Saturday, December 31, 2011

Short & Sweet Reviews: Alien Tango by Gini Koch

Title: Alien Tango
Author: Gini Koch
Genre: Science Fiction
Series: Alien #2, Kitty Katt #2

Mass Market Paperback, 448 pages
Published December 7, 2010 by DAW

Where Did I get the book: Bought it for pleasure reading

Purchase the book on Amazon

Summary via (Amazon): It's been five months since marketing manager Katherine "Kitty" Katt started working with the aliens from Alpha Centauri, and she and Jeff Martini are getting closer. But when an experimental spacecraft is mysteriously returned to the Kennedy Space Center, Kitty and the rest of her team are called in to investigate. Now the team must survive murderous attacks, remove a space entity from a group of astronauts, and avoid an unhinged woman with a serious crush on Kitty's high school boyfriend. And that's all before evil masterminds decide Kitty's extermination is vital.

My Thoughts:  It’s been five month since the last super-being attack a.k.a. operation fugly. Kitty (Katherine Katt) is now commander of the Airborne Centaurion Division. Without catching a break, Kitty and the A-C gang get called in to investigate a spacecraft full of infected astronauts at the Kennedy Space Center.  On the way to the Kennedy Space Center, the group has to avoid deadly attacks by an anti-alien group and a fanatical woman who has a major crush on Kitty’s high school ex.  

This is the sequel to Touch by an Alien by Gini Koch, and it has the same elements as the first book that made me love it; action, humor, a sassy heroine and hot men in Armani suits. All the ideas that Kitty came up with in this book are pretty ridiculous/hilarious and the thing is that they work! For example a scene where the A-C gang and the astronauts’ were held hostage by the anti-alien group, Kitty came up with a distraction plan by throwing alligators into the room, not one but TWO alligators’. Readers will also get to meet Jeff’s family for the first time, and boy are they an interesting group! For those who read the first book in the series, know that Kitty is going out with Jeff, head of field operations. In this second installment, men from kitty’s past start to declare their undying love for her, this ends up putting a kink in Jeff and Kitty’s relationship. 

Overall another great addition to the series, I can’t wait to read Alien in the Family (Book #3). If you’re looking for a light-fun read than I recommend reading this series! 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

WoW: Waiting on Wednesday [21]

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly post started by Breaking the Spine, to show books that we are patiently waiting for.  

Tish Everett has just left an abusive relationship to find herself and take care of her dying grandmother. When she inadvertently steals an antique locket from an estate sale, she wakes up naked in a strange land and assumes she's having the most realistic dream of her life. Instead she meets the man whose portrait haunted her from inside the locket—magician, carnival ringmaster, and blood-drinker Criminy Stain.

When the locket is stolen, Tish must choose between her supposed destiny with Criminy in the steampunk Victorian world of Sang and a normal life and family in her own world, where she's the only thing keeping her grandmother alive.

I haven't read many steampunk novels but from what little I have read this is a genre that I enjoy reading. The synopsis sounds intriguing, not really a fan of the cover. 
[MARCH 27, 2012]

Monday, December 26, 2011

Best of 2011 Giveaway Hop (INT)

Would like to thank I'm a Reader, Not a Writer

for hosting this giveaway. 
The giveaway will run from Dec 27th to Dec 31st!  
Your choice is one of the top 10 books I've read this years, and your choices are:
Meet Miranda Grey-music and magic are in her blood.
Overwhelmed by her uncanny ability to manipulate people's emotions through her music, Miranda Grey comes to the attention of vampire lord David Solomon. Believing he can help bring her magic under control, David discovers that Miranda's powers may affect the vampire world too...
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.

(Sabina Kane, book 2 in series)
Sabina Kane doesn't have the best track record when it comes to family. After all, her own grandmother, leader of the vampire race, wants her dead. So when she arrives in New York to meet her mage relatives, the reunion puts the fun in dysfunctional. Not only is mage culture completely bizarre, but everyone seems to think she's some kind of 'Chosen' who'll unite the dark races. Sabina doesn't care who chose her, she's not into destiny. But the mages aren't Sabina's only problem. In New York's Black Light District, she has run-ins with fighting demons, hostile werewolves and an opportunistic old flame. Sabina thought she'd take a bite out of the Big Apple - but it looks like it wants to bite back

 (Alex Craft, book 2 in series)
 Whoever said dead men tell no tales obviously never met Alex Craft.

After a month spent recovering from a vicious fight with a sorcerer, grave witch Alex Craft is ready to get back to solving murders by raising the dead. With her love life in turmoil thanks to the disappearance of Fae Investigation Bureau agent Falin Andrews and a shocking “L” word confession from Death himself, Alex is eager for the distractions of work. But her new case turns out to be a deadly challenge.

The police hire Alex to consult on a particularly strange investigation in the nature preserve south of Nekros City. The strange part: There are no corpses, only fragments of them. A serial killer is potentially on the loose, and Alex has no way to raise a shade without a body, so she’ll have to rely on the magic of others to find leads. But as she begins investigating, a creature born of the darkest magic comes after her. Someone very powerful wants to make sure the only thing she finds is a dead end—her own.
Meet Arcadia Bell: bartender, renegade magician, fugitive from the law. . . .

Being the spawn of two infamous occultists (and alleged murderers) isn’t easy, but freewheeling magician Arcadia “Cady” Bell knows how to make the best of a crummy situation. After hiding out for seven years, she’s carved an incognito niche for herself slinging drinks at the demon-friendly Tambuku Tiki Lounge.

But she receives an ultimatum when unexpected surveillance footage of her notorious parents surfaces: either prove their innocence or surrender herself. Unfortunately, the only witness to the crimes was an elusive Æthyric demon, and Cady has no idea how to find it. She teams up with Lon Butler, an enigmatic demonologist with a special talent for sexual spells and an arcane library of priceless stolen grimoires. Their research soon escalates into a storm of conflict involving missing police evidence, the decadent Hellfire Club, a ruthless bounty hunter, and a powerful occult society that operates way outside the law. If Cady can’t clear her family name soon, she’ll be forced to sacrifice her own life . . . and no amount of running will save her this time.
A smashing, award-winning debut novel that introduces Charley Davidson: part-time private investigator and full-time Grim Reaper
Charley sees dead people. That’s right, she sees dead people. And it’s her job to convince them to “go into the light.” But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (i.e. murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice. Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she’s been having about an Entity who has been following her all her life...and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely. 

 A richly inventive novel about a centuries-old vampire, a spellbound witch, and the mysterious manuscript that draws them together.

Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.

Debut novelist Deborah Harkness has crafted a mesmerizing and addictive read, equal parts history and magic, romance and suspense. Diana is a bold heroine who meets her equal in vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont, and gradually warms up to him as their alliance deepens into an intimacy that violates age-old taboos. This smart, sophisticated story harks back to the novels of Anne Rice, but it is as contemporary and sensual as the Twilight series-with an extra serving of historical realism.


(Charlie Madigan, book 3 in the series) 
To save her sister, she must stop a silent killer. . . .
Protecting Atlanta from the off-world criminals of Underground is tough enough, but now Detective Charlie Madigan and her siren partner, Hank, learn that the addicts of the offworld drug ash have begun taking their own lives. Ash makes humans the perfect vessels for possession, and something or someone is leading them to their deaths. Charlie is desperate to save her addicted sister, Bryn, from a similar fate. As New Year’s Eve approaches and time runs out, Charlie makes a deadly bargain with an ancient race of beings and embarks on a dangerous journey into hellish Charbydon with Hank and the Revenant Rex to save Bryn and make it back before it’s too late. Only, for one of them, coming home means facing a fate worse than death. . . 
 (October Daye, book 5 of the series)
October "Toby" Daye is settling into her new role as Countess of Goldengreen. She's actually dating again, and she's taken on Quentin as her squire. So, of course, it's time for things to take a turn for the worse.
Someone has kidnapped the sons of the regent of the Undersea Duchy of Saltmist. To prevent a war between land and sea, Toby must find the missing boys and prove the Queen of the Mists was not behind their abduction. Toby's search will take her from the streets of San Francisco to the lands beneath the waves, and her deadline is firm: she must find the boys in three days' time, or all of the Mists will pay the price. But someone is determined to stop her-and whoever it is isn't playing by Oberon's Laws... 

There can only be one allegiance.
It’s her time to choose.
Some humans can see the fae. McKenzie Lewis can track them, reading the shadows they leave behind. But some shadows lead to danger. Others lead to lies
A Houston college student trying to finish her degree, McKenzie has been working for the fae king for years, tracking vicious rebels who would claim the Realm. Her job isn’t her only secret. For just as long, she’s been in love with Kyol, the king’s sword-master—and relationships between humans and fae are forbidden.

But any hope for a normal life is shattered when she’s captured by Aren, the fierce and uncompromising rebel leader. He teaches her the forbidden fae language and tells her dark truths about the Court, all to persuade her to turn against the king. Time is running out, and as the fight starts to claim human lives, McKenzie has no choice but to decide once and for all whom to trust and where she ultimately stands in the face of a cataclysmic civil war.

There will be (2) winners, each will pick (1) book each from my top 10 reads of 2011. 
**If you are interested in a book that is not the first in the series, but would like the first book in the series please put that in the comments** Example: If you think The Mage in Black by Jaye Wells sounds good, but haven't read the first book, Red-Head Stepchild you can win the first book in the series instead! 
This giveaway is international, books will be shipped through the Book Depository or if you're in the US by   
MUST be a follower of this blog. Please leave your book choice, GFC name, and e-mail in the comments section. 
Winner(s) will be drawn via and notified by e-mail. 
Extra Entires 
+1 "like" Short & Sweet reviews on facebook (right-hand side of the blog) 
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Please add up entries in the comments.

Check out these other fantastic blogs!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

WoW: Waiting on Wednesday [20]

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly post started by Breaking the Spine, to show books that we are patiently waiting for.  

Miriam Black knows when you will die. She’s foreseen hundreds of car crashes, heart attacks, strokes, and suicides.

But when Miriam hitches a ride with Louis Darling and shakes his hand, she sees that in thirty days Louis will be murdered while he calls her name. Louis will die because he met her, and she will be the next victim.

No matter what she does she can’t save Louis. But if she wants to stay alive, she’ll have to try
[APRIL 24, 2012] 
This is one of the prettiest/coolest cover I have ever seen, and has a really intriguing synopsis. I can't wait to read it, what are some books you guys are waiting on? Leave link in the comments, so I can stop by your blog!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Short & Sweet Review: Ethereal Infulence: The Birth by Lana Bradstream

Title: Ethereal Influence: The Birth
Author: Lana Bradstream 

Format: Kindle edition, 266 pages
Available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble websites

Received for review from the author.

Summary (via Amazon):
A person's faith can waiver when life becomes difficult. It is during that time when God sends an angel to guide that person and exert ethereal influence over them.

Laura's faith is shaken when she learns of the death of her baby. An angel named Ben tells her some information and she believes that hope is not lost for her baby.

Wanting to keep Laura's faith waivering, a fallen angel named Ryan exerts influence on her that will keep her soul further from God. The angels struggle against one another to exert their influences on Laura's will.
The battle between good and evil will take place over her soul. 

My Thoughts: 
This is the first e-book in a planned series, where angels and fallen angels battle against one another to see who can exert the most influence on a human in a time of need. The story focus on Laura, who just delivered her first child, but lost the baby a few hours later due to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). As a few months pass, and Laura is still coping with the death of her baby when she meets two angels. One is a messenger of God, Ben and the other is a follower of Lucifer, Ryan. Both angels give Laura startling new information on what really happened to her baby, all while trying to guide/influence her decisions.

The pacing of the story was good, not too slow but not to fast. I was expecting the book to have a more paranormal element to it but there wasn't much. The only paranormal element to the story were the angels, and there was only one brief battle scene between the two opposing sides. The book actually had a more religious feel to it than anything, which isn't really what I normally read. Overall a good book, with many surprises towards the end. There were certain scenes in the book where Laura told her husband and psychiatrist that an angel appeared to her, everyone thought she was crazy. I even thought everything was her state of mind, but boy was I wrong! I think readers will be just as surprised as I was when we find out what happened to Laura's baby. 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

In My Mailbox [16]

First off, In My Mailbox is a feature that was started over at The Story Siren. Where we share what books we receive in the mail each week.
Second Grave on the Left by Darynda Jones
Blood Red Road by Moria Young
Vampire Empire by C. & S. Griffith

Dark Awakening by Kendra Castle (Thank you Bitten By Books blog and Kendra!)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Short & Sweet Review: Kiss of Frost by Jennifer Estep

Title: Kiss of Frost
Author: Jennifer Estep
Genre: Paranormal, Young Adult
Series: A Mythos Academy novel #2 

Paperback, 354 pages
Published November 29th 2011 by Kensington 
Where did I get it: Bought it for pleasure reading

Purchase the book on Amazon
Summary (via Goodreads): 
Logan Quinn was try­ing to kill me. My Spar­tan class­mate relent­lessly pur­sued me, swing­ing his sword at me over and over again, the shin­ing sil­ver blade inch­ing closer to my throat every time. A smile tugged up his lips, and his ice-blue eyes prac­ti­cally glowed with the thrill of battle...

I’m Gwen Frost, a second-year warrior-in-training at Mythos Acad­emy, and I have no idea how I’m going to sur­vive the rest of the semes­ter. One day, I’m get­ting schooled in sword­play by the guy who broke my heart—the drop-dead gor­geous Logan who slays me every time. Then, an invis­i­ble archer in the Library of Antiq­ui­ties decides to use me for tar­get prac­tice. And now, I find out that some­one at the acad­emy is really a Reaper bad guy who wants me dead. I’m afraid if I don’t learn how to live by the sword—with Logan’s help—I just might die by the sword...
My thoughts: I am a big fan of Ms. Estep’s Elemental Assassin series, and while I read the first book in her young adult series, Touch of Frost...I wasn’t yet fully sold on the new series.  Readers didn’t have to wait long for the second book in the Mythos Academy series, which released at the end of last month just three months after the first book. After reading Kiss of Frost, Mythos Academy #2, I am glad to say that this series will be on my auto-buy list from now on.  
 In Kiss of Frost, we return to the school for warrior-whiz kids, where Gwen Frost is continuing her second year. Within the first one to two chapter of the book Gwen is getting attacked again. She thinks a reaper (Loki’s minions) is out to kill her because last year she killed a classmate who was an uncover reaper. Gwen thought that maybe she would catch a break when the entire school goes on a holiday trip to the annual winter carnival (similar to a resort), but no surprise there when bad things begins to happen at the winter carnival. Instead of hiding in her room, Gwen does everything possible to find out who the killer before they strike again.
I enjoyed this book more than the previous book in the series. Readers will get to learn more about Gwen’s power and that there’s more to it than seeing and feeling people’s emotions. In the first book, we found out that Gwen mother passed away due to a car accident, but new information reveals the truth behind her mother’s death.  While I enjoyed most of the book, once again there were a couple of things that irked me.  The author repeated A LOT of the same information over and over. It felt like she was recapping throughout the entire book, I tried to not let that get in the way of me enjoying the book though. I hope that in the next book, there won’t be as much. If we took out all the filler/repeats it would probably be 178 pages instead of 354 pages.  Another thing that bothered me was Gwen’s whining. She kept repeating over and over how Logan, the Spartan turned her down, and how hot he is. She sounded so sad and desperate, which is a total turn-off in a character.
Overall Kiss of Frost was still a great addition to the series, and I look forward to reading the third book, Dark Frost which will be released May 2012. If you’re looking for a fun and quick read, pick up this series!