RhiReading News

Dear readers,

Hi Rhireaders! Check out the latest events in the sidebar! Thanks for visiting, be sure and follow me on social media for MORE awesome content.

Did you drop by to request a review or tour stop? I am currently OPEN for review requests for review requests. I have promotional openings for August through November open so please reach out. Just please drop me an email with a polite request and if I'm interested I will reply.

-- Rhi


1.31.2011

It's Monday, ...Don't Get Your TV On?

Urgh! It's Monday dear readers and I'm feeling like death warmed over. I've had a sore throat beating me down since last night. I know better than to sit in my unheated office when it's -22 outside but I had the coolest request this weekend! One of my favorite authors emailed asking me to beta read a short story for her. :D I wasn't sure how short it was so I thought I'd do it next week but it was much shorter than I anticipated so once I started reading the rough draft I could't stop. I'd missed the characters a lot since the last book so it was fun getting to be one of the first people to see the new adventure. Sorry, not telling who it was yet. ;)

Tonight I'm not sure I'm gonna catch my shows. The MIL and I joined Curves. We're going for the first time this evening so I might not be home before the whole run of them starts. Which means I may be catching up on them later in the week. We'll see. But here's what I'm going to be up for tonight if I'm home...





What... no The Cape or Castle? I'm undecided about sticking with The Cape. The last couple of episodes haven't really impressed me. And Castle is a repeat!

Have a great Monday evening guys, I'll be back later this week when I'm feeling better. -- Rhi

1.27.2011

Just some stuff you may wanna check out.


My apologies followers, I'm two cups of French Roast into my morning and feeling like crap. As much as I am dreading my surgery I can't wait to NOT wake up in excrutiating pain. But there was some awesomeness already today. I can hear the UPS truck coming from a mile away, they don't even wait for me to answer anymore. They drop and run, I wave as I open the door and yell "thanks!". That is our routine and we like it that way. Today I got my juicer (from Vine) and my copy of A Brush of Darkness was sitting on top! *squee* If it weren't for the fact I was already trolling the blogroll and doing some Kindle book snooping I'd be all over it nistead of sitting here writing for the blog. ;)

Speaking of Allison, I've decided that if we didn't have the bounds of a blogger(reviewer)/author relationship I would totally want to be her friend-friend. I have a hard time making friends because so few women in my community like the same stuff I do and online my luck has been that I never find ones who "get" why I can't be at their beck and call 24/7. I have a house, kids, husband and a menagerie of animals who come before chatting on IM or play-by-post RPGing. Anyways, she has a post up over at Word-Whores that totally spoke to my inner geek. Tonight is the hubs and my WoW night. It only took three expansions for us to finally start full-on rolling Horde toons (yes, I am probably speaking Greek to 99% of you, sorry!) but that's a long story. Allison showed off her toon so I thought I'd mention Raenbeau for anyone who might find the whole thing amusing. Isn't she cute? Her name is a bit of an inside joke and my nickname molded into the awesomesauce. I'm making it my trademark as a Horde. There's now a Raenstorm and a Raencheck to match. lol

But enough geeking on Allison and Wow. You guys are here for bookishness yeah?

This morning I was checking my email and had a notice that a couple of Kindle books I was interested in had dropped in price. You might want them too so I thought I'd share the great bargain prices.



Meanwhile, All Things Urban Fantasy has a great, funny interview with debut author Laurie London. There's also a giveaway, so if you are at all interested in her book Bonded by Blood go check it out.

And for reviewers who love paranormal and steampunk, spicy erotic romance and have a way to read ebooks, Moira Rogers' next title, Wilder's Mate, releases in March. Today there is a sign-up for review copies over on their site so nudge, nudge.

Well, now that I look at the post there sure isn't much I wrote is there? I am lame. But I must be off to feed my tot and get ready for Vine leftovers day the mad scramble of pushing F5 and cursing the arseholes who get juicers... err wait that's me. :P Have a good one! -- Rhi

1.26.2011

Review: Bloodshot by Cherie Priest


Bloodshot by Cherie Priest
Urban Fantasy, Vampires
Trade Paperback $15.00 (384 pages, SPECTRA)
Ebook $15.00
Audiobook $24.99-$29.99
VAMPIRE FOR HIRE
Raylene Pendle (AKA Cheshire Red), a vampire and world-renowned thief, doesn’t usually hang with her own kind. She’s too busy stealing priceless art and rare jewels. But when the infuriatingly charming Ian Stott asks for help, Raylene finds him impossible to resist—even though Ian doesn’t want precious artifacts. He wants her to retrieve missing government files—documents that deal with the secret biological experiments that left Ian blind. What Raylene doesn’t bargain for is a case that takes her from the wilds of Minneapolis to the mean streets of Atlanta. And with a psychotic, power-hungry scientist on her trail, a kick-ass drag queen on her side, and Men in Black popping up at the most inconvenient moments, the case proves to be one hell of a ride.

Author Site: www.cheriepriest.com

Urban Fantasy Worth Bleeding For (5 stars)

Various international crime fighting organizations know him as Cheshire Red. A damned good thief with a reputation for getting his hands on the loot and getting away clean. The only problem with their information? He's really a female vampire named Raylene Pendle. While other vampires join Houses and enjoy the safety of numbers, she prefers not having to answer to anyone. In the business of coming into possession of goods of all sorts by less than legal means she accepts a rather unusual client looking to get some paperwork from the government. Ian Stott is a vampire left blind after the military used him as an unwilling guinea pig.

She might not like dealing with her own kind but she's sure as heck not about to let them be lab rats to a pack of government goons. When Raylene digs into Ian's case with fervor the rabbit hole just keeps twisting and turning the deeper it goes. Men in black, drag queens and urban explorers pop out of the woodwork making this vampire's afterlife a real pain in the neck. Where Ian's papertrail leads may prove to be an adventure worthy of immortality.

When I read Cherie Priest—whose Boneshaker blew me away—was coming out with a vampire tale I was chomping at the bit for its release. Fortunately, she's delivered in spades.

In a genre cluttered with lackluster babe-a-licious tough chicks poured into leather bustiers and toting big guns it's hard to find a truly likable, balanced heroine. Sure this is a genre built on fables of blood sucking monsters and pissed-off poltergeists but after a while the cookie-cutter girls-who-love-leather this genre is famous for get old. Having a little fresh air blown into the UF lungs once in a while is good for a readers soul. Raylene is far from being the bombshell in skintight clothes blasting away at every enemy and never missing a target. She's got plenty of weaknesses and as she narrates with an obsessive-compulsiveness that is both annoying and endearing. Yeah, she kicks a lot of butt in this story but most of the time she's saved by her bag of tricks and her ability to blend in.

Vampires in this book aren't as crazily superhuman as many others make them which for me really brought it down to Earth. It had that edge of believability that made it easy to fall into the story without starting to mentally tear apart the world building. One of the things I love about Priest's writing is that like Devon Monk writes Portland, Oregon with the detail and passion of a native, Priest makes Seattle a character unto itself. Sure, there are other locations where Raylene's adventure carries her but anyone who loves Seattle will feel the loving brushstrokes as she details each scene.

But enough about that stuff, what about the plot you ask? I thought it was slightly generic at its core. It's been done in movies this is just a new spin on the evil government experiment victims trying to get justice trope. Yet somehow in Priest's hands it felt almost new. She took it places and did things with it that never bored me. The pacing is so fast and well driven that I had a terrible time putting the book down. The two nights I read it I fell asleep with it in my hands. There is so much action and tension and running and hiding and cat-and-mouse going on I felt almost as if I was reading a movie tie-in. All of the action was well executed too. There wasn't a bit of it that felt contrived or clumsy. The only bit of the book I wasn't satisfied with was the ending. I felt a little like it ended too soon. I wanted more. The plot tied up too smoothly to expect another book featuring Raylene and co. but I would be first in line if there was.

To sum up my thoughts, if you love Urban Fantasy, read this book. It has something to offer without all the smut and moping (which I like too... just not in every single UF book I read) that seem to be the norm for the genre lately. Much bad guy butt gets kicked, drag queens will sparkle and Priest fans will love this one.

Other Reviews:
B. Walker on Amazon.com
Melindeeloo on Goodreads

Notes: Received ARC via Amazon Vine program.

1.25.2011

Happy Debut Day Allison Pang!


In the randomness that is my bloggish life I stumbled upon info for a book called A Brush of Darkness many moons ago. As soon as I read that it included a pervy unicorn I was sold. As much as I read urban fantasy I am always hankering something different, something that's just... well, NEW! I began digging around madly in search of a publicist to contact so I could get an ARC. Alas there weren't any available. Apparently I was slow getting on the bandwagon. *doh*

Today, Bitten By Books is hosting a special release party chat and giveaway @ 12PM Central (which is like half an hour from now but since I made it to my computer on time I'm gonna try and be there).

In the meantime y'all should check out Allison's blog, website and go order a copy of her book if you haven't picked it up already! Or you can go to author Kelly Gay's blog where she's got a funny interview and giveaway going.

Anywho, I haven't read the book yet but I've been semi-stalking Allison on her blog lately. She's a lot of fun so even if I end up hating her book (doubt it) I'll be watchin' her authorly career with interest. :)

Review: Zombie Cupcakes: From the Grave to the Table with 16 Cupcake Corpses by Zilly Rosen


Zombie Cupcakes: From the Grave to the Table with 16 Cupcake Corpses by Zilly Rosen
Zombies, Cooking
Paperback (ANDREWS MCMEEL, 80 pages, $14.99)
ISBN# 1449401120

Conjuring up her inner George A. Romero, professional cake designer Zilly Rosen focuses her creative attention on crafting a legion of edible undead inside Zombie Cupcakes: From the Grave to the Table with 16 Cupcake Corpses. With a nod to Romero's zombie franchise, Rosen offers instructions for crafting 16 terrifying treats, including:
* Toxic Bite
* Zombie Rising
* Keep an Eye Out
* Destroy the Brain
and more!
Readers can raise their own macabre multitude of Zombie Cupcakes creations from the undead with an average creation time of less than one hour. Each Zombie Cupcakes design includes a full-color photograph of the zombie creation at hand, as well as an illustrated instructional overview and a convenient sidebar list of every item you will need to complete the cupcake.

Author Site: www.zillycakes.com

For Fondant Fans, But Cute (3 stars)

Recipes and instructions for sixteen special zombie movie themed cupcakes packed into one volume? Sounded like a cool book to add to my collection. My collection of zombie themed goodies anyway. No, I didn't pick this up with any plans to actually bake or decorate any cupcakes. Which means I wanted it merely for the fun of having a book mixing two of my favorite things... zombies and cupcakes! Which it definitely does. Rosen put together some really nice ideas for themes and matched her cupcake flavors nicely. Mud cupcakes with zombie hands rising from them? Genius!

So why did I find it only okay? All of the decorating is centered on fondant work. Which might be okay if it was all visually top notch—and urgh I feel overly critical saying this 'cause I know mine would look horrid—but most of it looks like playdough claymation leftovers. I expected them to look a little more professional. If I actually planned to make any of these I have to say though the recipes look killer (no pun intended). I would love to make the applesauce and caramel ones.

In the end I think you have to decide what you want from the book. Yummy recipes and zombie decorating ideas are what I think it best offers. This just isn't the cool "coffee table" type book I was thinking it was so I wasn't as impressed as I'd hoped to be.


Notes: I received this an ebook review copy through NetGalley.

1.24.2011

It's Monday, Get Your TV On!

Maybe I'll make this a Monday habit? Reminding ya of televisionness you might like I mean. I'm trying it on for a few weeks, how about that? Plus it helps ME remember. And why do I need help remembering? Because I suck so hardcore when it comes to TV watching that I forgot all about the new season of Spartacus starting on Friday. *doh* All the man candy, bloody battles and raunchy Roman intrigue a girl could ask for and I forgot about it. EPIC FAIL!

So here are my TV choices for this week:

Monday

Danny reveals how Sally died; a surprise guest haunts Aidan; family matters weigh on Josh. (Synopsis from tvguide.com)


A tip about stolen money from the Cape prompts Scales to confront his business partner Peter Fleming at a costume party on a train. Meanwhile, the Cape and Orwell learn Max's gang is planning a heist aboard the train, and Dana and Trip are taunted. (Synopsis from tvguide.com)



The retired lead detective on Beckett's mother's homicide case is gunned down after telling her he has new information; Castle and Beckett's partnership grows. (Synopsis from abc.go.com)


A wish comes true for one of the girls, but surprising consequences follow. (Synopsis from tvguide.com)

Wednesday

A competition to see who could be the next name in movie magic. Series premiere Wednesday January 26 at 10/9C.

Friday

Batiatus conjures up a devious plan and enlists Lucretia, Gaia and a clutch of gladiator recruits to see it through. Oenomaus longs to reclaim the top gladiator rank, but new challenges cross his path. (Synopsis from www.starz.com)

1.22.2011

Review: Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey

Every once in a while dear readers I dig up an old review from my Amazon.com account that's never been posted here and do a little repost. Since the Paperback reprint of this one just came out last week I thought I'd make it one to share today! Rumor has it Fantaskey has a sequel called Jessica Rules the Darkside coming out this fall. I can't wait! -- Rhi
(Original Review Date: December 2008)



Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey
Young Adult, Paranormal Romance, Vampires
Hardback $17.00
Paperback $8.99
Ebook $8.99
(HARCOURT/GRAPHIA, 384 pages)
ISBN# 0547259409

The undead can really screw up your senior year . . .
Marrying a vampire definitely doesn’t fit into Jessica Packwood’s senior year “get-a-life” plan. But then a bizarre (and incredibly hot) new exchange student named Lucius Vladescu shows up, claiming that Jessica is a Romanian vampire princess by birth—and he’s her long-lost fiancĂ©. Armed with newfound confidence and a copy of Growing Up Undead: A Teen Vampire’s Guide to Dating, Health, and Emotions, Jessica makes a dramatic transition from average American teenager to glam European vampire princess. But when a devious cheerleader sets her sights on Lucius, Jess finds herself fighting to win back her wayward prince, stop a global vampire war—and save Lucius’s soul from eternal destruction.

Author Site: www.bethfantaskey.com

Good Book, Bad Title (4 stars)

In this cliched tale of a very ordinary American teen who finds out she's really European royalty, Jessica Packwood's world gets turned completely upside down. Jess knows she's adopted, knows there were strange circumstances behind how her adoptive parents came to be her guardians. What she doesn't know is that she was born a vampire princess. Like any story of an adopted misfit, she has mixed feelings about her birth parents and her mother and father have kept the truth from her 'to protect her'. But as her coming-of-age looms they can't keep it from her much longer.

When Lucius Vladescu shows up claiming that not only is he vampire royalty but that she is his betrothed princess, it's only natural that Jessica think he's crazy. Even after her parents tell her it's true she can't believe it. She just wants to continue being a mathlete and mucking out stalls on the farm until graduation then go to college and be with a nice boy. But can she really give up on her destiny? Can Jessica condemn her birth family to a war just because she doesn't want to marry the arrogant, aristocratic Lucius? And what of the slowly growing feelings she has for the vampire prince?

First off I have to get this off my chest... I hate this book's title. It gave me the impression this was going to be a more humorous book when in reality it was pretty straight-forward. Sure there was humor in it but this wasn't a teen-chicklit-vampire story. Beyond the title though it was a pretty good story. I loved that Jessica was a size 10 and uncomfortable with her curves, that Lucius didn't understand the American obsession with being all angles. I found Lucius really grating at first, wondering how it could ever be possible for someone to be so stuck up but he was well developed and grew through the story. Jessica's adoptive parents were probably one of the bigger sources of humor in the book, they were quite eccentric.

If you're looking for an entertaining coming-of-age story that just happens to involve vampires but doesn't get as gloom and doom as a certain saga that's currently popular you might enjoy this book. It's not as angsty as it could be but neither is it as funny as the title would lead one to believe. One to add to the librarian's list of recommendations for the YA vampire romance fan.



Notes: I received this ARC through Amazon.com's Vine program. This is a reprint of my old review now that there's been a paperback reprint. :)

RhiCovery: Cover Share (3)

Okie. Y'all know I'm a dork. I can't help it. Growing up with my name was pretty much a friggin' curse. I've heard every possible variation of mispronunciation possible. But I love my name. LOVE it. If I were an author I'd suffer not being able to give characters my name just because it's a great name to have. Don't believe me... there are at least five Rhiannas (or Riannas or Rhiannons) I can recall having read as heroines in PNR/UF novels. Yep, my name kicks butt. So I enjoy messing around with it here on my blog. I almost started titling my book reviews "RhiViews". But since I post them elsewhere it seemed a little too lame/cheesy. But I wanted a name for my coverart sharing so there it is. RhiCovery. It's a little silly... but I like it.

And now on to the coverartses precious!


Blood & Flowers by Penny Blubaugh
March 1
One of my favorite covers on this list. When I first saw it the first word I thought was "fey", the second "otherwordly". It fits the story so nicely and it's so bright I could buy it for cover alone.


Spirit Dances (Walker Papers #6) by C. E. Murphy
March 22
I finally picked up the first book in this series and added it to my TBR. I've liked most of the other covers this series has to offer but this one is meh. Nothing about it catches my eye or is exciting. Bummer.


Vampire Mine by Kerrelyn Sparks
March 29
This cover is all about the contrasts. His dark and her light. It's eye catching and I loooove the angle. I wish I read this series so I had an excuse to buy it.


Surrender the Dark by L. A. Banks
March 29
The chick on the front... looks... like she's trying too hard? I love her hair but the pose and clothes, no. The angel dude has dreds! He also has a mighty fine booty.

Monster High: The Ghoul Next Door by Lisi Harrison
April 5
I've been collecting the dolls that go with these books for the baby. I can't vouch for the books yet but I couldn't help but love vampire, werewolf, zombie and other famous monster's kids as dolls. They are so adorablely evil. I like the books' background textures loads. They keep it simple which I also like.


Skeleton Crew (Mob Rules #2) by Cameron Haley
April 19
Not as great as Mob Rules' cover. I liked the angle on it so much I expected something a bit askew with this one too. I like that it keeps the urban feel but why does Domino look totally different this time? New model?


Illusions (Wings #3) by Aprilynne Pike
May 3
I'm not a fan of the Wings series' covers. The first one was nice at the time (and I loved the book!!!) but the others have been a bit bleh. I like the flowers but the colors on this one remind me of puke.


Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini
May 3
I wish the girl's face wasn't cut off. She's beautiful! I was so stoked to see a not-white girl for a change. I love the contrast of that flowing lavender gown against her ebony skin. It's not a super striking cover but it could have been.


Corsets & Clockwork: 13 Steampunk Romances (anthology)
May 10
A disappointment is all I can say about this cover. Considering the content I expected something a big more along the lines of the one from Katie MacAlister's Steamed. This looks washed out and slapped together.


Forgotten Sea (Children of the Sea) by Virginia Kantra
June 7
As much as I like Kantra's writing and her previous covers... this one doesn't do it for me. I know it's probably gonna make some of ya ladies go "OMGWTF" but men this sculpted gross me out. Maybe it's because of the pose but it just looks so... plastic. not sexy IMHO.


Shadow Walker (#3) by Allyson James
June 7
This cover is so lovely. I would impulse buy this one too! (Okay I'm writing my comments from the bottom up so unless you're reading them backwords that makes no sense, sorry! lol) I haven't started these but I may have to if I can't control my cover love impulses.


Burn the Night: The Final Dark Days Novel by Jocelynn Drake
June 28
Years ago I read and reviewed the first one and haven't read the rest yet. Yes TBR boxes and shelves I know you're evil eyeing me. I think this is a great cover for the final novel in the series. The last couple were pretty fugly IMO.


Kindling the Moon: An Arcadia Bell Novel by Jenn Bennett
June 28
If I was in a store and I saw this cover I would impulse buy it. Period. It screams of tough-cookie-ness but has bright sparkley colors. But I'm buying it because the story sounds good. I swear. ;)


Mysteria Nights (anthology)
July 5
This is technically a reprint. It combines two previously released anthologies, Mysteria and Mysteria Lane. It features P. C. Cast, MaryJanice Davidson, Susan Grant and Gena Showalter. I already have both in my TBR pile but thought it was worth sharing.


Grave Dance: An Alex Craft Novel (#2) by Kalayna Price
July 5
Another one following one I've got in my TBR pile. You guys have heard me say green is my fave and the pop o' green here is suh-weet. I very much likies this one.


Vampire Instinct (Vampire Queen) by Joey W. Hill
July 5
I'd not normally admit it but I heart this cover. Maybe it's the frail little ballerina look the heroine has? Okay, maybe I wish I had pretty hair like the hero. Bite me! (Pun intended.)


Bloodlust (Nightshade #2) by Michelle Rowen
July 5
So weird but the chick on this cover looks like my aunt. Which is cool and I dig that she's not wearing black leather leggings like 50% of the cover chickies do.


Shadowflame (A Novel of the Shadow World #2) by Dianne Sylvan
July 26
And speaking of black leather leggings... :P But she has a samurai sword. So I'll forgive her.


Second Grave on the Left (#2) by Darynda Jones
August 16
If you've seen Jones' debut novel's cover you might agree with me that this one isn't quite as striking and eye catching but I do kind of like it. They keep the skull thing and the baby scythe which is IMO essential to keeping the cover art consistent.

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