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Historical Fantasy Early Review: The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo

The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo


Egalley thanks to William Morrow

Synopsis from Goodreads
Li Lan, a young Chinese woman in lush, 1890s colonial Malaya, hopes for a favorable marriage. But the proposal she receives from the wealthy Lim family is for their dead son, who begins to shadow her mirror and her dreams. Set in the elaborate world of the Chinese afterlife, with its parallel ghost cities, paper servants, and monstrous bureaucracy, THE GHOST BRIDE is based on a peculiar historic custom amongst the Chinese in Malaysia called a spirit marriage.

Release date: August 6th 2013.

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

9/10

* * *
Simply put, The Ghost Bride is fantastic. I went into this book fully expecting historical fiction with a murder mystery twist. What I got is a delightful paranormal story the likes of Spirited Away.

Crime Fiction Early Review: The Enemy Inside by Vanessa Skye

The Enemy Inside by Vanessa Skye (The Enemy Inside #1)


Egalley thanks to The Writer's Coffee Shop

Synopsis from Goodreads
Chicago Detective Alicia Raymond, aka Berg, hides her depression and a brutal past with dangerous, anonymous sex and an obsessive desire to track down killers. Bringing murderers to justice is the only thing she has in her life worth living for.

Her partner, Detective Inspector Jay O’Loughlin, has a few secrets of his own. He knows Berg isn’t as perfect as her faultless veneer, but as his intense attraction to her grows, can he overlook it?

Captain Louise Leigh assigns them to investigate the gruesome murder of a trucker and repeat sex offender. But before they can get a lead on the killing, another trucker’s body is found on the highway. Soon the bodies pile up, and it’s a race against time to find the killer before their Chief, Consiglio, uses them as scapegoats to fulfill his political aspirations.

When Berg’s DNA is found on one victim, her career looks to be over. In the course of clearing her name, she and Jay grow even closer, so when her sordid sex life is exposed, their precarious relationship comes under fire. With nothing to lose, Jay and Berg forge ahead and defy direct orders to continue working on the cases, until Jay disappears.

Desperate to find him, Berg stops at nothing to unearth what links the murders together, eventually uncovering a sadistic vigilante exacting revenge for a thirty-year-old gang rape. The sheer viciousness of the rape makes Berg question her place in a justice system that increasingly allows the guilty to go unpunished.

Berg fears for Jay’s life, but her demons are overwhelming. As events spiral out of control, Berg is forced towards a final confrontation with the killer where she will face the ultimate test: surrender to the evil inside her or finally confront the past she would rather bury.


Release date: August 8th 2013.

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

7.5/10

* * *
The Enemy Inside is a very good police procedural and an excellent crime fiction. I've enjoyed reading about the hunt for the killer, the forensics and the slow detective work. The killings themselves are so vicious and psychotic that you can't help but get a chill just reading about them... But you hear BUT, right?

The Postman Knock #39

Hey, guys and gals!
Hope everyone is having a nice weekend, because I am :)

I have a couple of announcements first.

If you are SUBSCRIBED to this blog BY EMAIL,
 and you don't get any updates from me starting 1st of August, this means that the service I use has cut you off.

They were free when I signed up, but now they want money after the first 25 subscribers, and I simply can't afford it. I'm also unable to find another free service yet.

Please if you don't see any emails from me after that date, come back to the blog and subscribe through
RSS | Bloglovin | GFC | Networked Blogs | Linky or even follow me through Twitter,
otherwise I'd disappear from your radar I'm afraid.

Secondly, don't miss out on an international giveaway from Pan Macmillan UK and Leigh Evans!

I got burnt out on review books last week and this week I was cleansing my palate with tons of erotic romance. Surprisingly it helped a lot. 
Here is what I'VE READ:






The thing is I've enjoyed the heck out of these all, even Sylvia Day whose CROSSFIRE series I managed to avoid for more than a year. UP IN THE AIR trilogy was a mix between Crossfire and Fifty Shades but with a lot more bite to it BDSM-wise, so bear that in mind, ladies and gents. SIMPLY IRRESISTIBLE is a lovely romance but might be way too sweet for me as I tried to start book #2 straight after the first one and had cuteness overload. I do need a bit more bite. At last, TAINTED ANGEL was a clever and wonderful treat for my obsession with spies in historical romances. That was such a cool story, peeps!

I've also watched German movie based on Ruby Red by Kerstin Geir. 
 I can't find anything about it with English subtitles, but it's out in Russia, so I watched it in Russian and it was pretty cool and sweet.

FOR REVIEW:

I really enjoyed Darkness Haunts last year, so I'm looking forward to the second book in this urban fantasy series. Thank you, Susan!

LIBRARY:


BOUGHT:


This is it for me, ciao!

I just discovered Talvin Singh, and his music is pure bliss... 
Hope someone would enjoy this :)


The Thing About Wolves, An Interview and Giveaway with Leigh Evans!











Hi, Leigh! Thank you for being a guest here on my blog. Please make yourself comfortable for the interrogation... ehh... interview!

I’m thrilled to be here. Thanks for the invite!
 
In one sentence, what your books are about?

The Mystwalker series is very much the coming of age story of Hedi Peacock, half-Fae, half-Were—a 22 year old Canadian barista facing a destiny she wishes she could ignore.

What kind of reader do you think would be interested in Mystwalker series?

Someone who appreciates any of the following: a unique spin on fairies and werewolves; a character in obvious need of reformation; a winning romance with a hot, hot, guy; and/or amulets with attitudes. Readers who enjoy Patricia Briggs might like these stories.

What or shall I say who is behind your inspiration to write in urban fantasy genre?

The hazy idea that I could write a fantasy novel occurred to me while I was reading the second Sookie Stackhouse book—so I’d definitely say I was inspired by Charlaine Harris.

"A vampire, a werewolf and a fae walk into a bar..." how would Hedi finish this joke?

Long pause. “Crap, I forgot the punch line.”

At last, what are your plans for the future books in this series and beyond?



I have the early 2014 release of the third book
in the Mystwalker series to look forward to—Hedi steps up big time in PROBLEMS' action driven story! As well, I’m dying to start the fourth and final novel. I can see some scenes so clearly that I’m itching to put them down into words. After all the strife and heartbreak I’ve leveled at Hedi, it would be great to finish this fairy tale with my version of a happily ever after.

Beyond that, I’m going to take a short break and then consider whether I’m prepared to write Lexi’s story. I had such a fun idea for him...which I know that he’d absolutely loathe (then love)...which makes writing such a yarn darn near irresistible.

Thank you very much for being my guest, Leigh, and best of luck in your writing career!




 I was born in Montreal, Quebec but now live in Southern Ontario with my husband. I’ve raised two kids, mothered three dogs, and herded a few cats. Other than that, my life was fairly routine until I hit the age of 50. Some women get tattoos. I decided to write a book. A little tardy, but then again, Mum always said I was a late bloomer.

Find Leigh:

Summary
WHAT SHE DOESN'T KNOW MIGHT KILL HER: 
Hedi looks normal. Yet that's taken effort. Her fellow Starbucks baristas don't see her pointed ears, fae amulet or her dark past, and normal is hard for a half-fae, half-werewolf on the run. Hedi's life changed ten years ago, when her parents were murdered by unknown assassins. She's been in hiding with her loopy aunt Lou since, as whatever they wanted she's determined they won't get it. Things change when wolves capture Lou, forcing Hedi to steal to free her -- for if she can offer up a fae amulet like her own they may trade. But it belongs to a rogue werewolf named Robson Trowbridge, who betrayed Hedi on the night of her greatest need. Over forty-eight hours, Hedi will face the weres of Creemore, discover the extent of her fae powers and possibly break her own heart in the process.

Summary
Being put in charge of a werewolf pack might be someone’s dream, but it’s Hedi’s nightmare. Hints that it’s not working out include the Creemore wolves wanting her blood. And the Council of Weres wanting her dead…

Then all Hedi's wishes are granted. Robson Trowbridge, pack leader, returns – and her love isn't alone. He's found her missing twin brother, Lexi, among the fae. With this double helping of wonderful, things should’ve been all sunshine and flowers, but the fae lands have changed both men. Hedi’s brother is dying of an addiction, and her relationship with Robson may not survive the forces pushing them apart. To combat the darkness ahead, Hedi must face her dangerous were/fae heritage – and accept the consequences.

 GIVEAWAY
 ONE winner will get ONE paperback in Mystwalker series.
The contest is open WORLDWIDE thanks to generosity of Pan Macmillan UK
and ends on August 3rd 2013.
Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday Mini Reviews #7 - Riveted, Rough Surrender and Adrien English Mysteries

 
 
Riveted by Meljean Brook (Iron Seas #3)

library

Synopsis from Goodreads
A century after a devastating volcanic eruption forced Iceland’s inhabitants to abandon its shores, the island has become enshrouded in legend. But the truth behind the legends is mechanical, not magical—and the mystery of the island a matter of life and death for a community of women who once spilled noble blood to secure their freedom.

Five years ago, Annika unwittingly endangered that secret, but her sister Källa took the blame and was exiled. Now Annika serves on an airship, searching for her sister and longing to return home. But that home is threatened when scientific expedition leader David Kentewess comes aboard, looking to expose Annika’s secrets. Then disaster strikes, leaving David and Annika stranded on a glacier and pursued by a madman, with their very survival depending on keeping the heat rising between them—and generating lots of steam.

Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK(£3.99) | The Book Depository US/UK | Fishpond

 9/10

* * * 
I still don't think anything can beat the first book of the series, but Riveted came pretty darn close to it. And it's the characters that did it. Annika and David are so fabulous together, you stay glued to the book until the very end cheering for this couple. Annika is an absolute powerhouse who makes things happen and David is the quiet force behind her. Add to it, fantastic background and chilling plot, and this an insanely good book! Highly recommended.
* * *
Слушайте, ну если вы уже прочитали первую и вторую книгу серии, вы знаете что Брук безумно хороша, и рекомендовать её вам не нужно. Завороженная - это книга, в которую сначала влюбляешься из-за сильнейших главных характеров, которые просто поразительно хороши друг для друга. Прибавьте к этому интереснейший фон исландского острова и очень хорошо прописанных злодеев, и оторваться будет невозможно. Читайте, ибо надо!


Rough Surrender by Cari Silverwood 

bought
18+ only

Synopsis from Goodreads

One master, one woman who craves surrender, and a sky that will challenge them both.

At a time when airplanes are as new-fangled and sensational as the telephone, Faith dares to fly.

The one territory she has not explored is her own sexuality. In Leonhardt she discovers the man who can teach her how a woman surrenders her body and her mind. However, Leonhardt has a shadowed past and his own learning to do. He doesn't have the right to keep Faith from flying, even if he thinks airplanes are flimsy death-traps made of canvas, timber and their inventor's prayers.

Faith has her limits, Leonhardt has his flaws, and sometimes the nicest people get murdered by unscrupulous bastards. Even if Leonhardt can save the woman he loves, the battle for Faith’s heart will be the hardest one of all. 

 Amazon kindle US($4.99)/UK(£3.71)

9/10

* * * 
Rough Surrender is my first forage into Cari Silverwood, and it's definitely not the last. She usually does contemporary BDSM erotica or steampunkish one, so this historical fiction/erotica with strong BDSM elements is a fluke for her. And it's gorgeous. Great story, insane chemistry between main characters and a really atmospheric setting. This is one of the books where you wish it wouldn't have ended so soon. I've never read anything like it and it left quite an impression.
* * *
Вот нахожу я иногда совершенно случайно пёрлы среди авторов БДСМ эротики. Это моя первая книга Кари Силвервуд, и думаю, что не последняя. Красивый исторический фон Египта 19в., шикарная атмосфера, очень живые и интересные персонажи и довольно сильная история. Читалось взахлёб и оставило прекрасное впечатление. Это одна из книг, где всё заканчивается слишком рано и хочется продолжения.


Fatal Shadows by Josh Lanyon (Adrien English Mysteries #1)

bought

Synopsis from Goodreads
Someone's out to get Los Angeles bookseller Adrien English. His best friend has been viciously murdered, now he's getting weird phone calls and sinister gifts from a mysterious "admirer". The cops think he's trying to divert suspicion from himself—with the exception of sexy and homophobic homicide detective Jake Riordan.

Is Riordan really such a great detective—or does he have a few secrets of his own? Is his offer to help Adrien on the level or is he out to nail his favorite suspect—to the wall?

 Amazon kindle US($5.99)/UK(£3.79) | The Book Depository US/UK


9/10

* * *
This is my rating for the whole series, peeps. What can I say? Adrien English's life is simply addictive. I read 5 books back to back in one day while I was in bed with the flu. Gorgeous characterization, warm characters, a tragic, mesmerizing and raw love story and really really good murder mysteries wrapped all in one. Highly highly recommended especially if you think (like I did too) that m/m books is not your thing. Believe me this one is really worth a try.
* * *
 Это моя оценка за все 5 книг серии,которую я просто проглотила за один день пока лежала в постели с гриппом. Прекрасные детективные истории, дивная просто характеризация героев, пронзительная история любви, которая проходит через все 5 книг. Я вас очень прошу, прочитайте, даже если вы ( как и я до этого) думаете, что М/М книги не для вас. Вы ошибаетесь.

Urban Fantasy Review: Forsaken by The Others by Jess Haines

Forsaken by The Others by Jess Haines (H&W Investigations #5)


Egalley thanks to the author

Synopsis from Goodreads
The Others–vampires, werewolves, things that go chomp in the night–don’t just live in nightmares anymore. They’ve joined with he mortal world. And for private investigator Shiarra Waynest, that means mayhem…

Have a one night stand with a vampire, and you can end up paying for it for eternity. P.I. Shiarra Waynest, an expert on the Others, knows that better than most. Yet here she is, waking up beside charismatic vamp Alec Royce with an aching head…and neck. Luckily, Shia has the perfect excuse for getting out of town–namely, a couple of irate East Coast werewolf packs who’d like to turn her into a chew toy.

On Royce’s suggestion, Shia temporarily relocates to Los Angeles. But something is rotten–literally–in the state of California, where local vampires are being attacked by zombies. Who could be powerful enough to control them–and reckless enough to target the immortal? Following the trail will lead Shia to a terrifying truth, and to an ancient enemy with a personal grudge…

Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US($2.81)/UK(£1.85) | The Book Depository US/UK | Fishpond(£4.77)

8/10

* * *

While I enjoyed the last two book of the series - Deceived by The Others and Stalking The Others immensely, I had a feeling that Forsaken by The Others was a book between books to get to a necessary new development in the plot.

I did enjoy it, but perhaps not as much as I expected to. 

Historical Fiction Early Review: In Defense of The Queen by Michelle Diener

In Defense of The Queen by Michelle Diener (Susanna Horenbout & John Parker #3)


Egalley thanks to the author

Synopsis from Goodreads
An artist never betrays her patron . . . especially one of the world's most powerful kings.

Susanna Horenbout has learned this lesson from the cradle. But when she receives a letter from her father telling her to do just that, she faces a dilemma. Betray Henry VIII, or carry out the request of her father’s employer, Margaret of Austria, and pass secret information to Henry’s queen, Katherine of Aragon.

Caught between the machinations of her husband and her nephew, the Emperor Charles, Queen Katherine needs all the allies she can get. But what can Susanna really do to help her, and even if she does, will it be enough?

Susanna and her betrothed, Parker——one of Henry's most trusted courtiers——balance on the knife’s edge of treason as they try to make sense of both international and domestic conspiracies. Sometimes, it's better the enemy you know . . .

Release Date: August 1st 2013. 
(sorry, no pre-order links available right now)
Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository US/UK | Fishpond | Goodreads

9.5/10

* * *
I've already mentioned how much I enjoy reading Michelle Diener's books. Last year her The Emperor's Conspiracy made my top books of 2012, and this year I managed to read the first three books in her Susanna Horenbout & John Parker series, and absolutely adored it.

The Postman Knock #38

Hello, me dears!
How are you enjoying this beautiful summer?

I had a lovely reading week, no DNFs and almost nothing read with lower than 4 star rating :) Wishing you the same!

I've READ:




HUNTED was a novella in a paranormal series which I absolutely adore, so despite my dislike of novellas I couldn't resist it. THE WEIGHT OF SOULS just proved again why I love Bryony Pearce's writing. She is a fantastic, engaging author, who writes about admirable strong heroes and heroines. FOREVER MINE was the only 3 star rating in my list. It doesn't mean that this book is bad, it just means it was way too sugary sweet for my taste :) THE HEIRESS EFFECT was undeniably one of the best books that I've read this year, and the strongest book Courtney Milan has written so far. Her novels are really emotional, smart and stunning, and I would recommend them to just about anyone. Loved it! HER LADYSHIP'S CURSE and HIS LORDSHIP POSSESSED were in essence one book split in two parts so I'll be reviewing them together. This was a brilliant steampunk romp with a very cheeky main heroine. I enjoyed it immensely. MARKING TIME was a great time travel YA paranormal. Absolutely fab, peeps. Great world-building and a very strong main heroine.

BOUGHT:


Apart from Vortex and Siege & Storm all are ebooks. These two were free from Newbooks magazine and all I paid was £6 for postage. Thanks, Ellie, for reminding me about this amazing deal! :)

FROM NETGALLEY:

Completely unexpected but my review request from March this year for The Bone Season was accepted after I gave up hoping for some answer, plus I couldn't resist requesting St. Croix Chronicles novella from Karina Cooper. Thank you, Bloomsbury UK and Carina Press!

This is it, peeps! Here is some music and happy Sunday!


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KARINA IS READING

READING

The Night Circus
Legacy
Gabriel's Inferno
Touch

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The Fault in Our Stars
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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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