Friday, January 2, 2015

Landline by Rainbow Rowell review

I'm always on Goodreads so when I saw that this nugget won the fiction #1 spot of 2014 I jumped at it.

Landline by Rainbow Rowell LANDLINE by Rainbow Rowell         ***/***** stars

This was my first time reading Rainbow and I’m happy to say that her prose goes down smoothly. Reading her work is like eavesdropping into phantom memories of select few; past and present laid out for touchy examination.


Young couple on a plate for us to dissect.

A phone that helix-lines the past and the present.

Add work, home cooking, two squirming babies and friends from past you work with and your almost there brighter than anything future career. Georgie stays in Cali home to work, Neil flies with kids to mom at Omaha for Christmas. In between something magical happens that isn’t corny. Yellow phone in Georgie’s teenage bedroom gives her a second chance, or rather is it a way to unravel her past? This is not some meaningless light read, this dives into the anatomy of a couple. Fun reading that just needs more cutting out.

Three stars refer more to the repetition of some stuff that could be shortened, some of the Neil agony blah. I enjoyed the story of Georgie, a witty TV show writer who has to spend a holiday away from her husband of many years, Neil and their two young daughters. The irony is that the whole time she’s back home in California all she can think of is her boy, her man, her Neil. The work she stayed for is nothing to the lush talks she has on him on her teenage yellow phone at her mom’s house. Those talks are not in the present entirely, she talks to Neil right before he proposed and suddenly all the angst and resentment has time to come up possibly and change the outcome of her love life. Time travel on a phone, sort of.

I read this while in bed during a winter holiday vacation and it was fun, a few tears for Petunia of all of them :P and overall like of the book, it was engaging, it sucked me in…just picky but with bit more polish and reduction and it would be perfect.

- Kasia S.

Happy 2015 and many good reads to all, I plan on 80 books this year, sorry cats, less time fore you.

This was a december wrap up, I'm also on 8Tracks, Tumblr and Instagram, kaiju8, kas_8888.. find me if you can. Cheers!


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Lee Thompson "A Beautiful Madness" blog tour and give away

Uff, my blog hiatus has lasted longer than I expected, life as usual gets in the way... I plan on updating my latest reads and eats soon, but for now I will have to bring a little attention to one of my absolute favorite authors on this planet, Lee Thompson!

There are many, many books floating the the literary stratosphere and many people who love to write and who want to write them but few grab me the way his words do. Lee's work is exquisite but don't think it's shy and pretty, it's drag your knees on nails and gut twistingly intense, incredibly intelligent and meticulously edited. It's simply superb. I've read a few of his works and each and ever single one is a beacon that shines brighter than many other things I've read. He usually sticks to horror but his new take on a thriller is out, and it's called A Beautiful Madness, and it will surely grab you by the eye balls if you have any...I highly recommend checking it out, he has a great blog tour going on right now but I all ready snagged my copy when it first came out for a per-order, the glowing reviews from strangers who are new to his works on Amazon, Goodreads and the net should convince those who never checked him out. I dont usually write a blog post dedicated to a single person but Lee, he deserves it and I'm always reminded how solid and good his work is when I read him, so here it is!



A Texas Senator and his wife go missing… On the same day, their son is slaughtered by an enigmatic killer on the lawn of ex-Governor Edward Wood's residence. Sammy, Wood's drug dealing son, suspects his father of the crime. After all, his old man snapped once before and crippled his wife with a lead pipe. But there's something more to these events…something deeper and festering just beneath the surface…

In direct opposition to Homicide Detective Jim Thompson, Sammy begins an investigation of his own, searching for the truth in a labyrinth of lies, deception, depravity and violence that drags him deeper into darkness and mayhem with each step. And in doing so, brings them all into the sights of an elusive and horrifying killer who may not be what he seems.

A brutal killer on a rampage of carnage…a hardened detective on the brink…an antihero from the shadows…a terrifying mystery that could destroy them all…

Welcome to Lee Thompson’s A BEAUTIFUL MADNESS blog tour! This blog, and the others participating, will receive a paperback copy to give to a random reader who leaves a comment and shares this post.

Throughout the book tour, I’ll be sharing fun facts about my first Mystery/Thriller, and also offering dubious advice to novice writers because I’ve had writers and editors farther along the path than myself give me tips that have helped me tremendously. If you want to up your game, pay attention and pass what you find useful on to those in your critique groups.

If you’re here as a reader, thanks so much. You’re every author’s life source. You’re the yin to our yang. The stories we set down on paper don’t seem to exist until someone else has read them, and the more the merrier.

How Important are Blurbs?

I was so excited when I got my first blurb, from none other than one of my biggest heroes. Tom Piccirilli. I’d sell my soul to write like him and my other heroes. So having him read my work and blurb it was, and still is, a big deal to me. I also received blurbs from others over my long three year writing career. Terrific writers like Robert Dunbar, Brian Hodge, Brian Keene, Mercedes Yardley, etc.

But how important are they? I’ve got a pretty good relationship with my fans and so far, in three years, nobody has once told me they found my work because of a blurb.

A Year’s Best List makes a difference though. Brian Keene had my first novel, Nursery Rhymes 4 Dead Children, on his 2011 year’s best list. Thanks Brian! You helped me more than you know. And word of mouth caused by the excitement a reader feels when they finish a story they really dig is a huge boost, too.

To me, moving a complete stranger with nothing more than text is pretty inspiring. But we’ve been there, haven’t we? I still remember my favorite novels vividly, and how they made me feel while reading them and after first finishing them.

I think most blurbs simply feed our ego. Praise from our peers is probably essential. So how much more important is praise from someone we wish we could write like? So, for your mental health, and for the boost to keep you going through the years it might take to establish your writing career, seek out some blurbs.

If you’ve never asked for or received one, I can tell you what has worked for me. Things might work differently for you…

You’ll want to make sure you’re writing is at a professional level, otherwise you’re going to get rejected, and the hero you admire probably won’t make it past the first page. I’ve had about ten writers ask me for a blurb and I can easily tell if I’ll keep reading after the first couple pages. Sometimes a young novelist has a ton of potential, and can really shine in a particular area of the craft, but there are all kinds of problems with the manuscript (flat characters, snail pacing, wooden dialogue, etc.)

And if an author tells you they can’t blurb you, for whatever reason, be a professional. Thank them for their time and move on. As you build your career things don’t settle down, you’ll only have more on your plate (more deadlines, more fan mail, more authors requesting a blurb from you, etc.) So when an author you admire doesn’t have time to read your book, take it in stride. You can’t imagine how busy they are until you’ve experienced it.

Don’t send out a blurb request to an author unless you’ve actually read something by them, and it helps even more if you’re a passionate fan of their work. Otherwise you really don’t care about their work at all, do you? You just want their name on the cover of your book and that’s all. Pretty lame, but people do it all the time.

When it comes your turn, and writers are asking you for blurbs, you’ll have to develop your own policy. Mine is simple and I make sure to let querying authors know: I’ll give it a read but I’ll have to love it to blurb it.

Pretty simple.

In A BEAUTIFUL MADNESS, my protagonist Sammy’s credibility starts off shaky since his father nearly killed his mother a few years before and the community has watched the ex-Texas governor degrade into solitary madness.

Sammy is also a drug dealer—his best friend designed it to help him with his anxiety, but it was too addictive and Sammy quickly began selling it to the upper crust in Wargrove, Texas—which doesn’t inspire much faith in him with the local police after a boy is murdered on his dad’s lawn. He’s not someone Detective Jim Thompson would normally praise, but by the end of the story, he might have reason to as the two of them run parallel paths—one legal, one illegal—in search of a killer targeting Sammy’s family…

Author bio: Lee Thompson is the author of the Suspense novels A BEAUTIFUL MADNESS (August 2014), IT’S ONLY DEATH (January 2015), and WITH FURY IN HAND (May 2015). The dominating threads weaved throughout his work are love, loss, and learning how to live again. A firm believer in the enduring power of the human spirit, Lee believes that stories, no matter their format, set us on the path of transformation. He is represented by the extraordinary Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary. Visit Lee’s website to discover more:


Enter to win a paperback copy! There will also be a grand prize at the end of the tour where one winner will receive my novel, and four other DarkFuse novels in Kindle format!

 Okay now I have like 3000 reviews to write up and catch up to, I'm still lagging from my 2011 reads, easy does it but it will get done.. Happy September everyone!

- Kasia S

Saturday, February 15, 2014

BOOKS * TEA * AND KITTIES UPDATE 2.15.2014 Saturday 3;23pm

                                                                                             CURRENT MOOD - home comfort to the max

February is the ultimate winter month, well at least to a European like me, it’s not the best to bear through but man can it be stunning at times. As I’m typing away on my living room couch with my lamps on low providing enough glow to make my room cozy I’m thoroughly enjoying the visual of the white fluffy snow falling down softly, covering everything I know of my  world and suspending it in perfect silence. I love looking out my window when it snows especially if I don’t have to run outside on some schedule but being early Saturday today is quite magical. I literally feel like a cake being dusted with powder sugar, my building must look like something out of Narnia by now. 

This is what I call the ultimate quiet and peaceful afternoon; cats are sleeping, boyfriend is sleeping, chinchillas are asleep too…. my babies suspended in cloud like reality so I decided to make use of this quiet day and this being a thee day weekend left me feeling extra relaxed and in mood for some fun cozy home stuff.  I have all ready spend the morning suspended in my own reality, reading part two of the amazing Wayward series by Blake Crouch, it blew my mind in all the right ways so after finishing I had to get my hands on some baking soon or else I would have to find a book as epic and deep to match it, a hard task. After some afternoon coffee I fed a few huddling birds and squirrels with pieces of my breakfast roll and some organic walnuts.  I love living near a tree, some critter will always come back to visit and I tend to share a bit from my window; I love feeing and nurturing animals, nothing better in the world... I read some great horror stuff lately that will be reviewed soon and moved on to some Amazon Vine reads gathered on my coffee table that needed my attention, I picked up The House of Journalists by Tim Finch, but it was too close to the book I just finished in the authority region so I picked up Taipei by Tao Lin next, boy did it wake me up, a rush back to my 20’s ( I’m only 32 but this still rang a funny bell) lol.

*Book currently reading - Taipei by Tao Lin.

                                                              The actual cover                                            My cover :)

Seems to be a book about city hipsters, empty flat drug fueled relationships, it made me want to read it right away, it was so different than the thriller and sci fi worlds I’ve read about since December with Dune and the Pines books and I made me shudder and recoil, my memories of being twenty came back, living this life then, wahh no thanks but I’ll read about all the wrong roads taken by others, sure! 

*Tea - I’m having some nice black tea that goes with a tea cake, and speaking of cake I made an old favorite today, a Sugar Loaf from an old edition of Bon Appétit magazine which is my favorite food magazine to read. The joy of making this light yoghurt based cake is profound, something about whisking that light primrose colored batter with some flour, sugar and lemon zest, topped with some almonds is beyond cozy, baking a cake that smells like vanilla and home is so enjoyable to me, especially on a quiet cold day, some sunshine and warmth form the oven is nice with the snow falling right outside the kitchen window. This one is easy and tasty, as a cake or cool in the morning with tea, even sliced and toasted, possibilities are endless, sprinkle some cooked or fresh berries with cream , okay I have to stop now..This will be a nice snack for the boyfriend when he wakes up. Lucky him, damn I’m awesome :P)

*Kitties - all cats are finally getting along, they are sweet babies although today I saw a scratch on Desmond’s nose, wondered if it was from Shaggy or his own toes. I wanted to take a picture of the nearest kitty to me as I’m typing this blog note, its 4;24pm now, took me a bit to shape this.. Shaggy is sleeping on the couch behind me :)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Kalayna Price's Grave Witch book review - snow day

Happy snow day, if you live anywhere near top of the the East Coast of our lovely America you are probably at home drinking some hot chocolate, snowed in  Narnia style and if you are reading from far away then hello, welcome to my winter. Staying home is luxurious, a perfect day to catch up to reading (still trekking through DUNE but it’s glorious, delicious, love it) and reviewing,  Grave Witch is a blast from the past, I read this in 2012 and re-reading the review makes me eager to read the third book, this a good series, I’m tough to please with dark urban fantasy and fantastic fiction but this is something I will continue reading, it's dark, gritty, well written and funny with surprising polished turns that make you sit back in awe.

 GRAVE WITCH by Kalayna Price
Book#1 in series

5* out of 5*

This happens to be a refreshing new dark urban fantasy series that goes beyond the usual witchy stuff, fast moving and thrilling enough to make me pick up the second book the same day I finished this one it delivered a good story and interesting characters that you don't mind spending a few days with. Alex Craft is a grave witch who raises shades; whisps of the life that have long left from any dead body and she's making strides in solving murder cases as bizarre as it is to the general public. One day when she's helping a friend raise a shade of a ritual victim she is scratched and infected with something dark and stinky and more dangerous that she has ever seen beyond the grave. Fear strikes Alex because it might be the end of her even if she is good friends with Death who loves coffee and is clearly smitten with her. On top of her attack she is forced to form a partnership with FIB's Falin Andrews who doesn't leave a good first impression. Together they have to solve a bizarre public figure death but Alex has a hard time trusting him and his reasons for helping her even though she finds him oddly alluring.

We learn that the Necro world is filled with witches and fae and you never know what will happen as the book takes off on full gallop and delvers many magical and intriguing situations and characters. One thing I learned from this series and from Patricia Briggs books is that you never thank a fae because you will owe them and they will collect the debt, faes wear disguises so what if you say "thank you" at the grocery store they work at? Kinda confusing... Fae's aren't my favorite, they almost seem like a cheat, they are so strong and powerful but can look like a frail beautiful human, too much vanity and ego for me, I prefer witches or more ferocious werewolves but still I really liked the book a lot. I had to chuckle every time Andrews told Alex that he has to take her to a hospital, the girl is quite vulnerable yet she manages to solve quite a few mysteries as well as explore her family and the reasons she doesn't get along with them. I really loved the whole book and especially the ending, I'm half way into book two and I'm all ready eying the third which just came out. Price can write for sure, I never read her before and she's quite young but what a talent! Murders, mystery, clever jokes and witty action make this a pleasant read for any day of the year for fans of action and magic in a modern setting.

- Kasia S.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Dark Woods by Jay C. Kumar review - aka Bigfoot love fest

I read this book almost seven years ago yet it still haunts me, I don’t even care much about Bigfoot one way or another, but something about the cover compelled me to take it home with me when I saw it at the library.  Sometimes with books you have to follow your gut and sometimes it’s good to allow different things take your hand and show you the possibilities hidden behind all those pages, in all those books that are around us. So yay to good gut choices, never mind that I got repeatedly kicked in the gut as I read it lol, and I mean in a literal way, kicked by the story, so goooodd…. Actually a good time for a re-read as well :)


5* out of 5*

I often like to remember each week of my life by the book I was reading, it's a small habit I have that brings a smile to my face and helps the gray cells from shrinking. This week was truly good in the wild world between pages of a book that almost made me smell the earth, hear leaves flapping in the wind and the concentration and precision that made the main hero such an incredible character pushed through my veins and made me hold my breath on more than one occasion.

Dark Woods is an exquisite surprise, the world of hunting never interested me, a person who would never wear fur and who detest any type of animal abuse but I found myself lost and mesmerized by Mr. Kumar's polished language. The book was not only a real pleasure to read because it was so smooth, intense and woven with light and sound that leaped of the pages but it contained just a small handful of characters who stood out and who were truly memorable. Frank Vaughn is a Deputy Sheriff and a hunter who seems to have spotted a trail that left a dead body and a ripped apart animal that point to non other than a Sasquatch, that's Big Foot for those not familiar with furry monsters. He often goes hunting which is well depicted with great respect to the animals and with clear intentions of not wasting anything away. While on his hunting trip his friend Boone gets wounded and ends up in the hospital while Geek, I swear not everyone had funny names, helps Vaughn take their friend to safety but refuses to go back and make sure the animal is not staggering wounded and in pain in the dark woods. The also find a body of a local poacher who suffered a terrible death by the same dark creature that they caught a glimpse of. Pretty soon the word gets out and Vaughn is joined by a science professor Art Lansing and a few other characters, some with genuine intensions and some not so spotless. Some people in the group seemed to have an idea about how expandable the over populated human society is and would stop at nothing in the pursuit of the beast.

Mr. Kumar does an excellent job of writing about the Skookum County, Washinton's rugged mountainous terrain and the dark, the cold and lonely hunt that Vaughn and the others perused. The tale is truly addictive, I felt every breath held, every calculated step, the babbling of the cold brook, the serene air and grace of nature and the tiny powers of the human against its wrath. Everything was very tantalizing until the crew noticed something, the hunting slowly turned tables and they were no longer hunting, they were becoming the hunted and the terror was more than real, it was hair rising and quite fabulous to read about. For those who have been in the woods alone like a needle in haystack this book can reenact some of that eerie yet calm feeling. It was a really great experience since woods are nothing foreign to me and it reminded me of the tranquil days I spent, not chased by a colossal creature thank god but in the presence of nature.

This tale is about something that is greater than we can comprehend and perhaps it is real, running in the wild out there somewhere. Perhaps it's the world's smartest creature because it has never been caught and experimented on in the lab, free to me be king of its own dense domain of silent servants that the trees so willingly became. So read Dark Woods and find out for yourself what elegant and thoughtful writing is about, and this book will surprise on many levels that are beyond a creature story but a tale that deals with environmental issues and how politics can corrupt pretty much everything to appear the way the heavy movers want us to see, whether its an UFO, Yeti or the Aliens lol.

- Kasia S.