Thursday, April 17, 2014

RAVBT Tour ~ The Man Who Became Frankenstein's Monster

*Book source ~ A review copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Author ~ Robert Daicy
Publisher ~ Robert Daicy
Published ~ 10 March 2013
Genre ~ Historical/Fiction
Pages ~ 494

My Rating ~ 4 bites out of 5

William Barker lives in New York in 1925. He has a good job in banking, a house, a 1923 Model T Ford and his pride and joy, a lively seven-year-old son named James. His life would be perfect if it weren’t for his wife Helen. No longer the loving, slim, smiling woman he married she has turned into a termagant making what should be a relaxing and loving home life nearly intolerable. However, he’s not one to give up just because things are rough and he has James to love. Until a few seconds of inattention changes everything. How will he go on when he believes he would have been better off dead?

Talk about life changing. William goes through something that turns his life upside down. Alone and horribly scarred, he’s still healing physically and trying to heal mentally, but when his boss says the scars will distract the important bank clients he doesn’t even have a job to occupy his mind. After being rejected at various places while looking for employment he begins to wonder how he will support himself. As luck would have it, when he’s driven out of a diner by people calling him a monster, Roland Skelton comes to his aid. Roland owns a traveling carnival and he believes he has just the job for William if William is willing to take a chance. While skeptical about the job, after thinking it over, William decides he has nothing to lose in giving it a go, so he signs a three year contract and becomes Skelton’s Spectacular Traveling Carnival’s new headliner, Frankenstein’s Monster.

The beginning of this book is a bit slow going, but my favorite part is the description of Coney Island. James is wonderful, but Helen is a cold bitch and I just wanted to reach out and smack the shit outta her. William, ah, William. You can’t help but love the guy. Keep tissues handy. I had to give up reading this book in public because of the waterworks that would suddenly pop up. William goes through quite a lot and comes out stronger in the end. The description of the traveling carnival life is very interesting and the other performers are great. I especially loved Roland. As the book was reaching the conclusion I ran several scenarios through my mind, trying to think how it might end. I have to say though, I did not see that particular ending coming. My gast was flabbered. This book has stuck with me. I’m still thinking about it and I’m sure I’ll be thinking about it for some time to come.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Walking on Wednesday w/Audios ~ Death Masks

*Book source ~ Purchased at Audible.
Title ~ Death Masks
Author ~ Jim Butcher
Narrator ~ James Marsters
Publisher ~ Penguin Audio
Published ~ 29 October 2009
Genre ~ Fantasy
Length ~ 11 hrs 21 min

My Rating ~ 5 bites out of 5
Narration ~ 4 bites out of 5

Harry Dresden, wizard and PI, is hired by Father Vincent to find the Shroud of Turin. Unfortunately, that’s not the only thing on Harry’s plate. The Red Court has sent Ortega to Chicago to kill Harry, either outright or in a duel. It’s Harry’s choice, but if he doesn’t agree to the duel then Ortega sees nothing wrong with killing anyone Harry cares about. Of course Harry agrees to the duel. All three of The Knights of the Cross are in town looking for the Shroud and trying to keep Harry away from it because they believe he will be killed, his girlfriend Susan is back, but not for the reason she tells Harry and the Denarians are also sniffing around Chicago. Poor Harry. When it rains, it pours.

Guest reviewers:
A ~ my 16-yr-old daughter
T ~ my 14-yr-old son
K ~ my 13-yr-old son

Ok, there is a lot going on in this book, but everyone is still loving the series. Big surprise there. Not. :D The humor continues to entertain and is a big part of why this series is a favorite. The plot had several things going and we worried Harry would drop one or more of the balls he was juggling. With help he manages to not only stay alive, but return the Shroud to the Church. How could we have doubted him?? Everyone agreed that it was nice of Harry to give Marcone the ultimatum at the end and they didn’t doubt that Marcone would comply.

New faces won approval: Kincaid, The Archive, Butters, Sanya, Shiro, Molly and even Ms. Gard. Old faces have returned: Bob, Susan, Murphy, Thomas, Michael, Marcone, Ebenezer (phone appearance) and Mac from McAnally’s. Oh, and Anna’s favorite…Mister. Can’t forget him. Some new faces were not liked such as Ortega (though we saw him very briefly in Grave Peril), all of the Denarians, but Nicodemus in particular and we’re on the fence about Martin.

Everyone thought the duel was pretty cool and that Ortega was a liar liar pants on fire. They loved meeting the other two Knights and Ebenezer impressed the crap out of them with this little thing he did at the end. I won’t say what because that would spoil it, but it’s frickin awesome. The fight for the Shroud at the end was pretty good and what’s a helicopter swooping in to fight without Ride of the Valkyries playing? Which is actually a pretty funny inside joke that will come up in a later book. K & I laughed since we’ve read the books.

Favorite quote:
“…The next time I opened my eyes, I was in the morgue. This, all by itself, is enough to really ruin your day. I was lying on the examination table, and Butters, complete with his surgical gown and his tray of autopsy instruments, stood over me.
‘I’m not dead!’ I sputtered. ‘I’m not dead!’”

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Sunday Post ~ 37th 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
  • Sunday ~ The Sunday Post ~ 36th Edition
  • Monday ~ Review ~ Necromancing the Stone by Lish McBride
  • Thursday ~ Review ~ Morgan's Diary by Lori Meckley
Page Forward
  • Wednesday ~ Walking on Weds w/Audios ~ Death Masks by Jim Butcher
  • Thursday ~ Tour ~ The Man Who Became Frankenstein's Monster by Robert Daicy
  • Saturday ~ Tour ~ Thrown to the Wolves by Veronica Blade
  • Sunday ~ The Sunday Post ~ 38th Edition
AVR News Update
Hello and Happy Sunday! 

The weather has been fairly nice this week though I could without 82ยบ on April 12th with no leaves on the trees yet for shade. Mother Nature, there is seriously something wrong with you. 80s and 90s are for July and August, so quit screwing around!

I've spent all week working on my blog doing behind the scenes stuff and reading books for tours. I have two books and one audio to go before all of my April books will be done. I only need to write up the reviews which I'm going to work on today. With a bit of strategic planning and a smidgeon of luck I will have all my May books done by the end of this month. That would be freakin' awesome-sauce.

In other news, I went for a check up at the dermatologist's office and they made me wait an hour, so when I was left alone in the room I filled my purse up with stuff from the sample basket. So, if you see a woman on YouTube opening her purse zipper with her teeth because her hands are full of sample products, that's me. :D

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

Won Gift Card
Thanks Edward Lorn!
Now I need to decide what books to get. Weeee!

Won from Curiosity Quills
Many thanks!
*dances around trying to decide what to get*

Won ebooks
Many thanks to Cinnabar Silk

In the Mail 
From Kensington

For Tour

Amazon Freebies 
Not many since I mostly stayed away from social media this week 
Free at time of posting

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Morgan's Diary

*Book source ~ Purchased on Amazon.
Author ~ Lori Meckley
Publisher ~ Lori Meckley
Published ~ 21 July 2013
Genre ~ Contemporary/Romance
Pages ~ 117

My Rating ~ 3 bites and a nibble out of 5

Morgan Paris is a Mortician’s Artist starting her first job at the Maxwell J. Delaware Funeral Home in New Orleans. Run by Jason Delaware and his wife Mercedes the funeral home is being used for something other than funerals.  In addition to some dark and shady shenanigans going on after hours, Jason is obsessed with his new employee and Morgan feels the same about him, but his wife is a major problem. In addition, their hearse driver and all-around jack-of-all trades, Jared Walker is acting very creepy and not at all appropriate. While trying to fight their attraction to each other and keep it from Mercedes, Morgan is also trying to figure out what is going on when corpses start to go missing and then turn up again. Who in the funeral home is disrespecting the dead? And will her snooping get Morgan killed?

I can honestly say I’ve never read a story about a Mortician’s Artist. I never gave much thought to what goes on behind the scenes at a funeral home, but it’s pretty fascinating finding out all the details. The mystery surrounding the disappearing and reappearing bodies is a good one and very creepy. Mercedes is a witch of the first order (and a whackadoodle) and Jared is a nut bunny. Morgan is interesting and her character is very in-depth. Jason is ok, but I didn’t like his cat and mouse game with Morgan. Especially since he was married. The way he treated Morgan just rubbed me the wrong way. If I had fur it would be standing on end in displeasure. Overall though this is an appealing read with a slightly unconventional romance and a disturbing mystery to solve.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Necromancing the Stone

*Book source ~ Local library.
Series ~ Necromancer, #2
Author ~ Lish McBride
Publisher ~ Henry Holt & Co.
Published ~ 18 September 2012
Genre ~ NA/YA/Paranormal
Pages ~ 344

My Rating ~ 4 bites and a nibble out of 5

Samhain ‘Sam’ LaCroix defeated Douglas ‘Uber Psycho’ Montgomery in Hold Me Closer, Necromancer and he’s trying to adjust to his new life of being the resident Necromancer. He has inherited all that Douglas owned including his seat on the Council. Sam, who until six weeks ago didn’t even know he was a necromancer, has no clue what is going on or what he’s supposed to be doing. And since necromancers are pretty rare he doesn’t really have anyone to learn from. Well, he could probably learn from his Uncle Nick, but even if he could find him, Sam is still mad at him. So, he stumbles and bumbles his way through his new way of living until a death throws a wrench into the works. Now, Sam needs to find out who and how they committed the murder as well as discover who is threatening his sister. Some days he wishes he was still flipping burgers for a living.

This story is fast-paced and well-written with humor aplenty. The plot is on the thin side, but frankly I don’t care. I was highly entertained with everything going on in Sam’s life. The characters, for me, really make the story. The gnomes and all of the garden security, the Council, James, Ramon, Frank and Ashley as well as many others are fun to read. The ending was a tad cheesy, but again, I don’t care. I loved this book and would definitely read more about Sam’s adventures.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Sunday Post ~ 36th 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 ~  Review ~ Necromancing the Stone by Lish McBride
  • Thursday ~ Review ~ Morgan's Diary by Lori Meckley
  • Sunday ~ The Sunday Post ~ 37th Edition

AVR News Update
Hello and Happy Sunday! 

This week has been pretty good weather-wise. We've had actual Spring-like weather and it's been lovely. The next 10 days look good, too. Let's hope the forecast actually sticks.

Not much going on around the homestead other than the usual book reading, grocery shopping and household chores. Kyleigh came for a visit Saturday and we babysat while her parents and our daughter went to the movies. 

Kyleigh is snoozing because of a full belly. Grandpa blames his allergy meds for his little nap. lol

Saturday evening we took the kids to see Pure Pro Wrestling because we have friends who wrestle and we had a great time even though they weren't selling nachos. What's up with that?? Here's the kids with Justin Flash.

Here's the beginning of the Diva Clash.

The fan in the blue shirt giving the wrestler shit is part of the fun in going to these matches. He's hilarious!

A good time was had by all. The fun is over and it's time to get some work done.
That's it for me. AVR News Update signing off. May all your books enthrall you.
Shelf Additions
From the library
I requested this book because I knew it contained a short story by Jim Butcher. I had no idea the book is, like, massive! lol

From the author

From Pink Flamingo

Amazon ebook purchases
Look at that! Two weeks in a row with an actual purchase! :D

Amazon Freebies.
Yes, I got me some of doze, but I have no time to list them. :(

Friday, April 4, 2014

Friday Featured Spotlight ~ Curiosity Quills

At Curiosity Quills Press, we believe a book is a portal to another world, a break from reality that frees both mind and spirit. We want to bring a little piece of that magic to every life we touch with the written word.

W. Somerset Maugham once said, “To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life.”

Welcome to a world of magic and dragons, of nightmares, vampires, zombies, and aliens. We are the trusty sidekicks, the parallel universe of dreams, the things that go bump in the night.

We are writers helping writers.

We are innovators.

We are escapists.

We are literary marauders.

Everyone needs a place to escape, let Curiosity Quills be yours.

*Books source ~ Many thanks to Curiosity Quills for providing review copies in exchange for honest reviews.

Author ~ Amy Fecteau
Published ~ 9 June 2013
Genre ~ Paranormal
Pages ~ 386

My Rating ~ 2 bites and a nibble out of 5

Mysterious 28-yr-old Matheus Taylor is living his life they way he wants when he is abruptly murdered. Quin, a 1700-yr-old vampire uses Matheus to get an artifact then callously murders him in a filthy alley. Well, technically Quin turned Matheus into a vampire, but in order to do that he had to kill Matheus first. And Matheus never lets Quin forget that he was murdered and turned against his will. However, Matheus has a little problem. He’s attracted to Quin even though he swears he’s not gay. So, not only does he have to get used to a new way of living, he has to confront things about himself he’s buried deeper than the Mariana Trench. While he alternates burying his head in the sand and reaching self enlightenment the vampire world is under attack and his past comes back with a vengeance. Will he, Quin and their friends survive the war to come?

The title drew me in because I am so not a fan of that crap that is Twilight. After reading the blurb I figured this would be a good vampire story to, um, sink my teeth into. And to a point, it is. I love the humor and snarkiness in this story. Whenever Matheus isn’t whining like a little girly baby he is pretty damn funny. Quin is sexy and a saint to put up with him. Honestly I both hated and loved Matheus. I can’t decide if he was more annoying or more entertaining. He may have the distinction of being the only character I’ve ever read that is 50/50 with me. When he’s being a snarky smartass I love him. His observations and the way he interacts with his world is so entertaining that when he’s being unreasonably stubborn, digging in his heels only to be contrary and whining, whining, whining it kills me that I just can’t stand him.

The writing is very good and the plot flows fairly smoothly with only a few bumps in the road, but what really did it in for me is the abrupt ending. It was like how I feel when I ride a roller coaster. I’m going up, up, up, clankityclankityclank, I’m cresting the hill and then…whoosh! Right over the top and dropping straight down. Only with this book, that was it. The drop and then nothing. The end. Where’s the end?! I was massively confused. And mad. It was only after I looked around on the internet to see what was up that I realized the book in my hands was only a portion of the story. It’s apparently only Volume One and I didn’t see that at the bottom of the blurb. It doesn’t say so in the title. I loathe abrupt endings. If I had known the whole story wasn’t out there yet I would have waited. Now, I can go to the website and read a new chapter every Sunday (there are now 41 additional chapters from where my book stopped), but I don’t have time for that and I have no idea when it will be done. So, I’ll wait until the book is truly done, complete, fini before I go back to it. 

I also need to mention the editing in this one needs some work. A few mistakes I can ignore, but constant mistakes need to be mentioned. The biggest problems were missing or duplicated words. If a fine tooth comb was used then a finer toothed one is needed.

Series ~ The Actuator, #1
Published ~ 13 August 2013
Genre ~ Sci-Fi
Pages ~ 278

My Rating ~ 4 bites out of 5

Red McLauren is a Key Hunter and when he’s told to escort a group of Machine Monks out to survey some rocks when The Actuator is getting ready to fire up an event he’s uneasy. Something feels off and when the event happens and everything goes haywire he ends up being a leader even if he doesn’t feel like one. Someone has sabotaged the dampeners and the entire world has changed and not for the better. Eighteen confirmed Machine Monks created pockets of alternate realities and four more unconfirmed means the world is in chaos and people are dying by the millions, possibly by the billions. Those from the base are the only ones who know what happened and they need to put the world back before humanity is wiped out. A task easier stated than done.

I can’t recall having read a book that has a machine that can alter reality in the physical sense. I mean, completely change the world into whatever reality parameters the person has selected. The Machine Monks are addicted to the Actuator and get a high from when it substitutes reality for their own. Each Monk has a favorite genre, be it horror, steampunk, historical romance, paranormal, fantasy, sci-fi, etc, so when they feed 20 or so fantasies into the Actuator and the dampeners (which restrict the change to a small testing area) fail those fantasies become realities all over the world. It’s chaos and death. The thought of having to find the keys in each reality in order to change it back exhausted me and I wasn’t even one of the people doing the rescuing. :D

Well-written and fast moving the story made me feel as if I was really there. The characters are great even the ones I wanted to bash over the head, but I have to say that I love Red best. There’s something about a reluctant hero, one who never really thought it would come down to him that I really like and Red is very likeable. The multiple POVs really help with the vast scope of the story and make the experience just that more rich. The thought of the world being carved into different sections of fantasies made real just boggles my mind. It got me thinking…if I was a Machine Monk, what would my slice of the world be like? Uh, oh…I have a feeling it would be a very naughty world indeed. *fans self* All-in-all a solid sci-fi adventure.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

My April 2014 InD'tale Reviews

Subscription is FREE!

*Books source ~ Review copies provided by InD'tale Magazine.

Title ~ Blood Art
Author ~ Margo Justes
Publisher ~ Margot Justes
Published ~ 7 November 2013
Genre ~ Paranormal/Romance
Pages ~ 284

My Rating ~ 2 bites and a nibble out of 5

Full review can be found here.

Published ~ 5 May 2013
Genre ~ Fantasy/Paranormal/Romance
Pages ~ 156

My Rating ~ 4 bites and a nibble out of 5

Full review can be found here.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Walking on Wednesday w/Audios ~ Summer Knight

*Book source ~ Purchased at Audible.
Title ~ Summer Knight
Author ~ Jim Butcher
Narrator ~ James Marsters
Publisher ~ Buzzy Multimedia
Published ~ 10 June 2009
Genre ~ Fantasy
Length ~ 11 hrs 12 min

My Rating ~ 5 bites out of 5
Narration ~ 4 bites out of 5

Harry Dresden, Wizard Extraordinaire and Private Investigator is in the dumps because his girlfriend has left town to deal with the after effects of being bitten by a Red Court vampire. He needs to get his act together because he needs money for rent and everyday living, but instead the Winter Queen walks into his office and offers him a job he can’t refuse. He has to find the real killer of the Summer Queen’s Summer Knight and clear her name or the two Faerie Courts will go to war. In exchange for doing this one little (yeah, right) thing for her she will grant the White Council passage through her realm while they fight their own war with the Red Court. Oh, and she has taken over his debt to his godmother which means he now owes Mab the debt. Harry has to find a killer, prevent a war that would destroy most of mankind, win safe passage for the White Council and pay off his new debt with the Winter Queen. All in a days work for Chicago’s only wizard.

Guest Reviewers:
A ~ my 16-yr-old daughter
T ~ my 14-yr-old son
K ~ my 13-yr-old son

Narration: Marsters is improving as the series goes along. He's done a much better job in this one than the ones previous though sometimes his pronunciations aren't quite right.

This series continues to entertain the kids (and me). We all love Harry. The humor is a big hit still, the magic is always interesting and the mystery keeps us guessing.

Many favorite characters are back such as Bob, Murphy, the Alphas, Thomas, Michael and Toot-Toot. In addition to meeting many of the Fae and some Changelings we met Elaine, Harry’s very first love and who he thought was dead. Surprise! We also got to meet many of the White Council and more importantly the wizards of the Senior Council including Ebenezer McCoy who took Harry in when he was a teenager and was his mentor.

Everyone liked the battle with the troll and the Chlorofiend at Walmart and it was unanimous that the big battle at the end was awesome. Everyone enjoyed all of the information pertaining to the Faerie Courts. They did not like many of the Fae, but then who does? The loved meeting the Senior Council. They were very surprised at who killed the Summer Knight.

Favorite quote: “I stretched out my hand, adrenaline and pain giving me plenty of fuel for the magic, and called, 'Ventas servitas!' Wind leapt out in a sudden spurt, seizing the Unraveling and tearing it from Aurora's fingers, sending it spinning through the air toward me. I caught it, stuck my tongue out at Aurora, yelled, 'Meep, meep!' and ran like hell.” 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Reign of the Demon Queen

Mature Content ~ 18+
*Book source ~ A review copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Author ~ Lance Edwards
Published ~ 8 March 2013
Genre ~ Erotica/BDSM/Paranormal
Pages ~ 197

My Rating ~ 3 bites and a nibble out of 5

Gerald encounters Reyna at a Halloween party thrown by his relatively new boss. Gerald is a shy outsider looking in and he goes to the party in the hopes he’ll make friends with coworkers and maybe start to fit in. However, while there he sees Reyna and becomes obsessed with her beauty and terrific body. He’s disgusted with himself for not growing a set of balls and just going over to say hello, so he decides to leave. But before he manages to slink away Reyna corners him in the laundry room and proceeds to blow…his mind. Discovering a submissive and masochist side he never knew he had he agrees to follow Reyna and be her slave. He’s willing to serve, but will he survive?

Wow. This is a hard book for me to rate. It’s very well-written with an exceptionally inventive story. It’s so descriptive I had no problem picturing it in my mind. And thus my problem appears. I love to read BDSM and I even love sadistic stories, but only up to a certain point. The torture in this story is brutal. If Reyna hadn’t been a demon supplementing Gerald’s life with potions and magic he would have died from the many abuses she rained down upon him. I cringed repeatedly throughout the book. And yet, it is a great story. See my problem?

So, while it is an excellently written story and Gerald is a great character (it’s told from his POV, so I got to know him really well) the brutality just wasn’t for me. It won’t stop me from reading more by Lance Edwards though. I look forward to exploring more of his work.