Thursday, January 31, 2013

#RCCleanup: Review Copy Cleanup 3.0: My Pile

The Review Copy Cleanup Challenge is hosted by Vicky @ Books, Biscuits & Tea and Celine @ Nyx Book Reviews!
 
 
My Review Pile: 
I'll link all reviews to this page!

  • Spell Bound by Kelley Armstrong
  • The Darkest Secret by Gena Showalter
  • The Darkest Surrender by Gena Showalter
  • Darkest Powers Bonus Pack #1 by Kelley Armstrong
  • The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross
  • Looking for Alaska by John Green
  • One Foot in the Grave by Jeaniene Frost
  • Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini
  • The Boys of Summer by C.J. Duggan

  • Koishi by Annie Nicholas
  • Seeds of Discovery by Breeana Puttroff
  • Farsighted by Emlyn Chand
  • Fall For Me by K.A. Last
  • When Silver Moons Rise by KaSonndra Leigh
  • Cornerstone Deep by Charlene A. Wilson
  • Heart by Jacqueline Paige
  • Dehumanized by Michael Loring
  • Frost Fire by Olivia Rivers
  • Food for a Hungry Ghost by Becky M. Pourchot
  • The Exemeus by Folami & Abeni Morris

Tour Review: Thunder by Taryn Kincaid (Giveaway)

Title: Thunder
Series: 1Night Stand / Sleepy Hollow #2
Author: Taryn Kincaid
Genre: Erotic Romance, Supernatural Fiction
Elements: Witches
Publisher: Decedent Publishing
Format: PDF, 45 Pages
ASIN: B009WGQLZQ
Release Date: October 24, 2012
Source: Tour Host {FMB Book Tours}
Rating: 4/5

Purchase Here: Kindle

Tagline(s): ~NONE~

Summary: Lonely young witch, Veronica Hardwicke, has struggled to get on with her life after the death of the elderly husband who’d left her a fortune and a sprawling estate in mystical Sleepy Hollow. When frightening things go bump in the night on a stormy Fourth of July, who better to call than the sexy developer and contractor, Sean Jones, who's been renovating her mansion for months?

Sean may grace the tabloid pages with a different supermodel on his arm every night, but it's Veronica who drives him nuts. Ignoring his instinct to stay away, he answers her summons.

Will the thundering passion of their 1Night Stand tear down the barriers between them?

Short Review:

I liked how Thunder kind of carried on from where Lightning ended, but with Sean and Veronica's story. We even get to see how things are between Camp and Lily from the first book. Where Lightning was more serious, Thunder has some humor and is a little more lighthearted. Of course, there are supernatural elements. You can't place a story in the town of Sleepy Hollow and not have something mystical. Veronica is a witch, maybe not a very good one, but she can do simple things. I liked how easily Sean accepted that she's a witch. Although having a brother who has superhuman abilities and is dating a succubus has an impact. I absolutely love the Sleepy Hollow series (which is a part of the 1Night Stand series) and I can't wait to read the next book, Frost!

Excerpt:

Veronica paced back and forth in the grand entry foyer of the Belmont mansion, the kitten heels of her Prada mules clacking on the marble floors.
The rest of the place might not be finished, but she’d insisted on having a few rooms completed, so at least she felt like she was living in a home, rather than a massive, never-ending construction project. Well, her contractor had insisted, even though working around the main entrance and central hallway created more work for him and his crew. But she was forced to admit he was right.
Her cell phone chimed on top of the antique credenza shoved flush against one wall. She leaped for it. Probably Geneviève, to regale her with all the fun she was having inParis. Or Sean, to advise her he couldn’t make it after all. She sighed and read the text message on the small screen.
Congratulations, Veronica. 1Night Stand has found your date. Have a good time.
With both anxiety and mounting excitement, she stared at the screen and waited. No other info. Outside in the night, thunder boomed. She jumped then laughed at herself.
Ghosts are one thing, but freaking out at the weather now? Cripes, you really do need this date!
She let her imagination run wild, then texted back for more details:
When? Where? Who?
An insistent pounding at the front door jarred her out of her fantasy. She swung the door open on another explosive crack of thunder.
Sean stood on her doorstep, his soaked T-shirt molding sculpted pecs and abs, his drenched hair flattened over his brow. Rain poured down as he fiddled with his iPhone, a bemused expression on his face. Behind him, jagged arrows of lightning tore the dark sky. He glared at the screen, glanced at her in confusion, then back at the screen.
Veronica’s own phone pinged again. Thunder roared. She read the message in disbelief.
You’re looking at him.

About this Author:

Multi-published author of HEALING HEARTS, a sensual Regency romance from Carina Press; SLEEPY HOLLOW DREAMS, an erotic paranormal from The Wild Rose Press; LIGHTNING and THUNDER, both erotic paranormals for Decadent Publishing's 1Night Stand series.

A former award-winning newspaper reporter and columnist, Taryn currently slaves away in the booby-trapped field of law, escaping into the delicious world of romance every chance she gets. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Hudson Valley RWA, RWA’s Beau Monde chapter, RWA’s Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal chapter, and RWA’s Electronic & Small Press Authors Network.

She lives in the historical Hudson River valley region outside of New York City, where the shopping is fabulous, the scenery is awesome, and things can very often be relied upon to go bump in the night.

Taryn loves to hear from you! Find her on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and her author page at Amazon.com.  Check out the CONTACT page to email her and feel free to leave comments on the BLOG.


GIVEAWAY: 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

PART OF....

Tour Review: Touching Evil by Amber Garr (Giveaway)

Title: Touching Evil
Series: Leila Marx #1
Author(s): Amber Garr
Genre: New Adult Fiction, Supernatural Fiction
Elements: Psychic Abilities, Demons, Fae, Werewolves, Sorcerers, Witches, Vampires, Ghosts
Publisher: CreateSpace
Format: PDF, 134 Pages
ISBN: 9781480021594
Release Date: November 5, 2012
Source: Tour Host {iLuvTours}
Rating: 

Purchase Here: Kindle // Paperback

Tagline(s): With one touch she can see it all.

Summary: Leila Marx is trying to put her life back together after her fiancé is murdered. When Detective Garrick Pearson enlists her help with a difficult case, she is thankful for the distraction and the opportunity to use her talents as a touch clairvoyant. Leila and Garrick delve into the mystery behind a series of missing teenage girls and mummified corpses while discovering their own growing attraction to each other.

Conner Hoffman is an intriguing lawyer and striking half-demon who enters Leila’s life unexpectedly. Although her visions are terrifying, she is fascinated by his charm and his legacy. When it becomes evident that the murders are linked to a paranormal event, Conner introduces Leila to a world unbeknownst to ordinary society. She suddenly finds herself immersed in supernatural politics, sorcery, and danger as she becomes the killer’s next target.

Staying alive will mean relying on friends, accepting the unbelievable, and trusting in her heart again.

Short Review:

A must read! Touching Evil has a complex story that isn't complex. It's easy to understand and flows perfectly. This books features a lot of supernatural beings we all love, and mysteries to be solved. I can't wait for the next book!

About this Author:

Amber Garr spends her days conducting scientific experiments and wondering if her next door neighbor is secretly a vampire. Born in Pennsylvania, she lives in Florida with her husband and their furry kids. Her childhood imaginary friend was a witch, Halloween is sacred, and she is certain that she has a supernatural sense of smell. She writes both adult and young adult urban fantasies and when not obsessing over the unknown, she can be found dancing, reading, or enjoying a good movie.









ABTB GIVEAWAY: 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR WIDE GIVEAWAY:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

PART OF....

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Challenge Review: The Darkest Lie by Gena Showalter

Title: The Darkest Lie
Series: Lords of the Underworld #6
Author(s): Gena Showalter
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Supernatural Fiction
Elements: Demons, Immortals, Angels, Deities
Setting Location(s): Budapest, Hungary ; Hell ; Titania ; Chicago, Illinois ; Greece
Publisher: HQN Books, Harlequin Books
Format:  Mass Market Paperback, 444 Pages
ISBN: 978037377416
Release Date: June 29, 2010
Source: Borrowed from Wentworth Library
Rating: 5/5

Purchase Here: Kindle // Mass Market Paperback

Tagline(s): ~NONE~

Summary: Forced to his knees in agony whenever he speaks the truth, Gideon can recognize any lie—until he captures Scarlet, a demon-possessed immortal who claims to be his long-lost wife. He doesn’t remember the beautiful female, much less wedding — or bedding — her. But he wants to . . . almost as much as he wants her.

But Scarlet is keeper of Nightmares, too dangerous to roam free, and a future with her could mean ultimate ruin. Especially as Gideon’s enemies draw closer . . . and the truth threatens to destroy all he’s come to love . . .

Review:

As Keeper of Lies, Gideon can recognize when he's being lied to, but when he meets Scarlet, the Keeper of Nightmares, and she tells him that she's his wife, Gideon can't tell if she speaks true or false. I won't say much on the truth of the matter, but I will pose these questions: What if someone caused you to believe something so completely that there is no room for doubt? What would you do if it all turned out to be false? Where Scarlet remembers a whole life with Gideon before their possession, Gideon only remembers snippets, and none of it is what Scarlet remembers. So who's memory is correct? Even with this possible falsehood between them, Gideon and Scarlet still manage to love each other. It's a painful road they take to get to that point, but it's also beautiful. We also find out an interesting tidbit about their demons, Lies and Nightmares.

While Gideon and Scarlet's story is the main one in The Darkest Lie, there are three smaller plotlines that set up the stories for future books. One is about Amun and how he was overrun by demons while helping Aeron free Legion from Hell. The next is about Sienna and how she feels used and betrayed by Paris, but her rage at Cronus for making her the new Keeper of Wrath has her trying to escape and find Paris for help. And the final one is about Strider and how he finds Haidee, who is actually Hadiee, the woman responsible for Baden's death, and captures her to bring back to the fortress. Like I said earlier, these three plotlines will set up the next three books in the Lords of the Underworld series, so they're kinda important to pay attention to.

Some observations I noticed in The Darkest Lie are that Cronus, as his age regresses, seems more friendly than when he was first released from Tartarus. This really shows that age does make your more cranky, LOL! And another that should be watched for is that William may or may not be Lucifer's brother. He also may or may not have a connection to the Four Horsemen. Nothing about William is made clear, but we are given small nuggets to keep us guessing.

The Darkest Lie is about uncovering what is true and false. It's about finding what's worth risking everything for. It's about knowing when it's time to let go and when it's time to keep holding on. And it's about realizing that though your mind may not know the truth, your heart will always lead you true. Truth and lies were the foundation for Gideon and Scarlet's relationship, but their hearts never lead them astray. While the lies caused them untold pain and sorrow, the truth gave them unknown joy and happiness.

I can't wait to read Amun's story in The Darkest Secret. How will he rid himself of the demons overrunning his body? How can one female, hated by the Lords for centuries, save Amun in his darkest hour?

About this Author:

Gena Showalter sold her first book at the age of 27 and now, four years later, is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of thirteen books, with eleven more on the way in a thrilling blend of genres: breathtaking paranormal and contemporary romances, cutting edge young adult novels, and stunning urban fantasy.

Her novels have appeared in Cosmopolitan Magazine, MTV, Seventeen Magazine, and have been translated in French, Italian and Korean. The critics have called her books "sizzling page-turners" and "utterly spellbinding stories", while Showalter herself has been called “a star on the rise”. 




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Looking for Alaska & Catching Jordan Read Along


The Looking for Alaska & Catching Jordan Read Along is hosted by Book Twirps as their February read along!



 How does it work?
  • Each month we will post approximately 6 books to choose from. Participants will get to vote for two books. The book with the most votes win. In the case of a tie, we will post another poll for the two books. If there’s still a tie, the host(s) will choose.
  • We will post the selected book at least a week before the read-along starts so you have time to purchase, borrow, or check the book out of the library.
  • A few days before the first of the month, we will post a reading schedule for each week. (Feel free to read ahead, just don’t spoil anything for the rest of us).
  • We will post a set of discussion questions each week. Please join in and let us know your thoughts.
  • If you are a blogger, feel free to post the discussion on your blog as well. The more the merrier.
Rules:
  • Respect everyone’s opinion. Reading is subjective and what one person finds brilliant, another person may hate.
  • No spoilers if you read ahead.
  • Have fun!

Looking for Alaska Synopsis:

Before.

Miles "Pudge" Halter's whole existence has been one big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the "Great Perhaps" (François Rabelais, poet) even more. Then he heads off to the sometimes crazy, possibly unstable, and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed-up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young, who is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart.

After.

Nothing is ever the same.


Catching Jordan Synopsis:

ONE OF THE BOYS

What girl doesn't want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn't just surrounded by hot guys, though-she leads them as the captain and quarterback of her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys and that's just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university.

But everything she's ever worked for is threatened when Ty Green moves to her school. Not only is he an amazing QB, but he's also amazingly hot. And for the first time, Jordan's feeling vulnerable. Can she keep her head in the game while her heart's on the line?


NOTE: I WILL ONLY BE PARTICIPATING IN THE LOOKING FOR ALASKA PORTION OF THIS READ ALONG, SINCE I DON'T HAVE ACCESS TO CATCHING JORDAN.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tour Review: Demons of the Rich and Famous by Tawny Stokes

Title: Demons of the Rich and Famous
Series: Demon Whisperer #1
Author(s): Tawny Stokes
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Supernatural Fiction
Elements: Demons
Publisher: Tawny Stokes
Format:  
ASIN: B005QR95VW
Release Date: September 28, 2011
Source: 
Rating: 

Purchase Here: Kindle

Tagline(s): Supernatural possession is the new “disease” and teen exorcist Caden Butcher is the cure…

Summary: Caden Butcher, known as the whiz-kid exorcist to the stars, loves the Hollywood limelight. Or at least that’s what he wants people to believe so he can earn enough cash from his high profile exorcisms to take care of his ailing father. The problem is, not everyone’s happy with Caden’s star status, particularly Remy Martin, a high ranking member of the International Order of Exorcists, who suspects the truth, that these Hollywood exorcisms are staged with the help of Caden’s demon BFF, Dan.

So when a real exorcism goes bad and a nasty demon jumps bodies, the crap hits the supernatural fan. The Order strips Caden of his exorcism license right before he discovers the unleashed demon is one he knows well, very well. This demon is hell bent on destroying Caden’s life and everyone else who gets in his way. Now with the help of his demon buddy, and Caden’s girlfriend Aspen Spencer, a necromancer in training, Caden must defy the Order, track down the rogue demon and send him back to hell before it’s too late.

Review: 

REVIEW WILL BE POSTED AT A LATER TIME.

About this Author:

Tawny Stokes has always been a writer. From an early age, she’d spin tales of serial killers in love, vampires taking over the world, and sometimes about fluffy bunnies turned bunnicidal maniacs. An honour student in high school, with a penchant for math and English, you’d never know it by the foot high blue Mohawk and Doc Martens, which often got her into trouble. No longer a Mohawk wearer, Tawny still enjoys old school punk rock, trance, zombie movies, teen horror films, and fluffy bunnies. She lives in Canada with her fantastical daughter, two cats, and spends most of her time creating new stories for teens.

You can visit her at http://www.tawnystokes.com or follow her on twitter @TawnyStokes

Tawny also writes adult fiction under the name Vivi Anna.




PART OF....
 

Monday, January 28, 2013

#WintersRespite: A Winter's Respite Read-A-Thon Finale Wrap Up

The A Winter's Respite Read-A-Thon is hosted by Michelle @ The True Book Addict @ Seasons of Reading!!

Books to Read for Challenges/Read Alongs:


To Read for Tours: 


Manga to Read:

Rin-Ne ---> Volumes 8 / 9 / 10
Sailor Moon ---> Volumes 7 / 8


UPDATES:

1/21
Number of books I’ve read today: 4
Total number of books I’ve read: 4
1/22  
Number of books I've read today: 1
Total number of books I've read: 4
Books: Halfway to the Grave (Pages 117-140) 
Books Finished: NONE 
 
1/23
Number of books I've read today: 4
Total Number of books I've read: 8
 
1/24
Number of books I've read today: 2
Total Number of books I've read: 8
Books: Skid Out (Pages 23-59) , Halfway to the Grave (Pages 140-304)
Books Finished: Skid Out
 
1/25
Number of books I've read today: 3
Total Number of books I've read: 10
Books: When We Collide (Pages 1-14) , Halfway to the Grave (Pages 305-358) , The Calling (Pages 1-59)
Books Finished: Halfway to the Grave
 
1/26
Number of books I've read today: 2
Total Number of books I've read: 11
Books: Dragon Temptation , The Calling (Pages 60-76)
Books Finished: Dragon Temptation
 
1/27 
Number of books I've read today: 1
Total Number of books I've read: 11
Book: The Calling (Pages 77-229)
Books Finished: NONE
 
FINAL STATS:
 
Total Number of Books Read During the Read-A-Thon: 11
Total Number of Books Finished: 9
Books Started but Unfinished: When We Collide (Pages 1-14) , The Calling (Pages 77-229)

#RCCleanup: Review Copy Cleanup 3.0 {Sign Up}

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

Guidelines:

Review Copy Cleanup 3.0 runs from 1 to 28 February

It starts and ends at midnight in your local timezone to avoid confusion

To sign up, just fill in the linky below. Link to your sign up post directly, please! The linky is the same for both our blogs, so you only have to sign up once.

The Linky will close on the 15th, so make you sign up before then.

When you post your sign up post on your blog, either include the challenge button with your post or link it back to this article so that people know where to sign up. Thanks! (: 

Every book you received for review counts towards the challenge, both e-books and hard copies (even audio books for review if you have those), including all genres and lengths.

Feel free to use the #RCCleanup hashtag on Twitter for your RCC related tweets or join the Twitter party at http://tweetchat.com/room/RCCleanup and meet lots of awesome bloggers (:

At the end of every week we will post our personal updates, and we’ll include a linky for you to add yours!


Sign up here:
OR

Challenge Review: The Calling by Kelley Armstrong

Title: The Calling
Series: Darkness Rising #2
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Supernatural Fiction
Elements: Shapeshifters, Psychic Abilities, Demons
Setting Location: Salmon Creek, Vancouver Island, Canada (fictional)
Publisher: Harper Teen, Harper Collins
Format: Hardcover, 326 Pages
ISBN: 9780061797057
Release Date: April 10, 2012
Source: Borrowed from Wentworth Library
Rating: 5/5

Purchase Here: Kindle // Paperback // Audiobook

Tagline(s): ~NONE~ 

Summary: Maya Delaney's paw-print birthmark is the mark of what she truly is -a skin-walker. She can run faster, climb higher, and see better than nearly everyone else. Experiencing intense connections with the animals that roam the woods outside her home, Maya knows it's only a matter of time before she's able to Shift and become one of them. And she believes there may be others in her small town with surprising talents.

Now Maya and her friends have been forced to flee from their homes during a forest fire they suspect was deliberately set. Then they're kidnapped, and after a chilling helicopter crash, they find themselves in the Vancouver Island wilderness with nothing but their extraordinary abilities to help them get back home.

In THE CALLING, the sizzling second book in the Darkness Rising trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong pumps up the romance, danger, and suspense that left readers of THE GATHERING clamoring for more.


Review: 

Maya and her friends are being evacuated from a burning Salmon Creek when they notice something isn't quite right. Mayor Tillson is unresponsive and Maya finds signs that he's been drugged. The pilot is acting suspicious, and as the helicopter loses control, a friend is lost. Injured, but having escaped their kidnappers, they find themselves lost in the wilderness of Vancouver Island. As they make their way back to Salmon Creek, secrets and revelations are brought to light, some of which are better left in the dark. 

Project Phoenix is an experiment where the St. Clouds are trying to resurrect extinct supernatural types. Mina Lee had given Daniel a list of terms that included: benandanti, yee naaldlooshii, xana, and sileni. We know that the yee naaldlooshii were an extinct Native American skinwalker, and that that's what Maya, Rafe and Annie are. Sam reveals herself to be a benandanti and that she believes Daniel is one too. The benandanti were an extinct race of demon hunters who evolved into general evil hunters. Like the skinwalkers, the demon hunters hid their powers through intermarriage and the St. Clouds resurrected the genes to bring them back.

SPOILERS AFTER THIS POINT!!

Now, it isn't said in The Calling what the xana and sileni are, but I looked them up and found out what they are. The xana (ha-na) are female water nymphs or fairies. They are extraordinarily beautiful, usually small, slender, with long blonde or light brown hair. Their hypnotic voices can make one feel a sense of peace and love or feel suffocated and driven insane, depending on the purity of the soul. They can be kind, but are territorial. Serena, Hayley, and Nicole all fit this description. It would also fit with Sam's suspicion that Nicole was responsible for Serena's death. Nicole thought of Daniel as her territory and destroyed Serena for invading it.

Sileni were drunken followers of the Greek dog, Dionysus, who ruled over the grape harvest, wine, ritual madness and ecstasy (or possibly followers of his tutor, Silenus, the oldest, wisest, and most drunken of Dionysus's followers). Silenus was believed to possess special knowledge and the power of prophecy when drunk. I feel pretty bad for Corey in this case, because this fits him and the emergence of his powers. Corey is known for his drinking and it seems to help keep his headaches away. It is while he is drunk that his visions come.

There have been some developments in each of their powers, but it'll be interesting to see how much  more they could change in The Rising, especially when those who don't know what they are find out.

The man that held a gun on Maya and looked like her in The Gathering when they were escaping turns out to really be her father, like she suspected. But he's aligned himself with the Nast Cabal to search for her and her friends. He claims to have been searching for her and her brother ever since her mother ran off with them. Do I believe that? I'm not sure. Calvin Antone seems suspicious to me and like he's still hiding something.

Then they made it back to Salmon Creek, the town was completely deserted, their parents believing them to be dead. But the St. Clouds haven't given up on capturing them. Maya, Daniel, Corey, and Rafe split up. Rafe and Corey act as decoys so Maya and Daniel can get away and get help--they end up captured. As they are running, Daniel gets shot with a tranq and tells Maya to keep going. But Maya's not going to leave her friends behind and waits for her chance to rescue them. She Shifts into a cougar and...well...it's really awesome, she was amazing. But while Maya was able to free Daniel and Corey, they didn't make it in time to the helipad to get Rafe, Annie, Sam, and Kenjii.

Before all this happened, Rafe gave Maya a note, and it turned out to be memos on the Buffalo escape and the failed Genesis Project. Rafe left a contact his mother gave him and told Maya to find him and then come back for them. I believe this contact to be Simon and Derek's dad, Kit. The moment I've been looking forward to the most in this series is when the groups from the Darkness Rising and Darkest Powers series come together. I have a feeling it's going to be amazing.

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.






 
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Challenge Review: The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong

Title: The Gathering
Series: Darkness Rising #1
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Supernatural Fiction
Elements: Shapeshifters
Setting Location: Salmon Creek, Vancouver Island, Canada (fictional) // Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, Canada
Publisher: Harper Teen, Harper Collins
Format: Hardcover, 359 Pages
ISBN: 9780061797026
Release Date: April 12, 2011
Source: Borrowed from Wentworth Library
Rating: 5/5

Purchase Here: Kindle // Paperback // Audiobook

Tagline(s): ~NONE~ 

Summary: Sixteen year old Maya is just an ordinary teen in an ordinary town. Sure, she doesn't know much about her background--the only thing she really has to cling to is an odd paw-print birthmark on her hip--but she never really put much thought into who her parents were or how she ended up with her adopted parents in this tiny medical research community on Vancouver Island.

Until now.

Strange things have been happening in this claustrophobic town--from the mountain lions that have been approaching Maya to her best friend's hidden talent for "feeling" out people and situations to the sexy new bad boy who makes Maya feel...different. Combine that with a few unexplained deaths and a mystery involving Maya's biological parents and it's easy to suspect that this town might have more than its share of skeletons in its closet.

In The Gathering, New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong brings all the supernatural thrills from her wildly successful Darkest Powers series to Darkness Rising, her scorching hot new trilogy.

Review:

Strange and unusual things happen in Salmon Creek, one of them being Maya Delany's best friend Serena drowning. How could a star swimmer have drowned in a lake she swan in her whole life? Maya has never gotten over her friend's death, and she's never forgotten how strangely it happened. She's still looking for answers.

Maya is a half-Native who was adopted by her parents when she was a baby. They moved to Salmon Creek when she was 5 years old. And she has a faded mark on her hip that looks like a paw print. There is a lot that she doesn't know about her birth parents, and therefore herself. And it's never bothered her until an old woman called her a witch.

Through varying sources, but most importantly from Rafe, a new student and resident in Salmon Creek, Maya learns that she's a Skinwalker. That definitely explains why she feels most energetic outside and how she can wield some control over animals, as well as being able to heal them. Turns out that when their mothers found out about the testing being done on them, they went into hiding. Maya's mother's family hid by intermarriage--that's why she's half-white. She even learns that she has a twin brother out there somewhere.

Now the baddies are, of course, the St. Cloud Corporation, better known to the supernatural world as the St. Cloud Cabal. Dr. Davidoff makes annual visits to Salmon Creek, and you can bet that nothing good happens anywhere that man goes. There's even a statue of Samuel Lyle in the town center! If that isn't a clue that these are the same people behind what happened in the Darkest Powers series, I don't know what is.

Mina Lee, a "reporter," was working with someone to get information on the town and the kids that live there, but mostly those who weren't born there--Rafe, Maya, and Sam. There's mention of the Nasts and Cortezes, rival Cabals. The screw up in Buffalo that happened in the Darkest Powers series is brought up, along with Project Genesis and even an Elizabeth Delaney. Someone Maya is related to?

Then the woods surrounding Salmon Creek catch on fire, sending everyone fleeing from the town. But Maya notices that the fire is headed straight for Salmon Creek in an unnatural way, and there are armed men searching the blazing forest. But the most shocking thing is that one of the men who tried to get Maya to follow him looks just like her! Could he really be Maya's father?

I loved the Darkest Powers series, and this first book in the Darkness Rising series was just as exciting. There is so much left unsaid that it leaves you wanting to know what's going to happen next. I can't wait to read The Calling to see how things turn out for Maya and her friends.

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.... 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

#WintersRespite: A Winter's Respite Read-A-Thon Day 6 Wrap Up

The A Winter's Respite Read-A-Thon is hosted by Michelle @ The True Book Addict @ Seasons of Reading!!

Books to Read for Challenges/Read Alongs:


To Read for Tours: 


Manga to Read:

Rin-Ne ---> Volumes 8 / 9 / 10
Sailor Moon ---> Volumes 7 / 8


UPDATES:

1/21
Number of books I’ve read today: 4
Total number of books I’ve read: 4
1/22  
Number of books I've read today: 1
Total number of books I've read: 4
Books: Halfway to the Grave (Pages 117-140) 
Books Finished: NONE 
 
1/23
Number of books I've read today: 4
Total Number of books I've read: 8
 
1/24
Number of books I've read today: 2
Total Number of books I've read: 8
Books: Skid Out (Pages 23-59) , Halfway to the Grave (Pages 140-304)
Books Finished: Skid Out
 
1/25
Number of books I've read today: 3
Total Number of books I've read: 10
Books: When We Collide (Pages 1-14) , Halfway to the Grave (Pages 305-358) , The Calling (Pages 1-59)
Books Finished: Halfway to the Grave
 
1/26
Number of books I've read today: 2
Total Number of books I've read: 11
Books: Dragon Temptation , The Calling (Pages 60-76)
Books Finished: Dragon Temptation

Review: Poison Princess by Kresley Cole

Title: Poison Princess
Series: The Arcana Chronicles #1
Author(s): Kresley Cole
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Dystopian Fiction, Supernatural Fiction
Elements: Zombies, Psychic Abilities, Magicians
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Format: Hardcover, 369 Pages
ISBN: 9781442436640
Release Date: October 2, 2012
Source: Book Depository
Rating: 5/5

Purchase Here: Kindle // Hardcover // Free Preview

Tagline(s): She could save to world--or destroy it. But she can't do either alone. Who can Evie trust?

Summary: Sixteen year old Evangeline “Evie” Greene leads a charmed life, until she begins experiencing horrifying hallucinations. When an apocalyptic event decimates her Louisiana hometown, Evie realizes her hallucinations were actually visions of the future—and they’re still happening. Fighting for her life and desperate for answers, she must turn to her wrong-side-of-the-bayou classmate: Jack Deveaux.

With his mile-long rap sheet, wicked grin, and bad attitude, Jack is like no boy Evie has ever known. Even though he once scorned her and everything she represented, he agrees to protect Evie on her quest. She knows she can’t totally depend on Jack. If he ever cast that wicked grin her way, could she possibly resist him?

As Jack and Evie race to find the source of her visions, they meet others who have gotten the same call. An ancient prophesy is being played out, and Evie is not the only one with special powers. A group of twenty-two teens has been chosen to reenact the ultimate battle between good and evil. But it’s not always clear who is on which side….

Review:

Poison Princess begins with Evie meeting Arthur, a young man with a hidden (from Evie, at least) agenda, and recounting her story from 6 days before the Flash to 246 days after the Flash. There are a couple of things that make this dystopian tale unique. One is that we get to see the events leading up to the apocalyptic event. We see Evie's life before the Flash and the horrific end-of-the-world visions she has. Then the actual event itself that changes the world irrevocably. The other is the use of the Major Arcana of the Tarot. This is something that's never been used before. Evie is a part of a group of teens that represent one of the 21 Major Arcana and have the powers of that character. Evie is the Empress Card. So while there are a few general dystopian elements in Poison Princess, there are many that make this novel utterly unique.

As the Empress Card, Evie has power over plants. She can control them, use her blood to grow them, and she has thorn claws that are poisonous. Though she had visions of the coming Flash, that was not her power, but another Arcana's who wanted her to be ready. Evie is the Card that doesn't attack outright, but beckons her enemies to her and waits for that perfect moment to strike. One thing to watch out for if the Empress's connection to the Red Witch. It's important to Evie's development as the Empress.

Death is an enigmatic Arcana. Not much is known about him. He's very old, 21 centuries to be exact. He's the most beautiful boy Evie's ever seen. (Death always turns out to be incredibly gorgeous, though, doesn't he?). Now this is where is gets a little unclear. The Empress is the Card that Death covets the most. How exactly does he covet her? The relationship between the Empress Card and the Death Card can be confusing at times.

The other Cards that join Evie on her quest are Selena, the Moon Card; Matthew, the Fool Card; and Finn, the Magician Card. Aside from these three Arcana, Evie has met only one other in person so far, the Hermit Card. I won't say who the Hermit is so that it's not spoiled for readers. Out of these four, Evie is closest to Matthew. She only just met him in person, but feels are very strong bond with him. Besides Evie, Matthew is my favorite Arcana so far in the series.

One thing I'm really curious about concerning the Arcana is what the rain does, how it's supposed to affect them. According to Matthew, the rain weakens Evie, or the "good" Cards, and strengthens the "bad" Cards, like Death. Clouds on the horizon are a bad omen for Evie and her group.

Outside of all things Arcana is the relationship between Evie and Jackson. Before and After the Flash, they are at each other's throats. But as they struggle to survive in the newly dangerous and ruthless world, they learn more about each other and slowly grow closer. But when you think that they are finally going to take that last step and be together, something or someone comes between them. Evie and Jackson have a very bittersweet relationship that seems doomed from the start in this first book in the Arcana Chronicles. It'll be interesting to see where things go after the events at that end of this book.

I absolutely loved Poison Princess and I believe that it's a must read for any fan of dystopian fiction looking for something different from the usual in this genre. Kresley Cole did an amazing job writing her first Young Adult series. The Arcana Chronicles is a series that I'm going to be keeping a close eye on.

About this Author:

Kresley Cole is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the electrifying Immortals After Dark paranormal series and the young adult Arcana Chronicles. She has also written five award-winning historical romances.

Since her first novel was released in 2003, Kresley has published nineteen books with Simon & Schuster and has seen her releases translated into more than eighteen foreign languages. She has traveled over much of the world and draws from those experiences to create her memorable characters and settings. Two of her favorite places to visit include the rain forests of Central America and the Queensland area of Australia.

Cole’s trademark action, sensuality, and humor are exemplified in her popular Immortals After Dark Series, which revolves around the Lore, a secret stratum of hundreds of immortal creatures--ranging from Vampires to Lykae, Furies to Shifters, and Fey to Valkyrie--that each have their strengths, weaknesses, and age old prejudices against the others. Though they secretly live among humans, they constantly war among themselves, which gives her a lot of material.

In 2007, Kresley won the prestigious Romance Writers of America RITA award for best paranormal for her novel A Hunger Like No Other, and in January 2009, she became a #1 New York Times and Publishers Weekly bestseller with her sixth IAD installment, Kiss of a Demon King. In 2010, Kiss of a Demon King earned Kresley her second RITA award. 2011 brought Cole her second #1 NYT bestseller with Dreams of a Dark Warrior.

She lives in Florida with her husband and far too many animals. She spends any free time traveling and enjoys all things related to boats and water. You can learn more about Kresley at www.kresleycole.com.


PART OF....

Tour Review: When We Collide by A.L. Jackson

Title: When We Collide
Author(s): A.L. Jackson
Genre: New Adult Fiction, Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: Sapphire Star Publishing
Format: PDF, 161 Pages
ISBN: 9781938404276
Release Date: November 2, 2012
Source: Tour Host {SupaGurl Book Tours}
Rating: 

Purchase Here: Kindle // Paperback 

Tagline(s): ~NONE~

Summary: William has spent six years running from his past and the last eight months trying to rid his mind of the dreams that increasingly haunt his nights. Trapped in a world of false ambitions and feigned affections, William knows he’s reached a breaking point and something’s going to give.

Maggie had lived her entire life without hope until one man showed her what it meant to be loved. He’d been her light in a lifetime of darkness. Six years ago, that darkness stole him away. Without him, she’s surrendered herself to an existence she doesn’t know how to escape.

When the family William left behind is struck by tragedy, he is called back to the one place he’s sworn to never return to again.

In a moment that will change his life forever, William comes face to face with the girl who, with one look, captured his heart. He is unable to ignore the buried desires and the hope for the future they’d once believed they’d have.

Now William is ready to fight to take back what had been stolen from him six years before.

But he never imagined what that fight might cost him.

A.L. Jackson gives you an intimate look into the lives of a family bound by an unseen connection in this new contemporary romance.

Short Review:

An intense and emotional story! Compelling story and characters. When We Collide is a book not to be missed.

About this Author:

A.L. Jackson first found a love for writing during her days as a young mother and college student. She filled the journals she carried with short stories and poems used as an emotional outlet for the difficulties and joys she found in day-to-day life.

Years later, she shared a short story she’d been working on with her two closest friends and, with their encouragement, this story became her first full length novel. A.L. now spends her days writing in Southern Arizona where she lives with her husband and three beautiful children. Her favorite pastime is spending time with the ones she loves.








PART OF....


Saturday, January 26, 2013

#WintersRespite: A Winter's Respite Read-A-Thon Day 5 Wrap Up

The A Winter's Respite Read-A-Thon is hosted by Michelle @ The True Book Addict @ Seasons of Reading!!

Books to Read for Challenges/Read Alongs:


To Read for Tours: 


Manga to Read:

Rin-Ne ---> Volumes 8 / 9 / 10
Sailor Moon ---> Volumes 7 / 8


UPDATES:

1/21
Number of books I’ve read today: 4
Total number of books I’ve read: 4
1/22  
Number of books I've read today: 1
Total number of books I've read: 4
Books: Halfway to the Grave (Pages 117-140) 
Books Finished: NONE 
 
1/23
Number of books I've read today: 4
Total Number of books I've read: 8
 
1/24
Number of books I've read today: 2
Total Number of books I've read: 8
Books: Skid Out (Pages 23-59) , Halfway to the Grave (Pages 140-304)
Books Finished: Skid Out
 
1/25
Number of books I've read today: 3
Total Number of books I've read: 10
Books: When We Collide (Pages 1-14) , Halfway to the Grave (Pages 305-358) , The Calling (Pages 1-59)
Books Finished: Halfway to the Grave

Friday, January 25, 2013

Challenge Review: Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

Title: Halfway to the Grave 
Series: Night Huntress #1
Author: Jeaniene Frost
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Supernatural Fiction
Elements: Vampires, Ghosts, Ghouls
Publisher: Avon Books, Harper Collins
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 358 Pages
ISBN: 9780061245084
Release Date: November 2007
Source: Borrowed from Wentworth Library
Rating: 5/5

Purchase Here: Kindle // Mass Market Paperback

Tagline(s): Sometimes you have to fight the undead with the half-dead... / Flirting with the grave...

Summary: Half-vampire Catherine Crawfield is going after the undead with a vengeance, hoping that one of these deadbeats is her father--the one responsible for ruining her mother's life. Then she's captured by Bones, a vampire bounty hunter, and is forced into an unholy partnership.

In exchange for finding her father, Cat agrees to train with the sexy night stalker until her battle reflexes are as sharp as his fangs. She's amazed she doesn't end up as his dinner--are there actually good vampires? Pretty soon Bones will have her convinced that being half-dead doesn't have to be all bad. But before she can enjoy her newfound status as kick-ass demon hunter, Cat and Bones are pursued by a group of killers. Now Cat will have to choose a side . . . and Bones is turning out to be as tempting as any man with a heartbeat.

Review: 

Cat has been told that all vampires are evil. After all, her mother was sexually assaulted by one, resulting in Cat's birth. Being a half-vampire gives her abilities perfect for seeking revenge against the creatures that once hurt her mother. So every night Cat goes out hunting...and on one such night she meets a vampire that changes everything she thought she knew about the undead she's been killing.

You would think right away that any relationship between Cat and Bones would be doomed from the start. Although she's half-vampire, Cat hates vampires with a passion. There isn't a vampire she's met that she hasn't tried staking before anything else, and that includes Bones. But being a Master vampire, Bones is a lot stronger than any of the others Cat has met before him. Cat's attempted staking of Bones is how their working and personal relationships began.

Though their working relationship starts before their personal one, I'll talk about their personal relationship first. We know that Cat hates vampires, so how could she possibly fall in love with one, right? Well, it definitely wasn't simple or easy. As Cat and Bones work together and she learns more about vampires, Cat comes to respect and admire Bones. That respect and admiration--slowly--becomes more. But there are namely three things driving a wedge between them--Bones being a vampire, Cat's own half-undead state, and her mother. While Cat comes to terms and accepts the first two, her mother is not so easily won over (in fact, she can't and won't be won over). Cat and Bones's relationship definitely has its bittersweet moments. "If you run from me, I'll chase you. And I'll find you."

Now back to their working relationship. When Cat tried to stake Bones, being the Master vampire that he is, he knocks her about the noggin and chains her up at him place. At first he doesn't believe her claims of being a half-vampire, but then she flashes her green eyes, a trait all vampires have, and after they tussle a bit, a partnership is struck. In exchange for helping Cat find her father, Bones wants her help with a bounty he's currently hunting. Being a half-vampire has given Cat a natural beauty that humans have to work hard for and the strength to take on the undead. Her human side gives her the beating heart and pulse to fool vampires into complacency. In other words, she's the perfect bait, while Bones is the extra muscle.

Which brings us to our villain. Bones has been tracking a vampire named Hennessey that he believes is behind hundreds of girls going missing--from Maine to Mexico, the Great Lakes area to now Ohio. He's running a kind of Meals on Wheels operation and he's got help in high places among the humans. Cat feels a personal need to take Hennessey down since she almost became one of those missing girls, and he took her mother hostage. "We're going to get him. We're going to stand over him on the ground, and every greedy bastard on his team, too, and then they'll know they were taken down by you...and your little Grim Reaper, who hasn't met a vampire she didn't try to kill first." Cat was amazingly awesome during their assault on Hennessey's hideout. Those vampires (and some humans) were just dropping like flies!

While the first battle against the "bad" vampires was a success, the war is just beginning.

Cat is approached by a special branch of the FBI called the Paranormal Behavior Division. Don William, the head of the division, claims that they've been looking for someone like Cat, and offers her a job. She knows that taking the job is the best way to protect both her mother and Bones. But accepting the job offer comes with sacrifices.

I loved everything about this book and I can't wait to read the next one!

Quotes:

"You're not a woman. You're the Grim Reaper with red hair!"

"I want you to know that despite everything, I'm so glad I met you. It was the luckiest day of my life. If I hadn't, I never would have known what it was like for someone to love me, all of me, even the parts I hated. I would have gone through life empty and guilt-ridden, but you showed me a whole new world, Bones. I'll never be able to thank you for all you've done for me, but I will love you every day until I die."

About this Author:

Jeaniene Frost is the New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author of the Night Huntress series, the Night Prince series and the Night Huntress World novels. To date, foreign rights for her novels have sold to nineteen different countries. Jeaniene lives in North Carolina with her husband Matthew, who long ago accepted that she rarely cooks and always sleeps in on the weekends. Aside from writing, Jeaniene enjoys reading, poetry, watching movies with her husband, exploring old cemeteries, spelunking and traveling – by car. Airplanes, children, and cook books frighten her.


PART OF.... 

#WintersRespite: A Winter's Respite Read-A-Thon Day 4 Wrap Up

The A Winter's Respite Read-A-Thon is hosted by Michelle @ The True Book Addict @ Seasons of Reading!!

Books to Read for Challenges/Read Alongs:


To Read for Tours: 


Manga to Read:

Rin-Ne ---> Volumes 8 / 9 / 10
Sailor Moon ---> Volumes 7 / 8


UPDATES:

1/21
Number of books I’ve read today: 4
Total number of books I’ve read: 4
1/22  
Number of books I've read today: 1
Total number of books I've read: 4
Books: Halfway to the Grave (Pages 117-140) 
Books Finished: NONE 
 
1/23
Number of books I've read today: 4
Total Number of books I've read: 8
 
1/24
Number of books I've read today: 2
Total Number of books I've read: 8
Books: Skid Out (Pages 23-59) , Halfway to the Grave (Pages 140-304)
Books Finished: Skid Out