Read-a-Thon: Anne Rice Edition!

Read-a-Thon: Anne Rice Edition!

First off, HAPPY NATIONAL BOOK LOVERS DAY, Charmers!

 

tumblr_inline_oufho4JqUf1sppvj9_540.gif

 

It is our day! Our day to dive into our stacks of books! Our day to break out of our shell and get our book-loving-freaky selves! And why not celebrate by conducting a Read-a-thon? Not just any Read-a-thon, but one of YOUR own choosing with YOUR own rules.

Now I recently received a message not too long ago that I have the opportunity to read and review, RAMSES THE DAMNED: THE PASSION OF CLEOPATRA, the long-awaited sequel to The Mummy or Ramses The Damned By Anne Rice that is to release later this year! Her son, author Christopher Rice, joins her on this journey into picking up where we left Ramses back in 1989. Anne Rice is one of my favorite authors of all time and I’ve also enjoyed Christopher’s work too so you can only imagine my reaction to this once in a lifetime opportunity

….

tumblr_mrg9dkpxxL1sxi9qco1_500.gif

 

The last time I read “The Mummy” was after I picked up a copy from my local Half Price Books Store back in 2013. Since it’s been awhile, I’m in great need of a refresh. Therefore, I have constructed a plan….a plan so diabolical, I am surprised no one else has thought of it!

Ok, ok, I’m kidding about a diabolical plan. But I will be conducting a Read-a-Thon featuring one of the most notorious and well-known writers in the gothic horror genre next to H.P. Lovecraft and Stephen King. Anne Rice made her mark upon the literature world back in 1976 with a new take on the nature of the classic vampire monster.

30918637404_45f3559af5_z

She gave the vampire a “soul”, a lingering conscience causing them to long for their humanity. Her main character, Louis, provided a heart-to-heart conversation and lesson in “Interview With The Vampire” which left some readers and future authors aghast while inspired many to explore the life of a vampire and bring them back to the “light” so to speak.

This Read-a-Thon will span the next week or so for myself. You are free to join me at your descretion, of course. Apologies in advance for the odd language. I watched the movie adaption to “Interview” last night and my brain is still tuned into the story.

*Film side note, You can’t tell me anyone can top Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Antonio Bandaras, or even Christian Slater’s performance in this film! If they remake this film, I shudder to think who they’d choose to replace them.*

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

With this Read-a-Thon, I’m planning on reading the following Anne Rice Novels and will be providing reviews with them:

First

61AvhyXpp9L._SX302_BO1,204,203,200_

Goodreads Description

“Ramses the Great has reawakened in opulent Edwardian London. Having drunk the elixir of life, he is now Ramses the Damned, doomed forever to wander the earth, desperate to quell hungers that can never be satisfied. He becomes the close companion of a voluptuous heiress, Julie Stratford, but his cursed past again propels him toward disaster. He is tormented by searing memories of his last reawakening, at the behest of Cleopatra, his beloved queen of Egypt. And his intense longing for her, undiminished over the centuries, will force him to commit an act that will place everyone around him in the gravest danger.”

Second – ARC REVIEW COMING SOON

Cover_RamsesTheDamnedPassionCleo_Lrg.jpg

Goodreads Description

“Ramses the Great, former pharaoh of Egypt, is reawakened by the elixir of life in Edwardian England. Now immortal with his bride-to-be, he is swept up in a fierce and deadly battle of wills and psyches against the once-great Queen Cleopatra. Ramses has reawakened Cleopatra with the same perilous elixir whose unworldly force brings the dead back to life. But as these ancient rulers defy one another in their quest to understand the powers of the strange elixir, they are haunted by a mysterious presence even older and more powerful than they, a figure drawn forth from the mists of history who possesses spectacular magical potions and tonics eight millennia old. This is a figure who ruled over an ancient kingdom stretching from the once-fertile earth of the Sahara to the far corners of the world, a queen with a supreme knowledge of the deepest origins of the elixir of life. She may be the only one who can make known to Ramses and Cleopatra the key to their immortality—and the secrets of the miraculous, unknowable, endless expanse of the universe.”

Third – Back to the Beginning

38144416.jpg

 

Goodreads Description

“Here are the confessions of a vampire. Hypnotic, shocking, and chillingly erotic, this is a novel of mesmerizing beauty and astonishing force—a story of danger and flight, of love and loss, of suspense and resolution, and of the extraordinary power of the senses. It is a novel only Anne Rice could write.”

Fourth – Something Wicked This Way Comes

The-Witching-Hour_Anne-Rice

Goodreads Description

“On the veranda of a great New Orleans house, now faded, a mute and fragile woman sits rocking. And the witching hour begins…

Demonstrating once again her gift for spellbinding storytelling and the creation of legend, Anne Rice makes real for us a great dynasty of witches – a family given to poetry and incest, to murder and philosophy, a family that over the ages is itself haunted by a powerful, dangerous, and seductive being.”

Fifth – Feeling a Bit…Hairy

thewolfgiftPB

Goodreads Description

“The place, the rugged coast of northern California. A bluff high above the Pacific. A grand mansion full of beauty and tantalizing history set against a towering redwood forest.

A young reporter on assignment from the San Francisco Observer. . . an older woman, welcoming him into her magnificent, historic family home that he has been sent to write about and that she must sell with some urgency . . . A chance encounter between two unlikely people . . . an idyllic night—shattered by horrific unimaginable violence. . .The young man inexplicably attacked—bitten—by a beast he cannot see in the rural darkness . . . A violent episode that sets in motion a terrifying yet seductive transformation as the young man, caught between ecstasy and horror, between embracing who he is evolving into and fearing who—what—he will become, soon experiences the thrill of the wolf gift.

As he resists the paradoxical pleasure and enthrallment of his wolfen savagery and delights in the power and (surprising) capacity for good, he is caught up in a strange and dangerous rescue and is desperately hunted as “the Man Wolf,” by authorities, the media and scientists (evidence of DNA threaten to reveal his dual existence). . . As a new and profound love enfolds him, questions emerge that propel him deeper into his mysterious new world: questions of why and how he has been given this gift; of its true nature and the curious but satisfying pull towards goodness; of the profound realization that there are others like him who may be watching—guardian creatures who have existed throughout time and may possess ancient secrets and alchemical knowledge and throughout it all, the search for salvation for a soul tormented by a new realm of temptations, and the fraught, exhilarating journey, still to come, of being and becoming, fully, both wolf and man”

Are you a fan of Anne Rice’s novels?

Which one is your favorite?

Let me know in the comments below!

I’ll be adding the books to my “Currently Reading” List on Goodreads. You can add me on there here if you’d like to join me on my journey!

Happy National Book Lover’s Day, Everyone! 

~C.C.

Advertisements
C.H.B. Reviews “Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter” By Seth Grahme-Smith

C.H.B. Reviews “Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter” By Seth Grahme-Smith

Available: Amazon; Goodreads

Abraham Lincoln, one of the most beloved presidents in United States history. The Kentucky born man with the loving fatherly smile, sad eyes, and a heart full of gold. A man who stood for freedom for all and fought for it with his words and actions. I remember doing a presentation based on his life back in high school and there are mounds upon mounds of books about him. Books ranging from his psychological state to his upbringing and even his sexuality are exposed to the world. But I think I admire him not only for his courage to take the helm of a country on the verge of war but continuing to be a leader while he fought his own battle with depression and loss of a son. 

But of all these books I read on him, I cannot but talk about Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter.  Seth Grahme-Smith, author of the famous Pride and Prejudice and Zombies series, took vampires to a whole new level by the placing them in the middle of an extremely important part of U.S. History. I have not read a novel like this one since and have yet to seen one this well thought out and succeed.

The author opens up his book with a foreword on him acquiring the secret diaries of Abraham Lincoln through this mysterious stranger named Henry. Henry leaves a letter for, stating his wishes for Smith to pen a story about Lincoln and his battle with the creatures of the night.

The whole book reads as a biography of Lincoln’s history including how he became a vampire hunter after the discovering the truth behind his mother’s untimely death. Lincoln starts off as this gangly, bitter farm boy and transforms into this fighting hunter who seeks out to slay all vampires for the betterment of humanity. 

I have to talk about the pictures in the book! The author includes well Photoshopped photos of Lincoln holding his axe or vampire remains in the background, adding a realistic feel to the tale. I absolutely loved them! Even though the vampire additions to Lincoln’s story are purely fictional, you can’t help but wish they were real after reading this.

I highly recommend this for your own October Reads! It’s action packed, thrilling, and come on, it’s Abraham Lincoln killing vampires. Enough said!

My Rating: 9 out of 10 Book Charms!

Happy October Reading,

~C.C.

C.H.B. Reviews: The Night Huntress Series By Jeanine Frost

C.H.B. Reviews: The Night Huntress Series By Jeanine Frost

0c1b260ab646444469ae09c32322b741

As far as favorite series goes, The Night Huntress Series by Jeanine Frost is pretty high on my list. It hits all of the Charms my blog stands for. It has memorable characters some of which will make you fall in love with them the moment they speak; durability which has expand into a spin-off series, a few short stories, and two side books in between this series ; true #relationshipgoals any woman could want; and much more.

The series’s main character is a half-vampire, half-human hybrid named Catherine Crawfield. Raised on the notion that all vampires are evil due to her mother being impregnated by one fresh out of the grave, twenty-two year old Catherine puts her life on the line by going to bars in order to lure vampires to their impending second death aka dust. One night, while on her usual “hunting” route, she is cornered by a master vampire named Bones. He begins to teach her how to truly understand the monster’s she’s facing, including her own. This picture is my favorite quote from the first book and I have to share. This is how a half-vampire, half-fuman hybrid first learned how to kill vampires.

tumblr_mh1miw2xFh1qbwu2qo1_1280.jpg

 

Ah, the power of books. I first read these when I was eighteen and they immediately hooked me to the point where I’ve read these four times and now listening to the audiobook adaptions. No matter how many times I’ve gone through these books, they never get old.

The first book Halfway to the Grave is off the charts, it kidnaps you, drags you all the way to Cat’s family cherry farm, whisks you away on vampire killing missions, then in the best way possible-leaves you wondering what happened and endlessly searching for the next book in line.

 

The second book, One Foot In the Grave, I have repeatedly clutched the book, thinking “Be still my heart.” You’ll tear up in happiness following the events of the first book. You’ll laugh your head off from the quips thrown between Bones and Cat along with old characters from the previous novel. The sequel opens more doors leading to the spin-offs and future sequels. But I will say that you’ll need to read the spin-offs at the same time in order to keep track of what is going on in the whole universe and timeline.

Night Huntress Reading Order

HALFWAY TO THE GRAVE

ONE FOOT IN THE GRAVE

AT GRAVE’S END

DESTINED FOR AN EARLY GRAVE

FIRST DROP OF CRIMSON

ETERNAL KISS OF DARKNESS

THIS SIDE OF THE GRAVE

ONE GRAVE AT A TIME

ONCE BURNED

TWICE TEMPTED

UP FROM THE GRAVE

BOUND BY FLAMES

 

I will always recommend this series to anyone who is looking for a new paranormal romance series. It’ll give you everything you ever wanted and more!

 

My Rating: 9 out of 10 Book Charms

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

ARC Review: “To Trust a Wolf” By: Danielle Hardgrave

ARC Review: “To Trust a Wolf” By: Danielle Hardgrave

index

Title: To Trust a Wolf (Unnatural Alliances Book 1)
Author: Danielle Hardgrave
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Caldwell Publishing
Release Date: June 3, 2016

Amazon Description: “As an archivist in a small museum, the biggest thing Helen Jurist has to deal with each year is the Annual Donor Gala. When her museum becomes a flurry of activity, due to the nearby discovery of a large Viking hoard, Helen finds the additional responsibility more of a pain than an honour. She doesn’t know anything about Vikings, or what makes the hoard so unusual. She just wants to get through the gala without her boss catching the drapes on fire.

Nobody from the public is supposed to have access to the find, but try telling that to Rune Helsen. A handsome Dane with wolfish desires, he walks around like he owns the place. He’s Helen’s worst nightmare—if only her traitorous body wasn’t so attracted to him.

But Rune has a secret, one that brought him to see the artifacts for more than just scholarly interest. Unknown to Helen, there’s so much more at stake than just pulling off a successful evening. A whole world she never knew existed, a world of vampires and shifters, stands on the precipice—and there’s something in the Cutler Hoard that could burn it all down.”

This past week, I had the opportunity to review author Danielle Hardgrave’s new novella To Trust a Wolf. It surrounds museum archivist, Helen Jurist, as she is thrown into a world of vampires and werewolves who are harboring a secret about a Viking village whose artifacts contain an ancient mystery they sought to track down.

Lately, I’ve been strapped for a large amount of time, but I sped through this novella in a day and a half. It is quick, witty, and to the point without lingering on unimportant details. Helen works extremely hard considering her museum is having a hard time acquiring funds to continue running and obtaining different exhibits in order to attract the public. The Cutler Hoard is their golden ticket to gaining needed publicity and funds in order for the museum to keep running. Everything seemed normal until Helen is interrupted by on of the Cutler Hoard’s donors shows up for an unexpected tour of the exhibit. The donor, Rune Helsen, is mysterious and has his own agenda unbeknownst to Helen.

All in all, it’s a good start to the Unnatural Alliances series. I have not read many books containing anything based on Viking lore nor throwing vampires and shifters into the mix. If you enjoy paranormal romance, Vikings, and need a quick read-this is the book for you!

~

If you’d like to purchase your very own copy of this novella, you can purchase it HERE from Amazon!

~

About the Author

81IK23zFlpL._SY200_

Danielle Hardgrave has been active and successful in the freelance ghostwriting community since late 2015. With her passion for storytelling and tendency to daydream, it’s a surprise it’s taken her this long to turn that passion into a career. She was born and raised in Victoria, BC. When not writing, Danielle’s usually annoying her roommate or trying to figure out how to play tennis/box/longboard/whatever else she’s picked up that week.

Her business partner is a graphic designer and editor, and they decided to combine their skills to offer a new kind of brand that incorporates the business model of an online publishing company, but offers the personality and passion of real authors. 

~

My Rating: 8 Book Charms out of 10

 

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

 

C.H.B. Reviews: The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden Book 1) By Julie Kagawa

C.H.B. Reviews: The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden Book 1) By Julie Kagawa

2012 was what I can only pinpoint as the year where books were bridging between the ending of the “Vampire Movement” and the beginning of the “Dystopian Movement”. I wrote about my personal thoughts on the Female Heroine transformation in books over the last ten years here. I bring this up because I have had great frustration with the “love triangle” or “love interest” points taking over the majority of books today. Some have been completely drowned in the element that the main plot point is placed upon the back burner in a reader’s mind.

The Immortal Rules, on the other hand, is a book filled with surprises! I am a fan of author Julie Kagawa Iron Fey series which plays upon Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream. This book, though, has a story all of it’s own. I will reveal right off the bat that there are no love triangles and what love interest there is doesn’t appear till halfway through the story and the protagonist, Alison Sekemoto, doesn’t come consumed with the idea of falling for him. Instead, she is a true heroine by sticking to the task at hand.

Blood of Eden Site Description:

““You don’t dwell on what you’ve lost, you just move on.”-Allie

In the decades since the Red Lung virus decimated the human population, cities have crumbled and a new order has risen to take over the world. Vampires.

The immortals weren’t untouched by the epidemic. Now, decadent vampire princes rule fallen cities with velvet fists, jealously protecting their food supply—their blood cattle. The humans are Registered, tattooed and scheduled for regular bloodletting—the price of their food and shelter.

This is Allison Sekemoto’s reality. The vampires have taken Allie’s family and dreams—but they’ll never take her blood. Alone and defiantly Unregistered, she scavenges the Fringe to survive. She longs to escape the decomposing city, but no one can survive long outside the Wall. There are worse nightmares outside than within.

But in the face of agonizing death, Allie chooses to become what she hates. She’s Turned by the enigmatic vampire outlaw, Kanin, and taught some impressive and surprising new lessons: how to feed, how to fight, how to fine-tune her new senses. She’s a monster now. But deciding what kind of monster she becomes is up to her.

The ultimate test comes when Allie meets a ragged group of humans searching for a legendary place called Eden. It’s their kind-hearted, blue-eyed second-in-command who undoes her. Brave, noble, foolish Zeke believes Allie is a good person. Person. How long can she hide her true self? It may all come down to which hunger is strongest…”

Allie’s internal struggle with “The Hunger” is the main battle faces when she meets the humans. One in particular human, Ruth, had me practically begging Allison to bite her. Let me full you in on a little bit of her shenanigans. She kept following Allison even when Allison was asleep during the day, spreading rumors about her across the camp to the other survivors, and jumping to conclusions the majority of the time that it eventually jeopardized Allie’s immortal life. Regardless, it added an extra kick to the novel.

This book is the perfect blend of vampires and dystopian fun, it’ll make you forget the other novels that came around the same time and after for at least a few days. It’s been quite awhile for a vampire or even a dystopian novel, for that matter, to capture the struggle of a creature such as Allie attempting to hold onto what little slice of humanity you have remaining (despite being dead and craving blood) while at the same time fighting to other’s survival and putting them before yourself.

Overall, Fantastic novel and the ending left me hitting the ground, wanting desperately to locate the next one!

 

My Rating: 9 1/2 out of 10 Book Charms

 

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

wp-1462404989339.jpg

Don’t forget! We are giving away Gifted (Donovan’s Circus #1) By: Liz Long!

The Deadline to enter is on the 26th and the winner will be announced the 27th!

Enter here for your chance to win today!

Charmed Haven Book Reviews: Evernight By: Claudia Gray

Charmed Haven Book Reviews: Evernight By: Claudia Gray

2722413

So, it may seem that my past two months have been consumed by vampires. I don’t know what it is about this month. I think it’s because my surroundings have vastly changed in the short span of three weeks. New job, new schedule, and my brain wants to regress back to vampires.

I’ve read many reviews on Evernight. I saw quite a bit of positives more than negatives but for me, I have a high expectation for this monster. Blame it on me belonging to the generation who read Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. If you’ve read my last few posts on vampire books, you’ll see how high it is. With Stephen King, vampires are represented as the true masters of darkness who hide in the shadows and strike when you least expect it. In Stake That!you see vampires being romanticized and also feared but controlled at the same time. With Katie MacAlister,  it’s all romanticism and the true monsters are seeming to be the humans who prey upon the innocent. Evernight, well, I can at least sum it up in one word: Messy.

It’s books like these that I’m always afraid of opening up about because there is a huge fan base with this series.But I can’t keep silent. From the beginning towards the middle, the story felt like it did not know what it wanted to be. Was it a story about a girl having trouble fitting in at an ancient-feeling prep school, a girl trying to fit into a school where there are vampires hidden in the shadows, or is it about a girl who the boy she’s clearly obsessed with a vampire and she’s going to go through the Twilight motions of “I’m not afraid” cliche.

The main character, Bianca, drove me crazy with her obsession with Lucas. Yeah, he’s the first student/guy you meet at school, big deal. That does not mean you have to be constantly fantasizing or thinking about him. It’s super creepy. I know how teenagers can be but this girl is borderline-stalker Bella Swan. No Bueno!

tumblr_ndnw9dxzxG1se8ddwo1_500

The story is centered around this girl whose parents recently accepted employment with the remote Evernight Academy. Students range from “wealthy” families, clueless/weird individuals, and scholarship students who were basically normal people who were lucky to have the chance to get into the school. Bianca claimed to be an outsider which we later find out in the middle of the book that this is certainly not the case.

I don’t want to say the book was misleading but it was misleading. Aka, mess city. And her and Lucas are not what I call star-crossed lovers. They are merely two people on opposite sides who, if they really wanted too, could change their situation in one bite….see what I did there?

I just started the second book and so far, it’s actually a lot better than this one. It’s more organized, fresh, and mysterious. This one should be re-written and Bianca cleaned up. Although those of you who may be fans of this, I have to give it a low rating. When a girl annoys me too the point where I hate my imagination’s voice and image it conjures up for her, it’s bad. Now, Raquel I like. Raquel needs her own story as far as I’m concerned at this point.

4 1/2 out of 10 Book Charms

Am I the only one who feels this way toward this book? Let’s be honest. If you love this book, what was the plus points that made you like it?

Happy Reading,

~C.C.

Charmed Book Haven Reviews: “A Girl’s Guide To Vampires” By Katie MacAlister

Charmed Book Haven Reviews: “A Girl’s Guide To Vampires” By Katie MacAlister

20160409_143924This book has haunted my shelf for a good ten years. My mom went through this Avon Vampire Book kick around then and tried to get me to read them. Although I didn’t fully enjoy them then, there are some series that aren’t all too mushy and ridiculous like other predecessors. Author Katie MacAlister is either a Hit or a Miss, with her vampire books. She also writes about dragons in her more popular series like The Aisling Grey Series, Silver Dragons, Light Dragons, and Dragon Falls.

“A Girl’s Guide To Vampires”, is the first book in her Dark Ones series which spans over ten books, a few straggling side books, and three novellas. Sounds like a bit of work, huh? Well, after inheriting these books from my mom’s shelf, I thought I’d take a gander at what these were all about.

The first book is about these two young women, Joy and Roxy, who are tired of the same-old and travel overseas to the Czech Republic in order to explore the mysterious sights explained in their favorite Dark Secret series. It’s basically stories, much like this one, that is all about vampires called “Dark Ones” who find their love mate, go through a ritual, and they live happily ever after. Roxy insists Joy will find her own “Dark One” after a psychic friend of theirs predicted Joy’s future mate would be around the area.

Roxy is one of those characters who needs to learn when to keep her mouth shut, learn how to be a true friend and not sell out your friend, and stop pushing said friend when they want to relax and enjoy the scenery. And don’t get me started on Joyful, yes her full name is Joyful. She has the personalities, at times the brains, but she needs to stop describing her “lady parts” as inner cheerleaders…..exactly what I thought.

Now the author is fickle with her language, especially in this one. She doesn’t use any course language and instead replaces them with awkward words and phrases. One example is her over-usage for the replacement word “poop”. Not going sugar coat it, it annoyed me at times because the main characters are supposed to be around twenty-five. I’m twenty-three and although I don’t use course language, I would not say what these women said. because it was utterly ridiculous. Also, Joy reminded me a little of Stephanie Meyer in her use of huge vocabulary words when they aren’t necessary. They transformed what could have been short, hilarious moments into dragging, “roll-your-eyes” scenes.

This book has it’s ups and downs and I finished it in two days. I mean the story holds up, but it needed to be filtered (aka cheerleaders and poop). This is one of those guilty pleasure books you read when you’re tired of jumping from book to book and in need of a story you can breeze through with no problems. If you are in a need for one of those, you can click here to receive your own copy for only $1.99!

 

If you’d also like to hear a pod-cast behind-the-scenes listen about the book, click here.

7 out of 10 Book Charms!

Happy Reading!

~C.C.