Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Will Hill's-Department 19



Jamie Carpenter’s life will never be the same. His father is dead, his mother is missing, and he was just rescued by an enormous man named Frankenstein.
Jamie is brought to Department 19, where he is pulled into a secret organization responsible for policing the supernatural, founded more than a century ago by Abraham Van Helsing and the other survivors of Dracula. Aided by Frankenstein’s monster, a beautiful vampire girl with her own agenda, and the members of the agency, Jamie must attempt to save his mother from a terrifyingly powerful vampire.
“Department 19″ takes us through history, across Europe, and beyond – from the cobbled streets of Victorian London to prohibition-era New York, from the icy wastes of Arctic Russia to the treacherous mountains of Transylvania.
Part modern thriller, part classic horror, it’s packed with mystery, mayhem, and a level of suspense that makes a Darren Shan novel look like a romantic comedy.
Hardcover, 489 pages Published March 1st 2011 by HarperCollins ISBN 0007354452 (ISBN13: 9780007354450)
After witnessing his father’s death, Jamie and his mother go on the run, until one day they are caught by two different groups. His mother is kidnapped by the enemy, and he is taken in by the same group his father belonged to, Department 19. Jaime is determined, not matter what it takes, and no matter who gets in his way, to rescue his mother.
Although Jamie is the main character and the story really revolves around him finding his mother, we do get to meet a lot of different character as it goes along. Jumping from perspectives and groups gives the reader a fully-rounded picture of what is happening on each side of this battle.
The author plays on real myths and stories from history to build this narrative, and by doing so, brings in a very classic storyline into a very modern story. The groups’ past, and their current day struggles are very well researched and there are a lot of interesting topics interwoven with a very believable take on what a modern vampire could be.
This book is rather large at just under 500 pages. It contains a lot of world building and is very much a book for those who enjoy detailed war stories; weapons, kidnappings, international travel, conspiracies, and the history behind the groups and wars of the past and current.
I think this book lived up 100% to my expectations of it.  I loved the vampires, the histories and how the departments have changed to today. The only thing that flawed the story was my connection to Jamie. His character felt a little flat, besides his determination to find his mother. I really didn’t get to see a developed character, or as much growth as I would have hoped for. What I did find is that Frankenstein had plenty of humour and personality to make up for Jamie’s lack!

*This review was originally written for and posted on http://www.burnbright.com.au/category/kristas-reviews/

Monday, July 29, 2013

Of Poseidon (Of Poseidon #1) by Anna Banks



Galen is the prince of the Syrena, sent to land to find a girl he's heard can communicate with fish. Emma is on vacation at the beach. When she runs into Galen—literally, ouch!—both teens sense a connection. But it will take several encounters, including a deadly one with a shark, for Galen to be convinced of Emma's gifts. Now, if he can only convince Emma that she holds the key to his kingdom...

Told from both Emma and Galen's points of view, here is a fish-out-of-water story that sparkles with intrigue, humor, and waves of romance.





In the first book in a new mermaid series. Emma soon discovers with an incident with a shark, that there is something unusual about her. Galen, who happens to be there as well notices it too. Galen encourages Emma to train with his group and slowly tells her about the Syrena and her possible connections to them. Soon Emma is part of the family, but she knows that Galen is being secretive and careful with her training. Galen does know one thing. Emma is Syrena but how... and why does she not know her roots?

The reader gets very different personalities with Emma and Galen. She is a feisty, fire-heated girl with a mission to get what she wants and not bow down to anybody. Galen has a reserved personality and only shows true emotions when he is pushed, and Emma definitely gets a reaction out of him. 

The story goes deeper into the  myths and legends of merfolk and ties the Syrena with an ancient past. How they form their kingdoms and their ability to live on land and sea. Emma brings a lot of drama to the story, but Galen is her opposite and balances out the emotional outbursts perfectly. He definitely gets an A for effort. With a mixture of great characters and storytelling, Of Poseidon is a funny and entertaining read.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Seraphina (Seraphina #1) by Rachel Hartman


Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty's anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.

Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen's Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.

In her exquisitely written fantasy debut, Rachel Hartman creates a rich, complex, and utterly original world. Seraphina's tortuous journey to self-acceptance is one readers will remember long after they've turned the final page.
Hardcover, 451 pages
Published July 10th 2012 by Random House Books for Young Readers

Seraphina is a half dragon who must hide who she truly is from the humans. As a half dragon she can transform herself into either and lives among the humans. 

Up until now there has been a truce between Dragons and Humans, but the treaty is in danger of collapse and Seraphina takes steps within the Kingdom to help maintain a healthy and peaceful balance between the groups.

Right when the two groups are undergoing discussions on renewing the treaty, an heir is murdered and all signs point to a Dragon as the suspect. Seraphina throws herself into the case by becoming a go-between between the Prince and the dragons to figure out the mystery.  Torn between the struggle of helping her family stay safe and the peace between the groups. Seraphina shows the ability to become a very strong and level headed leader as well as secret keeper.

Music also plays a huge role in Seraphina's life. She has been forbidden by her father to express herself through music. But it is her one big connection to her mother and pursues her musical interests anyway. The music is within her and it helps her express her own emotions as well, makes her feel complete.

A high fantasy written with such beauty that it is hard to not completely lose yourself in the story. With both political and romantic appeal for readers of all ages it is truly a magical story. All the characters fascinating and world building that is unforgettable. The romantic aspect to the story is exciting in the way that they are both vulnerable and relies on complete honesty.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Program (Program #1) by Suzanne Young

In Sloane’s world, true feelings are forbidden, teen suicide is an epidemic, and the only solution is The Program.

Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment. Sloane’s parents have already lost one child; Sloane knows they’ll do anything to keep her alive. She also knows that everyone who’s been through The Program returns as a blank slate. Because their depression is gone—but so are their memories.

Under constant surveillance at home and at school, Sloane puts on a brave face and keeps her feelings buried as deep as she can. The only person Sloane can be herself with is James. He’s promised to keep them both safe and out of treatment, and Sloane knows their love is strong enough to withstand anything. But despite the promises they made to each other, it’s getting harder to hide the truth. They are both growing weaker. Depression is setting in. And The Program is coming for them.
Hardcover, 405 pages  Published April 30th 2013 by Simon Pulse
ISBN  1442445807 (ISBN13: 9781442445802)
                                                          
 
I received an audiobook of this for review and was ecstatic with joy to get started with this story. I found the new idea of suicide as an epidemic was new and different and I love books having to do with institutions. 
 
The audiobook production was something that I found hard to form thoughts about while listening to it. I thought that the narrator Joy Osmanski  did a great job of giving voice to the main character. But I was not a fan of the pacing and way that the story was presented. It's sad and depressing and the characters are monotone in the way that represents the story/plot. Emotions in any form are frowned upon and besides sadness the main characters rarely show anything else.

As this is a story about dealing with high rates of suicides. There is not much of anything to look forward to besides getting to reach the age of 18 without being taken in by The Program. There is a lot of inner-analyzing emotions and how Sloane feels about the loss of friends and loved ones. But you don't get to show or react in any way without being in danger of getting taken by a Handler if you show those emotions. Totally erasing the idea of grieving or mourning the loss of those loved ones. This lead to a story full of hiding everything you feel and having to dumb yourself down and fade into the background so you don't get noticed. Pretty much acting like a droid, void of emotions.

Any sign of showing any emotions in Sloane's world turns out to be dangerous. Her parents keep a constant eye on her at home and the school when she's away. James and Sloane have to go off together alone just to be able to grieve their losses away from watchful eyes. There is absolutely nothing positive to look forward to really driving in the idea that this is a very depressing story. Their only goal in life is to survive to the age of 18 and freedom from The Program. We do get to go full circle in the book, but what we don't get much of is real life teenage reactions to what is happening. Where is all the drama? Would you just sit down and accept what is happening without a fight?

What I loved about this story was the relationship between James and Sloane. That honesty and complete devotion to each other was heartwarming. As this is the first book in a series I am going to accept that a lot of the feelings and questions I felt while reading/listening to this book will be answered/resolved in the continuation of the story. I sure hope that all of this build up leads to an emotionally drama filled sequel. 

As I typed this review there sure are a lot of ideas that the story did get me thinking about. Would I want to live in a world that has so little self expression? I suppose that if the idea behind the story was to show the reader what it would be like in a doped up-pill popping world of unemotional people to scared to deal with loss that they put their children into such insitutions, then I suppose that is exactly the message I got. What if there was so much loss that all you had was the choice to "save" the ones you can. And at what cost?

Have you read The Program? What were your thoughts?

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Necromancer's Apprentice by R.M. Prioleau

Jasmine Na'Darod lived a simple life with her parents and older sister on the family’s farm. She never strayed far from home until the ill-fated Blood Moon arose, basking the country of Caristan with a terrible, sickening drought.

When her mother falls ill, Jasmine and her family are forced to leave home in desperate search of a cure. During their journey, a series of tragic events will change Jasmine's life forever.

With her former life shrouded and forgotten, Jasmine embraces a new path granted by an unlikely stranger, who, ironically, practices the Art of death and undeath.

As Jasmine is drawn to this enigma of a man, she soon realizes there is more to him than what she initially perceived — his true motives are beyond anything she could ever imagine…

Deeply compelling and morbidly intriguing, The Necromancer's Apprentice is a beautifully-narrated gothic fantasy with memorable characters.

*A novella by R.M. Priolea


I really enjoyed this story from RM Prioleau. It is my second novella to read by this author and find that the writing is very fluid and pulls your right into the world. Jasmine is a very interesting character, although she ends up in a very interesting situation. She makes decisions regarding her future that I did  not see coming. 

Most characters would jump at the chance to lead a normal life, but she makes alternative choices, which I was both surprised by, and loved. 

As a novella it was a very short read, but compelling and I really loved the characters. Even the Necromancer himself was intriguing and unique. As the quote above says, these are memorable characters indeed.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Crewel (Crewel World #1) by Gennifer Albin #Audiobook





Enter a tangled world of secrets and intrigue where a girl is in charge of other’s destinies, but not her own.

Sixteen-year-old Adelice Lewys has always been special. When her parents discover her gift—the ability to weave the very fabric of reality—they train her to hide it. For good reason, they don’t want her to become a Spinster — one of the elite, beautiful, and deadly women w

ho determine what people eat, where they live, how many children they have, and even when they die.

Thrust into the opulent Western Coventry, Adelice will be tried, tested and tempted as she navigates the deadly politics at play behind its walls.  Now caught in a web of lies and forbidden romance, she must unravel the sinister truth behind her own unspeakable power.  Her world is hanging by a thread, and Adelice, alone, can decide to save it — or destroy it


Adelice is a very stubborn and strong main character. She questions everything, stuck in a situation that she will not conform to and fight every step of the way. Eventually making friends with 2 of the boys within the Coventry that help her find answers. 
 
The story is very unusual and unique. The world that they live in all based on woven strands. Each person, building, element all a part of this complex world. Every aspect of the lives of their people is overseen by men, but through the gifts and powers of the Spinsters it is maintained to an adhesive way of living. But you don't get a choice on whether you like your position or not, you just have to play your part, or risk getting torn. 
 
When Adelice is taken from her family home, her parents and sister taken from her. She is forced to enter the Coventry. She is of particular interest to them as it is suggested that she can weave without the use of a loom. A very rare and highly respected position awaits her if only she will prove what she can do. But that will go against everything her parents have told her.  
I received a copy of the audiobook from http://www.audiobookjukebox.com/  
The narrator Amanda Dolan does a great job in portraying the emotions of Adelice throughout the production, her anger and constant questioning of the authorities is brought out in the voice she gives to the character perfectly. The pacing of the story is a constant and lead to a very enjoyable listen.
Story: 4 Stars
Audio: 5 Stars


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Julie Kagawa's -The Eternity Cure




Allison Sekemoto has vowed to rescue her creator, Kanin, who is being held hostage and tortured by the psychotic vampire Sarren. The call of blood leads her back to the beginning—New Covington and the Fringe, and a vampire prince who wants her dead yet may become her wary ally.
Even as Allie faces shocking revelations and heartbreak like she’s never known, a new strain of the Red Lung virus that decimated humanity is rising to threaten human and vampire alike.
Kagawa_The Eternity CureAfter being rejected from Eden for being a vampire, Allison makes the decision to follow the callings of her maker, Kanin. Kanin is currently being tortured by the psychotic vampire Sarren. Allie can feel Kanin’s pain through their blood connection, and it’s drawing her to him.
During her travels she comes across Jackal, and gets mixed up in the search for an abandoned laboratory that is now infested with Rabids. Allison must use her Katana skills to protect herself.
She learns that Sarren is connected to the new danger that has taken over New Covington; something deadly that is affecting not only the humans, but vampires. She finds herself going back home, a place she never thought she’d ever return to.
With a lot of travelling, action scenes and twists to the plot, the story is progressed through the dialogue and connections between the characters. Dark secrets, lies and hidden agendas all come to a head by the end. Humor and emotions are relayed through the voices of the characters giving this story a fun and action-filled read.
Allison’s quest is to find her master and save not only him, but help to find a cure to save everyone from the Red Lung Virus. The pull to be both vampire, yet still connect with the human side, is a constant dilemma for her.
The Eternity Cure is a story with a truly evil villain, and a main character who still shows her human vulnerability in her concern for the well being of others.
Hardcover, 446 pages  Expected publication: April 30th 2013 by Harlequin Teen
ISBN  0373210698 (ISBN13: 9780373210695)

*this review was originally written for and posted on http://www.burnbright.com.au/category/kristas-reviews/

Monday, July 15, 2013

Anatomy of a Boyfriend (Anatomy #1) by Daria Snadowsky


Hardcover, 272 pages Published January 9th 2007 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers

                                                                          *** 3 Stars  ***
Before this all happened, the closest I'd ever come to getting physical with a guy was playing the board game Operation. Okay, so maybe that sounds pathetic, but it's not like there were any guys at my high school who I cared to share more than three words with, let alone my body.

Then I met Wes, a track star senior from across town. Maybe it was his soulful blue eyes, or maybe my hormones just started raging. Either way, I was hooked. And after a while, he was too. I couldn't believe how intense my feelings became, or the fact that I was seeing—and touching—parts of the body I'd only read about in my Gray's Anatomy textbook. You could say Wes and I experienced a lot of firsts together that spring. It was scary. It was fun. It was love.

And then came the fall.


Remember your first love and that feeling of over analyzing every word you said and move you made? That is this story. I'm not talking about when your in kindergarten and you and your friends tease each other with "you show me yours I'll show you mine" This story is about the real First Time. Going All The Way. Home Run. 

Told from Dominique's perspective, we see through the eyes of a girl experiencing her last year of High School and falling hard for a boy. He's distracting, he smells good and she wants to do nothing but touch him all day long, every chance she gets. The awakening of emotions that we all experience at different points in our life. But the first time is always the one you remember, and most often so awkward you probably wish you could forget. 

If you can't tell already there is a focus on sex in this novel. Our main character is obsessive about safe sex, protection and even bodily functions. Which she is always able to remind us of at some of the most random moments. 

What I enjoyed about the story is (for the most part) the writing and how the author is able to really pull the reader in to the emotions of what the main character is thinking, feeling and aiming for with her actions through her thought process. But perhaps it's also the writing of the sex scenes that made me blush, and feel very uncomfortable with it's very direct and descriptive way of handling the sex scenes.

I admit I am a bit of a prude, especially when it comes to such intimate details, but I also think that if I am uncomfortable, others will be too. I have always preferred the "less is more" when it comes to details of sex in teen books, but this story takes it to the maximum level and doesn't let anything go unimagined. 

The characters are very likeable, relateable and real. There is never a moment that you don't understand exactly what she is going through and why. Even those details that your afraid to talk to your relatives about are explained pretty intimately in this story.

First Loves are always a roller coaster emotionally and so is your first time. This book approaches both subjects with honesty.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

The Emerald Tablet (Legends of Amun Ra #1) by Joshua Silverman


Leoros doesn't have many friends. The son of a scientist and archaeologist, he is constantly on the move. But when his parents make a startling discovery in Egypt, Leoros' world is turned upside down.
When an archaeologist discovers the mythic Emerald Tablet buried beneath Egypt’s desert, her son decodes the ancient text leading him to a distant world.
On that world, a slave girl begins a journey towards a destiny she cannot imagine. But when an ancient foe rises from the ashes, they will be brought together by forces neither understands.
Leoros, who dreams of being like the heroes in the comic books, must fight to unlock the secrets of the universe to save a people he never knew existed.
Atlantia, whose bloody visions wake her in the night, senses the darkness coming.
Together they will face an enemy with the power of dark energy, lose a mentor to the assassin’s blade, and be betrayed by someone they trust. Their fight for the future is just beginning, and before it is over, a final sacrifice must be made. When the darkness comes, will they stand and fight or will they join it?
There is darkness in everyone.
Paperback, First, 408 pages  Published September 15th 2012 by Enchanted Forest Press
ISBN13   9780985207038 
 
The book starts off giving the readers a lot of information. By getting several introductions to both characters, worlds, prophecies and magic practices. It is not introduced as info dumps, but rather jumping from different planets, and through time and space giving us peaks into each section as it's happening at the time. 
From a girl getting beaten by her father to teach her "fear" to a young mother leaving her last born child with another for safety so they do not fall to the fate of the prophecy. And a young man who travels the world with his mother (an archaeologist) and discovering the The Emerald  Tablet.

With the interweaving of several different characters at a time, their link to the prophecies. Either through Magic Wielding, Blood Relation or guiding and ruling over those who have the powers. It's a huge jumble of things to understand right off the bat before we jump into a more calming nature to the story as the characters lives develop. And as they being to travel through the different worlds and times to bring them all together.

for those of you that enjoy Epic saga's with complex worlds and characters of all ages, you may enjoy this one. There is a constant fast pacing to the story and never any down time as the story continues to jump from place to place. Magic, prophecies, battles all ensue with a plethora of references to comic books, video games, tv shows and Greek and Egyptian histories to help bind the story together.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Sharp Shooter (Tara Sharp #1) by Marianne Delacourt



Introducing Tara Sharp, a fun, feisty, kick-arse crime fighter for fans of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum.

Tara Sharp should be just another unemployable, twenty-something, ex-private schoolgirl . . . but she has the gift - or curse as she sees it - of reading people's auras. The trouble is, auras sometimes tell you things about people they don't want you to know.

When a family friend recommends Mr Hara's Paralanguage School, Tara decides to give it a whirl - and graduates with flying colours. So when Mr Hara picks up passes on a job for a hot-shot lawyer she jumps at the chance despite some of his less-than-salubrious clients.

Tara should know better than to get involved when she learns the job involves mob boss Johnny Vogue. But she's broke and the magic words 'retainer' and 'bonus' have been mentioned. Soon Tara finds herself sucked into an underworld 'situation' that has her running for her life.

Marianne Delacourt is the pseudonym of a successful Australian sf-fantasy author who is sold throughout the world.
  Paperback, 313 pages Published September 2009 by Allen & Unwin 




Tara Sharp is a completely likeable character, somebody you'd want on your side and would be amazing to hang out with. She's young, living in her parents garage, still trying to figure out what to do with her life. Using her Aura-reading ability to her advantage she gets some odd jobs around town, and some that turn into detective work and finds herself in some dangerous and funny situations.

I was very pleasantly surprised that this novel did not contain a lot of romance. Sure, Tara has a date or two and sure she has some attraction to them. But it's a time in her life that she is focusing on her, and getting through her current assignments. My favorite part of the story is focus on getting yourself straight before messing around with a love interest.

Tara is the type of girl that cannot sit still, she loves her car and keeping healthy. Her parents opinions matter a lot to her (even though she's not always up front with them). She ends up getting into some pretty sticky situations and there is humor throughout the book. I especially love the quirky-ness of the pet birds and how much they play a part in the story.

There is a lot going on in this story. She is trying to handle her at home business, but she gets involved an job offer through Mr Hara that she can't pass up. This leads to several different adventures and more trouble than she knows what to do with. But she's a pretty smart cookie and knows when to ask for help. 


                                                           http://www.tarasharp.com/  

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Diva (Flappers #3) by Jillian Larkin



"Gloria Carmody didn't just sing the blues-she lived them; she was their very essence."


If you love The Great Gatsby, you'll want to read the Flappers series.

Joy and tragedy collide in DIVA, the riveting conclusion to the Flappers series, set in the dazzling Roaring Twenties. Parties, bad boys, speakeasies—life in Manhattan has become a woozy blur for Clara Knowles. If Marcus Eastman truly loved her, how could he have fallen for another girl so quickly? Their romance mustn't have been as magical as Clara thought. And if she has to be unhappy, she's going to drag everyone else down to the depths of despair right along with her.

Being a Barnard girl is the stuff of Lorraine Dyer's dreams. Finding out that Marcus is marrying a gold digger who may or may not be named Anastasia? A nightmare. The old Lorraine would have sat by and let the chips fall where they may, but she's grown up a lot these past few months. She can't bear to see Marcus lose a chance for true love. But will anyone listen to her?

Now that the charges against her have been dropped, Gloria Carmody is spending the last dizzying days of summer on Long Island, yachting on the sound and palling around with socialites at Forrest Hamilton's swanky villa. Beneath her smile, though, Gloria's keeping a secret. One that could have deadly consequences . 

Hardcover, 320 pages  Published July 10th 2012 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers

ISBN  0385740417 (ISBN13: 9780385740418)
Clara, Lorraine, Gloria. From the beginning we have followed these 3 girls (with some very interesting side characters) as they find love, loss through their pursuits of happiness. 

 Although the books are separated into chapters from each of their perspectives. Our main focus is on Gloria. A singer who has fallen head over hills for Jerome. Interracial couples in the 1920's America is frowned upon in the highest forms. Gloria and Jerome have a love for music and it's music that brings them together. As they struggle to overcome the negativity of their friends as families as they strive for just to be as happy together for as long as possible. When trouble knocks on their door, they flee the city. 

Clara and Lorraine are no angels either. Getting mixed up with the wrong guys, alcohol,  in the wrong type of business and at times always trying to best the other with how high up the ladder they can climb. 

Now in the third and final book of the Flappers series we find each of the girls in separate living situations, but soon they are all brought together again. One last battle to help Marcus from marrying a sneaky girl who is not who she says she is. Although Gloria has her hands into more pressing matters with the police and trying to stay out of jail. Clara and Lorraine work closely to learn more about Anastasia and help Marcus from making the worst decision of his life. 

Not all stories can end in Happily Ever After. But these girls are willing to fight, to the death. To make theirs as close to perfect as they can. 

The flappers series is a hands down entertaining series. It has jaw dropping, shocking moments that you will never see coming. Readers will find love/hate relationships with the each of the girls, finding them stubborn or selfish to completely relate-able.  You'll get sucked in and your hearts will ache right along with theirs. I loved the ending, it was so fitting for this series. 
 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Celia on the Run by Sarah Mandell



Nick Novaczek is a cautious soul, a 17-year old with a boring life, a predictable future, and a quiet thirst for danger. On the eve of his beloved grandmother's funeral, danger finds him by the motel swimming pool. Her name is Celia and she's everything he's not. This foul-mouthed beauty is hitchhiking across the country to make amends with her estranged father and doesn't carry an ounce of fear or hesitation in her tattered suitcase. She's bad news all around, but for a rule-follower like Nick, she's intoxicating.

Twenty-four hours after speaking to Celia for the very first time, following one extremely lucky night, Nick is hopelessly hooked and "borrows" his parents' car to join her cross-country mission, even though her story is full of holes. It's the mistake he's been waiting his whole life to make. Together, they dodge a train, jump off a bridge, and scam everyone in their path. Nick is blossoming into a teenage fugitive, just like Celia, and he's never been happier. She may not be who she says she is, but she's got his vulnerable heart.

After weeks of detours, with hundreds of miles left to go, their wild adventure starts to unravel. The money dries up, Celia's dark secrets begin to surface, and it's clear they both want vastly different things out of this partnership. Celia is all about no strings attached and severing whatever they may have between them once they reach their destination, while Nick is head over heels in love and wanting a future with the girl in his passenger seat. They seem to reach a new low on a daily basis, but she won't turn back, no matter how desperate things get. After all, this is her trip and Nick is just the driver. Celia's got a charming smile to pay her way, a willing accomplice, a hidden agenda, and an endless supply of lies. Not to mention a gun.

ebook, 173 pages   Published February 29th 2012 by Untreed Reads 
*Book includes sex, violence, drugs and alcohol use. 
On the eve of his grandmother's funeral. Celia and Nick have crossed paths, she is a runaway traveling across the country to return to her father's house. The book starts off on a very sexual revelation on Nick's part. His grandmother's last words pretty much stating he needs to go get laid, and live life while he's still young. A point is made that his parents have a highly sexual love life after all these years, leading up to Nick watching Celia in the public shower and shortly afterword having her take his virginity. The book literally starts of with a “bang”.



Nick is described to be a straight A student, very soft spoken, nice and predictable boy. But when the tornado that is Celia turns up, it's a ride that he doesn't want to end. Stealing the car and abandoning his parents at the motel, he offers to drive Celia across the country and deliver her home.



Celia on the Run is very much a sexual awakening story as it is a coming of age. There are not a lot of actual sex scenes, and they are not graphic. But there is a constant focus on it and several discussions between the two regarding it. Along the way they end up in situations in which they have to get money for food and gas, and lets just say that Celia is in no way ashamed to use her body as a way to persuade people to give her money. Although not all of their situations are specifically geared toward using sex and flirtation for money. They also have to turn to stealing and lying to make their way.



It is very clear that Nick enamored with Celia and her beauty. At first he is taken with the very carefree life that she is living. She's upfront with him, tells him how it is and warns him of what being around her entails =danger. But she's not about to pass up a free ride with a nice and trustworthy boy.



Celia on the Run is heartbreaking, heart-pounding and shocking story. It begins with a bang, and ends with another. Fast paced and action packed, non-stop adventure.

**** 4 Stars ****

Saturday, July 6, 2013

#IDreadalong Innocent Darkness by Suzanne Lazear

Read-A-Long of Innocent Darkness by Suzanne Lazear.
Still time to join! http://www.suzannewrites.blogspot.com/

Chapters 1-5 (Week One)

While this is the first week of the readalong I will try not to give any spoilers in my posts!
1) the Pixymobile.
While I enjoy watching movies in which there are flying cars (Back to the Future, Cloud Atlas, The Fifth Element) to name just a few. I would be completely terrified to actually ride in one. I find that traffic on the ground is dangerous enough I could not even imagine keeping my cool up in the air! I always have this thought that if flying cars are a part of my lifetime I would still drive on the streets, but then I risk getting landed on by a failing car above me. But that's not to say I would not TRY it.

2) Story
So far still trying to get used to the setting. But I really like the idea of her going off to school. Our MC (Magnolia) needs to learn how to be more of a "Lady" but I really hope she keeps her spunk through the whole book.

Pet Peeve: A teenager still calling her mother "mama" -but I imagine I'll get passed that as the book progresses.

Love: How Noli is pretty much on a first name basis with the police officer that pulls her over.

From the Authors Blog Post---Trivia
  • The scene between Noli, V, and the hovercop? I had an actual police officer help me with the scene.
  • The tree in Noli's backyard is based on a real tree, the tree where I got the idea for the book. It does have a trunk curved like a "j" from where it was struck by lightning. However, it's a mulberry, not an oak and has no tree house.
  • V's medallion design is based on the Celtic tree of life
  • The cookies Noli and her mom are eating are based on actual cookies I buy at Trader Joes. I at *a lot* of them while writing this book. Also, Sour Patch Kids.
  • Aether was considered the fifth element by the Greeks and appeared in early physics and alchemical theories
  • My first car was called "The Big Bad Pixymobile." It was a powder blue Buick Estate Wagon, older than I was, and I bought it for $20 (yes, it worked). 







Friday, July 5, 2013

Cover Reveal! The Wind Whisperer by Krista Holle


cover art created by the talented Janice Duke.
At fifteen, Anaii is the most important member of her tribe—and the most mysterious.  Ever since Anaii can remember, the spirits of the wind have whispered of fertile hunting grounds and imminent enemy attacks.  But when her people are ambushed by a brother clan without any apparent cause, the spirits remain eerily silent.
As the village prepares to retaliate, Anaii is pressured by her best friend, Elan, to marry him.  It’s an old plea—Elan has spent a lifetime loving her, but Anaii only sees a childhood playmate out of an imposing warrior.  Stifled by Elan’s insistence, Anaii escapes into the forest where she meets Jayttin, the beautiful son of the enemy chief. 
Enamored by Jayttin’s carefree spirit and hope for peace, she repeatedly sneaks away to be with him, but when her deception is discovered, Elan is devastated.  Pledging his lifelong affection, Elan gives her a passionate kiss, and Anaii begins to see her friend in a new light. 
While Anaii is tormented over which man she must choose, the wind whispers of a new threat that could destroy both tribes.  Only a union will afford a chance at survival, but the reality of that union is based on one thing—which man Anaii chooses to die.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday The Woken Gods by Gwenda Bond



Five years ago, the gods of ancient mythology awoke around the world.
This morning, Kyra Locke is late for school.
Seventeen-year-old Kyra lives in a transformed Washington, D.C., home to the embassies of divine pantheons and the mysterious Society of the Sun. But when rebellious Kyra encounters two trickster gods on her way back from school, one offering a threat and the other a warning, it turns out her life isn’t what it seems. She escapes with the aid of Osborne “Oz” Spencer, an intriguing Society field operative, only to discover that her scholar father has disappeared with a dangerous relic. The Society needs it, and they don’t care that she knows nothing about her father’s secrets.
Now Kyra must depend on her wits and the suspect help of scary gods, her estranged oracle mother, and, of course, Oz–whose first allegiance is to the Society. She has no choice if she’s going to recover the missing relic and save her father. And if she doesn’t? Well, that may just mean the end of the world as she knows it.
From the author of Blackwood comes a fresh, thrilling urban fantasy that will appeal to fans of Neil Gaiman, Cassandra Clare, and Rick Riordan.
Expected publication: September 2013 by Strange Chemistry 

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




Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Caitlin Kitteridge: The Nightmare Garden (Book 2)



Everything Aoife thought she knew about the world was a lie. There is no Necrovirus. And Aoife isn’t going to succumb to madness because of a latent strain—she will lose her faculties because she is allergic to iron. Aoife isn’t human. She is a changeling—half human and half from the land of Thorn. And time is running out for her.
When Aoife destroyed the Lovecraft engine she released the monsters from the Thorn Lands into the Iron Lands and now she must find a way to seal the gates and reverse the destruction she’s ravaged on the world that’s about to poison her.
Hardcover, 417 pages Published February 14th 2012 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
ISBN  0385738315 (ISBN13: 9780385738316)

In the first book The Iron Thorn, Aoife destroyed the Lovecraft engine, setting war about all the lands. The gates that have always been closed, have been opened and creatures have set an all-out war amongst each other. Aoife is taken to the Mist lands to stay safe from the danger with her brother and friends, but soon finds that even they are not welcomed there. The more the portals are opened, the easier the Proctors can find them. Aoife cannot fall into the hands of the Proctors because it just may mean death for her, her friends and her family.
Aoife knows that she is the only one who can save their world, by setting all the things right, but everybody is advising Aoife that what is done is done. They must fight and make due with what has happened. When Aoife gets the opportunity to be with her father again, she is more unhappy than ever and has to be true to herself. The Proctors soon get to her, and use her for their own advantage, with the threat of keeping her boyfriend jailed until she completes her tasks. But all Aoife can think about is finding her mother, to see if the the rumors of the Clock are true. And to do that, she must betray her father, her family and head out on her own.
What we have come to know about Aoife in The Iron Thorn is challenged a bit in the beginning of The Nightmare Garden. The once strong, determined and very stubborn Aoife becomes more timid when confronted by her father – a man she has not seen since she was a child. She is confronted with those emotions of being abandoned by him and his newly formed authority over her. But this doesn’t last for long. Aoife could not have gotten as far as she has in her travels, without the tenacity that we have come to know and love in her.
Aoife has to experience a lot of sad, hard times in this novel. It is heartbreak after heartbreak and each time she is having to force through another blockade she grows stronger and harder than ever. She is one of my absolute favourite heroines. A girl that doesn’t know what it’s like to have it easy. She spends her whole life knowing that she is going to become crazy or contract her “weird” as they refer to it in this book. But unlike the stories of the weird she has heard about, she overcomes and learns to wield it, magically. She becomes stronger and pushes harder.
There is a lot of travelling in this series and each new land brings a whole new dark, mystical adventure. The descriptions of the mists/ether/ open starry skied lands are completely mind blowing and visually engrossing.  I loved every minute of the book. It’s going to get you thinking, especially the ending, about what kind of repercussions the actions of one world can have on all the others. I cannot wait to read the next installment.

*This review was originally written for and posted on http://www.burnbright.com.au/krista-reviews-caitlin-kitteridges-the-nightmare-garden-iron-codex-2/

Monday, July 1, 2013

#BurnBright #Kindlebook #Freekindlebook

Night Creatures Series Free to Kindle

I’m excited to let you all know that from July 1st – 5th the Night Creatures books (Burn Bright, Angel Arias and Shine Light) will be free on Kindle Select. Here’s a chance to get the whole series FREE for a limited time only!
Don’t miss out and tell your friends!

Amazon Link


Innocent Darkness Read-a-Long #IDreadalong



I have signed up to participate in the Innocent Darkenss Readalong hosted by the author Suzanne Lazear. Over the next couple of weeks you may see some posts here on my blog referencing this book and the chapters we'll be reading. I will also be attending the twitter parties! I encourage you to join along with me, or at least stop by and check out the chats if you have time.

The link to her post in which you can also participate!
 http://www.suzannewrites.blogspot.com/2013/07/innocent-darkness-read-along-week-one.html