Friday, July 31, 2015

Goldilox's Greatest Hits Volume 7

Goldlox's Greatest Hits is our new monthly wrap up feature. We'll recap our favorite books we've read this month and show you some of our favorite posts that you might have missed, as well as what's coming up next on Goldilox and the Three Weres.

Greatest Hits

Check out our highest rated reviews in July:

Goldilox judged the finals for the NERFA award in Paranormal and Futuristic Romance. Here's her 4.5 star review of the winner, Kate Corcino's Sparks Rising.

Goldilox also gave Shades of Treason by Sandy Williams 5 stars.
Rose Red loved Silver Borne and River Marked by Patricia Briggs.
She also gave 5 stars to Magic Slays and Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews.

Gretl gave 4.5 stars to J.R. Ward's new release The Bourbon Kings.


In Read This F-ing Book we talked about one of our all-time favorite series, Cassie Palmer.

And we're looking for Science Fiction recommendations in our new monthly feature Which F-ing Book Should I Read?

Look What I Found!

Reyes Farrow from Darynda Jones's Charley Davidson series recently became active on Twitter after a long hiatus. I suspect he's about to start promoting his new novella Brighter Than the Sun, which is out in October. And it got me thinking about which characters I was following and how many of them had stopped tweeting.

Here are a few more that are currently active (and I think they're all author approved) that you might want to check out.

Archdruid Owen and Oberon from the Iron Druid series have hilarious prank wars, which they then tweet about.

Ethan Sullivan occasionally tweets on the official Cadogan House account. He recently congratulated the Blackhawks on their Stanley Cup win.

Coming Soon

Goldilox and the Three Weres turns 4 today! You might have noticed we started our Blogoversary event earlier this week. We have one more week of fun stuff coming up!

Week one's Blogoversary giveaways are open until August 8:
  • 2 books of your choice from one of Goldilox's favorite series
  • Signed copy of Cold Burn of Magic from Jennifer Estep
  • Shadows at Midnight digital ARCs from Amanda Bonilla
  • Digital copies of An American Werewilf in Hoboken, What's New Pussycat, Gotta Have Faith and Accidentally Aphrodite from Dakota Cassidy
  • Signed copy of Owl and the Japanese Circus from Kristi Charish

Blogoversary Post and Giveaway: Kristi Charish Four Years Ago

Here at Goldilox and the Three Weres we are celebrating our 

In honor of the four wonderful years this blog has had, we are having authors share with you all what they were doing four years ago at this time and what they hope to be doing four years from now. Each post will include a giveaway, so be sure to check back every day until August 7!
Today's Post Comes From:
Kristi Charish
 Where was I 4 years ago?

Well, I couldn’t tell you exactly where I was in August 2011, but I do know I’d been writing fiction for a year and a half. One year and a half since deciding while writing up my PhD thesis that I wanted to try my hand at fiction. A year and a half of trial and error and testing my abilities. I’d managed to put a speculative fiction night class at Vancouver Community College and a workshop at the Vancouver Public Library with Spider Robinson under my belt, and had even found a local writing group to share work with on Sunday afternoons over a beer.

I had yet to sell any of my writing- short story or otherwise - but after that year and a half of writing, putting in at least an hour every night, I had a better idea where my strengths and weaknesses lay. I’d also begun to develop my own esthetic tastes. I’d discarded one sci-fi novel, begun a fantasy novel and had yet to try my hands at urban fantasy. I wouldn’t give urban fantasy a shot until the following summer of 2012 at David Farland’s writer’s workshop in Utah where I began Owl and the Japanese Circus (oddly enough I was there to work on my fantasy I’d begun the summer before… the one that got side tracked as I wrote OWL and THE VOODOO KILLINGS…the one I’m currently trying to fix up now…).

It wouldn’t be until the following summer, 2013, when I’d sign with my agent and OWL would sell, and then again the following winter, 2014, when THE VOODOO KILLINGS would sell to Random House Canada.

That’s an awful lot to cram into four years…

Where will I be four years from now? Well, first and foremost I really hope I’m not still messing around on and off with this fantasy…

 Joking aside, predicting the future was never my strong suit. If someone had of told me when I started my undergraduate degree at SFU in the Anthropology and Archaeology program that three years later I’d have transferred to Molecular Biology and Biochemistry and be working in a genetics lab, I’d have laughed. Likewise when I began my PhD work. If someone had of told me that almost ten years later I’d be a full time writer, I would have met it with bemused skepticism. I was a research scientist after all! I didn’t know the first thing about writing a book.

In my experience, it’s the things you don’t see that show up on your horizons.

Where would I like to be? Optimistically still writing and turning out books that entertain…at the very least I’ll hope for a few more OWL novels.

About the Author

Kristi is the author of OWL AND THE JAPANESE CIRCUS (Simon and Schuster Canada/Pocket Books), an urban fantasy about a modern-day “Indiana Jane” who reluctantly navigates the hidden supernatural world. She writes what she loves; adventure heavy stories featuring strong, savvy female protagonists, pop culture, and the occasional RPG fantasy game thrown in the mix. The second installment in the Owl series, OWL AND THE CITY OF ANGELS, is scheduled for release Oct 5th 2015. THE VOODOO KILLINGS, book 1 in her second urban fantasy series, KINCAID STRANGE (Random House Canada), about a voodoo practitioner living in Seattle, is scheduled for release mid 2016.

Kristi is also a co-host for the popular Adventures in Sci-Fi Publishing Podcast and also has a PhD in Zoology from the University of British Columbia. She is represented by Carolyn Forde at Westwood Creative Artists.

Twitter: @kristicharish
AISFP Podcast:

Kristi Charish is giving one winner a choice of a signed copy of OWL AND THE JAPANESE CIRCUS or an ARC of OWL AND THE CITY OF ANGELS. (Winner must have a mailing address in the U.S. or Canada.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Click on the covers to add to Goodreads. And for more on Owl, check out our Q&A with Kristi and our review of Owl and the Japanese Circus. and the City of Angels  (Adventures of Owl, #2)

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Review: Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews

Magic Breaks
(Kate Daniels #7)
Ilona Andrews
Release: July 29, 2014
Goodreads Amazon
No matter how much the paranormal politics of Atlanta change, one thing always remains the same: if there’s trouble, Kate Daniels will be in the middle of it…

As the mate of the Beast Lord, Curran, former mercenary Kate Daniels has more responsibilities than it seems possible to juggle. Not only is she still struggling to keep her investigative business afloat, she must now deal with the affairs of the pack, including preparing her people for attack from Roland, a cruel ancient being with god-like powers. Since Kate’s connection to Roland has come out into the open, no one is safe—especially those closest to Kate.

As Roland’s long shadow looms ever nearer, Kate is called to attend the Conclave, a gathering of the leaders from the various supernatural factions in Atlanta. When one of the Masters of the Dead is found murdered there, apparently at the hands of a shapeshifter, Kate is given only twenty-four hours to hunt down the killer. And this time, if she fails, she’ll find herself embroiled in a war which could destroy everything she holds dear…


I’m going to try my best to write this review with a minimum amount of gushing, but it will be hard. I absolutely loved this book! It was just every single thing I love about urban fantasy. Action packed with magic and magical creatures. It was funny, sad, and filled with romance. I didn't expect it to be the roller coaster of emotions that it was. I am going to attempt not to gush, but guys, it’s going to be hard.

Kate Daniels is an investigator by day, consort to the Beast Lord by night and magic user extraordinaire at every other available moment, at least she’s trying to be. Her merc status is in jeopardy as her company Cutting Edge is struggling, the pack is always in constant drama and her magic doesn’t seem to be progressing as quickly as she would like. Add to that the knowledge that her father undoubtedly knows of her existence and you have one stressed out Beast Lady.

Magic Breaks begins very much business as usual. Kate is on yet another ridiculous mission, and the pack has yet another problem that needs Curran’s attention. You don't get too far in to the book before everything goes to hell. I would probably call this one of the most action-packed books in the entire series. It just doesn’t stop or slow down. Our heroes are in constant danger and battle. They face impossible odds and still somehow keep swinging. I was on the edge of my seat the whole book. I needed to know what happened to everyone!

One of the things that this novel does beautifully is that it remind us about just how far Kate has come on her journey. Not, just magically or in her relationships, but also emotionally. Kate has fought for her life, killed, sacrificed, loved, and lost. She is not the same character we met in Magic Bites. She is braver, stronger, more skilled, and she has a lot more to lose. There's a lot of flashbacks/reminiscing in this book. We're reminded about how and why she met Curran, her merc past with Jim, and even easier days with Derek. These flashbacks/memories are important to Kate as a character and they make the way that she needs Curran even more beautiful in my eyes.

I love Kate and Curran’s relationship. Sure, all the getting together, cook for me in your underwear stuff was hilarious and fun, but as a couple they have a certain kind of magic. Kate and Curran are some of my favorite characters of all time! I absolutely love them together! I love that they understand that there the other has to resort to violence and they don't judge each other because of it. I love that they don’t shy from a fight and that they don’t back down. I love that they both know that the other would tear the world apart in search of them. I love their unwavering faith and loyalty to each other that they have in this installment. It was hard won and even harder fought, but they have reached a place of absolute trust that is startlingly beautiful. I also love that no matter how badass Kate is, she still needs Curran. That need is a strength not a weakness. And just as importantly, Curran needs her too.

In this book, we get to see magic work in new and wondrous ways and we get to really glimpse into the magical world outside of the norm and outside Atlanta. Basically, we get to see the world Kate has been preparing to face. She has been training her entire life in order to kill her father. The question has always been…is she powerful enough to defeat him? Well, I'm not going to tell you. You need to read the book.

I did not see anything in this book coming. Ilona Andrews blew the Kate Daniels world as we know it wide open. I have no idea what the ramifications the ending of this book will have on the series. Heck! I don't even have a clue about what will happen in the next book. A year and a reread later and I'm still blown away by this book. It is the perfect example of why I love urban fantasy. I need the next book and I need it now!


Blogoversary Giveaway: Win Four Fun, Fabulous PNRs from Dakota Cassidy!

Here at Goldilox and the Three Weres we are celebrating our 

In honor of four wonderful years, we've got two weeks of author guest posts and giveaways! Be sure to check back every day until August 7.
Today's Giveaway Comes From:
Dakota Cassidy
Dakota Cassidy couldn't make it to our Blogoversary party but because she's awesome, she still sent a gift.
We've got digital copies of the Wolf Mates series (that's An American Werewolf in Hoboken, What's New Pussycat, and Gotta Have Faith) as well as Accidentally Aphrodite for one lucky winner!

An American Werewolf in HobokenGotta Have Faith (Wolf Mates series Book 3)What's New, Pussycat? (Wolf Mates, #2)

Accidentally Aphrodite (Accidentals, #10)

(Click on the covers to add these books to Goodreads.)

About the Author

USA Today Bestselling author Dakota Cassidy lives for a good laugh in life and in her writing. In fact, she almost loves a good giggle as much as she loves hair products and that's saying something.
Her goals in life are simple, (like really simple): banish the color yellow forever, create world peace via hot rollers and Aqua Net; and finally, nab every tiara in the land by competing in the Miss USA, Miss Universe, and Miss World pageants, then sweeping them in a stunning trifecta of much duct tape and Vaseline usage, all in just under one week. Oh, and write really fun books!
Dakota lives in Oregon with her dogs  and has a husband who puts the heroes in her books to shame.
Enter to win four fun, fabulous PNRs! This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For more on Dakota's latest release, Accidentally Aphrodite, check out my review.


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Blogoversary Post and Giveaway: Amanda Bonilla Four Years Ago

Here at Goldilox and the Three Weres we are celebrating our 

In honor of the four wonderful years this blog has had, we are having authors share with you all what they were doing four years ago at this time and what they hope to be doing four years from now. Each post will include a giveaway, so be sure to check back every day through August 7!
Today's Post Comes From:
Amanda Bonilla

Four Years…

Thanks so much to everyone at Goldilox and the Three Weres for asking me to be a part of the blogiversary celebration!

Four years might not seem like very long, but in some ways, it’s felt like much longer than that. I mentioned to my agent the other day that publishing years are like dog years: for every year I’ve been in publishing, it feels like seven. Four years ago, my son was starting high school as a freshman. I was a debut author launching a new series. I dove into social networking head first and met so many amazing readers, bloggers, and writers. I envisioned my future writing the Shaede Assassin series and nothing else. My entire universe centered around Darian. She was the realization of a life-long dream.

A year and a half passed and those grand plans changed. I had to adapt which was fine because I’m nothing if not flexible. LOL! I thought that the shift away from urban fantasy and the changing the climate in the industry would shut down my career prospects before they even got started. I was wrong. I’ve written about Shaedes, U.S. Marshals, and billionaires, shifters and vampires over the past four years and I couldn’t be happier. I’ve met even more awesome bloggers, readers, writers, and editors. In retrospect, I’m glad that a year feels like seven in the book industry because I feel as though I’ve been able to enjoy this ride seven times as much!

Today, my sweet freshman is about to leave for pre-season camp as a college soccer player! He towers over me and I worry about who’s going to heft the 50lb bag of dog food out of the car when he’s gone. Today, I have three series out in the world and several novellas. And as I look toward the next four years, I don’t plan on slowing down. I’m an empty nester which means, more time for me! I’m going to enjoy the next four years in a way I didn’t get an opportunity to as a (very) young mom. I’m going to write and write and write until my fingers cramp! I’m going to write more about Shaedes, and U.S. Marshals. Billionaires, shifters, and vampires. I’m going to write a new series this year and who knows, maybe this is the one I’ll still be writing four years down the line. Either way, I’ve decided to roll with the punches. Whatever the next four years brings, I’m ready for it! And I plan to enjoy it!

What were you doing four years ago? Where do you see the next four years taking you?

About the Author

Amanda Bonilla lives in rural Idaho with her husband and two kids. She’s a part-time pet wrangler, a full-time sun worshipper, and only goes out into the cold when coerced. She loves the outdoors, black clothes, pink appliances and thinks junk food should be a recognized food group. In the summer, she can be found sitting by the lake, enjoying the view from her dock.


Amanda Bonilla is giving away two digital ARCs of Shadows at Midnight (Shaede Assassin #5.) It's not even out until September 24, so you'll get it before anyone else! And this giveaway is INTERNATIONAL.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Click on the cover to add Shadows at Midnight to Goodreads.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Release Day Review: Spider's Trap by Jennifer Estep


Spider's Trap
(Elemental Assassin #13)
Jennifer Estep
Release: July 28, 2015
Goodreads Amazon
Keep your friends close but your enemies within stabbing distance.One important lesson I’ve learned in the assassination business is that to be the best you have to roll with the punches. Now that I’m queen of Ashland’s underworld—by default, not by choice—a lot more punches are being thrown my way. But I suppose that’s the price of victory for taking down some of the underworld’s top dogs. Good thing I have my Ice and Stone magic to help me survive my volatile new position. Just when I think things are finally settling down, someone tries to murder me during a hush-hush underworld meeting. But the real surprise is how strangely familiar my shadowy assailant seems to be.

My job is to maintain order among killers, crooks, and thieves, and soon I’m embroiled in a bloody game where the ability to keep secrets could be the greatest superpower of all. My enemies have all sharpened their knives and laid their traps, waiting for me to fall. But this Spider weaves her own webs of death…  
Gin Blanco is reluctantly settling in to her new role as head of the Ashland underworld. When she goes to mediate her first dispute, she's met with a less than welcoming attitude, whiny mob bosses, and oh yeah, A BOMB. She's starting things off with a bang in all the wrong ways.

Her investigation into the bomber brings back memories of a case that her late mentor, Fletcher Lane, worked on nearly twenty years ago. It reminds me that despite its huge personality, Ashland is a small town and everyone there is connected somehow. I always like seeing Fletcher again - I felt like he left the series too soon. In this instance, he also leads Gin to her current target and later provides a link to her next potential enemy.

But in some ways I feel like that's all that Spider's Trap does - serve as a transition from M.M. Monroe to the next Big Bad. It doesn't contribute much to the overall series plot. Don't get me wrong, it's a solid story by itself, but it's also a very typical Gin story. The action scenes are exciting, as they always are in this series. Gin's nemesis is a strong elemental who gives her a run for her money and does some frightening (but really cool) things with magic that I hadn't seen before.

I liked that there was a lot of Owen in the story. In fact, he and Gin were doing so well that I was sure something bad was about to happen to him. But lots of Owen meant a little less Finn and Bria and I sort of missed them. I also wish that Silvio had more to do. I'm still waiting for him to get interesting, but I have high hopes for him. Gin also makes a new friend (sort of) and I'm curious about how that relationship might develop later in the series as well.

Really the worst thing I have to say about Spider's Trap is that it just didn't blow me away like Black Widow did. But it did take an interesting turn at the very end and I'm really looking forward to finding out how that plays out in the next book.

Recommended for fans of: Gin Blanco and other badass, stabby heroines

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley


Our reviews of other books in this series:
Black Widow (Elemental Assassin # 12)
Widow's Web (Elemental Assassin #7)
By a Thread (Elemental Assassin #6)
Spider's Revenge (Elemental Assassin #5)
Web of Lies (Elemental Assassin #2)
Spider's Bite (Elemental Assassin #1)

Blogoversary and Giveaway: Jennifer Estep Four Years Ago and Four Years From Now

Here at Goldilox and the Three Weres we are celebrating our 

In honor of the four wonderful years this blog has had, we are having authors share with you what they were doing four years ago at this time and what they hope to be doing four years from now. Of course, we thought we should share our own answers with you guys too! Each post, including the ones from us, will include a giveaway, so be sure to check back every day for the next two weeks!

Today's Post Comes From:
Jennifer Estep

What were you doing at this time four years ago?
JE: Four years ago in 2011, I was starting up my Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series and continuing to write more books in my Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series. I think I had four books out that year – two in each series – so it was definitely a busy time for me.

What do you predict you will be doing at this time four years from now?
JE: Winning the lottery and taking an early retirement. A girl can dream, right? LOL. But seriously, I hope to be doing what I am right now – writing books. Hopefully, four years from now, I’ll have written and finished a new series or two and have ideas for even more books/series.

Happy reading, everyone! J

Jennifer Estep is the New York Times bestselling author of the Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series; the Black Blade young adult urban fantasy; the Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series; and the Bigtime paranormal romance series.

Her books are available in print, audio, and e-book formats from a variety of retailers, including the following: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Books-A-Million / iTunes / Kobo / Audible / Brilliance Audio

Jennifer is giving away a print copy of the first book in her new series, COLD BURN OF MAGIC!

Cold Burn of Magic (Black Blade #1)

Enter on the Rafflecopter below!
Winner must be 13 or older and live in the US only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, July 27, 2015

Blogoversary and Giveaway: Goldilox Four Years Ago and Four Years From Now

Here at Goldilox and the Three Weres we are celebrating our 

In honor of the four wonderful years this blog has had, we are having authors share with you what they were doing four years ago at this time and what they hope to be doing four years from now. Of course, we thought we should share our own answers with you guys too! Each post, including the ones from us, will include a giveaway, so be sure to check back every day for the next two weeks!

Today's Post Comes From:

       Four years ago I discovered that the books I enjoyed reading the most had something in common - they all had that something extra. I came across a little site called Goodreads and learned that this something extra was what put all these books in the genre of speculative fiction: fantasy, paranormal, sci-fi, dystopian, etc. I started chatting with other readers through comments on Goodreads, began writing short reviews for the books I was reading, and eventually built up a nice little community of reading buddies. This led to the creation of the blog, Goldilox and the Three Weres in the summer of 2011. I'm a teacher, so summertime seemed like the smartest time to start something like a book review blog. I was inspired by bigger blogs like All Things Urban Fantasy and Parajunkee

       The past four years have been SO AWESOME. There's really not a better way to describe them. This blog has been a lot of work at times, but it has absolutely been worth it. I have been so amazed by the world of book blogging. Bloggers are some pretty damn cool people. The friends I have made through blogging have become people that I consider real, true, lifelong friends. I've also loved going to book conventions and meeting bloggers from all over the country. As a regular reader I probably wouldn't have attended most of these conventions. And the authors!!! Meeting the people behind the books that I love has been amazing, and that never would have happened without this blog. But, the most wonderful thing about being Goldilox has been just having an outlet to discuss books. It's still so surprising to me that people care at all what I thought about the latest release, and that people actually read my reviews!

        Four years from now I hope to still have the blog, of course! Hopefully my co-bloggers will still be with me and maybe we'll even have some new reviewers join us by then! I don't know where I will be in my career or in my personal life, but I hope I will still be reading, still be blogging, and still be celebrating blogoversaries like this one!

Below I have pictures of some of my favorites books/series of the past four years. 
One winner may choose TWO books from below (hardback, paperback, or Kindle/Nook book) or any other books in the same series as the book shown, or a book by the same author. Both books chosen do not need to be in the same series!
Enter on the Rafflecopter below!
- Winner must be 13 or older. -
- International winner will be limited to books available through Book Depository or ebooks. -
- US winner will be limited to books available through Amazon, Book Depository, or ebooks. -

Magic Shifts (Kate Daniels, #8) Chasing Magic (Downside Ghosts, #5) Dark Debt (Chicagoland Vampires, #11) Up From the Grave (Night Huntress #7) 
The Ruby Circle (Bloodlines, #6)Eighth Grave After Dark (Charley Davidson, #8) How the White Trash Zombie Got Her Groove Back (White Trash Zombie, #4) With All My Soul (Soul Screamers, #7) 
Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3) Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3) The Sharpest Blade (Shadow Reader, #3) Banishing the Dark (Arcadia Bell, #4) 
The Forever Song (Blood of Eden, #3) Opposition (Lux, #5) Bound by Flames (Night Prince, #3) Archangel's Shadows (Guild Hunter, #7) 
Burned (Fever, #7) Poison Promise (Elemental Assassin, #11) Dead of Winter (The Arcana Chronicles, #3) Night Broken (Mercy Thompson, #8) 
Deadly Spells (Prospero's War, #3) Every Last Breath (The Dark Elements, #3) The Shadows (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #13) Dark Skye (Immortals After Dark #14)

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