All good things must come to an end

 

I have dreaded writing this post for weeks, but I have to. I reached a reading slump in October, and I’ve never really left it. Yes, I’m reading, but it is at a much slower pace. And the books that I do read, I feel no urge to review. So during the holidays the decision to take a long time hiatus from book reviewing matured.  So I’ve decided to close this blog. I don’t think I’ll stop reviewing for good, but if I review it will be books from my TBR pile, but it will not happen anytime soon.

The website will be up until July or so, since that is when the domain expires. Meanwhile, I’ll work on posting all the ARC reviews I wrote to Booklikes, Amazon and Goodreads. ( Most of them ended up there, but not all of them.)

 

Friday Bargains: Black Friday/ Cyber Monday deals

The Trouble with Magic by Patricia Rice is 1.99 right now. If you haven’t read her Malcolm and Ives novels yet, this a great price. ( Each book stands alone.)

Google Play is having a sale this weekend, and a lot of bestsellers are steeply discounted.  Amazon is price matching some of them.

Amazon is offering 30 % off on paper books with this coupon_BOOKDEAL  ( tip: Buy a book that’s in Kindle Matchbook, so that you can gift a copy to someone ( either print or e-book).

BN also offers 30% off: BFRIDAY30.

Kobo offers an multiuse 50% off. BLACKFRIDAY50. ( They have done that so often, that I cannot get excited any more. What can I say, I’m spoiled!)

No details, but Samhain has hinted that they are running a sale on Monday. I’m hoping that ARe will run one of their rebate sales.  Their #areblast campaign isn’t impressing me. Lots of books, though!

 

I’m probably missing lots of sales, but I hope you have a great weekend! :).

Friday Bargains: A little bit of everything

 

Midnight ink is 0.99 right now, and contains stories from 9 authors I think. I’ll admit it. I’m often wary of multiauthor bundles, but since all the stories are interlinked, I decided to buy it.

TheDuchess warby Courtney Milan has been on my wishlist for awhile, and it is just 0.99 right now, and the sale ends TODAY. So grab it while you can.

For the Honor of the Hunt by Lazette Gifford

This is a short story collection, with 3 interconnected and is 1.99 right now. No idea if it is the ordinary price, or not, but I love Lazette Gifford books, so I’m buying it. If you haven’t tried Lazette Gifford yet, this is a good place to start.

Carina Press still has a bunch of titles on sale, among them is Defiance by Stephanie Tyler.

 

Kobo has another, unlimited coupon code 50% off: Unlimited50.

 

A bit sparse, this week but next Friday is Black Friday. I expect a lot of sales then, or on Monday.

( Do they still use Cyber Monday?)

 

 

WWW Wednesday Nov 20

www_wednesdays4

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…


• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

 

I know I have been quiet this month, but I have been in an reading slump. Sigh. But I think I am finally crawling out of it. Anyway, here is what I have read this month.

Currently reading:

I love Wen Spencer’s novels, but I am struggling with this one. I think the main problem is that I read it recently enough that I still remember what happens to the characters.

 

 

This was one of the free books at World Fantasy Con.  And it is another one that I am struggling with. I think it is because it is an omnibus of the three Bookman novels, so even if I have read 70 pages it feels like I haven’t read anything.

 

 

 

Recently read:

 

A Fistful of Sky by Nina Kiriki Hoffman. This is one of my favorite novels. I love the LaZelle family, I love the magic. It felt like I slid on an old, comfy sweater when I read it. :)

 

 

 


I have had this in my TBR pile for years, and I regret that I didn’t read it earlier. It was really good, but I wish I had realised it was No 2 in a trilogy. It was surprisingly stand alone.

 

 

Reading next:

I am not sure. Probably some more fantasy from the TBR pile. Or maybe some mystery. :)

Review: Prince of Shadows by Curt Benjamin

 

The Particulars: Epic Fantasy, DAW, available in print and as e-book

The Source: The Bookshelf

The Grade: B

The Blurb

Llesho was only seven years old when the Harn invaded Thebin, slaying his father and selling the boy into slavery. On Pearl Island, he was trained as a diver — until a vision changed his life completely. The spirit of his newly-dead teacher revealed the truth about Llesho’s royal family — his six brothers were still alive, but had been sold into slavery in distant lands.

Now, to free his brothers — and himself — Llesho must train as a gladiator…

He must go face to face with sorcerers….

And gods….

And more.

 

The Review:

I love Curt Benjamin’s epic fantasies, and this is the book that started the love. ( I wish I knew who he is a psedonym for, though, since he is writing Contemporary Fantasy under another name.)

This book take place in  a setting that is heavily based on East Asian history and mythology. And I loved the care that Mr Benjamin had taken to make the book feel fresh, yet at the same time believable.

At the core, this is a quest novel, which means they travel a lot. Mr Benjamin manages to weave in enough unexpected events during the travel portions, to avoid the dullness that creeps into many fantasy novels. I liked following Llesho’s journey, from his life at the oyster beds, and to the Shan Empire. It was interesting to see how he struggled with his nightmares, and his past, as he and his companions travelled toward the capital of the Shan Empire.

 

On the way, he met a lot of people, and most of them wasn’t what they seemed to be. It was interesting to see how Llesho slowly realised that he was travelling in the company of immortals and witches. I liked the sense of loyalty that arose between Llesh, Bixei, Lling and Hmishi, as they travelled together.

That said, I had a couple of niggling things.  First, I struggled a bit with how Lleck knew Llesho was alive? I know that the probable answer was that he probably had help from the Goddess.

The other niggling thing was that I would have loved a map. They travel a lot, both in this book and the other books of the trilogy. A map would have been really helpful.

 

 

 

Friday Bargains: Mostly books on my wishlist

Like many readers, I have a long, and ever growing wishlist. I am getting better on putting books on my wishlist, instead of buying them directly. This week this pays off. Big time.

I really liked Dance in the Moonlight by Raeanne Thayne, and I have had her books on my wishlist ever since.  This week, I discovered to my delight that Harlequin have  discounted most of her Cold Creek novels to 1.99.    I promise to not blow my entire budget on them.. On the other hand, they are reward eligible at Allromance.

I have wanted to read Joshilyn Jackson ever since I saw the cover for one of her previous novels at Alison Kent’s novel.  Now Gods in Alabama is only 2.99.  The blurb sound interesting, so.. *click*

I think I mentioned before that Carina Press have discounted a lot titles, but I thought I would highlight some of the titles.

Chance of rain by Amber Lin is a new release that have had good reviews.  At 1.99 it is cheap enough that, I am adding it to my cart.

I have had Debra Kayn’s contemporary romances on my wishlist for years, and her Carina Press titles are only 1.99 now.

An Affair to Dismember by Elise Sax isn’t on my wishlist, but it sounds really good. Plus, it is just 0.99 right now.

 

And some non romance books, since I do read those too.

Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb is just 1.99 right now. I have no idea how much longer it lasts, so I wont wait. The rest of the books in the trilogy are 4.99 each.

I have heard really good things about The Darwin Elevator by Jason Hough, and right now it is  just 1.99. ( The other titles in the series is 9.99)

Oh, and Kobo has a 50% off coupon, Novend50, that’s supposedly multiuse. Expires on Monday.

Now, if you excuse me, I am off to Allromance to do some shopping….

ARC Review: I’ll be home for Christmas by Jessica Scott

18141126The Particulars: Contemporary Romance, ForeverYours, available as e-book

The Source: Arc from Netgalley

The blurb:

 

There’s nothing in the world Army Sergeant Vic Carponti loves more than his wife and his country. Smart-mouthed and easy tempered, he takes everything as a joke . . . except his promise to come home to his wife, Nicole, for Christmas. As he prepares to leave for his latest deployment into Iraq, Vic will do everything he can to shield his beautiful, supportive wife from the realities of war . . . and from his own darkest fears.

As a career army wife, Nicole Carponti knows just what to expect from her husband’s tour of duty: loneliness, relentless worry, and a seemingly endless countdown until the moment Vic walks through the door again. But when the unthinkable happens, Nicole and Vic’s bond is tested like never before and changes everything they believe to be true about the power of love and the simple beauty of being home for the holidays.

 

 

 

The Review:

I loved Because of you, so when I got the opportunity to read an ARC, I took it.

And I am glad I read it. This was a sweet and heartwarming novella, about Vic’s and Nicole’s struggle to keep their marriage going while Vic was in Iraq.
I really appreciated that Ms Scott didn’t pull any punches. She showed both the dangers in Iraq,and how it affected the troops moral. At the same time, she also show the waiting at home.For a call, for news. She also shows how marriages are impacted if you don’t call home.

This was the perfect novella to whet readers appetite for Laura and Trent’s story that’s coming in Jan 2014. And it is surprisingly stand alone. My biggest complaint is that  I wanted to read about how Carponti and his wife met, not get a glimpse of their life together now. It was well written, and intriguing, but I would have liked it more if it hadn’t felt like like there was an previous story I hadn’t read.

Grade: B-

Friday Bargains: Freebies galore!

Meljean Brooks offer Fire and Frost of free during November at Kobo. More information at her webpage.

Carina Press offers Improper Relations for free this month at their webpage.

Exclusively yours by Shannon Stacey is free at iBooks this month (No link, since I don’t have iTunes.) Samhain offers several short stories as free, some pre-orders, some permanent free reads. ( Link to Amazon, since Samhain only offers the opportunity to wishlist them at their store. Gah.)

Club Shadowlands by Cherise Sinclair is free at the moment. I like Cherise Sinclair’s Erotic Romances, but this book didn’t work for me.

Club Shadowlands is also part of Surrender, a box set featuring several popular  authors. It is also free right now ( I am not getting it, since I have most of the books in my tbr pile.)

No one lives twice by Julie Moffett is free right now at Carina Press webpage.  ( This is another book that didn’t work for me, but I know that it is popular. So I might give it a try again.)

Launch day blitz(+Giveaway) : I’ll be home for Christmas by Jessica Scott

JessicaScottBlitzGraphic

November 5, 2013; Forever Yours/E-Novella; $0.99; 978-1-4555-5424-9

There’s nothing in the world Army Sergeant Vic Carponti loves more than his wife and his country. Smart-mouthed and easy tempered, he takes everything as a joke . . . except his promise to come home to his wife, Nicole, for Christmas. As he prepares to leave for his latest deployment into Iraq, Vic will do everything he can to shield his beautiful, supportive wife from the realities of war . . . and from his own darkest fears.

As a career army wife, Nicole Carponti knows just what to expect from her husband’s tour of duty: loneliness, relentless worry, and a seemingly endless countdown until the moment Vic walks through the door again. But when the unthinkable happens, Nicole and Vic’s bond is tested like never before and changes everything they believe to be true about the power of love and the simple beauty of being home for the holidays.

Buy at:

Amazon

B&N

Bookish

Itunes


Excerpt:

”You’re not serious.”

Carponti turned around, his shoulders covered in flecks of red hair. “What?”

Nicole grinned as she leaned against the door. “Garrison is going to kill you.”

“Garrison is going to love my new hair cut. It looks just like his.”

Nicole arched one blond eyebrow. “Except for the bright red fuzzy patch in the center of your head.”

Carponti shrugged and rubbed his hands over his freshly shorn scalp. “I can’t wait to see what the sergeant major says.”

“Isn’t he going to be mad?”

Carponti brushed the hair off his neck. “We’re going to war. My hair isn’t on the list of things he’s going to worry about.”

Nicole looked down at the pile of hair on the floor and sighed. “Then why do it?”

Carponti smirked. “Because it’ll get a rise out of him and I live to make his blood pressure go up.”

She laughed. “You need a hobby. Other than blowing things up.”

He sidled across the room and hooked his thumb into the waist of her jeans and tugged her close until their hips met. “I have a hobby. Keeping you well satisfied.”

She sniffed but her lips curled at the edges. “You’re going to be derelict in your duties for a while.”

“But I’ll be home soon enough and then I’ll make up for it.”

“I think I’m going to need a deployment boyfriend.”

He grinned wickedly. “Did you already get one?” He backed her up against the wall, his body hard against hers. God but she loved this man. “Can I see it?”

A slow flush crept over her face and she tried to look away. He threaded his fingers with hers and lifted her arms over her head. Her back arched with the movement.

“Please?” he whispered against her lips. “That would be an awesome memory to take with me downrange. Just think of me, alone in the middle of the desert. One visual of you with your deployment boyfriend and it could make a lonely night go by so much faster.”

Nicole giggled until the laugh overwhelmed her and she was gasping for air. He released her hands and she threaded them around his neck. She buried her face against his throat and laughed.

“There’s something really wrong with you,” she said when she could breathe again. “I’ll send you a video.”

He brightened instantly. “Really?”

“Yes. And dirty letters.”

“Promise?” He nibbled along the edge of her jaw, guiding her slowly backward toward their bed, stacked high with his two duffle bags and all the crap he still hadn’t packed.

But he didn’t care.

“I promise. And you’re going to be late.” Her voice caught in her throat.

“Screw it,” he whispered. “This is the last chance to make love to my beautiful wife before I have to go traipsing across the desert like Lawrence of Arabia.” He nibbled at her earlobe while his hand slipped down her belly to the moist head between her thighs. “Tell you what. You send me a picture of yours and I’ll send you a picture of mine. Maybe I can get him a little horse and saddle and send you a picture. Maybe a Barbie camel. I can put him in a little man dress.”

She laughed and Carponti’s heart swelled in his chest at the sound of it.

“I’m going to hold you to that.” She traced her fingers over his scalp, her body soft and warm against his erection. “I want a picture of him in a man dress in exchange for a video of the deployment boyfriend.”

Her legs bumped into the back of the bed and he followed her down. Tangled between the duffle bags and his uniforms, he made love to her one last time before he got on a plane and headed to war.


 

Jessica ScottAuthor Bio:

USA Today bestselling author Jessica Scott is a career army officer; mother of two daughters, three cats and three dogs; wife to a career NCO and wrangler of all things stuffed and fluffy. She is a terrible cook and even worse housekeeper, but she’s a pretty good shot with her assigned weapon and someone liked some of the stuff she wrote. Somehow, her children are pretty well-adjusted and her husband still loves her, despite burned water and a messy house.

She’s written for the New York Times At War Blog, PBS Point of View: Regarding War Blog, and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. She deployed to Iraq in 2009 as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom/New Dawn and has served as a company commander at Fort Hood, Texas.

 

She’s pursuing a PhD in Sociology in her spare time and most recently, she’s been featured as one of Esquire Magazine‘s Americans of the Year for 2012.

Author Social Media links:

 

Blitz wide Giveaway:

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Review: Biting Nixie by Mary Hughes

TheBitingNixie3x4.5_medium Particulars:Paranormal Romance, Samhain Publishing, available as e-book and in print

The Source: Freebie from Samhain

Grade: B

The Blurb: 

Nitro? Meet glycerin…

 Punk musician Nixie Schmeling is a hundred pounds of Attitude who spells authority a-n-c-h-o-r and thinks buying insurance is just one more step toward death. So she really feels played when she’s “volunteered” to run the town’s first annual fundraising festival. Especially when she finds out it’s to pay for a heavy-hitting, suit-wearing lawyer—who’s six-feet-plus of black-haired, blue-eyed sex on a stick.

Attorney Julian Emerson learned centuries ago that the only way to contain his dangerous nature is to stay buttoned up. He’s come from Boston to defend the town from a shady group of suits…and an even shadier gang of vampires. But his biggest problem is Nixie, who shreds his self-control.

Nixie doesn’t get why the faphead shyster doesn’t understand her. Julian wishes Nixie would speak a known language…like Sanskrit. Even if they manage to foil the bloodthirsty gang, what future is there for a tiny punk rocker and a blue-blooded skyscraper?

And that’s before Nixie finds out Julian’s a vampire…

The Review:

I have heard good things about Mary Hughes for a long time, but I never got around to buy this book, so when Samhain offered it for free earlier this year I jumped on it. While this isn’t a perfect book, I am really glad I finally read it.

I really liked the Meyers Corner, the setting of the book, it felt believable.  From the way everyone knew each other, even if they didn’t necessarily *like* each other, to the way their German background remained a part of their daily life.  I also liked that the way they fought for their independence from Chicago.

Even if Meyers Corner is a small town, a lot of things happened. I had a blast following Nixie and Julian as they tried to stop the bad guys.  The story was fast paced, and in between dodging bad guys she kept the festival from going haywire, dealt with her mother’s nagging to get a proper job.   I loved the fact that Nixie was snarky and kickass, but she also had enough common sense to know that she wasn’t invincible.

The supernatural element was gradually introduced, and I liked how the Vampires society was structured. It balanced the vampires need, while allowing them to stay under the radar.

While there was a lot of this I really liked with this book,  I struggled with the romance subplot. It was well written, and I was happy with their HEA, but I missed  following how Julian’s feelings and how he thought about having a human mate.

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