Jul 31, 2013

Review--Carniepunk by Multiple Authors

Come one, come all! The Carniepunk Midway promises you every thrill and chill a traveling carnival can provide. But fear not! Urban fantasy's biggest stars are here to guide you through this strange and dangerous world...

Rachel Caine's vampires aren't child's play, as a naive teen discovers when her heart leads her far, far astray in "The Cold Girl." With "Parlor Tricks," Jennifer Estep pits Gin Blanco, the Elemental Assassin, against the Wheel of Death and some dangerously creepy clowns. Seanan McGuire narrates a poignant, ethereal tale of a mysterious carnival that returns to a dangerous town after twenty years in "Daughter of the Midway, the Mermaid, and the Open, Lonely Sea." Kevin Hearne's Iron Druid and his wisecracking Irish wolfhound discover in "The Demon Barker of Wheat Street" that the impossibly wholesome Kansas Wheat Festival is actually not a healthy place to hang out. With an eerie, unpredictable twist, Rob Thurman reveals the fate of a psychopath stalking two young carnies in "Painted Love."

The anthology, Carniepunk was a rather delightful read filled with tales of the horrors of the traveling carnival! It really make you want to reconsider visiting it the next time it rolls to town since you won't know which of the 14 horrors you might find there!

Going to just go through the 14 tales quick and brief and say what I liked or didn't like about them. Anthologies are so hard to review!

Painted Love by Rob Thurman was the first tale and it was pretty extraordinary. True, there's a bit of confusion at first, but it has one of those endings that make you go, "Ahhh, I see!" and totally puts the whole story into perspective! Like The Sixth Sense in some ways!! Really liked this one!

Delilah S. Dawson's The Three Lives of Lydia was a tale of similar quality. The ending definitely makes you go "Ahhh, I see!" when you realize the full extent of Lydia's character. She arrives in the land of Sang and we see some familiar faces. It takes place before Wicked as She Comes, just so you know!

The Demon Barker of Wheat Street was Kevin Hearne's second novella in his Iron Druid series. Which I've fallen behind in again, but just by the latest release! This takes place during Granualie's 12 year apprenticeship. Here, she, Atticus and of course, Oberon the cheerful Irish wolfhound find themselves attending a carnival...run by demons set to steal your soul!

Mark Henry's The Sweeter the Juice was a story I couldn't quite get into. It involved zombies in some way. But for some reason I found myself a bit confused during my reading of it. The characters were definitely interesting and entertaining though.

The Werewife by Jaye Wells was quite a surprise. Brad and Annie are a married couple that have a few issues. They sought out counseling...and oh yeah, Annie's a werewolf. Brad constantly finds himself having to clean up her "leftovers" until one day they return to the carnival that brought about the start of all their furry problems. It was an interesting story with a pretty surprising ending! I liked it though!

Rachel Caine's The Cold Girl was probably my favorite of the anthology, and it's weird since the paranormal element really didn't take place til the end. Kiley is a young teen in love with her best friend/boyfriend. Life should be perfect. Yet, Jamie has a dark secret. And then when Kiley finds that out, well, things don't look too good for her. It was quite shocking in some ways with all that happened. But I must say I loooooved how it ended all around!

I tried reading Allison Pang's series awhile back but it was one that I couldn't really get into after long. But I was familiar with some of the faces that I saw in A Duet with Darkness. Here we see Melanie traveling in a band. They have a gig at a carnival and there Melanie meets another violinist who is pretty damn good. But things take a dark path once her violin is destroyed and after that, things just don't look good for Melanie.

Hillary Jacques is a totally new to me author and really the only one in this anthology I've not heard of. Her story, Recession of the Divine, involved an insurance claims chick named Olivia who was once a Greek goddess. A Muse visits her often and asks her when she might return home--Olympus. But when she starts looking into the cause of a fire at a carnival, things don't turn out so good for her. In fact, she becomes a prisoner. This one was good, yet at times I felt a little lost. 

Jennifer Estep's story takes us to her adult series world of Element Assassin Gin Blanco. In Parlor Tricks, Gin assists her sister is a missing persons case involving a young teenager. She went missing at the carnival and when this sisterly duo goes to investigate they realize just how long this carnival has been around and how and why girls go missing.

Kelly Meding's Freak House was one that I quite enjoyed! I don't know if this has potential to be a series or something, but it kind of had that feel! Shiloh is a half-Djinn out to rescue her father who's been kidnapped by a powerful magician who is holding him and other paranormal creatures captive in his "freak show" lineup. Shiloh gets some assistance from an unlikely source and by the end, you get the feeling that more might be coming for Shiloh. As I said, it has definite series potential.

Nicole Peeler once again returns with her cast of characters from the Jane True world with some people we saw in the last novella. In The Inside Man, we return to Capitola Jones and her friends, doing what they do best, solving mysteries. This time they have to find a missing person, who obviously went missing at the carnival. And horror of horrors, what they find is an evil clown who is stealing people's souls. Clowns are just freaky!

A Chance in Hell was Jackie Kessler's contribution. I am not familiar with her adult series, so I assume this is a novella that stems from that. Jezebel is an ex-demon meant to save humanity from Hell taking over and one day, she'll have to fight the "Boss." In the meantime, she is training in all forms, including learning about humanity. When her friend, Ceci, takes her to the carnival for her lesson she finds that it's runs by demons...familiar demons. And it will be up to her to save her friend's soul before the demons take it for their own.

Hell's Menagerie is set in Kelly Gay's adult series, Charlie Madigan. But it's not Charlie we see, instead it's her daughter Emma. Emma is set on rescuing her group of hellhound puppies. With Rex at her side and her other hellhound Brim, the kid's got a lot of gumption. This one was a little hard to get through since I couldn't get far into this series either. But it was also difficult due to fights to the death that the animals partook in by force at this scary ass carnival!

And finally,

Senan McGuire's, another author who I have not read from, Daughter of the Midway, the Mermaid, and the Open Lovely Sea was yet another odd tale. Ada is a seventeen year old girl and the daughter of the mermaid. She was born and raised in the carnival and it's the life that she knows and loves. But when they come to a town in Alabama, they realize they've been there before and the carnival rarely returns to Alabama and Ada is about to find out why. This one was slightly confusing. It's all carnival life for the most part, then we get some backstory on Ada's mom and then it's the end where all the drama and action comes in.

Overall this anthology was quite the read! I enjoyed a lot of the stories, some only somewhat. But by knowing and loving a good deal of the authors I found reading the whole thing to be worth it!

Overall Rating 4/5 stars

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.

Ancient lore leads to present danger in the final book in the dark and sexy paranormal romance trilogy about a descendent of Medusa, set in a richly reimagined New Orleans.

Her fate is not set in stone.

Having temporarily defeated Athena, Ari races to break the gorgon curse that has plagued the women in her family for centuries. Her one lead sends her on a quest for the Hands of Zeus, an ancient relic last seen in the charge of New 2’s ruling elite, the Novem. But if there is one thing that Athena desires as much as revenge, it’s the Hands of Zeus—and Athena always gets what she wants.

Before either can locate the Hands, the statue goes missing, and a trail of blood follows those who once protected the relic’s secrets. Ari knows that her city, her friends, Sebastian—her life—depend upon her finding the statue before Athena. And with rumors an ancient power is on the rise, that may not be her only concern…

Love the cover for this one! Finally read the second book earlier this year...or just too many books ago this year! It's definitely been an interesting series with a twist on Greek gods and what not! Can't wait to see the ending!

TITLE: The Wicked Within
AUTHOR: Kelly Keaton

PUBLISHER: Simon Pulse
GENRE: Paranormal YA
RELEASE DATE: September 17, 2013

Zombies stalk the night. Forget blood and brains. These monsters hunger for human souls. Sadly, they've got mine… 

Alice Bell has lost so much. Family. Friends. A home. She thought she had nothing else to give. She was wrong.

After a new zombie attack, strange things begin to happen to her. Mirrors come to life, and the whispers of the dead assault her ears. But the worst? A terrible darkness blooms inside her, urging her to do very wicked things.

She's never needed her team of zombie slayers more, but ultra bad-boy Cole Holland, the leader and her boyfriend, suddenly withdraws from her…from everyone. Now, with her best friend Kat at her side, Ali must kill the zombies, uncover Cole's secret and learn to fight the darkness.

But the clock is ticking…and if she fails at a single task, they're all doomed.

Another series I absolutely adore!! Can't remember what happened in the first one much since I read that one as an early ARC, so hopefully it will all come back to me once I get started!

TITLE: Through the Zombie Glass
AUTHOR: Gena Showalter

PUBLISHER: Harlequin Teen
GENRE: Paranormal YA
RELEASE DATE: September 24, 2013

Jul 30, 2013

Teaser & Top Ten Tuesdays

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.

"Of all the predators that prowled the carnival with strange appetites and strange shapes, the human was the truest monster of them all. The truest evil." p23


TITLE: Carniepunk: Painted Love
AUTHOR: Rob Thurman
GENRE: Urban Fantasy
RELEASE DATE: August 7, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list  that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

This week's topic is: Top Ten Favorite Beginnings/Endings In Books (talk about books that started or ended just perfectly or with a bang OR you could do specific opening lines or last lines -- however you want to do it!) 

*in no particular order

This one, as well as the series so far, just has the best opening lines!
"The dead guy at the end of the bar kept trying to buy me a drink."


Another read that opens with a laugh!
"The first time I encountered Death, I hurled my mother's medical chart at him."

This was Kalayna's first series that she started just before the Alex Craft series. I really enjoyed this one and am still eagerly awaiting the third in the series! It's been such a long wait! The opening line was still very good and very promising for the story itself!
"In the last ten minutes I'd gone from miserable to totally screwed."


I love openings that get a laugh! Or just a chuckle! Usually it's a reaction to something funny, scary or intense!
"The moment the door opened I knew an ass-kicking was inevitable. Whether I'd be giving it or receiving it was still a bit of a mystery."


I looooooooove this series!! This was one of the first books that I won when blogging! I remember it was the first two books in this series plus the first two books in Julie Kagawa's Iron Fey series! Best contest win ever! Still eagerly--aka dying a slow reader's death--for book 4 in this series!
"A cemetery. No. No, no, no! How had he ended up here?"


I adore Gena's other YA series, it's fantastic!!

"Had anyone told me that my entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, I would have laughed. From blissful to tragic, innocent to ruined? Please."


This one has an opening that just pops! You gotta know what happens next!

"I stiffened at the red and blue lights flashing behind me, because there was no way I could explain what was in the back of my truck. I pulled over, holding my breath as the sheriff came to my window."


Love this series as well! This opening was just one that took me by surprise yet was definitely intriguing and I couldn't help but be lost to this world!

"Miss Alexia Tarabotti was not enjoying her evening. Private balls were never more than middling amusements for spinsters, and Miss Tarabotti was not the kind of spinster who could garner even that much pleasure from the event. To put the pudding in the puff: she had retreated to the library, her favorite sanctuary in any house, only to happen upon an unexpected vampire."


Gotta love a smack!

"I smack into him as if shoved from behind. He doesn't budge, not an inch. Just holds my shoulders and waits. Maybe he's waiting for me to find my balance. Maybe he's waiting for me to gather my pride. I hope he's got all day."


This one was direct and very intriguing! There was so much to know from such little statements!

"I am dead, but it's not so bad. I've learned to live with it. I'm sorry I can't introduce myself, but I don't have a name anymore. Hardly any of us do. We lose them like car keys, forget them like anniversaries. Mine might have started with an "R," but that's all I have now. It's funny because back when I was alive, I was always forgetting other people's names. My friend "M" says the irony of being a zombie is that everything is funny, but you can't smile, because your lips have rotted off."

Jul 29, 2013

Review--Two Weeks Notice by Rachel Caine

In  New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine’s “thrilling”* Revivalist series, Bryn Davis finds out that making a living can be rough if you’re already dead...

After dying and being revived with the experimental drug Returne, Bryn Davis is theoretically free to live her unlife—with regular doses to keep her going. But Bryn knows that the government has every intention of keeping a tight lid on Pharmadene’s life-altering discovery, no matter the cost. 

Fortunately, some things have changed for the better: Her job at the rechristened Davis Funeral Home is keeping her busy, and her fragile romance with Patrick McCallister is blossoming, thanks in part to their combined efforts in forming a support group for Returne addicts. But when some of the group members suddenly disappear, Bryn wonders if the government is methodically removing a threat to their security, or if some unknown enemy has decided to run the zombies into the ground…

Rachel Caine's Two Weeks Notice continues her newest adult series that is a far cry more different that her Weather Warden and Outcast series. Here, there be zombies! 

But not quite the ones we are used to, at least, as long as Bryn and the others--whoever they are--take continued doses of Returne. This will inject things called nanites into their systems and thus keep them alive. As long as they get their daily shot, they won't decompose and turn into icky zombies. Bryn can basically continue to live a normal-ish life...working at the funeral home she now directs.

Life is complicated enough for her, but when she is called on to investigate some suspicions into Pharmadene, the company that produced the drug, Returne. She gets more than she bargained for. Returne users are going missing and basically everything is just one big mess.

Bryn digs further and further into this ordeal and finds nothing but more trouble. I find myself struggling to explain simply what happened. It's definitely one of those reads where I struggle to give a simple spoiler-free summary because things were just so complicated and weird. But yet, I understood what was going on for the most part. Of course, taking a reading break over the weekend didn't help me much either!

The pacing was pretty good, not too slow or overly fast that you struggle to catch up. But just the right kind of pace. There was a bit of romance in it this time, as Bryn and Patrick start to take the heated feelings onto a new level...until a dark secret comes raging to the forefront and drives them apart. Typical Urban Fantasy...and yet I love it!!

The ending was pretty shocking too! One explosive revelation after another. And it seems there are few more enemies in the making and we've met some and have others only hinted at us. Definitely looking forward to seeing what happens to Bryn and crew in the next book, which will be releasing next week, so yay for delayed reading!

Overall this one was pretty enjoyable, despite my rough start, which just involved trying to remember all that has already come to past. Luckily there is a very brief summary of sorts in Bryn's thoughts and other past details get mentioned that have a cause and effect on Bryn as well. So I got the gist of what's already happened. Rachel Caine's latest series promises to be an entertaining and intriguing read!

Overall Rating 3.5/5 stars

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:

 Wicked as She Wants by Delilah S. Dawson (4.5 stars)
Angel Fire by L.A.Weatherly (4 stars)
Changeling by Kelly Meding (3.75 stars)

Currently Reading:

Two Weeks Notice by Rachel Caine

What I Plan to Read this Week:

Carniepunk by Multiple Authors

Other Posts of Interest:

Jul 28, 2013

Stacking the Shelves

This weekly meme is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.
Stacking The Shelves is all about the books we are adding to our shelves each week, sharing with you our excitement for our newest titles and maybe have you discover a new book in the process!

Had an interesting week of book getting! Got 2 preorders that came in, a gifted one and 2 novellas I decided I wanted as well!

I got as a gift from fellow blogger, Livia Olteano, her self-published read that I was a beta reader for! Now I have me the finished copy! It was a very enjoyable gargoyle read for those looking for a gargoyle romance!

Gargoyle Addiction by Livia Olteano

Thanks Livia!!

Then books that were bought:

Carniepunk by Multiple Authors
Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay
The Mysterious Madam Morpho by Delilah S. Dawson

And of course I got this as well:

iPhone 4S

So what did you get this week?

Jul 27, 2013

Top 5 Sundays

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

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.

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 - Feel 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: Books I Couldn't Help But Buy... But Are Still on My TBR!

*in no particular order

by L.J. Smith

So yeah...when Borders was closing I bought all three of these since I only read one book in the long series. This way I'd have all 9 while waiting for the final 10th one to come out. Still haven't cracked one open yet!

by Terri Garey

Another series that I bought during the Borders closing sales. It sounded like a fun series and yet...I still haven't cracked open book 1!

by Sarah Zettel

This one I was really curious to read as it sounded amazing! Vampires...mystery...and throw in something odd, yet cool, cooking! Haven't cracked one open yet!

by Amanda Hocking

So with this series, I read the first one, loved it, bought books 2, 3, and 4...haven't read any of them yet! Kindle books tend to be hard to remember since I can't "see" them!

by Lee Monroe

Haven't even read the first one to this series! It sounded cool and involved werewolves. Have had it for quite awhile, but have I read it? Nope. I am shameful...:(