Thursday, August 30, 2012

Review: Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews

Title: Magic Burns
Series: Kate Daniels #2 
Author: Ilona Andrews
Genre: Urban Fantasy Fiction, Supernatural Fiction 
Elements: Shapeshifters, Werewolves, Shamans, Witches, Druids, Vampires, Necromancers, Deities
Publisher: Ace Books, Penguin Group
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 260 Pages
ISBN: 978-0-441-01583-2
Release Date: April, 2008
Source: Borrowed from Wentworth Library
Rating: 4/5

Tagline(s): Down in Atlanta, tempers--and temperatures--are about to flare...

Summary: As a mercenary who cleans up after magic gone wrong, Kate Daniels has seen her share of occupational hazards. Normally, waves of paranormal energy ebb and flow across Atlanta like a tide. But once every seven years, a flare comes, a time when magic runs rampant. Now Kate’s going to have to deal with problems on a much bigger scale: a divine one.

When Kate sets out to retrieve a set of stolen maps for the Pack, Atlanta’s paramilitary clan of shapeshifters, she quickly realizes much more at stake. During a flare, Celtic god Morfran supersedes goddess Morrigan for witch coven worshippers of the Crow, and sea monsters from the Underworld enter via the Cauldron of Plenty. Kate starts looking for Pack maps and 13-year old Julia's witch mother, and ends up uniting shapeshifters and vampire zombie controllers to save the world.


Review: 

A magic flare is coming to Atlanta, causing the shift between technology and magic to be more unreliable and haphazard. It's also the perfect time for those of divine origin to manifest in our world. And that would be disastrous. 

When a magic imprint on a bolt fired during one of her Guild jobs registers as "human divine," Kate sets out to find the crossbowman. Then the Pack approaches Kate for help retrieving some survey maps that were stolen and just so happen to have been taken by the crossbowman she's looking for. These two events bring Kate to Julie, a young girl looking for her missing mother. But what Kate discovers along the way is even more disturbing.

Kate Daniels is moving up in the world in Magic Burns. After her role in the Red Stalker case, Kate has been given a new job as Liaison between the Order and the Guild. She's also been given Friend of the Pack status with the Atlanta shapeshifter Pack. On one hand, Kate has to deal with the knight-protector, Ted Moynohan and Curran, the Beast Lord, on the other. And she'd rather not have to deal with either. Ted is a human supremest who wants to eradicate anything with an ounce of magic. And Curran basically just gets Kate hot-and-bothered and that freaks her out.

"Not only will you sleep with me, but you will say 'please.' You will say 'please' before and 'thank you' after."

After that good luck kiss in Magic Bites, Curran has been slowly moving in on Kate. And, boy, is he subtle about it. Kate doesn't know what he's doing until others in the Pack tell her. For example: When Kate was severely injured in an attack by the reeves, she was brought to a Pack safehouse ans healed by Doolittle. Bowls of soup were brought in for her and Curran pick one up, looks at it with a look of contemplation, and hands it to Kate. Now for shapeshifters, food has a special significance. Food is how animals express love. The fact that Curran gave Kate food signifies his serious interest in her.

Curran's pursuit kind of freaks Kate out. Kate is someone who doesn't have close connections with anyone. The main reason for this is because of who she is. Her blood makes her a target and intimacy means sharing her magic. But another reason is because she's scared. Every person she's ever cared about has been killed or died because of her--first her mother, then her stepfather, and more recently her guardian, Greg. Kate avoids close relationships because she's being hunted and she's scared of losing anyone else she loves because of who she is the daughter of.

There is a perfect example of this in her relationship with Bran. Bran is one of Morrigan's warriors. Kate didn't know him for long, but she came to care about him and understand him. Her grief and sadness was so great that, as she cried over his body, small white star-shaped flowers with centers as black as his eyes bloomed all around them. But because of these flowers, Bran's heroics that day will always be remembered, just as he always wanted.

Kate grows emotionally in Magic Burns and the world of the series grows as well. New places are introduces to us in great detail and we learn more about what life is like for the people in those places. I'm excited to see how much more Kate ans the world of this series continue to grow in the next book.

About this Author:

Ilona Andrews is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing team. Ilona is a native-born Russian and Gordon is a former communications sergeant in the U.S. Army. Contrary to popular belief, Gordon was never an intelligence officer with a license to kill, and Ilona was never the mysterious Russian spy who seduced him. They met in college, in English Composition 101, where Ilona got a better grade. (Gordon is still sore about that.)

Gordon and Ilona currently reside in Oregon with their two children, three dogs and a cat. They have co-authored two series, the bestselling urban fantasy of Kate Daniels and romantic urban fantasy of The Edge.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Women of the Otherworld Mini-Challenge #7


THIS IS THE FINAL MINI-CHALLENGE FOR THIS MONTH!  

For this mini-challenge you must:

Go to the last page you've read and create phrases with the last word of each line. You can use punctuations that follow the words you use. YOU MUST USE ALL THE WORDS AND THEY MUST BE IN ORDER. Don't worry if the phrases make no sense at all, I just thought it would be fun to see what we come up with!
Don't forget to include the page number, as well as the book cover and synopsis!


*IMPORTANT*: If you decide to complete more than 1 of these mini-challenges this month, the page must be different than the last one you used!

You have until Saturday, September 1st at Midnight EST to complete this challenge.


BROKEN BY KELLEY ARMSTRONG

When half-demon Xavier calls in the favour Elena owes him, it seems easy enough, steal Jack the Ripper’s ‘From Hell’ letter away from a Toronto collector who had himself stolen it from the Ripper evidence boxes. But nothing in the supernatural world is ever as simple as it seems. Elena accidentally triggers a spell placed on the letter, and opens a dimensional portal into Victorian London, releasing zombies, disease, and maybe the notorious serial killer himself.

Page 358:

Live life. Cab began discussing target hanging us, and this further danger--the us. Avoid zombies, how manual. Where closed access more room. Basketball the much we quickly. Property on court.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

#FrightFall: FrightFall Read-A-Thon {Sign Up}

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

It's here! The official sign up for the FrightFall Read-a-Thon! A week long fest of scary reading (well, at least one scary book anyway). All you have to do to participate is read at least one horror/scary book. For the faint-hearted among you, it can be a spooky mystery, a scary thriller, or something classically gothic.

Our twitter hashtag is #FrightFall.

 
P.S. If you have any suggestions for books I should read during this read-a-thon, please let me know in the comments. I would prefer them to be somewhat new releases, but I'll take older suggestions too.

Tour Review: Madly by M. Leighton (Giveaway)

Title: Madly
Series: Madly #1
Author: M. Leighton
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Supernatural Fiction
Elements: Mermaids
Publisher: M. Leighton
Format: PDF, 38 Pages
ASIN: B0064P9O34
Release Date: June 2011
Source: Author {M. Leighton}
Rating: 4/5

Tagline(s): Madly is your average nearly-eighteen year old girl—for a princess, that is.

Summary: Madly James is thoroughly enjoying her internship in the small town of Slumber when the unthinkable happens—there’s a prison break in Atlas, the magically-protected home of Madly’s race. A traitor has set free eight Lore, the spirits of what humans know as fairy tales, and they are making their way to Slumber to awaken their descendants.


In order to save her home, the lives of her family, and all of humanity, Madly must learn to wield her exceptional powers and recapture the Lore before it’s too late and all is lost. But Madly’s only help are her two best friends and the Sentinel, Jackson Hamilton, that threatens both her heart and her destiny. Madly has loved Jackson as long as she can remember, but he is the one thing even a princess can’t have. Can she resist love to become the queen she was fated to be? Or can she find a way to have both?

This novelette introduces you to Madly and prepares you for the quest of a lifetime.


Review: 

Madly, the first book in the Madly series, introduces us to the key characters--Madly, Jersey, Aidan, and Jackson--and the challenges they will face. 

Madly is just going about her day at Veritas Academy as usual. That is until the bracelet charm she wears sends a painful jolt throughout her body. When her handler in the town of Slumber is found dead, Madly fears the worst has happened. The only beings able to kill the Mer are the Lore, spiritual creations of Lucifer and Proserpine. Her natural home of Atlas is under lock down and her family held captive by eight escaped Lore. The fact that the only key not in the possession of a Mer was stolen to release the Lore implies that there is a traitor among the Mer and that that traitor may be royal. Now Madly is their only hope of capturing the released Lore and rescuing her family, before it's too late. 

I thought Madly was a great introduction to this series. Madly's best friends are really likeable: Jersey has a mischievous side and Aidan is kind and sincere. Then there is the love interest: Jackson is absolutely swoon-worthy! There are some pretty steamy scenes just in this short novella. Madly is put into a pretty serious position out of the blue, and though she was overwhelmed at first, she quickly recovers and get to work. She's going to have some tough decisions ahead of her.

I was really intrigued by the combination of mermaids and fairytales. I haven't seen that done before and I can't wait to see how it will work out. This first book, though just a short introduction, draws readers in and leaves them wanting the next book to continue the adventure.

About this Author:

I was born and raised in the United States, and I’ve lived in several of the fabulous fifty. Though I currently live in the deep South, I spent much of my childhood up North and hope to return there one day. A few other things about me: I believe that sometimes you have to look really, REALLY hard to find the good in people, but it's there. I believe that I'm shrinking (I swear five years ago I was two inches taller). I believe my husband is quite possibly one of the most amazing men in the entire world (I can't be sure because I haven't met all of them). I believe coffee and chocolate, when combined, could be the basis for world peace. I believe that Jesus rocks and communism doesn’t. I believe that white makes me look fat and black collects lint. I believe summer's too hot, winter's too cold and fall was made for football. I like dogs better than cats and the first movie in a trilogy is invariably the best. But most of all, I believe that love conquers all.

Social Media links:
Twitter: @MLeightonBooks

Links to find/buy book:




a Rafflecopter giveaway
PART OF....

Friday, August 24, 2012

Tour Review: Witch Way to Turn by Karen Y. Bynum (Giveaway)

Title: Witch Way to Turn
Series: Witch Way #1
Author: Karen Y. Bynum
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Supernatural Fiction
Elements: Vampires
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Format:
ISBN: 9781616503994
Release Date: August 6, 2012
Source: Tour Host {Bewitching Book Tours}
Rating: 

Tagline(s): Can you give one guy your heart and another your soul?

Summary: The last thing eighteen-year-old Breena Cross needs in her life is more complications. It’s all she can do to balance studying, working, trying to keep her foster-sister safe and drooling over the new guy at work. But things go from complicated to crazy when a fit of rage ignites the dark magic inside her and she finds herself fending off the supernatural underworld.

Myles, Breena’s drool-worthy coworker and vampire convict, is carrying a load of secrets--one of which is that he’s fang-over-lip in love with Breena and in danger of violating the terms of his sentence.

Orin is a soul-hungry assassin sent to kill Breena. However, he takes one look into her eyes and sees his own lost humanity. For once thinking of someone other than himself, he chooses not to end her life, even though it means risking his own.

Despite a convict and an assassin fighting over her, all Breena wants is custody of her sister. But to do this, she will need help from both Myles and Orin. And if Breena doesn’t learn to control the darkness within, she could lose her sister…forever.

WARNING: Contains strong language and some graphic content.


Review:

REVIEW WILL BE POSTED LATE. SORRY FOR THE INCONVENIENCE.

Book Trailer:




EXCERPT:

“You Breena Cross?” The white guy closed the distance between them.

“Who’s askin’?” she shot back.

“The witch has attitude.” The black guy moved closer.

“Hey, who you calling a witch, ass?” She gripped her car key tight against her palm, ready to go for the eyes first.
It happened so fast, she didn’t even have a chance to use her makeshift weapon. The white guy pinned her against the car door and her keys fell to the ground.

“We got her,” the white guy said. His breath smelled like rotten hamburger.

She tried to push him off her, but he forced her even harder into the door handle.
“He’s gonna be real happy with us, Jay,” the white guy practically sang.

Breena wondered who “he” was, but only for a second, because the guy’s lips pulled back and she saw his teeth. They were flat but, somehow, they looked sharp.

Sharp? What the hell?

His gaze was a roaring fire of hunger. Predatory. It looked like he wanted to rip her throat out.

He made a low growl and pressed his lips to her neck. A sound like crazed bees buzzed in her ears, nearly deafening her. She didn’t know what to do. Her palms began to sweat and, for a moment, she thought the blue light would be her saving grace, but her hands only shook.

“Back away from her.” The man sounded calm enough, but his voice had an edge to it that meant business.

“You lookin’ to lose a fight?” Jay swiveled around.

“I never lose.”

He appeared out of nowhere, grabbed Breena’s attacker by the back of his shirt and threw him a good two or three parking spaces down the lot. The black guy froze in place.

Her savior’s ears sprang up through his hair into two sharp points.

The two guys got one good look at the pointed ears and hauled tail.

Breena didn’t blame them for running. She would’ve joined them if curiosity hadn’t got the better of her. Besides, it was hard to be too scared of someone who’d just saved your life and looked sexy as all get out. So what if he had weird-looking ears?
“What are you?” She fidgeted with the strap on her backpack, swallowing her nerves.

He smiled, revealing beautiful not-at-all-sharp teeth. “You can’t tell?” He sounded surprised.

“No.” She twisted her hair. “Should I be able to?”

“I’m not sure. I’ve had very little experience with halflings.”

“You didn’t answer my question.” Halflings?

“No. I didn’t.”

Annoyance chasing away the last remnants of fear, Breena let out a little huff. Was he trying to push her buttons?

He moved closer, his steps as graceful as flowing water. His eyes caught her attention immediately--a ghostly pale-green with a golden circle around each pupil. Standing by her side, he propped himself against the VW.

“Amazing,” he whispered, staring at her. His gaze was intense, and slightly bewildered, as if he were trying to solve a riddle.

“What is?”

“Your soul. It’s strong.”

Weird much? She shifted on her feet, eyeing the keys on the ground.

“Sorry. You must think I’m a crazy superhero-wannabe.” He shook his head and traced his finger along his open palm. “Your kind is so rare.” His eyes lit up as he smiled. He stooped to pick up the keys and handed them to her.

Breena snatched them and started backing away from the car as nonchalantly as possible.

About to run like hell? Me?

“You asked what I am,” he said.

She hesitated. Nodded.

“I’m a preternatural.”

About this Author:

Karen Y. Bynum is an author of young adult paranormal fantasy. Her novel Witch Way to Turn is published through Lyrical Press. She grew up in Hickory, North Carolina where mountains and magic surrounded her. Even as a child, she wrote her own faery tales and prattled incessantly to her imaginary friends.

After graduating from UNC Charlotte with a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Media Communications, she went on to become certified in culinary arts from The Art Institute of Charlotte. But it wasn’t until her aerospace engineer husband accepted a job in Virginia and they relocated that she knew what she wanted to be when she grew up.

With the support of family and friends, Karen embarked on a journey with the voices in her head. They wouldn’t stop talking (yes, she does answer back) and their stories took shape.

Karen currently lives in coastal Virginia and enjoys reading, tweeting, writing and spending time with her husband and their spoiled rotten Vizsla named Rusty.

Author Links:

http://www.karenbynum.com/
http://karenbynum.blogspot.com/
https://twitter.com/karenybynum
http://www.facebook.com/KarenYBynum
http://pinterest.com/karenybynum/
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5781888.Karen_Y_Bynum

GIVEAWAY: 
Tour Hosted by Bewitching Book Tours

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Tour Review: Nightmare by Chelsea M. Cameron

Title: Nightmare
Series: Noctalis Chronicles #2
Author: Chelsea M. Cameron
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Supernatural Fiction
Elements: Vampires
Publisher: CreateSpace
Format:
ISBN:
Release Date: April 14, 2012
Source: Tour Host {SupaGurl Book Tours}
Rating: 

Tagline(s): ~NONE~

Summary: Ava-Claire Sullivan's first mistake was becoming vampire Peter Mackintire's personal blood bank. Her second mistake was falling in love with him.

Now it's Ava's job to make sure he never loves her in return. A pact Peter made nearly a hundred years ago means loving someone will kill him. If she can figure out how to free him from his promise, it might kill her, make her immortal, or lead to the love she wants so badly.

But if she doesn't, at best, her heart will break…and at worst, Peter will die.

Review:

REVIEW WILL BE POSTED SOONER THAN LATER... SORRY FOR THE INCONVENIENCE.

About this Author:

Chelsea M. Cameron is a YA writer from Maine. Lover of things random and ridiculous, Jane Austen/Charlotte and Emily Bronte Fangirl, red velvet cake enthusiast, obsessive tea drinker, vegetarian, former cheerleader and world's worst video gamer. When not writing, she enjoys watching infomercials, singing in the car and tweeting. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Maine, Orono that she promptly abandoned to write about the people in her own head. More often than not, these people turn out to be just as weird as she is.

She has two books out now, Nocturnal and Nightmare, the first and second books in the Noctalis Chronicles about a girl with a dying mother who meets an immortal boy. The third book, Numb will be out this August, and the fourth in the winter. Her other book, Whisper, about a girl who is alive, a boy who isn't and the complications that go along with their relationship, released June 16 and is the first in a trilogy. Follow her on Twitter: @chel_c_cam, her blog, or on Facebook.

Author Links:

Blog: http://www.leftandwrite7.blogspot.com/
Twitter: @chel_c_cam
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Chelsea-M-Cameron-Official-Author-Page/304422529610919
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5752359.Chelsea_M_Cameron

Nocturnal Night!‏

Join us for Nocturnal Night on August 30th 8pm EST / 7pm CST for a LIVE Video chat with Author of Nocturnal and Nightmare Chelsea Cameron.

We will be chatting about everything from her books, the writing process, to Edward v/s Jacob *grins* There will be some giveaways going on too. Don't have a webcam? No worries you can still totally join in with text chatting. You will be able to see everyone else. Shy? Don't be we are all eager to meet you!! Join us for a night of Awesome.

http://nocturnalnight.eventbrite.com/



You can preregister at the above link. Which would be amazing or you can just show up...

On that night be sure to enter the chat with this link *Will also be up on SupaGurl Books www.supagurlbooks.blogspot.com*


http://shindig.com/event/nocturnal


 Tour Hosted by SupaGurl Book Tours

Tour Review: Nocturnal by Chelsea M. Cameron

Title: Nocturnal
Series: Noctalis Chronicles #1
Author: Chelsea M. Cameron
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Supernatural Fiction
Elements: Vampires
Publisher: CreateSpace
Format:
ISBN: 9781478174219
Release Date: February 11, 2012
Source: Tour Host {SupaGurl Book Tours}
Rating: 

Tagline(s): ~NONE~

Summary: Seventeen-year-old Ava-Claire Sullivan's mother is dying. Perhaps it's no surprise, then, that her greatest solace comes from someone who's already dead.

Peter Hart saves her one night in a graveyard from an attacker just as strange as he is, and now Ava can't stop thinking about him. She wants to see him again – even after he warns her he's dangerous, and she begins to realize what he is. Her best friends don't know anything about death, but Peter does, intimately. He's waiting for her the next night she comes to the cemetery, and the next...

But their growing bond comes up against a promise Peter made a long time ago, a promise that could destroy them both. Now Ava has to decide just what she's willing to give up to hold onto the one thing that could last forever.

Review:

REVIEW WILL BE POSTED SOONER THAN LATER... SORRY FOR THE INCONVENIENCE.

About this Author:

Chelsea M. Cameron is a YA writer from Maine. Lover of things random and ridiculous, Jane Austen/Charlotte and Emily Bronte Fangirl, red velvet cake enthusiast, obsessive tea drinker, vegetarian, former cheerleader and world's worst video gamer. When not writing, she enjoys watching infomercials, singing in the car and tweeting. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Maine, Orono that she promptly abandoned to write about the people in her own head. More often than not, these people turn out to be just as weird as she is.

She has two books out now, Nocturnal and Nightmare, the first and second books in the Noctalis Chronicles about a girl with a dying mother who meets an immortal boy. The third book, Numb will be out this August, and the fourth in the winter. Her other book, Whisper, about a girl who is alive, a boy who isn't and the complications that go along with their relationship, released June 16 and is the first in a trilogy. Follow her on Twitter: @chel_c_cam, her blog, or on Facebook.

Author Links:

Blog: http://www.leftandwrite7.blogspot.com/
Twitter: @chel_c_cam
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Chelsea-M-Cameron-Official-Author-Page/304422529610919
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5752359.Chelsea_M_Cameron

Nocturnal Night!‏

Join us for Nocturnal Night on August 30th 8pm EST / 7pm CST for a LIVE Video chat with Author of Nocturnal and Nightmare Chelsea Cameron.

We will be chatting about everything from her books, the writing process, to Edward v/s Jacob *grins* There will be some giveaways going on too. Don't have a webcam? No worries you can still totally join in with text chatting. You will be able to see everyone else. Shy? Don't be we are all eager to meet you!! Join us for a night of Awesome.

http://nocturnalnight.eventbrite.com/



You can preregister at the above link. Which would be amazing or you can just show up...

On that night be sure to enter the chat with this link *Will also be up on SupaGurl Books www.supagurlbooks.blogspot.com*




 Tour Hosted by SupaGurl Book Tours

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Women of the Otherworld Mini-Challenge #6


For this mini-challenge you must:

Go to the last page you've read and create phrases with the last word of each line. You can use punctuations that follow the words you use. YOU MUST USE ALL THE WORDS AND THEY MUST BE IN ORDER. Don't worry if the phrases make no sense at all, I just thought it would be fun to see what we come up with!
Don't forget to include the page number, as well as the book cover and synopsis!


*IMPORTANT*: If you decide to complete more than 1 of these mini-challenges this month, the page must be different than the last one you used!

You have until Saturday, August 25th at Midnight EST to complete this challenge.

BROKEN BY KELLEY ARMSTRONG

When half-demon Xavier calls in the favour Elena owes him, it seems easy enough, steal Jack the Ripper’s ‘From Hell’ letter away from a Toronto collector who had himself stolen it from the Ripper evidence boxes. But nothing in the supernatural world is ever as simple as it seems. Elena accidentally triggers a spell placed on the letter, and opens a dimensional portal into Victorian London, releasing zombies, disease, and maybe the notorious serial killer himself.

Page 264:

Idiot. Meeting a around answering. Even having wind. A hotel. Catch them. And there patrolling perimeter. He, he, us approached. Suppose interested if rude. "Is why?" Jeremy added. I...

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tour Review: Frozen Heart by Annabelle Blume (Guest Post+Giveaway)

Title: Frozen Heart
Author: Annabelle Blume
Genre: Dystopian Fiction, Science Fiction
Publisher: Inkspell Publishing
Format: PDF, 95 Pages
ISBN: 978-0-9851483-6-2
Release Date: August 7, 2012
Source: Tour Host {Bewitching Book Tours}
Rating: 

Tagline(s): A decade surviving on her own. Three days with the enemy. Can love conquer all?

Summary: Cressenda knows how to survive. With her sled dogs as her only companions, she’s spent the past ten years hiding in the snow covered wilderness from the oppressive regime of the Affinity. When a routine trip to civilization takes a turn for the worst, Cressenda is forced to take refuge with the enemy or lose her life to the frozen countryside.

But Beckett, a Guard of the Affinity, is more than a man in uniform. His desperate need to help Cressenda escape both the blizzard and the Affinity, makes her feelings for him all the more troubling. Will Beckett be true to his word and set Cressenda free? Will her heart let her leave after all they’ve shared?

Review: 

REVIEW WILL BE POSTED LATER TODAY. SORRY FOR THE INCONVENIENCE.

About this Author:

Annabelle is a Science Fiction and Urban Fantasy Romance author, that is, when she's not checking homework or begrudgingly cooking dinner. Wife, mother, and creator of alternate worlds, Annabelle has a penchant for that which is outside the norm.

Her Sociology degree did nothing to progress her writing skills, but has given her the ability to construct worlds that exist only in her head and translate them passionately to the page. The time spent studying individuals, interpersonal relationships, and particularly, women, within the constraints of our society led to Annabelle's unabashed ability to talk about sex as it fits into our modern lives.

She's also the author/personality of The Bombshell Mommy at Vitacost.com, where she expounds her knowledge of being a vixen clad in sweatpants.

Author Links:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AnnabelleBlumeAuthor
Twitter: @AnnabelleBlume
Web Site: www.AnnabelleBlume.com


Frozen Heart Excerpt: 

“You…you’re a...sympathizer.” It sounded dirty as the words passed between my lips. I wanted to snatch them back and swallow them down again. The sting of my insult was evident in the painful expression that settled on his face.

“It doesn’t matter what I am. You want to be free, don’t you? Then go.” His authoritative facade crumbled and the innocent hurt of a young boy dripped from his soul as he spoke. “You won’t get far enough if you don’t get out now.”

I placed my hand over his, unlatching his fingers one at a time from the tender inside of my bicep. My steps were measured and controlled as I backed away from the Guard. I neared the clear walkway of the Trade Path just as a shrill alarm sounded. Every transaction halted and everyone held their breath for a split second, merchants and traders alike. In the blink of an eye, the entire population of the Path turned to the entrance and moved hurriedly, as if they were trying to contain a generalized franticness.

“What is it? Where are they going?” I asked no one in particular.

“It’s a blizzard warning.”

I cursed. A blizzard. I’d never make it home now. Conditions would be impossible: no visibility, forty-foot snowdrifts, and gale-force winds. The boys and I would never survive. I stood, motionless, while bodies spun and twirled on the periphery of my consciousness. I was stuck in the Collective with nowhere to go and, worse, nowhere to hide.

“Come with me,” the masculine timbre commanded over my shoulder before lacing his fingers in mine. His gentle hold of my hand gave me comfort and lulled me into a hypnotic state. The Guard led me forward until I broke from my daze.

“Let me go!” I yanked my hand from his. “I have to get out of here. I have to beat the blizzard.”

Before I could break into a sprint, the Guard whirled me around. I teetered, stunned by the force. He moved in close and arched over me while he spoke. Not to intimidate but to cover me, protecting me from the eyes around us.

“You’ll never make it. Never. Come with me. You can wait out the storm at my cabin. When it’s over, you’ll be free to go.” His eyes searched my person for the answer to the question in his mind. Wherever it is you live.

I stared at him, doubtful and distrusting. I had only seconds to decide if this tall, hulking citizen of the Collective, official of the Affinity, could really, truly be a sympathizer.


Guest Post by Annabelle Blume:

Writing in the Age of Social Media

This is an amazing time to be an author. Don’t let anyone tell you any different. There are so many ways to get your book out into the world. Doors and windows and strange little trap doors in the floor of a room you had long since written off have opened up all over the place.

The once-was elusive world of publishing is now an open book (pun intended). Agents have websites allowing writers access to everything from their “wish” list for new books to acquire to their query guidelines and whether or not they’re open to submissions. There’re no longer only Big New York Publishing Houses, rather a wide breadth of independent publishers operating under a variety of different business models from traditional publishing to co-op style houses. Then, there’s self-publishing, which thanks to the rise e-books, is easier than ever before.

Additionally, you have so many ways to reach your audience these days. Reader-centric blogs (like this one), fan pages on Facebook, author profiles on Goodreads, and my favorite, Twitter, are new and exciting tools to promote your book and yourself. These social media outlets are public relations teams, marking departments, advertising arenas and on-the-job training courses all rolled into one. On Twitter, not only can you ask questions and learn the ins and outs of the industry from friendly and supportive authors, you can actually ask agents questions, get real-time information and news in the publishing world, and interact with other writers and readers.

I learned the majority of what I needed to about writing, editing, and submitting a manuscript for publication from diligent research on the internet. I asked questions on Twitter and frequented blogs by various authors, editors and agents, all who want to see authors succeed. These individuals share their priceless knowledge and experience when they are under no obligation to do any such thing. This is a gift, and it should be valued accordingly, for it is priceless.

While there are some small hitches in the publishing world and the ever present cyber arguments about whatever topic du jour is riling people up, overall, if scrutinized with a keen eye, it’s easy to discern between who’s speaking truths and who’s spouting falsehoods. Don’t pass up the opportunity to learn from those that have gone before you. The amount of time, effort, and heartache you’ll be saved on your road to publishing success is immeasurable.

If ever there was a right time to commit to the lifelong dream of publishing a book, this is it. This is your time. This is our time. Now go write something!


GIVEAWAY:
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Tour Hosted by Bewitching Book Tours

Monday, August 20, 2012

#SitDownWrite: Sit Down and Write Write-A-Thon Sign Up + Goals

The Sit Down and Write Write-A-Thon is hosted by The Story Inside Me!!

It's on! Are you ready?  Have you been working on a novel, short story, etc. that you want to finish?  Are you swamped with books to review after all these read-a-thons this summer?  Well, this is the week for you!

Sign in at the starting line below (please link to where you're updating...blog, Facebook, Goodreads...to a starting line post preferably).  Stop in on Twitter (or use Tweetchat, Tweetdeck, Bottlenose) and use the hashtag #sitdownwrite. Maybe we'll have some impromptu writing sprints.

My Goals:

I've have a huge pile of reviews that I just haven't had the time to get to writing, and the pile keeps getting bigger and bigger with each book I finish. So for this Write-A-Thon, I'm going to try to get as many of the reviews listed writtten!

Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews
Blue Exorcist Volume 7 by Kazue Kato
Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs
Broken by Kelley Armstrong
Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs
The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong
Immortal Hearts by Ellen Schreiber
Fever Moon: The Fear Dorcha by Karen Marie Moning and Al Rio
Taming the Wolf by Stephanie Nelson
Promises by Amber Garr
Frozen Heart by Annabelle Blume
Dire Needs by Stephanie Tyler
 
Once they are written, I'll cross them out, and once I have them posted I'll link the review to the title. All updates can be found on the Write-A-Thon page of my main blog A Bibliophile's Thoughts on Books. All reviews will be posted to Zodiac Book Reviews as well, seeing as this is a book review blog.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Review: Immortal Hearts by Ellen Schreiber


Title: Immortal Hearts
Series: Vampire Kisses #9
Author: Ellen Schreiber
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Supernatural Fiction
Elements: Vampires
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books, Harper Collins
Format: Hardcover, 261 Pages
ISBN: 978-0-06-207008-1
Release Date: May 15, 2012
Source: Borrowed from Wentworth Library
Rating: 4/5

Tagline(s): ~NONE~

Summary: Athena "Stormy" Sterling is coming to Dullsville, and Raven is both excited and panicked in anticipation of Alexander's little sister's visit. Alexander tells Raven that she and his sister have a lot in common, but can the mini-Raven be everything she hopes for? Alexander calls her Stormy for a reason.

Stormy's visit stirs up the perfect immortal whirlwind. Raven is forced to take a good look at what it would really mean to be a vampire in the Sterling family, aside from some of the things she already loves, like shunning the sun and sleeping in a coffin with Alexander. When Raven compares her life with Stormy's, she can see that it's not all starry skies and black roses. But Raven knows she's always wanted to be a vampire.

Alexander is as romantic and dreamy as ever, and though he keeps showing Raven how much he loves her, will she ultimately be able to convince him that it's the right thing to turn her?

This final chapter of Vampire Kisses' nocturnal romance will keep all mortal and immortal hearts racing.


Review: 

Immortal Hearts brings us the conclusion of Raven and Alexander's story. With the arrival of Alexander's little sister, Stormy, Raven gets a better look at the life of a Sterling vampire. For Stormy, life as a vampire has been lonely and secluded. So Raven knows that being a vampire isn't all good, but she also knows that she wants to be with Alexander for eternity. The only things she questions is whether Alexander wants to change her and if their futures are going in the same place.

I have loved this series since book one, but as the series went along, I just became more and more frustrated. Raven's nagging about being turned and Alexander's reluctance and indecision just started to irritate me. It's sad to see the series end, but it's also a relief to have a solution.

What saved this book for me was Stormy. I absolutely loved her! She was just so adorable, I don't know how anyone could not like her. She loves her brother very much and that trait gave her a sweetness that none of the other female vampires have in this series. She's just a young girl who wants to hangout with her friends and not be kept in seclusion by herself. I would love to be Stormy's friend!

The series wouldn't be complete without one final attempt by Jagger and Luna to split Raven and Alexander up--although it wasn't as grand as all the other attempts. I also thought that the happily ever after, with everyone in attendance, was too happy. I mean, Jagger and Luna just tried to break them up, but now they are all smiles? But for a series as unbelievable, outrageous, and totally hilarious, it was the perfect way to end the series. Almost like how a play ends with the cast gathered together to celebrate. And then the curtain falls and it's THE END.

About this Author:

New York bestselling author, Ellen Schreiber wrote her first novel after reading a young adult novel on a plane ride to Los Angeles. First published in Europe, her books were then published by HarperCollins.

Schreiber has been busy writing ever since—the Vampire Kisses series, Blood Relatives manga, Teenage Mermaid, and Comedy Girl.







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GNA Review: Fever Moon: The Fear Dorcha by Karen Marie Moning and Al Rio

Title: Fever Moon: The Fear Dorcha
Series: Fever
Author: Karen Marie Moning
Artist(s): Al Rio, Cliff Richards
Genre: Graphic Novels
Elements: Fae, Shapeshifters
Publisher: Del Rey Books, Random House Inc.
Format: Hardcover, 184 Pages
ISBN: 978-0-345-52548-2
Release Date: July 10, 2012
Source: Borrowed from Wentworth Library
Rating: 5/5

Tagline(s): ~NONE~

Summary: Dublin is a war zone. The walls between humans and Fae are down. A third of the world's population is dead and chaos reigns. Imprisoned more than half a million years ago, the Unseelie are free and each one Mac meets is worse than the last. Human weapons don't stand a chance against them.

With a blood moon hanging low over the city, something dark and sinister begins to hunt the streets of Temple Bar, choosing its victims by targeting those closest to Mac. Armed only with the Spear of Destiny and Jericho Barrons, she must face her most terrifying enemy yet.

In this all-new Mac & Barrons story by #1 New York Times bestseller Karen Marie Moning, we meet the most ancient and deadly Unseelie ever created, the Fear Dorcha. For eons, he's traveled across worlds with the Unseelie King, leaving behind him a path of mutilation and destruction. Now he's hunting Dublin, and no one Mac loves is safe.

Review:

I love when books from my favorite series are adapted into graphic novels, but I'm also wary because the story can end up too watered down. That is not a problem in Fever Moon. Fever Moon runs parallel to the main story in Shadowfever, as evidenced by some memorable scenes and quotes, but it's more of an off-shoot story depicting what happens after Mac meets the Fear Dorcha at Chester's and the Dreamy-Eyed Guy chases him away. So basically this is the story of the Fear Dorcha's revenge against Mac, the one who got away, by targeting those close to her.

So I was not disappointed in the story at all. I'm also glad that they included the scenes from Shadowfever, so we know exactly when these Fear Dorcha scenes happen in the Shadowfever storyline.

Now the artwork I thought was absolutely amazing. I don't think they could have chosen a better artist than Al Rio for Fever Moon. His artwork really brings out the feel of AWC Dublin. Mac looks just awesome (although I do think she's a bit too sexy-looking, if that's possible). I was a little disappointed with how Barrons was depicted. To be honest, I don't think he looks hot enough. He looks more like a thug to me. In regard to all the men in Fever Moon, they look too square and bulky--sure they are muscular, but not BOOM!! muscular. Maybe I'm just too picky when it comes to artwork depictions of my favorite characters, though.

There are some really graphic (no pun intended) scenes that should be watched out for. Especially the scene depicting Mac's rape by the Unseelie Princes that turned her pri-ya. So I definitely think reader discretion should be used when deciding whether to read Fever Moon or not.

With all that said, Fever Moon is probably one of the best adaptations for a novel series that I've read so far. I hope that Karen Marie Moning plans on more graphic novels in the Fever series in the future.

About this Author:

Karen Marie Moning (rhymes with 'awning') is the # 1 New York Times bestselling author of 12 novels, including the Rita-award winning Highlander novels and the internationally bestselling urban fantasy Fever series. Her books have been published in 21 languages, and her events draw fans from all over the world.

She divides her time between the mountains of Georgia and the beaches of Florida. 


Visit the official author's website.










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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Giveaway Winner: Bind Me


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congratulations to Michelle M. for winning a copy of Bind Me!

Be sure to contact me at bibliophilesthoughtsonbooks@hotmail.com with your email and I'll pass it along to the tour host!

Tour Review: The More I See by Lisa Mondello

Title: The More I See
Series: Texas Hearts #3
Author: Lisa Mondello
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Romance Fiction
Publisher: Lisa Mondello
Format: 
ISBN: 9781476431666
Release Date: April 19, 2012
Source: Tour Host {Bewitching Book Tours}
Rating: 

Tagline(s): ~NONE~

Summary: As a top-notch cutting horse trainer, Cody Gentry was riding high until he lost his eyesight after a freak chemical accident. Unable to see the hand in front of his face, never mind the horse or cattle he trained, he knows his life is over and slips deep into depression. His whole future hinges on the success of an eye surgery that could give him his old life back.

When guide dog trainer, Lyssa McElhannon, arrives on his ranch like Florence Nightingale coming to save him, he wants no part of her or her guide dog. But something about Lyssa’s musical laugh coupled with her tenacity digs under his skin and won't let go. Having been blind most of her life, Lyssa understands the paralyzing fear Cody feels after losing his vision. But she refuses to let the stubborn cowboy waste his life away sitting in a chair when she knows first-hand that a good guide dog can change his world. She just needs one month to prove it to him.

Falling in love with Cody was not part of Lyssa’s plan, nor was having him open her eyes to see that there was a whole lot of living she’d been missing out on.


Amazon            BN               Smashwords         Kobo

Review:

REVIEW WILL BE POSTED LATE. SORRY FOR THE INCONVENIENCE.


EXCERPT The More I See

"I was told I could find Cody Gentry out here by the pool," she finally said.

The muscles on his face twitched slightly. "Who's looking?"

The timbre of his voice was deep, with a faintly ominous edge that reminded Lyssa of the voices she'd heard as a child when she and Kim would sneak downstairs in the middle of the night and watch old horror flicks on cable. She couldn't see the movies, she'd only heard the voices, and that added to the mystery, raised the level of anticipation, sending shivers racing up her spine.
 
Cody wasn't anything out of a horror flick. She ignored the swell of apprehension that had her confidence faltering.

She knew better than to extend her hand in a normal greeting for her introduction. It'd be rude since Cody couldn't see her. Instead, she hoped her voice sounded pleasant. "I'm Alyssandra McElhannon."

He didn't move. "What do you want?"

"I brought Otis," she said cheerfully.

"What's Otis?"

"Otis is a who, not a what."

Cody's whole body stiffened. His voice was controlled, but edgy enough to send shivers chasing over her skin. "I'm sorry you came all the way out here like this. Apparently someone failed to give you adequate information. I'm not training cuttin' horses anymore."

"Oh, Otis isn't a horse. He's a dog. Your guide dog. And I'm here to train the two of you to work as a team." Otis, like many dogs trained as seeing aids for the vision impaired, were a lifeline to independence.

He sat still, unaffected. It wasn't at all the reaction she'd been expecting.

"Not interested."

"And you would be Cody Gentry, I take it?" she asked already knowing he was.

"I just said I'm not interested."

"And I heard you. My job is to make you interested."

"Says who?"

Confused, she said, "Mike Gentry for one."

He groaned audibly and straightened up in his chair. "My father sent you, huh?"

"That's right. He didn't tell you I was coming?"

"Did he already pay you for your troubles?"

"Well, yes, a portion is—"

"Then you're fired. I'll make sure you get the rest of the money you're owed by mail. I'm sorry he wasted your time."

Cody was as difficult as Mike Gentry had warned but in a totally different way than Lyssa had been prepared for.

"In the first place, the school pays my salary. Second, training my dogs and students is never a waste of my time. Furthermore, you aren't the one who hired me, your father did. In fact, he asked me to stay on at the ranch until you and Otis were working well together. So, you can't fire me, no matter how much you squawk."

He made a face that almost made her laugh. "Squawk?"

Crossing her arms across her chest, she said, "I call it like I see it."

"Listen, Ms. McElfen er McEllaf… What's your name again?"

"McElhannon," she said slowly. "Alyssandra Orchid McElhannon."
Texas Hearts series includes: 
HER HEART FOR THE ASKING 
HIS HEART FOR THE TRUSTING 
THE MORE I SEE 



About this Author:

Lisa Mondello (a.k.a. LA Mondello) has held many jobs in her life but being a published authors is the last job she'll ever have. She's not retiring! She blames the creation of the personal computer for her leap into writing novels. Otherwise, she'd still be penning stories with paper and pen. Her first book, All I Want for Christmas is You, was the winner of the Golden Quill contest for Best First Book and to date has had over 350,000 downloads worldwide.

She is currently the author of 14 novels under the name Lisa Mondello and LA Mondello.

You can find more information about Lisa Mondello at http://www.lisamondello.blogspot.com or chat on Twitter at @LisaMondello http://www.facebook.com/lisa.mondello.1


 Texas Hearts Promotion Hosted by Bewitching Book Tours

Friday, August 17, 2012

Challenge Review: Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs

Title: Bone Crossed
Series: Mercy Thompson #4
Author: Patricia Briggs
Genre: Supernatural Fictions, Urban Fantasy Fiction
Elements: Werewolves, Fae, Shapeshifters, Ghosts, Vampires, Zombies
Publisher: Ace Books, Penguin Group
Format: Hardcover, 309 Pages
ISBN: 978-0-441-01676-1
Release Date: February 3, 2009 
Source: Borrowed from Wentworth Library
Rating: 4.5/5

Tagline(s): ~NONE~

Summary: By day, Mercy is a car mechanic in the sprawling Tri-Cities of Eastern Washington. By night, she explores her preternatural side. As a shapeshifter with some unique talents, Mercy has often found herself having to maintain a tenuous harmony between the human and the not so human. This time she may get more than she bargained for.

Marsilia, the local Vampire Queen, has learned that Mercy crossed her by slaying a member of her clan--and she's out for blood. But since Mercy is protected from direct reprisal by the werewolf pack (and her close relationship with its sexy Alpha), it won't be Mercy's blood Marsilia is after.

It'll be her friends'.

Review:

In Bone Crossed, Mercy struggles to cope with the terrible sexual assault she suffered at the hands of a power-hungry murderer. She is plagued by terrifying panic attacks and flashbacks that leave her gasping for air. But life continues to move on and past actions have repercussions.

Marsilia, Mistress of the local vampire seethe, knows that Mercy killed her left hand man, Andre. And she's out for blood. But with Mercy's protection guaranteed from the local werewolf alpha and his pack, it's Mercy's friends who are the targets.

To give Adam a chance to negotiate with Marsilia and to take some time away for herself, Mercy goes to Spokane to help an old college acquaintance with a ghost haunting her house. But in escaping one vampire, Mercy lands right in the path of another, aptly nicknamed The Monster.

Mercy will have to fight mentally, emotionally, and physically to make it home in one piece.

Is it just me or does it seem like lately Mercy is the target of victimization? In the previous book, she is attacked and sexually assaulted, and now in Bone Crossed she has her shop vandalized with derogatory words and images, and she's attacked again in her sleep by The Monster! She leaves the memory of one attack behind in the Tri-Cities and walks right into another in Spokane. It's one thing after another and I'm wondering how much Mercy will be able to take before she breaks. She's tough, but there is only so much one person can take.

Adam and Mercy really start coming together in this book. After Adam comes to understand what Mercy was feeling after her attack, he tried to help Mercy work through it. Now that Mercy has accepted Adam's mate claim, he's been able to relax some and is more patient than before. Adam doesn't walk on eggshells around her, but he exudes a gentleness that let's Mercy know that he's there if she needs him, but he also knows she can take care of herself. I'd say that this is the real beginning for Adam and Mercy, and I can't wait to see how their relationship continues to grow.

There was a great quote said by Adam about who Mercy belongs to that further shows how much he understand her that I really liked:
"Like a coyote, Mercy is adaptable. She belongs to whom she decides. She belongs everywhere she wants to, for just as long as she wants to." (Page 212)
I love Bran! I mean, who doesn't? You can really tell how much he cares about Mercy when he visits her in this book. He may not voice it, but his actions speak louder than his words ever could. Mercy may not be Bran's biological daughter, but her definitely sees her as if she were. Bran is one of my favorite fictional fathers. I can't help but love him!

We get a look at the power struggle within the vampire seethe when both Estelle and Bernard approach Stefan to join them in their rebellion. Estelle basically just wants power, where Bernard really seems to have the seethe's well-being in mind. But Stefan shows unwavering loyalty to Marsilia when he refuses them both, even though she hurt him. He truly is a Soldier at heart, and like a good soldier, the good of the whole outweighs the good of one.

Though Mercy's trouble with the vampires is resolved, there is no hatred lost between her and Marsilia. The next book, Silver Borne, brings us back to the fae and someone really wants the book Mercy borrowed when trying to free Zee in Iron Kissed. The adventures continues and they are bound to be even more exciting that the last.

About this Author:

Patricia Briggs was born in Butte, Montana to a children’s librarian who passed on to her kids a love of reading and books. Patricia grew up reading fairy tales and books about horses, and later developed an interest in folklore and history. When she decided to write a book of her own, a fantasy book seemed a natural choice. Patricia graduated from Montana State University with degrees in history and German and she worked for a while as a substitute teacher. Currently, she lives in Montana with her husband, children and six horses and writes full-time, much to the delight of her fans.








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