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text 2018-02-04 23:57
68 New in book series out Tuesday
A Choice of Crowns - Barb Hendee
Child of a Mad God - R.A. Salvatore
Into the Fire (Vatta's Peace) - Elizabeth Moon
Look for Me (D. D. Warren) - Lisa Gardner
Tempests and Slaughter (The Numair Chronicles, Book One) - Tamora Pierce
This Fallen Prey - Kelley Armstrong
Witch's Reign (Desert Cursed Series Book 1) (The Desert Cursed Series) (Volume 1) - Shannon Mayer

REMINDER:  booklikes has scheduled maintenance next Tuesday so posting early.


See https://www.fictfact.com/BookReleaseCalendar for all the books.  Usually more than 80% of the new releases shown will need to be added to booklikes (maybe something Tuesday's maintenance will help resolve?).

Source: www.fictfact.com/BookReleaseCalendar
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text 2017-08-12 01:30
Reading progress update: I've read 0%.
Priceless - Shannon Mayer

Did not finish. I grew bored with her work.

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text 2017-02-22 05:13
Fiasco and WTF
Venom and Vanilla (The Venom Trilogy) - Shannon Mayer

Uff da, this is some silly stuff.


Venom and Vanilla started with a bang. We're introduced to Alena on her death bed, cut down by a communicable disease that's so virulent that she's flown out to Whidbey Island off the coast of Seattle to die isolated and alone. It's a sad, slow beginning, nostalgic for her simple life and small rebellions. Alena was a member of the Firstamentalists, an almost cult-like religious group who brooked no contact with the Supernaturals: vampires, werewolves, etc. Of course, fiction being what it is, the narrative lack dictates that, in order to cure the fatal disease rapidly killing her, Alena must become a Supernatural. 


I actually loved watching a protagonist struggle with her religion. Alena holds to her principles, even though she'd long questioned them, long past my expectations. While I found her childish refusal to do anything close to cussing annoying -- for fuck's sake, donkey butt has nowhere near the frisson of asshole -- I commend the commitment to character. Alena is a good girl, a religious girl, and she's not going to shed her convictions just because she's like a giant snake or there's a hot vampire or whatever. 


But that's about where I stop my praise, because this novel is such an absolute fiasco. Alena is turned into an ancient Greek monster by Merlin, THE Merlin, of all people, to be murdered by Achilles, who is apparently a thing, and Zeus works for Wal*Mart, plus there are vampires and naga and werewolves and satyr and god knows what fuck all. Oh, and there's a standard dystopia where Supes are second class citizens dumped onto the other side of a wall (oops, sorry Canada, you're now the dumping ground for supernatural creatures). 


This is one of those stories that is so far gone that I enjoyed it, just waiting for whatever bananas ass shit was going to happen next. Lightning shootout in Wal*Mart? Fine. Naked girl fight in a Queen Anne neighborhood attic? Sure. Casual slut shaming while reveling in the lead's nascent sexuality? Whatever. A house-sized snake fighting minotaurs? I guess. So much random shit happens, SO MUCH. SO MANY characters hide footballs, and not even stealthily, but like right in front of you like you don't have eyes in your head. It's so blatant it passes over insulting into something else completely. 


Anyway, I guess what I want to say is that the reader for the audio is fucking amazing, and I think she's the only reason I finished this thing. Her name is Saskia Maarleveld, and I really like her voice. 


The End. 

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review 2017-01-15 17:07
Good Story and Characters
Fangs and Fennel (The Venom Trilogy) - Shannon Mayer Ted was Alana’s brother and thought Alana was wrong going to the courthouse to prove she was in fact alive and to get a divorce was a bad idea. Alana had married roger and he had been cheating on her with Barbie before Alana caught the virus. Now Alana had all kinds of proof of who she was but Alana was now supernatural and had a giant poisonous snake inside her. Roger had a fake death certificate on Alana. The world didn’t see supernaturals as people who had any rights . Alana proving she was alive would be near to impossible. Roger and her girlfriend Barbie were at the courthouse together and trying to walk away with Alana’s inheritance and house she had inherited from her grandparents as well as her business Vanilla and Honey bakery she had worked so hard to make a success. Then roger was going to sell everything to start a dog- and cat- grooming business. What scared humans from supernaturals was the Aegius virus. But what humans didn’t know was that you had to have some supernatural blood even a very little- in their genetics. But when humans get the virus they die within a couple of weeks. The people who had the virus were put in a special hospital on the outside of the city. There was a cure but it involved being turned into a supernatural which Alana had learned about from her roommate/best friend at the hospital Dahlia who was now seeing Alana’s brother Tad. Alana was a Drakaena- a woman siren who could shift at will into a giant venomous snake. Alana wasn’t a nice girl anymore she had killed to protect herself and those she loved. Alana had also kissed another man - Roma who was a vampire mob boss. Roma had stayed with Alana to protect her or so Alana believed. But there was no cross dating other species. Remo had slept and only slept with Alana after the battle with Achilles. Remo showed up when Alana was waiting to go to court today and he had his hearing moved up so he would be there if Alana needed help he was there. Remo told Alana he missed her. Roger tried to pull Alana away from Remo and Remo pulled Alana even closer to him and thanked Roger for being so stupid enough to let Alana go free. Officer Jensen was Remo’s inside man to the human police department and he reminded Remo they had to get to his hearing. Remo kissed Alana and told her that she undid him. Alana was Remo’s according to Remo and he didn’t share. Santos was Remo’s younger brother and a bitter rival and the head of a much smaller gang -Remo had almost three hundred members in his and that was the largest gang in North America. Officer Jensen came to Alana and said Remo needed her help and Alana shifted into the snake and helped him get free from Santos and his vampires. A man came up to Alana and it was Theseus and he told Alana he had to kill her in order to break the bond Hera had on him. Theseus was a demigod. Santos wanted what Remo had: power, respect, influence , and territory. But Santos didn’t want to go out and make it for himself. Remo and Santos had been at war since Remo had been turned almost four hundred years now. Alana shares her safe house with two friends Beth and Sandy.They took care of each other. Flora - Alana’s ya ya and grandmother sent a message through Hermes that she wanted to meet Alana at Vanilla and Honey. Flora wanted Alana to get Merlin- the warlock who had changed her so she wouldn’t die- to fight for Alana in court. Flora had been a priestess in Zeus's temple and had an affair with Zeus and brought a curse on the family. Theseus had used an enchanted arrow on Beth and she was obsessed with Theseus and charmed Sandy and they both left with Theseus. Theseus told the girls his name was Tim and saved Beth from being hit by a car. Then Santos and his vampires show up and have a snake catcher that has some oil on it that eats through Alana’s flesh and scales down to her bone. Alana gets away but is hurt but Ernie tells Alana to go in the water and that helps wash off the oil. Then the vampires catch up again and Alana barely makes it to the Supe Squad headquarters which is made up of werewolves. Alana was badly hurt and then Remo shows up and shortly after that Ernie with Damara the Satyr who had healed tad when he had almost died. This was a good supernatural story with a twist using Gods and Goddesses and demigods and I liked it a lot. It was a fairly quick read and also had a good plot. Remo could not help caring about Alana even though he wouldn’t outright admit it not for a long time anyway. I felt bad that Theseus had turned Alana’s friends and even her brother on her except Remo and her ya ya. I thought it was funny when Alana got drunk even though it was dangerous and laughed out loud at Alana’s antics. I also loved how Flora stood for Alana no matter what. I also thought Alana’s mother was a butt for not accepting Alana after she had been changed. I loved how Alana stepped up when she had to even kill to protect herself and those she loved and cared about. All and all a good story. I loved the characters and the ins and outs of this story and I recommend.
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review 2016-12-08 19:35
Venom and Vanilla
Venom and Vanilla (The Venom Trilogy) - Shannon Mayer

Venom and Vanilla is the fist book in Shannon Mayer's latest series, The Venom Trilogy. Mayer is a bestselling author of many books, and The Venom Trilogy looks like it should have fit right in with her other series.


Venom and Vanilla opens with Alena, who is the owner of a successful bakery, ill with an incurable disease. One that is passed to humans by Supes. Supernaturals who aren't supposed to be this far south. They were contained behind the wall, supposedly to keep humans safe from them. But Alena contracts the disease anyway. She is given a choice, to either waste away and eventually die, or to become a supernatural being, and all that entails. Alena fights for a bit, but eventually gives in, and allows herself to be transformed.


When she wakes up, she notices that she can still pass for human, something many supes can't do any longer. But then, Alena is special. Nobody knows just what she is, only that she's not your run of the mill supe.


Eventually, Alena learns that she's an ancient and powerful creature, one who has powers far beyond those of regular supes. And a creature that the Gods want to kill. Yes, there are Gods. Roman Gods are brought into the mix, in a strange twist. So Alena has to deal with learning the powers she has, all while fighting Roman Gods.


It's a fun book, not particularly deep, but fun. There are some serious problems with Alena, the fact that she speaks like a teenage valley girl, as opposed to a successful businesswoman in her 30's is just one of them. The characters aren't particularly well developed, there isn't any motivation for them, and Alena being summoned to fight Achilles is just...odd, jarring. I didn't like it, but I didn't dislike it either. It just seemed "meh". So I can't really recommend it, but I won't really steer you away from it. Unless you're just starting to read paranormal/urban fiction. In that case, this would be a really bad early taste of a genre that can be very, very good.


I did receive an ARC of this book from the publisher.

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