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Book Buying Ban: week #8

Hello, folks!
Hope you're all enjoying your weekend!
I certainly am.

Last week I fell madly in love with Modern Family
which is really really funny and cleverTV show, so I've been watching it for a much needed bout of escapism.

Here's what I've read: 

Second Grave on The Left was amazing and The Knowledge of Good and Evil was one of those religious thrillers which I always find fascinating. These are my highlights of the week.

DNF

Unfortunately, this one is a classic of paranormal romance where the author felt the need to tick all the boxes. Super possessive, manipulating, jerky, angry alpha male; animalistic rage, mine, mine, mine and zero sparks between him and the main heroine. Yawn and DNF after a few chapters.

Total left:
62 books (6 for review)


Won
This came as a gorgeous hardcover from fabulous Heather @ Books Stack On Deck. Thank you so much!

At last, is anyone excited after watching these trailers?
I know I am!
What got me that it shows an open polygamy and is like one of those movies like Revolver or Lucky Number Slevin. Everything is not what it seems.

I don't expect any plot, but it's going to be steampunkish and fun! :D

This just looks insane, and I HAVE to watch it!

P.S. Don't forget that there are two international giveaway that I'm currently running. You can win Breathe by Sarah Crossan or Break Out by Nina Croft.
Ciao!

Vamps in Space! A guest post and an INT Giveaway from Nina Croft

I’ve never done fan fiction, but I think it would be great fun if Rico was flying around in his space ship and bumped into a few of my favorite space heroes (Rico would love this as well as he was actually a big Star Trek fan back on Earth) and maybe even turned them into vampires.
 The subject of this post is… “space captains we love who would improve from being a vampire.”
Sounds a bit weird right?
So maybe first, just a little background to my book, Break out. Break Out, is book One in my Blood Hunter series, and it’s sort of science fiction romance with a paranormal twist or, paranormal romance with a sci-fi twist (depending on whether I’m trying to sell it to a sci-fi fan or a paranormal fan). My editor actually refers to it as vamps in space, which I think sums it up fairly well.
It was after watching Firefly for the second time that I got the overwhelming urge to write a space opera. It was my second space opera. The first, Tiger of Talmare, had been so much fun to write that I didn’t fight the urge very hard, if at all.
Break Out takes place in a future where man (and a whole load of other things including vampires) have fled to the stars and there they have found the secret of immortality.
I hadn’t actually intended it to be paranormal as well as science fiction, but when my hero, Ricardo Sanchez—Rico to his friends—popped up almost fully formed, he just happened to be a vampire. I love vampire stories, so I didn’t fight that very hard either.
But in fact, the more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea, and it seemed to fit in with the general theme for the series which is basically: man’s search for immortality. So the notion of introducing another sort of immortality into the mix—namely vampires—appealed to me. And really, space seemed like an ideal environment for a vamp—none of that nasty sunlight to fry them.
So back to those space captains…
I’ve never done fan fiction, but I think it would be great fun if Rico was flying around in his space ship and bumped into a few of my favorite space heroes (Rico would love this as well as he was actually a big Star Trek fan back on Earth) and maybe even turned them into vampires.
So here’s my list:

As Firefly was my main source of inspiration for the Blood Hunter series it’s only fair that Captain Malcolm Reynolds is the first to get chosen. Though to be perfectly honest, I’m not sure anything could improve Captain Mal. Sigh…
Ditto with my first love—Han Solo. Though actually, Han might already be a vampire, after all, he’s so perfect.

Captain Kirk – I never much liked Captain Kirk—he could definitely use a bit of improvement.

Kerr Avon from Blake’s 7. Avon wasn’t strictly a captain, but I was in love with him from an early age. He ruined me for ‘nice men’ and he’d make a fabulous vampire.

Ellen Ripley out of Aliens. I bet she could beat up a few more aliens if she had a decent set of fangs.

Doctor Who, he’s sort of a captain of the Tardis, and he’d make a great time-travelling vampire. 

Zaphod Beeblebrox on the Starship Heart of Gold, from Hitchhiker’s guide to the Galaxy. If I remember rightly, Zaphod had two heads, which would be two sets of fangs – he’d been an awesome vampire.
So that’s my list. Do you have any space heroes to add?  
Giveaway
Comment and let me know your suggestions of space captains for a chance to win an e-copy of Break Out.
Open to all and ends October 2nd 2012.
Good luck!
__________________________________________
Thank you, Nina!
I reviewed Break Out last year and had loads of fun! See my review here. As for suggestions? I think we should include my favorite from Red Dwarf's team, - Cat!
 
Summary
The year is 3048, Earth is no longer habitable, and man has fled to the stars where they've discovered the secret of immortality-Meridian.
 Unfortunately, the radioactive mineral is exorbitantly expensive and only available to a select few. A new class comprised of the super rich and immortal soon evolves. 
The Collective, as they're called, rule the universe. 
Two-thousand-year-old Ricardo Sanchez, vampire and rogue pilot of the space cruiser, El Cazador, can't resist two things: gorgeous women and impossible jobs. When beautiful Skylar Rossaria approaches him to break a prisoner out of the Collective's maximum security prison on Trakis One, Rico jumps at the chance. Being hunted by the Collective has never been so dangerous-or so fun!
Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository US/UK
 
Nina Croft grew up in the north of England. After training as an accountant, she spent four years working as a volunteer in Zambia, which left her with a love of the sun and a dislike of 9-5 work. She then spent a number of years mixing travel (whenever possible) with work (whenever necessary) but has now settled down to a life of writing and picking almonds on a remote farm in the mountains of southern Spain.
Nina writes all types of romance often mixed with elements of the paranormal and science fiction.
Find her:

Review: The Angel by Tiffany Reisz

The Angel by Tiffany Reisz (The Original Sinners #2)

 Egalley thanks to Harlequin MIRA

18+ only

Synopsis from Goodreads
No safe word can protect the heart.
Infamous erotica author and accomplished dominatrix Nora Sutherlin is doing something utterly out of character: hiding. While her longtime lover, Søren—whose fetishes, if exposed, would be his ruin—is under scrutiny pending a major promotion, Nora's lying low and away from temptation in the lap of luxury.

Her host, the wealthy and uninhibited Griffin Fiske, is thrilled to have Nora stay at his country estate, especially once he meets her traveling companion. Young, inexperienced and angelically beautiful, Michael has become Nora's protégé, and this summer with Griffin is going to be his training, where the hazing never ends.

But while her flesh is willing, Nora's mind is wandering. To thoughts of Søren, her master, under investigation by a journalist with an ax to grind. And to another man from Nora's past, whose hold on her is less bruising, but whose secrets are no less painful. It's a summer that will prove the old adage: love hurts.


Amazon  US/UK(£4.19) | Amazon kindle US($7.39)/UK | The Book Depository US/UK | Fishpond

9.5/10

* * * 
Blew me away, that book. Absolutely blew me away. 

Is it possible to be that smitten? is it possible to love it even more than The Siren? Yes. The Angel is the highest level of mindf*ck imaginable. Don't mistake it for erotica, don't mistake it for a sugary love story, it's a thriller, it's a mystery, it will mess you up, it will make you crave more.

Early Review: Breathe by Sarah Crossan+INT giveaway!

Breathe by Sarah Crossan (Breathe #1)

ARC courtesy of Bloomsbury UK

Synopsis from Goodreads
Inhale. Exhale.
Breathe.
Breathe.
Breathe . . .
The world is dead.
The survivors live under the protection of Breathe, the corporation that found a way to manufacture oxygen-rich air.

Alina
has been stealing for a long time. She's a little jittery, but not terrified. All she knows is that she's never been caught before. If she's careful, it'll be easy. If she's careful.

Quinn
should be worried about Alina and a bit afraid for himself, too, but even though this is dangerous, it's also the most interesting thing to happen to him in ages. It isn't every day that the girl of your dreams asks you to rescue her.

Bea
wants to tell him that none of this is fair; they'd planned a trip together, the two of them, and she'd hoped he'd discover her out here, not another girl.

And as they walk into the Outlands with two days' worth of oxygen in their tanks, everything they believe will be shattered. Will they be able to make it back? Will they want to?


Release date: October 2nd 2012


Amazon  US/UK(£4.54) | Amazon kindle US/UK(£4.25) | The Book Depository US/UK | Fishpond

8/10

* * *
It was a good, well written book, which I enjoyed. My problem is overabundance of YA dystopians with pretty similar concepts. Particularly, Under The Never Sky comes to mind as something slightly more inventive.

Early review: The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke

The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke (The Assassin's Curse #1)

Egalley thanks to Strange Chemistry

Synopsis from Goodreads
Ananna of the Tanarau abandons ship when her parents try to marry her off to an allying pirate clan: she wants to captain her own boat, not serve as second-in-command to her handsome yet clueless fiance. But her escape has dire consequences when she learns the scorned clan has sent an assassin after her.

And when the assassin, Naji, finally catches up with her, things get even worse. Ananna inadvertently triggers a nasty curse — with a life-altering result. Now Ananna and Naji are forced to become uneasy allies as they work together to break the curse and return their lives back to normal. Or at least as normal as the lives of a pirate and an assassin can be.


Release date: October 2nd 2012.

 Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US | The Book Depository US/UK(£4.60) | Fishpond

 6/10

* * * 
I'm a bit disappointed with this book, folks. In theory it should be brilliant - a pirate girl and an assassin... 

Review: Stalking The Others by Jess Haines

Stalking The Others by Jess Haines (H&W Investigations #4)

won from Jess Haines and Nicki-Ann

Synopsis from Goodreads
Vampires, werewolves, mages–the Others are very real, and wreaking havoc in Shiarra Waynest’s life. But now, she’s returning the favor…

Once, she was one of the good guys–or as close as a New York P.I. can get. Then Shiarra Waynest was drawn into the world of the Others. Every faction has its own loyalties and agenda. And Shia’s recent betrayal by her ex-boyfriend means that she may be on the verge of becoming a rogue werewolf at the next full moon.

Of course, with all the threats against her, Shia’s not sure she’ll live long enough to find out. The enigmatic vampire Royce wants her back in his clutches, as do two powerful werewolf packs, along with the police. Instead of going into hiding, Shia is enlisting the aid of her enchanted hunter’s belt and every dirty P.I. trick she knows. If she’s going down, she’ll take out as many of her enemies as she can–and hope that in the process, she keeps whatever humanity she has left…


 Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US($5.38)/UK(£4.22) | The Book Depository US/UK(£4.90) 

9/10

* * * 
Wow, what a wild ride that was! I still think that Deceived by The Others is the strongest book in the series, because there is so much pain, shock and betrayal in it. However, Stalking The Others is behind it only by half a point.

Review: Heart of Brass by Kate Cross

Heart of Brass by Kate Cross (Clockwork Agents #1)

bought

Synopsis from Goodreads
Arden is an undercover agent for one of the most powerful organizations of this steam powered world—the Wardens of the Realm—a group with extraordinary abilities, dedicated to protecting England against evil.

Arden Grey enjoys a life most women in 1898 London can’t even dream of: She has the social status, wealth, and independence of a countess. She also has the ability to witness the final moments of a murder victim’s life. But ever since the disappearance of her husband, Lucas, none of this means anything to her. Until one night, when Arden spies a man watching her—a man she recognizes as her missing husband.

He’s been ordered to assassinate Arden as retribution for her part in the killing of a Company agent. Luke remembers nothing of his life before the Company, a corrupt agency that has erased his memory. Even so, he can't seem to complete his assignment. There is something familiar about his lovely target, something that attracts him, and fills him with dread. For he knows that if he doesn’t kill her, someone else will—and kill him as well. 


 Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository US/UK(£4.90)

6.5/10

* * *
 After reading God Save The Queen by the same author under a different pen name Kate Locke, I was expecting something just as spectacular.

Unfortunately, I was disappointed. Heart of Brass is a weak romance novel with a tiny bit of steampunk, and it's such a pity as well, peeps!

Book buying ban week #7 and Feedburner goes AWOL

Hello, me dears!
It was an eventful week for me for sure. How about you?

First of all, those of you who blog know about the issues with Feedburner which has frozen everyone's stats to 0 and is discontinuing its mail subscription service to blogs.

After some initial panic I found couple of alternatives which I'm sharing here in hope that they will help some of you.

A free alternative to Feedburner statscounter which you might notice on my right sidebar is Feedcat.net
If you are subscribed to me through RSS you don't have to do anything. The posts will still appear in Google Reader.

As for email subscription service, Parajunkee had a great post explaining how to retrieve email addresses for your subscribers from Feedburner.
 After you do that you can email your subscribers notifying them that Feedburner is discontinuing their service and suggest an alternative.
As an alternative I found Blogtrottr, which is very easy to use and free as well.
The form I have on my right sidebar for email subscription is from them, so if any of you would like to subscribe to my posts by email, you are welcome to do it now.

Phew... All this out of the way, let's get back to my books, shall we?

Read this week


DNF

What was I thinking? Reading this after brilliance of The Angel? It was like chewing sand - bland, uninspiring and utterly ridiculous. Had to stop myself after few chapters.
Tiffany, you've ruined Fifty for me :D
I want more Soren and Nora. 

HIGHLIGHT OF THE  WEEK
 After this book I went on Tiffany Reisz' website and read tons of freebies she's got there.
Next book will be about Kingsley, and I say BRING IT ON! Absolutely Macchiavelian books... So brilliant!

It had to be done.
I won a book from wonderful Kimberly at Kimba The Caffeinated Book Reviewer, so
this beauty arrived on Friday...
Summary
Ia is a precog, tormented by visions of the future where her home galaxy has been devastated. To prevent this vision from coming true, Ia enlists in the Terran United Planets military with a plan to become a soldier who will inspire generations for the next three hundred years-a soldier history will call Bloody Mary.

One of my favoritest (I just invented the word) authors, Elizabeth Hunter, asked me to review her new book about Carwyn. What can I say? She made me an offer I couldn't refuse.


Total: 67 books (7 for review)

Last notice, I promise!
I'm saying goodbye to my page with International Giveaways, peeps. I stopped updating it regularly because  it takes up too much of my time and frankly only few people use it. If you still want to be updated, follow me on twitter as I always repost about them there.

Cheers and Happy Sunday!

Reds - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly


We are back with more reds, peeps! Did you miss us?
For those of you who don't know what the hell I am talking about, - I collect redheaded book covers. This is my cryptonite, and if you happen to share the same weakness, there are more redheads just a click away under Features :D

Here is what I've got for you today...

The Good






The Bad

Depressing isn't it? But wait, it gets worse...


The Ugly

Seriously, what were you thinking book cover designers/authors? I wouldn't touch these books with a ten-foot pole.

 Special mention goes to Nadia Scrieva who changed the background on her cover which I've featured as the worst redheaded cover in June. 
Guess what, folks? It's still the worst cover. Absolutely atrocious.

I am slightly depressed and very disturbed by such lack of taste not only in self-pub books but with the publishers as well. What do you think? Snark away!

Here is one more gorgeous redhead to lighten up you mood...

Ciao!



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If any of you desire to show your support to this blog you can donate through Paypal to chai_s_calinoi at yahoo dot co dot uk or buy a book through any of these links The Book Depository UK/US, Amazon UK/US which will send us a small percentage from the sale. All proceeds will go towards the international giveaways here on NBR.
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