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July new releases on my must have list!

Hey peeps! What a month! It just flew by with a speed of light! Here is what I'm waiting for among bookish releases in July...

I've pre-ordered Jess Haines, Ilona Andrews and Kate Locke already :)

How about you? Are you dying to read any of these books?

Early review: Dark Companion by Marta Acosta

Dark Companion by Marta Acosta

review request

Synopsis from Goodreads
When foster teen Jane Williams is invited to attend elite Birch Grove Academy for Girls and escape her violent urban neighborhood, she thinks the offer is too good to be true. She's even offered her own living quarters, the groundskeeper's cottage in the center of the birch grove.

Something's not quite right about the school -- or is it Jane? She thinks she sees things in the birch grove at night. She's also beginning to suspect that the elegant headmistress and her sons are hiding secrets. Lucky is the gorgeous, golden son who is especially attentive to Jane, and Jack is the sardonic puzzling brother.

The school with its talented teachers and bright students is a dream for a science and math geek like Jane. She also loves her new friends, including hilarious poetry-spouting rich girl, Mary Violet. But the longer Jane stays at Birch Grove, the more questions she has about the disappearance of another scholarship girl and a missing faculty member.

Jane discovers one secret about Birch Grove, which only leads to more mysteries. What is she willing to sacrifice in order to stay at this school...and be bound to Birch Grove forever?

Release date: July 3rd 2012.

Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository US/UK | Fishpond


* * *
 Simply put, Dark Companion is an enchanting Gothic read, deliciously reminiscent of Jane Eyre.

Kingdom by Anderson O'Donell blog tour stop, and win a Kindle Fire!

 Click on the banner to see the rest of the participating blogs.

Word from the author:

I’d like to share the first chapter from my new novel, Kingdom. A dystopian thriller, Kingdom follows in the biopunk tradition, exploring the dehumanizing consequences of technological dependence and modernity’s pursuit of biological perfection.

Thanks to everyone who has been following and supporting the tour. If you haven’t had a chance to enter to win a Kindle Fire, please do!


The American Southwest
Nov. 15, 1986
2 a.m.

The elevator raced past the research dormitories and the corporate soldiers’ barracks, past the replica of Central Park and down into the earth. When it finally glided to a soundless halt, Jonathan Campbell stepped out into the seventh and final level of the Morrison Biotech arcology’s research facilities.

It had been three years since Project Exodus had gone underground, since Campbell and Morrison had struck their bargain. It had been almost as long since Campbell had visited these lower laboratories that Morrison marked as his own. The two men labored separately, their results synchronized by the massive mainframe computers that linked every corner of the corporate arcology. Much of the work Morrison performed in these underground labs had been indispensable to the work Campbell performed aboveground. And so, for many months, Campbell did not question the origin of his former pupil’s data: What did that matter when they were within a fingertip of curing so many of God’s mistakes?

Yet the whispers had grown darker in the recent months: hushed rumors of trucks coming and going in the dead of night, urban jungles swallowing children whole, Mexican immigrants vanishing from the lands surrounding the arcology—the Chihuahuan desert. As a man who had devoted his life to science, Campbell could no longer bear the uncertainty.

Although the corridor outside the elevator was deserted, Campbell’s presence would not go undetected. Security cameras craned their necks, silently transmitting a detailed bio-scan of Campbell to five different security control centers, and, inevitably, to Morrison himself. The hallway itself was little more than a tight white tunnel, funneling visitors toward a single steel doorway no more than 40 feet from the entrance to the elevator. All around Campbell the walls seemed alive with the sounds of industry: Unseen machinery hummed and whirred, greedily consuming the glut of megavoltage pumped daily into the building by thousands of miles of fiber-optic arteries. Yet as Campbell forced himself toward the door, the hallway went silent, as if the building itself was waiting for him to open the door.

Campbell punched in his security code, his fingers trembling as he entered the five digits. His code would work; he knew Morrison no longer considered him a threat. The keypad flashed red, then green and then, as he expected, the door to Morrison’s research sector slid open with a barely audible hiss. Campbell stepped through the doorway, the closed circuit camera above him straining to follow his every movement. One by one, the overhead lights in the laboratory came to life, flooding the room with a harsh light. For a moment, Campbell was blinded. When the room came into focus, he screamed.

Vague approximations of human beings, sealed away in suspended animation chambers, lined the two opposite sides of the laboratory. Strange limbs protruded from the torsos of some of the creatures; others had two mouths and no eyes. Some seemed to be infected with diseases the Western world had not known for centuries. Yet, all were still alive, staring at Campbell, mute agony plastered across their faces.

Campbell stumbled deeper into the laboratory. All around him machines continued to record data on their subjects, running experiments throughout the night. Morrison had not attempted to conceal anything from Campbell: Morrison had won; there was no longer any need for secrecy between the two men. Campbell threw up twice, hard, the smell of vomit mingling with the antiseptic already in the air. All the while, Morrison’s creatures continued to watch him.

When Campbell stopped retching, he noticed something he had not seen when he first entered the room: a row of incubators in the far right corner.

“No…” Campbell whispered.

Inside the incubators were four tiny babies, each one’s accelerated skeletal system growth stretching the infant’s skin until bones began to grind up through the flesh. Germline manipulation, accelerated growth experimentation: Campbell instantly realized that Morrison had taken Exodus beyond even his darkest fears. And staring into the incubator below him, Campbell knew he was responsible. So he ran; into the hallway and back up the elevator, lurching through the main lobby and out.

In a secret laboratory hidden under the desert, a covert bioengineering project—codename “Exodus”—has discovered the gene responsible for the human soul.

Somewhere in the neon sprawl outside the nation’s collapsing economic core, a group of renegade monks are on the verge of uncovering a secret that has eluded mankind for centuries.

In a glittering tower high above the urban decay, an ascendant U.S. Senator is found dead—an apparent, yet inexplicable, suicide.

And in the streets below, a young man races through an ultra modern metropolis on the verge of a violent revolution....closing in on the terrible truth behind Exodus—and one man’s dark vision for the future of mankind.

Welcome to Tiber City.

Find Anderson O'Donnell here.
Buy Kingdom from Amazon US ($2.99)/UK (£1.95).

Redheads again? Why not?

Here is another installment of beautiful or not so beautiful covers with reds...

Now, for the WORST cover...
Fathoms of Forgiveness? This is an unforgivable cover.

The BEST was really really hard to choose...
I think this cover is a work of art, subtle and dreamy.

What are your picks?

Guest DNF review: Gabriel's Inferno by Sylvain Reynard

Gabriel's Inferno by Sylvain Reynard (Gabriel's Inferno #1)


Synopsis from Goodreads
Enigmatic and sexy, Professor Gabriel Emerson is a well respected Dante specialist by day, but by night he devotes himself to an uninhibited life of pleasure. He uses his notorious good looks and sophisticated charm to gratify his every whim, but is secretly tortured by his dark past and consumed by the profound belief that he is beyond all hope of redemption.

When the sweet and innocent Julia Mitchell enrolls as his graduate student, his attraction and mysterious connection to her not only jeopardizes his career, but sends him on a journey in which his past and his present collide.

An intriguing and sinful exploration of seduction, forbidden love and redemption, “Gabriel's Inferno” is a captivating and wildly passionate tale of one man's escape from his own personal hell as he tries to earn the impossible...forgiveness and love.

NB: This book was a semi-finalist for Best Romance in the 2011 Goodreads Choice Awards.

 Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository US/UK | Fishpond


* * *
 Sofija is my dear friend from Goodreads, and our opinions about the books we read are very often the same. However, while I don't write DNF reviews, she writes those with gusto.

When I saw her thoughts on Gabriel's Inferno I begged her to let me guest post it here, because it's fun and truthfully represent both of our feelings about this book.

She also generously agreed to translate it for my Russian speaking readers into Russian, and for that I owe her a huge thanks as well. Here you go, the review from wonderful Sofija...

NOTE TO THE AUTHOR: It's a negative review. We do not aim to offend you in any way, just express our feelings about the book. Please, do not read past this point if you think it will upset you.

Top 8 Sea Creatures, Monsters and Oddities - guest post from Ciye Cho + INT giveaway!

1. The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen

The inspiration for thousands of characters, films, and memes (not to mention a princess with twenty thingamabobs), Andersen's tale is famously poignant. The princess in this piece is nameless, fragile... and driven by a yearning that no other mermaid has ever felt.
Did you know?
HCA's tale has two different endings. A bit like the dolphin debacle in Luc Besson's "The Big Blue."

Karina: If you think about it, Hans Christian Andersen wrote a proper fairytale. It's pretty dark and doesn't really have a happy ending.


Hello, me dears!
First of all, tomorrow morning we are off to Portugal, and if you want to contact me I won't be able to reply to emails or comments until at least 2nd of July. So, be patient.
It's highly unlikely that we'll have access to Internet, - I'm going off the grid completely (always wanted to say that!).

Secondly, don't worry!
All the blog posts and giveaways for the next week are scheduled as usual *wink* apart from perhaps IMM meme, but you'll just have to miss it.

Here is what's in my holiday mailbox...




From the one and only amazing Joy@Joyous Reads! Sending big hugs your way, girl!

From The Library

Kindle Freebie

This is it. What's in your mailbox, ladies and gents?

Music video

Who is old enough to remember this, peeps? :)
Happy Sunday!

Artists Behind The Covers #5

I know I haven't done this feature in a while, but it's not as easy as you think to find a decent artist working on book covers apart from a few big names in publishing industry.

Here is what I have...

Angela Waters

I kind of like this right in your face brightness and sexy edginess. Graphic and pretty. Angela designs for Carina Press, Harlequin, Samhain Publishing and many others.

Kanaxa is another artist I found.

Kanaxa is not only an artist, she writes books under an alter ego Nathalie Gray. Overall, a very talented lady.

Both artists are quite similar which is why I featured them together. Look under Features if you want to find other book cover designers.
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The Night Circus
Gabriel's Inferno


In case of zombie apocalypse

Hey, guys! I feel like I should say this just in case :)
If you'd like to sponsor a fellow book addict who sometimes can't sleep at night worrying that she won't have enough books to read if internet goes down in the event of zombie apocalypse (I'm convinced it's one of the top five ways to go for human race) you can donate through Paypal to olivesandacorns at gmail dot com or buy a book through any of the links provided with my reviews which will send me a small percentage from the sale. All proceeds will go towards my enormous TBR. I will also shelter you on the remote farm in Portugal when zombie apocalypse starts provided you survive getting there. There will be books, yay?
Thank you! Love you all

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