Friday, September 26, 2014

Flowers in the attic ~ V.C. Andrews My banned books week selection!

Flowers in the Attic (Dollanganger, #1)Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Since I skipped these YA novels when I was in high school I have slowly been going back and reading some novels I had missed. Sometimes I realize why I skipped them, like Wuthering Heights. Others, like this novel, I actually really enjoyed. In a sick kind of way of course. After all I'm an adult and some scenes made me uncomfortable. Its hard to imagine myself as a teenager reading it. I hadn't realized it at the time but this novel is on one of the Banned Books lists so it was prefect timing.

Summary:

It wasn't that she didn't love her children. She did. But there was a fortune at stake--a fortune that would assure their later happiness if she could keep the children a secret from her dying father.

So she and her mother hid her darlings away in an unused attic.

Just for a little while.

My Take:
This novel is about some of the worst traits of human nature; greed, lust, zealotry. The reader is taken for a journey with four young children as they are abused by both their grandmother and their mother. Something else happens along the way though. We are able to see some of the best human qualities as the children band together and persevere through great hardship.

Overall this was a novel worth reading if you can stomach the content. If nothing else its fast paced and interesting. Now on to the second one.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Jungle Heat ~ Sarah Mäkelä ~ Book Blast

Jungle Heat (Amazon Chronicles, Book 1) 
Sarah Mäkelä


Genre: Shifter Romance
Publisher: Kissa Press LLC
Date of Publication: September 17, 2014

Wolf Majick Reviews is happy to take part in the Jungle Heat Book Blast! We have even been lucky enough to score an excerpt for you to enjoy.


Book Description:

An Amazon Princess and a weretiger must find love enough to heal their peoples’ painful history.

The Amazon Rainforest still contains a few secrets. One of these secrets is a hidden village of women whose history is filled with the horror of conquering men.

Adara Rukan, princess of the Amazons, ventures away from her village to find something waiting for her. Andrei "Rei" Makarov is a weretiger and a biologist on assignment. Can Rei and Adara find love enough to bridge their two separate worlds?

Excerpt:

Adara raced over the dense forest floor, trying to escape the shadow closing on her heels. Fear pumped adrenaline through her body as she ran toward her village through the darkness. Panic tangled with the sheer need to survive. If only I'd listened. What was I thinking, coming out alone?
She shot a glance over her shoulder. Her foot smacked against a tree root in the moment of distraction, pitching her body forward. The fall came in slow motion.
Cursing under her breath, she rolled onto her back. Dry leaves clung to her blonde hair. The subtle, musty scent of slow rot rose from the rich soil, mixed with something coming from behind her. The dark shadow loomed. Her gaze rose to take in her pursuer, wondering if the beast would be her doom.
The tall, broad-shouldered creature towered over her. Watching. It wasn't human or animal. The village wise woman had warned her of beings like this, but they'd seemed like fables. How could something so fantastical be real?
Even as she trembled with fear, this creature captivated her. The black and orange stripes covering his shoulders and arms evoked a distant memory, yet the design was uncommon in the Amazon.
His hair hung in straight, black strands like a human's, but his face had the nose, mouth, and eyes of a feline. His muscular, naked body reflected a splendid combination of both species. Sweat-shiny skin glistened through the inch-long fur that covered him. His white chest intrigued her, all the way to the patch of fur barely covering his groin. Leaves and branches framed his face with a lush green background. He crouched over her. His piercing golden eyes focused solely on her. His stare reminded her of a cat from her village staring at a small rodent before pouncing.
As he leaned down, she grabbed her kris from the garter on her thigh and pushed it against his stomach. She didn't want today to be the day she died. Her people needed her. She wouldn't let this beast deny them their princess.
The animal cocked his head at her. He brushed his lips over her throat, whiskers tickling her chin.
Her body stiffened. What is he doing? Bewilderment spread through her as his feline lips touched her neck. Instead of biting her, his canines grazed lightly, gently, from just below her ear down to her shoulder, almost as if exploring her flesh, instead of seeking to rip open her throat.
She tensed. Even with her weapon pressed against the beast's stomach, she still feared for her life. As an Amazon princess, she wasn't easily scared. But this feline made her heart pound. If only she had brought Rubia with her. She wouldn't be in this situation and could've stood a better chance against this feline.
Why does he persist in toying with me? Adara swallowed as a low burn started in the pit of her stomach. These feelings confused her.
A soft sniffing sounded in her ear right before his tongue scraped rough caresses on her skin. Other jungle cats marked their territory. Did this animal believe she was his? She didn't want to find out.
Without waiting for the feline's next move, Adara drove the kris deep into his stomach, meeting resistance as it plunged through flesh and muscle. She forced it further as his blood flowed onto her hands, making the hilt of the kris slick, weakening her grip.
He roared and leapt back with her kris still embedded in his abdomen.
She scrambled to her feet. His scream so near the side of her face made her ear ring. Bringing up a hand to her ear, Adara felt a trail of his wet blood drip along her cheek.
He straightened his spine and strode back to her, her kris still buried in him. It seemed as if it were nothing more than a minor annoyance to him. She clenched her hands into fists and dropped them to her sides.
The reality of what she saw struck her. She froze. How could he act so unaffected? He shouldn't have been able to move around so casually. It wasn't possible. How can I outrun something like that? This can't be happening. Her mother had always warned her to be careful when traveling through the forest. Why hadn't she listened? And how could she feel so drawn to this animal when he intimidated her?
"Who are you?" Gritting her teeth, she forced her voice to resonate with the commanding tones of an Amazon huntress, and fervently hoped it didn't betray the panic racing through her veins. Her people's beliefs restricted them from showing fear in front of strangers. Not that they saw many. But her tribeswomen were survivors in dangerous times. Their history brimmed with reminders.
The feline bared pointed white teeth. "Call me Rei." His husky voice reverberated like a deep growl.
He launched into the air and, before she could react, flattened her to the ground. Air whooshed out of her lungs. Her eyes widened and locked onto his.
He pinned her arms next to her head and pressed his feline lips to hers. His tongue scraped across her lower lip, causing nips of pain to cut through the alluring sensation.
She shook her head hard, breaking the kiss. Her breath rushed out short and quick. Never before had she kissed anyone. His mouth on hers created fiery stirrings within her body that felt almost too good. Her racing pulse only spread the warmth throughout her body that much faster.
Twice a year, her tribeswomen associated with Indian men. The younger girls were forced to stay in a hut during those visits, although Adara had snuck out once with Rubia in a fit of rebellion. She'd spotted one of her kin pressing her mouth against an Indian male's. Could this be what happens?
But men weren't to be trusted. Her kin had learned that the hard way many, many years ago.
Her mind flashed to the tales she'd heard from the wise woman. Horrible reminders assaulted her, memories of the men from long ago, enslaving her kind, killing them ruthlessly with diseases and swords.
She could imagine the cruelty of the conquering, pillaging men as vividly as if she had been there herself, so strongly had the wise woman spoken. It had taken weeks for her to sleep soundly after listening to that story.
Sudden panic swept away the lust that burned inside her. This creature could do the same. He's chased me, after all.
"What do you want from me?" Adara asked, trying to sound forceful, but instead her voice came out husky. She cleared her throat and returned his gaze.
Talking with an animal! Rubia would be jealous. Her tribeswomen would never believe this story... if she survived the encounter.
Rei smiled, warmth emanating from him. "You." His chest rumbled, and he rolled the word off his tongue like an exotic purr.


About the Author:

NYT & USA Today bestselling author Sarah Mäkelä loves her fiction dark, magical, and passionate. She is a paranormal romance author, but she’s written all over the romance spectrum with cyberpunk, sci-fi, fantasy, urban fantasy...even a sweet contemporary romance!

A life-long paranormal fan, she still sleeps with a night-light. In her spare time, she reads sexy books, watches scary movies (and Ghost Adventures), and plays computer games with her husband. When she gets the chance, she loves traveling the world too.

http://www.goodreads.com/sarahmakela

Buy Links


Thursday, September 18, 2014

My top ten, no really

So last week I saw an article on facebook about people posting the books that changed their lives. Now the article was pretty funny, even if it was short. Mostly this is because people tend to pretend to like books to sound smarter. Or maybe its the opposite. They are ashamed of liking teen books, or fun books thinking it make them look less intelligent.

I, Of course,  am not one of those people. I tend to like what I like and I have no shame in saying it. That being said when I actual sat down to think about my top ten it was really very hard. I have a wide span in the genres that I read. So wide intact some seem to be in a completely different universe. So I have decided to bend the rules a little bit. Instead of my top ten books, this is my top ten books and/or series in no particular order.

Also heres a link to that article in case you were interested.

1. The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
Probably one of the most empowering novels I have ever read. Bradley's twist on Aurthirian legend takes an Adam and Eve tale and turns it into an I am woman hear me roar moment. I'm not sure which came first my love for everything Medieval or my love for the Mists of Avalon but I'm sure I have many years of Renfaires under my belt because of this novel.

2. The Maggie O'Dell Series by Alex Kava
This is another strong heroine who is struggling with her own demons. Fast paced and always interesting, these crime novels are amazing. They feel like the X-Files without the aliens.

3. The Giving Tree by Shell Silverstein
I was given this book as a child and still have the original copy. I've read it to my son at least 10 times already and figure it will take another 20 more before the message sinks in.

4. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martins
I'm going to stick with the first book here, and possibly Dance with Dragons. Honestly though its the first book in this epic fantasy series that made me stop and say wow. If your thinking of adding this one to your TBR list be fore warned it is the definition of Epic. Prepare to loose months of you life reading this series. Its worth it though.

5. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
Ok I know what your thinking. Your saying to yourself Twilight? Really? Remember though that we are talking about books that have made an impact and Twilight did that for me. I picked it up while on maternity leave and for what ever reason it sparked my love of reading once again. So I have Twilight to thank for all of the amazing novels I have read since then.

6. The Mercy Thompson Series by Patricia Briggs
Mercy drew me in book one with her no nonsense attitude and shape shifting ability. This series also introduced me to the world of paranormal romance. As the series has gone on Patricia Briggs has kept her characters fresh and exciting. If you haven't started this series yet I only have one question. What are you waiting for?

7. Slakes Limbo by Felice Holman
This is one of the first school issued novels that I really enjoyed. As an with grader this story about a boy on his own in the city was both intriguing and inspiring. I am going to keep my eye out for a copy for my son.

8. Darkling by K.M. Peyton
This is another one of those novels from my younger days. I remember borrowing it from the Library and reading it non stop for a whole day during the summer. At the time I was an aspiring horse lover and this novel showed me a world I could only dream of. It is a little depressing but still worth the read.

9. Think Harmony with Horses by Ray Hunt
Now if your not a horse person this choice, and the next, are not going to make any impact on your life. For me though, these are the two books and trainers I have referred back to time and time again. Over the years I have spent a large amount of time watching video's, going to clinics and reading novels by all kinds of trainers. Ray Hunt was by far one of the best. His style is all about understanding how a horse thinks and responding appropriately. Patience and understanding being key points. No matter what discipline you ride Ray Hunts techniques will help you work more as partners and who wouldn't want that?

10. Cross-Train your horse by Jane Savoie
This is another horse training book that brings you back to basics. Jane Savoie speaks in a language all riders can understand and shows how simple Dressage movements can help develop a happier and more in shape horse. Think of the way Athletes will cross train to develop more muscle and flexibility and apply that to your horse and by extension yourself. Any rider of any discipline would benefit from this book.

So there you go. My very strange list of the ten books that have affected my life in some major way. Some are novels, others children's books and the last equestrian instruction books. I guess that goes to show you the things that make an impact can and should be diversely different. So the big question is what books, novels or otherwise do you think have had an impact for you?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

HERO OF A HIGHLAND WOLF ~Terry Spear

Anyone who has read this blog with any frequency knows how much I love Terry Spear and her shape shifting wolves. Heres your chance to win a few novels and get hooked as well.  Now on to the info about her latest release…

Hero of a Highland Wolf by Terry Spear

Release Date: August 5, 2014
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Paranormal Romance

Summary:

The MacQuarrie werewolf clan has overseen the Playfair family’s Ardmore Castle for three centuries. So when a Playfair granddaughter from abroad inherits the estate, clan chief Grant MacQuarrie has to train her to manage it—and he’s not happy about having her in his way. Until the prim old lady he’s expecting turns out to be a sexy young wolf…

Colleen Playfair is excited and apprehensive about her new role at the castle, and she has big plans to change the way its run. But the stubborn Grant won’t make things easy, and she’s forced to turn to seduction to get her way…

My Take:




a Rafflecopter giveaway

Excerpt

Grant always joked and played with his clansmen when they were through with their work for the day. Well, even while they worked. But being with Colleen here like this felt different. For a moment, he didn’t feel like he served as the manager of her estates while she was the owner and taskmaster. He felt like a man with a woman on a Sunday jaunt in the glen. Except she wasn’t just any woman. She was a she-wolf, her cute little arse jiggling ahead of him as he climbed the hill to join her.

When he reached the top, she was trying to catch her breath and swayed a little. He grabbed her arm, and he didn’t know what came over him. But suddenly he was looking down into her smiling face, as if she was smiling at him, and he wanted in the worst way to kiss her.

She didn’t pull away from him, either.

He shouldn’t kiss her, but damn, he wanted to.

Still breathing hard, her heart beating fast, she placed her hand on his chest. He expected her to push him away, but she didn’t. She just stood there looking up at him, waiting for him to do something. He breathed in her scent, all woman and…interested.

They stood high on top of the hill overlooking the glen, the water rushing by, the sheep grazing on the green grass across the burn, and white clouds passing overhead against the blue sky.

He still had hold of her arm, but then he released her, cupped her face with both hands, and kissed her.

When his lips met hers, he knew he shouldn’t do this. He intended to make it sweet and unassuming, to quench some damnable need that he had to satisfy. He didn’t presume it would go anywhere, and he almost imagined it would be lame and unappealing—-after having built up the expectation that kissing that sweet mouth of hers would make his world spin and topple over. He hadn’t thought she’d crave the intimacy as much as he did. Yet when she wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him back, she exhibited an eagerness that turned his world on end.

She was more than willing.

Buy Links:

Barnes and Noble - http://bit.ly/1il2cxw

Author Bio

USA Today bestselling author Terry Spear has written over two dozen paranormal romance novels and medieval Highland historical romances. In 2008 HEART OF THE WOLF was named a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year. A retired officer of the U.S. Army Reserves, Terry also creates award-winning teddy bears that have found homes all over the world. She lives in Crawford, Texas.

Social Networking Links

Website: www.terryspear.com  

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

City of Lost Souls ~ Cassandra Clare

City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5)

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I should start off by saying I am a huge fan of this series over all. That being said I wasn't as excited as many other readers when Cassandra Clare decided to add another trilogy to the series. Its not that I didn't want to hear more about Clary and Jace, its just that I enjoyed their happy ending.

Summary:
What price is too high to pay, even for love? When Jace and Clary meet again, Clary is horrified to discover that the demon Lilith’s magic has bound her beloved Jace together with her evil brother Sebastian, and that Jace has become a servant of evil. The Clave is out to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. As Alec, Magnus, Simon, and Isabelle wheedle and bargain with Seelies, demons, and the merciless Iron Sisters to try to save Jace, Clary plays a dangerous game of her own. The price of losing is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she still trust him? Or is he truly lost?

Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunters in the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series.


My Take:
This new installment is anything but a happy ending. I guess thats part of the reason I had put off actually reading this book.

Moving past all that Clare has again crafted an interesting plot that keeps the reader up well past bedtime. She has managed to add more depth to not only her main characters but also to some of the supporting ones as well. We get to spend a little more time with Simon and Izzy, which I truly enjoyed.

Now I will warn you it does end on a cliff hanger. Of course you were probably excepting that since its book 2 of a trilogy. I have so far been able to resist the desire to pay full price for the hardcover of the last book. Although I'm not sure you will be able to!

Overall a fun read with interesting characters we've already grown to love.


Friday, August 22, 2014

This weeks Indie Author

Hi everyone! With only two weeks left to go I find myself short an author this week. So I will be putting this post on hold until early next week. In exchange for short changing you I promise to have an  in-depth review of the Doctor Who Season premier which I will be seeing Monday night!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Indie Author Showcase Michelle Bettencourt

This weeks spotlight is an author who is a close personal friend of mine so I am exceptionally excited to introduce her to all of you.
 Michelle Bettencourt is the author of one published novel, Past Transgressions, and is currently in the process of finishing her second. She is a long time horse lover and her first novel truly reflects her incredible knowledge. We have been lucky enough to have her give us a sneak preview of that second novel at the end of this post. 
Make sure you scroll down and check it out!


Summary for Past Transgressions:

BJ takes her Appaloosa stallion, Cloud, to Colorado for a week-long guided trail ride through the Rocky Mountains. After a brief trailside stop, she comes upon an old, abandoned ranch house. BJ is curious about the house and investigates. When she hears voices and sees people outside reflected through a mirror, she thinks that she has been reunited with her riding group. She runs from the house to greet them but finds the yard empty. She feels she must have missed them somehow and takes refuge in the barn when a storm brews.

When the weather clears in the morning, she leaves the barn only to discover that she has somehow returned to the past. Here is where her adventure begins as she searches to return to the future, even as she finds friends and love along the way.


Interview with Michelle

WMR: First off could you explain to our readers a little about the “worlds” you have created?
                  
Michelle: The “worlds” are more about past and present. What would it be like to wake up and find ourselves stuck in the past. How would we react to circumstances we find ourselves in? I let the characters choose their path and face the outcome of their actions which are different in different
time periods.

WMR: Is there anything you hope readers will take away from your work?
                  
Michelle: I hope they will enjoy the story for what it is and the only lesson I see that was shared is that it is ok to depend on others. When we learn what our limitations are and accept them, it can be freeing.

WMR: How long have you been writing?
                 
Michelle: I have written short stories and poems since high school but it wasn’t until 2005 that I pushed to write a novel. I wanted to prove to myself I could do it from start to finish and found it to be fun and rewarding.

WMR: Do you have a favorite character to write?

Michelle: My favorite would be the main character as all our characters are a part of who the writer is, I like the idea of being able to be a little freer with who I am, daring to be or take part of something I am not able to in my reality.

WMR:What about the hardest character?
                  
Michelle: That would be the “bad” guy, I have a hard time understanding how people can be cruel and trying to make someone evil is difficult. I also feel the human side to them and try to understand what makes them the way they are.

WMR: Where can readers find more information about you and your books?
                 
Michelle: They can find information at Amazon. Com or my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/michelle.bettencourt.79  

WMR: Do you have any suggestion for aspiring writers?

Michelle: Believe in yourself and don’t give up, you can be your worst critic or your best ally. Find an honest friend to share with for feedback but also inspiration. Having someone to read it and enjoy it who asks questions about it will help keep the inspiration and ideas alive.

WMR: What is the hardest thing about being a new author?
                  
Michelle: The hardest thing is finding someone to publish your work. Most publishers will not look at it if you don’t have an agent or published before. Never give up and a “No” does not mean you don’t have to a “Best Seller”, there is always another door, be your best advocate and promote yourself. For me, that was the most difficult of them all but if you don’t come across as believing in yourself, how can you expect someone else too? Have Faith and know your time will come.



Excerpt from second book with working title “Vision Quest”


“No, this was dug up. Why would you think it a family heirloom?” So it was true, she did receive visions. What a fascinating gift to have, he thought, I wonder what it was she saw. She nodded, relaxing a bit as she believed his sincerity. “What did you see?” She narrowed her eyes at him, suspiciously. “Look, I’m not blind and you moved as though burned. I do believe in psychic abilities.”
“I never said I was psychic,” she snapped.
“No, you did not,” he admitted.
“You’re right,” she sighed. “Sometimes, and I do mean sometimes, because it doesn’t happen all the time, I do get flashes like a movie playing. What I saw this time was a pair of angry eyes similar to yours but not you.” She glanced at the bell, feeling at war with herself as to whether or not she should try again. “That does not make me psychic.”
“You’re right. I didn’t mean to imply that you were, only that I do believe that people have different gifts like having the ability to draw or sing or see ghosts.” He was truly fascinated by her. She had beautiful, long auburn hair that danced like fire in the sunlight and her emerald green eyes were large and expressive. Her lips were full, the type that begged to be kissed.
He gave himself a mental slap as he realized where his thoughts were headed. He had to stay focused. Her skin was lightly tanned with a slight spray of freckles barely visible over the bridge of her small, straight nose. She was thin but not overly so and actively fit. He would love to get to know her better.
“All right.” She nodded, accepting him at his word. Kaycee liked this man who actually believed in her gift. That too, was a gift, to be able to say exactly what she saw without having to choose her words carefully. With renewed enthusiasm she leaned toward the bell not caring where she placed her hands. The cool metal began to warm and she closed her eyes as a vision began in her minds eye like a dream.

She was standing on a beach. The sun was hot even though the wind was blustery. She looked out across the ocean where she spotted a large three masted square rigged vessel moving toward her. She heard the sound of a bell and her minds eye turned inland.
On a small lookout tower a man was ringing a bell, this bell. In the distance, another bell began to chime, and then another, although fainter, could also be heard. It was an alert system to quickly announce the arrival of a ship.
People started running to the shore as the ship glided gracefully to the pier. Men tossed ropes overboard to those on the wharf who worked quickly to moor the ship. Her minds eye searched the ship for a name. Ah, there it was, the Glorianna. This beautiful ship was from the area, obvious because of the women and children arriving to greet husbands, sons and perhaps fathers and brothers. The crowd was excited for their safe return.
She watched the men work efficiently to secure the ship. A man stood at the helm watching, making sure all ran smoothly. Every now and again he would pitch in or bark orders, but for the most part, all ran smoothly. He walked over to the rail and watched his men depart for shore leave. She searched his face. He was a handsome man with rugged features, his skin tanned from the sun and sea. He was clean-shaven and had his shiny black hair pulled into a queue. He stood with a poise and confidence that gave the impression of a man used to being in command, a force to be reckoned with.

 He turned, and as though he knew she was watching, appeared to look her directly in the eyes. She sucked in her breath and once again jumped, releasing her hold on the bell as she recognized those steel-grey eyes from earlier