Monday, April 30, 2012

Purity by Jackson Pearce

A novel about love, loss, and sex -- but not necessarily in that order.

Before her mother died, Shelby promised three things: to listen to her father, to love as much as possible, and to live without restraint. Those Promises become harder to keep when Shelby's father joins the planning committee for the Princess Ball, an annual dance that ends with a ceremonial vow to live pure lives -- in other words, no "bad behavior," no breaking the rules, and definitely no sex.

Torn between Promises One and Three, Shelby makes a decision -- to exploit a loophole and lose her virginity before taking the vow. But somewhere between failed hookup attempts and helping her dad plan the ball, Shelby starts to understand what her mother really meant, what her father really needs, and who really has the right to her purity

Going into this story I admit that I was hoping to have more humor to it. It turned out to be a more thought provoking book for me. I am sure that the author meant to spark discussion with the book and the way that sex is approached in it. After finishing it, and time to think about what I have just read. I find that if I were in the same kind of situation I would have interpreted what my mother said differently than this main character had.
I feel that the focus of her concerns were on sex. And she let her mother, father and friends help her make the decision that she wanted to have sex before the Princess Ball more than her own desire. As the story progresses and she explores those emotions more with more knowledge you can see those ideas from her directly about what she was doing and what she really thought about her actions. But through most of the novel I was a little concerned that she was feeling the push to do it more from outside influences than her own personal choices. To me it felt like she was just going through the actions, until the end of the book, when you could finally see her forming her own decisions apart from the conflicted ideas she was feeling before.
It had me thinking about my own experiences and thoughts on what virginity, purity, sex, meant to me. There are times in the book that the word slut and whore are thrown around. This is an interesting topic in itself for girls to discuss. The differences that the willingness to want to have sex, differs in the minds of boys and girls. That still to this day, if a girl wants to have sex that she is looked upon as a slut, but all of the boys that had sex in this book were never frowned upon for their decisions.
For a Young Adult novel that focuses on sex and defining purity I think this was done well. It is handled carefully and in a way that can bring great discussions and in a more subtle thought provoking way.

Ashes by Ilsa J Bick

It could happen tomorrow . . .

An electromagnetic pulse flashes across the sky, destroying every electronic device, wiping out every computerized system, and killing billions.

Alex hiked into the woods to say good-bye to her dead parents and her personal demons. Now desperate to find out what happened after the pulse crushes her to the ground, Alex meets up with Tom—a young soldier—and Ellie, a girl whose grandfather was killed by the EMP.

For this improvised family and the others who are spared, it’s now a question of who can be trusted and who is no longer human.

Author Ilsa J. Bick crafts a terrifying and thrilling novel about a world that could be ours at any moment, where those left standing must learn what it means not just to survive, but to live amidst the devastation
Description from

I was surprised that for the size of this book how it was able to really keep the reader engaged. I admired the main character, she is strong, intelligent and with her super sense of smell, I wouldn't mind being stuck in the wilderness with her. I never paid attention to how important the sense of smell was, I guess I take it for granted, but this book pays a special attention to that sense and makes it a forefront specialty of the MC's. I couldn't help but also think about how so many different things are connected to it.
At the beginning of the story I had a hard time with Ellie. She really got on my nerves, even if she did just lose her family and her grandfather. As the story continues and they get to know each other better I could appreciate her more and even felt that Alex also becomes a more developed and rounded character.
As usually happens in books I tended to love the bits with the "bad guy" in this case, people that have turned zombie-like in the aftermath of the electro-magnetic pulse that occurred. They were interesting, dangerous and what for me kept the story really intense and gripping. Without them to add a more dangerous factor to this already horrible situation, made for some very intense scenes. There is very little down time in this book, almost always they are in constant movement and experiencing different things as they encounter new people in the search for others that made it through the EMP still human.
It left with a bit of a cliffhanger that I didn't see coming, I thought that maybe I'd get a little more closure before we left the story. But nope! Your going to have to wait until the next book to see what happened.
I give this book 4 stars.

Author Amazon Page

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Minder (Ganzfield #1) by Kate Kaynak

Sixteen-year-old Maddie Dunn is special, but she needs to figure out how to use her new abilities before somebody else gets hurt. Ganzfield is a secret training facility full of people like her, but it's not exactly a nurturing place.

Every social interaction carries the threat of mind-control.

A stray thought can burn a building to the ground.

And people's nightmares don't always stay in their own heads. But it's still better than New Jersey. Especially once she meets the man of her dreams...

If you click on the cover you'll be taken to the goodreads page in which you can read an excerpt of this book!

The story really had me intrigued from the very first chapter. It made me think of things that I never really thought of but would be pretty obvious to those that could read minds, or talk to each other just using their minds. It pointed out very obvious things, like how often boys think about sex, how you have absolutely
no privacy when everybody can see what your thinking and how quick it is to react to something mentally, but in this situation not being able to take it back. Once your thought is out there, it's there forever.
Here is a story that has a cute, devoted romance aspect to it. I think that the story was first a romance and second a supernatural. What I mean by devoted is that there is no love triangle, and whereas the characters can plainly read each others minds, there is no way of hiding their feelings. There is still misunderstandings, but no real jealousy because although I normally would say you could see straight through their hearts, in this case you could literally read their mind. Trevor and Maddie's relationship was so true and so deep that it was actually something that I enjoyed reading. I am not a big romance fan because in most teen books it's always revolving around insecurities and love triangles that so so emotionally strained that for the most part I find it over the top. In their relationship is just laid out there, it's real, it's true and they fight for it.
When I started the story I was intrigued by their school setting, I thought it was unique twist on mind reading and other powers that the students have. The freedom the students have as well, it was more like a big group home rather than a school.
I was hoping to have more school interactions, activities, but the story became a real full blown romance. It was one that I actually did not mind reading for the above reasons and I am looking forward to continuing on with the series.
I think Maddie is clever and brave and I admired her. I give this book 4 stars.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Blood Oath (A Gabby Girls Adventure Novel, #2) by T.L. Clarke

Blood Oath - book two in the MG/YA Urban Fantasy series, The Gabby Girls Adventure.

Welcome to the dark and powerful world of the Eternals.

Sixteen-year-old Gabrielle Martin discovers that she was born into a secret society called the Eternals—Warriors sworn through blood to annihilate dark and evil creatures that walk the shadows of the earth. Everything she has known to be true is a lie…just smoke and mirrors to disguise a deadly world filled with half-human, half-vampire Underworld Warriors with one goal—to kill all Eternal Warriors.

The battle against pure evil begins. Friendships are betrayed. Rivals bond…and powers collide

This is the 2nd book in the series, in my opinion they can be read out of order, but for those that hate spoilers you may want to skip this post!

Four friends Gabrielle, Jessica, Zora, and Rosalind found out that they are part of a magical group. They now have move and learn how to use their powers.
Before they make the trip to their new school their current school is attacked and almost everyone is killed.
The girls are swept off to their new school for training and safe keeping, and they are thrown head first into training because of the events that happened.
Gabrielle find out that she is Akasha reincarnate, and possibly the key to solving the war.
Rosalinda starts to distance herself from the other girls. As they begin training they all seem to be forming new friendships, both good and bad. And easily get distracted with the new league of interesting boys.
Gabrielle's Grandmother, who is on the Counsel at the school is suddenly ill, but it's been caused by black magic, and the girls must find the magical book that is heavily guarded at the school. Along with the other girls they must get the book to help her grandmother as well as keep up the training and be on their guard against the attackers that they have preparing for.
Can Gabrielle trust the only girls now that they seem to be growing apart, and is she able to save her grandmother as well as prepare for the attack and impending war??

There are boy problems, friend problems and a lot of adventure and some fight scenes. It's a nice clean read, with a Nancy drew mystery with a paranormal twist. The girls have to re-evaluate their friendships and look within each other as well, they all learn more about themselves.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Xor: The Shape of Darkness by Moshe Sipper

On his twelfth birthday Lewis Nash comes home from school to find that his house has blown up to smithereens, killing his father. Having lost his mother in an accident four years earlier, Lewis realizes he is now an orphan — but he has no time to dwell on it. The moment he gets off the school bus a fearsome wolf-man tries to grab him. The boy is saved in the nick of time by Master Long, who reveals to him that he’s a Shaper from a place called Xor, which is being devoured by the Realm Pirates. Lewis learns that he must do his utmost to become the powerful Shaper he was destined to be.

Because, it would seem, he’s the one and only chance Xor has

I found this story very imaginative and fun. The main character is a shifter. He finds out in the first couple of pages that he is from another planet and must return home after all these years. When he is presented to the King he is informed that the pirates are taking over and making areas of the world that are becoming like erased and no contact can be made with the people that live there and they have to be stopped before the blackness takes over the whole planet.
As a shifter he has the ability to change forms into pretty much anything that he is thinking about and has to undergo training to stabilize his thinking and maintain his magical powers. He is told that his parents are still alive and his shifter powers are possibly the most powerful that anybody has ever seen. He just maybe the key to saving the planet and finding his parents.
There was a lot of descriptions and world-building so even middle grade readers will need to have a good attention span as there is not a lot of action in the book, but mostly imagery, magic and has a good theme to the ending that is thought provoking and good a discussion topic.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Cover Reveal

Yesterday Marianne revealed the cover for book 3 on BurnBright.Com.AU One of my favorite series of all time! Here is the cover for book #3 in the Night Creatures series by Marianne De Pierres for your viewing pleasure

If you have not ordered any of her books from Australia, I suggest you do. There are a couple of great websites but I suggest because they have free shipping!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Talisman of El #giveaway Bonanza


One Planet.

Two Worlds.

Population: Human ... 7 billion.
Others ... unknown.

When 14-year-old Char­lie Blake wakes up sweat­ing and gasp­ing for air in the mid­dle of the night, he knows it is hap­pen­ing again. This time he wit­nesses a bru­tal mur­der. He's afraid to tell any­one. No one would believe him ... because it was a dream. Just like the one he had four years ago - the day before his dad died.

Char­lie doesn't know why this is hap­pen­ing. He would give any­thing to have an ordi­nary life. The prob­lem: he doesn't belong in the world he knows as home.

He belongs with the others

I recently got a copy of this book for review and I enjoyed the book. (you will not see my release post until closer to the review date) But I wanted to share with you the giveaway that is currently going on over at Centrinian

Torn by Ashley Morgan

Isadora Rivers feels trapped. Her small town high school is suffocating her. Another day of wannabe gangsters, dumb jocks, and Barbie clones, and she'll just lose it. Her keen emotional sensitivity is to blame. She sees through all of the poser behavior to the pain and insecurity simmering just below the surface, and it's overwhelming. She feels like she's literally drowning in other people's emotions.

This same sensitivity, however, makes her a great actress. Suffocating or not, her high school is one of the top arts schools in the country. Acting is not only her passion, but it also looks like her way out. If she can just score the lead role in the school play, she might get herself noticed by a Hollywood agent. But she's got a strong reckless streak, and it keeps getting her in trouble and jeopardizing her chances.

Riding her bike at top speed, she swerves in front of a car and nearly gets hit. The driver, Tristan Blake, turns out to be the mysterious new boy at school. He's rebellious, broody, and wise beyond his years. He's also devastatingly gorgeous. From the moment their eyes meet, Isadora is irresistibly drawn to him. But as soon as he enters her life, things go horribly wrong. She begins having disturbing visions full of unimaginable glamor and unbearable darkness. He knows things about her he shouldn't. And he's somehow so familiar. As he at turns pulls her close, and then pushes her away, Isadora feels like her heart is being twisted and torn.

She soon discovers that her whole future is in jeopardy, and her only hope is to stay away from Tristan. But how can she turn away from the only boy she has ever loved? As a harrowing event looms closer, one that threatens to rip apart her psyche, Isadora must reach deep inside herself and find the strength to change her own destiny. But is she strong enough to do it?

Here is a story that you have to stick with to the end to really enjoy. It takes awhile for the story to develop and the characters to be introduced, but the best part comes last.
Isadora Rivers is a high school student stuck in a small town. She really wants to become an actress in Hollywood and get out of the small town life. She is a very dramatic and outgoing person who is looking for the next rush to get her heart beating faster and feel more alive. But, when the mysterious Tristan makes an entrance into her life she begins to have visions of her future, and feels instantly intrigued by him. A boy that can finally understand her and she is very sexually drawn to him.
Isadora is a character with a lot of dramatics which I think play up to the idea that she wants to be an actress. She just doesn't seem to want to sit still for any period of time and always up to something. As most of the time aspiring actresses are defined as, a wild spirit.
Sarah becomes a balance in the story to Isadora's outrageous side. She is a way that brings some maturity to Isadora's flamboyant lifestyle.
The story is mainly told through dialogue and has some places along the way that I was hoping for more build up and anticipation for the storyline to go. There is the insta-love factor, but I know that if I were a free spirit stuck in a small town, the thought of a hot new guy would also become my main focus, so this didn't bother me much at all. There is also a paranormal aspect to the story, but it really doesn't take a main role in the story. It's like an added bonus.

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Annihilation of Foreverland by Tony Bertauski

When kids awake on an island, they’re told there was an accident. Before they can go home, they will visit Foreverland, an alternate reality that will heal their minds. Reed dreams of a girl that tells him to resist Foreverland. He doesn’t remember her name, but knows he once loved her. He’ll have to endure great suffering and trust his dream. And trust he’s not insane. Danny Boy, the new arrival, meets Reed’s dream girl inside Foreverland. She’s stuck in the fantasy land that no kid can resist. Where every heart’s desire is satisfied. Why should anyone care how Foreverland works? Together, they discover what it’s really doing to them

As I was reading this book I could not stop picturing the movie Boot Camp (2007) Staring Mila Kunis.
But this story is an all boys camp, and the reason they are there is more devastating that I would have ever imagined.
The story was darker than I thought it would be. It is defiantly a thriller and part horror story. The very beginning with get your mind whirring about what kind of cell/building are the characters in, what is happening to them and is this a form of torture or medicine (could be the same difference in some situations)
The first couple of pages the MC is in a dark room with no light, a fan with some sort of needle attached to it and the Dr like person keeps saying that it's needed to help him get better. Is the MC in a hospital of some sort or a torture chamber? (possibly the same difference as well) He continues to resist because of a memory he has of a girl that tells him to resist the needle, if he resists then they will be able to be together again. But the man keeps telling him that they have implanted false memories into his brain and that the needle is the best thing for him, the sooner the better.
As the story gets going it splits into two different boys stories getting told. We get perspectives from both Danny Boy and Reed. The boys in this camp are confused, their memories and what they are being told don't quite match up. They keep referring to the dark place referred to as The Haystack where the needle room is, they get stripped naked and put through some awkward and bizarre situations.
I think both of these MC's represent different angles to the story, Reed who is fighting back, resisting. And Danny Boy who seems to be the most flexible and accepting boy in the camp. This made for a great story to get these different perspectives to what was happening to both of them and the other kids in the "camp"
if you passed the tests than you got "smoked" (which is a good thing?)
It's a dark novel, but as it is written for teens it's probably something that will not give you nightmares, anymore than the Escape from Furnace or the Maze Runner would.
I know I have not gone into details because it's easy to spoil this one. The best I can do is hint at the situation and hope that something I say may peak your interest. I enjoyed the story, giving it 4 stars I think it's something I will read again.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Guantanamo Boy by Anna Perera

Innocent until proven guilty? Not here you're not. Robbed of his childhood, this is one boy's fictional experience of the supposed war on terror. Khalid, a fifteen-year-old Muslim boy from England, is abducted from Pakistan while on holiday with his family. He is taken to Guantanamo Bay and held without charge, where his hopes and dreams are crushed under the cruelest of circumstances. An innocent denied his freedom at a time when most boys are finding theirs, Khalid tries and fails to understand what's happening to him

The events of 9/11 caused a lot of different emotions from not only the U.S. but worldwide. The war on terror caused several different countries to react, set new laws and regulations and safety measures. This story begins in the U.K. 6 months after 9/11.
There is really not much to say about what happens in the story that the summary does not cover. It is a good source of trying to help understand how things can go wrong. I believe that I read that this was based on a true story. It would be a good source for students, or those just interested in Guantanamo Bay and looking for a good story. It's heart breaking and will make you think. A great book for discussion groups or book clubs, it's full of great discussion topics.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Crystal Shade: Angeni, Volume 1 by István Szabó Ifj.

Seven year old Grace always dreamt of becoming a guardian angel; like those who guarded and guided her people and prepared to bravely fight in a dreaded mythical event, the Crystal Shade - which never came. It's not like Grace ever wanted to see Demons. Or wants to know what evil and darkness is - things that no one ever faced on her world and as the legends says, the Crystal Shade carries within -, nor does she want to die to be reborn as a guardian. But she thinks the mysterious life of angels is so noble, a fable that it sounds exciting - until it actually happens.

A story about a girl who is an angel in training. This story unravels from training sessions into more intense battle scenes and along the way we learn the story of the Crystal Shade.
At about 350 pages it was a detailed, descriptive and imaginative fantasy story that the reader. The author is an artist as well, if you take one minute to look at the website you will tell immediately there is a lot of detail and passion in his work. His writing is like art put into word form. It is descriptive in a way that will allow you to picture the world in your mind as colorful imagery and a blur between light and dark.
The main character is Grace, her greatest wish is to someday become an angel. When she dies and begins her angel training, she imagines all of her dreams coming true. She is living in a beautiful world, learning to do all the duties that you would imagine an angel would encompass. But everything cannot be perfect for long. As the story unravels and the reader learns of the Crystal Shade and the ever lurking darkness that lies outside her current realm, the story becomes more intense and darker. For there cannot be the good without the bad.
This book was not a fast read, it was something that I had to have complete silence for and completely shut off myself from the world to become immersed in it. The writing style is one that needs a concentration to read through, both detailed, imaginative it will consume you for the duration.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Dead of Winter by Chris Priestly

An orphaned boy, a desolate house, and a poltergeist with a terrible itch for revenge…

After Michael's parents die, he is invited to stay with his guardian in a desolate country house. He begins to suspect something is not quite right on the day he arrives when he spots a mysterious woman out in the frozen mists. But little can prepare him for the solitude of the house itself. His guardian is rarely seen, and there's a malevolent force lurking in an old hallway mirror. As the chilling suspense builds, Michael realizes that the house and its grounds harbor many more secrets-both dead and alive

Michael's life is thrown upside down when his mother dies and leaves him orphaned. He is told at the funeral that he will now be living with Sir Stephen Clarendon and moved to his country estate. Upon arrival he begins to hear the whisperings of the help and staff of the haunting and rumors and stories of suicide. And then it's not long before he starts seeing them himself, through the windows and the mirrors and decides that he wants answers to this mystery.
Set in Victorian England this story has a Gothic overtone along with the suspenseful mystery of the plot. Although the poltergeist is meant to be more of a lean towards a horror novel, beyond being creepy I do not believe it will cause any nightmares, even for younger readers. It is a shorter book that can easily be read in a day or two and ideas that are geared towards younger readers.
I have never read anything by this author before. I think that the writing is more for the younger readers, middle grade. I think that readers would also enjoy reading The Poisoned House. Same Gothic feeling, with a female main character and a great ghost story as well.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Narrative Loserdom

Justin Taggart doesn’t know anything (about being a loser). He likes girls and plays sports and has some friends. Unfortunately his fear of rejection outweighs his ability to deal with these well. Mostly there’s Sterling, the girl of his dreams who knows how to stop his heart by not knowing he likes her. Another thing is trying to get money with Adam, who’s rich anyway so it’s more about hanging out. As for Justin, he makes ends meet by mowing people’s yards with Adam, and sometimes by breaking into vending machines and selling late-night cable programming to peers (also with Adam). But it’s not like he doesn’t feel bad about it, since Jesus died for his sins. School is pretty terrible with all the work and practice, but there are a few people there worth mentioning. Anyone who picks up his journal will be in for something, if they feel like getting through a lot of grammar and spelling problems. They’ll probably end up seeing that they shouldn’t have looked at it anyway, because this is someone’s private anthem of girls, grass, and loserdom

It's hard to write a review when the synopsis covers everything I want to say..

Written in journal format, this collection of stories is written by Justin. I suppose it's a way for him to get his feelings out about things that he really doesn't want to talk about with his friends and family.
It's several entries about his daily life. How he interacts with his friend who seems to be addicted to porn and is an influence on him for everything. There are several short stories about money, family interactions, cable tv, sports and girls.
Their first experience with ebay and money orders, they get ripped off. There is one section where he just talks about music videos and porn, what he feels about the stories in them and what he feels about them as he watches them. He talks about the different ways that he views the shows/music videos compared to his friend.
They worry about money, he's got school plus practice plus trying to make money in his spare time. Most of his spare time is just messing around with his friend watching tv.
Later into the stories there is more talk about his religious views, interacting with girls at school and feeling more comfortable becoming more social.
I would recommend this to girls that maybe want to know what it's like inside a teenage boys head (one of the better ones, I might add) he is self conscious, nervous and religious. Shows a caring side to him, well compared to his friend that just seems driven by one thing, Justin seems more emotionally well rounded and thoughtful.

WOW: Waiting On Wednesday Hosted by BreakingTheSpine

“It began in the graveyard. Ever since her boyfriend Nathan died in a tragic accident Emma had been coming to the graveyard at night. During the day she went through the motions at her prep school, in class, with her friends, but that’s all it was. But tonight was different. Tonight Emma and her dog were not alone in the cemetery. There were two others there—Eric, who had just started at her school, and an ancient woman who looked as though she were made of rags. And when they saw Emma there, the old woman reached out to her with a grip as chilling as death…

This is the reason why blogger meme's can work wonders. I saw this book in a youtube video in which a blogger showed this book in her In My Mailbox post. A meme in which bloggers show books they bought or in this case received from a publisher for a review on their site. I listened as the blogger said some of my favorite key words...tragic accident, graveyard, just started at her school, ancient, chilling as death...yes these are my keywords for a fantastic read. I love the sound of this book. I cannot wait to get my hands on this and it's a must buy on my list!
It's release date is May 1st by DAW so it's not even a long wait :) WIN

Monday, April 16, 2012

Buried by Linda Joy Singleton

In a new school and determined to keep her secrets from being discovered, Thorn finds a mysterious locket that leads to a shocking discovery. Surrounded by new friends she barely knows, as well as the school's famous former student, a smoking-hot musician named Phillipe, Thorn must investigate to find out if one of them is a murderer.

I had a great time reading this book, it was fun and had some great twists. I enjoyed that the main character is goth. She is not one of those over emo characters that is dark and brooding, but more upbeat and up for anything.
Her detective work and the people that she runs into during her investigation made for a really great and entertaining read. I enjoyed Thorn's attitude about things and she's funny.
In this story Thorn finds a locket, she is unsure but something about the locket is calling to her, she needs to find out who owned the locket, hoping it leads her to unravel the feelings she gets when holding/wearing it. Thorn is a "finder" she has a psychic ability that leads her to special objects, in turn those objects may lead her to something. The locket in this story leads her to bones, babies bones. By finding the owner she may be able to prove herself innocent of a mysterious murder.
During her adventures she gets wrapped up in the school's singing competition in which the famous Phillipe is going to help judge.
Great fun combinations of characters all witty and fun. Dress styles that set them off a little from the crowd.
I have not read any other books by Linda, but have heard that this story takes place in the same world setting as her other books. There is also some mention from others that the characters overlap a little and if you are familiar with her other books you will recognize them and understand some of their back stories a little more than what is introduced here.
I was very happy to have read this one and I will continue to find more books by this author, it was a fast fun read and I liked the darker mystery to it.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

*Oracle - Sunken Earth by C.W. Trisef

Fall, current day, Atlantic Ocean. Another hurricane tears through the Bahamas, headed for Florida. Among the wreckage: a U.S. Coast Guard rescue boat, one survivor (Ret Cooper), and a spherical object of curious design (the Oracle)

Ret Cooper is a simple young man with mysterious origins, unique physical features, and no memory of his past. His new family and friends discover he is truly extraordinary, with supernatural powers and strange scars on the palms of his hands. But what is his destiny?

The Oracle is the key to Earth's unity and full potential, too perfect to be man-made. Legend claims it can unleash limitless power when filled with Mother Nature's six, pure, original elements. But where are these elements? And which of our planet's ancient secrets will be explained in the process of locating them?

I found this story highly enjoyable. I was hooked from the beginning and didn't want to put it down. The main character Ret is unusual to say the least. He was adopted by the Cooper family 10 months ago, he has no memory of his past and he does not look like most humans do. It was hard to visualize him looking more albino than anything. He is described as having skin so light that he almost glows, his eyes are vibrant and when sleeping can be seen through his eyelids. He also has unexplained scars on this hands and very fine blond hair.
Ret does not want to attend high school because of his differences, he does not feel comfortable when other people keep staring at him, and he feels more of a nature person and the thought of being stuck in school for unending hours a day is torture for him as well. I thought the family dynamics in the story was very comforting. Pauline is a very comforting and openly caring mother figure. Ana is a protective and also a very caring sister. I loved how supportive of each other they were and accepting, loving people.
The story was very well put together, each character and piece of information given all leads and has connections to the bigger plot-line. Here is a story that has no unnecessary info dumps, characters or pages of dialogue that seem to go nowhere. It was all another piece in the puzzle and placement that made the story a wonderful adventure from the beginning.
It's a clean read, no romance great for readers of all ages. The story is very engaging and has a constant build up of action and adventure and danger growing in each chapter.
Highly recommended to those that like adventure stories with magic.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

BaSatai: Outside In #1 by Suzan Battah

Seventeen year old, Armani Radnelaq a full blooded BaSatai is plagued by a curse in her blood. A curse created from hate and designed to break the divide between two parallel worlds of Earth and H-trae when Armani's blood is spilled in attack and she dies.

S'teuqoubs have been traveling back and forth across the divide for centuries without trouble. The BaSatai and Guardians monitoring activity and enforcing rules to ensure peace and harmony but if the divide splits and opens, a much greater number of supernatural S’teuqoubs will filter into earth destroying equilibrium which the BaSatai and Guardians will be unable to control. Humanity and the BaSatai will suffer and perish. The parallel divide must remain secure at all costs.

Armani has remained hidden on earth with her adopted father Elijah since her birth. She has been raised in the human way and fights her natural instinct to evolve into a BaSatai. The BaSatai in her requires her to evolve and shift, use her powers and strength. Yet Armani is freaked out by the need to shift. She smokes, has a bad attitude, must deal with aggressive bullies and control her natural BaSatai instinct. Her Guardian with BaSatai Warriors are coming for her. She refuses to accept her fate and doesn't believe any BaSatai should die to protect her.

The blood curse maturing in her veins makes her a target for her enemies. Her Guardian Karhl and an elite BasSatai Warrior Rafael are the first to arrive and prepare her for her crossing over. Her attraction to Rafael complicates her purpose to stay on earth even more. They both insist she fall into line and follow their lead but she is not ready to leave earth just yet...

Ok, so this book was pretty awesome. I am not quite sure what I was expecting when I started it, but it was a very fast and intriguing read. I loved the main character, she is feisty and smart.
Most of the characters names looked a little weird at first and there is probably no way I could pronounce them aloud without sounding silly, but I got the hang of them very fast, it ended up adding something visually more interesting to the story that appealed to me.
I enjoyed being introduced to Armani and Karhl they were my favorite characters out of the bunch. My favorite scenes were the ones that she shifts in, I thought that the writing was amazing and visually descriptive. I enjoy stories in which the MC doesn't have it so easy. The development of becoming stronger able to face their fears, or their destiny, and come out stronger because of it.
There are some great twists, and I liked how the romantic aspects were handled. The subject of romance in books is the one I'm most cynical about, but this was perfect for me, no cheesy mushy love, but more straight forward and more like real-life.
There is language, fighting and sexual tension. As the story progresses more and more characters are introduced, but not overwhelming and the world building and storyline really holds up through the whole book. There is a little something missing from some of the development of the main character in accepting who she is and some out of the dialogue and flow of conversations, but otherwise I was very entertained and enjoyed this story.
I give it 4 stars

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Spear of Seth By Rene Daniel

Alex Khyan, the protagonist of “Spear of Seth”, is very level-headed person, with both feet firmly planted on the ground. Or is he? What will he do when he faces a world he thought existed only in dreams of an ancient civilization? Alex is quite comfortable in his skin. He is a premed student of the Van Senmut College, so he has to be a serious young man, has he not? He now needs a summer job, and gets one. It is not what he is used to, since he will work as a translator at an archeological dig at the island of Elephantine in the Upper Egypt. Alex does not exactly care about history, but, since his mother is from Lebanon, he speaks Arabic, which gives him an edge. Little does he know what he is getting himself into. Enter Heather Van Senmut and her father, John Van Senmut, a grandson of the founder of the college and the archeologist in charge of the excavations. The dig is not just some dig; it is the ruins of the Temple of Osiris, which stands at the mythical place where Nile emerges from the Egyptian Underworld. The Temple attracts a lot of attention, some of which come from people, who would be more at home in Salem, Massachusetts, shall we say, about three hundred years ago. When John Van Senmut, falls ill and physicians give up on him, his daughter decides to search the Temple for the cause of the disease and possibly a cure. Her quest leads her, and her unwilling helper Alex, into the Netherworld, which survived the Egyptian civilization by two thousand years. They negotiate its dangers, as well as dangers, which come from their contemporaries. They do have only one guide – the Book of Gates, which decorates the sarcophagus of the pharaoh Seti. Are the demons, which are pictured there, only a product of the painter’s imagination? Will the Alex’s attitude be helpful, or will he have to change in order to survive? Will Heather realize that there is a difference between being determined and being ruthless? What did alchemists of medieval Europe know about the Underworld? Why Heather needs to find out?

When started reading the book I kept thinking of the movies Journey to the Center of the Earth and The Mummy (both staring Brendan Frazier purely by accident) But as I checked out some goodreads reviews I realized that everybody else was comparing it to Indiana Jones, which is really more spot on in comparison.
It is an adventure mystery that is told from alternating perspectives of a male and female. Alex and Heather. Both college students who are looking for the Spear of Seth in Egypt. During their quest they find themselves in the Egyptian underworld where mythological creatures have come to life and the reader gets some interesting and historical background of the Egyptian gods and myths.
It is a plot driven story. We don't get a lot of character background and enough character development to help the story move forward and keep the reader interested.
I have decided to rate the story 3 stars. It was a good read, and my favorite parts were the creatures that they came across in the Underworld. "Suddenly something moved inside. Something white flashed in the blackness of the pit. Then a ghost-white, lion-sized flat head rose above the rim of the pit. The red eyes scanned the room and finally focused on the girl. A forked tongue flickered out of the mouth."
There are a lot of sections with history, and myths in which I did find my mind wandering a little, but I do think there are a lot of readers that will enjoy the story for the depth and detail that the author pays to Egypt and it's history. The parts that I enjoyed were the more supernatural elements of the underworld and the danger that was the driving force behind this adventure.
A mixture of different characters come together and you never know who they can trust and where their journey will take them.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Book of Blood and Shadows by Robin Wasserman

It was like a nightmare, but there was no waking up.  When the night began, Nora had two best friends and an embarrassingly storybook one true love.  When it ended, she had nothing but blood on her hands and an echoing scream that stopped only when the tranquilizers pierced her veins and left her in the merciful dark.
But the next morning, it was all still true: Chris was dead.  His girlfriend Adriane, Nora's best friend, was catatonic. And Max, Nora's sweet, smart, soft-spoken Prince Charming, was gone. He was also—according to the police, according to her parents, according to everyone—a murderer.
Desperate to prove his innocence, Nora follows the trail of blood, no matter where it leads. It ultimately brings her to the ancient streets of Prague, where she is drawn into a dark web of secret societies and shadowy conspirators, all driven by a mad desire to possess something that might not even exist. For buried in a centuries-old manuscript is the secret to ultimate knowledge and communion with the divine; it is said that he who controls the Lumen Dei controls the world. Unbeknownst to her, Nora now holds the crucial key to unlocking its secrets. Her night of blood is just one piece in a puzzle that spans continents and centuries. Solving it may be the only way she can save her own life.  Picture and description from

I had a hard time trying to decide what I wanted to rate this one. I thought the adventure and the characters where fantastic. There are several things happening, a lot of suspense and mystery. On a more personal level I seem to mentally check out when heavy religious talk is brought into stories. I also do that with a lot of romance stories as well and I can't explain it. I can be really enjoying a story, but come across a scene that just gets too heavy for me and I just mentally seem to lose my place, get distracted and find myself having to come back to the story again later. It's the weirdest thing.
This story does not have any heavy romance in it, but it does get heavier in the religious stories as the story develops.
I loved the opening chapters of this book, blood on her hands, and a huge mystery that needs to be solved. One thing I can say is that this would make a fantastic movie. Like Angels and Demons kind of a movie, lots of action, secrets, mystery and adventure in foreign countries. An fantastic mixture of history and modern day mystery.
I appreciated the breaks in the story with the Latin letters that she was translating. I liked the historical feel they added to the mystery.
The story is very fast paced,  a lot of things unraveling and developing through every chapter that you don't want to put it down because you need to find out what happens next.

Beside my own personal detachment I had during parts of the story I still recommend it to my readers. This is one I am going to have to try to pick up again soon.

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Sin Collector by Jessica Fortunato

"The Sin Collector" follows the life of Liliana, a born Sin Collector. She has spent over 100 years absorbing people's sins so they may rest in peace come death. However when she meets another Collector, one who insists everything she has been taught is a lie, Liliana must make her way from Sunny L.A. all the way to the streets of Madrid. Searching for answers to a question we all share. Why are we here? The friends and enemies she makes along the way only seem to blur the line between right and wrong. Can Liliana fight the Castus, an organization bent on killing off every Sin-Eater? Should she trust her head or her heart when the two most important men in her life are fighting alongside her?
Then there is the worst question of all, who will be left when the dust settle

Not sure is the author purposefully wants to get the reader thinking more about their religious feelings and ideals, but this one did get me thinking. I cannot say that I agree with some of the ideas presented in this particular story, but it was an interesting way to approach some of the questions we all eventually ask ourselves.

The story was more of a mystery than anything. There was little romance and some adventure/traveling. But the quest for answers was really the main focus. She is faced with have to make some hard decisions on who to trust, there are other sin collectors being murdered, and if she cannot figure out what is going on, she may be next.

For a person that has been alive for 100 years, and knows each and every sin of every person that crosses her path, the main character Liliana handles it well, but at this point in her life she’s well adjusted with what most of us would consider a deeply depressing job. Two of her old friends have now come back into her life, she is does not know who she can trust and each of them is telling her different things. But she is a strong lead character and smart. She is pulled out of her solitary life of a librarian and travels half way across the world to discover the answers she needs to save her own life and those of other sin collectors as well from the group that has decided that they must be killed off.

It’s a book in which the main character really struggles with her job, who she is and what her purpose is. What is it that is worth fighting for and who can you trust.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Guest Post! K.C. Blake

In celebration of her upcoming book release I have author K.C. Blake here today to talk a little to young writers, first though here is a snippet of her upcoming release:
A magical game of Hide N Seek begins.
Find the missing player and win.
The game resets, everyone forgets, and they start to play it again.
No one can hide a secret from teen reporter Starr Hughes, not for long. She will go to any lengths to uncover a good story. Hiding under the headmaster’s desk, planting listening devices, and breaking into a person’s locker are just a few of the ways she gathers information. Nothing drives her crazier than an unsolved mystery. That’s why it bothers her so much that Jade Wilcox killed herself without leaving a suicide note. Why would a popular sixteen-year-old do that?
Jade’s sudden death isn’t the only mystery in the small New England town. There are a group of kids at school—the It-Squad—and they are about to play a secretive game at school. Starr is determined to uncover everything about them. She has to. The boy she loves is one of them and if he’s up to something wicked, she wants to know. In the end Starr will get her story, even if she winds up like Jade.
This April I will be releasing the second book in my Witch-Game novel series. In case you forgot, the first book was Crushed. Witch Hunt has a new set of characters and a new game.

Advice for Young Writers

One of the most frequent questions I hear writers asked is about advice for beginning writers. That’s why I decided to do this post. There are a variety of things new writers need to know. I was twelve when I first started writing, and I found things out by trial and error. It would have been so much easier if I’d had a writer to talk to or a good book on the subject. Now there is no way for me to tell you everything you should know here and now, but I want to at least get you on the right path. Here are the best pieces of advice that I can give.

Know Your Characters: It’s important to know your characters before you start to write. Some people may disagree with me, but I’ve found that knowing everything about my characters before I begin chapter one helps me to keep going. I keep a notebook filled with details about each character. Little things like how they sleep, what they eat for breakfast, and what they do when they get upset help me to get to know each one. Of course every writer is different. You will have to learn what works the best for you. Me? I enjoy the details.

Read as Many Book as You Can: This is a given, right? You’d be surprised at how many writers push aside the need to read in favor of other activities, but reading is extremely important. Sometimes I read for fun. Sometimes I read to learn. When you do the latter, pay attention to how you feel while reading the book. If a certain scene pulls a strong emotional response from you, ask yourself why. What did the writer do to achieve this?

There are also times when you’ll be yanked from the story. The writer uses flowery prose that make you laugh. Or they put something that is ridiculous in the book, something that makes you shake your head and say, “That couldn’t happen.” Pay attention to when these things happen and make note of it. Then you’ll know what to avoid in your own writing.

To Outline or Not To Outline: This another thing that every writer has to figure out on their own. Some writers claim they don’t even use an outline and just write from start to finish, allowing the story to unfold without a lot of careful planning. Personally, I always make a detailed outline. I write scenes on index cards and put them on a bulletin board. Then I can move them around, shuffling scenes until things make sense. Looking at the board also helps me to see the holes in my plot.

Be Visible Online: In these days of online networking you MUST put yourself out there. Join social sites like Facebook and Twitter so you can meet new people, people who might be interested in reading your books someday. Join places like Goodreads because the people on Goodreads love to read, hence the name. Don’t be shy. It’s fun, and you can make friends with people you never would have met otherwise.

Study Your Craft: I’ve already pointed out the benefits of reading, but you should do a few other things too. Take a class in creative writing, go to seminars and workshops, and most of all you should write. Even if you don’t think it’s going anywhere. Even if you don’t think you have a good idea... write. Practice makes perfect.

And that’s my advice to beginning writers. I wish you lots of luck. Thank you for reading my post. :)
K.C.'s Goodreads author page K.C. 's Twitter

Saturday, April 7, 2012

#giveaway Final Day! Oldsoul Blog Tour

Today is the last day of the blog tour for Oldsoul by Dan Haring.
I enjoyed reading the book and getting to know the author better.
For those of you that followed along, thank you and I hope you remembered to enter the giveaways..which end today!
Also the ebook is available now, thanks to Pendrell Publishing to released it early :) The physical copy will still be available for purchase on April 24th.

Don't forget to stop by the last day today over at

They have a great meme they call "The story behind the story" and you can learn a little bit more about Dan and his first published book Oldsoul.

Here are the links to the giveaways (2 chances to win a signed ARC)
and a link to the kindle version of the book.

A special thank you to all that participated in the tour, I had a great time reading all of your posts!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Blog Tour Announcement : Oldsoul by Dan Haring

Jason Gouvas doesn’t want to believe he has special abilities or that he's an Oldsoul-- a vessel for the souls of people who have passed away, but the dead girl in his mind can be very persuasive.

Her name is Erin, and through her Jason is able to access the knowledge and skills of the souls within him. And with a group of power-hungry immortals bent on destroying the Oldsouls and overthrowing humanity, he's going to need them all.
Paperback, 323 pages
Expected publication: April 24th 2012 by Pendrell Publishing (first published January 31st 2012) ISBN 0983558019 (ISBN13: 9780983558019)
A Little About Dan (from his website) I've been drawing and writing for most of my life. I earned my degree in animation from BYU and have worked on such films as The Incredible Hulk and Disney's Tangled. I'm from a tiny town in Utah called Goshen, and currently live in Southern California with my wife and children.

Tour Schedule
Sunday March 25th Giveaway
Monday March 26th Interview
Tuesday March 27th Interview
Wednesday March 28 Guest Post
Thursday March 29 Review
Friday March 30 Guest Post
Saturday March 31 Review
Sunday April 1st Giveaway
Monday April 2nd Interview
Tuesday April 3rd Guest Post
Wednesday April 4th Inerview
Thursday April 5th Review
Friday April 6th Review
Saturday April 7th Guest Post

Oldsoul Amazon Link