Monday, November 24, 2014

Audiobook Book Tour: The Publicist

This audiobook was given to me free in exchange for an honest review.  It is my first audiobook review and, to be honest, I don't listen to a lot of audiobooks.  I have the time on my commute to work each morning and afternoon but audiobooks are usually more expensive so I don't usually go in that direction. Once I got my iPad to cooperate with my usb port, I was happy I had agreed to the review.  I found the book to be a nice change from my usual morning radio station.

Synopsis of The Publicist:
Can one woman change an age-old institution like publishing? Probably not, but Kate Mitchell sure wants to try. As a publicist with a large, respected New York publishing house, Kate finds herself at the mercy of a broken publishing system, books that don’t sell, and author egos that are often, well, as big as the island of Manhattan. 
Enter the star editor, MacDermott Ellis: Tall, handsome, charismatic, married, and ready to save the day. Then there’s Allan Lavigne, once a revered author—now as forgotten as last year’s bestsellers and his nephew Nick: Tall, gorgeous, sweet, single, and ready to sweep Kate off her feet. Kate wants to do the right thing but her hormones seem to be driving her decisions. 
As Kate tries to navigate the landmine of publicity, over-the-top author expectations, and the careful dance of “I’m sorry, your book isn’t on the bestseller list this week,” she also finds authors who are painfully overlooked by a publisher wanting more romance and sex, more celebrities, and more scandal. 

Welcome to the world of publishing. The ego has landed. 

My review:
I actually found it to be truly enjoyable, and this is coming from a reader who isn't usually fond of romance novels unless they are full of sarcasm and snark.  Sure, the characters were a but cookie cutter.  Kate was beautiful and Mac and Nick both gorgeous but really, isn't that why we read this type of story?  We want to escape into the world of tall, dark, and handsome and read about women being swept off their feet.  Otherwise, we wouldn't be picking up the romance novel in the first place.  If Mac had been the perfect man with no baggage, would he be as attractive to us? I think not.  We need a bit of bad in our boy.  For me, the story provided exactly what it should.  I liked the characters, their back stories, the romance and the turmoil that came with it.  It left me wanting more which is the goal of every story and so I can say that I probably will grab the next installment in the series to see what path the characters take next.  This book is perfect for anyone who likes a nice romance with just a touch of humor.

My only issue had nothing to do with the story whatsoever.  When I read a book, I see and hear the characters in my head as I think they should be.  With the audiobook, the reader was a female.  She did an excellent job but I have to say that I had trouble finding my mental image of the male characters in the story and the reader's change in tone just didn't cut the cake for me.  I may go for the paperback version for the next book depending on the cost difference.  However, this was my only misgiving and I otherwise quite enjoyed the experience.

About the author:
Christina George has worked in publishing for twenty years (give or take). Here’s what this book isn't. It’s not a slam against publishing (though it is broken) and it’s not a slam against authors (though some of them are crazy). This book is not autobiographical though many of the stories are true. No you won’t know which ones, cause it’s more fun to guess, right? George continues to work in publicity and helps authors because at the end of the day she does love books, she loves publishing, and she loves authors. She hopes you’ll enjoy this romp through Kate’s world as much as she enjoyed creating it.

Connect with Christina: Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~ Goodreads

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Review: Seventh Grave and No Body

Seventh Grave and No Body is the 7th (obviously) book in the Charley Davidson series and I'm being honest when I say that these books could probably go on forever and I will never get tired of them.  This is mostly due to the fact that the main character, who is the one and only grim reaper, is so hilariously fun and crazy that I find myself laughing out loud all the time.

Synopsis from Amazon:

Lead me not into temptation.
Follow me instead! I know a shortcut!

Twelve. Twelve of the deadliest beasts ever forged in the fires of hell have escaped onto our plane, and they want nothing more than to rip out Charley Davidson’s jugular and serve her body to Satan for dinner. So there’s that. But Charley has more on her plate than a mob of testy hellhounds. For one thing, her father has disappeared, and as she retraces his last steps she learns he was conducting an investigation of his own, one that has Charley questioning everything she’s ever known about him. Add to that an ex-BFF who is haunting her night and day, a rash of suicides that has authorities baffled, and a drop-dead sexy fiancĂ© who has attracted the attentions of a local celebrity, and Charley is not having the best week of her life. But all of that barely scratches the surface of her problems. Recent developments have forced her to become a responsible adult.  To conquer such a monumental task, she’s decided to start small. Really small. She gets a pet. But how can she save the world against the forces of evil when she can’t even keep a goldfish alive?
A tad north of hell, a hop, skip, and a jump past the realm of eternity, is a little place called Earth, and Charley Davidson, grim reaper extraordinaire, is determined to do everything in her power to protect it.
We’re doomed. 

My Review:
When I discovered this series, I was just coming from reading a book that was part of a series I started out loving and ending up hating because it was just the same plot every single time.  I was hesitant about picking up another series but something about this one made me take a second look and I was so glad I took the chance.  If you are looking for a new series, love paranormal romance, and love to laugh, you will not be sorry.  Just be sure to start with the first book in the series, First Grave on the Right. If you plan to purchase the first book, stop right here and come back once you catch up.

Charley Davidson is the main character and as usual, she is full of snark.  While her personality always drips sarcasm, this book is particularly humorous because she has decided to give up caffeine and isn't exactly having the easiest time of it.  There are several plot lines. First, the twelve beasts are hunting Charley so there are several large, fast-paced action scenes where she, her fiance (and Son of Satan) Reyes, and her other friends/protectors are fighting for their lives.  Second, someone is kidnapping people and leaving suicide notes in their wake, and third, bodies are being dug up and their ghosts are asking Charley for help.  If you have read any of these books, you already know that Charley is not the best when it comes to decision making, and, as usual, this drives Reyes crazy.  Even I wanted to slap her a few times. However, all of her bad decisions are well intended so I guess that makes up for it. Plus it also helps to know you have Satan's son on your side, and the fact that he is tall, dark, and handsome doesn't hurt either.

All of the characters in this book are engaging.  I especially love Cookie and Ubie, who have finally gotten together, and Osh becomes quite endearing in this story as well, even when he is showing off his deadly demonic side.  Mr. Wong is still hovering in the corner of Charley's apartment and I can't wait to find out who he really is and what his purpose is in Charley's life.

Just fair warning, these books will be hard to set aside so leave plenty of time for reading. They will all have you laughing out loud but they also have some sad parts, some gore (but not too graphic), and a lot of coffee drinking... decaf this time, of course.


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Review: The Night Has Teeth

I love the cover of this book. Every time I look at it, I silently applaud whoever created it.  The Parisian background is simple, yet elegant and the red shredding screams out at you, interrupting the quietude. As I read the blurb, I was reminded of one of my favorite horror movies, An American Werewolf in London. Great movie! This story may have a different setting, but it did have a similar feel to it.

Synopsis from Amazon:
Seventeen-year-old Connor Lewis is chased by a memory. On his first day of kindergarten he bit a boy hard enough to scar the kid for life. Since then he’s been a social outcast at a New York private school. Through an unexpected turn of good fortune, he lands a scholarship to study in Paris, where everything starts to look up. On the first day he befriends two military brats, and he may finally get a taste of what it’s like to be a normal teenager.
It doesn’t last...
His host family — an alluring young tattoo artist and her moody, handsome boyfriend — inadvertently introduce him to the underworld of werewolves where there are two types: the born and the bitten. Those born to it take the form of elegant wolves, while the latter are cursed to transform into the half-man, half-beast creatures of horror movies. The bitten rarely survive. Unfortunately, Connor is on the wanted list of a four hundred-year-old bitten human who’s searching for both a cure and a means of wiping out werewolves for good.
Connor’s loyalties are tested as he becomes embroiled in a conflict where werewolves, mad science and teen angst collide.
My Review:
This book has a main character that hooks you immediately.  Connor isn't tall, dark, and handsome but he has a quirky charm about him that draws you in.  From the start of the story, I found him to be endearing and it was an added bonus to find the secondary characters to be similarly appealing.  Amara and Arden are the couple who host Connor while he is in Paris. They could easily have their own story written and it would be great! Arden seems eternally angry and Amara is quiet but determined. They don't talk much but you can tell that they have a rock solid bond just by the way they communicate with their eyes and their body language. I was rooting for them from the beginning. Then there was Madison, another secondary character who, although troubled and seemingly depressed, was also very interesting.  Each character had secrets and as Connor got closer and closer to the truth, it was clear that all of them were entwined by a common thread.  There was not one character in this book who didn't have purpose.
The plot was engaging and it flowed at a nice pace.  The action and suspense was consistent and the only part that I found to be a bit slow was when Connor was listening to an explanation of who he was and the scientific research when he was taken captive. Otherwise, the story moved along quickly and it was hard to put down.  It isn't too gory but there is some bloodshed, which is to be expected when reading about werewolves, right?  However, this isn't your usual werewolf novel.  Much of it focuses on Connor and his relationships with the other characters, with him slowly realizing who/what he is and that the world and people around him aren't what he originally thought.  There is a bit of science fiction in the mix also while certain characters look for a "cure" to stop werewolves. 
In the Paris setting, the catacombs, cemeteries, and underground added to the mysterious yet inviting atmosphere of the story.  I'm still not sure who the good guys are and I'm not sure Connor is either at this book's end. Don't expect the story to wrap up nicely because it does the exact opposite, leaving you desperate to know what will happen next for Connor.  It seems like there will eventually be a battle between good and evil and I'm very interested to see who the real heroes and villains in this series will be. :)