Thursday, June 28, 2012

Women of the Otherworld Mini-Challenge #3

For this mini-challenge you must:

Create a post describing which of the first four books of the WOTO reading challenge that you enjoyed most so far! 

(IMPORTANT: Please include book cover, synopsis, and (Book Trailer if available) within your post) 

I really enjoyed reading from Elena's POV, so that leaves me with the first two books in the series. Of the two, my favorite is probably STOLEN (Women of the Otherworld #2), because this is when we're really introduced to the rest of the characters in the series. Also, I'm absolutely in love with Clayton, so any chance I get to read about him, leaves me swooning. I just about melt every time he says "Darling" in that accent of his. So I bet you can guess one of the reasons I like reading from Elena's POV. She's one very lucky woman. But besides that, I just love how strong Elena is, and it's cool that she's the only female werewolf in the world. She's one of a kind. I'm definitely Team Elena & Clay!!

It was in Bitten, Kelley Armstrong's debut novel, that thirty-year-old Elena Michaels came to terms with her feral appetites and claimed the proud identity of a beautiful, successful woman and the only living female werewolf. 
In Stolen, on a mission for her own elite pack, she is lured into the net of ruthless Internet billionaire Tyrone Winsloe, who has funded a bogus scientific investigation of the "other races" and their supernatural powers. Kidnapped and studied in his underground lab deep in the Maine woods, these paranormals - witches, vampires, shamans, werewolves - are then released and hunted to the death in a real-world video game. But when Winsloe captures Elena, he finally meets his match.  



 Lala’s Designs

Clay and I went together like fire and gasoline—intense heat, incredible fireworks, and, occasionally, devastating destruction. I’d come to realize that was how we were. It wasn’t a calm, stable relationship, it never would be, and, frankly, neither of us wanted that. Blissful domesticity was for other people. Give us fireworks and explosions, of both the positive and negative variety, and we were as blissful as could be.

Tour Review: The Earth Painter by Melissa Lee (Guest Post)

Title: The Earth Painter
Series: Painter #1
Author: Melissa Lee
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Supernatural Fiction
Elements: Immortals
Publisher: Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing
Format: PDF  
ISBN: 9780615634753  
Release Date: August 28, 2011
Source: Tour Host {Bewitching Book Tours}
Rating: 5/5

Tagline(s): ~NONE~

Summary: The Sculptor was alone. The world was gray, as it always had been.

And then the Sculptor said, “It is time…

Time for color,

Time for more,

The beginning.”

With a word, three sculptures became aware. And they needed to paint.

There was Ocean, Sky, Land, and Life all painted into place.

Then it ended, just as quickly as it started. Then the painters were no longer needed.

But they were still…AWARE.

And it was in this awareness that the battle began. And continues.

When a self-conscious young woman discovers the boy in drama class is actually the immortal who painted the world into being, she becomes the target of another painter who could shatter not only her new sense of hope, but her world, as well.


When Holly's father loses his job, her and her family move to her parent's hometown. Now Holly is starting at a new school and dreading every minute of it. But when she enters the theater for her drama class, she sees a boy sitting on the stage who no one else seems to notice. Thus begins Holly's emotional journey of self-discovery and finding a love that just may break her heart.

The Earth Painter is like an artistic version of the creation myth. There is the Sculptor (the Creator, God) who created a giant sphere, bit it was devoid of life or color. So he created three beings known as Painters. Each Painter had an assigned area--Walden paints the sky, Fritz paints the water, and Theo paints the earth (these are reminiscent of the Greek gods Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades). The Painters gave the world for and the Sciences--Physics, Astronomy, Biology, Geology, and Chemistry--gave the world function. But no Painter is to paint humans, that is strictly left to the Sculptor. Painters are not invisible, but they are to remain unnoticeable and not draw attention to themselves.

Now since Painters are basically unnoticeable, it brings about the question of why Holly noticed Theo without him drawing her attention to him. Only the Painters, Sciences, and their creations can notice each other without trying--and since human creation is only by the Sculptor's hand--what could possibly cause Holly to notice Theo? She can't see the other Painters or any of the Sciences without notice being brought to them. I had an inkling about the cause of this once a certain lost painting was mentioned, and I was right when it was revealed at the end.

Holly's mother is a character that annoyed my so much that, if I could have jumped into the pages of the book myself, I would have slapped her while yelling, "Grow up, woman!" I can't stand adults who behave like children in the sense of causing low self-esteem in their kids through verbal abuse and bullying--not to mention throwing tantrums when they don't get what they want. I really enjoyed seeing Holly grow out of her self-esteem issues and stand up to her mother, instead of allowing her mother to continue walking all over her.

Holly still retains some of those issues, though, when it comes to Theo. She develops feelings for Theo, but being a Painter, Theo can't feel human emotion. This leaves Holly confused, heartbroken, but still curious. There is a kiss that occurs that resulted in something so unexpected and surprising that the cliffhanger is going to leave me really curious about what will happen next. I can't wait to read the sequel to The Earth Painter! 

Book Trailer: 

About this Author:

Melissa Lee is a wife and stay-at-home-mom of 3 young boys. She’s been making up stories in her head for as long as she can remember but only got serious about it in 2007, after reading Twilight and rediscovering her own dreams to write. Finally, she put her Journalism degree to use and started writing and hasn’t stopped since. She has studied fiction writing at various conferences, and from numerous writing coaches.

She signed her first contract with Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing in 2011.


I got to drama a little late because my AP history class ran over. Ms. Jones walked to the middle of the stage. Paint splattered overalls replaced her normal dressy style “Listen up everyone. Our scripts still aren’t here so we are going to get busy painting scenery. We have canvases ready for painting. If you are talented in art, you can work on the forest backdrop. If you are not good with a paint brush, you are not excluded from helping. You will work on the stones walls for the castle. All you do with those is paint the whole canvas gray. Then later someone from the art department will go over it to make the stone outlines.”
She was about to walk off when she remembered something. “Oh and because of her excellent performance, Holly Scruggs will be performing her monologue for the parent teacher night scheduled next week.”
I stood there for a second while people half clapped and half chanted they were glad I’d done a good job instead of them as they got busy putting on paint smocks and heading to different painting stations.
I trudged up the steps to the stage and looked at the canvas destined to be stonewalls. I sighed grateful they had something simple I could work on. Surely, I could manage painting the whole thing gray. It was bad enough when my mom yelled at me at home. I didn’t want that here in front of everyone.
I grabbed a painting smock and snapped it up before grabbing a brush to dip in the bucket of gray paint.
“Why are you painting a gray wall when you could be painting a forest?” Theo asked from behind me.
I turned around so he could see me roll my eyes. “Um…because not everyone can paint like you.”
“Tsk…sure you can. All you need is a little guidance.” Theo took my hand and dragged me to the larger canvas no one had started on. I followed without protest. I didn’t mind Theo showing off to impress me. It was kind of flattering. My heart skipped a beat.
But instead of me standing back to watch him, he stood behind me, and took hold of my right hand while nuzzling his face by my ear.
“First, let’s start with green. The forest is made of different shades of green. Green means growth and life,” he whispered. His breath tickled my earlobe. Goose bumps pimpled down that side of my body in response. He guided my brush into the paint and then across the canvas with soft gentle strokes. My eyes fluttered when he tucked strands of my hair behind my ear. I’d never been held by a boy before. The feelings and thoughts were more than I could comprehend.
 “If we mix the green with a touch of black, mix white for gray, we can create shadows.” He mixed the colors on a piece of cardboard box he held for a pallet.
We moved from side to side, up and down, covering the blank canvas with gentle strokes. His words still tickling each time he spoke. My heartbeat quickened and my breathing became a little more labored. I watched in amazement as my brush changed the canvas from white to shapeless shades of green and then into a forest thick with vegetation.
As the brush glided along the canvas, I breathed in deeply, the scent of pine trees rushed up my nose. I shook my head and tried to focus on the trees we were painting. The flat painted trees suddenly became three-dimensional. A brown and white bunny hopped into a bush and stirred the leaves, causing me to turn my head towards the motion just before a squirrel scurried up an oak tree carrying a nut in its mouth.
I swallowed and my breath caught as the trees began to surround me. For a second I was sure I was in a real forest. I could smell it. I could hear the leaves rustle while at the same time I could feel Theo still holding me guiding my brush across the canvas. My knowledge of what was true and my senses were in conflict.
Was the room spinning? My stomach was moving with it, or at least it felt like it. My mind couldn’t process what I saw or thought I saw while painting. I was sure the paint fumes were making me high. I had to get away from them. I stepped back from the canvas to get a grip on myself.
The dizziness continued and my stomached tightened. My breathing became quick and shallow. The room grew dim while stars sparkled over me. I was afraid I might faint or throw up. I pulled out of Theo’s grasp and bent over to catch my breath. Ms. Jones and some of the other students looked up to see what was wrong with me. It was bad enough to feel sick, but it would be too embarrassing to throw up or faint in front of the class.
“Holly, did you paint that?” asked Ms. Jones—her eyes wide with wonder.
I looked up at the painting. The forest was immaculate, but just a flat painting, not the real one I was sure I’d just been in with Theo.

Guest Post by Melissa Lee:

I can write thousands of words about made up people and worlds all day long, but a couple hundred words for a blog ties my brain in knots.

That’s because I am a fiction writer. Fiction writing is like breathing to me. Before I started this vocationally, I always had stories and characters in my head. They got in the way at every job I’ve ever had, making me seem ditzy. I mean you can only listen to one person at a time and how do you explain to your boss that the people in your head won’t shut up and let you do your work? That will not only get you fired but carted off in a white jacket.

Last year, while putting away laundry in my son’s room I saw a teen girl in an auditorium. She was meeting a strange but handsome young man who was an immortal in the middle of a battle at her school and she was being invited to join it. I try not to be a nosey person in general, but when people take up residence in my head, I feel like I have a right to get to know them. So I asked these people in my head questions until I found out the girl’s name was Holly and the boy’s name was Theo and he was The Earth Painter, the artist responsible for all the beauty of the land. There were 3 painters in all, one land, one for sky and one for sea. But all three had been retired and the running of Earth had been given over to beings called Sciences. They brought logic and order to the pure creativity of the painters and continue to tweak it. But Fritz, The Water Painter, was not happy with how life on Earth turned out. There’s a secret buried under the high school and Holly must help Theo protect it. 

Once I knew all that, I sat down and wrote The Earth Painter. But at the end of it, there was more to Theo and Holly’s story. That’s why I’m finishing up The Man Painter, due out November 2012. I hope you will read them and get to know the people living in my head and come to love them as I have.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Before I Wake Mini-Reading Challenge {Sign Up}

The Before I Wake Mini-Reading Challenge is hosted by Rachel @ Fiktshun!

The Challenge
To READ and REVIEW Before I Wake by Rachel Vincent by August 1, 2012.


1. SIGN UP by leaving a link to your blog, Facebook page or Goodreads account in the Linky List in this post, BELOW.
{If you do not have a blog and want to have your review posted on the Soul Screamers Reading Challenge Blog, leave a link to that blog with your name in the Linky List.}
2. Create a participation post (optional) and leave your link to that post BELOW.
3. WRITE A REVIEW for Before I Wake by August 1, 2012 and leave your link BELOW.
4. Grab a challenge button from the sidebar! (Not required.)  


1. You will get one entry for signing up below, but you will only be entered into the giveaway if you post a review by August 1st.
2. You will get one entry for writing your review and linking it below.
3. You will get one entry should you choose to create a participation post – which can be an announcement on your Blog, Goodreads, FB, Tumblr, etc. If you don’t have a blog, that announcement post can be made on the SSRC blog.  

The Incentives 

There will be FOUR prizes awarded for this giveaway.

1. The first place WINNER will receive $50 in books of their choice from Amazon or The Book Depository. 2. The second place winner will receive three Rachel Vincent books of their choice, which can include a Soul Screamers Volume 2 pre-order, which I will send to the author for her signature.
3. The third place winner will receive two Rachel Vincent books of their choice, which can include a Soul Screamers Volume 2 pre-order.
4. The fourth place winner will receive one Rachel Vincent book of their choice, which can include a Soul Screamers Volume 2 pre-order.


#HSReadathon: High Summer Read-A-Thon {Sign Up}

The High Summer Read-A-Thon is hosted by Michelle @ The True Book Addict @ Seasons of Reading!

The High Summer Read-a-Thon, coming your way Monday, July 16 through Sunday, July 22. Times are central standard time so adjust your times accordingly. 

Now, let's get down to brass tacks on the read-a-thon details:

  • Books read must be novels or novellas, adult or young adult are fine, but no children's books.  Of course, non-fiction is fine too.
  • You DO NOT have to participate the entire week.  Join in when you can, start in the middle, end early...whatever works best for your schedule.
  • I will not be hosting any mini-challenges during the read-a-thon.  Trying to keep it more about the reading here by eliminating time spent completing mini-challenges.
  • There will be a participant giveaway at the end of the read-a-thon for those who sign in at the starting line and complete a wrap-up post.  Number of winners will be determined by the number of prize donations I receive.
  • Other participants may host their own mini-challenges/giveaways, but participation in these is entirely optional.
  • You do not have to have a blog to participate. You can sign-up, sign-in, and wrap-up...all from Facebook, Twitter, or Goodreads. You can also do updates from those locations, if you do not have a blog.
  • We will be on Twitter during the read-a-thon, tweeting under #HSreadathon  We had some nice little reading sprints last time on Twitter.  No prizes, just bragging rights.  Fun!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Tour Review: Siren's Song by D.L. Snow

Title: Siren's Song
Series: A Bandit Creek Time Travel Romance
Author: D.L. Snow
Genre: Science Fiction, Paranormal Romance, Supernatural Fiction
Elements: Time Travel
Publisher: Bandit Creek Books
Format: PDF, 73 Pages
ASIN: B005Q13DU2 
Release Date: September 26, 2011
Source: Tour Host {Bewitching Book Tours}
Rating: 5/5

Tagline(s): ~NONE~

Summary: After giving up fame, Joss Jones just wants a normal life. Maybe she’ll find it in Bandit Creek. Or…maybe not. From the moment she moves into the old mansion she inherited, she’s stalked by a ghost who torments her before dragging her back in time to Bandit Creek, 1899.

Has she gone crazy or is this old mining town, full of saloons, gambling, whoring and fortune seekers her new reality? It feels real enough as does the ghost who brought her here. His name is Morgan Hawes and he is very much alive. Is Morgan the key to Joss finding her way home or is Joss stuck for the rest of her life as the Siren of Bandit Creek?


Joss Jones is unsatisfied with her life and just wants some normalcy after a childhood as a teen idol singer. She hopes she'll find that normalcy in Bandit Creek when she inherits her grandmother's house and a 1983 Firebird. But she finds nothing close to normal when she arrives at her new house and she's stalked by the ghost of a young man who seems to have a message for her.

When Joss goes to the James Ellis School for a job as the music teacher, she learns that her ghost is Kyle Copeland, who disappeared from Bandit Creek without a trace ten years ago. After Joss meets some of the students and questions of her accident, that took her mother's life, are voiced, Joss is overwhelmed and runs to the lake. Kneeling at the edge if the lake, crying out her sorrow and frustration, Joss hears the song she'd been dreaming about:

"Meet me in the Promised Land,
where all our dreams come true,
meet me in the Promised Land,
I'll go first and wait for you..."

When she looks down at her reflection in the lake, it isn't her reflection, but Kyle's and suddenly she's being pulled into the lake by a very real and very solid Kyle Copeland. But when she wakes up she's in a very different place, with very different people. But one person looks familiar: Is Morgan Hawes who he claims to be or is he really Kyle Copeland? Will Joss ever be able to get home or will she be forever known as the Siren of Bandit Creek? And if she does make it home, will her heart be forever lost to a man in 1899 Bandit Creek?

I completely fell in love with Siren's Song. I was intrigued by the mystery of Morgan Hawes and his connection to Kyle Copeland, as well as the coincidence (or not?) of Kyle's disappearance ten years ago in Joss's original timeline and Morgan's presumably fatal attack by muggers ten years back in 1889 that he was miraculously saved from.

I could feel Joss's desperation to return home. From accosting Morgan on Main Street thinking him to be Kyle, trying to drown herself in a pond thinking that water is the medium between times, to becoming the Siren of Bandit Creek to gain more freedom to search for a way home. Then her relief when she sees two Native Americans ride into town, one of them wearing modern clothes from her time, only for him to tell her that a traveler must find their own way to where they must go. It was an up and down journey that was interesting to read about. Not to mention the whole time travel occurrence (who would have thought?).

When Joss is separated from Morgan in the mines on Turtle Mountain after accepting his marriage proposal and the mountain continues to move, she knows that she's being sent home and leaves her mother's gold cross necklace with Morgan along with her love. It was completely heartbreaking when Joss wakes up and leaves the mines knowing that she'll never see Morgan again. She sings Promised Land as a heartbroken farewell to the man she'd left in the cave.

I didn't really understand what the Native traveler meant when he said that time was not a straight line but a circle until Joss comes to the lake and sees herself there crying then being pulled into the lake by Kyle. Joss realizes at that point that they are fractured parts of the same person. This is further proved when Joss returns to her house, notices some differences, and finds a sapphire ring, a wedding photo, family photos, and a note to her from herself:

"Never be afraid of living your life. Never be afraid of loving others. Time is not a straight line but a circle of smoke blown in many directions at once."


I loved that the song Promised Land is the connection between Joss and Kyle (Morgan) through all times. In Joss's current timeline, Kyle didn't disappear, but is a famous singer whose #1 hit single is Promised Land. i was extremely happy that they got their happily ever after in the end. Kyle even had in his possession Joss's mother's gold cross necklace, which she had given Morgan in the cave before she was sent home.

"You came back," I said.

"No," he grinned. "I've been here, waiting for you the whole time."

Siren's Song is a mystery wrapped in a heart-wrenching love story that spans all different times. I laughed, I cried, I gasped, and I raged. Like Joss was pulled into the lake by Kyle, I was pulled into this story by D.L. Snow. I'm glad I didn't pass this one up.

About this Author:

DL Snow spent her youth living by trial and error. From touring with an international performing group, backpacking through northern Africa to living bohemian style in Berlin, she pursued adventure and passion from one place to the next, never really knowing where she’d end up. She’s been a wildlife technician, a rock climbing instructor, a tailor’s assistant (measuring men’s inseams – someone’s gotta do it!) and a high school social studies teacher.

It wasn’t until she met the love of her life, the son of a Nakoda chief, and started a family, that DL found her true calling – writing. Now, she writes about passion and adventure and is happy to say her characters never know where they are going to end up. Find out more at

Promotion Hosted by Bewitching Book Tours

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Manga Review: Blue Exorcist Volume 6 by Kazue Kato

Title: Blue Exorcist Volume 6 
Japanese Title: Ao no Exorcist
Series: Blue Exorcist #6 
Manga-ka: Kazue Kato
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Graphic Novels, Older Teen Ages 16+
Publisher: Viz Media, Shonen Jump Advanced, Shueisha Inc.
Format: Paperback, 193 Pages
ISBN-13: 978-1-4215-4174-7 
Release Date: February 7, 2012
Source: Borrowed from Wentworth Library
Rating: 4/5

Tagline(s): Fight hellfire with hellfire!

Summary: The heads of the various Myodha temple families gather to discuss recent events surrounding the Eyes of the Impure King. Revelations at the meeting only deepen suspicion of Suguro's father, Tatsuma, and angry accusations follow. Tatsuma's silence on the matter isn't helping either. Amid all the swirling distrust, Rin tries to make sense of things but struggles to keep his flame in check. Then Rin receives a letter that may shed more light on the current situation--and the secret past!

Includes two bonus stories!


As accusations and suspicions are voiced, tensions run high as the heads of Myodha convene to uncover the traitor in their midst. Rin has a heart-to-heart with Konekomaru that has him even more dedicated to his training, because as long as Rin is seen as a threat, Konekomaru won't consider him a friend. The traitor is found, but the right eye is still stolen. Suguro has words with his father that are reminiscent of the last words Rin said to Father Fujimoto and this causes Rin to lose control when Suguro refuses to take them back. Shura subdues Rin and locks him up in solitary confinement. Now that the left and right eye are together, a new and potent poisonous gas can result. Suguro's father leaves a letter for Rin describing past events that lead up to where they are now. What happened in the past to cause the current events?

Rin's friends seem to be coming around to accepting him again once they actually that the time to really see Rin for who he is. I think what changes their minds about Rin is his straightforwardness, his kindness, and his conviction. Rin shows that he's not a mindless, raging, uncontrollable beast, but a person who never asked to be born the son of Satan. Rin can't help who he was born to, but he can choose who he's going to be.

I'm really excited to be learning about the past; Father Fujimoto's involvement with Rin's birth, the Koma Sword, and Suguro's father's involvement in it all. These are things that only three people knew about before Rin: Mephisto Pheles, Father Fujimoto, and Tatsuma Suguro.

Revelations abound in the next volume as past secrets are brought to light. How will these new details impact the present as Rin and his friends follow Suguro's father in pursuit of the left and right eyes of the Impure King?

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.


Manga Review: Blue Exorcist Volume 5 by Kazue Kato

Title: Blue Exorcist Volume 5 
Japanese Title: Ao no Exorcist
Series: Blue Exorcist #5 
Manga-ka: Kazue Kato
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Graphic Novels, Older Teen Ages 16+
Publisher: Viz Media, Shonen Jump Advanced, Shueisha Inc.
Format: Paperback, 183 Pages
ISBN-13: 978-1-4215-4076-4 
Release Date: December 6, 2011
Source: Borrowed from Wentworth Library
Rating: 4/5

Tagline(s): Fight hellfire with hellfire!

Summary: In the late Edo Period, a demon known as the Impure King killed thousands of people. After defeating the demon, the Knights of the True Cross kept its left eye safely sealed away on Academy grounds--but now someone has stolen it! Hearing the thief has taken a child hostage, Yukio and Rin go to help. The investigation and pursuit will lead Rin and his friends to Kyoto and involve them even deeper in a sinister plot! But will his friends' knowledge that Rin is the son of Satan drive a wedge between them? 


Rin is still feeling the brunt of his classmate's feelings of betrayal and discomfort, but more important things are happening than hurt feelings. The left eye of the Impure King has been stolen and the right eye is next on the list. In an attempt to steal the right eye of the Impure King, the Kyoto Field Office was attacked, leaving many injured. Rin and company are sent with a group of Exorcists to help the injured and defend against another attack.

Rin's situation is the classic classmate alienation because he's misunderstood and they only see what they want in Rin. They see the half-demon son of Satan with his blue flame, so he must be evil, too, right? They don't see someone who watched as Satan killed his foster father, Father Fujimoto, but a demon who is uncontrollable. You would think that Bon, Shima, and Konekomaru would understand how Rin feels about defeating Satan and how determined he is to accomplish it. They've had family killed by Satan during the Blue Night incident, just as Father Fujimoto was killed by Satan when Rin came into his powers. I really think they need to give Rin a break and try to understand and get to know him. Rin has enough on his plate without his friends treating him like some kind of leper.

Going to Kyoto means going home for Bon, Shima, and Konekomaru. We learn about the connection between their families, Bon's father's abandonment of the Myodha and the failure of the temple that caused it to become affiliated with the Knights of the True Cross, Bon's determination to become and Exorcist and defeat Satan, and finally the conflict between the Shima and Hojo families. When the two families tasked with keeping order within the followers of Myodha, Shima and Hojo, are at each other's throats, things are bound to fall apart unless they can work together.

Another attack is being planned by the end of Volume 5 for the right eye of the Impure King. Who is behind these thefts and what are they planning? I can't wait to see what happens in the next volume.

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.


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Manga Review: xxxHOLiC Volume 19 by CLAMP

Title: xxxHOLiC Volume 19 
Series: xxxHOLiC #19 
Manga-ka: CLAMP 
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Graphic Novels, Teen 13+ 
Publisher: Del Rey Manga, Kodansha USA, Random House 
Format: Trade Paperback Original, 180 Pages 
ISBN: 978-0-345-53126-1 
Release Date: February 21, 2012 
Source: Borrowed from Wentworth Library 
Rating: 3.5/5 

Tagline(s): FINAL VOLUME 

Summary: Kimihiro Watanuki has passed through many trails by fire. Once an indentured servant, he has matured and become the poised and skilled keeper of the shop that grants wishes. But Watanuki's final wish is for himself: to meet the witch Yûko one more time. With Yûko long vanished from our world, is it even possible? That question and others are answered now in the concluding volume of the bestselling manga xxxHOLiC!  

xxxHOLiC crosses over with Tsubasa, also by CLAMP. Don't miss it!  


Everyone has something they desire. The shop that grants wishes is there to grant those desires--whether they be a blessing or a curse to the wisher. Not every wish has a pleasant outcome and it's up to the customer to heed the warnings and advise of the shopkeeper. 

The first story is about the five seasonal festivals, most importantly the Chrysanthemum Festival. This festival was created to eliminate bad luck. When "light" is strongest is when the worst disasters occur. The Ame-Warashi talks about what happens when those who go by the old calender (magical beings) get fed up when people change things according to the new calender without taking notice of the old. Eventually humans pay the price, sooner or later. 

Then Watanuki meets a young woman waiting under an umbrella. She says that "He...never seems to come. But he promised. He said, 'If it's under this umbrella,' and held my hand as he promised." Her wish is to be reunited with her young man. But a "Serpent's Eye" talisman that wards against voyeurism is preventing him from meeting her. The fact that they could only meet under the umbrella suggests they have a relationship they want no one to see. Watanuki quotes the saying "At night, from a distance, or under an umbrella," which are all the ways a woman looks more beautiful, but they are all ways in which you can't see them very well. 

In the third story we learn that Himawari is married and we see how beautiful Kohane has grown up to be. And Domeki is just Domeki. Domeki brings an artifact to Watanuki that his professor wanted him to look at and identify. Watanuki speaks to the spirit of the artifact and discovers that it is a Hei-Gushi. A Hei-Gushi is a decoration put on a house's main support beam to celebrate the completion of the framework of the house. It's used as a charm to ward off evil and help ensure the happiness of the family that will live in the house. 

And finally, in the last and final chapter of the xxxHOLiC series, Watanuki dreams of a butterfly. After the fourth night of dreaming of the butterfly, Watanuki sees Yûko for the first time. During the sixth night, Watanuki sees Yûko for the second time. This time she's holding a cage with a bird in it. She releases the bird and Watanuki says, "That's what it is. So that much time has passed since I inherited the shop." It was a dream Yûko had a long time ago and sent to Watanuki to tell him that he's strong enough and there is no need to hide himself away in the shop anymore. When asked if he'd like to forget about Yûko, Watanuki says no and commits to continuing as the keeper of the shop. So he can wait for Yûko. Domeki remarks that, "For him, even now, forgetting Yûko-san seems like it would be more painful than not forgetting." 

This finale to xxxHOLiC is more somber than most of the series finales by CLAMP. Because of this it didn't have as big of an impact on me like some of their more explosive or emotional finales. So I was just a teeny bit disappointed. 

Although I wasn't happy with the conclusion, it did make sense. When Yûko disappeared and Watanuki inherited the shop, it was revealed that Syaoran (Tsubasa) and Watanuki are the same person, but they were split when Syaoran made his wish. In order for Syaoran to move forward to look for Sakura, Watanuki had to remain in the shop to wait for Yûko. In the final chapter, Watanuki sees a dream Yûko left for him, showing the release of a bird, which is Watanuki's signature and symbolic of him, signifying that Watanuki is now strong enough to move forward on his own and leave the shop. Though he is now free, he chooses to remain as the shopkeeper and continue waiting for Yûko (talk about dedication!).

One thing about the conclusion that left me a little confused was when Watanuki mentioned that he's been the shopkeeper for more than a hundred years. Like I mentioned before, in order for Syaoran's time to move forward, Watanuki's needed to stop, so Watanuki still looks the way her did when he was in high school, while all his friends are growing older. What confused me about the more than a hundred years as shopkeeper part is that, how could that much time go by and all his friends still be alive? The only thing I could think of was that time moves differently in the shop than outside the shop. 

In a previous volume, Yûko had given to Domeki an egg-like item that he could use to protect Watanuki, and that he would know the right time to use it. He still has not used it and says, "I guess it still isn't the time to use this." I mean, what was the point of the egg-like object if it's not even going to be used? Yûko made it sound like something very important, and by the end of the series it's still not even been used. Talk about waste!

I really like the final line of the series, though. Domeki says, "For him, even now, forgetting Yûko-san seems like it would be more painful than not forgetting." And the final image is of a bird flying free, representing Watanuki's freedom to move forward if he chooses. For Watanuki's story, that is the perfect image to end the series with.

About this Manga-ka:

Ookawa Nanase 大川七瀬
[born: 2 May 1967; bloodtype: A]

Mokona Apapa もこなあぱぱ
[born: 16 Jun 1968, Oosaka-metropolis, Kyouto; bloodtype: A]

Nekoi Mick 猫井みっく
[born: 21 Jan 1969, Oosaka-metropolis, Kyouto; bloodtype: O]

Igarashi Satsuki 五十嵐さつき
[born: 8 Feb 1969, Oosaka-metropolis, Kyouto; bloodtype: A]

CLAMP originally began in 1989 as a twelve-member dōjinshi circle, but by 1990, the circle had diminished from twelve to seven. Of the remaining seven, Tamayo Akiyama, Sei Nanao, and Leeza Sei left the group during the production of the RG Veda manga. Other former members of CLAMP also included Soushi Hishika, O-Kyon, Kazue Nakamori, Yuzuru Inoue and Shinya Ōmi. Currently, there are four members in the group.

In 2004, CLAMP's 15th anniversary as a mangaka group, the members changed their names from Nanase Ohkawa, Mokona Apapa, Mick Nekoi, and Satsuki Igarashi to Ageha Ohkawa, Mokona, Tsubaki Nekoi and Satsuki Igarashi (her name is pronounced the same, but written with different characters) respectively. The August 2004 issue of Newtype USA, a magazine specializing in events of the anime and manga subcultures, reported that the members of CLAMP simply wanted to try out new names. In a later interview with Ohkawa, it was revealed that initially Mokona wanted to drop her surname because it sounded too immature for her liking, while Nekoi disliked people commenting that her name was the same as Mick Jagger's. Ohkawa and Igarashi, wanting to go with the flow of Nekoi's and Mokona's name changes, changed their names as well.

In 2006, they made their first USA public debut at Anime Expo in Anaheim, California. They were well received at the convention, with 6,000 fans in attendance at their panel.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Challenge Review: The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong

Title: The Awakening
Series: Darkest Powers Trilogy #2
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Genre: Supernatural Fictions, Young Adult Fiction
Elements: Necromancers, Werewolves, Sorcerers, Witches, Ghosts, Demons, Zombies
Publisher: Harper Teen, Harper Collins
Format: Hardcover, 360 Pages
ISBN: 978-0-06-166276-8
Release Date: May 4, 2009
Source: Borrowed from Wentworth Library
Rating: 4.5/5

Tagline(s): ~NONE~

Summary: If you had met me a few weeks ago, you probably would have described me as an average teenage girl--someone normal. Now my life has changed forever and I'm as far away from normal as it gets. A living science experiment--not only can I see ghosts, but I was genetically altered by a sinister organization called the Edison Group. What does that mean? For starters, I'm a teenage necromancer whose powers are out of control: I raise the dead without even trying. Trust me, that is not a power you want to have. Ever.

Not I'm running for my life with three of my supernatural friends--a charming sorcerer, a cynical werewolf, and a disgruntled witch--and we have to find someone who can help us before the Edison Group finds us first. Or die trying.


Betrayed by her Aunt Lauren, Chloe and Rae are now locked up in some kind of lab, unable to escape and meet up with Simon and Derek. Worse yet, Dr. Davidoff and Mrs. Enright want Chloe to help them capture Simon and Derek, using  Simon's diabetes as a way to persuade her to give up their location before Simon dies. Unwilling to trap her friends, Chloe gives them false rendezvous points until she can come up with a plan of escape.

When trying to summon Liz, Chloe accidentally summoned Brady instead, who was then taken over by a demon who has been trapped by the Edison Group. The demon tells Chloe of the experiment that she and her friends are a part of. The Genesis II Project is genetic modification meant to suppress a supernatural's power, but not all subjects were successful. Unsuccessful subject's powers are uncontrollable and based on their emotions. Those who cannot be rehabilitated are "terminated." Simon was a success, Rae and Tori are in progress, but Chloe and Derek are left with "???" next to their names.

With an uncertain future and a half million dollar reward out for Chloe's safe return, Chloe's new normal is a dangerous and deadly life on the run, but there is no going back now.

Chloe has really grown since The Summoning. She's stronger, more courageous, and taking a more active part in their escape. She thinks logically and thinks of each scenario that could happen. She's still a little rash sometimes, especially when Derek annoys her. Chloe is even trying to be friends with Tori and trying to make her feel like part of the group, instead of a tag-a-long.

The triangle between Simon, Chloe, and Derek heats up in this book. Simon and Chloe start spending more time together when they begin a comic chronicling the events of their journey. But Chloe and Derek's connection grows as Chloe sits with Derek as he tries to go through his change again. It always seems like Derek and Chloe are being pushed together as their journey continues. I like Simon, but I always wanted Derek and Chloe to end up together. Even though they fight and bicker a lot, they also have a lot in common, and they both have uncertain futures.

I'm glad that I've started reading Kelley Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld series, otherwise I never would have noticed the references made to the series in The Awakening. One reference made is about how Tori's mother heard about another witch (Eve) bearing the child (Savannah) of a sorcerer (Kristof) and had to do the same. And mix-blood spellcasters are dangerous. And another reference I noticed was when Derek was anxious about being in Syracuse where the Pack lives. He definitely wouldn't want to run into Clay, Elena, and Jeremy. But Derek and Chloe did run into a couple werewolves who remarked that Derek looked like a Cain, in reference to Zachary Cain who was one of the werewolves who went against the Pack in the first book of the Women of the Otherworld series, Bitten.

When I read a series that is either a side story or spin-off of another series, I like seeing the characters of the main series, like with Women of the Otherworld and the Darkest Powers. It only makes sense since these two series take place in the same world.

I mentioned in my review for The Summoning that I was going to pay closer attention to Chloe's necklace. When I re-read The Summoning, I noticed that her ruby necklace was changing color. In the beginning of The Awakening, it was a purplish color, but by the end her necklace is almost blue. I really want to know what the deal is with the necklace. It must be important since focus is being put on how it's changing color.

The Darkest Powers Trilogy comes to a close with the next and final book, The Reckoning. As the title suggests, there's going to be a reckoning and not everyone will make it out alive. I can't wait to see what I notice when I re-read the conclusion to this amazing series that I didn't the first time through.

Book Trailer:

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.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Review: Never Eighteen by Megan Bostic

Title: Never Eighteen
Author: Megan Bostic
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: Graphia Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing
Format: Paperback, 200 Pages
ISBN: 978-0-547-55076-3
Release Date: January 17, 2012
Source: Borrowed from Wentworth Library
Rating:  5/5

Tagline(s): ~NONE~

Summary: I had the dream again. The one where I'm running. I don't know what from or where to, but I'm scared, terrified really.

Austin Parker is never going to see his eighteenth birthday. He probably won't even see the end of the year. But in the short time he has left, there's one thing he can do: He can try to help the people he loves live--even though he never will.

It's probably hopeless.

But he has to try.


Never Eighteen is about life and what it really means to live it to the fullest; and it's about death and how to accept it with honor and dignity. Austin Parker only has a short time left to live before the cancer eventually takes over. Seeing the world through new eyes, Austin notices how the people he loves most are barely living their lives. With his life coming to an end, Austin wishes for his loved ones not to waste the life they have that he'll never get to experience himself. Whether touched by addiction, loss, or violence, Austin with Kaylee, his best friend and love of his life, sets out on a journey to change the lives around him and show what it means to really live life while facing death himself.

To use a few words from Never Eighteen, this book has "so much feeling, so much meaning, it cries out for attention." Forgiveness, memories, love: these are all the things Austin searches out for on his weekend journey, for himself and those who have left their mark on his life. He saw that they were barely living, given up in a sense; whether they were touched my addiction, loss, or violence; and he wanted to do something to help.

"I want them to feel peace, joy, and happiness. I want for them what I no longer have myself. Life."

Austin is so selfless in the face of his death. He wants his loved ones to LIVE life to the fullest. He wants them to reach out, to move on, to forgive, and to HOPE. Austin leaves his mark on the lives of those he visited on his journey just as much as they left their mark on his life. And when death finally comes, Austin faces it with honor and dignity to the very end.

Never Eighteen is thought provoking and bittersweet. You will laugh at times and definitely cry snot-tears of sadness. The message of this book, at its very core, is to LIVE. Because there are those who, like Austin, will never be eighteen, never get married, never have children, never really LIVE. So laugh, love, cry, and just live life to the fullest, because there are those who never will. And never forget those who left their mark on your life. Austin has definitely left his mark on my life and he will never be forgotten.

Book Trailer:

About this Author:

Megan (that's with a long "e") Bostic is a mere human trying to find her place in the universe and an all-around great girl. Despite the rain and gray (she's truly solar powered) making her extremely angsty, she's lived in the Pacific Northwest her whole life, and still does, with her two crazy beautiful girls.

She thrives on the challenges faced in her journey to publication and has documented it vlog style. You can find her Chronicles of an Aspiring Writer on Youtube.

Her writing process she lovingly calls "organized chaos". She writes on her laptop at the kitchen table next to the sliding glass door so she can absorb as much sun as she can. The "organized" part of the process mostly takes place in her head and involves the beginning and the end of her work in progress. The "chaos" part is pretty much how she sits down and writes with reckless abandon, not stopping to fix, revise, edit, or even breathe until she's done.

When not writing, Megan is usually chauffeuring her teenage daughters and their friends, watching her girls play soccer, watching movies and TV shows on Netflix, hanging out with friends, spending time at the ocean, or walking the Narrows Bridge.

Megan loves the color black, monkeys, and is a notorious Facebook addict. She's a proud member of The Class of 2K12 and the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. You can also find her on Twitter, Goodreads, Jacketflap, and anywhere else cool authors hang out.

(isn't it awkward when people talk about themselves in third person?)


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Tour Review: Caterpillar by Kate Oliver

Title: Caterpillar
Series: The Metamorphosis Trilogy #1
Author: Kate Oliver
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Supernatural Fiction, Science Fiction
Elements: Aliens 
Publisher: MAB Books
Format: Kindle Edition
ISBN: 978-1-879571-00-6
Release Date: April 10, 2012
Source: Tour Host {YABound Book Tours}

Tagline(s): ~NONE~

Summary: In a small college town in northern California, a lonely young man is working himself to the bone to solve a sixty-year-old problem ... a stranger with a will of iron and eyes the color of ice is searching for someone he can't identify ... and a girl who loves plants is about to grow roots of her own.

When Cara Gallagher's parents are transferred overseas again, she's off to spend her senior year of high school living with her sister, a graduate student at the famed McNair University. Cara, a girl with a passion for science and an indifference to people, hopes this move will be her first step in claiming the independence she craves. Cara has her future planned down to the letter: her college, her major, her career.

Then she saves Will Mallory's life, and both of their futures are completely rewritten.

The last years of Will's life have been spent shifting from one identity to the next, dodging the FBI, and trying desperately to find a way home. But Will's home is forty-four light years away, and to reach it he'll have to outwit the man who's hunting him--and leave behind the only love he's ever known.



About this Author:

Having been everything from a professional student, to a professional parent, to a professional statistical programmer, I now split my time between writing and wrangling my children just outside of Washington, D.C.

Tour Hosted by YA Bound Book Tours

#WWReadathon: Wicked Wildfire Read-A-Thon Goals

Wicked Wildfire Read-A-Thon
The Wicked Wildfire Read-A-Thon is hosted by Rebecca @ Kindle Fever and April @ My Shelf Confessions!

I have quite a few book that I need to read for tours and reading challenges, so I'll be working on reading and finishing those during this read-a-thon.
Books To Read:
 Manga To Read:
To see all updates, check out the read-a-thon page at the top of the blog or CLICK HERE


I'm only going to post the reviews I do for any of my goal book on Zodiac Book Reviews. All other posts (challenges, etc) will be posted as a link on the readathon page in the updates and on my main blog, A Bibliophile's Thoughts on Books.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Giveaway Winner: Redheads Are Soulless

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Congratulations to Stephanie V. for winning a copy of Redheads are Soulless!
Be sure to contact me at with your email and I'll pass it along to the tour host!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Tour Review: Skin Deep by Shanna Gekko (Promo)

Title: Skin Deep
Series: A Bandit Creek Paranormal Erotic Romance
Author: Shanna Gekko
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Supernatural Fiction
Elements: Shapeshifters, Warlocks, Dryads/Nymphs 
Publisher: Bandit Creek Books
Format: PDF, 72 Pages
Release Date: December 27, 2011
Source: Tour Host {Bewitching Book Tours}
Rating: 4/5

Tagline(s): ~NONE~

Summary: Kai knows trouble has found him when a fiery pint-sized female shows up at his door, bringing news of gruesome animal sacrifices in the woods around Bandit Creek. She also brings a teasing scent that draws his attention and sends every protective instinct screaming for him to protect his mate.

Hazel is determined to stop the monster she’s been following for miles and she won’t let anything distract her from her mission. She teams up with Kai, but vows to keep a firm “no-touch” policy where the handsome Native is concerned. Her resolve doesn’t last long as the two are drawn together like lodestones, their every
touch igniting a passion neither has faced before.

Only, the trail of ritual sacrifices points to a greater threat than either first realized. They are about to face Kai’s enemy ancestor, a yee naaldlooshii—skinwalker—who will stop at nothing to destroy everything around him.


Kai Hunter, a veterinarian in Bandit Creek, Montana, goes about his regular routine--a morning run through the woods around his house and stopping for breakfast and a chat with Grandfather on the way to his office. But Grandfather leaves Kai with an ominous omen and minutes later Kai's brother, Dan, a forest ranger, comes to the vet office with news of skinned animal corpses being found in the woods. Only predators--ermine, coyote, and wolves--no prey animals have been found, always moving up in size, south of the mines, stinking of evil.

But the forest animals aren't the only ones in danger--Kai is a natural-born skinwalker who takes the form of a wolf--and Dan warns him to be careful on his morning runs and to check his rescue animals to make sure they are safe. Kai takes his brother's warning to heart and returns home to check on his animals, but what he finds there he never expected. Sitting outside his animal pens is a young woman with an alluring scent of nuts and sunlight who sets Kai's wolf howling--and she's more than a little angry.

Hazel Silva has been following the tortured screams of forest animals all the way up to the forests of Bandit Creek. During her search for the one responsible, Hazel come upon some animals penned behind a house in the woods. Infuriated, she waits for the owner to return home. She had not expected the gorgeous man who walks out the back door of the house. Their argument heats up and Hazel, being a tree nymph, uses her earth powers to influence the man. As the man shakes her off and proceeds to check on his RESCUED animals, Hazel, having nowhere else to go, waits for him to finish. When the man offers her his guest room, they accidentally touch and all conscious thought leaves them both as passion consumes them. Once they get a hold on themselves, Hazel knows that she needs to institute a "no-touch" policy, but things don't always go as planned.

Amid danger and death, Kai and Hazel find a passion and bond not easily broken. And when the yee naaldlooshii sets his eyes on Hazel, that very mate bond is what could ultimately save her life.

In Skin Deep, Shanna Gekko uses the Native American skinwalker legend that has risen in popularity recently. There are the natural-born skinwalkers, or shapeshifters, like Kai who prefers the wolf and his brother, Dan, who prefers the hawk. But then there is the yee naaldlooshii who does ritual sacrifice to gain the power and skin of the animal sacrificed. This unnatural-born skinwalker basically tortures the animal for it's skin. Shanna also uses tree spirits--dryads and nymphs. They ARE the forest and they bear witness to the pain and torture this evil skinwalker is causing.

Not only did I enjoy reading about these supernatural creatures, I also like the romance between Kai and Hazel. I have always like reading about the bonds created by a mating. It is a bond so strong that it can save or destroy those bound by it. It's the ultimate connection one could have with the person they love.

Bandit Creek is a very interesting town, with enigmatic people and mysterious events. I definitely can't wait to read more about this town, its people, and the mysteries that abound there.

About this Author: 

Shanna Gekko currently juggles writing with herding kids and pets, and a full-time job, among other commitments, and she truly doesn’t know how she does it. While she will read practically anything, her writing has strayed to the fantastic since she was in Grade 7. You can read some of her musings at 

 Promotion Hosted by Bewitching Book Tours

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tour Review: Redheads are Soulless by Heather M. White (Giveaway)

Title: Redheads Are Soulless
Series: Red Trilogy #1
Author: Heather M. White
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Supernatural Fiction
Elements: Psychic Abilities, Immortals
Publisher: Heather M. White
Format: Kindle Edition
ISBN: 9781475227611
Release Date: May 22, 2012
Source: Tour Host {SupaGurl Books}
Rating: 4.5/5

Tagline(s): ~NONE~

Summary: High school senior, Sofia Black, has had a very hard life. Since her father's death 7 years ago, she has had to look after her drug addicted, alcoholic mother. School isn't any better for her either. The other kids constantly tease, and ridicule her. All she wants is to get out of her small hometown in Alabama.

When new student, Jason, shows up, Sofia's world is turned upside down. She doesn't understand why he wants to befriend her so badly... And, just when she thinks she can trust him, trouble appears.

Jason's twin brother, Robbie, moves into town, and things go haywire. Sofia is now running for her life - and Jason is forced to share hidden secrets with her. She learns the truth about her father's death, and finds out that she may not be as "human" as she once thought. She struggles to accept her fate, while fighting for her life.


Throughout history redheads have either been cursed or worshiped, reviled or revered. Some legends say that redheads are soulless, where others say that they have special powers. Sofia Black definitely has special powers, but is she soulless? 

Sofia Black is just trying to get through her senior year so that she can leave the horribleness that is her life behind. Her mother is an alcoholic and addict. Her classmates are relentless in their teasing. And her teachers treat her with pity. But everything changes one day when Jason Morgan walks into the room. He takes an immediate interest in Sofia and she can't figure out why he's being so persistent. 

Jason's persistence pays off though and Sofia's walls come crumbling down. He's sweet, romantic, and most of all, understanding. But just as everything seems to be falling into place, Robbie, Jason's twin brother, moves to town. Sofia's world is once again turned upside down. Now she's wondering which brother is the good one, and which wants her dead. 

Living in a small town isn't easy when your mother is an alcoholic and everyone knows it. But Sofia doesn't let all the whispers and murmurs drag her down. Sure, it's hurtful, but it also makes her more determined to leave it all behind when she goes off to college. I loved how strong Sofia was in such a crappy situation. And even when she can't take anymore, breaks down for a good cry, she picks herself back up and moves on. 

Then there's the steamy love triangle between Sofia, Jason, and Robbie. Who doesn't like twin brothers vying for their attention? But there's more than a hint of danger when one of them wants Sofia dead. Which one that is, Robbie or Jason, you won't find out until the end of the book, but it's totally unexpected and you get to enjoy some really steamy-hot make out sessions. I'll leave it up to your imagination as to who those sessions are with. ;) 

Though there isn't much information on the different types of immortals given except for the color of their hair, I thought that it was an interesting and new concept. Roggeras are all redheads, Quartheras all have black hair, and then there's the Hortribue, which we're not really given any info on except that they are extremely dangerous and to be avoided at all costs. They all have supernatural abilities, and those abilities can be dangerous, especially when used the wrong way. Sofia is a Rogerra, Jason and Robbie are Quartheras, and Adrianne (the enemy) is a Hortribue. Supposedly they are the last of their kinds after the war that took place. I hope that we are given more information about these immortals in future books.

I thought that some things could have used some refining, but I really loved this story and its characters. I can't wait to read about what happens next!

About this Author:

Hi! I am Heather M. White, the author of the Destiny Saga, the Vampire Hunter Series and the upcoming novel Redheads are Soulless! It's so nice to meet you!

I am a returning resident to Arkansas. I just migrated south from Saint Louis, MO with my husband. We have been married a year. :)

I love to write. I have been writing since I was a kid - literally. I decided in the 2nd grade I would write a book. I wrote lots of stories and poems... And did I mention I wrote over 200 songs? (Yeah, I'm a musician too). So I wrote my very first novel at the ripe age of 14... My Mom still has it :-/. Ok, so maybe it wasn't my best work, but I had a LOT of fun writing it!

I started college at the young age of 17. (I graduated high school at 16). And my English papers were always a hit in my classroom. Somebody told me "you should make that story into a book". I pushed it to the back of my mind... Until recently.

I LOVE TO READ. Besides writing it is my absolute favorite thing to do.

I also love the TV series: Supernatural and Vampire Diaries... More like obsessed. I have seen every episode of Supernatural EVER. And I kind of have an obsession with Damon... And I'm watching American Idol this season because my friend Lauren Gray is on there! GO LAUREN!

I play music. I have played the guitar for 10 years, bass for 8 and drums for about 9. I use to play guitar in a band. We were actually good. But my bass player got pregnant and my drummer got engaged. And I decided music wasn't my "main" passion anymore.

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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Challenge Review: Industrial Magic by Kelley Armstrong

Title: Industrial Magic
Series: Women of the Otherworld #4
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Genre: Supernatural Fictions, Urban Fantasy Fiction
Elements: Shamans, Demons, Witches, Sorcerers, Necromancers, Druids, Deities, Ghosts, Werewolves, Vampires, Clairvoyants
Publisher: Bantam Books, Random House Inc.
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 528 Pages
ISBN: 978-0-553-58707-4  
Release Date: October 26, 2004
Source: Borrowed from Wentworth Library
Rating: 4/5

Tagline(s): ~NONE~

Summary: In the aftermath of her mother's murder, Paige broke with the elite, ultraconservative American Coven of Witches. Now her goal is to start a new Coven for a new generation. But while Paige pitches her vision to uptight thirty-something witches in business suits, a more urgent matter commands her attention.

Something is murdering the teenage offspring of the underworld's most influential Cabals--a circle of families that makes the mob look like amateurs. And none is more powerful than the Cortez Cabal, a faction Paige is intimately acquainted with. Lucas Cortez, the rebel son and unwilling heir, is none other than her boyfriend. But love isn't blind, and Paige has her eyes wide open as she is drawn into a hunt for an unnatural-born killer. Pitted against shamans, demons, and goons, Paige finds herself in a battle chilling enough to make a wild young woman grow up in a hurry. If she gets the chance.


It has been four months since the fiasco with Kristof Nast and the fight for custody of Savannah, but Paige Winterbourne's life is anything but back to normal. With her business, private life, and reputation up in smoke, she had to relocate to Portland with her boyfriend, Lucas Cortez, and her ward, Savannah Levine; a place where no one knows her. Though life has moved on, Paige still feels like something is missing, and with each new failed attempt to start a new Coven, that emptiness grows bigger.

But when Lucas's father, Benicio, CEO of the Cortez Cabal, approaches Paige with an incident where a young witch was attacked and is now in a coma, she asks to discuss it with Lucas first. Lucas, knowing that Paige is worried about the girl, suggest checking up on her and seeing if there is anything they can do to help her. What starts as a simple inquiry quickly becomes a full-blown investigation when this attack is linked to a series of murders on teenagers of Cabal employees and families. Paige and Lucas know they are in it for the long run when the killer begins targeting the teens of the immediate families of the Cabal CEOs, and the only teen Cabal child not under 24-hour guard is Paige's ward, Savannah.

To help keep Savannah safe and stop this killer from taking the lives of more children, Paige calls in help from werewolves Elena, Clay and Jeremy; celebrity necromancer Jaime Vegas; and vampires Cassandra and Aaron.

From the gang-ridden streets of Miami to the many levels of the afterlife and back, Paige and Lucas only have so much time to catch the killer before he takes another life.

Out of the two books narrated by Paige so far, Industrial Magic is my favorite. We are thrown into a world terrorized by a killer who is taking his revenge by killing the children of Cabal employees and families. We are introduced to new characters and reunited with old friends. There is just so much excitement, action, mystery, and tension. Industrial Magic is fast-paced and gripping, I couldn't put this book down.

With all the Cabals as the target of the killer; the Nasts, St. Clouds, Boyds, and Cortezes are all in Miami, reluctantly working semi-together, and that's an explosive situation ready to go BOOM! But I really liked one of the young Nasts--Sean doesn't seem like any of the other members of his family. I liked that he wants a relationship with Savannah and that he dislikes how his family is treating his younger half-sister. It shows that maybe there's a better future for the Cabals with heirs like Sean and Lucas.

A great tension breaker that I found completely hilarious was the fountains outside the vampire, John's house. When Paige and Cassandra go there for a visit, they find a couple of fountains on either side of his walkway of a male version of Botticelli's "Birth of Venus." Trust me when I say that their discovery and reaction to the fountains will definitely make you crack a smile, at the very least.


I'm not sure how I'll like the next book, Haunted, which is from Eve's POV, Savannah's mother. We met her in Industrial Magic, and I really liked her, so I hope I like her story as well.  

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.