Sunday, November 30, 2008

Book Releases for December

Here is a partial list of forthcoming Fantasy, Urban Fantasy and Paranormal books to look forward to in December.


Fantasy, Paranormal & Urban Fantasy


ANTHOLOGIES:

Dead After Dark (Sherrilyn Kenyon, J.R. Ward, Susan Squires, Dianna Love)
Unusual Suspects edited by Dana Stabenow

NOVELS:

22 Nights by Linda Winstead Jones
Angel Unaware by Elizabeth Sinclair
Cursed by Jamie Leigh Hansen
Fathom by Cherie Priest
Holiday with a Vampire II by Merline Lovelace & Lori Devoti
Midnight Sins by Cynthia Eden
Phantom’s Touch by Julie Leto
The Knights of the Cornerstone by James P. Blaylock


SERIES NOVELS:
For those of you that like to follow series I have split off series novels separately from standalones.

About A Dragon by G.A. Aiken (Dragon Kin #2)
At Grave's End by Jeaniene Frost (Night Huntress #3)
Dark Nights, Dark Dreams by Savannah Russe (Sisterhood of the Sight #1)
Demon’s Hunger by Eve Silver (Compact of Sorcerers #2)
Dragon Strike by E. E. Knight (Age of Fire #4)
Evil Ways by Justin Gustainis (Morris and Chastain Investigation #2)
Fish Out Of Water by Maryjanice Davidson (Mermaid #3)
In The Blood by Adrian Phoenix (Dante #2)
Primal Needs by Susan Sizemore (Primes #7)
Princep's Fury by Jim Butcher (Codex Alera #5)
Scions: Revelation by Patrice Michelle (Scions #3)
The Flame by Jean Johnson (Sons of Destiny #7)
The Tales of Beedle the Bard by JK Rowling (Harry Potter)
Unclean Spirits by M.L.N. Hanover (Black Sun's Daughter #1)
Undying V.K. Forrest (Kahill Vampires #2)
Veil of Midnight by Lara Adrian (Midnight Breed #7)
Zen and the Art of Vampires by Katie MacAlister (Dark Ones #6)


Science Fiction


Check out the Locus page for forthcoming titles. Coverage through June of 2009.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Review – “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins

FROM THE BOOK JACKET:
In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capital surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capital is harsh and cruel and keeps the other districts in line by forcing them to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight-to-the-death on live TV. One boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and sixteen are selected by lottery to play. The winner brings riches and favor to his or her district. But that is nothing compared to what the Capital wins; one more year of fearful compliance with its rule.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her impoverished district in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before - and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
After reading a few write-ups on The Hunger Games, I quickly decided that I needed to read and review this YA science fiction thriller. And I wasn’t disappointed. This is a stirring coming of age story for a young sixteen year old girl set against a bleak dystopian future. Kat lives in one of the poorest Districts in the Appalachians where the populace is exploited for the mining of coal by the oppressive central government. Food is scarce, and Kat is the sole breadwinner for the family. There is only her mother and 12 year old sister, her father having perished when she was 12 and her mother lapsing into depression. She illegally hunts game in the local forests to feed her family and sells the excess to richer folk in town who look the other way. The populace fears and resents the central government.

We are quickly immersed in her world just before the Games lottery is set to choose the annual participants. Kat ends up volunteering to be the female participant after her young sisters name is selected, despite the realization she has probably just signed her own death warrant. Everyone in the District is in attendance by law, and the crowds respond to Kat’s act of sacrifice in an unexpected manner –
“At first one, then another, then almost every member of the crowd touches the three middle fingers of their left hand to their lips and holds it out to me. It is an old and rarely used gesture of our district, occasionally seen at funerals. It means thanks, it means admiration, it means good-bye to someone you love.”
Kat and her male counterpart Peeta embark on a chaperoned journey to the central capital to be prepared for the Games. Kat is shocked and numbed by the display of wealth, and the unwitting arrogance of the people of the Central Districts who perceive the Games as merely entertainment. Kat has no expectation of winning and is resigned to her fate, but by nature she is not a quitter and mentally promises to acquit herself as best she can.

Kat and Peeta’s experience upon arriving in the Capital is surreal. They are lavished with food, attention and training. Treated like celebrities. Yet they are also unwilling victims, a pair of children along with 22 other youths being prepared for certain death. Only a single victor destined to survive. The Games are the bread and circuses for the masses and the ever present reminder that the Districts exist at the whim and pleasure of the Central District.

The heart of the novel is the Hunger Game itself which is depicted with all its brutality and horror laid bare, as the children are pitted against one another in a remote wilderness ‘arena’. It is the ultimate example of the reality show ‘Survivor’, pitted not only against each other but their surroundings and additional conditions and obstacles artificially introduced by the Hunger Game officials.

Death comes quickly to some, but the contest stretches from days into weeks as their numbers are slowly reduced. The Hunger Game is not just an excuse to depict violence for the thrill of the action. Everything is observed and filtered through Kat’s eyes. Kat wrestles with her morality, her fears, her mortality and her humanity. As there can be only one winner, she must contemplate the dilemma of killing Peeta, her District 12 compatriot, friend and perhaps more then a friend. How she faces meeting all of these challenges - deaths of friends and enemies, injuries and deprivation, makes for gripping and nail-biting reading.

There are many layers and nuances going on in this novel beyond the obvious. The ‘grooming’ team that prepares Kat and Peeta for the Games may have a hidden agenda in opposition with the central government, positioning the couple as favourites to win and as lovers, contrary to reality. Certain actions during the Games force the Hunger Games committee to alter the rules with interesting consequences. There is a sense that some form of resistance to the government is taking place but remains unspoken.

I would recommend The Hunger Games to all readers YA and otherwise. It portrays a true heroine and triumph of spirit that is raw and honest. The novel concludes with a clear indication that there will be further volumes exploring the world of The Hunger Games.

AUTHOR AND BOOK SHOWCASEOfficial Suzanne Collins Website

Read an excerpt of Chapter 1.

Scholastic, Inc.
Published: October 2008
ISBN #: 9780439023481
Format: Hard Cover
Pages: 374



Watch the book trailer . . .



Friday, November 28, 2008

Vampires Are Hot - House of Night Optioned

Vampires are definitely the hot ticket at the moment, In recent months we have seen the very successful launch of True Blood on HBO derived from the Charlaine Harris Sookie Stackhouse books, and the Twilight movie from Stephenie Meyer this past weekend did huge numbers despite lukewarm reviews and also an option on the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter stories from Laurell K. Hamilton.


Now the popular "House of Night" YA novels by P.C. Cast and daughter Kristen Cast have been optioned. Read the announcement released at Variety last week. To date there have been four books in the series. Book 5 - Hunted is due for release March 2009.



Thursday, November 27, 2008

Cover Art - J.R. Ward & Yasmine Galenorn

Thanks to Jackie over at Literary Escapism for bringing these covers to my attention. Both of these series are perennial favourites so here they are - both look great. Still a wee bit of a wait for the books though.
Coming June 2, 2009
Book 6 of the Sisters of the Moon Series
Coming April 28, 2009
Book 7 of the Black Dagger Brotherhood

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Review - “Demon Bound” by Meljean Brook

FROM THE BOOKCOVER:
Among the Guardians, Alice Grey is known as the Black Widow—a woman trapped in a web spun by the demon Teqon. To save her soul, she agreed to deliver to Teqon the heart of the oldest and most powerful Guardian of all, or else be damned for eternity. After more than a hundred years, Teqon is calling in his debt.

Jake Hawkins is a novice Guardian whose gift of teleportation could be invaluable to Alice in determining her next move. But in aligning himself with her he never expected to fall in love. Now, their passionate flight to escape Alice’s damnable bargain is threatening both their souls. For they’re about to discover a hellish secret about the Guardians—something that will change their universe forever.
Demon Bound is the fourth novel in the Guardian series. Each Guardian book is a powerful blend of action and romance, but it is the romance that hooks me every time with this series. Brooks takes the time to let the attraction between the characters build scene by scene as they discover little details about one another. Over the course of the novel the little pieces add up to a full blown courtship.

Alice Grey is a wonderful quirky character with a fearsome reputation among the novices. She is intelligent and strong, but at the same time lonely and fragile. Her back story reveals the events and reasons for her circumstances and is part of the mystery that appeals to Jake. Jake is fascinated and challenged by the mystery and reputation of the ‘Black Widow’ and uses their current mission as an excuse to spend time with her and seek her affections. Both Jake and Alice display a penchant for barbed wit which provides some sharp dialogue and very funny situations.

Demon Bound continues to unravel the mystery of Michael and the relationship between the Demons and origins of Michael as the first Guardian. Jake and Alice are primarily responsible for revealing this new information as they chase down temples that mysteriously appear and disappear. The temples are links to the past with important clues with direct bearing on the battle between the forces of good and evil. Unfortunately the Nephilim are also seeking this information leading to some life threatening confrontations for the duo. Their journey even leads them directly to Hell and uncovers an unanticipated secret.

As with most series, it is preferable to have read prior books mostly because of the recurring characters and occasional references, however Brooks conveniently provides a forward called ‘The Origin of the Guardians’ which I feel is sufficient for new readers to understand the basis and background for the series. Frankly it also helps familiar readers refresh their recollections and makes it easier to slip into the current story after the lengthy gap between novels. I wish more authors would take the time to provide recaps at the beginnings of their series novels.

Demon Bound is one of my favourite urban fantasy romances of the year and I highly recommend it.

AUTHOR AND BOOK SHOWCASEOfficial Meljean Brook Website

Read an excerpt.

Penguin Group
Published: November 2008
ISBN #: 9780425224533
Format: Paperback
Pages: 336

The Guardians Series

  1. Demon Angel (2007)
  2. Demon Moon (2007)
  3. Demon Night (2008)
  4. Demon Bound (2008)
  • "Falling for Anthony" in Hot Spell (2005)
  • "Paradise" in Wild Thing (2007)
  • "Thicker Than Blood" in First Blood (2008)

Meljean Brook has a Primer on her website with helpful backgrounders on earlier books and characters. Useful to readers new to the series as well as a refresher for regular readers.



Link - Kim Harrison Interview

There is a great interview with Kim Harrison author of the The Hollows series over at The Book Smuggler. Check it out.

White Witch, Black Curse, the next book in the series is out February 9, 2009. Can't wait!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Cover Art - Vanished by Kat Richardson

Cover art for Vanished the fourth Greywalker book by Kat Richardson. Available for preorder at Amazon to be released August 4th 2009. Just caught this over at Tez Says blog. That's a long time to wait. Sigh.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Review – “First Blood” Anthology

FROM THE BOOKCOVER:
Four all-new stories of forbidden passion and dark desire.

You never forget your first blood...Susan Sizemore returns to the universe of her Laws of the Blood novels with a sizzling story of the relationship between a vampire enforcer and a werewolf.

Erin McCarthy's Sasha Checkikov flees the bright lights and dangerous slayers of Vegas for New Orleans, where she is saved by a vampire haunted by his past-and hungry for passion.

Set in the Vampire Babylon world, Chris Marie Green's story puts the bond between twin female vampires to the test when one of them falls for her prey.

Meljean Brook's vampire Annie Gallagher needs help to save a young human girl, but she doesn't expect the help to come from the FBI agent she loved-and had to give up- when she was transformed.
First Blood is an urban fantasy anthology featuring novellas about vampires and romance from four masters of the genre. Each author has gifted us with a story from their existing series universes, so fans won’t want to miss these.

'Cave Cane' by Susan Sizemore.
This is the shortest and most light-hearted of the offerings. The title, Cave Canem (Beware of the Dog) is a cheeky reminder that the story after all is about hell hounds. Valentine from the earlier Laws of Blood books meets up with an old flame igniting fresh sparks and an unexpected romance befalls the enforcer Dan when he teams up with the werewolf Tess to track down his stolen ‘puppies’.

'Russian Roulette' by Erin McCarthy.
Sasha Checkikov was the victimized wife of the thuggish vampire Gregor featured in the Vegas Vampires series. A two month fledgling, she has fled Vegas for New Orleans after her husbands death only to be kidnapped by an another unscrupulous vampire willing to sell her to vampire hunters. Rescued by bar owning/musician vampire Alistair, he becomes her protector. The romance that unfolds between them is told with finesse, gently exploring Sasha’s struggle to learn to trust and reconnect, and Alistair’s search for love and intimacy.

'Double the Bite,' by Chris Marie Green
Briefly mentioned in the third Vampire Babylon novel Break of Dawn, this is the story of the twins Ginny and Geneva sired by Soren. This is perhaps my favourite of the four novellas. Here we have two powerful and poignant love stories. Ben is human, an ex-cop investigating the murder of his brother in New York City which leads him to Ginny. Ben learns the truth about his brother and about Ginny’s nature but still falls madly in love with her. Ginny is forced to confront the truth about her deteriorating bond with her sister with tragic results. There is a very bittersweet HEA with a wonderful twist that ties in directly to the ending of the Break of Dawn. Get out your hankies for this one.
Read an excerpt.

'Thicker Than Blood' by Meljean Brook
This is another wonderful love story and part of the Guardians series. In the most recent Guardian novels we learned that the nephilim had wiped out the entire vampire populations of cities all over the globe. This tale is set against the aftermath in Philidelphia. The reunion of Annie, the lone surviving vampire, and former soul-mate FBI agent Jack is told against a desperate search for a missing girl being hunted by a remaining nephilim. Jack is introduced into the secret supernatural world and learns the truth about Annie’s ‘death’ and the events surrounding it. A strongly emotional and heartfelt story.
Read an excerpt.
Berkley
Published: August 2008
ISBN #: 9780425224007
Format: Paperback
Pages: 336

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Winners - "Gods Behaving Badly" Book Giveaway

I am very pleased to announce that the following commenters have been randomly selected (using Research Randomizer) to win a copy of Marie Phillips "Gods Behaving Badly".
rebyj
JC
cfisher
Catherine Karp
Tanya

Congratulations!

Winners please email me with your mailing information so that the lovely folks at Hachette Book Group can get those out to you ASAP.

Thanks to everyone that participated. Here's a link to the original contest.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Review – “Bite the Bullet” by L.A. Banks

FROM THE BOOKCOVER:
Sasha Trudeau considers herself a soldier first and a werewolf second. But while her secret government-sanctioned task-force faces its greatest challenge so far, Sasha faces something much more primal: the undeniable pull of the moon—and her own desires.

With rogue wolves savaging both the human and paranormal worlds, Sasha’s team of elite operatives has one job: destroy the rogues and isolate the deadly toxin that’s poisoned their blood. But the challenge is far more complicated than Sasha could have imagined. Soon she is thrust into a full-scale supernatural war for supremacy—and the only man left who Sasha can turn to might be the biggest danger to her of all. . .and in more ways than one.
Bite the Bullet is the second book in the Crimson Moon series. This urban fantasy follows closely after the action of Bad Blood (see my earlier review here). Sasha and Hunter continue on the trail of the infected Shadow Wolves that betrayed them trying to prevent them from reaching the scheduled Council meeting of supernaturals in New Orleans.

Sasha is slowly adapting to her new found Shadow Wolf abilities. Her developing relationship with Hunter becomes complicated and an emotional rollercoaster when Hunter’s dormant werewolf virus reappears and Sasha’s alpha mating condition threatens everyone’s control. There are numerous angsty moments as Hunter time and again is faced with life-threatening situations and decisions.

Bite the Bullet is principally an action thriller so skirmishes and fight scenes predominate, layered with a labyrinth of preternatural politics. At times I did find some of the plot threads confusing, unsure of relationships of what faction was doing what and to whom. However this never slowed the pacing. Sasha’s inside “geek team” team is deployed on field assignment to New Orleans and brings with them an arsenal of high tech weapons and gadgetry. Based on the capabilities of some of the weapons I sometimes questioned the realism portrayed in their use, but again a minor quibble.

There are several scenes with the French vampires, Francois and Etienne, that are conspiring with, and betraying, the infected Shadow Wolves. I am not certain if it was intentional, but I found the scenes very campy and a nice diversion. You could almost see them twisting their moustaches.

Banks also reintroduces the werewolf Shogun from the Asian clans and a competing love interest for Sasha. Despite Hunter’s declarations of love, Sasha is not prepared to commit as she is unsure if her attraction and feelings are a result of her new Shadow Wolf nature or a true emotional connection. There is no HEA yet for Hunter and Sasha. It is a nice change of pace to see a strong heroine that doesn’t just dash into the heroes arms.

Surprisingly it isn’t until the Epilogue that our protagonists finally make it to the Council Conference where we gain a broader insight into the scope of Banks’ supernatural community and world. This section seemed a bit rushed and it would have been nice to see this expanded.

Bite the Bullet wraps up the main story arcs for the first two books in the series in a satisfactory manner and effectively creates the foundation for future Crimson Moon stories. Although at times uneven, Bite the Bullet nevertheless offers a diverting blend of paranormal romance and action thriller. With the world building and character introductions soundly established, be on the lookout for stronger future installments.

AUTHOR AND BOOK SHOWCASE

Read an excerpt from Chapter 1.

St. Martin's Press
Published: September 2008
ISBN #: 9780312949129
Format: Paperback
Pages: 352

Crimson Moon Series

  1. Bad Blood (2008)
  2. Bite the Bullet (2008)
  3. Undead On Arrival (2009)


Giveaway - Gods Behaving Badly

Today is the last day to enter the giveaway to win a copy of Gods Behaving Badly. Click here to enter. Good luck to all those that have entered already. I will post the winners tomorrow.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Twilight Movie - Early Reaction

For earlier critical review of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight (opens today) movie check out Rotten Tomatoes which consolidates all of the critics reviews in one place. So far critic reaction is lukewarm but I doubt it will effect the fans in the slightest.


Cover Art - As Shadows Fade by Colleen Gleason

Quite a spate of cover art the last few days. Here's the cover to the 5th and final book in the Gardella Vampire Chronicles coming March 03, 2009. Looks like a Regency style romance cover. This actually was released in late August but I missed it then. Vampire Wire clued me in.
Directly descended from the very first vampire hunter in the Gardella family, Victoria knows she must continue the lineage so humanity will have protectors against the undead.

While Sebastian Vioget appears to be both the perfect warrior and lover to ensure the Gardella Legacy, Victoria cannot forget Max Pesaro – the former slayer still haunted by the vampire queen Lilith's obsession with him.

But it is Lilith's obsession that may save all of humanity. Demons, enemies of both mortals and the undead, have found their way to earth. To defeat them, vampires and slayers must fight side by side. But Lilith wants Max in return for her cooperation ‐ a small price for the world, but too high a price for Victoria.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cover Art - Skin Trade by Laurell K. Hamilton

Just posted on the Laurell K. Hamilton website is the cover for her June 2, 2009 release of the 17th Anita Blake book Skin Trade. Can't get too excited about this design though. Also new is an in depth interview with Laurell at the Riverfront Times.

Cover Art - Frostbitten by Kelley Armstrong

Kelley Armstrong has just posted the cover art for the next Women of the Otherworld (Book 10) novel due in November 2009. It will be an Elena and Clay story. Can't wait.

Review - “Any Given Doomsday” by Lori Handeland

FROM THE BOOKCOVER:
Elizabeth Phoenix once used her unique skills as a psychic to help in the Milwaukee Police Department’s fight against injustice. But when Liz’s foster mother is found viciously murdered—and Liz is discovered unconscious at the scene—her only memory of the crime comes in the form of terrifying dreams...of creatures more horrific than anything Liz has seen in real life. What do these visions mean? And what in the world do they have to do with her former lover, Jimmy Sanducci?

While the police question Jimmy in the murder, Jimmy opens Liz’s eyes to a supernatural war that has raged since the dawn of time in which innocent people are hunted by malevolent beings disguised as humans. Only a chosen few have the ability to fight their evil, and Jimmy believes Liz is among them. Now, with her senses heightened, new feelings are rising within Liz—ones that re-ignite her dangerous attraction to Jimmy. But Jimmy has a secret that will rock Liz to her core…and put the survival of the human race in peril.
Any Given Doomsday is the first in a new urban fantasy series called the Phoenix Chronicles. Many of you may already have read a review of this book as it was very heavily promoted with giveaways and advance reader copies (I actually bought my copy). Nevertheless here is my take on this popular fall release.

Any Given Doomsday is a dark tale - not surprising given its’ title. Early on we realize this is a good versus evil struggle and the stakes are considerable. The battle for supremacy is fought by supernaturals whose existence and actions are hidden away from humanity.

The book opens with the following foreboding line from Liz our heroine –
“On the day my old life died, the air smelled of springtime…”
Liz has been psychic most of her life, her ‘visions’ setting her apart and ultimately ruining her career in law enforcement. At the beginning of the story she is merely coasting, working in a bar – her life in a holding pattern. Then in a series of cascading events, her life is turned upside down; her foster mother is murdered and she learns that she was no ordinary women, but a seer, who in death passes on her responsibilities and knowledge to Liz.

A fellow orphan and former lover from her past reappears to guide her entrance into this new supernatural world and the fight against evil. Jimmy is full of secrets and Liz is conflicted over her feelings, especially as she comes to learn more of his true nature and role in her new life.

Demons, vampires and nephilim are the enemy and Liz is told it is her duty to use her seers abilities to guide a cadre of DK’s (Demon Killers), but first must undergo mentoring. But Liz has to learn what she needs to know on the run as the enemy provides no breathing space. Other seers and DK’s are dying and it appears the enemy has infiltrated their ranks.

Action is plentiful in Any Given Doomsday and the opposing demons and vampires are especially creepy and sinister. In keeping with the apocalyptic nature of the story even the sexual interludes involving Liz are disquieting – not your typical paranormal romance.

Any Given Doomsday delivers a strongly plotted thriller with tortured characters. For those that like their urban fantasy dark and dangerous, this is the ticket. The book resolves the principal story line but clearly positions the Phoenix Chronicles for two sequels due next year.

AUTHOR AND BOOK SHOWCASEOfficial Lori Handeland Website


Read an excerpt.

St. Martin's Press
Published: November 2008
ISBN #: 9780312949198
Format: Paperback
Pages: 346

The Phoenix Chronicles Series

  1. Any Given Doomsday (2008)
  2. Doomsday Can Wait (2009)
  3. Apocalypse Happens (2009)

View the book trailer . . .




Monday, November 17, 2008

Review - “Cast in Fury” by Michelle Sagara

FROM THE BOOKCOVER:
When a minority race of telepaths is suspected of causing a near-devastating tidal wave, Private Kaylin Neya is summoned to Court—and into a PR nightmare. To ease racial tensions, the emperor has commissioned a play, and the playwright has his own ideas about who should be the focus.…

But Kaylin works her best magic behind the scenes, and though she tries to stay neutral, she is again drawn into a world of politics…and murder. To make matters worse, Marcus, her trusted sergeant, gets stripped of his command, leaving Kaylin vulnerable. Now she's juggling two troubling cases, and even magic's looking good by comparison. But then nobody ever said life in the theater was easy.…
Cast in Fury is the fourth book in the Chronicles of Elantra fantasy series. Sagara has forged an intricate and Byzantine fantasy world. The city of Elantra is a cosmopolitan city filled with a diversity of characters and races, including immortals and mortals, humans and non-human races, with humans representing the largest population.

Kaylin is human and a Hawk, barely out of her teens. Hawks are one of the paramilitary divisions responsible for patrolling and upholding the Dragon emperors laws in the city. In general each novel has focused on a central mystery surrounding one of the races. In Cast in Fury, Kaylin and her partner Severn set about exonerating their Sergeant (Marcus), a Leontine, who is accused of a murder with ties to forbidden magic and racial taboos. This provides Sagara the opportunity to explore the Leontine culture and history of another of the major races.

Kaylin, an orphan is also emotionally invested in the mission because she was rescued and adopted from the streets by Marcus’ Pridlea (pride) and in every way that matters – they are family. The secondary story arc described in the blurb concerns the empathic Tha’alani race featured in the previous book. Ripples of those events continue to create unrest among Elantra’s residents and the emperor hopes the royal playwright can concoct a play to soothe the fears and distrust among the races. Kaylin’s prior experience with the Tha’alani makes her the ideal go between.

At the heart of both of these storylines is a theme about children. Their value and how they are viewed through the eyes of different cultures and races. Kaylin is a passionate defender of the rights of children having come from the streets. Ultimately Cast in Fury is as much about saving children as it is about helping Marcus and the emperor.

Cast in Fury features some new characters and returning ones such as the Dragon Lord Sanabalis (dragon in human form) and the Barani (vampire like race), Lord Nightshade. We get to meet Marcus’ wives and many new Leontines. Kaylin also exercises her magic more then in previous stories and she gains insight into the mysterious runes that decorate her body. She also continues to grow personally, slowly learning to manage her youthful impatience under trying circumstances. Her responses to Severn also indicate a growing recognition of their bond and suggests that she may finally take steps in that direction (alas not in this volume).

In her Authors Notes at the beginning of the book Sagara says –
“I'm having a lot of fun exploring Kaylin's world as she herself learns more about it, and I hope that comes through on the page.”
And the answer is a definite yes—the love of her characters and world she has constructed shines through page after page. The central mystery delivers plenty of action and plot twists. Each new Kaylin adventure is a visit to be savoured, adding more flavour to the larger Elantran tapestry. There are many references to events and characters from previous books, so new readers may find some of them puzzling, but I do believe it can be appreciated on its’ own merits. Of course better yet, seek out the earlier works and enjoy.


AUTHOR AND BOOK SHOWCASEMichelle Sagara Blog

Read an excerpt from Chapter 1.

Luna Books
Published: October 2008
ISBN #: 9780373802692
Format: Trade Paperback
Pages: 416

Chronicles of Elantra Series

  1. Cast in Shadow (2005)
  2. Cast in Courtlight (2006)
  3. Cast in Secret (2007)
  4. Cast in Fury (2008)
  5. Cast in Silence (2009)


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Review – “The Demon King and I” by Candace Havens

FROM THE BOOKCOVER:
The four Caruthers sisters are heiresses with privilege, wealth, beauty, and brains. But these party girls have something extra as well. As the Guardian Keys, possessors of an ancient family secret, they also hold the fate of the world in their hands—between cocktails.

Gallery owner Gillian Caruthers is a sensation in the art world—in this world, that is. In her other world she's called the Assassin, a real knockout with an affinity for snuffing out dimension-jumpers who foul up her personal space. She never expected to join forces with one. But when a plague of murderous demons plunges the earth into darkness, she has no choice but to get a little help from a being who knows his stuff.

Arath, the demon king, isn't quite the scaly thing she expected. In fact, he's kind of hot—and a bit of an enigma, if his strange past is any indication. In solving that riddle, as well as finding the cause for the sudden influx of mystical creatures on Earth; Gillian may just have to work more closely with Arath than she'd anticipated. And somewhere between the light and the darkness they might discover they have more in common than they imagined...
The Demon King and I is the first in a new paranormal series featuring the Carruthers Sisters. From the cover blurb this would seem to be a light-hearted fun para-rom-com. Unfortunately the actual reading experience fell quite short of the mark.

My enjoyment of the story was diluted by a wide range of issues that left me dissatisfied and disappointed including -
  • The characters all sound the same are lacking in distinctive personality. The sisters sound the same, supporting guys the same – very one-dimensional. Flat dialogue doesn’t help.
  • There is an uneasy mix of fantasy and science. Plasma guns and swords. Magical portals and black holes. Much of the action is nonsensical. Plasma guns mow down twenty enemies at a time yet a Guardian will still bring out a sword. Why bother? Despite the ability to teleport, Gillian takes a lengthy plane journey in the middle of a crisis because she needs to ‘be seen’ arriving in the normal manner (and appropriate time delay) to protect her secret identity. Why not have the plane fly to the destination and simply teleport into the plane 5 minutes after it arrives?
  • All the interesting action takes place off stage and is told through character infodumps. Show me, don’t tell me.
  • The central mystery of who the murders and conspirators are is revealed towards the end in a conversation not as a result of character action and plotting. The dark force threatening the universe is never sufficiently described or elaborated upon to provide the necessary sense of menace.
  • Romance novels often place barriers in the way of the main characters to effectively raise the romantic tension. Here Gillian flits about for chapters between joint scenes with Arath constantly deflating any romantic build up between them. The romantic pay off when it does happen is minimal and lacking in spark and chemistry.
  • In several scenes there is no real feeling that key characters were truly at risk so no emotional connection was possible.
  • Gillian as the central character is supposed to be an art expert, celebrity, lawyer, Guardian and more, but her behaviour is superficial at best when she should be complex.
  • Fight scenes are lacking in excitement and dynamics consisting mostly of green goo and blood.
I can’t really say who the target audience is for this type of paranormal. It lacks the cheekiness and humour of the better paranormal chicklit books and the plotting, romance and action is marginal for more adventurous readers. I previously reviewed Like a Charm and while slightly more engaging, I found it a thin read as well. If only The Demon King and I had a smidgeon of the charm of its Rogers and Hammerstein namesake.

Recognizing that my review of The Demon King and I is very likely a minority opinion, you may wish to check out some of these alternate reviews of the book.

Pros:
Bitten By Books
Wild On Books

Cons:

Errant Dreams Reviews

AUTHOR AND BOOK SHOWCASEOfficial Candace Havens Website


No excerpt available.

Penguin Group
Published: November 2008
ISBN #: 9780425223635
Format: Trade Pb
Pages: 303



Saturday, November 15, 2008

Review – “Dead Reign” by T.A. Pratt

FROM THE BOOKCOVER:
As chief sorcerer of Felport, Marla Mason thought she’d faced every kind of evil the magical world had to offer. But she’s never faced a killer like this. He’s dark, glib, handsome as the devil—and exactly who he says he is. Death—in the flesh. He’s arrived in Felport with a posse composed of a half-insane necromancer and the reanimated corpse of John Wilkes Booth, and he isn’t leaving until he gets what he came for. Only Marla is crazy enough to tell Death to go back to Hell.

With the Founders’ Ball just around the bend, drawing together the brightest, meanest, and most dangerous of Felport’s magical elite, the last thing Marla needs is all-out war with the King of the Underworld, but that’s exactly what she’s got. As the battle lines are drawn, she can count on her hedonistic, body-hopping partner Rondeau…but how many of her old allies will stand by her side when facing the ultimate adversary? To save her city, Marla will have to find a way to cheat Death…literally.
Dead Reign is the third in the ongoing Marla Mason series of urban fantasies from T.A. Pratt. All Chief Sorcerer Marla Mason wants from life is to lead and protect her city of Felport. Manage the magicals, guard the normals. Until Death comes to town. At least the most recent incarnation of Death. He learns that Marla’s dagger of office is actually a magical object previously owned by one of his predecessors and he both wants and needs it for unknown purposes. He makes Marla an offer for it she can’t refuse. She refuses. Death having god-like powers and being a force of nature banishes Marla from her own city and assumes leadership. When she gives up her dagger, she can return.

Unable to return to her city, Marla decides that if Death is in her city he my have left his own domain vulnerable. It is the nature and strength of Marla’s character that she is willing to breech Hell in order to defend what is hers. Dead Reign delivers Pratt’s usual dose of phantasmagorical action and characters, but more then that it becomes a personal journey of self-discovery for Marla. In order to reach the heart of Hell Marla must confront her own personal demons and regrets as one by one she meets those dead by her hand during her fight for survival and rise to power. Very reminiscent of Scrooge and his Ghosts.

As we follow Marla’s progress, we learn a great deal about her past, her fears and her hopes, further fleshing out an already remarkable unique urban fantasy heroine. As a result of her mission, Marla also acquires some new and useful abilities, and comes to realize there may be larger plans fate has in store for her.

Dead Reign is told from several POV’s including Marla’s lieutenant Rondeau, as he steps up to the plate in Marla’s absence to create a resistance movement to counter Death’s grip on Felport. The story never flags and propels you forward to an ending with an interesting twist and promise of even more interesting things to come in Marla’s future. Perhaps the strongest of the Marla Mason books to date, I heartily recommend Dead Reign and the series as one of the more unusual and stimulating urban fantasy offerings available. Enjoyable on its own but best read in order.

AUTHOR AND BOOK SHOWCASE

Read an excerpt from Chapter 1.

Bantam Books
Published: October 2008
ISBN #: 9780553591354
Pages: 336

Marla Mason Series

  1. Blood Engines (2007)
  2. Poison Sleep (2008)
  3. Dead Reign (2008)
  4. Spell Games (April 2009)


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Giveaway Update - Gods Behaving Badly

Remember the Giveaway for Gods Behaving Badly ends November 21 so be sure to enter here.

You can speak live with Marie Phillips, author of Gods Behaving Badly, on Blog Talk Radio on December 1st at 1PM ET. If you’d like to listen online or sign up for a reminder, visit Blog Talk Radio.

Listen to a recent interview with author Marie Phillips talking about the book.



Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Review – “Wait Till Your Vampire Gets Home” by Michelle Bardsley

FROM THE BOOKCOVER:
It's only because of my work as a paranormal investigator that I, Libby Monroe, end up in a town like Broken Heart, Oklahoma, chasing down bizarre rumors of strange goings-on—and finding vampires, lycanthropes, and zombies. Oh, my!

I never expected to fall in lust, but sexy vampire Ralph Genessa is too irresistible. The fact that he's the loving father of twin boys drives the nail into my coffin and wins my undying love. And you know what they say: Home is where the heart is. Only this town is being torn in two by a war between the undead, and I may be the only thing that can hold Broken Heart together.
The denizens of Broken Heart Oklahoma are back in their fourth appearance in this paranormal romance romp. Libby is a paranormal investigator looking into rumours that Broken Heart might be a hotbed of paranormal activity. You have to love a story whose opening scene involves a paranormal investigator being attacked by vampires and dragons and being rescued by zombies and vampires. Sounds crazy, but it works. Libby’s situation and dialogue also had me laughing out loud numerous times in just the first few chapters.

As a result of the attack, the soul of one of the dying dragons is split between Libby and Ralph, the vampire that rescued her, giving both of them dragon powers limited to the control of fire. This makes them the target of external enemies that want to recapture the soul and the powers that go with it. Broken Heart becomes a battleground.

Amongst all of this turmoil Libby and Ralph succumb to their mutual attraction. Libby and Ralph are nicely rounded characters and the romance seems inevitable and natural. All of the key Broken Heart regulars from past books in the series make an appearance and are part of the defense of the town.

For those that like their action, there are plenty of skirmishes with the dragons and assorted destruction and mayhem about town. Depictions of Libby and Ralph learning and using their dragon abilities are interesting and well done.

Do the good guys triumph? Does the vampire get the dragon girl? Grab Wait Till Your Vampire Gets Home for another light-hearted and fun excursion to Broken Heart. Another return visit is due next year called Over My Dead Body.

AUTHOR AND BOOK SHOWCASE


Read an excerpt from Chapter 1

Penguin Group
Published: November 2008
ISBN #: 9780451225504
Pages: 320

Broken Heart Series

  1. I'm the Vampire, That's Why (2005)
  2. Don't Talk Back to Your Vampire (2007)
  3. Because Your Vampire Said So (2008)
  4. Wait Till Your Vampire Gets Home (2008)
  5. Over My Dead Body (2009)


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Review – “Up in Smoke” by Katie MacAlister

FROM THE BOOKCOVER:
Though May Northcott's heart belongs to Gabriel Tauhou, leader of the silver dragons, being stuck in Abaddon has significantly cooled down her love life--especially since a demon lord is trying to woo her. So far, May has resisted his efforts, but it's getting increasingly harder to thwart disaster.

So May is shocked when Gabriel encourages her to give in to the demon prince. But her fire-breathing boyfriend has an ulterior motive. Since May was created in the mortal world, her surrender would give her master access to that world, where he would lose most of his powers.
It looks as though May will have to barter to gain her freedom and fulfill her destiny by Gabriel's side. But will a deal with the devil make life heaven or hell?
Up in Smoke is the second installment of the Silver Dragon paranormal romance series featuring May and the sixth in the overall series. As always this was a fun and diverting read. May’s unique abilities as a doppelganger and relationships with the silver dragon mate Gabriel and servant of the demon Magoth make for a fascinating character equally as strong as Aisling, yet completely different.

In order to escape Abaddon and be with Gabriel she agrees to be Magoth’s consort. The catch is that he gets to return above to hatch his undoubtedly evil schemes. MacAlister’s bad guys can be a lot of fun. Magoth is a Snidely Whiplash style of villain. Full of pompous pronouncements but seemingly ineffective with his evil designs. Despite the book blurb, the Magoth plotline is fairly minor.

Plenty of comedic moments are provided by Aisling’s wise-cracking demon familiar Jim, May’s twin sister and a new demon prince apprenticing with May and Magoth. Up in Smoke also offers up lots of dragon politics and intrigue. Fiat and Bastian continue to vie for control of the Blue Dragons and Kostya is still annoyingly pushing for reinstatement of the Black Dragons. The Red Dragon leadership changes several times, involving betrayal, murder and a dungeon breakout.

Without revealing too much of the events, May finds herself magically infected with a dragon shard which begins to effect her mental and physical states. Romantic scenes between Gabriel and May rise to a whole new level of hot as a result. But May finds herself struggling with the changes, fearful that she is losing herself. She can only return to normal if the shard is released and to do that all 5 of the original shards must be brought together. Each is held by different dragon septs. Needless to say the challenges of accomplishing this are immense.

Up in Smoke contains a winning blend of comedy, adventure and romance. It should be noted that this second book establishes but leaves unresolved several major story arcs for future installments, however the conclusion is appropriate and satisfying. I would certainly recommend reading the earlier Playing with Fire to get the most out of Up in Smoke.


Read the Chapter One (PDF)

Watch the Book Video

Penguin Group
Published: October 2008
ISBN #: 9780451225283
Pages: 352

Silver Dragons Series
  1. Playing with Fire (2008)
  2. Up in Smoke (2008)
Aisling Grey, Guardian Series
  1. You Slay Me (2004)
  2. Fire Me Up (2005)
  3. Light My Fire (2006)
  4. Holy Smokes (2007)


Sunday, November 9, 2008

Review – “All I Want for Christmas is a Vampire” by Kerrelyn Sparks

FROM THE BOOKCOVER:
Toni Davis's Christmas wish list
1. Springing my best friend from the psych ward.
2. Living somewhere that doesn't have coffins in the basement. Occupied coffins.
3. Finding Mr. Right. Please make him tall, dark, handsome, and alive.

This Christmas isn't so merry for Toni. Her best friend's been locked up in a mental hospital ever since she told the police she was attacked by vampires, and the only way for Toni to get her out is to prove that bloodsuckers really do exist. So she's taken a job as a bodyguard for the Undead, but she gets more than she bargained for, especially when she meets Ian MacPhie, a Scottish rascal looking for Ms. Right.

Although Ian's nearly five centuries old, he looks and acts like a twenty-seven-year-old hunk. How can a dead man be so damn sexy? Could Mr. Wrong be Mr. Right? One forbidden kiss could lead to an eternity of passion—and all it takes is one moment under the mistletoe . . .
All I Want for Christmas is a Vampire is Book 5 in the Love at Stake paranormal romance/comedy series. This time around Ian, one of the vampire guards has used Roman’s stay awake formula to age himself from his physical appearance of 15 to a more mature 27. Why? So that women (specifically vampire women) will take him seriously. After 500 years, he is in the market for a mate—a vampire mate.

Toni on the other hand is human. She is rescued by Connor from a vampire attack by the Malcontents (the bad vampire faction) while investigating her best friend/roomates claim that she was attacked by vampires. Rather then wipe her memory, Connor offers her a job as one of the daytime guards for the vampires. Toni agrees so that she can gather evidence that vampires exist and prove that her friend is not insane.

One of Roman’s ex-harem vampires agrees to help Ian in his quest to find the perfect vampire mate by setting him up on an online dating service. This plot thread is the source for most of the humour/gags throughout the course of the novel. Despite the plans of mice and men, Ian instead recognizes a mutual attraction with the non-vampire Toni and the romance dance begins.

Two other principal story arcs drive the action; the Malcontents seek to find and obtain by any means the formula for the stay awake drug, and Toni enlists her friend Carlos and eventually Ian to help spring her roommate from the nuthouse.

All of these story elements should add up to the engaging para-rom-com experience that the Love at Stake series has delivered in the past. Instead I found myself having a few reservations about All I Want for Christmas is a Vampire. This is a brief sampling -
  • The chemistry between Ian and Toni seemed forced and the characters more one-dimensional compared to the couples featured in the previous novels
  • The dating gag went on far too long and the appearance of the recurring character of Corky just didn’t seem to have any spark
  • We clue into Carlos nature almost from the moment he is introduced allowing for little suspense when it is revealed
  • Although there are a few good fight scenes, their dramatic impact is diluted because Jedrek and the Malcontents are all portrayed as bumbling fools with overly melodramatic dialogue
  • Secrecy is paramount among the vampires, yet Toni’s betrayal is accepted and forgiven much too easily and there are numerous illogical scenes and decisions that involve Carlos, the roommate and another inmate they rescue from the sanatorium
While the title is clever, the rest of the story is far less engaging, as if the series is running out of steam or this installment was rushed. The essential elements are there, but for me All I Want for Christmas is a Vampire was not near as entertaining as the previous books.

AUTHOR AND BOOK SHOWCASEOfficial Website

Read the first five chapters.

HarperCollins Publishers
Published: October 2008
ISBN #: 9780061118463
Pages: 384

Love at Stake Series

  1. How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire (2005)
  2. Vamps and the City (2006)
  3. Be Still My Vampire Heart (2007)
  4. The Undead Next Door (2008)

View the book trailer…

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Review – “Swallowing Darkness” by Laurell K. Hamilton

FROM THE BOOKCOVER:
I am Meredith, princess of faerie, wielder of the hands of Flesh and Blood, and at long last, I am with child -- twins, fathered by my royal guard. Though my uncle, Taranis, King of Light and Illusion, claims that he is the true father since he abducted me from my home, betrayed, and defiled me. And now he has branded my guards as a threat to my unborn children.

Bearing an heir has placed me halfway to my aunt’s throne, that much closer to my reign over the Unseelie Court -- and well ahead of her son, my cousin Cel, in this race. Now I must stay alive to see my children born and claim my place as queen.

But not all in faerie are pleased with the news, and conspirators from every court in the realm plot against me and mine. They seek to strip my guards, my lovers, from me by poisoned word or cold steel. But I still have supporters, and even friends, among the goblins and the sluagh, who will stand by me.

I am Meredith Nic Essus, and those who would defy and destroy me are destined to pay a terrible price -- for I am truly my father’s daughter. To protect what is mine, I will sacrifice anything–even if it means waging a great battle against my darkest enemies and making the most momentous decision ever made as princess of faerie.

Swallowing Darkness is the seventh chapter in the ongoing story of Princes Meredith Gentry of the Unseelie Court. Each novel in this series spans barely more than a day in Merry’s life and each is a continuation from the previous book, so the series is best read in order.

If one were to pick an over-riding theme for Merry’s actions and the events in Swallowing Darkness it would be the oath issued in the movie Network – “I’m as mad as hell and I am not going to take this anymore!” In fact you might say that Merry is channelling a little bit of Anita Blake this time around as she decides to get tough and protect what is hers - two of Anita’s strongest character traits.

Merry comes to realize that she has enemies everywhere, not just Taranis and Cel and his cronies but previously unsuspected enemies in both the Seelie and Unseelie Courts. Swallowing Darkness is filled with conflict and confrontation as Merry takes the fight directly to the conspirators. This is a new emboldened Merry and a refreshing evolution for her character.

Although much attention is placed on the fathers of her twins who will be her future Kings, special attention is paid to Sholto, the Wild Hunt and the Sluagh. Acting as a conduit for the Goddess, Merry restores magic and weapons of great power thought lost to the Sluagh kingdom. The strength and role of the Sluagh is elevated to rival the power of the Seelie courts. You will be surprised with Merry’s new role in the kingdom as well.

Swallowing Darkness does an admirable job of resolving a number of major and minor outstanding story arcs from previous books. The story does contain Hamilton’s trademark erotica scenes, but they are entirely fitting and in fact somewhat reserved compared to previous books.

Of all the recent Meredith Gentry books, Swallowing Darkness concludes with the most satisfying ending with the fewest cliffhangers. It establishes an almost clean slate for Merry’s next adventure. Of course there is the whole thread of Merry’s pregnancy to be told, but the possibilities are left wide open. Swallowing Darkness is one of the strongest installments of the Meredith Gentry series and fans of Laurell K. Hamilton will not be disappointed.

AUTHOR AND BOOK SHOWCASE

Read an excerpt.

Random House Publishing Group
Published: November 2008
ISBN #: 9780345495938
Pages: 365

Meredith Gentry Series

  1. A Kiss of Shadows (2000)
  2. A Caress of Twilight (2002)
  3. Seduced by Moonlight (2004)
  4. A Stroke of Midnight (2005)
  5. Mistral's Kiss (2006)
  6. A Lick of Frost (2007)


Friday, November 7, 2008

Review – “Brimstone Kiss” by Carole Nelson Douglas

FROM THE BOOKCOVER:
Paranormal Investigator Delilah Street--in her quest to identify the long-buried embracing skeletons she and sexy ex-FBI agent Ricardo Montoya discovered-- has to deal with a lecherous vampire, a ghoulish producer, celebrity zombies from classic films, a mysterious albino rock star who bestows addictive kisses on his groupies, and a dead girl in her mirror--and those are just her clients! Post-Millennium Revelation Las Vegas is teeming with supernaturals and run by a werewolf mob, but even the unhumans can't conceive of what Delilah discovers hidden under its damnable desert sands: unspeakably powerful evil rooted in ancient Egypt...
Brimstone Kiss is the captivating sequel to Dancing with Werewolves. Douglas has populated her Post-Millenium Las Vegas with the most outrageous and outlandish cast of supporting characters this side of the Wizard of Oz. Every page drips with movie and movie star references, sly observations on Vegas and its’ culture. In less capable hands it would come off as a parody but in the world that Douglas has built it simply draws you along wondering what and who you are going to meet next (take special note of the incredible scene with the Bela Lugosi CinSim).

The central story arc continues where Dancing with Werewolves left off. Delilah and Ric pursue their investigation into the identities of the murdered lovers discovered in the park. Names that all the power brokers in Vegas are either anxious to learn or keep buried. Brimstone Kiss builds layer upon layer of mystery into the story and characters. Delilah has numerous puzzles on her agenda to solve such as finding her purported twin Lilith, what kind of supernatural is the rockstar Snow and what is the secret of his Brinstone Kiss?

A further inventory of the mysterious includes -
  • The CinSim’s exhibit previous unknown abilities so do they have their own agenda and how is it connectied to Delilah’s investigations?
  • Are the werewolves really the top dogs or are there new vampire players in town?
  • Do the werewolves still want Delilah dead because of her escape from them in Dancing with Werewolves?
  • What is the truth about Ric’s past? What is the truth about hers?
  • What is the nature of her silver familiar and how can she learn more about her magical mirror abilities?
Every character, every situation has a mystery shrouding it. As some are solved even more are uncovered. Each progresses logically from the last dishing out surprise after surprise. Delilah and Ric are also surprised and elated at how well their relationship is evolving. Delilah expresses her thoughts succinctly -
We lurched inside together, mixing lip locks with forward progress. "Yes!" Now I knew what all the Top 40 hits were about.
As you can see Delilah’s internal dialogue is always droll and entertaining –
“Babe!” Really offensive language always brought out my Our Lady of the Lake Convent School warrior maid.
Ultimately Ric and Delilah’s love leads them into dire straights and grave consequences. The suspense and events build into a unexpected twist that pulls together many of the main characters in an action-packed climactic finish. Powerful stuff.

Douglas’ knowledge of film and actors spans multiple generations, so she conveniently provides a glossary of references and websites for those interested in finding out more about the Hollywood tidbits she scatters throughout the story. The rich details and inventive mysteries in Brimstone Kiss completely submerge you in the story. Like Delilah and with apologies to Carole Douglas—"Yes!" Now I knew what all the Page Turner quotes were all about.

I would highly recommend readers start with the earlier book in the series and top it off with Brimstone Kiss.

Read an excerpt.

Juno Books
Published: October 2007
ISBN #: 978-0-8095-7304-2

Delilah Street, Paranormal Investigator

  1. Dancing with Werewolves


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Giveaway – “Gods Behaving Badly” by Marie Phillips


Being a Greek god is not all it once was. Yes, the twelve gods of Olympus are alive and well in the twenty-first century, but they are crammed together in a London townhouse-and none too happy about it. And they've had to get day jobs: Artemis as a dog-walker, Apollo as a TV psychic, Aphrodite as a phone sex operator, Dionysus as a DJ.

Even more disturbingly, their powers are waning, and even turning mortals into trees--a favorite pastime of Apollo's--is sapping their vital reserves of strength.

Soon, what begins as a minor squabble between Aphrodite and Apollo escalates into an epic battle of wills. Two perplexed humans, Alice and Neil, who are caught in the crossfire, must fear not only for their own lives, but for the survival of humankind. Nothing less than a true act of heroism is needed-but can these two decidedly ordinary people replicate the feats of the mythical heroes and save the world?

About the Author: Marie Phillips was born in London in 1976. She studied anthropology at Cambridge University and worked as a researcher at the BBC. More recently she worked as an independent bookseller while writing Gods Behaving Badly.



It’s giveaway time. My first! I have 5 copies of Gods Behaving Badly courtesy of Valerie at Hachette Book Group to share. It looks like a fun and fabulous read.

The contest will run until midnight on Friday, November 21. I’ll determine the winners using the Research Randomizer and announce the winners the next day.

The Rules
  1. For one chance, leave a comment and tell me the author or title of your favourite genre book so far this year (science fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy, science fiction romance or paranormal).

  2. For two chances, blog about this giveaway with a link back to this post. Remember to include the link with your comment.

  3. To enter, you must have either a US or Canada mailing address. (Sorry no P.O. Boxes allowed). Hachette will be sending the winners their books.
Good luck to everyone!