Friday, 30 July 2010

the Sleeping Beauty - Book Review by Voodoo Bride

The Sleeping Beauty by Mercedes Lackey

What is it about:
Heavy is the head—and the eyelids—of the princess who wears the crown…
In Rosamund's realm, happiness hinges on a few simple beliefs:
For every princess there's a prince.
The king has ultimate power.
Stepmothers should never be trusted.
And bad things come to those who break with Tradition….

But when Rosa is pursued by a murderous huntsman and then captured by dwarves, her beliefs go up in smoke. Determined to escape and save her kingdom from imminent invasion, she agrees to become the guinea pig in one of her stepmother's risky incantations—thus falling into a deep, deep sleep.
When awakened by a touchy-feely stranger, Rosa must choose between Tradition and her future…between a host of eligible princes and a handsome, fair-haired outsider. And learn the difference between being a princess and ruling as a queen.

What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
A very pleasant read, although it lacks the depth that I've come to expect from Lackey. Don't get me wrong: there's lots to enjoy in this story and certainly for readers new to Lackey there's lots of fun things to explore, but for those familiar with the 500 kingdoms novels there wasn't anything new and exciting to the book. It felt like visiting a well known, loved friend who is pleasant to be with, but doesn't surprise you anymore.

Why should you read it:
If you like fairy tales with a fun twist you will like this book

* I got this book for review from the publisher through Netgalley

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Character Connection - Mrs. Emily Pollifax

We all have characters we love. Let's spotlight these fantastic creations! Whether you want to be friends with them or you have a full-blown crush on them, you know you love them and want everyone else to love them too!

Character Connection host by

Today I'll tell you about Mrs. Emily Pollifax from the Mrs. Pollifax series by Dorothy Gilman.

At the start of the series Emily Pollifax is a widow with grown-up children and she feels her life has little worth anymore. When one day she's standing on the roof of her building and can't find one reason why she shouldn't step over the edge she decides to visit her doctor to talk to him about her feelings.

Her doctor asks her what dreams she had when she was young and if there are any she could chase right here and now.

It happens to be that as a child Emily Pollifax dreamed of being a spy!
So she indeed decides to follow her dream and she heads to the headoffice of the CIA to apply. Due to a mix up she is actually send on a mission and her dream comes true although being a spy is a lot more dangerous than she might have expected.

Emily Pollifax is a great character in my opinion. She's quirky, inventive and due to her elderly and innocent looks many of her adversaries underestimate her. The missions she is being send on and the fact that she feels useful again make her come alive again after being in a depression and she grows from someone who just keeps on going because she has to in to someone with a zest for life and she inspires and helps many of the people she meets.

If I ever get into a scratch I would want someone like Mrs. Pollifax at my side because she would surely see possibilities where no one else would.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Me and Mr Darcy - a Book Review by Voodoo Bride

Me and Mr Darcy by Alexandra Potter

What is it about:
After a string of disastrous dates, Emily Albright decides she’s had it with modern-day love and would much rather curl up with Pride and Prejudice and spend her time with Mr. Darcy, the dashing, honorable, and passionate hero of Jane Austen’s classic. So when her best friend suggests a wild week of margaritas and men in Mexico with the girls, Emily abruptly flees to England on a guided tour of Jane Austen country instead. Far from inspiring romance, the company aboard the bus consists of a gaggle of little old ladies and one single man, Spike Hargreaves, a foul-tempered journalist writing an article on why the fictional Mr. Darcy has earned the title of Man Most Women Would Love to Date.

The last thing Emily expects to find on her excursion is a broodingly handsome man striding across a field, his damp shirt clinging to his chest. But that’s exactly what happens when she comes face-to-face with none other than Mr. Darcy himself. Suddenly, every woman’s fantasy becomes one woman’s reality. . . .

What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
I'm not a fan of Jane Austen I must confess. I do not like her writing style and it took zombies to get me and Sullivan to read Pride and Prejudice. That said: I loved 'Me and Mr Darcy'. It's well written, funny and heartwarming. Potter uses the themes and general storylines from Pride and Prejudice and makes them her own in an enjoyable way. The story is predictable - especially for Austen fans I guess, although they will perhaps enjoy seeing the similarities between this story and P&P - but isn't that true about almost every chick-lit? All in all it was everything it promised to be when I bought the book: an enjoyable summer read.

Why should you read it:
It's a fluffy, enjoyable read

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Teaser Tuesdays - Henry VIII: Wolfman

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

- Grab your current read
- Open to a random page
- Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
- Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

He sighed. 'Look, Agatha, why don't you just be the Witchfinder General from now on? It's really more your sort of thing than mine anyway.' He imagined himself back at the farmhouse, tending to the garden and looking after his bees...
(Page 31, Henry VIII: Wolfman by A.E. Moorat)

Monday, 26 July 2010

Allegra Fairweather: Paranormal Investigator - Book Review

Allegra Fairweather: Paranormal Investigator by Janni Nell (e-book)

What is it about:
Allegra Fairweather here. Paranormal investigator. Got problems with specters? Shapeshifters? I'm the woman to call. Just don't call me a Ghostbuster. The last guy who did that ended up flat on his back with my boot at his throat.

With my 99.5% success rate, solving the mystery of a bleeding rose that has sprung up on the shores of Loch Furness should have been an easy gig. But already I've heard the shriek of the local banshee, discovered two bodies (and then lost two bodies), and had a near-death encounter with a three-hundred-year-old ghost. And perhaps most dangerous of all, the hot pub owner who hired me now wants to show me exactly what's under his kilt.
Luckily, I'm ably assisted by my very own guardian angel. I'm grateful for his help—but he's also drop-dead gorgeous. A bit distracting when I've got a mystery to solve, and the clock is ticking...

What did I think of it:
A fast, enjoyable read. The mystery is nicely set up and moves along in an even pace with developements at the right moment in my opinion. The writing is easy to get into, Allegra is a likeable and humorous protagonist and there are some very fun and interesting side characters. According to Voodoo Bride the romance is a little bit too easy, she had loved to see some more depth to it, but as the setup lends itself for many more sequels I think she might get her wish.

Why should you read it:
It's a very enjoyable UF mystery

* I got this book for review from the publisher through Netgalley

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Locus Focus - the Zuckermans' Farm

Locus Focus is a meme hosted every Saturday by Enbrethiliel at Shredded Cheddar. "We all know of books that make their settings come alive, and this meme is a chance to write about them and share them with others." Visit her blog and link up!

My Locus Focus today is the Zuckermans' Farm from Charlotte's Web by E. B. White. (again doing this from memory)

Zuckermans' Farm is a normal farm when you first look at it, but once you walk inside the barn you meet lots of interesting and cool animals and you understand why Zuckermans' Farm is special.

There's Wilbur ofcourse, the pig who befriends a spider and is saved by this friendship.

And the spider - Charlotte - ofcourse. A very intelligent and kind creature (most of the times, I don't think flies will agree).

And then there's Templeton. This rat may seem self centered, but without him all Charlotte's attempts to save Wilbur would have failed.

But there's so many more cool animals:
The sheep, geese and other animals all add their own voice to that special kind of magical place that is Zuckermans' Farm, although in the end it's ofcourse White's writing and Garth Williams' wonderful illustrations that make the place come alive and make this book and setting so wonderful that I keep rereading this classic.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Interview with Author Carolyn Crane

Those who follow my Character Connection posts might have guessed that I love the book Mind Games by Carolyn Crane. So while waiting for the next book in the Disillusionist trilogy I decided to ask Carolyn if she wanted to drop by for an interview, so I could ask her some things about her books. Luckily she agreed.

First of all let me welcome you and thank you for agreeing to do this interview. I loved Mind Games and am eagerly awaiting Double Cross.

Thanks for having me! I’m so happy to be here with you, Sullivan! LOL. I’ve never been interviewed by a pig before.

On to the actual interview:
I really love how you paint a world that’s not black and white, but is made up out of so many shades of grey. The characters are not all good or all bad as is often the case in stories.

Is this something you tried to go for on purpose or did that just happen along the way?

My most memorable experiences of reading or watching movies have always been when I have sympathy for the villain, or moral questions about the heroine. Or when I’m rooting for something to happen, and then I stop and wonder what exactly I’m rooting for. I love when things have dimensions—it excites me as a reader, so I guess it excites me as a writer, too. That said, I like answers as much as questions. The trilogy starts gray, but it will end with a bit more black and white, but with gray touches. LOL.

Can I assume from your use of the Mongolian Delights Restaurant that you love Kebabs or did you pick that particular restaurant because you don’t like kebabs? I myself can vividly understand anyone’s dislike of kebabs. *shudders*

What? You don’t like kebabs? A pig after Packard’s own heart! I actually have little opinion on kebabs, believe or not. But I have worked in many restaurants, so it is a setting I know really well. And, the Mongolian aspect—I never told anybody this, but I sort of picked it because it seemed humorous.

There are a lot of hats in this book. Do you own a lot of hats yourself and do you have a thing for berets?

LOL. I love your questions, Sullivan. Wow, I never noticed all the hats, but come to think of it, there are hard hats, safari hats, berets, there ARE a lot of hats! How did I never notice all the hats? Busted. I DO love hats! And you know what I just realized? In Double Cross, there are tons of people wearing glasses. * ominous silence *

Very suspicious. I’ll have to keep an eye on that.

Since reading the book I’ve been thinking what kind of disillusionist I’d be and as I’m a bit of a cynic at times I’d think I’d be great in getting people to let go of their optimism. What about you? What would be your own specialty? And if you were a highcap, what power would you have/want? (I’d like to have mind control so I could influence people into writing books about pigs and/or zombies.)

Oh, a cynic! You would get along well with Shelby. If I was a disillusionist, I might be the OCD one, because I always think I forgot to lock the front door, or the car door, and I have to go back and check. Or else that I left the stove on. I would make the villains waste a bunch of time checking stuff like that. As for highcap, hmm. I might like to fly. Sullivan, do you want to ride on my back? I promise not to drop you!!

As long as you don’t make any sudden sharp turns to go back to check if the front door is locked I’m on.

There’s lots of side characters in the book that sound really interesting, I’ve already read some where that Simon is going to get more screen time in the next book. What about the others? Any chance we get to learn more about the Monk for example? I know I want to learn more about him anyway. And Diogenes Teufelsdrockh? (I just love that name I must add.) I know he was only mentioned in the book in one sentence and not even by name at that, but after seeing the interview in The Midcity Eagle I’m a fan!

Oh, funny. Okay, maybe this isn’t the sort of thing I should reveal, but I put the Monk in as this mysterious and powerful being in case I got in plot trouble down the line and needed an ace up my sleeve. Do you know what I mean? An ultra powerful character to appear to rescue somebody and turn the tables. But, I have the plot worked in a way where I don’t need an ultra-powerful and mysterious being to save anybody. And that’s probably for the best.

I’m hoping Diogenes will do another Midcity Eagle interview soon. That’s actually a friend of mine - isn’t he great? Okay, just now I made a note in my little notebook to write a little part for Diogenes Teufelsdrockh in book #3. That is a really good idea! The fun thing about being a writer is that you can do that sort of thing. I have this group of friends, and we made a vow to always put stereopticon glasses in our novels, and there is one in book one. Also, thanks for going to the Midcity Eagle! I never know if anybody goes there!

Hmmm, that’s bad news about the Monk, but you made my day with trying to give Diogenes some screen time in book #3. I think your friend did a very good job with the interview and you as well, so I’ll be keeping an eye out on the Midcity Eagle.

What authors have been an influence for you? And have you read any books lately that you want to share with us or have you been too busy with writing on the trilogy to read?

Kelley Armstrong has been a huge influence on me. I think she is just amazing. I also love Jacqueline Carey, Kresley Cole, Richelle Mead, and Charlaine Harris. Also, I feel I learned a lot from Laurel K. Hamilton—her books have been really formative for me. Out of the genre, I’m really big on Graham Greene and Somerset Maugham. I’ve read everything they’ve written multiple times. As for books I’ve been reading lately: Vicki Pettersson’s Zodiac series! How did it take me so long to discover that?

There’s going to be three books about Justine. Any plans for other books? And are those going to be in the same world or have you got something else planned?
If you need any ideas, I can tell you that I’d love to see you write about zombies and/or pigs (as you might have guessed). I’ve been following you on your blog tour and was really disappointed the books you mentioned at Fantasy Dreamers Ramblings weren’t actual books, but just something you made up, especially ‘Road Trip of the Amish Living Dead’ and ‘The were-pig whisperer’, I’d buy them right away.

LOL. But what if something terrible happened to the pig? Sullivan, you would have nightmares!! Okay, I AM working on a new series, a paranormal romance that has UFC (mixed martial arts) fighters and a world domination plot. OMG, I am so excited about it, I can barely concentrate sometimes.

Anything else you’ve been dying to share but no one’s dared to ask?

Little known fact: I have a boiler operator’s license! I can work steam heating plants in small apartment buildings. Or, at least, if they are a certain kind. Nobody ever asks me about that. You are funny.

That is an unexpected side of you. I know who to call when I’m having boiler trouble now. Although that would take time away from you writing so maybe I’d better call someone else.

Well, that concludes this interview. Thanks again for dropping by. I will now let you get back to your writing in hope that you will finish the trilogy and can start on a nice zombies versus pigs story. (I’ll be glad to stand model for the hero, a handsome pig who saves the world from the zombies while plotting world domination himself in secret.)

Okay, Sullivan. I’ll get on it!! Hey, thanks so much for having me!!!

For those who haven't read Mind Games yet:
Run out to get it, it's an amazing book! And the second book in this trilogy - Double Cross - will be out September 28, 2010. And don't forget to check out the Midcity Eagle.

Friday, 23 July 2010

The Alchemy of Stone - Book Review

The Alchemy of Stone by Ekaterina Sedia

What is it about:
Mattie, an intelligent automaton skilled in the use of alchemy, finds herself caught in the middle of a conflict between gargoyles, the Mechanics, and the Alchemists. With the old order quickly giving way to the new, Mattie discovers powerful and dangerous secrets - secrets that can completely alter the balance of power in the city of Ayona. However, this doesn't sit well with Loharri, the Mechanic who created Mattie and still has the key to her heart - literally!

What did I think about it:
A well written, intriguing Steampunk story with lifelike characters, even those who aren't technically alive. The most memorable characters for me were Loharri (Mattie didn't appreciate him enough in my opinion) and the Soul-Smoker, who rids the city of wandering ghosts. I must admit I did find the world Sedia builds a bit depressing and bleak from time to time and I must say you shouldn't read this book if you're looking for a feel good story. That being said this book is a great and thought provoking read and I hope Sedia will write more Steampunk books.

Why should you read it:
If you're interested in Steampunk you will most probably love this book.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Character Connection + Interview Alert!

We all have characters we love. Let's spotlight these fantastic creations! Whether you want to be friends with them or you have a full-blown crush on them, you know you love them and want everyone else to love them too!

Character Connection host by

My Character connection today is with Justine Jones from Mind Games by Carolyn Crane.

Mind Games heroine Justine Jones isn't your typical kick-ass type - she’s a hopeless hypochondriac whose life is run by fear.
She's lured into a restaurant, Mongolian Delites, by tortured mastermind Sterling Packard, who promises he can teach her to channel her fears. In exchange, she must join his team of disillusionists - vigilantes hired by crime victims to zing their anxieties into criminals, resulting in collapse and transformation.

Justine isn't interested in Packard's troupe until she gets a taste of the peace he can promise. Soon she enters the thrilling world of neurotic crime fighters who battle Midcity’s depraved and paranormal criminals.

Eventually, though, she starts wondering why Packard hasn’t set foot outside the Mongolian Delites restaurant for eight years. And about the true nature of the disillusionists.

I can't help loving Justine! She's flawed, she constantly doubts herself, she drives you crazy with her constant worries about her health, but all that just makes me want to hug her and kick those who make her life miserable. I couldn't even get mad at her when she made some wrong decisions in my opinion.

I'm eagerly awaiting Double Cross, the next book in this trilogy, to see if Justine will eventually get it and make the right decisions and while waiting for that book I decided to pester the mastermind behind the wonderful Mind Games with some questions, so tune in this saturday for an interview with Carolyn Crane!

ps: Locus Focus will be on Sunday this week.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

They Call Me Death - Book Review

They Call Me Death by Missy Jane (e-book)

What is it about:
My name is Alexia Williams. In my world, North America is divided between north and south—but not the way it’s taught in the history books.
After losing my family to the shifters, I joined the Combined Human States Army. Now I find myself on the front lines, defending the wall between my species and theirs. My mission is simple: keep the animals on their side by whatever means necessary—and I’m good at it. I don’t talk to them. I don’t sympathize with them. I sure as hell don’t admire them…until one saves my life.

Andor isn’t like any shifter I’ve ever met. He’s a three-hundred-year-old golden eagle asking for help finding missing shifters who may be in my lands. I just have to decide between helping the animals or ignoring signs that my fellow humans aren’t what I thought they were. But how can I help a species I hate and fear? Even if Andor makes me feel alive again?

In the land of the shifters…they call me Death.

What did I think of it:
The story idea is cool: a world divided with humans on one side and shifters on the other and a human needing to team up with one of the creatures she hates. But as proven before an idea is not enough. The writing is very stilted which made it hard to get into the story and the characters stay flat. I found it hard to believe that Alexia is this kick ass, shifter hating female deserving herself the nickname Death as there's little background or examples of her deadly nature before she goes off adventuring with Andor. I think this story has potential, but needs a bit of rewriting to add more character depth and for a lot of things there should be 'showing not telling' to make the story come alive.

Why should you read it:
The setting and story idea are very cool

Tuesday, 20 July 2010


I got a couple of cool Awards!

first up I got the Xxtraordinary Blogger Award from Book Addict Patti.
Thanks Patti!

The Award Criteria: This award is awarded to those bloggers who:
1~post almost every day, if not every
2~reply to every comment that's posted
3~just down right LOVE blogging!
The Award Rules: Share one extraordinary thing that's happened to you
then pass this award to 5 Xxtraordinarly bloggers.

Well, you can probably guess she gave the award before I went offline because of my move ;-)

And something extraordinary....
I think it's extraordinary how many cool, fun and nice people and animals I met since I started blogging. The (book)blogging community is one great community I think.

And awarding this to:
vvB32 Reads
Shredded Cheddar
Midnight Sapphires Books
Ex Libris
Audrey's Country Crafts

Next up I got the Versatile blogger Award from both Birdie and Alice Audrey!
Thanks Birdie and Alice!

The Rules:
1. Thank the person who gave you this award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself
3. Pass the award along to 15 who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic for whatever reason! (in no particular order...)
4. Contact the picked [bloggers] and let them know about the award.

Ok, here's my seven things:
- I love horror movies
- Especially Zombie movies
- I dressed up as a pirate for Halloween last year
- My favourite colour is green
- My all time favourite book is 'American Gods' by Neil Gaiman
- My favourite restaurant is the Chinese Wok Restaurant Ni Hao in Groningen
- I'm very grudgingly starting to get into reading ebooks

15 people to pass this on to?! Hmmm...
Well, if I'm a follower of/frequent commenter on a blog you can bet I think it has something fantastic, so giving this to all of you who feel versatile.

Thanks again to the great people who bestowed these awards on me!

Teaser Tuesdays - The Alchemy of Stone

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

- Grab your current read
- Open to a random page
- Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
- Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

He examined her damaged hand, tisking to himself, and brought out the soldering iron. "I'll disconnect your sensors while I work," he said. "You'll lose all sensation in this arm - don't be alarmed."
(page 60, The Alchemy of Stone by Ekaterina Sedia)

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Wolf Games - a Book Review by Voodoo Bride

Wolf Games by Vivian Arend (e-book, novella)

What is it about:
After seven years of denial, Maggie’s inner wolf is in full revolt. The last thing she wants is a mate, particularly when simply looking at another wolf scares her to death.
Sheer chance puts Erik in the right place to catch the weak and shaky Maggie. With one touch, he realizes the reluctant female werewolf is his mate.
Selected for the premier sporting event for wolves in the north, Maggie will not only have to team up with Erik, she’ll have to face down her fear of wolves. Especially her own.

What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
This is the third story in the Granite Lake Wolves series and so far my favourite! It's got all the thing that I liked in the first two stories and more. Where in the first two stories the romance won out over the action storyline, here it's a perfect balance and the characters are even more defined than in the earlier stories. There's also more interaction with other characters and that makes the world that Arend build even more lifelike. All in all I can't wait for the last story in this series.

Why should you read it:
Romance, action and one big, hunky werewolf!

And for those who don't like reading e-books:
This story will be released in print in August 2011 together with Wolf Tracks in the Anthology Under the Midnight Sun.
(my review of Wolf Signs can be found here and my review of Wolf Flight here)

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Locus Focus - Forst Reach (Castle)

Locus Focus is a meme hosted every Saturday by Enbrethiliel at Shredded Cheddar. "We all know of books that make their settings come alive, and this meme is a chance to write about them and share them with others." Visit her blog and link up!

My Locus Focus today is the Castle of Forst Reach from the Last Herald Mage Trilogy by Mercedes Lackey, birthplace of Vanyel Ashkevron, the main character of this trilogy. I put most of my books in storage, including this trilogy, so I'll have to do this from memory, so sorry for any mistakes.

The castle of Forst Reach is a weird building. One of Vanyel's ancestor's loved adding new things to the castle to make it more comfortable, like indoor bathrooms and such. In building the new additions to the castle he didn't take notice of floorplans and just added rooms where ever he saw fit. This makes the castle a confusing place as small staircases, extra rooms and such pop up in the most unlikely places. It takes the people living at Forst Reach some thinking at times to figure out how to get from one place to the other without hitting a sudden deadend.

All the changing and adding even resulted in some rooms getting closed off entirely and making them inaccessible for all but the more inventive people. Like the small storage room behind the library, which can only be reached through a window several floors up from the ground.

This room is Vanyel's sanctuary at the start of the trilogy (Magic's Pawn). Here he hides to escape weapon's practise and to play his lute. It is here that he overhears the conversation between his parents that will result in him being send away from Forst Reach, a decision that will change his life in both good and bad ways. It's also the room that will later in the trilogy change the life of one of his cousins as well.

All in all the castle sounds like a fascinating and cool place, where I'd love to take a look. Who wouldn't love a castle that's like some giant maze?
Well, probably the people living there....

(And just incase you're wondering: yup, the castle in the picture is Bran Castle, the so called home of Dracula.)

Friday, 16 July 2010

Wolf Flight - a Book Review by Voodoo Bride

Wolf Flight by Vivian Arend (e-book, novella)

What is it about:
Tad’s workaholism keeps his bush-pilot company in the air, and his inner werewolf in check. Letting it lose would mean compromising his human principles. Then Missy re-enters his life, and their chemistry is off the charts, pushing him closer to the step he’s not sure it’s safe to take.

A wolf pack is a dangerous place to have secrets, and Missy’s corrupt Alpha has sniffed out her carefully hidden Omega powers. Her only choice is to get to Tad, and hope like hell his untapped powers are strong enough to negate her own…

What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
Another great, romantic read. I think I loved this one even more than Wolf Signs. The tension between Missy and Tad is well written and I like how Tad is questioning the wolf side of his nature and is struggling with balancing that side of him with his human side. I also liked how characters from Wolf Signs made an appearance in this story too. Again Arend succeeds in delivering a full, well worked out romance in the space it takes most writers to set up the start of a romance. If you read and liked Wolf Signs this one is a must read.

Why should you read it:
It's got a sensitive, but still manly, hunky werewolf!

And for those who don't like reading e-books:
On August 3 this story will be released in print together with Wolf Signs in the Anthology Under the Northern Lights.
(my review of Wolf Signs can be found here)

ps: Character Connection will be back, but things are slowly getting back to normal after our move.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Wolf Signs - a Book Review by Voodoo Bride

Wolf Signs by Vivian Arend (e-book, novella)

What is it about:
Robyn’s deafness doesn’t stop her from taking the backcountry trip she’s been craving. Meeting a hot, ripped hunk-of-male at the Yukon cabin starts cravings of a different kind. And raises questions about wolves, mates, and duels to the death.

He wanted a quiet retreat before challenging for the pack Alpha position. Keil wasn’t planning on meeting his mate or discovering she’s not aware she has the genes of a wolf to go along with her attitude…

What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
A delightful, romantic read. The romance is hot and steamy and Keil is a good match for Robyn. I think it's a feat that Arend succeeds in building likeable and believable characters and in setting up a great romance between them in a novella. She even manages to add an action plotline to this story. I can tell I've read novels that don't succeed in setting up all this and making it work. All in all I enjoyed this story from start to finish.

Why should you read it:
It's got a hunky werewolf!

And for those who don't like reading e-books:
On August 3 this story will be released in print together with Wolf Flight in the Anthology Under the Northern Lights.
(Expect my review of Wolf Flight soon)

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Going MIA for a bit

I'm in the middle of packing for a temporary move because our house is getting renovated, so there will be no posts/reviews for a couple of days.

I hope to be back soon after the move.
Have a good weekend everyone!

Thursday, 8 July 2010

The Virgin Blue - Book Review

The Virgin Blue by Tracy Chevalier

What is it about:
The book tells the stories of two women living far apart in time, but close together in heart and spirit.
The story about Ella Turner tells about an American woman trying to settle in into living in a small french town. As she fails to fit in and feels her hold on her life slip through her fingers she tries to get back control by trying to dig into her family-history that leads back to the same area in France where she now lives.
Isabelle's story is set in the time of the Hugenots and tells of her struggle to fit into her husbands Hugenot family while still trying to hold on to her love for the virgin Mary.
Both women's lives are forced to a point where they have to chose what's most important for them.

What did I think of it:
This is Chevalier's first novel and of the ones I read I think it's the best one.
Her characters are very lifelike and the problems they face feel real.
Even though you can feel a lot of research went into the story it never comes to a point that you feel lectured or where the story feels forced by the historical backgrounds.

What I like about the story is that even where it gives the answer to some questions it raises, it leaves open so much more.
When finishing the book I was left with all kinds of wonderments and questions that had me thinking of the story for days after. Some might think this annoying, but I love it when a book has me thinking about things for myself.

Chevalier herself claims she left some things open out of inexperience and would write a different story today if she had to rewrite it. I can only say I'm glad she was that inexperienced, because allthough the other books I read from her are very good too, I miss the things left open for the imagination in her other books that are present here.

Why should you read it:
It's a well written and interesting story.

Other books by Chevalier:
Girl with a Pearl Earring
Falling Angels
The Lady and the Unicorn
Burning Bright
Remarkable Creatures

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Assiniboin Girl - Book Review + Teaser Tuesdays

"Then she stiffened her spine and stared back. I'm not going to do this anymore, she thought and Janet's words rang in her head, 'Our people were warriors.'
(page 33, Assiniboin Girl by Kathi Wallace)

Assiniboin Girl by Kathi Wallace (e-book)

What is it about:
Mary Two Dogs is lost. She grew up in New York the only child of musician parents, but when they die in a car accident coming back from a gig, she’s shipped off to live with her Aunt Janet in Georgia. The South is a strange new world to her, and she becomes the target of racist attacks from some of the other girls. Her Aunt Janet, an undercover FBI agent can’t move, but to keep Mary safe, she sends her to the Assiniboin reservation in Montana.

There Mary has to learn to deal with a whole new world, a completely different set of expectations. Pitied for her lack of understanding of her people, she must learn what it means to be Assiniboin and who she is. To do that, she must find her true name.

What did I think of it:
A very beautiful and interesting Young Adult story about finding your place in life. I liked Mary from the start and was eager to find out what was in store for her. The way of life and the rituals of the Assiniboin were very intriguing and well researched, but woven into the story in a natural way. Next to Mary the other characters were very interesting as well and I loved the way Mary learns about her ancestry and how she grows into her roots so to speak. If I have one complaint about this book it is that it's much too short in my opinion! I could have read much, much more about Mary and the history of her people. I hope that Wallace will write a sequel or maybe even a Historical Young Adult story about the Assiniboin.

Why should you read it:
If you like Young Adult stories and are interested in Native American cultures you will love this book

* This e-book was send to me for review by the author

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

- Grab your current read
- Open to a random page
- Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
- Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, 5 July 2010

Death Note (part one) - Book Review

Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata

What is it about:
Shinigami own notebooks called “Death Notes” which are used as killing devices. Whoever’s name they write down in a death note will die within 40 seconds. Shinigami Ryuk dropped his Death Note in the human world where it’s found by honor high school student Light. With the death note actually having directions in it for its use, Light discovers he now has the power to discreetly kill people, and with this new power he plans to change the world in his ideal world by killing off criminals. Eventually the governments of the countries around the world notice the unusual amounts of deaths of their criminals, and figure out someone is behind them, but they have no way of discovering it themselves. That’s when they hire L, a master detective, to find out who is behind the murders.

What did I think of it:
The story is quite interesting and I loved Ryuk, he was both cool in appearance and how he acted. I didn't like Light, who acts like he's better than others. The drawings were really well done, but they did look like lots of other manga. I'd have loved it if the artist had tried to give it something special, but apart from Ryuk it's all standard drawing, looking good, but not special. All in all it's an enjoyable read and I might try another book in this series if I come across it.

Why should you read it:
It's a well drawn manga with an interesting story.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

When Grandfather Journeys into Winter - Book Review

When Grandfather Journeys into Winter by Craig Strete

What is it about:
A young Indian boy struggles to accept his grandfather's rapidly approaching death.

What did I think of it:
I absolutely love this story! It's both beautiful and sad. The first part of the story tells about the friendship between Little Thunder and his grandfather, while the second part is about how Little Thunder has to learn how to deal with the approaching death of his grandfather, where it's his grandfather who helps him understand about death. I can read this story again and again. It's not in print anymore, but I can advice you to try and find it or go here to read it.

Why should you read it:
It's a very well written, though sad story about love and death.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Moving House

We will start moving out of our house this weekend because of the renovation in our neighbourhood. I will try to keep posting reviews and such, but if I suddenly go MIA you'll know it's because of the move and me being busy with packing and stuff!

Have a good weekend!

Friday, 2 July 2010

Kitty and the Midnight Hour - Book Review

Kitty and the Midnight Hour by Carrie Vaughn

What is it about:
VAMPIRES. WEREWOLVES. TALK RADIO. Kitty Norville is a midnight-shift DJ for a Denver radio station—and a werewolf in the closet. Sick of lame song requests, she accidentally starts "The Midnight Hour," a late-night advice show for the supernaturally disadvantaged. After desperate vampires, werewolves, and witches across the country begin calling in to share their woes, her new show is a raging success. But it’s Kitty who can use some help. With one sexy werewolf-hunter and a few homicidal undead on her tail, Kitty may have bitten off more than she can chew…

What did I think of it:
I was not planning on reading this book just yet as I was reading another book and wanted to finish that first, but after reading a couple of pages to get a taste of this book I was hooked and couldn't put it down until I finished it. Vaughn's writing style is very pleasant, the story fast paced and Kitty is a likeable character. The world building is good and intriguing. Vaughn sets up a storyline that will continue in future books, but because there's also enough other things going on it doesn't get frustrating that it isn't resolved in this book. The one setback is that again a character I though was very intriguing didn't survive the book, but I'm getting used to it and luckily there's some other cool characters that will be returning in future books.

Why should you read it:
It's a fast paced, well written Urban Fantasy.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Character Connection - Philip Mortimer

We all have characters we love. Let's spotlight these fantastic creations! Whether you want to be friends with them or you have a full-blown crush on them, you know you love them and want everyone else to love them too!

Character Connection host by

My character connection today is about my all time favourite hero: Philip Mortimer.

Philip Mortimer is one of the lead characters from the Belgian comics series Blake and Mortimer by Edgar P. Jacobs. It was one of the first series to appear in the Belgian comics magazine Tintin in 1946, and was subsequently published in book form.

Philip Mortimer is a British (Scottish actually) scientist who together with his best friend Francis Blake gets caught up in many cool adventures.

Why do I like Philip Mortimer?
He's an intelligent and inquisitive character, but he's also very human: he's impulsive and gets frustrated, impatient or even angry at times, but almost always manages to remain the perfect British gentleman.

And while I'm talking about Philip Mortimer and Jacobs anyway I just have to show you the picture below where you see Colonel Olrik, the bad guy from the series and on the right a picture of Edgar P. Jacobs himself. I think it's clear where Jacobs got his inspiration for the looks of the bad guy.