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Release Day Steampunk Novel Review: Clockwork Mafia by Seleste deLaney

Clockwork Mafia by Seleste deLaney (Badlands #2)


Egalley thanks to Carina Press

Synopsis from Goodreads
Inventor Henrietta Mason is retiring from airships and adventuring to return home to Philadelphia. Determined to erase all trails leading to her late father's duplicity, she dismantles his lab and removes all records of the Badlands gold. While in the city, she can't resist the lure of a charity gala but winds up regretting the whole experience. Well, everything except a heart-racing dance with a certain U.S. Marshal.

His career and vengeance on the line, Carson Alexander must prove a connection between Senator Mason and the mafia. He lucked out happening across Mason's strikingly beautiful daughter, only to have her slip through his fingers. On a desperate hunt to track her down, he never expects his search to take him into the brutal Badlands.

With a mechanically enhanced enforcer after them, only Carson knows the extent of the danger they face. He'll have to win over Henrietta's trust, and her heart, before it's too late...


Amazon kindle US($2.99)/UK(£2.01)

8/10

* * *
 Fun, short, intriguing and left me hungry for more. Ironically for Carina Press title, the romance is not what keeps you hanging in this book. The romance is just there like an afterthought.

What fascinates you is Henrietta's formidable character as a doctor and an inventor, and one pretty wicked villain made of clockwork and pure evil, - Gambini.

The Postman Knock #29

Hey, peeps!
Thank God, my cold ended this Thursday and I'm glad I took 3 days off work because I really didn't want working with it in an environment where you're supposed to sterilize surgical equipment :)
Consequiently, and glutted myself on books.
Please don't be scared but I did read a lot and not review requests either.
I was a bad, bad girl!

READ:

ADRIEN ENGLISH MYSTERIES 1-5 is a must read. I can't tell you just HOW GOOD these cozy mysteries are. I've read all 5 books in one day and I'm craving more. Thanks to Betsy, who introduced me to this author. All 5 books have this grand romance between Adrien, the book seller and this tough police detective Jake Ryordan, who is so intense, he reminded me of Barrons and who is slowly forced to confront his suppressed sexuality and his feelings for Adrien. *phew* You bet, I'm reading everything else that Josh Lanyon has ever written. TOUCHSTONE SERIES 1-3 is something that I fancied reading for a long time, and again Andrea, which blew my mind with her And All The Stars managed a very compicated and absolutely addictive sci-fi YA series about a girl from Earth who drops through the wormhole to an absolutely alien civilization and manages to help them fight monsters and make their worlds her home.  Anyone who loves anime will adore this series. I have a huge crush on Setari - squads of gorgeous psychic space samurai *sigh* On the other hand, CLOCKWORK MAFIA and SHAEDES OF GRAY delivered a stellar performance and I enjoyed reading both these steampunk and urban fantasy novels. SHAPESHIFTED was also a really yummy, very well written urban fantasy and it only took me a day to read.  At last, PARALLEL was another beautiful sci-fi  read which left me reeling. I love reading about multiverse, and I thought this book was absolutely amazing and heartbreaking.

FOR REVIEW:

Thank yo very much, Cassie! I'm looking forward to this!

BOUGHT:

 

FREEBIE:

Another recommendation from my book guru, Betsy, and it was free on Amazon UK for a short while.

This is it. 
There won't be any mail posts until June, peeps, as I'm going away and all May you'll have awesome giveaways, reviews and guest posts. I hope you enjoy it all.
Don't forget to check this giveaway which started yesterday (INT) too!

Love and hugs, ciao!

P.S. Has anyone started listening o Great Gatsby OST? It's EPIC, ladies and gents! I'll be really surprised if it doesn't win any awards...



Bitten by Paranormal, A Guest Post+Giveaway from Lindsay J. Pryor (INT)


Huge thanks to Karina for inviting me to do a guest post here. She suggested I talk about 5-10 books that influenced me and made me write paranormal romance. I’m going to cheat and include TV too as that’s where it all started.

 I’ve been writing paranormal romance for over twenty years, my Blackthorn series under construction for sixteen of those. My fascination with the paranormal started when I became hooked on the imported children’s TV show, The Little Vampire, when I was about nine years old. I was instantly captivated with the possibility of an alternative world living alongside ours. I went on to love books such as The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe and The Worst Witch – hardly anything comparable to what I write now, other than the merger of fantasy and reality.


By the age of seventeen, my reading tastes had matured but my fascination with vampirism remained. Paranormal romance didn’t exist back then though – at least not in my local books shops and libraries (there was no internet back then). So, having already been writing for several years, I did the only thing I could and wrote what I couldn’t find – romantic urban vampires.

I was studying classics at the time, amongst which were Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, John Milton’s Paradise Lost and works of the Metaphysical Poets. I went on to read Dracula, Frankenstein and The Picture of Dorian Grey, amongst others. They hardly reflect what I write now in style, but I’ve no doubt those dark, gothic books containing hints of a supernatural world only consolidated my passion for the paranormal genre.

Anti-heroes, vampires, the questionable lines between good and evil, tales of judgment and explorations into morality all shaped my thinking.


Then came The Lost Boys film.

If I was hooked on vampires before, now I was addicted. It was the closest reflection of the stories I was writing. I no longer felt peculiar for wanting my vampires out of cloaks and castles and into the mainstream. I was heavily into TV shows like the X-Files and Ultraviolet, which merged those fantasy/reality lines brilliantly. Around that time, I also devoured the only vampire romance available to me – Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles, and became fascinated by the comparably human plights of these so-called ‘monsters’.

In the meantime, I’d moved out of home, hundreds of miles away to a big city. One night, I got lost on my way home. I found myself alone in a run-down, isolated part of the city and the first thoughts of Blackthorn were born. Over the forthcoming years, I worked on creating the series.


 I knew I wanted to question all the traditional vampire rules and myths and create something different. I spent years researching vampire mythology and their evolution in literature, grabbing what I could from second hand bookstores such as Christopher Frayling’s Vampyres. Developing Blackthorn became my secret, guilty pleasure. 


By the time paranormal romance was truly coming into its own, much of the Blackthorn series
was mapped out – the world was created, the characters established and many stories written. It was too late (and too disheartening) to be influenced by what was being published in the genre. Convinced my series didn’t quite fit, I didn’t even attempt publication.

But I bit the bullet back in 2010 when I entered the opening chapters of one of my Blackthorn stories, Blood Roses, into Harlequin Mills and Boon’s New Voices online competition. Voted for by readers, it reached the final. Another of my Blackthorn stories, Blood Shadows, reached the final in 2011. The competition lead to me being discovered by my publisher and, five months ago, Blackthorn was finally out there. It’s been quite a journey.



Lindsay J. Pryor is a British Paranormal Romance author who writes dark, intense, multi-layered stories set in the dystopian world of Blackthorn.

Combining sizzling passion and dark, sinfully seductive vampire heroes, Lindsay J. Pryor's writing is an exciting new find for those who love paranormal romance and urban fantasy.

If you're a fan of J.R Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Kelley Armstrong, Christine Feehan, Kresley Cole or Felicity Heaton then you'll love Lindsay J. Pryor's books too.

Following the critically acclaimed Blood Shadows, Blood Roses is book two in the Blackthorn series. Blood Torn will follow in the Autumn of 2013. 
Find Lindsay
 Summary
For vengeance - would you trust a vampire?
For justice - could you betray your family?
For love - are you ready to question everything you believe in?

Gifted with the ability to read the shadows of 'third species' beings, Caitlin Parish is the Vampire Control Unit's most powerful agent. Despite that, her mission to hunt down Kane Malloy - a master vampire - comes with a death wish. Many have tried, but few have survived.

For Caitlin, tracking Kane is about more than just professional reputation. With her parents both mysteriously killed 7 years apart to the day, Caitlin knows that without Kane's help she is next.

She has four days to make a deal with the wicked, the irresistible, the treacherous Kane Malloy. The vampire who despises everything she stands for. Or die.

Blood Shadows is book one in the Blackthorn series, brought to you by Lindsay J. Pryor - a British Paranormal Romance author who writes dark, intense and passionate stories.

Lindsay's trademark powerful vampire heroes and utterly combustible sensual romances have earned Lindsay comparisons with both J.R Ward and Sherrilyn Kenyon. 

Summary

“She was supposed to kill vampires, not save them. Those were the rules. That was the lore.”

A rare and powerful witch whose blood is lethal to vampires, Leila has always viewed her serryn abilities as a curse. After seeing her mother slaughtered as a child, Leila longs for a safe, quiet life.

That wish is shattered by Caleb Dehain – a vampire with a dark past and a darker heart. The most feared serryn hunter of his generation, Caleb now needs the help of one of the witches he despises to save his dying brother.

A serryn who has no reason to help him. Except that he has her sister.

Caleb and Leila are each other’s worst nightmare – but the slow-burning spark of attraction between them is undeniable. Will Leila’s blood be his damnation? Or could her kiss be his salvation?
GIVEAWAY

ONE lucky winner will win an ebook of 
Blood Shadows or Blood Roses (their choice).
Open to all.
Ends May 3rd 2013.
Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Steampunk Western Review: The Native Star by M.K. Hobson

The Native Star by M.K. Hobson (Veneficas Americana #1)


Christmas gift

Synopsis from Goodreads
In the tradition of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, this brilliant first novel fuses history, fantasy, and romance. Prepare to be enchanted by M. K. Hobson’s captivating take on the Wild, Wild West.

The year is 1876. In the small Sierra Nevada settlement of Lost Pine, the town witch, Emily Edwards, is being run out of business by an influx of mail-order patent magics. Attempting to solve her problem with a love spell, Emily only makes things worse. But before she can undo the damage, an enchanted artifact falls into her possession—and suddenly Emily must flee for her life, pursued by evil warlocks who want the object for themselves.

Dreadnought Stanton, a warlock from New York City whose personality is as pompous and abrasive as his name, has been exiled to Lost Pine for mysterious reasons. Now he finds himself involuntarily allied with Emily in a race against time—and across the United States by horse, train, and biomechanical flying machine—in quest of the great Professor Mirabilis, who alone can unlock the secret of the coveted artifact. But along the way, Emily and Stanton will be forced to contend with the most powerful and unpredictable magic of all—the magic of the human heart.


Amazon  US/UK(£4.69) | Amazon kindle US | The Book Depository US/UK(£4.67)

9/10

* * *
This was an excellent steampunk western, and I'd fully recommend it to anyone who loves steampunk or just alternative history adventures.

Dystopian Young Adult Early Review: The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa

The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa (Blood of Eden #2)


Egalley thanks to Harlequin Teen

Synopsis from Goodreads
In Allison Sekemoto's world, there is one rule left: Blood calls to blood

She has done the unthinkable: died so that she might continue to live. Cast out of Eden and separated from the boy she dared to love, Allie will follow the call of blood to save her creator, Kanin, from the psychotic vampire Sarren. But when the trail leads to Allie's birthplace in New Covington, what Allie finds there will change the world forever-and possibly end human and vampire existence.

There's a new plague on the rise, a strain of the Red Lung virus that wiped out most of humanity generations ago-and this strain is deadly to humans and vampires alike. The only hope for a cure lies in the secrets Kanin carries, if Allie can get to him in time.

Allison thought that immortality was forever. But now, with eternity itself hanging in the balance, the lines between human and monster will blur even further, and Allie must face another choice she could never have imagined having to make.


Release date: April 30th 2013

 Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository US/UK | Fishpond

8/10

* * *
 Don't get me wrong. It's a very good book, but I felt like The Immortal Rules was written much better pace-wise.

Urban Fantasy Early Review: Hot Blooded by Amanda Carlson

Hot Blooded by Amanda Carlson (Jessica McClain #2)


Egalley thanks to Hachette Book Group

Synopsis from Goodreads
It hasn't been the best week for Jessica McClain.

Her mate has been kidnapped by a Goddess hell-bent on revenge --- but Jessica is playing for keeps.

Because she's the only female werewolf in town...it comes with its own set of rules...and powers.

Aided by two vamps, two loyal Pack members, and one very reluctant human, Jessica must rescue her man while coming to terms with what being a wolf really means.

All in a day's work for a girl.

The second novel in the Jessica McClain series is a full on action adventure featuring one angry Goddess and plenty of monsters, demons, and a few newly risen beasties...


Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository US/UK | Fishpond

9/10

* * *
I am really enjoying this new name in urban fantasy genre. Amanda Carlson proved that she can write decisive, interesting, fully capable of badassery characters; create a wonderfully complex world-building and end her books with a big bang. And I LOVE that. This is what encompasses UF genre for me!

The Postman Knock #28

Wow, weird week.
I feel like I'm getting ill as my hubby just recovered from his cold, so I'm sorry I've been absent from the interwebs :)
Otherwise, I've been on a bit of a steampunk binge...

I'VE READ:

I read ROUGH SURRENDER on my friend's, Betsy, recommendation and really really enjoyed it. It describes a woman pilot in 19th century Egypt and a man with light BDSM tastes. Brilliant, beautifully written book! Of course, after that I had to go and read Miss Silverwood's STEAMWORK'S CHRONICLES trilogy, which despite absolutely glorious world-building couldn't quite re-capture the brilliance of the first book I read. Still. I enjoyed it. I've also finished RIVETED, Meljean Brook's third steampunk book, and it left me absolutely enchanted with Iceland of witches and trolls Annika described. At last, THE ETERNITY CURE, was a pretty slow book for me, but I quite liked it, although I still think that 1st one was much better structurally.

BOUGHT:


 FOR REVIEW:

Thank you, Angel!

Otherwise, I've been resisting review requests all week, because believe it or not, I give the books I review such high rating for a reason. Either I choose them myself or they were on my wishlist for a long time and I've been craving reading them...

How was your week, ladies and gents?


Rammstein still totally rules after all these years. :)
Happy Sunday!

The Abundance of Reds (Feature)

It's been almost 2 months since our last meeting, and it looks like you are overdue for another dose of redheads, my dear reader...
The question is: Are you ready?
(See previous collections under Features)
 

Phew. That's it. What are you picks for the best and worst?

Mine are...

WORST
(without question)
 
BEST
  
It's perfect. Hair, dress and background... Gorgeous!
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KARINA IS READING

READING

The Night Circus
Legacy
Gabriel's Inferno
Touch

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Vika is reading

Victoria Reading

The Fault in Our Stars
Spin

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In case of zombie apocalypse

Hey, guys! I feel like I should say this just in case :)
If you'd like to sponsor a fellow book addict who sometimes can't sleep at night worrying that she won't have enough books to read if internet goes down in the event of zombie apocalypse (I'm convinced it's one of the top five ways to go for human race) you can donate through Paypal to olivesandacorns at gmail dot com or buy a book through any of the links provided with my reviews which will send me a small percentage from the sale. All proceeds will go towards my enormous TBR. I will also shelter you on the remote farm in Portugal when zombie apocalypse starts provided you survive getting there. There will be books, yay?
Thank you! Love you all

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