Tuesday, August 15, 2017

*Review* Crazy for a Geek Girl by Nicolette Dane


Genre: LGBT Romance
Published: January 16, 2016
Pages: 128

Synopsis

There was something quite endearing to me about her geekiness. It was a world I had no experience with, outside my purview, and something that, admittedly, excited me greatly. I wanted to know more about her.

A stressful job in finance and investing has made it impossible for Netty to have any semblance of a functional love life. The long hours are taking their toll and as a huge new project falls in her lap, Netty is just about at her wit’s end. Late one Friday night at work, however, life brightens when a knock on her office door unveils adorably geeky Henrietta, her company’s computer consultant.

Henry — computer geek, gamer, sweetheart — takes Netty on a ride that makes her question her notions of life and love, work and play, and acceptance of herself and others. Always the pretty popular girl, Netty finds herself irrevocably changing as she gets intimate with nerdy Henry, prompting her to wonder whether the path she’s been on has actually been the right one for her.

Will Netty be able to shrug off the negativity around her relationship at work, navigate the conflict of interest in getting involved with her company’s consultant, and finally start living true to herself? Or will this lesbian love affair end like all the rest?

Review

I found a few of this author stories for free on Amazon and got them. It's been so long since I'd read a legit romance, and lesbian romances are my favorite. Anyway, I read another of her stories last week, so I decided to try out this one next. I felt especially compelled to read this one because I am absolutely a geek girl. Also, I love nerdy romances. Anyway, so the main character's pretty high up in the finance company that she works for and she has a thing for a younger woman that works in IT. I just want to note that I get the attraction. My husband is both a geek and also works in the IT department for a finance company. So I understand Netty's interest in Henry pretty well, actually. Okay, so there's some drama going on in here. First of all, Netty is a recovering alcoholic. It's mentioned a bit, but it doesn't really get into any depth on that subject. Then there's the conflict of Netty trying to figure out how to balance her relationship with Henry without compromising her job. Going back to Henry being a nerd... She's a gamer, and plays a MMORPG regularly. That was all good and what not. Until she claimed being intimate with Netty was better than a raid. Blasphemy! But seriously, I did appreciate how Netty was accepting of Henry and didn't try to change her gaming habits. For the most part, I really enjoyed the story. Even though there are some repetitious parts and some of issues brought up without any real resolution. But I really like the relationship between Netty and Henry. 3.5 Platypires - Joood - Hooligan

Buy the Book


About the Author

Nicolette Dane landed in Chicago after studying writing in New York City. Flitting in and out of various jobs without finding her place, Nico decided to choose herself and commit to writing full-time. Her stories are contemporary scenarios of blossoming lesbian romance and voyeuristic tales meant to give you a peep show into the lives of sensual and complicated women. If you're a fan of uplifting and steamy lesbian passion, you've found your new favorite author.

Sign up for Nico's mailing list today to get FREE exclusive stories not available anywhere else. Point your browser to: https://readni.co/

https://www.nicolettedane.com
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*Top Ten Tuesday* Book Recommendations for WWII Fiction Fans


Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Joood - Hooligan of Platypire reviews bossed me into doing this, so I guess this is a thing I do now. 

This weeks theme is book recommendations for WWII era fiction fans. I have always had a morbid fascination with the Holocaust so I have read loads of books about the Jewish ghettos and the concentration camps. But I have somewhat recently branched out to start reading just about any book set in Europe during WWII that I can get my hands on. If you are a fan of WWII era historical fiction, you have likely already read a few of these yourself. These books are in no particular order.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. My book club read this and it's one of the few books I actually almost finished before our meeting. This tale is set in Saint-Malo, a walled citadel in France, and also in Germany. We get to hear the story from a few different points of view, and I believe this is the first book I read where I actually sympathized with a Nazi soldier to some degree (and he kind of earned the sympathy with his actions).

The Lost Letter by Jillian Cantor. I only just recently finished reading this book. It's told from two points of view in two different time periods, the 1930s and early 40s and then in 1989-90, right around the time the Berlin Wall came down. It focuses on members of the resistance in Austria in the build up to WWII, when Hitler was just starting to round up Europe's Jewish citizens, and then a woman with a strange stamp/letter that was never in circulation, but it's darn close to one that was. The mystery of the story is just how did the stamp come about, and what happened to the engraver responsible for it, but there is also a bit of romance to the tale.

The Velvet Hours by Alyson Richman. This story is told from two different points of view in two different time periods. It follows a woman and her biological grandmother in the time leading up to WWI and the time leading up to WWII. I found the grandmother's story to be more entertaining on the surface, but the woman's life caused me more anxiety because she was half-Jewish, and even though she was raised Catholic (I think), we all know that wouldn't have mattered to the Nazis. I thought this was a unique perspective on the two great wars.

Radio Girls by Sarah-Jane Stratford. This book is set about fifteen years before the beginning of WWII, but there is a conspiracy involved in the story that relates directly to the rise of the Nazi party, so I really feel like it's connected. Set in England, Radio Girls chronicles the early days of the BBC and had a bit of an Agent Carter feeling to it to me. There were times where the story dragged on, but ultimately I found it fascinating.

The Girl From the Paradise Ballroom by Alison Love. This book doesn't discuss WWII much, but rather frames it. We see London in the time leading up to WWII, and then immediately afterwards, with just a brief mention of the war itself. What intrigued me most about this story is that it follows Italians in London, some of them fascists, and the way they were treated in the time leading up to the war. I saw a lot of parallels to the current treatment of Muslims and refugees in America, reminding me that those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly. I think this is the only WWII era historical fiction that I've read recently with a concentration camp setting. The story rotates through three points of view and is told a bit like a soap opera, where once things start to get a little exciting for one of our characters, we switch to someone else's POV, which kept me glued to the book wanting to know what was going to happen. This book provided a diverse experience of WWII and camp life, even if I had difficult relating to one of the characters.

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. This was another book club pick that I had almost finished before our monthly meeting. This is another dual point of view tale, following two sisters in France during the war. The two sisters lead very different lives, each with their own priorities. This story made it a bit easier to understand why there was not as much resistance to occupation from every day citizens as I would have thought there'd be. If I had to recommend just one book from this list for everyone to read, it would probably be this one.

The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck. This book gets an honorable mention on this list because I haven't finished reading it yet, but what I have read, I've loved so far. (And to be quite honest, I needed another book for the aesthetics of this post.)

So my list only has eight books on it, not ten (for once I didn't go overboard!) but these are the books I've read recently enough that their plots are still stuck with me. And looking at my list, with the exception of The Girl from the Paradise Ballroom, all of these books feature strong or brave female characters as at least one of the main points of view for the story.

Do you have any books you would add to my list? I'm always looking for recommendations of good WWII era historical fiction books to read. - Katie 

Monday, August 14, 2017

#MadLibMonday - The Journey by S.L. Dearing

When I was growing up, I loved Mad Libs. The excitement of sort of writing your own story really appealed to me. So I thought it would be fun to mesh that love with my love of books by turning blurbs into mad libs and letting you guys write your own book blurbs. 

For anyone that doesn't know how Mad Libs work, I will ask you for certain parts of speech or other specific things (i.e.: date, age, color, etc.) which you will write down. After you have completed your list, scroll down below the cover image to find the redacted blurb. Then read through it substituting your words where applicable. Try not to laugh. (Laughing is actually strongly encouraged, because this is supposed to be funny.)

Some brief definitions of the parts of speech.
Noun: Person, place, or thing.
Verb: Describes or indicates action.
Adverb: Modifies a verb, adjective, or other adverb expressing manner, place, time, or degree (gently, here, now, very).
Adjective: Names an attribute of a noun (pretty, blue, large)
Pronoun: A word that can function as a noun (I, we, they)
Preposition: a word that combines with a noun or pronoun to form a phrase that usually acts as an adverb, adjective, or noun (on, after, for)

And with that, here we go.

1: Adjective
2: Noun
3: Month
4: Verb, past tense
5: Noun
6: Verb ending in ing
7: Verb
8: Adjective
9: Color
10: Plural noun


Genre: Dystopian
Published: June 26, 2014
Pages: 190

The Journey has a new cover and new name - It was previously, From the Gathering to the Bridging - Please do not purchase again. Thank you

After the battle at the Black Castle, the survivors have returned home and peace has once again settled on the village of Lia Fail, but the adventure is only just beginning.

The Journey, From The Gathering to The Bridging, Book 1.5 of the Lia Fail Chronicles is a collection of short covering the gap of almost two years from the end of The Gathering and taking the reader into the next novel, The Bridging. A Wish, A Touch, A Kiss, A Birthday and A Storm contain vital information in the continuation of The Lia Fail Chronicles.

A Wish ~ It has been just over a year since the Gathering was last hosted at Lia Fail and peace has once again returned to the (   1: Adjective   ) village, but the scars of the past are affecting everyone in the Stark family. It’s the Christmas/Yule season and Alia Stark is desperate to bring joy back into her (   2: Noun   ). So as she watches the stars flickering in the velvet night sky, she sees several shoot across the void and it’s then she makes… A Wish.

A Touch ~ It is (   3: Month   ) in Lia Fail. The chilly winter air is making ready for spring, and more changes are in store for the Stark family, when a wagon train from Old Idaho arrives. As a relationship dissolves, one is born, and another is rediscovered. The magic of the new world is making itself more prevalent in the form of the tiny pixies, while the untapped powers of those who have (   4: Verb, past tense   ) the goddess are beginning to surface. Darkness once again walks the edge of the tiny village and it all begins with… A Touch.

A Kiss ~ Winter has given way to Spring in the hamlet of Lia Fail, and with the season comes rebirth and new (   5: Noun   ). We continue to learn more about the Fahey and Mercer families as well as how the magic of the New World is growing. In addition, Molly Creegan has always been a dedicated soldier, but now new feelings are (   6: Verb ending in ing   ) inside her. Her courage on the field of battle has never been in question, but is she brave enough to offer up her heart with… A Kiss. 

A Birthday ~ The Stark family comes together to (   7: Verb   ) someone who has become very important and special to each one of them for different reasons. The (   8: Adjective   ) occasion brings hope and closure for many members of the family in… The Birthday.

A Storm ~ Summer in Lia Fail is normally hot and dry, but there is something amiss. When the (   9: Color   ) clouds of a typical June gloom day grow darker and darker and the winds pick up speed, Alia and her people must figure out where the tempest is coming from and what it means. With the help of the (   10: Plural noun   ), as well as the people of Lia Fail, will their strength and love be enough to protect them all from the power of… The Storm.

Now that your fun is through, here is the real blurb for The Journey by S.L. Dearing.

The Journey has a new cover and new name - It was previously, From the Gathering to the Bridging - Please do not purchase again. Thank you

After the battle at the Black Castle, the survivors have returned home and peace has once again settled on the village of Lia Fail, but the adventure is only just beginning.

The Journey, From The Gathering to The Bridging, Book 1.5 of the Lia Fail Chronicles is a collection of short covering the gap of almost two years from the end of The Gathering and taking the reader into the next novel, The Bridging. A Wish, A Touch, A Kiss, A Birthday and A Storm contain vital information in the continuation of The Lia Fail Chronicles.

A Wish ~ It has been just over a year since the Gathering was last hosted at Lia Fail and peace has once again returned to the little village, but the scars of the past are affecting everyone in the Stark family. It’s the Christmas/Yule season and Alia Stark is desperate to bring joy back into her house. So as she watches the stars flickering in the velvet night sky, she sees several shoot across the void and it’s then she makes… A Wish.

A Touch ~ It is February in Lia Fail. The chilly winter air is making ready for spring, and more changes are in store for the Stark family, when a wagon train from Old Idaho arrives. As a relationship dissolves, one is born, and another is rediscovered. The magic of the new world is making itself more prevalent in the form of the tiny pixies, while the untapped powers of those who have invoked the goddess are beginning to surface. Darkness once again walks the edge of the tiny village and it all begins with… A Touch.

A Kiss ~ Winter has given way to Spring in the hamlet of Lia Fail, and with the season comes rebirth and new love. We continue to learn more about the Fahey and Mercer families as well as how the magic of the New World is growing. In addition, Molly Creegan has always been a dedicated soldier, but now new feelings are awakening inside her. Her courage on the field of battle has never been in question, but is she brave enough to offer up her heart with… A Kiss. 

A Birthday ~ The Stark family comes together to celebrate someone who has become very important and special to each one of them for different reasons. The joyous occasion brings hope and closure for many members of the family in… The Birthday.

A Storm ~ Summer in Lia Fail is normally hot and dry, but there is something amiss. When the grey clouds of a typical June gloom day grow darker and darker and the winds pick up speed, Alia and her people must figure out where the tempest is coming from and what it means. With the help of the unicorns, as well as the people of Lia Fail, will their strength and love be enough to protect them all from the power of… The Storm.

If you enjoyed this mad lib, please comment with your list (if you dare) so that the rest of us can get a chuckle out of it as well. And be sure to share it with your friends. - Katie 
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#MadLibMonday - Forever Mine by Mary B. Moore

When I was growing up, I loved Mad Libs. The excitement of sort of writing your own story really appealed to me. So I thought it would be fun to mesh that love with my love of books by turning blurbs into mad libs and letting you guys write your own book blurbs. 

For anyone that doesn't know how Mad Libs work, I will ask you for certain parts of speech or other specific things (i.e.: date, age, color, etc.) which you will write down. After you have completed your list, scroll down below the cover image to find the redacted blurb. Then read through it substituting your words where applicable. Try not to laugh. (Laughing is actually strongly encouraged, because this is supposed to be funny.)

Some brief definitions of the parts of speech.
Noun: Person, place, or thing.
Verb: Describes or indicates action.
Adverb: Modifies a verb, adjective, or other adverb expressing manner, place, time, or degree (gently, here, now, very).
Adjective: Names an attribute of a noun (pretty, blue, large)
Pronoun: A word that can function as a noun (I, we, they)
Preposition: a word that combines with a noun or pronoun to form a phrase that usually acts as an adverb, adjective, or noun (on, after, for)

And with that, here we go.

1: Noun
2: Verb ending in ing
3: Noun
4: Plural noun
5: Verb
6: Verb ending in s
7: Noun
8: Plural noun
9: Plural noun
10: Verb


Genre: Romance
Published: April 1, 2016
Pages: 300

After moving to Piersville to set up her interior design (   1: Noun   ), Maya meets Ren Townsend. 

Ren never expected Maya or the impact that he’d feel from (   2: Verb ending in ing   ) her. Maya never expected to meet a (   3: Noun   ) like Ren. Really when it came down to it, they shouldn’t fit so well together, because how does a playboy become an advocate for (   4: Plural noun   )

Someone has a grudge against Maya's family and is determined to (   5: Verb   ) their business regardless of who gets hurt, and Ren's past refuses to go away. As if that's not enough, someone (   6: Verb ending in s   ) that the Townsends deserve pay back too...and loss of life is an added (   7: Noun   ). Accidents happen, mistakes are made, (   8: Plural noun   ) are broken, but Ren's determination to have a happy ever after with Maya stays strong.

Meet the Townsends, Prices and Montgomerys of Piersville and their (   9: Plural noun   ) in book one of the Providence Series. Who will get hurt next, who will (   10: Verb   ) their happy ever after, and who and why are they doing this?

Now that your fun is through, here is the real blurb for Forever Mine by Mary B. Moore.

After moving to Piersville to set up her interior design business, Maya meets Ren Townsend. 

Ren never expected Maya or the impact that he’d feel from meeting her. Maya never expected to meet a man like Ren. Really when it came down to it, they shouldn’t fit so well together, because how does a playboy become an advocate for relationships? 

Someone has a grudge against Maya's family and is determined to sabotage their business regardless of who gets hurt, and Ren's past refuses to go away. As if that's not enough, someone decides that the Townsends deserve pay back too...and loss of life is an added bonus. Accidents happen, mistakes are made, hearts are broken, but Ren's determination to have a happy ever after with Maya stays strong.

Meet the Townsends, Prices and Montgomerys of Piersville and their friends in book one of the Providence Series. Who will get hurt next, who will find their happy ever after, and who and why are they doing this?

If you enjoyed this mad lib, please comment below with your list so the rest of us can get a chuckle out of it as well. Also be sure to share it with your friends. - Katie 
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#MadLibMonday - To Serve is Divine by R.E. Hargrave

When I was growing up, I loved Mad Libs. The excitement of sort of writing your own story really appealed to me. So I thought it would be fun to mesh that love with my love of books by turning blurbs into mad libs and letting you guys write your own book blurbs. 

For anyone that doesn't know how Mad Libs work, I will ask you for certain parts of speech or other specific things (i.e.: date, age, color, etc.) which you will write down. After you have completed your list, scroll down below the cover image to find the redacted blurb. Then read through it substituting your words where applicable. Try not to laugh. (Laughing is actually strongly encouraged, because this is supposed to be funny.)

Some brief definitions of the parts of speech.
Noun: Person, place, or thing.
Verb: Describes or indicates action.
Adverb: Modifies a verb, adjective, or other adverb expressing manner, place, time, or degree (gently, here, now, very).
Adjective: Names an attribute of a noun (pretty, blue, large)
Pronoun: A word that can function as a noun (I, we, they)
Preposition: a word that combines with a noun or pronoun to form a phrase that usually acts as an adverb, adjective, or noun (on, after, for)

And with that, here we go.

1: Adjective
2: City
3: Noun
4: Verb
5: Plural noun
6: Adjective
7: Adjective
8: Noun
9: Verb ending in ing
10: Plural noun


Genre: Erotic Romance
Published: October 1, 2013
Pages: 420

Catherine O’Chancey is a reserved, (   1: Adjective   ), and graceful submissive. All traits she trained hard to enhance when she discovered the world of Dominance and submission in college. In an attempt to start fresh after the unexpected death of her last Dom, Catherine moves to (   2: City   ), TX to escape the shroud of darkness he left behind in her (   3: Noun   ). She has tried to fight the need that resides deep within her to submit, but finally has to (   4: Verb   ) she can’t for it is not a choice, but part of who she truly is. After months of mental preparation, she ventures back into the lifestyle by attending a coveted open-night event at Dungeons and Dreams, an exclusive BDSM club.

Is it fate or coincidence that Catherine garners the attention of one of the club’s board (   5: Plural noun   ) who happens to be on the hunt for the perfect sub – a partner who enjoys receiving pain and pleasure as much as he enjoys doling it out?

Jayden Masterson is many things: a (   6: Adjective   ) Dom, a shrewd businessman, and a gentleman. What he isn’t, is someone who partakes in relationships outside of contractual ones with his multiple, un-collared, regular submissives. While he likes (   7: Adjective   ) sex, he is not an animal, and can find pleasure only if it is consensual. What his harem is missing is a pain (   8: Noun   ); could there be one in his future?

Upon meeting Catherine, Jayden feels an instantaneous spark inside him that has him (   9: Verb ending in ing   ) to know not just her body, but her mind. He wants to unravel her mysteries and discover her secrets. Through pain can they find the pleasure they seek? Can part-time pain (   10: Plural noun   ) find full-time fulfillment when it’s not in their contract?

Now that your fun is through, here is the real blurb for To Serve is Divine by R.E. Hargrave.

Catherine O’Chancey is a reserved, demure, and graceful submissive. All traits she trained hard to enhance when she discovered the world of Dominance and submission in college. In an attempt to start fresh after the unexpected death of her last Dom, Catherine moves to Dallas, TX to escape the shroud of darkness he left behind in her life. She has tried to fight the need that resides deep within her to submit, but finally has to admit she can’t for it is not a choice, but part of who she truly is. After months of mental preparation, she ventures back into the lifestyle by attending a coveted open-night event at Dungeons and Dreams, an exclusive BDSM club.

Is it fate or coincidence that Catherine garners the attention of one of the club’s board members who happens to be on the hunt for the perfect sub – a partner who enjoys receiving pain and pleasure as much as he enjoys doling it out?

Jayden Masterson is many things: a firm Dom, a shrewd businessman, and a gentleman. What he isn’t, is someone who partakes in relationships outside of contractual ones with his multiple, un-collared, regular submissives. While he likes rough sex, he is not an animal, and can find pleasure only if it is consensual. What his harem is missing is a pain slut; could there be one in his future?

Upon meeting Catherine, Jayden feels an instantaneous spark inside him that has him wanting to know not just her body, but her mind. He wants to unravel her mysteries and discover her secrets. Through pain can they find the pleasure they seek? Can part-time pain lovers find full-time fulfillment when it’s not in their contract?

If you enjoyed this mad lib, please comment below with your list so that the rest of us can get a chuckle out of it as well. And please be sure to share with your friends. - Katie 

*Deja Revu* 14 August 2017

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Déjà Revu is a weekly review round-up that is open to all book review blogs.
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Original
Meme
Picture
Contemporary
Fantasy
Horror
Picture
Contemporary
Dystopian/Post Apocalyptic
Fantasy
General Fiction
Horror
Romance
Science Fiction
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Dystopian/Post Apocalyptic
Romance
Picture
Contemporary
Fantasy
General Fiction
Historical
Non-Fiction
Paranormal
Romance
Science Fiction
Suspense/Thriller
Women's Fiction
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Science Fiction

Sunday, August 13, 2017

#SneakPeekSunday - A Game of Ghosts by John Connolly

Title: A Game of Ghosts
Author: John Connolly
Genre: Thriller
Published: July 4, 2017
Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books
Pages: 464
Goodreads

Synopsis

Internationally bestselling author John Connolly returns with another superb fusion of noir and the supernatural (My Bookish Ways) in this latest thriller in his gripping Charlie Parker series. 
It is deep winter and the darkness is unending. A private detective named Jaycob Eklund has vanished and Charlie Parker is assigned to track him down. Parker s employer, Edgar Ross, an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, has his own reasons for wanting Eklund found. Eklund is no ordinary investigator he is obsessively tracking a series of homicides and disappearances, each linked to reports of hauntings. Now Parker is drawn into Eklund s world: a realm in which the monstrous Mother rules a crumbling criminal empire, in which men strike bargains with angels, and in which the innocent and guilty alike are pawns in a game of ghosts..."

Sneak Peek Review

I received a copy of this sneak peek from Atria Books through Netgalley. This is my honest review. 

This sneak peek is very short, especially considering how long the book is. I would have gotten more of the story if I'd simply downloaded the free sample from Amazon, but doing that for the purposes of this review would be counter to the point of me doing these reviews. That being said, this book is the 15th book in a series (I found out as I started to build this blog post), so I can understand why the excerpt provided on Netgalley would be so short. Presumably the people interested in reading it would already be familiar with the characters and whatnot. I am not one of those people. I am also not likely to ever become one of those people because I am just not particularly interested in political thrillers, and from what I read of this story, it seems like a political thriller to me, even if it does have supernatural elements to it (as indicated by Amazon). 

So I went into this sneak peek with a fourteen book disadvantage, and that's on me. I absolutely could have taken the time to look into this book just a little bit to discover that it's the fifteenth book in a series, but I didn't. So at the end of this excerpt, I just felt lost. I don't really know who Charlie Parker is, aside from a guy who finds himself getting shot at a lot, apparently, so I imagine him as sort of a Jason Bourne type character. And aside from a slight curiosity about some of the briefly mentioned shootings, I don't really have any desire to find out more about this guy, and I don't care enough to start reading any of the previous books in this series. I also have no idea what is going on in this story from the brief excerpt I had. The only reason I even know why Ross is even meeting up with Parker in the first place is because the synopsis tells me. But I realize that none of that would likely be important to someone who had been following this series from the beginning. 

In the end, I will not be buying this book myself, or any of the other books in this series. But if you enjoy books like the Bourne series, you will likely enjoy this one as well. - Katie 

Buy the Book


About the Author

I was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1968 and have, at various points in his life, worked as a journalist, a barman, a local government official, a waiter and a "gofer" at Harrods department store in London. I studied English in Trinity College, Dublin and journalism at Dublin City University, subsequently spending five years working as a freelance journalist for The Irish Times newspaper, to which I continue to contribute, although not as often as I would like. I still try to interview a few authors every year, mainly writers whose work I like, although I've occasionally interviewed people for the paper simply because I thought they might be quirky or interesting. All of those interviews have been posted to my website, http://www.johnconnollybooks.com.

I was working as a journalist when I began work on my first novel. Like a lot of journalists, I think I entered the trade because I loved to write, and it was one of the few ways I thought I could be paid to do what I loved. But there is a difference between being a writer and a journalist, and I was certainly a poorer journalist than I am a writer (and I make no great claims for myself in either field.) I got quite frustrated with journalism, which probably gave me the impetus to start work on the novel. That book, Every Dead Thing, took about five years to write and was eventually published in 1999. It introduced the character of Charlie Parker, a former policeman hunting the killer of his wife and daughter. Dark Hollow, the second Parker novel, followed in 2000. The third Parker novel, The Killing Kind, was published in 2001, with The White Road following in 2002. In 2003, I published my fifth novel - and first stand-alone book - Bad Men. In 2004, Nocturnes, a collection of novellas and short stories, was added to the list, and 2005 marked the publication of the fifth Charlie Parker novel, The Black Angel. In 2006, The Book of Lost Things, my first non-mystery novel, was published.

Charlie Parker has since appeared in five additional novels: The Unquiet, The Reapers (where he plays a secondary role to his associates, Louis and Angel), The Lovers, The Whisperers, and The Burning Soul. The eleventh Charlie Parker novel, The Wrath of Angels, will be available in the UK in August 2012 and in the US in January 2013.

The Gates launched the Samuel Johnson series for younger readers in 2009, followed by Hell's Bells (UK)/The Infernals (US) in 2011. A third Samuel Johnson novel should be finished in 2013.

I am also the co-editor, with fellow author Declan Burke, of Books to Die For, an anthology of essays from the world's top crime writers in response to the question, "Which book should all lovers of crime fiction read before they die?" Books to Die For is available in the UK as of August 2012, and will be available in the US in October 2012.

I am based in Dublin but divide my time between my native city and the United States, where each of my novels has been set.

*Review* Lost Boy by Christina Henry


Genre: Fantasy Horror
Published: July 4, 2017
Publisher: Berkely Books
Pages: 292

Synopsis

From the national bestselling author of Alice comes a familiar story with a dark hook—a tale about Peter Pan and the friend who became his nemesis, a nemesis who may not be the blackhearted villain Peter says he is…

There is one version of my story that everyone knows. And then there is the truth. This is how it happened. How I went from being Peter Pan’s first—and favorite—lost boy to his greatest enemy.

Peter brought me to his island because there were no rules and no grownups to make us mind. He brought boys from the Other Place to join in the fun, but Peter's idea of fun is sharper than a pirate’s sword. Because it’s never been all fun and games on the island. Our neighbors are pirates and monsters. Our toys are knife and stick and rock—the kinds of playthings that bite.

Peter promised we would all be young and happy forever.

Review

I received a copy of this book through Penguin's First to Read program in exchange for an honest review. I used points to guarantee my copy because I desperately wanted to read this book. I fully expected it to be amazing and it didn't let me down. 

I have never read the story of Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie, but I haven't been living under a rock for the past 33 years either, so I am familiar with at least the basic idea behind it thanks to Disney's animated film and Spielberg's Hook. I can honestly say that I never really stopped to think about where Captain Hook came from though, before now. And Captain Hook is an easy character to hate. I mean he's a grown man who has no qualms about hurting little boys. That doesn't exactly scream likable. But Ms. Henry has turned him into a sympathetic character, and I want him to succeed in his mission so badly. 

The story got off to kind of a slow start. Even though Neverland seems like it's a pretty familiar world by now, there was still some world building necessary for this particular story. We really did kind of need some information about the types of games that Peter likes to play with the boys. This also set the stage to show us why Jamie, Peter's favorite boy, finally grew up. 

Once the action really started, I found it hard to put the book down. I need to know that Jamie and the other boys would get out of the scrapes that Peter got them into, mostly unscathed. Unfortunately, this is no children's book, so I didn't always get my wish on that score. I can say that I will never look at Peter Pan the same way again. 

Overall I give Lost Boy 5 out of 5 stars, and would definitely recommend it to anyone that likes a little bit of horror with their story retellings. - Katie 

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About the Author

CHRISTINA HENRY is the author of the CHRONICLES OF ALICE duology, ALICE and RED QUEEN, a dark and twisted take on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, as well as LOST BOY: THE TRUE STORY OF CAPTAIN HOOK, an origin story of Captain Hook from Peter Pan.

She is also the author of the national bestselling BLACK WINGS series (BLACK WINGS, BLACK NIGHT, BLACK HOWL, BLACK LAMENT, BLACK CITY, BLACK HEART and BLACK SPRING) featuring Agent of Death Madeline Black and her popcorn-loving gargoyle Beezle.

She enjoys running long distances, reading anything she can get her hands on and watching movies with samurai, zombies and/or subtitles in her spare time. She lives in Chicago with her husband and son.

You can visit her on the web at www.christinahenry.net, facebook.com/authorChristinaHenry, twitter.com/C_Henry_Author and www.goodreads.com/CHenryAuthor.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

*Review* Royal Guard of Draga by Emma Dean


Genre: Sci-Fi Erotic Romance
Published: August 3, 2017
Pages: 

Synopsis

In a galaxy far from our own in a faraway future humans have settled among the stars, altering their genetics to create a more peaceful society where dominance and rank are known instinctually. Princess Adelina of the Draga royal family seeks love before political gain and her guard is the only male her eyes see. Alpha is the most beautiful man she's ever laid eyes on and ever since he came back from his training Adelina can't get him out of her mind. 

The strength and dominance Alpha has tests her will and all Adelina wants to do is submit to him, but she has duties required by the crown. When her father becomes ill her life, and that of her siblings are turned upside down. Can Adelina find love with her royal guard before it's too late and the choice is taken from her?

Review

I was hired to proofread this book. The only aspects of the story that I influenced were the spelling and grammar. If you feel that my connection to the book makes my review untrustworthy, so be it, but this is my honest review. 

This book imagines a world that is almost a feminist utopia. Sexuality is embraced as normal and natural for everyone. The first-born child of any ruling family is the heir to the title, regardless of whether they are male or female. And it seems that women and men are accepted into the military as equals. The one kink for this feminist utopia is that women in the royal family, at least, are still expected to be essentially brood mares to continue the line of succession. "Tube babies" as they are called would not be viewed as legitimate heirs even though they contain the royal DNA. While I don't understand that last element of this progressive society, I am fully in favor of the others. 

I did have an issue fully immersing myself in this world though, because the inhabitants have also been genetically engineered to be either dominant or submissive, and there are varying degrees of dominance along the spectrum between the two which is indicated by the scent of each person. This leads to a social dynamic that is unlike anything I'm familiar with. On top of that, there are very strict rules connected to this hierarchy that feel almost at odds with my expectations of an otherwise progressive society, and those rules affect the family dynamic, at least in the royal family which is what we are treated to, in a way that I have a hard time imagining and relating to. It's just such a unique society and I'm still trying to figure out how to navigate it. 

With all that in mind, Adelina, our main character, is the black sheep in her family, because while all the other royals are super dominant (it helps to keep the peace), she is the most submissive person in existence (as far as she knows at least). But because she is a princess, she outranks everyone except her parents and two older sisters, which leads to an even stranger social dynamic when she's involved because of the rules! In case it's not obvious, I've spent an inordinate amount of time trying to get myself familiar with the rules of Draga's society, and I'm still trying to figure it out. I still want to figure it out though, so that's a good thing, I think. And I really like Adelina. She has layers that pretty much no one knows about, and I'm excited to delve into them even more. 

Overall I give Royal Guard of Draga 4.5 out of 5 stars. - Katie 

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About the Author

Emma Dean lives and works in California with her husband and son. She loves romance but needed something different so Draga Court was born. With too many stories to write the schedule has been filled through 2018.

When she’s not writing she’s reading, or spending time with her family.
With publishing now at least she has an excuse for not folding the laundry ;)