Thursday, November 28, 2013

A Witch's Curse (A Broken Series Novel) by M.L. Stephens

Review by Tempest.

Blurb:

Everything you've ever heard or believed about witches, vampires and werewolves is about to change. How do I know? I'm Hecate—the original witch—and I'm the one who created them all.

Hecate didn't dabble in dark magic. Watching her lover die at the end of another man's sword changed that. In a single act of vengeance, she turned her lover's killer into a werewolf and cursed him for eternity. It was A Witch's Curse to rival all others and it was her last act as a goddess.

Drago despised being a werewolf. He spent thousands of years searching for an antidote, only to discover that the witch who cursed him, also had to cure him. Unfortunately, that witch died lifetimes ago. Undeterred, he continued to search. Two years ago he found Hecate's remains lying in a crypt hidden deep within the Louisiana Bayou. Today, he watched a coven of witches bring her back to life.

He killed her lover. She damned him for all time. Can two souls who are destined to be eternal enemies, learn to forgive enough to live again?


* * *
 
This book was initially hard for me to get into. There are a lot of characters from the get go, and it's hard to stay focused on them and really sort through who they are. We also aren't given many descriptive details to tell them apart. However, that's probably because these are all characters from the first few books of the series, which, unfortunately, I have yet to read. Once I got past that however, there were interesting aspects to this story. I did have some problems with pacing. I felt like things could have been slowed down in some areas, given more detail. One issue I did have was how confusing the original bits between her and Drago were. At first it was confusing because I had to try and think, "Did she think he was her old love for some reason and why?" and "Why didn't he notice she was referring to him as someone else?" Stuff like that. When I'm reading a story, I don't want to ever have to stop and reread something in order to understand it, though later on it gets better and things are made a lot more clear. I love the action in this book, and the relationships, the ones from past books and the ones that develop here. I don't want to say too much more and give anything away, so I'm keeping this review short and simple. I do plan on reading the other books in this series now, so I do suggest checking it out. The twist on Hecate and the gods was really fun to read. Imaginative. With action, romance, and paranormal aspects, it's hard to go wrong.
 
 
Don't forget to check out the Giveaway below!!! It ends November 30th so don't miss out!!! ;)
 
 
 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Giveaway!!!!

How many of you are doing NaNoWriMo this year?! Hopefully most of you who are writers! Personally, I love this month. It's only my second year participating, but so far it's going pretty well with me at 22,000 words (the day's not over yet) and it only being day 9! Of course, because the rules of NaNo state that one must start a new book on the first of November, I have UNfortunately  (haha, get my lame attempt at a pun?) put the third book in the Underworld saga, Unbound, on hold. :( For those of you who are Coven fans though, you should be pretty pleased, because this means I'm finally working on the second book in that series! Yup, Shia, Caley, and that guy everyone seems to like so much--what's his name again? Barry? Butch? Right. Bane--is back! And yes, I've clearly hit a level of all time lameness, but I'm hoped up on caffeine and have been typing ferociously all day to Katy Perry's Roar. (Not really on that last part, though it's a good idea...for tomorrow). ANYWAY, to the point of this post: In honor of NaNoWriMo I'm doing a

GIVEAWAY!!!

For those of you who have yet to read any of my work, now's your chance! I'm going to be giving away ebook copies of all of my books! Yes, you read that right, ALL of them! Every series is up for grabs! There will be four winners in all, one person will win copies of my Dreamer trilogy (which later branches off into its own series), one person will win copies of the first two books in my Mirror Warriors series, one will win copies of the first two books in my Underworld Saga, and one lucky winner will WIN THEM ALL!!! Including last year's NaNo book, Turn Me On! :) Of course, for something like this there has to be rules, so here they are:

1.) Everyone who's participating must comment either here or on my personal author blog (the link of which can be found at the left side bar). I know commenting is a pain because there's signing in and what not, but think about it, isn't it worth a minute or two? You can tell me anything. Why you're interested, if you've read my work before, which one sounds most interesting to you, etc. The possibilities are endless. If you happen to have already read something before, you can take this opportunity to ask me a question. Maybe you're wondering when the next book in a series will be out, or what happened to a certain character. I'll answer, promise :)

2.) Follow this blog, or my author blog. OR do both. ;) If you can't follow on the actual blog for any reason, then become my fan on Goodreads.com. If you don't have a goodreads account and you love to read, then you should get on that anyway! It's the best site to learn about great new books that are coming out, check reviews on books already out, and learn and interact from other readers and authors out there!

3.) If you do have a Goodreads.com account, add the books you're interested in to your TBR shelves. This way, if you end up winning a set you didn't really want, and someone else ended up winning the same, I can switch them so that everyone's happy!

Ok, so longest post ever, but hopefully you stuck around to read the whole thing! :) Spread the word, because if there doesn't seem to be many people interested, I might just decide to take the whole thing down. What's the point if no one wants to read free books, right?

 


 
 
 
 
 
 




 

 

 

 

 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Death of the Mad Hatter by Sarah J. Pepper

Review by Tempest.

Blurb:

The Jack prophesied: If the king loses his head, then the Queen with a Bleeding Heart would rule the Red Court until Time ceased to move forward. When a second carried on for infinity, every creature in Wonderland would tip their Hat to the misfit girl with a Boy’s name (or was it a boy with a Girl’s name?) who’d end the Reign of Terror. However, it all hinged on the One-Eyed Hare being able to convince an uninspirable Heir that the impossible was indeed possible—like stopping time—and that Love was worth a Beheading.

Heads would Roll…
Hearts would Break…
In the end, would it matter who Reigned?


* * *
 
I loved the premise of this book, and I've always been a huge Alice in Wonderland fan. It was actually really hard for me to get into this one, however. It's written with an air of the original Alice, similar wording and feel, but for some reason that initially took me out of the story instead of drawing me in. It felt a bit forced, a little over done. A few chapters in though I started really getting into it. Ryley is an interesting character, who was fleshed out really well. We really get a feel for who he is. I also really liked the twist Alice took. Now that she's a teen, she's changed a lot from that little girl we read about in the original story. I love how it was obvious how and where Wonderland changed her and affected the person she'd become. She's a little off, which is exactly what you'd expect from someone who spends time in Wonderland. Mr. Ruth was an adorable addition, who added a nice angle to us discovering Alice. Those moments where she talks to him, even when they're in the middle of a classroom, show us that she's still the curious and bold child from the original. The author was able to develop the character, while keeping important traits we all know and love. This story takes a lot of twists and turns, reading made me feel like I was spinning down the rabbit hole. Every time the two main characters interacted I rooted for them. All in all, if you're fan of story retellings, or even of just a good fantasy book, I definitely recommend this! I'll for sure be checking out more work from this author.
 
 
 

Asphodel (The Undeworld Trilogy, #1) by Lauren Hammond

Review by Tempest.

Blurb:

Persephone has been running for her entire life. Running from the humans to keep her immortality a secret. And running from a man who haunts her dreams. Not a man but a god, who will stop at nothing until he gets what he wants. And what he wants most, is her.

Trapped in the realm of the dead, Persephone plans to return to the land of the living. The underworld is a terrifying place where ghosts roam freely, three headed dogs patrol the gates, and it’s a living grave where the rules of earth and the warmth of the sun no longer apply. But then, something unexpected happens. Persephone finds herself falling for the god who abducted her, the god who has chased her for five thousand years, a god who is none other than death himself, Hades.

Ripped out of the underworld by Zeus, Persephone must find a pomegranate to return to the realm of the dead and to her beloved. Consuming only a seed of the fruit of the dead would bind Persephone to spend her life beneath the earth’s core with Hades. But Zeus has reduced every pomegranate tree in the world to ash. Except one. Persephone must locate that one remaining pomegranate tree, a quest that could ignite a war between the two mightiest of the god’s. A war that could cause Persephone to lose the only family she’s ever known or give up a love that comes only once every five thousand years.


* * *
 
I was really disappointed in this book. It's been on my TBR pile for a while now, so I was super excited when I finally got my hands on a copy. Little did I know that my excitement would be short lived. And I do mean short. This book is not only riddled with inconsistences, it's also written so poorly that at times I had to guess at what the sentence was actually supposed to be implying. Basically, this book read like the rough draft version of a story, the kind scribbled in bits, pieces, and short hand on cocktail napkins soiled with spilled coffee. Oh. There's another thing. Any semblance of a story was completely drowned out by the over abundance of metaphors and similes. Seriously. A couple here and there is the mark of a good writer. It's impressive, and helps to paint a vivid picture. One every other sentence (sometimes every sentence) does not. All that does is cloud the readers mind with a bunch of useless jargon that completely detaches us. Sometimes there'd be one that seemed clever, until the author continued it on for an entire paragraph killing it. The plot half the time didn't make sense because we weren't given proper knowledge of the world or the characters in them. Gods live forever, are immortal, ok, that goes without saying. However, why the heck would they have multiple seventeen birthdays? They aren't actually seventeen. And was this her birthday every year? I believe it was mentioned that she had one every seventeen years, so does that mean that once it happens the next year the clock gets reset to birthday number one? Huh? And what about aging? Wouldn't she and her mom look an awfully lot a like age wise if they continued to look that young for basically ever? That was never described, or explained. Now that the mom's been mentioned, on to her. You've got to be kidding me. Yes, the Demeter from the original myth has always been considered over protective, and possibly over bearing, and Persephone has been portrayed as the naïve waif of a daughter, but this book took it way too far. First of all, how the heck could she control her kid that much for so long without there being at least one rebellious stage before this one? It's supposedly been five thousand years. There's just no way Persephone would have stuck around dealing with her moms rules for that long, at least not the ridiculous ones. She can't have friends, can't date boys, can't go to dances...Basically, they travel the world in order to stay hidden (which also makes no sense and I'll get to in a minute) and she can't do anything. There really wasn't even a point in having Persephone go to school. It was a useless thing in this book. It also doesn't make sense because they don't actually need that as a cover. It's called home schooling. It's not ideal, but it's common enough. She can't actually hang out with anyone she meets at school anyway, after all. There's an easy way to tie in her neighbor even if she's home schooled. Which also, Adonis? Be subtle why don't you. And if you're trying to stay hidden and blend in, you're gonna have to change a lot more than just your last name. Try your first for instance. If they were really hiding, she would be going by something other than Persephone, a name which also detracts from their "goal" which is to remain unnoticed. On their whole hiding thing: Hades can literally find them any time. Any time. Persephone proves this when she's in the Underworld and she says her moms name into a weird computer thing. Instantly she can see her mom and where she is. Even with the cloak up that Zeus had blocking that machine (if that's supposed to be the case, though it was never explained as such) all Hades has to do is search for a girl named Persephone. He's clearly got high tech machinery. I'm sure he can do it. Then there's the instalove that occurs. She hates him, then he tosses her up against a wall and suddenly BOOM. She basically loves him and never wants to leave. Wow. She doesn't even go a whole three days with him after that before she actually says the word. Not that I believe she would even know what that means. She acts like such a child. Unless her brain ceased developing somewhere over the course of the last five thousand years, there is no way Persephone, a goddess, would be talking and acting like a four year old child. She actually gets in his face trying to annoy him by asking "Why" to everything he says. Like a little kid. Really. Honestly, the only good thing about this book was that it was short, so I somehow managed to stomach my way through it. There needs to be some major character development, plot development, and world building done to this before it can be considered even a good story. I'm a huge fan of the myth, and the premise was a good one, but the execution...I wouldn't recommend this.     
 
 
 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Bride of Fire by Charlene Teglia

Review by Tempest.

Blurb:

Captive for his pleasure…

Hades, Lord of the Underworld, rules the realm of darkness but his kingdom has no queen. He burns for Persephone who lives in the world above. If he could only lure her below, she would taste the passion he alone can offer and agree to stay and rule by his side.

Persephone falls into Hades’ trap and becomes his captive. He offers her his bed and a throne, but will he offer her what she truly wants—his heart?


* * *
 
I've wanted to read this book for a really long time and it took me forever to find it! But I'm so glad I did. It's a shorter piece, so the ending is a bit abrupt, but that's not too big a deal. The rest of the book is worth it. I've read Charlene Teglia's work before, and I almost always love it. She's got a great way of expressing characters without having to give away too much. It's easy to see the darker depths of Hades, for instance, without us having to constantly be reminded he's the god of the Underworld and he rules the dead. I also like how in this book it's made clear that he's in love with Persephone, why he is, and how if he thought she wasn't into him he'd back off. The way he reacts when she leaves...it was very well played out. Completely believable, and he was just so sweet throughout while still maintaining that bad-boy-king-of-the-castle air. Persephone had legitimate reasons for holding herself back, and I like that she was portrayed as a strong character here instead of the meek child like one she usually is in retellings. She had pride and she was intelligent. All in all, I thought this was a great read with steamy scenes and hot characters. The only reason I gave it four stars instead of five is because of the length. The ending was pretty abrupt, even for a short story, and I really would have liked to see this developed into a longer work. I think there's a lot of material here for the author, and that lengthening it would be completely possible.
 

 

Love and Magic by I. Grobler

Review by Tempest.

Blurb:

A compelling story about a girl in the eighteenth century, who was brought up by her absent father who gambled and was forced to sell his daughter to a mysterious rich gentleman.

Vivian's life came crumbling down when she caught her best friend betraying her, and she decides to commit suicide after finding out her father had sold her to clear his debts.

Little does she know that soon enough, her life will change when she becomes the property of a coven leader of witches and wizards, who saves her broken body, when he magically binds them as one.

Vivian meets Naomi, who hated her for taking her place beside the coven leader. She also meets Bell, who is taken with her from the moment they've met.

Soon enough, Vivian's life is torn between good and evil, and faces that aren't real.


* * *
 
Unfortunately, despite sounding really interesting, this story sort of just feel flat for me. Not nearly enough happened, and the few things that did either didn't make much sense or were rushed. I would have liked to see more happen between Vivian and her father. The little that we did get to see followed the blurb pretty well; he is clearly a terrible dad, and it's no wonder she hates her live, especially considering what happened with her best friend and crush. With that, however, I wasn't really fully on board with her. Was it terrible that her friend hooked up with the guy she knew she liked? Yes, of course. But at the same time, Vivian had never actually done anything with him, and I don't think she even ever told him how she felt. She really should have attempted it, in the least. Helena was such a terrible friend, so full of herself, that I don't see why Vivian bothered with her at all, or was even surprised when she found out her betrayal. Of course she'd go and do something that like. I really wish the scenes with Chevelle were extended. We barely get to see him, or learn very much about him. It's hard to fall for a character if we don't actually get fully introduced. I wasn't committed to him, or to his and Vivian's relationship because we were never really told all the reasons he'd fallen for her. He just says that he did and she's secretly a witch. That's not really good enough. I would have liked to actually see them falling in love, seen things happen between the two of them and not just between her and a wolf (which by the way, was obvious). Even in the end when she finally falls for him, I was left a little puzzled. Why? Why does she like him? Other than the fact he saves her life a couple times and took her from her evil dad, they don't really have enough interaction with one another for the two of them to bring the "L" word into play. The reason that I gave this book three stars instead of one was the scene in the woods. The villain is super graphic, and I really like the details that went into creating the scene. It added mystery to an otherwise dry story, and I think if the author focused more of her attention fleshing those scenes out and maybe even adding more, the story would be ten times better. There were a lot of grammatical errors and what not, but still, those fight scenes were enough to prove that this author does have the ability to write compelling stories. I just feel other parts needed more attention. Also, it was a fast read, so there's that.
 

 

Unhinged (Underworld, #1) FREE for Review!

Alright, for those of you who still haven't gotten a chance to get your copy of the first book in my Underworld saga, here's your chance! The Goodreads group, Paranormal and Horror Lovers, are hosting a Read to Review of the book! Sign up to receive your copy! Below is the link, and the blurb for any of you who haven't yet heard about it! :)
 
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1536301-unhinged-paranormal-for-review#comment_85153242
 
Spencer Perry lost everything the day her boyfriend died. Even when he came back as a ghost, she was never able to return to her old self. Determined to find a way to bring both of them back--him from the dead and her from her depression--Spencer hops a ride with a Reaper across the river to the Underworld where she meets the god of the dead. Hadrian isn't what she expected Hades to be like, but when he agrees to a deal that can get her Micah back, she puts all caution aside and accepts. Too bad she didn't realize that she'd also just accepted a lot more then one gorgeous yet frustrating god. Bad things are happening all around her, and now she not only has to worry about keeping Micah's ghost status a secret from their friends, but also figure out who's behind all of the accidents. All signs point towards Hadrian, but something about that just doesn't feel right to her. Something that she hopes has nothing to do with her growing attraction towards him.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Coven News for Tempest C. Avery!!!

Hi all! So for a while there I didn't have a computer, which was terrible! But now I'm back! Just want to update you on what I've been working on, and what's in the works for the future. I am hoping to post more reviews as I haven't really been able to do much of that the past few months. I have been reading as often as possible, just haven't found the time to actually review, so there are a bunch of them that I have that just haven't been shared yet.
 
For those of you who are awaiting the third book in my Underworld Saga, Unbound is about halfway written now! Still a long way to go, but it is a work in progress and trust me, Hadrian is better than ever! ;) Oh, Micah's good too, for those (few) Micah fans out there. I'm not exactly sure when the release date will be, sorry about that. There's just too much going on in my life right now for me to be able to give you an exact date, or even a round-about one at this point. Keep checking back for updates.
 
For those of you who are awaiting the second book in the Coven trilogy (and have been for a very long time now) THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT!!!! Yes, the second book will be written. No, it's not actually anywhere near close to complete yet. Unfortunately, I never actually intended for the first book to actually go anywhere. Truthfully, I wrote it only because the current series I had been working on had given me writers block and I didn't want to just stop writing all together. Because of this, it has taken me a lot longer to get back into the series. I only released the first book because it had garnered some positive attention on WattPad, and therefore I thought it would be nice to offer it as a free ebook so that fans from there would be able to download. I never thought others would be interested in it, especially considering it was written long before I began taking college classes. Also, it wasn't run through a proper editor, so there's that. Anyway, back on track, in order to ensure that this book actually gets written, I've decided that it will be my NaNoWriMo submission this year! So, starting November 1st, all other projects will be put on the side lines so that I can focus on Caley, Shia, and, of course, Bane. Here's the actual important part: IF YOU'VE READ THE COVEN READ THIS: there's going to be a name change. Yes, the original title is now better known, and generally changing a title would be a bad move, however, in order to get back into this series, I've decided that I need to revamp it a little, and the best way to do that is with new titles and new cover art. So, below is a cover reveal of the first book, originally titled The Coven: Uninvited. The new title is now called The Coven: Shadow Spell. Following this will be the second book, The Coven: Shadow Spark, and the last book, The Coven: Shadow Slain. Anyone who has any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below, or message me through Goodreads. I do have an account and I am generally very active. Now that I have a computer once more, hopefully this will start being the case again. Throughout the course of the next few weeks I'm going to be going through the different places The Coven is already up and change the title. Please help spread the word so that people know what's happening and don't think that the book is gone for good.


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Fallen (Nine Lives of Chloe King, #1) by Celia Thomson

Review by Tempest.

Blurb:

Chloe King is a normal girl. She goes to class (most of the time), fights with her mom, and crushes on a boy…or two. But around her sixteenth birthday, Chloe finds that perhaps she isn’t so normal after all. There’s the heightened night vision, the super fast reflexes – oh, and the claws.
As she discovers who she is – and where she comes from – it is clear she is not alone. And someone is trying to get her.
Chloe has nine lives. But will nine be enough?

* * *
 
Like most people, I decided to pick up this series because I saw the short lived ABC family tv show based off of the books. Wow. The show is WAY better. I'm usually half-and-half when it comes to film adaptations of a written work, so it's not like I prefer tv over books or anything like that. For example, I think the Vampire Diaries show is better than the books, but I loved Kite Runner the book a ton more than the movie. That being said, below I've decided to pick apart the differences between both book and show to better explain myself. Also, I feel like I owe it to you guys seeing as how I haven't reviewed...well, anything, in forever. So, read on for my review, and then the comparison, complete with photos and hot guys, ;) because really what kind of an apology would it be without?
I was expecting a lot from this book from the get go I must admit. Maybe if I hadn't first seen the show my opinion of it would have been different, though I highly doubt it. While the first book in the Nine Lives of Chloe King series was a fast read, not a lot actually happened. For one, by the end we still don't know exactly what she is. All we get is, "cat person". Cat person. Really. Really? You've got to be kidding me. The ending is highly anticlimactic, with the bad guy being defeated in a pretty lame way. I'm getting a head of myself though, let's go back to the beginning of the book. Chloe is stupid. Seriously. Knowing how high up she is, why would she ever decide to balance on a ledge? And this is before she's aware of her cat like reflexes f.y.i. I mean, I'm not saying that an almost sixteen year old deserves to die for stupidity but...it was still a dumb move. Throughout she's also not overly likable. I don't hate her, but I don't really care about her either, which in my mind is a problem. If I'm not fully invested in a character, why should I keep reading their story? She's nothing like she was in the show, an intelligent, loving girl coming into her own. Instead, we get a somewhat bratty, highly immature portrayal of a stereotypical teen. Don't get me wrong, I swear, do now, did in high school. A lot. But when Chloe does it it doesn't even seem like it fits. It's always at weird times, and comes off as so forced that I always have to pause and force myself to try and picture it in my mind. It shouldn't be that hard. She just ends up coming off shallow. There's a part in the book where it's basically stated that she's smoking clove cigarettes just to be "cool". Because that makes me like her more. Not. I dipped my toes in the smoking scene in high school (which really wasn't that long ago, as I'm only 23, so I can still mostly relate) but I would never have admitted that it was just to look "cool", and considering every other second Chloe doesn't really seem to care about popularity, I don't think she would either. None of these characters were very well rounded, in fact, they all fell pretty flat. AlyecTMI, but if that were the case, I'd have had three times as many boyfriends as I actually had, and I'm sure that could be said for a lot of people. (Not that I'm suggesting everyone go out and randomly make out with people). All of a sudden though, after just kissing, she's got two boyfriends? Huh? Which brings me to Brian...another just wow. He's even worse than Alyec (seriously though, right spelling? WHY?). All those times when Chloe claims he's being really smart and interesting, I was yawning. And something is clearly off about him from the beginning. Even the kitty hat, which should have been a quirky attribute like in the show, seemed actually more...creepy? weird? odd? to me in this book. By the end, even though he's nothing like his character from the show so you shouldn't see it coming, you're pretty much like, duh. There are scenes where Chloe is "yelling" at him, and they just came off ridiculous. Not believable, and completely forced. Her friends aren't really any better, and half the time I was wondering why the author even bothered giving her any. At least if she was the silent loner type at school her cigarette comments and soaking up all the new boy attention would make sense. Sort of. Both Paul and Amy however, are unimportant for the storyline. They literally do nothing. At all. And Chloe's mother...don't even get me started on her. So, just a quick recap, you never find out what Chloe is. Her friends do little to nothing other than go off page to make out. Her mother has been keeping her from dating because of some stupid promise she made TWELVE years ago. Brian is really a freak like Chloe says (even though her calling him that was lame), and Alyec is only slightly more interesting than any of the other characters, and that's mostly because I still envision him as Benjamin Stone. That said....yes, I am a sucker. I do fully intend to keep reading the series, but only because the show was so good, I need to know how it could have possible ended, despite all the major differences between them. Honestly though, I would only recommend this to someone who wants to kill an hour or two and has literally nothing else to do instead.


Now, on to that comparison I promised! :) Below is a breakdown of eight reasons why the show trumps the book. So, as I've mentioned, NONE of the characters act the same in the book as they do in the show, and because of that, a lot of the reasons have to do with the characters themselves. To start us off, here's the main character herself:
Reason number 1:
 
Chloe King is intelligent and thoughtful. Chloe King in the books is shallow. However, in the tv show, she's got a huge heart, and always puts her friends happiness above her own. She's still going through that "coming of age" period that she is in the book, but she's doing it a lot more noticeably, and realistically. She's a three dimensional character who, while at times still frustrating to the audience, always manages to come off authentic and real. She doesn't just jump into two relationships because she can. She's honestly torn between two boys, and isn't going to just stop being so because one won't kiss her. In fact, she already knows she can't kiss Brian without killing him (another thing not mentioned in the first book), and she still can't deny her feelings for him. Yes, in the show Chloe was turned a little more vanilla than in the book, as she doesn’t' swear or even smoke a regular cigarette, but this actually adds to her character. It works for her.
Reason number 2:
Her mother and her relationship is actually amazing. In the book, she and her mom don't get along. We're actually told a whole bunch that it's because her mom is a bitch. We don't really see a lot of that, but there is an underlying layer of ice that's fairly apparent. In the show, they're actually really close, having developed a strong bond after being abandoned by Mr. King, instead of growing apart. The relationship between the two of them is also so crucial to how Chloe acts, who she really is deep down inside. She has a caring parent, and therefore cares for others. She still has to keep the secret of her new fond abilities from her mom (at least so far), like in the book, but it's because she's confused and doesn't want to involve her in something that could potentially get her hurt. Her mom supports her in all other aspects of her life, and often times is the one who helps her through the more difficult problems, just like a parent should.
Reason number 3:
We're told exactly what Chloe King is. Yes, I understand that because it's a show certain aspects of it need to move more quickly then the written work, however..."cat person", really? That's what we're left with at the end of book one. I don't know about the rest of you, but I personally think that's ridiculous. Not only does it sound stupid, and bring to mind images of Halle Berry in a cat suit, but it's just another reminder that we've been told absolutely nothing. Who is Chloe? What is Chloe? Why are those guys really trying to kill her? With the show, things were laid out on the table, not all things, just enough to keep the viewers interest and keep them wanting more. There is nothing to keep the readers interest, because answers not only never come, they're seldom even asked by the main characters. Half the reason the show was so cool was because of all those Egyptian mythological parts. Tale those away and we're left with...well, Halle Berry in a leather cat suit.
Reason number 4:
Amy and Paul rock. They're hilarious, and they're actually there for Chloe. The awkwardness of the two of them becoming a couple and leaving Chloe feeling like a third wheel is still there, and Amy can still throw a mean temper tantrum when she wants, but their friendship is much more solid than in the books. They still really care for each other, and what’s more, we can actually see that (no pun intended). When she finds out she's got weird abilities, Chloe goes straight to them. They become her confidants, and that really helps to progress the story. She needs someone she can talk to about both her love interests and the strange things happening to her, and in the show she gets it in Amy and Paul. In the book, she gets two people who are basically as absentee as her missing father.
Reason number 5:
The bad guys are actually bad. Not cliché old guys (and one young) sitting around in a dark basement wearing matching robes. In the show, Brian's dad is scary. In the book, the slight glimpse we get of what I assume was him is laughable. There's just no way I can take a bunch of dudes wearing ritualistic robes seriously. I just can't. And the assassin Alexander guy? Yeah. Lame. He was way over the top, made to look just as crazy as he was supposed to be. You get right away that he's a religious nut, one of those "god hates everyone that isn't me" kinda guys, but that just makes him seem so...flat. Ok, he hates her because he considers her not human because she's...wait, what is she? Oh right! WE. DON'T. KNOW. We see him twice (three times?) and he's never really forthcoming with information, and yes, he does almost kill her a bunch and the fight scenes aren't all that bad, he still doesn't come off as all that threatening. I'll admit, a lot of the short lived show didn't actually have a ton of Tenth Blade people, but when it did they came off as calculating and wealthy, which I equate with being highly capable of affording ways to kill the crap out of her.
Reason number 6:
Jasmine. In the first books defense, I don't know if her character comes in later, like in the second or third novels, but the lack of a character like her in the first book really made my rating go down. She's vital to the flow of the story, there to balance out Alek (yes, I'm sticking with the way his name was spelled in the show) and his cockiness, as well as pose an important divide between Chloe and the more stressful aspects of being the Uniter. In the first book, not only does Chloe basically not have a good version of Amy and Paul, but she doesn't have a Jasmine at all. And that's just sad.
Reason number 7:
The actual plot. So much better. For one, Chloe isn't drooling over both guys. She really likes Brian from the start, but grows a connection with Alek. Is she still confused over which she likes more? Sure. But is she purposefully being a bitch and putting their feelings on the line? No. The order that wants to kill her is more crafty (like mentioned above) and Chloe's whole Uniter angle is really interesting. She's not just a girl with powers or a group of average friends. The plot twists were way more interesting and harder to see coming (albeit not impossible sure), and more believable. And Brian is waaaay cooler. Not a strange weirdo.
Reason number 8: And In My Opinion, Most Important:
Alek is Benjamin Stone. Ok, I fully admit to being just as shallow as book version Chloe King by saying that last part, but it's actually true. Look at that face? Seriously. Also, he's not an air head, or just hanging around her because he has to and taking advantage of her by making out in janitor closets. Even knowing she can't kiss a human, he's still jealous seeing her with Brian. And he's open about his feelings without first needing her to flirt like an idiot with him. He's still considered popular, but it's not thrown in your face like it's the most important thing about him, and you get to see him kick a lot more ass. The time spent between them in the book is boring, and doesn't really have anything to do with furthing along the story other than to make it more pages in length, whereas in the show he's crucial. He's there for Chloe in ways that other characters can't be, and he's the first love interest of hers that is also a "cat person". He does not come off as dumb, and he has a tragic past that we're aware of, not a weird wealthy uncle (though I'm sure this develops the same in the second book. I hope at least). He also brings a lot of the humor, whereas in the book he's not funny. At all.
And there you have it, the eight major reasons I think the show is better than the book. Ranty? Yes. Probably over the top? Undoubtably. But hey, it's a long post, right guys?! ;) If any of you have seen or read the Nine Lives of Chloe King, I'm super interested in hearing your thoughts!
 


Monday, July 22, 2013

Unleashed Giveaway!!!

Alright so I'm finally doing a giveaway for the second book in my Underworld saga, Unleashed! Spence now has to find a way to deal with her emotions towards the god of the Underworld, while still juggling her feelings for Micah and dodging the attacks of a few malicious spirits! Below is a giveaway for three ebook copies! Because I've been away so long-and feel really guilty-there's also a free entry section so all you have to do is click to be entered into the giveaway for a chance to win!

For those of you who already read the first book, there's also a special way you can enter and earn even more entries! All you have to do is send me a message on goodreads with the answer to the question (which you'll find below in the rafflecopter) and you'll get 10 points! :)

For those of you who HAVEN'T yet read the first book, it's currently available for only 0.99 on Smashwords.com. You can download a copy for Kindle, Nook, iPad, etc there.

Here's the blurb, a link to where you can purchase it if you don't want to wait, as well as the first book, Unhinged, cover image, and directly below the rafflecopter! Don't miss out on your chance to read this book for free! :)

Also, just wanted to say thanks to all of you who read and reviewed the first book. :)

Blurb:

It's been three months since Spencer Perry first made her deal with the god of the Underworld-a year of her spending nights below in exchange for the life of her boyfriend Micah. Now with Micah back, making those promised trips to hang with Hadrian-better known as Hades-has gotten even more complicated. Not to mention the fact that an evil Persephone is hell bent on releasing malicious spirits on the world. And on Spencer. The threat forces her to spend more time with the god, and less time with Micah, igniting feelings within her that leave her guilty and confused. How could she be falling for Hadrian when she's always believed that Micah was her soulmate? The clock on their deal is ticking down, but with every second Persephone gets more and more restless. In the end, the only way through the evils of the Underworld might be for Spencer to give into her true feelings. No matter who those feelings end up being for.

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/329934


Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan

Review by Tempest (I know, it's been so long)

Blurb:

Nastasya has spent the last century living as a spoiled, drugged-out party girl. She feels nothing and cares for no one. But when she witnesses her best friend, a Dark Immortal, torture a human, she realizes something's got to change. She seeks refuge at a rehab for wayward immortals, where she meets the gorgeous, undeniably sexy Reyn, who seems inexplicably linked to her past.

Nastasya finally begins to deal with life, and even feels safe--until the night she learns that someone wants her dead.

Cate Tiernan, author of the popular Sweep series, returns with an engaging story of a timeless struggle and inescapable romance, the first book in a stunning new fantasy trilogy.

* * *

I'm a big fan of Cate Tiernan's Sweep series, so I was really glad that I enjoyed this book just as thoroughly as I would have had it been about witches. Sticking with that, there is still magic in the world created for the main character, Nasty (though I admittedly don't care for the name. At all.), who happens to be an immortal. Her friends are also immortal, and living for centuries has really done a number on their, for lack of a better word, humanity. After witnessing her best friend do something horrible, Nasty makes the decision to leave, searching out a woman she met years ago. The characters in this book are all very vivid, though at times I wished we got to see more of certain ones, and learn more about their backgrounds. Because most of the key players live forever, there's so much material here for the author to play with, and I grew increasingly curious what turns she was going to take and when. Nasty's soul searching is believable. I completely buy into the fact that she's done some terrible things and now she wants to do better. The way this is approached, almost like these characters are all addicts, was interesting, and helped make it realistic. There's action in this story, a splash of romance, and mystery. I would have liked a little more oomph in the ending, however, knowing that there's another book helps soften the blow a little. If you're interested in magic, learning a little history, and reading about a sassy character, then this is definitely the book for you.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Whisper By Michael Bray


Review by Jacey
Whisper
It was supposed to be a fresh start, a place for Steve and Melody Samson to start their new life together away from the noise and crime of the city. However, their new home--an idyllic cottage nestled deep within the dense solitude of Oakwell forest has a disturbing history, hidden for generations by the local villagers,who are desperate to keep their sleepy town free from potential media attention. As Steve and Melody being to notice the strange and bizarre things that are happening to them, they begin to unravel the complex web of lies and deceit perpetrated by the locals. Told both in a modern day narrative and flashback to the building's construction in the 1800s, we learn of the terrible things that reside within Hope House, and the reasons for the history of murder, suicide and insanity for the previous owners of the house. As Steve and Melody delve deeper, they are plagued not only by the malevolent forces that reside within the house, but also the very real attention of the increasingly unstable realtor Donovan, who has horrific secrets of his own that he will go to any lengths to keep a secret.       


***
Hello everyone! It's been over a month since I last posted and I apologize for the absence. When I heard Michael Bray was coming out with a full length book, I immediately requested a copy for review, having read his previous venture "Dark Corners" and being scared out of my wits by his short stories filled with demons, the macabre, gore, horror, the like. When I read the synopsis, it almost sounded like a murder mystery which took me back just a bit, but knowing also that it must also be paranormal, I began to read. The opening was amazing, it had everything that I enjoyed from the previous book. And then suddenly, I couldn't help but feel like that momentum unraveled. In fact, I had a very hard time feeling any sort of momentum after the book's opening. The thrills that I expected from Bray just seemed to fall flat for a large portion of this book.

What I think made it incredibly difficult for me to get the chills in this novel was the fact that every five seconds, the reader is told that the main characters are feeling uneasy, or that the atmosphere of the house is making them uneasy, or that person is making them uneasy, or hey that room over yonder is making me anxious. I felt like there was this constant bombardment of Bray telling us that something was wrong with barely a hint of skepticism. We get it, this is a horror book, and something is definitely wrong with the house. That's why we picked it up, because we wanted to be freaked out and thrilled, not told every five seconds that something is amiss. 

I kept telling myself maybe this was one way of building up to a bigger scene, like we were going to find something out that was going to blow our minds, as Bray did in his previous work. Unfortunately I didn't see this either, as most of what was going on at the house is pretty much explained blatantly rather than subtly through all these flash backs. In fact, you pretty much get why the house and the land around it is cursed by the end of chapter 5. So, the whole interweaving of narratives kind of flopped in this. I feel that maybe if a few of  the narratives from the past were placed farther into the book, then we would be more surprised, not knowing where the curse came from. Not rereading over and over again what we already have deduced. 

Additionally, I really found myself disliking the protagonist in this. In fact, I wondered if perhaps by the end of this book Steve would finally just be like "Know what Melody? You really do not take my feelings into account, I'm gone." And know what? I probably would have cheered him out the door. They're described to be such a close couple, and yet when it's super plain that Steve doesn't like being there (I mean, we know that he gets anxious every five seconds in this story) or is upset, Melody kind of pushes it aside, and you don't really feel sorry for her at all when things start going down. Additionally, I felt like towards the end that Melody kept flipping sides, like one second she was freaking out that all of this supernatural crazy stuff was happening, and then the next she's screaming at her husband for being a paranoid freak. I thought the main antagonist, Donovan, was an interesting, twisted character and definitely piqued my morbid interest. Sadly, I felt like he lacked a sense of purpose. It seemed he was simply destined to cause random bursts of mayhem for the couple and to play the typical slasher, like one you'd see in a B movie. 

There seemed to also be a swapping in opinion between minor characters. One second William from the bar wants to tell Steve about the house, the next second he doesn't want Melody to know but Mrs. Briggs wants them to know, THEN she doesn't want them to know about the house and Will says they need to...plus the whole reason that they hide the house seemed muddled and kind of thrown together. Also, in 1809, the house was being constructed by a British company. I mean, that could make sense...except that was cutting it pretty close to the War of 1812, where America did not have fantastic relations with the British at that time because of the British impressing American sailors into the Royal Navy. Maybe I'm digging too much, but there it is. 
    
There are several scenes that emote the building terror I was familiar with in Bray's previous work, and they're definitely worth a look. Overall though, I feel like there could have been a much slower build up of suspense. Additionally, there needed to be more consistency in the character's opinions. Plenty of moments gut wrenching moments though which was pretty awesome, so If you're looking for a twisted kick, Bray's got several for you in this. I think if one were to edit this, I would take out at least 75% of the sentences describing the characters having a bad feeling and try balancing the skepticism between Melody and Steve. I'd be interested in reading that.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Unhinged + Unleashed

Hey all! So for those of you who haven't yet heard, book two in my Underworld saga was finally released! It's available for purchase at Smashwords.com, where you can download a version for kindle, epub, or even PDF. In honor of the new release, I've marked down the first book, Unhinged, to only 99 cents!!! :) So, go grab your copy before next friday and the deal is over! Check goodreads.com for reviews from fellow readers, so far it's gotten four and five star reviews. Below is a blurb for both books, cover images, and links!


Spencer Perry lost everything the day her boyfriend died. Even when he came back as a ghost, she was never able to return to her old self. Determined to find a way to bring both of them back--him from the dead and her from her depression--Spencer hops a ride with a Reaper across the river to the Underworld where she meets the god of the dead. Hadrian isn't what she expected Hades to be like, but when he agrees to a deal that can get her Micah back, she puts all caution aside and accepts. Too bad she didn't realize that she'd also just accepted a lot more then one gorgeous yet frustrating god. Bad things are happening all around her, and now she not only has to worry about keeping Micah's ghost status a secret from their friends, but also figure out who's behind all of the accidents. All signs point towards Hadrian, but something about that just doesn't feel right to her. Something that she hopes has nothing to do with her growing attraction towards him.

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/303574


It's been three months since Spencer Perry first made her deal with the god of the Underworld-a year of her spending nights below in exchange for the life of her boyfriend Micah. Now with Micah back, making those promised trips to hang with Hadrian-better known as Hades-has gotten even more complicated. Not to mention the fact that an evil Persephone is hell bent on releasing malicious spirits on the world. And on Spencer. The threat forces her to spend more time with the god, and less time with Micah, igniting feelings within her that leave her guilty and confused. How could she be falling for Hadrian when she's always believed that Micah was her soulmate? The clock on their deal is ticking down, but with every second Persephone gets more and more restless with lying in wait. In the end, the only way through the evils of the Underworld might be for Spencer to give into her true feelings. No matter who that ends up being for.


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Unleashed Release!!!

Some of you may have noticed I've (Tempest) been a little m.i.a as of late, BUT finally I'm back! I have a stack of reviews to post (I have still been reading all this time!) and I've just released the second book in my Underworld saga, Unleashed. Usually I do a cover reveal a few days or so before, but because I've been so behind on, well, everything, I figured I'd just go a head and release the book! Below is a blurb, the cover, and a link where you can go and purchase the book! I'd also like to take this time to thank everyone who read and reviewed the first book, Unhinged. I appreciate all the feedback I've been getting! :)


It's been three months since Spencer Perry first made her deal with the god of the Underworld-a year of her spending nights below in exchange for the life of her boyfriend Micah. Now with Micah back, making those promised trips to hang with Hadrian-better known as Hades-has gotten even more complicated. Not to mention the fact that an evil Persephone is hell bent on releasing malicious spirits on the world. And on Spencer. The threat forces her to spend more time with the god, and less time with Micah, igniting feelings within her that leave her guilty and confused. How could she be falling for Hadrian when she's always believed that Micah was her soulmate? The clock on their deal is ticking down, but with every second Persephone gets more and more restless with lying in wait. In the end, the only way through the evils of the Underworld might be for Spencer to give into her true feelings. No matter who that ends up being for.


Purchase your copy here:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/329934

Monday, June 3, 2013

Death's Apprentice: A Grimm City Novel (Grimm City #1)

Review by Jacey
Death's Apprentice: A Grimm City Novel

Forget about Once Upon A Time...

Built on top of the gates of Hell, Grimm City is the Devil's capitol on Earth, a place where every coffee shop, nightclub, and shopping mall is the potential hunting ground for a ghost, a demon, or any of the other supernatural entities that inhabit the Grimm City world.

Death's seventeen-year-old apprentice, Nathaniel, comes into his own as he leads an uprising against the Devil. What results is a bloody, brutal revolt that calls upon the loyalties of both the living and the dead. 

Based not only upon the well-known fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm, but also upon their unknown sagas and essays, the Grimm City books are the first novels to be based upon the entire Grimm Canon. Such comprehensive, in-depth adaptations of the works of the Brothers Grimm have never been published before!



***
So I initially became interested in this novel simply with the word "Grimm" on its cover. I took a class on fairy tales in college (and how they compared to their Disney remakes but that's something I won't discuss here) and was fascinated by the many dark themes that permeated those tales that were meant for children, or really terrifying stories that taught children to be clever, quick and cheat death by any means necessary. Additionally I really was intrigued by the "unknown sagas and essays" that the synopsis spoke of. Plus, Death has an apprentice. Some part of this has got to be cool.

The first chapter, i have to say, was amazingly written and sucked me in within the first few lines. I was so eager and pumped to join our main (or so we thought) protagonist on his journey through this dark underworld so brutally kept under the thumb of the Devil. And then you find out that there are actually two other protagonists in this story; a giant called Hank with an extreme case of pantophobia or basically the absence of fear, and Blake, a man who was tricked by the devil to wear his overcoat which merged with his flesh and while giving him super powers, also eats away at him. So yeah, I was on a "let's follow Nathaniel kick" originally, but then as the authors delved more into these separate stories and then gives us a terrific look at the Devil himself, I forgave them. And it's not like they completely abandon Nathaniel either. We see him again. The violence in this was spectacular, and not even in an overdone way. I guess the only word I can think of to describe it would be 'sophisticated.'

Here's where the problems set in: when all of these exciting and intriguing characters met. I feel like the three comrades who are pretty much thrown together and are completely unawares of the roles they play in taking down the Devil would have been a little less united. In fact, really all you get from them when they all meet up together is that they all want to save this one baby that none of them have met. Yes, Hank has his reasons because of his connection with the mother, and I guess Nathaniel does because he sees how bad it would be if the baby is left to die in the hands of this "lawyer" dwarf, but if he's Death's apprentice, he wouldn't be all that in a hurry to rescue her after having rules of "balance, life and death, one must die so the other lives" drilled into him. Plus, he even says that he's been to the place where Ren-Lei, our special baby in this story,  is being taken, where millions of babies have been killed. Why has this baby made him suddenly object? If the authors had been more specific in explaining his motivations, I probably would have been less annoyed. And then there's Blake; what's his motivation? He just wants to reach the Devil to take his revenge for tricking him, and Nathaniel promises he'll take him to the Devil if he helps him get the baby because APPARENTLY no one knows where the Devil lives in this city, except...well....EVERYONE, it seems. Additionally, the characters barely play off one another, There is no "Hi I'm so-and-so," or no actual interaction between them, really. Just them telling each other what they need to know to save this woman's baby, which then somehow leads to them killing the Devil. Strangely, sometimes I felt like the writing went from being eloquent to downright CHEESY after they met up. I mean, I went from reading something akin to epic verse to corny one liners from bad-ass Blake:

Devil: The child will be the first to go. I'll scoop out her brains myself, just to punish her for being born.
 Blake: Before you do that, try taking on a man.

....

Interestingly enough, as beautiful as most of this book's writing was, there were also portions that were SO dense (i.e. Chapter 2) and complex that I struggled just to comprehend what was going on. When I thought something incredibly important was happening, it was really in fact Blake readjusting his coat. Maybe I'm just slow and being picky and trying to make myself feel better, but I just thought it could be way less wordy in some places, a stark contrast to the other portions of the book which exhibited aforementioned cheesiness.

Anywho, it was a quick read, but I think that's what was one of its major downfalls. I think if the authors had put maybe a hundred more or so pages in this and went into the three characters' interactions with each other, I could have enjoyed this book even more. I think they got super into developing these three characters, then got super impatient and wanted to just bolt into the battle against the Devil and hack at it; really, there's a lot of that and more, horror readers will NOT be disappointed. If you like the macabre and seeing the Devil, demons, baby-eaters and walking dead go at it, this book is definitely for you. If you're super into Grimm fairy tales I wouldn't go looking for any resemblance to those stories, this definitely stands on its own. I'd read the second, but if it doesn't seem like the three characters are going to say more than a few sentences to one another, I'll probably look for another book that is solely about an apprentice to Death.



Monday, May 27, 2013

Splintered (Splintered, #1) by A.G. Howard

Review by Tempest.

Blurb:

This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence. Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.
When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.

* * *

I liked this book a lot. There were moments where I found that Jeb was too over protective, or Morpheus acted a little too childish to be believable as an ancient being, but the creativeness of the story always seemed to blur those moments over in my mind so that I quickly forgot them. Howard's Wonderland is definitely a more morbid place than the one we've all grown up thinking about as children. The description of Rabid White for instance...yikes. And the flowers...gruesome. Which was awesome. It was easy for me to picture this twisted Wonderland because she supplied such vivid details of it all, and I loved seeing familiar characters morphed into these crazy, somewhat vile, creatures. Alyssa was curious, which made her fit in with the Alice part wonderfully in my line of thinking, and I believed that she would do anything in order to help her mother. Killing off bugs because they spoke to you seemed sort of cruel in my mind, but it definitely added another dimension to her character. I also loved how she at least used the bodies in her art, giving them a purpose other than she just wanted them to shut up. Many of the events from Alice in Wonderland are touched in this book, like the mention of Alice crying out a river of tears. Things are given new light, and other aspects of Wonderland that we've never dreamed of before are presented. A down side, I found, to the book was, again, certain actions by the two male characters. The ending especially didn't seem to really match up to me, because if she made that sort of wish, then all the events of her trip should have been altered too dramatically for her to have ended up in the same place. Sorry about being vague there, but I don't want to give it away. Jeb acted over the top sometimes, so that instead of thinking he was protective, I thought he was acting like a control freak. Alyssa can clearly handle herself, for the most part anyway. However, he does come to this realization towards the end, and that was satisfying. Morpheus was awesome most of the time, but then didn't seem fleshed out enough others. I feel like there could have been a lot more explanation behind his motives, as well as how and why he was so attached to Alyssa. Was he as attached to her mother when he tried to convince her? I'm hoping these questions will all be dealt with in the next book, if not, then at least by the end of the series. I recommend reading this if you're interested in Alice and Wonderland, fairytale retelling, and/or fantasy. You don't feel bogged down by romance in this one, but there's just enough of it mixed in with the action and adventure. There's also the mystery aspect, and some creepy almost-spider looking creatures that will more then likely give you nightmares. Can't wait for the next book, that's for sure.