One Grave at a Time

, by Kt Clapsadl

One Grave at a Time by Jeaniene Frost
Night Huntress #6


The grave is one wrong step away.

Having narrowly averted an (under)world war, Cat Crawfield wants nothing more than a little downtime with her vampire husband, Bones. Unfortunately, her gift from New Orleans' voodoo queen just keeps on giving--leading to a personal favor that sends them into battle once again, this time against a villainous spirit.

Centuries ago, Heinrich Kramer was a witch hunter. Now, every All Hallows Eve, he takes physical form to torture innocent women before burning them alive. This year, however, a determined Cat and Bones must risk all to send him back to the other side of eternity--forever. But how do you kill a killer who's already long dead?



In the previous book, vampires and ghouls had been on the very brink of war, so now that things have calmed down, Cat wants nothing more than to spend some quality time with Bones. Of course she should have known that Marie Laveau's unwanted gift wouldn't go away without causing a little havoc first. When she learns of a murderous ghost set to strike yet again, she knows this is one battle she cannot walk away from as she has the perfect weapon against it.. Or does she?

One Grave at a Time had a very different feel to it than its predecessors. In a typical Cat and Bones book there is plenty of high stakes, serious romantic tension, and steamy sex. In One Grave at Time, the former two were practically non-existent, and while the latter was there, it was in much smaller doses than previously established. Usually the heat between Bones and Cat's interactions scalds right off the pages. However in this book, those extracurricular activities were much less frequent and just didn't seem to have the same spark as before.  Perhaps I'm just holding them to a higher standard because of past examples, but I still found it all to be a little lacking. I'm really hoping the future books will show them back in that aspect, as I never thought a sex scene with Bones could have been described as ordinary, and I'm afraid this may just damage my mental picture of him if it continues.

I had a hard time feeling the sense of real danger and high stakes from the issues in this book. If anything, the subplot with her old team felt more of an issue to me than the major one with ghost. Throughout the entire book that ghost proved just how much of a threat he was, and yet I had a hard time feeling the danger. For some reason it all just felt repetitive as they just seemed to be having the same confrontation over and over again. I found myself caring much more about that subplot issue more than the danger "at hand." Perhaps the lacking sense of real danger had to do with the fact that the stakes weren't really high to them personally. Of course they wanted to stop the evil this man this ghost was committing, but when it all comes down to it they could have walked away without any real personal conflicts, lessening the overall risk in my opinion. I guess I would have been more invested if things had hit a little closer to home.


This will be the first Cat and Bones book that I will be giving less than a perfect rating for. I'm still rating it a four because One Grave at a Time was still very enjoyable, it just wasn't quite up to par with the previous books. That being said, the major set up for future books dealing with the subplot I previously mentioned, left me more than intrigued, and I cannot wait to see where that all leads. I have a feeling things will be back as far as the high stakes I've come to expect from this series. So while I can't say that One Grave at a Time would be my top pick of all the books, it still will go on my keeper shelf. 

Rating:





Buy now from Amazon:
One Grave at a Time: A Night Huntress Novel


Other Reviews:
Previous Books:
  1. Halfway to the Grave 
  2. One Foot in the Grave
  3. At Grave's End
  4. Destined for an Early Grave
  5. This Side of the Grave
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Waiting on Wednesday (71)

, 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:

Bedeviled - Dark Breed #2
by Sable Grace
Publication Date: December 27th, 2011
Amazon Pre-Order: Bedeviled: A Dark Breed Novel (Dark Breed Novels)

She has done the unthinkable—turned her best friend into a dark breed: part Vampyre, Lychen and Witch . . .

Kyana thought only to save her friend’s life when she fed Haven her blood; instead, she created a monster. Now the woman she thought of as a sister is under the spell of an ancient, vengeful god, determined to set him free and wreak havoc on the mortal world . . . and only Kyana can stop her.

But time is running out. In just seven days, Kyana’s Vampyre and Lychen abilities will be gone and she’ll be completely transformed into the Goddess of the Hunt—and her blood ties to Haven will be severed. By her side is Ryker—ally, demigod, lover— who will sacrifice everything to keep Kyana safe . . . even the attraction that burns between them. Together they have one chance to save Haven from herself . . . to save humanity from hell on earth.

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Shatter Me

, by Kt Clapsadl

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Shatter Me #1

Juliette hasn't touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal. As long as she doesn't hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don't fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war-- and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she's exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

In this electrifying debut, Tahereh Mafi presents a world as riveting as The Hunger Games and a superhero story as thrilling as The X-Men. Full of pulse-pounding romance, intoxicating villainy, and high-stakes choices, Shatter Me is a fresh and original dystopian novel—with a paranormal twist—that will leave readers anxiously awaiting its sequel.

Juliette hasn't touched anyone in 264 days. Her touch is lethal, even if she doesn't mean for it be. After being locked up for accidentally killing someone she's spent her days in silence. She's watched the world around her slowly crumble apart as people starve and the environment becomes slowly even more uninhabitable. To make matters worse, there is a movement called the Reestablishment that has taken over everything and ruined what hope was left. Anyone who opposes them finds themselves quickly executed, and yet there are still those who would fight. And their numbers are growing. Her confinement ends when someone in the Res realizes that they could harness her power to once and for all crush the opposition. Problem is that Juliette has no desire to use her power for evil, but she may not have a choice in the end.

In the start of the book, Juliette is as close to crazy as you can really get without stepping over the edge. Of course being in solitary confinement for such a long time would surely crack even the best of us. Her thoughts weren't quite coherent, but that made everything all the more powerful as she poured out her fears and thoughts. She has this very interesting way of crossing out what she really means, and follows it with what she should say. It is almost like she is constantly editing her own thoughts, but only crosses them out rather than fully erasing them, giving them a whole lot more value and meaning. Then as time goes on she starts to come out of the shell she has built around herself for protection. Not once did it cease to amaze me how she stayed so pure and good despite the horrific treatment she has endured. The world around her is literally in shambles, and to be honest, I'm not sure if the people on the "outside" of her cell had things any better, yet they still treat her as a pariah. This is dystopian at its finest, or worst depending on how you look at it.

You wouldn't think a book with such horrifying circumstances and a heroine with a deadly touch could possibly have a believable romance, let alone one that was so utterly breathtaking. Yet the connection between the two of them steamed right off the page. Every touch, kiss, or even gesture would completely overwhelm Juliette in such a way that made every single moment feel precious. And so it should be as she has gone a lifetime without any touch at all. So to be capable of it now would be nothing short of spectacular. But don't think it is a love out of happenstance due to the hero's odd ability to touch Juliette. There is so much more to them, with a foundation that is built to last.

It is impossible to not make comparisons between Juliette and Rouge from X-Men, but do not let that discourage you or make you think you've read this story before with just a different name. There is so much more to it than just a girl who can kill with only a touch. It is a story about horrifying circumstances as well as the strength and determination to stand above it all. This is dystopian at its finest, or worst depending on how you look at it.  Add that into the fact that Tahereh's writing is absolutely amazing and you have one incredible book. It kept me utterly captivated as I devoured this book. And trust me, Shatter Me deserves to be utterly consumed and devoured. I've never quite read anything like the amazingly unique voice Tahereh gave Juliette.I will be waiting with bated breath for the sequel.

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Shatter Me

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It's Monday What Are You Reading? (71)

, 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:









Darkness Unbound by Keri Arthur (Review)
Darkness Rising by Keri Arthur (Review)
Shaedes of Gray by Amanda Bonilla (Early Review)

I love everything Keri Arthur writes, especially the Riley Jensen series. I was really sad to say goodbye when it ended, so you can only imagine how excited I was to find out there would be a spin-off. After reading the books, I've decided they are every bit as good. A word of warning though, do not expect Risa to be just like Riley. She is definitely her own person, with a completely different set of problems that make things fun. I devoured the first two as soon as they came out and now am impatiently waiting for the third.

I also read Shades of Gray by Amanda Bonilla. This was a really interesting debut that was unlike anything I've read before. It's a great read for Urban Fantasy fans that want something a little different from everything else out there.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. I'm still trying to recoup from the insane Black Friday shopping. ;)

My Upcoming List:

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
One Grave at a Time by Jeaniene Frost
Flying Blind by Deborah Cooke
Winging It by Deborah Cooke (Early Review)

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Shaedes of Gray (Early Review)

, by Kt Clapsadl

Shaedes of Gray by Amanda Bonilla
Shaedes Assassin #1

 

 In the shadows of the night, Darian has lived alone for almost a century. Made and abandoned by her former love, Darian is the last of her kind-an immortal Shaede who can slip into darkness as easily as breathing. With no one else to rely on, she has taught herself how to survive, using her unique skills to become a deadly assassin.

When Darian's next mark turns out to be Xander Peck, King of the Shaede Nation, her whole worldview is thrown into question. Darian begins to wonder if she's taken on more than her conscience will allow. But a good assassin never leaves a job unfinished...



 


Darian is an immortal Shaede who can slip into shadow at will. She wasn't always this way, she used to be human. But her former lover changed her, and then abandoned her, making her believe she was the last of her kind. She did what she had to in order to survive and is now an assassin who never misses her mark. However, things get a little sticky when her latest job leads her to not only others like herself, but the very King of her species. Her entire world view is turned upside down as she is thrown into a nefarious plot with all sides clambering to claim her for her own. Trouble is, she vowed to never be controlled ever again, and she isn't about to start now.

I absolutely loved Darian's character. Yes in the beginning she is extremely arrogant and quite overconfident. However, even as she gets knocked down a few pegs by all that she didn't know, she never really loses that iron will. She goes through an incredible character growth as she stumbles upon all the lies she has been told, and for once in her life starts to make choices based on knowledge rather than ignorance. Of course she still has a lot of her independent nature, making it next to impossible for her to accept help when she needs it. But even there, by the end of the book she had made huge strides as she started to open herself up, making me love her even more.

There were stirrings of a love triangle possibility, although if you ask me I don't think one of them stands a snowball's chance.
I just wasn't feeling anything than a desire for possession from the new guy. Definitely a turn off. On the other side of things, the sexual tension between Darian and the original guy was practically off the charts, even if she was in denial about it all. To be honest, I don't blame her one bit for being so wary and for trying to keep her distance from everyone. After all the lies she has been fed, along with everyone seeming to have an agenda to use her for themselves, it's a wonder she is able to feel anything at all besides anger and resentment. But somehow, something does slowly grow in the romance department. Of course, these obstacles, both emotional and physical, once overcome will make the final romance all the more meaningful and gratifying in the end. If something comes easily and never has to be fought for, you can't truly appreciate it. Trust me, Darian will fully appreciate everything in her relationship when all is said and done because nothing is going to come easy here. I just can't wait to see how things turn out!

As much as I loved Shaedes of Gray, there was a part of the book that became incredibly confusing for me. I was following everything well, reveling in learning everything right alongside Darian. However, in the last third of the book prophecies started getting sprouted and a whole bunch of other reveals were made, leading up to the big final fight. Unfortunately everything seemed too jumbled together and I got lost. I'm still really not sure what was going on and why certain events happened. Although, to be honest I don't think Darian or her allies have much of a clue either. It was just a little bit of a let down since I had been completely immersed into the book prior to that point, and the confusion drew me out a little. Perhaps the next installment will make things a little more clear, and in the grand scheme of things it really is only a small complaint. All in all, Shaedes of Gray is a great debut that is completely fresh and original, a rare find in the Urban Fantasy genre. I eagerly await the next installment, and I highly recommend it!

(Received a copy from the publisher)

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Pre-order from Amazon:
Shaedes of Gray: A Shaede Assassin Novel


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Happy Turkey Day!

, by Kt Clapsadl


May your day be full of blessings, good food, and family!

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Darkness Rising

, by Kt Clapsadl

Darkness Rising by Keri Arthur
Dark Angels #2

Risa will go to any lengths to avenge her mother’s murder—even if it means making a pact with the most evil vampire she’s ever met. Lethal and powerful, Madeline Hunter is leader of the vampire council, and will put her resources behind finding the killer—for a price. The venerable vampire requires the assistance of Risa’s psychic powers. Quid pro quo.

Someone—or something—is targeting the elders of the local council, cursing the immortal vampires to rapidly age, sink into madness, and die. Risa must track down the vengeful being responsible. But Risa’s father, a rogue Aedh priest, also enlists her in a dangerous mission. And not even the great Madeline Hunter may be able to protect her from the shadowy forces that desire nothing less than Risa’s destruction.


In a moment of weakness right after her mother's brutal murder, Risa agreed to help the leader of the vampire council, in exchange for assistance in revenge for her mother. Now she is saddled with an impossible task at finding a deadly threat to the council members. If she fails, the penalty is death. However, the council aren't the only ones gunning for her head. Her father and everyone else wants to use her to find the Keys to the Gates of Hell, and they will stop at nothing to get them. She'll have to learn who to trust, and quickly as her enemies seem to be around every corner. 

I knew trouble was going to be coming as soon as Risa agreed to work for Hunter. To me that was like signing a deal with the devil. It took no time at all for Hunter to start making her demands. What I really don't get is why Hunter is setting Risa up to fail at her new job when she supposedly needs Risa to find the Keys to the Gates, because the council is determined to execute her if she fails. I guess that just proves how different vampires are, you just can't expect them to make sense. Risa really has a touch road ahead of her as she deals with all the different agendas that seem to center themselves around her. I just hope her determination continues to hold strong or she will end up be sacrificed like any other pawn.

The men in Risa's life are a real lesson in frustration. On one hand you have Lucian who is yummy and trust me the sparks are flying between them. Well physically that is, there isn't much there in emotional attachment. Being a werewolf, that should be ideal for her as sex without any strings is basically their culture. However, Risa isn't just a werewolf, she's also Adeh. Of course they are emotionless beings, but Risa is different. You can just sense the lack of true satisfaction she has with Lucian due to the lack of connection. That became even more apparent as his own agenda was revealed, and we saw how much it affected Risa. If she was really looking for no strings, it wouldn't have bothered her. To be honest I wish she would get rid of him. There is just something fishy about him and I, like Azriel, do not trust him at all. Speaking of a certain reaper, he has his own set of secrets, and yet I still think he is wholy on Risa's side. There is such a tension there as both of them try to keep their working relationship strictly professional, but to be honest I don't think that will last much longer. There have been several hints at something much deeper between them. I can't help but wonder if Risa is his Caomh, which I take to be a sort of soul mate. So in case I wasn't clear, Risa needs to get rid of Lucian and get it on with Azriel. 

I really cannot get enough of Risa and the continuation of the world set up in the Riley Jenson series. I was quite spoiled having these first two books released only a month apart, but in the end that only makes the wait for the next installment even harder. I can guarantee you I will be picking it up on the day it releases, that is how much I love these books. I would caution against reading Darkness Rising without reading the first installment, as a lot of things were set up. To be honest, this book is really a continuation of Darkness Unbound rather than a self-contained story. Also, if you haven't read the Riley books, I'd recommend going back and checking them out. It will only enhance your enjoyment of this great series. In the end I was thoroughly impressed with Darkness Rising and I can't wait to see more of Risa in the future.

Rating:






Buy now from Amazon:
Darkness Rising (Dark Angels, Book 2)

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Previous Books:
  1. Darkness Unbound
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Waiting on Wednesday (70)

, 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:

Angel Fire - Angel #2
by L.A. Weatherly
Publication Date: December 27th, 2011
Amazon Pre-Order: Angel Fire (Angel Trilogy)


Only Willow has the power to defeat the malevolent Church of Angels, and they will stop at nothing to destroy her. Willow isn’t alone, though. She has Alex by her side – a trained Angel Killer and her one true love. But nothing can change the fact that Willow’s a half-angel, and when Alex joins forces with a group of AKs, she’s treated with mistrust and suspicion. She’s never felt more alone…until she meets Seb. He’s been searching for Willow his whole life – because Seb is a half-angel too.

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Darkness Unbound

, by Kt Clapsadl

Darkness Unbound by Keri Arthur
Dark Angels #1

Risa Jones is as extraordinary as her heritage. Born from a lab-enhanced clone mother and an Aedh father, she can not only talk to the souls of the dying and the dead, but she can see the reapers and walk the gray fields that divide this world from the next.

They are skill she rarely uses, however, preferring to concentrate on the business she shares with her two best friends. But when her mother asks her to help the parents of a little girl locked in a coma, she reluctantly agrees. What she discovers scares the hell out of her. Because the little girl’s soul no longer resides in her body, and it wasn’t death and the reapers that took her.

Someone had ripped her soul from her flesh.

As it turns out, a creature consuming the souls of the innocent–and not so innocent–is the least of her problems.

Because someone wants to rip open the gates that divided hell from earth, and Risa is a key component in their plans.


And the only person standing between her and disaster is a reaper who isn’t exactly on her side.


There isn't anyone quite like Risa. Her mother, a lab created clone, is an extremely strong clairvoyant and also a very special kind of werewolf, able to shift facial structure. Her father is an Adeh, capable of becoming only mist, as well as several other perks. This mixed heritage has made Risa incredibly unique and powerful. Yet all she wants is to live a normal life. Yet, when her mother asks her to help out with a little girl whose soul has been stolen, Risa finds herself in the middle of a very dangerous plot. While she has trained with her guardian "aunt and uncle" nothing could have prepared her for what happens next.

If you are a fan of Keri Arthur's Riley Jenson books, then you won't want to miss this new spin off series. Favorites return, but the real focus is on Risa. However, don't be expecting her to be a Riley 2.0, as she is very much her own person. Yes, Risa is part wolf, but unlike Riley, she isn't chained as much by the sexual nature of her wolf side. In fact Risa is more Adeh than anything, making for a fresh new set of skills. She also is her mother's daughter, in that she has plenty of physic abilities. It would have been so easy to follow down the same path her "Aunt" Riley had with the directorate, but for the moment, Risa seems happier to live a normal life. Or, well that was the case until certain events were set into motion in this book. Now it looks like that normal life will be thing of the past, which is bad for Risa, but very entertaining for the reader.

There are two very sexy men that show up in Risa's life in Darkness Unbound. A sexually frustrated werewolf is an incredibly dangerous thing, so their arrival was just in time, since Risa's wolf side, while much milder than most, was starting to show the signs of neglect. Lucian, being a full Adeh seems to be surprisingly straight forward, a rare occurrence. Of course there still could be more to him than meets the eye, but only time will tell. Azriel on the other hand is quite mysterious, making me desperate to know more. He's a reaper charged with following Risa around until he gets his answers. Despite his outward demeanor, I don't think he is quite as aloof as he pretends to be towards her. One made some progress with Risa in this book, (I won't say which) but to be honest I'm more intrigued by the other one. I'm quite curious to see how things will play out for Risa, and how much of her wolf side will come into play. Does she have a soul mate like most wolves? It is a pair like her aunt's due to their dual natures, or does her Adeh nature cancel all that out? I cannot wait to see the answers to these questions, and where Risa's love life goes.

On a slightly side note, it is mentioned that Riley and Rhoan haven't aged at all, yet Liander is showing some signs. This worries me immensely, as Rhoan cannot survive without him, and in turn Riley wouldn't survive without her twin. Then that leaves Quinn and I'm not so sure how he would fair in all that too, as they are all a package deal. I'm kinda hoping Liander gets turned or something, as him aging is sure to cause a massive domino effect. But that is enough of those worries for now, and I'll get back to the book at hand. Keri Arthur once again proves just how good she is at writing an intriguing book with a fast moving plot that has plenty of steaminess on the side. I'll be counting down the days until the next book releases. 


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Buy now from Amazon:
Darkness Unbound: A Dark Angels Novel

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It's Monday! What are you reading (70)

, 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:





Eyes to See by Joseph Nassise (Review)
The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan (Review)
Fate's Edge by Ilona Andrews (Early Review)
Acquainted With the Night by Piper Maitland (Early Review)

First up was Eyes to See by Joseph Nassise. This book didn't quite live up to my expectations, but I did enjoy the author's writing and I plan to give the next installment a chance.

Next was The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan. This book completely blew my socks off! It was so full of emotion and horror that it kept my heart pounding the entire time. You don't want to miss this one.

Fate's Edge is the latest installment in the Edge series by Ilona Andrews and I have to say it is my favorite installment yet. I love the two main characters, as well as the return of Jack and George.

Finally, I read Acquainted With the Night. This was a really great debut with an interesting take on vampires. I also have and interview posted with Piper Maitland as well as a giveaway of two copies of the book.

I also am participating in the Gratitude Giveaway Hop. That ends 11/27, and I'm giving away a book up to $10 from the Book Depository.

My Upcoming List:

Darkness Unbound by Keri Arthur
Darkness Rising by Keri Arthur
Shaedes of Gray by Amanda Bonilla

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Interview and Giveaway with Piper Maitland

, by Kt Clapsadl



Piper Maitland was gracious enough to include A Book Obsession.. on her Acquainted With the Night blog tour. Read down for an interview with her. Also don't forget to check out my review. :)

Is Acquainted With the Night a stand alone novel, or the first in a series? If it is the latter can you give any hints as to what is in store next? 

It’s the first in a series, but I also wanted the book to be a stand-alone. The title of the second novel is A Requiem for Daylight.

I'm so excited that it is a series! I definitely want to see more of Caro and Jude. How do you choose your character names? 

The character usually determines his or her name—sometimes in a second or third draft. I have no qualms about changing a name if it feels right or if a problem surfaces. The characters in AWTN were assertive from the get-go, and I didn’t dare change their names.

That is really interesting that your characters were so strong of will in your mind. If Acquainted With the Night were to be made into a movie who would be your top picks for the cast? 

I don’t have a clue! I can’t think of a single actress who has Caro’s wild hair.

Hmm, I guess that would be tough to find! If you could tell readers one thing about yourself or your books what would that be?

I wrote every single day for a decade before my first novel was published.

That is some serious determination. What are some of your favorite books in the paranormal genre?

The Sookie Stackhouse series; anything by Christine Feehan and Laurell K. Hamilton.

Great picks! Could you tell us a little about you?

I have a B.S. in nursing and was a chemotherapy nurse. I’m married to a physician; my oldest son is a professional chef, and my younger son is a biochemist. We live on a small farm in middle Tennessee.

What are your passions other than reading or writing?

Cooking. When I’m not writing, you can find me in the kitchen.

I'm not the greatest of cooks, but I can bake like crazy. What is the craziest or at least most interesting thing you have ever done?

One snowy December I climbed the steep steps to Varlaam Monastery in Meteora, Greece—the stones were quite slippery and the drop-offs were heart-stopping. If I had the chance, I’d do it again.

I bet that was beautiful. Just for fun. If you were stranded somewhere but had electric, what 3 things other than basic survival supplies would you have to have?

A long flannel nightgown, Sisson’s Synonyms, chocolate chip-pecan cookies, iPhone, dog food.

Finish this statement: “You’ll like Acquainted With the Night if.."

"..you like quests, romance, the science of vampirism, and a mystery."

Thank you for having me!
Best,
Piper Maitland

Author Info:





Piper Maitland lives on a Tennessee farm with her family. She is the author of the vampire thriller, Acquainted With the Night (Berkley/November 2011). She is currently working on the sequel, A Requiem for Daylight. Piper has also written novels under the name Michael Lee West.







Find Piper online:

Book Info:

The pages of history are written in the blood of the undead…
A woman’s quest for the truth…
A medieval icon that holds the clues…
An ancient book with the power to shake Christianity—and humanity itself…

Caroline Clifford’s bland life as a London tour guide flips upside down when her beloved uncle is brutally murdered at a Bulgarian archeological site. While traveling to recover his remains, she meets a man who corresponded with her uncle. Jude Barrett is a biochemist on a mission—to eradicate the world of vampires…

At first, Caro is dismissive of Jude’s beliefs, but she can’t ignore the signs around her—the human bites on her uncle, the strange men following her, the anguished cries after sundown. Strange anagrams on her uncle’s passport lead her and Jude to a cliff-top monastery in Greece, where a shattering revelation connects a relic Caro inherited from her parents to an age-old text on immortality—and an enigmatic prophecy that pits the forces of darkness and light in a showdown that could destroy them all… 

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Acquainted With the Night (Early Review)

, by Kt Clapsadl

Acquainted With the Night by Piper Maitland
The Night #1

The pages of history are written in the blood of the undead…
A woman’s quest for the truth…
A medieval icon that holds the clues…
An ancient book with the power to shake Christianity—and humanity itself…

Caroline Clifford’s bland life as a London tour guide flips upside down when her beloved uncle is brutally murdered at a Bulgarian archeological site. While traveling to recover his remains, she meets a man who corresponded with her uncle. Jude Barrett is a biochemist on a mission—to eradicate the world of vampires… 

At first, Caro is dismissive of Jude’s beliefs, but she can’t ignore the signs around her—the human bites on her uncle, the strange men following her, the anguished cries after sundown. Strange anagrams on her uncle’s passport lead her and Jude to a cliff-top monastery in Greece, where a shattering revelation connects a relic Caro inherited from her parents to an age-old text on immortality—and an enigmatic prophecy that pits the forces of darkness and light in a showdown that could destroy them all…

Caro's life has become rather plain and simple since she stopped pursuing her Ph D. All that changes when her Uncle, the man who raised her was savagely murdered. In her journey to make the funeral arrangements she meets a man who was corresponding with her Uncle on a very tricky subject. Jude has some crazy ideas about vampires which Caro instantly writes off, but then she remembers some strange events that have happened in the past few days and realizes that he may just be right. They set off on a quest to find answers in an ancient text. But first they must follow the breadcrumb trail her uncle left for her in order to find it.  

In Acquainted With the Night, the vampires are a combination of both science and history, making for an interesting blend. Things really were a case of past meets present as Caro and Jude were on a quest to find answers in an ancient text, all the while being chased by a man who would use them for his own horrific science project. It would have been very easy for this story to have become jumbled and confusing, but it never did. Every new revelation was presented in a very understandable way that only added to story. I really love books that have a world behind them that is fully realized and very rich, but never overtakes the main plot.

The relationship between Caro and Jude at first seemed to be incredibly rushed. Not that I am really complaining though, as they sure made for an incredibly steamy couple. However, once a shocking reveal was made all of their progress as a couple seemed to be set back to the stone age, which left me more than a little heartbroken myself. I went from be more than a little cavalier towards their relationship to feeling bereft at the sudden change. The book's ability to grab a hold of my emotions in such a way was really impressive. I always love a story that can make me become fully attached to the characters, and Acquainted With the Night sure fits that bill.

Despite its length, Acquainted With the Night read very quickly, to the point where the pages seemed to fly by. In fact there was only one small section that seemed to drag, but that could also be attributed to reader fatigue as I read it straight through. It is no small feat to be able to fully hold my interest for 500+ pages in one setting, so Piper Maitland definitely deserves some major kudos. I cannot wait to see what is in store next for Caro and Jude as a whole new can of worms was opened up at the end that can only spell trouble for them in the future. 

(Received a copy from the publisher)

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Fate's Edge (Early Review)

, by Kt Clapsadl

Fate's Edge by Ilona Andrews
The Edge #3




Audrey Callahan left behind her life in the Edge, and she's determined to stay on the straight and narrow. But when her brother gets into hot water, the former thief takes on one last heist and finds herself matching wits with a jack of all trades...

Kaldar Mar-a gambler, lawyer, thief, and spy-expects his latest assignment tracking down a stolen item to be a piece of cake, until Audrey shows up. But when the item falls into the hands of a lethal criminal, Kaldar realizes that in order to finish the job, he's going to need Audrey's help...




Audrey being a former conman, or woman that is, left that life behind her when she left her family in the Edge. Of course her plans to stay straight go out the window when her father swindles her into one last job. It was one job she never should have taken as she quickly learns. Kaldar, a man with many tricks and identities works for the Mirror in hopes of getting revenge against The Hand for the slaughter of his family. His latest assignment was to retrieve a stolen item in order to prevent a war should have been easy, but as soon as he meets Audrey, he knows it won't be the simple job he expected. He'll have to drag her into helping him even if she's kicking and screaming the entire way.

I was excited to see that Fate's Edge was centered around my favorite character from the previous book. I really loved Kaldar and was hoping to see more of him and luckily I got my wish. I also couldn't wait to get to meet the woman who would tame this ladies man, and boy let me tell you that she sure does give him a run for his money. Every small victory he won with her was fought for tooth and nail making their romance all the more meaningful. I personally hate characters who instantly fall head over heels in love. Lust sure, but love, well that takes a little more time then "Hi, how are ya?" Fate's Edge had that perfect balance of a natural progression that wasn't too quick, but also didn't tip over into frustratingly slow either. Of course I think a lot of that perfect balance had to do with the type of characters these two are. I mean, ho would have thought two grifters would have ever stood a snowball's chance, but some how you can just see how these two would work. It sure made for a very interesting dynamic between the two as they were very similar in many ways. I was rooting for them them entire time and each small victory or progress between them literally made me cheer, that's how attached I was. 

My absolute favorite part of Fate's Edge was the major role that Jack and George play. I love the two of them in the first book, and couldn't wait to see more of them. They have really grown and matured, but you can still tell they are children as they still have a long road ahead of them. My heart really went out to them as they are still going through the growing pains of the change in their lives as they no longer live in the Edge. Of course the Bluebloods are rather cruel and unaccepting, which leads to a lot of fear and resentment. Speaking of that immaturity, that has a lot to do with how they became front and center in Kaldar's latest mission, but I can't say that I didn't like how things turned out. It was really nice to see the boys in their element, and I have a feeling as more time goes on they will be quite powerful, as they are already pretty skilled. Perhaps one day they will have books of their own. (I can hope, right?)

The previous installment was a little chaotic with all the addition of so many different characters and factions. A huge learning curve in a book can really lessen the enjoyment, so I was really glad to see that Fate's Edge built on that foundation rather than starting all over yet again. The main conflict centered again around The Hand, with a few twists of course. I had a feeling the Edger's triumph in the last book would have some future consequences and it turns up I was right. Also there was plenty of foreshadowing of what may come in the future to make me very eager to get my hands on the next installment. Of course there will be a wait, but as with any of this author duo's books, I'm sure it will be more than worth it in the end. Major kudos to Ilona Andrews for once again providing me with a solid block of entertainment that left me more than satisfied in the end.

(Received a copy from the publisher)

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Gratitude Giveaway Hop ($10 Book Depository)

, by Kt Clapsadl


I'm participating in the Gratitude Giveaway Hop. Enter below via the Rafflecopter widget, and don't forget to check out the rest of the giveaways on the hop here.




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The Forest of Hands and Teeth

, by Kt Clapsadl

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
The Forest of Hands and Teeth #1

In Mary's world there are simple truths. 

The Sisterhood always knows best. 
The Guardians will protect and serve. 
The Unconsecrated will never relent. 
And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. 

But, slowly, Mary’s truths are failing her. She’s learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future—between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death?

Mary grew up knowing her life would be carefully controlled by the Sisterhood, that the Guardians would protect her, and that she would always live in fear of the Unconsecrated. Yet, she can't help but to yearn for more as her mother has raised her by telling her stories of a long ago past before there was so much death and destruction. In her quest for answers she finds terrible secrets and faces truths she never wanted to know. Things take a turn for the worst when the fence is breached and she is torn between two possible loves. As they venture looking for hope they find more death and despair then they could have ever imagined, yet they must keep on as hope is the only thing that sets them apart from the Unconsecrated.

Wow, just wow. This book went in a completely different direction than I was expecting. I found the Sisterhood's secrecy and strict ruling to be stifling, and I had expected this to be a story about rebelling against those constraints. Perhaps it would have been if things had not been turned completely upside down as the walls were breached taking everything that they knew away. The story morphs into a path of survival and heartbreak that just leaves you reeling. However, above all it is a story of hope. Hope for survival, hope for love, and above all hope for something more.

While I was utterly capivated by this story, I cannot say the same for my feelings about Mary. I understand her being a dreamer and wanting more than the semblance of life they all had in the village, because that's all it was, an imitation of living. Barely surviving might be a more accurate description. However, Mary took those dreams and turned them into an obsession, one that proved very deadly. I just found her quite undeserving of the love the two boys had for her. She carelessly throws it all away in pursuit of finding more. At one point when she feels the real pain of true loss, I had thought she might have finally been wising up a little, as she seemed to realize that love was more important than anything. Yet in the next moment she throws everything away again. Maybe she was just too scared to give herself so completely to another person, rather then just being selfish. Either way, in the end, Mary's character flaws strengthened the book rather than detract from it as she seemed more real because of them.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth starts off by slowly drawing you into the story and by the time things take off you are so far submerged every heart racing moment will leave you gasping for air. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time reading this book and all my nails are now chewed to the quick. I'm going to have to take a little break before diving into the next one so that I can truly savor it, otherwise I will just tear through it too quickly in my haste to see what happens next. Carrie Ryan is a truly amazing story teller whose words make emotion leap right off the page. I felt every single moment of terror, love, pain, and loss right along with the characters, making for a truly spellbinding read. Zombie fan or no, you won't want to miss this fantastic debut.

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