Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas House of Night winners!!

Merry Christmas everyone!! Happy Holidays to those who don't celebrate Christmas!

I just wanted to pop on for a moment to wish you all that and to announce the winners of the little contest I was running, the Dragon's Oath audio book and the signed copy of Dragon's Oath.

And the winners are....

Jenifer Holden! She won the audio book!


JoJo Hunt! She won the signed copy!

Congratulations to both of you! Emails will be sent shortly to get your addresses.

Thanks to all who entered! See you next time!

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Monday, December 5, 2011

House of Night Dragon's Oath Contest!

Howdy! It's contest time! For my House of Night contest I am running two. See, I run a House of Night Facebook page and I have been promising them a contest so I think it's about time and I received an audio book to giveaway on my blog. So, why not kill two birds with one stone?

First contest!!! The first contest is for the Dragon's Oath audio book. I recieved this from MacMillon Audio to giveaway because they loved a review I posted for the book and thought "Hey, they have audio versions of that too!" So this is it. You must be a GFC Follower and fill out the form below, that includes anyone who comes here from the House of Night Facebook page (I will be checking). You are welcome to join the other contest but you have to 'like' my page first, you can find that HERE, and follow the rules stated below for that contest. US & Canada Only.

Second contest!!! The second contest is for a signed copy of Dragon's Oath, so print version. This is for Facebook fans, we are celebrating the recent release of Destined and reaching 150,000 'likes'. Here is what you do, fill out the form linked below. You are welcome to enter the above contest but you have to be a GFC Follwer which means you have to have a Google account. The most important thing you have to do is 'like' the note that I posted about the contest on the page. If your name is chosen and you didn't like the note, you will be disqualified (that is the easiest way to make sure you are a fan of the page). This contest, and only this one, is INTERNATIONAL.

ONE entry per person per contest.
GFC Follower for contest one.
"Like" House of Night Facebook for contest two.

Please, PLEASE read the rules. I don't like disqualifying people. It sucks.

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. You understand that you are providing information to House of Night Fan page and Life, Love, Lust and not to Facebook. The information you provide will only be used to administer this promotion and will be deleted at the end of promotion. No purchase is necessary and a purchase of any kind will not increase an individuals chances of winning.

Contest ends December 24th, winners will be announced and contacted Christmas day!

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Friday, November 25, 2011

Destined by P.C. and Kristin Cast

Destined (House of Night #9) by P.C. and Kristin Cast

YA Fantasy

Rating: 5 Stars
Zoey is finally home where she belongs, safe with her Guardian Warrior, Stark, by her side, and preparing to face off against Neferet -- which would be a whole lot easier if the High Council saw the ex-High Priestess for what she really is. Kalona has released his hold on Rephaim, and, through Nyx's gift of a human form, Rephaim and Stevie Rae are finally able to be together -- if he can truly walk the path of the Goddess and stay free of his father's shadow.

But there are new forces at work at the House of Night. An influx of humans, including Lenobia's handsome horse whisperer, threatens their precarious stability. And then there's the mysterious Aurox, a jaw-droppingly gorgeous teen boy who is actually more -- or possibly less -- than human. Only Neferet knows he was created to be her greatest weapon. But Zoey can sense the part of his soul that remains human, the compassion that wars with his Dark calling. And there's something strangely familiar about him . . .

Will Neferet's true nature be revealed before she succeeds at extinguishing Light? And will Zoey be able to touch Aurox's humanity in time to protect them all? Find out what's destined in the next thrilling chapter of the House of Night series.
First Thoughts: For obvious reasons I bought this book. I have been in love with the House of Night since I picked up Marked in 2007 on a class field trip to Barnes and Noble. I was hooked immediately. There is so much drama around this book series like "Zoey is a ho" and stupid stuff like that but really if you understood the books and the world they live in she wouldn't be called a 'ho,' it's just that people are quick to judge. The cover follows the theme of the rest of the series and has Aurox on the cover (eek!). I love the bull imprints on the hard cover of the book. It's fantastic!

Writing Style: Of course having two authors you can't really rate the writing style the same as the others. I have read other P.C. Cast books so I am pretty sure I can pin point the areas that are true P.C. Cast. Kristin helped making it easier to read and, you know, made it very teenage like. The only issue I have with this book is the horrible editing. Some are easy to miss but some are just popping out and it really makes me disappointed that an editor missed the very common mistakes.

Characters: Zoey has grown up so much. She is still the same nervous and self conscious girl from the beginning. She is still afraid of making mistakes and doesn't feel she is good enough to save the world. I love that even though you can tell she has grown from the first book she still has those traits that make people connect with her. The only other person I want to talk about is Shaunee. In this book she becomes more of her own person. As a real twin, I think all twins should have themselves as well as each other. Erin and Shaunee just wanted to be so much alike that it was bound to change sooner or later. Shaunee is strong though and she sees the good in people. Now you can see the difference between the two and you see that Shaunee isn't as material as I originally thought.

Final Thoughts: I am always disappointed in how short these books are. It's depressing that we get so little and have to wait forever for the next one but honestly to me it's worth the wait. This book was great. I loved all the action and I have to say (like always for this series) I never saw that ending coming. I love it when I don't guess what's going to happen because it was too obvious. It was sort of a sad ending but at the same time happy. I'm not going to explain because of spoilers but I just had to say it. Oh, and of course the cliff hanger where you realize all crap is going to hit the fan in the next book. It's going to be awesome!

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Friday, November 11, 2011

Tempest by Julie Cross

Tempest (Tempest #1) by Julie Cross

YA Science Fiction

Rating: 4 Stars

The year is 2009. Nineteen-year-old Jackson Meyer is a normal guy… he’s in college, has a girlfriend… and he can travel back through time. But it’s not like the movies – nothing changes in the present after his jumps, there’s no space-time continuum issues or broken flux capacitors – it’s just harmless fun.

That is… until the day strangers burst in on Jackson and his girlfriend, Holly, and during a struggle with Jackson, Holly is fatally shot. In his panic, Jackson jumps back two years to 2007, but this is not like his previous time jumps. Now he’s stuck in 2007 and can’t get back to the future.

Desperate to somehow return to 2009 to save Holly but unable to return to his rightful year, Jackson settles into 2007 and learns what he can about his abilities.

But it’s not long before the people who shot Holly in 2009 come looking for Jackson in the past, and these “Enemies of Time” will stop at nothing to recruit this powerful young time-traveler. Recruit… or kill him.

Piecing together the clues about his father, the Enemies of Time, and himself, Jackson must decide how far he’s willing to go to save Holly… and possibly the entire world.

First Thoughts: I'm not sure if I entered to win this one or not, I'm pretty sure I did but it was a complete surprise when it showed up in my mailbox. The cover is very intriguing and I could see myself choosing this book because of the cover. I think that this synopsis is great too. This seems like a very interesting story.

Writing Style: This is where I had a problem with. This book took a long time even though I do love it. The thing is it took me forever to fall into it. I was confused and had to stop reading because it was just too long of being confused. The writing isn't bad I just couldn't catch on.

Characters: Jackson is like every other young adult. He is in young love and does things that he really shouldn't. I did connect with him on one thing, I am a twin and I cannot even imagine the pain I would feel if I lost my twin sister. He went through a lot at a young age and then finding out he has the ability to jump through time and people he thought he could trust, he really couldn't. The greatest thing is that with all the he went through, he grew up and learned from his mistakes.

Final Thoughts: This book took me awhile. It could be my issues with how the book was set up or it could be that I just started a new job around the time I started the book. Who knows for sure. What I do know is that this book was great. I am looking forward to the next one and I am definitely looking forward to seeing it on the big screen.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Forbidden Mind by Kimberly Kinrade

Forbidden Mind (Forbidden #1) by Kimberly Kinrade

YA Paranormal

Rating: 4 Stars

She reads minds.
He controls minds.
Together, they might get out alive.

Sam thinks she's months away from freedom. After spending her life in a secret school, rented out to the rich and powerful as a paranormal spy, she is ready to head to college like any normal eighteen-year-old.

Only Sam isn't normal. She reads minds. And just before her big going-away party, she links to the mind of a young man who changes everything.

Drake wasn't raised as a 'Rent-A-Kid.' He was kidnapped and taken there by force. But his exceptional physical strength and powers of mind control make him very dangerous, especially to Sam.

When they meet, Sam is forced to face the truth of her situation, and to acknowledge that not all is as it seems in her picture-perfect world. For what awaits her on her eighteenth birthday isn't a trip to college, but an unexpected nightmare from which she may not be able to escape.

To survive, they must work together.

But will their powers be enough to save them before it's too late?
First Thoughts: I have read Kimberly's work before so I have been watching her (not in a stalker way lol) work and waiting to hear what's next. When Kimberly offered the ebook for Forbidden Mind to reviewers, I had to do it. The cover is simple but in a very good way. It fits well with the story, it even fits with the title. When you think of 'forbidden' you think of someone keeping you out and a fence does that job pretty well.

Writing Style: This would be the section that made the difference of the four stars to five stars. Kimberly is a fantastic writer and it was very easy to fall into her story. I got to disappear from my busy life and escape into the life of the paranormal. The only thing that bothered me a bit was once in awhile I felt like it got choppy. It didn't happen very often but it was enough to bug me and for me to remember it.

Characters: Continuing off the last section, I felt like some of the characters could have been explored more but wasn't. Drake for one. His story was short and sweet and when he finally made his appearance it wasn't as exciting as I thought it would be. I guess they were in a hurry to get out but the time after that could have made up for it. Sam was easy to sympathize with since we are in her head. She was betrayed by the people she trusted and violated in the worst way possible.

Final Thoughts: I wasn't disappointed with this book. I wish it was longer though. I can just imagine the possibilities of more action and twists. But I can't complain much about it because this isn't the end of the story. This is a great story that has a lot of potential and I can't wait to find out how things work out for Sam and Drake.

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Friday, October 21, 2011

The Door to Lost Pages by Claude Lalumiere

The Door to Lost Pages by Claude Lalumiere

Adult Fantasy (and I stress the adult part)

Rating: 2 Stars

Step through the door to Lost Pages and escape a life you never wanted... On her tenth birthday, Aydee runs away from home and from her neglectful parents. At first, surviving alone on the streets is harsh, but a series of frightening, bewildering encounters with strange primordial creatures leads her to a bookshop called Lost Pages, where she steps into a fantastic, sometimes dangerous, but exciting life. Aydee grows up at the reality-hopping Lost Pages, which seems to attract a clientele that is either eccentric or desperate. She is repeatedly drawn into an eternal war between enigmatic gods and monsters, until the day she is confronted by her worst nightmare: herself.

First Thoughts: I loved the synopsis. As I was scrolling NetGalley I saw this cover and just had to read it. When I read the synopsis it really got me. It's very interesting.

Writing Style: I didn't care much for it. Especially the last chapter. The story grabbed me in the beginning but then it became restless. I didn't expect to only 95 pages on my e-reader too. I don't even know if that is the whole book or not but I felt like whatever they author was trying to get at never got there.

Characters: Each chapter was it's own story so really there are a ton of characters but they all revolved around the same point in the book. The thing is, is that there was no time to even understand the characters. The book was impersonal and each character felt like they weren't developed enough. It was rushed and there wasn't enough time for anyone to sympathize or even connect to them.

Final Thoughts: The thing that annoys me the most is I was expecting more. On NetGalley it says that the paperback has 200 pages but on my e-reader there were only 95. Did I get the whole story? Is that the reason I feel frustrated with this book is because I haven't really finished it? I don't know if I will ever find out. Another thing is the synopsis is deceiving. Yes, they start out with the young girl but then they go to adults and becomes an extremely adult book. Like sex and sex everywhere. I don't like it when I get deceived by book. There is a difference between judging a book by it's cover and having the synopsis only tell you part of the story. That synopsis was only a quarter of what the story was about and what I thought was a story about a girl ended up being about a girl, a boy, and then a whole bunch of people and their sex lives.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

It's been so long!

I feel like I slacked a bit on my blog lately. I have good reasons but it did bug me a bit.

I have been working really hard for my Coaching job and we have been having a ton of performances and practices lately. It's about to calm down though. So that is good but also sad because I enjoy it.

Another reason is I got a new job. Coaching is an awesome job but it doesn't pay the bills until the end of the season and it's only for one season. There was no way I could live of that one. So I finally got another job and I have been working there for about a week or two so I'm starting to adjust to my new schedule.

It will all work out in the end though. I will be having a contest soon! I'm going to start drawing up the plans and then beginning that one pretty soon.

Hope you are all having a great October! My birthday is coming up quick and I always enjoy those. Oooo and Halloween of course!

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The Radleys by Matt Haig

The Radleys by Matt Haig


Rating: 4 Stars
Just about everyone knows a family like the Radleys. Many of us grew up next door to one. They are a modern family, averagely content, averagely dysfunctional, living in a staid and quiet suburban English town. Peter is an overworked doctor whose wife, Helen, has become increasingly remote and uncommunicative. Rowan, their teenage son, is being bullied at school, and their anemic daughter, Clara, has recently become a vegan. They are typical, that is, save for one devastating exception: Peter and Helen are vampires and have—for seventeen years—been abstaining by choice from a life of chasing blood in the hope that their children could live normal lives.

One night, Clara finds herself driven to commit a shocking—and disturbingly satisfying—act of violence, and her parents are forced to explain their history of shadows and lies. A police investigation is launched that uncovers a richness of vampire history heretofore unknown to the general public. And when the malevolent and alluring Uncle Will, a practicing vampire, arrives to throw the police off Clara’s trail, he winds up throwing the whole house into temptation and turmoil and unleashing a host of dark secrets that threaten the Radleys’ marriage.

The Radleys is a moving, thrilling, and radiant domestic novel that explores with daring the lengths a parent will go to protect a child, what it costs you to deny your identity, the undeniable appeal of sin, and the everlasting, iridescent bonds of family love.
First Thoughts: I got this book as a First Reads off of Goodreads. The cover showed on Goodreads is what made me enter but the book I received had a different cover. The one I received had the white fence that has blood running down it. It's a neat cover, simple in a very good way. The newer cover is obviously aiming towards the YA crowd.

Writing Style: This is an example of a third person book that I don't fit well with. It kept jumping back and forth between characters and at times I kept getting confused. I found myself having to reread what I just read because I found out I was in someone else's point of view. Everything else seemed to go great though. I like hearing how each person dealt with what they were going through and Matt is really good at getting you to sympathize with the characters, even if they are monsters.

Characters: I didn't really connect with any of these characters. Clara is fine in the beginning but after the crime she committed she became a whole new person, to me it just didn't fit. When Rowan followed her footsteps he was mad at first but he stayed pretty much the same but had more courage. He started to stand up for himself and eventually ask his crush out. Helen is a lying wife who is in complete denial, I felt like I was watching a soap opera. Peter is too worried about himself he doesn't realize his wife is having "issues" and he gets pretty darn close to ruining the entire relationship. Will is just a bad person. Even though I didn't connect with any of them, each of them gave a lot to the story.

Final Thoughts: I just realized how long it took me to read this. It wasn't that it was a horrible story or anything, it was that each chapter was maybe one to three pages long. It bugged me a bit but I guess it worked out. You got to see the story unfold from everyone included in the book and got to see things that would have been shown if they were just following one character. Overall the book is awesome. What you think is a normal neighbor isn't really and weird things are always happening. I'm giving it a four because I did have some things that didn't fit well with me but I really did enjoy reading the story.

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Friday, October 7, 2011

The Butterfly Clues by Kate Ellison

The Butterfly Clues by Kate Ellison

YA Mystery

Rating: 3 Stars

Penelope (Lo) Marin has always loved to collect beautiful things. Her dad's consulting job means she's grown up moving from one rundown city to the next, and she's learned to cope by collecting (sometimes even stealing) quirky trinkets and souvenirs in each new place--possessions that allow her to feel at least some semblance of home.

But in the year since her brother Oren's death, Lo's hoarding has blossomed into a full-blown, potentially dangerous obsession. She discovers a beautiful, antique butterfly pendant during a routine scour at a weekend flea market, and recognizes it as having been stolen from the home of a recently murdered girl known only as "Sapphire"--a girl just a few years older than Lo. As usual when Lo begins to obsess over something, she can't get the murder out of her mind.

As she attempts to piece together the mysterious "butterfly clues," with the unlikely help of a street artist named Flynt, Lo quickly finds herself caught up in a seedy, violent underworld much closer to home than she ever imagined--a world, she'll ultimately discover, that could hold the key to her brother's tragic death.

First Thoughts: I couldn't decide if I wanted to read this one or not at first. I thought about it and ultimately what made me choose to just do it was the cover. White with blood red on it makes a pretty intriguing cover. The synopsis is what made me have to think. I love mysteries but lately I am big in the paranormal and this clearly wasn't fitting that category. But I decided to take a chance and did.

Writing Style: I am sorry to say that I did not cope will with this writing. I understand Penelope has OCD and I don't. So I don't know how OCD people really are but I just could not stand the constant repeat of things. The entire novel consists of the repeat of "Sapphire is dead," "I feel connected to her," "I can't stop thinking about her murder." I just could not stand the repetition so much. Repetition has been bugging me a lot lately. Her other repetition like the tapping and counting is understandable because she does have OCD but with the others it just became too hard to read.

Characters: Penelope clearly has OCD. I got that immediately into reading the book. How could no one else notice? Her parents, the students, and the teachers. They all know something is wrong with her but no one steps up to help. That just doesn't seem real to me. I sympathize for Penelope and her family, they have been through rough times. But to ignore this condition that is ruining her life and putting her life at risk is kind of ridiculous. I just couldn't stand any of the characters. Penelope needed to see a shrink. Flynt was a liar and time and time again the proof was right there. Her mother needed to be in a hospital. Her father is too aggressive with Lo and her condition and is in denial. I just couldn't connect with any of the characters.

Final Thoughts: I liked the book. It wasn't fantastic but overall it's a pretty good mystery. The action was nice and there were a lot of twists even though some were probably a little boring and expected. I had a feeling who the bad guy was but with all the twists it threw me off so I guess that's good. Overall, there were parts of the book that I could enjoy but near the end of the book I basically just had to force myself to finish. It's a nice book but could be better.

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Switched by Amanda Hocking

Switched (Trylle Trilogy #1) by Amanda Hocking

YA Fantasy

Rating: 5 Stars
Switched - the first book in the Trylle Trilogy...

When Wendy Everly was six-years-old, her mother was convinced she was a monster and tried to kill her. It isn't until eleven years later that Wendy finds out her mother might've been telling the truth.

With the help of Finn Holmes, Wendy finds herself in a world she never knew existed - and it's one she's not sure if she wants to be a part of.
First Thoughts: I got this ARC by St. Martin's for reasons I'm not going to go into right now, so I don't have insights on how I picked the book because I didn't necessarily. So, I am just going to go into it what I like about the cover and synopsis. I think this is now my favorite cover of all time. It's so beautiful and I am a huge fan of swirls. They didn't over do it at all. All the covers for the next books in this series follow that same pattern. By the synopsis I can see why this became such a hit. You can't help but be interested and wonder what exactly happened and what will happen. This book is dead on with getting people's attentions.

Writing Style: I saw reviews for Switched and most were fantastic but a lot of others picked at the writing. Saying she copied other stories and some of her sentences didn't make sense. Maybe Amanda didn't have an editor before St. Martin's or a good one with her self-published books. I don't know but the ARC I got does not fit in those reviews. I enjoyed the writing. I loved it. I fell into the story and it was difficult to put down.

Characters: Personally, I loved Wendy. She has issues but she learned how to fix her problems throughout the novel. She realized her mistakes. Yes, Wendy isn't the greatest character in the world. She seemed bratty when she was a child and got expelled but as far as I can tell, for good reason. She grew up with no love from the person she believed to be her mother who actually tried to kill her, no affection since the moment she was born. If that doesn't scar someone for the rest of their life then I don't know what will. She has her faults but her past is what made her the way she is and in reality she's not that bad of a person. For a fictional character, Wendy is real.

Final Thoughts: I guess I ended up defending the book more than I thought I would. The only reason I did that is because the book is just that good. I found a new favorite! The bad reviews were all from the first self-published (someone was mad because she actually became a success and got a contract and a movie deal. It's like, are you serious? You are supposed to be celebrating the success of the author, not upset because she isn't a self-published author anymore) so maybe it was the way they said it was but I don't think the self-published book reviews should effect the newly published book by St. Martin's. I know that sometimes the stories change through the editing process (like Carrier of the Mark changed from when it was picked up to be published) so it could be possible. This book is amazing though. I love to get away from the vampires every once in awhile and go into the lives of other magical creatures. Having a new twist on trolls is a great start at that.

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Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Owl Keeper by Christine Brodien-Jones

The Owl Keeper by Christine Brodien-Jones

Children's/Middle Grade Fantasy

Rating: 5 Stars
Maxwell Unger has always loved the night. He used to do brave things like go tramping through the forest with his Gran after dark. He loved the stories she told him about the world before the Destruction--about nature, and books, and the silver owls. His favorite story, though, was about the Owl Keeper.Max's Gran is gone now, and so are her stories of how the world used to be. The forest is dangerous, the books Gran had saved have been destroyed, the silver owls are extinct, and Max is no longer brave. But when a mysterious girl comes to town, he might just have to start being brave again. The time of the Owl Keeper, Gran would say, is coming soon.
First Thoughts: I LOVE OWLS!! As I am typing this I am wearing my owl pj's. Yup. That's right. I am an adult and I have owl pj's and I am not ashamed to say it! Anyway, I received this book off of GoodReads as a First Reads and what got me of course was the owls. I don't read children's books anymore, not since Harry Potter (in the beginning) so it was definitely the owls that got me.

Writing Style: I have to say, I love Christine. Her writing made it easy to fall into the story and get lost in it. The characters are children and I think that she captured how children act in real life in this book. I felt everything that I was supposed to feel like anger and betrayed. Christine created a new world.

Characters: Poor Max. I am definitely a night person like him but to be allergic to the sun? That would suck! Throughout the book I felt his pain through the writing. Reading the things he lost and what was happening to him. If anyone needed to be a hero it was him. Rose is my favorite character though. She is so spunky and so sure of herself, for a twelve year old that is pretty cool. Especially with her being in the situation that she was in, she never showed fear and kept going. She is one brave girl.

Final Thoughts: The only reason this book took so long was because this was the busiest week of my year. I lost sleep because of this book. The only time I had time to read it was at night and I just couldn't stop. I have a feeling that this book could actually be the next Harry Potter. Now, I'm not saying it's sort of like the same story because Christine's story is no where near the same. What I am saying is that kids will fall in love with this book just like I did when I was a kid with Harry Potter. That is how fantastic this book really is. (This makes me wonder if there is a sequel in the works. I can't find if there will be anywhere but I sure hope there will be because I would not hesitate in buying it)

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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

YA Paranormal

Rating: 4 Stars

Every other day, Kali D'Angelo is a normal sixteen-year-old girl. She goes to public high school. She attends pep rallies. She's human.

And then every day in between . . .She's something else entirely.

Though she still looks like herself, every twenty-four hours predatory instincts take over and Kali becomes a feared demon-hunter with the undeniable urge to hunt, trap, and kill zombies, hellhounds, and other supernatural creatures. Kali has no idea why she is the way she is, but she gives in to instinct anyway. Even though the government considers it environmental terrorism.

When Kali notices a mark on the lower back of a popular girl at school, she knows instantly that the girl is marked for death by one of these creatures. Kali has twenty-four hours to save her and, unfortunately, she'll have to do it as a human. With the help of a few new friends, Kali takes a risk that her human body might not survive. . .and learns the secrets of her mysterious condition in the process.

First Thoughts: I was looking around NetGalley and I saw this cover. There was no way that I could just ass up reading the synopsis because the cover is awesome! The cover fits with the synopsis very well so clearly it fits the entire book I like it when covers do that. They aren't just some random thing on the front, they have everything to do with this book. It's what I like to see. I got really into this from reading the synopsis.

Writing Style: The only thing I didn't like about Jennifer's writing is the repetition. For some reason I keep reading books that just repeat themselves over and over. I understand if they are explaining something in the book and they would have to go over everything but it was constant. I got annoyed with it and felt like I needed to skip over some parts but I stuck with it and I don't regret it. Everything else was pretty good to me.

Characters: I feel so bad for Kali. I guess it's kind of hard not to with all the crap she went through in her life as well as the crap that just keeps happening. She is a brave person even in her human form even if she believes she is weak. I really liked her. But I liked Skylar more. She was the awesome sidekick and even if Kali didn't see it, she was a great friend as well. I didn't like Bethany though. She was intentionally blind to the things happening around her and made working with Kali difficult.

Final Thoughts: I loved this story. I haven't read anything like this before and I enjoyed it a lot. There were twists and conspiracy theories everywhere as well as the action of the mystical creatures. As I said the constant repetition bugged me a bit but other than that I loved all the drama in this novel, could not put it down.

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Monday, September 12, 2011

Shattered Dreams by Ellie James

Shattered Dreams (Midnight Dragonfly #1) by Ellie James

YA Fantasy/Paranormal

Rating: 4 Stars
Sixteen-year-old Trinity Monsour wants nothing more than to live a normal life. But that isn’t as easy as it seems. Trinity is different. She is special. She sees visions, and for those she’s seen, it’s already too late.

Trinity arrives on her aunt’s doorstep in New Orleans with virtually no knowledge of her mysterious heritage. She begins settling into life at a new school and even starts making friends. But all too quickly her dreams accelerate; twisted, terrifying visions of a girl locked in a dark room. And when the head cheerleader, Jessica, goes missing, Trinity knows she has no choice but to step forward with what she’s seen.

But people believe that Trinity has information about Jessica’s disappearance not because of a dream, but because she is involved. She is kind-of dating Jessica’s ex-boyfriend, Chase, and Jessica did pull a nasty prank on Trinity. Revenge seems like the likeliest scenario.

Nothing prepares Trinity for the dark odyssey that ensues while searching for Jessica, including the surprising romance she finds with Chase, or the shocking truths she learns, not just about the girl who has gone missing, but the past that has been hidden from her.
First Thoughts: I know exactly what got me into this one. The synopsis. A psychic who has visions and then when they make that brave choice to come forward they are accused as the guilty party who did it. I'm not a psychic but I can imagine real ones would be afraid to come forward for that exact reason. I can't forget the cover played a part too, I wouldn't even have read the synopsis if I hadn't seen the beautiful cover. I just love that necklace.

Writing Style: This is probably why I rated it four stars instead of five. Ellie isn't a horrible writer whatsoever but she is following the path most YA writers seem. It's not the how they all met thing. You know, the new student at school. How else are teenagers supposed to meet new people? The thing I'm talking about is the "I would die for you" love. How this has to do with writing is Ellie could have chosen to be different from the others through her writing and she didn't. I couldn't find her voice. Yes, she had her own story but she didn't write like it. Another thing that just bugged me was the constant use of her name. "Trinity." "Trinity." "Trinity!" OK. I know when there are certain scenes like when she is sleeping people call her name to wake her up. But constantly through the book it was everywhere. Someone was always calling her name It could have been "Wake up Trinity!" "What's wrong Trinity?" but it wasn't. It was just "Trinity." The single world all by itself. That is an annoying repetition that wasn't needed.

Characters: Trinity kind of bugged me. I connected with her easily and sympathized with her. The problem was her being so darn over-dramatic. She knew she liked Chase and in a matter of days she talked like she loved him. She lost her grandmother who made her choices for her so it seem to me like she clung on to the next available person. Chase was probably even worse though. He clearly didn't care about Jessica, even as a person, and the only reason he tried to help find her was because her father was pressuring him to do it. There was no sympathy for him. Trinity is clearly too good for him and I have a feeling Dylan might be hiding in the sidelines to take advantage of that.

Final Thoughts: There were a few things that bothered me, Ellie isn't a horrible writer but the random things listed above just bugged me and could have been avoided. Other than that I actually enjoyed the book. There was action, mystery, and twists. I couldn't put it down, well until I had to get some sleep. I love the whole concept of the story. That's why the four stars. There were a few things I didn't like but they didn't once make me say "Whatever, I give up." I didn't have to force read this. Except for the few things, Ellie has a fantastic book on her hands.

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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Back to Books Winner!

I didn't have as big as a turnout for this one as the last one but I totally blame that on it only being available to US. I wish I could have had it international. Anyway the winner is:

Jessica Edwards!!

Congrats Jessica! She has already confirmed and I will be sending that out to her ASAP.

Thanks for everyone who entered and stick by because I will be having another contest coming soon. I'm thinking maybe mid or early October. I wish I could have won a giveaway but I was so sick I barely had a chance to enter any. That's alright. I love being a part of the giveaway hops.

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Metamorphosis by Devon Ashley

Metamorphosis (Immortal Archives #2) by Devon Ashley

Adult Urban Fantasy

Rating: 5 Stars

Change is not always a good thing...

Some survived the battle – but not without a price. As one heart starts up again, another dies down. The pure vampires learn their immortality isn't as strong as they'd thought – the status of their hearts determines their vulnerability. And when the truth gets out, a betrayal by one of their own will cost more lives.

First Thoughts: I read the first book in this series, Ordained, and I loved it and gave it 5 Stars. So when Devon was having an ARC Giveaway on her blog, of course I jumped at the chance. I was so excited when I actually got it! I love, LOVE this cover. It's so magical. Of course the synopsis got me hooked as well, I like twists and it being all mysterious.

Writing Style: Devon is making me like third person writing a lot more. I like different point of views of the story. Especially here, easier to fall for the twists because you really don't know what's going on (if that makes any sense). I guess the only reason I hated third person was because the wrong people were writing that way. I was always confused. Devon is spot on here though.

Characters: I just love Abby. She can be pushy and over step some boundaries sometimes but she is so fun to read about. I loved Noel in Ordained and because of certain things happening in this book (not going to spoil it) I was shocked and couldn't believe what was happening, but I did and it made me sad. Until the end that is. I'm not a huge fan of Emily though, I don't think I was in the first one either. But she was still a great character, strong and still going through so much in her life, just not my favorite. Valerie is such a sad person. I understand why she does what she does even if the others may not like it. She is strong though even after all she went through.

Final Thoughts: Is Catacombs out yet??? Of course not, sad face. I wish I had more than five stars. Metamorphosis is even better than Ordained but I loved that one too. I feel like I should just add another star for this one. But I can't so it's stuck with five. I loved the twists (even if it made me sad sometimes) they kept me interested through the whole book. No forcing in this book. I blew right through it, when I had the time to sit down and read. Can't wait to find out what happens next!

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Me, a little sad. But a Thank You to you guys!

Sadly, the Giveaway hop ends tomorrow night. It's sad because I have been so sick I haven't felt good enough to sit in my computer chair to enter very many of them. The only thing I feel like doing is resting in my bed. The only good thing about that is I'm getting a lot of reading done.

This past week is still bringing down my mood. I have had so many comments regarding my dog from people I have never met before and it just warms my heart that so many people are being so nice. The only sad part of that is complete strangers are doing it when the people in my life aren't. I don't want to name names or anything (not that they read my blog anyway) but people who are supposed to be a big part of my life always disappear when I need them most. But anyway, a big thank you for all those wonderful comments. You guys are amazing!

So back to reading for me now. I am hoping I will start feeling well enough to write too. I feel like I'm neglecting my work unintentionally. Ah well.

Thank you again for all the wonderful comments!

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The Demon Lover by Juliet Dark

The Demon Lover by Juliet Dark
Rating: 4 Stars
I gasped . . . or tried to. My mouth opened, but I couldn’t draw breath. . . . His lips, pearly wet, parted and he blew into my mouth. My lungs expanded beneath his weight. When I exhaled he sucked in my breath and his weight turned from cold marble into warm living flesh.
Since accepting a teaching position at remote Fairwick College in upstate New York, Callie McFay has experienced the same disturbingly erotic dream every night: A mist enters her bedroom, then takes the shape of a virile, seductive stranger who proceeds to ravish her in the most toe-curling, wholly satisfying ways possible. Perhaps these dreams are the result of writing her bestselling book, The Sex Lives of Demon Lovers. After all, Callie’s lifelong passion is the intersection of lurid fairy tales and Gothic literature—which is why she finds herself at Fairwick’s renowned folklore department, living in a once-stately Victorian house that, at first sight, seemed to call her name.
But Callie soon realizes that her dreams are alarmingly real. She has a demon lover—an incubus—and he will seduce her, pleasure her, and eventually suck the very life from her. Then Callie makes another startling discovery: He’s not the only mythical creature in Fairwick. As the tenured witches of the college and the resident fairies in the surrounding woods prepare to cast out the incubus, Callie must accomplish something infinitely more difficult—banishing this demon lover from her heart.
First Thoughts: Give me faeries, witches, and demons and I am one happy lady! Although I'm not a huge adult book lover, I find myself reading them and liking them a little more than my usual YA. Probably because they are more mature and usually adult writers and better writers too (I said usually so I don't mean everyone so please no one take that personal). Anyway, the cover is what got me. It is beautiful and so inviting. The synopsis added to that and I couldn't resist requesting it on NetGalley.

Writing Style: Juliet is a fantastic writer. Her descriptions were so vivid and everything just wove together nicely. I can honestly say she is one of my new favorite authors.

Characters: Callie is an awesome main character. She has those qualities that people like these days. Clueless about the world she is a part of but never knew and turns out to be the super hero that everyone needs and has been waiting for. She is strong on her own but never turns any friend down for help. I knew something was off about Liam but at the same time I didn't want to just like Callie. He was the perfect man from all those romance movies, which is for a reason that I'm not going to spoil. I think maybe he did feel something for her though, I mean why else would he do what he did at the end? Kind of sad really.

Final Thoughts: Overall this book was fantastic. Kind of long, but still awesome. I felt that the story could have ended in the middle and have the rest be a sequel. There was a climax but then everything calmed down before it started to build up again. There was this silence of action in the book just like a beginning of a book would be like. I felt for sure it was over but saw that I wasn't even close to the end. The first half could have stood on it's own and have been an amazing first book. The only real problem I had with this book was it's length. Other than, of course, me not being a huge adult book fan but it still kept me interested and I didn't have to force myself through most of it (some parts I did). Juliet created her nice little world and it was easy to fall into it and love every part of it.

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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Breezy...the most perfect dog that I lost today :(

Today has been one of the worst days of my life. So much happened and it is just not my day.

I lost a dear friend today. My dog Breezy (her real name was Reason to Believe) was put down today. She was 11 years old and we got her when she was 2. We have been noticing lately that she wasn't acting normal and she has been sick. She was blind for a long time but she was used to where everything was and could walk around without hurting herself. For some reason lately she runs into everything and sometimes it seemed like she couldn't hear us.

When my mother took her to the vet and they examined her. When the vet touched her hips she tensed up. They realized that she has been in pain for awhile but she never once showed pain to us. She never whined or squealed. She was hiding it from us. I think she just didn't want us to know because she wanted to stay with us. But we couldn't let her live in all that pain anymore, no matter what we could have tried to fix it, all of it would come back again.

I will miss her so much. She has been in my life since as long as I can remember. She loved playing outside and going for walks. She was even great with all my nieces and nephews, never once snapped at them if they bugged her. We even have a kiss named after her. It's the Breezy Kiss and it's basically just a lick. We would chase the kids around saying "I'm gonna give you a Breezy Kiss!" and they would just take off and laugh. I hope that never goes away.

I am going to miss her so much. I keep feeling like she's just going to pop up out of no where sniffing for me or run to greet me when I come home. No matter how much pain she was in, she came to greet me last night when I got home. Wagging her little curly tail like always.

I wish she was still here. I wish that I would have had a better goodbye. I can wish a whole bunch of things but I know she is gone. I will never forget her though. She was the perfect dog anyone could have.

A poem I found on the internet. Couldn't find who wrote it though.

Pawprints Left by You

You no longer greet me,
As I walk through the door.
You're not there to make me smile,
To make me laugh any more.
Life seems quiet without you,
You were far more than a pet.
You were a family member, a friend,
A loving soul I'll never forget.
It will take time to hear-
For the silence to go away.
I still listen for you,
And miss you every day.
You were such a great companion,
Constant, loyal and true.
My heart will always wear,
The pawprints left by you.

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