Author Archives: Erika @ Badass Book Reviews

Feast, by Merrie Destefano

From the Publishing Blurb:   Release date June 28th, 2011

ARC from Netgalley

Madeline MacFadden (“Mad Mac” to fans of her bestselling magical stories) spent blissful childhood summers in Ticonderoga Falls. And this is where she wants to be now that her adult life is falling apart. The dense surrounding forest holds many memories, some joyous, some tantalizingly only half-remembered. And she’s always believed there was something living in these wooded hills.

But Maddie doesn’t remember the dark parts — and knows nothing of the mountain legend that holds the area’s terrified residents captive. She has no recollection of Ash, the strange and magnificent creature who once saved her life as a child, even though it is the destiny of his kind to prey upon humanity. And soon it will be the Harvest. . . the time to feast.

Once again Maddie’s dreams — and her soul — are in grave danger. But magic runs deep during Harvest. Even a spinner of enchanted tales has wondrous powers of her own


Rating :  C –  or about 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Sounds good right?  It should be better, and I hope some more editing before the release will help.

I had a very hard time with this novel.  I’m not even sure how to start this review.

It was all so confusing.  First, I guess I’ll start with some questions for the author, then some points.

1) What is a Darkling?  How did they come to be, where do they come from, and what the freaking heck are they!!

~After reading this novel, I STILL HAVE NO IDEA!!! That is not good.  This novel needs tighter editing, more information available for the reader, and to plug the major plot holes that are pretty glaring.

2) What is a Guardian, why are they necessary, what exactly was this Curse, and what did it entail. The details were sketchy at best.  We really need more information.

~Ash is the Guardian of Ticonderoga Falls.  OK. Good for him.  What does this mean?  What is his job, why is he there, what does he do?

3) What is this legend Keeper Business?

~The term was just tossed out there, and we were expected to understand.  With no concept of what the Darklings even are, how can we fathom what a Legend Keeper is?  Also, When Joe is Telling Maddie the Legend, WHY did you do it off-screen?  That would have answered SO many questions for the reader!!

4) What exactly is FEASTING.  How do the Darklings harvest dreams?  This is not explained and the readers have to try to extrapolate the information between the lines, and it is difficult with so much conflicting information. 

~They are not vampires?  Why does the Sheriff point out the two holes on the neck, and a seemingly empty body that is ‘flat”.  OK, so these Darklings–do they use their fangs to drink the blood, and with the blood they also get dreams, hopes and aspirations from their victims?  The blood is incidental?  If so, it would be nice to know that. There was too much telling, and absolutely no showing of how this works.  It went like this “We harvest the dreams.”  “Mmm I am harvesting” “Oh, I harvested too much, now he/she is dead” 

5) Pretty much each chapter was in a different point of view.  From every character in the novel.  EVERY. ONE.  Maddie, Ash, Thane, River, Elspeth, Sage, Sienna, Joe, The sheriff, The dog, It was a revolving door of characters, and took away my interest. 

~ Since we had so many story lines being interwoven, it was hard to connect to any one character.

6) There really is no love in this novel.  I didn’t feel the romance.  At all.  I’m sorry, but it didn’t work for me.  It came out of left field, at the very end, and it wasn’t believable.  This aspect of the story needs work.  The interest needs to be throughout the novel. 

The writing style was nice, I liked how Merrie Destefano writes.  Her words are poetic, and lyrical.  She paints a vivid picture.  But this picture just didn’t work for me.


“Waiting On” Wednesday ~ Magic Slays

  “Waiting On” Is a weekly Meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.

This weeks book I am waiting on is Magic Slays. This is book #5 in the Kate Daniels Series.

Release May 31

I choose this because it comes out next week 😆 On Tuesday May 31st, you will find me locked away reading feverishly on my kindle.  I might even wake up a midnight and see if is there, that is how much I am looking forward to reading Magic Slays.  I haven’t been able to read anything else the past week, nothing can seem to compare at the moment to Kateverse.  You can see my previous Love Fest of All Things Ilona Andrews

To buy Magic Slays

From the publishers blurb:

Plagued by a war between magic and technology, Atlanta has never been so deadly. Good thing Kate Daniels is on the job.

Kate Daniels may have quit the Order of Merciful Aid, but she’s still knee-deep in paranormal problems. Or she would be if she could get someone to hire her. Starting her own business has been more challenging than she thought it would be—now that the Order is disparaging her good name, and many potential clients are afraid of getting on the bad side of the Beast Lord, who just happens to be Kate’s mate.

So when Atlanta’s premier Master of the Dead calls to ask for help with a vampire on the loose, Kate leaps at the chance of some paying work. Turns out this is not an isolated incident, and Kate needs to get to the bottom of it—fast, or the city and everyone dear to her might pay the ultimate price

Game of Thrones ~ HBO

OK ya’ll, who watches Game of Thrones on HBO.  I’m currently reading the novels, but I am enjoying HBO’s version so much!  God I really hate the Freaking Queen and her Incestuous family.  I’m only up to episode three.  Well, I’ve watched through three, I’m up to four.  I’ll watch that one tomorrow night.  I can only watch after the kids go to bed, and then I only watch one episode because I need my beauty sleep.  So who wants to discuss the series/show?

Try to keep in mind spoilers from future books if possible.  Do you think HBO is doing an adequate job (If you have read the books?)  So far I love it!

HAH!  Game of Thrones on HBO Becomes GOT HBO =)  Niiiiice one!

Are we killing Imagination?

  What makes a person have a vivid — writable — imagination?  It seems to me that most authors are generally over thirty years old (Please, don’t send me emails with copies of your birth certificates, or call Donald Trump! If you are published and younger awesome for you! But this is a generalization for the intent of this discussion)  Back when we were kids, we were sent outside to play, not told to “Go watch T.V and leave me alone”  Or  “here is the latest and greatest gadget, go play with it”.  Now don’t get me wrong, technology is wicked.  It’s necessary.  I enjoy it.  But what kind of harm is it going to cause in the long run?  Are kids going to want to be authors when they grow up?  Are they encouraged to use their imaginations, think outside the box, and create?

Using myself as an example, I find I lack some imagination.  That is not to say that I don’t have any at all, I do, I do.  I just know my limits.  I am not on par with the creative awesomeness of authors like J.R Tolkien, J.D Robb,  George R.R Martin, or Fab duo Ilona Andrews.  (Yes, Ilona and Gordon, I put your world building up there with the masters, swallow it down; I’m not crazy)  Back to my point.  Crap, where was I going with this.  See?  THIS is my problem.,  Over the years I have developed this IHKs.  Never heard of IHKs?  It stands for “I have kids”. (and as a point here, this whole post those acronyms were IKD… Which I could have sworn stood for I have kids, but yea um no.)  Don’t believe kids deplete your brain mojo? Ask any parent of a child under ten.  I have four of the little brain suckers, and let me tell you, I’m lucky if I can form a coherent sentence.  I should probably have someone look over this post before hitting publish– it makes sense to me, but could sound like gibberish to everyone else out there in blog land.

Off topic again.  So, my point was about imagination, but I needed a reference point to start my musings.  Today’s kids.  Are we killing their imaginations?  As parents of the digital age, and mindless entertainment (“Reality T.V anyone? I swear just thinking the word “reality TV” causes me to lose a few coveted brain cells).  By allowing our youths to watch countless hours of TV, Movies and playing video games that don’t require them to think for themselves, are we demolishing the future of our great inventive authors?  By telling them what to think, what to do, how to do it, and when to do it, are we creating robots?  (Please, let’s not turn this into a parent against parent battle, I have no desire to hash parenting with anyone)

My Kids watch T.V.  More than I would like them too.  But they also have such cool imaginations and play neat games with each other, and have no idea what an IPOD is, or Nintendo Or *gasp* WII.  They think “WE” as in our family, not “WII” who are you blasting now, and how many have you killed in such and such a game.  I’m sure their school friends will educate them in all they are lacking, but I hope not.  I want to tell you a funny story about my eldest.  She wants to be a horse.  She runs around all day galloping (Much like in Stephenie Plum novels, it’s almost funny) She neigh’s and whines.  Ties everything she can possibly get her hands on into reigns {For real, I should take pictures, she took ALL of our shoelaces, and now we have NONE!)  So anyways, back to the story, last year we had a dog, his name was Sampson.  Cutest Wheaton Terrier.  We used to tie him out a few times a day for a little bit (again, keep the mean mail to yourself, I had 4 under 6–one a newborn, plus the dog was still a dam puppy) SO… I went out to check on my eldest who was playing in the driveway and she had taken a rope out of the garage and tied it around her waist.  Tied herself to a pole.  And was running around the pole in circles barking mad at the bicyclists riding down the road.  Yup.  She was.  Cutest little blonde girl, barking at the bikes.  I can’t wait to tell her future boyfriends about it.  When I asked her what she was doing, she replied with  “Seeing what it’s like to be a dog mom!”  Can’t argue with that now can I?

My middle daughter loves to make up songs.  She’s five.  They mostly include how she loves her youngest brother (about to turn one year old) and doesn’t care much for her three-year old brother.  She also loves unicorns.  She has a barn with a whole herd of them. They live in the forest, and she takes them grain and water, and rides out in the middle of the night with them. Sometimes they fly.  They also sparkle.  No, she has never seen twilight.

We encourage free thinking.  We ask them questions and see what they come up with for answers.  We want them to think and question, be able to process information and circumstances. I’m afraid for the youth. Today I was at a birthday party and there were a few girls there who were maybe around eight to ten.  They sat down, didn’t play and were just texting. Texting! When did being a kid become so wrong? Who told these kids to grow up so freaking fast?  When trying to engage them in conversation, I got “why are you interrupting me, you crazy old person”  looks (because every thirty year old mom looks old to the under fifteen crowd LOL)  SO I started thinking about it, and started wondering, and decided to blog about it and see what others thought.  Don’t be afraid, let your opinion be known.  I value opinions and love debate.  Trust me when I say that I am so far from a perfect parent.  I do and say things that once they leave my mouth I cringe and wonder what on earth has gotten into me.  I blame lack of sleep.  and IHK.

Are we killing imagination?  How can we foster it?  Is it something that we are born with? Or something we can learn?  Is it nurtured or ingrained?  What do you think?

Does this post make sense?

Feature and Follow Friday – Blog Hops!

If you are new to the #FF fun, Feature & Follow Friday is a blog hop that expands your blog following by a join effort between bloggers. First you leave your name here and then you visit as many blogs as you can and tell them hi in their comments. You follow them, they follow you. Win. Win.

Now to make this #FF interesting we do a FEATURE blogger. The Feature bloggers are chosen randomly from participants in the Follow Friday or through twitter and blog introductions. If you are interested in becoming a Feature let me know!

Our Feature  — Ninja Girl from Ninja Girl Reads

This is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee that is loads of fun and gives us all an opportunity to gain new followers.

To join the fun and make now book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:

  1. (Required) Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Host { } and any one else you want to follow on the list
  2. (Required) Follow the Featured Blogger for the week – Ninja Girl Reads
  3. Put your Blog name & URL.
  4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments
  5. Follow Follow Follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don’t just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don’t say “HI”
  6. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love…and the followers.

Ok, here is the question of the day.

Q. It’s circle time. Time for us to open up and share. Can you tell us FIVE quirky habits or things about you? We all have them…

  • 1)  I am one of “those” parents; Who Breastfeed, Cloth Diaper, Babywear and can’t stand the “CIO” (No judgements from me if you aren’t like me, I believe every family has to do what is right for them and theirs.)
  • 2)  I am addicted to sugar and chocolate, especially dark chocolate. (I’m really trying to kick the habit.  Ok, well, not really.  My intentions are good, but my will is weak)
  • 3)  I have a love affair with Starbucks Peppermint Coffee Syrup.
  • 4)  I secretly wish I was an author
  • 5)  I love my ereaders so much, shhh don’t tell the dead trees!!


Book Blogger Hop
Hosted by Crazy-For-Books.

This weekly BOOK PARTY is an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books! It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs to read! So, grab the logo, post about the Hop on your blog, and start HOPPING through the list of blogs.

The Hop lasts Friday-Monday every week, so if you don’t have time to Hop today, come back later and join the fun! This is a weekly event!

RULES: Your blog should have content related to books, including, but not limited to book reviews.

  1. Enter your book blog link in the Linky List, including the genre that you review! In your link, please state the main genre that you review: eclectic, contemp. fiction, ya, paranormal, mystery, non-fiction, etc.
  2. Post about the Hop on your blog. Spread the word about the book party! The more the merrier! In your blog post, answer the following question (new question each week!).

Here is the question of the day.
Q. If you were given the chance to spend one day in a fictional world (from a book), which book would it be from and what would that place be?

A.  I would want to be with Eve and Roarke and the In Death Crew (J.D Robb).  With all the cool computerized gadgetry and because I want to meet Roarke! (Not that I could ever tear them apart mind you, I am not a home wrecker!) But I would love to tour the big stone mansion, and ride one of his shuttles off planet!

Booking through Thursday: Age Inappropriate

In contrast to last week’s question–What do you think of censoring books BECAUSE of their intended age? Say, books too “old” for your kids to read? sponsored at BTT

  I don’t believe in censoring for the most part.  When I was young, some of my first reads were V.C Andrews novels.  Appropriate?  Um no.  Did it harm me?  Not in my opinion.  Did I understand all of what was going on?  Not really.

Still, in this day and age, where more and more kids watch T.V shows that are geared for far past their ages, I don’t think books are going to have any lasting harm.  Is it going to adversely affect their psyche to read more mature sexual encounters than a parent would feel comfortable with?  Nah.  It is not any worse than what they are already witnessing on television.  If you ask me, and well, quite frankly, you DID ask me… Television is way worse.  At least with books, you can gloss over things you don’t understand fully, and it’s not “in your face” so to speak. I am not a psychologist, but I think that visually seeing something and reading something and having your brain interpret it, are vastly different shapers.

So no, I won’t be censoring my children. Too much.  I love to read.  I want them to read what interests them, challenges them, and entertains them.  I won’t put the kibosh on a book simply because some of the content may be questionable.  It invites conversations, and encourages open dialogue.  What could be more important than that?

Hey I won an award!

Alyssa over at Hesperia Loves Books sent me a stylish Blogger award!  GO ME!!!  I feel like I have no identity.  I am constantly changing my site to suite my mood.  I think I like this current theme however, and maybe it will stick around for a while.  I’m supposed to tell you seven things about myself.  So… let’s get it on!

1)  I have FOUR children aged (almost 7) and younger.  To be exact they are currently, six, five, three and nearly one.  My life is crazy.  The kids keep me on my toes, pull my hair out, and make me laugh on a constant basis.  I have been married just about Nine years to the most awesome Husband, who forgives me when I purchase to many books, ignore him in order to read said books, and when I buy wraps (AKA baby carriers)

2)  I started reading again in November 2008, right after my beloved Gramma passed away from Cancer/Leukemia after a brief and intense battle.  She was one of my favorite people in the whole world, and she died so young at just 70.  I needed a way to cope, and reading was it.

3)  I have strong opinions about books.  Sometimes I review too emotionally, rather than subjectively.  I’m working on that.

4)  We are minimalists.  I hate clutter and having too many “things”.  Things could be furniture, toys, clothes, kitchen cabinetry, but NEVER books 😛 Oh, and I really, really hate cleaning the house.  Like seriously.  And what is the point anyways, right after I sweep or Vacuum someone drops something all over the floor <epic sigh>

5)  My mom and my Auntie are my best friends.  My Mom was my Matron of Honor at my wedding.  My Auntie is the best secret keeper in the world, and I can tell her anything without her judging me.

6)  I like other peoples dogs, but don’t ever want one.

7)  I also suffer from OCD (thanks Alyssa for that name!) , and cannot read a book out of order.  I have to read a series from first book, to last book in sequence.  No matter what!

Off to scour the book blogs for nominees!

Seduction and Scandal by Charlotte Featherstone

From the publisher:  In Stores June 21st, 2011

His love could save her…

In more ways than one.

With the scandalous nature of her birth to live down, Isabella Fairmont dreams of a proper marriage – even if a passionless one. She saves her deepest desires for the novel she dares to pen, wherein a handsome lord with dark powers seduces her. But then her courtship with an appropriate suitor is threatened by the sudden attention of the Earl of Black …whose pale blue eyes and brooding sensuality are exactly as she described in her book.

Isabella tries to resist the mysterious Earl of Black. Yet as he pursues her with inexplicable knowledge of her past and kisses that consume her, Isabella fears she will succumb.

If only the earl could tell Isabella the truth. With very real and treacherous thieves endangering her life, Black will need to protect Isabella from the very people she trusts the most…

Review completed May 25th, 2011

Grade: C or 3 stars

Took me SIX days to finish this novel when usually I can read a book in a few hours.

This is a well written novel. There are no glaring errors or things of that ilk. The characters were well written. They each had their own personalities and eccentricities. I actually liked all the characters themselves. For me though, this novel was rather boring. I was also a bit confused.

Our heroine wants to be a “Lady Novelist” So she is writing her own story, and telling it to her cousin Lucy for much of the novel and it focuses on the passages she writes, which seem to correlate to what is going on in the story, like she is a precog. Which, as far as I could tell (would have been cool!)she wasn’t. It was used as a plot device and it drove me batty.

The hero, Jude Black (Oh, and BTW, I love his name *Jude* mmmm) Is broody, moody, and secretive. Charged with a secret Holy mission he no longer believes in, for he has lost his faith. I liked him. I like scary, Alpha men with a heart of gold and secret longing and passions 😆

The writing is very lyrical, and often times too flowery. I think I needed to be in the right mood in order to fully appreciate this novel, and the writing style of Charlotte Featherstone. She writes well, it just wasn’t for me at this moment.

The first 150 pages, were very slow for me. The action picks up at the end, but I would have liked to have had more action scenes. Also this novel is setup for a sequel, and many questions go un-answered. Which is the latest trend in authors I see. I really hate it.

Anyways, if you are a fan of lyrical prose, 18th century worlds, with a hint of Religious Artifacts that could doom the world if they are united together, then you will love this novel.

It’s gothic, a bit dark, but also slow.

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