Saturday, September 29, 2012

Manga Review: End of the Chrysalis Age by Tite Kubo

Title: End of the Chrysalis Age
Series: BLEACH #47 
Manga-ka: Tite Kubo
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Graphic Novels, Teen Ages 13+
Publisher: Viz Media, Shonen Jump Manga, Shueisha Inc.
Format: Paperback, 189 Pages
ISBN-13: 978-1-4215-4300-0 
Release Date: September 4, 2012
Source: Borrowed from Wentworth Library
Rating: 4/5

Purchase Here: Paperback

Tagline(s): 
If you became a snake tomorrow
                    And began devouring people,
                    If you roared your love for me
                    With that mouth you use to devour people
                                                                 Could I still say that I love you
                                                                 As I do today?
 

Summary: Aizen's new powers are too much for even the combined efforts of Ichigo, Isshin, Urahara, and Yoruichi. But as Aizen and Gin head for the real Karakura Town, Ichigo decides to undergo intense training under his father's tutelage.

Review:

Matsumoto caught a glimpse of Gin while he was fighting Ichigo and took off running. Her feelings toward Gin are going to get her killed eventually. She was only healed enough to stay alive, and yet she's running after Gin. Not smart.

With Ichigo's lost hope, his strength diminishes. Gin states that Ichigo was a lot scarier when they first crossed swords after Gin cut off Jidanbo's arm when Ichigo first arrived in the Soul Society. This is true. Ichigo looks kind of pathetic now.

Just as Ichigo's Getsuga Tensho wounded Aizen's, so does Isshin's. But Isshin can't read Aizen's spirit energy since his transformation. Only someone in the same state would be able to. Of course, Ichigo can sense is power. And it's made even more real when Aizen takes out Isshin, Yoruichi, and Urahara. This is when Aizen prepares to open the Senkaimon Gate and invade the real Karakura Town in the Soul Society. It's also when Aizen's creepy shell--chrysalis stage--breaks apart and his transformation is complete. I have to admit, the new Aizen does look kinda cool.

With Kototsu missing from the Dangai, Isshin can teach Ichigo the Final Getsuga Tensho. Ichigo meets Tensa Zangetsu--the Bankai form of his sword. For some reason Zangetsu--and Isshin's Engetsu--don't want to teach the Final Getsuga Tensho. We don't find out why in this volume, but I'm sure there's an interesting reason why.

"This towering world of yours that was filled to the heavens with hope has been reduced to your tiny little town! The rain that once poured down on this world may have stopped, but now it's been sunk to the bottom of the ocean! All because you lost hope and stopped moving forward. Ichigo, I will not let you stay like that. I will pull out the very roots of your despair."

This is when Ichigo meets the new form his Hollow power gained in his fight with Ulquiorra. Ichigo fears this form and that is the reason he can't Hollowfy properly. Tensa Zangetsu and the Hollow are one. They both are Ichigos power. And this--both of them merged together--is who Ichigo needs to battle to learnt he Final Getsuga Tensho. The two merged together look really awesome. I can't wait to see more of their fight against Ichigo.

As Aizen enters Karakura Town, Ichigo's friends begin waking up. They make a run for it as Aizen draws closer and closer, but will Ichigo make it in time to save them all?

About this Manga-ka:

The son of a town council member in Fuchu, Aki District, Hiroshima. He never took drawing seriously until he was 17; after reading Dragon Ball he knew he wanted to be a manga artist. At the age of 18 he submitted his first concept for the series Zombiepowder but it got rejected. Zombiepowder was rejected multiple times until Kubo was 22, when it finally was accepted by Shonen Jump. It did not last long; it was cancelled after four volumes in late 2000.

His next series, Bleach, about a high school student who becomes a shinigami and fights hollows, was not such a failure. Bleach began regular publication in 2001. It has been running in Weekly Shonen Jump ever since.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Giveaway Winner: Choice of Any Soul Savers Ebook


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Congratulations to Cindy B. for winning any ecopy of a Soul Savers book of her choice!

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

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Manga Review: Back from Blind by Tite Kubo

Title: Back from Blind
Series: BLEACH #46 
Manga-ka: Tite Kubo
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Graphic Novels, Teen Ages 13+
Publisher: Viz Media, Shonen Jump Manga, Shueisha Inc.
Format: Paperback, 191 Pages
ISBN-13: 978-1-4215-4299-7 
Release Date: September 4, 2012
Source: Borrowed from Wentworth Library
Rating: 4/5

Purchase Here: Paperback

Tagline(s): 
It is not frightening
                    To know misfortune
                    What is frightening
                    Is to know lost happiness
                                                                 Will never come back again.

Summary:
With Captain General Yamamoto giving him an opening, Ichigo goes in for the finishing strike against Aizen! But Ichigo will need the help of some new reinforcements if he hopes to defeat both Aizen and Ichimaru Gin!

Review:


Yamamoto uses a forbidden technique that can only be used by sacrificing the users body, but unfortunately Aizen only gets singed a little. But Yamamoto's sacrifice left an opening for Ichigo to launch another surprise attack. Finally Aizen receives a wound! The only problem is that the Hogyoku healed him.

This arc seems like it's going to go on forever. Would someone just kill Aizen already so the story can progress? All of this ATTACK-MISS, ATTACK-HEAL, ATTACK-OOPS, IT'S JUST AN ILLUSION stuff is starting to annoy me.

"Ichigo Kurosaki...All of your battles took place in the palm of my hand."

Apparently, Aizen was behind everything that happened to Ichigo since he met Rukia and became a Soul Reaper. Aizen was sure that Ichigo would be the best subject for his research. There is one little mistake in the dialogue when Aizen says that Ichigo had never seen a Hollow until the night he met Rukia. That isn't true. Ichigo saw the Hollow that killed his mother when he was younger.

"I've known you from the moment you were born. You were born special. Because you are human and..."

And then Ichigo's dad appears in all his Soul Reaper glory. Ichigo is half-human and half-Soul Reaper. We already knew that, but this is Ichigo's first time hearing (and seeing) about it. He's surprised at first, but he takes the news pretty maturely and tells his dad that he won't ask questions and he'll wait until his dad is ready to tell him about it.

Ichigo finally has his battle with Gin Ichimaru, while his dad attacks Aizen. Gin is one of those characters that always has his eyes closed, but you know that when they open, he's completely serious about what he's saying or doing. As they fight, Gin comes to the realization that Ichigo is going to become even stronger than he is now.

"The Hogyoku's true power is the ability to read the hearts of those around it and realize their deepest desires."

The Hogyoku is pretty much the reason for Rukia losing her powers, and Chad and Orihime gaining their special powers. The Hollowfying of Shinji Hirako and the others was an experiment to verify the powers of the Hogyoku. With his suspicions confirmed, Aizen sent Rukia to Ichigo. It's kind of scary how much power to Hogyoku has, and something that powerful in Aizen's hands really isn't good--especially since he's fused with it.

Urahara makes his entrance using  a bunch of fancy Bakudo, Kido, and Hado, but they don't really seem to have done much of anything to Aizen. He didn't come alone, though. As Urahara and Isshin (Ichigo's dad) restrain Aizen--in his new creepy form--Yoruichi attacks from above. It's getting really old seeing all these different people attacking Aizen and barely leaving a scratch.

As Ichigo watches Urahara, Isshin, and Yoruichi fight Aizen, he begins to lose hope. With lost hope comes lost strength. If Ichigo wants to protect his friends, his family, and his town from Aizen, he'll need to regain the hope that they'll defeat Aizen and make it out alive.

About this Manga-ka:

The son of a town council member in Fuchu, Aki District, Hiroshima. He never took drawing seriously until he was 17; after reading Dragon Ball he knew he wanted to be a manga artist. At the age of 18 he submitted his first concept for the series Zombiepowder but it got rejected. Zombiepowder was rejected multiple times until Kubo was 22, when it finally was accepted by Shonen Jump. It did not last long; it was cancelled after four volumes in late 2000.

His next series, Bleach, about a high school student who becomes a shinigami and fights hollows, was not such a failure. Bleach began regular publication in 2001. It has been running in Weekly Shonen Jump ever since.

Manga Review: The Burnout Inferno by Tite Kubo

Title: The Burnout Inferno
Series: BLEACH #45 
Manga-ka: Tite Kubo
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Graphic Novels, Teen Ages 13+
Publisher: Viz Media, Shonen Jump Manga, Shueisha Inc.
Format: Paperback, 191 Pages
ISBN-13: 978-1-4215-4298-0 
Release Date: August 7, 2012
Source: Borrowed from Wentworth Library
Rating: 3.5/5

Tagline(s): Do not live bowing down.
                       Die standing up.

Summary: The great battle heads for a climax as Aizen joins the battlefield and faces the Soul Society's greatest captains. Captain General Yamamoto reveals his true powers for the first time, but will it be enough to stop Aizen?

Review:

You know, whenever someone introduces a new attack that hasn't been seen, you think "Oh wow, that'll do the trick." Shinji's Bankai seemed real mysterious, but of course it doesn't do much of anything against Aizen. It was really kind of pathetic, if you ask me.

Ichigo makes his big entrance into the battle at last! It was a great, dramatic entrance, but the attack, might I add SURPRISE attack, was blocked! What a wasted offensive strike!

When the captains and Visoreds make a stand to protect Ichigo so he might have his chance to attack Aizen and finish him, it was real bold and BAM! in your face, but totally deflated when they start falling one by one.

What is the difference between hate and duty? Swinging a sword for hatred is only violence, but swinging a sword for duty alone is what a captain does. Can you guess who made this statement? Well, it definitely sounds like something Hitsugaya would say. He takes his duty as Captain very seriously, but he also has a very short temper and he really hates Aizen for what he did to Hinamori.

When I first saw Captain General Yamamoto battle in the volumes when Ichigo and company invaded the Soul Society to save Rukia, I thought him incredibly strong and unbeatable. But in this volume in his fight against Aizen, he seemed incredibly weak in comparison. It was kind of disappointing.

With Yamamoto and the other captains down for the count, Ichigo enters the battle again as Aizen leaves the flames. But if Yamamoto, the strongest, most powerful Soul Reaper for a thousand years, couldn't even scratch Aizen, will Ichigo be able to defeat him?

About this Manga-ka:

The son of a town council member in Fuchu, Aki District, Hiroshima. He never took drawing seriously until he was 17; after reading Dragon Ball he knew he wanted to be a manga artist. At the age of 18 he submitted his first concept for the series Zombiepowder but it got rejected. Zombiepowder was rejected multiple times until Kubo was 22, when it finally was accepted by Shonen Jump. It did not last long; it was cancelled after four volumes in late 2000.

His next series, Bleach, about a high school student who becomes a shinigami and fights hollows, was not such a failure. Bleach began regular publication in 2001. It has been running in Weekly Shonen Jump ever since.

Manga Review: Fate by Katsura Hoshino

Title: Fate
Series: D.Gray-man #22 
Manga-ka: Katsura Hoshino
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Graphic Novels, Older Teen Ages 16+
Publisher: Viz Media, Shonen Jump Advanced, Shueisha Inc.
Format: Paperback, 195 Pages
ISBN-13: 978-1-4215-4210-2 
Release Date: July 3, 2012
Source: Borrowed from Wentworth Library
Rating: 4/5

Tagline(s): ~NONE~

Summary: Struggling with mounting turmoil over his own identity, Allen meets The Cardinal. Who is he? What is he? Why is he interested in Allen? The answers are startling, and arrive with a vision that shocks the young demon fighter to the core!

Review:

After Yu and Alma's deadly battle, Allen sends them to a place where no one will ever be able to harm them again...

As an Akuma, Alma can sense the Allen is a Noah and sympathizes with Allen. This is a sure sign that Alma is coming to his senses, at least at the end. The last image of Yu and Alma is so heartbreaking. Their fate was such a sad one. Alma's sadness was as deep as his hatred.

When the Earl said that he wanted to be by the Fourteenth's side, it made some, if not all of the Noah jealous. The Noah captured Bookman and Lavi, because they want to know the Fourteenth's weaknesses in order to kill him, even though the Earl ordered them to protect him at all costs. The Noah can be pretty scary!

I feel so bad for Allen! He always seems to end up locked up somewhere. How many times has it been now? It's like no matter how Allen proves himself to the Order, because he has the Fourteenth inside him, they will never trust him.

Allen laments his ignorance about the things going on around him. Especially concerning the Fourteenth. He knows that the Fourteenth was Mana's younger brother, but he doesn't know why he betrayed the Noah and wanted to be the Millennium Earl. There are so many things about the Fourteenth that are still unknown. We finally know his name and what he looks like, but what were his motives?

"Love. Friendship. Sorrow. Despair. No one has a deeper or more tempestuous relationship with Innocence than you. You've grown into a splendid exorcist, Allen."

The Cardinal is SO CREEPY!! He wants to become one with Allen, whatever that means. In the process, Allen sees a disturbing vision involving the Cardinal and his master, Cross Marian. I knew the Earl wanted to protect Allen, but I didn't expect him to sense the Cardinal's attack on Allen and send a couple Noah (Road and Tyki) in to help. The Cardinal turns out to be something even more creepy than just being a weirdo. He's Apocryphos--an independent-type Innocence that exists to protect the Heart. He is the closest anyone has come to the Heart in 7,000 years. I'm telling you, all the talk about "becoming one" is just too weird and makes the Cardinal sound like a pervert. And I don't even want to know what would happen to Allen if that were done.

When Allen escapes the Cardinal and the prison cell he was held in, thanks to Link, he is declared to be considered a Noah and his status as an exorcist is suspended.

"You don't know what you are and you don't really care. You just spread confusion and conflict. You're the worst of us all, Allen Walker."

This turn of events brings about the time when Allen needs to go out on his own and really figure things out for himself. He may need to fight his friends in the future, but he has accepted that. His farewell with Lenalee is really sad, but Allen has an almost hopeful air about him. It'll be interesting to see where Allen ends up.

"Whatever happens, I'm an exorcist. Whatever road I may take, that won't change. The Order is where my heart is because of all the wonderful goofballs like you."

About this Manga-ka:

Katsura Hoshino ((星野 桂 Hoshino Katsura) was born on April 21, 1980, in Shiga Prefecture, Japan, as the younger of fraternal twin girls and the second of three children. She drew her first manga at twenty-one. In 1998, Hoshino moved to Tokyo. She dreamed of bringing her mother to the city and was able to in 2006.

She made her debut with her comics in July 2003 with the publication of her first manga series Continue and is known for her work, D.Gray-man, which began serialization in Shueisha's Weekly Shōnen Jump in May 2004.

Manga Review: The Awakening of Alma Karma by Katsura Hoshino

Title: The Awakening of Alma Karma 
Series: D.Gray-man #21 
Manga-ka: Katsura Hoshino
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Graphic Novels, Older Teen Ages 16+
Publisher: Viz Media, Shonen Jump Advanced, Shueisha Inc.
Format: Paperback, 189 Pages
ISBN-13: 978-1-4215-4077-1 
Release Date: November 1, 2011
Source: Borrowed from Wentworth Library
Rating: 4/5

Tagline(s): ~NONE~

Summary: Allen has been dropped into a flashback of his surly colleague Yu Kanda's past, where a parade of disturbing secrets reveal themselves--including one that could at long last explain what makes Yu tick!

Review:

The Millennium Earl and the Noah have attacked the North America branch of the Order, trying to awaken Yu's childhood friend, Alma Karma. While the battle rages around him, Allen sees Yu and Alma's past. But when Allen breaks through Waizurii's spell, he finds that Alma is awakening as an Akuma.

Allen feels things really deeply and it pains him when he can't protect those around him. This is one of the things that I admire about Allen. It also makes him a great exorcist.

Alma's hatred leads him into a vicious battle with Yu. The reason for Alma's hatred is never really clear--all I know is that it has something to do with the woman that Yu cared deeply for and the promise he made to her. There was a revelation about Alma and this woman that I totally wasn't expecting, though.

The Earl was really devious in this volume. He uses the pain being caused to Allen's friends because of Alma's hatred to goad him into leaving the Order. The Fourteenth, who is a part of Allen, was the Noah that tried to kill the Earl, and when Johnny asks the Earl why he wants Allen, the Earl said, "To be by his side. I want to be by the Fourteenth's side." This is an intriguing answer. I hope we find out more about the past between the Earl and the Fourteenth. The Earl's main goal in pitting Alma and Yu against each other, knowing that Allen would intervene, was to awaken the Fourteenth!

That is probably my favorite part of this volume. Each time Allen is attacked by an Innocence, the Noah memory inside him, that hatred of Innocence, is awakened, therefore awakening the Fourteenth. Seeing Allen slowly, and I mean SLOWLY, change into a Noah was exciting. Not that I want Allen to be a Noah.... It was so cool meeting Nea, who is the Fourteenth Noah who destroys everything. I was wondering what the Fourteenth would look like, and I wasn't disappointed. And the display of the Fourteenth's power when the barrier surrounding the North America branch was destroyed was so AWESOME!

Allen's great show of friendship at the end when he sent Yu and Alma through the Ark so no one could ever bother them again, was so awe-inspiring. I can't wait to see where the story will go next.

About this Manga-ka:

Katsura Hoshino ((星野 桂 Hoshino Katsura) was born on April 21, 1980, in Shiga Prefecture, Japan, as the younger of fraternal twin girls and the second of three children. She drew her first manga at twenty-one. In 1998, Hoshino moved to Tokyo. She dreamed of bringing her mother to the city and was able to in 2006.

She made her debut with her comics in July 2003 with the publication of her first manga series Continue and is known for her work, D.Gray-man, which began serialization in Shueisha's Weekly Shōnen Jump in May 2004.

Tour Review: Whispers in Autumn by Trisha Leigh (Giveaway)

Title: Whispers in Autumn
Series: The Last Year #1
Author: Trisha Leigh
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Supernatural Fiction, Dystopian Fiction
Elements: Aliens
Publisher: CreateSpace
Format: PDF, 160 Pages 
ISBN: 9781475235944 
Release Date: July 24, 2012 
Source: Author {Trisha Leigh} 
Rating: 3.5/5

Tagline(s): ~NONE~

Summary: In 2015, a race of alien Others conquered Earth. They enslaved humanity not by force, but through an aggressive mind control that turned people into contented, unquestioning robots.

Except sixteen-year-old Althea isn’t content at all, and she doesn’t need the mysterious note inside her locket to tell her she’s Something Else. It also warns her to trust no one, so she hides the pieces that make her different, even though it means being alone.

Then she meets Lucas, everything changes.

Althea and Lucas are immune to the alien mind control, and together they search for the reason why. What they uncover is a stunning truth the Others never anticipated, one with the potential to free the brainwashed human race.

It’s not who they are that makes them special, but what.

And what they are is a threat. One the Others are determined to eliminate for good.

Goodreads Link: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13631837-whispers-in-autumn

Review: 

REVIEW WILL BE POSTED AFTER 10AM.

About this Author:

Avoider of reality. Writer of tales. Indiscriminate reader. Lover of history, film, tennis, Jude Law, and Hershey's Kisses.

My debut novel will be available July 24, 2012.


Author Link:








GIVEAWAY:
(3) $10 Gift Cards to Amazon or Barnes & Noble (winner's choice.) 
Open international.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
PART OF.... 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Review: First Comes Love by Katie Kacvinsky

Title: First Comes Love
Series: First Comes Love #1
Author: Katie Kacvinsky
Genre: New Adult Fiction, Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing
Format: Hardcover, 204 Pages 
ISBN: 978-0-547-59979-3
Release Date: May 8, 2012
Source: Borrowed from Wentworth Library
Rating: 5/5

Purchase Here: Kindle // Hardcover

Tagline(s): ~NONE~

Summary: Like his name, Gray is dark and stormy. Dylan is the exact opposite--full of light and life. It's definitely not love at first sight for these two. But slowly, fascination turns to admiration, which turns to caring, until finally these lone souls find love.

But staying in love is not as easy as falling in love. If Dylan and Gray want their love to last, they're going to have to learn that sometimes love means having to say you're sorry.

Review:

First Comes Love teaches about life and love. Gray stopped living after the death of his twin sister, but when he meets Dylan, a girl so much like his sister, she shows him how to start living life again, instead of just existing. Dylan is just the opposite. She's full of life and lives every day to the fullest. Dylan has met many people, but she's never made a real bond with anyone, until she met Gray.

What started as fascination quickly became something more. But life and love aren't without obstacles. As their lives take them in different directions, Dylan and Gray have to determine of their love is strong enough to overcome their differences.

I love stories that have an emotional punch, so I really enjoyed First Comes Love. I liked that the way Dylan and Gray met and fell in love was so natural. There are a lot of stories where the love is instantaneous and totally unbelievable. Dylan and Gray take the time to really get to know each other and develop feelings for each other. They go through the ups and downs. So their relationship is very believable and real.

The alternating POVs provide deeper insight into both Dylan and Gray. We see Gray's struggle to move on and Dylan's struggle with the bond she made with him. They both add their own experiences to the story. I always like stories with two or more narrators. The story has depth it otherwise wouldn't have with only one.

I'm really excited to read the next book in this series. I can't wait to see what happens with Dylan and Gray's relationship. It's bound to be another emotional ride.

About this Author:

Katie Kacvinsky was born in Wisconsin. She worked in the entertainment industry in Los Angeles, has lived in Phoenix, AZ, Redding, CA, Milwaukee, WI and currently Oregon. She taught high school English and worked for a young adult magazine before writing full time. She owes most of her writing inspiration to traveling.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Tour Review: The Chosen of Gaia by M. Mariz

Title: The Chosen of Gaia
Author: M. Mariz
Genre: Young Adult Fictions, Science Fiction
Publisher: Marcela Mariz
Format: Paperback, 223 Pages 
ISBN: 9780985808433 
Release Date: August 4, 2012 
Source: Tour Host {JKSCommunications} 
Rating: 3.5/5

Tagline(s): ~NONE~

Summary: Fifteen-year-old Albert has just received an invitation that could transform his disappointing life completely – a chance to belong to an advanced and hidden society that only reveals itself to a select few.

Immersed in a new world of mind-boggling technology and intriguing peers, Albert will overcome his fears enough to ignore a few suspicious details. But soon he'll find his family dragged to the center of a scandal that threatens to tear them apart and erase their very identities.

A conflicted Albert must find the strength to challenge authority by relying on his newfound allies and gift for Revelation.

Prepare for adventure, humor and suspense in this fast-paced tale of a “normal” family striving for their place in a “perfect” world.


Goodreads Link: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15833271-the-chosen-of-gaia

Review: 

Gaia is a perfect world that values the good in people and strives to advance its society. There hasn't been a serious crime in more than 200 years and no ones fears leaving their homes unlocked. The citizens of Gaia are descended from those who once lived in the legendary city of Atlantis. And then there are those very select few from Earth who were Chosen and given the opportunity to live on Gaia. Albert Klein and his family are the most recent to be Chosen to live in this perfect world. But just as there were those in Atlantis that persecuted the mystics, there are those on Gaia who persecute the Chosen.

The Kleins and their neighbors, the Beckers are two Chosen families being targeted by this clan of racial purists. Albert, with the help of his new friends, will need to overcome his fears and embrace his new found gift for Revelation to set things to rights.

The Chosen of Gaia depicts a seemingly perfect world of peace, enlightenment, and advancement. But a pretty exterior can't hide a ugly interior forever. No matter how hard or how long one strives for perfection, it cannot be achieved. As long as hate exists in the hearts of people, peace cannot be gained. This is shown through the racism and prejudice the Raif clan shows toward the Chosen. They see the Chosen as impurities that need to be purged from the Gaian society.

But there are those, like Albert, who strive to be the best they can possibly be and gain strength from the persecution they face, and become unlikely heroes to those who would face the same persecution. Albert was even dubbed "The Clumsy Chosen Hero" after his efforts to stop the Raif clan were made public. It's through people like Albert that even a small amount of peace can be obtained.

The Chosen of Gaia raises questions about the nature and hearts of the human race. Through only one person a civilization can thrive or decay, all depending on what's in their hearts and minds.

I really liked this story and the characters the live within it. I would love to see more from this world, maybe from Ruth's POV, Albert's twin sister. But if this is the end of the Chosen's story, I'm glad that it ended on a happy and hopeful note. The bad guys are punished, friendships are mended, and love brings them all together. It couldn't end in a better way.

About this Author:

M. Mariz is an actress, lawyer and writer with more than 20 plays produced. Her debut novel The Chosen of Gaia (Sept. 28, 2012) was inspired by her own Revelation dream.

Born in Rio de Janeiro and currently living in Southern California, Mariz writes screenplays and novels in both Portuguese and English. The artist has more than 15 years of acting experience, encompassing works in theater, television and movies. She has multiple plays and sketches featured in theaters, including a teenager play that was performed by young Brazilian celebrities all over the country, and has written many other plays for different Brazilian companies to present work-related themes in a funny, entertaining way.

She lives with her husband in Orange, California, where she is constantly developing ideas for new stories to tell.

Links: 


Twitter: AuthorM_Mariz
Facebook: M. Mariz
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6471497.M_Mariz

PART OF.... 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Manga Review: Vampire Knight Volume 14 by Matsuri Hino

Title: Vampire Knight Volume 14 
Series: Vampire Knight #14 
Manga-ka: Matsuri Hino
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Graphic Novels, Older Teen Ages 16+
Publisher: Viz Media, Shojo Beat Manga, Hakusensha Inc.
Format: Paperback, 187 Pages
ISBN-13: 978-1-4215-4218-8 
Release Date: July 3, 2012
Source: Borrowed from Wentworth Library
Rating: 5/5

Tagline(s): ~NONE~

Summary: The Vampire Hunter Society has imprisoned Aido in order to interrogate him about Kaname's connection to Sara Shirabuki. Meanwhile, Yuki wants a fresh start with Kaname, but circumstances arise that may force them apart.

Review:

This is one of the most shocking volumes in the Vampire Knight series so far. We see more of the past and the connection between the progenitors and the hunters. The lines between who is more inhumane have become blurred. Zero is still struggling with his feelings toward Yuki now that she's the Kuran princess. Sara is using a pharmaceutical company for something really bad in her pursuit to become Queen. But the most shocking of all that happens in this volume is Kaname killing Lord Aido and leaving Yuki.

I can't even guess what is going on in Kaname's head. He waited 10 years for Yuki and now he leaves her?! It makes no sense! Yuki is left confused and heartbroken, and in her desperation to follow Kaname, she sprouts butterfly wings of blood. When I watched the anime, I always wondered about the blood butterfly wings shown in the opening, and now I know where they come from. The wings are a symbol of her confusion, her heartbreak, and her desperation to follow Kaname, as if she could fly to him.

Stand Out Quote:

"The let's all devour one another until only one remains. To us, who have infinite time on our hands as purebloods, this is merely a game."

About this Manga-ka:

Name in Japanese: 樋野 まつり

Matsuri Hino was born on January 24 in Hokkaido. She was a bookshop keeper who one day decided to become a manga artist, and all of nine months later, in 1995, she published her first manga title, Kono Yume ga Sametara (When This Dream Is Over), in Japan's LaLa DX magazine.

Tour Review: Guardian of the Moon Pendant by Laura J. Williams (Giveaway)


Title: Guardian of the Moon Pendant
Series: Highland Secrets #1 
Author: Laura J. Williams
Genre: Fantasy Fiction, Supernatural Fiction, New Adult Fiction

Elements: Fae, Pixies, Demons, Ghosts
Publisher: Laura J. Williams
Format: PDF, 216 Pages
ASIN: B008P30FV8 
Release Date: July 25, 2012 
Source: Author {Laura J. Williams} 
Rating: 3/5

Tagline(s): ~NONE~

Summary: The MacAlpin women are of a fierce clan, born from a rare bloodline that harbors a dark and powerful secret – a mystical heirloom called the Moon Pendant. It is the key to controlling the MääGord standing stones, a magical Portal into the Otherworld, the realm of the Fae.

Anabel and Izzy’s MacAlpin are two sisters, polar opposites, living separate lives.

Anabel’s life is going precisely according to her plan, a ring on her finger from her steady beau, Edgar, and medical school in the fall.

Izzy’s life is filled with scars and wounds from her past. Dubbed the “spare child” by her family and treated poorly, she rebelled, and now lives life by her own rules.

These two sisters’s worlds are about to explode when one of them must go to Scotland and fulfill her duty as the Guardian of the Moon Pendant, by recharging this magical heirloom with four elementals, air, earth, water, and fire, and then finally close the Portal.

There’s only one problem…

The Baobhan Sith – a vampiric faery who lures men in with her hypnotic voice, feeding on their blood or transforming them into Màrmann, her zombie-like warriors who do her bidding – desires the Moon Pendant to take control over the Portal, opening a gateway into the realm of man, helping her to seek revenge on the MacAlpin clan, and to quench her eternal thirst for human blood.

Anabel finds herself torn between a sinfully handsome Scottish warrior, Blane and her fiancée, Edgar. Izzy finds herself, angered by her sister’s lack of faith in her.

Both sisters are forced to help one another, but may end up killing each other in the end.

Will these two sisters put aside their differences before the final task to charge the Moon Pendant or will the Baobhan Sith, the vampiric faery, be successful and open the Portal into the Otherworld?

Guardian of the Moon Pendant (Highland Secrets #1) on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Guardian-Pendant-Highland-Secrets-ebook/dp/B008P30FV8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1344829239&sr=8-1&keywords=Guardian+of+the+Moon+Pendant

Review: 

Guardian of the Moon Pendant takes us on the journey of two sisters who travel to Scotland to prevent a portal to the realm of the Fae from opening. On the Isle of Moon stand the MääGord standing stones and the portal to the Fae realm. Once every nineteen years the full moon passes through the standing stones and the portal will open a pathway for the Fae. Before that can happen the Guardian of the Moon Pendant must recharge the Pendant's power with the elements--Air, Earth, Water, and Fire--and close the portal. The new moon is here. Can the Guardian accomplish each task and save mankind from the Fae?

Anabel and Izzy MacAlpin are two sisters who couldn't be more different. Anabel has her life all planned out and everything is going accordingly. Izzy is just trying to get through each day in one piece. These two are constantly fighting, bickering, and trying to one-up the other. Their relationship perfectly portrays the sibling rivalry to a T. Although Anabel and Izzy go too far sometimes, I felt the relationship between them was genuine.

The MacAlpin clan has been the Guardians of the Moon Pendant and the portal for generations. Anabel, being the eldest daughter, is the heir and it's her duty to become the Guardian, but she wants no part of it since it will ruin her perfect life plan. Whereas Izzy is nicknamed the "spare child" and treated badly. Izzy views Anabel's resistence to being Guardian as her chance to prove herself by becoming the Guardian instead. But as their grandmother said, the Pendant is fickle and it may not let Anabel go.

I love reading about mythology and folklore, so when I saw that Guardian of the Moon Pendant featured Scottish fae folklore, I couldn't wait to start reading. There's the Red Cap, the Baobhan Sith, the Nuckelavee, the Ghillie Dhu, Trows, Will-o-the-Wisps, among others. I just love the stories behind these fantastical and otherworldly beings.

While I'm on the subject of Scotland, this book does have a highlander--in all his kilted glory. Blane is a Sentinel of Light, who swore an oath to Danu to protect the Guardians and the portal. He is roughly 500 years old, but only looks about 25 years old, and boy, does he make Anabel want to change her mind about marrying Edgar. It's too bad that a Sentinel is forbidden from marrying a Guardian. Though I thought the romance between Blane and Anabel wasn't necessary to the story as a whole, it was nice to see a bit of romance--and I'd like to know what Anabel ever saw in Edgar? He's kinda icky in my opinion--I'd choose Blane when I first laid eyes on him.

Besides the Fae was a whole, the main villain of the book is Lainahywn, the Baobhan Sith. She is a vampiric faery who sucks men dry or turns them into zombie-like warriors. She wants the Pendant and control of the portal--and she'll do anything to get it. Lainahywn is really kinda scary. She may look real pretty when she's all glamored up, but once she drops the facade--ugh! She's definitely a baddy you want to stay away from.

About this Author:

Laura J. Williams is a hopeless and lost cause, tucked away in her dark sleeping chamber, in her gloomy abyss of a writing cave, separated from the realm of man, chomping on chicken legs and quenching her thirst with large glasses of red wine. She is consoled daily by her rescued cat, baby-kitty, who only gives her love when she wants to.

Aye, it is a sad life she lives…

But, God danced the day Laura was born, the angels rejoiced, and the demons trembled.

She’s just another day-dreamer with a story to tell, doing her best to kick arse. She hides behind a shroud of anonymity, creating a world of lost mythical creatures, breathing life into them, and praying that someone will take pleasure in her work.

She is the warrior of the heroine, the sorceress of words, yielder of magic, teller of dark secrets, and the jester of tantalizing tales.

Author Links:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/_LauraJWilliams
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6451448.Laura_J_Williams
FB: https://www.facebook.com/LauraJWilliamsWriter

GIVEAWAY: 
5 signed copies of Guardian of the Moon Pendant
US Only
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Tour Review: Power by Kristie Cook (Giveaway)

Title: Power
Series: Soul Savers #4 
Author: Kristie Cook
Genre: New Adult Fiction, Supernatural Fiction 
Elements: Demons, Angels, Vampires, Warlocks, Witches
Publisher: Ang'dora Productions
Format: PDF, 381 Pages
ASIN: B009173E0G 
Release Date: August 24, 2012 
Source: Tour Host {Confessions of a Bookaholic} 
Rating: 5/5

Tagline(s): As the stakes rise, can she find her true power?

Summary: As the Amadis prepare for war, Alexis returns to Florida with orders to relax, regenerate and replenish her depleted power. But her task list quickly grows—establish a new safe house, learn the art of conversion, find her AWOL protector, help a desperate fan, and protect her son. Oh, and figure out what’s going on with her husband, whose peculiar behavior just might get them killed.

But most important of all, her primary mission: recover her stolen pendant.

The stone in the pendant not only promises hope for the Amadis future, but its unknown qualities make it a possible weapon in the wrong hands. With guidance and power from an improbable source and an unlikely ally by her side, Alexis sets out to retrieve the stone before the enemy discovers its potential for mass destruction. But when she finds herself in the Daemoni’s lair fighting for her life, all hope seems lost. Will she discover the true power she holds in time? And is it enough to save herself, her family and the Amadis?

Power, the next installment of the Soul Savers Series, takes you on a hot and edgy ride with twists and turns you’ll never see coming, leaving you breathless and once again begging for more.


Short Review (Full Review to Come): 

The Soul Savers series just keeps getting better and better! I have loved all the books before this, and Power is no different. In Power, Alexis must, and I mean MUST, get the pendant Tristan gave her back from the vampire who stole it. But that is easier said than done. And it doesn't help that a war is brewing all around her. Then there is something strange going on with Tristan, and that definitely spells trouble with a capital T. And her list of duties just keeps growing and growing. It's no wonder her power levels are so low. But like in the books before Power, I'm sure that Alexis can make it out one top.

About this Author:

Kristie Cook is a lifelong writer in various genres, from marketing communications to fantasy fiction. Besides writing, she enjoys reading, cooking, traveling and riding on the back of a motorcycle. She has lived in ten states, but currently calls Southwest Florida home with her husband, three teenage sons, a beagle and a puggle.

Author Link:









GIVEAWAY:

Tour Review: Prowl by Amber Garza (Giveaway)

Title: Prowl
Series: Prowl Trilogy #1
Author: Amber Garza
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Supernatural Fiction
Elements:
Publisher: CreateSpace
Format: 
ISBN: 9781467982177
Release Date: January 20, 2012
Source: Tour Host {iLove Tours}
Rating:  

Tagline(s): ~NONE~ 

Summary: Seventeen-year-old Mackenzie Smith is sent away to spend a boring summer at her grandma's. But then she meets Wesley. He tells her exactly what she wants to hear and has information about her past that no one else knows. It's almost like he can read her mind.

Only Wesley isn't who he seems.

By the time Mackenzie discovers his true identity it may be too late. She's in too deep and he won't let her go. Now Mackenzie must call on the strongest power of all in order to save her life.


Review:

REVIEW TO COME. SORRY FOR THE INCONVENIENCE.

About this Author: 

Amber Garza lives in California with her amazing husband and two hilarious children who provide her with enough material to keep her writing for years.

Author Link:













PART OF....

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sweet Evil Read Along


The Sweet Evil Read Along is hosted by Magical Urban Fantasy Reads and co-hosted by Two Chicks On Books, Fiktshun, Tater’s Tall Tails, The Ravenous Reader!!
 
**This read along will run from October 1st through the 28th.**
 
How do you participate? Do a weekly post on your blog or a status update on Goodreads and discuss your thoughts about the designated chapters, share your favorite quotes, and show your creativity in the weekly theme!


SE RA WK1
1st Week: October 1–7
Chapter One - Nine:
Pages 1 - 121
Theme: Road Trip - You choose. Examples, what would you pack and why, your playlist, your dream road trip or road trip games.

SE RA WK2
2nd Week: October 8 – 14
Chapters Ten - Sixteen:
Pages 122 – 231
Theme: Citrus or Pear recipe. Share a citrus or pear food/drink recipe.

SE RA WK3
3rd Week: October 15 – 21
Chapters Seventeen - Twenty-Five:
Pages 232 - 340
Theme: Truth or Dare

SE RA WK4
4th Week: October 22 – 28
Chapters Twenty-Six - Thirty-One:
Pages 341 - 447
Theme: Halloween
Sign Up Here!

Tour Review: Dancing with Death by Andrea Heltsley (Giveaway)

Title: Dancing with Death
Series: Dancing #1
Author: Andrea Heltsley
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Supernatural Fiction
Elements: Demons, Succubi
Publisher: CreateSpace
Format: PDF, 332 Pages
ISBN: 9781478204183
Release Date: August 10, 2012
Source: Author {Andrea Heltsley}
Rating: 3.5/5

Tagline(s): Death is coming and he's coming for me.

Summary: Murders have plagued the woods in the past, making them a place of fear. Eighteen year old Wendy and her friends become worried when a new string of murders come to their high school. After a horrible car accident, Wendy returns to school, going from wallflower to popular overnight. As the murderer edges closer to Wendy she realizes things are changing. She is afflicted with nightmares that are all too real and she herself is undergoing unnatural changes. Learning the truth about her past, could be the key to saving her future.

Goodreads Link: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13554436-dancing-with-death

Review:

In Dancing with Death, Wendy is a senior in high school, living in a town plagued by murder after murder. The "Witchy Woods" where the murders took place is a place of fear, so when Wendy is hit by an oncoming car on a road alongside the woods, left in the ditch in her mangled car, she fears that that is how she will die. But before her car can explode she's saved by a stranger who pulls her out and takes her to the hospital. This car accident is only the beginning as Wendy's life changes forever.

There is a very good reason why I gave Dancing with Death only a 3.5. More than half of the book is just intense makeout scenes and finding the perfect outfit. I started to wonder if that was all this story was going to be about. What saved this book was the strange nightmares and messages from beyond the grave. This piqued my curiosity enough to find out what was really going on. Don't get me wrong, I like action but not when all of it is in the romantic sense. The story really picked up when Wendy and Halle found the locked chest in the attic filled with her family's secrets. Then there were the multiple murder attempts against Wendy's life. Basically I'm saying that, even if they are small, I would have liked more events to add suspense and intrigue within the first half.

I definitely wasn't expecting Wendy's secret family history to be what it was, though.  I don't want to say too much about it since I want to leave that part for readers to find out, but I will say that she is a demon and the type of demon she is really explains the changes she undergoes. I thought the story would have had something to do with Death himself from looking at the title, Dancing with Death, but it really only refers to death itself.

I mentioned intense makeout scenes and, boy, are the INTENSE. Wendy finds herself with two guys vying for her attention--Brandt Summers, the new guy from California and Matt Geyer, the new school librarian. Maybe it's my bookish ways, but I loved Matt from the very beginning. Now that is perfect--a smokin' hot male librarian. But he's also genuine, loving, and respectful. I never really liked Brandt. That's all I can really say about him--I just didn't like him at all.

The conclusion was a little anti-climatic, but the question of whether Wendy will live to see the next year leaves me wanting for the next book, Dancing with Demons.

About this Author: 

I am a biology nerd who decided it was more fun writing than dissecting. I have written two novels and my third will be out this summer. I live on coffee and read like a robot. My husband and two italian greyhounds usually have to tear me away from the computer...imagine that. :).

Author Link: http://www.andreaheltsley.blogspot.com





GIVEAWAY:

Monday, September 17, 2012

Review: Taken by Storm by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Title: Taken by Storm
Series: Raised by Wolves #3
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Genre: Supernatural Fiction, Young Adult Fiction
Elements: Werewolves, Psychic Abilities, Ghosts
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Format: Hardcover, 314 Pages
ISBN: 978-1-60684-319-2
Release Date: May 22, 2012
Source: Borrowed from Wentworth Library
Rating: 4.5/5

Tagline(s): ~NONE~

Summary: In the eye of a storm stands Bryn, the alpha of the Cedar Ridge werewolf pack.

She is young. Female. Human. Physically weaker than any werewolf, she could never survive a battle with another alpha, the strongest, fiercest, and canniest of his pack.

Yet she cannot refuse a summons from the werewolf Senate, a gathering of the most powerful werewolves on the continent. The subject is a rogue werewolf, but Bryn knows the other packs want what she has.

Her territory. Her females. Her pack.

They want her death.

Werewolf law prevents the other alphas from making a direct attack. It also prevents her former alpha, the mysterious and powerful Callum, from coming to her aid.

But it doesn't prevent Bryn from knowing what she wants.

To keep her lands. To protect her pack.

To survive.

Review:

Still traumatized by causing Lucas's death when he challenged her and Maddy's absence from the pack, Bryn resents her weaknesses as a human leading a werewolf pack. The strength of the pack is the strength of the alpha, and the strength of the alpha is the strength of the pack.

Feeling as though her status as human is weakening her pack, Bryn went to Callum to ask the unthinkable. But seven long months have passed with no word from Callum, so Bryn takes matters into her own hands and tries to hone her abilities as a Resilient.

Things have been quiet, but they can't stay quiet forever. A storm is brewing and Bryn is smack in the middle. Will she come out unscathed or will the coming storm leave her battered and bruised?

When Shay called a Senate meeting to discuss a string of deaths caused by a female Rabid, it was the beginning of a very trying and painful journey for Bryn. Every future Callum could find was coated in blood, and that Bryn would need to be human for what was going to pass. But being human causes Bryn great heartbreak, because you can't trade a human's life for a wolf's.

Surprise revelations, unexpected allies, and enemies thought to be long dead arise. New bonds are formed, old bonds are broken, and hearts are left shattered. But revenge is sweet and a war is waged. A life forever changed by one fateful attack so many years ago, is changed once again by a leap of faith, courage, and hope.

Taken by Storm is the most emotionally charged book in the Raised by Wolves series. Bryn's strength as a leader, as an alpha, was tested physically in Raised by Wolves; mentally in Trial by Fire; and emotionally in Taken by Storm. As a human female alpha in a world where women are seen as prized possessions, Bryn had to work extra hard to prove that she could lead a werewolf pack in a society where only men ruled. She has more than proven that she has what it takes to be alpha.

I'm not sure if Taken by Storm is the final book in this series or not, but I really hope that there is more to come.

About this Author:

Jennifer Lynn Barnes (who mostly goes by Jen) was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She has been, in turn, a competitive cheerleader, a volleyball player, a dancer, a debutante, a primate cognition researcher, a teen model, a comic book geek, and a lemur aficionado. She's been writing for as long as she can remember, finished her first full book (which she now refers to as a "practice book" and which none of you will ever see) when she was still in high school, and then wrote Golden the summer after her freshman year in college, when she was nineteen.

Jen graduated high school in 2002, and from Yale University with a degree in cognitive science (the study of the brain and thought) in May of 2006. She'll be spending the 2006-2007 school year abroad, doing autism research at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Challenge Review: No Humans Involved by Kelley Armstrong

Title: No Humans Involved
Series: Women of the Otherworld #7
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Genre: Supernatural Fiction, Urban Fantasy Fiction
Elements: Necromancers, Werewolves, Ghosts, Witches, Demons, Sorcerers, Angels
Publisher: Bantam Books, Random House Inc.
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 505 Pages
ISBN: 978-0-553-58837-8
Release Date: February 26, 2008
Source: Borrowed from Wentworth Library
Rating: 5/5

Tagline(s): ~NONE~

Summary: It's the most anticipated reality television event of the season: three spiritualists gathered together in one house to raise the ghost of Marilyn Monroe. For celebrity medium Jaime Vegas, it's her best shot at the celebrity holy grail: a TV show of her own. Because, unlike her colleagues, who are more style than substance, Jaime is the real thing.

Yet reluctant to upstage her fellow spiritualists, Jaime supresses her talents, as she has always done. But something is lurking in the gardens behind the house: trapped spirits without a voice. And for the first time, Jaime understands what it means to be haunted. When events culminate in a psychic showdown, she must use her darkest power to defeat a shocking enemy--one whose force comes from the last realm she expected....

Review:

Jaime Vegas is a necromancer with power over the dead. Life from death, she can raise the dead and control them as she wishes. The darkest power any supernatural can wield. But the legacy of necromancy is madness, and Jaime has seen this madness in other necromancers first hand.

No Humans Involved begins with a young man named Brendon, who left home to make it as an actor in L.A. Walking the streets at night, Brendon is picked up by a couple who seem to want to give him food and a warm place for the night. But while in their home, he overhears them talking about texts, rituals, and the amount of suffering needed. When Brendan tells them that he wants to leave, the woman drugs him and the group proceeds to set him on fire.

This is the first of many glimpses we have into this group and their atrocious rituals. This group first came to Jaime's attention when a ghost made physical contact with her on the set of a reality TV show she's taking part in. These ghosts have damaged souls that are trapped between dimensions, unable to step into ours or cross over into the other. It doesn't take Jaime long to realize by the ghosts actions that these are the ghosts of children.

Jaime's search for this group overshadows the whole reality show things, as we only really see anything from the set in between the events of Jaime's investigation. She has help from Jeremy Danvers, alpha of the werewolf Pack; Eve Levine and Kristof Nast; eudemon Aratron; and half-demon Hope Adams. Everyone (well, not Aratron) on this team is outraged that this group would kill innocent children for its rituals and in such horrible ways, and this makes them the perfect people to bring this group down.

Aside from Jaime's investigation, we are shown pieces of her past and Jeremy's as well. We learn of Jaime's relationship (or lack thereof) with her mother and the pressures she put on Jaime to make it on TV. Aratron brings up the deal she made with a demon in the past to become famous. Jeremy's past with his father is brought up, how Jeremy had to clean up his father's kills, and how his father tried to mold Clay into the son he always wanted the Jeremy wasn't. There was definitely no love lost between them. There is also the interesting little tidbit about the runes that pop into his head, as well as the visions and sensing no normal werewolf has--Jaime believes these came from his mother. Though we are given these little snippets into their respective pasts, there is still enough mystery surrounding Jaime ans Jeremy to keep it interesting.

If you've read the previous books in the Women of the Otherworld series, you know that Jaime's got it bad for Jeremy. It's been 4 years since they first met and Jeremy is finally showing interest. But Jaime isn't going to give him what he wants without having a little fun first. Jaime has waited 4 years for Jeremy to take notice, so she makes him wait for it and performs a little tease to get him all wound up. Jaime ans Jeremy totally work as a couple and it was great to finally see them together. Jaime can be a firecracker when she wants to be ans Jeremy's reserve off-sets that perfectly. They aren't together for very long in No Humans Involved, but I'm definitely left wanting to see more between them.

Like with Haunted, Eve's story, it was great reading Jaime's story in No Humans Involved and getting better insight into her character. The next book in the series is Hope's story. What little we learn of her in this book has left me curious to learn more about her in Personal Demon.

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.









PART OF....

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Tour Review: Chasing McCree by J.C. Isabella (Giveaway)

Title: Chasing McCree
Author: J.C. Isabella
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: J.C. Isabella
Format: PDF, 256 Pages
ASIN: B007UASYB0
Release Date: April 14, 2012
Source: Tour Host {YA Bound Book Tours}
Rating: 5/5

Tagline(s): ~NONE~

Summary: Briar Thompson had it all. The right clothes, the right friends, the right car. Being popular was all that mattered. Her parents were rich and treated like royalty throughout the community. She thought her senior year of high school was going perfectly, until the night her drink was spiked at a party by one of her so called friends.

That was the night she met Chase McCree.

Chase wanted to go back to Montana. To the ranch and the wild, wide blue sky that went on forever. He wanted nothing to do with flashy cars or spoiled rich kids. But he found himself head over boots for the quirky cheerleader who turned her back on her social status. She befriended him when no one else would.

Shunned and hurt by the people who were once her friends, Briar flees with Chase to his family ranch in Montana. There she discovers another world, and apart of herself she never knew.

The cowboy wasn’t like anyone she’d ever met. The cheerleader wasn’t like anyone he’d ever met. Apart their lives didn’t seem to make sense, but together, they were chasing forever.

Goodreads Link: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13602913-chasing-mccree

Review: 

Chasing McCree switches between the perspectives of Chase McCree and Briar Thompson, although while I was reading I felt the main POV was Chase's. The story begins and finished with Chase.

Chase and Briar couldn't be from two more different worlds than they are. Chase is a cowboy from Montana, ready to inherit his family's ranch, trying to live with his mother in Florida. It's not that he doesn't love his mother, but he misses ranch life and doesn't like city life in Florida. Briar is a cheerleader and one of the popular crowd at her high school. But when she stumbles upon Chase in a park one night, drunk and injured, everything changes. She sees how superficial and shallow her life has been and decides to just be who she really is, instead of who others want her to be. A summer in Montana with Chase sounds like just what she needs.

You know, it really annoys me when rich kids judge those who aren't like them. They call Chase a hick and basically trailer trash, but what they don't know is that Chase is probably richer than all of them put together, he just doesn't flaunt it around. What I like about Briar is that, just like Chase, she has a lot of money but doesn't really care about it. And it's just awesome how she defends Chase when he's verbally attacked by his classmates. Then there's Briar's parents who think that Chase is just using her to get their money. It was priceless when they found out just how much Chase is worth. That really shut them up!

Another thing was how no one believed that Briar could possibly love living on the McCree Ranch. Is it so inconceivable that a city girl could love ranch life? I mean, seriously. Just because they don't like it doesn't mean that someone else from the city wouldn't. For someone who loves animals and wants to be a veterinarian, the ranch is the perfect place for Briar.

But living on a ranch can be dangerous too, with all the buyers out there wanting a piece of Chase's 50,000 acres. They even go so far as to hire Chase's ranch hands to scare Chase into selling by setting fires, breaking and entering into his house, shooting his cattle, and desecrating his family's memorial site. But nothing they do will ever make Chase sell the ranch--no amount of money can entice him when he has more than he knows what to do with, and any kind of vandalism or violence just makes him angry. Chase's love for his family's ranch, his family's legacy, is matched only by how much he loves Briar.

One of my favorite characters, besides our main couple, is Briar's grandmother. She's quirky and funny. She doesn't sugarcoat anything, she says it like it is. And she 100% there for Briar when her parents aren't.

I absolutely LOVED Chasing McCree. It has become one of my favorite contemporary young adult reads!


About this Author:

I'm J.C. Isabella, and I love to write. I've been writing for about ten years now. Mostly it was just for fun, for me. But my friends liked my work, so I decided to self publish. I hope you enjoy the rest of my site, and the books I have written.

The reason I chose to write romance, is because I love a happy ending. In YA there are so many lessons to be learned, so many firsts to be had. Why not write about first kisses, first crushes, or trying to explain to your father you were bitten by your boyfriend, who happens to be a werewolf?

One thing I will always promise in my books is a happy ending. I've always hated getting to the end of a really great novel, and feeling let down because it didn't end the way I thought it should. So about ten years ago, I decided to write a book. I remember it was about these kids who hijack a boat to find buried treasure in Mexico....

Needless to say, my writing has come a long way since my teen years, and I know I have room to improve, but I feel guilty having these books sitting in my computer, with no one to read them. So I'm putting them out for the world to see!

I try not to take myself too seriously. I'm not an editor, nor am I a total wiz when it comes to grammar or language. I try my darndest though, and I hope to give people an enjoyable read that is nice a break from reality.

I put a lot of work into what I do, and I appreciate people reading my work. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Author Links:

Website: http://www.jcisabella.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/jcisabellabooks
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/JC-Isabella/249262975154372
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5158465.J_C_Isabella

GIVEAWAY:
PART OF....

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Review: Darkness Before Dawn by J.A. London

Title: Darkness Before Dawn
Series: Darkness Before Dawn #1 
Author: J.A. London
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Supernatural Fiction, Dystopian Fiction
Elements: Vampires  
Publisher: Harper TEEN, Harper Collins
Format: Paperback, 342 Pages
ISBN: 978-0-06-202065-9
Release Date: May 29, 2012
Source: Borrowed from Wentworth Library
Rating: 3.5/5

Tagline(s): Only sunlight can save us.

Summary: We built the wall to keep them out, to keep us safe. But it also makes us prisoners, trapped in what's left of our ravaged city, fearing nightfall.

After the death of my parents, it's up to me--as the newest delegate for humanity--to bargain with our vampire overlord. I thought I was ready. I thought I knew everything there was to know about the monsters. Then again, nothing could have prepared me for Lord Valentine . . . or his son. Maybe not all vampires are killers. Maybe it's safe to let one in.

Only one thing is certain: Even the wall is not enough. A war is coming and we cannot hide forever.


Review: 

Dawn Montgomery lives in a world ruled by Old Family vampires. As the delegate between the citizens of Denver and Lord Valentine, Dawn negotiates the blood supply to the vampires, and ensures the protection of the people living behind the wall. The VampHu Treaty was created to protect the humans within the walled cities, but it also serves to imprison them in those cities. Any vampires within the city are fair game and can be killed by the Night Watchmen. But when Dawn meets Victor, she learns that not all vampires are the monsters she thought they were.

Darkness Before Dawn depicts a world ravaged by war, a war that has left the vampires in charge, and the humans broken, fearful, and angry. Most dystopian worlds I've read about were brought to that state by a zombie attack, so the use of vampires in Darkness Before Dawn was new for me. Another interesting thing about the vampires in this series is that creativity eludes them. In every vampire books I've read the vampires have always been extemely talented ans creative, but not so in this one.

The deaths of Dawn's parents and brother have influenced her view of vampires. She doesn't know how her parents died exactly, only that they were ash by the time the Agency got to them. Her brother Brady's death was more traumatic. A vampire attacked their home and Brady put Dawn in a closet to protect her. His final words to her were, "Don't be afraid of the dark," and then all she heard after that was his screams. So you can see why Dawn views vampires as bloodthirsty monsters. But Victor slowly shows her that not all vampires are like the one that killed her brother.

In the prologue we see Dawn's parents before their eventual deaths and the assassin asking, "Does your daughter have any idea about her true heritage?" This leaves me wondering, is Dawn more than human? Dawn mentions how the sunset calms her. This makes me think that she has some vampire in her. Lord Valentine mentions his other son turning her into what she was always meant to be. What is Dawn meant to be? These questions aren't answered in Darkness Before Dawn, but I hope that was get even just a little hint in the sequel, Blood-Kissed Sky.

Stand Out Quotes:

"You're not what I thought"

"I think you're the closest thing to a sunrise I'll ever see."

"You're not a monster, Victor."

"I think I can actually hear my heart breaking. Once again because of a vampire." 

About this Author:

J. A. London is the mother-son writing team of Rachel Hawthorne and her son, Alex London. Rachel has written many novels for teens, including the popular Dark Guardian series. Alex, a recent graduate with a degree in Historical Studies, enjoys combining history and fiction to create unique worlds. The Darkness Before Dawn series is their first joint project.