Sunday, May 31, 2015

Review: The Shadow Revolution by Clay and Susan Griffith


Title: The Shadow Revolution (Crown & Key #1)
Clay and Susan Griffith
Publisher: Del Rey (Penguin Random House)
Release Date: June 2, 2015

They are the realm’s last, best defense against supernatural evil. But they’re going to need a lot more silver.

As fog descends, obscuring the gas lamps of Victorian London, werewolves prowl the shadows of back alleys. But they have infiltrated the inner circles of upper-crust society as well. Only a handful of specially gifted practitioners are equipped to battle the beasts. Among them are the roguish Simon Archer, who conceals his powers as a spell-casting scribe behind the smooth veneer of a dashing playboy; his layabout mentor, Nick Barker, who prefers a good pub to thrilling heroics; and the self-possessed alchemist Kate Anstruther, who is equally at home in a ballroom as she is on a battlefield.

After a lycanthrope targets Kate’s vulnerable younger sister, the three join forces with fierce Scottish monster-hunter Malcolm MacFarlane—but quickly discover they’re dealing with a threat far greater than anything they ever imagined.

My Review

I jumped at the chance to read The Shadow Revolution, because I really enjoyed the other of the Griffith's series that I read, Vampire Empire. Plus, I really love a good steampunk novel done right. I'll blame it on Sean Connery and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. :) (Yes, I know the movie is terrible, but it's Sean Connery).

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Blog Tour (Interview): The Shadow Revolution by Clay and Susan Griffith @emilyisayeff @penguinrandom @clayandsusan

No comments:

Title: The Shadow Revolution (Crown & Key #1)
Clay and Susan Griffith
Publisher: Del Rey (Penguin Random House)
Release Date: June 2, 2015

They are the realm’s last, best defense against supernatural evil. But they’re going to need a lot more silver.

As fog descends, obscuring the gas lamps of Victorian London, werewolves prowl the shadows of back alleys. But they have infiltrated the inner circles of upper-crust society as well. Only a handful of specially gifted practitioners are equipped to battle the beasts. Among them are the roguish Simon Archer, who conceals his powers as a spell-casting scribe behind the smooth veneer of a dashing playboy; his layabout mentor, Nick Barker, who prefers a good pub to thrilling heroics; and the self-possessed alchemist Kate Anstruther, who is equally at home in a ballroom as she is on a battlefield.

After a lycanthrope targets Kate’s vulnerable younger sister, the three join forces with fierce Scottish monster-hunter Malcolm MacFarlane—but quickly discover they’re dealing with a threat far greater than anything they ever imagined.


Amber: How does the writing process go for your writing duo - do you each take a scene, chapter or character or is it a complete collaboration?

Clay and Susan: We start with a very thorough outline, detailing the plot down to the chapters. From there we each take a couple of chapters and start writing, making sure we don’t ever write too far ahead of the other, because sometimes inspiration occurs and we may need to make changes to the plot we’ve already drafted. Throughout the process, we hand the written chapters back and forth to be edited by the other so our two distinct voices become something new.

Amber: What draws you to the steampunk genre?

Friday, May 29, 2015

Review: Until the Beginning by Amy Plum (ARC)

No comments:

Title: Until the Beginning (After the End #2)
Amy Plum
Publisher: HarperTeen (HarperCollins)
Release Date: May 5, 2015
Acquired Via: Around the World ARC Tours

Amy Plum, international bestselling author of the Die for Me series, delivers a heart-pounding adventure perfect for fans of Michael Grant, Veronica Rossi, and Alexandra Bracken. Until the Beginning brings this duology to a stunning and captivating conclusion.

Juneau has been searching for her people and for answers . . . and she is about to find both in the exhilarating sequel to After the End, which Marie Lu, New York Times bestselling author of the Legend series and The Young Elites, called "Wonderfully riveting."

When Juneau's clan disappeared, she lost so much more than her friends and family. She soon discovered everything she thought she knew about her life was a lie. Her people's gifts were actually secret abilities that others wanted, desperately enough to kidnap an entire village.

Juneau and her new companion Miles's cross-country journey to find her clan has led them to a game preserve in New Mexico. Now Juneau's people are finally within reach, and she will stop at nothing to save them. But she has a target on her back too, because unbeknownst to her she is the key to unlocking everything. To rescue her people — and herself — Juneau must discover what she, and her abilities, are truly capable of.

My Review

You can read my review of the first book, After the End, HERE.

I hate to say this about a book that I enjoyed at the time, but I remembered almost nothing about After the End when I started reading Until the Beginning. I recalled the premise, but I couldn't recall the character names or the whole of the situation. And unfortunately for me, Until the Beginning picks up right where book one leaves off.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Blog Tour (Character Interview): Sweet by Emmy Laybourne #Giveaway #YAlit @FierceReads


Hello, everyone! I'm off on a cruise this week, but prior to me setting sail, I was able to interview former child star, Tom Forelli. (Okay, maybe I mean Emmy Laybourne for her new book, Sweet, but shhhhh! Let's be in character!) I know you guys are just as excited as I was about this interview, so I hope you enjoy hearing about Tom's new gig as the celebrity host of Solu's Cruise to Lose!

Title: Sweet
Emmy Laybourne
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (Macmillan)
Release Date: June 2, 2015

A cruise to die for...

Solu’s luxurious celebrity-filled Cruise to Lose is billed as “the biggest cruise since the
Titanic,” and if the new diet sweetener works as promised — dropping five percent of a person’s body weight in just days — it would be the answer to the world’s obesity problem. But Laurel is starting to regret accepting her friend Viv’s invitation. She’s already completely embarrassed herself in front of celebrity host Tom Forelli (otherwise known as the hottest guy ever!), and she’s too seasick to even try the sweetener. And that’s before Viv and all the other passengers start acting really strange.

Tom knows that he should be grateful for this job and the chance to shed his childhood “Baby Tom-Tom” image. His publicists have even set up a “romance” with a sexy reality-TV star. But as things on the ship start to get a bit wild, he finds himself drawn to a different girl. And when his celebrity hosting gig turns into an expose on the shocking side effects of Solu, it’s Laurel that he’s determined to save.

Emmy Laybourne takes readers on a dream vacation that goes first comically, then tragically, then
horrifyingly, wrong.

Character Interview with Tom Forelli

Kayla: Hi, Tom! Thank you soooo much for taking time out from your very busy schedule to talk with my readers! Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Tom: Sure thing! Can I just say that it’s really a pleasure to be connecting with you and your readers today? (Tom puts his broad, muscular hand over Kayla’s and gives it a little squeeze.)

Kayla: *giggling* If you don’t mind my asking, what made you decide to cross over from acting to becoming a reality show host?

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Audiobook Review: Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

1 comment:

Title: Seraphina (Seraphina #1)
Rachel Hartman
Narrator: Mandy Williams, Justine Eyre
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (Random House)
Release Date: July 10, 2012
Acquired Via:
Personal Collection

Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend the court as ambassadors and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty's anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.

The newest member of the royal court, a uniquely gifted musician named Seraphina, holds a deep secret of her own. One that she guards with all of her being.

When a member of the royal family is brutally murdered, Seraphina is drawn into the investigation alongside the dangerously perceptive—and dashing—Prince Lucien. But as the two uncover a sinister plot to destroy the wavering peace of the kingdom, Seraphina’s struggle to protect her secret becomes increasingly difficult...while its discovery could mean her very life.

My Review




Even after being a blogger who writes about books and a librarian who talks about books almost daily, it is still difficult to put my feelings about this book into words. I read Seraphina for the first time three and a half years ago (before its release), and I had nothing to say to sell this book. I was slack-jawed.

A month later, I am still looking at the draft of this review. Yes, I have been toying with it for that long.

Waiting on Wednesday (108): The Thorn of Emberlain by Scott Lynch


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 Thorn of Emberlain (Gentleman Bastard #4)
Scott Lynch
Publisher: Gollancz (Orion Publishing Group)
Release Date: September 17, 2015

With 50,000 copies sold of The Republic of Thieves and with praise from the likes of Joe Abercrombie and George RR Martin the saga of the Gentleman Bastard has become a favourite and key part of the fantasy landscape. And now Locke Lamora, thief, con-man, pirate, political deceiver must become a soldier.

A new chapter for Locke and Jean and finally the war that has been brewing in the Kingdom of the Marrows flares up and threatens to capture all in its flames.

And all the while Locke must try to deal with the disturbing rumours about his past revealed in The Republic of Thieves. Fighting a war when you don't know the truth of right and wrong is one thing. Fighting a war when you don't know the truth of yourself is quite another. Particularly when you've never been that good with a sword anyway...

Yay! I LOVE this series, and I'm so glad that there isn't going to be such a long wait as there was for the last book. There were six years between books two and three! This series is so much fun and has all the best elements of fantasy. If you like sarcastic lead characters in fantasy, you need to start reading this series.

What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Audiobook Review: Charming by Elliott James #UrbanFantasy @orbitbooks

No comments:

Title: Charming (Pax Arcana #1)
Elliott James
Narrator: Roger Wayne
Publisher: Orbit (Hachette)
Release Date: September 24, 2013
Acquired Via:
Personal Collection

John Charming isn't your average Prince...

He comes from a line of Charmings -- an illustrious family of dragon slayers, witch-finders and killers dating back to before the fall of Rome. Trained by a modern day version of the Knights Templar, monster hunters who have updated their methods from chain mail and crossbows to Kevlar and shotguns, John Charming was one of the best--until a curse made him one of the abominations the Knights were sworn to hunt.

That was a lifetime ago. Now, John tends bar under an assumed name in rural Virginia and leads a peaceful, quiet life. That is, until a vampire and a blonde walked into his bar...

Charming is the first novel in a new urban fantasy series which gives a new twist to the Prince Charming tale.

My Review

I feel a little bad that I didn't read Charming sooner than what I did. I've recommended this book to numerous patrons and fellow librarians, yet I never read it myself. (The Kevin Hearne Seal of Approval was an instant purchase when I used to be in charge of collection development.) One of my coworkers spent several days going on about how much she enjoyed it and how I should read it since it reminded her of Hounded by Kevin Hearne. Two years later, I finally picked up the book.

I feel like I've missed out on so much by being late to the Charming party.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Early Review: The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen (ARC)


Title: The Invasion of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling #2)
Erika Johansen
Publisher: Harper
Release Date: June 9, 2015
Acquired Via:

With each passing day, Kelsea Glynn is growing into her new responsibilities as Queen of the Tearling. By stopping the shipments of slaves to the neighboring kingdom of Mortmesne, she crossed the Red Queen, a brutal ruler whose power derives from dark magic, who is sending her fearsome army into the Tearling to take what is hers. And nothing can stop the invasion.

But as the Mort army draws ever closer, Kelsea develops a mysterious connection to a time before the Crossing, and she finds herself relying on a strange and possibly dangerous ally: a woman named Lily, fighting for her life in a world where being female can feel like a crime. The fate of the Tearling —and that of Kelsea’s own soul—may rest with Lily and her story, but Kelsea may not have enough time to find out.

My Review

Read our reviews of the first book, Queen of the Tearling, here:

The Invasion of the Tearling was a much better book than The Queen of the Tearling, although it took a little while to get there, and I really liked The Queen of the Tearling. The book opens with a character that I really didn’t remember from the first book, and honestly didn't care about. His name was Hall, and he was a Tearling solider. I just wanted to read about Kelsea and the Fetch. I'm so sad that there was only one real Fetch scene, and it was way too short. There better be more Fetch scenes in the third book, that's all I'm saying.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Review: To Kill a Warlock by H.P. Mallory

1 comment:

Title: To Kill a Warlock (Dulcie O'Neil #1)
H.P. Mallory
Publisher: Self
Release Date: July 3, 2010
Acquired Via:
Personal Collection

The murder of a dark arts warlock. A shape-shifting, ravenous creature on the loose. A devilishly handsome stranger sent to investigate. Sometimes working law enforcement for the Netherworld is a real bitch.

Dulcie O’Neil is a fairy. And not the type to frolic in gardens. She’s a Regulator—a law-enforcement agent who monitors the creatures of the Netherworld to keep them from wreaking havoc in the mortal world. When a warlock is murdered and Dulcie was the last person to see him alive, she must uncover the truth before she’s either deported back to the Netherworld, or she becomes the next victim.

Enter Knight Vander, a sinfully attractive investigator sent from the Netherworld to work the case with Dulcie. Between battling her attraction to her self-appointed partner, keeping a sadomasochistic demon in check, and fending off the advances of a sexy and powerful vampire, Dulcie’s got her hands full. As the body count increases, Dulcie finds herself battling dark magic, reconnoitering in S&M clubs and suffering the greatest of all betrayals.

My Review

I had come across H.P. Mallory’s other series, Jolie Wilkins, whose main character is a witch, about eight months ago and ordered it for the library where I work. I started reading the first book in the series, Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble, but I just couldn’t get into it. So when I came across Mallory’s Dulcie O’Neil series, I was a bit apprehensive, but I thought I would give it a chance. I am pleased that I did.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Review: The Novice by Taran Matharu (ARC) #yalit

No comments:

Title: The Novice (Summoner #1)
Taran Matharu
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends (Macmillan)
Release Date: May 5, 2015
Acquired Via:

When blacksmith apprentice Fletcher discovers that he has the ability to summon demons from another world, he travels to Adept Military Academy. There the gifted are trained in the art of summoning. Fletcher is put through grueling training as a battlemage to fight in the Hominum Empire’s war against orcs. He must tread carefully while training alongside children of powerful nobles. The power hungry, those seeking alliances, and the fear of betrayal surround him. Fletcher finds himself caught in the middle of powerful forces, with only his demon Ignatius for help.

As the pieces on the board maneuver for supremacy, Fletcher must decide where his loyalties lie. The fate of an empire is in his hands. The Novice is the first in a trilogy about Fletcher, his demon Ignatius, and the war against the Orcs.

My Review

The Novice felt like it was a video game trying to be a book, which should have been perfect for me. Every time I picked up the book and read about orcs, mana and demons in the students' roster, I picked up my newest gaming obsession - Final Fantasy Record Keeper. This meant that this book took me about three times longer than necessary to read.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

So You Want to Be a Princess Blog Tour: From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess by Meg Cabot #Giveaway #MiddleSchoolPrincess


Happy Wednesday, fellow bibliophiles, and thank you for visiting my stop on the So You Want to Be a Princess blog tour! This tour consists of essays written by bloggers about what they would do if they woke up one morning and found themselves to be a princes or princesses. There is also a giveaway on this stop, thanks to our wonderful friends at Macmillan!

Title: From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess (From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess #1)
Meg Cabot
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (Macmillan)
Release Date: May 19, 2015

Olivia Grace Clarisse Mignonette Harrison is a completely average twelve-year-old: average height, average weight, average brown hair of average length, average brown skin and average hazel eyes. The only things about her that aren't average are her name (too long and princess themed), her ability to draw animals (useful for her future career as a wildlife illustrator), and the fact that she is a half-orphan who has never met her father and is forced to live with her aunt and uncle (who treat her almost like their own kids, so she doesn't want to complain).

Then one completely average day, everything goes wrong: the most popular girl in school, Annabelle Jenkins, threatens to beat her up, the principal gives her a demerit, and she's knocked down at the bus stop...

Until a limo containing Princess Mia Thermopolis of Genovia pulls up to invite her to New York to finally meet her father, who promptly invites her to come live with him, Mia, Grandmère and her two fabulous poodles...

Maybe Olivia Grace Clarisse Mignonette Harrison isn't so average after all!

What I Would Do If I Woke Up a Princess

As a mother, I don't get too many opportunities to be selfish. However, if I woke up one morning and found myself to be a princess, I would exercise a little bit of selfishness - in the beginning.

The first thing I would do if I woke up a princess is roll back over and wake up at a more reasonable hour. My five o'clock alarm clock is a little ridiculous. I mean, who doesn't prefer to wake up with the sun shining in the windows on them?! And, of course, I would require a breakfast of pancakes from scratch, fresh fruit, egg whites, and maybe a filet mignon for protein to get me through the day. I mean, I'm sure being a princess would be hard work, and I'd need some energy to get me through my first day!

Waiting on Wednesday (107): Autumn Thorns by Yasmine Galenorn

No 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: Autumn Thorns (Whisper Hollow #1)
Yasmine Galenorn
Publisher: Jove (Penguin Random House)
Release Date: October 27, 2015

Fifteen years ago, I ran away from Whisper Hollow, Washington, a small town on Crescent Lake in the Olympic Peninsula. But truth is, if you were born here, you can never really leave. I’m Kerris Fellwater, and when I returned, I inherited my grandmother’s house—and her gift. As a spirit shaman, it’s my responsibility to drive the dead back to their graves, because around Whisper Hollow, people—and secrets—don’t always stay buried.

When I was little, I was told my mother ran off. But now it looks like she was murdered. With the help of my mysterious neighbor Bryan, we begin to unravel the mystery of her disappearance, and in doing so, unearth a dark force seeking to bury Whisper Hollow. Now I must work with the dead, rather than against them, because our enemy will do whatever she can to destroy the town, and she means to start with me.

I never finished Galenorn's Sisters of the Moon series; I think I stopped aroudn book 7. I really liked the world, the three main characters and the magic, but I think I was too much of a prude for the series. I just love the premise to this one though, AND it has a deliciously creepy cover....and it's releasing right before Halloween! I kind of can't pass up an urban fantasy book with gravestones on the cover that will release 4 days before Halloween.

Marketing - 1, Amber - 0.

What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Blog Tour (Excerpt): A Match for Marcus Cynster by Stephanie Laurens #Giveaway

1 comment:

Title: A Match for Marcus Cynster (Cynsters #23)
Stephanie Laurens
Publisher: MIRA (Harlequin)
Tour Organizer: TLC Book Tours
Release Date: May 26, 2015

Duty compels her to turn her back on marriage. Fate drives him to protect her come what may. Then love takes a hand in this battle of yearning hearts, stubborn wills, and a match too powerful to deny. #1 New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Laurens returns to rugged Scotland with a dramatic tale of passionate desire and unwavering devotion. Restless and impatient, Marcus Cynster waits for Fate to come calling. He knows his destiny lies in the lands surrounding his family home, but what will his future be and with whom will he share it?

Of one fact he feels certain: his fated bride will not be Niniver Carrick. His elusive neighbor attracts him mightily, yet he feels compelled to protect her—even from himself. Fickle Fate, he’s sure, would never be so kind as to decree that Niniver should be his. The best he can do for them both is to avoid her.

Niniver has vowed to return her clan to prosperity. The epitome of fragile femininity, her delicate and ethereal exterior cloaks a stubborn will and an unflinching devotion to the people in her care. She accepts that she cannot risk marrying and losing her grip on the clan’s reins to an inevitably controlling husband. Unfortunately, many local men see her as their opportunity.

Soon, she’s forced to seek help to get rid of her unwelcome suitors. Powerful and dangerous, Marcus Cynster is perfect for the task. Suppressing her wariness over tangling with a gentleman who so excites her passions, she appeals to him for assistance with her peculiar problem.

Although at first he resists, Marcus discovers that, contrary to his expectations, his fated role is to stand by Niniver’s side and, ultimately, to claim her hand. Yet in order to convince her to be his bride, they must plunge headlong into a journey full of challenges, unforeseen dangers, passion, and yearning, until Niniver grasps the essential truth—that she is indeed a match for Marcus Cynster.


In the end, it was agreed that, without any fanfare, Sir Godfrey would reopen the cases of her father’s and the Burns sisters’ deaths, and exonerate Nigel of the crimes by virtue of Nolan’s confession and the subsequent confirmation that it was, indeed, he who had been the villain in all three cases. Catriona, who, through her position as Lady of the Vale, maintained a close connection with the local minister, volunteered to explain matters to Reverend Foyle, thus easing the way for the clan to arrange the appropriate funeral and burials.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Love, But Never Got Around to Writing a Review


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

Top Ten Books That I Love, But Never Got Around to Writing a Review

1. Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel

This is The Book I recommend to everyone when they are looking for something to read, and have no idea what they want. You get romance, historical elements and food. My perfect trifecta.

2. The Secret History by Donna Tartt

A New England college, students who think their eccentricities make them better than everyone else, a murder, booze, pills, secrets, and more murder. This book made me want to keep reading to see just how far they would go. Plus I have a thing for books with with horror/mysteries that take place on the East Coast, which I attribute to reading Stephen King at a very young age.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Promo Blitz: Bitter Sweet Love by R.C. Stephens #free #GetItNow #BitterSweetLove #RCStephens

1 comment:

Title: Bitter Sweet Love (Twisted #1)
R.C. Stevens
Publisher: Self
Release Date: January 18, 2015

After enduring an abusive childhood and having her heart broken by the only boy she trusts, Alexis White vows to never let anyone hurt her again. She's left her troubled past behind and starts a new life at college. For the past seven years, her social calendar has been filled with frat parties, drinking, and meaningless sexual hook-ups. Until one night she unexpectedly gets saved by a tall, dark, and handsome French foreigner, Luc Blanchard. He's charming, sophisticated, and very interested in Lexi, who has presented herself as a challenge when she tells him relationships aren't her thing.

She finds herself sucked in by his own intriguing past. But everything changes when Dylan Priestley, the gorgeous boy who broke her heart and shattered her faith in friendship and love, suddenly shows up in her life again while back home on a visit. Dylan doesn't hide his feelings for Lexi, but she can't forgive or forget being betrayed by the one person she ever truly loved.

Despite the pain Dylan's caused her, Lexi is once again drawn to the blue-eyed-boy-next-door. Will Lexi choose the man who seems perfect but hides a dark side or the boy who smashed her heart into pieces so many years ago?

Bitter Sweet Love will be free from May 15th-19th!

Buy Link

About the Author

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Review: Owl and the Japanese Circus by Kristi Charish

No comments:

Title: Owl and the Japanese Circus (The Adventures of Owl #1)
Krista Charish
Publisher: Gallery (Simon & Schuster)
Release Date: January 13, 2015
Acquired Via:

Fans of Kim Harrison, Jim Butcher, and Linda Hamilton will flock to the kick-ass world of Owl, a modern-day “Indiana Jane” who reluctantly navigates the hidden supernatural world.

Ex-archaeology grad student turned international antiquities thief, Alix—better known now as Owl—has one rule. No supernatural jobs. Ever. Until she crosses paths with Mr. Kurosawa, a red dragon who owns and runs the Japanese Circus Casino in Las Vegas. He insists Owl retrieve an artifact stolen three thousand years ago, and makes her an offer she can’t refuse: he’ll get rid of a pack of vampires that want her dead. A dragon is about the only entity on the planet that can deliver on Owl’s vampire problem – and let’s face it, dragons are known to eat the odd thief.

Owl retraces the steps of Mr. Kurosawa’s ancient thief from Japan to Bali with the help of her best friend, Nadya, and an attractive mercenary. As it turns out though, finding the scroll is the least of her worries. When she figures out one of Mr. Kurosawa’s trusted advisors is orchestrating a plan to use a weapon powerful enough to wipe out a city, things go to hell in a hand basket fast…and Owl has to pick sides.

My Review

This review was originally posted at and used to introduce the newest reviewer, Kim, to the fold.

You know that old saying, Don’t Choose a Book by Its Cover? I usually don’t. I often pick a book by its title, that’s why I chose Owl and the Japanese Circus by Kristi Charish. Owls in a Japanese circus act? What are they doing? But wait, this is an Urban Fantasy, so that can’t even be close to what it’s about. I flipped the book over and started reading the back.
Fans of Kim Harrison, Jim Butcher, and Linda Hamilton will flock to the kick-ass world of Owl, a modern-day “Indiana Jane” who reluctantly navigates the hidden supernatural world.

Harrison and Butcher’s books are ones that I read as soon as they come out. And I’ve never heard of Linda Hamilton, but maybe they meant Laurell K. Hamilton, and I used to read her books... sounds excellent so far.

Then I read “modern-day “Indiana Jane”. What is that meme? Shut up and take my money.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Blog Tour (Review): Exquisite Corpse by Pénélope Bagieu #Giveaway @01FirstSecond

No comments:

Welcome to my stop on the review tour for Exquisite Corpse by Pénélope Bagieu! Today, I'm going to be sharing my thoughts on the book with you, and there is a giveaway provided by our friends at First Second Books!

Title: Exquisite Corpse
Pénélope Bagieu
Publisher: First Second (Macmillian)
Release Date: May 5, 2015

Zoe isn't exactly the intellectual type, which is why she doesn't recognize world-famous author Thomas Rocher when she stumbles into his apartment ... and into his life.

Zoe doesn't know Balzac from Batman, but she's going to have to wise up fast . . . because Rocher has a terrible secret, and now Zoe is sitting on the literary scandal of the century.

My Review

I'm relatively new to the graphic novel thing, but since we're always needing ideas for new ones to order for the library, I jumped on the opportunity to read and review Pénélope Bagieu's Exquisite Corpse. Unlike the few other graphic novels that I've read, Exquisite Corpse has nothing to do with superheros or fairy tales - it is just a story about a twenty-two year old girl who is trying to figure out what she wants out of life in Paris.

Waiting on Wednesday (106): Cast in Honor by Michelle Sagara

No 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: Cast in Honor (Chronicles of Elantra #11)
Michelle Sagara
Publisher: MIRA (Harlequin)
Release Date: November 24, 2015

In the aftermath of a vicious battle between darkness and light, the city of Elantra has emerged victorious. But Shadows continue to haunt every corner of its streets...

Elantra stands strong, but countless numbers of Hawks, the city's staunchest protectors, were lost in the brutal attack. Humans, Barrani, Aerians, Leontines—none of the races emerged unscathed from the defense of the city. Homes were lost, families were scattered…and the outcast Barrani Lord Nightshade is missing from his castle in the fiefs.

Yet as the chaos surrounding the battle begins to wane, Private Kaylin Neya's duties must resume, despite her grief. Called in to investigate a triple murder in a quiet part of town, Kaylin and her companions are soon embroiled in a case that is anything but routine. Evidence of the deadly Shadows that still threaten the city leads to hints of ancient, forgotten magics. And a visit to the Oracular Halls points directly to Ravellon—the heart of the Shadows and the darkness they contain.

But it is there that Lord Nightshade will be found—if he still survives.

The Chronicles of Elantra is a solid fantasy series, and I can't wait to read the next one. The world has a really cool concept, and it's one that I really hadn't quite seen before. It was a little hard to grasp for the first book, but by the third book I was hooked. The series is even better on audio, because the fabulous Khristine Hvam narrates. I need to check out Sagara's other series, which she sometimes writes as Michelle Sagara West or Michelle West.

What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Blog Tour (10 Random Things): Neverland by Shari Arnold #Giveaway @MyShelfAndI


Neverland Tour Schedule
Official Blog Tour
Hosted by MMSAI Tours
May 4th - 8th & May 11th - 15th

Title: Neverland
Shari Arnold
Publisher: Self
Blog Tour Organizer: MMSAI Tours
Release Date: April 28, 2015

It’s been four months since seventeen-year-old Livy Cloud lost her younger sister, but she isn’t quite ready to move on with her life — not even close. She’d rather spend her time at the Seattle Children’s hospital, reading to the patients and holding onto memories of the sister who was everything to her and more.

But when she meets the mysterious and illusive Meyer she is drawn into a world of adventure, a world where questions abound.

Is she ready to live life without her sister? Or more importantly, is she brave enough to love again?

In this modern reimagining of Peter Pan, will Livy lose herself to Neverland or will she find what she’s been searching for?

10 Random Things About Shari Arnold

1. I was born on Christmas Eve and came home from the hospital in a big red stocking.

2. I gave up red meat after eating a hamburger at the Hard Rock Café in London twenty years ago.

Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I Really Want to Meet (Besides Kevin Hearne)


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

Top Ten Books That I Would Really Like to Meet

1. Kevin Hearne
Author of The Iron Druid Chornicles

I fangirl for him so hard, that I'm surprised that he hasn't put a restraining order against me. Well, maybe if I COULD ACTUALLY MAKE IT TO A DAMNED SIGNING (!!!) he would. *sigh* The closest he's came to me is Dallas, but something always comes up. One day, I'll make it, and I'm sure there will be millions of people in line because he's so awesome.

Sad Kayla is sad.

2. Neil Gaiman
Author of Coraline, Neverwhere, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, American Gods, Sandman and many more terrific books

I loved Good Omens first out of all of his books, but I think The Ocean at the End of the Lane is the only one that I've read that I didn't love. I also love love love The Doctor's Wife, the episode of Doctor Who that he wrote. (I didn't care for Nightmare in Silver as much, but it's probably because I hate Clara.) Anywho, he's a handsome man who writes good stuff.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Blog Tour (Review & #Giveaway): Dark Screams Volume Two edited by Brian James Freeman and Richard Chizmar


Title: Dark Screams: Volume Two
Brian James Freeman and Richard Chizmar
Publisher: Hydra (Penguin Random House)
Release Date: March 3, 2015
Acquired Via:

Robert McCammon, Norman Prentiss, Shawntelle Madison, Graham Masterton, and Richard Christian Matheson scale new heights of horror, suspense, and grimmest fantasy in Dark Screams: Volume Two, from Brian James Freeman and Richard Chizmar of the renowned Cemetery Dance Publications.

THE DEEP END by Robert McCammon
Everyone thinks the drowning death of Neil Calder in the local swimming pool was a tragic accident. Only his father knows better. Now, on the last night of summer, Neil returns in search of revenge.

INTERVAL by Norman Prentiss
Flight 1137 from St. Louis by way of Nashville has gone missing. As anxious friends and family gather around the gate, a ticket clerk finds herself eyewitness to a moment of inhuman evil.

IF THESE WALLS COULD TALK by Shawntelle Madison
Eleanor has come from New York City to prep an old Victorian house in Maine for America’s Mysterious Hotspots. Although she’s always thrown herself into her work, this job will take her places she’s never dreamed of going.

THE NIGHT HIDER by Graham Masterton
C. S. Lewis wrote about a portal that led to a world of magic and enchantment. But the wardrobe in Dawn’s room holds only death—until she solves its grisly mystery.

WHATEVER by Richard Christian Matheson
A 1970s rock ’n’ roll band that never was—in a world that is clearly our own...but perhaps isn’t, not anymore...or, at least, not yet—takes one hell of a trip.

Praise for Dark Screams: Volume Two

Dark Screams: Volume Two [is] a worthwhile read and a great entry to this series. If this upward trend in quality continues, we are sure to see amazing things in the volumes to come.” — LitReactor

“[Brian James Freeman] and Richard Chizmar set themselves a high standard with the first volume, and it’s good to see that they have maintained that level of excellence. . . . If you like good, solid horror, check it out. I’ve found some new authors to read.” — Adventures Fantastic

“Five fun-to-read stories by top-notch horror scribes. How can you lose? The answer: you can’t.” — Atomic Fangirl

“Once I started this book, I didn’t want to read anything else.” — Carole’s Random Life

My Review

I don't read that much horror now, as a blogger, but I still enjoy the genre. When I was offered Dark Screams Volume Two, I had to take it because it's been quite a while since I've read anything creepy or scary.

The Deep End
Robert R. McCammon

Sometimes there is little I love more than an unreliable narrator. (Just because something is horror does not mean that I will believe that a character believes to be true.) The protagonist, Glenn, just lost his son two weeks before in a swimming accident at the public pool. He's convinced that there is a monster lurking in the deep end and that it's his job to kill it. Being as this is a horror anthology, maybe Glenn hasn't gone "off the deep end" himself, and there's a monster after all.

Norman Prentiss

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Review: Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen (ARC) @PenguinTeen #yalit #FirstToRead

1 comment:

Title: Saint Anything
Sarah Dessen
Publisher: Viking Juvenile (Penguin Random House)
Release Date: May 5, 2015
Acquired Via:
First to Read

Peyton, Sydney's charismatic older brother, has always been the star of the family, receiving the lion's share of their parents' attention and—lately—concern. When Peyton's increasingly reckless behavior culminates in an accident, a drunk driving conviction, and a jail sentence, Sydney is cast adrift, searching for her place in the family and the world. When everyone else is so worried about Peyton, is she the only one concerned about the victim of the accident?

Enter the Chathams, a warm, chaotic family who run a pizza parlor, play bluegrass on weekends, and pitch in to care for their mother, who has multiple sclerosis. Here Sydney experiences unquestioning acceptance. And here she meets Mac, gentle, watchful, and protective, who makes Sydney feel seen, really seen, for the first time.

My Review

I am a newer convert to the Sarah Dessen cult following, but I have loved almost everything I have read by her, and I enjoyed her newest as well. Saint Anything has that Sarah Dessen touch with the focus on family and friends in a believable coming of age story, but it's darker than any other Dessen novel I've read (I have only not read Dreamland). However, even with the darker touches, I still closed the novel with a smile on my face.

Friday, May 8, 2015

The DNF Files (1) - Kayla Edition #Giveaway

Lately I've been throwing aside books left and right, and I feel guilty about it. Because of this, I've decided that I'll share with you the books that I've tried reading that just weren't working out for me. Who knows? If you loved a certain book enough, maybe you can convince me to give it another go.

DNF #1

Title: Dragons Are People, Too
Author: Sarah Nicholas
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: April 28, 2015
Acquired Via:

Never judge a dragon
by her human cover...

Sixteen-year-old Kitty Lung has everyone convinced she’s a normal teen—not a secret government operative, not the one charged with protecting the president’s son, and
certainly not a were-dragon. The only one she trusts with the truth is her best friend—and secret crush—the über-hot Bulisani Mathe.

Then a junior operative breaks Rule Number One by changing into his dragon form in public—on Kitty’s watch—and suddenly, the world knows. About dragons. About the Draconic Intelligence Command (DIC) Kitty works for. About Kitty herself.

Now the government is hunting down and incarcerating dragons to stop a public panic, and a new shape-shifting enemy has kidnapped the president’s son. Kitty and Bulisani are the last free dragons, wanted by both their allies and their enemies. If they can’t rescue the president’s son and liberate their fellow dragons before getting caught themselves, dragons might never live free again.

Why It Didn't Work

Thursday, May 7, 2015

SYNC YA Literature: Free Audiobooks May 7 - August 13, 2015


Okay, if there is one thing that I love most about summertime, it is the free audiobooks that I get during AudioFile Magazine's SYNC promotion. Yes, you read that right - FREE. This will be my third year downloading audiobooks through the program, and my second year promoting it at my library. It's only fair that I share this stuff with you guys, too, right? So, starting today, there are two free audiobooks each week until August 14th. Here's some of the fancy talk from the SYNC website that will explain things better than me.

What is SYNC?
• SYNC is the audiobook publishers’ and AudioFile Magazine’s commitment to introducing the listening experience to your young adult audience.
• SYNC gives away FREE audiobook downloads. The program has been offered since Summer 2010 and will begin in 2015 with a pair of free downloads May 7th.
• SYNC audiobook titles are given away in pairs. A Young Adult title is paired with a related Classic, thematically paired Young Adult title or Required Summer Reading title.
• SYNC hooks readers by introducing a free download of a Young Adult “first in series” or prolific author.
• SYNC demonstrates that Required Reading can be completed by listening.
• Titles are delivered through the OverDrive Media Console.

Get Alerts about Featured Titles
• Text syncya to 25827 to receive text alerts about all the featured titles.
•Sign-up to “Join the SYNC Newsletter” at in the right column.

Download Details
• Downloads are in MP3 format and are Mac and Windows compatible.
• Downloads will operate through OverDrive Media Console.
• Most listening devices are supported.
• Each SYNC audiobook will be available for download for a period of 7 days, so be quick!

For issues or questions about the download process please contact the SYNC Help Desk at

2015 Title List

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Spotlight (Guest Post): Alias Hook by Lisa Jensen @StMartinsPress #adultlit

No comments:

Title: Alias Hook
Lisa Jensen
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (Macmillan)
Paperback Release Date: May 5, 2015

"Every child knows how the story ends. The wicked pirate captain is flung overboard, caught in the jaws of the monster crocodile who drags him down to a watery grave. But it was not yet my time to die. It's my fate to be trapped here forever, in a nightmare of childhood fancy, with that infernal, eternal boy."

Meet Captain James Benjamin Hook, a witty, educated Restoration-era privateer cursed to play villain to a pack of malicious little boys in a pointless war that never ends. But everything changes when Stella Parrish, a forbidden grown woman, dreams her way to the Neverland in defiance of Pan's rules. From the glamour of the Fairy Revels, to the secret ceremonies of the First Tribes, to the mysterious underwater temple beneath the Mermaid Lagoon, the magical forces of the Neverland open up for Stella as they never have for Hook. And in the pirate captain himself, she begins to see someone far more complex than the storybook villain.

With Stella's knowledge of folk and fairy tales, she might be Hook's last chance for redemption and release if they can break his curse before Pan and his warrior boys hunt her down and drag Hook back to their neverending game. Alias Hook by Lisa Jensen is a beautifully and romantically written adult fairy tale.

Praise for Alias Hook

“Living in Peter Pan’s Neverland would be wonderful, wouldn’t it? But what if you weren’t a 9-year-old boy? What if you were instead a 43-year-old well-educated gentleman who because of a witch’s curse was stuck in a realm where you were eternally fighting off armies of boys with no peer to talk to and with no hope of ever escaping? Such is the enticing set up of Lisa Jensen’s newly published novel Alias Hook, an imaginative what-if tale that fills in the colors of one of the most famous literary villains of the 20th century.” Santa Cruz Sentinel

“Need a Captain Hook fix before ABC’s Once Upon a Time returns? This inventive tale details why Peter Pan’s nemesis was banished to Neverland, what really happened to his arm – and how love’s power can break any curse.” Us Weekly

“…Alias Hook gives voice and credence to the character of Captain Hook. Jensen captures Hook’s enlightened albeit bitter speech and thought pattern in the most dastardly villainous and incredibly satisfying way. So good is the character’s voice, in fact, that it’s easy to root for the tragic character of James Hook and wish Peter Pan would just fly away.” Deseret News

Alias Hook breathes new life into the character of the misunderstood captain, giving him a past filled with humanity and heartache, love and loss. And he’s pretty darn sexy too—no wonder Jensen has a thing for pirates.” Good Times Weekly

Guest Post

The Villain As Hero
Lisa Jensen

I always thought Captain Hook was a lot more fun than Peter Pan, who just seemed like a cocky little boy with an attitude. But when I went back and re-encountered Peter Pan as an adult, I started to realize how horrible it must be for Hook, a grown man, to be stuck forever in this world of perpetual childhood, run by 11-year-old boys. That would be my vision of Hell! So I began to ponder the plight of Captain James Benjamin Hook, a witty, educated Restoration-era privateer cursed to play villain to a pack of malicious little boys in pointless war games that never end.

Waiting on Wednesday (105): A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston


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: A Thousand Nights
E.K. Johnston
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion (Hachette)
Release Date: October 6, 2015

Lo-Melkhiin killed three hundred girls before he came to her village, looking for a wife. When she sees the dust cloud on the horizon, she knows he has arrived. She knows he will want the loveliest girl: her sister. She vows she will not let her be next.

And so she is taken in her sister's place, and she believes death will soon follow. Lo-Melkhiin's court is a dangerous palace filled with pretty things: intricate statues with wretched eyes, exquisite threads to weave the most beautiful garments. She sees everything as if for the last time.But the first sun rises and sets, and she is not dead. Night after night, Lo-Melkhiin comes to her and listens to the stories she tells, and day after day she is awoken by the sunrise. Exploring the palace, she begins to unlock years of fear that have tormented and silenced a kingdom. Lo-Melkhiin was not always a cruel ruler. Something went wrong.

Far away, in their village, her sister is mourning. Through her pain, she calls upon the desert winds, conjuring a subtle unseen magic, and something besides death stirs the air.

Back at the palace, the words she speaks to Lo-Melkhiin every night are given a strange life of their own. Little things, at first: a dress from home, a vision of her sister. With each tale she spins, her power grows. Soon she dreams of bigger, more terrible magic: power enough to save a king, if she can put an end to the rule of a monster.

The cover is sooooo pretty! Plus, I love a good retelling so I can't want to get my hands on this.

What are you waiting on this week?