Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Crèche (Book II of Paranormal Fallen Angels/Vampires Series)
Karin Cox
Kindle Edition
Published 2013
5 out of 5 Star
Audience recommendation:
For lovers of paranormal fiction. Well-written, perfect world creation, gripping and imaginative plot, dimensional characters.

And the next one does not disappoint!

I truly thought ‘Cruxim’ was one of the best paranormal novels I have read in a long, long while…well, Karin’s latest novel, ‘Crèche’, has most certainly topped the list for me now!

‘Crèche’ follows on from ‘Cruxim’ and it yet again takes you to another beautifully created world that is elegantly described and extremely visual, plunging you deeper into the lives of all Cruxims.

Amedeo thought he was all alone, as did the reader, well now you will learn what it is to be a Cruxim - what the ‘crux’ to bear really entails, what their true destiny is, who their real enemies are, how they hide and hunt, mate, breed and most importantly, love.

‘Crèche’ introduces us to Skylar, another Cruxim, who helps Amedeo come to terms with his pain, his past and ultimately his purpose. She helps him search for Sabine, as he is desperate to find her and save her. But it is when she leads him to Silvenhall that she gives him the greatest gift – knowledge, and so very much more!

Information about these amazing creatures and their purpose is slowly revelled, which kept me gripped to the page, wanting to learn more about them. What happened to Sabine? Amedeo’s mother? Who is his father? What it the purpose of the ’Swan’. How did Cruxims come to be?

You will be awed and amazed at how the plot effortlessly unfolds and answers one of the most important questions of all…

Karin has a flawless way of describing scenes that are so easily brought to life. I could imagine myself in the world she has created, I could see, smell, touch, taste what surrounded me. Her way with words is an absolute delight.

Her characters are dimensional and really allow the reader to connect with them easily. You will have no trouble feeling Amedeo’s confusion, Sabine’s sadness and Skylar’s serenity.

If you loved ‘Cruxim’ as I did, you will not be disappointed with Karin’s latest offering.

Yes, there is more pain and heartache – but there is also unconditional love and a new way for Ame to heal himself.

So hurry up Karin – write the third one – I again am eagerly awaiting your next triumph!

Available for just $2.99 (RRP $4.99) from Amazon

Or from Barnes & Noble for$2.99 (RRP $4.99)  Creche


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Ever met a 'Cruxim?'

By Karin Cox
Kindle Edition
Published December 2012 by Indelible Ink Press

Thought you knew all there was to know about vampires and the creatures that hunt them? Well think again, because if you haven't 'met' a Cruxim or a Sphinx, well you have not fully 'lived' in the supernatural world.

'Cruxim' is one of the most original supernatural tales I have read in a long, long while - and I have read a load of 'vampire, angel, demon, fairy-filled' books. Add to this an outstanding cast of characters, intense love-affairs, dramatic scenes, historic places, and a story based on extremely well-researched mythological facts - and you most certainly have the next big thing in this well-loved genre.

Karin has a beautiful and effortless way with words - her descriptions are breathtaking, her characterisations are dimensional, her plot is flawless. Believe me, when you delve into the magical world she has created, you will not be disappointed - only so much in that you will need to wait for her to finish the next book in the series!

"Amedeo is Cruxim — an immortal dark angel who knows neither his purpose, nor his past, save but to feed on the supernatural beings that plague the earth. When his one weakness, the girl and novice nun Josette, is taken and turned by his enemies, Amedeo vows never to rest until evil is expunged from his world — even if that means killing Josette along with her vampire brethren.

On his quest, he meets Sabine: a guardian. Half-woman, half-lioness, she is a Sphinx who has been protecting humans from vampires since the dawn of time. But when she fails in her task of protecting a young boy, she is relentlessly pursued by her evil employer, Dr. Claus Gandler, a scientist collecting a sideshow of freaks.

A gothic paranormal that explores the beast within amid a setting of mythology and forbidden love, Cruxim's dark world and conflicted characters are the antithesis of the sparkly vampire genre."

Let 'Cruxim' take you an all-consuming adventure you will not want to tear yourself away from...

Available now on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AX00912/ref=tag_dpp_yt_edpp_rt#tags

Monday, December 19, 2011

Prepare to be Slapped...

The Slap
By Christos Tsiolkas
ISBN: 9781848877993
Allen and Unwin
4 1/2 out of 5 Stars
Audience recommendation: Not for the faint-hearted. This is an intense, emotive read dealing with subject matter that forces you to acknowledge that humans are not so perfect or nice all the time! 

I chose The Slap as my bookclub’s book and it certainly was a fantastic book to discuss. As it so happened, my colleague and I read it around the same time, so each lunch hour I was eagerly reading it and then we would discuss the story as it unfolded. And this was a story that certainly got us talking. One of my concerns in writing this review was that I had so much to talk about - I have tried to streamline my thinking and discuss the points that impressed or disappointed me the most.

Now...let’s see...disappointed me, um, well, thinking, thinking...nope can’t actually come up with anything too disappointing (except for a few too many masturbation scenes)!

I had to agree with my colleague – it seems that readers either love it or hate it. I definitely sit on the ‘love it’ side of the fence and can understand why it has won numerous awards and caused so many people to form some pretty strong opinions about it.

Most people who don’t like the story say that they don’t like the characters, thinking they are just a bunch of rude, beer-swigging, swearing, sex-crazed ‘Australians’. And sure, the characters aren't likeable, and yes the story depicts Australians in an unflattering light. But I actually think that these types of characters could be anyone from anywhere.

I actually appreciated the fact that the characters weren’t likeable because each character is complex, realistic and dimensional. They are not sugar coated, sickly sweet and totally unbelievable.  I didn’t feel it necessary to ‘like’ the characters, I wanted to be challenged by them and drawn to read about them – and this I most certainly was.

The story is simple – friends are gathered at a BBQ and a little boy is slapped, but not by his parents. How the parents, friends and man who slapped the child react and deal with this is the obvious focus of the plot but because each chapter is told from a particular character’s point of view (so 8 characters), the reader gets to really delve into the thoughts and issues that plague these characters.

I was at times a bit overwhelmed by the extreme level of some character’s thoughts and actions and as I mentioned earlier, I didn’t ‘like’ any of them. To me they were characters that needed a bit of a slap themselves. However, they all had problems as a result of some deeper issue, they were all just trying to muddle through life.

I felt sorry for some, I really hated one, I was annoyed by them but it was these emotions that confirm the fact that Christo Tsiolkas is a very clever writer. Tsiolkas demonstrates that people have reasons for doing things - not necessarily excuses for their wrongs - but there are always two sides to any story. He also forces the reader to accept that humans are crazy, silly, stupid, pathetic, selfish and spiteful at times – we are far from perfect. Tsiolkas also successfully creates some very interesting relationships between the characters, which to me seemed so realistic and intricate.
The Slap is a book that pushes the reader past some emotional boundaries while studying many aspects of humans, their relationships and society. It is not a ‘nice’ read or one that I would recommend taking on your Christmas holiday – but if you are eager to be challenged and are prepared for the intensity of it – this is a brilliant read, one of the best stories I have read in a while.

Monday, December 5, 2011

New reviewer for the WLC team!!!

I am very excited and proud to be chosen as a reviewer for the WoMen's Literary Cafe! I will be given the privileged of reviewing various books written by some outstanding authors and hopefully help bring readers and authors togethers. Check out this fantastic opportunity at WoMen's Literary Cafe

Friday, December 2, 2011

Looking for something rare...

For my fellow booklovers who are looking for a special rare or second hand book...head to this fantastic online bookstore!
Reading Habit Second Hand Books Online Bookstore
Here you will find over 40,000 fiction and non-fiction titles that include collectible, antiquarian and rare books, for really great prices!
I have also joined their community so that I always know what little gems they have on offer. 
It is a great shop and a wonderful community - perfect for all us lovers of all things 'books' (no matter how old or rare they may be, we love them all!)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Fellow booklovers!

Check out the:
 2011 Goodreads Choice Awards Widget: Favorite Book of 2011
Have fun casting your vote for all your favourite titles this year.
It will be very interesting to see the winners, so stay tunned.
Goodreads is really the place to be to talk about all things books.

Enjoy :)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Siren's Sting

The Siren’s Sting
By Miranda Darling
ISBN: 9781741759204
Allen and Unwin (uncorrected proof copy – Thanks A&U, really appreciate the review copy!!)
3 out of 5 Stars
Audience recommendation: Lovers of thrilling tales with a strong female lead character and set in exotic places. Nice easy ‘holiday’ read!

If you are looking for a great book to take with you on a holiday, and enjoy a good thriller with a strong female lead character – this is the one for you!

I should have held off on reading this book and taken it with me on my journey through Europe (heading off soon – YIP YAH). It is a good read while sitting in a boring airport or on a long flight because your imagination certainly gets to go on a fantastic trip around the world!

“Stevie Duveen exploded onto the pages of Miranda Darling’s thrilling debut novel
The Troika Dolls, taking on the Russian mafia and putting herself in terrible jeopardy in the process. Now Stevie is back at her discreet and dangerous best as the minder of the world’s greatest – and most temperamental - opera star and the terrified wife of a shipping tycoon whose son has been kidnapped.

The action swings from Sardinia in summer to diva season in Venice and to the billionaires’ playgrounds of Morocco and the Mediterranean as Somali pirates target and stalk cruising mega-yachts and their impossibly rich and glamourous passengers. With her mentor and boss David Rice seriously ill and his business in peril, Stevie must find who is behind the pirate attacks and why they will stop at nothing to bring down all she holds dear. As she poses as just another party girl on the lookout for a loaded husband, Stevie plays a deadly double game to detect – and destroy – the very heart of evil.”


This book has several positives - firstly, the exotic destinations that the main character, Stevie Duveen, gets to go to are beautifully brought to life thanks to the author’s skill at travel writing.

Secondly, I am always a fan of a tale where the female character is strong, independent, intelligent and can kick butt if need be!

And thirdly, there is nothing like a good old spy thriller novel to take your imagination away from the norm of reality!

Mind you, I must admit that I was a little more interested in Darling’s descriptions of the exotic locations the story is set – rather than care too much about who was behind the pirate attacks. I think that is simply due to my love of travel and my eagerness to learn about other countries, rather than her writing. I have not read Darling’s first novel
The Troika Dolls, so I did not fully understand some of the mentions of Stevie’s tales in Russia, however it didn’t hinder the overall enjoyment of this novel and it can be read as a stand alone book.

Overall I did enjoy the story of Stevie Duveen and her jaunts around Morocco, the Mediterranean and Venice while she tries to uncover who is behind pirate attacks on the high seas. I like how Darling has created a female character that is petite, loveable and independent  - she is not a ‘spy’ but a risk assessor who just manages to go above and beyond her role because she is a decent and caring person.

The Siren’s Sting was a great way to spend my lunch breaks at work! Throw into the tale some relationship highs and lows, a behind-the-scenes look at how the exceedingly wealthy live, and some characters that would make your blood boil - and you have an entertaining, adventurous read that stars a well-developed and dimensional character that, as I agree with others, 'is the female James Bond'!