My Bookish Ways

Review (& Giveaway): Blood Rights (House of Comarré #1) by Kristen Painter

Blood Rights (House of Comarre #1) by Kristen Painter
 Orbit books
Urban Fantasy
House of Comarre Series

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.


My partner in crime, Chelsea, from Vampire Book Club raved about Blood Rights, and I was lucky enough to meet the lovely Kristen Painter at the Readers n’ Ritas recently, so I was anxious to dive right in to Bood Rights¸ and I’m so glad I did! First off, the cover is just lovely, and really does a good job of giving a spot on visual of Chrysabelle’s markings and her otherworldly beauty, and sets up the mood for the book perfectly. Chrysabelle is a comarre to a noble vampire. In other words, a certain vampire is her patron, and he (or she) owns her blood rights exclusively. When her patron is murdered, Chrysabelle is assumed to be his killer, and she goes on the run, hoping to escape over a hundred years of servitude. She immediately seeks out her “aunt”, a former comarre who won her freedom long ago, and who may be able to help Chrysabelle clear her name. Chrysabelle is no weeping violet, in spite of her career choice. She’s spent her life training in the killing arts, and does a fine job of defending herself at every turn, making pretty short work of anyone that chooses to threaten her or those she cares about. The author did a really nice job of balancing her physical strength along with the vulnerability that comes with over 100 years of pampered existence. She eventually meets up with Mal, an anathema vampire with a curse who has a shapeshifter and a ghost for sidekicks. Sparks inevitably fly¸ but probably not how you think.

From page one of Blood Rights, the author sets up the settings, in Romania and Paradise City in New Florida, to be characters in and of themselves. Keep in mind, this is the future (2067), and there’s a blending of old and new that really serves the story to great effect, but is very subtle and never heavy handed. Little details are sprinkled throughout that really enhance the story’s effectiveness. The push and pull of Mal and Chrysabelle is exquisite from the get go, and Ms. Painter gives us a villain, in the awful Tatiana, to rival the worst of them. Mal is the epitomy of “tortured soul”, and getting through his many layers was a big lure of this story, not to mention the delicious (and dangerous) tension between him and Chrysabelle. Tatiana is determined to become an Elder, now that Chrysabelle’s patron is dead, and she’s willing to go about it any way she can. Greedy and power hungry, Tatiana is a force to be reckoned with, ad you’ll love to hate her. Twists and turns abound, and there were a couple I saw coming, but also quite a few that I didn’t! The author has created an unusual and fascinating “othernatural” mythology that was refreshing, especially since the vampire genre is anything but fresh. Even if you feel “vamped-out” lately, I urge you to give this highly imaginative series a try! You won’t be disappointed!

Purchase: Amazon| Barnes and Noble
House of Comarré Website
Kristen Painter’s Website
Orbit Books

1. Giveaway is for 2 SIGNED copies of BLOOD RIGHTS by Kristen Painter to 2 winners.
2. To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form below
3. Following My Bookish Ways is not required, but is much appreciated!
4. Giveaway is US/Canadian addresses only
5. Be sure to use a valid email address
6. Entries must be received on or before Thursday, Dec. 8th, 2011
7. One winner will be drawn randomly from eligible entries and notified via email
8. I am not responsible for books lost or damaged in transit. Please see my entire Giveaway Policy for details.

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Blogoversary 2011 Kick-Off!

Hi gang! Can you believe it’s been a year already? I certainly can’t and never imagined that this blog thing could be so much fun! I’ve met so many wonderful people in my readers and fellow bloggers, and it’s been such a joy.

So, in that spirit, and in the spirit of the holiday season, I’d like to kick off 2 weeks of awesome giveaways (not to mention some pretty cool features!) I’ll be starting off the fun today with my review of Blood Rights (House of Comarre #1) by Kristen Painter and a giveaway (in a separate post), so be sure to enter and spread the word if you would:)

There will be lots of chances for extra entries, and I promise to offer international whenever I can. Thanks again for everything, and I hope you’ll enjoy the giveaways!

**Click here for current giveaways!

Review: Working Stiff (Revivalist #1) by Rachel Caine

Working Stiff (Revivalist #1) by Rachel Caine
 Penguin Group/2011
Urban Fantasy
Revivalist Series
Amazon|Barnes and Noble

Bryn Davis was killed on the job after discovering her bosses were selling a drug designed to resurrect the dead. Now, revived by that same drug, she becomes an undead soldier in a corporate war to take down the very pharmaceutical company responsible for her new condition…

I’m a big fan of Rachel Caine’s Weather Warden series and of course, her Morganville Vampire Series, so when I found out she had a brandy new one coming out, I was very excited! Working Stiff is a big departure from her other series. There’s not a bit of magic to be found, for one, and it definitely veers into light sci-fi territory (which is totally cool with me.) Bryn Davis is a 26 year old Iraqi War vet who takes a job as a funeral director, a job that doesn’t suit many, but since the dead don’t bother her, she thinks it might be a good fit. If the owner seems a bit off, and there’s a creep working as the downstairs man, well, Bryn’s no stranger to handling herself, so no big deal, right? Things seem to be going along alright until she’s held at gunpoint by an unknown intruder and realizes that there might be a lot more going on at Fairview then just funerals. During the melee, Bryn is suffocated to death, and resurrected using a highly valuable new drug involving nanotechnology. She’s not a zombie, she’s just in a permanent state of stasis, that must be maintained by the drug. She’s immediately recruited by Pharmadene to help them find out who’s been supplying the drug to the funeral home. If she doesn’t help them, her supply of the drug that’s keeping her alive will be cut off, and she needs a shot every day. Can you imagine it? If she doesn’t get her shot, she will begin to decompose and eventually, die. Yeah, not a pretty thought, and one that Bryn gets very close and personal to at one point in the book.

Ms. Caine spends much of the first half of Working Stiff setting up Bryn’s world. I really enjoyed the fact that Bryn, who certainly knows her way around a gun, and combat, from the military, she’s not a superhuman chick. In fact, she’s very, very human, and her new condition highlights that even more. There are two men helping her in her mission for Pharmadene; Joe Fideli and Patrick McCallister. They both have their own agendas separate from Pharmadene, and at first, Bryn is unsure of who she can trust. Don’t worry, she’ll soon learn, and her attraction to McCallister made for a nice little emotional push and pull that lasted the length of the book. Working Stiff reminded me a bit of early Dean Koontz (this is a good thing.) It’s hard to pinpoint exactly why, but if you know his work, you might know what I mean. There’s plenty of action and things really kick into high gear (seriously, she brings the awesome) in the second half. It didn’t emotionally engage me like the Weather Wardens, but it’s a completely different novel. I like Bryn,and I’ll look forward to seeing where Ms.Caine takes her. Working Stiff is a fun start to a brand new series!

Working Stiff (Revivalist, #1)

Giveaway Winner: Nylon Angel by Marianne de Pierres

I have a winner for my Nylon Angel giveaway!

Congrats to Cathy M.!

*Winner was chosen using and has been notified. Thanks so much to everyone that entered!

Review: One Salt Sea (October Daye #5) by Seanan McGuire

One Salt Sea (October Daye #5) by Seanan McGuire
Source: From publisher for review
Urban Fantasy
October Daye Series
Barnes and Noble |Amazon

October “Toby” Daye is settling into her new role as Countess of Goldengreen. She’s actually dating again, and she’s taken on Quentin as her squire. So, of course, it’s time for things to take a turn for the worse.

Someone has kidnapped the sons of the regent of the Undersea Duchy of Saltmist. To prevent a war between land and sea, Toby must find the missing boys and prove the Queen of the Mists was not behind their abduction. Toby’s search will take her from the streets of San Francisco to the lands beneath the waves, and her deadline is firm: she must find the boys in three days’ time, or all of the Mists will pay the price. But someone is determined to stop her-and whoever it is isn’t playing by Oberon’s Laws…

Finally, Toby is getting a break. The events of Late Eclipses nearly killed her, and as a result, she’s much stronger and more powerful. She and Connor are finally able to date since the annulment of his marriage to Rayseline Torquill, and happiness actually seems like something that’s in reach. We all know, however, that Toby really can’t stay out of trouble,or in this case, trouble finds her. She’s contacted by the Luidaeg, her aunt and sea witch (she’s a pretty big deal) with the news that someone has kidnapped the sons of the Duchess Dianda Lorden, of the Saltmist (Undersea). This is alarming to Toby in a few ways. First, if she doesn’t find her sons, there will be war, and eventually she might have to go underwater. If you recall, Toby was turned into a fish for 14 years so water is not her friend. When the kidnapper makes things personal, Toby is more determined than ever to find out the truth.

I always love going back into Toby’s world, and One Salt Sea was no exception. However, I didn’t get as emotionally tied up in this one as the rest, and I can’t quite pinpoint why, but I did enjoy it. My favorite King of the Cats, Tybalt, helps Toby on her mission, and I can’t get enough of Tybalt, with his sexy cat swagger, so that was a good thing. I’ve always had hope for Toby and Tybalt. I mean, Connor’s nice and all, but he ain’t Tybalt! The girl you love to hate, Raysel Torquill (Sylvester and Luna’s daughter), is back and reeking havoc, yet she’s presented as a much more sympathetic villain in this one. As heinous as her actions are, you can’t help but pity her, considering what she’s been through and how much her mind has been damaged. Toby is still getting used to her new powers since her mother changed her blood, and I really enjoyed the scenes underwater in the Saltmist kingdom. As always, the author uses rich mythology and charming characters to wonderful effect in her fae universe, and I’ll certainly be there for Toby’s next adventure.

**GIVEAWAY DETAILS (please read carefully)**

      • Giveaway is for 1 copy of One Salt Sea by Seanan McGuire to one winner.

**Giveaway is now CLOSED and winner has been announced. Thanks to everyone that entered!

New Releases: Week of Nov. 29th, 2011

Check out the new releases this week!  Most release Nov 29th.  Also, Kindle Steals and Deals is back, so be sure to check those out too! Enjoy!

Urban Fantasy/Paranormal/Fantasy/Sci-fi/Horror:
Bad Blood (House of Comarré #3)digital release by Kristen Painter (Dec. 1st)
Killing Rites: Book Four of The Black Sun’s Daughter by M.L.N. Hanover | REVIEW
Virtual Virgin: Delilah Street: Paranormal Investigator by Carole Nelson Douglas
Acquainted With the Night by Piper Maitland | REVIEW
Within the Flames: A Dirk & Steele Novel by Marjorie M. Liu
Honor Among Thieves: Book Three of the Ancient Blades Trilogy by David Chandler
Hunter of Shadows by Nancy Gideon
Fate’s Edge (The Edge, Book 3) by Ilona Andrews
Vampires Dead Ahead: A Night Tracker Novel by Cheyenne McCray
Broken Blade (A Fallen Blade Novel) by Kelly McCullough
Angel of Darkness (The Fallen) by Cynthia Eden
Beyond the Darkness (Offspring) by Jaime Rush
The Emperors Knife by Mazarkis Williams
Nightshift by Kate Douglas and more
Theme Planet (Anarchy) by Andy Remic

The Scottish Prisoner: A Novel (Lord John) by Diana Gabaldon
The Moonlit Mind (Novella): A Tale of Suspense by Dean Koontz
The Drop (Harry Bosch) by Michael Connelly

Young Adult:
Legend (Legend Trilogy) by Marie Lu
Kiss of Frost (Mythos Academy) by Jennifer Estep

Kindle Steals and Deals!
Urban Fantasy/Fantasy/Paranormal/Horror/Sci-fi/Steampunk:
The Hunter (The Legend Chronicles) by Theresa Meyers: $4.61
Silver Shark (Kinsmen Series) by Ilona Andrews: $2.99
Goddess With a Blade by Lauren Dane: $3.82
Dead, Undead, or Somewhere in Between (Rhiannon’s Law) by J.A. Saare: $4.99
The Renfield Syndrome by J.A. Saare: $4.39
Under Attack (Underworld Detective Agency) by Hannah Jayne: $5.38
Under Wraps (The Underworld Detection Agency Chronicles) by Hannah Jayne: $4.49
Dying Bites: The Bloodhound Files by D.D. Barant: $2.99
Blood Bound (Unbound Novel) by Rachel Vincent: $5.59
Stray (The Shifters) by Rachel Vincent: $5.40 (The entire series is the same price!)
Dark Kiss Of The Reaper by Kristen Painter: $3.99
Miss Bramble and the Leviathan by Kristen Painter: $2.66
The Evil that Befell Sampson (Tale from the Archives) by Pip Ballantine: $.99
Collision Course by Zoe Archer: $3.03
The Blades of the Rose Bundle: Warrior, Scoundrel, Rebel, & Stranger by Zoe Archer: $8.84
Gena Showalter’s Atlantis Series Bundle by Gena Showalter (5 Stories!); $8.84
Lord of the Abyss (Harlequin Nocturne) by Nalini Singh: $3.99
Once Bitten by Stephen Leather: $1.99
For I Have Sinned (A Charley Davidson Story) by Darynda Jones: $.99
Tooth And Nail by Craig DiLouie: $4.79

Young Adult:
The Dark Divine by Bree Despain: $3.99
Pirates! by Celia Rees: $1.99
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins: $4.69
The Declaration by Gemma Malley: $2.99
Birthmarked (Birthmarked Trilogy) by Caragh M. O’Brian: $2.99
Unwind by Neal Shusterman: $5.99
Everfound (The Skinjacker Trilogy) by Neal Shusterman: $5.99
Everlost (The Skinjacker Trilogy) by Neal Shusterman: $4.99
Everwild (Skinjacker Trilogy) by Neal Shusterman: $5.99
Wither (The Chemical Garden Trilogy) by Lauren DeStefano: $5.99
Blood Red Road by Moira Young: $5.99
Possession by Elana Johnson: $5.99
Half-Blood (Covenant) by Jennifer L. Armintrout: $3.99
Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder: $6.66

Black Friday Book Bonanza Giveaway Winner!

I’ve got my winner for the Black Friday Book Bonanza Hop!

Congrats to donnas!

*Winner was chosen using and has been notified! Thanks so much to everyone that entered, and thanks to all of my wonderful followers (you’re the reason I do this blog thang!)

Interview (& Giveaway): KC Klein, author of Dark Future

I’m thrilled to have KC Klein on the blog today! KC is the author of Dark Future, a sci-fi/urban fantasy romance. She’s also giving away an e-copy of her book, so be sure to check out the giveaway details at the bottom of the post!

Please welcome KC to the blog!

-First, Kristin, I want to say thank you for letting me come on your blog and giving me the opportunity to talk to people about my passion—writing. My debut novel, DARK FUTURE, is somewhere between a sci-fi and an urban fantasy romance. It’s fun, it’s sexy, and in case you couldn’t figure out by the title, it’s DARK. I would LOOOVVVEEE to give one e-book away. So I will make it super easy, just leave a comment along with your email for your chance to win.

KC, it says in your online bio that you became serious about writing about three years ago. Can you tell us a bit about your journey?
Sure, I would love to. I think almost every writer knows that they want to write at a young age, and I was no exception. But knowing you want to be a writer and actually getting a book written and published are two very different things. About three years ago, I came to crossroads in my life. I was scared at the thought trying to write and failing, and I was also terrified of never trying in the first place. The fear of never trying finally out grew the fear of failure, and so I joined RWA and haven’t looked back since.

Dark Future, your brand new novel, is a sci-fi, time travel tale. Can you tell us a little bit about it?
I don’t think I can do it any better than the book blurb, so here it is:
Book Blurb
Awakened in the middle of the night by a future version of herself, Kris Davenport is given a mission: go forward in time to save the world—and His life. Of course, her future self doesn’t tell her who he is, just sends her into an abyss and straight into an alien invasion.
He turns out to be ConRad Smith, the callous, untrusting Commander of Earth’s army and the world’s last defense. There’s only one way to know for sure if this strange woman is an alien spy—slice her throat. Except, he didn’t anticipate the heat he would feel as he interrogates the hot-tempered, warm-blooded woman. For a man whose sole focus has been survival, she’s more temptation than he can handle. But a world on the brink of destruction leaves no room for love…and time is running out.

What made you decide to write sci-fi for your first novel, as opposed to other genres?
I started DARK FUTURE over ten years ago. Back then paranormal romance was not what it is today, and I was looking for a grittier, darker romance than what I was currently reading. I couldn’t find what I wanted on the bookshelves, so I thought, heck, I’ll write what I want to read. The only place where my hero could exist, and not be thought of as a total jerk, was an alternate, dystopian world. So that was how DARK FUTURE came about.

What is one of your most unusual writing quirks?
I’ve written my first three books long hand. I get a new spiral notebook for each new novel and write my story longhand and then transferring it into the computer. I now have to learn to write faster, so I’m trying to skip that step, but there are times I just need to write the scene out with old fashioned paper and pen.

What are some of your biggest literary influences?
Hmm…that’s tough. I would probably have to say, Janet Evanovich, Karen Marie Moning, Diana Gabaldon, and Suzanne Brockmann.

What’s on your nightstand right now?
The third book in the Game of Throne series by George Martin and a historical romance by Madeline Hunter.

When you’re not writing, how do you like to spend your free time?
What free time? I do love to work out. Right now, my schedule is a kickboxing class six days a week and some short runs on the weekends. (I’m crazy, I know.)

Is there any news of upcoming projects or events that you’d like to share?
YES! I am so excited about my next project. I’m in a sci-fi, bodice ripper, anthology (if there is such a thing), with two other awesome writers, Erin Kellison and Jessa Slade. We’re all really enthusiastic about this project because we decided to just have a great time with the stories. So far it has been really fun, and I can’t wait to get the book into the hands of the readers to see what they think.

Thanks again for having me. And remember leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of DARK FUTURE.
I am always happy about anything that pulls me away from housework so if any readers want to talk to me they can always find me on Twitter, Facebook,and my website.

**GIVEAWAY DETAILS (please read carefully)**

    • Giveaway is for 1 ecopy of Dark Future by KC Klein to one winner.
    • To enter, leave a comment with your email address
    • Following My Bookish Ways is not required, but is much appreciated! Let me know if you do (and how), and I’ll give you ONE extra entry (please leave separate comment)
    • Giveaway is INTERNATIONAL
    • Be sure to use a valid email address
    • Entries must be received on or before Monday, Dec. 5th, 2011
    • One winner will be drawn randomly from eligible entries and notified via email
    • Please see my entire Giveaway Policy for details.

“Mmm, you taste human. Like salt or more like … warm sunshine?” He pinned me with his gaze. His eyes spoke a primal language. Desire warred with anger; need against punishment.
I looked away. Embarrassed. Violated. His body crushed mine, suffocating in its nearness. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t even breathe without crushing my breasts against him. I always considered myself strong and physically fit, but he subdued me with barely any effort. Heart racing, I panicked.
The feeling of no control would break me—complete powerlessness always did. I used whatever weapon was available; whatever maneuvers would give me a fighting chance. This was no different. I turned my head, opened my mouth against his neck, and … sunk my teeth in.
He cursed. Grabbed hold of my shirt, picked me up, and slammed me back against the wall.
A painful whoosh came from my lungs. My vision rocked—brain swished inside my skull.
“You bit me.” He sounded shocked.
My head hurt so bad I had to blink hard to keep my eyes in their sockets. “You licked me,” I shouted back.
He assessed me, aqua blue eyes hooded with thick, long eyelashes, for what seemed like an eternity. “I will ask you one more time. Who are you?”
“I’ve told you everything.” My voice sounded desperate, tired, even to me. “I went running and fell into the dark … I’m a doctor at a hospital. If you don’t believe me, just call them. I’ve worked there for years.”
He stood still, his body hard against mine, creating an insurmountable barrier. His face so close I could see his pupils enlarge, almost hiding the hard blue of his irises. The rage in him lived and breathed. One hand ran along my scalp in a mock caress, grabbed hold of my hair and pulled.
“Liar,” his voice barely a whisper, the knife was back … shaking at my very exposed, very vulnerable artery. “There hasn’t been a hospital anywhere on Earth since the year 2075.” And in one efficient movement, he drew the knife across my throat.

About KC Klein:
KC Klein is the author of Dark Future, a sexy futuristic time-travel. She became serious about writing three years ago and was as surprised as anyone when her stories took a turn toward dark and snarky. Today, she divides her time between taking care of her family and driving in circles around Arizona, too busy creating stories in her head to pay attention to mere road signs. KC would love a visit at

Giveaway Winner: Spellcast by Barbara Ashford

I have a winner in my Spellcast Giveaway!

Congrats to Leonard White!

*Winner was chosen using and has been notified. Thanks to everyone that entered!

Early Review: Killing Rites (Black Sun’s Daughter #4) by M.L.N. Hanover

Killing Rites (Black Sun’s Daughter #4) by M.L.N. Hanover
 Pocket Books (Simon & Schuster/Nov. 29th, 2011)
Source: From publisher for review
Urban Fantasy
Black Sun’s Daughter Series
Amazon| Barnes and Noble

Jayne Heller has discovered the source of her uncanny powers: something else is living inside her body. She’s possessed. Of all her companions, she can only bring herself to confide in Ex, the former priest. They seek help from his old teacher and the circle of friends he left behind, hoping to cleanse JaynÉ before the parasite in her becomes too powerful.

Ex’s history and a new enemy combine to leave Jayne alone and on the run. Her friends, thinking that the rider with her has taken the reins, try to hunt her down, unaware of the danger they’re putting her in. Jayne must defeat the weight of the past and the murderous intent of another rider, and her only allies are a rogue vampire she once helped free and the nameless thing hiding inside her skin.

REVIEW (please note: this book is #4 in a series, and I try to avoid spoilers, but you never know…)
I love this series. I mean, I really, really love it. Killing Rites is the fourth book in the Black Sun’s Daughter series by M.L.N. Hanover, and if you haven’t read the first three, you may find yourself a bit lost with this one, only because quite a few of the demon terms will not be familiar, and Jayne’s journey up to this point is very important to the events of this book. After the events in Vicious Grace left one of her team injured and Jayne’s heart broken, she sets of with Ex (ex-priest and all kinds of sexy), to hopefully get rid of the little something extra she seems to be carrying with her. This extra would be a “rider” or demon. Usually riders are not something you want, but Jayne’s seems to be a bit unique in that it has saved her life on numerous occasions (which makes sense, since it’s a parasite, and a parasite wouldn’t want to kill its host), it seems to have been with her a LONG time, and eventually, it saves the life of another. Nice side effects of the rider are super human strength and agility, but is it worth the trade-off of possibly losing herself? Ex takes her to his former mentor, in the mountains of Taos, where they hope to get a handle on Jayne’s demon and possibly rid her of it for good. Only, what they discover in the group of priests could change the game permanently.

The Black Sun’s Daughter series is one of the best UF series out there right now, and it’s unfortunate that it hasn’t gotten more attention. M.L.N. Hanover is a pro (he also writes under other names), and he never has a problem taking the books to the next level. Killing Rites focuses on Jayne learning more about her rider, and herself. Make no mistake, though, there’s plenty of action, and there are some particularly awesome scenes involving a demon possessed eight year old girl (she’s got a rider called a Filth Licker, which is exactly what it sounds like *shudder*) who eventually becomes a key part of their mission. There’s also tons of unresolved sexual tension between Ex and Jayne. It’s no secret Ex has a thing for her, and Jayne seems to be coming around to him as well (fingers crossed), especially since she broke up with wet noodle Aubrey in the previous novel. I’m sorry, Aubrey was a nice guy, but he was no Ex. We also get some time with Midian, vampire and one of my favorite characters, and his dog Ozzie, who tends to sort of steal the scene a bit. Killing Rites is told from Jayne’s unique viewpoint, and I felt myself sympathizing with her rider, who rises to the occasion more than once. It also doesn’t hurt that Jayne has her dead Uncle Eric’s vast fortune at her fingertips, especially when she has to go on the run from Ex and the priests and prove that a more malevolent presence than her rider is at work. I read this one in one sitting, seriously, I couldn’t put it down, and if you haven’t discovered it yet, run to your bookstore or download for instant gratification and read them all the way through. You won’t regret it!

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