Archive | April, 2009

Salt and Silver by Anna Katherine

28 Apr

saltandsilverkatherineFavorite Lines: “There is a Door to Hell in the basement of my diner, right next to where we stack the boxes of food from deliveries.” (ARC p. 1)

Sally’s Diner became home to Allie after her mother and her tennis instructor ran away with all of the family’s money. Forced to work in order to survive, Allie was happy to have kept two very dear friends, Amanda and Stan. (They don’t have to work like her.) After a night of heavy drinking Amanda suggests the trio work a spell, (which totally worked the wrong way because it was made up) and they wind up opening a Door to Hell. That’s really where it all begins.

A door that needs guarding, the sexy Stetson wearing man watching it and killing anything that comes out, Ryan, and a day when the door disappears. Soon it isn’t only his door that is gone. Big deal, right? Wrong. Good and bad must be balanced or the world will end with fire and water.

Anna Katherine is a pseudonym for two women and their debut book,Salt and Silver, came out today (April 28, 2009) . The book has a cool premise: there are doorways that lead to Hell and people who guard the doors to stop demons from leaving their dimensions and causing problems in the human world.

I was pretty excited about this book after I read the blurb, but about halfway through the story I got a little disappointed. I thought the book was going to start with Allie being abandoned and forced to work for a living. I thought she’d get herself in a stupid situation where she found herself casting a spell, but what I got was Allie telling me about that. It had already happened, so when the book starts Allie is trying to catch me up and place me where she wants me before telling me a story about Hell dimensions. This is a personal preference issue and had nothing to do with the actual writing which was detailed and vivid.

I guess my biggest problem with Salt and Silver is that I couldn’t connect with Allie’s character…at all. She was a former pampered, rich girl who was still friends with self-absorbed people. And I didn’t feel much more than a slight dislike for her.

There is a romance trying to happen in this story, too. You’ve got a demon hunter with emotional issues that have prevented him from hooking up with Allie for six years. This book focuses on them overcoming and trying to be together.

Salt and Silver has been reviewed by other people. So check out Darque Reviews for another opinion of it.

Kroger’s contest

23 Apr

how-big I’m a sucker for a freebie. So when I saw that Kroger’s had a bag making contest where you make a bag and your Kroger’s card is credited the price of a reusable bag, I joined it. That’s what I made.

I guess there’s a bigger contest taking place, too. Really I just don’t want to go out with four votes. 🙂


Future Release: Tempest Rising

22 Apr

I found this jewel on the Orbit Book website. Nicole Peeler, a debut author, has signed a three book deal with Orbit Books. The first book will be released in November 2009. It sounds pretty good.

tempestrisingpeeler“In the tiny village of Rockabill, Maine, Jane True-26-year-old bookstore clerk and secret night swimmer-has no idea that her absent mother’s legacy is entry into a world populated by the origins of human myths and legends. It is a world where nothing can be taken for granted: vampires are not quite what we think; dogs sometimes surprise us; and whatever you do, never-ever-rub the genie’s lamp.

For Jane, everything kicks off when she comes across a murder victim during her nightly clandestine swim in the freezing winter ocean. This grisly discovery leads to the revelation of why she has such freakish abilities in the water: her mother was a Selkie and Jane is only half human.

With this knowledge, Jane soon finds herself mingling with supernatural creatures alternately terrifying, beautiful, and deadly-all adjectives that quite handily describe her new friend Ryu.

When Ryu is sent to Rockabill to investigate the murder, he and Jane fall hard for each other even as they plummet into a world of intrigue threatening to engulf both supernatural and human societies. For someone is killing half-humans like Jane.

The question is, are the murders the work of one rogue individual or part of a greater plot to purge the world of Halflings?”–Orbit Books

One Deadly Sin by Annie Solomon

19 Apr

onedeadlysinsolomon

Favorite Lines: “A fattoo. Look.” She pulled the neck of her nightgown down to bare her shoulder. Show’d some kind of picture she had drawn there. “It’s a swan.” (ARC 73)

Edie Swann rides into town on her motorcycle with a small bag of black angels in search of answers and a little payback. Years ago her father was accused of embezzlement, and he shame caused him to commit suicide. Edie’s mother never believed the accusations and placed a huge black gargoyle at his grave with a promise that it would stay there until he was cleared of all suspicion.

As Edie works in the shadows to pass out the angels to people she suspects involved in her father’s death, a killer follows behind her. People begin to drop and she begins to wonder if she should have left the past alone.

Sheriff Holt Drennen is a single father living with his parents and his young impressionable daughter. A daughter in awe of the town’s new bartender, Edie. She’s not the only one fascinated with the tattooed woman who pulled great beer. But with the accidental deaths of prominent members of Redbud, Tenn., he is soon looking at the town’s newest resident with suspicion.

With secrets coming out of closets and small town gossip running rampant. A killer is hunting…and Edie is the prey.

One Deadly Sin is a romantic suspense that revolves around small town secrets, and finding love amidst rumors. It takes a beautiful town and shows the ugliness that hides beneath the surface. The way people consider a person guilty just because of an accusation. It kinda reminded me of the Salem Witch trials. (Burn the witch and all that…)

Edie wants answers, but when she discovers passion and love with the sheriff she begins to reconsider because the secrets may hurt Holt. She wants to protect him, but Holt it no wilting lilly. He is in charge of his town and willing to lose it all for its newest inhabitant.

The suspense and the romance in the story was great. The face of the killer, well it came from left field. (I’ve written this part over and over, but it seems to give spoilers. I’ll leave it up to you. Let me know if the ending seemed to be in line with the story at Scooper’s blog.)

Anyways, One Deadly Sin is slated to be released in May 2009. Check it out!

Future Release: Flesh Circus

18 Apr

fleshcircussaintcrowBook four in the Saintcrow’s Kismet series, Flesh Circus, is slated to be released in December of 2009. Here’s the blurb:

The Cirque de Charnu has come. They will clean out the demons and the suicides, and move on. As long as they stay within the rules, Jill Kismet can’t deny them entry. But she can watch–and if they step out of line, she’ll send them packing.

When Cirque performers start dying grotesquely , Kismet has to find out why, or the fragile truce won’t hold and her entire city will become a carnival of horror. She also has to play the resident hellbreed power against the Cirque to keep them in line, and find out why ordinary people are needing exorcisms. And then there’s the murdered voodoo practitioners, and the zombies.

An ancient vengeance is about to be enacted. The Cirque is about to explode. And Jill Kismet is about to find out some games are played for keeps…Orbit Books

Future Release: Redemption Alley

16 Apr

redemptionallleysaintcrowThe next installment in the Kismet series will be released in August, 2009.

Some cases are unusual — even for Jill Kismet. When her police contact asks her to look into a ’suicide’, she suddenly finds herself in a labyrinth of deception, drugs, murder — and all-too-human corruption.

The cops are her allies, except for the ones who want her dead. The hellbreed are her targets, except for the ones who might know what’s going on.

Her city is in danger, time is running out, and each lead only draws her deeper.How far will a hunter go when her city — and her friends — are on the line? Just far enough.Step into Redemption Alley…Orbit Books

Future Release: Soulless

15 Apr

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Found this interesting cover and blurb for a book coming out in September by Gail Carriger. I love the cover for some reason.

Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she’s a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.

Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire — and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.

With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London’s high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart? —–Amazon.com

Tender Graces by Kathryn Magendie

13 Apr

tendergracesmagendieFavorite Lines: “Mothers–they have so much power. a few little words, and a few unthoughtful actions, can nurture or destroy a child. It’s a power I always said I’d use wisely. I sometimes feel as if I’ve failed.” (ARC  p. 195)

Bonus Favorite Lines: “Grandpa Luke tried beating the babies from Grandma Faith at first. His fists made the first two children, a girl and a boy, come out strong jawed and ornery. He told her the third one was born dead, wrapped its twisted body in his oily flannel shirt, and buried it in the woods. But Grandma thought she heard a pitiful mewling as he left the room and that sound haunted her to her last thought. While Grandpa scraped the burial dirt from his fingernails, Grandma cried.” (p. ARC 9)

Virginia Kate Carey was born in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia to a wild young woman and a smooth salesman. One of three children, she revisits her painful childhood after her mother passes away and she returns to handle her mother’s affairs.

Dragged into the past by a journal that houses her grandmother’s thoughts and is peppered with her mother’s comments, Virginia Kate begins the journey of coming to terms with her mother’s selfishness and inadequacies, while discovering that she can always find her way home.

Ms. Magendie‘s debut story is an excellent foray into the world of poverty, alcoholism, and abuse, and showcases humanity’s ability to claw itself up from it all. She takes a young woman born into poverty and placed in hellish situations, and forces her to come to terms with the path that led to her pain. She shows her heroine, Virginia Kate, what her grandmother and mother were exposed to, from infanticide to molestation. This gives the heroine empathy and enables her to see a little more deeply into her troubled family’s past.

Tender Graces is all about coming to terms with the past. It is a book that takes place from the 1950’s to present and flip-flops in time. It is a southern women’s contemporary women’s fiction you cannot miss. It subtly shows the abuse all of the characters faced, their reactions to it, and the damage that results. It is not a violent or sexually explicit story.

Tender Graces is an excellent book for people who seek out women’s literature and those who don’t. It is a gripping story that promises to take you to the mountains of West Virginia and dumps you into the lap of a family struggling to survive.


Let’s be Friends Award

13 Apr

award_lets_be_friendsThanks Kimberly for the Let’s be Friends Award.

The Let’s be Friends Awards stands for this: These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers.

Bad to the Bone by Jeri Smith-Ready

7 Apr

Favorite lines: “Sometimes in the middle of the night,” he says, “when I’m in the studio, a song will remind me of you. One line of lyrics, or even just a riff that travels up my spine the way your fingers do. And suddenly I’ll miss the way your skin smells in all the hidden places. I’ll miss the way you sigh when I slide inside you, and the way your eyelashes flutter. Or I’ll just miss the way you laugh at one of my stupid jokes. And sometimes this happens in the middle of the day when I’m at the station, and I know you’re upstairs in the office, and I could walk up and see you in less than a minute.”

I somehow find my voice. “Why don’t you?”

His gaze meets mine, stealing what’s left of my breath. “Because I want you  to miss me, too.” (ARC p. 307-8)

badtothebonesmithready

Con artist Ciara Griffin has found a new life as the mascot for the DJs at 94.3 WVMP. On paper she’s the owner Elizabeth,

but in reality she’s just a woman falling in love with a vampire while trying to survive all the machinations that come with the undead. If it isn’t danger coming from a vampire, then it’s danger aimed towards one, and seeing that Ciara works with the undead…well you get the point.

On Halloween, it all begins when a WVMP broadcast is interrupted by an anti-vampire sermon. The broadcast pirating is soon connected to a group of occult hating people determined to put women in second place, and unfortunately for the station a reporter for Rolling Stone is sniffing around for an exclusive into the ‘gimmick’ about vampire DJs. The investigation brings up the past, and introduces Ciara to necrozoology Dexter.

Ms. Smith-Ready‘s next urban fantasy installment in the WVMP Radio Series, Bad to the Bone, picks up shortly after Wicked Games ends. Interest in the independent radio station is starting to wane and while it attempts to resuscitate its slumping numbers, death threats from a secretive religious group arrive. There’s never a good time to face a possible death, but the timing is especially bad because a reporter is digging for dirt on the DJs. This sets the story up and pulls it along as the characters evolve emotionally and secrets unravel.

Most of the characters have emotional issues, but Ciara and Shane had the most. Both of their problems stem from their parents. Shane looks into his feelings surrounding being Catholic and a vampire, and giving up his family. And Ciara has to face emotions, something foreign to the former con artist. Ms. Smith-Ready did an excellent job of showing the many thoughts that might go through a woman’s mind as she considers sharing her life with someone. The good and the bad parts of a relationship with a vampire are exposed as Ciara faces life altering decisions.

Bad to the Bone is told in first person, present tense, putting the focus on Ciara. But I think the vampiric, dog Dexter stole all of the scenes he was in. I am not an animal lover, but he sounds like the perfect dog…okay, it is kind of gross that he only drinks blood, but every animal has a flaw.

The only thing that bothered me about Bad to the Bone was how fast a couple of characters and their relationships seemed

to end. We spend a good amount of time with them only to see something major happen and stop the development of both.

I can’t say I’m disappointed with Bad to the Bone in any way. Not after reading about a bargain with the devil, the secrets only blood can tell, and the set up for the next book in the series.

Bad to the Bone will be released May 19, 2009.