Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Blog Tour (Guest Post): Confessions of the Very First Zombie Slayer (That I Know of) by F.J.R. Titchenell


Title: Confessions of the Very First Zombie Slayer (That I Know of)
F.J.R. Titchenell
Publisher: Jolly Fish Press
Release Date: May 6, 2014

The world is Cassie Fremont’s playground. Her face is on the cover of every newspaper, she has no homework, no curfew, and no credit limit, and she spends her days traveling the country with her friends, including a boy who would flirt with death just to turn her head. Life is just about perfect—except that those newspaper headlines are about her bludgeoning her crush to death with a paintball gun, she has to fight ravenous walking corpses every time she steps outside, and one of her friends is still missing, trapped somewhere in the distant, practically impassable wreckage of Manhattan. Still, Cassie’s an optimist. More prone to hysterical laughter than hysterical tears, she’d rather fight a corpse than be one, and she won’t leave a friend stranded when she can simply take her road trip to impossible new places to find her, even if getting there means admitting to that boy that she might just love him, too. Skillfully blending effective horror with unexpected humor, this diary-format novel is a fast-paced and heartwarming read.

Guest Post

The Creation of Cassie Fremont
F.J.R. Titchenell

At the time when the idea first came to me for Confessions of the Very First Zombie Slayer (That I Know of), I'd spent the last three years working on The Changeling Saga, a paranormal romance-y YA low fantasy that I was convinced was going to be my breakout. I was utterly in love with it, and it did have elements that I'm still proud of, but it was a pretty by-the-numbers fantasy epic/paranormal romance story, and I was writing it while both those trends were taking a major decline. Several waves of agent rejection letters had already drilled this truth into me, and I was just beginning to come to terms with the fact that I would probably need a new project sooner rather than later.

Waiting on Wednesday (52): Fiendish by Brenna Yovanoff


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Title: Fiendish
Author: Brenna Yovanoff
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: August 14, 2014

Clementine DeVore spent ten years trapped in a cellar, pinned down by willow roots, silenced and forgotten.

Now she’s out and determined to uncover who put her in that cellar and why.

When Clementine was a child, dangerous and inexplicable things started happening in New South Bend. The townsfolk blamed the fiendish people out in the Willows and burned their homes to the ground. But magic kept Clementine alive, walled up in the cellar for ten years, until a boy named Fisher sets her free. Back in the world, Clementine sets out to discover what happened all those years ago. But the truth gets muddled in her dangerous attraction to Fisher, the politics of New South Bend, and the Hollow, a fickle and terrifying place that seems increasingly temperamental ever since Clementine reemerged.

This sounds deliciously gothic and scary, and hopefully reminiscent of Edgar Allen Poe. Some of Yovanoff's works, like Paper Valentine, have been on my TBR for a long time, but this seems like the perfect place to start.

What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Books If You Like This TV Show or Movie


Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Top Ten Books If You Like This TV Show or Movie

1. The Face of Deception (Eve Duncan #1) and Bones

One of the first things I remember thinking about the TV show Bones was that one of the characters, Angela, reminded me of the Eve Duncan series. It's been a really long time since I've read the series since I read it in high school, but I remember loving it. Eve is a forensic sculptor who reconstructs the skulls of deceased people for identification purposes. Angela does a similar job but with more technology and less putty.

2. First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson #1) by Darynda Jones and One for the Money

Charley Davidson is pretty much the paranormal version of Stephanie Plum. Stephanie is a little more accident prone and spastic, while Charley is a little more snarky and absent minded. And while Stephanie is a bounty hunter, Charley is a private eye with a little help from the other side.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Review: Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

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Title: Dorothy Must Die (Dorothy Must Die #1)
Danielle Paige
Publisher: HarperTeen (HarperCollins)
Acquired Via: Around the World ARC Tours
Release Date: April 1, 2014

I didn't ask for any of this. I didn't ask to be some kind of hero.

But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado—taking you with it—you have no choice but to go along, you know?

Sure, I've read the books. I've seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little bluebirds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can't be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There's still a yellow brick road—but even that's crumbling.

What happened?

Dorothy. They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.

My name is Amy Gumm—and I'm the other girl from Kansas.

I've been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked.

I've been trained to fight.

And I have a mission.

My Review

Dorothy Must Die is one of those books that I was aware of but never really intended to read because of my insane schedule. However, I read the first few chapters on Epic Reads back in March, and I was hooked. I loved Amy's sass and snark, and I wanted to see how she would fare in Oz with her attitude. Sadly, Dorothy Must Die was not the book that I assumed it would be based on the excerpt. (I only read the first three chapters - I never went to the other sites.) It lacked the sarcasm and self-deprecation that was hinted at in the beginning of the book. I'm not saying that Dorothy Must Die was a bad book - it wasn't - it was just not what I was anticipating or wanted to read. There were some inconsistencies in character behavior, but I am willing to write those off as rookie mistakes. (Just so you know I'm being fair and not just going by an unfinished copy, I bought and read the finished version.)

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Review: Free to Fall by Lauren Miller

1 comment:

Title: Free to Fall
Lauren Miller
Publisher: HarperTeen (HarperCollins)
Acquired Via: Around the World ARC Tours
Release Date: May 13, 2014

From the author of Parallel comes a high-stakes romantic puzzler set in a near-future where everyone's life is seamlessly orchestrated by personal electronic devices.

Fast-forward to a time when Apple and Google have been replaced by Gnosis, a monolith corporation that has developed the most life-changing technology to ever hit the market: Lux, an app that flawlessly optimizes decision-making for the best personal results. Just like everyone else, sixteen-year-old Rory Vaughn knows the key to a happy, healthy life is following what Lux recommends. When she's accepted to the elite boarding school Theden Academy, her future happiness seems all the more assured. But once on campus, something feels wrong beneath the polished surface of her prestigious dream school. Then she meets North, a handsome townie who doesn't use Lux, and begins to fall for him and his outsider way of life. Soon, Rory is going against Lux's recommendations, listening instead to the inner voice that everyone has been taught to ignore—a choice that leads her to uncover a truth neither she nor the world ever saw coming.

My Review

Free to Fall is Lauren Miller's second young adult, following last year's Parallel. (You can read my review of it HERE.) It is set approximately sixteen years in the future and is a great piece of speculative fiction. Free to Fall follows Rory Vaughn as she heads off to an elite prep school that guarantees admittance to the best colleges and successful careers after graduation.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Blog Tour (Guest Post & Giveaway): Night in Shanghai by Nicole Mones


Night in Shanghai

Publication Date: March 4, 2014
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Genre: Historical Fiction

In 1936, classical pianist Thomas Greene is recruited to Shanghai to lead a jazz orchestra of fellow African-American expats. From being flat broke in segregated Baltimore to living in a mansion with servants of his own, he becomes the toast of a city obsessed with music, money, pleasure and power, even as it ignores the rising winds of war.

Song Yuhua is refined, educated, and bonded since age eighteen to Shanghai’s most powerful crime boss in payment for her father’s gambling debts. Outwardly submissive, she burns with rage and risks her life spying on her master for the Communist Party.

Only when Shanghai is shattered by the Japanese invasion do Song and Thomas find their way to each other. Though their union is forbidden, neither can back down from it in the turbulent years of occupation and resistance that follow. Torn between music and survival, freedom and commitment, love and world war, they are borne on an irresistible riff of melody and improvisation to Night in Shanghai’s final, impossible choice.

In this impressively researched novel, Nicole Mones not only tells the forgotten story of black musicians in the Chinese Jazz age, but also weaves in a stunning true tale of Holocaust heroism little-known in the West.

Guest Post by Nicole Mones

I first found out about the Chinese jazz age when Andrew Jones, a historian at Berkeley, put out a scholarly book called Yellow Music. Yellow Music was a popular Shanghai song form of the 1930s, a hybrid of the American jazz played by black expat musicians, and the local singing style that had been popular in Shanghai’s brothels since the late Qing Dynasty. Yellow Music became volatile politically—you can hide a lot of things in a song, which was why this professor wrote a book about it.. But my mind was totally blown by something else--these black expat musicians! Who were they? How did they get to China? What happened to them when they arrived?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Blog Tour (Review): The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen


Title: The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling #1)
Erika Johansen
Publisher: Harper
Release Date: July 8, 2014
Acquired Via:
TLC Book Tours

Magic, adventure, mystery, and romance combine in this epic debut in which a young princess must reclaim her dead mother’s throne, learn to be a ruler—and defeat the Red Queen, a powerful and malevolent sorceress determined to destroy her.

On her nineteenth birthday, Princess Kelsea Raleigh Glynn, raised in exile, sets out on a perilous journey back to the castle of her birth to ascend her rightful throne. Plain and serious, a girl who loves books and learning, Kelsea bears little resemblance to her mother, the vain and frivolous Queen Elyssa. But though she may be inexperienced and sheltered, Kelsea is not defenseless: Around her neck hangs the Tearling sapphire, a jewel of immense magical power; and accompanying her is the Queen’s Guard, a cadre of brave knights led by the enigmatic and dedicated Lazarus. Kelsea will need them all to survive a cabal of enemies who will use every weapon—from crimson-caped assassins to the darkest blood magic—to prevent her from wearing the crown.

Despite her royal blood, Kelsea feels like nothing so much as an insecure girl, a child called upon to lead a people and a kingdom about which she knows almost nothing. But what she discovers in the capital will change everything, confronting her with horrors she never imagined. An act of singular daring will throw Kelsea’s kingdom into tumult, unleashing the vengeance of the tyrannical ruler of neighboring Mortmesne: the Red Queen, a sorceress possessed of the darkest magic. Now Kelsea will begin to discover whom among the servants, aristocracy, and her own guard she can trust.

But the quest to save her kingdom and meet her destiny has only just begun—a wondrous journey of self-discovery and a trial by fire that will make her a legend...if she can survive.

My Review

I've been reading a lot of fantasy lately, and it's very easy for me to get burned out on the genre, though it's my favorite, because writers tend to stick to overused formulas and plot devices. Johansen's Queen of the Tearling did indeed put some of those fantasy formulas to use, but the writing and characters were so good that I was willing to overlook it.

Waiting on Wednesday (51): Six Feet Over It by Jennifer Longo


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Title: Six Feet Over It
Jennifer Longo
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Release Date: August 26, 2014

Home is where the bodies are buried.

Darkly humorous and heart-wrenchingly beautiful, Jennifer Longo’s YA debut about a girl stuck living in a cemetery will change the way you look at life, death, and love.

Leigh sells graves for her family-owned cemetery because her father is too lazy to look farther than the dinner table when searching for employees. Working the literal graveyard shift, she meets two kinds of customers:

Pre-Need: They know what’s up. They bought their graves a long time ago, before they needed them.

At Need: They are in shock, mourning a loved one’s unexpected death. Leigh avoids sponging their agony by focusing on things like guessing the headstone choice (mostly granite).

Sarcastic and smart, Leigh should be able to stand up to her family and quit. But her world’s been turned upside down by the sudden loss of her best friend and the appearance of Dario, the slightly-too-old-for-her grave digger. Surrounded by death, can Leigh move on, if moving on means it’s time to get a life?

This sounds like the YA book version of the TV series Six Feet Under, which was a really good show. There's just something about undertakers and coroners that I find extremely interesting. Plus, I'm always on the lookout for fresh YA contemporary authors.

What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Audiobook Review: A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin


Title: A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1)
George R.R. Martin
Narrator: Roy Dotrice
Publisher: Bantam Spectra (Random House)
Acquired Via: Personal Collection
Release Date: August 6, 1996

Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens.

Here an enigmatic band of warriors bear swords of no human metal; a tribe of fierce wildlings carry men off into madness; a cruel young dragon prince barters his sister to win back his throne; and a determined woman undertakes the most treacherous of journeys. Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hangs perilously in the balance, as each endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.

My Review

Hello there, am I late to the party?

*looks around*

I suspected as much.

Yes, I realize that I'm coming into a series nearly two decades after its ascent into awesomedom, but I finally made it you guys! That's what counts, right? I mean, I'm one of those people who wants to wait until the series is finished to begin it because, hello? After eighteen years, there are only five books out. Kayla is not patient enough to wait so long to find out what happens to characters. But that's neither here nor there.

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters With Whom I Want to Be Best Friends


Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Top Ten Characters With Whom I Want to Be Best Friends

1. Kate Daniels
Magic Bites (Kate Daniels #1) by Ilona Andrews

Kate is pretty much my favorite urban fantasy heroine of all time.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Book Blast (Giveaway): Big Fat Disaster by Beth Fehlbaum

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Title: Big Fat Disaster
Beth Fehlbaum
Publisher: Merit Press
Book Blast Organizer: Book Nerd Tours
Release Date: April 18, 2014

Insecure, shy, and way overweight, Colby hates the limelight as much as her pageant-pretty mom and sisters love it. It's her life: Dad's a superstar, running for office on a family values platform. Then suddenly, he ditches his marriage for a younger woman and gets caught stealing money from the campaign. Everyone hates Colby for finding out and blowing the whistle on him. From a mansion, they end up in a poor relative's trailer, where her mom's contempt swells right along with Colby's supersized jeans. Then, a cruel video of Colby half-dressed, made by her cousin Ryan, finds its way onto the internet. Colby plans her own death. A tragic family accident intervenes, and Colby's role in it seems to paint her as a hero, but she's only a fraud. Finally, threatened with exposure, Colby must face facts about her selfish mother and her own shame. Harrowing and hopeful, proof that the truth that saves us can come with a fierce and terrible price, Big Fat Disaster is that rare thing, a story that is authentically new.

Book Trailer

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Early Review: (Don’t You) Forget About Me by Kate Karyus Quinn

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Title: (Don't You) Forget About Me
Kate Karyus Quinn
Publisher: HarperTeen (HarperCollins)
Acquired Via: Around the World ARC Tours
Release Date: June 10, 2014

Welcome to Gardnerville.

A place where no one gets sick. And almost no one ever dies.


There’s a price to pay for paradise. Every fourth year, the strange power that fuels the town exacts its payment by infecting teens with deadly urges. In a normal year in Gardnerville, teens might stop talking to their best friends. In a fourth year, they’d kill them.

Four years ago, Skylar’s sister, Piper, was locked away after leading sixteen of her classmates to a watery grave. Since then, Skylar has lived in a numb haze, struggling to forget her past and dull the pain of losing her sister. But the secrets and memories Piper left behind keep taunting Skylar—whispering that the only way to get her sister back is to stop Gardnerville’s murderous cycle once and for all.

My Review

(Don't You) Forget About Me is a YA novel by Kate Karyus Quinn that goes heavy on the magical realism and the strange. It has been compared to Stephen King's work - and for good reason - but not for the gory horror that many expect but the exceedingly queer world-building that you may not understand until the very end - if at all. (Don't You) Forget About Me's setting of Gardnerville and main character, Skylar, will capture your interest but leave you scratching your head until the last chapters.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Blog Tour (Interview): PERFIDITAS by Alison Morton


Please join Alison Morton as she tours virtually for PERFIDITAS (Book II, Roma Nova Series) from April 14-May 16 with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours!


Publication Date: October 17, 2014
SilverWood Books
Paperback; 288p, ISBN-10: 1781321248

Captain Carina Mitela of the Praetorian Guard Special Forces is in trouble – one colleague has tried to kill her and another has set a trap to incriminate her in a conspiracy to topple the government of Roma Nova.

Founded sixteen hundred years ago by Roman dissidents and ruled by women, Roma Nova barely survived a devastating coup d’état thirty years ago. Carina swears to prevent a repeat and not merely for love of country.

Seeking help from a not quite legal old friend could wreck her marriage to the enigmatic Conrad. Once proscribed and operating illegally, she risks being terminated by both security services and conspirators. As she struggles to overcome the desperate odds and save her beloved Roma Nova and her own life, she faces the ultimate betrayal…


Hi, Mrs. Morton! Thank you so much for stopping by Bibliophilia, Please to answer some questions. Please tell us a little bit about PERFIDITAS in your own words but with a Twitter twist – 140 characters or less.

A girl’s own adventure with 21st century Romans, love, conspiracy and betrayal, but who can she trust? #BRAGMedallionwinner‬

What inspired you to write a Roman-based alternate history series?

Three things: firstly, a deep fascination with Rome, a life of clambering over Roman walls, cricking my neck looking up at aqueducts, walking on mosaics and handling Roman coins, glass and jewellery. Next, a little worm planted in my head at an early age wondering what a modern Roman society would be like if run by women. And lastly, the dreadful dialogue and storyline in beautifully shot film. I knew I could do better than that…

What kind of research have you done for the Roma Nova series?

Waiting on Wednesday (50): Banishing the Dark by Jenn Bennett


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Title: Banishing the Dark (Arcadia Bell #4)
Jenn Bennett
Publisher: Pocket Books
Release Date: May 27, 2014

The fourth and final installment of a "riveting" (RT Book Reviews) urban fantasy series about a renegade mage and the demons who love her.

Complicated does not begin to describe Arcadia Bell's life right now: unnatural magical power, another brush with death, and a murderous mother who's not only overbearing but determined to take permanent possession of Cady's body. Forced to delve deep into the mystery surrounding her own birth, Cady must uncover which evil spell her parents cast during her conception…and how to reverse it. Fast. As she and her lover Lon embark on a dangerous journey through her magical past, Lon's teenage son Jupe sneaks off for his own investigation. Each family secret they uncover is darker than the last, and Cady, who has worn many identities—Moonchild, mage, fugitive—is about to add one more to the list.

I just finished the first three not so long ago and I loved them. I'm so excited that this one is coming out in just a few short weeks! I can't wait to see how Bennett ends the series, although I'm sad to see it go. I already have the first book in one of Bennett's other series, Roaring Twenties, at my house.

What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Blog Tour (Review): The Girl Who Came Home by Hazel Gaynor

1 comment:
Today marks the 102nd anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, and I am honored to share my review of The Girl Who Came Home with you.

Title: The Girl Who Came Home: A Novel of the Titanic
Hazel Gaynor
Publisher: William Morrow (HarperCollins)
Release Date: April 1, 2014
Acquired Via:
TLC Book Tours

A voyage across the ocean becomes the odyssey of a lifetime for a young Irish woman. . . .

Ireland, 1912 . . .

Fourteen members of a small village set sail on RMS
Titanic, hoping to find a better life in America. For seventeen-year-old Maggie Murphy, the journey is bittersweet. Though her future lies in an unknown new place, her heart remains in Ireland with Séamus, the sweetheart she left behind. When disaster strikes, Maggie is one of the few passengers in steerage to survive. Waking up alone in a New York hospital, she vows never to speak of the terror and panic of that fateful night again.

Chicago, 1982 . . .

Adrift after the death of her father, Grace Butler struggles to decide what comes next. When her great-grandmother Maggie shares the painful secret about
Titanic that she's harbored for almost a lifetime, the revelation gives Grace new direction—and leads both her and Maggie to unexpected reunions with those they thought lost long ago.

Inspired by true events, The Girl Who Came Home poignantly blends fact and fiction to explore the
Titanic tragedy's impact and its lasting repercussions on survivors and their descendants.

My Review

The Girl Who Came Home is a historical fiction novel about the Titanic that is unlike any other that I have ever read. I felt an intense connection to all the characters, and I cried my eyes out at the end, but probably for reasons that you would expect. There is romance in the story, but nothing ill-fated originating aboard the doomed vessel. The Girl Who Came Home also focused more on the characters than the actual disaster that took place on April 15, 1912.

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Things That I Would Like to Own


Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Top Ten Bookish Things (That Aren't Books) That I Would Like to Own

1. More Bookshelves!

One can never have too many bookshelves, correct?

2. Book Map

How awesome is this!?! A map full of literary places...I want it so badly! Too bad I don't have even an ounce of wall space left in my apartment. :(

Monday, April 14, 2014

Review: Twisted Miracles by A.J. Larrieu

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Title: Twisted Miracles (The Shadowminds #1)
A.J. Larrieu
Publisher: Carina Press
Acquired Via: NetGalley
Release Date: April 7, 2014

Cass Weatherfield’s powers come with a deadly price.

Cass knows it was her telekinetic gift that killed a college classmate five years back, even if no one else believes her. She’s lived in hiding from her fellow shadowminds ever since, plagued by guilt and suppressing her abilities with sedatives. Until the night her past walks back into her life in the form of sexy Shane Tanner, the ex-boyfriend who trained her…and the one she left without saying goodbye.

When Shane tells her that his twin sister, Mina—Cass’s childhood friend—is missing, Cass vows to help, which means returning to New Orleans to use her dangerous skills in the search. But finding Mina only leads to darker questions. As Cass and Shane race to learn who is targeting shadowminds, they find themselves drawn to each other, body and soul. Just as their powerful intimacy reignites, events take a terrifying turn, and Cass realizes that to save the people she loves, she must embrace the powers that ruined her life.

My Review

I might be a little biased because I love a good Louisiana story, but I really enjoyed A.J. Larrieu’s first novel Twisted Miracles. One of the best parts was that the dialogue between the characters felt real and true. There was no over-the-top fake southern accents and drawls. I didn’t have to see the word “cher” for every endearment. I could tell the book was written by someone who had lived in Louisiana.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Author Interview: The Ghoul Archipelago by Stephen Kozeniewski


Title: The Ghoul Archipelago
Stephen Kozeniewski
Publisher: Severed Press
Release Date: October 16, 2013

After ravenous corpses topple society and consume most of the world’s population, freighter captain Henk Martigan is shocked to receive a distress call. Eighty survivors beg him to whisk them away to the relative safety of the South Pacific. Martigan wants to help, but to rescue anyone he must first pass through the nightmare backwater of the Curien island chain.

A power struggle is brewing in the Curiens. On one side, the billionaire inventor of the mind-control collar seeks to squeeze all the profit he can out of the apocalypse. Opposing him is the charismatic leader of a ghoul-worshipping cargo cult. When a lunatic warlord berths an aircraft carrier off the coast and stakes his own claim on the islands, the stage is set for a bloody showdown.

To save the remnants of humanity (and himself), Captain Martigan must defeat all three of his ruthless new foes and brave the gruesome horrors of...THE GHOUL ARCHIPELAGO.


1. Let’s start off getting to know you – what is something about you that very few people know or suspect?

I am an unabashed slave to the needle. I have nine tattoos after thirteen studio sessions (confusing hint: only one was a cover-up.) Most people who meet me think either, “Oh, he’s a marshmallow,” (in personal situations) or, “Oh, he’s a stick-in-the-mud,” (in professional.) I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone that wasn’t shocked by all my ink.

2. Please tell us a little bit about The Ghoul Archipelago in your own words but with a Twitter twist – 140 characters or less.

Oh, fun. Dammit, I just wasted 8 characters. Now it’s 43! OK, it’s about smugglers trying to save zombocalypse survivors from pirates and...

3. What makes The Ghoul Archipelago stand apart from other zombie apocalypse type books?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Review: Night Diver by Elizabeth Lowell


Title: Night Diver
Elizabeth Lowell
Publisher: William Morrow (HarperCollins)
Release Date: April 8, 2014
Acquired Via:

New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Lowell plunges into the adventurous and deadly world of underwater treasure hunters in a heart-stopping tale that superbly combines atmosphere, action, romance, and suspense.

After a family tragedy, Kate Donnelly left the Caribbean behind forever. But a series of bad management decisions has left her family's diving and marine-recovery business drowning in red ink. Now her brother pleads with her to come back to the island nation of St Vincent. Without Kate's financial expertise, the iconic treasure-hunting enterprise started by her grandfather will go under. Unable to say no to the little family she has left, Kate heads back to the beautiful and terrifying ocean that still haunts her nightmares.

Holden Cameron was addicted to the adrenaline rush of active duty—including narrowly surviving an underwater explosives accident. The last thing the former British military diver wants is to babysit a family of thieves on a tropical island—even if they are the world-famous Diving Donnellys. But in his new civilian job, Holden must investigate the suspicious activity surrounding a Donnelly dive to recover treasure from the ancient wreck of a pirate ship.

When equipment, treasure, and even divers begin to disappear, Kate and Holden form an uneasy alliance to uncover the truth. But the deeper they plummet into the mystery, the closer they come to each other. Soon they are sharing their deepest fears and darkest secrets—and a combustible chemistry too hot to ignore.

My Review

I'll admit - I went into Elizabeth Lowell's Night Diver with not a little trepidation. I don't read a lot of romantic suspense, and what I have read makes me turn my nose up like the book snob that I am. However, being over adult services at my library branch requires me to be a more diverse reader, whether I like it or not. Luckily, I enjoyed Night Diver very much once the hormones of the protagonists got under control.

Epic Recs: April 2014

1 comment:

I've been loving doing Epic Recs (hosted by Books of Amber) with Becca of I'm Lost in Books, and she's graciously agreed to another go in April, though I just recently posted my review from February. (I know, I'm awful.) Here are our reviews:

Becca's review of Cinder
My review of The Madman's Daughter

For April, I recommended a few of my favorites to Becca, and she chose this one because she already own it. I'm so happy she did because it's one of my all-time favorites, and one that doesn't get enough publicity by half:

Skylark by Meagan Spooner

Sixteen-year-old Lark Ainsley has never seen the sky.

Her world ends at the edge of the vast domed barrier of energy enclosing all that’s left of humanity. For two hundred years the city has sustained this barrier by harvesting its children's innate magical energy when they reach adolescence. When it’s Lark’s turn to be harvested, she finds herself trapped in a nightmarish web of experiments and learns she is something out of legend itself: a Renewable, able to regenerate her own power after it’s been stripped.

Forced to flee the only home she knows to avoid life as a human battery, Lark must fight her way through the terrible wilderness beyond the edge of the world. With the city’s clockwork creations close on her heels and a strange wild boy stalking her in the countryside, she must move quickly if she is to have any hope of survival. She’s heard the stories that somewhere to the west are others like her, hidden in secret—but can she stay alive long enough to find them?

I also got to choose from a few of Becca's favorites, and I chose to go with some historical fiction.

The Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran

In ancient Egypt, a forgotten princess must overcome her family’s past and remake history.

The winds of change are blowing through Thebes. A devastating palace fire has killed the Eighteenth Dynasty’s royal family—all with the exception of Nefertari, the niece of the reviled former queen, Nefertiti. The girl’s deceased family has been branded as heretical, and no one in Egypt will speak their names. A relic of a previous reign, Nefertari is pushed aside, an unimportant princess left to run wild in the palace. But this changes when she is taken under the wing of the Pharaoh’s aunt, then brought to the Temple of Hathor, where she is educated in a manner befitting a future queen.

Soon Nefertari catches the eye of the Crown Prince, and despite her family’s history, they fall in love and wish to marry. Yet all of Egypt opposes this union between the rising star of a new dynasty and the fading star of an old, heretical one. While political adversity sets the country on edge, Nefertari becomes the wife of Ramesses the Great. Destined to be the most powerful Pharaoh in Egypt, he is also the man who must confront the most famous exodus in history.

Sweeping in scope and meticulous in detail, The Heretic Queen is a novel of passion and power, heartbreak and redemption.

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Cover Reveal (Giveaway): Birthright by Nichole Giles

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Title: Birthright (Descendant #2)
Nichole Giles
Publisher: Jelly Bean Press
Cover Reveal Organizer: Blog Tours by Elana
Release Date: May 1, 2014

Two months ago, Abigail Johnson saved the life of the boy she believes is her destiny and defeated an army of demons that have pursued her ancestors for centuries. Now, she and Kye should be taking their place as leaders of the new generation of Gifted. But the curse they thought was broken has returned, and every minute together brings them closer to death.

When remaining shadow demons attack again, the Dragons send Abby to Mexico. Being apart from Kye is slowly killing her soul, and it turns out she isn’t any safer here than she was back home. The shadows have tracked her, the locals expect her to help with their own demon problems, and the more time she spends away from Kye, the more she doubts the destiny that ties them together.

When the demons destroy her safe house, Abby has no choice but to take the fight to them. But the arrival of an old nemesis throws their careful plans into disarray, and Abby and her friends find themselves facing new adversaries in a battle that turns fatal. This time, not everyone will make it out alive.

About the Author

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Review (Epic Recs): The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd


Since January, I've been doing Epic Recs with Becca of I'm Lost in Books. (She read and reviewed Cinder by Marissa Meyer at my suggestion.) Here is my teensy bit late review for February.

Title: The Madman's Daughter (The Madman's Daughter #1)
Megan Shepherd
Narrator: Lucy Rayner
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Acquired Via: Personal Collection
Release Date: January 29, 2013

In the darkest places, even love is deadly.

Sixteen-year-old Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself in London—working as a maid, attending church on Sundays, and trying not to think about the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one ever proved the rumors about her father's gruesome experiments. But when she learns he is alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations are true.

Accompanied by her father's handsome young assistant, Montgomery, and an enigmatic castaway, Edward—both of whom she is deeply drawn to—Juliet travels to the island, only to discover the depths of her father's madness: He has experimented on animals so that they resemble, speak, and behave as humans. And worse, one of the creatures has turned violent and is killing the island's inhabitants. Torn between horror and scientific curiosity, Juliet knows she must end her father's dangerous experiments and escape her jungle prison before it's too late. Yet as the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father's genius—and madness—in her own blood.

Inspired by H. G. Wells's classic The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Madman's Daughter is a dark and breathless Gothic thriller about the secrets we'll do anything to know and the truths we'll go to any lengths to protect.

My Review

The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd is a difficult book for me to review. It's one that was not a bad book, just not something that swept me off of my feet. I think this may be a problem that I have sometimes with reimaginings that are infused with quite a bit of romance. And, truth be told, I don't have a lot of luck with YA horror. That being said, The Madman's Daughter is a reworked classic that stands well on its own.

Cover Reveal (Sneak Peek & Giveaway): Rewind to You by Laura Johnston


Title: Rewind to You
Laura Johnston
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corp.
Release Date: September 15, 2014

One last summer before college on beautiful Tybee Island is supposed to help Sienna forget. But how can she? This is where her family spent every summer before everything changed, before the world as she knew it was ripped away.

But the past isn’t easily left behind. Especially when Sienna keeps having episodes that take her back to the night she wants to forget. Even when she meets the mysterious Austin Dobbs, the guy with the intense blue eyes, athlete’s body, and weakness for pralines who scooped her out of trouble when she blacked out on River Street.

When she’s with Austin, Sienna feels a whole new world opening up to her. Austin has secrets, and she has history. But caught between the past and the future, Sienna can still choose what happens now…

Sneak Peek

Buy Links
Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About the Author