Tuesday, April 29, 2014

"Elfineness" by Tatyana K. Varenko (4 Stars)

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by Tatyana K. Varenko

Genre: Paranormal Fantasy/Poetry

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I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review and I will say it was not at all what I was expecting! ELFINENESS is written like an epic poem - a full-length novel in the form of a poem. It has fantasy, urban monster themes, science fiction, and elements of other genres, such as horror and even steampunk. You get a whole cornucopia of beautiful mythology in flowery verse without the eye-crossing Old English forcing you to dissect every detail or open up Spark Notes to understand it.

ELFINENESS is unique to me, as I have never read anything like it, and that's partly because of the way it is written. I'm not much into poems as a whole and at times I found myself trying a bit too hard to imagine what was happening, but you have to give the author immense praise for her creativity and style. I definitely recommend giving this one a try! It has vampires and nano-tech, after all.

Learn more at GOODREADS | Buy it at AMAZON !

"Rising" by Holly Kelly (4 Stars)

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Book #1, The Rising series
by Holly Kelly

Genre: YA Paranormal Romance

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I downloaded this book for free after contacting the publisher. I'd seen it advertised and was drawn in by the cover; especially that whale shark looking tail on that merman! Add sharks swimming in the background and I was sold.

This story is about a merman, or rather a Dagonian (a cousin species to the eradicated mer-people), named Xanthus, who is on a mission to bring to justice humans responsible for poisoning the ocean and thus, Dagonians. With the help of some godly magic, he can lose the tail for legs on land, and that's when his troubles begin. You see, there's this woman who thinks she was born disfigured but it turns out her malformed legs are really a tail! And Xanthus, well, he's in love... and that could get them both killed.

RISING was an entertaining read, but I did have to suspend belief a few times to make it work. Mostly because Sara has an actual tail and it's flesh-toned. She sits in a wheelchair and thinks she's disfigured, probably with sirenomelia - a genetic disorder in which a person is born with their legs fused together. This explanation in the book didn't work so well for me because Sara's tail is a perfectly formed and working TAIL. She would have to strap herself into her chair, as she shouldn't have knees (I assume, it's a fantasy book so the author can certainly have merpeople with knees in their tails), and then there is the whole *ahem* bodily orifices tucked into that tail issue. Ok, ok, I know it's a YA book but look at the underside of a whale/shark/dolphin/fish and start asking yourself about the location of ... Er. I'll stop right here. It's a YA book, people! Get your head out of the ink cloud!

All in all, I really enjoyed this book and look forward to the next in the series.

For more information:
Check it out at GOODREADS
Download for FREE at Smashwords
Find it at the publisher's website, Clean Teen Publishing

Thursday, April 17, 2014

"DEAD WEIGHT: The Tombs" by M. Todd Gallowglas (4 Stars)

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A Tale of the Faerie War
#1 in the Dead Weight series
by M. Todd Gallowglas

Genre: Urban Fantasy

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Boy Scout has a problem and it's not just that he can't let anyone know his birth name. He's flooded with devastating memories from the Faerie War and he's doing everything he can to numb himself to them in a useless attempt to forget. Fate intervenes as it always does, and he finds himself on the run with Cendrine, a woman whose hair turns to flame when she gets her power on. Boy Scout is determined not to be a pawn to anyone, no matter how important his talents as a Bard may be, and he's going to have to fight for all he's worth to avoid it.

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review and while I enjoyed it, I was at times confused and left wondering if I missed something. It is the start of a series, however, and as the copy I read was an advanced but not 100% completed copy, I'm guessing the published edition cleaned up some of these issues. As talented as this author is, I'm willing to forgive a few hiccups and look forward to further installments.

To learn more, check it out at GOODREADS, buy it at Amazon, and then visit the author's website!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Horror Writer Jeff Strand is HERE with a Sneak Peak at WOLF HUNT 2!!

The "Countdown to Jeff" Series has led us HERE, so Please welcome Jeff Strand!!

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I think Jeff scares even himself!
So I've been doing this guest blog tour to promote my new novel, I Have A Bad Feeling About This, available now at classier bookstores and online retailers near you. "Sinister Sister Speaks" was the first commitment I made to this blog tour, and is now the final stop. (*sniffle*) (*cue heartwarming music and flashbacks to prior guest blogs*)

Why did I save this one for last? Because Rebecca, in an act of unrestrained sadism and cruelty, created a "Countdown to Jeff" series on this blog, where, in anticipation of this guest blog, she posted reviews of my books. She did a build-up to this guest blog. She created...expectations! Noooooooooo!

When somebody features a "Countdown to Jeff," you can't just send them a guest blog like:

My Top 5 Colors of M&Ms!
(in no particular order)

1. Blue
2. Orange
3. Red
4. Green
5. Dark brown.

Remember how they used to have light brown M&M's? Yep, they didn't have blue ones, but they had two different shades of brown. Presumably the conversation went like this:

EXECUTIVE: Look, these candies can't all have bright, unnatural colors! Nobody will associate them with chocolate! We need light brown and dark brown ones mixed in there with the yellow and green ones, or it will be just too weird!

LAB GUY: Yes, sir.

See? If Rebecca hadn't done her "Countdown to Jeff" thing, that would be a perfectly good guest blog. I wouldn't even have to address the idea that red M&M's were discontinued for a decade because of controversy about the dye. (The controversial dye wasn't even used in red M&M's, but they got rid of them just to avoid the perception that they might be using that particular dye. They were replaced by orange ones.)

Truth be told, I don't even like M&M's all that much. I mean, they aren't gross or anything--they're a perfectly delightful little snack. But in a world that has Twix, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Snickers, Hershey's With Almonds, Three Musketeers, and Milky Way, it's rare that I can justify using M&M's as my vessel for chocolate flavor.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Blog Tour Stop-over: Clinton D. Harding and the Our Monsters Chronicles

Boy in the Middle

In Clinton D. Harding's debut novel "Our Monsters", Jon Graves and his friends escaped their parents and the military, leaving behind the only home they'd ever known, the small town of Carpenter. But their freedom is short lived as they find themselves in more danger than before they left Carpenter. 
"Bad Monsters"—the second book in The Our Monsters Chronicles, released March 2014—picked up where its prequel ended.