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Saturday, 31 August 2013

Eternal Guardians Series by Elisabeth Naughton

Eirene/Irene: Greek Goddess of Peace, one of the Horae.

Irene = My Name.

Now, I've always said I was a Goddess..... (I'm so modest....humble.....) and when I was looking for a word that described 'me' to have tattooed on the back of my neck, I thought what is more personal and meaningful than the definition of my name?!
When I told my husband I was permanently inking the word 'Peace' on my body, his response was: "Wouldn't the word 'War' be better suited to your personality?"
(Yes, he is still alive)

A few months later I have the tattoo and am working on designing a dove to add to the script. (So apparently this tattoo thing is addictive and I want more.....)



Why am I babbling about tattoos and Goddesses?

Well if you like those topics, or a good paranormal romance....(and a sexy one at that!) than you must check out the Eternal Guardians Series by Elisabeth Naughton!


It's always an amazing thing when you stumble across a series you can't get enough of!
In preparation for our vacation earlier this summer, I downloaded a ton of books from Kobo. Fourteen freebies and a few purchases. One of the FREE e-books offered was Marked by Elisabeth Naughton.

I wasn't even two chapters in when I realized I had found a new literary addiction.
It's a good thing I started this novel on our last day in Germany, because as we drove to Frankfurt, I wasn't interested in the beautiful scenery. I wasn't terrified on the Autobahn (Good grief that's an experience!!).... I was too busy reading about Argonaut Hero's, Gods, Daemons, and how it was all mixed up in our pretty lil modern day world.

I liken these novels to that of Kelley Armstrong's 'Women of the Underworld'  or Karen Marie Moning's 'Highlander' series. (Two of my all time favorite authors ever!) Elisabeth Naughton has taken Greek Mythology and cleverly mixed it up into a modern day action packed, sexy, love story. It's imaginative, clever and provocative!!You have to love an author who can take the unbelievable and weave it into our world  making things seem possible!

Every 'Eternal Guardians' novel revolves around an Argonaut hero and their soul-mate curse. (Which puts a nice spin on your regular love story....imagine, falling in love with someone who is everything you do not want in a mate with the added bonus of literally dying of a broken heart) Don't think it's just some drippy love story either, because you would be wrong. Yes, there are some seriously sexy parts, but throughout the series we also find plenty of action and adventure. The Argonauts are battling Atalanta, Hades, Persephone and all sorts of creatures and deities....all to keep balance and order in the worlds. (These books would make for some awesome television or movies)
 
Who doesn't love the thought hunky immortal warriors saving the world? ....six pack.....muscles....tattoos....sex god...wait....what was I talking about?

;)

Since every book is connected and told from several different points of view, you really need to start with the first book and follow through to the very last. Do not jump around while reading this series or you will spoil the whole plot.
This review would become very long if I separately reviewed each book of the Eternal Guardians within this blog, but you can take my word for it each one is as enjoyable as the next. I honestly can't decide which novel stands out to me as a favorite. I loved them all.

 The reading list in order:

Marked
Entwined
Tempted
Enraptured
Enslaved
Bound

I purchased the remaining five books and had them all read in days. (Thank God for my busted ankle keeping me down!) Luckily it was also my birthday so I just used that as an excuse to go a little crazy with the book buying! Elisabeth Naughton's entire library will eventually end up in mine largely due to how this author writes the kind of books I can never get enough of! I can not wait to read more of her work....(Gonna hold out and get through a few other books and let the bank account recover from the spending spree....)
I will continue to poke around to see if there is a book seven in the Eternal Guardians series yet to be released. (Please PLEASE let there be more!!)

You can bet your tushy that you will hear more about Elisabeth Naughton and her books from me!!

Visit http://www.elisabethnaughton.com for more information

Do NOT miss this series!!

Happy Reading!


Here is the book description from Marked (Book One of The Eternal Guardians Series):

THERON—Dark haired, duty bound and deceptively deadly. He’s the leader of the Argonauts, an elite group of guardians that defends the immortal realm from threats of the Underworld.
From the moment he walked into the club, Casey knew this guy was different. Men like that just didn’t exist in real life—silky shoulder-length hair, chest impossibly broad, and a predatory manner that just screamed dark and dangerous. He was looking for something. Her.
She was the one. She had the mark. Casey had to die so his kind could live, and it was Theron’s duty to bring her in. But even as a 200-year-old descendent of Hercules, he wasn’t strong enough to resist the pull in her fathomless eyes, to tear himself away from the heat of her body.
As war with the Underworld nears, someone will have to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Awakened ~ Brenda K. Davies

I have read so many book lately my head is going to explode! (Can that really happen when you're blonde?)

I don't know about any of you, but when I read....no matter how real or far-fetched the topic may be, I always like to wonder what it would be like if I was in the shoes of the characters in the novel. How would the story go if 'I' happened to be the lead protagonist....

One of my favorite reads of late has me asking this specific question:

What would you do if you found out your lover was a vampire?

Now, I don't know about any of you, but I'm pretty confident that first I'd shit bricks than I'd run to the nearest Catholic church for a crucifix and Holy Water, hunker down on a pew for the rest of my life....

Or do this.....

Buffy ain't got nothin' on me


Another fantastic freebie find that I couldn't put down is Awakened (Book 1 of the Vampire Awakenings Series) by Brenda K Davies. A new novel (released earlier this year) that actually gets 4 Stars from me (loved the concept), and I am not exactly the biggest Vampire fan. At all.
(I am wearing a scarf and snacking on garlic as I type this...)


Book Description from Amazon.com

 Traumatized by her past, and struggling to move on from it, Sera has spent the past three years of college hiding herself from the world and content to stay that way. A chance encounter with Liam shatters her sheltered world, leaving her stunned and shaken by the strange feelings and emotions he arises in her, feelings she never thought she would experience and that frighten her in their intensity. Harboring a dark and deadly secret of his own, Liam knows that he should stay away from Sera; that he will only bring her more hurt, but he is irresistibly drawn to her and unable to deny himself the pleasure that only she can bring to him. But when their pasts collide with their present, and Liam’s true nature is revealed, will their love for each other be enough, or will they be torn apart forever?


My Take:

The cover kind of creeps me out (he's staring at me.....) and I was expecting some Twilight Fan fiction, but was pleasantly surprised to discover an entertaining romantic vampire-soul mate story. It wasn't gory, dark and sinister, and for that I am grateful. I'm not big on gore. It obviously had blood-drinking (eewww) but what the hell did I expect? Cherry Kool-Aid?

Serendipity (aka Sera) is the lead female character. She's a quiet collage girl who likes to keep to herself and her studies. She has good reasons as to why she stays away from parties and men. A fear she just can't shake. Kathleen, her vivacious best friend and roommate, drags Sera to a party where she meets Liam, a smoldering sexy playboy who's instantaneously attracted to Sera (and vice versa)
It doesn't take long before the two are wrapped up in each other and both their secrets are spilled. Dark, haunting secrets....
The vampires in the novel, for the most part are very humane, easy going and non-threatening. They are still very much capable of human emotions and interaction. I loved that the author played with the myth. For Example: Why some vamps can go out in sunlight, while others can't....they still consume human food and drink...little things like that.
My biggest complaint, I wish we had more back story regarding Liam. Where is his family? It always mentions his friends, but no mention of family.

The book has an 18+ mature content rating, as there is a lot of hanky-panky. Complete with blood sucking that brings a whole new meaning to the term 'blood lust'..... (I'm all for kinky, but I'll skip the A-B negative body shots thanks...) I did catch a few errors in the pages, misspelled words etc.. that should have been addressed in editing, but it happens. Small errors don't deter me from the story when I am enjoying what is going on. I will most certainly keep up with this series, not to mention read it again!

People like me, who tend to shy away from vampire novels... this is one that is fun, romantic and easily stomached. If you love romance, than why not give it a try? Step outside your comfort zone.
It isn't a scary read, so if you are looking for the boogie man, sorry, not gonna happen in this novel.
If you want a steamy vampire love story, bingo, we have a winner! Support an Indie Author!

Try to catch it on Kobo and Amazon while it's free! I will post the links for you while it is still available at the end of this blog! (also join my Facebook Page where I occasionally post the links for free books I come across)

I enjoyed Awakened so much, I immediately purchased and delved into the next novel in the Vampire Awakening Series called 'Destined'. Stay tuned for that review.

Now maybe I do like this book more simply because it's a vamp read I can really sink my teeth into, but that's okay! It may have cracked the door open enough for me that I may try another Vampire series out. (Maybe. We'll see. Don't hold your breathe....are you laughing at me and my aversion to Vampires?...Bite Me....)

Why don't you grab a copy and see what you think for yourself?

Happy Reading!

Awakened for Kindle:
http://www.amazon.ca/Awakened-Vampire-Awakenings-ebook/dp/B008S2DDU6

Awakened for Kobo:
 http://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/awakened-7



Thursday, 1 August 2013

The Host ~ Stephanie Meyer



Well aren't I behind in the times.....

I FINALLY got around to reading 'The Host' by Stephanie Meyer....(You think that's bad... I have yet to read The Hunger Games.... true story)

I'll cut to the chase on this one because everyone and their Twilight loving granny has probably read it and seen the film. I will warn you, this review DOES have spoilers.... partly due to how it released quite awhile ago. Let's face it... if you are slow to get to it like me... well, that's your own damn fault! Ha! ;)

If you have never heard about The Host than here is the description from Amazon.com:

Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of human hosts while leaving their bodies intact. Wanderer, the invading "soul" who has been given Melanie's body, didn't expect to find its former tenant refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.

As Melanie fills Wanderer's thoughts with visions of Jared, a human who still lives in hiding, Wanderer begins to yearn for a man she's never met. Reluctant allies, Wanderer and Melanie set off to search for the man they both love.

Featuring one of the most unusual love triangles in literature, THE HOST
is a riveting and unforgettable novel about the persistence of love and the essence of what it means to be human.

The Novel:

What did I think?

(again, WARNING the whole review is a giant spoiler)

The way the book begins with Wanda being transferred into Melanie's body... I wasn't even a few pages in before I asked myself "What the freakin' fudge am I reading?"
It was very dry and somewhat dull.
Not gonna lie, after the first chapter I was so confused and slightly irritated with what was going on. I almost stopped reading.
 I thought it was an awkward start to a book. I wish there had been a more telling prologue on why the Aliens/Souls had their hooks into Earth and how badly humanity suffered up front....rather than learn it as the story progressed. I also wish there had been more to Melanie's story than flashbacks. I wish we could have got to known her and a bit of her story before she became a host and not through all the dreams and memories. I understand though, the point of the way the story was told was to start it fresh with Wanda and learn and grow as Wanda takes on more human emotions while sharing Melanie's body. Still.....I just found it irksome.

While I completely get it is a Young Adult read, it was almost too young and 'simple' in places. The Dolphin Planet.. Flower planet... things like that... I was hoping for some better complex 'alien' names and imagination. Now, I agree, the simplistic aspects and terms do make sense to the plot, since the souls are pretty straightforward beings. It still doesn't mean I am a fan of it.

However, all that said... I am glad I kept pushing on. I did like the story, and I agreed with the general message it sends. The Souls weren't 'bad' aliens, they just didn't fully understand humanity and that by helping our planet and body snatching, they were doing harm. 

Now the 'Love Triangle' aspect was quite interesting... but I find the description 'triangle' inaccurate. It was a love square, with three different bodies. Four people.... FOUR caught up in that mess. (Awkward!!) Melanie and Jared in love, but Wanda living in Melanie's body, falling in love with Ian, even though she has some of Melanie's feelings for Jared as well. (Soap Opera material!) 
The novel became that much more interesting when that story line really revved up.

I was also a fan of the 'character' of these Alien Souls. Body Snatching aside, they aren't 'horrible' and 'evil'....they're honest and trusting to a fault. They are trying to save earth, and humans 'from themselves'. Eradicating disease, war, aggression, all for a greater good.
 As I said above, I thought it was an interesting take on a species that are hell bent on controlling human mind and bodies.

The ending of the book....I won't spoil that except to say....."satisfying and yet.....not so much"
I am interested to see what happens in the sequel. (The Seeker)

If you want to compare The Host to Twilight, I wouldn't. I am a fan of the Twilight series, which is probably why I had high hopes for The Host. If you are looking for 'scary' 'wild' adventure with aliens....well, this book really isn't it. It's pretty mellow.

While I know it's already visited theaters... (BTW..did I sleep through that? Because I don't remember seeing adverts for it...) now that I have read the book, I can now watch the movie, see how it compares. (Keep reading, I get to that)

On a scale of One to Ten... I'll only give The Host a five. I'm not overly enthusiastic about it, but I didn't 'hate' it. I'm on the fence about it. I guess we will just have to see how the series progresses with the next two books.

Comparing Book to the Movie:

I had to wait a few weeks to get to watching the film adaptation as it wasn't yet available On Demand, but I just finished watching The Host directed by Andrew Niccol.
It has me asking the question..... Is this the first time I actually prefer a movie adaptation to the book???

Both were confusing at the start, even though I knew the story I was wondering how in hell they were going to play the Melanie/Wanda sharing a body storyline and do the book justice. It wasn't 'as' cheesy or poorly done as I anticipated.

I am glad that they didn't have all that Dolphin-Flower planet crap in the movie, buuuuuut they really should have injected a bit more of Wanda's past and purpose into the story line. Wanda's importance and uniqueness to her species I found was lost in the film version. My mom (who watched The Host with me) was asking questions that I could answer because I read the novel. Parts of the film confused her, but she actually didn't mind the movie at all and told me she liked it.

Watching the romance on screen came off a lot funnier than perhaps intended. In the book the romance was deeper and better understood... but on screen I actually laughed quite hard when Ian gets Jared to kiss Wanda to try to provoke Melanie. I don't know if it was intended to be hilarious......but it was.

Uncle Jeb (played by William Hurt) is by far my favorite character. His eccentric personality really adds a fun twist on the story. For a strange man, he really has a lot of common sense. I really enjoyed seeing him come to life on screen.
Also a bonus with the film... the hot guy who played Jared....Max Irons...cute and born in the 80's making him acceptable age appropriate eye candy.

The musical score throughout the film grated on my nerves.

All in all.... do I recommend The Host?
Meh....it's not for everyone.

Did I like it?
Meh.....

Do I prefer book to movie?
Meh.....

The jury is still out.


Happy Reading.