Saturday, December 31, 2011

John Dodds: Bone Machines

From indie author John Dodds comes a very dark novel of a serial killer who murders for his love of his art.

Stephen Morrell is an artist with a very different medium. Decay, destruction, human bones, bodies, they are what make his art stand out. However, how he acquires his medium is his true art form and his victims will suffer for his art. They are men and women from around the Glasgow who have gone missing and yet the police are not willing to say that they are related. When people look at his art, he knows that they will never understand the true meaning of each piece of death that is portrayed, yet they attempt to and flock to see him. Ray Bissett is an investigative reporter who has put others on the line before just to get a story. He is drawn into the missing people story determined to show that they are linked, never realizing that this story is one that will hit very close to home.

I'm not sure how I found this ebook, but I thought it sounded interesting and I liked the name to I decided to read the first few pages to see if i would like it, I was hooked in from the first few pages. I did not want to put this book down, it had many of the elements that I look for in a thriller book.

The serial killer in this novel is Fantastically Sinister and Evil. I did not even mind that you know who it is at the serial killer is at the beginning of the book. Dodds does not go into too much detail of what is done to the victims but enough detail is given to give the reader the creeps but much of it is left to your own imagination which I think is worse. I like the interaction between Stephan's art and his victims (his real art form), as he displays many of the classic psychopathic tendencies. I also like how Dodds had Stephen have the ability to wear the mask of normalcy around everyone but his victims. This made him much more real and scary as he really could be anyone, anywhere. I really enjoyed the chapters from Stephan's point of view. How he views other people, how he hunts, his journal entries, all were really interesting and have the ability to really draw the reader in. The one thing I did not like was the "surprise" near the end of the book. This surprise used to be unique however, I have found more and more authors turning this way, therefore, the impact and uniqueness has worn off.

Outside of Stephen I found that this book was lacking in a few places. Ray is an investigative reporter but other than a contact near the beginning of the book, I found that he lacked in investigative ability or the right contacts to get the information that he needed. I think the individual in the story who had the most investigative ability is the forensic anthropologist, which is fitting as Stephan's artwork is mainly based in the use of human bones. I think that the investigative part of the story should have been based around her, have Ray as the secondary character.

I also found that the MP (member of Parliament) Robert Park and Miriam Allen issue was never fully finished or explained, and I am unsure if Dodds is going to release another book with the same characters in order to finish the Park's issue. It sounds like it but I do not think that I would want to read a book strictly about Ray and a possible corrupt politician. I think that Dodds novel should have forgot about the political angle and just stuck with the serial killer one as that was the best part of the book.

While this novel may be lacking in certain parts (oh and I will mention that there are a few spelling a grammar errors but nothing too major), I think that it is worth reading just for the serial killer aspects. This is where Dodds excelled in this book and would encourage me to read another novel by him if it is crime based. This is a FREE ebook and smashwords (, and one that I would recommend you try out, it is one of the better free ebooks that I have read.


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Friday, December 23, 2011

J.T. Ellison: All the Pretty Girls

In the first novel of J.T. Ellison's Lt. Taylor Jackson and FBI profiler Dr. John Baldwin criminal investigative series, there are missing girls and missing hands scattered across the southern United States:

One local girl is found, hand missing, and another girl goes missing right after, Lt. Taylor Jackson and FBI profiler John Baldwin get the call and discover there is another victim of the Southern Strangler. As much as Taylor wants to help Baldwin he is called away to each state that has been affected by the Southern Strangler and Taylor gets the call to help out with a serial rapist called the Rainman. What Taylor and Baldwin are unaware of is the Southern Strangler has made contact with a TV reporter in Nashville Whitney Connolly, who is determined to use the contact to make herself famous but at what cost? As the serial killer spirals out of control and more girls are murdered, there appears to be no end in sight and the only person who may know the truth isn't sharing.

This book was pretty good start to the series and I will be picking up the following book as I did like the story and the characters that Ellison created. However, I do not think that this is the best first serial killer or crime book that I have read. This book did not have as many twists and turns to lead the reader and detective astray as I would have liked. I also would have liked a few more chapters or sections that were from the killers point of view, as I think that by having these chapters the serial killer is more defined therefore more scary.

I liked Taylor and Baldwin together and separate as characters. I enjoyed that Ellison had them work on different cases in this book, but still seeking the others expertise while doing so. I think this separation of the cases is very true to life situations as the FBI is more concerned with national crimes and Taylor is restricted to the city of Nashville. Although Taylor and Baldwin are working on two different cases and helping each other out when they can you never feel lost within the separate stories or confused on who is working on what. I think that Ellison did a good job of weaving the crimes and stories together in such a way that the reader does not get lost within them.

Taylor is a strong female character and she has to be in as she is the head of a homicide unit and is looked upon to make the major decisions for her unit. I really appreciate that Taylor did not feel that she had to do everything herself and was not a know it all. She treated the detectives who she was in charge with, with respect and would seek their advice and knowledge when it was needed. I also think that Ellison did a good job showing what it was like to be a head of a unit and that the Lt. is responsible for more than one case at a time, to me this was a very realistic aspect of this novel.

Baldwin is also an interesting character. He has been with the FBI for a long time and is starting to feel like he is burning out especially with the case his is currently working on. He feels like he has found a place of peace with Taylor but is unsure how to explore it because his job takes he across the USA. Together, Taylor and Baldwin seem like a great partnership whether on a case or living together. I think that Ellison did a great job in creating a balance between the two in their relationship and the interweaving of their separate cases.

I think this was a pretty good start to a a series and I am interested in seeing how Taylor and Baldwin evolve no only in their relationship but within their perspective professions. I look forward to seeing the different stories that Ellison is able to create around Taylor and I hope Baldwin as well.

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Kathryn Stockett: The Help

Probably one of the most popular books this year is Kathryn Stockett's novel The Help, where she explores the life of black women in Mississippi during the 1960s when the equality and integration movements started nation wide in the United States.

Skeeter is an aspiring writer who has grown up in Jackson Mississippi where segregation between blacks and whites is still the way of life, even to the fact where the black maids who work in the Jackson's white families home, are not able to use the bathroom within the house. Through her interaction with one of her friend's maid Aibileen and her love for her own maid growing up Constantine, Skeeter decides to write a novel from the Jackson's maids point of view, not realizing that by writing this novel could change everything in not only her life, but those who agree to be part of the novel.

I really enjoyed this book, the interaction between the three women and their different reasons for wanting to take part in writing the Help. I was not expecting it (because of what the movie trailer showed as Skeeter as the main character) but I really liked that Stockett had different chapters dedicated to each of the women. This allowed the reader to get to know each of the women individuals and really showed the disparity between Skeeter and Minny and Aibileen. It was very interesting to see the interaction between the women and how the each change throughout the book and how writing a novel changed them as well.

The characters within this book have been masterly crafted and you get to know each woman individually as there are chapters within the story that are dedicated to each characters. This helps give each women's perspective on what life is like and what is going on in Jackson Mississippi. 

Skeeter, is a strong character who is attempting to understand the changes that are occurring across the United States as well as her own perspective on life as it has changed and does not fit any more with the girls that she grew up with. Raised by the family maid Constantine, Skeeter loved her like any girl would love the woman that raised her and this has shaped her view on the white and black situation that is happening around her and gives her the strength to want to write about it. 

Minnie is the out spoken one of the three, who is not afraid to tell her mind to anyone, but knows that it will be this is also her downfall both within the work force but also at home. I really liked when Minnie went to work for Celia Foote, it showed a different side of Minnie that she really does have a caring side for white people even though she tries hard to hide it.

I think that Aibileen is my favorite character in this book, I cannot say how much I enjoyed her parts. Her strength and love for the children that she raises as her own is inspiring. She is a very soft spoken character, but who is probably the strongest of them all. Aibileen is trying hard to make sure that the children she raises feel important especially Mae Mobley who does not feel loved by her mother. Aibileen even begins to change how she raises the children through her process of telling her stories to Skeeter. As I said Aibileen is my favorite character within the book and I think the one who is explored the most.

I have seen the movie for The Help as well, and while it is a good movie, it does not hold a candle to the book. I found that there was lack of character development in the movie when compared the book. I also think that the movie did the book a disfavour by changing Constantine's story as to why she "left" and I think if they would have used the one from the book it would have showed more of the disparity between whites and black within the Jackson community.

I think that Stockett's novel is well written, has great story as well as fantastic character development. I think that is has a great message and could see parents reading this book with older children. If you were thinking of picking this book up, I would, you will not be disappointed.


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Phaedra Weldon: Wraith

Hi everyone, sorry it has been so long since I have posted a review. I`m just going through a move right now and I don't really think that would be an over all excuse but the past few books that I have picked up to read have been (for lack of a better word) Lemons. So I kind of lost my motivation in reading as I strive to finish reading these past few books but I really do try hard to finish every book I start reading.

 In her debut novel, Phaedra Weldon takes the reader in the world of in between, where ghost and other things go bump in the night and not everything in there is friendly

Zoe Martinique is a Private Detective, but not of the cheating husband kind, more like a professional snoop infiltrating meetings that no one else is able to without someone else knowing she is there. Zoe has the ability of astral projection. Her spirit can leave her body and have all the abilities of a spirit free from a body plus some other Perks. Zoe should have known to stay away from the "oogy" feeling she was getting from the office building. After witnessing a murder by a fellow traveler Zoe has been scarred, literally and strange things are happening each time she leaves her body. But Zoe is determined to find the murder not only to help bring him to justice, but to find out what he has done to her.

I really wanted to like this book. I thought that the premise sounded interesting and that it might be something a little different in the paranormal genre. It took just over 250 pages (The books is about 375 pages long) to finally have this book pique some interest for me to read it, but it was like pulling teeth to get to this point. I found that other than the astral projection concept within the book (which is an interesting idea) that the book was severely lacking. This book lack imagination (other than the astral aspect), the writing style/language were hard to read at times, as well as I think that Weldon missed the mark in the character development.

The Highlight of this novel is Zoe's power. Not going to lie going Astral Projection is pretty cool and I like the integration of it into her occupation as a Private Detective or Professional Snooper. While I did find the Astral projection interesting and Zeo's ability to use it as her snooping tool, this was not enough for me to truelove enjoy this book.

I found that Zoe was very immature for her age (she is 28 in this book) and I was unable to relate to her thought process. She is a winy main character (I don't know how many times she wanted her mommy), who complains when she does not get her way. She also has the inability to learn from previous errors that she has made and it a little bit too man obsessed for my liking (this is not to say that there is a lot of romance in this book, very little actually, but she does think about men quite a bit). It also nagged me with the constant abbreviations for everything astral that Zoe's mom and Rachel had, we may live in a computer and texting world but that does not mean that I want to have them in the literature that I read. Also the over use of the word or "concept" of the word oogy really began to annoy me at the end and it was the use of this word that also attributed to Zoe`s immaturity

I think that Weldon had an interesting concept and premise, that if executed right would this would have been a great book. I think that the writing style and character development were not for me and were just lacking overall. Additionally, by the time I reached the end of the book, I was done, I do not want to read any more about Zoe, or her life. There is really nothing left in this book that would draw me in to read the next book, not even the interesting concept of Astral Projection.


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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Scott G. Mariani: Uprising

In Scott G. Mariani's debut novel into the paranormal genre he has created the Federation, an overseeing rule of Vampire, however, not all Vampires have accepted the rules (never harm a human, never fall in love with a human and never turn a human) and are prepared to do anything to turn things back to the old ways.

Alex Bishop is the top agent for The Federation in London, she knows the importance in keeping the Humans in the dark about vampire's existence and adhering to the laws of the Federation but Alex feels that there are more forces at work against the Federation even though her boss and the higher up Vampires believe it is nothing. Alex is certain that there is going to be a movement of vampire traditionalist. Joel Solomon is has a secret, he believes in vampires and has since he was very young when he witnessed he family murdered by one. Joel has put that image behind him but when a teenager recounts a gruesome murder that involves drinking of blood, Joel knows that he cannot ignore the existence of vampires any more. Alex and Joel have the same mission but different ideas of how it should end, Joel would prefer to see all vampires destroyed.

I am a big fan of Mariani's Ben Hope series and when I found out that he had written a vampire based one I knew that I had to pick it up. I think that Mariani has written an interesting story, but I do not think that it adds anything extremely new into the genre (and maybe at parts a little cliche but this did not distract me from enjoying this book). There were some interesting concept for example vampires able to take a pill that would allow them to go out during the day or a special chemical that would destroy a vampire with just a small tough. I appreciated that Mariani kept vampires true to their roots or being the evil creature and the need for human blood to survive. I understand that there are changes with the Vampire Federation being created but I think that Alex gets a little too much joy out of her job of scaring, hunting and killing to say that vampires are civilized creatures (though I'm sure that the Federation would disagree on that point).

I think that Mariani really excelled when he created the characters in this book for both good guys and bad and this lead to the over all believability of the book. The characters seemed so real that the world that Mariani created made me think that it could be real. I liked Alex as a character, yes in this book the female lead is the strong kickass type, but I did not find her annoying and I think that Mariani was able to have a strong lead female character (and be the kickass type) and not be the annoying character that I have found in many books in this genre. I think he found the right balance between strong female lead, kickassness and strong personality. I really enjoy learning about vampire's past when I read these types of books and I am glad that Mariani took some time to share parts of hers. I'm looking forward to see how much Alex can grow as a character and how her past will shape her future.

Joel is also an interesting characters and I found that enjoyed his parts more than Alex's chapters. I liked he rediscovery of vampires and that it was not something that he had made up when he was a child. I find that for Joel this novel was a coming of age one for him as he discovers his true calling in life and how he was not really doing what he was meant to as a detective.

I'm not sure how this book is classified at book store I know some people have stated that it is a horror book, I would not classify it this way. There are some detail that may be seen in a horror novel, but the whole book does not fit within that genre. I think Dark paranormal light might be the best way to describe this book (not sure if that makes sense or not though) I think that If you are looking for a good vampire read then pick this one up. It had the right mix of action, suspense, mystery and romance for those who enjoy this genre. I am looking forward to reading the next book in this series


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Monday, November 14, 2011

Amanda Kyle Williams: The Stranger You Seek

In her debut Amanda Kyle Williams takes the readers to Atlanta where it is part of a serial killers games to make sure that the whole city is on edge especially those who work within law enforcement.

Atlanta is not just suffering from a summer heat wave, a killer has emerged one where there appears to be no connection between the victims. The killer becomes more bold with each kill and taunting as the lead detective, Rauser, begins to receive letters from the killer with clues of who is next, but not enough information to stop it. This leads Rauser to contact his friend Keye Street, who was a profiler in the FBI before alcohol took away her job and her family. Keye does not know if she will be able to handle reentering the world of serial killer is this is what lead her to drink in the first place. But the choice is taken away from Keye when she becomes the target of  the killer and it is made clear that Keye is not going to get away from this case unscathed.

I enjoyed how this book began with a chapter that is from the point of view of the serial killer. This chapter sets the stage for the entire novel and it makes you want to look over your shoulder thinking that someone is watching you.

I really liked the way that Williams portrayed the serial killer and the chapters that were from the killers point of view. They were twisted, insane and offered up information to the reader that further lead astray but helped them determine who the killer was. Although I do not think that Williams introduced anything new into the serial killer genre, I think that Williams wrote a complex serial killer figure, and this was my favorite part of this novel.

Keye Street is an interesting character. She used to be a profiler for the FBI but was kicked out because she became an alcoholic, however, I think that this is a very real problem within any police or law enforcement agency. I appreciated that Williams never had Keye forget that she was an alcoholic and that Keye still craves what a drink could do for her. There are some parts in Keye's interaction with other characters is that a few state that Keye is basically of herself and that everything is all about Keye. I did not get this impression at all in any of the relationships that Keye had. If anything I think that the character who wanted every thing to be about him is Rauser. He is the one that is always needing Keye and her expertise, he is the one who becomes so involved in the case that it does eventually become about his career. There is also supposed to be sexual tension between Rauser and Keye, I did not feel it at all. I think that they work great together as a collaboration in a case, but as a couple, I do not see it.

I think that Williams is a new author to watch out for. I think her development of her serial killer character was really well done and I really enjoyed Keye as a character. I think that Williams needs to focus more on her interaction between characters so that they are better defined and more concrete, however, this book was able to keep me entertained. I look forward to reading another Keye Street novel.


NOTE: There are some descriptions of the murder scenes that may be disturbing to some individuals as many of them are sexual in nature.

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Friday, November 4, 2011

Jonathan Maberry: Patient Zero

Jonathan Maberry bring us the start of a new series where war and biological warfare take on a whole new aspect and the government is willing to do anything to stop it.

Joe Ledger knows that it is going to be an interesting week when he is forced to kill the same terrorist twice, and he knows that there is nothing wrong with his ability to kill. Joe is Balitmore Police detective who is about to get offered a once in a lifetime opportunity to become part of a sercet government agency, but Joe does not know if he really wants to be part of something like that, nothing short of blackmail will make him take the job. Though Joe may be the new guy on the block he takes a no holds bar attitude and this is going to be put to the test as Joe's, get his first assignment before he has even joined the DMS, to stop a group of terrorist from releasing a bioweapon against America.

Ah Zombies, the ever so popular choice for the paranormal genre this year, at least it is alot harder to romanticize zombies than it was vampire a few years ago. Sometime people need to just get back to the basics of scary.

This book is a really good action adventure book with some great action scenes, suspense with a touch of mystery and a side of zombies. I think that the action scenes were really well laid and thought out. I was not scratching my head attempting to figure out how the characters within the book got out of situations or completed their "moves". I think that Maberry has a great ability to write actions scene that flow smoothly and keep the reader entertained throughout.

I think this book could have been written without zombie and still been a really interesting read, but does having Zombie in this book what makes this book special, in this day and age, No (Zombies are the new flavour), but if you like Zombies it is all the more reason to read this book. I think what actually set this book apart from other is the realism that something like this is possible maybe not zombies per say (but you never really know) but humans have had the ability to formulate many deadly pathogens in the past and really what is to stop one like this from being created or discovered (you can tell by the research that Maberry did in this book that he was trying to make it as real as possible).

There are several interesting characters within this book that I hope in time that Maberry will take the time to explore them further in future books. I liked Joe Ledger as a main character. He everything that I like in this type of book, a deadly individual who does not hesitate, but with his own set or right and wrong morals. Joe probably would be on the verge of being a psychopath if he was not able to keep his "three sides in balance" The Cop, The Warrior and The Modern Man. I think that this was a very interesting way in explaining Joe's personality as well as his ability to get the job done.

Actually one of my favorite character was Toys. I think he is one of the perfect bad guys that you would never see coming in real life. He plays all his parts well, and you begin to see that he is the true manipulator of the people around him and of his life.  I wish there would have been more of him in the book. I also liked how the mind behind the pathogen was a woman and that woman came from a middle eastern extremist culture view on women, therefore, I thought it was an interesting aspect of the book.

I think that this is a well written book that any individual who is fan of action adventure genre with a USA vs the Middle East Extremist vibe to it  will enjoy this book. If you are not a fan of zombie books but like action adventure then think of this book as using biological warfare and that should get you past the Zombie part. I am looking forward to reading more about Joe and more from Mulberry. I think this was a really good read.


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Monday, October 24, 2011

Suzanne Collins: The Hunger Games

I know, I know, most people who have read my reviews or have requested reviews by me know that I do not read YA books. However, a friend of mine who is even more (for lack of a better word) anti-YA books than me, told me it was a fantastic read, so I borrowed her copy and away I went.

North America is in ruins, and has been divided into 12 districts with the Capitol overseeing all of them. Always making sure that none of the districts prosper too much and to make sure that the districts never forget that the Capitol defeated them all. Each year there is a lottery within each district when one boy and one girl are chosen in order to particpate in the Hunger Games. But these are not regular games, they are fights to the death and with each death of a child the Capitol reinforces their position as leader. This year Katniss Everdeen is heading to the games. She is skilled, has survival skills but has never had to face anything like this before. With Game Masters who move the game in the way they want, Katniss is by herself and will have to use everything she has in order to survive, as well as loose part of her humanity as a person acting with humanity will not survive the Hunger Games

I'm not going to lie, I really enjoyed this story, book and characters. I think that Suzanne Collins has done a great job in writing a book that will appeal to a wider range of audience than just YA audience. The farther the reader gets into the book the more that the characters become less age specific except for in one area (I talk about this farther below). I think that this is where Collins really succeeded in this book as it is what allowed it to be enjoyed by everyone. I also do not think that Collins went too far into the sci-fi/fantasy genre that individuals who do not like that genre would be hesitant to read this book. This book really about the survival of the fittest and is more like a modern Gladiator Games, where the ruler decides who lives and who dies

I enjoyed that Collins was not afraid to let her characters get hurt or experience Pain, both mentally and physically. This caused me to be more invested in the characters and the storyline, and it became that I needed to know who was still alive at the end of each day. I also liked how each district put forward different types of tributes and with each district the tributes excelled at different aspect in survival or killing and how some did not excel at these aspects at all.

I like Katniss as a character. She is smart, resourceful, compassionate and you can start to tell the type of woman that she could be become if she is able to survive the games. The thing I like most about Katniss is her mind and the way that she is able to adapt to each a situation and manipulate it to one that would benefit her the most.However, there are times within the book where she does show her age and does act like a brat, these were not my favorite parts of the book, I enjoyed her more when you could not tell her age or her actions were those that an adult book. But I recognize that this is a YA book and these attributes in her character are to be expected.

*****SPOILER BELOW******

My one criticism is that I did not find that Katniss and Peeta's relationship mature enough for me. I felt their relationship trying at times, and this part of the book was the least enjoyable for me. However, this is from an adults point of view, and how Collins wrote the relationship between Katniss and Peeta fits well within the YA genre. I think this might be the one aspect that may turn adult readers off this book/series as it did not have the "passion" of an adult book. But I will state again this is a YA book, therefore, it was right of Collins to not have an adult type relationship.

I think that Collins has created a book and possible a series (I have not yet read the next two books) that is able to go passed the YA genre and appeal to a more broad audience. I think that if you have been wavering about whether to read this series because it is YA book I think you should pick it up, be nicely surprised.


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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sandra Brown: The Witness

Sandra Brown brings together another mystery thriller that explores what happens when a small town will go to great length to protect their secrets

Kendall Deaton is the new public defender of a small town, where they were not expecting to hire a women for the job and they make it known. From the first news article it is questioned whether she can handle the job or not, but Kendall is willing to prove them all wrong, this is the opportunity she has been waiting. And she does, even ends up marrying the author from the original article and into one of the most influential families in town. Kendall believes that she has found her place. However, things are not all what they seem in this small town, there are secrets in this town that no one wants exposed.

I'm happy to say that I really enjoyed this book. I was a little worried after reading the Best Kept Secrets by Sandra Brown as I did not enjoy that book at all, but this book redeemed my trust in Brown as an author.  I did not want to put this book down I had to know all the secrets of the town and what Kendall was running from. This book had everything that a reader would be looking for in a thriller as it had suspense, twist, turns, conspiracies and more.

Brown did a great job of crafting the story and creating suspense that will keep you on your toes. I enjoyed how Brown switched back and forth between the past a present as it kept me wondering what Kendall was running from as well as trying to figure out what her next move will be. I personally did not find it hard with the switches, but if you are not a fan of this writing style this book is not for you. It tended to be one chapter in the present next chapter in the past.

I liked Kendall as a character and her willingness to do anything for herself and her baby Kevin to survive. She is smart, has a great heart and I enjoyed her quick mind and how she adapts the situation in order to fit what she needs. Yes she is a manipulator and yes she is a liar but I think that she uses these traits when she needs them in order to survive. I also enjoyed her interaction with John and his confusion with his amnesia. I think that Brown did this interaction really well.

This book was fantastic and has put my faith back into Brown's novels. I think this is one of the best Brown books that I have read in a long time.


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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Brian Springer: Blood Money

 Indie Author Brian Springer introduces the reader to Blood Money, which explores how far governments are willing to go in order to ensure that they are always able to make profit, even if it means the death of thousands.

Jessica Robbins has achieved what was thought to be impossible. She has created a vaccine for the AIDS virus. This could save and prevent the disease throughout the world. There is just one problem, the government does not want the results or her vaccine to reach the public. The "cures" for AIDS virus is too profitable to the medical industry. Jessica attempts to escape and spread the word of her research, but she is caught by the government and whisked away to a "safe house". Kelton has his own sens of morality, that some may see as skewed at time, but he always believes that he is doing something for the greater good. Kelton has been tasked to retrieve Jessica so that she is able to spread the word about her vaccine. What was suppose to be an easy extraction has turns into a game of cat and mouse where Kelton and Jessica do not know who they can trust and if the vaccine is the only reason that they are being hunted.

I think that Springer has created some interesting characters and a possible series that I think will grab peoples attention. The plot was well thought out, written and explored in this book. I think the premise that Springer presented within the book is one that is really viable because at the core governments and corporations is greed.

Kelton is a fascinating character that I really want to know more about he is a good mixture of boy scout and vigilantly with his own moral code, which I found as an interesting combination. He does not like to be call a mercenary, even though that is what he is, but he likes to believe he has a higher moral code that mercenary's do. I enjoyed learning about Kelton's past, what made him the man he is in this book. I wish we would have learned more about his training, but I can understand if Springer is going to save that for the next Kelton book.

Jessica was not my favorite character in the first part of the book, I found her just an overly sexual character and just trying to use her sexuality too much in trying to seduce Kendal. I did grow to semi like Jessica later in the book, but I just could not get past how she was portrayed in the beginning of the book too truly like her as a character. I found the questions she asked boring, and just the conversation was strained at times, and I did begin to wonder about Springer's ability to write female characters.

The book did have a few slow parts in the book, especially in the conversation between Jessica and Kelton. There were times when I wanted the conversation to end or take a different direction as there were more interesting topics that could have been discuessed but were not. Most of the conversation revolved around sex and/or Jessica trying to convince Kelton to have sex with her. Which as stated above is why Jessica was not my favorite character. There were also times where things seemed a little bit too easy for Kelton and Jessica, that it took away from the suspense and thrills that could have been in the book

I was impressed that Springer was able to create a story, plot and characters in this short book (it was just over 219 pages on my nook). I think Springer has created a character that I would like to return to, to not only learn more about but to see how his adventures unfold. Springer is an author to watch out for as I think once he hits his stride in writing he will create some great mystery/thriller/adventure stories.


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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Gemma Halliday: Undercover in High Heels

 This is the third book in the High Heels Series. The first book is Spying in High Heels and the second book is Killer in High Heels. While it is not completely essential that  you read the other two books before this one, the build up of Maddie's life and relationships start, grow and blunder through the first two books and really they are just fun reads.

"Secret affairs, hunky gardeners, and housewives desperate enough to bare it all... welcome to Magnolia Lane, TV's hottest new prime time show." and Maddie's newest obsession. Maddie's life seems to be working out, well for the most part. She's not 100% sure where her and Ramirez stand (okay it is a very hot-cold relationship, but a girl can dream of the best) but on the bright side she has created her first Maddie Springer Shoes. But Maddie's favorite TV show is about to create some of its own drama when one of the rising stars is found on set and it looks like the true target was the show star. Ramirez is assigned to the case but not in the capacity he wants to be. But Maddie thinks the best way to get Ramirez's attention is to go undercover at Magnolia Lane and find the killer, but Maddie's snooping around is about to turn deadly.

I can always turn to Halliday when I need an all around fun read, after reading too much dark and serious books. She always knows just how to make me laugh and keep me entertained though out the book. I love just reading of the next situation that Maddie gets into, whether it is her fault or not. I have no idea where Halliday gets all her ideas for Maddie to get into trouble with, but they are all fall off the chair laughing ones.

I really liked Dana in this book and I'm glad that she got more of a role in this novel. It was nice to see the duo together again and all the schemes they can convince each other to partake in. I don't know how many times I laughed out loud in regards to Dana being part of SA (Sexaholics Anonymous)...That right there should make you want to read this book in this series, lol.

I appreciated that Halliday does not over do it with the sex scenes, they are hinted at, but she never goes into great detail with them. I think that she does it tastefully, and give enough of the steaminess that individuals who like to read novels that have more romance based to them will still enjoy this book.

Halliday writes fun easy to read books, that will put a smile on your face.The High Heel Series is for readers who like romance, comedy and mystery.


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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Thank You Everyone!!! Blogoversary Contests are CLOSED

Hi Everyone,
I just want to say thank you once again to all the authors who were part of my very First Blogoversary. I also want to tajnk those who took the time to read, comment and enter the author interviews and giveaways of the authors. All contests are now closed and I will be choosing winner shortly (well will be but you get the idea), so keep an eye on your email to see if you have won some books.

Cheers and Happy Canadian Thanks Giving this weekend.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Blogoversary Author Interview & Giveaway: J. J. Westendarp

Hi Everyone,
Today we have an indie author whose debut I just read a few weeks ago and I really enjoyed it and I cannot wait to read more
Please Welcome J. J. Westendarp to Blood Rose Books today.

Do you have a specific experience or book that you read that inspired you to become an author?
David Eddings, first and foremost, is the author I go to when I need inspiration. I know a lot of people look at his stuff as simplistic and not very deep, but I love the characterization he manages to accomplish in just about everything he wrote along with his wife, Leigh. He also had a knack for world building that I think any author would appreciate. Reading his stuff always makes me want to step up my game.

As an indie author, what has been the most challenging aspect in getting your book out there for people to read?
Finding people to read it, though a close second seems to be distancing it from other paranormal works that focus on romance and sex as selling points (which might lead back to the first point). Not that my books won't have either of those in small doses (very small), but that's not what I like to read and I write things that I want to read.

The paranormal genre has become extremely popular in the past five years, why did you decide to start your writing career in this genre? 
It wasn't so much a conscious decision as it was the story I had in front of me. Spiral X started out as fan fiction that melded the worlds of Buffy and Blade, way back when they were popular. Once I realized I had a real story, I sought to make it my own while also keeping the spirit of the works that inspired its creation. And so was born The Eternal War.

What do you think would be the hardest or most challenging genre to write a novel in and why?
Comedy. Actors will tell you that comedy is the hardest part to play because timing is so critical to making people laugh. It's the same with writing. I wouldn't even begin to venture into writing something purely for comedic purposes because I'm fairly certain it wouldn't turn out nearly as funny as I would think it was.

Of all the different creatures that are now part of the paranormal genre why did you choose Vampire vs. Vampire Hunter?
Like I said earlier, it was the story I had in front of me, though I will admit that towards the end I was motivated by the idea that vampires needed to go back to being evil again. Of course, the most obvious foil to killing said vampires was a vampire hunter. There's a simplicity there that makes the story easy to explain.

It is some what rare for an author to write a main character that is an opposite sex from them, why did you choose to write a female protagonist?
Not entirely sure on this one. When I started writing I immediately did so from Cheryl's perspective without even thinking about it. Maybe it's because I've secretly wanted to be a badass chick who kills vampires all my life, but it might take years of therapy to sort that out if that's the case.

You went back to some basic roots of the myths about what hurts/kills vampires, do you think the faith based vampire hunting has been lost in the technological world of today?
Yes. I knew early on that I wanted to fixate more on the Buffy world of vampires, where faith plays a large part in dealing with them, though truthfully I was never sure if she truly believed that faith was a weapon. In making the world my own, the concept of The Eternal War, something that exists going back millennia even in our own literature (i.e. the battle for a man's soul), the idea of faith as a literal weapon was something that grew organically out of it. This is also an idea that gets explored a heck of a lot more in the second book.

In Spiral X, you introduce Vampires, but they are actually bodies produced by Demon inhabiting a human’s body. After Vampires, what would be your next favorite creature to introduce?
Zombies, which seems like a bit of a cliché, but I figured out a way for them to world in this setting which seems completely logical. 

Do you have any information on upcoming works or events that you are able to share?
The follow up to Spiral X is currently in the editing phase and I believe I can have it ready for release toward the end of the year. No title as of yet. From there I will be working on a short story based on Tank and a steampunk fantasy novel that I have been working on in between other stuff.

What is one book on your shelf that you cannot wait to read (can either be a new or old favorite).
Ghost Story by Jim Butcher. Haven't heard a single bad thing about it.

To find out more information on J.J. Westerndarp's books you can check out my review of Spiral X and J.J.'s website. He has also very nicley offer One Ebook copy of Sprial X as part of his interview. I cannot wait for his next book in this series to come out.

1.  You do not need to be a Follower to participate, but it is always nice for you to join
2. Please Fill out the Form BELOW in order to enter
3. This Giveaway is Open Internationally
4. The Giveaway ENDS on October 7, 2011
5. The winners will be notified via email and will have 48 hrs to respond, otherwise a new winner will be chosen
6. EBook provided by J.J. Westendarp

Monday, October 3, 2011

Blogoversary Author Interview & Giveaway: Dianne Sylvan

Hi Everyone,
I'm very excited to have today's author on my blog. She has written started a great new series and had one of the best debuts that I read this year and she helped reinstalled my faith in vampire books. 

Please Welcome DIANNE SYLVAN to Blood Rose Books today!

The paranormal genre has grown in the last five years, what do you think stands out about your shadow world novels?
I think that the Shadow World novels are different because the vampires that are in them are not all mopey self-loathing types who miss being human.  My vampires really like being vampires, and they use their abilities to their utmost advantage to enforce the law.  They’re also bound together by a mystical force that becomes more and more important as the story goes on.   Also, I’m not afraid to let my characters do terrible things and make dreadful mistakes; that’s how they become who they are, by learning from the things they do wrong, like normal people.

What do you think would be the hardest or most challenging genre to write a novel in and why?
Pure Sci/fi would be pretty much impossible for me.  I don’t get anything out of outer space or robots or alien invasions.  The closest I come is having geeky characters who know how to use computers. 

Do you remember the first story that you wrote? Was it this story, another author or an experience that inspired you to become an author?
I’ve been writing since I learned how to read.  I never wanted to be anything but a writer.  It’s in my blood; I think about it every day, usually all day.  If there’s something you can’t go a day without thinking about, chances are you should be that thing. Unless it’s illegal. 

I understand that you are part of NeoPagan spirituality; do you find that this help and /or dictates your structure and develop your books?
I use a lot of mythological imagery in my books, and that will become more apparent as the series goes on – there are references to a lot of old gods and goddesses.  There are also Witches in the series, and they are both psychic type fantasy witches and actual Wiccans, who practice NeoPagan spirituality.  There’s definitely a mystical theme underlying the books. 

Within the Paranormal genre there are various types of “Monsters” to choose from, why did you choose vampires?
They’ve been a fascination of mine since I was a teenager.  I find werewolves dreadfully boring, I hate zombies, so the only other monsters I might try working with in the future are angels/demons or something like them.  There will be other creatures in the Shadow World series (no werewolves, though).
Mira’s power is essentially based around her musicality. Do you have any musical talents?
I love music, and it plays an important part in my writing process; I tend to visualize what I’m writing as if it were a scene in a movie, and that includes the soundtrack.  Songs can inspire entire characters and scenes.  I don’t currently play any instruments myself but I do intend to learn piano one day.

Most of the book is based upon helping Mira get past her inevitable insanity, what was it about this aspect of the mind (insanity) that made you want to create a power around it?
I think that any kind of psychic gift, if left untrained, could turn to insanity very easily.  There are a lot of people in mental institutions who aren’t exactly crazy – just very, very intuitive, or empathic, or have other mental abilities that aren’t understood by modern medicine so they try to medicate them away.  I’m not saying everyone is like that, but it does happen.  I have also seen musicians who can do amazing things with their music, change the mood of an entire audience in one song, and I asked myself what would happen if someone who could do that didn’t really have any control over it? 

Mira is definitely not your typical female protagonist in the paranormal genre (really Faith is closer to typical these days) why did you choose Mira and her weaknesses as your main character?
I wanted to write a story about a survivor.  Not someone who just hops out of the box as a heroine, but someone who has to learn to become one, who makes mistakes along the way and has weaknesses and flaws.  Perfect people are not interesting to me.  People without quirks and habits and loves of their own are boring.  I wanted Miranda to reflect the real women I know – they’re complicated, multifaceted, and they’ve survived the worst life  can throw at them. 

Do you have any information on upcoming works or events that you are able to share?
I’m almost finished with Shadow’s Fall, the third book in the series.  It will hit shelves at the end of March 2012.   

What is one book on your shelf that you cannot wait to read (can either be a new or old favorite).
Right now I’m reading Karen Armstrong’s A History of God, which is amazing.  I’m also planning to reread the His Dark Materials trilogy soon.

I want to Thank Dianne for taking part in my Blogoversary and I am looking forward to the next books within her Shadow World Series. If you would like to find out more about the Shadow World and Dianne's novels check out my review of Queen of Shadows and check out Dianne's website. Dianne has very nicely donated one SIGNED copy of the second book in her Shadow World Series, Shadowflame. Thank You once again Dianne!!

1.  You do not need to be a Follower to participate, but it is always nice for you to join
2. Please Fill out the Form BELOW in order to enter
3. This Giveaway is Open to Internationally
4. The Giveaway ENDS on October 7, 2011
5. The winners will be notified via email and will have 48 hrs to respond, otherwise a new winner will be chosen
6. Books are provided by Dianne Sylvan