Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Head to Desk!

This was supposed to be an easy week! ACK! *Head to Desk*

Everyone supposed to be on vacation between Christmas and New Years. But apparently no one told that to this company. They want EVERYTHING this week!!!!

So while all the rest of my team is on vacation (probably drinking Mai Tais on a beach somewhere, or sleeping late in their own beds *grumble*) I am here buried under tons of paper and completing test work that NO ONE told me had to get done! They told me all I had to do was hold down the fort. And NOT that everyone and their mother were going to attack me with requests! *Head to DESK*

I just want to left alone for a while so that I can complete what I can. Hopefully they will be satisfied with that. But as I am only one person trying to do four people's work, they'll have deal with it until Monday when all return (and hopefully my sanity too). But in the meantime, hiding seems to be a great idea (rather than continuing to do *head to desk* as it is giving me a headache)!

Monday, December 22, 2008

My Top 5 books for 2008

It's the time for year for reflection. Its been a tough year: work has been slim and hard to find and money has been in short supply, but overall things are better than when the year started. I'm ending this year employed and in good health (the migraine seem to be in control at last! *knock on wood*).

As far as books and reading goes, it has been a great year. Thanks to my many new friends in the blogosphere, I've been introduced to some great new authors: Anne Bishop, Meljean Brook, Jean Johnson, and Linnea Sinclair just to name a few. In addition some of the old favorites have come out with some great new read this year, Marjorie M. Liu, Nalini Singh and CL Wilson really standing out. So with no further ado, my top five book for 2008 are...

5. The Iron Hunt by Marjorie M. Liu
This could be the start of another lovely relationship with Marjorie. I have loved her Dirk & Steele series (minus the unfortunate The Last Twilight, which just didn't live up to the rest of the series). Maxine Hunt is definitely on my list of great heroine and I have great hope for the series. The story is both inventive and lively. I just love anything that ties in reality (as most think of it) with the mysterious and unseen, the whole fairies really do exist. And let's face it, we all could use a bit of magic in our lives.

4. Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews
If I could be a sword-wielding, magical bounty hunter I would definitely be Kate. This is the second book in the Kate Daniels series and it's as fantastic as the first. I can't wait to see where Kate goes from here and all about her mysterious history (and really who IS Roland... I wonder if he has a tattoo of a skull and crossbones encircled with a heart on his ass *g* Probably not but hey wouldn't it be fun). Ilona does a wonderful job of blending the supernatural forces with the mundane. I love how technology and magic seem to be at opposing ends of the spectrum, that only one really works well at any given time. And let's not forget Curren... grr...

3. Hostage to Pleasure by Nalini Singh
Nalini just can't go wrong. This is a wonderful 5th chapter (well full length book) in her Psy-Changling series. Dorian is absolutely scrumptious, Ashya is delightfully icy and sassy, and Amara is so wickedly evil you can't help but love her. Nalini just takes us deeper and deeper into this wonderfully crafted world and story that she does indeed take us all hostage to pleasure. I can't wait to read all about Mercy and Riley and to see where Nalini will take us next (after Dev and NY). And besides, who wouldn't love this cover.

2. Demon Bound by Meljean Brook
I can blame my addiction to Meljean on the DIK draft that occurred in May of this year. It's all their fault (not that I am complaining, missing the Guardian series would have been disastrous). Jake has a delightfully boy-ish charm, Alice is beautifully creepy and Michael is a bit less mysterious (I can't wait for his story, unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on how one looks at it, Meljean has indicated that he will be last). Next comes Irena and I can't wait! And I'm hoping for Hellhound pups!

1. King of Sword and Sky by CL Wilson
I so LOVE this series and can hardly wait for the last book to come out! I think I continuously read this series for well over two weeks! Cheryl just has to write faster! Every character is delightful (even the evil ones) and there is no aspect of the book to glance through. Each scene is wonderfully crafted and the descriptions so richly described that you feel like you've really seen it or experienced it (okay, maybe not the torture parts). This is a true fairytale. An abandoned princess, the handsome prince, the perilous quest, the imprisoned king and queen, a great and powerful evil and a destiny bound to change the world. *sigh* I really NEED the last book and I NEED to know what happens to everyone. There is so much still to discover. And it doesn't come out until JUNE! *pout*

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Review: Iron Hunt

Title: The Iron Hunt

Author: Marjorie M. Liu

Published: June 2008

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fiction

Stand Alone/Series: Hunter Kiss #1, Prequel: Hunter Kiss in Wild Thing Anthology

From the Author Site: Silver smoke winds around my torso, peeling away from my ribs and back, stealing the dark mist covering my hands and lower extremities…tattoos dissolving into demon flesh, coalescing into small dark bodies. My boys. The only friends I have in this world. Demons.

I am a demon hunter. I am a demon. I am Hunter Kiss.

By day, her tattoos are her armor. By night, they unwind from her body to take on forms of their own. Demons of the flesh, turned into flesh. This is the only family demon hunter Maxine Kiss has ever known. The only way to live—and the very way she’ll die. For one day, her demons will abandon her for her daughter to assure their own survival—leaving Maxine helpless against her enemies.

But such is the way of Earth’s last protector—the only one standing between humanity and the demons breaking out from behind the prison veils. It is a life lacking in love, reveling in death, until one moment—and one man—changes everything...

Heroine: Hunter Maxine Kiss is the latest and last of the Hunters. She is descended from the first Hunter in an unbroken female line that started ten thousand years ago when the veil was erected and the demons imprisoned. Over the centuries the other Hunter lines have died out leaving only the Kiss line and finally Maxine as the only Hunter-Warden left to protect the earth from demons. The story starts with Maxine "knowing" who and what she is but as the story unfolds that understanding starts to falter.

She is a totally kick-ass heroine but soft-hearted, unless you are a demon. Definitely ranking up there with Ilona Andrew's Kate Daniels and Meljean Brook's Lilith as one of my favorite no-nonsense heroines. The kick ass first and ask questions second type of ladies. Gotta love that.

Plot: Loved the storyline. The veil that keeps the demons imprisoned and the earth safe is falling and only Maxine is left to protect the earth from the coming demon apocalypse. Already scouts are coming through and Maxine must find the strength and knowledge to protect not only herself but the whole world.

There are mysteries about Maxine that even she does not know and something "the boys" won't/can't tell her. Something spoken of in hints and riddles but never fully explained. The discovery of the hidden world around her, things her mother never told her about and surprises for everyone involved.

Review: A page-turner that hooked little claws into me and didn't let go until the very end. Action packed with lots of mystery around every corner. Just enough mystery to be tantalizing and kept me flipping to pages to find out more and now leaving me begging for more. This storyline is definitely going on my A-list. Marjorie has added bits of lore/myth/fairytales into the storyline and I can't wait to see how she uses these bits in the future.

Love "the boys"! Even though only Zee can communicate with Maxine, they all seem to just leap off the pages with their love and protectiveness toward Maxine (they are also going on my list of immortal companions to have right up there with Meljean's Sir Pup... so I seem to like the ones that can "dispose of the evidence" go figure). I am still a bit mixed about Grant, I like his character and he does make a nice foil for Maxine's toughness but he seems a bit wimpy to me.

All told in the first person. Seems to the trend in urban fiction. I like it. It so much easier to keep up with all the twist and turns and keeps the suspense building since the reader only knows as much as the heroine/main character.

Keeper?: Yes

Recommendation: Excellent story with lots of tension and action. To fully enjoy the storyline, read the short story Hunter Kiss first. It set the scene of the story and provides some very important world building facts.

Rating: 5

Monday, December 15, 2008

Review: Turbulent Sea

Title: Turbulent Sea

Author: Christine Feehan

Published: July 2008

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Stand Alone/Series: Drake Sisters #6 (See Author Site for complete list)

From the Author Site: The star: Joley Drake was born with a legacy of unexpected magical gifts, but it was the gift of singing that made her an overnight sensation—a rock and roll goddess trapped by fame, fortune, and ambition. Heated by the flush of success, Joley could have any man she wanted. But there’s only man who can give her what she really needs.

The bodyguard: Ilya Prakenskii, cool, inscrutable, dangerously sexy, and working in the shadow of his infamous reputation—that of a secret Russian hit man on the payroll of a notorious mobster. He’s the last man Joley should get close to, yet when her life is threatened on tour she has nowhere left to turn. But in the seductive safe keep of Ilya’s embrace, is Joley really as secure as she imagines?

Hero: Ilya Prakenskii: When he first appeared in the storyline, Oceans of Fire, Christine had already cast him as the hero for spellsinger sister Joley Drake. The mysterious stranger with gifts like the sisters but is not totally good. He appears to work for the Russian mafia but rumored to be something else altogether. Loved the whole mystery of him.

As a hero, he's pretty hot but a bit too domineering for my tastes. Talk about total control freak. Christine should work a bit more on the give part for the hero in the give-and-take of relationships. Why do all her heroine just cave into great sex and animal magnetism?

Heroine: Joley Drake. Her gift is spell singing and she has made a career of it. In the series, she starts out as a totally kick-ass, smart-mouthed rebel but ends up as an okay heroine. She doesn't quite fit in the too-stupid-to-live category but she is definitely not one of my favorite heroines. But she does have her moments.

Plot: The storyline in fairly basic with a few twist. A young girl has disappeared and was last seen in the company of one of Joley's crew. Thus Joley starts looking for the girl much to the dismay of Ilya and her crew. And since their meeting, Ilya has been seducing Joley and she has been running, denying their connection.

Review: I have to say that this is my favorite in the series so far, and as far as I can tell there should be only one more book in the series, at least that is my hope since I continue to read Christine Feehan because, let face it, I am a series junkie. Once started it almost impossible for me to stop, thus my always on-going hunts for the nearest used book stores.

The constant tension between Ilya and Joley worked for me. He pursues and she runs until he finally wears her out resistance and convinces her that he is truly the man of her dreams, minus the part about the future children. He continues to mention them and she continues to deny that there will be any in the near future.

I think I would have enjoyed it more if she had gotten to the chance to bash him in the head for being such a control freak, I like my heroines with a bit of muscle. But alas, after a second round of steamy sex she caves and does so even before his fall from lust to love.

Keeper?: Maybe... still trying to decide if I should keep the series or just give it up.

Recommendation: If you have enjoyed the other Drake Sisters novel, then you are bound to love this one.

Rating: 3.5

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Review: Mecury's War

Title: Mercury's War

Author: Lora Leigh

Published: October 2008

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Stand Alone/Series: Breed Book 16. For the complete list see Lora Leigh's site.

From the Author Site: Someone has been slipping the Sanctuary’s secure information to a pharmaceutical company. Now it’s up to Ria Rodriguez to pose as a clerk and uncover the leak. Yet she has no idea of the danger she’s about to encounter—or the passion she’s about to ignite in one of the greatest Breeds ever created.

Hero: Mercury Warrant: Although he is physically most like his animal, lion in this case, he would have been voted "the breed most likely not to kill". Seemingly mild mannered and controlled, he is the best Enforcer the Breeds have. But under all he mildness, there is an animal fighting to be free, and oh boy oh boy do we want him to be free. Once he is free he becomes a Breed of unequaled power, a true Breed, where man and beast are equal.

Ever since he was introduced, in Man Within, I've been eager for his story. To say the least, Lora did not disappoint. Mercury has suffered for years with the knowledge that his mate, or at least the Breed who was to be his mate, was dead, killed while on a mission. But then in walks Gloria "Please call me Ria" Rodriquez and he is mesmerized and his whole world turns upside down and the beast awakens.

Review: Gloria 'Ria' Rodriquez: All her life she has been looking for a place to fit in, a place that she can be herself. She has trained herself to blend, hiding her true self with a boring and bland exterior, to do what she believes she has to in order to make her way in the world. An orphan, whom the Vanderale's took in, raised, trained and employeed.

At first glance she's a boring bland, straight-forward character, spy in sheep's clothing. But as the story unravels, we find that she is more that she appears. She's not the boring, mild mannered little paper pusher sent to audit Sanctuary's finances to determine whether Vanderale's money is being well spent, but a brilliant mind sent (in secret even from the almighty Leo) to find a spy. Once out of her safe "paper pusher" clothes and skin, she is a power to be reckoned with.

Review: There is a leak at Sanctuary and Dane Vanderale is determined to find it and deal with it before the Leo starts making it one is favorite vacation spots. Now that Breeds are common knowledge, the Leo and his mate want to spend time with their other children and Dane, as heir apparent, is determined to protect his parents. Enter Ria, Dane's spy, for the right price.

Lora Leigh once again delivers an erotic tale, a story that just steams right off the pages. As soon as Ria steps foot out of her plane, the tension starts. Mercury has been assigned to Ria, as her protector/bodyguard for the duration of her stay and all he can think of is how to get under her "ugly" skirts. As threats to Sanctuary increases, Mercury's protective detail moves from the porch into the cabin and the temperatures rise.

Not only does Mercury's beast awaken, but so do his feral instincts causing problems within the Breed community itself. While some want to protect the Breed by hiding the more animalistic natures of the Breed, others feel the need to let the animal free.

Keeper?: Yes.

Recommendation: Yes. I have to say this is one of my favorites in the series. Mercury is quite irresistible and Ria is very funny and likable.

Rating: 4.5

Monday, December 8, 2008

Meme and Update

While I wasn't looking, that Alice-Mind tagged me with a book meme!

As I am hotel-bumming again, the nearest book is the phone book (LOL): Page 56, 5th entry is:
Executive Systems Group (address and phone number not included).
The nearest real book is the Wild Thing Anthology:
Then he held her there while the sensations went on and on, and finally began to ebb.
I think Wild Thing is way more interesting don't you? And to think the last time the dictionary was closest. Oh what excitement. Anyway... since I've done this meme before, I am not going to tag anyone.

As for the working bit, lets just say that it is a positive flow of income. Not terribly exciting or interesting, have spend the last week reviewing lots and lots of paperwork. For a place that has not yet produced any marketable product there does seem to be reams and reams of the stuff.

And as for the reading, didn't get much done as I was sidetracked by Band of Brothers thanks to Carrie Lofty and DIK and You Tube. *sigh* I heart Matthew Settle... aka Lt. Ronald Speirs.

Copyright 2007 ID Media Inc, All Right Reserved. Crafted by Nurudin Jauhari