Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Review of Scarlet, by Marissa Meyer




Title: Scarlet
Series: The Lunar Chronicles Book 2 
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher:
Feiwel and Friends
Release Date: February 5, 2013
Source: Library 
Purchase: Amazon
 

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The fates of Cinder and Scarlet collide as a Lunar threat spreads across the Earth...

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She's trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she'll be the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn't know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother's whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Review of Touching Melody, by RaShelle Workman



Thank you to Xpresso Book Tours and the Author for allowing me to take part in this review tour for 'Touching Melody'. Follow the tour here! There is also a tour wide giveaway you don't want to miss.



Title: Touching Melody
Author: RaShelle Workman
Series: Forever First #1 
Genre: New Adult Contemporary
Release Date: June 2013 

Purchase: Amazon
 
Add to Goodreads
Maddie Martin's first weekend at college is nothing like she's used to. It's wild, like the wilderness on which the University of Bellam Springs sits. Roped into going to a frat party, she literally runs into Kyle Hadley. The boy she's loved since she was nine. The boy she promised all of her firsts to. But that was before his father killed her parents.

Determined to stay away from him, she throws herself into her music. Practicing piano eases her heavy heart, calms the sadness, and pushes away images of Kyle's face.

Until it doesn't.

Her music professor asks her to play a duet for their annual Graduation Gala. Doing so means she'll be assured another full ride scholarship. It's an opportunity she can't pass up.

But Kyle is the other half of the duet. And that means hours and hours of practicing.

Days and months of seclusion - just the two of them. And it's more than just music. It's passion like Maddie never believed was possible.

The inevitable happens. She falls in love with him all over again.

But, will loving him be enough to erase all the hate in her heart for his father? Can she look at him, and not see the evil in his family tree?

And maybe it's all a set up. Maybe Kyle is only pretending to care so he can finish what his father started, and kill her too.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Book Blitz & Giveaway! - Epiphany, by Christina Jean Michaels


New Adult is all the rage lately, and I have been caught in its spell. I have read one after the other lately. This genre is just exploding, it seems. Here is a very interesting novel that caught my attention. We have a sexy teaser and a tour wide giveaway that you can enter at the end of the post!



Title: Epiphany
Author: Christina Jean Michaels
Genre: NA/17 + Romantic Suspense
Release Date: July 2013
Purchase: Amazon
 
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“I had my first psychic dream when I was nine. Psychic implied power, and powerful wasn’t a word I’d use to describe myself. I couldn’t foretell the future or conjure visions at will, but I couldn’t think of a more fitting word to describe what I sometimes saw in my dreams.”
For 23-year-old Mackenzie Hill, tossing her life down the garbage disposal is easy after a painful incident shatters her life. Her heart is bleeding, and moving to Watcher’s Point is a chance to start anew, only she isn’t prepared for the guy who walks out of her dreams and into the flesh. Literally . . . because she’s been dreaming about this sexy stranger for years.

Mackenzie is even less prepared to face the dark nature of her dreams. They’ve turned disturbingly gruesome, full of blood and murder, and when they begin to coincide with the media’s headlines, she and Aidan realize her visions might be the key to stopping a madman from killing again.

Only Aidan has painful secrets of his own, and perhaps the biggest danger of all is falling for him.


Monday, July 22, 2013

We have some Winners!



Better late than never! Though I apologize to our winners for the delayed announcement. It's just been a bit of a hectic summer.

Congratulations to the winners of an Ebook copy of 'Darkness Embraced', by Sarri Morin!


https://dwtr67e3ikfml.cloudfront.net/bookCovers/2972e76331dc10802222738a464fd54d08426c67




Congratulations to the winner of an ebook copy of 'The Book', by Jessica Bell.




Thursday, July 18, 2013

Review Quickies!


Earlier this year I became a reading ninja! I digested one novel after the other, faster than I could review them. But I don't want these books to go forgotten, so I decided to do some quick reviews for the following two novels and catch up on my review list.


Title: Thorn Abbey
Author: Nancy Ohlin
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: May 7, 2013
Source: Publisher
Purchase: Amazon/The Book Depository

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Nothing is as it seems in this darkly romantic tale of infatuation and possession, inspired by Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca.

Becca was the perfect girlfriend: smart, gorgeous, and loved by everyone at New England’s premier boarding school, Thorn Abbey. But Becca’s dead. And her boyfriend, Max, can’t get over his loss.

Then Tess transfers to Thorn Abbey. She’s shy, insecure, and ordinary—everything that Becca wasn’t. And despite her roommate’s warnings, she falls for brooding Max.

Now Max finally has a reason to move on. Except it won’t be easy. Because Becca may be gone, but she’s not quite ready to let him go…


Though I was forced to read 'Rebecca' for Highschool English, I really enjoyed it. Read it more than once actually.  It was really no surprise that I jumped on this novel inspired by 'Rebecca'. I have been on a YA and NA binge lately, and this sounded perfect!

All the characters are complimentary and pleasantly comparable to the original characters in the classic that I so thoroughly enjoyed. It had a fun YA atmosphere, yet it oozed with the gothic feel and creepiness that I was hoping for.  Though predictable, the suspense build up was executed so well that it had my heart racing.

The ending upset and irked me. This review is spoiler free, so I will not go into any details. Suffice it to say it left the hopeless romantic in me completely unsatisfied, though for some readers, it may just be an extension of the dark tone of this story.




Title: Panic
Author: Sharon M. Draper
Publisher:
Atheneum Books for Young Readers  
Release Date: March 12, 2013
Source: Publisher
Purchase: Amazon/The Book Depository

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This gripping and chillingly realistic novel from New York Times bestselling author Sharon Draper shows that all it takes is one bad decision for everything to change.

Diamond knows not to get into a car with a stranger.

But what if the stranger is well-dressed and handsome? On his way to meet his wife and daughter? And casting a movie that very night—a movie in need of a star dancer? What then?

Then Diamond might make the wrong decision.

It’s a nightmare come true: Diamond Landers has been kidnapped. She was at the mall with a friend, alone for only a few brief minutes—and now she’s being held captive, forced to endure horrors beyond what she ever could have dreamed, while her family and friends experience their own torments and wait desperately for any bit of news.

From New York Times bestselling author Sharon Draper, this is a riveting exploration of power: how quickly we can lose it—and how we can take it back.


Though the synopsis focuses on one storyline in particular, this novel had multiple plots going on at the same time and revolves around different characters. That being said, Diamond's awful predicament touched each of her friend's lives in some way, even if they were going through individual hardships of their own. I wasn't sure if I was going to connect with multiple characters, but surprisingly I did.

Full of suspense and difficult situations that make this book hard to put down, this book could have easily earned 3-3.5 stars from me.  However, it was ruined by the author's insistence of excessively using slang language in every conversation that these teenagers had with each other. This was incredibly grating as it didn't fit with these characters, and served no added purpose. Except to annoy me, that is.


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Kiddie Korner - PEEPO!, by Janet and Allan Ahlberg




I'm playing catch up with Kiddie Korner because we moved and between moving and dealing with my teething tiny bookluvr...lets just say life was a little on the hectic side.  Bus alas, another awesome children's book this month.  Today we look at 'PEEPO!'



  • Age Range: Babies to Toddlers
  • Publisher: Penguin UK (June 1999)
Here's a little baby 1,2,3...


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Book Blitz & Giveaway - Wuther, by V. J. Chambers



Holy Crap! I want this in my hands.
 

Title: Wuther
Author: V. J. Chambers
Genre: New Adult Retelling
Release Date: July, 2013


This new adult retelling of Wuthering Heights is intended for mature readers due to explicit sexual content and coarse language.
Instead of storms tearing through Yorkshire moors, the sounds of '90s grunge rock whisper through backwoods American cornfields...

And give new life to the Bronte characters you love to hate.

A gypsy orphan, Heath Galloway adores Cathy Earnshaw, his childhood sweetheart. He would do anything to protect her from her drunken, abusive father--even push the man down a flight of stairs to stop him hitting her.

But with her father dead, Cathy's older brother Matt runs the Earnshaw farm and both of their lives. And Matt despises Heath. Forced to drop out of school and work the fields, Heath is separated from Cathy and the two begin to drift apart.

When Cathy meets the rich, blond, and suave Eli Linton, she finds herself torn between Eli's charm and Heath's brute potency.

Fiercely proud and stubborn, Heath doesn't take well to being brushed aside. He'll get what he wants, or he'll get revenge. No matter how long it takes.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Cover Reveal - No One's Angel, by Kelly Walker

Good Morning Loyal Bookluvrs!

Today we have the pleasure of revealing the cover for No One's Angel by Kelly Walker.  When you read the synopsis you will understand why I just had to get my hands on this hot little cover.


Synopsis:
Tess used to spend more hours than she’d care to admit playing her favorite computer game, using the nickname Angel. She could pretend her life was different, and she could pretend Arion was just a friend. But a girl needs more to keep her warm at night than pixels and she traded her virtual heaven for a real life hell. Now she’s on the run from a past she won’t talk about, and the only place she has to go is the doorstep of the friend she’s never actually met.

When Angel disappeared from their nightly games, it nearly destroyed Arion. He threw himself into work and women, but he can’t help knowing the one night stands will never compare to the angel who haunts his dreams. At first, when she shows up soaking wet and scared-shitless on his doorstep, he thinks his prayers have been answered.

But the more Arion tries to keep Angel close, the more her fear drives her away. If they are ever going to have a chance for a future, they’ll first have to deal with the past that hasn’t forgotten her any more than she’s forgotten it, and Arion will have to learn how to let her go.

No One's Angel is a New Adult(NA) Contemporary Romance and is recommended for mature audiences only due to language and sexual content.

Now for the reveal....the moment we've all been waiting for....... 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Book Blitz & Giveaway! - The Book, by Jessica Bell



To say that this book cover caught my eye is an understatement. There is an eerie and creepy feeling to is, and the book blurb set the deal. Check out the novella's description below, and if you are as curious as I am, don't hesitate to enter to win an ecopy of 'The Book'!

Title: The Book
Author: Jessica Bell
Genre: Adult Contemporary (Novella)
Release Date: January 18, 2013

This book is not The Book. The Book is in this book. And The Book in this book is both the goodie and the baddie.

Bonnie is five. She wants to bury The Book because it is a demon that should go to hell. Penny, Bonnie’s mother, does bury The Book, but every day she digs it up and writes in it. John, Bonnie’s father, doesn’t live with them anymore. But he still likes to write in it from time to time. Ted, Bonnie’s stepfather, would like to write in The Book, but Penny won’t allow it.

To Bonnie, The Book is sadness.
To Penny, The Book is liberation.
To John, The Book is forgiveness.
To Ted, The Book is envy.
But The Book in this book isn’t what it seems at all.

If there was one thing in this world you wished you could hold in your hand, what would it be? The world bets it would be The Book.

Giveaway!





AUTHOR BIO
If Jessica Bell could choose only one creative mentor, she'd give the role to Euterpe, the Greek muse of music and lyrics. This is not only because she currently resides in Athens, Greece, but because of her life as a thirty-something Australian-native contemporary fiction author, poet and singer/songwriter/guitarist, whose literary inspiration often stems from songs she's written. Jessica is the Co-Publishing Editor of Vine Leaves Literary Journal and annually runs the Homeric Writers' Retreat & Workshop on the Greek island of Ithaca. For more information, please visit her website: www.jessicabellauthor.com

Links:

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Book Blitz & a Giveaway - Lost, by M. Lathan




Thank you to Xpresso Book Tours for allowing us to partake in this Book Blitz.  Check out Book #2 of this series. There is an excerpt for your reading pleasure and a tour wide giveaway to enter at the end of the post.


Title: Lost
Author: M. Lathan
Series: Hidden #2
Release Date: June 20, 2013
Genre: YA Paranormal
Purchase: Amazon - Book #1 is currently 0.99 cents!/ Barnes & Noble

Synopsis:
Three months ago, Christine Grant found herself, her love, and impossible friends, while losing the memories of the biggest piece of her past.

Now, her powers are spinning out of control and must be tamed by the woman who saved the world, the same woman Christine is predicted to kill in less than a month.

Wanting to punish catty girls was just the beginning. It’s only a matter of time before she discovers that the world is not as safe from her as she hoped it was.


Monday, July 8, 2013

Crimson Footprints II: New Beginnings, by Shewanda Pugh

Crimson Footprints II: A New Beginning
By: Shewanda Pugh
Paperback316 pages
Published February 26th 2013, by Delphine Publications

An eleven-year-old boy hitchhikes 1500 miles from Bismarck to Miami; a prostitute yearns for escape from a prison of her own making, and the horrible secrets of a long-ago murder are unraveled in the shadows of one woman's dreams. Lizzie Hammond is an ill-fated whore that believes in little, save her own ultimate demise. Kenji Tanaka is a pseudo-architect, content to hide in the shadows of his family's overwhelming success. Neither can stand the other. But the appearance of a boy only rumored to be true helps them discover that two unlikely halves can fit together as the perfect whole. For Lizzie Hammond and Kenji Tanaka, redemption is found in the most unlikely of places: each other, even as the world around them disintegrates.



*I generously received this book for an honest review from the Author through the Goodreads group Shut up and Read's feature Read it and Reap.*



Sunday, July 7, 2013

Itty Bitties! Short Story Reviews





Welcome to the latest edition of our short story meme, Itty Bitties.  We both enjoy reading them occasionally, and wanted to devote some review time to them too! I generously received two titles from Untreed Reads for review. Many thanks for their generosity.


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Review of Two and Twenty Dark Tales: Dark Retellings of Mother Goose Rhymes



Title: Two and Twenty Dark Tales: Dark Retellings of Mother Goose Rhymes
Author: Various
Publisher: Month9Books
Release Date: October 16, 2012
Source: Publisher/Netgalley
Purchase: Amazon/The Book Depository

 

Add to Goodreads
In this anthology, 20 authors explore the dark and hidden meanings behind some of the most beloved Mother Goose nursery rhymes through short story retellings. The dark twists on classic tales range from exploring whether Jack truly fell or if Jill pushed him instead to why Humpty Dumpty, fragile and alone, sat atop so high of a wall. The authors include Nina Berry, Sarwat Chadda, Leigh Fallon, Gretchen McNeil, and Suzanne Young.


A sucker for fairy tale retellings, this collection peaked my interest immediately.  What could a group of authors come up with using Mother Goose tales for inspiration?

Evidently.... a whole lot!!

For the most part, each retelling was imaginative, dark and some incredibly creepy. These authors really did do justice to the original Mother Goose rhymes and tales, which on their own are quite dark themselves.

Some of the most memorable ones for me:

"The Well" by K.M. Walton - A retelling of Jack & Jill in a post apocalyptic type of setting, where a deadly virus has wiped the majority of other people in the world. Very disturbing and thought provoking.

"Clockwise" by Leah Cypress - Hickory Dickory Dock, the mouse is actually a princess! Turned into a mouse through a spell, Amarind turns back into her human self and remembers the reason why she was a mouse in the first place.  The ending left me feeling sad at the injustice of her predicament. Well done!

"Wee Willie Winkie" by Leigh Fallon - WOW what a creepy retelling! Better get into bed kiddies!!! Or something will come get ya! The fact that the author left this monster to the imagination makes it even darker, and I couldn't help but shudder a little bit.

"Tick Tock" by Gretchen McNeil  - As someone who babysat in my younger years, this one certainly made me think.  Though I wish it had been a little longer, and offered a bit more explanation, I can't help but want to forget how creepy these children were. Truly shudder worthy!

This anthology is definitely a keeper. I see myself revisiting this collection of stories over and over, and am almost anxious for a good camping trip to share these stories around a camp fire. 

 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Review Quickies!


Earlier this year I became a reading ninja! I digested one novel after the other, faster than I could review them. But I don't want these books to go forgotten, so I decided to do some quick reviews for the following two novels and catch up on my review list.


Title: Let the Sky Fall
Author: Shannon Messenger
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: March 5, 2013
Source: Publisher
Purchase: Amazon/The Book Depository

Add to Goodreads
Seventeen-year-old Vane Weston has no idea how he survived the category five tornado that killed his parents. And he has no idea if the beautiful, dark-haired girl who’s swept through his dreams every night since the storm is real. But he hopes she is.

Seventeen-year-old Audra is a sylph, an air elemental. She walks on the wind, can translate its alluring songs, and can even coax it into a weapon with a simple string of commands. She’s also a guardian—Vane’s guardian—and has sworn an oath to protect Vane at all costs. Even if it means sacrificing her own life.

When a hasty mistake reveals their location to the enemy who murdered both of their families, Audra’s forced to help Vane remember who he is. He has a power to claim—the secret language of the West Wind, which only he can understand. But unlocking his heritage will also unlock the memory Audra needs him to forget. And their greatest danger is not the warriors coming to destroy them—but the forbidden romance that’s grown between them.


This novel took me by surprise on how engaging it was.  Though Vane was truly an annoying and whinny male protagonist, I enjoyed his growth through the novel as he learned who and what he was with Audra's help. 

This is my first paranormal YA involving elementals, but it was easy to follow the author's vision.  Essentially, it had all the elements in a YA paranormal romance that I love.  Great chemistry between both Vane and Audra, exciting action packed plot, and a riveting story that kept me engaged from beginning to end. 


Title: A Certain Slant of Light
Author: Laura Whitcomb
Publisher: Graphia
Release Date: September 1, 2005

Source: Author/Libboo.com
Purchase: Amazon/The Book Depository

Add to Goodreads
In the class of the high school English teacher she has been haunting, Helen feels them: for the first time in 130 years, human eyes are looking at her. They belong to a boy, a boy who has not seemed remarkable until now. And Helen--terrified, but intrigued--is drawn to him. The fact that he is in a body and she is not presents this unlikely couple with their first challenge. But as the lovers struggle to find a way to be together, they begin to discover the secrets of their former lives and of the young people they come to possess.


 How do a ghost and human man fall in love? 

 The book blurb had me hooked and curious. This novel did not disappoint. It was dark, emotional and beautifully written. Completely unpredictable, I was on the edge of my seat for most of this story as both of these unforgettable characters hoped to find redemption for past perceived sins. Deep and heartbreaking, this haunting romance was incredibly original, engaging and will stay with me for some time.

 

Monday, July 1, 2013

July Random Read - Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles 2), by Marissa Meyer





Random Reads is hosted by I'm Loving Books, and for a reader that has a list that is way too long, this meme is perfect. It helps me to pick out a novel in the list that may be sitting there forgotten for a long while.

This meme is pretty simple. The idea is to pick one random book (or more if you are ambitious) out of your Goodreads To-Read list (using Random.org) to read within the month. 

My June Random Read was Glimmerglass, by Jenna Black. There won't be a review, as I ended up DNF'ng the book at 25%. I could not get into it, and was actually quite bored. A pity, since I was really excited based on the good reviews of this book. But I have learned that reading about the Fae is a hit and miss for me. 

Imagine my excitement when I got the random number for July, and the below book came up!!! (Happy Dance!) 

SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!! Couldn't be happier with how this worked out, since I loved the first one in the series, Cinder.

Joining in? Leave the link to your random reads post in the comments section and I will be sure to drop in to see your pick of the month!



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