Thursday, May 31, 2012

My Favorite Reads Giveaway Hop!

These are my favorite reads so far this year and two or three from last year, so have your pick of ONE  from the list. Internationals, if the book depository ships to your country then you may enter...otherwise US/CAN only.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Betrayed by Ednah Walters Book Blast

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Lil isn't just an average teenager. She's one of the Nephilim--the descendants of humans and angels--which gives her some serious psi skills and a mission for redemption. Just when Lil thinks she's found a balance between her normal life with human friends and her training to become a Guardian, she's warned that someone close to her will betray her. When the boy she loves starts acting strangely and one of her human friends acquires a supernatural ability, Lil begins to realize that someone is manipulating the people she loves... and won't stop until she's been lured to the dark side.

Praise for Betrayed
Just like Awakened, Betrayed has risen above all the other books in this genre. She has created such an amazing world for her Guardians & demons where good and evil are not as simple as it seems they should be. ~J. Whitus (Book Junkies) Walking On Bookshelves
I just love a spunky heroine so I was excited to keep reading about Lil, the demon hunter I got to know in Awakened (book one of The Guardian Legacy series). Walters takes the story and world she built so well in Awakened and adds in an intense plot with lots of twists to make for a strong sequel.~ Kelli (I'd So Rather Be Reading)
Lil is one of my favorite female leads, with all of the traits that you want a strong female lead to have. She's smart, strong, loyal and doesn't know how to back down.~ Missy (Missy's Reads & Reviews)
Lil has her work cut out for her in this book and she never failed me once!
There is action in this book as well as a lot of emotional turmoil.~ Cathy Garcia 
See this Review on Goodreads

Author Bio
I grew up reading Nancy Drew and Hardy boys mysteries and fell in love with books
I enjoy good love stories, tingly mysteries and epic adventures. When I finished my college and decided to be a stay-at-home mother, I devoured books like they were going out of production, until reading just wasn't enough. So I started to write.
I've written picture books (unpublished), contemporary and romantic suspense (under the pen name E. B. Walters), and finally YA fantasy (as Ednah Walters).
AWAKENED (2010) is the prequel to the YA series about the Nephilim, The Guardian Legacy series. BETRAYED(book # 1) is now available wherever books are sold, HUNTED (book # 2) will be released in February 2013 andFORGOTTEN (later in 2013).
My adult contemporary with or without suspense is about a west coast Irish-American family series. I've published four Fitzgerald books: SLOW BURN (April 5th 2011), MINE UNTIL DAWN (June 29th 2011), KISS ME CRAZY (Sept 25th 2011) and DANGEROUS LOVE (Jan 29th 2012)
When I'm not writing, I do things with my family, five children and my darling husband of 18 years. I live in a picturesque valley in northern Utah, the setting for my YA series.

Giveaway Details:
$100 Gift Code
Ends 6/5/12
Open to anyone who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent's permission. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. 
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Monday, May 28, 2012

Sound of the Heart Blog Tour: Review, Interview and Giveaway with Author Genevieve Graham

Title:Sound of the Heart
Author:Genevieve Graham
Publisher:Berkley Trade
Publication:May 1, 2012
Audience: 18 and up
Genre: Historical Romance 
Rating: 4 out 5
Source: Author

From Genevieve Graham, author of "Under the Same Sky", comes a sweeping romantic historical novel of one man’s strange gift and dangerous battles...
Dougal MacDonnell, a fierce warrior from the Highlands of Scotland, is able to hear the thoughts of other men and dream how the future will unfold.
Devastated by the loss of his family during the Battle of Culloden in 1746, he fosters a deep hatred for the English. But when Glenna, the love of his life and a Scottish outlaw, is captured and shipped overseas, Dougal is forced to join an English army made of vanquished Scots. Now fighting on the side of his sworn enemies, he embarks on a journey that will take him across the seas to the colonies. There he will risk everything for the chance to find his true love.

My Thoughts: Honestly, I grew up on romance novels...yes, my mother let me read them and yes,they have distorted my reality. This book is not one of those smutty romances and it made me sad, though. Dougal and Glenna are constantly experiencing captivity but what is great is that they hold on the the sense of home and spirit.They both have lost family to war death and disease. They somehow find solace in each other until, one day changes everything and they must travel the seas to find each other again before it's too late. It is interesting how strong they are within themselves to keep pushing through their hardships and even inspiring others in the same predicament. I liked the the fire and tenacity of Glenna and Dougal, and think they are a well suited match. The story seems well researched and the author does a great job of giving the work a Scottish feel. This book would be good for those that like romance novels without all the heavy sexual hoopla but a love story that time can't touch. 

Author Bio
Genevieve Graham graduated from the University of Toronto in 1986 with a Bachelor of Music

in Performance (playing the oboe). While on a ski vacation in Alberta, she met her future husband in a chairlift lineup and subsequently moved to Calgary to be with him. They have recently settled in a small, peaceful town in Nova Scotia with their two beautiful daughters. Writing became an essential part of Genevieve’s life a few years ago, when she began to write her debut novel, Under the Same Sky. The companion novel, Sound of the Heart, will be in stores May 1, 2012.
Tell us about Genevieve Graham.
I’m a disorganized person with a mind like a sieve. But I mean well. I’m 47 with two really independent and intelligent teenage daughters, and I’m incredibly lucky because I have the most supportive husband in the world. When I first started writing—about five years ago—I felt like it was a guilty pleasure, like I should be doing something more “useful” instead. But he was the one who encouraged me, who knew how important it was for me to get these words out of my head.

What else? I can’t cook, but I can bake. I’m juggling way too many things, but I get excited when something new comes up. I love plants and flowers, but can’t grow them to save my life.

What inspires you to write?
When I get into the “zone” and stories start blooming on the screen in front of me, it’s the best place in the world. I want to see how they flow, how they end, because to me it’s like I’m in the middle of everything and I have no idea which way I’m headed. And my all-time favourite thing is to go back to something I’d written a long time before, then read a passage I don’t remember writing and think, “Hey! That’s pretty good!”

Was it difficult deciding how to bring the characters to life?
My characters lead me through the stories. I feel them in my head, hear their dialogue, see their movements. I think the challenge is more for them - bringing me to life when I’m feeling lazy!

Are there any similarities between you and your characters?
No. I’m not nearly as courageous as they are, not on any level. But I admire them, and I aspire to be more like them. Isn’t that weird? To want to be more like something you’ve created? But it’s true.

If you could be a character in a book, which book and what character?
I recently read “The Rose Garden” by Susanna Kearsley. It was a time travel romance, and the heroine had the opportunity to pass between worlds almost at will. Of course she *spoiler* chose to stay back in time, with the men in waistcoats and all ... But imagine getting that opportunity? That’d be awesome. Plus she had a really great attitude about it all. Kind of like “Cool. Here I am. Yes, it’s way dirtier and rougher than I imagined it’d be, but I kinda like it here. Maybe I’ll just stay.”

What's the best advice you've could give about pursuing your dreams?
Never, never listen to anyone who says you won’t be able to reach your dreams. If you’re going to listen to anyone, go to the people who have achieved what they set out to do. Learn from them. Don’t be discouraged. No one has the right to take your dreams from you.

Favorite Quote? Book?
All my favourite quotes, I fear, are from “Outlander” because Diana Gabaldon’s characters are my idea of the perfect characters. They truly exist for me. And Jamie Fraser, well, anyone who knows the books knows Jamie is … incredible. Anyway, I love far too many lines in those books. One of my favourites, though, has to be,
“When the day shall come, that we do part,” he said softly and turned to look at me, “if my last words are not 'I love you' - ye'll ken it was because I didna have time.” - that was from “The Fiery Cross”
Scenario: I'm 19 year-old female that hates to read but the cover of your book has caught my attention, what would you say to get me to read it?
I would say that a great deal of historical romances are tied up in stories of salon etiquette and the silliness that sometimes occurs as a result of that. Yes, my covers look like they might belong in those scenarios, but they don’t. My characters have never stepped into a ballroom, never seen a pearl. They are real, their adventures are real, and their stories will show you a whole new kind of passion.

What is a question that you wish interviewers would ask, and the answer to that question?
I can’t think of any right now!

Choose only one. If you could choose between invisibility or the ability to fly, which would you choose?


Friday, May 25, 2012

Review: Magic of the Moonlight by Ellen Schreiber

Author: Ellen Schreiber
Title: Magic of the Moonlight
Series:  Full Moon#2
Publication: April 19,2011
Publisher:  Katherine Tegen Books
Genre:YA paranormal
Pages: 240 pp.
Audience: 14 and up
Rating: 4 out of 5
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"Beware of a bite under a full moon…
it will complicate your love life."

Review: This is the second book and I believe I like this series a bit more than the Vampire Kisses series. Maybe because it's not all goth and vampires. I'm slightly burned out on vamps. This story reminds me of the West Side Story, as the main character falls for a guy from the other side of the tracks, and that's frowned upon by her peers. It's hard not to fall for a guy that saves your life though, only to have that moment change his life forever. Celeste must hide how she feels for Brandon from her friends as she feels it will only make the teasing worse for him as it already is. In addition to that her ex-boyfriend Nash knows Brandon's secret and threatens to tell everyone he is a wolf, if she doesn't pretend they are trying to work on their relationship. He is such a pighead, he feels that he is doing this out of concern for her as a friend but there is tons of jealousy motivating him too. Celeste understands Nash's motives but it's too little too late for him to start being the boyfriend she always wanted when Brandon is that now. Though her heart belongs to another Nash is not going out without a fight and things get very interesting between these two alpha males. Celeste has her work cut out for her, from helping Brandon find a cure so he can be normal again, if that is what he really wants. Is she even certain that she herself  wants the boy or the wolf?In addition to all this, she has to balance out time with her best friends, who want things to remain the same. But sometimes, change is hard to stop, and Celeste is in for a big one.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Review: Preloved by Shirley Marr

If you had a second chance at love, would you do it all over again?

Amy has enough to deal with for one lifetime. A superstitious Chinese mother. A best friend whose mood changes as dramatically as her hair colour. A reputation for being strange. The last thing she needs is to be haunted by someone only she can see.

Logan is a ghost from the Eighties. He could be dangerous. He's certainly annoying.

He might also be Amy's dream boy.

Favorite Quote:
"Amy, remember that if you get lost in a forest and the ghosts trick you into thinking every direction looks the same-take your undies off, put them over your head and spin around in a circle. Then your path will be clear."

Review:For all her mother's constant warning and superstitions about attracting ghosts, Amy should have thought twice about putting on the necklace that she found. Amy is just content to be a bystander and blend in to her surroundings rather than stand out. True, she may not be popular and is considered the sidekick to her best friend Rebecca Starling but she has a good heart. Amy and Rebecca are completely opposite of each, Rebecca is more self-absorbed and ditzy whereas Amy is more observant of her surroundings but she is unsure of herself. Then enters the ghostly Logan, who makes her see how great she is, though I think it is sort of crazy that she falls for a ghost, how in the world would that work? Well, Logan is not interested in Amy but her bestie Rebecca, whom he believes to be someone from his past. Poor Amy is being haunted, has a mother that constantly tells her crazy warnings about ghosts and she has to compete with Rebecca for the love of a ghost. Not only that everyone is thinking she's gone loony as she is adamant that Logan is there and she is trying to help him and herself understand the connection that they feel towards each other. What she finds out is more than she expected.The plot was good, and I liked how the story unfolded as well as how the pace remained steady, which made this a quick read for me. The characters are great, though my favorite is Amy's mom, who says some truly off the wall things, but they were funny.I would say this story is about family and friendship. Interesting read, I think it is cute.
Author: Shirley Marr 
Title: Preloved
Publisher: Black Dog Books
Publication: April 1, 2012
Audience: 14 and up
Genre: Paranormal Contemporary
Source: Blog Tour with theReadventurer
Rating:4 out 5
Where to Buy: Fishpond


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Interview: Rachel Hunter Author of Empyreal Fate

Chat with Author Rachel Hunter
LLM:Tell us about yourself and why we should read Empyreal Fate.
RH:Ah – I am a reader, writer, and psychology/nursing student at the University of Oklahoma. I am both witty and stubborn, but mostly I’m shy and speculative. I often question the mysteries of this world, and I’m not afraid of the answers. But sometimes I think the answers are afraid of being told. What is Nature’s story? It certainly breathes beauty, and I like to spend as much time with it as I can: hiking, kayaking, scaling mountains, or simply walking. The Muse follows me wherever I go – no matter what natural ventures I take - but sometimes it’s elusive and tries to hide. It is while in this interim of “self-searching” that I often compose my favorite works of art: most of them in thought. But it’s all relative, I suppose. Mostly, I am me. Simply and succinct.
My Llathalan Annal series is of the fantasy genre, and Book One – Empyreal Fate – has just been released. “Fate” introduces the land of Llathala and its many civilizations – particularly the races of men and elves – and it delves into their ancient feud and close boundaries. Indeed, the kingdom of man is starving and rapidly growing, yet the proximity of the elven nation, coupled with man’s unwarranted fear, keeps the commoners from straying far. Yet a figure named Darrion defies the decree of old and passes into the Forest Illex, home of the elven kingdom of Androth. And what he finds within may very well change his life forever. But that’s only the beginning… Fate has yet to deal its hand.
I would hope one reads me for the sole intent of wanting to escape into a fantastical realm and appreciate the beauty of creation. Though I also hope I share something new for readers, as I tend to incorporate my infatuation with words into my work. Indeed, for I am also a poet and I write to a rhythmic beat in my head. Quite so. I added an element of ‘epic’ language to Empyreal Fate - for an ‘epic’ read, so to speak. So I guess it boils down to if one enjoys fantasy, words, and releasing oneself in a land anew. So why not try something new? Why not try Empyreal Fate? Explore. Be.
LLM:What inspired you to write in this genre?
RH:I’ve always had a penchant for fantasy; though I read much from other genres as well. It all began with my adoration for reading at such an early age, as well as my fascination with role-playing games and science fiction works. But – above all – I appreciate when a fantastical piece can hold me in awe with its eloquent language and clever plot. I thrive by being able to escape this world and actually discover new lands as defined by the ink off a page.
I can attest: there is no greater majesty.
When an author is able to transport me to a new world, provide me with adequate suspension of disbelief, and include dynamic characters (preferably elves) with realistic flaws and virtues - then my heart is snared.
There’s something in the nature of the fantastical that draws me in; there’s something about the feel of alternate worlds and mystical planes that captivates me. And this is why I’ve chosen fantasy as my own genre. I want to make others feel the way I do about words: to breathe in awe at their elusive connectedness – to marvel the fluid way in which they bind. It’s this internal delight that delivers life upon a sheet of parchment. And it is this feeling I wish to instill.
LLM: What character was your favorite to write?
RH:I enjoyed writing the elven royalblood, Amarya, the most - by far. She is the character depicted on the cover of my novel – the one with the Laymeur flower hovering between her palms (a symbol of Fate. Indeed. Her Fate, perhaps? Ah – you must read and see). I enjoyed writing about Amarya, for she is so attuned to the universe and the divine. As an elf, this connection is inbred, but she goes even beyond that of her kin, delving into the mysteries of herself and that which life covets. Besides, she is fairly stubborn to match and was quite enjoyable to write about in that aspect.
LLM: Are there any similarities between you and your characters?
RH:I would like to think of myself as resembling Amarya, for she is a portrait of utmost dignity, diligence, and honor. She knows where she stands in the world, and she wishes for all to be united in Llathala’s realm (Llathala being the land in which Empyreal Fate takes place). Not only does she hold the moral code for her people, but she lives by what she believes to be right – even when the path is not easy. Yes; she’s a lovely elven woman to marvel at.
LLM: Favorite Scene or quote from your book?
RH:The scene in which Amarya meets the golden child (I will be listing no specifics other than that) is perhaps one of my favorites. I thoroughly enjoyed writing that piece, and it goes beyond the realm of the ordinary, for the child is more than she seems (again, I shall say no more about that here). The exchange between the two characters, and the enlightenment discovered in their conversation, holds much appeal for me. I certainly hope the readers find the same beauty in the meeting as I found while writing it.
LLM: If you could be a character in a book, which book and what character?
RH:Goodness – which book and who to choose? That’s a tough one to answer indeed. Sometimes I feel like a pirate; other times, a Jedi. And sometimes I feel like being a dragon – any creature other than human. Therefore, I’m afraid I cannot select just one work or one figure. I’d like to be them all at some point in my life.
LLM: Has a character surprised you by doing something totally unexpected? If so, can you tell us what or which character it was?
RH:Assuming you are not talking about one of my characters from Empyreal Fate (for yes, my own characters surprise me at times), I would have to say that, again, there are so many works to choose from, and simply picking one is difficult. I have read many works with surprising twists, turns, and actions, but I cannot think of one that stood out above the rest. You gave me something new to ponder about, however… *taps chin in thought*
LLM: When you're not writing, what do you do to have fun?
RH:I delve into all aspects of art: from singing to painting to drawing… And I connect with the divine, embracing Nature’s serenity and the beauty of the universe - whether that be through yoga, meditation, kayaking, or simply walking around the block.
I also enjoy puzzles of all kinds as well as role-playing games. Most of all, however, I take the time to read. There is truly no greater creation of mankind than the tapestry of printed words.
LLM: What is a question that you wish interviewers would ask, and the answer to that question?
RH:Is there a message in your most recent novel that you want readers to grasp?
I hope readers are able to look beyond the mere mortal contrivance of words and grasp instead the deeper meaning within: the depths of the soul and the meaning of virtue. I want to share an invigorating tale, yet I also want to inspire and incite intrigue toward the human psyche. Listen to the pattern of words – yes… but also take away the ambiguity of life: the divine essence within us all. Read and awaken. Immerse yourself in words; do so with every book your eyes devour.
LLM: Choose only one. If you could choose between invisibility or the ability to fly, which would you choose?
RH:Ah – both are great abilities to have, but I would choose to fly. It allows for a greater way of observing the world – a new perspective, if I may. I would love to fly above the ocean or over mountains, across planes and over forests… There is just so much to see in life, and I couldn’t imagine a greater way than from a distant height – so unlike the view we achieve each day. Yes, a wonder indeed.
Blog | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads 
About the Book
Genre: Fantasy
First in the series, A Llathalan Annal
Amazon | Hydra Publications
Filled to the brim with forbidden love, an ancient evil, and a nation in disrepair, Empyreal Fate is a tale of riveting bravery and mortal corruption.
The land of Llathala lingers on the brink of war between men and elves, a dark history surrounding each race. Stirred by tensions of the land, a shadow of the past reemerges, taking precedence in reality and consuming the very soul of mans’ mortal weakness. Darrion, the son of a poor laborer, is ensnared in a hostile world, forced to choose between loyalty to his king or the counsel of the elves.
Yet Fate has other plans in store, tying his course to Amarya, an elven royalblood of mysterious quality and unsurpassable beauty. But this forbidden connection incites betrayal from members of their own kin, marking them as traitors to the crown. In a land torn asunder, only Fate’s decree can allow such love to coexist with an ancient enmity.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Check out the Wanted Readers!

I've started a new group blog called the Wanted Readers, still working on a few things but we have already starting posting to the site. Feel free to stop by, comment and join us as we round up books, authors and loads of fun!

Tell us what you think!

Review:Spectral by Shannon Duffy

Author: Shannon Duffy
Title: Spectral
Publisher: Tribute Books
Publication: April 10, 2012 
Audience: 14 and up 
Genre: Paranormal
Source: Tribute Books/Author
Rating:4 out 5 
Where to Buy: Amazon
Website | Blog | Goodreads |Twitter | FB

Convinced she’s a part of the witness  protection program, sixteen-year-old Jewel Rose is shuffled  around the globe with her family like a pack of traveling   gypsies. After arriving at lucky home twenty-seven, she stumbles   upon a mysterious boy with magical powers claiming to be her guardian . . . and warning of imminent danger. Despite the   obvious sparks between them, Jewel discovers a relationship is  forbidden, and the more she learns about dark, brooding Roman,  she begins to question who she can even believe — the family who raised her, or the supposed sworn protector who claims they’ve been lying to her all along.

        As she struggles to uncover who her family has really been running from, she is forced to hide her birthmark that reveals  who she is. With new realities surfacing, unexplained powers  appearing, and two tempting boys vying for her heart, Jewel battles to learn who she can trust in an ever growing sea of lies, hoping she’ll make it through her seventeenth birthday  alive. 

They either want her dead or they want her power.Constantly on the run from an unknown source, Jewel never questioned her parents motives, and if she did, she never really got an answer. All she knows is that she has had more names and identities than she can stand and this time she feels she should know the truth. So, when she overhears her family talking about her being the Spectral, and that if she knows too soon bad things will start to happen, she becomes determined to find out what that means. Jewel is an interesting character, but I think I liked her even more at the end, because she became more badass. For most of the story she is unsure of her worth mostly as she feels that nobody truly wants her but they want to use her. She begins to doubt everyone even Roman, who claims to be there to protect her. I feel like the characters were good, and the romantic interactions between Jewel and Roman were so sweet. There really isn't a love triangle, even as the other male interest, Chase tries to gain her attention, he just doesn't stand a chance against his competition. He is not as much of a dynamic match for Jewel as Roman. The flow of the story was fine, it balanced out well with the combination of mystery, romance and action. This book is full of secrecy and deception and I really liked it.

Thought on the Cover: I really love it. The designer did a great job with it. I admit this is what initially drew me to this book, but the story kept me there.
                                                                      Author Bio:
Shannon Duffy writes young adult and middle grade fiction. She grew up on the beautiful east coast of Canada and now lives in Ontario, Canada. She is the mom of one boy, Gabriel, her angel. She loves writing, reading, working out, soccer, and the sport of champions-shopping. She is the author of the young adult paranormal romance, Spectral. Her upcoming middle grade fantasy novel, Gabriel Stone and the Divinity of the Valta is scheduled for a January 2013 release. 

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Monday, May 21, 2012

Check out my Review: Goddess Test by Aimee Carter on Lost in Fiction

Author: Aimee Carter
Title: The Goddess Test
Series:  Goddess Test #1
Publication: April 19,2011
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Genre:YA paranormal
Pages: 304
Audience: 14 and up
Rating: 5 out of 5
About the Book
It's always been just Kate and her mom—and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate's going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear her mother won't live past the fall.Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld—and if she accepts his bargain, he'll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.Kate is sure he's crazy—until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she'll become Henry's future bride, and a goddess.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Review:Endure by Carrie Jones

Author: Carrie Jones
Series: Need #4
Publication: May 8, 2012
Publisher:Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Genre: YA Fantasy
Audience: 12 and up
Goodreads Summary
It’s all-out war (and no-holds-barred romance) in the climactic conclusion to Carrie Jones’s bestselling series.
Zara is at the center of an impending apocalypse. True, she’s successfully rescued Nick from Valhalla, but it simply isn’t enough. Evil pixies are ravaging Bedford, and they need much more than one great warrior; they need an army. Zara isn’t sure what her role is anymore. She’s not just fighting for her friends; she’s also a pixie queen. And to align her team of pixies with the humans she loves will be one of her greatest battles yet. Especially since she can’t even reconcile her growing feelings for her pixie king . . .
Unexpected turns, surprising revelations, and one utterly satisfying romantic finale make Endure a thrilling end to this series of bestsellers.

My Thoughts: Zara has been through so much in this series and has grown because of it. Now, a pixie she is stronger and able to contribute more to the fight to save the world but the one reason she became a pixie, Nick thinks of her as a monster without a soul. Instead of Nick realizing the sacrifice she made for him, he walks around all angsty and distant towards Zara, but as soon as Astley is near her, then he becomes a jealous jerk. He is thinking only of himself and not about how much they all have lost. Astley is more patient, caring and he is there for Zara even though it hurts him because he knows she loves Nick. The relationship between Zara, Astley and Nick is important, however it seems that finding out Zara's role in the upcoming apocalypse takes precedence. The author weaves Norse mythology into the tale, though I think it would have been fine without it. However, the mythology helps Zara understand her role in the prophecy and why she is the chosen one. I thought the random news flashes before each chapter added to the urgency and intensity of the book as Franks' pixies wreck havoc in Zara's town. They have become more bold and less wary of the need to keep the secrets of their world from the humans. Zara and her friends take this opportunity to help the humans fight back against these tricky, yet deadly pixies and plot to not just sit and wait for the fight to come to them but take it head on...the only problem, they have no army big enough pull it off. Good read, though sometimes when I've read the final book in a series, it always feels a bit rushed and this gave me that feeling. It is a nice end to great story and I am satisfied with how things eventually played out.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Review: The Anit-Social Network by Sadie Hayes

Title: The Anti-Social Network
Author: Sadie Hayes
Series: The Start-Up #2
Publication:October 22, 2011
Publisher:Backlit Fiction
Genre: Contemporary
Source: Author
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Review: Short, sweet and craving more. We meet back up with Adam and Amelia three months after they have begun their company Doreye and we find out that they are being blackmailed by their former foster parents to embellish money for them. Already feeling the strain from being in the limelight Adam struggles to find a solution to the blackmail without involving Amelia, while also hiding his relationship with Lisa Bristol and adding to that his stress about Tom, the head of the start-up incubator that houses the Doreye project, replacing him as the second half of the company. That is a huge load on him and it is weighing him down. Amelia is so engrossed in her coding that she is missing out on experiencing the college life and she begins to make an effort to step outside of her comfort zone and ask Sandeep, who is another start-up participant, out on a date. Well, her bubble gets popped when he declines her offer because he has a girlfriend. He has obviously been sending her mixed signals but Amelia copes fairly well with the news though she is emotionally devastated but it gets even better when she finds out who he is dating. I'll never tell. So, here I am left hanging yet again right when things just became really interesting, must read the next one. Great read told from various viewpoints, though this does not hinder the pace at all.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Review: The Start-up by Sadie Hayes

Title: The Start-Up
Author: Sadie Hayes
Publication: October 16, 2011
Publisher:Backlit Fiction
Genre: Contemporary
Source: Author
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

About the book
When a college freshman's breakthrough software program catapults her into the limelight, she and her twin brother must navigate a treacherous world of money, power, and envy: Silicon Valley.

Killing me with the cliffhangers but in a good way. Even though, this book was short it had great plot and character development. The fast paced dialogue sucks you into the deception, corruption and greed. Hayes knows what she is talking about and you can garner from reading the text that she is an expert on the topic. Set in Silicon Valley, Twins Amelia and Adam have had a hard life growing up in foster homes and never having anyone to truly rely on but themselves. A scholarship to college has provided them with an opportunity of a lifetime. Adam is so innocent and susceptible to corruption, he wants so much to be rich and famous. He feels that they deserve it and that Amelia has to key to make that happen but is being selfish with her computer programming skills. Amelia is content to just live her life coding and has no desire to become caught up in the world of money and power but when events cause her to make an enemy of the Mr. Bristol, a rich powerful man that has his hand in just about everything in Silicon Valley, and things take a turn for the worse.Now, having lost their scholarships, Amelia must grab the devil by the horns, forsaking her moral compass and start a company to save them both. Though nothing comes without a price....literally more money, more problems and Amelia and Adam have no idea how much this new venture is going to cost them in the end. I absolutely love this series, it's such a compulsive read.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Review: Torn by Stephanie Guerra

Author: Stephanie Guerra
Publication: May 15, 2012
Publisher:Marshall Cavendish
Genre: Contemporary
Audience: Young Adult, 15 and up
Rating: 3.5 out 5
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Stella Chavez is your classic good girl: straight As, clean-cut boyfriends, and soccer trophies . You’d never guess that Stella’s dad was a drug addict who walked out when she was a kid. Or that inside, Stella wishes for something more.
New girl Ruby Caroline seems like Stella’s polar opposite: cursing, smoking, and teetering in sky-high heels . But with Ruby, Stella gets a taste of another world—a world in which parents act like roommates, college men are way more interesting than high school boys, and there is nothing that shouldn’t be tried once.
It’s not long before Stella finds herself torn: between the best friend she’s ever had and the friends she’s known forever, between her family and her own independence, between who she was and who she wants to be. 
But Ruby has a darker side, a side she doesn’t show anyone—not even Stella. As Stella watches her friend slowly unravel, she will have to search deep inside herself for the strength to be a true friend, even if it means committing the ultimate betrayal.

Thoughts: Stella just lost her best friend and it seems she is looking for a new one and in walks the tornado Ruby, who is everything she is not. Ruby is of the world and Stella just exists in it. It seems that Ruby is a bad influence and Stella just goes along with it doing things she never thought she would;sneaking out late at night, drinking and dating college boys. She wants so much to be liked and therefore she treads the line with her current friends and others groups she just skirted the surface with, not really belonging to one group. Well needless to say Ruby is the great divide and Stella now has to choose where her loyalties lie...with those she considers to be her friends or this new adventure with Ruby. Well the decision may just be taken out of her hands as she becomes an outcast in school when word gets out that her bestie is dating a man twice her age. Struggling with the decision on how to save Ruby without losing her forever, Stella must learn to trust in herself and what is right. The plot was intricately woven to display the dynamics of all the relationships and how the interactions and outcomes shaped the people they would become. Overall, good read about loyalty and friendship.

The Characters:
Ruby: She is wild and misguided. She has too much freedom to being emotionally, mentally and physically destructive to herself. Her mother figure could careless what she does and she is more of a place setting in the book....basically just sits there and does nothing. And it seems that Ruby's choice in men stems from her daddy issues, and from her step-mother. 
Stella: Has a more quiet, introverted nature. Also has abandonment issues with a daddy that did drugs, and left but she also has a strong mother in her life. Though she has to be a mother to her brother and sister as well. So, not much of a chance to really be a child but she is not as out there as Ruby. I think that is why she is so drawn to her because she is straight forward and blunt and that's an honesty she hasn't experienced. She is used to people being false and Ruby is fresh, new and she flocks right to her. 
The Males: No hot and steamy here, they are not very good men. Self-absorbed, and dangerously sadistic(well the old pervert is). 

Cover: Love it, the angle of the image and graphics are great!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Streamline by Jennifer Lane

Title: Streamline
Author: Jennifer Lane
Publication: March 27, 2012
Publisher:Omnific Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Audience: Young Adult, 16 and up
Rating: 3.5 out 5
Source: Author, Blog Tour
 Seems like Leo Scott has it all: looks, brains, and athletic talent. He’s captain of his high school swim team with a bright future in college and beyond. But Leo has secrets. His mother’s crippling car accident has devastated his family and left Leo to deal with his father’s abuse, battered and alone.
Leo’s girlfriend Audrey Rose is poised for her own share of success. As one of Florida’s top high school swimmers, Audrey dreams of college swimming stardom. But there’s an obstacle to her glorious rise to the top. Her number-one supporter--her father--is in prison for murder.
Part murder mystery, part tale of young love in a military family, this gripping story takes readers on a journey from Pensacola to Annapolis. Leo and Audrey must band together to rise above the adversity they encounter and find their true selves in the process. When everything’s on the line . . . streamline. 

My Thoughts:
Violent, painful and angry. This is what I feel from the book but also the power of love and healing. Leo is a very dynamic character, he has many levels beneath the surface. He is good person inside, who has to struggle with the emotional, physical and mental turmoil that being abused can cause. The constant, if I just do what I'm told and be good, he won't hurt me again.This is not an excellent way to motivate a child, when you take away the love and the safety that a child needs and turn that into frequent violent, destructive and insensible outbursts, who does the child turn to?What does that child become? In Leo's case, he found love and solace with Audrey Rose and swimming but he also must struggle to figure out who is and not allow the sins and abuse of his father to consume and define him. The plot for this book covered a number of topics from murder, rape, teenage pregnancy, drug abuse, physical abuse and a few other things. I think it was too many things to try to focus on in one book though each idea sort of flow into the one another. For me this slowed the pace of the read for me as well as the intensity of the abusive scenes that made me have to pause a couple of moments.

There are several different story paths, some complete and some that left me hanging. The two story plots that left me a bit confused are the one dealing with military personnel Roland Drake, who I was thinking was involved in the murder that Audrey's father is accused of committing but he appears about one or two more times and then his story kind of drops off. Then one point Mr. Rose said something along the lines of he lost two grandchildren and I was wondering did he cheat on his wife Joanne and is Audrey Cam's sister. Cameron is the love interest of Leo's brother Jason. Now the character that is the most complex and sinister is Mr. Scott, you will have mixed emotions of anger, sympathy and possibly rage. His abusive behavior is incomprehensible but it is easy to identify where his behavior originates from because of his anger at the loss of his parents and upbringing in the foster system. His foster parent dealt him a firm hand and he learned this behavior and therefore feels that this is the best way to make his sons better than him. He is a ticking time bomb that his family never knows will completely explode and destroy them all. So, to cut this short...heartbreaking, sad and emotional read about love, loss and redemption. As this covers a truly deep subject matter, I recommend this for teens 16 and up.

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