Source: the Author

Book Tour Review + Giveaway! Ashes to Ashes (Experiment in Terror #8) by Karina Halle

December 12, 2013 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Book Tour, Giveaways, Read in 2013 6 Comments

I received this book free from Book Tour, the Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Tour Review + Giveaway! Ashes to Ashes (Experiment in Terror #8) by Karina HalleAshes to Ashes by Karina Halle
Series: Experiment in Terror #8
Published by Metal Blonde Books on December 11th 2013
Genres: Diiiirrrrrrttyyy, Paranormal, Romance
Format: eARC
Source: Book Tour, the Author
Goodreads

Also by this author: Come Alive, Shooting Scars, Bold Tricks

It’s been two months since Perry Palomino and Dex Foray’s relationship reached a new turning point, two months since Perry started a new life in Seattle, and two months since their Experiment in Terror show took on a new partner, ex-Wine Babe Rebecca Sims, and found a new level of success. But whenever there is light in their lives, the madness still has a way of coming back in.

When the team is sent back to the stormy Oregon coast to investigate a haunted school, Perry wants to use the opportunity to reconnect with her family and reintroduce Dex into their lives. Only Perry’s not the only one who’s reaching out – her grandmother Pippa has started appearing to her with disturbing warnings and Perry’s presence at the school has ignited a chilling new wave of supernatural phenomenon. Once used a century ago as a sanatorium to house children dying of tuberculosis, the school’s past residents are slowly coming back to life and with one thing on their mind. They want someone to play with, someone to join them. Forever.

Even when dead, some children get whatever they want.

And they want Perry.

About Karina Halle

Karina Halle is a former travel writer and music journalist and the USA Today Bestselling author of Love, in English, The Artists Trilogy, and other wild and romantic reads. She lives in a 1920s farmhouse on an island off the coast of British Columbia with her husband and her rescue pup, where she drinks a lot of wine, hikes a lot of trails and devours a lot of books.

Experiment in Terror series

Capture1

Darkhouse (Experiment in Terror, #1)
Red Fox (Experiment in Terror, #2)
The Benson (Experiment in Terror, #2.5)
Dead Sky Morning (Experiment in Terror, #3)
Lying Season (Experiment in Terror, #4)

Capture

On Demon Wings (Experiment in Terror, #5)
Old Blood (Experiment in Terror, #5.5)
The Dex-Files (Experiment in Terror, #5.7)
Into the Hollow (Experiment in Terror, #6)
And With Madness Comes the Light (Experiment in Terror, #6.5)
Come Alive (Experiment in Terror, #7) {My Review!}

Two months have passed since Dex and Perry’s trip to New Orleans and things have never been better. Rebecca has joined their Experiment in Terror team and the show is becoming more and more successful.  Their next haunted adventure takes them back to Oregon, back to where it all began. The location is a haunted school that used to be a sanatorium for children dying of tuberculosis over a century ago. Some of the ghostly children are friendly and only want someone to play with. Others are much more dreadful and have spine-chilling things in mind.

“To the thing that hurts you most. To the paranormal and to never being normal.”
He winked at me. “To us.”

On Demon Wings was holding the crown of ‘my favorite installment’ but Ashes to Ashes blew it out of the water. This was quite possibly the best installment to date. It was an intense page-turner that was thrilling and steamy and swoony and of course scary as freaking hell. Karina’s ability to describe these scenes of intensity in detail completely bring them to life and leave you feeling completely unsettled.

‘I waited, frozen on the spot, until I heard a dull slap, the sound of bare feet hitting the ground.
Someone coming out of the body cooler.
Someone dead.’

The best part of Ashes in Ashes is returning to Perry’s POV. Perry is such a fabulously intricate character and I really missed out on her thoughts and feelings in the previous installment, Come Alive. We’re also able to experience first-hand her dreamy visits to the Veil, her interactions with Pippa and the sense of foreboding that she exudes. Pippa feels as if something bad is about to happen and she hopes to be able to prepare Perry, but the threat is shrouded in fog and she isn’t able to determine who Perry should be fearing. Prepared or not, this is one threat that Perry will never see coming. This dramatic conclusion sets the stage for the undoubtedly exhilarating final installment of the Experiment in Terror series.

Chandler Bing I'm so excited I may vomit

Grand Prize Giveaway
(open to US and Canada):
A signed copy of Perception (a paperback compilation of all the e-book novellas), a signed copy of Darkhouse, a signed copy of Red Fox (with new cover) as well as a signed copy of Ashes to Ashes and an EIT tank top!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Divider

Blog Tour Stop + Giveaway! The Last Bastion of the Living by Rhiannon Frater

July 3, 2012 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Book Tour, Giveaways, Read in 2012 3 Comments

I received this book free from the Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Blog Tour Stop + Giveaway! The Last Bastion of the Living by Rhiannon FraterThe Last Bastion of the Living: A Futuristic Zombie Novel by Rhiannon Frater
Published by Self-Published on June 8th 2012
Pages: 283
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Zombies
Format: eARC
Source: the Author
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: The First Days, Fighting to Survive, Siege

four-half-stars

The Bastion was humanity’s last hope against the fearsome undead creatures known as the Inferi Scourge. A fortified city with a high wall, surrounded by lush land rich with all the resources needed to survive, protected by high mountain summits, and a massive gate to secure the only pass into the valley, the Bastion became the last stronghold of the living on earth. But one fateful day, the gate failed and the Inferi Scourge destroyed the human settlements outside the walls and trapped the survivors inside the city. Now decades later, the last remaining humans are struggling to survive in a dying city as resources and hope dwindle.

Vanguard Maria Martinez has lived her whole life within the towering walls of steel. She yearns for a life away from the overcrowded streets, rolling blackouts, and food shortages, but there is no hope for anyone as long as the Inferi Scourge howl outside the high walls. Her only refuge from the daily grind is in the arms of her lover, Dwayne Reichardt, an officer in the Bastion Constabulary. Both are highly-decorated veterans of the last disastrous push against the Inferi Scourge. Their secret affair is her only happiness.

Then one day Maria is summoned to meet with a mysterious representative from the Science Warfare Division and is offered the opportunity to finally destroy the Inferi Scourge in the valley and close the gate. The rewards of success are great, but she will have to sacrifice everything, possibly even her life, to accomplish the ultimate goal of securing the future of humanity and saving it from extinction.

After thoroughly enjoying the author’s ‘As the World Dies’ trilogy which was full of super awesome and terribly gruesome zombies, I was all on board for more. The Last Bastion of the Living completely knocked it out of the park for me. Set in a future completely changed and desolate, the zombies have destroyed any chance of survival for the last known group of people on Earth. Grasping at straws, the government makes one last desperate attempt to reclaim the surrounding lands and to solidify the livelihood of all.

Much like her ‘As the World Dies’ trilogy, Rhiannon never lacks for vivid and highly likable characters and an exciting storyline to boot. The main character, Maria, is an extremely strong and independent woman and she can kick some serious ass too. The story also switches up point-of-view with Maria’s boyfriend Dwayne who was also a well written character. One thing that I have to make note of is the relationship between Maria and Dwayne: an incredibly realistic relationship; something that I think is highly lacking in fiction novels these days. The strength of their bond was palpable in addition to how much they loved each other. It was a fabulous addition to the story but didn’t overpower the actual storyline in any way.

And speaking of the storyline… I cannot remember the last time I was reading a book and it created such vivid imagery in my mind to the point where it was as if I was watching a movie reel playing in my head. And what a badass movie it was! The writing didn’t have the feel of a screenplay thankfully, but I nonetheless could definitely see a movie being made from this story.

Only disappointment was the realization that this was a stand-alone novel so the story was over! I could definitely see potential paths that future installments could go with to make it a series but then again there was something satisfying about reading the story in its entirety and being done with it without having to wait for future installments. Stand-alone novels seem to be quite rare these days and I read far too many series so this was a nice change.

With a surprisingly original and refreshing take on the normal zombie tale this was a highly enjoyable thrill ride. Zombie lovers need not miss out on this gem.

Capture

The Interview

How did you come up with the title?
Like the story, it came to me in a dream. I believe one of the characters called the city the last bastion of the living during the course of a conversation. When I woke up, I instantly thought, “I want to write that!” The story, the characters, and the title all showed up in a dream. It was a great jump start on the book, that’s for sure.

Personally, by the time I was finished with the prologue I was totally imagining The Last Bastion of the Living being one seriously awesome movie. Did you envision this as you were writing the book or did that come later?
The huge battle in the prologue was always a part of the story, but the dream started with the first chapter. When I began to write, I started at the same point as the dream did. As time went on I felt something important was missing. There was a lack of urgency in the narrative. Though the characters speak of the final push against the undead, I realized that the reader didn’t really understand how devastating it had been. I had been trying to incorporate flashbacks, but those weren’t working. I kept excising them.

I got very, very sick with the flu and had to stop writing on the book altogether. While I was feverish, I kept dreaming about the great battle where Dwayne and Maria had almost lost their lives. When I was well, I sat down and read what I had written so far. It was during that read-through that I recognized the need for the reader to see the final push against the Inferi Scourge.

So I just rewound the movie in my brain to an earlier point in time and wrote what I saw. I don’t know how it works for other writers, but I always feel I am watching a movie inside my own head and describing what I see to the best of my ability.

What is your favorite part in ‘The Last Bastion of the Living’?/What was your favorite part to write? (If different) 🙂
Well, it’s a bit of a tossup between two scenes as to which is my favorite. I love the ending completely, but I also like the opening of Chapter 1. There is such sweetness and sadness in that opening scene with Dwayne and Maria.
My favorite scene to write was toward the end of the book. There is this massive action sequence that was such a blast to watch in my mind’s eye theater, but was a total bitch to wrestle onto paper.

Do any of your characters names have a special meaning?
Well, Dwayne is named after Corporal Dwayne Hicks in Aliens. Maria is a bit of a Ripley, so why not? Maria’s name just came to me, so that was organic. I did name Lindsey after Lindsey Wagner, the Bionic Woman. I snagged Denman’s name from a former co-worker, and I re-named one solider Cormier after Giselle of Xpresso Reads. She was a test reader and I did it as a tribute to her nitpicking and making the book so much better.

Is this really going to remain as a stand-alone novel?
I have no plans to continue. I don’t want to saddle myself with another series. I have three that are going right now and it’s exhausting. It’s also a bit of a trap. I have a lot of other novel ideas in my head, but I’m obligated to my readers to finish up those series as quickly as I can. For a time, writers could take years to put out the next installment in a series and that was okay. Not anymore. Readers expect a book a year in a series, so I’m avoiding trapping myself with a new series for the time being.
That was the big allure of writing THE LAST BASTION OF THE LIVING. It was a standalone.

I’m flattered, but a little overwhelmed with how much demand there is for a sequel. I have no ideas for a sequel. My time in that world pretty much ended with the final scene. Plus, I love where this novel ended. It was such a perfect ending. I have no desire to muck it up.

Would you ever think about revisiting the world you created and simply change the point of view?
Nope. The heart of the story is Dwayne and Maria. I wouldn’t continue on without them. It would feel empty and bland. Those two characters are why I wrote the novel. The world around them was dynamic, but the second those two are out of the equation I lose all interest.

Could you tell us anything about your next big project?
PRETTY WHEN SHE KILLS is coming out in the near future. I’m working very hard to get that novel done. Also, I have a paranormal YA coming out with co-author Kody Boye. It’s called THE MIDNIGHT SPELL and I love it so much. It’s a blast. There will be one more AS THE WORLD DIES UNTOLD TALES volume released this year that wraps up that series. And I have a short story collection that will be coming out later as well called CTHUHLU’S DAUGHTER AND OTHER HORROR TALES. There might be a Last Bastion short story in that one. Maybe. We’ll see.

Capture

The Giveaway!

Rhiannon has been kind enough to offer an ebook copy of The Last Bastion of the Living for giveaway! Open Internationally. Giveaway ends July 17th, 2012.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Rhiannon Frater

Rhiannon Frater is the award-winning author of the AS THE WORLD DIES zombie trilogy and the author of several other books: the vampire novels PRETTY WHEN SHE DIES and THE TALE OF THE VAMPIRE BRIDE and the young-adult zombie novel The Living Dead Boy and the Zombie Hunters. The first two books in her zombie trilogy, THE FIRST DAYS and FIGHTING TO SURVIVE, are available now in bookstores. SIEGE will be in bookstores on April 24, 2012.

Website: rhiannonfrater.com & astheworlddies.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/astheworlddies
Twitter: twitter.com/rhiannonfrater
Blog: rhianonfrater.blogspot.com

 

 

Thanks for visiting! Let me know what you think about the new cover!

Divider

Short Story Review – Frayed (Madison Lark #1) by Blakely Chorpenning

March 28, 2012 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2012, Short Stories 0 Comments

I received this book free from the Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Short Story Review – Frayed (Madison Lark #1) by Blakely ChorpenningFrayed by Blakely Chorpenning
Series: Madison Lark #1
Published by Self-Published on December 14, 2011
Pages: 152
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Format: eARC
Source: the Author
Amazon
Goodreads


three-half-stars

Fray loves being a semi-pro fighter and free spirit. However, when a deadly faction begins abducting supernatural teens in the Blue Hills of North Carolina for excruciating experiments, she quickly learns there is more to life than glitzy opponents and late night trysts. Fray and a crew of unlikely allies must rescue the children before they are dissected alive. Being a leopard shapeshifter helps. Confronting personal prejudice and traversing feelings for a tempestuous ex do not mix. But Fray is willing to go all the way to stop her world from changing. That is, until the ultimate sacrifice forces her to realize just how overdue change is. Her most shocking discovery: Everyone's human. At least a little...

When local teenagers start disappearing from the various shifter communities, old rivalries get put on the back burner in order to stop this from continuing.

Fray is a leopard shifter and a semi-pro mixed martial arts fighter. To sum it up: she’s quite the badass. Highly independent and extremely sarcastic I grew quite fond of Fray. After finding out that more teenagers are disappearing, her and her family realizes that someone needs to look into this to prevent any future kidnappings and it needs to be Fray. She teams up with a vampire/investigator to find out why these kidnappings are happening and who’s responsible.

I really enjoyed this introduction novella. I think it presented a good picture of what’s to be expected in this upcoming series. This has a surprisingly interesting plot with strong and likable characters. I also enjoyed the underlying story of overcoming deep-seated prejudices and learning how to overcome those challenges to complete the common goal. I think I would have enjoyed it a teensy bit more if it was longer and the author was able to dive a bit deeper in respects to world-building. Character development was spot on though.

Recommended for you UF fans out there.

Divider

Book Review – Married With Zombies (Living With the Dead #1) by Jesse Petersen

January 31, 2012 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2012 2 Comments

Book Review – Married With Zombies (Living With the Dead #1) by Jesse PetersenMarried With Zombies by Jesse Petersen
Series: Living With the Dead #1
Published by Orbit on September 1, 2010
Pages: 272
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Funny-ha-ha
Format: Paperback
Source: the Author
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Eat Slay Love, Shambling With the Stars, Club Monstrosity

four-stars

A heartwarming tale of terror in the middle of the zombie apocalypse.

Meet Sarah and David.

Once upon a time they met and fell in love. But now they're on the verge of divorce and going to couples' counseling. On a routine trip to their counselor, they notice a few odd things - the lack of cars on the highway, the missing security guard, and the fact that their counselor, Dr. Kelly, is ripping out her previous client's throat.

Meet the Zombies.

Now, Sarah and David are fighting for survival in the middle of the zombie apocalypse. But, just because there are zombies, doesn't mean your other problems go away. If the zombies don't eat their brains, they might just kill each other.

‘…I never would have guessed that unlike therapy, unlike the self-help books that littered our apartment at the time, killing zombies would save my relationship.’

Sarah and Dave are having marital problems and have been attending marriage counseling once a week for the past 6 months. On the way to their weekly visit, their session ends up going far differently than the others: their marriage counselor attempts to eat them. After a momentary fight for their lives where their marriage counselor ends up with a stiletto to the head, they realize something is definitely amiss. From that point on, their lives were never quite the same; yet somehow it managed to change their relationship for the better. After the two make plans to leave their home in Seattle and head to Dave’s sisters house, they realize that not only is the world going to shit, but it’s happening quickly.

This was the book that started my zombie crazed love so I’m really quite partial to it, but I couldn’t have started with a better one. It has the perfect mix of blood and guts, sarcastic humor, and demented brain seeking zombies. I loved Sarah and David; they were a perfectly realistic couple just doing what it takes to survive (from the zombies and each other). The chapter titles were a hilarious addition as they were a new ‘suggestion’ with each new chapter.

‘Chapter 2 – Balance the workload in your relationship. No one person should be responsible for killing all the zombies.’

A super fast and enjoyable read that you simply won’t be able to put down! If you’re a fan of zombies, this is a must for you!

Divider

Book Review – The King Maker by Susan Frances

November 12, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

I received this book free from the Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review – The King Maker by Susan FrancesThe King Maker by Susan Frances
Published by Champagne Books on November 7, 2011
Pages: 222
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Format: eBook
Source: the Author
Amazon
Goodreads


three-stars

When American pilot, Steve McKenna is murdered, he takes with him secrets about an international crime ring. Secrets that he only reveals to his friend, Cullen Danes.

An investigator for the British Aviation Ministry, Cullen is determined to find his friend’s killer, but his life is in danger when the crime ring’s operatives learn he knows secrets that can expose them. Cullen’s rescuer is a woman whom he meets at the International Aviation Convention, Nina Holt. She proves to save his life in more ways than one and together, they uncover a labyrinth of illicit activities that involves government officials, bank executives and global industrialists.

Nina and Cullen’s true test comes when he asks her to take a leap of faith. Torn between jumping into the unknown or remaining with her family, Nina has to decide whether to take the biggest risk of her life. That is if the King Maker does not have them killed.

Steve McKenna, an American pilot, is found with two bullets in his back at Faversham Airport in England. He and his family resided in Northampton, Massachusetts; however, his job as a staff pilot at Bloomfield Airport often brought him to England. Authorities are left with no leads as to his killer could possibly be except for some stolen credit cards that were found in McKenna’s locker at Faversham Airport.

Questioned by authorities, McKenna’s friend of 5 years, Cullen Danes refuses to accept that his friend could have ever been involved in any sort of criminal activity and decides to assist in any way he can in the investigation. After meeting Nina Holt at the International Aviation Convention, she ends up assisting him and being quite the life saver after he unavoidably becomes a target by the same individuals responsible for the death of his longtime friend. As the romance between these two grows, the danger and risk involved continues to grow as well.

This was quite a detailed and intricate storyline, The King Maker surprised me with how much I ended up enjoying it. You’ve got an international crime ring, a murder mystery, and a romance to boot. What more could you ask for?

I think the author did quite well in not making a storyline with multiple characters too hard to follow; each character was an integral part in the overall storyline and didn’t end up getting lost in the shuffle. The storyline ended leaving a continuation a possible option and I look forward to reading more from future Susan Frances books.

Divider