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Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Strange Case of Finley Jayne (Steampunk Chronicles #0.5) by Kady Cross

From Goodreads:

Finley Jayne knows she's not 'normal'. Normal girls don't lose time, or have something inside them that makes them capable of remarkably violent things. Her behavior has already cost her one job, so when she's offered the lofty position of companion to Phoebe, a debutante recently engaged to Lord Vincent, she accepts, despite having no experience. Lord Vincent is a man of science with his automatons and inventions, but Finley is suspicious of his motives where Phoebe is concerned. She will do anything to protect her new friend, but what she discovers is even more monstrous than anything she could have imagined...

An ebook exclusive prequel to The Steampunk Chronicles.

I picked up The Strange Case of Finley Jayne as a Kindle freebie on 4/27/11, it is currently $2.51.  The steampunk theme is what attracted me and I was not disappointed!  There are corsets, a mad scientist, automatons and mechanical horses, fabulous!

Right away Finley was a character that you could root for, she stands up for a child, reacting from the gut rather than propriety.  It costs her her job, but then we get to see that she doesn't come from a damaged family, but a loving one, even a loving step father!  It is this forthright aspect of her character that quickly lands her another position as a companion and this is where we get to begin exploring Finley's dark, other side.  It was pretty vague where her abilities come from, I kept thinking I had just missed it but read other reviews with the same question, so I hope that is revealed in the first actual novel The Girl in the Steel Corset which I luckily already own.

I recommend this for a read-a-thon, for anyone enjoying the Steampunk genre, some mystery and some adventure!  It was a perfect read for the Clean Out Your E-Reader Challenge this month!

Kady Cross's Website (you might also know her as Kathryn Smith!)

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Grosvenor Square Christmas by Shana Galen, Vanessa Kelly, Anna Campbell, Kate Noble

From Goodreads:

Four breathtakingly romantic tales of a Regency Christmas from four bestselling romance authors.

Down through the years, enchantment touches a tall gray house in Grosvenor Square. The legend of Lady Winterson’s Christmas ball promises true love and happiness to one lucky couple. Who will feel the magic this winter?

1803 - The Seduction of a Duchess by Shana Galen

Rowena Harcourt, the Duchess of Valère, never forgot the handsome footman who helped her escape the French Revolution. For fourteen years, Gabriel Lamarque has loved Rowena—now at Lady Winterson’s Christmas ball, has fate finally delivered a chance to win her hand?

1818 - One Kiss for Christmas by Vanessa Kelly

Nigel Dash is London’s most reliable gentleman, a reputation he never minded until he fell in love with beautiful Amelia Easton. Unfortunately, Amelia sees Nigel as a dependable friend, not a dashing suitor. At Lady Winterson’s famous Christmas ball, Nigel vows to change Amelia’s mind—by sweeping her off her feet.

1825 - His Christmas Cinderella by Anna Campbell

At the season’s most glittering ball, a girl who has never dared to dream of forever after discovers a Christmas miracle.

1830 - The Last First Kiss by Kate Noble

Susannah Westforth has always loved Sebastian Beckett – but he’s only ever seen her as a friend. When Sebastian takes his Grand Tour, Susannah transforms herself into a woman he’ll notice. Now Sebastian is back, just in time for Lady Winterson's Christmas ball – but the last thing he expects to see is his little Susie, all grown up...

You’re invited to join the whirling dance at Lady Winterson’s sparkling Christmas ball, where miracles happen and true love shines forever. How can you resist?

I picked up A Grosvenor Square Christmas as a Kindle Freebie on 11/1/13, at last check it is still free.  This was a fantastic, light hearted and heart warming collection of short stories all centered around the same location, across a span of years.

Each story brings together a couple at Lady Winterson's Christmas ball.  I like that the circumstances of the couples are varied, from their ages, to their stations in society to have been childhood friends who finally realize what they really mean to each other.  I was also very pleased at the ending, though I can't say I was surprised, I mean Christmas stories generally end happily ever after, that's part of why we read them!

I highly recommend this one if you're into holiday reading, especially if you are taking part in the many different holiday read-a-thon's.  It's light, fast and sweet.  I gave it a 4/5.

Reviewed for the Clean Out Your E-Reader Challenge.

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Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Abandoned by Amanda Stevens

From Goodreads:

Every cemetery has a story. Every grave, its secrets. Enter the world of Amanda Stevens's Graveyard Queen series--where forbidden passion and secrets from the past are as restless as the ghosts--in the series prequel novella, The Abandoned.

There are rules for dealing with ghosts. Too bad Ree Hutchins doesn't know them.

When her favorite patient at a private mental hospital passes away, psychology student Ree Hutchins mourns the elderly woman's death. But more unsettling is her growing suspicion that something unnatural is shadowing her.

Amateur ghost hunter Hayden Priest believes Ree is being haunted. Even Amelia Gray, known in Charleston as the Graveyard Queen, senses a gathering darkness. Driven by a force she doesn't understand, Ree is compelled to uncover an old secret and put abandoned souls to rest--before she is locked away forever....

I picked up The Abandoned as a Kindle freebie on 4/10/11, it is currently at $2.51.  I had heard of the Graveyard Queen series and thought this would be a good way to see if I was at all interested in it.  I enjoyed this short story/novella even though it suffers from the same thing that turns me off of most of them, not enough time to develop the story which leaves the events feeling rushed and unrealistic.  However, ghosts and a secret society do have me intrigued so I may go ahead and give the series a try.  There was a lot packed into this story, Amelia Gray really features very little here, but I'd like to know more about her.  I gave it a 3/5.

Reviewed for the Clean Out Your E-Reader Challenge.

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Check out other reviews for this challenge here:

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Monster Read-a-thon November 9th - 15th

I'm probably asking for it since I'm already doing the Ho-Ho-Ho Read-a-thon and the Clean Out Your E-Reader Challenge (links to the right on the sidebar) but like I've said before, I can't turn one down, so Monster Read-a-thon, here I come!

I'm currently working on A Grosvenor Square Christmas (a Kindle Freebie) and Aftermath by Ann Aguirre (who I was lucky enough to meet this past week) so I will continue on those and see what comes up next!

Winners of Blog Events and Blogger's Mindset by Amanda Shofner

And the winners are... Everyone that entered! Congrats! I will be contacting you shortly to find out where to send your Kindle copies.

For anyone finding this after the fact that would like to check these out, they are available on Amazon:

Blog Events - see my review here

Blogger's Mindset

Also check out Amanda's website, The Path of Least Revision, for great tips and helpful services to make your written life easier!

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Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Ho-Ho-Ho Read-a-thon November 7-11

HoHoHo Holiday Read-a-Thon

I am an unbelievable sucker. I really tried to resist signing up, for about a minute. Even after I've spent the whole day feeling stressed out by my hobbies because this week has been so busy at work, and then also busy in the evenings (I met Ann Aguirre *fangirl squeal*), I've still decided to join up. But I can make this work. I can fit it in with my other challenge, I can, I know it, and I can not be stressed about it, really!

So here we go, the first of the Holiday themed read-a-thon's that I'm planning to probably take part in.  (What is this probably I speak of, we know I will, don't we? Yes, we do.)  The Ho-Ho-Ho Holiday Read-a-thon is hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer, so clicky on the picture above to go learn more and join us!  I'm off to figure out what my goal will be!

Goal:  TBD - stay tuned!  Probably some Christmas Freebies that I've picked up so that I can count them for the Clean Out Your E-Reader Challenge as well!

Update/Finish: I only made it about 75% of the way through A Grosvenor Square Christmas, but I thoroughly enjoyed it, and this RAT prompted me to pick it up sooner rather than later. I'll review it soon for Clean Out Your E-Reader as I'm hoping to finish it today 11/12/13!

Monday, November 04, 2013

Don't Die, Dragonfly by Linda Joy Singleton

From Goodreads:

After getting kicked out of school and sent to live with her grandmother, Sabine Rose is determined to become a "normal" teenage girl. She hides her psychic powers from everyone, even from her grandmother Nona, who also has "the gift." Having a job at the school newspaper and friends like Penny-Love, a popular cheerleader, have helped Sabine fit in at her new school. She has even managed to catch the eye of the adorable Josh DeMarco. Yet, Sabine can't seem to get the bossy voice of Opal, her spirit guide, out of her head . . . or the disturbing images of a girl with a dragonfly tattoo. Suspected of a crime she didn't commit, Sabine must find the strength to defend herself and, later, save a friend from certain danger.

I picked this up as a Kindle freebie, currently the Kindle version can be purchased for $2.99.

My first impression on reading this was to think how frustrating it would be to have a gift in which you receive visions that are symbolic messages, but that you still have to interpret.  You can never be sure that your interpretation is the right one.

Not for the first time I was more intrigued by the side characters than I felt for the main character.  I really enjoyed Manny and Thorn, so I hope they are recurring characters in the rest of the series.  I'd like to know more about Dominic as well, but was honestly bored by Josh, he's so perfect it makes me suspect that something is up with him and I just didn't feel much spark between him and Sabine.

My favorite quirky part of this was the cow painting, it was just cute and I'll leave it at that so I don't ruin the fun for anyone else!  I do really like the cover art, very pretty.  I'm a sucker for a pretty cover for sure!

Having read the synopsis for the second book, I may go ahead with the series.  Don't Die, Dragonfly was an enjoyable, quick read and I wouldn't mind knowing what happens next.  I would recommend this as a read-a-thon selection for it's length, ease of reading and quick pace.

Here is another review by Kelly at Reading the Paranormal, posted on Goodreads that I think expresses my thoughts very well.

For more information on Linda Joy Singleton and her work, visit her website.

This was reviewed for the Clean Out Your E-Reader Challenge.  See book reviews by other participants here:

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Friday, November 01, 2013

Clean Out Your E-Reader Challenge - November 1-30, 2013

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I'm as guilty as everyone else about grabbing all those freebies and then not getting around to reading them. Hence why this challenge is perfect! I've gone through and picked out some of my older selections that have been languishing about for a couple-three years now, and here they are!

Don't Die Dragonfly
by Joy Singleton

Currently $2.99, freebie on 1/1/11

Bite Me
by Parker Blue

Currently $9.39, freebie on 3/23/11

Retro Demonology
by Jana Oliver

Currently $0.00, purchased 3/29/11

The Strange Case of Finley Jayne
by Kady Cross

Currently $2.51, freebie on 5/1/11

The Abandoned
by Amanda Stevens

Currently $2.51, freebie on 4/10/11

Millie's Fling
by Jill Mansell

Currently $9.39, freebie on 3/18/11

Going back and checking to make sure I got them as freebies, and seeing what some of them are now has unfortunately just inspired me to keep checking the freebie list because I've gotten some good deals!  Just this group should have cost me $26.79 but guess what?  FREE!  *cheers* *gets self back under control* *Ahem* 3 of these are novellas, bet you can guess which three from their current prices!  I'm going to declare the Lightly Clean level of 1-5 and we'll see how far I get, there are many more where these came from!

This is also a blog hop, see what everyone else is doing here:

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