Saturday, August 31, 2013

Sunday Post (5)


The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~ It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. 


Last Week on the Blog: 
Monday: Review/Giveaway of Fate's Fable by T. Rae Mitchell
Tuesday: N/A
Wednesday:  Review of Shadows of Glass by Kassy Tayler
Thursday: The Summer I became a Nerd
Friday:   Hellsbane by Paige Cuccaro
Saturday:  Heaven and Hellsbane (Hellsbane #2) by Paige Cuccaro

Michelle's books:

Nothing this week! Trying to play catch up on reviews and such before I go get more to add to the pile :)




Brittany's Books:




Next Week on the Blog:  

Monday: To be Determined!
Tuesday:  Review of Aberrant by Ruth Silver (Dystopian)
Wednesday:  Waiting on Wednesday
Thursday: Review of Claire de Lune by Christine Johnson
Friday:   To be Determined!
Saturday:  Nothing at this point. :)

Friday, August 30, 2013

Heaven and Hellsbane by Paige Cuccaro


Heaven and Hellsbane (Hellsbane #2)

Source:Entangled Publishing – I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I received no compensation.
Published:  August 27th 2013  by Entangled Publishing, LLC
Edition: Ebook
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon/Barnes & Noble
**We receive a small kickback from Amazon purchases, all of which will go towards giveaways!
Brittany's Rating: 4/5

Synopsis via Goodreads: 
Emma Jane Hellsbane just unwittingly triggered a whole bunch of nephilim to come into their powers—and this new army has teamed up with Bariel, demon straight from Hell, who’s made it his mission to kill all the magisters on Earth. When they come after Eli, Emma and Officer Dan must work together to save him, but this makes Eli all the more tempted to Fall for Emma. And his fighting his feelings for her means Heaven has taken notice.

Now Emma isn’t just fighting off demons, rogue nephilim and Fallen angels, she’s defending her womanhood to the judgmental Seraphim angels, too, who want to separate Eli from Emma Jane. Can she protect Eli, Officer Dan, and find her rogue father? For Emma Jane, it’s all in a day’s work as Heaven’s ultimate bounty hunter.


Review:
This book did not suffer from second book syndrome, it had a really exciting plot line with nonstop action!  I even liked it better than the first!  There is also a little bit more of a love story in this book so that is a win for me!  When my heart get involved in books, I am even more invested.   Of course, the love story is a complication for both characters and I am not sure how Paige Cuccaro will resolve it in the end!

Oh Emma and Eli, their love story is so enticing but so forbidden. I know I said this about the first one but one thing I really like about this is author is that not everything ends up happy.  I have read too many books lately that don't seem to have real life consequences.  Again, I know I am horrible for say that!

My only worry for the book is that the complicated plot line will overshadow everything else.  SO MUCH happens in this book, SO MUCH that I just wonder how will all these loose ends be tied together.  I am not sure how many books this series will be, I just hope there is more than one book left otherwise it might not be a clean finish  

There is an intimate sex scene in the book so I would not recommend to young readers! However, as an adult I really enjoyed this book.  It is a fun read and gave me the very same feeling that Black Wings by Christina Henry did.  It is just an overall pretty good book.  Check out the review here:http://www.thepassionatebookworm.blogspot.com/2013/08/stepping-out-of-your-element-3.html







Thursday, August 29, 2013

Stepping out of your YA element (4)


Hellsbane by Paige Cuccaro
Source:Entangled Publishing – I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I received no compensation.
Published: December 2011 by Entangled Publishing, LLC
Edition: Ebook
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon/Barnes & Noble
**We receive a small kickback from Amazon purchases, all of which will go towards giveaways!
Brittany's Rating: 4/5

Synopsis via Goodreads:

Emma Jane Hellsbane always knew she was different, but she had no idea she wasn’t even human. Well, at least she’s half-human. She’s half-fallen angel, too, and now dear ol’ dad wants her dead. All the Fallen angels want all their troublesome offspring removed from the mortal coil so she’s trying not to take it personally. Besides, she wants him dead just as much. Her father’s death is the only way she’ll be forgiven for his sin, stop those pesky demons from trying to hack off her head, and have any hope at all of getting back to a normal life as a wicked slick Intuitive Consciousness Explorer.

Of course, first she’ll have to figure out which fallen angel is her father, avoid accidentally seducing her angelic mentor, help an old friend conquer his own fallen sperm donor, and basically save the world from a cataclysmic divine smack down.

No problem. With a last name like Hellsbane, Emma Jane was definitely born for the job.



REVIEW

Hellsbane is a fast paced, quick read. I was fully invested in the plot line and will be reading the next immediately.   Emma, the main character, is a lovable character with YA girl problems.  She confirms her suspicions very early that she is not normal, not even fully human.  Of course, they are men in her life that complicate life even more (YA girl problems)! She even seems to embrace her non humanness and her ability to kick some "fallen" butt!

This book is like a roller coaster ride in the dark.  Only about half way into the book Paige Cuccaro crushes your heart and all you are left to do is keeping reading. I have not read a book like that in a long time!  The sappy part of me was hoping something magical would happen and make it all better, nope!  BUT, as much as I was super sad, it is nice for things to seem realistic sometimes.  Am I terrible for saying that or what? However, Emma doesn't have time to do the Bella sit and stare out the window thing, she has some butt to kick!

This book is listed as New Adult but I think it is also a great fit for YA readers.  Emma's character is relatable and the story is creative and fast paced.  Minus some swear words and some slight sexual references, I also think that this book would be appropriate for teens.  I have not read further in the series but this one is definitely ok!

Overall a pretty good read with some awesome series potential!



      











Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Summer I became A Nerd by Leah Rae Miller

The Summer I Became a Nerd 
by Leah Rae Miller

Source: NetGalley
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release date: May 7th 2013
Series: Standalone
Edition: Ebook, 267 pgs
Genre: Young Adult/ Contemporary/ Comedy
Rating: 5/5

Description from Goodreads:

On the outside, seventeen-year-old Madelyne Summers looks like your typical blond cheerleader—perky, popular, and dating the star quarterback. But inside, Maddie spends more time agonizing over what will happen in the next issue of her favorite comic book than planning pep rallies with her squad. That she’s a nerd hiding in a popular girl's body isn’t just unknown, it's anti-known. And she needs to keep it that way.

Summer is the only time Maddie lets her real self out to play, but when she slips up and the adorkable guy behind the local comic shop’s counter uncovers her secret, she’s busted. Before she can shake a pom-pom, Maddie’s whisked into Logan’s world of comic conventions, live-action role-playing, and first-person-shooter video games. And she loves it. But the more she denies who she really is, the deeper her lies become…and the more she risks losing Logan forever.


Oh how I adored this book. Seriously. Full of Adorkable awesomeness that had me laughing and reminiscing like crazy.

I am a nerd. Plain and simple. I have no shame. .... now. - middle school is another story, I hid my nerdiness in a deep dark cave of shame unless I was with my family doing Harry Potter quizzes. - I'm not just a book nerd. Oh no, that's been out for awhile now. I can obsess over movies and TV shows with the best of em. The Buffy The Vampire Slayer Musical episode? I can sing it all loud and proud! But this book is about more than being a nerd, it's about being scared to let your nerd flag fly.

The Summer I became a nerd is a Contemporary YA that I can totally get behind recommending to my Teen friends. So many Contemporary YA's focus on high school drama and crushes and I just can't get behind them :/ But this one.. This one is so much more. Maybe your not a nerd. That doesn't mean you won't still appreciate this book. Maybe you won't get the " Who would win in a dual between Voldemort and Vader? " Reference ( Voldemort obviously ) But It shows the other side of the card too. It shows Maddie simply trying to fit in in high school. Fighting with her inner self over what she feels she should do, and what she wants to do.

Yes there is a romance. But it's a perfect geeky one! Logan helps Maddie come out of her shell the way non of her other friends can. He shows her how it doesn't matter if everyone doesn't get your passion, as long as you admit that it's your passion! My favorite scenes were probably the LARPing ones :) ( Live Action Role Play ) Not because I do that. Ya, I was in theater, but I haven't gotten into LARPing yet. My boyfriend on the other hand get's mighty close. He doesn't do live action, but every now and them him and some of our friends will hide away in a deep dark cave of a room, pull out their notepads, and explore unknown worlds as different people.

I never got it. I laughed I admit. I couldn't follow how it all worked and got confused when he tried to explain. But The Summer I Became a Nerd explained it from a different viewpoint that I was able to understand. Now it just sounds fun! I still don't think I will do it. But I understand the appeal more.

Basically. The Summer I became a Nerd is pure nerdy geekdom awesomeness. It has so many fun and witty references - some I got- some I went and looked up. It reminds me why I love being a nerd and am now unafraid to share my passion. It reminds me that not everyone is comfortable with who they are, sometimes they are fighting an inner battle that we just can't understand.

The Summer I became a nerd is more than just a wonderful comedy, it's a contemporary story about accepting who you are and realizing that other people don't have to like it, as long as you do.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Shadows of Glass by Kassy Tayler - Ashes Trilogy #2

Shadows of Glass by Kassy Tayler

If you have not read Book #1 Ashes of Twilight do not read further - Spoilers ahead!

Source: St. Martin's Press
* A copy of this book was given to me in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release date: July 23rd 2013
Series: Ashes Trilogy #2
Edition: ARC - Paperback, 320 pgs
Genre: Young Adult/ Post Apocalyptic / Dystopia
Rating: 3.5/5

Description from Goodreads:

Wren's world has changed. The thing that she fought for, escaping the dome has come to fruition, but it's not the paradise she thought it would be. Most of the shiners have died, and according to James, she is to blame for many of the deaths, a burden which sits heavy on her shoulders. Still some have survived and Wren is determined to keep them safe as they fight to establish a home outside while hiding from the rovers who have weapons that can kill from far away. But as long as she has Pace she knows everything will be fine. Still Wren wonders, as she sees the smoke that continually pours forth from the dome, how did her friends inside fare? Will they ever find out if Lucy, David, Jill and Harry, along with Pace's mother survive the explosions?

Meanwhile, someone else has also seen the smoke. A band of explorers from across the sea arrive in an airship, curious about the dome, and offering help to those who survive. When Wren meets the handsome Levi Addison, she suddenly questions her love for Pace as Levi offers to show her the world from his airship. Does she really love Pace? Or was it just the circumstances that made her think she did? Meanwhile, word arrives from inside via Pip, and Wren is forced to go back inside the dome, a thing that terrifies her more than anything else, to save her friends. Once she's back inside will she be able to escape again? 


Devastation: the perfect word to describe the beginning of this book. Kassy Tayler doesn't give you a chance to work your way back into the story, readers are immediately thrown into a whirlwind of emotions. So many have been lost in the floods, little ones forced to grow up fast and accept that most, if not all, their family are dead. Now they have to fight in order to survive the world outside the dome.

Wren's character takes some major hits. She is strong, if not stronger, than she was in book #1, but now she has to burden some massive guilt. She is constantly questioning herself and her actions ( and I questioned her as well ), shouldering the blame for all that has occurred. It was hard for me as a reader to watch her go through this, knowing how hard she fought to get to this point.

Pace is still around... but his and Wren's relationship is on the rocks a bit. Wren is unsure if her feelings are real, or the result of the closeness forced upon them by their situation. The world outside puts everyone through some serious challenges. Imagine experiencing thunder and lightning for the first time, having never heard of either of them and not knowing what it was?!

Not only do they have nature against them, they now also have to protect themselves from the people outside the done. All they have heard about them are horror stories, and they have no way to defend themselves. Thankfully Wren meets up with some outsides that would rather help than hurt them! Newcomers Levi and his family are incredibly interesting!

While there are many things to love about these new characters, my favorite thing they brought to the table was stories! I feel that too often in post apocalyptics/ dystopias the rest of the world is left out. All we learn about is the immediate surroundings. Even if this was a very small part of Shadows of Glass I still really liked that it was brought up. I liked hearing about the different countries and how each one is handling things differently. I have high hopes that we will learn more in book #3! These new characters also bring with them knowledge and skills that Wren and her people Desperately need. It was interesting to see how everyone took to the changes and how their personalities changed because of it. You may end up liking a character.. that you had some hatred for before.

Shadows of Glass is not completely action packed, though there are some awesome scenes. This part of the story focuses on survival and learning about life outside the dome. The characters go through "character building" events that can never be undone.... Their lives are chancing rapidly and the ending will leave you wishing it was faster, and that you already held book #3 in your hands!




Sunday, August 25, 2013

Fate's Fable by T. Rae Mitchell - Dual Review and Giveaway

Fate's Fables
by T. Rae Mitchell
Source: We received a copy of this book from the Author in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts and opinions are our own.
Published: February 1st 2013 by Original Mix Media Inc.
Edition: Paperback
Series: Fate's Journey #1
Genre: YA Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon
**We receive a small kickback from Amazon purchases, all of which will go towards giveaways!
Brittany's Rating: 5/5
Michelle's Rating: 5/5

Synopsis via Goodreads: 
Seventeen-year-old Fate Floyd loves adventure –– as long as it’s enjoyed from the comfort of her couch. So it’s probably best she has no idea the future of the universe rests squarely on her shoulders.

Summoned by a desperate stranger’s spell in a last ditch effort to fix a colossal screw-up, Fate’s cast into a secret world bound by the ancient Book of Fables to retrieve a magical object powerful enough to set everything right. The only problem is, once she’s inside this savage wonderland, her only way out is to change the endings of the book’s eight dark fables into their mirror opposites. Fortunately, she doesn’t have to run this gauntlet alone, because she meets the mysteriously familiar Finn, who’s as inexplicably drawn to her as she is to him.

As they endure horrors beyond imagining, Fate awakens to powers she never knew she possessed and Finn questions his very existence, while an insidious darkness changes him in frightening ways. Ultimately, Fate must confront the faceless evil concealing itself behind the eyes of her one true love or remain trapped within the Book of Fables forever.


Brittany's Thoughts:

This book was everything I have been missing in the YA scene.  It has the imagery and the storyline of a great fantasy novel.  I have not read anything this imaginative since Lord of the Rings or even Harry Potter.  Yes, you know how much I love Harry Potter.  The book is so beautifully and creatively written that I was lost in the story the minute I started.  The paperback is 478 pages so it's long but it is well worth the time. 

Here are my quick words of wisdom about the story: The first two chapters are a sort of prologue to Fate's story. It was a bit confusing and choppy but once those two chapters are over it is smooth sailing. Also, some younger readers may not appreciate this writing style because it is not a quick story like so many are in the current YA scene but this is a writing style I really appreciate.  

In a reader's world, there is not much to time to do any re-reading but I will be rereading this story again and again.  Already can't wait until Fate's Keep!

My favorite interaction between Fate and Finn:
Tears stung her eyes as she shook her head, "If you're trying to say you're leaving me again, I'll just follow.  You're stuck with me, buster. Just think of me as barnacle...or one of those suckerfish. Better yet, duct tape." 

Michelle's Thoughts: 

My Gosh where has this been hiding!? I'll put it this way. I already plan on purchasing this as a gift for 3 of my friends- one of them being my mom :). I loved it so much I refuse to even give them a choice! lol.

I agree with Brittany, the first few intro pages are confusing.. I did not enjoy the characters that were dominant in those chapters and feared for the rest of the story. But then it switches over to Fate's story and oh my goodness does it pick up!

The writing style is kind of.. mixed. But in a good way! There are the more updated parts where Fate is in the " real world " Then there is the beautiful, rich, enchanting style of the Fables. I really couldn't get enough of those. You get a story inside a story! They were perfect. Very Storybook-esk they just have that perfect feel of something that needs to be read aloud, in a cozy dark room with a candle glowing. Ah man, seriously. I loved the fables. All unique and so interesting!

The few main characters are very interesting, all with very different back stories which make for great interaction between them. I loved getting to see how they each reacted to the different fables, with each having a bit of a different theme it was interesting to see how they handled the situations and how they were going to change things.

With the story switching over to a new fable every few chapters it was easy for me to just keep turning pages. If my boyfriend hadn't come in multiple times to remind me I only had a few hours to get sleep before work.. I probably would have just read through the night without stopping! While it is not exactly a fast read, I do think it had a great pace that will keep readers itching for more!

This is a story I feel I will be recommending very often. It's great for fans of more classic fairy tales, for fans of retellings, Epic fantasies, as well as some lighter fantasies. And just.. All around awesomeness really.




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Sunday Post (4)



The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~ It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. 


Last Week on the Blog: 
Monday: Review of Splintered by A.G. Howard
Tuesday: Review/Interview/Giveaway of Follow the White Rabbit by Kellie Sheridan
Wednesday: Waiting On Wednesday
Thursday: Review of Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor
Friday: Special Alice in Wonderland Feature!
Saturday: Review of The Survivors by Amanda Havard

Michelle's books:

Nothing this week! Trying to play catch up on reviews and such before I go get more to add to the pile :)




Brittany's Books:
Entangled Publishing












Next Week on the Blog:  

Monday: Review/Giveaway of Fate's Fable by T. Rae Mitchell
Tuesday: Review of Shadows of Glass by Kassy Tayler
Wednesday:  Waiting on Wednesday
Thursday: To be Determined!
Friday:   Hellsbane by Paige Cuccaro
Saturday:  Heaven and Hellsbane (Hellsbane #2) by Paige Cuccaro





As always, if you are a fellow blogger, feel free to leave links to your mailbox posts in the comments and we will visit you as well! :) Thanks for stopping by!



Hi guys! I have some pretty exciting news! One of my favorite authors, S.R. Johannes, has just launched a new street team.  

What is a street team? A street team is a group of fans or supporters who rally behind an artist, band, or author. Street teams provide ways for us fans to help spread the word about the books and authors we love. Plus as a bonus most street teams offer really neat perks for being a part of the group. Think of it like your book club, but cooler.


Why should I join Johannes' street team? Because Shelli is awesome! But if that is not enough for you here are a few of the perks that come with being a street team member:
  • A special welcome pack - which includes a "cool" badge for your blog along with bookmark, pen, signed bookplates, press kit on the book, and more.
  • A free ebook of your choice with a chance to win more.
  • Monthly missions - A monthly drawing for members only if you complete the special mission. The prizes will include book gift cards, books, ARCs, query critiques, and other fun stuff.
  • Receive 1 ebook and or swag pack a year for a giveaways on your blog.
  • Coffee talks - come visit me at my appearances and hang out for coffee afterwards.
  • And MORE (check out Shelli's blog for the full list!)
How can I join Johannes' street team? That's pretty darn easy! If you are already a fan of Shelli's book all you have to do is fill out the sign up form and join us over on our special Facebook group. All of the details are listed here in Shelli's blog post.   
   Untraceable
Title: Untraceable
Series: The Nature of Grace, Book One
Genre/Keywords: Contemporary Thriller
Length: 315 pages
Extras: Blog Tour
Release date: Print: November 29, 2011 – ebook: November 15, 2011
ebook ISBN: 978-0-9847991-0-7
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-9847991-2-1

Summary: Grace grew up in the woods. When her forest ranger dad disappears on patrol, she fights town authorities, tribal officials, & nature to prove he’s alive. Torn between a hot boy and cute ex, she heads into the wilderness to find her dad. Soon, Grace is caught in a web of conspiracy, deception, and murder. It will take more than a compass and motorcycle for this tough heroine to save all she loves.

Praise for Untraceable:
"This thrilling story is a dramatic entanglement of mystery, deception and teen romance. The action flows like a brisk mountain stream interspersed with rapids, holding suspense to last page." - Kirkus Reviews
“Johannes has done a marvelous job of creating a suspense-filled mystery with surprises that keep you guessing all the way to the end. Untraceable is a thoroughly engrossing and riveting page-turner.” - IndieReader
"This story is action-packed and very funny in some parts. There is even a bit of young romance...There is a strong message of wildlife conservation, so it is somewhat educational in that aspect." - Readers Favorite
"Grace is a spunky, independent, nature girl who doesn't need a boy to save her. With wilderness survival, a juicy love triangle, and more twists and turns than a roller coaster, this fast-paced novel had me holding my breath until the very last page—and still begging for more!" -Kimberly Derting, author of Body Finder series (Harper Teen)
 
About the Author:
JohannesS.R. Johannes is the award-winning author of the Amazon bestselling thriller series, The Nature of Grace (Untraceable and Uncontrollable). Unstoppable (book 3) is scheduled for September 2013.
S.R. Johannes is the YA advisor of ALLi and a winner of the 2012 IndieReader Discovery Awards (Young Adult category) as well as a Silver medalist (2nd place) in the IPPY awards for YA Fiction. She was also nominated for 2012 Georgia Author of the Year (Young Adult category), a Finalist in The Kindle Book Review's Best Young Adult of 2012, and a YA Finalist in the US Book News Best Book of 2012.
After earning an MBA and working in corporate America doing marketing for over 15 years, S.R. Johannes traded in her expensive suits, high heels, and corporate lingo for a family, flip-flops, and her love of writing. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her dog, English-accented husband, and the huge imaginations of their little prince and princess, which she hopes -someday- will change the world.
 
 

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Survivors by Amanda Havard - Review and Interview

Source: Ink Slinger PR and The Author
* I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an hoest review, all thoughts and opinions are my own. *
Series: The Survivors #1
Published: March 31st 2011 by Chaffie Press
Edition: Ebook, 298 pages
Genre: YA Fantasy/Paranormal/Historical fiction
Purchase: Amazon/Barnes & Noble
**We receive a small kickback from Amazon purchases, all of which will go towards giveaways!
Rating: 4.5/5

Description from Goodreads: 

In 1692, when witch trials gripped the community of Salem, Massachusetts, twenty-six children were accused as witches, exiled, and left for dead. Fourteen of them survived.

The Survivors is the first installment of the tantalizing tales of the fourteen ill-fated Survivors and their descendants, who have been content in hiding for over three centuries. Isolated on a Montana mountainside, only Sadie, the rogue daughter, dares to abandon the family’s sacred hiding place. But no matter how far Sadie runs, something always pulls her back.

On a muggy summer night in Tennessee, she witnesses a shocking scene that will change her life forever. It is the first in a sequence of events that will drag her from the human world she’s sought to belong to for over a century and send her back to her Puritanical family and into an uncertain future filled with cunning witches, mysterious nosferatu shape-shifters, dangerous eretica and vieczy vampires, millennia-old mythology, and the search for her own mortality. After all…

HOW DO YOU KILL A SURVIVOR?


Sometimes I need a good Slap in the face to remind myself not to always judge a book by it's cover. Since I pride myself on being honest in reviews I will do just that by saying, I do not like this cover. After reading the entire story I can now use the reason : It doesn't do the story justice! The Survivors by Amanda Harvard is rich and interesting, heartbreaking AND heartwarming. It had me eagerly turning the pages to see just what would happen next!

The first few chapters I will admit, dragged. I was concerned it was just going to fall into a really basic story line. Immortal witch stops aging, lives out her life as a 18-21 year old. Falls in love with Sweet handsome man. Heartbreak ensues. Thank you Amanda Havard for breaking the mold! I think this author likes to tease her readers. She gives you a taste of something... say... a cute boy. Makes you think.. hey, Ya, this could work! And then She tears it away from you! 


Don't worry! She is pretty generous as well, and goes on to create many amazing characters that I just fell for head over feet! 

The ideas in The Survivors was far more unique than I had expected.Sadie's character was quite different from other YA characters I have read recently. Her religious beliefs add an interesting view to our society and how she handles situations, but it didn't overpower the story like other stories I have read with characters with strong religious upbringings. Sadie questions things, she is open minded and she always wants to know more. Which can sometimes get her into some dangerous situations. 

" 'Sadie, you're a strange girl, so I say this with love,' he said, his voice sincere.
 'I need you to love me more than death,' he whispered."

Because of Sadie's Desire to know more about the world, herself, and others like her; The Survivors is filled with an interesting mix of paranormal history. A few of the paranormals she meets are ones we are familier with, others are more unique and complex. This really added to the complexity and kept me invested in the story because I wanted to know more. 

At the same time though. These more original paranormal characters are part of why I couldn't give a full 5 star review. I got confused. It seemed almost too complex. Having to follow the ideas of - If this creature has a child with this creature it creates one thing, if it has a child with another creature it creates another, and if THAT child has a child it creates something else.. ect... I had a hard time following this and it pulled me out of the story a bit. 

But that will not stop me from recommending this story with a passion! It was filled with history and magic, adventure and romance and was really interesting! I made the mistake of reading  the first few pages of book # 2 that are offered in the back of The Survivors. Now all I want to do is get my hands on it! It seems like it's going to give readers a deeper look into Sadie's family and their interesting way of life, and hopefully learn more of their history! Though there is a romance in Book #1 - and it is a great one- it is not what is the driving force behind me wanting to read #2 and that is a great sign to me!


 The Survivors by Amanda Havard is only .99 cents right now for the e-book version on both Kindle and Nook! Just follow the links above :)





Interview with Amanda Havard: 

1.      Describe your book in ten words or less.
Immortals in exile. Power corrupts. All’s fair in love & war. (See how I cleverly used the ampersand to save a word??)

2.      What drew you to the Salem Witch Trials?
I so love using real history and mythology to frame my fiction, so any time there is a giant black hole in history — that is, a moment where we still can’t tell what really happened — then I see huge opportunities to answer the what-ifs. I went looking for one of these “black holes” surrounding a real historical event, in the US, in recent enough times that it wouldn’t have the feel of something ancient. The Salem Witch Trials phenomenon was the natural fit. That said, once I started reading about the trials, learning what we do know — and more importantly, what we don’t — I began to obsess.

3.      How much research went into the Survivors?
An unbelievable amount. I’m an academic by nature. I read to learn, ask questions and hypothesize, and then I research to flesh out my understanding in order to ask my next round of questions, propose my next set of theory. It’s a thin line, but if you look carefully, you can’t tell me where the line of history ends and the world of fiction begins. All the history is real. All the mythology and lore is real. All the places, all the clothes, the cars, the culture. Every detail is real. So you can dive deeper into story. So you can suspend your disbelief just that much more.

4.      If you were a Survivor, what would your power be?
I’d love the ability to go without sleep. I’d write stories all night when the world got quiet. I’m not all that fond of sleep as it is. But! That said, I love travel, so the teleportation power is probably the most appealing to me.

5.      Which character was your favorite to write?
Mark. And now that people seem to love him, and he seems to be the favorite character to read? That’s only truer.

6.      Biggest writing quirk?
I wouldn’t say a quirk so much as a signature: Songs write this story. I hear the right song, and it can fit an event in my head, which is lovely. But more often? I hear the perfect song, and it tells me what’s going to happen between two characters or in an event that I know must happen. The music behind the story is more influential than anything else.

7.      What book are you currently reading?
Maya’s Notebook by Sandra Cisneros. Also, a good friend’s manuscript.

8.      Willow or Sabrina?
Sabrina. I went through a phase that might have looked somewhat like obsession. (Never admitted that before…)

9.      Charmed or Secret Circle?
I used to watch Charmed reruns till the cows came home. That’s my loyalty.

1.  Are you working on anything new?
Always. Lots of music. The fourth Survivors book. A few new projects, including an adult contemporary, a new adult barely-paranormal one-off, and a YA mind-bender that I’m pretty attached to. I’m also toying with some big transmedia projects —a multi-modal story told in several forms of media, serially, and some graphic novel/comic inspired work. There’s a lot circulating these days!

After reading the Amanda's Answers I have to say.. I love her even more! And I would probably pick up The Survivors just based on the fact that she loves Charmed and Sabrina the Teenage Witch - Though I dunno if I could make a choice between Sabrina and Willow! Also.. Now I really want to know what kind of a playlist would be put together for The Survivors! I may have to look further into this!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Cover Reveal :Stealing Promises by Brina Courtney

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Title: Stealing Promises
Author: Brina Courtney
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Release Date: September 26, 2013
Book Blurb:
What if love was like gasoline? Light a match and become engulfed in it's flame. Chase Harper is a little bit of a bad boy, but he's good for Hannah and she knows it. Their childhood crush quickly ignites into attraction and takes over their entire lives. But when disaster strikes, what can Hannah do to keep her world from falling into the darkness? Her life could fall apart at any moment, just one match and everything goes up in the blaze. Don't get too close to the flame, or you're bound to get burned.    
About Brina Courtney
5295520 Brina Courtney is a young adult author obsessed with chocolate, crime shows, and fantasy movies. She's spent the last few years as an elementary teacher and a high school cheering coach. She lives in a small town in Pennsylvania with her husband and two very loud, small dogs. Links Blog Facebook Twitter Goodreads
 

Alice Week: Movies and TV shows


This week is about Re- Tellings, So instead of sharing ALL the different versions of Alice in Wonderland that have been made over the years. I'm sharing the Retellings and continuations! Movies and shows that have their own special Twist on the tale :)

Movies:

Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland (2010)
19-year-old Alice returns to the magical world from her childhood adventure, where she reunites with her old friends and learns of her true destiny: to end the Red Queen's reign of terror.

One of my favorite versions of Alice in Wonderland.. ok, no.. my FAVORITE. I know many people may disagree, but to each their own. I LOVE Tim Burton's Twists.. and Johnny Depp made such an amazing Hatter!

TV Shows:

Once a Upon a Time in Wonderland: 

To be released in 2014 O.U.A.T in Wonderland is a highly anticipated spinoff from ABC's Once Upon a Time. O.U.A.T quickly became a favorite show of mine as well as my Boyfriend! I loved seeing the twists the writers gave to the fairytales and can't wait to see where they go with Alice in Wonderland!


Alice TV Miniseries:

"Everything you know will be turned on its head."

This miniseries is pure madness. Sci Fi and Fantasy combines to create Alice "intended to be a modern interpretation, imagining how Wonderland might have evolved over the last 143 years"

I absolutely love twists on classics. Going the Sci Fi route is something that creates something really unique and interesting and can create a new fanbase for the classic story.





Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor


An entire week dedicated to re-tellings of Lewis Carroll's Classic story: 
Alice in Wonderland

The Looking Glass Wars 
by Frank Beddor
Source: My Own Shelf
Published: September 26th 2006 by Dial Books
Edition: Paperback
Genre: YA Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon/Barnes & Noble
**We receive a small kickback from Amazon purchases, all of which will go towards giveaways!
Rating: 3.5/5

Synopsis via Goodreads:
When Alyss Heart, heir to the Wonderland throne, must flee through the Pool of Tears to escape the murderous aunt Redd, she finds herself lost and alone in Victorian London. Befriended by an aspiring author named Lewis Carrol, Alyss tells the violent, heartbreaking story of her young life. Alyss trusts this author to tell the truth so that someone, somewhere will find her and bring her home. But he gets the story all wrong. He even spells her name incorrectly!

Fortunately, Royal Bodyguard Hatter Madigan knows all too well the awful truth of Alyss' story and he is searching every corner of our world to find the lost princess and return her to Wonderland so she may eventually battle Redd for her rightful place as the Queen of Hearts.

The Looking Glass Wars unabashedly challenges our Wonderland assumptions surrounding mad tea parties, grinning Cheshire cats, and a curious little blond girl to reveal an epic battle in the endless war for Imagination.


This is another interesting Alice in Wonderland retelling with some awesome twists! The story is told in third person from multiple perspectives with a Victorian London twist. I like books that have multiple perspectives because it lets you keep track of a more complex plot line. The Looking Glass Wars is an exciting, action packed read.

This is the second Alice retelling, that I have read, that has Lewis Carroll getting the story wrong. I love reading about the connection of Lewis Carroll and the actual Alice story. The main character, Alyss, is really let down when the story published by Lewis Carroll is not even close to the real story. Her name is even spelled wrong, oh the nerve!

Sadly, this is not one of my favorite Alice retelling. I am actually quite indifferent about the whole book. The book switched between London and Wonderland so frequently that neither settings were fully developed. I also did not enjoy the droid/futuristic theme at all. Everything in Wonderland is created by Imagination and I would have liked if they did not create droids. I usually enjoy the futuristic feel of books but unfortunately I did not enjoy this rendition. 


I couldn't get a strong connection to any of the characters because both London and Wonderland were underdeveloped.  I felt bad and happy for the characters but was not really invested in the future.

BUT I absolutely still plan on reading the rest of the series because I need to know the ending. Hence my 3.5 rating. :)







Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday - Alice Week

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine
and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.




Already out: 


Splintered ( #1 ) by A. G. Howard
Hardcover, 371 pages
Published January 1st 2013 by Amulet Books

This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence. Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.
When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.

WAITING ON


Unhinged ( Splintered #2 ) by A.G. Howard

Release date: 
Januaray 7th 2013

No description because of Spoilers **









Already Out: 


Follow the white Rabbit ( Beautiful Madness #1 ) 
by Kellie Sheridan

ebook, 100 pages
Published May 21st 2013 by Patchwork Press

For centuries, Wonderland thrived as the domain of beautiful bedlam and unapologetic madness. It was a place like no other. All it took was one girl slipping in through the cracks of the universe to start chaos spiraling toward order. In the 150 years since Alice’s visit, the realm has become tainted—almost normal. Rabbits in waistcoats and playing card minions are little more than creatures of myth, and Wonderland is literally falling to pieces.

For Gwen, Rose, and Lucky, Wonderland is home, and yet they know little of its former glory. When the Alice prophecy resurfaces, they’ll have one chance to use Wonderland’s own legends to bring a little mayhem back into their reality. For she who controls Alice controls the fate of Wonderland.

WAITING ON


Awake and Dreaming by Kellie Sheridan

Beautiful Madness #2

Released Date-UNKNOWN

Follow the White Rabbit Review, Author Interview, and Giveaway!

An entire week dedicated to re-tellings of Lewis Carroll's Classic story: 
Alice in Wonderland


Follow the White Rabbit
By Kellie Sheridan
Source: LibraryThing – I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I received no compensation.
Published by: May 21st 2013 by Patchwork Press
Edition: eARC
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon/Barnes & Noble
**We receive a small kickback from Amazon purchases, all of which will go towards giveaways!
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis via Goodreads:

For centuries, Wonderland thrived as the domain of beautiful bedlam and unapologetic madness. It was a place like no other. All it took was one girl slipping in through the cracks of the universe to start chaos spiraling toward order. In the 150 years since Alice’s visit, the realm has become tainted—almost normal. Rabbits in waistcoats and playing card minions are little more than creatures of myth, and Wonderland is literally falling to pieces.

For Gwen, Rose, and Lucky, Wonderland is home, and yet they know little of its former glory. When the Alice prophecy resurfaces, they’ll have one chance to use Wonderland’s own legends to bring a little mayhem back into their reality. For she who controls Alice controls the fate of Wonderland.



The most important aspect to note about this book is that it is actually a novella.  It is only about 100 pages! I think knowing that part really helped me to enjoy the book.  Most reviews I have read about it have given it a lower rating due the story being too short, well it is a novella! I hated that it was so short because I was immediately left wanting more.  That is my usual feeling after reading a great novella.

The novella follows three different perspectives plus Alice eventually!  Four perspectives was a bit confusing at first but it got easier as the book went on!  I love this type of writing because you get to know so much more about the story.



 This book is a definite must read if you love Alice in Wonderland retellings.  I think it offers a really unique take on the retelling and is different than most Alice retellings. I love Kellie's take on the characters!  The white rabbit is no longer an animal!  The mad hatter is no longer a crazy and manic type of character. Alice is also not your usual Alice.  

Since it's a novella, I am going to keep the review short and sweet.  Have more questions, just comment below!



Author Interview:

Q: Why an Alice in Wonderland retelling?
A: Who doesn’t love Alice in Wonderland?! Okay, a lot of people, but I am not one of them. But what I love more than the original story is all of the ways it has been interpreted since. There are just so many fantastic adaptations out there, and I love (almost) all of them. I always knew I’d eventually want to add my own ideas to the pool, but it was once I saw the artwork that is now on the series’ covers that I knew what I wanted to do with Wonderland—take it somewhere a little more modern, make the main characters all incredible women. The rest of the story just evolved from there.

Q: If you were a character in your Follow the White Rabbit story who would you be?
A: I liked to think that if I were running around in modern day Wonderland and were to play a role in Alice’s journey, that I would be The Mad Hatter. In the world I’ve created, she’s the one who both seeks out knowledge and tries to bring everyone else together. There’s a lot of value in that. Plus, the tea party is going to be a lot of fun!

Q: Do you ever picture your family or friends when you are writing a character?
A:So far, no one I know has really fit into either of the worlds I’ve created (Wonderland and a zombie apocalypse), but I’m sure when the moment calls for it, everyone I’m close to will eventually serve as inspiration for a character, or I’ll start borrowing anecdotes from their lives. Actually, earlier this week, my younger sister was in a pretty bad accident. She was incredibly lucky, and walked away from it but that night had a huge impact on my entire family and I can see a lot of that emotion coming out in my writing at some point.

Q: Which of your series was easier to write?
A: The Hitchhiker Strain, all the way. Even putting my own spin on things, the zombie apocalypse has pre-determined rules that everyone more or less follows, and even if you vary from those, you’re still establishing your own rules that you need to write within. In Wonderland, there are really no rules. Sometimes that means you can write yourself into a corner and than take a ridiculous route to get your characters to safety, and it works, but you also have to pick through a million different possibilities to get there. It has also been trickier to outline and plot for my three main characters, plus Alice, and have all of their lives intersect like they’re supposed to.

Q: If you could work with any author who would it be?
A: I would love to work with any of my top five—Bishop, Briggs, Vincent and Vaughn. And Richelle Mead, whose name doesn’t quite fit with the other four. For most of these authors, it was their urban fantasy series that I feel in love with, rather than YA, but there is still no question I could learn a lot from any of these women.

Q: What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
A: So far, I’d actually say Patchwork Press. My writing partner and I started up a small “author-powered publisher” for independent authors. Writing and publishing can be a very solitary experience, so we started up Patchwork Press to combine the freedom of indie publishing with the benefits of traditional publishing. We all still make the final decisions about our own titles, but we also have a team of people backing us up, who can can call on for advise and who believe in what we’re doing. It has been fantastic so far!

Q: How many hours a day do you write?
A: Not enough. This summer was supposed to be all about writing, and I haven’t done nearly enough. Life just kept making other plans. Right now, I usually write 500-2000 words, two or three days a week. I’m hoping to get up to 1000+ words, six days a week.

Q: Do you have any MUST HAVE snacks or drinks for when you are in writing mode?
A: For me, it’s all about the tea. I am a David’s Tea addict. I’ve never been much of a caffeine person, but when your options for black tea are “Red Velvet Cake” and “Toasted Marshmellow”, it’s impossible to say no.

Q: What suggestions do you have for new authors?
A: Believe you can do it. The publishing industry is changing, and there are a lot of new doors opening up. If you’re willing to put in the work, you can absolutely live your dreams.

Q: What fun things have you been doing this summer?
A: The highlight of this summer for me was definitely my trip to New York for BEA! I met so many fantastic people and it was just wonderful. I also spent a week at my family’s cottage, catching up on reading. And well, writing... which is always fun!


Look for Book Two in Beautiful Madness Next Month!