Thursday, 22 June 2017

On McPig's Radar - In Evil Times

I loved The High Ground, so I'm really looking forward to the release of In Evil Times.


In Evil Times (Imperials #2)
by Melinda M. Snodgrass


Thracius Tracy Belmanor and the Infanta Mercedes de Arango have graduated from The High Ground and have become officers in the Orden de la Estrella. Tracy s posting aboard a battleship leads him to further doubt the intentions of the Solar League, as he and his comrades are required to assimilate the settlers of a Hidden World. Meanwhile, Mercedes own posting and her difficult marriage to Beauregard Boho Cullen, made to assure her succession of the throne divides her loyalties. In a society where most humans and all aliens are second-class citizens, the two young officers will have difficult choices to make.


Expected publication: July 4th 2017

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Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Hopcross Jilly - Book Review


Hopcross Jilly
(Mercedes Thompson Graphic Novels)
by Patricia Briggs, Rik Hoskin (Artist), Tom Garcia (Artist)


What is it about:
Mercy is a shapeshifting coyote and honorary member of the Tri-Cities werewolf pack. When the pack stumbles upon the buried bones of numerous dead children, she shapeshifts into a mystery of the legendary fae - a mystery that draws Mercy's stepdaughter Jesse into the fray! The supernatural romance series Mercy Thompson continues in this all-new, original story by New York Times bestselling author, Patricia Briggs, exclusively created for the comic book medium!

This 168 page hardcover collects the six-issue Mercy Thompson comic book series by PATRICIA BRIGGS, RIK HOSKIN, and TOM GARCIA aand features the original script and line art to issue #1, along with character designs and sketches by Tom Garcia.


What did I think of it:
I have a confession to make.

I love graphic novels and comics. I love the Mercy Thompson series. What I do not love: Graphic Novels that tie in with a book series.

Come on! I've read tons of books in this series and have my own idea how everyone looks, and then suddenly their looks are forced upon me by a graphic novel?! And I wouldn't mind that if this story was also available as a novella or something, but no: this story is only available as a graphic novel. So if it wasn't for the fact that my best friend bought this book and let me borrow it, I wouldn't have read it.

That rant over with:

This is a decent graphic novel with a cool story.

The artwork is pretty standard, but nice enough. The story is compelling, although not very surprising. (And I will keep my grumbling on the implied visual detail that goth/alternative = evil confined to this sentence.)

All in all a nice addition to the Mercyverse, although I'd have preferred a short story or novella in text form.

Why should you read it:
It's a cool story that give a bit more insight in the fae.


Buy from bookdepository

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Teaser Tuesdays - Dingo


She puts a finger to my lips. "No more," she says. "And please... don't talk about this around Em."

(page 52, Dingo by Charles de Lint)


Buy from bookdepository

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Teaser 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 (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) - Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, 19 June 2017

More Than Distance - Book Review by Voodoo Bride


More Than Distance (Chasing the Dream #5)
by Elizabeth Briggs


What is it about:
She’s off-limits, but he’s the only one who can help her…

Carla Jackson has her life all mapped out, so when her plans fall apart she’s more lost than ever. A spot on the reality TV show Road Trip Race seems like the perfect escape, except she needs a partner. The only option is her brother’s best friend: the man she’s secretly loved forever and the last person she wants to be stuck in a car with.

Tech billionaire Ryan Evans has done everything he can to put his bitter past behind him. He’s avoided Carla ever since they shared a forbidden kiss six years ago, but when his best friend asks him to protect her on the show, he can’t refuse—even if the biggest threat to her heart might be himself.

As Carla and Ryan drive across the country while competing on the show, there’s no escaping the undeniable chemistry between them. But when they’re thrown off course, can they find their way home together?


What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
I think this is my least favorite book in this series and I still very much enjoyed it.

I might have mentioned before I often have a hard time connecting with the heroines in Contemporary Romance. So far I didn't have that problem in Briggs' books, but I had trouble connecting with Carla. Even with the problems she had in her past and the problems she has with her family, she just seemed too perfect for me. Successful model, car mechanic, every guys dream girl. Meh...

And Ryan didn't really impress me either: billionaire playboy, lusting after his best friend's little sister...

But although it took me some time to warm up to them, I very much enjoyed the story. Once again there's a reality TV show with challenges and competition. At the point where the TV show wasn't the focus of the story anymore I had warmed up enough to both Carla and Ryan to root for them and to look forward to their Happy End.

This being the last book in the series, there were a few glimpses at how the other couples were doing, and it was fun to read about that as well. All in all a very enjoyable read.

I will keep an eye out for other books by Elizabeth Briggs.

Why should you read it:
It's a fun, enjoyable Contemporary Romance.


Buy from bookdepository

Friday, 16 June 2017

Past Malice - Book Review


Past Malice (Emma Fielding Mystery #3)
by Dana Cameron


What is it about:
What bones are buried in the shadows of the past?

Asked to join a dig at the site of the eighteenth-century Chandler House, archaeologist Emma Fielding and her student crew have descended upon Stone Harbor, Massachusetts. But certain residents of the tiny coastal community are none too happy about Emma's arrival -- especially when her excavation uncovers a pair of freshly slain corpses.

There are dark forces at play in this dangerously divided town, where a distrust of strangers wars with a desire for tourist dollars. And when a young local's life is snuffed out, Emma is determined to get to the twisted roots of the strange secrets buried in this killing ground. But a mystery that lies among the tumbled ruins of a once grand manor could change Stone Harbor forever. And for some murderous someone, one more death -- Emma's -- would be a small price to pay to keep it hidden.


What did I think of it:
This is yet another great read.

I really like how Cameron builds up the mystery in these books, letting you guess at what could be going on. The characters are interesting and intriguing, even those not involved in the mystery.

Emma can't help getting involved in the murders and gets herself in danger. I love how the people close to her (like her husband) react to her adventures. It makes everything feel even more real.

In this book Emma has her sister over for a visit, and I suffered along with Emma over Bucky's behavior. I would have send her packing for less than what she says and does to Emma, I can tell you.

This book also has a quote that I LOVE and have to share:
"I was still surprised that people only wanted money for books. Not body parts or firstborns or souls. Just money. It always seemed like a steal to me."
(page 222)

All in all this is a really wonderful read and I can advice it to anyone looking for a good murder mystery. You bet I'll continue reading this series.

Why should you read it:
It's a really great murder mystery.


buy from Amazon

Thursday, 15 June 2017

On McPig's Wishlist - Whistlers

I saw a review that said this book had too many zombies...


Whistlers (A Shrouded World #1)
by Mark Tufo and John O'Brien


When two worlds collide...

Jack Walker and Michael Talbot come from two worlds; the same, yet different. They both find themselves transported into an alien one, where things aren't as they seem. While it appears similar to the ones they come from, there are some terrifying differences. Is it a dream? Or has reality been somehow warped? Jack comes from a world filled with nocturnal creatures that were once human, but now seek to destroy the last vestiges of humanity.

Mike, living under a constant threat from hordes of the undead, arrives with a companion, John the Tripper. Ripped away from their family members and thrown into the unknown, they find that the nightmares from their worlds have preceded them. Survival becomes moment to moment as they encounter old dangers, and new. Each wants nothing more than to be reunited with their loved ones.

With dangers lurking around every corner, they seek to unravel the mystery that brought them. It may be a long road ahead, but they begin by taking the first step, hoping the next one will be the one that takes them home.



Buy from bookdepository

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Losing It - Book Review by Voodoo Bride


Losing It (Losing It #1)
by Cora Carmack


What is it about:
Sick of being the only virgin among her friends, Bliss Edwards decides the best way to deal with the problem is to lose it as quickly and simply as possible - a one-night stand.

But her plan turns out to be anything but simple when she freaks out and leaves a gorgeous guy alone and naked in her bed with an excuse that no one with half-a-brain would ever believe. And as if that weren't embarrassing enough, when she arrives for her first class of her last college semester, she recognizes her new theatre professor. She'd left him naked in her bed about 8 hours earlier.


What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
We've been looking forward to Cora's YA book Roar, which releases this month. After Sullivan met Cora Carmack in Berlin last month, I decided I had to try one of her New Adult books as well.

And what a fun read!

Bliss is an awkward, but very likeable heroine and I rooted for her while she keeps doing idiotic things on impulse. Her night with Garrick is cringe-worthy, but funny to read. Then she discovers he's the new theatre professor and she has to handle her attraction to him. Throw in a meddling friend, someone with a crush on Bliss, and you have a book full of fun and hilarious events that might lead to a happy end for Bliss.

I think Carmack did a great job on this story. It never got too embarrassing and even though it felt a bit unbelievable at times, it never felt too out of there for me.

After reading this book I'm even more curious about Roar, and I will confess I already ordered Keeping Her, which continues the adventures of Bliss.

Why should you read it:
It's a fun and funny New Adult read.


Buy from bookdepository

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Teaser Tuesdays - More Than Distance


My head fell forward against the steering wheel. Seriously, universe? As if my night wasn't bad enough already, now it threw this at me too?

(Page 39, More Than Distance by Elizabeth Briggs)


Buy from bookdepository

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Teaser 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 (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) - Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, 12 June 2017

Pleasure and Purpose - Book Review by Voodoo Bride


Pleasure and Purpose (Order of Solace #1)
by Megan Hart


What is it about:
The handmaidens of the Order of Solace are each named for the exquisite service that best reflects their true calling. Their greatest delight is giving pleasure devoted as they are to fulfilling the desires of the mind, the needs of the soul, and the cravings of the body.

Meet Stillness, called upon to soothe the conscience of a man in need of redemption after a shocking act from his sexual past.
Then there's Honesty, whose vow of Solace is to a prince looking for a submissive handmaiden. Instead, he gets the unexpected.
And finally, Determination, a handmaiden confronted with a client lost in a haze of random sex and drugs. She has just the plan to literally whip her man into shape.


What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
*slightly spoilery*
This is a hot read.

It's called Erotic Romance, but unless you think it's romantic that the hero gets drunk, shares the heroine with his best friend and doesn't remember it the next day, prepare to be disappointed by the romance. This is all about women helping men to get out of their funk in creative and seductive ways.

I myself started this book not looking for romance, but expecting to get three steamy erotic novellas and in that I got what I wanted. Even with the aforementioned 'romantic' scene, the first novella was my favorite.

The women in these stories are part of an order that tries to bring solace to people. From what the handmaidens tell the men I understand it's to both men and women and involves sex a lot of the times. So my main question was: where are the brothers of Solace? Apparently only women can bring solace though.

That aside: if you want some hot erotic stories about how these handmaidens bring solace, and like the men they work with enough to give you a semi happy end you should certainly give this book a try.

I myself might read more by Hart if I'm in the mood for some steam.

Why should you read it:
It's a fun steamy read.


Buy from bookdepository

Friday, 9 June 2017

Desert Rising - Book Review


Desert Rising (Desert Rising #1)
by Kelley Grant


What is it about:
The Temple at Illian is the crown jewel of life in the Northern Territory. There, pledges are paired with feli, the giant sacred cats of the One god, and are instructed to serve the One's four capricious deities. Yet Sulis, a young woman from the Southern Desert, has a different perspective—one that just might be considered heresy, but that is catching on rather quickly...

Sulis's twin, Kadar, meanwhile, is part of a different sort of revolution. When Kadar falls in love with a woman from a Forsaken caste, he finds he's willing to risk anything to get these people to freedom. But with Sulis drawing a dangerous level of attention from the deities, and war about to break out on two fronts, change may not come as easily as either twin had hoped.


What did I think of it:
This is a really nice read.

I liked both Sulis and Kadar. The story switches between the both of them and at times to other characters to give more insight in what's going on.

I must say I wanted to know more about what happened to their mother. There are references and I can guess a lot, but it seemed liked what happened to her was glossed over too easily, especially as it is implied that Sulis is following in her footsteps.

That aside I was intrigued by the world that is painted in this story.

I liked Sulis' story line the best, but that might be because of the school aspect of her story. She's chosen as a pledge and has to follow lessons and stay in the temple until she's initiated. She and her fellow pledges are stirring things up though, and might expose themselves to danger this way.

The story about Kadar falling in love with a Forsaken (casteless) woman is interesting as well, but at times it felt that his story was overshadowed by what Sulis was doing. I would have liked a bit more scenes from his perspective and about the struggle of the Forsaken.

Overall I really enjoyed this book and I will most certainly give the next book in the series a try.

Why should you read it:
It's a very enjoyable Fantasy read


Buy from bookdepository

Thursday, 8 June 2017

On McPig's Wishlist - Mage Slave

This sounds so intriguing.


Mage Slave (The Enslaved Chronicles #1)
by R.K. Thorne


A warrior prince, an enslaved spy, a plot to draw the world to war.

Crown Prince Aven Lanuken wants something more than a trophy for a future wife. He wants a woman who will be more friend than follower. A queen who will be more warrior than diplomat. He wants a partner he can trust… with a dangerous secret that’s kept him trapped in a dark mountain fortress his entire life.

Mage slave Miara wants something more, too—to find an enemy prince. And not to marry him. She’s just received orders for her very first kidnapping. She loathes the idea of it, and it’s probably a suicide mission. But she has never failed a mission before and doesn't intend to start now.

Of all the women in the world, why does he have to fall for the one trying to kill him?

Magic, politics, love, and fate collide in the destinies of two people in this fantasy adventure from R. K. Thorne. For lovers of swords and sorcery with a side of romance, Mage Slave is the first novel in the Enslaved Chronicles trilogy.



Buy from bookdepository

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

White Hot - Book Review


White Hot (Hidden Legacy #2)
by Ilona Andrews


What is it about:

Nevada Baylor has a unique and secret skill—she knows when people are lying—and she's used that magic (along with plain, hard work) to keep her colorful and close-knit family's detective agency afloat. But her new case pits her against the shadowy forces that almost destroyed the city of Houston once before, bringing Nevada back into contact with Connor "Mad" Rogan.

Rogan is a billionaire Prime—the highest rank of magic user—and as unreadable as ever, despite Nevada’s “talent.” But there’s no hiding the sparks between them. Now that the stakes are even higher, both professionally and personally, and their foes are unimaginably powerful, Rogan and Nevada will find that nothing burns like ice...


What did I think of it:
It's been a long wait, but it was worth it!

I loved Burn For Me, so I pre-ordered both this book and the third - Wildfire - so I would get my trotters on them as soon as possible.

White Hot trusts Nevada in the middle of action and danger right from the start. Soon she is forced to work together with Rogan and together they have to try to stay alive.

Both the action and the romance are great to read. Rogan is still an arrogant jerk at times, but Nevada is standing up for herself. I liked the chemistry between the two. Luckily it changes from slow burn to full steam, although they still have lots of things to work out between the two of them.

The action story line is thrilling and suspenseful and just as important as the romance, which isn't always the case with Paranormal Romance. There are some very intriguing developments that made me curious how things will go in the last book.

The ending is quite the cliffhanger, but in a good way.
Bring on the third book!

Why should you read it:
It's an action-packed PNR read


Buy from bookdepository

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Teaser Tuesdays - The Tears of the Rose

I'm rereading this series in preparation for The Shift of the Tide which will release August 15.


Who wanted a girl who cared only about pretty dresses and picnics running a kingdom, after all?
Yes, I knew what they were thinking. The stink of their doubt filled the castle.

(page 12, The Tears of the Rose by Jeffe Kennedy)


Buy from bookdepository

---------

Teaser 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 (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) - Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, 5 June 2017

Vanguard - Early Book Review


Vanguard (Razorland #4)
by Ann Aguirre


What is it about:
The Razorland saga continues. Since the war ended, Tegan has dreamed of an epic journey, so when she has the opportunity to sign on as ship's doctor, she can't wait. It's past time to chart her course. Millie Faraday, the kindest girl in the free territories, also yearns to outrun her reputation, and warrior-poet James Morrow would follow Tegan to the ends of the earth.

Their company seems set, but fate brings one more to their number. Tegan will battle incredible odds while aiding Szarok, the Uroch vanguard, who has ventured forth to save his people. Szarok is strange and beautiful, like a flower that blooms only in the dark. She shouldn't allow him close, as such a relationship is both alien and forbidden. But through stormy seas and strange lands, she will become stronger than she ever knew.


What did I think of it:
I love the Razorland Saga. It's one of my favorite Post Apocalyptic series. So of course I pre-ordered Vanguard and was impatiently waiting for release day.

Imagine how happy I was when I got an ARC from Ann Aguirre when I was at the Love Letter Convention in Berlin!

I can tell you I immediately started on it and finished the book before my train took me back home.

This story is so beautiful!!

Where the original trilogy is focused on survival and on the battle between humans and the flesh eating mutants, Vanguard is about the aftermath of that war.

What happens once the fighting is over? How do two different races find peace and a way to make a better life for all?

I loved seeing Tegan come into her own. I've always liked her and hoped to see her find happiness after all she has endured. This book does her quiet strength justice. I rooted for Tegan to find a place to belong and to blossom, and seeing her friendship with Szarok grow was beautiful.

Szarok is a really intriguing character as well. I loved learning more about the Uroch through his eyes. Szarok has a great sense of duty and the ties to his clan are strong. I will say I was worried if he would be able to find a path that would bring both him and his clan happiness.

Next to Tegan and Szarok's story this book also tells the stories of Millie and James. Although their stories were cool to read as well, for me they were overshadowed by Tegan and Szarok. Still I was also invested in what happened to them.

All in all this is an amazing read and a great addition to the Razorland Saga. I'm tempted to do a full reread one of these days I will confess.

Why should you read it:
It's an amazing Post Apocalyptic YA read.


Buy from bookdepository
Expected release July 25, 2017

Saturday, 3 June 2017

TBR Orphans Challenge - May Update


I managed to read one Orphaned book in May.

That makes a total of four books read this year that have been on my shelves for more than three months. Three of those four I read in March, so I need to do better. I made sure to start June with an Orphan.

Otherwise I've read a lot more books in May than I managed in April. It seems like I'm getting back on track.

How has your reading year been so far?

Friday, 2 June 2017

On McPig's Wishlist - Released

Sounds like it might be a cool read.


Released (Agents of Evil #1)
by Megan Duncan


After a demon apocalypse kills their parents and everyone they know, 17-year old Abby Phillips, her brother, Carter, and friend, Max flee their home to travel through what has become the wastelands of America. When radio transmissions of a resistance offering shelter and safety cease, Abby is tempted to give up. Struggling to overcome life-threatening obstacles in their dangerous journey, Abby and her companions quickly discover there are much worse things lurking in the dark than they could have ever imagined.



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Thursday, 1 June 2017

The Dragon's Playlist - Release Day Book Review


The Dragon's Playlist
by Laura Bickle


What is it about:
From the author of THE HALLOWED ONES and NINE OF STARS comes a new novel blending the magical and the real…

“This is war,” the dragon said. And she believed him.

Di fled rural West Virginia to study music and pursue a bright future as a violinist. But when a mining accident nearly kills her father, she is summoned back home to support her family. Old ghosts and an old flame emerge from the past. When Di gets a job as a bookkeeper at the same mine where her father worked, she is drawn into a conflict pitting neighbor against neighbor as the mine plans an expansion to an untouched mountain.

If the mining company’s operation goes forward, there will be more at stake than livelihoods or the pollution of the land: Di has discovered a dragon lives deep within Sawtooth Mountain, and he is not happy with this encroachment upon his lair. When catastrophe strikes, Di must choose between her family’s best interests and protecting the dragon – the last surviving bit of magic in Di’s shrinking world.

In every fight, sides are chosen. And there can be no yearning for what has been left behind.


What did I think of it:
I already pre-ordered this book when I was offered an early copy for review, and I was eager enough to read this as soon as possible that I immediately accepted.

And this is such a beautiful read!

Laura Bickle has yet to write something that I do not love.

This story takes you on a magical and emotional ride. It's filled with sadness, hope, and longing. I connected with Di from the start and could understand why she longs for magic and freedom. Her attempts to find the strange creature living in the mountain had me cheering her on.

This is not just a story about a dragon, it's a bitter sweet tale about family and roots - the ties that bind - about letting go or holding on, and what price you are wiling (and able) to pay for either choice.

I was gripped and drawn in, and couldn't put this book down until I finished it. You bet I'll be rereading this. and I'm hoping it will become available in print, so I can add it to my shelf of favorites.

Why should you read it:
It's a magical, beautiful Modern Fantasy read.


Find buy links here