-->

Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy Last Day 2012: What are you reading?


Considering the holiday last week, I don't think I did too bad on my reading. Two out of five isn't too bad. Of course, as I went through my emails, I found new review requests waiting for me. So my list is ever-expanding. That's what I love about reading for reviews, it opens my reading horizons so much, its amazing. I get to read all of these wonderful books that I would have never been exposed to otherwise.
So thank all of you wonderful authors and publishers that contact me to review. I truly love taking the time to read your books!
This week's list:

  1. The Moon Dwellers by David Estes: This one has been on my list for awhile and I feel guilty about not having the time to have read it sooner. 
  2. Dirty God: Jesus in the Trenches by Johnnie Moore (from Book Sneeze, I'm sure they're impatiently waiting for this review)
  3. The Insurgent's Journal by Don A Martinez
  4.  Medusa's Desire by EB Black
  5. The Lady of Chains and Other Stories by V. Shaw
  6. The Lamp by Stephanie Jackson

Friday, December 28, 2012

REVIEW: Heiress Without a Cause


Title: Heiress Without A Cause
Series: Muses of Mayfair #1
Author: Sara Ramsey
Published Date: February 26, 2012
Publisher: Spencerhill Associates Ltd
Format: ebook
Pages: 288
ASINB007CK70ZY
Copy provided by: Netgalley
Genre: Historical romance
Add to: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon
Rating: 3 stars

Goodreads synopsis: HEIRESS WITHOUT A CAUSE is the story of William “Ferguson” Avenel and Lady Madeleine Vaillant. Both are unhappy with their lives. Madeleine dreams of the freedom to express her creativity on the stage. She has had enough of making her bows in ballrooms knowing her orphan status and shyness as a debutante mean she’s unlikely to make a match. Ferguson, a third son who fled England in disgrace and wants nothing to do with his family’s heritage, is thrust into his responsibilities as Duke after the tragic loss of his brothers, and his father’s recent and sudden death. 
Ferguson has convinced the seemingly proper Madeleine to chaperone his two sisters in their first season, knowing that if he’s to marry them off, he must distance them from his own unsavory reputation as well as the rumors about their family. When he discovers Madeleine has been hiding behind an assumed name and men’s attire to act on the London stage, he knows it will only cause more gossip among the ton if his plans suddenly change. Besides, Madeleine’s role is about to end. She has just a few performances left, and he’s desperate to conclude his responsibilities in London and return to his self-imposed exile. When Madeleine is blackmailed into continuing her role as Hamlet, Ferguson contrives a plan to help her pull it off. 
It all seems simple enough. But the Duke hasn't counted upon an enemy from the past, determined to destroy him, whose revenge will inadvertently bring down Madeleine at the same time. He also didn't expect the stakes to go up—now they risk losing a future together if they can’t carry off their charade.

My review: I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I wasn't too impressed by this book. It seemed much too cookie-cutter Historical Romance (HR). I've read some HR's that have had me in tears, or biting my nails, hoping the characters would get together, or overcome their adversity, or misunderstanding. Unfortunately, this wasn't one of those.
The characters seemed dry and dull, though they were  well-described. There was no investment in them for me. I had no emotional repertoire with either of the main characters, Ferguson or Madeleine. At one point, I was actually hoping that Madeleine would get caught so that the story line would pick up just a little. 
The story line was probably the only semi-redeeming factor to the book, and even then, I found it much too easy to put the book down and eventually come back to it. 
Ultimately, if you're going to read this book, get it from the library.

Feature and Follow Friday #5


To join the fun and make new book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:
  1. (Required) Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Hosts {Parajunkee & Alison Can Read}
  2. (Required) Follow our Featured Bloggers
  3. Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing. You can also grab the code if you would like to insert it into your posts.
  4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say "hi" in your comments and that they are now following you.
  5. If you are using WordPress or another CMS that doesn't have GFC (Google Friends Connect) state in your posts how you would like to be followed
  6. Follow Follow Follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don't just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don't say "HI"
  7. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love...and the followers
  8. If you're new to the follow friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!

Q: What book do you think everyone should read? If you could gift the entire population with one book?


WHAT?! I have to pick only ONE book?!! How can I possibly pick just one book? *stops freaking out and takes a deep breath* Okay, let me think...The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings....no not The Lord of the Rings, that was a trilogy, that can't count...Ender's Game, A Wrinkle in Time, To Kill A Mockingbird, The Complete Works of Shakespeare, Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman, Wizard of Oz, Wicked....
How can I pick? Its like expecting me to choose which child to save if the house was burning down!
Okay, since I just watched the movie, and its such an awesome book....I'll pick....


And if you haven't seen the trailer for the first of the movies (yes, Peter Jackson made three movies out of the book):


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

REVIEW: Advantage Erin by Kris Kreisman


Title: Advantage Erin
Series: none
Author: Kris Kreisman
Published Date: Aug 22, 2012
Publisher: unknown
Format: ebook
Pages: 140
ASIN: B008ZQU1R8
Copy provided by: author
Genre: sci-fi YA
Add to: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon
Rating: 3 1/2 stars

Goodreads synopsis: Erin's mom is driving her crazy. Especially about tennis. Erin is good and enjoys the game. But it's not her fault she's not the megastar her mom claims to have been when she was Erin's age. If only there was some way to get Mom to understand...
Spring break arrives, which means a visit to Grandma and Mom's old hometown. Grandma is eccentric, but she's also cool and understands Erin's frustrations. And she can help. By taking Erin on a visit to Mom's old high school. Not Mom's school today. But Mom's school as it was in 1970.
Erin experiences the trip of her lifetime. Back in time, where she struggles to fit in with a bunch of kids who never heard of the Internt or laptops or cell phones. Where she meets some very cool kids. And one not so cool kid named Catherine. Now known as Mom. 
Talk turns to tennis, and inevitably the challenge is made and accepted. And they play the tennis match of the century. Erin had repeatedly heard how Mom was undefeated. Now was her time to do something about it. They battle hard until, in unexpected fashion, it's over. But when she returns to the present Erin learns the truth about her Mom. And Mom learns some lessons as well. 
Enjoy Erin's thrill ride, her fun, her excitement, her anxiety. And discover how her trip to the past changed her present.

Review: I received this book by the author in exchange for an honest review. 
This book was just okay for me. I liked Erin, and as I look at my own daughters, really hope that I never become as overbearing as Erin's mother was to her. 
It was interesting to see how the trip back helped Erin become more understanding of her mother, and showed how one person's actions or words can truly have a ripple effect down through the years. I was constantly questioning though, why was the whole idea behind her mother's knee injury even told in such detail if it never occurred in the story while Erin was back in 1970. I kept expecting it at every turn, especially during the match-up. 
The ending was most likely the best part for me. I really enjoyed it and it left the story with a sense of deja vu. 

Monday, December 24, 2012

REVIEW: Closure by Kim Carmichael

Closure

Title: Closure
Series: none
Author: Kim Carmichael
Published Date: November 23rd, 2012
Publisher: Hot Ink Press
Format: ebook
Pages: 134
ISBN 139780615729619
Copy provided by: friend
Genre: erotica
Add to: Goodreads 
Purchase: Amazon **warning: 18+ audience, with sexual content
Rating: 4 1/2 stars

Goodreads synopsis: There's always the one…
He's one person throughout life you think about every so often, the one who leaves his unique indelible mark on you, the person with whom you need closure.
For Margaret Collins that person was Mike Taylor. After he broke her heart seventeen years ago, she left everything she knew and reinvented herself. With a new home, a new look and a new name, Riley Williams is now an up and coming journalist given the assignment to interview a Mike Taylor. She never suspected he would be her Mike Taylor.
With Mike having no hint of Riley's true identity, she must decide if she will make him pay for sins he doesn't remember committing, or if she can wipe away the past and be with the one man who she has always wanted?
Can she finally have closure?

My review: I received this book in exchange for an honest review. 
We've all got that one person from childhood or our teenage years. That "what if" person. This book explores that idea....what if you came across that person years later? What would you do?
I loved this short story. I empathized with Riley as Margaret. True, I wasn't the wanna-be Goth, but I was the painfully shy geek who preferred to have her nose in a book than to sit around gossiping about fashion and boys. But now Riley has her life together when she finds herself interviewing that person, her "what if" person.
I enjoyed how the author switched back and forth from Riley's point of view and memories to Mike's point of view and memories. Without that, it would have been so easy to demonize poor Mike. 
The sexual chemistry and scenes between Riley and Margaret were hot. I finished this book in one sitting, and really enjoyed it!

Merry Christmas...What are you reading?


So last Monday I had a list of 6 books, and somewhere during the week, I started adding new books into it to catch the end of the year. Let's look at what got accomplished: the first 4 books on the list read and reviewed. The books I wanted to add into the mix are also read and reviewed (A Woman's Guide to Reading the Bible in a Year and Closure by Kim Carmichael).
But its a new week, which means a new list! The ones I didn't get to last week are bumped to the top:
  1. Advantage Erin by Kris Kreisman
  2. The Moon Dwellers by David Estes
  3. Heiress Without A Cause by Sara Ramsey
  4. Dirty God: Jesus in the Trenches by Johnnie Moore
  5. The Insurgent's Journal by Don A Martinez
Uncle Jimmy wouldn't want me to focus on him not being here, but I just can't. 

It's been two years, I still miss you.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

REVIEW: Dinétah Dragon by Don A Martinez

Title: Dinétah Dragon
Series: Phantom Squadron #2
Author: Don A. Martinez
Published Date: February 23, 2011
Publisher: Desert Coyote Productions
Format: ebook
Pages: 290
ISBN139781456431075
Copy provided by: author
Genre: paranormal fiction
Add to: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes and Noble 
Rating: 3 1/2 stars

Goodreads synopsisIn 2015, the author discovered by accident a budget accounting for a mysterious Special Forces team operated solely by the CIA. In questioning its origins, he was put in contact with Ariel Sharpe, one of the team's members, who agreed to meet with him in a secret location to share her story.
Ariel's life is one of isolated existence, both physically in the Arizona desert and emotionally from her surrounding peers. The isolation becomes even greater when she volunteers for a secret government project, only to wind up bound to a genetically engineered dragon, complete with the scaly complexion and beastly abilities. When she escapes this sinister experiment she crosses paths with a Navy man who steers her into Special Forces.
This team of professional soldiers, all of which embody legendary archetypes, becomes her new family, a place where she truly feels welcomed among people for the first time. The team's adventures in the shadowy supernatural world, though, hold the fate of the entire world in the balance, culminating in their final mission to stop Armageddon itself from commencing in the place where Ariel's story first began, the deserts and mesas of the American southwest.
Through pain and joy, through suicide attempts and vicious fighting, Ariel survived to tell her tale. Learn how she not only reached a peaceful existence ... she truly earned it.

My review: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. 
At first I was a little leery of reading this book. The first book of the series, The Advance Guard, had not really impressed me all that much, and I was afraid this series would go the way most series go.....downhill, with the first being the best. My biggest complaint in the review of the first book was the lack of character development. And now I understand why.
The second book is all about Ariel, whom, as I read this book, truly became the soul of the group. One character referred to her as the heart of the group, but I disagree. She's the soul. She's the one who seems to feel the deepest, empathizes the most, and brings emotions (good and bad ones) deepest into her. 
Now I wonder....will the next be about one of the other characters? Will we finally get to know more about the shrinking mage, Cyrus? My curiosity is piqued enough for me to really want to read the next book!

REVIEW: A Woman's Guide to Reading the Bible in a Year


Title: A Woman's Guide to Reading The Bible in a Year
Series: none
Author: Diane Stortz
Published Date: Jan 1, 2013
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Format: ebook
Pages: 144
ISBN: 9780764210730
Copy provided by: NetGalley
Genre: Christian
Add to: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes and Noble
Rating: 4 1/2 stars

Goodreads SynopsisA Unique, Relational Way for Women to Read the Bible in a Year 
Many women feel overwhelmed at the thought of reading the Bible in a year. Diane Stortz found that it is not only possible but life-changing. Her journey from initial reluctance to excitement about reading the Bible will inspire readers to try it for themselves. 
Part of a women's group that read through the Bible each year for ten years, the author discovered the value of reading the Bible to get to know God better rather than viewing it only as a book to study. This guide will give women tools to read and discuss the Bible together, drawing them closer to God and each other. 
Includes a week-by-week reading plan, discussion guide, lists of what to look for, and motivational quotes.

My ReviewI received a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Net Galley can be found at http://www.netgalley.com.
I originally asked for this book because the new year is almost upon us....once we get through Christmas. Even though I have gone through 7 years of Catholic education, was an altar girl for 3 years, and could consider myself Catholic for 10 years of my life, I haven't ever read the entire Bible. As a reader, that would make it high up on my Reading Bucket List (if I had one). 
This was a really quick, one day read, and I can't wait to start into my Bible-reading journey of 2013. The way the author presents it, its not a dry 3 chapter a day Bible reading plan. Though I don't quite understand the why's behind the reason of switching back and forth in some weeks between Old Testament and New Testament, at least I won't get bored.
It appeals to my sense of ADD that I sometimes get reading a book, and she introduces what's happening during that historical period with an interesting language. 
Even though this is my first "Read the Bible in a Year" plan that I've come across, it seems like it is one of the better ones.

End of the year race


Alright, so we've all survived the "end of the world" that everyone was predicting with the end of the Mayan Long Calendar. I disagree in the popular translation of it, but let's move on.

Books! So I had a list of 6 books that I wanted to read and review this week. I've completed 2 of them, and within 100 pages of finishing the third. The question is.... do I move on to book #4, or try to fit in 2 other books that I want to get read before the end of the year? I feel like I'm running under an avalanche of books by the end of the year....

Friday, December 21, 2012

Feature and Follow Friday #4

To join the fun and make new book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:
  1. (Required) Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Hosts {Parajunkee & Alison Can Read}
  2. (Required) Follow our Featured Bloggers
  3. Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing. You can also grab the code if you would like to insert it into your posts.
  4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say "hi" in your comments and that they are now following you.
  5. If you are using WordPress or another CMS that doesn't have GFC (Google Friends Connect) state in your posts how you would like to be followed
  6. Follow Follow Follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don't just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don't say "HI"
  7. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love...and the followers
  8. If you're new to the follow friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!

Q: What have you learned from book blogging that you didn't know before about the publishing industry?

I'm probably dating myself by typing this, but when I was writing (read: 20 years ago in high school), there really was no self-publish, unless you had a ton of money. So when I started book blogging, and getting ARCs (another new one for me) for reviews (what? you mean you'll give me your book to read for free and all I have to do is write a review? -- another new one!), I was completely blown away.
Now, I love reading all these awesome (and some not so awesome) books and letting people know about them.

Swept Into The Darkness Book Blast starts today!

Swept Into The DarknessSwept into the Darkness (Chronicles of the Celestial)

Sydney London is no ordinary twenty-four year old. Ever since she was a child she has had unique out of this world abilities. Suffering from a near death experience and surviving a deadly car crash Sydney is no stranger to death and loss. Cut off from the world around her she encounters an Angel and eventually falls for him inspired by deceitful magic. Her one true love awaits in the shadows attempting to guard and protect her by risking his immortality. Traumatized by the murder of her best friend she sets off on an unspeakable journey to bring the dead back to life. Sydney's journey of self discovery opens her up to learn of her true angelic identity. She is led in the middle of an inter dimensional war among a hybrid breed of Angel Vampires and the Hierarchy of the Angelic clan. Will her unique powers and the love she bears for her guardian be enough for her to save the Earthly Realm or will she be  Swept into the Darkness?



Purchase Swept Into The Darkness Kindle | Paperback | BN | Smashwords

About Author LaTaeya Lane

Years of exposure within the writing and publishing world have made a lasting impact on Author LaTaeya Lane. Writing since she was seven years old, Lane began jotting down phrases and themes later turning them into poems and short stories. Writing became such a passion throughout her youth that she became the Junior and Senior editor of her High school newspaper. She wrote her first novel at age sixteen but was not seeking publication at that time in her life. Lane entered several creative writing contests during her early years of writing and won a few of them. Always captivated by the supernatural and elements of fantasy, Lane was inspired to write a series of books that focused on going beyond the boundaries of life and imagination. The angel vampire fantasy "Swept into the Darkness" is Lane's first published book in a series called "Chronicles of the Celestial." Lane completed a degree in social Sciences and currently works to support the education of special needs middle school students. Lane resides in the state of New Jersey with her husband Leo and is working on writing a publishing the second book in the series.
Follow LaTaeya Lane Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads
 Tour Prize in an Amazon Kindle.
Open to US/ Can residents a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Closure Book Blast starts today!

Closure

ClosureThere's always the one… He's one person throughout life you think about every so often, the one who leaves his unique indelible mark on you, the person with whom you need closure. For Margaret Collins that person was Mike Taylor. After he broke her heart seventeen years ago, she left everything she knew and reinvented herself. With a new home, a new look and a new name, Riley Williams is now an up and coming journalist given the assignment to interview a Mike Taylor. She never suspected he would be her Mike Taylor. With Mike having no hint of Riley's true identity, she must decide if she will make him pay for sins he doesn't remember committing, or if she can wipe away the past and be with the one man who she has always wanted?

About Kim Carmichael

Kim CarmichaelKim Carmichael began writing eight years ago when her love of happy endings inspired her to create her own. She has a weakness for bad boys and techno geeks, and married her own computer whiz after he proved he could keep all her gadgets running. When not writing, she can usually be found slathered in sunscreen trolling Los Angeles and helping top doctors build their practices.

Follow Kim Carmichael Website | Facebook | Twitter

Purchase on Amazon




Follow the Tour Kim Carmichael is offering two HUGE Prize packs.
Open to US residents 18+ Fill out the form below to Enter!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, December 17, 2012

925 Ideas to Help You Save Money Book Blast!

 

Get Out of Debt and Retire A Millionaire So You Can Leave Your Mark on the World

925 Ideas to Help You Save Money, Get Out of Debt and Retire A Millionaire So You Can Leave Your Mark on the World from the author of the highly acclaimed book, Your Mark on the World, is a collection of articles about family financial planning that originally appeared at FamilyHow.com. 925 Ideas... is an easy and readable guide to help your family find financial peace. Author Devin D. Thorpe explains: 1) how you and your spouse can find agreement on money matters, 2) how to teach your kids about money, 3) how to pay for your children's college education, 4) how to live like a millionaire 5) how to come up with $25,000 in a crisis 6) how to make ends meet on one income 7) how to get out of debt and stay out of debt 8) why home ownership should be your family's top financial priority 9) how to ask your boss for a raise 10) how to use your finances to do more good in the world.

Get the book on Smashwords FREE or Amazon for only $0.99

Purchase Your Mark on the World on Kindle / Paperback / Nook / Smashwords
Follow Devin D. Thorpe
Blog: YourMarkOnTheWorld.com
Facebook.com/YourMarkOnTheWorld
Twitter: @devindthorpe or #yourmarkontheworld
Newsletter Sign Up: http://bit.ly/NLQBn6
Do you have a question for Devin D. Thorpe? He set up a page to help you! "Ask me anything page" Head over and get advice from a Financial Adviser!
The tour prize is an Amazon Kindle (GC equivalent) and 5 winners of Mark of the World and 925 Ideas to Help You Save Money, Get Out of Debt and Retire A Millionaire So You Can Leave Your Mark on the World. Everyone can download 925 ideas for FREE from Smashwords! Fill out the for below to enter! Open Into for Digital and US for Print. a Rafflecopter giveaway Follow the tour!

REVIEW: Mark of the Witch by Jessica Gibson


Title: Mark of the Witch
Series: Boston Witches #1
Author: Jessica Gibson
Published Date: May 29th, 2012
Publisher: self-published
Format: ebook
Pages: 192
ISBN1475119836
Copy provided by: friend
Genre: fantasy
Add to: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes and Noble
Rating: 4 stars

Goodreads synopsisMagic flows through Jillian Proctor's veins as surely as blood, but so far her life outside Boston has been peaceful. William Morgan blows into Jilly's life like a hurricane, unleashing her magic and sending her out of control. Unknowingly, William brings an enemy who only wants to posses the power of the witch. Jilly must learn to harness her magic before she loses it - and everything in her life is destroyed.

My review: I have the second book of the series on my nook, waiting for review. I had started it and realized it definitely was not one of those stand-alone books in a series. I'm so glad I got a chance to read this book. It's awesome. It sort of reminds me of my old favorite TV show, Charmed. 
I liked Jilly because she wasn't whiny. I liked Caroline because I could relate to her pain in ending her marriage. And William's just a sweetheart. The action is good, and I can't wait to read the next!
There are only two things I can complain about this book. First is location. The book is set in Boston, and we know that only because we're told once or twice in the book. No references to where in Boston, no street names. Yes, I live near Boston, so it would have been nice to see that. Are they in Boston-Boston? Are they in Dorchester, Cambridge, Somerville? There are woods around the house so could they be living where I am, in a suburb near the Middlesex Fells Reservation?
And the last thing is a niggling thing. It's the Coke they drink. Growing up down in New Orleans, I drank Coke all the time. When I moved to Boston, I had to drink Pepsi. Its almost as if Coke doesn't exist up here. Yes, you can get it in the stores, but hardly anyone buys it. 



It's Monday! What are you reading?

After a week of spending the entire week on one book, I was feeling pretty overwhelmed last Monday on my TBR list. However, I'm glad to say that I read 4 of the 6 books on my list, and I'm ready for a new week! The reviews have all been written and posted (some scheduled for the future day the tour will be hosted here). The only bad part is that while I read four books, I also added three or four books to the pile.

So this week, I'm looking at this list of books to be read:

  1. Mark of the Witch by Jessica Gibson
  2. Chasing the Witch by Jessica Gibson
  3. Dinetah Dragon by Don A Martinez
  4. Within by Clare Marshall
  5. Heiress Without A Cause by Sara Ramsey
  6. The Moon Dwellers by David Estes
Silly me, I also signed up to read A Woman's Guide to Reading the Bible in a Year. Even though I went to Catholic school for 8 years, and was an altar girl, even though I am NOT in any sense of the word religious, I still find it reprehensible that I haven't read through the entire Bible. That's going to be one of my goals for 2013.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

A post of rememberance



Today I was going to write a review or maybe a week in retrospect kind of post. But after the absolutely senseless evil that occurred yesterday in Connecticut, there is the need to take a moment, a single post and send up a prayer for all of the victims, and those affected by this.
As a parent, I was horrified. As a parent of two children that age, I was grief-stricken. I can't even imagine, I don't want to imagine, the awful reality of how these parents' lives are right now.

So, in case you haven't, go hug your children, and be grateful for every single minute you have with them, even when they have you at your wits' end. My kids now are wondering why I have been hugging them so much since yesterday afternoon.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Feature and Follow Friday #3


RULES

To join the fun and make new book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:
  1. (Required) Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Hosts {Parajunkee & Alison Can Read}
  2. (Required) Follow our Featured Bloggers
  3. Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing. You can also grab the code if you would like to insert it into your posts.
  4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say "hi" in your comments and that they are now following you.
  5. If you are using WordPress or another CMS that doesn't have GFC (Google Friends Connect) state in your posts how you would like to be followed
  6. Follow Follow Follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don't just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don't say "HI"
  7. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love...and the followers
  8. If you're new to the follow friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!


Q: What is the last book that made you cry? Tell us about the scene...

Oh boy. The last book that made me cry, really made me bawl was Grieving God's Way by Margaret Brownley. Christmas Eve will be two years since Uncle Jimmy passed and it's just not enough time. The book itself should be read one page a day, its written to be read like that. Because I was reading to review, I sat down and tried a marathon reading session.

It didn't work very well.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

REVIEW REDUX: The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa



Title: The Lost Prince 
Series: The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten 
Author: Julie Kagawa 
Published Date: Oct 23, 2012 
Publisher: Harlequin Teen 
Format: ebook 
Pages: 379 
ISBN:0373210574 
Copy provided by: NetGalley 
Genre: YA, fantasy 
Add to: Goodreads 
Purchase: Amazon 
Rating: 4 1/2 stars 

Goodreads synopsis: Don’t look at Them. Never let Them know you can see Them. That is Ethan Chase’s unbreakable rule. Until the fey he avoids at all costs—including his reputation—begin to disappear, and Ethan is attacked. Now he must change the rules to protect his family. To save a girl he never thought he’d dare to fall for. Ethan thought he had protected himself from his older sister’s world—the land of Faery. His previous time in the Iron Realm left him with nothing but fear and disgust for the world Meghan Chase has made her home, a land of myth and talking cats, of magic and seductive enemies. But when destiny comes for Ethan, there is no escape from a danger long, long forgotten. 
My review: I received a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Net Galley can be found at http://www.netgalley.com. I have the first 4 books of the series on my nook but haven't found time to read them yet. I always put some other book ahead of them. Oh my gosh, how could I have done this?! This book was absolutely amazing. I loved it! I'm actually going to have to take a few weeks off of all my other books and just read those four books. I don't think I can think of anything bad about this book, maybe I did find Ethan to be a little whiny, but as a teenage boy, I completely understand his point of view. I never read the first four books, so I was a little biased against Meghan, but I couldn't hate her. Grimalkin is my favorite character hands-down. He's hilarious, a typical cat. My favorite line from the book was from Leanansidhe..."Unless you want to find yourselves in a dragon's lair or the wrong end of a witch's bargain, it's never a good idea to annoy the cat." I think my own five cats would agree with the sentiment. Ultimately, I can't wait to read the first four books.

REVIEW REDUX: The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

Title: The Iron King
Series: The Iron Fey
Author: Julie Kagawa
Published Date: February 1, 2010
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Format: ebook
Pages: 280
ISBN: 1426847807
Copy provided by: myself
Genre: fantasy, YA
Add to: Goodreads
Purchase: Barnes and Noble
Rating: 4 1/2 stars

 Goodreads synopsis: Meghan Chase has a secret destiny--one she could never have imagined... Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school...or at home. When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change. But she could never have guessed the truth--that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face...and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

Review: A few weeks ago, I reviewed The Iron Prince by Julie Kagawa for Netgalley. I've had the first four books on my Nook for months now but never got around to reading them. I loved it so much that I swore that as soon as my immediate TBR pile was down to nothing, I would read The Iron King. I finally got around to it! I was not disappointed. The action, the scenes, the characters, were all written in great detail.  In fact, the very last 1/3 of the book had to be the best. As soon as Puck, Meghan, and Ash walked out of this whale:
   

 I knew I had fallen irrevocably in love. So what's so important about that whale? It comes from:
As a New Orleans native, and literally living next door to this massively gorgeous park (City Park) in Mid-City while I grew up, I probably crawled through that whale's mouth countless times. I climbed many of those ancient oak trees that Julie Kagawa writes about in such wonderful detail.
Yeah, I'm in love.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: #1


"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

I just got approved to read and review two books (hey I figure I've read two and reviewed them, so I can add two more, right? ;) ):

From NetGalley: 



The SynopsisOne title to change his life...
A disgraced son with a dark reputation, William “Ferguson” Avenel is content to live in exile – until his father dies in the scandal of the Season. With rumors of insanity swirling around them, his sisters desperately need a chaperone. Ferguson thinks he’s found the most proper woman in England – and he won’t ruin her, even if he secretly desires the passionate woman trapped beneath a spinster’s cap.
One chance to break the rules...
Lady Madeleine Vaillant can’t face her blighted future without making one glorious memory for herself. In disguise, on a London stage, she finds all the adoration she never felt from the ton. But when she’s nearly recognized, she will do anything to hide her identity – even setting up her actress persona as Ferguson’s mistress. She’ll take the pleasure he offers, but Madeleine won’t lose her heart in the bargain.
One season to fall in love...
Every stolen kiss could lead to discovery, and Ferguson’s old enemies are determined to ruin them both. But as their dangerous passion ignites their hearts and threatens their futures, how can an heiress who dreams of freedom deny the duke who demands her love?


And from BookSneeze:


The SynopsisIn "Dirty God: Jesus in the Trenches," Johnnie Moore draws on both Scripture and his extensive experience with other cultures and religions to show how the God of the Bible is unique in his willingness to be near us in all of our messiness. Moore outlines the central importance of the doctrine of grace while introducing readers to a humble and human Jesus who reaches out to us at our worst and pulls us up to our best.

Grace, Moore argues, is something that is both gotten and given, and the two-part structure of the book allows readers to explore both of these dynamics. By offering hope rather than condemnation and showing the practical applications of grace in today's world, "Dirty God" will appeal to both the committed Christian and the spiritual seeker looking for a more authentic faith. Challenging and engaging, "Dirty God" is sure to establish Johnnie Moore as an emerging voice for Millennial and Gen-X evangelicals for years to come.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Rite of Passage Book Blast

Rite of Passage

Rite of Passage

"Descended from a line of powerful witches, Courtney Wellington embodies the Wiccan Goddess who must fulfill an ancient prophecy to keep the growing powers of evil at bay. At the Summer Solstice, she must marry, and she has chosen Robert McGregor for her mate. But Courtney's plans never included falling in love with him. Robert McGregor, Harvard Law student and society favorite, has the world within his grasp-until he meets Courtney. Irresistibly drawn to her, Robbie is soon bewitched by the lovely, vulnerable girl, despite his misgivings about who-or what-she really is. But her identity is stranger than he could ever imagine. To fulfill the prophecy Robbie must abandon all he holds dear, but when Courtney is kidnapped, he realizes he will sacrifice everything to save her. Can the power of their love triumph over the evil forces bent on destroying them?"

 

Purchase on Amazon or Book Strand.

 

Author Bio: Kevin V. Symmons Bio

Kevin Symmons has been a successful business owner, consultant and fund-raiser. In addition to undergraduate work in business and the arts, he studied at the University of Poitiers in France and the New England Conservatory before completing his Masters Degree. An avid reader, student and author of numerous professional pieces, in recent years he's devoted his energies to novel writing. In collaboration with award-winning screenwriter and playwright Barry Brodsky (of Emerson and Lesley University), one of Kevin's original stories has been transformed into a screenplay titled "Fear on Every Side". Kevin teaches creative writing at the Massasoit Community College's main campus in Brockton and their satellite locations in Canton and Middleboro, Massachusetts. He's a sought-after public speaker who thoroughly enjoys being one of the small minority of men engaged in romance writing. He is also serving his fourth term as President of the Cape Cod Writers Center. "We're a respected non-profit that currently boasts more than 400 members from all over New England. At CCWC we're passionate about helping writers at every stage of their career," Kevin says, describing their mission. An active member of the National Writers Union, Romance Writers of America and Mystery Writers of America, he enjoys the resources these professional organizations provide, has been a presenter at their regional conferences and contributor to their magazines. His new paranormal romance novel, Rite of Passage, was published by the award-winning Wild Rose Press in late summer 2012 and has garnered dozens of five star reviews. His contemporary romantic thriller, Sanctuary should be released in summer of 2013. He is active on social media and can be found on Facebook, @KevinSymmons on Twitter, his author pages on Amazon and Goodreads or at his website: www.ksymmons.com. The giveaway consists of a prize pack containing:
  • $25 Starbucks card
  • Special Author 2013 Calendar
  • 1 Book - paperback of RITE OF PASSAGE

    Open to US Residents. Fill out the form below to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, December 10, 2012

REVIEW: The Advance Guard by Don A Martinez


Title: The Advance Guard
Series: Phantom Squadron #1
Author: Don A Martinez
Published Date: May 25th, 2011
Publisher: Desert Coyote Productions
Format: ebook
Pages: 212
ISBN0012924180
Copy provided by: author
Genre: mythological fantasy
Add to: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon
Rating: 3 stars

SynopsisOver the course of history, a team of four supernatural agents has been assembled for a Black Ops team unlike any other. 
The Guardsman : ageless paladin knight. 
Cyrus Salem: immortal shrinking wizard. 
Kitty Lazarus: woman warrior in a cat's body. 
Ariel Vibria: modern dragon with a tortured soul. 
Both separately and together, these agents will face down an enemy of immense evil, with the fate of the world itself possibly in the balance, rising above their differences and individual traumas and coming together to face Sheol, a demonic matriarch hiding within one of the holiest sites in Europe. 
Each agent has his own concerns. Is being the Guardsman worth the sacrifice of childhood Ken Sharpe made to be the paladin? Will Cyrus continue to shrink throughout history? What purpose does the Hindu god Durga have for Kitty? What will happen if the secretive government project that produced Ariel comes to search for their missing experiment? 
Do they have a chance against Sheol?

Review: Something was just missing here, and I think it was background. There's more than enough background on Ken, but unless I read the blurb, I couldn't understand that he was really a Paladin. Just a knight with a really cool sword. Cyrus, there's no background on him. I'm hoping I get more background on him in the future books. He's just a weird magical guy who shrinks (which begs the question, when will he shrink to nothing?). Kitty and Ariel were the best characters. I felt most for Ariel, and while in the beginning I started to really like Kitty, I got no real feel for her afterwards. 
I'm holding out hope there's more character development in the next books. 

REVIEW: Fire Prophet by Jerel Law


Title: Fire Prophet
Series: Son of Angels #2
Author: Jerel Law
Published Date: ARC, expected publish date Dec 11, 2012
Publisher: Thomas Nelson Publishers
Format: ebook
Pages: 256
ISBN139781400318452
Copy provided by: author
Genre: YA religious fiction
Purchase: Amazon
Rating: 4 stars

Fire Prophet


Goodreads synopsis: What if you could actually see angels and fallen angels engaging in battle--and you were expected to join the fight?
It's been one year since Jonah Stone and his sister, Eliza, discovered that their mother is a nephilim, the product of a union between a human and a fallen angel, which makes them and their little brother, Jeremiah, "quarterlings," or one-quarter angel. After embarking on an epic journey to rescue their mother and the other nephilim, who were kidnapped by fallen angels, the Stone kids have enjoyed a little peace and quiet.
But when Jonah and Eliza are attacked by fallen angels at school, they learn that quarterlings all over the world are being targeted, and separating them from their parents is the only way to keep them safe. The kids undergo special training to help them discover their own unique angelic gifts, which come in handy when they embark on a mission to find a mysterious prophet who they believe holds the key to Abaddon's defeat in a massive battle between good and evil.
Parents today are looking for fiction that makes Christianity and the Bible exciting for their kids. This series is the first Christian answer to Percy Jackson and the Olympians, the Kane Chronicles, the Secret Series, and other middle grade series packed with adventure, action, and supernatural fights. But the message is solidly scriptural in that God alone is always in control.

Review: I received a copy of this book through BookSneeze in exchange for an honest review. 
I really enjoyed reading this book. It was a quick, easy read that was filled with action and adventure. It had a decidedly religious theme that I didn't find too overwhelming. If anything I found the way the religious theme was presented as very accepting. I liked how some of the other of the quarterlings were shown as not having a very strong religious background. 
Even though I haven't read the first book of the series, and I really want to now, the background information wasn't too confusing. It was a book that you could almost read alone, but I really don't want to. I've fallen in love with Jonah, Eliza and their little brother, Jeremiah. 
It was actually a book that made me see the Bible in an interesting manner  I may just want to take the Bible in our home down off the shelf its been in and open it for the first time in 20 years or so because of this book. 

It's Monday! What are you reading?

Another week has passed, and I am happy to say that I have finished and reviewed the really long book, The King of the Winter by Andy Monk. I'm hoping that the books in front of me are not quite 500+ pages long, because that will take me a week a piece to read! At a week a piece, that will last me until March. So, this week's books will be:

  1. Fire Prophet by Jerel Law (from Net Galley, and I need to bump this one up to read now)
  2. The Advance Guard by Don A Martinez
  3. Village of God by Frederick Hosen 
  4. Chasing the Witch by Jessica Gibson
  5. My Invented Life by Lauren Bjorkman
  6. Within by Clare Marshall
These are all based on close up-coming blog tours / interviews. If you've contacted me about reviewing your book and you don't see it on the list, don't worry, its on there, just below these.


Sunday, December 9, 2012

REVIEW: The King of the Winter by Andy Monk


Title: The King of the Winter
Series: In The Absence of Light
Author: Andy Monk
Published Date: 9/9/2012
Publisher: author self-published
Format: ebook
Pages: 694
ASIN: B00988N75U
Copy provided by: author
Genre: historical paranormal fiction
Purchase: Amazon
Rating: 4 stars

The King of the Winter (In the Absence of Light Book One)


Goodreads SynopsisThe road has brought him home.
Running from a broken heart and the hangman’s noose he followed the road across Europe; searching for happiness in a pretty girl’s smile, the turn of a card and the depths of a brandy glass. Instead he became a womaniser, and then a thief living behind a charmer’s mask until, finally, the road ensnared him in insanity and murder. 
It is 1708, the Age of The Enlightenment, and, in the shadow of the nearly completed St Paul’s Cathedral, Caleb Cade has returned to London a broken man; incapable of love and terrified of the grave, his only friend the half imagined ghost of his dead brother.
The road has now brought him home for there is nowhere left to run and his only hope of redemption is to find the man he might have been.
Haunted by his own ghosts and demons, he relives the events that led to him fleeing England twenty years before whilst trying to make sense of the selfish wasted life he has lived.
He is befriended by a fellow libertine who shows him that not only is it still possible for him to feel love, but that he could also free him from the grave and the clutches of The King of the Winter who has been waiting patiently for him for so many years.
When love and immortality are snatched from his grasp his friend is revealed to be a monster even more broken by love than Caleb. Although he knows what he felt was just a vampire’s trick, what price would he pay to feel such love again…

My Review: I was given a copy of the book by the author in exchange for an honest review. 
Caleb....poor Caleb, he's such a tool! What a manipulating user of women! Gambling, drinking, womanizing tool. That's what he is. And yet I like him. I want him to be better, to get better, to be more than he is. I think I would have disliked him more if he was going after more than one woman at a time, thankfully he wasn't, because I would have cheered at some of the bad stuff that happened to him. 

This was a really long book, but the detail that was put into it was amazing. I liked it because you could tell a guy had written it. It was a paranormal book about vampires, but that wasn't the focus of the book entirely. The vampires weren't the normal sparkly, romantic, seductive swoon-over types of vampires that we've become used to through Twilight and Lestat. No, the vampires were what they most likely really should be: hunters and users. This book portrays them closer to the original Dracula and yet, not quite so romanticized.

The whole book had a very dark feel to it. This isn't the Age of Enlightenment that I'm used to reading about in romance novels, where all the "bad stuff" like bad hygiene and the lack of proper sewerage containment and thievery is just ignored. No, this book brings it all to the forefront, so if you can't handle the dark side of what life was like back then, don't read the book. 

The twists in it I couldn't foresee and they completely took me by surprise. Overall, its a great book, just very very long.

.post blockquote { margin : 0 20px; padding: 10px 20px 25px 20px; background : #9FCFFF url(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7wsQzULWIwo/SwhrYyb3PiI/AAAAAAAACRU/DyY1rOVnl_k/s400/block22.gif) no-repeat right bottom; font: bold .9em "comic sans ms", arial, Helvetica,verdana, Georgia; color : #484848; border: 5px dashed #fff; } .post blockquote p { margin: 0; padding-top:10px; }