Review: The Night Is Found by Kat Kruger

The Night is Found The Night is Found
by Kat Kruger

ISBN-13: 9-781927-746578
Publication: July 2014 from Fierce Ink Press
Source: publisher
Rating: 4 ♥ / 5 ♥ – I really liked it

When they tried to kill a prince, they made a king

In the aftermath of his pack leader’s assassination Connor Lewis is ready to take control. Rodolfus de Aquila’s plan before he died was to unite the European werewolf packs against their common enemies: the Hounds of God who make the laws and enforce them ruthlessly with questionable motives, and the Luparii, an intergovernmental group of werewolf hunters now bent on the extermination of his kind. The uneasy alliance between these two factions has fallen apart, and now a battle wages leaving the pack werewolves scrambling to escape bio-chemical warfare on one side, and total domination on the other.

After hearing rumors of a union between the American packs Connor returns with Amara to his home city of New York to learn how to bring the Old World packs together. Werewolf society in the New World has taken a very different course from that of Europe, but when Connor meets the American leaders he begins to question if their ways are, in fact, the path forward.

A world away from Madison, Arden, and all those that he is trying to protect, Connor must discover the secret to uniting and leading the packs under one final charge, or else risk extinction for their entire species in the epic conclusion to The Magdeburg Trilogy.

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The Night is Found by Kat Kruger is an excellent end to a wonderful trilogy. Conner is so much more than he was in the beginning, and it was awesome watching his transition from teen to leader.

This third book takes us back from Paris to New York, Conner’s home city. There, he encounters the unified packs of the new world and discovers more intricate plans than he could have guessed at. He stands strong against the Founders of these unified packs and uncovers some useful allies in his fight against the Luparii and the Hounds of God.

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I don’t want to give too much about The Night is Found because it would ruin the entire trilogy! I found the action, secrets, reveals and even the epilogue to be wonderfully paced and attention grabbing. Only thing that through me off a bit was the switch from Conner’s point of views to Madison’s, mostly because in that first chapter from her point of view she was never named and though I figured it was her, I was still a little thrown. Outside of that, the read was great. I definitely recommend this trilogy!

e-ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review. Thank you!

Cover Reveal: The Night is Found by Kat Kruger

The Night is Found reveal

The Night is Found by Kat Kruger
Book three in The Magdeburg Trilogy
Publication date: July 22, 2014 from Fierce Ink Press Co-op Ltd.

Read my reviews of books one and two here and here.
I can’t wait to sink my teeth into this one! Great story line aside, I think this trilogy has one of the best cover designs – I really do love them.

Review: Jewel of the Thames by Angela Misri [blog tour]

Jewel of the Thames Jewel of the Thames
by Angela Misri

ISBN-13: 9-781927-746424
Publication: March 2014 from Fierce Ink Press
Source: publisher
Rating: 4 ♥ / 5 ♥ – I really liked it

There’s a new detective at 221 Baker Street

Nineteen-year-old Portia Adams has always been inquisitive. There’s nothing she likes better than working her way through a mystery. When her mother dies, Portia puzzles over why she was left in the care of the extravagant Mrs. Jones but doesn’t have long to dwell on it before she is promptly whisked from Toronto to London by her new guardian. Once there Portia discovers that she has inherited 221 Baker Street — the former offices of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.

Portia settles into her new home and gets to know her downstairs tenants, including the handsome and charming Brian Dawes. She also finds herself entangled in three cases: the first involving stolen jewelry, the second a sick judge and the final case revolving around a kidnapped child. But the greatest mystery of all is her own. How did she come to inherit this townhouse? And why did her mother keep her heritage from her? Portia has a feeling Mrs. Jones knows more than she is letting on. In fact, she thinks her new guardian may be the biggest clue of all.

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Jewel of the Thames by Angela Misri is a wonderfully light-hearted mystery novel. Portia Adams is a delight – nineteen years old in 1930, Portia inherits 221 Baker St. and is whisked from Toronto, Canada to London, England with her guardian Mrs. Jones. Once there, Portia finds herself going to law school, aiding in solving crimes and delving into her own family tree.

Divided into three case files, Jewel of the Thames presents the reader with three different mysteries (a jewel thief, a murder and a kidnapping) that Portia finds herself participating in solving all while efficiently stacking up the clues for Portia to dig deeper into her family history, and the history of John Watson and Sherlock Holmes, the famous tenants of 221B Baker St. I highly enjoyed Portia. An intelligent, capable, kind young lady who possess the wits and desire to help and solve cases around her. She has great interactions with her downstairs neighbours the Dawes family. Son Brian is a Constable at Scotland Yard and enables Portia to better access the information she needs to solve her cases. Despite the flirty undertones to their interactions, there is no real romance in the book and I, for one, found it quite refreshing.

4 heart

The writing in Jewel of the Thames is intriguing and unique. Angela Misri has managed to convey both a sense of the 1930s and old Sherlock Holmes novels through her prose and dialogue. I was very easily able to see myself in 1930s London with Portia as a proper young lady, and as the detective – the language used is very methodical and calculated. And while the mysteries to her past are quickly hinted at and any Sherlockian will pick them up immediately, it was still fun to see Portia put everything together. Jewel of the Thames is a wonderful addition to the Sherlock Holmes universe and I can’t wait for book two!

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Thanks to Fierce Ink Press I have on e-Copy of Jewel of the Thames to give away! Giveaway is open worldwide except for the UK. Please fill out this form to be entered.

Review: Game Plan by Natalie Corbett Sampson

Game Plan Game Plan
by Natalie Corbett Sampson

ISBN-13: 9-781927-746097
Publication: November 2013 from Fierce Ink Press
Source: publisher
Rating: 4.5 ♥ / 5 ♥ – I really liked it!
Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Just because the play goes wrong, doesn’t mean you quit the game.

Ella Parker seems to have everything: great friends, an awesome family and a star position on her high school basketball team. The only thing missing from her life is a boyfriend. That changes once she catches the eye of Sam Cleveland. With Sam by her side Ella has it all. When a drunken night results in an unwanted pregnancy, her perfect life is turned upside down and she’s faced with an impossible decision.

Katherine Frayne has always wanted to be a mother. But with the last results of her in vitro fertilization pointing to no chance of a baby, her hopes are dashed. Then her husband Danny suggests they adopt. At first Kat is resistant, but she soon warms to the idea.

Ella and Katherine must navigate their lives amidst tough decisions, the consequences of which not only affect them but those they love the most.

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Game Plan by Natalie Corbett Sampson is an enthralling, emotional trek through a teen girls experience with an unplanned pregnancy and a couples desire for a child of their own. Through alternating narratives, Ella’s and Katherine and Danny’s lives slowly converge to a heartbreaking but heartwarming conclusion.

In the beginning, I was worried I’d have flashbacks to the movie Juno while reading this book, but that is definitely not the case! The two couldn’t be more different. Ella is a junior in high school. A talented basketball player, she has a plan for how her life is going to unfold in the next few years. Unfortunately, after Halloween night and her only time having sex with her boyfriend Sam, Ella finds herself pregnant. Everything is immediately turned upside down for Ella, but she handles everything with an inner strength that everyone can see but she doubts she has. With a supportive family and some great friends, Ella makes some very grown up decisions and comes through the other side intact and maybe even a bit stronger. Katherine and Danny, having failed again at trying to have a child of their own decide to go the route of adoption. After many ups and downs that test their resolve, they finally have a silver lining in Ella and her baby.

I very much enjoyed Natalie Corbett Sampsons writing style and characterization. The narrative flowed very well, with months of the pregnancy outlined by major events in the characters lives as Ella finishes school, handles a less than ideal situation surrounding Sam, and Katherine and Danny struggle to adopt a child. One of Ella’s friends, Karen, irked me a little. Let’s just say she’s a less than good friend and I just don’t understand people like that (though I know they exist). Alex, her brother Ben and Ben’s best friend Charlie, on the other hand, certainly make up for Karen and others. They are absolutely awesome.

4.5 heart

Game Plan is very emotional, and while I have never gone through either trying to adopt a child, or trying to decide to give one up, I feel the book really highlights the experiences and emotions involved and handles both with care. By the end of the book I was as torn as Ella in deciding what to do, but anxiously nervous with Katherine and Danny and hoping everything would work for them. It’s an interesting feeling and one that just made me enjoy the book more. I definitely think this is a great one to add to your reading list, especially if you’re a fan of contemporary fiction. Well worth the read!

e-ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review. Thank you!

Giveaway
The publisher has very kindly offered up one eCopy of Game Plan to a lucky winner! To enter, just leave me a comment with your favourite contemporary book and an e-mail address. Giveaway ends at 11:49pm EST November 26, 2013, international. Must be 13 or older to enter.

Review: The Night Has Claws by Kat Kruger

The Night has Claws The Night has Claws
by Kat Kruger

ISBN-13: 9-780991-793754
Publication: September 2013 from Fierce Ink Press
Series: book 2 in The Magdeburg Trilogy
Source: publisher
Rating: 4 ♥ / 5 ♥ – I really liked it!

What happens when you’re the thing that goes bump in the night?

Connor Lewis and Arden LaTène are experiencing a reversal of fortunes. Arden, once a prominent werewolf, has been cured against his will. As a result, he’s now considered dead by his former pack and has lost his longtime girlfriend in the mix. Connor, a newly created werewolf whose DNA has inadvertently led to the creation of the cure, now has to make some important decisions about his future and is not sure who to trust. Should he join a pack or try to go it alone?

When Connor is summoned by the Hounds of God to testify against the human scientist who developed the cure, he’s forced to choose sides. Comprised of humans bitten by werewolves, the Hounds have been the lawmakers and enforcers for hundreds of years, ensuring werewolves don’t endanger the lives of humans and exacting justice upon those who do. On the other hand, the pack werewolves have been persecuted for centuries and are seeking to tip the balance of power. Adding to his confusion is Madison Dallaire, the girl Connor has complicated feelings for, who has embarked on a path of corporate espionage.

In the second book of The Magdeburg Trilogy, Connor’s loyalties are pushed to the limits as he faces the challenges of being a modern werewolf caught in the grip of an ancient feud.

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The Night has Claws by Kat Kruger follows immediately behind book number one, The Night has Teeth. It continues Connor’s story wonderfully and even allows us a deeper look at Madison through alternating points of view.

Beginning during the final scenes of the first book, I admit to being slightly confused – especially since the first part is in Madison’s point of view. I would definitely recommend doing a quick re-read of the end of The Night has Teeth, especially if it’s been a while since you’ve read it. However, as soon as I refreshed my memory and realized I was reading Madison’s pov, I was hooked and enthralled. The Night has Claws sees a huge change in Connor and his guardians, Arden and Amara. Arden, no longer a wolf, cannot maintain contact with the pack, including Amara. And Connor is now a wolf and needing to learn control. Our villain, Boguet, is captured and being held in Germany awaiting trial from the Hounds. There is a lot more history of the werewolves and how they came to be, and more to the cure and Boguet’s plans for it. Connor has a lot of information thrown at him over the course of the book and has to do his best with what he’s been told. Madison is more than she seems and is definitely awesome.

4 heart

The Night has Claws by Kat Kruger is a solid second book and great lead up to the final instalment. It has a perfect mix of information, action, mystery and even a small romance. Everything is changing and escalating and I am extremely interested to see where the third book takes us. Connor is different from everything and anything the wolves have known and it may either save them all, or hurt them all. Not all the pieces have been laid out yet and things could still change. Hopefully for the better!

e-ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review. Thank you!

Review: Membrane by Carol Moreira

Membrane Membrane
by Carol Moreira

ISBN-13: 9-781927-746042
Publication: July 2013 from Fierce Ink Press
Source: publisher
Rating: 3 ♥ / 5 ♥ – I liked it
Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

You can’t outrun the membrane…

For Tanya turning sixteen sucks. Her former friend Rachel is bullying her, the love of her life doesn’t know she exists and her self-esteem isn’t exactly sky-high. Things go from bad to worse when she gets slimed at a bus stop and finds herself in an alternate universe and faced with another version of herself.

Her alternate universe double is cool and confident, if a bit bossy. P — short for Princess because in Tanya’s eyes she is one — is part of an organization called Resist. Trained in tactical defense, Resist is preparing for an invasion by the Others. But are the Others really mobilizing to take over P’s universe or has there been some kind of galactic miscommunication?

On the other side of the membrane, who can Tanya trust to make it back to her universe alive?

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Membrane by Carol Moreira is a whirlwind of a sci-fi ride through alternate universes and (not-so) alien invasions. Tanya is a fairly normal high school student until she finds herself sucked through the Membrane into an alternate universe where she meets her alternate self. Crazyness ensues!

It’s always fun to read books that take place where you live, since you get to recognize street names, places and events. So like Tanya, when she finds herself through the Membrane into a parallel Nova Scotia, I too was struck by the differences. Tanya has had a rough time of high school and the alternate universe experience doesn’t help her any. Tanya is kind, sensitive, a little anxious and depressed, but has a good head on her shoulders and ultimately really cares for others. She’s a quick thinker and helps get herself, her double (called P for Princess, and boy is she) and others out of sticky situations. P on the other hand, is quite opposite of Tanya. She’s very sure of herself to the point of arrogance at times, and while she can be cruel she is kind at heart.

I really enjoyed the descriptions of the alternate universes (Tanya visits two) and the Membrane that separates them. Tanya finds herself wrapped up in quite the mystery where an invasion may not be an invasion, and another may be going on behind the scenes. There is a wonderful “bad guy” who you can tell has secrets and agendas galore. While Tanya and P come from very close universes, the Others that are invading P’s world are quite different. I could have done without the numerous references to how beautiful they are, but other than that they were fascinating and the source of much of the worry and fear felt by P and Tanya.

3 heart

I’m a huge sci-fi fan, and quite enjoyed Membrane by Carol Moreira. While I found a few parts of the narrative a little jumpy and confusing at times (I’m still not exactly sure who the Fabricists are) the major plot points, resolutions and set up for a sequel (maybe? It’s certainly left open for one!) were all wrapped together rather well by the end of the book. Tanya had some good growth throughout the story, as did P through her interactions with Tanya and some world-shattering truths. Membrane is engaging and unique, and I would be happy to recommend it to young adult sci-fi readers (and not-so young adult ones).

e-copy provided by Fierce Ink Press in exchange for my honest review. Thank you!

Review: Lipstick and Bangs by Colleen McKie

Lipstick and Bangs Lipstick and Bangs
by Colleen McKie

Publication: November 23, 2012 from Fierce Ink Press
Purchase through Fierce Ink Press

Colleen McKie brings readers back to her high school days in the early 90s with Lipstick and Bangs. It was a time of change in which she began to diverge from the interests of her lifelong friends to become an alt rock music girl with a bookish affinity for Stephen King.

Lipstick and Bangs is the true story of navigating identity at an age when everything is weighed against the pressures of friendships and boys.

In the crush or be crushed world of teen dating, can she be true to herself when she’s unsure of who that person really is?

Lipstick and Bangs by Colleen McKie is the second Fierce Short from Fierce Ink Press that I have read and I continue to enjoy these little snippets of creative non-fiction. Partial proceeds from the purchase of this short will go to AIDS PEI.

I definitely remember high school as a time when I was figuring out who I was, dated a few boys and formed my core group of friends (some I still talk to, some I don’t). Lipstick and Bangs was a wonderfully written short story telling of a time when the author is discovering her identity and maybe moving in a different path than those she’s close to. I really enjoyed the frank way Colleen wrote about her dating (mis)adventures and the self-discovery that came from them. I think this Fierce Short is one quite a few teens and adults will be able to connect with.