Sunday 30 September 2012


Rapture In Death by JD Robb
Book 4 of the In Death series
Narrated by Susan Ericksen
Genre: SciFi murder mystery, police investigation, crime fiction
Format: paperback, audiobook

About Rapture In Death:
They died with smiles on their faces. Three apparent suicides: a brilliant engineer, an infamous lawyer, and a controversial politician. Three strangers with nothing in common - and no obvious reasons for killing themselves. Police lieutenant Eve Dallas found the deaths suspicious. And her instincts paid off when autopsies revealed small burns on the brains of the victims. Was it a genetic abnormality or a high-tech method of murder?

Eve's investigation turned to the provocative world of virtual reality games - where the same techniques used to create joy and desire could also prompt the mind to become the weapon of its own destruction.

©2006 J.D. Robb; (P)2006 Brilliance Audio
Source: Info in the About Rapture In Death was taken from Audible at on 06/03/2012.

I like the way Susan Ericksen changes her voice and/or change her accent to fit the character! My appreciation was probably made keener by having to put up with a narrator who was okay, but I wasn't very fond of, reading the first three books in this series. I don't agree with all of Ms. Ericksen's interpretations but I still like her better than the previous narrator...

The thing I like most about this series is that there is not just one plot all through out the book but multi-layered. And this book is the twistiest of all the books in this series thus far. And the thing I did not like about it is that it is also slightly predictable. I knew from the get go who the culprit(s) is/are. However I did not know how they all tie up together in a neat bow. And that was what made the reading worthwhile!

I know I also said this with Immortal In Death (Book 3), but I think this book is the best yet in this series. It seems that JD Robb is getting better as a writer with every book she writes. Makes me eager to read the next book and see if she keeps this trend up. I find that this series is like wine, it gets better as it matures... :)

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4.5
Character development = 4.5
Story itself = 4.5
Ending = 4.5
World building = 4
Cover art = 2
Pace = N/A (9 hrs & 40 mins)
Plot = 4.5
Narrator = 4.5
Plot = 4.5

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 cherries

Thursday 27 September 2012

Guest Post: Alex Hughes

Index Cards
By Alex Hughes

There hits a point in every novel where I’m sitting on the floor with a massive number of index cards fanning around me. I’m in the process of figuring out where I am with the book and where I have yet to go, and it’s always the hardest and the most rewarding few days of the whole process. Thinking is hard work, and holding an entire three-hundred page novel in your head at once tends to stretch the limits of the brain.

So there I am, on the floor, with each index cards standing in for a scene, a physical marker for a unit of text. I fan them out like a mosaic tiler, I shuffle them up like an expert poker player, and, for hours, I frown and stare and make pen-scratch notes. I turn off my phone. I chase family members away from the room. And I sit, and I think. With any luck at the end of this marathon thinking session the book has said what it is, and what it wants to be, and I walk away with the plans for several weeks or months worth of work. If not, I beat my head against the wall in drafting and come back here, to the floor, sitting with the index cards on the floor until I figure it out.

Life is like this process, I think. We spend a lot of time in mushing mode, maintaining what we have and slowly moving forward on the ideas and projects we’ve already decided on. But we also have to spend time periodically in that little room with index cards, figuring out where we are, what we want, and how to get it. To set a path to somewhere we actually want to go. And if we mess up, or go off the path, we come back to that little room and sit, and think, and think some more.

Or at least I do. There are writers – and people – who seem to have it all figured out in a neat flowchart from the beginning of time. They don’t pull out scenes. They don’t take detours. And they can see the end from the beginning, or their instincts can tell them the whole path without pausing – either way they get it done perfectly the first time. I envy those people, to be honest. I can’t seem to see the thing clearly until I’m all the way in the middle of it. Until I’ve made a few mistakes. But my way works, in the end. I get where I’m going. And some of the detours make the best parts of the book.

So here’s to index cards, and taking stock. Here’s to thinking and doing, messing up and coming back to think again. Here’s to a complicated, nonlinear world filled with complicated, nonlinear people. And here’s to life. It’s way more fun this way.

Clean by Alex Hughes
Genre: urban fantasy

About Clean:

I used to work for the Telepath’s Guild before they kicked me out for a drug habit that wasn’t entirely my fault. Now I work for the cops, helping Homicide Detective Isabella Cherabino put killers behind bars.

My ability to get inside the twisted minds of suspects makes me the best interrogator in the department. But the normals keep me on a short leash. When the Tech Wars ripped the world apart, the Guild stepped up to save it. But they had to get scary to do it—real scary.

Now the cops don’t trust the telepaths, the Guild doesn’t trust me, a serial killer is stalking the city—and I’m aching for a fix. But I need to solve this case. Fast. I’ve just had a vision of the future: I’m the next to die.
Source: Info in the About Clean was taken from the press kit issued for this book.
Buy Link(s):

About Alex Hughes:
Alex has written since early childhood, and loves great stories in any form including scifi, fantasy, and mystery. Over the years, Alex has lived in many neighborhoods of the sprawling metro Atlanta area. Decatur, the neighborhood on which Clean is centered, was Alex’s college home.

On any given week you can find Alex in the kitchen cooking gourmet Italian food, watching hours of police procedural dramas, and typing madly.
Alex's Link(s):

Wednesday 26 September 2012


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: Greatshadow by James Maxey

I could hear the wheels turning in her mind.

Sounds like somebody who knows her well... wonder who?

About Greatshadow:
Greatshadow is the primal dragon of fire, an elemental evil whose malign intelligence spies upon mankind through every candle flame, waiting to devour any careless victim he can claim.

The Church of the Book has assembled a team of twelve battle-hardened adventurers to slay the dragon once and for all. But tensions run high between the leaders of the team who view the mission as a holy duty and the super-powered mercenaries who add power to their ranks, who view the mission primarily as a chance to claim Greatshadow's vast treasure trove. If the warriors fail to slay the beast, will they doom mankind to death by fire?
Source: Info in the About Greatshadow was taken from GoodReads at on 19/07/2012.

Saturday 22 September 2012


Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich
Book 1 of The Unmentionables series
Read by Lorelei King
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: hardback, unabridged audiobook
About Wicked Appetite:
Life in Marblehead has had a pleasant predictability, until Diesel arrives. Rumor has it that a collection of priceless ancient relics representing the Seven Deadly Sins have made their way to Boston’s North Shore. Partnered with pastry chef Lizzie Tucker, Diesel bullies and charms his way through historic Salem to track them down—and his criminal mastermind cousin Gerewulf Grimorie. The black-haired, black-hearted Wulf is on the hunt for the relic representing gluttony. Caught in a race against time, Diesel and Lizzie soon find out that more isn’t always better, as they battle Wulf and the first of the deadly sins. With delectable characters and non-stop thrills that have made Janet Evanovich a household name, Wicked Appetite will leave you hungry for more.
Source: Info in the About Wicked Appetite was taken from GoodReads at on 28/04/2012.

Promising start to a fresh new series.

It took me the longest time to finish reading this book. I pick it up and I'll put it down, and then pick it up again after some time. I finally managed to finish it though by cheating and listened to the audiobook format. I would say that the story telling quality is not that compelling. However the story building skills is good. The book has cohesive story structure with a beginning, a middle and an end with a central dilemma which is resolved in the ending even if it also gave teasers for the next book in the series. I like that in a story. Authors like that with a "solid story structure" in their book tends to reel me in as a lifetime fan. One of the reasons I picked this book up was that I had experience reading Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series, and I knew that this author has a solid "story building" in her books. So I was so very happy to find out that she has decided to write in my genre, urban fantasy!! The main protagonist though, is too stupid to live although it is kind of part of her character make-up. She's a cook, not a kick-ass ninja. Still it irritated me a little. However, this is book 1 in a series and in my experience, book ones are not always the most brilliant in the series. Besides, for a book 1, Wicked Appetite is a promising start for a new series. Looking forward to reading book 2!

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 1.5
Character development = 3
Story itself = 4.5
Ending = 3.5
World building = 4
Cover art = 3.5
Pace = (Approximately 6 hrs and 13 mins listening time.)
Plot = 3
Narrator = 4

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 cherries

Thursday 20 September 2012


The Voice by Anne Bishop
Novella in the Ephemera series
Genre: fantasy
Format: eBook short story

About The Voice:
An original novella from the New York Times bestselling author of Bridge of Dreams…

In a small village outside the city of Vision, the people know no sorrow or grief. But this seemingly idyllic community is hiding a terrible secret. As a young child, Nalah did not know why she was told to bring a cake to the mute girl known as the Voice whenever she was upset, only that doing so made her feel better. Now grown, Nalah understands the dark truth, and yearns to escape from the oppressive village that has been her life-long home. But it is only after visiting the city of Vision and discovering the Temple of Sorrow that Nalah understands what she must do to be free…

“Bishop’s talents lie both in her ability to craft a story filled with intriguing characters and in her flair for smoldering sensuality.”—Library Journal

“[Bishop’s] worlds are so fully realized and three-dimensional, they jump right off the pages.”—Fresh Fiction

Includes a letter from the author and a special preview chapter from the latest novel set in the world of Ephemera, Bridge of Dreams (available March 2012).
Source: Info in the About The Voice was taken from GoodReads at on 19/02/2012.

I bought this ebook because it's an Ephemera novella. However this book reads more like The Black Jewels series than the Ephemera series. The tone is quite dark and disturbing. The very reason why I stopped reading the The Black Jewels series. Anne Bishop has a very masterful author's voice which brings the story vividly to life. The down side of that is, it also brings to the forefront of the reader's mind, the dark and disturbing aspect of humanity and the evil humans can do to each other that is depicted in the story in vivid details. I read to escape, not to scare myself. So safe to say that this is not my kind of read. Although this novella plays in the world of the Ephemera series, it does not read like one. And this short story carries a completely different set of characters as oppose to that of Sebastian and Belladonna (Books 1 and 2). It also does not mention any of the old beloved characters from previous books. I would not recommend this book to readers who does not like horror and torture kind of reads. If not for the masterful story telling quality, I would give this book a rating of 1, as it is I would give it a 3 out of 5.

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 5
Character development = 4
Story itself = 1.5
Ending = 2.5
World building = 4
Pace = 3

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 cherries

Other Book(s) In The Ephemera Series:

Wednesday 19 September 2012


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: Talking To The Dead by Harry Bingham

The SOCO points to a place, four feet away, where a dirty black checked cushion leans up against the wall.

A piece of the puzzle... probably why they call it mystery...

About Talking To The Dead:
For rookie detective constable Fiona Griffiths, her first major investigation promises to be a tough initiation into Cardiff's dark underbelly. A young woman and her six-year-old daughter have been found brutally murdered in a squalid flat, the single clue a platinum credit card belonging to a millionaire businessman who died in a plane crash six months before. For her fellow cops, it's just another case of a low-rent prostitute meeting the wrong kind of client and coming to a nasty end, but Fiona is convinced that the tragic lives and cruel deaths of this mother and daughter are part of a deeper, darker mystery. Fiona, however, has secrets of her own. She is still recovering from a crushing psychological breakdown, and the feelings which haunt her are constantly threatening to undermine the mask of normality she has learned to wear. As she begins to piece together a bizarre and terrifying conspiracy, Fiona finds that what makes her vulnerable also gives her a unique insight into the secrets of the dead, and in solving the murders of Janet and April Mancini she can begin to start solving the riddles of her own past.
Source: Info in the About Talking To The Dead was taken from GoodReads at on 30/06/2012.

Saturday 15 September 2012


Trick Of The Light by Rob Thurman
Book 1 of Trickster series
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: paperback

About Trick Of The Light:
Now you see it… Now you don’t… Now you’re history.

There are demons in the world, Monsters. Creatures that would steal your soul. You might hide under your covers at night and pretend all’s right with the world, but you know. Even if you don’t want to admit it…

Las Vegas bar owner Trixa Iktomi deals in information. And in a city where unholy creatures roam the neon night, information can mean life or death. Not that she has anything personal against demons. They can be sexy as hell, and they’re great for getting the latest gossip. But they also steal human souls and thrive on chaos. So occasionally Trixa and her friends have to teach them manners.

When Trixa learns of a powerful artifact known as the Light of Life, she knows she’s hit the jackpot. Both sides-angel and demon-would give anything for it. But first she had to find it. And as Heaven and Hell ready for an apocalyptic throw-down, Trixa must decide where her true loyalty lies-and what she’s ready to fight for. Because in her world, if you line up on the wrong side, you pay with more than your life…
Source: Info in the About Trick Of The Light was taken from GoodReads at on 29/08/2012.

At first I thought that this is an entirely new series playing in an entirely different world. But by chapter 2 we meet Robin Goodfellow again. That was when I realised that though the Trickster series sports an entirely new cast, it plays in the same world as the Cal Leandros series. For a Cal Leandros addict, I was in seventh heaven!! By chapter 6, the book is starting to take on a Supernatural Season 6 "feel" to it with the "War In Heaven" theme. I also happen to be a Supernatural longtime fan, so I am happy for anything to feed my Supernatural addiction. However I am now getting worried that this book and this series would now start to take on a "recycled" theme effect. I'm nervous that it might start to feel like "same old, same old". At one time I wondered whether Rob Thurman copied from Supernatural or was it the other way around? But seeing that this book was published in 2009 and Supernatural Season 6 aired in 2011, I would say that it was the Supernatural scriptwriters who copied from Rob Thurman for so stark are the similarities...

There are little holes in the plot like, If the Eden House was such a powerful organization which has survived for a very, very long time, I'm sure they would screen their recruits stringently like I imagine they do in the secret service. So how come they could not connect the dots from A to B and make the connection between characters A and B? That just sounded strange to me. However I was willing to overlook those tiny holes for the twisty-ness and surprises it slugged me with. Lots and lots of brownie points for the twisty plot! At the end of it, I was glad I have The Grimrose Path to read to feed my urban fantasy addiction right after the fantastic ending of this book!

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 5
Character development = 4
Story itself = 4
Ending = 4.5
World building = 5
Cover art = 4
Pace = 4
Plot = 4.5

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 cherries