Friday, August 22, 2014

KLL book ~ Angelfall

*Book source ~ Kindle Lending Library
Title ~ Angelfall
Author ~ Susan Ee
Publisher ~ Skyscape
Published ~ 28 August 2012
Genre ~ YA | Fantasy | Post-Apocalyptic
Pages ~ 288

My Rating ~ 3 bites and a nibble

Seventeen-yr-old Penryn Young becomes the head of her small family when her dad abandons them. Her mother is a paranoid schizophrenic and her seven-yr-old sister Paige is in a wheelchair. When the angels come to Earth causing mass destruction the world as Pen knows it ends. Gangs run the streets during the day and angels fly in patrols looking for stragglers. After six weeks of scavenging nearby buildings for food and supplies Pen decides to move her family from their apartment building to the hills for safety. She knows the chances of making it are slim, but she has to try. That one decision sets in motion events she could have never foreseen and certainly never wanted.

This a decent YA post-apocalyptic tale especially if you like angels. Though the angels are total asshats. Doge says Wow.  Pen is a pretty good character, her mom is a nut bunny and I didn’t get a chance to see much of her sister since she was snatched at the beginning. Then there’s the angel Raffe. Hmmmm…he’s a hottie, but an ass. Not a complete ass, but then he’s hurt and Pen saves his life. Sorta. Anyway, they form an uneasy alliance and from there it’s a journey to find Pen’s sister and for Raffe to get his wings reattached. They meet some interesting people along the way and something else that is pretty damn creepy.

Told from only Pen’s POV, the writing is pretty good and I enjoyed the story, but I wasn’t bowled over by it. It’s interesting enough that I would continue the series especially since it ended unfinished. I’m not saying it’s a huge cliffhanger or anything, but Pen’s and Raffe’s story (and the humans, for that matter) is far from over. I’m curious about what happens next. A battle has been won, but winning the war is a long way off. All-in-all an enjoyable ride through an angel apocalypse.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Top Secret Twenty-One

*Book source ~ Library
Author ~ Janet Evanovich
Publisher ~ Bantam
Published ~ 17 June 2014
Genre ~ Mystery | Humor
Pages ~ 305

My Rating ~ 4 bites

 Stephanie Plum, Bounty Hunter. She may not have an office with a plaque on her door, but she gets the job done for her bond bailsman cousin, Vinnie. Usually. When she was a little girl she had no dreams about catching people who have skipped their court date and need to be rebonded, but here she is. Her mother thinks it’s not a becoming career, but her Grandma Mazur thinks it’s awesome. When used car salesman Jimmy Poletti skips out on a large bond, Stephanie has to track him down and bring him in. But she and her sidekick Lula aren’t having any luck and it seems all the places she’s looking leads her to a dead poker buddy of Poletti’s. Is he the killer or is he running from a killer? And did he try to kill his book cooker, Randy Briggs? Or is someone trying to kill Randy simply because he’s annoying? One thing’s for certain in the Plum Universe…Stephanie is about to get caught in the middle of it all.

This series continues on as if in a time warp. No one ever seems to get older and Stephanie never really improves at catching her skips. She still screws up a lot, has people who help her out of jams and has some decent amount of good luck. The Morelli/Ranger question is still dragging on to the point I’m ready for a sexy firefighter or someone to come along and shake things up. Of course, then we’d probably have a love square instead of a triangle. You can count on things exploding and/or catching fire around Stephanie, some kind of wild animal popping up, Grandma Mazur and Lula being their usual selves and Morelli & Ranger being hot.

Despite the same ol’ routine or maybe because of it, I still enjoyed this book. Why? Because it’s nice to settle down and have a light fluffy entertaining read once in awhile, one that is in a favorite series with favorite characters and favorite shenanigans. Is the plot sound? Not really, but it moved the story along at a good clip.  Plus, there is more of Ranger in this book and that is always going to go over big with me, Team Ranger fan that I am. I don’t understand what she sees in Morelli. He seems to only want a place to store his dick when he’s horny. He wants Steph to quit bounty hunting because it’s giving him ulcers. Ranger protects her as best he can and lets her do her thing. Steph says Ranger isn’t a marrying kind of guy, yet she seems allergic to marriage or she and Morelli would be married already. She whines about Ranger’s healthy eating and yet he’s said nothing to her about her junk food or eating habits. She needs to get over herself and give Ranger some dating time. If her reaction to the danger to Ranger’s life in this book is any indication then maybe she’s wising up. But probably not. All-in-all this was a mildly entertaining read with lots of yummy Ranger added in. I enjoyed it.

One of my favorite quotes:

“As I ran water to wash my hands, my earbud fell out of my ear and went down the drain.
‘Crap!’
I hauled my cellphone out of my bag and texted Ranger. Bad news. Your earbud just went down the drain in the ladies’ room.
It was only a matter of time, he texted back.”


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

WoWwA ~ Small Favor

*Book source ~ Purchased at Audible.
Title ~ Small Favor
Author ~ Jim Butcher
Narrator ~ James Marsters
Publisher ~ Penguin Audio
Published ~ 14 January 2009
Genre ~ Fantasy
Length ~ 13 hrs 50 mins 

Rating ~ 5 bites
Narration ~ 5 bites

Wizard Harry Dresden is out doing work for his other job, as a private detective, when he gets stuck in one helluva snow storm. To much snow, too fast and before he knows it Queen Mab, Faerie Queen of the Winter Court, is standing before him with a demand he make good on one of the favors he owes her. Mobster extraordinaire, Gentleman Johnny Marcone is missing and Mab wants Harry to find and protect him. Ok, find a mob boss. Harry’s an excellent PI. How hard could this be? Oh, Harry. Seriously?

Guest reviewers:
A ~ my 16-yr-old daughter
T ~ my 15-yr-old son
K ~ my 13-yr-old son

Yep, still loving the series. Humor, magic, mystery, great characters; what’s not to love? As always the big finale is hit with everyone though one of our favorite characters gets seriously injured. The plot is twisty and tricky and involves the Courts of Faerie. The hated Denarians are back and causing trouble, too. Man, we really hate them.  But that means the Knights of the Cross are in this book. Yay for Michael and Sanya! Along with Thomas, Murphy, Marcone and Mouse there are some more favorites back: Kincaid, The Archive, Ms. Gard, Hendricks and Capt. Luccio. New baddies are some denizens of the Summer Court, the Billy Goats Gruff. Yowzers. Add in a battle, helicopter, Ride of the Valkyries, weapons, magic and a cool island and you pretty much have all the excitement you can handle. T does want it recorded for all time that he no longer likes Murphy due to a decision she made at the end that I will not reveal so as not to spoil. A & K don’t agree and still like Murphy. T also said he didn’t like what Harry was saying at the end of the book until the janitor walked into the chapel.

Favorite quotes:

“’Likest thou jelly within thy doughnut?’
‘Nay, but prithee, with sprinkles ‘pon it instead,’ I said solemnly, ‘ and frosting of white.’”

“’You rush a miracle worker, you get lousy miracles!’”

“’Ha-ha! Ah-hahahahaha! I am wizard; hear me roar!’”

“’Tiny,’ Sanya rumbled to Michael, clenching a demonstrative fist. ‘But fierce.’” ~ talking about Murphy

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The 11th Commandment

*Book source ~ Free on Smashwords
Author ~ Jaimey Grant
Published ~ 30 May 2013
Genre ~ Historical | Romance
Pages ~ 81

My Rating ~ 4 bites

Lady Katherine Henschel, Duchess of Jarvis, was back in London after two years of exile in Scotland. Exile for breaking the 11th Commandment of the ton; Thou shalt not get caught. And caught she was by her husband while she was in bed with Simon Delacourt. After Jarvis’ petition for divorce was not granted by Parliament, Katherine retreated to Scotland, still his wife, but shunned by Society. She would have stayed in Scotland except Jarvis died and she was required to present herself for the reading of the will. She hadn’t expected to see Simon there nor was she prepared for the generosity shown to her by her husband. She no longer need worry about how she and her daughter would live, but worrying about her reactions to Simon are another thing entirely. Why does she still burn for the man responsible for her fall? And will Simon confess what he knows about that fateful day even if it makes her hate him even more?

This is an awesome historical story with romance, fierce attraction and betrayal. The characters are very well-developed and the story moves along at a great clip. My only complaint is they seem to swing wildly from one emotion to another without much time to transition. I know this is a short story that was originally produced in separate monthly installments for InD’tale Magazine, so space was short, but I wish they didn’t hop around emotionally so much, like a leap frog. That’s my only complaint though. If you want a short historical tale with some meat to it then I recommend picking this one up.

Monday, August 18, 2014

RABT Tour ~ Simon

*Book source ~ A review copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Title ~ Simon
Author ~ V.A. Dold
Publisher ~ Vickie Dold
Published ~ 1 July 2014
Genre ~ Paranormal | Romance
Pages ~ 204

My Rating ~ 3 bites

Wolf shifter Simon Le Beau has spent fours years in the Marines and the cost to his shifter side is tremendous. Denied the touch shifters need to stay healthy mentally he has become stuck in his wolf form. If he can’t find a way to heal he may never be able to shift to human again. And human he needs to be when he meets his mate, Rose O’Leary. He has to get healthy because a shifter only has one mate and he needs to convince Rose that she’s his. No matter how much he wags his tail he’s pretty sure she won’t buy into it while he’s furry. To complicate his life there appears to be an insane shifter after Rose. Get healthy, convince Rose, stop an insane shifter. A checklist that’s completely doable for a Marine.

While the basic plot of this story is great and the characters are wonderful it does have its flaws. The time Simon spends in the Marines is pure civilian fiction. It’s obvious no research was done in regards to the subject, so the first two chapters are, to be brutally honest, crap. To those unfamiliar with the military, the Marines in particular, then you won’t notice the problems. Those of us connected to the Marines in any way will find them painful to read. Simon’s ability and the fact he’s a shifter with particular needs are the only shining stars in this section.

Once Simon gets home I breathed easier. Out of the Marines and back into civilian life it becomes a story I can enjoy. It still has some flaws, but they are bearable. The POVs change too abruptly and too often for a smooth read, but it’s a minor problem. The story also moves very quickly with the characters having little time to develop rich and deep personalities. Don’t get me wrong, I love the characters, but they could have used a little extra love.

This is book 2 in the series, but I had no sense that I was missing any plot points or anything by not reading book 1 which was about Cade and Anna. I do want to go back and read Cade because I’m intrigued about his and Anna’s courtship and obstacles. So, all-in-all, I liked the story after the first two chapters and definitely enjoyed the steamy bits.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Sunday Post ~ 54th Edition

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
~ Recap the past week ~ Show what's upcoming ~ Share news ~ Display book hauls ~

Flip Back


Page Forward

  •  Monday ~ Tour ~ Simon by V.A. Dold
  • Tuesday ~ Review ~ The 11th Commandment by Jaimey Grant
  • Wednesday ~ WoWwA ~ Small Favor by Jim Butcher
  • Thursday ~ Review ~ Top Secret Twenty-One by Janet Evanovich
  • Friday ~ Hmmm...nothing scheduled. Might have something or maybe not
  • Saturday ~ See Friday ^^
  • Sunday ~ The Sunday Post ~55th Edition

AVR News Update
Hello and Happy Sunday! 

I have been busy doing some work for InD'tale Magazine. It was a lot of time-consuming work that took me nearly four straight days to do, but it is *done*. Yay! I'm so happy and my ass thanks me for finishing it. I know I spend a lot of time at my desk dicking around on the internet, but I never realized until this past week how much I actually get up and move around or sit with my feet up on my desk. I was adding all of the books the magazine has reviewed since May 2012 to their Goodreads profile, so I was glued to my keyboard, typing, copying and pasting. I cross checked against each issue of the magazine, shelved them and then fixed over 500 links from when they overhauled the website and the links changed. It was one of those huge jobs that when you volunteer to do it you don't realize how much is actually going to be involved. I was happy to do it, but holy shit! LOL 

So...I was busy and didn't get much else done. I'm now down to 12 days of drafted posts on the blog and I'm antsy to get the reviewing machine cranking again. I never thought I'd say that. Ever. But there ya have it, folks. :D I'll be finishing my KLL (Kindle Lending Library) book today, so I may slip that into the Fri or Sat spot I have blank. Then I'll be picking my Monster Porn Monday reads and revving up the September 99¢ books. *rubs hands together* This is gonna be so much fun! I have also decided that November is going to be my NetGalley month. I added my ARCs to my BookLikes shelves and there may have been quite a few. *cough* Quite...a few. *ahem* Yeah. Time to clear those out.

In other news...kids start school in one week. Freshman Orientation is Tues and we'll be getting school supplies this week. Oh...yay. On the one hand it's nice having the kids home and on the other, it'll be nice to have them back in school and in a routine. Plus, I'll get my living room back.

That's it for me. AVR News Update signing off. May all your books enthrall you.
Shelf Additions
From the library
Nada


From NetGalley
Damn those emails w/shiny widgets



For Red Adept Tour


Purchased for 
99¢ September Challenge
(links go to Amazon)




Amazon Freebies
I had some but Goodreads is down and I have no covers to download.
I'll post them next week




Saturday, August 16, 2014

My August 2014 InD'tale Magazine Reviews


Don't have a subscription?!
But, but, but...it's FREE! 



Paranormal | Horror
*Book source ~ A review copy was provided by InD'tale Magazine.
Title ~ Struck
Author ~ Clarissa Johal
Publisher ~ Musa Publishing
Published ~ 17 January 2014
Pages ~ 255

My Rating ~ 3 bites and a nibble

Full review can be found HERE.

Fantasy | Erotica
*Book source ~ A review copy was provided by InD'tale Magazine.
Series ~ Of War, #2
Published ~ 4 October 2011
Pages ~ 428

My Rating ~ 2 bites

Full review can be found HERE.

Friday, August 15, 2014

FFS ~ Untreed Reads



Founded in 2008, Untreed Reads is a digital-first publisher and ebook distributor with one of the largest distribution channels in the industry, supplying titles to over 200 retailers and 98 percent of libraries worldwide. With a catalog of works covering nearly every genre and the option for publishers to distribute their content through its network, Untreed Reads is a full-service location for authors and publishers.
*Books source ~ Many thanks to Untreed Reads for providing review copies in exchange for honest reviews.

YA

Author ~ Penny Jackson
Published ~ 13 June 2012
Pages ~ 117

My Rating ~ 4 bites

Fourteen-year-old Rachel Harris lives with her Professor dad and hippie mom in a NYC apartment until the day her mom runs off to Spain with the super, George Vasquez. Rachel’s mediocre life is turned upside down and she decides she needs to belong to a different family. A perfect family. She chooses the Butlers, but is any family ever perfect?

Very well-written this tale told from Rachel’s POV kept me interested and turning the pages if only to see what train wreck was around the corner. Rachel’s mom is definitely a flake and her dad is an alcoholic, but at least he holds down a job as a Math Professor at a local private school for the rich and privileged. However, how he handles Elizabeth’s defection earns my disgust. He has a kid who needs him and he’s totally selfish. Life after Elizabeth is up and down for Rachel so she decides she’s going to become a Butler since her classmates, Olive and Edwin Butler, seem to be the model of family perfection. She tries, but never comes close to succeeding in her quest. By the end she and her dad have survived and appear to have learned a thing or two about how to be a family even if it is just the two of them. All-in-all an enjoyable read. 

Contemporary
Author ~ Lilian Simmonds
Published ~ 11 July 2012
Pages ~ 11

My Rating ~ 5 bites

Against the advice of her family and friends Marion decides it’s time for her to live a long-held dream. She wants to learn how to ski. So what if she’s 62? You only live once, right?

This is a wonderful heartwarming short story about how you should follow your dreams and in fulfilling those dreams you just might find something you weren’t even looking for. I loved Marion though I did want to give her a little shake when it looked like she was just going to give up. This story reminds me of something my mom said to me once about a friend who wanted to go to nursing school, but she would be 56 by the time she finished. My mom said, “Well, how old will you be if you don’t go to school?” Ok, I don’t quite remember her exact age or chosen career, but you get the point I’m making, right? Don’t let age stop you from doing new things or following a dream. Marion was physically fit and able to ski (no brittle bones or anything that would be harmful to her health), so she had no reason not to give it her best shot. Fly, Marion, fly! *sigh* I miss skiing. All-in-all an awesome read.

Non-Fiction
Author ~ G.L. Zieman PhD
Published ~ 28 June 2012
Pages ~ 193

My Rating ~ 5 bites

Dr. Zieman has enjoyed an interesting and diversified career in psychology. Instead of the typical upscale office and couch setting he’s traveled far and wide, usually with nary a couch in sight.

I’m not usually a fan of non-fiction. It has to be something special to 1. catch my interest, 2. keep my interest and 3. make me actually finish it without skipping any parts. This book does all three. Dr. Z. writes an informative book about a field that mystifies the majority of us. Ok, maybe it’s just me. Despite a few classes way back in college (which I enjoyed, btw), it still mystifies me. The writing flows along, is easy to plow through and is not full of technical intraspecies jargon. In other words, I didn’t have to sit there scratching my head wondering what the hell he’s talking about. Easy to understand ~ check.

The chapters are well laid out and the anecdotes are as interesting as the writing is entertaining. I had heard about many of the problems in this book, but there were a few that took me by surprise. The treatment plans Dr. Z would implement were new to me also. The classes I had in college were basically intros, so there wasn’t much on how to treat the issues he mentions in the book. I loved how he had to think on-the-fly and how he listened and cared about the people he was helping. They weren’t just another file in his filing cabinet. Well, he didn’t really have a filing cabinet a lot of the time, but you’re picking up what I’m putting down, right? Interesting ~ check.

I mentioned Dr. Z.’s writing flows well and is easy to understand. The stories he tells are very diversified and he makes me care about the people in them. He has really done quite a bit in his field, most of it in a way that many would consider unorthodox and yet it worked. Sometimes I think the saying, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’ needs to be erased from standard vocabulary. Just because something has been done one way for so long doesn’t mean another way won’t work better. Variety, after all, is the spice of life, is it not? All-in-all an excellent read.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Curiosity Quills Tour ~ The Misadventures of Hobart Hucklebuck



*Book source ~ A review copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Author ~ Stan Swanson
Publisher ~ Curiosity Quills
Published ~ 7 August 2014
Genre ~ Middle Grade | Fantasy
Pages ~ 208
Amazon | B&N | Kobo

My Rating ~ 4 bites

Hobart Hucklebuck lives in Pennywhistle where basically everything is enchanted and doing regular ol’ magic is passé. Forget about doing things the old-fashioned way. Residents rely on enchanted items to do everything and when the enchantments suddenly start acting up or stop working altogether they have no idea what to do. Tie their own shoes? Put bread in a toaster and then butter it? Themselves?! How absurd! Complaints start to pile up and when Hobart’s grandfather, Wicksford Waxenbee, is charged with screwing up the enchantments, Hobart decides he needs to find the real person responsible. He and his friends play detective with mixed results. How will Hobart prove his grandpa’s innocence if he sucks at detective work?

I have to say this is a fairly cute Middle Grade story. It reminds me a lot of Harry Potter only much more whimsical. All of the characters have alliterative names, the enchanted items are quite creative as are the names of places and things to eat and drink, there’s old fashioned magic, a mystery, some peril, a bit of inept detective work and great characters. Plus, cats. Who doesn’t love cats? Well, besides Hobart. If you’re a fan of MG books then I highly recommend this one. It’s quite an enjoyable read.

About the Author
 Stan Swanson is a Bram Stoker award finalist and author of eight books including Forever Zombie (a collection of short stories), Write of the Living Dead (a highly-praised writing guide written with Araminta Star Matthews and Rachel Lee) and Return of the Scream Queen (co-authored with Michael McCarty and Linnea Quigley). He is also editor/publisher for Dark Moon Books and Dark Moon Digest. Upcoming titles include Horror High School: Return of the Loving Dead (the first book in a young adult horror series co-written with Araminta Star Matthews), Dead Sparrows (a collection of apocalyptic poetry) and The Methlands (a horror novel co-written with award-winning author Joe McKinney).

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Wicked Wednesday

Mature ~ 18+
*Book source ~ A review copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Title ~ The Voyeur
Author ~ Kay Jaybee
Publisher ~ Xcite Books
Published ~ 27 July 2012
Genre ~ Erotica
Pages ~ 157

My Rating ~ 4 bites

Mark Parker has a favorite kink. Voyeurism. He has a personal assistant, Anya Grant, and a housekeeper, Clara Hooper who help fulfill 12 of his fantasies which he has written in permanent maker on their backs. But there is more going on than just his 12 fantasies and the women are about to find out what it is and what’s at stake.

This is one hot number. The sex scenes are deliciously creative and just plain blazing. The story flows along fairly smoothly and the characters are well-developed. I didn’t particularly care for Mark, I think because he seemed so emotionless most of the time and I’m not a big fan of f/f action though I don’t hate it. The ultimate secret Mark is harboring is a bit out there, but suspension of belief helps to make it work. All-in-all this is a hot read that provides plenty of fantasy fodder.


*Book source ~ A review copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Title ~ Not Her Type
Author ~ Kay Jaybee
Publisher ~ OC Press
Published ~ 15 December 2011
Genre ~ Erotica
Pages ~ 127

My Rating ~ 5 bites

John is Jenny’s regular movie courier. Each Tuesday he brings the new and takes the old. After months of casual chitchat and even a quick cup of coffee, John reveals how he feels at home with someone he hasn’t even hugged. An innocent hug is all it takes to ignite a red hot lust between two opposites.

Oh.Em.Gee! This! This is my favorite story by Kay Jaybee so far. *fans self* Told from Jenny’s POV it’s well-written, smooth flowing, creative and hot. Oh, dear sweet Heaven, is it hot. Jenny and John are almost complete opposites in every way. And yet there is something that draws them together. Not just for hot sex though that is definitely a plus. As they explore their fantasies and feelings each week this story will have you drooling, so be sure to have a bib or better yet a towel handy. Why? Because a towel can be used to wipe moisture from other places besides a chin. Duh. I can see myself revisiting this story on a regular basis. *nods emphatically* Oh, yeah.

*Book source ~ A review copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Title ~ Yes Ma'am
Author ~ Kay Jaybee
Publisher ~ Xcite Books
Published ~ 30 March 2011
Genre ~ Erotica | Anthology
Pages ~ 68

My Rating ~ 4 bites and a nibble

There are six femdom tales in this anthology, six tales of women taking control and the men who submit before them. All-in-all a short tasty treat.

~Lying in Wait~
Cadet Luke Porter is a screw up. He ends up getting a lesson from three females as they push him beyond his limits. This is my favorite of the six stories. Gotta love the military.

~Black~
The woman in black who owns the unnamed man, told from his POV. This is my second favorite story.

~Don’t You, Emma?~
Lee is made to sit and watch his girlfriend dominate a new girl named Emma. I didn’t care for this story because I didn’t like Lee. He’s not very obedient.

~Dear Claire~
Ali’s friend Claire leaves her a present, her very handsome boyfriend who is actually a sub. Ali puts good use to the items in the room, including a pen.

~Taking the Tube~
An irate passenger yells at an Underground official who in turn drags him to a secluded corner and has her way with him. I like this since it’s sex in public.

~Rachel’s Twisted Tale~
A hot fairy tale retelling about Rapunzel. I didn’t really care for this story either. I’d say it’s my least favorite.