Current Giveaways

Review + Giveaway: Sealed with a Curse by Cecy Robson (ends 01/21)
Enter to win an ARC of Sealed with a Curse.

Please Note: New Holiday Review Policy! (extended indefinitely)

Saturday, March 31, 2012

In My Mailbox (122)

Thanks to Kristi at The Story Siren for hosting In My Mailbox every week.

Innocent Darkness by Suzanne Lazear [Buy now]
Via Netgalley

All Things Wicked by Karina Cooper (signed!) [Buy now]
Thanks to Juliana Stone & Karina Cooper!

Wicked as they Come by Delilah S. Dawson [Buy now]
Blood on the Bayou by Stacey Jay [Buy now]
The Seduction of Phaeton Black by Jillian Stone [Buy now]

Halflings by Heather Burch
The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch
Ashes, Ashes by Jo Treggiari
All three titles were $1.99 when purchased

Through Her Eyes by Jennifer Archer [Buy now]
Where Demons Fear to Tread by Stephanie Chong [Buy now]
Stolen Away by Alyxandra Harvey [Buy now]
Dreaming Awake by Gwen Hayes [Buy now]

The Spirit Rebellion by Rachel Aaron * [Buy now]
Nocturne by Syrie James * [Buy now]
Light My Fire by Katie MacAlister ** [Buy now]
Incarnate by Jodi Meadows [Buy now]
Hungry For You by Lynsay Sands ** [Buy now]
Legend of the White Wolf by Terry Spear * [Buy now]
Partials by Dan Wells [Buy now]
Titles with * were found in $1 section
Titles with ** were purchased by Christen

Today, Christen and I also went to an author signing (and found a new used bookstore in the process). The signing was for Historical Romance author Julia London. Normally, I don't include the Historical Romance novels that Christen buys or borrows in these posts since it's not a genre reviewed on this blog, but an author event in Central Florida isn't an every day occurance. Christen grabbed the first book in the series and I purchased the second for her.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Thoughts on The Hunger Games (Books)

Today, I'm going to ramble on about some of my thoughts regarding The Hunger Games series. I will try to be as spoiler-free as I can, but I really can't guarantee anything. So read at your own risk.

I originally read The Hunger Games in the fall of 2010. Mockingjay has somewhat recently released, and I finally gave in to all of the buzz. I hadn't delved into the world of Dystopian YA at that point, so it was something completely new for me. I remember finishing the novel thinking that it would make a great movie (although I don't know if I knew there was going to be a movie at the time), but wasn't overwhelmed by it's awesome-ness like everyone else seemed to be. Since then, I've read and enjoyed a couple other Dystopian YAs (and had a couple disappointments), and now include it as one of the genres I enjoy to read.

Two weeks ago, I decided to re-read The Hunger Games in preparation for the movie. The more I saw the trailers, the more I realized that I didn't remember a lot of the details. After reading it a second time, I am now totally in love with it. I was able to enjoy the book so much more this time around since Dystopian YA wasn't new to me anymore. I was originally going to wait until after I saw the movie to start book two, so that it didn't cloud my enjoyment of the movie, but that lasted less than 24 hours. I stayed up until 3:30am when I finally picked up Catching Fire, and finished it by the next afternoon. It is officially my favorite book of the series.

Knowing I wouldn't be able to concentrate on anything else until I finished them all, I dove straight into Mockingjay. At first, I was a little thrown off, because of how different it was from the other two. The first two each included a game, so it was weird for the plot to be so different. I don't like change. Come to think of it, the last Harry Potter was my least favorite for the same reason: after six book of them going to school, book seven brought them somewhere else. I just really don't like change.

I'm not going to review or summarize or dissect these books. But I am going to ramble about a few points that I just need to get off my chest. (I can't talk with Christen about all of them because she hasn't picked up Mockingjay yet, so I came here.)

1. The wolf mutts at the end of The Hunger Games seemed out of place to me. I don't know why exactly, but they just didn't fit into the rest of the game in my head. I realize they aren't much different from Tracker Jackers and Jabberjays, but something about their sudden appearance threw me for a loop. I understand that there were other circumstances that were controlled, such as the fire, but these just seemed like it was overreaching what we knew about the Gamemakers. (Although they made a little more sense while watching the movie because we got to see the Gamemakers in action.) After reading book two and learning about all of the different traps and mutts in that game, the wolf mutts weren't nearly as off-putting.

2. I went into this series knowing there was a Team Peeta and a Team Gale. When I finished book one, I was totally confused. How could I be Team Gale when he had barely any face time? Although we did learn about him through Katniss, I still felt like I barely knew him. And when I finished book two, although I felt like I learned more about all three main characters, I still didn't understand how anyone could be Team Gale because I still barely knew him. Granted, I wasn't necessarily Team Peeta. I don't think I picked a team until the middle of Mockingjay, and I'm not really sure why I ended up on Team Peeta. I can't pinpoint what it is about Gale, or what he did, but I found myself rooting for Peeta.

3. I can't imagine my 14-15 year old self reading these books like so many teens are. I was reading YA when I was a teen, but there were not a lot of choices and there weren't nearly as many risks being taken by authors. It wasn't until I was around 19 or 20 that the YA market took off. I was basically reading Harry Potter, Harry Potter, and more Harry Potter. And we were only up to book five. I'm not saying these books would've been too violent for 14-15 year old me, but I was a pretty sheltered kid. The deaths in Harry Potter didn't affect me the way I think the death in The Hunger Games would, because of the magic. Although The Hunger Games is science-fiction, there's nothing magical about a bow and arrow or a knife.

4. Was I the only one that forgot Katniss and Peeta were still kids in Catching Fire? There were so many other adults around, and no one looked down on them due to their age. I kept having to remind myself that they were still 17 (I think). It didn't bother me, because these had to grow up too fast given their circumstances.

That's all for now. I'll probably ramble about the movie in the next couple of days. I'll give you a hint: best book-to-movie adaptation I've ever seen.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (50)

This book blog meme is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Title: Insurgent
Author: Veronica Roth
Series: Divergent #2
Genre: Dystopian Young Adult
Release date: 05/01/12
Chosen by: Sara
One choice can transform you -- or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves -- and herself -- while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable -- and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth's much-anticipated second book of the dystopian Divergent series is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Guest Blog: Karen Duvall

Today I'd like to welcome Karen Duvall, author of Knight's Curse and Darkest Knight from Harlequin Luna. I just finished Knight's Curse and really enjoyed how unique it was (review coming soon). Darkest Knight was released this past Tuesday!

Flawed Characters and Why We Love Them

One might assume that readers would enjoy reading about heroic characters who do all the right things at all the right times and are perfect in every way. After all, we want to identify with these characters because they're who we wish we could be, right?

The fact is that perfect characters are boring, and flawed characters are interesting. The imperfect character is allowed plenty of room to change and grow throughout the course of the book. Readers enjoy the experience of watching this transformation as they cheer the characters on and grip the pages while the characters confront one obstacle after another before finally earning their reward at story's end.

That's why we read books. And yes, we do like to identify with the characters, but not because they're who we want to be, but because they share our imperfections. They're like real people, just like us. They make mistakes, just like us. They fight with their families, put the empty milk carton back in the fridge, drive off with their mug of coffee sitting on top of the car, and forget to bake cookies for the church bake sale on Sunday. Mundane as these examples are, the point is that imperfection is life, and art imitates life.

Even though the main character is flawed in some way, their attributes make them stand out and earn the admiration of readers. Their imperfections make them interesting and multi-dimensional, but it's their good qualities we hold in high regard. Their good points make them rise to the top and often assist them in overcoming the flaws that would keep them from achieving their goals.

So as we identify with the flawed characters' problems, we also see our own potential in their strengths and virtues. It's easy for us to immerse ourselves in a story about a character whose good qualities we respect.

As an example from our beloved urban fantasy genre, let's take a look at vampires, who are flawed by design. They're despicable by nature, however, our vampire heroes are conflicted about what they are and what they want out of their unlife. They're walking contradictions and we love them. Why? We don't aspire to be blood sucking fiends ourselves, but we sympathize with their plight and cheer them on when they use their dark talents to fight evil, win the woman they love, and protect the people they care about. Their stories offer the fantasy that you can be a monster and still be one of the good guys.

In my Knight's Curse series, my heroine is quite flawed and is constantly faced with choices that can go either way. She screws up sometimes, that's how she learns. She's not perfect. Chalice has lived a sheltered life so when she discovers who she really is, it takes her time to accept and learn how to deal with the magical and dangerous life she's thrust into. She makes friends and enemies, meets her fallen angel father for the first time, and falls in love with an immortal warrior named Aydin, who suffers with the same gargoyle curse.

Who would you say is your favorite flawed character and what helps you overlook their flaw to see the better person underneath?

Title: Knight's Curse
Author: Karen Duvall
A skilled knife fighter since the age of nine, Chalice knows what it's like to live life on the edge -- precariously balanced between the dark and the light. But the time has come to choose. The evil sorcerer who kidnapped her over a decade ago requires her superhuman senses to steal a precious magical artifact... or she must suffer the consequences.

Desperate to break the curse that enslaves her, Chalice agrees. But it is only with the help of Aydin -- her noble warrior-protector -- that she will risk venturing beyond the veil to discover the origins of her power. Only for him will she dare to fully embrace her awesome talents. For a deadly duel is at hand, and Chalice alone will have to decide between freedom... and the love of her life.

Title: Darkest Knight
Author: Karen Duvall
"Betray your sisters or your lover. You choose."

After the warrior she loves saved her from a murderous gargoyle, Chalice watched helplessly as Aydin turned into a gargoyle himself. Now, free from the curse that enslaved her, Chalice pledges to join her sister knights in The Order of the Hatchet -- and do whatever it takes to regain Aydin's humanity... and his love. What she encounters within their hallowed sanctuary is pure intrigue.

Someone -- or something -- is murdering her sisters in their sleep, provoking fear and suspicion among the order. Meanwhile, Aydin, unable to stay away, starts haunting Chalice's dreams, urging her onward. Ultimately, Chalice will be faced with an agonizing choice -- one that will tear away at her newfound identity and force her to choose between duty and desire...

Monday, March 19, 2012

Review: Black Howl by Christina Henry

Title: Black Howl
Author: Christina Henry
Series: Madeline Black #3
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: 02/28/12
Reviewed by: Sara
But the Book:
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
Something is wrong with the souls of Chicago's dead. Ghosts are walking the streets, and Agent of Death Madeline Black's exasperating boss wants her to figure out why. And while work is bad enough, Maddy has a plethora of personal problems too. Now that Gabriel has been assigned as her thrall, their relationship has hit an impasse. At least her sleazy ex-fiance Nathaniel is out of the picture -- or so she thinks...

Plot: 5 Stars
This series just keeps getting better and better. The storyline that involved the wandering ghosts was very unique, and of course, Maddy ended up in the middle of it without even trying. The plot was an emotional rollercoaster with all of its twists and turns, and was heartbreaking at times. I really enjoyed how the different plotlines twisted together more and more as the story progressed. I wouldn't describe the ending as a cliffhanger, but there was definitely a detail that has left me anxious for the next installment.

Pace: 5 Stars
There was never a dull moment during this novel. Maddy had more than enough on her plate. Between tracking down the missing werewolves, trying to figure out what was making certain ghosts act so strangely, trips to both Amarantha's and Lucifer's court, and hopping through numerous portals, there was barely time to breathe. And get Beezle more junk food.

Characters: 5 Stars
Maddy has gained a bit of confidence as this novel progressed and started commanding a bit more attention from those who had previous waved her off. This novel had even more Beezle. He went everywhere with Maddy, instead of staying home to guard the place. He complained for junk food and warned against falling into horror movie tropes constantly, and I loved it. Gabriel and Maddy's relationship continued down its complicated, hot and cold path. JB grew on me a little more, even if he was still a bit insufferable when it came to paperwork.

Cover: 4.5 Stars
The covers for this series have also gotten better and better. I like that there's still a vague reference to Maddy's wings, but it's not as noticable. Instead, your attention is drawn to the abstract shapes in the background, which are very intriguing. They blend into the background enough not to draw too much attention from the background, but stand out enough to catch the eye. The cover is a bit more purple than blue, when compared to the previous installments, but the blue titles draws the three together. The cover model is standing with more and more confidence with each cover, and she really looks like she could kick your ass on this cover. The sword comes across as more of an extension of her arm, which is reminiscent with the novel.

Overall: 5 Stars

Disclosure: I received a copy of this novel for review.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

In My Mailbox (121)

Thanks to Kristi at The Story Siren for hosting In My Mailbox every week.

Knight's Curse by Karen Duvall (signed!) [Buy now]
Darkest Knight by Karen Duvall (signed!) [Buy now]
(Thanks to Karen Duvall!)

Fever by Lauren DeStefano [Buy now]
Cinder by Marissa Meyer [Buy now]
Embrace by Jessica Shirvington [Buy now]

Free Reads:
A Peyton Family Christmas by Moira Rogers
Two Weddings (and One Near Funeral) by Moira Rogers
Zola's Pride by Moira Rogers

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Mini-Review: Isle of Night by Veronica Wolff

Title: Isle of Night
Author: Veronica Wolff
Series: The Watchers #1
Genre: Paranormal Young Adult
Release Date: 09/06/11
Reviewed by: Sara
But the Book:
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
Is life offering fewer and fewer options? Then join the dead.

When Annelise meets dark and seductive Ronan, he promises her a new life -- if she has the courage to chance the unknown. Now, she's whisked away to a mysterious island and pitted against other female recruits to become a Watcher -- girls who are partnered with vampires and assist them in their missions. To survive and become a Watcher, Annelise has to beat out every other girl, but she's determined to do so, because to fail doesn't mean dishonor -- it means death.

Mini-Review: I really enjoyed the Florida setting in the beginning of this novel, because I know where these places are! I'm always looking for a good paranormal book in which the main character is in college, so even though it doesn't work out for Drew, that little touch of college grabbed my attention. I really enjoyed how creepy this novel was, overall. The vampires were scary, the students learned strange things, many came from questionable backgrounds. It all added up to a very dark and creepy tale. Drew was a great characters, and Ronan kept me on my toes. Although I really enjoy the color scheme of the novel and the building at the bottom, the floating heads are a little weird. Something about their composition just puzzles me a bit.

Plot: 4.5 Stars
Pace: 4.5 Stars
Characters: 4.5 Stars
Cover: 3.5 Stars
Overall: 4.5 Stars

Disclosure: I bought this book for my own reading pleasure.

Mini-Review: Hexed by Kevin Hearne

Title: Hexed
Author: Kevin Hearne
Series: Iron Druid Chronicles #2
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: 06/07/11
Reviewed by: Sara
But the Book:
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, doesn’t care much for witches. Still, he’s about to make nice with the local coven by signing a mutually beneficial nonaggression treaty -- when suddenly the witch population in modern-day Tempe, Arizona, quadruples overnight. And the new girls are not just bad, they’re badasses with a dark history on the German side of World War II.

With a fallen angel feasting on local high school students, a horde of Bacchants blowing in from Vegas with their special brand of deadly decadence, and a dangerously sexy Celtic goddess of fire vying for his attention, Atticus is having trouble scheduling the witch hunt. But aided by his magical sword, his neighbor’s rocket-propelled grenade launcher, and his vampire attorney, Atticus is ready to sweep the town and show the witchy women they picked the wrong Druid to hex.

Mini-Review: After enjoying book one so much, I don't know what took me so long to pick up book two. The plot of this novel was just as intriguing as the last, with many twists and turns along the way for Atticus and Oberon. The humor was definitely still there, especially where Oberon is concerned. The pace of this novel slowed down just a touch compared to book one, but nothing to make me put the book down. There was a lot of development for many of the characters Atticus interacted with, and I enjoyed learning more about everyone. And for those keeping track, the cover model is still gorgeous (and I'd still hit that). The greens and yellows contrasted well against the browns of the first cover, while still keeping a great continuity for the series.

Plot: 4.5 Stars
Pace: 4 Stars
Characters: 4.5 Stars
Cover: 5 Stars
Overall: 4.5 Stars

Disclosure: I bought this book for my own reading pleasure.

Giveaway Winners

There was a total of 8 participants in the Leap Day Giveaway. Using, I randomized the list of entries, and then random selected the winners. The winners are...

First Place: Blood of the Wicked by Karina Cooper & Ascension by Sable Grace goes to Barbara E.!

Second Place: ARC of Legacies by Mercedes Lackey & Rosemary Edghill goes to Greytfriend! LadyVampire2U!

There was a total of 21 participants and 51 entires in the Discount Armageddon by Seanan McGuire Giveaway. Using, I randomized the list of entries, and then random selected the winner. The winner is...

Van Pham!

Congratulations! Please respond to the e-mail I sent with your mailing information within 72 hours.

Didn't win? You can pick up a copy from The Book Depository and have it shipped for free! Just click one of these links: [Blood of the Wicked][Ascension][Legacies][Discount Armegeddon].

Saturday, March 10, 2012

In My Mailbox (120)

Thanks to Kristi at The Story Siren for hosting In My Mailbox every week.

Magic on the Line by Devon Monk (signed!) [Buy now]
(Thanks to Devon Monk and Literary Escapism!)

ReVamped by Ada Adams (e-book)
The First Days by Rhiannon Frater (ARC) [Buy now]
Fighting to Survive by Rhiannon Frater (ARC) [Buy now]
(Thanks to Ada Adams and Rhiannon Frater!)

From Michelle G:
Cat's Claw by Amber Benson [Buy now]
Serpent's Storm by Amber Benson [Buy now]
How to be Death by Amber Benson [Buy now]

Bought by Sara:
By a Thread by Jennifer Estep [Buy now]
Something About Witches by Joey W. Hill [Buy now]
Fated by Benedict Jacka [Buy now]
Discount Armageddon by Seanan McGuire [Buy now]
Vampire's Kiss by Veronica Wolff [Buy now]

Free Kindle:
Reckless Magic by Rachel Higginson
Death's Hand by S.M. Reine
Marked by Kim Richardson
Anathema by K.A. Tucker

Bought by Christen:
Lara by Bertrice Small [Buy now]
A Werewolf in Manhattan by Vicki Lewis Thompson [Buy now]
Dire Needs by Stephanie Tyler [Buy now]

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Giveaway: Discount Armageddon by Seanan McGuire

Today, I'm giving away a copy of Discount Armageddon by Seanan McGuire. When I went by the bookstore to pick up a copy today, I decided to grab a second one in hopes of putting some good book karma into the world. Why do you ask? Well, I don't want to get into a lot of detail, but there was a bit of drama involving the book shipping early. The books that were shipped early will not count against week one sales, which could possibly jeopardize future books in the series. Plus, the author received horrible e-mails and was called dispicable names because the e-book wasn't also being released early. All of this negativity needed to be balanced out, and I figured what better way than giving away a copy!

To enter, all you need to do is answer the following question: Do you pre-order, or hit the bookstores every Tuesday? (I personally love taking my weekly trip to the bookstore. It helps me de-stress after work!)

Normally, I don't do extra entries, but I feel like mixing things up.
+1 for following the blog (new or old)
+1 for following me on Twitter (@sara_UFblog)
+2 for following the author (@seananmcguire)
+2 for tweeting about the giveaway (please leave a link)

Giveaway Rules:
1. Must include a valid e-mail address.
2. Open to US and Canada only.
3. Giveaway ends Friday March 16th.
4. Winner will be chosen via

Title: Discount Armageddon
Author: Seanan McGuire
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: InCryptid #1
Release Date: 03/06/12
Ghoulies. Ghosties. Long-legged beasties. Things that go bump in the night... The Price family has spent generations studying the monsters of the world, working to protect them from humanity -- and humanity from them. Enter Verity Price. Despite being trained from birth as a cryptozoologist, she'd rather dance a tango than tangle with a demon, and is spending a year in Manhattan while she pursues her career in professional ballroom dance. Sounds pretty simple, right? It would be, if it weren't for the talking mice, the telepathic mathematicians, the asbestos supermodels, and the trained monster-hunter sent by the Price family's old enemies, the Covenant of St. George. When a Price girl meets a Covenant boy, high stakes, high heels, and a lot of collateral damage are almost guaranteed. To complicate matters further, local cryptids are disappearing, strange lizard-men are appearing in the sewers, and someone's spreading rumors about a dragon sleeping underneath the city...

Waiting on Wednesday (49)

This book blog meme is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Title: A Blood Seduction
Author: Pamela Palmer
Series: Vamp City #1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release date: 05/29/12
Chosen by: Sara
Vampires live only for lust and pleasure in the eternal twilight of Vamp City. But the city’s magic is dying. The only person who can restore it? A beautiful woman from the mortal world... One who knows nothing of the power she wields.

Quinn Lennox is searching for a missing friend when she stumbles into a dark otherworld that only she can see -- and finds herself at the mercy of Arturo Mazza, a dangerously handsome vampire whose wicked kiss will save her, enslave her, bewitch her, and betray her.

What Arturo can’t do is forget about her -- any more than Quinn can control her own feelings for him. Neither one can let desire get in the way of their mission -- his to save his people, hers to save herself.

But there is no escape from desire in a city built for seduction, where passion flows hot and blood-red. Welcome to Vamp City...

Monday, March 5, 2012

Giveaway Winner: Black Howl by Christina Henry

There was a total of 7 participants in the Black Howl by Christina Henry Giveaway. Using, I randomized the list of entries, and then random selected the winner. The winner is...

Bethany C!

Congratulations! Please respond to the e-mail I sent with your mailing information within 72 hours.

Didn't win? You can pick up a copy from The Book Depository and have it shipped for free! Just click here.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

In My Mailbox (119)

Thanks to Kristi at The Story Siren for hosting In My Mailbox every week.

Black Howl by Christina Henry [Buy now]
Thanks to Ace!

Torn by Amanda Hocking [Buy now]

Hunter's Prey by Moira Rogers eARC
The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe [Buy now]
Thanks for Moira Rogers and Wicked Awesome Books!

Guest Blog: J.A. Kazimer

Today I'd like to welcome J.A. Kazimer, author of CURSES! A F***ed-Up Fairy Tale which just released on 02/28. I'm currently about halfway through the novel, and it's quite a hoot. Definitely not your average fairy tale!

Thank you, Sara for letting me guest post on your Urban Fantasy blog.

5 Dirty & F***ed Up Fairy Tale Secrets
By j.a. kazimer

We all remember the jolly, fat fairy godmother waving her magic wand at the tattered yet still beautiful Cinderella, and turning her into a true princess complete with glass slippers. Baring the whole wearing glass slippers after Labor Day debate, the Disneyfied version of this and many other of our childhood fairytales hide some very dark secrets. Secrets buried for years. Secrets I will now share with the universe... Suck it, Mickey. It’s time the world knew the truth!

1. PrinceNecrophilic
No joke. In the original version of Snow White, after Snow White eats the poisoned apple and dies, the dwarfs carry her dead body into the woods where they come upon his highness, a man who’s never met the enchanting, abet dead princess until that very moment. He is so taken with her pale, lifeless corpse that he must have her, her being dead and all taken into little account.

2. No Tongue Allowed
In the Disney version, Snow White is awakened by a magic kiss from her prince charming (sans tongue, this was a Disney movie after all). But in the original version of the tale, the prince carries her corpse off to his palace, where Snow White is awakened (much later) by a servant who accidently knocks the poisoned apple from her mouth. Not nearly as romantic a tale, but much more demented, and far more realistic.

3. You’re Not My Mother
In many tales, the wicked stepmother plays the role of villain, cackling and wreaking havoc on the innocent maiden while admiring herself in a talking mirror. Yet in many of the original tales, the wicked stepmother is really the biological mother of said maiden, not a step-parent. So a prince really must ask himself, “Like Mother like Daughter?”

4. Bibbity-Bobbity-Moooooo
In the Scottish version of Cinderella, rather than a fairy godmother who saves the day, poor deluded Cinderella talks to a cow, who just happens to talk back, in Cinderella’s dead mother’s voice (the Japanese version features a carp instead).

5. Karma’s a Bitch and So Is Cinderella
In the original version of Cinderella, Cinderella isn’t nearly as much of a victim as Disney would have you believe. In fact, she kills her mother in order for her father to marry the housekeeper, who in turn, moves into the palace with her brood of ugly stepdaughters, all who give the poor, blood thirst maiden a list of never ending chores.

Want to learn more about your favorite fairy tale celebrities? Read the New Never News at

j.a. kazimer is a writer living in Denver, CO. With a master’s degree in forensic psychology, j.a. has worked as a private investigator, bartender, and at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. Books include The Junkie Tales (2010), The Body Dwellers (2011), CURSES! A F***ed-Up Fairy Tale (2012), and Holy Socks & Dirtier Demons (2012). The next book in the F***ed Up Fairy Tale series, FROGGY-STYLE, is forthcoming from Kensington in 2013. Visit j.a. kazimer’s website at

Title: CURSES! A F***ed-Up Fairy Tale
Author: J.A. Kazimer
Definitely not for baby's bedtime reading, this hilarious and irreverent take on classic fairytales -- think Shrek for grownups -- combines humor, mystery, and characters only a fairy godmother could love...

When Cinderella is run over by a New Never City bus, her not-so-ugly stepsister, Asia, suspects murder. So she hires RJ, a private eye, to investigate. Little does she know RJ is actually a villain on mental health leave from the Villain's Union. Cursed with an inability to say no to damsels in distress, RJ travels to the Kingdom of Maldetto, meets the rest of Cinderella's family -- including her fiancé, the flamboyant Prince Charming, Cinderella's crazy stepmother, and a seriously twisted version of Hansel and Gretel -- and dodges bullets, explosions, fires, and his own ex-wife to slip his own version of glass handcuffs on the wrists that fit. All while falling for Asia, who has a curse of her own to deal with...

Friday, March 2, 2012

Month in Review: January + February

I didn't do a month in review post for January because I still hadn't caught up on reviews, and work was still a little bit nuts. Now, I'm almost completely caught up on my reviews, and work has slowed down. So I've decided to post both months together.

Here's the breakdown for January: two Urban Fantasy, two Paranormal Romance, two Paranormal Young Adult, and one Dystopian Young Adult. I think this may be the first month ever that Urban Fantasy didn't blow the the other genres out of the water.

January: 7

Switched by Amanda Hocking (5 Stars)
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi (DNF)
Devil Without a Cause by Terri Garey (3 Stars)
Blood of Eden by Tami Dane (4.5 Stars)
After Obsession by Carrie Jones & Steven E. Wedel (DNF)
Blood and Bullets by James R. Tuck (4.5 Stars)
The Twisted Kiss by Anya Bast (4.5 Stars)

And here's the breakdown for February: three Urban Fantasy, three Paranormal Romance, four Paranormal Young Adult.

February: 10

Hexed by Kevin Hearne (4.5 Stars) review coming soon
The Mephisto Covenant by Trinity Faegen (3 Stars)
Demon Bait by Moira Rogers (3.5 Stars)
Thread of Death by Jennifer Estep (4.5 Stars)
Shifting by Bethany Wiggins (DNF)
Once in a Full Moon by Ellen Schreiber (3.5 Stars)
Tranquility by Anya Bast (3 Stars)
By a Thread by Jennifer Estep (5 Stars)
Prince of Air & Darkness by Jenna Black (DNF)
Isle of Night by Veronica Wolff (4.5 Stars) review coming soon

So what did everyone else read in February?