Thursday, February 28, 2013

Notes From Ghost Town by Kate Ellison Review and Giveaway

Notes From Ghost Town by Kate Ellison
Amazon, Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, Kobo, Book Depository
Goodreads Summary-They say first love never dies...

From critically acclaimed author Kate Ellison comes a heartbreaking mystery of mental illness, unspoken love, and murder. When sixteen-year-old artist Olivia Tithe is visited by the ghost of her first love, Lucas Stern, it’s only through scattered images and notes left behind that she can unravel the mystery of his death. 

There’s a catch: Olivia has gone colorblind, and there’s a good chance she’s losing her mind completely—just like her mother did. How else to explain seeing (and falling in love all over again with) someone who isn’t really there?

With the murder trial looming just nine days away, Olivia must follow her heart to the truth, no matter how painful. It’s the only way she can save herself. 


This was a beautiful, heartbreaking story about Olivia and Stern, two gifted teens. Olivia or Liver as Stern called her was a painter and Stern, Lucas Sternum, was a pianist, a prodigy. Olivia's mother was Stern's teacher, that is right up until the night she confessed to murdering him. And the last time Olivia saw Stern he kissed her, called it a mistake and she lost her colors. She could only see black and white and shades of gray. How does a painter paint without color? She doesn't and gets kicked out of art school and sent back home.

The story was only the tiniest bit sluggish in the beginning and a little bit confusing as Olivia is at a party at Ghost Town, her father's building project, attending a reception. She hates the prep school boys there, her father's business partner's son most especially Asher Oakley, but I didn't really understand why. After that, I was so engrossed in the story, and you'll see why, that I couldn't put it down.

Olivia is angry at the world, her mother for killing her best friend and the boy she loved and never got to tell. She hates her father's soon to be wife, Heather. She hates that her other best friend Raina has new friends on the swim team. She just hates it all. But she won't admit any of it to anyone. And she's really afraid that she's going crazy, like her mother because her mom has schizophrenia. She's a likable character even if you can't relate to what she's going through. And I admired her determination.

The story is almost like a love story to Stern and to Olivia's mom. Olivia searches for the real truth of that night and even though everyone thinks she's just not dealing with the impending sentencing, she knows she's not crazy. What happens are a series of events that are too related to call coincidence, too scary to call pranks and too brazen to call an accident. Getting someone to believe her is the hardest thing Olivia has to do.

Kate Elliston is a great story teller with just the right mix of suspense and longing to keep you going. Her mix of bittersweet with reality was perfect. The thriller aspect of it took my mind off the undertone of sadness and gave my mind something else to focus on. I really enjoyed this one and look forward to reading more from her. I think I'll pick up The Butterfly Clues and give it a try.

Forgot to tell you, I was given a copy of Note From Ghost Town free of charge for review. All opinions expressed are my own. I was not compensated for my review financially in any way.

You can reach Kate (shown below) on her blog HERE

And now for the giveaway! To celebrate the release of Notes from Ghost Town and the paperback release of The Butterfly Clues (with a new cover shown below) you can enter to win a Hardback copy of Notes from Ghost Town and a paperback copy of The Butterfly Clues (US and Canada only). Just fill out the rafflecopter form below.


GIVEAWAY

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Goddess Inheritance by Aimee Carter Review

The Goddess Inheritance by Aimee Carter
Amazon, Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, Book DepositoryKobo
Goodreads Summary- Love or life.
Henry or their child.
The end of her family or the end of the world.
Kate must choose.


During nine months of captivity, Kate Winters has survived a jealous goddess, a vengeful Titan and a pregnancy she never asked for. Now the Queen of the Gods wants her unborn child, and Kate can't stop her--until Cronus offers a deal.

In exchange for her loyalty and devotion, the King of the Titans will spare humanity and let Kate keep her child. Yet even if Kate agrees, he'll destroy Henry, her mother and the rest of the council. And if she refuses, Cronus will tear the world apart until every last god and mortal is dead.

With the fate of everyone she loves resting on her shoulders, Kate must do the impossible: find a way to defeat the most powerful being in existence, even if it costs her everything.

Even if it costs her eternity.

So, this is it. The final book in the series. And boy does it have a lot to accomplish! Relationships to heal, people to bring together, battles to fight and if we're lucky Kate and Henry and their baby will get a happy ending. I've really enjoyed this series despite some small complaints. Yes, Henry does seem to be a bit of a blank wall sometimes. He seems to have a bit more feelings in this book. Especially when it's crucial. Kate still suffers from being a martyr. Why she doesn't think she deserves happiness and everything that all the others around her are fighting for I don't know. She's constantly throwing herself in the line of fire. And of course, she's being kept in the dark about the Council's plans so I guess she does have a right to feel like she should do something.

But the one thing I wanted in this book was a little more one on one time between Henry and Kate. I wanted to see them warm up to each other, have a chance to know each other. See the fun side of  Henry. But he's always so straight and stiff. So though I thought it was well planned out and a good strong finish for the series, I still wanted more of Henry and Kate. I've always wanted that, throughout the series. I just guess it wasn't meant to be and it left me feeling a little wanting in the end. However, everything else was wrapped up (for now according to what I read....).

Thanks to the publishers for an e-ARC of the novel made available through NetGalley. The opinions expressed are my own. No monetary compensation was received for my review.

Heather

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Claudia Lefeve's Traveler's Series Excerpt and Giveaway

Haven't read the Travelers Series yet? Now's your chance to get started!
The first three books (Volume 1) in the Travelers Series are now available! Find out what happens when seventeen-year-old Etta Fleming finds out she's not only from an alternate reality, but is destined to become the future leader of a band of paranormal misfits in order to protect a future reality from destruction.

The fourth book in the series, PARAMETER, will be available late-Spring 2013!

Win 1 of 5 eBooks Sets of the Traveler Series Volume 1 (Parallel, Paradox and Paradigm.
eBook Giveaway open Internationally and Paperback open US/Canada.  See full contest rules here.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

About Parallel - goodreads, amazon, B&N
Destiny has a way of catching up.

Saddled with powers she doesn't understand, Etta Fleming's world is turned upside-down the day she meets Cooper Everett, the man who transports her to an alternate reality. A reality she was meant to be a part of.

One minute, she's an orphan living at Dominion House for Girls, an institution for delinquent foster kids, then finds herself attending the exclusive Dominion Hall Academy.

Plucked from the only world she's ever known, Etta now has to deal with an aunt she never knew, a boyfriend she doesn't know, and a best friend who can't know.


 About Paradox- goodreads, amazon, B&N
Everything is predestined.

Etta is slowly readjusting to life in her new reality, while still recovering from the shock over the news regarding her relationship with Cooper.

While learning more about her role as leader of the Council, she soon discovers that her future is linked to the five extraordinary individuals she must recruit in order to ensure her destiny.

Nothing is as it seems, as rivals become allies and friends become the enemy.





 About Paradigm- goodreads, amazon, B&N
Take hold of your destiny.

Etta Fleming doesn’t know she was meant to return to her true reality four years ago. After years of being the “orphan girl” in the alternate world she grew up in, she’s finally carved a niche for herself with a great job, a steady boyfriend, and a best friend by her side.

Undeterred by the shift in the timeline, it is up to Cooper Everett and his friends to convince Etta that she is still destined to become their leader, fighting against their post-apocalyptic future.

Will meeting the ghosts of her past convince Etta that she’s part of a grander destiny? Or will her past, present, and future worlds collide?



About Claudia Lefeve - website, blog, twitter
Claudia Lefeve was born and raised in the Gulf Coast border town of Brownsville, Texas; a curious place where folks see curanderas in lieu of shrinks, tortillas are served at every meal, and even gringos speak Spanish. PARALLEL, the first book in The Travelers series, is her debut YA speculative novel. She currently resides in Northern Virginia with her h
usband and two pugs.




Memorable quotes:

PARALLEL

"...every time a choice is made, we end up playing out a different scene – like a choose your own adventure book." 

"You know what your problem is?"
"I didn't take time to eat my Wheaties?" 

PARADOX

"How does one deal with the harsh reality that the man you want to be with is already taken – by your future self." 

"Don't ever settle for what you think is going to happen. Take life as it comes and don't prepare too much for what might be. Live for the moment." 

PARADIGM

"Lunch. My favorite period of the day at Alexandria High. It’s almost like an all-human version of the San Diego Zoo: the nerds, the jocks, even the goths, all roaming around in their natural habitat in the cinderblock cage that was also known as the school cafeteria."

“Because life isn’t a John Hughes movie. And even if it were, we’d be cast as one of the social misfits in The Breakfast Club...”

I especially like the last one because I was a high schooler during the John Hughes movie era! So don't forget to sign up for the giveaways and Parallel is free on various sites, grab it while you can!
Thanks to Kismet Book Tours for the Book Blitz and all the information on Claudia Lafeve's books!



Monday, February 25, 2013

Unbroken by Paula Morris Review

Unbroken by Paula Morris
Amazon, Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, Goodreads,
Summary-Welcome back to New Orleans.
Where the streets swirl with jazz and beauty.
Where the houses breathe with ghosts.

A year ago, Rebecca Brown escaped death in a New Orleans cemetery. Now she has returned to this haunting city. She is looking forward to seeing Anton Grey, the boy who may or may not have her heart.

But she also meets a ghost: a troubled boy who insists only she can help him. Soon Rebecca finds herself embroiled in another murder mystery from more than a century ago. But as she tries to right wrongs, she finds more questions than answers: Is she putting her friends, and herself, in danger? Can she trust this new ghost? And has she stumbled into something much bigger and more serious than she understands.

Once again Paula Morris has ghost seeing Rebecca in New Orleans now in the French Quarter for a week with her best friend, Ling, from New York City for Spring Break. The problem is she's seeing a ghost or ghosts again and one in particular needs her help. I loved Ruined Morris' first novel set in New Orleans and was hoping for more of the same, but this one just didn't quite live up to my expectations. At least part of it didn't.

The story starts in New York City, that's where Rebecca first sees the ghost and realizes that it's happening again. He briefly tells her his story and why she can see him and then he's gone. With quite a bit of trepidation, she heads to New Orleans with her dad and Ling. She's excited to see Anton again as they've been texting and talking through the school year. But then all the old drama with the Temple Mead girls comes up and Anton is being really weird. He was so supportive after the events in the last book and apparently throughout the year, but now that he has a chance to see Rebecca after so long, he doesn't seem to want to see her. He should be at the airport to greet her, but he doesn't see her until the next day at a lake clean up. And then there's that, Morris has the girls spending all their time cleaning up a lake, or fixing up the grounds at a school the whole time they are in New Orleans. This is Ling's first trip to New Orleans and instead of site seeing she's cleaning up. I would think there would be enough to see and do without being so altruistic. Save it for the next trip. No I'm not against altruism, I just thought it was boring to read about.

Finally, it starts to get interesting when Toby Sutton starts to rear his head and make a few attempts to grab Rebecca. He still blames her for everything and he's apparently escaped from the super strict military school he's supposed to be in. Furthermore, he knows what she needs in order to help the ghost get his final peace and he's trying to make sure she doesn't get it. And then there's Anton, he is hardly supportive. He's been talking to Toby despite his threats against Rebecca and then he finally says he's rid of  him only after Toby injures someone. What kind of boyfriend is that? What kind of friend is that? Or even person?

It was only the climax of the book and the ending that saved the book for me. It was what I was looking for and it was what made the novel worth reading. Rebecca is absolutely herself in this novel and Ling is more than a loyal sidekick, she's up for anything and a kickass friend to have. Anton, hmm, I really didn't like him, but I did like his friend Phil and hope that if there are more novels to  come, both Ling and Phil show up in them.

I felt like Morris was trying to piggyback on the success, if it was successful I wasn't blogging then, of Ruined a few years too late. And if she really wanted to make it a book set in New Orleans, give us the tour, don't stick us at a school cleaning up all day. The girls didn't complain, but I am. I'd give it  three and a half stars just because the last third was so good.

I received a copy of this novel from the publisher through NetGalley for a fair and honest review. I was not compensated for my review.

Heather


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Blog Tour: Moonsong and Witch's Nocturne by E.J. Wesley

Blood Fugue (Moonsongs Book 1) by E.J. Wesley
Amazon Kindle, Goodreads
Summary-“Some folks treated the past like an old friend. The memories warmed them with fondness for what was, and hope for what was to come. Not me. When I thought of long ago, my insides curdled, and I was left feeling sour and wasted.”

Jenny Schmidt is a young woman with old heartaches. A small town Texas girl with big city attitude, she just doesn’t fit in. Not that she has ever tried. 

Life has pummeled her heart into one big, lonely callus. She has no siblings, both parents were dead by sixteen, and her last grandparent—and caretaker—was in the ground before she turned twenty-one. She’s the last living member of her immediate family. Or so she thinks…

“We found my ‘grandfather’ sitting at his dining room table. An entire scorched pot of coffee dangled from his shaky hand. His skin was the ashen gray shade of thunderclouds, not the rich mocha from the photo I’d seen. There were dark blue circles under each swollen red eye. A halo of white hair skirted his bald head, a crown of tangles and mats. Corpses had more life in them.”

Suddenly, instead of burying it with the dead, Jenny is forced to confront the past. Armed only with an ancient family journal, her rifle, and an Apache tomahawk, she must save her grandfather’s life and embrace her dangerous heritage. Or be devoured by it. 

Quick witted Jenny and just as sharp best friend Marshal make this novel such an enjoyable read that I couldn't believe it was over so soon. I have made no secret of the fact that I love serials. It's great to get a complete story in 65 pages or so and get another one that builds on what you know, a month or so later.
Jenny, featured on the cover, has a purple mohawk, sharp tongue, and a Texas sized chip on her shoulder when it comes to family. So when her grandfather, who she was told was dead a long time ago, emails her, she is reluctant to meet him. The mystery only deepens when she agrees to kill a beast that is killing his livestock later that night and she and Marshal return. What they find is like nothing she's ever seen and the true Moonsong in her comes out. The writing is crisp and clean, it matches Jenny's character who knows exactly who she is and doesn't make any excuses for it. I didn't expect to love this one, but I couldn't wait to open up the next story in this series. E.J. Wesley is a fantastic writer! And even though that cover may be strange, it matches Jenny and the storyline perfectly! Take a good look at it before you read.

Witch's Nocturne (Moonsongs Book2)
Amazon Kindle, Nook, Smashwords
Goodreads Summary- After receiving an ancient tribal journal from her grandfather, Jenny is sent on a mission of discovery in an attempt to unravel clues to her family's monster hunting past. The journey becomes more than academic when she is asked to confront a coven of dangerous witches who plan to cast an insidious spell on the plains of West Texas. 

Witch's Nocturne is the second of the Moonsongs Books, a series of paranormal-horror-action novelettes by author E.J. Wesley. These stories contain language and content better suited for mature readers.

Because the characters of Jenny and Marshal are so well fleshed out in Blood Fugue, I felt I already knew them well enough in this second book and it took no time to understand what was going on  even though there was a small bit of introduction to remind readers of what had happened in the first book. It's not a standalone by any means. Jenny has a family business to carry on and she's flying by the seat of her pants but for a journal from her grandfather and Marshal's help. This story seemed a bit longer than the first and is again filled with some great comments from Jenny (her view of people is generally that she prefers computers to them) and a mystery leading her to discover only a sliver more about her family. It's just as entertaining as the first and I highly recommend it.

As far as it being for mature readers, I so far haven't seen anything that would warrant that kind of warning. But maybe subsequent titles will have something in it that will prove me wrong. I felt they were PG 13.

Here's some info on E.J. Wesley and I have to say, he wrote Jenny so well, I was very surprised to find out E.J. was a man. 
Bio:Born and raised in Oklahoma, E.J. grew up in a land of good earth and better people. He holds degrees in psychology and counseling, but prefers to spend his time in the heads of imaginary people to real ones. He writes and lives in South Texas, and loves to chat about movies, books, music, food, and family.

Find the Author: GoodReads | Facebook Twitter | Blog








These novels were given to me through a blog tour brought to you by CBB Book Promotions. You can follow the rest of the tour HERE.

 I have a couple of giveaways for you today thanks to Candace and the author! First two commenters can win an e-copy of each book. Yes this is international and you just need to leave a way for me to contact you in the comments. I promise you will not be disappointed!!

Secondly, there is a bigger giveaway for which you can fill out this rafflecopter form below

a Rafflecopter giveaway












Monday, February 11, 2013

'Til The World Ends:Dawn of Eden/Thistle and Thorne/Sun Storm by Julie Kagawa, Ann Aguirre, Karen Duvall Review

'Til The World Ends:Blood of Eden by Julie Kagawa; Thistle and Thorne by Ann Aguirre; Sun Storm by Karen Duvall Amazon, Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound
Goodreads Summary-
 Dawn of Eden by Julie Kagawa 

Before The Immortal Rules, there was the Red Lung, a relentless virus determined to take out all in its path. For Kylie, the miracle of her survival is also her burden-as a doctor at one of the clinics for the infected, she is forced to witness endless suffering. What's worse, strange things are happening to the remains of the dead, and by the time she befriends Ben Archer, she's beginning to wonder if a global pandemic is the least of her problems.... 

Thistle & Thorne by Ann Aguirre 

After a catastrophic spill turns the country into a vast chemical wasteland, those who could afford it retreated to fortresses, self-contained communities run by powerful corporations. But for Mari Thistle, life on the outside-in the Red Zone-is a constant struggle. To protect her family, Mari teams up with the mysterious Thorne Goodman. Together, they'll face an evil plot in both the underworld of the Red Zone and the society inside the fortresses that could destroy those on the outside...for good. 

Sun Storm by Karen Duvall 

Sarah Daggot has been chasing storms since she was a child. But after the biggest solar flares in history nearly destroy the planet, she becomes a Kinetic, endowed by her exposure to extreme radiation with the power to sense coming storms-in the cosmos and beyond. And she's not the only one. Sarah believes the Kinetics are destined to join forces and halt the final onslaught of the sun. She'll vow to keep trying to convince the one missing link in their chain of defense, the enigmatic Ian Matthews, up until the world ends.

Dawn of Eden Review
This is the prequel to what happens to the world to bring on the Rabids, those nasty zombie like creatures that feed on people at night, but like vampires, have to sleep during the day. We find Kylie and a few others trying desperately trying to provide comfort to those dying in her makeshift clinic on the outskirts of Washington DC. It's a hopeless cause as no one recovers. Kylie did, but none of her patients have and they have to stack the bodies in the alley rather than bury them, the body count is so high. In comes two young men, one severely wounded, the other carrying him. He's seeking help for his wounded friend with a haunted look in his eyes. He watches his friend constantly but doesn't want Kylie to go outside by herself. She's sure she hasn't gotten the whole story. When her patients become Rabids she gets the story on the run. The romance between Ben the surviving visitor and Kylie is rushed, as it would be in an end of the world kind of situation, two desperate people in an even more desperate situation. But I felt like Kylie's voice in the beginning didn't really sound like Julie Kagawa's writing. Something was lacking in it for me. Then there is a very adult sex scene that doesn't belong in a YA book, but it does stress the end of the world, all in kind of situation. There are Rabids scratching at the walls trying to find a way into the basement they are in and a vampire guarding the house upstairs and they decide it's a great time to have sex. Better now than never, because you never know if you may be taking your last breath.

We do learn about the first Rabid and what happened and how it spread. Ben is headed for his estranged family's farm in the Midwest but he doesn't know what waits for him. And dad is not a forgiving man. You'll have to read the rest to find out what happens. I'll say the end, the flight from the clinic on sounds more like Julie Kagawa's writing to me than the previous writing. I can't explain it. But it's definitely worth a read if you are reading The Immortal Rules series. You'll want to know what happens.

Thistle and Thorne Review
This was my favorite of the three stories and had me digging out my copy of Enclave though I'm told these two characters don't make an appearance in the book. Too bad. Mari Thistle is sent on a fool's errand. She doesn't know this of course. She's just trying to keep herself and her brother and sister fed. She teams up with Thorne when her mission goes awry and then finds out she's teamed up with him to bring the Boss down. Through a few days of dodging bullets, bad guys and betrayals, she meets her biggest challenge in her young life, protecting the life of Thorne who is making a play for Boss of the Snakeward where she resides with her siblings. Her neighbors watch out for each other, even help in times of need. Stavros, the old Boss doesn't like that, he wants to control by fear and intimidation but he's gone too far. She's not sure how Thorne will be as a leader, but she knows she needs to get Stavros out. So on one dark misty night, she does what she's never done, makes the leap from thief to killer. She owes a debt to Thorne and she isn't sure what it will be, that's how the story ends but I hope they have their own story. The romance is very hesitant if almost non existent here. But there is the promise of more. Thorne is one cool customer, but then so is Mari (Thistle) backing off from anything emotional knowing that attachments are a risk in this world. Plus she doesn't seem to have much experience in that area. We all need to petition Ann Aguirre to please write their own story!!!

Sun Storm
Okay this one was a little hard to swallow. It would have been much better as a complete novel as everything was too hurried. The romance, finding the bad guy, and the resolution of the problem. Karen Duvall can write and had a great plot but there were some kinks that needed to be worked out. Like the Earth had suffered a series of catastrophic Sun Storms. I'm guessing no ozone layer and there were continued sun storms that, if outside, people would get burned and suffer from sun sickness and eventually die. But a certain percentage of people would develop genetic abnormalities and make them Kinetics. Our heroine is a Kinetic and can predict sun storms so she can warn people and they can get inside. Sarah and her father and mother used to chase storms until this catastrophe happened to the world. Even then she could somewhat predict storms. But not to this extent. Enter Ian Matthews, another Kinetic. He has an unusual power and together the two of them have a great potential. Sarah is wary of him, rightly so in the beginning, but then falls for him quickly. Still she keeps her distance from him as it is dangerous for them to be together due to a rogue FBI agent looking for Ian. Various things happen and all of the sudden HEA for the world tied up neatly in a bow. It all happened too quickly and as I said would have made a great full length novel or even a series. Don't get me wrong, it was a good short story. Just too much for a short story. Still very much worth reading.

All in all, I was happy I read these stories for background stories and samples of the authors writing. I dusted off my copy of Enclave, ordered the short stories on my Kindle by Ann Aguirre and ordered her second novel. Anyone that can write like that I want to read. Of course, I have Julie Kagawa's next book on pre-order. I'll always have her on pre-order. Now I'll put Ann Aguirre on pre-order as well!

Thanks to Harlequin for the E-ARC provided through NetGalley for a copy of the short stories to read. I was not compensated for my review and all opinions expressed were my own.

Happy reading,
Heather

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Blaze (or Love in the Time of Super Villains) by Laurie Boyle Crompton Review

Blaze (or Love in the Time of Super Villains) by Laurie Boyle Crompton
Amazon, Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound
Goodreads Summary-Blaze is tired of spending her life on the sidelines, drawing comics and feeling invisible. She's desperate for soccer star Mark to notice her. And when her BFF texts Mark a photo of Blaze in sexy lingerie, it definitely gets his attention. After a hot date in the back of her minivan, Blaze is flying high, but suddenly Mark's feelings seem to have been blasted by a freeze-ray gun, and he dumps her. Blaze gets her revenge by posting a comic strip featuring uber-villain Mark the Shark. Mark then retaliates by posting her "sext" photo, and, overnight, Blaze goes from Super Virgin Girl to Super Slut. That life on the sidelines is looking pretty good right about now..

Okay, no doubt about it, you must read this if you enjoy contemporary coming of age stories. It's humorous, uplifting, heartbreaking and triumphant all in the same book. Blaze is a girl that has had to grow up faster than the rest of her friends with the disappearance of her father to NYC to pursue his acting career. Being left to be the only breadwinner, Blaze's mother works as a physician's assistant in the ER and Blaze becomes the soccer mom and all around  errand runner, chauffeur to her brother Josh's friends and chief cook of burned casseroles. It's no wonder when Mark, cute soccer coach of Josh's team shows some interest, Blaze dreams of a life of her own, one  that doesn't involve prepubescent boys and Superturd, her brown mini van. But, when she gets a little taste of the life, she finds she might be in over her head.

As Blaze's life spins out of control, she finds herself turning more to her comics and creating The Blazing Goddess vs. Mark the Shark, to get her revenge against Mark. Her brother tried to warn her but...
Here is what I love about this book, besides the fabulous plot. Blaze does not care that she has to haul around four 13 yr old boys who are alternately obsessed with her boobs, farting, food and Nintendo. She is protective of them, as much as any mother would be and they play goofy games like Cows in the car. In return, the boys are just as protective of her, especially her brother, Josh. 

Mom is a bit absent- she's lost her husband to his dreams, thinking he would come back after only a few months. Instead it's been years and life has been hard on her. But she doesn't realize the toll it's taken on Blaze. Until she finds out the mess Blaze is in and realizes she has been more than relying on Blaze. But its not just Mom, Dad's mother MeMa bashes him every chance she gets and whenever they visit it's like a slamfest on her Dad, something Blaze just can't take because she still sees the fun dad, the good times, the guy in the family portrait before things fell apart.

It takes a unplanned trip to comic con, four well meaning 13 yr olds and two caring truckers to help Blaze see her way out of the mess she's in and see her father for what he really is, a poor excuse for a dad. I absolutely love the relationship between brother and sister, how she seems to be taking care of him and then all of a sudden he seems wiser than her. I love his friends much more than hers. And mom, who for all her faults, loves her kids and is just stuck. Blaze definitely grows up in this novel for mature readers and shares her wit and knowledge about comics with us as she does.

Here is some great artwork from the novel below by Anna Cain.  Leave your email addy below or some other way to contact you for a signed bookmark.


 © 2012 Anne Cain


Thank you to the publisher at Sourcebooks for the E-ARC provided through Net-Galley. I was not compensated for my review in any way.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Blog Tour To Dance in Liradon by Adrienne Clarke

Virtual Book Tour To Dance in Liradon by Adrienne Clarke


Welcome to my stop on Adrienne Clarke's Virtual Book Tour for To Dance in Liradon.  Please make sure to leave a comment or question below for Adrienne to let her know you stopped by.  Adrienne will be awarding one winner a choice of a Kindle touch, Nook Simple Touch, or a $100 Apple gift card, and one crystal Faerie necklace to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.  You can follow her tour stops here, the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.   

To Dance in Liradon by Adrienne Clarke
Kindle, Kindle UK, Barnes and NobleKobo
Blurb- Seventeen-year-old Brigid O'Flynn is an outcast. A chance encounter with the Faerie Queen left her tainted in the eyes of the villagers, who blame the Faerie for the village’s missing women and children. Desperate to win the village’s acceptance, Brigid agrees to marry her childhood friend: Serious, hardworking, Connell Mackenna. But when Connell disappears before their wedding, Brigid's hopes are shattered. Blamed for her fiancĂ©’s death, Brigid fears she will suffer the same fate as the other village outcasts, the mysterious Willow Women. Lured into Faerie by their inhuman lovers, and cast out weak and broken, the Willow Women spend their lives searching for the way back into Faerie. When Connell suddenly reappears, Brigid is overjoyed, but everything is not as it seems. Consumed by his desire for beauty and celebration, Connell abandons his responsibilities, and Brigid soon finds herself drawn into a passionate, dangerous world of two. 

When Brigid discovers the truth behind Connell's transformation she’s forced to choose between two men and two worlds. Brigid’s struggle leads her into glittering, ruthless Faerie, where she must rescue her true love from a terrible sacrifice or lose him forever.

This is an old style fairy tale, where the faeries are all trickery and empty promises. You can't eat anything there without getting stuck there and they have a very dark side. These are the kind that steal babies and women and Brigid has been marked for having seen the Faerie Queen. In the eyes of the villagers, she is just as bad as being a fae folk and they shun her at best, torture her at worst. So when she turns 17 and her mother thinks the most eligible bachelor in town, the miller Connell has his eye on her, her mother at least believes her troubles are over. But she's unsure of her feelings for him and she's just as unsure of his feelings for him. Is he doing it out of pity, the need to rescue her from her would be tormentors or does he feel something for her?  Then he disappears on a trip to buy a bolt of fabric for her wedding dress and the villagers resort to drastic measures to be rid of the curse Brigid brings on the town.

I can't say what time period this is but it's far enough back in time that the pagan superstitions still outweigh the Christian ways. The villagers may go to church but still believe in all the old ways to keep the "fair folk" from entering their homes and from getting them lost in the woods. Enough that they shun a young girl as being marked because she spoke to the Faerie Queen and then whenever  there is a failed crop or drought or a babe goes missing, it is her fault. And the villagers have to ask the count that rules over the land for permission to wed. So that's how far back. And Clarke does a good job of making you feel like you are in that time period with the cottages, the clothing, the food, it all fits, at least in my mind. 

Brigid's father died three days after her encounter with the Faerie Queen, another thing she is blamed for and her head is full of all the love stories he was fond of telling. She's waiting on her white knight to come riding in and sweep her off her feet, but she has very naive ideas about love and what it really means. I was pleasantly surprised by the depth of the characters in the novel. Brigid shows a lot of growth and understanding in her confusing situations. Honestly, I don't know how I would have chosen in her place, but I accept her decision as the best option and clearly showing her understanding of real love. But Connell, too, shows growth, and an unexpected acceptance of a situation I didn't think he would. There were layers beneath his quiet gruff exterior that came out very slowly. 

I think Adrienne Clarke took a simple story and added a layer of complexity to it with some plot twists and great characters and really made a great story out of it. I really didn't expect this much of a story out of To Dance in Liradon,  but this was a really great story! With the final words of the page I am thinking there will be a sequel to the novel and I very much hope so. Clarke's writing is easy and beautiful in a simple way. No frilly descriptions, yet you can feel the velvety leaves under your feet as you read or the cool water on your too hot face. Beautifully done!

Happy Reading,
Heather

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
 
Blog design by Imagination Designs using papers from the Fashion Passion by Irene Alexeeva