Dream of Danger by Maggie Shayne

Dream of Danger

Dream of Dangerby Maggie Shayne

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Summary: 

She may have been blind for twenty years, but Rachel’s always had an uncanny gift for seeing through people—and she distrusts her assistant’s new boyfriend at first sight. Amy isn’t interested in Rachel’s misgivings, though. She’s too eager to celebrate Thanksgiving by introducing her family to the new man in her life.

Then Amy doesn’t show up for the holiday….

Desperate to find her missing friend, Rachel has no choice but to turn to Mason. Their investigation into Amy’s disappearance takes them ever deeper into danger—and reignites the attraction that they’ve both sworn to resist. Now it’s a race against time as these reluctant partners fight to stave off passion and save a life.

My Review: 

This Novella picks up after Sleep with the Lights On Rachel and Mason are taken a step back from each other to figure out the changes that have taken place in both their lives.  They are forced back together when Amy, Rachel’s assistant, goes missing.  Trusting Rachel’s gut instincts Mason immediately comes to her aid. When it turns out that Amy’s boyfriend is a married man he becomes Rachel’s prime suspect.

Rachel and Mason set out on a trip to follow Amy’s path home to her parents house and quickly come upon her car.  Rachel’s instincts on high alert she sends them chasing after the bad guys.  The sequence of events that follow make a page turning Novella.  As always with Maggie Shayne’s work she is imaginative and descriptive.

I can’t wait to read the next book Wake to Darkness.

PicsArt_1375992687897PG-13 there is sexual tension and kidnapping

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Author Interview with Shannon A Thompson

Blackout_AuthorIntWe have a great interview with author Shannon A Thompson to share with you.  We just reviewed Minutes Before Sunset and her new novel Seconds Before Sunrise will be out on March 27th.  We are really excited to find out what happens.  Read our review to find out why.  It’s a great book.  Our first questions are silly ones but she gave us great answers to all of our questions.  She has an amazing website with tons of information.  It doesn’t matter if you’re an aspiring writer or an avid reader who wants to know how authors do what they do, her website has great information.  If you have fun questions that you would like to see us add to our list of icebreakers send them to us.  We would love to see them.  Now, our interview with Shannon A. Thompson.
 Letsbreaktheice
 
1. Do you kill bugs or set them free?
 
“Depends on the bug? Lady bugs must be set free. Wasps must be vacuumed with the hose from a distance.” 
 
2. If you weren’t human what would you be?
 
“Oh! Now that is a question. I think a magical, forest creature of some sort – as long as I was also nocturnal.”  
 
merlot_image3. What is your favorite color?
 
“A deep red, like Merlot. I actually painted my bedroom in college this color, and I matched it with black and gold furniture with black and white posters from my favorite 50’s movies.” 
 
4.  If you were a fairy tale character who would you be?
 
“I grew up with the Grimms’ Fairy Tales, so I’m not sure I would want to be one of those characters. They always end up dismembered. But if I could choose from Disney, I think Mulan is my favorite (although the legend of Hua Mulan is very different from the Disney version.) I’m starting to think that I’m over-thinking this.” 
 
5. If you were that fairy tale character fighting a dragon and the dragon gave you a choice between saving your love and saving a nearby village from its wrath which would you choose?
 
“I would save my love, because I would’ve already saved the village people – making the village empty and only houses would be destroyed. (See? Happy endings.)” 
 
the_questions_ban
 
1.  Why did you choose to write about Shades?
 
“Well, for one, I like writing about creatures beyond the norm, and the shades were based off of what I saw in the dreams I based the novel off of. I wasn’t sure what to call them, but I ultimately decided on shades when writing the second novel. I actually explained my decision on my website” here: http://shannonathompson.com/2013/09/16/writing-tips-creating-the-paranormal/ where I discuss the method of combining old tales with new ideas in order to create a refreshing twist on overused creatures.
 
2. In your book the Shades have a human form.  Were you worried that would be confusing to the reader?
 
“I think most authors are worried about everything being confusing to the reader, but I trust the reader. Of course, juggling two identities with every character wasn’t easy when writing, so I knew it wouldn’t be easy when reading it, but sometimes that is the point – the challenge yourself and the reader to focus on the separation of identities in order to grasp what the trilogy is stating about identity in general.”
 
3. What do you hope your readers take away from this series?
 
“Other than being entertained, I hope readers can relate to the characters and appreciate the challenge of stereotypes and archetypes. For instance, light is normally good, and dark is bad, but I flipped them. I wanted readers to ask, “Why do we continue to use these same symbols in our literature over and over, and do we have to continue using them?” In terms of stereotypes, I wanted to create characters that teens could relate to in order to find comfort in their own identity. For instance, Crystal dresses in a style most would consider “punk,” but she is ambitious and girly in her own way. I wanted readers to see themselves – or their classmates – in that. A punk doesn’t have to be this “negative punk.” A punk can be a hardworking student that goes to prom.” 
 
4. How is writing a series different than writing a stand alone novel?
 
“I wrote about this on my website, too. I do a lot of writing, editing, and publishing tips. But, anyway, here’s the link: http://shannonathompson.com/2013/09/05/writing-tips-sequel-trilogy-series-etc/ I think both require a lot of attention and planning, but a series is much longer, and they must tie together, which can add complications. I enjoy writing both, but I recommend new writers to begin with a stand-alone novel before moving onto series.”
 
5. What can you tell us about book two in The Timely DeathSeconds Before Sunrise Trilogy?
 
“Seconds Before Sunrise releases on March 27, 2014. While the first book was focused on being in the Dark, this novel will revolve around what it is like to be human in a paranormal world. But don’t worry! There’s plenty of action, romance, and twists ready to be revealed and explored. I will give you one hint: the novel takes place from the middle of August to the middle of December.” 
 
6. Who is your favorite author?
 
“That is an impossible question, but I will try to narrow it down to a few. Billy Collins is my favorite poet, and Cassandra Clare is my current obsession within the YA genre (but I also LOVE Lauren Oliver and Meg Cabot and…okay, I could go on forever.)”
 
7. What books have influenced you and your work?
 
“I wouldn’t say that any specific books have influenced my work, but I would say that an abundance of reading all different kinds of novels inspired me to write in a variety of genres. That being said, I always admired Meg Cabot’s young-adult fiction. She isn’t afraid of breaking boundaries with her protagonists, allowing them to be both tough and girly, intellectual and human, as well as many other things.”  
 
8. What has writing taught you about yourself?
 
“Writing has allowed me to realize what is most important in this world: helping and inspiring others. I always thought my dream was to be a published author, but that happened, and I knew that wasn’t the main goal I was working toward. Ultimately, I dream of being able to open an affordable art school. It may not be accredited, but I think it would be better if it was simply a place where new artists could meet acclaimed artists in their field – like networking – and grow with their art in order to make it into a career at an earlier age.” 
 
9. What has it taught you about life?
 
“Life is short. I know. I know. How cliche. But there’s a reason it’s cliche – it’s true. 
My love for writing was only taken seriously after my mother died, and I knew I had to spend my life spreading the love for achieving dreams, because – quite frankly – I won’t be here forever, but art will be. It may not be my art – but if I can influence another artist to try, I think my life will be worth it. Art is immortal, and it teaches the soul to those of the future.”
 
ShannonAThompson10. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
 
“My mantra is “Write with passion; succeed with self-discipline.” It helps me get through the bad and the good days. It’s okay if you have to remind yourself how much you love what you do; you just have to keep doing it. It may take years, even decades, but following your dreams is worth more than wondering what it would be like to try.”  
 
11. Is there anything that you would like to share with our readers?
“My website – http://shannonathompson.com – includes writing, publishing, and editing tips, but I’m here to help anyone! I’m also giving away free copies of Minutes Before Sunset in exchange for an honest review. Feel free to email me at any time with questions or comments (or even just to chat.) I’m at shannonathompson@aol.com. I would love to hear from you!”
We would like to thank Shannon A. Thompson for taking the time to answer our questions.  Don’t forget to pick up Minutes Before Sunset.
Wine Glass Image: Red Red Wine by Theswedish from freeimages.com
All images of Shannon A Thompson can be found on the authors web site.

Minutes Before Sunset by Shannon A. Thompson

Minutes Before Sunset by Shannon A. Thompson

CoverHere is a word of warning.  You are going to get to the end of chapter one and say I can put this down anytime I want to.   Then you’re going to realize it’s five o’clock in the morning and you forgot to sleep.  It’s true.  It happened to me.

Jess and her parents move back to the town of her birth.  She was adopted and they left the past in the past but now that they are back Jess wants some answers.

Eric is the rich kid in town.  He also has a secret.  He’s a shade.  A very special shade.  He has his own prophecy and everything.  He isn’t really looking forward to his next  birthday because that’s when he’s supposed to fight an epic battle that could kill him.  Between keeping up his human identity and training for battle Eric doesn’t really have time to mentor a shade that doesn’t even know she’s a shade.  He also can’t walk away.

This book tosses convention on its head.  Forget everything you think you know about how good and evil are supposed to act.  Forget about how you think light and dark spend their time.  The author throws all of that out the window.  She forges a new reality for the characters that represent dark and light.  Should shades be dark and evil? What is dark and evil?  Does dark and evil know it’s supposed to be dark and evil?  Can light and good be so corrupt that it only looks like light and good?

The characters in this novel are unique and the story is told from two points of view.  Don’t worry.  The author moves between them with skillful ease.  Eric is basically in hiding.  If the light finds him before he’s eighteen and able to protect himself they’ll be able to kill him.  That would be really bad new for the shades.  I believe I mentioned a prophecy. Every shade has a human form that is different from their shade form which gives every shade sort of a secret identity.  That means that names are secret sacred things that they don’t tell anyone they don’t know.

We don’t get to know to much about the light in this book.  I get the feeling that the next book will have more of the light in it.  I can’t tell you why because that would spoil the end and you really need to appreciate the end when you read this book.  While I was reading I screamed NO this can’t be happening.  Once I calmed down and thought about it I realized the end was very clever.  As I said before this book tosses convention on its head.  I think this series will twist convention further and prove to be something I’ll continue to be excited to read.

This book has numerous twists and turns.  I felt compassion for both Eric and Jess.  He lives with the constant threat of death hanging over him.  The shade he meets in the woods offers him an escape.  He can be himself while he teaches her.  His friendship with her is dangerous because he slips away each night to meet with her.  She’s also dangerous because she wasn’t brought up in the shade community.  She’s nameless and she doesn’t know he’s supposed to fight the epic battle.  I liked that fact that the person who brings him so much peace could also unknowingly put him in so much danger.  It offered a nice balance.

Jess has an overwhelming need to find out information about her birth parents.  She has a great life and her parents love her but she wonders about her birth parents and who they were.  Her parents agree to allow her to search for information but only if she has good grades.  The problem there is that Eric is her lab partner and he’s busy with other things.  She finds him a sleep a lot because he’s been out all night with a certain nameless shade.  I love how it all comes together at the end.  It’s a beautiful story.

Lot’s of YA series follow a formula whether they mean to or not.  The first book is usually about the two main characters coming together.  The second is usually about how one of them goes away and comes back in the end.  I’m interested to see how book two plays out because the end of book one contorts the YA formula I’ve come to expect.  Shannon A. Thompson offers us a completely new take on YA urban fantasy.

PicsArt_1375992730999PG  Some violence.

 

 

 

 

See our interview with Shannon A. Thompson:

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Original Header Image: Bird Fly by Bonnybbx

Rival by Lacy Yager

Rival by Lacy Yager

18948438correct amazon button

 

 

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Emily Santos wants to go in to the family business of being a chaser.  A vampire chaser.  She wants to fight the monsters that killed her father and turned her mother into someone who is to afraid to leave the house.  Her mother is firmly against the idea of her becoming a chaser and has put her foot down.  The only problem with her mom’s plan is that Emily is turning eighteen and will be free to make her own choices.  She just needs to convince her uncle Felix she’s worthy.  To do that she has to win the martial arts competition at her dojo that she’s been training for all year.  Winning the previous year doesn’t guarantee anything because this year she’s up against Brett Carlson.  They are equally matched on the mat and with the number of secrets they keep.

This was a great novella.  It moved quickly and switched between the two characters points of view smoothly.  Almost every chapter is flip flopped between the two characters telling the story.  More and more books that I’m reading lately are structured like that.  It used to be a no- no but I’m embracing it.  It makes for a well rounded experience.  It provides balance.  If you don’t trust the character telling the story or you think there is more to it than what they can see you have another view point to compare it to.

This novella doesn’t retread ground though.  The throttle is open from beginning to end.  There isn’t time to go back so instead the author uses the other characters reactions to tie the story together.

Even the relationship that develops between Emily and Brett is balanced.  He has been in love with her for years.  She has hated him for years.  She starts to see him, however, in a new light after a vampire attack in a parking garage.  She begins to admire his talent and appreciates his willingness to keep the secrets that he doesn’t understand.

My favorite part of this story is that Emily Santos is a strong independent young woman that knows herself.  Even more importantly she isn’t fearless.  She isn’t a super hero.  She fears for the people she loves.  She worked for her black belt.  Emily Santos shows us that what’s important is that possessing blind courage deep inside yourself is far better than having blind faith in someone else.  Emily doesn’t wait to be rescued.  She doesn’t second guess the abilities she has worked so hard for.  She honed them and she knows how to use them.  Anyone looking for strong female characters should read this novella.

This is another story that is movie worthy.  There is plenty of action.  Plenty of parental drama.  There is also plenty of moments that we get to watch the main characters process the secretes they share with one another.  I really enjoyed it.

PicsArt_1375992687897PG   Emily and Brett kill vampires.  There is plenty of blood to go around.

Starling

Another book that has a strong female main character is Starling by Lesley Livingston.  I gave it four stars as well.

Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee

Ophelia and the Marvelous BOyOphelia and the Marvelous Boy

by Karen Foxlee

Publication Date: January 28, 2014

Kindle

Barnes and Noble

Random House

Summary: 

Unlikely heroine Ophelia Jane Worthington-Whittard doesn’t believe in anything that can’t be proven by science. She and her sister Alice are still grieving for their dead mother when their father takes a job in a strange museum in a city where it always snows. On her very first day in the museum Ophelia discovers a boy locked away in a long forgotten room. He is a prisoner of Her Majesty the Snow Queen. And he has been waiting for Ophelia’s help.

As Ophelia embarks on an incredible journey to rescue the boy everything that she believes will be tested. Along the way she learns more and more about the boy’s own remarkable journey to reach her and save the world.

A story within a story, this a modern day fairytale is about the power of friendship, courage and love, and never ever giving up.

My Review:

I recieved this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest and fair review.

This is a wonderfully written middle grade book.  Ophelia is the unlikely heroine.  He father has been called to the museum to set up the sword display, as a result he is distracted and she has time to poke around.  When she comes across a boy locked in a room her scientific brain finds his story hard to believe.

The Marvelous boy is every old and he comes from very far away.  He is looking for the Other One.  The one that will save our world and everyone else’s from the snow queen.

As the Marvelous boy tells Ophelia about his journeys the story twist and turns threw this very large museum.  Ophelia is charged with freeing the boy and helping him find the Other One.

This book is magical and fun.  It was a wonderfully charming story and I recommend it for anyone, not just middle grades.

PicsArt_1375992687897G what more can I say.  It’s a middle grade book.

Dark Bites by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Dark BitesDark Bites

by: Sherrilyn Kenyon

Book Summary:

For years, fans have been clamoring for an all-in-one collection of #1 bestselling author Sherrilyn Kenyon’s novellas. At their enthusiastic behest, we have delivered this brand-new short story collection, Dark Bites, including stories previously exclusive to Sherrilyn’s website, as well as an all-new, never-before seen Dark-Hunter story!

Sherrilyn Kenyon takes readers from the Dark-Hunters to the demigods, from Dream-Hunters to demons, and everything in between.  Dangerous and exciting,  each story is one thrill ride after the next, proving time and again how Sherrilyn has captivated millions of readers worldwide.  Now, readers are invited to go deep into Kenyon’s rich and imaginative world and experience the heart-racing moments that never stop coming!

Stories are:

House of the Rising Sun

Phantom Lover

Winter Born

A Dark-Hunter Christmas

Until Death We Do Part

A Hard Day’s Night Searcher

Shadow of the Moon

Fear the Darkness

Where Angels Fear to Tread

Love Bytes

Santa Wears Spurs

Redemption: A bonus Scene from the Guardian

My Review: 

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

This is a spectacular collections of Novellas from Sherrilyn Kenyon. I have to admit this is the first book I have read by Sherrilyn Kenyon but you don’t have to know the full length stories to love these novellas.  I was drawn into the characters worlds and transported to there times.  Sherrilyn’s writing is spectacular and she paints a scene that is almost comparable to none.

My absolute favorite story is that of Pandora and Dante in Winter Born. Pandora sitting there waiting in heat. Dante the loner. Dragon-Con. Simi and Acheron.  All of them rolled into one story. It makes for a fascinating meeting and a wonderfully crafted tale.  I can’t wait to read more about them.

House of the Rising Sun is also up there.  The love story of Aricles and the goddess Bathymaas is beautifully done.  I felt there struggles and their pain.  I hated Apollo and wished them nothing but happiness.

If you are a fan then some of these stories are familiar to you, others may not be.  For me it was a wonderful introduction into this world that has been created.

PicsArt_1375992730999R- The sex scenes are wildly graphic and intricately written

Cinder and Cinder X by Jessica Sorensen

Cinder and Cinder X  by Jessica Sorensen

-Duel Review

Cinder

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Lynn’s Review

The second story in the Death Collectors series is all about Ember trying to make sense of the world around her because the town she lives in has gone crazy.  It has gone crazy because the leader of the Reapers has moved in and set up shop.  He starts possessing everyone in town.  Creepy.  Ember, mostly, does the right thing and stays away from Cameron ;who I did not like in this book.  He plays dirty and puts Ember in some bad situations (for her own good of course).  We also see the return of Asher who come back with some pretty big secrets.

Let’s start with the giant pink elephant in the room.  A human being did not proofread this book.   There isn’t a single misspelled word but there are plenty of sentences that don’t make any sense.  There were plenty of words missing.  It’s still a great second story in a wonderful series but be warned.  That kind of thing puts people off if they don’t know it’s coming.  Don’t let that stop you from reading it though.

Ember:  Poor, poor Ember.  She can’t trust anyone or anything.  Everyone is possessed and working for the leader of the Reapers.  She spends the first half of the book totally alone with only Cameron for company.  It’s worse than it sounds because Cameron tricks her at the very beginning of the book and she doesn’t know what he’s done until the middle.  Her family is also falling apart.  She finds out some things about her brother that make his story even more tragic than it already was.  Her mother vanishes and Ember has no idea where to find her.  I think it says a lot about Ember that she wants to keep her family together.  Her mother hates what she is but Ember still loves her.  It would be terrifying for a girl her age to be so isolated and alone.  Even a mother who hates you would be better than no one at all.

Cameron:  He spends three quarters of this book acting like the Reaper he is.  I described him as a little boy with a magnifying glass burning an ant hill in the last book.  In this one he’s toying with Ember, just shy of doing her physical harm, because she won’t give up on Asher and give in to him.  He really acts like he expects her to give into her Reaper blood.  He isn’t redeemed, at least for me, until the last two chapters.  That’s when he finally starts acting like he really cares for Ember and she isn’t just a project that he was assigned by his family.

Asher:  He comes back a mess of emotions and secrets.  His relationship with Cameron is just as complicated as I feared.  If you read the first book you probably realized what happened between them long ago.  Now we get to actually see it play out.  Asher returns struggling between right and wrong just as in the last book.  How much of the truth he’s told Ember is anyone’s guess.  How can two boys be so different and so much alike?  They have the market cornered on omission.

Overall I think this is a solid second book in the series.  War is coming and a war between the Angel’s of Death and Reapers can only be interesting.  I can’t wait.

PicsArt_1375992687897PG-13  There is some violence.  Ember kills someone.  A human someone.

You can’t read this book if you haven’t read Ember.ember

Cinder X

Cinder X ebooklgAmazon

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Jessica’s Review:

Initially I wasn’t planning on reading this, but when we realized that there was a Cinder X just like an Ember X, Lynn and I decided another dual review was in order.  I picked it up on Wednesday morning and by Thursday afternoon I was done.  It was a very good follow up to Ember X. Except for the grammatical errors.  I am disappointed in the fact that it doesn’t feel like this book was proof read.

Ember is plagued by loneliness in the beginning.  Asher has been sent away for punishment and Cameron hasn’t been around.  Her mother is in a mental hospital and her brother has disappeared after her discovery of him painting Amanda every night and then being with Raven. Not surprisingly Cameron is the first to re-arrive on the scene.

I have to admit I am torn between these characters.  I realize that Asher is supposed to symbolize good and Cameron is supposed to symbolize evil, but neither one of them have been completely honest with Ember and in their own ways are both trying to protect her. Normally I am all for the good guy and not choosing the good guy this time could mean terrible things for the human race, but I am not completely sold on Asher.

Asher finally reappears a little more than half way thru the book and there have been some major changes with him. I wonder if this is going to affect things more in the future then it did in this book. He finally answers some of Ember’s questions, but again doesn’t tell her everything. I find this highly annoying, but I guess it’s all in your perspective.

We are coming closer to the last Grim Angel standing (by the end we are finally here) and the final war between the Reapers and the Angels of Death.  I am looking forward to the conclusion of this series.  It was a good second book and some questions have been answered while others are still out there.

As for the differences between Cinder and Cinder X, well things are a lot steamer in Cinder X.  As Lynn and I have discussed at length there is a huge difference between 16 or 17 years old and 19 and your life perspective. I know I definitely didn’t look at things the same at 19 that I did at 16 or 17 and while neither one of us read the other’s book the tone would have to be different considering the age.

PicsArt_1375992687897Rating R: Ember and Asher spend a steamy night together when he returns.

You can’t read this one until you’ve read Ember X

emberx

The Devil Eats Here

The Devil Eats Here (Multi-Author Short Story Collection)

2940148532583_p0_v1_s260x420Barnes and Noble

Kindle

Smashwords

Indiebound

This collection of short stories reads just as advertised.  Here is the book description:

“Each of the nine authors in this book presents a different approach to storytelling, a different writing style, and a different interpretation of the theme. Some of the stories are very short, others are long. In some tales, the devil is a literal figure, in others a metaphorical one, and in several he is something else altogether.

1. The Sacrifice by April Grey
Be careful what you pray for.

2. The Angel and the Jungle God by Siewleng Torossian
Ali’s special day has arrived.

3. The Best of all Possible Worlds by Tara Maya
Personal Paradise Inc. caters for a special clientele.

4. Round and Round the Garden by Jonathan Broughton
Children will listen.

5. Mean Dick Skyler by John Blackport
Is this deal as sweet as it first appears?

6. The Devil, You Say by Alice Gaines
Was he the devil, or an angel in disguise?

7. Devil Take It by Douglas Kolacki
Being blind and getting jerked around by the bus lines was bad enough. But now…

8. Rejection Letter by John Hoddy
An editor gets some of his own.

9. The Devil Eats Here by Rayne Hall
Join the prince of hell for lunch at your local diner. ”

These stories are really short.  Alright some of them are really short.  Some of them are a little longer.  You could read a couple of them at lunch.  They are complex stories that are completely disturbing.  I mean that in a good way.  They were unexpected.  I have to say that the first one stayed with me.  It was crazy and the end defies description.

My favorite though was The Best Of All Possible Worlds by Tara Maya.  It was like it was written especially for me.  It was science fiction and alternate history all rolled up into a great big ball of awesome.  There was a twist in the ending (by now everyone knows I like to be surprised by an ending) and the main character got exactly what was coming to him.  It was great.

They were all interesting and I enjoyed them.  I had originally decided to ration this collection but I changed my mind.  Once you start reading you’ll keep reading.  You won’t need me to tell you about them.

These are so short that I can’t talk about them individually without spoiling the endings.  I promise you they are worth the time spent on them.  The payoff at the end of each one is worth it.

PicsArt_1375992687897

R  These are mature themes that an adult should consider before giving to anyone under sixteen.

If you want something that I would rate PG-13 try one of my favorite anthologies; Sympathy for the Devil edited by Tim Pratt.  It has a lot of famous authors in it including Holly Black (one of my personal favorites) who contributed “Reversal of Fortune”.  The story is fun and the main character is a very smart girl who outwits the Devil.  Sympathy for the Devil is worth the heavy e-book price tag but you should just buy the book for your library.  You’ll want it for your shelf.

160_large5

Alice in Wonderland A Novel

Alice in WonderlandAlice in Wonderland

by Elle Lothlorien

Amazon

Summary:

When high school math teacher Alice Faye Dahl attends a Texas Hold’Em home poker tournament, she doesn’t know a royal flush from a toilet flush. Four months and dozens of “wins” later, she’s one of the Final Nine–the championship table at the International Poker Tour in Surfer’s Paradise, Australia–and way out of her depth. When a fluke shark attack throws her and sports reporter Lapin “Rabbit” Montgomery together, it seems to challenge the saying “lucky at cards, unlucky at love.” A veteran of the poker circuit (and gorgeous besides), Rabbit offers to help her go all the way to win the multi-million dollar prize, a deal she can’t refuse. In this modern-day twist on Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” Alice discovers much too late that when it comes to poker (and love), sometimes you win, sometimes you lose–and sometimes it’s both.

Australia, love, card sharks, belly-aching laughs, real sharks, poker, Wonderland, and a touch of intrigue–there’s just no telling what you’ll find down the rabbit hole…

My Review: 

This is another wonderful book by Elle.  I love how she takes a classic fairy tale and turns it into something so uniquely hers.

I was hooked right from the beginning.  “I have a totally unhealthy and unrealistic fear of being eaten by a great white shark.  This is because I belong to a very specific demographic called American Child Whose Parents Made the Ill-Advised Decision To Allow Her To Watch the Movie Jaws At a Sleepover During Her Formative Years.”  I mean how can you not love that!

The characters are strong.  Alice and Lapin (Rabbit) are a perfect match.  I do wish he had been a little more honest with her from the beginning, but then were would the story be.  Then there is the Queen of Hearts.  I mean this woman is everything you think of when you think mean and vengeful.

As this complicated story of twists and turns unfolds you can’t help but love this story.  Everything happens for a reason and there is a purpose behind it all.  This is a great read and an wonderful way to start off the New Year!

“Silly Rabbit Tricks are for Kids”

PicsArt_1375992687897PG Nothing over the top good clean fun.

If you like this review check out other books by Elle Lothlorien

The Frog Prince

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A Hairy Tail by Jamie Campbell

A Hairy TailA Hairy Tail

by Jamie Campbell

Kindle

Barnes and Noble

Summary:

Hannah needed a project to get her through the long summer. Signing up at the local animal shelter, she finds exactly what she needs in the sad, lost dog Basil.

She sets her sights on finding his owner, promising him he would be reunited with his family. What she didn’t anticipate was being distracted by her gorgeous co-volunteer, Harry.

Overcoming her inner shyness, Hannah needs to reel in Harry the hottie, find Basil’s owner, and try to be a normal teenager for her mother. And do all this before the summer ends.

Love, paws, and fur balls abound in this fun short story that is bound to make your tail wag.

My Review: 

What a cute story!  This is a Novelette, so it is quick but I can promise it is a complete story and you don’t feel like anything is left out.

Hannah is your typical High School smart girl.  She is shy and self conscious and her mother just wants her to get out and have a normal life.  So when she volunteers at the animal shelter for the summer she is making a big leap in her life.  While there she meets Harry who she deems the hottest boy she has ever met and he takes an instant liking to her.

Together Harry and Hannah go on a quest to find Basil, a dog that has been at the shelter for three months, real owners.  Will their hard work and perseverance pay off.  I recommend picking up the book to see.

PicsArt_1375992687897PG just a cute story!