Darkness Becomes Her

, by Kt Clapsadl

Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton
Gods & Monsters #1

Ari can’t help feeling lost and alone. With teal eyes and freakish silver hair that can’t be changed or destroyed, Ari has always stood out. And after growing up in foster care, she longs for some understanding of where she came from and who she is. Her search for answers uncovers just one message from her long dead mother: Run. Ari can sense that someone, or something, is getting closer than they should. But it’s impossible to protect herself when she doesn’t know what she’s running from or why she is being pursued.
 
She knows only one thing: she must return to her birthplace of New 2, the lush rebuilt city of New Orleans. Upon arriving, she discovers that New 2 is very...different. Here, Ari is seemingly normal. But every creature she encounters, no matter how deadly or horrifying, is afraid of her.
 
Ari won’t stop until she knows why. But some truths are too haunting, too terrifying, to ever be revealed.

Ari has always been different. Her strange looks and being raised entirely by foster care homes, have always kept her apart from others. She's kept her distance to protect herself, she's always wanted to know who she really is. After graduating, she sets outs to find some answers, but quickly finds herself on the run as she is being targeted. Her journey brings her to New 2, the secluded city that used to be known as New Orleans. Things are different there, and Ari fits right in. She's shocked to find everyone is terrified of her. She is desperate to know why, but the truth might just be too much to bear.

Ari describes herself as a product of the system at one point in the book, but she really is so much more than that. Yes, she is standoffish and quick to temper, but also has a fierce loyalty to those she cares about. Her journey started out as just a way to find her past, but she quickly made ties to the others. Anyone else would have run from what she faces, but she stands strong. The twist in Ari's heritage came at a complete surprise. Even though from the start we know there was something different about her, and that everyone wanted to claim her for some reason, I just did not expect the revelation to be what it was. While I was already enjoying the book, this revelation sparked my interest tenfold. There are so many possibilities that this could lead to, making me very eager to see how things work out.

I loved the idea of New Orleans now New 2, being a haven for the supernatural. When Ari goes across the border, it's like she stepped into a entirely new world where things go bump in the night. She really has a hard time adjusting to the hard facts of living life there at first. The children do what they must to get by, even if that means grave robbing or taking mail runs. However, this doesn't stop her from bonding with them as she's had a rough life too. She's particularly drawn to Sebastian, and I think the two will have some really good chemistry providing they can get past the obstacles in her path.

This book had slow start, and didn't really have a whole lot of action. However, that being said, I found it to be a very good "foundation" book. The characters were fully fleshed out and the world was fully realized as well. I've always been intrigued by Greek mythology, and of course I love anything supernatural, so this book was the perfect blend of my favorite aspects. I am extremely excited to read the next one, as I have a feeling there will be more action and the mythology aspects will be amped up. Definitely a great start to a new series that you won't want to miss!

Rating:





Buy now at Amazon:
Darkness Becomes Her

Challenge Categories:
Outdo Yourself
YA 
New Author 

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Waiting on Wednesday (36)

, by Kt Clapsadl



Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights an upcoming release we are greatly anticipating.

My pick this week:

Skeleton Crew - Underworld Cycle #2
by Cameron Haley
Publication Date: April 19th, 2011
Amazon Pre-Order: Skeleton Crew

Some people fear snakes. Me? Let it be known that Domino Riley hates zombies.

Bodies are hitting the pavement in L.A. like they always do, but this time they’re getting right back up, death be damned. My mobbed-up outfi t of magicians may be the strongest in the city, but even they aren’t immune to the living dead.

And I’ve yet to develop a resistance to Adan Rashan.

If I don’t team up with the boss’s son, we won’t just be at each other’s throats over control of the outfi t. We’ll be craving hearts and brains, as well.

Because as long as this nasty spirit from the Between is stopping souls from fi nding peace, I’m facing the biggest supernatural crisis to ever hit the City of Angels.

Zombies, it’s time you feared me

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Nice Girls Don't Live Forever

, by Kt Clapsadl

Nice Girls Don't Live Forever by Molly Harper
Jane Jameson #3

UNEXPECTED UNDEAD BREAK-UP

Nothing sucks the romance out of world travel like a boyfriend who may or may not have broken up with you in a hotel room in Brussels. Jane Jameson's sexy sire Gabriel has always been unpredictable, but the seductive, anonymous notes that await him at each stop of their international vacation, coupled with his evasive behavior over the past few months, finally push Jane onto the next flight home to Half Moon Hollow — alone, upset, and unsure whether Gabriel just ended their relationship without actually telling her.

Now the children's-librarian-turned-vampire is reviving with plenty of Faux Type O, some TLC from her colorful friends and family, and her plans for a Brave New Jane. Step One: Get her newly renovated occult bookstore off the ground. Step Two: Support her best friend, Zeb, and his werewolf bride as they prepare for the impending birth of their baby...or litter. Step Three: Figure out who's been sending her threatening letters, and how her hostile pen pal is tied to Gabriel. Because for this nice girl, surviving a broken heart is suddenly becoming a matter of life and undeath....

All of the issues between Jane and Gabriel finally come to a head when their trip around the world becomes one disaster after another. Someone is sending mysterious notes to each stop along the way, no matter how often they change locations. The problem is that he tries to act like nothing is wrong and won't show the notes to Jane. She gets fed up with it and heads home realizing that their relationship is probably over. Luckily she has her book store's opening and the upcoming birth of Zeb's twins to distract her. However those distractions start to wear thin when she receives a few threatening letters of her own. All her instincts tell her to stay away from Gabriel but her heart just won't listen, and that might just cost Jane her life, or well, undeath.

As much as I dislike romantic relationships having problems in books, I'm glad the problems finally came to the surface in this book. I hated how things were between Jane and Gabriel, not really knowing where they stood with each other. They were stuck and just couldn't move forward at all with his constant mysteriousness and her severe insecurities. Even though they spent most of the book either avoiding the other or fighting terribly, I still preferred this to the emotional limbo they were in before. Now that the issues are at the forefront they can finally decide whether to work things out or just call it quits.

Jane's family continues to be a major thorn in her side in this book, especially her sister. She is still on her rampage to steal the house and its contents right out from under Jane. Of course there is the situation with her grandmother's undead boyfriend that tried to kill her, but hey at least her mother seems to be coming around. Another group causing issues is Jolene's family. They are determined to destroy Jolene and Zeb's chances at living a live outside of the pack's home grounds. I understand following tradition to a certain extent, but this crazy family is taking things to the extreme. All I can say is be glad you aren't a werewolf from her family, or even worse, a human married into it.

The hilarious wit from the previous books continued in this book as well despite the nasty situation Jane was in. I cracked up so many times reading this book, and I love the author's ability to make light of even the worst predicaments, so that you don't feel like you are reading something unhappy. It is amazing how a book about heartbreak and life endangering situations can be funny, but this one pulls it off beautifully. I loved this book and am really glad to see that there will be another book in this series, it's just a matter of playing the "waiting game." Definitely recommended for fans of the lighter side of paranormal books, or really for anyone who enjoys a good laugh.

Rating:





Buy now at Amazon:
Nice Girls Don't Live Forever (Jane Jameson, Book 3)

Challenge Categories:
Outdo Yourself
Horror and Urban Fantasy
Vampire 

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It's Monday! What are you reading (36)

, by Kt Clapsadl






It's Monday! What Are You Reading, hosted by Book Journey, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.






Here's what I read this past week:

RageNice Girls Don't Have Fangs (Jane Jameson, Book 1)Nice Girls Don't Date Dead Men (Jane Jameson, Book 2)



Rage by Jackie Morse Kessler (Early Review)
Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs by Molly Harper (Review)
Nice Girls Don't Date Dead Men by Molly Harper (Review)

The first book I read this past week was an early copy of Rage, by Jackie Morse Kessler. This series is one based on "issues," and the author does a fantastic job of bringing the point across without it feeling like the issue is being shoved down your throat. Anyone with teenage children should read this series. Heck anyone who is even remotely close to a teenager should.

The other books I read were the first two in the Nice Girls series. These books are absolutely hilarious, and definitely on the lighter side, but they were exactly what I needed.

My upcoming list:


Nice Girls Don't Live Forever by Molly Harper
Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton
Delirium by Lauren Oliver

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Nice Girls Don't Date Dead Men

, by Kt Clapsadl

Nice Girls Don't Date Dead Men by Molly Harper
Jane Jameson #2

Once a devoted children's librarian, Jane Jameson now works at a rundown occult bookstore. Once a regular gal, she's now a vampire. And instead of a bride, she's an eternal bridesmaid — which leads her to question where exactly her relationship with her irresistibly sexy sire, Gabriel, is headed. Mercurial, enigmatic, apparently commitment-phobic vampires are nothing if not hard to read. While Jane is trying to master undead dating, she is also donning the ugliest bridesmaid's dress in history at her best friend Zeb's Titanic-themed wedding. Between a freaked-out groom-to-be, his hostile werewolf in-laws, and Zeb's mother, hell-bent on seeing Jane walk the aisle with Zeb, Jane's got the feeling she's just rearranging the proverbial deck chairs.

Meanwhile, Half Moon Hollow's own Black Widow, Jane's Grandma Ruthie, has met her match in her latest fiancé. He smells like bad cheese and has a suspicious history of dead spouses. But Jane's biting her tongue. After all, would a nice girl really think she has a future with a vampire?


Even though Jane is still trying to come to terms with the reality that she is a vampire, her biggest challenge right now is accepting the worst bridesmaid dress imaginable. Her best friend Jeb is getting married, and Jane is the Maid of honor. The Titanic is the wedding theme, which is fitting because everything really does seem to be a sinking ship. Somehow she becomes the one responsible for holding everything together despite her own bad track record with relationships. She is ever suspicious of her sire, Gabriel, but as of late he has been giving her plenty of reasons to be. He disappears for days at a time without any contact, and always returns with some lame excuse for his absence. Add into this mess the fact that her grandmother may just be shacked up with her match for killing off spouses, Jane sure is in over her head, and just will have to take it one step at a time.

Everyone thinks they have a terrible family, but after reading this book, I think both Jane and Jeb's family could easily duke it out for that title in the end. I almost added Jolene's family to the mix, but then I realized that they really were not vindictive like the other two's family, just a little meddlesome. Jane's family constantly belittles her, steals from her and even brings lawyers into the nasty mess. I cannot say how many time I was utterly appalled at their behavior and I honestly don't know why she just hasn't "written them off." No one deserves to put through that. Speaking of which I won't go into depth on Zeb's family and their treatment of Jolene and Jane as it is spoilery, but let's just say it is pretty horrible as well.

There was a lot of tension between Gabriel and Jane in this book, most of it not being the good type of tension. His secretiveness and her insecurities really started to clash and wreak havoc on their relationship. This fact kind of made the book fizzle just a little bit for me. Jane just never had a backbone and stood up for herself and her feelings, and Gabriel just expected her to trust him yet he never once gave her a good reason to. Trust has to be earned and he has been very secretive from the start, so I just didn't find the situation to be very realistic. For Jane being such a questioning person, she lets way too much go in this book. I'm hoping this gets resolved in the next book, with Gabriel having one heck of good reason for his mysteriousness.

All in all, I enjoyed this book, there was plenty of humor just like the first one, but because of the relationship issues I didn't like it quite as much. I'm hoping the next book brings these issues to the front of focus, and gets them hashed out. I don't like when the character's happiness in a relationship is in limbo for too long. Despite this complaint, I still highly recommend the book. It is lighter, laugh out loud, type of paranormal romance that is sure to keep you entertained.

Rating:





Buy now at Amazon:
Nice Girls Don't Date Dead Men (Jane Jameson, Book 2)

Challenge Categories:
Outdo Yourself
Horror and Urban Fantasy
Vampire 

Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs

, by Kt Clapsadl

Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs by Molly Harper
Jane Jameson #1

Maybe it was the Shenanigans gift certificate that put her over the edge. When children's librarian and self-professed nice girl Jane Jameson is fired by her beastly boss and handed twenty-five dollars in potato skins instead of a severance check, she goes on a bender that's sure to become Half Moon Hollow legend. On her way home, she's mistaken for a deer, shot, and left for dead. And thanks to the mysterious stranger she met while chugging neon-colored cocktails, she wakes up with a decidedly unladylike thirst for blood.

Jane is now the latest recipient of a gift basket from the Newly Undead Welcoming Committee, and her life-after-lifestyle is taking some getting used to. Her recently deceased favorite aunt is now her ghostly roommate. She has to fake breathing and endure daytime hours to avoid coming out of the coffin to her family. She's forced to forgo her favorite down-home Southern cooking for bags of O negative. Her relationship with her sexy, mercurial vampire sire keeps running hot and cold. And if all that wasn't enough, it looks like someone in Half Moon Hollow is trying to frame her for a series of vampire murders. What's a nice undead girl to do?

When Jane's horrible boss cans her and she goes off on a bender she thinks her life couldn't be more messed up. However when a drunk mistakes her for a deer and she gets changed into a vampire, she realizes how wrong she was. Her world is completely turned upside down with a sexy sire, new daylight restrictions, and her aunt's ghost now haunting her. Then it seems someone is determined to make her un-death a miserable experience when they keep framing her for murders. Meanwhile her family is determined to get a hold of the southern mansion she inherited, and they just won't take no for an answer.. She didn't ask for any of this, but she has to just take one day at a time like a good southern girl, or well, vampire.

This has to be one of the funniest books I have read in a long time. You really never know what is going to come out of Jane's mouth next, and I cannot count the number of times I burst out laughing at a ridiculous thing she said. I can see why her sire, Gabriel was so drawn to her. I highly doubt there is another person quite like her, and vampires do seem to like the unique. It makes sense when you consider their very long lives that they would seek out things or people that have the ability to surprise them, and Jane sure fits that bill.

The characters in this book are really great, all full of depth. From her awesome best friend Zeb, to the crude but amusing vampire, Dick, they all add a lot to the book. The only character that I wish there was a little more of would have been Gabriel. He remained mysterious for most of the book, and that really hindered their relationship from developing well. Sometimes that isn't a problem in other books, but I just don't think that fits the "tone" of this book. Perhaps in the next book their relationship will be more fully fleshed out.

The storyline is simple, but moves along quickly. Even though some of dangers were serious, the book was still very light and fun. I honestly don't think I've read about a more humorous character than Jane. I cannot wait to see what trouble she can get into next. She is extremely unpredictable, but that is what makes her the most fun. Very good book, that is a very fast and light read. I'm really glad I it and got to enjoy a lighter side of the paranormal genre.

Rating:






Buy now at Amazon:
Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs (Jane Jameson, Book 1)

Challenge Categories:
Outdo Yourself
Horror and Urban Fantasy
New Author 
Vampire 

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Waiting on Wednesday (35)

, by Kt Clapsadl



Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights an upcoming release we are greatly anticipating.

My pick this week:

The Goddess Test - Goddess Test #1
by Aimee Carter
Publication Date: April 19, 2011

Every girl who has taken the test has died.

Now it's Kate's turn.

It's always been just Kate and her mom--and now her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate's going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear her mother won't live past the fall.

Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld--and if she accepts his bargain, he'll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.

Kate is sure he's crazy--until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she'll become Henry's future bride, and a goddess.

If she fails..

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Rage (Early Review)

, by Kt Clapsadl

Rage by Jackie Morse Kessler
Rider's Quartet #2


Missy didn’t mean to cut so deep. But after the party where she was humiliated in front of practically everyone in school, who could blame her for wanting some comfort? Sure, most people don’t find comfort in the touch of a razor blade, but Missy always was . . . different.

That’s why she was chosen to become one of the Four Horsemen Apocalypse: War. Now Missy wields a different kind of blade—a big, brutal sword that can cut down anyone and anything in her path. But it’s with this weapon in her hand that Missy learns something that could help her triumph over her own pain: control.

A unique approach to the topic of self-mutilation, Rage is the story of a young woman who discovers her own power, and refuses to be defeated by the world.


After reading the last book, and how the current "War" acted I was pretty sure this book would be about a completely hate filled character whose only goal in life was to cause misery in others. Well, I was completely wrong. While Missy does hold some animosity towards others, most of her hate is directed towards herself. I don't think I've ever met or read about someone with such terrible self-loathing. As in the previous book, this one is a journey and a battle to conquer and over come inner demons in whatever form they may take. However, it was in no way just a rehashment of the last book's plot. The struggles and obstacles are completely different, as well as the resolution. While most of the book is very serious and "heavy," Death's character yet again adds just the right amount of comic relief.

These books are first and foremost, issue books, however they never once come across as pushy or overly opinionated. I really admire the author's ability to shed light on such serious topics while still making the books a good read. I think this book and the previous one are a must read for every teenager or parent of a teenager. Even if none of the issues ever touch them in their lives, it is a good eye opener to some of the real struggles teens have to deal with. A portion of proceeds will be donated to the organization To Write Love On Her Arms.

(Received from Netgalley)
Rating:





Pre-Order at Amazon:
Rage


Challenge Categories:
Outdo Yourself
YA 

It's Monday! What are you reading (35)

, by Kt Clapsadl






It's Monday! What Are You Reading, hosted by Book Journey, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.






Here's what I read this past week:

Thorn Queen (Dark Swan, Book 2)Iron Crowned (Dark Swan, Book 3)The Vampire Voss



Thorn Queen by Richelle Mead (Review)
Iron Crowned by Richelle Mead (Review)
The Vampire Voss by Colleen Gleason (Early Review)

I read the second and third books in the Dark Swan series. These book have a much different feel to them than Richelle's other books, but I still enjoyed them. The series is going in a direction that I wasn't expecting, and things have been really shaken up. The next book is supposed to be the final book, and I can't wait to see where things end up!

I also read an early copy of The Vampire Voss. This book was slightly out of my "comfort zone." So, it took me a little while to get used to the historical aspects of the book. However, it was a pretty decent read, and I think I will enjoy the next book in the series even more now that I understand the mannerisms of the time period better.

My upcoming list:

Rage by Jackie Morse Kessler (Early Review)
Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs by Molly Harper
Nice Girls Don't Date Dead Men by Molly Harper

The Vampire Voss (Early Review)

, by Kt Clapsadl

The Vampire Voss by Colleen Gleason
Regency Draculia #1




Regency London - a dizzying whirl of balls and young ladies pursued by charming men. But the Woodmore sisters are hunted by a more sinister breed: Lucifer's own. Voss, also known as Viscount Dewhurst, relishes the sensual pleasures immortality affords. A member of the Dracule - a cabal of powerful, secretive noblemen marked with a talisman that reveals their bartered souls - the mercenary Voss has remained carefully neutral...until Angelica. Angelica Woodmore possesses the Sight, an ability invaluable to both sides of a looming war among the Dracule. Her very scent envelops Voss in a scarlet fog of hunger - for her body and blood. But he is utterly unprepared for the new desire that overcomes him - to protect her



When their brother goes missing, the Woodmore sisters are placed in the care of a very reluctant Earl, in order to protect them from evil members of the Dracule. Lord Dewhurst, or Voss has always prided himself on his conquests of blood and flesh. However that all changes when he meets Angelica Woodmore. She isn't like the others, least of all being her Sight abilities. Even though they come from opposite worlds, they are quickly drawn to each other. Voss finds himself wanting to protect her, but what is the bigger threat; the opposing members of the Dracule, or he himself who longs with the desire to feast upon her flesh.

I've only read one other "period" book in the past, so it took me a little while to get used to rules of propriety and the other mannerisms of the book. The rules of propriety and other things were slightly baffling to me, but the author did do a good job of setting them up well. In fact I actually didn't care for the main character's sister, Maia at first since she continually lectured Angelica on propriety as well as controlled her with "an iron fist." However, after reading the entire book I realize that Maia was actually being a very good sister, by ensuring that Angelica didn't socially sabotage herself. The book is set in such a time where a proper lady's only goal in life is to marry well and produce at least one heir. I have a feeling I will enjoy the next book more, as I have had time to get used to the setting, and the society's rules, so less of my focus will be spent on those ideas.

While Voss's and Angelica's relationship was very slow in progression, I enjoyed their relationship. Looking back, I think the slow progression actually makes sense given the time period and the level of society they were in. I am glad that despite the risks, Angelica was bold at times and stepped outside of propriety's strict rules and mannerisms to at least explore a little bit between her and Voss. Of course several complications arise that severely set back their relationship several times, but at least she gave it a chance at all. Perhaps that was why Voss was drawn to her in the first place, she has an inner strength and fire that none of the other women did.

The book's pacing was rather slow in the beginning, and the shifting perspectives didn't really help me get pulled into the story at first. I prefer a book to either grab a hold of me with action immediately or at least draw me into the character's right away. However, that being said the further I read in this book, the more attached I got to the characters. I enjoyed the ending resolution, being a turn I did not see coming. I'm actually looking forward to the next book about Dimitri and Maia, as they were both characters I didn't particularly care for in the beginning, but definitely grew on me. All in all it was a pretty good read, even more so if you love reading about regency London.

Received from Netgalley

Rating:





Preorder at Amazon:
The Vampire Voss

Challenge Categories:
Outdo Yourself
Paranormal Romance
New Author 
Vampire 

Follow Friday & Book Blogger Hop (23)

, by Kt Clapsadl

Book Blogger HopOn fridays I participate in both Follow Friday and the Book Blogger Hop.

Follow Fridays is hosted by Parajunkee's View, and is just Fridays.

The Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Crazy-for-Books, and runs Friday to Monday. There are new rules for the hop, so make sure to check out Crazy for Books for the details.


This week's question from Crazy for Books:

Do you only read one book at a time or do you have several going at once?

Typically I read just one at a time. Sometimes I will read two if the book I'm currently reading at home is a hard copy. I'll read a second book on my kindle at the gym as paper books are just too difficult to read there. However, for my "gym" read, I'll typically pick something I've read at least once before so I'm already familiar with things and do not get it mixed up with the other book I'm reading. I really don't like reading two at once, but the gym is too boring without a good book. ;)

This week's question from Parajunkee:

How did you come up with your blog name?

Well my original blog name was "One Book at a Time." However, shorty after starting mine, I found another popular blog with the same name that had been around for a lot longer. I didn't want to duplicate, so I wracked my brain for another name. I decided that the most fitting name would have something to do with my obsession with books. So, after much thought, A Book Obsession.. became the final name.


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Iron Crowned

, by Kt Clapsadl

Iron Crowned by Richelle Mead
Dark Swan #3

New York Times bestselling author Richelle Mead takes readers back to the Otherworld, an embattled realm mystically entwined with our world--and ruled by one woman's dangerous choice. . .
Shaman-for-hire Eugenie Markham is the best at banishing entities trespassing in the mortal realm. But as the Thorn Land's queen, she's fast running out of ways to end the brutal war devastating her kingdom. Her only hope: the Iron Crown, a legendary object even the most powerful gentry fear. . . 

Who Eugenie can trust is the hardest part. Fairy king Dorian has his own agenda for aiding her search. And Kiyo, her shape-shifter ex-boyfriend, has every reason to betray her along the way. To control the Crown's ever-consuming powers, Eugenie will have to confront an unimaginable temptation--one that will put her soul and the fate of two worlds in mortal peril. . .


Eugenie is learning firsthand the consequences of war. Her compassionate side does not allow the losses of her people to sit well with her, so's she is desperate to find a way to end the war without more bloodshed. When she hears about the legendary Iron Crown she is skeptical, yet very eager for its possibilities. Due to the high concentration of Iron, she cannot rely on her lover, King Dorian for help. So, she must turn to her ex for help, making it a very strained journey. She will have to make tough choices along the way and learn terrible truths she never wanted to know, and place her trust in the hands of others who may or may not have her best interests at heart.

For all her strength and powers, Eugenie always seems to get the short end of the stick. Everyone under the sun always seems to be gunning for her for one reason or another. Her actions to survive what life has thrown at her has cost her relationship with her parents as Rowland cannot accept her half-gentry nature. Her honor was seriously offended in the last book, yet she's now in a terrible war as a result of Dorian's actions to avenge it. The worst part of all this is that everything she has dealt with can be traced back to a prophecy that may or may not be valid. In fact I have a feeling that many of the people action's to stop the prophecy will actually be one of the events that set it into motion, kind of like a self-fulfilling prophecy. If everyone had just left her alone, her ties to the Otherworld wouldn't be anywhere near what they are today. So they really have no one to blame but themselves in the end.

Every time I think Eugenie has made her final choice between the two men in this series, something drastic happens that changes things up again. It is strange that I find myself going back and forth between my choice as well, something I rarely do. Typically I make my choice of preference in a love triangle very early on, and then stick to it. However, these two men are nothing short a of a mess for Eugenie. I'm almost finding myself hoping she will write both of them off as they deserve nothing less. However, that being said the ending event and the male's reactions to it seems to have sealed their fates, with one almost redeeming his past actions, and the other completely dooming himself. I just hope things will somehow work out in the end and give Eugenie the happiness she deserves, as so much has thrown at her.

Once this book got started it grabbed a hold of me and just wouldn't let go. There were so many unpredictable twists and turns that I was left in suspense the entire time. The ending was one heck of a shock. Even though I had a feeling what happened would be inevitable at some point, I just didn't expect some of the characters to react the way they did. I have a feeling the repercussions of those actions will be felt very hard in the next book, making me very eager to see what happens next. This book blows the first two away, making it by far the best in the series.

Rating:






Buy now at Amazon:
Iron Crowned (Dark Swan, Book 3)

Challenge Categories:
Outdo Yourself
Horror and Urban Fantasy

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Guest Post: Nicole Peeler

, by Kt Clapsadl


I am so excited today to have Nicole Peeler, an author I love, as my first guest poster on the blog! She's talking about one of the most debated issues in Urban Fantasies today, sex, so make sure to read on down to see what she has to say. If you haven't checked out her books yet, you don't know what you are missing! In fact, Orbit is having a special promotion where you can get an e-copy of her first book, Tempest Rising for only $2.99 right here. If you need any further encouragement to try out this fantastic author's books, check out my reviews of the first three books in her series: Tempest Rising, Tracking the Tempest, & Tempest Legacy.

So without further ado I give you Nicole Peeler:


The Sex Question: Or, Writing For Ourselves

I did a blog post the other day on sex and urban fantasy, a topic I've written about quite a few times. I'm often asked about the conjunction between sex and UF, and I'm still thinking this idea through. I think, as my blog post discusses, that there are very complicated social and cultural reasons for why women are allowed to write sex in a way that men aren't. But does that mean that women writers should all write sex?

The answer to that question is: of course not. Sex is like any other plot device in that it has to have a purpose. That said, though, I do often see an unfairness when people focus on a writer's gratuitous use of sex. Oftentimes, I've found that when there is a writer using genuinely gratuitous sex, it's because they're doing all sorts of gratuitous things. They're gratuitously using action scenes. They're gratuitously using exposition. They're gratuitously using other clichéd scenes, such as the "look over all our weapons so we get to talk about shiny weapons" scene, or the "stare at a photo album so we see everything that character has loved and lost" scene.

In other words, writers who use gratuitous scenes are usually not very good writers. But it's often the bad sex scenes that garner people's focus, as if sex is to blame. And it's not: it's just that in our paradoxically puritanical and sexually obsessed American culture, we are taught to "see" sex everywhere.

So sex gets blamed for bad writing.

But sex isn't the culprit! To everyone who commented on my post, saying that sex shouldn't overwhelm the plot of a book that isn't erotica: you're absolutely right. But that's a bit like saying, "Authors shouldn't do things they know they shouldn't do." Is this to say that authors DO always do what we know we should? Of course not, and there are all sorts of examples of books that did seem to randomly stick in various plot devices in an attempt to please everyone. Some of these books are even quite popular, and sometimes there's a weird sort of pleasure to be found in reading these Blockbuster Film-esque books.

So why write sex at all, if we risk offending people, or having them focus entirely on the sex in either negative or positive ways?

It's because that when sex is used well, it can hold so much symbolic weight. We can learn so much about a character by the way they treat their own body and their sexuality, and that of others.

I have definitely been taken to task by reviewers who didn't like the fact my books had sex. Some have suggested they would have loved the books, if they'd been written without the sex. But I would say that such readers missed the boat on Jane. Jane wouldn't be Jane without her libido, and I wouldn't have written the book I wanted to write. I'd also argue that to make Jane the character I wanted her to be, those sex scenes have to be there. Stripping Jane of her sexuality would create an entirely different character, altogether.

And while those readers might have enjoyed reading that character's book better, I certainly would not have enjoyed writing it.

I think what I'm trying to say is that, as authors, we should only do the best we can. We should only write what we want to write, as best as we can we write it. If we start stripping out OR inserting things just because we feel like we should, our books will suffer. I've talked to many author friends who don't enjoy writing sex, but who've felt pressured to do so. They hated doing it, they felt their attempts failed, and they stripped out or toned down the majority of these scenes during revisions. But I'd feel the same way about taking out all the sex from my books. I'd feel just as forced and coerced, and just as much as if I were pandering to the notion of "pleasing everyone" rather than writing what I felt was strong.

So us authors need to stick to our guns, and write to our individual strengths and interests. Our readers will either love us or hate us, but at least we've given them our best.

Nicole Peeler is a professor of English literature and creative writing at Seton Hill University, in Greensburg, PA. She also writes urban fantasy novels for Orbit Books. Her third novel, Tempest's Legacy, just hit shelves in January.

For those American readers interested in Nicole's fiction, Orbit Books is offering her first book,
Tempest Rising, as this month's Orbital Drop, downloadable on multiple platforms for only $2.99. Click here for more details.

Waiting on Wednesday (34)

, by Kt Clapsadl



Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights an upcoming release we are greatly anticipating.

My pick this week:

Bite Club - The Morganville Vampires #10
by Rachel Caine
Publication Date: May 3rd, 2011

After discovering that vampires populate her town, college student Claire Danvers knows that the undead just want to live their lives. But someone else wants them to get ready to rumble.

There's a new extreme sport getting picked up on the Internet: bare- knuckle fights pitting captured vampires against each other-or humans. Tracking the remote signal leads Claire- accompanied by her friends and frenemies-to discover that what started as an online brawl will soon threaten everyone in Morganville...

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