Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children Sequel Delayed

Looks like we'll have to wait another year for the sequel to one of the most original, wonderful books I've read in years.

Quirk Books posted the following announcement recently:

Untitled Miss Peregrine Sequel

The Second Novel of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children was the surprise best seller of 2011—an unprecedented mix of YA fantasy and vintage photography that enthralled readers and critics alike. Publishers Weekly called it “an enjoyable, eccentric read, distinguished by well-developed characters, a believable Welsh setting, and some very creepy monsters.”
This second novel begins in 1940, right after the first book ended. Having escaped Miss Peregrine’s island by the skin of their teeth, Jacob and his new friends flee to London, the peculiar capital of the world. There, they encounter a dangerous madman named Caul, who also happens to be Miss Peregrine’s brother. Caul has discovered a way to rob Peculiars of their abilities and steal them for himself—and it will take all of Jacob’s efforts to save his friends from certain extinction.
Complete with dozens of newly discovered (and thoroughly creepy) vintage photographs, this new adventure will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.
RANSOM RIGGS is the #1 New York Times best-selling author of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California film school and is a writer for He lives in Los Angeles.

  • Available as an ebook
    E-Book ISBN: 
  • ISBN: 
  • Book Dimensions: 
    5 3⁄16 x 8 3⁄16
  • Page Count: 
  • Release Date: 
    February 5, 2014
  • Book Price: 
     I highly recommend checking out Quirk Books website - it is a lot of fun! Their motto is "Seekers of All Things Awesome" and their website is just that - full of book release info, recipes, and all sorts of funky literary-related goodness.

WILD ABOUT YOU by Kerrelyn Sparks (Love at Stake Series #13)

Wild About You

Back of the Book Blurb:
Handsome Howard . . .
Hunky Howard . . .
Hot Howard . . .
It's not every day that Elsa Bjornberg feels delicate, not when she hosts a home renovation show where she can effortlessly demolish a kitchen. But from the moment she meets Howard Barr, this bear of a man makes her feel like a woman. And the way he looks at her, as if she were a pot of honey he'd like to lick . . .
Howard is not like most men. For one thing, he's a shapeshifter. And he always thought his celebrity crush would never amount to anything more than drooling at Elsa on TV. When his meddling vampire employer gets involved, the star is suddenly within his grasp—and within a hair of her life. For an ancient curse forbids their newfound love, and Howard is suddenly torn between his desire for her and his desire to keep her alive.

Wow, I REALLY like this cover.   I may need a moment.......OK, I'm back.
What can I say?  I love Kerrelyn Sparks' Love At Stake series.  It's fun, fluffy and entertaining, with laugh-out-loud moments mixed with adventure and hot hunky alpha males.  When I start a new one I know exactly what I am getting, and I really treasure that.  The happy-ever-after ending is a sure thing, and she keeps it fresh by adding in new characters and plotlines.
Howard is a were-bear and daytime security guard for the vampires.  His past has remained a mystery in the last several books, as Sparks has teasingly dangled little clues about his background.  In Wild About You we finally learn about Howard's painful past, his family separation, and his determination to get revenge for a horrible event from his youth, that caused his exile.
Shanna Draganesti accidentally learns about Howard's fascination with Elsa, and decides to play match-maker, never imaging that Howard and Elsa share a destiny centuries in the making.  But the outcome of this is not certain.   As Elsa's aunts teach her about her family legacy, she begins to doubt Howard's true intentions as she begins to come into her ancient, inherited powers.  With shotgun-toting aunts, murderous bad-guys, some really hot sex scenes and the beautiful setting of the Adirondacks (shout-out for my home!!), this story was classic Sparks, and I gobbled it down in one sitting.  Delightful!

For more information visit the author's website at

 A Very Vampy Christmas: From Sugarplums and Scandal (Love at Stake Series) All I Want for Christmas Is a Vampire (Love at Stake Series #5) The Undead Next Door (Love at Stake Series #4) How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire (Love at Stake Series #1) Vampire Mine (Love at Stake Series #10)Eat Prey Love (Love at Stake Series #9) 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Jane Austen Mash-Ups: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies / Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies                    Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters  

A few years ago, when all things Jane Austen seemed to reach the height of craziness, the novel Pride and Prejudice and Zombies came out, and I HAD to have it. Two of my favorite things in one pretty little package!   As far as I know, sheltered girl that I am,  it was the first book of its kind, mixing most of the original text with carefully added sections to create a whole new spin on a long-treasured novel.  I absolutely loved it, and the thing I loved most was the really well-crafted blending of the original story with the insertion of a zombie thread running through the ENTIRE plot.  I would guess about 80% of Austen's text is perfectly intact, and Grahame-Smith managed, by adding a sentence here and tweaking a paragraph there, to create a whole new meaning to the nuances of Austen's delightful and insightful prose.  It was still the book I loved, and the zombies felt like a natural addition to the story, not the clumsy insertion they easily could have been.  Elizabeth and Darcy's smart and witty dance of manners, emotions, and societal requirements was actually enhanced as they dealt with bothersome zombies with the same sparkling and practical finesse.

Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters was also very good, but I found it to have more of the Sea Monster story and less of Austen's Sense and Sensibility.  I would guesstimate that 60-65% of the original text was there and that made it less enjoyable to read, at least for me.  Instead of getting lost in Austen's slightly altered world, I felt like I was reading a whole new story with a familiar plot.  Traveling to the bottom of the sea to mingle with society in SubStation Beta, the steadfast, love-sick Colonel, and encounters with the fickle Willoughby, were all intact.  But the sub-plot involving Margaret and her discovery of a mysterious group of chanting, teeth-filing sea-monster worshipping humanoids felt awkward and strange, and was never fully resolved.

Back of the Book Blurb Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters (published in 2009) :
From the publisher of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies comes a new tale of romance, heartbreak, and tentacled mayhem.
Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters expands the original text of the beloved Jane Austen novel with all-new scenes of giant lobsters, rampaging octopi, two-headed sea serpents, and other biological monstrosities. As our story opens, the Dashwood sisters are evicted from their childhood home and sent to live on a mysterious island full of savage creatures and dark secrets. While sensible Elinor falls in love with Edward Ferrars, her romantic sister Marianne is courted by both the handsome Willoughby and the hideous man-monster Colonel Brandon. Can the Dashwood sisters triumph over meddlesome matriarchs and unscrupulous rogues to find true love? Or will they fall prey to the tentacles that are forever snapping at their heels? This masterful portrait of Regency England blends Jane Austen’s biting social commentary with ultraviolent depictions of sea monsters biting. It’s survival of the fittest—and only the swiftest swimmers will find true love!

Back of the Book Blurb Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (published in 2009):
 “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.”
So begins Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, an expanded edition of the beloved Jane Austen novel featuring all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie mayhem. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton—and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she’s soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers—and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield. Can Elizabeth vanquish the spawn of Satan? And overcome the social prejudices of the class-conscious landed gentry? Complete with romance, heartbreak, swordfights, cannibalism, and thousands of rotting corpses, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies transforms a masterpiece of world literature into something you’d actually want to read.

Here are some more:

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls (Chapter 2)   Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter (Media Tie-In)  Mansfield Park And Mummies  Little Vampire Women  Nightlight: A Parody

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Harvesting (Book 1 of the Harvesting Trilogy) by Melanie Karsak

The Harvesting

Blurb from the Author's Website:
It's all fun and games until someone ends up undead.

Though Layla reluctantly returns home to rural Hamletville after a desperate call from her psychic grandmother, she could never have anticipated the horror of what Grandma Petrovich has foreseen. The residents of Hamletville will need Layla's help if they are to survive the zombie apocalypse that's upon them. But that is not the only problem. With mankind silenced, it soon becomes apparent that we were never alone. As the beings living on the fringe seek to reclaim power, Layla must find a way to protect the ones she loves or all humanity may be lost.


Sweet Mary, mother of god, this book was all kinds of awesome.  I first learned of it from Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer ( who also loved it.

Layla is living in Washington D.C. and working as a medieval weapons museum curator and instructor (of the practical, medieval weapons-wielding kind), when she receives a very mysterious and brief call from her mystic and psychic Russian grandmother telling her to come home right away. 

Turns out the zombie apocalypse is about to happen, and Grandma Petrovich is a big believer in being prepared. The incredibly psychic Grandma P. has bought huge stockpiles of food, fuel, weapons and ammo, and has her property fenced in.  Next thing Layla knows, Grandma P. has given her a magic mushroom tea to open up Layla's considerable (but latent) psychic abilities.  She wakes up the next morning with a whopping hangover to discover the apocalypse is at hand, Grandma P. is nowhere to be found, and zombies are at the gate.  Pretty soon a Native American warrior spirit tells her to save the town survivors, which Layla does in a slam-bang action scene using a fierce combination of medieval and modern weaponry.

With her calm presence, her extensive academic background in studying medieval battle tactics (because life gets down to the non-electric basics mighty fast during the zombie apocalypse, folks), and her skill with weapons, Layla soon becomes the leader of the survivors.  All while dealing with her new second sight and the fact that her high-school sweetheart (who betrayed her) is still alive and human.  She excels at strategy and staying alive.

After a few months the survivors are found by a mysterious group that comes in a boat across the lake.  They promise them a safe haven at an island luxury hotel.  But something is off about the newcomers, and another frightening adventure with a new enemy is just beginning.  Layla can't convince her friends to stay where they are, and is forced to go with them to try and protect them.  By this time Layla has embraced her abilities, and the story is richly woven with creatures and tales from folklore.

I won't go into further detail because it would spoil the ending of the story, which is really a fantastic beginning to Book 2. 

Reading this literally left me breathless, as I kept going, wanting to know what happens next.  Layla is a fabulous heroine.  Reluctant, grieving, ethical, smart, and capable, she is a superior leader, a fiercely loyal friend and just all-around wonderful.  She does the job because people are depending on her and because it's the right thing to do.  And she is  damn good at it.

This story had so many fantastic elements all wrapped up in one superbly written and plotted book.  Folklore, fairies, magic, zombies, medieval weapons and battle strategy, all held together by the very human drama playing out with a small group of survivors, who may be on their way to losing status as the dominant species.  
I have a particular interest in folklore, and reading this absolutely delighted me - I haven't read this many references to classical folklore since I cracked open one of my Katharine Briggs books!

Book 2 is The Shadow Aspect, and the publication date is May 1, 2013.

For more information check out the author's website at