Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Library Score!

I got two of the books I've been waiting to read on my tbr list!

Gone Girl, YAY!

And When She Was Good, which I already started as soon as I got it and it's good right out of the gate.  Love that!!

I will most defiantly review both of these so stay tuned.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Forever Werewolf

Forever Werewolf
Michelle Hauf
Netgalley Review

Amazon Blurb -

Alexis Conner, princess of the Alpine pack and pureblood werewolf, hides a painful secret—she has never shifted. If she can't shift, she can't mate, and so Lexi resigned herself to a lifetime of loneliness. But then a stranger arrives, and Lexi senses that her world will never be the same….
A massive avalanche might be to blame for Trystan Hawkes getting stuck at Castle Wulfsiege, but after one look at Lexi, Trystan is not about to leave. Lexi is strong, smart and incredibly sexy. Not that it matters. Tryst is an omega—the fabled lone wolf. Even more damning is his mixed vampire heritage.
Lexi knows that the vampire blood running through Tryst's veins makes him off-limits, but what if he's the one man who can rouse her inner wolf?

Trystan comes to Wulfseige to deliver an important package to the ailing leader of Alpine Pack.  An avalanche forces him to stay and he helps find wounded pack members.  Lexie is one of the leader's daughters.  Tough, cold and smart she helps hold everything together while her father is ill.Trystan can't keep his eyes off of the distant beauty.  She tries to avoid his obvious interest.  In all the chaos of the avalanche and a sick leader, will the two be able to come together?

I have to be honest, this wasn't a favorite for me.  I found the banter hard to believe, and a real buzz kill was her description of Trystan. All I could picture was Shawn White and I don't find him attractive at all.    I figured out what was happening almost out of the gate so there was no suspense.   I've read others from Michelle and really enjoyed them. Oh well.

2 1/2 cannolis

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Ed Kurtz and John Skipp
Netgalley review

Amazon Blurb -

This collection of thirty-eight terrifying tales of serial killers at large, written by the great masters of the genre, plumbs the horrifying depths of a deranged mind and the forces of evil that compel a human being to murder, gruesomely and methodically, over and over again.
From Hannibal Lecter (The Silence of the Lambs) to Patrick Bateman (American Psycho), stories of serial killers and psychos loom large and menacing in our collective psyche. Tales of their grisly conquests have kept us cowering under the covers, but still turning the pages.
Psychos is the first book to collect in a single volume the scariest and most well-crafted fictional works about these deranged killers. Some of the stories are classics, the best that the genre has to offer, by renowned writers such as Neil GaimanAmelia BeamerRobert Bloch, and Thomas Harris. Other selections are from the latest and most promising crop of new authors.
John Skipp, who is also the editor of Zombies, Demons and Werewolves and Shapeshifters, provides fascinating insight, through two nonfiction essays, into our insatiable obsession with serial killers and how these madmen are portrayed in popular culture. Resources at the end of the book includes lists of the genre's best long-form fiction, movies, websites, and writers.

I am not a big fan of short story compilations, but this past week in my participation in Thrill Week with Tea Time With Marce, I saw this book on another bloggers page, Bitsy Bling Books, and thought, ok I'm going to give this a shot.  Well, for those of you that are big fans of horror, this is going to be RIGHT up your alley!!!

I didn't like all of them equally, to be honest the first one made me go uh oh, but then it just got better and better!  Writings from Poe, Bradbury,and Bloch to authors from our time like Amelia Beamer and Nick Mamatas.  This was a blast, Marla's Eyes just was gross, and I had a fave, The Small Assassin by Ray Bradbury.  

I encourage those who love horror to pick this baby up, especially those who participate in Stainless Steel Droppings annual R.I.P event.  Curl up with this little monster and a cup of cocoa on a chilly night with just a flashlight to read by....I dare you.

4 cannolis

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Plain Jane: Brunettes Beware

Plain Jane: Brunettes Beware
Cristyn West
Kindle Freebie

There weren't any summaries on Amazon so I'll get right to it : )

Here's the skinny short and fast - Detective Nicole Usher is on a case to catch a serial killer, one that is hunting women and taking a trophy, their uterus.  Helping in the hunt is super genius FBI profiler extraordinaire  Kent Harbinger.  Does that sound snarky?  Well keep reading for my rant if you want the long version : )

Kent stalks the women he feels are going to be the Plain Jane (called that for obvious reasons) killer's victims to the point of  almost becoming one with the killer.  He goes into a "zone" where you can't even reach him.  He's rude, selfish self centered, cocky, obnoxious, full of himself, I could go on and on believe me.   The problem with all this amazing hubris?  He keeps just missing the killer and more keep dying to the tune of 17 women!  This man aggravated the crap out of me and I used the nice word instead of the s one that I really wanted.

Onto Detective Usher.  Nicole and Kent used to be a very hot and heavy item.  They broke up and she took up with fellow Det. Ruben Torres, but that's gone cold for her, not for poor Ruben though.  He still pines for Nic while she's like Pavlov's dog concerning Kent.  She pissed me off too!  The junk she allowed him to get away with was beyond ridiculous.  I also found this relationship stuff hard to believe since it was so out in the open.  I really don't think their Captain would have been so forgiving of this.

Kent is staking/stalking who he's convinced is the next victim and while she's undressing in her room he admires her boobs, nah not working for me.  Nicole and Torres are interrogating a possible suspect, Nic has an earpiece in and Kent is telling her what to say.  His thought's?  Damn she never looked hotter, really? 

Was I on the edge of my seat?  Nope, I didn't really feel it pick up till the end.  Kent's character was just too over the top to be likable or believable.  I would have preferred a little more down to earth person and then I probably would have liked the story much much more.

What was good?  I had no clue whatsoever who the killer was AT all.  For me that is such a major score that I'm pissed that I didn't like the characters more. The ending actually had me going more than the rest of the book.

I'm actually going to say read it.  I'd love to know what others think because a lot of what I wrote here is based on what a stubborn opinionated strong willed thick head I am and both their personalities just grated on me something fierce.

3 cannolis

Friday, September 7, 2012

Chelsea Cain, An Interview

Today is a very special day for me.  I am interviewing one of my favorite authors of one of the MOST fantastic psychological thriller series out there, Chelsea Cain of the wonderful Heartsick books.  Gretchen Lowell and Archie Sheridan have made for a simply fantastic thrill ride that just doesn't get boring.

Thank you Chelsea for coming by!

Gretchen is just the perfect psychopath, how hard was she to create?

Here’s the thing about Gretchen--wait for it.  Most psychopaths are actually not witty, charismatic beauties.  I know!  It’s disappointing isn’t it?  I conceived of Gretchen as this seductive, dangerous woman, and immediately set out researching violent female psychopaths. It didn’t take me long to learn this: there aren’t many.  Don’t get me wrong—Women kill.  But we tend to stew for years, plan it all out, and then poison our husbands or smother our babies, and we get away with it.  (I have this theory that there are, in fact, plenty of violent female serial killers – we are just very clever and never caught.) I wanted Gretchen to commit murder, not because she felt wronged or because her daddy was mean to her or because she was mentally ill.  I wanted her to kill for the hell of it.  Because she liked it.  In other words, I wanted her to kill like a man. So after months of reading tedious criminology case studies of female offenders who were nothing like Gretchen, I slammed the books shut and said, “Screw it, I’m going to make it up.”  I can’t tell you how freeing that was.  I created Gretchen out of whole cloth, or at least melded her together from every evil fabulous pop culture character who’d come before her.  (What would Dynasty have been without Alexis?)  

Is she capable of loving Archie?

That’s the question, isn’t it?  This is one of the driving inquiries of the books.  I think that part of what makes Gretchen a powerful character is that readers don’t know what she’s thinking.  She never has a point of view.  We never get inside her head.  So we don’t know.  Does she care about Archie, or is this all part of some long-term plot?  We yearn to know what she’s thinking, just as Archie’s does.  But she’s unreliable.  She’s a liar.  And we known we shouldn’t trust her.  But at the same time there is something vulnerable about her when she’s with Archie and we want to believe that she is capable of caring about him – but is she?  See how I totally evaded that question?

Side stepping her penchant for killing just for a moment, is she modeled after anyone or a complete creation of yours? 

Side stepping her penchant for killing?  That’s like eighty percent of Gretchen’s character!  You are hoping, perhaps, that I will admit to basing her on a popular girl in school?  (I did attend LowellElementary; make of that what you will.)  People ask me if there’s any of me in Gretchen.  I wish.  I mean, setting aside the killing, she is very articulate and charming and beautiful.  She says the stuff that I come up with ten hours after the conversation has ended.  Plus, she’s so confident.  She has very high self-esteem, that woman. And she isn’t afraid of anyone or anything. 

Stephan King can be brutally honest with his criticisms (Stephanie Myers Twilight), how did his tip of the hat to you on 1 & 2 feel?

Oh, Stephan King!  He is a handsome and very wise man.  This is what he said about Heartsick and Sweetheart: "We've been down Hannibal Lecter Avenue many times, and these two books shouldn't work...but they do. Chalk it up to excellent writing and Cain's ferocious sense of humor."  You know what part of that I love the most?  The part about my “ferocious sense of humor.”  Can we just bask in that last sentence for a moment?  That was so important to me.  Because here’s the thing  -- the books ARE funny. Dark, yes, but funny. And I worry that the humor is often overshadowed by the sex and gore.  Don’t get me wrong.  I am all for sex and I am all for gore.  But it’s important to me to inject something else in the books – something light hearted, albeit fucked up, and yes…funny. Before I wrote thrillers, I wrote illustrated humor books—true story.  And I think that a thriller without humor is just a slog.  It’s just too intense.  But I think that many people have an impression that my books are these gripping dark sagas without any relief.  I begged my publisher to put that “ferocious sense of humor” quote on the books.  They used the quote.  But not all of it.  Printed on the back of the paperbacks is the following quote. “Ferocious – Stephen King.”  Sigh.

Any thoughts on why female serial killers are nil in the book world, especially since it's mostly women who read the thrillers?

Women are like 75% of all thriller readers.  Why are female serial killers are rare in fiction?  Probably because they’re rare in life.  Also, they’re not as culturally scary.  We tend to kill people we know, and we do it quietly, without much fuss.  I think a better question is why are popular thrillers so lacking when it comes to any sort of strong female characters?  There are certainly exceptions.  But there are also many bestselling books featuring these weak women wearing inappropriate shoes.  I think that one of the reasons that Gretchen resonates with so many female readers is that she is a powerful archetype in a genre where powerful female archetypes are sadly lacking.  She knows what she wants.  Most of the women we see reflected back at us in books and TV and in movies do not know what they want. Whereas most men we see on screen or on the page, do.  Again, lots of exceptions.  I’m speaking generally.  But it’s interesting to think about, isn’t it?  So when a woman comes up to me after a reading and says, “I find Gretchen Lowell so inspiring,” (and this actually happens), she doesn’t mean she admires Gretchen’s skill with a scalpel.  She’s just excited to come across a female character who appears not to experience any self-doubt.

Do you ever have to take a step back when it gets too intense or is that when it flows the best for you?

Whenever I get nervous when I’m writing, I know I’m doing something write.  I love to push the boundaries.  If my readers don’t say, “I can’t believe she went there,” at least once when reading my book, I feel like I’ve failed them.

What book is on your nightstand right now?

There isn’t a book on my nightstand right now.  I don’t read right before bed.  I’m a before-bed TV watcher.  (Usually DVR’d episodes of Law & Order.)  So my bedside table has a remote on it.  But if you’re asking what book I’m reading right now, the answer is “Dora: A Headcase,” by Lidia Yuknavich.  It is mighty spectacular, too.

Favorite authors?

Val McDermid, Henry James, Maurice Sendak, Mary Gaitskill, Mary Oliver, Bill Bryson, Mary Roach, Raymond Chandler, Robert B. Parker, Brian Michael Bendis, Michael Lewis, Anthony Lane and Carolyn Keene.

How stoked are you with FX picking up Heartsick?  Please tell me you're going to hold onto some control or specify certain changes as unacceptable. A director who shall remain unnamed has absolutely butchered a wonderful series and I would be heartsick (oh no I didn't)  if the same happened here.

I’m pretty epically stoked.  Like massively, heart-attack-inducing, stoked.  I will be a creative consultant on the series, which means basically that I can give them all sorts of feedback and they can take it or completely ignore me.  But, know this.  I personally partnered with the head writer of the series.  I love him.  He read Heartsick when it came out, and all the other books following.  He is a true fan of the series and of the characters. Frankly, he knows the universe better than I do.  I trust him completely with the characters. And FX is known for giving their show runners total creative control. This is their thing – they let creative people do what they do, and see what happens.  This is why they have put together such fine shows as The Shield, Damages, American Horror Story, Justified, Louis, The and Sons of Anarchy.  They are currently working on getting the pilot written, cast and filmed. Then they will look at the pilot and decide if they are going to order a season of shows.  But let me be clear.  I have absolute confidence that if FX picks up the pilot, they will produce an amazing, awesome TV show.  It might be different from the books.  But it will be excellent and interesting and I will DVR it and watch it before bed.

Did you ever imagine this kind of love for your books?

Never, ever.

This was awesome and I truly appreciate your time.  Lots of luck with all your endeavors! I will be waiting for the show :)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

White Witch Black Curse

White Witch Black Curse
Kim Harrison

Amazon Blurb -

Some wounds take time to heal . . . and some scars never fade.
Rachel Morgan, kick-ass witch and bounty hunter, has taken her fair share of hits, and has broken lines she swore she would never cross. But when her lover was murdered, it left a deeper wound than Rachel ever imagined, and now she won't rest until his death is solved . . . and avenged. Whatever the cost.
Yet the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and when a new predator moves to the apex of the Inderlander food chain, Rachel's past comes back to haunt her.

Well I gotta say, after this book I'm done with the Hollows series.  I can't stand it anymore and it's reached its peak now.  I don't like Rachel she is just a bad character who is so annoying and the books just aren't good enough to continue with such a stinky protagonist.

No review just a rant on what I feel stinks.  Her and Ivy is as old as Methuselah and I have had it.  If you live with someone who can make you feel anxiety that quickly, than you're a moron.  Either the two are going to hook up or they aren't.  I am sick of I love Ivy but not like that.  I can't stand how she judges every single guy she encounters.  "Oh he's hot, but it wouldn't work with  me."  Her whining drives me nuts!  Every one I love dies, I'm shunned, I have demon marks. Blah Blah blah.  She's snippy with her mom, I think she needs a good pop in the mouth.

Now for the shocker that will have other gals who love this series gasping...Kisten's story line did not have me running for tissues!  Quite frankly I just didn't feel the connection there with those two.  His fake English accent was dumb, I didn't get him at all.  "Oh Kisten can't bite me Ivy will flip", omg give me a break.  I still don't feel a damn thing one way or another as far as he's concerned.  Finding out what Bill did to Sookie in Charlaine Harris' series was more a hurtful part of a book for me than this.  I'm really ready for the flames now, I can't even take Jenks anymore.  Tink's farts can you believe that!!!

Who do I like, I like Al, he's the most interesting character, even Trent has more substance.

So adieu Rachel Morgon it hasn't been fun getting to know you, and now I can delete the 7 books I have on my kindle in the Hollow's folder ( I know 7 and I kept reading!) and am so glad I didn't buy a single one!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Thrill Week Blog Hop

1)    My name is Paula and I've been blogging for several years now, having a blog exclusively for books, since 2010

2)   What has been your top 3 reads this year?  Link your reviews

Bodies Left Behind by Jeffrey Deaver

Snake Skin by C.J. Lyons

Defending Jacob by William Landay

3)      What are you currently reading during Thrill Week?

Well, right now I'm reading a paranormal romance, since that is one of my other favorite genres :)

4)      Do you have an all time favourite cover in the genres above?

To be honest I don't.  I don't always pay attention to covers, though Cody McFadyen's Smoky Barrett series are nice.

5)      What debut author(s) or new to you author(s) have you read within the last 12 months that have impressed you?

I liked C.J. Lyons very much, and William Landay's Defending Jacob was great.

6)      Favorite trilogy or series you recommend to others to read in the genres above?

Oh hands down it's got to be the Heartsick Series by Chelsea Cain.  That Gretchen is just so bad, and the characters in the book are all really great.

7)    What popular author(s) have you NOT read but is on your Wishlist?

Oh gosh, there are quite a few, but the top ones are Lisa Gardner, Tami Hoag and Greg Isles. I haven't read any of them yet, and I have two of Lisa's right on my bookshelf.

8)      Other than blogs, share with us what other tools you use or subscribe to in order to keep up with the latest news on authors, new releases, book tours, etc? 
I go on Amazon a lot and see what they've got up, and I look in the news on Sunday to see what's on the best seller's list.  Word of mouth is always the best though.

9)     What current book is hyped among the blogosphere that you want to read or are not interested in?  Why or why not or link your review if you have read it.

I really want to read Gone Girl, I know some just couldn't get into it but I want to give it a go.

10)   What is most important in these genres to you?  Plot, characters, location, dialogue, red herrings, narrator or what mix of them?

Most important for me is plot.  If I'm not grabbed that book is going bye bye.  It has to be engaging and I need to be on the edge of my seat flipping those pages. Next would be character, I can coast with a so so character if the plot is awesome, but if the character really rots boy it's tough.

11)   Recommend a book made into movie you thought both were good?  

I have to say, James Patterson's Alex Cross novels Kiss The Girls and Along Came A Spider that Morgan Freeman starred in were great as were the books, and I can't wait to see how Tyler Perry does as well.

12)   Recommend a book you would like to discuss with others and possibly the author?  Note – I will do a poll with participant’s choices at the end of Thrill Week and then we can agree on a date for Q&A.  I will try and arrange the chosen author to participate.

Oh my gosh, I have no idea!  There are so many great ones how could I choose?  

Thank you for participating in Thrill Week II. 

This is a great idea, and on Friday, I have Chelsea Cain author of the wonderfully viscous Heartsick series visiting to talk with me and I hope you stop by and see what she has to say!

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