Thursday, July 31, 2014

Review: The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

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Title: The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles #1)
Author:
Mary E. Pearson
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co. (Macmillan)
Acquired Via: Publisher
Release Date: July 8, 2014

In a society steeped in tradition, Princess Lia’s life follows a preordained course. As First Daughter, she is expected to have the revered gift of sight—but she doesn’t—and she knows her parents are perpetrating a sham when they arrange her marriage to secure an alliance with a neighboring kingdom—to a prince she has never met.

On the morning of her wedding, Lia flees to a distant village. She settles into a new life, hopeful when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deception abounds, and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—even as she finds herself falling in love.

The Kiss of Deception is the first book in Mary E. Pearson's
Remnant Chronicles.

My Review

You can read Kayla's review of the book HERE.

When I first saw the cover to The Kiss of Deception with the girl in the dress and the title of the series being The Remnant Chronicles, I thought YA paranormal romance with zombies - WRONG. Maybe I should have read the synopsis before deciding not to read it. Thank goodness Kayla sent me her ARC without knowing my silly judging a book by its cover prejudices, because I loved it. I did like the ARC plainer cover better with the series name being the Morrighan Chornicles. By the way, there is romance, but it is part post-apocalyptic, part adventure fantasy, and has a little bit of magic thrown in.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (65): I Was Here by Gayle Forman

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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: I Was Here
Author:
Gayle Forman
Publisher: Viking Juvenile (Penguin)
Release Date: January 27, 2015

Cody and Meg were inseparable.
Two peas in a pod.
Until . . . they weren’t anymore.


When her best friend Meg drinks a bottle of industrial-strength cleaner alone in a motel room, Cody is understandably shocked and devastated. She and Meg shared everything—so how was there no warning? But when Cody travels to Meg’s college town to pack up the belongings left behind, she discovers that there’s a lot that Meg never told her. About her old roommates, the sort of people Cody never would have met in her dead-end small town in Washington. About Ben McAllister, the boy with a guitar and a sneer, who broke Meg’s heart. And about an encrypted computer file that Cody can’t open—until she does, and suddenly everything Cody thought she knew about her best friend’s death gets thrown into question.

I Was Here is Gayle Forman at her finest, a taut, emotional, and ultimately redemptive story about redefining the meaning of family and finding a way to move forward even in the face of unspeakable loss.



Gayle Forman's If I Stay is the only reason I consider reading books about loss and grief. Her follow-up, Where She Went, and her next series, Just One Day, convinced me that Forman is one of the best YA authors I've read and put her on my auto-read list. Since this comes out on my birthday, I'll be buying this as a birthday present.

What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Blog Tour (Review): A Triple Knot by Emma Campion

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Title: A Triple Knot
Author:
Emma Campion
Publisher: Broadway Books (Random House)
Paperback Release Date: July 8, 2014
Acquired Via:
TLC Book Tours

The critically acclaimed author of The King’s Mistress brings another fascinating woman from history to life in an enthralling story of political intrigue, personal tragedy, and illicit love.

Joan of Kent, renowned beauty and cousin to King Edward III, is destined for a politically strategic marriage. As the king begins a long dynastic struggle to claim the crown of France, plunging England into the Hundred Years’ War, he negotiates her betrothal to a potential ally and heir of a powerful lordship.

But Joan, haunted by nightmares of her father’s execution at the hands of her treacherous royal kin, fears the king’s selection and is not resigned to her fate. She secretly pledges herself to one of the king’s own knights, one who has become a trusted friend and protector. Now she must defend her vow as the king—furious at Joan’s defiance—prepares to marry her off to another man.

In A Triple Knot, Emma Campion brings Joan, the “Fair Maid of Kent” to glorious life, deftly weaving details of King Edward III’s extravagant court into a rich and emotionally resonant tale of intrigue, love, and betrayal.


Praise for A Triple Knot

“A colorful and historically detailed saga.” — The Seattle Times

“A well-written, comprehensive view of the period in which women were marginalized, their glittery, gem-laden gowns reflecting the corruption of the times.” — Historical Novels Review

“A medieval lover’s dream novel.” — RT Book Reviews

My Review

I'll be honest - most of my historical fiction reading that romance-related (I refuse to label intelligent books such as these "historical romance") has been set later in the Medieval period. *cough*Tudor*cough* Because of this, A Triple Knot was a piece of history that was fresh to me and left me feeling smarter...erm...more educated.

Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I Own The Most Books From

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

Ten Authors I Own The Most Books From
This one was pretty hard to figure out because a lot of my books are packed in boxes as I live in an apartment with only one bookcase, and I don't mark books as "owned" on Goodreads consistently. Also, my most read authors list doesn't necessarily correspond because I borrow most of the books I read from the library.



1. R.L. Stine
Over 50 Books

I think I own almost all of the 62 books in the original series of Goosebumps. I also own some of the spin-off series like Give Yourself Goosebumps. Apparently I was an obsessive reader even as a child.



2. Nora Roberts a.k.a. J.D. Robb
Over 30 Books

I've read through around 30 of the J.D. Robb series, In Death, and I own most of them as the library didn't have all of them, and I love Susan Ericksen's narration. I also pick up a lot of Roberts' books whenever I see them on sale at Audible or at book sales so there is really no telling how many are stashed in boxes somewhere.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Early Review: Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper

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Title: Salt & Storm
Author:
Kendall Kulper
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (Hachette)
Acquired Via: Around the World ARC Tours
Release Date: September 23, 2014

A sweeping historical romance about a witch who foresees her own murder--and the one boy who can help change her future.

Sixteen-year-old Avery Roe wants only to take her rightful place as the witch of Prince Island, making the charms that keep the island's whalers safe at sea, but her mother has forced her into a magic-free world of proper manners and respectability. When Avery dreams she's to be murdered, she knows time is running out to unlock her magic and save herself.

Avery finds an unexpected ally in a tattooed harpoon boy named Tane--a sailor with magic of his own, who moves Avery in ways she never expected. Becoming a witch might stop her murder and save her island from ruin, but Avery discovers her magic requires a sacrifice she never prepared for.


My Review

It's been a while since I've been well and truly surprised by a book, but Kendall Kulper pulled it off with her debut novel, Salt & Storm. There were issues that I had with the execution, but the style and symbolism were almost flawless. Though parts of Salt & Storm were difficult to read, those gritty parts lent credibility to the portrayal of the whaling industry.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Review: This is Sarah by Ally Malinenko

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Title: This is Sarah
Author:
Ally Malinenko
Publisher: BookFish Books
Acquired Via: Author
Release Date: July 3, 2014

When Colin Leventhal leaned out his bedroom window on the night of May 12th and said goodbye to his girlfriend, he never expected it would be forever. But when Sarah Evans goes missing that night, Colin's world unravels as he transforms from the boyfriend next door to the main police suspect. Then one year later, at her memorial service, Colin makes a phone call that could change everything. Is it possible that Sarah is still alive? And if so, how far will he go to bring her back?

As Colin struggles with this possibility, across the street, Sarah’s little sister, Claire learns how to navigate the strange new landscape of life without her sister. While her parents fall apart, Claire remains determined to keep going, even if it kills her.

This is Sarah serves as a meditation on loss, love, and what it means to say goodbye.


My Review

I liked that Malinenko started off This is Sarah with the phone call that possibly means that Sarah is still alive. It gave me hope throughout the book that everything was going to be okay, which is a testament to Malinenko's writing. I still have a hard time with characters dying in books, so I wanted to believe that Sarah was still alive.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Review: The Suffragette Scandal by Courtney Milan

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Title: The Suffragette Scandal (Brothers Sinister #4)
Author:
Courtney Milan
Publisher: Self
Acquired Via: NetGalley
Release Date: July 15, 2014

An idealistic suffragette...

Miss Frederica "Free" Marshall has put her heart and soul into her newspaper, known for its outspoken support of women's rights. Naturally, her enemies are intent on destroying her business and silencing her for good. Free refuses to be at the end of her rope...but she needs more rope, and she needs it now.

...a jaded scoundrel...

Edward Clark's aristocratic family abandoned him to die in a war-torn land, so he survived the only way he could: by becoming a rogue and a first-class forger. When the same family that left him for dead vows to ruin Miss Marshall, he offers his help. So what if he has to lie to her? She's only a pawn to use in his revenge.

...and a scandal seven years in the making.

But the irrepressible Miss Marshall soon enchants Edward. By the time he realizes that his cynical heart is hers, it's too late. The only way to thwart her enemies is to reveal his scandalous past...and once the woman he loves realizes how much he's lied to her, he'll lose her forever.


My Review

It’s no secret that I adore Courtney Milan’s books, and Free has probably been my favorite side character throughout the Brothers Sinister series. I was so excited when I found out that she was going to be the next and last book in the series.

Milan writes awesome heroines because they are intelligent and capable, and Free is one of the most capable of the bunch. Edward was the perfect match for Free, even though he did not believe it. Edward believes that he is a scoundrel, but he is back in England to help his best friend’s little brother out of a jam. At the center of that jam is Free. It was wonderful watching Edward try to scoundrel his way into helping Free. Free would not be bullied or blackmailed, and Edward was charmed by Free’s cleverness and idealism. My favorite kind of romantic hero is the one that believes he is a bad man, but who does bad things for good reasons, and finds redemption in the heroine. Edward finds something to believe in when he finds Free.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Review: Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater

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Title: Sinner (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #3.5)
Author:
Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic
Acquired Via: ALA Las Vegas
Release Date: July 1, 2014

Sinner follows Cole St. Clair, a pivotal character from the #1 New York Times bestselling Shiver trilogy.

found.

Cole St. Clair has come to California for one reason: to get Isabel Culpeper back. She fled from his damaged, drained life, and damaged and drained it even more. He doesn't just want her. He needs her.

lost.

Isabel is trying to build herself a life in Los Angeles. It's not really working. She can play the game as well as all the other fakes. But what's the point? What is there to win?

sinner.

Cole and Isabel share a past that never seemed to have a future. They have the power to love each other and the power to tear each other apart. The only thing for certain is that they cannot let go.


My Review

I loved Stiefvater’s first book in The Wolves of Mercy Falls, Shiver, but was extremely disappointed in how she ended the series in Forever. I thought I would never read anything else by her until I read, and fell in love with, The Scorpio Races. I wasn't sure if I would read Sinner until Kayla awesomely scored me an ARC, and I held it in my hands.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Blog Tour (Review): Survivor: Blackout by Peter Anderson #BasteiEntertainment

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Bastei Lübbe Tour Schedule



Title: Survivor: Blackout
Author:
Peter Anderson & Peter Millar (Translator)
Publisher: Bastei Lübbe
Acquired Via: JKS Communications
First Episode: July 21, 2014
Last Episode: October 6, 2014

SURVIVOR: A digital serial novel in 12 episodes.

Episode 1.


The year is 2012. In CERN, the huge research facility near Geneva, Switzerland, a crucial experiment is reaching its final stage. Its objective: to send a manned space probe to a distant planet, in order to find a cure for Earth's dwindling mineral resources. But then, something unforeseen happens. Lost in an unknown place, the crew of the SURVIVOR is revived from a deep-freeze sleep. Three of its members have no recollection of how they've got on board. The fourth, Commander Ryan Nash, remembers it all - but can he trust his memories? They soon realize that the power of their ship is exhausted, the air is growing stale. And that someone is trying to breach the ship's hull from the outside ...


My Review

Okay, I may not have been sold on serials before, but I can now definitely understand why it works after reading Peter Anderson's Survivor: Blackout (the first episode in the series). Not only did it keep me on the edge of my seat and leave me wanting more, but it's going to keep me coming back and spending money to find out what happens after the To Be Continued...

*screams in frustration*

Waiting on Wednesday (64): The Witch With No Name by Kim Harrison

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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: The Witch With No Name (The Hollows #13)
Author:
Kim Harrison
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Release Date: September 9, 2014

Rachel Morgan's come a long way from the clutzy runner of Dead Witch Walking. She's faced vampires and werewolves, banshees, witches, and soul-eating demons. She's crossed worlds, channeled gods, and accepted her place as a day-walking demon. She's lost friends and lovers and family, and an old enemy has become something much more.

But power demands responsibility, and world-changers must always pay a price. That time is now.

To save Ivy's soul and the rest of the living vampires, to keep the demonic ever after and our own world from destruction, Rachel Morgan will risk everything.



I just finished listening to The Undead Pool on Saturday, and I can't wait to see how this decade-long series will come to its conclusion. Admittedly, I have struggled with this series, as Rachel drives me up the wall at times, but Kim Harrison has a great touch in world-building and character growth. I really hope that Rachel, Ivy, Jenks, Trent, Al, and even Newt all get happily ever afters (pun intended).

What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Blog Tour (Review): Cotton FBI Series 1 Episode 1 by Mario Giordano #BasteiEntertainment

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Bastei Lübbe Tour Schedule



Title: Cotton FBI Ep. 01: The Beginning (Cotton FBI: Season 1)
Author:
Mario Giordano & Frank Keith (Translator)
Publisher: Bastei Lübbe
Acquired Via: JKS Communications
Release Date: January 31, 2014
Last episode: July 18, 2014

New York City. A Chinese woman was brutally murdered and Jeremiah Cotton, a young cop with the NYPD, just can't let go. He suspects that the woman is the victim of a serial killer, but no one believes him and he is taken off the case. While carrying out an unauthorized investigation, Cotton encounters a division of the FBI whose existence no one knows about: the "G-Team." Stubborn and persistent, Cotton asks uncomfortable questions about the mysterious unit - and runs afoul of Special Agent Philippa "Phil" Decker in the process. When he narrowly escapes an attempt on his life, Cotton realizes that this is no ordinary killer hunt and the hotter the case is getting, the more determined he is to stay involved...

A new legend is born! Cotton FBI is a remake of a world famous cult series with more than one billion copies sold and appears bi-weekly with a self-contained story in each e-book episode.


My Review

Since serials are becoming quite the trend in publishing, so I figured it was time for me to give one a try. I didn't know what to really expect from Cotton FBI, but I gave it a try because I really like the people over at JKS Communications. I received the first episode of the first "season" and took it for a spin.

I must say that I was impressed with Cotton FBI. Within the first paragraph, I was sucked into the writing. I was running along with Jeremiah Cotton as he was trying to catch the guy who mugged him. And to be honest, I was quite surprised where the little job took Mr. Cotton and myself.

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I Would Want with Me on a Deserted Island

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

Top Ten Characters I Would Want With Me On A Deserted Island



1. Katsa
Graceling (Graceling Realm #1) by Kristin Cashore

Graced with killing, Katsa could protect me from the beasties on the island and make sure I don't starve.



2. Kate Daniels
3. Curran
4. Andrea
Magic Bites (Kate Daniels #1) by Ilona Andrews

My literary best friend and all-around bad-ass, Kate could kick anyone's ass and make me laugh the entire time we were stranded. I couldn't separate Kate from her mate, the Beast Lord, Curran, or from her best friend, Andrea, who are both bad-asses in their own rights.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Christmas in July Giveaway Hop (US)

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Welcome to my stop on the Christmas in July Giveaway Hop. This hop is co-hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Laurie Here. I've never participated in this hop that I can remember, but with all of the "Christmas in July" that I've been grudgingly (yet fervently) watching on the Hallmark channel, how could I not?

What You Can Win

If there is any book in the world that makes me think of Christmas more than any other, it would be The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. Granted, it's not necessarily a "Christmas book" (with only one scene even Christmas related), I have never read anything regarding Christmas that felt more magical to me. When you roll Santa Claus, Aslan, and talking animals all into one book, I'm completely on board. This is easily one of my favorite books of my childhood. Since many of you have read and/or own The Chronicles of Narnia, I'm putting up another favorite Christmas book for grabs. You know, because options are awesome. Cajun Night Before Christmas is cheesy, but it's wonderful - like Christmas books should be.


Giveaway

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Early Review: This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

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Title: This Shattered World (Starbound #2)
Author:
Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Acquired Via: ALA Las Vegas
Release Date: December 23, 2014

Jubilee Chase and Flynn Cormac should never have met.

Lee is captain of the forces sent to Avon to crush the terraformed planet’s rebellious colonists, but she has her own reasons for hating the insurgents.

Rebellion is in Flynn’s blood. Terraforming corporations make their fortune by recruiting colonists to make the inhospitable planets livable, with the promise of a better life for their children. But they never fulfilled their promise on Avon, and decades later, Flynn is leading the rebellion.

Desperate for any advantage in a bloody and unrelentingly war, Flynn does the only thing that makes sense when he and Lee cross paths: he returns to base with her as prisoner. But as his fellow rebels prepare to execute this tough-talking girl with nerves of steel, Flynn makes another choice that will change him forever. He and Lee escape the rebel base together, caught between two sides of a senseless war.

The stunning second novel in the
Starbound trilogy is an unforgettable story of love and forgiveness in a world torn apart by war.

My Review

You can read my review of the first book, These Broken Stars, HERE.

This Shattered World is Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner's second installation in their award-winning Starbound trilogy. Like its predecessor, These Broken Stars, it is a YA science fiction soap opera, except This Shattered World dials up the intensity and suspense by about a million and a half.

The two main characters in This Shattered World are different than those in These Broken Stars (though the previous couple does make an appearance). Captain Lee Chase is the heroine, who is married to her life as a soldier and is determined to beat the rebels on the war-torn planet, Avon. Flynn Cormac is quasi-leader of Avon's rebellion, who only wants peace and freedom for his people. Both characters have well-developed back stories, plus they don't turn away from all they believe in when they get the tingly britches. (You know what I'm talking about.) The romance was also very appealing to me because it had such a slow burn instead of a volcanic eruption of raging hormones.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Blog Tour (Review): The Blade of the Samurai by Susan Spann

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Title: Blade of the Samurai (Shinobi Mystery #2)
Author:
Susan Spann
Publisher: Minotaur Books (Macmillan)
Acquired Via: Historical Fiction Blog Tours
Release Date: July 15, 2014

June, 1565: Master ninja Hiro Hattori receives a pre-dawn visit from Kazu, a fellow shinobi working undercover at the shogunate. Hours before, the shogun’'s cousin, Saburo, was stabbed to death in the shogun’s palace. The murder weapon: Kazu’s personal dagger. Kazu says he’s innocent, and begs for Hiro’s help, but his story gives Hiro reason to doubt the young shinobi’s claims.

When the shogun summons Hiro and Father Mateo, the Portuguese Jesuit priest under Hiro’s protection, to find the killer, Hiro finds himself forced to choose between friendship and personal honor.

The investigation reveals a plot to assassinate the shogun and overthrow the ruling Ashikaga clan. With Lord Oda’s enemy forces approaching Kyoto, and the murderer poised to strike again, Hiro must use his assassin’s skills to reveal the killer’s identity and protect the shogun at any cost. Kazu, now trapped in the city, still refuses to explain his whereabouts at the time of the murder. But a suspicious shogunate maid, Saburo’s wife, and the shogun’s stable master also had reasons to want Saburo dead. With the shogun demanding the murderer’s head before Lord Oda reaches the city, Hiro and Father Mateo must produce the killer in time . . . or die in his place.

Susan Spann's Blade of the Samurai is a complex mystery that will transport readers to a thrilling and unforgettable adventure in sixteenth-century Japan.


My Review

Susan Spann's Blade of the Samurai is the second novel in her Shinobi Mystery series set in Japan in the 1500. Though it is not necessary (as I was told) to read Claws of the Cat before reading this book, there are many references to the events in Hiro and Father Mateo's first book.

Though I'm self-admittedly not a big fan of mysteries, I enjoyed Blade of the Samurai because the history was so rich. Most of my historical research has been centered in Europe, so it's been exciting to learn all of the little tidbits of information Spann includes in her novel. She slips in facts about samurai culture, how the government worked, as well customs. That being said, it never felt like a history lesson - these things were expertly weaved into the story.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Author Interview: Kelly Fiore, Just Like the Movies

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Title: Just Like the Movies
Author:
Kelly Fiore
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Release Date: July 22, 2014

Pretty and popular track star Marijke Monti is confident about almost everything – she’s got great friends, a great family, and she’s on her way to the State Track Championship. In fact, the only thing Marijke isn’t confident about is her relationship with Tommy Lawson.

Lily Spencer has spent her entire high school career preparing for the future – she’s participated in every extracurricular activity and volunteer committee she could. But, at home, she watches her mother go on date after date with dud-dudes, still searching for “the one.” Lily realizes that she’s about to graduate and still hasn’t even had a boyfriend.

While they live on each other’s periphery at school, Lily and Marijke never seemed to have much in common; but, after a coincidental meeting at the movie theater, Lily gets an idea – why can’t life be like a movie? Why can’t they set up their perfect romantic situations, just in time for their senior prom, using movie techniques?

Once the girls come up with the perfect plans, they commit themselves to being secret cohorts and, just like in the movies, drama ensues.


Interview

Kayla: Hi Kelly, thank you so much for stopping by Bibliophilia, Please! Please tell us a little bit about Just Like the Movies in your own words but with a Twitter twist – 140 characters or less.

Kelly Fiore: Thanks so much for having me! Okay – the tweet:

“8 Movies. 7 Flash Mob Dancers. 6 Text Messages. 5 Prom Proposals. 4 Band Members. 3 Paintball guns. 2 Girls. 1 Happily Ever After.”

Kayla: What inspired you to write Just Like the Movies? Did one of the characters pop into your head first or the idea for the story?

Kelly: My teenage dreams and desires to live a life like I saw on screen is the biggest reason I wrote Just Like the Movies. I had a flair for the dramatic, to say the least. I was always coveting the love lives of the girls in the movies.

Kayla: What is your favorite romantic movie?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Blog Tour (Review): Help for the Haunted by John Searles

1 comment:


Title: Help for the Haunted
Author:
John Searles
Publisher: William Morrow (HarperCollins)
Paperback Release Date: June 15, 2014
Acquired Via:
TLC Book Tours

A Boston Globe Best Crime Novel of the Year
An Entertainment Weekly Top Ten “Must List”
Winner of the American Library Association’s Alex Award
Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Booklist starred reviews


Sylvie Mason’s parents have an unusual occupation: helping “haunted souls” find peace. After receiving a phone call late one snowy night, they are lured to an old church on the outskirts of town, where Sylvie falls asleep in the car and is awoken by the sound of gunshots.

Orphaned on that night, Sylvie comes under the care of her reckless, distant older sister, still living in the rambling Tudor house that guards the relics of her parents’ past. As she pursues the mystery of their deaths, Sylvie’s story weaves back and forth between the time leading up to the murders and the months following, uncovering the truth of what happened that night—and the secrets that have haunted her family for years.


**Book clubs that sign up to chat with John Searles about Help for the Haunted could win a tote bag of books for each member of their book club! Find out more details about John Searles’ goal to speak to a book club in each state of the United States over at Book Club Girl!**

My Review

I don't remember signing up for the blog tour for Help for the Haunted. I mean, the book arrived at my house, and the tour date was on my calendar, but I don't have the slightest idea when it happened. I could go through my email and find out from the tour organizer, but that requires effort. Yet, despite my enormous brain fart and my subconscious somehow coming forward to put me on a tour, reading Help for the Haunted was one of the better decisions that I've ever made.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Blog Tour (Guest Post): Scan by Walter Jury & Sarah Fine

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Title: Scan (Scan #1)
Authors:
Walter Jury & Sarah Fine
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers (Penguin)
Release Date: May 1, 2014

Tate and his father don’t exactly get along. As Tate sees it, his father has unreasonably high expectations for Tate to be the best—at everything. Tate finally learns what he’s being prepared for when he steals one of his dad’s odd tech inventions and mercenaries ambush his school, killing his father and sending Tate on the run from aliens who look just like humans.

All Tate knows—like how to make weapons out of oranges and lighter fluid—may not be enough to save him as he’s plunged into a secret interspecies conflict that’s been going on for centuries. Aided only by his girlfriend and his estranged mother, with powerful enemies closing in on all sides, Tate races to puzzle out the secret behind his father’s invention and why so many are willing to kill for it.

A riveting, fast-paced adventure, Scan is a clever alien thriller with muscle and heart.


Guest Post

The Easiest and Most Difficult Scenes to Write in Scan
Walter Jury

(SPOILER ALERT--this post contains some spoilers.)

My favorite scene to write was the final set piece. Without giving away any plot points, it is a major action sequence that involves Tate and his primary pursuer in a very fun location that, while it is described in detail, still allows for the imagination to run wild. With Tate's skills that we establish early on, we get a real sense of how high the stakes are and how far he can progress with his Dad's tutelage and influence guiding him.


Waiting on Wednesday (63): Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover by Sarah MacLean

5 comments:

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: Never Judging a Lady by Her Cover (The Rules of Scoundrels #4)
Author:
Sarah MacLean
Publisher: Avon (HarperCollins)
Release Date: November 25, 2014

SPOILER ALERT: If you have not read through book 3 in the series, do not read any further

By day, she is Lady Georgiana, sister to a Duke, ruined before her first season in the worst kind of scandal. But the truth is far more shocking—in London’s darkest corners, she is Chase, the mysterious, unknown founder of the city’s most legendary gaming hell. For years, her double identity has gone undiscovered . . . until now.

Brilliant, driven, handsome-as-sin Duncan West is intrigued by the beautiful, ruined woman who is somehow connected to a world of darkness and sin. He knows she is more than she seems and he vows to uncover all of Georgiana’s secrets, laying bare her past, threatening her present, and risking all she holds dear . . . including her heart.



CHASE'S STORY!! Yes! I have to say that it took me a lot longer than it should have for me to realize that Chase was a woman, but once I figured it out, I was so intrigued. I just cannot wait to see how Chase landed where she is as the leader of the gaming hell hiding her identity.

What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

1 comment:


Title: Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss #1)
Author:
Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: Dutton Children’s Books (Penguin)
Acquired Via: Library
Release Date: December 2, 2010

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris – until she meets Etienne St. Clair: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he’s taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.

As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near – misses end with the French kiss Anna – and readers – have long awaited?


You can read the digital chapter sampler of Anna and the French Kiss here: http://bit.ly/ANNASampler

My Review

Oh.

My.

Bob.

You guys. YOU GUYS! Why didn't someone hold a gun to make head and force me to read Anna and the French Kiss ages ago? Seriously?! This has to be one of the sweetest, most adorable books that I've ever had the pleasure of putting my eyes to. Also, Stephanie Perkins, why the hell couldn't you have written this when I was in high school?!

(By the way, this probably won't be a very coherent review. You've been warned.)

Top Ten Tuesday: Television Shows

13 comments:

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

Top Ten Television Shows



1. Sex and the City

I can't believe it has been 10 years since this show has ended. The clothes and hair styles may be dated, but the issues the friends had are not. Carrie, Charlotte, Samantha and and Miranda may not have been the best friends to each other, but they were there for each other and had each other's backs. By the way, I was always Team Aidan, and I didn't like Big until the movie. How odd is that? I've seen every episode multiple times; of course, it helps that I own all of the seasons.



2. Charmed

Cheesy, silly and terrible special effects, but I LOVE this show. Watching this helped me get through studying in law school and for the bar exam. Charmed may have started my obsession with witchy fiction.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Blog Tour (Review & Giveaway): Moonfall by Vanessa Morton

2 comments:

Moonfall Tour Schedule



Title: Moonfall: Tales from the Levant
Author:
Vanessa Morgan
Publisher: WEbook Publishing
Release Date: November 1, 2013
Acquired Via: JKS Communications

When 16-year-old Rachav drinks the Moon Temple’s forbidden wine, she hardly expects it to result in the death of a priestess. But when King Nur orders Rachav to serve the Queen of the Night—the kingdom’s powerful goddess—as restitution, Rachav’s identical twin, Zaron, has her own reasons for joining the priesthood and offers to take her twin’s place.

But choices have consequences.

Now Rachav’s family is in danger. As she uncovers the shocking reason why, she finds an ally in Salma, a brooding nomad who wields an ancient force powerful enough to destroy the entire kingdom. While the epic showdown rages above the city, Rachav plays a dangerous game of her own. Can she rescue her sister and right the wrongs of that fateful choice? Or will the king succeed and trap her in the doomed city?


My Review

Though I'm slowly trying to slow down the number of blog tours, when I was offered the opportunity to review Moonfall, I couldn't say anything but yes. Its premise is not something that has been offered to me very often, and who doesn't love a unique book? (Not me.)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Review: The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

2 comments:


Title: The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles #1)
Author:
Mary E. Pearson
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co. (Macmillan)
Acquired Via: Publisher
Release Date: July 8, 2014

In a society steeped in tradition, Princess Lia’s life follows a preordained course. As First Daughter, she is expected to have the revered gift of sight—but she doesn’t—and she knows her parents are perpetrating a sham when they arrange her marriage to secure an alliance with a neighboring kingdom—to a prince she has never met.

On the morning of her wedding, Lia flees to a distant village. She settles into a new life, hopeful when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deception abounds, and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—even as she finds herself falling in love.

The Kiss of Deception is the first book in Mary E. Pearson's
Remnant Chronicles.

My Review

You can read Amber's review of the book HERE.

The Kiss of Deception is a YA epic fantasy by Mary E. Pearson with a strong heroine and a great journey story. Princess Arabella Celestine Idris Jezelia, First Daughter of the House of Morrighan (and main character of the book) chooses her own life as just "Lia" than the one planned out for her.

The Kiss of Deception reminds me of Robin McKinley's The Blue Sword more than any other book that I have ever read. Lia is like Harry Crewe in that she does not allow her situation to overwhelm her and does what is necessary for herself and her people. I rooted for her throughout the novel, even though I did not agree with some of her choices.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Book Blast (Giveaway): Vortex by S.J. Kincaid

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Title: Vortex (Insignia #2)
Author:
S.J. Kincaid
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (HarperCollins)
Book Blast Organizer: Book Nerd Tours
Release Date: July 2, 2013

The impossible was just the beginning. Now in their second year as superhuman government weapons-in-training at the Pentagonal Spire, Tom Raines and his friends are mid-level cadets in the elite combat corps known as the Intrasolar Forces. But as training intensifies and a moment arrives that could make or break his entire career, Tom’s loyalties are again put to the test.

Encouraged to betray his ideals and friendships for the sake of his country, Tom is convinced there must be another way. And the more aware he becomes of the corruption surrounding him, the more determined he becomes to fight it, even if he sabotages his own future in the process.

Drawn into a power struggle more dramatic than he has ever faced before, Tom stays a hyperintelligent step ahead of everyone, like the exceptional gamer he is—or so he believes. But when he learns that he and his friends have unwittingly made the most grievous error imaginable, Tom must find a way to outwit an enemy so nefarious that victory seems hopeless. Will his idealism and bravado cost him everything—and everyone that matters to him?

Filled with action and intelligence, camaraderie and humor, the second book in S.J. Kincaid’s futuristic World War III Insignia trilogy continues to explore fascinating and timely questions about power, politics, technology, loyalty, and friendship.


Buy Links
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Fishpond



About the Author

Waiting on Wednesday (62): Chasing Power by Sarah Beth Durst

9 comments:

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: Chasing Power
Author:
Sarah Beth Durst
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Release Date: October 14, 2014

Lies, secrets, and magic — three things that define Kayla's life.

Sixteen-year-old Kayla plans to spend her summer hanging out on the beach in Santa Barbara and stealing whatever she wants, whenever she wants it. Born with the ability to move things with her mind — things like credit cards, diamond rings, and buttons on cash registers — she has become a master shoplifter. She steals to build up a safety net, enough money for her and her mom to be able to flee if her dad finds them again. Well, that, and the thrill of using her secret talents.

But her summer plans change when she's caught stealing by a boy named Daniel — a boy who needs her help and is willing to blackmail her to get it. Daniel has a talent of his own. He can teleport, appearing anywhere in the world in an instant, but he lies as easily as he travels. Together, they embark on a quest to find and steal an ancient incantation, written on three indestructible stones and hidden millennia ago, all to rescue Daniel's kidnapped mother. But Kayla has no idea that this rescue mission will lead back to her own family — and to betrayals that she may not be able to forgive... or survive.



I read my first Durst novel, The Lost, earlier this year and loved it. You can read my review HERE. I haven't yet had time to read through the rest of Durst's backlist, but hopefully I can get through some of them before Chasing Power comes out. I enjoyed her take on magical realism and I really like that Chasing Power has normal people with special powers. Plus, teleportation is just a really cool special power to have.

What are you waiting on this week?