasn't the case here.  Ilona Andrews has created a world so rich in imagination that it felt like I was watching a shiny, new Sci-Fi film.  Kate's Atlanta is an almost post apocalyptic world (although we're never told about this world's doomsday) where technology and magic are constantly battling for control.  I thought it was hilarious that one minute they're using futuristic methods to solve crime and the next they're riding horses around because cars wont work.

Kate Daniels is a rare narrator.  She's smart and funny, and shows confidence while being vulnerable, giving her such human characteristics I had to remind myself that she's not real.  
"I knew what he meant. He was describing that moment when you realize that you are lonely.  For a time you can be alone and doing fine and never give a thought to living any other way and then you meet someone and suddenly you become lonely.  It stabs at you, almost like a physical pain, and you feel both deprived and angry, deprived because you wish to be with that person and angry, because their absence brings you misery."
Throughout the story we're introduced to a slew of unique characters.  Often with me, the addition of too many characters can weigh down a story, but Andrews must have some magic spell that makes her immune to this problem, because each new character that popped up pushed the story further instead of holding it back.  

I thoroughly enjoyed every page of this book.  It is visionary without being confusing.  It has unforgettable characters.   And my only complaint... it wasn't long enough.  

4.5 out of 5

Happy Friday the 13th

Get caught up...


Guest Review- Unholy Magic

Ok, so since I had already devoured the Downside Trilogy by the time I started this site I ask my friend Carrie if she would write a review and I love her objective approach to my favorite books this year.

In Unholy Magic, Chess Putnam is thrown into yet another mystery in the depths of Downside.  With her recent conquest of the Dreamthief case, Chess finds herself more renowned then she would like among her fellow Church witches. Her new esteem with the Church grants her higher paying Debunker cases-which is always good- but focuses more attention on her then she would like.

Her new case with the church just happens to be with the famed actor
Roger Pyle who has been experiencing a haunting in his newly built mansion. While back on the streets of Downside, the hookers in both Slobag's crew and Bump's crew are being murdered, and once again Chess finds herself in the precarious position between two battling drug lords who both require her assistance. Meanwhile, Chess is trying to keep her relationship with Lex under wraps from Bump and more importantly from Terrible, the man she is falling in love with.

I have to say the plot of the story is thick, and the characters are dark. If you are looking for a happy-go-lucky novel, this is definitely not it. The heroine has a steady addiction to drugs, and cannot function without them. She follows a stream of self destructive behavior that wreaks havoc on her personal life. She continuously denies her affection and growing love for Terrible, while maintaining a sexual relationship with Lex. This sets her on a course for disaster where she ultimately needs both men to resolve both her Debunker case and the Downside Murders.

At heart I usually prefer heroines who are not so self destructive, but the more I read the less I could put these books down. The story moves and flows to it's conclusion as you wait for a bomb to drop and watch as things fall apart for Chess. She is not a soft girl who rolls over, and she fights for everything she can. Additionally, I like the premise of this trilogy as it is a new perspective I have not seen in this genre.

4 out of 5 stars


The greatest Library in Southern California

When I need something to read I go to my local library like everyone else, only my library isn't run by the state and surprisingly only contains Sci-Fi, Urban Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, and Paranormal books.  It's my friend Carrie's library, and I love to just sit and stare, and geek-out any chance I get....which I did last night.

Those shelves are stacked TRIPLE deep people!  See why/how I get so excited?

Think you've got a better library?  Send my your pic and we'll start a competition.

(sorry for the grainy image, my phone doesn't have a flash)

My withdraw...I know; I have issues!

Review- Bitten

To be honest, I am not a big WERE fan; I stopped reading Patricia Brigg’s Mercedes Thompson series after the third book. I never felt comfortable with the idea of women coming off as a subordinate, no matter how tough they tried to be.   But after reading Kelley Armstrong’s Bitten I’ve had a severe change of heart.

Review- Skinwalker

OK let’s just start off by saying, Jane Yellowrock is one of the toughest characters I’ve ever read, a complete bad-ass.  She doesn’t scare easily, doesn’t get distracted, and she never flinches.  And maybe that’s why this book was harder to get into for me.  I like distractions, and I think mistakes build character.  Having said that, I am definitely fascinated by her.

Review- Mind Games

It’s not often that a plot throws me, but the first in the new Disillusionists Trilogy absolutely did. 50 pages deep and I’d already decided that this book would be the typical, girl can do things she never knew she could before & handsome newcomer is willing to show her all that she can be, thrown in with a little sexual tension because she’s technically with someone and Bob’s your uncle.  But that was definitely not the case here!

Review- Night Life

This book is OK, not great.

The character development was pretty lame -esp for the main character- ,and the author’s descriptive writing style left me scratching my head at times.  The way CK relays the story happening around us confused me at times, and that deflated a lot of the scenes.  Like describing a cast circle as a “building” (rather than walls or something) when the characters were battling inside an actual building…I was like what just happened….oh nothing, just another case of trying to over-describe something and in turn just confusing the hell out of me.