Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tune in Tuesday (4)

Tune in Tuesdays at GReads! is a weekly feature hosted by Ginger from GReads! that showcases music - her other passion in life besides books! Each week she posts a new or old song in hopes to gain more interest. Let's help Ginger in spreading the love of music!

Since last Tuesday was all crazy-like and I couldn't find five minutes to post the videos I wanted, I'll do it today. I feel like such a ding-bat sometimes, digging through my brain trying to think of some music I'd like to share, and then it all becomes so obvious: Barenaked Ladies! The Big Bang Theory started up again last week and one of my favorite things about that show is the theme song. I remember cheering the first time I watched it, hearing one of my favorite bands at the opening.


I got to see them live in 2001 but I got so excited and lost in the music that I barely remember the concert at all :) Somebody get me a hypnotist! Anyway, here's some of my favorite songs from these fellas from Canada. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Book Review: Blood Rights by Kristen Painter

Born into a life of secrets and service, Chrysabelle's body bears the telltale marks of a comarré -- a special race of humans bred to feed vampire nobility. When her patron is murdered, she becomes the prime suspect, which sends her running into the mortal world...and into the arms of Malkolm, an outcast vampire cursed to kill every being from whom he drinks.

Now, Chrysabelle and Malkolm must work together to stop a plot to merge the mortal and supernatural worlds. If they fail, a chaos unlike anything anyone has ever seen will threaten to reign.

Blood Rights by Kristen Painter is a fresh take on a genre that has been done...and done...and done. Vampires and their culture has been around for so long that so many readers (including me) is getting pretty sick of them. However, Painter's new series has me sticking with vampires a while longer.

In Blood Rights, vampires believe that they are the superior race. Their society structure is based on status determined by wealth and strength but the pinnacle of said status is truly gained by the quality of their comarré and the price in which they paid. These quality blood servants who are born in an academy of sorts and trained to be the best of the best go to live in their new master's households as a cherished member of the family. Comarré are raised without family ties, without even knowing who their parents were, so that their identity truly is supposed to be influenced by whoever purchases them. The comarré need to be fed upon - their bodies are unable to self-monitor and control the amount of blood in their veins like regular humans - and so their relationship with their masters, while usually impersonal, is a necessary one. Comarré are trained all their lives to fight vampires but they are not allowed to let anyone know so in essence, the comarre are like foxes in the vampires' henhouses. (And here the vampires think they're the biggest bad in all the land. I love the irony.) Chrysabelle is incomparable; she is considered to be the highest achievement in comarré lineage. Accomplished in everything, she is purchased by the master of the most prestigious House and has lived a satisfactory life until recently, when she decides to leave. This is where Chrysabelle's troubles begin when her master is found murdered in their home. She flees and becomes a fugitive.

Being a cursed vampire who is tormented by the guilt and voices of everyone he has killed in his long vampire life, Malkolm now spends his time searching for a way to break his curse. He refuses to drink blood straight from the source and when he sees Chrysabelle, a comarré in disguise walking around in a vampire night club, he realizes that he's in deep trouble: she's beautiful, her blood sings to him, and she's a damsel in distress. So he tries to help her and after a rather rocky introduction, they end up working together in an unsure alliance to find out who killed her master.

I really liked Blood Rights. It felt more like Malkolm's story to me than Chrysabelle's, much to my delight; in comparison, Malkolm's life has been much more interesting. So much of the plot is wrapped up in his history whereas Chrysabelle's life is really just beginning. Neither Mal nor Chrysabelle are in a position to be feeling romantic and I appreciated that the chemistry between these two is kept in check. The villain is a bit of the evil monologing-"I've got you in my clutches" type but it meshes rather well with the black humor and dark tone. All in all, I am most certainly going to be reading book two, Flesh and Blood, out on October 25th. 

Thanks to Hachette and Netgalley for letting me read this book.

Other reviews:

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tune in Tuesday (3)

Tune in Tuesdays at GReads! is a weekly feature hosted by Ginger from GReads! that showcases music - her other passion in life besides books! Each week she posts a new or old song in hopes to gain more interest. Let's help Ginger in spreading the love of music!

My nephew, we'll call him "J", loves Beethoven. For all you parents out there who have been told by someone or another that the Baby Einstein videos for children do more harm than good, I am here to say baloney. J is not only smart for his age (he is six) but those movies cultured a love for classical music in him which I think is just the coolest thing EVER. I know that if I'm going to have him in the car with me he's going to ask for Beethoven. Beethoven's Fifth Symphony in particular. There are a few others, of course, but this one is his favorite. J's interest in Beethoven has also sparked some in me as well and I find myself appreciating more and more classical music these days. I picked this clip from Fantasia 2000 to have something to watch and while it's a bit faster-paced than I'm used to, it's still worth a listen.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Yes, I've Changed the Template (Again)

I like to fidget with things. My most recent favorite thing to play with is the template/background of my blog. It's been a constant source of dissatisfaction for me since I've somewhat changed the format. As it turns out, I prefer to have a book-based template. Go figure.

And so, I've gone back to my Lost in Austen background from Shabby Blogs. It's not exactly the same, though, since Blogger changed the template designer they offer. I like the look of this one so this is the way it shall stay. I promise. I may tweak it here and there but it will be minor changes so dear readers, if and when you come back, it'll be a familiar place.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Book Review: Deadly Sins by Kylie Brant

An unknown assassin has appointed himself judge, jury, and executioner, brutally taking out high-level human targets citywide. It's just the kind of case that will test the resolve of a tough FBI agent like Jaid Marlowe. Especially when her new partner is Adam Raiker, Jaid's former colleague-and ex-lover.

As a life-long fan of CSI-type television shows and the like, finding a book series that satisfies that particular itch for me is a pleasure. Kylie Brant's Mindhunters fills all the requirements: brilliant minds solving heinous crimes along with enough romance to entertain but not so much that it takes the focus away from the plot.

Deadly Sins is a book that I have most certainly been looking forward to as it delves into the mystery that is Adam Raiker, former FBI agent and owner of Raiker Forensics, home of the Mindhunters. In each book, enigmatic Adam is dangled in front of the reader without divulging many (if any) of his secrets. How did he lose that eye and why does he walk with a cane? Why did he leave the FBI and start his own company? Who will be the lucky woman to catch his eye and steal his heart? And most importantly, does he wear boxers or briefs? Do tell.

In the interest of keeping this review as spoiler-free as possible, though, there shall unfortunately be no real telling. However, I do have some opinions to share. For instance, I liked Deadly Sins and was quickly wrapped up in the story. Deadly Sins wraps up a multi-book arc involving the aftermath caused by the man who led Adam to leave the FBI and a killer who is enacting revenge against people who have wronged him using a theme from the movie "Seven." Is the killer sending them on a wild goose chase or is the mastermind behind everything seemingly beyond their reach? I was happy to see that the killer wasn't painfully obvious but if I had been using my "There are no extra characters" rule, I probably would have figured it out early on.

As for the romance part, considering the type of man that Adam Raiker is - clever, close-mouthed, and driven - I thought it wise of Brant to have a love interest reenter his life now, rather than having him meet someone new. Adam had been gravely injured and is still recovering; the only way I could see him letting someone close would be if he knew her (and was vulnerable to) when he was still whole. Jaid Marlowe is a good match for him as she has enough spine to stand up to his bullying nature and a big enough heart to not hold it against him (for long). I was relieved when the mystery of her son's father was revealed; I had hoped that Brant wouldn't go there and was pleased when it went in another direction than the obvious.

When's the next book? Hopefully, not too far away. (B)

Kylie Brant's website

Other reviews:
Errant Dreams Reviews
Smexy Books
Love to Read For Fun
Fiction Vixen Book Reviews

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tune in Tuesdays (2)

Tune in Tuesdays at GReads! is a weekly feature hosted by Ginger from GReads! that showcases music - her other passion in life besides books! Each week she posts a new or old song in hopes to gain more interest. Lets help Ginger in spreading the love of music!

Today, my selection is in honor of Freddy Mercury from Queen, one of the coolest things to come out of England. Yesterday would have been his sixty-fifth birthday. This is my favorite song by Queen and it's extra cool because David Bowie is in it too.