Thursday, August 30, 2012

Florence by Ciye Cho

Seventeen-year-old Florence Waverley is out of her depth. Literally. Kidnapped and taken below the waves to the mer world of Niemela, she is the ultimate gift for merman Prince Kiren: a human familiar tied to his side. But nothing is what it seems amid the beauty and danger of a dark ocean.

Every Niemelan has a role to play, from the mermaids who weave towers out of kelp to the warriors who fight sea monsters. But in trying to survive, Florence will end up in the middle of a war between the mer and the Darkness. A conflict that will push her between two brothers: Kiren, the charmer inexplicably drawn to both her and the monsters; and Rolan, the loner who has been pushing her away since the day they met. But in order to take a stand--and find out where she belongs--Florence will have to risk it all: her life, her heart... and her very soul

Florence is into photography and observing others. On a school trip to Mermaids Reach off of Hamilton Island she becomes distracted while snorkeling with unusual creatures and formations beneath the water. When one of these creatures shoots her and pulls her beneath the water, nothing could have surprised us more. She is taken deep into the underwater Kingdom were merpeople live. She is kept alive by her captor to be presented to the King.

The merpeople all have different opinions about what will come of her. She should have never been exposed to their secret that they exist in the first place. And now not only is Florence the center of attention, she is the center of all conversation.

I have read a handful of mermaid stories over the last year and every time I pick one up I am always surprised at the way each author approaches them. There also seems to be a touch on the subject of who rules over the groups and the political/inter-relationships between the merpeople. This is the first book that I have seen in which it's laid out into a Kingdom with rulers and royalty. A large focus of the book is in fact the ruling status of the Kingdom as well as the introduction of the first human into the underwater world.

It was a good read, very imaginative. I was happy with the love interest as he was very well I want to say "down to earth" but that won't work here. He was about the decisions that he made and cautious about pros and cons of what a romance between a merman and a human would become. Which was a very nice change in my reading lately.

I am enjoying mermaid stories very much and would highly encourage you to give one of them a try as well. This one made me think and I loved the descriptions of the underwater world.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Hellandback Kids by LL Helland

The Hellandback Kids: Be Careful What You Wish For, has won several awards: The Pinnacle Book Achievement Award, The Mom's Choice Award, and Royal Dragonfly Award. When the four Hellandback kids visit their great-grandmother in a strange Scottish hospital, they unknowingly fall into a series of bizarre adventures in an alternate reality. With only their own ingenuity, the Hellandback kids must rely on help from a mystic guide, unearthly creatures, and talking animals as they encounter the black plague, deformed beings, a life sucking immortal, and a long trek from exile. Throughout their adventures, the Hellandback kids learn valuable life lessons, and of course, to be careful what they wish for.

Summer vacation is coming to an end, and the Hellandback kids are off to Scotland. After finding a very long and curious toenail in Chris' room, his father decides it's time they should go get acquainted with their great grandmother.
Upon arriving they discover that she is living in an old Hospital and she's not alone. Each child is eventually sent to separate points in time where the only way to return home is to overcome their own weaknesses and overpower the creatures they come across.

With the combination of a mythical guide and several variations of beings to help or deter their way. The Hellandback kids have to become stronger and bolder if they want to survive and return home again.

Each of the Hellandback kids have very different personalities and their trials use those to both support and hinder the struggles they have to endure. At first I was unsure if the story was going to take a more humorous turn or horror story. There were definatly moments of fun, both in dialogue and imaginative creatures. But there are some really tough situations and scary beings that come into play also. If your picking a book for a younger reader make sure they can handle that.

The fact that the children have to learn about life lessons and each experience their own array of battles. The reader can gain a lot of insight from these adventures as well, no matter the age. There are some pretty intense moments, but also those that made me smile and laugh a bit. My favorite character was Brittany, although they all will eventually show very caring and daring sides. Each have their own distinct personalities and their own battles to fight.

This read was definitely something different and unexpected. It makes you think and very enjoyable as well. It gives a whole new meaning to "Be Careful What You Wish For"

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Candid by Michelle Pennington

Life is simple for high school senior, Sienna Whitfield. With a few good friends, a camera, and a dream, she has everything she needs to be happy. But when Jordan Rubio, the most popular girl at Haskins High, makes her mad, she decides to use the power of photography to right a few social wrongs. As if that doesn’t cause enough drama in her life, she realizes she’s falling for the new guy, Lee Franklin. Strong and protective, he’s just what she needs to survive the craziness she’s stirred up at school. If only she didn’t have to keep her feelings for Lee a secret from her mom…

Sienna is a normal high school student, just beginning her job for the school taking pictures of the sports teams at school. Her mother is pretty strict on her dating in high school, and just so happens to be a teacher at her school. Every part of Sienna's life is looked at for approval by her mother. But when Lee, a new student at school shows up her world is turned upside down.

Sienna runs a photography blog, in which she posts pictures from her daily life at school and sometimes of the sports teams. After posting some attractive photos of some of the sports students at school her blog gets really popular fast. And in my opinion she kind of lets that go to her head. She says that she is using it for good,to help the lesser known students at school get some attention.

There were a couple of things that I didn't love about the story. The relationship between Sienna and her mother was hard, but understandable. The relationship Sienna had with her blog was a little overwhelming to the story, but still understandable for me who also runs a blog.

The thing that did not feel balanced was Sienna's relationship with Lee. It was very one sided and I could not see what Lee saw in her. He was of course the hottest guy in school. None of Sienna's friends tried to hit on him, even when she pretended not to have any interest (unbelievable) And even after finishing the story I feel that I never really got to learn much about him or why he was so intended on only being with Sienna, even when Sienna was being selfish and uncaring. When trying to get into Sienna's head to see why exactly she felt that way, I couldn't quite see where she was coming from, I felt a little detached emotionally from Sienna's and Lee's "romance"

I think that the story has more to say about the relationship between Sienna and her mother, than the high school sweet-heart Lee. The evolution for the reader learning about why Sienna's mother was so hard on her. And how Sienna had to learn to build trust and freedom from her mother seemed to be more of the basic focus of the plot to the story, using Lee as a guidance to build up the emotions between Sienna and her mother more than it built upon the story of Lee and Sienna.

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Wedding Gift by Kathleen McKenna

It is a spine-electrifying supernatural tale where a huge Southern States mansion contains one of the most terrifying, violent and indeed psychopathic ghosts to haunt any town. It is also a murder mystery - why did Robina Willets apparently kill all five of her young children, and her husband, before stabbing herself to death? And, if you are in the camp of believing that 'justice .... just is not', then this will have you frothing at the mouth with righteous social fury. Add to that the vision of two exceptionally beautiful girls lying on a landing stage in the middle of a secluded lake, sleeping naked in the sun .... .... and then see if you can find any consecutive ten minutes in this book when you don't at least snicker at the heroine Leeann's sly, caustic, sometimes-knowing sometimes 'too stupid to live' commentary

At first jumping into the story I was a little off-put by how self absorbed Leanne was. The reader gets an introduction to her as she is preparing for her wedding to a very wealthy and well known family. She is describing how many events she's been crowned queen of and how perfect her blond hair is and her blue eyes. You kind of want to slap her during the first couple of chapters. After a couple seconds of seeing if I could handle it for a whole book, that was easy. Yes. It's pretty funny and she is definitely a character you wouldn't mind seeing run in the wrong direction when a murderer comes after her.

The book was actually a pretty fast read. Had some great twists to it. Even though I really was expecting a dark ghost story. It leaned towards a fun, almost chicklit novel with a ghostly mansion, but no gore and little horror.

There was an underlying mystery to the story, but had much more overtones of a comedic chick lit novel that had me giggling more than covering my eyes from all the deaths. There is a young main character, who calls her fiance's mother "monster in law" there are weddings, pregnancies and to keep with the "horror" theme, ghosts and death.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Girl in the Park by Mariah Fredericks

When Wendy Geller's body is found in Central Park after the night of a rager, newspaper headlines scream,"Death in the Park: Party Girl Found Strangled." But shy Rain, once Wendy's best friend, knows there was more to Wendy than just "party girl." As she struggles to separate the friend she knew from the tangle of gossip and headlines, Rain becomes determined to discover the truth about the murder. Written in a voice at once immediate, riveting, and utterly convincing, Mariah Frederick's mystery brilliantly exposes the cracks in this exclusive New York City world and the teenagers that move within it

This story is more than a murder mystery. The reader really gets to know Rain as well.
Rain was born with a cleft pallet. She is teased at school for the way that she talks and Wendy was always nice to her. Rain considered Wendy her friend.
When Wendy is found dead in the park, her mother tries to protect her from the news. But Rain decides to take it upon herself to figure out what might have happened to Wendy in her last days. When Rain begins to ask questions, she gets a lot of negativity from her classmates.
For the most part they did not like Wendy. They call her promiscuous and a mean girl. It seems like everybody at the school wanted Wendy dead and thought that they were all better off now that she was gone. But Rain missed her and thought that the Wendy deserved an ending to her story to be told. That whoever it was should not have gotten away with murder.

The reader gets to know more about Rain as well. Events that happened to her in her past, having to dredge up some very sad and upsetting stories of her classmates. When she does her investigations she has to talk to people she herself has always had problems with at school. She has to face her own past and battle through all those awful memories to find her answers. It was a much more detailed and rounded story than just a murder mystery. You'll get to know 2 girls and the thoughts of a murderer all in one.

If you enjoyed Shine by Lauren Myracle you may enjoy this one as well.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Journeys of John and Julia in Chapter One: Genesis by Aurelia

The Journeys of John and Julia begin.
The Twenty-Two are watching.
Reality is about to change.

It all starts when Julia’s parents totally mess with her summer. First Julia’s dad takes off to start a whole new family. Then Julia’s mom yanks Julia from cheerleader camp to spend the summer with her grandmother in the land of no signal, no mall, no best friend Kellie. Julia’s only hope for human contact is geeky John Freeman, who is six months younger than she and about a million years behind her idea of cool.

If only Julia knew that her mom plans to dump her at Grandma’s not just for the summer, but for a whole year. If only Julia knew that a collective of wondrous beings called The Twenty- Two are watching over her and trying to make contact. If only Julia knew that they could tell Julia every thought she never knew she had and bend her reality in any way they choose. And that she’d be with John Freeman when it happened. He’d think that was way cool.

And that is just the beginning. For this seemingly mismatched pair have cracked open the door to another reality. And their enemy-to-be, the beyond evil Niem Vidalgo Oten, is about to enter the picture

I think that this story had a lot of potential, but I was very detached throughout most of the story and held on with high hopes for the ending.

We are introduced to the story taking place in a room of some kind of Elders or Council members that the reader does not get to know who they are until very close to the end. This group is looking in at the lives of John and Julia who are each going through some hard times in their lives.

The story variates between the councils views, then Johns and Julias. One of the major problems that I had while reading was the voice. I felt that the large vocabulary words and over description of feelings felt perfect for the voice of the council. But that voice carried into the sections of John and Julia, which just didn't work for me. Here is one quote from the book as an example of this writing style.

"A well-known dread of having to face a new day in a world hostile to her desires manifested itself with the familiar knot in her stomach as if all the undigested events of her past lay there, tangled, waiting to be tidied up or else become an ever-heavier burden to carry around."

I could not connect at all with John or Julia's characters, or their parents. The whole voice and writing style fit perfectly for council members though. But the same voice was carried throughout the book for each character and I couldn't in my wildest imagination put that voice to the younger kids.

I think that the idea of this story has an amazing potential. I can see the direction that it was meant to go, but I cannot deny the fact that it took me a very long time to read the story and my brain refused to connect with the characters and the world. If John and Julia and their parents each had separate, unique voices I imagine I would have loved it.

I stuck in there until the end to see where this mysterious group was going to go in the lives of John and Julia and was pleasantly surprised, and wanted more. But with this writing style I cannot see myself picking up book 2.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft by Jody Gehrman

Falling in Love, baking a magical cake, fighting an evil necromancer—it’s all in a day’s work for Audrey Oliver, seventeen-year-old witch-in-training. When her mother goes missing and her twenty-one-year-old witchy cousin shows up out of the blue, Audrey knows something’s gone horribly, dangerously wrong. Now it’s up to her to get her own magical powers up to speed before everyone she loves is destroyed by the sorcerer intricately connected to her mother’s secret past

Very appealing cover, I like the spiral effect and the coloring. I for one am a huge fan of the girls in dresses on covers.

The start of the story took me some time to get into. Learning the characters, the setting and pacing was something that I did have to get used to. When I initially picked up the book, it was a lot larger than I thought it would be.

The pacing and plot really starts to pick up around chapter 5. Lets just say the magic really starts to happen. The pace really does start to pick up and I was getting pretty excited to keep reading to see what was going to happen. I was still a little unsteady about how I felt about Audrey's character, she was still growing on me. But I really enjoyed the magic and witchcraft that beings to take place.

Without spoilers, I enjoyed the ending of the story because the connection between Audrey and her sister. I liked to see her take a protective stance and horrified by the events that take place right at the end. My heart broke for what the girls had to go through and witness with their mother. I was on the edge of my seat for awhile.
The story has a great villain that you will love to hate. Evil that keeps the anticipation and the heart beat racing. I couldn't read those last pages fast enough.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Raft by S.A. Bodeen

Amazon Link

Robie, 15, lives with her family on the Midway atoll, a group of islands in the middle of the Pacific. Her parents are scientists; it’s an isolated life. Robie enjoys visiting her aunt in Hawaii – she gets back and forth on a cargo plane that brings supplies to Midway.

During a visit, her aunt is called to the mainland for a work emergency, leaving Robie to get home on her own. On her flight back to Midway the cargo plane hits nasty weather, and goes down. It’s just Robie, the pilot, and Max, a co-pilot she’s never met till this flight, on board. Robie is pulled aboard a raft by Max, who is injured and slipping in and out of consciousness. They have a bag of candy and very little water between them. When they finally reach an island that seems abandoned, Robie hopes they’ll be found quickly. But she’s not sure she was even on the flight manifest. Her parents must be looking for her…aren’t they?

In THE RAFT, S.A. Bodeen creates a hair-raising suspense story that will have readers agonizing over the same question as Robie -- how long can they survive?

When describing this book to friends I call it "Castaway for teen girls" Castaway,the movie in which Tom Hanks who is the sole survivor of a crash and ends up on a deserted island to survive.
I found it a very intriguing read. It was pretty short and I read it in one sitting. I liked the main character Robie. She dealt with the situation very well, she does not whine or complain or cry about what has happened. She feels despair and loss and the whole story has an overcast feeling of dread that something bad could happen at any moment.
Robie's parents work on the island of Midway which is famous for it's nature conserve. So Robie is familiar with some of the animals that are around her and the special attention she pays to their behavior and specific breed they are. As there is not much more to do when found stranded on a raft/island.
The novel is a pretty short one, but if it were extended at all it may have become really boring as not much can happen when stranded with no possessions, so overall I found it a nice, fast contemporary read. Pretty tame for teens, nothing to horrible happens except there is one scene in which an animal does die.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Deadly Delirium by Alyssa Liljenquist

Standing up for what’s right can mean risking everything.

Though Johanna and her older brother, Karl, lost their parents to Nazi rule in Germany, they have not stopped standing up for their beliefs. Now Communism is in full force in East Germany and they have been imprisoned along with their friend, Franz, for their resistance efforts. Johanna falls ill and becomes delirious with fever. Is there anything that can be done or will Karl and Franz be forced to watch her slowly die? As her life literally flashes before her eyes, will Johanna have the strength-and desire-to survive?

I'm at a loss on how to review this story completely. It was a very short story (12 pages) and the summary already says everything.

We get so little information about the characters that I cannot form a full opinion. There was no plot or climax or pacing for me to comment on.

Taking it just for what it is, a short story. We are introduced to a war torn land and specifically a few people that are trying to survive. Johanna has fallen very ill and is having these visions/stupor of people coming in and out talking to her. She's unclear on what's true or memories of the past. When she is conscious they explain to her what has happened and then very quickly it summarizes the rest of her life in a few paragraphs.

After reading it, it is something I would have expected as a prologue, or included into an anthology of short war stories rather than a stand alone short story for purchase alone. I was definitely expecting something longer, at least a novella.

It was very well written and has great potential with fully formed characters to be a great novel. Both interesting and intriguing, just way to short.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

#UtahBooks Guest Post! Utah Author Danyelle Leafty

Slippers of Pearl (Tales of a Cobbler Mage, #1)

Shoes, unlike magic, are predictable. They don’t change shape, bite, or alter a person’s destiny.

And that’s just how Faryn likes it.

But his Uncle Harvey has a bad habit of dying. While inconvenient, this hasn’t ever been a problem until now. Thanks to an evil witch and a poisoned apple turnover, Harvey is dead again—permanently this time.

As his uncle’s heir, Faryn has to give up shoemaking in order to accept and refine his magic.
Magic he never wanted.

Unwilling to let go of his dream, but unable to escape his destiny, Faryn combines the two and discovers a knack for making magical shoes. He also learns that turning a person into a goose is a lot easier than turning her back, and that he severely underestimated how much trouble magic can be.

The witch who killed his uncle is trying to control all the magic of the land, and it’s up to Faryn to stop her. If only he can get his magic to cooperate in time.

E-book version will be available on July 8, 2012.
Paperback, 445 pages
Expected publication: August 18th 2012 (first published July 2nd 2012)

~Collector of dragons, talking frogs, and fairy godmothers~

Shoes and Fairy Tales

There’s a fine tradition of shoes in fairy tales.

Whether they serve as a clue for the prince to find his princess (Cinderella), serve as a tie between the regular world and the magical (12 Dancing Princesses), or as a punishment for the wicked (Snow White), shoes have an important—and often overlooked—role in stories.

Stories, particularly fairy tales, are a medium by which we explore what it means to be human. What makes us tick? What unites us, and what divides us? What, despite all the variables in a person’s life, is something we all share simply because we’re human?

Sometimes stories answer those questions. Sometimes they serve as mirrors that allow us to find the answers within ourselves. Other times, stories make us look deeper so we can ask more questions.

And then there’s the shoes themselves.

"When you get a piece like this," [Faryn’s] Uncle Brogain had said, running his fingers over the leather, "you've got to visualize what the shoe will look like, how it will fit the foot. It's important to understand the fabric before you cut into it, else you'll end up making the wrong shoe."
"But wouldn't I make whatever shoe I wanted?" [Faryn] had asked, confused. The material, whether silk, leather, or satin was material, wasn't it? So long as he traced and adapted the pattern correctly, the resulting shoe would always be the right shoe, wouldn't it?
His uncle had looked at him, the disdainful pity of a master to his underling. "If you just want to make something that will cover a person's foot, yes. But if you want to make a shoe, a real shoe, it's got to come from here." He had jabbed Faryn in the chest with his ruler. "If you want to make it in this business, you've got to learn the difference between a shoe and a foot covering."
Slippers of Pearl, Chapter Seven

You can learn a lot about a person by studying their shoes. Where they’ve been, where they’re going, and what they’ve been up to. If eyes are the windows to a person’s soul, then their shoes are the map.


Giveaway Time :)
Today I would like to offer a ecopy of her newest book Slippers of Pearl to anybody interested! Please just comment below showing your interest in receiving a copy and let me know if you prefer Nook or Kindle with your email address I will contact you on August 25th!! (Last day to enter is the 24th at midnight)
***Remember this is for an ebook Kindle or Nook version only***

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

From Fame to Shame by Veronica Blade

When good-girl Maddie switches places with her famous bad-girl twin Jackie, she has some pretty high stilettos to fill.

Despite the danger of tabloid drama if their identity swap is discovered, Maddie has to save her sister's butt. When Jackie’s ex-boyfriend shows up with a rekindled spark for “Jackie,” his deep gray eyes and sweet kisses make Maddie's heart thumpety thump. But dating the guy who dumped her sister is a no-no. Too bad Dallas isn’t used to girls saying no. What will happen when he discovers Maddie’s deception?

I think that most girls have thought about if they had a twin, wouldn't you switch places..just once? Well what if your twin was famous? I would do it in a heartbeat.

Maddie does this in this almost too-short story from Veronica Blade.

It was fun, cute and a nice way to pass the time during this hot summer. Sure, there was a couple times that I kept thinking "what is this girl doing" but when I thought about what I would do in that situation..I would have done exactly the same thing.

I especially loved the conversations between Jackie and Maddie when Jackie starts questioning her on what exactly she was doing. Even though Maddie was getting lectured by her sister, I had to smile a little because you get this feeling that even though Maddie feels a little guilty for what she's doing, she's not that remorseful. Because falling in love and having a whirlwind kind of a relationship/fling is fun, and it's fun to read about.

Very light, fun, fast romantic read. Makes for a perfect summer time read for the beach, the park or relaxing sit in your favorite place. ( I'm pretty sure that ending will make you smile too. )

Monday, August 13, 2012

Broken City by DD Chant

Deeta Richards has never seen the outside world. Before she was born a banking crisis brought civilization to an end and now no one leaves the safety of the compounds unless they need to, but Deeta still dreams of seeing more than the building she was born in.
Tom is in the guard, this group are the only people that the tribal elders allow to leave the compound and tom knows only too well that Deeta could never survive the harshness that exists outside. Then tragedy strikes and Deeta and her sister Jan find themselves captured by a hostile tribe. Why does Tom know so much about these people? And why do they know so much about him? As this mystery draws to a climax, they discover that their friend Tom is not quite what he seems...

The story starts off with an air of mystery to it. The introduction to very close knit families living in tight quarters with several members in a small space. When the security of the compound is breached. The turmoil, revealing of secrets, moving of the family and eventual war is what drives us through the rest of the story.
An overlying story of romance carries throughout the book. We are introduced to a society that is so close that you would think that secrets could not be hidden from each other. But when they do arise, it only takes one secret to shatter their small world.
There were parts of the story that I felt slowed down the pacing a little too much, but I am very glad that I stuck with it. I liked seeing the story come full circle at the ending and thought that it was a good ending.
It was a clean read, a story that made you think and imagine what it would be like. That even in times of war it's the things that are around us every day that keep us going. Family, friends, and companionship. I think overall my favorite character was Tom. That even though your born and raised with a focus to be one thing, doesn't mean that's what your future holds. Tom is a strong character for choosing his own path and determined and brave enough to fight for it.

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Substitute by Holly Barrington

“The Substitute” is set in an alternate Britain, where Vampires and Mortals co-exist more or less in harmony. However, that may soon be about to change . . .

Emily Brown starts her new job at Pathway Software, and at first everything goes well. She makes new friends there and her bosses are impressed so things are really looking up for Emily. Until her friend is killed. Murdered. The official account said it was a gang hit gone bad, and rumours suggest she had drugs in her possession.

However another, unofficial, report suggests that the bullet wounds were all post-mortem, and the drugs were planted on her in the morgue. It also says that she suffered multiple broken bones, cuts, contusions and…vampire bites. Everything suggests that her friend died a brutal and vicious death at the hands of a number of vampires.

Vampire and Mortal relations are, on the whole, very good. Ever since The Compact, there have been eighty five years of unprecedented peace between the two worlds. But there are some dissenters, the foremost of which are the sinister Circle of Ixiom. And Emily is about to become their bitterest enemy . . .

The world built here is similar to the True Blood series, the vampires are out and about in normal society, living amongst humans. But it is set in Britain which gives it a little bit of a new take on the subject matter. As well as the fact that the vampires do not only come out at night!

This particular story focuses on Emily. It is told from current day point of view as well as several flashback scenes to fill in the storyline.

Emily is getting recruited for a software company that is run by vampires. There is an overall mystery to the story that Emily is trying to find answers for. She has recently had a very close friend die, and there are several things regarding her death she wants to find answers to. The reader is kept in suspense right until the ending, curiosity drove me forward. I just really wanted to know what Emily was searching for and how the author approached humans working alongside vampires.

Emily is a very smart, determined and likeable main character. The story wasn't very long at 194 pages and I sped through it in one day.

There are several angles to the story. A murder mystery along with some political aspects of the different groups that have differences of opinions on the way of the new world since the vampires have come to live among us.

This book is currently only available in kindle ebook format and I would love to offer a copy to a lucky commenter to this post. Please just let me know how I can contact you in the comment box below and I will pick a winner on August 25th.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Delta Legend by Kelan O'Connell

When 16-year-old Oakland California teenager, Calvin Pierce, makes a bad decision and winds up getting arrested, his mother is quick to take action. Determined not to lose a second son to the drug and gang violence of the inner city, she sends Calvin to spend the summer working for his great uncle in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

There in the predominately-white region of agriculture and recreational boating, Calvin’s a fish out of water with a chip on his shoulder. Complicating matters, a smart, beautiful (and feisty) local farmgirl, Mei Li Cheng, isn’t buying his city-boy ‘tude and relishes any opportunity to challenge him. If their instant combativeness is a thin veneer for attraction, the outcome might have to wait. When severed body parts are discovered floating in a slough, Calvin’s summer of proving himself takes on new meaning.

Something deadly is lurking in the deep, murky waterways of the Delta. Now the daunting task of containing the living incarnation of a mythical creature falls to Calvin and his ragtag posse of oddball characters

When I first read the description of this book, my mind automatically went to visualizing the movie Lake Placid. Although after reading it, about 50% in we find out that it is not a man-eating crocodile on the loose, but something more Legendary, and more dangerous.

There is an ensemble of different characters and they all bring something different to the story. There is humor and along with the "Legendary creature" we also get cultural facts and other myths from the area that the camp is in.

I did wish that the story took off a little bit sooner than it did. There are some hints and deaths that happen before we know what it is that is causing them, but it did take me until about 50% into the book before I became completely engaged into the story line. Even with a bit of a slow start for me, I ended up enjoying the story.

This book follows a male main character which is happening more in Teen reads recently and I for one jump at the change in perspective whenever I can. The story has a little bit of a campy feel along with the humor. Some death scenes but nothing I would consider too gruesome and a little bit of history, mythology and of course the main Legend.
I know it's weird for one reviewer to link to another's but my favorite review of this book can be found here I think she says it best.

I want to offer a ebook copy of this book to one lucky commenter, just remember to make a note of how I can contact you! A winner will be chosen on August 25th!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

#Utahbooks Vodnik by Bryce Moore

**This post was originally written for and posted on**

When Tomas was six, someone — something — tried to drown him. And burn him to a crisp. Tomas survived, but whatever was trying to kill him freaked out his parents enough to convince them to move from Slovakia to the United States.

Now sixteen-year-old Tomas and his family are back in Slovakia, and that something still lurks somewhere. Nearby. It wants to drown him again and put his soul in a teacup. And that’s not all. There’s also the fire víla, the water ghost, pitchfork-happy city folk, and Death herself who are after him.

If Tomas wants to survive, he’ll have to embrace the meaning behind the Slovak proverb, So smrťou ešte nik zmluvu neurobil. With Death, nobody makes a pact.

I was looking for something different to read, with adventure and magic. That is exactly what I got here.

Characters: Tomas has burn scars down the side of his body. He has never had much luck keeping friends. More of a homebody that enjoys playing video games and watching movies. When moving home to Slovakia he encounters his families gypsy blood line, and several fantastical creatures. The Vodnik being my favorite character, then Tomas.

Plot: When a fire burns down their house. His parents decide that it’s financially better for them to move back home to Slovakia than stay in the U.S. The insurance money will go further there. Tomas, who has never had much luck keeping friends discovers he has even more problems in Slovakia. He is bullied and tormented and pulled into a world of magic and folklore that has plagued his family and the country of Slovakia for years. When the two begin to mix and it’s his family that is at stake. He steps up and faces his nightmares head on.

Originality: There are not any stories out there that I have read that is a fantasy adventure in Slovakia. It was a brilliant idea, and it’s history and atmosphere brings about a perfect setting for a quest. Tomas gets a job as a tour guide in a castle. He has experiences with prejudices against his gypsy family and is bullied for just being who he is. There is an amazing fantasy world built on Slovak folklores and mythologies with fairies, dragons, water and fire magic.

Writing: I enjoyed getting lost in this story. The mixture of cultures, history and magic with mystery really made for a great adventure. There were so many layers to this story that as the plot unravels the pacing escalates. If this were a song I would state the author has “perfect pitch” it was very well put together.

Krista’s Rating: I have been reading so many books with paranormal romance in it that my summer reading stack was screaming for something different. This book was put on my radar at the perfect time. It had magic, adventure, a new setting and history of a country that is overlooked and under appreciated (in my opinion of course) A character that had a lot of heart and care for others. But constantly having to fight to overcome prejudices. The creatures that he runs into during this story are at times funny, sometimes scary. But always interesting, unique and make for an amazing adventure.
To read more about this author please click on the book cover above

***** (5 Stars)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Dominion by Melody Manful

I Dare You.
Look Over Your Shoulders.
Do You See Them?
They are behind you...
They are always behind you.

Abigail Cells had a nightmare the day before she met Gideon, the new guy in school who has every girl drooling just to be near him. In her nightmare, she was murdered by a magical creature. As she gets to know Gideon, she begins to remember pieces of her nightmare, and was shocked when Gideon turned out to be the creature from her nightmare. Who is Gideon really, should Abby allow herself to fall completely for him, or is he the next disaster waiting to happen?!home/mainPage

Excerpt: Prologue
I should have called the police the moment I woke up, but what was I going to say: “Hello. 911. Help. I think I’m going to die because I had a dream that I died?” Yeah, even in my head I sounded ridiculous.
What happened to me was horrifying. It still is. But you won’t read about it in the newspapers, because it never happened.
“It was only a dream.” That was what everyone kept telling me. Nevertheless, they were wrong. What happened to me wasn’t a dream. I was living it. I died that night. I was murdered in a firestorm.
Yet, where I am, I’m alive.
One single white lie isn’t supposed to bring with it a lifetime of obstacles, right?
I lied. I said ‘Yes,’ when I was supposed to say ‘No’, and that was how I got here.
I committed a crime. Handcuff me. Sentence me to life. Execute me. Trust me, death will be a vacation compared to the punishment I’m serving.
“You’re such a terrible liar, Abigail.” This is what everyone I know says whenever I try to key up a lie. Then again, what does everyone I know, know for sure? Nothing!
I wasn’t crazy. No, honestly, before I found myself in ‘wackoland’ I was a walking ray of sunshine. Everything in my over-idolized life was perfect.
Until he came.
First, I thought. Finally. Someone to chase away the monsters underneath my bed, but as it turned out, he didn’t come to chase them away. He was it.
My guardian angel.

This story really does have a fully formed love triangle. I was constantly going back and forth on which boy was the right one for Abigail, but the author really did have a way to get the reader to lean towards the bad boy in this one. Gideon really is the boy that may not be the perfect fit for the heroine, but there is just something about him that will draw the reader in and love him as much as you should be hating him. But your still not sure you don't want her to be with the good guy either.

There are a lot of parts where Abigail is constantly weighing pros and cons inside her head when she is trying to figure out what it is that she really wants. She likes to look at the bigger picture instead of just what it is that is in front of her face at the moment, but still has trouble getting beyond her own feelings when making those decisions. With the constant trouble of trying to decide if she really wants to be with somebody who does bad. "Gideon loved being Gideon, having people fear him" or the good guy that doesn't have to try hard to be good at all. Why is it that us girls always seem to fall for the bad guy? Well it's because we want some excitement in our lives, and believe me Gideon brings the excitement.

The unique twist to other romantic, teen triangles out there today is the authors approach to angels. In this story there are 2 angels that look over her but they are called Grandinians and Grantinians. But Abigail is no regular human being either. There is a huge inner struggle that she goes through trying to make the best decisions in this story and the reader will never quite know what direction she is going to go. There were a handful of parts where I thought that Abigail was over thinking things and I just wanted her to act on her emotions, but it was also interesting to see her thought process and how much unselfish thoughts she was considering before making rash decisions.

I think that people who enjoyed reading L.A. Weatherly's Angel Burn
may enjoy this book as well. It's a very thought provoking book and you will be challenge against the common idea that angels represent good, and therefore are only good.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Blog Tour : Guest Post Review by Melody Manful!

In the City of Lights, two star-crossed lovers battle a fate that is destined to tear them apart again and again for eternity.

When Kate Mercier's parents die in a tragic car accident, she leaves her life--and memories--behind to live with her grandparents in Paris. For Kate, the only way to survive her pain is escaping into the world of books and Parisian art. Until she meets Vincent.

Mysterious, charming, and devastatingly handsome, Vincent threatens to melt the ice around Kate's guarded heart with just his smile. As she begins to fall in love with Vincent, Kate discovers that he's a revenant--an undead being whose fate forces him to sacrifice himself over and over again to save the lives of others. Vincent and those like him are bound in a centuries-old war against a group of evil revenants who exist only to murder and betray. Kate soon realizes that if she follows her heart, she may never be safe again


Remember when Romeo used to be that dude who ‘Died for Juliet?’ yeah well, that ship has totally sailed. And speaking of ships, Jake and Rose have nothing on Vincent and Kate’s personal Titanic love boat.

When I decided to read this book, I thought it was going to be one of those ‘I love you so much I will die for you crap’… (Okay, I kinda love those stories) but it wasn’t – and it was.

Die for me introduced Kate, a teenager who came with her big sister to live in Paris with her grandparents after her parents died. She lived in her sad, little bubble till one very hot and dangerous Vincent decided to burst that bubble and steal her fragile heart.

Vincent not only came with his godlike handsomeness but also with a very HUGE secret, one that can get a girl to run for her life. Vincent is what you call a ‘revenant’ someone who take the place of someone who is about to die. And he isn’t the only one who is what he is, he has a whole bunch of ‘family’ and a whole bunch of evil guys who wants his head on a silver platter.

Though Kate found it hard to be a part of his world, they found a way to cope. And out of this understanding came an enchanting love story in the beautiful city of Paris – and some head chopping.

The setting of the book was simply breathtaking. Imagine yourself in a very beautiful dress, one that your revenant boyfriend bought you, add a boat, a view of Paris, and a girl could literally die for you. I felt like I was on every location in the book.

Plum didn’t only give us a new original story to die for; she also introduced us to awesome, funny and charming characters. They were humorous and reliable, and although they weren’t blood related they had each other’s back, something I love in a story.

All in all I really loved this book. I give it a HUGE 5/5 stars because it deserves it big time, for originality and awesome characters, especially Jules. I highly recommend this book to anymore who loves young adult and the supernatural.!home/mainPage

Melody is the author of Dominion (Guardian Angels #1) Stay tuned I will be reviewing her book as part of her online tour tomorrow! ;)
Thank you to Melody for providing the guest post, I loved this book as well! Such a really great story.

Sunday, August 5, 2012


Matched (Matched #1)
by Ally Condie

Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate... until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.
Hardcover, 366 pages
Published November 30th 2010 by Dutton Juvenile (first published November 1st 2010)

Intrinsical (The Yara Silva Trilogy #1)
by Lani Woodland

Sixteen-year-old Yara Silva has always known that ghosts walk alongside the living. Her grandma, like the other females in her family, is a Waker, someone who can see and communicate with ghosts. Yara grew up watching her grandmother taunted and scorned for this unusual ability and doesn't want that to be her future. She has been dreading the day when she too would see ghosts, and is relieved that the usually dominant Waker gene seems to have skipped her, letting her live a normal teenage life. However, all that changes for Yara on her first day at her elite boarding school when she discovers the gene was only lying dormant. She witnesses a dark mist attack Brent, a handsome fellow student, and rushes to his rescue. Her act of heroism draws the mist's attention, and the dark spirit begins stalking her. Yara finds herself entrenched in a sixty-year-old curse that haunts the school, threatening not only her life, but the lives of her closest friends as well. Yara soon realizes that the past she was trying to put behind her isn't going to go quietly.
Paperback, 304 pages
Published August 20th 2010 by Pendrell Publishing

Eternal Starling (Emblem of Eternity #1)
by Angela Corbett
A love so strong, even eternity can’t separate them.

Evie Starling has lived a relatively uneventful life hanging out with friends, gossiping about boys, and driving her 1966 Mustang. All of that changes when she moves to Gunnison, Colorado, to start college and meets two mysterious men.

For centuries, Alex Night and Emil Stone have yearned for Evie—but they each have their own reasons for wanting to be with her. When both men claim to be her soul mate and tell her about an unbelievable past, Evie learns that she’s not the person she thought she was. Soon, Evie finds herself in the middle of an age-old battle between the Amaranthine Society—the soul protectors, and the Daevos Resistance—the soul destroyers. With a past she doesn’t understand, and a future rife with danger, Evie has to decide who she can trust. But Alex and Emil aren’t the only ones who want Evie, and her soul is about to become the rope in an eternal tug-of-war.
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published December 6th 2011 by Pendrell Publishing (first published December 2nd 2011)

Captain Justo from the Planet IS
by Stephen D. Miller

Children will be thrilled with the adventures in outer space that predominate this action story. Who can resist when a few of earth’s ordinary citizens prove to be aliens from another universe?

A lost starship, mysteriously recovered after 40 years, gives Marion Justo the opportunity to learn about his family’s most prized possession. Given command of the Isian, disaster follows when intrigue separates the young captain from his father, and plunges him through an undiscovered space vortex, leaving him lost in an uncharted universe. It will take all his skill as a devout student of the Eight Pearls of Is to gain the trust of a terrestrial family, his only hope to avoid destruction.
What if Eternity is a place where decay cannot exist, and Time is a place where decay is rampant? What if current science and space travel is based on mediaeval thinking rather than higher level realities? Captain Justo from the Planet Is will challenge your core scientific beliefs and change the genre of Science Fiction forever.
435 pages
Published 2008 by TriQuest Publishing

by Bryce Moore
When Tomas was six, someone — something — tried to drown him. And burn him to a crisp. Tomas survived, but whatever was trying to kill him freaked out his parents enough to convince them to move from Slovakia to the United States.

Now sixteen-year-old Tomas and his family are back in Slovakia, and that something still lurks somewhere. Nearby. It wants to drown him again and put his soul in a teacup. And that’s not all. There’s also the fire víla, the water ghost, pitchfork-happy city folk, and Death herself who are after him.

If Tomas wants to survive, he'll have to embrace the meaning behind the Slovak proverb, So smrťou ešte nik zmluvu neurobil. With Death, nobody makes a pact
Hardcover, 1st Edition, 368 pages
Published March 28th 2012 by Tu Books (first published March 4th 2012)

The Maze Runner (Maze Runner #1)
by James Dashner
When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade—a large, open expanse enclosed by stone walls.

Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them, open. Every night they are closed tight. And that every 30 days a new boy is delivered in the lift.

Thomas was expected. Only the next day, a girl is sent up—the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers.

Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets that are buried within his mind.
Hardcover, First Edition, 374 pages
Published October 6th 2009 by Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Tour Stop! Guest Post by Jacqueline Gardner

Title: Besotted
Series: Thoughtless Series #2
Author: Jacqueline Gardner
Book Blurb:
After narrowly escaping the serial killer out to steal her soul, Bridget dreams of a drama-free Junior year at Hartfield Manor. But going to school with other teenage mind-readers is beyond complicated. The headmaster greets Bridget with an alarming warning, the Coven is plotting something sinister, and Bridget's caught the eye of the hottest guy at Hartfield. Suddenly one psychotic soul-sucker doesn't seem like such a big deal.

And then there's her ex-boyfriend Terrence. Bars aren't enough to keep him away.

Guest Blog - Combat Class 101

I love writing action scenes. I find it a fun challenge to try and accurately describe what a character is feeling as he/she lands a punch or dives to the floor to avoid being stabbed. Not an easy task.

While writing these scenes I try to draw from personal experience. Though I've never been in a hard-core fist fight, I've kicked, punched, and sparred. In Besotted, the second book in the Thoughtless Series, Bridget attends combat class and learns a bit about self defense. I thought about my own experience taking a self defense class when I wrote this scene.

In class when it was finally my turn to “resist a kidnapper” I remember my heart beating a million miles a minute. Walking towards my sparring partner felt like a slow motion stroll. I couldn't stop running through possible scenarios in my head (much like Bridget does). There was a brief moment where my mind went blank. I was “grabbed”, and it took a few seconds for my body to appropriately respond.

That moment of awkward hesitation went away the more I practiced. I'm definitely not an expert, but I do know how Bridget feels when she's forced to move so fast that it's hard to breathe.

Have you ever taken a self defense course?
Jacqueline's Twitter

Friday, August 3, 2012

Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas

**this review was filmed for posting on** Please click on video to visit Marianne De Pierres youtube channel to view other videos!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Oubliette (Cloud Prophet Trilogy #2) by Megg Jensen

Reychel thought she was finally free. She was wrong. Everyone saw her gift of prophecy as a blessing, but her gift is uncontrollable. No one alive can teach her to manipulate her unique gift and the answers she needs lie buried within a madman’s journals. She’s thrust in the midst of a brewing war and the only uniting factor for her people is their belief in the Prophet.

Will Reychel learn to control her gift or will she be forced to deliver a false prophecy that could lead her people into a violent war?

Although this is the second book in a series, the author does fill the reader in on some of the details that happened in the first book. I am pretty sure that if you would choose to read them out of order you will still fully enjoy this part of the story. Although so far book 1 is my favorite, so I highly recommend reading it.
Reychel has been taken into the palace as an honored guest. They have been awaiting a prophecy and believe that she is the one that will deliver it. Although Reychel is still learning how to use and guide her powers to call upon at her will, she is still greatly admired. All of them hope that she is the answer to their prayers and will indeed prophesier what they have all been waiting for.
Once a slave herself, Reychel's new status as pretending to be a noblewoman at the castle is a whole new world for her. She is not only feeling the stress of having a very short time to deliver the prophecy the people have heard from legend that she will deliver. But she is also on he own quest to discover what her visions mean and piece them together for the bigger picture.
My favorite part of these stories are the portals she can travel through. There is magic and the fact that Reychel used to be a slave but has risen to position of prophet is different and fun to read. The books are pretty short and I read them in about a day. I find them very entertaining and different and a lot of fun.
I noticed there was a cover change on the newest version, but I kind of liked the other one as well, so I will post a link to the newest one below!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Utah Blogger Interview

August is Utah Blogger/Author appreciation month. This is my first year to participate and I thought that to kick off the month I would post my interview of fellow Utah blogger Jenny at alternatereadality so we can all get to know her a little bit better!

When and why did you start blogging?

I started blogging back in April of 2011, so just over a year ago. I'm constantly hanging out with Suey of It's All About Books and she tried for some time to get me to start a blog. The truth was, it was only a matter of time before I would start a book blog. I'm very happy I did start, though. It's been so much fun!

The best book you've read this year and why?

Oh, wow. That's a hard question. Do I really have to pick just one?! Um, this really isn't fair to all the wonderful books I've read this year but here goes. The Hollow City by Dan Wells. Why? Well, first and foremost it was one of the most unique books I've ever read. It totally messes with your head. It's freaky and exciting and with a great MC that you can't help but love. Gosh, I don't know, just read this one if you get the chance.

I know that your into Soccer and Reading, but if there was one other thing you would like to blog about, what would it be?

Hmmm, well I do talk about movies and TV but sometimes I think it would be fun to talk about healthy eating. I recently lost a ton of weight and I would love to share the things I learned. I don't want to come off sounding preachy, though. So I leave it be.

What are some of your favorites? Favorite Book, Author, Music, Soccer Team, Food and Subject in School (current or former class years)
Favorite book? Mary Shelly's Frankenstein followed closely by Markus Zusak's I Am The Messenger. Author? Markus Zusak holy crapola, that boy can write! Music? Um, wow, lots of stuff. Keane...maybe. Soccer Team? Totally Real Madrid, baby! They rock! Food? Chocolate milk. Love the stuff. Unfortunately it doesn't fit into the diet anymore. :( School Subject? I was actually homeschooled, so the whole school experience was very different for me. I really LOVED writing stuff, though. Poems, odes, reports, and eventually stories.

Any advice for anyone who wants to start their own blog?
Oh, I'm sure. There's lots I could say but the thing that shocked me the most, the thing I was NOT prepared for, was how big my TBR list was going to in the first week! You can't read other people's blogs without suddenly wanting to read everything! It was scary!

Where can we find you?
I'm on Facebook and Twitter and Goodreads....and, um, I think that's about it. I love meeting new bloggers so if you're new to me come check out my blog!

Thank You Jenny for taking the time to talk with me! I could not agree more about the To-Be-Read stacks, they grow daily!