Feb 16, 2010

Annotation #3 Romance

Posted by Kirsten at 2/16/2010 06:35:00 PM 4 comments


Biting Nixie

by Mary Hughes

Take 1 pint sized  twenty-five year old, responsibility avoiding,  German American punk rockin’ polka player and add 1 straight-laced 1000+  year old, expensive three-piece suit wearing, vampire lawyer. Stir in Vampire Gangsters and top it all off with a garnish of vampire war and you get Biting Nixie.

The town of Meiers Corners is home to town lawyer Denny Crane (not to be confused with William Shatner’s character from Boston Legal), a geriatric stripper named Granny Butt (who strips out of a girdle and support hose) one full time hooker (who may or may not be more than she seems). A group called the Coterie is working for its annexation by Chicago who’s suburbs surround Meiers Corners. The town hires attorney Julian Emerson to defend against the annexation but in order to pay, as Nixie puts it "HDTV-an-hour lawyer” the town is throwing a town wide three day festival. Who should they put in charge of this highly important festival but Dietlinde Nixie Schmeling but, whatever you do, don’t call her Deitlinde.

Nixie doesn’t want to run the festival. She only wants to keep playing gigs with her band Guns and Polkas. She’d rather die than have someone see her as a responsible 25 year old and she believes that buying insurance is the last step before death. When Nixie and Julian meet it’s like a forest fire, of course, you have to ask yourself “Who’s the forest and who is the fire?”  In the midst of the romance between Julian and Nixie, they have to find a way to not only stop the annexation of Meiers Corners but to defeat the bloodthirsty vampire gangs that are attacking the town and seeking to sabotage the festival. Those vampires and lawyers better look out. Nobody, and I mean nobody messes with Nixie Schmeling, except maybe her mother, and gets away with it!

I love a little humor in my fiction and Mary Hughes did not disappoint. From the geriatric stripper references and Nixie’s almost indecipherable language containing words from TV, Manga and even sound effects, to referencing William the Bloody (a vampire made famous on Buffy the Vampire Slayer) as the reason for Julian being so conservative I just laughed and laughed.  The pop culture references that Julian didn’t get for most of the book were refreshing and I loved the fact that when he finally figured out Nixies speech Hughes explained it so that the reader would understand too. However the best description of Biting Nixie was the warning on the back cover. I picked this book up because I liked the cover. Once I read the book jacket, which included the following warning I just had to read it.

“Warning: Contains more eye-popping sex, ear-popping language and gut popping laughs than can possibly be good for you. And Vampires. Not sippy-neck wimps, but burning beacons of raw sexuality – this means passionate blood-heating, violent bloodletting, and fangy blood-sucking. Oh, and cheese balls. Those things are just scary.”

I love a good paranormal romance novel and Mary Hughes has written a very unique one rather than your everyday version. Its humorous without being corny, vampirey (yes I made that word up)  without turning vampires into sappy sparkly angst ridden fools and overall entertaining throughout.  I can’t wait to read the rest of the books in the Biting Love Series. With titles like this, how could I not.

Feb 12, 2010

Annotation # 2 Classic Adventure

Posted by Kirsten at 2/12/2010 05:01:00 PM 2 comments

The Beasts of Tarzan

by Edgar Rice Burroughs

In this 3rd out of the 24 novels that Burroughs wrote about Tarzan we find that Tarzan, also known as John Clayton, Lord of Greystoke, has returned (along with his wife Jane and infant son Jack) once again to London to avoid the rainy season on his Africa estate in the land of the savage Waziri warriors.

Unfortunately for his family, two of his former (I’d say not so former) enemies, the Russian criminal Nikolas Rokoff and his minion Alexis Paulvitch have escaped from prison and the only thing on their minds is revenge against the ape man. Poor baby Jack is kidnapped and John Clayton is led into a ambush while Jane, realizing his peril, follows only to be caught in the same trap. With neither knowing the fate of the other or their precious son, John is left high and dry with only the equipment he was born into the world with and must push away the civilized man he has become and embrace the the beast that is always within him in order to rescue both Jane and Jack.

From fights with wild animals such as Numa and Sheeta (the lion and panther) to battles with African tribesmen and the evil sailors hired by Rokoff you are kept on the edge of your seat wondering if Tarzan will survive his banishment in an unknown jungle. Will Jane end up dead or will she escape or be rescued? Most important to Tarzan, will his infant son be raised by cannibals instead of in the family that has become Tarzan’s world?


Everyone knows the basic story of Tarzan “Lord of the Apes”. It has been adapted into multiple movies, on radio, in comics, graphic novels, cartoons and has been rewritten (both authorized and illegally) and adapted from its original tale so many times that it permeates our culture. From films, both live action and animated to video games Tarzan has permeated American culture in a way that would probably surprise its creator, hopefully pleasantly so. I doubt that Edgar Rice Burroughs could have foreseen how much his character would pervade society becoming present in everything from the Tarzan Yell to Disney’s representation are well known.

image However, This also means that the original works may not be as highly read as in the past. I remember reading as many of the Tarzan series as I could get my hands on as a child, but then i was also the kid who would rather read than watch television. When looking for a classic adventure novel my thoughts went to the Tarzan series and I had to find out if they were as good as I remembered them being. I have to say that after rereading the 3rd book in the series, that not only was it as good a read as I remembered it was better!!! Some of the adult themes that I had breezed pass as a child.


I would recommend this book for both new adventure readers and established readers of the genre. The fast pace keeps you involved in the story and every time you think that triumph is at hand, Burroughs throws in another twist that keeps you yearning for more. So if you haven’t picked up one of the original Tarzan novels before, get to it people!


Right now…


Feb 8, 2010

Annotation #1 Suspense

Posted by Kirsten at 2/08/2010 05:10:00 PM 1 comments


by Dean Koontzcold fire

Publisher: Berkley (December 7, 2004)

Imagine waking up suddenly and knowing that you have to go. You don’t know where, you don’t know how you only know that if you don’t, someone is going to die. So you drop whatever you’re doing and faster than someone can say Mississippi, you’re out the door with whatever the feeling inside you tells you you’ll need, only knowing that the what's and how's of the situation will be made clear to you on a need to know basis. Do you know WHO’s life you’re going to save? Not until seconds before you save it and you may never know why they are important, only that they are.

This is the situation that reporter Holly Thorne is drawn into when she witnesses Jim Ironheart rescue a child from death. Determined to get “The Story” she is drawn into an increasingly dangerous situation as she and Jim seek to find out who exactly is the “FRIEND” who sends Jim into these life threatening situations and who is the “ENEMY” that may very well end existence as they know it.

On a personal note, I thought the plot to Cold Fire was very well thought out. However, the execution seemed to be lacking to me. It was such a slow read, going on for pages with nothing happening. It seemed to me that it would never end. So while I’m sure there are people out there who would genuinely enjoy and love this book, I just cannot name myself as one of them. Elements of Cold Fire were just as expected from a suspense novel, but the pace was glacial.

Feb 4, 2010

A Favorite Book!

Posted by Kirsten at 2/04/2010 06:26:00 PM 1 comments

ONE FOR THE MONEYone for the money

Author: Evanovich, Janet

Review Date: JANUARY 29, 2010
Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 1st edition edition
Pages: 352
Price (mass market paperback): $7.99
Publication Date: Mar 27 2003 (originally 1995)

ISBN-10: 0061009059

ISBN-13: 978-0061009051
Category: FICTION

In One for the Money, the first book in a series that currently includes includes fifteen volumes and 5 shorter supplementary novels, Janet Evanovich introduces her readers to Stephanie Plum. Stephanie is a woman from the close-knit Chambersburg neighborhood of Trenton New Jersey which the locals call “The Burg” where every good hostess always has coffee cake for guests and dinner is served promptly at 6pm (God help anyone who isn’t there on time).

After being laid off from her job a a lingerie buyer, her mother suggests that she get a job filing at a family cousin’s bail bond agency. however when she arrives the position ahs been filled and Stephanie blackmails him into giving her a job as a Bail Enforcement Agent (Bounty Hunter). Her Job? To catch the neighborhood bad boy turned cop, Joseph Morelli, before she gets evicted from from her apartment and has to move back in with her mother father as well as her Grandma Mazur who is in her mid seventies and doesn’t look a day over ninety. Stephanie is a bounty hunter in a neighborhood where nearly everyone carries a gun but she keeps hers at home in the cookie jar next to her hamster Rex’s cage.

Stephanie’s lack of bounty hunting skills is made up for both by the humorous situations and captures that she attempts as well as her own personal Doctor Doolittle in the form of a good looking Cuban-American named Ranger who is described as having the stealth of batman and skills that make Rambo look like a novice.

If you enjoy your mystery with a generous dose of humor then the adventures of Stephanie Plum are for you!


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