Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Volatile Amazon by Sandy James

Alliance of the Amazons, Book 4

The Water Amazon is considered to be the weakest by her peers. Sarita is given a task that will prove them all wrong.

I honestly don't have a lot to say about this book. I've been trying to read it for over a year and just couldn't make myself. I knew immediately that it was erotic or at least just has a lot of sex in it, and I was right. I couldn't connect with the Sarita/Ian relationship because I felt like it was just about sex. The sparks that were there, funny moments and anything else that happened between the two seemed forced based on the fact that they wanted to screw each other.

I will say this is book 4 in a series and maybe it would have helped if I'd known that before I got this book so long ago.

Also, despite the fact that this is an interracial read with the lead being 'brown,' I felt no cultural influence.

Overall, the book would have been better had I not had to skip over the sex and the chemistry was good and not just 'written.' It was a little exciting though.

2 1/2 Stars
IR: Sarita (Indian) Ian (Scottish)

Friday, November 7, 2014

I'm being followed ...

My morning was made. I woke up like dis! :-O
You can follow me @UPBookBlog
And pay attention, yall. Her bio mentions the new Nell Nicholson Ingram series. She's always dropping snippets on her FB page. Link.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Broken Soul by Faith Hunter

Jane Yellowrock, Book 8

First, let me say that I'm hyperventilating at the thought that their may be only 1 book left after this. Amazon says that this book is 8 of 9. I'm going to lose my mind until Dark Heir is released next year.


Some shit kind of hit the fan.

I don't use that phrase in a joking way. I mean ... Jane did something that was basically like the Roman Empire falling. Although this empire didn't fall, thanks to Jane, it definitely could have.

This won't be a proper review. When are my Faith Hunter reviews ever proper? My ADD kicks into overdrive when I read her books and I'm just like DOIUBQAGUBGSOAWESOMEAHNPIHG that I can't get them together.

Bruiser. Bruiser. Bruiser. Bruiser makes a come back into Jane's life in a major way. It's so cute and adorable that you will literally smile every scene they're in together. With this major play Bruiser made, Jane still has to deal with her duties. She has to handle the European vampires that are coming for an unwanted visit. Even though we don't get them in this book, all the preparation has taken place in this one. During Jane's training to fight like them, she finds out she can do a cool new trick. The only other person who can tell she's doing this trick is Bruiser because he's an Onorio, and she's going to need his backup.

To make a long story short, Leo "voices" his displeasure for this Jane/Bruiser thing that's happening and Jane retaliates. That retaliation lands them in a heap of trouble when vamp HQ gets attacked by some people who have been trying to take Jane, and Leo, out since the start of this book. Soul makes a return because Jane encounters a creature that may be the same as Soul. Now I gotta say, I have very mixed feelings about her. She's so cryptic and wishy washy that it kind of pisses me off. Does she help? Not much. Enough. Just not much. As for the Broken Soul, it is in reference to Jane and Beast. The realization takes a big weight off of her shoulders.

I feel like Jane's life is finally coming together in this one. She's had such a rocky life, especially dealing with relationships both platonic and romantic. But she realizes that she's put down roots and has created a family with Eli and Alex Younger. Not only that, but she can't figure out when she became a girl. Jane's fighting skills are nothing short of spectacular. I've always felt like Jane just gets it. If you're going to be a badass, go all out and be the badass. I've read so many heroines that get their asses handed to them on a regular basis when others around them keep saying they're badasses. They haven't met Jane yet.

I've purposely left the vamp politics out in this review because that's something you need to read for yourself. I can't accurately summarize any of it but just know, as always, it makes perfect sense. That's another thing I value in this series, everything fits, everything makes sense, and everything is mentioned for a reason. That reason may not be thrown at you in the current book you're reading, but it will bite you in the ass down the line in another book. This is the reason why I read the entire series over again in preparation for this book, and then read this book twice.

Anywho ... Get the book. Get it now if you haven't.

Oh yea. Faith Hunter is creating a new series. So if that's the case, maybe the Jane series is coming to an end and she's getting us ready for something equally as amazing.

Here's to hoping ...

If book 9 is, indeed, the last ... I really hope we put Rick to rest. I want to gouge his eyes out with a hot poker.

5 Stars
IR everywhere

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Marketing a Non-White Protagonist

It's guest post time, everyone. With all of the talk about how badly we need diverse books, this seems appropriate to post by author R.A. White.


If you were to look at my book covers, you would probably assume that I'm African American and proud of it. But you'd be wrong. If I was African American I would be proud, but I'm as European American as they come, save for a few ounces of Cherokee blood. Since I'm not black, you might assume that I married a tall dark and handsome type, or at least that I'm in love with one, but you'd be wrong about that, too. My husband us under five foot seven inches, as white and freckled as any Irishman, and barely weighs more than I do, though I thank God that we carry our weight in different places.

I do have a small dark and handsome man in my life, my adopted son, but his skin tone really has nothing to do with the reason why I started writing books about a dark skinned girl. Why did I do it? Honestly, not for any of the reasons why I continue to do it. I was naïve. It never occurred to me that having a black lead could dramatically reduce my book sales, and I needed to have nations that looked very different from each other physically. I thought about a few options, and decided to give my heroine dark skin instead of pointy ears or scales. I had no idea what I was getting into.

Problem #1: It wasn't until I shared my cover design with friends and family that I began to see how this was going. I received an email that said, and I quote, "I don't think people will want to buy a book with a picture of a black girl on it." This got me all kinds of mad, but when I vented to some other friends (people of color) I was told that I should take the criticism seriously. They said people would assume it was African American literature, even though the cover is pretty clearly fantasy, and that most people wouldn't pick it up. My response: If you don't like my cover, you probably won't like my book. The book is about understanding and reconciliation, after all. If people aren't open minded enough to read a book with a woman of color on the cover, they're probably not going to get the rest of the book. I decided that people need to get comfortable with seeing the world (fantasy though it is) through the eyes of a person who doesn't look like them. People of color do it all the time, so why can't white people? Actually I've found that many do, and I love them for it, but it really is a problem that I would like to help solve. So I found myself with a bit of a quest, even though I didn't start out that way.

Problem #2: How does one market a book like Kergulen? After some marketing education I realized that I need to define my target audience and focus on them. That sounds simple enough, but realistically my book doesn't appeal to the mainstream fantasy audience, so I can't expect to get anywhere in a venue catering to white fantasy fans. I decided that my best bet was to find groups of people who were looking for stories about non-white protagonists, since that seems to be the primary defining characteristic of my books. But I'm white. I can't help believing (and I've seen evidence of this) that a lot of non-white people aren't interested in reading a book like mine when it was written by a white person. And the funny thing is I totally understand that. In the beginning it never occurred to me that I would be marketing to a particular demographic, or I might have done things very differently. I might have created a persona or changed the color of my heroine, but now that I'm here, I don't think I would change it. It's terrible for book sales, but I've learned so much about life as a minority from following interracial/diverse groups on goodreads and facebook, and I've had opportunity to interview several people about their experiences on my blog. I think all of it is helping me become more understanding and an all around better person.

Problem #3: It seems that most interracial/diverse groups are primarily interested in romance and/or erotica. My first book has almost zero romance in it, and most of what there is falls more into the 'romantic tension' category. People WANT them to get together because there's a connection. My second book has more, but it's still a supporting theme, not the point of the story. The third book will be similar to the second, although I admit I've been working on doing more with the romantic aspects just because I've learned how important it is to people. I won't ever get into erotica, even if I do joke about writing it on the side to make some money.

All that to say I don't have a big market in white groups, black groups, or most interracial reads groups. The people who read my books seem to really like them, but it's hard to get people to take a chance.

So what do I do? Mostly I keep writing and hope to be discovered some day, but while I'm doing that I've decided to try and make some guest posts on blogs that might have interested readers. I don't expect to be the next Veronica Roth, but I would be SO excited to be well-known enough that people of all skin tones would be familiar with my books, and maybe they'd read them, and maybe they'd gain a little perspective. Maybe they'd learn to see the world a little differently.

To learn more about me, the handsomest little guy ever to live, and my books, visit
My blog:

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Liesmith by Alis Franklin

Book 1 of the Wyrd

Sigmund Sussman is a human lie detector who works in IT at a major company in Australia. His father also works for that company but a bit higher up. Anyway, he ends up meeting a new guy named Lain who he strikes up an unlikely friendship with. I say 'unlikely' because it seemed as though Sigmund had no intention of even looking in the guys direction to even speak to him.

This is where it takes a bit of a turn. Sigmund is overweight, has acne, wears glasses, the whole nine yards. He's not an attractive guy. Because of his looks and his nerdiness, he never even thought the opposite sex would pay attention to him, let alone the same sex. So when it came to his attention that Lain might like him, his mind was blown. This is something that I hope people don't overlook. When I got this book from netgalley, I noticed it said it was a Gay/Lesbian Sci Fi Fantasy. I honestly don't feel like Sigmund and Lain being gay had anything to do with the book other than the obvious, that they're two guys.

Anyway, this book is full of Norse Mythology. Loki, Sigyn and many others are mentioned that I never even heard of. My knowledge of Norse is limited to Loki, and that's only very minute surface details. Prepare yourself for a lot of words you won't recognize and a lot of story telling. This isn't a bad thing. It was just new for me and took me a while to get used to.

The book has a slow burn to the action but once you're hit with it, the entire scope changes. It goes from a light cheeky romance between a guy who never considered himself gay, and a guy who sees more than he's letting on in the other guy, to this whole new world that changes in an instant to a place called Hel. The battles end up being very big battles and thank goodness this doesn't end on a Cliffhanger. I'm wondering what the author has in store for the future because I'm definitely interested. Major world events have been a bit twisted to fit the setting for the book but it's easy to dive into.

++ A quick note to say that this was an ARC and there were a lot of things I didn't mention in regards to formatting since it probably wasn't meticulously gone through yet.

3 1/2 Stars
Sigmund (Black Latino), Wayne (Black Female)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

I Promise I'm Still Alive

I'm alive. I have a ton of books I need to review, plus I need to post a review for the latest Jane Yellowrock, finish the second Sanctum book, and finish a really cool book I found out netgalley. As soon as my school work load slows down (and I finish reading Jane Yellowrock for the 2nd time), I shall return.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Girl by Madhuri Blaylock


The Girl (The Sanctum Trilogy, Book I)
Madhuri Blaylock

ISBN: 9780991203406
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Pages: 408
Format: eBook (also available in paperback)
Genre: Paranormal
Release Date: November 2013

Plot Summary:

The Sanctum, an all-powerful governing body founded by ten families, entrusted to maintain the peace amongst Magicals and ensure the ignorance of humans, has been corrupted by greed and savagery for generations, but is all Wyatt Clayworth has ever known.

A descendant of one of the Founding Families and Class A Warrior, Wyatt has always believed in the ways of The Sanctum, having grown up in the system and thrived under their leadership. A golden boy, renowned for his prowess and skill in battle, Wyatt has never questioned a mission or kill order until the night he crosses paths with a brutally injured and mysterious girl.

Scouring Central Park with his best friend and fellow Class A Warrior, Ryker Morrison, for the hybrid demon prophesied to bring an end to The Sanctum and destroy the world for Magicals and humans alike, Wyatt instead finds Dev and his whole life turns upside down. Told he was hunting a killing machine, hellbent on wreaking havoc and destruction upon all it encounters, Wyatt instead sees nothing more than a broken girl with haunted eyes and a bit of a death wish.

All Dev wants is for Wyatt to either kill her or leave her alone. When he refuses to do either, she finds herself being pulled into his life while being hunted by warriors everywhere she turns. Drawn to one another for reasons they cannot begin to explain to themselves, much less anyone else, Wyatt is determined to protect Dev and help her realize her mission to avenge the deaths of her family at the hands of The Sanctum. His abdication of his duties and his outright rejection of his responsibilities to The Sanctum create a maelstrom of events beyond anyone’s imagination.

Book Links
To purchase on AMAZON - The Girl by Madhuri Blaylock

To find on Goodreads - The Girl by Madhuri Blaylock



First off, this is YA, which isn't my forte but this one is an exception. I actually liked it.

Wyatt and Ryker are Class A Warriors for The Sanctum, a group devoted to basically killing anything Magical. The boys, I like to think, are more like twins than best friends. They can basically finish each others sentences and predict what the other will do before they do it. Their aren't many bromances, on page, that work. This one works. It's the ONLY bromance I've read that I felt was genuine, well thought out, and believable. Honestly, the bromance alone would have kept my nose in this book.

Anywho, Wyatt and Ryker need to find a Magical. A hybrid. A girl who is basically pretty bad ass and will bring about a huge change in The Sanctum.

Dev is the hybrid. She's a tall, uber beautiful, dark skinned killing machine. Half angel and half demon hybrid and the Sanctum leader, Breslin, wants her dead. Our boys, Wyatt and Ryker, find her in a glamoured quadrant and Wyatt becomes stuck. He can't carry out orders to kill her. Instead, he finds a way to watch over her while deciphering his own feelings. Luckily, he isn't he only one stuck. Dev is struck by him as well. They both fall in love at first sight. Over the course of this novel, we meet Jools, who is Wyatt's sister and Ryker's soon-to-be significant other. That's another relationship I can't wait to dig into. Darby presents herself early. A southern belle vampire who loves Wyatt and Ryker. Later, we find out just how deep the love runs when Ryker nearly has a breakdown over her. That scene was positively captivating. Bravo Blaylock. That scene is probably my number one favorite.

I won't give anything else away in regards to the plot so I'll just go in with my feelings on everything.

  • The writing was great. Everyone and everything was perfectly described without going overboard. I hate spending pages and pages on one room of a house when they're only walking through it.
  • I felt some things were repeated so much that I got sick of hearing about it. Everyone kept bringing up how hot Dev was, that was number 1. Number 2 was probably that Dev was a killing machine. Number 3 was continuing to remind us that Wyatt and Ryker are Class A Warriors for The Sanctum. Those 3 things, you WILL keep reading as if I'd forgotten who these people were.
  • The bromance was beautiful. Ryker and Wyatt have a friendship like no other I've read ... Ever.
  • Around the time Dev came in the picture, and Wyatt started realizing he was unable to be without her, I really started to dislike him. He had a one track mind after then. He let Dev talk to his mom like she was shit. His mother allowed it. But when Ryker said one wrong thing she didnt like, she decided to chastise him. I rolled my eyes so hard and said "really, ma? You too?"
  • With all the emphasis placed on how great a fighter Dev was, I didn't see it. She was built up to be the worst thing on the planet but still took too many punches in my opinion.
  • I wish their would have been more action. The end was great. It was grand but could have been even more grand. It was kind of a fight in a nutshell. 2nd favorite scene occurred when Wyatt whistled and Ryker took off. Those two just make my heart flutter.
  • The relationship that Ryker and Jools has is genuine. I love it. They're actually kind of cute together and Ryker knows how to handle her attitude and all her annoyances. 
  • For the next book, I'm hoping for more from the vampires. They were brought in late in the game but didn't really contribute much.
  • I won't talk about Wyatt's stupidity at the end. He got what he needed. Lol.
  • Overall, by about the halfway mark, I was hooked. I'm fully ready to get into book 2. It took me a bit to get into, but once I was there, I was invested in everyone, even if I hated them. That is a very good thing.

3 1/2 Stars
IR Everywhere
Ryker (Black) Wyatt (White) Dev (Black) Jools (White) Darby (White)
If I were casting this ... Ryker = Shemar Moore (but darker), Wyatt = Chris Evans, Dev = Chantelle ANTM 21,  Jools = Elisha Cuthbert, Darby = Hayden Panettiere

Friday, August 8, 2014

Destiny's Gate - Giveaway

It's that time again.

Any YA fans out there? Looking for something multicultural that features a Scottish heroine and First Nations (Native American) BFF?

Enter to win book 2 of the Paige Maddison YA series, Destiny's Gate!


In Destiny’s Gate, (FriesenPress, September 5, 2014, Paperback $USD17.99, Kindle $2.99) the second book in the Paige Maddison young adult series, teen Paige Maddison awakens to realize she’s just had her first premonition. An overwhelming sense of dread fills her senses and she realizes that the summer’s “fun” is about to begin. Soon another premonition follows. Then she hears a woman’s voice faintly speaking, warning her that she is in danger. Paige now knows she’s in trouble but she doesn’t know why. Worse yet, Paige doesn’t know what to do in the face of the impending danger.

But she has one thing going for her. Paige learns that she is a sensitive or intuitive: She belongs to a unique group of people who have a special gift that enables them to understand and communicate with the supernatural world. It is a perception, an intuition, of that world and often times spirits from the Other Side offer pertinent warning or advice to help them along their best path in life.

Yet Paige wonders if she is the target of something in the supernatural world that intends her harm and whether the spirits from the Other Side will come to defend her when she really needs them most.

Her friend Peggy confirms Paige’s worst fears. “Paige,” she says, “you are in grave danger. There is something walking the grounds of the O’Brien Estate that is looking for you.”

As Paige confronts these troubling thoughts, she meets Allan Brewer. Handsome and gentlemanly and sporting a strange tattoo, Allan is a mystery to Paige. Is he a good man or does he belong to the forces of darkness? An ally or a foe?

Paige comes of age as she learns that bad things can happen to anyone, anywhere. We all have the ability to fight against evil and triumph over it. It comes from the pureness of hearts and genuine love for others. When you put the well–being of a friend or family member before your own, that is the purest form of love and self-sacrifice: Unconditional love.

But will that understanding be enough to save Paige from the evil that lurks around her? What must Paige do to meet the challenge from the dark side? And will she prevail?

Cheryl Kaye Tardif, International Bestselling Author says: Destiny’s Gate is beautifully written, inspiring and moving. A truly unique ghostly suspense for teens. Destiny's Gate promises to be more suspenseful and scarier than Wake Me Up Inside, the first offering in the Y/A series.


Don't fret thinking only one or two winners will be chosen. The authors, Lee Bice-Matheson and J.R. Matheson, are giving away 2 paperbacks AND 5 ebooks! Bring your friends over and have them enter. You can't afford to let this opportunity slip past you!

Click the book cover and check out the blurb.

Entry Form:
1. Who is Paige Maddison shaken from the haunting of?
2. Where does Paige Maddison live?
3. Your name and email address:

Deadline: Friday August 22, 2014 5pm

That's it! Copy and answer these 3 questions into your reply down below and you're entered! Good luck!

Also, if you want to try for a chance to win book 1 ...

More info about the authors and contact info after the cut.