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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Sheep Book Review: Dark Paradise (Dark Paradise #1) by Angie Sandro

Dark Paradise (Dark Paradise #1)
by Angie Sandro
Paperback, 400 pages
Published July 1st 2014 by Forever Yours

Mala LaCroix has spent her whole life trying to escape her destiny. As the last in a long line of "witch women," she rejects the notion of spirits and hoodoo and instead does her best to blend in. But when she finds a dead body floating in the bayou behind her house, Mala taps into powers she never knew she had. She's haunted by visions of the dead girl, demanding justice and vengeance.

Landry Prince has always had a crush on Mala, but when Mala discovers his sister, murdered and marked in some sort of Satanic ritual, he wonders if all the rumors about the LaCroix family are true. Yet after Mala uses her connection to the spirit world to identify his sister's killer, he starts to form his own bond to her . . . a very physical one. As they move closer to each other and closer to the truth, Mala and Landry must risk everything—their families, their love, and even their lives.


Dark Paradise opens with introducing us to Mala LaCroix. She is the last in a long line of witch women, although refuses to acknowledge and rejects all references to hoodoo magic or spirits. Heading down to the bayou behind her house to check her traps, she finds the body of a dead girl, which sets in motion a chain of events involving murder, betrayal, heartbreak, spirits, hoodoo magic, and discovery. 


I enjoyed Dark Paradise, although at times I did find myself annoyed with Mala and her choices. Landry is the dead girl's brother and he has been crushing on Mala for years, but flip-flops back and forth, depending on how much alcohol or what dosages of drugs he has had that day, between her being the devil incarnate and the love of his life; definitely a fickle fellow. 

The ending was satisfying and just open-ended enough to cultivate a bit of eagerness for the next installment in Mala's adventures. 

Overall I thought the story was intriguing and I really enjoyed the premise and have high hopes for increased character maturity as the series continues. The world building was very colorful and well done and I am looking forward to revisiting it with future installments. I received this book via NetGalley.

3 1/2 Sheep





DeniseZ

About the Author:
Angie Sandro was born at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri. Within six weeks, she began the first of eleven relocations throughout the United States, Spain, and Guam before the age of eighteen.

Friends were left behind. The only constants in her life were her family and the books she shipped wherever she went. Traveling the world inspired her imagination and allowed her to create her own imaginary friends. Visits to her father's family in Louisiana inspired this story.

Angie now lives in Northern California with her husband, two children, and an overweight Labrador.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Movie Review: The Maze Runner

The Maze Runner (2014)
113 min - Action | Mystery | Sci-Fi 

19 September 2014 (USA)Director: Wes Ball
Writers: Noah Oppenheim, Grant Pierce Myers
Stars: Dylan O'Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Will Poulter
Thomas is deposited in a community of boys after his memory is erased, soon learning they're all trapped in a maze that will require him to join forces with fellow "runners" for a shot at escape.

Movie review by Holly (13 years old)

The Maze Runner was an a-MAZE-ing film with lots of action. I suggest you read the book considering that quite a few things were left out. The movie like I said was full of action and had no boring parts. The Grievers will terrify you and make your heart skip a beat. I strongly suggest that you see the Maze Runner, you wont be disappointed.

I give it 5 "WICKED" sheep. 

Movie review by Sharon (mom)

I took my daughter and 3 of her friends to the 10:15 showing at the IMAX. Holly has been looking forward to seeing this movie since last year when she first heard about it. She has also read all the books in the young adult series by James Dashner.
This cast is a middle school girl's dream
 



The movie is PG-13 and I suggest you be cautious about bringing anyone much younger. There are a lot of emotionally intense scenes and some pretty scary action scenes. The movie focuses on these elements from the book. The dialogue seemed sparse when you consider how much went on in the book, but it makes sense considering this is suppose to be an action movie. And whoa! Was there a lot of it.

I would suggest seeing it on the big screen if you want to get the full impact of the maze and the Grievers. You will find yourself jumping and holding your breath.


The acting...well, not the strong point of the movie, but they do a great job of screaming and running for their lives <G>. 

It was an exciting movie and worth a matinee price for an adult. Your older  kids will love it. But you might find them using Glader slang: "shank" "shuckface" "klunkhead" "greenie." Should you read the book first? I would say no as an adult because you find yourself dwelling on what they left out.

4 "running" Sheep

Book Review: Sidekick by Auralee Wallace

Sidekick
by Auralee Wallace

Heroes meets Bridget Jones in this brilliant, hilarious debut novel about a girl who just wants to save the world...

Bremy St James, daughter of billionaire Atticus St James, has been cut off from the family fortune and is struggling to survive in a world that no longer holds its breath every time she buys a new outfit. To make matters worse, her twin sister is keeping secrets, loan sharks are circling, and the man of her dreams — a newspaper reporter — is on assignment to bring down everyone with the last name St James.

Things are certainly looking bleak for the down-and-out socialite until a good deed throws her into the path of the city’s top crime-fighter, Dark Ryder. Suddenly, Bremy has a new goal: apprentice to a superhero, and start her own crime-fighting career.

Ryder has no need for a sidekick, but it turns out the city needs Bremy’s help. Atticus St James is planning the crime of the century, and Bremy may be the only one able to get close enough to her father to stop him.

Now all she needs to do is figure out this superhero thing in less than a month, keep her identity secret from the man who could very well be The One, and save the city from total annihilation.

Well, no one ever said being a superhero would be easy


In my research to find out more about Sidekick and if it was slated to be a standalone novel or part of a series, I happened on the author's website. She had a header section that discusses why she writes in stereotypes and suddenly the light finely came on. Sidekick is a light, at times silly tale with characters that are often "stereotypical" in their behaviors. The protagonist, Bremy, is the daughter of a billionaire and for some reason has been cut off and suddenly thrust out into the real world on her own. Her only goals are to pay her rent and be a superhero; barring reaching full superhero status perhaps the assistant to Dark Rider and help take down her corrupt father. It is still unclear why she suddenly left the pampered fold to venture out on her own, which obviously was out of character for her, maybe I missed it somewhere. 


There is plenty of action and lots of villains to be thwarted, as well as a little crushing going on. The story is often hilarious, boarding on the ridiculous, yet something about Bremy and all her bumbling into one disaster after another makes her endearing. I am still not clear if this is meant to be a one-shot wonder or if it is the beginning of a series or trilogy, but I do think that if there was a promise of more to come that would perhaps answer the questions I felt were never really resolved, I would feel more charitable about this tale. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed the story and found myself chuckling not just a few times in the reading of the tale, but there just seemed to be a little bit of helter-skelter going on in the telling that kept me from saying this is a really great read. I will keep an eye out for more to come and reserve further judgment until then. I received this book via NetGalley.

3.75 sheep




DeniseZ

About the Author:
Auralee Wallace is an author of humorous commercial women’s fiction and occasional guest blogger at Penny Dreadful Books and Reviews http://pennydreadfulbooks.me/. She is a member of the RWA, and her debut novel, Sidekick, a superhero urban fantasy, placed as a finalist in the Virginia Fool for Love Contest, The TARA Contest and The Catherine. Sidekick has been picked up by Harlequin’s Escape Publishing and is due for release June 1st, 2014. Auralee has an undergraduate degree in psychology, a Master’s degree in English literature and has worked in the publishing industry for a number of years before teaching at the college level.

Auralee has always been fascinated by the power of stereotypes in terms of race, gender, and disability and how those beliefs colour our understanding of the world and of each other.

When this semi-natural blonde mother of three children and three rescue cats isn’t writing or playing soccer, she can be found watching soap operas with lurid fascination and warring with a family of peregrine falcons for the rights to her backyard.

Book Review: Waking Up Dead (Callie Taylor #1) by Margo Bond Collins

Waking Up Dead (Callie Taylor #1)
by Margo Bond Collins
Kindle Edition, 214 pages
Published October 8th 2013

by Solstice Publishing 

When Dallas resident Callie Taylor died young, she expected to go to Heaven, or maybe Hell. Instead, she met her fate early thanks to a creep with a knife and a mommy complex. Now she's witnessed another murder, and she's not about to let this one go. She's determined to help solve it before an innocent man goes to prison. And to answer the biggest question of all: why the hell did she wake up in Alabama?

Waking Up Dead
is a fantastic first installment in a new series. The story opens and we are introduced to Callie Taylor who while living an unremarkable life in Dallas suddenly finds herself in the hands of a knife wielding sadistic madman and is subsequently murdered. 


When she next awakens she looks around, nothing is familiar, and in her confusion she wonders if she has gone to hell. Well just imagine her surprise when she realizes she is not in hell, she is in Alabama. 

Off we go following her journey alone unseen by anyone living or dead until she witnesses a murder. This event sets her off on a quest to find someone, anyone who can see her so that the wrong man is not convicted of this horrific crime. Guess where she finely finds someone, I have to say it just have to, yes folks if you guessed Wal-Mart you just won a huge super-sleuthy prize. 

I have to admit this book, especially at the beginning had me laughing out loud. The story does have more serious parts and definitely some edge of your seat action and suspense, and overall the characters are so delightful that I could not put it down. The writing was clean with wonderful world building and as mentioned some really great characters. 

I would recommend this book to those who enjoy a bit of murder and mayhem in a bit of a ghostly tale with a huge dose of humor. I won this book in a giveaway.

5 Sheep





DeniseZ


About the Author:Email-Website-Twitter-Google+
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Margo Bond Collins lives in Texas with her husband, their daughter, several spoiled cats, and a ridiculous turtle. She teaches college-level English courses online, though writing fiction is her first love. She enjoys reading urban fantasy and paranormal fiction of any genre and spends most of her free time daydreaming about vampires, ghosts, zombies, werewolves, and other monsters. Waking Up Dead is her first published novel. Her second novel, Legally Undead, is an urban fantasy forthcoming in 2014 from World Weaver Press.


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Comic Review: The Delinquents issue #2 (of 4)

THE DELINQUENTS #2 (of 4)
Written by JAMES ASMUS & FRED VAN LENTE
Art by KANO
Cover by PAOLO RIVERA
Board Game Cover by JUAN DOE
Variant Cover by SHAWN CRYSTAL

$3.99 | 32 pages | T+ 
Release: 9/17/14 

Valiant Comics
Well…that escalated quickly.

Quantum and Woody and Archer & Armstrong are riding the rails looking for the lost treasure of the Hobo King. Each armed with one half of a mysterious map, these two tandems have unwittingly been pitted against each other in a four-way free-for-all…but can either team get along long enough to achieve their mission? The world’s worst crossover joyride is about to enter uncharted territory!



Me with each new issue of The Delinquents


I heart Quantum & Woody comics. They are my kind of snarky "OMG did he just say that?" characters. The Delinquents is a four issue cross over with Valiant's other hit Archer & Armstrong, which I hadn't read before, but plan to from now on!

In issue #2 the two duos finally meet in their search for the ass map that will lead to the legendary hobo treasure. After some misunderstandings, drinking, an epic superhero/immortal/naive ninja assassin fight, and one flying goat, the guys decide to team up to to decode the ass map. There is no way to really describe the WTF-ery that goes on so I have included some pages. Unfortunately I don't have one with the goat wearing the Spell'n'Say he uses to communicate.

Review: THE DELINQUENTS #1 (of 4) (VALIANT FIRST)





5 "fibbing" Sheep 




SharonStogner