Saturday, July 26, 2014

Anointed by Maggie Mae Gallagher


Alana, a Cantati, has to go back in time to stop an invasion. This is my kind of stuff but I had a really hard time digging into it. It started off wonderful. An invasion took place, it was all hands on deck and people were losing their lives all over the place. She gets thrown back in time a little too far and has to basically play detective and find clues in order to do what she needs to do. But of course it cant be that simple. Not only is she being attacked, but she catches the eye of Gaelen. Gaelen was cast out of his home for a ridiculous reason and is now fighting to survive.

The action was actually pretty good but in between the action, it's slow moving. Not to mention she kept getting her ass handed to her. I skipped ahead pages at a time because I'd already put the book down three times to see if I wanted to pick it back up again. I also thought the romance felt forced. The sexual tension was forced. I'm not anticipating picking up book two because this one didn't have enough that would make me want to check in on them.



2 Stars

Monday, July 14, 2014

Wolf Fever by Milly Taiden

Alpha Project, Book 1

I got this suggestion in an FB group. Thankfully, my library had it so I e-checked it out. Anywho ...

This was a quick read so I'll keep my review brief. Raine is an escaped experiment. When she can't bear to be alive anymore, she finds Ryder, a wolf shifter. Upon their first meeting, he's in her pants. The rest of the book goes that same way. Anyway ... One of the wolves Ryder knows goes missing and they have to find him. Milly is also sought by the people she escaped from so she can come back to the lab and complete a breeding process. The people experimenting on her, and another wolf, are trying to create the ultimate Alpha.  Of course, this won't fly because she's apparently Ryder's mate.

I think you can tell how un-enthused I am.

The book was going great until Raine met Ryder. After that, things went down fast. Quick action scenes that were actually good gave way to longer sex scenes that really ate up a nice percentage of the book. It got to the point where once I was happy with the story progressing, it got incredibly predictable and then ... They had sex again. Needless to say, I'll pass on this author in the future.


1 Star
IR: Raine (BlackLatina ... It's unclear)

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Prisoner (Echo's Wolf: Werewolf Marines) by Lia Silver

Werewolf Marines: Echo's Wolf, Book 1

Marines DJ Torres and Roy Farrell are shot down from their helicopter. Roy is so badly injured that DJ decides to try and do something drastic to save his life, turn him into a wolf. After help arrives and they're taken for treatment, things go sideways. DJ soon learns that the doctor whose watching him isn't interested in helping him at all. DJ tries to escape and runs into Echo, a woman who works at the facility who is scary strong. After a failed takedown attempt, DJ heads out into 117 degree heat. Skip the rescue and we come to DJ being recruited into this top secret organization. Of course, he wouldn't willingly work for these people. He basically gets the same deal as Echo was given, either work here or your loved one dies. The rest of the novel is spent with the two getting to know each other and DJ learning his surroundings before a bad move with a pack of wolves nearly gets Echo killed.

First, let me say thanks to Lia Silver for giving me a copy of this. I was immediately drawn to the cover. Who is on the cover? A FREAKING FILIPINO! Who does that? Lia Silver does that! I'm so excited by just the cover alone that I said yes to reading it before I really realized what the book was about. Lol. Anyhow ...

Overall, I thought the book was decent. The character building was very good. I know each and every character, how they act, what they like, what they're about to say before they say it etc. etc. The story, itself, works well for me because I love reading about those top secret clandestine organizations that break every rule known to man in the name of science. But of course, I'm attached to the characters now. I really NEED to know how it ends for them. If I don't continue reading the series, I'll never know and it'll drive me bonkers. I like the fact that the book didn't end with them escaping. It gave me something to look forward to, which means more to come with DJ and Echo. I also like that their are still underlying issues that were addressed and put away, but to be worked out further later down the line, like DJ being separated from his pack. The only thing that I didn't like was the love scene. When they finally got around to having sex, it was VERY 'I'm a clumsy teenage virgin.' The entire scene was riddled with a ton of dialogue that basically went, 'is it ok if I do this?' 'Ok, my turn.' I ended up skipping it all, but because it was at the end of the book, it brought my high down quite a bit.

Outside of that, I really liked that. I would love more action in the next one. Echo is really skilled so I'll be really looking for more of her in the next one to come.



3 Stars
IR: DJ (Filipino) and every other race is represented.

Purchase "Prison" on Amazon.com

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

CLOSED: Jen Greyson Giveaway!


The Alterations series by Jen Greyson is on the move but she needs your help! I know you're saying to yourself, "how can I help?" Just answer 2 questions about book 1 and in return, you'll be entered to win a copy of her eBook Shadow Boxer, which is book 2 in the Alterations series.

 

Q1) If you were looking to purchase a new book online, based on the cover alone, which would you choose? Blue Cover or Grey Cover?
Q2) If you were browsing in a bookstore, which cover would grab your attention first? Blue Cover or Grey Cover?

And that's it! Respond to this post with your answers to both questions. Include your name and email address for contact in case you're the winner! Contest ends Friday July 11 at 5pm.

Want to check out book 1? Jen is giving it away for free on July 23, 24, and 30.

Check out the blurb after the jump!


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Another Rant about JR Ward

I think anyone who understands my reading habits also understand how much of an issue I have with JR Ward. The author of the Black Dagger Brotherhood Series. She has obvious issues with class in regards to gender, and obvious issues with race. These issues she has failed to address no matter how many times someone has asked her about it.

I got a kick in the butt to finish Lover At Last. It was the book that focused on her gay/bi vampire pair Blay and Quinn. Long before I finished it, I read a review by Rebekah Weatherspoon, author of Better Off Red, that summed up what I was feeling while reading. And since I've finished it, it's THE PERFECT review. Rebekah made excellent points, those I share.

Many moons ago, when I first started the series, I sent an email to JR Ward. I was a fan. I wanted to know where the color was. These vampires are living in a fictional place in New York. Anyone who has ever seen a shot of New York even on television knows what a melting pot New York is. So I basically asked her where was the color, why do all of the Chosen look alike, and again where was the color? I got a response a week later stating that their are no races based on color, only the vampire race. Okay. While I took that answer, I was later introduced to Trez and IAm. They are Moors. Black vampires but they're a little different. In Lover At Last, we find out they come from a tribe.

Now here comes my issue. During the course of the book, while JR Ward destroys my favorite pairing Blay/Quinn, she shows Trez as that black guy who hates black women and doesn't want to deal with them in order for him to have a white woman. I have no problem with interracial anything. Duh. But when you finally give your book some color and this is what you do ... There lies a bigger problem. Trez basically spends his 'page time' trying to get away from anyone who wants him to marry the Shadow Princess. Why? There's some white Chosen he's after. He's not even met this Princess but he's called her every derogatory name he could think of, while getting his jollies off with white women.

I'm just confused.

This is getting too long.

The real reason I started this post was to complain about the cover of the book that is dedicated to the Shadows, Trez and I-Am. Remember, they are dark skinned with shaved heads from a tribe and this is the cover given.


Well ... At least the white man is standing in the shadows. LOL.

How's that for diversity? Thanks JR Ward, but #weneediversebooks that don't purposely and continuously throw anyone that isn't lily white under the bottom of a shoe.


If you want more information on Rebekah Weatherspoon ...
Link to her website ...
Link to her Goodreads review that I love ...

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Black and Brown Planets ... Cimmerian City

If anyone has a Netgalley account and visit it frequently, there is a new title up called Black and Brown Planets: The Politics of Race in Science Fiction. The blurb is below. If anyone is going to request it, and if they read it, please let me know. I'd love to repost your reviews on this blog. #weneeddiversebooks





Description:

Literary explorations into the radical, hopeful racial futures imagined by science fiction

Essays by Marleen S. Barr, Gerry Canavan, Grace L. Dillon, M. Elizabeth Ginway, Matthew Goodwin, Edward James, De Witt Douglas Kilgore, Malisa Kurtz, Robin Anne Reid, Lysa M. Rivera, Patrick B. Sharp, and Lisa Yaszek

Black and Brown Planets embarks on a timely exploration of the American obsession with color in its look at the sometimes contrary intersections of politics and race in science fiction. The contributors, including De Witt D. Kilgore, Edward James, Lisa Yaszek, and Marleen S. Barr, among others, explore science fiction worlds of possibility (literature, television, and film), lifting blacks, Latin Americans, and indigenous peoples out from the background of this historically white genre.

This collection considers the role of race and ethnicity in our visions of the future. The first section emphasizes the political elements of black identity portrayed in science fiction from black America to the vast reaches of interstellar space framed by racial history. In the next section, analysis of indigenous science fiction addresses the effects of colonization, helps discard the emotional and psychological baggage carried from its impact, and recovers ancestral traditions in order to adapt in a post-Native-apocalyptic world. Likewise, this section explores the affinity between science fiction and subjectivity in Latin American cultures from the role of science and industrialization to the effects of being in and moving between two cultures. By infusing more color in this otherwise monochrome genre, Black and Brown Planets imagines alternate racial galaxies with viable political futures in which people of color determine human destiny.

Isiah Lavender III, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is an assistant professor of English at Louisiana State University. He is the author of Race in American Science Fiction.

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Find this on Netgalley.

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Cimmerian City is on Netgalley as well. I've read, reviewed, and loved it. I'm still waiting on book 2, Rae!


Stripped from the headlines of today's news, Cimmerian City is a novel spanning 15 years.

Greed can turn a good man’s heart to stone. This is especially true in the age of commerce and large corporations. No new pill can be taken without a laundry list of side effects that the patient may have to endure. But what if the side effects are more dangerous than the pills are helpful? What if the side effect causes the patient to be immune from standard dangers, such as firearms, the climate, etc., but causes them to change into otherworldly beings?

It is seen through the eyes of a young woman named Raven Blackheart. It is a future where corporations rule the world and political parties have been dismissed. An Earth that is recovering from a global war that has divided two races: Humans and Dracins, quick, tough skinned creatures that are children of the side effects from 20th century pharmaceuticals. Raven awakens in this world as a product of both races and nurtured by the vice president of the main corporation in the world as a symbol of the union of races. With her help, Vice President Tyler Deamond’s corporation can take both beings off Earth--quickly becoming a waste planet--and to a new terraformed planet. But as Raven learns, nothing is as it seems, especially concerning humans.
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Link to my post
Find this on Netgalley
Purchase on Amazon for $0.99


Thursday, July 3, 2014

Better Serving the Author

Jen Greyson lit a fire under me. I really don't think she knows what she's done. If you read the previous post containing emails we sent each other, it really got me thinking. How can I, as a blogger, further help out the authors that want more push for their books? What can I do? I've been posing the question in quite a few places and haven't gotten many responses yet. So far, I got one from RA White, author of Kergulen.

"Another thing might be linking to writers' blog posts if you like them, or asking them to write something for your blog. Or asking if you can use something they already wrote on your blog. Just some ideas."

These are all fantastic ideas that I plan on implementing immediately. I'm hoping to make this blog more well-rounded and add an author focus to my review focus. I will also attempt to find AA and IR Paranormals that are $.99 and cheaper, and link them here, as well as author information.

Authors! If you want to guest post, promo or anything at all, don't hesitate to let me know. Just please make sure your book has a non-caucasian lead OR at least one other major character (with a storyline) that is non-caucasian.

Let's get the word out, people.

If you're interested in finding out more about Kergulen or R.A. White, click the links below.


or Visit R.A. White's website.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Talking with Jen Greyson about Alterations ...


I got a little confused.

Everyone has a set of authors they stalk for new books and series updates and such. A couple of people had asked for suggestions for Paranormals with a MC that was Latina. I was all too excited to bring this up because it's amazing. So I decided to go do an update stalk. One of the main authors I stalk is Jen Greyson, author of the Alterations Series. I sang praises to her and both books in general because they're just good. They have great stories with a good concept. I love the writing and how engaged I am with our lead, Evy, who is Latina. But when I went to stalk Jen about book 3, I saw the cover on the right.

I almost lost my mind.

We went from what's on the left, to what's on the right. Not only had the cover changed, but the title had changed, and even the blurb had changed. Not to mention the blurb, even though the story itself doesn't change, the blurb makes it seem more male-focused. Like Constantine is the lead.

I lost my mind.

I actually got angry.

So I sent Jen an email and this is how it went ...

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From Me:
Hey there! I just wanted to ask about the re-release of your series. Or is it a re-release? I've noticed the name of the book has changed as well as Evy isn't the selling point anymore, Constantine is? What happened? I'd recently recommended this series to someone who was looking for a latina MC and she asked me about this. I wanted to know what to tell her anyone else who may have a question.

From Jen:
I'm really interested in your feedback on this and I'm so glad you asked.

It is a re-release, but the ONLY thing I changed were the covers and the blurb. The entire story is still the same.

As to why, I don't know that I have a great answer. The covers were fantastic, but they weren't drawing readers in and NA seems to be so male-focused (cover-wise), which leaves Evy and her story as an outlier, even though Constantine is a big catalyst to her growth.

So, it was partially a marketing decision, partially a business decision, and I'm trying not to be an emotional artist about it -- even though I tend to default to wearing that hat :) At the end of the day, I just want to share Evy's journey with as many readers as possible, and it's tough to do in the flooded market (which is what makes amazing bloggers like you who spread the word so precious!)

Like I said, very interested in your feedback.

Ciao,
Jen


From Me:
I have to admit that it kind of upset me. I actually wasn't a fan of the original cover art but I thought it told the story of Evy a lot better. I do, however, see what you mean on the covers being male focused, but I haven't heard of it really hindering anyone before. I just felt like, 'I'm here for Evy. I like Constantine a lot but I'm here for Evy and this isn't a direction I would go with it.' I think I'm just so attached to the fact that this book is lead by a Latina, that Constantine being on the cover threw me for a loop.

I'm sure you heard about #weneediversebooks. With the diversity lacking, Evy being on the cover and the story being about her was something I really felt. I feel like it's gone now and it's just kind of in the pile with every other book that's about a caucasian lead. I'm not knocking your decision, I completely get it. I was just so taken aback by the cover change AND the blurb change that I got worried for Evy in book 3. Almost wondering if she wasnt going to be a lead anymore, but a supporting character to Constantine's lead.

I will relay your message to those who asked, and thanks for getting back to me. I'm looking forward to book 3.


From Jen:
I'm really glad you asked, and thank you for your feedback. I get it, I totally do, because it was honestly a huge struggle to make the decision. On one hand, I want to be about the story, but I have so many mentors telling me that I have to treat this like a business too.... and I hate how that sounds because it makes it sound like I'm in this to make a buck, and yes, part of me wants to make a living at this, because... house payment, but I've been so true to this story, and to Evy's journey--until the cover change. Evy is an insanely powerful heroine... who never needed a man -- and now that we're talking about it, she probably doesn't need one to help her get the word out about her books either, LOL.

I just got an entire box of the print books to take with me to a signing in Vegas -- I'd been really reserved about changing out those covers, and seeing them in print again, is making me second-guess the decision. It's hard to be an outlier, especially when the books are flagging and I really want to see them succeed BECAUSE we DO need diverse books. So badly.

And yeah, you're right about her no longer being the stand out cover anymore -- these covers make her look like she's hiding behind a man in a male-dominated group of covers.

Things for me to think about and ponder....

As for book 3, Evy will always be the lead. Tiana has a massive role to play now too, but I'm tossing around letting her have her own YA series as a spinoff so that Evy's journey stands on it's own without watering it down with another female lead. There's still so much story to tell.

I really really really appreciate your query, and most of all, for being honest with your feedback. Please feel free to post it on the blog -- I'd love to see this turn into a conversation about author decisions and how they affect readers ;)

Ciao,
Jen


From Me:
Thanks so much. I do, absolutely, understand your reasoning and even your fears. I really hope things work out well with the new switch. I'd love for you to succeed with this series and as a writer in general. I love your work and will continue to support you!

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I honestly feel that way but man ... I am still bummed.

Thoughts?

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