Monday, September 30, 2013

The First Days by Rhiannon Frater

Genre:  Adult Zombie Fantasy
As the World Dies Series, Book 1

Description (taken from Rhiannon Frater's website):
The morning that the world ends, Katie is getting ready for court and housewife Jenni is taking care of her family. Less than two hours later, they are fleeing for their lives from a zombie horde.

Thrown together by circumstance, Jenni and Katie become a powerful zombie-killing partnership, mowing down zombies as they rescue Jenni’s stepson, Jason, from an infected campground.

They find sanctuary in a tiny, roughly fortified Texas town. There Jenni and Katie find they are both attracted to Travis, leader of the survivors; and the refugees must slaughter people they know, who have returned in zombie form.

Alright, I think I'm going to admit defeat to the zombie attraction.  I'm just not attracted to zombie novels.  Kind of stinks, I know.  But it's just not my genre of books even though I like dystopia and paranormal.  Now onto the review...

This book jumps right into the beginnings of the zombie apocalypse with Jenni watching her family become zombies and then try to eat her.  By chance, Katie happens to be in the right place at the right time and saves Jenni.  Together, they work on saving whatever family they have left and surviving.  By escaping to the country, they meet some interesting people and find a town that is fortified against the zombies.

What I really loved about this book:  we see people that are affected by their past and further tortured by the zombies.  Just because the world has been destroyed by zombies does not mean they lose who they were before; instead, it melds into who they become during the apocalypse.  We see a lot of zombie killing, a hunger for everything to go back to normal, and the need to survive and save others.

What I didn't like about it:  I guess I just don't like zombies.  The hopelessness of it.  It's awesome to see the courage in people and watch them step up to fight, but when it gets down to it, I'll be one of the first people turned into a zombie...

I highly recommend this book to those who like zombies.  It's got a good story, and I imagine the next few books will be good as well.  As for me, I might go check out Rhiannon Frater's vampire books...

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Survive by Alex Morel

Genre:  YA Thriller

Description (taken from Alex Morel's website):
It’s nearly Christmas, and Jane is on an airplane on her way home to Montclair, New Jersey, armed with a bottle of pills. She has no intention of being alive when the plane lands. Christmas Eve, to Jane, means death: more specifically, it reminds her of her father’s suicide. Jane has always known she’ll share his fate. On leave from the mental hospital where she’s lived for a year, she finally has her chance.

Then the plane hits turbulence and everything goes black.

Jane wakes up in a blizzard in the middle of the mountains. Only one other passenger – a boy named Paul – has survived the crash. Jane and Paul form an unparalleled emotional bond born from being caught together in the middle of an icy nowhere. Thanks to Paul, Jane wants a future for the first time.

Jane, someone trying to fake recovery from suicide attempts is your average, depressed teen.  She's been let down by those that mean the most to her, people have done unforgivable things, and it's hard for her to trust those around her.  But she's still set on successfully committing suicide.  That is until her plane crashes, and she's forced to live not only for herself but for a guy named Paul.  We watch as her world transforms from a carefully constructed world of hurt to a chaotic world of ice and wilderness.  Her basic instinct to survive is pushed to the limit.

Initially, I felt like the writing in this book was choppy.  And I had a hard time relating to the hurt and betrayal Jane felt.  But once the plane crashed, the story got interesting.  It flowed really well, and I got to see how Jane and Paul reacted to the situation.  Paul's snarky humor, Jane's realization of almost killing herself: it just worked.  I got to see how lucky situations saved them and how one horrible misstep could ruin everything.

Honestly, I was bawling at the end of the book.  I didn't realize how invested in the story I really was until the end.  And even after finishing it, I kept asking "what if" and coming to the conclusion that these characters did really stupid things.  And how surviving a plane crash is utterly hopeless (I hope I die in the plane crash if it ever happens to me).  And there's also an instant where your conscience gives up, but your body goes into full survival mode even until the end.  So many thoughts racing; this book makes you think (about depressing things in my opinion).

This book's a good and easy read.  I'd definitely not recommend reading it in the dead of winter.  Even in the Fall, I still had to take a nice, hot, steamy shower after finishing this book.

Challenges:  TBR Pile Reading Challenge

Saturday, September 28, 2013

manda-rae's Haul

Stacking the Shelves consists of books we received in the last week, hosted by Tynga's reviews.

Another beautiful Saturday.  I've definitely been enjoying the 60/70 degree weather.  Instead of using AC, I've been opening the windows.  It's been nice.  I hope everyone has a good weekend!


  • Sweet Peril by Wendy Higgins
    • Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads
      • When I finished Sweet Evil, I begged my husband to take me to the bookstore.  I haven't purchased a book in about four months.  And this would be the first purchase from a bookstore (instead of online) probably this year.  Can you see how addicted to this series I am?

From the Library:

  • Just Like Fate by Cat Patrick anf Suzanne Young
    • Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads
      • This one sounds interesting.  And it's by one of my favorite authors: Suzanne Young.  So of course I need to read it.
  • All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill
    • Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads
      • Another dystopian.  I will admit that I love dystopians and can generally never go wrong with them.  But I might be all dystopianed-out.  And this one had really good reviews.  So I'm going to try this one within the next four weeks.  We'll see if I love it.

manda-rae's Past Week


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Review and Giveaway: The Devil You Know by JM Gregoire

The Devil You Know by JM Gregoire
Genre:  Adult Paranormal Fantasy
Demon Legacy, Book 1

Description (taken from JM Gregoire's website):
Deziree Davanzatti is a thief by trade and to keep herself occupied between jobs, she owns and operates Onyx, a trendy nightclub for the supernatural citizens of New York City.

What else would a 400-something year old demon-human hybrid do with her spare time?

Following a drunken night of questionable decisions, the vampire Michael “Vegas” Tremayne leaves town with no explanation. Dez is left wondering if they made a mistake and if it cost her a price she wasn’t willing to pay – her best friend and confidant.

When he returns after two weeks of no contact, he comes bearing grave news that could potentially change the world forever….or end it all together. To make matters worse, they suspect that someone they know may be behind it all.

An extremely dangerous chain of events has been set in motion and it is up to Dez and Vegas, with the help of his brother Lucas, to find a way to stop it.

This story is introduced with a short prequel, titled Burning, that sets the events in motion.  It doesn't go heavily into the background of each character and how they interact.  It pretty much sets the ball rolling and these events unfold into our story.

Dez is a part human, part demon being just trying to make a living and enjoy life while she can.  Since she's had a lot of time to watch relationships develop, fizzle, and end during her four hundred years, she's not really the commitment type.  So working with her best friend, Vegas, she kind of gets blind-sided when they end up together.  But that's only a side story.  The real story involves secrets, destruction and saving the day in the end.  And did I mention the supernatural beings involved: witches, vampires, demons?

This book is different in a way that you're kind of thrown towards characters that already have a history together.  There isn't a whole lot of emotion building from acquaintances to friends to lovers.  We more see the lovers struggling to accept that they're more than friends.  It's just different.  But the actual paranormal story (that I just won't dive into because I want you to be surprised) is good.  It's fun to follow Dez and Vegas as they unravel the mystery of what's going on and try to stop it.  Although I will mention that Vegas, a nickname for Michael, is used interchangeably with his real name which left me confused or thinking of two different people until I got the hang of things.

It's a fun story to follow.  And while the ending made me think a little less of Dez, I'm looking forward to more world-building and demons.

Thanks goes to JM Gregoire for providing me a review copy.

Challenges:  Paranormal Reading Challenge

About the Author:  JM Gregoire
J.M. Gregoire was born and raised in New Hampshire, USA and despite her abhorrence for any season that dares to drop to a temperature below seventy degrees, she still currently resides there with her two children and her two cats. Always a passionate reader, her love of urban fantasy books eventually morphed into a love of writing them. She is currently working on the Demon Legacy series and has an urban fantasy thriller project coming up that will be co-written with one of her best friends and favorite authors, Ginny Lurcock.

JM Gregoire is offering one of you a copy of her book, The Devil You Know.  The winner will receive a signed paperback if he/she lives in the US/Canada or an e-copy if he/she lives elsewhere.
  • This giveaway is open to open to everyone.
    • If winner is in the US/Canada, he/she will receive a signed paperback.
    • Otherwise winner will receive an e-copy.
  • Entrant must be 13 years of age or older.
  • Giveaway ends on Sunday, October 6, 2013.
  • You can enter via the Rafflecopter form below. You can enter by doing one of the following:
    • Free entry.
    • Tweet about giveaway. Leave link.
    • Follow @PureTextuality.  Leave userename.
    • Leave a comment.  Answer the following question:  Who's your favorite paranormal love interest?

Monday, September 23, 2013

Excerpt and Giveaway: Kinetic by SK Anthony

Kinetic by SK Anthony
Genre:  Adult Urban Fantasy
The Luminaries Series, Book 1

Description (taken from Xpresso Book Tours):
Being strong is one thing. Being an unlimited source of power is quite another.

Genetically altered by the Organization, Annie Fox takes down criminals CIA-style with her luminary strength. With nothing to mend but her broken heart, she is relentlessly pursued by her boss Derek Lake. Just when Annie is about to give him a chance, her ex-husband unexpectedly comes out of hiding.

A wanted man, Nick Logan is a cold-hearted murderer who is considered enemy number one, and orders are clear: kill on contact. He is more powerful than ever and threatens the lives of those she holds most dear. His plan? Get his hands on Annie and use her Kinetic energy to destroy them all. When Annie finds herself with an opportunity to end him, she pauses, horrified by the scars covering the face she once loved. A split second that will cost her everything…

Author Bio: SK Anthony
S. K. Anthony is a writer, a reader and a make-stuff-up-er who lives in New York with her husband and toddler twins. She is a wine connoisseur, which just really means she knows she loves it, and a caffeine addict. When she isn’t busy with her family she finds herself being transported into the world of imagination. Well, either that or running away from spiders…she is convinced they are out to get her!

I stooped down and back-elbowed him across his jaw. His head fell sideways, but not for long, he turned to watch me but said nothing. I got up and slammed a good kick to his side. He winced but remained silent.

“What are you up to?” I demanded.



He smiled. “It’s fun.”

“I’m about to call Derek, but I’d like to know what you’re after first.”

“Let me go,” he said.

“Oh… you’re hilarious.”

“You’ll regret keeping me here, Annie. I can’t afford to be captured right now.”

“Oh, RIGHT, what was I thinking? I should have called ahead to schedule an appointment for your capture. I just didn’t have your number!” I watched him in disbelief.

“I don’t have email or Twitter either. You know why?” His lip twitched. “I can’t have followers.”

I heard a chuckle from behind.

“Really, Beth? You’re going to encourage him?”

“What? No, it was just… I thought it was… funny,” she finished saying in a low voice.

I turned back to Nick and was about to grab his neck when I realized being that close to him would not be a good idea. If I allowed myself to get that close to him, he could hypnotize me to let him go, so instead, I kicked him.

“Now you’re just doing this for spite,” he said.

“Yes.” I kicked him again. “You started it at Worldsafe.”

“What are you, ten? I pinch you, you pinch me? Actually, I wouldn’t mind pinching you…” I was about to slam him again. “No, stop. Stop! Your kicks are more painful than mine. Stop it.”

“Any more requests? It seems you think you’re in charge here,” I said.

“Just, wait, all right? Don’t call Derek. Don’t let anyone know I’m here,” Nick begged.

“Scared?” I smirked.

There will be two giveaways listed.  The first is for an ebook of Kinetic, it's open internationally, and the giveaway ends on October 9.  The second is for an Amazon gifttcard, print copies of Kinetic, and swag.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

If I Should Die by Amy Plum

Genre:  YA Paranormal Fantasy
Revenants Series, Book 3

Note:  It's advised you read the series before reading the descriptions below.  They'll spoil previous plot lines.

Description (taken from Amy Plum's website):
I will not lose another person I love. I will not let history repeat itself.

Vincent waited lifetimes to find me, but in an instant our future together was shattered. He was betrayed by someone we both called a friend, and I lost him. Now our enemy is determined to rule over France’s immortals, and willing to wage a war to get what they want.

It shouldn’t be possible, none of it should be, but this is my reality. I know Vincent is somewhere out there, I know he’s not completely gone, and I will do anything to save him.

After what we’ve already fought to achieve, a life without Vincent is unimaginable. He once swore to avoid dying—to go against his nature and forsake sacrificing himself for others—so that we could be together. How can I not risk everything to bring my love back to me?

Did I not completely predict that or what?  So umm, nothing new in my mind happened.  Because I had it all figured out (although I think it was kind of obvious to figure out).

As the second one ended, we found evil betrayer villain (EBV for short) destroying Vincent.  But is he really gone?  Kate, along with the help of her friends: the revenants and guĂ©rrisseur, will fight until the end to save Vincent.  I feel like I can't give a description because there are keywords that will give it all away.  Needless to say, this book is captivating.

I was pretty much hooked from the beginning because this was one of my fun series to read.  However, it didn't feel as awesome as the other ones.  I was captivated sure, but I wasn't surprised by anything.  And to me?  The ending was dumbish.  I need a succinctly complete ending with everything explained to be satisfied...

Do you like romances?  Are you sick of the vampire/werewolf trend?  Do you like Paris, France?  Read this series if any of the above interest you.

Challenges:  Paranormal Reading Challenge

Saturday, September 21, 2013

manda-rae's Haul

Stacking the Shelves consists of books we received in the last week, hosted by Tynga's reviews.

It's been three weeks since I've done one of these.  And oh boy, have I been reading lots.  Lots of good books out there.  Happy Saturday!

From the Library:

  • Hard Eight by Janet Evanovich
  • Omens by Kelley Armstrong
    • Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads
      • I was super excited to see a new series starting up.  I didn't realize how big this book was until I picked it up from the library.  Regardless, I'll probably finish it before the weekend's over.


  • Nook HD
      • I upgraded from my Nook Simple Touch to a Nook HD.  I found it online for a good price and figured why not.  I'm really enjoying the tablet feel of it and being able to open other apps.  We'll see how much reading I do with this thing.

Purchased (e-edition):

Never to Sleep by Rachel Vincent
Amazon | Goodreads
I decided to check out some short novellas by some of my new favorite authors.  I really enjoy the Soul Screamers series.

Reaper by Rachel Vincent
Amazon | Goodreads
Can't get enough of Tod.

My Soul to Lose by Rachel Vincent
Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads
I can back up and see where it all started.

Destroy Me by Tahereh Mafi
Amazon | Goodreads
This one's from Warner's point of view.  I kind of want to know more...

Waterfall by Lisa T Bergren
Amazon | Goodreads
I picked up this freebie because it involves time travel.

Shadows by Jennifer L Armentrout
Amazon | Goodreads
I've heard a lot of people talk about the Lux series.  Is it really that good?  I thought I'd look at the pre-novella and check it out.

Vampire Shift by Tim O'Rourke
Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads
Let's face it: the cover's awesome.  And it's vampires.  I'm sold.

925 Ideas to Help Save Money, Get Out of Debt and Retire a Millionaire so You CanLeave Your Mark on the World by Devin D Thorpe
Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads
These are kind of short essays on how to manage your money and save for your future.  It's nice to pick up and read for five minutes at a time.  Not sure it's given me a lot of ideas yet though (as you can see with my library haul, I tend to be a frugal person).

The Blood that Bonds by Christopher Buecheler
Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads
If it were just me, I don't think I'd pick this one up.  The cover isn't appealing for me.  But someone recommended it for me.  Can't say I'm going to read it right away, but I'll try it one day.

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