Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Feast Review & Giveaway

Breakout UF author-Merrie Destefano, releases her second book, Feast, today. It's very different than her first book, Afterlife, but I think a lot of readers will enjoy it. I pre-read and reviewed the new book a couple of weeks back, and now I'm sharing the goodies Destefano has been nice enough to gift to UF fans.
Now for the Contest...

We are Giving-Away:
  • Copy of FEAST (Not an e-book) 
  • FEAST & AFTERLIFE Buttons/Bookmarks

In order to be entered in the contest, please answer this question in the Comment Section:  What has been your favorite 2011 New Release read? (So Far).  Also, please include your E-mail Addy in your comment so I can contact the winner. Winners will be chosen at random on July 6th. Thanks for stopping by today and I look forward to reading all of your comments!
Feast: Harvest of Dreams
Destefano's 2nd novel, Feast, introduces a new world which is unlike her previous UF/Scif-Fi novel-Afterlife. If her previous book can be called a Blade Runner/Scifi type thiller, this one is more like a mythological monster tale. However like her other book, this one is also written in multiple 1st person POV.  The book starts off more like a dark romance than an UF adventure thriller, but because it relies more on solid writing & plot-building rather than the usual romance paradigm, I wouldn't classify this as a true PNR. A little over a third of the way through, the book begins to pick up, as the action and intrigue gets turned up a few notches.

And although I liked this book, I would have preferred a continuation of her first book, rather than an introduction to a new world. Currently, Destefano has no plans to continue either story, but hopefully that will all change once her readership increases.  And although there is a definite marked conclusion by the end of Feast, I'm still holding out for various open-ended questions to be answered.  Patient readers may enjoy this decent-somber monster tale.
Maddie, now a bestselling writer, spent blissful childhood summers in Ticonderoga Falls. And this is where she returns to, now that her adult life is falling apart. The dense surrounding forest holds many memories, some joyous, some tantalizingly only half-remembered. And she's always believed there was something living in these wooded hills.

But Maddie doesn't remember the dark parts—and knows nothing of the mountain legend that holds the areas terrified residents captive. She has no recollection of Ash, the strange and magnificent creature who once saved her life as a child, even though it is the destiny of his kind to prey upon humanity. A clan of "Beasts"-Winged Shifters, who feed on humans & their dreams, return to Ash's forest for the yearly Samhain feast, just as Maddie makes her return to the place that still haunts her dreams.

Warning: Some Violence
-Life is too Short to Read a Bad Book-

Monday, June 27, 2011

New for Tuesday

Black Heart LoaBlack Heart Loa
Book #2

The first book, Black Mambo, has been in my To-Read pile for quite sometime.  Hopefully the reviews of its 2nd book will motivate me enough to finally pick up this series.

Feast: Harvest of DreamsFeast

I really like this new UF author and her first book, Afterlife.  I thought Feast was a pretty good story.  I would give it about a B-.

The Reluctant Vampire: An Argeneau Novel (Argeneau Vampires)The Reluctant Vampire
Book #15/PNR

Deeper Than Midnight: A Midnight Breed NovelDeeper Than Midnight
Book #9/PNR

Kindling the Moon (Arcadia Bell)Kindling the Moon
Book #1

Sunday, June 26, 2011

TB: She's Not There

I'm still posted up in cold-rainy Alaska. But at least I have HBO where I'm staying. Unfortunately, work has gotten in the way of catching the finale episode to The Game of Thrones.

To say I was only a bit let down by this premiere would be an understatement. From the cheesy Fairy scenes to the incessant crying, this could have been so much better. It's been awhile since I've read the books, but I don't recall any 1yr flash forward. This must be another crappy idea cooked up by Alan Ball. The best parts of this episode were the ones with Pam and the last one with Eric & Sookie. Speaking of Eric, when did my man stop eating? Manorexic much. Please eat sweetie pie. I love my Viking Vampires with a bit of meat on them. Thanks.

Con: Atop Mount Olympus, Sookie visits Fairy for the first time. More like a bad 70s B-Fantasy. I hope this is a dream sequence; because Fairy is truly disappointing.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tuesday Ramblings

Hi all. I'm currently out on assignment in the Last Great Frontier-Alaska, working my way towards the western most corner of the US. Of course the cool lodge I'm currently staying at, doesn't have HBO, thus my life is suffering from an utter lack of Game of Thrones. Hopefully I'll get my fix in the next couple of days. Until then, books will have to suffice.

Some pictures I took on the island of Attu last year, which is now closed.

Friday, June 17, 2011

PNR Pick of the Week

Warprize (Chronicles of the Warlands)Chronicles of Warlands
I'm unsure whether to classify these books under Fantasy Romance or PNR. But I either way, this is one very good story and one of the best romances I've read. A very fast-engaging read, and a must for any PNR lover.

The first three books follow Xylara, daughter of the Warrior King, Xyron. With her father dead and her incompetent half-brother on the throne, the kingdom is in danger of falling to the warring Firelanders. Before she was old enough for a marriage-of-alliance, Xylara was trained as a healer. But not only her countrymen are wounded, and Xylara's conscience won't let Firelander warriors die when she can do something to save them. She never expects that these deeds, done in good faith, would lead to the handsome and mysterious Firelander Warlord demanding her in exchange for a cease-fire.  The 2nd & 4th book are a bit on the weak side, but enjoyable nonetheless.  The fourth book is set within the same world, but focuses on supporting characters from the trilogy.


Warning: Violence & Mild Sexual Content

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Game of Thrones: Baelor

Courtesy of the free premo weekend, I’m watching this week’s episode on my 32”, as opposed to begging on the street corner until some poor fool takes pity on me.  We left-off last week with Sansa promising the evil Queen of an impending Ned grovel (yeah right). I can already hear Ned laughing his arse off in the dungeon below, when he gets wind of what his not-so-bright daughter has assured her Evilness.  I’m Pro/Conning it again this week as I watch.  Let’s roll:

Con: Take heed when your jailer starts off a story with: “When I was still a boy, before they cut my balls off with a hot knife.” You know the ending will not be happy one, and it'll probably not get you any closer to freedom. Ned’s only friend in the dark is a eunuch with a weird sense of humor and strong sense of self-preservation. He also thinks Sansa is a genius, so he’ll probably die a horrible death before the end of the season. One can only hope.

Pro: Lord Frey is one crabby-bitter old man, and his hotness is exactly what this show has been missing! “Your mother would still be a MilkMaid-If I hadn't squirted you into her belly.”

Pro: Jon (it only hurts when I smile) Snow earns a reward and the gratitude of Lord Mormont. Who knew that he only needed to take down a zombie to earn his place.

Con: Just short of asking for their first born, Grumpy old man demands rather a lot for just crossing a small river.

Con: No! The horselord is deathly ill, and before I got to see him in the full monty! Say it isn’t so. If he dies now, I’m so going to abandon this show and write to that a-hole author.  Get well Drogo. XOXO

Con: The hotness known as Charles Dance, seems to hate his son, Tyrion, almost as much as Catelyn hates Lord Stark’s bastard son, Jon Snow.

Pro: Of course a horse sacrifice is the only answer to the horselord’s illness. There is still hope yet, even if he comes back as the walking dead. Let him Live! (cue evil laugh) And we finally get to see Ser Mormont clank some steel.

Pro: Never play Truth or Dare with a beautiful whore with a foreign accent. She will always win.

Pro: Peter Dinklage is proably the only person who could have truly captured what Martin had envisioned for Tyrion Lannister. “and for just a moment Tyrion Lannister stood tall as a king.” 

Pro: Crap on Toast, Robb landed a big fish, in the form of The Lion-Jamie Lannister no less. 1 to Tywin Lannister for winning the battle and 1 to Robb for landing the Kingslayer.

Pro: Arya, from lady to pauper, girl knows how to survive. I would have loved to see Sansa in rags, begging in the streets.

Con: Sean Bean finally gets taken out for a walk, unfortunately it may be his last! What was Ned thinking. Damn that lipless boy-king. Why are the writers so damned determined to kill off all my favorite men this episode?

Con: OMG, no words.

Okay, I’m going to have to take some time to reflect a bit before laying judgement on this episode. For those that already read the book, the ending was no surprise, for all the rest of us @&*#@!

So, I think the question is - will fans keep watching?  Go here for io9's poll and discussion on the topic & here for the full recap.

True Blood: 1st 8 mins

It's like a bad 80s B-movie. And Claude doesn't even look anything like imagined him, but then he wasn't wearing his glamor in the scene. Total cheese-fest here.  I hope it gets better, because as-is I'm not paying a dime to watch this craptastic SyFi original-series worthy tv.  

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Breaking Dawn AND Spines!

One of my favorite authors, Nicole Peeler, has a small fascination with the Twilight Saga.  Go here to read her hilarious post on Breaking Dawn and catch a preview of the upcoming movie.  I only hope that the chick who plays Bella steps it up for this one.  She wasn't half bad as a child star, so what the heck happened?  Maybe her bad acting is a result of her trying to emote an unsure & shy Bella.
-Life is too Short to Read a Bad Book-

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Free Premo Weekend

The free all Premo-channel surfing event will begin this Thurs & end Sun. That is, if you have Direct Tv. That also means, I won't have to beg and borrow on the street corner this week, to watch my favorite Zombie Show-Game of Thrones. So, clear out your DVR and get set.

The 411:
Free Preview for: Cinemax, HBO, Showtime, Starz
Available to Subscribers of: DirecTV
Free Preview Begins: June 9, 2011 (Thursday)
Free Preview Ends: June 12, 2011 (Sunday)

Channel Lineup:

Game of Thrones: The Pointy End

It took me a while to view this episode. I may have to break-down and pay for HBO one of these days.  If last week can be called somber & slow, this one can be called edgy. From the music to the setting, this one definitely gave off a spooky-strained vibe. We left off with all hell breaking loose, at the end of the last episode, and that is exactly where we start.  I'm Pro & Conning it again this week.  Let's roll.

Pro: Inigo Montoya, I mean Syrio Florel, saves the day or at least my favorite Stark girl. Who knew a wooden sword could wreck so much havoc? All hail Syrio. You have my respect sir, even though your accent is most silly.

Con: RIP Inigo Montoya

Pro: It pays to be the daughter of a traitor, if it saves you from marrying the thin-lipped boy-king. Too bad she lacks the smarts of her younger sister. Hopefully she’ll buy a clue before her end.

Pro: Robb Stark finally makes a big move, which will hopefully help me remember his name.

Con: We see the dire results of nursing your child past infancy. Creepy

Pro: The Lannister Imp proves once again, that the Pen is Mightier than the Sword.

Con: Jon (it only hurts when I smile) Snow, gets a Time-Out after getting his panties in a bunch when someone calls him a Bastard Son of a Traitor.  You would think the guy would have grown thicker skin by now.

Pro: Jon breaks out of Time-Out to play Nancy Drew with his pet wolf.

Pro: Zombies are taking over feudal England. Cool! This must be the Whitewalkers we first saw in episode one.

Con: Khaleesi & the Horselord have their first spat. I hate it when mom & dad fight.

Pro: The Horse Lord gets called out and gets down right pissed.
He is such a showman.

Con: Another ugly naked dude, I would have rather not seen, makes a random appearance. For all that is holy, please stop. I don’t think my eyeballs can take much more.

Pro: This week, Samwell earns his place, when he proves to be an expert in all things forensic and supernatural. I bet they’re glad they kept this guy around now.

Con: Ser Barristan Selmy, gets unSered, as he's forced into retirement. I would so demand my union rep on that BS.

Con: Sansa makes promises she can't keep. I guess she didn’t think to ask Vanna for a vowel, on her journey to buying a clue.

And there you have it. The episode started with Lord Stark chained and sitting on his arse, and it ended exactly the same way. Hopefully Sean Bean will at least get taken out for a walk next week. I feel for you big guy.  Go here for the full recap.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Is this PNR Release Week?

Is it me, or are most of the new releases this week all PNR books? Some I'm looking forward to, most I could care less about. I may read Dali & Jim's story, from the Kate Daniel series. You gotta love a half-blind shifter that can't drive.


Standout stories/authors: Andrews releases their Dali/Jim story, in the Novella-Magic Dreams.

Shadow Walker (Berkley Sensation)Shadow walker
Book #3

From one of my favorite PNR/UF series. I look forward to reading this one soon.  An action packed, mystery/fantasy filled, sexy series that follows Janet, an Elemental, and her long time enigmatic lover. Never a dull moment, with a lot going on between the pages. A joy to read, without feeling too convoluted or contrived. The First book is so far the best of the two released.

Goddess With a BladeGoddess with a Blade

Okay, this one looks interesting, and I think this might be our lone UF in the bunch.  Rowan is no ordinary woman. Physical vessel to the Celtic Goddess Brigid and raised by the leader of the Vampire Nation, she's a supercharged hunter with the power to slay any vampire who violates the age-old treaty. A recent string of murders has her at odds with Las Vegas's new Scion, the arrogant and powerful Clive Stewart. The killings have the mark of Vampire all over them, and Rowan warns Clive to keep his people in line—or she'll mete out her own brand of justice.

Everdark: The Dark Ink ChroniclesEverdark
Book #2

Love the covers, and I thought the first book looked interesting.  But with low ratings, I've put the 1st book off for other pursuits for now.

Frostbound: The Dark ForgottenFrostbound
Book #4

Book #2

A good PNR author, but not sure about this series.

Hit ListHit List
Book #20

Really, #20? That's one long running series I will probably never read.