Thursday, February 28

A Beautiful Dark: Book Review and Giveaway

A Beautiful Dark

Jocelyn Davies

September 27th 2011
Young Adult | Paranormal
Official Blurb - 
On the night of Skye's seventeenth birthday, she meets two enigmatic strangers. Complete opposites--like fire and ice–-Asher is dark and wild, while Devin is fair and aloof. Their sudden appearance sends Skye's life into a tailspin. She has no idea what they want, or why they seem to follow her every move--only that their presence coincides with a flurry of strange events. Soon she begins to doubt not just the identity of the two boys, but also the truth about her own past.

In the dead of a bitingly cold Colorado winter, Skye finds herself coming to terms with the impossible secret that threatens to shatter her world. Torn between Asher - whom she can't help falling for, and Devin - whom she can't stay away from, the consequences of Skye's choice will reach further than the three of them could ever imagine.

"A Beautiful Dark" is the first book in a captivating trilogy by debut author Jocelyn Davies.

Early opinion:
This book takes the good boy and bad boys to the extreme. There is one girl who has three romantic interests. One "angel" perfect boy, one "demon" bad boy, and one regular Joe. Both the good and bad boys are a sweet eye full so we can negate that factor. Not only that but the good looks act more as a lure. Only the lure is more predatory in nature since there isn't anything but nasty underneath. The pair of them are like a loaf of really wholesome bread infested with weevils and a rotten tomato. I find the good one boring, staid, and dull. The bad one is so bad he is boring and distasteful. He is the typical full of himself romeo jerk. No thank you. I like the regular guy. He is funny and down to earth. I am hoping that Skye can see through the shallow to Devin and Asher's less than desirable interiors. Please, I am begging you don't make me wish I could slap you.

The best part of the book was the beginning. Which isn't the best complement. The ending is just odd. A large part of the problem for me was that the best characters become inconsequential after the beginning. All the humor and charm left with them. The romantic face off between Asher and Devin is ridiculous. I felt like I was watching them being weighed on a scale the whole time. If one gained or lost advantage something would immediately pop up to change it. Whether it was discrediting or an ace up the sleeve. They were a couple of preforming monkeys. It really made me question Skye's mental condition since she was so willing to be swayed by their pathetic games. Here she has this perfectly awesome guy in Ian but the poor sap will never get a chance. It is mind boggling.

There is one thing I am intrigued at. There is some mention of cinnamon cookies fairly early in the book. The whole scene is written so believably that I am now suffering a craving for some cookie I have never tried. If only I knew how to make them.

After I finished I was trying to figure out what had really transpired and where the story was headed. Honestly, I don't feel like all that much happened. Girl meets two guys and finds out she is otherworldly and curtains close. It felt more like a prequel or prologue material. There isn't much setup for a sequel. We get the idea that she will need healing but other than that nothing. Not a lot to go on if you have a year long wait ahead of you for book two.

For an angel theme book I would rate it as average. Not preachy or textually heavy but with very striking descriptions of their winged forms. The animosity between the two is very heated and the powers they possess are a bit polar opposite. It was a bit funny when they were trying to one up the other with their powers. Only it seemed all they did was negate each other. 

This book fell short of my expectation. All the characters with any real depth were marginalized in favor of shallow characters. I think the reason the two boys seem so shallow is that they have a lot of secrets. I don't think I will be following this read up with book two.

Violence: Mild


US Only 
Must be 13 or older

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Tuesday, February 26

Starters: Book Review and Giveaway


Lissa Price

Delacorte Books for Young Readers
March 13th 2012
Young Adult | Science Fiction
Official Blurb - 

Callie lost her parents when the Spore Wars wiped out everyone between the ages of twenty and sixty. She and her little brother, Tyler, go on the run, living as squatters with their friend Michael and fighting off renegades who would kill them for a cookie. Callie's only hope is Prime Destinations, a disturbing place in Beverly Hills run by a mysterious figure known as the Old Man.

He hires teens to rent their bodies to Enders—seniors who want to be young again. Callie, desperate for the money that will keep her, Tyler, and Michael alive, agrees to be a donor. But the neurochip they place in Callie's head malfunctions and she wakes up in the life of her renter, living in her mansion, driving her cars, and going out with a senator's grandson. It feels almost like a fairy tale, until Callie discovers that her renter intends to do more than party—and that Prime Destinations' plans are more evil than Callie could ever have imagined. . . .

This book is almost nothing like you would imagine it to be. The cover is creepy. When I first saw it cyborgs came to mind or even robots that have evolved to mimic humans. So not the case. When I first read the synopsis I was horrified. I most definitely did not like the idea of old people renting (using) young bodies for their own amusement. The idea just makes my skin crawl. Between the cover and the synopsis I passed my first opportunity to read this book. But then I ended up meeting with the author. She was so fabulous. I was able to discuss her book a bit with her and it piqued my interest enough that I added this book to my shelf. Nearly a year later I have finally managed to unearth it.
There is this point where Callie is facing a decision to be a donor but she is unsure. To her mind comes some advice from her mother. "She said always sleep on an important decision." I couldn't help but think Callie would have been better off with the advice my mother instilled in me. If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is. I mean come on girl. Nothing about life should instill any sort of trust in this completely bogus contract. I would like to think that people are used to the idea of fine print. A lack thereof is a sure sign that something isn't right in our bureaucratic society. There are so many red flags. But surprisingly even though Callie is clearly walking willingly blind into this trap it isn't annoying.

This story has some serious layers. Just when you think you have the plot figured out the entire foundation shifts and you find yourself looking out on a new view. Just keeps you on your toes. Good guys and bad guys have changed places. Safety and danger even switch places. Nothing is what it seems.

Great googly moogly what an ending! Suddenly it was like there were vipers all around her. All I could think was 'RUN!'
I feel really sorry for Callie. She has it rough. Nothing is safe. Trust is something that will end with a knife in your back. Manipulation is par for the course. Even love, one of the greatest joys in life, is poison. How she can hold up against the tide that threatens to eat her up from the inside is amazing. She really is a great character to follow. Very simple and yet catching.

Can I just say the old people are even creepier than the synopsis hints at. Right from the very beginning their smiles are just wrong. The way they look and carry themselves is nasty. They are living to be two hundred years old. Having life extension and cosmetic surgery like a simple outpatient experience. They walk around feeling so superior and entitled that they don't even bother to realize the importance of training and caring for the rising generation. Hello, they will eventually be the future. It got to the point that all their self-importance made me grateful that old people don't live that long in reality. I couldn't help but think that this is exactly why it works out the way it does. That isn't to say that I haven't tossed around how great it would be to have my teenage body back with the wisdom I now possess. I am sure I would take better care of it. But I don't want another person's body. *shudders* Although I suppose as a society we do spend too much time idolizing the physical appearance of others. Then unbidden came a nasty thought to my mind. All these old people want to experience the young years again. And I thought about how I as a middle-aged parent I am reading young adult novels. In a way aren't I doing something similar? Oh no, I might possibly be on my way to becoming a creepy Ender. Thank goodness this sort of technology isn't available to me. Temptation breaks down barriers after long enough.
The Old Man , the villain, actually cracks me up. I have so many ideas for who he is. Some of them are really disturbed. When he was pulling his fancy illusion I just imagined myself laughing at him. I mean really, a changing holo face sounds a bit dumb. Especially with the metallic voice. I kept thinking Darth Vader. And I just wanted to laugh and say okay knock it off and act your age.
So the story was far more entertaining than I expected. It was full of twists and turns that will leave you feeling scarred. Or at least with a full sense that Callie is certainly scarred from all of her adventures. It is a fast paced book that will keep you on your toes. Before you know it you will be facing that startling conclusion and be left with an urgent sense of danger and need for more pages.

Violence: Moderate


US Only
Must be 13 or older 

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Saturday, February 23

Pile Denial: 20

I am in denial.

It is ugly but it is nevertheless the state of things.

Here I will document my struggle with my book obsession. Behold my denial in all of its glory.

Pile Escalation:

Asunder by Jodi Meadows
Blood-Kissed Sky by J. A. London
Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi
Scent of Magic by Maria V. Snyder

Pile Reduction:
Everbound by Brodi Ashton
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi

Bottleneck Effect:
Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers

HELP!!! SOS!!! Someone stage an intervention. I am out of control.
I have seven book review requests in my inbox. Truthfully I am trying to ignore them. I am afraid if I read them I will be tempted to say yes to some of them. Which I really cannot afford to do right now. My reading cup overfloweth. I've got six books I have already accepted for review and one of them needs to be read now. I have been trying really hard to read all the recent library books I have picked up but they seem to be hooking up and having babies like rabbits. This is what comes of reading every debut you can get your hands on. The next year when their sequels come out you are helpless to defend yourself. You absolutely must read them all. But it sure doesn't help you recover from an abundant reading pile. Very satisfying but not helpful. Speaking of sequels I have been most fortunate lately in my reading. So many great books to entertain me. 
Even though I am in over my head I want more. So many lovely books out there waiting to be read. I think I am in trouble. 

Here are the numbers of books hanging out on my TBR pile.

Pile Truth:
Books:45 (increased) :(
eBooks: 29 (stable) :|

How about you? Are you in denial?

Share in the comments or even in a post, just don't forget to leave a link, and help me feel a little better.

Friday, February 22

Eye Candy: LVII

During the week I spot different book covers that catch my eye for one reason or another. I keep track of them all here on my weekly Eye Candy post. Most of the books featured here I have not bothered to read the synopsis for. Just plain old fashioned cover envy or not in some cases. There are the occasional covers that catch my eye but not so much because I want to read them but more of a oh my goodness what were they thinking.

Time After Time

Tamara Ireland Stone

This title brings me back to my school dance days where they would always play this song. Years later it is still stuck in my head. (sings) Time after time. . . Cue the music on this one. A very sentimental cover. Let the memories flood on back.

 A Radiant Sky

Jocelyn Davies

Well now, that is a very interesting dress. Do you think she is checking for underarm stains or trying to be discreet about sniffing her armpit?


Laura DeLuca

Her face is just too perfect to be even remotely real. Very eye catching but not believable.

Sweet Legacy

Tera Lynn Childs

These covers are always so obvious. These girls have some possessed hair. But even so I do love the look of these covers.


Sarah Crossan

Still a very bleak cover. Not the type of place I would want to live. But it does look more promising than the last dome. I do love new plant shoots. So much life and hope in each little seedling.

What do you think about the covers?

Like it, love it, or could do without it?

Seen any stunning covers you care to share?

Thursday, February 21

The Pale Assassin: Book Review

The Pale Assassin

Patricia Elliot

Holiday House
November 1st 2009
Young Adult | Historical

Official Blurb - 
Set during the French Revolution, this novel about a teen aristocrat who must question the justice of her own wealth while facing the cataclysmic divisions of her society will captivate readers as secrets come out, sympathies shift, and every choice can changeor enda life.

I don't think I am very fond of the French Revolution. The only way to pull off a great story during that time period would be to have very flamboyant passionate lively characters. Otherwise it is very dull bloody history. The characters in this story are anything but exciting. Eugenie is a spoiled airhead. Not very likeable. Armand, her brother, is a naive coward with high ideals and little to back them. Very droll. The assassin is pathetic. To dedicate one's life to revenge for one small moment is sad. But to be attempting to take revenge on a family perfectly capable of destroying itself is beyond pathetic. In this case the family is already ruined. Only two orphaned children remain and they are left to beg from friends. They have nothing. And their stupidity will certainly insure their imminent demise. So the assassin is a sad waste. Someone should strip him of that title as it is ill deserved.

Try as I could there was just no way to develop a connection with these characters. Their orphans so it should be easy. The best part of the book seems to be the opening. What a great scene between the assassin and the Marquis. After that it is all boring and downhill. I had to call it quits.

Violence: Moderate


Tuesday, February 19

Pandemonium: Book Review and Giveaway


Lauren Oliver

HarperCollins Children's Books
February 28th 2012
Young Adult | Science Fiction
Official Blurb - 
"So what was your name before?" I say, and she freezes, her back to me. "Before you came to the Wilds, I mean."

For a moment she stands there.

Then she turns around.

"You might as well get used to it now," she says with quite intensity.

"Everything you were, the life you had, the people you knew... dust."

She shakes her head and says, a little more firmly, "There is no before. There is only now, and what comes next."

After falling in love, Lena and Alex flee their oppressive society where love is outlawed and everyone must receive the "cure" - an operation that makes them immune to the delirium of love - but Lena alone manages to find her way to a community of resistance fighters. Although she is bereft without the boy she loves, her struggles seem to be leading her toward a new love.

The way the book is formatted makes me feel like I have amnesia. Don't know myself. Where I have been or what is happening. But it is dramatic and helps build strong emotional ties.

There are a lot of deep moments. Passages that cause you to pause and reflect on the state of things and where you stand.

The first half is mildly depressing. Carving out some shell of a half-life with no real prospects or promises of a tomorrow is hard to bear.

That ending deserves a silence so profound it carries its own weight. I was shocked into total silence. My mind was empty of all thought for a few moments followed by "OH NO!!!" Then guilt deep as an endless pit. Oh how could we, Lena and I, do something so horrible. Now what? And could a hole please open up and swallow us whole? Please!!! Wowza.  

Why it didn't occur to me that up to this point we were missing one very important factor in why deliria, love, is so dangerous even deadly. All we have seen is fear versus beauty. How could they be so blind? Love is beautiful and pure. Only unrequited love isn't such a great thing. And I think we are about to understand why people would rather get their brains spliced and risk death or mental collapse. HEARTBREAK.
The book starts on the slow side but certainly makes up for it come the end. Beware if you read this book more than likely you won't be able to help but read the next. I am crossing my fingers that happiness can be found.

Spoiler Section:
I am wracked with thoughts and guilt. So very unfaithful that in six months time we, Lena and I, could be swayed from the side of our hero. Our knight who gave everything for Lena. Three words and one face can change the world.

Seriously, the whole time I kept refusing to believe it. Alex can't be dead. I was determined. Heh, it could all be a misunderstanding. It is possible. Not probable but possible. But I guess all the internal dialog about his death and others reassurances broke me down. Convinced me. I think it was in the moment when she goes ballistic on the Scavengers that I finally began to accept Alex was dead. The final nail in the coffin was when she decides to go rescue Julian because she can't bear to let one more person be taken from her. If only I could have held out a little longer I might not feel so guilty. Poor kid gave everything and by the looks of it suffered greatly. I am almost too afraid to read the next book. I don't want to face my reckoning. But I really want to know what Alex has been through. Who is he now? Did he stay faithful? did he believe someday they would be reunited?

Seriously, what is Lena going to do now? I don't even know what I want her to do. I did have a traitorous thought that it would have been so much easier if she had let Julian die. I guess that means I am swaying toward Alex. He really paid for it so shouldn't some measure of happiness be meted out?

Language: Moderate
Violence: Moderate to Heavy


US Only
Must be 13 or older

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Teen Author Boot Camp: Tour and Giveaway

Hey everyone,

My name is Tahsha, and I’m a member of Writers Cubed. I’m here to talk about something I think is downright amazing:


Particularly teenage authors.

Did you know that there are tons of teen writers out there? There are. And guess what? They are freaking good at writing! Good chance is you are one of those teen writers, or maybe you want to be but you’re hiding behind your facade of coolness, not believing that you actually have the skills to be a writer.

That was true for me (though I’m not a teenager-even though I act like one half the time.) I always wanted to be a writer, but I didn’t believe I could. In fact, I was embarrassed to admit that I wanted to be. Silly, I know.

Then I found an awesome writing group, (feel free to pause and go to our website if you want to know just how cool we are--I’ll wait for you.) and we started learning how to write together. We attended classes and conferences that taught us that there is more to writing then just romantic tension.

Guess what we discovered through the process? There wasn’t much available to help the super talented teenage writers that we were friends with. So, with our combined brain power, super awesomeness, and freaking hard work…



The boot camp, held in Orem, UT, has been so popular in the past, that this year Writers Cubed wanted everyone out there a chance to be a part of it, even if you live in the middle-of-no-where and even if you are just a teenage wanna-be like me. So we are introducing the first EVER LiveStream of Teen Author Boot Camp.

The keynote address by Newbery Winning Author Shannon Hale will be free for anyone to watch. It will be on March, 16th, 2013 at 9 a.m. MST. A subscription to the Live Broadcast costs $4.99 and includes the following:

9 a.m. to 9:15 a.m.—Writers Cubed: Welcome

9:15 a.m. to 9:55 a.m.—Keynote by Newbery Award winner Shannon Hale (Princess

10 a.m to 10:45 a.m.—Tyler Whitesides (Janitors) Class: Imagine and Create.

10:55 a.m. to 11:40 a.m.—Janette Rallison (My Fair Godmother) Class: Bad dialogue
can kill a story.

12:50 a.m. to 1:35 p.m.—NYT bestseller Kiersten White (Paranormalcy) Class: Plot
Like a Villain.

1:45 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.—J. Scott Savage (Farworld) Class: Finding Your Voice.

2:50 p.m. to 3:25 p.m.—Journey to Publication Panel: Agent Amy Jameson & authors
Chad Morris, Tess Hilmo, J. Scott Savage, Cindy Bennett

3:35 p.m. to 4:20 p.m.—NYT bestseller Aprilynne Pike (Wings) Class: World-building
is the invisible foundation to your book.

4:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.—Writers Cubed: Winner of the First Chapter Contest and closing

If you just can’t get enough of TABC, there is also an All Pass Subscription to the rest of the conference (including more than fifteen awesome presentations, including mine- -haha). That only costs $9.99 and, as if it wasn’t a sweet enough deal already, you can watch the whole conference whenever you want for an entire year.

To register to watch Shannon Hale’s Keynote for free, visit and click on Livestream. It only takes a minute. While you’re there, check out the other presenters who will be teaching at the conference under the tab “Drill Sergeants.”

Stay tuned for details on how to win a subscription to the TABC Live Broadcast for FREE on this blog.

Tahsha Wilson is a co-founder of Writers Cubed, a group of Utah writing activists who created the Teen Author Boot Camp in 2010. Please visit her website at


As a part of the tour I am hosting one a giveaway for a free subscription to the TABC Live Broadcast. Enter through the rafflecopter form.
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Monday, February 18

Innovera Yakov: The Journey of a Thousand Eyes: Sampler, Excerpts and Giveaway

Innovera Yakov: The Journey of a Thousand Eyes

Kia Garriques

Young Adult
Official Blurb - 
Innovera Yakov: The Journey of A Thousand Eyes takes you into a world of excitement and danger
where thoughts and feelings are overheard and minds can travel to other worlds. Be prepared to
immerse yourself in a world where falling in love could cost you your life and nothing is as it seems.
Innovera Yakov: The Journey of A Thousand Eyes is the first book in an action-packed fantasy drama
series where characters with powers of healing and destruction live, love, compete and disappear
without a trace while they are being prepared for ‘The Journey’.

Innovera Yakov is a beautiful world of crystals that turns under five moons and two brilliant suns that never set. Flitters take care of domestic chores while Starbirds and Starflies soar through the never-ending sunlight of this crystalline world. The Circle of Knowing decides their fate; the forbidden forests of the Dimmer Zone swallow trespassers. And at the very edges of Innovera Yakov there is the terrifying watery darkness of Verheer.

We meet Ayana, the healer and lonely outcast with her scarred face; Vinton, her protector (or is he her imaginary friend?); Gamma and Blu Tara, the beautiful, fiery twins who can kill with one look. These twins are important characters in the book. They could hardly be more different from each other. Krave, beloved by Gamma, hated by Blu Tara, ‘tall and upright as a polished spear with a beautiful crop of golden hair that cascaded down his back in waves’; his ‘brother’ Skylar, pure trouble with ‘muscles on his arms and legs that stood out in lumps’; Ryder with his crystal spear, forever seeking Ayana’s approval although she, refusing to believe she's worth it, can only wonder, ‘What does he see in me?’ And Ice, mysterious, dangerous, murderous with eyes like bright furnaces who feeds on Innoverans. These young Innoverans are often haunted by a forgotten past recalled only in strange dreams. They form friendships, make enemies and face constant physical and emotional challenges that test them to their limits. They have amazing powers; they can fly, they can communicate through 'thought-words', their minds can travel to other worlds. They harbor secrets.

But life is not easy on Innovera Yakov and the young Beings must live in constant fear of Blu Tara; ‘What I want, I have. What I can’t have, I destroy.’ They find that the great powers they are gifted with are nothing compared to the dangers they face. They must shelter from Solar-storms. To fall in love is dangerous. Lovers long to combine to become stronger, better Beings but it can go terribly wrong and when that happens they perish. Their survival is further threatened by Ice, who consumes Innoverans and holds both Blu Tara and Ayana in his control.

Everyone seeks a partner with whom they can ‘merge.’ This desire to ease the passage through life by joining forces with a true companion is one of the main themes of the story. Love for Blu Tara, is a terrible thing. She tells her sister, ‘It is a curse. You will scoop out your core and abandon it just to have the Being that you love... You will steal another person’s life force if it makes it easier to get it. You will kill or die for it. And you’ll hate yourself for the weakness that it brings on you.'

They are told that they must embark on 'The Journey', this journey will be more terrifying than any of them could imagine and a strong leader must be elected from their midst. They are shocked to discover who that leader is, none more so than the chosen one herself. Many of them will perish as they make their way through the watery darkness of Verheer while battling the army of underworld
warriors bent on destroying and consuming them.

Finally, diminished in strength and numbers, they reach their journey’s end only to learn the final brutal truth.


Blu Tara stared her sister in the face. ‘Let me tell you what you don't know about love, Gamma. It is a curse. You will scoop out your core and abandon it just to have the Being that you love. You will steal another person's life force if it makes it easier to get it. You will abandon the world you have been cradled in, betray everything and everyone you care for. You’ll give up your name for it.’

Blu Tara's voice went soft and dreamy. ‘You will gladly close your eyes and embrace the world of darkness. You will kill or die for it. And you will hate yourself for the weakness that it brings on you. So don’t talk to me about love.’

Gamma shook her head. ‘You're not making sense,’ Blu Tara. ‘You talk as if... I’m the one who should be upset about all this.’

Blu Tara lifted her hand dismissively. She pointed a hot finger at Gamma. ‘Anyway don’t forget what we are.’

'And what are we?’ Gamma glared at her..

'Different. Strange. Something to be frightened of. Two Beings that can fuse and burn everything to ashes. That's the way they all see us down there. That's what the Stardog wants from you - the powers you possess.

‘I hate them all. With their suspicious, shiny faces and their empty games. I hate that Voice which drones on and on at us in the Learning Dome as soon as we've finished resting.

Innoverans! All those perfect, pretty Beings; they remember nothing — it’s the curse of this shallow, shining world. Tell me, Gamma - what do you remember of the world we come from before your Odors Apeno dumped us here?’

Gamma swung around to face her sister fully. ‘Blu Tara! What's got into you? Where’s all that coming from? I've never heard you speak like that before. This is about Krave and I- not you!’

Krave and you - don't make me laugh. And, oh! Here’s a big difference — between you and I this time, Twin Sister. It’s the answer to your question that you brought me up here to ask.’ Blu Tara mimicked Gamma's soft and musical voice, Why do you want to kill Krave?

Here's the answer, Gamma. I will do whatever I have to do to save myself. I'm the half of you that's not like you. I don't have a weeping heart. Now I'm out of here. I need my Rest.


‘Flight, my beloved,’ he whispered. ‘Are you ready?’

Gamma held on to him for what she knew was about to come. Krave tightened his grip in the small of her back and Gamma steadied herself. She closed her eyes and smiled. Then the lift! With his powerful arms he threw her so high and so fast into the air he soon became a tiny golden sparkle a great distance below her. Catapulted by his energy, Gamma flew past the minor moon of Dotan in a rush of joy, her body, tingling with the sensation of Krave’s fingers on her skin. It felt as if he was still holding her, still lifting her with invisible hands towards the stars of Eden Gobad. It was a long time before Gamma began to descend in a frightening rush towards the rocks.

But she was not worried. She trusted Krave completely. Gamma allowed herself to fall and when it felt as if it was too late, that she was certain to hit the waiting rocks, Krave raised his arms towards her. White light fanned out from his fingers and surrounded her. It was as if she’d been caught up in a rain of tiny stars. It slowed her down and somehow cushioned her; leaving her with a feeling of such warmth and lightness Gamma felt that in that moment, she herself was made of Innoveran air.

She landed in Krave’s arms.

‘Krave, I-I’m…’ she could not speak. She did not need to anyway.

Krave cupped her face in his hands and blew warm air along her cheeks and down her neck. ‘I know, he said. I am for you too, Gamma. All of me. Now my turn, my Fire Queen.’

He released her and stepped back several paces.

Gamma sucked in air and held it in. Pressing against the lens on her eyes, she felt the temperature rise inside her until all of her became a red and pulsing glow.

‘I’m hot,’ she laughed.

‘I know,’ Krave said, his voice rolling from his chest in a soft sweet wave.

‘Look out!’ she cried. And then her breath exploded near his feet.

Krave shot into the air like a yellow comet. He did not rise as high as he had thrown her but he made the most of it while he was in the air. He created intricate fiery patterns as his body looped and spun: the shape of a Golkan leaf, an exploding Starfly. Finally he traced her name in a fiery golden weave against the sky. He came down in a rush and landed directly in front of her.

‘Phew! That was hot,’ he laughed. Then he took her hand. ‘All of this – you and me – all of this is so perfect and yet you are afraid to merge your energies with mine. To partake of each other’s power and become something better, more fine-looking and stronger.
Read the first chapter

Listen to the first chapter

About the Author
Kia Garriques studied writing and English literature at University and has been a published short story writer since 2009. Her first story “The Invisible Alien Watcher” was published by Micro Horror in 2009 and reprinted by Pill Hill Press in 2011. Innovera Yakov: The Journey of a Thousand Eyes – is her first novel in the ‘Worlds’ series.
Find Kia Garriques at the following:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Tumblr | Wattpad | Pinterest


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Saturday, February 16

Pile Denial: 19

I am in denial.

It is ugly but it is nevertheless the state of things.

Here I will document my struggle with my book obsession. Behold my denial in all of its glory.

Pile Escalation:
A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest
Innovera Yakov: The Journey of A Thousand Eyes by Kia Garriques
The Keeper's Curse by Diana Harrison 

Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson 
Of Poseidon by Anna Banks  
Pile Reduction:
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta 

Bottleneck Effect:

Everbound by Brodi Ashton

The books just keep rolling in from my catch up on email. I think I might be losing all the progress I made. Not a good thing. Plus a couple of prizes made their way to me. I am so excited about Valkyrie Rising. I have been wanting to read that for quite some time.

Oh my goodness, I read two awesome books this week. We are talking five star beauties. I want to hold my breath. It just might be impossible to have three awesome books in a row but if it is possible surely Brodi Ashton is a good pick. Since I am reading books all from the library I am making no headway on my pile. Yet it hasn't stopped growing. This does not bode well. Where is a read-a-thon and the grandparents when you need them.

Here are the numbers of books hanging out on my TBR pile.

Pile Truth:
Books:44 (increased) :(
eBooks: 29 (increased or jumped is more like it) :(

How about you? Are you in denial?

Share in the comments or even in a post, just don't forget to leave a link, and help me feel a little better.

Friday, February 15

Eye Candy: LVI

During the week I spot different book covers that catch my eye for one reason or another. I keep track of them all here on my weekly Eye Candy post. Most of the books featured here I have not bothered to read the synopsis for. Just plain old fashioned cover envy or not in some cases. There are the occasional covers that catch my eye but not so much because I want to read them but more of a oh my goodness what were they thinking.

The Mirrored Shard

Caitlin Kittredge

Not the biggest fan of the brown theme. A bit depressing and dreary but the cover still catches the eye. She is really dolled up. Looks like a fashion star instead of a dystopian heroine. Wonder what is happening in this book to make her look like this.


Lauren Kate

Wow, what would that feel like disappearing into water. Do you ever have issues or feel like you really don't exist if someone isn't looking at you. Does it make it all that more special when you finally meet someone who does see you? I wonder what it would be like to wear a dress made of water. A bit revealing I should think and even cold.

Harry Potter

J.K. Rowling

So they are remaking the covers over. Very interesting. More playful and yet cultured. Do I detect a hit of Russian in Hagrid's look? Reminds me also of those paintings where everything is a bit blurred with fond remembrance and nostalgia.

Freak of Nature

Julia Crane

Creepy. And the synopsis makes this sound like such a sad story. What a horror that would be. Makes you want to reconsider marking yourself a donor on your driver's license.


Myra McEntire

I really need to find some spare reading room for this series. These covers freak me out just a bit. There is always something so uncomfortable looking about the girl. I most definitely would not want to be her.

Project Cain

Geoffrey Girard

I always find these Cain and Able stories irritating. But this cover is awesome. Black and white and definitely full of menace. Scary.

Spirit Walk

Richie Tankersley Cusick

Yet another eye cover. I love, love, love the spirit girl in her eye. It has got me very intrigued.


C.J. Redwine

Just when I thought I could easily not pick up the sequel to Defiance the cover gets released. Um, hello, this is a beauty. I may soon be finding myself sucked back into this dark world.

Across a Star-Swept Sea

Diana Peterfreund

What can I say about this one. It is very elemental and the girl seems a bit remote and yet above it all.. Lovely cover.

The Chaos of Stars

Kiersten White

Not really absolutely in love with this cover. It is nice and all but I don't feel it really tells me much about the contents of the book. But the synopsis left me wondering if this might just be a good read.

A Touch of Scarlet

Eve Marie Mont

Dramatic pose and that red shawl is just the perfect touch. It is so very ominous and yet beautiful. This synopsis scares me a bit. I haven't read the first book but it is on my pile. Not sure the premise of this one is quite my style.

Drowning in You

Rebecca Berto

Love this color scheme. It always draws my eye. Such a cute pose as well.

What do you think about the covers?

Like it, love it, or could do without it?

Seen any stunning covers you care to share?

Thursday, February 14

The Summer Prince: Book Review

The Summer Prince

Alaya Dawn Johnson

Arthur A. Levine
March 1st 2013
Young Adult | Science Fiction
Official Blurb - 
A heart-stopping story of love, death, technology, and art set amid the tropics of a futuristic Brazil.

The lush city of Palmares Tres shimmers with tech and tradition, with screaming gossip casters and practiced politicians. In the midst of this vibrant metropolis, June Costa creates art that’s sure to make her legendary. But her dreams of fame become something more when she meets Enki, the bold new Summer King. The whole city falls in love with him (including June’s best friend, Gil). But June sees more to Enki than amber eyes and a lethal samba. She sees a fellow artist.

Together, June and Enki will stage explosive, dramatic projects that Palmares Tres will never forget. They will add fuel to a growing rebellion against the government’s strict limits on new tech. And June will fall deeply, unfortunately in love with Enki. Because like all Summer Kings before him, Enki is destined to die.

Pulsing with the beat of futuristic Brazil, burning with the passions of its characters, and overflowing with ideas, this fiery novel will leave you eager for more from Alaya Dawn Johnson.

Not what I was expecting. While the synopsis does cover most of the facts it doesn't quite place them in their rightful priority. The Summer King does not hint at Fae but a barbaric royal ritual of a post-apocalyptic society. This society is very similar in their vanities as the society in Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. The cover is not depicting magical tattoos or sweat and exertion from dancing but light implantation under her skin for the sake of art. I find it interesting that they are so concerned with rebelling against their elders restriction on technology. Why just technology and not also the way they are perceived as lacking in any political opinions? I felt the book was missing the life and passion a "lethal samba" seemed to imply. There really wasn't as much club hopping or dancing as odd "art" projects. The Wakas, or under thirty crowd, loved to be passionate and have a party lifestyle. But the way it is played off feels more like we are seeing this through the eyes of a much older generation instead of right in the heat of it.
Romance or love felt more like a farce. Very loose terms of love. More like calf love, completely blind and doomed to die. A right of passage instead of reality. This post-apocalyptic society seems completely integrated into a homosexual or bisexual existence. Just not something that works for my taste.
In typical sciece fiction format this story has its own language or more specifically terminology. Wakas, Grandes, and Mushi bots being just a few examples.
Perhaps this book is better suited to those of a more artist and open mindset. And perhaps the characters with more time will take on a life that makes everything else distant background noise. Sadly that will be for someone else to discover since I had to put the book aside.

Language: Moderate


Tuesday, February 12

Wicked Kiss: Book Review

Wicked Kiss

Michelle Rowen

Harlequin Teen
February 26th 2013
Young Adult | Paranormal
Angel | Demon
Official Blurb - 

I used to be ordinary Samantha Day, but that's changed. Now, after one dark kiss from a dangerous boy, I can steal someone's soul...or their life. If I give in to the constant hunger inside me, I hurt anyone I kiss. If I don't...I hurt myself.

Bishop is the one whose kiss I crave most, but if I kiss him, I'll kill him. Then there's another boy, one I can't hurt. One whose kiss seems to miraculously quell my hunger. They're both part of a team of angels and demons that's joined forces in my city to fight a mysterious rising darkness, an evil that threatens everyone I know and love. I just wonder if I'll be able to help Bishop-or if I'm just another part of the darkness he's sworn to destroy....


When angels and demons must work together, something beyond evil is rising...

Bishop is quite the puzzle. Even at the end of the book there seems to be so much of him that isn't quite clear. I suppose all his lies are really in the name of protecting something precious to him. It is a good thing that the romantic relationship in this story only flirts with the line of traditional problems. There is a hint of miscommunication and a love triangle. Nothing deep which is good since Bishop wouldn't be able to swim in those sorts of waters. It seems wrong to label this story as containing a love triangle. More like a third wheel scenario. So this threesome have some delightful interactions. The dialog and better yet the actions of some of them are anything but boring. They have some interesting issues.

Kraven is so much more than meets the eye. I found I was more interested in his future as the others worked out theirs. For someone who has been through so much it just seems like there should be some measure of happiness in store for him.

Samantha just keeps finding one more issue after another. Just when it seems like life might be approaching some sort of norm she is thrown another loop. Good thing she is so determined to have just what she wants.

There is so much happening in this story that the pages fly by. This story was definitely harder to put down and walk away from. Very entertaining. A great addition to the first novel.

As everything begins to wrap up it all felt a bit too easy. Much too perfect to be real. As if it would be so simple as: Swallow this soul and call me in the morning. The way this ended felt like this story is only a two book deal. No cliff hanger but a very good feeling of closure. Does anyone know if there is a third book?

Spoiler Section:
Not really sure why Heaven would trust Bishop to watch Samantha. Are they really so blind to how compromised he is by his feelings? He can't be impartial and deliver the sort of results certain scenarios would require. Also, why enroll in her school? Does she need supervision that closely? It certainly doesn't seem Hell feels she needs to have such a close babysitter.

Language: Mild to moderate
Violence: Moderate to heavy

Moments Divine:

"Feel free to go back to a reasonable stalking distance when we get off this bus."
"Are you going to kill me?" I gasped for breath. "You better. Because I'm so hungry right now I know I'm going to attack somebody. I can't control this."
"Yeah, right. I'm going to kill you for having a momentary burst of crazy. If I did that, my little brother would carve your initials into my spleen before he cut my head off."
""So now what happens, little brother? Do you kill her, too? Do you fulfill your Heavenly mission, no matter who your victim has to be? Whatever they say, right? Come on, where's that shiny dagger of yours? Let's get this party started!"
"I'm not killing her," Bishop said evenly, every word as sharp as a blade. "Even if Heaven made it a direct order--I wouldn't do it. I don't care if they destroy this city, if they destroy this entire damn world. I would never hurt her." Kraven made a face. "I think I just threw up a little in my mouth."