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Friday, April 30, 2010

Book Review: Would-be Witch (Southern Witch 1) by Kimberly Frost

BLURB:

where I got my copy: Borders
where to else to buy: Amazon, BN, Book Depository

The family magic seems to have skipped over Tammy Jo Trask. All she gets are a few untimely visits from long-dead, smart-mouthed family ghost Edie. But when her locket-an heirloom that happens to hold Edie's soul-is stolen in the midst of a town-wide crime spree, it's time for Tammy to find her inner witch.

After a few experiences with her dysfunctional magic, Tammy turns to the only person in small-town Duval, Texas, who can help: the very rich and highly magical Bryn Lyons. He might have all the answers-and a 007 savoir faire to boot-but the locket isn't the only heirloom passed down in Tammy's family. She also inherited a warning: stay away from Lyons.

THOUGHTS:
This book is a hoot. Tammy Jo Trask our heroine is one heck of a character. She came from a family of witches but for some reason her powers never surfaced. She then decided to do the next best thing... Pastry Chef. She is known to be the best there is in her small town in Duvall, Texas. So even after her quit/ got fired, depending on how you look at it or who to ask, she's still confident that somebody will hire her. She is a good girl with a rebel heart. Got married when she was 19 and divorced by the time she is 23, with her childhood sweet heart, Police officer Zach. These two characters and their still on going "non-marriage" relationship has a really interesting scenario. You can see that the love and care for each other will always be there but due to conflict of emotions, interest and a supernatural reasons they are better separated.

The whole thing started the night Tammy Jo and the rest of her neighborhood went to her best friend's Halloween party. Braving on wearing an unexpected scandalous dress chosen by her ghost Aunt - Edie, who lives in her family heirloom - a locket. But she managed to escape their scrutiny because earlier that day the Sheriff's house was robbed and at that moment it was the center of gossip and conversation. While chatting and somewhat avoiding uber hot, drop dead gorgeous, powerful and rich wizard Bryn Lyons, men in mask started collecting people's valuables which includes Tammy Jo's family locket. Expecting that this is one of Georgia Sue's famous party game nobody reacted until she announced that her surprise performer was a magician. All hell broke lose... Tammy Jo must retrieve the locket at the night of October 24th or Edie's soul will be lost forever.

There are only two magical families in Duvall. The Trasks and the Lyons. There was a list, a list of family names that Tammy Jo and her family should not be associated to and one of them are the Lyons. Now, she does not exactly know why but it has something to do with dark magic and/or the end of their line. But Bryn doesn't look the part. Sure he might be dangerous but not to her. The ménage à trois between Zach, Tammy Jo and Bryn is something to watch. The two men are equally enthralled by her charms and had this passion of calling her theirs. But at this point she'd rather pick her cat or her wild cat, an ocelot named Mercutio.

Join Tammy Jo and her hilarious set of friends in a wild goose chase of looking of her locket. Be there with her when she cast bad spells, run away from werewolves, be shocked and have a good amount of laugh when she met a cross-dressing flamboyantly gay vampire, swim with a merman, go to jail and be happy for her when all the other hassles are finally over. This book is really good and delightfully entertaining.

Book Review: Meridian by Amber Kizer


BLURB:

where I got my copy: Borrowed from a friend
where to buy: Amazon, Borders, BN

Sixteen-year-old Meridian has been surrounded by death ever since she can remember. As a child, insects, mice, and salamanders would burrow into her bedclothes and die. At her elementary school, she was blamed for a classmate’s tragic accident. And on her sixteenth birthday, a car crashes in front of her family home—and Meridian’s body explodes in pain.

Before she can fully recover, Meridian is told that she’s a danger to her family and hustled off to her great-aunt’s house in Revelation, Colorado. It’s there that she learns that she is a Fenestra—the half-angel, half-human link between the living and the dead. But Meridian and her sworn protector and love, Tens, face great danger from the Aternocti, a band of dark forces who capture vulnerable souls on the brink of death and cause chaos.

THOUGHTS:
At this rate anything about Angels are intriguing to me. So I was really excited to read Meridian. So I was really sad that most parts of this book is not as exciting as I thought. The first chapters were catchy. It gives you this detailed picture that she was being surrounded by death. Like literally, she was never normal, never got the chance to be one. Everytime she wakes up in the morning there are death insect / animals around her. It was a little traumatic yet she came out as this kind hearted young girl and I love her for that. There's something about her makes her special. But I still could not put my finger on what it was. Then the day of her 16th birthday arrived. First her mother freaked when about some call they got that day. She got fierce hugs and just this weird feeling. the school day ended and she got off the bus, then all of a sudden this SUV headed out for her, killing a bunch of people in the process. She parents then told her that she needs to leave town and that they love them no matter what. It was all to fast and too discombobulating. It was a bunch of questions,a really good way to start a story. But it continued on to the next chapters. Somewhere along the way it became tedious and a bit boring.

The history on what she is, which is a Fenestra - an angel who serves as a window to the souls getting to that next level on their path to heaven. The ancient malevolent creatures who seek to destroy them - which is called the Nocti, has a very very good concept. What really kept me going was this poser priest named Perimo, he made me so mad, I was so eager to find out what his fate will be at the end. And I like how he ended. Maybe the second series would have more action, surprises and less questions and more answers.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Rated 1 books

These are the list of books that did not work for me.
I really wanted to love them, I tried. I set it aside and tried 2 more times but its not really for me.
I have decided not to write a review for books that I'll rate with 1 Peace Sign.
Really what's the point if all I'll write is the stuff that did not work for me.

If any of you is a fan of these books, I'd love to hear what you love about them.
Maybe I am just not seeing it.
Later on I could try it again.



Book Review: The Mark by Jen Nadol

BLURBS:

where I got it: The Other Shelf Tour
where to buy: Amazon, B&N, Book Depository

Cassandra Renfield has always seen the mark—a glow around certain people reminiscent of candlelight. But the one time she mentioned it, it was dismissed as a trick of the light. Until the day she watches a man awash in the mark die. After searching her memories, Cassie realizes she can see a person’s imminent death. Not how or where, only when: today.

Armed with a vague understanding of the light, Cassie begins to explore her “gift,” seeking those marked for death and probing the line between decision and destiny. Though she’s careful to hide her secret—even from her new philosophy-obsessed boyfriend—with each impending death comes the temptation to test fate. But so many questions remain. How does the mark work? Why is she the only one who sees it? And finally, the most important of all: If you know today is someone’s last, should you tell them?

THOUGHTS:
I say this in every book that incorporates the Greek mythology in their story. I love it. Same goes to the Mark. Cassandra Renfield have this ability. It can either be a gift or a curse depending on how you look at it. She see this glow - a Mark on a person the day their life is supposed to end.

Cassie's life is a bit on the morbid side yet her attitude is not. I really, really, like her.
She lost her parents in a car accident when she was a child and the only relative she know (of) - her grand mother Nan died on this book. I really thought that she'll be granted to be an emancipated minor right away and then Nan's will was read. Apparently she have one more living relative, her father's sister whom she never met and never heard of. She has to stay with her for 90days and then she can come back to her old life with almost half a million dollars in her bank account. It turned out to be a pretty interesting summer. She had her first job in a coffee shop, took her first college subject (non-credited but still...), she met a guy named Lucas and became his girlfriend and then she found out the answers to her a secret and it has great depth and history. I was very impressed with Jen Nadol. The philosophical debate and dialogue between Lucas and Cassie was so engaging and have that right amount of intensity it made me sad when it was all over. I hope to see more on her next books.

I think the biggest issue that Cassie is facing right now is where the heck will she find other information about her ability? Sure now she is more confident on where it came from but there are still a lot of missing pieces to it. The fact that she now have an annoying ex-boyfriend who keeps trying to make her feel guilty on not using her "gift" to save people is just one way of putting it as selfish, of course that is easy for him to say. For some reason I think Lucas will be a nuisance in Cassie's future. The determinist in him could turn evil. *shrug* I guess I'll just have to wait and find out.

I am not a fan of the first two chapters, I was bored but I love the rest of it. This book serves more as an introduction. Who is Cassie? What can see do? What is her history? Who are the people involve? etc... Over all it is a good start for a series.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Book Review: Shadow of the Sun (Timeless #1) by Laura Kreitzer

BLURBS:

where I got my copy: Laura Kreitzer
where to buy: Laura Kreitzer's Website, Amazon, BN

Gabriella's past is a mystery, but that never stopped her from achieving her goals. As a supernatural specialist, and far more intelligent than anyone her age, she has always been ignored by her peers. Because of the isolation she has always felt, she put her life and soul into her job. Being a supernatural specialist hasn't given her the divine intervention she always longed for, until one day a shipment arrives from Italy containing three dead bodies with an uncanny ability to regenerate. Gabriella is frightened and intrigued, but not as scared as she becomes when a dark creature attacks her.

As the bodies come back to life, the plot takes an unexpected twist that you won't see coming. The supernatural world only begins to unfold before her as angels appear, her dreams start to haunt her, and the very past she has forgotten comes back with startling clarity. Romance blooms, escape plans are made, an assassin is out to kill her, and death is only around the corner. But what is more terrifying than all of it is the fact she is the chosen one, the Illuminator, the one who will save them all.

THOUGHTS:
 Dr. Gabriella Moretti never fit anywhere besides her profession and inside the confines of her lab that they call "fishbowl". At age of 19 she already graduated with honors and with a Ph.D, impressive? yes and she is probably the most intriguing character that I've read this year. Her character surrounds a great depth of mystery. The first two chapters did not really try to hide that. She is someone else, something else... People envy her especially her peers, how can they not, she was above them all. A great example is her 19 year old assistant Sally - snooty, nosy, rude and insecure. I would understand it if Gabriella is a horrible boss but no, unless you push her buttons. She is humble and nice if people gave it a chance to really get to know her. As far as her field goes, as Supernatural Specialist, Gabriella has yet to discover something real, something to be proven that exists, on any myth the world has to offer. Vampires? Nope. Werewolves? nope. But Angels yes.

Caskets were delivered to Gabriella's office for examination, the documents show that they are carbon dated as ancient artifacts. When she saw the bodies inside, they looked like they just died the other day. Freaked out, astonished and confused she decided to peel a piece a piece of skin, the previous reaction was doubled when she saw that they healed faster than she could bolt out of her lab. The next morning a mysterious box was placed on top of her table and when she opened it darkness consumed her, a figure, as dark as coal with blazing red eyes told her not to wake the angels. It was not long enough to get an answer to that question because the next 24 hours her world as she knew it was gone, replaced by something she's been looking all her life. A supernatural adventure...

I love this book all 98% of it. I have two minor issues, number one: I could do without reading the very long mourning and grief stricken stage in the book. And wished that Gabriella wouldn't cry as much on the second book. I find those two over dramatic and I got a little bored :( but with those two blunders aside, I can honestly say that this is my favorite (adult) series in 2010. The story was fast paced, full of wonder and have that astonishing depth in its plot. Kreitzer also made a wonderful love story. An undying and unconditional love that will always prevail no matter what. I know it sounded so cliche but trust me this one is different. I love the dialogues and the powerful emotions that goes with it too. It was neither cheesy nor predictable and I think most readers will find that refreshing. The action was heart pounding/ full of adrenaline and the air of mystery surrounding Gabriella's existence makes you want to read faster than usual to find out the real deal, her journey of finding out who her real parents are, the role of the three Angels - Lucia, Ehno and her beloved Andrew was a powerful combination that made this book a worthy read. I think readers will feel connected to any of these amazing characters. Oh and did I tell you guys that Laura is self published? The big houses truly missed out on this talented writer.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Interview & Contest: Laura Kreitzer - Shadow of the Sun

Laura Kreitzer is a newly published fiction author who hails from western Kentucky. While her full-time 9-5 job includes working in a lab devoted to water dye-tracing investigations at Western Kentucky University, her passion lies in writing.

Shadow of the Sun is the first book in the Timeless Series of books about a young woman, Gabriella, who is a doctor in charge of paranormal investigations at an influential government lab. A sudden delivery to her lab reveals the possibility that angels actually exist and she must use her skills in both science and discernment to decide if the previously thought of science fiction is a reality.

The main character is similar to the author in many ways, the least of which is her incredible intelligence. Both Gabriella and Laura are both strong women who let very little stand in their way.

Becoming a published author is a harrowing, and often disheartening, experience. Laura bravely decided to pursue the path of self-publishing. The editing experience was an exercise in patience as version after version were carefully picked apart for proper grammar, spelling, formatting, and appropriate storyline continuity.

Although the storyline of Shadow of the Sun poured from her fingertips onto her computer screen, the process itself of bringing the book to life has been one of hard work and dedication and Laura has also decided to use this website not only to promote her book, but also for author support to encourage other writers to publish their work and become authors in the eyes of the rest of the world.
  ~LauraKreitzer.com

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Please tell our readers about Shadow of the Sun, what makes it so unique compared to the other angel related books that we’ve read out there?


Shadow of the Sun is all about the journey of Gabriella, who works in a paranormal lab. Her job requires her to be the ultimate skeptic and to prove legends and myths as false or true. But what she comes across are angels who end up saving her life. She learns that she is the Illuminator—the one who will bring light to Shadows, supernatural beings who want to kill her and the angels. She meets Andrew who soon becomes her Guardian angel and tries to protect her from the forces that wish to kill her.

Shadow of the Sun is different from other angel related books because I took the angel idea out of its box of heaven/hell. There are no fallen angels in my book and there is no God or Lucifer. It truly is my own world I created. Of course, a lot of this is explained in the book. I can promise a thrilling journey from beginning to the end. There are no other books like this one!


Why Angels? And are they based on some characters you know / read or seen on tv?

I choose angels because I was tired of reading about vampires and other paranormal creatures like werewolves and faeries which were all thrown into this horrible light. Why can’t the main character be someone who is good? Who doesn’t shy away because “I’m not good for you”? Why does romance have to overcome good/evil when usually love has to overcome so much more? And no, my characters are not based on anyone from books or TV.


Where did you come up with the Ladies of the Light and the Shadows?

I just sat down and started writing and when I was typing those names just came out. There was no conscious thought that came to it—really! I work best when I just start to write because amazing things happen then. The story takes more turns and twists when I just let my imagination go.


When you write Andrew *swoon* do you have a face embedded in your mind, as his model? (Can you share a picture?)

This is how I picture Andrew:


What kind of research did you do for this book?

Almost nothing. Like I said above, this world was something I created and I felt that doing research would ruin it. It would change it from being my world to using others’ ideas. This wasn’t about facts and history—this was just a fictional story.


What obstacles and fun memories can you share with us while you were writing Shadow of the Sun?

Well, there are many obstacles when it comes to writing a novel. There were only a few times I had major issues but I called my Beta reader, and muse, Lisa. She would just let me talk and talk until I worked out the problem. The whole novel was a learning experience for me. I’ve learned a lot and I’ve become a better writer for it.

Now—the fun memories! Hahah! Every milestone I hit I celebrated. Halfway done with book ::parties:: Cool name for a character ::does a little dance:: First draft ::whips out wine:: Final draft ::buys another bottle of wine:: Cover is finished ::another bottle of wine:: It was almost funny because by the time the book was actually for sale I had so many celebrations and bottles of wine that people were like “Are you STILL celebrating?” ::nods::


Of all the characters in Shadow of the Sun, which / who is the most difficult to write?

Aiden is the most difficult to write because I am very close to my father. All the characters I feel like I can connect to on some level, but Aiden I really can’t. He’s a male, a father . . . neither of those I can relate to. And he was an absent father, something I never had. But, I love his character deeply and I enjoyed trying to get into his head.


What are your top 10 favorite books and why?

That is easy! The first seven would be Harry Potter. J.K. Rowling’s world is a place that is hard to leave. She is an inspiration and her writing is beyond brilliant. I’d say The Hunger Games would be the 8th. Collins is a genius! 9th would have to be Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. How can you not love Edward and Bella in her first novel? Plus, without the Twilight Saga I would have never realized I loved to write. 10th would be book two (Frostbite) of the Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead. I love all her books, but book two was probably one of my favorites. Of course, this is just my top 10 in the scifi/fantasy realm. We could be here all day if I listed all the other genres.


Do you have a book that you read recently and feel that it hasn't been noticed enough?

There is one novel but it isn’t on the shelves yet . . . It’s called Black and White by Tiffany Madison. I would add it to your goodreads account! Also—The Ultimate Gift by Stovall. It’s short, but the story is amazing.


Favorite films?

I am such a nerd. My favorite movie of all time is Independence Day. Did I mention I was a nerd? Well, any movie with Will Smith is amazing. I also really enjoyed the film adaptations of Harry Potter.


If this were to have a movie / tv adaptation who would you like to play the part of Andrew and Gabriella?

I would want Jessica Lowndes tp play Gabriella

and Eduardo Verastegui  to play Andrew


Interesting facts about you? Whatever comes to mind. (first job, dream job, hobby, etc…)

I like the drive in the fast lane even when I am going slow just because I don’t like to get stuck behind someone so I can let someone else go by me (I know, I’m mean).

I read books like it is a religion.

I am big into the environment. I work especially with the Woodrow Wilson Center, USAID, Circle of Blue, and Environ to help with outreach and training to those in China for their fresh water crisis. I am an avid geography/geology nerd and I love to get lost in Mammoth Cave (of course, not literally).

My dream job would be to travel the world and write (as long as my puppies could come with me). J


When is the release date of Soul Stalker? Any hints on what we can expect?

I’d say expect Soul Stalker in later June, early July. This coming week I will be working with Igor, who did the cover for the first, to start the second cover. I’ll announce it on my website when it is finished. You can visit my website http://www.laurakreitzer.com to see updates on my writing, publishing, and cover items for Soul Stalker. Sometimes I randomly post quotes when I am writing. J

There is only one thing I want to say about Soul Stalker. I am afraid that so many people think there is going to be this love triangle between Gabriella, Joseph, and Andrew. That isn’t the case. My story isn’t about a love triangle and never will be about it. Yes, Joseph and Gabriella have a connection, but you’ll find out why in Soul Stalker.

Thanks for this opportunity, Pat.
______________________________________________________________________________

CONTEST TIME:


 



+ 2 new/old followers

+ 2 Tweet this contest. Spread the love.
+ 2 leave a comment for Laura
+2 leave a comment on my Shadow of the Sun review


  
  • Contest starts today thru 05/10 {3pm PST}
  • You must provide a working email when you leave a comment so that I can notify you should you win.
  • Contest is open to Blogger and Non-Blogger and must be US residents only.
Winner will be notified via email and has 24 hours (two days) to respond with a mailing address. If the winning contestant does not respond after 24 hours a new winner will be drawn.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Book Review: Twice as Hot (Tales of an Extraordinary Girl #2) by Gena Showalter

BLURB:


where I got my copy: Target
where to buy: Amazon, BN, Borders

Belle Jamison is finally starting to feel like a normal girl again. Her job as a paranormal investigator is going well, she's learned to control her supernatural abilities (mostly) and she's just gotten engaged to Rome Masters, the ultra-sexy operative who once tried to neutralize her!
But planning a wedding is never easy, especially when the bride keeps accidentally torching her dress, the groom returns from a dangerous mission with selective memory loss and the man responsible now wants Belle for himself. With Rome's ex determined to win him back and a new band of supervillains on the horizon, it will take all Belle's powers—plus a little help from her trusty empath sidekick—to save the day, salvage the wedding and prove that true love really does conquer all.

THOUGHTS:
I bought this book as soon as it hit the shelves, in the hopes of purchasing the first book also but it was out of stock at that time and so months had passed until I decided that I can probably get through this without the first book... It worked. Belle, Rome, Tanner, Lexis, Cody, Sheridan and Co. have such solid characters that I never regret that I haven't read the first book yet plus the important details of the past was embedded in Twice as Hot so, my questions was answered. From how Belle got her powers? How did Rome and Belle met? Who was the villain? Who is responsible for all these experiments? (yes as far as I can tell only 2 of the characters are legit - born with their powers) What is OSSA? PSI? etc...

Twice As Hot starts with Belle talking to Sheridan about the wedding, Tanner's depression and her blinding love for Rome. The love for the man in question was everything that she describe and then more. I wasn't not sure that I will like Belle due to the infinite swooning and praise about her man. I could tell that she has a strong personality and I hate that she has become one of those women who forget who they are when they are in love but that all changed when Lexis (her fiance's ex wife, mother of her fiance's child, who also broke Tanner's heart) came knocking at the door to inform her that something has happened. Rome and Cody was injured but now out of harm's way. Upon hearing this news she rushed to their headquarters where she was faced with the greatest shock of her life, now with all the villains who came chasing her from Playing with Fire this one seems to be the most heart breaking of them all, Rome Master the love of her life does not remember who she is! All the memories of her was stolen by a supernatural scientific experiment known as Memory Man and what's worse was the bitch ex-wife is trying to take him back.

What would you do if you were placed on Belle's shoes? Man instead of having that awesome cat fight with Lexis, I would have probably torched her or freeze her. I like the whole premise of the story. The superheros vs. villain gives me the feel of the supernatural world as supposed to the comic hero type. I am very intrigue on the character of Dr. Roberts, I got to get book one. I love the new Belle she's stronger, more goal oriented and more independent as a woman and as an agent. The supporting characters are also key on the success of these book. Tanner is my favorite of them all. He is the perfect guy friend. Perverted, protective, funny and loving.

I have added this on my "favorite series shelf", this is a must read series. Love, action, drama, girl fight, sexy scenes, comedy, and intense emotions while saving the world one scrim (supernatural criminal) at a time. After chapter one, I couldn't let sleep get in the way of finishing these book.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Interview and Contest: Jennifer Murgia, author of Angel Star

Jennifer Murgia has been writing since she was nine years old. After receiving recognition for her poetry, she went on to use her talents to bring characters to life in fiction novels that are authentic, intriguing, and personal. She currently resides in Pennsylvania with her husband and two children.~jennifermurgia.com3












Please tell our readers something about you upcoming book Angel Star?
Angel Star is a love story that becomes quite a triangle. The story centers on Teagan, who falls for Garreth, the handsome new boy at her high school. As Teagan realizes Garreth is her Guardian, it opens the door for a darker being to move forward with a plan. It's a tale of dark vs. light, good vs. evil and coming face to face with who you really are.

When did you start writing? What inspired you to write your first book?
I’ve been writing since I was a child. I remember in third grade everyone fussed over having to write Haiku and I simply ate it up. Yeah, I was the geek! I wrote a handful of picture books when my son was very little, but never really did anything with them.
June 2007 changed everything. That was when I began Angel Star. The story popped into my head late one night while my husband was away on business. I had never been hit so hard with the idea for a book before, that I began writing the next morning. A few months later I had a book.

Why Angels?
I was playing around with the notion of unconditional love. Who could possibly love anyone so immensely, yet be one who is untouchable? I was already a fan of many, many vampire stories and that type of being would certainly fit the criteria, but I wanted to write about a different type of immortal.

Do you have a specific writing style?
Poetry has always been my first love. I’ve carried a poetic, emotional style to my writing ever since. Angel Star is written in first person, through Teagan.

What kind of research did you do for this book?
I did a lot of reading through several books on angels and the rest on the internet. It’s unbelievable to read how many angelic levels there are . . . according the several sites, there are many gates and names. I took some of it and added my own interpretation. Then I looked up names based on their meaning in Latin. I wanted to give my angels identities that would represent the role they play in the story.     

What obstacles and fun memories can you share with us while you were writing Angel Star?
There really weren’t any obstacles. The entire process was amazing and fun to me. I hated stopping for the day, my characters would literally nag at me when I couldn’t be at the computer.  
In all honesty, the book wrote itself and took me along for the ride!


What books have influenced your life most?
I have many that I love. I wouldn’t say they influenced me, but more so, left a stain on me somehow. Some books leave a mark on your heart long after you’ve closed the book. It could be a character, or a line, or an emotion drawn out of you . . . a few books have done that for me.
Some of my very favorites include: A Great and Terrible Beauty (Libba Bray), Spirit (J.P. Hightman), Newes from the Dead (Mary Hooper), The Thirteenth Tale (Diane Setterfield), and The Blood Confession(Alisa M. Libby), I also completely ate up the Sweep series by Cate Tiernan.      


Who is your perfect fiction character? And why?
Hmm . . . tough one. Each character has their flaws, which makes them vulnerable, which in turn makes them perfect somehow because of their weaknesses, not just their strengths. I think I’d have to say Gemma Doyle is mine.

Do you have a book that you read recently and feel that it hasn't been noticed enough?
The Pace by Shelena Shorts. What a wonderful book!   
 
Do you have any advice for our young writers?
Write for yourself first and foremost. If you have a story brewing inside you, let it out and let it carry you along for the ride. Most likely at the end of your journey, you’ll find your masterpiece!
  
Is there anything that you would like to share with our readers?
I just want to thank you, Pat, for having me on your blog! Also, thank you so much to everyone who has shown such enthusiasm about Angel Star’s release! You have all overwhelmed me!
Please visit my website over the next few months, I plan on posting my events as well as interviews, contests, giveaways, etc . . . there’s lots of fun to come! www.jennifermurgia.com

Angel Star Snippet:
I was floating. He was holding me and we were spiraling higher, above the stone floor. His lips were on me, cool and mesmerizing. The downdrafts of his wings pushed us higher off the ground, and I pictured what we must look like from below, the beautiful image of us entwined..
Higher and higher we rose, my insides reeling as he pressed his lips to my neck. His black wings carried us, keeping us from falling, and I felt the gentle breeze from them on my skin.

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CONTEST TIME:
WIN Angel Star Swags and ARC
+ 2 new/old followers
+ 2 Tweet this contest. Spread the love.
+ 2 leave a comment for Jennifer

Contest starts today thru 05/01 {3pm PST}

You must provide a working email when you leave a comment so that I can notify you should you win.
Contest is open to Blogger and Non-Blogger and must be US residents only.

Winner will be notified via email and has 24 hours (two days) to respond with a mailing address. If the winning contestant does not respond after 24 hours a new winner will be drawn.

Book Review: Angel Star (ARC) by Jennifer Murgia

 
BLURB:

where I got my copy: Lands Atlantic Publishing
where to buy: Amazon, BN
release date: May 18, 2010

Seventeen-year-old Teagan McNeel falls for captivating Garreth Adams and soon discovers that her crush has an eight-point star etched into the palm of his right hand-the mark of an angel.
But where there is light, dark follows, and she and Garreth suddenly find themselves vulnerable to a dark angel's malicious plan that could threaten not only her life, but the lives of everyone she knows.
Divinely woven together, Angel Star takes readers on a reflective journey when one angel's sacrifice collides with another angel's vicious ambition in a way that is sure to have readers searching for their own willpower.

THOUGHTS:

My obsessions with vampires are over. Replaced by angels. I have read three YA books that were angel related. Only one of them actually piqued my curiosity but that one was vampire-angel crossbreed. It was not solid but it was better than the other two. My problem with the other two ranges from lack of info about its angels, excruciating and long snore inducing story line and a disappointing turn of events. I was crossing my fingers on this new one, I had high hopes for it. After months of waiting I finally got it, an advance copy, I put all the other books aside and started reading it. The prologue captures you right away... Welcome to Angel Star.

Teagan has been seeing things. Shadows, darkness so consuming that every time she see it the world disappears. There she was minding her own business, coping with the Bitch squad, being mousy, hanging out with her best friend, when Garreth and Hadrian came into her life. A myth older than all myths has been revealed to her. Angels are real. She can see them, she can feel them and two of them are interested in her. One because of love and one because he wants power. One is her Guardian Angel and the other one... let me just say that his identity will stun you. I remember my reaction when I read that part. Bewilderment and awe. After the secrets was relayed to her, Teagan found herself leading a battle that turned her world upside down. She was forced into this mission, one that she only got fresh knowledge of and some she still couldn't understand. No pressure. The fate of mankind only rest in her hands. Nothing to worry about. The ordinary girl she knew days ago was gone. A new Teagan has been born.

I like Teagan both when she was mousy and being pushed around by Brynn and I liked her more when she started gaining the confidence that she is indeed stronger. Both mentally and spiritually. She has a lot of faith in herself that was both impressive and comforting. She did not waste time whining or questioning why she was placed in that situation. She has a very open mind. That was so refreshing. Another thing I like about her is the love she have for Garreth. The faith and the belief that connects them was so cute and tender. I find myself smiling the first time she told him she love him. Garreth and Hadrian created a perfect supporting character for her. Both were described as handsome and strong. One is dark, dangerous and provocative while the other one was simply lovable and perfect.

Guardian Angels? What do I really know about them? Nothing much. I grew up taking catecism classes as part of the catholic school curriculum but I don't remember learning anything about angels or maybe I missed the lecture either way I think it is a shame that all I know about them is the basic, they are there to watch over us. What does that even mean? I could enumerate tons of hypothetical answers but I never thought about Jennifer Murgia's concept before. Her angels can make of break their human charge. I wouldn't want to spoil it so that is all I can say at the moment.

I know I don't have to say it since it pretty much written on my review. But I want to say it. I LOVE THE BOOK!!! There are sufficient background about the characters, angels and the octagram that made the story plausible. The emotions are heavy, romance and action wise. Suspense and mystery is a part of it too. There was one scene wherein I felt really sad (even this is not a bad thing) and I kind of question why?! Not because I think it was unnecessary or cruel but I kind of felt Teagan's pain. It was a brilliant move, it served its purpose well. As far as the covers. The haters can say all they want to say. I couldn't think of a better cover for this book. It is perfect. It is simple, meaningful and it targeted the content of the book.  Remember, do not judge the book by its cover.

Jennifer Murgia did a really good job on writing the first book of this series. It has in depth exploration of symbolism, delicious prose, well thought, sweet & beautiful love story and a great aspect about light and dark. If you are still searching for a great YA angel related book, this is a book to start and end your search.

BookBlips: vote it up!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Book Review: Changeless (The Parasol Protectorate#2) by Gail Carriger


BLURB:

where I got my copy: Borders
where to buy: BN, Amazon

Alexia Tarabotti, now Lady Maccon, awakens in the wee hours of the mid-afternoon to find her husband, who should be decently asleep like any normal werewolf, yelling at the top of his lungs. Then he disappears -- leaving her to deal with a regiment of supernatural soldiers encamped on her doorstep, a plethora of exorcised ghosts, and an angry Queen Victoria.

But Alexia is armed with her trusty parasol, the latest fashions, and an arsenal of biting civility. Even when her investigations take her into the backwaters of ugly waistcoats, Scotland, she is prepared: upending werewolf pack dynamics as only a soulless can.

She might even find time to track down her wayward husband, if she feels like it.

THOUGHTS:
There was something weird going on in London, and it was right after the regiment from Indian arrived. The supernatural community has become mortal. Leaving the vampires fangless, the werewolves changeless and the ghost exorcised. They call it the Plague of Humanization. After dealing with the rudeness of certain Major Channing and his unwarranted pack encamped afront Woosley Castle, Lady Maccon, who was Alexia Tarabotti before marrying Alpha of the Woosley pack and Bureau of Unnatural Registry Chief Connal Maccon she set off to her very late appointment. Every Thursday night she have a meeting with the Shadow Council where she was given the position of Queen Victoria's muhjah. At that certain meeting she was informed of the predicament the supernatural community was having. The plague was lifted according to her husband after coming home from said investigation at the wee hours of their supernatural time. But as night time falls she awoken without him on her side. After further inquiries she was informed by professor Lyall that he fled to Scotland for a family emergency. She decided to follow him by dergibile and with unexpected large party as soon as she and other important members of their pack found out that the plague was setting its course towards where her husband is heading...

I LOVE this series, full of wit and laugh out loud moments and was it me or does the use of words in this book tends to stick with you even after you finish reading it? It was a great side effect but husband was looking at me funny for using certain words like it was a new vocabulary I learned in some conversations that we had the night before. Anyway... in book two we find ourselves reading another threat to Alexia's life. There was poisoning, shooting, ransacking and cliffhanging by accident on the side of a derigible, a spy and a mystery that needs to be solved at once. The source of the plague made a great addition to Alexia's preternatural nature. It added more depth and heavier curiosity on what her likes can possibly do. Now I know for sure that she can do much much more.

Ivy and her never ending selection of the most ugliest hat combined with her dramatic love affair with Lord Maccon's claviger slash actor, Turnstell and one of Alexia's dreadful half sister- Felicity, was another set of entertainment in this book, their constant bouts sets balance with all the mess that is going on in the supernatural community. Alexia on the other hand remained as her usual self and even at a trying time I can never picture Alexia as someone serious, there's always that certain air of intelligence, the way she use her words that make her so comedic, yes even after that shocking ending. If you read the blurb on Blameless you'll know that Alexia has moved out of her husband's castle, it was sad for I love them together, they are so compatible in so many ways that it was disappointing to read that shocking part. I hated it for a span of about five minutes, I then become excited. Oh the drama! I have a feeling that book three will be the most interesting of the other books. *fingers crossed* There was a teaser at the back of Changeless... What a way to gear up the third book, bravo Miss Carriger. I'm glad we don't have to wait very long, the third book is coming this September.


Out of all the quotes in this book this one struck me as the most memorable and the best way to describe how awesome Alexia is.

Formerly Angelique: "But you have to stop me. Zey told me you were dangerous. I thought it was because zey feared you, feared what yo were and what you could produce. But now I realized zey feared who you are az well. Your lack of soul, it haz affected your character. You are not only preternatural, you also think differently az a result.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Book Review: My Soul to Keep (Soul Screamers #3 - Galley) by Rachel Vincent

BLURBS:

where I got my copy: Harlequin Teens via Netgalley
where to buy: BN, Amazon, Borders
release date: June 1, 2010

Kaylee has one addiction: her very hot, very popular boyfriend, Nash. A banshee like Kaylee, Nash understands her like no one else. Nothing can come between them.

Until something does.

Demon’s breath. No, not the toothpaste-challenged kind. The Netherworld kind. The kind that really can kill you. Somehow, the super-addictive substance has made its way to the human world. But how? Kaylee and Nash have to cut off the source and protect their friends—one of whom is already hooked.

And when the epidemic hits too close to home, Kaylee will have to risk everything to save those she loves.

THOUGHTS:
After escaping the Netherworld and saving the day at the end of My Soul to Save, Kaylee got grounded for a month. So when she got back from it, she was excited to be with her beloved boyfriend. To celebrate her freedom they went to Nash's team mate and Emma's boyfriend - Doug for a house party only to find more trouble. I hate to say it but Sophie is right, her cousin always get followed by trouble and inside the pages of the third book was no exception. Doug crashed his red Mustang into Kaylee's POS, now as a normal teenager, I would think that Doug was just being an irresponsible jackass and was drunk driving, but for Kaylee she knows that he was high on something, it is a drug only its nothing of this world, it is deadly or it will make you a permanent resident inside a padded cell, screaming; the shadows are coming to get you. It is Demon's Breath. Through Kaylee's brilliant idea a Hellion is pushing his atrocious breath into the human world store inside a balloon. The kids call it Frost. And no kidding because when you touch the balloon it feels like you're in Antartica.

Of course Kaylee, the hero that she is wanted to get into the bottom of things without any parental guidance or any adult help at all. Seriously I get it that she does not want anybody else getting hurt or worst killed in her attempt to save humanity by battling a Hellion but it was all so stupid. I would have love it if Kaylee lessen her valiantly. Nash on the other hand wasn't so perfect after all, I am so disappointed, I understood most of the parts about why he did things and all that but there's that one thing that made a new level of messed up. This is probably the biggest turned in their relationship. Saddest and the mark of a huge change. I was very glad about the ending. The ultimate intention of Avari was indeed horrifying and I can't wait for his vengeance in the coming book.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Book Review: Daughters (ARC) by Joana Philbim

BLURBS:

where I got my copy: Around the World Tours
where to buy: Amazon, BN
release date: May 1, 2010

Fourteen-year-old Lizzie Summers always expects fawning photographers and adoring fans to surround her gorgeous supermodel mother. But when Lizzie is approached by a fashion photographer who believes that she’s “the new face of beauty,”
Lizzie surprises herself and her family by becoming the newest Summers woman to capture the media’s spotlight.

In this debut young adult series tailored for younger teens, author Joanna Philbin explores what it’s really like to grow up in the thick of the celebrity world. As Lizzie and her two best friends (and fellow daughters-of-celebrities) juggle normal high school events with glamorous family functions, they discover the pitfalls of fame and the importance of friendship.

THOUGHTS:
Daughters is a new upcoming series about three teenagers of the mega rich and mega famous fictional characters. Teenagers girl who strive to be normal despite the fame of their parents. Typical insecurities, and fighting on what you want to be in life.

This book tells the tale of Lizzie Summers, daughter of the super model Katia Summers. The people in this book call her "walking proof of God", she was described as the perfect image / body of a woman. Unfortunately Lizzie, got most her looks from her father thus her having self esteem issues. Red hair, weird nose, she feels awkward and hates the lime light.  She used to be the cutest toddler but now as a teenager she's the ugly daughter of the top model in the world. That... until she said her mom's lingerie line is slutty to a reporter on camera.  Two things came out from it. A huge fight with her mom and Andrea Sidwell discovering her...

This is the typical Ugly Duckling story. Family drama, boy problems, good friends, school, fun and glamour. Nothing new, nothing exciting but I still like it. I love the fact that Lizzie never got conceited nor bitchy towards Queen Bee Ava and her cohorts of mean girls, even after the fashion industry daub Lizzie as the new hottie of the "ugly modeling". Ok what is ugly modeling? It caters to the people who looks ordinary, real people you me, you friends, your neighbors everybody else that does not possess flawless skin and perfect body. I like it. I am not too fond of traditional modeling anymore, all those negative feelings of not being sexy just because you are not size 0-2 is just sad, no wonder a lot of them are anorexic. The other thing I like about this book is Lizzie's two best friends. Hudson, daughter of the mega pop star Holla Jones and Carina, daughter of mega billionaire Karla Jurgensen. I look forward on reading the next book.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Book Review: Thirteen Days to Midnight (ARC) by Patrick Carman

BLURBS:

where I for my copy: Around the World Tours
where to buy: BN, Amazon, Book Depository
release date: April 12, 2010

When Jacob’s foster father whispers, “You are indestructible” seconds before dying in a car crash that should’ve killed them both, Jacob never imagines he could possess a real superpower. To test it Jacob and his friends start indulging comic book-like fantasies. Later, they commit to use this amazing power of indestructibility to do good in the world and save others from death. But how do they decide who to save? And what happens when they blur the lines of life and death, right and wrong, and good and evil? Thirteen Days to Midnight is a nail-biting tale of dark intrigue, powerful romance, friendship and adventure.

THOUGHTS:

Jacob Fielding has a very interesting superpower. All he got to do is say that word and it gets passed to the person he intends to give it to, the most awesome thing too was he can take it back. The downside was, he have this girlfriend, her name is Oh. She's smart, pretty, sexy and funny unfortunately she's also a female version of Johnny Knoxsville and his gang of Jackasses. That's always a positive on my book but there are limitations, and Oh definitely went beyond. As far as good intentions go, she was on the right track only she wen too far... Jacob can use his "gift" to save lives but was it that easy? Didn't Spiderman said that with great power comes great responsibility? They obviously never thought of that  And this power; it seems too good to be true, not a good sign! when is the drawback coming in?

I love Jacob Fielding, but Milo Coflyn is my favorite, he was a neutral character and the most hilarious of the three plus their family book store is a book addict's dream hang out. LOL. I have listed Thirteen Days to Midnight as one of my favorite reads in 2010. Jacob, Milo and Oh looks like your your typical teenager. They get into trouble in school for stupid stuff, they deal with school jerks, the hang out, they have friends and their fun. That... until Oh got her face planted on the ground, so hard that she could have died or comatose upon impact but no she stood up unscathed, so wth right? And so the adventure has begun... The initial part of their testings and "getting to know the power" stage was entertaining until Oh lost her mind. No she was not institutionalized but she developed a god like and hero like complex, she became obsess with saving people's lives, she even bought a police scanner and practically lives inside cyber space to stay up to date with latest disasters or catastrophes. It was cool at the beginning until the power evolved into something else... I knew that's going to happen you can't play god and not expect any consequences.

Fast paced, action packed, with a little bit of romance, a load of mystery, engaging characters, laugh out loud dialogues, and a has a great moral story. A must read for 2010, perfect for the young and adults looking to read adventure-mystery with a touch of the supernatural.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Book Review: Stalker Girl (ARC) by Rosemary Graham

BLURBS:

where I got my copy: Around the World Tours
where to buy: BN, Amazon, IndieBound
release date: August 5, 2010

Carly never meant to become a stalker. She just wanted to find out who Brian started dating after he dumped her. But a little harmless online research turns into a quick glance, and that turns into an afternoon of watching. Soon Carly is putting all of her energy into following Brian's new girlfriend—all of the sadness she feels about her mom's recent breakup, all of the anger she feels over being pushed aside by her dad while he prepares for his new wife's new baby. When Carly's stalking is discovered in the worst possible way by the worst possible person, she is forced to acknowledge her problem and the underlying issues that led to it.


THOUGHTS:
The book was written in three parts. Carly stalking her ex-boyfriend's new girlfriend named Taylor. Part two was the time Carly met her ex-boyfriend Brian and the third part is where the consequences of her deranged fixation on Taylor happens.


I was expecting a girl stalking her ex-boyfriend not a girl stalking her ex-boyfriend's new girl friend. it was completely freaky and absolutely deranged. But I guess it made sense. I think I kind of understand how Carly mind works. The insecurity and uncertainty of how she was when she was with Brian was questioned when he broke up with her, i think all of us went through that from sometime. I remembered comparing myself to a new girlfriend my ex-boyfriend had at one time and finding myself questioning, what she got that I don't have, I obsess about it for days but that's the farthest that I went. And I felt extremely pathetic, so imagine how Carly feels? And the sad part was she knows that it is wrong, it is sad and it is pathetic, yet she couldn't stop. I would really love a psychological explanation. This is my first time reading something abut stalking and it was interesting, creepy and full of emotions.

Book Review: My Soul to Save (Screamers #2) by Rachel Vincent

BLURBS:

where I got my copy: Library
where to buy: BN, Amazon, Borders

When Kaylee Cavanaugh screams, someone dies.

So when teen pop star Eden croaks onstage and Kaylee doesn't wail, she knows something is dead wrong. She can't cry for someone who has no soul.

The last thing Kaylee needs right now is to be skipping school, breaking her dad's ironclad curfew and putting her too-hot-to-be-real boyfriend's loyalty to the test. But starry-eyed teens are trading their souls: a flickering lifetime of fame and fortune in exchange for eternity in the Netherworld—a consequence they can't possibly understand.

Kaylee can't let that happen, even if trying to save their souls means putting her own at risk….


THOUGHTS:
I am so happy that Kaylee finally knows her true nature. All those secrets from My Soul to Take makes my heart ache for her.I am also glad that she get to snag the hot guy, also bean sidhe Nash, not only as a boyfriend but a partner whenever she sing for a soul. The story starts with Nash and Kaylee at a concert of a pop star equivalent to Britney Spear (way back when she's extremely big and does good performance of course). Everything looks fine and dandy until the pop star dropped dead on stage. Kaylee prepared for the inevitable eardrum shattering wail that never came. The appearance of a soul was unusual, it looks gray/black and no wail came out of her throat. With the help of Tod (dead bean sidhe brother of Nash turned reaper) she was given the knowledge that the foul looking thing is called a Demon's Breath. If you are a fan of Dean and Sam Winchester, you're probably expecting that a hell hound(s) will retrieve the soul. No in this case, the person will wither just drop dead or will commit suicide. A special reaper will then retrieve the Demon's Breath from the shell of the human who should himself to Hellion (devil). Creepy? I'd say.At first the exchange of one's soul for fame and fortune is so cliche I found myself rolling my eyes but when Addy relate her story of how John Dekker blackmailed her into signing the contract my opinion changed.


Tod, Kaylee and Nash then found out that Tod's ex-girlfriend turned pop star Addison Page,  sold herself to the devil and her time is up, therefore she is due to die in a week. Of course, Kaylee being the heroine that she is promised to do whatever she can to help, even if it means intervening with the creature of the Netherworld. I love it that Nash supports her seriously stupid decision, and I commend her for her courage but is it worth it? of course this is when I say... you'd have to read it to find out.

My Soul to Save is a fascinating read, better than book one since now Kaylee knows what she is and the quest for knowledge about her role, potential and capabilities is a nice ride. It also helps that there is now a sexual tension between her and Nash, I love this about YA, not too dirty and not too aggressive. I also enjoyed the depth / perception of the Netherworld. I can't wait to read more of Kaylee's adventure.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Review: Twice Dead by Kalayna Price

BLURBS:

where I got my copy: Belle's Publishing
where to buy: Amazon, A1 Books, BN

Newly undead shifter-turned-vampire Kita Nekai is coming to grips with the reality that her cat has not awakened since her change. What she needs is a little time to adjust to her new liquid diet and the increasingly complex attraction to her sire, Nathanial. What she gets is a headless harlequin. With the body count rising, Kita is dragged into a dangerous game of vampire politics. Her involvement draws the attention of an ancient vampire known as the Collector who has a penchant for acquiring the unusual - like a pureblood shifter-turned vampire. Kita still has unfinished business of her own and finds herself deeper in magical debt. It's a bad time to be a kitten who can't slip her skin. Kalayna Price's debut novel, ONCE BITTEN, earned rave reviews and reached #1 on Amazon.com's "Fantasy Bestseller List." TWICE DEAD returns readers to a dark, seductive world where magic rules and ancient loyalties collide with modern challenges.

THOUGHTS:
Kita is clearly in a more vulnerable state in Twice Dead. Our Calico shape-shifter turned undead is now more in demand than ever, and I don't mean that as a good thing. No. Kita is being stalked, wooed, wants to be collected, killed, you name it. A necromancer, a skin walker, the collector- a powerful vampire, to name a few. Besides that awful predicament... Am I awful for being thrilled that The vampire king Tatius is out to get Kita away from Nathanial? Will you blame me if I find Tatius amusing? Am I being super critical towards Nathanial? Am I the one who thinks he's a bit boring? And is it me or "authorities" in this book keep blaming everything on Kita? In Once Bitten she was blamed for rogue shifters and now she's being blamed by beheading and draining vampires? Seriously, how can someone manage to always look guilty? I can't say that I blame the company she keeps because on the first book she was alone when all the blaming happened.


Twice Dead is definitely a must read if you're a fan of YA Urban fantasy. Action pack and full of intrigue and frustrating sexual tension. I can't wait to see what's going to happen on Haven # 3 book - Third Blood.

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