Wednesday, June 30, 2010

America vs. Germany

No, I´m not talking about the football world cup, but about something else entirely.
Today, I spent two hours of my free time with my sister (yes, the surgeon) out shopping. Just like always, I stopped by my favourite local book store and tried talking her into buying a new book.
Since she´s not so comfortable with reading in English, we were looking for the German versions. Luckily, they had the first book in the Kate Daniels series. Here in Germany, it looks like this (in comparision to the original US cover):

The literal translation of the German title would be something like "City of Darkness: The Night of Magic". Here is the original:

As soon as I was at home, I had to go online and see what the other German covers look like. Here´s what I found:

The literal translation of the German title would be "City of Darkness: The Dark Flood".

The US cover looks like this:

The thrid book in the series, Magic Strikes has this cover:

The title means "City of Darkness: Duell of the Shadows".

The US cover in comparision:

And finally, the latest one, Magic Bleeds. It´s not released yet in Germany, but the cover has already been published.

The German title would mean "City of Darkness: Magical Blood" in English.

You probably know the US cover, as I´ve posted it quite a lot lately or maybe it´s already waiting on your own bookshelf, but just to make the series complete:

Even though I´m not a big fan of the translations of the titles, I have to admit I kind of prefer the German covers. Ok, there is something that looks like spaceships in the first one (you can´t see them in the picture I used, but they are there), but the cover model and the color choice for each one are really beautiful. The woman is very similar to how I pictured Kate Daniels, even before I saw the covers.

So what do you think? Germany or USA? Who wins in the little cover war?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Today´s Releases

Today, three awesome books are being released:

Pray for Dawn by Jocelynn Drake

It´s the fourth book in the Dark Days series and this time, it´s written in Danaus´s POV.

Pray for salvation . . .

Pray for daylight . . .

Murder has pulled Mira out of the shadows and back into the living world . . .

As the fire-wielding enforcer of the nightwalker coven wrestles with the mind-destroying ghosts of her dark past, the slaying of a senator's daughter in Savannah threatens to expose her kind to the brilliant light of day. The dawn of chaos has come. The naturi have broken free of their eternal prison to feed on the defenseless and unbelieving of an unprepared Earth.

Mira and Danaus—vampire and vampire slayer—must unite to prevent the annihilation of their separate races. But for Danaus the challenge is intensified, for he must also fight the bori who covets his soul. And Mira, the nightwalker he must protect—whose power is the Earth's last hope—is rapidly going insane.

The next one is Tracking the Tempest by Nicole Peeler, the second book in the Jane True series. Isn´t the cover once again amazing?

Valentine's Day is fast approaching, and Ryu - Jane's bloodsucking boyfriend - can't let a major holiday go by without getting all gratuitous. An overwhelming dose of boyfriend interference and a last-minute ticket to Boston later, and Jane's life is thrown off course.

Ryu's well-intentioned plans create mayhem, and Jane winds up embroiled in an investigation involving a spree of gruesome killings. All the evidence points towards another Halfling, much to Jane's surprise...

And finally, Kitty goes to War", the 8th Kitty Norville book by Carrie Vaughn is to be released.

Kitty Norville, werewolf radio call-in show host, gets a call from an old friend at the NIH’s Center for the Study of Paranatural Biology, a friend with a problem, who doesn’t know where else to turn. Three Army soldiers who have recently returned from the war in Afghanistan are in custody at Ft. Carson in Colorado Springs. They’re also werewolves suffering from post traumatic stress, unable to control their shape-shifting, unable to interact with people. Kitty agrees to see them, curious and wanting to help. Meanwhile, Kitty gets sued for slander after featuring Speedy Mart—a chain of 24-hour convenience stores with a reputation for attracting the supernatural—on her show, and an old friend-and-adversary has just been released from jail.

What releases are you waiting for this week?

Teaser Tuesday

This weekly book blog meme is hosted by Misb at Should be Reading.

Here are the rules:
- 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 Teaser Tuesday participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers.

Title: Dayhunter
Author: Jocelynn Drake
Release: April 28th 2009 by Eos (first published April 17th 2009)
Genre: Urban Fantasy

"Kick me."
I twisted around, my mouth falling open in wordless shock. The hunter stared at me, the corners of his mouth twitching. Laughter, for one brief crystalline moment, shimmied through his cobalt eyes. Dear heaven, the dark vampire hunter was developing a sense of humor.


Review "Mind Games"

Title: Mind Games, (The Disillusionists Trilogy, #1)
Author: Carolyn Crane
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published: March 23rd 2010 by Spectra


Justine Jones has a secret. A hardcore hypochondriac, she’s convinced a blood vessel is about to burst in her brain. Then, out of the blue, a startlingly handsome man named Packard peers into Justine’s soul and invites her to join his private crime-fighting team. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime deal. With a little of Packard’s hands-on training, Justine can weaponize her neurosis, turning it outward on Midcity’s worst criminals, and finally get the freedom from fear she’s always craved. End of problem.

Or is it? In Midcity, a dashing police chief is fighting a unique breed of outlaw with more than human powers. And while Justine’s first missions, including one against a nymphomaniac husband-killer, are thrilling successes, there is more to Packard than meets the eye. Soon, while battling her attraction to two very different men, Justine is plunging deeper into a world of wizardry, eroticism, and cosmic secrets. With Packard’s help, Justine has freed herself from her madness—only to discover a reality more frightening than anyone’s worst fears.

"Mind Games" is a very extraordinary book. First of all, I don´t even know if it´s just Urban Fantasy. It has also a comic book flair with a little touch of crime fighting superheroes. It is set in Midcity, a city that suffers from a brutal crime wave. People are terrorized by criminals like the Brick Slinger who drops bricks on his unsuspecting victims. The authorities, most of all Police Chief Otto Sanchez, are fighting an uphill battle.

Justine Jones, the main character of this book is hypochondriac and she knows it. She lives in the constant fear that she might die of the vein star syndrom, just like her mother did. She wishes nothing more than to be free of her fear and lead a normal life. A life she so desperatly tries to have with Cubby, her good-looking, very normal and very lucky All-American boyfriend. But when a panic attack hits her, there is little she can do. Neither Cubby´s attemps to convince her with sheer logic nor the regular visits to the ER can convince Justine that she´s not sick.
For the reader, these panic attacks are strangely entertaining, as Carolyn Crane writes them with a certain dark and absurd humor that just takes you by surprise. But it´s also that vulnerability combined with her undying trust in Chief Sanchez and her wish for everybody to be free of fear that endears Justine so much to the reader.

One day however, Justine and her boyfriend are at a restaurant and she meets Sterling Packard and his team. Packard is a highcap (people who have extraordinary powers due to a hightened brain power), he can see the psychological structure of anybody and instantly knows their weakness. He has put together a team of "misfits", people who suffer just like Justine from different neuroses, such as despression, extreme rage or even more serious conditions like gambling and alcoholism. Together, the are paid to disillusion certain targets by attacking them psychologically, exploit their weaknesses and make them loose everything. After that they "reboot" and try to make up for their past life of crimes.
Packard asks Justine to join the team and is thus offering her a way out of her fear. The only thing she has to do to help disillusion someone is channel her fear into the target.
At first, Justine declines, but after having tested "zinging" and enjoyed a few days without fear, she wavers. She knows it is a once in a lifetime opportunity to get rid of her fear, yet she dislikes th idea of vigilantism.
Yet, Packard is a very charismatic man and Justine and Packard share an instant connection. He is dark, wild and mysterious, quite the opposite of her boyfriend Cubby. So, reluctantly, Justine agrees to join the team. Between training and her very first target, she gets to know the other members of the group and for the first time ever, she actually bonds with people who are exactly like her. Ever so slightly, Justine begins to change. She quits her old job and starts lying to Cubby, as she is not allowed to tell him about her "secret new job". More and more, this whole situation begins to put a strain on their relationship. With every bit she drifts away from Cubby, she is pulled to Packard.
Then however, Justine finds out that Packard is trapped in his restaurant Mongolian Delights by any unknown mysterious nemesis. As she sets out to help him get free, she discovers more than she wants and finds herself in a web of lies and dependencies that not only threatens her life but the entire city.

"Mind Games" is split in different parts. In the first part, you get to know Justine and her hypochondria, meet Packard and his team and get a feeling for the world this story is set in. It sometimes even made me laugh, because of some very bizarre, yet frightingly realistic descriptions of Justine´s panic attacks and the odd conversations among the members of the team.
The second part starts with Justine´s first assignment and the descriptions of how the teams works. Justine changes, both revels in her new life without fear and fights with her conscience, questioning if shifting her fears to other people is really the right thing to do.
It is the very last part however that makes this book very special. In their search for the nemesis, Justine and her newfound friends uncover some secrets of Packard´s past that could change everything. Unsure of whome to trust, Justine takes matters in her own hands and sees to a surprising end that noone else could have achieved.

The main characters in this book are multilayered, complex and likeable. They are also deeply flawed. I liked the idea how the weaknesses of them turned into their strengths and are used as a force of good.

The story is expertly told with just the right amount of pace, action and suspense. The very end had me all hooked up and I really wanted to know how everything would turn out.

Carolyn Crane has proven with this book that Urban Fantasy doesn´t need werewolves, vampires or the other usual suspects to be a great read. Highcaps and neurotics make for a just as intruiging, gripping and smart story.

I can only recomend this extraordinary book to all readers and lovers of the Urban Fantasy genre.

4 out of 5 Points

If you want more of Carolyn Crane now, go visit her homepage, where you can find the first chapter of Mind Games online, along with other interesting stuff about Midicty like the Midcitiy Eagle, Midcitiy´s most trusted newspaper. You can also visit her blog.

"Mind Games" ist the first book in a trilogy, with the next in series, "Double Cross" to be released on September 28th 2010.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Musing Mondays

Musing Mondays is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. This week’s musing asks…

What do you think of books that receive a lot of hype? (think of the “Twilight” saga, or “Harry Potter”, or “The Da Vinci Code”). Do you read them? Why, or why not?

At first, let me tell you that I have read both Twilight (except "The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner") and all the Harry Potter books and I liked them. I was never crazy about them or obsessing about Edward or Jacob but I really liked them.
I think you shouldn´t decide against reading a book just because it is hyped, because there is always the possibility that it deserves all the attention and the good reviews. However, I still think you should read hyped books with caution.
I guess everyone is somehow influenced by the reviews or opinions of others, especially of those who share the same taste. I am no exception. But I always try to be not too prejudiced before I start reading a book and I avoid spoilers at all costs.
What I´m trying to say is that I my opinion, there is nothing wrong with reading hyped books. You can try them and still have a different opinion about them. You want to talk about them in the bloggerverse, right? :)
Here´s another thought to consider: once you´ve read a hyped book or series (let take Twilight as example) and you liked it, you might want to read more books similar to it. You can´t read Twilight your whole life, right? Eventuelly, you will end up reading books that are not so well known. At least that´s how it was for me.

What about you? Do you follow the hype?

Coming up

I am SO excited! Did you notice any change to my blog? As in I have the most awesome design ever?? I nust love it so much... It was made by Larissa, the most awesome, crazy creative and incredibly nice person I´ve ever met since entering the bloggerverse( Once again, thank you soo much!). Not only does she make kick-ass designs, has also has an amazing blog. Go check it out!

Welcome to Larissa's Life

Another thing that has really made my weekend was receiving my very first eACR via NetGalley. . If you haven´t hear of it yet, NetGalley is a site for reviewers, media, bloggers, journalists, librarians, booksellers and educators. So if you´re blooging or doing reviews, you can sign up and than request eARCs. It´s totally for free and more importantly, you can also request ARCs if you´re an international reader such as I am. I signed up and as I mentioned before, I already got my first ARC, "Tyger, Tyger" by Kersten Hamilton. So if you´re also international or have just wondered where everybody gets their ARCs, go to the NetGalley page, it´s definetly worth it.

I´ll be doing a review of "Mind Games" by Carolyn Crane early this week, maybe tomorrow, if everything goes as planned.

The second review for this week will be of "Tyger, Tyger" by Kersten Hamilton.

I can also tell you that Carrie Vaughn, only one of my most favourite authors ever, who has written the Kitty Norville Series, "Voices of the Dragons" and now "Discord´s Apple" has agreed to answer a few of my questions on her newbooks and other writing related stuff.

As soon as I hear back from her, I´ll share with you guys!

And finally, thanks to the Blog Hops last Friday, I reached 50+ followers. Thank you so much to all of you for stopping by, commenting and following my blog! I can´t tell you how much I appreciate it.
Also, I feel like a giveaway is due when I finally reach the magical 100+ follower marker. :)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

My Mailbox

Look what I found in my mailbox today sent by... well myself, but nonetheless, books are books, no matter who sent them, right? :)

Dark. Talented. Beautiful. Star of the rock band Inferno. Rumored owner of the hot New Orleans nightspot Club Hell. Born of the Blood, then broken by an evil beyond imagination.

F.B.I. Special Agent Heather Wallace has been tracking a sadistic serial murderer known as the Cross Country Killer, and the trail has led her to New Orleans, Club Hell, and Dante. But the dangerously attractive musician not only resists her investigation, he claims to be "nightkind": in other words, a vampire. Digging into his past for answers reveals little. A juvenile record a mile long. No social security number. No known birth date. In and out of foster homes for most of his life before being taken in by a man named Lucien DeNoir, who appears to guard mysteries of his own.

What Heather does know about Dante is that something links him to the killer -- and she's pretty sure that link makes him the CCK's next target. Heather must unravel the truth about this sensual, complicated, vulnerable young man -- who, she begins to believe, may indeed be a vampire -- in order to finally bring a killer to justice. But Dante's past holds a shocking, dangerous secret, and once it is revealed not even Heather will be able to protect him from his destiny....

After accidentally stealing the life force of a dying demon, Allay became the only human-demon hybrid in existence. Demons feed on human emotions, so Allay decided the safest way to satisfy this need-and still retain some semblance of her humanity-was to open a bar. Here she can drink from, and ease, her patrons' pain, which has helped her to stay under the demon radar...until now.

When Allay is attacked and nearly killed by another demon, a human comes to her rescue. Theo Ram is tall, handsome, and mortal-and Allay feels a connection to him she didn't think she'd ever know. But that bond is tested when the demon community in New York begins to rise up, and two opposing clans fight for power. Now Allay is caught in the middle, and she must decide where her loyalties lie.

He is the keeper of Doubt and his entire world’s about to be rocked.

Bound by the demon of doubt, Sabin unintentionally destroys even the most confident of lovers. So the immortal warrior spends his time on the battlefield instead of the bedroom, victory his only concern…until he meets Gwendolyn the Timid. One taste of the beautiful redhead, and he craves more.

Gwen, an immortal herself, always thought she’d fall for a kind human who wouldn’t rouse her darker side. But when Sabin frees her from prison, battling their enemies for the claim to Pandora’s box turns out to be nothing compared to the battle Sabin and Gwen will wage against love…

Tess Corday, Occult Special Investigator for Vancouver's Mystical Crime Lab, is used to seeing dead vampires. But there's nothing ordinary about this case. Not the lab results on the cause of death. Not the teenage girl living at the address found in the vamp's pocket, who may well be in thrall to a demon. And certainly not Lucian Agrado, the necromancer who is liaison to the vampire community. Agrado is supposed to be part of the solution, but Tess suspects he might be part of the problem.

Soon she finds herself in the middle of a paranormal conspiracy that will change her life forever—and possibly end it.

"My name is Genny Taylor. I work for It's a great job, pays the rent, lets me do the thing I'm good at - funding magic and cracking it - and the bonus is it's run by witches, which stops the vamps from taking a bite out of me.

Not that vampires are the big bad any more, not since they launched a slick PR campaign - oh, and they brought the goblins on board. Now the vamps are sought-after celebrities, and Getting Fanged and taking the Gift are the new height of all things cool. But only if you're human.

And I'm not.

I'm Sidhe fae.

And I know firsthand just how deadly a vampire can be."

When Mr October, a sexy calendar pin-up vamp, is accused of murdering his girlfriend, an old debt is called in and Genny is forced to help prove his innocence, risking her job and the protection it offers - and threatening to expose her own dark secrets. Searching for the killer plunges Genny deep into the hidden heart of vampire society and it's not long before she realises that she and Mr October are both unwitting pawns in a centuries-old power struggle between London's non-human communities...and it's not just her own neck that's at stake, but the lives of all London's supernaturals.

And finally, something I´m very proud of: I´ve recieved my very first ARC, actually, it´s and eARC provided by NetGalley for the following book:

Teagan Wylltson's best friend, Abby, dreams that horrifying creatures--goblins, shape-shifters, and beings of unearthly beauty but terrible cruelty--are hunting Teagan. Abby is always coming up with crazy stuff, though, so Teagan isn't worried. Her life isn't in danger. In fact, it's perfect. She's on track for a college scholarship. She has a great job. She's focused on school, work, and her future. No boys, no heartaches, no problems.

Until Finn Mac Cumhaill arrives. Finn's a bit on the unearthly beautiful side himself. He has a killer accent and a knee-weakening smile. And either he's crazy or he's been haunting Abby's dreams, because he's talking about goblins, too . . . and about being The Mac Cumhaill, born to fight all goblin-kind. Finn knows a thing or two about fighting. Which is a very good thing, because this time, Abby's right. The goblins are coming.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday Blog Hop

It´s Friday again! Time for our weekly Blog Hop!

Want to get to know new fellow bloggers? Want to have more followers on your blog?

Join the fun and make now book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:

1. Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Host { } and any one else you want to follow on the list
2. Follow our Featured Bloggers -
3. Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing.
4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments
5. Follow Follow Follow as many as you can
6. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love...and the followers
7. If you want to show the link list, just follow the link below the entries and copy and paste it within your post!

Another Blogger Hop is hosted by Crazy for Books.

Happy Follow Friday!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Review "Unholy Ghosts"

Title: Unholy Ghosts (Downside Ghosts, #1)
Author: Stacia Kane
Genre: Dark Urban Fantasy
Published: May 25th 2010 by Del Rey


The world is not the way it was. The dead have risen, and the living are under attack. The powerful Church of Real Truth, in charge since the government fell, has sworn to reimburse citizens being harassed by the deceased. Enter Chess Putnam, a fully tattooed witch and freewheeling ghost hunter. She’s got a real talent for banishing the wicked dead. But Chess is keeping a dark secret: She owes a lot of money to a murderous drug lord named Bump, who wants immediate payback in the form of a dangerous job that involves black magic, human sacrifice, a nefarious demonic creature, and enough wicked energy to wipe out a city of souls. Toss in lust for a rival gang leader and a dangerous attraction to Bump’s ruthless enforcer, and Chess begins to wonder if the rush is really worth it. Hell, yeah.

I have to admit I was a bit reserved when I started reading this book, because I heard that the main character was a drug addict. I once had to read a book featuring a drug addict for a class and I still shudder when I think about it. However, I decided to give it a chance.

Unholy ghosts is a indeed Dark Urban Fantasy. In 1997, the world as we know it changed. Ghosts attaced and killed enormous amouts of people until they were driven back and banished by an organization called the Church. After those events, all the old religions were obsolete and the Church gained power and now rules totalitarian.
Chess lives in a world where only Fact and Truth count, in a world without belief and without hope. She works for the Church as witch and Debunker. She casts out ghousts that haunt houses using legalized magic (or engery).
Chess lives in Downside, a ghetto of the worst kind where drog lords and pimps rule. Life has been hard on her, she doesn´t know her parents and has lived in numerous foster families. Knowing her story, her drug addiction even kond of makes sense. She is jaded, unable to tolerate any kind of close relationship, flawed and sometimes desperate. But even though throughout the book she is often on the brink of giving up, she never admits defeat. That´s what made her in my opinion a very strong and likeable character. I couldn´t really believe it at frist, but in the end I cared for her and her well-being.
Just like for the well-being of an other character which I thought to be "unlikeable". I mean, how can you possibly like the enforcer of a drug lord whose job it is to rough up people? Who is, unlike other male lead characters, not your typical tortured and misunderstood yet still gorgoeus and drop dead sexy hero? But somehow, the man with the telling name Terrible kind if sneaked his way into my heart. He starts out as cold enforcer for the drug lord Chess owes money to, but then, a relationship forms between him and Chess in a very subtle way. Those two do have chemistry together, I can tell you. More the Chess and Lex, the other potential love intrest for her in my opinion. Terrible is not a man of many words and he had, just like Chess a rough past which left him without any options in his life. Which is actually kind of sad, I think there could be more to him and that he might be more intelligent that he lets on (which he proves by his knowlege about the Wars). Terrible is a very good example for a character whose life has been determined in the worst kind of way not by him but by the circumstances he has grown up in.
As far as the story is concerned, the book has a good sense of pace. It is never boring nor predictable. I don´t want to give too much away for all of you who haven´t read the book yet, but I liked that fact that we see a heroine who makes mistakes and false judgements every once in a while which make for nice turning points in the book.
The world Stacia Kane has built is, like I already mentioned, very dark and desperate (I shudder at the image of the flesh eating maggots), but it is the perfect world for the story she writes (does that make sense?). Even the addiction to drugs did not bother me as I assumed. Chess does use heavily and her use infuences her actions and decisons, but it still fits in the story and is not too much in the center of attention.
There was however one thing I had slight problems with. These problems might of course result form the fact that English is not my native language. At the very beginning I had quite a hard time getting used to the slag that the inhabitants of the downside speak. I understood what was said and meant but it took me a while to get accustomed to it.
This does nothing to change the fact that UNHOLY GHOSTS is a capitivting debut and most definetly deserves the praise it got.
It is a bold choice to be made by an author to choose a drug addict as main character and write a story that revolves about the supposedly shady characters and I think not many authors could make such a book a good one.
Stacia Kane has definetly succeded. Her book stands out in the mass of Urban Fantasy books. Once you´ve started, you will not want to put this intriguing and wonderfully original book down until you´ve read the last page. And even then you will still want more.

4.5 of 5 points.

If you want to learn more about the author, visit her website where you can find a sneak peak from her upcoming book Unholy Magic, which will thankfully released very soon (July 6). I have it already pre-ordered! :)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Surgeon´s Bloody View

In one of my posts last weekend, I´ve already mentioned that I will have a very special guest blog this week.
Now it´s time.
*drumroll* Please welcome my lovely sister, victim of my constant rambling and raving about books and latest (unwilling?) fan of the paranormal world.

Hi there!
I´m a surgeon and I like blood. I almost constantly work the nightshift, so I guess you can call me a creature of the night. Somehow...
My sister already told you that I´ve started reading Urban Fantasy recently. The very first series I read was the Georgina Kincaid series by Richelle Mead.

I really liked it, because first of all, Georgie rocks. Whereas I like my surgeries bloody in the real life, I prefer books that are humorous and not too dark. Add some romance to a story and I am happy. I find the different male characters the authors come up with very intrigiung.
In the Georgie series, there are two of them and they are quite different.
Let me tell you one thing: I don´t like Seth. At all. He´s so perfect that it´s almost boring. Roman however, has the right bad boy touch for me. :) Needless to say that I´m really hoping that Geogie ends up with him for her Happily Ever After, right?

Now to you my dear readers! Have you read the series? If so, which one do you prefer? Badboy Roman or Deadhead Seth?
Please share your thoughts and don´t forget, I might have to save your life one day! And don´t climb on anything higher than a few feet. You can really hurt youself...

Win on Wednesday

As you might have noticed I always post a few banners of giveaways on my sidebar. At the moment thouogh, there are so many giveaways and you can win so many amazing books that I´ve listed some of them for you to enter.

On Welcome to Larissa´s Bookish Life you can win a signed copy of Jocelynn Drake´s of Pray for Dawn. Ends June 28th.

On Book Addict, you can win a copy of Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater (Ends June 28), a copy of TOUCHED BY AN ALIEN by Gini Koch with signed author swag (ends June 29), a signed copy of MAGIC BLEEDS by Ilona Andrews (ends June 30), a signed copy of CRUX by Moira Rogers (ends July 1), a signed copy of INFINITY by Sherrilyn Kenyon (ends July 2)and a copy of FORTUNATE HARBOR by Emilie Richards - enter here (ends 7/5)

The Book Vixen has a huge birthday giveaway, where you can win tons of books (ends June 30)
The Book Vixen

The Story Siren is giving away a Black Cat prize pack (ends July 2)

At Darkly Reading you can win tons of UF/PNR books (ends July 5)

Also, don´t forget about the Paranormal Summer Fest by Tynga´s Reviews and All Things Urban Fantasy, where you can win a book every day!

There´s also a list of 158(!!) Giveaways listed over at All Things Urban Fantasy with more giveaways.

Good luck to all of you!

Cover Art

Another awesome cover has just been unveiled by The Book Smugglers:

I love the unusual pose of the model, the colors, the intricate patterns in the corners and the font.

The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney


Freak. That’s what they called seventeen year-old Donna Underwood in high school after a horrific fey attack that killed her father when she was just a child. Her injuries and rehabilitation resulted in magically enhanced strength, thanks to the iron tattoos branding her hands and arms. As a child of the alchemists, she is both blessed and cursed with a magical heritage that doesn't leave much room for boys, parties and homework.

Now, after ten years of wishing for a normal life, she finally has to accept her role in the centuries-old war against the darkest outcasts of Faerie: the Dark Elves. Aided by a gorgeous half-fey dropout, Donna must race to save her best friend’s life - even if it means betraying one of the world’s greatest secrets and confronting the very thing that destroyed her family.

Now to the bad news: release date is - brace yourself - February 1st 2011. That´s gonna be a long wait.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I think I´m in love...

...with this cover. Seriously. This is just beautiful.

Finally a gorgeous, unique cover, might even be one of the best so far in 2010.


Nothing much happens in the sleepy town of Venus Cove. But everything changes when three angels are sent from heaven to protect the town against the gathering forces of darkness: Gabriel, the warrior; Ivy, the healer; and Bethany, a teenage girl who is the least experienced of the trio. They work hard to conceal their true identity and, most of all, their wings. But the mission is threatened when the youngest angel, Bethany, is sent to high school and falls in love with the handsome school captain, Xavier Woods. Will she defy the laws of Heaven by loving him? Things come to a head when the angels realize they are not the only supernatural power in Venus Cove. There′s a new kid in town and he′s charming, seductive and deadly. Worst of all, he′s after Beth.

Release: August 31st 2010 by Feiwel & Friends

Teaser Tuesday

This weekly book blog meme is hosted by Misb at Should be Reading.

Here are the rules:
- 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 Teaser Tuesday participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers.

Title: Tempest Rising
Author: Nicole Peeler
Release: October 27th 2009
Genre: Urban Fantasy

"Do you make children disappear?" I blurted out.
He opened one eye to stare at me from upside down. "No" was his only reply. "Why?"

p. 120

Review "Three Days to Dead"

Title: Three Days to Dead (Dreg City, #1)
Author: Kelly Meding
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published: November 24th 2009 by Dell

"I don´t recall the first time I died, but I do remember the second time I was born. Vividly."

This opening line pulls you dirctly into the fast-paced and action-packed story of "Three Days to Dead".
Evangeline Stone wakes up in a morgue, naked, in a stranger´s body and without any memory of how she got here or what has happened to her in the last few days of her life. But Evangeline is as member of a Triad, a group of three bounty hunters who clean the city of Dregs, supernatural creatuers like vampires, shapeshifters, goblins, or trolls. She has been trained to fight and kill and so she doesn´t back down. She sets out to find her handler Wyatt, the only ally, finds out that she is basically hunted by everyone and her only hope is discovering the secret she died for in the first place. Oh, and she has only three days left. Then, she´ll die again. For good.
Evangeline´s character is very well written. From the very beginning, the reader feels Evy´s confusion and panic, as she deals first with her memory loss and later with the gradually returing memories. The way she handles what has happend to her before her death is described both plausible and very empathetic. Even her outbursts of unjust anger and rage are understandable, as no matter what she tries, everything just gets worse. Not knowing whom to trust and the loss of old and new allys definetly take their toll on Evy. In addition to that, Evangeline also struggles with new, unknown feelings for Wyatt. She is unsure wheter they are a result of her deep felt need of protection or if they stem from the physical attraction Chalice (the former owner of the body Evy is in)feels for Wyatt.
The relationship between Evy and Wyatt, her handler is another aspect that is very well established in this book. During the book, Evy´s and Chalice´s personality seem to become gradually one and the relationship between Evy and Wyatt becomes sweet, tender and true.
This is also due to Wyatt´s character, who is fiercly loyal to Evy and obviously cares a great deal about her. Hearing him tell her that he doesn´t mind in whose body she´s in, because he loves her for who she is really made my heart melt. I suffered with him as, later on in the book, he blames himself more and more for Evy´s situation and is willing to pay the ultimate price to save her.
The unusual premise of the book (the heroine being brought back to live after being murdered to solve her owm murder), the worldbuilding and some of the scenes and settings in the book are very original, something totally new and so creative that you really have to admire Kelly Meding.
The story moves on so fast that you hardly find a moment to catch your breath. Still the characters don´t take a backseat.
I really enjoyed how Kelly Meding chose a flashback to describe the way Evy regained her memory. The countdown used at the beginning of every chapter to tell the time to Evy´s next death reminded me a little of 24. Somehow though it still helped to create a feeling of urgency, as you know that it´s a race against time where every lost minute could be crucial.
Even though I knew that there would be a second book in the series with Evy as main character, I still couldn´t figure out how Kelly Meding would end the story (I was so hoping for a Happily Ever After for Evy and Wyatt!). The whole stroy contained a few very surprising twists I didn´t see coming.

All in all, "Three Days to Dead" is one of the best Urban Fantasy debuts I´ve read this year. I can highly recommend it for everyone who likes their fantasy dark, gritty and action packed with just the right dose of romance.

4 of 5 points from me!

The next book in the series, "As Lie the Dead" is due on July 27th 2010 and sure to be on my TBR pile as soon as I can get my hands on it.

If you want to learn more about the author, go visit her homepage, blog or her page on facebook

Monday, June 21, 2010

Musing Mondays

This week’s musing asks:

Name your top 2-3 favorite genres (the ones you read most from).

Well, that´s simple. :)

First and most beloved genre: Urban Fantasy. Actually, I started reading Urban Fantasy roughly in 2008, so not that long ago. My very first books were Magic Bites and Halfway to the Grave (I know, this is more PNR, but wait for it!) Magic Bites kind of blew me away. At first, I had quite a hard time to get into it. I mean, I had read English books before that, but mostly your typical school assignment books, Shakespeare (yeah, well...), The Catcher in the Rye and stuff like that. But the detailed, fascinating and absorbing worldbuiling, the complex and awesome Characters just sucked me in so to speak. And when the wonderful Kate Daniels greeted a shapeshifting alpha male lion with the infamous "Here, kitty kitty." Ilona Andrews owned me. I hadf to keep on reading the next chapter, then the next book and then a new series and another one. From that point on, the story of my sad little addiction led me to where I am now: a compulsive book buyer who stalks (not really, but you get the picture) her favourite authors and bloggers and keeps on rambling about all the books she loves. If something like the Amazon Gold Club for the most frequent buyers existed, I´d be pretty sure a member.
My second most loved genre is hard to decide, I guess YA and PNR share the spot. The kind of book I read depends on which mood I am in. I mean, what is better against heartache than a hot PNR with a bad boy alpha male, steamy sex and the perfect Happily Ever After? Cheesy, I know but so what. My very first PNR book was, by the way, Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost, which led me right on to Dark Lover by J.R. Ward (In case it´s not obvious, I had a thing for vampires back in 2008. By coincident, I also re-watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer back then.)
Young adult is something I´ve read longer that Urban Fantasy, is and always and always will be very dear to my heart. I can´t even say when I started reading it or what my first book was, but as long as there are so many awesome books like "Hush, Hush" or "Torment" or "My Soul to Take/Save/Keep" (I could keep going on and on), I´ll definetly keep on reading YA, even though I really don´t qualify as that anymore at my ripe age. *sigh*

What about you guys? What are your favourite genres? What book started your addiction?
I´d love to hear from you!

Saturday, June 19, 2010


The amazing Lara Adrian was in the last few days in Germany for a promo for the German release for her books.
Susi_Sunshine, a fellow German blogger was lucky enough to be there and now, she shares some Lara Adrian love!
So visit her blog, sign up and maybe be the lucky winner!
A part of the giveaway is for Germans only, but there´s also a giveaway open internationally. Did I mention, that Susi_Sunshine is really awesome? :)

Also auch noch mal auf Deutsch:
Falls ihr es noch nicht wisst, Lara Adria war in den letzten Tagen auf Lesereise in Deutschland, um ihr neuestes Buch "Gezeichnete des Schicksals" zu promoten. Susi_Sunshine war bei einem sehr kleinen, privaten signing in Berlin dabei und verlost nun ein singiertes Buch und anderes. Also besucht ihren Blog, füllt das Formular aus, vielleicht seid ja ihr der glückliche Gewinner!

Thanks once again to Susi_Sunshine for being so awesome!

Randomness on Saturday

Yesterday, I took part in my very first Blog Hop and I had so much fun! Again, thanks for all your comments on my page!

Also, I received the very first books I ever won in a contest online, "Spider´s Bite"
and "Magic Bites" (Thank you again Shiloh Walker!), both being the first books in am awesome series. I already own both, so I´m thinking about having my first giveaway next week to share them with you guys.

Unfortunatly, Germay´s performance in the soccer World Cup was quite disapponting yesterday. I´m not a big sports fan, but events like the World Cup are very fun to watch. What about you, do you support your country? Do you own one of the annoying Vuvuzelas? :)

And finally, something I´m exciting about: my sister has finally started to read Urban Fantasy. We had a deal: I choose a book for her and she gets to make a guest post. I have honestly no idea about what she´ll blog (she is actually a doctor, I hope it won´t be too bloody :)), so it´s gonna be a big surprise.

I´ve also planned a review for "Three Days to Dead" by Kelly Meding early this coming week. I´ve just started reading it and so far, it´s very promising!

The last Randomness for today: have you noticed my awesome new buttons for Team Kisten and Team Ethan?
Welcome to Larissa's Life
Welcome to Larissa's Life
If you wanna have them, go visit Larissa´s blog. There, you can find those two and others to grab an post on your page.

So long, have a very nice and relaxing weekend!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday Blog Hop

Hello everyone!

I´m joining the following fun event hosted by Parajunkee´s View

So join the fun make new firends and leave a comment if you like my blog!

Just follow these simple rules:

1. Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Host { } and any one else you want to follow on the list
2. Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing.
3. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments
4. Follow Follow Follow as many as you can
5. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love...and the followers
6. If you want to show the link list, just follow the link below the entries and copy and paste it within your post!

Review "Embers"

Title: Embers (Anya Kalinczyk, #1)
Author: Laura Bickle
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published: March 30th 2010 by Pocket

"Truth burned. It always burned, even in the dark, cold hours of the morning when nearly everything slept."

"Embers" is the very first book in a brand new Urban Fantasy series of at least two books.

The cover alone with its warm yellow, red and orange shades really made me want to read this book. It reflects the story very well, as Embers is, as the name suggests all about fire.

Anya Kalinczyk is an arson investigator for the Detroit Fire Department by day and a member of the DAGR (Detroit Area Ghost Researchers) by night. And she is a Latern, a rare type of medium who is able to devour ligering, malevolent spirits.
As a series of arsons unsettle the city and her two jobs she tries so hard to keep apart, inevitably mingle, Anya makes it her goal to stop the deadly arson who tries to summon a ancient entity to derstroy the city.

Anya is a charcter who is deeply marked and influenced by a horrible accident in her past. She tries to keep herself apart from others in fear of hurting themand thus often makes her feel lonely. It is that very fear that also affects the relationship with the people she works with. As Laterns are one of the rarest of the psychic mediums, her ability only adds to her feeling of isolation. In addition, Anya struggles with her ability, which causes her both physical and emotional pains. Other than most characters gifted with a special ability, she doesn´t embrace it or use it gladly but tries to ignore it. Even though she craves the feeling of being protected, she has a hard time accepting her colleagues´ care. Anya is a conplex character who suffers from her past but still tries to manage the present on her own by make some tough decisions. She is a nice contrast to the other kick-ass heroines in the Urban Fantasy genre without being whiny.
Her only companion is Sparky, the unruly salamander familiar. Even though she often complains about him, she still seeks comfort in the creature´s presence and touch. Sparky is kind of very much like Anya, as he is unable to ineract directly with anyone except Anya and spirits. That doesn´t stop him however from messing around and destroing any electronic devices.
I really loved Sparky. He added a light note to the story and constantly reminded me of my own dog when he was a puppy.
The villain of the book is a also not your typical bad guy. The more Anya learns about him, the more intrigued she is by him, as he might be one of the only persons who can really understand her.
The members of the DAGR are a bunch of very unalike yet special people who are a great addition to the story.
Embers includes everything you could wish for in an Urban Fantasy book. A compelling story that picks up its pace from page to page until it culminates in a surpruing and sizzling finale (I really wish I could reads faster so I at the end because I wanted to know so badly how it ends)and not your typical vampire and werewolf cast, but something else entirely.
Laura Bickle´s captivating debut makes you laugh with Sparky, sympathize for Anya, cheer for your favourite love interest and bite your nails at the very end.

4.5 of 5 Points from me.

The book includes scenes of sex which are only midly graphic.

The next books called Sparks will be published on August 31 by Pocket.

Laura Bickle has also written Dark Oracle as Alayna Williams.

For more info, check out her homepage:

or her blogs:

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Spotlight on a Series

Maybe you´re like me who is constantly searching for a new book fix and when it´s a series, all the better. There are so many out the that it is in my opinion hard to keep track.
That´s why I´d like to present you series that I have read, an reading at the moment or have just begun reading.

Today, I´d like to start with the Dark Days Series by Jocelynn Drake.

Nightwalker (Book 1)
For centuries Mira has been a nightwalker—an unstoppable enforcer for a mysterious organization that manipulates earth-shaking events from the darkest shadows. But elemental mastery over fire sets her apart from others of her night-prowling breed . . . and may be all that prevents her doom.

The foe she now faces is human: the vampire hunter called Danaus, who has already destroyed so many undead. For Mira, the time has come to hunt . . . or be hunted.

Dayhunter (Book 2)
A new day dawns blood red
A master of fire, Mira is the last hope for the world. For centuries she has secretly enforced the history-altering edicts of the Triad. Now she and her unlikely ally—the human vampire hunter, Danaus—have come to Venice, home of the nightwalker rulers. But there is no safety in the ancient city, for the threat of conflict is in the wind . . . with unholy alliances and earth-shattering betrayals taking hideous form in the shadows.

Banished for eons beyond the world's boundaries, the malevolent naturi prepare to feed once again upon a vulnerable earth—and treachery is opening wide the portal that will enable their dread re-emergence. The great battle that has always been Mira's destiny is looming, and she must remain powerful in the face of a shocking revelation: that Danaus, the only creature she dares to trust, is something more than the man he claims to be . . .

Dawnbreaker (Book 3)
The dawn brings new terror for the creatures of the night . . .

Those of her race fear Mira for the lethal fire she bends to her will—a power unique among nightwalkers, both a gift . . . and a curse.

The naturi despise Mira for what she is—as they prepare the final sacrifice that will destroy the barriers between the worlds. And once the naturi are unchained, blood, chaos, and horror will reign supreme on Earth.

Mira can trust only Danaus, the more-than-mortal vampire slayer, though he is sworn to destroy her kind. And now, as the day approaches when titanic forces will duel under cover of darkness, destiny draws them toward an apocalyptic confrontation at Machu Picchu. But all is not lost, for a wild card has been dealt to them: a rogue enemy princess who can change the balance of power and turn the dread tide.

Pray for Dawn (Book 4)
Pray for salvation . . .

Pray for daylight . . .

Murder has pulled Mira out of the shadows and back into the living world . . .

As the fire-wielding enforcer of the nightwalker coven wrestles with the mind-destroying ghosts of her dark past, the slaying of a senator's daughter in Savannah threatens to expose her kind to the brilliant light of day. The dawn of chaos has come. The naturi have broken free of their eternal prison to feed on the defenseless and unbelieving of an unprepared Earth.

Mira and Danaus—vampire and vampire slayer—must unite to prevent the annihilation of their separate races. But for Danaus the challenge is intensified, for he must also fight the bori who covets his soul. And Mira, the nightwalker he must protect—whose power is the Earth's last hope—is rapidly going insane.

Wait for Dusk (Book 5)
There is no sanctuary in the night…

Feared even by her own kind for her mastery of fire, the Nightwalker Mira is summoned by the Coven to take her rightful place as Elder. But with this honor comes grave responsibility—a commitment to the annihilation of the unleashed naturi. For now the foul creatures walk the earth—and neither vampire nor human will survive their horrific onslaught.

A tide of blood is sweeping relentlessly across the European continent, as Mira is dispatched to Budapest for the most devastating test yet of her astonishing powers—and falls into a well-laid trap. With the dark secrets that haunt her growing darker by the hour, she must confront the terrible truth of her past and protect her fragile sanity in the face of unanticipated treachery—a betrayal by her ally, her enemy, her lover…the vampire slayer, Danaus.

*Spoilers ahead!!!*
I´ve just read the first book in the series, but this one had me so hooked that I´ve bought all the other available ones already.
I like how Jocelynn Drake chooses a female vampire as main character. For me, that was a refreshing change, because I´ve only read books featuring the usual (but still appreciated) sexy male alpha vamp. Mira is just as strong as her male counterparts, very powerful, gifted and feared. She is pictured as a bit of a loner who commands respect and holds a lot of authority in her territory. Sometimes, she seems a little cold and distant, in other moments though you see that she genuinely cares about those close to her.
Danaus, the second main character is a man with many secrets. As a vampire hunter, his job is to kill Mira´s kind, yet in the first book, he still seeks to work with her.
Even though the two find it hard to trust each other, they must work together, as an old enemy rises to destroy them both.
Their wild and dangerous journey brings them across Europe to England, where the final showdown takes place.

The bad guys in the Dark Days Series are not your comman humans who seek to destroy vampires, who live in peace side by side with other unsuspecting humans. Jocelynn Drake chooses new, unknown enemys with sometimes creepy powers that are an excellent addition to the worldbuilding.

All in all, Mira´s story is darker than most vampire books where romance seems to be the main focus. There is a certain tesion between Mira and Danaus, but if you´re expecting a PNR you might be disappointed. The back blurb hints that their is a relationship growing between Mira and Danaus, but it will take more than just one book for that. I however really loved the first book!

Pray for Dawn is to be released on June, 29th and Wait for Dusk comes out on July 27th. I can hardly wait for the release!

If you would like to learn more about Jocelynn Drake, visit her homepage where you can not only read an excerpt from her books but also the history of the character and essays about worldbuilding and other interesting stuff.