Saturday, 31 August 2013

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Stacking the Shelves #5

 Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews
Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!









New Release: Stage Fright by Michelle Scott

Cassandra Jaber’s dream of acting becomes a nightmare when she blacks out on stage during a private audition. She awakes, sore and disoriented, with a three-hour hole in her memory and a crippling fear of the spotlight. Although she tries to piece her shattered life back together, she remains at the mercy of the dark secret locked away in her mind.

But when a mysterious man, who calls himself a guardian of the night, rescues her from a terrifying attacker, Cassandra’s eyes are opened to a fantastic world she never guessed existed. She soon realizes that her midnight rescuer holds the key to her salvation. And her heart.

Where can I buy this book? 

My review:

*I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*

Cassie is an aspiring actress who loses her nerve and has panic attacks after a bad experience at an audition, though she cannot remember what happened to her. She soon works out that vampires are running the theatres and stealing the souls of the actors to keep themselves young-and Cassie is now on the menu.

This book had different elements from the usual vampire story. As well as feeding on blood, the vampires feed on the 'shine' aka souls of creative people which drains everything good from the person and gives the vampire added beauty and strength. This was different and I liked the concept. Vampires owned theatres and art galleries in order to have access to the creative souls. I also liked the diversity of the main characters. Cassie is part Greek part Arabic and worries that her Middle Eastern appearance could be an issue when auditioning for traditional white roles, but there is no chip on her shoulder about her heritage and no racism elements to the story. I liked this. She isn't 'Cassie with an ethnic background'-she's just Cassie, and she is a sympathetic character that you can't help but like. Her best friend Andrew is a great character and I enjoyed the added storyline of his domestic abuse at the hands of his boyfriend Caleb. The other characters like slimy Darryl, supernerd Perry, flamboyant Victor, Charles, Hedda etc are all interesting and entertaining in their own ways, making the book very much character driven. One other thing I enjoyed was the dry humour surrounding the plays that Hedda has featured at the theatre.

"Could you explain why Lucy Seward and a scarecrow performed a square dance in slow motion while a sad clown played the harmonica?"

"Did you see The Penguin, the Lemur and the Cheerleader: an Apocalyptic Tale last year?"

That was funny, as were Victor's mad plans for his new play which had Cassie totally horrified.

There are two reasons why this book has three stars from me. The first is that I like my urban fantasy to be all action, and I did find the first third of this book to be a bit slow plot wise for my personal taste. Also I'm not a great fan of the theatre so I did struggle a little with the plot being set mostly around the theatres and plays that Cassie is involved in. Despite my reservations, I did get more into the book at the halfway mark as the plot sped up. The whole last third of the book was gripping as we waited to see how the story was going to end. It is not my normal kind of read but there was enough in it to keep me reading even through the slower parts.

I would say that this book will appeal to fans of vampires, gothic reads and paranormal novels, to older YA readers and adult readers. 

Featured Author: Michelle Scott trilogy

The moment Lilith Straight dies, the Devil appears to claim her soul and cash in on a family curse. Now, Lilith has no choice but to work for him. The job is bad, the boss is worse and she can’t imagine how she’ll explain her new reincarnation to her eight-year-old daughter. But then an arrogant, yet oh so yummy, incubus shows up…and hell heats up just a little more.

Hell’s newest employee, Lilith Straight, thinks she’s got a handle on her job as the Devil’s temptress until she finds herself going horns-to-halo with a guardian angel who’s determined to rescue Lilith’s next victim. To make matters worse, William Darcy, the hottest demon in hell, is trying to undermine Lilith’s mission with a few temptations of his own.

Although temptress Lilith Straight didn’t forge her contract with the Devil, she’s obligated to obey it. But upon hearing the dastardly details of her latest assignment, Lilith vows to wriggle out from under the Devil’s thumb one way or another. Unfortunately, Hell is in chaos, her bff is AWOL, and her eleven-year-old niece’s fascination with the supernatural is tempting her to explore the otherworld. If only William Darcy, the hottest demon in Hell, would put the brakes on his own ego and give her a hand, Lilith might stand a chance.

Where can I buy this series? 

Featured Author: more books by Michelle Scott

In Mira Meadowmarsh's world, Magicians have complete control over ordinary people like herself. Magicians rule with iron fists, levying taxes, seizing property, and meting out harsh punishment to those who break the rules. But while the un-magical commons cannot defend themselves against the Magician's magic, there is one thing that Magicians fear: inventions. So when rumors spread that the un-magical are building machines and planning an uprising, the Magicians retaliate with even harsher laws.

At first, all of this means nothing to Mira who doesn't give a fig about politics. She's in love, and life is sweet. But when she discovers that her brother is an inventor who's suddenly the most wanted man in the country and that the boy she loves, her companion since childhood, is really a Magician, Mira finds herself in the middle of a brewing revolution.

Where can I buy this book? 

Desperate to maintain their superiority, Magicians are fighting to keep machinery and inventions out of the hands of their serving class, the commons. To this end, the Magicians have waged a war -- a terribly destructive, magical war -- against any and all who dare to allow the unmagical commons to improve their lives through mechanical means.In the midst of this terrible battle, a small group of commons struggles to survive. They make their living by serving the dead, charging five cents to dig a grave, sew a shroud, and ring a peal. And in a land decimated by war, plague, and famine, they have plenty of work.When the group meets a charismatic man by the name of William Rufflit and learns that he is working to build a militia of commons armed with his terrifying new invention -- the fyrestick -- they feel something they haven't experienced in a long time: hope. But what they don't realize is that Rufflit may not be their savior after all. He may, in fact, be an enemy even more fearsome than the one they are already facing.

Where can I buy this book?

The Fourteenth of April - Everyone tells David that what he thinks of as foretelling the future is really only self-fulfilling prophecy. But although he can’t convince them, he knows something dreadful is waiting for him on the 14th of April. And what’s more, he’s pretty sure he won’t survive it.
Both Sides of the Devil’s Door - Claire was always fascinated by Barry’s connection to the supernatural, and it’s why she endured his egotistical, overbearing company for so long. But when she finally gets fed up and leaves him, she discovers how strong his connections to the dark world are and how far his reach extends.
Unreachable- Bruce is pretty sure the thing living in his son’s room is not his son. And he’s convinced that the monster sleeping at the end of his bed is not his dog. But he has no idea what happened to his real loved ones, and doesn't have the courage to go looking in the terrible place he thinks they've ended up.

Where can I buy this book?




Featured Author: books by Michelle Scott

Starla had always imagined that becoming a vampire would make her popular, glamorous and wealthy. But after she and her best friend, Jordan, become undead, Starla realizes one thing: a vampire's life sucks.

Since there's no turning back, she tries to make the best of her situation, but it isn't easy. Especially not after her friend abandons her to serve the oldest, most powerful vampire in the city. Or when she gets on the bad side of a gang of vampires who've taken over the zoo. Or when she meets a really cute boy and ends up falling in love, only to find out that there's a major problem...she's a vampire, and he's a vampire killer.

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In Amberweise's polite society, a proper young woman of pure Magician ancestry would never involve herself with something as unpleasant as solving a murder. She would faint at the sight of wheels, pulleys, hinges or other demonic machines. She would never deign to notice the wretched lives of the non-magical commons who serve her day and night, nor would she ever dare to question the traditions of her upbringing. And, most certainly, she would never even think of falling in love with a man whose combination of common heritage and magical abilities have made him a pariah. Good thing Romana of Amberweise isn't a proper young woman. Now, as she works to solve the mystery of her granduncle's brutal murder, Romana uncovers a fearsome plot to overthrow a ruler whose tolerance for technology just might release the commons from their centuries of bondage. Besieged by dangerous enemies, Romana must use her courage and cunning to rebel against the powerful Magicians who will do anything to protect their lives of prestige and privilege.

Where can I buy this book? 

The soulless are always hungry. They prey upon society's outcasts - the lonely, the desperate, the guilty - feeding upon the rage and lust and fear hidden in these human hearts. Once they find a victim, they are able to erase the boundary between impulse and action, turning an angry thought into murderous rage and a simple desire into manic obsession.Only one person understands the danger. Evander Calhoun has spent a lifetime protecting his unsuspecting neighbors from these evil spirits, but - after a nearly a century of service - the old man no longer has the strength to continue the fight. He must find a replacement. But, despite the fact that Evander's master was a nearly crippled, illiterate, farmhand, Evander staunchly refuses to consider anyone but a strong, young male for an apprentice. In fact, he is so blinded by prejudice that he is apt to overlook the best chance he has of saving his beloved town.

Where can I buy this book?

Featured Author: Michelle Scott

Michelle Scott is a writer of urban fantasy, fantasy, science fiction and horror.  Her work has appeared in such places as Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show, Afterburn SF, and Electric Velocipede.  Her novel, The Dragons of Hazlett, was nominated for a 2009 Eppie Award.

Michelle has been a fiction junkie all of her life, but she didn’t start writing until junior high. Over the next decade, she wrote many (really awful) poems, short stories, and limericks.

A native Michigander, she attended Calvin College in Grand Rapids, earning her BA in psychology and meeting the guy of her dreams. After marrying said guy and spending two years doing nothing of great importance, she went on to earn an MFA at Wayne State University in Detroit. Fortunately, her writing improved considerably, and since that time she has published nearly a dozen short stories in a variety of magazines. The Dragons of Hazlett is her first novel.

Currently, she teaches English at a community college in southeastern Michigan and lives with her husband and three terrific children, all of whom are addicted to fiction as much as she.  

Where can I find Michelle?

Thursday, 29 August 2013

New Release: Deep Naked by Riley Hill

Crystal Carson enjoys playing her fiddle, preparing for college, and dreaming about her future. But when secret family abilities develop, she’s ripped into worlds beyond imagination. Targeted by black ops and a weird cult from the old country, she runs to the only man on earth who can save her. But there’s a price.

With the fate of the world at stake, Crystal must abandon her life, open to revelations, and embrace her destiny. What hides in her blood? What gifts would others steal from her? Can she learn to wield interdimensional powers and heal a time rift? If not, she, her friends, and her new-found love will be trapped forever in a black hole—a single moment of Now.

DEEP NAKED is a Young/New Adult novel combining science fiction, paranormal, fantasy, and romance. It is the first book in the NAKED WORLDS series, which follows Crystal Carson and her friends through time, space, and magic, battling shadow government agencies and alien species.

Released June 2013.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Featured Author: The Raven saga by Suzy Turner

After the inexplicable disappearance of Lilly Taylor's parents, she has no choice but to move to Canada where she unravels some frightening yet intriguing family secrets... Her whole life had been based on a lie. Lilly had grown up in a loveless home with a father who she had barely ever seen and a mother who was... well, not very motherly. After they mysteriously disappear without a trace, Lilly is sent to Canada where she finds a whole new way of life. A life filled with love and people who care for her. But that's not all she discovers, Lilly also finds out that she isn't who, or what, she thinks she is. Lilly has a very special ability and it's just a matter of time before her true self starts to shine. And when it does, her life will never be the same again. Raven is a fantasy novel for children and young adults set in the beautiful province of British Columbia.

Where can I buy this book?






My Review:(Book 1)

*I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*

Lilly was unloved by her parents and lived a miserable life until they vanished and she was sent to a new life in Canada with the grand-father she had never met. Her new family have supernatural secrets which may put Lilly in danger and threaten her new relationship with Oliver.

I really enjoyed this book because of a wonderful mix of supernatural plot and beautifully written characters. You connect to poor Lilly and her miserable life, watching as she grows into a confident young adult with her new family and friends, but feeling guilty for loving her new life when her parents are missing. I found the whole idea of the raven and cat shifters fascinating and different from the usual shifter stories I read. I loved Rose, Jo, Gabriel and the rest of the family, and it was GREAT to see a school and community welcome the new girl for a change, instead of bullying her. A few comments have been made about the age gap between Lilly and Oliver. I felt that as Lilly was nearly 14 and Oliver was a young and less mature 17 year old because of his family losses, it was ok. Oliver was shy and awkward and the relationship was very innocent between them. The age gap thing also fits the pattern of everyone in the family marrying young to someone they bond with, which is explained by their supernatural genes. So I was fine with their relationship. The bit with the pair of angels nearly brought a tear to my eye, it was so sweet! (I won't spoil it by saying any more! The reveal of the mystery helper didn't surprise me, nor do I think it was meant to. Again no spoilers but I love this character so much! Everyone who was introduced just seemed to fit perfectly into the story, and there are a few minor characters that I want to see more of.

The plot is not all out action but a gradual reveal of Lilly's story. I was always keen to know what was coming next, which means that the author has a good storytelling ability. We learn the truth behind her cold upbringing and the family tragedy that led to it, the nature of her shifter abilities, the sad story of Rose and her lost love which really tugged the heartstrings because Rose is such a lovely person, the pain of your first love, and the exciting quest to the Elders to find out more about her father's circumstances. The things that happen during the quest were great twists which you can sometimes see coming, but you still want it to happen that way. I was quite sure before the quest that I knew what was going to happen in the second book, but I couldn't have been further from the truth! What happens on the quest throws open so many possibilities that I can't wait to read book 2!

So any niggles or issues? No. I really liked the book and the way it mixed the supernatural elements into normal life. It will appeal to anyone who enjoys YA paranormal whatever your age. No sexual content or f bombs etc so suitable for all YA read

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On her 15th birthday, December Moon discovers she is the descendant of a family of witches, kept in the dark her entire life in an effort to protect her. But when Lilly, her best friend, finds herself in danger from one of the world's most evil vampires, December will do everything in her power to stop him. December Moon is a fantasy novel for children and young adults set in BC, Canada.

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December and Lilly have got their work cut out for them. Not only are they desperately trying to figure out the identity of the Lost Soul, and track him down, they've also got to investigate why Powell River's newest resident has got all of their men falling at her feet.
But when they learn that the Nephilim might be involved, it becomes clear that they're all in extreme danger...

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Featured Author: The Morgan Sisters series by Suzy Turner

Adopted sisters Lana Beth and Emma Jane are polar opposites, but when the same strange 'tattoo' suddenly appears and winds its way up their bodies within days of each other, they soon realise there's more to their relationship than they could ever have imagined.
Sent off to London for two weeks of 'work experience', the Morgan Sisters soon find themselves being initiated into the ancient Praxos Foundation, one that protects the innocent while fighting evil, both human and supernatural.
At the same time, Lana Beth and Emma Jane must also investigate why the sweet but sometimes pesky ghost of Josiah Grimshaw just won't leave them alone.

Where can I buy this book?






My Review:(Book 1)

*I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*

Emma and Lana are adopted and on their 16th birthdays, strange things happen to them-dying bodies, new found powers, tattoos appearing overnight, talking ghosts and the chance to visit London for work experience. Now they discover that they are part of a secret crime-fighting group with superpowers, and the girls are tasked with helping a ghost to cross over.

I really like the way that the author blends a good plot with characters that you can't help but like. Lana is the impulsive and loud sister and Emma is the quiet and serious sister and they blend well together. Josiah, the ghost, is a sweet and kind boy who gradually requires more help to solve his problems as the book progresses and you feel so sorry for his situation. The characters that come in during the story are good-best friend Scott, the love interests, Eleanor and Wilbur who run the society so well, the mentors and the other crime-fighting teenagers who help Josiah. And we meet Daisy who features in the novella between books one and two, which I have also read and liked. There wasn't anyone that I didn't like in this book. Even the creepy Skull gang, their enemy, added lots of interest to the book plot. The writing style is simple and effective, taking you along for the ride and keeping you interested in learning what is happening alongside the girls. It is uncomplicated and not over descriptive. The characters are nicely developed and you care what happens to them all which can leave you a bit emotional for them at times!

The book is not all action ninja crime-fighters, despite the girls new powers. It is more of an introduction to the society and to the girls and their family history. Despite the lack of lots of all out action scenes, the book does not seem slow or boring at any time. You are learning a lot about the girls and their powers and watching them building relationships with their new friends. I also like the British setting for the book, reading about places that I have actually visited myself! I could see the London skyline and the places they visited quite easily in my head. I think it helped to add a bit of realism to the story for me, seeing how excited the girls were to get to try life in the big city.

I don't really have any negatives about the book. It is very enjoyable and easy to read. It will appeal to anyone who enjoys a character driven YA paranormal plot. There is a slight touch of innocent romance, no bad language or sexual content and suitable for all ages.

It will be interesting to see what direction the next book in the series takes, and I will certainly want to see what happens next. 

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When tragedy falls upon 15 year old Daisy Madigan, she escapes to the only place she feels safe, the cemetery of Abney Park. There, in the company of the dearly departed, she realises she is changing, growing stronger and faster by the day. But in the darkness lurks a terror even she can't imagine facing.

Daisy Madigan's Paradise is a Morgan Sisters novella. Check out The Ghost of Josiah Grimshaw, the full length first novel in the series.

Where can I buy this book?






My Review:(Book 1.5)

*I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*

Daisy's world collapses when her beloved mother dies and her distraught father falls into alcoholism and vanishes. Forced to live in the nearby cemetery, Daisy communicates with the ghosts that reside there. But there is something evil there, hunting and damaging ghosts and looking for human prey like her-the Skulls. Her new found superpowers may be all that keeps her alive.

This was a very sad and touching story which I got quite emotional about when I was reading it. Poor Daisy is only 15 when her life as she knows it ends. First the bullying at school, then the loss of her parents. You can't help but feel for her as she struggles to survive with only her friend Jack and the lovely shop owners who take pity on her. It is great to get the back story on the character that we first meet briefly in The Ghost of Josiah Grimshaw. You start to recognise events as the story starts to join Lana and Emma's quest to help Joe, which was nicely written.

Daisy's character is beautifully written and really does tug at the heartstrings, especially with the events surrounding Jack. The poor girl has so much to deal with in a short period of time-and I wanted to jump into the book and tell her that things will get better for her! I liked seeing the ghosts again, and Daisy's mission to help them cross over was a nice touch as you wait for her to discover her destiny.

This was a really good novella which adds a bit of depth to the world that we are introduced to in the first book and I certainly want to see what happens in book two!

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It's been a couple of months since Emma and Lana entered the Praxos Academy and life has been hectic ever since. What with regular A level classes combined with learning all about the supernatural world, control classes, self defence and fight night, the girls are constantly busy.
But when their world seems to stop right in front of them, they and their fellow Watchers, have a huge mystery to solve. A mystery which will lead them on a long road trip across south west England where they will meet all kinds of strange creatures, some intent on causing harm and others desperate to put a stop to the problem.

Where can I buy this book? 


Featured Author: Suzy Turner

Although Suzy is a Yorkshire lass at heart, she left her home town of Rotherham, UK, to move to Portugal with her family when she was ten.
The Algarve continues to be her home, where she lives with her childhood sweetheart husband Michael and their menagerie of cats and dogs.
Suzy's career began soon after completing her A levels when she was offered the position of trainee journalist for a local English newspaper. Her love of writing developed and a few years later she moved on to become assistant editor for the region's largest English language publisher. Since then she has also worked as the editor of one of the Algarve's most loved monthly lifestyle magazines. Early in 2010 however, Suzy began working as a freelance writer and author. She has since completed three novels for teens, The Raven Saga, a trilogy.

Where can I find Suzy?

New Release: Inhuman by Kat Falls

In a world ravaged by mutation, a teenage girl must travel into the forbidden Savage Zone to recover lost artifacts or her father’s life is forfeit.

America has been ravaged by a war that has left the eastern half of the country riddled with mutation. Many of the people there exhibit varying degrees of animal traits. Even the plantlife has gone feral.

Crossing from west to east is supposed to be forbidden, but sometimes it’s necessary. Some enter the Savage Zone to provide humanitarian relief. Sixteen-year-old Lane’s father goes there to retrieve lost artifacts—he is a Fetch. It’s a dangerous life, but rewarding—until he’s caught.

Desperate to save her father, Lane agrees to complete his latest job. That means leaving behind her life of comfort and risking life and limb—and her very DNA—in the Savage Zone. But she’s not alone. In order to complete her objective, Lane strikes a deal with handsome, roguish Rafe. In exchange for his help as a guide, Lane is supposed to sneak him back west. But though Rafe doesn’t exhibit any signs of “manimal” mutation, he’s hardly civilized . . . and he may not be trustworthy.

Released September 24th 2013.


New Release: Viking Fire by Andrea R Cooper

856 CE, Ireland is a land of myth, magic, and blood. Viking raiders have fought the Irish for over half a century. Rival Irish clans promise only betrayal and carnage.

Kaireen, daughter of Laird Liannon, is suddenly forced into an arranged marriage with her sworn enemy, a Viking. She refuses to submit. With no mention of love, only land and the protection of her clan, she endeavors to get her betrothed banished from her country. Will love find its way around her stubborn heart?

Bram, the Viking, finds himself without future or inheritance as a younger son in his family. A marriage to the Laird’s daughter would grant him land if he swears fidelity and if his men will fight along with the Liannons against any foe—Irish or Viking. However, the Laird’s feisty daughter only holds animosity for him and his kind. Is marriage worth the battle scars of such a relentless opponent?

With the blame for a rival laird’s death treacherously set against the Liannons, Kaireen and Bram must find a way to lay aside their differences as an unforeseen darkness sends death snapping at their heels.

Released July 2013.

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Featured Author: Andrea R Cooper

Growing up in Houston, Texas, Andrea has always enjoyed creating characters and stories. But it wasn't until she was in her late twenties that she started writing novels.

What happened that ignited the writing flame in her fingers? Divorced, and disillusioned by love songs and stories. They exaggerate. She thought. Love and Romance are not like that in the real world. Then she met her husband and realized, yes love and romance are exactly like the songs and stories say. She is now a happy wife, and a mom to three kids (two boys and a girl).

Once she heard about a writer who never let her characters deviate from the script. If they did, she just killed them. How sad, she thought. For her one of the best parts of being a writer is letting the characters have a mind of their own and seeing where the story takes them.

She loves this quote from Robert Frost, which sums up her opinion on allowing the characters their freedom: “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.”
― Robert Frost

Andrea writes fantasy, paranormal and historical romance. When not writing or reading, one may find Andrea dancing in Zumba.

She is excited to work with Crimson Romance on her forthcoming debut paranormal romance, The Garnet Dagger. Everyone knows what happens when a vampire bites a human...but what if the victim is Elvin?

Viking Fire is a forthcoming historical romance set in Ireland during the Dark Ages. What if you were engaged to marry your enemy-a Viking?

She hopes you will enjoy the stories as much as she did writing them.

She believes in the power of change and counting each moment as a blessing. But most importantly, she believes in love.
Even if she has to fight for it.

Where can I find Andrea?

Forbidden to cross the Elvin barrier into human lands, Brock cannot sate his curiosity. Cursed by a vampyre bite that forces him to feed on the life-essence of others, he is unable to touch another without taking their life. Chained by prophesy, he must find a witch, pierce her heart, and draw her blood for his cure.

Celeste must escape the monks who have held her prisoner for years. Her magic has been kept dormant by her captors. An ancient powerful Warloc craves her powers. If he succeeds in devouring her magic, she and the world will die.

When Brock falls in love with Celeste before realizing her demise is his cure, will love triumph over his desire to be healed? Will he risk everything to save her from a Warloc, an oath breaker, who also wants her dead?

Released March 2013.

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