Saturday, March 31, 2012

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks

The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of thirty million souls to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet. He recorded the testimony of men, women, and sometimes children who came face-to-face with the living, or at least the undead, hell of that dreadful time. World War Z is the result. Never before have we had access to a document that so powerfully conveys the depth of fear and horror, and also the ineradicable spirit of resistance, that gripped human society through the plague years.(synopsis from Goodreads)

My friend Pabkins @My Shelf Confessions recently reviewed World War Z. I should add that this was like her eighth time reading the novel. It is one of her absolute favorites. I asked her if she had read The Passage by John Cronin.( One of my favorite post-apocalyptic novels.)  The end result- We challenged each other to read and review the others favorite book. I am delighted to say that I absolutely loved this unique and terrifying accounting of the Zombie Wars.

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks reads like an actual documentary. The tale is told in third person and the writer shares his interviews with survivors. He interviewed hundreds of people from across the globe. The testimonies of these men, woman and children offer a glimpse into the horror that occurred. We learn how military and government agencies all over the world handled this epidemic/war. How powerful governments with ultra cool weaponry found these devices useless against the enemy. He takes us into the lives of civilians and their harrowing account of survival. How ill equipped we really were.  We read soldiers accounts and learn about the aftermath and rebuilding. They share first hand accounts of where the first outbreak began and how individual governments covered these outbreaks up. How greed spread the epidemic. These accounts will have you sleeping with the lights on.

Here is a part of one such interview:
“Two hundred million zombies. Who can even visualize that type of number, let alone combat it? . . . For the first time in history, we faced an enemy that was actively waging total war. They had no limits of endurance. They would never negotiate, never surrender. They would fight until the very end because, unlike us, every single one of them, every second of every day, was devoted to consuming all life on Earth.” —General Travis D’Ambrosia, Supreme Allied Commander, Europe

World War Z isn’t the type of novel you read in one sitting. It is broken up into individual interviews. Some are a few paragraphs and others several pages long. I would read a few testimonies and then set it down to reflect. While the beginning was a little shaky for me (felt dry like a history book) stick with it, because you will not regret it, in fact you will probably re-read this.  It makes you question everything about what would occur if such an epidemic broke out today. Would I be equipped to survive? Would the government consider me expendable? How would I feed my family? How far would I go to protect them? *shivers* Could I sacrifice a 100 people to save 500? 

Brooks is a powerful writer with a wickedly good imagination, a knowledge of war, and the talent to give each witness a unique voice and personality. The images he brought to life with his pen equally amazed me and horrified me. The testimonies were so believable, the emotions so genuine, that I had to remind myself that it wasn't real...or at least not yet. Parts of this novel can be graphic, but war is never pretty. These zombies aren't cute, and there is no love triangle, but you will see plenty of bone-chilling, zombie stomping, action! 

Published in 2006, you can see the influence that this novel and author, has had on zombie related books and movies since its publication. I highly recommend World War Z to fans of zombies and post-apocalyptic tales. I think history and war buffs will equal enjoy the telling of  World War ZI want to thank Pabkins for the challenge. You can check out her review here. Max Brooks has fifteen distinct works published, including zombie survival guides. I am adding Brooks to my list of must read authors and look forward to reading his other works. 

I gave this novel 5 coffee cups out of 5. 


Get your copy here:
Barnes and Noble

Have you read this..what did you think?
Are you a Zombie lovin' fan like me?

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Friday, March 30, 2012

Review Copy Cleanup [challenge 5] - Love Will Find a Way

Review Copy Cleanup [challenge 5] - Love Will Find a Way

In the Love Will Find a Way Challengewe're sharing our all-time favourite books. If you were stuck on an island, or in a cave, which books would you bring? We're not limiting you to bring a certain amount of books, so give us your best!

Participating in the Review Copy Clean Up for the past month has been fun.  I enjoyed the challenges, meeting new bloggers, chatting with old friends and reading everyone's responses. Best of all I read 10 review books and posted reviews for 9 of them. (the last will post 4/6) I just want to say thank you to Vicky and Celine for hosting this event. Today is the final challenge for Review Copy Clean-Up. This weeks challenge:

 "If you were stuck in a cave or on an island, which books would you bring?".
 Then they added. "No limit of books." 

Now limiting yourself to 3 books is always a challenge, but you manage because you know there can only be three. Telling a book addict there is no limit- creates panic. Why? The answer is simple I would bring them all. Logistically speaking this might be difficult. For example: How much weight can a ship hold to take me to the island. Can I take more then one? (notice I say ship and not row boat or small power boat...I am thinking serious storage space) Secondly; How big is my cave? So before I go crazy and get myself in a dither over book lists, I've decided to share five books that would definitely go with me. 

 Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck

The Complete Harry Potter Collection Box Set (Harry Potter #1-7)
 by J.K. Rowling

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

 Now, I realize the entire Harry Potter collection is more then one book- but it's best not to argue with an addict. 
What would you take? Is it to late to change my mind?
 *nervously stares at book cases.*

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Daimon (Covenant 0.5) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

For three years, Alexandria has lived among mortals—pretending to be like them and trying to forget the duty she'd been trained to fulfill as a child of a mortal and a demigod. At seventeen, she's pretty much accepted that she's a freak by mortal standards... and that she'll never be prepared for that duty.
According to her mother, that’s a good thing.
But as every descendant of the gods knows, Fate has a way of rearing her ugly head. A horrifying attack forces Alex to flee Miami and try to find her way back to the very place her mother had warned her she should never return—the Covenant. Every step that brings her closer to safety is one more step toward death… because she's being hunted by the very creatures she'd once trained to kill.
The daimons have found her.(synopsis from Goodreads)

Daimon is the prequel to Half-Blood the first full novel in the Covenant Series by Jennifer L. Armentrout. While this novella is only sixty-nine pages in length, it offers the perfect introduction to the protagonist, the world she lives in and her purpose.  From the first few pages, I knew I was going to love Armentrout and this series.  Fans of mythology and urban fantasy are sure to find this series delightful.

In this novella we meet Alexandria.(Alex) She is a half-blood; the child of a mortal and a demigod.  She is seventeen and living in Florida with her mother. We learn that her mother removed them from the Covenant in an attempt to give Alex a normal life. We briefly learn of forbidden feelings Alex has towards a Pure; which may be the reason her mother left the covenant.  I really liked Alex; she has spunk, questions everything and has gotten into a few tiffs when confronted. Daimons appear, seeking to kill them for their sweet tasting blood. Alex quickly learns that not all of her training was correct and is forced to run. She begins to travel to the closest covenant, and is pursued by the Daimons.

Armentrout's writing style is brilliant. She captured my attention in the first few pages, and despite the short length of this prequel managed to give me a real sense of the protagonist. The limited world-building was exciting and enough of a teaser to make me want more. The ending provides a cliff-hanger and my understanding is that book one Half-Blood picks up right where this left off.

Daimon was a delicious teaser for the upcoming series, and thanks to a lovely gift card I am now in possession of them all.  Look for my reviews of Half-Blood and Pure in the coming months.  All three books are available in paper and eBook formats. Daimon is available for .99 cents, and the perfect way to decide if this series is for you. 

I gave this novella 4 coffee cups out of 5. 

Book trailer for Half-Blood

Jennifer L. Armentrout

Pick up your copies of the series here:

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Marcie's Murder (Donaghue and Stainer Crime Fiction Novel #2) by Michael J. McCann

A beautiful woman is murdered in a small town in Virginia and Homicide Lieutenant Hank Donaghue is the prime suspect!

Donaghue is on vacation when he stops overnight in Harmony, a quiet little town where very little happens. Until, that is, the police kick down the door of his motel room in the middle of the night and drag him off to jail on suspicion of having strangled a woman behind a bar. Although he insists he’s a cop himself and had nothing to do with it, the local chief of police won’t listen. An eyewitness claims he saw Donaghue go behind the bar where the murder took place – and the victim was Chief Askew's wife!
Stuck in a cell in a small town, surrounded by cops who are convinced he’s a murderer, Donaghue must find a way to free himself and find Marcie Askew’s killer before it’s too late. When he’s finally allowed to make a phone call he dials the number of the one person he knows can help him out of this mess – Detective Karen Stainer.(synopsis from Goodreads)

Marcie’s Murder is the second book, in author Michael J. McCann’s, Donaghue and Stainer Crime Fiction novels and my first time reading his work. I found this to be an entertaining crime novel, with likable characters. 

The tale begins when Donaghue is awakened in the middle of the night, beaten and handcuffed. Despite his cries of being a police officer, he is dragged down to the station.  His vacation stop in Harmony quickly turns into a nightmare as he is accused of murdering the chief-of-police’s wife.  When he gets his phone call, he calls his partner from the Maryland PD, the snarky Detective Karen Stainer.  Stainer quickly gets Donaghue released and they end up assisting the local police department.  Small town politics and secrets make this tale interesting as they work to solve the case.

Town folk are reluctant to share but Donaghue and Stainer begin putting the pieces together. McCann’s depiction of the small town and the characters residing there was colorful.  The story is told in third person, and we are provided information regarding the murder and suspects as they are revealed to the detectives. Clues helped me piece together the information before it was revealed, but I enjoyed the climactic capture of the murderer. 

I liked both Detective Donaghue and Stainer. They are bright, intelligent and witty.  They seem to work well together. Donaghue, for having been beaten and held in prison has a well tempered personality. He is quiet and calm; she is loud and in your face.  We learn more about Detective Stainer and her background. She is engaged, but hasn’t completely opened up to her fiancé about family matters and her fears. She is haunted by an old case and confesses this to one of the townsfolk. We learn of her affection for guns. This woman knows her weapons. She is a tough cop and doesn’t take any crap.  McCann creates a unique set of characters for the town of Harmony, each with their own history. This made the murder; the town and the story feel genuine. He completely captured the politics associated with living in a small town.

Fans of weapons will love the detailed description of weapons throughout the novel.  We also get an in-depth look at Indian ancestry from a friend of the victim. This occurs when Donaghue interviews her. I felt both topics were not necessary to the plot, and slowed the pace. I did find the information interesting and it was well researched.  This was a good story, but the overall plot wasn’t as fast paced and intense, as I prefer in a crime novel.  The pace was fast in the beginning, fell flat in the middle, and moved at a maddening pace towards the end. 

I recommend Marcie’s Murder to fans of crime novels and small towns. Fans of the Agatha Raisin series and Cozy Mysteries should find this delightful.  Be sure and check out the first novel in this series titled, Blood Passage, currently available in paper and eBook formats.  (See cover and synopsis below) Marcie’s Murder will be published on April 6, 2012. I will be watching for more from this author.

I want to thank the author for providing this ARC in exchange for my unbiased review. 

I gave this novel 3.5 coffee cups out of 5. 

Blood Passage, the first novel in the Donaghue and Stainer Series:
Experienced criminal investigators Donaghue and Stainer wrestle with their disbelief of a little boy's claims that he remembers the men who killed him in his previous life.(synopsis from Goodreads)

Get your copy here:
Amazon:Blood Passage (The Donaghue and Stainer Crime Novel series)
  Barnes and Noble:Blood Passage 

Do you like crime novels? What do you think of the covers?

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

When Destiny Knocks (The Destiny Saga #1) by Heather M. White { Excerpt and Giveaway}

When Destiny Knocks
16 year old Karlie has had a pretty normal life... But when her Mom dies she is forced to move over 1,000 miles away to live with her Dad. That's when things start getting weird.  She can't explain the earthquakes that nobody else feels, or why she no longer sleeps. But most of all she doesn't know why she trusts Shane so much, even though his Dad wants her dead.  Suddenly, Karlie's normal life is turned upside down and she enters a world she never dreamed could really exist.(synopsis from Goodreads)

“Don’t worry. You are completely safe with me.” Shane put his arm around me and pulled me out to the
dance floor.
When I’m with Shane, I lose myself. I forget that he’s half-demon. I forget that I’m the chosen one. I forget the world where vampires, werewolves and demons exist. I forget that his dad wants me dead. It’s just me and him – and for that moment I feel special. I feel normal.
I could feel my heart race as Shane dipped his head down to mine. When his lips touched mine I felt like my heart was going to explode. In that moment, I almost let myself dream of a future with him. Before I get to deep in my thoughts, a terrible feeling came over me. I pulled back from Shane’s embrace to see his dad standing beside us.
“Hello, Karlie,” his voice was full of hate as he said my name.
I grabbed Shane’s hand and did the only thing I knew to do… I ran.

Heather M. White
Twitter: @heatherstiara
Facebook: Like her!
Goodreads: Author Page  

Heather is a YA paranormal author who loves Supernatural and Vampire Diaries. She is not afraid to admit she has a small obsession with Damon. She is also a musician who has written over 200 songs and plays multiple instruments. She lives in a small town in Arkansas with her hubby and loves Dr. Pepper. She has graciously agreed to give away 2 eBook copies of When Destiny Knocks. Please enter using Rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Get your copy here: 
Barnes and Noble:When Destiny Knocks

So what did you think of the excerpt? The Chosen one?

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Slide (Slide #1) by Jill Hathaway Release Day!

Today Slide by Jill Hathaway goes on Sale!
To Celebrate I am Giving Away 
Three Autographed Bookmarks of Slide.
Yep, they have all been Signed by Jill! 

Vee Bell is certain of one irrefutable truth—her sister's friend Sophie didn't kill herself. She was murdered.
Vee knows this because she was there. Everyone believes Vee is narcoleptic, but she doesn't actually fall asleep during these episodes: When she passes out, she slides into somebody else's mind and experiences the world through that person's eyes. She's slid into her sister as she cheated on a math test, into a teacher sneaking a drink before class. She learned the worst about a supposed "friend" when she slid into her during a school dance. But nothing could have prepared Vee for what happens one October night when she slides into the mind of someone holding a bloody knife, standing over Sophie's slashed body.
Vee desperately wishes she could share her secret, but who would believe her? It sounds so crazy that she can't bring herself to tell her best friend, Rollins, let alone the police. Even if she could confide in Rollins, he has been acting distant lately, especially now that she's been spending more time with Zane.
Enmeshed in a terrifying web of secrets, lies, and danger and with no one to turn to, Vee must find a way to unmask the killer before he or she strikes again.

Read my review:here


Links to Jill Hathaway:
Jill Hathaway was born and raised in Iowa. As a child, she loved paper dolls, Archie comics, and writing. In her adolescent years, she wrote emo poetry and produced paper zines that she sold for $1 in local comic book and record stores.
Having earned her BA in English from the University of Northern Iowa and her MA in Literature from Iowa State University, she now teaches high school and community college courses in the Des Moines area. She lives with her husband and young children.
Jill spends her free time collecting cool gear for her blood elf paladin, watching Veronica Mars, and listening to angry girl music.

Get your copy here:
Barnes and Noble:Slide
The Book Depository:Slide

Follow the Blog TourSuper Slide Blog Tour

Now about those bookmarks to enter simply follow the
 Rafflecopter instructions below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Monday, March 26, 2012

Revenge is Sweet (A Kali Sweet Series #1) by Misty Evans

 Payback is a bitch and her name is Kali Sweet...
 I'm Kali Sweet, the best damn vengeance demon on Earth. I work for the supernatural world's Justice Department and protect innocent humans from otherworldly creatures like me. While I can't take revenge for myself, I make sure justice is done for others. But when my latest run-in with Chicago's vampire king backfires, the fallout leaves me with three big problems: a powerful Undead enemy who wants my head, my boss looking over my shoulder, and three personal blood slaves jeopardizing my reputation. One of those slaves happens to be sexy rock star Radison Beaumont - the half-human, half-chaos demon who left me at the altar three hundred years ago. Even if he does need my blood now to survive, Rad and I will always be enemies.  Especially since he's joined an ancient society of demon killers--and I'm the number one demon on their most wanted list.(synopsis from Barnes and Noble)

Revenge is Sweet is the first novel in the urban fantasy series Kali Sweet by award winning author Misty Evans.  This adult-fiction offers an urban fantasy set in the windy city of Chicago. Filled with demons, vampires, witches and angels this fast-paced action packed novel keep me on the edge of my seat.

The protagonist is Kali Sweet. She is a kick-ass demon who works for the Bridge Council. They are responsible for keeping supernatural creatures in check and protecting innocent humans.  I absolutely adore Kali. She is tough, smart and incredibly resourceful.  She fights danger head on, but does everything in her power to protect life.  She has been around, some of her back history involves the year 1920. She has surrounded herself with a great group of friends and I liked all the individual characters. The men around her, all seem to be protective of her. They respect her and are probably a little in love with this snarky little warrior. While she is bound from seeking revenge for herself, she can seek it for others and her skill set is exceptional.  Her feisty attitude and sensitive heart make her a powerhouse in the butt-kicking department. Throughout the novel, Evans hints of untapped powers and that Kali is very unique.  I am very excited to see her growth in upcoming novels.  In the relationship department, it is very obvious (though she would flat out deny it) that her heart belongs and always will to the man who broke it approx. 300 years ago…. Radison Beaumont.  Rad is a half-demon and hasn’t seen Kali in almost 300 years. From the beginning it is apparent that he still loves Kali, that he is suffering from some kind of guilt and that what Kali thinks occurred back in 1920, isn’t the full story. I fell in love with this sexy, romantic chaos demon and cannot wait to watch more of their story unfold.

In this tale, Kali’s job for the council gets her in trouble when she has a run in with the Chicago vampire leader. She ends up taking him out and finds herself with three blood slaves…one of them is Rad. The tale that unfolds, finds her in danger, as a witch hires her to do an impossible task. This witch has escaped from Hell and failing could mean Kali’s death.  The council is making demands and everyone wants her dead. With her partner Cole and her friends help, she is determined to set things right.  Rad, despite her protests, stays close by her side.  Oddly he ends up helping a lot and the more she listens to him, the more she wonders about the events causing their break-up. I consumed this in a few hours and loved every minute of it. My only complaint was the abrupt ending. I didn’t see it coming and it left me unsatisfied and wanting more. It wasn’t a cliffhanger but it left me with enough teasers that I truly wanted to scream.LOL

Evans creates a world that had my heart skipping. Her tale is tightly woven and its clear she knows this world and its characters intimately. I liked the hierarchy of the vampire world. The characters that run the different districts were delightfully entertaining. The corruption reminded me of the mob as everyone shuffles for more power. The Bridge council and its leader intrigued me. They ask Kali to do something unusual, and I cannot help but wonder what their ulterior motive is. They claim it’s for the good of all...but I have a niggling feeling they know more about who and what Kali really is then she does.  The characters had depth and I loved their back history.  Even the minor characters were unique and I felt invested in them. We briefly meet a few interesting angels and witches. I am excited to see if they will play a more integral role in the series. Evans portrayal of two very well known angels had me grinning from ear to ear. The chemistry between Rad and Kali was intense and their raw emotions seemed to rise up from the pages and engulf me.  While this is mainstream fiction, there were some hot and steamy scenes.(mostly implied)  Evans did a great job of making their relationship and the tension believable. I felt for both of them and got swept up in their tale.

I highly recommend Revenge is Sweet to fans of urban fantasy. Fans of the Hollow series should find this series delightful.  Currently, Revenge is Sweet is only available as an eBook but a print version is on its way. Misty Evans has over sixteen published works including her award winning, Super Agents series.  I am looking forward to the next book, Sweet Chaos

I want to thank author Misty Evans for providing this ARC in exchange for my unbiased review.

I gave this novel 4.5 coffee cups out of 5. 

Author's website:Misty Evans


Pick up your copy here:

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Sunday, March 25, 2012

In My Mailbox 3/25/2012

In my Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren. It's a chance to share books and things we have received, purchased or won. This has been a busy week for me. I participated in three book blog tours. The books were, InvisibleThe Priest and the Peaches and Blind Sight.  I also completed all of the books for the Review Copy Clean-up Challenge. (I am hoping to add a few more.) I shared reviews of Night RoadThe Gathering and Bonded By Blood. So without further ado, here are the lovelies that came in my mailbox this week:

Books I received for Review:
(you can click on titles to add to Goodreads)

From NetGalley and Harlequin publishing
Big Sky Country (Swoon-Worthy Cowboys #1) by Linda Lael Miller:

From Lightening Books Promotion 
I will be a part of this tour in June.

From author Jennifer Krey 

From author Micheal J. McCain

From author Heather M. White 

From author J. Meyers

From author M.H. Mead 

This week I won or was gifted the following:

From author Kimberly Lewis's Spring is in the Air giveaway 
A 15.00 gift card from Barnes and Noble:

From Heather @Book Savvy Babe and author Tawna Fenske

I won  signed copy of Cobbogoth by Hannah Clark
From the author and Kristen@Seeing Night Reviews

Book I bought or downloaded for free:  
BookBox: embed book widget, share book list

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