March 9

Musing Mondays: 03/09/15 Edition

musing-mondaysMusing Mondays, a weekly blog meme hosted by Should be Reading, asks you to muse about one of the following each week…

  • Describe one of your reading habits.
  • Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
  • What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it!
  • Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
  • Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
  • Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!

For this week’s Musing Mondays, I’m going to go with point two and talk about book(s) I’ve recently bought for myself and why I chose those books to buy.

The most recent book I purchased as Triple Threat by Regina Kyle. I purchased this book, interestingly enough, because Harlequin is looking for a few new authors for their Blaze series and I was considering writing up a pitch and a chapter or two and submitting.  But first, I had to know -what- the series was like since it’s the hottest series that Harlequin allows.  While I’m still pondering entering, I probably won’t because I need to finish at least one work in progress before I go entering into any more contests with unfinished manuscripts. But I do hope to read this soon.

The book I purchased a few days before was a freebie by Gena Showalter and it was a pre-order for The One You Want – yes another romance novel.  I fell in love with Gena Showalter’s “Darkest” series that involves romance with the various entities that came out of Pandora’s box.  Quite an interesting paranormal romance series of books and wanted to see what she does with non-paranormal romance.

I also purchased a number of books through Kindle, but I can’t find the list right now – most were from authors I was interested in or they had a sale and I wanted to check out the books.

What about you? What books have you recently purchased and why?

 

January 6

Review: Give Your Heart a Break

give your heart a breakReviewer’s disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book with a promise to review it upon completion of reading.  Original target read and review by date was Dec. 23, but due to moving, it wasn’t feasible, thus it being reviewed this week.

Give Your Heart a Break by Helen Peterson is a surprisingly delightful, first-person POV rom-com/chick lit novel that caught me off guard.  Generally speaking, I have difficulties with first-person POV romance novels, but have gotten to like them more, especially after reading the Sookie Stackhouse novels.

You are introduced to the protagonist, Rachel Thomas, as the book opens, working at an ad agency in New York City who is semi-wanting to dodge going out with her friends, knowing she should look for another guy to date, but not wanting to.  Which is where she meets Mason Connor, who she quickly makes excuses to not talk to, despite the immediate attraction between them, and runs the risk of losing out on a seemingly-nice date.

Courtesy of her best friends, she ends up with Mason and the story tells us of the ups and downs of the relationship – including Mason’s manipulative ex who returns to cause problems for her.

The novel covers relationships of not only Rachel, but of her friends – one of whom gets married, one of whom gets engaged to be married and other surprises to be revealed.  It has it’s light-hearted moments, the typical moments of gossip and girly bitch sessions but also more serious issues that affect relationships and how women feel when things go wrong in them.  Helen Peterson definitely got the nuances down when it comes to how women react in certain situations.

I thoroughly enjoyed Helen’s debut novel – so much so that I read it in one night because I couldn’t put it down.  It was very fast paced and kept pulling you along.  Check it out if you’re looking for a good read.

Find the Book!
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1zpFU5V
GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23764139-give-your-heart-a-break
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/give-your-heart-a-break-helen-peterson/1120935368?ean=2940150199583
Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/give-your-heart-a-break-4

December 23

Review: Dragonswan

dragonswan-dark-hunter-1.5_This review was originally posted on Romancing the Page in Sept. 2010.  The site is no more, so it is being reprinted in full here.

I originally stumbled across Sherrilyn Kenyon’s writing on accident.  I saw a small novella titled Dragonswan when I was looking through books at the grocery store.  The artwork is what drew me first (I know, don’t judge a book by it’s cover), and honestly, the artwork with the celtic knots and the really handsome guy, is what made me pick up the tiny book.  I was looking for something new and figured if there was a small novella to read, I could judge if I would continue reading books by that author.

That novella sold me. After I got home, and started reading, I couldn’t put it down.  At 86 pages, it was incredibly short compared to the size of novels I usually read.  However, it was very well written and told the story, generating my interest me in one of her many worlds.

Dragonswan is a great mini-introduction into the world of Dark Hunters, and is loosely based off of Greek Mythology and the story of Lycaon.  The story features an unintentional heroine, Channon MacRae, a scholar, and her soon to be Were-Dragon mate, Sebastian.  Channon gets whisked through time to the time period she was studying as a historian by Sebastian, who she doesn’t know the Fates have picked as her mate.  She eventually faces a choice: save Sebastian or return to her time period without him.

The author deftly mixed romance, action and history in this short story.  Like many romance novels, you have your struggles, internal conflicts and conscience rearing it’s head in both of the characters.  Unlike most romance novels, you have the supernatural elements of time travel, magical abilities and, of course, the fact there are people who like humans that can shift into other specific forms, like a Dragon.

I really enjoyed reading the book.  It was a quick read, well-written and definitely different than what I had been reading.

If you’re looking for a book to read to see if you’d like reading supernatural romances, I highly suggest this book.  It will get you hooked.

For more information on her books, please visit: http://www.sherrilynkenyon.com/

December 18

Review: Stormlord Rising by Glenda Larke

stormlord-risingThis review is for the second book in the Watergiver series, titled Stormlord Rising, and is the book that contains more action and meat and potatoes of the story than the first book.

By the end of the first book, the Quartern is at war, the surviving Breccia rainlords are either enslaved or on the run, Terelle is headed with her grandfather to Khromantis and the dune tribes are planning raids and attacks in their attempt to rid the world of water sensitives and return to a time of “random rain”.

137 pages into the book and I hit a segment that really stood out to me – that really defines the character Laisa and how underhanded and manipulative she is.

…he asked, “Laisa, if you wanted to gain ascendancy over an enemy too strong to be defeated in battle, how would you do it?”

She turned her head to look at him.  So cat-like, he thought.  Bruised but sated. 

“That’s easy,” she said.  “Take hostage what he loves most in the world: his lover, his child, his land his wealth, his power, whatever.  The trick is to find out what he values most.  Then you will have your enemy in the palm of your hand.”

A slow smile lifted his lips as her words seeded the beginnings of an idea.  “of course.  Why didn’t I think of that.”

That segment means a lot to the rest of the book and the series and tells a lot about not only Laisa, but Taquar as well.  They will stoop as low as they have to to get exactly what they want from a person.  It should have also told Taquar that Laisa wasn’t to be trusted, and I think he knew that on some level, but didn’t take it to heart.

Jasper (Shale Flint) is full grown and back in the hands of Taquar in this book.  Terelle has escaped and not been able to be tracked by Taquar.  Jasper pines after her, but does his duty as the existing stormlord and with the help of Taquar, continues to bring water to the Quartern.

Similar to the first book, the story jumps back and forth between those in Scarcleft, to Terelle and Russet making their way to Khromantis, to Vera Redmane in the dunes tribes, and to Garnet/Ryka, Kaneth, Elmar and Ravard – who is actually Shale’s brother Mica who he thinks is deceased.

The story flows smoother and there are more definitive cut off points – logical places where the story shifts to another part of the story and it makes the transitions smoother than the transitions in the first book.

As I try not to spoil too much of the story (which I may have spoiled a bit above), the war within the Quartern is brought to a partial end by the end of the book, Shale and Mica know each other are alive but are going down very different paths, Ryka has her baby and many other things are discovered and the book has an ending that closes that part of the story and segues into the next book smoothly.

Even though there are plenty of unfinished stories left, the book ends in a good way to make you want to find out how things end in the third book.

This book receives 4 out of 5 stars.  I feel the writing is much improved in this book and the story flows smoother – perhaps due to the fact that all the world building and character defining happened in the first book and didn’t have to happen in this book.

If you struggled through reading the first book, I strongly encourage you to read this one as it will give you a better understanding into the first book and why it is the way it is.

You can learn more about Glenda Larke here:
On twitter @glendalarke
On facebook as Glenda Larke
and blogging at http://glendalarke.blogspot.com

 

December 16

Review: Rabbit in the Road

rabbit-in-the-roadI generally don’t preface my reviews with an introduction of any sort, but this time, I am going to.  Why?  Because I know the author.

September or October of 2010, Oliver had told me he was leaving EOGamer to work on a book he was writing.  Oliver was one of our main contributors for video game reviews on our site and I had seen him grow with each review, learning from mistakes as I made edits and soon, most of his stuff didn’t require much, if any editing.  I wished him well on his endeavor of writing a fiction book.  Lord knows I would like to find time to sit down and write and have the loving support he has had to do so, yet I haven’t found the time or the support to write the many novels I have started and left to the wayside.

Unlike most authors I know, Oliver and Danika did what most writers only dream of doing.  They finished their book, published it on the e-book market and when people started requesting hard copies of the book the looked into it and made it happen.  That’s dedication.  That’s living the writer’s dream and I know it isn’t easy.

Which brings me to reviewing the book.  Oliver had told me I was on the list for a free copy.  I told him, at the time, not to send it to me till I was able to read it.  Unfortunately, it was several months before I would have time or an e-book reader to read it.  I finally got a Nook after Christmas and Rabbit in the Road was the first book I read and finished on it. (He doesn’t know that till he reads this.)  However, in accordance with the FCC, I do have to disclose that I was given a copy of the book in epub format for reading and review purposes.

The book immediately introduces you to Beverly, a record store clerk with a love of singing, who is enjoying her life and her time with her boyfriend in a small town in the 1960s. Until things go awry.  Enter the antagonist Ray.

In less than a day her world turns upside down.  The people she knew, the people she loved, she had to run away from to keep them safe. She’d move cities, change her name, change her appearance, but Ray catches up.

The book is fast paced with well developed characters full of grit and emotion.  It tells the story in the only way it can be told: from a strong woman’s perspective who is doing everything she can to fit in and survive no matter what.  The descriptions put you in the scene and you turn the page eager to know what happens next in each encounter.

And the ending will surprise you (but I won’t spoil it).

As the debut novel for Danika Potts and Oliver Campbell, this 192 page novel is a definite must read.  Available in ebook and paperback format, be sure to purchase it…because it won’t be their last.  Click the links below to take you to purchase them.

Nook E-book
Amazon E-book
Amazon Paperback

December 11

Review: The Last Stormlord by Glenda Larke

last-stormlordI want to start this book review off with a little bit of an intro into it.  I picked up the last book in the series first and read it and immediately wished I had realized it was a series and picked up the first two at the same time.  Unfortunately, I think when I grabbed it, I didn’t pay close enough attention that it was the third in the series.

That being said, book three can, sort of, stand by itself.  You miss the back stories of the characters, but things flow smoothly if you read it first like I did.  I ended up getting the first and second book on the Nook and am now reading through them a second time, which is why I’ve decided to go ahead and review them – in order – since I have all three.

The Last Stormlord is book #1 in the Watergivers series and is perhaps the hardest of the three books to read.  You are thrown into a fantasy, desert world where life-giving/saving water is distributed to the land by an old and dying “Stormlord.”

The world is populated, sparsely, with individuals who can detect or move water.  The lesser of these are reeves and they monitor the water in cisterns and distribution within a city.  Then there are rainlords who can sense water around them to varying degrees and move it.  Then stormlords.

Unfortunately, the last stormlord is dying and the plot of the story focuses on a search for water sensitive youths.

The story jumps between three different areas – the city of Breccia where the dying Stormlord and a number of rainlords live, the city of Scarcleft (sp?) and the Gibber Quarter where the future stormlord and main character of the three books is found.

The book jumps not only between stories of sets of characters and locations, but also in chunks of time.  Several times in the stories months and years jump past, which you may not catch right away if you aren’t paying attention to the headers of the story and the locations.

Ultimately, the first book in this series is a lot of world building, introducing us to multiple protagonists and antagonists, telling the back story and launching into the start of the ultimate stories.  It can be a bit hard to get into and to understand if you aren’t expecting a thought provoking read.  And this would be why I give this book out of the series a 3 out of 5 star rating.  While world building is important, the way things jump around, the length of time it takes to build the world and the way it’s built are not ideal.

That being said, if you are looking for a book that has both strong female and male protagonists and interesting antagonists along with a harsh world, I strongly suggest reading it because the books get better after you get through the first book and things will make more sense.

You can learn more about Glenda Larke here:
On twitter @glendalarke
On facebook as Glenda Larke
and blogging at http://glendalarke.blogspot.com

December 9

Review: Grave Witch by Kalayna Price

GraveWitchI have a bad tendency to pick up books without paying attention to whether or not it’s a part of the series or not. I was delighted to discover that I had picked up the first in the the Alex Croft series in Grave Witch.

Written in the first person perspective, Grave Witch introduces us to the main character, Alex Craft, a private investigator, owner of Tongues for the Dead, and consultant for Nekros City Police Department.  Alex can raise shades of the dead to answer questions for her clients, including the police and attorneys.

The story starts off quick, drawing you into a myriad of events that end up flowing together.  Part mystery novel, the writer draws you along as the tension heats up along with the romantic tension between the protagonist and the antagonist (who ends up not being such a bad guy).  Just when you think things are going to slow down, it doesn’t.  I definitely didn’t want to put the book down when I first read it, trying to figure out all the questions that were in my head.  Who killed the governor?  Why?  And who is the mysterious FIB assigned to the case?  All of which are answered by the end of the book, along with a few surprises.

Like most paranormal books coming out lately, the modern day world has been “awakened” to the fact that there are other beings in the world: fae, magic, etc.  And like most of the books, there is a definite tension found between the old and the new ways, which Alex sees more and more as she discovers who killed the governor and what was being hidden from others.

This book, unlike some of the others I will review, was purchased with my own money from a book store and was chosen to review on my own decision, not at the request of the author or anyone else.

At 325 pages, Grave Witch is a delightful read if you are into paranormal mysteries with a hint of romance.  Romance is rated 13 as it doesn’t go into detail at all – unlike some steamy romance novels – and the book is definitely more of a paranormal action/mystery than romance.

A second book in the series, Grave Dancer, was recently released and I picked up on my last visit to Barnes and Noble.

You can read an excerpt of the book here on the official site.

It is available as a Nook e-book here

Amazon e-book: Grave Witch: An Alex Craft Novel

Amazon paperback: Grave Witch (Alex Craft, Book 1)


Grave Witch

Urban Fantasy
ISBN: 0451463803

Original review was posted here: http://kayhynnturnsthepage.blogspot.com/2012/01/book-review-grave-witch-by-kalayna.html

December 8

Featuring: Book Reviews

After some serious thought and realizations, I realized that trying to maintain the number of blogs I have is going to get complicated.  Starting today, I will be reposting all of my reviews found at http://kayhynnturnsthepage.blogspot.com/ to here. I will also be posting addition book reviews and various news and such that I posted there to here instead.

I will post there when I post a new review here with a brief excerpt and a link back to here in order to make this blog a bit more active.  Not all of my posts will be ported over from there – just the reviews.  So if you’re interested in seeing what I posted previously, feel free to check it out.

To find all my reviews, check Kayhynn Turns the Page Book Reviews in the menu on the right.