March 20, 2012

Book Review: Dead Radiance by T.G. Ayer

Title: Dead Radiance (Valkyrie #1)
Author: T.G Ayer
Publication Date:
February 25th 2012
Publisher: Evolved Publishing
Source: Purchased for my own reading pleasure

That day I knew for sure. I'd lost control of my tears then. They fell in huge, mocking drops. I stared at Joshua through those bitter tears, my heart missing beats as I tried to remember to breathe.

I finally knew what the glow meant.

I was a freak and Joshua was going to die.

Bryn Halbrook had always seen the glow. But it is only when her best friend dies that she discovers the meaning of those beautiful golden auras — Death. Alone, lost in the foster system, she struggles to understand who she is and why she was cursed with the ability to see the soon-to-be-dead.

The new foster kid, Aidan, isn’t helping any. Mr. Perfect seems to fit in no matter what, making her feel even more pathetic. But when his affections turn to her, Bryn finds him hard to resist. Impossible actually. A mystery himself, Aidan disappears, leaving behind a broken heart and a mysterious book that suggests Bryn might not be entirely human.

Bryn stands at the threshold of a journey of discovery. Will destiny help her find herself, find her purpose and her place in a world in which she’d never belonged?

My Thoughts

After reading the first chapters online I had high hopes for a great book, and Dead Radiance did not disappoint.

I can quite happily report that I thoroughly and enthusiastically LOVED this book.

I LOVED the story. 
Norse mythology threaded into an intricately woven teenage tale of loss and hardship, mystery and intrigue, first love, deceit, self discovery and more.

I LOVED the characters.
Bryn is a typically normal kid dealing with the heavy burden of being in the foster system and never quite fitting in anywhere, while struggling with a strange and haunting ‘gift’. 
Her quiet and soft nature at odds with the realisation of what she is to become, Bryn is both challenged and tormented by that new life.

Aidan is cute bad boy, come geek, come secret agent, come saviour, come love interest, come everything! 
He is secretive and intriguing and has strong and confusing feelings for our heroine that will ultimately lead to his possible demise.  

The secondary characters also, are interesting and diverse, with a couple of complete little biarches you’ll want to slap a time or two thrown into the mix.

And lets not forget the Norse Gods.
Some I think you will love and want to learn more about, others, well with their holier than thou attitudes we'll lump them in with the biarches!!

I LOVED the writing. 
The story flows smoothly and effortlessly from the page. 
It is clear and concise without unnecessary fillers and overly detailed sentences that do nothing more than fill the word count.

T.G. Ayer has written this book in a real and believable teenage voice that I literally could not put down. 
After dropping my three girls off at school I sat down with coffee and snacks at hand, and except for toilet breaks and an unexpected storm front closing my daughter’s school early, I did not move until I was finished.  

Dead Radiance had me completely engrossed, I lost myself amongst its pages and I was enraptured with Bryn and her story.

A beautifully written and endearing tale, Dead Radiance is a definite 5 Star read ~<;]


T.G. Ayer on facebook
The Valkyrie Novels on facebook
Author's Blog
Dead Radiance on Goodreads
Buy it at Amazon

March 19, 2012

Book Review: Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder

Title: Touch of Power (Healer #1)
Publication Date: December 20th 2011
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Source: Received from the publisher via Netgalley

Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan absorbs their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honored for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Fifteen Realms, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos.

Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader, an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own, is unequivocal in his demands: Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince—leader of a campaign against her people. As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for. Because the price of peace may well be her life...

My Thoughts

Because of the many, many reviews of this book that flooded the blogging world all at once, I had put off reading it for fear of boring everyone with yet another review.

Man, I was missing out because Touch of Power is an exceptionally good read.
As always Ms Snyder's world building skills are magnificent and you very quickly get a sense of this world and its people.

The cast of characters is great, all of them diverse and interesting and incredibly endearing.

Avry is a really gutsy, stubborn, naive, lovable, sassy miss that immediately stole my heart. Her tanasity and fierce belief in doing what is right, is both commendable and foolish.
Belen and Flea will sneak up on you and worm their way into your soul (and then tear it apart, possble tissue moment for some)
And Kerrick, be still my aching heart, the man is gorgeous.
Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous-enough said!

All I can really say to you is READ THIS BOOK!

An easily given and well deserved 5 Star read ~<;]

March 18, 2012

Book Review: Cold Blood by Heather Hildenbrand

Title: Cold Blood (Dirty Blood #2)
Author: Heather Hildenbrand
Publication Date: November 22nd 2011
Publisher: Accendo Press
Source: Received from the author for an honest review

Wood Point Academy is not at all what I expected. For one thing, it looks like a cross between military school and Buckingham Palace. Everyone stares, the floors shine so bright you can see your reflection in them from a mile away, and no one smiles. Unless they're kicking your butt in the process.

At least I've got plenty to take my mind off the fact that my psycho cousin, Miles De'Luca, keeps calling and declaring his love and promising to come for me just as soon as he's destroyed anyone standing in our way. Wes isn't going to like that idea. So between Miles, Wood Point's evil welcoming committee, and the drill sergeant hottie trainer from hell, I just keep asking myself, how did I end up here? 

My Thoughts

Cold Blood is just as exciting as the first book Dirty Blood (you can read my review for book #1 here), but in new surroundings with all new pressures and with some great new characters.

Cambria or 'goth girl' as she lovingly refers to herself is a particular favourite. She has a quick wit and kick arse attitude which fits well with Tara's  personality.

Wes is more in the background in this instalment and I really did miss his presence but that's not to say there was no love interest for Tara (I'm not telling, spoiler free remember!)

Another great instalment in the Dirty Blood series, Cold Blood has action, intrigue, bitch fights, an awesome twist and so much more.
Cold Blood is an excellent read, 4 Stars ;]

March 15, 2012

Book Review: Dirty Blood by Heather Hildenbrand

Title: Dirty Blood (Dirty Blood #1)
Author: Heather Hildenbrand
Publication Date: April 28th 2011 (first published April 1st 2011) 
Publisher: Accendo Press
Source: Received from the author for an honest review

I killed a girl last night. I did it with my bare hands and an old piece of pipe I found lying next to the dumpster. But that’s not the part that got me. The part that scared me, the part I can’t seem to wrap my head around and still has me reeling, was that when she charged me, her body shifted – and then she was a wolf. All snapping teeth and extended claws. But by the time I stood over her lifeless body, she was a girl again. That’s about the time I went into shock… And that was the moment he showed up.

Now, all I can do is accept the truths that are staring me in the face. One, Werewolves do exist. And Two, I was born to kill them.

My Thoughts

Dirty Blood has a great cast of characters that are not cliched and over done and I enjoyed Tara immensely. She's witty, a little smart mouthed and by no means a push over.

Dirty Blood is definitely a new and exciting version of the age old werewolf story, complete with new history, myths and legends (and not a vampire in sight!)
This book is bold, refreshing, and an entertaining read.
A great 4 Star read


Authors Blog
Facebook page
Buy it at Amazon

March 14, 2012

Cover Reveal: Taste by Kate Evangelista

I stumbled upon this gorgeous book cover and just had to share.
I must say, Taste sounds great too, see blurb below :)
Its release date has been slated for Fall 2012 
(thats approx sometime after September for non U.S readers)
I'll definitely been adding this to my 'gotta read' pile

Taste by Kate Evangelista 

At Barinkoff Academy, there's only one rule: no students on campus after curfew. Phoenix McKay soon finds out why when she is left behind at sunset. A group calling themselves night students threaten to taste her flesh until she is saved by a mysterious, alluring boy. With his pale skin, dark eyes, and mesmerizing voice, Demitri is both irresistible and impenetrable. He warns her to stay away from his dangerous world of flesh eaters. Unfortunately, the gorgeous and playful Luka has other plans.

When Phoenix is caught between her physical and her emotional attraction, she becomes the keeper of a deadly secret that will rock the foundations of an ancient civilization living beneath Barinkoff Academy. Phoenix doesn’t realize until it is too late that the closer she gets to both Demitri and Luka the more she is plunging them all into a centuries old feud.

March 9, 2012

Book Review: Rain's Fairy Tale by A.D. Williams

Title: Rain's Fairy Tale
Author: A.D. Williams
Source: Received from the author for an honest review

All little Angel Morgan ever wanted was to grow up and live the fairy tale life she'd always dreamt of, but when a series of tragic events make life too real, she's forced to face an ugly truth- not all ever afters are happy.

My Thoughts

The Story:
At first I found some of the content a little disturbing (not wanting to leak any spoilers here). After all, in the beginning we are talking about a ten year old girl.
However, Angel never really reads like a ten year old. She is broken and nothing and/or no-one ever seems able or willing to help her.
Angel's home life is abysmal to say the least and just when a small light appears at the end of the tunnel, it goes from bad to worse extremely fast.
What transpires and the emotional fallout from that is a bumpy tale fraught with heartache. In fact the emotion and disorder in 'Rain's Fairy Tale' is so achingly real its scary. The mother in me just wants to bundle her up and smother her in love and affection and tell her it will all be okay.

Neither Angel (or Rain, as she's sometimes called) or Ziadas are without fault, both make bad decisions and at times I wanted to knock their heads together!
But the love that Rain and Zi share is overwhelming, and I was reminded of the all consuming love of Romeo and Juliet and the intensity of their resolve to be together. That same sentiment is felt in this book, and at times, nearly brought me to tears.

The ending was perfect.
That last chapter brought all of Zi's beliefs together with the idea of their love being forever, finally giving Rain and Ziadas the beginning of a new love story that they truly deserved.

The Writing: The writing is good but at times I had to go back a couple of pages in confusion. Had I missed a page? Had a new chapter started? Sometimes the time, place or setting jumped from one sentence to the next without the benefit of a new paragraph or chapter leaving me in moments of bafflement and making it a little difficult to follow.
Therefore, my only criticism would be that the writing needs a slight edit to tighten up those loose sentences that seem to be out of place or context (IMO).

So 'Rain's Fairy Tale', although at times risque and heartbreaking throughout is a definite winner.
An almost 5 star read.


* Author's facebook page

* Purchase Rain's Fairy Tale on Smashwords or Amazon
* On Goodreads

March 5, 2012

Book Review and Author Spotlight: When You Come Back To Me Again by Jaimie Hope

Title: When You Come Back To Me Again
Author: Jaimie Hope
Release Date: October 31, 2011
Source: Received from Zaphyre Marketing and Public Relations for an honest review

It has been three years since Sara Rhea lost her beloved, James. Many changes have gone on around her, yet she seems unable to move forward. Finally, in an effort to help Becca invites her on her annual trip to Salem, Massachusetts. Sara is sceptical, but agrees to go along figuring she could at least satisfy the history buff in her by seeing the place the Salem Witch Trials took place if nothing else should happen. Still, she can't help hoping she'll find the answers she seeks while worrying she's in over her head. 

My Thoughts

This is the second book in a trilogy centred around Sara Rhea, but I haven't actually read the first book 'Who Says You Cant Go Home'.
However, it is the first paranormal romance written by this author.

The premise sounds great and intriguing and don't get me wrong I really liked the story, but I do think that reading book 1 first would have given me a better insight into the supporting characters and more understanding of the circumstances.

That being said the emotional connection between Sara and James that is shown from the first chapter is exceptionally written and you definitely feel their love.
The writing flows well throughout, and I was taken on an interesting journey into the tamer side of mediumship.
With a nice little twist at the end, 'When You Come Back To Me Again' is a very pleasant, easy read.
A decent 4 stars.

Under The Spotlight...

Jaimie Hope was born on November 3, 1976 in New York. It wasn't until high school that she decided she wanted to be a writer. This is when the ideas for the Adventures of Baby Jaimie started forming. This was also around the time she joined the newspaper staff. According to the author she was part of the staff for two years and really enjoyed it. Because the students weren't given assignments and were allowed to write on any topic on their minds. This gave Ms. Hope her first experience in freelance writing.

In 2003, she moved to Florida, where she was not only an active volunteer at the local library, but also in the historical society. During this time she also sang on a few demos at the local studio, wrote her first song, and ran a book club.

It wasn't until 2005, when she picked up The Adventures of Baby Jaimie and started working in earnest to get it done. It only took a month to finish the text of my manuscript. After several rejection The Adventures of Baby Jaimie was again shelved.

She didn't pick up the manuscript again until 2006. Ms Hope had moved back to New York and had lunch with a friend in the summer of 2006 who told her about a friend of hers who was a self published author. Ms. Hope contacted with him, and got advice on how to go about making her dreams of becoming a published author come true, and in November of 2006, AuthorHouse released The Adventures of Baby Jaimie.

After the release, Ms. Hope got busy trying to promote it, and as they say, life happened. Next she decided to try her hand at writing a novel. This proved to be a slow process as well, but not as slow as the first book.

In July of 2008, PublishAmerica released her first novel, Who Says You Can’t Go Home.
In June of 2010, Jaimie Hope became a two time PublishAmerica author with the release of her second novel, Bless the Broken Road. Her second children's book, The Adventures of Baby Jaimie: Baby Jaimie Goes to School also available courtesy of CreateSpace in the same year.

In 2011 three more books were published. An Autobiography, Roll with it, courtesy of PublishAmerica, and two direct to Kindle E-Books. The first one is the third instalment of the Baby Jaimie series entitled, The Adventures of Baby Jaimie: Baby Jaimie Gets Stage Fright and the other is my first Paranormal Romance, When You Come Back to Me Again. Both e-books are now available in book format courtesy of CreateSpace. (taken from author's website)

*Author's website

March 2, 2012

Book Review: Angel Evolution by David Estes

Title: Angel Evolution (Evolution Trilogy #1)
Author: David Estes
Release Date: October 17th 2011
Publisher: Smashwords
Source: Received from the author for an honest review

The Evolution Trilogy... When Taylor meets Gabriel at college, she is in awe of the subtle glow that surrounds him. No one else, not even her best friend, seems to notice. Something about him scares her. Is all as it appears? While Taylor struggles for answers, she finds herself in the middle of a century old war centered on one miraculous revelation: evolution.

My Thoughts

I really like what this author has done with his tale of Angels and Demons, good and evil.
He's flipped it around, turned it on its head and injected a refreshing and intriguing twist.

I have enjoyed this new look Angel story.
Sadly, I haven't enjoyed some of the characters.
I found Taylor to be extremely gullible and very annoying so she was well suited to Gabriel who I quite frankly, found to be sleazy. 
By the end of the book Gabriel pretty much redeems himself with his genuine love for Taylor but it may have been a little late in coming and not enough to make me really like him. 
I wanted to fall in love with the characters and get to know them more but the only character I wanted to hear more about was Chris who I felt could have had a bigger role in the story, to really shake up the foundations and question every ones beliefs.

All in all, I did enjoy the authors writing and the premise of the story but for me, the characters needed some development, they were a little weak. 

I wouldn't mind reading books 2 and 3 in this series to see what happens next, but I'm in no rush.

An entertaining but lack lustre 3.5 star read

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