Saturday, March 31, 2012

On My Wishlist # 1

On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It's where I list all the books I desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming.

Sometimes being the grim reaper really is that. Grim. And since Charley’s last case went so awry, she has taken a couple months off to wallow in the wonders of self-pity. But when a woman shows up on her doorstep convinced someone is trying to kill her, Charley has to force herself to rise above. Or at least get dressed. She quickly realizes something is amiss when everyone the woman knows swears she’s insane. The more they refute the woman’s story, the more Charley believes it.

In the meantime, the sexy, sultry son of Satan, Reyes Farrow, has been cleared of all charges. He is out of prison and out of Charley’s life, as per her wishes and several perfectly timed death threats. But his absence has put a serious crimp in her sex life. While there are other things to consider, like the fact that Albuquerque has been taken hostage by an arsonist, Charley is having a difficult time staying away. Especially when it looks like Reyes may be involved. Just when life was returning to normal, Charley is thrust back into the world of crime, punishment, and the devil in blue jeans.

Expected publication: October 30th 2012 by St. Martin's Press 

It’s been over six months since the eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano. Alex and Darla have been staying with Alex’s relatives, trying to cope with the new reality of the primitive world so vividly portrayed in Ashfall, the first book in this series. It’s also been six months of waiting for Alex’s parents to return from Iowa. Alex and Darla decide they can wait no longer and must retrace their journey into Iowa to find and bring back Alex’s parents to the tenuous safety of Illinois. But the landscape they cross is even more perilous than before, with life-and-death battles for food and power between the remaining communities. When the unthinkable happens, Alex must find new reserves of strength and determination to survive.

Expected publication: October 8th 2012 by Tanglewood Press 

Reeling from the tragic events of Dust & Decay, Benny Imura and his friends plunge deep into the zombie-infested wastelands of the great Rot & Ruin. Benny, Nix, Lilah and Chong journey through a fierce wilderness that was once America, searching for the jet they saw in the skies months ago. If that jet exists then humanity itself must have survived…somewhere. Finding it is their best hope for having a future and a life worth living.

But the Ruin is far more dangerous than any of them can imagine. They are hunted by fierce animals escaped from zoos and circuses. They must raid zombie-infested towns for food and medical supplies. They discover the very real truth in the old saying: In the Rot & Ruin…everything wants to kill you.

And what is happening to the zombies? Swarms of them are coming from the east, devouring everything in their paths. These zoms are different. Faster, smarter, infinitely more dangerous. Has the zombie plague mutated, or is there something far more sinister behind this new invasion of the living dead?

In Flesh & Bone, Benny Imura, Nix Riley, Lou Chong and Lilah the Lost Girl are pitted against dangers greater than anything they've ever faced. To survive, each of them must rise to become the warriors Tom trained them to be.

Expected publication: September 11th 2012 by Simon & Schuster Books For Young   

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa (Blood of Eden # 1)

The Immortal Rules is a first POV story told by Seventeen year old Allison ''Allie'' Sekemoto. Allie lives in a post-apocalyptic era where vampires have pretty much taken over the world after a devastating virus called the Red Lung killed or turned humans and vampires into Rabids.

Allie’s journey is broken into four separate but distinct parts: Human, Vampire, Monster and Wanderer.

As a so called human Fringer, Allie scavenges, begs, and steals food from any one or any place she can find it. As an Unregistered, she and her motley crew are outside of vampire control and thus have no brands on their bodies telling others who they belong to. Allison lives on the outermost circle of a vampire city known as New Covington where the Prince rules with an iron fist.

Humans are slaves and food to the vampires who rule the world. In return for food, they are forced to give blood to their vampire masters on a regular basis. Failure to meet a donation quota can mean forced bloodletting by human pets and thralls. Allison’s mother was a so called Registered before her death and thus forcing Allison to flee to the streets.

For Allison, her life as she knows it ends after she returns from beyond the wall on a scavenging mission with her crew. After she is attacked and bitten by Rabids, she finds a mysterious vampire who gives her a chance: Die as a human and keep her soul, or turn into the one thing that she absolutely despises; a vampire.

Upon waking as a vampire, and learning that her new vampire “sire” is known as Kanin, Allison realizes that life as she knows it has just gotten a little more interesting as well as challenging.

Kanin advises Allie, “Sometime in your life, Allison Sekemoto, you will kill a human being, accidentally, or as a conscious, deliberate act. It is unavoidable. The question is not if it will happen, but, when. “This couldn’t be more prophetic.

Vampire Allison learns that vampires can go two weeks between feedings, but if they go longer than that, The Hunger, will drive them to kill or madness, which in this case are humans for which Allison is now dependent on for her survival. She also learns from Kanin everything she needs to know in order to survive as a vampire before they are forced to part and go their separate ways.

Allison, in my opinion, is a much more interesting character than Meghan Chase of the Iron Fey series. It’s not just because this is a vampire story either. I love her straightforwardness and attitude of trying to help others. I loved watching her struggle with who she is now as a vampire while trying to maintain a human facade in front of other humans. I also loved watching her in action with her Katana as she defends the humans she meets along the way, and even takes on her vampire “Brother” when given a choice between vampires and humans.

In the first book of her new Blood of Eden series, Kagawa’s world building is extremely interesting and vivid in detail. I know there are other vampire apocalyptic books available on the market, yet I can’t seem to be bored by them. If they are well written by the author, then the audience will eat them up like turkey on Thanksgiving Day. This is the case with the Immortal Rules for me.

Sub characters such as Ezekiel “Zeke” Crosse; give the story another layer to unveil. Zeke could be this series Patch in that there seems to be an attraction of epic proportions waiting just below the surface for something to happen. Zeke is fiercely loyal to his group of wandering humans. Even after discovering Allison’s true identity as a vampire, the lure of romantic entanglement isn’t far from the surface. Of course, when it does rise up, you are left wondering where Kagawa is going with this series.

I also liked the vampire master Kanin who had more than a few secrets of his own including his own actions in regards to the Red Lung Virus. Allie and Kanin are two sides of the same coin in regards to their toughness and no nonsense approach to getting things done.

There is another layer of my likability towards this first book. The vampires are nasty pieces of work, and the Rabids are even scarier if that is even possible. The vampires don’t shine in the sun, nor do they drink blood from deer and other animals. They are blood thirsty and that’s the way I like my vampires.

Naturally, as the first book of the series, there will be questions left hanging like what happened to Kanin after Allie and he parted? However, I am most definitely looking forward to continuing reading about Allison's journey in the next installments.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Feature & Follow Friday

Feature and Follow is a weekly meme sponsored by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read! If you haven't checked out their blogs yet, I encourage you to do so!

Q: Do you read one book at a time or do you switch back and forth between two or more? 

You can definitely add me to the list of readers who flip flops between books. I normally read 50 pages or until the next chapter break and then hop to the next book and do the exact same thing. If one book ends up being more interesting than the other, I may put it away and finish it first. Thus, why I read 492 books last year.

If you wonder how I can keep things straight in my head, I actually keep notes (paraphrasing). I currently have a small pile to go through and post my reviews with.
Currently, I'm flipping between The Prophet by Amanda Stevens and The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa. So many books to read, and so little time to read them! 
I would love to see your commentary on this question. Am I the only nutso reader who flips flops between books?


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Cold Kiss by Amy Garavey

When 17 year Wren’s boyfriend Danny dies in a horrific car accident, she uses magic she doesn’t fully understand to bring him back. For Wren, her decision to bring someone back from the dead has its consequences. Danny is a talking zombie with fading memories of who he was, and what he had with Wren. He isn’t the boy Wren fell in love with and is slowly losing all reasoning for being alive.

   “It seemed so right. Danny was mine, I was his, and that wasn’t going to work if he was dead. So I would make him not dead, not anymore. I didn’t think any further than what it would feel like to kiss him again, to wrap my arms around him and bury my head against his shoulder. That was my first mistake. It also turned out to be the biggest.”

When a book moves me to the brink of tears, and I reach for the Kleenex box, I rate the book higher than I normally would do otherwise. Wren’s character is pretty vulnerable to the point of having fits of rage and bouts of crying. She also tends to ignore her friends who just want things to go back to the way they were before Danny’s unfortunate demise. She also appears to be one of the strongest witches in her family, even stronger than her mother, and Aunt, yet still wonders why her father took off 10 years ago without staying in contact.

The second part of the story is about Wren's magic and the mysteries surrounding it. The rest of her family like her mother, sister, grandmother, and Aunt are similarly gifted with magical abilities. I was a bit surprised that Wren didn’t try to reveal what happened with Danny to her aunt or mother in order to get some help fixing her problem. Instead, she relied on someone from the outside who really offered her no real solutions to her problems other than to tell her about the full moon and reversing her spell.

The third part is discovering that yes, life does move on even after a devastating loss to the person you loved the most. Gabriel is an interesting character, yet he also annoyed me with his intrusive nature of not letting Wren figure things out. Yet, you couldn’t help feel your heart strings break just a little bit when he comes out and says…

   "I saw you, Wren," Gabriel says, and his voice is so soft, a feather drifting on the air, that I close my eyes to listen. "I saw this girl with these dark eyes and this crazy hair and this fuck you look on her face, and I wanted to talk to you."

So, it was obvious as the nose on my face that Garvey would write an ending like she did with Wren and Gabriel walking off hand and hand.

   "He's across the street, leaning against a mailbox, a paper cup from the mini-mart in one hand. He doesn't wave, he doesn't smile, and he doesn't walk toward me. He waits. And I think that this is what I would like love to be. Leaving room for each other, knowing that not every step is going to be side by side. Giving more than taking. Waiting. Trusting." p 292

Although this book clearly is capable of standing on its own, there appears to be a sequel called Glass Heart that is scheduled for release September 18, 2012.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

WoW is hosted by Breaking the Spine guessed it - Wednesday! Bloggers share the coming release that we are most excited for at the moment.

My choice this week is Kitty Steals the Show!
I've followed the series from the beginning and love Kitty and crew.

Book Description *From*

 July 31, 2012
Kitty has been tapped as the keynote speaker for the First International Conference on Paranatural Studies, taking place in London. The conference brings together scientists, activists, protestors, and supernatural beings from all over the world—and Kitty, Ben, and Cormac are right in the middle of it. 

Master vampires from dozens of cities have also gathered in London for a conference of their own. With the help of the Master of London, Kitty gets more of a glimpse into the Long Game—a power struggle among vampires that has been going on for centuries—than she ever has before. In her search for answers, Kitty has the help of some old allies, and meets some new ones, such as Caleb, the alpha werewolf of the British Isles. The conference has also attracted some old enemies, who've set their sights on her and her friends. 

All the world’s a stage, and Kitty’s just stepped into the spotlight.

Now that I've shown you mine, what's your choice?
Love to see comments to my posts!

The Oracle's Message by Alex Archer (Rogue Angel # 32)

*Genre* Science Fiction
*Rating* 3 1/2

In the Thirty-second release of the Rogue Angel series featuring archeologist Annya Creed, we find our heroine taking a much needed vacation from her duties as host of Chasing History's Monsters. She, naturally, returns to the Philippines where she previously had nothing but troubles and nearly died at the hands of a terrorist group.

This time around Annya runs into German divers lead by the 80 year old Joachim Spier who is looking for the Pearl of Palawan. The pearl is said to be a solid black pearl whose origins are a mystery. They may, or may not have come from the Moros Empire. It is also said that they who possess the pearl have at their disposal an object that can grant the owner incredible vitality and powers. Just the thing all megalomaniacs like Garin Braden would love to get his hands on.

Roux makes his presence known throughout this book, including some of the best quotes of the book clearly aimed at Annya and her disbelief of all things supernatural.

Anna gasped and looked at Roux. “That’s impossible.”
“See?” Roux shook his head. “Honestly, Annya, I don’t know why I bother with you sometimes. After everything you’ve seen in connection to the sword and after all the experiences you’ve had, you still cling to the ridiculous notions that the world is as the world seems to be.”
– page 102

"Stop using sex as a weapon, Annya,” Roux said.
Annya looked at him and broke into a grin. “What did you say?”
Roux waved his hand in the air, “Oh, nothing, I heard a song the other day and I’ve been dying to say it ever since.”
– page 220

Vic, the former Marine Corps sniper who Annya once worked with, now works for an unnamed secret organization. He makes his return to the series in a small role when it appears that a bomb, carried by Spier, is heading for the US and is targeting both the US president, and German chancellor on Martha’s Vineyard. It's nice to see Vic back as both he and Annya work well together.

George, the Hacker friend of Annya's, makes an appearance for the same reason as Vic. He also works for one of those 3 letter organization in DC and is a source of tremendous amounts of information. George has a mad crush on Annya. The only thing he has ever asked for from Annya in return for all his help, is one simple dinner that he pays for. Such a nice and simple guy.

The writer of this book is obviously the same one who wrote about Annya’s previous adventures in the Philippines, which is why he/she brought Vic back. It’s actually nice to see a reoccurring character other than Roux and Garin for a change.

Garin doesn’t appear in the book nor does he walk off with the Pearl. He has a tendency of showing up in the nick of time and then walking off with the artifact while Annya goes home empty handed.

While I continue to read this series, and wonder when it will end, I do have some issues with the whole idea of fighting underwater with a sword against knives and spear guns and the fact that the sword actually heals Annya from radiation poisoning. I also continue to dwell on the fact that Annya has had Joan of Arc's sword for several years now, and yet she continues to belittle the thought that not everything is as it should be. How can she be a non-believer after 32 books?

Roux definitely brings up some valid points in that Annya is really Joan of Arc reincarnated. That, would make a lot of sense. He also believes that if the sword ever leaves Annya's possession, it would most likely break into a thousand pieces and it would take centuries for someone else to come along and hold the sword.

One can only hope that one day the writers of this series will realize that they need to find a way to either end this series with dignity for Annya, or make her aware of how stupid she sounds she questions everything she sees around her.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Rope by Nevada Barr (Anna Pigeon Prequel)

*Rating* 3.0
*Genre* Mystery/Suspense

“Us poor mortals live under the 'shit happens' rule of nature. Life doesn't make sense. Unearned guilt is hubris, a claim to powers you don't have. I understand the temptation. It's less scary than admitting shit happens, because if shit does just happen, it can happen again and tomorrow your sister or your dog gets run over by a cab." Jenny Gorman in a scene where Anna and her are nearly killed by the villain who truly has it in for Anna.

The Rope, by Nevada Barr, takes Anna Pigeon back to the year 1995 in what’s being called the Anna Pigeon Prequel. (In series order this would be right before Track of the Cat which released almost 20 years ago.)

This is Anna’s first adventure with the National Park Service and it is the link to how Anna ended up being a law enforcement ranger with the NPS. The mystery of the actual villain isn’t all that shrouded in mystery since the person ends up being in their fair share of scenes and is often found as jealous or disturbed.

The story itself is set in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area Arizona and Utah as well as Lake Powell. Of all the things I love about Nevada Barr’s books, it’s her ability to put the reader into the actual scenery where the story takes place. Being a former NPS worker has a lot to do with that fact. One day, I would love to visit the parks that Barr has written her stories in. They truly do fascinate me to no end.


Anna is a recent widower and is feeling as though she was to blame for her husband Zach’ death by taxi cab. Taking the first bus out of NYC, and away from her older sister Molly, she takes a job as a seasonal interpretive worker for the NPS where she works closely with Jenny Gorman scooping up human feces and ensuring the area remains clean for others to use.

Anna wakes up in a solution hole and it appears she has been attacked, the word WHORE has been cut into her thigh, and she is naked and without any sort of memories as to how she ended up there in the first place. Upon arriving back in her barracks that she shares with Jenny, nearly all her belongings have been packed up except for items no woman can truly be without.

This should have been a clear indication that something was truly wrong and that Annya didn't just walk away!

Why would anyone push Anna in the solution hole? Who packed up all her things and tried to mail them back to her sister Molly in NYC? Who among the NPS workers has it in for Anna and for what idiotic reason does Anna’s very existence exudes the feeling of hostility and jealously from others?

Anna Pigeon often finds herself in more pickles than any one person is allowed to have in one lifetime. I’m actually glad to see this version of Anna Pigeon, rather than the depressed and PTSD suffering Anna we’ve been reading about over the last five or six books.

I really truly enjoyed Jenny’s character in this story. She was funny, had the best lines, and wasn’t closeted about who she really is and what she wants from her relationship with Anna. Some will complain about the close relationship between the characters, but, in essence they are just saying that two women can’t be close like that without being lovers and having sex all.

The only real complaint I had was the changing of POVs from Anna, to Jenny, to Regis who seemingly comes out of nowhere and stops the villain in their tracks.

As one who has read every single book in this series now, I can only keep my fingers crossed that we see this version of Anna Pigeon again soon. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

In My Mail-Box 03/24/2012

Welcome back to yet another installment of In My Mailbox!
Let's get right to it....

Received via Netgalley:


Borrowed from Library:



Of course, this was only the start since I also loaded up on free E-books
via Amazon 
The Dead, the Damned, and the Forgotten: A Novella by Jocelynn Drake
Samantha Moon: All Four Novels by J.R. Rain
Tracking Shadows (Shadows of Justice) by Regan Black
Justice Incarnate (Shadows of Justice) by Regan Black
Fever Moon by Carolyn Haines
Smokeless Fire (Fire Spirits #1) by Samantha Young
Don't Fear the Reaper by Michelle Muto
Hunting Kat by Kelley Armstrong
Fire Baptized by Kenya Wright
The Fate of Destiny (Fates #1) by Danielle Bourdon

So, what did you get in YOUR mailbox this week? Something
I might like as well? Leave me your comments and recommendations
of books you think I would love to read!

Thank you so much for stopping by!

The Drop by Michael Connelly (Harry Bosch # 16)

*Genre* Mystery
*Rating* 3 1/2


"Everybody counts, or Nobody Counts” – Harry Bosch Moto

LAPD Detective Harry Bosch and his partner David Chu are given two separate but equally important cases to solve in The Drop (Harry Bosch #16). Bosch also learns that the department has given him an extension of thirty nine months before his mandatory retirement under the Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP). For the first time in a long while, Harry is seriously considering taking retirement to spend more time with his daughter who is now living with him full time.

The first case is from a hit on DNA match from a 1989. It is a rape and murder case that is traced back to a man (Clayton Pell) who is currently being rehabilitated for pedophilia. Bosch and Chu’s evidence suggests that Pell was only 8 years old at the time of the murder. All roads lead to a serial killer who preyed on boys and girls of all ages including Clayton Pell.

Bosch’s main case ends up being one with political overtones or high jingo, as Bosch likes to call cases that mix politics and police together at the same time. It appears that the son of a Harry’s old nemesis Irvin Irving, who was once Deputy Chief of Police and now a council member with some sway among his colleagues, has seemingly committed suicide.

Naturally, Irving believes that his son was murdered and demands that Bosch look into the circumstances surrounding his son’s death. He truly believes that the LAPD, former and current cops, are the root of the problem and caused his son’s death. Forget the part where they, Irving and Bosch, have no kind words to say about the other or that Irving has tried hard to get Bosch fired from the department. Forget about the part where the Chief of police himself, a so called friend of Harry's, tells Bosch to take the case above anything else including the Unsolved Case from 1989. Forget even the part where his son asked for favors from different people in order to undermine companies who he was bidding on city contracts for. 

What you will remember is that Harry is put into a situation where one way or the other he ends up being the bad guy if he solves the case or doesn't to the expectations of both Irving and the Department. Harry ends up being betrayed by both his current and former partners. Kiz Rider who works for the Office of the Chief of Police as Lieutenant wants a way to get rid of Irving once and for-all and believes that Harry is just the person to bring that about. At one point, I really liked Kiz and felt sorry for her a little bit after she was shot while being Harry’s partner. After this book, I like Harry Bosch, have no further use for her. 

His relationship with Dr. Hannah Stone, a psychologist working in the rehab program that Pell's involved with, is brief and most likely an end game at this point. I loved Harry’s interaction with Maddy his 15 year old daughter who wants to become a police officer like her father. I even appreciated Harry's thinking about turning in his badge so that he can spend more time with her before she goes off to college, and perhaps, the police academy. 

While the Drop isn't the best novel in the series, it's a step in the right direction. We truly do see that Connelly knows the inside and outs of Police procedures and exploits them to his favor. One can only hope that if and when this series ends, Connelly allows Harry to walk away with his head held high and no regrets.

Dust & Decay by Jonathan Maberry

*Genre* YA Dystopian
*Rating* 5 Star Seal of Approval


When last we saw Benny Imura, his older brother Tom, Lilah, the so called lost girl, and Nix Riley, they had just witnessed a jet flying overhead and then heading back towards the east where nobody is supposed to be alive. Thus why it is called Rot & Ruin. This has been a puzzle that has been on everyone’s mind since.

Now, seven months later, Tom has started an intensive training routine to get them ready for anything, including his own desire to leave Mountainside behind and find out where in the world the jet came from. Tom isn’t the only one who wants to leave, Benny and Nix feel they need to find out where the jet originated from. Nix’s desire is based on the fact that she is basically alone now that her mother is dead.

Tom has become disheartened by the lack of what he believes is the town’s inaction when it comes to defending itself from those on the outside. Tom wanted a militia to be formed so that he has more time to explore and teach Benny all there is to know about “quieting” zombies. He, like Benny, also believes that the survivors should attempt to retake the land lost to the zombies.

"Sometimes it’s harder to tell which side of the fence the dead are on.”

Dust and Decay cuts to the chase this time around, and doesn’t waste time with the whole re-exploring or explaining what happened to the world to cause the zombie apocalypse. We know already that there were several factors that played in the rise of the zombies, but not one thing can be fully explained.

There are more characters introduced, like bounty hunter friends of Tom as well as a villain who is pure evil, who end up playing crucial roles at the most opportune of times for characters like Benny, Chong, Lilah, and Nix.

One of the underlying stories is the newly formed Gameland, which has been destroyed by Tom time and time again, and the fact that children are once again being taken and brought to fight the zombies to the death. There is also the fact that there is a major bounty on the heads of Tom, Benny, Nix, and Lilah for their participation in the death of Charlie Pink Eye in Rot & Ruin.

Some of the newer characters are fun, while others are out of their ever living minds! Take for instance the surfer dude bounty hunters:

“Far out,” said Dr. Skillz. “Benjamin Imura and Phoenix Riley. Wassssabi?”
Dr. Skillz nodded. “Seriously, brah, and Jessie’s daughter’s gone all aliham.”
“Babelini!” agreed J-Dog, though he was smiling, not leering, when he said it. The surfers gave Benny the thumbs-up. “Good call, dude.”
“Huh?” asked Benny.

Yeah, that was what I was asking myself as well!

Something extremely interesting is also happening in this new world Benny and crew live in. The dead are actually staying dead, and not reanimating like on First Night and the last 15 years since. Does this mean whatever caused the First Night in the first place has started to fade away? Or is another new challenge awaiting our characters fate?

I love Tom, I really do. His character has a wide range of abilities as well as some surprises that we learn along the way. Tom also has some nicknames that Benny discovers after being split up from his brother: Tom the Swordsman, Tom of the woods, Fast Tommy and Tom the Killer.

We also get a look at Lilah and realize what she has truly lost along the way to being basically by herself for many, many years. We see that she really does have emotions and can fall in love like everyone else, as well as being one hell of a fighter.

The villain? Nastiest piece of work you will ever read about.

Preacher Jack shrugged. ”This world may be paradise for the Children of Lazarus (zombies), but to snot-nosed little sinners like you…this world is hell. How’s that for a cosmic paradox? Heaven and Hell coexisting out here in the Rot and Ruin, and the two of them forming a brand-new Eden. The towns-why, you might consider them limbo, where souls are just waiting for judgment. As for Gameland….now it would be God’s own truth to say that Gameland is purgatory. It’s where you have a chance to expunge your sins.”

The ending is a classic tear jerker and heart breaker. All I am going to say is that a hero falls, long live the hero. Oh, and I meant what I said about if you can make it to the very end without grabbing for a Kleenex, you are a much stronger person than I.

I love the world Maberry has created. I love the fact that there really is a mystery surrounding the events of First Night when the zombies first appeared and forever changed the course of the world and now things appear to be changing and not necessary for the good.

Benny’s character has also come a very long way from the snot nosed little twerp I wanted to smother in Rot & Ruin, to someone who now must pick up the mantle and carry on into discovering the truth about the jet they say 7 months prior.

If you love zombies, you are going to love this story. There are literally thousands upon thousands of zombies who appear out of nowhere to wreak havoc as well as test our characters to their limits.

Cannot wait until September 11, 2012 for the third installment called Flesh & Bone.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Feature Follow Friday

Feature & Follow Friday is a meme brought to you by Alison Can Read
and Parajunkee's View.

This weeks question is:

What is the longest book you’ve read?
What are your favorite 600+ page reads?

The four books listed below are the one's that I've read that are 600 + pages
long. There are others like Greg Iles "Turning Angel," and Robert Ludlum's "The Bourne Ultimatum." Then again, I believe most of the Bourne books border on 600 pages in length.

I would probably say that the Lord of the Rings and The Stand are tied for my all time favorite books read, with a close second to Atlas Shrugged believe it or not.

766 pages long
 1168 pages
1168 pages

1156 pages

I would love to see your responses to this question. I know there are
tons of books out there that I haven't yet read that are quite long.

Have a great Friday everyone!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted on Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. 

This book has been around the blogs for a month or so. I thought it was 
interesting and definitely want to see where Saintcrow goes with this

The Iron Wyrm Affair (Bannon & Clare # 1)
by Lilith Saintcrow

Emma Bannon, Prime sorceress in the service of the Empire, has a mission: to protect Archibald Clare, a failed, unregistered mentath. His skills of deduction are legendary, and her own sorcery is not inconsiderable. It doesn’t much help that they dislike each other, or that Bannon’s Shield, Mikal, might just be a traitor himself. Or that the conspiracy killing registered mentaths and sorcerers alike will just as likely kill them as seduce them into treachery toward their Queen. In an alternate London where illogical magic has turned the Industrial Revolution on its head, Bannon and Clare now face hostility, treason, cannon fire, black sorcery, and the problem of reliably finding hansom cabs. 

The game is afoot 

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit (August 7, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031620126X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316201261

Monday, March 19, 2012

Stacia & Stacey Giveaway Hop

Welcome to Stacia & Stacey's Giveaway Hop!

The Giveaway shall run from March 20 through March 27, 2012.
One Lucky winner will receive their choice of either a book by Stacia Kane's (Downside Ghost series) or a book by Stacey Jay's (Annabelle Lee series).
Winner's choice!

*US or Canada only please*

The contest is being run in conjunction with the release of Stacia's Sacrificial Magic and Stacey's Blood on the Bayou on March 27, 2012.

Please fill out the form below, and Good Luck!

Author Interview with Dakota Banks

Please welcome today's guest author Dakota Banks. Banks is the author of The Mortal Path series featuring Maliha Crayne as the main protagonist. The books in the series include Dark Time, Sacrifice, and Deliverance which releases on March 27, 2012.

I guess you can say I'm a bit biased when it comes to interviewing Ms Banks since this is one of my all time favorite female characters in the Urban Fantasy genre and I absolutely LOVED Deliverance!

Hi Dakota! Welcome to Gizmo's Reviews! I am honored to have you here today, especially being a major fan of your series the Mortal Path.

Thanks, Shelley. I’m delighted to be here and I appreciate this opportunity to visit Gizmo’s Reviews.
     Let's get right into the questions. My first question is a soft ball question, when did you start writing?

Like many writers, I’ve been interested in writing from an early age. I wrote my first short story when I was eight years old. It was a science fiction story about a strictly governed society with no room for individuality, driving the main character to leave the city and head off alone into the wilderness seeking freedom to be an artist. It turns out he’s an ant. Overdone material at the time, but what did I know? My story was published in the school newspaper and my parents glowed like twin searchlights. I figured all I had to do was wait for the money to roll in. Then reality set in! I wrote short stories throughout high school and college, getting handwritten rejection letters, very nice, but still rejections. Then I started on a career in computers and didn’t come up to breathe for twenty years until I decided that if I was going to be a writer, I’d better take it seriously. I wrote and published thrillers at first. 

      2. What brought you to the paranormal genre with the Mortal Path series?  
It isn’t that thrillers were unrewarding to write. I loved them. I just found my elbows getting crowded within the boundaries of a straight thriller. I needed to get into what I call “the larger world,” the one where the writer is free to bring in elements of the paranormal. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I could make a fresh entry into the crowded ranks of books about vampires, werewolves, and so on—I’d have to find my own way. I fell back on the definition of urban fantasy, which is world-building in which the contemporary world is familiar and recognizable to the reader, except ... except for the few little twists that make it different from our reality. In the world I built for the Mortal Path series, that crucial twist is that ancient Sumerian gods and demons live in the current world.

     3. Where did you get your inspiration from for writing the Mortal Path series, especially an assassin like Maliha who I adore?
I love mythology and I’m an amateur archaeologist. A particular interest of mine is the time period of Mesopotamia and Sumer, as far back as 8,000 years ago. At that time, the Sumerian civilization had a large number of advances that moved humanity so much closer to the way we are today: written language; Hammurabi’s Code of Law (not a very fair code, but a start); belief in life after death (the Egyptians weren’t first); astronomy; art, painting, and architecture; wheeled vehicles like wagons; a math system and tools for measurement; and most important of all, flush toilets. They had a large and interesting set of gods, goddesses, and demons collectively known as the Anunnaki, whom the Sumerians claimed to be extraterrestrial. (Google planet Nibiru for all sorts of fun reading on the home world of the Anunnaki and the destruction of Earth in December 2012 due to a collision with Nibiru—belief is left up to the reader!.)
Sumerian gods weren’t generally kind, so their demons were much worse. Since Maliha spent nearly 300 years as an assassin for one of the demons, she’s done evil things over the course of her life. But she started out as a good person, and she’s on the path now to redeeming her soul. Still, when you have all that assassin training crammed into you, it can’t help but leak out.

     4. If you could be any paranormal character or have any one supernatural talent, what would it be? Why?
Maliha reads auras to get an emotional fix on the characters she encounters, and it’s very useful for her. I’d go one step further for myself and choose mind-reading, as long as I could control when I used it. Better watch out when I’m around! J

     5. Tell us why readers will enjoy your new release?
I’m hoping readers will enjoy Deliverance because it brings them inside both Maliha’s heart and mind as she deals with losses and moral dilemmas. The stakes in this book are very personal as one of Maliha’s inner circle of friends is in deadly danger from people who’ve shown they don’t fool around. There are intense action sequences in this book (sewage, anyone?) and a villain you will hate—deeply. Also, Maliha learns more about Jake’s mysterious past.

     6. How would you feel if this series (Especially Deliverance) was bought and turned into a major motion picture? 

Ecstatic! Anyone know a producer?? The Mortal Path series is a highly visual experience, partly because when I write the books I have a movie screen running in my head, visualizing each scene. The other part is that Maliha is cool, sexy, kick-ass, powerful, and seeking redemption, and she deserves a movie or a TV series. Well, just sayin’.

     7. What actress would play Maliha?
The person I think would be perfect is Milla Jovovich, from The Fifth Element, Ultraviolet, and Resident Evil.

     8. What is your favorite place to write?
I have an office at home, a former bedroom as far away from household noise as I could get. I have Real Office Furniture, and I don’t use the room for anything else, so it’s usually easy for me to get in the working frame of mind as soon as I enter the room. My desk is always cluttered, and I’m comfortable with it that way. Just looking at my pen cup, I notice that I have 2 red pencils, 3 permanent markers, and 14 pens, including my favorite Fisher Space Pen Apollo 11 commemorative engraved with my name and an intimidating Mont Blanc. Do I need them all? No, but I like office supplies. Artwork and posters of my book covers are scattered around the room and outside my window, a flowering tree is starting to bloom. There’s a coffeemaker at the end of a table, but I’ll just as often have tea. Next to my desk is a cat tree, frequent home to my two kitties Marble and Snickers, when they’re not lying on my keyboard. Their favorite toy on my desk is a purple windup Chomper from the Land Before Time kids’ movies. When you wind it up, it scoots across the desk clacking its teeth. Sometimes I find it knocked on the floor, the result of a nocturnal feline hunting adventure.

     9. Do you have any advice for fledgling writers?

Have a regular writing session, and stick it out. When the words just won’t come on your work-in-progress, don’t throw up your hands and quit your writing session. It will be twice as hard to sit down and get started next time. Instead, do some research for the book, or have a second writing project going. Or push your way through a difficult writing session by adding words that you know you’ll have to revise later, or in the words of a writer friend of mine, “that pure green dreck you’ll choke on when you see it again.” It’s okay to have words down that serve a purpose to move you on, but aren’t your most brilliant expression. Just don’t leave them in the manuscript by the time you submit!

     10. What other genres do you enjoy reading?

I read thrillers and mysteries regularly, in addition to my home territory in paranormal. I’ve also developed an interest in reading biographies and memoirs, not only for their intrinsic interest but to help with character-building.

Thank you so much Dakota for joining us here today at Gizmo’s Reviews!

Please feel free to post questions or comments for the author who has been sent a link to this interview. Your questions and comments ARE being read by myself and Ms Banks for the giveaway below!
For my part, I need to send out a warm thank you to Dakota for agreeing to do this interview for me, as well as sending me an advanced copy of Deliverance. I also want to thank those who stopped by to my first author interview.

By all means, please check out the links below and enter to win a Swag Bag containing a bunch of goodies! For more information about Ms Banks books, please visit her at

Twitter: @dakotabanks or

If you are interested in the giveaway portion of this interview, it is a Mortal Path Swag Bag, consisting of a tote bag, 3 signed books, pens, bookmarks, magnets, and a calculator. Just leave a comment with your email address below since not everyone has twitter, facebook, etc.