Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Review: Illusions by Aprilynne Pike

From Goodreads:
Laurel hasn't seen Tamani since she begged him to let her go last year. Though her heart still aches, Laurel is confident that David was the right choice. 

But just as life is returning to normal, Laurel discovers that a hidden enemy lies in wait. Once again, Laurel must turn to Tamani to protect and guide her, for the danger that now threatens Avalon is one that no faerie thought would ever be possible. And for the first time, Laurel cannot be sure that her side will prevail.

I seriously devoured this book.  In one day.  I love this series.  The first book I liked, the second I liked even more.  And this one?  I loved it.  I'm a little upset by the ending though.  I feel like I was all worked up, anxious and desperate to know and then, no.  Not going to happen.  This has to be one of the worst cliff hanger books ever.  I really don't like cliff hangers.  No resolution.  None.  (if this is sounding a bit like a 3 year old rant, that's probably because it is.  Well, maybe not so much the 3 year old part, but a rant to be sure.)  Do you know how long I have to wait for the next book?!  Seriously?!


What else do I say?  I loved it.  I want more.  I want the end.  I want Laurel and Tamani to live happily ever after in their faery world and i want David to realize it's Chelsea he's loved all along.  That's what I want.  Today.  :)

Monday, June 27, 2011

I So Don't Do Famous by Barrie Summy

Her name is Sherlock Holmes Baldwin.  No, really.  But most everyone calls her Sherry.  And she really does have a knack for solving mysteries.  In this fourth installment of the series, Sherry is headed to Hollywood.  Her essay on love has won the grand prize from Hollywood Girl magazine and Sherry has won an all expense paid trip to Hollywood.  A dream come true for any thirteen year old.  Within a day of arriving, Sherry stumbles upon a mystery.  A purse is stolen right out from underneath their noses and the suspects are the same ones who have been burglarizing the homes of young Hollywood celebrities.  With the help of Sherry’s best friend Junie, and Leah, a new ghost on the scene, Sherry puts her mind to solving the million dollar mystery.

This was a cute book and I really enjoyed reading it.  It was fun and light.  Sherry is an active, curious character who loves solving mysteries.  The story had a good flow to it and made me smile.  My favorite line from the book was, “she’s pretty old, like forty.”  HA!  (while I’m not forty YET, I’m closer to that age if we are rounding!)  Sherry sure seemed to have a lot of free reign for a thirteen year old girl, especially in LA where things can get a bit rough.  I know I wouldn’t allow my thirteen year old girl to romp through the streets of LA, day and night, unsupervised.  This book has a marketed reading level of ages 9-12.  A fun summer read for your tween!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Review: Fractured by Cheri Schmidt

From Goodreads:
The Fateful Trilogy continues with Fractured.

They had thought they’d escaped most of the danger surrounding them, when in truth they’ve made it worse by unintentionally sparking a civil war amongst vampires. Many vampires want to protect them for discovering the cure to the curse binding their kind. However many more want to destroy them for that same discovery.

Ethan’s and Danielle’s struggle for survival intensifies while they sink deeper into the midst of this danger. The romantic fairytale bliss they once had will soon fracture under the pressure of the curse....

As stated above, this is the second book in this series and is not a stand alone book.  You really need to read Fateful before this book.

I enjoyed this book more than I did the first book.  I liked the first book okay, it was a decent read but the second book was for sure better.  I guess I like the mortality of the second book better.  Ethan is now a mortal man, being cured in the first book from the vampire curse.  I really felt his frustrations of not being able to completely defend and protect Danielle like he had as a vampire.  He becomes dependant on others and it really frustrates him.  I enjoyed the growing love story between Ethan and Danielle and their desires for a “normal” future with children.  And, as with the first book, I enjoyed reading a love story without love triangle.  It was just Ethan and Danielle working together against the world.  I didn’t have to pick sides or choose between two hot guys.  J

While this was a pretty clean book, it isn’t one I would put into the hands of my 13 year old.  There is a lot of sensuality which is, in my opinion, more appropriate for the more mature reader.

I congratulate Cheri Schmidt on her success with these books.  They are doing very well as far as sales go.  You can pick Fateful up at Amazon on the kindle for .99 cents and Fractured for $2.99.  Awesome!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Review: Die For Me by Amy Plum

From Goodreads:

In the City of Lights, two star-crossed lovers battle a fate that is destined to tear them apart again and again for eternity.

When Kate Mercier's parents die in a tragic car accident, she leaves her life--and memories--behind to live with her grandparents in Paris. For Kate, the only way to survive her pain is escaping into the world of books and Parisian art. Until she meets Vincent.

Mysterious, charming, and devastatingly handsome, Vincent threatens to melt the ice around Kate's guarded heart with just his smile. As she begins to fall in love with Vincent, Kate discovers that he's a revenant--an undead being whose fate forces him to sacrifice himself over and over again to save the lives of others. Vincent and those like him are bound in a centuries-old war against a group of evil revenants who exist only to murder and betray. Kate soon realizes that if she follows her heart, she may never be safe again.

I listened to this book on my IPOD, it started out being my motivation for exercising, but then I got hurt and I couldn’t exercise.  Do you think I was going to wait to finish this book?  No way.  I started plugging in while I cleaned, drove around (only one ear!) and anytime I could get away with it because I loved listening to this book.

Just one small irritation in the character Kate.  Small.  I didn’t like the way she kept calling Vincent a monster over and over in the beginning. She sometimes got on my nerves just a bit.   See?  Just a small complaint.  Not enough to deter me from loving this book.

I felt like I was there in the book with those characters.  I loved Vincent.  He really held the story together for me.  He is strong, steady and yummy.  Especially for a dead guy!  I loved getting to know his family of revenants.  They were all great characters with such a loyalty to each other.  The story of the revenants is a good one. 

I always say I do not like Zombie books, but I think this might just classify as a zombie book.  No, really.  Now I can say I like a zombie book.  J  Vincent was the best zombie ever.

This book contained some language, (a few hell’s and damn’s and once instance of the B word) and some kissing and sensuality.  

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Indelible by Kristen Heitzmann

From Goodreads:
When Trevor MacDaniel, a high country outfitter, rescues a toddler from the jaws of a mountain lion, he can’t foresee the far-reaching consequences of his action, how it will entwine his life with gifted sculptor, Natalie Reeve—and attract a grim admirer. 
Trevor’s need to guard and protect is born of tragedy, prompting his decision to become a search and rescue volunteer. Natalie’s gift of sculpting comes from an unusual disability that seeks release through her creative hands. In each other they see strength and courage as they face an incomprehensible foe.
Drawn by the heroic story of the child’s rescue, a twisted soul sees Trevor as archangel and adversary, and threatens their peaceful mountain community—testing Trevor’s limits by targeting their most helpless and innocent.

Wow.  I’m still thinking about this book, wondering about it.  The main characters were real and touchable, if that makes sense.  The struggles were identifiable.  Both Trevor and Natalie were great characters and I liked them.

The book starts off with a bang and really never lets up.  It’s fast paced and has all the elements that I enjoy in a book.  Tension, romance, mystery…

I admit to being a bit lost when it came to the “evil” and “darkness”.  It was creepy, for sure, especially in the beginning.  I’m not sure I completely got the connection from what I read throughout the book of the “darkness” and what it turned out to be in the end.  In the beginning, the “darkness” says, “what use is darkness if not to try the light?”  He sure didn’t come across in the beginning as a grim admirer.  He came across as evil and possessed.  Somewhere along the way it shifted to grim admirer, someone who was looking for help, but so much along the way gave you a totally different impression.  It was sometimes confusing.

I really enjoyed the progression of the plot, the desire to know pushing me forward.  I wanted to understand what was happening with the antagonist.   I guess it was the ending that left me wondering.  What happened to the dark being?  How about the loss of the gift for the main character?  Does she continue with her art? 

There were so many characters in this book, and I think not having read the first book hindered me a bit in that area.  I did get a feel for a previous story, but didn’t have that connection to those characters.  I’d like to go back and read Indivisible.  Overall, this was a good read.  I enjoyed the writing style and the tension in the book.

I received this book courtesy of Blogging For Books for my honest review.

Winner of Cascade!

My most sincere thanks to Lisa Bergren for generously allowing this giveaway.  And thanks to everyone who took part in making the giveaway great.  The winner is Krystal who kindly picked.  :)  Congrats to Krystal!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Last Day for Cascade Giveaway!

Happy Friday Everyone!
Just a reminder that today is the last day to enter my giveaway for Cascade by Lisa Bergren! This is an awesome time travelling, adventurous romance you don't want to miss.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Follow My Book Blog Friday

Q. Genre Wars! What's your favorite genre and which book in that genre made it your favorite?

Well, I don't really have a favorite genre.  I'm sort of a moody reader, so sometimes I'm really in the mood for a good romance.  Or sometimes I want a good action book.  I love chick lit and sometimes I enjoy a good mystery.  I love westerns and well, paranormal and dystopian.  How can I pick just one?!  I can't.  Give me a good book in almost any genre and I'm a happy girl.  Some of my favorite reads so far this year?

Between Shades of Gray  (historical fiction)
Divergent (dystopian)
Kissing Cousins (romance)
Tiger's Curse (paranormal)
Cascade (historical romance/time travel)  
             *my giveaway for this book ends tomorrow so check it out!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Review: Summer's Crossing by Julie Kagawa

From Goodreads:
A Midsummer's Nightmare? Robin Goodfellow. Puck. Summer Court prankster, King Oberon's right hand, bane of many a faery queen's existence—and secret friend to Prince Ash of the Winter Court. Until one girl's death came between them, and another girl stole both their hearts. 

Now Ash has granted one favor too many and someone's come to collect, forcing the prince to a place he cannot go without Puck's help—into the heart of the Summer Court. And Puck faces the ultimate choice—betray Ash and possibly win the girl they both love, or help his former friend turned bitter enemy pull off a deception that no true faery prankster could possibly resist. 

I really enjoyed the Iron Fey books.  How exciting to have this novella insight into Puck and his head.  :)  I love Puck.  And the cover here?  Gorgeous, just like the rest of them.  I have to admit that I sort of feel like I was deprived with this novella.  Novella = Short.  The rest of the books were long and filling yet still left me wanting more.  This novella was like having the first bite and then having it taken away.  Still wanting it all.  Do you know what I'm saying?  Sigh.  The one bite was sure good though.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Beyond All Measure by Dorothy Love

From Goodreads:
Ada Wentworth, a young Bostonian, journeys to Hickory Ridge, Tennessee, in the years following the Civil War. Alone and nearly penniless following a broken engagement, Ada accepts a position as a lady's companion to the elderly Lillian Willis, a pillar of the community and aunt to the local lumber mill owner, Wyatt Caldwell. Ada intends to use her millinery skills to establish a hat shop and secure her future.
Haunted by unanswered questions from her life in Boston, Ada is most drawn to two townsfolks: Wyatt, a Texan with big plans of his own, and Sophie, a mulatto girl who resides at the Hickory Ridge orphanage. Ada's friendship with Sophia attracts the attention of a group of locals seeking to displace the residents of Two Creeks, a "colored" settlement on the edge of town. As tensions rise, Ada is threatened but refuses to abandon her plan to help the girl.

When Lillian dies, Ada is left without employment or a place to call home. And since Wyatt's primary purpose for staying in Hickory Ridge was to watch over his aunt, he can now pursue his dream of owning Longhorns in his home state of Texas.

With their feelings for each other growing, Ada must decide whether she can trust God with her future and Wyatt with her heart.

This was a nice, easy historical romance.  I wouldn't classify it among my personal favorites, but it was an okay read.  I honestly felt like the the story had so many parts of the plot that didn't really get developed like I wanted them to.  Connecting with the characters emotionally didn't happen for me.  While I liked them, and I liked what they were about, I never did fully connect with them.

This is a Christian fiction book without getting overly preachy.  It is clean and it has a happy ending.  :)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Meeting Authors! Fabulous Day!

I went to a book festival a couple hours from where I live yesterday.  It was awesome.  I met some great authors, got some of my books signed and ran into some cool people in the process.

I listened to James  Dashner present and he is lots of fun to listen to.  Very funny.  I found out we are the same age.  (which means we are very young despite the grey hairs...)  He had the first chapter of his book, which you see him holding up.  He wouldn't give it to me.  Darn.  I've had him sign my books already so I was just getting a picture this time around.  Well, and trying to get that booklet from him...

I was so excited to meet Kiersten White!  I really enjoyed Paranormalcy and I'm looking forward to her next book Supernaturally.  She signed my book with a pink pen, of course.  :)

We own every one of Brandon Mull's books.  My kids love his Fablehaven series.  I took our book of Candy Shop Wars to this event though.  Most of the people in line had his newest book, Beyonders, with them.  It was great to meet him.  I've heard Brandon Mull speak and he is very entertaining as well.

Here I am with Aprilynne Pike.  Awesome!  I haven't read her last book, Illusions yet, but it's in the pile.  She is so cute, isn't she?

I had to steal this book away from my daughter to take with me.  The Forgotten Locket is the last book in the Hourglass Door Trilogy by Lisa Mangum.  She is such a nice lady.  I've really enjoyed reading her books and it was exciting to meet her.

See what I mean?  Awesome day.  I had so much fun.  I was so glad I got to attend and that my mom came with me.  It was perfect.  :)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Follow My Book Blog Friday

Q. What are you doing to prepare for an upcoming zombie apocalypse and/or the return of Mel Gibson to the silver screen? (Both of which could be terrifying.) 

Hum, I actually do my best to stay away from anything Zombie related because I am a big 'fraidy cat.  Honest.  I don't like to be scared, and I DO like to sleep at night.  So, if there is a zombie apocalypse, I will probably be the first to go which is actually good news for all of you.  Well, until I become the ZOMBIE of your worst nightmare and come after you.  (wait, I have to stop this, I am scaring myself...)

While you are here, check out my author interview and giveaway with Lisa Bergren!  :)

Interview with Author Lisa Bergren and a GIVEAWAY!

I recently reviewed here on my blog the first two books in the River of Time Series by Lisa Bergren.  I loved them and I'll tell you why.  They were well written, fast paced and had everything I look for in a great book.  Action, romance, history and strong characters.  What I loved even more was that once I was finished with these books, I was able to hand them right off to my 13 year old daughter with no worries.  Lots of times I read books and really enjoy them but I don't let her read them because they contain something inappropriate for a young teenage reader.  I love that this is a series I can share with her.

Lisa has graciously agreed to do a short interview with me and then give you all a chance to win her newest book, Cascade, which was just released this week.  How happy is that?!  Well, it sure makes me happy!  I love giving away books!  Here we go...

Welcome Lisa.  I'm so glad you are here.

 I love to travel.  I haven't been many places but I dream of going all over this earth.  I know you love to travel too.  Where is the most memorable place you have been?
Is it a cop-out to say Italy? Truly. Been three times and can't WAIT to return. (I'm heading there in October with Daughter #2.) But Israel and Egypt were equally memorable.

 You have written many different kinds of books.  Fiction, non-fiction, children's books...  Have you always wanted to be a writer?  Which genre do you love writing the best?
Wow, I'm ADORING YA. Never even considered it until my daughters were teens (they're now 16 and 13). But I love this age for a heroine--all of life, poised, ready, before you... And yes, I think I always wanted to be a writer. But I didn't dare to think it was truly possible. It wasn't until my 5th or 6th book was out that I could utter the words, "I'm a writer." "Author" seemed too pretentious!

 You mention on your website that one of your daughters was a reluctant reader and that you wrote the River of Time Series for her.  Did she have any input in your stories and characters?
She didn't have any input up front, but she had plenty, once the book was written. She was my first reader, telling me if I was off on how teens said things, thought, etc. And when she loved it, I knew I was onto something special.

 I was impressed with the amount of research you did for these books.  Do you enjoy that part of writing?
I really do love research. Historical fact always brings up unique turning points for my plot.

 What made you choose the fourteenth century as the time period for your books?
Pre-Renaissance, was an innocent, but powerful age of change, potential. I think it's a perfect setting for a "coming of age" series for two young women.

 What are you working on now?
A trilogy on a group of young people, children of the copper kings, setting out on the Grand Tour of Europe in 1914. I'm loving it, too...The first, TO HAVE AND TO HOLD, comes out Summer 2012.

Thank you, Lisa for taking time to answer some questions!

Now on to the giveaway!  Here's what you need to do.  Watch the following trailer for Cascade and leave a comment here telling us what you liked about it.  Don't forget to include your email address so I can get in touch with you if you win.  If you want an extra entry, comment on either review I wrote for Waterfall or Cascade and leave another, separate comment letting me know where you commented.  Giveaway ends Friday, June 17th.

You can find Lisa at the following places: (author web site) (the Bergrens’ travel web site)
Facebook: “Lisa Tawn Bergren” and “River of Time Series
Twitter: @LisaTBergren

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Review: Dark Life by Kat Falls

Ty has spent his whole life living underwater.  His parents own land and farm there as part of the government’s new Subsea Homestead Act.  Global warming has forced people above ground to move closer together as land disappears into the depths of the ocean.  And a select few have determined to make a new life underwater.  Living deep under sea is the only way of life Ty knows and when outlaws attack his homestead he is determined to fight back to protect his home, his family and his future.

Gemma has spent her life crammed together in the same living space as many other people.  Her one and only goal is to escaped and find her brother who she hasn’t seen in years.  Her search takes her deep under the ocean to a world she has only heard stories about.  It is much more beautiful and terrifying then she ever imagined.

I first saw this book in my daughter’s book order from school.  I thought it looked good so I decided to pick it up.  Then I read a really positive review for it and I bumped it up on my to-read pile.  

This dystopian JF adventure was very interesting.  I really enjoyed imagining an underwater world where people can be self-sufficient.  There is much talk about Global Warming and other atmospheric and weather changes on our planet.  This book made me really think about what it would be like if something like that did happen.  Could the whole east coast just fall into the ocean?  Could the ocean really rise enough to cover our country?  Hum...  I wonder if I would be brave enough to be the pioneer into the ocean to try to make a new life there.  I seriously doubt it.  Even if I could swim with dolphins and hang out with whales.  It's all those other scary things out there...yikers!

 I really liked Ty's character.  I really liked his family too.  It seemed like they were a real family, dealing the best they knew how.  Ty has some special abilities that make him different from other people.  He tries to hide that because he's afraid of what people will think and how people will treat him if they know.  While most of us don't have sonar abilities like Ty, I think many times we struggle against being "different", afraid of what people might think or say about us.  I think this is what helped me really relate to Ty and feel with him.

Gemma was  one determined girl.  Her bravery and strength came from her deep desire to find her brother.  She remembered the love he showed to her and wanted that again.  I like Gemma's loyalty.  She was a great character too.

This book had lots of fun adventure and moved along quickly.  I really enjoyed it and I am anxious to pick up the next book in the series called Rip Tide that comes out in August. 

This is a JF book, suggested reading level of grades 6-10, which I thought was spot on.  There was one use of "like hell" in it.  

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

We have a Winner!

Wow, thank you to everyone who entered my giveaway!  You guys are the best. selected this comment as the winner:
tfalick said...
THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH for this giveaway!
I commented on your "DIVERGENT" review! I want to read that book SO BAD!
Congrats to you!  I'm sending you an email now!
Happy Reading!