Friday, April 19, 2013

Book Review: Tempted by P.C. and Kristin Cast

Tempted (House of Night Series #6)So…you’d think after banishing an immortal being and a fallen High Priestess, saving Stark’s life, biting Heath, getting a headache from Erik, and almost dying, Zoey Redbird would catch a break. Sadly, a break is not in the House of Night school forecast for the High Priestess in training and her gang. Juggling three guys is anything but a stress reliever, especially when one of them is a sexy Warrior who is so into protecting Zoey that he can sense her emotions. Speaking of stress, the dark force lurking in the tunnels under the Tulsa Depot is spreading, and Zoey is beginning to believe Stevie Rae could be responsible for a lot more than a group of misfit red fledglings. Aphrodite’s visions warn Zoey to stay away from Kalona and his dark allure, but they also show that it is Zoey who has the power to stop the evil immortal. Soon it becomes obvious that Zoey has no choice: if she doesn’t go to Kalona he will exact a fiery vengeance on those closest to her. Will Zoey have the courage to chance losing her life, her heart, and her soul? Find out in the next spectacular installment in the House of Night Series, Tempted.

You would think that guy drama could wait after banishing pure evil from Tulsa.  But for Zoey Redbird that seems to be an impossible thing.  Stark is practically dead, Erik is a jealous jerk, and Heath is Heath.  Plus Stevie Rae is definatly hiding something dark, as Aphrodite keeps reminding Zoey.  Sleep is the perfect escape?  No.  Kalona has managed to find his way in to Zoey's sleep and his manipulation is the final straw.  Tempted is the most nerve wrecking House of Night yet and will leave you heart broken and dying for the next book.

Finally, Zoey broke up with Erik.  For someone that sounded so sweet, smart, mature, and hot in the first two books he turned out to really not me.  Erik is self centered.  Don't get me wrong most young people are in the real world but he's like the super hot guy that we all went to high school with that pouted if he didn't get a cookie for every single thing that he does.  And when things don't go his way he gets worse.  Erik started out as a sweet guy but as soon as he and Zoey got back together he became this possessive jerk.  All of that being said, his character has a lot of room to grow and a lot of directions to go in which is awesome. 

Although Kalona is the bad guy, I like that we get a little insight into him.  The whole time that he's interacting with Zoey you know that he's full of crap and you know that she's going to fall for it and you can't stop reading.  In the other two books you don't really know who Kalona is or anything about him other than he is a fallen warrior.  You find out in this book a bit more about him.  He's honest with Zoey but not about his intentions or anything that hadn't happened in this century. 

I love that the nerd herd gets to go some place else for a book besides the Tulsa House of Night.  And what better place to visit than a Mediterranean Island with the Vampire High Consul.  Reading about the Vampire High Consul was also torture.  You would think that vampires that were so old and powerful enough to be apart of something called the Vampire High Consul would be smart enough to see through Neferet's games but the verdict is still out about that.

The fact that Aphrodite and Stevie Rae are imprinted is just hilarious.  Aphrodite is so defensive about it.  The fact that Heath is in this book a lot is great.  You don't really get a since of he Heath is until Tempted and I have to say I LOVE him.  He's just a good guy.  The new humanity intact Stark is pretty fabulous as well.

The House of Night Series is written by P.C. and Kristen Cast.  P.C. cast has written several series and she has receive several awards for them.  Kristin Cast is P.C.’s daughter and has wrote a few other series herself.  She currently goes to college in Oklahoma, where they both live.  To learn more visit

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Review: Once by Dana Michelle Burnett

Beautiful. Secretive. Magical. You envy their freedom, but you are distrustful of their ways. A strange carnival has come to Corydon, Indiana and the Irish Travellers have captured the small town's attention--but it's Harmony who's attracted theirs.

Harmony sees the Travellers everywhere and just like everyone else in town she's curious. But once she meets the mysterious and captivating Kieran, Harmony's life takes an exciting and chilling turn.

Up until now, Harmony never believed that fairy tales or myths were real, but Kieran and his family belong to an ancient tribe called the Tuatha de Danann and someone else has discovered their secret.

An ancient battle is about to begin again, and now no one is safe, especially Harmony. Can Kieran resist the urge to be with her or will his feelings put her in the crossfire?
 Harmony Jacobson is just a normal girl, living  a small town life in Corydon, Indiana. After the death of her grandmother, she is forced to put aside her dreams of the future in order to take over managing the family feed store. She does her best to make ends meet as she struggles through the monotony of her boring life. But that all changes when the Irish Travellers come to town with their Carnival of Wonders. The newcomers spark the interest of the entire town, including Harmony. But the one who's caught her attention the most is the handsome and secretive Kieran. They are both instantly drawn to each other, but it isn't long before Harmony discovers Kieran's big secret: He's a member of an ancient - and mythical - tribe known as the Tuatha de Danann. When the wrong people discover this secret too, will Kieran be able to save Harmony from getting caught in the middle of the ancient battle between his tribe and the humans who want to destroy them? Once is the first book in Dana Michelle Burnett's  new Gypsy Fairy Tale series.

I've been a fan of Dana Michelle Burnett since I first read Spiritus, the first book in her Spiritus series. So when I heard that she was coming out with a new book, I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. And, just like the series before it, Once definitely did not disappoint. I finished the book in only a few days and it immediately left me wanting to read the next book in this new series. Needless to say, I really enjoyed this book. One of the things that I really liked about it was the character of Kieran. While he is similar to the main male character in Burnett's Spiritus series, what I loved about him was that he wasn't an exact copy of that other character. He has his own personality and its one that completely draws the reader in. I automatically wanted to know more about him after he was first introduced.

Another thing I liked about the book had to do with Kieran, as well. More specifically, I liked that Kieran ended up belonging to the Tuatha de Danann. I've read a few books that focus on this particular tribe as parts of their main storyline. So, when I saw a name that I recognized, I was immediately intrigued and that was something that helped me to keep reading. I'm excited to see where Burnett will take it and I'm also interested to see how her depiction of the Tuatha de Danann will differ from other books that I've read.

Finally, I really enjoyed the relationship between Harmony and Kieran. It was very obvious from the first page that these two shared some kind of connection, some instant chemistry. By the end of the book, they became one of those couples that you instantly begin rooting for, even though you've only "known" them for a short time. I'm eager to see where this relationship goes and what will happen to them as the series progresses. The only thing that I didn't care for about Once was that it felt like all the action in the story happened in the last quarter of the book. While this wasn't something that made me put the book down without finishing it, I still hope it's something that will get better as the series unfolds.

I rate this book:

Once is the first in what promises to be an exciting new series from the mind of Dana Michelle Burnett. If you like fantasy novels that center around fairy tales and mythological creatures, then you should definitely check this book out. If you're anything like me, you won't be disappointed. And if you're looking for more of a paranormal story, be sure to check out the Spiritus series by this author. 

Dana Michelle Burnett spent most of her life writing short stories and sharing them with family and friends. Over the years, her work was published in numerous commercial and literary magazines including Just Labs, Mindprints: A Literary Journal, Foliate Oak, and many more. Her short story "John Lennon and the Chicken Holocaust" was include in The Best of Foliate Oak 2006.

Dana Michelle's Spiritus series introduced the idea of a ghostly romance and became a Kindle bestselling series. She's an avid reader of anything dark and romantic. Dana Michelle lives in Southern Indiana with her dancing diva daughter and an assortment of pets. Her site,, has more information about upcoming projects and appearances, or you can also check her out on Facebook

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Book Review: Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

A net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of the London Institute. Mortmain plans to use his Infernal Devices, an army of pitiless automatons, to destroy the Shadowhunters. He needs only one last item to complete his plan: he needs Tessa Gray.
Charlotte Branwell, head of the London Institute, is desperate to find Mortmain before he strikes. But when Mortmain abducts Tessa, the boys who lay equal claim to her heart, Jem and Will, will do anything to save her. For though Tessa and Jem are now engaged, Will is as much in love with her as ever.
As those who love Tessa rally to rescue her from Mortmain’s clutches, Tessa realizes that the only person who can save her is herself. But can a single girl, even one who can command the power of angels, face down an entire army?
Danger and betrayal, secrets and enchantment, and the tangled threads of love and loss intertwine as the Shadowhunters are pushed to the very brink of destruction in the breathtaking conclusion to the Infernal Devices trilogy.
Be sure not to miss the special first edition of Clockwork Princess, complete with an exclusive family tree.  

Clockwork Princess takes place not too long after Clockwork Prince.  Mortmain has disappeared with little to know hope in finding him.  Jessamine was their only shot and she has seemed to have lost her mind and keeps babbling something about Idris.  Ever since Will found
out about Tessa and Jem's engagement he has completely avoided her and since Cecily won't go home he has taken up the task of training her to be a Shadowhunter.  When Gabriel Lightwood show's up at the institute covered in blood they find that Benedict Lightwood has reached the final stage of demon pox and they are forced to slay him.  But what they find within the Lightwood libriary is much more disturbing.  "THE INFERNAL DEVICES ARE WITHOUT PITY, THE INFERNAL DEVICES ARE WITHOUT REGRET, THE INFERNAL DEVICES ARE WITHOUT NUMBER, THE INFERNAL DEVICES WILL NEVER STOP COMING".  Mortmain may be gone but he is definatly not finished with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute.  He has bought and block all trasnport of yin fen to London and without it or a cure Jem with die very soon.  Clockwork Princess is the most heartbreaking, beautiful, action packed story that I have read in a long time.  Unlike some series where the first book is the best that the series ever produces this triology has kept getting better with each book.  I'm not big on love stories or love triangles for that matter (I feel like they have been over done lately) but I absolutely loved this one.  It will go down on my list as one of the greatest competable with that of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth.

Jem is the most kind, selfless person real or fiction, dead or alive that has ever been.  While I knew that to some degree in the first too book, I didn't realize the full capacity of it until CP2.  For this reason I think that everyone should read this books if only to have something to strive for in day to day life.

Gabriel Lightwood was an interesting character to follow in CP2.  While Gideon evolve in the last book it was Gabriel that changed the most in this one.  In the previous two books you only know Gabriel to be Will's greatest enemy (besides himself) and blindly loyal to his father.  But in CP2 Gabriel is a tormented character.  Should he be the son his father raised him to be or the Shadowhunter that the world needs him to be?  The dynamics between him and Gideon have changed as well.  A part of him still feels betrayed by Gideon for leaving him and his father for the London Institute.

Will's sister that arrived at the end of CP may have became one of my favorite characters if the three main ones did not manage to outshine her so much in this last book.  She is brave, determined, and loving in all of the right times.  She manages to "ruffle Will's feathers unlike anyone else" and captures Gabriel's attention unlike anyone ever has.  Although this wasn't her story I would like to have gotten to know her character better.

Will is someone that he wasn't in the last two books.  His curse was broken.  Almost as if by coincidence as Jem is dying he is able to let other people in.  Don't get me wrong he is still his hilarious, witty self.  But the motives behind his actions are no longer the same because he know longer has to fear that those that love him will die.  You see a loving side of him that was only ever shown towards Jem.  He is surprisingly fearously protective of Cecily which makes for funny situations at the least.  The biggest part of this book is that he can't keep a lid on his feelings for Tessa. 

Cassandra Clare is the bestselling author of The Mortal Instruments and Infernal Device series.  She is currently working on a new middle grade series with Holly Black and will also have yet another Shadowhunter series, The Dark Artifacts, in the not soon enough future.  TMI City of Bones will hit the big screen this coming August. 

PS sorry for the delayed review. I thought the book came out on the 29th not the 19th.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Mainstream Monday: Trylle Movie News!

Happy news everyone!!

I'm taking a break from my insane wedding planning to share what came across my news feed late last week.

Terri Tatchell (District 9) is aiming to make The Trylle Trillogy her next movie project!

Just like the rest of us, Terri says that when she read the Trylle books, the images were so beautiful and vivid that this story HAS to be made into a film for the big screen. You can see the full article here.

Amanda Hocking seems to think that Terri is the best fit for this project and knowing her history as a (as Terri put it) "movie buff", I trust her judgement. If you want to see Amanda's article about her thoughts with the project, click here. Media Rights Capitol officially has the rights to the book and Terri is working on a layout for the screenplay. They hope to begin filming this fall. However, a director has not been chosen and no actors have been selected.

Of course, like any project, this could fall through. But we at The Ink Puddle are pumped for the opportunity Amanda has been presented with no matter what happens.

We want to know what you think! Are you excited? Who are some of your celebrity choices when it comes to Finn, Loki and of course, Wendy? Stay tuned because we'll announce our favorites for the part next Monday!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Book Review: Hunted By P.C. and Kristin Cast

What if the hottest guy in the world was hiding a nameless evil, and all he wanted was you?
At the start of this heart-pounding new installment of the bestselling House of Night series, Zoey’s friends have her back again and Stevie Rae and the red fledglings aren’t Neferet’s secrets any longer.  But an unexpected danger has emerged. Neferet guards her powerful new consort, Kalona, and no one at the House of Night seems to understand the threat he poses.  Kalona looks gorgeous, and he has the House of Night under his spell. A past life holds the key to breaking his rapidly spreading influence, but what if this past life shows Zoey secrets she doesn’t want to hear and truths she can’t face?
On the run and holed up in Tulsa’s Prohibition-era tunnels, Zoey and her gang must discover a way to deal with something that might bring them all down.  Meanwhile, Zoey has a few other little problems.  The red fledglings have cleaned up well – they’ve even managed to make the dark, creepy tunnels feel more like home – but are they really as friendly as they seem?  On the boyfriend front, Zoey has a chance to make things right with super-hot ex-, Erik, but she can’t stop thinking about Stark, the archer who died in her arms after one unforgettable night, and she is driven to try to save him from Neferet’s sinister influence at all costs.  Will anyone believe the power evil has to hide among us?
The nerd herd and red fledglings barely escaped Neferet's wrath and Kalona's spell.  Stevie Rae has a bowe in her chest and Stark has come back as a red fledgling minus the humanity.  The Raven Mockers have killed several of the Tulsa humans.  Thank goodness Zoey has zero guy problems at this point.  Wrong.  Just when her and super hottie Erik are getting back together, Heath shows up at the depot and causing a jealous guy show down.  When Zoey manages to break them up and walk Heath to the car she is attacked by a raven mocker and is so injured they have to go back to the House of Night.  Let's just say the welcome back wasn't warm.   Hidden has a new danger that the other House of Night books had yet to touch on.  It contains secrets, new relationships, action, love, and good vs evil that will leave you wanting more.

What I really like about this book is Stark.  Yes he lost his humanity and is an ass.  But when you see him with Zoey you see a spark of who he used to be.  My favorite parts of the book that I like the most are the ones that contained Stark.   

Darius is kind of awesome.  He puts up with and seems to love Aphrodite.  He always seems so serious and put together and basically saves the day every time.  He is strong enough to stand up to Kalona and Neferet and sticks to his guns.

There is some new found tension that wasn't there before between Stevie Rae and Zoey.  Stevie Rae is better but you can't go through what she has without being different.  The fact that Stevie Rae is trying so hard to hide that she is a different person puts a wedge between her and Zoey.  Without her best friend Zoey and Aphrodite become close because Aphodite is her only confident and actually becomes a great friend.

Heath plays a bigger role in this book as well.  In the other books he just the guy that Zoey was with as a human and she imprinted with.  In this book you see him as more than a not so smart football player that is borderline stalker.  He has depth and is really sweet and caring and while some may see him as a lapdog of a boyfriend his character really steps it up in this book.

 The House of Night Series is written by P.C. and Kristen Cast.  P.C. cast has written several series and she has received several awards for them.  Kristin Cast is P.C.’s daughter and has written a few other series herself.  She currently goes to college in Oklahoma, where they both live.  To learn more visit

Monday, February 25, 2013

Review: From Man to Man by David E.M. Emrys

 "Every man has a past, none more so than Draven Reinhardt. Abandoning his old life to settle down as a villager, he struggles to fit in, let alone hold down a job. When opportunity offers the much needed coin, Draven is torn between a promise and a purpose. 

But, what’s one last job if you’ve already got blood on your hands?
‘From Man to Man’ is the story of how one man can change – or not – for the best. Prequel to the upcoming novel ‘It Began With Ashes’, the short (6400 words) introduces the reader to a world of suspense, intrigue, and action."
Draven has traded in his life as a mercenary for the life of a villager for the sake of his wife and son. But he seems to be having quite a time adjusting to his new life. Constantly getting in fights and losing his job, it's clear that he needs to do something in order to support his family. So, when an opportunity arises that offers the money that he so desperately needs, Draven must decide which choice is the best one for him and his family, even if that choice means going back on a promise. From Man to Man is the short prequel to David E.M. Emrys's Wroge Elements series.

I have to say, I really enjoyed this book. It was a quick and simple read, which is always something I like, especially when I'm busy with schoolwork. I liked that the reader was able to see things from Draven's perspective. In my opinion, it made the story feel more realistic, even though it was set in a fictional village. It helped me feel like I was actually right there with Draven throughout all of the action of the story.

Another thing that I really liked about this story was the world that the author created. From the very first page, it was obvious that the story was set in a fictional world. And that's always fun for me, because it clearly shows the author's ability to weave a web of intrigue and imagery for readers. This story was no exception. It kept me interested from the very first description of the village where Draven lived and I was hooked until the end.

I also enjoyed how well-developed Draven was as a character. It's evident from the beginning that he has a secret past that he doesn't want to talk about. Yet, gradually throughout the story, the reader is given enough details to understand some of his background, as well as the kind of person he is. This went a long way to increase my interest in the story itself. Draven was such a strong character, that he made me want to keep reading. If I had to name something that I didn't particularly care for about this story, it'd have to be that it was so short. I got to the end and wanted to read more. So, I guess it's a good thing that there's another novel available.

I rate this book: 

Like I said, I really enjoyed reading this story. It was quick, simple, and very intriguing. If you like stories with action, mystery, and well-developed characters, then you should definitely check out From Man to Man. It's a perfect prequel to Emrys's Wroge Elements series. And if you find that you enjoy From Man to Man, then be sure to check out the first novel in the series, It Began With Ashes. I know I will be. 

David Emrys, known as D to his friends, is a serving soldier and author. He has clearance to know more than he should, but not the sense to know better. Leaving education with no more than a fifteen year old's understanding of English Literature, D’s storytelling craft is self-taught. Growing up with the heroic tales written by authors such as David Gemmell and James Barclay, D was inspired to write stories of his own. After joining the army D used his free time to focus on his dream of sharing shelf-space with his idols. D testifies to the fact that the pen is indeed mightier than the sword – but swords make for better letter-openers. He lives where the army send him, but home is in Chelmsford with his girlfriend. They say that behind every great man there is a woman pulling the strings, but she lets him dance to his own song whilst being the perfect partner in step. D claims that his books would not have been written without her. David Emrys is not his real name. Nor is D.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Guest Post: David E.M. Emrys

Hey everybody! We've got a guest post for you today from new author, David E.M. Emrys. David is the author of From Man to Man and It Began with Ashes. Everyone, please welcome David!

Can there be such a thing as too much fantasy?

Is the fantasy world over-populated? It’s a valid question and one that keeps raising its ugly head in the current era of ‘Lord of the Authors: The Fellowship of the Fantasy’.

Without battling out the topic of Indie vs Traditional, I want to take a moment and talk about fantasy worlds. A simple blog post can’t cover every single fantasy tome to have ever graced a book shelf (or a digital market place like Amazon, for all you e-publishing gurus), but we can highlight a few.

J.R.R. Tolkien with his elves, and his dwarves, his hobbits with their hairy feet, and his trolls. Ringwraiths, a dark lord, and a powerful artefact that is a curse to all those who bear it.

George R.R. Martin with his thrones, and his games, the squabbles of men, and the treachery, futility and thick-fast plots (oh, and if you’ve watched the tv adaptation, there’s a fair share of boobage, too).

Peter V Brett – demons galore! How ‘man’ (and woman!) can overcome their fears for what they believe is right.

Mark Lawrence explores the moral depravity of a Prince who won’t let anything – or anyone – stand in his way, even if that involves burning the world just to keep warm.

Michael J Sullivan brings bromance to the fold (Webster’s unofficial definition of bromance: bro-mance, a combination of brother and romance, meaning ‘a brotherly romance’ between two males. Often seen sharing large quantities of bruises, beauties, and beatings) with a healthy dose of death-defying escapades and swashbuckling adventures.

John Gwynne breaths fresh life into the folklore and legend side of fantasy, giving Giants, Wyrms and even Angels a gritty new lease with a Nordic/Celtic feel.

Brent Weeks forefronts assassins in one, and mages in another, but above all else they struggle with their own powers for further means.

Brandon Sanderson…magic, need I say more? But then again, his world-building is second to none.
Joe Abercrombie touts more knives than any sane man should ever need, but lucky for us not all of his characters can be deemed sane enough to count or care for that matter. But when all is said and done, it’s down to being what you’re meant to be, and (as he often states by way of infamous barbarian Logen NineFingers) once you've got a task to do, it's better to do it than live with the fear of it.

I’ve barely even touched the surface here. I could go on for hours. James Barclay, David Gemmell (big daddy of British heroic-fantasy), Robert E Howard, Patrick Rothfuss, Robert Jordan, David Dalglish, Mazarkis Williams, Moses Sirergar III, Ben Galley, Steven Erikson, Christopher Paolini…ok, ok – I’ll stop.
So, fantasy is a busy world(s). But each and every one of them is different. Yes, a lot of them share themes or creatures (elves, dragons, hobbits, dwarves, damsels in distress…hobbits, or other creatures with hairy feet?), but would you really say: ‘No more’! Heck, I’m sure if you asked a lot of these authors they’d admit to being inspired by one another. Of course they would.

Ok, let’s imagine if someone said ‘No more’ to Robert Jordan. Would we have the Peter V Brett’s, and Christopher Paolini’s of today? ‘Put that pen down’ David Gemmell…and voila, no John Gwynne’s or James Barclay. How many would we lose if Robert E. Howard had run out of ink on the first page, and Conan had been lost to an unfinished sentence?

IMAGINE THE CHAOS if someone told J.R.R. Tolkien to shave his hobbit and write a romcom. Think of the children, pray for their futures!

Publishing is an ever changing industry, and fantasy is an ever changing realm of possibilities. If you’re Indie or Traditional, reader or writer…could you really say NO to one last fantasy? And before you start culling dwarves, shaving hobbit feet, or cashing in dragon fangs for the last copy of ’50 Shades of Grey’ from Amazon…just remember:

A Fantasy author isn’t just for Christmas. They’re for life.
(And even then, they’ll think of a way to come back and haunt you from the afterlife – they’re fantasy authors after all).

D. E. M. Emrys. Author. Soldier by day, Soldier by night - Writer in between. Knows war to write war.
David Emrys, known as D to his friends, is a serving soldier and author. He has clearance to know more than he should, but not the sense to know better. Leaving education with no more than a fifteen year olds understanding of English Literature, D’s storytelling craft is self-taught.
Growing up with the heroic tales written by authors such as David Gemmell and James Barclay, D was inspired to write stories of his own. After joining the army D used his free time to focus on his dream of sharing shelf-space with his idols.

D testifies to the fact that the pen is indeed mightier than the sword – but swords make for better letter-openers. He lives where the army send him, but home is in Chelmsford with his girlfriend. They say that behind every great man there is a woman pulling the strings, but she lets him dance to his own song whilst being the perfect partner in step. D claims that his books would not have been written without her.
David Emrys is not his real name.
Nor is D.

Thanks so much for that, David! You guys should be sure to check out David's books; the links are below for you. And be on the lookout for a review of Emrys's From Man to Man later this week. 

Published Works:
'From Man to Man'

'It Began With Ashes'