Tuesday, January 31, 2012


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

This week's WoW selection is...
Social Suicide (Deadly Cool, #2)Twittercide [twit-er-sahyd]: the killing of one human being by another while the victim is in the act of tweeting.

Call me crazy, but I figured writing for the Herbert Hoover High Homepage would be a pretty sweet gig. Pad the resume for college applications, get a first look at the gossip column, spend some time ogling the paper's brooding bad-boy editor, Chase Erikson. But on my first big story, things went...a little south. What should have been a normal interview with Sydney Sanders turned into me discovering the Homecoming Queen-hopeful dead in her pool. Electrocuted while Tweeting. Now, in addition to developing a reputation as HHH's resident body finder, I'm stuck trying to prove that Sydney's death wasn't suicide.

I'm starting to long for the days when my biggest worry was whether the cafeteria was serving pizza sticks or Tuesday Tacos... ~From GoodReads

 I absolutely adored Deadly Cool. So when I found out Gemma Halliday had written another book starring the funny, amazing Hartley Featherstone, I was bouncing with excitement. I actually have an ARC of Social Suicide, but am waiting until closer to release to read it. I don't know how long I can hold out!

Paperback, 272 pages
Expected publication: April 24th 2012 by HarperTeen
You can preorder Social Suicide at:

Book Review ~ Unnatural Law (Darwin's Children, #2), by Natasha Larry

Seventeen-year-old Jaycie Lerner’s psychokinetic power surge is over, and her astounding powers are under control for the time being – sort of. As she struggles to maintain her humanity in the face of the awesome terror and responsibility of her abilities, she also yearns for the chance at a normal life – and a relationship with Matt Carter, the best friend she had to leave behind. But Matt’s got a few tricks up his sleeve, and he’s not about to give up on his feelings for Jaycie.

As Jaycie and her family grapple with the day-to-day routine of trying to keep their world together, Jaycie’s mother figure, Allison Young, endures a personal crisis of her own. The superhuman blonde possesses the physical equivalent of Jaycie’s awesome psychic power. So evolved, at ninety-two she still looks twenty. But what good is extended life when everyone else around her is so fragile? With no one to share her unusual life, she’s a uniquely lonely woman yearning for the romantic love she sees all around her. But in a dream she gets her wish – and it quickly turns to a nightmare for everyone else in her life. The memory of a rose is all she can hold onto in the storm of obsession that nearly sweeps her away.

Things quickly turn deadly for the vampires, but the Dey-Vah Guard fairies refuse to acknowledge there’s an imbalance in the nature they protect. As the danger gets ever closer to Jaycie and her family, the race is on to find answers before a secret plot can destroy them all. ~From GoodReads

Unnatural Law, by Natasha Larry, is a strong follow-up to book one in the series, Darwin's Children. Teen phenom Jaycie Lerner has been dominated by a surge in her powers, rendering her vulnerable to the overwhelming force of her own mind and body.  Her family, made up of her father and closest friends, lifelong and new, are coping with the fallout of Jaycie's surge, and there to help control her. Her closest friend-turned boyfriend, Matt, just wants to know what's happening to the girl he loves. Add in a mix of vampires and fairies, all vying for power and control, and you have a recipe for an exciting, powerful story!

When I first began this series last summer, I was very hesitant. This story reminded me of what the X-Men might be like. Well, what it might be like if I had actually watched the movies or read the comics. That type of story isn't always my thing. But the author's technique of  gradually building the fantasy elements into the plot, along with the conversational, easy tone of the story, quickly eased my fears and turned me into a fan of this series. 

To be honest, I was afraid of what would happen in Unnatural Law. I am a huge Jaycie fan, and was afraid of what would happen if she was no longer the focus of the story. And though a few characters, namely Allison, the closest person Jaycie has to a mother, do have larger roles, this series still has Jaycie as it's main focus. And, oh boy. I was so, SO happy Matt played a HUGE role in Unnatural Law! Guys is young adult fiction do not come any better than Matt. He's eerily almost perfect, but never annoying. Matt is tenacious when it comes to Jaycie and supportive to the max. Score one for the good guys! The growing relationship between Matt and Jaycie was my absolute favorite part of the book.

I said it before, when I reviewed Darwin's Children, and I'll say it again: This is a series that will appeal to your intelligence. The concepts Larry puts to work, regarding evolution and the abilities of the body, especially the brain, will appeal to those who love creativity and intelligence in their books. But believe me, it's written to be not as complicated as that sounds. So, if you like your books with heart and a huge dose of intelligence, this series is most definitely for you.

Favorite Quote:

"Jaycie looked up at the ceiling and laughed at all this new information. 'Now I have concrete, scientific data that says Matt is the perfect guy. Not just for me, but for every woman on the planet. The frickin' genesis.' "   (pg. 49)

Kindle Edition
Published October 26th 2011 by Penumbra Publishing
You can purchase Unnatural Law at:
*I received a copy of Unnatural Law from the author, in exchange for an honest review.*

Monday, January 30, 2012


Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along, just do as following:

·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.

Make sure to share the title and the author so other TT participants can add the book to their TBR piles.

This week's Teaser is from
First there are nightmares.
Every night Ellie is haunted by terrifying dreams of monstrous creatures that are hunting her, killing her.

Then come the memories.
When Ellie meets Will, she feels on the verge of remembering something just beyond her grasp. His attention is intense and romantic, and Ellie feels like her soul has known him for centuries. On her seventeenth birthday, on a dark street at midnight, Will awakens Ellie's power, and she knows that she can fight the creatures that stalk her in the grim darkness. Only Will holds the key to Ellie's memories, whole lifetimes of them, and when she looks at him, she can no longer pretend anything was just a dream.

Now she must hunt.
Ellie has power that no one can match, and her role is to hunt and kill the reapers that prey on human souls. But in order to survive the dangerous and ancient battle of the angels and the Fallen, she must also hunt for the secrets of her past lives and truths that may be too frightening to remember. ~From GoodReads

 My Teaser:

"If I was to be some kind of hero, how many people would I be unable to save? I couldn't even eat fries without dripping ketchup on myself. How could I be responsible for someone else's life when I couldn't be responsible for my own shirt?" (pg 87)

I'm reading Angelfire in prep to read/review Wings of the Wicked. I'm really enjoying this and will have my review up in a few days.

Hardcover, 453 pages
Published February 15th 2011 by HarperCollins / Katherine Tegen Books
You can purchase Angelfire at:

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Blog Tour ~ Shift (Protector, #2) by MR Merrick


Today is an exciting day at The Bookish Babes. I am so happy to be hosting the opening day of the SHIFT BLOG TOUR. MR Merrick, the fantastic author of SHIFT is here with a guest post about his writing process, but to be honest, I don't know how he finds time to write with all of the cereal eating and hashtag slinging he does! But anyway...stick around after the guest post for my review of SHIFT, book two in The Protector series.
What difference was there in writing Shift, versus Exiled?

Short Answer: Everything.

But I suspect you’re not looking for the short answer .

The first thing you should know is that I didn’t use an outline for Exiled. I just wrote, and I didn’t stop until I thought this part of the story was over. Writing by the seat of your pants is fun, in fact, it’s sort of a neat experience, but it makes for more work later. You have to go back and patch up plot holes you started but never took anywhere, and there’s a lot of smoothing out to do as far as character development. When you start writing without an outline, you don’t really know who these people are, but as the story progresses, the layers get peeled back. So writing without a plot, you experience the book much like a reader would; only the story is in its roughest form.                                                                                                                                  
With Exiled, I had to rewrite the dialogue and some of the actions of Chase for the first four chapters, because he became someone completely different as the story progressed. He took shape and turned into a “real” person. But, when I was done, there was still something that wasn’t there. The story was done, but it was missing a piece. I found it in the other dimension, Drakar, that Chase, Rayna, and Tiki travel too. I went back later and added a ton to that part of the book and it turned out to be the best part of the story – in my opinion. I added in the trolls, more of the scenery, and built the world up in a bigger way. I expanded the last chapter and rewrote the epilogue time and time again, until I truly felt the story was complete. Then it was a matter of editing and smoothing out the flow, wording, and pacing of everything to prepare it for the rest of the world.

With SHIFT, everything was easier. I had a detailed outline, so I knew the story before I started page one. The world – for the most part – had already been created, the rules were laid out, and I knew what needed to be done. I was a machine writing Shift. Multiple times I pushed out over 10,000 words in a single night, and to my surprise, most of them weren’t garbage. For anyone reading this who isn’t a writer, that’s A LOT.

I knew from some of the reviews of Exiled that readers loved to read about the other dimensions, and I loved writing about them. Before I started, I had already developed the new dimension for Shift. I’d already created the monsters in my mind, what they looked like, what they were capable of, and where they would be in the story. I knew from the general series outline what needed to be accomplished, I knew exactly what was going to happen to each character, and how the story would end.

My craft has improved so much since I published Exiled, that everything just seemed…easier with Shift. At least that’s what I’m telling myself. Maybe I haven’t gotten to be a better writer; maybe this story just came naturally to me. The one thing I learned from Shift is that for me, using an outline changed everything. That being said, when I start the new series that’s brewing in my imagination, I’m not sure I’ll use one for the first book. In writing SHIFT, I did struggle for a short while, because I was trying to the following the outline like a rule book. I had to stop that. The outline was my guide and sometimes, the story took me elsewhere. Once I let it, everything else fell into place. When I start the new series, I might have to let the words spill on the page until the story comes out, then go back and clean it up, like I did with Exiled. Or, I could write an outline and now that I know it’s just a guide, go from there. Which way things go has yet to be seen.

Thanks Andrea for letting me take over your blog today, and for being the FIRST stop on the SHIFT blog tour!

Thank you, Matt, for stopping by! It's always a pleasure taking a trip through your brain.

M.R. MerrickM.R. Merrick is a Canadian writer, and author of Exiled, the first installment in The Protector Series. Having never travelled, he adventures to far off lands through his imagination and in between cups of coffee. As a music lover and proud breakfast enthusiast, he's usually found at the computer, between a pair of headphones and in front of a large bowl of cereal.

Find MR Merrick at his: blog  |  Twitter  |  GoodReads

(The SHIFT synopsis contains an EXILED spoiler!!)
My review of EXILED

As Chase struggles to control his magic, his enemies are closing in. Everyone has staked a claim on his ring, and destroying it may be his only chance to stop Riley. But Chase must decide if stopping him is worth risking the lives of everyone he cares about, or if protecting the ring will be enough to save his world. ~From GoodReads

Attention: MR Merrick has done it again.

What's "IT", you ask? The "IT" to which I am referring is the fact the he has written another action-packed, exhilarating, tension-riddled monster of a book!

Main character Chase Williams is still reeling over the tragic event that marked the end of Exiled, book one in The Protector series. He is grief-stricken and bound by guilt, and most certainly not in a happy place at the opening of Shift. But even the loss he has experienced and the continuous revelations can bring Chase down. With the power he controls, his trademark wit, and his patchwork family, Chase Williams is never down for the count.
This family, the individual pieces that make the whole, are fun and amazing. Marcus, Chase's mentor, is struggling to lead and guide them down their dangerous path, all while battling his own grief and guilt. Willy, who seems to have stolen the readers' hearts (mine included), is back, and still the Willy we know and love, with a surprising, but very well-played, turn to his storyline. The change to Willy's story definitely becomes a game-changer and makes Willy more integral to the story than I would have imagined when I first "met" him. The two characters that I had the most fun with were Tiki and Vincent. I won't get into all of the reasons I enjoyed these characters, that's best left to the reading experience, but I will say that so many of the scenes with those two involved the so glamorous "snort-laugh" by yours truly.

My favorite character in Shift, hands down, was Rayna. This surprised me. I enjoyed Rayna in Exiled, but I loved her in Shift. She had already undergone so many painful events in her life before we met her. Now, she is fighting painful transformations. Transformations that can actually end her life. And as if her physical battles aren't bad enough, emotional devastation land at her doorstep, as well. Rayna became more "human" (for lack of better term) in Shift. I found myself crying on her behalf and actually wanting to fold her into my arms and take care of her. Now, that's not to say the girl has become a softy, no way. She is still quick with a retort, or a slap, if needed!

As for the storyline that unfolded in Shift. I couldn't even begin to cover it. I finished Shift two days ago, and am still reeling. Here's the deal. I'm not trying to brag, but I am very good at guessing what will happen in a story. It doesn't matter if it's a book, a movie, a television show, I am all over it and can predict what will happen no later than halfway through. I credit that to my soap opera upbringing. Predicting those story lines is insanity, and super fun. But back to the story. The Protector series has spun into directions I never would have imagined when I read Exiled last summer. I thought this series would be strictly the story of a young man's struggle to prove and redeem himself, while ridding the world of a few bad guys.

And it is that, but also so much more. The Protector series has become more developed and covers a broader spectrum than I could have ever imagined. There is a complete sense of world-building, the feeling that Merrick knows these characters through and through. That he has every little element of the worlds the series spans so thoroughly thought out and plotted, that you will not find those little mistakes or pieces that feel patched together you sometimes find in such a broad urban fantasy. Merrick seems to literally have all of his bases covered.

Shift took what was a nice beginning of an epic tale and blew it wide open. From the jaw dropping opening that had me cringing and clutching at my chest, through the energy packed (and very often, funny) plot, all the way to the ending that had me cheering and feeling as if I were teetering at the edge of a cliff, Shift has it all. Merrick has evaded the "sophomore slump" and has delivered a book that will have you devouring your book and wanting for more.

Favorite Quote:

" 'I've got no time for a demanding child and his girlfriend. Stand down.'
'Does this look like the army? This is my house, not your backyard, so don't try marking your territory here.' " (ebook, 26%)

ebook, 1st Edition
Expected publication: February 1st 2012 by M.R. Merrick

Author MR Merrick is giving one lucky reader a Shift ebook. To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment. I will choose a winner on Monday, February 6, 2011. Good luck!

The winner of the SHIFT Giveaway is:

M.E. Franco!!

Congratulations! I hope you enjoy Shift as much as I did!
* I received an eARC of SHIFT, in exchange for an honest review. *

Saturday, January 28, 2012

In My Mailbox, #24

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme created by Kristi at The Story Siren. It is a great way to put a spotlight on books received during the past week.

For Review:

Social Suicide (Deadly Cool, #...Because of Low

Because of Low, by Abbi Glines (Thanks to Abbi Glines)

Received in Trade:

Lock and KeySomeone Like You


OverprotectedFallen in Love (Fallen, #3.5)

Thanks for stopping by! 

Book Review ~ Incarnate (Newsoul, #1) by Jodi Meadows

Incarnate (Newsoul, #1)NEWSOUL
Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why.

Even Ana’s own mother thinks she’s a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she’ll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are suspicious and afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame?

Sam believes Ana’s new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana’s enemies—human and creature alike—let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else’s life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all?

Jodi Meadows expertly weaves soul-deep romance, fantasy, and danger into an extraordinary tale of new life. ~From GoodReads

Incarnate is the story of Ana, who depending on who you ask, is either a nosoul or a newsoul. In a world filled with souls who have been reincarnating for thousands of years, Ana is an anomaly. Burdened by anger and shame over her daughters soul status, Ana's mother, Li, raises Ana outside the city of Heart, the home of the souls. After enduring the first eighteen years of her life, emotionally and physically abused at the hands of her mother, Ana is ready to flee. To discover how and why she came to be. With the help of her rescuer and friend, Sam, the journey she undertakes will push her beyond greater highs and lows she could have ever imagined.

I want to start by saying I am at a bit of a loss over writing this review. I wanted to love Incarnate, to be swept away and overrun by the emotions in the book. I went into this book with a completely open mind, open to the unique world and fascinating possibilities.

But what happened was...I was a bit confused, and sometimes underwhelmed. I spent the first one hundred pages trying to get my bearings, to know exactly what was going on. I had questions. Where does this take place? Earth, another planet, an alternate dimension? When does it take place? The past, the future, an alternate parallel timeline? And the biggest question of all: Does it even matter (aka, why can't I just shut up and read)? With these questions swirling in my head, I had a hard time focusing on the story at hand.

In addition to the questions I just posed, there were a few more things I had a difficult time wrapping my head around. The Souls have been around for 5,000 years! Let that sink in a minute...I spent a lot of time trying to fathom the amount of identities they possessed. One life you're a man, the next a woman, fat/thin, handsome/ugly...my head hurts. Add in the fact that if you have a "soul mate", in one life they may be born within a few years of you; the next life you may be the same age as their grandparents.  Another factor that I didn't understand was the "Years". There were "Years of Song", "Years of Hunger", and several others. I didn't feel those were explained very well, so I wasn't able to follow along when they were discussed. In general, I felt the world-building in Incarnate was less than complete.

The characters and their relationships to one another are what made Incarnate a likable read, for me. Ana was a brave, resilient, and clever girl. She was raised by a deliberately cruel mother who abused her at every turn. Ana was able to eke an existence out of the poor circumstances she held, and I admire her strength. The character I really fell in love with, though, was Sam. Sam saves Ana and instantly becomes her friend and protector with no hesitation or judgment. He is willing to go to the wall, take any chances to protect her. His gentle approach to Ana, who is as skittish as a wild, wounded animal made me fall in love with him. The fragile, slow-building relationship between Ana and Sam is what saved Incarnate for me.
I wouldn't say that I didn't like Incarnate. In fact, there were moments that I downright loved it. But they were not enough to make this a must-read book, in my opinion. I had such high hopes for Incarnate and hope that a lot more about the world will be explained in book two.

Favorite Quote:

" 'So all our time in the cabin was nothing to you?'
I remembered listening to him read aloud, telling him about the roses I brought back to life, and falling asleep leaning against his shoulder. 'It was everything,' I whispered, half hoping he didn't hear."
~pg 112-113 (ARC)

Watch the book trailer.

Hardcover, 384 pages
Expected publication: January 31st 2012 by HarperCollins Children's Books
You can pre-order Incarnate at:
* I received an ARC of Incarnate from Harper Teen, in exchange for an honest review. *

Cover Reveals ~ Possession and Surrender (by Elana Johnson)

POSSESSION, by Elana Johnson, gets a new look for the paperback release!

And the new cover for SURRENDER

I have to say, I really like these covers. They are both so much more vibrant and appealing than the original white covers. I'm not usually a fan of cover re-designs, but this one is awesome.

What do you think?

You can find author Elana Johnson at:
Blog  |  Website  |  Twitter

Friday, January 27, 2012

Embrace Blog Tour ~ Guest Post and Giveaway!

Hello and Welcome to today's stop on the Embrace Blog Tour, hosted by A Tale of Many Reviews.  Today I have author Cherie Colyer here with a guest post on how music influences her writing. Be sure to stick around and enter the giveaway at the bottom of the post. Enjoy!

How does music influence your writing?
I might be in the minority here, but I can’t listen to music and write. I’ve always found this funny because I can block out the television and I’ve even managed to block out the people around me if I’m in the zone. Music, not so much. It’s because I like to sing along. I find it impossible to focus on my story if I’m busy belting out the words to my favorite songs.
Music does help me get past moments of writer’s block and it also helps me to plot out scenes. What I listen to really depends on my mood and which scene I’m working on. For instance, when I was trying to capture the mood of the characters, I listened to songs filled with emotion. A few of my favorite songs from this playlist are Crash into Me by Dave Matthews Band, Far Behind by Candlebox, and How to Save a Life by The Fray.
When I was stuck, not sure what would happen next, I liked to listen to something a little more upbeat like Bubble Toes by Jack Johnson, Friends and Family by Trik Turner, and Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd.  I’ve also found that my mind will wander when I don’t like a particular song. In fact, some of my best plot breakthrough moments came to me in the car when I stopped listening to the radio and started listening to my characters.

I don't know about you all, but I am always fascinated about the writing process!
Cherie is always dreaming of romance and expressing her dreams in stories. She combined her passion for writing with her fascination of all things mythical to weave together a youth romance story that led to her debut novel,Embrace.

She lives with her family in a suburb of Chicago, Illinois.

You can find her at:
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter

And now...the GIVEAWAY!
Author Cherie Colyer is graciously giving one lucky winner an Embrace ebook, an Embrace bookmark, and a bracelet!

(Because of shipping costs for the bracelet, this giveaway is for US residents only. Sorry.)

You can find all of the tour stops and giveaway information here.

The winner of the Embrace giveaway is Amy @ Book Loving Mom!

You can purchase Embrace at:
Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Amazon

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Book Review ~ Embrace, by Cherie Colyer

Sometimes you end up hurting the ones you love.
You find you can't save them or yourself.

Madison is familiar enough with change, and she hates everything about it. Change took her long-term boyfriend away from her. It caused one of her friends to suddenly hate her. It’s responsible for the death of a local along with a host of other mysterious happenings. But when Madison meets a hot new guy, she thinks her luck is about to improve.

Madison is instantly drawn to the handsome and intriguing Isaac Addington. She quickly realizes he’s a guy harboring a secret, but she’s willing to risk the unknown to be with him.

Her world really spins out of control, however, when her best friend becomes delusional, seeing things that aren’t there and desperately trying to escape their evil. When the doctors can’t find the answers, Madison seeks her own.

Nothing can prepare her for what she is about to discover.
Dangerous, intoxicating, and darkly romantic, Embrace is a thriller that will leave you spellbound.~From GoodReads

Let me start by saying, Embrace was exactly what I was looking for in a book. And this book opens with one heck of  a promise:

"Your life's about to change, and there's nothing you can do about it."

Promising, yes? And with that sentence, I was hooked. I had to know what life-altering change was about to take place. Who or What was going to change main character Madison's life? If you're guessing a boy, you may be on the right track. But that's not all that's headed Madison's way.

The paranormal aspect of the book surprised me. I truly had no idea what sort of slant the story would have, and I am certainly not going to give it away in this review.  Looking back at the synopsis, I see a small clue. But, honestly, I was happy to go into this one blind because Embraced is built around one of my very favorites in the paranormal field. Are you curious now? Good!

Now, onto the characters. Madison was instantly engaging and easy to cheer for. Life hasn't always been the easiest for sweet Madison. She lost her mother at a young age, her boyfriend moved away, one of her former friends has turned into a hateful twit. But Madison keeps going, never self-pitying or annoying, largely in part with the help of her best friend, Kaylee. Kaylee is a superb best friend, the type we all wish to have. She is always looking out for her girl, never hesitating to step up when Madison needs backup. Kaylee is always quick with a funny line or a wink just when Madison needs it. Kaylee's boyfriend, Josh, is exactly the kind of guy we all wish for our best friend (if not for ourselves!). He is charming, handsome, supportive and a great friend to Madison, as well. And that leaves the mysterious new guy, Isaac. Isaac...*swoons*, yeah, you could say I liked him. Isaac has that certain "new guy" mystique we all know. He is mysterious, it's clear right away there is something different about him, but he is also sweet, charming, and playful. What a treat! I was so happy that Isaac wasn't a guy that ran hot or cold.

And yeah, Isaac and Madison have a fairly instantaneous connection, something that seems to draw them together. But, for me, this wasn't a case of insta-love. They do begin hanging out together right away, and they clearly like each other, they don't try to hide that. But they weren't declaring their love and forsaking all their friends for one another, especially Madison. What a strong-willed girl! She is determined to be absolutely positive that their attraction is more that the paranormal connection that is between them. I really admire this quality, the self-awareness and identity, that the author gave her.

I have a major weakness in books, a sure-fire way for the author to bring me on board: a core group of friends who work together to solve a mystery. I don't know why that is always a huge positive for me, maybe because one of my favorite series as a kid was the Trixie Belden mysteries, which featured another "gang" of problem-solving teens. I admire when the main character is willing to work with others instead of holding all of her issues, problems, and fears inside, letting them fester until they can't be contained and it's almost too late. But I digress. Madison, Isaac, Kaylee, and Josh make quite the team, determined to bring down the evil that is plaguing their town.

The only, very small, area that was less than perfect (and it's hard for me to explain without spoiling the story) was the way the storyline was wrapped up. One of the people who looked guilty wasn't guilty and I didn't quite buy the fact that he/she was innocent. And, a few areas that dealt with wrapping up the ending felt a little rushed. But, all in all, I was extremely happy with the Embraced!

Embrace is a thrilling, whirlwind of an adventure. With an intriguing, unique plot line, engaging characters, abounding danger, and a lovely, well-written romance, it is a story that had me reading on the edge of my seat.

Favorite Quote (one of many):

"He leaned in closer to  me. His eyes were a shimmering, deep brown, but there was a speck of ocean blue at the edge of his right iris. I couldn't remember what I was about to say. My heart did a pirouette in my chest, and my breath caught in my throat. I closed the distance between us. His lips were firm and warm, and I wanted to kiss him forever."

Published December 20th 2011 by Omnific Publishing

You can purchase Embrace at:
Barnes & Noble  |  Book Depository  |  Amazon

Cherie is always dreaming of romance and expressing her dreams in stories. She combined her passion for writing with her fascination of all things mythical to weave together a youth romance story that led to her debut novel, Embrace.

She lives with her family in a suburb of Chicago, Illinois.

You can find her at:
Website | Facebook | Twitter

* I received a copy of this book from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review. *

Young Adult Giveaway Hop

It's blog hop time again. YAY!

This hop is hosted by Kathy at I Am a Reader, Not a Writer and Amber at Down the Rabbit Hole.

Over 200 blogs are participating in book-related giveaways! We are all linked together so that you may hop from one blog to the next. The hop runs from January 27-31, 2012.

Go here to find all the blogs participating.

I have a great giveaway for you. One person will win three books.
Memoirs of a Teenage AmnesiacHavoc (Deviants #2)
Generation Dead by Daniel Waters

The Details:
  • You must be 13+ years of age to enter.
  • You must fill out the Rafflecopter form. If the form doesn't work (shocker!) please leave a comment letting me know and I will help you.
  • Following this blog is NOT required, but you gain +2 entries if you do.
  • You can gain +1 entry each for following The Bookish Babes on Facebook and @BookishAndrea on Twitter.
Good Luck and Happy Hopping!

The winner of the giveaway is

Carrie Lee Ardoin!

Blog Tour ~ Asylum (Casual Enchantment, #2)

Hello and Welcome to today's stop on the Asylum Blog Tour! Asylum author KA Tucker has stopped by with a fun guest post. Read her post then check out how to enter her blog tour giveaways.
Thank you to the Bookish Babes for hosting me today on my Asylum Tour! In Book 2 of the Causal Enchantment series, we meet some new ‘creatures’ - a result of another of Sofie’s spells gone awry. While I won’t tell you ANYTHING about them here (you’ll just have to read the series to learn more), I will tell you what I’d want with me if I ever had to face them!

Five Things I’d Bring With Me to the Island of the Ambulans Mortem:

5. Neosporin - with all that fire, I’m bound to burn myself at some point. I wouldn’t want them healing me…

4. Catnip - Tigers like that stuff, don’t they?

3. Air mattress - because I’m a princess when it comes to my sleep

2. Breathable full body suit - I wouldn’t want a toe or a shoulder accidently brushing up against one of those things!

1. Heavy duty elbow-length rubber gloves - because you can never have enough protection

Strange packing list for a trip to an island, right? Well, if you’ve read Asylum, you’ll likely fight me for some of these priceless items. If you haven’t read it yet, you must be a little curious. Go find out what you’d like to have with you when you hang out with the Ambulans Mortem. Asylum is only $2.99 on Kindle, Nook, Apple, Sony, and Smashwords. The first book in the series, ANATHEMA, is currently FREE!

If you’ve been following along with the tour, you’ll know we’ve been giving away print and ecopies of Asylum all month. There is ONE more print book giveaway on Sunday. Go sign up here!

Thanks to The Bookish Babes for hosting me today!

Thanks, KA, for such a great post. Having read Asylum, I know exactly what you mean. I would also add ear plugs and a sleeping mask. Those Ambulans Mortem people keep strange hours!

About author KA Tucker:
Born in small-town Ontario, Kathleen published her first book at the age of six with the help of her elementary school librarian and a box of crayons. She is a voracious reader and the farthest thing from a genre-snob, loving everything from High Fantasy to Chick Lit. Kathleen currently resides in a quaint small town outside of Toronto with her husband, two beautiful girls, and an exhausting brood of four-legged creatures.
Asylum, the second book in the Causal Enchantment series, will be released January, 2012.
(from the author's website)
Find her on:
Facebook  |  Twitter  |  GoodReads  |  Amazon  |  Blog

I am giving away Asylum bookmarks, signed by the author! I will randomly choose three commentors.
And yes, this is International. So, be sure and leave some comment love!

The bookmark winners were:

Joella, Camille, and Amy


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Book Review ~ Asylum (Casual Enchantment #2) by KA Tucker

Asylum (Causal Enchantment, #2)Tucked away in Sofie's wintery asylum with no hope of release for years, Evangeline must come to terms with her situation: the curse still plagues her, she's now hunted by a
two thousand-year-old vampire, and the guy she's in love with tried to kill her.
Plus, she's locked up with a cranky Max and the Forero kids—two people everyone
seems to prefer dead over alive. Things aren't looking good.

Meanwhile, back in Manhattan, Sofie struggles to keep forty trapped and bloodthirsty Ratheus vampires at bay and a desperate Viggo from killing Evangeline's friends, all
while hints stir outside the walls of the NYC vampire asylum of a war brewing
between the Sentinel and the witches.

Is there any hope for Evangeline and Caden? Can Sofie control the rival powers? Is the fate of Earth predestined? Find out in Book 2 of the Causal Enchantment series, a sequel to ANATHEMA. ~From GoodReads

Ack! You guys, I'm at a loss. How do I write my review without revealing spoilers, especially for those who haven't read book one, Anathema?!? I'll try not to give away anything you couldn't deduce by reading the synopsis. This is a tough one, but I'll do my best.

Asylum, thankfully, picks up immediately where Anathema left off. Chaos has ensued. Evangeline, along with Max and Leo, have been whisked away to a snowbound hideaway to protect her from the vampires who want to kill her, including the man she loves, Caden. Heartbreaking, right? So, Evangeline, separated from her boyfriend and best friends, is devastated. Leo is his usual wise, faithful self. Max, who can't hunt as much as he'd like is super cranky. And the Forero kids, including the handsome Julian, are understandably upset and confused. Good times!

Meanwhile, back in NYC, things have gone to hell. Poor Sofie. She must contend with the ever manipulative Viggo and Mortimer, a ton of blood thirsty vamps, and her biggest hope, to protect Evangeline. If you had told me while reading the first two-thirds of Anathema that I would root for and love Sofie, I would have laughed in your face. Oh, how times have changed.

Asylum is very much Sofie's story. Yes, there is a good portion of the book from Evangeline's perspective, but since she is trapped in her "asylum", there isn't a lot of action with her until the last portion of the story. I did love the progression of her relationship with Julian, from distrust and resentment, to a true friendship. And, as always, I loved her relationships with Leo and Max. To see Evangeline struggle to maintain hope for a future with Caden and her friends was heartbreaking.

But, back to Sofie. This poor lady has to watch her back at all times! Everywhere she turns, there is someone (usually Viggo) trying to take her down. There are the vampires trying to escape. And her biggest, and most heartfelt, challenge is to keep her beloved Evangeline safe. I must say that I have grown to admire and adore Sofie as a character. At times, while she is juggling her many responsibilities, I don't see how she can keep all the balls in the air. Somehow, she always manages to pull through.

And oh... the ending. The last third of Asylum was crazy! And I can't say what happened but WOW! Evangeline...and Caden...and Sofie...and Veronique...and the FATE OF EARTH!!! Ahhhhh! I just reread the last chapter again and I'm still reeling!

I absolutely love the unique, dangerous, and enchanting world(s) author KA Tucker has created in the Casual Enchantment series. I quickly fell in love with book one, Anathema. And the magic continues at a whole new level in Asylum. Love, action, danger, betrayal...this series has it all!
Favorite Quote:

" 'She's safe,' I whispered breathlessly, relief flooding my soul as my hands flew to his cheeks, suddenly the cheeks of an angel in my eyes. He may want to kill her, but he wouldn't break her heart - perverse but comforting."

Published December 12th 2011 by Papoti Books
You can purchase Asylum at:
You can get Anathema (Casual Enchantment #1) for FREE at:
About author KA Tucker:
Born in small-town Ontario, Kathleen published her first book at the age of six with the help of her elementary school librarian and a box of crayons. She is a voracious reader and the farthest thing from a genre-snob, loving everything from High Fantasy to Chick Lit. Kathleen currently resides in a quaint small town outside of Toronto with her husband, two beautiful girls, and an exhausting brood of four-legged creatures.
Asylum, the second book in the Causal Enchantment series, will be released January, 2012.
(from the author's website)
Find her on:
*I received a copy of Asylum from the author, in exchange for an honest review.*

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday...

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
This week's WoW selection is...
Before I Wake (Soul Screamers, #6)

I've heard this synopsis will be so spoiler-y, the publisher is waiting to release it until the book has been released in the UK. I have been freaking out since I read IF I DIE. Kaylee...Tod...Nash...Sabine...Emma! What is going to happen next? I can't wait!!!!!!!!

Paperback, 304 pages
Expected publication: June 22nd 2012 by Harlequin Teen
You can pre-order Before I Wake at:

Monday, January 23, 2012

Teaser Tuesday

aser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along, just do as following:

·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.

Make sure to share the title and the author so other TT participants can add the book to their TBR piles.
This week's Teaser is from
Just ListenLast year, Annabel was "the girl who has everything"—at least that's the part she played in the television commercial for Kopf's Department Store.This year, she's the girl who has nothing: no best friend because mean-but-exciting Sophie dropped her, no peace at home since her older sister became anorexic, and no one to sit with at lunch. Until she meets Owen Armstrong. Tall, dark, and music-obsessed, Owen is a reformed bad boy with a commitment to truth-telling. With Owen's help,maybe Annabel can face what happened
the night she and Sophie stopped being friends. ~From GoodReads

 My Teaser ~

"Instead, from where I was crouched on the ground, the green of the grass filling my vision, the first thing I made out were the hands, a flat silver ring on the middle finger of each. One was clutching my notes. The other was reaching out for me." (pg. 88)

Hardcover, 383 pages
Published April 6th 2006 by Viking Juvenile
You can purchase Just Listen at:

Review ~ Havoc (Deviants #2) by Jeff Sampson

Emily Webb thought life would return to normal after the death of the man who attacked her and her fellow “Deviants.” Or as normal as it could be, after discovering that she has nighttime superpowers . . . and she’s a werewolf. But when Emily awakes one night to find an otherworldy Shadowman watching her, she knows the danger has only just begun.

So Emily and her pack-mates set out to find the people who made them what they are, and why. But as they get closer to the truth, they realize they aren’t the only ones in town with special powers: The most popular girls in school might just have a secret of their own–and they might just have it out for Emily.

With shadowy beings stalking them, a mysterious company doing all it can to keep the truth hidden, and the secrecy of her new identity in jeopardy, life threatens to spiral out of control for Emily. Soon these dangers will come together in one terrifying confrontation that may force her to make the toughest choice of her life . . . so far. ~ From GoodReads

This is going to be a short review. Not because I'm lazy (though I am!) but because I honestly don't have a lot of thoughts about this book. I think I've been spoiled lately. I have had the great fortune to read a lot of "Wow" books, and therefore, it has become harder to knock my socks off. It's not that there is anything wrong with Havoc, I just wasn't blown away.

Havoc is book two in the Deviants series, by Jeff Sampson. The story picks up a few days after the end of book one, Vesper. The main character, Emily, is still reeling from the whirlwind that has become her life. Not only does she have an alternate "Nighttime" personality, but she's also a werewolf, and...she had to kill a man. So now Emily and Spencer, her new "mate", are out to find out exactly what they are and how they became that way. Add in fellow "pack member" Dalton, and a mysterious unknown member and you have quite the scenario. It's a lot to deal with for a sixteen year old, yes?

Havoc is certainly fast-paced. There is so much going on action and plot-wise. Emily is constantly in motion, trying to find answers. She is a likeable character who is easy to get behind. I also enjoyed reading Spencer. He is a great support and partner to Emily. Fellow werewolf Dalton was also fun, at first. He ended up going places that I didn't really see coming and acted in ways that made me cringe. It's actually understandable, though, if you take into consideration that he's, you know, a werewolf. I didn't like Emily's best friend, Megan. She seemed so one-dimensional for a lot of the book. She was sullen, abrasive and just not much fun to read.

My problem with Havoc was the lack of connection I felt to the characters and the story. I couldn't get myself immersed into the book and become emotionally invested in the characters and the outcome. Oh, and the sniffing. That's right, I said the sniffing. I get that these kids are werewolves, and they sniff, a lot. But, honestly, I got sort of tired of the amount of detailed passages about how much these kids like to smell each other.  For me, the story was fine. Nothing more, nothing less.

Fans of the Maximum Ride series by James Patterson would likely enjoy this one.

Favorite Quote:

"I wanted to sigh, but I stopped myself. 'Well, I'm not really sure what it is right now.' Except that we're both werewolves who are supposed to be mates, though whether that's in the British slang sense or the Wild Kingdom sense, I'm not entirely sure."  -pg 29, ARC
 (Emily trying to explain her new relationship to her best friend)

Vesper (Deviants #1) Book Trailer

Hardcover, 1st Edition, 352 pages
Expected publication: January 24th 2012 by Balzer + Bray
You can purchase Havoc at:
* I received an ARC of Havoc from Harper Publishing, in exchange for an honest review.*

Sunday, January 22, 2012

In My Mailbox, #23 {vlog}

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme created by Kristi at The Story Siren. It is a great way to put a spotlight on books received during the past week.

If any of you watched this, "Sorry" and "Thank you".
For Review:

The Mayfair MoonThe Haunted (MacKinnon Curse,...Shift (The Protector, #2)Royal Street (Sentinels of New...The Guardian's Wildchild
The Mayfair Moon, by JA Redmerski (Thanks to the author.)
The Guardian's Wildchild, by Feather Stone (Thanks to Omnific Publishing.)


Fracture, by Megan Miranda (Thanks to Jessica Naccari.)


What Happened to Goodbye


Breathe (Paperback)

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