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    In Other Spaces and Places

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    2011 Reading Challenge

    Fiendishly Bookish has read 3 books toward her goal of 250 books.
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    Saturday
    Feb052011

    Fiendish Weekend Reads....

    Book:                   Pale Demon

    Author:                Kim Harrison

    Publisher:           Harper Collins

    ISBN/ASIN:         978-0061138065

    Release Date:    February 22, 2011

    Can I even say HAWT without getting light-headed? Beyond Shadowfever, and River Marked, Pale Demon is my number one sought after read for 2011. I started off with the Hollows series at the beginning and have been heavily invested in Kim Harrison’s amazing world…and it all flowered from a short story…

    And we are going to get a lot of Trent this time. Slurp.

    Thank you Harper Collins for the arc! I know, just know it’s going to be AMAZING!

    Book:                  Once a Witch

    Author:               Carolyn MacCollough

    Publisher:           Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Clarion

    ISBN/ASIN:         9780547417301

    Release Date:    Out Now!!!

    I am gearing up for Carolyn MacCollough’s release of sequel Always a Witch due out in August of this year. I’ve heard a lot of good things about this series and cannot wait to dive in. This is another great read for this weekend. If I can fit it in, I’ll try to finish Always a Witch as well. Thanks to HMH for the delish galley.

    Book:                   666 Park Avenue

    Author:                Gabriella Pierce

    Publisher:           Harper Collins

    ISBN/ASIN:         978-0061434778

    Release Date:    Out Now!!!

    I’ve had my eye on this book since last year, and I cannot wait to read it. Here is the blurb:

    “What if your mother-in-law turned out to be an evil, cold-blooded witch . . . literally?

    Ever since fabulously wealthy Malcolm Doran walked into her life and swept her off her feet, fledgling architect Jane Boyle has been living a fairy tale. When he proposes with a stunning diamond to seal the deal, Jane can't believe her incredible luck and decides to leave her Paris-based job to make a new start with Malcolm in New York.

    But when Malcolm introduces Jane to the esteemed Doran clan, one of Manhattan's most feared and revered families, Jane's fairy tale takes a darker turn. Soon everything she thought she knew about the world—and herself—is upended. Now Jane must struggle with newfound magical abilities and the threat of those who will stop at nothing to get them.”(from Amazon)

    Thank you Harper Collins for the galley!

    ~Miz Fiendishly

    Here's a pix of yours truly and Kim Harrison for her book signing of The Outlaw Demon Wails at Copperfields (one of my favorite bookstores) in 2008.

    I'm going to try and attend as many signings as possible this year :)


    Saturday
    Feb052011

    New Fiendish Review: The Vampire Voss by Colleen Gleason

    Book:                   The Vampire Voss

    Author:                Colleen Gleason

    Publisher:           Mira/HQN

    ISBN/ASIN:         9780778329527

    Rating:                 3.75 Stars 

    Release Date:    March 29, 2011

    Be sure to check out Colleen Gleason's webpage.

    Individual conflicts take precedence in Colleen Gleason’s debut book The Vampire Voss, the first in a new Regency vampire trilogy about the Draculia-an ancient race of vampires descended from Vlad Dracul, who have sworn allegiance to Lucifer and in turn carry the mark of the covenant. It is their internal discord, the inescapable warring between the lure of The Mark, and the last remaining vestiges of their humanity that is the true lure in Gleason’s plot.  

    In Voss, Gleason introduces a moderate swathe of characters early on, setting the stage of not only the first book, but those that will follow in its wake. We get an introduction to two swoonworthy vamps: Voss Arden, Viscount Dewhurst, and brooding Dimitri, the Earl of Corvindale. Later on, we meet Narcise Moldavi, who has inexplicably disappeared with vampire hunter Chas Woodmore.

    Gleason has portrayed Voss as an enigmatic character, who traffics in information much in the way that Lord Akeldama does in Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series. He exploits it, he barters it, and if needed, he uses it for blackmail. Information has and will always be his ace. When he returns from the Colonies, he has an objective in mind. That is to track down which of Chas Woodmore’s sisters possesses the legacy of Sight and exploit that tidbit of information as best as he can.

    With Woodmore missing, his sisters Angelica, Maia, and Sonia have all become the wards of the Earl of Corvindale, a vampir.  That liaison places them directly in the bulls-eye of Cezar Moldavi, the leader of a faction of vampir who have a blood feud with the Earl of Corvindale. Even more difficult, there is no love lost between Voss and Dimitri, preventing him from even getting close to the Woodmore sisters. Voss must ferret out which sister is gifted, and utilize that information before Moldavi becomes hot on the trail.

    But Voss never envisions getting entangled with one of Chas’s sisters, least of all Angelica Woodmore, and forced to flee with her in tow to escape Moldavi’s minions. He wants to deflower her, exploit her power, and drink her down. At times even he cannot discern if it his exclusive desire, or the Mark inducing him. If readers had any illusions of The Vampire Voss being a historical paranormal, where the hero sweeps the heroine up in his arms, black cape swirling in the wind, then they are mistaken. Gleason has woven Voss darkly, with a multitude of conflicts that fester within him.  He is the “ungentleman-like” gentleman, the self-indulgent wastrel who keeps his heart, and his vulnerabilities well protected. And the Mark has very real power over his actions. Those traits makes him all the more dangerous, interesting, lavish…and very sexy.       

    There is a moment…a critical moment where Gleason toys with us, where we almost led to believe that Voss will cross the line even further than he has already by taking Angelica’s blood by force. How far will he go? In that infinitesimal moment, readers grasp Gleason’s characterization of Voss…not as a fop, or a Byron-esque character, but a killer ruled by the persuasion of the Mark.  At that moment he is everything Lucifer intended when Voss accepted that unholy covenant over a century before. It’s a heart-stopping moment. Knowing this about Voss evokes dizziness, like gulping down a dram of whisky too fast. His leashed violence is an intoxicating lure and readers will plunge on despite the rocky terrain of the pacing and dialogue, just to see what exactly he will do. Will he succumb?

    The Vampire Voss was deeply seductive, darkly thrilling, and I found that Gleason kept me jumping trying to ascertain Voss’s motives, his actions, and what would happen next. The concepts of the Asthenia are brilliant, the Mark, the way that Voss drops Lucifer’s name and calls him “Luce” intrigued me enough to wonder if dear Luce would make an appearance in Gleason’s next books-especially after what happens at the end to Voss.  My eyes are also on Dimitri who has fought the lure of the Mark, has deprived himself for decades…all that dark seething under the guise of a gentlemanly Lord…

    A Fiendishly Bookish Review (and one grumpy cat)

    Wednesday
    Feb022011

    Next Up: The Vampire Voss by Colleen Gleason

    Book:                  The Vampire Voss

    Author:               Colleen Gleason

    Publisher:           HQN

    ISBN/ASIN:        978-0778329527

    Release Date:    March 22, 2011

    Be sure to check out Colleen here

    Next up for me is The Vampire Voss which I am currently reading.

     I am a big fan of Colleen’s and adored her Gardella Vampire Chronicle series…of which, I was quite gushy about. Couldn’t help it-I bat for Team Max! Goooo Max! And I could say something right now about him, but if I did it would be a spoiler, if you have not yet read the series.

    Almost through with Voss and should have a review up soon, just taking my time…

    Thanks to Harlequin for allowing me access to their great reads on Net Galley 

    ~Miz Fiendishly

    Monday
    Jan312011

    New Fiendish Review: Aftertime by Sophie Littlefield

    BOOK:                  Aftertime

    AUTHOR:             Sophie Littlefield

    PUBLISHER:        HQN

    ISBN/ASIN:         9780373803361

    RATING:               4 Stars

    RELEASE DATE:  February 15, 2011

    Check Out Sophie Littlefield

    Aftertime, Sophie Littlefield’s latest foray into post-apocalyptic fiction is a moving piece that defies a specific genre fiction label. Is it post-apocalyptic? Is it dystopian? Is it romance? Is it sci-fi?  It is essentially all of these elements and more, a stark and yet moving journey about a single mother who survives a catastrophic apocalypse only to lose her daughter.  As a survivor to the eventual plagues and bioterrorism that follow the decline of the United States, Cassandra Dollar finds herself with little memory of an attack that leaves her stranded and vulnerable in the California wilderness.

    At the forefront of Aftertime is the immeasurable strength and internal will that Cass demonstrates as she picks herself up and with a single-minded purpose seeks out those who can help her locate her daughter Ruthie. But within her core is a perpetual internal conflict-her past, present and future inevitably warring against one another, threatening to unravel her mission. These internal struggles characterize Cass deeply for readers, telegraph her acute pain, self-loathing, and the promise of redemption.  

    Somehow, someway, Cass must align herself with someone who can help her.

    But friends from Before are easily enemies, and even those with whom she struggled with directly after the cataclysm-their loyalties have become divided. And on the horizon, two factions are moving into place to seize power: the Rebuilders whose totalitarian rule will shape the face of the future of civilization and the Resistance who will fight to the death to prevent them from coming into power.

    Enter Smoke, a widely respected but reluctant leader.  From a shadowy past, and an even shadowy present Smoke has earned the respect many survivors and the contempt of the Rebuilders. If they ever get their hands on him, it will be trial without a jury….and an almost certain death sentence. Littlefield has managed to cloak Smoke’s motivations very carefully, we never see the clear path to why he gravitates towards Cass, why he is risking his neck for her, and where his power base lies.

    Together Smoke and Cass journey from relative safety into the wilds of scattered outposts, Rebuilder enclaves, under the constant threat of Beaters. As they venture, Cass keeps some of the truth of her attack under wraps, and Smoke hides his past incursions against the Rebuilders. These secrets will end up haunting them, and perhaps will hurt them in the end. But a reckoning will be had sooner or later.

    Aftertime was a stirring read  that sincerely whetted my appetite for the next in the series mainly due to Littlefields’ skillful weaving of details and hints here and there that punctuated the story and kept the pace taut, and the story memorable. At the end, I hungered for answers to an abundance of questions. What exactly is Smoke’s background with the Resistance? And how long will it be before others recognize the salvation to the plague just might lie in Cass and Ruthie’s blood? What of Dor? What will happen when Smoke actually organizes officially…how will the factions play out their conflicts? Who will be caught in the middle as civilization struggles to reassert the path that was meant to be. Promise is heavy in the air with Aftertime, and all of these drool-worthy questions set the stage for the next installment.

    I wait with bated breath.

    A Fiendishly Bookish Review (and one grumpy cat)

    Sunday
    Jan302011

    New Fiendish Review: Bonded by Blood by Laurie London

    BOOK:                   Bonded by Blood

    AUTHOR:             Laurie London

    PUBLISHER:        HQN

    ISBN/ASIN:         9780373775446

    RATING:               4 Stars  

    RELEASE DATE:  Out Now

    Check Out Laurie's page

    For countless centuries, a war has been waged beyond the limits of human notice between the DarkBloods and the Agency. But this time, the conflict spilling on the streets of Seattle pales in comparison to the ultimate master plan the DarkBloods are moving towards: Sweetbloods.

    Her entire life, MacKenzie Shaw has had something to fear-The Shaw family curse. It was always something whispered out…something that has always held her back-cut short any plans she might have made.  Unbeknownst to her, her family has been hunted for generations by a very, very, specific predator.  To her, family members have periodically gone missing, have inexplicably disappeared. And one day she is scared it will happen to her as well.

    When a chance encounter puts her in the sights and mind of Agency operative Dominic Serrano, their worlds collide and the unbearable truth becomes a reality. MacKenzie is a Sweetblood, the most coveted of all bloods, and craved after like a drug. And Dominic can’t help himself. But he must protect her from the DarkBloods, and from his own desires.

    Similar to J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series and more recently, Elle Jasper’s Dark Ink Chronicles (which incidentally has a similar blood plot), I was immediately drawn into this new series, mesmerized by the incredible cover, and once inside London’s world, became absolutely seduced. Bonded by Blood is told very, very, well. Each exquisite word, nuance, each critical piece of action and intercourse between the characters has been exploited for every drop of sensuality that London can wring out. She already has an identifiable writing style and from what I have read so far, this debut is amazing. Is this really a debut? London writes like a seasoned pro, excels at characterization, plot building and visuals, such important traits when writing paranormal romance.

    In this sexy feast, London takes simple gestures, a glance, a movement, all the non-verbal cues and repartee, and magnifies them to an almost aching state of want. The attraction between Dominic and MacKenzie simmers with promise, not reaching fruition until mid-way through the novel, and then their heat cascades even more so from the pages.

    This is what romance is all about and paired with the strong paranormal plot, and edgy excitement, made Bonded with Blood a stunning feast of sensuality. It literally kept me at the edge of my seat, curled my toes, and made me want more. Um yeah, nitroglycerine. That’s all I can think of when I finished it….and I’d though the cover was smokin’ hot!

    Now I’m looking forward to Alphonso’s story in Embraced by Blood…I’m very very interested in finding out how he became the Overlord’s minion and betrayed his family.

    Highly Recommended!

    A Fiendishly Bookish Review (and one grumpy cat)