Thursday, November 29, 2012

"Easy" by Tammara Webber

Release Date: May 25, 2012
Publisher: Self-Published (Now Penguin)
Pages: 304

From Goodreads: "A girl who believes trust can be misplaced, promises are made to be broken, and loyalty is an illusion. A boy who believes truth is relative, lies can mask unbearable pain, and guilt is eternal. Will what they find in each other validate their conclusions, or disprove them all?

When Jacqueline follows her longtime boyfriend to the college of his choice, the last thing she expects is a breakup two months into sophomore year. After two weeks in shock, she wakes up to her new reality: she's single, attending a state university instead of a music conservatory, ignored by her former circle of friends, and failing a class for the first time in her life.

Leaving a party alone, Jacqueline is assaulted by her ex's frat brother. Rescued by a stranger who seems to be in the right place at the right time, she wants nothing more than to forget the attack and that night--but her savior, Lucas, sits on the back row of her econ class, sketching in a notebook and staring at her. Her friends nominate him to be the perfect rebound.

When her attacker turns stalker, Jacqueline has a choice: crumple in defeat or learn to fight back. Lucas remains protective, but he's hiding secrets of his own. Suddenly appearances are everything, and knowing who to trust is anything but easy."

Recently when on a contemporary kick I picked up this book thinking that it sounded like exactly what I was looking for- hearing nothing about good things about it and learning that Penguin recently acquired the rights for it didn't hurt. While overall I did quite enjoy each of the individual elements of the novel, I must admit that I didn't enjoy perhaps the most important- the romance aspect.

One of the individual elements that I enjoyed were the characters- Lucas is basically YA/new adult boy incarnate- in being an incarnate character one might assume him to be "god-like" or "marble statue-ish" (as seems the trend in these genres of books) but he isn't in the slightest. He's sweet and caring to the max, he's protective (without being overbearing or possessive), he's intelligent, he's humble, he's flawed, and a million others things- all characteristics which accumulate in him being unarguably real. Jacqueline was also an enjoyable character- though fairly obtuse at times (I don't know why it took her so long to draw the connection between two characters- I had guessed it almost as soon as the evidence was produced). My favourite part about her was that she actually grew throughout the novel- becoming not only more independent, but ballsier, as the story progressed.

That being said, as mentioned, I wasn't a huge fan of the romance. Primarily, I found it to be extremely forced. Furthermore, as anyone will tell you, I am a "kissing" person- I LOVE love in books- however whenever I read the sexy-times scenes between Lucas and Jacqueline I couldn't help but burst out into laughter- it felt like a dentist or something of that nature was describing the make-out scenes with all of the talk of teeth, palates, bony parts of mouths, etc.

All in all, this was an extremely quick read and one that I would recommend looking for a deeper older YA/ new adult novel (though do make note that this deals with issues that some may have difficulties with- rape, attempted rape, violence, etc.). I will be checking out Tammara's other previously published novels and I look forward to the sequel to this novel (whether it be about Jacqueline and Lucas or a secondary character)!

Rating: 3/5

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Cover Reveal and GIVEAWAY: "There" by Denise Grover Swank

Today I am very excited to be a part of the cover reveal of Denise Grover Swank's "There"- "Here", the first book in her "On the Other Side" series, was a book which graced many of my "Top Ten" lists last year and a book that I HIGHLY recommend!

And the blurb (which is just about as exciting as the cover)!

Julia Phillips’ world is an alternate universe away.

Trapped in a land where government leaders want her dead, Julia is forced to run for her life with Evan and Reece, the two boys who brought her here. They’re on their own in a hostile landscape ruled by scavengers and thieves.

But Evan is battling a deadly infection, and Julia finds herself racing against time as she tries to find the medicine that will save his life. She and Reece find an unlikely ally—Jo, a girl they free after finding her captured in a bandits’ hideout.

As the four travel across the country, Julia has something else to worry about—her memories are slowly being replaced by the Julia of Evan and Reece’s world. Will they find a way to send Julia home
before it’s too late? Or will Julia’s body and mind be trapped THERE? 

About the Author: Denise Grover Swank lives in Lee's Summit, Missouri. She writes urban fantasies without vampires and werewolves. She also writes romantic comedy mysteries set in the south. Denise has six children, three dogs, and an overactive imagination. She can be found dancing in her kitchen with her children, reading or writing her next book. You will rarely find her cleaning.

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*Special note... the ebook of "Here" will be on sale for $.99 on Amazon, B&N, Kobo & Smashwords until FRIDAY November 30th.

Monday, November 26, 2012

"Scorch" by Gina Damico

Release Date: September 25, 2012
Publisher: Graphia
Pages: 322

From Goodreads: "Sixteen-year-old Lex Bartleby is a teenage grim reaper with the bizarre ability to damn souls. That makes her pretty scary, even to fellow Grims. But after inadvertently transferring her ability to Zara, a murderous outlaw, Lex is a pariah in Croak, the little town she calls home.

To escape the townspeople’s wrath, she and her friends embark on a wild road trip to DeMyse. Though this sparkling desert oasis is full of luxuries and amusements, it feels like a prison to Lex. Her best chance at escape would be to stop Zara once and for all—but how can she do that from DeMyse, where the Grims seem mysteriously oblivious to Zara’s killing spree?"

This book was such a breath of fresh air- in a time when I was just feeling "meh" about everything that I was reading this book made me experience the roller coaster of emotions that I so desperately was looking for- from tearing up one minute when reading of Lex's guilt and her reunion with her sister to feeling bubbly the next with Driggs' and Lex's relationship.

As mentioned, Just when I thought that Driggs' and Lex's relationship couldn't get any more SQUEE-worthy I read this book and I was proven wrong. I love that they're not your perfect couple- they're flawed. To the max. And in being as such they are so totally relateable. An additional aspect of their relationship that I love is their snark- there were two standout scenes that happened in this book that I know will stay with me for a long time, mainly because whenever I think of them I cannot help but burst out in laughter:

"Here's the thing," he said, his face strained. "It's just that I've been treading carefully around you and this whole Cordy thing all day, just like Mort told me to. And I had to make sure you saw here and were okay with it and got home safe- again, just like Mort told me to. And as much as I'd love to continue exploring the existential implications of Damning roadkill, the truth is"- he plunged his hands into his hair until it stuck up even more than usual- "you'be been back here in my presence for two agonizing hours now, and if we don't properly make out soon, I'm going to hurl myself off of the roof" (pg. 36). 

'Driggs whispered out of the side of his mouth to Lex as they walked, "I never got grounded before you came here." 

"You never touched a boob before I came here either." 

"Touche." He flashed a goofy grin as Uncle Mort shoved him into his room and slammed the door. "Worth it!" (pg. 110).

That being said, there were a few aspects of the plot that grated on my nerves a bit, namely the time that the characters spent in DeMyse- I just found the city to be too gaudy, too flashy, too (insert your choice of word of your nature here) and as such, unlike the characters, I didn't find it to be relateable, not realistic in the slightest. Furthermore, I  felt as if the plot was suspended in time during their time spent here- that very little was accomplished and that it was almost thrown into the plot merely to add some excitement. Furthermore, I  felt that the villain was just a shadow of her former self- that as the plot progressed she became less and less villain-y, which was disappointing as I think that she could have really brought excitement to the story, rather than the vain attempt that DeMyse did.

All in all, despite my complaints this was still an extremely enjoyable read- in fact, I only do "funny" when it comes to Gina (because she does it so well, drawing me out of my comfort zone). Furthermore, despite my complaints I will be continuing on with this series to see not only how these characters continue to grow, but also to see how the ending of this novel will be resolved (let's just day that you might want Kleenex on hand when you read it)!

Rating: 3/5

I received this book from the publisher to read and review. I was not compensated in any way for said review.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Author Interview: Jackie Trippier Holt

Today I am excited to have Jackie Tripper, author of "Dirty Monsters" stop by to tell us a bit about her writing process, how she decided to go indie and where her inspiration comes from! 

Describe DIRTY MONSTERS in five words or less.

Love hurts. So do claws.

DIRTY MONSTERS is a collection of novellas, how many stories do you intend for the series? 

11. Quite a commitment. I fleshed out ideas for the series then wrote 'Freaks Like Us', the first book, to see how it came to life. I'm currently holed up in a cottage on a Scottish island, pulling the series details together in a more organised form and I'm part way through book two.

Do you work on multiple books simultaneously? If so, what is your process? 

No, I immerse myself completely in one. Sometimes scenes from the future of the story (or other stories) pop into my head and I note them down quickly then go back to the main attraction. I have a job other than being an author and I have a family too, so trying to focus on more than one at a time would probably be impossible.

Fans of __________ will enjoy my books. 

I can't think of a comparable book or series readership where I can say "Oh, they'll love 'Freaks Like Us'!" That's partly because I can't remember when I read anything similar. It's also because I don't write to fit an audience or a genre, I write the tale as it needs to be told. Then someone asks me this question and I flounder! Needless to say, if you're a woman and looking for something with earthiness and guts in the contemporary fantasy genre, you'll enjoy this.

What are you currently reading right now? 

Last night I reached the end of 'Wolf Hall' by Hilary Mantel and felt bereft. I might go straight on to 'Bring Up The Bodies'. Stunning yet understated writing.

How did you come to the decision to go indie? 

I was encouraged by a couple of friends, one who is an indie publisher. It was a hard and terrifying decision - I think we Brits don't like to think we're bragging and 'vanity publishing' is a filthy term. Yet, I have creative friends who are musicians and bring out their own CDs and artists who sell their work - so why shouldn't I do the same? Why wait to 'be discovered'? I felt I owed it to myself to go indie. There is absolutely no way I would ever have been given a chance by a traditional publisher simply because of the way the industry is set up.

Being an indie author what impact (if any) have book bloggers had on your career? 

I'm a relative newcomer to the indie scene and still feeling my way in the book blogger environment. I really hope to gain more attention from relevant bloggers because I strongly believe they are the future: for a start, the discreditation attempts from the literati speaks volumes: you guys have them worried! In addition, indie authors I know have benefited massively from blog reviews and interviews. I just can't speak first hand yet.

Where did your inspiration for DIRTY MONSTERS come from? 

I wanted to write a scary circus story since I heard 'The Carny' by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and read 'Something Wicked This Way Comes' by Ray Bradbury. Two decades later I took up online role playing and got involved with a troupe of performers, monsters and freaks all, that gave me insight I needed to develop the idea.

How do you respond to maybe negative (or not-so-nice) reviews? 

I haven't had any yet: it's early days. I know not everyone in the world will like my stories, so in theory it's fine if they don't. If there's genuine criticism to answer to, that needs exploring. In practice, I have no idea. Possibly cry and rage in private, then pick myself up, dust myself down, give my inner child some chocolate and get on with writing!

Any advice for aspiring authors? 

Keep notebooks for your ideas. Plan, organize, schedule. Always write wearing your pajamas  Dream, and know you can make it a reality.

This or that?

Monsters under bed or monsters in closet? Closet.

Hot chocolate or chocolate milk? Hot choc.

Kindle or Nook? Kindle.

E-Book or physical book? Physical paperback.

Unicorn or Sasquatch? Unicorn. Bigfoot used to live in my closet.

Carny or townie: carny.

From Goodreads: "Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls and children of all ages! Welcome to Burfoot's Circus, the travelling home of freaks, misfits, drop-outs and the socially inept – sometimes all of the above – come together for your entertainment pleasure tonight, out of a love of performing in some cases, and simply fear of discovery in others. 

“We have little people, fae, werewolves and mutations, hybrids and humans in The Ring together! We have demons and dogs and those who prefer to keep silent about the stories of how and why they came to join the circus.

“Yet, most important of all, we have acts! We have The Saw Man, The Cat Boy, The Violet Illusion, Fearless Henry, Lady Fortunata, Benedict The Storyteller, The Bearded Lady, Snake and too, too many more to mention.

“Catch the show now, while you can. We can't stay long in any town and who knows where we'll be next? And honestly, folks, our circus isn't what it was and certainly isn't what it should be. See it now and you'll be able to say, 'Burfoot's? I knew it before it was famous'.

“Because nothing can remain a secret forever.”

About the Author: Jackie was born and bred in Rossendale, Lancashire.

Her career has been varied: bar maid, fortune teller, market trader, public relations officer, teacher, newspaper and online journalist, copywriter and freelance writer of women’s erotica.

‘Annie, the Doll, its Thief and her Lover’ is her first novel. She is currently working on a series of novellas called ‘Dirty Monsters’.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

"Where She Went" by Gayle Forman

Release Date: April 5, 2011
Publisher: Dutton
Pages: 264

From Goodreads: "It's been three years since the devastating accident . . . three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever.

Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Juilliard's rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia's home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future-and each other.

Told from Adam's point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined If I Stay, Where She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance."

Literally 5 minutes after finishing 'If I Stay" I rushed over to my local bookstore and picked up a copy of this book. Admittedly when I bought it I didn't read the synopsis and therefore wasn't aware that this book was told in Adam's POV therefore for a few chapters I was a bit thrown, but quickly adjusted to his voice. I found Adam's voice to be so raw, real, genuine, and a bajillion other adjectives of that nature. I had chills the entire time while reading this book due to him and his honestly.

While I did have a bit of difficulty connecting to Mia in this book, as I had in "If I Stay", feeling that she wasn't quite a developed as I would have liked, I did have a bit of an easier time in this book which I think can be attributed to Adam's perspective of her. Furthermore, the secondary characters of this series made more of an impact on me in this book than they had in "If I Stay"- from Liz to Kim to beyond.

That being said, while in "If I Stay" I really enjoyed the flashbacks as it allowed us to garner a better insight of Mia and Adam's relationship, I found myself growing increasingly frustrated with them in this book- I wanted to know what was happening with Mia and Adam in the here-and-now and not Mia and Adam of the past (similarly to how I felt in Laini Taylor's "Daughter of Smoke and Bone" with Akiva and Karou's relationship). However, I felt that the song lyrics which preceded some of the chapters more than made up for the iffy flashbacks and brought a certain je ne sais quoi to the book. A few of my favourites included:

"I'll be your mess, you be mine 
That was the deal that we had signed
I bought a hazmat suit to clean up your waste
Gas masks, gloves, to keep us safe 
But now I'm alone in an empty room
Staring down immaculate doom" ("Messy" Collateral Damage, Track 2, pg. 68). 

"Someone wake me when it's over
When the evening silence softens golden
Just lay me on a bed of clover
Oh, I need help with this burden" ("Hush" Collateral Damage, pg. 217). 

All in all, I am so glad that I decided to continue on with this series, despite only feeling "so-so" about "If I Stay"- it becomes evident that Gayle has grown tremendously as an author between the two books. This book is better in every way than its predecessor- again, I was able to devour this book in a matter of hours (actually, I managed to read both books in one day). I would highly recommend this book to everyone and I cannot wait to see what Gayle has in store for us next!

Rating: 5/5

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

"Opal" Trailer Reveal

Today I am excited to be a part of Jennifer L. Armentrout's "Opal" trailer reveal- "Opal" is hands down my most highly anticipated book of winter 2012- I need my Daemon fix ASAP!

No one is like Daemon Black.

When he set out to prove his feelings for me, he wasn’t fooling around. Doubting him isn’t something I’ll do again, and now that we’ve made it through the rough patches, well... There’s a lot of spontaneous combustion going on.

But even he can’t protect his family from the danger of trying to free those they love.

After everything, I’m no longer the same Katy. I’m different... And I’m not sure what that will mean in the end. When each step we take in discovering the truth puts us in the path of the secret organization responsible for torturing and testing hybrids, the more I realize there is no end to what I’m capable of. The death of someone close still lingers, help comes from the most unlikely source, and friends will become the deadliest of enemies, but we won’t turn back. Even if the outcome will shatter our worlds forever.

Together we’re stronger... and they know it.

USA TODAY Bestselling author, Jennifer L. Armentrout, lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing, she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell, Loki. Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She also writes adult romance under the name J. Lynn.

Find Jennifer on: Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Website | Blog

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

"If I Stay" by Gayle Forman

Release Date: April 2, 2009
Publisher: Dutton
Pages: 199

From Goodreads: "In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck... 

A sophisticated, layered, and heart-achingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make, and the ultimate choice Mia commands."

I think that this book possesses one of the most well done flashback sequences I have ever read before- they were seamlessly interwoven with the present day story. The flashbacks actually brought something to the story rather than just being there for the sake of being there- They allowed us to have a deeper understanding of Mia and Adam's relationship (their feelings for one another, all of the various situations that they have undergone, etc.).

Furthermore, I really enjoyed that the plot didn't go in the typical Plot Point A> Plot Point B> Plot Point C> Plot Point D fashion, rather the plot was a bit more unexpected, going in a rather unconventional route, with Plot Point A> Plot Point C> Plot Point D> Plot Point B- I like when authors shake it up like Gayle did with this book.

That being said, while I did enjoy some aspects of the book, I didn't enjoy it overall quite as much as I had hoped to. After hearing so many good things about it for years I had fairly high expectations and unfortunately it didn't quite live up to said expectations. One reason that I believe so is that I didn't find Mia's voice to be as developed as I had hoped it would be, at times it felt flat to me and I had a difficult time connecting to her as a person.

Furthermore, there were some scenes that I found to be too overly cheesy/ clique- for instance when Mia and Adam were "playing" one another's bodies as instruments (this scene *almost* rivaled the cheesiness of the "Twilight" films IMO- had this been a film I would have had a blanket over my head during this scene to have shielded me from the awkwardness). Additionally, I didn't find the story line to be all that original, I have read countless other books where one character has an out-of-body experience (or is a ghost) and follows their loved ones during a difficult time and when they awake they have a totally different outlook on life, become a better person, or something along those lines.

All in all, despite my complaints literally 5 minutes after finishing this book I ran out to my local bookstore and picked up the second book in the series, "Where She Went" (I NEEDED to know what happened between Adam and Mia after she woke up). This is a quick read, once you start reading it you will have a difficult time putting it down (I know that I couldn't, I had this book devoured within a couple of hours of starting it). Furthermore, this book is the epitome of an emotional roller coaster- I am not ashamed to say that I teared up numerous times while reading this book. I highly recommend it to fans of YA contemporaries, especially books written by the likes of Laurlene McDaniel and Stephanie Perkins!

Rating: 4/5

Monday, November 19, 2012

"Avow" Cover Reveal

Today I am excited to be a part of the cover release of Chelsea Fine's "Avow"- I am a huge fan of her "Archers of Avalon" series and therefore I cannot wait for this book, the third (and FINAL) installment in her series!

Doesn't Scarlet look bad-ass? And I LOVE that Chelsea has used the same model on each of her covers! 


Scarlet remembers. Everything. Her past lives, Tristan, Gabriel, Nate: she remembers it all--including how to get to the Fountain of Youth. But time is running out. 

Heather and Gabriel have been kidnapped by Raven, while the curse that has plagued Scarlet and Tristan for centuries has shifted, putting the star-crossed lovers in more danger than ever before. Water from the Fountain of Youth is the only thing that can save Scarlet and her loved ones. But the water comes at a price.

With lives--and hearts--at stake, Scarlet leads her friends on a dangerous journey to the Fountain of Youth. Where eternal life is possible, but death is certain.

Available December 11th, 2012!

Don't miss the first two books in the Archers of Avalon series!

ANEW (book one)          AWRY (book two)
Kindle    Nook                  Kindle    Nook

Friday, November 16, 2012

Guest Post: Author Jessie Harrell

Today I am excited to have author Jessie Harrell stop by the blog to tell us a bit about her book "Destined"!

Since my book baby, Destined, is turning a year old tomorrow (*sniff* where has the time gone?) – and since it’s set in ancient Greece – I thought I’d share with you a factiod about birthdays in ancient Greece: They didn’t celebrate them.

What? No cake and ice cream?

Nope. In fact, the Greeks considered the day of one’s birth a “dirty day.” Certainly not cause for celebration. At least, it wasn’t a cause for celebration for mere mortals. The gods on the other hand… well, let’s get the party started. For example, Artemis got a birthday party every lunar month since she was the moon goddess. She was brought round cakes (shaped like the moon) , alight with candles to represent the moon’s glow. (I sense the beginnings of a tradition here…)

So, that being the case – gods got celebrated and mortals don’t – how would a mortal/immortal couple spend the mortal’s birthday? Surely a love-struck god would want to shower his beloved with attention. Or at least I chose to think so. Here’s how I imagined Eros (a/k/a Aris - at this point, he’s in disguise and Psyche doesn’t know who he really is) and Psyche spending her birthday ~

That evening, I sat on the bed and watched the sun set behind the gardens, casting a glow of brilliant oranges and reds across the landscape. Just as he had done the past two nights, Aris’s darkened form flew in through the window. My breath caught in the back of my throat as I gazed at the obviously powerful creature now standing before me.

He didn’t speak right away, then cleared his throat. “Sorry about passing out on you last night. Not exactly how I’d planned things to go.”

I shrugged. “Don’t worry about it. Seriously. You obviously needed the rest. I didn’t mind.”

“Yeah, well, I felt like I did all the talking last night and I want to know more about you. I already know my past.”

“I thought you already knew everything about me.” I couldn’t help the playful barb; I probably even threw in an eyelash flutter for good measure.

He chuckled and I heard fabric shifting under his personal cloud. “I don’t know nearly enough. So I figured you could tell me everything -- over cake.”

I took the package he held out to me. Once I’d untied the string and pulled away the cloth wrapping, I saw an amazing-looking cheesecake.

“Happy birthday to you,” he sang in a low voice.

“How’d you know?” I asked.

“I figured it was something I ought to remember.” He cleared his throat again. “I hope you like cheesecake.”

“Who doesn’t?” I slid onto the stool at my vanity, pulling the cake closer and breaking off a piece to pop into my mouth.

He stopped my hand before I could indulge. “Wait… this game has rules.”

I looked at him with narrowed eyes. Since when does eating cheesecake have rules?

“I want one fact for every bite,” he said. “Talk first, eat second.”

Reluctantly, I backed the cake away from my already-parted lips. If he wanted to make a game out of this information exchange, who was I to complain?

So, yes, I took some liberties with past traditions in an effort to ensure Eros comes across as romantic as possible. And if you think a surprise cake is sweet, just wait till you see what else he has in store for Psyche. If you’d like to know more, here’s the back cover blurb:

When Psyche receives a prophecy gone horribly wrong, she learns that even the most beautiful girl in Greece can have a hideous future. Her fate? Fall in love with the one creature even the gods fear.

As she feels herself slipping closer into the arms of the prophecy, Psyche must choose between the terrifyingly tender touch she feels almost powerless to resist and the one constant she's come to expect out of life: you cannot escape what is destined.

About the Author: By day, I'm an appellate lawyer. By night, I'm a wife, mother of two, and author/lover of all things Greek mythology. I'm a native Floridian, frustrated world traveler, unrepentant dreamer, lover of acoustic music and not-so-closet geek. Destined, released November 17, 2011, is my first novel. Stay tuned for Beneath the Surface, co-written with the amazing Brooklyn Grant, coming summer 2012.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

"13" by Kelley Armstrong

Release Date: July 24, 2012
Publisher: Random House
Pages: 480

From Goodreads: "The exciting, page-turning LAST episode of Kelley Armstrong's acclaimed, bestselling Women of the Otherworld series!Savannah Levine, a young witch of remarkable power and a dangerous pedigree, staggers away from a bomb blast in New Orleans, glad that she's managed to rescue her half-brother Bryce from the supernatural revolutionaries who'd held him captive. But everyone and everything she holds dear is still at risk. The reveal movement has shaken the Otherworld to its core and the resulting chaos has thinned the boundaries between dimensions, allowing creatures of the deeper realms to break through and wreak havoc on supernaturals but also on innocent humans.

Although she's been temporarily stripped her of her powers, Savannah knows she has a crucial part to play in this war of survival. In fact the fate of her loved ones--of Adam, the friend she hopes will become a lover; of Paige and Lucas, her guardians; of the werewolf Pack and Jaime Vegas; of a pregnant Hope; of her brothers Sean and Bryce--and of the human world rests on her shoulders. If she can find the way and the will to defend them.

Only in the final battle will Savannah find out her true capacities, and what lovewill drive her to do. In 13, Kelley Armstrong brings her powerful and unique saga to a deeply satisfying end: thrilling, surprising and harrowing." 

Being a readaholic I have faced many of my most favourite series ending, but I just come to realize that I haven't been all that affected by them ending- it's just something I've learned to accept, not giving much thought to it. That is, until it came to this series. These characters, Clay, Elena, Jeremy, Paige, Lucas, Savannah, Hope, Karl, and the likes of have been my friends for a very, very long time (much longer than my current IRL friends). Not only have I seen the characters grow, from Savannah at 12 years old to 21 year old Savannah, but the birth of the twins, marriages, and the likes of, but they've also seen me grow. I can remember being sixteen years old and saving my allowance every week so that I could purchase these books. Now, at 22 years old, as you can imagine, I'm having difficulties letting them go (I'm not ashamed to admit that I am totally tearing up while writing this review, not unlike how I did when reading the last couple of chapters). I think that this is a testament to just how amazing of an author Kelley is- that she has created characters that her readers connect to on a level quite unlike what any author has been able to do (and now that I think about it, I can't even recall feeling this emotional when the "Harry Potter" series drew to a close- mainly because I was so turned off by the latter books).

Now onto the book itself. Admittedly I have never been an uber fan of Savannah, my heart has always belonged to the originals- Elena, Paige, and Jamie. However, I really started to come around to Savannah in the previous book, "Spellbound". I think that was in part to her changing relationship with Adam- I have rooted for them almost as much as I did for Elena/ Clay, Hope/ Karl and Jeremy/ Jamie,  but also because of her growth, learning that her powers didn't define her (not unlike that now clique saying, "It's not powers that define a person, but what they do with those powers"). As a result of, this book was one of my most favourite in the series (probably ranked around the 5th or 6th- not bad out of a 13 book series).

Another aspect of this book that I enjoyed was the changing perspectives (which is quite shocking as changing POVs usually drives me batty) and seeing all of the characters come back for a sort of last hurrah, of sorts, from the aforementioned characters to Sean, Benico, Kristof- hell, even Troy. That being said, I loved that Kelley didn't just throw in a character for the sake of doing so, to appease her readers, each character played a specific role and they did so to a tee.

All in all, I cannot say enough good things about this book, nor this series. I think that this is one that everyone should experience for themselves (and now you don't have an excuse not to, considering all 13 books are now available ;) ). For me personally this is a world that I continuing coming back to time and time again.

Rating: 5/5

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Author Interview: Patricia Lynne

Today I am excited to have Patricia Lynne, author of "Being Human" stop by the blog to tell us a bit about what you can expect from her next, where her inspiration comes from and what types of monsters she prefers. 
Describe BEING HUMAN in five words or less.

Vampire boy needs to survive.

You have a lot of finished first drafts finished, are you currently in the process of sprucing any of them up for publishing?

I'm trying! I have a short story series called Path of Angels I want to get published. It's New Adult and is about four archangels born on earth. Their job is to find fallen angels and send them back to Hell. When they find a journal detailing a plot to release Lucifer from Hell, their focus shifts. Sent the first short out to a few betas.

Do you work on multiple books simultaneously? If so, what is your process?

I try to focus on one project at a time. Right now I'm working on finishing a first draft of a story. It has no title so I've been calling it Squidboy due to the mercharacter that is half human half squid. Once I get that done then I'm going to work on Path of Angels.

Fans of ___________ will enjoy my books.

Uh, yeah... I have no idea. I can't even figure out other books to compare any of my stories too. There are few similarities in my opinion.

What are you currently reading right now?

I just finished reading The Afterlife. Not a bad story about a boy who is killed and becomes a ghost. I'm thinking I might finally crack open Witchblood by Emma Mills. It has vampires and witches.

How did you come to the decision to go indie?

At first I considered traditional, but as I got closer to having Being Human ready for publication, indie publishing was gaining ground. I looked into both and decided indie publishing fit better with me. Plus, I knew the market was saturated with vampire tales so agents and publishers weren't looking for those stories.

Being an indie author what impact (if any) have book bloggers had on your career?

There wasn't really any impact in the beginning. Now I hope to find book bloggers to review my books. It's tricky. A lot don't accept indie books.

Where did your inspiration for BEING HUMAN?

Thirsty by MT Anderson. The ending of the book was dark and a bit depressing, but it left me wondering what happens next? Then Tommy popped up in my head and told me an interesting story about two brothers - from the POV of the vampire brother who couldn't remember being a human.

How do you respond to maybe negative (or not-so-nice) reivews?

I don't. The most I do is whine to my hubby and some friends that someone didn't love my book. Then I get over it. There isn't one book in the world that everyone loves. Why should my book be different? Not everyone is going to like the story and I'm okay with that.

Any advice for aspiring authors?

Work hard but make sure you have a good time. The story will turn out a million times better if you enjoy every second of the journey.

This or that?

Monsters under bed or monsters in closet? When I was little I was more afraid of monsters under the bed. I could imagine them reaching up and grabbing me so I made sure to never dangle my arms over the side.

Hot chocolate or chocolate milk? Really? I have to choose? That's evil of you.

Kindle or Nook? I've only read with a Kindle so far so I have to say Kindle.

E-Book or physical book? I like both. Ebook means I can carry one device and a thousand books, but physical books are easier to flip back and double check something.

Wal-Mart or Target? Jo-Ann Fabrics! What can I say? I'm crafty. =P

From Goodreads: "For Tommy, there is only one thing he needs to do: survive. 

Only surviving isn't that easy. The hunt for blood can be tricky when humans know to fear the night. Desire sits on the edge of his mind, urging him to become the monster humans think he is. Vampire Forces, a special branch of police, is determined to turn every vampire to ash. Tommy included.

The only human Tommy can trust is his twin brother. A bond connects them, and with Danny's help, Tommy starts to understand the human world he struggles to survive in. He'll learn what friendships means and feel the sting of betrayal, find that sometimes the worst monsters are very human, and come to understand that family means more than blood.

Tommy just wants to survive and he knows what he needs to do. But with the number of humans that mean more to him than a meal growing, he'll learn there's more to life than simple survival. He'll discover being human doesn't mean being a human."

About the Author: 

Patricia Lynne never set out to become a writer. In fact, she never considered it an option during high school and college. But some stories are meant to be told and this one chose her. Patricia lives with her husband in Michigan, hopes one day to have what will resemble a small petting zoo and has a fondness for dying her hair the colors of the rainbow.

Monday, November 12, 2012

ARC Review: "Black City" by Elizabeth Richards

Publisher: Putnam
Release Date: November 13, 2012
Pages: 384

From Goodreads: "A dark and tender post-apocalyptic love story set in the aftermath of a bloody war.

In a city where humans and Darklings are now separated by a high wall and tensions between the two races still simmer after a terrible war, sixteen-year-olds Ash Fisher, a half-blood Darkling, and Natalie Buchanan, a human and the daughter of the Emissary, meet and do the unthinkable—they fall in love. Bonded by a mysterious connection that causes Ash’s long-dormant heart to beat, Ash and Natalie first deny and then struggle to fight their forbidden feelings for each other, knowing if they’re caught, they’ll be executed—but their feelings are too strong.

When Ash and Natalie then find themselves at the center of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to pull the humans and Darklings back into war, they must make hard choices that could result in both their deaths."

When I first received this book to read and review I was beyond excitement because I think that this book is one of few books being released this fall/ winter that has had a ton of hype surrounding it- everywhere I turned person after person was raving about how amazing this book was and how it would grace their "Top Tens of 2012" lists, but after reading it myself I honestly cannot think of why. This book has been one of the more disappointing ones I have read in quite some time.

While there were many disappointing elements of this book the most would, by far, be the melodramatics of it. There were countless instances where all I could do was shake my head or roll my eyes at what came out of the characters mouths- from declarations of insta-love (not unlike 'Twilight's" "I'd rather die than live without you") to talking about the "seriousness" of their relationships at age 14 and 15 (something along the lines of "When we were fourteen we were so in love"), to just general angst-iness (not the good kind of angst- I mean, Jace Wayland is my favourite character so you know that I love angst- this was "grates on your nerves", "sets your teeth on edge" angst).

As I found the book overall to be quite melodramatic I obviously found the characters to be as well. Being melodramatic and, frankly, immature (think of the most immature high school student you know, amplify them, and you have these characters) I had an extremely difficult time relating to them. In fact, if I were asked right now to describe the characters, mere hours after finishing it, I don't think that I could as they made so little of an impact upon me. Additionally, I found that there were a lot of characters and many of them had similar names- Beetle, Roach, etc.- that made it difficult to differentiate between them, especially in action-packed scenes where all of them were congregated in one place.

That being said, I think that the concept of the novel was extremely inventive and quite unlike anything I have ever seen in YA before. Furthermore I think that the twist was quite well done- I thought that I had it all figured out and it turned out that I was (partially) wrong. Finally, obviously the book does have a readability factor as I did finish it, rather than DNFing it- it's the sort of book that you can't not finish as you do need to know how it all ends.

All in all, admittedly I am on the fence about whether or not I will read the last two books in this series which is quite surprising as I am the sort of person who must finish a series no matter how much, in that moment, I may hate myself for doing so (ie. with the "House of Night" series and "Morganville Vampires"). I think that this book had a ton of potential but that it didn't live up to it in the slightest. That being said, I think that those occupying the younger end of the YA spectrum (13-16 years old) would really enjoy this book- especially fans of the aforementioned "Twilight" or "Romeo and Juliette" retellings.

Rating: 2/5

I received this book from the publisher to read and honestly review. I was not compensated in any way for said review.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

On My Wishlist

On My Wishlist is a great event that was created by Book Chick City. It is now hosted by Sarah over at Workaday Reads

It's where you list all of the books that you desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. I thought that this was a fantabulous idea so I thought I would join in!

Title: "Fang Girl"
Author: Helen Keeble
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: September 11, 2012

From Goodreads: "Things That Are Destroying Jane Greene’s Undead Social Life Before It Can Even Begin:

1) A twelve-year-old brother who’s convinced she’s a zombie.
2) Parents who are begging her to turn them into vampires.
3) The pet goldfish she accidentally turns instead.
4) Weird superpowers that let her rip the heads off of every other vampire she meets.(Sounds cool, but it doesn’t win you many friends.)
5) A pyschotic vampire creator who’s using her to carry out a plan for world domination.

And finally:
6) A seriously ripped vampire hunter who either wants to stake her or make out with her. Not sure which.

Being an undead, eternally pasty fifteen-year-old isn’t quite the sexy, brooding, angst-fest Jane always imagined....

Helen Keeble’s riotous debut novel combines the humor of Vladimir Tod with Ally Carter’s spot-on teen voice. With a one-of-a-kind vampire mythology and an irresistibly relatable undead heroine, this uproarious page-turner will leave readers bloodthirsty for more."

Friday, November 9, 2012

Character Interview with Author Lisa Nowak

Today I am excited to have Alex, main character from author Lisa Nowak's "Dead Heat". stop by the blog for a little chat! 

Alex is a machine whisperer. He can tell what’s wrong with a broken-down car with a touch. But his gift can’t save him from the brutality of his meth-addict father. For two years, Alex experienced kindness through Cole, his mentor. Now Cole’s dead, and the violence in Alex’s life is escalating.

When Cole reappears as a ghost, Alex clings to the tenuous link. Then he learns Cole might’ve sacrificed his chance to cross over. Jade, the first girl to look beyond Alex’s past, assures him Cole can reach the Other Side—if Alex escapes from his dad. But a previous terrifying attempt has convinced Alex it’s impossible. Unless he can find the courage to try, his friend may be earthbound forever.

What makes you happy? When and where were you the happiest?

Working on machines. Any kind. It’s like I can understand what they’d say if they could talk. Sounds stupid, I know. But when something’s messed up inside of ’em, I can sort of feel what it is. I was happiest at Cole’s place. But that ain’t never gonna happen again.

Describe how you look.

Brown hair, sorta long. Green eyes. Lots of scars, but those are mostly where they don’t show ’cept when I’m not wearing a shirt. Which is never. I got two fingers that are crooked and don’t bend right cuz my old man slammed the hood of his truck on ’em when I didn’t fix it fast enough.

How do you think your friends and family see you?

Cole would say I’m smart and brave and kind-hearted, but he’s a dreamer. He don’t know the real me, the one who steals metal and snagged the tags off someone else’s motorcycle then stuck ’em on mine.

What is your biggest fear? Who have you told this to?

My old man—he’s crazy. I don’t tell nobody cuz if I do, someone’s gonna get hurt. I was always afraid if I told Cole, it’d be him, and if I told anyone else, it’d be Momma. Now that Cole’s dead, I’m scared his ghost’ll get stuck here. I don’t want him to be gone for good, but I want him to be happy, you know?

Do you have a secret?

Yeah, where I live and what my last name is. I ain’t even gonna tell you.

Sound like you’ve had to deal with a lot of violence from your dad. How has that affected how you feel about discipline?

Putting out cigarettes your kids is a lousy way to teach ’em stuff. But I gotta say, it sure keeps ’em from doing bad things again.

How would you spend a typical day?

Back before Cole died, I’d go to school ’cause he wanted me to, even though it was a waste. Then I’d work on his car as much as I could. I’d spend the rest of my time at my job at Ivan’s shop. And maybe I’d deposit Momma’s disability check and buy her some groceries and yarn.

What is the worst thing that could happen to you?

It already happened. Cole died.

Who depends on you? Why?

Momma. Her back’s messed up and my old man will steal her check or her pain pills if I don’t hide ’em. She ain’t got no way to get out of the house, ’cept the bus that takes her to her doctor appointments. I gotta buy her groceries and all that. I gotta make sure the old man don’t hurt her.

Describe your bedroom.

I got a mattress on the floor, an old broken dresser with the paint chipping off, boxes of parts and broken machines I’m gonna fix. My room’s got one window and the walls are this dirty white. There’s some holes in them where my old man threw stuff at me and missed. The carpet’s this old nasty gray thing.

If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?

This is a stupid question. If I die, I sure as hell ain’t coming back. I’d just be glad to have it over.

About the Author: In addition to being a YA author, Lisa is a retired amateur stock car racer, an accomplished cat whisperer, and a professional smartass. She writes coming-of-age books about kids in hard luck situations who learn to appreciate their own value after finding mentors who love them for who they are.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

"The Hallowed Ones" by Laura Bickle

Release Date: September 25, 2012
Publisher: Harcourt
Pages: 320

From Goodreads: "Katie is on the verge of her Rumspringa, the time in Amish life when teenagers can get a taste of the real world. But the real world comes to her in this dystopian tale with a philosophical bent. Rumors of massive unrest on the “Outside” abound. Something murderous is out there. Amish elders make a rule: No one goes outside, and no outsiders come in. But when Katie finds a gravely injured young man, she can’t leave him to die. She smuggles him into her family’s barn—at what cost to her community? The suspense of this vividly told, truly horrific thriller will keep the pages turning."

When I first received this book for review I had admittedly never heard of it before, but as I read the synopsis of it on the back of it my eyes kept getting wider and wider because: Amish + post apocalyptic + paranormal creature just screams EPIC, no? I quickly dropped everything that I was doing to read this (in fact, when I had my copy of this laying around my mom, a non-reader, happened to pick it up and asked if she could read it after I finished it). However, I must admit this book was not near as epic as I had hoped it would be.

Overall I found the plot to be a fair bit flat, the only heart-pounding moment that I experienced while reading it was during the scene where the paranormal element was first introduced, otherwise I found that the most action-packed moments were word-of-mouth- a character recounting what they had experienced, stumbling across an event that had happened when no one was in the vicinity, and whatnot.

Another criticism I have of the book was Katie herself. I understand that she was looking for more in life than the Amish community could offer her, but having had the Amish beliefs ingrained in her from an extremely early age I can't imagine that she would just throw them away within a matter of days, without any remorse (I know that TLC's "Breaking Amish" is more than likely fake, but even the characters on that show waffle back and forth in their decisions during their time spent in the English world- "Do I do this knowing that if I do I can potentially be shunned from my community?", "What would my family think if I did this?", and the likes of). Furthermore, the romance that occurred a bit too fast for my taste- Katie was essentially engaged to her lifelong best friend, Elijah, and Alex has just lost the love of his life who he traveled borders for. That being said, Alex was a really great character (bordering on swoon-worthy) and I loved learning more and more about him.

All in all, this book did win on creativity fronts and I am very excited by the possibility that there could perhaps be a sequel to it (the ending was quite open and leaves plenty of wiggle room), which, despite my criticisms, I would read. I think that this book will appeal to a wide audience with the "I Am Legend" meets "The Village" feel to it!

Rating: 3/5

I received this book from the publisher to read and review. I was not compensated in any way for said review.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

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

Title: "Legacy of the Clockwork Key"
Author: Kristin Bailey
Release Date: March 5, 2013
Publisher: Simon Pulse

From Goodreads: "A teen girl unravels the mysteries of a secret society and their most dangerous invention in this adventure-swept romance set in Victorian London.When a fire consumes Meg’s home, killing her parents and destroying both her fortune and her future, all she has left is the tarnished pocket watch she rescued from the ashes. But this is no ordinary timepiece. The clock turns out to be a mechanical key—a key that only Meg can use—that unlocks a series of deadly secrets and intricate clues that Meg is compelled to follow.

Meg has uncovered evidence of an elite secret society and a dangerous invention that some will stop at nothing to protect—and that Meg alone can destroy. Together with the handsome stable hand she barely knows but hopes she can trust, Meg is swept into a hidden world of deception, betrayal, and revenge. The clockwork key has unlocked her destiny in this captivating start to a trilogy."

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

"Impossible" by Komal Lewis

Release Date: October 24, 2012
Publisher: Self-Published
Pages: 254

From Goodreads: "Ashton Summers is on her way to becoming the most popular girl in school and nothing—or no one—is going to stand in her way. Especially not Luca Byron, her freak neighbor, with his tattoos, loud music, and distracting green eyes.

Luca Byron has three goals in life: get through high school with a low profile, make sure his garage band becomes something more than a hobby, and try to forget about his insufferable ex-best friend, Ashton, who he can’t get out of his mind.

The last thing Ashton and Luca want to do is rekindle their friendship, but when Ashton takes a tumble down the social ladder, Luca—with his new makeover—is the only one who can help her rise up again by pretending to be her boyfriend. At first, being together is unbearable and annoying, but things start to change as Ashton and Luca discover the real reasons they drifted apart seven years ago.

Now, keeping their hands off each other seems impossible."

When I first discovered this book in the blogisphere world I knew that I had to get my hands on it- despite contemporary not being my 'go-to' genre (that belongs to YA paranormal)- There was something about this book that just called to me and pulled me out of my comfort zone and am I really glad that it did!

I really liked male main, Luca- think of any bad boy in YA (whether it be Jace, Daemon- whoever) and make him humble/ low-key and you have Luca. Luca never felt the need to flaunt himself or get in caught in the popularity game, he just was. Which unlike a lot of the aforementioned bad boys made him so much more realistic and approachable. Admittedly while reading the book, Ashton, the female lead, did grate on my nerves a fair bit. But after I sat and thought about the book after finishing it I realized that the way that she acts is very much true for someone of her age (I think that what a lot of older YA readers forget, myself included, when we read the genre is that it is targeted to a YA audience- we can't chastise the characters for not acting in the way that we might because, in many cases, we do have a lot more years of experience on them)- when something important is ripped from someone's life (in Ashton's case, popularity) I think that we would only act in a similar way to how she did, doing everything in our power to get it back.

Komal's biggest strength, in my opinion? Writing sexy-times like no other. There are a number of scenes in this book that will take your breath away (the kitchen scene, anyone?)- furthermore, each of these sexy-time scenes is quite tastefully done (there have been a number of YA books as of late where I have been shocked by how explicit some authors have been with scenes of this nature).

Another talent that Komal possesses is setting up the companion novels to this book "Falling For Hadie" and "Wrong Side of Town"- we are given a tidbit of who some of the characters in the latter books are, what their conflicts are and the likes of, in this book, and in doing so Komal really hooks the readers in, ensuring that they will add her to their "must buy" list.

All in all, I do think that this is a strong debut from author Komal Lewis and I do consider myself to be one of those "hooked" readers- I cannot wait to see what she has in store for us next! I highly recommend this book for those looking for a fun and flirty, not to mention quick, read!

Rating: 3/5

Monday, November 5, 2012

Author Interview: Komal Lewis

Today I am excited to have Komal Lewis, author of the recently released "Impossible", stop by the blog to let me pick her brain on such topics as if she's a dog or a cat person, how she's (potentially) related to Jennifer L. Armentrout, and why she decided to become a full time author! 

From Goodreads: "Ashton Summers is on her way to becoming the most popular girl in school and nothing—or no one—is going to stand in her way. Especially not Luca Byron, her freak neighbor, with his tattoos, loud music, and distracting green eyes.

Luca Byron has three goals in life: get through high school with a low profile, make sure his garage band becomes something more than a hobby, and try to forget about his insufferable ex-best friend, Ashton, who he can’t get out of his mind.

The last thing Ashton and Luca want to do is rekindle their friendship, but when Ashton takes a tumble down the social ladder, Luca—with his new makeover—is the only one who can help her rise up again by pretending to be her boyfriend. At first, being together is unbearable and annoying, but things start to change as Ashton and Luca discover the real reasons they drifted apart seven years ago.

Now, keeping their hands off each other seems impossible."

Describe IMPOSSIBLE in five words or less.

A childhood romance gone awry.

You're currently working on two series simultaneously, IMPOSSIBLE and RUNAWAY MORTAL, can you tell us a bit about the process of balancing two series at once?

It's hard work, but also a lot of fun. IMPOSSIBLE is a Contemporary Romance, and RUNAWAY MORTAL is an Urban Fantasy, so it's a lot of fun writing a romance and dealing with characters' emotions, and then jumping into a fantasy and create your own mythology.

Your RUNAWAY MORTAL series is a trilogy- how many books do you have planned for your IMPOSSIBLE series?

At the moment I have outlines for 6-7 books in the series. The second novel FALLING FOR HADIE will come out in March, 2013.

Fans of ___________ will enjoy my books. 

Fans of Abbi Glines and Jennifer Armentrout will (hopefully!) enjoy my books.

What are you currently reading right now?

Taking Chances by Molly McAdams.

How did you come to the decision to become a full time author?

Becoming an author was something I've wanted to do my entire life. I started writing at five, and I never stopped. The decision to do it full-time was because I have an amazing, supportive husband who pushed me into it.

How did you come to the decision to go indie?

At first, I was convinced that I would never go indie, but as I began to interact with indie authors and did more research on the subject, I changed my mind. I have never sent out a query to an agent or a publisher because I wanted the indie route to be my first choice, not something to fall back on. Also, I'm very impatient! I don't think I could wait for months, or years, to have my book published the traditional way.

Where did your inspiration for IMPOSSIBLE?

It came from the movie DRIVE ME CRAZY. I really love the movie and the characters in it, but wanted to create my own version of it.

IMPOSSIBLE was released on October 26, 2012- can you tell us a bit about what you're feeling? Are you nervous? Excited?

I am super nervous! My critique partners can tell you how nervous/scared I get about sharing my work. I am really self-conscious about other people reading my work, but I'm trying to get over it. It's part of the job.

How do you respond to maybe negative (or not-so-nice) critique from your critique partners?

I'm really lucky, because this has never happened to me. I have the best critique partners in the world! Erica and Michelle always give me positive feedback and constructive criticism. They know how delicate my feelings are, haha.

Any advice for aspiring authors?

You are going to have your good days, your bad days, and your very bad days, but it's important to never lose sight of what your goal is. Keep at it and don't give up!

This or That

Unicorn or Sasquatch?

Dogs or cats? My house is a balance between the two, but I'm a dog person.

Coffee or coke? Neither. I'm boring and only drink water.

Music while writing or no music? No music--it distracts me!

Typing on a computer or writing in a notebook? Typing on the computer

Reading a book or watching TV? Definitely reading a book!

About the Author: 
Komal Lewis is a full-time author who lives in Sydney, Australia with her husband, and one too many dogs and cats (although she never seems to think they have enough!).

She is overly enthusiastic about video games, comic books, Spiderman, Batman films, Byronic heroes, Cillian Murphy's creepy face, horror movies, baking, reptiles and pretty shoes.

Komal isn't embarrassed to admit that she loves reading Young Adult and, of course, writing it! She is currently working on her debut novel, WITH ME, a YA Contemporary Romance about a girl who will do anything to become popular and the rocker boy-next-door.

Komal also blogs over on A Dash of YA with some super cool authors/writers/bloggers. Stop by and check them out!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Stacking the Shelves: The "I Broke My Shoulder Carrying These Books" Edition

To support my fellow Canadian bloggers I have decided to participate in Stacking the Shelves created by Tygna over at Tygna's Reviews. As Tygna writes, "Stacking The Shelves is all about the books we are adding to our shelves each week, sharing with you our excitement for our newest titles and maybe have you discover a new book in the process!" 

So 'member that last STS post I had where I said that it was my most epic? I lied. This STS is- this a combination of books I have gotten over the last 2 weeks and the books that I got at the 2nd annual Ontario Blog Squad Meet-Up.

Trade (Thanks to all of the wonderful ladies I traded this for!):
"Rebel Heart" by Moira Young
"Lords of Misrule" by Rachel Caine
"Feast of Fools" by Rachel Caine
"Valiant" by Holly black
"Glimmerglass" by Jenna Black
"Touch" by Jus Accardo
"Clarity" by Kim Harrison
"Let's Pretend This Never Happened" by The Bloggess
"Entice" by Jessica Shrivington
"Bloodrose" by Andrea Cremer
"The Power of Six" by Pittacus Lore
"Team Human" by Justine Larbalestier
"The Raven Boys" by Maggie Stiefvater
"Carpe Diem" by Autumn Cornwell
"Audrey, Wait" by Robin Benway
"Lovestruck Summer" by Melissa Walker

Ontario Blog Squad Meet-Up (Thanks to all of the AMAZING publisher who supplied these books):
"The Crimson Crown" by Cinda Williams Chima
"Who I Kissed" by Janet Gurtler
"Sirens" by Janet Fox
"Sever" by Lauren DeStefano
"Etiquite and Espionage" by Gail Carriger
"Confessions of an Angry Girl" by Louise Rozett
"Fuse" by Julianna Baggott
"Speechless" by Hannah Harrington
"The Heart Broke In" by James Meek
"Red Moon" by Benjamen Percy
"Child of Venegance" by David Kirk
"The Edge of Courage" by Elaine Levine
"The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen" by Susin Nielsen

For Review: 
"Scorch" by Gina Damico (Thanks to Thomas Allen and Son)
"The Suburban Strange" by Nathan Kotecki (Thanks to Thomas Allen and Son)
"The Blind Spot" by Laura Ellen (Thanks to Thomas Allen and Son)
"Will Sparrow's Road" by Karen Cushman (Thanks to Thomas Allen and Son)
"The Book of Styling" by Somer Flaherty (Thanks to Thomas Allen and Son)
"The Hallowed Ones" by Laura Bickle (Thanks to Thomas Allen and Son)
"Percy's Killer Playlist" by Joe Schreiber (Thanks to Thomas Allen and Son)
"The Bronte Sisters" by Catherine Reef (Thanks to Thomas Allen and Son)
"Throne of Glass" by Sarah J. Mass (Thanks to Razorbill)
"Breaking Point" by Kristen Simmons (Thanks to Raincoast)

Borrowed (Thanks to Ashley): 
"Diety" by Jennifer L. Armentrout

What did you get in your mailbox?

Saturday, November 3, 2012

On My Wishlist

On My Wishlist is a great event that was created by Book Chick City. It is now hosted by Sarah over at Workaday Reads

It's where you list all of the books that you desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. I thought that this was a fantabulous idea so I thought I would join in!

Title: "Hunting Lila" 
Author: Sarah Alderson
Release Date: August 4, 2011
Publisher: Simon and Schuster

From Goodreads: "The novels follow the story of Lila, a 17-year-old with the power of telekinesis, and Alex, her brother’s best friend and long-time love interest. When a mugging on the streets of South London goes horribly wrong and exposes her unique ability, Lila runs away to Southern California, where Alex and her brother are working for a secret organisation called The Unit and searching for the men who killed Lila’s mother five years before. Lila unwittingly becomes embroiled in the hunt and a suspenseful murder mystery ensues."

Friday, November 2, 2012

Author Interview: Lorna T. Suzuki

Today I am excited to have Lorna T. Suzuki, author of "The Imago Chronicles", stop by the blog to tell us a bit about her writing process, her books being optioned for film and whether she prefers dogs or cats! 

Describe "Imago Chronicles: A Warrior's Tale" in five words or less.

Action, adventure, heartbreak, betrayal, redemption!

You now have twelve books under your belt. Do you find that you have an easier time writing a book as you gain more experience?

Definitely! Not only does it become easier, the more you write, the more your writing/storytelling skills improve with each novel. If you do not strive to hone your writing skills with each book you publish, I feel you’re doing a grave disservice to those buying and reading your works.

What are some upcoming projects that you're working on?

Currently, I’m working on the 10th and final novel in the movie optioned series, Imago Chronicles. I’ll be writing this story as the first novel in this series, Book One A Warrior’s Tale heads into development for a major motion picture trilogy. The executive producer hired me as a creative consultant, so I’ll be juggling this wonderful opportunity with novel writing.

Can you tell us a bit about A WARRIOR'S TALE being optioned for film?

The executive producer happened to see an interview I did on MTV where I was talking about my novels and doing a martial arts demo with my husband. My book was used as a weapon and it stuck in her mind (not literally!). She ended up buying the first three novels of the Imago Chronicles series and embarked on a three-year odyssey to hunt me down and negotiate an option agreement we were both happy with. Filming is slated for spring of 2013!

How did practicing martial arts impact your writing? 

I have about 30 years of experience as a martial arts practitioner and instructor so having this kind of knowledge with armed and unarmed combat has made writing fight scenes relatively easy. I’ve been told by some of the fans that my writing style makes them feel like they’re right in the middle of all the action. In fact, I’ve had a number of authors that do not study martial arts tell me they actually study the fighting in my novels to help them in writing their own fight scenes!

Fans of (insert author name here): Fans of J.R.R. Tolkien will enjoy my book.

I’ve yet to read Tolkien’s novels, but I’ve been told by fans that my world-building and the depth of the characters, and the dangers of a monumental quest make it comparable to his Lord of the Rings trilogy. The executive producer pitched it to the film industry as LoTR and 300 meets The Last Samurai, so those considering reading my novels should keep in mind that it is NOT your ‘traditional’ fantasy series. I’ve been ‘scolded’ by a couple of avid fantasy fans that I ‘deviated from the standards that define the genre’, so you’ve been warned! ;-)

How does being a scriptwriter affect your writing?

I was asked by the executive producer if I wanted a crack at writing the first draft of A Warrior’s Tale, but I had to pass. I wanted to have this task undertaken by someone with vision, experience and passion for adapting the written words for the big screen. I’ve written scripts for a TV travel adventure series and a documentary that was aired on The Biography Channel, but this is very different from writing a fantasy novel. I’d have to say my scriptwriting experience has had little impact on my fiction writing.

How did you come to the decision to go indie?

It was easy! Originally, I wrote the first three novels in the Imago Chronicles series as a gift for my daughter for when she grows up and I’ve moved on so to speak, so I didn’t even consider traditional publishing. The first book developed a life of its own; making it’s way into a local library and spreading from there. Since this time, I’ve had some offers from traditional publishing houses, including one from Jessie Finkelstein, an editor from Raincoast Books (the publisher of the Harry Potter series in Canada), but I had to turn this down. As much as Ms. Finkelstein loved the female protagonist and said she’d make a great role model for her readership, she asked if I’d be willing to rewrite my novels to make this series appropriate for a young adult audience. I had to pass for this very reason, but on a high note, if I had not self-published, the film producer would never have heard of the series and it wouldn’t be in development now!

Being an indie author what impact (if any) have book bloggers had on your career?

I love book bloggers! They are so important in helping to get the word out about the many titles available now. A number of those who had hosted me in the past have told me they had their highest number of reads on their blogsites when they interviewed me, so that’s wonderful! Where some authors have phenomenal book sales due to this exposure, it hasn’t worked that way for me, at all. It certainly has helped in terms of getting my name out there, but as far as print or ebook sales go? If you follow me on Twitter you’ll notice how many will tell me: “I’ll just wait for the movie to be released!” or “I can’t wait to see the movie!”

Very few of my followers have read the movie optioned series and the overall sentiment seems to be that they’ll just watch the movie instead of reading the novels before the first one is released. I don’t know why this is so, but a friend confessed that he just doesn’t have time to read and watching a movie is so much faster. I just hope that once the producers announce whom the director and some of the cast members are, books sales will increase with those curious to see which actors are playing what characters.

On the upside, the few followers that have bought and read my books have been very kind, posting wonderful reviews on Smashwords and Amazon! I am so very grateful for this.

Do you read reviews of your book? If so, how do you respond to negative (or not-so-nice) reviews?

I do read reviews because it is a matter of courtesy when I receive a tweet on Twitter from someone who purchased the book and let’s me know they posted a review. If the person takes the time to read, and then write and post a review, I feel it is only right to see what they have to say. I’ve been very fortunate that the reviews have been great, but it’s interesting to note that one of the most scathing reviews I received was from a person who never even read my book, even though she was one of twenty reviewers who requested and received a free print version of one of my movie-optioned novels!

I responded by politely asking her if she’d be kind enough to pass it on to someone who would be willing to read it instead of throwing it away. The majority of readers enjoy my work, and I prefer to feed off the positive than be influenced by negativity. Not too much you can do when your book is judged without being read. It certainly outraged the other readers that took the time to read the novel and posted 4 and 5-star reviews!

Any advice for aspiring authors? 

Write because you have a story you want to share with the world and you love to write, not because you have visions of grandeur that you’re going to get rich and be the next J.K. Rowling or E.L. James. Focus on the craft of writing and respect your readers!

This or That

Unicorn or Sasquatch? A big-ass unicorn that tramples big, hairy hominids!

Dogs or cats? Definitely cat!

Coffee or coke? Coffee (Mocha Latte to be exact!)

Music while writing or no music? Music, but just loud enough to be heard in the background.

Typing on a computer or writing in a notebook? Computer (I type much faster than I write long-hand!)

Reading a book or watching TV? Reading while I watch TV (I’m the queen of multi-tasking!)

The Three Musketeers or The Count of Monte Cristo? The Three Musketeers!

Be careful what you wish for takes on a whole new meaning…

When a good wish goes bad, a beautiful princess despised by all, a lowly court jester who was meant to be a great knight and a village idiot with a mysterious past are thrust together by fate. Made to embark on a perilous and unorthodox quest, they set off to break a dreaded curse.

Along the way, a series of trials await them in strange lands far from home. From a powerful Wizard and an evil, shape-shifting Sprite to the flamboyant Elves and an army of mimes, they encounter an array of unforgettable friends and foes as they set off to recover a silver locket to destroy the curse.

In a race against time, pursued by a Sorcerer on the hunt for this same locket, an epic journey becomes a trying, humorous adventure of self-discovery and a test of true loyalty and friendship for this unlikely trio as they fight to survive this quest and ultimately, each other.

About the author: A fan of swashbuckling adventure novels by Alexandre Dumas of The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo fame, Lorna Suzuki had noticed that it was always the men going off on great adventures and enjoying the camaraderie of a brotherhood. Most often, the women were portrayed as the damsels-in-distress.

In writing the Imago fantasy series, by adding a female protagonist, one that is reluctantly accepted into this brotherhood, the author drew on some of her own experiences as a woman in a once male-dominated field of law enforcement and martial arts to bring Nayla Treeborn the female warrior to life.

With over twenty-five years experience in various forms of martial arts, Suzuki is a 5th-dan practitioner and instructor of Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu, a martial arts system incorporating six traditional samurai schools and three schools of ninjutsu under Japanese Soke, Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi. Although Budo Taijutsu has a very long and rich history in Japan and is steeped in tradition, is only now growing in popularity. Practitioners of Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu do not compete in the sports arena as the techniques incorporated into this system are used strictly for self-defense, never as a sport. To learn more about Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu, please visit Shihan Phillip Legare's website

When Suzuki is not writing the next instalment of the Imago series or her new Young Adult Fantasy Series, The Dream Merchant Saga, she is a scriptwriter specializing in biographic documentaries for TV. Suzuki is also currently a consultant/scriptwriter on the PBS TV series ‘West Coast Adventures’.

In early 2011, the first three novels of the Imago Chronicles series were optioned for a major motion picture trilogy. Book One A Warrior’s Tale is now in development and full production is slated for 2012.

She resides in the suburbs outside of Vancouver, BC with her husband Scott White, a talented videographer and Bujinkan Shidoshi, and her charming, young daughter Nia.

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