Friday, April 29, 2011
17-year-old Vicky Hernandez has a big problem. She's dead. Or not quite. After discovering she's been turned into a vampire, she tries to settle into a quiet suburb of Chicago and return to a normal life. If only she could stop wanting to bite her boyfriend. Not to mention she is dying to find out who turned her, and why. She doesn't have to wait long before they come to her. ~From GoodReads
Bloody Little Secrets is a soon-to-be released book written by Karly Kirkpatrick. I was lucky enough to recently receive an ARC from the author.
Bloody Little Secrets gets off to an intriguing start: "I never feared the dark until I became part of it." The main character, Vicky, awakens in a coffin. She must quickly discover what has happened to her, and why. Karly Kirkpatrick has given a refreshing spin on what could have been "just another teen vampire book". This book is definitely more than that. How does a new, young vampire start over on her own? A lot of the books in this genre brush over the aspect of leaving the past behind. But Bloody Little Secrets does a good job of dealing with the pain of Vicky's former life. Vicky mourns the loss of her family, her old life throughout the book. One particular moment that struck me: "The skin was smooth, even smoother than when I had been alive, or pre-vampire. It's like my history had been wiped away."
Karly Kirkpatrick did an excellent job of creating an endearing and exciting teen protagonist. In the wrong hands, Vicky could have become whiny and annoying. Instead, she created a strong, take-charge heroine. Think Buffy the Vampire Slayer, if she were the vampire and not a vampire slayer! Vicky is surrounded by a wonderful pack of friends, starting with the boyfriend, Drake. They all feel important to the story, not an after-thought. The dialogue amongst Vicky, Drake and their friends is realistic, funny, and slightly biting (no pun intended, I promise!). There were parts towards the end where I was sitting in the corner, laughing out loud, hoping I didn't look crazy to my family.
At times, I feel like I've read every possible type of vampire book. But, I found Bloody Little Secrets to be a refreshingly well-developed, engaging book. The ending definitely left room for a sequel, or series. I loved Vicky and the gang and look forward to reading more of their adventures.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Elise had no idea when she came home that day that she'd end up mated to a complete stranger. A new Alpha and the need for an alliance between packs have made her a pawn in.... The Mating.
Ryne Taylor was a sexy bad-ass Alpha set on establishing a new pack. Melody Greene was a journalism student researching his work as a photographer or so she said. But could Mel really be trusted or had she stumbled upon his secret? And if she knew, could Ryne save himself and the pack he'd left behind without enacting a deadly ancient law known as The Keeping?
She discovered a dark secret, witnessed a murder and fled into the night fearing for her life. Three years later, Cassie is still hiding from her past, haunted by a dream lover and fighting to control a terrifying beast that seems to grow stronger each day. When Bryan, pack Beta, appears to claim her, Cassie is forced to face the truth of her existence. Innocence, betrayal, greed and love collide with ancient werewolf laws in... The Finding
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
- Grab your current read
- Open to a random page
- Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
- Be careful not to include any spoilers so as not to ruin the book for others!
I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of Bloody Little Secrets. An upcoming book by Karly Kirkpatrick. I haven’t gotten too far into the book, but I really like what I’ve read. And I know that I am only supposed to share two sentences, but I’m going to share a few more. Here’s my teaser:
“I never feared the dark, until I became part of it. My eyes fluttered open, yet nothing seemed to change. Inky blackness swirled around me. A scream rose in my throat, but I quickly swallowed it. I pressed my eyes closed, hoping that when I opened them again, I’d be able to see something, anything. Nothing.”
Here’s the link to Karly Kirkpatrick’s site:
Monday, April 25, 2011
But it is a Happy Monday for the winner of the Meant to Be contest: Stepahlicious! Congrats, er, Stephalicious (I feel a little ridiculous even typing that!). You have won a Meant to Be tote and trading cards from the author, Tiffany King. You've also won a Meant to Be ebook from The Bookish Babes. I know you'll enjoy all your prizes.
I would like to thank each and every one of you who entered our very first contest. I was a little afraid no one would enter because this is a "baby blog". I should have known better because Tiffany King is awesome! This blog is already what we consider a "success" in no small part because of her.
So, to all who didn't win, please go enter the Dirty Blood contest. It is another awesome book that I know you'll love. Thanks to you all!
Saturday, April 23, 2011
Although Nina Decker’s father is one hundred percent human, her mother is not. She belongs to an ancient and rare race of people called the fae. But these fae are not those written about in fairytales, with pretty gossamer wings and fairy dust, no they are sinister, malevolent and unkind, dwelling in another realm called Nightfall. More prone to destroy than to create. Abandoned at the age of ten, to be raised by her father, Nina has never forgiven her mother for that or for ruining her father. A man of only sixty, he appears to be closer to eighty with a frail body and mind. He’s been fae-struck and is slowly fading away to nothing. This is one of the reasons why Nina has never gotten too close to any one man. She doesn’t want to seal his fate like her father’s has been.
But she can’t deny her fiery connection to Severin Saint Morgan, a sexy as hell werewolf and the alpha of the Vancouver wolf pack. He’s an Australian immigrant working at the university as an associate professor, and the publicized face of the werewolf species. He makes her blood boil with desire and makes her tremble with fear. But its only when her mother reappears with startling revelations about an upcoming war between the fae and the werewolves that Nina realizes that she may be a pawn for both sides.
First off, I just want to say that I think the cover of Glimmer is stunning. The fact that I found it so beautiful was almost reason enough to read it. Once I started reading, though, I found Glimmer instantly engaging. The dialogue between Nina, an ER nurse, and her coworkers is quick and witty. Nina is a smart, tough and easy-to-love character. I loved the fact that Nina was so strong and un-intimidated by anyone: her boss, her father, her fae mother, and especially Severin Saint Morgan.
Ah…Severin Saint Morgan. I have plenty to say about him as well. Severin is werewolf. What makes him even hotter is that he is an Australian werewolf. When I started reading about Severin, I instantly pictured Martin Henderson (who I think is from New Zealand, but, close enough for me!). The chemistry between Severin is instant and boiling hot. And wow! Vivi Anna can definitely write a fantastic love scene. I won’t go into the details, but, believe me, you will definitely need a cold shower afterwards. Here’s a small sample, my favorite passage from the book:
“He tasted how he looked. Wild. Sexy. Dangerous. Delicious. I could have kissed him forever and not ever tire of the flavor.”
Vivi Anna does a great job at descriptive narrative. The way in which she describes the transformation Nina undergoes into her “true self” is riveting. I found myself writhing a little as I read along. Vivi Anna also gave a great sense of the desperation Nina feels as she struggles with her transformation and deciding who she’ll trust.
The only criticism I have for Glimmer is that I felt it was too short. The story is not lacking or incomplete. But I was ready to read on into the next “phase” of the story, which I’m hoping will be a sequel.
So, if all that you’ve just read makes Glimmer seem like your kind of book, go check out Vivi Anna’s site: www.vivianna.net.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Portia Mullins had always lived the life of a normal teenager, up until her sixteenth birthday. She is then informed by her grandma that she is actually a witch who is a descendant from a long line of witches and warlocks. After overcoming her disbelief she finds that being a member of the coven comes with one great perk in the form of the school's handsome bad boy, Vance Mangum. Vance and Portia have an immediate connection as a budding romance begins, only to be threatened by turbulent skies on the horizon as Vance's checkered past rears its ugly head to haunt them. Portia is forced to use her untried powers in defense of everything she loves in a desperate attempt to hold on to the one thing that really matters in her life. ~From GoodReads
The Trouble with Spells is the first book in the Of Witches and Warlocks series by Lacey Weatherford. The book centers around Portia, who discovers she is a witch on her 16th birthday. On the same day, she learns that Vance, the hottest guy in school, is a warlock who belongs to the same coven. The book begins with Vance's point of view. Any book that starts with a sexy, mysterious guy has a fighting chance with me. I felt that the best parts of the book included Vance. I really liked when Vance's past is revealed, bit by bit. I found myself skimming over a lot of the minute details of Portia's day-to-day life, always ready to get back to Vance. Which leads me to a teeny problem I had with the storyline.
Shortly after connecting, things move fast for Vance and Portia. Very fast. Vance starts spending nights with Portia, in her room, in her bed. I had a hard time believing parents of a teenager would let her boyfriend sleep in her bed every night. Even if they are "bound" and decide to remain abstinate. But to the authors credit, Portia's mom does express concern with the situation and has "the talk" with Portia. Also, there were times when the narrative began to feel a little young for me.
Now that I've gotten that out of my system, let me say what I did like about The Trouble with Spells. This was a very, very sweet love story. The chemistry between Portia and Vance is so hot. When Lacey Weatherford describes their passionate kisses, I swooned a bit myself. I did love the devotion they had for each other. The book also had great drama. When Vance's trouble past comes crashing into the present, the drama, danger and mystery is ramped up. I don't want to divulge spoilers, but the last few chapters had me gasping and gaping.
In fact, the last few chapters of the book were so great that I can not wait to read book two in the series, The Demon Kiss. As of now, there are four books in the series. As long as they are all as good as The Trouble with Spells, you can count me in!
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
“It doesn’t matter.” She answered quietly, still staring at the ceiling. What he was apologising for she was unsure. For mating her? For the inevitable pain the first time brought? For the fact that she was now bound to him for the rest of her life, despite her love for another? Perhaps he was sorry for all three, yet they were as beyond his control as they were hers. She swallowed hard. “It couldn’t be helped.”
“No, it couldn’t,” he agreed.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
No one escapes fate without sacrifice, but is the price more than Carly is willing to pay
In the Storm is a novella that almost reads as a diary. I felt as if I was being told, not shown what was happening. That is not the style of writing that I particularly love to read. Therefore, I had a difficult time becoming engaged in the story. Having said that, as I got further along, I found it harder and harder to stop reading. I don't know if that is because I became invested in the story or that I was determined to hash through the confusing details of Carly's "storm world". And believe me, when the world is explained, it becomes very confusing.
There were some things that I did really like about In the Storm, though. Karen Metcalf does an excellent job of giving the imagery of the storm world. I found myself visualizing the trees, the angry sky and waves. I felt the raindrops. I felt Carly's despair. Metcalf also does an excellent job of building suspense. I found myself reading at a frantic pace throughout the second half of the book. All the while, I had a building sense of dread. The book has a very heartbreaking, haunting end.
In the Storm was for me, a very disturbing look at abuse. In saying that, I'm not saying "Don't read this. It's upsetting". I whole-heartedly believe that abuse is a subject we should all be conscious of, even when not directly affected. This book made me more sad than anything. But, as I write this, I realize this very haunting, sad book will stick with me for quite some time.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
"He stared down at me for a long moment and then, slowly, his arms came around me so that his hands were tangled in my hair. He lowered his face until it was inches away from mine and then stopped, watching me with a question in his eyes. I held my breath and waited."
This is a fabulous book! I'm reading it so quickly, wanting to see what happens next.
Sunday, April 10, 2011
A selfish twin enchantress unwittingly sentences the world of Lor Mandela to its untimely death. Only one can save it—the appointed Child of Balance, Audril Borloc—But how can a small child solve a prophetic riddle that baffles even the wisest adults? And who will save Lor Mandela when, shortly after her fourth birthday, Audril disappears without a trace?
Audril Borloc must be found. When a group of spies travel to Earth looking for the little girl with black hair and bright blue eyes—traits that on Lor Mandela are exclusive to the ruling Borloc family—they find sixteen-year-old Maggie Baker. While the age difference between the girls is obvious, Maggie has the Borloc traits—evidence enough for the desperate spies.
Following an earthquake that no one feels but her, Maggie’s mundane existence is launched into a thrill ride of twists and turns as she begins bouncing back and forth between her hometown of Glenhill, Iowa and the strange and diverse lands of Lor Mandela. Amid battling a ferocious two-headed beast, being abducted by a lawless band of Shadow Dwellers, and falling head-over-heels for the captivating son of an evil warlord, Maggie soon discovers that her blasé reality could be the real fantasy, and that the world of Lor Mandela might just be hers alone to save.
Saturday, April 9, 2011
Most teenage girls have teenaged problems, like what to wear to prom and did I remember to shave my legs before gym? Seventeen year old Alina has all those problems, and a whole lot more. The list does tend to get longer when you’re an alien. An alien empress, to be exact.
Number one on Alina’s problem list is her desire to fit in and feel accepted, without having to hide any part of her true self; something she’s never quite been able to do on Earth. Also on that list are the Shadows, a race of dark and ugly monsters that attacked her home planet ten years ago, killing her parents, and still search for her now, to wipe out the last survivor of the royal family.
A moonlit walk in the forest changes everything. She is discovered, by more than one being from her galaxy, and has to run for her life with a Shadow close on her trail. Her new protector – a talking wolf – whisks her to the safety of his planet, to regroup and maybe figure out a way to destroy the shadows. Unfortunately, Alina soon finds she’s only traded one danger for another.
I have found myself typing and erasing my opening sentence over and over. Why? Because I love Across the Galaxy so much, I didn't quite know where to start. I want to enthuse how much I enjoyed this book, but I don't want to sound like a blabbering idiot. So, I'll do my best to control myself. But I can't make any promises!
Across the Galaxy is a beautifully descriptive book. Author Heather Hildenbrand does a terrific job of placing the reader into the scenery. While reading of Arizona, I felt myself visualizing the terrain, the orange and red of the sky, the heat. As I was taken 'across the galaxy' into each ensuing world, the imagery given made each planet feel real. The animals, trees, grass, water; every detail was given its due. True escapism at its best.
Each character in the story, beginning with Alina, is set up in a realistic way. Their emotions, reactions, the conversations were all believable. I felt as if I got to be a part of the characters getting to know one another. There wasn't any of the "insta love" I've read in a lot of books. When Alina meets Ander, also a native to her home planet, they actually take the time to get to know one another in a real way. That was very, very refreshing. But as they do get to know each other, that chemistry is smoking hot!
The plot of Across the Galaxy had an excellent pace. I never felt as if it was rushed. The story was layered. Each new turn of events was a nice, new piece to add to the puzzle. The plot kept building, bit by bit, throughout the book. I felt as if Hildenbrand was constantly weaving the threads of the story together. Little things that I didn't note as tremendously important throughout the story would wrap back into it later. I constantly found myself saying "Oh, that's why she/he said or did that!" I love that the author didn't just lay everything out in a neat row.
The editing of Across the Galaxy was excellent. I'm a bit of a "grammar freak", driven insane by poor spelling or word usage. The writing was clean and conversational, never redundant.
What I loved the most about Across the Galaxy is that I never guessed exactly what was going to happen. I was just going along for the journey and where that would take me. I hope each of you take that journey, as well. You won't regret it.
"But sitting here in the daylight, staring at the most gorgeous guy I had ever seen, I thought two things. First, I was kidding myself to even think the whole 'never left alone' rule would just wear off with Peter, and second, if my babysitter looked like this, maybe I didn't mind so much."
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Callie is shocked when she is ripped from her home in the middle of the night. She is taken to a city that she never knew existed only to find that she has a strange connection to her sexy captor. To top it all off, he tries to convince her that she is not even human. She learns that she is actually a fairy. Not just any fairy, but a fairy who has been destined to become queen of the fairies.
The only problem is that the current queen is a cruel tyrant and Callie will have to fight for the title that she was meant for. She is not completely convinced that this is a life that she wants to live. She would love nothing more than to go back to being the normal human girl that she always thought that she was.
When tragedy strikes, Callie finds that she no longer knows who she can trust. She must learn to survive on her own in a harsh underground world.
She finds herself dealing with the struggles of life and love for the first time. Two gorgeous guys, a bunch of new friends, and a whole new world. Will it be more than she can bear?
I have to start by saying, I love a good fairy book. My love started with Holly Black's Tithe series. So when I found this book, reading it was really a no-brainer for me. So, here's what I thought of Stay.
Stay is a nice fantasy read. C.C. Jackson did an excellent job of setting the scenes for her story. When she described the underground fey world., I was all but transported there. I could almost smell the earth, feel the the moisture of the dank walls, feel the rush of the air as Callie learn to fly.
I love strong female characters. When Callie first learns about her secret heritage, she is hesitant to stay and learn to fight for what is rightfully hers. But as she becomes accustomed to the idea of being a fairy and retaking the throne, Callie learns she has strengths she never imagined. Following her on the journey was interesting. Does she have what it takes?
Now...there were a few thing about the book that slightly bothered me. For starters,the relationships between Callie and the two men she becomes involved with felt a little rushed. Callie seems to fall in love every time she is kissed. To be fair, she is supposed to have a special, life-long bond with one of the men, even though she has not seen him in many years. It has been a long time since I was a teenager. Maybe this is just the long-married cynic in me rearing it's jealous little head. This is a fantasy after all!
Another problem was that the Callie's training and confrontation with the Queen felt a little rushed. The buildup of the story was nice, but I felt that those sections of the story could have been expanded on. What came after the confrontation could have been much longer. Part of a sequel even.
I want to say that I did truly enjoy Stay. The things I liked about the book outweigh what I didn't by far. I hope a sequel is written so we can read the further adventures of Callie. Stay is a fun fantasy read and I encourage you to try it for yourself.
"But sitting here in the daylight, staring at the most gorgeous guy I had ever seen,I thought two things. First, I was kidding myself to even think the whole 'never left alone' rule would just wear off with Peter, and second, if my babysitter looked like this, maybe I didn't mind so much."
Nice teaser, huh? Check it out for yourself at www.heatherhildenbrand.blogspot.com
Friday, April 1, 2011
After a demon apocalypse kills their parents and everyone they know, 17-year old Abby Phillips, her brother, Carter, and friend, Max flee their home to travel through what has become the wastelands of America. When radio transmissions of a resistance offering shelter and safety cease, Abby is tempted to give up. Struggling to overcome life-threatening obstacles in their dangerous journey, Abby and her companions quickly discover there are much worse things lurking in the dark then they could have ever imagined.
There were so many elements to Realeased that appealed to me. For starters, I love an honest-to-goodness strong heroine. Abby is smart, tough, funny, and takes control of her own destiny. No hand wringing with Abby, only gun slinging. But, really, I liked all of the charcters in the book. Megan Duncan did such a great job of getting you in the characters' head and letting you feel their fear, desperation, and hope.
Another element that I liked was the pace of the story. Released pulls you into the action from the first page. The story speeds along, but not so much that it feels rushed. The suspense creeps up throughout until you're frantically reading, trying to find out if the characters make their destination. The action in the book is great. It is always used to progress the characters to the next point in their story. I almost felt like I was watching a great action movie.
I feel Released is a great book for the reluctant readers out there. In my life, that's men. There's enough action and speed to the story to appeal to them. The characters are smart and likeable. There's a little romance, but not so much that it would turn anyone off to the book. I plan on pushing this book on a few of the reluctant readers in my life.
On a note about the author, I think Megan Duncan has an exciting writing career ahead of her. I, personally, can not wait to see what she has next to offer.
"We watched the world around us crumble through the windows of our home and now we were walking through the rubble." ~from Released