Feb 28, 2014

Mini Review--Grave Matters by Jana Oliver

A legendary Demon Trapper, Riley Blackthorne frequently battles with Hell’s minions. So when she travels to Scotland to meet up with her hunky boyfriend, and celebrate her eighteenth birthday, she’s thrilled at the chance to leave Atlanta and its troubles behind.

Denver Beck, who has been studying for months to become a Grand Master – a rare and highly dangerous job -- is just as eager to see his girl. He’s anticipating a romantic reunion, keen to take their relationship to the next level. But Riley’s twisted history with Hell has garnered unwelcome interest by people willing to use her for their own purposes. Trouble is brewing in the land of the heather, the kind that will drive a wedge between her and Beck, and prove the ultimate test of their love . . . and their survival skills.

Bonus content includes four demon illustrations by artist Mark Helwig and two Demon Trappers short stories.

Grave Matters is Jana Oliver's novella that takes place after her Demon Trappers series ended. One more look at the life of Riley and Beck and I was on so happy to have read it!

Beck is in Scotland training to be a Grand Master and Riley is paying him a visit. But things go horribly wrong the minute she steps off the plane and gets kidnapped by people who want to use her to raise "an angel" to heal a dying child. Naturally, that didn't pan out the way the people thought and Riley is lucky to have escaped with only a few cuts and bruises.

Safe in Beck's arms, she can finally begin the vacation she was looking forward to. But something's different. She feels more afraid than she ever has before. And soon that fear starts to build a wall between her and Beck. One she isn't sure will break.

Again, I sooo loved this novella! Riley and Beck are just amazing. Imagine my surprise to have to read trouble brewing between them when I had thought those days long past. But Jana doesn't disappoint! Short as the novella is at 134 pages, this is still a pretty lengthy story and I mean that in a good way! Packed with lots of action battling demons, sprinkled with bits of romance, and a growing mystery as to who our bad guy is--the one who had plans for Riley and set things into motion--this makes for one intense and exciting read!

Not sure if this will be the last of Riley and Beck. I certainly hope not! But I will continue to look forward to Jana's books, because they are always exciting and filled with engaging characters!

As a bonus, I now have Personal Demons and Retro Demonlogy in print! Plus there are illustrations of a few of the demons Riley's come across and those were incredible to see as well!

Overall Rating 5/5 stars

Feb 27, 2014

Follow Friday

This is a weekly blog meme hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read.

Here are the general rules to Follow Friday:
1. Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Hosts and any one else you want to follow on the list
2. Follow our Featured Bloggers
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: Change the Plot. If you could, what book would you change the ending or a plot thread? Go ahead and do it…change it.
MY ANSWER: Oh my. This is a toughie! I tend to like how things go in books for the most part.

But let's see...
I think I'd like to change who Dana ended up with from this trilogy (Sirensong by Jenna Black). While I liked the guy okay, he did something in the first book that I had a hard time forgiving. I'd much rather Dana choose the other guy! Avoiding names for spoiler purposes.

And for another, it may not be a good idea to change this because it would definitely change the course of the series but I would also "save" a particular character instead of having that particular character die. However necessary the reason might have been. And this was Christina Henry's Black Howl! (if for whatever reason the picture doesn't show, have that happen to me a lot on other blogs!)


Review--White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout

One kiss could be the last

Seventeen-year-old Layla just wants to be normal. But with a kiss that kills anything with a soul, she's anything but normal. Half demon, half gargoyle, Layla has abilities no one else possesses.

Raised among the Wardens—a race of gargoyles tasked with hunting demons and keeping humanity safe—Layla tries to fit in, but that means hiding her own dark side from those she loves the most. Especially Zayne, the swoon-worthy, incredibly gorgeous and completely off-limits Warden she's crushed on since forever.

Then she meets Roth—a tattooed, sinfully hot demon who claims to know all her secrets. Layla knows she should stay away, but she's not sure she wants to—especially when that whole no-kissing thing isn't an issue, considering Roth has no soul.

But when Layla discovers she's the reason for the violent demon uprising, trusting Roth could not only ruin her chances with Zayne…it could brand her a traitor to her family. Worse yet, it could become a one-way ticket to the end of the world.

Jennifer L. Armentrout NEVER ceases to amaze me with what she can do with YA! There are seriously times I forget I'm reading a YA book, and that's not to say that the book has adult content, it's just so mature. Her teenagers are really freaking mature! Being in the sense that they don't act childish. White Hot Kiss was one of my most anticipated reads of the year--on the early end--and the wait to read it was killing me, so I was very happy it arrived on release day and had to speed through my current read so I could get to this one. And. It. Was. Awesome.

In this world we have Wardens aka gargoyles, but they can take human form. It's basically how they are during the day time when they aren't sleeping. Really, reading the prequel novella Bitter Sweet Love, gives you a nice insight to the Wardens and the going ons of their world. It took place a few years prior to this story and even sort of sets up White Hot Kiss! We saw Roth in that one too! And Roth, oh Roth is definitely one helluva character. You got to give Jennifer props, she KNOWS how to write the swoon worthy guys! Daemon, Aiden, Seth, Hunter, Daemon (yes, Daemon requires repeating!)! Roth is not your typical demon, and that pretty much confuses Layla. But I'm getting ahead of myself there.

Layla is half Warden and half Demon and basically Wardens hate Demons. All Demons are evil in their eyes. So Layla is definitely seen as something akin to a monster, the Wardens practically ignore the fact that she's half and half. Layla was raised by Abbot a head Warden so to speak. Zayne, his son, was her constant companion growing up because he was the only one who saw Layla as Layla and that naturally led to Lalya crushing on him. But she can't be with him. One kiss from her can steal a person's soul. Pretty much puts a damper on the whole dating experience. You really feel bad for the girl.

And then she meets Roth. A Demon who turns her whole world upside down, changing the way she sees Demons and Wardens and just about everything she ever knew, including things about herself. Bonus? Roth has no soul, so he's totally kissable! In more ways than one, too! While it goes against everything she's ever believed in, Layla, ever so slowly, begins to trust Roth.

Things are going down in D.C. Way down. Roth lets Layla in on some information about herself, things that she never knew and it basically turns into a quest to find a particular text that could lead to a possible apocalypse. Roth wants to find it, for his Boss (you know, the big guy downstairs?), and to prevent it from happening...or so he says. He's still a Demon after all, and can Demons be trusted?

It basically comes down to Layla being very important in the whole matter. Demons either want to kill her to prevent the apocalypse or they want to use her to start the apocalypse. Either way, it doesn't look good for Layla.

I truly, truly enjoyed this one! It's definitely a far cry different from her other YA series of extremely hot and cocky aliens to superhero type fighting deities. But it definitely works! Jennifer is truly one of the most amazing authors I've ever read! She does it all! YA, NA and adult (Obsession)! Paranormal and Contemporary! She's freaking incredible! And while her characters might seem similar to others, I truly see each and every one of them to be unique and different. They might share a personality trait or two, but how those traits get shown, are totally their own. Daemon has his own snark, sarcastic wit and Roth has one of his own in a different flavor!

You might be wondering about the love triangle situation. To me, it didn't really feel like a love triangle. Granted, Layla has always crushed over Zayne, but she kind of knows that there can't ever be anything between them because of her deadly kiss. But yet, she still does care for him and gets insanely jealous when he might be mated to someone else. Then there's Roth, a guy she can be with, but he's the epitome of bad boys. Although there is a different side to him, one that only starts to show the more he's around Layla. I feel like this isn't really a love triangle situation. Now if it turns into one in the next book is another story entirely!

Which brings us to the ending! Word is spreading that there's a nasty cliffhanger and while I can attest to that on some level. I don't feel like this is really a cliffhanger. You aren't left hanging, so much as wondering. The need to know what's next. We weren't in the midst of action and are waiting for the end result. And since this is only book 1 in the series, I know we are far from over. But that isn't going to make the wait til November any easier, that's for sure!

White Hot Kiss was an extraordinary read! One that will leave you breathless. One that will leave you smiling. One that will leave you craving for more! Pretty much how every JLA book makes you feel! If I haven't said it before, I'll say it again now, Jennifer L. Armentrout has a fan for life out of me!

Overall Rating 5/5 stars

Cover Art Reveal--Prudence

There's no book description yet for this one, but I am super excited about it! I loooooved The Parasol Protectorate series and am so psyched and ready to read The Custard Protocol series!

Gail's has a helpful little Q&A on her blog regarding common questions about this one and all I can say is that I am so psyched! 2015 is already looking to be a good year!

Prudence releases March 17, 2015

A perfect St. Patrick's Day gift! ;)  (Not that I need an excuse to buy myself books!)

Cover Copy Reveal--Red Blooded

Jessica is on her way to Hell. After settling a fragile truce between the vampires, werewolves and witches, the last thing Jessica wants to do is face the demons head on. But when the Prince of Hell kidnapped her brother, he set into motion a chain of events that even Jessica doesn't have the power to stop.

Now, Jessica must go into battle again. But Hell is a whole new beast -- new rules, more dangerous demons, and an entirely foreign realm. And when Jessica is dropped into the Underworld too soon, without protection or the help of her friends, she must figure out just how powerful she can be...or she will never make it out alive.


Isn't it awesome? I so cannot wait to read this one! 

Red Blooded releases September 2, 2014 

Random Thursday

Today's February 27th and do you know what that means? 

YES! There's only a mere 75 days left until RT 2014!! We're talking 2 digits people! This is going to be like the biggest RT ever! The convention hotel is booked. The TWO overflow hotels are booked! And yet there are still RT registrants coming!! It's going to be insane! And I soooo cannot wait!

And did you know that this year, instead of having two signings like they normally do, one day the ebook type signing and then the other day the big signing with hundreds of authors, there's going to be one HUGE signing day!! There's like over 800 authors coming to this thing! Not all are signing, so it's going to be a challenge for me to find my authors from that list so I can get them to sign the books I have before the convention ends! I soooo cannot wait!

I sooo won't be getting any sleep on this trip! 

So is anyone else planning on going yet? As I always say, I would LOVE to meet up with other bloggers! There's always the chatting while we wait in lines and there are a lot of lines! It's like freaking Disney World! And yet, I still do all the waiting, because like Disney World, RT and authors are freaking awesome!

Feb 26, 2014

Review--Hell Bent by Devon Monk

Instead of the deadly force it once was, magic is now a useless novelty. But not for Shame Flynn and Terric Conley, “breakers” who have the gift for reverting magic back to its full-throttle power. In the magic-dense city of Portland, Oregon, keeping a low profile means keeping their gifts quiet. After three years of dealing with disgruntled magic users, Shame and Terric have had enough of politics, petty magic, and, frankly, each other. It’s time to call it quits.

When the government discovers the breakers’ secret—and its potential as a weapon—Shame and Terric suddenly become wanted men, the only ones who can stop the deadly gift from landing in the wrong hands. If only a pair of those wrong hands didn’t belong to a drop-dead-gorgeous assassin Shame is falling for as if it were the end of the world. And if he gets too close to her, it very well could be....

I did my best to knock out a TBR book or two before my recent book order came in and Devon Monk's Hell Bent was the first one I wanted to get to asap--especially with the sequel coming in just another month and then some! And I have to say that I loved returning to this world of hers. While it's been a few years since I read the last Allie Beckstrom book, I found I was able to follow along pretty easily.

It's been three years since the last Allie book and Shame is our hero. I loved Shame! Shame is pretty much the same. He's dealing hard with his Death magic and it takes its toll on him. He's moody and sarcastic but still the guy you want to have on your side when things go bad. And then there's Terric, his Soul Complement and that's still a huge bane on his existence. Terric is the yin to his yang, filled with Life magic versus his Death magic. Terric always wants to be there for Shame and have them work magic together, but Shame hasn't done that since the times with Allie. He's done with it.

But then an enemy rolls into town. We don't know who he or she is. But we know what they want, Soul Complements and there's only a few of those in Portland. Shame and Terric. Allie and Zay. Plus a few other sets, but no one we know. Basically nothing good will come of it and the Soul Complements are asked to be put into a protective custody situation, but Shame, Terric, Allie and Zay won't have it.

There's still more trouble ahead for Shame. And another part of that is Dessa. An assassin with Shame in her scope. But she's willing to deal. She needs Shame's help in finding the man who murdered her brother. She believes he knows or can get the information for her from his resources. And you can pretty much bet that a romance of sorts develops between the two. And I was quite pleased with it. Shame has always kept people at a distance because of his Death magic and while he tries to keep Dessa away, that's not possible. Pretty much from the moment they meet they fall for one another.

Then an old enemy reveals himself to Shame and pretty much gives the whole villainous speech, where he gives Shame an ultimatum: do what I say or else people will die. And that gets Shame and Terric moving into action.

And on another note, if you're still intrigued by this book and haven't read the Allie Beckstrom series--which I highly recommend--you will not be lost by what goes on here. I feel like when we meet previously met characters from the first series, we got a nice set of sentences explaining who they were. Such as the Hounds, the people who track down magic users with ease. It's not really necessary to know all their backstories. Devon gives you enough of an idea who they are and what their role in the present is. Of course, if you want to know more about them, you could always read the first series!

Hell Bent is the start of Shame's duology and I was quite surprised by the twists and turns it took. But I shouldn't have been surprised, Devon really knows how to write a kickass story! The ending to this one was ultimately shocking! Never had I expected the shocks Devon threw our way. I mean wow! Stone Cold is definitely going to kick ass and it will be Shame doing most of the kicking! Definitely a must read for all fans of the Allie Beckstrom series

Overall Rating 5/5 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.


Allison Sekemoto once struggled with the question: human or monster?

With the death of her love, Zeke, she has her answer.


Allie will embrace her cold vampire side to hunt down and end Sarren, the psychopathic vampire who murdered Zeke. But the trail is bloody and long, and Sarren has left many surprises for Allie and her companions—her creator, Kanin, and her blood brother, Jackal. The trail is leading straight to the one place they must protect at any cost—the last vampire-free zone on Earth, Eden. And Sarren has one final, brutal shock in store for Allie.

In a ruined world where no life is sacred and former allies can turn on you in one heartbeat, Allie will face her darkest days. And if she succeeds, triumph is short-lived in the face of surviving forever alone.

Yeah, you know the song from the original Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, where Veruca sings that song I want it Now! Don't care how, I want it now!!!! Yeah, that's my song for this one!! Of course, replace NOW with YESTERDAY! Doesn't have the same ring to it, but that is how badly I want this one! Ever since I read The Eternity Cure as an ARC and got that ending!! Ooooh I sooooo NEED this one as soon as possible!!! Already preordered this baby too!

TITLE: The Forever Song
AUTHOR: Julie Kagawa

PUBLISHER: Harlequin Teen
GENRE: Paranormal YA
RELEASE DATE: April 15, 2014

Augustine lives the perfect life in the Haven city of New Orleans. He rarely works a real job, spends most of his nights with a different human woman, and resides in a spectacular Garden District mansion paid for by retired movie star Olivia Goodwin, who has come to think of him as an adopted son, providing him room and board and whatever else he needs.

But when Augustine returns home to find Olivia's been attacked by vampires, he knows his idyllic life has comes to an end. It's time for revenge—and to take up the mantle of the city's Guardian.

I enjoyed The House of Comarre series so I am eager for the spinoff! Sounds like it's going to be an amazing read!!

TITLE: House of the Rising Sun
AUTHOR: Kristen Painter

GENRE: Urban Fantasy--guessing that's a good guesstimate for the genre
RELEASE DATE: May 13, 2014

Feb 25, 2014

Release Day Launch Blitz--White Hot Kiss + Contest!!


OMG! It's finally here! The release day for White Hot Kiss is NOW!! So excited! Sadly, my copy is still in traveling limbo as it was only recently shipped. Purely, because the universe thinks I have not already been driven insane enough over the wait for this book. So there it is!

But anywho! InkSlinger was having a promotional event to help get the word out about Jennifer L. Armentrout's White Hot Kiss and you know I jumped at the chance to help spread the word about this awesome new series by the awesomely talented JLA!

One kiss could be the last.

Seventeen-year-old Layla just wants to be normal. But with a kiss that kills anything with a soul, she's anything but normal. Half demon, half gargoyle, Layla has abilities no one else possesses.

Raised among the Wardens—a race of gargoyles tasked with hunting demons and keeping humanity safe—Layla tries to fit in, but that means hiding her own dark side from those she loves the most. Especially Zayne, the swoon-worthy, incredibly gorgeous and completely off-limits Warden she's crushed on since forever.

Then she meets Roth—a tattooed, sinfully hot demon who claims to know all her secrets. Layla knows she should stay away, but she's not sure she wants to—especially when that whole no-kissing thing isn't an issue, considering Roth has no soul.

But when Layla discovers she's the reason for the violent demon uprising, trusting Roth could not only ruin her chances with Zayne…it could brand her a traitor to her family. Worse yet, it could become a one-way ticket to the end of the world.

And here is an exclusive excerpt to read until we get our own copies in whatever way you all read your books--me, I'm still old school baby! So yeah I got wait a tad longer than expected...

“I don’t think of Zayne that way!”  

She laughed. “What man-parts-loving female in this world doesn’t think of Zayne that
way? I can barely keep myself breathing when I see him. All the guys in school have squishy waists. I can tell Zayne doesn’t. He’s the awesome sauce with extra sauce.”

That he was and he so didn’t have a squishy waist, but I tuned Stacey out at that point. I really did need to cram for this test and I also didn’t want my fantasies involving Zayne to occupy my mind right now. Especially after I’d woken up this morning, carefully tucked under the covers. The bed had smelled like him: sandalwood and crisp linen. 

“Oh, sweet baby Jesus in a manger,” Stacey murmured.

I clenched my jaw, cupping my hands over my ears.

She jabbed me in the side with her elbow. At this rate I’d be covered in bruises before lunchtime. “Our bio class just got a billion times more interesting. And hotter, lots and lots  hotter. Holy mother, I want to have his babies. Not now of course, but definitely later. But I’d  like to start practicing soon.”

The cell wall is a thick and rigid layer covering the plasma something, something plant cells… 

Stacey stiffened all of a sudden. “Oh my God, he’s coming—” 

Composed of fat and sugar—

Something slender and shiny fell from who knew where, landing in the middle of Sam’s notes. Blinking tightly, it took me a couple of seconds to recognize the faded and half peeled  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sticker covering the back of the silver cell phone. My heart slammed against my ribs. Gripping the edges of the notebook, I slowly lifted my gaze. Unnaturally beautiful golden eyes met mine.  

“You forgot this last night.”

# 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV.

She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review--Bad Blood by Lucienne Diver

The gods play…and mortals pay.

Latter-Day Olympians, Book 1

Tori Karacis’s family line may trace back to a drunken liaison between the god Pan and one of the immortal gorgons. Or…maybe it’s just coincidence that her glance can, literally, stop men in their tracks. While her fear of heights kept her out of the family aerobatic troupe, her extreme nosiness fits right in with her uncle’s P.I. business.

Except he’s disappeared on an Odyssean journey to find himself. Muddling through on her own, she’s reduced to hunting (not stalking, because that would just be weird) brass-bra’d Hollywood agent Circe Holland to deliver a message…only to witness her murder by what looks like the Creature from the Black Lagoon.

Suddenly, all of her family’s tall tales seem believable, especially when Apollo—the Apollo, who’s now hiding out among humans as an adult film star—appears in her office, looking to hire her. She knows the drill: canoodling with gods never works out well for humans, but she’s irresistibly drawn to him. Maybe it’s her genes. Maybe not.

Given her conflicted feelings for one hot and hardened cop, it’s a toss-up which will kill her quickest. The danger at her door…or her love life.

Warning: Contains pot-boiling passion between a heroine who may—or may not—be a descendent of Medusa, and a hot god and a hunky cop with the…equipment…to handle her, even on her worst bad-hair day. Beware of killer kisses, trickster gods and bearded grandmothers Who Know Everything.

Lucienne Diver's Bad Blood is the first book in her Latter-Day Olympians series and it was quite the read! Tori is definitely one wild character, she's tough, feisty and has a good dose of sarcasm to boot. Very relateable!

Tori is a PI and was hired to find an agent named Circe and deliver a letter to her from a client. Only when Tori finally gets close to delivering, Circe is murdered by a fishman. Although I do like the terms something that "looks like the Creature from the Black Lagoon" because it's a favorite movie of mine! This has everything going for it! A modern day series with twists of the Greek gods thrown in and of course the movie reference!

To add to her PI talents, Tori is also part gorgon. Her state can freeze people for a short time. Which has helped her get out of a few jams when necessary. Now Apollo, a highly famous actor has come to her asking her to solve the murder of Circe and find out exactly who killed her. There were a few other cases that one tied into this case as well, that Tori had to deal with on top of everything.

The gods have sort of been doing the whole hiding among us thing for awhile, as we soon learn Apollo is also THE Apollo. I think I kind of suffered from first book syndrome here, in that there was a lot of information to take in and process and while we got it in droves, it was still hard for me at times to process everything and apply it to the current situations. But then I kept remembering the short story I read and how much I loved that, so I figured this is a case of first book syndrome. I am still planning on reading the rest of this series because it has a LOT of potential.

There's also a bit of romance going on too. Two possible men vying for Tori. But it's done in a way where it doesn't feel like the ever dreaded love triangle. I even love that Tori makes a comment on that towards the end. Apollo of course is one of them. A swoon-worthy god who wants her, but Tori feels like that's not the best option since his previous lady loves have had bad ends--being slightly insane (ie: Cassandra from Troy where she's psychic and no one believes her) and then there was Daphne who now has to be a tree forever so she could escape Apollo's affections.

Then we have detective Nick Armani. For the longest time he's sort of been the arrogant type. For when Tori is working her cases, she sometimes get mixed up with police going-ons and that leads her to being interrogated by Nick. The two definitely have a connection of sorts going on. They banter back and forth and then it suddenly turns towards flirting and reciprocating! Definitely liking Nick in this situation!

I guess the only issue I had--while trying to read in a slightly noisy environment--was trying to follow along. The writing style is very different to what I read as a short story, but I am figuring that that's because this was the first book. So it has that sort of awkwardness to it. Because the more you write, the better it gets. So I went from the latest and greatest to the beginning, when everything is still new. I stumbled a bit when suddenly I noticed Tori working on another case and was wondering when that popped up, but I might have missed the cues while the noise level was at its peak. But I'm not giving up on this series, no chance!

The ending was pretty awesome! Who doesn't love a battle? Things are getting pretty intense for Tori and even though the book is over, it's of course, only the beginning of her troubles! Can't wait to see what other adventures Tori has in this series.

Overall Rating 4/5 stars

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.

So far this one's pretty awesome. Had a bumpy start, but that was also due to me being in a tad noisy environment! Loving it so far!
"'I am a gentleman. That's why you're on your own with those clothes.' Then he decided to turn my teasing back on me. 'Besides, if I were to take them off, I'd need to taste you right--' the hand not supporting me rose to ever-so-gently slide over my throat until his thumb caressed the hollow, '--here.'" p 82

TITLE: Bad Blood
AUTHOR: Lucienne Diver

PUBLISHER: Samhain Publishing
GENRE: Urban Fantasy
RELEASE DATE: May 1, 2013 (for this edition, first pub. 6/28/11)

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 question is: Top Ten Tuesday REWIND!
Top Ten Favorite Books that Surprised You (Meaning I was glad I was wrong about whatever preconceived notions I had about the book!)

*in no particular order

1. Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost--had thought it was going to be more of a romance book, so glad I was wrong!
2. Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder--had thought it would be a bit "complicated" being in a magical type world. Again, glad I was wrong!
3. 3:59 by Gretchen McNeil--an awesome thriller that was kind of heartracing! Had thought it would be more of a contemp.

4. Intertwined by Gena Showalter--was hesitant since it had a male narrator and I wasn't used to that at the time!
5. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead--this is what brought me back to YA since my online friends told me I had to read it! Was worried it would have too much teen drama and angst like the YA books had at the time!
6. Bitten by Kelley Armstrong--another series I was afraid would have too much focus on romance, but I got over it when I learned I was so wrong!

7. Divergent by Veronica Roth--wasn't sure how I would take to the dystopian genre since I loved paranormal. But took a chance on it and loved it!
8. First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones--from this cover I thought it was more of a chick lit book despite the skill and scythe. And oh wow was that wrong! Charley is anything but chicky!
9. Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins--I thought this one would be like a Harriet Potter! Note the play on words. But yeah, that was wrong too. Sophie was freaking hilarious!

10. Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion--wasn't sure how I would like a book about a zombie boy. But then the previews for the movie made it look pretty awesome! So I read the book THEN bought the DVD! So I still did it the right way! ;)

Feb 24, 2014

Review--The Ghoul Next Door by Victoria Laurie

On a well-deserved hiatus from the ghoulish grind of their TV show, Ghoul Getters, psychic medium M. J. Holliday, her boyfriend, Heath, and her best friend, Gilley, are back home in Boston. But there’s no rest for the weary ghost busters. M. J.’s ex comes to her for help—his fiancĂ©e’s brother Luke seems haunted by a sinister spirit.

The crew sets up surveillance cameras to watch for the possessive poltergeist while Luke is sleeping. But when he goes outside in the middle of the night and returns hours later covered in blood, they are all very concerned—especially when the news reports the murder of a young woman in the neighborhood.

Now M. J., Heath, and Gilley must remain self-possessed as they try to stop a wicked ghost whose behavior is anything but neighborly.

Victoria Laurie's Ghost Hunter Mystery Series is by far one of my favorites! Since the beginning, these have always been one day reads for me. Then I had to get a job...sigh...and that pretty much came to an end sadly. Oh well. I still love this series! The Ghoul Next Door promised to be the best one yet, and why? Because M.J.'s ex, Steven Sable is making a return appearance. And with this surprise appearance also comes his fiancee! Yeah. Hadn't been expecting that!

Sadly, as I was reading, I came to page 242 only to move to the next page and find it 275 which then ended at 306 only to start back at 275. A whole 33 pages missing. Completely and entirely. I was devastated. Completely distraught! This is one of my all time favorite series and I was missing chunks of information! Despite that though I did still really enjoy the book. Sure, I had a gap of missing information and events, but I still enjoyed the story. Now let's move on to why!

So M.J., Heath and Gilley have returned home for some much needed R&R after shooting their new show Ghoul Getters. But it's not going to be the restful break they were wanting. In fact, Gilley was already planning a few readings for M.J. once things got settled, ever at work our Gilley is! But what becomes surprising is Steven asking for M.J.'s help. His fiancee's brother is being plagued with restless nights and no sleep and there's definitely something odd going on since Luke, the brother, is seeing shadows and hearing voices.

When the proof becomes evident that he is in fact being haunted, things go up a level in disastrous when a woman is found murdered and Luke is covered in her blood and becomes the number one suspect in the investigation. Now not only does M.J. have to help Luke deal with his ghost problem, but she also has to do what she can to help clear his name, because she knows he has to be innocent.

These mysteries are always so much fun! And I don't mean to say they are light hearted and happy, there's some pretty dark and gritty stuff going on. This isn't Scooby-Doo, the ghosts here are real and while they play a key role in the mystery and may or may not be playing a role in the murder, they are always connected to it somehow! Of course, for awhile I'm always left wondering...is the ghost really doing this?! The ghosts here aren't always the friendly type either, but M.J. does come across a Casper or two during the thick of things.

The pacing, as always, was awesome! Never really slow or dull, since M.J. and her friends have a lot of ground to cover. They start with very little info to work on, but yet can always managed to find the answer to things during their sleuthing! And it was when M.J. discovered a new name to work with on the case that the pages just flew out of the book into the ether. And we learned that during those pages, someone else got hurt. So yeah, you imagine how much I wanted to scream at that and having missed it. So weird, this rarely ever happens to me when I buy my books. There was literally one other time but with that event, the pages had been printed out of order for a few of them, they were are still there, just needed to skip over pages to read the correct ones. Here, I had nothing. 33 pages of missing events! In my one of my favorite series!! We're talking near tears people!

But again, I still LOVED the book. From what I could gather those 33 pages had a character hurt and probably just more investigating and a lead that obviously popped up and led M.J. to where she was on page 275. But still, this is really one of the most scariest things to happen to a reader--besides a series being canceled midway through.

Victoria really knows how to lure her readers in. Just when you think maybe things are going to be quiet and quaint during M.J. investigating, a ghost will pop up out of nowhere! And this particular ghost is downright creepy! He's freaking scary on all sorts of levels and he now has his eyes set on M.J. To what extent remains unclear, other than just to rattle her. It takes quite awhile before M.J. even gets a name to who this mad-ghost-man is! And the not knowing is sometimes far worse than the knowing!

More gushing on the series and characters though. I love the characters. Gillie is still hilarious! I love that man. He's just so funny and almost sibling like to M.J. in the way that he drives her crazy and doesn't even realize he's doing anything wrong! Like when he takes her shopping with her credit card and spends hundreds, if not thousands, of dollar on clothes and a Michael Kors purse! And Heath! Oh Heath! He really is a sweetie and I love that M.J. has found someone after her breakup with Steven--and I was really fond of Steven too! Not sure when it happened when I stopped hoping for those two to get back together. Probably the moment it became clear that there was something between Heath and M.J.!

I was expecting the who-done-it person either! It was surprising, but then with the missing pages and whatnot, I can't be sure if it should've been surprising or not. Possibly not, but don't know if I'll ever know. Because not only would I have to try to find those pages, I'm going to have to try to remember what was going on at the time and piece it all together. And my mind struggles to do such things like that. When you read as many series as I do, you kind of depend on the author and characters to give you the brief recap when it proves necessary.

Still enjoyed this one though! Even with the missing pages, what I read was lovable and enjoyable! So looking forward to more in this series, hopefully with all the pages next time around.

Overall Rating 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:

Kicking It edited by Faith Hunter & Kalayna Price (4 stars)
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi (3.5 stars)
3:59 by Gretchen McNeil (4.5 stars)
Uninvited by Sophie Jordan (4 stars)
Black Heart by Christina Henry (5 stars)

Reviews that were Posted:

Grim edited by Christine Johnson (ARC) (4 stars)
Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott (ARC) (5 stars)

Currently Reading:

The Ghoul Next Door by Victoria Laurie

What I Plan to Read this Week:

Bad Blood by Lucienne Diver
Hell Bent by Devon Monk

Other Posts of Interest: