Thursday, May 31, 2012

Kindling the Moon (Arcadia Bell #1) by Jenn Bennett

Meet Arcadia Bell: bartender, renegade magician, fugitive from the law...

Being the spawn of two infamous occultists (and alleged murderers) isn’t easy, but freewheeling magician Arcadia “Cady” Bell knows how to make the best of a crummy situation. After hiding out for seven years, she’s carved an incognito niche for herself slinging drinks at the demon-friendly Tambuku Tiki Lounge.
 
But she receives an ultimatum when unexpected surveillance footage of her notorious parents surfaces: either prove their innocence or surrender herself. Unfortunately, the only witness to the crimes was an elusive Æthyric demon, and Cady has no idea how to find it. She teams up with Lon Butler, an enigmatic demonologist with a special talent for sexual spells and an arcane library of priceless stolen grimoires. Their research soon escalates into a storm of conflict involving missing police evidence, the decadent Hellfire Club, a ruthless bounty hunter, and a powerful occult society that operates way outside the law. If Cady can’t clear her family name soon, she’ll be forced to sacrifice her own life... and no amount of running will save her this time.
I have wanted to read this book ever since I saw the cover and read the blurb. I love a good UF and I was not disappointed. The characters were engaging and I really enjoyed Arcadia's character. She is young, but smart and strong. She runs a bar which is demon friendly and she is accepted as one of them. She isn't demon, but yet more than human. So, it is this area that gets explored in this book.

Cady also meets the swoon-worthy and taciturn demon, Lon. He is suitably alpha male with a strong compassionate side... even though he also has a hard shell to crack. However, Cady does find a fissure within that shell and crack it does! While we are introduced to Lon we find that he is a full time concerned parent of a teenage boy, Jupiter. Jupe is the opposite of Lon. While having what could be described as a bad case of ADHD, he also brings a good dose of humanity to the demon side of things. In fact, Jupe is easy to love.

I give this book 4 stars. It does have a lot of information to part and it does slow down the book at times. I didn't mind it since it was sprinkled throughout the book rather than on large information dump. However it may bug some people who do not read that much UF. It didn't bother me and I, in fact, enjoyed this book. I suggest it mostly for those that are fans of UF with a good dose of PNR. :)
I won this signed book from The Quillery.


Bloggy Note: I have 3 posts scheduled for tomorrow. Please check them out. One is an author post w/giveaway! :D

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

My Book Boyfriend

Meme hosted by the Unread Reader

My book boyfriend is from the book I will review tomorrow, Kindling the Moon by Jenn Bennett. My newest induction to the man harem is Lon. He's taciturn and you learn more from his grunts and glances than anything he might say. He's an alpha male who doesn't let that get in his way when it comes to romance. Although there are times when he missed the romantic mark by a mile, he still has a sense of humor about the whole thing. He is very honest and he has a talent which is empathy. Yep, he's one male that doesn't have to guess at what you are feeling even when you don't want him to know. :)
Lon is also an involved parent. One thing that is rare in YA, but also in other genre's as well. Especially when it is a father. He's quite a bit older than Cady, but fine for me. ;) He has a mustache that was described as a pirate, but really read to me like a fu manchu. So, I looked around and the one person that can do pirate as well as the fu manchu was... Johnny Depp. I know I had him here before in his geek getup, so here he is in his more relaxed and dashing roll. I don't mind two sides of Depp in the harem, do you?


He actually fits Lon's description well. Remember, review of this book tomorrow!

So, who is in your man harem this week?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Girl in the Clockwork Collar (Steampunk Chronicles #2) by Kady Cross

In New York City, 1897, life has never been more thrilling - or dangerous.

Sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne and her "straynge band of mysfits" have journeyed from London to America to rescue their friend Jasper, hauled off by bounty hunters. But Jasper is in the clutches of a devious former friend demanding a trade-the dangerous device Jasper stole from him...for the life of the girl Jasper loves.

One false move from Jasper and the strange clockwork collar around Mei's neck tightens. And tightens.
This is the second in the Steampunk Chronicles, the first being The Girl in the Steel Corset. In this one our group travels to the US to help out Jasper who has problems at the end of the first book. That mystery unfolds as does the mystery of how Finley is doing by combining her two selves. We also get a hint of romance with the promise of more.

I'd have to say that my main complaint with this book was that Jack Dandy was absent in this tale. Even though I don't enjoy love triangles, I really loved that bad boy. However, even though he wasn't present within, he was not totally gone. He was mentioned quite a bit, so I suspect we will see more of him in future books. I can't wait.

My only other complaint was probably more personal in nature. I didn't care for the way Tesla was portrayed in this book. He was seen as the stereotypical genius that is lacking in common sense. I haven't studied who the man was, but the few things I have read didn't quite seem to relate him in that way. But then again, who am I to criticize this? He could have very well have been as presented. I think it was more about the stereotype. I think I would have just wanted something a bit more original in nature.

The mystery behind the collar was quite easily figured out. However, it was not presented as something that would take us by total surprise as hints alluding to Mei's character were quite telling. So this wasn't a criticism, just as an observation. Oh and I should also mention is that I hope we get more of  a new character, Wildcat, in the coming episodes. I think she would fit Jasper quite well. She's also a character I think I'd grow to enjoy as much as Finley. In fact, people who love Finley will love Wildcat. :)

I give this book 4 stars. I think it will appeal to those that enjoy steampunk and those that don't like shrinking violets as their heroines.
I was given this eARC from NetGalley and the publisher and no compensation for my review was given.

Friday, May 25, 2012

The All Male Review Challenge Giveaway Hop!



With the start of The All Male Review Challenge just around the corner, we thought we'd kick things off with a GIVEAWAY HOP because boys in books are better, especially when they're Free! As some of you may remember, the goal of The All Male Review Challenge is to read as many Young Adult books written by male authors or featuring male protagonists. Challenge participants will have a month to read as many books meeting the criteria as possible. This year, the challenge will be held during the month of July. To get the party started, we will be hosting a The All Male Review Challenge GIVEAWAY HOP, which will run from July 1st thru 7th, and we'd love for you would join us!!!

Hop Rules
  • The book(s) you choose to giveaway must be YOUNG ADULT and either be written by a male author or feature a male protagonist as the main character.
  • Stories with alternating POVs are acceptable as long as one of the main characters is male.
  • You will be responsible for obtaining the prize you are offering for the giveaway and for the shipping charges.
  • You may provide a list of books for the winner to choose from, but no gift cards.
  • Your giveaway post must include the hop image & linky widget code or links to the hosts' sites.
  • Please keep the mandatory entries simple and to a minimum (no more than 4). The purpose of a giveaway hop is to let contestants enter the giveaway then move on to the next site.
  • Your giveaway post must be live by 12:01am EST on JULY 1st.
  • You will not have to be a participant of The All Male Review Challenge to host a giveaway for the hop or to enter a giveaway offered in the hop.
  • The hop will run from July 1st-7th. At the close of the hop, you will have a week to contact the winner and make arrangements to distribute the prize.
To host a giveaway for The All Male Review Challenge GIVEAWAY HOP add your blog URL to the linky with your shipping preference in parenthesis following your blog's name (US) (US/Can) (Int) Please note: The same linky widget is being posted on all the co-hosts blogs, so if you sign up for the Giveaway Hop through one of the co-host's blog, you won't have to sign up again. Example: The Unread Reader (INT)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Splash into Summer Giveaway Hop!

For this giveaway I'm thinking the summer should start out with a bit of mystery... so the books available are:

 Original Sin (Sally Sin Adventure #1) by Beth McMullen
In this hilarious debut, a former U.S. spy turned stay-at-home mother of a toddler tries to find a most elusive work-life balance when the USAWMD (United States Agency for Weapons of Mass Destruction) decides it desperately requires her services again, and calls her back into the field.
This is an ARC. Do not resale.

 Unforgivable (Tracers #3) by Laura Griffin
Can be read as a stand-a-lone
TRACING KILLERS IS MIA VOSS’S BUSINESS. AND HER WORK JUST GOT PERSONAL. 
At first, Mia Voss thinks it’s just bad luck when her already lousy day ends with a carjacking, but what seems like a random incident is followed by another sinister episode. A DNA expert, Mia has made it her mission to put away vicious criminals. Suddenly, she’s become the target of one. And the only way to protect the people she loves most is to deliberately destroy her reputation and risk letting a killer walk free. Once, Mia trusted Detective Ric Santos, but that was before Ric let his turbulent past ruin his chances with Mia, the sexiest, most intriguing woman he’s ever met. But he can tell when she’s lying—and when she’s scared. The key to catching a sadistic madman lies within a long-buried cold case that has haunted Mia for years. Only she can uncover the truth, but first, Ric will have to get her to entrust him with her secrets . . . and her life.
This is a MPB


666 Park Avenue (666 Park Avenue #1) by Gabriella Pierce


What if your mother-in-law turned out to be an evil, cold-blooded witch... literally? 
Ever since fabulously wealthy Malcolm Doran walked into her life and swept her off her feet, fledgling architect Jane Boyle has been living a fairy tale. When he proposes with a stunning diamond to seal the deal, Jane can't believe her incredible luck and decides to leave her Paris-based job to make a new start with Malcolm in New York. 
But when Malcolm introduces Jane to the esteemed Doran clan, one of Manhattan's most feared and revered families, Jane's fairy tale takes a darker turn. Soon everything she thought she knew about the world—and herself—is upended. Now Jane must struggle with newfound magical abilities and the threat of those who will stop at nothing to get them.
This is a PB

One winner for all 3 books! Luckily there is no mystery as to how to enter for this prize. Just fill out the rafflecopter form below! It is US only since I'm mailing out the prize myself. Good Luck!


Don't forget to check out all the other giveaways by going HERE for the complete list!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Dark Frost (Mythos Academy #3) by Jennifer Estep

I’ve seen so many freaky things since I started attending Mythos Academy last fall. I know I’m supposed to be a fearless warrior, but most of the time, I feel like I’m just waiting for the next Bad, Bad Thing to happen. Like someone trying to kill me—again. 
Everyone at Mythos Academy knows me as Gwen Frost, the Gypsy girl who uses her psychometry magic to find lost objects—and who just may be dating Logan Quinn, the hottest guy in school. But I’m also the girl the Reapers of Chaos want dead in the worst way. The Reapers are the baddest of the bad, the people who murdered my mom. So why do they have it in for me? 
It turns out my mom hid a powerful artifact called the Helheim Dagger before she died. Now, the Reapers will do anything to get it back. They think I know where the dagger is hidden, but this is one thing I can’t use my magic to find. All I do know is that the Reapers are coming for me—and I’m in for the fight of my life.
I usually try to post the Mythos Academy series books on the day of  publication, but I just couldn't wait to dive into this book. I'm so glad I did. I devoured it quickly. For those that haven't started these books, I will try to be as non-spoilery (it's a word... I just made it up!) as possible.

Okay, let me start off by saying that Logan, Gwen's love interest, and I have had a difficult relationship. There were times I just loved him and times I wanted to seriously kick that Spartan's arse. Oh and in this book our relationship seemed to be going the same way. Usually it's only one swoon and one arse kicking... in this one, it was several. However, I will say that Logan did win me over in the end and I swooned a lot. :) Too bad he's not at least 21... well, outside my mind. ;D

Gwen is still my fave gypsy. Her adventure captured me and I have to say this was my fave so far. I really loved the way her character grew in this book. In fact, with what she had to handle I thought she did it with more grace than most adults. I really enjoyed that.

Now to the part where I curse Ms. Estep for tearing out my heart and stomping on it. Let me just say a character we briefly got to know in the last book we get a little more of in this one. Then my heart gets ripped out and I had to have a kleenex or two on hand. Oh I do hate to cry, but I also wanted more. *shakes fist* Darn you Jennifer Estep! I wanted more! ;)

I give this book 5 stars. I really enjoyed this episode in Gwen's adventure. No cliffie, but you will be salivating for the next morsel. I know I am! *wipes chin* Also, can I have a fenrir wolf? *gets glares from dogs in the room* What? ;D

This book is to be published on May 29th! Preorder your copy at Amazon, B&N or the Book Depository. Do eet! ;) Also, come back on June 1st for a Q&A with Jennifer Estep and a giveaway of the book!
I received this ARC from the author and no compensation for my review was given.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Dark Kiss (Nightwatchers #1) by Michelle Rowan

I don't do dangerous. Smart, über-careful, ordinary Samantha-that's me. But I just couldn't pass up a surprise kiss from my number-one unattainable crush. A kiss that did something to me... something strange. Now I feel hungry all the time, but not for food. It's like part of me is missing-and I don't know if I can get it back. Then there's Bishop. At first I thought he was just a street kid, but the secrets he's keeping are as intense as his unearthly blue eyes. If he's what I think he is, he may be the only one who can help me. But something terrifying is closing in, and the one chance Bishop and I have to stop it means losing everything I ever wanted and embracing the darkness inside me.... NIGHTWATCHERS When angels and demons must work together, something beyond evil is rising...
Okay, I have to admit, I'm in love with this cover. I mean I don't always love angel covers, but the darkness with the brooding guy on the cover? WIN! So you know I HAD to read it.

This book attempts to be a bit different in YA. It not only had angels and demons working together, it also introduces zombies. You don't get many zombies in YA. For those who avoid zombie books because of the gore, don't worry, there is very little. In fact, in this book you only see one zombie even though you know more exist.

I did like the main character of Samantha. She did seem to have an overblown sense of right and wrong, but it really works for her in this situation. She is also very compassionate and tries to learn from her mistakes. Her romantic interest was Bishop. He was hot, but unfortunately because of his situation you only get to know him in pieces. Still, swoon-worthy, I think we will get to know more about Bishop in the coming series and I think he will become more swoon-worthy as we get to know this non-perfect angel. However, I admit in this book, the demon Kraven steals the show and I really want to know more about him. Not because he is a bad boy (I mean demon!) but because he has a hidden side to him that is good.

I give this book 3 stars. I am curious as to where the author takes these characters. Mainly because the characters are all wonderfully flawed and good/evil isn't so easy to distinguish. The romance was a bit on the insta-love category and her parents were in the absent category, but the ending promises new beginnings and new twists yet to come.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Of Poseidon (Of Poseidon #1) by Anna Banks

Galen is the prince of the Syrena, sent to land to find a girl he’s heard can communicate with fish. Emma is on vacation at the beach. When she runs into Galen—literally, ouch!—both teens sense a connection. But it will take several encounters, including a deadly one with a shark, for Galen to be convinced of Emma’s gifts. Now, if he can only convince Emma that she holds the key to his kingdom . . .

Told from both Emma and Galen’s points of view, here is a fish-out-of-water story that sparkles with intrigue, humor, and waves of romance.
 Yep, this is a mermaid book. *yawns* Yea, had to force myself to read it. Did I fool anyone yet? Heh... if you know me at all you know I really couldn't wait to "dive" *snort* into this book. Oh yea... Ashley of the Bookish Brunette might be the queen of zombies but I am the queen of mermaids! Oh I like the sound of that.

Okay, now that I have established that I have a full on mermaid fan, I will try to be as impartial as I can while reviewing this book. I will say this book starts out as a fantasy I had as a kid. To find out that you really were a mermaid, you just didn't know it. Of course there is more to it than that and we follow Emma's introduction into a new world as well as following Galen's adventure in finding Emma and learning how to love.

I did feel connected to Emma, but I will admit that I didn't connect with Galen as a swoon-worthy guy at first. I mean he had all the qualifications. Hot... check. Has a great sense of who he is... check. Is able to see beyond himself to the greater good... check. Alpha male who becomes helpless in the face of an alpha female... check. Still, I wasn't convinced until the last part of the book. I think that is when he finally admits his feelings (I'm not giving anything away here, you knew this from the start) and starts being completely truthful with Emma. Oh yea... then I swooned. ;)

I give this PNR YA book 4 stars. It's a great introduction to this series. It doesn't end with a cliffie, but it does open up for the next book which you will want immediately!

My only question left is... didn't Galen miss a Syrena (mermaid)? *points to self* *Ahem!* ;)
I received this ARC from the publisher and no compensation for my review was given.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Zombie Island (Shakespeare Undead #2) by Lori Handeland

In the follow-up to Shakespeare Undead, vampire William Shakespeare and his Dark Lady are stranded on a mystical island where zombies are plentiful and one man will stop at nothing to become all-powerful.

Fresh from a triumphant battle over the zombie horde that invaded London, vampire William Shakespeare concocts a plot to rid the love of his life from the encumbrance of her husband. Will plans to give his ”dark lady,” Katherine Dymond, a potion that will make her sleep the sleep of the dead. Once she is entombed, Will can sneak in, wait for her to awaken, then spirit her away. After her husband returns to his plantation in America, Kate can return to London under a different name and assume a new identity. No one will believe that the dead Katherine and the live Kate are the same woman. Of course, as is often the case with true love, all does not go as smoothly as planned. When the two of them are shipwrecked on an island ruled by a wizard and a nymph, as well as infested by zombies, Will and Kate must stop an even larger plot afoot—one that leads all the way to the royal palaces of Queen Elizabeth.
 As I said with the first book, Shakespeare Undead, you really need a sense of humor about Shakespeare to read this one. Staunch Shakespearians need not read. For everyone else who doesn't mind their English poet imagined anew, then you might take a look at this book as well.

It leaves off right after the first book. Will's Dymond becomes a castaway because of a willful sprite wanting Kate to get rid of the zombies on her isle. There is an evil and insane sorcerer who is hell bent on getting his crown back who keeps raising the dead. Will is then thrust out into the ocean to find his lady love. They are also trapped on the isle with kate's "former" husband although they don't know it. This allows the married couple to truly part ways and grow in compassion when they wouldn't have otherwise. How is this done when they don't know he is on the isle? Well, you'll just have to read it to find out. I would have to say, however, that was my favorite part of the book.

The same mix of language exists in this book as it did in the former book. So be prepared to read poet, old English and modern together. It really isn't that disconcerting. The author does put those movies we know today in Will's mind again (I still didn't like it) but it is much less and so much more tolerable to me. The conclusion to this book is complete, but seemed rushed. It was if you are preparing for a final battle and then *woosh* it was taken away with a simple explanation. Oddly enough, that didn't bother me that much.

I give this zombie tale 3 stars. It is a good zombie book for those who don't like gore that much (there is very little) and want a light read. These 2 books will probably be either a hit or a miss with most folks.
I received this book from the publisher and LibraryThing's early reviewers program and no compensation for my review was given.
LibraryThing Early Reviewers


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Zone One by Colson Whitehead: Review by AimeeKay

In this wry take on the post-apocalyptic horror novel, a pandemic has devastated the planet. The plague has sorted humanity into two types: the uninfected and the infected, the living and the living dead.

Now the plague is receding, and Americans are busy rebuild­ing civilization under orders from the provisional govern­ment based in Buffalo. Their top mission: the resettlement of Manhattan. Armed forces have successfully reclaimed the island south of Canal Street—aka Zone One—but pockets of plague-ridden squatters remain. While the army has eliminated the most dangerous of the infected, teams of civilian volunteers are tasked with clearing out a more innocuous variety—the “malfunctioning” stragglers, who exist in a catatonic state, transfixed by their former lives.

Mark Spitz is a member of one of the civilian teams work­ing in lower Manhattan. Alternating between flashbacks of Spitz’s desperate fight for survival during the worst of the outbreak and his present narrative, the novel unfolds over three surreal days, as it depicts the mundane mission of straggler removal, the rigors of Post-Apocalyptic Stress Disorder, and the impossible job of coming to grips with the fallen world.

And then things start to go wrong.

Both spine chilling and playfully cerebral, Zone One brilliantly subverts the genre’s conventions and deconstructs the zombie myth for the twenty-first century.
OMG!! So nice of Melissa to feed my zombie addiction. And to feed it with such a great read. Really she is too sweet!

Can you tell I really enjoyed this one?

So a bit of a summery on this one. Zone One follows Mark Spitz and his sweeper group through the the new zombie filled New York. Their job? Clear out any zombies the marines missed on their initial assault that started the effort to take back New York. Through a series of flashbacks Mark takes us through his life from before the "Last Night" up until present day.

This is a much more psychological look at the zombie apocalypse. Don't get me wrong the novel has it's fair share of action and gore. But it delves deep into how Mark views the world and how the horror around him affects him, and how it affects those he comes in contact with. You really get inside the survivors heads, and you can feel their desperation, as well as their need for hope.

I was intrigued when I started reading Zone One. The authors writing style and descriptions held my attention from the first page. As we are introduced to Mark through his memories of his uncle in New York, and as he starts to analyze why he is so drawn to the city. The story itself takes place over three days in Marks present day, but his flashbacks make it seem like a much longer time period. The jumping between his memories could get a bit disconcerting. For example when he begins to tell Gary about how he got his name. You don't actually find out about the situation they are in when Gary asks him about it until quite a while later. But Whitehead weaves together Marks memories with his present point of view with amazing skill. While all of his recollections don't seem to have an obvious point at the moment they are being retold, they all are specific pieces in the puzzle that is the main character. Once all the pieces have been assembled the picture of Mark Spitz and the new world he abides in is brought to stark clarity.

Even if you aren't a Zombiephile like me, I definitely recommend getting a copy of Zone One. But may I recommend you clear yourself time to read it. Take time and really enjoy Whitehead's writing and the world he brings to life. In my opinion it was over way to soon, and I gladly would have read more. I'm hoping the author plans to write more of Spitz's story in the future. But even if he doesn't I will definitely be on the look out to pick up more of this authors work as soon as I can.

Thanks again to Melissa for the awesome read!


Til next time!
AimeeKay

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

My Book Boyfriend


Ah, after reading Deadly Descendant you can now place me fully in the drooling after Jamaal category! Descended from the death goddess Kali, he does have trouble controlling his death magic. In fact it grieves him a lot. He has gone to extremes in trying to control it but isn't always successful. He's an alpha male to the core, but has a soft side he doesn't show hardly anyone. He has had a horrible human existence and not a fun immortal one either. The fact that he still wants to be a good person despite all the betrayals and harsh living he has gone through tells you who he is deep down. He is loyal and will not give up on someone once they earn that loyalty. His compassion runs deep even though he rarely shows the world. That is saved for those he cares about the most.

Now who could play Jamaal? I had a hard time picking someone for him. I mean he had to have that look that could kill but yet light up a room when he smiles. His hair is distinctive, but I couldn't find someone to fit the bill with his hairstyle. However, I thought Tyson Beckford could at least fit one requirement. I always loved his smile even though I honestly can't ever see him with a look that would make me want to run the other way. So, I dub him the closest to my Jamaal in my head. It was his smile that sold me:
well, puts a smile on my face...

So, who is new in your man harem this week?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Deadly Descendant (Nikki Glass #2) by Jenna Black

As a living descendant of Artemis the Huntress, private investigator Nikki Glass knows how to track someone down. But when an Oracle shows up, warning the descendants about wild dog attacks in Washington D.C., Nikki is afraid it might be a trap. The Olympians believe the “dogs” are jackals, controlled by a blood-crazed descendant of the Egyptian death-god Anubis. Whatever. . . . If Nikki hopes to muzzle Dogboy, she’s got to catch him in the act. But when she stakes out a local cemetery, she ends up face-to-snout with a snarling pack of shadow-jackals whose bite is worse than their bark. These hellhounds are deadly—even for an immortal like Nikki. “Dog” spelled backwards may be “god,” but that won’t stop Nikki from teaching these old gods some new tricks. Like playing dead.

You don't know how thrilled I was when I found this in my mailbox for review. I enjoyed the first book, Dark Descendant and couldn't wait until this book which has come to us a year later.

I admit I had a bit of trouble getting into this book. I think it was because I had to go back and remember what happened. Once I did, the book took off for me. I also think this is an indicator that you should read these in order even though the book does give you hints of what happened before. I think it will just make the story flow better for you.

You have the same great action that you had in the first book and we are back with Nikki still dealing with the outcome of the first book. In fact we find ourselves not long after the end of the first book. There is a new threat and it comes in a crazy descendent of Anubis. Death gods... hard to deal with and this one is deadly to even the Liberati who normally can only be killed by a human descendant. There is also a mystery as to what and why he has started to attack and even what to do with him when he is caught.

Ah but is there any romance? We got a hint that it may possibly come as the series progresses. I won't say what happens, but I will say this: *shakes fist at Jenna Black* NOoooOOOoo! How could you? It's not good enough... I want more!! Ms. Black will understand my ranting. ;)

I give this book 4 stars. It is a fun UF and those that enjoy UF will enjoy this series. I just want that next book... like NOW! ;)
I received this book from Pocket books and no compensation for my review was given.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Revived by Cat Patrick

As a little girl, Daisy Appleby was killed in a school bus crash. Moments after the accident, she was brought back to life. 
A secret government agency has developed a drug called Revive that can bring people back from the dead, and Daisy Appleby, a test subject, has been Revived five times in fifteen years. Daisy takes extraordinary risks, knowing that she can beat death, but each new death also means a new name, a new city, and a new life. When she meets Matt McKean, Daisy begins to question the moral implications of Revive, and as she discovers the agency's true goals, she realizes she's at the center of something much larger — and more sinister — than she ever imagined.
This book deals with a girl who has died several times and has been revived by a secret agent drug tested on a select number of kids. We follow one of these kids in Daisy. The fact that she has defied death has made her unafraid of dying even though there still could be a chance that the drug may just stop working one day.

The premise of this drug is not without it's drawbacks. We understand that it will not cure someone suffering from a debilitating illness. However, Daisy has died more than once by asphyxiation. That made me question how that drug will work because if her brain was deprived of oxygen shouldn't there have been some damage? Especially if it was more than once? However, it wasn't hard to suspend belief and we just assume that they got to her in scant seconds, always at the ready. Even though I had this question, I admit it didn't bother me that much. It's fiction and I can suspend my belief for the sake of the story.

I enjoyed the characterization of Daisy and also enjoyed her new friend Audrey. Matt her love interest was suitably swoon worthy even if you wanted to kick him in the arse at least once. He did have a good reason for being a bit of a jerk (and no, I'm not telling why...). Although I must say that I did question his motive for liking Daisy more than once. He does get me to forgive him in the end. :)

I also enjoyed the other subjects this book presents. One is what is often called invisible chronic illnesses. Daisy has a severe allergy to bee stings. She carries an epi-pen. Her friend has cancer but you can't tell physically. The way people draw away from the person with the illness and the adjustments to life were also dealt with briefly. I thought that was pretty well done. You hardly ever see that in YA. In fact you hardly see this at all.

I give this book 3 stars. It was an enjoyable mystery. It did have it's slow moments, but it didn't last long. I think this book will also appeal to those that like contemporary YA but want that little extra "strange" element within the story.
I was given this book by the publisher, Little Brown and no compensation for my review was given.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Winner!

The winner of:
is..
Erin F.!
(confirmed)

Congraties!!

Happy Weekend everyone!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Nice Girls Don't Bite Their Neighbors (Jane Jameson #4) by Molly Harper

Just as Jane Jameson’s unlife seems to be stabilizing, fate sinks its fangs firmly into her butt. Despite her near-phobia of all things marital, her no-frills nighttime nuptials to her sexy boyfriend Gabriel are coming along smoothly. But the road to wedded bliss gets bumpy when a teenage acquaintance is fatally wounded in front of Jane’s shop and she turns him to save his life. The Council pronounces Jane responsible for the newborn vamp until he can control his thirst.

Jane’s kitchen at River Oaks barely holds enough Faux Type O to satiate the cute teen’s appetite and maintain Gabriel’s jealous streak at a slow simmer. As if keeping her hyperactive childe from sucking the blood out of the entire neighborhood isn’t enough to deal with, the persnickety ghost of Jane’s newly deceased Grandma Ruthie has declared a war on the fanged residents of River Oaks. Suddenly,
choosing monogrammed cocktail napkins and a cake that she can’t eat seems downright relaxing in comparison.

Tensions inside the house are growing…and outside, a sinister force is aiming a stake straight for the center of Gabriel’s heart. Most brides just have to worry about choosing the right dress, but Jane fears that at this rate, she’ll never make it down the aisle for the wedding all nice girls dream of…
Yep, look at me! I read all 4 of these... in order! I'm so proud of myself! *puffs out chest* Guess I should be careful about doing that... I could poke out an eye. ;) I will say this to those that might find themselves with a book or two out of order... it is more fun to read these as I did, but you don't have to do so. You can go ahead and pick up any of these books and have fun reading it.

Oh and this book! I have to say this was my fave of all 4! I liked it because the characters had grown. You know those books where the characters have to make the same mistakes ad nauseum? Smart people but never learn? Well, it seems that all the characters, wonderfully flawed, actually learned from previous mistakes. Very much acknowledging what they did wrong and what they want to do differently to affect the outcome. Of course the one thing that hasn't changed is the humor and I want to thank Molly Harper for that!

In this book we also get introduced to a new character, Jamie. Wait, that's not quite right... we were quickly introduced to this hot male jail bait in the last book, but we get to know him better. He becomes Jane's childe. And while I admit I did cringe when it happend because I was expecting the same tired ol' bad teen clichés, I didn't get that. Oh there were teen probs, but at least the kid wasn't annoying. In fact, I really enjoyed his character.

I so recommend this book and give it 4 1/2 stars. If you ever wanted to laugh at wedding preparations, near death experiences... or even full on death ones, mothering, ghosts and family, pick up this book. Your funny bone with thank you!
I received this book from the publisher, Pocket Books and no compensation for my review was given.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Nice Girls Don't Live Forever (Jane Jameson #3) by Molly Harper

Nothing sucks the romance out of world travel like a boyfriend who may or may not have broken up with you in a hotel room in Brussels. Jane Jameson’s sexy sire, Gabriel, has always been unpredictable. But the seductive, anonymous notes that await him at each stop of their international vacation, coupled with his evasive behavior over the past few months, finally push Jane onto the next flight home to Half Moon Hollow — alone, upset, and unsure whether Gabriel just ended their relationship without actually telling her. 
Now the children’s-librarian-turned-vampire is reviving with plenty of Faux Type O, some TLC from her colorful friends and family, and her plans for a Brave New Jane. Step One: Get her newly-renovated occult bookstore off the ground. Step Two: Support her best friend, Zeb, and his werewolf bride as they prepare for the impending birth of their baby . . . or litter. Step Three: Figure out who’s been sending her threatening letters, and how her hostile pen pal is tied to Gabriel. Because for this nice girl, surviving a broken heart is becoming a matter of life and undeath...
Well, I loved the first 2 books and I was thrilled to read this book as well. This book can be read as a stand-a-lone, but really... if I can read these in order... so can you. Plus you really don't want to miss out on the snark that is Jane. I just love her character. We would SO be friends. :)

In this book Gabriel is a... well... snot (to put it nicely). I really wanted to give him a swift kick. Jane shows him the curb and I was happy that she finally stood up for herself. She also gave voice to what was going on in her heart and let Gabe know exactly what he did wrong. Now the every day adventures and romantic troubles were interesting enough, but you should know Jane by now. She has another stalker/killer after her and this one is Gabriel's fault. Now you get why I wanted to swift kick him. :)

The book wraps up nicely and it could be the end of the series. I'm so glad it isn't because I have really come to enjoy Jane and all her family and friends. Especially Dick Chaney. Oh in this one he has come into his own and is a great friend and romantic partner (uh, not for Jane..).

I give this book 4 stars. Oh if you love snark and enjoy a good LOL, pick up this series. You will love this take on vampirism.
I received this book from the publisher, Pocket Books, and no compensation for my review was given.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Unspent Time Launch Party!

Unspent Time Launch Party

Get free books and win a Kindle Fire or a Kindle Touch



Warning: reading this novel may make you more attractive and elevate your random luck by about 9.332%*
(* These statements have not been evaluated by any person of consequence!)


From the award winning author of No Hope for Gomez! comes a collection of impossible tales. Permeating the cracks between the past and the present is the realm of Unspent Time; time that was allotted but never spent. This is where we find the stories that could have been true.
Read how to enter below.

Excerpt

"This is not what it looks like," he said, glancing about nervously. "And even if it was," he added, "which it isn't, then it still wouldn't be. Understand?"

I shook my head.

"You think I don't know what I'm talking about?" He tried to move a lock of hair from his face, which was odd, as he was one of the baldest people I'd seen in a long time.

"What business would it be of yours, anyway?" He shot me a defiant look. "I mean, it's just a pen. Am I not allowed to hold a pen? If I hold a pen, then cannot I write?"

Perspiration appeared above his brow, he dabbed at it with his sleeve. "Is it perhaps the first time you've seen someone holding a pen? Not that I'm holding one, of course, although I can see how it may look like I am. But, see, if I was holding a pen, then what would it be to you? It's not even your pen. If it was a pen, which it isn't."

His expression grew more frantic by the minute. His eyes darted about wildly as if scanning for danger. "You may not know this," he explained, "being a year younger than I am, but, in this universe we live in, there are, well, I'll just come right out and say it, there are things that look like pens but which, when you get right down to it, are not. Like this thing right here." He indicated the pen he held in his right hand. "Which is not your pen and wouldnít be yours even if it was a pen, which it isn't."

I let out a slow breath of air. "Are you feeling alright, Gregory?" I tried to move closer without scaring my brother back into his room, which he'd turned into a fortress of blankets and upturned furniture. "You seem a bit on edge." I moved closer still, and touched his forehead with the back of my hand. At first he was weary, but he allowed it to happen. Something deep inside him still trusted me. But Gregory was in bad shape, worse than I had ever seen before. And he was burning up. "Did you eat? Did you sleep?"

Gregory nodded, his eyes still scanning the room as if he expected something very bad to happen any moment.

"Did you take your medication? Remember how we discussed with the doctor that you should take your medication every day?"

Gregory waved it away. "I'm fine," he said, still perspiring profusely. "I'm sorry, it's just that I have a lot on my mind. For some reason, I can't shake his horrible feeling that dark forces are after my pen." He smiled apologetically.

"Aha!" I said, slaying him with my broad sword. "I knew it was a pen!"

... continued in Unspent Time

How to enter:
For the launch of the new novel I decided to discount it to $0.99 for today (PC and eBook), give away some exclusive content, and raffle off two Kindles. All entrants will get:
  • An exclusive spin-off novelette (not available for purchase anywhere!)

  • Making of Gomez: behind the scenes eBook

  • Signature for their paperback or kindle edition

  • Chance to win a Kindle Fire or a Kindle Touch
(Prizes can be traded for Amazon gift certificates if you already own them.)
Just email your receipt to nohopeforgomez@gmail.com to enter.
Each purchase counts, so stock up on birthday presents (for people you don't like that much, for instance) The discount ends today, but be sure to send the receipts no later than June 1st.

(Or order the books from any bookstore.)
Coupon code for today: ZB77D

And then get by tweeting about your purchase:
 
Sound bites from Unspent Time:

"I'm looking into my past lives. I'm convinced some of them still owe me money."

"I'm very polite by nature, even the voices in my head let each other finish their sentences."

"I didn't actually want to do it," Kiala told the boy. "The universe just kind of conspired to force me to make a fool of myself. It does that quite a lot, actually."

"Sadly, my socks are like snowflakes, no two are exactly alike."

Here's what reviewers had to say:

"A veritable page turner of nonstop laughs!" -- Reader Views
"An unputdownable read. a Coens Brothers' film in book form." -- BookReview.com
"Extremely witty and clever writing." -- California Chronicle
"A Party for your Brain!" -- Warren Baxter

Bio:

Graham Parke is responsible for a number of technical publications and has recently patented a self-folding map. He has been described as both a humanitarian and a pathological liar. Convincing evidence to support either allegation has yet to be produced.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Endure (Need #4) by Carrie Jones

Zara is at the center of an impending apocalypse. True, she’s successfully rescued Nick from Valhalla, but it simply isn’t enough. Evil pixies are ravaging Bedford, and they need much more than one great warrior; they need an army. Zara isn’t sure what her role is anymore. She’s not just fighting for her friends; she’s also a pixie queen. And to align her team of pixies with the humans she loves will be one of her greatest battles yet. Especially since she can’t even reconcile her growing feelings for her pixie king . . .

Unexpected turns, surprising revelations, and one utterly satisfying romantic finale make Endure a thrilling end to this series of bestsellers.
 Sometimes you get a series and you don't know when it will end. You want to know the conclusion and yet, you don't want to leave characters that you have grown to really enjoy spending time. This is such a book, but alas, it does end and this is the last book of the series.

When this book starts out, I admit I was a bit confuddled. It skipped over a big portion of what had happened in the last book. I'm wondering if that part will be a novella. Anyway, we know the conclusion of that adventure and it may only bug you because you want to know how they got out of that latest jam. Still, I was happy to be back with the gang and on to saving the world.

The characters in this book still rock. However, I will admit, I was still on the fence with Astley up until book #3, Entice. I really started to enjoy his character and relaxed a bit about his motives. And without giving anything away... this book really solidified me as an Astley fan. He is the perfect compliment to Zara's character.

This adventure they go on is also a bit like Buffy saving the world. I'm not telling you which episode(s), but those that are fans will recognize the situation. Yes, this adventure is their own, but there are elements there that are still familiar. In fact, Carrie Jones gives a nod to Buffy frequently in this book, so it is quite intentional. I enjoyed that.

My biggest complaint is the ending. However, it often is that way in series that ends. The ending of the crisis is clear. But it felt rushed and there is a question about Zara that remains. I don't want to say what specifically so it doesn't give anything away.

I give this book 3 1/2 to 4 stars. Yep... it's somewhere along there depending on the time of day. Jenny from Supernatural Snark must be rubbing off on me and has made me (yes, I'm blaming her... LOL) give this book a star range. Maybe I'll rub off on her and she'll start reading books starting in the middle. ;) I recommend this book to fans of YA, faeries and mythology.
I received this book from NetGalley and the publisher and no compensation for my review was given.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Entice (Need #3) by Carrie Jones

Zara and Nick are soul mates, meant to be together forever.
But that's not quite how things have worked out.

For starters, well, Nick is dead.
Supposedly, he's been taken to a mythic place for warriors known as Valhalla, so Zara and her friends might be able to get him back. But it's taking time, and meanwhile a group of evil pixies is devastating Bedford, with more teens going missing every day. An all-out war seems imminent, and the good guys need all the warriors they can find. But how to get to Valhalla?

And even if Zara and her friends discover the way, there's that other small problem: Zara's been pixie kissed. When she finds Nick, will he even want to go with her? Especially since she hasn't just turned...she's Astley's queen.
I've enjoyed the Need series and was so happy when I got this book. However, as what happens to many of us in the book blogging world, we can't always get to the books we want. I finally got to this book. I had to because I have the next book, Endure on my tbr.

This book doesn't give us the answers we seek from the first cliffhanger of the last book, Captivate (Need #2). However, it does give us answers we didn't even know to ask. These are not bad things as it gives us the information we need to go with Zara on her journey. And Zara's journey isn't anything but pleasant. It is filled with danger and sorrow. So much sorrow that you think that she would end up curling into a ball and giving up, but I have to give props to her. She continues on no matter what gets in her way.

I also have to admit, as much as I admired Zara for continuing on her journey, you wonder if there is another way she could have approached the problem. However, when really examining the journey Zara and her friends did everything that they could with the information they were given and found out. I really don't know what other way they could have ventured, what other path they could have taken.

I give this book 4 stars. I enjoyed this journey with Zara. It is a series that should be read in order and this book is a good step in the adventure. It ends with a cliffie, but luckily... I have the next one ready to go!

Friday, May 4, 2012

First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson #1) by Darynda Jones


A smashing, award-winning debut novel that introduces Charley Davidson: part-time private investigator and full-time Grim Reaper 
Charley sees dead people. That’s right, she sees dead people. And it’s her job to convince them to “go into the light.” But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (i.e. murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice. Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she’s been having about an Entity who has been following her all her life...and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely. 
This is a thrilling debut novel from an exciting newcomer to the world of paranormal romantic suspense.

I've really been wanting to read this book for a while now. I finally got the opportunity through an audio book. I don't often do audio, but I thought I'd give it a try. I'm glad that I did. It was snarky, funny, and the secondary characters were great. In fact... they were often "hot". This takes place in Albuquerque NM. I've been to the Northern part of NM often. So, I have to ask... where is she meeting these guys??? All I've gotten when I go there are jerks who tease my dogs. Granted, it's my fault for going to tourist traps with my pups, so I don't often meet the locals so right there that may be the problem (and the locals I know aren't dating material... married!). But still... I think I need to track down Charley and just hang with her. I mean, she's real and the "hot" men she hangs out with are real too, right?

I also liked that it was set in N. NM which I feel is a part of where I'm from, so the colloquiums used (with the exception of one which I will forgive since it is used for those not from here) were quite familiar to me. I felt right at home with the narrator. It was also easy for me to get lost in this story. I can also see many of the places she rode around.

What? Go back to the hot guys? Well, there were 2 in particular. One was Reyes. Oh man... Reyes. *sigh* That hot hunk of a man could visit me incorporeally or corporally any day... or night. ;) I mean YUM. Face of an angel and a temper of the devil. Still did so much to help anyone who he thought was weak. *sigh*

Oh and the other one? Garret. Dark, tall and handsome. I might be able to forgive his status as a cop since he is so hot and seems to really care for Charley. Plus, he totally didn't freak out at her with her abilities. Totally points in his direction for that one. Ah yes... both very suitable for the man harem. *drifts off into fantasy*

*ahem!* Oh sorry... I give this book 4 1/2 stars. It was just what I needed at the time. Entertaining distraction with a couple of hot guys to drool over. The narrator, Lorelei King did a grand job and held the pace well. I would so listen to another book she narrates. I also suggest this book for those that love UF, PNR with a side of humor.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Gabi Stevens Blog Post and Giveaway!


The Coolest Bit of Magic that Happened While Writing

We writers hope that our stories ring with truth for our readers, and often that means research or putting ourselves into the story. In writing Wishful Thinking, the third book in my Time of Transition series, I had a little more freedom, since I was writing about magic, but nevertheless, I had things I needed to research. I went to school in San Diego and my husband is from there, but I pored over maps and drove the streets when visiting my father in law so I could get the feel of the city for the novel. I pulled out my Latin dictionary for the spells, and my Old English textbook for other words. But one element required the most research for this book—weaving.

My heroine, Stormy, grows up in a colony of artists, so it’s not unexpected that she too becomes an artist. Her media—textile, fabrics and weaving. Stormy weaves. I don’t, but I read articles, watched videos, viewed pictures, and learned not nearly enough to weave myself. I have to admit that when I had finished my research, I really wanted a loom. Weaving is so cool, so historic, so primal. I found it very appealing.

It’s one thing to research something and then try to transfer the knowledge to the page. I did my best. In the opening chapter, Stormy weaves. I tried to convey the creativity, the effort it takes, the process.

So what was the magic? When my editor read that opening scene, her only question to me was “Do you weave? This sounds wonderful.” What a relief. I felt as if I had won a prize. Then recently, my husband read Wishful Thinking (yes, he reads all my novels and enjoys them). After he finished the scene he looked at me with a frown on his face. My heart dropped.

“I thought I knew you.”

“What do you mean?”

“Do we have a secret staircase to some secret attic where you have a loom? I didn’t know you could weave.”

Wishful Thinking is dear to my heart. It finishes the story that started in The Wish List, and continued in As You Wish. It’s the series that made me believe in magic again...of all sorts. Because, of course, there’s a happy ending. Wishful Thinking is a romance, and happy endings are the best magic of all.

So what about you, readers. What bits of magic do you find in your lives? And you weavers, how did I do? (You can read the first chapter at my web site, www.GabiStevens.com)

Gabi Stevens was born in SoCal to Hungarian parents. After spending time in boarding school, college, and studying abroad, she spent seven years in the classroom trying to teach eighth graders the joys of literature. An award winning author, Gabi writes in New Mexico where she lives with her robotics engineer husband, three daughters, and two dogs. She loves to play games, has a wicked addiction to reading, avoids housework and cooking, and doesn’t travel nearly as much as she would like to. Discover the magic in Gabi’s books:

THE WISH LIST (available now); AS YOU WISH (available now); and WISHFUL THINKING (just available now!)

You can find her at www.GabiStevens.com; www.GabiStevens.wordpress.com; Facebook at Facebook.com/GabiStevensfans; or Twitter at twitter.com/GabiStevens.

Thanks Gabi for coming on the blog. I actually have done some weaving and it was fun! Love that you were able to fool everyone!
Giveaway!
Gabi is giving away 2 books to one lucky winner. The Wish List and As You Wish both which have recently been reviewed by AimeeKay. She loved them! Oh and it's INTERNATIONAL! Just fill out the rafflecopter form below to enter!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Wishful Thinking (Time of Transition #3) by Gabi Stevens: Review by AimeeKay

Free-spirited artist Stormy Jones-Smythe was raised by two talented Wizard fathers but never showed the slightest hint of magical abilities. Which is why she’s totally surprised when three famous fairy godmothers show up at her door to tell her she’s one of them.
Surprised, and none too happy. The godmothers are fugitives, framed for treason, and the last thing the magical Council wants is another fairy godmother going rogue. Hence Stormy’s new full-time Guard, Hunter Merrick.

Stormy quickly realizes she’s not going to escape Hunter’s watch…and before long, she’s not sure she wants to. But her freedom depends on her ability to expose the plot against the godmothers, and that means getting control of her magic. Despite the growing chemistry between them, Hunter is fiercely loyal to the Council—and duty-bound to keep Stormy from doing either of those things.

But he didn’t count on Stormy’s irrepressible exuberance and passion for life. Before long, even Hunter isn’t sure which side he’s on, and he can’t contain Stormy either way.
*sigh* Wishful Thinking is the third and final (?) book in the godmother's story. We get to meet the third godmother Stormy and follow her on her path as she finds out that not only is she a godmother, but she has become one in a time of great upheaval in the Arcani world. If you've read the previous two books you know that the other Godmothers, Kristin and Reggie, have gone into hiding. Also that Lucas Reynard, the son of Elenka Liska, a Godmother who tried to take over the Arcani world during WWII, is the reason. He has come to finish what his mother started and only the godmothers realize his true intentions. If you haven't read the previous two books then may I suggest you go read them before you read this review. There are tons of other important details that you are missing and reading this review would only spoil the other two books.

Ok, so why the *sigh*? Mainly because this IS the final story in the trilogy. There is no open ending on the last page. Everything is neatly tied in a pretty bow, and there is definitely a happy ending. Which don't get me wrong I love a happy ending, especially a good one that doesn't leave obviously glaring loose ends. However I really enjoyed the world that Ms. Stevens has created and I hope she plans on writing more stories that take place there. (hint, hint, to Ms. Stevens if you are reading this)

As for the story itself. It follows the other two books in form. Magic-less girl finds out she is a godmother, and of course there is a love interest. But Stormy's love story isn't as easy as Reggie or Kristin's was. Not only is she being watched even closer than Reggie was by the counsel, but the person she falls in love with is a member of the council's elite Guard. To make matters worse because he is a guard he has taken an oath to never betray them. A magical oath that will kill him if he should side with the godmothers. The beginning of the story seemed a bit slow. But then again some of it was just rehashing what I as the reader already knew, but Stormy didn't so she had to be told about the godmothers and how they had turned away from the council. Of course she isn't always told the whole truth and a large portion of the beginning of the story is her trying to sift through everything to figure out who's side she is on. Then there is the problem of her magic, which she can't seem to get under control. I actually liked that part. Unlike Kristin and Reggie's powers, even with practice Stormy never seems to be able to get hers completely under control.

But even though it took a minute to take off, Stormy's story still drew me in. I didn't want to stop reading. Plus there were the extra details about Arcani life and the world that the author has created that were revealed. Definitely interesting. (I want to find out more about the dragons!!<---another hint to the author!) Also I got to see some of the characters from previous books. This definitely made me happy.

There are some very smexy sex scenes in the book. (Just like in the others) So don't let the little ones start reading it. There are also some tear jerkers too, so have the tissues handy. (I'm not saying why, I won't spoil that much, I will however say I almost cried in the one scene)

Definitely pick up these books if you are looking for a new world to dive into. Yes it is romance, but there is also mystery and adventure thrown in with the magic of the mix.

Thank you again Melissa for sending these to me to read and review, I really enjoyed all three. To everyone else if you are going to start reading them, may I suggest you get all three at once. That way you can read them all straight through just as I did. It was very satisfying to be able to do that.

Til next time,
AimeeKay

Note from Melissa:
Come back tomorrow for a author blog post by Gabi Stevens and a giveaway!!