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Sunday, 31 October 2010

MR. MAILMAN: loads and loads of oh la la!!!

Thank you to disney.co.uk for hosting a contest and making it possible for me to get my greedy hands on loads and loads of oh la la!!!! Couldn't wait to find it in my mail!! *jumping up and down* This wait is worth a Mr. Mailman feature! A kind of "blog meme" started by Juju over at Tales Of Whimsy.

About Mr. Mailman:
Mr. Mailman is a feature Juju decided to try. Periodically when there is a book in route which she is anxiously hoping to find when she gets home to her mailbox - Juju would feature Mr. Mailman.

Mr. Mailman is a hybrid of Waiting on Wednesday by Breaking the Spine and In My Mailbox by the Story Siren. Please feel free to grab the logo and feature your Mr. Mailman request on your site. Please leave a link to your Mr. Mailman request in the comments at Tales Of Whimsy.
Source: Info in the About Mr. Mailman was pinched from Juju's blog, the Tales Of Whimsy, on 04/12/09.

...So sometime soon I am hoping to find in my mailbox these following beauties (fingers crossed):
Halogen Oven

River Marked by Patricia Briggs
Book 6 of the Mercy Thompson series

Archangel's Consort (Guild Hunter) by Nalini Singh:
Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux and her lover, the lethally beautiful archangel Raphael, have returned home to New York only to face an uncompromising new evil…

A vampire has attacked a girls’ school—the assault one of sheer, vicious madness—and it is only the first act. Rampant bloodlust takes vampire after vampire, threatening to make the streets run with blood. Then Raphael himself begins to show signs of an uncontrolled rage, as inexplicable storms darken the city skyline and the earth itself shudders.

The omens are suddenly terrifyingly clear.

An ancient and malevolent immortal is rising. The violent winds whisper her name: Caliane. She has returned to reclaim her son, Raphael. Only one thing stands in her way: Elena, the consort who must be destroyed...
Source: Info in the above synopsis was taken from the author's website at http://www.nalinisingh.com/consort.html on 31/10/10.

Bayou Moon by Ilona Andrews
Edge Novels book 2
The Edge lies between worlds, on the border between the Broken, where people shop at Walmart and magic is a fairytale–and the Weird, where blueblood aristocrats rule, changelings roam, and the strength of your magic can change your destiny…

Cerise Mar and her unruly clan are cash poor but land rich, claiming a large swathe of the Mire, the Edge swamplands between the state of Louisiana and the Weird. When her parents vanish, her clan’s long-time rivals are suspect number one.

But all is not as it seems. Two nations of the Weird are waging a cold war fought by feint and espionage, and their conflict is about to spill over into the Edge—and Cerise’s life . William, a changeling soldier who left behind the politics of the Weird, has been forced back into service to track down a rival nation’s spymaster.

When William’s and Cerise’s missions lead them to cross paths, sparks fly—but they’ll have to work together if they want to succeed…and survive.
Source: Info in the above synopsis was taken from the author's website at http://edge.ilona-andrews.com/books/bayou-moon/ on 31/10/10.

Side Jobs (Dresden Files) by Jim Butcher
- A collection of short stories/novellas in the Dresden Files series.

Kitty And The Midnight Hour by Carrie Vaughn
Book 1 of the Kitty Norville series

About Kitty And The Midnight Hour:
Kitty Norville is a midnight-shift DJ for a Denver radio station?and a werewolf in the closet. Her new late-night advice show for the supernaturally disadvantaged is a raging success, but it?s Kitty who can use some help. With one sexy werewolf-hunter and a few homicidal undead on her tail, Kitty may have bitten off more than she can chew
Source: Info in the About Kitty And The Midnight Hour was taken from http://www.tatteredcover.com/book/9780446616416 on 30/04/2010.

Midnight's Daughter by Karen Chance
Book 1 of the Dorina Basarab Series
Dorina Basarab is a dhampir—half-human, half-vampire. Subject to uncontrollable rages, most dhampirs live very short, very violent lives. So far, Dory has managed to maintain her sanity by unleashing her anger on those demons and vampires who deserve killing.

Now Dory’s vampire father has come back into her life. Her uncle Dracula (yes, the Dracula) infamous even among vampires for his cruelty and murderous ways, has escaped his prison. And her father wants Dory to work with the gorgeous master vampire Louis-Cesare to put him back there.

Vampires and dhampirs are mortal enemies, and Dory prefers to work alone. But Dracula is the only thing on earth that truly scares her, and when Dory has to go up against him, she’ll take all the help she can get…
Source: Info in the above synopsis was taken from the author's website at http://www.karenchance.com/books_md.html on 31/10/10

Stormwalker by Allyson James
Book 1 of the Stormwalker series
Half-Navajo Janet Begay possesses extraordinary power which is tied to the storms that waft across the desert. The only person who can control her when she's caught in the storm's evocative power is Mick, a dark-haired, blue-eyed biker Janet can't seem to touch with her powers. He can wield fire and not get burned, and Janet's never sure where he goes when they're not together.

Together they investigate mysterious disappearances, which Janet fears are tied to her mother's people, the mythical gods from below the earth. They are helped along the way by Coyote and Crow, but these shapeshifting gods have their own agendas.
Source: Info in the above synopsis was taken from the author's website at http://www.allysonjames.com/stormwalker.htmlon 31/10/10.

The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong
Book 3 of the Darkest Powers series
My name is Chloe Saunders. I’m fifteen, and I would love to be normal.

But normal is one thing I’m not.

For one thing, I’m having these feelings for a certain antisocial werewolf and his sweet-tempered brother—who just happens to be a sorcerer—but, between you and me, I’m leaning toward the werewolf.

Not normal.

My friends and I are also on the run from an evil corporation that wants to get rid of us—permanently.

Definitely not normal.

And finally, I’m a genetically altered necromancer who can raise the dead, rotting corpses and all, without even trying.

As far away from normal as it gets.
Source: Info in the above synopsis was taken from the author's website at http://www.kelleyarmstrong.com/the-reckoning/on 31/10/10.

Blackout by Rob Thurman
Book 6 of the Cal Leandros series

About Blackout:
I was alone, and I was lost. I didn’t know where I was; I didn’t know who I was. It doesn’t get more lost than that. Knowing what I knew and not knowing anything else at all, why would I want to be in the darkness where monsters hide?

Because killers hide there, too…

Half-human Cal Leandros has always walked a bloody line between keeping his mortal soul free and clear (sort of) and unleashing the horror of his otherworldly heritage. The one thing that’s always saved him is the memory of his brother, Niko, his friends, and those he loves.

Until now.

Cal wakes up on a beach littered with the recently slaughtered remains of a variety of hideous creatures that were obviously looking for trouble. The fact that he was the one doing the slaughtering doesn’t bother him. The fact that he feels like a natural-born killer doesn’t either. What bothers him is that Cal doesn’t remember Cal anymore…

And he’s not sure he cares.
Source: Info in the About Blackout was taken from the author's website at http://robthurman.net/cal-leandros/blackout/ on 14/09/2010.

Roadkill by Rob Thurman
Book 5 of the Cal Leandros series

About Roadkill:
Niko could have died because of her. I don’t forget things like that…not ever. I wanted a little payback for those she’d cheated in the past. For those she’d cheat in the future. For what she’d allowed to happen to my brother.

For good old fashion revenge.

Once, while half-human Cal Leandros and his brother Niko were working on a case, an ancient gypsy queen gave them a good old-fashioned backstabbing. They barely made it out alive. Now, as their P.I. business teeters on insolvency, guess who shows up with a job?

The gypsy crone wants them to find a stolen coffin. Cal would rather help her into one, but this coffin contains an evil known as the Plague of the World–and it makes the Black Death seem like a fond memory.

But the thief has already left town, so the Leandros brothers are going on the road.

And if they’re very, very lucky, there might even be a return trip…
Source: Info in the About Roadkill was taken from the author's website at http://robthurman.net/cal-leandros/roadkill/ on 14/09/2010.

I would like to thank disney.co.uk for hosting a contest and making it possible for me to win prizes received!
...and Happy Halloween everybody!!!

Saturday, 30 October 2010

I SO WANT TO READ THIS: MAYBE THIS TIME

WISHLIST:
Maybe This Time by Jennifer Crusie

Genre: paranormal romance
About Maybe This Time:
When Andie Miller goes to see her ex-husband, North Archer, to return ten years of uncashed alimony checks, he asks for one final favor: A distant cousin has died and left him guardian of two orphans who have driven out three nannies already; will she take the job? Bribed with money and a need for closure, Andie says yes, but when she meets the two children she realizes things are much worse than she feared. The children aren’t any run-of-the-mill delinquents, the creepy old house where they live is being run by the worst housekeeper since Mrs. Danvers, and something strange is happening at night. Plus, Andie’s fiance thinks it’s a plan by North to get Andie back, and since Andie’s been dreaming about North since she arrived at the house, she’s not sure he isn’t right. Then her ex-brother-in-law arrives with a duplicitous journalist and a self-doubting parapsychologist, closely followed by an annoyed medium, Andie’s tarot card–reading mother, her avenging ex-mother-in-law, and her jealous fiancĂ©. Just when Andie’s sure things couldn’t get more complicated, North arrives to make her wonder if maybe this time things could be different….
Source: Info in the About Maybe This Time was taken from the author's website at http://www.jennycrusie.com/books/fiction/maybe-this-time/ on 31/08/2010.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

WW28: MOONSHINE

WW28
A chance to showcase your favourite!
  • First you grab our Wicked Wednesday pic.
  • Then you grab a book. Turn to page 28. Take the first sentence. And then you post it in your site with a link back to WW28.
  • Come back to Cherry Mischievous - WW28 and give us the url of your post (in a comment at a WW28 post) so that other WW28 readers can find your WW28 offering.

WW28 book offering : Moonshine by Rob Thurman
Page 28, 1st Sentence:
I grinned.
Now that is a bit too stingy... two words? So let me post the rest of the paragraph:
I like Promise. I liked her for herself, but I would've liked her for Niko's sake if nothing else.
Those lines there shows us a glimpse of the family dynamics in the book.

About Moonshine:
I was born a monster. Although truthfully, I was only half a monster. My mother was human; my father was something… else. Half monster or whole, in the end it didn’t matter. I had my weaknesses, same as anyone else.

And I was facing one of them now.

After saving the world from his fiendish father’s side of the family, Cal Leandros and his stalwart half brother, Niko, have settled down with a new apartment and a new gig-bodyguard and detective work. And in New York City, where preternatural beings stalk the streets just like normal folk, business is good.

Their latest case has them going undercover for the Kin, the werewolf Mafia. A low-level Kin boss thinks a rival is setting him up for a fall, and wants proof. The place to start is the back room of Moonshine, a gambling club for non-humans. Cal thinks it’s a simple in-and-out job. But Cal is very, very wrong.

Cal and Niko are being set up themselves - and the people behind it have bites much worse than their barks…
Source: Info in the About Moonshine was taken from the the author's website at http://robthurman.net/cal-leandros/moonshine/ on 09/08/2010.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Review: BEAUTIFUL DARKNESS

26 Oct 2010Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Genre: urban fantasy, YA

About Beautiful Darkness:
Ethan Wate used to think of Gatlin, the small Southern town he had always called home, as a place where nothing ever changed. Then he met mysterious newcomer Lena Duchannes, who revealed a secret world that had been hidden in plain sight all along. A Gatlin that harbored ancient secrets beneath its moss-covered oaks and cracked sidewalks. A Gatlin where a curse has marked Lena's family of powerful supernaturals for generations. A Gatlin where impossible, magical, life-altering events happen.

Sometimes life-ending.

Together they can face anything Gatlin throws at them, but after suffering a tragic loss, Lena starts to pull away, keeping secrets that test their relationship. And now that Ethan's eyes have been opened to the darker side of Gatlin, there's no going back. Haunted by strange visions only he can see, Ethan is pulled deeper into his town's tangled history and finds himself caught up in the dangerous network of underground passageways endlessly crisscrossing the South, where nothing is as it seems.
Source: Info in the About Beautiful Darkness was taken from GoodReads at http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7842288-beautiful-darkness on 06/10/10.

My review of Book 1: Beautiful Creatures is here.

Review:
Positives:
Image on the right reminds me of Lena. Maybe Lena and Ethan has grown on me with the waiting time between getting my hands on this ARC and the first book, Beautiful Creatures, that I was actually looking forward to reading this one. What I said about the first book still holds true with this one. The things I liked most about Beautiful Darkness is the humour between the lines. The book made me smile. Humour makes for a pleasant read. Plus, I like the authors' "voice". They have a way of telling the story in such a way that is pleasant to read. Second is the ending. The authors gave us an ending with satisfying resolution even though it also gave us the lead to the next book's story giving it a cliffhanger effect. I like satisfying resolutions! :) I also like the way the plot twists and the surprises it brought! What a wonderful read that makes!!

My favourite character: Lucille...

Not so positive:
Dramatic Overkill. It has the tendency to be too dramatic! Specially towards the end. The characters talk about hurrying because they are running out of time yet they take the time to stage drama revelations!?! It kinda brought the believability status a notch down. And I still think the cover could do with an artistic injection from the likes of Gene Mollica. However I am pretty resigned by now that this series is going to have non-attractive covers. What can I say? It's Monday. Shoot me.

Story telling quality = 4.5
Ending = 4.5
Cover art = 2
Story itself = 4
Plot = 4.5
Pace = 3.5

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 cherries

CymLowell
Buy Link:

Acknowledgements:
Lena-like picture - was taken from LadySymphonia's site at http://lady-symphonia.deviantart.com/.
Lucille-like picture - was taken from moroka323's site at http://moroka323.deviantart.com/.

Friday, 22 October 2010

URBAN FANTASY

This post was inspired by a message I received in my Facebook inbox. I was asked exactly what an urban fantasy is and what makes a book, urban fantasy.

Ahh... I gotta tell you, I read loads of fantasy books but that does not mean I am an expert in all things urban fantasy. And please keep in mind that classification of books now-a-days into "genres" is no longer as straight forward as it used to be. Melissa Marr talks about genre classification or the difficulty of it in an aptly titled post, Genres in the Supernatural Underground (or “get into your box, woman!”). I think wiki's definition of urban fantasy at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urban_fantasy clarifies it a little bit more for us. Here is a little snippet of what it says:
...The prerequisite is that it must be primarily set in a city, rather than in a suburban or country setting...
However, wiki is not the "end-all-and-be-all" definition of urban fantasy. There is still a lot of argument pro and against issues in urban fantasy by authors, publishers and other experts. I even came across people in the publishing industry refusing to acknowledge the existence of such a genre! So I would not even attempt it. I am not suicidal so will not get into the fray :) I'll just watch the match from the sidelines...


I was also asked for... must read titles? Again, that denotes expertise which I do not have. What I can do, is share with you my favourites. My favs include the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher and Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews. I could go on and on and on and that does not even include the future releases I'm dying to get my hands on... So, how would you define urban fantasy? And which titles would you recommend to fellow readers?

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

WW28: BEAUTIFUL DARKNESS

WW28
A chance to showcase your favourite!
  • First you grab our Wicked Wednesday pic.
  • Then you grab a book. Turn to page 28. Take the first sentence. And then you post it in your site with a link back to WW28.
  • Come back to Cherry Mischievous - WW28 and give us the url of your post (in a comment at a WW28 post) so that other WW28 readers can find your WW28 offering.
26 Oct 2010

WW28 book offering: Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Page 28, 1st Sentence:
"But I will always, and I do mean always, be here for you, like the Good Book and my mamma taught me."
Reassuring... :)

About Beautiful Darkness:
Ethan Wate used to think of Gatlin, the small Southern town he had always called home, as a place where nothing ever changed. Then he met mysterious newcomer Lena Duchannes, who revealed a secret world that had been hidden in plain sight all along. A Gatlin that harbored ancient secrets beneath its moss-covered oaks and cracked sidewalks. A Gatlin where a curse has marked Lena's family of powerful supernaturals for generations. A Gatlin where impossible, magical, life-altering events happen.

Sometimes life-ending.

Together they can face anything Gatlin throws at them, but after suffering a tragic loss, Lena starts to pull away, keeping secrets that test their relationship. And now that Ethan's eyes have been opened to the darker side of Gatlin, there's no going back. Haunted by strange visions only he can see, Ethan is pulled deeper into his town's tangled history and finds himself caught up in the dangerous network of underground passageways endlessly crisscrossing the South, where nothing is as it seems.
Source: Info in the About Beautiful Darknesswas taken from GoodReads at http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7842288-beautiful-darkness on 06/10/10.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Review: MADHOUSE by Rob Thurman

Madhouse by Rob Thurman

About Madhouse:
Book 3 of the Cal Leandros series by Rob Thurman
My brother had spent a lifetime - mine, at least - telling me that I was normal, that I wasn’t a monster. With his help, I’d finally realized that as long as I could remain who I was, I could survive what I was. It was only bad genes…

Half-human Cal Leandros and his brother, Niko, aren’t exactly prospering with their preternatural detective agency. Who could have guessed that business would dry up in New York City, where vampires, trolls, and other creepy crawlies are all over the place?

But now there’s a new arrival in the Big Apple. A malevolent evil with ancient powers, dead set on making history with an orgy of blood and murder, is picking off humans like sheep. And for Cal and Niko, this is one paycheck they’re going to have to earn… if they live long enough to collect it.
Source: Info in the About Madhouse was taken from the the author's website at http://robthurman.net/cal-leandros/madhouse/ on 18/08/2010.

Review:
What I've said about book 1 (Nightlife) and book 2 (Moonshine) in this series is still true with this book. Good paced with humour between the pages and satisfying ending. I would highly recommend this book to urban fantasy readers! But seeing that this is book 3 in the series, I would suggest that you read books 1 and 2 first. It would give a better appreciation of characters and events. Go to Rob Thurman's website for reading order at www.robthurman.net.

What do I love about this book that I haven't said already about the other books in this series? The mere pleasure of reading more about the now beloved characters, Nik and Cal, and enjoying the wonderful story telling quality of Rob Thurman. The novelty hasn't worn off yet and I'm going to savour it while it lasts :)

And another thing I like about Rob Thurman's writing style is that she always delivers a good ending to all the books in the series. She may add on a cliffhanger at the end just to keep you interested in the series but the ending always resolves the central dilemma in the story. Resolution! I am a resolution kind of girl. That is very important to me as a reader.  I do not like being strung along to hung dry. I tend to avoid those authors like the plague!

What I don't like? There were a couple or so of patches in the book where it dragged a bit. I just persevere through it just to get to the next bit because by now I know this author and I know that something good is waiting at the bend.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 cherries


Buy Link:

Saturday, 16 October 2010

OCTOBER GOODBYES

October hasn't been a very good month for me thus far. Lost a couple of friends. The first death was expected as he had been sick for a while. Still it came as a shock when it happened. The other one was a complete shock! She just passed her motorbike license and took her brand spanking new bike for a spin and got involved in a vehicular accident. Nothing nobody can do. She was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital. That pic on the left was from the last funeral, I'm still reeling from it...

Journey on with our love, Gareth and Cheryl!!

Friday, 15 October 2010

Review: CRESCENDO by Becca Fitzpatrick

Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick

Genre: YA, urban fantasy

Publication Date: 19 October 2010

About Crescendo:
Nora should have known her life was far from perfect. Despite starting a relationship with her guardian angel, Patch (who, title aside, can be described as anything but angelic), and surviving an attempt on her life, things are not looking up. Patch is starting to pull away and Nora can't figure out if it's for her best interest or if his interest has shifted to her arch-enemy, Marcie Millar. Not to mention that Nora is haunted by images of her father and she becomes obsessed with finding out what really happened to him that night he left for Portland and never came home.

The further Nora delves into the mystery of her father's death, the more she comes to question if her Nephilim bloodline has something to do with it as well as why she seems to be in danger more than the average girl. Since Patch isn't answering her questions and seems to be standing in her way, she has to start finding the answers on her own. Relying too heavily on the fact that she has a guardian angel puts Nora at risk again and again. But can she really count on Patch or is he hiding secrets darker than she can even imagine?
Source: Info in the About Crescendo was taken from the author's website at http://www.beccafitzpatrick.com/whitehotstory.html on 06/10/10.

Review:
I struggled to read through the first three quarters of this book. But it did pick up towards the end. The end however is a cliffhanger. Then there's the stupid protagonist. It makes for an irritating read. Some authors can pull it off having a stupid hero/heroine who makes mistakes enough to make it real in a young protagonist without making it an irritating read. But this book didn't read like that. So for those of you who are more forgiving kind of reader than me, this might be a good read for you. But this book is not for me.

On the positive side, it did have unexpected twisty plots towards the end which was a pleasant surprise. And it looks like the author is an emotional person or else has a very good grasp of it and this shows through the pages and gives the story an emotional depth which connects with the reader, giving a more enriching reading experience.

Story telling quality = 2
Ending = 2
Cover art = 3
Story itself = 2
Plot = 4
Pace = 1

Overall Rating: 2.5 out of 5 cherries

 
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