Archive | August, 2010

Review: Web of Lies by Jennifer Estep

31 Aug

Favorite Lines: “Then the detective turned and walked toward the entrance of the collapsed mine. He didn’t even glance back at me.” (p. 365)

Gin Blanco is a retired assassin and the owner of a grease hole called the Pork Pit. Just when she thought life was slowing down a couple of jerks tried to rob her restaurant and then someone shoots it up. Thinking someone is out to get her, she straps her gear back on determined to protect what’s hers. Only the killers aren’t after her. They are after a young girl seeking her help.

The former killer agrees to help the girl and her grandfather which brings her into contact with Detective Donovan Caine, a man set on ignoring his attraction for Gin. Especially after she enlightened him to the fact that it was her who killed his former partner. With her elemental power and magic, a couple of friends and allies and the detective’s aid, Gin will show the town of Ashland she is not a woman to be trifled with.

In book one, Spider’s Bite, Jennifer Estep introduces the cold blooded killer Gin Blanco. By the time Web of Lies begins, Gin has settled into the quiet life of retirement with dreams of spending time with Detective Caine. Caine, the only honest detective in Ashland’s police department, never really took to the idea of getting with Gin. Their morals are slightly different.

Well, the fact that Gin is willing to get her hands dirty in order to protect people and Caine’s traditional morals prevent him from veering away from the legal norms offer a lot of ground which neither is willing to cross. I hate Caine. I understand Gin’s attraction to him and the semblance of a normal life he represents. But his unwillingness to bend and his cruel words to her, show he is not worthy of her.

The mystery into Gin’s past gets clearer in Web of Lies and the action heats up. Estep also introduces a few new characters forcing me wonder where she is taking the elemental assassin series. The ending was exceptionally well written, as I’m on the verge of freaking out cause I have a few weeks until the third installment Venom is released. (It releases on Sept. 28, 2010).

If you are looking for  a strong woman who dreams of a better life, but knows how to live in the present pick up Web of Lies. You’ll find romance, drama, action and urban fantasy at its finest.

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Coming soon: Zombie series by Jesse Petersen

30 Aug

Most of you  know that I’m not a big zombie lover. I have a hard time finding a connection to them when they are anything other than flesh eating monsters. That said, I’m looking forward to a new series by Jesse Petersen set to release book one tomorrow.  According to the blurb, Married with Zombies is about a couple with marital issues on their way to counseling who discover zombies. They must work together to survive if they can avoid killing each other. The follow up book, Flip this Zombie, is already available for pre-order on Amazon.

Review: Sparks by Laura Bickle

28 Aug

Favorite Lines: “The white cursor blinked, spelled out: Let me out of here. Please.” (p. 199)

After being called to investigate a possible case of spontaneous combustion, arson investigator Anya Kalinczyk is drawn into a supernatural case surrounding a charity run by a magic enshrouded woman named Hope Solomon. It is during this inquiry her familiar Sparky lays eggs and becomes a weak spot through which Anya’s enemies can strike at her.  Soon Anya will discover nothing is safe. Nothing is as it appears. And nothing will ever be the same.

“Sparks,” by Laura Bickle is book two in the urban fantasy series about Anya Kalinczyk a psychic medium/fire investigator who works to protect the dark city of Detroit. The first book in the series “Embers,” introduced us to Anya’s ability to devour ghosts. By the end of the book Anya had learned the name for her ability, but didn’t know why she of all people had the ability to eat ghosts.

Sparks,” begins six months later when Anya’s boss dumps a supernatural arson case in her lap. During her investigation she is forced to reevaluate past decisions and forgive herself for her role in her mother’s death. A little of the mystery surrounding Anya’s parentage is brought up, but it feels like a teaser for the next book. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a title or release date for it.

On to romance and Anya. I never like Anya’s love/lust interest, Brian. Brian (and Anya) works with the paranormal group Detroit Area Ghost Researchers, or DAGR. However he also has a secret technical side job working for the government. His research shows a side of him Anya never saw before and I don’t think it will be long before Anya figures out he is not the man for her. I’ll admit having Brian is an excellent way to show not all heroines falling for the “man of their dreams” will be happy.

When I reviewed the first book I talked about Sparky, Anya’s elemental familiar. I really enjoyed him and that feeling still existed in “Sparks.” Sparky is a male, but he was able to lay eggs. This is commented upon by Anya and her mentor Ciro. Ciro explains the plausibility of the situation by telling Anya Sparky became what she needed him to be. He is an asexual creature and gender is “meaningless.” I think it is a rather ingenious way to make the situation believable. The eggs play an important role in moving the story along, but their biggest contribution is in how they helped Anya grow as an individual.

What I really think: I was entertained by reading “Sparks” but I wasn’t enthralled until chapters 18 through 20. As I neared the end of the book you couldn’t pry it from my hands. Add to that my love for the way Bickle contrasted people’s appearance in the spiritual world to that of reality, and you got a pleasantly dark book. Despite all the positive aspects of “Sparks” I put it down often. The story just couldn’t hold my attention at times.

Read a sample chapter at Juno.

Facebook and a Giveaway

26 Aug

The giveaway is closed. Thanks to everyone who entered!

Find Scooper Speaks on Facebook, like it and leave a comment to be entered into a drawing for a surprise package. The giveaway begins today and will be open until  Sept. 26. One entry per person, please. Good luck!

New Look!

26 Aug

Hey guys! I’ve updated my look at home by cutting off a foot of hair and now I’ve updated the blog. Pretty soon the Scooper Speaks website will be obsolete and I’ll focus on this poor, neglected blog. I’ve got a stack of books ready to be reviewed, have made time to write and can’t wait to hear all your comments.

Right now I really want to know what you think about the look. Should I change the header? Does it look dorky? Help!!

Opinions wanted!

21 Aug

I am considering shutting down the website and focusing on blogging again. I’ve been so wrapped up in freelancing that I’ve neglected both the blog and the website. The fact that I lost my Dreamweaver disc didn’t help the situation at all. So what do you think. Do you prefer the Scooper Speaks blog or website?