I love reading, and as a writer I like to broaden my scope by reading outside of my comfort zone, so that I can learn more about my craft.
1. Hidden Agenda - Peter Berman
This one got a great 5 ★ out of 5.
An Amazing book! I couldn't put it down. I gave it 5★ out of 5
"Jeremy Hart, a senior prosecutor in the LA District Attorney’s office, is a young widower whose grief counselor sends him to a charity party to jump-start his social life. At the party, he meets Claire, a young married woman with two small children who is trapped in a loveless marriage to Peter, a very wealthy and abusive man. When a courtship develops between Jeremy and Claire, Claire’s violent husband Peter discovers the affair. After a brutal beating, Claire confides to Jeremy that she believes that Peter is planning on taking her life.
When Claire’s husband is found shot to death in the driveway of his home, detective Ulysses S. Gibson and his partner Jennifer Donahue are called to investigate the murder. For the prosecutor, the crime is an easy conviction when all the leads of the investigation point to Jeremy.
For detectives Gibson and Donahue, nothing is so obvious. How are these individuals connected? And what of the death of Jeremy’s wife, Elizabeth, years go? Gibson and Donahue keep the scales of justice in balance as they discover everyone’s ‘Hidden Agenda.’"
2. The Age of Waking Death series – C.N. Faust
Both books got 5 ★ out of 5.
"Placed by the hands of a god into the womb of Dragoloth’s royal family, Pharun has struggled all his life to prove that he is worthy to inherit the throne.
But now the throne sits empty, with more than one candidate vying for its seat. Violence erupts and corruption is unearthed as a game of gods and thrones threatens to make the greatest empire in the world crumble.
All Pharun ever wanted was to prove he was a worthy son. Now he has to prove himself a worthy king."
3. Rift Healer - Diane Hayes
This one got 5 ★ out of 5.
"After a minor earthquake, the enchanted forest in Bidwell, MA, is infested with monster-spewing rifts. Gisele's great nephew, the gifted Micah, and his distant cousin, Selena, arrive to assist. Together with Gisele's summer students, twins Haley and Lacey, they will try to help the magical forest. Much to the consternation of the beautiful Selena, Micah identifies Haley as The One whom he'll share his future. But after witnessing a terrifying display of Micah's Gift, Haley cools to his advances and unexpectedly discovers her own Gift-- she can heal the earth. Monsters, mayhem, and teenage angst follow the small group as they confront evil in the forest and a dangerous prediction that 'one will fall'. Will they heal the rifts in time? Can they save the unicorns? And is Haley really destined to be with Micah?"
4. The Guardian's series – Wendy Owens
Each book in this series got 5 ★ out of 5.
"Tragedy has defined Gabe's short existence in this world. An ominous darkness lurked on the edge of his existence until one day in a subway, strange things start happening. A series of events lead Gabe into a new and fascinating life filled with angels and demons, but he isn't sure if he wants to be a part of it.
Gabe is thrust into the middle of this exciting world that is full of things he has longed for in his life but it comes with a price. This new life also promises constant terrifying dangers that Gabe fears he may not be able to survive."
5. Warm Bodies - Isaac Marion
I gave this book 5 ★ out of 5.
"R is a young man with an existential crisis--he is a zombie. He shuffles through an America destroyed by war, social collapse, and the mindless hunger of his undead comrades, but he craves something more than blood and brains. He can speak just a few grunted syllables, but his inner life is deep, full of wonder and longing. He has no memories, no identity, and no pulse, but he has dreams.
After experiencing a teenage boy's memories while consuming his brain, R makes an unexpected choice that begins a tense, awkward, and strangely sweet relationship with the victim's human girlfriend. Julie is a blast of color in the otherwise dreary and gray landscape that surrounds R. His decision to protect her will transform not only R, but his fellow Dead, and perhaps their whole lifeless world.
Scary, funny, and surprisingly poignant, Warm Bodies is about being alive, being dead, and the blurry line in between."
6. Caster Chronicles series - Kami Garcia
Books 1, 2, 2.5 and 3 got 5 ★ out of 5. Book 4 only got 3 ★ out of 5.
"Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.
Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.
In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything."
7. Awakened by Blood series - Marie Treanor
Books 1 and 3 got 5 ★ out of 5, and Book 2 got 4.
This series is unique and intriguing.
"Scottish academic Elizabeth Silk is spending the summer in Romania researching historical superstitions for her PhD. While she is tracing local foktales, one subject in particular sparks her imagination. His name is Saloman, legend's most powerful vampire, a seductive prince staked centuries ago. Now, in the ruins of a castle crypt, Elizabeth discovers the legends are real. Her blood has awakened him. Her innocence has aroused him. But Elizabeth unleashes more than Saloman's hunger.
An army of vampire hunters has amassed to send Saloman back to hell. Sworn to help - yet fearing Saloman's deadly blood lust - Elizabeth seeks to entrap him, offering her body as bait. But something stronger than dread, more powerful than revenge, is uniting Elizabeth to her prey. Caught between desire and rage, Elizabeth must decide where her loyalties lie...and what the limits are to a yearning she can no longer control."
8. Jack and Yani Love Harry Potter - Mary Twomey
This one got 5 ★ out of 5.
I loved this book. It's a very funny, clever and unique book about two people, Jack and Yani, who are best friends. The problem is that they have very different literary tastes.
"Best friends Jack and Yani do everything together. After Yani’s thirtieth birthday party, however, she decides to leave town on a spontaneous vacation to visit all the sites of the young adult fiction novels she loves, hoping that when she returns, she’ll have buried the secret flame she has for Jack.
Forced by his friends to go on a road trip to track down Yani, Jack learns a lot about his best friend by reading the novels she’s been obsessed with. From vampire hunting in Forks to searching for wizards in Florida, Jack confronts his greatest fears –that he just might love Harry Potter…and perhaps, Yani."
9. Dark/Carpathian series - Christine Feehan
This series gets an average of 4-5 ★ out of 5.
(I read 7 of these in 2013) My favourite of the series is the Scarletti Curse . It was different to the rest of the series and there was something both haunting and haunted about Nicoletta and Don Giovanni Scarletti.
This series is a different take on vampires. Feehan has created a new ‘vampire’ community called Carpathians. They must seek out and find a mate to contain the anger, loneliness and darkness that can overcome them. If they don’t, and they succumb to the darkness, then they become a vampire. I highly recommend reading them, but in order. It makes so much more sense that way. But beware, there are currently around 23 books in the series.
10. Vampire World – Rich Douglas
I gave this one 4 ★ out of 5.
"A popular teen is bitten by a vampire during a steamy night of making out with her boyfriend. After the bite, she wakes up in a cruel orphanage in Vampire World, with no memory of her past. She’s left with very little; only fangs, pale skin and a keen desire for blood."
"Slowly but surely Janice discovers the truth that she is being lied to by the ones she loves. She must learn the secret behind (a vampire cult), TriFang, and ultimately accept the stinging reality that things are not always what they seem. Could the truth ever be so bloody?"