Review: Shade by Marilyn Peake

I will never be convinced that Galactic Shade Griffin’s mother didn’t hate her. Hippie or not, hatred is the only reason a mother would name her child something that awful. This name, presented with an almost cheerful resentment in the opening of the novel, sets a certain tone for the rest of the book–and makes my human giggle like a maniac.

Your mileage will vary.

Now, amusement over that aside, this is a YA and has everything you expect from a YA, from a full-frontal assault on the realities of bullying and the pettiness of some members of the human race.

And yes, there is plenty of evidence that Shade’s mother harbored a rather unhealthy amount of resentment for her choices in life, one resulting in a daughter.

This is not your normal YA read, and that’s fantastic. While my human found some things about the book that made her twitch, this one is worth taking a second look at. However, adult humans among you–do remember this is a YA. This wasn’t written for you. It was written for older teens facing the crueler elements of their lives.

Sometimes humans forget that.

As the description promises, this book delivers some fairly hard-hitting subjects, so if you have been the victim of bullying, ever considered cutting or other self-destructive behaviors, or have been in drug-addiction situations, this book may hit you hard.

My human made me say that, because this book is worth looking at because it addresses these things with a rather blunt directness while adding in a full spectrum of paranormal trappings.

My human likes when she finds a book that toes the line between YA and the adult world, making it accessible for her without feeling dumbed down for readers who do not need the world dumbed down for them.

Teens aren’t stupid, and this book writes to teens who are, as they do, slowly becoming adults.

And we think that’s a great thing.

It’s just a little hard to read at times.

Review: A Little of Chantelle Rose by Cristina Hodgson

A Little of Chantelle Rose starts with a girl playing an extra who finds out the hard way life in the spotlight is just as awful as people make it out to be. It’s presented as a romantic comedy, but really… I’m not sure what this book is.

This confuses the hell out of me, because my human writes whacky romantic comedies that are about as realistic as the idea of everyone being nice to each other for a change.

In fact, I’m going to go out on a limb and say I really don’t know what the deal with this book is. My human wanted to like it, but the opening had a few grammatical and punctuation hiccups that made her squint and tilt her head every which way.

Then she decided she needed to dig a treasure out of a candle because I guess that’s just what perturbed humans do when they don’t know what else to do.

She has finally returned to reading to me. After the initial hiccuping start, it dives into the over-the-top contemporary romance she likes, although it’s… strange. It had humor, which my human liked. It had heartache, which my human does like in small doses. However, it just didn’t pay off in a lot of ways. When my human reads about pre-mating rituals or mating rituals, she wants more of a payoff than sexual gratification. She wants to finish the book feeling a little happier because somewhere in the fictional world, characters found happiness.

That just didn’t happen for my human in this book. This one was just… strange. That’s the only word I have for this book: strange.

This book contains love triangles and everything you might expect from a contemporary romance that tries to be something a little different. I can’t say it was good or bad. It’s a book I’ll have to read again to try to figure out just what my human and I missed to make sense of this thing.

Review: Child of the Night Guild by Andy Peloquin

Child of the Night Guild is a disturbing tale full of heartache, telling the tale of a young girl’s transformation into something both more and less than human, captive in a twisted society, where a life is only worth the investment. my human found this deep and disturbing while I thought it was an intriguing look into the darkness of humanity.

My human read this on the heels of a lighter book, and as she’s a bleeding heart, she found this to be a tougher read. If you’re looking for sunshine and cookies, this book isn’t for you. This book is for those who want something a bit harder hitting than the standard fare. It’s also not for the happily ever crowd.

Spoiler alert: It’s not for the happily ever after crowd.

Still, if you enjoy a book with stark realism with a dose of horror and a splash of fantasy, this one might be for you.

I’ll be enrolling my human for some therapy now. She’s a wuss.

This book is classified as a horror for good reason, so plan your reading accordingly so any delicate sensibilities aren’t overly offended.

Review: Soul-Mate by Anna Santos

Soul-Mate makes no secret of its intentions. From the first paragraph, it is very, very clear this is a true mates/insta-lust book, and it has all the inherent issues of these stories. But, like a moth to flame, my human couldn’t help but be sucked in.

This is a late-night read for my human; it’s one of those books that makes no real effort to disguise the true soul mates element of the story. In a way, I find the instant recognition takes away from the pre-mating rituals my human insists on calling dating.

Now, I realize this makes it sound like we weren’t all that fond of the book. Beyond a little over-enthusiasm in the telling department, it’s not a bad tale. It’s just the kind of book my human prefers to read while she’s attempting to become a mermaid through the excessive use of her kindle oasis in the bathtub.

Newsflash, people. My human ain’t no mermaid. She emerged from the tub rather shriveled, though.

Soul-Mate is ideal for those who want to mix unplugging with some paranormal romance we didn’t find breaks the mold and a fun story about dirty little (and big) secrets with enemies out for blood.

Review: Slumber by J.L. Weil

Slumber was such a fun book. My human really liked it.

It’s like this disaster dystopian with drugs and magic that has put much of the world to sleep, but then cool things happens, but I can’t say what, because that’d spoil the book for you humans, and that’d be bad.

It’s like what would happen if Sleeping Beauty had a blind date with the Stand, except it’s not as rotty and full of death plague. It’s more… sleepy.

I’m giving this two paws, a purr, and a tail swish, as it has such an interesting tone and melds a lot of elements seamlessly. The writing had some quirks, but those were easy enough to ignore, as the story was quite entertaining.

As a side note, my human has a hardcore crush on the covers of this setting. The picture frames give it that wonderful fairytale feel, except with a not-so-subtle touch of delightful malevolence.

I broke my human’s website! Bwahahahaaaaa!

My human thought she could appease me with her offering of my very own website.

She was wrong.

Well, not really. My human is just a little bit cursed, and when she switched hosting to a virtual server so I could have my very own website palace, her website was unfortunately hosed. By hosed, I mean, someone got a fire hydrant, pointed it at her domain, and let rip.

It’s gone and screwed the pooch and got rabies for its troubles.

So, I’m not all that sad to announce that my human’s domain,, now redirects to my website. I was generous and put the redirect to point at her novels. Gotta let her earn the moolah to feed me! (Seriously. If you enjoy my letters and reviews, toss a few pennies in my human’s jar. Buy some of those books she slaves on. I’ve been promised that I receive a percentage of all sales in the form of food and delicious treats.)

My human has lost quite a bit of content from her old site, although she was able to salvage the contestant list for her set of Hearth, Home, and Havoc novellas. She will be picking prizes for those people this week and contacting the winners. She’s very sorry.

(If she had gotten me my own website from the start, there wouldn’t have been any problems in the first place. I’m certain of this!)

In the meantime, here is what you can expect.

First, my human will be rewriting some of her more popular articles, including an updated version of how to hold a pen or pencil without inflicting pain and suffering on yourself. We find this is important.

Second, my human will be creating several pages dedicated to the writing process, how she creates a story bible, and methods of outlining novels. These were really popular on her old domain.

Third, I won’t let her procrastinate much. Promise. I’m going to give her today off to write on the Captive King (Susan Copperfield, second Royal States novel) so she doesn’t cry much over her bad luck.

I get hissy when my human cries (from frustration) over tech that simply refuses to work.

Until next time, folks!

Review: Witch’s Potion by Laura Greenwood

Witch’s Potion was a weird read for my human. She mostly liked it, but she really wished she’d reserved this one for end of day reading rather than start of day reading.

In the morning, my human likes challenging books. In the evening, she wants someone to hold her hand, tell her everything will be okay, and do the work for her. This book would make a good evening reading book for her.

So, your mileage will vary on this one. It’s a novella, it’s light reading, and it’s a bit weird–a little fun, but weird. Overall, I’m giving this one a half purr and a pair of happy kneady paws, no claws, but a little hiss over the telly bits. But that’s because my human read it to me in the morning.

My human is going to read this one again to me when it’s late at night and we’re tired.

Review: Beastly Bride by Cordelia Castel

When my human got a hold of Beastly Bride, boy, was she excited. It looked like everything she ever wanted in a twisted fairy tale. Boy, this book needs a warning label.

Oh, wait. This book has a warning label, right in the description. Please allow me to show you: “Too bad Freida’s a spoiled, selfish sociopath who won’t kiss an ugly old frog. She has her twisted heart set on the prince’s younger and more attractive brother.”

There is truth in advertising, and this book delivers in so many different ways. Freida is the most spoiled, most selfish, god-awful sociopath my human has read in a long time.

If this is your cup of tea, this book is for you, but if you want a heroine you want to cheer for… this book is not for you.

It gets worse before it gets better, and this book is totally named appropriately. The bride is the beast, and she’s not the fluffy kind you want curled around your feet in front of a cheery fire.

It should thus come as no surprise I liked Freida while my human was in a state of shock through most of the book, because the description truly delivers.

Freida’s petty. Freida’s selfish. Freida’s the Queen Mean Girl, and I don’t mean in an endearing way.

Fans of dark fairy tales are going to love this book. It’s twisted, it’s dark, and if you’re looking for happy endings, this ain’t a Disney movie, y’all.

Consider yourselves warned. Or eagerly escorted to the buy button, if that sort of character is your sort of thing.

Review: Shifter Scandal by Juniper Hart

Princess the Understudy here.

I have no idea what we just read, but my sister’s fur turned up on end, she ran under the bed, and she refused to come out for the rest of the night.

My mommy seemed equally disturbed, and I heard her say a few very bad words. Bad, Mommy!

As I’m now the only responsible living being contributing to this newsletter, it’s my duty to report about this book.

My wussy sister and pansy mother seem to have difficulties accepting instant hate to instant love story arcs presented on a silver platter of automatic happiness, served with a side dish of models and police officers with very odd views regarding police procedures.

I thought the story was just fine, thank you, especially after a hard day. It’s not rocket science, which is a good thing when tired. You’re not going to find groundbreaking creativity.

You’re going to find one hell of a weird relationship and some even weirder human and non-human mating rituals. Some of the mating rituals presented in the book toe some lies. If you dislike Alphaholes who… are possibly a bit (maybe a lot) creepy, this one probably isn’t for you, but if you’re looking for a zippy fast read, some weirdness, and an insta-hate turns insta-love sort of happily ever after, you might like this story.

Review: Moonburner by Claire Luana

My human was on a third-person kick when she read Moonburner to me. In this traditional fantasy, I’ve learned that human mating rituals often involve two very, very different people will want to mate with each other no matter the costs, and because the costs are rather high in this fun-filled adventure, this is more of a pre-mating ritual book rather than a knock-stuff-off-shelves bed buster.

For which I’m very grateful.

My human prefers when her fantasy books don’t break even imaginary furniture.

We rather enjoyed this story, and give it three paws up and a purr!

Go ahead, rub the belly. I dare you.