Month: May 2014

The Secret Dead by S.W. Fairbrother

The Secret Dead
Author: S.W. Fairbrother
Publisher: Self Published
Genre: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Sources: Author
Purchase: Amazon
Rating: fivestar

Vivia Brisk knows about the dead. She should. She’s died enough times. 

Vivia is a hag – or death witch – one of the last of her race, and can die, visit the underworld and return at will. As a consultant with charity The Lipscombe Trust, she has a job she loves — helping London’s most vulnerable supernaturals, even if her colleague Malcolm drives her round the bend on a daily basis. 

Vivia thinks she’s got Malcolm’s measure – sexist, not too bright and generally a pain in the ass, but then Malcolm zombifies and, along with his fourteen year old son Ben, flees the police. 

With a zombie on the loose, London goes into lock down and Vivia is roped in into find them. After all, Malcolm can only keep control so long without fresh flesh, and the risk of the zompocalypse increases the longer he’s on the lam. 

At first what happened seems simple, but then the police find decades-old corpses hidden near Malcolm’s house, and Vivia begins to realise Malcolm’s missing son is in a lot more danger than from just a single zombie on the loose…

Disclaimer: I received this book from the author in exchange for a review. This does not affect my review and the following is my honest opinion.

I’m not going to beat around the bush with this review: The Secret Dead is flat out amazing! Phenomenal even. S.W. Fairbrother has crafted a rich, interesting world over the modern city of London with such skill and talent that it sucks you right in! From the first page I was immersed in a London where street weasels and shifters were everyday and common. Where the police have the supernatural on staff and, while it might rub a few people the wrong way, they’re valued members of the force. The way the paranormal is so artfully woven with the mundane in the London of The Secret Dead is incredible. S.W. Fairbrother writes so beautifully and so well that it’s hard to believe this is the first in the Vivia Brisk series. Honestly, the storytelling in this book is beyond great!

I was riveted to the page, on the edge and worried for the characters who so easily slipped their way into my heart. Each time I learned another of their secrets I was even more invested and, quite happily so, left wanting to know more. S.W. Fairbrother not only built an immersive, exciting world but populated it with engaging, interesting characters. There’s something so believable, so human, about them all (even the ones that aren’t quite human) that they really came to life in my mind. I have so many questions and was given just the right amount of answers to leave me hungry for the next book. Which, to me, is the show of a truly remarkable author. If I’m sitting there stunned after finishing a book and my heart twisting in remorse for having finished, I know I’ve read something great. And I love this book. Seriously I cannot stop talking about it to everyone I meet. I’ve found one of my new favorite authors and I cannot wait for more! I fear I might be infected after reading this book! I may as well be a zombie from the pages of The Secret Dead with the way I’m going to mindlessly shamble about, waiting for the next installment!

If you like exciting paranormal mysteries with a strong, intriguing heroine, this book is for you. If you like paranormal detective work and a world filled with shapeshifters and undead and trolls and so many other fantastical beings, this book is for you. If you like worlds just this side of safe from a zombie apocalypse, this book is for you.

If you have a pulse, this book is for you. It’s so amazing I’d be shocked if someone didn’t like it.

Interested? You can find out more about The Secret Dead and it’s amazing author on the following sites:
Twitter
Facebook
S.W. Fairbrother’s site
Goodreads
Tumblr

 

Stacking the Shelves [2]

STSmall_thumb2Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews.

Another week of some awesome, generous authors! I even got my first print copy of a book to review! How exciting is that? And I have two more coming next week! Yay! 🙂

Ebooks

 

Print

photo (3)

That is A LOT of books now! I need to get cracking on my review queue! But I’ve been out of town visiting family and going to be out of town this weekend too! Where’s a girl to find time to read? @_@

Inspired Fridays: Kindle Cover

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Inspired Fridays is a meme hosted by Inkk for sharing project ideas and crafty things that inspire you!

How do you read? Most of mine is done on my Nook! It already has a very nice leather cover but I think this would be a lot of fun to make and allows me a chance to more personalize it.

Kindle Cover from a Hardcover Book

Yes, yes it says Kindle cover but it can easily be sized to fit other eReaders. Just pick an old hardcover book a little bit bigger than your eReader! I think though I will stitch the elastic on mine instead of hot gluing it. I’m too rough on things to expect hot glue to hold up on me. Are you interested in making your own? Head on over to Come Together Kids for more details on how to construct yours. And if you make one I’d love to see! I’ll be sure to post pics of mine once I have a minute to work on it!

 

Throwback Thursday: The Princess Bride

Throwback Thursdays is a chance for me to share some of my older favorites. Hopefully they’ll earn a place on someone else’s To Read list from it. 🙂


The Princess Bride

Author: William Goldman
Genre(s): Classic, Young Adult, Humor, Fantasy, Romance
Purchase: Amazon

A tale of true love and high adventure, pirates, princesses, giants, miracles, fencing, and a frightening assortment of wild beasts – The Princess Bride is a modern storytelling classic.

As Florin and Guilder teeter on the verge of war, the reluctant Princess Buttercup is devastated by the loss of her true love, kidnapped by a mercenary and his henchmen, rescued by a pirate, forced to marry Prince Humperdinck, and rescued once again by the very crew who absconded with her in the first place. In the course of this dazzling adventure, she’ll meet Vizzini – the criminal philosopher who’ll do anything for a bag of gold; Fezzik – the gentle giant; Inigo – the Spaniard whose steel thirsts for revenge; and Count Rugen – the evil mastermind behind it all. Foiling all their plans and jumping into their stories is Westley, Princess Buttercup’s one true love and a very good friend of a very dangerous pirate.

Have you read this book? Have you seen the movie based off it? If you haven’t close this window and go do so immediately. The Princess Bride is a charming, hilarious tale that stands the test of time. It’s a fabulous adventure story with romantic elements (without being gushy or graphic), exciting conflicts, and sass in spades. The movie was a very good adaptation and if you don’t have the time to read the book, it’s well worth the 98 minutes you’d spend watching.

 

Waiting On Wednesday: Stitching Snow by R.C. Lewis

WoW logo“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine. 


Stitching Snow

Author: R.C. Lewis
Release Date: 
October 14th 2014
Publisher:
Disney Hyperion
Genre(s):
 Sci-fi, Dystopia, Fairy Tales, YA
Pre-order:
Amazon

Princess Snow is missing.

Her home planet is filled with violence and corruption at the hands of King Matthias and his wife as they attempt to punish her captors. The king will stop at nothing to get his beloved daughter back-but that’s assuming she wants to return at all.

Essie has grown used to being cold. Temperatures on the planet Thanda are always sub-zero, and she fills her days with coding and repairs for the seven loyal drones that run the local mines.

When a mysterious young man named Dane crash-lands near her home, Essie agrees to help the pilot repair his ship. But soon she realizes that Dane’s arrival was far from accidental, and she’s pulled into the heart of a war she’s risked everything to avoid.

In her enthralling debut, R.C. Lewis weaves the tale of a princess on the run from painful secrets . . . and a poisonous queen. With the galaxy’s future-and her own-in jeopardy, Essie must choose who to trust in a fiery fight for survival.

Aliens? Fairy tale retellings? Dystopia? It’s like R.C. Lewis knew just how to entice me into reading her debut novel! And what an amazing sounding debut it is! I am a huge fan of fairy tales retold and I’ve never read one set in space! As soon as I laid eyes on the synopsis I was sold.

And then I read the release date.

Why is everything I want in my life coming out in October?! It’s going to be literary Christmas. And I might just die of happiness at the end.

Tea-rrific Tuesday: Cherry Blossom

Cherry Blossom
Manufacturer:
Spice Merchants
Type: Green Tea
Leaves: Long, thin leaves with flower petals and cherries.
Liquor: Pleasantly pale
Aroma: Sweet cherries and green tea
Flavor: Candied cherries and green tea
Body: Light and sweet
Caffeine Level:
Brewing Time: 2-4 minutes
Brewing Temperature: 170° F
Sold As: Loose leaf
Where To Buy: Spice Merchants (I bought it in their Ann Arbor store.)
Rating: fourstar

This tea is a very pleasant and delicate with a slightly dry after taste. While it isn’t terribly complex it’s nice and I enjoyed it. I’ve also found that it’s great iced and I think I actually prefer it that way honestly. Tea sacrilege I know but it’s really quite delicious. I’m quite fond of iced white teas and this green tea iced was almost as gentle as them.

Musical Monday: Devils Don’t Fly by Natalia Kills

Musical Monday is a meme that I have no doubt is done elsewhere as well. As I am not yet making a meme or providing links to other participants, consider it a personal one for the moment.

 

Devils Don’t Fly
Artist: Natalia Kills
Album: Trouble
Where To Listen/Buy: nataliakills.com / iTunes

I’m kind of in love with this album. Devils Don’t Fly played on one of my Pandora stations a few weeks ago and I can’t stop listening to Trouble since. Natalia Kills blends interesting lyrics with catchy beats that I can’t get out of my head. If I could wear out my iPhone playing this song it’d have broke long ago.

Stacking the Shelves [1]

STSmall_thumb2Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews.

I was fortunate enough to snag some exciting books this week! Several authors were really generous with copies of their work and I’m grateful for their generosity! It’s really amazing to me that they’re willing to give away their books and I promise to post up reviews as thanks for it as soon as I’m done reading!

         

Inspired Fridays: Towel Blanket Bag

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Inspired Fridays is a meme hosted by Inkk for sharing project ideas and crafty things that inspire you!

Summer is almost here! Spring hasn’t been too cooperative in Michigan when it comes to picnic weather but here’s hoping that changes soon! I love reading outdoors and when I saw this adorable project idea on Pinterest I knew I’d have to make it.

Towel Blanket Bag

Isn’t this adorable? I love the cute patterned fabric they added to it! It has a great pocket for your book and looks so cozy! Wouldn’t it be so comfortable to relax on while reading? Head over to DIY Enthusiasts for the tutorial on how it’s made! Once I get mine done I’ll be sure to post picutres. Hopefully it won’t be a Pinterest fail! 😄

 

The Bloodline War by Tracy Tappan

The Bloodline War
Series: The Community
Author: Tracy Tappan
Publisher: B. Reed Publishing
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Sources: Author
Purchase: Amazon
Rating: fivestar

A car accident changes everything for Dr. Toni Parthen. Her computer hacked hospital blood test confirms she’s the carrier of a gene that’s the key to salvation for a unique race of human beings. Abducted from her hospital room to a secret, underground community, Toni is asked to do the unthinkable: procreate with a man from a race called Varcolac-a species that must consume the blood of other humans to survive. Then bizarre turns dangerous, because a new, mysterious enemy also wants her special DNA, and Toni finds herself in the middle of an all-out war to possess her. It’s the job of Jacken Brun, leader of the Warrior Class, to keep the captured women safe from a demonic race of humans who rule a neighboring part of their underground world. His challenges multiply when Toni inflames the women into mutiny, and then there’s his biggest problem…his growing desire for the infuriating woman herself. Afflicted with a dark genetic makeup, Jacken can never be with a woman. Until Toni uses her scientific ingenuity to find a way for her and Jacken to be together. But then the new enemy faction unearths Toni and drags her to their hidden lair, where they’ll inflict an unspeakable cruelty on her to gain access to her valuable genes. It will take every warrior skill Jacken owns to save the woman he loves, but only if he can find her in time…

Disclaimer: I received this book from the author as part of a R2R in the Lovers of Paranormal Goodreads group. This doesn’t affect my review and the following is my honest opinion.

Wow, where to start with this one! I’m still a little overwhelmed by how fantastic The Bloodline War was From the very beginning I was captivated by the rich lore and world that Tracy Tappan created. Right off the bat the reader is introduced to one of my new favorite romance heroines, Toni. A doctor of hematology, she occasionally works on crime scenes and from the start I felt that she was a little different than most heroines. Toni wasn’t one to take nonsense from . And I mean anyone. Even when she’s in great duress or tough men are trying to intimidate her, she doesn’t just sit there and take it. I loved that about her and it was one of the many endearing qualities the book had.

Toni wasn’t the only vibrant character in The Bloodline War either. Tracy Tappan created a cast of characters that are interesting, dynamic, and relatable. Even when I disagreed with what they were doing (as I did with some of the Warriors as well as the antagonists) I understood why they were up to, in my opinion, no good. Oftentimes it’s so easy to loathe a character that doesn’t do as the reader wishes and I’ve found, more often than not, it’s because we have so little understanding of their motivations. This is hardly the case in The Bloodline War. The characters, even the antagonists, have very clear reasons for what they do and while I despised some of them (Looking at you, Raymond.) I couldn’t help but understand.

Not only are they interesting and exciting, many of the characters are funny – and not in a bad way whatsoever! (I never thought Jaċken would be funny and I love that he was!) I didn’t go into the book expecting humor but I found myself laughing as often as I was cursing out the bad guys. Tracy Tappan does some amazing dialogue which I think speaks volumes about her skill as a writer. Flat dialogue can kill the most brilliant of ideas and lovingly crafted worlds but The Bloodline War has no shortage of witty banter and engaging conversations between the characters. A few of the characters are foreign and their vocabulary and speech patterns really made that believable. I was very impressed with how well they were done! I’ve read a few other books where characters with accents or from another country are just so over the top or poorly done that it’s really jarring to read. Tracy Tappan handled them flawlessly, weaving together both thoughts and speech that left me knowing the character was from another place but not struggling to understand them.

The Bloodline War has quickly become a new favorite of mine. It was gritty and full of action which, while I’m not normally big on, the scenes were so well done I couldn’t help but be pulled into the world. And the fact that the story was told from several different points of view was very satisfying. I wasn’t expecting to get to see so much of the other characters and I loved it! I am the oddball who loves side characters as much as the main ones and getting to know them, to know what was going on with them, was just what I needed to make this one of my favorites.

I highly recommend this book. It recently won the Bronze Medal for romance from the prestigious Independent Publishers Book Awards (IPPY) and, in my opinion, it deserved gold.