July 31, 2012

Teaser Tuesday #26

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted over at Should Be Reading where we book bloggers give you lovely readers a tantalizing taste of whatever it is we are reading right now. To play along:
•  Grab your current read
•  Open to a random page
•  Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
•  BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
•  Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week's teaser is:
Sovereign Hope
Frankie Rose
Hope Series #1
Genre: YA, Urban Fantasy
"I've often been told girls dream of me stealing into their rooms at night.' His lips curled in an almost haughty way, and he flashed her a wink, seemingly oblivious to the horrified expression on her face."
pg. 50

Oh Daniel, you devil! I love it when book boys use sexy humor to avoid subjects they don't want to talk about. I'm really enjoying this well written YA fantasy that has put a refreshing spin on supernatural teen tales! 

Is your interest piqued? Check out my interview with the author! The interview post also includes the official blurb, book trailer, and a link to purchase the book on Amazon. 

What's your teaser this week?   

July 30, 2012

Review: Loki: Nine Naughty Tales of the Trickster

Loki: Nine Naughty Tales of the Trickster
Mike Vasich
Genre: Fantasy, Short Stories, Mythology Inspired
Rating: 4

I had lots of fun reading this book so I intend to have a good time with the review as well. I got my copy as a kindle freebie thanks to my Wigs telling me about the deal. Thanks Wigs!!!

This review is brought to you by the Godking himself, Loki! He is ever so excited to be involved in a review of a book that is about his absolute favorite subject... himself.

Let me start off by saying Mike Vasich has truly captured the unique flavor of Norse mythology that is adventurous and fantastic, but at the same time quite bizarre. The Trickster figure that spans across multiple mythologies and belief systems has always fascinated me and Loki is no exception. This short story collection recounts many of Loki's most famous tales, and opens up a whole new perspective on the god of mischief's reasoning. If you are not familiar with Norse legends let me give you a quick lesson on the general structure of your classic Norse myth.

Yes, Loki my love. That is the injustice you are faced with. Take comfort in the fact that your fangirl army is strong and keep reminding yourself that...

Whether you love him or love to hate him, Loki is without doubt one of the most fascinating characters to come out of mythology in general. This shapeshifter and master of magic spans genders and even species (sometimes both at once!) in order to perpetuate his trouble-making and, more often than not, to save his own ass from pissed off Norse gods. Oh and he's sexy as hell.

This short story collection advertises itself as "naughty" and indeed there are some delightfully indecent tid-bits, but it wasn't quite up to my wicked standards. I'll be the first to admit I'm a perv having enjoyed my fair share of bawdy fiction, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that I was hoping for some decidedly more steamy Loki time. I mean, the man is just scintillating with unbridled sex appeal!

Of course my king! After the review...

Despite my disappointment in this area, I enjoyed this collection a great deal. Vasich's characterization of Loki is devilishly charming. I think I should note here that, while I've been using Tom Hiddleston's portrayal of Loki in the visuals, the Loki readers will find in this book does not resemble him in physical appearance nor does he suffer from major daddy issues. The core personalities are fairly similar, but in Nine Naughty Tales of the Trickster you get a much broader picture of Loki's character arc. In fact, I was massively impressed with how the sequence of the tales shows the evolution of Loki as the Trickster figure from playfully mischievous to spitefully destructive. Vasich stays true to the essential classic depiction of the trickster while putting his own spin on why Loki did the things that he did.

Ok Loki... not helping.

While the sequencing did wonders for the character development of our favorite mischief maker, it flubbed quite a bit in its consistency. Loki's monstrous children are actively present in one story, but then they are suddenly just born in the next? I think this will be terribly confusing for readers who are not familiar with Norse myths.

And Hel being depicted as a dark beauty from the waist up? Not quite accurate, but I assume the author was taking some artistic license with this detail. While these flubs were distracting for me, I did appreciate the author's note at the end of the book that gives readers a bit of an explanation for why he took that particular path.

Finally... THAT ENDING! This was by far the most creative and risky interpretation that Vasich throws at us. I will not go into it in order to avoid spoilers, but I will say the risk definitely paid off in my opinion.

Nope, sorry you're just going to have to go check it out for yourself!

If you have any interest in Loki or Norse mythology at all, I would highly recommend this book, although I think brushing up on some of the actual myths first would be beneficial.  Marvel Loki's fangirls should do their research on the trickster's origins and exploits if they haven't already. Marvel has taken some heavy liberties with this character and assuming they are generally the same would be a mistake. 

Looking forward to reading Mr. Vasich's full length Loki novel for sure! Thank you kind sir, you have indulged my Loki fascination with your writing. Now! All of you reading this review, go pick up your copy and...

July 28, 2012

Sovereign Hope Virtual Tour: Interview with Frankie Rose

I'm very excited to have with me today Frankie Rose, self-published author of Sovereign Hope, the first book in her new Hope series! My review for the book is on its way, but for now enjoy our interview. You will also find the book's official blurb and a buy now link that will take you to Sovereign Hope's Amazon page. Without further ado... please welcome Frankie Rose! 

Wicked Interview with Frankie Rose

First off I just want to say thank you, Frankie for including Wickedly Bookish in your book tour and answering our questions!

You're welcome! It's wonderful of you to have me on your blog. Thank you!

Sovereign Hope isn't your average YA novel. Readers can take a peek at the official blurb at the end of this interview, but let's hear from you, Frankie. What sets The Hope Series apart from common YA trends? 

Well, I wanted the story to be completely different to anything out there right now. So there are no werewolves, and no vampires. The paranormal aspect in Sovereign Hope are the Immortals, Soul Reavers, who are a bloodline of men who posses extraordinary powers. They steal people's souls in order to gain more power.

Farley Hope is the first female to ever be born of this bloodline, and her coming is part of a prophecy that will destroy the Reavers forever. She meets Daniel under very unlikely circumstances, and is thrust into a world she never knew existed. Faced with the challenges of adjusting to her new life and the discoveries she makes relating to her own family, Farley also has to battle against her attraction to Daniel, and learn how to fight in order to stay alive. 

What inspired the core ideas of your novel?

I've been asked this question a whole bunch and it doesn't get any easier to answer. I didn't actually take inspiration from anything else.  I spent a long time thinking about the storyline and the characters- who they were and what their backstories would be- and I sort of went from there. I tried a number of things when I started writing, and some of them worked out and some of them didn't. There was a handful of ideas that I wanted to incorporate into the book but they just weren't practical, and I had to let them go.

I tried really hard to be creative and come up with something I hadn't heard about before. The sad thing is, there really is no such thing as original thought anymore (there are only 7 different formats for story writing in the whole world!) and no matter how hard you try, there's always going to be something that can be compared to your work. 

One of the things we love most about reading is stumbling across a new fictional guy to fall for. Care to tease us a bit about what we can expect from Daniel?

Daniel...ha ha, Daniel is a little different to the other book boys I've read about, or at least I tried to make him that way. He's arrogant and pig-headed, for sure, but there's a really broken side of him, too. He's not a typical hero in the sense that he resists the way he feels about Farley in order to keep her safe- he's also doing it to protect himself. There are some really painful things in his past that still trouble him, and that lends an air of vulnerability to his character, I think. You catch a glimpse of that in Sovereign Hope but even more so in the next book. And, of course, it always helps when a guy is smoking hot and a little bit badass to boot! 

Speaking of book boyfriends, do you have any of your own? Are there any fictional heroes that make you SQUEEE?

I have a veritable harem of book boys locked away in my basement ha ha! No, that's weird. Um, I really like Cassel Sharpe. His character in Holly Black's The Curse Workers series was so good- relatable because he made some crappy decisions and messed up a lot. I don't like when guys are unbelievable in books. It kinda ruins the illusion that they're real people for me- and that's what we all want to pretend, at the end of the day- because no guy is perfect. I can't swallow some portrayals of young guys  because they're too self-sacrificing and lovey dovey. It's just nowhere near the realms of reality. You should wanna shake the male protag sometimes, and probably clock him one just to make sure he's thinking straight!

We love our indie authors here at Wickedly Bookish and are always fascinated to hear their experiences. What made you decide to take the leap into self-publishing?

Originally I did try and go down the trad pub route, but I quickly became disillusioned with the whole process. I got to thinking about the sheer volume of queries agents received every day, and the fact that there was very little chance my manuscript was ever going to make it onto the desk of the person I'd sent it to. By the time I did actually receive an offer of a contract from a small pub organisation, I was so underwhelmed by what I'd hope to benefit from working with a publisher that I decided to knock their offer back and go it alone. I love being in charge of my own projects, and I've learned so many new skills in the time I've been working on my books. I wouldn't trade that for anything, but I can see why some people do trade off the independence and control for some help with everything they have to accomplish. There's so much to do, and it can be exhausting sometimes!

Many of our followers are aspiring authors. Do you have any words of wisdom or advice on the writing process?

Don't give up!! There are a hundred points in any writer's career where they could simply smash their fist their computer screen and say, "I've had enough, I'm done!", but you can't do that. I read somewhere that the majority of authors who aren't successful don't make it because they self-terminate on their own dreams. I don't doubt that's the case. You have to learn to be thick-skinned and persistent, and to never let anyone else make you feel like what you're doing isn't valuable and worthwhile. Easy advice to give, but incredibly hard to follow sometimes!

How do you handle the frustrating and unavoidable occurrence of writer's block?

I always just force myself to sit down and write at least one sentence. It's sitting there, staring at the computer screen that makes the writing hard and exacerbates writer's block. If you just write something, even it's rubbish, you'll realise that fact and go back and change it so that it's good. From there, the writing just flows for me. It's just breaking that initial block.  

Nerdy Confessions!
On Wickedly Bookish we have a little interview segment where we ask our guest to divulge a bit about their nerdy side as we believe everyone has one. 

My nerdy confession this time around is that I cannot get enough of the Game of Thrones fandom. Whether it be the books or the HBO Original Series I am constantly  indulging in fanart, funny memes, gifs, and an indecent amount of screenshots of the sexy male cast. 

Your turn, Frankie! Show us your nerdy side!
I love GoTs, too. I'm obsessed, in fact. Check this one out. 

I love Jon Snow. I think I'd probably accost Kit Harington if I saw him walking down the street. I can't steal your nerdy fact though, so I'll share another one. I'm addicted to sci fi. Star Wars, Star Trek (the only one I didn't watch was the original because the effects were crap), Battlestar Galactica, V...ALL of them, basically. If it's about space and aliens, I wanna watch it. I am totally not ashamed of this fact, either. Heaps of people are horrified when I tell them I loved Deep Space Nine as a kid. Hell, I'm okay with it. At least I wasn't watching Big Brother or Jersey Shore equivalents. 
Thank you, Frankie, for stopping by and chatting with us! 

Thanks again for having me over, Jessica! Hopefully I can come back soon when Eternal Hope is released! 

About the Author:
Frankie Rose is a British expat, who is currently enjoying the perks of living in Australia- her awesome husband, sunshine, and vitamin D. She spends her time creating fictional universes in which the guy sometimes gets the girl, the heroes occasionally die, and the endings aren't always happy. But they usually are.

Everyone has a soul

Some are just worth more than others

Farley Hope was seventeen when her mother disappeared. In the last six months not much has changed, except that her eighteenth birthday came and went and still no sign of Moira. Her life is just as complicated as it always was. Since her father died in a car crash before she was even born, she’s officially parentless, and to top it all off she’s still suffering from the hallucinations. Mind-splitting, vivid hallucinations- the kind prone to induce night terrors and leave you whimpering under your covers like a baby.

The last thing on her mind is boys. Farley is on break from St. Judes’ when she meets Daniel. It’s not some casual run in at a party, or even a blind date with friends, though. Daniel is the guy following her in his 1970′s Dodge Charger; the guy standing at her window in the LA lunch hour traffic, trying to persuade her to leave everything behind and follow him. And he's hot as all hell.

The moment Farley lays eyes on Daniel, everything changes. He is cold and withdrawn, but there are cracks in his harsh veneer- cracks that betray the secrets he is trying so hard to hide. Farley is drawn into a world that will shake apart everything she thought she ever knew. There are truths out there that she must learn: that a person’s soul is their only real currency, and there are people who would do anything to take hers; that loving someone can hurt so much more than hating them; but, most importantly, when your future is predestined, there is little you can do to change it.

Farley Hope is prophesied.

Her coming has been awaited for hundreds of years.

She is destined to end the tyranny of the Soul Reavers.

To do so she must die.

Official Book Trailer for Sovereign Hope

July 24, 2012

Winner of the Hot Summer Nights Giveaway!

And The Winner Is...

Kelly C.

Congrats Kelly! You've won an ebook copy of Love's Quartet by Mica Jade! An email has been sent to the address you provided. 

Thank you to everyone who participated! Keep checking back for more giveaways and content from Wicked new books and authors!

July 23, 2012

Wigs Reviews: Picture The Dead by Adele Griffin and Lisa Brown

Picture The Dead
By Adele Griffin and Lisa Brown
Genre: YA, Historical Fiction, Paranormal
Rating: 5

Loved it! So you may start seeing me review books with illustrations, being an illustrator by career myself. This book is told in a combo of text, pictures, and letters. Here are some of the lovely illustrations that I took some jank pictures of with my phone:

The illustrations are interspersed before every chapter, meant to represent the main character's scrapbook. There are many chapters, and therefore a lot of illustrations!

The genre I believe is young adult, though the text is a little big as it's more novella length. The story tells of 16 year old Jennie who's fiance Will, also her half-first cousin, has just died in the Civil war (Union side) along with her twin brother. Will's brother Quinn comes home wounded with the news. But something's not right. And as she grows closer to Quinn, Will's ghost begins to get angry...

Won't spoil the ending but I loved it! To me, it was a mix of The Others (the Nicole Kidman move), A Little Princess, and Harriet the Spy (all stories I love). This story felt fresh and I was totally captivated the whole time. I loved how the protagonist was smart. Most YA about females often make them flustered and confused, but Jennie always knew what to do and where to go and acted intelligently. I really appreciate that.

I also really loved Quinn! Great character, dark and brooding and loved the eyepatch <3

The writing style was lovely. She painted a picture of the late 1800s so well, and Jennie, as it's first person POV, used appropriate 19th century words and similes. The scenes were vivid and cinematic and I was even creeped out sometimes imagining these hauntings, when she feels the choking sensations around her neck and the quiet hallways with stuck doors.

A few nitpicks: 
1. Calico cats are always genetically female!! *shakes finger*
2. I could have done without the chapter that talks about the photography process in scientific detail, mehhhh (but the chapters are so short it's fine)
3. Some doubling up I noticed, e.g. using the phrase "like a hawk" twice in one chapter, using the word "dubious" at the end of one chapter and then again at the beginning of the next chapter. Just a few occasions, that's all.

But otherwise, totally love love loved it. I randomly picked it up off a shelf at Powell's and I'm so glad I did. I recommend you get it as well! Just know you probably need the physical edition, not an ebook, because of the pictures. 


P.S. - There was a character named Wigs in the book. I feel validated in life now.

July 21, 2012

Review: The Girl in the Steel Corset

The Girl in the Steel Corset
Kady Cross
Steampunk Chronicles #1
Genre: Young Adult, Steampunk
Rating: 3

Finley Jayne, a young commoner girl, displays a serious case of the Jekyll and Hydes when she is attacked by the rakish son of her employer. Frightened by the violent darkness within her, Finley makes a run for it and is hit by a velocycle in Hyde Park. The operator just so happens to be His Grace the Duke of Greythorn, who has a habit of taking in peculiar strays. Finley soon finds herself in the midst of the grand scheming of the villainous Machinist and discovers the truth about her father and his shrouded past.

 While I enjoyed my read of this book, there were a few things working against it that cost the book some serious points.

The first 30% of this book suffers from sluggish pacing. It really shouldn't take that long for me to get into a book, especially one with as much potential as this loosely based Jekyll and Hyde steampunk adventure. The idea is certainly appealing, but takes forever to get going. Once it finally does, the plot twists are so predictable and simplistic that I had the villain and his master plan figured out by the half-way point. Hinting is essential to peaking your reader's interest and keeping them engaged in your story's outcome, but such obvious foreshadowing dumbs the story down. To be perfectly honest it is downright condescending to your reader.

Now, I understand that steampunk is all about the crazy gadgets and technology mixed in with the delightful drama of Victorian era novels, and I love that. However, the first 30% of The Girl In The Steel Corset is over wrought with gadgets, tragic backgrounds, and special abilities. This portion of the novel was really just an info dump wrapped up in shiny gears and cogs that leaves the rest of the novel feeling rushed and empty. Most of the gadgets, back stories and abilities could have been woven throughout the bulk of the novel to make it feel more complete and leave a little mystery to the characters, rather than dumping it all in the reader's lap at the very beginning.

Even though these aspects meddled with my enjoyment, once I finally got to the meat of the story, I couldn't help but be caught up. The best things about this novel are its vibrant side characters and the admirable camaraderie they develop for one another. Although the plot of this novel didn't work for me overall, I definitely found I cared for the characters and looked forward to seeing what happens to them in the next book, which I hear is more satisfying than this one. 

My favorite character was without question Jack Dandy. This sleekly charming crimelord stole my heart from the moment he stepped onto the page! Now, I'm not a fan of love triangles, but Jack made this one amusing rather than frustrating with his dark charisma perfectly setting off Griffin's more earnest gallantry. I really hope to see more of him in the next book.

One final thing. I couldn't decide whether the whole "mandroid" thing worked for or against this book. Sam, is referred to as a "mandroid" rather than a cyborg in a completely serious manner. This term sounds hilarious to me and the fact that it is said with absolute seriousness makes it even funnier. Nearly every person I related this to had the same thing to say, "Sounds like some kind of sex robot."

The Final Verdict
The Girl in the Steel Corset is an attractive concept that gets messy in its execution, but still retains an endearing quality in its charming characters. The Steampunk Chronicles may very well be a series that suffers from the 'first book" syndrome. Giving the second book The Girl in the Clockwork Collar could be a good investment.

FTC Disclosure
I purchased a copy of this book to read in preparation of my review for its sequel. I received no compensation for the views stated above. All opinions are my own. 

July 20, 2012

Cover Reveal: Hollowed by Kelley York

A Half-Light Novel
By Kelley York

  Official Blurb
All 18-year-old Briar Greyson wanted was to figure out this whole living-away-from-your-parents thing. Apartment, steady job, cool roommate? Check. Noah, her adorable (albeit elusive) boyfriend? Check. Everything in the life of Briar was pretty good.

Then she and her roommate are attacked on their way home one night. Briar wasn't supposed to survive.

Instead, according to the two guys who saved her, she's turning into the things that attacked her: a vampire. Totally crazy and
Not Okay. Now Noah's secrets are coming to light, and he wants Briar dead. Then there are the vampires who attacked Briar to lure out her sister.

Her sister...who died years ago.

(Didn't she?)

The city's body count is rising, and Briar wants to help put a stop to it. But first, she has to figure out who the real enemy is: the vampires, the boy she loves, or the sister she thought she'd lost. 

Wicked's Thoughts:
I'm so excited to be hosting Kelley and her upcoming release Hollowed! The cover is just gorgeous! It sounds exciting and I"m hoping will include some of that darkness Wigs loved so much from her M/M suspense novel, Hushed. Thanks for letting us be a part of your big day Kelley! 

July 19, 2012

Thursday's Dirty Little Secret #26

My favorite meme of the week! Dirty Little Secret is hosted by the lovely ladies of Under the Covers. This awesome meme challenges book bloggers to share a new dirty little secret each week.

To participate in the meme all you need to do is:

1. Be a follower of Under the Covers.
2. Create a post in your blog taking the meme image (code above) and copy instructions.
3. Answer the question we propose! This can be done in any way you like, post a video, write a post etc.
4. Then add your link at Under the Covers

Non-bloggers, leave your answer in the comments! 

This week's question is:\

If your dream man was in your clutches, a pack of condoms (and any other actrouments you may need!) and some saucy underwear on what would be the first fantasy you and your hunk played out? And who would your dream man be?   

I think many of you already know about my absolute obsession with Tom Hiddleston as Loki. With that in mind, here is my answer:

In his shackles and muzzle.

Ending something like this...

Don't worry babe, you can be on top next time. :-)

So, what's your dirty little secret?

July 18, 2012

Hot Summer Nights Giveaway Hop! (INT)

Hot Summer Nights Giveaway Hop

Welcome my Wicked Darlings! I'm very excited to be a part of the hop and share with you all the chance to win a copy of this neat little short story collection. So without further ado...

Wicked Giveaway Of:

Love's Quartet
Mica Jade
Genre: Erotica

Blurb from Amazon:

  Love's Quartet Volume I is a collection of four erotic romances including the bestselling Love's Bite as well as Love's Delight, Love's Passion, and Love's Rise.

Purchase all four together for less or purchase them individually.

CAUTION: Love's Quartet contains graphic and explicit sexual intimacy that includes love, spanking, love, fangs, love, chocolate creme, love, vampires, and more love! This is an erotic romance story collection.
Love's Quartet includes:

Love's Bite -

For stay at home mom, Ella, Halloween trick or treating with the children was the extent of her ghoulish activities. But her husband, Michael, has plans to bring out the devilish side of her when they masquerade as vampires for a bloodsucking night on the town. Will the vampire fling he has in mind leave love's bite on their ecstasy or will their wicked jaunt put a stake in their passion?

Love's Delight -

Brooke's afternoon just got a lot creamier. Her plans for a quiet afternoon curled up in her favorite coffeehouse reading and enjoying a hot latte are detoured when a deliciously handsome coffeehouse barista named Dylan leaves a mysterious napkin note under her savory drink. Will Brooke's curiosity about the barista's intentions turn her quiet afternoon into a love's delight?

Love's Passion -

After their daughter's lovely wedding, Sam and Beth are left with a flood of emotions. Sam finds it hard to leave the lovely resort town by the sea; Beth can't seem to leave the town soon enough. However, Sam has one last voyage in mind before they leave for familiar waters. Will a clandestine by-the-sea rendezvous set sail love's passion once again?

Love's Rise -

After a flood ravages their home, married couple Neil and Kelly, begin to put their home life back together. But as the renovation of their home begins, Neil and Kelly realize that the damage of the flood has exposed a deep divide within their once passionate bond. Kelly's longing for her husband is truly revealed when the floodwaters recede. Neil embarks on a rescue mission of Kelly's heart to bring about love's rise between them once again.

 About The Author:

Mica Jade is passionate about writing romance where emotional longing meets exquisite passion. Mica is the author of the Love's series of erotic romances. Mica lives and writes from the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains of California.

Giveaway details

This giveaway is open to all readers of Wickedly Bookish (INT). One lucky reader will win an ebook copy of Loves Quartet by Mica Jade. The prize will be gifted through Amazon.com so please be sure to have an email account associated with the Kindle, Kindle App, or Kindle reader software so you can receive your prize.
Entries can be gained in a variety of ways as stated in the Rafflecopter. In order to be fair to everyone, all entries will be checked so please be honest! If I find an invalid entry, it will be removed from the giveaway. As following Wickedly Bookish is a mandatory entry, if I do not find your name in my list of followers, all your entries will be removed from the giveaway. I would much rather skip over this stuff and just get to the fun, but it has happened before, so I need to state it all before the entries are collected.
 Winners will be chosen within 24 hours of giveaway's end and will be notified by email. If you are a winner, you will be expected to claim your prize within 48 hours of receipt of email or another winner will be chosen.
To Enter:

  1. Be a follower of Wickedly Bookish
2. Provide a valid email address
3. Be 18 years old or older 
4. Fill out the Rafflecopter below
5. Don't forget to keep hopping!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

July 17, 2012

Teaser Tuesday #25

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted over at Should Be Reading where we book bloggers give you lovely readers a tantalizing taste of whatever it is we are reading right now. To play along:
•  Grab your current read
•  Open to a random page
•  Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
•  BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
•  Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week's teaser is:
Loki: Nine Naughty Tales of the Trickster
Mike Vasich
Genre: Anthology, Mythology Inspired
"You pretend you are the wise adult among children, and yet all of your rancor stems from nothing more than jealousy and envy. You are not accepted and so you seek to destroy that which you resent, that which you secretly wish was yours."
54% (ebook)

If you are familiar with me and my blog, then you know I am a Loki fangirl. The Trickster figure in mythology has fascinated me since my earliest school years, through the many mythologies taught to me by my teachers. With the recent characterization of Loki in the films Thor and The Avengers,  my interest in The Trickster has peaked and I am constantly looking for new ways to indulge in my favorite mischief maker. Thank heaven for Mike Vasich and this short story anthology! I've read five out of the nine tales and am absolutely delighted.

What's your teaser this week?   

July 16, 2012

Make Me Stay Release Day Blitz & Giveaway

 Make Me Stay by Ella Jade
Welcome to Wickedly Bookish's stop on the Make Me Stay Release Day Blitz brought to you by Shades of Rose Marketing.

Can the sub teach the Dom to play?

Natural submissive Gracie Miller thought she had found her other half in Cade Jameson. Not only did he help her through a difficult time in her life, in the bedroom he brought her more pleasure than she could have ever imagined. They seemed perfect for each other.

Cade knew what he wanted in the bedroom. Gracie brought out his domineering side and ignited his passion. But he feared he was too dominant for this beautiful, naïve girl, who was so young and impressionable, so he ended their relationship.

Two and a half years later, Gracie returns to town a new woman. She had moved to the city and found a "Master" who showed her what she was truly capable of. Now she's back and wants to show Cade exactly what kind of submissive she could be for him.

But after hearing all that she's experienced, Cade now wonders if he's dominant enough to satisfy her. Can he be the man Gracie needs him to be?

Content Warning: graphic sex, BDSM themes

Ten minutes later they were seated at a quaint restaurant in the center of town. Cade had requested a quiet table in the back so they wouldn't be interrupted. He was confused enough and didn't need any distractions. Being a well-known businessman, he was always running into people who wanted to have a drink with him. Gracie's return would probably be the talk of the town in a matter of days.

Once they ordered dinner and the waitress poured their wine he'd had enough small talk. He wanted answers.

Why did you come back?

I told you. Gracie sipped her wine. "I took a job here."

Do you think I'm stupid?

Of course not. She lowered her head.

Don't do that.

Do what?

Just look at me. He was puzzled over her return and her elusiveness frustrated him.

She quickly raised her gaze, meeting his eyes.

You walked away from this town without a trace. I don't believe you would come back after all this time to consult. Something isn't right.

You told me to leave.

Me! He tapped his chest. "I told you to leave me. I never expected you to disappear. I thought I'd know where you were and what you were doing." Even though he told her to go, he'd always intended to take care of her.

Without you, there wasn't anything here for me. You were everything. I had no family. I lived in your house. Where did you expect me to go?

We could have figured it out together. I would have made sure you were taken care of. She'd always been his responsibility and when she left he panicked she'd end up on the street.

I needed to go. I had to figure out who I was. That's what you wanted.

I wanted you to be happy.

I am. She smiled. "I told you, I met someone who helped me."

Then why aren't you with him? He didn't like to think about her with another man. It infuriated him to know someone else touched what was his, even if he did let her go. "Are you running from him? Is that why you're back here? Do you need my help?"

She laughed. "I could never run from Martin."

He hated knowing his name. "So, Martin was your boyfriend?"

"Not really." She took another sip of her wine.

Her mysterious behavior pissed him off. She'd better start talking and fast.

Your husband? He felt his blood boil. Could she have gotten married?

Cade, she said as she reached for his hand. "I don't want you to freak, but Martin was my Dom. I was his submissive."

About the author:
Ella Jade has been writing for as long as she can remember. As a child, she often had a notebook and pen with her and now as an adult, the laptop is never far. The plots and dialogue have always played out in her head, but she never knew what to do with them. That all changed when she discovered the eBooks industry. She started penning novels at a rapid pace and now she can't be stopped.

Ella resides in New Jersey with her husband and two young boys. When she's not chasing after her kids, she's busy writing, attending PTO meetings, kickboxing and scrapbooking. She hope's you'll get lost in her words.

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July 15, 2012

Review: Blackout

Mira Grant
Newsflesh Trilogy #3
Genre: Science-Fiction
Rating: 4

The original version of this review contains spoilers. The review you will find here on Wickedly Bookish is spoiler-free. If you have read this book and would like to read the full review,  please visit my Goodreads post

The final book in the Newsflesh trilogy played out like the last 45 minutes of an action packed thriller. Well... that is, an action packed thriller with an anti-climatic ending so disappointing, it had me shaking my head and mourning the unfulfilled potential. It wouldn't have been so bad had the first two books in the series not finished with such heart-stopping, epic conclusions! With the bar raised like that, one could only expect the final book, the book Grant promised would reveal all, would eclipse the other two in the shadow of its behemoth of a finale.

No. This was not the case at all.

While I enjoyed the majority of the book, the "endgame" as it was called, was left until the last 100 pages and didn't offer much more in explanation that readers didn't already know. Oh, and a very key plot point was almost completely skimmed over!. Please only read the following spoiler if you have finished this series in its entirety.

After all the build-up, the fantastic world building, the endearing characters, the insane plot-twists, and the BALLS Grant had to posses to take the risks she did, this ending felt sloppy and rushed in comparison. Why bother putting in all that hard work? Why bother with the extensive research? Why bother developing the science when you are going to end it all like THAT? As you can see, I'm pissed, and for good reason too. I had so much invested in this series. I cried, laughed, and sweated bullets with these characters for nearly 2,000 pages total for all three books. I grieved at the losses, raged over the injustices, and rejoiced in their triumphs, only for it all to come down to such a baffling conclusion.

I am disillusioned

I am disheartened

I am utterly disappointed with a series that had begun to define me as a reader and shift my standards for what makes great fiction.

I bet you've gotten to this point in the review and are wondering, "What the hell, Jess? If you're so pissed, why give it 4 stars?"

Well my Wicked Darling, while I am obviously upset over the ending, I did mention earlier that I enjoyed the majority of this book. The shifting view points from chapter to chapter was a nice change from the usual stagnant single narrator POV from the previous two books.

Each new revelation presented on page made for perpetually increasing possibilities. I don't know how many times Wigs and I said to each other, "There are so many ways this could go horribly wrong! And we love it!" The level of excitement that was built up over 3/4 of the book had me frantic to get to the climax. Only to have it wind down rather than explode in a blaze of glory. (Yes that innuendo was intentional.)

Regardless of my sadness over how it all went down, this still remains a series I will keep close to my heart. I can't say the same for Wigs, who wasn't nearly as attached as I was in the first place and was still disappointed. Wigs, at least we'll always have THE FOX.

I am The Fox 

July 11, 2012

Review: Morningstar

Darcy Town
Morningstar #1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Rating: 2

Dahlia is a hardworking young lady who compulsively paints the angelic subjects of her dreams that torment her nightly. These aren't your everyday chubby cherubs, these angels are dark, vicious , and downright dangerous. Little does she know that her dreams are actually suppressed memories of another lifetime, and her new friend Belial and her crew are a group of Fallen angels Dahlia used to know very, very well. 

I think I'll start off by discussing the kinds of things I look for in a great read. My ideal book is dark, dangerous, exciting, sexy, and thought provoking. I also love when an author can round these elements out with humor. Now, let me explain why Morningstar just didn't do it for me. 

While there are darker core story elements, they are overwhelmed with the excessive lighthearted humor. Every time there was a flashback or talk of Lucifer and Dahlia's past, I would get excited and think I had finally reached the meat of the story, only to be disappointed when the silly romp continued on. I can see this kind of thing working for readers looking for a light, zany read, but for me The Fallen spent too much time being hyper and baking cookies, and not enough time being sexy bad-asses. All madness with very little direction made Morningstar a frustrating read. I just wanted to get to the good stuff!

A good romp can do wonders for your character development. Sending your characters off on a shopping trip, having them cook something together, or even letting them throw a house party allows the reader to become better acquainted with the aspects of their personalities that may not be visible in your current plot line.  However in this case, Morningstar suffers from too much of a good thing. These character building vignettes shouldn't detract from the overall plot progression, or become the focus of your book and unfortunately in this case, both of these are true. 

Of course, this book isn't without it's merits. For the first third of the book I enjoyed the writing style, well delivered one-liners and tender moments between Lucifer and Dahlia that pepper the narrative occasionally. I'm not talking about the gratuitous amounts of PDA. The scenes I'm referring to are the real heart-to-heart moments they have when they are, for the most part, alone. The tenderness of Lucifer and the wide-eyed wonder of Dahilia make for a truly beautiful combination. 

The narrative is well written for the most part with the exception of the battle scenes which come off painfully technical. 

"A knife came soaring at them. Lucifer caught it and threw it back at the attacker stopping him in his tracks. Furcas jumped on a man to their left. Dahlia kicked at another as he grabbed for them. A soldier stabbed Lucifer in the back. Dahlia screamed. Lucifer pulled the blade out and tore open the man's throat."

As you can see, any excitement these scenes possess is greatly overshadowed by the bland, "He did this and she did that" format. There are very few transitions or descriptors throughout. To be fair, battle scenes are very difficult to write without becoming repetitive if you don't have extensive practice, but with some blocking and the helping hand of a more action oriented writer, these scenes can become pivotal to your reader's emotional investment.

While reading, I mostly struggled between hope and frustration. There were moments when I could see a glimpse of what this book could have been. The material, characters, and history of this mythology that the author had to work with could have made for a truly epic story. I saw potential in the poeticlly written memories and flashbacks, and in my favorite line said by Lucifer near the end of the novel.

"This I deserve but you do not. Within you, you posses the power of Hell. Rage Dahlia. Tear Heaven down."

 The Final Verdict
While the characters are likeable and the core conflict is interesting enough, there just isn't enough real story. There are very few noticeable plot progression points and the action of the last twenty percent comes much too late.

If you are looking for a lighthearted read  filled with colorful characters that is devoid of heavy themes, Morningstar could be the book for you. Unfortunately, it just wasn't my thing. 

FTC Disclosure
I received a review copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for the views stated above. All opinions are my own.

July 10, 2012

Teaser Tuesday #24

A big thank you to my favorite model Robyn Watson for not only taking this gorgeous picture, but also for allowing me to use it here on my blog! You are amazing girl!

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted over at Should Be Reading where we book bloggers give you lovely readers a tantalizing taste of whatever it is we are reading right now. To play along:
•  Grab your current read
•  Open to a random page
•  Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
•  BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
•  Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week's teaser is:
 The Immortal Rules
Julie Kagawa
Blood of Eden #1
Genre: YA, Dystopia, Urban Fantasy
"I crossed my arms tightly, feeling their desperation. The trap had closed; the hunters had caught them, and there was no place for them to run."
pg. 7

I have high expectations for this one! Julie Kagawa, best-selling author of the Iron Fae series takes on vampires and dystopia in one fell swoop! My awesome senses are tingling... 

What's your teaser this week?