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Friday, August 31, 2012

Review: Boyfriend From Hell by Jamie Quaid

Title: Boyfriend From Hell
Author: Jamie Quaid
Series: Saturn’s Daughter, book 1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Pocket Books
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book
“They say justice is blind. But Justine isn’t. 
Justine (Tina) Clancy is just an ordinary law student with a faulty arrest record, a part-time job in Baltimore’s radioactive Zone, and a family secret so bizarre even she doesn’t believe it. That is, until in a fit of fury she damns her boyfriend to hell—and it’s exactly where he ends up. 
Much to her surprise, Tina is apparently one of Saturn’s daughters, with the power to wield vigilante justice. But poor Max didn’t deserve to go up in flames, even if he did almost run her over with her own car. Tina’s convinced someone cut the brakes—and now a relentless nemesis is stalking her through the Zone’s back alleys, where buildings glow, statues move, and chemical waste exposure comes with interesting consequences. Tina’s usually a loner, but now she needs a posse like no other: a shape-shifting kitten, an invisible thief, a biker gang, a snake-charming private detective, a well-meaning cop, and her sleazy, sexy boss. But in between freeing Max from hell, saving her own neck, and solving a mystery that threatens the Zone and her newfound friends, how is she ever going to study for finals?”
Boyfriend From Hell is the first book in the new series Saturn’s Daughters by Jamie Quaid (aka Patricia Rice).

The blurb is more than explanatory; adding more to it will be giving too much away.
I have to be honest I wanted to love this book but sadly I didn’t. It’s not that I didn’t like it because I did, but there was something in it that didn’t work for me, and after days of reading I’m still can’t pinpoint what was it. One thing I can say for sure was that it took me more than “my” normal time to finish this book, considering this I can say it dragged a little bit and it was too easy for me to put it down. Why? I don’t know because the premise was good, the characters were interesting and entertaining and the world was new and unique. I’m even thinking that maybe the saying “It’s not you it’s me” applies to my personal opinion of the book, maybe I was in one of those days in which I could have read my favorite book and still I would have had problems with it. 

I liked Justine (Tina), she was a nice heroine, one easy to connect with. I thought she was snarky, smart, I liked her determination to learn the truth. I also liked that she was capable of finding solutions to the different situations life placed her. The only problem I had with her was her obsession about studying and taking her finals. I know she wanted that more than anything in her life but sometimes it became too much, to the point of feeling repetitive and annoying.

The secondary characters are many and varied. On the beginning we don’t know who is who or what are the motives behind their actions but slowly we learn about them and what they are hiding.
Justine’s boss, Andre, he's very mysterious and we don’t know about his real intentions towards Justine, but the more we learned about him the more we’ll like him, we also start to understand the why of so much secrecy around him and the other residents of The Zone.
Talking about the other residents of The Zone they are a multitude of characters, all with different personalities, qualities and attributes thanks to the effects of The Zone in them. One character I loved was Justine’s cat, I loved how he can be the cutest kitty one moment and the next he was a protective little beast.
Justine’s boyfriend Max is present in a weird way, their relationship was not in the best place when he died and now that he’s in Hell thanks to Justine he can talk to her through mirrors. He is another one that had a hidden agenda, I can’t say if I liked him or not, but I’m sure we will see more about him in future books.

I liked the world Mrs. Quaid created. I think the chemical waste exposure and the subsequent changes in people and in inanimate objects was smartly done; comparing this aspect to other books Boyfriend From Hell felt new and refreshing. I liked that we learned a lot in this book but there is a lot still to be discovered.
As I said before the book dragged in some parts but still it was funny and entertaining. I’m sure I’ll read second book in the series, I want to know what is going to happen with Justine and Andre and why not… with Max.

My Verdict: 3 ½ Paws

Other reviews Goodreads

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Covers of the World: Worst Covers Ever - Part 3

Today I needed a laugh and maybe you do too. For that reason I bring you with "pleasure" Worst Covers Ever - Part 3.

Ok, This game looks... Interesting...
And his big log.
No all stepmothers are evil, others are...
Thank you! Just what I needed to know.
I can't imagine how is he going to attack... 
I'm lost for words....
Just like it happened.

Click on the links to find Worst Covers Ever - Part 1 and Part 2.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Review: What Kills Me by Wynne Channing

Title: What Kills Me
Author: Wynne Channing
Genre: YA-Mature, Paranormal
Publisher: Jet & Jack Press
Source: Review copy from author
Format: E-book
“An ancient prophecy warns of a girl destined to cause the extinction of the vampire race.
So when 17-year-old Axelia falls into a sacred well filled with blood and emerges a vampire, the immortal empire believes she is this legendary destroyer. Hunted by soldiers and mercenaries, Axelia and her reluctant ally, the vampire bladesmith Lucas, must battle to survive. 
How will she convince the empire that she is just an innocent teenager-turned bloodsucker and not a creature of destruction? And if she cannot, can a vampire who is afraid of bugs summon the courage to fight a nation of immortals?”
Wynne Channing’s debut novel What Kills Me with its new take on vampires was a very nice surprise.

Axelia (Zee) is a seventeen-year-old Canadian girl who is living in Italy for couple of months; she is staying with an Italian family. She is enjoying the summer and what Rome has to offer while she is studying Italian. One day on her way back home she gets lost and a handsome stranger (Paolo) helps her find her way back to the house. He invites her out the next night; considering herself the luckiest girl Zee accepts. What she didn’t know was that for being late her hosting family imposes a new 9 pm curfew for her and her roommate.
Next night when Paolo comes for her Zee decides to sneak out and goes out with him. Paolo is the perfect gentleman and Zee is having the time of her life, after some gelato and a romantic walk through Rome’s streets Paolo takes her to an abandoned church he loves to visit. When they are in the church Zee realizes something is not right and when Paolo confesses his only intention was to bring her to the church to kill her Zee does what any person in her position would do, she runs and tries to escape him. She takes an abandoned tunnel with Paolo chasing her close behind. A man in a robe comes between them, he is trying to stop them but Zee loses her balance and falls down a deep well she hadn’t seen. After a while Zee realizes she is in the bottom of the well and the well is filled with Blood. She can’t believe she is alive and with nothing broken. Zee easily climbs up, the robed man is waiting for her. He explains to her that Paolo was a vampire, he is also a vampire and that church is a sacred place for them, and to her disbelief he tells her she died when she fell through the well but thanks to the blood at the end of the well she was reborn a vampire.
Soon after she is trying to come to terms with what just happened when vampire soldiers come for her, the Empress has learned of her creation and has ordered her execution. A prophecy told of her creation. “A girl with no sire who will be the end of the vampire race”.
Zee using powers she didn’t know she had is able to escape and finds refuge with a bladesmith (Noel) and his sons (Lukas and Jerome) who are also vampires. Noel gives his word to protect her and make his sons pledged to protect her too. After some unexpected events Zee is forced to escape with Lucas. Lucas resents her for coming into their lives and messing them up, but his word to his father is something he can’t break. He will help her survive even though it might cost him his life.
Zee needs to prove to the vampire Empress that she is not The Destroyer the prophecy warns about, but that is easier said than done. Despise being a vampire she is still only a girl.

As I said before What Kills Me was a very nice surprise. It was a different take on vampires. In What Kills Me the vampires are rule by a monarchy, lead by an Empress. They live in secret but have an organized society with rules and regulations that permit them to live in secrecy with as little as conflict as possible.

Zee is a very realistic and likeable character. She is smart, witty and a survivor. Her reactions were honest and true to her character. Seeing her come to terms to her new life felt real and was easy to identify with her and with her feelings.

Lucas is the perfect tortured hero. He cares even though he doesn’t want to care. He shows a strong façade that hides his soft side. He is a man of worth and values and will do anything to live according to his beliefs.

Lucas and Zee relationship is not one of insta-love. It takes time for them to get to know each other and the more experiences they share they more they care for each other, even thought they don’t want to accept it they are falling in love and there is nothing they can do to avoid it.

The secondary characters have an array of different personalities, some you will love, some you will hate and some others will leave you open mouthed.

The conflict and fight scenes where very well done; it was almost as seeing them live. The writing was fluid and engaging and it was almost impossible to put down the book.
The end was one of those “I didn’t see that one coming” twists and it was perfectly done. Despite being a nice closing to the story the end is one that will leave you wanting for more… I’m very glad Mrs. Channing is planning to write more books about Zee and this new and unique world she created.

I recommend What Kills Me to all YA-Mature Paranormal lovers and to whoever wants to read a well-written book with strong characters and a fluid plot.
I’m looking forward to reading more books by Wynne Channing.

My Verdict: 4 ½ Paws

Other reviews Goodreads

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Movie Trailer: Looper

"In the futuristicaction thriller Looper, timetravel will be invented -but it will be illegaland onlyavailable on the black market.When the mobwants to get ridof someone,they will send their target30 years into thepast, where a "looper" - a hiredgun, like Joe(Joseph Gordon-Levitt)- is waiting to mop up.Joe is getting rich and life is good... until theday the mob decidesto "close the loop,"sending backJoe's future self (Bruce Willis)for assassination. The film is written anddirected by Rian Johnsonand also starsEmily Blunt,Paul Dano,and Jeff Daniels.Ram Bergman and James D. Stern produce."


Friday, August 24, 2012

What happened in NOLA... Stays... Between Us & Giveaway!

*Very, very long post. You have been warned!*

Now that I’m back to the Ottoman Lands or where one day was the Ottoman Lands I finally have the time to do the recap of my Authors After Dark experience.

Let’s start with my first day. I arrived in New Orleans on Tuesday 7th, it was so early that the chickens were still sleeping. I was lucky enough to get a room that early in the morning. After resting for couple of hours I decided to have a late breakfast/early lunch. I went to one of the restaurants of the hotel. While I was waiting for my lunch Stella walked in with some of her girls, or at least that’s who I though they were.
I went to her table and introduced myself (Hi, I'm Marcela, bla, bla, bla). She was super nice, same with the other people in her table. What I noticed while talking to Stella was that Joey W. Hill was sitting next to Stella. OMG! I didn’t fan squee right there because I was trying to play it cool and not scare them. I went back to my table with a smile bigger than the Cheshire cat. But my luck didn’t end there. Caroline, one of Stella’s great helpers (imagine Santa’s Elves in jeans) came to my table and asked me if I was eating alone and invited me to their table and to my astonishment they sat me next to HOLY Freaking Joey W. Hill!!!! For the first couple of minutes I didn’t look towards her side, I was afraid she would disappear if I paid too much attention to her, but after my internal-fan-screaming quiet a bit I was able to talk to her and what a Treat it was, she was Amazing!!! While I was talking to her I was trying not to spill my food or do weird noises while eating, at the same time Julie (Yummy Men & Kick Ass Chicks) was texting me, she was in Toronto waiting for her connection flight to New Orleans. I told her I was having lunch with Stella and that I was sitting next to Joey W. Hill. She “fan squeed” with me.
After lunch I talked to DH, told him “I just had lunch with one of my favorite authors ever”. He asked me if I took pictures… I didn’t… I didn’t want to look like a crazed fan on the first day, even if I was one.

Couple of hours after lunch I met the delightful Jen from Red Hot Books. She is a local and knew her way around. She took me to Pat O’Brians where I had the First hurricane of my trip. I wanted to have a second one but I thought it was important not to be drunk while meeting people for the first time. At least with one hurricane people could still understand what I was saying. 

I wanted to be at the hotel when Julie arrived and all that, she was not only my roommate by we have being eagerly waiting for months to meet. I was waiting for Jen to finish her drink to leave for the hotel when she told me we didn’t have to wait, in New Orleans streets is allowed to drink on the streets! Wow that was something new for me.
When we arrived to the hotel Julie was there with Carolyn Crane. Julie was just how I pictured her, she is the sweetest and cutest girl you can imagine.
If I continue with my detailed description of that first day you’ll start to skim this post, so let’s just say that we met with all the other international attendees, one was from the UK, one from Norway, another one from Spain and a couple of evil sisters that stole my thunder, they came all the way from Australia... They won by couple of thousand miles…
The second day we woke up very early, jet-lag was still kicking my “derrière”. We went for breakfast to the famous Café Du Monde, ok, let me tell you it was as good as all the talk you hear. The coffee was perfect and the beignets were to die for. 

After that we “tried” to take a walk but OMFG it was boiling hot at 8:30 in the freaking morning! I’m not kidding you; I lived for 9 years in Florida and never experience heat like that. After some souvenir shopping we ran to the hotel where cold nice dry A/C welcomed us.
OK, now I think this recount needs to have 2 parts… I’m on my second day and already I have 738 words!
Ok, I have to be honest with you I’m not writing this in Istanbul, I’m writing this on my plane from Miami to London after 2 little bottles of wine. I’m not home yet but finally I have the time to put my experience in words. I’m tempting to do a drunken (in-flight) Vlog like Jen's but I won’t think you will understand my heavy accent, so let's not do it.
Ok, let’s do only one post… where were we… Wednesday 8th… In the afternoon we (Julie & I) meet with Jen (Red Hot Books), Jen (The Book Nympho) and her roommate Sarah and we went to Pat O’Brians… again. By them I was almost calling it my office. We all ordered the famous Hurricane, after some exclamations of how strong it was and some complaints, Jen (RHB) promised us that after couple of sips it will taste as fruit punch, she was right, it was a fruit punch that if you didn’t watch it will kick you on your “derrière”. 

But all was good, we were able to walk back to the hotel and get ready to for the Meet and greet. There we met other bloggers, authors and bla, bla, bla… After that Stella and Joey W. Hill as Mistress of ceremonies officially opened the event. 
After that with Julie and Alisha (@MyNeedToRead) we ventured through the crazy streets of New Orleans. We went to a karaoke place, but weren’t courageous (drunk) enough to get on the stage and sing (even though Alisha knew ALL the songs). We called an early night and went back to the hotel.

Thursday I attended these events:

Light Paranormal with Judy Fennell, Dakota Cassidy, Sydney Ayers, Allison Pang, Skyler White, Adrian Phoenix.

Lunch and Bookie Awards where Julie was one of the presenters.

Odd Paranormals with Jaye Wells, Lia Habel, Nicole Peeler, Theresa Meyers, Mark Henry, Boone Brux.

The Alpha/ Beta of Paranormal Romance and UF with Kelly Meding,
Suzanne Johnson, Diana Rowland, Carolyn Crane, Theresa Meyers, Melanie Card.

Guess the Author by the Sex Scene with PJ Schnyder, Jaye Wells, Nicole Peeler, Mark Henry, Carolyn Crane and Judi Fennell.



That night we (Julie & I) did the fieldtrip with Adrian Phoenix. If you know me you know how much I love her and her series, she was Awesome and her tour was great. She took us through the streets of New Orleans and showed us where events in her The Maker’s Song and Hoodoo series books took place. And it was Great to see the places and picture her characters there!

After that we went to the Jeaniene Frost and Pamela Palmer event, where we got freebies, signed books and cupcakes. 
After that we called a night.

Friday we attended

The Dark humor side of UF with Mark Henry, Carolyn Crane, Erin Kellison, Dakota Cassidy, Jaye Wells, Adrian Phoenix.

Zombies with Lia Habel, Mark Henry, Diana Rowland, Li & De Beaumont.



After lunch we went with Jaye Wells to her field trip to the Garden District, we visit some many beautiful and interesting places as Ann Rice’s houses, the Latiffee cemetery and more. It was very nice, without that field trip I’m sure we wouldn’t have visited that area of the city, a beautiful place worth seeing.

That night was the Saints and Sinners Open Bar with Kris Cook and Mel Schroeder. We had a great time and it was the perfect place to mingle and meet other bloggers an authors.

Loupe, Julie & Jen (Jen Twimom)
That night also was the Echoes Dinner and Masquerade with Joey W. Hill. There were many people in costume, some of them incredibly beautiful and elaborate. We sat with Pip Ballantine & Tee Morris; they were a delightful company.

Julis from Spain
That night Julie called an early night and I continue “the party” with Jen from Red Hot Books, Jen from The Book Nympho, her friend Sarah, Loupe from Hot Listens and Mandy and Tory from Smexy Books. We went to the karaoke place  again but this time we were brave enough to go on the stage, I didn’t sing much, my voice is terrible and didn’t want them to kick us out of the place. We had a great time, it was an experience to remember.

Joey W. Hill
Jeaniene Frost and Carolyn Crane.

Saturday was the book signing where I got to meet the authors I haven’t met before, got my books sign and took some pictures with some of my favorite authors.
That night was the Author’s Pub Crawl, we just went to Pat O’Brians (aka My Office in NOLA) where Amanda Carlson, Stacey Kennedy and Kristen Painter were holding court. That was the night The Pink Unicorn went out in NOLA.

Sunday I left in the morning after having breakfast with Julie and the super kind Kelly Meding.

It was hard to say goodbye to many not knowing when we will meet again, but thanks to Twitter-verse we will continue keeping in touch.

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