Review--Graveminder by Melissa Marr

The New York Times bestselling author of the Wicked Lovely series delivers her first novel for adults, a story about the living, the dead, and a curse that binds them.

Rebekkah Barrow never forgot the tender attention her grandmother, Maylene, bestowed upon the dead of Claysville, the town where Bek spent her adolescence. There wasn't a funeral that Maylene didn't attend, and at each Rebekkah watched as Maylene performed the same unusual ritual: three sips from a small silver flask followed by the words "Sleep well, and stay where I put you."

Now Maylene is dead and Bek must go back to the place--and the man--she left a decade ago. But what she soon discovers is that Maylene was murdered and that there was good reason for her odd traditions. It turns out that in placid Claysville, the worlds of the living and the dead are dangerously connected. Beneath the town lies a shadowy, lawless land ruled by the enigmatic Charles, aka Mr. D--a place from which the dead will return if their graves are not properly minded. Only the Graveminder, a Barrow woman, and the current Undertaker, Byron, can set things to right once the dead begin to walk.

Although she is still grieving for Maylene, Rebekkah will soon find that she has more than a funeral to attend to in Claysville, and that what awaits her may be far worse: dark secrets, a centuries-old bargain, a romance that still haunts her, and a frightening new responsibility--to stop a monster and put the dead to rest where they belong.

Melissa Marr's debut adult novel, Graveminder was incredible! Beautifully written with intriguing characters and a mystery that blows you away!

The novel was told in multiple third person p.o.v. so we got to see a lot happen and yet the mystery of what the heck is going on, is still a mystery. The town of Claysville knows what's going on, but Rebekkah and Bryon aren't in the know-how yet. Although they know really, is that something weird is going on.

There's a lot of backstory to Bryon and Rebekkah, and yet Marr tells it with a few flashbacks here and there. The only thing that kind of threw me off was that Rebekkah used to live in Claysville when she was a young teen in high school. She moved away before graduation so to me that seems like a 3 year life in Claysville and yet so much happened while she was there and the talk of years between Rebekkah and Bryon kept getting me all confused as to how much time they actually spent together when they were young. 

The mystery aspect was pretty good. Sure when we got a few more clues I already knew "who-done-it", but it was still a surprise in some ways. And learning about who some of the other unsavory characters were was an interesting spin as well. Although I still feel like I have questions to the enigmatic Mr. D. He reveals some of his character in the novel, mostly towards the end, but I wasn't overly satisfied with the answers.

But overall it was a fabulous read! Well paced and filled with surprises left and right! I sincerely hope that Melissa will write more with these characters and that this is the start of a new series rather than a stand-alone novel. Anyone know for sure?

Overall rating 4.5/5 stars--the result of a few questions here and there and the one minor time length confusion didn't deter me from totally loving this book!

Teaser Tuesday

Had a busy weekend what with the holiday so reading got put on hold pretty drastically. Hard to read when the whole family is home and I can't necessarily be my hermit self. So I must set my book aside and come out of my "cave" and socialize.

Anywho...
 
Here are the rules:
1. Grab your current read
2. Open to a page
3. Pick out 2 lines that are SPOILER FREE
4. Name the title, author, etc.

"'I don't have any answers...at least not the ones you want.'

'Do you have other ones?'

For several moments, he was silent. Then he said, 'At least one, but you never like that one when I bring it up.'" p50











TITLE: Graveminder
AUTHOR: Melissa Marr
GENRE:
Urban Fantasy
RELEASE DATE:
May 17, 2011

Cover Art--C.C. Hunter

Saw the cover reveal for C.C. Hunter's Taken at Dusk and had to share it here!

I think it's pretty! Definitely fits in with the theme of the previous two! I was really taken by this series and cannot wait to read book 2!

There's no cover description yet or release date, other than it comes out next year in 2012.

You can read Born at Midnight now and join in on the agonizing waiting and waiting! And check out the prequel, Turned at Dark! It's FREE on Amazon Kindle!

It's Monday! What are you Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? Is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. It's a fun meme where we gather to share what we've read last week and our reading plans for this week.

Last Week I Read:
Archangel's Consort by Nalini Singh


Review Posted:

The Neon Graveyard by Vicki Pettersson

Currently Reading:

Graveminder by Melissa Marr

What I Plan to Read this Week:

Losing Beauty by Johanna Garth
Shadowman (ARC) by Erin Kellison

Review--E-ARC The Neon Graveyard by Vicki Pettersson

Once she was a soldier for the Light, the prophesied savior who would decide the outcome of the eternal conflict raging in the dark corners of her glittering hometown.

Now Joanna Archer is just another mortal – still born of an impossible union of Shadow and Light … still hunted by both – and carrying the unborn child of a lover held captive by a depraved demon goddess. Joining forced with a band of rogue Shadow agents, Joanna’s ready to storm the stronghold of her demonic foe, risking everything to enter this ghastly, godforsaken realm. Because in a world that has stripped her of her power, identity, and fortune, Joanna has nothing left to lose – except her baby, her future, and the epic war poised to consume the city.

I received this E-ARC courtesy of NetGalley for review
Vicki Pettersson's The Neon Graveyard is the final installment in her Zodiac series, which I didn't really realize until recently upon receiving the e-galley. As always with books that release only once a year, I found myself struggling to remember the past events, since I read a variety of books, but soon I was back in the flow of things and hanging on.

The action was rather well paced and even when I thought the end might be coming, it really wasn't. Only the current problem had been resolved and there was still more to come. Joanna must save her lover from Midheaven, stop the Tulpa once and for all and save the world while she's at it. And there's still the members of the Light troop who are out to get her, leaded by Warren.

Filled with many surprising twists, this series has been one thrill ride after another. I especially liked the Ophiuchus coming into play, having heard about the "new" Zodiac sign that has been officially added to the original 12. It was rather interesting how Pettersson wove that into the story nicely! 
There was all sorts of action in the book, that it never seemed to end, and Joanna did all this while pregnant! She kicks major butt! The series came to a rather nice ending and I absolutely loved it! Will definitely have to buy a keeper copy to finish up the series on my shelf!

5/5 stars easily!

This title releases May 31, 2011

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a weekly blog post hosted by Kirsti over at The Story Siren and inspired by Alea at Pop Culture Junkie.

Another GREAT week! Although my only downside was not finding a release I wanted to get. None of my stores had it! :(
But still a good week!

First off, I got some swag packs! One from Colleen Gleason with bookmarks and another from Allison Pang that has some trading cards of her characters, plus a SIGNED bookplate!


Then in the mail came my preordered copy:


I also got for FREE on my Kindle:

My reviews are here and here

Then books I got for review:

Shadowman by Erin Kellison
Losing Beauty by Johanna Garth
The Unfinished Song: Taboo by Tara Maya

So even though I couldn't find Cheyenne McCray's book this week, I still had a rather good mailbox! What did you get?

Top 5 Sundays

Top 5 Sundays is a weekly blog meme created by Larissa at Larissa's Bookish Life.

Here's a little info about the meme taken from Larissa's blog:

Every Sunday I will post a TOP 5 list on the blog. It can be about anything and every week I'll have a new theme {You can vote on next week’s theme on my left sidebar!} and I will ad the Mr.Linky bellow the post so you can do a list with the theme and add you link to it.

Rules:
1 - Write a post listing your TOP 5 choices within the theme I chose (or was chosen on a poll) for the week.
2 - Mention this Blog on the post and link back to it.
3 - Fell free to use the Feature's image (there is a smaller size version of it bellow)
4 - After you've finished your post, add you link (of the post, not your blog's main page) to the Mr.Linky at the end of that week's post.
5 – If you don’t have a blog to post, just leave your list in the comments =)

This week's topic is: FAVORITE SECOND BOOK IN A SERIES

*in no particular order
 **Went back and decided to do the chosen topic and will post the previous one that I had up next week since that's what Larissa's going to do. I want to stick with the theme!

Women of the Otherworld by Kelley Armstrong
This one really sets off the series by introducing the other characters and I just loved it!

The Fever series by Karen Marie Moning
Really all the books in this series were awesome!

Past Midnight series by Mara Purnhagen
This one was just filled with so much mystery and intrigue that it's impossible not to love it!

The Forbidden Game trilogy by L.J. Smith
Loved this trilogy, so need to go back and re-read it! Can't remember all of it, but knew that this trilogy was one of my faves and this one really picks up the storyline!

13 to Life series by Shannon Delany
Can I just say "duh?"? ;) Totally loooove this series and the second book really takes the characters into new directions!

Friday Hops

This blogger hop was created by Jennifer at Crazy for Books.

Here are the rules:
1. Enter your book blog link in the Linky List below (be sure to include how long you've been blogging and what genres you review!). If you post about the Hop on your blog, please link directly to your Hop post (don't forget to answer this week's question - see below!).
2. Visit other blogs in the Linky List! Make new friends! Follow new book bloggers! Talk about books! Rave about authors! (Please do not leave your link and not visit other blogs - it's just not cool and not in the spirit of the Hop!)
3. Post about the Hop on your blog! Spread the word about the book party! The more the merrier!
4. In your blog post, answer the following question (new question each week!):

What book-to-movie adaption have you most liked? Which have you disliked?

MY ANSWER: OOh tough one. Usually because the movie is never like the book or as good as the book, I have come to force myself to look at the book and movie as two separate entities. But to answer the question I guess my fave would have to be Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. The first 2 Harry Potters did very well with the book and the last one so far is pretty good too!


My least favorite would've been Blood and Chocolate. The movie was so far off from the book that that was when I forced myself to look at both differently. The movie was still pretty good, it just wasn't like the book at all. Except for character names and the slight plot thread of girl meets boy, girl is a werewolf.




This is a weekly blog meme created by Parajunkee's View.

Here are the general rules to Follow Friday:
1. Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Host { Parajunkee.com } and any one else you want to follow on the list
2. Follow our Featured Bloggers - http://annettesbookspot.blogspot.com/
3. Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing.
4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments
5. Follow Follow Follow as many as you can
6. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love...and the followers
7. If you want to show the link list, just follow the link below the entries and copy and paste it within your post!
8. If your new to the follow Friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!

This week's question is: How many books do you read in a week? And in what format do you read them, or listen to them?

MY ANSWER:Typically I read about 4 books a week. Right now I am job hunting and (agent hunting) so I have some time on my hands. For the most part I read them in regular book format; Old school style! Although a few books I do read on my Kindle, like some e-ARCs if I get them from NetGalley.

Winners!

All righty! I have 2 winners here picked with the help of Random.org, so I'll just get right to it!

The winner of a book of their choice from Book Depository begins with the email address:

crystaldiamond101!

The winner of one of my extra books and swag begins with the email address:

crazy_canadian_chick37!

Congrats! I have emailed the winners and they have 48 hours to respond or else a new winner will be chosen! Thanks again to all who entered! Truly thrilled to now have 300 followers! Hope to have more contests in the future too! So stick around!

Waiting on Wednesday

                            I hate waiting...
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly blog post by Jill over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights releases we're eagerly awaiting.


Chicks are awesome—and never more so than when they are kicking some serious vampire/werewolf/demon/monster butt.

Chicks Kick Butt is an anthology that features one of the best things about the urban fantasy genre: strong, independent, and intelligent heroines who are quite capable of solving their own problems and slaying their own dragons (or demons, as the case may be).

Edited by Kerrie Hughes and Rachel Caine, Chicks Kick Butt features original stories from thirteen authors, eleven of whom are New York Times bestsellers:

- Rachel Caine (with a story from her bestselling Weather Wardens universe)
- L.A. Banks
- Rachel Vincent
- Karen Chance
- Lilith Saintcrow
- Cheyenne McCray
- Susan Krinard
- Jeanne Stein
- Jenna Black
- Susan Krinard
- Elizabeth Vaughan
- Carole Nelson Douglas
- P.N. Elrod
- Nancy Holder

TITLE: Chicks Kick Butt
AUTHOR: Edited by Kerrie Hughes and Rachel Caine
GENRE: Urban Fantasy
RELEASE DATE:
June 2, 2011

I tend to like anthologies! Especially when they are filled with so many of my already fave authors! This has to be one of my most top anticipated anthologies (for adults) of the year! 7 of my fave authors are in this and a few of the other 7 I have read some stuff by and like too!!

REMINDER: Today is the last day to enter my 300 Followers contest! Entries will be excepted til 11:59 PM (CST). Good luck everyone!

Quckie Review--The Strange Case of Finley Jayne by Kady Cross

Finley Jayne knows she's not 'normal'. Normal girls don't lose time, or have something inside them that makes them capable of remarkably violent things. Her behavior has already cost her one job, so when she's offered the lofty position of companion to Phoebe, a debutante recently engaged to Lord Vincent, she accepts, despite having no experience. Lord Vincent is a man of science with his automatons and inventions, but Finley is suspicious of his motives where Phoebe is concerned. She will do anything to protect her new friend, but what she discovers is even more monstrous than anything she could have imagined…

An ebook exclusive prequel to The Steampunk Chronicles.

Kady Cross' The Strange Case of Finley Jayne was a nice quick read that tells the story of what Finley did before she met up with Griffin and his friends.

And boy did that girl get into trouble before Griffin! Of course it was for the right reasons. Finley has been the way she's been since puberty basically--isn't that when it always starts. Life already difficult bilogy-wise made even more difficult with an added burden! But Finley handles the problems well I think. Of course for the time, maybe not so well. 

Needless to say Finley gets herself into constant trouble because of her darker self, but some people admire her for her strength, such as her newest employer. Phoebe's mother believes that Lord Vincent wants to marry Phoebe for all the wrong reasons. She believes he's up to something nefarious. And with a little digging, Finley discovers what's he's really up too! Total spin on the classics here!

Don't want to get to far into it, but here is Finley's backstory, before she lands where she does at the beginning of The Girl in the Steel Corset. And it was a very fun read! From the small handful of free prequels I've read so far this year, this one has to be my fave! It was very entertaining and I didn't even get around to reading the cover description and I never did feel lost!

Although I wish I would've thought to have read this beforehand, but when a certain character makes cameo appearances, and Finley constantly misses her chance at a glance, I did have myself a chuckle or two!

Overall rating 5/5 stars

You can read this e-book for FREE with here at Amazon Kindle! Don't have a Kindle? Download the Kindle for PC and you can still enjoy all Kindle books!

*Review--The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross*

In 1897 England, sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne has no one...except the "thing" inside her...

When a young lord tries to take advantage of Finley, she fights back. And wins. But no normal Victorian girl has a darker side that makes her capable of knocking out a fullgrown man with one punch....

Only Griffin King sees the magical darkness inside her that says she’s special, says she’s one of them. The orphaned duke takes her in from the gaslit streets against the wishes of his band of misfits: Emily, who has her own special abilities and an unrequited love for Sam, who is part robot; and Jasper, an American cowboy with a shadowy secret.

Griffin’s investigating a criminal called The Machinist, the mastermind behind several recent crimes by automatons. Finley thinks she can help—and finally be a part of something, finally fit in.

But The Machinist wants to tear Griff’s little company of strays apart, and it isn’t long before trust is tested on all sides. At least Finley knows whose side she’s on—even if it seems no one believes her.

I received this e-ARC from NetGalley for review

Kady Cross' debut The Girl in the Steel Corset was simply amazing! As I have mentioned, I'm easing into steampunk novels, I'm already addicted to Gail Carriger and now Kady Cross makes that list as well! The story was far better than what I expected!!

There's definitely a good story line going on with Finley having this darkness inside of her, it's basically a new twist to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and the new company she finds herself in is seems to put her at more ease with herself than she's ever felt before--but it does take time. For her new companions have their own dark secrets that they hide themselves.

Griffin believes that Finley can help him and friends battle the Machinist once and for all. For this man--the Machinist, has done truly evil things.

The "steampunkness" in this novel was truly great! There were times I forgot the year was 1897. I could almost believe it was present day. There were some modern technologies in the making and the machines that were around were pretty interesting to see since it is in the late 1800s.

The pacing was extraordinary as well! Hardly ever a dull moment! It's told in multiple third person p.o.v. so we get to know a little of what everyone's thinking. It wasn't confusing at all (Although with the NetGalley edition, there wasn't any spaces between paragraphs to tell you a change was coming, but it soon became apparent that we had a new narrator. Hopefully this was a just a NetGalley flaw).

There was quite a bit of love interests going on here too. The dreaded love triangle once again, but since it's the first book, the love triangle isn't as potent--that might be the right word. Finley is just getting to know these new people so it's hard to say which guy she'll choose. But there's also another love triangle going on with Emily, the quirky Irish girl who is beyond smart with machines!

This was a fabulous debut read and I was psyched to read it! Might even have to buy myself a keeper copy too! The ending was a bit of a cliffhanger too, nothing too drastic, but it basically leads you to the next book and we have that horrid wait til then! 

I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to give steampunk a try! It's a nice YA version of steampunk in ways that reminded me of Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series--wherein the technological gab isn't overly complicated!

Overall rating 5/5 stars

And even though my challenge is completed, I'm still gonna count this as being apart of my 2011 Debut Author Challenge!

The Girl in the Steel Corset releases today, May 24, 2011

Be sure to check out the FREE prequel, The Strange Case of Finley Jayne as well where we get to see what shenanigans Finley got into before meeting up with Griffin!

My review for that will be up shortly!

Teaser Tuesday

Started The Girl in the Steel Corset yesterday and it's really good so far! Far different from what I was expecting and in a good way!

Here are the rules:
1. Grab your current read
2. Open to a page
3. Pick out 2 lines that are SPOILER FREE
4. Name the title, author, etc.
 
"'I do hope you're using that thing to look at photographs of Moulin Rogue ladies as a young man you're age should, and not hunting down another bothersome criminal.'" Loc 805/3708

*Quote comes from my e-ARC, therefore quote and location are not final













TITLE: The Girl in the Steel Corset
AUTHOR: Kady Cross
GENRE:
YA Historical Paranormal
RELEASE DATE:
May 31, 2011

Review--Archangel's Consort by Nalini Singh

Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux and her lover, the lethally beautiful archangel Raphael, have returned home to New York only to face an uncompromising new evil…

A vampire has attacked a girls’ school—the assault one of sheer, vicious madness—and it is only the first act. Rampant bloodlust takes vampire after vampire, threatening to make the streets run with blood. Then Raphael himself begins to show signs of an uncontrolled rage, as inexplicable storms darken the city skyline and the earth itself shudders.

The omens are suddenly terrifyingly clear.

An ancient and malevolent immortal is rising. The violent winds whisper her name: Caliane. She has returned to reclaim her son, Raphael. Only one thing stands in her way: Elena, the consort who must be destroyed…

Nalini Singh's Guild Hunter series has fast become one of my new faves! Archangel's Consort was an ultimately thrilling read and an outstanding addition to the series!

Elena is determined to find the vampire that attacked the girls' school, which was where her half-sibling attended. The young girl who died was a friend of her sister's leading Elena to believe that there is something more to this attack than that meet's the eye. 

But not only does she have that to deal with, but Raphael's mother, Caliane is starting awaken. And that is not a good thing. She has to be stopped, but no one knows where her resting place is, and besides, killing an angel while they are in Sleep is forbidden and considered a heinous crime, no matter who the angel is.

This was another fast paced book that I was able to breeze through and yet still feel like I was getting a lot of story info and what not. We see more of Elena's memories, of witnessing her sisters' murders and her mother's death. We've been seeing her memories for awhile now and I still wonder if it's building to something that might come back later, but only time will tell.

Once again I have to comment on Elena and Raphael's relationship. I simply adore it! There is real passion between these two! Such an intense love that they would do anything for one another. Singh shows you that depth so well in the age old adage "show, don't tell". Singh must have done very well in her English classes!

So cannot wait to read Archangel's Blade later this fall!

Overall rating 5/5 stars!

Review--E-ARC The Vampire Narcise by Colleen Gleason

Regency England stands defiant against Napoleon.

But battles among men mean little to those who live forever – especially when the Dracule are waging their own war.

Skilled in the seduction of men, both mortal and immortal, Narcise Moldavi is the greatest weapon in her twisted brother's war among the Dracule. Until she falls for Giordan Cale.

Her first searing encounter with Giordan brands them with a passionate love. But Giordan's vow to help Narcise escape her brother's rule is followed by a betrayal more agonizing than sunlight.

Wounded but determined, Narcise ensnares vampire hunter Chas Woodmore in her quest for revenge and to reclaim her life. He wants her, worships her, will kill for her. And the Dracule never forget a wrong – nor do they forgive.

I received this E-ARC courtesy of NetGalley for review
Colleen Gleason's The Vampire Narcise was probably my favorite out of the Regency Draculia series. Narcise being the only female vamp that we've come to know through the other books had quite an interesting story and the overall story arc that was weaving through the first two is resolved by its end. Which was surprising, yet gratifying.

Narcise is under her evil brother's thumb and has been for some time. He uses and abuses her in the most cruel ways imaginable and just when she thinks she might be able to find love and salvation through Giordan, she is betrayed yet again. Although there is more to the betrayal than she realizes.

Then in comes Chas Woodmore and we get to see how the two met and started their relationship, what truly brought them together. And we get to see threads of the past two books occurring here again as well, like Narcise's first appearance when Angelica was visited by Voss and the sisters met her, the dealings with Voss and Dimitri after they regained their humanity and the story continues. Chas is still determined to end Cezar.

The pacing was much like the previous books, in that there were plenty of exciting moments, but then there was a slight lapse past the halfway point in where I was forcing myself to read on. It wasn't that it was boring, I guess I was just eager for something bigger to happen than what was happening. And I'm so glad I finished it!

The action and romance were very well balanced! There was plenty of swordplay, most of it done by Narcise! Girl power! ;) And the romance that happened throughout was steamy and wasn't overdone to be too much or whatever. It was just very romantic and fit its scene in a proper way so it didn't feel like it was there just to have a sex scene.

This ending was so not what I expected! It was fabulous! I'm still eager to know if there would be more of these books with a different vampire or previous secondary character taking on the lead, such as the youngest Woodmore sister. Only time will tell I guess.

Overall rating 4/5 stars

This title will release one May 24, 2011

It's Monday! What are you Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? Is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. It's a fun meme where we gather to share what we've read last week and our reading plans for this week.

Last Week I Read:
Archangel's Kiss by Nalini Singh
Stormwalker by Allyson James
Firewalker by Allyson James

Currently Reading:

Archangel's Consort by Nalini Singh

What I Plan to Read this Week:

Wildefire by Karsten Knight
Blood Rights by Kristen Painter
Graveminder by Melissa Marr

Other Posts of Interest: