Tuesday, 29 November 2011

200 Followers Giveaway Winner!

Rafflecopter has spoken, and the winner is...

Annette! (Entry #18)

Congrats on winning $10 of books ordered from the Book Depository. Sending an email your way today (:

Thank you for everyone that entered and celebrated my 200 followers with me. Hope to see you all again when I hit 300!

Monday, 28 November 2011

Support Four Debut Authors and Win Amazon Gift Cards!

Support Four Debut Authors and Snag $125!
Four books ~ Two Days ~ Great Prizes

With this contest, there is something for everyone and it’s SO simple to be in on the winning!

On November 28 and/or 29, purchase 1 or all 4 of the debut author’s books listed here. Then forward proof of purchase (the receipt Amazon sends you will do just fine) to : motionsrider@yahoo.ca and get up to 4 entries into a draw for a $100 Amazon gift card!

It’s that easy, no reviews, no hoops to jump through. Just a great .99 book or two. Or three or four. AND, if the person who wins the $100 Amazon Gift Card has purchased all 4 books, an additional $25 Amazon Gift Card will be awarded to the winner!

On top of that, 2 random commenter’s picked from 2 of our participating blogs will receive $5 gift Amazon gift cards. So, be sure to leave a comment and let us know what you think of the promo, the books, or the authors.

Winners will be chosen randomly, one entry per person, per book.

All winners will be announced on December 7th on Wringing Out Words (http://shannonmayer.blogspot.com)


“Between” by Cyndi Tefft
 It just figures that the love of Lindsey Water's life isn't alive at all, but the grim reaper, complete with a dimpled smile, and Scottish accent.

After transporting souls to heaven for the last 300 years, Aiden MacRae has all but given up on finding the one whose love will redeem him and allow him entry through the pearly gates.

Torn between her growing attraction to Aiden and heaven's siren song, Lindsey must learn the hard way whether love really can transcend all boundaries.

> Between on Amazon

“Until Dawn: Last Light” by Jennifer Simas
When darkness falls, whose side will you be on?

For the past six years, Zoë has been anything but “normal.” Struggling to accept her immortality and thrown into a war that’s been waging in the shadows for over a thousand years, Zoë must now become who she was meant to be, joining the other Chosen to save what’s left of humanity. When the endless night falls over the Earth, will she be able to save the one man who reminds her of what it is to be human, or will it be too late?

Until Dawn: Last Light is a story of death and despair, love and longing, hope and hopelessness, and the ability to survive and keep going even when it seems impossible – when you want nothing more than to give up.

> Until Dawn: Last Light on Amazon

“The Kayson Cycle” by Jonathan D. Allen
A stranger enters a dying town and makes a desperate plea…

The Kayson Cycle introduces the Kayson Brothers, a pair of faith healers who once wowed crowds in a traveling show but went their separate ways after a night in which a healing took a dark turn. Jeffrey Kayson disappeared into the wilderness and William Kayson, wracked by guilt, moved to the failing mining town of Calico Hills to build a nice, quiet life – one that has lasted for over ten years.

His quiet, predictable life crumbles when a mysterious stranger walks into his tavern bearing a proposal to find his long-lost brother and do the one thing that William has sworn to never do again - have his brother heal a woman. William soon learns that he can’t escape his family – or his destiny.

Includes an exclusive sample chapter of The Corridors of the Dead. Please note that this is a Kindle Single, and around 6,000 words in length.

> The Kayson Cycle on Amazon

“Sundered” by Shannon Mayer
A miracle drug, Nevermore, spreads like wildfire throughout the world allowing people to eat what they want, and still lose weight. It is everything the human population has ever dreamed of and Mara is no different. Only a simple twist of fate stops her from taking Nevermore.

As the weeks roll by, it becomes apparent that Nevermore is not the miracle it claimed. A true to life nightmare, the drug steals the very essence that makes up humanity and unleashes a new and deadly species on the world that is bent on filling its belly. Locked down within their small farm home, Mara and her husband Sebastian struggle against increasingly bad odds, fighting off marauders and monsters alike.

But Sebastian carries a dark secret, one that more than threatens to tear them apart, it threatens to destroy them both and the love they have for each other.

Now Mara must make the ultimate choice. Will she live for love, or will she live to survive?

> Sundered on Amazon


If you're participating in this event, please do leave a comment! The blogger that gets the most comments on this post will win a little price.

Also visit the other blogs participating!

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Short Review: The Debutante's Dilemma by Elyse Mady

The Debutante's Dilemma by Elyse Mady
3 out of 5 stars

Published by Carina Press

Little romance novella set in Regency England. Debutante Miss Cecelia Hastings is being courted by two of the most eligible bachelors of the whole empire. Yet before she can make a choice between the two of them, she has to ask them something. Something of the utmost discretion.

Even though I generally dislike love-triangles, I got this novella for free, so I figured I'd give The Debutante's Dilemma a try. Because the choosing between the two men was actually the focus of the story, it felt less of a convenient "hey, let's make our heroine's love life a more exciting!" but a genuine plot. It fits the time period, where marriage is on the top of a girls mind.

Because this book is so short, there is not much time to have some more in-depth info about the characters, and I had a hard time to keep Cecelia's suitors apart. For me their character was pretty much interchangeable, not having seen them enough to remember their distinct personalities.

The resolution of the plot was rather rushed, just a mention afterwards. I myself didn't even get it at first, because there's just some hinting at, and no direct description. Ms Mady uses a lot of fancy words, which fits the book, but doesn't make it easier to read. As English is not my first language, I was glad my Kindle had a dictionary function, or I probably would have put this book down.

It's a historical M/F/M novella, available for a very decent price. If you're into this kind of books, you will probably like The Debutante's Dilemma.


One woman in search of passion
Miss Cecilia Hastings has achieved what every young lady hopes for during her first London season…in duplicate! She’s caught the eye of not one but two of England’s most eligible bachelors. Both Jeremy Battersley, Earl of Henley, and Richard Huxley, Duke of Wexford are handsome, wealthy and kind, the epitome of proper gentlemen. But Cecelia doesn’t want proper, she wants passion. So she issues a challenge to her suitors: a kiss, so that she may choose between them.

Two men in love with the same woman
Friends since childhood, and compatriots on the battlefields of Spain, falling for the same woman has set Jeremy and Richard at odds, and risks destroying their friendship forever. But a surprising invitation to a late-night garden tryst soon sets them on a course that neither of them could have anticipated. And these gentlemen quickly discover that love can take many forms…

Other reviews you might be interested in

More links

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Review: Incarceron by Catherine Fisher

Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
(Incarceron #1)
4 out of 5 stars

Published by Hodder Children's Books

As a book that has been sitting on my TBR shelf for a long time, I only had a rather limited view of what this book was about. I saw beautiful cover, heard about a massive prison, and an impossible love between someone inside and someone outside of said prison, and I was smitten.

Incarceron isn't just a prison. It as a social experiment. All of the world's outcasts and dissidents will be locked up. Inside, a perfect society will form. On the outside, time will be put to a stop. No scientific progress will be allowed, and society will be made to resemble as it used to be in the Victorian period.

The experiment doesn't go as planned. Inside Incarceron the prisoners face a daily hell of famine and violence, under the ever watchful eye of the Prison.

The setting of Incarceron is very detailed, both inside and outside of the prison. I loved reading about the strange combination of advanced technology with a thick coat of Victorian. There are computer screens behind servants entrances, rooms that shift through dimensions and other exciting combinations.

What I really liked in this book was that the romance was subtle. I can't remember the last time in a young adult book where the romance between the two main characters wasn't excruciatingly obvious, with instant lusting and "I love you"-s within a week. By the end of Incarceron you're not even sure whether they will be a couple or not. The attraction between Finn and Claudia was subtle and sweet.

As a part of this book is set in a prison, there are quite some gruesome bits. I thought Ms Fisher found a great balance here. Without making it seem too bleak, she managed to portray the cruelty of man when forced to survive in awful conditions.

This reads mostly like an adventure novel, which is not my favourite, but it was a well done adventure novel in my humble opinion. There were enough plot twists to keep me satisfied and interested throughout the book. I'm looking forward to read the second book of the series, Sapphique.


Incarceron - a futuristic prison, sealed from view, where the descendants of the original prisoners live in a dark world torn by rivalry and savagery. It is a terrifying mix of high technology -- a living building which pervades the novel as an ever-watchful, ever-vengeful character, and a typical medieval torture chamber -- chains, great halls, dungeons. 

A young prisoner, Finn, has haunting visions of an earlier life, and cannot believe he was born here and has always been here. In the outer world, Claudia, daughter of the Warden of Incarceron, is trapped in her own form of prison -- a futuristic world constructed beautifully to look like a past era, an imminent marriage she dreads. She knows nothing of Incarceron, except that it exists. But there comes a moment when Finn, inside Incarceron, and Claudia, outside, simultaneously find a device -- a crystal key, through which they can talk to each other. And so the plan for Finn's escape is born ...

Other reviews you might be interested in

More links

Sunday, 20 November 2011

In My Mailbox

It's time for In My Mailbox, a weekly meme by The Story Siren!

Got two books this week, one I had been anticipating for MONTHS. I'm trying to limit my book-buying so I can finally read all those books I have bought three years ago. I believe I have about 80 unread books lying around here. This was also the week I got accepted for an amazing ARC, I am very excited about!

Click on the covers to go to their Goodreads page.


Well, technically this is a gift from my boyfriend. Imagine Upper East Side'rs with their expensive designer clothes stabbing at each other with butcher knives. That's what Gossip Girl, Psycho Killer is like. It sounds completely insane, so I hope it's fun!

Received for review:

Let's read that writer's name again. Anne Rice. I got accepted to read an ARC by Anne Rice!! That's like, the woman whose books were made into a movie featuring Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise and Antonio Banderas. That Anne Rice. I'm so excited that I would be doing cartwheels. If I knew how to do that.
The Wolf Gift is about a reporter that is being turned into a werewolf. It sounds really interesting. To read the full blurb, just click on the cover (:

What is in your mailbox this week? Leave a comment!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

PBB Review: Acadia, Book I: The Lost King and the Goddess of Time

Acadia, Book I: The Lost King and the Goddess of Time by Ali Naqvi
(The Second Great War #1)
Reviewer: Alastair from I can has books?
2 out of 5 stars

Published by Createspace
Review copy received from the author

My Mother always told me that if I didn’t have anything nice to say to people then I shouldn’t say anything at all – sadly that would make this review extremely short.

Damont is a young man who finds out around half way into the novel that he is the long lost descendent of the infamous Langorn line – the one who united Acadia. He travels to the nearby country for advice, where the Queen sends him on a quest of discovery in the forest (along with two companions) to prove he is worthy to be king. From there, there are run-ins with gods, people out to kill him and the heir to the neighbouring country planning Damont’s demise. Sadly by the time the story starts to kick in I had already decided that I had no real love for Damont, primarily down to his naive yet arrogant attitude. Instead I wanted to know more about Virden (a loner, or hunter as he’s titled in the book, who seems to like a drop or two of blood to drink) as he seems like much deeper characters.

One of the main things that I love about fantasy novels is how I can become completely and utterly lost in the World that the author has magically created for the reader to fall in to in their own way. The exploration chapters that some people find a little tiresome I absolutely adore. Sadly the first two real journeys that Damont faces are looked with incredibly rushed over with no real depth or feeling of travel or excitement, which in turn made Acadia have no real depth or meaning to me. As the novel continues Naqvi seems to find his footing and the World does start to flourish and open up, however for me it was to late.

Sadly I don’t think I’ll be reading the next book in the series.

Read this review on Alastair's blog


It was only a nightmare at first, but Damont soon realizes that he can see into the future-a curse he has to live with for being the only son of a king dead for a thousand years, with a mother who is the goddess of time.

A man in black armor with a face as obscure as the shadows mantling him laughs wickedly. Who is he and why does he continue to haunt me, Damont wonders. Appearing only in his dreams, the man in the black armor stands alone and laughs high as if to mock him while the world around him burns to cinder. "They are not dreams, my son," a voice calls out to him in a vision after the many nightmares-claiming to be his mother whom abandoned him when he was but a child. "They are shards of a broken world to come if you so take the path of your father." If such a path does lie ahead beyond a throne that sits vacant for centuries, with an empire in the east growling for war, then Damont Langörn realizes he has but one choice: follow the visions and seek out the truth lost to both him and the world behind his lineage-but will he be strong enough to face such a malevolent foe of his nightmares?

With a vampire and a sorceress at his side, Damont begins his journey, but such a road is not an easy one to take if the gods themselves do not wish for his return as the king who would unite the world against their existence and bring demise to their very doorstep.

More links

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Teaser Tuesday #28

teasertuesdays31Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • Make sure you do not include spoilers
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
Teaser Tuesday #28: Everneath

I took in a breath and leaned my head back against the chair. That niggling wish - the silent prayer that I could someday reclaim my life - was alive inside me even though I knew it was impossible.

I was very excited when I got accepted for this ARC, and it's living up to it. An interesting mix of contemporary and mythology and romance. The cover is absolutely stunning.

Feel free to leave your teaser below, and don't forget to enter my 200 Followers Giveaway!

200 Followers Giveaway!

So, I was looking at my GFC followers number the other day.. And it seems like I've almost reached 200 followers! This is a perfect time to celebrate! As a little thank you for you all, I am giving away $10 of books ordered from The Book Depository. This way all of my international friends can enter!

All you need to do is fill in this Rafflecopter sheet.. And win some awesome books!

The giveaway will run for two weeks. After that a winner will be picked and contacted within three days (:

Good luck!

Monday, 14 November 2011

Movie Trailer: The Hunger Games

Today the official trailer to the upcoming movie The Hunger Games (based on the novel by Suzanne Collins) has been released!

I've been looking forward to this movie for months, and when I saw a poster for it in our local cinema I got even more excited.

My thoughts on the trailer:
  • The special effects and surroundings look pretty awesome, especially the slightly futuristic Capital
  • They haven't taken away the grittiness of the book. I really like that in a movie; when it stays true to the book
  • Effie Trinket looks like Umbridge from Harry Potter
  • I'm not so sure about Gale and Peeta. They both don't look that swoonworthy
  • I think Katniss should look a little more emaciated, thinner somehow. I don't mean the actress should lose weight; that would be an awful thing to say. But I think the make-up artists could have made her face a bit edgier maybe
  • Looking forward to the action scenes!
The Hunger Games will be out on March 23! What do you guys think? Looking forward to the movie?

2012 Reading Challenge: TBR Pile

In the upcoming year I will be participating in the TBR Pile Reading Challenge! I have tons and tons of books on my shelves that need to be read, but I never seem to be coming to because of all the review copies. Plus there are prizes to win and mini-challenges to participate in! It sounds very awesome.

I will go for A Friendly Hug (11-20 books). This because I like hugs, and don't want to aim too high. Better to find out I do better than expected!

Here are a few books that I want to read:
  • The Stand by Stephen King
  • Cell by Stephen King
  • Lisey's Story by Stephen King
  • The Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind (yes, that's 11 books with over 600 pages each)
  • The Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice
  • The Hitchhiker's Galaxy series by Douglas Adams
It seems like I've been especially neglected my long fantasy books! It will be interesting to see how far I can come.

If you're interested, sign up here.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

In My Mailbox

It's time for In My Mailbox, a weekly meme by The Story Siren!

A pretty mellow bookish week for me, had a little time to read so at least I managed to finish a book I had received for review. And something I've been looking forward to I finally have in my possession!

Click on the covers to go to their Goodreads page.


I already own the Harry Potter series in Dutch, but I've always wanted to read the English version as well. This boxed set was so pretty I just HAD to have it!

Received for review: 

I requested this one from Netgalley. Even though it is slightly outside my comfort zone (contemporary young-adult) I thought I'd give it a try. Already finished it, so review coming up soon!

What is in your mailbox this week? Leave a comment!

PBB Review: Dead Man's Eye by Shaun Jeffrey

Dead Man's Eye by Shaun Jeffrey
Reviewer: Anna from Read it.. Blog it...
3 out of 5 stars

Published by Deshca Press
Review copy received from the author

Hearing the title Dead Man's Eye I was eager to get started expecting a really good horror.. but sadly I didn't receive one. In my years reading I've read some really gruesome horror books and expected this to be the same.

Definitely not saying it wasn't very captivating; it didn't take me long to read it, Dead Man's Eye is definitely a fast paced read and not just because it's a short novella.I was really intrigued as to what all the 'shadows' were about.

The descriptions are good and the characters are well developed. I guess what disappointed me was the ending, it didn't end as I expected. It was quite anticlimactic, also I feel there could have been a bit more suspense throughout the book.

Overall a good quick read that I would recommend. I've already suggested to my partner to borrow my Kindle for a whileas he loves this kind of genre.

Read this review on Anna's blog


Blighted by an eye disease, Joanna Raines undergoes a corneal transplant operation to stop her going blind. The procedure is successful, but in the weeks that follow she begins to see dark coronas surrounding certain people. By turns fearful that something has gone wrong and worried that she's going crazy, Joanna searches for an answer to the phenomena.

What she finds will change her life forever. The transplant has opened a door in her mind, and the strange coronas are not legacies of the operation but proof that a legion of demons plans to invade the earth!

Now the only thing that stands between the demonic horde and their plot to take over the world is Joanna, a young woman with the power to see them for what they really are.

Seeing is believing.

The demons are real.

Joanna just has to convince everyone else before it's too late.

More links

Monday, 7 November 2011

Review: Angel Burn by L.A. Weatherly

Angel Burn by L.A. Weatherly
(Angel #1)
4 out of 5 stars

Published by Candlewick Press
Review copy received through Netgalley

What would you do if you found out you were half-angel? And angels aren't the kind creatures from heaven, but mindless killers that feed on humans?

Willow has always been different. She doesn't dress like the other girls, she has other interests than the other girls, and oh yeah, she's psychic. Then she does a reading on one of her fellow classmates, that changes everything...

This is a hard book to review for me. I haven't read enough angel-YA books to properly compare Angel Burn (or Angel) with other angel books. Therefore I will just give my general impressions of the book.

The first thing that struck me was how all angels are portrayed as the bad guys. There isn't just one band of "fallen" ones. They are all through and through bad beings. It's a risky decision, as angels are often associated with God and he must be a good guy. I liked that Ms Weatherly chose for a different system, which definitely made this book a little more special to me.

This book is mostly set up as a road-trip. Willow and her love-interest Alex are trying to survive while looking for other angel-assassins to help them in the war against the angels. I'm not so sure how I feel about this kind of set-up. I find road-trips a tad boring, and equally so to read about one.

It was a great setting for the blooming romance between Willow and Alex though. They have a rough start; Alex is a trained angel assassin, and Willow is half angel. There is quite a bit teenage angst going on, but it wasn't annoying. I thought they were very cute together.

The story builds a lot of tension towards the final part of the book, and I flew through the last hundred pages or so. Of course I'm not going to spoil the ending to you, but I can say that after you finish Angel Burn you really, really want to know how the story continues.

I would recommend Angel Burn to people that love young-adult fiction, that love angels, or both!


Willow knows she’s different from other girls, and not just because she loves tinkering with cars. Willow has a gift. She can look into the future and know people’s dreams and hopes, their sorrows and regrets, just by touching them. She has no idea where this power comes from. But the assassin, Alex, does. Gorgeous, mysterious Alex knows more about Willow than Willow herself. He knows that her powers link to dark and dangerous forces, and that he’s one of the few humans left who can fight them. When Alex finds himself falling in love with his sworn enemy, he discovers that nothing is as it seems, least of all good and evil. In the first book in an action-packed, romantic trilogy, L..A. Weatherly sends readers on a thrill-ride of a road trip - and depicts the human race at the brink of a future as catastrophic as it is deceptively beautiful.

They’re out for your soul . . . and they don’t have heaven in mind.

Other reviews you might be interested in
More links

Sunday, 6 November 2011

In My Mailbox

It's time for In My Mailbox, a weekly meme by The Story Siren!

This week I went to a massive book sale here in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. I made a very pretty picture of the books I bought there, but I forgot to bring the cable to put them on my PC. The post with my book sale finds will be up tomorrow!

Luckily I still have something to show you though. A long awaited package from The Book Depository finally arrived, and I got accepted for an amazing Netgalley ARC!

Click on the covers to go to their Goodreads page.


I bought this book mostly for its gorgeous cover, but the story is equally beautiful. It was a quick read, and I finished it within a day. Definitely recommend Wildthorn for lovers of young-adult historical romance or LGBT stories. Review will be up soon (:

Received for review: 

Another amazing cover, I'm looking forward to read Everneath. It has some great reviews already, and the summary looks very promising.

What is in your mailbox this week? Leave a comment so I can visit you back!

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Project Book Blogger Reviews

As some of you might have noticed, I had a call-out for reviewers last week here on my blog. I got some responses, but I would love to have some more reviewers for my little project. I'm especially looking for reviewers that like epic-fantasy, horror, mysteries and paranormal romance. If you don't sign up.. Well, Mister Creepy Cat here will find you.

The first Project Book Blogger reviews (as I like to call them) will get online in about two to three weeks, depending on how long the participants take to read and review their ARCs. I'm very excited, and hope that PBB will be a success!

In other news...

I love how the singer is being tortured by his band mates.

This is the band Royal Republic which is totally awesome. I'm going to see them for the second time next week Friday.

Hope you enjoy the musical intermezzo, and happy reading!

Friday, 4 November 2011

Friday Meet & Greet over at Books, Biscuits & Tea!

Today I'm visiting Books, Biscuits & Tea, where I got interviewed by the always awesome Vicky. Hop over there and find out how I thought of my blog name, why I decided to start blogging, and my advice for new bloggers!

~Read my post here~

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Review: Stone Kissed by Keri Stevens

Stone Kissed by Keri Stevens

2 out of 5 stars

Published by Carina Press
Review copy received through Netgalley

It took me almost a month to finish this book. Not because it's such a long book, or so intricately written, but just because after reading every twenty pages I had to put Stone Kissed down again. This story annoyed me to no end.

Delia can talk to statues. In her work as restorer this can come in quite handy, but in the social plane not so much. When her father has a terrible accident she is forced to sell the house of her childhood. The buyer, the influential Grant Wolverton, makes her feel things she has never felt before. Will she be able to convince him she doesn't want to sell the house? And what if he finds out about her darkest secret?

The book starts pretty well. Delia's abilities are interesting, and something I've never read about. Her conversations with the statues are hilarious at times. Stone Kissed had a strong start, making me hopeful I would agree with all the raving reviews. Soon I discovered I am quite of a different opinion.

I have huge issues with the main part of the story, namely the romance between Grant and Delia. About every stage they go through I thoroughly detest. We begin with the instant-lust.

Ms Stevens tries to hide the instant-lust behind the fact that Delia and Grant have already met in the past, when Delia was still a little girl. For me she shouldn't have bothered with this detail. Even though it explains the Grant = God complex Delia has, it is no reason at all for lust. Do you still find your teen fantasies attractive twenty years later? I don't think so. You will smile at them, reminiscing, shaking your head at your youthful innocence. But you won't get wobbly knees or start to feel indecent places tingling. At least not when you have grown up a tiny bit.

I know the instant lust is something used in countless romance stories, and there is a minority of people that get annoyed by this. Therefore, I gave this book another chance. More often than not, this kind of book gets a lot better after the hero and heroine actually start dating. It was then I found out that this couple is extremely stubborn.

Before I am going to continue my rant about the relationship aspect of the book, I have something to say about the heroine of this story, Delia. Delia is a special girl. She has a gift/curse that makes her stand out from other people, and that makes her labelled as "crazy". I completely get that. However, I don't get why Delia feels the need to actually act like a crazy person. She goes around slapping people, yelling at them for no apparent reason, talks to herself or mumbles to statues in public places, overall she acts like a completely mentally unstable woman. She still thinks she is normal, and blames the people around her for her not having friends. If she would take only one minute to take a good look at herself, she might be able to come to the conclusion that all fault lies by herself. Every kindness extended to her she turns away, and quite rudely at that. Because of this her moments of self-pity were excruciating to read. It's not her ability to hear statues talking. It's her own attitude. I just couldn't feel sorry for Delia. I didn't feel anything for her throughout story but mild aversion.

Then we land at my biggest annoyance of all, which to my greatest luck, occurs for about fifty percent of this book. That is correct dear reader, during fifty percent of this book, there is absolutely no progress made in their relationship whatsoever. Let me tell you what they do during this time.

Step 1: Have a childish conflict that could be solved easily by talking
Step 2: Insert Delia sulking, screaming and hitting
Step 3: Insert Grant being the big bad alpha male
Step 4: Don't talk about the problem
Step 5: Have angry sex
Step 6: Rinse & repeat

If my copy of Stone Kissed had been paperback, I would have thrown it against the wall. As I was reading the ARC on my precious Kindle, I didn't want to subject it to the same treatment.

But still, WHAT THE HELL? I don't even want to count the times they have angry sex. After which Delia runs off again, wallowing in self-pity because Grant doesn't love her. But she does love him! Oh my, it hurts so baaaad.

Urgent note to Delia: you don't want him to use you and hurt you with his big alpha-maleness? Don't have sex with him. I repeat. Just don't have sex.

Seriously, I just don't get it. Why, in the world and the heavens above, would you still have sex with a guy that one, thinks you're a thief. Two, thinks you're a liar. And three, thinks you're quite crazy in the head. And still be able to love him. But while you're busy loving him, you can't have a single good thought about him. Same counts for Grant though. How can you love someone you think is a thief, liar and crazy bitch? And even think about having children with this kind of person? You should never ever think about doing this to a child. How can you be a good father, but condemn your offspring to a crazy mother?

Wind back to the crazy and liar part for a second. You know that moment in paranormal books when the vampire/werewolf/bigass wizard reveals he's a supernatural? At first, he gets laughed at. Then he reveals his fangs/becomes furry/does a cool trick and the laughter is changed to amazement, wonder, and maybe a bit of horror.

Now, let's examine how Delia manages her big reveal. She refrains from telling Grant, even though he has seen her in deep conversation with multiple busts. When he asks her about it, she makes an ugly face and runs away. Repeat three times. After a number of these confrontations, she finally confides that yes, she talks to the garden gnome. And they talk back. Now, Grant laughs at her. Delia makes an ugly face and runs away. Wait, but that wasn't how it's supposed to go! Where is her proof, where is her big trick? Now Delia continues to hate Grant for not believing her, but having angry sex in the meanwhile.

How, how, HOW is Grant supposed to believe her when she gives absolutely no proof of her ability whatsoever? She could have asked him to bring her a statue, and she would tell him where it came from. She could tell all its secrets and fun things she wasn't supposed to know. Then Grant could be all amazed and in wonder. Maybe, maybe they could even have happy sex for once. But no. There is no big trick, there is no talking, they fight and continue to hate each other while loving.

It's quite the miracle I'm still giving Stone Kissed two stars really. It is quite awful. I wouldn't have finished it if this wasn't an ARC I had for review. I'm giving this one star for Ms Stevens coming up with a creative supernatural power, a half star for her writing, and another half for her taking the effort to write a book. That makes for two very, very teeny tiny stars. But well, there they are.


When Delia Forrest talks to statues, they talk back. She is, after all, the last of the Steward witches.

After an arsonist torches her ancestral home with her estranged father still inside, Delia is forced to sell the estate to pay his medical bills. Her childhood crush, Grant Wolverton, makes a handsome offer for Steward House, vowing to return it to its former glory. Delia agrees, as long as he'll allow her to oversee the restoration.

Working so closely with Grant, Delia finds it difficult to hide her unique talent—especially when their growing passion fuels her abilities.

But someone else lusts after both her man and the raw power contained in the Steward land. Soon Delia finds herself fighting not just for Grant's love, but for both their lives...

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Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Review: Bliss by Lauren Myracle

Bliss by Lauren Myracle
3 out of 5 stars

Published by Amulet Books

Yes my friends, the rumours are true. The ending of Bliss sucks.

The book begins when in 1969 Bliss Inthemorningdew is sent to her grandma to live with her, because her hippie parents are going to Canada. Bliss is not used to "normal" life, and she is sometimes completely oblivious to things that are normal to other teenagers. She is an outcast at school, and even more when she starts to hear voices near the school building. There is a story about a girl that committed suicide there. Could the two be connected?

After reading Shine, I wasn't surprised to see that this book has more going on than just a paranormal plot. On the background there is the ever-present racism that was normal in the South at that time. "Black people should know their place" and other similar statements. This was one of the things I really liked about the book; Bliss struggles against these prejudices, but can't defy them openly without being shunned by society herself. Her confusion was realistic and very well described.

Then we come to the paranormal part of the story. It is quite good. And it is quite creepy, if you're not used to general spookiness in books. It also helps that Mr Myracle has chosen for the trail of Charles Manson as a backdrop.

The thing is, when you keep building pressure like in this book, you're expecting some big kind of release. Imagine, you stand on the shore and see a tsunami rising, coming closer, almost washing you away. Then, all of a sudden, *blip* the wave disappears, but your neighbour has a car accident. It isn't that the car accident isn't tragic, but well, it does feel like an anti-climax.

The ending of this book is one of the biggest anti-climaxes I have ever seen. It isn't necessary a bad ending, but it sure as hell doesn't fit. It's not satisfying in any way, it doesn't tie up any plotlines. It's just plain odd.

I would almost recommend this book, so we can all scratch our heads in confusion together. If you have nothing better to do, you can give it a try.


Lauren Myracle brings her keen understanding of teen dynamics to a hypnotic horror story of twisted friendship.

When Bliss’s hippie parents leave the commune and dump her at the home of her aloof grandmother in a tony Atlanta neighborhood, it’s like being set down on an alien planet. The only guide naïve Bliss has to her new environment is what she’s seen on The Andy Griffith Show. But Mayberry is poor preparation for Crestview Academy, an elite school where the tensions of the present and the dark secrets of the past threaten to simmer into violence. Openhearted, naïve Bliss is happy to be friends with anyone. That’s not the way it has ever worked at Crestview, and soon Bliss is at the center of a struggle for power between three girls—two living and one long dead.

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