Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Lara Adrian posts Book 8, Taken by Midnight excerpt

Exciting news everyone…Lara Adrian, author of the best-selling Midnight Breed Series, has released information on Book 8, Taken by Midnight (fyi goes on sale Sept. 28, 2010). She’s released the book title, the cover art (here below) and an excerpt. And boy does it look good.

If you read her latest book, Shades of Midnight (one that spent 20 weeks on the New York Times best-selling list) than you’ve got a glimpse of the two main characters for her upcoming book, Taken by Midnight. Brock, another one of the order’s yummy warriors, is extremely protective over Jenna. Since her being attacked by the Ancient, Jenna has been in some sort of a coma and has since been sent back to the compound for observation. Brock has been taking care of Jenna since and in this next book, Taken by Midnight, we start to understand why. Take a sneak peek at the Taken by Midnight except.

Another tid bit, I’m told via Lara Adrian's newsletter that the book to follow, Book 9, will feature Hunter’s story and after that maybe (just maybe) we’ll finally get Sterling Chase’s, a.k.a. Harvard, story.

Lara Adrian’s got a lot of action going on. Can’t wait for Taken by Midnight / Brock’s story and can’t get enough of Lara Adrian’s Midnight Breed warriors.

Until next time....read on

Mina B.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Creepy Classics: Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

In support of the many, phenomenal classic books written, I’ve decided to review some of the best classics of all time. Plan on seeing these reviews monthly in a series I’ve deemed Creepy Classics.

The first book on my Creepy Classics review list is Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Since written in the 1800s, Irving is considered one of celebrated early American writers. My curious nature led me to read this one first. It’s been too long since I cracked this book open and I was pleased I did.

Irving skillfully depicts an early American rural setting of a small Dutch town as the beginnings of his legendary story of the Headless Horseman. A master at fiction, Irving had me laughing several times when describing the classical character of Ichabod Crane. He’s the gangly nerdy schoolmaster who loves to sing and study about witches, legends and other mystical folklore. Ichabod, at first, is a true nerd at heart whom sets his sights on the town’s most eligible maiden, young Katrina Van Tassel. Ichabod sees Katrina as more of a lucrative match than anything else. And he’s not the only youngster vying for Katrina’s affection. Brom Bones , a beefy bachelor and polar opposite of Ichabod, is also in the running to win the fare maiden’s heart. And Ichabod’s no match for the fearless Bram Bones, but bless him because this loveable teacher still relentlessly tries. Although he’s no match for Bram, he uses his brain to create inopportune times to woo Ms. Van Tassel. And just when he believes he’s making headway with the damsel, Irving slams the door in our hero’s face.
I know it’s a bit jarring but, hey…it’s the truth. Irving spends all this time getting us sucked into Ichabod’s life. He’s a geek no doubt but as one reads on, you see a wonderful, spirited, lively character with a vision for a martial, prosperous life with Katrina. He’s the underdog and you so want him to succeed but, oh yeah, this is supposed to be a story about the headless horseman, right? Right! I say that because, while telling us this story, Irving takes you on this single man’s journey and masterfully plants hints of the ghostly legends. Everyone knows the story of the headless horseman but of course he doesn’t make an appearance until the very end. And what happens, he takes away our hero, Ichabod Crane.

This wonderfully written short story is what legends are made of. The suspense, the visual depiction of early American rural times, the dark, creepy town of Sleepy Hollow and our hero, the nerdy, lovable Ichabod Crane. If you haven’t had a chance to read this creepy classic, do so. It’s only a short story but just the same, it’s just shy of brilliant.

On the Mina Burrow’s kilometer, I give The Legend of Sleepy Hollow a 4.

Until next time...if you can't find something to read, read a Creepy Classic.

Mina B.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Jennifer Turner's upcoming book: Eternal Hearts

Tagging onto my last post, I went to Jennifer Turner’s blog, Ephiphany of Imperfection. After reviewing her latest book, Eternal Seduction, I took a gander at the first six chapters of her upcoming book, Eternal Hearts. If you have a chance, read these six chapters. These six are just a taste of what’s to come in Book 2 of her Eternal series, Eternal Hearts.  And may I say from what I read, they’re mouth-watering good.

In Book 1, Turner introduces (probably one of my favorite characters), Drake Black. If you’ve read Book 1, Eternal Seduction, then you know Drake’s a man’s man. He’s a no-holds-barred individual with literally an annihilating presence. In Eternal Seduction, I adored his light-heartedness and fondness for the Nelek family. He’s gorgeous and his favorite pastime, when he’s not out pursuing a mystical contract killing, is consuming beer and pizza in large quantities. What’s not to love about this man? He’s dangerous, thrilling, humorous and sexy as all get out. Now that you know about the man…know that he’s the main character in Turner’s upcoming dark novel, Eternal Hearts. And trust me, if you read the first six chapters, you’ll be running out to pre-order this baby – which is hopefully scheduled to be released in 2010. From what I’ve read thus far, it might even be better than Book 1. We’ll just have to wait and see.
Until then…read first ask questions later.

Mina B.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Paranormal Book Review: Jennifer Turner’s Eternal Seduction

I stumbled upon Jennifer Turner’s Eternal Seductionwhile searching the net one day last year. I was researching literary agents, looking for ones that would be a good fit for me and my book and then I caught an online discussion from one agent about Jennifer's book, Eternal Seduction. I was intrigued to learn that her main character, Logan Ellis, was a thief, a drug addict, and a homeless female living on the streets of New York.  
I ordered the sample, via my iPod/Kindle application. After reading the sample, I then bought the ebook and I believe I finished it within a day or so. Yeah, that usually means I enjoyed the book.

Logan Ellis is a homeless thief and addict, who lived on the streets for years. After witnessing, time after time, vampire feedings and inner demon scuffles, she's unaffected by the evil insanity.  Instead of freaking out, she dismissed the sadistic sightings and focuses on her own survival, with an ultimate goal of feeding her addiction. She’s quite a character; this ballsy, know-it-all, jaded young woman.  In the beginning, after seeing far too much for human eyes, she’s apprehended by a vampire named, Kerestyan, the Lord of New York.

As Lord, its Kerestyan job to rule over the vampires and other darklings in this metropolis. And under his rule, there are laws that every vampire must abide by. The most crucial law is protecting the Veil which hides the immortals and their way of life from the humans.

After Kerestyan’s apprehends Logan, there is clever tit for tat dialogue between the pair, underlying a hint of attraction. Entering into Kerestyan’s vampire world, Turner skillfully introduces more characters such as Kerestyan’s brother, Odin, and his sister, Trinity. Delving deeper into diabolical world is the Father of the three sired siblings. As master of the underworld, Father summons Kerestyan to bring Logan for evaluation. He’ll make the decision whether Logan lives or dies. But before Logan appears before her judge, she has to get clean. Going through that cleansing journey was remarkable and unique, especially when it comes to paranormal romance. Logan's life before her addiction broke her spirit and she didn’t seem to have a care in the world. That is until she met, Kerestyan. Trust was a big issue between the two of them. And through Logan getting clean, they had their moment of clarity and bonded.

Turner takes you as a reader through this addict’s journey and then spins you into this dark world of Vampires, Servios and other creepy creatures. While reading the story, the plot thickens when Logan is inducted into the vampire’s realm but assigned as a human servant/Servio to Trinity, not Kerestyan. This bothered me substantially at first. But then Turner shook up the plot and revealed Trinity’s ulterior motives, and then everything made sense. Despite the twist, I was still happy with the outcome. I won’t tell you because that would be cruel. Go get the book. You won’t be disappointed.

On the Mina Burrows KilloMeter, I give this book a 4. Jennifer Turner killed it with Eternal Seduction. If you haven’t read it, do so now. This author’s hot and sometime in the 2010 year she’ll be releasing a sequel called, Eternal Hearts.

Until next time….read on….

Mina B.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Book Review - Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series, Guilty Pleasures

#41 on the Bloody Book List is a book I was hesitant to review for several reasons. For starters, its Laurell K. Hamilton, the highly acclaimed and bestselling author of the Anita Blake series and Meredith Gentry series. I know her writing skills are stellar, no doubt, but I finished this book feeling like I didn’t get my fill. Could it be that it just wasn’t enough?

In the Anita Blake series book 1, Guilty Pleasures, Hamilton introduces us to Anita Blake. She’s an Animator; a zombie raiser, private investigator and vampire slayer all rolled up into one. Since co-investigating paranormal crimes with the police is one of specialties, the head vampires in St. Louis want to hire her to find a mysterious murderer killing off other powerful vampires.

Anita’s not fond of vampires. She doesn’t like the way the prey on humans and she’s built quite a reputation in town as an executioner or slayer of the vampires. Her disdain for vampires causes her to be even more suspicious of them and their motives.

In the beginning, Anita, agrees to attend a last minute bachelorette party for a dear friend which turns out to be a total disaster. They attend the known vampire club called, Guilty Pleasures; a sensual male review strip club where vampires engage in euphoric eroticism with their female patrons. The club’s owner, Jean-Claude, is enamored with Anita and has tried many times to slip into her mind and gain control of her. But Anita, who is uncannily strong-minded, is usually able to thwart off the vampire’s attempt at mind control.

Jean Claude is a mysterious and obviously evil/powerful vampire but as a reader you can’t help be drawn to him. This was probably one of my most frustrating issues I had with this book. He was a critical character, but he was locked away in a box for the better part of the story. Oh, he controlled a good portion of Anita and his presence was well known throughout the book, but I wanted more.

As Jean Claude learns to manipulate Anita, he starts to play good vampire to her and she takes the bait. With the other vampires appearing more diabolical than Jean, what choice does she have? Jean Claude takes Anita to introduce her to the head vampire, Nicholaos, a freaky young tween that’s practically a century old. Nicholaos runs the show in town and she’s summoned Anita to help solve the murderers.

There were a few sub plots with Wererats, a Rat King and Zombie raisings that had be a bit perplexed but I just took it as a part of Anita’s world. I loved Anita Blake, though. She was tough, intelligent, mysterious and ballsy to say the least. Hamilton did a killer job at making me, as reader, feel the darkness in the story plus Anita’s fear when having to face every evil that turned the corner. In the end, Anita comes out on top. I won’t spoil it for you but I was pleased with the outcome.

I think I read the book within my normal two day timeframe, maybe less, so it did grip me. Plus, I did want to go out and buy book two, but for some reason I didn’t - which is not good in my book. Despite having Guilty Pleasures foreshadowing Jean Claude’s integral part on book 2, I still wasn’t persuaded enough to rush out and buy it. Typically, when I love, even like a series, I run ASAP and get the next book. I mean pronto. But for this series…I just didn’t.

I would have to rate Laurell K. Hamilton’s, Guilty Pleasures as 3 on the Mina Burrows KilloMeter.

Until next time, have fun and keep reading!

Mina B.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Richelle Mead announces The Vampire Academy Book #6: Last Sacrifice

Hi guys. I know I’ve been blogging a lot recently about Richelle Mead, but I can’t help it. Richelle Mead’s got a lot of action going on. She recently released her upcoming book Spirit Bound excerpt on her website. And just a few days ago she released another tidbit of information, stating that Book #6 called the Last Sacrifice, is scheduled to be released this year, December 14, 2010.

How does she do it? We don’t know but we love every bit that she spoon feeds us with. I personally can’t wait to read both novels. If you haven’t read The Vampire Academy series, do so now – at least within the 2010 year.

On another note, she announced the winners to her Valentine’s Card Contest. And no, I didn’t win. Dagnabbit! Oh well. For those that are interested, check out the one’s I sent in. And here is the link to her winners. You be the judge whether I got the shaft. I personally fell in love with this one. It’s my favorite. And if you’ve read the series and look at the other winners, I’m guessing you know why I chose this one.

 Until next time…Happy Reading!

Mina B.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

A Vampire Romance Book List (1-25)

OK, so I’m really into lists. I recently blogged about a Bloody Book list from NPR writer, Margot Adler, where she read 75 vampire novels. You impressed? I was. Anyway, I’ve been working my way through reviewing those books on my blog when I received a Google alert mentioning a website by the name of Draculabook.com.
It’s an interesting site about anything and everything vampires. Seems relatively new, but I’m not sure. I’d recommend checking it out though. So in my alert, I saw this request from a person looking for recommended Vampire Romance Novels besides Twilight. After responding/commenting to the question, I scanned the other comments and was excited to see all the other responses. Like I said, I’m a big fan of lists. Why? Because I remember a time when I searching emphatically via the net, looking for a list of recommended vampire novels and came up with zilch. Sure, there where recommendations and such on Amazon and other book sites but I wanted just a straight forward list. And by sharing this list with you, I’m helping people like you, who may be looking for instant gratification in a form of an easy book list.

Again, this Vampire Paranormal Romance Book list (1-25) does overlap some with the previous Bloody Book List I blogged about, but the difference here is…romance. Please note the list is in no particular order.  Some of these books I have read, other’s I haven’t but rest assured, I will be reviewing them on my blog.  Also, there are scads of other great vampire romance books out there and I plan on adding to the list with another Vampire Romance Book list featuring #25-50.

Until then, enjoy the list.

Mina B.

Vampire Paranormal Romance Book List (1-25)

1. The Vampire Chronicles, by Anne Rice

2. Vampire Kisses by Ellen Schreiber

3. The Vampire Academy Series, Richelle Mead

4. The Vampire Diaries by L. J. Smith

5. Blue Bloods, Melissa de la Cruz

6. Peeps and The Last Days, by Scott Westerfeld

7. House of Night, by PC Cast and Kristin Cast (series)

8. Vampire Beach by by Alex Duval (series)

9. Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris

10. The Argeneau Vampire Series by Lynsay Sands

11. Love at Stake: How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire by Kerrelyn Sparks (series)

12. The Undead Series by Mary Janice Davidson

13. The Dark Series (Carpathian Series) by Christine Feehan

14. The Dark-Hunters by Sherrilyn Kenyon (series)

15. Riley Jensen, Guardian by Keri Arthur

16. Vampire Huntress Legends by L.A. Banks

17. Dracula by Bram Stoker

18. I, Vampire by Michael Romkey

19. The Morganville Vampires by Rachel Caine (series)

20. The Vampire’s Kiss by Cynthia Eden

21. The Immortals After Dark Series by Kresley Cole (series)

22. Children of the Night, by Mercedes Lackey

23. Forever and the Night, by Linda Lael Miller

24. Mediator Series by Meg Cabot

25. The Midnight Breed Series by Laura Adrian

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

#40, Bloody Book List – MaryJanice Davidson’s Undead And Unwed

I was surprised to see this book was #40 on Margot Adler’s Bloody Book list but hey...everyone’s entitled to their opinion.
MaryJanice Davidson's narrative novel, Undead and Unwed, unlike other books, is more of a comedic approach to vampires, or the undead, rather. Before dying, Elizabeth Taylor, a.k.a. Betsy, is an average, independent woman, struggling to make ends meet and stumbling her way through life. And then one day, (on her birthday, the poor dear) she gets laid off and then is killed by a runaway car, an Axtek to be exact. Life, for most people, would be over. But for Betsy Taylor, it had just begun.

A few months beforehand, Betsy thwarted a near death experience when she was mauled by what Police suspected were rabid squirrels? Ha!...More like feral beasts.  Surviving the attack didn't amount to much since she ended up dying anyway.  After dying, she then wakes up as a member of the undead.  And soon Betsy finds out that she’s not only a dead woman walking, but a vampire. To make things more complicated, she refuses to live her life like her other undead counterparts. She makes an unorthodox decision and outs herself as a vampire to her family and friends, and in doing so, chooses to keep on living.

Betsy is hilarious. Davidson’s main character is a buxom blond/former model with an large appetite for life, love and now, of course, blood. With her best friend, Jessica, by her side, Betsy accepts her new life but shuns all the rules of her new kin. As a friend of both the living and the dead, she meets a mysterious vampire, Eric Sinclair, a tall, dark, handsome (yummy) character that’s so creepy and alluring at times, Betsy doesn’t know whether to question his motives or succumb to his advances.

It’s a tangled web that Davidson weaves, bringing in facets of Betsy’s old and new life like her dysfunctional family, her loyal friends, Nostro (a powerful vampire and her nemesis), Eric (another powerful vampire and charming vampire mentor/would be love interest), Tina (Betsy’s lesbian friend and Sinclair’s devout follower), Nick (the dutiful police detective) and the famous Book of the Dead. And that’s just for starters.

I can’t say enough wonderful compliments about this book. It’s laugh out loud funny (lol for you texting fools). I couldn’t get enough of this book, plus the other seven I read. I assure you, I’ll review the rest and soon. I have to say, there were so many times I laughed, almost spitting at times, bursting into tears. First time was the mention of her shoes. God help Betsy and her love for designer shoes. She couldn’t make a woman more proud. Carry Bradshaw ain’t got nothing on Betsy Taylor. And then, of course, the fang lisp. That had me barreling over in hysterics, I swear.

But honestly, the kicker was at the end of the novel. MaryJanice Davidson slam dunked the ending of her first novel in this series, Undead and Unwed. I promise I’ve read it several times over. Yes, it’s that good.

On the Mina Burrows KilloMeter, I give this book a 5. MaryJanice Davidson is a killer author and Betsy Taylor rocks!

Until next time…keep reading.


Friday, March 5, 2010

Richelle Mead’s Spirit Bound Except is here

OK, I know I’ve been blogging a bunch about Richelle Mead’s & her Vampire Academy series but you can’t blame me. With her recent Valentine’s Day Contest (which I entered-click here to see my entries) and with her upcoming release of Book 5, Spirit Bound, I just couldn’t help myself. I wanted my readers to know how great her YA books are.

Which brings me to the main reason why I’m blogging today, I’m pretty pumped. I am so addicted to the Vampire Academy series that I’ve been stalking Richelle Mead's website waiting for Spirit Bound’s damn excerpt. I know, I know, my sanity is in question here, I realize. But seriously…if you’re like me and have read all fours books, you’ve been waiting on pins and needles for Spirit Bound.

If you’ve read book 4, Blood Promise, than you already know that Dimitri is still alive and is now haunting Rose. She’s the one that got away, and I’m not just talking about love. He won’t rest until he’s done away with her once and for all. Poor Rose.  Didn’t Richelle Mead put her through enough during the last two books? However difficult to read at times, I’m still happy to be deliciously tortured by Dimitri and Rose’s tumultuous relationship.

Spirit Bound comes out May 18, 2010. You can pre order you book by clicking here.

Go check out the Spirit Bound excerpt. It’s beyond killer, and promises to be a best seller for sure.

Happy Friday!


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Book Review, Richelle Mead’s Blood Promise

If Book 3, Shadow Kiss, didn't submerge you into a depressive stupor, Richelle Mead’s fourth installment of the Vampire Academy, Blood Promise, should certainly do it. I’m not bashing the book or the writer in any way shape or form. I understand as an avid fan, it just had to be. That didn’t make it any easier to read.

When reading this book, I spent the better part with a tissue in hand, sobbing every few chapters. It's an emotional rollercoaster, I assure you.  One can’t help but feel tearful regard for Rose Hathaway and her resilience. She’s still that willful female, underdog character (now 18) that continues to blossom before our eyes; a true hero in every sense.

In Blood Promise, Rose is now adjusting to a life without Dimitri Belikov. He's gone or dead to most people, especially now since he’s turned Strigoi. Rose faces her toughest task yet, to leave St. Vladimir again, this time leaving behind her best friend Lissa (the last surviving Dragomir princess) in a quest to find her true love, Dimitri.

As a fearless guardian in training, she’s killed a fair share of Stigoi and now she must kill one more, her Dimitri.  After all, it was a blood promise she once made him, to set him free if he should ever be turned into an evil Strigoi.

Her first place to start is Dimitri’s homeland, where she befriends his family and friends and unknowingly stumbles upon her father, Ibrahim. In this gut-wrenching tale, Rose must be careful what she wishes for, because it’s that what she seeks that finds her instead and claims her as his own. In a suspenseful twist of fate, Dimitri and Rose path's cross, torturing their wants, needs and love for one another.

Lessons will be learned in Blood Promise, some…the hardest ones of all. Mistakes are made by both Rose and Dimitri, but who will it cost on the end?

All I can say is Richelle Mead is a master at cliffhangers. This book, however painful to read, left me burning for more. On the Mina Burrow’s KilloMeter, I give Blood Promise a 5. Richelle ripped it for me, thankfully so. I can’t wait for book 5, Spirit Bound.

Until next time…take care and keep reading.

Mina B. 

Monday, March 1, 2010

Book Review: Richelle Mead's Shadow Kiss

As I continue reviewing Richelle Mead’s, Vampire Academy series, today I have the pleasure of reviewing book 3, Shadow Kiss.
After the end of book 2, Frostbite, Rose is dealt the worst blow when she loses her treasured friend, Mason, while trying to protect the Moroi and some of her other dhampir friends. 

Shadow Kiss opens with Rose adjusting to life after her tragic ordeal.  Now adapting to life as a celebrated guardian in-training, Rose is biding her time until graduation, hoping to take on her official role as her best friend’s (Lissa) guardian. Mason's death scarred Rose so much so that after returning to St. Vladimir’s, Rose starts seeing Mason's ghost.  Poor girl feels as if she’s losing her mind. Over the course of Mason’s haunting, she discovers she’s shadow-kissed.

Being shadow-kissed takes a toll on Rose, as she strives to understand why she can see ghosts and what some of them, like Mason, want with her.

Her training life with Dimitri trudges on, until finally Dimitri and Rose succumb to their desire for one another. Not too long after their afternoon of bliss, the school is under siege. Strigoi have managed to break the school’s wards and change the life course of both Rose and Dimitri forever.

The ending of this book was heartwrenching to read. No sooner did Richelle Mead finally join Rose and Dimitri, did she then break them apart. All I kept thinking was poor Rose.

This book was thrilling, exciting, and filled with delicious twist and turns. I enjoyed it immensely up until the point where Dimitri’s character was compromised. I won’t say how but….I will say it was unbearable to read at times. Nevertheless, I do believe you will truly enjoy reading book as the rest of the series - as did I. On the Mina Burrow’s KilloMeter…Shadow Kiss is a 5. Richelle Mead slashed it off the pages and made me cry in the process.

Stay tuned as I review the next book in the Vampire Academy series, Blood Promise.

Until then…happy reading.