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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Alexandra Sokoloff - Book Of Shadows


Hardback 312 pages - Stand Alone - Paranormal Suspense
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
ISBN-10: 0-312-38471-8
ISBN-13: 978-0-312-38471-5
Release date: June 8, 2010
Main Characters: Adam Garrett & Tanish Cabarrus
HC copy received for reviewing
Purchase at: The Book Depository Store

The discovery in a landfill of the mutilated corpse of Erin Carmody, the 18-year-old daughter of a prominent Boston businessman, presents homicide detective Adam Garrett with a particularly sensitive case. Marks on the body suggest the killer was conducting Satanic rituals. When Adam and his partner, Carl Landauer, question the prime suspect, Jason Moncrief, a college friend of Erin's, Jason chants the name of the demon Choronzon, then assaults Carl. Despite what appears to be an open-and-shut case, Adam can't discount the claim that Jason is innocent made by Tanith Cabarrus, an attractive witch who comes to police headquarters to report that she dreamed of other murders—and who believes that supernatural forces are behind the slaughter.

Fact meets fiction in this enticingly thrilling story. This turned out such a well written story with an exquisite eye for detail, where Alexandra Sokoloff takes the reader into the crime scene and murder investigation after a body has turned up headless and handless at a city landfill. It captivated me from the first written word and didn’t let go, not even after I had read the final page and closed the book.

It showed a great background research in the paranormal plot and murder scene investigation, keeping it so close to the real deal. As I am quite familiar with the paranormal workings, the suspense factor of the major plotline on who the perpetrator was all the more thrilling that it might have been to others. However even for none-believers the built up of the storylines are fantastic and it is definitely a page turner till the end.

Adam Garrett- with his black irish eyes and hair and temper, hard-muscled, impatient, edgy;
is not a strictly go by the rule cop but likes to keep his feet firmly down-to-earth and grounded. However when a girl turns up at his desk, claiming a few weeks ago she dreamed about the murder he is currently investigating, and that they had the wrong boy in custody, he quickly finds himself needing to deal with the paranormal, and though he is just not a believer he seems to be attracted towards believing her and seeking her advice. He has to set his mind open to the – up to them for him impossible – and finds that this case would change his outlook on life as a whole new world seems to open up with a range of possible suspects.

Tanith Cabarrus - a witch who dreamed gruesome things and trying her best to get her voice heard within the police department, finally might be able to get a foot in. Mysterious and otherworldly tuned, she attracts the attention of Adam Garrett, hoping she could get through to him while doing her utmost to solve the murder case and freeing the person she knows was not involved in this murder.

Carl Landauer - chain-smoking, whisky-drinking, donut-eating, a living, breathing amalgam of every cop clich√© known to man: middle-aged spread, broad sweating face, and bawdy, cynical humor - a lifer who used the caricature as a disguise. You just got to love him, he is Adam’s partner and has a smaller part to this story as the plotlines are following more Adam’s life but Land is the solid cop with humorous remarks taking the edge off the edgy in this story.

Quote upon finding certain satanic marks on the body of the murder victim:
“What the fuck is that? The Devil Lite? Satan can't count?"

For those who expect romantic suspense, there is no undying romantic love, but a fast-paced passionate and sensual fling between two human beings. Very raw and basic but complementing the overall story-arc. I admire Ms. Sokoloff for keeping it on that level, because the built up of plotlines and characters didn’t require anything more than what was given away.

Because the story-built and everything going on in between the written lines was so intense, this was not a light read. When reading a novel like this, that took hold of me and grabbed me so that it kept my mind busy outside reading hours as well, it classifies as a prime-read on my shelves, and one that most definitely will be re-read in the future.

There is a rawness in the satanic side of the paranormal way of living, making the evil in this novel very evil. Up unto the very last scene question marks on who was the villain invoking these energies was unrevealed, and the climactic ending tied all the loose ends together making it a tight fit.

This is my first book by Alexandra Sokoloff but definitely not the last!!!

4,5 stars

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Do's and Don'ts - when figure skating!

The season has starting again and the wintersportsgear can be grabbed out of the closet. Now as this is the do's and don'ts cathegory on my blog, I have some great video's from youtube to share.

I love to watch the figure skating on TV, it seems so gracious, dynamic, romantic and dramatic at the same time! When it goed well it's sublime, but when it goes wrong, it goes terribly wrong. But it doesn't stop figure-skaters from getting back in the saddle!
What to do or not to do when figure-skating....

What NOT to do...

What TO do...


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Poem: Longing Whisper


A whisper on the wind I caught
A gentle swirl, a caressing breeze
It silently tells about a secret love
As I see the dancing leaves

Teasing my soul and warming my heart
I feel my other half
Giving me reason to believe and to long
While my gaze wanders off

Looking afar in hungering knowlegde
Knowing he's not far from here
Whispering back in the flowing wind
To let him know I'm near

The full moon will light the rest of the way
Making the path towards me clear
So I'll sit back awaiting impatiently
For welcoming he, whom I hold dear

Once I know, we will be united
For we both know we really long
To love, to touch, to finally be
As we once were, to be one

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Yay today the cinematic trailer for the official launch of World of Warcraft extension pack 4-Cataclysm came out. Those who know me, know I am not a gamer per se, but World of Warcraft is one of the exceptions to that. I just love my characters and soon will give an extensive details on who my alter ego's are!

For those who are curious, here's the official trailer:

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Crown Of Crystal Flame

October 26, 2010

A date set in my day-planner as special, why? Because then the fifth book in the Tairen Soul series by C.L. Wilson is due for it's long-awaited release. The book concluding the EPIC lovestory of Rain and Ellysetta.

For me it all started with a debut-author writing about a love so touching and heartwarming, a world so dramatic and lifechanging, and storyplots that left me in awe - that she instantly shoot straight up to my A-list for reads and my auto-buy list (preferably HC) straight away.

Genre: Fantasy Romance
Book 1 in the Tairen Soul series
ISBN: 978-0-06-2018-960
Releasedate: October 26, 2010
Publisher: Avon Books
Book Cover: Judy York
Format owned: MMPB pre-order

A Song of Love won her heart.
A Song of Darkness haunted her soul.
A Song in the Dance would seal her fate.

Seers had long foreseen an extraordinary destiny for Ellysetta Baristani. Already she had won the heart of the Fey King?the magnificent Rain, ever her ally, eternally her love. She had saved the offspring of the magical tairen and fought beside her legendary mate against the armies of Eld.

But the most powerful–and dangerous–Verse of her Song had yet to be sung.

As the final battle draws nigh and evil tightens its grip upon her soul–will Ellysetta secure the world for Light or plunge it into Darkness for all eternity? As she and Rain fight for each other, side by side, will they find a way to complete their truemate bond and defeat the evil High Mage of Eld before it's too late, or must they make the ultimate sacrifice to save their world?

Click HERE to go to C. L. Wilson's website and read the excerpt


Check out the following link for a nice one on one with Belliard vel Jelani and *sigh - my love* Gaelen vel Serranis. Steli also leaves her paw-mark and graces us with 5 things she wants to share about herself with us.

I am herewith joining in on the party hosted by Leontine in awaitence of the release of this fifth installment to the Tairen Soul series by Ms. C.L. Wilson.

Leontine's Book Realm

Quote: Lord of the Fading Lands:
He flung himself from the ground into the sky, flashing instantly into tairen-form. Flames scorched the night sky and his roar of fury rent the air as he followed the path of the mind that called out to him in fear….

(Click HERE for full review)

Praise for Lady of Light and Shadow:
(quote from my review)
I have a profound respect for people who are able to write a 5-star novel, but to do so on their debut and have a follow up novel with again a 5-star quality is admirable and herewith I speak out loud my admiring respect for the writing abilities and qualities of CL Wilson. Not only was she able to baffle and amaze me with her smashing start of the Tairen Soul series – Lord of the Fading Lands – but even more so, she was able to captivate me and leave me in awe with the follow up in this series – Lady of Light and Shadow.
(Click HERE for full review)
What I elsewise totally appreciate and love is that all the bookcovers so far have been designed by the same person, making it complete, eyecatching and a definite treasure to have on my shelves. Cheryl, good luck with the release of Crown of Crystal Flame, enjoy it as much as you can and thank you so much for bringing the world of the Tairen Soul into my life!!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Do's and Don'ts

For this first 'Do's and Don'ts'- post I thought I'd bring you something I came across, while being the YouTube-fanatic I am. I have this quirk about programms like x-factor; popstars; idols and all alike, I just have to watch the UK version as well, because I have this bit of a thing for Simon Cowell, I like him, I love his straightforward judging and answers like: That was distinguishly below average...

I was YouTubing away and came across 2 vids that just completely fell into the cathegory of my Do's and Don'ts theme - and I call it 'What to do and not to do on your first audition as popstar'

What so NOT to do!!! Ablisa first audition X-factor UK 2010

What absolutely to do!!! Danyl Johnson first audition X-factor UK 2009

What to do to make the jury of idols Africa laugh out loud.... Hilarious first audition of Buhle Mkwanazi singing Killing Me Softly.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Coversong - but oh so good!

I know there is this big thing about whether or not it's 'ok' to do coversongs of classic numbers for bands these days, and to be honest they usually are the underdog to the original, but sometimes you come across a song sang a lot better than the original.

Now a song called 'Total eclipse of the heart' by Bonnie Tyler I used to love already, I bought her cd and everything, so we're cool on the fact she made a great song.

But years later this song was covered by an Irish boyband called Westlife and now even after hearing it a lot of times (I think it was released somewhere around 2006) it's still on the cd I keep remixing for in my car, and giving me goosebumps and on occassion a tear to my eyes.

Every now and then I get a little bit lonely and you're never coming round
Every now and then I get a little bit tired of listening to the sound of my tears
Every now and then I get a little bit nervous that the best of all the years have gone by
Every now and then I get a little bit terrified and then I see the look in your eyes
Turnaround bright eyes
Every now and then I fall apart
Turnaround bright eyes
Every now and then I fall apart

And I need you now tonight
And I need you more than ever
And if you only hold me tight
We'll be holding on forever
And we'll only be making it right
'Cause we'll never be wrong
Together we can take it to the end of the line
Your love is like a shadow on me all of the time (all of the time)
I don't know what to do and I'm always in the dark
We're living in a powder keg and giving off sparks
I really need you tonight
Forever's gonna start tonight
Forever's gonna start tonight
Once upon a time I was falling in love
But now I'm only falling apart
There's nothing I can do
A total eclipse of the heart

Once upon a time there was light in my life
But now there's only love in the dark
Nothing I can do
A total eclipse of the heart

Every now and then I get a little bit restless and I dream of something wild
Every now and then I get a little bit helpless and I'm lying like a child in your arms
Every now and then I get a little bit angry and I know I've got to get out and cry
Every now and then I get a little bit terrified but then I see the look in you eyes
Turnaround bright eyes
Every now and then I fall apart
Turnaround bright eyes
Every now and then I fall apart

And I need you now tonight
And I need you more than ever
And if you'll only hold me tight
We'll be holding on forever
And we'll only be making it right
Cause we'll never be wrong
Together we can take it to the end of the line
Your love is like a shadow on me all of the time (all of the time)
I don't know what to do and I'm always in the dark
We're living in a powder keg and giving off sparks
I really need you tonight
Forever's gonna start tonight
Forever's gonna start tonight

Once upon a time I was falling in love
But now I'm only falling apart
There's nothing I can do
A total eclipse of the heart
A total eclipse of the heart
A total eclipse of the heart
A total eclipse of the heart
A total eclipse of the heart

You can listen to it here:

JK Beck - When Blood Calls


Genre: Paranormal Romance
Book 1 in the Shadow Keepers series
ISBN-10: 0-4402-4577-X / ISBN-13: 978-0-4402-4577-3
Releasedate: August 2010
Publisher: Bantam
Format Owned: Bound Gally
Main Characters: Sara Constantine & Lucius Dragos
For Sale At: Book Depository Store

Attorney Sara Constantine is thrilled with her promotion - until she finds out that she must now prosecute vampires and werewolves. The first defendant she'll be trying to put away? Lucius Dragos, the sexy stranger with whom she recently shared an explosive night of ecstasy.

When Lucius kisses a beautiful woman sitting next to him at the bar, he's hoping only to avoid the perceptive gaze of the man he's planning to kill. But what starts as a simple kiss ignites into an all-consuming passion. Charged with murder, Luke knows that Sara is determined to see him locked away - unless he can convince her that he's not a monster. And that might mean making the ultimate sacrifice.

The Paranormal Romance genre is going into a new direction and JK Beck is one of the leading ladies in doing so. Combine the booming Paranormal Romance Novels with the popularity of police law enforcement series on TV and you find a mixture that thrills the reader with suspense and love.

This was what first came to mind when I closed this book after reading it. I was a bit ‘warrior-band-of-brother-exhausted’ and JK Beck has blown new life into my love for reading about vampire’s, werewolves, demons and everything not so common to the human world.

At first it took me some getting used to the pace, world build up, and where this story was taking me, but once I went way down under and got settled into division 6 – PEC (Preternatural Enforcement Coalition), a whole new world of Paranormal Investigation’s, DA’s and their own Judicial System opened up to me, making my heartbeat rise and my longing to read on grow with each page I turned.

Straight away we’re thrown into a murder scene, which on the surface seems a slam-dunk arrest, but turns out to be a lot more complicated that it was at face-value.

Sara is a prosecutor and after her promotion is thrown into the paranormal world, she’s an honest woman, seeking out justice and not feeling ruled with the fact she had to prosecute someone for a crime they might have done according to the evidence on the surface. I found it a bit difficult to connect with her as a character at the start, but as the story progresses I felt she opened up more and more.

Lucius is a centuries old vampire, and within this series, vampire’s struggle with their inner daemon who is seeking blood/souls to feed of and have a craving need for violence. When I came across him the first time he didn’t come across as a straight forward villain to me, more like a rogue out loose in the paranormal world, with a big sense of responsibility, but not feeling sorry for the things he has to do (as an assassin for the Alliance), which aren’t quite so legal or by the book. What I found so great about him was that he didn’t apologize for it. It was either accept him for who he is, flaws and all, or don’t accept him and have it that way, but either way was fine with him. I absolutely loved that!

The love for each other was a built up from a one night stand and like an instant thing, and I would have loved to have seen more pages used for their actual love-relationship but there are only so much pages in a novel to write up. Throughout their encounters it is clear that there is more than just passion for each other so it was a believable development within this story.

Both Sara and Luke are brought into this story with baggage from the past to solve or lay to rest, making them characters that grow along in this story and in their encounters. Their past however, do make cause for obstacles and these could have gone awry leading their own life within the story, but JK Beck knows how to handle it and guide it into a great plotline.

Throughout this first installment in the Shadow Keepers series, quite a few secondary characters come to pass, all complex with a variety of paranormal powers, and I sincerely hope that in the next installments these characters will get a part as well or even their own story. The world build up was really well done, as well. It took some time getting into it, as it is very different from what I was used to reading, but once a bit more settled into the terminology and way of life, it all falls into place. It is definitely a world I want to continue reading about!

Some of the plotlines were predictable, but I didn’t see the major plotline coming, making this read a thrilling one until the end. Towards the end all small and big plotlines were completed leaving me satisfied as a reader. Though there was a point where I got a bit uncomfortable with reading on, which might be a break-point for some readers, I thought it great of JK Beck to not avoid this and use it in her story as it did have a purpose to things IMHO.

Quote of one of my favorite characters in this novel-Tucker-I just love his humor:
She peered at his shield and ID, then met his eyes, her own filled with confusion. "Homeland Security?"
She stared him down. "Are you shitting me?"
"No, ma’am," Tucker said. "We at Homeland Security do not have a sense of humor of which we’re aware."

This is definitely a strong, compelling and intriguing start of a new series, and I for one am looking forward to being taken back to the PEC and their paranormal investigations!

4 stars

Blog Assistant

With spring in the air, my blog assistant decided to dress a bit more appropriate...

State Of Mind


Torn between the good stuff and the yummy stuff....

About Me

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Winschoten, Groningen, Netherlands

With everything new, I ofcourse, had to get used to the idea of making, owning and maintaining a blog but I have to say, now that I’ve got the hang of it, it’s quite fun to do. Let me introduce myself, I’m Natascha, in my early 30’s and from a little place called Winschoten in the Netherlands, I’ll be your host on this blog.

As an avid reader you’ll find that most of my blogs will maintain reviews, books, topics about books, writing and such, but as I am a diverse person myself, it will include many other topics on things that I find interesting in life. So welcome to my world, and happy blogging!
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