Feb 28, 2013

DeeJay Reviews: The Hour of Predators by Lane Stark

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The Hour of Predators by Lane Stark

Publication Date: November 2011
Genre: Mystery/Crime Fiction
Series: Stand-alone
Source: Author for review

DeeJay's Rating: 4/5 STARS

Two gruesome murders have shocked and divided the community of Bella Coola, a small, isolated village in a remote river valley on the coast of British Columbia. The evidence points to a teenaged Nuxalk boy, and the simmering tension between whites and tribe members heats up. RCMP Inspector Marcus Chao must sort through misleading clues, cultural conflicts, tangled relationships, sexual scandals, and even rumors of sorcery to find the truth.

Marcus is a man whose life has skidded into remorse and misery. His own infidelity has ended his marriage to the woman he still loves, and now he finds himself with only two things to keep his sinking spirits afloat: the need to serve justice and his eternal fascination with solving the puzzle of the crime. This latest puzzle, however, is proving to be a maze of intrigue, and his mettle as well as his principles will be tested. (Goodreads)

The Hour of Predators was my first crime thriller. No joke. I'm a fantasy and romance fanatic so maybe that's why it took me so long to finish this book. It took months and it wasn't because of the writing. The writing was IMPECCABLE. AMAZING. MAGNIFICENT. Stark's talent for creating such vivid imagery with words turned a 3-star plot into a 4-star review.

The plot, overall, was just okay. There was an element of fantasy in the story, but in the end, I felt this took away from the mystery, rather than added to it. What I mean to say is, I would have loved to have read this book without all of that. If I say too much more, I'll probably spoil the book. Throughout the story, the plot dragged in many places and I had to make myself keep reading. I felt there were too many unnecessary scenes and interactions, but that's probably just me being picky.

For the characters, I really only liked the detective, Marcus and his ex-wife, a linguist named Gemma. At times, I found myself more engrossed in their troubled relationship than the murder mystery, which says so much about how "romantic" I am. Stark did well not to make them a bigger part of the story. She must have known people like me would forget what they were reading. I didn't become invested in the other characters like I wanted to. There was Daniel, and of course, Claire, and for them to be such central characters, I couldn't bring myself to truly care about them. I know that sounds bad, but it's true.

The ending was unexpected, and dare I say, weird. The crimes were solved but it's what happens after that that had me like, huh? For real? Strange ending, but intriguing. I'd actually like to know what happens next. Not sure if there is a "next", but I would probably read a second book if there was one.

Overall, this was an extremely well-written crime thriller. I can only hope to one day be able to write like this. I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy crime fiction. But if you're one of those who like a good dose of romance in your literature, then you'll probably have a hard time with this one, though I think you'd still end up enjoying it.

Check out my interview with Lane!

Dishin' It Up with fantasy author, David M. Brown

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I’d like to welcome author David M. Brown to DJ’s Book Corner. Thank you for taking the time to come dish it up with me.

Thank you, Diantha. It’s a pleasure to be here.

First question, when did you first know you wanted to be an author?
I first had a desire to write in my early teens and made numerous unsuccessful attempts at it. I always loved creative writing at school but it wasn’t until college that I stuck with it. It’s been fourteen years since I started and I’m not ready to quit yet.

When did you write your first book?
I first completed a novel in 2004 entitled The Anglo-Asininity Chronicle. I couldn’t find an agent or publisher though. I just wasn’t ready and the book has since been scrapped. The first book I published was Fezariu’s Epiphany in May 2011.

Feb 26, 2013

DeeJay Reviews: Dragon Actually by G.A. Aiken

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Dragon Actually by G.A. Aiken

Publication Date: September 1, 2008
Series: Dragon Kin #1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Source: Borrowed

DeeJay's Rating: 4/5 STARS


It's not always easy being a female warrior with a nickname like Annwyl the Bloody. Men tend to either cower in fear - a lot - or else salute. It's true that Annwyl has a knack for decapitating legions of her ruthless brother's soldiers without pausing for breath. But just once it would be nice to be able to really talk to a man, the way, she can talk to Fearghus the Destroyer.

Too bad that Fearghus is a dragon, of the large, scaly and deadly type. With him, Annwyl feels safe - a far cry from the feelings aroused by the hard-bodied, arrogant knight Fearghus has arranged to help train her for battle. With her days spent fighting a man who fill her with fierce, heady desire, and her nights spent in the company of a magical creature who could smite a village just by exhaling, Annwyl is sure life couldn't get any stranger. She's wrong... (Goodreads)

At first, I didn't think I would like this book as much as the Pride series. But I think I do. In fact, I'm sure I do. I've read the first book in each series and the dragons are winning. So yeah, I do.

Shelly Laurenston has a totally different writing style than her alter ego G.A. Aiken. Both are good, both are hot. The main difference is Dragon Kin has a plot. Pride doesn't. At least, not yet. As with The Mane Event, this was a two-for-one deal. The first story was about Annwyl and Fearghus, and though hilariously hot, it was missing something. Whatever it was, I didn't realize it was missing until I read the second story about Fearghus's parents, Rhiannon and Bercelak. I loved their story. It was pure entertainment from beginning to end, and Rhiannon didn't get on my nerves like Annwyl did at times. Maybe that's it. Maybe I just didn't like Annwyl as much as Rhiannon, and that's what kept me from liking the first story as much. I also adored Bercelak more than I did Fearghus. So there you have it.

Again with the insta-love. Not my cup of tea but at least I felt the love was earned and not just given in this book. Love scenes were blazing as usual, and the crazy, lovesick banter kept my eyes glued to the pages. As much as I wanted to stop reading, I couldn't. I was just too entertained.

So for fans of Shelly Laurenston who haven't tried this series, please do. You'll love it. Definitely excited to read the next in the series, About a Dragon.


Favorite Quote

"You're just mad she slapped you around." Gwenvael looked at his brother. "Like a bitch."





(Dragon Kin #2)

Feb 23, 2013

Showcase Sunday #17

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Showcase Sunday a fun weekly meme hosted by Vicky over @Books, Biscuits and Tea. It's a great way of showing off what we've bought, borrowed and received this week.


From NetGalley


1. The Runaway King (Ascendence Trilogy #2) by Jennifer Nielsen– I loved the first book in this series, The False Prince, so you can imagine my excitement when I received this from NetGalley the other day. Already a few chapters in and I'm hooked!

Read my review of The False Prince


Freebies from Amazon

      

1. Damian's Oracle (War of Gods #1) by Lizzy Ford– Cover got me.

2. The Cypher (Guardians Inc. #1) by Julian Rosado-Machain– Looks like there are rat-gargoyle hybrids on the cover. Count me in.

3. Perception (Perception #1) by Lee Strauss– Saw this on a blog and downloaded it because it was free. Not going to lie. The chances of me reading this anytime soon are slim. Just saying.


Borrowed


1. Dragon Actually (The Dragon Kin #1) G.A. Aiken– I just started reading Shelly Laurenston's Pride series (who is also G.A. Aiken BTW) and I really enjoyed the first book. This one is not as good, but they're DRAGONS, so who cares.



Feb 20, 2013

DeeJay Reviews: The Mane Event by Shelly Laurenston

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The Mane Event by Shelly Laurenston

Publication Date: October 1, 2007
Series: Pride #1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Source: Borrowed
DeeJay's Rating: 4/5 STARS


Christmas Pride

How come all the good-looking ones are insane? That's what runs through NYPD cop Desiree "Dez" MacDermot's mind the minute she hooks up again with her childhood buddy, Mace Llewellyn. It isn't just the way he stares at her with those too-sexy gold eyes--as if he could devour her on the spot. Or the six-four, built-like-a-Navy Seal bod-o-death. It isn't even that he sniffs her neck and purrs, making her entire body tingle. It's more about that disconcerting, shifting-from-man-to-lion thing that unhinges her...and makes her want more. Mace likes making Dez crazy. In fact, he likes her any way he can get her--in bed, on the desk, here, now, again. Together, they'd always been trouble, but Dez has no idea just how good trouble can feel...

Shaw's Tail


Brendon Shaw, hotel owner and lion shifter, has seen better days. He's been beaten, had a gun to the back of his head, and had to be rescued by a Pack of shape-shifting wolves. He didn't think he'd survive the night, much less find the woman of his dreams. And he never thought the woman of his dreams would have a Tennessee accent and wear cowboy boots. Once he sets his sights on her, the predator in him is ready to pounce and never let go. Ronnie Lee Reed is ready to change her life, and New York City is the place where any girl--even one who runs with a Pack--can redefine herself. First order of business: find a mate, settle down, and stop using men for sex. Even big, gorgeous, lion-shifting, oh-my-what-big-um-paws-you-have men. Then again... (Goodreads)


I have to be honest, The Mane Event didn't have much of a plot. I mean, there was one, but it played sidekick to the super hot romances in this book. So what I'm saying is, I didn't really care about the lack of plot much at all. There was a murder or something like that...and I think there was an investigation...can't really remember...yeah, don't care.

First off, I love the whole lion shifter thing. I mean, how sexy is that? Lions? I love lions! Who doesn't love lions? I thought Mace Llewellyn was the hottest thing shifting. He was pure alpha male who made me laugh (always a score) and had some really awesome one-liners that had me like, "Uh-huh. I need me one of these lion shifters." I'm really bad about writing down quotes but I'm going to get better at it because this book had some great ones. Brendan Shaw was another great lion but I didn't like him as much as Mace. His woman, however, Ronnie Lee Reed (a WOLF! Ha!) was fab. She kept me rolling with her southern twanged humor and no nonsense attitude. I liked Mace's girl, Dez, but not as much as Ronnie. Dez was independent and feisty, but something was lacking in her. I can't quite put my finger on it.

The love scenes were SMOKING. Some of the best I've read. The only thing that made me cringe was the insta-love. I get it, I get it. In the paranormal world, attraction is fated and once you find your mate, it's over. Still irritates the hell out of me. They fall in love within a week! I don't care how many paranormals I read, this will never be okay with me.

That said, for a trashy novel, this one was great. I will definitely be reading the rest of this series, as well as the Dragon Kin series by the same author.


Feb 16, 2013

Showcase Sunday #16

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Showcase Sunday a fun weekly meme hosted by Vicky over @Books, Biscuits and Tea. It's a great way of showing off what we've bought, borrowed and received this week.


Bought for Nook

Sins & Needles (The Artists Trilogy #1) by Karina Halle– I saw this book and instantly wanted it. The cover is great, but it was the promise of tattoos that got me. I LOVE tattoos. I have a few myself and love tattooing the characters in my books. Plus there's romance. Who doesn't love romance?


$2.99 for Kindle Sale!

Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1) by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl– I feel like I'm the only person on the planet who hasn't read this book. I know I'm not but it feels that way with all of the hype it's been receiving. Of course, we all know the movie is about to drop, so I'm hoping to get into this one before it does :)

That's all this week!

Feb 15, 2013

Fan of the Oracle of Delphi series? Pick your hero and prove it.

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So you're a fan of the Oracle of Delphi series, yeah? Pick your favorite hero and represent them on your blog or website! Tweet the link (to @DianthaJones) or leave it in the comments below and I'll send you a Team Strafford or Team Ace bookmark!

    

Feb 14, 2013

Cover Reveal: Their Promise by Brina Courtney

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Through the efforts of Ren at Ren's Rambles, I have the pleasure of being a part of the Valentine's Day cover reveal of Their Promise by Brina Courtney here at DJ's Book Corner. The book sounds great and the cover is HOT! Check it out!




Publication Date: August 27, 2012
Publisher: Laurelis Press
Genre: Contemporary Romance


One moment can change your life.
One moment to find love.
One moment to lose it.

Hannah Dewmont and Chase Harper are the perfect pair. With their lives intertwined since childhood and their love in full bloom, it seems only natural that they'd make plans for a future together. A future that includes promises... promises that will prove impossible to keep.



Purchase Their Promise
Amazon – Barnes&Noble
(Excerpts available)

On Sale now for only 99¢!

Brina Courtney is a young  adult author obsessed with chocolate, crime shows, and fantasy movies. She's spent the last few years as a beauty queen and elementary teacher. She lives in a small town in Pennsylvania with her husband and two very loud, small dogs.


Feb 12, 2013

DeeJay Reviews: The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen

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The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen


Publication Date: January 2012
Series: The Ascendence Trilogy #1
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Source: Bought

DeeJay's Rating: 4.5/5 STARS


In a discontent kingdom, civil war is brewing. To unify the divided people, Conner, a nobleman of the court, devises a cunning plan to find an impersonator of the king’s long-lost son and install him as a puppet prince. Four orphans are recruited to compete for the role, including a defiant boy named Sage. Sage knows that Conner’s motives are more than questionable, yet his life balances on a sword’s point—he must be chosen to play the prince or he will certainly be killed. But Sage’s rivals have their own agendas as well.

As Sage moves from a rundown orphanage to Conner’s sumptuous palace, layer upon layer of treachery and deceit unfold, until finally, a truth is revealed that, in the end, may very well prove more dangerous than all of the lies taken together. (Goodreads)

This book caught me off guard with how good it was. I'll admit, though the cover and the word "Prince" are what caught my attention, I really didn't have high expectations for it. I'm happy to say, I was proven very wrong. Nielsen's writing style was simplistic, yet engaging, and even though there wasn't a lot of action, the plot didn't drag to the point where I had to stop reading or anything. I actually couldn't stop reading!

Feb 10, 2013

Showcase Sunday #15

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Showcase Sunday a fun weekly meme hosted by Vicky over @Books, Biscuits and Tea. It's a great way of showing off what we've bought, borrowed and received this week.


Bought:

   

1. The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen– Already finished it and I LOVED it! 4 STARS. Can't wait to read the sequel, The Runaway King.

2. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi– Everyone is raving about this series but I'm not sure. One thing I am sure about, is that I'm going to need a lot of patience to overcome the ridiculous amount of strikethroughs in this book. There were four on the first page alone. *sigh*


Borrowed:


1. The Mane Event by Shelly Laurenston and Last Dragon Standing by G.A. Aiken– I put these together because I borrowed these books from the same person AND because both of these authors are the same person! I'm halfway through The Mane Event, and boy, this book is HOT! Can't wait to start Last Dragon Standing because, duh, I love dragons. Especially sexy ones :)


Won:


Chosen (The Amish Bloodsuckers Trilogy) by Barbara Ellen Brink– Won this book in a giveaway hosted by Ren's Rambles. It arrived jus the other day with a cute little bookmark. Wanna say thanks to Barbara and Ren for this fabulous prize!

Diantha, are you reading hard copies? Why yes, good people of Book Corner. Indeed I am :)


Feb 8, 2013

DeeJay Reviews: Hot Flash by Eden Baylee

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Hot Flash by Eden Baylee

Publication Date: November 17, 2012
Genre: Erotica
Source: Bought

DeeJay's Rating: 3.5/5 STARS


Flash fiction is defined as short, quick written pieces. Twenty stories and poems with an erotic bent make up this collection. 

The themes of love, lust, adultery, and regret are told in different voices, sometimes with an irreverent sense of humor.

Some will touch you, others will sear into your subconscious. Don't be surprised if you flinch from the heat. Warning: Contains two non-erotic entries. Pun intended (Goodreads)

Let me say off the rip, that I LOVE Eden Baylee. I was first introduced to her writing when she submitted her erotica novel, Spring to Summer, to the Masquerade Crew for review. I chose it, and boy, am I ever so glad I did!

Hot Flash didn't give me the same tingling feeling I got as I read her other two novels. It's like this: every time I got sucked into a story, it was over. Though I went into this book knowing that there were twenty stories/poems, I still groaned each time a good one ended and I wanted it to keep going. I mean, I think Eden has such a way of expressing romance, love, and sex, that you just get taken by it, and you can't stop reading. She knows what she's writing and she writes it well. And she is a darling! I totally love her, and I enjoyed this book, even though it didn't speak to me as well as the others did. I would recommend anything Eden writes, but just don't get too attached to any of the stories in Hot Flash, because you'll be mad as a mutha when they end!

My review of Spring Into Summer
My review of Fall Into Winter

Feb 6, 2013

DeeJay Reviews: The Proposition Series by Katie Ashley

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The Proposition by Katie Ashley


Publication Date: November 1, 2012
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: The Proposition #1
Source: Freebies from Amazon

DeeJay's Rating: 3.5/5 STARS


With her thirtieth birthday looming, Emma Harrison finds her biological clock clanging and the elusive knight in shining armor yet to appear. She’s running out of options, especially after her gay best friend backs out from being her sperm donor. Of course, there’s always a sperm bank, but Emma fears a donor mix-up might impregnate her with the spawn of Satan.

Resident company womanizer, Aidan Fitzgerald, is used to always getting what he wants, especially in the bedroom. When Emma spurns his advances at the company Christmas party, he's determined to have her no matter what it takes. After Aidan learns of Emma's predicament, he is quick to offer a proposition that will benefit them both. He will father Emma's child, but she must conceive it with him naturally. Not one for hook-ups or casual sex, Emma is reluctant to take him up on his offer, but his charm, coupled with her intense desire for motherhood, wins out.

Soon their baby-making sessions become more than just physical. Aidan can't seem to walk away from her while Emma begins to wonder if Aidan could be the one. But can Aidan leave his past behind to become the man Emma needs him to be? (Goodreads)

With all the ranting and raving people have been doing, I expected this book to be extraordinary. It was good and pretty funny, but nothing special. I thought the premise for the book was cute and quite intriguing, even though it was clear how it was going to end. Well, not exactly, but read it to find out what I mean.

Feb 2, 2013

Showcase Sunday #14

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Showcase Sunday a fun weekly meme hosted by Vicky over @Books, Biscuits and Tea. It's a great way of showing off what we've bought, borrowed and received this week.


Again, with the lonely book


The Proposal (The Proposition #2) by Katie Ashley– Really enjoyed the first book, so I just had to get the second one.

Yup, I controlled myself again this week :) #pride