Give me magic, gadgets, monsters, zombies, everything that seems impossible, and throw in some tough chicks with swords. That's the stuff.

Saturday, June 22, 2013


And the winner is...

Ryan Snyder

Congrats! I'm sending your info to Cecy.

Thank you so much to Cecy for the giveaway, and everyone for entering.

Be sure to check back in July - I'll be having a little "Christmas in July" celebration for the blog's 2nd birthday. US + International - hooray!

Note: Sorry for the delay. The kids ran me a little ragged this week. Gotta love summer vacay.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Review: Club Monstrosity

Club Monstrosity by Jesse Petersen

When I saw "monster support group" I was so in. Natalie, the last of Dr. Frankenstein's creations, Alec the Wolfman, Dracula, Linda, a Swamp Thing, Kai, a Mummy, Bob the Blob, the Invisible Man - they all meet for their weekly support group as they try to live undiscovered in a dangerous human world.

Then members start dying the same way they did in their stories and soon these monsters who barely can stand spending one session together must join forces to stop the murderer before another monster goes down.

This short novel was a very quick read, but so much fun. It is a bit lighter than my usual UF reads and has some romance. There is some action, especially at the end.

I really liked our two leads, Natalie and Alec. Natalie works at the morgue, fitting since she was put together from leftover body parts, is very conscious about trying to fit in to the normal world, and tries so hard not to "monster out." Alec puts on the appearance that he is coasting through life, but he is more than he appears and has his eye on a certain monster.

I already pre-ordered the next one, out in July, The Monsters in Your Neighborhood.

Note: If you are looking for a quick read that is also easy on the wallet, check out Pocket Star's selection of other books. I've found some good reads there.

Club Monstrosity Amazon | B&N | Kobo  

Jesse Petersen:

Review: Dead Things

Dead Things (Eric Carter #1) by Stephen Blackmoore

I knew after reading the first chapter that it was time to strap myself in and enjoy the ride. Excellent world and magic system, tortured lead character, lots of danger and action - hells yes.

First off, the setting: Los Angeles. LA has always been hellish for me, so  a story set there with a rampaging, ravenous ghost, the personification of Death, gangsters, a magical hitman, it all worked.

Eric is our hitman. His magical talent is control of the dead. He left LA after avenging the death of his parents, but his sister's murder brings him back. He is looking for payback and finds way more than he was expecting.

I am a sucker for any story where Death is a character. I love it, and I always want to see where the author will go with it. Here we get  Death across different belief systems, in particular the Loa and Santa Muerte.  Santa Muerte is so creepy. 

The magic system worked for me. I got plenty of show versus tell and it made sense. I liked Eric's attitude to his power. Control over the dead is one that would make most squeamish. 

This isn't a book with romance. There are lots of relationship issues. Eric spent years trying to keep a distance from anyone who mattered to him. He also left without a goodbye. I liked his interactions with Alex, his childhood friend, and Vivian, his ex. There is so much give and take, issues of trust and anger on all sides.

A fast-paced, action-packed read that solved our main issue but left room for more, I will be eagerly awaiting the next Eric Carter adventure.

Review: The Pirate's Wish

The Pirate's Wish (Assassin's Curse #2) by Cassandra Rose Clarke

Note: This is a book 2. Some parts of this review will be spoilery if you haven't read book 1, The Assassin's Curse (link goes to my review). That book was fantastic, so go read it if you love YA, action adventure, and fairytales.

Once again, I devoured this book, world and characters. Right away, as we get back into the mind of Ananna, our strong, clever pirate princess, I was enthralled. Her voice is unique and it was easy to get back into this world and our continuing adventure.

Ananna and Naji are still pretty much where we left them. They are stuck on a dangerous island with no way off, and they have three impossible tasks to accomplish to break the curse that binds them together (or at least binds Naji to Ananna; luckily for him she didn't cut and run). Or at least Naji thinks he has three impossible tasks. Ananna knows the third task, receive a kiss from a true love is not impossible because she loves him. Of course, she thinks it is impossible that he could love her...

Add in a dangerous manticore, more pirates, new friends, old enemies, tons of danger, battles, treacherous enemies from the Mists and you have a rollicking adventure.

Ananna makes this story for me. I absolutely love her. She might not be book smart, but she is clever, brave,  well-balanced, and she can weather any storm. I have read many stories containing unrequited love. When I know that the character will not dissolve into a puddle of goo nor cast herself from a cliff if her love isn't returned, I am a much more satisfied reader. I never felt that everything about Ananna was tied into her romantic feelings. Yes if he doesn't love her back, she will grieve, be upset, but she will live and find her own happiness. She is more than just the other half of a relationship. And that makes any ending or HEA that comes all the sweeter.

Clarke is not done with this world, The Wizard's Promise will be out in 2014. It involves other characters and I believe deals with the next generation.

If you love action, adventure, fantasy and fairytales, you might want to give this one a try. I would put it in an older YA fantasy category.

[received a review copy]

The Pirate's Wish  Amazon | B&N | Kobo | IndieBound

Cassandra Rose Clarke:

Strange Chemistry

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A "Cursed" Interview & Giveaway!

I really dig the covers for this series.
The wonderful Cecy Robson is back for a little summertime interview and GIVEAWAY to celebrate the upcoming release of A CURSED EMBRACE (book 2 of the Weird Girls series), out July 2!

The blurbage: Celia Wird and her three sisters are just like other twentysomething girls—with one tiny exception: They are the products of a curse that backfired and gave each of them unique powers that made them, well, a little weird.…

After Celia Wird and her sisters help master vampire Misha save his family, their powers are exposed to the supernatural community of the Lake Tahoe region. But fame comes at a price, and being “weird” isn’t always welcome.

To make matters worse, Celia desires the love of Alpha werewolf Aric, but his pack is bent on destroying their relationship to preserve his pureblood status. And once weres start turning up dead—with evidence pointing to the vampires—she must face the prospect of losing Aric forever. But the chaos only masks a new threat. An evil known as the Tribe has risen—and their sights are set on Celia and her sisters.

My take: After I read this book, and was preparing for this post, I sent Cecy an e-mail that started, "Holy shit!" So much happens in this book that I can't talk to you about. But I will be here for you after if you need to share.

The story starts with a dead wereraccoon, Taran's prophetic nightmares, lots of killings, demons, and of course action. The fight scenes were intense and very well done. There were a couple of scenes that gave me trippy-assed dreams/nightmares. Two words: demon babies. And they ain't cute and cuddly. The danger level has gotten higher since book 1. There is a lot that comes together in the beginning, but then the story smoothed out for me. 

This series also has a lot of romance, not just with Celia, but her 3 sisters as well. I would caution that although it is a UF with romance, it is not a Romance. I liked how the usual mate tropes were mucked around with and twisted. 

You get a better feel for the sisters, especially Taran (I really loved her in this book). The males in the book, let's just say I wanted to drop-kick a few. I feel for Celia, but she is still so very insecure when it comes to relationships. I did like her decision in the end. I wish we could talk about it. Maybe after the book is out.

I will be reading book 3.

 Read on for the interview and GIVEAWAY.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Review: Tin Swift

Tin Swift (Age of Steam #2) by Devon Monk

The continuing adventures of Cedar Hunt, a man cursed to hunt the Strange, beings who prey on humans in this alternate late 1800s America, his brother Wil, also cursed, Mae Lindstrom, a witch being driven insane by her coven, Rose Small, a young woman eager for adventure with an eye for glim, and the Madder brothers, three eccentric men who are more than they appear and who have made a deal with Cedar. We also have some new characters, most notably Hink Cage, the captain of the titular airship. Of course, I can't forget the horrific villains. 

We have a journey to take Mae to her coven interrupted by Strange happenings, a dangerous injury, old enemies and new allies. 

I liked it by the end. It took me about 100 pages to get into it. It did help to read the short Hang Fire first. I was so used to our main cast of characters that it threw me off a bit when Hink was brought into the mix. The pacing is different than book 1 and the middle part has quite a bit of romance with not one but two pairings. 

This one felt like a middle book. I think there is some really good setup for book 3, with some new allies and a reorganization of the group. 

Review: The Sword-Edged Blonde

The Sword-Edged Blonde (Eddie LaCrosse #1) by Alex Bledsoe

I really liked the mashup of noir PI with sword & sorcery fantasy. Eddie LaCrosse is a complex character. He has been around, he has friends in high and low places, he has a tragic past, and he manages to stay a step ahead even when it looks like he is falling faster behind. Does he piece together all the twists with relative ease, of course, he's f'ing Eddie Lacrosse. 

Lots of action, some magic. The side characters were interesting and there is a lot that could happen in this world.

I liked the interweaving of past events with the current timeline and how it all fell together. Will be interesting to see the structure of the next book.

A good, quick read, especially if you are looking for something a little different in your fantasy reads.