Friday, January 28, 2011

L.K. Rigel: Space Junque

In her debut indie paranormal genre, LK Rigel takes on a fast, fun and sexy journey through space.

Char, need to leave earth NOW! Things have changed dramatically in the past years, with mutations to the human race and the animals Earth is no longer safe for anyone to live, especially if they are using technology, as there is a Rebel group call DOGs who want to see technology purged from Earth. Her last hope is to reach the shuttle leading to the universal space station, but any technology could be a target, she just has to hope that her luck will stay with her. When she arrives at the airport all hell breaks loose the shuttle she was going to take is destroyed and her only hope is Jake Ardri, pilot of the shuttle Space Junque. Char gets off the planet just in time, the destruction of the DOGs goes global, now Char is left wondering if she will be able to survive in space and how long it will be before that is gone too.

This novel really is fast, fun and sexy. It is a short story about 88 pages on my nook, it is fun as we get to visit space (it has been awhile since I have read a space based book) and it is sexy, as there is some good romance in the book. What makes me like this book more than most paranormal romance books is the sex scenes were short and sweet (well I guess one would be consider wham bam thank you ma'am but they did not extend for pages and pages). This book is a fun easy read, that anyone could read in a few hours, be entertained and escape their own life for awhile. However, I did get a touch confused in parts of the book that got a bit too spacey, but space books are not really what I normally read, so those who read these type of books would like them. The spacey stuff is not that constant that I was lost, just confused at the very most. I was also a little confused about the Ghost mutation/gene, I do not think that it was fully explained and in the first few pages when she is talking about Ghost, I thought she is talking about Spirit Ghosts.

Rigel creates quite a world for such a short and seems to have a gift for world building as they were able to create a complete world within 88 pages. I have read some novels where it takes more than 200 pages to create a world, granted some of these may be a more complex world, other are not, but either was I think it takes talent to write a short story  where the world and plot are complete, than a longer story.

So if you are looking for a quick read in a genre you may not normally read, just to get a flavour for it I would recommend this book to you. You get a good taste of the paranormal romance space genre with this book. Also if you are looking for a quick romance book for a change after reading your last thriller, this will fit your needs as well. Plus it is an Indie book and we should all support more India authors


I dont really have any books on my website that are similar to this one yet, so sorry I cannot recommend something else if you also like this book. I do know that Rigel does have a sequel coming out to this books called Spiderwork, so keep you eyes open for that one.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sophie Littlefield: Aftertime

In her debut novel in the paranormal genre, Littlefield tackles what the world would be like if one mistake changes everything, and Zombie now walked the Earth.

Cass wakes up, does not know where she is and how much time has passed since her last memory. Her hair has been pulled out, her arms are covered in scabs and her back feels raw and is painful with every movement. She slowly realizes the truth, has been attacked by the Beaters, and survived, but how? Cass does not concern herself with these questions, all she knows is that she has to get up, get moving, before the Beaters come back to finish off what they have started. Cass is driven by one of the most primal needs, the need to find her daughter, in this Aftertime. Cass will search far and wide for her daughter, travel to places she has never been before and see how the Aftertime has affected the humanity of the world. Few people will trust a stranger, an outsider these days especially if they were to see her wounds, scabs and scars, but she finds salvation in Smoke. A dangerous, mysterious man who becomes Cass's protector and saviour in a world where people will shoot first and ask questions later especially if you have something they want. In a landscape that has be burned, scarred, almost destroyed and with Beater, Cults and Opportunist waiting around every corner Cass and Smoke set out on a life changing journey to find Cass's daughter.

First, I love the cover, great job whomever designed it. It is what originally drew me to this book.

I really liked Littlefields spin on Zombies, or as she has named them Beaters. Zombies are created with the ingestion of a specific plant, either from the spore or eating the plant itself. This plant was "accidentally" speard over California and the Zombie race was created. Where Littlfield's ideas differ from the Zombie books I have read is that an  individual who becomes a Zombie, becomes what I like to think of is something similar to what prehistoric Man would be like (well minus the taste/need for eating other people or themselves). But Littlefield does a great job to portray them as simple beings, but who also have the ability to learn and strategize the longer an individual is a Beater especially if they are part of a group. I personally thought this was a fantastic change from the straight forward not too bright Zombie as it creates a more scary Zombie. They are beings that has the thirst for fresh and alive human flesh that is able to learn the best way to get it, sounds pretty scary to me.

Littlefield also has a talent for world building, she does a fantastic job in setting up this post apocalyptic world, some of the best I have read in a long time. I also like to think that Cass and the world Littlefield has created are one in the same (maybe as a metaphor) as they are both scarred and damaged goods, but there can be regrowth and healing done, it just takes time and the want to change.

I do like Cass as a character, but she did begin to ware on me as I neared the end of the book. I wish there would have been a little bit more growth in her character. I understand that she is troubled and that she does not believe she deserves anything in life including love and maybe even her daughter, but it seemed like she was always contemplating her faults, and not realizing that in Aftertime, everything that occurred Before, no longer mattered. Do not get me wrong she does make some strides, however, I just wanted her to get there a touch faster, accept things and really get to what is important now. We do get some hints about Cass's past, why she becomes an addict and alcoholic but I did find that these came a little later within the book than I would have liked. I remember questioning it earlier within the book, but I am glad that Littlefield explore it, even if it was only slightly. That said I really like that Littlefield did not create a perfect character, which I find has been occurring more and more in the paranormal genre. Cass has more depth as a character than any female protagonist that I have read about in a long time, Littlefield was not scared to have something more to a female protagonist than smart whit and kickass attitude (which dont get me wrong I like, but it seems to get a bit redundant when they are all like that).
My one main criticism of this book is I found my self questioning the amount of time that had occurred from Before to Aftertime, it only seemed at times months had passed but at other times a year or so. I found this just a slightly confusing at times but it did not over take from my overall enjoyment of the story, just made me have a "huh, how much time has passed?" thought.

I think this is a great start to a new series (or at least I hope it is a series), as the book ends before I wanted it to. I think Littlefield could have easily written a 600 page book or more. I was disappointed when the book ended as I wanted to read more to find out what happens next in this world. I still have questions about Smoke and who he is and how he fits into everything. Littlefield does do a good job in keeping him a mystery and only revealing hints of who he is both past and present. So all this said I was thoroughly entertained with Littlefields book, there were a few slow areas, but these were over shadowed by the world and characters that she has build. Littlfield may be the new Zombie writer on the block but I think her Atfertime book holds it own to some authors that have been writing for along time I am anxiously waiting the sequel to this book. I hope that Littlfield writes fast.

Aftertime will be available for purchase in February 2011, so get your preorders in now.


If You Liked This,
Check This Out Too:

Friday, January 21, 2011

Happy Friday :) Follow Friday (#1)

Well the question this week is an interesting one:
Who do you CHEER for?
As i'm not much of a football fan, and I only go to a grey cup or superbowl party for the Party, I will have to say my Favorite Hocley Team:


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Gemma Halliday: Killer in High Heels

Okay first off this is a second book in a series so if you kind of need to read the first one Spying in High Heels. Alright that said, if you choose to read farther down before you read the first book, I will not be held responsible.

Halliday comes back with another fun, funny and fashionable murder mystery romance with her second book in her High Heels series Killer in High Heels.

LA Shoe Designer Maddie Springer has not seen her father since she was young and he reportedly ran off with a Las Vegas showgirl named Lola. All Maddie even remembers about her dad is a big hairy hand followed by an even hairy arm as it waved out the window to her when he left. So she is extremely surprised when he calls and he leaves a message on her answering machine, asking for her help. During the message she hears a loud gunshot in the background, she knows she cant ignore it. Her first act it to call the sexy cop Ramirez for his help, even though she has not seen him in weeks, and is still pissed at him for not calling her after almost getting it on, but her actual Dad may be in trouble. Ramirez tells her to forget about it, but also forbids her from going to Vegas....Weird and Maddie is never one to take orders, so Maddie grabs Dana and they head for Sin City to find out what is going on. Well she definitely got more than she bargained for. Not only does she find her Dad, but also aging drag queens, the Mob and goons, who all seem very interested in her Dad. Now Maddie knows that she has to help her Dad out, even though he keeps walking out on her. As Maddie investigation goes progresses she uncovers some vicious murders and a smuggling ring, no wonder Ramirez wanted her to stay out of Vegas. Trouble always seems to follow Maddie whereever she goes, here's hoping her luck doesn't turn in Vegas, where the house always wins and Maddie is just a first time visitor.

These books, for me, are fun and easy reads that I really enjoy after reading a thriller book. What I  really liked about this book is the reader gets to see another side of Maddie, and find out that genes really do play alot into one's fashion sense. I really do enjoy Maddie as a character, she may be bumbling through the detective work, but hey she bumbles with style and she may not like seeing a dead body, but she is willing to help anyone around her who is trouble. I also like the interaction between Maddie and Ramirez, it really does remind me of sexual tension in the Stephanie Plum books but Ramirez is the perfect mixture of Ranger and Morelli (and really isn't that what every girl wants?) We also get more interaction with her best friend Dana (which always leads to trouble) and her Faux Dad's receptionist Marco, who loves Men and Fashion as must as the next girl (well maybe even more than the next girl).

There is quite a few more almost sex scenes in this book when compared to the first and with that goes alot more sexual tension between Maddie and Ramirez. Honestly I am a fan of Ramirez, and normally these departures from the plot would take away from my enjoyment of the book's plot, but I find that Halliday integrates them into the story well and she also has the ability to have Maddie say No and keep things short and sweet.

This book makes me laugh out loud, and escape into the frivolous world that Maddie lives in, which is what I really needed. I'm hopefully going to be able to pick up the rest of the books in this series from the used book store later this week. I think I have said it before but fans of Janet Evanovich or Stephanie Bond will enjoy this series as well.


If You Liked This,
Check Out These Too

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Kathryn Fox: Malicious Intent

In her debut novel Kathryn Fox who is a medical practitioner with a special interest in forensic medicine introduces her readers to the world of forensic pathology, medicine and murder.

Dr. Anya Crichton has recently decided to go into practice for herself by offering her services as a expert witness, but work coming in has been slow. So she is forced to take an investigation from a brother whose sister who had OD and believed to have committed suicide in a bathroom stall. He does not see to care that she is dead, more about whether she had disgraced her family further by sleeping with a man before she died. Anya does not like his attitude, but she needs the money, so she agrees to look into the case and the autopsy report. However, while investigating this girl's overdoes she discovers striking similarities between cases involving a number of women and a number of suicides. As Anya looks deeper into each girl's death she realizes some gruesome pathological findings that she and the medical community have never seen before, which points to the frighteningly possibility that the deaths of these women are not only linked but apart of some sick game that she has unknowingly played a major role....

I really enjoyed this booked, it had me thinking the whole way through which I loved. Fox was quickly able to describe the world of forensic pathology, though I do think it went more into a PI investigation as the book went on. However, she was always able to always bring it back to the medical evidence. I appreciate the fact that she did not get too technical with the medical terminology, so those of us that have not study medicine can understand what was going on and what the anomalies in the case were. This helps the book flow really easily and did not have me stopping to scratch my head and question what was just written. The build up for information and evidence may be slow in parts but that is what part of a real investigation is about, especially if you are outside the community looking in.

I really liked Dr. Anya Crichton as a character and how she struggled with having her role as a doctor and a mother. You could just tell that she relished every moment with her son, Brad, and how she hated when her work took her away from him. You can tell that her true passion was for her work and helping the families of those who have had a loved one pass away or helping a victim who has been sexually assaulted. Anya had her flaws too, but she was always focused on helping others and the importance of life. There are some secondary character within the book as well, but they are not as developed as Anya, for the most part you get your impressions about those other characters through their interaction with Anya. I do no think that this causes the book to be lacking, I think it helps create more mystery within the book because you really don't know who Anya can trust, from her exhusband to, her best friend Kate who is a detective in the local police force to Lawyer Dan Brody who seems to be the only one who will give her some work.
I think that Kathryn Fox has found a second calling in writing. It is nice to see that a doctor and medical practitioner who can write something that one can not only understand, but is well written novel that has all the making a great medical thriller book.

Individuals who have enjoyed Patricia Cornwall and Kathy Reich in the past need to pick up this book by Fox. They won't be disappointed.


If You Like This,
Check This Out Too:

Sunday, January 9, 2011

T. C. LoTempio: Not Rest For The Wicca

In her debut into the paranormal genre T. C. LoTempio's No Rest for the Wicca, takes the reader into a new and different world surrounding witchcraft, Voodoo.

Morgan Hawkes, makes sure that everyone knows that she is only half Wicca, not full, and really she does not like to talk about her other half, but it does come in handy now and then. A former homocide cop, who has demoted herself to be a PI (paranormal investigator), Morgan has a special talent of communicating with  spirits of the dead who have been unable to, or don't want to pass over. But there is trouble brewing at the local University, pure blood witches are turning up dead and disfigured and Morgan seems the only one with the knowledge to help. However, this means tapping into the part of her that she does not completely trust or understand but if is means saving lives, she knows that she has to at least try. Now Morgan has to try to trust her Voodoo side, one which is associated with dark magic, as well as the dangerous, infuriating and hansom Cole St. John, an Inheritor Vampire (half Vampire, half Wicca) who Morganis attrached to but she is unsure if she trust him. Morgan is going to have to put all her fears and reservations aside as more witches seem to be disappearcing and only reappearing dead.

First off, I will say that I love the title and the cover. The title definitely reminded me of the first few Kim Harrison's Rachel Morgan books, like Every Witch Way but Dead. I enjoyed this book. Most people who have read my blog know that I am not the biggest fan of paranormal romance as I have found that there is more sex than anything else. However, this book has the right amount of mystery and intrigue and not too much sex that I found myself enjoying the stroy of this book. In other words, the romance and sex was not over powering as it is in many paranormal romance. This book does bring some new aspects to the paranormal genre (at least for me) as I have not read a book before that used Voodoo as well as witchcraft. I found that the use of Voodoo within the book, is what really gives this book it's spark. The world building was really well done, but there is not too much new or different within the world that LoTempio has created. It is very similar to other books where creatures are known to the Human population and there is a special unit that investigates paranormal activity. But as I said above, the Voodoo aspect is what really makes this book.

The two main characters Morgan and Cole, definitely have the tension that those who like paranormal romance will love, but they are also able to grow, challenge and piss each other off as well. Morgan really grew within the book as she was forced to conquer her problems/issues from her past and her genetic makeup. Morgan is definitely starts out as a haunted character whose past and abandonment of her family, have left her with a tough shell, but also the need to help out. But what she really is doing is running away, from who she is and how it has caused so much hurt and grief in her life. It was great to see Morgan work through her issues and just show that she has more depth than just her powers, she also the power of her mind. I actually think that Morgan's strongest power is her mind and her ability to solve complex problems and puzzles.

My only critique of the this book is there are a few typos and coincidences, however, the story is intriguing which helps one forget about those things. I really look forward to the next book in this series, to see how much more Morgan can grow and develop within the Voodoo world, as well I hope there will be more about the other creature that were briefly featured within the book, such as demons and trolls. I also hope that in the next books, we will be able to find out more about Cole, his past and what makes him who he is.

I think individuals who like a lighter amount of romance with some mystery and intrigue will enjoy this book, it is something similar to Casey Daniels Pepper Martin Series (Sorry I do not have a review of this book done, I read it before I started writing reviews but you can find some reviews on Amazon) If you are looking for a book that there is a use of constant Magic and Powers, then this is not the book for you. The powers that both Cole and Morgan have as assets but they are secondary to being investigators.


As this is an indie paranormal book, you can find a copy on Smashword.

Friday, January 7, 2011

The Blog Hop (#2)

This Week's Question:
"What book influenced or changed your life? How did it influence/change you?"

Well, I can say, that I have had a profound experiece that others have had when reading a book, but reading a book has changed my life. It may sound strange but the first Harry Potter book, the Philosopher's Stone, changed my life, as it was this book is what started my path to becoming a bookworm. I used to never read books (unless for school and really then it was touch and go). But this book opened up my eyes to the world of reading and the escape it could provide.  So I guess what Harry Potter gave me was a way to escape the bad things that were going on in my life. Now many (many many) years later, I can't get enough of reading. So Thank You J. K. Rowling.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Scott Mariani: The Alchemist's Secret

In his Debut Novel, Scott Mariani take the reader on an adventure in search for something that man has searched for since the beginning the Exilir Of Life.

Ben Hope, has no family, all he has is his dedication to his specialized work. Determined to run away from his haunted past, Hope joined the Army, obtained certain skills (part of the elite SAS team) and now spends his time as the person to hire to return stolen children. He is the best in the business, and does not play the rules of law. Hope will stop at nothing, as long as it means saving a child. However, his most recent hirer, Fairfax, has something different in mind, his granddaughter Ruth is not missing, but is suffering from an incurable disease and will not survive much longer. He has hired Hope to find the document that contains the formula for the Elixir of Life, in the hope that it will cure his granddaughter. The formula is believed to be discovered in the 1920s but disappeared, along with it's creator Fulcanelli, neither of which have been seen since. It soon becomes apparent that there are others hunting for the document and each new lead Hope is in more danger, and those around him. But Hope does not care how much danger his life is in, all he can think about it helping Ruth.

This book was everything I wanted it to be. There was action, suspense and mystery, that kept you wanting to read more and more. There is also great character develop of Ben Hope, whose past we get to see into and why he has become such a hardened Man, but there are cracks in his armour, like why he chooses to spend his life rescuing kids. With a Secrets Society, the Gladius Domini, and clues to figure out, this book never lacked for mystery or suspense, which is part of the reason I couldn't put it down. I liked when code breaking was required by Hope, that Mariani, wrote the clues in the book so the reader could attempt to figure it out (not that I did as I don’t know Latin, but I always like a challenge).  I also like Bozza, who is the inquisitor for the Gladius Domini and to say that he enjoyed his work is an understatement. I liked that the reader was also able to see into Bozza's past and mindset a bit, as it truly a scary character.

The only thing that I will criticize about the book (and really it is not that major of a thing) is that the Secret Society is a religious one. It always seems that when books have a secret society, there seems to be a large proportionate of them that are religiously based. Not a major thing, just wishing for a little more imagination. Additionally, the Gladius Domini continually talk about the amount of power and wealth it has, one would think they would hire better goons, so I guess that would be my second criticism, as when they found out who Ben Hope was and what he was capable of they should have sent better agents sooner (but still a minor thing).

If you are looking for a Dirk Pitt similar adventure, this is not it, there are not the seemingly impossible situations, though Hope is a good shot.

Mariani, I think, is going to become one of my must read authors especially if the second book is as good as the first. Read this book if you are craving mystery, suspense, adventure and a well written book. This book will not disappoint.


If You Like This,
Check This Out Too: