Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Gatekeeper's Son (The Gatekeeper's Son #1) by C.R. Fladmark

Junya’s grandfather is a billionaire who keeps the secret to his success hidden in a heavily guarded safe.
His mother is a martial artist who wields a razor-sharp katana—and seems to read his mind.
And a mysterious girl in a Japanese school uniform can knock him over—literally—with just a look.
What do they know that he doesn’t?
Junya’s life takes a dangerous turn on his sixteenth birthday, when someone sets out to destroy not only the family’s business empire—the one that he’s set to inherit—but Junya himself. He’s fighting for his life, and doesn’t know who to trust.
What has his family been keeping from him?
Junya’s journey takes him from the narrow streets of San Francisco to Japan, and through hidden portals to the top of the ancient Japanese Izumo Shinto shrine, to places where death and violence are a way of life. And in a mystical world he’s never imagined, he finds his true destiny.
Kindle Edition, 313 pages
Published October 1st 2014 by The Shokunin Publishing Company 
Junya has several events that happen just after he turns 16. A young Japanese girl keeps appearing in his life, he is told he is the heir to his grandfather's estate/business and the awakening of his powers. 
Junya was my favorite character as he tries to figure out everything that has come his way in only a matter of hours. His reactions to the things that happen around him are realistic, but the world and adventures are fantastical. There were some characters like grandfather and Shoko that left me hanging their actions at times felt very random and the scenes with them a bit choppy. Yet Junya takes it all in stride and rolls with it. 
The only normal relationship Junya has is with his best friend. All the interactions between him and his grandfather, parents and Shoko involve this otherworldly fantasy relationships. This has a lot to do with all of the secrets that have been kept from him. As he is trying to figure things out, crazy and unusual things happen all around him and includes everybody he knows. 
If this story were shortened and made into a manga or comic the parts I felt a little choppy in the story would in my opinion make more sense. I did feel that the book was a bit long for the story that was being told and would work better as separate sections or novellas or as a comic. 
The ending of the book was a good ending. Junya really shows a lot of growth and strength from his experiences and it ends strongly. It is something I would recommend to those that enjoy Manga and looking for a story form of that. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Third Twin by CJ Omololu #BookBlast

third TwinThe Third Twin by C.J. Omololu

When they were little, Lexi and her identical twin, Ava, made up a third sister, Alicia. If something broke? Alicia did it. Cookies got eaten? Alicia’s guilty. Alicia was always to blame for everything.

The game is all grown up now that the girls are seniors. They use Alicia as their cover to go out with boys who are hot but not exactly dating material. Boys they’d never, ever be with in real life.

Now one of the guys Alicia went out with has turned up dead, and Lexi wants to stop the game for good. As coincidences start piling up, Ava insists that if they follow the rules for being Alicia, everything will be fine. But when another boy is killed, the DNA evidence and surveillance photos point to only one suspect—Alicia. The girl who doesn’t exist.

As she runs from the cops, Lexi has to find the truth before another boy is murdered. Because either Ava is a killer . . . or Alicia is real.

Amazon * Barnes & Noble

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"[An] original, riveting thriller." -- Melissa Marr, New York Times bestselling author of Made for You

"Delicious and deceptive, The Third Twin is a twisty-turny thrill ride! I couldn't flip the pages fast enough!" --Kimberly Derting, author of the Body Finder series and The Taking

"A classic whodunit."--Kirkus Reviews


CJCJ OMOLOLU is the author of the ALA-YALSA Quick Pick Dirty Little Secrets and several other YA novels. She loved to read but never thought to write until she discovered that the voices in her head often have interesting things to say. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and their two sons.

Website * Twitter




$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 3/19/15

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Secrets of Life and Death by Rebecca Alexander

In modern day England, Professor Felix Guichard is called in to identify occult symbols found on the corpse of a young girl. His investigation brings him in contact with a mysterious woman, Jackdaw Hammond, who guards a monumental secret--She's Dead. Or she would be, were it not for magic which has artificially extended her life. But someone else knows her secret. Someone very old and very powerful, who won't rest until they've taken the magic that keeps her alive....
In Krakow in 1585, Dr John Dee, the Elizabethan Alchemist and Occultist, and his assistant Edward Kelley have been summoned by the King of Poland to save the life of his niece, the infamous Countess Elisabeth Bathory. But they soon realize that the only thing worse than the Countess' malady, is the magic that might be able to save her...
As Jackdaw and Felix race to uncover the truth about the person hunting her, it becomes clear that the answers they seek can only be found in the ancient diary of John Dee's assistant, Edward Kelley. Together they must solve a mystery centuries in the making, or die trying. (less)
Paperback, 384 pages
Published October 7th 2014 by Broadway Books (first published October 10th 2013) 

An urban fantasy about tying the soul to the body after death and the consequences. It jumps from Krakow in the year 1585 and England in the year 2013. The story begins with a young girl's dead body found on a train that has been covered in sigil's. A local professor is called in by the police to help with the case regarding these symbols and if it can lead them to some answers regarding her death.

Prof. Felix Guichard has studied some texts from 1585 by Dr John Dee and Edward Kelley who had been summoned by the royal court Bathory to help with her ailments. The professor also tracks down the seller of some new merchandise that has just been sold that was a possession of the Dr. and his assistant to find out more about the Sigils. Jackdaw Hammond is not only connected to the merchandise, she is dead yet still connected to her body.

What I loved about this story was the different time periods, the initial intentions of 2 gentleman trying to obey orders as well as educate themselves in the power behind different symbols and people's beliefs. Jack's side of the story brings in the mystery of how one ritual can stand the test of time and the secret behind it's performance.

This story has an array of very enjoyable characters and their connections beyond just friends to being a family. Loyalty to each other plays a strong role in the outcome and the fact that an unknown terror is after them  brings in that element of suspense that really makes this story fun to read.
The writing and unraveling of the story points is well done through the jumping back and forth of time periods I personally enjoyed the historical recounts the most, but the climax that takes place in 2013 is fantastic and had me on the seat of my seat.

This is a story I would recommend for those who enjoy Urban Fantasy and Witchcraft. It has very little romance but a handful of great characters and fun read.

I received a free copy for review from Blogging for Books

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

City In Embers by Stacey Marie Brown #cityinembers

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Zoey Daniels has been tossed from foster home to foster
home, where she grows up fast and tough. When she i s placed in her
“last-chance” home, she finds a reason to stay and turn her life around:
her foster sister, Lexie, who is paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair.
Zoey will do anything to keep her safe.
After high school, Zoey is hired by a special government agency, the Department
of Molecular Genetics (DMG), where she meets the other reason to remain:
Daniel, her co-worker. The man she loves.
But there is something unique about Zoey. She can see fae. Because of this,
the DMG hires her to work as a Collector: catching, researching, testing, and
using the fae to save human lives. The work never registers on her sympathy
radar. She was raised to think of fae as beasts that feed on humans and want
to destroy them.
When devastation hits Seattle, Zoey's whole world is turned upside down. The
electric storm connects her to a ruthless fae, a Wanderer named Ryker, whose
dealings expose them to even more trouble and danger. They embark on a journey,
running and hiding from both the government and fae, both of which threaten
their lives and those they love.

About Stacey
Marie Brown

Stacey Marie Brown is a lover of hot fictional
bad boys and sarcastic heroines who kick butt. She also enjoys books,
travel, TV shows, hiking, writing, design, and archery. Stacey swears
she is part gypsy, being lucky enough to live and travel all over the world.

She grew up in Northern California,
where she ran around on her family's farm, raising animals, riding
horses, playing flashlight tag, and turning hay bales into cool forts.
She volunteers helping animals and is eco- friendly. She feels all
animals, people, and environment should be treated kindly.

My Review:
I have to admit as a person who is not exactly a romance fan I was cautious going into this with the cover,
but the summary sounded exactly like something I would enjoy. The book does start out with Zoey explaining
her job and how much she is in love with her co-worker who is twice her age. Needless to say I was a bit
worried that the story would be mostly romance off the bat, but the romance did not, in fact rule the story.

During a battle early on in the book Zoey becomes impregnated by a magical strike of lightening. It just so
happens that the magic had to be taken from somewhere, enter Ryker. Ryker hates humans but until he can
restore his magic, Zoey is not going to leave his side. Along the way they pick up a talking Money, Sprig
who adds the majority of the humor to the story.

During the crazy storm, Seattle is devastated and the city is now an apocalyptic dead zone. Zoey and Ryker
are not only being hunted by her company DMG for becoming pregnant with a Fae, but also Garrett who is after
Ryker, so they have nowhere to turn for help.

I really enjoyed this story, the writing and pacing was perfect and kept me entertained every minute. There
was one particular part in the storyline later on in the book that I felt was a bit out of place with
the direction the book was taking us, but could be easily willing to forgive if that storyline continued
into more depth in a futureinstallment. Also when Zoey becomes captive and pregnant she seems to lose a
lot of the character bad ass build up and I wish she was a bit more bold and defiant.

Overall definitely a book I would recommend, very entertaining and action packed with great combination
of characters.
4 Stars I received a free copy for review for participating in the blog tour.