Tuesday, January 31

In the Shadow of the Moonlight - The Awakening: Character Interview

1. When we first meet you, your grandmother reveals her family secret to you. What were your first thoughts about it?
The first thing I thought that she is kidding me. But after looking at her face I thought this story should stop my plans going to study abroad. As well I thought for a short moment that she is demented. Most times she was really scared if I asked for staying over night by a friend. But it was time to go, to live by my own.

2. Was there even a small part of you that believed in her tale of her mother being a were-panther?
Yes, there was, but only in a funny way. I never believed that were-panthers exists. This is like the werewolves, vampires or hobbits. Nice for movies and novels but nothing real. The story sounded to me like a fairy tale told by my grandmas mother.

3. What do you consider are your strengths and weaknesses?
If I aim something I go for it. Obstinately. And there you have also my weakness. To be obstinate is good but on the other way it could be your own enemy. As well I am sometimes naive, I know, but I am working on it. One day I hope to consider judiciousness to one of my strengths. Another reason why I have to leave my family for some time.

4. Describe yourself in 3 words??
Friendly, fun-loving, honest.

5. What made you pursue a career in athletic sports?
I love sports, all of them - as well this ones I am bad in - and I love to talk about it, so I thought it might be the best choice for me. Maybe I become later a teacher to show kids that sport is not work but fun or if I can make it I will be sportswriter. That would be my perfect job when I am not that sporty like I am now. So I can still talk about sport events.

6. What has been your favorite sport since coming to the U.S. and why??
Distance running and martial arts. They always will be my favorite ones. But after practicing basketball with some really good players I will never stop playing. It is so much fun. I love to fight about the ball, keep it and pitch it in the basket.

7. With everything that has been going on what's the most important thing in your life? What do you value most?
My family. This is only my mom and my grandmother. But I consider my best friends like family too. They always be there for me and I will be there for them.

8. Can you tell us what was going in your mind when you first shifted?
I was shocked and afraid. I had no control over my body and I am used to have always the control over it. It was so strange to be in this new body and it was very hard to discover that I had to learn walking again. I could not believe that the fairy tale story is true and I am like my grandmas mom.

9. What is your favorite food??
Each kind of pizza :-) I can eat it for breakfast.

10. Describe your ideal mate?
My ideal mate has to be cute, of course ;-), I prefer tall and dark haired males, but even more important for me is that he make my laugh, that he is honest and loyal to me, that he trust me as well if I can't tell him the whole truth.

11. What are the good and bad things about being able to shift into a panther?
One thing is that you can hear pretty good, that you feel like home in the woods,
without being afraid of the darkness and of course that you can run fast and climb on trees. It's fun. The nights in the woods are beautiful. The moonlight, the silence, the smell. The bad thing is that I am forced to shift into a panther without chance to protract it. I am not happy about it but I have to live with it. Imagine to shift into a panther in the city hall or the hospital. I am sure that I would not survive this. I have to be very careful.

12. What is your favorite party food or drink??
As I told you I love pizza. So it is pizza but I like hamburgers too. I prefer wine to beer, but I will be happy with a Coke as well. So if you like to invite me to a party, you won't have to offer pizza or something special. Tell me where and when it is and if it is not too far away I will be there. But take care, I can't be there for a full-moon-party.

J. J. Bidell grew up in the country-bred of Southern Germany with an older sister and a younger brother. Since she was 18 years old she traveled every year like a backpacker thru North and South America as she never felt comfortable in her native country. She considers herself like a cosmopolitan with German roots. After living in Venezuela and in the Dominican Republic she moved to Spain. Since 2005 she lives on Mallorca with her older sister and her fifteen year old black cat, which is more than happy that she never has to set paw in another
airplane again.

Where to meet:

Links to the novel:

In the Shadow of the Moonlight - The Awakening: Book Review

by J. J. Bidell

Naomi Roberts finally receives a scholarship for a semester abroad in Maine. When Naomi’s grandmother suddenly claims that Naomi will soon be transformed into a panther, like her great grandmother Romina, Naomi believes it is a final and desperate attempt to keep her from departing to the USA.

Having arrived in Maine, Naomi enjoys her student life with new friends and her first love, Roman. Even though she feels magically drawn to a mysterious clearing in the woods, believes she is being watched and begins to sleepwalk, she does not remember the prophecy of her grandmother. Until her very first transformation. And - Naomi is not alone, which not only exposes her to mortal danger, but also Roman.
I agreed to review this book since I just love werewolves.  Yes it isn't a wolf they morph into but a panther.  That sounds just about as cool.  But for some reason when it is spelled out as werecat it loses its luster.  Now I can't help but picture some lame helpless kitten.  Yeah, just not doing it for me.  The writing in this book was also really hard to follow.  There seems to be a lack of transitions so I had to keep rereading sections to figure out what I missed.  Except I couldn't figure it out and just had to accept the gaps that were the result.  The good news is that the writing improved as the book progressed.  I even began to like the characters.  But then one of the characters turns out to be a complete opposite of how he is painted in the beginning.  Yeah, it turns out he is the villain.  And not just any villain but a super creepy rapist.  At this point I was reading this book more in the hopes of a good ending.  In a way it was a good ending but not since it is all a facade.  So the future is now bleak and you will have to repeat this at least five more times.  That just screams give up now and welcome oblivion to me.  But hopefully things turn out well at the very end.  Poor, poor Naomi.  Although, in many ways it does seem like she asked for it.
In the end this book wasn't quite my style, it left me with disturbed sleep.

Spoiler Section:
Okay, how could she not notice she had been raped?  You would be sore in the morning and not in a way that would be easy to explain away.  And why to characters so often decide it is better to fight separately instead of team up for the win?  Don't they read books or watch movies?  Help is almost always better.  I mean look at Kai, he could have been in a completely different world.  But deciding to leave the girl for her protection left him blind and resulted in her death as well as his.  Will Naomi learn from others mistakes?  It doesn't look too promising.

Content: rape and mild swearing

Monday, January 30

IMM: 2

A continuation in part of birthday stuff among other things.

In the Mail:(This group is all a gift from hubby)
A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford
The Alchemy of Forever by Avery Williams
The Taker by Alma Katsu
Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

The Revenant by Sonia Gensler

Between by Jessica Warman
The Mephisto Covenant by Trinity Faegen

Babe in Boyland by Jody Gehrman

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Author Event:
Got my ARC of Fracture signed
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Tiger's Quest by Colleen Houck

For Review:
Partials by Dan Wells
Sisters of Glass by Stephanie Hemphill
Scary School by Derek the Ghost
Spellcaster by Cara Lynn Shultz
The Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter

Way more books than I can read in one week.  Very likely a month and a half worth of reads.  I better get crackin'.

Its Monday: eReaders

First check this out it basically describes the point of my rambling. Its Monday

What do you think?  Paper or tablet?  Which eReader gets your vote for the best?
My thoughts on eReaders based on my experience: I have had a Kobo for a year now and I really don't like it. What I like the absolute least is the PDF format. I had reading books in this format since you have so much extra flipping involved just to see one page. And since the load for each page is horrendous it really slows down the overall reading time.  I also don't like that the button soon get depressed permanently.  While using this eReader I thought to myself that the book industry is a bit daft to encourage eBooks.  It takes so much longer to read and eBook than it would a physical copy.  Longer reading time equates to less books read overall.  That would mean a decrease in book purchases and by association money for their bottom line.  I think they meant to factor all these things in my making an eBook be almost the exact same price as a physical copy.  I really don't understand how that could be.  To my way of thinking it should be far cheaper to get an eCopy.  It almost doesn't exist and could be so easy to loose.  Ever heard of file corruption?  Not cool.  Then there is the battery life on the eReader.  So very annoying to be in the middle of reading a book and to lose power.  Or to have to wait to use it.  I also hate the glare when I try to read at night.  Also, the whole competition thing between the eReader companies.  I don't like how Kindle is so exclusive with their eBooks.  I feel I should be able to buy an ebook anywhere and read it on my eReader.  Then there is the whole thing about not being able to give your copy away or lend it.  I don't have any problem doing that with my physical books.
I now own a Nook but haven't had too much time to read on it yet.  But the few times I have used it I have liked several things.  The first being it has a much faster load when you turn a page.  It makes it easy to flip back and forth.  I like that you can search for a page or add highlights.  I often like to mark favorite quotes so I can go back to them later.  Not too hard when you have a physical book but impossible on a Kobo.  I dislike the touch portion of the Nook since it often doesn't work or works too well.  Both very annoying problems.
The Nook has made reading on the go just a bit easier.  But I still think I prefer to have a physical copy.  I love when I get a new book and I can use more than one sense to enjoy it.  Ever noticed that smell of a new book?  Or the crispness of the pages and uncharted territory on the spine?  To me it is just as special as new fallen snow unspoiled by man.  I love to hear the whisper of each page turning.  One of my favorite things about physical books is that once you have read them you have left an imprint of yourself and the experience on the book.  One of my favorite books looks so lovingly used by me that it often begs for another read.  All of its edges have lost their bite and it is now a familiar companion.
Anyway, enough said.

Saturday, January 28

Author Event: Megan Miranda and Marissa Meyer

So I dragged myself out to Beaverton to see Megan Miranda and Marissa Meyer.  Before I get into that I have to tell you the first person I saw looked so familiar.  I couldn't quite figure out why this woman was so familiar.  Then, when I saw her signing a few books I was so excited.  I ended up sort of meeting three authors last night.  Any guesses?  Yeah, I thought not.  Colleen Houck.  So cool! I picked up a copy of Tiger's Quest with her signature on it.  I just couldn't help myself. 

For those of you who have entered my Fracture contest I got that ARC signed.  So it's even better than it was before.  And let me tell you Megan is so bubbly and sweet.  That and really really small.  I want to look that good after having children.  Megan talked about her love for science and how it affected what she wrote.  She told us that the very day she decided to sit down and write her book was the worst day in parenting history for her.  It was her husband's attempt to ease the tension that prompted him to ask when she was going to write her book.  And from then on out the journey began.  It was hard to hear that she scrapped her entire book twice.  What a lot of work to go through, and perhaps a bit disheartening, but it worked out in the end. 

Not sure how it is my fortune, but cute.
Then Marissa Meyer got up to do her thing.  Before I get into that I must say that I unknowingly sat next to her husband and in the midst of her friend and family support cast.  Her husband is one really tall skinny dude and on top of that really friendly and nice though the girls behind me warned me not to flirt with him.  As if I would even think of it, I already had a baby strapped onto me.  The only male attention I need right now is the fictional kind.  I loved that her mom asked a question and I wondered if it was planned.  Hey mom, if no one asks this will you pipe up and make sure it gets known?  Who knows, I didn't ask.  Her mom also brought this big bowl of Cinder fortune cookies.  I didn't notice until I was waiting to get Cinder signed that Marissa was wearing red pumps, very much like on the Cinder book cover.  Speaking of which she said that at first she was worried that the cover was a bit too spoiler, but was later convinced it was perfect.  She has been writing for quite some time by doing fan fiction for Sailor Moon.  Personally, I have never heard of it.  But she really got into this when NaNoWriMo came around and she wrote 150,011 words in one month.  Later, she scrapped it all and started over a few times.  Finally, after a few revisions, what you read it what you get.  She said that during that one month she was also keeping down a full time job and completing two classes for her Masters degree.  Talk about motivated, too bad she didn't win.  And she missed getting to be in Star Trek by one thousand words. (Don't ask her about that contest. She is just a tiny bit bitter, in a sweet way.) She was very confident and polite.  I really liked getting to talk to her support cast while waiting to get a signature.  Her husband was saying that at first when she was writing everyone was all "oh that is cute" but then when she got an agent and a contract they all said "She is brilliant. We just knew it would happen."  He said something to the fact of he wished that he would have been a bit more supportive,  instead of asking her to put her writing aside to go buy steaks.  But really he said he didn't mind all the writing because he was busy himself. When I asked her support cast what it was really like when she was writing it up, one of them did the international call me sign so we could discuss the darker truth later.  They were so funny. 
Also, while waiting in line almost right next to Coleen I heard her discussing why she likes to read YA.  I will tell you it is a very easy to relate to her reason. 
All three of the authors were just so great.  Even though I had to drive three hours it was fun.  Maybe next time I can find a release party to attend.  And after that who knows. . . BEA.

Deja Vu: Of a Book Kind (2)

Yep, I have stumbled upon a cover copy once again.
by Jennifer L. Armentrout
by Shelly Crane

Please feel free to share any other cover copies you have run across.

Friday, January 27

Eye Candy: VI

by J.A. Souders

I came across the cover reveal over at Reading Teen.  This is a beautiful cover but it was better revealed piece by piece.  I didn't notice the blood dripping from her hand until I saw it as its own piece.  So interesting.  I just have to know what that is all about.  There is also a giveaway associated with the cover reveal.  If I hadn't of seen the cover I wouldn't have noticed this book.  The title by itself just wasn't enough.

Thursday, January 26

Between: Book Review (Abroad)

Here is just another review I have done over at Fire and Ice.   So anyway, without further ado. . .

Presenting. . .

by Jessica Warman

Midnight in Austenland: Book Review

by Shannon Hale
Publication Date: January 1st 2012

When Charlotte Kinder treats herself to a two-week vacation at Austenland, she happily leaves behind her ex-husband and his delightful new wife, her ever-grateful children, and all the rest of her real life in America. She dons a bonnet and stays at a country manor house that provides an immersive Austen experience, complete with gentleman actors who cater to the guests' Austen fantasies.

Everyone at Pembrook Park is playing a role, but increasingly, Charlotte isn't sure where roles end and reality begins. And as the parlor games turn a little bit menacing, she finds she needs more than a good corset to keep herself safe. Is the brooding Mr. Mallery as sinister as he seems? What is Miss Gardenside's mysterious ailment? Was that an actual dead body in the secret attic room? And-perhaps of the most lasting importance-could the stirrings in Charlotte's heart be a sign of real-life love?

The follow-up to reader favorite Austenland provides the same perfectly plotted pleasures, with a feisty new heroine, plenty of fresh and frightening twists, and the possibility of a romance that might just go beyond the proper bounds of Austen's world. How could it not turn out right in the end?

Moment Divine:
"Attempted murder is becoming so mundane."
I really wanted to hate this book. For me the comparison between Northanger Abbey and this book was very strong.  Northanger Abbey was one of my lesser favorite books by Jane Austen.  This was mostly due to the the main character, Catherine.  She is so lost in her book world that she really believes it to be a perfect parallel of the real world.  Her emotions swing wild and heady.  So the main character in this book, who although being much older, is still wracked with very much the same problems as Catherine.  There were complete moments of cheese that just made me want to throw the book down in disgust.  Then there were moments of rather implied crude moments.  But being implied it was just a bit annoying instead of disgusting. In the end Northanger Abbey as well as its heroine were able to grab my attention and adoration, if just enough.  So likewise has this book.  The part where this story has a bit of a hole is in regards to the villain.  I just felt for a motivation he is a bit off.  But I suppose there are people who claim crazy as there motivation.  Perhaps, I would have to be crazy to understand it.  
I am really glad to have read it.  It was nice to watch as Charlotte finds her way again in life and decides to accept who she is as well as what life has dealt her.  Consider this a very light and somewhat humorous read. It won't require your absolute attention and will be a good read for when you are on the go.

Wednesday, January 25

Waiting on Wednesday: Incarnate

Hosted by Breaking the Spine.

by Jodi Meadows

Publication Date: January 31st

From Goodreads

Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why.

Even Ana’s own mother thinks she’s a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she’ll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are suspicious and afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame?

Sam believes Ana’s new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana’s enemies—human and creature alike—let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else’s life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all?

Jodi Meadows expertly weaves soul-deep romance, fantasy, and danger into an extraordinary tale of new life.
I am completely sold!

Tuesday, January 24

Legend: Book Review

by Marie Lu

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths - until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills.
What would my life be like if I could be in a completely different social class? Yep, that is just about the gist of this book.  Well, not really.  Talk about one messed up society.  What would the world be like if scientists held all the power.  Possibly a bit like this one.  Hey, we need subjects for our testing no problems.  This world also shows the innocence isn't all it is cracked up to be.  Being so innocent that you follow the rules set by others without a thought that there could be a problem with their way of thinking.  It leads to a lot of trouble.  Yet, being innocent of real harm to others won't save you either it seems.  Is there any way to be safe?  This society is one messed up bunch.  You say one wrong thing and you find yourself on the wrong side of a knife or needle.  But who is to know what that wrong thing is?
This is a great story of finding out what lies in your blind spots.  And once you possess that knowledge what are you going to do with it?  I loved both June and Day and hope that the future will lead them into a world perhaps a bit less painful.  It is sad that these two are so young to have to deal with such large problems.  Definitely, an edge of your seat read.

Monday, January 23

IMM: 1

I have been wanting to do this for awhile but I don't ever get anything in the mail. But with the holidays I have gotten oodles.  It is a bit too late to do an IMM for Christmas so we will just do one for this week, which just so happens to include my birthday.  Yep, that is why I got several of these books.

In the Mail:
Switched by Amanda Hocking
Touch by Jus Accardo
Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder
Darkness Falls by Cate Tiernan

The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

Eon by Alison Goodman
Forever by Maggie Stiefvater

For Review:
Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters by Meredith Zeitlin
Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale
Another Jekyll, Another Hyde by Daniel and Dina Nayeri

Way more books than I can read in one week.  Very likely an entire months worth or reads, well it depends on how much free time I can scrounge.

Saturday, January 21

Cold Kiss: Book Review (Abroad)

Here is just another review I have done over at Fire and Ice.   So anyway, without further ado. . .

Presenting. . .

Cold Kiss
by Amy Garvey

Friday, January 20

Deja Vu: Of a Book Kind

by Melissa Darnell
by Marta Acosta
by M.J. Putney

With the similarities I am wondering if the inside is the same as well.  That couldn't possibly be but then I never thought I would see the first image on two different books.  And the third is just so similar if slightly different.  So who was first?  And who gets the prize for the best insides?  Know of any other cover repeats?

Marta Acosta(author of Dark Companion) has pointed out that there is yet another book with this same cover, as well as a few with similar ideas.  Check it out on her blog. HERE

Thursday, January 19

The Silver Sea: Book Review

by Julia Golding
A raid on a Viking village leaves 16-year-old Freydis seriously injured and her older brother Toki taken prisoner by the attacking pirates. When their father returns to what is left of the village, he gives Freydis an African slave, who is called Blue Man for his blue-black skin. Freydis and Blue Man are left with a neighboring tribe while her father pursues the pirates. Toki manages to escape, but he, Freydis, and Blue Man are set on a collision course with the pirate king. This engaging historical tale features plenty of rousing adventure and some hard truths about love—both familial and romantic. There are also passages that encourage readers to be tolerant of cultures other than their own. Golding includes a brief author’s note that describes the historical facts at the root of the story and a short glossary that helps with the characters’ references to Norse mythology. This addition to the growing number of Norse and Viking tales will be enjoyed by fans of Judson Roberts’ Strongbow Saga or Tim Severin’s Odinn’s Child.
The book was very engaging. I loved that it was about Vikings. This doesn't area of the world doesn't seem to have been milked dry yet. There was so much diversity in cultures. Enno was a great character. He was trying to learn to live with his lot in life yet not accepting it at all. Then he meets Freydis and things begin to get interesting. Now Freydis is quite the frail little thing. Or perhaps we shouldn't judge someone by what is on the outside. In the end she proved that it is the strength of your heart that makes the most difference in the world. The ending was rather tragic for my taste but still a good fit for the story. Definitely, far more of a unique read than others on the market now.

Wednesday, January 18

Fracture: Contest Giveaway

Eleven minutes passed before Delaney Maxwell was pulled from the icy waters of a Maine lake by her best friend Decker Phillips. By then her heart had stopped beating. Her brain had stopped working. She was dead. And yet she somehow defied medical precedent to come back seemingly fine

—despite the scans that showed significant brain damage. Everyone wants Delaney to be all right, but she knows she's far from normal. Pulled by strange sensations she can't control or explain, Delaney finds herself drawn to the dying. Is her altered brain now predicting death, or causing it?

Then Delaney meets Troy Varga, who recently emerged from a coma with similar abilities. At first she's reassured to find someone who understands the strangeness of her new existence, but Delaney soon discovers that Troy's motives aren't quite what she thought. Is their gift a miracle, a freak of nature-or something much more frightening?

For fans of best-sellers like Before I Fall and If I Stay, this is a fascinating and heart-rending story about love and friendship and the fine line between life and death.
I have in my possession an early ARC of Fracture by Megan Miranda. It was a fabulous read and I want to share it. My review is posted over at Fire and Ice. So in honor of its release I have put together this contest and giveaway. This is a cover guess. Each letter below is made from the cover of a different book that has been released this year.  That should help you out a bit.  Guess what each cover is and enter your answer in the rafflecopter below.  You get a point for a right answer.

You must be 13
US only
Fill out the rafflecopter below

(Just a hint: None of the covers below are Fracture.)
(Another hint: The letters do not have anything to do with the name of the cover being shown.  So F does not lead us to the idea that the first picture is fracture. The cover does not start with an F but actually an R and there is a wolf staring out at you.) 

Waiting on Wednesday: Destiny and Deception

Hosted by Breaking the Spine.

Destiny and Deception
by Shannon Delany

Publication Date: January 31st

From Goodreads

The sensational fourth novel in the 13 to Life series sees Jessica and the Rusakuvas fighting to overcome one of their biggest challenges yet--the possibility of a cure for lycanthropy.   With the threat of the mafia seemingly gone and the company's headquarters in Junction destroyed, Pietr Rusakova is adjusting to being a normal teen and Jess is realizing normalcy may not be what she wanted after all. But both Jess and Cat know the truth--that normal can't be taken for granted. Their precious cure isn't permanent--and when a new danger stalks into their small town, Alexi decides he must overcome his issues with the mother who abandoned him to be raised by wolves and make a brand new deal to save his adopted family.
I love, love, love this whole series.  Pietr is so completely freaking sweet is it just addicting.  I absolutely can't wait for this one.  I am sure it will be another stellar addition to an already awesome trio.

Tuesday, January 17

Carrier of the Mark: Book Review

by Leigh Fallon

From the moment she sets foot at her new school in Ireland, Megan is inexplicably drawn to the darkly handsome Adam DeRis. But Megan soon discovers that her feelings for Adam are tied to a supernatural fate that was sealed long ago—and that the passion and power that unites them could be their ultimate destruction.

This electrifying debut novel was first discovered on inkpop.com. the online community for aspiring writers. THE CARRIER OF THE MARK sizzles with unbridled romance, a unique supernatural hook, and a breathtaking Irish setting, and will entice fans of the Need series by Carrie Jones and the House of Night series by P. C. and Kristin Cast.
This was a quick escapist read.  There wasn't really much depth to this story.  But even so it was a good read.  Perhaps, further books will add more layers and excitement.  I did really like the big show down at the end of the book.  The bad guy scenario was highly believable to me.  I am sure these sorts of methods have been used out in the world today.  Sometimes, I just get tired of the bad guys in reality getting away with everything.  They just have their lies and fake promises.  It was nice to think that sometimes in rare cases, supernatural ones that is, a woman can protect herself and those she loves.

Monday, January 16

Bout of Books: Wrap Up

Bout of Books
Wrappin' it up.


Rae of Hope by W.J. May
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
Forgotten by Cat Patrick (Couldn't finish)
Blood Red Road by Moira Young
Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton
If I Die by Rachel Vincent
Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey

Didn't do as well as I had hoped.  I got stuck on a couple of these books.

Meet new bloggers (sorta)
Participate in challenges

Its Monday: "Associate Reviewers"

First check this out it basically describes the point of my rambling. Its Monday

I am seeing an evolving trend with the "associate reviewer" thing, that and Wordpress.  So for those of us who are still a one man show as well as stuck at blogger are we going to be a thing of the past?  Are we going to be phased out much as VHS was?  Are the publishers and authors going to pass our blogs up for those who can afford to bring in five times the amount of readers based on their massive amounts of posts(including reviews, giveaways, and such)?  Do we single bloggers need to get with the program and find helpers or is it just a fad?  There are so many sites that started off as a group of friends with similar reading interests.  Then there are those who have lately been bulking up their review staff. 
I know I have been considering finding someone to help me out around here.  Though in my case I was thinking more of someone who knows the social ropes and can help out there.  Someone who wants to contact authors and publishers.  They would take care of following the blogger trends and keeping the social side alive.  That way when I don't have the time or feel up to it the blog doesn't suffer.  I can just sit and read.  I mean that is why I started this thing in the first place.  I wanted to read and share.  But the reviews would really be much better with a bit more umph.  And that umph is the social world in my mind.  To really bring the books to life we need contact with publishers and authors.  (I even volunteered my services over at Fire and Ice)  I wanted to see if I could make some friends and maybe learn some things.  But this cuts back on the time I can put in around here.
I haven't put it out there yet since I don't know how to find what I am looking for.  But I really begin to think if I don't get help socially and with reviews I won't be able to keep up with the big guys or get the attention of authors and publishers.  Perhaps, I should just be happy where I am and not try to reach and improve.  But the desire to improve is so much like an itch I can't scratch.
So anyway, what do you think about this whole thing? 

The Best Day Ever! (Giveaway)

Yep, that is right.  Today is the best day ever.  It is so good that they are celebrating it.  I promise I won't let it go to my head that everyone is celebrating me.  What you don't know?  How could you not know what you are celebrating today?  My BIRTHDAY, silly.  I can't believe you had no idea.  I am quite possibly a bit hurt by that.  Maybe I won't celebrate back with you.

Hmm. . . well I thought about it and decided I would forgive you for having no idea whatsoever.

So, I have been too short on time to put together the big celebration I had in mind.  Especially since I was going to combine it with my belated one year bloggiversary(It was at the end of December).  I still plan to celebrate a bit bigger but this will have to do for now.

Onto the giveaway. . .
You must be 13 years old
US only
Don't put your email in the comments

Extras include:
Following stuff
Spreading the word
Yada yada yada

Fill out below.

Saturday, January 14

Bout of Books: Day Seven Challenge

Hosted by Down the Rabbit Hole

I am pairing Kishan and Jacinda.  Sorry Will you are great and perfect and all but I had to pick someone and this seemed to be promising.  I was having a hard time picking since I felt everyone was paired perfectly.  Well, everyone I liked anyway.  Then I thought of Kishan and how I want him out of the romantic picture in this book.  But I really like him and think he should be happy.  So I thought what other girl out there has fire.  Jacinda would make an interesting match.  Tiger against Dragon.  Oh yeah, that should be some fun.  Just think if they ever get in an argument.  Don't you be mean to me I will roast you alive, buddy!  Ha ha ha.  Only if you can catch me lady before I claw your eyes out.  So yeah this is the reason I paired them.  They both seem so strong and awesome.  Why not?

Friday, January 13

Bloodlines: Book Review (Abroad)

Here is just another review I have done over at Fire and Ice.   So anyway, without further ado. . .

Presenting. . .

by Richelle Mead

Thursday, January 12

Rae of Hope: Book Review

by W.J. May

How hard do you have to shake a family tree to find out the truth of the past?
Fifteen-year-old Rae Kerrigan has never questioned her family’s history. That is until she accepted a scholarship to Guilder Boarding School in England. Guilder is a very unique, gifted school. Rae has no idea what she is getting herself into or that her family’s past is going to come back and taunt her. She learns she is part of an unparalleled group of individuals who become marked with a unique tattoo (tatù) on their sixteenth birthday. The tatù enables them to have supernatural powers particular to the shape of their marking. Both her parents were marked though Rae never knew, as they passed away when she was young and never told her. Learning about her family’s past, her evil father and sacrificial mother, Rae needs to decide if there is a ray of hope for her own life.

Cute adorable read.
I picture a girl sitting in her bed surrounded by stuffed animals reading this.  Maybe even some pig tails and pink fluffy slippers.  It takes me back a bit to my more naive and innocent days.  
The writing was fairly consistent.  There are a few lines that are delivered in a cheesy fashion.  As far as characters I was happy.  Though honestly, I would have preferred Devon as a villain.  In fact I thought early on that he was heading that way.  I keep holding out for it to happen any moment.  Alas, he fell short for me.  I just felt he didn't reach his full potential in the role cast for him.  Come on where is the fire?  His characteristics seem to fill him out as eye candy with a bit of flash.  A bit of a push over when it all comes to the end.  He really didn't contribute when she was in need.
The action in this book comes out of nowhere and is rather impressive in its strength.  Talk about someone being nothing like what they seemed.  I wouldn't trade this girl places for anything.  Even the school full of super hot drooling guys.

Wednesday, January 11

Waiting on Wednesday: Hallowed

Hosted by Breaking the Spine.

by Cynthia Hand

Publication Date: January 17th

From Goodreads

For months part-angel Clara Gardner trained to face the raging forest fire from her visions and rescue the alluring and mysterious Christian Prescott from the blaze. But nothing could prepare her for the fateful decisions she would be forced to make that day, or the startling revelation that her purpose—the task she was put on earth to accomplish—is not as straightforward as she thought. Now, torn between her increasingly complicated feelings for Christian and her love for her boyfriend, Tucker, Clara struggles to make sense of what she was supposed to do the day of the fire. And, as she is drawn further into the world of part angels and the growing conflict between White Wings and Black Wings, Clara learns of the terrifying new reality that she must face: Someone close to her will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning.

Described by Richelle Mead as “utterly captivating,” Unearthly received outstanding reviews, garnered accolades from New York Times bestselling authors, and was named an Indie Next Pick. In this heart-wrenching sequel, Cynthia Hand expertly captures the all-consuming joy of first love—and the agony of loss. This beautifully woven tale will appeal to fans of Lauren Kate, Becca Fitzpatrick, and Aprilynne Pike.
The first book was a good read and I would like to see where it leads.

by Julie Cross

Publication Date: January 17th

From Goodreads

The year is 2009.  Nineteen-year-old Jackson Meyer is a normal guy… he’s in college, has a girlfriend… and he can travel back through time. But it’s not like the movies – nothing changes in the present after his jumps, there’s no space-time continuum issues or broken flux capacitors – it’s just harmless fun.

That is… until the day strangers burst in on Jackson and his girlfriend, Holly, and during a struggle with Jackson, Holly is fatally shot. In his panic, Jackson jumps back two years to 2007, but this is not like his previous time jumps. Now he’s stuck in 2007 and can’t get back to the future.

Desperate to somehow return to 2009 to save Holly but unable to return to his rightful year, Jackson settles into 2007 and learns what he can about his abilities.

But it’s not long before the people who shot Holly in 2009 come looking for Jackson in the past, and these “Enemies of Time” will stop at nothing to recruit this powerful young time-traveler.  Recruit… or kill him.

Piecing together the clues about his father, the Enemies of Time, and himself, Jackson must decide how far he’s willing to go to save Holly… and possibly the entire world.
Another cover love, not so sure I really want to read what is inside.  I do love a good storm as well.  We will just have to wait and see how this one turns out.

Tuesday, January 10

Mastiff: Book Review

by Tamora Pierce

The Legend of Beka Cooper gives Tamora Pierce's fans exactly what they want—a smart and savvy heroine making a name for herself on the mean streets of Tortall's Lower City—while offering plenty of appeal for new readers as well.

Beka and her friends will face their greatest and most important challenge ever when the young heir to the kingdom vanishes. They will be sent out of Corus on a trail that appears and disappears, following a twisting road throughout Tortall. It will be her greatest Hunt—if she can survive the very powerful people who do not want her to succeed in her goal.

Moments Divine:
"All this torture of a little boy for a bloody chair and the ability to tell others what to do!  Who among the sane would want such a life?  ho would want the burden of so many lives and decisions?"
"I don't like it, either. Mama says it helps if I imagine them all in their loincloths."
The thought horrified me. Folk don't look nearly as good unclothed as they think they do.  "Does it help?" I asked him.
"No, but I tell Mama it does so she can be happy," he explained

I have waited for this one so long I had forgotten why it was I wanted to read it so much.  That and the fact that is near 600 pages really made me want to reconsider my choice of reading material.  Well, 600 pages later I am quite happy I persevered.  I absolutely love the characters, the world, the language, the action, and just about everything in this set of books.  Beka's dirty mouth cracks me up.  I even went through the effort of reading the glossary at the end.  I found myself using many of the same words when talking about something in reality.  I didn't realize it until I received a blank look from my husband.  Then he would point out that I had just used a word that either didn't exist or was totally new to him.
As far as the length of the book, I kept trying to figure out what could have been removed to trim it down.  But over and over, I just craved every piece of detail.  All of that intricate detail made it possible for the book to draw tears from me on two occasions.  The romance in this book was just sweet.  And that is on two parts.  It seems love has the power to build us up and also destroy.  A good lesson that came at a cost to some.  I most definitely recommend reading this book.  You will love meeting Beka and dogging her step by step.

Monday, January 9

Bout of Book Readathon: TBR Pile Picture and Search

 This is my physical TBR pile.  A bit larger than it usually is.  I have been going through a series bout of book addiction.  And I know there are ten books still on their way that should be on this pile.  It was much larger but the last readathon helped me trim off eight books.  Maybe this one will help as well.

This is my eTBR pile on the Nook.  Yep, I broke down and got myself a Nook for Christmas.  It is so much better than my old ereader (Kobo), which I might be giving away in the near future.  Can't decide yet.

I feel fairly confidant that I won't get all of these off the list.  But hopefully if I am very lucky I will get one for each day.  The really sad news is that I know as I look over each of your TBR piles I will be hit with even more envy and wish I was your neighbor and best friend.  Do you think we could work something out?

Fracture: Book Review (Abroad)

So I started to do a few reviews over at Fire and Ice.  What can I say.  I am a bit lonely.  I thought I would branch out for awhile and try to make friends or something.  So anyway, without further ado. . .

Presenting my first review abroad. . .

by Megan Miranda