Monday, 30 June 2014

How to Marry a Cowboy - Carolyn Brown

This cowboy's met his match, and he's gonna put a ring on it.

Rancher Mason Harper's two little girls want nothing more than a mama of their own. So when a pretty woman appears on his front porch in a tattered wedding dress, he can't help but wonder if it's fate.

Annie Rose Boudreau is in a downright hellish mess. She's just a few steps ahead of the lowlife ex who's been hot on her heels, but she's tired of running, and nannying Mason's two sweet girls may be just what she needs. As her days on the ranch fly by, and the nights with Mason get hotter, Annie Rose decides that she's going to stay... for a lifetime.

My thoughts:
I liked this one from the start. When poor Annie wakes up to the chatter of two girls thinking their daddy brought home a new mother. And I do like all of Brown's books so no surprise there.

Right, Mason is a rancher with two wild girls who have scared away every nanny there is. But they were sweet rascals and just fun to read about. And Mason was sexy, calm and yummy.

Then we have Annie who is on the run from an old relationship and at first I was all she is never gonna tell, but then she DID tell and I was all, wow. Cos you know, mostly they just drag the secrets around until I wanna hit them in the head. But Annie did tell and the secrets were out. Yes! No unnecessary drama. Just two people getting to know each other, falling in love and taking care of two crazy twins. And various animals.

Conclusion:
You have passion, romance, ranch life, fun times, and if you have read Brown then you know you are in for a good ride.

Cover
cute

352 pages
Expected publication: July 1st 2014 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Cowboys & Brides #4
Contemporary romance
For review


Saturday, 28 June 2014

Book Blog Walkers: Weekly Check-in June 27 2014

This challenge is organized by Felicia over at the Geeky Blogger's Book Blog.

Saturday 30 min walk and 30 min bike
Sunday - 1 hour walk
Monday - 5 km bike and 1 hour workout class
Tuesday - I have no idea, 30 min walk? Nothing? I can't remember
Wednesday - 5 km bike and 1 hour zumba
Thursday - 6 km bike
Friday 10 km bike

Saturday and Sunday


Friday, 27 June 2014

The Garden of Stones - Mark T.Barnes

An uneasy peace has existed since the fall of the Awakened Empire centuries ago. Now the hybrid Avān share the land with the people they once conquered: the star-born humans; the spectral, undead Nomads; and what remains of the Elemental Masters.

With the Empress-in-Shadows an estranged ghost, it is the ancient dynasties of the Great Houses and the Hundred Families that rule. But now civil war threatens to draw all of Shrīan into a vicious struggle sparked by one man’s lust for power, and his drive to cheat death.

Visions have foretold that Corajidin, dying ruler of House Erebus, will not only survive, but rise to rule his people. The wily nobleman seeks to make his destiny certain—by plundering the ruins of his civilization’s past for the arcane science needed to ensure his survival, and by mercilessly eliminating his rivals. But mercenary warrior-mage Indris, scion of the rival House Näsarat, stands most powerfully in the usurper’s bloody path. For it is Indris who reluctantly accepts the task of finding a missing man, the only one able to steer the teetering nation towards peace.

My thoughts:
This book was a good example that you should always give books a second chance. I started it and put it down because it just did not work then (I also blame the late night). A month later I picked it up again and suddenly I was enthralled by it. I think the initial failure was that it is pretty heavy with everything from strange words and more. And even though I kept checking the glossary the second time there were still words that were not mentioned there. But whatever you do, do not give up. This book is is great and with a world you will not forget.

The best thing about this book was the world building. It was exquisite. Rich in detail and totally alien. There are those books that you just do not know where to put, it was his own world, his own creation and unlike anything from our world. It was the kind of world that yes if I went out in space maybe I would find it one day. The book is not purely fantasy either, it's fantasy with traces of sci-fi because of inventions mentioned, and more. Not to mention that the humans in this world are called Starborn because they came from the stars. So we have history, philosophy, everything that makes a good world. And I do love a good world. The kind of world that you feel yes, I believe in this world. He really put some thought into it.

The characters felt rich too. Indris who fight for a lost cause. He did what he had to, not because he wanted to be a hero and he kept fighting his fate. Mari who is torn between her duty and her father. It's not easy when you love your father, but hates the things he do. And then Corajidin who wants to save himself and rule the land. It was not that he was evil, he only wanted to live and he lived in a cruel world. Because the world was cruel in its way. It was a world of warrior-poets, a world where war and fighting was an art. There is beauty in slaughter. This was politics, war and treachery at the highest level.

And then we had the end, he really had me there. What a revelation. One that made me check the next book at once and if I would have had it in my hands I would have started it at once. I would not call it a cliffhanger, just something that makes you want more at once. And not only for the end, but for the whole story as the fight is certainly not over for these people. Much more is to come.

Conclusion;
It was a strong first book, and I would say thanks to that wonderful world building. I hope the next one is equally good.

Cover
awesome, the tiny pic does not do it justice

Paperback, 506 pages
Published May 21st 2013 by 47north (first published April 9th 2013)
Echoes of Empire #1
Fantasy
Own


Thursday, 26 June 2014

India Black and the Shadows of Anarchy - Carol K. Carr

In Victorian London, India Black has all the attributes a high-class madam needs to run a successful brothel—wit, beauty, and an ability to lie with a smile. Luckily for Her Majesty’s Government, all these talents also make her a first-rate spy.

India Black, full-time madam and occasional secret agent, is feeling restless, when one of Disraeli’s men calls on her to meet the prime minister—alone. Even though all her previous meetings have been organized by the rakishly handsome spy French, it’s been decided this is a mission India must attempt on her own.

Revolt has spread across Europe and reached the shores of England—anarchists have begun assassinating lords and earls, one by one. Now India must infiltrate the ranks of the underground group responsible for those attacks, the sinister Dark Legion. To stop their dread plot, India will go from the murkiest slums of London to the highest levels of society, uncovering secrets that threaten her very existence…

My thoughts:
First, the end, the end. It had me shaking my fist at the ceiling. It was not an omg cliffie!! Instead it was the opening of a revelation I had long wanted, but sadly will not know now. I need book 4 so I get to find out about this revelation.

India Black, Madam to a bunch of tarts is in the heat of things again. She is called to duty and will have to infiltrate an anarchist cell. Dangerous business and she must do it without French ( I still need his secrets too btw!). People and buildings are getting blown up, but India had a good head on her shoulders and goes nowhere without her trusting gun.

We have a bunch of anarchist crying out for liberty, freedom and wanting to kill people. India trying to stay alive. A new trollop to school in (I am afraid amazon wont like the other word.) Where is French? Who is French? And the whole enigma of what was shouted out in the last book, who was India's mother really?

Conclusion:
The end comes and makes me crave more. It's a good spy book with enough suspense to keep me hooked.

Cover
Ok

Paperback, 336 pages
Published June 13th 2014 by Titan Books (first published February 5th 2013)
Madam of Espionage Mysteries #3
Historical fiction / suspense / spy
For review


Wednesday, 25 June 2014

The Awakened Mage - Karen Miller

Asher has come a long way for a fisherman's son. Together with his friend Prince Gar, he has defended their kingdom against its bitterest enemy, but at great cost. Now the evil mage Morg is preparing for his most deadly assault. Desperate, trapped in a broken body, Morg has little time and fewer scruples.

My thoughts:
First, this is book 2 of course there are gonna be spoilers from book 1, duh. 

Book 1 ended with a bang, for a book that is pretty light, then that was sure an evil ending. She killed almost the entire royal family, only prince Gar was left standing. Yes evil indeed. So that is where the book starts. What on earth will happen now? Prince Gar recently found his magic. But can he keep the weather in check? Can he keep his keep stupid Lord Jarralt away from the throne? Can Ashe be safe as others around him think he has risen too fast. And what about Morg, trapped in Durm's body? All hell will break lose if he gets what he wants, which is everyone and everything dead and eaten.

I know it's a total cliche to say it BUT in this book the pages just flew by. Such a cliche thing to say but they did. I read it in record time. The book was 700 pages? What? No, it was like 300 cos it was so light and suddenly I was 300 pages into the story and the next time I was done. The pages turned themselves.

I wish there were more books though, I think it had been better as a trilogy. Then the suspense could have grown bigger and bigger and ended with the OMG! NOOO! thing and the next book could have been a battle. But hey I am not complaining, the series is done and I am happy it all worked out. There is another series with 2 books that takes place like 20 years after or something and I will read that one soon too. I can't wait.

Conclusion:
Light, good, fun fantasy.

Cover
ok

Paperback, 678 pages
Published October 2007 by Orbit (first published December 14th 2005)
Kingmaker, Kingbreaker #2
Fantasy
own


Tuesday, 24 June 2014

The signature of all things - Elizabeth Gilbert

Spanning much of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the novel follows the fortunes of the extraordinary Whittaker family as led by the enterprising Henry Whittaker—a poor-born Englishman who makes a great fortune in the South American quinine trade, eventually becoming the richest man in Philadelphia. Born in 1800, Henry’s brilliant daughter, Alma (who inherits both her father’s money and his mind), ultimately becomes a botanist of considerable gifts herself. As Alma’s research takes her deeper into the mysteries of evolution, she falls in love with a man named Ambrose Pike who makes incomparable paintings of orchids and who draws her in the exact opposite direction—into the realm of the spiritual, the divine, and the magical. Alma is a clear-minded scientist; Ambrose a utopian artist—but what unites this unlikely couple is a desperate need to understand the workings of this world and the mechanisms behind all life.

The Signature of All Things soars across the globe—from London to Peru to Philadelphia to Tahiti to Amsterdam, and beyond. Along the way, the story is peopled with unforgettable characters: missionaries, abolitionists, adventurers, astronomers, sea captains, geniuses, and the quite mad. But most memorable of all, it is the story of Alma Whittaker, who—born in the Age of Enlightenment, but living well into the Industrial Revolution—bears witness to that extraordinary moment in human history when all the old assumptions about science, religion, commerce, and class were exploding into dangerous new ideas. Written in the bold, questing spirit of that singular time, Gilbert’s wise, deep, and spellbinding tale is certain to capture the hearts and minds of readers.

My thoughts:
This was a well-written, well researched book that had me reading slowly. Which can be a good thing. Some books just take more time, I kind of savored it all slowly, instead of eating it up without swallowing. If that makes sense.

This book was all about Alma, and her father as it all started with him. How he grew up and created his empire. And then how Alma was born and grew up. She had a fascinating mind, so clever, so logical, so good. She spent decades studying moss! But then she had the money to do what she loved, and what she loved was books and learning. That girl knew more at 10 than I know now. She was raised to take care of herself and to be independent (had some good genes too ;). As this takes place during her entire life you'd expect much to happen, but Alma is not that kind of woman. Like I said, she spent decades studying moss. Her upbringing was interesting, with her constant questioning of the universe and life. 

Other characters we meet are,  her sister who is all calm and ice, her crazy friend, her first crush, the man she falls in love with, and other people, strange and new she meets as she moves away. But what is constant in this book is the love of botany. And of course we learn what the signature of things is. That is when she wonders about what she has learned, that all things in nature has a meaning, made by God. But as Alma is all logic then that makes no sense. But it's an interesting concept.

A scholarly kind of book. I also felt sad for her at times because she wanted things she did not get. But she just went on in life, so nothing to feel sad about for long.

Conclusion:
An interesting book that made me think, wonder and just enjoy it for what it was.

cover
It may not be all look at me, but it works and there insides of the book is really pretty too

Paperback, 512 pages
Published June 24th 2014 by Penguin Books (first published October 1st 2013)
Historical fiction
For review


Monday, 23 June 2014

Blood of the Demon - Diana Rowland

Welcome to the world of Kara Gillian, a cop with a gift. Not only does she have the power of “othersight” to see what most people can’t even imagine, but she’s become the exclusive summoner of a demon lord. Or maybe it’s the other way around. The fact is, with two troublesome cases on her docket and a handsome FBI agent under her skin, Kara needs the help of sexy, insatiable Lord Rhyzkahl more than he needs her. Because these two victims, linked by suspicious coincidence, haven’t just been murdered. Something has eaten their souls.

It’s a case with roots in the arcane, but whose evil has flowered among the rich, powerful, and corrupt in Beaulac, Louisiana. And as the killings continue, Kara soon realizes how much there’s still to learn about demons, men, and things that kill in the night and how little time she has to learn it.

My thoughts:
I need to know things! Yes, a good book should leave you wanting more and this one sure left me wanting more.

What's up with Ryan? And my fav Demon Lord? Awww the questions. Ok I got one big question, not a lot but I just want to know what will happen to Kara...many more books to come! Luckily I do have 2 more waiting.

The book then. Murders to be solved and it was quite the hunt. All while dealing with the aftermath that left her aunt half dead. And then there is that sexy demon lord she summoned by accident too ;)

I do not have a lot to say, I just want to read book 3 at once. It did not end with a cliffie but I still crave more.

Conclusion:
So yes of course I recommend this one

Cover 
Eh

Mass Market Paperback, 369 pages
Published February 23rd 2010 by Bantam (first published January 1st 2010)
Kara Gillian #2
Urban fantasy
Own


Saturday, 21 June 2014

Book Blog Walkers: Weekly Check-in June 20 2014

This challenge is organized by Felicia over at the Geeky Blogger's Book Blog.

Saturday 50 min walk
Sunday - 1.15 hour walk
Monday - 5 km bike and 1 hour workout class
Tuesday - 40 min walk
Wednesday - 5 km bike and 1 hour zumba
Thursday - 5 km bike + 40 min walk
Friday 40 min walk

From Friday's Midnight walk



Friday, 20 June 2014

White trash Zombie apocalypse - Diana Rowland

Our favorite white trash zombie, Angel Crawford, has enough problems of her own, what with dealing with her alcoholic, deadbeat dad, issues with her not-quite boyfriend, the zombie mafia, industrial espionage and evil corporations. Oh, and it’s raining, and won’t let up.

But things get even crazier when a zombie movie starts filming in town, and Angel begins to suspect that it’s not just the plot of the movie that's rotten. Soon she's fighting her way through mud, blood, bullets and intrigue, even as zombies, both real and fake, prowl the streets.

Angel’s been through more than her share of crap, but this time she’s in way over her head. She’ll need plenty of brainpower to fit all the pieces—and body parts—together in order to save herself, her town, and quite possibly the human race.

My thoughts:
Honestly, this series is weird, but so is any series with a zombie as the lead character. A zombie that will rot and start eating people's brain if she does not get her supply of brains. Pretty gross actually.

But Angel is so nice, she wants to turn her life around. She has a nice boyfriend. She is a bit too curious but overall she is pretty great.

Why go on and on, I can make this short. Movie being filmed about zombies. Angel is in trouble. ZOmbie mafia vs the evil ones. Smooching. Brain smoothies.

Conclusion:
A fun series that I would recommend. 

Cover
Cool and gross

Mass Market Paperback, 320 pages
Published July 2nd 2013 by DAW
White Trash Zombie #3
Urban fantasy
own


Thursday, 19 June 2014

Magic and Loss - Nancy A. Collins

Located on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, Golgotham has been the city’s supernatural district for centuries. Populated by creatures from myth and legend, the neighborhood’s most prominent citizens are the Kymera, a race of witches who maintain an uneasy truce with the city’s humans...

It has been several months since Tate Eresby developed her new magical ability to bring whatever she creates to life, but she is still learning to control her power. Struggling to make a living as an artist, she and Hexe can barely make ends meet, but they are happy.

That is until Golgotham’s criminal overlord Boss Marz is released from prison, bent on revenge against the couple responsible for putting him there. Hexe’s right hand is destroyed, leaving him unable to conjure his benign magic. Attempts to repair the hand only succeed in plunging Hexe into a darkness that can’t be lifted—even by news that Tate is carrying his child.

My thoughts:
I do like Golgotham, such a cool world, it's part of the city of New York. They are a little world of their own, magic, beings, and all things nice and horrid.

Tate and Hexe have settled down quite nicely. But things are never that easy are they? Family problems, the whole she is human, he is Kymerian thing. But I like them and they are so cute together, I like that they just went for it. Especially since he is the heir to the throne and everything.

But a bad guy is coming for them and the book took a more sinister tone, and I felt so sad for them at times. It was tough.

The ending wraps it together a bit too nicely. I had to ask the author and she does want to write more. But this one needed an ending if more did not come. And I did like that cos yay it all worked out. But she still left room for so much more for them to come, as Tate was preggers and all. Ohh drama. But if more is not to come then this was a nice trilogy, and if more is to come then yes more will be awesome.

Conclusion:
A cool urban fantasy series that I have enjoyed :)

cover
nice

Mass Market Paperback, 290 pages
Published November 5th 2013 by Roc
Golgotham #3
Urban fantasy
own


Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Author Interview and Giveway: Marie Harte

Today I have Marie Harte over for an interview. Welcome :)

1. Welcome to my blog. Could you tell us about yourself?
I’m addicted to books, chocolate and coffee, not necessarly in that order. Writing is my life—along with my kids. LOL I have two energetic boys threatening to eat me out of the house. I’m also a night owl. I can’t read to fall asleep because I end up staying up all night to finish the book!

2. Also tell us about your new book, The Troublemaker Next Door?
It’s a really fun, sexy contemporary romance. *grin* When Flynn McCauley meets Maddie Gardner, sparks fly. She hates men. He’s not into relationships. She lost her job. He fixed her sink—but that’s not all he wants to fix. When a ride home turns into a lot more, Maddie and Flynn decide to keep things strictly casual. Strictly sexual. They won’t date. And they end up not dating…a lot. But soon Flynn wants more from the wary redhead. If he can just keep her distracted long enough to burrow under her skin, Flynn might convince Maddie they have a shot at real happiness. That’s if Maddie can overcome her past to take a chance on the future.

3. How did you come up with this series?
I’d written a book called Enjoying the Show—also about a tight-knit family of sexy brothers—and a few years ago it became a bestseller on Amazon. A big name agent contacted me about sending her something similar. Since I had nothing on hand, I hurried up and wrote what I’d then titled A Flair for Flynn. The agent never got back to me, but the story was so real, the characters so true and endearing, I had to write the rest. Sourcebooks was interested, and the McCauleys found a home! 

4. Tell us 3 things about Maddie?
-She’s very passionate and has a redhead’s temper
-She’s loyal to her friends
-She’s stubborn and can be too independent at times

5. And 3 things about Flynn?
-He’s not as much a player as most people think. 
-He loves his family.
-He’s quite the dirty talker—and man, can he back up his words!

6. Last, what are you working on now?
I’m finishing edits on a paranormal novella, Jackal’s Measure, for the Dark Fates anthology coming out with Fated Desires. Then I’m starting the last book in my Best Revenge series (for Samhain) titled Served Sweet--a baker gets revenge on her childhood rival and finds love in the process.

Thanks!

Thanks you!

GIVEAWAY
1 copy of The troublemaker Next door

1. US and Canda only
2. Ends June 26th
3. Just enter :)

PS. I will not spend hours hunting the winner down so please make sure your email is in your profile! or leave it here.


Tuesday, 17 June 2014

The Leopard - K.V. Johansen

In the days of the first kings in the North, there were seven devils…

Ahjvar, the assassin known as the Leopard, wants only to die, to end the curse that binds him to a life of horror. Although he has no reason to trust the goddess Catairanach or her messenger Deyandara, fugitive heir to a murdered tribal queen, desperation leads him to accept her bargain: if he kills the mad prophet known as the Voice of Marakand, Catairanach will free him of his curse. Accompanying him on his mission is the one person he has let close to him in a lifetime of death, a runaway slave named Ghu. Ahj knows Ghu is far from the half-wit others think him, but in Marakand, the great city where the caravan roads of east and west meet, both will need to face the deepest secrets of their souls, if either is to survive the undying enemies who hunt them and find a way through the darkness that damns the Leopard.

To Marakand, too, come a Northron wanderer and her demon verrbjarn lover, carrying the obsidian sword Lakkariss, a weapon forged by the Old Great Gods to bring their justice to the seven devils who escaped the cold hells so long before.

My thoughts:
It started off nicely. A woman is searching for an assassin because her goddess told her to. And I will start with that. I liked this world, there are Gods and Goddesses everywhere, every spring, lake and river. A very old sort of religion. There are also wizards in this worlds, and a few devils that has come into the world. Nasty beings. There is also talk of demons as we meet a half demon.A lot to work with. A world of clans, fights and citystates

Ok so that is the world so far. Deyandara is the woman riding to find her assassin. Her story was interesting and I liked her. Ahjvar is the assassin and his story is even more interesting. He has some serious issues. He has a servant called Ghu who I at first did not think much about but then he grew on me. I really wonder what he is about.

And then there were more! Yes I would have liked to follow these first few along but suddenly a lot more sprung up and I did not see much of any of the previous characters. I did miss them and I will not you about the rest cos some things can be secrets. But, the book changed.

Anyway, the book takes place mostly in Marakand. A city where old Gods fell and the Lady become the prime Goddess. But who is the Lady, she was not like that before. It's a city where her soldiers are to be feared, a city where something is wrong.

Conclusion:
An interesting start. A war is coming too, I do like war. And what will happen to Marakand?

Cover
nice

Paperback, 432 pages
Published June 10th 2014 by Pyr
Marakand #1
Fantasy
For review


Monday, 16 June 2014

Truth of Valour - Tanya Huff

Disillusioned with the manipulative Confederation, a so-called “peaceful” alliance of alien species, Gunnery Sergeant Torin Kerr retires from the Marines to start a new life with Salvage Operator Craig Ryder. 

But when their salvage ship Promise is attacked by pirates, civilian life becomes a lot rougher than Torin had expected. After Craig is kidnapped during a brutal ambush, Torin enlists the help of a few old friends to mount a rescue. Along the way she discovers why the salvagers are being targeted, and her mission suddenly has the potential to change the balance of power throughout known space…"

My thoughts:
Right so in the last book we learned that plastic aliens are behind everything, and I mean everything. There is no real war in a sense, just a bunch of plastic aliens watching and monitoring. So no wonder that Torin quits her job and becomes a civilian.

Most of this is a space book or a space station book, and I must confess that I do prefer when she is on land to to say. More things seem to happen then, like the prison planet and the escape from it. Anyway Torin and Craig is a team, salvaging stuff in space. But like she could keep away from trouble, as if. She seeks trouble and enemies like it's her destiny in life, but then she is a soldier.

Pirates are attacking salvaging operators. And soon they will be in the middle of it. She can take down anything and everything. The hunt for wicked pirates begin.

And the end, ha, yes, I guess we will see more of...that. I can't spoil it.

Conclusion:
The war is not over and what will she do next? I do wonder how this series will end

Paperback, 400 pages
Published June 6th 2014 by Titan Books (first published August 19th 2010)
Confederation #5
Military sci-fi
For review


Sunday, 15 June 2014

A hint of frost - Hailey Edwards

When the head of the Araneidae clan is found poisoned in her nest, her eldest daughter, Lourdes, becomes their clan's new maven. If her clan is to survive, she has but one choice: she must marry before her nest is seized. All she needs is a warrior fierce enough to protect her city and safeguard her clansmen. Such a male is Rhys the Cold.

Born the youngest son of an impoverished maven, the only things Rhys has to his name are his sword and his mercenary reputation. His clan is starving, but their fondness for the flesh of fellow Araneaeans makes them unwelcome dinner guests. Torn between loyalty to his clan and fascination with his future bride, Rhys s first taste of Lourdes threatens to melt the cold encasing his heart.

Amid the chaos of battle, Lourdes s sister disappears and is feared captured. Lourdes and Rhys pursue their enemies into the southlands, where they discover an odd plague ravaging southern clans as it travels north, to Erania. Determined to survive, Lourdes will discover whether she s worth her silk or if she s spun the thread by which her clan will hang.

Warning: This book contains one mercenary hero with a biting fetish, one determined heroine who gets nibbled, and an answer to the age-old question, What does dragon taste like? Matricide and sibling rivalry are available upon request. The house special is revenge, best served cold.

My thoughts:
Interesting world, even if I would have liked more explanations. What I did learn is that there are many clans. Some richer, some poorer, doing different things in life. And they are well, human spiders. They can spin, some of them they have venom too. Spider people, cool.

Right, the book starts with battle. The rich clan's guardians attacked and killed a lot. Lourdes, our heroine marries Rhys (from the cannibal clan) so they will have new guardians. I never did get why they fell in love, for it's not like they talked a lot or did certain other things either. So there the story could have been better for me. But hey I was all spider people! Cannibals! So I could live with that.

The story is about getting the new guardians and then finding her sister. So not a lot happens. But the world does intrigue me.

Cover
Ok

ebook, 256 pages
Published April 17th 2012 by Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Araneae Nation #1
Fantasy romance


Saturday, 14 June 2014

Book Blog Walkers: Weekly Check-in June 13 2014

This challenge is organized by Felicia over at the Geeky Blogger's Book Blog.

Saturday 30 min walk
Sunday - 1.45 hour walk
Monday - 10 km bike and 1 hour workout class
Tuesday - 5 km bike and 30 min walk
Wednesday - 5 km bike and 1 hour zumba
Thursday - 5 km bike + 40 min walk
Friday 5 km bike 

A bit disappointed over Friday. But I got home, had dinner, took a nap, went grocery shopping, sauna time and no time and no will to go out cos it was storming and cold. I thought summer was coming but I guess I was wrong.

Saturday

Sunday


Friday, 13 June 2014

Preternatural - G.S.Anderson

From the reality of the known to the depths of imagination, these twelve tales will skew your perceptions. Embracing mystery, science fiction, horror, and fantasy, the stories examine greed, ignorance, superficiality, and our ideas of home. A little girl wonders about the price of her new home. A woman searches for a place to fit in. A contest exposes hidden personalities. A man tries to overcome his fears. A gift comes with strings attached. A man lives his greatest dream. A fairy tale finds a little girl. An artist describes her process. A soldier discovers the past. A woman encounters reality. A man holds the key to saving the world. Tales to entertain, surprise, and make you think.

My thoughts:
There are 12 stories and as the book is only 60 pages then yes all the stories are really short. But they all pack quite the punch.

That is also why I can't say a lot about the stories, cos I say one thing and the whole thing is spoiled.

1. Seemingly dystopian, then it change for the little girl. And the end, yes I did not see it coming. It's about a little girl getting a new home.

2.A story about a woman who has a bookloving sister. A more quiet story.

3. A mum tells her son to go out and play....boom! Ha.

4. A relative dies and sets a contest about who will get it all. Boom! I love her endings!

5. Astraphobia. A man is afraid of the thunder. Honestly all I could say about all of these are, awesome ending!

6. The Gift. Dystopia with a nice twist.

7. One man at a time. A man gets the chance of a lifetime. Happiness or not?

8. The unicorn. I love all the twists and turns.

9. Piecé dé résitance. An artist shows us her work. Freaky.

10. Short fable.

11. To kill Hitler. A time-travel piece.

12. The end. Apocalyptic story with you guessed it, a twist.

I could not say much cos all these stories will surprise you. And in a good way. Twists, turns and surprise endings. Great short stories, and they are great just like that, as short stories. Because this way they all will thrill and surprise you. ;)

I would recommend them and they would fit perfectly for before bedtime. A short story and then night :)

ebook, 60 pages
Published April 18th 2014 by The Story Vault
Science-fiction /dystopia /post-apocalyptic
For review 


Thursday, 12 June 2014

The troublemaker next door - Marie Harte


Flynn McCauley never thought he’d be so cliché as to fall for the girl next door. But when Maddie calls him over to help fix her faulty sink, he’s a goner. Too bad the fiercely independent interior designer wants nothing to do with him. Even worse, he’s forced to rely on the advice of his nosy brothers—and his five-year-old nephew!—to figure out how to make her give him a shot.

My thoughts:
It's what the title tells you. 3 women move in together and next door are some hunks ;) But which one is the trouble maker, Flynn or Maddie? Honestly both are in ways, and that makes it fun.

Maddie is busy with her job, she got some relationship issues, but this is a romance so she will get over it.

Flynn is just hot blue collar, hot, I said hot already, yes hot.

They meet, he wants her, she wants it casual, we know they will fall for each other bit there is a road there to take. And that road is paved with hot smokin' passion. These two get it on and talk dirty.

Conclusion:
Passion, lots of smexy times and two people that should be together.

Oh and I think I will like the next couple too.

cover
nice

Paperback, 352 pages
Published June 3rd 2014 by Sourcebooks Casablanca (first published January 1st 2014)
The McCauley Brothers #1
Contemporary romance
for review


Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Blood will Follow - Snorri Kristjansson

Ulfar Thormodsson and Audun Arngrimsson have won the battle for Stenvik, although at huge cost, for they have suffered much worse than heartbreak. They have lost the very thing that made them human: their mortality.

While Ulfar heads home, looking for the place where he thinks he will be safe, Audun runs south. But both men are about to discover that they can not run away from themselves.

King Olav might have been defeated outside the walls of Stenvik, but now Valgard leads him north, in search of the source of the Vikings’ power.

All the while there are those who watch and wait, biding their time, for there are secrets yet to be discovered…

My thoughts:
I do love when the second book is better than the first. Now what made it so? I am always so bad with that, cos honestly it was everything that helped. It seemed to flow better, better written, better story, hey the book was better. And since book 1 was already good, the better :) I am way too used to a series going downwards instead.

Right so the big bad happened, Ulfar and Audun are now immortal. That is something I like about this book. Yes there is magic, yes the Gods walk the earth. And it feels real. Because then Christianity came and swept away all that. But now it feels like the olden days sure were deadly and magical.

The story is a sort of road trip. Ulfar goes back to Sweden and wonders about why he can't die, why did the evil woman curse them? While Audun tries to flee to the south. But men like them can't run away. Something, someone is after them.

While in Norway that bastard Valgard is all cozy with King Olav (arghhh Valgard!). Valgard is also after the powers of old. So I am sensing a big showdown maybe in the next book, or not.

Great story. These two men meeting strangers and trying to find themselves and what they will do next. And darkness gathering in Norway. So hard to pick good and bad, cos Valgard is bad and should not get any power. But then I do not like King Olav either cos you do not force people to find faith.

Conclusion:
A less bloody book than book 1 as that one was all anticipation before the siege of Stenvik. Here we get more of everything else. An interesting book that I could not put down. And I do wonder where their journey will take them next.

cover 
fitting

Paperback, 400 pages
Published June 5th 2014 by Jo Fletcher Books (first published May 29th 2014)
The Valhalla Saga #2
Historical fiction
for review


Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Once upon a kiss - Jayne Fresina

These Book Club Belles are ready to put down their novels and find some real-life leading men!

In the sleepy village of Hawcombe Prior, five young ladies of the local book society are reading a salacious romance called Pride and Prejudice. Upon finishing the book, the ladies race to find their own Mr. Darcy, and the handsome, mysterious Darius Wainwright is the perfect mark.

Justina Penny can't understand why her fellow Belles are starry-eyed in the newcomer's arrogant presence. But if the town's only eligible bachelor marries anyone, it should be her sweet, beautiful sister. And it's up to Justina to make it happen. How could this plan possibly go wrong?

My thoughts:
This book was just delightful :D The pages flew by and I was charmed by it. I do hope all the books in this series will be as good.

It's a book about a book club (yay), and they are reading Pride and Prejudice. And the author weaves her spell and the book reads a bit like PP then too. More fun for me.

Our heroine is, gods, crazy! Ha, in a good way. I loved her. She did all the wrong things, said the wrong things, she just wanted to have fun, to lose her bonnet and get her petticoats dirty by jumping in a puddle. Justine was  a great heroine.

Darius does not know what to do with her. He is more the Mr Darcy kind of guy, quiet, reserved, but he sure got to me at once too. They bring out the best in each other, yes even when bickering.

Great couple, fun things happening, a bit of Pride and Prejudice, and more promised as the rest of the book club will find love too. I can't wait.

Conclusion:
An amusing and charming book. Finished it in a day.

Cover
cute

Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Published June 3rd 2014 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Book Club Belles Society #1
Historical romance
for review


Monday, 9 June 2014

Falling apart - Jane Lovering

Jessica Grant liaises with Otherworlders for York Council so she knows that falling in love with a vampire takes a leap of faith. But her lover Sil, the City Vampire in charge of Otherworld York, he wouldn t run out on her, would he? He wouldn t let his demon get the better of him. Or would he?

Sil knows there s a reason for his bad haircut, worse clothes and the trail of bleeding humans in his wake. If only he could remember exactly what he did before someone finds him and shoots him on sight.

With her loyalties already questioned for defending zombies, the Otherworlders no one cares about, Jess must choose which side she s on, either help her lover or turn him in. Human or Other? Whatever she decides, there s a high price to pay and someone to lose. 

My thoughts:
Truth be told, I could not remember much from book 1. My memory is always bad, so in a way, yes it could work as a stand alone ;)

We are thrown right in. Something has happened to Sil. But what? Is he evil now? Should he be hunted down? Most of the book is about Jessica trying to find out what is going on. And we also learn some interesting facts about..ahem things. 

This is the world were everything was normal and then otherworlders showed up. You can understand the tension. Even if it has been quite some time since that.

We did not see much of Sil, a shame really. But we did see Zan instead, the leaders of the vampires and I must say, I quite fancy him more ;)

Jessica, oh I do not know. I think it was the constant Sil business, she could have thought about other things too. Even though she did but still, a bit lovesick.

Conclusion:
Anyway we have, vampire demons, zombies, werewolves, angry humans, two lovers torn apart in good old York.

cover 
too much on it

Paperback, 336 pages
Expected publication: June 15th 2014 by Choc Lit
Otherworlders #2
Paranormal fiction
for review


Sunday, 8 June 2014

Carole Reviews: Murder by Misrule - Anna Castle

Author: Anna Castle
Title: Murder by Misrule (Francis Bacon #1)
Genre: Historical Fiction, Murder Mystery, and Romance
Pages: ebook
First Published: June 8th, 2014
Where I Got It: My shelf  (Given to me by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion)


"Francis Bacon is charged with investigating the murder of a fellow barrister at Gray's Inn. He recruits his unwanted protégé Thomas Clarady to do the tiresome legwork. The son of a privateer, Clarady will do anything to climb the Elizabethan social ladder. Bacon's powerful uncle Lord Burghley suspects Catholic conspirators of the crime, but other motives quickly emerge. Rival barristers contend for the murdered man's legal honors and wealthy clients. Highly-placed courtiers are implicated as the investigation reaches from Whitehall to the London streets. Bacon does the thinking; Clarady does the fencing. Everyone has something up his pinked and padded sleeve. Even the brilliant Francis Bacon is at a loss — and in danger — until he sees through the disguises of the season of Misrule."


Like earlier stated, I read this for the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion.


Awwwww Francis Bacon. I don't know why, but I liked him a lot. Maybe it's the fact that he reminded me of me at a lot of times. He also reminded me of Sherlock Holmes from time to time. THAT may have to do with the fact that he had a murder mystery on his hands. I wish that he didn't add the gang of kids with him, but it did add more to the story, but still. I didn't like Tom and his friends. Okay, Ben was okay and so was Trumpet (until near the end). Tom was annoying and I think Clara deserved someone better. Oh well. Clara didn't make it easy for Tom, so that made me feel better. She got screwed once by her first husband and wasn't about to make THAT mistake twice. Glad she was a smart girl.


The two twists near the end surely did catch me by surprise. Especially who was the murderer and the conspirator. Kuddos to the author for getting me! haha. I'm normally really good at mysteries, but this got me and I liked it. 


There were a couple dry spots that did have me skimming a little bit. 0.0 However, the adventure was fun and I'm excited to see what adventures poor Mr. Bacon has to endure. haha. The author did a fantastic job blending historical fiction with real history and with a nice mystery on top like a cherry. Wonderful. :)


In the end, I liked the mystery...it was a good one and I didn't expect it! I had my own list of suspects that surely did look suspicious. I hated Tom and his "friends". I'm glad that the author made Clara a strong girl who didn't completely give in to Tom and his "love". She made him prove it and made him work for it. I loved her and I wish she had more screen-time. Also, I wish that Francis Bacon had more screen-time as well. Oh well. This book would be fun for those that like historical fiction and/or mysteries. Out of five stars I shall stamp this with 4 stars. 



Favorite Character(s): Francis Bacon, Clara, Ben, and Queen Elizabeth

Not-so Favorite Character(s): Tom and Casper 



Saturday, 7 June 2014

Book Blog Walkers: Weekly Check-in June 6 2014

This challenge is organized by Felicia over at the Geeky Blogger's Book Blog.

Saturday 1 hour bike
Sunday - 50 min walk
Monday - 10 km bike and 1 hour workout class
Tuesday - 5 km bike and 30 min walk
Wednesday - 15 km bike and 45 min zumba
Thursday - 5 km bike + 30 min walk
Friday 11 km bike + 1 hour bike

Good week, and the workout class on Monday was brutal,  I sure felt it for days afterwards.

And do join it :D It's fun and exercise any way you want


Friday, 6 June 2014

Thornbrook Park - Sherri Browning

In a world poised for epic change...

Disowned for marrying beneath her, Eve Kendal has returned to England destitute after her husband's death and the mysterious disappearance of their savings. She's looking for survival, not romance. But from London to the Yorkshire countryside to the elegant estate of Thornbrook Park, Eve's path seems destined to cross that of the dashing but violent Captain Marcus Thorne.

Anything can happen...

For Marcus, a return home means facing the demons that drove him to war in the first place. As he and Eve begin a steamy affair, tensions that had been simmering just beneath the surface threaten to explode and shake the very foundations of Thornbrook Park.

My thoughts:
This one felt different as it was a widow and a second son that fell in love.

Eve married someone not of her class and was disowned. She loved her husband and then he died. Now she is back in England. She was, well honestly normal ;) A good woman.

Marcus has PTSD and has left the life of a soldier. He uses his rage as a fighter. He was also normal, it feels like I am at a loss for words here but they were both normal, nice, he had small issues and they fell in love.

The setting is 1906 so yes Edwardian romance was another thing that was different, and interesting.

But life is never easy. There is suspense in this novel too as, oh I shall not say, but something from the past comes haunting them. And a bit of drama as Marcus's sister in law tries to play matchmaker and not between him and Eve.

Conclusion:
A nice romance with a suspenseful twist.

Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Published June 3rd 2014 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Thornbrook Park #1
Historical romance
For review


Thursday, 5 June 2014

Swords of Good Men - Snorri Kristjansson

To Ulfar Thormodsson, the Viking town of Stenvik is the penultimate stop on a long journey in this riveting adventure of clashing Viking powers. Tasked with looking after his cousin after disgracing his father, he has traveled the world and now only wants to go home.

Stenvik is different: it contains the beautiful and tragic Lilja, who immediately captures Ulfar’s heart-–but Stenvik is also home to some very deadly men, who could break Ulfar in an instant.

King Olav is marching on Stenvik from the East, determined to bring the White Christ to the masses at the point of his sword, and a host of bloodthirsty raiders led by a mysterious woman are sailing from the north.

But Ulfar is about to learn that his enemies are not all outside the walls.

My thoughts:
At first I will admit that this will not be the historical for everyone. This is about war, fighting, a siege, death. You get the idea.

Ulfar comes with his cousin to Stenvik. And he is not the only one. King Olav is coming there too, and others to plunder and kill. But before that Ulfar falls for a mystery woman (yes those things can never end well). And we gets to see the tension in the city. It was a brutal time after all.

The raiders and King do not come at once. We get to see city life, the raiders planning and King Olav telling people his way or the highway. Yeah, I have never been a fan of those who say this religion is better, follow it or die. So I can't really be on his side then. Go back to your heathen ways Norway, do not listen to Olav.

Ulfar, he was interesting. Because he starts of, not naive, but in a way yes. He grows and sees the bloody side of things. It's not like he is a stranger to fighting but things will get messy in this town.

Vikings as they were. A time of Thor vs White Christ. Tensions in society and like always, people doing things they should not do.

Conclusion:
And the end, rather evil wasn't it? I will not tell you but it certainly made me wonder what Ulfar is up to next.

cover
works

Paperback, 352 pages
Published June 5th by Jo Fletcher Books
The Valhalla Saga #1
Historical fiction
for review


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