Thursday, November 29, 2012

GIVEAWAY! "The Magic Warble" by Victoria Simcox



Dwarfs, gnomes, fairies, talking animals, and an evil queen all these and more can be found in The Magic Warble, an enchanting tale of adventure and friendship. Twelve-year-old Kristina Kingsly feels like the most unpopular girl in her school. The kids all tease her, and she never seems to fit in. But when Kristina receives an unusual Christmas gift, she suddenly finds herself magically transported to the land of Bernovem, home of dwarfs, gnomes, fairies, talking animals and the evil Queen Sentiz. In Bernovem, Kristina not only fits in, she's honored as ''the chosen one'', the only one who can release the land from Queen Sentiz's control. But it s not as simple as it seems. To save Bernovem, she must place the gift she was given, the famous ''Magic Warble,'' in its final resting place. And she must travel through the deep forest, climb a treacherous mountain, and risk capture by the queen s ''zelbocks'' before she reaches her destination. Guided by her new fairy friends, Clover and Looper and by Prince Werrien, a teenage boy, as well as an assortment of other characters, Kristina sets off on a perilous journey that not only tests her strength but her heart.


Victoria Simcox


Victoria was born in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada, to an Austrian immigrant mother, and a Dutch immigrant father. She now lives in Western Washington with her husband, Russ and their three children, Toby, Kristina, and William. Her other family members are a Chihuahua, named Pipsy and two cats, named Frodo and Fritz. Besides being an author, Victoria is a home-schooling mother of twelve years and an elementary school art teacher of eleven years. In her spare time, Victoria enjoys managing her two older children's Celtic band. She also loves writing, reading, painting watercolors, hiking, good movies, and just simply hanging out with her family and friends. 

 

 





Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Review: "Rattled" by Lisa Harrington

Rattled by Lisa Harrington. Published by Nimbus Publishing on March 1st, 2011. 189 pages (paperback). Received from ARCycling. My Rating: 5 Stars

Fifteen-year-old Lydia, resigned to a boring summer, is thrilled when Megan and her totally hot brother, Sam, move in across the street. But their rude and hostile mother, Mrs. Swicker, is strangely protective, and does everything she can to stop Lydia and her older sister, Jilly, from getting anywhere near her kids.
One day Lydia accidentally stumbles across something very puzzling in the Swickers' basement. Determined to find some answers, Lydia enlists the help of Jilly. But the further they investigate, the more bizarre the discoveries.
Lydia's suspicions about Mrs. Swicker are mounting, but she has no idea what a twisted, dangerous secret she has uncovered until it's too late.




My Review


This book. Omg. Everyone, please, if you have the book or if you go to the library, open this book and read the half page prologue. IT WILL SUCK YOU IN!

Let me tell you, it gets creepy. The story behind it all (the mystery part, I suppose) is crazy. I love it. But, reading the last bits at 1 AM alone in my bed with all these creepy sounds that I'm sure I was just making up had me like 

I never want to be that paranoid again. Ever.

I absolutely loved this book. It was a wonderful, short read. I'm so glad I grabbed it off my shelf when I did. I will for now and always believe my neighbors are serial killers or something. JEFFREY DAHMER ALERT. I better keep my cats inside..



Now much said in this review except for that I can't tell you how great this book was. You really do get to know and love the character, especially the narrator and her older sister. You may form some hatred towards the parents through it, but it's minor. No worries. I really can go on and on about how much I want everyone to read this book, but that would take forever. Believe me. It's such a great young adult horror mystery. Love love LOVE it. 5 stars. :)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

'Matched' Trilogy Box Set GIVEAWAY! (US ONLY)

I know this is a few weeks late as Reached came out on November 13th. To celebrate the release of the conclusion to the trilogy, I'm holding an US ONLY giveaway for the Matched Trilogy Box Set, all hardcovers!


Random Holidays Giveaway! (INT)

Happy Holidays!

This is a random holiday giveaway since I'm in the giving mood.
A book of you're choice from The Book Depository (up to $20). As usual, just fill out the Rafflecopter below!

 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Blog Tour! "Embrace" by Stacey Rourke

Author Stacey Rourke has stopped by today with a teaser of the second book in The Gryphon Series, Embrace!

My head snapped up and my cheeks burned. “Wha…?!” Picture of eloquence, that’s me.
“Saturday. A date. You, me, dinner? Yah’ve heard of this concept, yeah?”
“Yes, the concept is somewhat foreign to me, but I’ve heard of it,” I answered. Still fearing this was some kind of joke, I couldn’t help but ask, “Why? Why are you asking me out?”
His expression was equal parts amusement and confusion. “Because if I don’t ask ya the chance of ya actually showin’ up on the date is highly unlikely, isn’t it?”
An abrupt—and incredibly loud—laugh erupted out of me. “True. But why? Why would you ask out the freaky purring girl?”
“Yar laugh is amazin’.” He grinned. Another wave of heat rushed through me. “And because from the moment I laid eyes on ya I knew there was somethin’ different about ya. The purrin’ just supported the theory. So, would ya like to go out with me?”
“Yes, I’d like to. Go on a date. With you. Please.” Smooth, huh?
On her way to another table, Sophia passed behind me. “Give him your number.”
“My what? Oh! My number! I have a number!” I scribbled it on my order pad and tore off the page to hand to him.
His chin jerked up slightly. “Who do I ask for when I call?”
I agreed to go on a date with a guy before I even knew his name, or told him mine. Please, don’t tell my mother.
“Celeste.” I chewed on my lower lip and I brushed a loose strand of hair behind my ear.
He caught my raised hand and drew it gently to him. His emerald eyes stayed locked on mine, as he bowed his head to brush his lips across the back of my hand. Tingles of excitement tracked up my arm and down my spine. I clamped my teeth together to stifle the purr that threatened to escape.
“It’s nice to formally meet ya, Celeste. The name’s Caleb.”

Title: Embrace

Author: Stacey Rourke

Publisher: Anchor Group

Pages: 194

Blurb:

Whether she likes it or not, eighteen year old Celeste Garrett has come to terms with being the Chosen One. She knew having a “normal life” would be tricky, between intense training sessions and epic demonic battles, but she didn’t know at what cost it would come. That is, until a dear friend is harmed by the malicious forces hunting her.

Now, she’d like nothing more than to retreat into a hermit lifestyle to prevent anyone else from getting hurt. But startling revelations, amazing new abilities, and mortifying moments in front of insanely hot guys won’t allow time for that. Soon, Celeste finds herself surrounded by darkness and wondering who she can trust—if anyone.

Author Links:

Purchase on Amazon

Purchase on Smashwords

Goodreads

Anchor Publishing

Book Trailer

About Stacey Rourke:

Writing is something I have always done. I can remember in elementary school creating stories that I would stand up and read aloud to my classmates…whether they liked it or not. As I grew older I didn’t flaunt my writing as freely. It became something I did just for me to vent my teenage angst, or chronicle my journey to adulthood. I never thought about becoming a writer because that title prompted the visual of a grey-haired man in a tweed smoking jacket with suede elbow patches, slaving over an old fashion typewriter while puffing away on a pipe. No way was that stuffy kind of life for me. (Plus tweed is itchy.) Instead I wanted to be in the spotlight! I wanted to be–pause for dramatic effect–an actress! I gave it my best shot, too. Got about as far as any aspiring actress can get in Flint, Michigan. Which is exactly no where. But I did get two great things out of my time delving into the theatrical world; I gained the ability to act out the scenes I write to make sure they’re believable (yes, I really do that and no, you can’t watch) and I met my amazing husband.

My theater ambitions behind me, I decided to do the “mature,” “grown up” thing and went back to college. As I worked toward my Bachelor’s degree in marketing I did a lot of writing. Essays, research papers, PowerPoint presentations. All of it mandatory, none of it what I would ever call fun. Even then, becoming a writer never entered my mind. No, then I was going to be a business tycoon…or somethin’.

Truth be told, I never picked writing. It picked me. During my time as a stay at home mom I needed an outlet to give me a mental break from diapers, formula and midnight feedings. That’s when my hands found their way back to the keyboard. Story ideas began coming at such an incessant rate that my rapidly clicking fingers couldn’t keep up. Post-It notes and scrapes of paper with story ideas decorated every inch of our house. In mid-conversation with my husband I would dart off to jot down things that would come to me. Sweet guy my hubby is, he would just shake his head at my obvious rudeness and hold my place in the conversation.

My first book was completed for an entire year before I told anyone about it. I outed myself as an author and then sent out my first round of query letters to literary agents. Surely, it would be picked up immediately and become an overnight success! Yeah, not so much. For two years I got rejection, after rejection, after rejection, after rejection…you get the idea. Thankfully with the ever increasing pile of rejections came feedback. I digested all the suggestions and applied the usable ones to my manuscript. Little by little, the rough edges were chipped away and the diamond shone through. The work paid off when I received an email from a publisher offering me a contract on The Conduit.

It’s been a long road, and it ain’t over yet. But now, at thirty-mumble, mumble years old I finally know what I wanna be when I grow up–-a writer.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Review: "If I Lie" by Corrine Jackson

"If I Lie" by Corrine Jackson
Published by Simon Pulse in August 28th, 2012
276 Pages (Hardcover)
Source: I received this book from the author in return for an honest review.
My Rating: 5 Stars

Quinn’s done the unthinkable: she kissed a guy who is not Carey, her boyfriend. And she got caught. Being branded a cheater would be bad enough, but Quinn is deemed a traitor, and shunned by all of her friends. Because Carey’s not just any guy—he’s serving in Afghanistan and revered by everyone in their small, military town.

Quinn could clear her name, but that would mean revealing secrets that she’s vowed to keep—secrets that aren’t hers to share. And when Carey goes MIA, Quinn must decide how far she’ll go to protect her boyfriend…and her promise.








      My Review


Oh. My. God. All the feels. Just..my emotions..



So, if you haven't read the summary, this book is about a chick named Sophie (aka-Quinn) who's 'boyfriend', Carey, is a marine MIA in Afghanistan. The whole town hates her because she cheated on him before he deployed. But, she didn't cheat. Yet, she can't tell anybody that because she promised to keep Carey's secret, in which you don't find out about until several chapters in. While she goes through the pain of Carey being in possible danger and dealing with the blame of her mother's past, she works with an old man named George at the veteran's hospital. He teaches her of photography and together they work on a project to bring all the veterans' war stories together.

This book had a good beginning. The first chapter alone set up the whole story for me. Even if you don't care for military-affiliated books, you should still give this one a shot. Really, it was easy for me to look beyond that and onto the general pain of the story. And the anger. Oh, the anger that this one girl holds in her. For her mother. For her father. For her Uncle Eddie. For Carey. For the best friend whom the whole story is pretty much based around, Blake. For the jealous bitches that know nothing about her. Oh, how I came to hate many of the characters. But, I pushed it aside for the sake of the story itself. I can say that I cried so much reading this, mostly towards the last few chapters. I just want to say I am uber proud of what Sophie did at the end *imaginary hug*. Corrine Jackson, if this is based on a true story, please give this Sophie character a hug for me. 5 stars. It was absolutely amazing. Just. Amazing.

Monday, November 12, 2012

It's Monday! What are you reading?


Hosted by Book Journey

Read this week: Jersey Angel by Beth Ann Bauman (Review here!)
Currently reading: If I Lie by Corrine Jackson AND Collateral by Ellen Hopkins
Next on the list: The Kill Order by James Dashner AND The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

What are you reading this week?

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Review: "Jersey Angel" by Beth Ann Bauman

Jersey Angel by Beth Ann Bauman
Published May 8, 2012 by Wendy Lamb Books
Source: ARCycling
My Rating: 5/5 Stars

It’s the summer before senior year and the alluring Angel is ready to have fun. She’s not like her best friend, Inggy, who has a steady boyfriend, good grades, and college plans. Angel isn’t sure what she wants to do yet, but she has confidence and experience beyond her years. Still, her summer doesn’t start out as planned. Her good friend Joey doesn’t want to fool around anymore, he wants to be her boyfriend, while Angel doesn’t want to be tied down. As Joey pulls away, and Inggy tours colleges, Angel finds herself spending more time with Inggy’s boyfriend, Cork. With its cast of vivid and memorable characters, this tale from the Jersey shore is sure to make some waves.




My Review


I can honestly say that I didn't have high hopes for this book. Oh, cool. A girl named Angel (who is far from one, by the way) that lives in New Jersey right by the ocean with two younger siblings and a slutty mom and rides her bike over to boys' houses at two in the morning..Intriguing.

But, this book was so much more. There was an actual moral to the story. Well, maybe even more than one, but I'm still trying to digest it all. Angel tells her story consisting of all the guys she's hooked up with..and where.. I mean, after a few chapters, I was starting to think that this was 50 Shades of Grey for teens or something. The language wasn't gross. I'm 17 so it's not like I don't hear it in the halls at school or even speak like that from time to time. But, there is so much sex. And betrayal. At times, I came to hate Angel. I seriously wanted to jump through the pages and beat the living crap out of her. Too bad that's impossible..

It's not until the end that you end up seeing how much hurt she's going through. Some of us can even relate to her struggles (no, not sexual ones) and develop a soft side for her. For me, it was hard to get through the book. Not because it was poorly written, not because it was boring, but because I could connect to a lot of the struggles in the book. Some of it made be realize that I didn't have it too bad after all. Overall, this was an amazing read. Definitely earned my 5 beaming stars.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Follow Friday #5

Q: Do you mind books with similar ideas to other books? Similar concepts, backgrounds, retellings or pulled-to-publish fanfic?
 
A: Not necessarily. Many YA novels have had similar ideas, such as fallen angels, vampires, werewolves, demons, faeries, etc. Each has it's own story, which to me is all that matters. I adore retellings! :)
 
Comment below with you're FF post and whether or not you're a new follower so I can follow you back. :)

Monday, November 5, 2012

It's Monday! What are you reading?

Hosted by Book Journey
 
Read this week: 'The Death Cure' by James Dashner (review coming soon!)

Currently reading: 'The Raven Boys' by Maggie Stiefvater

Next on the list: I'll let you guys pick that for me! :)
 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Review: 'The Scorch Trials' by James Dashner

Title: The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner #2)
Author: James Dashner
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Pages: 360
Source: Local Library
My Rating: 4/5 Stars


Solving the Maze was supposed to be the end. No more puzzles. No more variables. And no more running. Thomas was sure that escape meant he and the Gladers would get their lives back. But no one really knew what sort of life they were going back to.

In the Maze, life was easy. They had food, and shelter, and safety . . . until Teresa triggered the end. In the world outside the Maze, however, the end was triggered long ago.

Burned by sun flares and baked by a new, brutal climate, the earth is a wasteland. Government has disintegrated—and with it, order—and now Cranks, people covered in festering wounds and driven to murderous insanity by the infectious disease known as the Flare, roam the crumbling cities hunting for their next victim . . . and meal.

The Gladers are far from finished with running. Instead of freedom, they find themselves faced with another trial. They must cross the Scorch, the most burned-out section of the world, and arrive at a safe haven in two weeks. And WICKED has made sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them.

Thomas can only wonder—does he hold the secret of freedom somewhere in his mind? Or will he forever be at the mercy of WICKED?



 My Review


I can honestly say that the Scorch Trials kind of pissed me off. Not the book. The ACTUAL Scorch Trials IN the book. I don't think I understand the concept behind it yet. I just finished The Death Cure and STILL don't get why they had to experience those variables. But, any who..

I loved this book. It was a great continuation to the series. I would love to say that I learned a lot more about the main characters in this installment, but I really didn't. The only character that you are more introduced to is Teresa and let me say that I loved hating her in this book. In The Maze Runner, I wanted her to be like a heroine of some sort, but she just didn't reach those expectations, which in my opinion paid off in the book. After reading this, I seriously came to hate her. I mean, what good is she, you know? Ughh. End Teresa rant.

I waited to write this review until after I finished reading the final installment of this series because I thought I would have more insight. Well, I don't. I rank this as the worst book in The Maze Runner series and it STILL receives 4 stars from me. It was a great read, it was. The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is the fact that Teresa is the most horrible character in the history of dystopian characters and that the variables that they had to encounter were pointless. Absolutely pointless, if you ask me atleast.

All in all, this is an awesome continuation of the series. No matter how much any certain character in this pisses you off, I urge you to finish the series. It's truly amazing. :)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

I Pre-ordered Reached!

Guess who just pre-ordered the conclusion to the Matched trilogy..??!


I DID!!
 Too Excited..
 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Review: Quarantined by J.O. Osbourne

Title: Quarantined
Author: J.O. Osbourne
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Pages: 120
Source: Amazon
My Rating: 5/5 Stars

The zombie apocalypse has begun in Kentucky and has been spread across the entire Eastern Standard quarter of the United States. College students Mandy, Mike, and Jack have to escape the epidemic with a teenager in tow, but what happens when one of them joins the undead?
Excerpt:
The rubber-men are walking up and down the medical room, gathering the data the now dead doctors and nurses had compiled. They didn't see as the nurse stood on trembling legs and approached them.
Sensing the faint twinge of life that still hummed within me, several of the dead bore down upon me, mouths wide open to tear at my skin. My slowing heart flutters in my chest. I was right, I want to shout. I never lied; I was right all along!



My Review 

Every now and then, I go on Amazon and look at what free books are available to download to my Kindle app. This was on of them. Although at the moment there isn't a picture available on Goodreads, the picture on Amazon is what gripped me.

This was a VERY short read. In my opinion, it has to be the best short story I've read to date. This story starts out with a girl named Kit who has been having dreams about a specific, unknown illness that causes humans to start deteriorating and eventually die only to get up and start walking among the living once again. Her dreams turn out to have been a prediction. The story continues in New York with four main characters that have no idea about this illness until they experience it first hand. On a journey to Illinois to escape the epidemic yet find the source of it all, the truth is uncovered.

My emotions were all over the place with this story! I just..I can't even tell you how I feel trying to write this review. The story wasn't scary at all, but I don't think the author was shooting for horror. It was an emotional ride, for sure. I'm sure once you start reading this, you'll know and understand that some characters that you've grown to love will die. The way the deaths are portrayed through the words, though, just kills me. Almost literally. It's so sad! I won't say I cried reading this, but I will admit that I teared up. It gave me a whole new perspective on zombies