Sunday, March 31, 2013

Blog Tour Stop: Review & Guest Post & Giveaway - IXEOS by Jennings Wright

The McClellands are enjoying a lazy summer vacation at the beach when they are lured from our world into Ixeos, an alternate Earth. Finding themselves lost in a maze of tunnels under Paris and surrounded by strangers, they discover that they have been brought to Ixeos for one purpose: to take the planet back from humanoid aliens who have claimed it. With the aid of the tunnels and a mysterious man named Landon, the teens travel the world seeking the key that will allow them to free Darian, the long-imprisoned rebel leader. But the aliens aren't the only problem on Ixeos -- the McClellands have to deal with brutal gangs, desperate junkies, and a world without power, where all the technology is owned by the aliens, and where most of the population has been killed or enslaved. The worst part? There's no way home.
If I see ducks disappearing somewhere strange... I will never EVER follow them. In IXEOS by Jennings Wright, that's exactly what Neahle, her brother Clay, and her cousin Marty did and they ended up on an alternate Earth. One that had evolved the same way our Earth had, but in Ixeos's universe... aliens who resembled humans have taken over. Made the remaining humans their slaves.

The McClellands were out enjoying a nice day in the sunshine when they spotted some ducks. Following those ducks led them into a large drainage pipe which led them to another world entirely. One where they become part of a rebellion to take back Ixeos and free the leader of the resistance from the aliens' (Firsts) prison.

I liked this book. At first I felt angry for the McClellands, tricked in to joining this resistance... unallowed to decide whether or not they truly wanted to participate. They found their purposes with the group quickly enough though, so the anger subsided a bit. Except for Neahle, I was really hoping she'd find out where exactly she fit in to the whole deal.

The way they reacted to the entire situation at first was a relief. A lot of stories I read have main characters who end up in some weird or outlandish plot in some way or another and they take it all in stride like it's just any other day. The McClellands were angry and frustrated. Defeated. Then accepting. After a while they embraced their roles in the story and did what they could to fulfill them.

There was always something going on in this book. Kept me on my toes. I never got bored. The only issue that I had was when the Enigma machines were being explained. It was a lot of information that I tried to keep up with, but eventually my brain got overloaded trying to figure it out and I just stopped. I understood the general idea and the end result, but all of the gadgets and whozits and goings on in between had me lost. Of course, that could be just me. When a lot of info is thrown at me at once I can only absorb so much.

Ixeos was a great story over all. I really enjoyed it and found it hard to stop reading every day when I got started. It's something that I think would be a good read for a lot of different age groups. And I'd definitely recommend it as a read for anyone who loves sci-fi as well.


I’ve published four books now, and all of them have both male and female main characters. By far, my favorite woman is Rei Quinn, who is the female lead in both Solomon’s Throne and The Hoard of the Doges. Some people have asked me if Rei is like me, and I tell them, “No, Rei is who I want to be when I grow up!”  

While younger than I am (she’s in her thirties and I’m at the end of my forties) and so far childless, Rei has all the qualities I’d like to have: she’s brave, she’s funny, she’s smart, and she’s strong. She can hold her own in tricky situations, she knows several languages, and she’s really good at her job. Plus she has great hair, her husband’s favorite feature.

I guess it’s not quite true to say that I don’t have any of these qualities. I can be reasonably brave, and I have even been in the middle of a real life gun fight and didn’t faint. True story! It happened when I was in graduate school, walking across the campus. Before I knew it, police were running towards a group of us at a fountain, chasing a guy who kept turning back and firing his gun at them. In my extraordinary bravery, I (along with everyone else not involved in the chase) hit the ground behind the concrete fountain, covered my head, and prayed. When asked for my statement by the police, the good news was that I didn’t throw up. But I don’t think I was overly helpful, either.  

I can be pretty funny when I write, and very occasionally when I speak, but that’s usually accidental. I think of funny things to say afterwards (most often, hours after!). My son is very funny, and always has been. When he was a boy, he would get upset when people laughed at what he said; now he knows he’s funny and works at it a little bit. My husband has a dry, sarcastic sort of wit, which he uses equally well in conversation and writing.  It’s a great skill, but I don’t have the speed of thought to pull it off most of the time.  

While I’m reasonably smart, when it comes to puzzles, it’s hit or miss. I’m terrible at both riddles and jumbles, because I get one “answer” in my head and can’t seem to let it go to explore other options. If I was trying to decipher clues, that could be a pretty unfortunate trait! I am good at solving mysteries, though, as long as they’re not plays on words, so you never know. I might get to the treasure in the end.

Where I am most like Rei is her strength. My mom and grandmother always used to say that I “came from a long line of strong, independent women.” They were certainly those things, as are most Southern ladies, and I did get my share of steel. I’m pretty good in tricky situations and have a real knack for finding loopholes, which comes in handy sometimes. But I don’t have Rei’s great hair… 

One of the great things about creating characters is exploring characteristics, personality traits and flaws that you have, or that you see in others. Neither Rei nor I are very patient, and we’re probably not overly sympathetic. (My standard question when one of my kids says they don’t feel good is, “Did you take Advil?” If the answer is no, I tell them to take Advil and get back to me. As far as I’m concerned, Advil, a hot bath, and/or Vaseline fixes almost anything that ails you!) Both of us are passionate and reasonably focused.
I figure, if I keep writing Quinn adventures, I’ll keep striving to be like Rei. And who knows, one day I might be traipsing across the world on an adventure myself!

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Review - The Soulkeepers by G.P. Ching

When fifteen-year-old Jacob Lau is pulled from the crumpled remains of his mother's car, no one can explain why he was driving or why the police can't find his mother's body. A beautiful and mysterious neighbor offers to use her unique abilities to help him find his mom.

But in exchange she requires Jacob to train as a Soulkeeper, a protector of human souls. He agrees to her demands, desperate for any clue to the mystery of his mother's disappearance. But soon Jacob finds himself trapped in a web of half-truths, and questions her motives for helping him.
I have to admit... I got this book because of the cover. And the fact that it was free on Amazon. But mostly because of the cover. I hate to admit it (though I've done it several times), I am a cover snob.

The Soulkeepers by G.P. Ching is the first in a series that I wish I could finish today... but unfortunately I'm on an involuntary book buying ban.

Jacob Lau is 15 and has lost his mother. He doesn't believe she's dead, but no one can find her. Much to his dismay he ends up having to go live with his uncle, leaving behind beautiful Oahu for the cold and unappealing town of Paris, Illinois. He finds that he immediately has enemies but also that he has a kindred spirit in Malini, who is also NOT a native of Paris.

After being pushed too far by his cousin (on top of everyone at school), Jacob snaps and as a result, has to work for the weird neighbor across the street helping her with her garden. He ends up with more than he could have ever bargained for when he finds out from her that he's not who he thought he was and nothing is as it seemed before. All he knows for sure is that if he's going to find his mom, his neighbor, Dr. Silva, is the only one that's going to be able to help him.

Jacob was not your typical arrogant male teenager. I was glad of that, but at the same time I kept forgetting how old he was because of it. He seemed to be aged beyond his 15 years, but then I suppose losing your father and your mother at such a young age would do that to a lot of people. Still, he was not as angry as he could have been. Mad at having to leave his home to live with relatives he never even knew existed and go to a school where everyone hates him except for the only other outsider in the building.

The relationship between Jacob and Malini was perfect in my opinion. A lot of times relationships like that seem rushed or forced or just come out of the blue. But they started as friends and it just kind of happened from there. That's the way it SHOULD be. Malini was kind and supportive. She didn't shy away from Jacob when she found out about his... special talents. The chemistry between the two of them was perfect.

Dr. Silva was an interesting character. Mysterious and intimidating, but seeming to be in search of some kind of redemption she's hoping to find through Jacob. She has many secrets and I feel like we've just scratched the surface, even after finding out all that we have. Gideon, reminded me a tad of crookshanks at first. Not quite JUST a cat. Definitely more to him than meets the eye. I love the twist that came with his line of the story. I thought it was great.

The book built up to the finale wonderfully. It didn't feel like it rushed the entire story and it didn't feel like it was slow...slow...slow... and then BAM. It was a wonderful rollercoaster ride that ended with enough loose ends tied up to feel like that particular part of the story was complete.

It also poses a great question. Are you as bad as your worst mistake?

This was a pretty wonderful read. It was gripping and exciting and I really wish I could grab the next book so I cound find out what happens to everyone. I'd recommend this to everyone. It was fast once I really got in to it, which wasn't hard because it kind of just grabbed me right at the beginning. So go check it out!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Blog Tour Stop: Review & Giveaway - The Persnickety Princess by Falcon Storm

High up in the tallest tower of the purplest castle in the Kingdom by the Sea, Princess Lavender awaits rescue. Desperate as she may be, only the most dashing, well-dressed, properly mannered prince will do. Oh, and he must stand exactly four and three-quarters inches taller than her. A princess has got to have standards, after all.

When, finally, one such prince comes to her castle--not to rescue her, but her younger sister--Lavender refuses to be ignored. Instead of waiting for the next suitor to come along, she devises a plan to put herself in danger, thus forcing the upstart prince to forget her sister and rescue her instead.

Well accustomed to getting her way, there is only one thing, unfortunately, that this princess can't control--her luck. When her plans go awry, putting her in very real danger, will she allow the prince to rescue her as he sees fit? Will he even want to try?

And will anyone be able to find a way to rescue Lavender from her persnickety ways once and for all? Find out in this comedic tale of princes, dragons, and dreams that just may come true.
I don't think I've reviewed a middle grade novel on this blog before (apart from my Homeschool Reading Corner). The Persnickety Princess by Falcon Storm was full of humor and was quite clever.

It's narrated by Upon A. Time. He is actually being escorted to jail by two very serious guards, Reggie and Sir (he MUST call him Sir). When asked his explanation for the way he's charged in to town he tells the tale of The Persnickety Princess, Lavendar.

Holy cow you could tell she was a piece of work from the very beginning. So intent on everything being perfect and just so and by the book that she's missing out on actually LIVING while her sister Petunia is living enough for the both of them. Lavendar spends her days just waiting for the perfect prince to come and rescue her and whisk her away in to the perfect sunset. She doesn't quite get what she planned for, but sometimes that turns out to be a good thing.

Immediately, I disliked Lavendar. But then I figured... what girl DOESN'T imagine a prince coming to take her away. What girl doesn't have an idea about what he looks like or how she's going to be rescued from the proverbial tower she's been "locked" in. Lavendar just took it to the extreme a little. That's all. Kudos to her sister though for trying to get her to enjoy the little things in life though. I feel kind of bad that Lavendar has just let all the good things Petnuia has experienced just pass her by.

It was a cute book. It made me smile. If I saw this on a shelf I'd buy it for my oldest daughter to read in a heart beat. I'm glad there are going to be more books about the characters in this series. I'd love to read more Tales from Upon A. Time. He's a very amusing story teller. And I'd recommend this for anyone from the age of 9-14 maybe. It's a great read.


The Persnickety Princess is a lower grade chapter book intended for kids 6 to 9 years old (although kids of all ages are sure to enjoy it! Pick up your copy through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords or Kobo Books.

About the author: I was born in the frozen wasteland of Alaska with the unfortunate stigma of being both a daydreamer and left-handed. Starting from an early age, I've filled my life with stories of every sort from my father's hunting trips to the Holy Trilogy (read: Star Wars). In the fourth grade, I became more interested in telling stories of my own than listening to those of others. Doctors—being doctors—attempted to medicate them out of me, but the best cure has always been a pen, a notebook, and my crazy, unrestrained imagination. I continue to whittle away at these stories in my endless search for the one that will finally bring me back to reality. All the while, I secretly hope such a story will never come along. I hear "reality" is far too boring. Connect with Falcon on his website, Facebook, GoodReads, or Twitter.

About the prizes: Who doesn't love prizes? You could win (1) a $25 Amazon gift card, (2) a $50 Amazon gift card, or (3) a Princess Prize Pack, which includes a plush purple dragon, necklace with lavender pendant, The Fairy Godmother's Guide to Being a Princess, tiara and wand party set, and a DVD of The Princess Bride. Here's what you need to do...
  1. Enter the Rafflecopter contest
  2. Leave a comment on my blog.
That's it! One random commenter during this tour will win the $50 gift card. Visit more blogs for more chances to win--the full list of participating bloggers can be found here. The other two prizes (including the awesome Princess Prize Pack) will be given out via Rafflecopter. You can find the contest entry form linked below or on the official Persnickety Princess tour page via Novel Publicity. Good luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Review - Dead(ish) by Naomi Kramer

Linda’s had a bad day. First her boyfriend killed her. Then she woke up, still on this boring plane of existence, and with an odd obsession about her missing body. Mike won’t tell her what he did with her body, and she can’t find the stupid thing herself. There’s only one thing she can do - torment the bastard until he coughs up the information.
I got this book, I believe, because it was free on Amazon and initially the premise was interesting. At first. The description for Dead(ish) by Naomi Kramer on Goodreads had a disclaimer that there was foul language but really... dropping the F-bomb 5 times on the first page and throwing in who knows how many other curse words is necessary?

Linda wants to find her body. So she's hired a PI to try and weasel out of her ex boyfriend where it is. How can a ghost hire a PI, you may ask. I don't know. And it isn't explained.

I understand that the story is only 45 pages long but the entire thing skipped back and forth between so many different perspectives and it just felt disjointed and forced. I don't have a problem with cursing in stories.... unfortunately I do it in real life. But honestly, where is the line drawn between cursing and completely taking away from the story itself?

It wasn't long enough to do the story it COULD have been any justice.

Trent was supposed to be a detective or a PI or something... but was completely clueless and had no idea what he was doing it seemed. He complained most of the time that Linda was getting on his nerves and he wished she'd go bother Mike... and then all of the sudden at the end of the story had some weird sympathy for her that came out of nowhere and made no sense.

Mike was a crude and vulgar jerk (maybe the only person in the entire story that was portrayed the way he should have been). He never showed any remorse or compassion or even disgust for the fact that he (spoiler alert) ATE HER. He was completely one dimensional but it didn't feel like that was done on purpose.

Geordi and Laz were their gay (but only most of the time) next door neighbors who liked to have "party time" outside where everyone could see. Their relationship and attitude seemed completely forced (like the story) and fake and I had a hard time believing any of the dialogue between the two of them, or them and anyone else. It just didn't seem like the way two people (gay or not) would actually speak.

I didn't like the story. I don't think that's a surprise or a big shocker. It made no sense. Nothing popped out at me to say "Look at that! Keep reading!" I was more reading just so I could get to the end and get it over with. Apparently there are more books that follow this, but I won't be reading them.

It's not a book I would recommend to anyone (especially anyone under the age of 18). The description is misleading in that it makes it wound like an interesting story to read. And it just isn't. Man I hate reading books I don't like. Bums me out.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Review - Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson

S. J. Watson makes his powerful debut with this compelling, fast-paced psychological thriller, reminiscent of Shutter Island and Memento, in which an amnesiac who, following a mysterious accident, cannot remember her past or form new memories, desperately tries to uncover the truth about who she is—and who she can trust.
My daughter had scarlet fever. Sunday night I had to go sit at the pharmacy and wait for her medication to be filled. The man behind the counter told me it would take 35 minutes so I immediately knew I needed to go find a book to read. There were a lot of books but the one that really stood out to me was Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson.

It's a story of a woman who' s been told she's been in a horrendous accident that's robbed her of her memory. But not just the memory of who she was and is and anything about her family... she's unable to remember anything from one day to the next. She falls asleep at night and then wakes up the next morning remembering absolutely nothing from the day before. With the help of a well meaning Dr. Nash and a secret journal she's been hiding in her closet (that he calls to remind her about every day) she starts getting her memory back in flashes. She writes down what she remembers and the next day when she's forgotten again she goes back and reads her previous entries.

That's when she finds out that things just don't add up. Someone is lying to her. And she can't tell if what she's seeing is memory or fantasy. She doesn't know if she's fabricating some of her memories because she desperately wants them to be real.

I don't normally read this type of novel. I'm more in to the paranormal and fantasy stuff. Maybe with some historical fiction thrown in there. But I'd seen the movie Memento and it was one of those movies that really screws with your mind and this book seemed to be just like it when I read the description so I had to grab it. I was not disappointed.

It's hard to imagine what life would be like if I couldn't remember any of it. Would I wake up not knowing my own children. Not knowing my fiance or my family. Being told what was going on and who everyone was and having to rely solely on the word of other people to get through the day. But that's just what Christine has to do. Rely on everyone else (in this case it's her husband and her doctor mostly) to tell her who she is. Only there ends up being miscommunications and unfortunately some of her memories get twisted.

The book was definitely suspenseful. I kept waiting for her to get this big revelation and suddenly remember everything and it was SO painful to have to read that she'd continuously woken up just as she had the day before. Completely blank. It was hard to formulate theories because every time I thought I had one I got the rug pulled out from under me and had to start fresh and try to come up with another one. It was a complete page turner.

It directed emotion well. I felt sorry for who the author wanted me to feel sorry for, I was angry at who I thought I was supposed to be angry at... and then the book took this huge hair pin turn and chucked a curve ball at me at the same time. Magnificent read.

There are some things in this book not suitable for anyone under the age of 18. And some things in this book that could trigger unhappy things in others. So I would recommend this for adults only. But I absolutely suggest you pick this one up if you see it at the store and give it a go. I'm really glad I did.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Blog Tour Stop - Poison by Bridget Zinn

Sixteen-year-old Kyra, a highly-skilled potions master, is the only one who knows her kingdom is on the verge of destruction—which means she’s the only one who can save it. Faced with no other choice, Kyra decides to do what she does best: poison the kingdom’s future ruler, who also happens to be her former best friend.

But, for the first time ever, her poisoned dart . . . misses.

Now a fugitive instead of a hero, Kyra is caught in a game of hide-and-seek with the king’s army and her potioner ex-boyfriend, Hal. At least she’s not alone. She’s armed with her vital potions, a too-cute pig, and Fred, the charming adventurer she can’t stop thinking about. Kyra is determined to get herself a second chance (at murder), but will she be able to find and defeat the princess before Hal and the army find her?

Kyra is not your typical murderer, and she’s certainly no damsel-in-distress—she’s the lovable and quick-witted hero of this romantic novel that has all the right ingredients to make teen girls swoon.
Poison is Bridget Zinn's debut YA novel.

Bridget grew up in Wisconsin. She went to the county fair where she met the love of her life, Barrett Dowell. They got married right before she went in for exploratory surgery which revealed she had colon cancer. They christened that summer the “summer of love” and the two celebrated with several more weddings. Bridget continued to read and write until the day she died. Her last tweet was “Sunshine and a brand new book. Perfect.”
Bridget wanted to make people laugh and hoped readers would enjoy spending time with the characters she created. As a librarian/writer she loved books with strong young women with aspirations. She also felt teens needed more humorous reads. She really wanted to write a book with pockets of warmth and happiness and hoped that her readers’ copies would show the watermarks of many bath time reads.
I decided to be a part of this particular blog tour because I want to make sure that as many people know about this story as possible. Being published was her dream and although I never knew her personally, I wanted to be a part of helping spread the word.

You can buy it in these places:
It was requested that in this post we describe a "first" of some sort (no, not THAT kind of first). And it took me a while to figure out what it was. But I figured I'd tell you all about the very first book blog I ever read because without it, I'd never have found 90% of the books that I've read in the last few years, and I never would have started blogging.
When I first read it, the name was Book Reviews by Jess. There was a name change to The Cozy Reader and she's still going strong. As a matter of fact, if you'd like to read a review of Bridget Zinn's debut novel you can go and visit her page and read hers HERE. She's got incredibly detailed reviews and grades all of the books that she reviews on more than just whether or not she liked it over all (not that that's bad, just different than the norm). She does a fantastic job describing the books in a way that makes you want to run out and buy them. You should definitely check out her page!
And while you're at it, don't forget to go look for the book!  

Friday, March 15, 2013

Review - Let the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger

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.
It's been a while since I just HAD to stay up and read a book until I finished it. Not that there aren't books that weren't worth it, because in the last couple of months I've read several... but with Let the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger I kept telling myself I was going to "just finish this one chapter and then go to bed" and I kept forgetting. Before I knew it I was done (and it was 3am).

I loved this story because for once it wasn't a girl finding out she was this mysterious person and a guy being the one to help her once she did. Vane didn't know who he was or why he kept dreaming of Audra. Or why he had such bad luck with girls. He was good looking and charming, but something always seemed to go wrong on his dates. Audra is a dedicated guardian sworn to protect Vane at all costs. An oath she doesn't take lightly. She isn't there for fun and games or hugs and kisses (something she has to keep reminding him about). She's there to make sure he's ready for what's to come.

Vane is cocky. But not in a bad way. He's not arrogant and his attitude isn't one of superiority. He's just.. cocky, in a funny sort of way. I loved seeing his thought process throughout the story. Audra is sad. She's dedicated and she's persistant, but she's sad. An empty shell of a sylph. I could literally feel the guilt that radiated through her the entire book. As well as Vane's feelings for her.

The story reminded me of Harry Potter at first. Vane was "The Boy Who Lived". He survived the tornado that killed his parents. He was the Miracle Child. There's a whole world who knows who he is, but he has no clue. He's got a past he can't remember no matter how hard he tries. It also reminded me of Avatar: The Last Air Bender. But I'll let you read to find out why.

There wasn't a lot of action, not in the way I normally see it. But the book was fast paced. I didn't want to put it down (obviously after a while... I didn't). I have this Peter Pan thing where I've always wanted to be able to fly (the whole "If you could have one superhero power what would it be?" thing) and this book brings me about as close as I'm going to get to it. Weird, I know, but what can I say. Kind of makes me wish I had some secret past I didn't know about where I was a Windwalker like Audra.

This was a fantastic story and I'm really relieved to find it's the first in a series. After the curveball thrown at the end, I would have been super disappointed if it had been a stand alone novel. There are a few.... fantasies.... that Vane has that would make this inappropriate for younger audiences, but I would definitely recommend it for anyone 16 and over. In fact, I would probably INSIST that you read it. It was that good. I can't wait for book number 2!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Book Blast - Wounded by Jasinda Wilder

Wounded by Jasinda Wilder
War has taken everything from me. My family. My home. My innocence. In a country blasted by war and wracked by economic hardship, a young orphan girl like me has very few options when it comes to survival. Thus, I do what I must to live, to eat, and I try very hard to not consider the cost to my soul. My heart is empty, and my existence brutal.

The one impossibility in my life is love.

And then I meet HIM.

War is hell. It takes a chunk out of a man's very soul to do the kinds of things war demands of you. You live with fear, you live with guilt, and you live with nightmares. If you haven't been through it, there's no understanding it. War leaves no room for love, no room for tenderness or softness. You gotta be hard, closed off, and ready to fight every moment of every day. Lose focus for a split second, and you're dead.

Now the only thing that can save me is HER.
Get the book from Amazon HERE.

Jasinda Wilder is a Michigan native with a penchant for titillating tales about sexy men and strong women. When she's not writing, she's probably shopping, baking, or reading.
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Cover by PhatPuppy Art

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Kindle Paperwhite

I totally got one in the mail today! When I did the blog tour for Souls of Darkness by Eleanor T. Beaty I entered the giveaway and I won! How awesome is that.

Does anyone else have one? What do you think of it? I've been charging it all morning/afternoon so I haven't gotten a real chance to use it so far, but I'm really excited to get to play around with it!

And just incase you're wondering, books you see on the screen are:

Thirst by Clair Farrell
Fairy Tales Every Child Should Know by Hamilton Wright Mabie
The Vampire With the Dragon Tattoo by J.R. Rain
Bumped by Megan McCafferty
Exiled by Rashelle Workman
Alice in Deadland by Mainak Dhar

Friday, March 8, 2013

Follow Friday #47

Thanks to Parajunkee and Alison Can Read for hosting Follow Friday every week.

This weeks question:

What is a book you didn’t like that all your friends raved about or what book did you love that wasn’t popular?
A: I don't know if this counts, but I really wish that NO ONE liked 50 Shades of Grey (Gray? I don't really care). I've read enough reviews and I've seen enough people go absolutely ridiculous over this book that it makes me feel nauseous. I don't want to read "mommy porn". I don't care HOW much you say I will like it. There is nothing sexy or romantic about a woman allowing a man to BEAT her. Absolutely nothing. I was actually IN an abusive relationship. Mentally, verbally, and occasionally physically, and I tell you what... it didn't turn me on. It made me angry. It's an awful thing to experience. I can promise you that I will never EVER read ANY of those books.

Sorry, I'll step down off my soap box now.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Book Trailer - Dust & Decay by Jonathan Maberry

I just finished reading Flesh & Bone by Jonathan Maberry and was looking around to see if there was a book trailer and came across this instead:

What do you all think? Interested in reading it?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Cover Reveal - An Endless Summer (Summer #2) by C.J. Duggan

An Endless Summer (Summer #2) by CJ Duggan
Expected publication date:
July 17, 2013

Sean looked out over the lake, squinting against the sunlight. He turned to me, his expression sobering as his eyes flicked over my face in a silent study.

"Come on Amy, I saved you once, I’ll save you again."

I met his stare unflinchingly. "I don’t need saving."

A wicked grin formed slowly. "Don’t you?"

After a rebellious summer night that almost claimed her life, Amy Henderson – the Onslow publican’s only daughter – is sent away to suffer a fate far worse than any other punishment: Boarding School.

Three years on, a now nineteen-year-old Amy returns to Onslow for the summer. What once was a cauldron of activity with live bands, hot meals and cold beers, the Onslow Hotel now lies dark, deserted and depressing. All fond childhood memories of loitering on the hotel stairs and eavesdropping on customers’ colourful conversations are in the distant past.
How had her dad let it come to this?

With the new threat of putting the Onslow up for sale, Amy reluctantly turns to a local tradesman for help: Sean Murphy, the very same Onslow boy who saved her life all those years ago. With his help and that of some old friends, the task is clear: spend the summer building the hotel back up to its former glory or lose it for good.

In an endless summer, Amy soon realises that sometimes in order to save your future, you have to face your past, even if it’s in the form of a smug, gorgeous Onslow boy.

C.J Duggan is an Australian author who lives with her husband in a rural border town of New South Wales, Australia. The Boys of Summer is Book One in her Mature Young Adult Romance Series. For more on C.J and ‘The Summer Series’, visit
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Boys of Summer (Summer #1)
It seemed only natural to nickname them the ‘Onslow Boys’. Every time they swaggered in the front door of the Onslow Hotel after a hard week’s work, their laughter was loud and genuine as they settled onto their bar stools. I peeked through the restaurant partition, a flimsy divider between my world and theirs. I couldn’t help but smile whenever I saw them, saw him ... Toby Morrison.

Quiet seventeen-year-old Tess doesn’t relish the thought of a summertime job. She wants nothing more than to forget the past haunts of high school and have fun with her best friends before the dreaded Year Twelve begins.

To Tess, summer is when everything happens: riding bikes down to the lake, watching the fireworks at the Onslow Show and water bomb fights at the sweltering Sunday markets.

How did she let her friends talk her into working?

After first-shift disasters, rude, wealthy tourists and a taunting ex-boyfriend, Tess is convinced nothing good can come of working her summer away. However, Tess finds unlikely allies in a group of locals dubbed ‘The Onslow Boys’, who are old enough to drive cars, drink beer and not worry about curfews. Tess’s summer of working expands her world with a series of first times with new friends, forbidden love and heartbreaking chaos.

All with the one boy she has never been able to forget.

It will be a summer she will always remember.

Warning: sexual references, and occasional coarse language.
Hosted by Bookish Brunette

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Stacking the Shelves #13

A big thank you to Tynga and crew over at Tynga's Reviews for hosting Stacking the Shelves every week!

I got a book I've been excited about ever since I read book one. EVEN THOUGH the last book literally made me cry like a baby at the end.

Flesh & Bone by Jonathan Maberry
Reeling from the tragic events of Dust & Decay, Benny Imura and his friends plunge deep into the zombie-infested wastelands of the great Rot & Ruin. Benny, Nix, Lilah and Chong journey through a fierce wilderness that was once America, searching for the jet they saw in the skies months ago. If that jet exists then humanity itself must have survived…somewhere. Finding it is their best hope for having a future and a life worth living.

But the Ruin is far more dangerous than any of them can imagine. They are hunted by fierce animals escaped from zoos and circuses. They must raid zombie-infested towns for food and medical supplies. They discover the very real truth in the old saying: In the Rot & Ruin…everything wants to kill you.

And what is happening to the zombies? Swarms of them are coming from the east, devouring everything in their paths. These zoms are different. Faster, smarter, infinitely more dangerous. Has the zombie plague mutated, or is there something far more sinister behind this new invasion of the living dead?

In Flesh & Bone, Benny Imura, Nix Riley, Lou Chong and Lilah the Lost Girl are pitted against dangers greater than anything they've ever faced. To survive, each of them must rise to become the warriors Tom trained them to be.
I've already started reading it and just like the books before it, I don't want to put it down! What did you all get this week?

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Homeschool Reading Corner - Discover the World of North American Indians (Adventures in Art) by Silver Dolphin

The history of Eskimos and plains and woodland Indians are introduced in this interactive pop-up book. Their customs and way of life are explored, and the package includes the materials to create and decorate an Indian pot and totem pole.
I picked up this book on a trip to Good Will. Not sure why someone got rid of it but I'm glad they did. I love the pop ups. My oldest LOVES learning about Native American culture and history and so even though she's not being home schooled she was very excited when I showed her Discover the World of North American Indians.

Now, I love pop up books as a whole. The beautiful ornate ones like the Chronicles of Narnia pop up book. Absolutely gorgeous. Discover the World of North American Indians is not as elaborate and as ornate as the other, but it's still fantastic.

You get a look into igloo shelters made by the Eskimos, totem poles made by the Tlingit, the tipis of the Plains Indians, the Navajos' hogans (I love the Navajo culture, last year Alanna and I even started to learn how to speak some Navajo), and finally the land of the Seminoles. All of it is wonderful and it's fun to look at it in 3D. The book also includes clay and instructions for making a pot, supplies to make a paper Kachina doll (Kachina were masked spirits of the Hopi tribe), a totem pole, and stamps. It's really phenomenal and I love how it gets the girls actually involved in the learning.

I'd definitely recommend this to anyone studying Native Americans or just looking for something interesting to learn/teach their kids.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Blog Tour Stop: Review & Giveaway - Souls of Darkness by Eleanor T. Beaty

Alex’s life is turned upside down after his father’s sudden death. An old pamphlet found in his father’s belongings leads Alex and his mother, Charlotte, to a remote Polynesian island. His mother longs for a place untouched by past memories, and Alex hopes the trip will help her to heal.

Their arrival on the island elicits an eerie episode of déjà vu for Alex, and he begins to wonder about the pamphlet and his father’s past. Why did he have it? Had he been there before?

Alex senses something is off with the island. Progress is unwelcome by the inhabitants. A local girl reveals the history of the island and its dark spirits. She warns him to never be caught outside after dark, but Alex finds it all hard to believe... Until inexplicable and terrifying events begin to unfold. While digging for information, Alex finds his presence on the haunted island is not by chance. Rangur, the most evil of souls, aims to use him to acquire great power. There's only one way Alex can stop him and for that he must uncover his father's past connection to the island.
This wasn't the type of book I normally read. But I loved it. Souls of Darkness by Eleanor T. Beaty was a great read.

Alex and his mother take a "vacation" to an island they believe Alex's father visited at some point in the distant past. They're hoping, or at least Alex's mother is hoping, to kind of refresh and recharge batteries, if you will. Alex is just hoping the island has a night life full of fun. He doesn't know he could not be further from the truth. The island is the complete and polar opposite of anything he knows. There are no tourists. The island itself seems to be stuck in some earlier part of the century. And poor Alex finds that to explore the island or get anywhere period, he is going to have to rent a bicycle that was probably made some time in the 1960's.

But there is one bright spot. Taiya works on the island and lives just down the street from where Alex and his mother, Charlotte, are staying. She's full of spunk and she's feisty and Alex is smitten with her from the start. Luckily for him, the feeling is mutual. She becomes his tour guide and with the help of her father, Michael, Alex learns the history of the island. It's a history that changes his mind about things like spirits and the afterlife. A history that frightens him and every other person living on that island.

I liked Alex. It's not often I read a story like this. He's a teenage guy but without the arrogance and cockiness that I see in a lot of other novels. He's normal. And he's a genuinely good guy. He cares about his mother and despite the fact that he's been on that island all of 5 minutes before he's thrown in to the middle of this... battle... he cares about IT too. Even though it scares him.

Taiya is a sweet character. She's smart and she's quick to jump in to the action and help wherever she thinks she can. I pictured her as kind of looking like Q'orianka Kilcher. She and Alex grew quickly together and she was a fantastic heroine.

There were a lot of likeable characters in Souls of Darkness. Nehn, the little boy who jumps around like a Kangaroo. Butler, even though he seems cowardly to others, he proves himself extremely brave. Hanu, the helpful healer Alex and Taiya work with to try and rid the island of Rangur, the malevolent spirit who just won't leave it and its inhabitants alone. And Gabe, the ever watchful Australian "babysitter". If there's trouble he jumps in to save the day.

Once I'd gotten through the first few pages and understood what was going on, this book just seemed to speed right by. I was finished with it before I realized it. It was exciting and full of twists and turns and thrills and setbacks galore. I found myself giving in to the history and the lore of the island, wishing I, too, could be like Alex and Taiya. Or even Hanu. There were definitely some surprises thrown in throughout the story. Some that seemed to come just in the knick of time and some that just made me sad.

I would recommend this book to everyone, but especially those interested in spirits and paranormal things. It's a book that can span many age groups so I might recommend this for anyone ages 16 and up. It may be a bit complicated for young readers. I know I loved it, and it's a definite must read!

Author Bio:
Eleanor T. Beaty is a Young Adult Paranormal author. A worldly person born in beautiful Brazil and spent much of her childhood in several places (Argentina, Switzerland, and the US to name a few). She holds a BA in English Literature and is published in both Brazil and Turkey.
Eleanor loves spirituality and magic - both have allowed her to gain a strong grip on life and enjoy what it has to offer. She believes that everything has a reason and understanding those reasons help us deal with the difficult moments. Eleanor currently enjoys life with her husband in Brazil.
Follow her at

Purchase Links:
Amazon eBook:
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