Friday, July 31, 2009

Book 34 of 2009: As Fate Would Have It by Michael Louis Calvillo

Who would’ve guessed that the well-known chef at the fanciest restaurant in town would also happen to be a cannibal? Heather certainly didn’t when she accepted an invitation to go out on a date with him and agreed to accompany him home for a drink. When they reach his house, the power doesn't seem to be working and the furniture and floor are covered in plastic. Hmmm... Something doesn't seem quite right to poor Heather. Unfortunately, that turns out to be one of her last thoughts before our chef, Montgomery, slices ‘n’ dices her and prepares a murderously romantic dinner for his wife, Liz.

Heather’s death remains unknown for some time because, unfortunately, she had a fight with her best friend, Ashley, just before her death, and consequently, Ashley doesn't realize Heather is missing until she doesn't show up to work. Ashley and her boyfriend, Henry, are fighting with a major heroin addiction and aren’t really in their right minds, so thinking clearly about what might have become of Heather is not really the top thing on their agenda. Ultimately though, Ashley grasps that something has gone horribly wrong, and takes it upon herself to seek out Heather.

You wouldn’t typically think of the word “lyrical” when you think of “cannibalism”, but Michael Louis Calvillo has written a truly lyrical story with As Fate Would Have It. As I read this book I kept thinking of it as a love story because, in a way, it truly is. Yes, it was also horribly gruesome, violent, and disturbing in other ways, but it is, at the same time, a strangely romantic tale. I love what Calvillo did with this book and how he wove two disparate stories into one within the novel. To anyone that can handle a bit of gore to season their reading, they should definitely give this one a try as it’s worth the bit of queasiness said spice will likely put in your gut! Highly Recommended!

Review also posted at

Monday, July 27, 2009

Book 33 of 2009: Dusk by David A Doub, Maki Naro (Illustrator), Jerry Gonzales III (Illustrator)

Dusk is David Doub’s first graphic novel. The book has four chapters. The first chapter jumps into the story without providing much background, but the reader easily picks up that Eve is the willing servant to Vampire Lord Ash, and that the two of them hunt down vampires that are causing trouble in town. It is also apparent that Eve has a major crush on Ash. Ash doesn’t want Eve hurt, and tries to get her to leave. In chapter two, Ash goes as far as to attempt to trick her into leaving her "hunter" life. Eve doesn’t give in to Ash, though, and in chapter three she goes to the Alps in search of a vampire that has made a mistake. In the last chapter, Eve is after a high school boy that is also a "witch". He is being tormented at school and appears to be trying to cast a spell that will eliminate the situation if Eve doesn't stop him.

Dusk was penned by multiple artists and I think that the artwork got better throughout the book, which could be due to whom penned which chapter(s).The writing style is very strong , although I did get lost a bit and at times it felt like a little additional information would have clarified the story. Except for sharing some of the same characters, the four chapters do not appear to be connected stories, and it’s difficult to tell if the author intended for the stories to be connected or not. Dusk is a solid first graphic novel, though, and I would read more by David Doub in the future as I see definite potential in his work. Recommended.

Review also posted at

Book 32 of 2009: Wolf Tales VIII by Kate Douglas

In Kate Douglas' latest release in the Wolf Tales series, we learn about the lives of six young, new, Chanku. In the beginning of the book they are split up. Three of them go to stay with Ulrich and Millie in Colorado and the others stay with Anton Cheval and his pack in Montana. A chunk of the book takes place in Montana where there is still a fear that, after the attacks from book seven, all is not quite "right". When an intruder is discovered and identified, will the Chanku give the person time to explain the reasoning for spying on them, or will they just go ahead and kill them? In the meantime, in Colorado, who is really teaching whom more, the elders or the new youth? This book was a "growth book" for all intents and purposes, and a lot of lessons were learned by both old and new Chanku. I can't wait to see what Douglas will have in store for us with future releases in this faublous series. Highly recommended.

Review also posted at

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Book 31 of 2009: Wolf Tales VII by Kate Douglas

A dream sequence featuring Anton Cheval starts off this seventh. installment of Kate Douglas' Wolf Tales series. In his dreams, he is in capable of moving and calling out for help yet he realizes that both his mate, Keisha, and his daughter, Lily, are in trouble. Sensing his struggle within his dream, Keisha wakens him and offers him comfort, but Anton chooses not to tell her about the dream in order to avoid worrying her. He is unsure if it is just a recurring dream for him or if it is a premonition, but soon attacks on the Chanku start, and Anton starts taking the dreams more seriously. He calls all the Chanku together, thinking that united as one they might be able to figure out who is behind the attacks and stop them.

Douglas has developed some very sympathetic and likable characters throughout the series, and readers who have grown attached to them may find this book difficult to read. In addition to the mystery, Douglas’ writing gave me goosebumps, powerfully capturing the bond between a father and daughter in one scene. I don't want to say any more than that for fear of spoiling the book for future readers, but it was an extremely emotional read and showed another area of writing that Douglas excels at. Highly recommended.

Review also posted at

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Book 30 of 2009: Wolf Tales VI by Kate Douglas

In Wolf Tales VI, Eve visits Florida, where she is from originally. She stumbles into an old friend, Mei Chen, who is in a bit of trouble, and decides to help her out. The experience leads Eve to believe that Mei might be Chanku, though something seems a bit "off". Missing her packmates and wanting help with Mei, she calls "home" for help. Adam, the man she left behind, as well as Oliver, jump at the chance to come see Eve again, not knowing that there is another woman in the picture. Of course, Oliver is more than ecstatic to meet Mei when they reach Florida. Adam and Oliver agree that they are picking up something different about Mei though. Is she really Chanku? If so, what is it about her that makes her stand out from the rest of the pack?

Kate Douglas does a great job at building compelling characters. Adam is one intense guy! He has some very unique powers that are very helpful, and I don’t know what the members of the Chanku pack, especially Oliver, would do without him. This particular book has some jaw-dropping moments. I really wasn't expecting where Douglas went with Mei Chen's character at all. Let's just say, this book was very full of surprises! Readers will enjoy being able to absorb themselves in the magical world of Wolf Tales VI. It would be amazing to be surrounded by people like the characters in her books every day. But, since that obviously isn't going to happen, I will count on Kate Douglas to keep my fantasies rolling. Highly recommended.

Review also posted at

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Book 29 of 2009: Wolf Tales V by Kate Douglas

Kate Douglas continues the story of the Chanku in this fifth Wolf Tales book. Here, two more women are added into the mix, Manda and Millie. Manda has been living alone and avoiding the world because she is stuck in the transitional stage between woman and wolf, and unable to make the transition to fully be one or the other. Scarred from the cruel treatment she has endured in her past, she fears being around others, not knowing how they will treat her. The Chanku pack finds out about her when they see her picture in a tabloid magazine. Baylor Quinn, feeling lost without a mate of his own, takes it upon himself to seek Manda out in hopes of helping her.

While Baylor is off on his "mission", Ulrich Mason is off on one of his own. Anton Cheval has requested that he seek out a woman by the name of Millie West, who he believes is Chanku, and help her make the transition to wolf. He thinks that Ulrich is the only one to do it and that this could possibly be a new mate for him. Can Ulrich finally move past his wife's death and take a new mate?

Baylor and Manda are a very strong couple and Baylor’s help, which allows her to "turn" fully to Chanku, makes one of the best transition stories throughout the series so far. I loved the way Baylor explained everything to her and how she was so shy and naive. It was like he was talking to a child the whole time rather than a grown woman. It truly was a magical story between the two of them and I was happy that Baylor got his "happy ever after". Overall, this was a very powerful book, as it had a lot of depth and emotion to it. Douglas made a lot of connections between characters that I wasn't expecting and had a lot of surprise twists. The series just keeps getting better and better! Highly recommended.

Review also posted at

Friday, July 10, 2009

Book 28 of 2009: Wolf Tales IV by Kate Douglas

The Chanku saga continues in the fourth installment of the Wolf Tales series. This novel is the story of Tinker McClintock, who seeks out Lisa Quinn and teaches her of her Chanku heritage. Lisa resides in Colorado and works at a wolf sanctuary. At this particular sanctuary, wolves have been turning up missing and Lisa's boss has been pointing the finger at her, because he has seen her out late at night in areas she shouldn't be in just looking at the wolves. She can't tell him, but the reason she is out there is because she feels close with the wolves. Once Tinker gets to town he helps her understand the attachment she has to the wolves. Tinker and Lisa, with the help of Pack Dynamics, a Chanku Detective agency, solve the case of the missing wolves.

This is the most action-packed book in the series yet. There are lots of subplots, and Douglas comes from all angles with little plot twists and surprises to keep readers on their toes. I was on the edge of my seat for quite a while in this book, not knowing how the wolves were going to escape when they were "caged" at one point. It was very suspenseful! I was also really happy to see Tinker finally find himself a mate in this book after being the "third wheel" in previous books within the series. I know he was greatly loved by the others in his pack, but he was missing that extra special bond between mates. I love how Douglas keeps the balance flowing between erotic scenes and the rest of the storyline. Readers will also appreciate how she keeps adding onto the storyline without using awkward flashbacks to provide background. Highly recommended.

Review also posted at

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Book 27 of 2009: Prey by Rachel Vincent

In Rachel Vincent's fourth installment of the Shifters series, lots of action takes place. The novel starts of with several of the werecats, including the main character, Faythe, traveling through the "free territory" in order to meet-up with Faythe's boyfriend, Marc, while en route to deliver a new werecat mother, Manx, to a temporary home while she is on trial for murder. Unfortunately, the group is ambushed by a large pack of stray werecats. At first, the thinking is that the strays were after the tabbies, Faythe and Manx, but when Marc later turns up missing they realize there might have been a bit more to the ambush. Now Faythe and the rest of the south-central Pride are on the search for Marc in hopes that he is still alive when they find him!

Rachel Vincent continues on with a very well-written and tight series. I feel that this book is the most emotional of the series so far. As I’ve read all of the books, I've gotten attached to the characters, and the events in this particular book really got to me. I found myself crying for the whole of two to three chapters. Vincent is an author to keep an eye on for new books, as hers truly are "new". She keeps the storyline interesting and fast-paced with fresh ideas that haven't been done before. Highly Recommended.

Review also posted at

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Book 26 of 2009: Wolf Tales III by Kate Douglas

In the third book of the Wolf Tales series, Jacob Trent (aka Jake) is on his way to Boston to protect Shannon, a friend of Tia Mason’s. At the beginning of this novel, Shannon has a male visitor over who is about as boring as a wet noodle in bed. She excuses herself to take a shower, while hinting that he shouldn't be there when she comes back. He’s smart enough to take the hint and leave, but lacks the common sense to lock the door on his way out, and after her shower, two men attack her and kidnap her. Luckily for her, Jake pulls up and sees her attackers smuggling her into their vehicle. He is able to knock them out and steal her away from them, and their wild adventure begins, with Shannon wrapped in nothing but a blanket, knowing nothing of Jake Trent but his name.

The first scene in this book had me rolling with laughter as it brought back memories of past experiences I've had in life. It was definitely a memorable scene in the book and I have to give kudos to Kate Douglas for that chuckle straight away. Going beyond that, yet again, she has kept my interest piqued tremendously with this series. Not only are new characters introduced to and intermingled with the previous cast, but there is one character that comes into play in this book that you wouldn't expect to be Chanku at first, but it's a pleasant surprise and actually quite a powerful addition to the Chanku. The mysteries of why the Chanku are being targeted for attacks is also explained a bit more, so the whole storyline starts to come together. Douglas does a really great job keeping the storyline pumping and making you wonder just what is going to happen in the next book and who is going to end up mating with who.

Review also posted at