Friday, 30 May 2014

Book Review: Fire Storm (GW#5) by Ally Shields + Guest Post

Series: Guardian Witch #5
Publisher: Etopia Press
Publication Date: 07 March 2014
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Source: Author (In exchange for an honest Review)
Audio or Book: eBook

In Fire Storm, book 5 in the Guardian Witch Series, Ari faces censure from the Magic Council for spending too much time on vampire concerns. But when Andreas visits his estates in Italy and vanishes, what is a witch to do except follow?

Official Book trailer

Previous reviews:
Awakening the Fire (Guardian Witch #1)
Vampire in the Shadows (Guardian Witch #1.5)
Fire Within (Guardian Witch #2)
Burning Both Ends (Guardian Witch #3)
Blood & Fire (Guardian Witch #4)

My Review:

Fire storm is an amazing addition to the Guardian Witch series. It covers love, friendship, loyalty, heartbreak and so much more. Ally had me hooked from the very beginning and, just when I thought things couldn't get any more intense, she kicked it up a notch! It was one hell of a journey and I loved every moment of it. 

Characters & Storyline: 5/5
Ally truly creates well-rounded, strong characters that are so easy to connect with and care for. The story line was gripping and the adventure was rough - emotionally and physically.

Ari & Andreas: Together this is one of my favourite paranormal couples. I really am enjoying Ari & Andreas's romance. It has ups, downs and more challenges than any normal couple would be able to handle, yet they get through it and are always stronger for it. I think this was the most challenging journey for Ari so far, emotionally, and I wasn't always sure she was going to make it. Initially I was a bit frustrated with Ari and her progress with her powers but I am happy to say that Ally gave us some answers with regards to her magic, as well as her bond with Andreas. I am left wanting more, though!!! Ari's friendship with Claris is beautiful and my heart literally broke at one important part of the story. I couldn't believe what these two were going through and how they stuck with each other. Andreas: Even though the story involved him, he was mostly in the background. I was so irritated that he was blocking Ari out and not helping her find him! I did get some answers at the end of the book, but it's not to say that I wasn't annoyed with him for most part of the story, especially when I was questioning his actions!!! 

Steffan: I was so happy to see some more of Steffan in Fire Storm. I have a little inkling-hope he might end up with someone else in the story - but I can't tell you who without giving away a huge spoiler!! *hint hint Ally* 

Mangi - Mangi is a minor character in the story but I just adore him! He is a great, misunderstood, reformable side character. When you meet him - he makes you cringe just a bit but before you know it he will crawl into your heart! 

Rebekah - Grrrr she annoys me. No more needs to be said. 

Plot, Pace, Writing style: 5/5  
Ally really kicks up the action, suspense & drama in Fire storm. I love how Ally weaves the main and sub plots together so perfectly, and keeps you on the edge of your seat. Ally has grown beautifully as a writer and just gets better and better with every book! The pacing was perfect and she really knows how to tug at your heart strings. 

Cover talk: 5/5 
I loved this cover - It is the best out of the entire series so far!!!

Final Thoughts: 
I loved Fire Storm. It is a perfect mixture of Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys a kick-ass heroine and a good adventure that involves challenges, love and friendship

My Rating:

Favourite Quotes
"... You just have to trust that I won't do anything stupid."
Lilith's worried expression cracked into a grin. "I'm worried that you and I may have a different definition of stupid."
Bella and Dona met her at the bedroom door, twining around her legs with their motors revved on high, accusing her with their large green eyes."

Books in the series:

Ally’s Top 10 Favorite Urban Fantasy Series 

1.  Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton. Who doesn't love a kick-ass heroine and a sexy master vampire like Jean Claude? The early books are the best, and Guilty Pleasures (book 1) is my all-time favorite. 

2.  The Hollows series by Kim Harrison. I love Rachel Morgan's collection of friends! Another series to read in order beginning with Dead Witch Walking

3.  Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews. Urban Fantasy at its best. Mercenary Kate Daniels walks in a world where magic and technology are often at odds. Book one is Magic Bites.

4.  The Blood Books by Tanya Huff. In Blood Price (book 1), Vicki Nelson, former homicide detective, and vampire Henry Fitzroy, the illegitimate son of King Henry VIII, form an unlikely partnership to fight off the demons of hell. 

5. Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. What can I say about this much loved series, except if you haven't read it, you need to download it today! Harry is Chicago's only professional wizard. Storm Front is book 1.

6.  Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris. Ms Harris's series about a telepathic waitress in Louisiana has not only delighted readers but tv-watchers too: a blend of dark fantasy and humor. Dead Until Dark is the place to start. 

7.  The Chicagoland Vampires by Chloe Neill. Grad student Merit is "saved" by Ethan, a 400-year-old vampire, who turns her into one of the undead. First book is Some Girls Bite

8.  Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost. Half-vampire cat is searching for the vampire who changed her family forever, but she finds bad boy vampire Bones, who (IMHO) is one of the most intriguing vampires in fiction. The series starts with Halfway to the Grave

9.  Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs. Mercy, auto-mechanic and shifter, lives in a world where humans are aware of lesser fae but the higher fae remain hidden. It makes it tough to stay secret when someone's always at war. Book one is Moon Called.

10. Guild Hunter series by Nalini Singh.  Angels and vampires and a strong female hunter will keep you glued to the pages. Begin with Angel's Blood.

Love Ally

~ ~ ~

Author Bio:
I write urban fantasy/supernatural mysteries. The first three novels in the series have been released and Blood and Fire is scheduled for the fall of 2013. I am currently working hard on book 5. When not writing, I read multiple genres--urban fantasy, thrillers, mysteries, romance, and I love to travel-anywhere, anytime. I live in the Midwest with my miniature pinscher Ranger within driving distance of the Mississippi River that is the setting for my books.

Author Links: Goodreads l Twitter l website



Wednesday, 28 May 2014

~ Topic of Light: Where is the rewind button? ~

Hello lovelies! 

I know, I know - it has been too long since I wrote a Topic of Light. Today is kind of a ramble post of things that have been floating around in my mind. I don't really have a specific topic in my mind but will see where the points end up leading too.

So lately I been going through some life changing phases and even though I'm not old I got a fright when I realised I was 28! *holy moly* where did my life go just the other day I was 18 and now I am almost 30 and soon I'll have wrinkles!!!  

It is actually wrinkles that got me thinking about this post. Wrinkles are beautiful. I think smiling wrinkles are one of the most beautiful features a person could have as they grow older. I hope I have them one day. You want to know why? Because I love to laugh. Smiling wrinkles are proof of a happy, well lived life! They show that you had your fair share of stressful moments but also that you had way more joyful moments. They don't scare me so much anymore. Its inevitable. We all going to grow old. As much as we want to stay young, growing old has its good points. 

Here is one of my favourite sayings: 

It is a wonderful blessing to have friends that have known you through a few phases of life and know exactly who you are and who you are not. Those friends that love you at your best and love you at your worst. As much as I wish I could rewind my life and re-do a few things, I wouldn't want to give up on some of the best moment of my life and some of the great friends I have made along the way - whether they are still a part of my life or not, because the truth is, friends come and go. Not all friendships are meant to last a lifetime and some friends have passed away. The antidote to 100 enemies is 1 friend. 

Embrace it, live it, learn it, love it. 

I used to keep a Jeff Dunham clip of Achmed on my phone and every time I felt my mood drop, I used to go and watch it and have a good laugh!! Check it out... *jingle bombs*

May today be filled with at least one laugh and one smile - then it will all be worth it. The best cure to any situation is laughter. 

Monday, 26 May 2014

Book Review: Out of the Shadows by Bethany Shaw

Series: Werewolf Wars #1
Publisher: Createspace
Publication Date: 26 August 2013
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Source: Kindle loan via Amazon (Keisha @ The Simple Things in Life)
Audio or Book: eBook
Length: 404 pages

Goodreads Synopsis:
In an attempt to save his sister, Emily, from becoming a breeder, Devon Harris defies his alpha and flees his home with his sister. His actions lay the foundation for a war between the packs. They seek refuge at his Uncle Rick's ranch, and there, he meets the fiery human Lark. In the midst of a war, does he dare let himself fall for her?

Rick Harris has been like a second father to Lark Davies since her parents died in an accident three years ago. She is the sole guardian of her younger sister and the owner of her own bakery, leaving her little time for a social life. Lark instantly feels the allure to Devon even though they are constantly at odds with each other. However, danger lurks around every corner. As Lark spends more time with the pack, she is drawn further into the werewolf world.

Out of the Shadows Book trailer

My Review:
This was a very spontaneous read. I won one of the mini challenges during the COYER read-a-thon in and March and received an awesome gift card from Keisha. We were chatting and since I won the gift card from her I asked her to recommend a 5 star book that she has read. This has been my new way to discover new books lately. A few days later I received Out of the Shadows via the Kindle Loan option. I am not really sure how this works (from the sending side) but I will figure it out as I think this is awesome. 

Out of the shadows is an enjoyable read. There are some great unique elements to the story but also a lot of predictability. Werewolf books can sometimes be a hit and miss for me but this was not the case with Out of the Shadows. For anyone for who loves a good werewolf novel and a broody alpha male mixed with romance - this book is for you!

Characters & Story line: 3.5/5
Bethany creates good strong characters. The story line is interesting and takes you on a few emotional twists and turns.

Lark and Devon's romance was a bit predictable. Devon being the strong, brooding, wounded alpha with some issues - who keeps people at bay and Lark who is strong, compassionate and challenges him. They have a steamy and unexplainable attraction with a few steamy scenes. They definitely grow on you as the story progresses - by the last half of the book I was definitely rooting for them. 

Emily and Marcus are such a sweet couple and you are rooting for them from the beginning. Vincent is one of my favourite characters - he is your lone wolf, flirty, younger (brother) wolf. He is observant, caring, cheeky and entertaining. Gene is a great character in the book. He is kind and strong. He plays a stronger part in the latter part of the book and I am really looking forward to his role in 'Into the Unknown'. 

Plot, Pace, Writing style: 3.5/5  
Bethany has a great pace and a nice writing style. The plot was intriguing and kept you reading to see what happens next - even though the predictability did slow things down a bit for me. The ending left quite a bit to work with in the next book.

Cover talk: 3/5 
The cover was OK. Once I had read the book I appreciated the cover a little bit better.

Final Thoughts: 
Although I am not immediately one-clicking to buy the next sequel I am really intrigued to see Gene & Talia's story, as well as what the Gulf packs have planned for Lark and Sarah. 

My Rating:

Favourite Quotes
"Part of being a good leader is standing up for those that can't do it themselves." ~ Lark 

"... there are heroes out there who do random acts of kindness for others, for no reason, other than it's the right thing to do." ~ Lark

Books in the series:

Please note there are spoilers in this second trailer for book 1

Author Bio: 
I am happily married to my husband of almost nine years and have two wonderful children. I have always loved reading and writing and am thrilled to have published my first novel. Paranormal romance is my go to genre and the genre I prefer to write in. I love the unique feel of creating an entirely different world and implementing it into the human verse.

Author Links: Goodreads l Facebook l Twitter 



Friday, 23 May 2014

Book Review (DNF): Grave Mercy (HFA #1) by Robin LaFever

Series: His Fair Assassin #1
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication Date: 03 April 2012
Genre: Paranormal, Historical Fiction
Source: Birthday Gift / Purchased
Audio or Book: Paperback
Length: 549 pages


Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?

Official Book Trailer

Grave Mercy is about kick-butt Assassin Nuns.. what's not to love? With paranormal and historical fiction elements, this book has the potential to be absolutely amazing. Unfortunately though, I found that this book was just not for me. Everything about it appealed to me and seemed so beautiful – the cover is one of the best I have seen and the overview sounded catching and drew me in.
I had not heard of this book until a friend bought it for me for my birthday in 2012. I had no previous reservations or expectations when it came to Grave Mercy.

The characters and storyline were a complete hit and miss for me. It just felt like there was something missing, something to bring it all together. I was so sad that I was so bored - really it broke my heart.

The plot really fell flat for me and I didn't feel a connection to the characters. There was plenty of potential, which just did not materialise – perhaps it improves in the next book. Unfortunately I do not have the urge to continue with the series.

Final Thoughts:

Ultimately I got 50% through the book and I was avoiding picking up the book around every corner. I know my review is in the minority when it comes to this series, but hey that's OK, there are still a ton of great books out there waiting to be read!

My Rating:

Books in the series:

Author Bio:
R.L. LaFevers (Robin Lorraine when she’s in really big trouble) grew up surrounded by shelves of old dusty books and a passel of brothers. She has also spent a large portion of her life being told she was making up things that weren’t there, which only proves she was destined to write fiction. She is the author of over fourteen books for young readers, including THEODOSIA AND THE SERPENTS OF CHAOS, (Houghton Mifflin, 2007) which received starred reviews and was a Junior Library Guild selection, a Booksense Summer Pick, and nominated for the Malice Domestic’s Agatha Award, and the NATHANIEL FLUDD, BEASTOLOGIST series. Her first young adult novel, GRAVE MERCY, will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in Spring of 2012. She currently lives with her husband and a demonic cat in Southern California and spends her days gazing longingly at ancient artifacts or wallowing in old forgotten texts.

Author Links: Facebook l Twitter l Goodreads l Website



Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Topic of Light book Review: Angel Detox by Doreen Virtue & Robert Reeves

Angel Detox: Taking Your Life to a Higher Level Through Releasing Emotional, Physical, and Energetic Toxins
Publisher: Hay House Publishing
Publication Date: 06 January 2014
Genre: Spirituality, Motivational
Source: NetGalley / Publisher (In exchange for an honest Review)
Audio or Book: ebook
Length: 254 Pages

Work with the Angels to Detox Your Body and Energy Detoxing with the help of your angels is a gentle way to release impurities from your body, fatigue, and addictions. Doreen Virtue and naturopath Robert Reeves teach you simple steps to increase your energy and mental focus, banish bloating, feel and look more youthful, and regain your sense of personal power. Rid your life of physical toxins, as well as negative emotions and energies. Angel Detox guides you step-by-step on how to detox your diet, lifestyle, and relationships. You’ll learn how to reduce or eliminate cravings for unhealthful food and substances, feel motivated, and enjoy wellness in all areas of your life. This book also includes 7-Day Detox Plans for those wanting to quit smoking or drinking, or to flush out environmental pollution.

If you know me, anything to do with Angels will most likely grab my attention! When I saw this book available on NetGalley, I just had to request it. It did take me a while to read through the book, as I would pick it up every few days, read a chapter or 2 and then soak in what I read. 

I really enjoyed this book. It has so much information and there is a little bit for everyone. Angel Detox has so much advice that covers a broad range of topics. It has 7 day plans as well as some recipes! I tried out the green smoothie idea and actually enjoyed it. The biggest thing I learnt through this book was that we also need to detox from stress. Everyone always associates detox with the food diet. I did not even think that it can apply to emotions, people and stress. I took a bit of leave and did a stress detox - it was wonderful and rejuvenating. This book was also a gentle reminder that we can pray for help with anything - no matter how small and insignificant we think it is. 

I will admit I prefer these types of books as paperbacks. It is much easier for ease of reference when going back to try out a recipe or look up an affirmation. 

Final Thoughts: this book is definitely worth a read if these types of books interest you.

My Rating:



Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Release Post: Afterlife by Zoe Dawson



An Adult Urban Fantasy (with romantic elements)

Releases May 19, 2014

Series Overview

The fine thread between reality and the fantastical has snapped. The mortal and supernatural must learn to co-exist in post-reality Minneapolis/St. Paul where video games leak monsters into the night, demons roam, thirsting for more than just blood, people are not who or what they seem and a diabolical evil plots and plans to devour the world.


Lily Starbuck’s day doesn’t start well with blood on the horizon and a grumpy werewolf who refuses to pay his catering bill. Her day only gets worse when she finds out that her business partner in their catering company has embezzled all their available cash.

Lily can get no answers from her partner when she finds her dead. That’s the least of her worries—her landlord is evicting her, she’s being hounded by the Fairy Dust Administration (FDA) who suspects that her partner was dealing in illegal dust, and Lily’s pissed off their werewolf supplier.

With Lily’s very livelihood in jeopardy, she has no choice but to discover who killed her partner and try to track down the cash. She has only Spocko, a small, wizened gnome with just a bit of gremlin blood in him that makes him cantankerous at best to depend on, but he often goes invisible on her. Clues lead her to an open case being investigated by Otherworld Security (O.S.) and the tough O.S. Warden, shapeshifter, Tam Darkwood. And, at the outset of the investigation, a tiny, mythical fire-breathing, red dragon joins her as her trusty (and opinionated) sidekick, Kindle.

It seems a rogue mage has created a video game that is unwarded and game monsters are being released to terrorize the citizens of the Twin Cities. Trouble is Lily has reason to believe that this mage killed her partner.
The investigation takes an unexpected turn when they are led to influential and powerful Archmage Tarquin Wilding and somehow Lily finds herself embroiled in a sinister shadow Fae plot. With her friends at her side, she tackles dangerous and unpredictable supernaturals and monsters with an “all in a day’s work” attitude.

To request a review copy please email AToMR

About the Author

Zoe Dawson is the alter ego of Karen Anders, award winning, multi-published author. Her writing journey started with poetry and branched out into fiction. With a couple of college English courses under her belt, she penned a historical, then moved onto contemporary romance fiction. Today, she is happy producing romantic suspense, romantic mystery, urban fantasy and paranormal novels. The words feed her soul and the happily ever afters feed her heart.

Author links Website | Twitter | Facebook | Blog | Goodreads | Newsletter

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Monday, 19 May 2014

Mini Book Review: Charmed - The Power of Three by Eliza Willard & Constance M Burge

Series: Charmed #1
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: 01 November 1999
Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy
Source: Library
Audio or Book: Book
Length: 181 pages

Goodreads Synopsis:

In this night and at this hour,

I call upon the Ancient Power.
Bring yourpowers to we sisters three.
We want the power. Give us the power!

Prue, Piper, and Phoebe Halliwell didn't think reading a magical incantation would really work. But it did. Now Prue can move things with her mind, Piper can freeze time, and Phoebe can see the future. They are the Charmed Ones—the most powerful of witches.

But being enchanted has a price. There's a warlock who wants to steal their powers. And he'll do it any way he can—even if it means killing them!

I was so excited when I saw this book at the library. I absolutely loved the Charmed series when it was on TV, and couldn't wait to squeeze this pocket read in somewhere. Reading this was like visiting an old friend - I wanted to run and put on my dvd's and watch my box set all over again.

Was it the best written book? No. But I still loved it and read it in 2 sittings (it could easily have been one if we didn't get visitors). I adore Prue, Phoebe and Piper. These characters are memorable and strong in this quick read. I'm not sure if the plot is predictable or if I just remember what happened in the TV show but I still enjoyed it.

Final Thoughts:  I loved this quick read and will be reading the rest of this series!

My Rating:

Friday, 16 May 2014

Book Review: Frostbite (VA #2) by Richelle Mead

Series: Vampire Academy #2
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: 10 March 2008
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Source: Birthday Gift / Purchased
Audio or Book: Paperback
Length: 327 pages

Add to Goodreads

Goodreads Synopsis:

Rose loves Dimitri, Dimitri might love Tasha, and Mason would die to be with Rose... 

It’s winter break at St. Vladimir’s, but Rose is feeling anything but festive. A massive Strigoi attack has put the school on high alert, and now the Academy’s crawling with Guardians—including Rose’s hard-hitting mother, Janine Hathaway. And if hand-to-hand combat with her mom wasn’t bad enough, Rose’s tutor Dimitri has his eye on someone else, her friend Mason’s got a huge crush on her, and Rose keeps getting stuck in Lissa’s head while she’s making out with her boyfriend, Christian! The Strigoi are closing in, and the Academy’s not taking any risks... This year, St. Vlad’s annual holiday ski trip is mandatory. 

But the glittering winter landscape and the posh Idaho resort only create the illusion of safety. When three friends run away in an offensive move against the deadly Strigoi, Rose must join forces with Christian to rescue them. But heroism rarely comes without a price...

Fan-made Book trailer

I really have fallen in love with book trailers! There might a spoiler or 2 in the video. 

Previous reviews:
Vampire Academy #1

Other series reviews:

My Review:
Wow what a book! I re-read this book in re-readathon hosted by Stephenie @ BookFever & Chistina @ Booksane. I definitely enjoyed this book the second time round and loved meeting all these amazing characters all over again. I noticed smaller details about the characters and the storyline that just made me love this book even more. 

This is a books about friendship, love and loyalty. 

Characters & Storyline: 4/5
I really enjoyed this book the second time round and could really appreciate the smaller details about each different character. You love the main characters and you hate the strigoi. The storyline is exciting and takes you through so many emotions. You laugh, cry, giggle and want to smack them when the characters are making stupid decisions. 

Rose - Rose has grown up a bit but still has so much to learn. I feel sorry for her while she sorts out her feelings for Dimitri while trying to live and be young but yet be responsible at the same time. I loved her little romance with Mason. you really go on a rollercoaster with this fiery character. 

Lissa - I love Lissa but really wish she would pay some attention to what is going on with Rose. she is sweet, funny and gentle. I feel so bad that Lissa is trying to find herself without her entire family and love the fact that she always does have Rose. 

Christian - Christian is his wonderful charming snarky self and I love him with Lissa. I really enjoyed his character is this book. 

Dimitri - Dimitri dimitri dimitri... always caught between a rock and a hard place. Emotions versus duty. I love how he handles Rose in his finer moments. Dimitri is hard not to love and totally go to mush about when he is being tender with Rose. 

Mason - Mason is just adorable. I feel sorry for him that he is over-shadowed by Dimitri. He deserves so much better. My heart aches for Mason on so many levels but you will have to read this book to find out why! 

Tasha - I wasn't so sure of her the first time round and I can't say that much more the second time round. She is fun, brave and a force to be reckoned with. I found it funny that she didn't pick up on Rose's jealousy. 

Adrian - I loved Adrian 20 times more this time round. He is my favourite character throughout all of Richelle's books. He is funny, smart and doesn't care for the rules. Not quite your bad boy, but he doesn't fit into the good boy category either. Did I mention I mention I love Adrian to pieces... 

Plot, Pace, Writing style: 4/5  
The plot of frostbite is good and the pace is great. Richelle has an easy writing style. Her characters need some development but lucky I do know there is lots to come. Chapter 22 had me crying! I don't think I cried the first time I read this chapter but I was so heartsore this time round. The ending is so sweet - That is all you are getting from me!

Cover talk: 4/5 
I liked the cover. The gates and that font just sell me every time. 

Final Thoughts: 
I love this series. It is a great YA PNR and it is definitely worth a read. I think this is one of those books that definitely get better every time you read them. 

My Rating:

Books in the series 

Other books by this Author:

About the Author

Scorpio Richelle Mead is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of urban fantasy books for both adults and teens. Originally from Michigan, Richelle now lives in Seattle, Washington where she works on her three series full-time: Georgina Kincaid, Dark Swan, and Vampire Academy.

A life-long reader, Richelle has always loved mythology and folklore. When she can actually tear herself away from books (either reading or writing them), she enjoys bad reality TV, traveling, trying interesting cocktails, and shopping for dresses. She's a self-professed coffee addict and has a passion for all things wacky and humorous.

Author Links: Goodreads l Twitter l website