Saturday, March 31, 2012

Challenge Review: Bitten by Kelley Armstrong

Title: Bitten
Series: Women of the Otherworld #1
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Genre: Supernatural Fiction, Urban Fantasy Fiction
Elements: Werewolves
Publisher: Plume Books, Penguin Group
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 436 Pages
ISBN: 978-0-452-28603-0
Release Date: September 7, 2004
Source: Borrowed from Wentworth Library
Rating: 4/5

Tagline(s): ~NONE~

Summary: Elena Michaels seems like the typically strong and sexy modern woman. She lives with her architect boyfriend, writes for a popular newspaper, and works out at the gym. She's also a werewolf.

Elena has done all she can to assimilate to the human world, but the man whose bite changed her existence forever, and his legacy, continue to haunt her. Thrown into a desperate war for survival that tests her allegiance to a secret clan of werewolves, Elena must reckon with who, and what, she is in this passionate, page-turning novel.


Life's not easy when you're the only female werewolf in existence trying to live a normal human life. In Kelley Armstrong's Bitten, we meet Elena, a Canadian journalist just trying to lead a normal life and forget a past, and love, that's been haunting her since the fateful day she was bitten. But the past has come calling when the Alpha of her werewolf Pack asks for her to return home to Stonehaven to help with a mutt that's been causing some serious trouble that could endanger them all. Though reluctant to leave Toronto, Elena returns home to the Pack and Clay--the one who changed her life forever. With a mutt plot to take down the Pack set in motion, Elena has to put the past behind her, at least until this threat has been eliminated.

I love how imperfect Elena is as a heroine. She's had a tough life, but she does what she can to rise above the events of her childhood and not let it define who she is. I like that she stands up for herself and doesn't take crap from anyone--especially Clay.

What I love about Elena and Clay's relationship is that it's not new and perfect--it's got more than it's share of baggage. Elena has her issues and Clay wants what he wants. They are at each others throats most of the time. But when they can't resist the attraction anymore, they are explosive in a different way. They can't get enough of each other in these moments. I was really happy when Elena stopped fooling herself and admitted that she does love Clay--it took almost losing him, but I thought it has a big break-through moment for them.

I like to think of Elena as the "leader" of the Women of the Otherworld since the first book in the series is from her POV. Bitten is a great introduction into the world of the series, as well as the werewolf Pack itself. I couldn't help but love Clay, Jeremy, and the other members of the Pack. I can't wait to see what happens next in this amazing series.

About this Author: 

Kelley Armstrong has been telling stories since before she could write. Her earliest written efforts were disastrous. If asked for a story about girls and dolls, hers would invariably feature undead girls and evil dolls, much to her teachers' dismay. All efforts to make her produce "normal" stories failed.

Today, she continues to spin tales of ghosts and demons and werewolves, while safely locked away in her basement writing dungeon. She's the author of the NYT-bestselling "Women of the Otherworld" paranormal suspense series and "Darkest Powers" young adult urban fantasy trilogy, as well as the Nadia Stafford crime series. Armstrong lives in southwestern Ontario with her husband, kids and far too many pets.


Friday, March 30, 2012

#RCCleanup Challenge: Love Will Find a Way

The Review Copy Cleanup Challenge is hosted by Vicky @ Books, Biscuits & Tea and Celine @ Nyx Book Reviews!

 In the Love Will Find a Way Challenge we're sharing our all-time favourite books. If you were stuck on an island, or in a cave, which  books would you bring? We're not limiting you to bring a certain amount of books, so give us your best!

City of Glass by Cassandra Clare
If I Die by Rachel Vincent
Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
Promise by Kristie Cook
Fruits Basket Volume 6 by Natsuki Takaya
Fruits Basket Volume 22 by Natsuki Takaya

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Review: Bad Taste in Boys by Carrie Harris

Title: Bad Taste in Boys
Series: Kate Grable #1
Author: Carrie Harris
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Supernatural Fiction
Elements: Zombies
Publisher: Delacorte Press, Random House Inc.
Format: Hardcover, 201 Pages
ISBN: 978-0-385-73968-9
Release Date: July 12, 2011
Source: Borrowed from Wentworth Library
Rating: 4.5/5

Tagline(s): Take a bite... / Someone's been a very bad zombie. / It's scary. It's twisted. It's sick. It's high school.

Summary: Super-smartie Kate Grable gets to play doctor, helping out her high school football team. Not only will the experience look good on her college apps, she gets to be thisclose to her quarterback crush, Aaron. Then something disturbing happens. Kate finds out that the coach has given the team steroids. Except...the vials she finds don't exactly contain steroids. Whatever's in them is turning hot gridiron hunks into mindless, flesh-eating...zombies.

Unless she finds an antidote, no one is safe. Not Aaron, not Kate's brother, not her best friend...not even Kate.


In Bad Taste in Boys, Kate Grable is faced with curing a zombie virus outbreak. All it takes is one bite or exposure to any bodily fluids and you're infected. With those more suited to deal with the outbreak unbelieving that an entire school's student body is turning into zombies, the only one who can save the day is Kate, but what could possibly cure a zombie?

(there may be spoilers in this review after this point)

Bad Taste in Boys is such a fun read! Kate is such a funny and awesome heroine. She's really smart, but can also kick zombie butt. And she has so much courage--I don't know what I'd do if zombies were chomping on me.

And what a coincidence that the one person who has the ability to find a cure is epileptic. Who would have thought that the cure to zombie-ism would be epilepsy medication? Seriously, epilepsy medication! Some thing that Kate takes everyday and therefore makes her immune to the virus.

You know how most of the time the guy gets the girl in the end? Well, in Bad Taste in Boys, it's the girl who gets the guy. Kate has had a crush on the hot quarterback of the football team, Aaron. AND he likes her back! I tell you, things just seem to fall in place for Kate--even with flesh-eating zombies running around.

I had so much fun reading this book and I can't wait to see what Kate's next adventure will be.

Book Trailer:

About this Author: 

Carrie Harris is a geek-of-all-trades and proud of it. Brains are her specialty; she used to work at a lab where they were delivered daily via FedEx. After that, it seemed only natural to write a zombie book. Now she lives in Michigan with her ninja-doctor husband and three zombie-obsessed children.

Manga Review: Blue Exorcist Volume 3 by Kazue Kato

Title: Blue Exorcist Volume 3 
Japanese Title: Ao no Exorcist
Series: Blue Exorcist #3  
Manga-ka: Kazue Kato
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Graphic Novels, Older Teen Ages 16+
Publisher: Viz Media, Shonen Jump Advanced, Shueisha Inc.
Format: Paperback, 187 Pages
ISBN-13: 978-1-4215-4034-4 
Release Date: August 2, 2011
Source: Borrowed from Wentworth Library
Rating: 4/5

Tagline(s): Fight hellfire with hellfire!

Summary: As a new exorcist Exwire at True Cross Academy, Rin Okumura has a long way to go before he reaches the top rank of Paladin. When Rin and his classmates are sent to search for a ghost, Amaimon, King of Earth, takes Rin by surprise and steals the Koma Sword. Higher powers have been observing events at the academy and make their presence known. New players enter the game, and Rin doesn't even know he's playing!


In Volume 3, Rin gains a familiar when Kuro, Father Fujimoto's familiar, goes crazy with grief over his death and Rin's the only on who can calm him down. While Rin is going about day to day life, Mephisto is behind the scenes plotting how to rile Rin up. His plan is still vague, but he has Amaimon attack Rin and steal the Koma Sword. This is when we meet Shura, Father Fujimoto's apprentice. Her mission is to uncover dangerous elements at the Japan branch and eliminate anything connected to Satan--and that includes Rin. After making a deal with Shura, Rin realizes that he's losing control just as he did when he was younger. This realization kick starts his determination to gain more control. Spring Break brings the Forest Camp for the Exwires. Rin experiences for the first time what it's like to have friends. But when their first training mission in the pitch dark forest occurs, Rin is forced to use his flame to save Shiemi from the demon moths attacking her. What happens when one of the class sees the bright flash of Rin's flame?

I thought Kuro was really cute. Even though he's a demon cat, he loves humans and quickly grows attached to Rin. The guy's reaction to Shiemi when she arrives in a school uniform instead of her usual kimono is so funny--especially Yukio and Rin. I thought Rin was pretty awesome when he was fighting Amaimon at the amusement park. Even though he was losing control, he was able to snap out of it long enough to save Shiemi when she was in danger. Shura is a kick-butt exorcist and an amazing swords woman. She's able to light a fire in Rin to become the best exorcist around. Rin's happiness at experiencing what it's like to have friends for the first time was a heartwarming moment, but it's threatened when Suguro sees the flash of Rin's flame during their training mission.

This is the volume when Rin's secret is threatened and higher powers are closing in on him. Will Rin's new friends stand by this side or abandon him to his fate when he'll need them most?

About this Manga-ka:

Kazue Katō (加藤和恵, Katō Kazue), born on July 20th, 1980 in the district of Shinjuku, in Tokyo, is a Japanese mangaka, author of shōnen manga. She is mainly known to be author of Blue Exorcist. She also created Robot to Usakichi ( ロボとうさ吉 ), for which she received the price Osamu Tezuka Award.

Challenge: Mythology Romance Reading Challenge

The Mythology Romance Reading Challenge is hosted by Reading Between the Wines Book Club!

Mythology Romance Reading Challenge

  • This challenge will run from April 1, 2012 – April 30, 2012
  • The goal is to read as many romances with mythology elements as you can within this time frame. One book, two books, or ten – it’s up to you, there is no set number! Books read prior to 04/01/12 do not count. You can join at anytime throughout the challenge and sign up at Reading Between the Wines.
  • Books can be read in any format: bound, ebook, audio.
  • Re-reads and crossovers from other reading challenges are fine.
  • Post this reading challenge on your blog so that you can keep a list of the books you’ve read for it. Please include a link back to this post so other readers can join in the challenge too. Then make sure to add your link to the linky below.
  • You do not need to be a book blogger to participate. However, all entrants must give their thoughts on each book read. For reviewers, you will be asked to provide a link to your posted review for the novel.  GoodReads, Blogs, Amazon, B&N, ect. For non-reviewers, you will be asked to submit a short review or share your thoughts on the book you read. This is mandatory so that we can verify your reads; if you do not do this your entry will not count.   
  • When you’ve completed a book for the challenge please submit it through the entry form linked below. Every book you read you will need to return here to submit it for the challenge. You can do this as you read or all at once, just make sure to keep track of your reads. A GoodReads shelf is a great way to do this. 
  • For all your hard work there will be a giveaway at the end of the challenge! Every time you submit a completed book you earn one entry. Submit 5 books, you get 5 entries, and so on. One randomly selected participant will receive a $15 gift card to one online book retailer, or one book valued at $15 or less from The Book Depository.
  • Any questions? Feel free to contact me at or leave a comment below.
  • Here are a few reading suggestions from the mythology romance sub-genre, you can also just type that into Amazon and get plenty of hits;

Gena Showalter’s Lords of the Underworld series
Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark series
Jessica Andersen’s Nightkeeper’s series
Stephanie Julian’s Forgotten Goddesses series
Alyssa Day’s Warriors of Poseidon series
Elisabeth Naughton’s Eternal Guardian’s series
Tina Folsom’s Out of Olympus series Allison Pang's Abby Sinclair series
North of Need by Laura Kaye
Platinum Passion by Jennifer Lynne

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Review: Deadly Little Voices by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Title: Deadly Little Voices
Series: Touch #4
Author: Laurie Faria Stolarz
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Supernatural Fiction
Elements: Psychic Abilities
Publisher: Hyperion Books, Disney Book Group
Format: Hardcover, 343 Pages
ISBN: 978-142313161-8
Release Date: December 6, 2011
Source: Borrowed from Wentworth Library
Rating: 5/5

Tagline(s): ~NONE~

Summary: Camelia Hammond thought her powers of psychometry gave her only the ability to sense the future through touch. But now she has started to hear voices. Cruel voices. Berating her, telling her how ugly she is, that she has no talent, and that she'd be better off dead. Camelia is terrified for her mental stability, especially since her deranged aunt has just moved into the house. As if all of that weren't torturing enough, Camelia's ex-boyfriend, Ben, who has similar psychometric abilities, has started seeing someone else. Even her closest friends, Kimmie and Wes, are not sure how to handle her erratic behavior.

With the line between reality and dream consistently blurred, Camelia turns to pottery to get a grip on her emotions. She begins sculpting a figure skater, only to receive frightening premonitions that someone's in danger. But who is the intended victim? And how can Camelia help that person when she is on the brink of losing her own sanity?


In Deadly Little Voices, Camelia's psychometric powers are stronger than ever and the voices that come with this latest premonition are mean and malicious. As Camelia struggles to differentiate what's real and what's not, she feels her sanity slipping and all the while someone is in serious danger. Camelia must find who she can trust to help her before it's too late--for herself and the girl in trouble.

Laurie Faria Stolarz's Touch series has a creepy factor to it's suspenseful story, and she doesn't disappoint with Deadly Little Voices. If anything, I'd say she upped the creepiness. Not only are the voices and visions scarier, but in this book, there's a sort of theme with Jack and Jill. There are two people--the victim and the victimizer--who write letters or diary entries telling their parts of the story and signing them Jack and Jill. Also, the victimizer sings these rhymes that he's made up to the Jack and Jill tune, which like I said is creepy, but not unusual for a psychopath.

(Possible spoilers in the next paragraph.)

When it comes to Camelia and Ben, I have to say that I'm kind of glad that they broke it off. Camelia deserves someone who will make her happy and she's just not getting much of that from Ben. Although, Ben's moment with Camelia--she's unconscious--that we see through the last diary entry of "Jill's," when he takes Camelia's hand and places it over the tattoo on his thigh and swears to love her forever, is really sweet. The only problems are that Camelia was unconscious, Ben lets Adam take credit for the rescue and then walks out of her life again. I'm glad that, in the end,Camelia choose to be happy with Adam.

A big thing that Camelia realizes in this book is that she has choices. She can choose how to handle her psychometric ability. She can choose how to be happy and live her life. She learns that there is always a choice and it's up to her how to make those choices.

Excerpt (Pages 4-5):

"You're just one big, fat joke," the voice hisses. The words echo inside my brain.

I cover my ears, but still the insults keep coming. And suddenly I'm six years old again with my doll clenched against my chest and a throbbing sensation at the back of my head.

I look toward my parents' closed bedroom door, feeling my stomach churn. I reach out to open their door, but I can't seem to find it now. There's a swirl of color behind my eyes, making me dizzy. I take another step, holding the wall to steady myself; the floor feels like it's tilting beneath my feet.

On hands and knees now, I close my eyes to ease the ache in my head.

"Just do it," the voice whispers. It's followed by more voices, of different people. All trapped insides my head. The voices talk over one another and mingle together, producing one clear-cut message: that I'm a waste of a life. Finally, I find the knob and pull the door open, but my palms brush against a wad of fabric, and I realize that I haven't found my parents' bedroom after all.

It's the hallway closet. A flannel sheet tumbles onto my face.

Instead of turning away, I crawl inside, and remain crouched on the floor, praying for the voices to stop.

But they only seem to get louder.

I rock back and forth, trying to remain in control. I smother my ears with the sheets. Press my forehead against my knees. Pound my heels into the floor, bracing myself for whatever's coming next.

Meanwhile, there's a drilling sensation inside my head; it pushes through the bone of my skull and makes me feel like I'm going crazy.

"Please," I whisper. More tears sting my eyes. I shake my head, wondering if maybe I'm already dead, if maybe the voices are part of hell.

About this Author:

Laurie Faria Stolarz grew up in Salem, MA, attended Merrimack College, and received an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College in Boston.

Laurie Faria Stolarz is an American author of young adult fiction novels, best known for her Blue is for Nightmares series. Her works, which feature teenage protagonists, blend elements found in mystery and romance novels.

StolarzBIFN" series have sold over 500,000 copies collectively.Stolarz has also announced a graphic novel entry into the series titled Black is for Beginnings, which she published in summer 2009.

Review: Magic of the Moonlight by Ellen Schreiber

Title: Magic of the Moonlight
Series: Full Moon #2
Author: Ellen Schreiber
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Supernatural Fiction
Elements: Werewolves
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books, Harper Collins
Format: Hardcover, 229 Pages
ISBN: 978-0-06-198657-4
Release Date: December 27, 2011
Source: Borrowed from Wentworth Library
Rating: 4.5/5

Tagline(s): Beware of a bite under a full moon... It will complicate your love life.

Summary: Celeste has more to worry about than a secret romance with a hot guy from the wrong side of town. That guy, Brandon, is a werewolf. With gossip and hostility swirling at school, it's time to find a cure for his nocturnal condition, and perhaps the one person who can help is his scientist father. But what if a "cure" makes things worse and Brandon becomes a werewolf full time?

To keep Brandon's secret safe, Celeste must hide her relationship with him from her best friends, but with the Moonlight Ball approaching, she must make a choice. Her dream is to go with her one true love--Brandon. But once the sun goes down, the clouds separate, and the full moon appears, could she really walk into the dance on the arm of a werewolf?

In this installment of the sumptuously romantic Full Moon series, Celeste faces her fears and her friends and finds out whether she's strong enough to stand up for herself and her one true love.


In Magic of the Moonlight, Celeste struggles with wanting to have a relationship she doesn't have to hide and wanting to protect Brandon and his werewolf secret. It's made even harder with Nash fighting to win her back. Ellen Schreiber has created a story that's just as compelling as her nocturnal werewolves.

I'm going to be completely honest and say that I like Ellen's Full Moon series better than her Vampire Kisses series. There's something about this story and these characters that seems more believable. The story just pulls me in and doesn't let go, whereas with Vampires Kisses, I'm pulled in but the line snaps and I'm let go until it hooks me again.

I love Celeste and Brandon. They are just the cutest, sweetest couple. I thought it was adorable how Celeste, at the very least, wanted to eat lunch with Brandon and hold his hand. I also liked that in this book, the female character, Celeste, is the most protective. I mean, there's absolutely nothing wrong with a hot, protective guy, but it was a nice change to see how protective Celeste is of Brandon.

Then there's Nash. It seems like every character I read that's named Nash ends up being a jerk in some way. Threatening and blackmailing the girl you supposedly love and her current boyfriend is no way to win her back. I just found Nash to be really annoying in this book.

And I was totally not expecting the twist toward the end. I mean, when you're given a warning saying, "Beware of a bite under a full moon. It will complicate your love life," it's going to make you anxious. But what actually happened wasn't what Celeste--or I-- was expecting. I don't want to say too much and give something away, but this little twist really is going to complicate things for Brandon and Celeste.

About this Author:

Ellen Schreiber was an actress and a stand-up comedian before becoming an author; she was also a real-estate agent. She studied Shakespearean theater at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and comedy at The Second City of Chicago, which is where she lived for five years. As a novelist she has had several works published in Europe and America. Her brother, Mark Schreiber, is also an author. He helped her start her writing career. The Vampire Kisses series was her real break. The "VK" series stars Raven, a unique goth girl who has wanted to be a vampire since she was little and Alexander Sterling, the vampire that loves to paint. Ellen says that "Raven is a blast to write for, because when I'm writing about her rebellious exploits, I feel the excitement of the rebellion too."

Recently Ellen announced an new series called Once in a Full Moon about "romantic werewolf!" The first book in the series was released December 28, 2010.

#RCCleanup Challenge: Mysterious Meetup

The Review Copy Cleanup Challenge is hosted by Vicky @ Books, Biscuits & Tea and Celine @ Nyx Book Reviews!
In the Mysterious Meetup Challenge, you can have that conversation with your favourite book character of all times. Who would you want to meet? What questions would you ask him or her?

From the Soul Screamers series I'd like to meet:

Kaylee, because she just so strong, and I'd like to ask how she handles all that's thrown at her and still come out on top.

Tod, well, because he's Tod. Who wouldn't want to meet him?
From the House of Night series I'd like to meet:

Zoey, I'd like to ask her how she handles the stresses of leadership all the while having the weight on the world on her shoulders.
And from The Mortal Instruments series I'd like to meet:

Jace, do I really need to say why I want to meet Jace?

Who do you want to meet?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Review: Revelation by Lauren Dane

Title: Revelation
Series: de La Vega Cats #2
Author: Lauren Dane
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Supernatural Fiction
Elements: Witches, Shapeshifters, Werewolves
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Format: Paperback, 267 Pages
ISBN: 978-1-60928-132-8
Release Date: July 5, 2011
Source: Borrowed from Wentworth Library
Rating: 4/5

Tagline(s): He has the one thing she never thought she deserved. A place to belong...

Summary: At long last, Kendra Kellogg has found her sister--but she's no closer to filling the gaps in her past. The magick that brought them together makes them targets for dark mages intent on finishing what started with their mother's murder.

As if her life wasn't chaotic enough, in barrels the one thing she doesn't expect, Max de La Vega. He's six-and-a-half-feet of cocoa-brown alpha male. He's strong, intelligent, sexy and intense. Everything she'd wanted in a man. And he scares the hell out of her. Still healing from a disastrous past relationship, she wonders if she'll ever have that kind of forever.

The next in line to run his jaguar jamboree, Max is unused to hearing "no". Once he knows what he wants, he assumes he'll get it. And he wants Kendra. She deserves happiness and it's his mission to give it to her.

When dark mages attempt to steal her magickal energy, Max's cat agrees with the man--Kendra is his to protect and he will stop at nothing to keep her safe. She can push him away as hard as she likes, he's not going anywhere.


As Kendra finds a place to belong and Max finds his other half, a plot against all paranormals is uncovered and no one is safe.

In Trinity, Lauren Dane introduced us to the Kellogg sisters and the de La Vega jaguar jamboree. It was also the beginning of a very dangerous and deadly situation that little was known about. In Revelation, as the title suggests, everything is revealed.

Trinity ended with Renee, Kendra's sister, dreaming about her past and her mother's death. Revelation picks up right from there with Kendra rushing to Renee's place after getting an urgent call asking her to come over. With Renee's memories returning, Kendra's suspicions of their father's involvement in their mother's murder are confirmed. As the search for their father and stepmother continues, Kendra gains the attention of Max de La Vega, the next-in-line alpha of his jamboree.

Amidst death threats and attacks from the mages intent on draining Kendra and her sister of their power, Kendra tries to make a place for herself in this new city and quickly finds where she belongs--with Max de La Vega as his wife and fellow alpha. Max knew Kendra was the one when he first laid eyes on her. Not only is she strong and powerful, but she's compassionate and values family. She's his equal in every way and has the ability to lead at his side.

What I love about Kendra and Max is that you can tell how much they love each other, but they don't let it overshadow what's important. They don't become completely consumed with each other to the point where they can only see themselves. They are leaders and have responsibilities, and they take that very seriously.

I like that more import is put on the story than on the romance. In a lot of paranormal romances, it's all about the romance and the rest of the story is pretty thin. With Revelation, and the de La Vega series in general, the romance and story balance each other out perfectly.

Lauren Dane knows how to write a well balanced and enjoyable story--a dangerous and suspenseful story with passionate romance. I can't wait for the next installment in the de La Vega Cats series!

About this Author:

Lauren Dane has been writing stories since she was able to use a pencil, and before that she used to tell them to people. Of course, she still talks nonstop, and through wonderful fate and good fortune, she’s now able to share what she writes with others. It’s a wonderful life!

The basics: Lauren is a mom, a partner, a best friend and a daughter. Living in the rainy but beautiful Pacific Northwest, she spends her late evenings writing like a fiend when she finally wrestles all of her kids to bed.

Friday, March 16, 2012

#RCCleanup Challenge: Don’t Be Such a Tease!

The Review Copy Cleanup Challenge is hosted by Vicky @ Books, Biscuits & Tea and Celine @ Nyx Book Reviews!
 The Don’t Be Such a Tease Challenge is all about being the biggest tease possible. The challenge is to share a few sentences from the RCC book I am reading right now, so you can all get a little taste.

Kings & Queens by Courtney Vail was Published January 27th 2012 by Little Prince Publishing

Here's the prologue:

At a click, the most awesome King of all froze, expecting Legion to usher him from a fiery blast to glory. Not in a million charred pieces and still staring at the pointy coronet atop Rischstar Enterprises, Inc., he puffed in relief and inched the door closed on the Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder he’d keylessly borrowed. With a tilt of his watch, moonlight spilled the time. 2:34. Perfectly early. Sporting confidence and Armani, he glided toward the tower, cradling his gift like a giant football.

Hungry for a good time and big wins, he joined others in the dead of night to wield destiny. Riches fluttered from his hands, only to return much fatter. Rules didn’t exist, making any move fair. He’d just smashed his most comprehensive challenge yet. His Queen selection at the onset had drawn accolades with a shower of delicacies, bubbly and streamers.

Tonight, they’d all fall at his feet. Can’t wait to see their faces. The astonishment, the awe, the fear. He grinned wide, thinking about the millions and esteem coming his way.

But, he knew how they operated, was alert to their propensity for screwing others. He’d brought a security measure in case that happened. He kinda hoped it would. He itched to push the detonator.

What's your teaser?

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Manga Review: Blue Exorcist Volume 2 by Kazue Kato

Title: Blue Exorcist Volume 2  
Japanese Title: Ao no Exorcist
Series: Blue Exorcist #2
Manga-ka: Kazue Kato
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Graphic Novels, Older Teen Ages 16+
Publisher: Viz Media, Shonen Jump Advanced, Shueisha Inc.
Format: Paperback, 189 Pages
ISBN-13: 978-1-4215-4033-7  
Release Date: June 7, 2011
Source: Borrowed from Wentworth Library
Rating: 4/5

Tagline(s): Fight hellfire with hellfire!

Summary: Shocked by the death of his foster father and the revelation that his real father is the demon lord Satan, Rin Okumura enters the True Cross Academy to learn to be an exorcist. But every great exorcist has to start somewhere, and for the students of the academy the first step is the Exwire examination. To prepare for the exam, the new Pages in Yukio's class must undergo intensive training. Rin and his classmates have their hands full when a demon appears, but is this a test or something more sinister?


In Volume 2 we meet Rin's classmates and get a look at their pasts and what brought them to the academy. As Rin works at making friends and studying to pass his classes, the Exwire exam is fast approaching. The entire class has to work out their differences and cooperate in order to pass the test and move up the ranks. But behind it all Mephisto is scheming and having Rin attacked. But for what reason?

This series just keeps getting better, and it's only Volume 2! Rin's powers continue to grow and it's really cool to see what he's going to be capable of. We know that Mephisto is a son of Satan, but we also meet Amaimon, King of Earth, who is Mephisto's younger brother. It kind of makes you wonder if Rin realizes that they are his older brothers. I really want to know what Mephisto is planning with all of these schemes he's employing.

Things are really heating up as Rin studies to become an exorcist and new characters show up to make things more complicated.

About this Manga-ka:

Kazue Katō (加藤和恵, Katō Kazue), born on July 20th, 1980 in the district of Shinjuku, in Tokyo, is a Japanese mangaka, author of shōnen manga. She is mainly known to be author of Blue Exorcist. She also created Robot to Usakichi ( ロボとうさ吉 ), for which she received the price Osamu Tezuka Award.

Review: Jessica Rules the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey

Title: Jessica Rules the Dark Side
Series: Jessica #2
Author: Beth Fantaskey
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Supernatural Fiction
Elements: Vampires
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing
Format: Hardcover, 309 Pages
ISBN: 978-0-547-39309-4
Release Date: January 10, 2012
Source: Borrowed from Wentworth Library
Rating: 5/5

Tagline(s): It's one thing to find out you're a vampire princess. It's a whole other thing to actually rule.

Summary: When Jessica Packwood found out she was a Romanian vampire princess, she had the shock of her teenage life. Turns out that was the easy part.

Now, married to Prince Lucius Vladescu, she has to claim her throne and convince a vampire nation she's fit to be their queen. But Jess can't even order a decent meal from her castle's Romanian staff, let alone deal with devious undead subjects who would love to see her fail.

And when Lucius is accused of murdering a vampire Elder and imprisoned without the blood he needs, Jessica finds herself alone, fighting for both their survivals.

Desperate to clear her husband's name and win his release, Jess enlists the help of her best friend, Mindy Stankowicz, and Lucius's mysterious Italian cousin, Raniero Lovatu. But both of them are keeping some dark secrets. Can Jess figure out who to trust--and how to rise to power--before she loses everything, including the vampire she loves?

Full of romance, mystery, and danger, the highly anticipated sequel to Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side shows that sometimes a princess has to earn her "happily ever after"--with a sharpened stake in hand.


Jessica Rules the Dark Side is the much anticipated sequel to Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side. Beth Fantaskey shows us Jessica's struggle to become and want to be royalty as she tries to free Lucius from a crime he didn't commit.

Some readers didn't like that the easy banter and jokes from Jessica's Guide weren't mirrored in Rules the Dark Side, but this sequel's story is more serious than it's predecessor and I was glad that the dialogue matched that. You can't be joking in a serious situation. Rules the Dark Side shows how Jessica, Lucius, and company had to grow up and become responsible adults.

I was amazed by Jessica in this book. Though in the beginning she's kind of weak, lazy, and royally unfit; when it comes time for her to step up and stand on her own two feet, Jessica shows the strength, power, and resilience befitting a queen. As Jess struggles to find evidence that will clear Lucius's name, Raniero helps her realize that she didn't have the drive or the want to rule. Once she realized this, it gave her the motivation she needed to claim what was rightfully hers.

I think my favorite part of the entire book was when Jess came charging into the courtroom wearing jeans and a t-shirt; marches right over to the one responsible and gives it to 'em. That is the first glimpse we have of Jess as the queen she will eventually be. And everyone in that courtroom knew it. It's the moment when the Jess from Pennsylvania and Princess Antanasia become one.

Other enjoyable things about Rules the Dark Side are the alternating POV's (I love the different views of the story and events), Mindy and Raniero's complicated relationship, the emails between Lucius and Raniero (we get more insight into Lucius's thoughts), and the political power plays.

I loved how Jess and Lucius supported each other and how their love for each other just grows stronger as time goes by (who would have thought that the Lucius from Jessica's Guide could love like that?). I really hope this isn't the last that we see of Jessica and Lucius. Lucius and his secrets! I'm still really curious about what he was actually doing during the time the Elder was being destroyed.

About this Author:

1. My favorite hobby is traveling the world - but my biggest fear is flying. 

2. My second-biggest fear is public speaking… but I’m a college professor (who sometimes teaches public speaking!) 

3. I have two 5-year-old kids - who AREN’T twins. 

4. My weirdest work experience was helping to “tan” deer hides using cow brains. (I was actually writing a magazine story about it.) 

5. I’ve only been fired once, from a job as a bookstore clerk.

6. My best educational experience was doing research in India on the Dalit (“untouchable”) struggle for human rights. (See

7. My worst experience, ever, was getting food poisoning while riding my bike from the Missouri River to the Mississippi. (My friend told me the chicken tasted strange…) 

8. Whenever I visit a new country, I try as many ketchups as I can. (Best: Poland, Worst: China)

9. I am an uncommonly bad volleyball player…ask the team that ALMOST won a championship. 

10. I also suffer from mild “ichthyphobia,” or “fear or fish.” I don’t bother trying to overcome that one!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Review: Fracture by Megan Miranda

Title: Fracture
Author: Megan Miranda
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Supernatural Fiction
Elements: Psychic Abilities
Publisher: Walker Publishing Company, Bloomsbury Publishing
Format: Hardcover, 262 Pages
ISBN: 978-0-8027-2309-3
Release Date: January 17, 2012
Source: Borrowed from Wentworth Library
Rating: 5/5

Tagline(s): A lot can happen in eleven minutes.

Summary: By the time Delaney Maxwell was pulled from a Maine lake's icy waters by her best friend Decker Philips, her heart had stopped beating. Her brain had stopped working. She was dead.

But somehow Delaney survived--despite the brain scans that show irreparable damage. Everyone wants Delaney to be fine, but she knows she's far from normal. Pulled by strange sensations she can't control or explain, Delaney now finds herself drawn to the dying, and when she meets Troy Varga, a boy who recently emerged from a coma with the same abilities, she is relieved to share this strange new existence. Unsure if her altered brain is predicting death or causing it, Delaney must figure out if their gift is a miracle, a freak of nature--or something else much more frightening....


In Fracture, a girl drowns and dies after falling through the ice of a lake. Her best friend makes it in time to save her and she makes a miraculous recovery. But when she wakes up she discovers that she now has the ability to sense when someone is going to die. In eleven minutes, Delaney Maxwell's life was changed.

As Delaney tries to live the life that was fractured by her accident and her new ability, she learns the truths of life, death, and love.

If you had one day left to live, what would you do?

This is the question Delaney comes to when she realizes that she can't save people from death, but she can do something. She realizes that life will end for everyone, and that doing nothing in the meantime can be the most terrifying thing someone can do. So while you've still got time--because none of us know when our time to die truly is--do something.

Though there are supernatural elements to this story, it feels more psychological than supernatural. There's also some existential and philosophical moments as Delaney struggles to step back into her life. I loved Delaney and Decker as a duo--when they manage to take one step forward something happens to send them ten steps back. I was extremely happy with how this book ended and I really wanted to read more. I can't wait to see what Megan Miranda comes up with next!

Megan Miranda has managed to create a breathtaking and riveting debut! I don't know if there is anything I didn't like about Fracture. It has everything that makes a great story--mystery, suspense, romance, likable characters, and amazing writing. This book grabs you and doesn't let go.

Excerpt (Page 28):

A lot can happen in eleven minutes. Decker can run two miles easily in eleven minutes. I once wrote an English essay in ten. No lie. And God knows Carson Levine can talk a girl out of her clothes in half that time.

Eleven minutes might as well be eternity underwater. According to the lessons from health class, it only takes three minutes without air for loss of consciousness. Permanent brain damage begins at four minutes. And then, when the oxygen runs out, full cardiac arrest occurs. Death is possible ate five minutes. Probable at seven. Definite at ten.

Decker pulled me out at eleven.

Book Trailer:

About this Author:

Megan is a scientist - turned - teacher - turned - stay-at-home-mom - turned - writer. She is not nearly as indecisive as she sounds. She lives near Charlotte, North Carolina, where she volunteers as an MIT Educational Counselor, does the mom thing by day, and writes by night.

Review: The Mephisto Covenant: The Redemption of Ajax by Trinity Faegen

Title: The Mephisto Covenant: The Redemption of Ajax
Series: The Mephisto Covenant #1
Author: Trinity Faegen
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Supernatural Fiction
Elements: Angels, Demons
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Format: Hardcover, 438 Pages
ISBN: 978-1-60684-170-9
Release Date: September 27, 2011
Source: Borrowed from Wentworth Library
Rating: 4.5/5

Tagline(s): ~NONE~

Summary: Only a daughter of Eve is pure enough of spirit to love a son of Hell. Only a son of Hell could be this hot.

Sasha is desperate to find out who murdered her father. When getting the answer means pledging her soul to Eryx, she unlocks a secret that puts her in grave danger--she is an Anabo, a daughter of Eve, and Eryx's biggest threat.

A son of Hell, immortal, and bound to Earth forever, Jax looks for redemption in the Mephisto Covenant--God's promise he will find peace in the love of an Anabo. After a thousand years, he's finally found the girl he's been searching for: Sasha.

With the threat of Eryx always looming, Jax knows he has to keep Sasha safe and win her over. But can he? Will Sasha love him and give up her mortal life?


The Redemption of Ajax is rich in mythology; particularly in the mythology of Mephistopheles and the Faustian legend. In order to understand the book better, you need to know at least a little about the myth. In the legend, Mephistopheles is seen as a devil--a worker for Satan--who Faust wagered his soul against. In other stories he's portrayed as a fallen angel trapped in his own hell by serving the Devil, he regrets losing God and the joys of heaven, and is torn between pride and despair. The name Mephistopheles comes from the Hebrew mephitz which means "destroyer" and tophel which means "liar."

Not only does Trinity Faegen use the Faustian legend she also fills out the story with pieces of Greek myth, Russian history, Christian religion, and her own elements of myth with the creation of the Anabo and the Mephisto Covenant.

In The Redemption of Ajax, it's Eryx who takes on the role that is traditionally Mephistopheles' by sending his skia out to gain members to the Ravens by pledging their souls to Eryx. Eryx's goal is to build up his followers and take Hell from Lucifer.

The only ones who stand in his way are his brothers--the Mephisto. Kyros, Phoenix, Denys, Xenos, Titus, and Ajax, all work to capture the lost souls Eryx has gained and their skia and toss them into Hell on Earth. That means many less followers for Eryx, which limits his power.

Now, while the Mephisto try to save humanity, the only ones who can offer the Mephisto redemption are the Anabo--daughters of Eve. Because they are without the temptation to sin and are souls of light, Anabo can sense evil a lot easier than anyone else. This also makes them the only ones who have the ability or capacity to love the Mephisto. The only problem is that their numbers are few and far between.

The Mephisto Covenant itself is a deal Mephistopheles made with God when Ajax and his brothers became immortal. A way for them to earn a chance at heaven. If they can love selflessly, they would have peace and a fair shot at heaven. But the only girl who wouldn't run screaming from them is an Anabo. If she loves the one intended for her and he loves her back for real, not only will he get redemption, she will become Mephisto, become immortal, and join the fight against Eryx. Whats more, she will still be Anabo as well as never losing heaven. Their children will be like her--a mix of Mephisto and Anabo--and when they are grown they will join the fight.

Some may think that this book has too much information or attention to detail in the story, but if you're someone who really gets into the story when reading a book--likes knowing the details behind circumstances and events--you will barely notice, when others felt barraged with information.

I love how their name meanings match up with their personalities and characteristics. The Mephisto's names--Kyros means "leader" or "master," Phoenix means "rising bird," Xenos means "stranger," Titus means "giant," Denys means or comes from "servant of Dionysus," and Ajax means " powerful warrior"--help describe the brother's characteristics, circumstances, or positions. I thought that Sasha's name--her given name, Alexandra--was the perfect name for an Anabo. What better name for an Anabo than one that means "defender of men"?

As I've mentioned in many of my other reviews, I love a romance that's not instantaneous. I love when it builds and grows over a period of time. It makes it more real and believable. Sasha and Ajax's love definitely wasn't instant. The attraction was, but not the love. They both resist for as long as they can; weighing the consequences, and trying to decide what's best for the other and themselves. This brings about some very steamy and swoon-worthy moments when their restraint slips. When they finally allow themselves to give in to what they really feel for each other it's an emotionally powerful moment.

I've read in other reviews that people were disappointed in how the book ended, but I don't think it could have ended any other way than how Trinity wrote it. I really loved all the attention to myth, names, and details in the story. It has a depth that I couldn't help diving head-first into.

About this Author:

Trinity Faegen wasn’t always a writer. She had an illustrious career as a Campus Cop in college, led many children astray as a camp counselor, and decorated Christmas trees for sweet, and notsosweet, little old ladies. She loves metal and rock, the Rocky mountains, chocolate cake and college football. She hates sappy stuff and hypocrites. Mostly, though, she loves to write.

Trinity lives in the outback of Texas with her husband and a mean cat. If you’d like to share camp stories, or ask Trinity why she’s ruining her hearing by listening to metal on headphones, write to her at:


Friday, March 9, 2012

#RCCleanup Challenge: Cuddle Up With a Book

The Review Copy Cleanup Challenge is hosted by Vicky @ Books, Biscuits & Tea and Celine @ Nyx Book Reviews!
 The goal of the Cuddle Up With a Book Challenge is to share your favourite place to read. We love pictures - but if that's not possible, a description will do too (: Tell us why you love it! And maybe you have some reading habits you would love to share. Do you listen to music while reading? Or can you only read during the night? We're very curious to see our fellow bookworms' reading spots and read about their customs! And yet again we are combining the challenge with a giveaway.

I actually did a Follow Friday post about this not too long ago, and I said that my favorite place to read is the study rooms at my public library (and as you can see I was working on this post when I snapped this pic, LOL):

I love how it's a quite place to read (or work on blog posts) in a very public setting. I have trouble reading when there's too much noise, so these rooms really help block it out (although you can still hear the other people in the library since the rooms aren't soundproof). And the view's not too bad, either if you feel like staring out the window (it's a lot better in the spring and fall, though):

So that's my favorite place to read. What's yours?

Friday, March 2, 2012

#RCCleanup Challenge: Show Off Your Pile

The Review Copy Cleanup Challenge is hosted by Vicky @ Books, Biscuits & Tea and Celine @ Nyx Book Reviews!
The Show Off Your Pile Challenge is very simple. All you have to do is share what you are planning to read (or have read already!) this month during the Review Copy Cleanup. Feel free to take a photo of your TBR pile you are aiming to devour this month - or if you don't have a camera at hand or you're reading ebooks, just make a list of your books or post the cover image. Not only can we then spy on you what you're reading, but you can also win some very cool books in the first giveaway of the Cleanup!
I'm aiming to read the three books that I need to read & review for a few blog tours. I may read more depending on how soon I can get these three done.

Here's my list:

Kings & Queens
by Courtney Vail
by Cheryl Rainfield
Forgiving Trinity
by Liz Reinhardt
So that's my list of books to read for the RCCleanup. What are you reading?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Challenge Begins: Women of the Otherworld - Bitten

Today is the kick-off to the Women Of The Otherworld Series Challenge! If you haven’t signed up and would like to participate, just click image above to be taken to the challenge sign-up post! It is also a great reference for the details concerning this reading challenge!


Elena Michaels is the world’s only female werewolf. And she’s tired of it. Tired of a life spent hiding and protecting, a life where her most important job is hunting down rogue werewolves. Tired of a world that not only accepts the worst in her–her temper, her violence–but requires it. Worst of all, she realizes she’s growing content with that life, with being that person.
So she left the Pack and returned to Toronto where she’s trying to live as a human. When the Pack leader calls asking for her help fighting a sudden uprising, she only agrees because she owes him. Once this is over, she’ll be squared with the Pack and free to live life as a human. Which is what she wants. Really.
March 1st – March 31st, 2012

For this month, our goal will be to read and post a review the first book in the Women Of The Otherworld series by Kelley Armstrong, Bitten.

For those of you who do not wish to write a review, please feel free to create a post about your reading experience, your personal character casting of this book, or anything else related to this title within the Woman Of The Otherworld series.


Moonlight Gleam would like to kick-off this reading challenge by offering TWO participants any Kelley Armstrong book of their choice, in the format of their choice. This can be a pre-order of any of Kelley's upcoming releases as well. Moonlight Gleam will be using Book Depository to send the winners their prize and will be selecting the winners through

To qualify for this month's giveaway:

You all have until March 31st to link to your reviews or posts to be included for this month’s prize.

**Please Note**: Due to high requests, if you have already read and reviewed Bitten, Moonlight Gleam will be making a special exception to allow linking to your old reviews for this book as this month's giveaway entry. However, this will be allowed for this month alone.

The giveaway winners’ names will be drawn on April 1st, 2012 
(the start of month two of the reading challenge).

**If you are not able to read Bitten this month, you can post your review next month or any month throughout the entire challenge for that month's prize. You can also leave more than one link during each month of the challenge (example: if you review more that one book at a time), however, you will only have receive one entry for the monthly prize. Don't worry! All your posts will not go to waste and will ALL be counted towards the Grand Prize at the very end of the entire challenge!**

**Most importantly: You do NOT have to commit to the entire 13 month challenge; feel free to join even if you only want to participate for a few months.**

Don't forget to link to your posts here!