Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday!!!

Waiting on Wednesday

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

I have already seen so many fantastic books featured on other bloggers WOW's I am just dying to be able to go without sleep so I can read all these books. But I decided to check out the new crop of debuts and see what I could find.

Gilded by Christina Farley
Releases: March 1, 2014
Goodreads-Sixteen-year-old Jae Hwa Lee is a Korean-American girl with a black belt, a deadly proclivity with steel-tipped arrows, and a chip on her shoulder the size of Korea itself. When her widowed dad uproots her to Seoul from her home in L.A., Jae thinks her biggest challenges will be fitting in to a new school and dealing with her dismissive Korean grandfather. Then she discovers that a Korean demi-god, Haemosu, has been stealing the soul of the oldest daughter of each generation in her family for centuries. And she's next.

But that’s not Jae’s only problem.

There's also Marc. Irresistible and charming, Marc threatens to break the barriers around Jae's heart. As the two grow closer, Jae must decide if she can trust him. But Marc has a secret of his own—one that could help Jae overturn the curse on her family for good. It turns out that Jae's been wrong about a lot of things: her grandfather is her greatest ally, even the tough girl can fall in love, and Korea might just be the home she's always been looking for.

Let's see, family curse, diverse culture, romance. Yep, thinking it's going to help balance all the Sci-Fi coming out this year. Just what I need!

I found a great website with a lot of debut authors on it if you want to take a look for inspiration- OneFourKidLit . Check out all the awesome authors and information. You are going to spend hours there like I did, I bet!

What are you waiting on Wednesday for??? Leave your links or if I know you, I know how to find you!

Stay warm and safe!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Warrior and The Flower Audio Book Review and Giveaway

Welcome to my stop on the tour for The Warrior & the Flower by Camille Picott.  This is an adult high fantasy.

To celebrate Chinese New Year the tour is running Jan. 27th-31st with mostly reviews and only a few interviews and spotlight posts.  Be sure to check out the tour page with additional info and list of tour stops.

The Warrior and the Flower by Camille Picott

Yi, a retired soldier, has lost everything he loves—his wife, his daughter, and his home. He seeks refuge from his heartache by plunging into a secret mission for the World Emperor. The assignment takes him to the doorstep of a brothel, where he witnesses the madam beating a young girl. Drawn by the child’s striking resemblance to his lost daughter, Yi rushes to her defense and negotiates for her purchase—after all, how hard can it be to care for one little girl? But between the child’s inquisitive nature and the dangerous secret she carries, he gets more than he bargained for.

Goodreads | Amazon | BN | Smashwords  


Audio Book- This is the review of the audio part of the novel. The narator was Al Kessel. I didn't care for him at first, but as the story progressed, I changed my mind. I really felt that his voice fit the character of  Yi really well. He did all of the voices really well, except Tulip's. I didn't like the way he did Tulip's voice no matter how far I got into the story. Did it affect my enjoyment of the story? Not at all. This isn't a novel with a lot of dialog. There is enough, but it is more action and so it didn't matter in the end that Tulip's voice bothered me.

The Characters-
Yi- I loved Yi. He was a seasoned warrior, hardened by tragedy and loss. But a truly honorable man. And he is incredibly committed to Tulip. From the moment they are together, he is protective of her and determined to make sure she is always protected. And he is loyal to the Emperor and his mission to him.
Tulip- Tuliip is adorably naive and this gets her into a lot of trouble that Yi and others have to get her out of. But she is also a very special little girl. Raised in a brothel with her mother, she is rescued by Yi and given a much better life than the one she was headed towards. She takes her mother's words to heart, but she is a little too naive to understand what they really mean. She is funny, loyal, proud and resourceful and a delight to get to know.

The World- It is a fantasy world where the Cloud Shamans of the Sky Kingdom fight with Lightning. The Earth Warriors fight with arrows tipped with liquid steel, it's the only thing that can bring down a cloud or a shaman. And they ride kylins, horses with scales that eat lightning, thrive on it and become charged with the energy of the lightning. Otherwise, the world seems normal, except for worshiping Gods of luck and happiness and then seeing symbols of them in the air, or having glowing pendants. Some people have powers that are paranormal. But the world is easy to understand and not as important to understand as the people.

The Story- The overall story arc is slow to build, but the smaller stories are fun, showing how the relationship between Tulip and Yi builds, how Tulip affects everyone else, and just how the war between the World Emperor and his soldiers and the Sky Kingdom is affecting the Kingdom. It's written well, the pacing is good with bits of humor thrown in to make it more interesting. 

My Thoughts- I really enjoyed listening to this novel. Yi was in way over his head with a little girl like Tulip. She was a precocious 8 yr old and into everything. She asked so many questions and didn't realize how inappropriate her questions were. She made Yi squirm and it was so much fun to listen to this reserved, wizened warrior try to side step her questions. Very funny moments in the novel. But also, a little disheartening to know what Tulip lived with and among and just how close she came to being part of it.
The mystery surrounding Tulip is very interesting and I still have questions, as does Yi and Kiro and the Emperor. I'm sure I'll learn more in the next book. Can I just say that as I was listening to the very end, I was so relieved to hear, Book One at the end of the title. I sighed in relief. The novel ended in a good place, no cliffies, but I wanted more.

I highly recommend this to readers that enjoy light fantasy, Asian culture, father/ daughter relationships.
This is not a Young Adult novel. It is however readable and enjoyable for older YA crowds. There is the brothel that Tulip grew up in and sex and talk about what goes on there, so use your best judgement. There is nothing graphic other than some sounds.

About the Author: 

Camille Picott is a fifth-generation Chinese American. She writes science fiction and fantasy books with Asian characters and/or Asian settings. Camille grew up reading speculative fiction stories largely devoid of Asian characters and culture. This, coupled with a passion for her heritage, is the reason she strives to bring some aspect of Eastern myth, legend, culture, and ethnicity to all of her writings. To visit Camille, go to

Website | Facebook | Goodreads


 Rafflecopter giveaway

This tour was organized and put together by CBB Book Promotions.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Red Rising by Pierce Brown
Available January 28th
Publisher: Del Rey
Hardback 400 pages
To Buy Links-
Amazon/ Kindle/ Barnes and Noble/ Book Depository/
/ Kobo/ 

Goodreads-  The war begins...

Darrow is a Helldiver, one of a thousand men and women who live in the vast caves beneath the surface of Mars. Generations of Helldivers have spent their lives toiling to mine the precious elements that will allow the planet to be terraformed. Just knowing that one day people will be able to walk the surface of the planet is enough to justify their sacrifice. The Earth is dying, and Darrow and his people are the only hope humanity has left.

Until the day Darrow learns that it is all a lie. Mars is habitable - and indeed has been inhabited for generations by a class of people calling themselves the Golds. The Golds regard Darrow and his fellows as slave labour, to be exploited and worked to death without a second thought.

With the help of a mysterious group of rebels, Darrow disguises himself as a Gold and infiltrates their command school, intent on taking down his oppressors from the inside.

But the command school is a battlefield. And Darrow isn't the only student with an agenda...


This, this is the book I have been looking for...the one that would break my reading slump. It's taken almost two months to get me out of it but this one , RED RISING, has me excited about reading again!
This is like The Hunger Games on steroids, in Space, with the Roman Gods and not the down trodden, but the HAVES waging war on each other. This book was so unexpected, every plot twist had me clutching my stomach or getting sick to it or just not believing it. I sit here in the post after glow of reading a really great book and I just don't want to share with you.  But I know you won't just believe me as I haven't written a real review in such a long time. So here goes....

Let me just make a blanket statement and say that Darrow's point of view is the one the story is told from. He's young, 16, married and just full of energy and anger and rash. But he's also chained, by his station, he is a Red, the lowest class and he just does the same thing, day in and day out never questioning if there could be something more for himself, for his family and his clan. For the other Reds. Darrow is a constantly evolving and growing character and as time passes, Darrow holds onto the best of himself, and lets go of the rest. He plays so many different characters in the novel, husband, rebel, leader, follower, friend, foe, healer, all while keeping his eye on the prize. (Yes, I am being very secretive because I don't want to spoil anything for you.)

I don't even know what other characters to explain to you. There are so many others that are primary at times and then they fall away to be replaced by someone new. I will say that given the nature of the "game" (it's actually called school) that is being played and because it is told from Darrow's point of view, we only know the other characters as well as Darrow does. And in a cut throat game where there can be only one winner, loyalties will always shift and friends can stab you in the back in a heartbeat.

The World- This is the only minor fault I have with the novel, I don't get why the world is as it is. Why is everyone living on all the various planets and moons if Earth is still habitable? And it is, the novel says so. There is a very brief description about how the Golds got to be top dog and it had to do with them defeating Earth, but that's it. I would have liked a longer explanation. (I'm sure one is coming). But with the opening of the book, I can feel the sweat dripping down Darrows fry suit as he pushes himself in his drill, faster, harder, trying to mine more Helium 3 than any other crew. Brown doesn't overuse the word red to describe Darrow's world and yet it's the only color I see when I picture it, everything covered in a layer of red dust, people included. It's an underground desert to me. The other parts that are described (again not giving anything away) are rushed in some areas so that I don't get a clear grasp of what they look like and  then other ares are fully developed so I know exactly what the landscape is like, I can picture it in my mind.

The Story- Yes, yes, yes!!! This was an amazing story for me. I'm sure it's been told before in some other way. But Brown puts the right character, Darrow, with the right amount of tragedy and heroism in him, and throws the impossible at him and because of the tragedy, not in spite of it, he is propelled to be heroic. He is the underdog, meant to be a rebel, a symbol for the Reds, but first he has to do something, become powerful so that he can be seen by them, martial their support. Because the Reds have no idea what he finds out about the planet. And with Darrow as a Gold, but the heart of a Red, he sees how difficult it is going to be to betray the Golds that he calls friends. But still, there is the one thing that started all of this, that one thing that broke him and made him reckless enough to risk everything. And it still drives him. I'm not sure if I have read a story where the hero is driven by this one particular thing for so long.

Thoughts- I kind of shared those in The Story. I think it is almost perfectly executed. Just a bit more depth into what happened to Earth and why the world had to expand so far out into the solar system. How did the adaptations happen to make the different colored people. I loved Darrow. I thought he was vulnerable and young, strong and smart, caring and kind, but also harsh when he needed to be. His kindness and friendliness were both a strength and a weakness. He was really my favorite part of the book, a great character can make a book and Darrow is a great character. I can't wait to see what Pierce Brown has in store for the next book. This one did not end on a cliffhanger but it ended on a very big- Oh WOW! 

I will say that I thought this would be one of those seven book series. I think it would be a shame to squash this rich, vibrant, vast world with an array of peoples and variety of villains into too small of a page count. Just saying I wouldn't mind reading about Darrow and his merry band of howlers a little longer than a trilogy.

I would recommend this to older teens as there is a lot of violence, sexual themes and adult situations and language. This is Science Fiction but doesn't get gadgety or anything. It is set on Mars. I'm just trying to get across if you don't like Science Fiction don't let it stop you from reading this series. I have a feeling the next book will get more techie, but I am ready for it! It has a dystopian feeling to it so those of you that still don't have enough of'll be happy with this. If you loved The Hunger Games, Game of Thrones, this is your cup of Tea. I loved how the Roman as opposed to the Greek Gods were thrown in and you'll like how they meddle in things. So you like the gods, you'll love that. It doesn't have a Young Adult feel to it. At least I didn't think so. Maybe because the Golds all had to act like adults when they fought each other. In any case, I'd recommend even to those who don't read YA.  

I received a copy of this novel for review from the publisher for review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book or my thoughts in my review. I was not compensated for my review.



Monday, January 20, 2014

Girl of Fire and Thorns Audio Book Review by Rae Carson

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
Audible Book Narrator Jennifer Ikeda
To Buy Links-
Audible/ Amazon/ Kindle/ Barnes and Noble/ Book Depository/
Indiebound/ Kobo

Goodreads- Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.
Elisa is the chosen one. But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can't see how she ever will. Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess. And he's not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people's savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life but her very heart that is at stake. Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young. Most of the chosen do.

Yes, I finally finished a novel!! I listened to it on audio and I loved it! When this series came out I was hesitant about reading it. I loved the idea of Elisa being heavy set and a heroine. But the more I read the reviews, the more I didn't like what they said. That Elisa didn't become a heroine until she lost weight. I shied away from the series. I have weight issues and it pissed me off to know that only skinny girls could be heroines, even in this book. WRONG! 

Here is what I found listening to the novel. Elisa is a heroine right from the start. She is defiant, loyal and thinks like a heroine, even if she doesn't believe in herself right from the start. She has been married off at the age of 16 to a man she has never met and she's worried about what he's going to think of her because of her weight. I know how she feels. Rae Carson does a great job of being in the mind of a girl, overweight or not, that is insecure about her body. Elisa knows she is being judged by her looks, but rather than letting it beat her down, rather than withering under their judgmental glances, Elisa lives up to her title. She is a Queen and she acts it. I can't help but think that if more of us took our flaws as well as Elisa does and treated ourselves as Queens or Kings anyway, then we might all be happier. Elisa never resorts to pitying herself but owns up to having created her weight problem.

Elisa shows extreme bravery and strength throughout the novel. She trudges through the desert even as her legs and heavy body betray her without complaining. She isn't there of her own free will either. Her faith in the Godstone and her God keeps her going. And as her body grows smaller, her belief in herself grows larger but it isn't because of the lost weight. It's because of the strength in her body. In herself.

The story is good, but there is a lot I don't know about the country and the cities. About the different religions. And about the Godstone itself and how it gets inside of someone. What the war is about. I think the stronger story is about Elisa, coming into herself, and her own power, learning how to lead a country and trusting her own judgment. I was very happy with Elisa as a character in this novel and the way she developed. 

And the audio--- I really enjoyed the audio narrator. Her voice was soft and young. It got overwrought and excited when needed but for the most part, like Elisa, it remained calm. I really enjoyed her voice, the pacing,  the way she changed her voice for different characters. I believed her voice and feelings that came through. I'm glad she continues the narration in the next book as I have it on audio to listen to as well.


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