Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Review - Lord of the Flies by: William Golding

Title: Lord of the Flies
Author: William Golding
Publisher: Penguin Books
Pages: 182
Format: Paperback
Source: Personal purchase

Description:


William Golding's compelling story about a group of very ordinary small boys marooned on a coral island has become a modern classic. At first it seems as though it is all going to be great fun; but the fun before long becomes furious and life on the island turns into a nightmare of panic and death. As ordinary standards of behaviour collapse, the whole world the boys know collapses with them—the world of cricket and homework and adventure stories—and another world is revealed beneath, primitive and terrible. Lord of the Flies remains as provocative today as when it was first published in 1954, igniting passionate debate with its startling, brutal portrait of human nature. Though critically acclaimed, it was largely ignored upon its initial publication. Yet soon it became a cult favorite among both students and literary critics who compared it to J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye in its influence on modern thought and literature.

Labeled a parable, an allegory, a myth, a morality tale, a parody, a political treatise, even a vision of the apocalypse, Lord of the Flies has established itself as a true classic.


My Thoughts:


I’ve read this one way back in August, and there’s a reason why the review is coming now: when I read a book, I can sometimes say, “that was one good adventure” and move on with my life. But some books stay with me for quite a while if not forever, and I find myself thinking about them very often. William Golding’s Lord of the Flies is one of these books.

I’ve known this book for quite a while now as “one of the most celebrated and widely read of modern classics.” And then, the blurb on the back starts with “a plane crashes on a desert island and the only survivors, a group of schoolboys, assemble on the beach and wait to be rescued.” Being naïve as ever, I thought to myself, “Oh, a children’s version of LOST!” When I was done with book, of course, I realized that it was LOST that drew a lot from the book and not the other way round.

The book starts off kind of ridiculously because when the plane crashes, all that survive are children and male children only. While trying not to lose hope of being rescued, they form themselves some sort of order of living. They make rules. However, as the days pass, their egos come forward, they are slaves to the urge for power and, in the end, the monsters inside them can no longer stay there.

I must admit that in today’s world, this story isn’t different or exciting or even interesting, really. On the other hand, the excitement and shock factor hidden in the details grab the reader and make them think, analyze and question. When you read the book, you really understand why Lord of the Flies is among classics and why it’s still considered up-to-date today.

Gogol’s Dead Souls, it was a very, very slow read, but I was in awe of the characters he had created, mostly because we all know at least one of them in real life—I’m not a fan of stereotypes, but I do believe they exist around the world. The characters Golding created are this kind of characters as well. It’s sad, but when you read the book, you realize humans haven’t changed at all since then; there’s no improvement or anything. We’re still after being the one with the all the power, the most loved, the one whose decisions are put into action, the one who can make others do as he/she says…

In the Lord of the Flies, you’ll find the thin line between good and bad. In the characters and in their choices, in addition to seeing people you know in real life, you’ll also see parts of yourself, which will be rather creepy.


NOTE: As you know, Sawyer is famous for being the reader in the LOST crowd. Even though we don’t see him actually reading the Lord of the Flies, he mentions it: “Folks down on the beach might have been doctors and accountants a month ago, but it’s Lord of the Flies time, now.”

Friday, December 27, 2013

Title: The Garden of Eden by: L.L. Hunter


Title: The Garden of Eden
Author: L.L. Hunter
Publisher: Kindle Edition
Pages: 156
Series: The Garden of Eden #1
Format: Kindle ebook
Source: Request Review

Description:

Eden Daylesford is a sixteen year old Nephilim girl stuck smack bang in the middle of a war between angels and demons. And the bad thing is that she shares both of their blood. When her mother takes her to the Michaelite Sanctuary in London to try to get rid of the deadly trait that has started to appear – one that hasn’t been seen in a long time – it could stop Eden from forming any sort of relationship with anyone, including the tempting Asher. Eden has no idea just how powerful she is…

Will she learn to embrace her new ability and accept her new role, or go back to her old life of an ordinary human teenager?

Will she be tempted?

The enticing first book in the spin off novella series to The Legend of the Archangel. Set after events in The Chronicles of Fire and Ice

My Thoughts: 

Eden has problems boy does she have problems.  When she discovers that her trait can literally kill people her mother drags her to a monastery.   Hoping this will help training Eden to be a nun, but Eden has other ideas and one of them is a cute boy named Asher.  But can she really be with a boy when she can easily kill him?

I loved this book it was told from two points of view Eden's and Asher's.  Eden has all sorts of issues I guess that is what happens when you dad is a big bad, and as much as Eden's mother wants her safe nothing can seem to keep Eden from her destiny.  

Then we meet Asher who loves everything about Eden from her beauty to her thoughts.  Unfortunately when the girl you love can kill you well how can you be together?  That is the messy part of this book but I loved it all the same.  

I can't wait to see what L.L. Hunter weaves for us next.  This book reminds me of authors like Aimee Carter's Goddess series.  If people like The Goddess Test Series or The Iron Fey series they will love this.  L.L. Hunters writing draws you in and wants you having more and had me hooked and left hanging to see what happens next!! INCREDIBLE, ENGAGING & ADDICTING!!

Editorial: Picture and Quote of the Day #1


You know honestly I couldn't say it any better.  Authors create a glorious world, of 
  • mystery
  • mayhem
  • romance
  • heros 
  • maidens
  • fantasy
  • and everything in between
And we as readers get to fall in love, or hate these characters and see what trouble they get into.  Even when a series ends and we hate when that happens their world was created to be entered into for only so long when it ends it's sad but it ends.  To have the ability to even enter their world whether it be permeant or temporary it is still a glorious magical thing. 

How many have thoughts on the things I've mentioned?  Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments and I would love to hear your thoughts on when series end?



Thursday, December 26, 2013

My Best of 2013: Top 10 Books of 2013

I always have a very hard time picking top 10 of anything, but Paula asked me to do it, and I’ve tried my best. Here are my Top 10 Books of 2013, and I’ll also tell you why I’ve chosen them.

 The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Neil Gaiman
This is, hands down, my number one for this year, and a book that was instantly added to my all-time favorites as soon as I was done reading it. I’m a huge fan of “magical realism,” and even though this is a science fiction/fantasy book, I think there’s a lot of magical realism in it. I don’t know if Gaiman did it on purpose or unknowingly, but it works really beautifully. Another thing I love about this book is that what every reader understands and pictures can vary—it’s open to interpretation, and it can be your own personal story if you want it to be. When you pick this up, make sure you also pick up a fair amount of Kleenex because there will come the waterworks.

 Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
My second Bradbury, and I kept getting mad at myself for not reading it sooner. In the world Bradbury creates, firemen don’t put out fires—they start them, and they start them by burning books because reading is forbidden. Then, one firemen starts waking up and asking questions, and that’s when things start going down. While reading, keep in mind that this book was first published in 1951. You’ll be amazed by how the world unfortunately hasn’t changed much since then.


Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
So far I’d only read the famous Virgin Suicides by Eugenides due to my curiosity rising when I found out the movie was based on a book. I’ve been meaning to check out his work ever since because you can tell he’s a different type or storyteller. Middlesex was pretty much what I thought it would be: a very unusual character, an unusual history and a lovely family with all its faults. I especially loved the fact that the main character’s Greek grandparents’ adventure starts in Bursa, Turkey; you don’t run into Turkey in an American book, really. I think this is a must-read for all literature lovers.

 Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple
This book caught my attention as it was nominated for Women’s Prize for Fiction 2013. It took me a while to get a hold of it, but once I did, I couldn’t put it down. It’s about the notorious Bernadette Fox, once a revolutionary architect, then father to Bee and wife to Microsoft-guru husband. I loved the over-the-top character of Bernadette, and the style of the book was very different from what I’ve seen so far (and, I must add, not as complicated as The House of Leaves, either). It’s definitely a fun, intelligent and quick read for lovers of humor.


Lord of the Flies by William Golding
The story of young, British boys who are stranded on an island after their plane crashes and all the adults are dead. As they wait and hope to be rescued, first they decide to live by certain rules and order, but that doesn’t last too long. What these boys represent is so relevant today unfortunately that I’m not surprised it’s a book still praised for its merit. I’m also pretty sure shows like LOST drew a lot from this book.


Black Hole by Charles Burns
I’m quite illiterate when it comes to comics, and this I read because my sister had it, and I was curious. It’s the story of a group of teenagers living in Seattle in the 70’s. Due to a sexually transmitted disease, they start to both physically and psychologically mutate. As a result, they’re excluded from society by their families and friends. Sounds kinda familiar, no?


The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
I read this one very quickly because I had a deadline on something else, and I really want to read it again, slowly this time, sucking in all the magic. It got me at the circus that appears one day and disappears very quickly. I really feel like I’d spoil it all if I kept going, so dive into the magic and you’ll thank me.


Seven Beautiful Years by Etgar Keret
I translated the title from Turkish, so it might be a bit misleading—I honestly don’t know if Keret’s latest book has been translated to English yet. He’s famous for his bizarre stories like The Girl on the Fridge and The Bus Driver Who Wanted to Be God. In his last book, however, you’ll find him talking about his real life with bits and glimpses of things that happened to him. It’s an enjoyable read, overall, and a good resource to see where his fictional talent comes from.


An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
I’d read The Fault in Our Stars last year and loved it. In 2013, I read this one and Looking for Alaska, and, as you can see, An Abundance of Katherines I like better. It’s everything you would expect from Green and then some more. Having read three of his books so far, I think this is the cleverest and most interesting one.


The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
In this one, Walker imagines what might happen if days grew longer than 24 hours. I do sometimes wish days were longer so we had time to get everything done, but after reading The Age of Miracles, I don’t think I’ll ever wish for that again. It’s YA, but also a very realistic imagination of what a family and a town might go through in the situation, with quite a focus on the characters’ personal struggles. If you’re bored with YA books that seem to all be the same, this one’s going to be a refreshing read.

My Best of 2013: Top 10 Books of 2013

I figured since it's getting close to the end of year I would like the best of 2013.  Here are my top books of 2013.  These books were great, ones I couldn't put down and regret not reading sooner they were that good.


The WingMaker is about a little girl that gave her life so that others could grow wings. It is about the beauty gifted to the capable by the challenged. It is about becoming worthy by becoming aware; first of oneself and then of others. The little girl, whose name is Reazon, has Cerebral Palsy. She has spent her life in a wheelchair, surrounded by siblings that play while her mother works. Her dream is to play and be "normal" so that her mother won't have to work so hard. Since Reazon is her mother's reason for the many choices in life, change is not easy to attain. A specialist by the name of Happy-Ness arrives and teaches the art of play and how to use biofeedback for the brain in order to recreate the game. This is a story of discovery that answers the question, "Who makes wings? The savior or the saved?" It's the WingMaker of course. This story is true, if you think it can be.


Alexia Wheaton’s problems go beyond picking a dress and a date for homecoming.

For seven years, Alex has lived with a painful memory - her parents' horrific murder. As the sole witness, she has kept quiet to protect herself, but when the local newspaper reveals her secret, Alex is plagued with fear that her parents' murderer will soon find her - and silence her forever.

Alex is catapulted into a race against time to save her own life and bring her parents' murderer to justice.


Sometimes it's when you least expect it, that something wonderful happens, but for Andy Garrington the timing couldn't have been worse. Being sent half way round the world to Afghanistan, Andy is prepared for a fight, but what he doesn't expect is the most important battle of his life to carry on at home. For Samantha Litton, running into her childhood crush at the pub one evening seems like good fortune. But when he is called away to war and she is left behind, things don't seem quite so clear and Sam has to determine who is telling her the truth and who is playing her for a fool, when all seems fair in love and war.

4.  Letters from Skye by: Jessica Brockmole

A sweeping story told in letters, spanning two continents and two world wars, Jessica Brockmole’s atmospheric debut novel captures the indelible ways that people fall in love, and celebrates the power of the written word to stir the heart.

March 1912: Twenty-four-year-old Elspeth Dunn, a published poet, has never seen the world beyond her home on Scotland’s remote Isle of Skye. So she is astonished when her first fan letter arrives, from a college student, David Graham, in far-away America. As the two strike up a correspondence—sharing their favorite books, wildest hopes, and deepest secrets—their exchanges blossom into friendship, and eventually into love.

But as World War I engulfs Europe and David volunteers as an ambulance driver on the Western front, Elspeth can only wait for him on Skye, hoping he’ll survive. June 1940: At the start of World War II, Elspeth’s daughter, Margaret, has fallen for a pilot in the Royal Air Force. Her mother warns her against seeking love in wartime, an admonition Margaret doesn’t understand. Then, after a bomb rocks Elspeth’s house, and letters that were hidden in a wall come raining down, Elspeth disappears. Only a single letter remains as a clue to Elspeth’s whereabouts.

As Margaret sets out to discover where her mother has gone, she must also face the truth of what happened to her family long ago.

5. Crush, Candy, Corpse by: Sylvia McNicoll

Paradise Manor is depressing - the smells are bad and the residents are old. Sunny would much rather be doing her volunteer hours at Salon Teo, but her teacher won't let her. Who says volunteering at a hair salon doesn't benefit the community?

But working with the Alzheimer's patients has a surprising effect on Sunny. Along with Cole, the grandson of one of the residents, she begins to see that the residents don't have much more choice about their lives than she does: what they eat, how they are treated by staff, even what they watch on television. So Sunny does what she can to make the residents happy - even if she has to sometimes break the rules to do it.

But when tragedy strikes at Paradise, Sunny's left to make the decision about whether or not to honor a promise that Cole made to his grandmother about her life and her death,


There are worse things than death, worse people too The “talk” was bad enough, but how many teens get told that they’re a goddess? When her mom tells her, Persephone is sure her mother has lost her mind. It isn’t until Boreas, the god of winter, tries to abduct her that she realizes her mother was telling the truth. Hades rescues her, and in order to safely bring Persephone to the Underworld he marks her as his bride. But Boreas will stop at nothing to get Persephone. Despite her growing feelings for Hades, Persephone wants to return to the living realm. Persephone must find a way to defeat Boreas and reclaim her life.


Holden Clark walks into Rebecca Powell’s life, a tall, blue-eyed stranger who stirs long forgotten desires. But nothing, including this man, is what it seems. A dark necromancer is targeting Becca for a full-blown demonic possession. She is thrust into a world she never knew existed—a world where dark casters create chaos and necromancers talk to the dead.

Holden has no faith in his power. A necromancer, he communicates with the dead, but he has never embraced his gifts. Now, he has no choice but to stop the dark caster attacking Rebecca, but accepting this mission means he’ll be delving into dangerous magics he’s never used before.

Under the protection of the damaged and mysterious Holden, Rebecca will question everything …


Trish Ackerly never expected to cross paths with Ian Rafferty again, but when she spots the former bully of her childhood years through her bakery window, she thinks she may just have been given the best Christmas gift ever: the opportunity to finally give Ian the comeuppance he deserves.

But clearly she does not have a knack for this whole revenge thing, because before she can make good on her plans, Trish gets inadvertently drawn into Ian’s life in an unexpected way that lets her see just how different the man is from the boy he used to be. In fact, much to her astonishment, she actually starts to like the guy.

A lot.

Trouble is, Ian doesn’t know who she really is, and explaining it to him is going to be a little difficult now—which is bad news, because Trish is starting to realize that all she really wants for Christmas this year…is Ian.


Kids from preschool through second grade will LOVE this silly story about a young boy whose vivid imagination goes into overdrive as he wonders why his classmates aren’t showing up to school each day. He eventually discovers they are not being taken or in harms way but rather they just caught a COLD. Uncertain what a COLD actually is, our hero sets out on an adventure to literally catch a COLD. Will he succeed? Will he actually catch a COLD? Anyone who has ever been in a classroom where students start getting sick should know the answer to that question.

10. Loco, Razor 8 by: P.T. Marcias



The hard driven, ambitious delta force operator is immune to women. His heart has been destroyed by a treacherous woman and the unexpected loss of his family. These events have driven him nearly into insanity. The hard knocks in life propel him into grasping his emotions, his thoughts, and his physical condition. He focused on his goal. Loco doesn’t allow any type of distractions or obstacles to stop him. His actions and recklessness have earned him his nickname, Loco.


The Infinite power, Razer 8 operatives, are united and linked for infinity. His team mates recognize his pain, anger, and strength is derived from the intense impotency he feels from his loss.

The unexpected mission and unexpected encounter with his soul mate, tests his strength. His mind, heart, and soul recognize his love even before the actual encounter. The ruthless criminals threaten to harm his soul mate, pushing and transforming him into a fearless warrior.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Title: Deceived by: Julie Anne Lindsey

Title: Deceived
Author: Julie Anne Lindsey
Publisher: Merit Press
Pages: 316
Format: Hardcover
Source: NetGalley

Description:

When Elle's father, a single parent and a big shot in corporate insurance, moves her to yet another boarding school for senior year, Elle is disgusted when nothing changes. Her night terrors don't go away, and, soon, despite her father's caring calls and visits, Elle starts to believe she's losing her mind. 

She knows she's being followed; a ribbon is tied around her doorknob, and there are those cigarette butts that keep turning up on the doormat, in violation of a strict smoking ban on campus. Then there's Bryan, an intriguing boy Elle meets at a flea market and later finds out is a student at her school. 

Yet on campus, he pretends he doesn't recognize her - until the day he divulges just how much danger she's in. In her search for an answer to all the madness, Elle unravels the truth about her dad's real identity, why someone has lied to her all her life, and the terrifying truth that she may be the only one who can save her from the one who's following her now.

My Thoughts:

Gabrielle is starting a new school in a new town, every year for as long as Gabrielle aka Elle has known she has been constantly uprooted.  Her father works for an insurance company and every year they move to some other small town.  Elle wants to stop moving and finish her senior year of high school.  She has made some friends and even has a roommate she gets along with Pixie who reminds me of the girl in NCIS.

What Elle didn't count on was black ribbon appearing in her locker, or the erie feeling someone is following her.  Then she meets new guy Brian Austin who seems very mysterious and only seems to talk to Elle when no one is around.  What is it about Brian that makes Elle go brain dead.

As Elle starts to get some answers to what is going on around here.  The stalker that is roaming the private school is getting closer.  Brian reveals who he really is and it's now up to Brian to protect Elle from the danger that awaits her.  First is getting Pixie out of the way and second is making sure Elle is safe from the stalker which entails Elle living with Brian.

This book was incredible filled with so much action and adventure it had me jumping all over the place wondering if they would ever catch the stalker and what the connection is with Elle's dad and Brian's job.  It was so intriguing.  Can't wait to read more by this great author!

Happy Holidays



Review - The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer

Title: The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell
Series: The Land of Stories #1
Author: Chris Colfer
Publisher: Little, Brown Young Readers
Pages: 438
Format: Hardcover

Source: Personal purchase

Alex and Conner Bailey's world is about to change, in this fast-paced adventure that uniquely combines our modern day world with the enchanting realm of classic fairy tales. 
"The Land of Stories" tells the tale of twins Alex and Conner. Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, they leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with the fairy tale characters they grew up reading about. 
But after a series of encounters with witches, wolves, goblins, and trolls alike, getting back home is going to be harder than they thought.


My thoughts:


As Kurt Hummel on Glee, Chris Colfer has been among my favorites since I started watching Glee. We saw that he’s a good actor, we saw he’s a good singer. In Struck by Lightning, we saw he’s a good screenwriter and can make a good film. In the book the movie is based on, which I think is also based on Colfer’s life, it was obvious that he was a decent writer, that he loved and respected literature. In the Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell, he has created a whole new world full of excitement and action, inspired by fairytales.


The main characters of the book are Alex and Conner, who are twins. As they were growing up, their grandmother always read them stories from a book she had called “The Land of Stories.” On their 12th birthday, she gives them the book as a gift. Alex realized very soon that this book that has been passed down from generation to generation isn’t like any other book. While trying to figure out what’s going on with the book, Alex and Conner and up falling INTO the book—yep, they fall into book like one would fall into a pool! They then find themselves in the land of stories, a place they actually know so well.

From the Little Red Riding Hood to Rapunzel to Sleeping Beauty to Snow White, all the characters you love are in this book. However, things aren’t what we know them to be: the Evil Queen who’s after Snow White has escaped from prison, Rapunzel has built stairs inside the tower she was trapped in, the Wolf that tried to eat the Little Red Riding Hood isn’t around anymore, but the pack he left behind is after revenge…

Alex is thrilled to find herself in the Land of Stories, but as Conner starts to whine, she agrees that they need to find a way to get back home. The frog they meet as they arrive in the Land of Stories tells them about the Wishing Spell—they think if they could work this spell, they could wish to go back home. However, the materials needed for the spell the twins have to collect from all over the land. They don’t even understand what some of them are until the story moves ahead. 

I have no doubt that children will love this book. Adults like me who’ve grown up with these fairytales will like it as well—it’s like your dreams coming true! I’m most certain that while listening to / reading these fairytales, Chris also fantasized about falling into these stories. The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spells introduces the Grimm Brothers’ stories to children as well as the lessons in them. I must warn adults that they should keep in mind they’re reading a children’s book because you forget, and then when some details start to get too long, you realize that they’re not really given with you in mind. 


Now I gotta go get me the second book in the series.

Book Spotlight: Bursting with Love by: Melissa Foster

Bursting with Love by Melissa Foster
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

After having her heart broken by a country music star, Savannah Braden has sworn off men. She takes a break from her fast-paced Manhattan lifestyle for a weekend at a survivor camp to rebuild her confidence and readjust her priorities. But when she meets the handsome guide, Jack Remington, she’s drawn to everything about him—from his powerful physique to his brooding stare—despite the big chip on his shoulder. Powerless to ignore the heated glances and mounting sexual tension, Savannah begins to reassess her hasty decision.

After losing his wife in a tragic accident, Jack Remington found solace in the mountains of Canada. This solitary existence allows him to wallow in his guilt and punish himself for having made a decision that he believes cost his wife her life. He never expected to want to return to the life he once knew—but then again, he never expected to meet gorgeous, stubborn, and competitive Savannah Braden.

One passionate kiss is all it takes to crack the walls the two have built to protect themselves, and allow love to slip in. While Jack fights his way through his guilt, and struggles to get back into the lives of those he left behind, Savannah is there to help him heal, and together they nurture hope that they’ve finally found their forever loves.

BIO:

Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes contemporary romance, new adult, contemporary women's fiction, suspense, and historical fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Her books have been recommended by USA Today's book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the Women’s Nest, a social and support community for women, and the World Literary Café. When she's not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on Fostering Success. Melissa has been published in Calgary’s Child Magazine, the Huffington Post, and Women Business Owners magazine.

Melissa hosts an annual Aspiring Authors contest for children and has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Melissa lives in Maryland with her family.

Melissa's Links:

Editorial: Need Some Exposure??

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Monday, December 23, 2013

Title: What Is the World Made Of? by: Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld

Title: What is the World Made Of?
Author: Kathleen Widner Zoehfeld
Publisher: Harper Collins
Pages: 32
Series: Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science, Stage 2
Format: Paperback
Source: Clover Street School Classroom Book

Description:

Did you ever walk through a wall? Drink a glass of blocks? Have you ever played with a lemonade doll, or put on milk for socks? This latest addition to the Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science series introduces the youngest readers to an important science concept: the differences between solids, liquids, and gases. Any child who wants to know why he can't walk through a wall will enjoy Kathleen Zoehfeld's simple text and Paul Meisel's playful illustrations.

My Thoughts: 

Science is fun work, I also liked the illustrated pictures and some of the text. Read the ending it's really funny.

Gift alternatives for bookworms

Bookworms are very hard to buy for, I know. If you don't know the person too well, but you know that they love to read, buying them a book should be avoided-- we all have our favorites, and not all of us will read everything. So, if you have a bookworm in your life you want to buy a present for, BuzzFeed has some great suggestions here.

My personal favorites are #2, 5, 11 and 15.

Book Spotlight and Giveaway: Wicked Hunger by: DelSheree Gladden


Book/Series title: Wicked Hunger/SomeOne Wicked This Way Comes
Author: DelSheree Gladden
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Length: 95,000 words/240 pages


Synopsis:

“Save him and hurt him, don’t save him and hurt him. Pain, either way. Delicious pain. Hunger will be the only one that wins. Hunger always wins.” 

Vanessa and Zander Roth are good at lying. Their whole life is a giant web of deceit made in an effort to conceal the deadly secrets that plague their family. 

Zander will do anything to forget his mistakes, including pushing everyone away. He was barely surviving in his self-forced solitude before Ivy Guerra entered his life. The new girl in school, with her pink-striped hair and unyielding curiosity, incites something wicked inside Zander that can only be blamed on his family genes. Now Zander is forced to fight an internal war and make a choice between loving Ivy Guerra and killing her. 

Vanessa wants nothing more than to shed the strange powers she wields and be normal. Because if Van were normal, she’d be able to have normal things… Like a relationship with the boy she’s been secretly in love with for years. Unfortunately, her life is anything but ordinary. That boy who owns her heart just happens to be her brother’s kryptonite and a potential liability for her entire family. When choices between love and family loyalty have to be made, Van finds herself faced with an impossible decision. 

As if the Roth family needs anything more to worry about, a vicious plot to expose Van and Zander for what they are is uncovered. When it becomes apparent that someone close to them is at the center of this devious plan, the fight to maintain control and keep their cover ensues. It's a seemingly impossible battle because something is causing their powers to stir stronger than ever before… and it won’t stop until Van and Zander give in to their wicked hunger. 

Wicked Hunger is the first book in the all-new paranormal series, Someone Wicked This Way Comes.

Blurb:

Vanessa and Zander Roth have spent their lives battling an uncontrollable hunger for pain and suffering that will either gain them limitless power or lead them to their deaths.

Author Bio:


DelSheree Gladden lives in New Mexico with her husband and two children. The Southwest is a big influence in her writing because of its culture, beauty, and mythology. Local folk lore is strongly rooted in her writing, particularly ideas of prophecy, destiny, and talents born from natural abilities. When she is not writing, DelSheree is usually reading, painting, sewing, or working as a Dental Hygienist. Her works include Escaping Fate, Twin Souls Saga, The Destroyer Trilogy, Wicked Hunger, and Invisible. Look for, Wicked Power, the next book in the SomeOne Wicked This Way Comes Series, Intangible, book two in the Aerling Series, and Soul Stone, book two in the Escaping Fate Series, coming 2014.

GIVEAWAY TIME: That's right you head it DelSheree Gladden is offering up a e-copy of the arc of Wicked Hunger for those who are interested. 

That's it easy peasy.  Good Luck to those who enter.  This contest will end December 24, 2014 I am hoping to get the winners their ebooks before Christmas.  

What you need to do to win:

1. leave a comment in this post with your email address
2. share your favorite YA urban paranormal book



Sunday, December 22, 2013

Stacking The Shelves #5



Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

Here's what I got this past week:



Title: Vegas to Varanasi by: Shelly Hickman

Title: Vegas to Varanasi
Author: Shelly Hickman
Publisher: Shelly Hickman
Pages: 234
Format: Paperback
Source: Review Request

Description:

Anna has never been the beautiful one; she’s always been the nice one. So when the gorgeous man sitting across the table at a wedding reception remembers her from high school—and quite fondly at that—she’s taken off guard. Formerly overweight and unpopular, Kiran has never forgotten Anna, the one person who was kind to him when no one else could be bothered, and Anna’s a bit flustered as she slowly comes to grips with his intense attraction for her. In what feels like a romantic dream come true, all-grown-up, hunky Kiran invites Anna on a trip to Varanasi. But her troubled, whack-a-do ex-boyfriend starts interfering, creating drama at every turn, which begs the question, “Can nice girls really finish first?"

My Review: 

my rating for this book is: 5 stars

In this book we meet Anna who is at this point with David even though it seems like there is problems between Anna and David.  Next we read about Anna and her ex-Luke going to a wedding where Anna meets Kiran a man she use to know from school a long time ago.  Not long David and Anna break up, which proves to be a problem in itself.  

Anna accept Kiran's request to go to India to see Kiran's grandmother who is dying.  While there the bond between them becomes very strong leading the reader to know that romance is on the way. 

I enjoyed this story it reminds me of Elin Hilderbrand with the levels this story had.  It was a great read and kept me entertained and what was going on with her daughter was a complete 360 then what I was expecting. I liked how for the most part this story wrapped up nicely.  I thoroughly enjoyed and think anyone who loves chic lit will love it as well.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Title: Between Then and Now by: Zoe York

Title: Between Then and Now
Author: Zoe York
Pages: 59
Series: Wardham #.5
Format: Kindle ebook
Source: Request Review

Description:

Their story didn't start with a fairytale romance... Romance is the last thing on Ian's mind. He's juggling the family farm and a second job, his kids are a crazy handful and every time he gets close to his wife, she snaps at him. Their relationship started with a sizzling physical connection, and he needs to find a way to leverage that into reconnecting on a deeper level.

Their marriage wasn't chosen for love... Carrie knows she's being too hard on her husband, but eight years ago she had a one-night stand that turned into a lifetime of diapers and dinners. She can't shake the feeling that she wants more, or the fear that her husband won't understand.

But they still chose each other...time and again.

My Thoughts:

my rating for this book is 5 stars

This is the first book I've read by Zoe York and she is great.  This story is about Ian and Carrie who met had a couple of dates then their world was turned upside down when she got pregnant.  The both did the right thing getting married and settling down.  There are times in this book when you see Carrie wonder if her and Ian are on the same page.

Ian knows what Carrie is thinking and afraid of more than Carrie does.  All Ian wants is to be the best husband and father for her and the kids.  If only Carrie would realize this.  When Carrie takes money out of their account and finds something is wrong she freaks out and wonders what Ian is doing and with whom.  What she doesn't see is that Ian is doing something for her.

I loved this story.  It was a great introduction to Wardham novels.  I enjoyed reading the ups and downs between Carrie and Ian and their friends and family!  Can't wait to read other books by Zoe York.  She reminds me in some ways of Jill Shalvis with her story telling.  If you haven't read her books check them out!!

Review: Falling Kingdoms by: Morgan Rhodes

Title: Falling Kingdoms
Author: Morgan Rhodes

Series: Falling Kingdoms #1
Publisher: Razorbill
Pages: 412
Format: Paperback / Turkish edition
Source: Received from Turkish publisher for review

Description:


In a land where magic has been forgotten but peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest is simmering. Three kingdoms grapple for power—brutally transforming their subjects' lives in the process. Amidst betrayals, bargains, and battles, four young people find their fates forever intertwined:

Cleo: A princess raised in luxury must embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of a magic long thought extinct.

Jonas: Enraged at injustice, a rebel lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country impoverished—and finds himself the leader of a people's revolution centuries in the making.

Lucia: A girl adopted at birth into a royal family discovers the truth about her past—and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.

Magnus: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, a firstborn son begins to realize that the heart can be more lethal than the sword. . . .

The only outcome that's certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?


My thoughts: 


I completed the mid parts of this post, and then found myself thinking what I should say in the beginning. How about I say, “Are you ready for a story that has many characters, princes and princesses, politics and wine and witches and magic in three different kingdoms?”

In Falling Kingdoms, there are three kingdoms: Limeros, Paelsia and Auranos. We get to see the people living in them and ruling them, and how they find themselves in a war. The fantasy world that Rhodes creates sucks you in right away, but I must say from the beginning that it is a bit hard to keep up with the names of all the characters as you’re starting out. I think this is partly because there is a comprehensive list of characters at the beginning of the book. Of course, it was included to make things easier, but for me it just made it harder—not all the names on there are mentioned often, and not all of them are around much in this installment. So, don’t let the names confuse you; you’ll get the hang of it.

I’ve always said it, and I’m gonna say it again: I admire writers who can handle multiple characters and do it well. Rhose is one of these kind of writers. Even though the characters who live in different kingdoms look like they wouldn’t have anything to do with each other, a tragic event makes them face one another. As the kingdoms get shaky, things start getting even more exciting because we get to see how every character reacts to certain situations. It’s scandal after scandal, really, which I must admit I’m a sucker for.

I received Falling Kingdoms from its Turkish publishers for review, and I picked it up without even reading the blurb in the back. After I was done, I was checking out what other bookworms had to say about it, and I saw that it was mostly marketed as a YA version of Game of Thrones. Now, I’ve seen the first season of the show, but I haven’t gotten around to reading those books yet, so I can’t really compare and contrast. However, I shall come back to this once I’ve read the GoT books.

Before I jump to something rather out of topic, I have a message for Rhodes: please, please put in more goddesses and magic!

As I was reading this book, I also found myself thinking about character names (the fact that there are so many of them in Falling Kingdoms might have triggered it, ha!) For example, when you hear Romeo, your mind immediately goes to Shakespare’s Romeo. Or when one hears Charlotte, they’re likely to think of Charlotte’s Web Charlotte. And I’ve realized that the name Magnus has been carved into my head as the Wizard Magnus from Mortal Instruments series. I had put a face to him while reading those books. He looks nothing like the Magnus described in Falling Kingdoms, by the way. So when I hear the name Magnus, my brain pulls up a picture of the magician Dynamo:
Something to think about, really, and I’m planning to explore this name thing a whole lot more when I can. 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Guest Post : Characterization, Inspiration and Love by: Lisa M. Lilly

Characterization, Inspiration, and Love by: Lisa M. Lilly

I dedicated my first published novel to my niece Emma. The main character in The Awakening has a little sister, Megan, modeled a bit after Emma. Like Emma, Megan is smart and funny and talks a bit like a grown up because she spends a lot of time around adults. Also like Emma, Megan was diagnosed at a young age with a brain tumor.

I included Megan as a character for a few reasons, one of which was very practical. The Awakening is about a 21-year-old young woman, Tara Spencer, who mysteriously becomes pregnant though she’s still a virgin. Because the story is not traditionally Christian or religious, I wanted Tara, who has a long-time boyfriend she’s planning to marry, to have a practical reason for not risking pregnancy. So I made Tara a pre-med student and the oldest of five children. Because of Megan’s illness, Tara handles even more child care than most oldest siblings in large families do, stepping in because her parents often are consumed with seeing that Megan gets the appropriate care and support. Because of her role, Tara gains real insight into the responsibilities of raising children and puts off both marriage and sex, wanting to wait until she’s ready.

I also borrowed a bit from Emma because she inspires me. When she was ten, I gave her the Narnia Chronicles, which I’d so loved at her age. When she was eleven, she read me adventure stories she’d written in her journal. I have two brothers, one who had six children, and one who had one – Emma. I felt thrilled that one of my brothers’ children enjoyed writing as much as I do.

Unfortunately, unlike her cousins, Emma won’t reach adulthood. She would have been twenty-one this coming year, but she died at age eleven, a few months after she shared those stories with me. She started her first day of junior high, but never high school; celebrated her first communion but never her graduation. She did not get to grow up, fall in love, start a career.

Emma took great joy in life despite being treated for her tumor for almost half of it. She met a Minnesota Viking football player and traveled to the Minnesota Twins spring training through Make-a-Wish. She had a blast playing with cousins on both side of the family. She loved her parents, her kitten, and the Beanie Babies my mom bought her. She always took the tags off them so they’d look more like real animals.

When I have a challenging day – the dishwasher leaks, or Amazon tells me I have zero book sales for a week, or a client in my law practice is unhappy with me – I often think of Emma. Emma would have loved to grow up and have the chance to deal with these kinds of issues. Emma also reminds me to be present and enjoy the wonderful parts of life. A glass of wine with friends, a family dinner, a professional accomplishment. A quiet walk along Lake Michigan or a less quiet one on State Street to see the holiday windows and lights. Each moment is a gift, an instant that not everyone is lucky enough to experience. 

So I thank you, Emma, for being an amazing, wonderful part of my life. And, as I said in the dedication, wish you were here.

*********************************************************************************** 

Lisa M. Lilly is the author of Amazon occult best seller The Awakening. Her poems and short fiction have appeared in numerous print and on-line magazines, including Parade of Phantoms, Strong Coffee, and Hair Trigger, and a short film of the title story of her collection The Tower Formerly Known as Sears and Two Other Tales of Urban Horror was recently produced under the title Willis Tower. She is currently working on The Awakening, Book II: The Unbelievers.

The Awakening for Kindle: http://amzn.to/pFCcN6



Visit Lisa's website:  www.lisalilly.com


Join her mailing list: http://eepurl.com/FYTS5

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Title: Down on Love by: Jayne Denker

Title: Down on Love
Author: Jayne Denker
Publisher: Kensington
Pages: 274
Format: eKensington ebook
Source: Request Review

Description:

When it comes to love, she's a professional skeptic. Is it too late for a career change?

If there's one thing Georgiana Down is an expert in, it's bad relationships. That's what inspired her blog, Down on Love, where she gives snarky advice--usually along the lines of "dump him." In fact, George is abstaining from men all together. At least that's the plan--until she makes a trip back to her tiny hometown in the Catskills, where meddling is an art form. . .

George loves helping out with her new baby niece, but she's counting the days until she returns to Boston. Then she runs into Casey Bowen, her high school crush. The boy she once loved is now a handsome grown man--and suddenly George needs a little advice of her own. She's in the right place, because when she drunk posts on her blog, everyone in Marsden has something to say about George and Casey. It's like high school all over again--but maybe this time she'll get things right. . .

My Thoughts: 

This book had everything it had small town busy bodies when Georgiana aka George aka Goose goes home to help her sister and her sister's wife after she is injured.  There she bumps into the hot Casey who broke her heart so many years ago when he kissed her and ran.  George is also author of a blog where she is down on love after being burned a few times.

Casey sees Goose is back in town and isn't about to let her go this time.  He can't seem to get Goose of his mind so he tries to date her but finds that Goose is still needing to come to terms with why she keeps leaving, Casey even tries to apologizing for running away when she was 18.  Goose gets smothered by the town that seems to be in their business and runs to Boston to escape but finds that she isn't down on love anymore and that she is in love.

After realizing this she goes home again to get her man and tell him she loves him too.  This book was great it is up there with Kristan Higgins, and Jill Shalvis and even Robin Carr.  I just loved how she Jayne Denker was able to weave a great story that spanned 20 years in the making in this story.  I would love to read more by her.  Definitely my new go to romance author!