Friday, 30 May 2014

New Release: Dead Trees 2 by Eli Constant (May 30th!)

Two years of peace in a primitive setting can make anyone forget a past full of science, beasties, and blood.

On the day of her son’s birth, the past invades the Yukon valley where Elise and her family reside and they are once again forced to travel survival-road. The General has found her… tracked her across the miles. Elise is his obsession; he wants her for reasons beyond comprehension.

H2H was supposed to be the answer, but the world’s ‘savior’ has created a new pack of demons. The Rippers, beasties on steroids. Wild undergrounders are a mild nightmare in comparison.

Thankfully, humanity has an ace up its sleeves. The question is: This time, when a new solution for saving humanity is put into action, what will the consequences be? 


About this author

Eli Constant lives in Virginia with her husband and two daughters. She is surrounded by battlefield country, farmland and lakes. Currently, she spends her days being a devoted mother and, of course, writing. Eli feels fortunate that her marriage is one of real love and she thinks her children are the coolest people in the world. She also feels so lucky to have an extended family that is ever present with encouragement and kind words.

When it comes to her writing, Eli has one ultimate goal: to become better with each word written. She is obsessed with the nature of humanity- the innocent, the corrupted and the confused. She’s always been a great love of Science Fiction, but has also grown to love other genres, especially Horror and Fantasy. Looking back on her debut novel “Dead Trees,” Eli wouldn’t change a thing. She feels like she learned from the experience and has grown exponentially as an author since its publication. Her most recent work, “Mastic,” is best described as an urban paranormal thriller with a softer side- touches of romance, hidden feelings and bridled lust.

Next month, Eli will be featured in a charity anthology organized by the fabulous TW Brown. She is thrilled to note that 100% of sale proceeds will go to benefit the V Foundation, a leader in cancer research for the past twenty years. Keep posted on this upcoming publication by following Eli on twitter or facebook. Eli’s works in progress include the much anticipated sequel to Dead Trees, a 3-author anthology exploring the psychosis of serial killers, an (as of now) 6-author anthology exploring humanity in the face of hopelessness and a zombie origins novel (this last work in progress comes as a huge surprise to Eli; she honestly thought she’d never write about zombies, but somehow, she fell down the zombie hole and couldn’t crawl out, or rather, didn’t want to crawl out). 

Where can I find Eli? 
Have you read Dead Trees?

Subterranean humanoids, existing since the dawn of man, arose from the belly of the planet. Humanity was unprepared. The undergrounders came with nails and claws and speed to kill people in the night, dragging bodies downward into dark tunnels teeming with rabid life. Civilization is now a ghost of yesterday and the remaining humans fight for survival. One thing’s for sure- a scientist mommy battling beasties better be handy with a scalpel.

Elise Swanson is a widow and mother. She fights and prays that she can keep her little, broken family safe. She drives and drives, day after day, trying to escape a threat that seems… inescapable. Her hope fades, food is scarce and she watches her eldest daughter’s attempts to soothe the younger babe. Then she meets Jason- a father mourning the loss of his son, masking his pain with bravado and charm. He’s strong, despite his sadness, and love re-grows within him. Weeks pass and Jason’s singular desire becomes the continued safety of Elise and her daughters.

Bloody fights with beasties define the survival-road the companions travel. Even a few moments of safety and relaxation elude the group; time and time again, Elise must kiss her children goodbye, just in case tomorrow never arrives. Against all odds, they reach a government safe zone. Even there, Elise finds that there’s no rest for the weary.

Buy now!

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Throwback Thursday #23

This Meme is hosted by Melissa at My World in Words and Pages. Go to her blog and join us!

I blog about great looking new releases, new books sent to me for read and review, book reviews of what I've read and features about exciting new authors to try.

But what about all the books that are already on my TBR, waiting for me to read them? Don't they deserve a mention and a chance to be highlighted? Yes they do!

Welcome to Throwback Thursday, where I will take the time to tell you about some of the books that have been on my shelves for a while and maybe a few of you will add them to your wishlists/tbrs. If you have read them, why not leave a comment to tell me what you thought of it-but no spoilers please! 

This week, I'm spotlighting the spin off books from the Night Huntress(Cat and Bones) series by Jeaniene Frost that I haven't read.

After a tragic accident scarred her body and destroyed her dreams, Leila never imagined that the worst was still to come: terrifying powers that let her channel electricity and learn a person's darkest secrets through a single touch. Leila is doomed to a life of solitude...until creatures of the night kidnap her, forcing her to reach out with a telepathic distress call to the world's most infamous vampire...

He's the Prince of Night...

Vlad Tepesh inspired the greatest vampire legend of all—but whatever you do, don't call him Dracula. Vlad's ability to control fire makes him one of the most feared vampires in existence, but his enemies have found a new weapon against him—a beautiful mortal with powers to match his own. When Vlad and Leila meet, however, passion ignites between them, threatening to consume them both. It will take everything that they are to stop an enemy intent on bringing them down in flames.

Dating the Prince of Darkness has its challenges...

Leila's psychic abilities have been failing her, and now she isn't sure what the future holds. If that weren't enough, her lover, Vlad, has been acting distant. Though Leila is a mere mortal, she's also a modern woman who refuses to accept the cold shoulder treatment forever–especially from the darkly handsome vampire who still won't admit that he loves her.

Like choosing between eternal love and a loveless eternity...

Soon circumstances send Leila back to the carnival circuit, where tragedy strikes. And when she finds herself in the crosshairs of a killer who may be closer than she realizes, Leila must decide who to trust– the fiery vampire who arouses her passions like no other or the tortured knight who longs to be more than a friend? With danger stalking her every step of the way, all it takes is one wrong move to damn her for eternity.

  An immortal war has been brewing in the darkness . . . And now one woman has stumbled into the shadows.

Chicago private investigator Kira Graceling should have just kept on walking. But her sense of duty refused to let her ignore the moans of pain coming from inside a warehouse just before dawn. Suddenly she finds herself in a world she's only imagined in her worst nightmares.

At the center is Mencheres, a breathtaking Master vampire who thought he'd seen it all. Then Kira appears, this fearless, beautiful . . . human who braved death to rescue him. Though he burns for her, keeping Kira in his world means risking her life. Yet sending her away is unthinkable.

But with danger closing in, Mencheres must choose either the woman he craves, or embracing the darkest magic to defeat an enemy bent on his eternal destruction.

Monday, 26 May 2014

Book Review: The Day the Dead Lived by Ryan Pederson

The dull light of the moon was replaced by the warm glow of dawn, as the sun slowly crept over the horizon. Blade and Amie were silent as they sat in the rusty truck stalled in the middle of the old dirt road, just on the edge of the forest. For a brief moment they enjoyed the beautiful view through the windshield before them forgetting about life, love, and most of all death. It was only a minor release though, from the hell they had just endured in those forlorn woods. While at the edge of the forest a feeling of tranquility is overcoming as the survivors watched the breaking dawn through the thinning foliage before them, believing their escape had delivered them from the evil that lied within the woods....or had it.

My Review: 
A group of friends with tangled relationships meet at a secluded cabin in the woods for a reunion. But the party ends when creatures from the woods attack.

There is nothing new in the idea of the monsters attacking the isolated cabin storyline but that is ok with me. As a horror fan I don't mind stories being similar in plot and style as long as I enjoy them. This one fell a little short for me in places.

Usually I lose interest when I don't like the main characters but I can forgive that in a horror book because there is a good chance that they will die quickly in all kinds of twisted ways. I'm not a fan of main characters who are a bunch of drunken drugged up idiots because I don't relate to them and don't care about them. So when I saw the cast of utter asshats in this book, I wasn't too bothered by it, knowing that death was coming for them. Sarah in particular was a moaning faced, rude, snotty bitch that I wanted to knock ten bells out of.

I was less interested in hearing the tales of their amazing past party adventures and who once loved who and who was jealous. I found it a bit of a drag as it made the story a slow starter, but again this was more of a niggle than a major issue. My issues started when the attack began. It all started happening fast...too fast. By this I mean we were jumping from one death to another with surprising speed and not taking enough time to really describe each individual attack. The initial attack on the cabin was all a bit of a blur with a chaotic feel that was a little confusing at times. I was trying to remember who was where and what was going on.

I felt that the author had introduced a huge cast to have more people to kill, and was rushing to get everyone killed in a gorefest but not taking the time to describe each incident or build the tension. I agree that the first attack should be a little chaotic as it is a surprise attack, I'd just have liked the details to be a bit clearer. When the action switches outside, I thought that it would be good to change tactics a bit. For example when they were running through the woods, they kept getting grabbed and instantly killed. It would have been good to have it slow down a little and have it more like a hunt with someone hiding up a tree or in a bush, scared out of their wits as the creatures slowly close in. The gore that I like was there in places but it would have nice to have those tense scary moments that you see in films like Halloween that build up to the next kill.

There were quite a few spelling and punctuation mistakes in the book that I can overlook but one thing really did annoy me. The wrong spelling of the Beatles albums. I'm a Beatles fan and seeing Abby Road instead of Abbey Road got on my nerves! (No I didn't mark it down for that!)The names of the characters were not correct either. Someone that died on one page appeared to be fleeing through the woods two pages later, alive and well. The author needs to pay a bit more attention to detail and erase mistakes like this.

Overall I feel that the author has potential as a writer in this genre as his ideas are fine and his writing is decent. I just feel that this book didn't quite deliver the mix of gore and tension that makes a really great horror story.
star rating photo: Two Star Rating 2stars.png

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Book Review: Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris (Sookie #4)

Sookie Stackhouse is a cocktail waitress in Bon Temps, Louisiana. She has only a few close friends, because not everyone appreciates Sookie’s gift: she can read minds. That’s not exactly every man’s idea of date bait – unless they’re undead; vampires and the like can be tough to read. And that’s just the kind of guy Sookie’s been looking for. Maybe that’s why, when she comes across a naked vampire, she doesn’t just drive on by. He hasn’t got a clue who he is, but Sookie has: Eric looks just as scary and sexy – and dead – as ever. But now he has amnesia, he’s sweet, vulnerable, and in need of Sookie’s help – because whoever took his memory now wants his life.

My Review:
Can life really get any more complicated for Sookie? Well, yes of course it can! Eric has been cursed by a witch and lost his memory so Sookie agrees to hide him at her house while Pam runs the business. Jason suddenly goes missing and Alcide's werewolves are turning up dead. Just another day in Bon Temps...

Sookie is nursing her broken heart over Bill cheating on her and despite his reasoning that a vampire has to obey a summons from his maker, to her it does not justify him cheating on her. So it looks like the big Sookie and Bill romance is over for good.

It was nice to have a new enemy involved this time. The witches are taking over businesses and casting spells on those who refuse. In this case Eric angers one of the witches by refusing to sleep with her instead, hence the amnesia spell. Now they are trying to hunt him down and the staff at Fangtasia are trying to protect his whereabouts while Sookie looks after him. I loved the shy, vulnerable, scared Eric in this book and LOVED his seduction of Sookie. AT LAST! These two belong together in my book and are a better pair than Sookie and Bill. Pam was wonderful in this book, taking charge and bossing everyone about. She is such a great character and I want to see more of her. And yea, Bubba is here again! He is just so funny. (Psst 'Don't call him Elvis...')We also meet Claudine the fairy here for the first time and I really love her character.

The pack are involved in this book as some of the witches are also shifters and the death of one of the pack leaders gets them all riled up to fight. An uneasy alliance with vampires, shifters and local witches needs to hold so they can bring down the enemy. Sookie also has to watch her back knowing that the twisted Debbie Pelt is in this alliance and determined to get revenge on her. Sookie's love life is complicated enough with Eric and Bill but Alcide is making it clear that he is interested. I just don't see him and Sookie as a couple personally.

OK you were warned! It was a really good build up to the big fight at the end with the all action battle. I was also so pleased to see Debbie getting what comes to her when Alcide hears what she did to Sookie. I was cheering and sticking up my fingers at the book as she slithered off into the dark alone! The scene back at Sookie's house where Debbie shoots her and she is saved by Eric taking the bullet took me by surprise, and it was a great twist. You just know that this whole mess is going to come back to bite Sookie big time...

The spell wears off and Eric has no memory of the time he and Sookie spent together and Sookie hides her misery by pretending nothing happened. She also doesn't want Eric to remember that together they killed and buried the uber bitch Debbie Pelt (GOOD,die bitch die)after she tried to kill Sookie again. I don't think that this is the end of the road for Eric and Sookie-at least I hope it isn't.

The other excellent piece of plot was Jason going missing. It's not until later that we find out that he was kidnapped by the jealous panther who wants Crystal for himself. Jason has been bitten and is going to become a were-panther on the next full moon. Jason honey, I have sympathy for you but that Crystal is baaaad news! I'm with Sookie on that one!

Another excellent book in this urban fantasy series.
star rating photo: 5 Star Rating 5stars.jpg

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Stacking the Shelves #37

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!
This was another week of chaos and upheaval. On Tuesday my mum developed another infection so that has taken up a lot of my time this week. Plus I am in dispute with Royal Mail about a package they have not delivered, my dvd drive on the computer is on the fritz and I'm coming down with some sort of viral infection. I haven't read ANYTHING this week, not a single page! So much for the start of my Summer Readathon! I think this week is going to be pretty similar and I'm not letting myself buy anything until I sort this Royal Mail crap.

On the book purchase side of things, the rest of the books I bought in the big splurge arrived which was quite exciting!



Friday, 23 May 2014

Book Blitz: Mary Hades by Sarah Dalton

Mary Hades by Sarah Dalton
(Mary Hades #1)
Publication date: June 2014
Genres: Horror, Young Adult

Not many seventeen year old girls have a best friend who’s a ghost, but then Mary Hades isn’t your average teenager. 
Scarred physically and mentally from a fire, her parents decide a holiday to an idyllic village in North Yorkshire will help her recover. Nestled in the middle of five moors, Mary expects to have a boring week stuck in a caravan with her parents. Little does she know, evil lurks in the campsite…

Seth Lockwood—a local fairground worker with a dark secret—might be the key to uncovering the murky history that has blighted Nettleby. But Mary is drawn to him in a way that has her questioning her judgement.

Helped by her dead best friend and a quirky gay Goth couple, Mary must stop the unusual deaths occurring in Nettleby. But can she prevent her heart from being broken?

The first in a series of dark YA novels, Mary Hades follows on from the bestselling Kindle Single My Daylight Monsters. A spine-tingling tale with romance, readers will be shocked and entertained in equal measure. 

Sarah grew up in the middle of nowhere in the countryside of Derbyshire and as a result has an over-active imagination. She has been an avid reader for most of her life, taking inspiration from the stories she read as a child, and the novels she devoured as an adult.

Sarah mainly writes speculative fiction for a Young Adult audience and has had pieces of short fiction published in the Medulla Literary Review, PANK magazine and the British Fantasy Society publication Dark Horizons. Her short story 'Vampires Wear Chanel' is featured in the Wyvern Publication Fangtales available here:

Sarah's debut novel The Blemished is a fast paced young adult dystopia set in a fractured Britain. It follows the events of Mina Hart, a young Blemished girl who has a dangerous secret, as she tries to escape the dreaded Operation and get out of Area 14.

Author links: 

Five ways Mary Hades is different to your average YA series

I'm pretty excited about this project. I find Mary the easiest character to write because she is such a free spirit. However, there's a part of me that's nervous about this series. I've mixed things up. Mary Hades doesn't follow a formula. Here are five things you can expect, and five examples that are a little different to most YA books.

1. It’s not a trilogy:
At the moment, the series is open ended, which means I’m planning to keep it going for as long as I enjoy writing it. To me, this is almost like a long-running television series, where each book will focus on a specific challenge. I will be bringing in long-arc storylines at some point, but the first few books are almost standalones.

2. Each novel is a snapshot:
Like the novella that started it all—My Daylight Monsters—each novel, and each story, is a snapshot into Mary’s life. That means that not all the books will link on from each other. The first book has a resolution and no cliff-hanger, but it sets up the rest of the series, because it shows Mary what she wants to achieve with her life. This is going to continue throughout the series. Think of them as brief instalments into her very interesting life. Characters will come and go. Not all of the novels will be set in the same place. There is a lot of scope for the series. It could go on as Mary goes to University, or a spin off with different characters could occur. There are no set rules here. Think of it as an urban fantasy series, but more contemporary.

3. The novels are short:
The main reason I write Mary Hades at a shorter length is because the tone is very deep first person POV present tense. The books are meant to be all-encompassing. I want the reader to be drawn into Mary’s world, and that is an intense ride. These sorts of novels are almost always short. Think of the wonderful How I live Now, or the engrossing Never Let Me Go—they are both short novels and that suits them very well. The first instalment of Mary Hades will be about 280 pages. On the plus side, shorter novels means I can write the instalments quicker, so you won’t have to wait long for the next book. And, as the books are shorter, I’ve decided to charge less for them, so you won’t be paying more for a shorter novel. However, quality almost always beats quantity. ;)

4. This is dark fiction:
When I started writing My Daylight Monsters, I was very influenced by Gothic literature. That’s a very broad brush. I always loved Victorian Gothics, like Dracula and The Picture of Dorian Grey. These novels always have a supernatural element and always have some sort of dark, looming presence. In My Daylight Monsters, that presence is the hospital, and the deepest fears we harbour there. In Mary Hades, that looming presence is the Yorkshire moors—of course, inspired by Wuthering Heights. Other influences could include Daphne Du Maurier. I had a few scenes from Jamaica Inn playing in my mind as I wrote this book. Mary Hades is much more grown up than my other novels. In the past, my books like The Blemished and White Hart have been more suited to younger YA. Mary Hades is best for older teens and adults.

5.Horror AND Romance?
Yup, you better believe it. In the midst of fighting a really scary ghost, Mary manages a holiday romance. Hey, call me a romantic, but I think a girl needs to take some time off from her ghost hunting once in a while.

In all seriousness, I want the books to be scary AND uplifting. There’s a definite contemporary feel to the writing, and hopefully that ties in with the romance.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Throwback Thursday #22

This Meme is hosted by Melissa at My World in Words and Pages. Go to her blog and join us!

I blog about great looking new releases, new books sent to me for read and review, book reviews of what I've read and features about exciting new authors to try.

But what about all the books that are already on my TBR, waiting for me to read them? Don't they deserve a mention and a chance to be highlighted? Yes they do!

Welcome to Throwback Thursday, where I will take the time to tell you about some of the books that have been on my shelves for a while and maybe a few of you will add them to your wishlists/tbrs. If you have read them, why not leave a comment to tell me what you thought of it-but no spoilers please! 

This week I have three urban fantasy books to spotlight that have been sitting around my house for a while and staring at me! 

Darian has lived alone for almost a century in the shadows of the night. Made and abandoned by her former love, Darian is the last of her kind—an immortal Shaede who can slip into darkness as easily as breathing. With no one else to rely on, she has taught herself how to survive, using her unique skills to become a deadly assassin.

Darian finds herself struggling to keep her employer, Tyler, at arm's length, especially since his seductive smile makes her want to break her rules about love. The work he offers is necessary to protect the innocent—and a welcome distraction. But when Darian's next mark turns out to be Xander Peck, King of the Shaede Nation, her whole worldview is thrown into question. Darian begins to wonder if she has taken on more than her conscience will allow, but a good assassin never leaves a job unfinished.

Sophie Thibodeau has been on the run from the father of her son for more than fifteen years. Now her son, Joshua, is changing, and her greatest fears are about to be realized. He’s going to end up being just like his father—a man who can change into a wolf.

Dylan Black has been hunting for Sophie since the night she ran from him—an obsession he cannot afford in the midst of an impending war. Dylan controls Rhuddin Village, an isolated town in Maine where he lives with an ancient Celtic tribe. One of the few of his clan who can still shift into a wolf, he must protect his people from the Guardians, vicious warriors who seek to destroy them.

When Sophie and Dylan come together for the sake of their son, their reunion reignites the fierce passion they once shared. For the first time in years, Dylan’s lost family is within his grasp. But will he lose them all over again? Are Joshua and Sophie strong enough to fight alongside Dylan in battle? Nothing less than the fate of his tribe depends on it…

Snagging a marriage proposal for her client while on an all-expenses-paid vacation should be a simple job for Ciel Halligan, aura adaptor extraordinaire. A kind of human chameleon, she’s able to take on her clients’ appearances and slip seamlessly into their lives, solving any sticky problems they don’t want to deal with themselves. No fuss, no muss. Big paycheck.

This particular assignment is pretty enjoyable... that is, until Ciel’s island resort bungalow is blown to smithereens and her client’s about-to-be-fiancĂ© is snatched by modern-day Vikings. For some reason, Ciel begins to suspect that getting the ring is going to be a tad more difficult than originally anticipated.

Going from romance to rescue requires some serious gear-shifting, as well as a little backup. Her best friend, Billy, and Mark, the CIA agent she’s been crushing on for years—both skilled adaptors—step in to help, but their priority is, annoyingly, keeping her safe. Before long, Ciel is dedicating more energy to escaping their watchful eyes than she is to saving her client’s intended. Suddenly, facing down a horde of Vikings feels like the least of her problems.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Book Review: Club Dead by Charlaine Harris (Sookie #3)

Sookie Stackhouse always found it difficult to date - she's cute, but not many guys are comfortable with her mind-reading abilities. But vampires have no problems with Sookie's talent - she can't pick up much of anything form the undead.

But ther's only one vampire Sookie Stackhouse is involved with - at least voluntarily - right now, and that's Bill. But recently he's been a little distant - in another state distant. His sinister and sexy boss Eric has an idea where to find him, and next thing Sookie knows, she's off to Jackson, Mississippi, to mingle with the underworld at Club Dead. It's a dangerous little haunt where the elusive vampire society can go to chill out and suck down some Type O - but when Sookie finally finds Bill, he's not only in trouble, but caught in an act of serious betrayal. Should she save him, or sharpen some stakes?

My Review: 
Bill is on a secret mission for his Vampire Queen but when he goes missing, Eric and Pam break the news to Sookie that Bill was about to leave her for his former vampire lover Lorena. Despite her sense of betrayal Sookie agrees to go undercover in a dangerous vampire club to find out what has happened to Bill and if he is still alive. With help from Bubba and werewolf Alcide, Sookie finds herself in bar fights and surrounded by dead and injured bodies, and makes a dangerous enemy in Alcide's ex Debbie.

This was another great book. I love the humour Ms Harris brings into it with the wonderful Bubba getting a starring role in this book(yea!), and the brilliant Eric still trying to seduce Sookie. Eric is just one of the best characters I've read in any urban fantasy series. He is sleazy, rude and persistant but you can't help loving him. I also love the sarcastic Pam, Eric's second in command. She always comes out with something rude or inappropriate to make me laugh. In this book Alcide the werwolf is introduced and I liked him. It was also the first appearance of his psycho bitch ex girlfriend Debbie who of course I hated for picking on poor Sookie, just as the author intended. Bill doesn't feature much in the first part of this book but the reader is gunning for him for breaking poor Sookie's heart and you really wonder why he would be involved with someone like Lorena!

The plot involves Alcide taking Sookie to Club Dead where vampires and shifters hang out and it proves to be a place that puts Sookie in constant danger. Psycho werewolves coming on to her end up dead in her apartment leading to body disposal duty, and a brawl there later caused by the Fellowship of the Sun puts her life in danger but does give her a lead on where Bill is being held. Now it is a matter of how to get to him and rescue him. There were the usual good action scenes and as usual Sookie is getting hurt, which is to be expected when a human is moving in such dangerous circles. The humour is excellent and is provided by my favourite characters in Eric, Pam and Bubba. It has everything that I enjoy in an urban fantasy book and I have really enjoyed these first three books in the series.

When I get into one of the Sookie books I just sit up through the night to read it. Sleep be damned!
star rating photo: 5 Star Rating 5stars.jpg

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Book Promotion: A Dark Hand by Oscar TK

Frederica Williams is the new girl at Trenton High, having just moved to Trenton, New Jersey following the mysterious demise of her parents. There she meets Alex Murnau, a pale and attractive young man who seems delightfully formal, and Darren, who is pretty much the opposite. Almost as if the two of them are meant to represent opposite extremes. At least they're not at all similar to any other character in popular culture.

Frederica begins to feel torn between the friendship (and possibly more) of both of these boys, especially as neither really seems to approve of the other.

How will Frederica get through this difficult time? She has a lot to learn about life and love, and throughout the hilariously dry parody of Twilight, dark romance, and young adult fiction she learns to remove the shackles of societal expectations, and come to terms with who she really is in no uncertain terms.

A Dark Hand is a short novella of 12,000 words. The rough draft was initially written in front of a live audience, something which is reflected upon in the included blog post reprint at the end of the book.

Oscar Taylor-Kent is a writer, humorist, and occasional blogger who tries to make good touching pen to paper every once in a while. He can also use a keyboard too. Not one to be pigeon-holed, he writes things from silly detective nonsense to depressing dystopian futures. He also writes about video games, online dating, and anything else you pay him to write about. He was writing about email marketing anonymously some time before he had to think about how to make his own.

Oscar TK lives in South-West England, despises when it's too hot, but refuses to go out in the rain. 

Where can I find Oscar? 


Monday, 19 May 2014

My Summer Readathon Thingy...#1

I admit that I got into a bad habit that I thought was a good idea at the time. See, I used to buy entire series instead of just book one because there are only two places to buy books near my home and these places weren't big stockers of urban fantasy so if you didn't buy it when you saw it, you didn't get it at all. (This was before I knew a debit card was accepted on Amazon as well as a credit card. Sigh.) But I digress. So I was left with lots of series waiting to be read. I would read the first book and if I really liked it and would read the rest of the series, I'd leave it and go to the first book of another series. Yeah sounds a bit mad but I wanted to get rid of what I didn't like in swaps and this was a quick way to do it. Stack of Swap, basically!

Problem is, now I'm ready to finish all those great series and I barely remember what happened in the book ones that I liked so much! ARRGGHH!  I don't have the patience to flick through them all to see what happened and of course I was too busy to review them properly at the time so I might have to waste time on re-reads!!! I HATE that!

However, I need to catch up on all these series one way or the other so after promising to do it for years, I'm finally going to do it. From now until August 31st I'm doing the Big Fat Summer Readathon! I'm going back to as many of these series as I can to catch right up/finish them and get them reviewed and onto the blog. It will tackle the ever growing growing tbr list and get some good stuff on the blog for you guys to look at.

What am I planning to read? Well first I plan to catch up on a few of my favourite series and here are the first planned books:

I'm not greatly keen on the last three Otherworld books because I really can't stand Savannah but I need to get them read so I can decide what to do with them.

Hope to start in the next day or two! Regular updates here and on Twitter for those interested.

My Monday Musings #7

I've decided each Monday to talk a bit about my previous week and what I enjoyed reading and watching, and my plans for the coming week. Hopefully that will motivate me to get things done!

Another week over...can you believe that we are nearly at June??? Time is going by so fast that I'm about to start my Christmas shopping again! I have to start early because I'm on a budget and buy things gradually. That should curb my book splurges! Yes I was a bad girl last Sunday, ordering a shed load of Amazon paperbacks, most of which have arrived now. I need to be more restrained over the summer until I get a grip of the tbrs! More about my summer plans in my upcoming readathon post later today.

So this week I continued watching Ax Men, finishing up season 4. I just have the season finale to watch which should be interesting. I abandoned a couple of books but didn't get the reading done that I would like. I've been planning to read Hide and Seek for weeks now and I finally hope to get it read tonight! Then I can get to the Summer Readathon plan.







Book Review: Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris (Sookie #2)

Sookie Stackhouse likes living in Bon Temps, Louisiana, and she likes working as a cocktail waitress at Merlotte's. But she is having a streak of bad luck. First her co-worker is killed, and no one seems to care. Then she comes face-to-face with a beastly creature which gives her a painful and poisonous lashing. Enter the vampires, who graciously suck the poison from her veins (like they didn't enjoy it).

The point is: the vampires saved her life. So when one of her bloodsuckers asks for a favour, she obliges-and soon Sookie's in Dallas, using her telepathic skills to search for a missing vampire. She's supposed to interview certain humans involved, but she makes one condition: the vampires must promise to behave, and let the humans go unharmed. But that's easier than done, and all it takes is one delicious blonde and one small mistake for things to turn deadly...

My Review:
Sookie is attacked by a creature in the woods and Bill has to take her to Eric to get her healed. Eric has a mission for the pair-to go to the Dallas vampires and use Sookie's psychic gift to see who knows anything about the disappearance of a vampire there. The trail seems to lead to an anti-vampire cult so Sookie has to go undercover. And at the back of her mind is the violent death of one of her co-workers that she might have to get involved with.

This was a really great book. It was the only book in the series that the library had available when I was looking for this author so I ended up reading the series a bit out of order. Sookie is very sweet and funny and great as a MC. She gets into trouble constantly and has to rely on her vampire friends every time she gets hurt. She is emotional when she gets hurt or things go wrong which makes her seem more real as the weak human in amongst all the supernatural creatures. She has a happy relationship with Bill which Eric is always trying to ruin, and is learning to use her psychic gift to help the vampires sniff out trouble amongst their human employees.

In this case Sookie is able to reach into the mind of a girl to uncover what happened to the missing vampire, bringing her into direct contact with the Fellowship of the Sun, a cult who want to kill all vampires and the humans who consort with them. The cult have a vampire willing to kill himself for their entertainment but they plan plan to sacrifice the missing vampire and any nosy person who gets in the way. We also see Sookie have her first run in with the shifter community.

Eric is just the star of this book! I love the creepy sleazy way he acts around Sookie, always trying to get her into bed and not being subtle about it. My favourite scenes are when Sookie is playing detective to find who killed Lafayette. She is invited to an orgy where the killer may be and is forced to take Eric along for protection. Eric's reaction to being asked to pretend he is gay and not have sex with the women there is pretty funny. And who wants to imagine the Viking Lovegod in dodgy lycra leggings?!!

Great plot and action, mixture of humour, romance and horror, this book has it all for the urban fantasy fan. 
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Sunday, 18 May 2014

Book Review: Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris (Sookie #1)

Sookie Stackhouse is a small-time cocktail waitress in small-town Louisiana. She's quiet, keeps to herself, and doesn't get out much. Not because she's not pretty. She is. It's just that, well, Sookie has this sort of "disability." She can read minds. And that doesn't make her too dateable. And then along comes Bill. He's tall, dark, handsome - and Sookie can't 'hear' a word he's thinking. He's exactly the kind of guy she's been waiting for all her life.

But Bill has a disability of his own: He's a vampire. Worse than that, hangs with a seriously creepy crowd, with a reputation for trouble - of the murderous kind.

And when one of Sookie's colleagues is killed, she begins to fear she'll be next ...

My Review:
Sookie Stackhouse is a mind-reading bar waitress in Bon Temps-and her world changes forever when a vampire called Bill moves into the area, the first ever to do so. Sookie finds that she cannot read his mind and becomes captivated by him despite the danger. When she saves his life, a love affair develops which gets the tongues wagging, especially when local girls start getting murdered. These girls are fangbangers-vampire groupies, and each has a connection to Jason, Sookie's brother, making him a prime suspect. Sookie and Bill delve into the vampire clubs for answers, trying to find the real killer, who seems to be targeting Sookie.

Sookie is a great character-likeable, naive, vulnerable and kind, the type of girl you'd want as a best friend as you know she would always be there for you if you were in trouble. I had sympathy for her curse of knowing what everyone thinks about her, seeing her as an idiot or someone mentally challenged. I think knowing everyone's secrets might be fun for a while but after hearing some of the things that people think about, that gift could get old fast. Bill is written as a more traditional menacing vampire who would kill anyone who threatened his girl-kind of romantic in a homicidal sort of way I guess! He is protective of Sookie but knows that bringing her into his world is dangerous for her, especially with her gift. But he is also an old fashioned gentleman and treats her well. It's not hard to see why Sookie falls for him.

There are some really good supporting characters which is important in a long series. I like Sam the best and I'm kind rooting for him to win Sookie over at some point! I also love the invention of Bubba who is a famous face amongst vampires. The characters are all so much nicer in the books than they are portrayed in the series 'True Blood', especially Jason and Andy. I prefer the Ms Harris versions thank you!

The plot was a murder mystery with paranormal romance thrown in for good measure. The investigation is interesting and it keeps you guessing who the killer is until close to the end when, if you follow the hints, you know who it is. This was a good starting book for the series and I actually read it after the second book so I knew most of what happened in it before I read it though it didn't spoil my enjoyment of it.
star rating photo: Four Star Rating 4stars.png

Book Review: No Humans Involved by Kelley Armstrong(WOTO #7)

NO HUMANS INVOLVED stars necromancer Jaime Vegas. She's on a television shoot in Brentwood, Los Angeles when weird things start to happen. Invisible hands brush her arms, she sees movements out of the corner of her eye, unintelligible fragments of words are whispered in her ear. Jaime's used to seeing the dead and hearing them clearly. But now, for the first time in her life, she knows what humans mean when they say they're being haunted. Jaime is determined to get to the bottom of this, but she doesn't realise how low her investigation will take her, or what human-based horror she will uncover.

As Jamie delves through the dark underside of Los Angeles she'll need as much Otherworld help as she can get to survive unscathed. But Jeremy, the alpha-werewolf is there by her side to offer his protection. And maybe more than that . . .

My Review:
Jamie Vegas has agreed to take part in a TV special with two other paranormal experts,aiming to speak to the ghost of Marilyn Monroe. It could mean that she gets the long awaited TV career that she wanted and to add to the fun, Jeremy has agreed to come and visit her on set, sparking hopes that he might share her feelings about a relationship. But of course things are not about to run smoothly for Jamie when she gets involved in a case of dead kids being sacrificed for dark magic rituals.

I really like Jamie and I share her pain every time she makes an idiot of herself in front of Jeremy. We've all done that in front of someone we like though maybe not on the scale of Jamie's humiliations! I was really rooting for her and Jeremy to get together as I love both characters. It is nice to see their relationship develop and get pretty steamy! I liked all the trouble that Jaime and Jeremy managed to get into and as always I enjoy the appearance of Eve, a character that I was surprised to like as much as I did. We get introduced to Hope, who will feature in upcoming books. I couldn't really judge her in this book as I have already read Personal Demon which is her story and I liked it.

On a slightly bum note, I felt that the side plot of the TV show wasn't the strongest plot in the world and it did get a bit dull. You get the feeling that this show was just put there as a setting for the upcoming romance. It was ok but it could've been better. The other characters on set weren't particularly interesting to me so my mind did wander a wee bit during these sections. It didn't stop me enjoying the book though.I admit that I am always biased in favour of the books with the werewolf pack. The actual investigation into the dead kids was more interesting and gives Jamie the chance to take the spotlight for a change. I look forward to seeing more of Jamie as well in future books.
star rating photo: Four Star Rating 4stars.png