Friday, January 30, 2015

The Dead: A Review


 

 Goodreads (description):

THE DEAD begins one year "before" the action in THE ENEMY, just after the Disaster. A terrible disease has struck everyone sixteen and over, leaving them either dead or a decomposing, flesh-eating creature. The action starts in a boarding school just outside London, where all the teachers have turned into sickos. A few kids survive and travel by bus into the city. The bus driver, an adult named Greg, seems to be unaffected by the disease. Then he begins to show the dreaded signs: outer blisters and inner madness. The kids escape Greg and end up at the Imperial War Museum. A huge fire in South London drives them all to the Thames, and eventually over the river to the Tower of London. It is there they will meet up with the kids in THE ENEMY in Book 3, THE FEAR.





My Review:

This was fantastically creepy and horrifying second installment to The Enemy series.

The Dead happens a year before the The Enemy (the first book, click to read my review). Here we get to see the back story behind a few of the characters who managed to set up shop at the Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London.

There are another great set of characters, some of which I came to like a lot, but of course, since this an apocalyptic, zombie story, most didn't survive. It always made me a bit sad when these characters were taken. I should have seen it coming, but, I can hope. Can't I?

I have discovered that the least likely to survive are the ones who end up surviving--so far anyways--in this series. It gives me hope that a few of the characters I managed to stay attached to will make it through this crazy, zombie filled world.

What I think is unique about this series is how we get to see inside the sick people's--the zombie's--heads. We see how their mind is steadily forgetting everything they once knew, and how they are also fighting to survive, just in a creepy, inhuman way.

Also, the kids finally began to speculate as to why everyone over sixteen got sick, while everyone younger than that didn't. The theories they came up with gave me hope that they are on the path to figuring the sickness out. Of course, none of them are renowned scientist, but they are smart. I have hope that they will figure things out eventually.

This book is filled with a ton of graphic violence--mostly toward the zombies, but sometimes between the kids, too. It can be a bit gruesome at times, but I like how many of the characters hold to the fact that they are human and have to remain that way if they are going to survive.

The scenes depicting the zombies are quite gross at times, and yet it helps create the sense that no one is safe, and that this apocalyptic world is nearly hopeless.

And yet, there are still kids who are fighting for a better life.

I can't wait to see what happens in this series. I really hope that the characters I've come to root for stay alive. It is hard for me to be truly scared while reading a book, but this series has managed to do it.

I give this a 4.5 out of 5!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Unhinged: A Review


 


Description (Goodreads):

 Alyssa Gardner has been down the rabbit hole and faced the bandersnatch. She saved the life of Jeb, the guy she loves, and escaped the machinations of the disturbingly seductive Morpheus and the vindictive Queen Red. Now all she has to do is graduate high school and make it through prom so she can attend the prestigious art school in London she's always dreamed of.

That would be easier without her mother, freshly released from an asylum, acting overly protective and suspicious. And it would be much simpler if the mysterious Morpheus didn’t show up for school one day to tempt her with another dangerous quest in the dark, challenging Wonderland—where she (partly) belongs.

As prom and graduation creep closer, Alyssa juggles Morpheus’s unsettling presence in her real world with trying to tell Jeb the truth about a past he’s forgotten. Glimpses of Wonderland start to bleed through her art and into her world in very disturbing ways, and Morpheus warns that Queen Red won’t be far behind.

If Alyssa stays in the human realm, she could endanger Jeb, her parents, and everyone she loves. But if she steps through the rabbit hole again, she'll face a deadly battle that could cost more than just her head.


My Review:

Hmm... what to say about this book. (There are some spoilers...)

Well, if you have read my review on Splintered, you will know that I really didn't like the idea of Alyssa and Jeb being together. This book just enhanced that feeling.

Not that I didn't enjoy the book. I did, equally as much as the first. I just didn't like Alyssa with Jeb. It irked me.

This book takes place a year after the first, and all Alyssa has done was lie to Jeb. He no longer has his memories of his adventures through Wonderland, and Alyssa won't tell him. She has dated him for year now, and has lied about everything. Now that prom and graduation are coming up, she is only now beginning to feel guilty about keeping him in the dark...

Especially since the Wonderland she's ignored for a year begins to invade her real life.

In this installment, Alyssa doesn't go to Wonderland. Oh no, Wonderland comes to her. As the new red queen, she has ignored her people and her place, ignoring Morpheus's warnings about how the dead-but-not-so-dead-old-Red-Queen, is destroying Wonderland. Alyssa ignores him, of course, which causes much mayhem and the sort.

It's a good thing I like this story, because Alyssa really lost her head in this one and made a ton of dumb decisions. Since Wonderland began intruding on her "normal" life, she became more indecisive than ever, putting her loved ones in danger, and causing mass destruction at her high school. You would think that she would finally listen to Morpheus, but no. She doesn't trust him. And well, after the first book, I can understand why, but seriously. Morpheus may work in ways she's not used to, nor are particularly good, but he is fighting for what's right.

In fact, the only way he got Alyssa to listen, was by pretending to be a threat. Frankly, I am okay with what he did. He is trying to save the land he loves, his home. He is trying to get Alyssa, the queen, to do her part. So I am really glad that Morpheus finally got through her thick head, especially when that meant he had to help Jeb get his memories back, and therefore allowing Jeb and Alyssa to get back together.

Gah, freaking Alyssa.

Anyways, the adventure was fun in this book. Seeing Wonderland in the real world made me shiver. It is immensely creepy--think of all your childhood toys turning rabid and grotesque, and trying to kill you. Yeah, no thanks. I liked how Alyssa's mom was more in the picture. She was far more level headed than flipping Alyssa.

Morpheus was once again awesome. As you can probably tell, I like him a lot.

Jeb in this one was more of a victim than anything.

And you already know how I feel about Alyssa in this one.

Let's hope she's smarter in the third book.

I give this a 4 out of 5!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Magic Study: A Review

 
Goodreads (description):

YOU KNOW YOUR LIFE IS BAD WHEN YOU MISS YOUR DAYS AS A POISON TASTER...
With her greatest enemy dead, and on her way to be reunited with the family she'd been stolen from long ago, Yelena should be pleased. But though she has gained her freedom, she can't help feeling isolated in Sitia. Her Ixian background has changed her in many ways—and her newfound friends and relatives don't think it's for the better....

Despite the turmoil, she's eager to start her magic training—especially as she's been given one year to harness her power or be put to death. But her plans take a radical turn when she becomes involved with a plot to reclaim Ixia's throne for a lost prince—and gets entangled in powerful rivalries with her fellow magicians.

If that wasn't bad enough, it appears her brother would love to see her dead. Luckily, Yelena has some old friends to help her with all her new enemies....



My Review: 



I am glad to say that Magic Study was a solid sequel to Poison Study. I rather enjoyed seeing the growth in Yelena.

 In this book, Yelena is reacquainted with her family, although it wasn't exactly the heartwarming welcome she deserved. Her brother, Leif, immediately discredits her, calling her a spy and a murder for the northern country, Ixia.

You would like to things get better from here, but no. Thankfully, Yelena's parents are cool. I like how they look beyond Yelena's faults and take her in. They are great characters, and I liked to see the relationship Yelena tries to build with them--it wasn't easy, but it was great to see her try.

Eventually, Yelena travels to this place called the Citadel, where the four great magicians reside, where Yelena will study magic.

This is where Yelena grows the most in this book. She learns how to control her magic, and just how strong she really is. She is put through many lessons, some of which were unorthodox, but she still kept her head up and fought to prove herself to First Magician--who was a right witch, in more ways than just one. I liked how Yelena learned to stand up for herself, she proved to everyone that she was not someone to be messed with.

There are new characters in this one, Leif for one, the "lost prince," and several more.

I really didn't like Leif. The fact that he discarded Yelena without even hearing her out about her past was maddening. He wouldn't even let her get close to him, he was extremely rude, and bordered on the line of being the epitome of douche bags. Had what happened later in the book not happened, I probably would still really hate him... now I don't... as much, anyways.

As for the lost prince... It was the opposite effect with him. Liked him in the beginning and not so much in the end. The way Snyder kept me guessing on who was good and who was bad, made it so I wasn't surprised about the lost prince's change of attitude. Still, I was mad that he refused to look to reason. He kind of went of the deep end.

Yelena's love interest, Valek, proved himself to be an even better person than he was in the first book. All he did for Yelena was incredible. He has, and will again, sacrifice much for Yelena. I love his devotion and how he manages to do the right thing, even with a dark past as his shadow. I am glad that Yelena has at least one person she can fully trust.

Yelena was once again awesome in this book. I like how she is determined to prove herself. Although, this trait does get her into situations that could have been easily avoided and causes her to make rash decisions sometimes... Still, she fights back when everyone else crashes down on her. I believe she still has room for a lot more growth, but she's steadily getting there. I really hope that she learns to trust people more. Especially Fourth Magician.

I give this a 4 out of 5!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Defenseless: Release Day Blitz










Defenseless (Diamond Girls #3)
by Elisa Dane
Release Date: 01/27/15
Swoon Romance



Summary from Goodreads:

High school senior, Claire Reilly’s world revolves around All-Star cheerleading. The Diamond Girls, are gearing up for a major competition, which, if they win will allow them to compete at Worlds for the first time. But the unimaginable happens, and both Claire and her team are rocked by a devastating loss. Determined to get to Worlds any way she can, Claire finds help from the last person she imagined would give it—up and coming UFC fighter and notorious bad boy, Ryker Vaughn.

Fouled out of the octagon by a dirty opponent and a vicious kick to the head, Ryker loses control when he learns he may never fight again. Angry over the loss of his mother, an unsupportive family, and the world in general, he gives up, gives in, and unleashes his rage—destroying part of his cousin’s cheer gym in the process. Things go from bad to worse when Ryker is given an ultimatum: help the Diamond Girls compete for a bid to Worlds, or go to jail.

Overwhelmed with anger, sadness, and grief, the unlikely pair learn that what you see is not always what you get, and that the most difficult losses sometimes open the door to a frightening, yet amazing new future.






Buy Links:
Amazon


Here's An Excerpt!

I was exhausted by the time 7 p.m. rolled around, but it was a good tired. My muscles felt warm and pliable, the tension that had bunched them into knots over the past few days easing up the more I moved around the gym. The ache in my middle refused to go away, reminding me I'd yet to eat anything of substance. The thought of food made me sick to my stomach.

Coach Shea, who'd been visibly missing from Onyx's practice, strode into the room, followed by a slender blond woman I'd never seen before. I'd been with X-Factor since the gym opened and I knew Tayla was the first athlete our cheer home had ever lost. I'd never wish bad feelings on anyone, but I took comfort in the knowledge that Coach was as upset over Tayla as the rest of us.

I fell in alongside Nev and the rest of the Diamond Girls as they gathered at the front of the mat.

Coach Shea pulled up a nearby stool and slung one leg over it, half resting, half standing as she addressed the team. "I know how hard it must have been for you all to come to practice tonight." Her gaze fell on me for half a second, after which she focused on the team as a whole.

"This is Ms. Emmaline Slater. She's a sport psychologist and a good friend of mine. I felt it was important to have someone here in the event any of you needed to talk. We lost a sister this past weekend. Tayla wasn't just part of our cheer family. She was family. Period. And the loss we're all feeling right now is tremendous."

I felt callous, like a horrible person, but the moment my teammates began sniffling and crying, I shut down. Blocked out Coach's words and the familiar sounds of grief ringing out around me. The cliff I stood on was too steep. If I stepped forward, if I tumbled over the edge and allowed myself to give into the grief threatening to pull me under, I'd never stop falling. If my teammates wanted to talk to Ms. Slater, that was fine with me. I wanted nothing to do with her.

Coach Shea gestured toward the tall blond. "Emmaline will be hanging out in the pro shop if any of you need help coping with what happened."

The woman cast us all a warm smile, a few of the girls following after her as she left the room.

I swallowed back the lump in my throat and steeled myself against the flood of emotions brewing deep inside. Breaking apart was not an option. Not with Cheer America coming up. Tayla's commitment to the team was fierce and she'd wanted us to win the bid to Worlds. She was my sister, my family. I would do all I could to ensure we fulfilled her wish. The Diamond Girls would earn the bid to Florida, and we'd do it in Tayla's name.

"What?" The strain in Nev's voice yanked me out of my bubble.

"No!"

"There has to be something we can do."

Several quiet gasps carried across the mat, the mood amongst the team having quickly changed from somber and sad to shocked and disappointed.

Coach Shea held up her hands, at which point the talking ceased. She shook her head once, weariness tugging at her shoulders. "I know it's a tough pill to swallow, especially after losing Tayla, but at this point, I don't see a solution. There isn't anyone in the gym that is qualified to move up and fill Tayla's spot, and I don't know of anyone outside the gym who possesses the skills or desire to step in. I'm sorry, girls, but we won't be able to compete for the bid to Worlds. We're out of the running this season."

Something inside me snapped. No. No. No. "No!" My body revolted, my lungs burning for air, but refusing to take it in. Anger shattered the numbness I fought to shroud myself in, my hands balling into fists as I glared at Coach Shea. I jabbed my arm out, pointing toward the rest of the girls. "Tayla worked twice as hard as everyone else in this gym. She worked herself into the ground learning her skills. Bled for her spot on this team. Making it to Worlds was her dream. It has to happen. We have to compete for the bid. We have to win. For her."

A myriad of voices drowned out the silence as the girls all shouted in agreement over one another, begging for Coach Shea to reconsider.

"Girls." Coach Shea slid off the stool and held up her hands. "Girls!" Once everyone had settled down, she continued. "Trust me when I tell you, I want us to compete as badly as you do. I just don't see how it's possible. I've exhausted all my efforts looking for someone who can compete at your level." She sucked in a deep breath and sighed before shaking her head. "If you know of someone I may have overlooked, please … tell me."
 
 
 
 
 
 


Companion books in this series:
(each book is a separate story and do not have to be read in order)







Links for Ex-Factor:
GoodreadsAmazonBarnes
& Noble



Links for Unbreakable:
GoodreadsAmazonBarnes
& Noble




About the Author

I'm a lover of books (YA & Adult romance), chocolate, reality television, and am a proud mother to three All Star cheerleaders. Woot!

I write Contemporary YA romance with cheerleaders. Yep. I write what I know, and it's my hope that my stories will not only take you on a romantic journey that will warm your heart, but that you'll find a new respect and interest in the sport of Cheerleading you may not have had before.

Author Links:






GIVEAWAY:



Book Blitz Organized by:

Monday, January 26, 2015

False Finder: Book Blitz!









False
Finder

by Mia Hoddell

Release
Date: 01/13/15

Limitless
Publishing

400
pages


Summary
from Goodreads:

Cora has been able to detect lies since
she was born, she’s…a False Finder.

However when blackmail, betrayal, and lying are all the population has to
protect themselves, it makes her dangerous. It also makes her a target.

Because of Cora’s ability, Rogan Carvelli—London’s biggest criminal leader—has
been trying to acquire her for years.

Cora has learned to survive and remain undetected—at least until one
careless mistake causes her friends to betray her.

Sold to Carvelli, Cora is only left with the help of a secret organisation to
escape. She knows nothing about them, but they have saved her too many times to
ignore.

However, the closer she gets, the clearer it becomes…

Their motives are far from innocent.




Buy:


Amazon | Amazon UK


Here's an Excerpt!


Leaning forward, both arms propping his strong body up on the desk, Rogan glared at her.

“I tried to be cordial. I agreed to your insane demands but this ends here and now. You will sign this contract stating you are employed by me or things are going to get very bad for you, very quickly.”

Cora matched his stance, pulling herself up and meeting his gaze with unwavering eyes.

“Get this into your head now as I’m not going to say it again. I am not, nor will I ever let you own me. I will never sign that piece of paper.” Cora kept her voice level, matching his tone with equal determination. She didn’t have a plan for how to get out but she knew she would never sign his contract.

“Is that so? I beg to differ.”

A flash of uncertainty flickered before Cora’s eyes as he spoke, not sure where he was going with his comment. It didn’t fail to escape Rogan’s notice and on the inside he was smiling with joy at his forward thinking.

“You can’t force me to sign it!”

“Am I that crass? I won’t have to force you.”

Picking up a remote from the top of the desk, he pointed it at a painting that was hung on the wall to the right of Cora. It moved to reveal a flat screen TV and with the click of another button it flickered into life.

As the image became clearer on the screen, Cora gasped in shock. Her hand moved to cover her mouth in disbelief and her head was shaking, not wanting to believe the truth that was before her eyes.



“Still don’t want to reconsider my offer?” Rogan asked triumphantly, knowing he had won.





About the Author

Mia

Hoddell lives in the UK with her family and two cats. She spends most of her time writing or reading, loves anything paranormal or romantic, and has an overactive imagination that keeps her up until the early hours of the morning. 

By the age of nineteen, Mia had published nine books, including the Elemental
Killers series and the Seasons of Change series. Since then, her books have
charted on numerous Amazon Bestseller Lists, and she has also had poems published
in a many anthologies. With an ever growing list of ideas, Mia continues to
create fictional worlds through her writing, and is trying to keep up with the
speed at which her imagination generates them.

She also designs book covers and banners on her website M Designs

Author Links:






GIVEAWAY:




Book Blitz Organized by:

Friday, January 23, 2015

Poison Study: Review

Goodreads (Description):

Choose: A quick death…Or slow poison...

About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She'll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace—and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.

And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly's Dust—and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison.

As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can't control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren't so clear...


My Review:

Poison Study was a book full of characters that I didn't know if I could trust. Betrayal was rampant, as was the mystery of who exactly Yelena was and who she could trust.

After being saved from certain death, Yelena has become the food taster for Ixia's sole leader, the Commander. He has set the torn country up in several military districts, all with one man or woman to command that area of land. It is an interesting concept, seeing the world that Yelena was in--I did enjoy the world building aspects. The south country is considered Ixia's greatest enemy, people who have magic are imprisoned or killed on sight, and the previous royal leaders of this country were assassinated by the Commander and his men.

What is so sad about this book is how Yelena can't find anyone to trust. She doesn't really have friends, and she has to fight every day of her life just to stay alive. She is cursed with a poison that will kill her in two days if she does not receive the antidote each morning from the Commander's right hand man, Valek.

Valek is a dark man, with a dark past. He is an infamous assassin, hard, unrelenting, and fiercely loyal. In the beginning, I hated him. I hated what he did to keep Yelena from running for her life, poisoning her, and making her come see him every morning for the antidote. And yet as the story progresses, we begin to see an unexpected side from him...

Yelena is a strong character who has had a horrible past. She has endured spine chilling horrors, and yet she is unbroken. In fact, when Valek offers her the chance to live--although being a food taster didn't exactly guarentee life--she became even stronger. After many trials, she befriended two guards, who taught her how to defend herself. When she discovers she has magic, her life is in even more danger--the Commander does not tollerate magic. What makes it worse, is that Yelena doesn't know how to control it. Only when she makes a strange connection with a powerful magician, does she stand another chance at surviving.

Anything that could go wrong, goes wrong in this book. And yet, Yelena is strong. She makes her own path to stand on her two feet. She is no one's prisoner, she is her own woman.

The ending of this book gave me hope that Yelena would find a better life, though it was bittersweet at the same time. I'm just glad that this is a series, so I can see Yelena grow even more. She is strong, though incredibly lonely. I really hope that she finds her way back to the ones she loves.

I give this a 4 out of 5!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Splintered: A Review


 
Description (Goodreads):

This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence.

Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.

When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.


My Review:

I have always liked the story of Wonderland, from Disney's production to Tim Burton's version. I love all the different things that are possible in this world. And A.G. Howard has definitely brought up a wonderful new version.


It is dark, darker even than Tim Burton's version--or at least, I think so. The creatures are described to be horrifying things that I am glad don't actually exist. There are few of the creatures I actually think are considered only slightly freaky. I can't really go into depth about the creatures here, but if you read the book, the imagery will certainly take hold in your head.

Alyssa has been the victim of talking bugs and plants for several years now. The only time she finds true peace is when she is listening to her iPod. She fights everyday to not succumb to her crazy like her mother had. She lives with her father, her best friends living on the other side of the duplex from her. Everyone mocks Alyssa for her mom's fabrications of Wonderland, and only Jebediah and his sister Jenara come to her rescue.

As Alyssa is swept into Wonderland, she discovers how all the voices from the bugs and plants around her were just the beginning. Now she is in a world where anything can happen. Physics doesn't exist, and the one we think of as the Caterpillar is actually a dark, mysterious, beautiful creature named Morpheus.

Morpheus is full of hidden agendas. I can understand Alyssa's confusion about what to think about him. He grew up with her in her dreams, and all the suppressed memories and feelings are coming back. Morpheus can be seductive one moment, raging mad the next, and then incredibly sweet. Though he flashes through emotions as if they were sweets, I found myself liking him. Though he had many rash ideas, and followed them out too often, he is a part of Wonderland and is a part of the insanity there. In the end, I like what he did. I believe, at the end of this book, he ended up being good, but then again... he's so hard to read.

Alyssa was a good female lead. Not the best I've read about. I didn't exactly love her, but I didn't hate her either. She sacrificed much for the ones she loves. The fact that she gave up so much and went through a ton of crap, shows me how devoted she is, and is not a character to stand idly by and let things happen to her. I thought that was awesome.

Jebediah aka Jeb. I don't really know what to write about him. I always thought he was a good friend to Alyssa, but boyfriend material for her? Um... not really. I love the bond he shares with Alyssa as a friend. They had gone through so much together growing up, and the minute they got romantically involved, I had this foreboding feeling that things were not going to end well, especially when Morpheus was clearly in love with Alyssa too.

There's a clear love triangle in this books, but it didn't feel too overbearing. It fit well with the story, so it hardly bothered me.

I love the world building in here. Since this is a book about the mysterious Wonderland, Howard had to be descriptive, or else the essence of the story would not have held. It was beautiful and horrifying at the same time. Let's just say this isn't a Wonderland I would want to visit.

I give this a 4 out of 5!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Bridges Burned by Chris Cannon!



Bridges Burned (Going Down in Flames #2)
by Chris Cannon
Release Date: 01/19/15
Entangled Teen


Summary from Goodreads:

Don't just fight the system…burn it.

Since discovering she is a shape-shifting, fire-breathing dragon on her sixteenth birthday (surprise!), Bryn McKenna’s world has been thrown into chaos. Being a “crossbreed”—part Red dragon and part Blue—means Bryn will never fit in. Not with dragon society. Not with the archaic and controlling Directorate. And definitely not when she has striped hair and a not-so-popular affection for rule-breaking…

But sneaking around with her secret boyfriend, Zavien, gets a whole lot harder when he’s betrothed to someone else. Someone who isn't a mixed breed and totally forbidden. And for an added complication, it turns out Bryn’s former archnemesis Jaxon Westgate isn’t quite the evil asshat she thought. Now she’s caught between her desire to fit in and a need to set things on fire. Literally.

Because if Bryn can’t adapt to the status quo…well, then maybe it’s time for her to change it.

Add to Goodreads

Buy Links:
AmazonBarnes & NobleKobo Books




Books One:

Going Down in Flames
by Chris Cannon
Release Date: 06/30/14
Entangled Teen



Summary from Goodreads:

If her love life is going down in flames, she might as well spark a revolution.

Finding out on your sixteenth birthday you’re a shape-shifting dragon is tough to swallow. Being hauled off to an elite boarding school is enough to choke on.

Since Bryn is the only crossbreed at the Institute for Excellence, all eyes are on her, but it’s a particular black dragon, Zavien, who catches her attention.

Zavien is tired of the Council’s rules. Segregated clans, being told who to love, and close-minded leaders make freedom of choice almost impossible. The new girl with the striped hair is a breath of fresh air, and with Bryn’s help, they may be able to change the rules.

At the Institute, old grudges, new crushes, and death threats are all part of a normal day for Bryn. She’ll need to learn to control her dragon powers if she wants to make it through her first year at school. But even focusing on staying alive is difficult when you’re falling for someone you can't have.

Add to Goodreads

Buy Links:

AmazonBarnes & NobleKobo Books


About the Author

I love reading and writing snarky, kick-butt characters who take on the world and win.
My truths: You can never have too many books, shoes, or purses.
Coffee is the Elixir of Life.
There should be a National Nerf Bat Day where you are allowed to whack annoying people upside the head.

Author Links:
WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterFacebook

Book Tour Organized by:
YA Bound Book Tours

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Parched by Georgia Clark! GRAND FINALE!

A themed tour with Prism Book Tours.

We're blitzing the GRAND FINALE for


Parched


By Georgia Clark


Robots, renewable resources, and romance get tangled together in this thrilling 


futuristic adventure novel about a utopian city struggling to keep its peace.



Did you miss any of this tour? Go back and check out what you missed...



Launch - More About the Author and Parched

What do you hope readers take with them when they read your book?

Parched is about a girl who joins a rebel underground group to fight for what she believes in. I hope this book inspires readers to do the same.



Hope To Read - Tech Speak: The New Technologies of Parched

One of the most fun parts of writing a sci-fi is getting to invent cool new technologies. Here’s a few of my favorites from my new novel Parched, and where their inspiration came from.



Book N Blog - Review

"Parched by Georgia Clark was an enjoyable and interesting read that gets you thinking about big brother, world domination and what will happen when AI becomes a reality."



Kelly P's Blog - Interview

Who is your favorite character in your book and why?

Ooh, hard question. I love them all!



Coffee Books & Art - Interview

Did you do any kind of research to determine the details of your characters lives / lifestyles?

I did a ridiculous amount of research! I interviewed experts I tracked down online, subscribed science-y magazines, read articles, listened to podcasts. A lot of podcasts, specifically, Robots and Singularity 1 on 1.



Book-Marks the Spot - Review

"This book was intense. There was always something happening and I felt that if I blinked I was going to miss something. . . . Parched was dynamic, mind boggling, and just outright good. It is definitely worth the read."



The Written Adventure - Interview

Where did you get the idea for Tess?

Tess is a combination of me, some of my friends, and other YA heroines. I love creating spunky female characters who are brave, but flawed, who are active, emotional but not just boy-crazy. Tess is not a girly-girl, and neither am I.



Mel's Shelves - Review

"There were some twists, turns and surprising revelations and Tess needed to figure out who she could trust. Once I got involved, I had to keep reading to find out what would happen next. If you enjoy dystopian Sci-Fi, this is a book you will want to check out!"



I Am A Reader - Introduction to the world of Parched

Welcome to the world of Parched: a rollercoaster ride of robots, rebels and romance, of secrets, impossible choices, and a fight for freedom, all in a domed city and a sprawling desert…



Katy's Krazy Books - Review

"Upon starting to read it, I found that I just kept wanting to read and read and read. Nothing could distract me from wanting to find out what was going to happen to Tess next."



Welcome to Book City - Review

"I'm quite impressed by this book. . . . I was suddenly spending my last hours awake reading it."



Colorimetry - Three lady memoirs I’m loving

How To Be A Woman, by Caitlin Moran

Warning: Do not start listening to this book unless you’re prepared to have your internal monologue hi-jacked by a Brit. It’s driving me literally balmy! It’s a testament to Caitlin’s distinctive voice as a writer that I’m able to channel her so successfully.



My Life Loves and Passion - Review

"Even though I am not a huge fan of robots, I felt like this was such a good story. Plus how many sci fi/YA/romance stories are out there that are this awesome!"



100 Pages A Day - Recommended YA Reads

Having to select your favorite books is like having to select your favourite cake: impossible! They’re all so good! But I bit the bullet and tried to whittle them down. Best enjoyed over a slice of salted caramel something…



Typical Distractions - Review

"Parched is exactly what I expected and nothing like I expected. You will enter a world of robots, choices, and the chance to do what is right no matter the cost. It is true to the YA Dysotopian genre but with a spin all it’s own."



Literally Jen - Review

"After I finished reading Parched, all I could think was “wow.” There is so much to take in here, between the richly thought-out world, the customs of each society, and the intricate relationships between all of the characters."



Lilac Reviews - Meet Tessendra "Tess" Rockwood with Dream Cast

Following her mother’s murder, Tess fled her safe and easy life in the domed city of Eden to spend an aimless year in the rough ‘n’ ready Badlands. Here she changed her name, taught herself the local dialect Malspeak, and learned to hunt, protect herself and survive on her own.



Wishful Endings - Meet Hunter Adams with Dream Cast

Tess is first introduced to Hunter when she returns to her home of Eden—a lush, technically advanced and socially conscious city that thrives under a clear dome—after spending a year in the rough ‘n’ ready Badlands. He’s her uncle’s teaching assistant, socially awkward if thoughtful: ‘his curious, darting eyes seem to exude intelligence’.



Deal Sharing Aunt - Review

"I just finished reading Parched and I liked it very much. Anyone who loves to read about a future world with robots and some romance mixed in will like this book. I thought the storyline was good and I liked the action."



Beck Valley Books - Interview

Can you tell me more about the book beyond what it listed on the back cover and what inspired you to write it?

I grew up watching great sci-fi movies like Bladerunner and Star Wars and have always been attracted to the genre: equal parts exciting/fun and thoughtful/insightful. I loved The Hunger Games and felt inspired to write something of that ilk: a young girl in a brave new world, fighting for what she believes in.



ParchedParched
by Georgia Clark
YA Romantic Sci-Fi
Hardcover, 312 Pages
March 14th 2014 by Holiday House





Sixteen-year-old Tess lived in Eden, a seemingly idyllic, domed city where access to information and water is regulated by the governing Trust. After a rogue robot killed her scientist mother, Tess fled with a terrible secret to the desperate, arid Badlands, where she’s recruited by Kudzu, explained to her as a “nonviolent collective working to undermine the Trust and free the Badlands.” Learning Kudzu plans to destroy Aevum, the Trust’s latest advanced robot, Tess reluctantly returns to Eden, where she finds the luxurious life morally unconscionable and secretly trains with Kudzu. Living with her uncle, who’s involved with Aevum, Tess is strangely attracted to his sympathetic assistant, Hunter. During a Kudzu raid on the Trust’s lab, Tess discovers that Aevum will be used to eradicate all inhabitants of the Badlands—and that Hunter’s not what he seems to be.



Tess’ first-person, present-tense voice lends chilling immediacy to her no-nonsense story of mixed loyalty, disturbing secrets, and ethical dilemmas associated with diminishing natural resources and scientific experimentation.



Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Indie Bound

Georgia Clark is an Australian writer and performer based in Brooklyn. She is the author of the young adult novels SHE’S WITH THE BAND (Allen & Unwin) and sci-fi/romance PARCHED (Holiday House). Widely published online and in print. Won some awards/grants/residencies. Has a play on at the NY Fringe festival. Pretty keen on cheese plates.



Website - Goodreads - Facebook - Twitter



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Monday, January 19, 2015

Ward Against Disaster by Melanie Card!




Ward Against Disaster (Chronicles of a Reluctant Necromancer #3)
by Melanie Card
Release Date: 01/19/14
Entangled Teen
276 pages

Summary from Goodreads:

Ward de'Ath should be dead by now. Instead, he’s chasing after a soul-eating creature—that he unleashed— and is bent on stopping her before she slaughters more innocents. Fortunately, Celia Carlyle remains by his side, a nobleman's gorgeous and deadly daughter, who is…well, dead.

Celia claims she’ll champion Ward wherever he goes, even when she thinks his quest is hopeless. He can only hope her pledge comes from her heart, and not because she’s bound to him through his magic.

When they enter Dulthyne, they stumble upon a dark power that threatens the entire town. Ward, with his unreliable necromancy, is determined to help but finds himself ensnared in the lure of white-hot magic…blood magic he struggles to resist. But if Celia’s love is a lie, it might just doom his soul to the dark arts forever.

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Buy Links:
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Books in this series:
Ward Against DeathWard Against Darkness

Here's an Excerpt!

The room was dim, but clear, dark splashes of blood stained the pale plaster walls. Bloody speckles crept high, close to the ceiling. Spray from a major artery while the heart was pumping with panic. There was so much of it, as if Allette had painted all four walls with it like a manic artist.

Ward’s gaze slid to the table. More blood. Then lower.

Bile burned his throat. He knew what he’d see. All that blood. It couldn’t be from just one body.

His gaze landed on a dismembered arm first. It was so small that the hand, if curled into a fist, could have easily hidden in one of his.

His throat tightened and the bile rose higher. His pulse roared and panic clawed at his chest. This was his fault. He’d seen a corpse before. Many actually. He’d even dug a few from their graves to perform necropsies and further his illegal studies in medicine, but he’d never seen such carnage before and he couldn’t dissociate from these victims like he could with the necropsies. Father, mother, half a dozen children, all murdered. Their blood, with the precious soul magic Allette needed to survive, slicked the floor, pooled in uneven spots on the hard-packed dirt, and splattered the furniture.

He couldn’t catch his breath. “I did this.”

Celia grabbed the back of his shirt and jerked him from the doorway. He stumbled, his heel catching on a rock, and she shoved him against the wall outside the house.

“This is not your fault.”

“I knew she was a monster and I set her free.” His stomach heaved, and tears burned his eyes with the effort not to throw up. All that blood was on his hands.




About the Author

I have always been drawn to story telling. In fact, I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t telling a story in my head or on paper. In grade school, we had journal writing time which I turned into story telling time, weaving tales of magic and adventure that mimicked the fairy tales and myths that I loved to read. It was there, with the help of two very special teachers, that I nurtured this love and started my journey as a writer.

I write fantasy, paranormal romance, and everything in between, seasoned with a good dash of adventure and mystery. Join me on my tales of magic, adventure, and romance.

Author Links:
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Saturday, January 17, 2015

Son of War, Daughter of Chaos: A Review

Goodreads (description):

Aislynn is accustomed to watching for the enemy. Her parents instructed her from the time she was young to look for the signs: people with greater than normal strength, eyes that can glow green, and have the ability to jump long distances. Over the years, Aislynn has come to view her parents’ fears as quirks—things that get in the way of having a normal high school life.

When Aislynn’s mother dies under suspicious conditions, her father doubles his restrictions. But all his precautions can’t stop the boy with glowing green eyes from finding Aislynn. She realizes too late she’s been drafted into an ancient Egyptian war, whether she’s prepared or not.


My Review:

Janette Rallison is one of my favorite authors, and she did not fail me with this book! Also, this review will contain some spoilers.

Son of War, Daughter of Chaos is a novel filled with mystery and adventure as Aislynn tries to discover who she really is.

Aislynn has had a crush on her brother's friend, Dane. He is an observant, athletic, and intelligent young man. He is also cunning, stunningly attractive (in my head at least), and loyal. It's not long until Aislynn finds herself in his arms, drowned in his kisses and his awesome sweetness... Until he drugs her and raids her house.

Everything Aislynn has ever known is being to fall apart at the edges. She once thought her father was crazy for hiding from some unknown enemy, but now the enemy was there, attacking her house.

Aislynn finds herself whisked out of Arizona in mere hours, with her father and brother at her side, holding back many secrets. The most that she really gets out of them is that she is the daughter of both a Setite and a Horusian.

The minute Aislynn realizes that her father and brother are keeping secrets from her, it only gets worse. She is still loyal to her family, even when she learns what Setites do behind the scenes. Even when she discovers that she may have been set up for an arranged marriage.

So much happens to Aislynn that she is left confused, trying to decide who she is. The Setites and Horusians are at a constant war--trying to kill each other. Both sides want her, and though Dane is a Horusian and her family are Setities, she doesn't want to hurt either side.

I felt for Aislynn as she struggled to find out which side she belonged to, things were confusing, and both sides were neither good nor bad. If anything, both sides were leaning more toward the bad. She wanted so desperately to be with her family, but when the secrets of what her father and brother do came out, she found it hard to be around them. She still loved them though.

It's what I liked most about Aislynn. She does her best to fight for what's right, wanting everyone to come out alive and safe. Through much sacrifice, she does all she can to make that happen. And though it's a huge risk, where she could lose her life, she goes along with it, in order to try and save both sides from killing each other.

I have to say, what Aislynn ended up doing was absolutely fantastic. It sealed the deal that she is one of the stronger female leads I've read about. What she ended up doing was quite epic.

At least, I hope she succeed... There may or may not be a second book to this one, and I sincerely hope there is, so I can figure out what happens! The book wasn't really left on a cliff hanger, it could end, but I would be sad if it didn't go on. There is so much left that could potentially happen.

I give this a 4.5 out of 5!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Born at Midnight: A Review

Goodreads (description):

One night Kylie Galen finds herself at the wrong party, with the wrong people, and it changes her life forever. Her mother ships her off to Shadow Falls—a camp for troubled teens, and within hours of arriving, it becomes painfully clear that her fellow campers aren’t just “troubled.” Here at Shadow Falls, vampires, werewolves, shapeshifters, witches and fairies train side by side—learning to harness their powers, control their magic and live in the normal world.

Kylie’s never felt normal, but surely she doesn’t belong here with a bunch of paranormal freaks either. Or does she? They insist Kylie is one of them, and that she was brought here for a reason. As if life wasn’t complicated enough, enter Derek and Lucas. Derek’s a half-fae who’s determined to be her boyfriend, and Lucas is a smokin’ hot werewolf with whom Kylie shares a secret past. Both Derek and Lucas couldn’t be more different, but they both have a powerful hold on her heart.

Even though Kylie feels deeply uncertain about everything, one thing is becoming painfully clear—Shadow Falls is exactly where she belongs…

My Review:

So this is a series that was highly recommended to me by some of my trusted reading friends. I've been excited to read it for while and well...

I was seriously disappointed.

First of all, I didn't like the main character, Kylie, at all. The good aspects about her was that she was a loyal friend... and I can't think of anything else...

The only thing that made me feel for Kylie was the divorce going on between her parents. That's it.

What I didn't like about her was her indecisiveness and how whiny she was. Frankly, I found her annoying.

The huge reason for my dislike of Kylie and the book was that I was expecting this book to have far more action scenes then it did, and pretty much only focused on Kylie's messed up relationships. Most books have love triangles these days, and I have a love/hate relationship with those and I do love romance in books, but no, Kylie had a love square. She liked three boys, and just could not decide who she liked most. At least toward the end she sort of got rid of one of the guys, and the other disappeared, so she was FORCED into a decision. Gag. I could not have cared less about her relationship with any of these guys. None of them felt genuine, and with two of the boys she met at Shadow Falls, the relationships went too fast and didn't have any... ground? Any... anything, really. Or at least that's what I thought.

That's probably why I disliked this book so much, because the whole time she is juggling three boys and practically nothing else happens. Not to mention the fact that she kept getting all been-out-of-shape about being a supernatural, when clearly she was one, and needed to stop blaming the other campers for being what they were. I'm sure it was a shock, but I didn't like the way she handled it. Sure, if I had been in her situation, I would have freaked out too, but she got so whiny. Not to mention that she kept pissing her roommates off for her lack of tack and rudeness about being who they were.

And then there's the lack of action. Only one significant thing happened right at the end, and that was probably my favorite part, because Kylie finally did something instead of sitting around whining, and trying to juggle her boy problems.

I read till about 37% in the second book, Awake at Dawn, to see if it would get any better. It didn't, it got worse, and I decided I couldn't handle this series anymore. I still have this ringing irritation in my head about something Kylie said to her friend who was having trouble between two guys. Kylie told her that she needed to make a decision who she liked. I mentally face-palmed when I read that. Kylie, who can't decide between THREE boys, was preaching to her friend to make a decision between two. Ugh, it annoyed me so much, and then it just went downhill from there. I just didn't care anymore.

I'm really sad that this series didn't turn out for me. My friends have been talking about it forever, but oh, well. Everyone likes their different styles of writing and books, this one obviously wasn't for me.

As for the content, these books also contain a lot of language. And there's a whole lot of talk about sex, and intimate scenes. The characters don't actually have sex, but they get close to it.

I give this a 2.5 out of 5.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Heir of Fire: A Review

Goodreads (description):

Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy.

While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?
My Review:

Holy crap! Holy crap! Holy mother of pearl, I need the next book to come out NOW!!!!

I know this is the third book in the series, but I think it is my favorite. This concept is weird for me, because usually the first book always is my favorite.

But man, this book far surpassed the first two.

Heir of Fire was literally explosive. I could not put it down!

I will not spoil anything, but ah! The truth is out. A truth I SO called, but was excited to learn about anyways. Now that Celaena's biggest secret is out, the whole world is going to burn.

I can't even put into words how awesome I thought this book was.

Rowan became my favorite character in this novel. Yes, in the beginning he is a jerk, but I knew he had a heart. He was a fierce warrior, ready to stand up for what was right despite of his blood oath. He did everything that was in his power to help the demi-fey around him, along with Celaena.

And gosh, seeing how broken Celaena was in this one was kind of heart breaking. And yet, this novel is where I felt Celaena has grown the most. Here is where she finally begins to accept a part of herself that she has buried so deep down inside her that it's painful for her to retrieve. Yes, she has done bad things, killed a lot of people and some of them innocent. And yet, she has a heart. She wants to the right thing. As she deals with a lot of her past in this one, she FINALLY stops running from it.

It was when she finally accepted what she had to do that I felt Celaena had truly grown-up. She's nineteen in this one, and has seen and done more than many of us ever will or had done by that age, but she was still a lonely, broken, orphaned child. Until now. Now she is the power that will save lives and rebuild kingdoms. Now, I believe that she truly can stand up against the King of Adarlan.

There are several other characters introduced in this book, and can I just say that the witches are creepy. Really... just scary individuals. Although, I believe that Manon might actually have a heart, despite her upbringing. I don't like her, but I'm beginning to think that she may turn the tide in the battle that is to come.

I also was really surprised about Dorian's new love interest. I didn't see that coming. Maybe because I really liked the idea of him and Celaena together, but once Rowan entered the picture, my mind began to change. Anyway, I was happy that he found someone else.... I won't say more on the subject.

As for Chaol. I didn't really know what to think of him in this one. He seemed so... depressed. And I can understand why. His life pretty much sucks. What I still love about him though, is his loyalty. He remained strong and finally began doing the right thing. I hope that he survives in the next books. He dang sure better. I still like him, which means he's not allowed to die.

This book had a lot more language in it than the first two. Other than that, there wasn't anything else I considered unclean. If you don't like violence, these may not be the books for you. The descriptions can get graphic. I didn't mind them, but there's a warning.

I give this a 4.5 out of 5!