Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Guest Posting at YA Muses Today

Just a quick note to let you know/remind you that I have a guest post over on YAMuses   today. I'm not really sure what it will be on because I sent two posts and Talia Vance, author of Silver due out this fall decided to combine them. You know I got wordy and lost track of the word count. Anyway, I hope you'll stop by. They are the authors of Under the Never Sky, Gilt, Silver, Skinny and Bret Ballou's novel which is seeking representation. They are a great group!

Heather


Review and Giveaway- Closed Hearts by Susan Kaye Quinn

Closed Hearts

by Susan Kaye Quinn
Book Two in the Mindjack Trilogy

Goodreads Summary-
When you control minds, only your heart can be used against you.

Eight months ago, Kira Moore revealed to the mindreading world that mindjackers like herself were hidden in their midst. Now she wonders if telling the truth was the right choice after all. As wild rumors spread, a powerful anti-jacker politician capitalizes on mindreaders’ fears and strips jackers of their rights. While some jackers flee to Jackertown—a slum rife with jackworkers who trade mind control favors for cash—Kira and her family hide from the readers who fear her and jackers who hate her. But when a jacker Clan member makes Kira’s boyfriend Raf collapse in her arms, Kira is forced to save the people she loves by facing the thing she fears most: FBI agent Kestrel and his experimental torture chamber for jackers.

Holy Cow! I just started this book today. I couldn't have put it down if I wanted to! I thought it was going to be a slow read because the first twenty pages are kind of slow, but hold onto your Kindle or your paperback because this one will blow your hair back! You might remember my review of Open Minds the first novel in the Mind Jacker Trilogy and what a unique idea I thought it was for YA. Well, the unique keeps coming. Kira, who spilled the beans about Mind Jackers last book,finds out that she isn't the only one with special abilities. In fact, there are some mindjackers with really scary abilities. And then there are some mindjackers that are really scary. Unfortunately, she gets tracked down by someone she betrayed in the last book. Now, this was not a good guy and someone who deserved to be left behind, but Kira couldn't save everyone last time, and some people died. And she's had to live with that. Unfortunately, some people can't live with that. And a man named Molloy comes to exact his revenge. He kidnaps Kira and Raf during a stolen romantic moment and serve them up to a group known as the "mages" in Jackertown, a place Kira is not welcome due to her outing jackers to the world. She's kind of stuck there.

 Kestrel, the evil scientist/FBI agent/mindjacker that hates mindjackers is back and even more heinous than ever. Kira's dad gets involved with a rescue attempt and somehow Raf goes missing. Anything and everything goes wrong. The least expected betrayals happen from those who have the least to gain from their betrayals. Corrupted politicians are involved (no way!) and Kira has to decide if she is a cold blooded killer or not.

The last quarter of the book is a total sobfest. There is kind of a love triangle, but not really. Kira would never love anyone but Raf, but she does have to pretend with someone and it tickles back there in her mind. And the boy, Julian, though handsome and totally swoon worthy and heroic, does not take advantage of her in her moments of distress or despair. But God, oh God, Sue Quinn knows how to drag your heart out of your chest and squeeze every last drop of water out of your body. I didn't see it coming at all. And the slap in the face afterward. Rubbing salt in old wounds. I know you don't understand, but you've just got to read it to understand what I'm talking about. Kira's heart is literally wrung out in this one. And my eyes with it.

 Book two has ratcheted everything up a notch. It feels like the author is more comfortable in her skin and she really let her characters go in this one. The adventure and tension is high and the evilness just seeps through the words like venom. If I had a gun, I'd shoot Kestrel's name off the page, or at least I'd cross it out, but I'm reading on a Kindle, so you know. He has to be the most evil man I've ever read about with his horrible experiments, injecting things into the mindjackers and withdrawing things, leaving holes in their memories. Total Evil. I can't wait to see how he dies, and he will die if this trilogy ends with justice.

But there is something else in this story besides the excitement and adventure and heartbreak. It's the reality of what's taking place. The mindjackers are different from the mindreaders and difference, even in this world of the future, this world that only until a few generations ago didn't have mindreaders, equals bad, inferior, something to fear. There's a message in this story, subtle as it is because the issue is so far out there. But you could substitute any two groups in there and it could be relevant for today. So kudos again to the author for making a lesson in such an oh so subtle way!

This is an absolutely clean read, but there is definitely romance in it, several. I had originally thought this was a MG series, but it doesn't read that way to me, though MG readers on the higher end would have no trouble with it. I recommend it for any fans of supernatural YA. There is definite violence to the point of almost torture in some cases, but it's not like SAW the movie or anything like that. It's more in the mind. Read it! I promise you won't be sorry! Just don't forget your tissues.

To Susan Quinn- This is an excellent novel that kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time I was reading. It's one of those stories I couldn't put down. There was always something happening. I couldn't stand not to know what would happen next! Thank you for such a great escape! When can I have the next one?

As is usual, I got so excited about the book that I forgot about the rest of the blog tour so I'm adding the very generous giveaway from the author now!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Review and Giveaway- Girl in the Clockwork Collar

The Girl in the Clockwork Collar

By, Kady Cross
Sequel to Girl in the Steel Corset
Available Now

Goodreads Summary:
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

Can I just say I LOVE this series!!!!  I am so in love with Finley and Griffin that I can't believe I went through a whole year waiting for this sequel! There will be mild spoilers for the first book Girl in the Steel Corset so you've been warned.

Our quartet of friends, Finley, Griffin, Sam and Emily are after Jasper, determined to find the truth about Jasper.  Did he kill a man in cold blood? Is their friend capable of murder? They are determined to find out. So without a plan, they fly off in Griffin's own personal dirigible to New York City. They stay at the Waldorf Astoria where Finley has flowers waiting for her from, guess who? And of course Griffin is jealous. I thought , God if this book goes back and forth like the last one about their feelings for each other, I may not be able to stand it. But, Finley makes and interesting comparison about her being Cinderella and Griffin the prince but then they aren't really like that at all. She just doesn't know where she stands. Circumstances in this one make them each take a stand in this one.

Sam and Emily are their usual selves though they took a back seat a little more in this book. Finley is her usual bad a** self and plays a big role in this one. But she also sees the error of her ways when it comes to her darker side and evil. 

Set against the backdrop of an alternate New York City in the late 19th century, this novel delivers everything it promises and more. The ending was everything I wanted! I think this novel was even better than the first and I absolutely loved the first one! I hope Kady Cross continues to write this series for several more novels.

Because I accidentally ordered two copies of the novel, I am offering a hardback copy of the novel to one person in the United States. Just fill out the form below. You must be at least 13 years old.





a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, May 28, 2012

Review-My Vampire Summer by Elle Casey

My Vampire Summer

by Elle Casey
Author Links:
Website: Elle Casey
Goodreads Summary:
My Vampire Summer, a novella, the first novella in a series of four ... Reserved bookworm Iona Candella and her best friend, wildchild Cheri Blake, are spending the summer before college in a small medieval town in France. Iona plans to spend the time reading 100 books on her Kindle and Cheri plans to spend it interfering in Iona's book reading/hibernation plan and finding gorgeous French boyfriends to help them pass the time instead. Both of them get more than they bargained for or even imagined. Ancient curses, haunted castle ruins, crypts protected by supernatural serpents. My Vampire Summer is a veritable YA Fantasy banquet, all in a novella-sized package.

Have I told you how much I love Novellas? This one is almost book length, plenty of time to develop characters and flesh out the story. Everyone, absolutely everyone should have a best friend like Cheri! She is an absolute blast of a friend and I so hope she stays in this story. Cheri is the friend that makes you go to the party after a crappy day at work. She's the one that makes you go on the blind date you don't want to and you find THE guy! She's the one that makes the trip to the math symposium F-U-N! And she was only one of my favorite characters in this novella.

There is also the very cute Phillipe who is so in love with Cheri which they change to Cherie(dear one) in France that on the second day he wants her to go to college with him there in France! He's got as much energy and life as Cheri and keeps up with her. And he's got such an adorable accent! On the first day he meets the girls he tells Cheri he will call her later maybe or "yesterday" and they burst out laughing having to explain yesterday, today and tomorrow. I was grinning and laughing at the whole exchange. Any time Phillipe spoke, I was looking like a fool. I felt like I had to explain what I was grinning at to everyone around me. Luckily, I was reading in the car and no one really cared.

Iona, she's a bit harder to warm up to, but I think you aren't supposed to fall for her too hard in the beginning. She's quiet. Got her KINDLE! Yes, she's a reader and has downloaded fifty books to read over the summer. But come on Iona you're in FRANCE for the whole summer! Have a fling! And boy does she find someone to fling with. Not a Phillipe at all, but Francois. Ooh la la! Guess what he is??? C'mon you know the name of the story.

Just when I thought a vampire story couldn't be fresh, Elle Casey proves me wrong. She puts curses and new twists on the old tales and like I said at 200 pages, it was enough to get me hooked, but not enough to overwhelm me. If I have one complaint, it's that toward the end of the story the summer was summed up with "The rest of our summer....".  There were some details but I wanted everything to happen in France over the summer. Doesn't look like that's going to happen. But that's such a minor complaint.

I felt everything! I might have written this when I reviewed Elle's novel Changelings: War of the Fae. She is amazing at making you feel the feelings of the characters. I swear I was blushing when Cheri was flirting with Phillipe. I was fricking scared out of mind in the church especially of the snake.  You'll understand that when you read it. And I felt a sincere warmth toward the guardians of Sommieres, the dogs. Elle makes you care about everyone and everything. Even mom, who was a background character, you feel for her because of her sadness at being divorced. 

So do I recommend this one? Absolutely! Anyone that loves paranormal romance, vampire stories, ya paranormal, just a good  short read. It's really a new, fresh idea when it comes to vampire stories. I can't wait for the next installment! Again, though it's called a novella, at 200 pages, it felt longer and it came to a satisfactory stopping point. Totally recommended! 

Heather



Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Review- Unbreak My Heart by Melissa Walker

UNBREAK MY HEART
BY MELISSA WALKER
Bloomsbury
May 22nd
From Publisher for Review
Summary from GoodReads:
Sophomore year broke Clementine Williams’ heart. She fell for her best friend’s boyfriend and long story short: he’s excused, but Clem is vilified and she heads into summer with zero social life. 

Enter her parents’ plan to spend the summer on their sailboat. Normally the idea of being stuck on a tiny boat with her parents and little sister would make Clem break out in hives, but floating away sounds pretty good right now. 

Then she meets James at one of their first stops along the river. He and his dad are sailing for the summer and he’s just the distraction Clem needs. Can he break down Clem’s walls and heal her broken heart?

Told in alternating chapters that chronicle the year that broke Clem’s heart and the summer that healed it, Unbreak My Heart is a wonderful dual love story that fans of Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, and Susane Colasanti will flock to.



Monday, May 21, 2012

Guest Post and Giveaway Kevin McGill Author of Nikolas and Co

Nikolas and Company
The Merman and the Moon Forgotten
By Kevin McGill

You may remember my review last week of the first Episode of Nikolas and Company called The Merman and the Moon Forgotten an adventurous story about a group of friends that travel to the moon, chased by monsters that don't die until their prey are dead. The moon was once the twin planet of the Earth but the bridge connecting the two was somehow destroyed and the moon basically died, or life on it died. But no matter, these kids travel back in time to when the bridge was still there.
And the adventure begins.
If you don't remember my review you can read it 

You can purchase this episode for 99cents from Amazon

Kevin also has a program called "Kids Read Free." He will send a copy of the book to any kid between the ages of 10 and 16 that will read the novella and make a 1-2 minute video about it. That's not much to ask. My 12 yr old, Jakob is going to do it and I'm going to let his school borrow the book for the rest of the school year. You just need to contact Kevin and let him know the
details. I think that's a really great thing he's doing! Yay for Kevin an Nikolas and Company!

So here's Kevin with his favorite character Caroline!

First, I want to thank Heather for letting me steal a little blog space from her to share about the world of Nikolas and Co.
I get asked a lot about the ensemble cast I created. Usually there is not enough time to present my characters thoroughly in the story, so I thought I’d take the opportunity now. Hope you enjoy one of my favorite members of the company…

Character Profile: Caroline Wendell

"Content Caroline. Content with your cooking and cannery and butterfly kisses." -
Algernon

Surprisingly, Caroline turned out to be my favorite character. When I first developed my ensemble, I was pretty confident that Nikolas and Xanthus would be my favorites. Both optimistic characters who were willing to get into the middle of things without thinking first. So I was surprised when I realized how much I liked writing Caroline. She didn't save anyone or defeat some inner-demon, or possess an undiscovered magical power (yet), she just cooked. Being the middle sibling between her dominate, older sister Haley, and made-for-reality-T.V. sister, Brandy, Caroline is the classic, overlooked middle child. But she doesn't carry a chip on her shoulder. Actually, she enjoys being the self-appointed mother of the company as she does the cooking, cleaning and mending. And that's why I loved her, I think. She could stand in the middle of battle, where blood is still dripping off the tip of katanas and lionsbrans are gasping for their last breath, and ask when are they returning to Manor Minor so she could work on her pies.
Her clothes were probably the most important to me. Growing up, there was a hold over 70's style that my stepmom, Denise introduced to me (well, she introduced the renaissance style too, but that's a whole other story). The style was a Little House on the Prairie/hippie kind of look. Homemade dresses with flower print patterns. Throw in the simple, thick glasses (horn-rimmed for Caroline though), and black stockings black boots. While I never described it this way, I could even imagine Caroline with pigtail braids. Overall, it was the pippie-long stockings, Raggedy Anne vibe. All this spoke of a nostalgic character. Someone who valued the past, and believed that home cooking and living simply was better for us as a whole.
As you will read in this episode and further episodes, Caroline does have her moment of heroism, but it is in a smaller, more profound way.

-       Kevin McGill

Keep up with Nikolas and Company: The Merman and The Moon Forgotten:


Web: http:/nikolasandco.com



Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Review and Giveaway- Cornerstone by Misty Provencher

Cornerstone
by Misty Provencher

Nalena Maxwell has been branded ‘The Waste’ at her new school, due to her mom's obsessive paper hoarding. Nalena desperately wants something to change in her life, but when she receives a sign (and it's the wrong dang one) inviting her into a mysterious, ancient community, too much changes. What she knew of her family, what she thought of her life and what she believed about her future, is no longer applicable. Seventeen years worth of family skeletons come crashing into Nalena's life and it is the boy...the one that smiles at her like he wants to hear everything she'll ever say...that already knows her powerful secrets. But it is only Nalena that can choose between protecting the life that is already crumbling beneath her feet and the one that might sacrifice everything she could ever have.


I was asked by a fellow blogging friend if I wouldn't mind reading this novel and if I liked it help out the author by spreading the word . I read the novel. I'm spreading the word.

Cornerstone at first seems like it's just your average, teenage girl that doesn't fit in and suddenly gets lucky when the popular guy starts to follow her around and ask questions/ Red Flags. She knows she's going to be the brunt of some cruel joke by some girls that don't like her. In fact, no one likes her. They call her the Waste because she lives with her mother in a home filled high with paper. Stacks upon stacks of paper that her mother writes on, stories she starts but never finishes. And once, a long time ago, when she was trying to make friends, a girl came by unannounced and saw all the paper, hence the name. Now Nalena doesn't know why Garrett is asking questions about her or showing up at her library table or defending her. And what's with this crazy stuff happening with her out of body experiences. And the man in the woods with the shovel trying to kill her?  All very good questions that get answered in due time.

A lot of times when I'm reading, I skim books, especially long books because there are times when the character's mind wanders and it doesn't seem pertinent, or there are lengthy descriptions, but in this book, that never happened. Everything seemed to have meaning. The story line was original, though some might call it religious, I thought it more life affirming. There are supernatural powers and there are bad guys. 

Mom and Nalena have been on there own forever, living on welfare and suddenly Nalena finds this whole big family living right under her nose and that there is a purpose to her mother's writing and that there is a community that would pay for her services.  And then there is Garrett. Because of a perceived threat on Nalena and her mother Evangeline's life, the two move into the home of Garrett's parents. This is tough as Nalena is majorly crushing on Garrett and she is getting mixed signals from him. There are highs and lows  for them throughout their time together  But the romance is not rushed at all.  It is slow and even when their feelings for each other are clear, Garrett wants to take things slow. Refreshing for YA!

Many lows come towards the end of the novel and  there is a sneak peak into the second novel. If it's as good as the first it will be bought as soon as it is available. The author has a way with words, that I really enjoyed. Her metaphors like "my thoughts drift like feathers in a fan" and  "but she laughs, a fluttery streamer of a laugh that doesn't float with me."

I really enjoyed the complexity of the novel and the side stories that went along with it. I can't wait to see where it's headed and I hope you'll take my advice and don't pass this one up! It's an awesome read!
Thanks Candace for asking me to help out and thanks Misty for writing such a great novel!

And now for the Giveaway

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Review-Nikolas and Company The Merman and The Forgotten Moon

Nikolas and Company
Episode One
The Merman and The Moon Forgotten
by Kevin McGill

Nick lives in a time when one can extend their life indefinitely through cerebral downloads, zip from country to country in hovercars, and have every whim taken care of by the ever faithful nannydrones.

Nick hates it. 

Aside from the refugee camps, overpopulation, and unchecked consumerism filling every city across the globe, Nick just doesn’t belong. That is when he hears the voice of a woman: 

“The Rones lie about their true intent. They enter the city of Huron at the peril of us all.” 

Shortly after, his slightly crazed grandfather reveals to him:

“All you’ve ever heard about the Moon is a lie, my dear Nikolas. He was not always a mere satellite, a ghost wandering the stars. In an age before our own, Moon was our twin, and in him bore the whole of magical life. The cradle of this magical civilization was a fantastic metropolis filled with fire-breathing winged lions, volcano-born nymphs, automaton-legged mermaids, and so much magic you can smell it. We called this city Huron, and you, Nikolas, are her steward.”

Meanwhile on the moon, the senior stagecoach driver Yeri Willrow thought he was performing a simple drive and drop for his mysterious passengers, until they are attacked by foul-breath red-eyed creatures. He soon learns that his passengers are a family of automaton-legged merfolk, and he is their only hope. Yeri suddenly finds himself tasked with saving the merfolk or they will fall to the peril of the creature most foul.

 This novella has one foot in science fiction and the other in fantasy. I was reminded a lot of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy when I read this. It was kind of crazy with weird creatures and unusual journeys and a weird mission.  The character Nick who is the main character is adventuresome, an inventor, a thinker and not likely to follow instructions-any one's!  I really liked him because he took charge and did what needed to be done when a leader wasn't clear.   There are many characters including Tim, Nick's twin who is the exact opposite of Nick. He seems to be cautious, overly sure of his qualifications (to beat a girl up twice his size called Rocky) and wants to slow down and think things through. He'd rather stay on earth where the atmosphere is so bad that there is no sun and the Geneva Virus is spreading like wildfire killing thousands at a time.  But he isn't given a choice when they are attacked by trackers that don't give up until their prey is dead.

Meanwhile, back on the Moon, Yeri the brave and heroic wagon driver finds that he is carrying precious cargo, The Duke and Duchess of  Eynclaene, the Merrow people who guard the coast and keep the treasure of the city of Huron safe.  Yeri is brought into further service of the Merrow people, but in this Episode, we don't know if he succeeds or fails.

At 130 pages, this was a nice introduction into the two worlds of the story. The characters were summed up nicely by Nick- "Haley hates love. Brandy loves fashion. Tim's a wuss. Daniel: evil scientist. Xanthus: dragon nerd. And you (Caroline): good cook."  That is who they are at their basest, but of course we all know people are more complex. Nick just likes to think everything is simple. I think he's going to find things are very complex as he travels to the moon and becomes the Steward of Huron, charged with speaking with the Merrow and protecting Huron's fortunes.

I enjoyed this story very much. As I'm not a science fiction fan, I may not have enjoyed the story in it's entirety, but broken up like this, it's got me very curious. And the fantasy world created which  Nick and friends are just about to enter is very interesting. I can't wait to learn more about it! The lore is that the moon and the earth were twin planets joined together by a bridge.  This will prove to be a very imaginative story.  And I must say, it was very well formatted for my Kindle. The pictures were all in the right places and the titles were in the right places. It was a pleasure to read it!  I will definitely be reading the rest of the series so I can see what happens. 

It's great for anyone that loves fantasy, science fiction, it's clean with just the slightest hint of boys and girls taking a notice of each other.  Lots of adventure, but not so far fetched that you don't believe it.

And, now to show you a really cool video that the author and friends made when they got their first copy of the book which I think is incredibly cool!



You can go to this website Kevin McGill and find out about the contest they are running to win a Kindle Fire! They launched the book into space and you can guess how far away it landed when it came down. That's it!  But watch the video, it's cool! And the book going to space has to do with the characters traveling to the moon.  So in all a very creative and out there author! Just the kind I love!

Thanks to the author for the numerous attempts to get me a copy I could read! I loved it and will read the next one when it comes out!  The free copy of this first in the series in no way influenced my review of this novella.  I have to say again, sometimes when you just want something to read, but need to finish it in a day, a novella is the way to go. Of the ones I'm reading, they all seem to end on a somewhat conclusive note but with tons of questions waiting to be answered. But I feel satisfied enough that I can let it go. And I don't have to wait a year for the next edition. That is a big plus in the favor of the novella!!

I'd definitely recommend this one!
                                                                                           Heather
Kevin McGill is going to share some thoughts next week on my blog and we'll be doing a giveaway so be sure to come back on Monday May 21st!





Friday, May 11, 2012

Review- Of Poseidon by Anna Banks

Of Poseidon
by Anna Banks
Published by Feiwel and Friends

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.


First I'd just like to take a moment and say that this cover could be a work of art hanging on my wall.  It really is beautiful with the bubbles and the long white dress flowing behind  Emma like a tale and yet not.  And her white blond hair as if she's flying and she is in a way, flying through the water. And that title is just right! So yes, I'm swoony over the cover already!  But we know that books don't always live up to their covers. 

But, in this case, the book more than lives up to the cover! I was bowled over with how truly great this story was and how well it was told.  Two friends, Chloe and Emma spending the last days of their summer on vacation in the tranquil waters of the Gulf of Mexico. sharing a surfboard. They're laughing at Emma's complete lack of grace which she had just demonstrated when she ran cheek first into Galen, the most gorgeous of boys either has ever seen.  Must be the siren in him.  Then the tranquility and happiness is shattered with the deadly strike of a shark.  


Emma dreads senior year.  But is shocked to find Galen in her class, all her classes and that he remembers her.  Not only does he remember her, but seems to have a special interest in her. Their relationship, to me , is what makes this novel work so beautiful.  There are cover ups, and lies and deceptions, and pretending. Galen is torn between what he wants and what he should do. There is a huge mystery, that unfortunately I saw through right away, but hopefully not everyone will.  It is such a huge romance story, I think that eclipses the rest of the story. Or maybe I just wanted a great romance, I'm not sure.  As I read it, I felt like I was reading Starcrossed by Josie Angelini.  It's that big sweeping story with a mythology behind it and incredible stories to support secrets of the world and stories we've grown up on.

I loved all the characters. Emma was warm and caring, protective. I really liked her. She learned how to find her anger and use it. And she doesn't let herself get pushed around. I really, really liked her. She's someone you can root for, and stand behind, I'm team Emma if there was someone she was up against.

And Galen, whoa! Galen definitely has my attention. From the time Emma has her face plastered against  his bare chest.  He is, to quote a friend "hot fish on a stick!"  And yes, he's extremely possessive, arrogant telling Emma she is one of his subjects, and extremely attractive, most of the girls in Emma's school follow him around like a school of fish!

But the story is more than just the romance, is about finding Emma's roots, is she or isn't she Syrena, who in her family was Syrena, was she adopted, can she grow a tail, will she have all the traits of a Syrena?  

Okay, you all know when I really love a book I don't write a very good review and I'm still riding the good feelings after having read this one two days ago. I just loved it! I love mermaid stories (Sorry Galen and Toraf!) and this seems to be my year!  This one delivered everything I wanted and more!  I absolutely want the next one yesterday!  Ms Banks- may I please be a BETA READER for you? PLEASE????

Thank you to the publishers Feiwel and Friends for the ARC  through NetGalley. I received it at no cost but it in no way influenced my review.

It's going swimmingly ,
Heather

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Review-Struck by Jennifer Bosworth

Struck
by Jennifer Bosworth

Mia Price is a lightning addict. She's survived countless strikes, but her craving to connect to the energy in storms endangers her life and the lives of those around her.

Los Angeles, where lightning rarely strikes, is one of the few places Mia feels safe from her addiction. But when an earthquake devastates the city, her haven is transformed into a minefield of chaos and danger. The beaches become massive tent cities. Downtown is a crumbling wasteland, where a traveling party moves to a different empty building each night, the revelers drawn to the destruction by a force they cannot deny. Two warring cults rise to power, and both see Mia as the key to their opposing doomsday prophecies. They believe she has a connection to the freak electrical storm that caused the quake, and to the far more devastating storm that is yet to come.

Mia wants to trust the enigmatic and alluring Jeremy when he promises to protect her, but she fears he isn't who he claims to be. In the end, the passion and power that brought them together could be their downfall. When the final disaster strikes, Mia must risk unleashing the full horror of her strength to save the people she loves, or lose everything.

As much as I wanted to love this one, I didn't. The idea was incredible, a girl that could continuously be struck by lightning and not be killed, how could that be?  What genetic malfunction caused that? Or was it some type of experiment? Or was  it Earth's polluted air as there are others that have been struck more than once and lived, but not to the extent that Mia has.  She craves it like a drug and can use it like fire.
That question is never broached nor answered in this novel. Not once does even Mia question "Why me?"  Given what she experiences, I think she's entitled to a little why me, but never does it cross her thoughts. I think that was a big part of the world building that was left out.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Talisman of El Blog Tour Guest Post and Giveaway!

Talisman of El
by Alecia Stone
Centrinian Publishing
Available May 20th

WHAT IF YOUR WHOLE LIFE WAS A LIE?

One Planet.

Two Worlds.

Population: Human ... 7 billion.
Others ... unknown.

When 14-year-old Char­lie Blake wakes up sweat­ing and gasp­ing for air in the mid­dle of the night, he knows it is hap­pen­ing again. This time he wit­nesses a bru­tal mur­der. He's afraid to tell any­one. No one would believe him ... because it was a dream. Just like the one he had four years ago - the day before his dad died.

Char­lie doesn't know why this is hap­pen­ing. He would give any­thing to have an ordi­nary life. The prob­lem: he doesn't belong in the world he knows as home.

He belongs with the others.

Welcome to the blog Alecia Stone here today to talk about the settings in her fresh new novel, 

Talisman of El.

Guest Post: Real World Settings in Talisman Of El
by Alecia Stone

There are numerous settings in my novel I'd like to introduce you to. While they are all fictional settings, they are located in real places. There are two worlds presented in Talisman Of El - the first being our current world that we know as home and the other world is called Arcadia, which is a rather mystical world. Here, I'm going to focus on the real world settings.

Country: England, United Kingdom
County: West Sussex
Town: Capeton

DWELLINGS:
Spring Drive
Jacob Willoughby's house is located off a quiet country lane at the end of Spring Drive. This is where Charlie is living at the start of the story. A two-storey, three-bed cottage, it looks like something out of a fairy tale with red rose vines running along the front wall. Woodland surrounds the house. The interior is plain and simple: a yellow farmhouse kitchen and a living room with antique furnishings. There is only one picture on the living room wall, which is a portrait of Jacob's late mother.
Windermere Drive
Derkein's house - better yet, mansion. This is a brown brick lake house of great proportions located at the end ofWindermere Drive. It consists of five double rooms, one of which is an en-suite room, a double garage and a large modern kitchen with two fridges.
Brick Lane
Alex Dench lives with her parents in a white house with colourful flowers in the front garden. The interior is warm and cosy with peach painted hallway walls and a large modern kitchen fitted with walnut units and steel appliances. Alex's room is huge with a double bed and two wardrobes. It also happens to be pink, which she claims is down to the fact that she hasn't had time to paint over it.

SCHOOLS:
Oakwood Secondary School
Charlie attends this Oakwood upon moving to Capeton. It has an enrolment of four hundred and seventy-five pupils (excluding Charlie). It happens to be the only secondary school in Capeton. The medieval-looking entrance makes it look like a library upon first sight but modern red brick buildings surround the entrance.
Town: Knotsbridge
Willowdrop Care Home
This is where Thomas Wakeman resides. It is a Victorian care home for the elderly. Located seventeen and a half miles outside of Capeton, it is situated alongside the River Ern and surrounded by its own woodland. The exterior reminds Charlie of something out of The Adams Family. The interior is large and bright with stained carpeted floor. It's a quaint home with a friendly atmosphere.

County: London
Town: Brentford

DWELLINGS
Alpha Children's Home
Aka Never Land. Charlie has been living at Alpha for two years prior to moving to Capeton. The home houses eight children aged between ten and eighteen. It's a large, two-storey house with fourteen rooms and a large back garden. When Charlie was living here, he had his own room, which was small and consisted of no wall photos apart from the 1955, silver Porsche Spyder poster on his bedroom door.
Okay, so those are the main real world settings of Talisman Of El. To find out about the other world, Arcadia, please check out the official website for Talisman Of El. And, of course, you can purchase a copy of the book and venture the lands of Arcadia.
So the Giveaway! Fill out the form, but there is more after that. A very good book trailer that will show you more about what the book is about. I think you'll like it!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom Blog Tour

The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom
by Christopher Healy
Walden Pond Press

Enter a world where everything, even our classic fairy tales, is not at all what it seems. 

Prince Liam. Prince Frederic. Prince Duncan. Prince Gustav. You've never head of them, have you? These are the princes who saved Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Snow White, and Rapunzel, respectively, and yet, thanks to those lousy bards who wrote the tales, you likely know them only as "Prince Charming." But all of this is about to change...

Rejected by their princesses and cast out of their castles, Liam, Frederic, Duncan, and Guztav stumble upon an evil plot that could endanger each of their kingdoms. Now it's up to them to triumph over their various shortcomings, take on trolls, bandits, dragons, witches, and other associated terrors to become the heroes no one ever thought they could be.

This title is the first in a series about the adventures of Liam, Frederic, Duncan, and Gustav. The second title is due out in 2013.

I am lucky enough to be part of The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kindom Blog Tour with Walden Pond Press.  If you're visiting for that, I'm glad to have you here!
I'm in love with this book! I read this book so fast I'm going to have to read it again but once you start it's so addictive you just can't stop. It's like eating potato chips or M&M's you can't read just one page or chapter.
Links to the other blogs participating are below my review. Thanks for stopping by!

Ever wondered about what happened after Happily Ever After? I have. I have always wondered. Well wait no more!  This book tells it all and doesn't hold back.  Four Prince Charmings and the true story of how they became Prince Charmings.  And their real names. And if you don't find this book imaginative and funny, my name isn't Buried in Books. (It isn't really.)  But there are asides from the narrator, looks into what the individual princes are thinking at certain times and it's all told with a sense of exaggeration and the absurd that just works because it's the fairy tale told from the other side, the after.

Frederic is foppish and I'd say rather a mama's boy if it weren't for the fact that his father made him that way. Scared of the outside world. His princess wants a taste of adventure and she is tired of the endless picnics and walks in the gardens. She leaves on a quest to find someone that's missing and that starts the action of this entire tale.  Frederic is not going to let his princess go so easily and so with the help of his valet, Reginald, he gets on a horse and goes after her, in a white suit, with epaulets with tassels and not a clue how to ride a horse, which direction to go or what to do when he gets there.

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