Murmuration by T.J. Klune

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

tjkMurmuration: by T.J. Klune
Release Date: October 28, 2016
Pages: 324 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazonARe

In the small mountain town of Amorea, it’s stretching toward autumn of 1954. The memories of a world at war are fading in the face of a prosperous future. Doors are left unlocked at night, and neighbors are always there to give each other a helping hand.

The people here know certain things as fact:

Amorea is the best little town there is.

The only good Commie is a dead Commie.

The Women’s Club of Amorea runs the town with an immaculately gloved fist.

And bookstore owner Mike Frazier loves that boy down at the diner, Sean Mellgard. Why they haven’t gotten their acts together is anybody’s guess. It may be the world’s longest courtship, but no one can deny the way they look at each other.

Slow and steady wins the race, or so they say.

But something’s wrong with Mike. He hears voices in his house late at night. There are shadows crawling along the walls, and great clouds of birds overhead that only he can see.

Something’s happening in Amorea. And Mike will do whatever he can to keep the man he loves.

 

three-half-stars

**a bunch of rambling thoughts to proceed**

There’s not much you can say without spoiling the book for everyone. That’s not me, and even if I wanted to spoil it, I don’t know what to say. It’s been a 1 1/2 days since I’ve read it and I’m not certain how I feel. I feel a lot of things but I don’t can’t really get the words out. T.J. said this was his most romantic book. I can see that, and then I hate him for it. Kudos to myself for figuring it out.

 

I want to say for 98% of the story I felt unsure. It was something going on in the pit of my stomach the entire time. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but I was scared. I was scared for the MC’s and the unknown. I don’t know how I feel about the story. I enjoyed the writing as usual. It’s T.J., it’s why I like him so much. The story itself leaves me feeling blue. It’s depressing in a sense, it’s not happiness. I can’t say at any moment in the book did I feel joy. I’m left with a ton of questions, and maybe that’s good. I do like how T.J. left certain things open to interpretation in my opinion. I mean, I’d like to think a certain situation went one way but he wrote it another without the definitive of answering questions.

I’m at a complete lost of words and don’t want to continue rambling on. I can’t say anything without spoiling it. It’s a really well written book. I don’t know if I’d classify it as a romance. Romance does happen but I think it’s subjective by the end of the story. I do tell you one thing, TJ writes some spooky, intense reads. This makes me want to go read How To Be A Normal Person all over again so I can be happy!

About TJ Klune

When TJ Klune was eight, he picked up a pen and paper and began to write his first story (which turned out to be his own sweeping epic version of the video game Super Metroid—he didn’t think the game ended very well and wanted to offer his own take on it. He never heard back from the video game company, much to his chagrin). Now, two decades later, the cast of characters in his head have only gotten louder, wondering why he has to go to work as a claims examiner for an insurance company during the day when he could just stay home and write.

He lives with a neurotic cat in the middle of the Sonoran Desert. It’s hot there, but he doesn’t mind. He dreams about one day standing at Stonehenge, just so he can say he did.

The Pills Bug of Time by Angel Martinez

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Pills Bug of Time: by Angel Martinez
Series: Offbeat Crimes #2
Release Date: September 20, 2016
Pages:96 • Format: eARC
Published By: Pride Publishing
Purchase Links:
Pride Publishing Amazon

Relationship and communication issues plague Officer Vikash Soren, but those are nothing compared to facing stick-throwing tumbleweeds, pill bugs and…time travel?

Vikash Soren, the perfect police officer except for his odd paranormal ability, never seems to lose his temper. Always serene and competent, he’s taken on the role of mediator in a squad room full of misfits. But on the inside, he’s a mess. Unable to tell his police partner that he loves him, Vikash struggles silently, terrified of losing Kyle as a lover, partner and friend.

But life in the 77th Precinct doesn’t leave much room for internal reflection. A confrontation with a stick-throwing tumbleweed in Fairmount Park leads to bizarre consequences involving pill bugs, statues and…time travel? If Vikash manages to survive the week and stay in one point in time, he might be able to address normal things like relationship problems. He just needs Kyle to have a little more patience. Maybe a few centuries’ worth.

Publisher’s Note: This book has previously been released elsewhere. It has been revised and re-edited for re-release with Pride Publishing.

four-stars

This was so freaking good. I don’t think I’ve enjoyed time travel this much since I’ve read C.B. Lewis series. I enjoyed this so much. This picks up a little bit after book one. We are in Vikash’s pov. I loved reading from his pov. He is dealing with so much and then he’s the victim of the pill bug weird time travel.

I loved the writing in this one, and I could definitely see myself reading this in a full length novel. I loved reading about Vikash vulnerabilities, and seeing the time travel concept. I think Martinez did a wonderful job on the pacing and the writing of the story. I adored seeing some of my favorite characters from book one. Mr. Jacket is my all time fave, and in this one we are introduced to Tim. That fuzz was super cute.

Outside of the fun times, and the supernatural elements that are happening, the relationship is weighing heavenly on Vikash shoulders. He’s kinda in the closet when it comes to being out around his peers. He’s having all these issues with being comfortable with Kyle as Kyle is with him. I think he went through so much in this that when times really got scary he realized that Kyle was definitely the one, and he didn’t care. I can’t wait until the next book comes out. I love these shorts.

About Angel Martinez

The unlikely black sheep of an ivory tower intellectual family, Angel Martinez has managed to make her way through life reasonably unscathed. Despite a wildly misspent youth, she snagged a degree in English Lit, married once and did it right the first time, (same husband for almost twenty-four years) gave birth to one amazing son, (now in college) and realized at some point that she could get paid for writing.
Published since 2006, Angel’s cynical heart cloaks a desperate romantic. You’ll find drama and humor given equal weight in her writing and don’t expect sad endings. Life is sad enough.
She currently lives in Delaware in a drinking town with a college problem and writes Science Fiction and Fantasy centered around gay heroes.

Dragonfly by Erica Hayes

Dragonfly by Erica Hayeson 2012-12-01
Pages: 338
AmazonB&N
Carrie Thatcher is a tough Imperial counter-terrorism agent. Her mission: pose as a sexy cyber-thief to entrap the notorious rebel Dragonfly, who's planning a heist on the space station Casa de Esperanza – an orbital casino on the fringe of Imperial space.And this assignment's personal: Dragonfly murdered her closest friend, and she's in no mood to show him mercy. Even getting stuck with the partner from hell—Malachite, her sociopathic ex-lover and the Empire's most dangerous agent—can't dampen her relish for the kill.With Carrie's expert weapons skills and penchant for cracking codes, insinuating herself into Dragonfly's confidence should be easy. But is he the ruthless killer she was led to believe? Or has her precious Empire deceived her? With Malachite watching her every move, the slightest flinch in loyalty means death.Carrie is soon racing to uncover an audacious treachery that will shock the Empire to its core ... if she can stay alive for long enough to expose it.
four-half-stars

The Empire’s Imperial war heats up personally for Axis counter-insurrection agent Carrie Thatcher, code name Aragon when she’s is called in from vacation to chase down one of the galaxy’s most audacious and skillful thieves, Dragonfly and stop him. Six years ago, Dragonfly was responsible for killing Carrie’s entire team including her fiancé. Now he’s rumored to be planning to derail an important Imperial negotiation.

But Carrie’s given an anchor for her ankle as the mission begins in the form of her ex, top Axis agent, Malachite. Unknown to Carrie, Malachite’s been given an additional directive. Adding more insult to her traumatic injuries, Carrie finds herself a major pawn in a power struggle between her vindictive boss and her boss’ psychotic opposite number in the Black Ops team.

Carrie is chemistry and she’s worth the time spent reading this book. Her scenes with Dragonfly and/or Malachite are hot the moment they have a scene before an action is taken or a word spoken. What’s a girl to do when faced with a charming psychopath and a sexy sociopath? Stay on mission as best she can of course!

Unfortunately, I’ve heard absolutely nothing about this exciting read that has opened an entirely new sub-genre for this reader. The futuristic surroundings and gadgets; the twisted multi-layered storyline had intrigue, crosses and double crosses; the complete world building and a female lead that deserves a following as rabid as Kate or Mercy are all highpoints.

Multi-dimensional characters, a complex storyline, and an interesting writing style keep this read on the straight and narrow. This medium paced sci-fi romance could easily be the foundation for a long running series, alas that doesn’t seem to be on the horizon as the ending tantalized enough for another good read.

Sunset (Pact Arcanum, Book 1) by Arshad Ahsanuddin

Sunset (Pact Arcanum, Book 1) by Arshad AhsanuddinSeries: Pact Arcanum, Book 1
on February 1, 2011
Pages: 504 pages
An unlikely savior emerges to prevent the advent of mass destruction and genocide descending on the world…

By Day

Los Angeles, 2040. When the terrorist known as Medusa threatens to kill millions with a stolen nuclear bomb, Nick Jameson makes a fateful decision. He reveals himself on global television as a Daywalker - a vampire with a soul. To save Los Angeles, Nick exposes not only his own gifts but three separate cultures based on millennia-old magic.

By Night

The three metahuman races exist in careful balance, working to maintain a fragile peace. Nick and his fellow Daywalkers successfully master their natural bloodlust. The Sentinels, armed with both magic and steel, repress their warlike instincts. And even some Nightwalkers, normally their natural enemies, have deserted the Court of Shadows to join the triple alliance. Nick Jameson is deeply involved with two such Nightwalkers - handsome Lorcan and powerful Rory. Both men love Nick. But neither can protect the new Ambassador to Humanity from the events he has set in motion.

By the Sword

Jeremy Harkness was lured into Medusa's service under false pretenses. A loner with no one and nothing to cling to, he was willing to die for his cause. But the night Medusa tried to obliterate Los Angeles, Jeremy met Nick Jameson, triggering the onset of his own psychic gifts. For Jeremy is the third race of metahuman, a Sentinel, born to kill the Nightwalkers with no quarter asked or offered. And neither Medusa nor the Court of Shadows will settle for peace when they can make war.

Betrayal and treachery lurk around every corner on the road to coexistence, and at every turn, Nick must question who to trust among his metahuman allies, friends, and lovers—before their civilization is plunged into the depths of darkness and bloodshed. With millennia-old magic, emerging romance, and ever-shifting allegiances, this inventive series unveils a scintillating, homoerotic world of Nightwalkers, Daywalkers, Sentinels, and Humans, who battle for world dominance in the not-too-distant future
four-stars

This futuristic paranormal story started with a terrorist attack, which was foiled by the protagonist Nick Jameson. In his quest to stop the bomb threat which threatened to wipe out Los Angeles, Nick revealed the exists of non-human entities: The Daywalkers (redeemed vampires with restored souls), Nightwalker (unredeemed vampies) and Sentinels (magic bearers who hunt vampires).

This story alternates POV, and also has flashbacks from the current 2040 to the past as the author weaves the tale about their society, Nick’s rise from ambassador of humanities to eventual President of the council. WE also get a look at a future society which love is all that matters, not the gender or even how many. I must admit, that love quadrangle threw me for a loop. This reminds me of PNR/UF version of In Death series.

Great writing, and interest take on vampires in the future. If you like futuristic political intrigue novels, then you will like this one.

{Review} Parasite by Mira Grant

{Review} Parasite by Mira GrantSeries: Parasitology #1
on October 29, 2013
Pages: 512
AmazonB&N
A decade in the future, humanity thrives in the absence of sickness and disease.

We owe our good health to a humble parasite - a genetically engineered tapeworm developed by the pioneering SymboGen Corporation. When implanted, the tapeworm protects us from illness, boosts our immune system - even secretes designer drugs. It's been successful beyond the scientists' wildest dreams. Now, years on, almost every human being has a SymboGen tapeworm living within them.

But these parasites are getting restless. They want their own lives...and will do anything to get them.

The synopsis of this book is what pulled me in. I love horror and everyone that knows me knows that horror is and will always be my first love. I loved this premise and where this book could have gone but for me it fell kind of flat. The book was long and I had to fight myself to continue on with this book because I just couldn’t connect. The characters seemed to be lacking substance and a lot of things didn’t make sense to me even when they were explained.

It’s a period in the book where you can tell it was going to take off and it just fell flat. I think when you have to get 80% into a book and you notice not much can happen and it still 1 hour left in the book it just seems discouraging. There were parts that I liked; I didn’t see a couple of the plot twist coming and that is the reason for the 2 Star rating. I loved the story Don’t Go Out Alone and would like to purchase that for the kids that I work with.

I did enjoy the world and where this book can go! I am not sure if I will read book 2 just yet and the ending of this one didn’t really make me say damn even though I did’t like it I will definitely read book 2. I think everyone should give this book a try because you might end up liking it. I think it’s more along the lines of Sci-Fi than it is Horror, but then again that is just my opinion.

{Blog Tour} Under Different Stars by @Amy_A_Bartol

{Blog Tour} Under Different Stars by @Amy_A_BartolSeries: Kricket #1
on December 17th 2013
All she wants is a home, but can she find one...UNDER DIFFERENT STARS

Kricket Hollowell is normally not one to wish upon stars; she believes they’re rarely in her favor. Well versed at dodging caseworkers from Chicago’s foster care system, the past few years on her own have made Kricket an expert at the art of survival and blending in. With her 18th birthday fast approaching, she dreams of the day when she can stop running and find what her heart needs most: a home.

Trey Allairis hates Earth and doubts that anyone from his world can thrive here. What he’s learning of Kricket and her existence away from her true home only confirms his theory. But, when he and Kricket lie together under the stars of Ethar, counting them all may be easier than letting her go.

Kyon Ensin’s secrets number the stars; he knows more about Kricket's gifts than anyone and plans to possess her because of them. He also knows she’s more valuable than any fire in the night sky. He’ll move the heavens and align them all in order to make her his own.

When everything in their world can be broken, will Kricket rely upon love to save her under different stars?
five-stars

We have to make the stars align for us now– find a way for us now to get burned for being together

This book rocked my world and took me to a brand new world pun intended. This is hands down my favorite YA book of the year. I had originally rated this book 4.5 stars but I had to change that rating to 5 Stars because I couldn’t get Kricket and Trey out of my head. This book was exceptionally written and it kept me on my toes. This is by far something different and exceptional in the world of YA when all everyone is writing about are dystopian or sappy romance. Amy breathed a breath a fresh air into a genre that was getting rather stale with so many of the same kinds of books and it was something that I desperately needed.

The world in this book was amazing and it just kept unfolding before my eyes but it wasn’t so advanced that you couldn’t picture it. Amy did an amazing job at creating a world that is fresh and beautiful without making it so overwhelming. Kricket is a kickass heroine that doesn’t complain and whine like most MC’s do in YA and that made the book so much more enjoyable. Trey is hard on the outside but all marshmallows on the inside and it’s really refreshing to see a male MC that wants to do what’s best for his people and not himself and he just won me over. The additional characters in this book were all great but I enjoyed spending my time with the crusaders in this book they were hilarious and added a great comedic undertone to a book that can be seen as a little heavy without those moments.

The angst in this book was right on. I have to say that Amy wrote this book to perfection and the romance didn’t power the book and it didn’t take a backseat. This book has the perfect balance of romance and action. This is my first Sci-Fi book and as long as Amy keeps writing novels like this is sure won’t be my last. I am very fortunate to have read a book that is pure perfection and can’t wait to see what happens to Kricket and Trey in book 2.

{Book Blitz}Insanity by @cameronjace

{Book Blitz}Insanity by @cameronjaceon December 20, 2013
Amazon
After accidentally killing everyone in her class, Alice Wonder is now a patient in the Radcliffe Lunatic Asylum. No one doubts her insanity. Only a hookah-smoking professor believes otherwise; that he can prove her sanity by decoding Lewis Carroll’s paintings, photographs, and find Wonderland’s real whereabouts. Professor Caterpillar persuades the asylum that Alice can save lives and catch the wonderland monsters now reincarnated in modern day criminals. In order to do so, Alice leads a double life: an Oxford university student by day, a mad girl in an asylum by night. The line between sanity and insanity thins when she meets Jack Diamond, an arrogant college student who believes that nonsense is an actual science.

 

Excerpt from chapter 1

The writing on the wall says it’s January 14th. I am not sure what year. I haven’t been sure of many things lately, but I’m wondering if it’s my handwriting I’m looking at.

There is an strange key drawn underneath the date. It’s carved with a sharp object, probably a broken mirror. I couldn’t have written this. I’m terrified of mirrors. They love to call it Catoptrophobia around here.

Unlike regular patients in the asylum, my room is windowless, stripped down to a single mattress in the middle, a sink, and bucket for peeing–or puking–when necessary. The tiles on the floor are black-and-white squares, like a chessboard. I never step on black. Always white. Again, I’m not sure why.

The walls are smeared with a greasy pale green everywhere. I wonder if it’s the previous patient’s brains spattered all over from shock therapy. In the Radcliffe Lunatic Asylum, politely known as the Warneford hospital, the doctors have a sweet spot for shock therapy. They love watching patients with bulging eyes and shivering limbs begging for relief from the electricity. It makes me question who is really mad in here.

It’s been a while since I was sent to shock therapy myself. Dr. Tom Truckle, my supervising physician, said I don’t need it anymore, particularly after I stopped mentioning Wonderland. He told me that I used to talk about it all the time; a dangerous place I claim I have been whisked away to when my elder sister lost me at the age of seven.

Truth is, I don’t remember this Wonderland they are talking about. I don’t even know why I am here. My oldest vivid memory is from a week ago. Before that, it’s all a purple haze.

I have only one friend in this asylum. It’s not a doctor or a nurse. And it’s not a human. It doesn’t hate, envy, or point a finger at you. My friend is an orange flower I keep in a pot; a Tiger Lily I can’t live without. I keep it safe next to a small crack in the wall where a single sun ray sneaks through for only ten minutes a day. It might not be enough light to grow a flower, but my Tiger Lily is a tough girl.

Each day, I save half of the water they give me for my flower. As for me, better thirsty than mad.

My orange flower is also my personal rain check for my sanity. If I talk to her and she doesn’t reply, I know I am not hallucinating. If it talks back to me, all kinds of nonsense starts to happen. Insanity prevails. There must be a reason why I am here. It doesn’t mean I will easily give in to such a fate.

“Alice Pleasance Wonder. Are you ready?” the nurse knocks with her electric prod on my steel door. Her name is Waltraud Wagner. She is German. Everything she says sounds like a threat and smells like smoke. My fellow mad people say she is a Nazi; that she used to kill her own patients back in Germany. “Get avay vrom za dor. I an coming in,” she demands.

Listening to the rattling of her large keychain, my heart pounds in my chest. The turn of the key makes me want to swallow. When the door opens, all I can think of is choking her before she begins to hurt me. Sadly, her neck is too thick for my nimble hands. I stare at her almost-square figure for a moment. Everything about her is four sizes too big, all except her feet, which are as small as mine. My sympathies, little feet.

“Time for your daily ten-minute break,” she approaches me with a straitjacket, a devilish grin on her face. I never get out. My ward is underground, and I take my break in another empty ward upstairs, where patients love to play soccer with a hedgehog’s head.

A big muscled warden stands behind Watlraud. Thomas Ogier. He is bald, has an angry-red face and a silver tooth he likes to flash whenever he sees me. His biceps are the size of my head. I have a hard time believing he has ever been a 4-pound baby.

“Slide your arms into the jacket,” Waltraud demands in her German accent, a cigarette puckered between her lips. “Slow and easy, Alice,” she nods at warden Ogier, in case I misbehave.

I comply obediently and stretch out my arms for her to do whatever she wants. Waltraud twists my right arm slightly and checks the tattoo on my arm. It’s the only tattoo I have. It’s a handwritten sentence that looks like a thin arm band from afar. Waltraud feels the need to read it allowed, “’I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.’” I was told I have written it myself while still believing in Wonderland. “That Alice in Wonderland has really messed with your head.” She puffs smoke into my face as she mocks me.

The tattoo and Waltraud’s mocking is the least of my concerns right now. I let her tie me, and while she does, I close my eyes. I imagine I am a sixteenth century princess, some kind of a lucky Cinderella, being squeezed into a corset by my chain smoking servant in a fairy tale castle above ground, just about to go meet my Prince Charming. Such imagery always helps me breathe. I once heard that it was hope that saves the day, not sanity. I need to cool down before I begin my grand escape.

Cameron

AUTHOR BIO

Wonderlander, Neverlander, Unicorn-chaser, enchanter, musician, survived a coma, & totally awesome. Sometimes I tell stories. Always luv the little monsters      I write young adult paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and science fiction mostly. The Grimm Diaries series is a seven book saga that deals with retellings of fairy tales from a young adult POV – it connects most of the fairy tales together and claims to be the truth about fairy tales.      I live in San Fransisco and seriously think circles are way cooler than triangles.

Author Links:

Website: http://cameronjace.blogspot.ca/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/995289.Cameron_Jace

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/camjace

Twitter: https://twitter.com/cameronjace

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