Sunday, December 21, 2014

Sunday Post #19 and Stacking the Shelves December 21st, 2014

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted  @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news ~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme.  With Christmas this week, I'm off school, so thought I'd talk about things besides just what books I got.

Last week on the blog:
 I had a lot to do on the blog this week.  I signed up for a couple promo type of posts. Then I had my two reviews that were my goal for the year, two a week.  I got a lot of books this week, so I'll be excited to share those later in this post.  

This week on the blog:
  • Review:  Frostfire by Amanda Hocking
  • Waiting on Wednesday
  • Maybe Cover Characteristic
  • Review:  Infected by Sophie Littlefield
  • Maybe one of the Tag posts I've gotten tagged in lately
  • ??? Another review ????
I'm expecting to get more than two books read this week, what with not having to work every day.  Plus I'll be working on my COYER - Clean out your e-reader  challenge, so some of the e-books may be shorter, especially if I end up DNFing any of them.  Christmas being this week may also mean I do some kind of fun Christmas GIF post.  We'll see how it goes.

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.  It is a way for us to share the new books we have collected.  This was a pretty exciting week for me!  First I'll share a giveaway that I won

I won this awesome prize pack from Christy at The Reader Bee.  Can't wait to use the nail polish and get this book read so that I'll be ready for the sequel.  I loved this author's book Revolution, so I'm very excited to read this one as well. 

This is what I got from my other Secret Santa, Angela at My So Called Chaos.  I'll still need to read the 3rd book in the Megan Crewe series before I read Those Who Lived, but I'm glad to have my copy ready to go  now!  Thanks Angela! 

Physical Books won:

 The first one I won in the Indie Fall Fest.  I know the 2nd book was part of a big controversy.  But, I had won it like a week before all that got all crazy.  I hadn't received it yet though, so I emailed the blog I'd won it on, and told them I was still interested.  I do still want to read it.  I hope that doesn't offend anyone.  I know a lot of people were up in arms about it and the author.  And the last one I won from Traci at The Reading Geek's Blogoversary.  Don't you just love that cover?  I can't wait to read it!

Book from friend:

 I guess a student left this book at school last year and it had been in the lost and found for a long time.  One of our school secretaries had taken it out, and when I was in the office this week, she asked if I wanted it.  It was one I had wanted to read, so I said sure!

ARC from bookstore:

One of the managers saved it for me.  I did like If I Stay and Where She Went, so hopefully this will be good as well.

E-galleys from Edelweiss:

The first one is by the author of The Dark Between, a book that I liked.  The 2nd one I got just for any tips on working with my little boy dog that seems to like to pee in the house no matter what I do.

Free e-books:

The first two were free for my Kindle app.  The 2nd two were free on my Nook.  The last one is a set of 5 fantasy titles:  The Zombie Chronicles, Eternal Vow, Crush, Enchanted Castle, and Castaway.  Just more things to add to my COYER Challenge.  

So, that's a lot of things I got this week!  How about you?  What did you add to your bookshelves this week?

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

I have to thank my manager at the Barnes and Noble where I work part time for saving this ARC for me.  I guess I have to thank HarperTeen and Epic Reads for sending it to the store as well.  I had been hearing a lot about the book on other blogs, Waiting on Wednesday posts, and even some very early reviews.  At first I wasn't sure if I wanted to read it, I mean, yeah, the cover is so beautiful, and then the packaging the ARC came in, that was also awesome. Remember this:

And then, the more and more I saw it around the blogosphere, as well as reading more about it, I just got so excited to read it, that I went ahead and read it earlier than planned, so this review is more than a month ahead of time, which is how long I usually try to wait to post an advanced copy review.  But I loved this, and it does come out towards the beginning of February, so I'm going to go ahead and spread more love and excitement for this book.  And I have to say that I did love this book.  Let me give a bit of a synopsis, and then talk about what I liked, as well as address some negatives I found online in other reviews.

The main character is Mare.  This is a world segregated by the type of blood you have, red or silver.  The Silvers are the elite, and you might say rightly so, as they have different types of powers such as:  the ability to read minds, to control people's minds, to control metal or other things around them, immense strength, ability to control the movement of water, and so many others.  The Reds, like Mare, do not have powers, and so they are made to work for the Silvers. This includes factory work, farming, and serving on the front line of the armies to protect their country.  But while they do all these things, for the most part they live in poverty.  And when they reach a certain age, 17, they can be conscripted to join the army if they do not already have a job lined up by being an apprentice.  Three of Mare's sisters have already been conscripted.  She has a sister that is an apprentice.  But she is turning 17 and will be conscripted very soon.  Until one night she runs into an interesting boy about her age outside of a local pub.  Now Mare's talent is pickpocketing and theft.  Unfortunately this boy catches her in the act.  There is something about him though, Mare can tell he isn't from their area.  It's possible he may be a Silver.  She is lucky when he lets her go without pressing charges.

The next morning she is awoken by the King's guards at her family's door.  She has been given a job to work in the palace as a servant.  One thing the Silvers do is to have kind of gladiator matches between their own to show off their powers.  And it is okay if one of them gets hurt really bad, they have healers.  Mare arrives at the palace right before the Queenstrial is about to begin. This is where available girls from the higher ranking families will compete to try to win the hand of the Prince, in order to become the future Queen.  Mare is serving at this, and has now realized that the boy who helped her that night is the Prince.  The heir to the throne.  At the Queenstrial, the booth that Mare is serving begins to fall due to one of the girl's powers, and she falls into open air and lands on the electric force field shield that should be protecting everyone from the girls' powers.  Only she doesn't die, she discovers that she has some strange power, something to do with electricity, and she is able to save her own life.  Well, this is not good in the eyes of the Silvers, Reds should not have any powers!  She is again lucky that this was witnessed by all the people it was, because the King and Queen cannot just kill her, and it is not in their best interest to let people know she is a Red.  So an elaborate background story is created to make people believe she is actually a Silver.

Now Mare becomes Mareena, and she must learn how to behave like a proper Silver as they have decided to betroth her to the younger prince Maven, so they can keep an eye on her, and maybe use her powers to increase their own. But all isn't what it seems, and there are many other intrigues going on in the palace, as well as with a new rebel group, the Red Guard.  Mare must learn who she can trust, and who she will fight for.

I loved the story.  It was so well imagined and planned out.  I feel like for the most part the differences were well explained between the Reds and Silvers.  There was history given, although I wonder about other things, like how did they get to be different colored blood?  Were they ever the same?  The story was action packed, as well as being very much where it kept me guessing till the end.  While there was one point where I thought someone could not be as good as they were, I was really convinced by the end that they were a good person.  There was just no way they couldn't be.  As for the love story.  Well, yes, there was some. Between both Mara and Cal, the older prince who had first brought her to the Palace.  But as he was betrothed to the winner of the Queenstrial, she began to fall in love with Maven.  And I really thought they were good together.  There was a moment of two when it kind of seemed like maybe a love triangle, but no, I think she was really in love with Maven and over Cal.  Honestly, it could have been called a love square?  Because there was also her friend from back home, Kilorn.  But while it seemed there may be something more than just friendship there.  it never was made to be that Mara had any feelings like that for him.  And so I thought that was done perfectly as well.  And now, I must wait for book 2.  And I don't know how I'll do that!  Love, love, LOVED this book!  Highly recommended to people who like dystopian/fantasy type of stories.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Book Blitz: Insane by H.G. Lynch

Insane by H.G. Lynch
Genre: Dark Fantasy/ Horror Romance
Something evil is going on in the Montgomery Psychiatric Hospital; every time there is an unexplainable blackout, a patient dies.
Callie isn’t insane – she sees the ghost of her dead best friend only because he really is there. It’s just that nobody believes her.
Casey is scarred after a horrific attack during which he killed someone. Temporary insanity was his plea, and the asylum is his prison.
With fear and death lurking everywhere, and no way to escape, Callie is certain it’s only a matter of time before she or Casey, the odd boy she has an inexplicable link with, becomes the next victim of the creature in the shadows.
Trapped in the asylum with a killer on the loose, there’s plenty of reason to be afraid of the dark.

About the Author:
I’m H.G. Lynch, a Scottish Paranormal Romance author, avid readers, and cat-lover. I spend most of my days writing, while wrestling my cat, Sooki, off my laptop. I believe that chocolate cake can save the world, and I am highly caffeine-addicted. I can occasionally be found rolling on the floor, laughing manically, when I’ve consumed too much caffeine. I love horse-riding, Star Trek, and snow.
My books are dark fantasy romances, usually with a bad boy and a bad girl. Sometimes with zombies, sometimes vampires, sometimes other things. Enjoy!
Twitter: @HGLynch

Read below for an excerpt from the book:
Chapter One
** Callie ** “Let me go! Let go of me! I’m not crazy! I’m not fucking crazy!” I screamed, thrashing against the guards as they half-dragged and half-carried me down the pale, sterile hallway. I bit fingers and kicked shins and scratched arms, I spat and snarled and cursed, I screamed so loud I hurt my own ears and scared the hell out of half the other patients in the building. And still, the guards thrust me into a dark little room and slammed the metal door behind me, locking me in…
It wasn’t the first time I’d tried to escape, nor the first time I’d been caught. But this time was the closest I’d gotten to freedom, and to be thrown back into the tiny, dull, lifeless room I’d been inhabiting for nearly three months, to be ten feet from fresh air and grass and a world without bars on the windows and a schedule for every moment outside my room, and then be forced back into a prison – it was maddening.
But then, that was the thing about the Montgomery Psychiatric Hospital; if you weren’t already mad when you went in, you sure would be after a few months.
I slumped onto the floor and stared at the door, not sure whether to cry or try to rip the door off its hinges. I forced my mind to go blank, because at least if I didn’t think about how painfully close I’d come to finally getting out of here, I could perhaps retain what was left of my dwindling sanity. If I thought about how I’d been close enough to see the huge, wrought iron gates at the end of the gravel driveway through the glass doors, I’d probably lose it for good, and then I’d actually deserve to be here.
For now, I was sane.
It was just that nobody believed me.
They said I was crazy. That I was a danger to myself and possibly to others. That I was delusional, paranoid, disturbed. That I heard voices.
Well. That much was true. I did hear voices. Actually, only one voice.
“Failed again, sweetheart. Nice try, though,” said the voice that nobody else could hear. It was a voice I knew all too well – a voice I’d known since I was seven years old.
I tore my gaze off the door, and turned to see him. He was sitting on the bed, looking as real as he had the day he’d died. Silky brown curls, pouty lips, and hazel eyes. Silver hoop earring in one ear, ragged jeans with holes in the knees, and a sleeveless dark blue shirt that exposed the pentagram tattoo on his left bicep. Overall, gorgeous. And absolutely, unequivocally dead as a doornail.
I sighed and grimaced at the ghost of my dead best friend. “Shut up, Chester.”
He folded his hands over his heart, pretending to be injured – which would have been a lot funnier if his heart was still beating. “Aw, don’t be like that, Cal. I’m sure you’ll make it next time.”
“You said that last time.”
“Did I?” He frowned and scratched the back of his head. “Well, I guess I was wrong then.”
I snorted. “Yeah, that’s really reassuring.”
The Giveaway
$15 Amazon Giftcard
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Cover Characteristic - December 18th, 2014 - Vintage

Cover Characteristics is hosted at  Sugar and Snark.  Here are the guidelines for how it works if you want to join in:

Each week we will post a characteristic and choose 5 of our favorite covers with that characteristic. If you want to join in and share your 5 favorite covers with the weeks particular characteristic, then just make a post, grab the meme picture (or make your own) and leave your URL in Linky (so we can visit).
You don’t even need to participate, just stopping by and saying hi would be great! Don’t forget to stop by the other participants!

I always try to pick books I've already read, in no particular order.

This week's characteristic:
Vintage (I'm not sure exactly what fits this, so I'm going with old fashioned clothing)

 Actually any of the books in this trilogy have great covers

 Another trilogy with great covers for this characteristic



Those are the first 5 that I came up with when I looked through my "Read" books list on Goodreads.  But they're all fun ones I think. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Mania (The Night Walkers #3) by J.R. Johansson

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where we spotlight upcoming releases that we're eagerly awaiting.  Again it's another series that I'm excited for there to be another book in.  I enjoyed the first two, Insomnia, and Paranoia.  Here is the blurb from Goodreads for this 3rd book:

Jack and his half-brother Parker have no time to mourn the loss of their father, Daniel Chipp. With an attack by the body-stealing Takers imminent, the pair must put aside their grief and track down the ingredients of Daniel’s formula—one that will rein in the power-hungry Takers—to keep their family and friends out of danger.

Their only hope lies in a puzzle their father left behind, a riddle where each brother unknowingly possesses a piece of the solution. The puzzle sets them on a deadly path, spiraling between reality and the world of dreams where nothing and no one can be trusted entirely. And when Parker finds himself deep in the fray between the Takers and the other Night Walkers, it’s up to Jack to complete the formula and save his brother’s life.

I'm very excited to read more about this family and what they will do with their abilities.
 What book are you eagerly anticipating this week? 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Promo: Lunar Passing by Rachel Deagan

Lunar Passing (Book 2 of the Caged Moon Series) by Rachel Deagan
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance

As if in slow motion, the world spun. The front fender of the truck slammed into us from behind, and everything lurched forward. Bags, arms, clothes, sailed by my head. The muffled sound of screams were lost somewhere in a tumultuous roar as the van hit a pothole, and we began to roll. Cold metal crushed in on me, and the splintering sound of gunshots echoed in my ears…
Several months had passed since the murders in the old farmhouse and secrets had been revealed. Too bad a cover up in this day and age, hadn’t been exactly so easy.

About the Author:
Rachel Deagan
Rachel grew up in small town Massachusetts where she spent most of her time writing about strange paranormal creatures instead of paying attention in class. She has always been considered the ‘dreamy’ one with her head in the clouds, but it has all been worth it. Rachel, now, is YA Author of both The Caged Moon Series, and The Prophecy.
Twitter: @racheldeagan

The Giveaway:
2 paperback copies -US only, and 5 e-copies of Lunar Passing by Rachel Deagan.
a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Book Excerpt:
“What are you doing here?” Aaron asked, standing in the doorway at the side of the room marked Staff Only. I hadn’t heard the main door open behind me, nor had I felt the cold draft of air that would have been pulled in with him. So he was already here, before me. The thought sent goose bumps down my spine. “Liam said for everyone to stay put, so we wouldn’t be seen.”
“I should be asking you the same thing,” I said, trying to front an air of self-confident bravery. “Why are you here then?”
A devious smile rose across his lips. “I don’t take orders from my brother. Apparently, you don’t either. I admire that.”
My stomach felt sick. How could he think that I would ever be on his side about anything, especially in defiance of Liam? “He loves you,” I blurted out, trying to refrain from shaking. I was so upset. “How dare you.”
“Oh, please. Don’t go getting your panties all in a bunch. You really need to learn how to relax.” He shook his head, and closed the staff door behind him. “I was teasing, Charlotte, but that aside, what are you doing out here?”
My wolf wanted to claw and scratch him. He had some nerve. “I don’t need to be telling you anything,” I said, slipping the envelope into my pocket while he closed the staff door behind him.
“Well, good then.” He smiled in a way that made me want to growl. “Then I don’t have to tell you, what I’m doing either.” He winked, moving past me to the main door leading to the curb outside. “We have a truce.”
“Wait,” I said, and he paused, lifting a brow. “What are you talking about? Why were you in the office? That’s staff only.”
“Now, come on, Charlotte. I thought we had a deal.”
“I never agreed to anything, and you don’t exactly have a great track record. Did you do something to the guy who works here? Where is he?”
Aaron shrugged, extending his arms with mocked innocence.
I sighed. “Fine, I was going to mail a letter to my parents to tell them I was okay. I didn’t want them to worry.”
“Thank you,” he said with a smile. “That’s all I wanted to know.” He turned back to the door, swinging it wide. The cool air nipped at my skin, making me shiver.
“Hey,” I said, stomping up to him, “that’s not fair. I told you what I was doing. Now you have to.”
“Why?” he asked with a chuckle. “You really are fun to mess with though,” he teased with a grin. “The look on your face is great.”
God, I hated him. I tried to stay calm.
“Did you do something to the man who works here?” I demanded through my teeth, barely containing the coiling fury building inside me.
He licked his lip and then leaned in close to me, his breath tickling my ear. “I ate him.”

Monday, December 15, 2014

Review: The Murder of Adam and Eve by William Dietrich

First, thanks to Burrows Publishing and Netgalley for allowing me to read an e-galley of this.  It was okay.  As I look back at it, it probably was a little better than I thought.  The idea is an interesting one, I just got a little bored at parts. 

The main character is a 16 year old boy named Nick.  Thanks to his new substitute history teacher, he has tried to do some research on an old military fort out on a nearby island.  But once he gets out there, something strange happens when he goes into what looked to be a blocked tunnel. All of a sudden he blacks out. When he wakes up, everything seems different.  There are no noises of other people, boats, airplanes, etc.  But he runs into a girl named Ellie, who tells him that she's been recruited by some aliens named the Xu in order to try to convince them that humans are worth saving.  They talk about how humans have destroyed the planet and are violent and don't deserve to continue.  In order to prove that humans are worth saving, Ellie and Nick are sent back to prehistoric time to where the scientific "Adam" and "Eve" are.  And they must save them before the Xu get there and kill them. 

At first they are just out in the wilderness, and they must survive among the lions and other animals, like snakes, and even hyenas.  They must figure out how to get food.  And after doing that, then they must find this Adam and Eve.  And once they've done that, they must figure out what they can do to prove they deserve to live.  But Ellie and Nick have a lot of different ideas about how to do this.  Ellie wants to hide the ancestors, while eventually Nick feels they will have to stand up and fight.  And when it seems things may be right the way they should be, both Nick and Ellie will have to beware of the other possibly betraying what they want.  In the end, decisions will be made, and the Xu will move on leaving humans to continue to prove their worth.  Nick will learn what kind of a person he is, and what he needs to do in order to help the human race.

The descriptions of the animals and the landscapes was beautiful and very vivid.  But at times this is where I got bogged down in the story, and I got to where I was skimming along to get to the point where they would find the Adam and Eve. And once there, I definitely got interested in how things would turn out.  How would they save Adam and Eve?  And with the time travel, I just wondered how in the world would they be able to get away with everything they did and showed those people without totally messing up the future that Nick and Ellie came from.  At the very end of the book I liked how the author had a bit of information about the real science and history of the time period talked about, as well as the Earth's history.  It was refreshing to see all of it put out there, and the author to point out what things he'd taken liberty with for the sake of the story. 

So, a good read, definitely a journey story, not a road trip though, no roads back then.  But so much was beautiful reminders of nature and a much simpler time.  Even while reminding us how good things really are today, even with all the bad stuff.  I also liked that while the aliens did talk about the bad things humans had done to the planet, I didn't feel a lot of preaching like there often is on that subject.  All in all, I would recommend it for people who enjoy a bit of time travel along with true-ish history and through provoking ideas.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? - December 15th, 2014

This weekly meme is sponsored by Book Journey, and we talk about things we read last week, and our plans for what we'll read this coming week.

Last week:

My reading has just not been good lately!  No time it seems.  Too much going on.  Plus, I had started an egalley last week that I had trouble getting into and ended up DNFing, Unlovely by Celeste Conway.  I got 50 pages into it, and it still hadn't really grabbed me, so I set it down to read something else.  My goal is two reviews a week, so I did at least meet that.
  Currently Reading:

My current read is an e-galley that I'm not really pumped up about.  I'm waiting for something to pay off in the end.  I do intend to finish it before I go to bed tonight.  I'm ready to move on to my next read!  I had hoped to be done with this book last night, but I kept falling asleep and as I was holding my Nook up above my face as I was in bed reading, I kept hitting myself in the nose when it fell.  

This week:

So, I am getting around to an ARC that I have been so excited about ever since my manager at the bookstore where I work part time gave it to me.  And then I hope to get through some other e-galleys quickly.  So again, this is a tentative plan, although I'm sure the first two on the list I'll get at least one of them done and the other started by the end of the week for sure.
 The last two are both ones that are published on January 6th I believe, which I have a bunch of e-galleys that will be published on that day that I need to get to!  So I may be reading two e-galleys for every physical book or ARC that I read until I get a bit more caught up on those e-galleys.  Plus, I'll be starting the COYER Challenge on Saturday, so that will fit in with that as well.