Monday, May 26, 2014

Review: Divided (Dualed #2) by Elsie Chapman

First, thanks to Edelweiss and Random House for Young Readers for allowing me to read an e-galley of this.  I read the first book, Dualed, back in the summer of 2012.   So it had been awhile since I'd read it. But I remembered the main points of the story.

In this futuristic society, people have become sterile.  They are able to make babies, and what they do is make two of the same genetics, twins basically, but set them with two different families. At a certain point they are called or given the the order where they must find and kill their "Alt" or twin.  Whichever survives is the strongest, and therefore the best to survive and help protect their city from the outside world that wants to come in and take over.

West Grayer is still the main character, if you didn't read the first one, stop now.  She survived after killing her own Alt, which made her a complete.  Now she is helping train other "idles" so that they can be prepared the day they are called to fight their own Alts.  Now in the last book, in order to prepare to kill her own Alt, she became a Striker for awhile.  Killng other people's alts for them.  She has given it up, as her boyfriend, Chord, asked her to. And because she doesn't want to kill anymore.  But one day she is contacted by someone high up on the board. And they want her to kill 3 more alts.  Children of board members, who even though they should be way better prepared because of all the benefits they have, their parents just want to make sure they are able to become completes.  West decides to do it, but only after getting a chance to get several things she wants.  She is promised that when they day comes for her to have children, they will not create alts for her children, so they will never have to kill to live.  And the other is to remove the tattoos she has that mark her as once being a Striker.

There is a new type of weapon available as well.  It can make the death quick and painless, if you hit in the exact spot it is meant for.  If you hit them in the eye, it will remove their ID mark, thereby turning them into incompletes, but also saving their alt, and keeping them from dying.  So West decides to do this. She's saved the lives of two of the Idles, but when she comes to the 3rd, he looks familiar, because he is her brother's alt.  Which means that he is complete, because her brother is dead.  Now she knows something is up.  And from there, it all goes downhill.  The controversy and reasoning behind this deal becomes known through bits and pieces, and more and more danger shows up in West's way.

I liked this one.  It had a lot of twists and turns, and while we learned quite a bit of background information, I really think there needs to be a 3rd book, because I have a LOT more questions about what is going on, and what could change in this world.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sunday Post #8 and Stacking the Shelves May 25, 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

Last week on my blog:

I met my goal of 2 reviews this week.  I didn't post every single day, but that's okay since I did have mostly reviews. So I'm happy with that.  I continued, or should I say finished up my BEA themed Wishlist Wednesdays by talking about the bloggers I knew that were going to BEA that I hoped I had a chance to at least say hi to, if nothing else.

This week on my blog:
  • Review of Divided (Dualed #2) by Elsie Chapman
  • Review of Paranoia (The Night Walkers #2) by J. R. Johansson
  • Top Ten Tuesday - Pick Your Own 
Now, the Top Ten Tuesday is only a maybe, just depends how much time I have to get it done.  Instead of a Stacking the Shelves next week, I'll be doing individual day reports since I'm at BEA.  I'll be taking pictures of all my books, and then talking about each day's adventures on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.  And as I have time, I'll be doing any other reviews of any other books I get read.  Now, I'll probably not take any physical books with me on my trip since I'll just be getting so many to take home!  Instead I'll probably work on getting a lot of the e-galleys on my Nook read, as well as trying to finally read the copy of The 5th Wave that I now have on my Nook.

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.  It is a way for us to share the new books we have collected.  Just a few things added to my Nook, and one book from YA Book Exchange, this last week before BEA.

E-galleys from Netgalley:

Free e-book:

YA Book Exchange:

This last one I've already read, just as an e-galley, so I wanted to have an actual copy of it on my shelf.  I still need the others in the series as well!  So, what did you add to your bookshelves, e-book or physical, this past week?

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Review: Savage Drift (Monument 14 #3) by Emmy Laybourne

I was lucky enough to get an ARC of this from the publisher, Feiwel and Friends.  This is a series that I have enjoyed the whole way through.  And the final book in the series was definitely full of all kinds of twists and turns.  Moments of holding your breath, and not wanting to put the book down. Even when I had to go back to work from lunch break.  There are definitely spoilers below, so stop reading now if you haven't read the 1st or 2nd book.

This was another good ending to a series.  At the end of book two most of the kids from the first book ended up in a safe place in Canada.  Not Josie, who had gone "O" in order to save those who were with her.  Well now she's been captured and is in a detainment camp for O's in Missouri.  Now I loved this since I am from Missouri.  And it was even more fun to read as it is located at the campus of University of Missouri, where my sister went to college.  Remember that Astrid was pregnant with Jake's baby at the end of book 2.  The camp they're staying at has seen some things happening to people.  Pregnant women have disappeared.  And so Astrid is worried about going to the doctor because she's afraid that will happen to her too.  Then they see something about Josie being in Missouri, and now Niko wants to go get her out of the camp. This camp isn't great.  We get the book from two points of view, Dean, and Josie.  So what we learn about Josie's camp is that it is not a good place.  While she is able to stay with the women and children, all the men in her dorm are on the first floor.  Except Mario, the older man who had helped Josie and her friends in book 2.  He actually stayed with Josie after she had killed a man to save her friends, and helped her get back to "normal".  Many of the men have formed into gangs.  It seems a lot like a prison.  So not only do she and Mario, and a group of kids that have no parents around, have to deal with these gangs, there is also a guard who seems to have it out for Josie.  And, the dream again is for everyone to get to Niko's uncle's farm and all live happily ever after.

Of course there will be obstacles to getting there.  And not everyone may make it.  Astrid's pregnancy isn't going normally.  And there are now something called drifts.  These drifts are supposedly clouds of all the bad chemicals that are now in the air from all the things that caused the disasters.  We meet some new people along the way, good and bad.  But in the end, it is all tied up neatly.

I have to admit that about 50 pages before the end, I was thinking that there must be another book, because I couldn't for the life of me see how in the world they would tie all these things up that were happening to everyone!  But it was done in a pretty good way. Although one loose end/problem was fixed in a very quick, almost too quick way.  But not an unbelievable way.  A great post-apocalyptic type series, a good read, I was sucked in, although at first it did take me a chapter or two to get back into it.  The two person viewpoints worked for two reasons.  One, different font.  Two, the people in the story were in different places, so you could tell what was happening right away.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Review: Vivian Divine is Dead by Lauren Sabel

As usual I must first thank Edelweiss and Katherine Tegen books for allowing me to read an e-galley of this title. This was a quick read, a good little mystery.

The main character is of course Vivian Divine. She is a teen movie star.  Not too long ago her mother was killed after being threatened.  After that, her father tried to commit suicide.  And she was just embarrassed by her boyfriend kissing her best friend being caught by the reporters.  Now, Vivian has received the same type of note as her mother, her death has been predicted, and there is even a photo shot of her as if it has already taken place.  Her personal assistant suggests that she go incognito down to Mexico where she has relatives who can help keep Vivian safe until they can figure out what to do to save her.  Of course they have to change her appearance, and then she is on a bus to Mexico.  Partway through the bus ride, Vivian notices her bag is missing.  A boy named Nick is who she first accuses, but he promises her it wasn't him, and even tries to help her.  Well sort of, he thinks she is pretty snotty, and so does it in a backhanded way.  But when the bus gets broken down before they reach Vivian's destination, she now must rely on Nick to take her to the town where she is supposed to meet the guy who is supposed to help her out.  Soon, she and Nick become pretty good friends.  But partly because the next ride they get only lasts for so long.  When they stop at a church to sleep for the night, a man with a gun comes in, and it is obvious he is looking for Vivian.  Now, Vivian hasn't told Nick her name, wanting to stay anonymous.  She is able to hide, but in the morning, the priest and the others staying in the church chase her out.  Nick goes with her. But soon the man catches up again.  And they are separated.  Now Vivian is on her own.  She even sees on the news that supposedly she has been found dead.

The story has all kinds of twists and turns.  The guy at the church isn't the only guy trying to get her, and she does catch back up to Nick when she finally gets to the town.  She comes across a woman who helps her, and this woman even has some connections that Vivian thinks may help her to actually find out why her mother was murdered.  But finding this out may put Vivian in even more danger. How much can she trust any of her new friends?  Including the cute boy Nick?

Really a pretty good story.  A fun read, I kind of had an inkling about a certain person who ended up involved in the whole plot to kill Vivian, although it may not be a first guess.  All the characters end up tied together in a pretty unique way I'd say.  But probably really believable for a small town in Mexico run by a drug lord.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Review: Sea of Shadows (Age of Legends #1) by Kelley Armstrong

If you follow me, you know the drama I've had about this book.  I won it in a contest probably 2nd week of April.  Had hoped/assumed that it would be to me by the time I got to meet the author on May 8th.  It wasn't.  So I ended up buying a copy that night.  And actually, although I'd never read any books by Kelley Armstrong before, after hearing her describe it, I was extremely excited to read it, even though I'm not truly a fantasy fan.  And I had heard this was high fantasy.  Not sure if it really would be considered that or not though.

It was a pretty good story.  Ashyn and Moria are twin sisters who are the Seeker and Keeper for the village.  Ashyn is the Seeker, and the Seeker is used to find the bodies of the criminals that are taken into the Forest of the Dead, near their village.  She is supposed to help quiet the souls of the damned that die in the forest.  Her sister Moria is the Keeper.  And I'm not completely sure on what exactly she does, other than she is more of a warrior, but she can also talk to the spirits.  They each have an animal that is their, familiar, I guess you'd call it.  It is a wildcat, that Moria has named Daigo, and a giant yellow hound that Ashyn has named Tova.  The twins live with their father.  This year will be the first year they do the Seeking on their own.  And of course, as you'd expect, it doesn't quite go as planned.  A boy that Moria ran into before he got left in the forest to die is named Ronan.  Ronan's plan is to somehow find a weapon, and be able to live the year that they are expected to survive if they want a pardon.  Another character in the book is a boy named Gavril Kitsune.  He is from a warrior family, but when his family was disgraced, and his father sent to the forest, he was given this unwanted job of being a guard for the town.  After  the seeking, many,  many things go wrong in the town.  The adults are killed by what are called Shadow Stalkers, basically zombies.  The children are all kidnapped.  Several men, mainly Ronan and his uncle, have survived the year.  Soon Ashyn and Ronan, and Moria and Gavril are on their way to find the children in a nearby town called Fairview.  They must cross the Wastes, a horrible landscape, where they run into monsters that were only thought to truly exist in the fairy tales that Moria told the children to scare them.  The two pairs are separate on their way to Fairview, but they meet up there.  And from there they must journey to the emperor for help.

The ending had a pretty good twist, and now I'll be looking forward to book 2 to see what will happen next.  While there was a lot of what seemed to be Japanese type stuff in it, I felt it wasn't just limited to that, and that may be what did draw away from it a bit for me.  I don't know if I assumed it was just a Japanese type world.  But I guess not, it had other types in it.  The twins are blond I believe, which talks about being from the North in the story.  Still, a pretty good read, I would recommend it to fantasy readers.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Wishlist Wednesday: Bloggers I'm Hoping to Meet at BEA 2014

Wishlist Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted at Pen to Paper Blog, in which we feature a book we can't wait to get off of our wish list and onto our shelves!  For the month of May, I'm choosing to participate, but in a little bit different way.  Each Wednesday I'm going to talk about something I'm wishing to happen at BEA this summer.  This week I'm going to talk about the bloggers that I follow and I know are going, and that I really hope I can meet, even if just in passing, while I'm at BEA this year.  I know there are many I'm probably forgetting, so if you're going, and I didn't list you below, please tell me in the comments so I can make sure to look to find you!

Another blogger that I'm hoping to meet "again", I met her last year at the RT Convention in Kansas City, Jennifer at The Bawdy Book Blog.

Hoping to meet the two crazy girls from the Epic Reads Tea Time fame, Aubry and Margot.

Like I said at the start of this, I know there are so many more bloggers going that I haven't listed, so please leave me a comment!  Don't know how I'll meet all of you, but I'm sure hoping to try!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday - Books About Friendship

Top Ten Tuesday is sponsored by The Broke and The Bookish.  

This week we are sharing the books that we feel are the best about friendship.  I know that many of mine will not be limited to friendships just between people, but also those between humans and animals.


Some that I've shown above may be considered more "romance" type stories.  But at the heart of them are really true friendships as well.

And my number one choice for books about friendships is going to be one about animal friendships.

So, what is your favorite friendship book?

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Sunday Post #7 and Stacking the Shelves May 17, 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

Last week on my blog:

I met my goal of at least 2 reviews a week last week.  I also continued my BEA themed Wishlist Wednesday posts with the authors I hope to meet this year that I haven't met before.  And of course after I posted that, I saw even more authors added to the lineup!!

This week on my blog:
  • Review of Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong
  • Review of Divided by Elsie Chapman
  • Wishlist Wednesday:  Bloggers I'm hoping to meet at BEA
That's all I know of for sure.  I will maybe do a Stacking the Shelves or some other memes during the week.  Not sure what other book I will start after I finish Divided.

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.  It is a way for us to share the new books we have collected. I didn't get anything two weeks ago, crazy, right?  But I definitely got some things this week. The books I got autographed at the author event, I wasn't able to purchase them until I got paid this past week, so now I can claim them on Stacking the Shelves.

Physical books purchased:

The first two I've already read, the third one I'm reading at the moment.

Free e-books:

99 cent e-books:

E-galleys from Netgalley:

E-galleys from Edelweiss:

I haven't actually read the first book in this series, but now I have to so that I can read the e-galley of the 2nd one.  I'm really trying to restrict myself on e-galleys right now, since I will be coming home with tons of books from BEA in less than 2 weeks!  

What books did you add to your shelves this week?  What are you planning on your blog this week? And again, will I get a chance to meet you at BEA?  Let me know if you're going in the comments, so that I can add you to my Wishlist Wednesday post this week.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Review: The Warrior (Dante Walker #3) by Victoria Scott

First I have to say thanks to Entangled Publishing and Netgalley for allowing me to read an e-galley of this I didn't get it until kind of late, right around the time it was going to be published, and then I still had to read the 2nd one, The Liberator, before I could get to this one.  Let me tell you that this was one of the most epic conclusions to any series I have read.  The action, the suspense, the sadness, the snarkiness, and the smiles, all of it in one book.

Dante is back almost more like the Dante we first met in book 1, The Collector.  We get many moments of his really awesome one liners, that make me laugh out loud, and make it a little embarrassing sometimes to read in public.  But that's a good embarrassing, the kind I love about a book!  At the end of the last one, Dante had to leave someone in hell on his trip down to save Charlie's soul.  And even then he didn't make it back with what he'd thought he'd taken.  The sirens, the humans without souls that the Collectors have created to help  them out, are back, and in extremely large numbers.  Everyone is at The Hive.  Where Kraven is trying to train them for what seems to be THE upcoming/final war between Heaven and Hell.  A war that was predicted in a scroll, that only the Savior - Charlie, and the Soldier - Aspen, are truly able to read.  And they find more and more prophecies as the scroll is decoded.  But things can't be just all getting ready for the war.  There is a traitor in the midst.  And I have to say I did not guess this traitor, it was written so well that it was as much a shock to me as to Dante and the rest of the "good" guys.

Annabelle gets a possible love interest, even two in this one! Blue learns that there is another for him besides Charlie.  There is an old man who supposedly knows nothing real about why he's there, other than he needs to help solve what the scroll says.  But, he's kind of a funny old guy, and knows a lot more than he's supposed to.  The humans that work in the Hive will also become ones to fight on the side of "The Big Guy" as Dante calls him.  And Dante and Charlie get to finally truly be with each other.  And they even are able to overcome all that has kept them apart in the past.  And continue past pretty much any speed bump that comes their way.  And Aspen's friend Lincoln even gets his own, very important part in the final battle.

I seriously laughed, and cried, and then laughed some more.  I love Dante Walker, and I love Charlie.  And what an awesome series, even with the beloved characters that may be lost, it is still a great ending.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

That's What He Said Thursday - May 15, 2014

Once again I find myself between reviews.  I'm only halfway through the current book, so probably won't be able to review it until tomorrow.  I wasn't feeling the Booking Through Thursday question today, so I'm going to join in to this fun meme. Especially since the book I'm reading right now has a really fun male character that says sooooo many good things I could share.  If you haven't read the Collector series by Victoria Scott, then you haven't met Dante Walker yet, and you're really missing out.  Here is a quote from him in the 3rd book, The Warrior.

"I wasn't treating you like an invalid  I was treating you like a piece of womanly meat I want to ogle.  I was going to watch your booty shake as you walked with all those books."
Dante to Charlie 

Now maybe that sounds kind of like a male pig, but he is trying to get her to calm down about him protecting her, and he is doing it in a humorous way, like he pretty much always does.  And look at the picture of him on the cover below, he can talk to me like that any day.

Want to join in?  Make your own post, and then go over to where it is sponsored by Chapter Break, and link up!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Wishlist Wednesday: Authors I'm Hoping to Meet at BEA 2014

Wishlist Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted at Pen to Paper Blog, in which we feature a book we can't wait to get off of our wish list and onto our shelves!  For the month of May, I'm choosing to participate, but in a little bit different way.  Each Wednesday I'm going to talk about something I'm wishing to happen at BEA this summer.  This week I'm going to talk about the authors I'm hoping to meet in almost exactly 2 weeks!!  Now, because the list is soooooo long, I'm going to stick to the authors I want to meet for the first time.  So many authors I've met before that I can't wait to see again, but again, I'm going to shorten the list a bit this way.  I'll list them in no particular order, other than going through my schedule, so they'll kind of be in order of how I will get to meet them.

Now, there are a few that I've already met that I want to include in this list, because I want to point something out about them.
  • Julie Kagawa:  I met her when I went to BEA in 2012.  BUT, while I knew of her, I hadn't read any of her books yet.  Now that I have, I can really fangirl when I meet her again!
  • Amy Plum:  I think I met her last year at the RT Convention here in Kansas City, but again, I hadn't read any of her books yet.  Now I can actually tell her how I liked them!
  • Maggie Stiefvater:  If you've followed me for awhile, you know that I've met Ms. Stiefvater many times.  And that I have a cool connection of my picture being in a school biography type book of her.  I really want to show her this, and get her autograph in it if possible, even though we're only supposed to have them autograph the book they are "officially" there for.  I'm sneaking it in and trying it anyway.  She is a ticketed author this year.  Pretty cool!
There are many more that I've already met, including several authors that I just saw the other night as part of the Dark Days of Summer Tour.  Next week I'm going to do a wishlist of bloggers I hope to meet. And I can only list the bloggers that I know are going.  So if you're going to be at BEA as well, make sure you let me know so that I can list you and link back to your blog!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Review - The Liberator (Dante Walker #2) by Victoria Scott

I was lucky enough to win a copy of this from Knite Writes in the Leap Into Books Giveaway.  And I was very excited to get it right in time for the 3rd book to be coming out.  I got an e-galley of the 3rd one, The Warrior, which of course I will be reading starting right now!

Dante is back.  But he's not quite his same old bad boy self.  Even though he seems to be doing anything and everything he can to prove that he still is a bad boy.  Except for when it comes to his girlfriend Charlie.  You see he gave up his status of Collector, someone who took souls for you know who, Lucifer.  He gave it up to save her, and fortunately, the Big Guy, as Dante calls him, let him become a Liberator, like Valery.  His best friend Max is still technically a Collector, although he isn't really working for that side anymore.  He's kind of helping Dante, hiding from the other Collectors, and of course spending time with Valery.  Dante has been told in order to prove to the Big Guy that he really has changed his ways he must complete a mission.  That mission is to liberate a girl named Aspen.  So, after fighting it as long as he can, he gives in and goes to help.  He finds that the credit card he has now is not the Black American Express he had as a Collector, but a Discover card.  And his rental car?  A neon green economy car.  As he drives to Colorado to start liberating, he is basically almost run off the road, only saving himself by pulling into the actual driveway of the very person he's looking for.  And perfect timing as she comes running out the door of her home, and jumps into his car to get out and away from her father.  He drives her first to her friend Lincoln's house.  From there they go meet these two who seem to be kind of wild.  As Dante talks to Lincoln, it seems that he might have some work liberating Aspen.  She seems determined to be as bad a girl as Dante used to be a bad boy.  According to her best friend Lincoln, these two new people she's been hanging out have been kind of egging her on.

Being away from Charlie is hard too.  It seems she has also got some new friends back in town.  And the pictures and texts he's getting from both Charlie, and her best friend Annabelle, seem like she's also starting to get a little wild.  Soon Charlie shows up at Aspen's fancy cabin, and everyone gets connected in what is going on.  There are some new bad guys in town it seems, and they're humans, soulless, but human still.

I won't go on too much more, just know that there is a trip to Hell, a Liberator "training camp", and Dante may finally learn how to get wings like Rector and Kraven.  And there is even a surprising appearance of Blue, one of Charlie's best friends who died protecting her in the first book.

It was a good story, and definitely lots of excitement and action.  Unfortunately I just didn't feel the same need to read straight through this one like I did with the first one.  I think maybe Dante was a bit too whiny for me in this one.  It's understandable, he had some things to deal with, but it did make him a bit less lovable.  However, I will say that I've already started the 3rd one, and I'm feeling more of the old Dante so far.  So I'm guessing he's going to be back and in the way I first loved him for this 3rd book.

Monday, May 12, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? - May 12th, 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:

I did have a pretty busy week last week, I totally reached and passed my goal of 2 reviews a week, by getting in a total of 4!!  Yay me!

I blogged almost every other day last week.  After doing the April A to Z Challenge, I almost feel guilty if I don't post something every day.  I did take Saturday off.  I did one meme, Wishlist Wednesday, where I talked about all the books I'm hoping to get at BEA in about two weeks!  The sad (funny?) thing about that, is that I completely forgot all the authors I'm looking forward to meeting at the in-booth autographing, so I left out a ton of books!  And I also did a re-cap of the Dark Days of Summer Tour that stopped in Kansas City, where I got to meet four really cool authors!

This week:

I'm currently reading The Liberator  by Victoria Scott so that I can read the e-galley of The Warrior also this week.  I got an email from the publisher asking to post the reviews as soon as possible last week, since it came out last week.  So I figured I'd better get on that this week!  Not sure what I'll read after those two.  

I'm going to do another BEA themed Wishlist Wednesday this week, only it will be about the authors I'm hoping to meet at BEA this year.  Not sure I'll post a lot of pictures like I did with the books last week.  And then the Wednesday after this I'll be posting a Wishlist Wednesday about the Bloggers I'm hoping to meet this year at BEA.

Looks like a kind of slim week, I will probably have a Stacking the Shelves post this week, since when I get my paycheck on Thursday, I will go buy the books I got autographed last Thursday night, but was unable to purchase at the time.  It's nice to work at a bookstore and get that little perk.  :-) 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Review: End Times by Anna Schumacher

First, thanks to both Edelweiss and Razorbill for allowing me to read an e-galley of this title.  The premise sounded really good, as well as it definitely had a pretty neat looking cover.  While I liked the main story of the book, I had some issues with it.  But first let me tell you what it was about.

We kind of have 2 main characters, although there is a 3rd that we also get a point of view from in some of the chapters.  First we have Daphne.  Daphne has just finished a case where she had been accused of murdering her stepfather.  However the court realized, the truth was that she killed him in self defense as he went to rape her at knife-point.  She was able to get the knife away from him and stab him.  Unfortunately her mother doesn't believe the things that Daphne tells her about her husband, and so Daphne chooses to leave and go live with her Aunt and Uncle in Carbon County.  While they were never wealthy, she could always feel the love when she went there.  She doesn't tell them about the whole court case, figures it would only cause problems to start out like that.  Once she gets there, she finds her cousin Janie is pregnant.  We get some of the chapters from Janie's point of view, and while she is a major character, I feel like she's still a bit different from Daphne, and Owen, the other main character.  But Janie is important.  Her boyfriend, Doug, is kind of jerk.  Violent, and even tries to come on to Daphne when she first arrives.  He's pretty much a sleazy guy, and Janie is pretty nice from what we read.  She so deserves better.  Now, Janie's family is pretty religious.  So much that Janie believes she is meant to have the baby, that it is a blessing.  And so it is really interesting that when Daphne arrives in town there is a strange sound of trumpets, but no one knows where it is coming from.  So now people think maybe Daphne is something special.  And then, when her uncle calls out a geologist to where he thinks he has oil, she gets mad when the geologist is rude to her uncle.  So she grabs the dipstick out of the geologist's truck and sticks it in the ground where her uncle had said he thought there was oil.  And when she pulled it back out, there was oil there.  Now her aunt and uncle, who were so poor, her uncle out of work, living in a trailer, will be rich.  But her uncle, ever the religious man, wants to use the money to get the town back on its feet, before spending any of it on his own family.

Owen is the other main character.  He is a dirt-bike rider, a very good one, traveling around the country winning all kinds of competitions.  But he has more of a goal than just winning these and going professional circuit, he is looking for his past.  All he knows is that he was born on a commune of the Children of the Earth.  And in one town, he gets a hit.  Someone has heard that it used to be nearby, and there is a girl named Luna that also came from there.  He meets Luna. She has the same unique eyes as Owen, and is having the same dreams he has been having.  They leave together to try to find where the dreams are taking them.  And they end up in Carbon County.

All the characters' lives will connect, and it will all lead to a prophecy of the end times possibly coming true.

Like I said, the story is pretty good, I love the idea behind it.  But I had some problems with maybe how things were or maybe weren't really described?  I don't know how to say it.  It was a good read.  I wanted to know what was going to happen.  But it wasn't the best of this type of story I've ever read.  Just something about it.  By the end I was definitely involved with the characters and wanting to know what parts of the prophecy were going to happen, and how.  And I will be anxious to see what part Janie plays as the book continues in a sequel, as where it ends, she is kind of out of what would seem to be the main part of the prophecy.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Dark Days of Summer Tour Stop - Kansas City, Missouri

Last night I was lucky enough to have the pleasure of getting to go to one of these awesome events, with four really awesome authors.  I had mentioned earlier this year about getting to be a moderator, but then a couple weeks ago the publicist said that they were sending someone on tour with them to be the moderator, so I didn't get to.  :-(  But the community resource manager at the bookstore where I work part-time, and that was hosting the event, still introduced me to the moderator, and she made sure to ask me for at least one question during the audience Q and A period.  And honestly, she was such a bright, upbeat person, that she did a way better job than I would have anyway.  It was fun meeting her though!  They had the authors sit at a table up in front where they all answered questions from the moderator. Then they opened it up for a few audience questions. Then they moved all the authors to separate tables in the back of that part of the store, so that people could line up for the authors they wanted to see.  Which makes sense when you saw Kiera Cass's line!  While it was moving not too bad, by the time I got over to that line, I still ended up starting the line at the same place it seemed to have been ending for the whole time!  It just kept getting filled back up as people moved through.  I had to go ahead and buy a copy of Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong because even though I supposedly won a copy from Adventures in YA Publishing back on April 14th, I've not received it yet.  Has anyone else won anything from them before?  I'm just curious, because I've replied to the email twice now, and no one has responded.  Guess maybe I'll just give the copy I won away on my blog, if I ever get it.

The lines were kind of long to wait in, but I figured it was good practice to get ready for BEA in 3 weeks!  I mean 3 weeks from today, BEA will almost be half over for me!!  So excited to go!  I didn't take too many pictures last night, mostly just with the authors.  So I'll share a group photo below, then one with each of the authors, and a picture of the book they were there promoting last night.  First thing though, I hate how I look in every picture!  I guess the good thing?  Is that you can see just how excited (and nerdy) I was to meet them all.  I'm guessing I look like this in every picture I take with authors.

L to R:  Danielle Paige, Kimberly Derting, Kelley Armstrong, Kiera Cass, Me
Danielle Paige:

Danielle Paige was really funny!  She talked about actually knowing Al Roker, from working with him on a pilot for MTV, that wasn't picked up she said.  It's really cool that she used to write for a soap opera.  Not sure which one, although it was one that had a clone storyline, so maybe I can figure it out from that.  When I see her at BEA in 3 weeks, I'm going to ask her that!!

Kelley Armstrong:

I have to admit I've not read any of Kelley Armstrong's books before.  But I know she is a very popular author, and there are some of hers that do look very good.  This one is described as high fantasy, which is normally not my type of book.  But, when she was describing what it was about, I'm so excited to read it now!  She was very nice, and the reason why she writes the YA characters that she does, is because there weren't a lot of YA books available when she was a teen.  And I remember that there didn't seem to be as many when I was younger either.  I know I'm around the same age as Kiera Cass, wondering how close in age I am to Kelley Armstrong as well.

Kimberly Derting:

I actually got to meet Kim Derting last May here in Kansas City at the Romantic Times Convention, and she remembered me!  Yay!  I had to shamefully admit that I still hadn't read The Body Finder yet, even though I'd gotten it signed by her last year.  But, I have read The Taking, and loved it, you can read my review HERE.  So now I know I must go back and read all her books!  It was fun to hear her talk about how she always picked something for her characters to be good at that she wasn't.  In this case, softball.  In The Body Finder series, it was running.

And last, but certainly not least, the somewhat "star" of the show last night:

Kiera Cass:


So, I think part of the reason Kiera Cass was the biggest "star" of the night, is the fact that she has just had the final book in such a popular series come out this week.  And she was so funny!  I loved listening to her talk, and at the beginning she laughed at something, or pointed at something, that was so random and she just seems like someone so much fun to hang out with.  It was cool to hear her say that writing kissing scenes was so much fun, and that there are parts of her husband in both Prince Maxon and Aspen, so she just can't be Team either one!  Since I had finished The One yesterday, and loved it so much, I had to bring her Milk Duds, something she mentioned in her little blurb at the back of the book had helped her get through the writing process.  I would have brought her some Coke Zero as well, but she said that couldn't be brought on the plane, so it wouldn't be practical. 

There were some really great things talked about last night.  One thing I loved hearing was that these authors all see their stories as "movies" playing in their heads.  Now they admitted that not all authors do, some hear it, or other ways, depending on their styles.  Also, one of them mentioned that it wasn't good to base a character on yourself as the writer, because then when reviews talk about how boring or horrible that character is, it would be really hard to take those criticisms, because it would be like they were criticizing you!  And that made me think, because my novel that I'm closest to finishing is kind of me as the main character.  So, hmm.  Now I have to think about changing it. 

It was a great time, I think had by all!