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    2011 Reading Challenge

    Fiendishly Bookish has read 3 books toward her goal of 250 books.
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    Tuesday
    May032011

    Next Up: Simply Wolf-a-licious "Changeling Dream" by Dani Harper

    Book:                  Changeling Dream

    Author:               Dani Harper

    Publisher:           Kensington REVIEW PENDING

    ISBN/ASIN:         9780758265166 

    Release Date:    June 28, 2011

    Book Blurb:

    “In times of stress Jillian Descharme has always found calm in her dream of a great white wolf with haunting blue eyes. But she is startled when the visions return and this time seem so real. 

    Late at night he comes to her, speaks to her, touches her.
    Thirty years ago James Macleod lost his wife and unborn child to a killer bent on destroying the Changelings. Though he longed for death, his animal instinct fought for survival and James has been a wolf ever since. Yet now a woman has reawakened the man in him, taming wild instincts but arousing still wilder needs.  With his ancient enemy hunting the legendary white wolf, James must fight for new life, new hope, new love.” (from www.daniharper.com)

    Book 1 Changeling Moon

    Book 2 Changeling Dream

    Book 3 Changeling Dawn

    Monday
    May022011

    Full of Smirky, Snarky Splendor: "Hounded" by Kevin Hearne Delights on Every Level

    Book:                  Hounded

    Author:               Kevin Hearne

    Publisher:           Del Rey

    ISBN/ASIN:         9780345522474

    RELEASE DATE: May 3, 2011

    Find out more about the Iron Druid Chronicles

    Kevin Hearne hits it out of the park and all the way to Tir na nOg with his exuberant debut Hounded about a two-thousand year old Druid facing down a storm of gods and goddess and all beasties in between who are either after his head or his big sword Fragarach.

    Atticus O’Sullivan is not exactly in hiding away from prying fae eyes in Arizona. He’s just changed his name from Siodhachan O Suileabhain, donned thoroughly modern attire and adapted a modern vernacular like a second skin. To the unseeing eye, he’s not any different from any sandal-wearing college student with a few small exceptions: beneath that contrived façade of normalcy, Atticus is a living, breathing, Druid with mad-magical-skillz and a list as long as his tattooed arm of lethal enemies.

    He’s settled in nicely in Arizona which is relatively safe from Fae intrusion, is fiscally solvent, has Oberon (the coolest Irish Wolfhound in the known world), owns Third Eye Books and Herbs and has an impressive network of friends and associates that can help him out in a pinch; including one powerful vamp, and the local werewolf pack.  

    So he’s not really spoiling for a fight until Aenghus Og, the Celtic god of love, brings it to his door. This time, instead of skulking away Atticus is game on, bring it on.

    Unwillingly to simply accept that Atticus has bested him and swiped Fragarach, Aenghus Og has, over the years tried to off Atticus with spectacularly dismal results. As a result, over the past millennia or so, Atticus has honed his Druidery and has a healthy respect for chaos-two facts that have led to his eternal vigilance, and survival. It also doesn’t hurt his cause to have the mighty Morrigan at his back either, and Flidais, Goddess of the Hunt, in his bed from time to time.

    Hounded is so extraordinarily great that by the last page I was whining for more. With each sentence that Hearne crafts, he shows a level of suave wittiness that is unparalleled (as well as a surfeit of good-natured geek thrown in). As a graduate of Geek U, I fully appreciate the witticisms, research, and pop culture references that had me smirking my way through every page-and that is the lure to Hounded.  Hearne doesn’t shy away and dumb it down, it’s layered through and through with juicy goodness.

    Atticus O’Sullivan is a thoroughly enjoyable character, is the brainy man’s protagonist. And each encounter he deflects like a chess master is a sort of literary wooing to the reader (breathless sigh).

    Endlessly strategizing against the first of Aenghus Og’s assassins, beating off a few Fir Bolgs and possessed humans, fending off the Sisters of the Three Auroras, and outwitting the Tempe police department just whets your appetite for the war to come. The conflict is whiplash smart and has you flipping pages furiously.

    Atticus and his crew gird themselves for battle that will have the Tuatha De Danann scheming, spitting and pulling out all the stops until even Death is involved in the melee. And at the end (or the beginning) when the heads have rolled, and Atticus has doled out enough Cold Fire against the demon swarm, he’ll come to find out that maybe…just maybe…he was played by a couple of chess masters after all…

    I loved it, loved it, LOVED IT! From every tiny detail from Mad Marge and the Stonecutters, Rula Bula, the Widow McDonagh, Laksha Kulasekaran to the Humili-Tea and every snarky comment belched out by Oberon, Hounded takes on a life of its own. Its cerebrally funny, snarky and uttered in a fresh voice.

    Kevin Hearne, We are Not Worthy!

    A Fiendishly Bookish Review (and one grumpy cat)

    Top Eleven of 2011

    Thursday
    Apr282011

    Roadkill Chic & High Jinx in "Demon Hunting in Dixie" by Lexi George

    Book:                  Demon Hunting in Dixie

    Author:               Lexi George

    Publisher:           Kensington Brava

    ISBN/ASIN:         9780758263094

    RELEASE DATE:  April 26, 2011

    Rating:                  3.5 Stars

    Read an Excerpt

    Lexi George’s charming Southern paranormal Demon Hunting in Dixie is an exercise in small town life gone gonzo. Ripe and almost to the point of bursting, George populates her mild mannered hamlet of Hannah, Alabama with all-you-can-eat zany characters and a demon infestation in the works. All of this makes for a boisterous paranormal with a strong romantic theme albeit light in conflict.

    The sultry romance that springs up between Dalvahni warrior Brand and Addy is the big draw to Demon Hunting. It’s hot, believable and there’s plenty of it. For Southern beauty Adara Jean Corwin, life in a small town means everybody’s nose is in your business. She has a monster Southern mama named Bitsy to keep her in check, a perky floral business, a great BFF and an attitude to boot. What more could she want?

    When Addy interrupts a strange scene in the woods that involves a flaming sword named Uriel, a super hottie stepping out of a portal, and wraith-like spectre, all bets are off. After tracking several djegrali to Hannah, Brand and his brother-in-arms Ansgar realize that Hannah is part of a fabled Dalvahni prophecy that foretells the end of time. Their paths and those of the infiltrating demons will converge to some unknown end.             

    What becomes a simple extermination mission is complicated by the fact that when Adara is marked by a djegrali, her mystery hottie Brand makes it his business to protect her. So begin the shenanigans in Hannah and Lexi George takes it to the limit with her Southern fried cast of characters.

    Demon Hunting simmers with romance, and a large part of the book is devoted to it, perhaps too much so. The reader is never able to find out much about the Dalvahni, what set them on their quest, or why the djegrali and morkyn are their enemies. The backstory to Brand, Ansgar, and their entire race is nearly nonexistent, as is any movement of conflict in George’s novel.  Some readers might wonder “Where’s the beef?” expecting more than a hilarious romp. Others might simply enjoy a light-hearted romance with a barrel full of laughs.

    What shuttles Demon Hunting to the front of the class is its irresistible high jinx. Lexi George pummels readers with shot after shot of hilarious situations. Unforgettable scenes like The Grand Goober escapade, the mad shotgun dash to make a trophy of the god of Gorth-Sildhjort the silver stag, Roadkill Chic, “Whammying the Death Starr”, and my personal fav: the cat fight between Bessie Mae and Shirley over Dwight Farris’ “Johnson” (aka Sugar Scrotum’s lollipop), I nearly cried from laughing at that one.

    It is only in the last thirty pages of the book where the real action occurs. When the big demon invasion descends on Hannah, it is simply a sight to be seen. Clad in the bodies of felons recently escaped from a local penitentiary, the djegrali make like hell-on-earth, and the Dalvahni break out the firepower. Little town life never had it so exciting. George does it well, and leaves a few cliffhangers by way of Ansgar and Evie, and the fact that some of Hannah’s residents might actually be djegrali descendants.

    Characterization and comedy is clearly George’s forte, and Hannah teems with a plethora of quirky, but genuinely animated characters that will appeal to fans of Mary Janice Davidson, Molly Harper, and Dakota Cassidy who make tickling your funny bone high art.

    A Fiendishly Bookish Review (and one grumpy cat)

    Tuesday
    Apr262011

    On the Fiendish Radar: "My Life as a White Trash Zombie" by Diana Rowland

    Book:                  My Life as a White Trash Zombie

    Author:               Diana Rowland

    Publisher:           Daw

    ISBN/ASIN:         9780756406752

    RELEASE:              July 5, 2011

    Back Cover Blurb:

    "Living with her alcoholic deadbeat dad in the swamps of Southern Louisiana, she’s a high school drop out with a pill habit and a criminal record whose been fired from more crap jobs than she can count. Now on probation for a felony, its seems that Angel will never pull herself out of the downward spiral her life has taken.

    That is, until the day she wakes up in the ER after overdosing on painkillers. Angel remembers being in a horrible car crash, but she doesn’t have a mark on her. To add to the weirdness,  she receives an anonymous letter telling her there’s a job waiting for her at the county morgue-and that it’s an offer she doesn’t dare refuse.

    Before she knows it she’s dealing with a huge crush on a certain hunky deputy and a brand new addiction: an overpowering craving for brains. Plus, her morgue is filling up with the victims of a serial killer who decapitates his prey-just when she’s the hungriest!

    Angel’s going to have to grow up fast, if she wants to keep this job and stay in one piece. Because if she doesn’t, she’s dead meat.

    Literally."

    (from www.dianarowland.com)

    Monday
    Apr252011

    A Second Chance at Love: Reading "Any Man of Mine" by Rachel Gibson

    Book:                  Any Man of Mine

    Author:               Rachel Gibson

    Publisher:           Avon Books

    ISBN/ASIN:         9780061579110

    RELEASE DATE:  April 26, 2011

    Rating:                  3.85 Stars

    Read an Excerpt

    Is there such thing as a second chance at love and forgiveness? Rachel Gibson explores this in her sweetly poignant Any Man of Mine about Chinook’s player Sam LeClaire and the girl next door that captured his heart for five days in Vegas. But that was six years ago. Can love be resurrected? And can forgiveness be given when so much has transpired?

    It’s very easy to buy into Gibson’s story. Who wouldn’t want to root for the underdog…to believe that even the most broken of couples can make a go of it? Gibson doesn’t rely on a lot of props to shoot her point home-just the simple assumption that love will cure all.  There are no zany settings, no nutty situations, just two characters stripped bare who are at odds with another, and trying to regain the trust and love that was lost. But life has gotten complicated for both.

    It’s taken years for Autumn to get over Sam LeClaire, but the one thing that has sustained her through the entire drama of their five minute marriage and the aftermath, was the gift of her son Connor. Despite being a constant reminder of his gorgeous father, Autumn has managed to carve out a life for herself and Connor-finally able to brush aside the ghosts of the past and get to point where Sam can never hurt her again. For Connor’s sake, she has finally let go, and if that doesn’t sound like the death knell of the torch she carried for him for so long, she doesn’t know what else is. But are her feelings really dead? Or are they just buried?

    For Chinook’s number 16, Sam LeClaire has barreled through life like he does on the ice-never pausing, never reflecting. But when he finally begins to realize how much his son means to him, things begin to change. He’s desperate not to turn out like his own father, and that thought chills him to the bone. It’s a harsh reality check for Sam.

    It gets even harder when he makes a commitment to be a better dad, that he has to be around Autumn more.  Those initial feelings that drew him to her haven’t gone away, and Sam is perplexed. What is so different about Autumn? She resembles none of his many women, yet, she can hit him in the solar plexus with just a look.

    Readers might not quite feel Sam’s repentance, and it’s critical that they do.  Because without having faith in Sam as a character who can change, ends up jeopardizing the entire connection that Gibson has floated her story on.

    Any Man of Mine will definitely test readers. I loved See Jane Score, but it was an entirely different book-Autumn and Sam’s obstacles are much more than Jane and Luc’s and on a more somber note. The conflict that Gibson has created is more true to life than may feel comfortable for some. They have real baggage that can’t be prettied up. And it’s bound to squeeze out a tear or two.

    What Susan Elizabeth Phillips does with chatty banter and riotous situations, Gibson does with a velvet glove.  Her love stories are soothing, realistic and touching. Any Many of Mine is not the sports romp trademarked by SEP or Kasey Michaels, but it still pulls at the strings of your heart. What readers get from the story is entirely up to them.

    A Fiendishly Bookish Review (and one grumpy cat)