Thursday, March 31, 2011

Leah Clifford's vlog

Have you seen this vlog by Leah Clifford. Check it out and be sure to enter her giveaway!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Cover Love?

Jennifer Estep shared the NEW cover for her debut YA release, Touch Of Frost.
Here is what she had to say:

"I like both cov­ers, but I think the girl cover is a bet­ter fit for the book/series. To me, it’s a lit­tle hip­per and edgier and says young adult urban fan­tasy more than the gar­goyle cover did. I think that’s impor­tant  since Touch of Frost is all about my hero­ine, Gwen Frost, and is told from her first-person point of view."
(from back cover)
My name is Gwen Frost, and I go to Mythos Acad­emy — a school of myths, magic and war­rior whiz kids, where even the lowli­est geek knows how to chop off somebody’s head with a sword and Logan Quinn, the hottest Spar­tan guy in school, also hap­pens to be the deadliest.

But lately, things have been weird, even for Mythos. First, mean girl Jas­mine Ash­ton was mur­dered in the Library of Antiq­ui­ties. Then, some­one stole the Bowl of Tears, a mag­i­cal arti­fact that can be used to bring about the sec­ond Chaos War. You know, death, destruc­tion and lots of other bad, bad things. Freaky stuff like this goes on all the time at Mythos, but I’m deter­mined to find out who killed Jas­mine and why – espe­cially since I should have been the one who died …

Here is the old cover...


Which one do you like better?
 I agree with Jennifer, I like the new one, it's more attention grabbing. Wonder if they'll change it again?  For more information, visit Jennifer at her website.  





YA review: Divergent

Divergent
by, Veronica Roth
May 3rd 2011
HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books


One choice

One choice decides your friends, defines your beliefs, and determines your loyalties . . . forever.

Or, one choice can transform you.

In Veronica Roth's debut novel, Divergent, a perfect society unfolds into a dystopian world of electrifying decisions, stunning consequences, heartbreaking betrayals, and unexpected romance. (goodreads)

My thoughts....Wow, Divergent is perhaps one of the most intense, edge-of-your-seat, heart stopping books I have ever read. I got a huge adrenalin rush just reading it.


I devoured this book. The advanced reader's copy came in just shy of 500 pages and I could not turn them quick enough. Divergent introduces readers to a world where society is divided into factions. You are born into a faction, then once you reach your sixteenth birthday, you have the difficult choice of staying with your family and current lifestyle, or leaving it behind to join another. Sounds easy, right? As fans of dystopian literature know, nothing is ever easy. The heroine, Beatrice, learns this the hard way.


This book is centered around society and the characters' positions within the society. Readers will meet some people who they would want to call their friends, and others that make you want to watch your back. The heroine, Beatrice is incredibly strong. Her bravery and commitment take readers on a wild ride.


Divergent in non-stop action. Roth's writing takes readers to the edge and leaves them gasping for air. The world building leaves a vivid image. The plot keeps readers on their toes trying to answer questions. There is also a touch of innocent romance. Definitely something for everyone.


Read this book, you will not be disappointed.

For more information, visit Veronica Roth at her blog. Follow this link to purchase Divergent from your favorite bookseller.

*This arc was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.

CymLowell

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Trailer Tuesday: Release Day

Happy Release Day to Cindy Pon.
Check out the trailer for Fury Of The Phoenix, the sequel to Silver Phoenix.
For more information, visit Cindy at her official website.

*******************************************************************
Another book hitting shelves today is Born At Midnight by, CC Hunter.
For more information, visit CC at her website.

Congratulations ladies!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Melting Pot Monday

Tattoo: The Awakening
by, Toni Leland
Young Adult
March 2011

TATTOO: THE AWAKENING is a contemporary story with supernatural overtones.
Biracial Danielle Clark never dreamed she’d spend her senior year in a hick school full of farmers. Still reeling from the shock of her parents’ separation, Danielle discovers that being neither black nor white in a small rural town makes her a prime target for adolescent cruelty. When she meets Meli, a fearless Native American girl, Danielle becomes mesmerized by her new friend’s WTF outlook on life, and makes an impulsive decision to get a tattoo. Through a series of frightening events, belief in the spiritual power of her tattoo instills Danielle with new insight into human nature, the courage to face the future, and the revelation that she’s the only one in charge of her happiness. TATTOO: THE AWAKENING is a contemporary story with supernatural overtones.
 
For more information, including purchase links, visit Toni Leland's official website.
*****************************************************************

Do Not Be Awake
by, Sergio Mendoza
February 2011

—This is not a prize at all —he corrected me—. If you are tired of the world, the world is more tired of you. It is your ineptitude and unpleasant. That is the reason why we have decided that your life ends here.
This is the story of Daniel Boom, and you need read it.

For more information, visit Sergio at his official website. Follow this link to read the first chapter.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Sequel Saturday (3)

I recently started thinking about all the great sequels that are coming out.

Are they forgotten? Are they pushed down our wish lists for new, shiny debuts? Sequel Saturday is a special post to celebrate these books.

This week I am featuring:
 City of Fallen Angels (the 4th book in The Mortal Instruments series)


City of Fallen Angels
by, Cassandra Clare
April 5, 2011

“City of Fallen Angels takes place two months after the events of City of Glass. In it, a mysterious someone’s killing the Shadowhunters who used to be in Valentine’s Circle and displaying their bodies around New York City in a manner designed to provoke hostility between Downworlders and Shadowhunters, leaving tensions running high in the city and disrupting Clary’s plan to lead as normal a life as she can — training to be a Shadowhunter, and pursuing her relationship with Jace. As Jace and Clary delve into the issue of the murdered Shadowhunters, they discover a mystery that has deeply personal consequences for them — consequences that may strengthen their relationship, or rip it apart forever. Meanwhile, internecine warfare among vampires is tearing the Downworld community apart, and only Simon — the Daylighter who everyone wants on their side — can decide the outcome; too bad he wants nothing to do with Downworld politics. Love, blood, betrayal and revenge: the stakes are higher than ever in City of Fallen Angels.” (goodreads)

For more information, visit Cassandra at her official website.

Ok, so do you have a sequel that you are excited for or one that you love? It can be coming out or already released. Feel free to do your own post and leave me a link in the comments. If there is some interest, I will put up a linky and come up with a snazzy button.
 
**If you are an author and your sequel needs some LOVE, email me and I will be glad to feature you.

Happy Reading!

Friday, March 25, 2011

YA review: Exposed

Exposed
by, Kimberly Marcus
February 22nd 2011
Random House Books for Young Readers

In the dim light of the darkroom, I'm alone, but not for long.

As white turns to gray, Kate is with me.
The background of the dance studio blurred, so the focus is all on her
legs extended in a perfect soaring split.
The straight line to my squiggle,
my forever-best friend.

Sixteen-year-old Liz Grayson is photogirl—sharp, focused and ready to take the world by storm with her camera. But Liz's entire life is called into question when her brother is accused of a crime—and the accuser is Liz's own best friend. As the aftershocks from that accusation rip through Liz's world, everything she thought she knew about photography, family, friendship and herself, shifts out of focus. And for the first time in her life, Liz finds herself unable to trust her own point of view. Told in stunning, searingly raw free verse, Exposed is Kimberly Marcus's gut-wrenching, riveting debut and will appeal to fans of Ellen Hopkins, Laurie Halse Anderson and Virginia Euwer Wolff.(goodreads)

My thoughts...This is one of those stories that will leave you thinking about right and wrong.

Liz finds herself in an agonizing  situation when her best friend accuses her brother of a horrible crime. As she tells the story, she experiences feelings like guilt, shame, fear, anger, and frustration. As the reader, you really experience each of these feeling with her.

The story is told in verse, which makes the book interesting in several ways. First, it is a very quick read. Once you start, it's hard to stop reading. Secondly, the pages are short and to the point. You don't get a lot of filler or side stories. This really drove the emotions home.

I noticed quite a bit of character development, but not in the traditional sense. Liz's passion is photography. It is through her pictures, or at times the lack of content in her pictures, that I really noticed the changes in her character.

Exposed is an emotional story. It deals with tough issues and leaves the reader feeling raw and emotional. Exposed is also a powerful story, one that I would recommend.

For more information, find Kimberly at goodreads or at her website.

*I received this ARC from Random Buzzers.

YA review: Fins Are Forever

On Lily Sanderson’s eighteenth birthday she’ll become just a girl—still a mer girl, true, but signing the renunciation paperwork will ink Princess Waterlily of Thalassinia out of existence. That leaves plain old Lily living on land, dating the boy she loves, and trying to master this being human thing once and for all.

Now that Lily and Quince are together, mer-bond or not, she’s almost content to give up her place in the royal succession of Thalassinia. But just when she thinks she has everything figured out, Lily’s father sends a certain whirlpool-stirring cousin to stay with her on land. What did Doe do to get herself exiled from Thalassinia and stuck in terraped form, when everyone knows how much she hates humans? And why why why is she batting her eyelashes at Lily’s former crush, Brody?

The seafoam on the surf comes when a merboy from Lily’s past shows up. Tellin asks Lily for something that clouds her view of the horizon. There’s a future with Quince on land, her loyalty to the kingdom in the sea, and Lily tossing on the waves in the middle. Will she find a way to reconcile her love, her duty, and her dreams?(goodreads)

My thoughts...Fins are forever is a fun continuation of the first book, Forgive My Fins.

Remember Doe from the first book? She is the evil cousin who despises all humans. Well, she's back and commands attention in Fins Are Forever. She was exiled and now it is Lily's responsibility to help her see the error of her ways. On top of that, Lilly has to deal with the fact that she will be forever relinquishing her title of Princess to be with her true love.

This installment started off a bit slow, but then wrapped me up in Lily's dilemmas. The story was fun and humorous at times. The most impressive part was the amount of character development. All of the characters showed growth. As in the first book, I really enjoyed the visual effects provided by the Tera Lynn Child's  writing style. I could imagine myself visiting the underwater land of Thalassinia.

If you have not read Forgive My Fins, I would recommend you start there. Fins Are Forever is a fun read for kids of all ages.

For more information, visit the author's website or find her on goodreads.

*This ARC was provided by Around The World Tours for review.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Winners!


Big thanks to author Kevin James Breaux for taking the time to interview with me and offering a signed copy of his book for a lucky reader.

Also, thanks to everyone who entered and left comments for Kevin.

As decided by Random.org, the winner of the signed Soul Born is...
donnas
signed swag winners are:
Rosie
Bethany C
Ricki
Big congrats and watch your inbox (if your email is available), I will be emailing you for your addy. If no email is available, please email me at zenfoxflowerATyahoooDOTcom

Didn't win, Soul Born is Now on KINDLE! And the publisher listed it on SALE for $0.99!!!!

Follow this link to purchase or search Soul Born Breaux!

YA review: Chime

Chime
by, Franny Billingsley
March 17th 2011
Dial


Before Briony's stepmother died, she made sure Briony blamed herself for all the family's hardships. Now Briony has worn her guilt for so long it's become a second skin. She often escapes to the swamp, where she tells stories to the Old Ones, the spirits who haunt the marshes. But only witches can see the Old Ones, and in her village, witches are sentenced to death. Briony lives in fear her secret will be found out, even as she believes she deserves the worst kind of punishment.

Then Eldric comes along with his golden lion eyes and mane of tawny hair. He's as natural as the sun, and treats her as if she's extraordinary. And everything starts to change. As many secrets as Briony has been holding, there are secrets even she doesn't know. (goodreads)

My thoughts...Chime is a unique story full of folklore and magic. I have mixed opinions of the book, while there were some strong elements, another huge part left me at a loss.

The plot and character development in Chime were brilliantly done. The characters were very unique. The heroine, Briony is convinced she is an evil witch. She does not allow herself to experience happiness, pride, or anything that a normal girl her age would experience. She carries around a block of grief and regret that practically sinks her into the swamp she is surrounded by. Her sister Rose has the traits of an autistic learner, and Briony is her keeper. Readers will fall for the charming Eldric. He has the bad-boy appeal with a worldly knowledge. It is no wonder Briony quickly falls for him, despite her best efforts. The other characters in the book are mainly magical beings. While there isn't much direct interaction with them, they play a significant role. The beings are complex and mysterious. I would love to read more in this world to learn more about the beings and their legends.

The plot of Chime is very well crafted. While there is some predictability, I was amazed at how everything came together in the end. The legends of the swamp really made for an interesting story. These legends are real to the characters; the witches can be seen doing "witchy" things, and waves seemingly come out of nowhere. There was quite a bit of mystery infused with the characters lives. Readers will also find a touch of romance, and a few scenes that are a bit scary. Overall, the story is very well rounded and interesting.

My only issue with Chimed was I really struggled with the dialect of the characters. The story takes place in Old England in a time of witch hunts and persecution. The language in the book fits, but it took me a long time to adjust to it. It was distracting and I found myself rereading to understand the conversations. It just seemed the disrupt the flow of the story (in my opinion). However, this did not keep me from continuing to read and enjoying the story.

For more information, visit Franny Billingsley at her website or at goodreads.

Check out these great reviews of Chime:
Mundie Moms
Pure Imagination
Vamps, Weres, and Cassay OH My!

*ARC provided by the publisher for my honest opinion.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

WoW: Forbidden

September is my birthday month and I get to share it with some exciting titles. The sequel to The Demon Trappers by Jana Oliver will be available September 2nd.
by, Jana Oliver
September 2nd 2011
MacMillan Children's Books

No blurb yet, but you can find Jana on Goodreads or on her blog.

*WoW is hosted by Breaking The Spine.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

YA review: Wither

Wither (Chemical Garden #1)
by, LaurenDeStefano
March 22nd 2011
Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing


What if you knew exactly when you would die?
Thanks to modern science, every human being has become a ticking genetic time bomb—males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out.
When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden's genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape—to find her twin brother and go home.
But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden's eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant Rhine is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limted time she has left.(goodreads)

My thoughts...Wither, the debut novel by Lauren DeStefano took me on an emotional journey. This is on my list of favorite books of the year. It will not disappoint fans of dystopian novels.

After creating a super being, who is free of disease and lives to old age, the human race was handed a horrible fate. The offspring generation is sentenced with an incredibly short life span. Men live to age 25, while the women only survive until the age of 20. This makes marriage and childbirth a necessity for the human population to survive. Girls are abducted, sorted by their genetic strengths and then sold to the highest bidders for breeding purposes. They are harrowing times.

Despite trying to avoid detection, Rhine is caught. She is forced to be one of the brides to a young man. While in his care Rose faces many trials of her strength, morals, and beliefs. Wither takes readers on a journey. Along the way you meet some incredible wonderful characters and some that will leave you cringing. The writing is fantastic. Despite the extreme circumstances, the characters are all believable.

Wither will leave you gasping for air, cheering, crying, and cowering from fear. I definitely recommend this to fans of YA literature. The ending... well let's just say I will be buying the next book in the series.

READ THIS BOOK!

For more information, visit Lauren at her official website. She can also be found at goodreads and twitter.

*I won this ARC in a giveaway.

CymLowell

Trailer Tuesday

Here is the trailer for The Sweetest Thing by, Christine Mandelski

For more information, visit her website.
Don't forget, I am giving away an arc of The Sweetest Thing in the Review Me giveaway.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Melting Pot Monday

The Family That Wasn't
by, Gene Twaronite
August 24th 2010
iUniverse.com



The Family That Wasn't is a humorous fable of how our families live inside us and how easily they can be lost. It will appeal to both teen and adult readers. The 13-year-old narrator, John Boggle (whose real name is John Bazukas-O'Reilly-Geronimo-Giovanni-Li Choy-Echeverria), finds his family so impossibly crazy that he cannot stand living with them another moment. He invents a new perfect family so convincing that he suddenly finds himself living inside this imaginary world.

But John soon finds that he too has changed. He sees his too perfect image in the mirror and begins to wonder if it is all some kind of mistake. Only trouble is, now he can't remember who he is. He only knows that he must leave this family at once. His sole clue is the name, John Boggle.

To find his true family he embarks on a cross country quest. Along the way he encounters other characters who have also lost touch with their families. Together they must find a way to reconstruct the connections to bring back the family that one was.

Despite its absurd premise, The Family That Wasn't conveys both the strength and fragility of our families. It also poses questions about the power of words and the imagination, and the very nature of reality. (summary from author's website)
 
Follow this link to visit the author's official website and to read the first chapter.
*****************************************************************
Pleasures Untold
by, Lisa Sanchez
February 2011
Omnific Publishing


Hell hath no fury like a witch done wrong. Pissed off and packing an arsenal of witchy mojo, Martha is on the warpath. Determined to avenge the murder of her mother and grandmother, her mission is simple: kill every vampire, demon and underworld bastard she comes across, because one of those hell beasts might be the monster that stole her childhood from her. But when a sexy Latin vamp literally falls from the sky, saving her from becoming an undead Happy Meal, she has no choice but to reassess everything she thinks she knows.

Xan is an anomaly --a vampire born, not turned. A powerful warlock who walks in daylight, Xan spends his days, and nights, watching over Martha, protecting her from Lucian, the blood-sucking monstrosity whose sole mission in death is to drain her dry. Undeniable attraction and the promise of pleasures untold draw the two lovers into a frustrating dance of one step forward, two steps back. When Lucian throws down a deadly ultimatum, Martha is forced to choose between relying on her own mystical woo woo to save the lives of her stolen friends or succumbing to the lure of dark, voodoo magic. Xan and Martha must work together to save those closest to her and put an end to Lucian's reign of terror before it's too late.(goodreads)

For more information, visit Lisa at her official website.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Review Me Giveaway (5)

I have a stack of advanced readers copies that could use an extra review. Here is what I have to share:

Stack 1
Wither by, Lauren DeSteffano
Chime by, Fanny Billingsley
Blood Thirsty by, Flynn Meaney
Red Moon Rising by, Peter Moore
Anthrology of an American Girl by, Hilary Thayer Hamann

Stack 2
Leminscate by, Jennifer Murgia
The Sweetest Thing by, Christina Madelski
Kat, Incorrigible by, Stephanie Burgis
Extraordinary by, Nancy Werlin
Zitface by, Emily Howse
Subway Girl by, PJ Converse

To be entered:

1. Must promise (scouts honor please) to review the book. Reviews can be shared on your blog (if you have one), amazon, barnes and noble, goodreads, ect. You are even welcome to do a guest post here if you like.

2. US only please (due to shipping)

3. One entry per person, ends 3/31

4. There will be two winners.  

Please complete the form.
 Following is not required, but always appreciated.

YA review: Lemniscate

Leminiscate (Angel Star #2)
by, Jennifer Murgia
March 21st 2011
Lands Atlantic Publishing, LLC



For Teagan, these last few months have been heaven on earth- especially now that Garreth, her boyfriend and guardian angel, is earthbound. But perhaps Garreth is becoming a little more human than either of them expected.

Now, Teagan must realize that her world is once again about to shift, as she questions the faith she held in others against those once considered enemies.

In this continuation of Angel Star, Lemniscate will draw you even deeper into the world of dark and light as Teagan realizes the angel who could possibly save them all is the one angel she feared the most.(goodreads)
 
My thoughts... Lemniscate, the second book in the Angel Star series, took an interesting turn. In the first book, I felt very devoted to Garreth. His strength and goodness was like a beacon to Teagan. This book definitely left me second guessing my judgement of his character.  He is faced with tough decisions and makes some poor choices that effect the lives of all the characters. Many of the same people play an important role, including the evil Brynn. Teagan discovers more about her fate, as it is tied to Garreth and Hadrian and she must overcome several challenges, some emotional and very personal ones.  

Once again I am impressed with the plot development skills of Jennifer Murgia. The lives of the characters, while full of chaos and confusion, always make perfect sense in the end. I was also impressed with the use of symbolism in the book, another sign of great planning. There was quite a bit of character development in Lemniscate. Readers will also find suspense, mystery, and a bit of a love triangle. I was impressed the strength Teagan showed in the face of evil. She is come a long way since the first book and I look forward to reading her again in future installments.

Overall, this was a great sequel. If you have not read Angel Star, I definitely recommend starting there. Fans of the series will be entertained and possibly swayed to the dark side.

For more information, visit Jennifer Murgia at her website. Follow this link to purchase Leminscate from your favorite bookseller.

*This ARC was provided by the author for my honest review.

Ending soon...

Tomorrow is the entry deadline. Have you entered yet?
 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Sequel Saturday (2)

I recently started thinking about all the great sequels that are coming out.
Are they forgotten? Are they pushed down our wish lists for new, shiny debuts? Sequel Saturday is a special post to celebrate these books.

This week I am featuring the sequel to The Line by, Terri Hall.



by, Teri Hall
September 15th 2011
Dial Books for Young Readers

When Rachel crosses The Line she leaves behind everything she has ever known and enters a strange new world: Away. Life there is hard, and survival is never guaranteed. Bizarre, wild creatures roam the forests, and people—the same people she’s always been told are dangerous and untrustworthy—have gifts she’s never thought possible.
 
Rachel has to rely on Pathik, the boy she risked her own life for, to help her navigate the strange customs. He’s exasperating, but she thinks she can trust him, and she hopes he’ll lead her to answers about her father. As it turns out, he leads her to more than she bargained for, and Rachel finds herself on an adventure filled with life and death choices, dark conspiracies, and unthinkable sacrifice.

In a place with no technology, no electricity, no medicine, and very little hope, Rachel discovers that only one thing makes life worth living. If only it’s not too late.(goodreads)

To learn more, visit Teri at her website. Away is available for preorder at Amazon. Didn't read book one, The Line yet? Here is my review.

Ok, so do you have a sequel that you are excited for or one that you love? It can be coming out or already released. Feel free to do your own post and leave me a link in the comments. If there is some interest, I will put up a linky and come up with a snazzy button.

**If you are an author and your sequel needs some LOVE, email me and I will be glad to feature you.

Happy Reading!


Friday, March 18, 2011

YA review: The Sweetest Thing

The Sweetest Thing
by, Christina Mandelski
May 10, 2011 (Egmont USA)


In the world of Sheridan Wells, life is perfect when she's decorating a cake. Unfortunately everything else is a complete mess: her mom ran off years ago, her dad is more interested in his restaurant, and the idea of a boyfriend is laughable.
But Sheridan is convinced finding her mom will solve all her problems - only her dad's about to get a cooking show in New York, which means her dream of a perfect family will be dashed.

Using just the right amount of romance, family drama, and cute boys, The Sweetest Thing will entice fans with its perfect mixture of girl-friendly ingredients.(goodreads)

My thoughts...If you are looking for a sweet, young adult contemporary story, then look no further.

Readers meet Sheridan, also know as "Cake Girl", and quickly identify her as a regular girl. Sheridan is an average girl who I found very easy to like and easy to relate to. She is raised by her Father, a well-known chef, and her Grandmother, a popular baker. It is not a perfect situation, but one that many readers will sympathize with. The only character missing from this equation is her mother, who is the object of Sheridan's obsession. Readers journey with Sheridan on her quest to find her mother, which is no easy task. Her best friend Jack helps her along the way, but she still gets lost and inevitably, someone gets hurt.

The Sweetest Thing is a heart-warming story. Aside from lovable characters, the story will make readers laugh and cry. I often became frustrated with some of the characters actions, but they were honest mistakes. While lighthearted, the story deals with some tough, emotional issues.

Readers beware, especially if you have a sweet-tooth. Sheridan isn't named "Cake Girl" for no reason. The story is full of imaginative cakes and other fancy cooking. This is a fun, quick read for readers of all ages.

For more information, visit Christina Mandelski at her official website or find her at Goodreads.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Luck O' The Irish


Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Someone has some Irish luck today. The winner of Wynter Chelsea by Becca Ritchie is...
Nancye D.
Congrats! I will be emailing you shortly.  Special thanks to Becca for taking the time guest post and for donating the prize. Thanks to everyone who entered.

Don't forget to enter to win a signed copy of Soul Born by, Kevin James Breaux. Also, stay tuned for another review me giveaway. Have a great day!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

WoW:

I want a reason to wear a dress like this! What a pretty cover.
The Mephisto Covenant (The Mephisto Covenant #1)
by, Trinity Faegen
September 27th 2011
EgmontUSA

No official blurb yet, but you can visit the author at her official website or click here to read the first chapter. Trinity can also be found at goodreads.  It is available for preorder on Amazon.

*WoW is hosted by Breaking The Spine

Monday, March 14, 2011

Interview/Giveaway: Kevin James Breaux

Please help me welcome author Kevin James Breaux. Not only is Kevin a talented author, he has become a blogging buddy of mine. I had the pleasure of interviewing him. Enjoy!

1. Please tell us about your epic fantasy Soul Born.
KJB: Well, when I started writing fantasy, back in the late 1990s, I would look up agents to submit to, and back then it felt like 85-90% of the agents had a line in their profile stating, “I don’t read/represent fantasy.”

I didn’t understand why and worse, I felt very singled out. What was going on? In the 1980s, fantasy books were super popular and amazing reads, why in the late 90s were they suddenly frowned upon in the industry?

I wanted to write a fantasy novel I would’ve enjoyed back in the 1980s, and at the same time have some twists and turns that would knock the genre on its side. As I wrote SOUL BORN, my goal was to write a novel that would bridge the gap between fantasy and non-fantasy fans. One for the people out there who loved to play video games more than read, or the people who read comics because they liked being stimulated by all the fun action.

Soul Born is my vision of an entry into a world that is becoming more fantastical with each year within the story that passes. It begins as not much more than medieval Europe with few elements of fantasy like Elves, Fairies and Lizardmen (no not Sleestaks). The existence of magic is where Soul Born begins to really stand out from reality and is one of the tying subjects of the series.

What I felt I did was wrote a story of several people trying to make the best of their bad situations. They will bend rules, manipulate others and situations, just to reach their selfish goals. Who is good? Who is evil? It’s hard to tell in the real world some days, and so it is in the world of Soul Born. Each of my characters have admirable and heinous qualities. It’s the reader’s choice how they wish to judge them.

That being said, in book two, I tell an entirely new chronicle. A much more straightforward story that really begins to feel like a Princess Tale… then I turn it upside down.

2. For many readers, a strong heroine makes the story worth reading. How would you describe Opal?
KJB: She’s one mean mutha…. Oh, wrong interview, sorry.

Opal is a powerful mage driven by the forces of desire. She wants what she wants and will do whatever is needed to get it. As you read through Soul Born you will be taken on a roller coaster ride side by side with her. You will see Opal make good and bad decisions and you will experience the repercussions. Her life can be chaotic, so be prepared.

Paranoid and fearful at times; Opal can also be unstoppable force of nature. True to life, she has her ups and down, but in the end, she is the one person you don’t want to mess with.

Sometimes I think, hey, I could rewrite Soul Born like one of those 1980s “chose your own adventure” books. That might be fun!

3. Soul Born is book one in your trilogy. Any word on when the second book will hit bookstores?
KJB: Book two of the Soul Born Saga, will be out this Fall, 2011. Dark Quest Books, the publisher, is reading it now and Dan Dos Santos and I will be working on the cover in about a month. When the cover is done I will announce the title. I am very excited about book two, and I know readers of Soul Born, can’t wait.

On a side note, I’m writing book three at the moment, and it will be a little longer than the first two.

4. GI Joe once said "Knowing is half the battle". If you could put your younger self in the "Know" what advice would you give yourself when you began this journey in 1998?
KJB: I would’ve prevented myself from making the mistakes I did back in the early 2000s. I was so passionate about my work and wanted it to be out there for people to read and enjoy so bad I would’ve done anything to make it happen. I rushed myself and put out half finished works and made bad decisions. I also allowed myself to be taken advantage of, which was a bad moment I thought would end my career as a writer before it even started.

I’ve written 4 novels now; each one better than the last. Over the years I’ve learned that just because my work is done, doesn’t mean it’s ready. A lot can be learned by moving on to a fifth, sixth or seventh draft.

YO JOE!

5. Kevin, not only are you a published author, but you are a staff writer for Fantasy-Fiction. Do you still have time for your other passion~art?
KJB: I’m a perfectionist and drawing really brings out the worst in that trait. I cannot tell you how many times I have sat down and drawn for two-three hours only to rip up and trash my project. I don’t draw much anymore because it’s just too mentally painful. Anyway, writing gives me the creative release that drawing used to back in the good old days. Of course, I would love to take another figure drawing class in the future; those were always the most fun in college.

6. Are you working on any other projects you can share with us?
KJB: Oh yes. Where do I begin? As a writer I feel it’s extremely important to write within your genre/genres daily. My goal for 2011 is to write, and finish, two books. I started one of them, a Viking Sci-Fi book. I also plan on finishing book three in the Soul Born saga, and a YA urban fantasy I started during the 2010 NaNoWriMo.

At the moment my top priority is finding a literary agent. Call me old fashion, but I feel I need one to help guide me in the future of my writing. I have a lot to offer, and will be writing another 20 or more books in my life, at least, so having an agent would be beneficial.

I’m currently querying my favorite project to date, an Urban Fantasy series I want to start with a book called ONE SMOKING HOT FAIRY TAIL. It’s the story of a foul-mouthed fairy princess after a devastating fall from grace. It’s set in the near future, in the real world. It’s so much fun to write, with characters that are witty, with contemporary problems.

7. A beautiful woman in a long black trench coat approaches yes, whips open her jacket and you see...vials. She is selling magic potions for things such as wealth, power, beauty, just about anything you could imagine. What type of potion would you buy?
KJB: You tricked me into thinking I was gonna get flashed. Nice one, Elie.

To be honest, after much thought, I would take probably take wealth.

It’s a hard decision. Don’t get me wrong. I could get a lot of things done looking like Jason Statham or Christian Bale. I mean that would be great! But I would probably waste all my time looking and feeling cool. Like Bale, in American Psycho, I would get overly focused on my daily skin care and never get my writing done! Darn! Not to mention all those slow motion entries into expensive restaurants and fancy clubs… they take up a lot of time!

So I would probably take the wealth. All my life I have been a giver. When I was younger I would make sure I got both the GI JOES and the TRANSFORMER toys I wanted and my buddy Andy wanted, so he could play with his favorites too. Later, I would buy video games I knew my friends would enjoy, sometimes ones I knew I would hate, but just knowing they would love them was enough reason to make the purchase. I always lent my comics, and games to my friends with wild abandon…

To this day I still feel the need to give to people and with a massive amount of money I could give more to my friends, family and all the cute baristas all over the PAC NW (they need to pay for college, duh). I’m teasing… maybe….

Seriously, I would be able to make larger and more frequent donations to animal charities, and would pay Sarah McLachlan to never ever play her music in sad animal commercials ever again. Oh, that one kills me.

Not having to worry about my own bills would be a major plus too. Those kinds of stressors kill the creativity of beings like me…. You know, warlocks from the ultra-slick dimensions.

8. Your book is filled with many magical beings. Given the choice, which type would you want to be?
KJB: I tend to pick magic using classes in video games, and role-playing games, so I guess I would want to be some cool mega-mage. It’s easier for me to pick a mutant power I think, than pick what fantasy being. Unless I was picking something like a Were-Liger… you know, a man who can change into one of those mythic leopard-tiger hybrids. I mean if I was one of those, then all the ladies would want to take their pictures with me. That sounds cool… at least until someone like Paris Hilton buys me and keeps me chained up in her hotel. That would suck!

9. Lastly, what do you do for fun? Any guilty pleasures?
KJB: I like to fill out registration cards on the products I buy in the name of super heroes. Peter Parker just got a new Canon Elph camera the other day and Clark Kent registered his new PS3. So much fun!!!

I tease, I tease… I play video games. I split my time between current gen stuff on the Xbox 360, and some old school NES and Atari 2600 on emulators I have loaded on my PSP and laptop. I love watching movies, and get caught up in a lot of TV shows. Trust me when I say my TV show picks are all over the board. I loved, with all my heart, that Spartacus Show on STARZ, but was equally addicted to BridalPlasty on E!. I’ve been known to watch Glee and Vampire Diaries too. Don’t hate!

Kevin, thanks for the interview and good luck on your upcoming releases!

For more information you can find Kevin at these hotspots:
Kevin James Breaux's official Website
Kevin's author blog (here you'll find purchase links + link to download a sample chapter)


Giveaway Time!

Kevin graciously donated a SIGNED copy of Soul Born + signed bookmarks for a lucky reader. Plus he sent along some signed bookmarks for 3 other winners!

To enter, please complete the form AND leave some love (questions/comments) for Kevin in the comments section! 
  • US only please
  • One entry per person
  • 4 winners (1st-book/swag, 2nd-4th-swag)
  • Enter by March 22, 2011
  • Winner will be selected using Random.org and notified via email
  • Good Luck! 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

It is coming...


Author Kevin James Breaux will be visiting.
Be sure to come back for your chance to win a SIGNED copy of his book Soul Born.

Learn more, visit the official Soul Born website.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Sequel Saturday (1)

After a recent email from a 2010 debut author, I started thinking about all the great sequels that are coming out. The debuts get so much attention (which is great), but what about those much desired sequels? Are they forgotten? Are they pushed down our wish lists for new, shiny debuts? Sequel Saturday is a special post to celebrate these books.

To kick things off I have chosen Lemniscate, the sequel to Angel Star by, Jennifer Murgia.
March 21, 2011
Angel Star #2

For Teagan, these last few months have been heaven on earth- especially now that Garreth, her boyfriend and guardian angel, is earthbound. But perhaps Garreth is becoming a little more human than either of them expected.

Now, Teagan must realize that her world is once again about to shift, as she questions the faith she held in others against those once considered enemies.

In this continuation of Angel Star, Lemniscate will draw you even deeper into the world of dark and light as Teagan realizes the angel who could possibly save them all is the one angel she feared the most.(goodreads)
 
Learn more by visiting Jennifer at her website. You can preorder this book from Amazon. (great price!)
Didn't read Angel Star yet, or need a refresher? Here is my review.
 
Ok, so do you have a sequel that you are excited for or one that you love?  It can be coming out or already released. Feel free to do your own post and leave me a link in the comments. If there is some interest, I will put up a linky and come up with a snazzy button.

**If you are an author and your sequel needs some LOVE, email me and I will be glad to feature you.
 
Happy Reading!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

MG review: Kat, Incorrigible

Kat, Incorrigible
The Unladylike Adventures of Kat Stephenson #1
By, Stephanie Burges
April 5, 2011

Twelve-year-old Kat Stephenson may be the despair of her social-climbing Step-Mama, but she was born to be a magical Guardian and protector of Society--if she can ever find true acceptance in the secret Order that expelled her own mother. She’s ready to turn the hidebound Order of the Guardians inside-out, whether the older members like it or not. And in a society where magic is the greatest scandal of all, Kat is determined to use all her powers to help her three older siblings--saintly Elissa, practicing-witch Angeline, and hopelessly foolish Charles--find their own true loves, even if she has to turn highwayman, battle wild magic, and confront real ghosts along the way!(goodreads)

My thoughts...Kat, Incorrigible will be a hit for readers of all ages.

Filled with magic, mystery, and mischief, young Kat will steal the hearts of readers and have them cheering her on by the end of the story. Kat, while only twelve years old is very feisty. She is very believable and true to her age. Her decisions are sometimes impulsive and there is a vulnerability to her character that feels genuine. We also meet Kat's older sisters. Elissa is the oldest. She loves Gothic novels and  has a strong sense of duty when it comes to her family. The middle child, Angeline, is just as headstrong, but she has some interests that could cause her to get into big trouble. All of the characters, good and wicked, were memorable and enjoyable.

One of the most unique aspects about this book was the time period. Old England was a time of proper manners, fancy dresses, arranged marriages, and dowries. The characters live within a set of rules and not following etiquette was simply frowned upon. These social rules would be hard for anyone, especially a twelve year old tomboy. Women especially had a hard time due to what was "expected" of them and their behaviors.  Another great aspect of the plot was the magic. The world felt well developed and thought out. The magic seemed to jump off the page and bring you along for the fun.

While Kat, Incorrigible is a middle grade book, I recommend it to readers of all ages. Fans of Harry Potter or Jane Austin should be especially delighted with the story. I can not wait to read book two, KAT, INCORRIGIBLE: RENEGADE MAGIC coming in April of 2012 to the US.

For more information, visit Stephanie on Goodreads or her official website.

*Disclaimer: This book was provided by the publisher for my honest opinion.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

WoW: Breath Of Angel

This week's WoW is a YA debut by author Karyn Henley.
June 21, 2011
Waterbrook Press

The stranger’s cloak had fallen back, and with it, a long, white, blood-stained wing.

When Melaia, a young priestess, witnesses the gruesome murder of a stranger in the temple courtyard, age-old legends recited in song suddenly come to life. She discovers wings on the stranger, and the murderer takes the shape of both a hawk and a man.

Angels. Shape-shifters. Myths and stories—until now.

Melaia finds herself in the middle of a blood feud between two immortal brothers who destroyed the stairway to heaven, stranding angels in the earthly realm. When the feud turns violent and Melaia becomes a target, she finds refuge with a band of angels attempting to restore the stairway. But the restoration is impossible without the repayment of an ancient debt—the “breath of angel, blood of man,” a payment that involves Melaia’s heart, soul, and destiny. (goodreads)

For more information, visit Karen at her website. Find her and a list of preorder links on goodreads.

**WoW is hosted by Breaking The Spine

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Author guest post/Giveaway: Becca Ritchie

Today we are joined by Becca Ritchie, author of the Wynter Chelsea series. Book 1, Wynter Chelsea: The Legacy, introduces readers to her magical world of creatures. Becca is here to give us a better look into her wild imagination...

At 14, I sat hunched over my computer and researched different demons in demonology that I thought I could make a scene around. Late nights reading these scary demonic beings left me in cold chills … and I hadn’t even written them yet. So in order to sleep at night, I added in creatures, half demons, spirits, and the unexplained which diverge from demonology. Wynter Chelsea: The Legacy is where Amanda Chelsea witnesses the supernatural on a firsthand account, and the sequel is where the true horrors come to play. Until then, here’s the scary, the not so scary, and the truly horrifying.

A Field Guide to Wynter Chelsea’s Demonic Beings

CREATURES

Threat Level: Moderate

Classification: The easiest to kill but the hardest to distinguish. Creatures come in a variety of forms. These shape shifters can turn into something as docile as a cat to something as fierce as a tiger.

Weakness: Bullets, knives, etc. Once killed, they leave an ashy residue behind.



SPIRITS

Threat Level: Moderate

Classification: Invisible entities full of rage. They refuse to pass on and leave Earth and can produce an extreme strength in their fury.

Weakness: Their bones or an object that keeps their soul stuck on Earth. The spirit will disappear from Earth’s plane once the object is destroyed.



HALF DEMONS

Threat Level: Moderate

Classification: Demons in human form. Super senses, super strength, super everything makes them extremely hard to catch.

Weakness: Salt, holy items, and a blood red serum. This serum’s content remains secret, but once injected into the heart, a half demon will disappear out of thin air.



DEMONS

Threat Level: High

Classification: Varies with each type.

Weakness: Salt, holy items, and different weapons depending on the type of demon.



THE UNEXPLAINED

Threat Level: High

Classification: Unknown. They’re not demons, not creatures, not spirits, or anything outwardly demonic. Trevor Wynter would try and put aliens under this category (even though they have not been proven).

Weakness: Also unknown.



THE MARATHACA

Threat Level: Extreme

Classification: A creature that cannot be destroyed by guns, knives, etc. This creature has returned from Hell twice, and nothing known can vanquish him completely.

Weakness: To be determined…

Thanks Becca! You have quite an imagination.
As you can see, these creatures are not to be taken lightly. I was on the edge of my seat reading Wynter Chelsea: The Legacy. You can find my review here.

For more information, visit Becca at her website. She is also on Goodreads.

Becca has kindly offered a lucky reader a chance to win a copy of book one,
Wynter Chelsea: The Legacy.

To enter, complete the form and leave some love for Becca in the comments section below (required). US only please, one entry per person. Please enter by March 15th. Winner will be chosen using Random.org and notified by email.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Cover LOVE?

How pretty is this?
Lisa Albert shared the cover for her October debut Mercy Lily.


A poetic, moving story about a teen who must make an unimaginable choice


Mama has slowly been losing herself to MS. After traditional treatment fails, she takes bee sting therapy, administered by Lily, to alleviate her pain. Lily is trained as a veterinary assistant, so she can easily handle the treatments. What she can't handle is what happens when the bee sting therapy fails and it becomes clear that Mama wants to die.
One beautiful summer day, Lily's mother asks her for the most impossible thing of all—mercy. They live in Oregon, where the Death with Dignity Act allows a patient to make the decision to end their own life.

While navigating first love, friendship, and the other normal worries faced by high school sophomores, Lily also has to choose: grant Mama's request, or cling to Mama's fading life for all it's worth.(goodreads)
 
Visit goodreads for preorder links. For more information, visit Lisa at her website.

YA review: Wynter Chelsea: The Legacy

Four hundred years ago a creature descended upon the Earth. The supernatural hunted innocent lives wanting blood and vengeance. Two families, the Wynters and the Chelseas, knew of the darkness that reigned over the world. For thousands of years they hunted and killed to protect those who knew nothing of the dangers.

Amanda Chelsea vies to be a part of the Wynter Chelsea legacy, constantly craving the thrill of a lifetime that her older brother, Jack, and the two Wynter boys experience. At seventeen, Amanda’s passion to fight is overwhelming, and she cannot come to grips with why the boys are protecting her. Abilities are cast upon the new generation of Wynters and Chelseas, only in hopes of guiding them to vanquish the impenetrable creature. Even as Amanda Chelsea receives the power of empathy, feeling other people’s emotions, it brings more harm than a vital potency. Through the turmoil in New Jersey, Dustin Wynter is the only one able to relate to Amanda with a similar gift. As Jack’s rage boils over the edge, Dustin must put the pieces back together and hold the legacy up with a shaking arm and a quirky brother by his side.

When the world couldn’t seem to become anymore dangerous, both parents of each family go missing. Now with no choice but to bring Amanda along, she finally is able to fight without hassle, but is it worth it? Is the disappearance of the ones she loved a price that she has to pay for her dream to join the legacy? Traveling across the United States, the four young adults must confront their hidden emotions and ultimate reason for living.

Wynter Chelsea is a novel about finding truth in oneself and truth in the world amid the darkness that follows. Readers of the young adult genre will connect with Amanda’s coming of age story, where life seems to be at the tip of her fingers but she can’t hold on to it. Wynter Chelsea has a spark of comedy with Trevor Wynter and love with the bubbling young romance of Amanda and Dustin. With a strong sense of love, loss, and sacrifice, Wynter Chelsea connects the sentiment of the reader to the page. When the reader closes the novel, their heart will surely be left within the lines.(goodreads)

My thoughts...Welcome to an original world complete with paranormal creatures, magical powers, and magical legends.


In this first book in the series, we meet some interesting characters. First, we get to know the heroine Amanda. Initally, readers experience her frustration. She is treated by her family like a porcelian doll, incapable of making decisions, or defending herself. This causes her to make some decisions that seem irrational and wreckless. Amanda posseses the gift of empathy and she often finds helfself vulnerable in more ways than one.  Other characters that are central to the story are her brother and the two boys that live next door. Each character has the strengths and weaknesses, and they all show growth by the end of the first book.


Wynter Chelsea is full of action and excitement. These characters do not experience a dull moment. There is constant danger lurking around every corner and a mystery to solve. On a mission to find their missing parents, they discover secrets about themselves, their family, and their legacy. Readers can expect plenty of fighting, mysterious creatures, and some romantic interest.


At times, I did become a bit frustrated with the characters and some of the events seemed a bit to convient, but overall this did not take away from the story. I had a hard time putting the book down and I did not want to leave the world when I finished the story. Thankfully, book two, Wynter Chelsea: The Sublimity is already available for purchase!

For more information, visit Becca Ritchie at her official website. Follow this link to purchase a copy from your favorite bookseller.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Winner and UPdates

The winner of A Hellion In Her Bed is...

Isalys from Book Soulmates

I will be emailing you shortly. I have a stack of arcs to give away (a few YA debuts), so watch for that coming up soon!

Also, I am almost on break from school, but I have been having horrible problems with blogger. Majority of the time, it says I don't follow any blogs and when it does show my list, it only goes back one hour. I tried the refresh thing...doesn't work. I have also tried another computer...same thing. So I feel like I am missing everything going on with the exception of twitter and my sidebar. (sniff)

I am going to try to clean up my follow list (when it lets me on). If a blog has not posted in a few months, I am going to unfollow. Maybe this will help?

Anyone else ever have this issue?

Cover LOVE? x2

I found this over at Karen Mahoneys blog. What do you think?
(click image to enlarge)


Here’s the full line up: Francesca Lia Block, Brenna Yovanoff, Lesley Livingston, Jessica Verday, Rachel Caine, Seanan McGuire, Jackson Pearce, Martin Millar, Lisa Mantchev, Sophie Jordan, Tera Lynn Childs, Karen Mahoney, and Sharon Ashwood.

What an exciting list! I see some of my favorites here, do you?

Also spotted...
Witchlanders by, Lena Coakley
August 30, 2011

High in their mountain covens, red witches pray to the Goddess, protecting the Witchlands by throwing the bones and foretelling the future.

It’s all a fake.


At least, that’s what Ryder thinks. He doubts the witches really deserve their tithes—one quarter of all the crops his village produces. And even if they can predict the future, what danger is there to foretell, now that his people’s old enemy, the Baen, has been defeated?

But when a terrifying new magic threatens both his village and the coven, Ryder must confront the beautiful and silent witch who holds all the secrets. Everything he’s ever believed about witches, the Baen, magic and about himself will change, when he discovers that the prophecies he’s always scorned—Are about him.


For more information, visit Lena's website.

More to look forward to!

 
Blog designed by TwispiredBlogdesign using Joifa Design's Innocent Imagination kit.