Monday, December 20, 2010
Sunday, December 19, 2010
First, here's what was in my "mailbox"...
- ARC of Never Have I Ever by Alisha Rai (Won by me!)
- Lady Mechanika #1 (hunted down by me!)
- Despicable Me DVD (I still want minions...)
- Blameless by Gail Carriger (Where's my parasol?)
- Danger Girl by J. Scott Campbell (graphic novel)
- Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia
- Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning (I know, it doesn't come out until after Christmas, but I can hope for a Christmas MIRACLE, right?)
- Touched By An Alien by Gini Koch (Seriously, it needs to be in my stocking, Santa!)
- A parasol and a minion, as well, Santa. I've been extra good this year!!!!
What do you want in your stocking this Christmas? (Besides that candy cane....I call dibs!) Just answer below for a chance to win an oldie but goody - The Devil to Pay by Michele Hauf. Contest ends December 26th. (U.S. and Canada only, please...if only due to my inability!) Comment below with your email to be entered!
Lady Mechanika has no memory of her past. Her arms have been replaced with mechanical devices, found by authorities alive in an abandoned laboratory amidst cadavers and body parts, the only survivor of a serial killer (or, so it has been said). Now, she uses her unique abilities as a private detective in Victorian England, during a time when magic and mystery meets scientific reason.
This has long been one of my most anticipated books of this entire year. The zero issue has had three (yep...three) printings and was so hard to get to my hot lil hands on that it took until the third printing to get one at one of my local comic shops. (But, I did dish out a little to get a sketch variant at a comic con. I know, I have a problem.) The bright spot in all this reprint madness, of course, means more gorgeous covers!
In issue zero, we meet a mysterious creature on the run from a zealous group of hunters...but, then Lady Mechanika steps in, only to realize he isn't dangerous, only hungry and scared. For Lady Mechanika, her past is a shrouded in the dark, unknown...but, this creature recognises her. But, before he can give her the details she so desperately wants, the one of the members of the hunting party cruelly kills him and her chance to finally find out who she is...
The simple set up in this prequel not only made me want more (and thank goodness I have issue number one!!!!!) but set the tone for what I hope is a fabulous contribution to the steampunk genre. And interestingly enough, the creator of the series, Joe Benitez, shares his inspiration for the series (oh, yeah, there are a few comic con trips involved!), plus some steampunk recipes (which made me hungry) in the book. So many times, the inside artwork doesn't live up to the cover or the premise promised. Not so with Lady Mechanika...the attention to detail to bringing the steampunk genre to life not only lives up to itself, but exceeds.
To check out more on Lady Mechanika and its creator/owner, click here. And don't forget to go out and get it for yourself. If you can!
Friday, December 17, 2010
Seductive danger and steampunk adventure abound in the gritty world of the Iron Seas, where nanotech is fused with Victorian sensibilities-and steam.
After the Iron Duke freed England from Horde control, he instantly became a national hero. Now Rhys Trahaearn has built a merchant empire on the power-and fear-of his name. And when a dead body is dropped from an airship onto his doorstep, bringing Detective Inspector Mina Wentworth into his dangerous world, he intends to make her his next possession.
Mina can't afford his interest, however. Horde blood runs through her veins, and despite the nanotech enhancing her body, she barely scratches out a living in London society. Becoming Rhys's lover would destroy both her career and her family, yet the investigation prevents her from avoiding him...and the Iron Duke's ruthless pursuit makes him difficult to resist.
But when Mina uncovers the victim's identity, she stumbles upon a conspiracy that threatens the lives of everyone in England. To save them, Mina and Rhys must race across zombie-infested wastelands and treacherous oceans-and Mina discovers the danger is not only to her countrymen as she finds herself tempted to give up everything to the Iron Duke.
Admittedly, I am just a few days early for my review. Call it lack of patience, timing, or just plain old I couldn't wait to put my thoughts out there and make you (yes, make you!!!) go out and get this for someone on your Christmas list. Yep, I am that much in love with this book.
From page one, there was something decidedly different about The Iron Duke. So many people seem to be jumping on the steampunk train without truly getting not only the tone but the actual small nuances of their world that the reader starts to feel cheated. (I picked up a supposed steampunk romance this past year and disgustedly had to put it down. The word steampunk was so often rendered that it made me want to make a drinking game up. To help me finish. I'll keep the name to myself, but suffice it to say, it kinda jaded my opinion on steampunk for the rime being.)
At first I felt like I was transported into some alternate universe that felt like a new pair of leather gloves. A tad awkward at first, a little stiff yet snugly comfortable, but the more you wear them, the more it molds to you and makes your more movements that much easier. On world building alone, Meljean Brook dishes out exactly what you would expect and more. The back story and setting give meaning and purpose to each character's reactions more than any other novel I've had the pleasure of reading. No punches pulled here, the author knows her reader can handle any term she throws at them. Which is why The Iron Duke is a book meant to be savored and poured over, and took me a good week (after I found it again, but that's another story along with the crazy schedule that is life) to read each and every single word.
Mina may be a bugger, but her humor and depth of character shine and made me root for her even as she explored the gory details of dead bodies. Ew. Smart, even somewhat, dare I say, cheeky at times and full of character and heart, I loved the Inspector with each and very turn of the page even more. But, any heroine worth her salt has to have a worthy hero. Even if he seems a little rough around the edges.
The Iron Duke reluctantly saved England from the Horde, and his reputation, more often than not, proceeds him. Daring, and just a little dangerous, the Duke does all that he can to get under Mina's carefully controlled exterior...and other things. There was something so manly (sigh) and yet snuggable (what can I say...) about his actions and demeanor that I was hooked from the first.
And even better, the combination of airship travel (goggles, anyone?), intriguing characters (oh, to captain an airship!) with a few zombies and maybe a sea monster thrown in made The Iron Duke steampunk with the hottest amount of steam added to make you want more. Definitely in my top five for 2010, without a doubt!
(Hmm...this review will have its own role in my Happy Holiday Celebration...just sayin.)
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Being a fan girl at heart, this is one that I couldn't wait to get my hot little hands on. The hard part, though, is the getting hands on part. Because number zero has sold out not once, but twice and is on to its third printing. (Go Aspen Comics!) Which also means, for those of us who have, well, serious problems, more covers with fabulous art by Joe Benitez and J. Scott Campbell (and I'm sure a few others!). An artist owned title with kick booty artwork and storytelling from one of my favorite comic companies equals a win win...and its STEAMPUNK? Bonus!
(This one was a much anticipated contest prize that has had its ups and downs that have nothing to do with the actual book. Ahem, husband misplaced once. And now, I can't wait to share my thoughts with all of you.)
Being bitten in the past by various "steampunk" novels that maybe just didn't fit the bill for me (saying steampunk a dozen times or so a chapter does not a steampunk novel make), I was a tad skeptical at first but decided from the blog buzz to go for it just one more time. And, not that it really matters, but the steampunk episode of Castle made me, well, steam wanting. So, in deference not only to my fan girly-ness but the fun that is goggle-liciouness, onward and upward I read...
I have a feeling I'll be seeing you sooner than later!
The Holidays are fast and furiously approaching. Which is why I capitalized it. Because, somehow, they take over and speed toward a finish line that I am so not ready for! I still have a few lights to put up, a few gifts to get together. But, my Holiday cards are in the mail. CHECK!
To mark this monumental occasion (celebrate the little things!), I have a few little presents for someone special! A holiday CD by Joe and little Larissa Ione Swag.
To enter, just leave a comment below with your email so the winner can be notified. As always, two entries if you follow...Contest ends December 20th. (U.S. only please...)
Off to the lights....(I am grumbling, by the way. That's the noise you keep hearing as you read!)
(And, from one fan girl to, I hope, many others, I hope you enjoy this piece by one of my favorite artists, Michael Turner. Posted as a loving remembrance someone who brought much beauty into the world.)
Monday, December 13, 2010
So, on the blog, there are two reviews posted here and here. In my review of Lauren Dane's To Do List, how may variations of the word Holiday are there? And, because I know you looked, what colors are the stripe of the candy cane on my scrumptious review of Sweet Enchantment by Anya Bast?
To enter, simply post your answer below with your email...two entries if you follow.
So, what will you win?
Contest ends December 20th...Happy entering!
It's all about the candy cane, don't you think? Or is it the stocking? Roaring fire, perhaps...
In Sweet Enchantment, Bella lives the life of the pampered Seelie court. She has her own quarters, every beautiful dress, drool worthy shoes...pampered in the glittering court. The only problem is, in Piefferburg, everyone has long memory. Especially considering the fact that the walls have been enchanted by the Phaedir to keep everyone snugly inside. Years before, the mage Ronan left the Unseelie court, and Bella fell...hard. The heat that ignited between the tow of them made her burn. Until he publicly humiliated her and walked away. Now, Bella finds herself in a hard position. Ronan has stolen an artifact for the Phaedir, facing the terrible wrath of the Seelie Queen. Hoping to save him from death, she bargains for his life, offering marriage in name only to save the man who once held her heart in the palm of his hand and then crushed it for all to see. Tis Yule, after all. But, can she ever trust the mage, and the darkness she feels?
Anya Bast has created a world that encompasses all that I have ever loved about paranormal romance...from the multi-layered world that somehow exists entirely on its own to characters that somehow seem more than they seem. Multi-dimensional, and, if I do say so, incredibly hot. Smoldering. Having two characters that have a history may seem as if their story is being told in the midst, but having already met them through the first full length novel, it felt right to meet Bella and Ronan where I did. (Drool...plus, you have to love the fact we meet the mage without his shirt, even given his circumstances). Don't expect much holiday cheer, it's more a piece of the background than a major contributing factor. Once Ronan knows that Bella still has feelings for him, no matter how buried she has kept them, he'll stop at nothing to protect her. Sounds like a match made, in well, Piefferburg. Warning...there may be just a little lingering smoldery-ness invading your sense along the way.
But,the journey is well worth the destination.
(P.S. Happy Holidays Celebration hint...keep this page in mind!)
Holiday hotness abounds in Lauren Dane's holiday offering, To Do List. Imagine the life you think you've always wanted. The perfect job with the corner office with the firm, the big city condo with a view to die for, all the shoes you could ever want. Then, the reality of it all sets in. The family who brought you up lovingly is part of a distant memory, no doubt due to the numerous little special moments you've missed because your holed up in your office with filing after filing. Those fab shoes? In boxes. Waiting for you to actually have enough time to slip them on. The cell phone that never seems to leave your ear...or fingertips. What you need is a good old fashioned family Christmas...with all the trimmings. Including mistletoe...
When Belle Taylor goes home for the holidays, the first bit of Christmas spirit that greets her is the incredibly sexy frame of Rafe Bettencourt...right smack dab under a sprig of strategically placed mistletoe. And, really, who wants to fore go that holiday tradition? After a kiss that knocks her off her feet (whew!), Belle begins to realize there is more than just a yuletide rest awaiting her at home. But, can she look at her carefully planned out list and read between the lines?
One of my favorite things about this time of year is the sense of family...and, knowing that sometimes, family isn't just who you are born with, but those special people who you actually choose to invade your crazy life. As with every other work by Lauren Dane, To Do List combines the family closeness we all crave and the sexy hotness that makes the holidays (and everyday life) that much more festive. Rafe has the edge of a sexy cowboy (well, its a dairy farm, but I like the farm boy side!), yet he has the sense to know what he wants and to go after it. My only regret is the length of the novella, but, as with all good things, a visit back with old friends in a future story gives us a glimpse into the HEA (or, as I like to call it, the everyday effort filled side of reality). He's sexy, lets Belle be who she actually is (even if she doesn't realize what she wants for herself.). Which, along being, well, Rafe, makes things that much better.
On a side note, if I could carry mistletoe in the hope of finding the hotness that seems to make the holidays merrier...hmmm...
(P.S...there may be a good reason to refer back this review for presents...just sayin!)