Source: Purchased

Book Review – My Life as A White Trash Zombie (White Trash Zombie #1) by Diana Rowland

Posted July 16, 2011 by Bonnie in Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 / 1 Comment

Book Review – My Life as A White Trash Zombie (White Trash Zombie #1) by Diana RowlandMy Life As a White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland
Series: White Trash Zombie #1
Published by DAW on July 5, 2011
Pages: 321
Genres: Funny-ha-ha, Urban Fantasy
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Mark of the Demon, Blood of the Demon, Secrets of the Demon

three-half-stars

Angel Crawford is a loser

Living with her alcoholic deadbeat dad in the swamps of southern Louisiana, she's a high school dropout with a pill habit and a criminal record who's been fired from more crap jobs than she can count. Now on probation for a felony, it seems that Angel will never pull herself out of the downward spiral her life has taken.

That is, until the day she wakes up in the ER after overdosing on painkillers. Angel remembers being in an horrible car crash, but she doesn't have a mark on her. To add to the weirdness, she receives an anonymous letter telling her there's a job waiting for her at the parish morgue—and that it's an offer she doesn't dare refuse.

Before she knows it she's dealing with a huge crush on a certain hunky deputy and a brand new addiction: an overpowering craving for brains. Plus, her morgue is filling up with the victims of a serial killer who decapitates his prey—just when she's hungriest!

Angel's going to have to grow up fast if she wants to keep this job and stay in one piece. Because if she doesn't, she's dead meat.

Literally.

Angel Crawford was your typical white trash chick with a pill popping addiction living with her alcoholic dad in Lousiana. That is, until she woke up in the hospital after being in a car accident with no memory of what had happened to her. She finds a note addressed to her telling her about a job that she is required to take or she’ll end up dead… thinking this is a note from her parole officer and that she’s being threatened with jail she opts to take the job instead. The job turns out to be a driver for the Coroner’s Office.

Angel starts noticing odd changes like how she’s somehow able to stand the sight of the dead bodies when before the accident she was squeamish from just the sight of blood. She also starts noticing that the bodies have a pleasant scent to them… ’The smell was like chocolate and cookies and biscuits and gravy and everything else that was delicious.’ That’s when she realizes that what was smelled so positively tasty were brains and only zombies ate brains. Bodies start turning up all over town with their heads missing and it begins to look suspiciously like a rogue zombie just trying to get his next meal. Angel thought she had figured out who the killer was when he turns up as the next victim.

Angel was a very realistic character and instantly likeable for me. The story had this underlying sadness with Angel staying off the pills, being able to hold a job, and finally getting her shit together… she just had to die to do it. And between the mysteries of who turned her into a zombie and who was leaving headless bodies all over town, it had me scrabbling to finish just to find out if my guess was right. (I was right! Yay!) The ending was good, (minus the slightly corny part when she kind of OD’d on brains) and I’m looking forward to reading the next one.

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Short Story Review – Shambling With The Stars (Living with the Dead #2.5) by Jesse Petersen

Posted July 16, 2011 by Bonnie in Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011, Short Stories / 1 Comment

Short Story Review – Shambling With The Stars (Living with the Dead #2.5) by Jesse PetersenShambling With the Stars by Jesse Petersen
Series: Living With the Dead #2.5
Published by Orbit on June 15, 2011
Pages: 34
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Eat Slay Love, Married With Zombies, Club Monstrosity

three-half-stars

 

Avery Andrews is her name and directing celebrity telethons after tragedies is her game. But the Northwestern Zombie Outbreak isn't your average tragedy... and once the infection spreads to the studio, Avery and her crew will have to worry about staying alive, not ratings.

 

 

Living With the Dead series

Married With Zombies (Living with the Dead, #1)Flip This Zombie (Living with the Dead, #2)

Married With Zombies (Living with the Dead, #1)
Flip This Zombie (Living with the Dead, #2)

‘Shambling with the Stars’ is a short story by Jesse Petersen; number 2.5 of her Living with the Dead series. I’m a huge fan of this series. Her zombie series kicks off with Married with Zombies, one of my favorite books of all time.

‘Shambling with the Stars’ opens to character Avery Andrews directing a celebrity telethon for the recent ‘sickness’ outbreak. Her lead host Blake is in the middle of conducting an interview with Dr. Lithstone when he attacks him and begins a chain reaction of reanimation.

This short story definitely leaves you with wanting more awesome zombie action! It’ll be interesting to see if she expands on Avery and Kyle’s characters since this short story definitely leaves you hanging! I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for future novels.

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Short and Sweet Review – Wesley the Owl: The Remarkable Love Story of an Owl and His Girl by Stacey O’Brien

Posted July 16, 2011 by Bonnie in Book Reviews, Read in 2011 / 3 Comments

Short and Sweet Review – Wesley the Owl: The Remarkable Love Story of an Owl and His Girl by Stacey O’BrienWesley the Owl: The Remarkable Love Story of an Owl and His Girl by Stacey O'Brien
Published by Atria Books on June 2nd 2009
Pages: 256
Genres: Memoir, Non-Fiction
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Amazon
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five-stars

On Valentine’s Day 1985, biologist Stacey O’Brien adopted Wesley, a baby barn owl with an injured wing who could not have survived in the wild. Over the next nineteen years, O’Brien studied Wesley’s strange habits with both a tender heart and a scientist’s eye—and provided a mice-only diet that required her to buy the rodents in bulk (28,000 over the owl’s lifetime). She watched him turn from a helpless fluff ball into an avid com­municator with whom she developed a language all their own. Eventually he became a gorgeous, gold-and-white macho adult with a heart-shaped face who preened in the mir­ror and objected to visits by any other males to “his” house. O’Brien also brings us inside Caltech’s prestigious research community, a kind of scientific Hogwarts where resident owls sometimes flew freely from office to office and eccentric, brilliant scientists were extraordinarily committed to studying and helping animals; all of them were changed by the animals they loved. As O’Brien gets close to Wesley, she makes astonishing discoveries about owl behavior, intelligence, and communication, coining the term “The Way of the Owl” to describe his noble behavior. When O’Brien develops her own life-threatening ill­ness, the biologist who saved the life of a helpless baby bird is herself rescued from death by the insistent love and courage of this wild animal.

Enhanced by wonderful photographs, Wesley the Owl is a thoroughly engaging, heart­warming, often funny story of a complex, emotional, non-human being capable of reason, play, and, most important, love and loyalty. Translated into eight languages and named an Audubon Magazine Editor’s Choice, Wesley the Owl is sure to be cherished by animal lovers everywhere.

Wesley the Owl: the story of biologist Stacey O’Brien and her adoption of a 4 day old baby barn owl. The book is a retelling of the 19 years spent caring and loving for this animal and of the love and bond the two of them shared.

‘Life your life not by staying in the shallow, safer waters, but by wading as deep into the river of life as possible, no matter how dangerous the current. We have only one chance at this life.’

I have this abnormally large soft spot in my heart for animals and this novel really did a number on that spot. Going into this book I understood the story line and as it can be expected this also included the retelling of Wesley’s final days. The bond that this woman shared with Wesley was so amazing and touching and heartbreaking in the end. I was in tears. This may not have been a novel of literary genius, but the story and the message was beautiful.

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Book Review – Dead, Undead, or Somewhere in Between (Rhiannon’s Law #1) by J.A. Saare

Posted July 16, 2011 by Bonnie in Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 / 0 Comments

Book Review – Dead, Undead, or Somewhere in Between (Rhiannon’s Law #1) by J.A. SaareDead, Undead, or Somewhere in Between by J.A. Saare
Series: Rhiannon's Law #1
Published by Mundania Press on May 2, 2011
Pages: 244
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: The Renfield Syndrome

four-half-stars

One bad corpse can ruin your whole day.

No one knows that better than Rhiannon Murphy. She’s left behind the flash and sass of Miami for the no-nonsense groove of New York City, eager for a clean slate and a fresh start. A bartender by trade, a loud mouth by choice, and a necromancer by chance, she’s managed to keep her nifty talent hidden from those around her--until now.

The deliciously good-looking vampire Disco knows her secret, and when he strolls into her bar to solicit help investigating the mysterious disappearances of his kind from the city, she discovers he’s not the kind of person that appreciates the significance of the word no. But in a world where vampires peddle their blood as the latest and greatest drug of choice, it’s only a matter of time before the next big thing hits the market. Someone or something is killing vampires to steal their hearts, and unlike Rhiannon, this isn’t their first stroll around the undead block.

This book managed to hook me from the start; I loved it instantly. I think it was something about the characters, the writing style, the interesting storyline, the hilarious lines, or maybe a combination of everything. Actually, what I really think it was, was the main character Rhiannon. She seemed real to me… she wasn’t some whiny little girl, she was a bad-ass and could handle her own business, but she did get scared as a normal person should in similar situations.

The bad…

I sometimes thought that the story lacked in describing things; things just simply were, and sometimes those things didn’t make sense. Now correct me if I’m wrong, but I’ve never heard of a necromancer that was able to ‘share’ their powers through physical contact with another person? And why did she have to touch the gross mangled bodies in order to communicate with them? But then again, the author could simply be writing a new twist to the concept, and that’s fine. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. I still refuse to believe that vampires could EVER be sparkly.
I thought that the explanation given for how vampires were created was a little off. Plus the whole Sienna making deals with demons… ehh. I don’t know but it didn’t seem to fit well with the rest of the story for me.

Disco. Oh Disco. Loved the character, but his name drove me nuts. For at least the first half of the book I would cringe everytime I read it, but slowly but surely I just got used to it. I mean I guess it was meant to be a nickname, but everybody called him Disco. I mean really, what was so wrong with Gabriel? That’s a perfectly decent name.

The good…

The story behind Rhiannon and the reason for why she is how she is was crazy, but it really explained a lot. I’ve read stories before where a character is traumatized because of a past event or whatever and when the big reveal finally happens it usually causes eye rolls and a few ‘Oh get over yourself.’ But she definitely went through some fucked up shit, and it really helps to explain her actions.

I was really worried going in to reading this that the ending was going to have me screaming with frustration because I can’t handle cliff-hangers… at all. But WOW! What an ending. I was totally not expecting anything like that!! It was a cliff-hanger for sure, but now I’m really excited for The Renfield Syndrome.

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Book Review – The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley

Posted July 16, 2011 by Bonnie in Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 / 0 Comments

Book Review – The Rose Garden by Susanna KearsleyThe Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley
Published by Sourcebooks Landmark on May 1, 2011
Pages: 448
Genres: Contemporary, Historical Fiction, Romance, Time Travel
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: The Shadowy Horses

four-stars

"Whatever time we have," he said, "it will be time enough."

Eva Ward returns to the only place she truly belongs, the old house on the Cornish coast, seeking happiness in memories of childhood summers. There she finds mysterious voices and hidden pathways that sweep her not only into the past, but also into the arms of a man who is not of her time.

But Eva must confront her own ghosts, as well as those of long ago. As she begins to question her place in the present, she comes to realize that she too must decide where she really belongs.

From Susanna Kearsley, author of the New York Times bestseller The Winter Sea and a voice acclaimed by fans of Gabaldon, du Maurier, and Niffenegger alike, The Rose Garden is a haunting exploration of love, family, the true meaning of home, and the ties that bind us together.

This is the second Susanna Kearsley book I’ve read and she’s quickly becoming a favorite of mine. Her writing style is simply beautiful and has a definite talent for writing fascinating stories. I’m not usually a fan of wordy books but she does such an amazing job of describing the simplest of things you can’t help but love it.

One of my favorites:

“And at the window of the room the cold November rains slid down the glass and cast their shifting shadows in a room that could no longer hold the light.”

Rose Garden tells the story of Eva and her struggles to cope with the death of her sister Katrina. Katrina had requested to be cremated and have her ashes scattered; Eva decides it would be most fitting for her to scatter them where the two of them once belonged: Cornwall, England. She travels there and stays with her two childhood friends Mark and Susan. During her first night there, she wakes to the sound of two men having a conversation only to find there weren’t any men in the house. She then begins to see things that others cannot and is unable to explain it. When she finds herself thrown back in time, she meets Daniel Butler, a man who was a part of the Jacobite Uprising. Knowing what she does about the outcome of said event, she finds it difficult to not disclose information to him that could essentially change the future. The more time spent with Daniel, the closer she becomes to him, as she finds herself bonding with him as two people who have both lost loved ones. Eva’s only concern is for her inability to control when she goes back in time and how the two of them can ever have a life together based on this instability.

Lovely novel. I’ll definitely be picking up more of her books in the future.

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Short Story Review – Hearts in Darkness by Laura Kaye

Posted July 16, 2011 by Bonnie in Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011, Short Stories / 0 Comments

Short Story Review – Hearts in Darkness by Laura KayeHearts in Darkness by Laura Kaye
Published by Self-Published on April 20th 2011
Pages: 102
Genres: Diiiirrrrrrttyyy, Romance
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Amazon
Goodreads


three-half-stars

Makenna James thinks her day can't get any worse, until she finds herself stuck in a pitch-black elevator with a complete stranger. Distracted by a phone call and juggling too much stuff, the pin-striped accountant caught only a glimpse of a dragon tattoo on his hand before the lights went out.

Caden Grayson is amused when a redhead literally falls at his feet. His amusement turns to panic when the power fails. Despite his piercings, tats, and vicious scar, he's terrified of the dark and confined spaces. Now, he's trapped in his own worst nightmare.

To fight fear, they must both reach out and open up. With no preconceived notions based on looks to hold them back, they discover just how much they have in common. In the warming darkness, attraction grows and sparks fly, but will they feel the same when the lights come back on?

Hearts in Darkness is a short little contemporary romance about Makenna James and Caden Grayson getting locked in an elevator together for the night… in complete darkness. I really enjoyed this even though I didn’t realize it was contemporary until I was well into the story (not my typical read).

I’m going to have to agree completely with similar reviews that mention how the writing and the point of view shifts definitely threw you off. I can understand telling the story from one point of view and then back-tracking in order to tell the story from the point of view of the other individual… but it lacked something in this story. It lacked flow for one, and also… I felt that the author didn’t need to do this for every interaction between the characters. Blah, I don’t know, I’m having trouble forming sentences this morning.

I liked it, I enjoyed it, I will keep an eye out for more from this author in the future.

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Short Story Review – Winter’s Passage (Iron Fey #1.5) by Julie Kagawa

Posted July 16, 2011 by Bonnie in Book Reviews, Read in 2011, Short Stories, YA / 0 Comments

Short Story Review – Winter’s Passage (Iron Fey #1.5) by Julie KagawaWinter's Passage by Julie Kagawa
Series: The Iron Fey #1.5
Published by Harlequin Teen on May 20, 2010
Pages: 51
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Amazon
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Also by this author: The Iron King, The Iron Daughter, The Iron Knight

three-stars

Meghan Chase used to be an ordinary girl... until she discovered that she is really a faery princess. After escaping from the clutches of the deadly Iron fey. Meghan must follow through on her promise to return to the equally dangerous Winter Court with her forbidden love, Prince Ash. But first, Meghan has one request: that they visit Puck - Meghan's best friend and servant of her father, King Oberon - who was gravely injured defending Meghan from the Iron Fey. Yet Meghan and Ash's detour does not go unnoticed. They have caught the attention of an ancient, powerful hunter - a foe that even Ash may not be able to defeat.

So this is a short quick little interlude between stories… there was a lot of reiteration of stuff that happened in the first book. If it’s been a while since you read Iron King (#1) then this would be a nice little refresher for you. I had just finished Iron King though so the reiteration was a little, well, repetitive. 🙂

This story is about Ash taking Meghan back to his Queen in accordance with their agreement and the introduction of yet another elusive creature following her; the Hunter (Or the self-proclaimed Wolf from Little Red Riding Hood. Yeah… okay. lol) Grimalkin joins them on their journey as well, and I don’t know why but I love Grim. Although when I envision the story as it progresses, I imagine Grimalkin looks like the white fluffy Fancy Feast cat for some reason. lol

Of course since Grim is supposed to be a ‘faery cat’ (whatever that means) I’m sure that’s not the case. But to me, that’s Grim. Grim and his Fancy Feast.

As far as Ash and Meghan go… as much as I love Ash, the storyline is getting old. Boy likes girl, girl likes boy… they’re not supposed to like each other, it’s not allowed, but they just can’t help it! So boy acts like he cares, but wait! Boy turns into a prick faster than a speeding bullet! Come on… *sigh* I’m still a sucker for these books and will keep reading this series. This mini-book actually made me more interested in the series overall so that works, mainly because I’m interested to see what happens once they actually reach the Winter Court and what all these weird dreams are all about.

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