Thursday, May 28, 2015

Review: Stillwater by Maynard Sims



Published:  March 3, 2015 Samhain Publishing Ltd.
Genre: Horror
Format: ebook
Source: provided for honest review
Goodreads Summary

A modern ghost story.

Life was good for Beth, once. Now a car crash has left her confined to a wheelchair. To help her recuperate and rebuild her life, she’s leased Stillwater, a house with a lake in the countryside. But her dreams of peace and quiet are thwarted when she realizes she’s not alone. A girl who once lived at Stillwater—until she drowned in the lake—has never left, and she does not seem pleased by Beth’s presence. Beth sets out to solve the mystery of Stillwater. But can she find a strength she doesn’t know she possesses as she fights the fury of the dead girl, and tries to establish herself as the true mistress and keeper of the Stillwater house and lake?


Buy Stillwater by Maynard Sims Today at Amazon


After a tumultuous divorce, Beth's life takes yet another devastating hit.  She is in a car crash leaving her paralyzed from the waist down.   She decides to leave her flat in London to rent this amazing little house called Stillwater out in a cute little quiet village to restart her life and work on getting her writing career back on track.  Once there, she starts experiencing small, seemingly strange phenomenon.   They eventually grows into bigger and bigger supernatural events that can no longer be ignored.  Is Beth having another nervous break down or are the secrets in Stillwater more horrifying than any work of fiction could ever be?


"Guilty pleasure," she said. "I am sure you have plenty."

Classic Lady in the White Dress Goes Modern


This book boasts itself as a modern ghost story.    Anyone who has sat around with friends telling ghost stories have told or heard stories of the lady in the white dress.   Even the pilot episode of one of my favorite shows Supernatural was a retelling of the lady in the white dress.  At the core, that is what this story is about.  A fresh, new, modern version of just that story.    It follows the story line of most ghost/paranormal stories.    Beth moves into a new house, slowly little strange things start to happen that can easily be brushed off.  Eventually the ghost gets pissed off and makes her presence known in a big way.   This was a short, sweet and effective ghost story.  While I wouldn't call it scary, it was a very intriguing story and reinvention of a classic.   I liked the psychological game the author played with us.   We knew there was a ghostly presence, but at times it was hard to tell what was real, what was imagined, and what was caused by a spirit named Jessica.    The author does a good job of taking us on the ride right along side Beth to solve the mystery of the haunting of Stillwater.    I loved it because it was a story I knew, but at the same time it was a completely different story.   Trying to figure out the key players or factors in Jessica's death was a fun little mind game.  There were just a few characters.  The author did not put too many people, or to many side plots.  This book had the perfect harmony so you as the reader can stay focused and not get lost in trying to keep up with too many people or a complicated plot with tons of smaller subplots.   A great quick fun read!


"And I'll bring some salt and vinegar for that chip on your shoulder."

Sometimes Classic is Meant to Stay Classic


I only really had two pet peeves about this book.   One, the main character in this book is Beth.  She is a world renowned author.   So in my mind that means she is smart and should be good at research.   Writing a book is not easy and in most cases requires research to get the story just right.   Beth on the other hand was not smart about trying to research what was going on in the house.   I do realize at first she wasn't sure if what she was experiencing was real.  However, watch enough ghost hunters and you will know she did a poor job at researching and/or trying to get proper help to help Jessica out.   My second real complaint was the end.  It was not a bad ending at all.   It was good actually.  However, it seemed rushed.    This is a pretty common theme or issue in horror books and films though.  And after Beth learned the truth we never really find out what happened to the person responsible for creating such an awfully evil/vengeful spirit.

"Icy fingers caressed her spine as, for a moment, sje was reluctant to turn to the source of the voice."

Final Conclusion:  Yes Beth it is a Haunting


Overall a very good ghost story.   It is very cliché with most ghost stories you have heard or probably told.   There are very eerie moments in Stillwater.   There are times when it makes you question whether or not the character is just crazy or being haunted.   This book is not long or drawn out.  It gets to the point of the story and leaves out any unnecessary fillers.   The end was just that...the end with not a lot of follow up.   Doesn't really hurt the story, but I am one that likes to know everything LOL!    As someone who loves ghost stories (and I have my very own ghost that follows me around.  True Story), this book is a very good and interesting retelling of an already great classic story.



Buy Stillwater by Maynard Sims Today at Amazon

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Sunday Cover Scramble [120]



Let's have some fun! I am going to post covers on here every Sunday that are scrambled up graphically, making it hard to tell what cover it is. I would like your guesses on what cover you think I've posted. I won't answer you until I'm posting the next one to let you know if you are right, allowing others to guess as well. Some will be hard, and others may be easy. Let me know in the comments if you'd like some more hints and I'll offer some more if no one guesses it correctly.


I am pulling covers off the Most Popular Page on Goodreads.











Friday, May 22, 2015

Review: Iced (Chronicles of White World Book 1) by M. Terry Green


Published: February 10th 2015 by Middleworld Productions
Genre: dystopian, post-apocalyptic science fiction
Format: ebook
Source: provided for honest review
Goodreads Summary

Though she doesn’t know her real name, Thirteen is sure of two things: survival and finding her sister. Nothing stands in her way—not the great Pacifica Ice Sheet nor the slavers she escaped—until her deadly hunt takes a maddening turn. 

The first and only clue in her search is held by the survivor of a wrecked ice ship. But he’s not sharing. He has a daughter to rescue, and he needs Thirteen’s help. 

In the unforgiving subzero, a wary alliance is formed. Although she’d do anything to find her sister and finally know her own name, Thirteen never forgets the first rule of the ice. You only get one mistake—your last. 

Please Note: ICED is Book 1 in a dystopian and post-apocalyptic science fiction trilogy. Books 2 and 3 will be out in 2015.


Buy Iced (Chronicles of White World Book 1) by M. Terry Green Today at Amazon

She lightly touched the pendant through the fabric on her chest. Maybe this slaver ship would be the one. Maybe their captives would know something. Either way, the chase was on.


The Good


I love when a book has a new environment that I haven't experienced before. Iced has that as it feels like water world on ice but with openings in the ice that drop off into the abyss. Our hero, the Ghost (also known as Thirteen as slaver’s calls her), just wants to find her sister and she has no problem killing slavers to find out where she is. Then she ends up with her first lead, a man named Cord. His daughter has been snatched up and he'll only tell her where he saw her sister if she helps him get back his daughter. I love the Ghost as she is a bad ass who has to rein in her skills to lure in the slavers. The safety lines most people use to keep from being knocked off their skiffs just get in her way. Iced had a good pace with some interesting action.

The Bad


They have a group that pops up known as skulls but you don't really learn anything about them in this first book. Well other than the fact that everyone fears them, they eat meat and can small blood from great distances.

The Romance


No real romance in book 1 but it could be blooming for the Ghost and Cord. There is a bit of fooling around as the slaver kings wife has a thing with the prince. Only problem is the king knows by the way they act around him.

Conclusion


Overall, Iced was an interesting book. It has a fun new environment, potential fearsome race in the skulls and slaver royal family that has zero redeeming qualities. The heroine is more than capable of killing those that get in her way and now she has a reliable friend who has a past life of bad-assery (not a word but it should be) that he's tried to leave in the past. I’m looking forward to book two.


Excerpts

With a writhing, desperate squirm, instinct took over. She grabbed its head. Though hot breath coated her throat, she dug her thumbs into the depressions that should have been its eyes. Her fingers clamped onto its skull.

He started for the cockpit but stopped. She wouldn't be below when he was waiting for her on the ice. He glanced at the jacklines. Only his tether was clipped. But she didn't use the jacklines. He looked up the mast.
"No," he muttered. "Thirteen!"
She was swinging by the neck!

"Not too smart," she said.
Though Cord was angry, he couldn't disagree. "No doubt the Ghost would have done different," he said, seething.
"The Ghost survives," she said, setting the shotgun down but keeping her eyes on him. "It's what I'm good for."

Buy Iced (Chronicles of White World Book 1) by M. Terry Green Today at Amazon

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Harry Potter Moment of the Week [65]


This is a meme hosted by Uncorked Thoughts and Lunar Rainbows.The idea is to share a favorite moment, magical item, character, spell, quote, object from the books, films or J.K.Rowling herself! Click the links to the blogs to see how to join up &  upcoming topics.

If you could open a shop on Diagon Alley, what would it be and why?





Oooh I've never thought about this before. One of the things that always fascinated me throughout the series was that the portraits move. Witches and wizards go to a painter, then get the portrait enchanted to move and speak so that would be amazing to be able to do and sell. I would also want to have a photograph section specific to just pictures with the moving enchantments.


What type of shop would you choose?






Monday, May 11, 2015

Sunday Cover Scramble [119]



Let's have some fun! I am going to post covers on here every Sunday that are scrambled up graphically, making it hard to tell what cover it is. I would like your guesses on what cover you think I've posted. I won't answer you until I'm posting the next one to let you know if you are right, allowing others to guess as well. Some will be hard, and others may be easy. Let me know in the comments if you'd like some more hints and I'll offer some more if no one guesses it correctly.


I am pulling covers off the Most Popular Page on Goodreads.










Saturday, May 9, 2015

Review: Talon (Talon #1) by Julie Kagawa


Published: October 28, 2014 Harlequin Teen
Genre: YA, Paranormal Fantasy
Format: ebook
Source: Purchased
Goodreads Summary

Long ago, dragons were hunted to near extinction by the Order of St. George, a legendary society of dragon slayers. Hiding in human form and growing their numbers in secret, the dragons of Talon have become strong and cunning, and they're positioned to take over the world with humans none the wiser.

Ember and Dante Hill are the only sister and brother known to dragonkind. Trained to infiltrate society, Ember wants to live the teen experience and enjoy a summer of freedom before taking her destined place in Talon. But destiny is a matter of perspective, and a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught. As Ember struggles to accept her future, she and her brother are hunted by the Order of St. George.

Soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian has a mission to seek and destroy all dragons, and Talon's newest recruits in particular. But he cannot kill unless he is certain he has found his prey: and nothing is certain about Ember Hill. Faced with Ember's bravery, confidence and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything that the Order has ingrained in him: and what he might be willing to give up to find the truth about dragons.


"Observe and blend in"


I read the first chapter a while ago, and have been on pins and needles to get this one ever since. I’ve loved everything I’ve read of Kagawa’s so far (The Iron Fey and Blood of Eden series) so a series about dragons from an author I love is hard to pass up. Did I mention DRAGONS?

Nothing but Sunshine

I haven’t read a book about dragons that can appear as humans yet, so this one was unique for me in that aspect. I’ve enjoyed the fantasy books that have to do with dragons and how they think so I’ve been looking forward to seeing this take on these huge mystical beasts. Ember and Dante are twins which never happens for the dragons. They are teenagers who are now being thrust on the human world from a life of isolation and training. Watching them adapt to their new environment (a beautiful beach setting) mingling with normal teenage humans was a fun experience.

The characters are well developed and easy to love. Ember is head-strong yet flexible. She forms her own opinions and then does what she thinks is right. Dante is the by-the-book, straight-laced one and actually quite boring, but truth be told, he’s not in the story a lot. The POVs are between Ember, Garrett, and Riley. Garrett is a disciplined soldier through-and-through and is forced to experience life as a normal boy through going undercover. Riley is the bad boy you can never tame with a soft side.

One of my favorite things to read is when enemies come together to fight a new enemy. I love seeing that adaptability that even though you are in a particular ‘group’, the individuals and the bonds formed matter more.


Flames Die Eventually

Oh the inevitable love triangle. It definitely makes an appearance. I also found some of the actions in Talon predictable.

Fire in the Heart, or Fire in the Soul

Ember has never had any sort of romance in her life since she mainly spent time with her brother and trainers growing up. She is now faced with two options who on the surface seem like they couldn’t be more different but deep down they both have the same drive to protect what they think is right. Both enemies to Ember, but both friends. One she is drawn to through her dragon side, and one through her human side. It seems apparent how this one will pan out in the end.

A Fiery Start, an Inferno in the Making

This is an excellent start to what is a must-read series for me. Talon kept my interest from beginning to end and I read it very quickly. The characters are easy to love, there’s plenty of action, and the setting is fun. The world and the groups of Talon and the Order of St. George are explained well. It all concludes in a way that I absolutely have to know what happens next. Very recommended.





Excerpts


"Rnesh karr slithis," I hissed back, which was Draconic for eat your own tail, the dragon version of go screw yourself. No extra translation needed.

“Shark!" I yelled as my feet hit the wet sand. "There's a shark out there! Everyone get out of the water!"
Man, you want to see humans move fast? Scream that on a crowded beach and watch what happens. Its amazing the fear people have for a scaly, sharp toothed predator. I watched the water empty in seconds, parents scooping up their children and heading to shore, desperate to get out of the ocean, and found it a little ironic. They were so terrified of the big, nasty monster out in the water, when there was a bigger, nastier, deadlier one right here on the beach.

“Because you're exactly like me- you don't want your whole life planned out. You're tired of following Talon's rules, of not having any say in your future. You want to know who Talon really is, but it's even more than that, isn't it? You want to be free." His eyes gleamed, golden and brilliant in the shadows. "And I can show you how.” 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Harry Potter Moment of the Week [64]


This is a meme hosted by Uncorked Thoughts and Lunar Rainbows.The idea is to share a favorite moment, magical item, character, spell, quote, object from the books, films or J.K.Rowling herself! Click the links to the blogs to see how to join up &  upcoming topics.

Most Anticipated Moment





I know that the final battle with Voldemort was something I look forward to through the series, but on the flip side I was also dreading it because I knew that meant the end would be here.

The Harry and Ginny moment after the Quidditch game which came at an unexpected time, was the one I was anticipating a lot. Harry had been thinking about her so much that I was just ready for him to get his happy moment. He went through so much that it was nice to see him caring about being a normal teenager for a little bit.

I know the movie portrays their relationship differently which upsets me so much. Everything about Ginny was way better in the books.


What was your most anticipated moment?