Quick Note

Hope everyone has a GREAT EASTER or PASSOVER or just lovely weather- Spring I hope or Fall if you are in that part of the world! If you are getting a break YAHOO! I'll be out of internet service for the next several days. My mom lives in the dark ages!
See you next week!!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Witchfinder by Ruth Warburton Review

Witch Finder by Ruth Warburton
Available Now
HodderChildren's Books
Paperback 374 page
Historical Fiction/ Supernatural/ YA
E-ARC from Publisher for Review

To Buy Links- Amazon/ Kindle/ BN/ Book Depository

Goodreads- London. 1880. In the slums of Spitalfields apprentice blacksmith Luke is facing initiation into the Malleus Maleficorum, the fearsome brotherhood dedicated to hunting and killing witches.

Luke’s final test is to pick a name at random from the Book of Witches, a name he must track down and kill within a month, or face death himself. Luke knows that tonight will change his life forever. But when he picks out sixteen-year-old Rosa Greenwood, Luke has no idea that his task will be harder than he could ever imagine.


Review

I read the reviews on Goodreads and see that many people weren't sold on this novel. I have a very different opinion. Drop all your expectations and just read it and see what you think. Borrow it from the library if you don't want to buy it. I was glued. I kept turning my Kindle back on between stops at one school and the next. If I knew I had five minutes, I turned it on just to get a little more of the story. Here's the breakdown.

Characters- Luke- Luke is newly inducted into the Malleus Maleficorum, tasked with killing the witch that he picks randomly with his eyes blindfolded. He has one month to do it. Revenge is the only thing on his mind. His mother and father were killed by a black witch when he was a small child. He doesn't know who did it, but he's been haunted by dreams of it ever since. His Uncle took him in and raised him as his own. He thinks nothing of giving his promise to kill 16 yr old Rosa Greenwood. One less witch. And he is dedicated, if nothing else.

Rosa- Rosa is drowning in sorrow. Her Papa died and she is still not over it. But her brother Alexis and mother seem to be moving on. But then they have to. The country house is rented out. They have had to let the witch servants go. Now they have only a few and they cannot do spells in front of them. The money is gone. Rosa cannot have a new ball gown for the season. But that is not what bothers her. Not at all.

Sebastian Knyvet- Sebastian. Powerful witch. Moody. I couldn't understand Sebastian's moods until the end of the novel and then it was clear. He comes from an old and powerful family of witches. They have a seat on the witches council. And he is courting Rosa. Well, not so much courting her as buying her through her mother and brother. 

Setting- 1880's London from the upper class to the slums. I really got a feel for the divide between the upper class and the poor. The Thames was something to walk beside where Rosa lived, but it was described as yellow and frothy where Luke came from. The roads were wide enough for carriages to pass by each other in London where Rosa lived yet where Luke lived there was barely room for one to pass and certainly not enough for a person to pass as well. Needless to say jobs, health, food and dwellings declined from Rosa's to Luke's area of London. 

The Story- The story is complex despite it's deceptively simple style. Rosa has no say in what is going on in her life. She is being used as payment for a better life for her brother Alexis who is cruel and spoiled and obviously his mother's favorite. Her mother is looking after her own interests. She is kind and trusting and frightened of marrying a ruthless enigmatic man like Sebastian. Sebastian has no qualms about using his witchcraft, force, or any other kind of power to make sure the world works just the way he wants. And Luke, is stuck in a world of witches, a world of beings he would sooner kill than look at. But his only task is to kill the one. The most innocent and kindest of them all. But, she is a witch, something he has to continually remind himself.

My take- Rosa is portrayed in the beginning as a powerless girl but by the end of the story she shows enormous growth. It isn't about being a witch or having spells or even money. Rosa realizes that she has power of her own. Luke is poor so there's less for him to lose from the start, except his life. That's the price he pays for not killing Rosa, but his taste for revenge is replaced by the same thing Rosa's powerlessness is and it changes his outlook on witches and the Malleus Maleficorum. Rosa's brother is abusive. Her mother is insensitive at the very least and manipulative for her own gain. Sebastian is a psychopath. And a very powerful witch. Not a good combination. It's obvious I think that Rosa and Luke fall for each other, a very forbidden and difficult romance. But then, these two characters think and act outside the norms of their society. Their attraction to each other isn't so hard to believe. The novel had a solid ending, but this is definitely the beginning of a series. I am very much looking forward to the next book. Bridges have been burned.

I recommend this novel to YA readers that love stories about forbidden romances, witches and historical novels. There is some violence in it against women, even if it is of a supernatural nature.

I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher for review purposes. My review was not influenced by this. The opinions in this review are my own.

Find Ruth Warburton

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Giveaway Hop April 17th -24th


Happy Spring! And welcome to the Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Giveaway Hop!
Even if you don't celebrate Easter, there is no reason you can't enter the hop!
I am giving away a $10.00 Amazon Gift Card or equivalent in Book Depository for International winner.  As always, Thanks to Kathy at I Am a Reader and Read Now Sleep Later for hosting the hop.

Just enter the Rafflecopter below


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Don't forget to follow the rest of the Hop!

1.




WOW- Waiting on Wednesday

WAITING ON WEDNESDAY
"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


Dream Boy by Mary Crockett and Madelyn Rosenberg
Releases July 1st from Sourcebooks
Goodreads  - Annabelle Manning feels like she’s doing time at her high school in Chilton, Virginia. She has her friends at her lunchtime table of nobodies. What she doesn’t have are possibilities. Or a date for Homecoming. Things get more interesting at night, when she spends time with the boy of her dreams. But the blue-eyed boy with the fairytale smile is just that—a dream. Until the Friday afternoon he walks into her chemistry class. 

One of friends suspects he’s an alien. Another is pretty sure it’s all one big case of deja vu. While Annabelle doesn’t know what to think, she’s willing to believe that the charming Martin Zirkle may just be her dream come true. But as Annabelle discovers the truth behind dreams—where they come from and what they mean—she is forced to face a dark reality she had not expected. More than just Martin has arrived in Chilton. As Annabelle learns, if dreams can come true, so can nightmares.

What are you waiting for??? 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

COVER REVEAL- MORTAL ENCHANTMENT by Stacey O'Neale

Today, Stacey O'Neale and Phoenix Reign Publishing are revealing the cover for
MORTAL ENCHANTMENT, releasing on May 20, 2014!
Check out the awesome cover and enter to win a $50 Amazon or Barnes & Noble Gift Card!!!
On to the reveal!

“Mortal Enchantment spins a unique twist on elemental mythology. This series is not to be missed.”
Jennifer L. Armentrout, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author

In Kalin Matthew's world, elementals control the forces of nature. They are divided into four courts: air, woodland, fire, and water. At sixteen she will leave the life she's built with her mortal mother. Kalin will move to Avalon to rule with her father—the elemental king of the air court. Along the way, she's attacked by a fire court assassin and saved by Rowan, a swoon-worthy elemental with a questionable past.

Worst of all, she learns her father is missing.

To rescue him, Kalin will have to work with a judgmental council and a system of courts too busy accusing each other of deceit to actually be able to help her. But, they aren’t her biggest challenge. With the Midwinter’s Ball only five days away, Kalin must take over her father’s duties, which includes shifting control of the elements—power Kalin has yet to realize.

As Rowan attempts to train her, a war looms between the four courts. If Kalin fails, her father will die and the courts will fall, but the betrayal she’s about to uncover may cost her even more...

Add to your Goodreads TBR!!!

If you haven't read THE SHADOW PRINCE, you can download if NOW for FREE from Amazon and Barnes & Noble!!!




Every sacrifice has consequences.

Sixteen-year-old Rowan has spent most of his life living among the mortals—learning to control the element of fire, impatiently awaiting the day his vengeful mother, Queen Prisma, will abdicate her throne. When he finally returns to Avalon for his coronation, his mother insists he must first prove his loyalty to the court by completing a secret mission:

Kill Kalin, the half-human, half-elemental daughter of the air court king.

Willing to do anything to remove his mother from power, he agrees to sacrifice the halfling. He returns to the mortal world with his best friend, Marcus, determined to kill the princess. But as he devises a plan, he starts to question whether or not he's capable of completing such a heinous task. And what price he will pay if he refuses?
Available for FREE on Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Also available in PRINT from Amazon | Barnes & Noble


Stacey O'Neale lives in Annapolis, Maryland. When she's not writing, she spends her time fangirling over books, blogging, watching fantasy television shows, cheering for the Baltimore Ravens, and hanging out with her husband and daughter.
Her career in publishing started as a blogger-turned-publicist for two successful small publishers. Stacey writes young adult paranormal romance and adult science fiction romance. Her books always include swoon-worthy heroes, snarky heroines, and lots of kissing.Stacey loves hearing from readers.

 Follow her on
Twitter @StaceyONeale, look for her on Facebook, Pinterest, and GoodReads.
You can also visit her blog at http://staceyoneale.com/.
Contest HTML
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, April 14, 2014

Review- Don't Even Think About It by Sarah Mlynowski

Don't Even Think About it by Sarah Mlynowski
Available Now
Delacorte Press Hardcover 336 pages
Received e-ARC from Publisher for Review
YA Paranormal

To buy links-
Amazon/ Kindle/ Audio CD/ Audible/ BN/ Book Depository/
 Kobo

GoodreadsWe weren't always like this. We used to be average New York City high school sophomores. Until our homeroom went for flu shots. We were prepared for some side effects. Maybe a headache. Maybe a sore arm. We definitely didn't expect to get telepathic powers. But suddenly we could hear what everyone was thinking. Our friends. Our parents. Our crushes. Now we all know that Tess is in love with her best friend, Teddy. That Mackenzie cheated on Cooper. That, um, Nurse Carmichael used to be a stripper.

Since we've kept our freakish skill a secret, we can sit next to the class brainiac and ace our tests. We can dump our boyfriends right before they dump us. We know what our friends really think of our jeans, our breath, our new bangs. We always know what's coming. Some of us will thrive. Some of us will crack. None of us will ever be the same.
So stop obsessing about your ex. We're always listening.

Review

Well, not every book can work for everyone, right? Sadly, this one just fell flat on it's cover for me. Going in, I was expecting something funny and lighthearted. But I should have remembered- HIGH SCHOOL. Having a peek into the minds of my friends and peers back then probably would have been crippling to my already not very high self esteem. Or it might have been helpful. Who knows. But I do know, that after reading DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT, when I see the question what superpower would you like to have, I am no longer going to put ESP or mindreading or anything like that.

Characters- As I have said many times, I am a character girl. Give me strong characters and I will persevere through bad grammar and shoddy plot lines. As long as you've got good characters. I can't pick a main character out in this one, there are too many. But there comes a point where there is a collective "we" as if they all think the same thing. "We all thought so too." I had no idea who was narrating that part of the story. I am guessing this is a series since we never get that answer. I couldn't follow the collective mind. There was only one character I liked, Cooper, and he was having the worst time of his life throughout the book. The other characters were petty, vindictive, judgmental and vapid.

Setting/World - It's in and around high school, one that has the students of wealthy parents, though not all of them are. Set in NYC. The setting seems to have little to do with the story except maybe explain why some of the characters act so entitled.

The Story- The students in Homeroom 10-B all went to get flu shots. Renee refused because she didn't believe in vaccines. One student was out. Everyone else got the shot. Everyone got ESP. The story is about how they use it, how it affects their lives, how it messes up their lives, and who else knows about it.

What I thought- As I indicated, this one did not work for me. The characters were too flat. Maybe there were just too many highlighted to give any depth to them. But I only felt anything for one, Cooper, and that was because his whole world fell apart in the book. I could empathize with him. The collective "We" did not work for me.  As I didn't like the characters, I didn't connect with the story at all. 

I think the biggest let down was that I had the idea this was going to be a funny lighthearted novel. Instead it was mean, bittersweet, heartbreaking and had a little governmental conspiracy in it. Maybe if I had expected something different, I might have liked it more. But watching everyone have their lives and friendships torn apart by their new ability was not what I was in the mood for. Now, I will admit, new friendships were forged and I believe one character grew. But I didn't like where things were headed as the book ended with some of the characters.

And then the book ended with a huge twist and betrayal. It was a surprise and probably the best part of the book. It's also why I think there will be another book. Things are not resolved in this one.

This definitely had a contemporary feel to it with a huge slice of the paranormal ability of ESP. The writing was easy and I never had to stop reading, but I wasn't excited about reading it. I didn't find it hard to read, just let down. You may find it totally different and I hope you do. I saw many other reviewers on Good Reads that LOVED it. So this is just one opinion, mine. 

Again I received an e-ARC from the publisher for review. This in no way influenced my review. The opinions expressed in my review are my own.


Find the author
Sarah Mlynowski


                                                                                                            

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Review and Giveaway-The Art of Keeping Faith-The Uni Files Year Two by Anna Bloom (Int)

The Art of Keeping Faith (The Uni Files: Year Two) by Anna Bloom
Other books in the series
The Art of Letting Go (The Uni Files: Year One)
The Saving of Benjamin Chambers (The Uni Files #0.5)
The Art of Forgiving (The Uni Files #1.5)

Available Soon

GoodreadsLilah and Ben. They are meant to be a thing. 
Well, they were. The best thing ever. That was until Lilah decided to teach herself a lesson and let go of Ben since she’s learned The Art of Letting Go. 
Now it’s a new academic year, and Lilah has it all to play for and it all to lose as she battles scary lecturers, evil PR girls, and her own inability to make the right decision at the right time. 
Life has moved on for Lilah and her friends, and life off campus is more complicated than any of them would have guessed. As the reality of being second-year students sets in and the study starts to build up, cracks begin to appear in the very fabric of their friendships. There is a chance that none of them are going to complete Year Two in one piece.
Facing down her worst enemy, herself, Lilah has to try and change her own past mistakes when she realizes that the only way she is going to get the future she wants is if she manages to learn The Art of Keeping Faith in herself.
The Art of Keeping Faith is the second year in The Uni File Series and continues Lilah McCannon’s diary as she searches for love, tries to find and earn trust, and ultimately discovers who she is really meant to be.

Sometimes the only way to meet your future is to face your past.

Review
So, it's my favorite New Adult author and my very favorite characters, Lilah and Ben. (Well, I've been reading two others from her and I love them too, so it's hard to choose). Anyway, two healthy fairly well adjusted young adults chasing their dreams, going to Uni, and  chasing each other. Lilah has a bit of a habit of singing Taylor Swift songs very poorly when she is drunk, which happens quite often, as Ben is off in America making a record and touring the country with his band. Life happens. They each have their own dreams and try to stay together. Sprinkled throughout this novel is the often hilarious observations of Lilah, drunk, sober, sad, happy and in other states (no spoilers).

And then there is Ben. God do I love Ben. I think the world needs more Bens. A lot more Bens! He is the most forgiving of boyfriends for all of Lilah's antics. And her active imagination. However, I have to say, that the conclusions she draws, however mistaken they are, are exactly the same I would draw. And Lilah was a much better sport than I would have been about a lot of things. 

I love the banter back and forth between Lilah and her twin brother, Tristan the Arse. They eventually get along, but they never stop picking at each other, as brothers and sisters are likely to do. Lilah's best friend is engaged to marry Tristan and is living with them and it makes for all kinds of interesting dynamics. Lilah is just straight out funny. I don't know anyone as funny as her, unless Anna Bloom is and I suspect she might be. Ben is one of those guys. I just love him. There is nothing to dislike about him. 

You have to remember that this is an English author so some of the words will be different and things may happen differently there than they do here. Uni is College. Crisps are .....chips. It's a staple in Lilah's diet. And though you might find her behavior a little outrageous considering her age, remember she has just been set free from a job she hates and a man she didn't love. She's discovering herself and so cut her behavior some slack. I love her to death!

I finish reading a story about Ben and Lilah and I have a huge smile on my face and a warm glow inside of me. I want to go out and rent RomComs and eat chocolate. I want to share, share, share, with everyone how much I love this novel!! This series!! I am giving away a complete series of the Uni Files in e-book form. The Art of Keeping Faith had a little hiccup in the release date but as soon as it's available, I will set the giveaway up. It will be available in the US, Canada and anyone that can receive e-books through Amazon UK.

Leave me a comment and tell me how you have spread the word about this series. Put the book on your sidebar. Share my post on FB or Tweet it. Share it on Google plus. Tell your friends. No links necessary. I trust you!

Thanks to the author for the review copy of the novel. This in no way influenced my review. All opinions expressed are my own!

Find Anna Bloom


    STALK HER
Remember- If you want to win the complete series, spread the word and leave a comment on my blog about how you did. No links necessary. I believe you. But do leave me a way to contact you.
                         

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