Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Book 33 of 2008: From Dead to Worse by Charlaine Harris

Book Description:

After the natural disaster of Hurricane Katrina and the manmade explosion at the vampire summit, everyone—human and otherwise—is stressed, including Louisiana cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse, who is trying to cope with the fact that her boyfriend Quinn has gone missing.

It's clear that things are changing—whether the weres and vamps of her corner of Louisiana like it or not. And Sookie—Friend to the Pack and blood-bonded to Eric Northman, leader of the local vampire community—is caught up in the changes.

In the ensuing battles, Sookie faces danger, death, and once more, betrayal by someone she loves. And when the fur has finished flying and the cold blood finished flowing, her world will be forever altered.

My Opinion:

The latest installment of the Sookie Stackhouse series (8) by Charlaine Harris was just as fabulous as the previous 7 novels by her. I love how this storyline progresses throughout each book. This book wrapped up some loose ends, but then unraveled some new ones that will need to be fixed up in the remaining books to come. I believe there are 2 more books contracted, though I'm definitely hoping for more!

I'm kind of nervous about how much to say in this posting as it'd be easy to give stuff away to people considering this is so far into a series so I'll leave it at that, but if you haven't read this series and are a fan of paranormal fiction and mysteries, definitely check out this series. Or... if you just like mysteries, check out her Lily Bard series.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Book 32 of 2008: Suckers by Jeff Strand and J.A. Konrath

Book Description:


Well, not vampires—Pires. Whack-jobs who think they're vampires. They've inducted an innocent young girl into their cult, and her mother has hired legendary (not in a good way) private investigator Harry McGlade to get her back.

Infiltrating this bloodthirsty cult is too big of a job for just one man, especially when he has the intelligence of half a man. But when he joins forces with the also-less-than-100%-competent Andrew Mayhem, maybe, just maybe, their combined efforts will succeed in thwarting this savage menace. Or perhaps they'll just embarrass themselves and get killed.

Masters of humor-tainted-horror (or horror-tainted-humor) J.A. Konrath and Jeff Strand team up for the first time in this hilariously gruesome adventure that does not contain a single lame "You suck!" or "That bites!" joke. Suckers. The ultimate Idiots vs. Phony Vampires extravaganza!

My Opinion:

I'm a bit late in blogging about this book as I read it a week ago when it first arrived in my mailbox. I pretty much read it in 1 setting, but had to go to bed in order to wake up for work so I slept and then got up and read the last 20 pages before getting ready. LOL!!! I certainly couldn't resist this book considering it contains 2 of my all-time favorite authors in it... Jeff Strand who I've been obsessed with for MANY years and J.A. Konrath who I'm a new fan of this year (and he's definitely a new fave!).

I wasn't sure what to expect throwing Andrew Mayhem and Harry McGlade together as both are very bizarre and extreme characters, but I knew it'd be a fun ride! The book started off with Andrew getting into his typical trouble with his wife as he screwed things up yet again and then just as fast he gets himself into more severe trouble by running into Harry. I was surprised to find that Konrath's writing style in this book took on more of Strand's style with the slap-stick humor... I wasn't expecting that. The story flowed really well together considering the story was written with every other chapter written by the opposite author and taken from the opposite character's point-of-view.

I'd love to see future stories containing both Harry and Andrew. Maybe I'll have to put a little buzz in Jeff and J.A.'s ears. In the meantime, I'll be reading the next Konrath book very soon as I still have 2 in the Jack Daniels series that I need to read. Now if Jeff would only release the next Andrew Mayhem book... *hint hint*

Friday, May 16, 2008

Book 31 of 2008: Bloody Mary by J.A. Konrath

Book Description:

When Lieutenant Jacqueline "Jack" Daniels receives a report of an excess of body parts appearing at the Cook County Morgue, she hopes it's only a miscount. It's not. Even worse, these extra limbs seem to be accessorized with Jack's handcuffs. Jack must put her train wreck of a personal life on hold to catch a terrifying and brillian maniac - a maniac for whom getting caught is only the beginning...

My Opinion:

If possible, the 2nd installment of Konrath's Jack Daniels mystery series was even better than the first, WHISKEY SOUR. (you can see my blog post here) Konrath's books are super fast-paced with lots of twists and turns throughout. I was wondering how he was going to wrap things up in the end and was pleasantly surprised by the outcome. I don't want to say too much though due to possible spoiler potential. For anyone that likes mysteries/thrillers, if you haven't checked out this series yet, I HIGHLY recommend it!!! It's got lots of action, some comic relief, semi-detailed murder scenes (don't way I didn't warn ya!), etc... Konrath is definitely gaining momentum up my list of fave authors!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Book 30 of 2008: Because Your Vampire Said So by Michele Bardsley

Book Description:

When you're immortal, being a mom won't kill you - it will only make you stronger.

Not just anyone can visit Broken Heart, Oklahoma, especially since all the single moms - like me, Patsy Donahue - have been turned into vampires. I'm forever forty, but looking younger than my years, thanks to my new (un)lifestyle.

And even though most of my customers have skipped town, I still manage to keep my hair salon up and runningg because of the lycanthropes prowling around. They know how important good grooming is - especially a certain rogue shape-shifter who is as sexy as he is deadly. Now, if only I could put a leash on my wild teenage son. He's up to his neck in danger. The stress would kill me if I wasn't already dead. But my maternal instincts are still alive and kicking, so no one better mess with my flesh and blood.

My Opinion:

Yet another fun and and fluffy paranormal romance. I tend to really like Bardsley's writing style and so I end up flying through her books. I just started this one a couple of days ago and am already done. The story line was cute and I loved Gabriel's character. (YUMMY!!!) Unfortunately, it's books like these that leave me wishing there were supernatural guys like this in real life. Le sigh! At any rate, I read a chunk of this one while sitting on the sidelines at jury duty today and boy did it help pass the time. I did have to stifle a giggle at one point that I recall though else I would've had some really funny looks most likely. I think I'm going to move onto something a bit more serious next for a change.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Book 29 of 2008: Night Life by Ray Garton

Book Description:

Davey Owen is a man with a death sentence. Nearly twenty years and a lifetime ago, Davey battled a circle of vampires and survived... forever changed. Many of the vampires were destroyed, but the ones who escaped have been hunting Davey ever since. Now they've found him. The passing years have only intensified their thirst for revenge, and at last their prey is within sight. They will make sure that this time he does not escape. They will not rest until Davey pays for what he did to them. With his last drop of blood.

My Opinion:

This was the sequel to the last book I read, LIVE GIRLS, and I liked the way the story continued on. I also liked how this sequel pretty much forced the reader to have read the prequel in order to fully get the background instead of doing a bunch of flashbacks within the story taking up the word count of what should be a completely new novel. (thank you Ray!) I will say that I agree with Garton in that this wasn't his strongest novel, but I still enjoyed the story. I just felt that his writing style wasn't as strong as it had been in the other books I had read by him. Considering the stuff he was going through during the time he was writing it though, I completely understand. I enjoyed how the characterization progressed with Davey and Benedek in this story and hope to learn more about the futures of all the remaining character's of NIGHT LIFE in a future novel.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Book 28 of 2008: Live Girls by Ray Garton

Book Description:

The garish neon lights of New York City's Times Square can be very seductive. And so can the promises of dark pleasures on the seedier side streets. To Davey Owen, the lure of a glowing sign advertising "Live Girls" was too hard to resist. He was looking for a little entertainment. He found instead a nightmare in the form of a beautiful but strangely pale woman. A woman who offers him passion, ecstasy - and eternal life - but takes in exchange his lifeblood and his very soul.

My Opinion:

After having recently read RAVENOUS by Garton I wanted to check out more by him so moved on to his vampire series. I found myself loving LIVE GIRLS even more than RAVENOUS (most likely because I prefer vampires to werewolves plus... who can top a book about vampire chicks stealing blood from a guy's erection... ha ha!!!) I found LIVE GIRLS to be a refreshing take on the vampire stories out there as a lot of the myths were left behind. As with RAVENOUS I found myself growing attatched to many of the characters and am looking forward to continuing the saga of some of them in NIGHT LIFE (which I've already started reading).

For those horror fans out there who've yet to give Ray Garton a shot... what are you waiting for?!?!?!? Check him out!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Book 27 of 2008: The Dark Garden by Eden Bradley

Book Description:

A deliciously potent tale of one woman's quest for self-discovery

Rowan Cassidy likes to be in charge—especially in her personal life. As a mistress at Club PrivĂ©, the most exclusive bondage/S & M club on the West Coast, Rowan can live out her dominant fantasies safely, and with complete control—until the night Christian Thorne walks in. Self-confident and sophisticated, he's a natural dominant if Rowan's ever seen one. Yet she can't stop thinking about him and imagining his touch.

Christian has returned home, hoping to break free from his dissatisfaction and malaise—and discovers the cure in Rowan. He's dying to get his skilled hands on her and watch her surrender, to unlock the mystery of her that captivates him. Determined to be her master, he makes Rowan a daring proposition: give herself over to him for thirty days.

Rowan finds Christian's offer terrifying—and impossible to resist. But abandoning herself to Christian's power might be more than she can handle…. Or it might be the realization of her true nature and the dark garden within her. There will be only one way to find out. And once the game has begun, there's no turning back.

My Opinion:

Yet another new-to-me author... Eden Bradley. I had been eyeing this book at the bookstore for many months and finally gave in to get it a while back. Then it sat on my bookshelf for a few more months... big mistake!!! I should've bought this and read it the first time I saw it as it was fabulous! I loved the character development of Rowan's character as she sorted through her feelings regarding her past and how she made her conversion back from Dominatrix to submissive. Her character was a very emotional and strong character and I really felt like Bradley did a wonderful job showing Rowan's emotions on paper. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys erotica and doesn't mind a bit of BDSM involved as well as people curious about the D/s lifestyle as I think this book really shows what some people struggle with when going into this kind of lifestyle. I look forward to reading the follow-up book... THE DARKER SIDE OF PLEASURE.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Book 26 of 2008: Ravenous by Ray Garton

Book Description:

A corpse gets up and walks out of the hospital morgue. Minutes later, a policeman is killed outside the same hospital…and partially eaten. Something deadly has come to the coastal California town of Big Rock—something that's leaving mangled and devoured bodies in its wake.

Sheriff Arlin Hurley refused to believe the wild talk of werewolves. Then a tuft of wolf's fur was found on one of the victims. But there's more than one werewolf on the prowl. It's quickly becoming an epidemic, the curse passed on not through blood but through sex. As the sheriff and his men set out to stop the spreading terror, they'll learn that many of the old werewolf legends are just myths. The reality is far worse.

My Opinion:

So I'm in Waldenbooks and RAVENOUS catches my eye on the shelf so I scoop it up and start reading the back as I'm trying to talk myself out of it since I have so many books at home as it is and really can't afford to buy new books, but then I get to the part in the description about how the "virus" is spread via sex rather than biting and I can't say no to a book like that, so... well... obviously I bought it.

Ironically, 2 days later, Ray Garton friends me here on MySpace. I thought the timing was ironic and pretty darn cool as well. I ended up putting RAVENOUS up next on Mt. TBR in order to get to it and let him know what I thought of it, which is what I'm trying to do now within all this rambling! hee hee!

Anyway, I devoured RAVENOUS within just a few days. I haven't read a lot of werewolf horror books, but I can almost guarantee that even if I had this would be one of my favorites! Garton's writing style is new to me as his other books (I'm ashamed to say) have been waiting on Mt. TBR for quite some time, (though they are definitely getting bumped up now!) but I truly enjoy the way he writes. RAVENOUS was filled with scares, lust, sadness (I really didn't want some of the people that died to die!!!), and tons of suspense. I am truly looking forward to reading more from this author and hopefully a sequel to RAVENOUS one day.

Movie 23 of 2008: The Number 23

Movie Description:

Walter Sparrow is a family-man married with Agatha Sparrow, and works catching dogs in the Department of Animal Control and has a teenager son very close to his wife and him. On the day of his birthday, he is bitten by a dog and comes late to meet Agatha. While waiting for him, Agatha buys a detective book with a novel about the mystery around the number 23 in a bookstore as a gift to Walther. He becomes captivated with the story and obsessed with the number 23, finding many coincidences with his own life, and he decides to find the author, believing the story is about him. His further investigation discloses a mysterious situation that makes Walther paranoid.

Movie Trailer:

My Opinion:

I kind of had mixed opinions on this movie. I typically do not like Jim Carrey, but his serious movies aren't so bad so I watch them. I do think he did a great job in THE NUMBER 23! I found the storyline quite fascinating, but I'm not sure that I liked the ending of the story. I definitely think I would've found the book he was reading in the movie interesting and need to see if that has been released as it wouldn't surprise me. So... I really can't decide whether I fully liked this movie or not. I'd be willing to watch it again at some point because it did keep my attention for the most part. (though I was really tired and dozed off for about 15 minutes or so... LOL!) I also think it's definitely worth a watch for those who like suspenseful movies for sure.