Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Book Blitz + Giveaway: Insanity 2 by Cameron Jace

Insanity 2 by Cameron Jace

About The Book:
 Add To GoodreadsRelease Date: December 2014
Genre: Fantasy, Retelling, Young Adult
Series: Mad In Wonderland Series

Insanity 2
After her encounter with the Cheshire Cat, Alice Wonder can hardly tell reality from imagination. But when kids have their head chopped off and stuffed in watermelons all over the city, it’s clear that another Wonderland Monster has arrived, possibly scarier than the Cheshire. Alice, along with Professor Pillar, have to solve the killer’s puzzles before a catalytic event threatens the death of millions. Then Jack Diamonds appears again. This time, Alice must know who he really is.



Find The Book: 
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About The Author:

Cameron JaceWonderlander, Neverlander, Unicorn-chaser, enchanter, musician, survived a coma, & totally awesome. Sometimes I tell stories. Always luv the little monsters      I write young adult paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and science fiction mostly. The Grimm Diaries series is a seven book saga that deals with retellings of fairy tales from a young adult POV - it connects most of the fairy tales together and claims to be the truth about fairy tales.      I live in San Fransisco and seriously think circles are way cooler than triangles.

Along with CARRIER, Anne is also the author of the young adult fantasy novella, THE BEAST CALL and the young adult contemporary, SHUT UP.


Anne divides her time between writing, her family, and three furry creatures that she secretly believes are plotting her assassination.

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Excerpt:

“I open my eyes to an endless darkness. A blinding kind of darkness I haven't experienced before. Many times have I slept in pitch black in my cell in the asylum. This present darkness is different. It seems as if it has a soul, a substance. It feels too close and invasive to my privacy. It's as if I am wrapped between its octopus arms. A claustrophobic kind of darkness.
No explanation comes to my semi-numb mind right now.
Where am I?
My body is numb, enough to chain me in temporary paralysis. Each of my limbs is heavy enough that I don't bother lifting any.
Somehow, I am sure this will subside.
A slow train of memories arrives. It's slow but noisy and heavy, like a locomotive breath.

Finally, I remember. I know who did this to me."

Giveaway:
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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Book Blitz: The Token by Natasha Rogue

The Token by Natasha Rogue

About The Book:
 Add To GoodreadsRelease Date: December 2, 2014
Genre: Paranormal, Young Adult

Callie Michaels isn’t pretty or popular, but her singing more than makes up for all she lacks. And as long as she focuses on what’s really important, she can survive high school. But how can she focus with all the drama? Between her best friend’s odd issues and a daily dose of weirdness from the social elite, she’s starting to wonder if she’s the only normal one around.

He pulled the front door open. “That’s how it’s done.”

I rolled my eyes and made my way through the crowd that had spilled into the hall, muttering. “That’s how it’s done. Yeah? Where? In the jungle?”

“Yeah.” James’ breath on my nape sent a chill down my spine. “Something like that.”

Just as her life begins spiraling out of control, the answer comes to her in a dream. In exchange for a token of blood, a demon will give her everything she desires. She says “yes.” From that point on, she finds herself changing, becoming something far from normal. Something dangerous.

No one is what they seem—least of all her. While the supernatural creatures around her struggle to maintain their humanity, Callie slowly loses hers. She doesn’t even know what’s important anymore. Friendship, the future, love? And is there anyone who can make her care?

Find The Book: 
Amazon ! Barnes & Noble ! iTunes ! Kobo )

About The Author:

Natasha Rogue is a Canadian author who's been writing for most of her life. After penning novels behind math textbooks all through high school, she attended Dawson College in Creative Arts with dreams of becoming a screenwriter. The best teacher she ever had took her aside and told her to go back where she belonged. To her roots with the books she loved to write.

Eternal Neverland (Steps Before the Fall) was one of her first complete novels. There are seven books in draft form completed in the series, but they gathered dust until experience and contacts with the right editors and crit partners gave them what they needed to be shared. However, A Breed Apart: The Token, was released through a small press in 2012. The book will be rereleased shortly.

You may find Natasha at several signings throughout the year as she writes multiple genres. Don't worry, she doesn't bite. But she will happily chat with you about the hotties who do. And shamelessly admit to liking Charlie way more than she should.

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Excerpt:

A long soak in a bubble bath, hot enough to give me a head rush when I first submerged my whole body under the steaming water, did wonders for stiff muscles and stiffer resentment. James had been with me for days. He was entitled to a break. I was not going to be a pathetic, needy girlfriend. I was a strong, independent young woman, perfectly capable of fending for myself.

That conviction lasted the whole ten steps between the bathroom and my room. When I opened my bedroom door, I became someone who needed and was needed. And nothing could make that wrong.

A large, black cat stretched across my bed. James had come back at some point during my bath. While waiting, he'd fallen asleep. All I could do was stare. The beauty of him left me in awe.

Careful not to wake him I inched past the door, pulled it closed behind me, and turned the lock slowly to muffle the click. Every sound amplified in my ears as I tried to make my way across the room without waking him. My socks were like sandpaper on the carpet. My shallow breaths like heavy gasps. I heard it all, as I was sure he would. Humans were noisy things.

One black ear twitched, and I stopped and bit back a curse. The velvet of his fur glistened in the dim light as he stirred, but his eyes stayed closed. His huge form covered my bed, draped from one corner to the other, a piece of the exotic laid out in stark contrast to my very ordinary room. So alien to the surroundings, yet somehow so right.

I didn't want to wake him up, but at the same time I couldn't fight the need to get closer. Instinct flared up in warning, demanding I stay where I was. There was no denying the potential danger. Claws the size of my fingers peeked past his huge paws, little black daggers hooked into the delicate threads of my comforter. Without meaning to, he'd torn little holes in the cloth. Those claws would pass just as easily through flesh.

One step and then another, each one a struggle not to turn and run the other way. Again and again I reminded myself that this was James. He would never hurt me, not even in this form. He had control I couldn't match, and truthfully, I was the more dangerous of the two of us. All his life his family had taught him how to deal with what he was. There was no one to teach me how to deal with what I'd become.

Not seeing myself as a frail, helpless thing got me past the last few steps. Careful to avoid his tail dangling over the side, I eased myself onto the bed and curled up beside him. The warmth of his big body seeped over me, his familiar presence stealing away the fear of having sharp fangs inches from my face. I laid my hand over one massive paw and placed my head on my arm so I was facing him. Lids still closed, James shifted his head and rested it over my hand. Enveloped in perfect comfort, I prepared to surrender to the night.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Book Blitz: Walled by Anne Tibbets

Walled by Anne Tibbets

About The Book:
 Add To GoodreadsRelease Date: December 1, 2014
Genre: Dystopia, New Adult
Series: The Line #2
Publisher: Carina Press (HQN)

Freedom means making brutal choices.


Walled by Anne TibbetsRebel lovers Naya and Ric have survived one year in hiding, raising Naya’s twins from infants to toddlers in the shadow of the brutal Auberge dictatorship. They’re alive, and they’re together, but the city is crumbling around them and the haunting memory of Naya’s dark days on The Line have never fully left them. Living in isolation won’t be an option forever.


When a mysterious revolutionary seeks their help to infiltrate Auberge’s electronic heart and shut it down, it’s an opportunity—it’s risky, yes, but if it works they’ll get out of the city and taste freedom for the first time. Naya needs this. They need this.

Beyond the broken walls of Auberge, Naya and Ric find the paradise they’ve always longed for. But with anarchy reigning and Naya’s children lost amidst the chaos, they’ll need to forfeit their post-apocalyptic Eden…or commit an unspeakable act.

Book two of two.

Find The Book: 
Amazon ! Barnes & Noble )

About The Author:

Anne Tibbets is an SCBWI award-winning and Smashwords.com Best Selling author. After writing for Children’s television, Anne found her way to young/new adult fiction by following what she loves: books, strong female characters, twisted family dynamics, magic, sword fights, quick moving plots, and ferocious and cuddly animals.

Along with CARRIER, Anne is also the author of the young adult fantasy novella, THE BEAST CALL and the young adult contemporary, SHUT UP.


Anne divides her time between writing, her family, and three furry creatures that she secretly believes are plotting her assassination.

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Author Blog Post: I Love “Good” Bad Reviews

Crazy, right?
Who is their right mind would love bad reviews?
Honestly, I love the “good” bad reviews – the what? I mean the ones that have actual issue with the book itself and not the ones that just hate the author, or hate the main character’s life choices, or hate the concept as a whole, and you wonder why they read the book to begin with? I’m talking the “good” bad reviews that find plot holes, don’t buy the character arcs, or have issue with world-building, structure, and style. An actual critique, even if the reviewer hates my work?

Love those!

Now, this is not an invitation.
I’m not asking for you to go on GoodReads and rip apart my writing line by line. That would probably devastate me, let’s me honest. But, done well, a “good” bad review challenges and creates a fire within me.

It burns. It hurts. It even leaves scars. But the fire also teaches me something and I can’t not appreciate a good learning experience, even if it leaves a mark.

So critique away. Go for it! I welcome it.
Just do me one favor: make it a “good” one.


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Rites of Passage by Joy Hensley

Rites of Passage by Joy HensleyAppropriate For: Ages 13 and up
Hardcover: 416 Pages
Release Date: September 9, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Narration: First Person: Sam
Genre: Military/Contemporary
Series: Stand-Alone
Book Trailer: Here

Order On Amazon: Hardcover
                               Kindle
Order On Barnes and Noble:
Hardcover and Nook

Author's
Goodreads  Website  Twitter

 Add To Goodreads
Goodreads Synopsis:

Sam McKenna’s never turned down a dare. And she's not going to start with the last one her brother gave her before he died.

So Sam joins the first-ever class of girls at the prestigious Denmark Military Academy. She’s expecting push-ups and long runs, rope climbing and mud-crawling. As a military brat, she can handle an obstacle course just as well as the boys. She's even expecting the hostility she gets from some of the cadets who don’t think girls belong there. What she’s not expecting is her fiery attraction to her drill sergeant. But dating is strictly forbidden and Sam won't risk her future, or the dare, on something so petty...no matter how much she wants him.

As Sam struggles to prove herself, she discovers that some of the boys don’t just want her gone—they will stop at nothing to drive her out. When their petty threats turn to brutal hazing, bleeding into every corner of her life, she realizes they are not acting alone. A decades-old secret society is alive and active… and determined to force her out.
At any cost.

Now time's running short. Sam must decide who she can trust...and choosing the wrong person could have deadly consequences.

My Review:
Boot camp full of dudes. First girls ever to enroll. Now this...this had entertaining written all over it. I was very close to squealing after I read the synopsis. It was a little out of my usual range of genres, but how exactly do you say no to a synopsis like that? Heck, I was about to grab a bag of popcorn to top it off.

So in the beginning of the story, we're introduced to a girl named Sam. Sam was raised in a military family with a dad who lived and breathed military. He was the type of guy to think that girls were weak and dependent, and because of this, Sam was determined to prove him wrong. Did she ever. I cannot even begin to explain the the utter crap that this girl had to put up with. *Insert nonsensical rambling here* There were an infinite amount of times when I just wanted to knock heads together. Especially Matthews. How I hated, how I excreted disgust from my very pores for this boy. I had to get up and kick air for a few moments, because this guy flipped my bitch switch.

Back to Sam. I had to give her props. I'm used to leading female roles who are strong and fierce because of their magic superpowers, but Sam was relentless through sheer force of will. Like I said, the absolute crap she had to deal with...it was enough to drive any person insane. On top of that, she fought back without ever really fighting back. This is the military. You can't yell at your higher ups because things are unfair or you don't agree with what they're doing. Yet she stood up for herself in the simple fashion of not letting anything phase her. They yelled at her. She nonchalantly did what was asked. But at the same time, she wasn't some unfeeling robot who always triumphed. She had feelings. She had emotions. She endured failures. She almost caved a couple of times under the pressure, but she kept herself together.

However, despite how much I loved her, I also felt like she thought the world revolved around her. When everyone else had issues, she gave it 2 seconds of thought and got over it. These are your supposed friends. They've made mistakes, yeah, but there might be reasons or circumstances why they did. She just jumped to the conclusion that everyone was evil and out to get her. Admittedly, there were an awful amount of people out to get her, but still. Towards the middle to end, very rarely did I see her ask about other people instead of being wrapped up in her own issues. In the beginning, she looked out for her friends, but that sort of just disappeared. I know she had a lot on her plate, but it struck the wrong chord with me.

The romance between Drill and Sam was unique. Unlike many YA stories, it didn't happen straight off the bat. They saw each other a bit; there was that initial physical attraction, but it didn't go anywhere. The romance sparks around the middle of the book. This rushed it to an extent, but it was still nice to see something new. Drill was definitely drool-worthy. I think I fell in love with him myself. Throughout the book, he seems so much older than he actually is. It was nuts. They mention that he's 17 often, but you can't help thinking that he's at least 21 or something. 

When the story started, I literally had my eyes glued to every page. I think that was mostly because I was so excited to see everything go down. It was intriguing to learn about all the military rankings (Kind of got mixed up on those) and all of the traditions and various uniforms. However, the pace started to slow for me around 65%. There were still tons of things going on, but it wasn't as heart-racing as it was in the beginning.

In conclusion, this is a must read. So far, I believe it's still a stand-alone, but Rites of Passage is definitely set up for a series. There are so many things unresolved, relationships open ended, and people who still have karma coming for them. The writing was excellent, the theme unique, the protagonist diverse. Plus, who can skip out on a book with a synopsis like that? Grab the popcorn. This is going to be a good one.

Heroine- 4/5
Romance- 4.5/5
Action- 3.5/5 Tapered off in the middle
World-Building- 4.5/5
Loved learning about the military world
Writing- 4/5
Overall- 4/5

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Book Blitz + Giveaway: The Expatriates by Corinne O'Flynn

The Expatriates by Corinne O'Flynn

About The Book:
 Add To GoodreadsRelease Date: October 15, 2014
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Series: The Expatriates #1

They told him his world was destroyed.
And they were the last to escape.
They thought he was safe.
They were wrong.

Jim Wales can communicate with animals, but that’s not why he lives with a traveling carnival. Turns out his family’s been hiding him there since he was little, since someone started hunting all the scholars. Jim is a scholar—someone who can manipulate energy using magic—and he has no idea.

When a message arrives from Jim’s father—who supposedly died twelve years ago—Jim’s whereabouts are discovered, their carnival is attacked, and his mother is kidnapped. On the run with a strange glass map and a single coin, Jim finds himself racing to reclaim the father he thought he’d lost, plotting to save his mother, and discovering the truth about who he is.

But going home isn’t the same as being safe, and trust is everything.

What readers are saying:

"Told in a beautiful, flowing style full of colorful images and adrenaline-pumping action."

"Pop some popcorn, sit back ... and enjoy the thrill ride, right up to the end, which leaves you begging for more."

"Captures your attention from the start and then guides you through a roller coaster of adventure, drama, mystery, magic and young love."

Find The Book: 
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About The Author:

Corinne O'FlynnCorinne O'Flynn is a native New Yorker who now lives in Colorado and wouldn't trade life in the Rockies for anything. She loves writing flash and experimenting with short fiction. Her novel, THE EXPATRIATES (Oct. 2014) is a YA fantasy adventure with magic and creatures and lots of creepy stuff. She is a scone aficionado, has an entire section of her kitchen devoted to tea, and is always on the lookout for the elusive Peanut Chews candy. 

When she isn’t writing or hanging with her family, Corinne works as the executive director of a nonprofit. She is a member of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, Mystery Writers of America, and the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. You can find her online at her website, Facebook, or Twitter @CorinneOFlynn.

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Author Interview:

Tell us about your book.

THE EXPATRIATES is the first book in a new YA fantasy series about a teenage boy, Jim Wales, who discovers his family’s been hiding him in a traveling carnival because he’s being hunted for his powers. 

How would you describe your writing?

I’ve been told my writing is quite visual, and I like to think that’s true. I’m a very visual person and that comes through while I’m at my desk writing because as I build the worlds of my story, I tend to start with visuals in an attempt to bring you into my world, fully in that moment, in that scene. I think all writers want readers to have that immersive experience while reading. And for me, that begins with visuals.

Do you have to plan to write 
or are you constantly jotting ideas and lines down?

A little of both. The only way for me to get work done is to schedule the time on my calendar. My biggest challenge in my daily life is time-competition. We’ve got a lot of balls in the air at our house, and even though I work from home, it’s difficult to stay on task and on schedule with things that can be pushed back. So, while I am always jotting things down and making voice memos for myself as ideas and lines come to me, I won’t get anything done unless I make a plan to write. 

Why do you write?

I write because I love to read. I love reading a story that makes my world disappear, or makes my heart race, or makes my soul ache. I love reading the kind of stories that stick with me, that make me think, and even the ones that are just plain thrilling. I write in an attempt to do that. I have stories inside my own head that transport me in that way, and I think it’s awesome to be able to share that with readers.

Giveaway:
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Friday, November 7, 2014

Book Blitz + Giveaway: Dust by Sarah Daltry

Dust by Sarah Daltry

About The Book:
 Add To GoodreadsRelease Date: November 7, 2014
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Series: The Frost Chronicles #1

Who makes YOUR choices?

Dust by Sarah Daltry“I was once the type of person who was impressed by starlight; the type of person who would dance beneath glass ceilings and let the world swim in its loveliness. The sky reminds me of the parties we used to throw – parties like the one last night. The memories bring back the trill of harps and endless ripples of satisfied laughter. Now, though, when I try to recall what I felt, all I hear is screaming.”

In a world ravaged by war and oppressive forces of evil, a princess must fight to claim her bloodright and save her people.

When the princess, Alondra, falls for the beautiful, blue eyes of a hooded stranger, it awakens in her a taste for freedom and an escape from her duty.

But her parents have other plans; they have a kingdom to protect and Alondra must marry to ensure the peace between nations. Only what happens when your parents choose a cold-hearted assassin as your betrothed?

As lies, illusions, and long hidden vendettas surface, the princess has to confront a very secret history. One that makes her realize that she not only risks losing her liberty, but also everything she has known and loved.

Find The Book: 
Amazon )

About The Author:

Sarah Daltry is a varied author, known best for the contemporary New Adult series, 'Flowering', a six-title series that explores the complexities of relationships, including how we survive the damage from our pasts with the support of those who love us. Although the books are no longer in print, they are being rewritten and redeveloped for future publication. Please visit Sarah's website for more details.

As a former English teacher and YA library coordinator, Sarah has always loved Young Adult literature and 'Dust', an epic fantasy novel where romance blends with the blood and grit of war, is her second official foray into YA, following the gamer geek romantic comedy, 'Backward Compatible'. Most of Sarah's work is about teens and college students, as it's what she knows well.

Sarah's passion in life is writing - weaving tales of magic and beauty. The modern and vast social networking world is an alternative universe that she makes infrequent trips to, but when she does, readers will find her attentive, friendly and happy to discuss the magic of stories and reading. Please stop by and say hello anywhere Sarah is online! You can find these places at http://sarahdaltry.com

Sarah has moved back and forth between independent and traditional publishing. Her first novel, 'Bitter Fruits', is with Escape, an imprint of Harlequin Australia, and she signed with Little Bird Publishing in the spring of 2014.

Sarah has also written 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,' a reimagining of one of her favorite poems in a contemporary setting.

She is an obsessive Anglophile who spends more time watching BBC TV than any human being should, as well as a hardcore gamer and sarcastic nerd.

Find The Author:

Excerpt:

Curiosity echoes through the room. No one goes to Challar. We live in a world that does not need history books; stories that we need to know are preserved through the bards and everything else... Well, some things are better left in the past. I know there is much of Anara that has been kept from me, but I always believed my parents and elders when they said the past was buried to save us. Now, though, I feel like a marionette, and I want to know who’s holding the strings.  

“Something’s bothering me,” I tell Seamus. “I can’t explain it, and please don’t ask. But I want to go to see if I can get some questions answered. I planned on going without telling anyone and being back for dinner. Still,” I pause, “I would be happy to have your company.”  

“Sure,” he says. The truce is unspoken, but it’s there. As he said yesterday, I cannot fight my destiny; now at least I have someone to go alongside me.
“Thank you. I’m sorry I can’t say more, but I hope you take comfort in knowing that my asking is…”

He nods. “I understand. Actually, there was something I wanted to say to you before you left, and I suppose now is as good a time as any. You see, Alondra, I… Well, I know that this is challenging for you. I know that our parents strive to think for the future, to establish an alliance that will better both of our kingdoms and Anara as a whole. However, I don’t want to hurt you.”

“Seamus,” I start, but he brushes his fingers across my lips and continues.

“I never anticipated that you would love me, but I don’t want to be hated. Not by my wife. I see the way you look at me. I see what you see, and I know what I am. I am prepared to offer you a choice, Alondra. After you depart Demoria, I will not contact you until we return to your kingdom for the engagement ball. When I return to Kooram, I ask that you tell me how you feel then. If you still feel that our marriage would never be more than a punishment, I will publicly ask for a dissolution of the agreement.”

“Your kingdom will blame me,” I argue.

“Although I am an assassin, Alondra, I am also a prince. I know how to affect change with words as well as with a blade.”

I want to reply, to say something, even though I don’t know what words would bubble to the surface. Choices swim in my mind and I try to pull the threads of them apart to see the future lying at the end of each. As I contemplate, Seamus leans over. He gets closer and I realize he is going to kiss me. I don’t have time to decide if that’s okay before a scream rings out from the party below. 

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Sunday, November 2, 2014

Honey Queen by Christina Mercer

Honey Queen by Christina MercerAppropriate For: Ages 13 and up
Kindle: 270 Pages
Release Date: May 31, 2014
Publisher: Self-Published
Narration: First Person: Melaina
Genre: Mythology/
Contemporary Setting
Series: Stand-Alone

Order On Amazon: Paperback
                               Kindle
Order On Barnes and Noble:
Paperback and Nook

Author's
Goodreads  Website  Twitter

 Add To Goodreads
Goodreads Synopsis:

Love is honey sweet, but it comes with a fatal sting . . .

Melaina Maris needs wings to fly the gap between loving Sam and her family’s ancient curse that forces carnal love and then kills the male lovers. She won’t let the same fate that killed her father befall another. She refuses to allow her goddess-created bloodline to continue. But there’s no easy way out, especially after the curse turns her into the Honey Queen—savior to honey bees—intensifying her charms.

To help her fulfill the curse’s demands in the least harmful way, her grandmother takes her to mate with terminally ill Boyd. But Boyd’s gay. And an expert in mythology. Instead of having sex, Melaina learns how she might summon the goddess who created the first ancestor bee-charmer and cursed her bloodline. Melaina's magic—tears to save honey bees from endangerment—could be enough to persuade the goddess to end the curse. But an unexpected discovery soon changes that hope, spinning Melaina into a swarm of love, friendship and death. 

My Review:
When I first read the synopsis, I was skeptical. Honey bees? Honey Queen? Authors really have to dig deep now to find any YA ideas that haven't already been bled dry. To be honest, I found the idea laughable at first, kind of like the theme of Hungry by Swain, though admittedly not to that extent. Who's ready to get hungry?  However, there was also a part of me that was intrigued, so I decided to give it a try.

Melaina's power over bees stems in Greek Mythology, from a goddess named Aera whose domain lies over honey bees and virginity. In order to shirk her duties as a goddess, Aera created a line of female descendants whose main purpose in life was to tend her honey bees and live out a life of chastity. However, things go awry when the first of her line falls in love with a demigod. They have a daughter, but not without consequences. Angered by the act of love, Aera curses the family. From that day on, the mothers are cursed to have carnal urges for men until they get pregnant and continue the long line of daughters. To make matters worse, the men fall ill soon after and die as soon as the baby is born.

Aera always needs someone to care for her honeybees. For Melaina, that isn't a problem, since it's her passion in life, as it was for her mother, grandmother, and so on. However, another downside of the curse is that if she leaves the honey bees for a long period of time, she eventually withers and dies. Uplifting, isn't it? 

As for Melaina's character, I could never connect with her. She showed compassion and thought of others, but it was all on the surface. I never felt it. Throughout the entire book, her thought processes consisted of, "I hate this goddess," "I really, really like Sam, but I can't be with him, because it'll kill him," "I must seclude myself in misery," "What am I going to do? What am I going to do? What am I going to do?" It was irritating to hear the same thoughts over and over again. 

One time, she sees a really hot guy and tries to restrain herself. But then, she thinks, You know what? I can prove to this goddess bitch that I'm above this curse. I'll just kiss him..just a little bit. Then I'll back off, I promise. *Insert eye roll* Like that's gonna happen. You already know that you're raging hormonal, yet you decide to tempt fate anyways? 

The romance wasn't much of a romance. There were some flashbacks of when Melaina and Sam were kids, but that wasn't enough for me to want them to be together. If there were more, perhaps I would've understood their friendship better. The lust curse hit Melaina pretty early into the story, so the conversations between Melaina and Sam consisted of more making out than anything. When they weren't making out, Sam was knocking on the door or basically stalking her, trying to get her to talk to him, which eventually led to more of the aforementioned making out. The depth in their relationship was nonexistent.

Overall, Honey Queen was a superficial story. Things were happening on the surface, but they all felt fake and unreal. I can't even explain it. I give props to the author for the honey bee theme though. It's definitely a breath of fresh air, and Greek mythology is always a good thing. The writing wasn't bad, but the explanations were confusing at times. Perhaps this just wasn't my cup of tea.

Heroine- 2/5
Romance- 2/5
Action- 3/5
World-Building- 3.5/5
Writing- 3/5
Overall- 2.5/5

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Book Blitz + Author Interview: Escape from Witchwood Hollow by Jordan Elizabeth


How far into the hollow would you go?

Escape from Witchwood Hollow by Jordan ElizabethAfter losing her parents in a terrorist attack on the Twin Towers, fifteen-year-old Honoria escapes New York City to Arnn—a farming town with more legends than residents, and a history of witchcraft and secrets best left buried.

Everyone in Arnn knows the story of Witchwood Hollow: if you venture into the whispering forest, the witch will trap your soul among the shadowed trees. In the lure of that perpetual darkness, Honoria finds hope when she should be afraid, and a past of missing children and broken promises.  To save the citizens of Arnn from becoming the witch’s next victims, she must find the truth behind the woman’s madness. How deep into Witchwood Hollow does Honoria dare venture?

ESCAPE FROM WITCHWOOD HOLLOW is Jordan Elizabeth’s first novel.  This young adult fantasy, published through Curiosity Quills Press, is now available for purchase.  

Find The Book: 
Curiosity Quills )

About The Author:

Jordan Elizabeth, formally Jordan Elizabeth Mierek, can’t get enough of the woods, be it splashing through a stream, sitting beneath an ancient oak, or following a path up a hill.  Some of those adventures have led to abandoned foundations.  Exploring the rocks and crumbling bricks sparked Jordan to imagine who might have lived there before, and that train of thought carried her to a wicked legend and an enchanted hollow.  You can contact Jordan via her website, JordanElizabethMierek.com.



Author Interview with Jordan Elizabeth

Question: Have you always dreamed of becoming an author? 
If not, what inspired you to become one?

Answer: I did always dream of becoming an author.  My mother read to me since the moment I could lift my head and it just took off from there.  I used to make up stories and my grandmother would record them on a tape-player.  To me, authors were even greater than movie stars.


Question: Did you enjoy reading books as a child?
If yes, what books were your all time favorites?

Answer: Every time I went somewhere with my grandmother, be it grocery store or mall, she would buy me a book.  My favorites were the Berenstein Bears when I was really little, and as I got older, novels by Bruce Coville and Tamora Pierce.  I feel honored to have been able to meet them in real life.  They actually live near me.  If I’d known that as a child, I probably would have swooned or squealed.



Question: Are any of your characters based off of people in real life? 
Like yourself or friends?

Answer: There is always one character who reflects bits of me.  As for my friends, definitely!  There is no one character who is strictly so-and-so; I take pieces of my friends and family, and I sprinkle them across.  


Question: When you’re writing a novel, do you ever get distracted by sparkly things on the Internet and end up doing something else?

Answer: I wouldn’t say “distracted.”  It is more like life gets in the way.  I work a full-time job and then I go to the nursing home to visit my grandmother.  I’m also president of the Utica Writers Club and I teach writing workshops at a local library.  Throw in time I spend with my fiancé.  Oh yeah, don’t forget housework and yard work.  I can usually only squeeze in an hour – two hours if I’m lucky – of writing a night.  My biggest hindrance in that hour is exhaustion.  I’ll write it a little bit, feel too tired, and kind of collapse on my bed.  

Question: If you had to recommend a book, or series, what would it be?

Answer: POISON STUDY by Maria V. Snyder.  I haven’t heard from anyone that they hated it.  I’ve read it so many times and each reading is amazing.  Plus, Maria is an incredible person.  She’s helped me so much on my journey to becoming an author.  I’ll write to any author I can – they usually have an email address on their website – to let them know what I thought of their book.  She actually wrote back all those years ago.

Question: What are some of your hobbies? 

Answer: Jewelry making, photography, and painting.  Currently I’m painting my front deck, but my true calling in that regard involves painting pictures on canvas.  My specialty is orange-and-blue.  The person is in shades of blue and the background is orange.

Question: If you were to one day wake up with magical powers, what powers would they be and what would be the first thing you’d do with them?

Answer: Fly!  I would feel so safe.  My first thing to do?  Jump off my balcony and soar to the floor!

Speed Run:
Question: Rain or Sun?
Answer: Rain.  There is something soothing about falling asleep to rain on the roof and windows.  
Question: Coke or Sprite?
Answer: Coke.  
Sprite has sodium benzoate in it.
Question: Hardcover or Ereader?
Answer: Hardcover.  
I need to feel it in my hands and be able to flip the pages.
Question: Vanilla or Chocolate?
Answer: Vanilla.  Chocolate sometimes hurts my teeth.
Question: Cat or Dog?
Answer: Dog for me.  My mom is allergic to cats, so I grew up with a dog.  My fiancé loves cats and wants a whole house of them, sooo….

Giveaway:

Jordan Elizabeth is offering up a free eArc of ESCAPE FROM WITCHWOOD HOLLOW.  To enter for your chance to win a copy of ESCAPE FROM WITCHWOOD HOLLOW, you will need to share the cover.  This can be on your blog, Facebook, Twitter… Each time you share the cover image, log it into Rafflecoper to record it.  It will give you more chances to win.  There are other ways to enter.  You’ll have to take a look to see what those are!  The drawing for the winner will be held on November 16.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Book Blast + Giveaway: Catalyst by S.J. Kincaid

Catalyst by S.J. Kincaid

About The Book:
 Add To GoodreadsRelease Date: October 28, 2014
Genre: Dystopia, Young Adult
Series: Insignia #3

The explosive conclusion to the series reviewers 
have likened to Ender’s Game and “Hogwarts-in-Space”

Catalyst by S.J. Kincaid
This exhilarating, explosive, and heartrending conclusion to the Insignia trilogy brings Tom and his intelligent, passionate, and brave young friends stunning tests and dangerous confrontations and through to an impossible future they could never have predicted.

Tom Raines and his friends are eager to return to the Pentagonal Spire to continue training for the elite Intrasolar Forces, but they soon discover troubling changes: strict new regulations and the revelation that the Spire is under new military control. What begins as an irritating adjustment soon reveals a dangerous shift in reality. Those now in control are aligned with corporate sponsors and their ruthless agendas. And when the military academy begins welcoming new cadets with suspicious neural processors, the first step in a plan with horrifying worldwide ramifications, Tom is desperate to stop it, even if that means keeping secrets from his closest allies.

Then a mysterious figure, the other ghost in the machine, begins fighting against the corporations, but with methods even Tom finds shocking. And when the enemy comes for Tom, how much can Tom endure in the battle to save himself? He must decide if he can still fight when the odds of success seem to be sliding from his grip.

Find The Book: 
Amazon ! Barnes & Noble ! Book Depository )

About The Author:

S.J. KincaidS.J. Kincaid was born in Alabama, grew up in California, and attended high school in New Hampshire, but it was while living beside a haunted graveyard in Scotland, that she realized that she wanted to be a writer. Her debut, Insignia, came out in July of 2012. The second book in the series, Vortex came out in July of 2013. The final book in the INSIGNIA trilogy will come out in Fall of 2014.

Find The Author:
Goodreads ! Website ! Twitter ! Facebook )

Giveaway:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Cinder by Marissa MeyerAppropriate For: Ages 12 and up
Hardcover: 390 Pages
Release Date: January 3, 2012
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Narration: Third Person: Cinder
Genre: Fairytale Retelling/Futuristic
Trailer: Click Here

The Lunar Chronicles
Book One: Cinder
Book Two: Scarlet
Book Three: Cress
Book Four: Winter (2015)

Order On Amazon: Paperback
                               Kindle
Order On Barnes and Noble:
Paperback and Nook

Author's
Goodreads  Website  Twitter

 Add To Goodreads
Goodreads Synopsis:

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. 

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

My Review:
I can't freaking believe that I gave up on this a year ago.

At the time, when I was still horrifically naive to the world, I decided that Cinder wasn't worth my time because it sported a very creepy picture of a metal leg on its cover. Cyborgs have never interested me before, and quite frankly, they scare me. Never has a book changed my opinion so fast. After I got over my initial cringe at the robotic part of things, this book was smooth sailing. 

I absolutely loved Cinder's character. She had such a strong, courageous personality, and despite her machinery, she was undeniably human. She had her doubts, she over thought things, yet in the end, she followed her heart. It was so fun and great watching her be a fumbling, awkward teenager. Her entrance at the ball almost killed me. I literally tossed my Kindle on the couch and started jumping around, waving my hands in the air while simultaneously hitting myself in the face because of the inevitable mortification to come. I felt for her. She was real and full of depth.

Another strike for my initial repulsion for this book was that it was a fairy tale retelling. I've never read one and enjoyed it. In fact, I have some less than savory experiences with that particular genre of books. However, Cinder threw all those reservations to the wind. This was an AWESOME retelling. It had a huge amount of references and events from the original Cinderella story, yet I never felt bored, as if I was reading an old, worn out tale. It had its parallels, yet it also stood out in stark contrast with it's fairytale counterpart. 

The romance was nicely written. Although the attraction sparked quickly, it was definitely not insta-love in the slightest. In the beginning, it was really only Cinder's infatuation with the prince. I mean, come on, if a prince arrived at my shop, I would definitely be making googly eyes at him. However, as their interactions became more commonplace, their relationship grew as well. I fell in love with Kai every time he made an attempt to court Cinder in his own cutesy way, and I laughed obnoxiously whenever Cinder answered with sarcasm and jabs to get him to leave her alone. I'm really looking forward to seeing how their relationship develops. 

If you're new to this series, you might be wondering how Cinder and Kai's relationship might develop since each book is focused on a different fairytale. Although each book does introduce a new person, all of the books in the series are told in alternating third person perspectives from everyone. In the end, all of the stories will intertwine into one package of awesomeness. Slightly like Game of Thrones, though not nearly as messy with all the backstories and whatnot.

In conclusion, I'm ecstatic that I decided to pick Cinder up, despite my initial cringe reaction. The writing style was beautiful, and I absolutely adored Cinder's dialogue and inner commentary. It was action packed, so much so that I read it in one sitting, never allowing my attention to wander. Filled with an familiar yet unique storyline, a sarcastic mechanic, an adorable romance, and a fast-paced adventure, Cinder is definitely a book you want to check out.

Heroine- 5/5
Romance- 6/5 ADORABLE! Another plus was that it was there, but it wasn't overpowering.
Action- 5/5 Couldn't stop reading!
Humor- 5/5
World-Building- 5/5 She made a futuristic, robotic world that didn't terrify me. That in itself is a huge feat.
Writing- 5/5
Overall- 5/5