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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

To Be Read & Currently Reading

I haven't posted my To Be Read & Currently Reading for a while and have no idea why!!  I have thought about it a couple of times but somehow I keep forgetting about it!

So apologies for not keeping you up to date!  Here is the dreaded TBR pile and the amazing reads I currently have going on!

Currently Listening :

I love this series and I couldn't wait for this new release.  I even went a couple of days without listening to an audio book because I was waiting for this one to release and knew I wouldn't be able to fit another book in before this one came out.

It took me a while to get this one on to my phone yesterday using the Audible app.  It just didn't want to work.  I would have put it straight onto my iPod but the book hadn't been released when I left for work!  Stupid time difference!

However it is all worth the trouble and frustration!  The narrator is, as always, making the story even more funny and amazing.  The story is, as always, compelling and amusing.

This has to be one of my favourite series ever and it is definitely my number one when it comes to audio versions.  I couldn't read this series because the audio edition is just too great!  I think I will be listening to this one on the weekend....instead of reading!

Currently Reading :

The Asylum Tales are awesome!  I was really sad to hear it was coming to an end but extremely excited to see that the final installment was being broken into three parts and released within weeks of each other.

This first part was released last week and part two came out this week.  The last part releases next week and I had all on pre-order to make sure I didn't miss them and that I could read them straight away.

As far as I know these books are only available on Kindle and maybe other e-formats and they seem to be three shorter stories that fit together as one last final installment.

I haven't actually started this one yet but it is definitely the next read on my list.  I don't care about the review books I have to read, this one goes to the top of the pile!

The Dreaded 'To Be Read' Pile :

There are a few books on this list that are ARC's I need to read and review but because they don't release for another couple of months/weeks.

Anyone paying attention will notice that this list has gotten longer and most of the books from last time are still on here.  I am a naughty person and keep reading the new stuff and neglecting the old stuff!

Portrait of a Dead GuyHot ButtonThe Midnight WitchQuick Study
Death by the Dozen

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

113) Otherworld Nights by Kelley Armstrong

The Blurb :

This short story collection will include many brand-new tales and others only previously available on Kelley Armstrong's website. Most of the stories will feature the werewolves of the Otherworld, Elena and Clay, Jeremy, Karl and other members of the American Pack. These are some of Kelley Armstrong's best-loved and most enduring characters, from bestselling books such as Bitten, Stolen and Frostbitten.

My Thoughts :

I usually hate anthologies and usually moan and groan about them afterward.  However an anthology with only Kelley Armstrong stories based in the Otherworld Series is nothing to gripe about.  It is something to celebrate and anticipate.

Due to my distaste for anthologies I have actually never (to my recollection) read any of the short stories in the Otherworld Nights collection.  So I was very eager to read this book and catch up with some of the characters again and see how they are doing.  To make the review easier to write I will address each story individually.

1) Demonology - Adam's mother discovers what he is.

Short but sweet.  This one left me wanting more but it was a nice to find out more about Adam and meet his Mother.

2) Stalked - Clay/Elena honeymoon story from "My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon"

This is the only story from the collection that I believe I have read before.  It felt familiar and if I go back and check my previous reads maybe I will find "My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon" on the list.

It was a good story and it was typical Elena and Clay.  They manage to be so close but fail to communicate well enough to enjoy their honeymoon.  It is amusing and cute at the same time.  A nice story about two of my favourite characters in the series.

3) Hidden - SubPress 2012 Elena/Clay novella

The was the longest and best story in the book.  Clay, Elena and the twins are getting ready for Christmas.  All alone in a cabin they come across a local mutt.  The story has some nice twists and turns and also brings up the 'when do we tell the children' question.

I really liked this story and it was like having another new episode in the Otherworld series.  A look at how things could have been.   Other members of the Pack show up as an added treat but the icing on the cake was getting to know the twins better.

Any fan of the series, who hasn't read this short story, should get this anthology just because of Hidden.  It makes the whole anthology worth reading and made me very happy.

4) Twilight - a Cass story from "Many Bloody Returns"

A story about Cassandra.  I guess the title is a little funny when you think this one is a vampire novella.  I didn't really care for this one and have never really liked the character.  It was interesting to find out more about her life but she made me want to stake her.

5) Chivalrous - Reese's backstory from SubPress's long sold-out "Tales of Dark Fantasy 2" (the Dec'14 SubPress graphic novella picks up this storyline)

I think this was my second favourite.  I can't remember much about Reese but I really enjoyed getting to know him and finding out more about his past.  This was a tragic story but it was a good look into the reasons Reese is the way he is.  He is mentioned/takes part in some of the other stories in this anthology and this background piece about him explains a lot.

6) Lucifer's Daughter - Hope/Karl story from "Blood Lite II: Overbite"

I really like Hope and Karl so I was happy to find them among the novellas in this collection.  Another short but sweet story this was over pretty quick but there was a lot of action and information.  Another enjoyable read and well worth checking out if you like these characters.

7) From Russia with Love - Elena bonus story included with hardcover of "Thirteen"

Another nice Elena story but it was over pretty quick.  I didn't understand why the whole being followed bit was so important but maybe I wasn't paying enough attention.

This story came across as the last look into the life of the Pack.  It could also be seen as the beginning of what is to come.  I don't know if Kelley intends on coming back to the Otherworld at some point but if she does this is the story she would have to continue from.  A nice ending but a hopeful future.

8) Vanishing Act - brand-new Savannah/Adam novella set after "Thirteen"

I like Savannah but this story didn't agree with me.  I am not sure why but I felt like I should have enjoyed it more.  Maybe I didn't put it in the right place in the series and it should have meant more to me.  Did it tie up some loose ends that I had forgotten about?

I plan on reading/listening (if I can get them all on audio!) the whole series again from start to finish and I definitely have to try and fit in the novellas too.

All in all this was a good collection of stories that are well worth reading if you are a fan of the series.  Check the stories first to see if you have read them before because you could end up being disappointed and re-reading novellas you already know.

Kelley Armstrong is a great writer and I thank her for putting this novellas together and look forward to another collection.  The Otherworld is one of my favourite series ever and I miss it like mad.  This anthology was a great present and a thoughtful idea.  I doubt I would have ever managed to read all of the stories in their original anthologies.

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Author Guest & Giveaway : Nancy Gideon

Guest Post

Carrying The Torch by Nancy Gideon

When I began the first “By Moonlight” book and realized I had waaaay too much story to fit into one novel, I envisioned doing a series around my hero and heroine, the deliciously dangerous shape-shifter, Max Savoie and NOPD detective Charlotte Caissie. Through three books, then four, their relationship went through a rollercoaster of dramatic ups and downs as they tried to find a balance behind their worlds – his criminal/hers law enforcement, his preternatural/hers human. Then my publisher wanted to branch out from the “Moonlight” books into the “Shadows” which remained in the same world , but had different heroes and heroines for each book. Readers, though they enjoyed the “Shadows” books, pouted because they wanted more Max. Finally, with REMEMBERED BY MOONLIGHT, I was able to bring Max and Cee Cee back . . . but would their romantic torch burn as bright?

I’d kept my favorite couple tucked into the background with their story threading through the 4th through 8th book. I worried that after being secondary characters for so long, the spark might have faded, that I didn’t have a reason to return them for a book of their own. But as fate would have it, I found a way to twist the tale so that Max no longer remembers the woman he adores or the friends and enemies that surround him. Cee Cee is a stranger to him, one he’s not sure he can trust. And she’s heartbroken, torn between that past he may not be able to recover and a future he may well chose to live without her. And the spark took flame as they began to fall in love all over again.

That makes REMEMBERED BY MOONLIGHT the perfect book for a reader who hasn’t yet stepped into the “By Moonlight” world. They can discover it right alongside Max as he his puts his memories together, piece by piece. And in this case, it’s better the second time around.

The Blurb

Because the road to . . .

Clever, cool and preternaturally lethal, Max Savoie is leader of a secretive shape-shifter clan, heir to a mobster’s legacy, and the love of New Orleans’ top cop . . . but he can’t remember any of them. The only way to recover his past, and his rightful place in the arms of the woman who risked all to save him, is to surrender to a mysterious visitor who could use him as a weapon against all he’d loved.

Happily-Ever-After . . .

After rescuing her mate from his ruthless captors in the North, hard-hitting Detective Charlotte Caissie is now painfully vulnerable—a stranger in his eyes . . . and in his bed. The key to his memories is locked in a tortuous past. To reclaim the strength of their passionate bond, Max must learn to trust her enough to face that darkness at her side before the threat it hides exposes the secret Cee Cee carries.

Is never smooth.

When an investigation into grisly deaths in an underground Shifter fight club points to more than just dangerous clan rivalries, Cee Cee enlists Max’s help to find a traitor in their midst while there’s still time to turn a deadly invading tide. But the cost of saving their treasured future may mean sacrificing his past. Especially when the enemy they pursue . . . might be Max, himself.

The Author

Nancy Gideon is the author of over 55 novels ranging from Regencies, historicals and contemporary suspense to dark paranormal romance, with a couple of horror screenplays thrown into the mix.

When not at the keyboard or working full time as a legal assistant in Southwest Michigan, she can be found feeding her addictions for Netflix and all things fur, feather and fin, enjoying Grammy time (usually watching The Avengers), and meeting new friends and readers through her GoodReads “Nancy Gideon by Moonlight” group.

Her books can also be found under the pen names Dana Ransom, Rosalyn West and Lauren Giddings.

The Giveaway

Saturday, October 18, 2014

112) Demons in my Driveway by R.L. Naquin

The Blurb :

Zoey Donovan Aegis and co-opted protector of all things supernatural is moving up in the Hidden world. Actually, she's being drop kicked onto the front lines of a fight between the newly formed Cult of Imagination and Hidden governments everywhere.

The Cult is opening portals and unleashing demons, vampires and werewolves, growing closer to breaking the lock that holds back the zombie apocalypse with every world they crack open. Oh, and they want every last Aegis in the world dead, and a roving band of Hidden worshippers is only too eager to assist.

On the upside, Zoey finally has her mother back. But having another Aegis around one with very different ideas on how to run things is proving difficult. For their own safety, they're stuck inside Zoey's home. What was once a haven is now a prison, further straining maternal relations and alienating her reaper boyfriend. Taking down a cult and saving the world again would be a lot easier if she could go farther than her own driveway.

My Thoughts :

They say variety is the spice of life.  Well this series really has a lot of variety but I am not too sure about the life.  When I first started reading this series I was in awe of the different kinds of unusual creatures and the very unique concept.  However as the series continues I only become confused and unsure about the whole package.  There is so much to remember and a lot of characters to distinguish that I find myself getting a slight headache trying to keep up with everything.

Huge points to the author for coming up with something colourful, unusual and interesting but I am sorry to say that Demons in my Driveway was my last visit to Monster Haven.  If I didn't have so many books to read and a huge list of series I need to finish/carry on with I may keep this one on my radar but I feel like I am wasting my reading time with this series.  It requires a lot of concentration and you really need to know what is what and who is who.

I am not hating this series or the authors work but it is all becoming too complicated and over the top.  I am just not invested enough in this series to keep following Zoey's journey especially after some of the events that happened in this fifth installment.

Try for yourself, this is definitely a series worth checking out and making your own decision.  I can see why people would love the strange Hidden world the author has built but I am going to let them continue without me.

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Friday, October 17, 2014

111) Snow Falling on Bluegrass by Molly Harper

The Blurb :

Kentucky Tourism Commission employee and executive assistant extraordinaire Kelsey is known around the office for having everything under control. So it’s not surprising that she and her boss, Sadie, have everything planned to the second for the office winter retreat. But there are things even Kelsey can’t micromanage.

An unprecedented snowstorm smothers half of Kentucky and knocks out the power, closes the roads, and generally shuts down the state. Luckily, the lodge has working fireplaces and enough food to keep the staff from turning on each other like something out of The Shining. Kelsey wouldn’t mind being stuck inside if it wasn’t for the tension with her not-so-secret crush, Charlie, the office’s statistician. But handsome Ranger Luke, the lodge’s only employee on hand, is there to take Kelsey’s mind off her discomfort.

Even though this weekend is supposed to be a planning session for KTC, Kelsey can’t help her mind from wandering and finds herself conflicted over Luke and Charlie. Someone’s love will keep her warm, but whose will it be?

My Thoughts :

Molly Harper has never managed to disappoint me and her stories always make me smile.  Snow Falling on Bluegrass, the third book in the Bluegrass Series, was funny, light and exactly what I needed.  A romantic comedy with some giggles and laughs which left me feeling happy.  Quirky characters with some crazy weird lives that you can somehow relate to but also wonder how they manage to stay alive.

Stuck in the middle of nowhere in a snowpocolypse isn't how the employees of the Kentucky Tourism Commission expected to spend their annual weekend planning session.  Kelsey was hoping to spend the weekend getting over her ex and trying to find something or someone to take her mind off Daryl who didn't just leave her for another woman but also left her with a lot of unpaid bills.  The horror movie type situation isn't really a good start but it could be worse as the staff try and survive the cold.

The story is amusing throughout and it was nice to see the characters from the previous books again.  Kelsey's story was certainly one that more than a few girls could sympathize with and her character is one of those girls you would like to be friends with.  I really enjoyed getting to know her and following, what was most definitely, her life changing experience.

While this series has none of the paranormal elements you may have come to love and expect from this author it doesn't mean it isn't worth reading.  If you like any of Molly Harper's other books then you will definitely get over the lack of Vampire or Werewolf because Bluegrass is the same light hearted, fun, crazy and enjoyable read that you are used to.

An added extra for fans is the audio book being narrated by Amanda Ronconi who reads all of Molly's audio formats.  She is a super narrator and I love her voice.   Well worth checking out all of Molly's books on Audio just because of Amanda's talents.  She really makes the characters stand out and the story even more fun.

If you haven't read the other Bluegrass books then don't worry too much about reading Snow Falling on Bluegrass first.  While the characters from the previous books make an appearance the books can also stand alone.  However I do highly recommend reading them all.  My only slight annoyance about this book is the release date.  Why do publishers insist on releasing books at the wrong time of the year?  When a story is based in Winter/January why release it in Autumn/Herbst?   Do they even read the book?  The title is a big giveaway!  This would have made for the perfect Christmas release!  I definitely felt like waiting till it gets colder before reading this one but Molly Harper is a pre-order author!

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

October Pre-orders & Recommendations

I am a little late with my Pre-orders & Recommendations post this month.  I can list the excuses/reasons but I won't bother you with all of that ;)

October is already up to the halfway mark and it won't be long before the year is over.  I am behind on my reading goal and I have too many review books that need to be read but I am positive that I will manage to get it all read in time!

Anyway, once again it is time for the monthly post featuring the books I read over the previous month that I highly recommend. Also in this post is a selction of upcoming releases that I have on pre-order.  Take a look and maybe you will find something that you also want to add to your basket!

The "My Recommendations" widget lists the books I really enjoyed over the last month and I highly recommend you read. Of course there will always be something you don't fancy and there may even be an ARC or two thrown in there but you can quickly click over to Amazon and see what the book is about or when it releases.

The Pre-order list is exactly that!  A Selection of the books I have on pre-order. If you are looking forward to a certain book on the list you may want to go pre-order it yourself. It also gives you an idea of what books I am planning to read and which ones I really want so much that I order them in advance.  Some of the books on this list may already be on my Kindle because I was lucky enough to get an Advanced Copy.

Every month I try and update the lists and post them on the blog so you can all see they have been updated and what is on them.

Take a look at this months My Recommendations and Pre-orders! Let me know if you see something you like! Or maybe there is something you think I have forgotten!?

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

110) One Potion in the Grave by Heather Blake

The Blurb :

When Katie Sue Perrywinkle walks into the Little Shop of Potions, Carly is surprised and delighted to see her old childhood friend. Katie Sue fled her hometown and a troubled family over a decade ago. But she’s not back for a social visit. She’s come to settle a score with Senator Warren Calhoun, who is in town for his son’s high-profile wedding.

But before Katie Sue has a chance to voice any objections, she’s forced to forever hold her peace. After finding her friend dead, Carly vows to find her murderer. Were the corrupt Calhouns willing to go to any lengths to avoid a scandal? Did Katie Sue’s family take the term “bad blood” to a whole new level? And why did the bride-to-be come to Carly for a love potion? As Carly gets closer to the truth, a killer is planning a very chilly reception.…

My Thoughts :

Heather Blake is a very special cozy mystery writer because not only has she added a paranormal element to her books but she has done an amazing job of it.  The second book in the Magic Potion Mystery series shows how talented the writer is and also secured her a place on my top ten cozy favourites.  I was in awe before with her Wishcraft series but now I am in love.

I have to admit that when I started this new release, well I couldn't remember much about the first book.   However, as things progressed the gaps in my memory got filled up pretty quick and I managed to settle back into the world of Hitching Post, Alabama.  As the story got more and more interesting I enjoyed the story and plot the author was weaving.  I had my suspicions regarding the who, what and why and some of my theories were correct but it was only at the end that everything became clear.

Another great plot with some really nice characters.  A lovely setting with a super concept.  Magical elements and a great mystery.  Oh and their are cats.  This series is turning out to be perfect and there is so much more I could say but I don't want to spoil things and give anything away.

Read this series if you love Paranormal mysteries and definitely give this series a go if you already enjoy Heather's other books.   This one is a pre-order series and author.  Can't wait to see what happens next in this well written and exciting series.

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