Review: Temptation by Karen Ann Hopkins

Title: Temptation
Author: Karen Ann Hopkins
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pub. Date: June 26, 2012
Acquired: Netgalley
Pre-Order "Temptation":
Amazon / B&N / The Book Despository

Your heart misleads you. That's what my friends and family say. But I love Noah. And he loves me. We met and fell in love in the sleepy farming community of Meadowview, while we rode our horses together through the grassy fields and in those moments in each other's arms. It should be ROSE & NOAH forever, easy. But it won't be. Because he's Amish. And I'm not.

Review: The Vincent Boys by Abbi Glines

Title: The Vincent Boys
Author: Abbi Glines
Publisher: Self-Published
Pub. Date: Oct. 12, 2011
Acquired: Purchased on Amazon
Purchase "The Vincent Boys":
Amazon / B&N / Smashwords

Being the good girl isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Ashton Gray has grown weary of playing the part to please her parents, and to be worthy of the town’s prince charming, Sawyer Vincent. Maybe That’s why she’s found herself spending time with Sawyer’s cousin, Beau, while he’s away for the summer camping with his family. Beau is nothing like her perfect boyfriend. He’s the sexiest guy she’s ever seen, dangerous in ways she’s only day dreamed about, and the one guy she should stay away from.

Beau never envied Sawyer his loving parents, his big nice home, or his position as quarterback. He loves him like a brother. Which is why he's tried everything in his power to keep his distance from Sawyer’s girlfriend. Even if he has loved her since the age of five, Ashton is Sawyer’s girl, so therefore she’s off limits. But when Sawyer leaves for the summer, Ashton, the one girl Beau would move Heaven and Earth for, decides she wants to get into trouble. Stabbing the one person who’s always accepted him and stood by him in the back, is the cost of finally holding Ashton Gray in his arms. Is she worth losing his cousin over?.... Hell Yeah.

Any Love But Mine (The Erosians) by Debbie Davies (3.5/5 Stars)

Title: Any Love But Mine (The Erosians)
Author: Debbie Davies
Publisher: Night Publishing
Pub. Date: March 3, 2012
Acquired: From author, for an honest review.
Purchase "Any Love But Mine":
Amazon / B&N

Blurb from Goodreads:
The gods forbade her to love, but love is a powerful force. Acacia has been created purely for Eros' pleasure but discovers within moments of being summoned into his presence that he has no interest in her whatsoever. Rejected, she is banished to Earth to serve as Eros' minion with the task of promoting the blissful state of love among all those around her, a state she must never indulge in with a human being herself on pain of immediate destruction. And then comes Josh, someone whose power of attraction over Acacia is so intense she will find it utterly impossible to resist him. But is he human? Is he a god? Or is he a trick of the gods? And what would happen should they kiss?

Shadows (Lux #0.5) by Jennifer L. Armentrout (4/5 Stars)

Title: Shadows (Lux #0.5)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Pub. Date: Feb. 20, 2012
Acquired: Purchased through Amazon
Purchase Shadows:
Amazon / B&N

Blurb from Goodreads:
The last thing Dawson Black expected was Bethany Williams. As a Luxen, an alien life form on Earth, human girls are…well, fun. But since the Luxen have to keep their true identities a secret, falling for one would be insane.

Dangerous. Tempting. Undeniable.

Bethany can’t deny the immediate connection between her and Dawson. And even though boys aren’t a complication she wants, she can’t stay away from him. Still, whenever they lock eyes, she’s drawn in.

Captivated. Lured. Loved.

Dawson is keeping a secret that will change her existence...and put her life in jeopardy. But even he can’t stop risking everything for one human girl. Or from a fate that is as unavoidable as love itself.

Predestined (Existence Trilogy #2) by Abbi Glines (4.5/5 Stars)

Title: Predestined (Existence Trilogy #2)
Author: Abbi Glines
Pub. Date: March 29, 2012
Acquired: Won from Abbi Glines

Blurb from Goodreads:
You would think after helping save her boyfriend from an eternity in Hell that things would go back to normal. Well, as normal as life can be when you can see souls and your boyfriend is Death. But for Pagan Moore, things are just getting weirder.

The high school quarterback and reigning heartthrob, Leif Montgomery, is missing. While the town is in a frenzy of worry, Pagan is a nervous wreck for other reasons. Apparently good ‘ol Leif isn’t your average teenage boy. He isn’t even human. According to Death, Leif doesn’t have a soul. The quarterback may have skipped town but he’s still showing up in Pagan’s dreams... uninvited.

Dank has known from the beginning Leif wasn’t human. But he hadn’t worried about a simple soulless creature. Now, he realizes he made a grave mistake. Pagan’s soul has been marked since birth as a restitution, to a spirit so dark not even Death walks near it. Dank knows saving Pagan’s soul won’t be easy but Pagan is his. And he’s already proven he’ll defy Heaven to keep her. If Hell wants a piece of him too, then bring it on.

Obsidian (Lux #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout (5/5 Stars)

Title: Obsidian (Lux #1)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Pub. Date: May 15, 2012
Acquired: Purchased through Amazon

Blurb from Goodreads:
Starting over sucks.
When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I'd pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring.... until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.
And then he opened his mouth.
Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something...unexpected happens.
The hot alien living next door marks me.
You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon's touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I'm getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don't kill him first, that is.

Waiting on Wednesday[8]: Tributary (River of Time #3.5)

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Title: Tributary (River of Time #3.2)
Author: Lisa T. Bergren
Publication Date: June 2012

Okay, currently there are no descriptions for this book. BUUUUT, if you want to know more about it, check out these links:
Exclusive excerpt from Lisa T. Bergren
My review of WATERFALL (RoT #1)
My review of CASCADE & TORRENT (RoT #2 & #3)
My review of BOURNE (RoT #3.1)

The Cornerstone Blog Tour

I'm so excited to be one of the next stops on Misty Provencher's CORNERSTONE Blog Tour!!! If you haven't heard of this book, well...I suggest you check it out IMMEDIATELY! Read farther down for my review. And, be sure to leave a comment on my post or over at Ms. Provencher's blog, for a chance at some swag!

Title: Cornerstone
Author: Misty Provencher
Pub. Date: November 7, 2011

Blurb from Goodreads:
Nalena Maxwell has been branded ‘The Waste’ at her new school, due to her mom's obsessive paper hoarding. Nalena desperately wants something to change in her life, but when she receives a sign (and it's the wrong dang one) inviting her into a mysterious, ancient community, too much changes. What she knew of her family, what she thought of her life and what she believed about her future, is no longer applicable. Seventeen years worth of family skeletons come crashing into Nalena's life and it is the boy...the one that smiles at her like he wants to hear everything she'll ever say...that already knows her powerful secrets. But it is only Nalena that can choose between protecting the life that is already crumbling beneath her feet and the one that might sacrifice everything she could ever have.

The Last Timekeepers Blog Tour

Today Sharon Ledwith has stopped by with a guest post for her Last Time Keeper's Blog Tour hosted by Young Adult Novel Reader. Check it out!

Sharon Ledwith's Top Fav Time Travel Books

Since I’m writing a time travel series for middle-grade/YA, beginning with The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis, debuting May 18th through Musa Publishing, I thought it would be fun and fitting to do a little time traveling in my mind and recall what books had planted their seeds and rooted me firmly in this genre. It was tough to nail five picks, even with all the technological tools and data out there. But when I hit on a title, I went for how the book made me feel when I read it. After asking that, it made my choices easy.

[Promo]: Suffocate by S.R. Johannes

It is May 21st and guess what that means?

S.R. Johannes’ Suffocate is out today!

Suffocate is the first novelette in THE BREATHLESS series. It is a 15,000 word young adult thriller that combines the dystopic and science fiction genres.

Here’s a little about the novelette…

“For centuries, the world outside the Biome has been unlivable. Today, marks the first time anyone will attempt to leave the suffocating ecosphere. Eria is not worried because her scientist father has successfully tested the new Bio-Suit many times. It's a celebratory day until something goes horribly wrong. In the midst of tragedy, Eria uncovers a deep conspiracy that affects the very air she breathes. 

If those responsible find out what she knows, they won't stop hunting her until she takes her last breath.”

The 2nd novella in the series, CHOKE, is scheduled for Fall 2012. The 3rd, EXHALE, is scheduled for Winter 2013.

Purchase Suffocate for only 99 cents:
Amazon / B&N

Add it on Goodreads!

A bit about the author –

S.R. Johannes is author of the Amazon Bestseller Untraceable and a current nominee of the Georgia Author of the Year in the Young Adult category. After earning an MBA and working in corporate america, S.R. Johannes traded in her expensive suits, high heels, and corporate lingo for a family, flip-flops, and her love of writing. She lives in Atlanta Georgia with her goldendoodle Charley (notice he is listed first :), her British-accented husband, and the huge imaginations of their little prince and princess, which she hopes- someday- will change the world.  You can find her hanging out online and visit her at


I cannot WAIT to start reading this book! If you haven't read anything by Ms. Johannes yet, you are TOTALLY missing out!

Existence (Existence Trilogy #1) by Abbi Glines (4/5 Stars)

Title: Existence (Existence Trilogy #1)
Author: Abbi Glines
Publisher: Wild Child Publishing
Pub. Date: December 12, 2011
Acquired: Purchased through Amazon

Blurb from Goodreads:
What happens when you're stalked by Death? You fall in love with him, of course.

Pagan Moore doesn't cheat Death, but instead, falls in love with him.

Seventeen year old Pagan Moore has seen souls her entire life. Once she realized the strangers she often saw walking through walls were not visible to anyone else, she started ignoring them. If she didn't let them know she could see them, then they left her alone. Until she stepped out of her car the first day of school and saw an incredibly sexy guy lounging on a picnic table, watching her with an amused smirk on his face. Problem is, she knows he's dead.

Not only does he not go away when she ignores him, but he does something none of the others have ever done. He speaks. Pagan is fascinated by the soul. What she doesn't realize is that her appointed time to die is drawing near and the wickedly beautiful soul she is falling in love with is not a soul at all.

He is Death and he's about to break all the rules.

My Review:

I picked up this book because I won PREDESTINED (Exitence Trilogy #2) from Abbi Glines in the YA Scavenger Hunt. I'd meant to read it for awhile, but you know how it is with a growing TBR list. Books just get piled--one on top of the other. And sometimes some really great reads go unread because of this. Well, I'm really glad I won PREDESTINED because I got a chance to enjoy this very delightful series!

The whole idea that "Death" (also known as, Dank) can be a romantic love interest isn't something that you see very often. And, I really do appreciate a unique and original concept like this one.

I couldn't help but feel badly for Pagan, who seems like she's had it rough most of her life, having to keep her knowledge of--and interaction with--ghosts a secret from everyone. Fortunately, she has good friends in Miranda and Wyatt. And while they may have no idea of what Pagan deals with, there's still a fierce loyalty between them.

I love it when a story incorporates, not only a beautiful romance, but also a strong friendship bond, as well. And, with Pagan, Miranda, and Wyatt, who have all been friends since they were little, you can tell that these side characters are in place to help build up this story and not just for some unnecessary filler.

There is also, a love-triangle. Well, I should say that Pagan has two love interests. But, it seems pretty clear from the beginning who Pagan can't seem to live without. That being said, I think Leif is a pretty great character, as well. He may not have the whole mysterious, seductive, supernatural vibe going in this book, but he, sure as heck, has the boy-next-door thing going. And he obviously cares about Pagan. While I may not have prefered Leif for Pagan, I didn't find myself disliking him, either. I could see why she cared about him.

Now, for the romance as a whole, I felt like sometimes Pagan may have been a little TOO dependant on Dank and that may have made her appear a little too weak and needy for me. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for the all-emcompassing-desperate-true-love thing, but I just didn't get quite ALL of the decisions that Pagan made in regards to Dank. This didn't take away from my opinion of her, per se, I just didn't find that I could relate to her at certain parts of the story.

I will say this: I absolutely LOVE this series so far! I'm more than excited for the third installment--Ceaseless-- to come out later this year. I think Ms. Glines is a fabulous writer and a phenomenal storyteller!

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

Purchase Existence on Amazon.
Purchase Existence on Barnes and Noble.
Check out Abbi Glines' Page.

[Promo] Night of the Purple Moon by Scott Cramer

In case you haven't read it yet, I posted a review for NIGHT OF THE PURPLE MOON by Scott Cramer on here, awhile back. I absolutely fell in love with this book!

Well, Mr. Cramer is now releasing NIGHT OF THE PURPLE MOON in paperback and has added snippets from a few reviews on the back cover. And I am HONORED that he chose a quotation from MY review along with a couple of other really wonderful ones, as well!

If you haven't read this book, I suggest you check it out. Check out my review first, if you must.

Keep in mind that right now, NIGHT OF THE PURPLE MOON is on sale for just .99cents for your Kindle!! I've included the link below. And even if you don't have a Kindle, you can dowload the Kindle app for free for your computer.

Purchase Night of the Purple Moon on Amazon

Blurb from Goodreads:
Space germs decimate the adult population. Who will survive?

For months, astronomers have been predicting that Earth will pass through the tail of a comet. They say that people will see colorful sunsets and, best of all, a purple moon.

But nobody has predicted the lightning-fast epidemic that sweeps across the planet on the night of the purple moon. The comet brings space dust with it that contains germs that attack human hormones. Older teens and adults die within hours of exposure.

On a small island off the coast of Maine, a group of teens and children struggle to survive in this new world, but all the while they have inside them a ticking time bomb — adolescence.

Waiting on Wednesday[7]: Awry (The Archers of Avalon #2) by Chelsea Fine

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Title: Awry (The Archers of Avalon #2)
Author: Chelsea Fine
Publication Date: June 2012
Blurb from Goodreads:
Three curses. Two brothers. One love triangle.
Sometimes love is meant to be. But sometimes the death of you.

Seventeen-year-old Scarlet has just died. Only, dying isn't unusual for a girl under a centuries old curse that left her semi-immortal.

This time, though, she comes back to her current life instead of awaking in a new one, and she realizes the curse is changing. Together with the immortal Archer brothers, Scarlet must piece together her life and try to break the curse before her impending death comes again.

Why Am I Waiting?
Well, if you haven't read my review of ANEW, the first in this series, check it out here.
I absolutely LOVE this series, so far. The combination of magic, breaking curses, very dreamy guys, and a cliffhanger ending that broke my heart--makes me want this book something fierce!!! June cannot get here soon enough!!!

The Shapeshifter's Secret by Heather Ostler (2.5/5 Stars)

Title: The Shapeshifter's Secret
Author: Heather Ostler
Publisher: Cedar Fort
Pub. Date: June 12, 2012
Acquired: NetGalley

Blurb from Goodreads:
Julia is finally discovering what–not who–she is.

Like any sixteen-year-old, Julia's used to dealing with problems. From her overprotective father to her absent mother to a teacher who definitely has it in for her. But everything changes when Julia's reactions become oddly vicious and angry---more animal than human. This action-packed adventure has it all: humor, romance, and a plot that will keep you guessing to the very last page.

My Review:

I honestly cannot think of much to say about this book. The problem that I'm having is that I didn't love it and I didn't hate it. It was just, "blah". And, I have to be frank--I HATE writing reviews like this. I hate it when I just don't fall in LOVE with a book. But, alas, it happens.

Now, I received this book courtesy of Netgalley, so it's an ARC. With that in mind, I'm not going to critique all of the MANY spelling/grammatical errors that bothered me. Because, in reality, those will be corrected before this book is for sale. One can hope.

But, there were a few inconsistencies that just didn't sit well with me. One of the characters--Camilla--has brunette hair on one page and blonde on the next. This is the most noticeable. And to be fair, this will also probably be fixed before publication.

There's also the matter of the fact that when I was reading this, I kept feeling like Julia read more like a 12-year-old than a 16-year-old. Some of her responses and choices were just INCREDIBLY immature for her age. I don't know, maybe I'm overestimating today's youth. And as for the boys in this book, I don't even know what I was supposed to like about either of them.

I just really couldn't get into the story. I have a general rule that if it takes me more than three days to finish a book, then I KNOW there's a problem. This book took me a week. I picked it up, got bored, put it down. Then, I would repeat this process every day for the next week. Until I finally finished it. Again, I want to stress that I didn't HATE it, I just couldn't find myself liking ANY of the characters.

I don't know if I'll pick up the next book in the series. Curiosity may get the best of me to find out what happens next. Because, really I will not accept that something good cannot come out of this series.

My Rating: 2.5/5 Stars

Check out Heather Ostler's Page.

Blogariffic Blog Hop!!!

Well folks, welcome to my stop on the BLOGARIFFIC BLOG HOP!!! There are a few of us participating on this blog hop, and we're all giving a little something away! To enter our giveaways, just follow the directions on each site. To check out the other blogs that are participating on the blog hop, just click the Blogariffic Blog Hop picture up top.

If you haven't been here before, check it out, let me know what you think. And, thanks for stopping by!!!

I'm giving away TWO signed (by Megg Jensen, NOT myself) Cloud Prophet Trilogy bookmarks. If you haven't read or heard of the Cloud Prophet Trilogy, or anything else by Megg Jensen, I suggest you check out the links below. Also, note that the books I'm linking you to are FREE for Kindle or your Kindle app, right now!

The Initiate (Cloud Prophet Trilogy, Prequel)

Anathema (Cloud Prophet Trilogy, Book 1)

Sleepers (Swarm Trilogy, Book 1)

Just fill out the Rafflecopter form to enter. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Timepiece (Hourglass #2) by Myra McEntire (4/5 Stars)

Title: Timepiece (Hourglass #2)
Author: Myra McEntire
Publisher: Egmont USA
Pub. Date: June 12, 2012
Acquired: NetGalley

Blurb from Goodreads:
A threat from the past could destroy the future. And the clock is ticking...

Kaleb Ballard's relentless flirting is interrupted when Jack Landers, the man who tried to murder his father, timeslips in and attacks before disappearing just as quickly. But Kaleb has never before been able to see time travelers, unlike many of his friends associated with the mysterious Hourglass organization. Are Kaleb's powers expanding, or is something very wrong?

Then the Hourglass is issued an ultimatum. Either they find Jack and the research he's stolen on the time gene, or time will be altered with devastating results.

Now Kaleb, Emerson, Michael, and the other Hourglass recruits have no choice but to use their unusual powers to find Jack. But where do they even start? And when? And even if they succeed, it may not be enough...

The follow-up to Hourglass, Timepiece blends the paranormal, science fiction, mystery, and suspense genres into a nonstop thrill ride where every second counts.

My Review:
Surprisingly, I enjoyed this book MUCH more than I did HOURGLASS. Actually, considering the change-up in this book of narrators, it's NOT so surprising. My favorite, Kaleb, from HOURGLASS, is front and center in this second-installment.

And, OHMYGOODNESS, I think I love him. He, in my opinion, is SO much more interesting that Michael. I really do like Michael, and in real-life, I'd want MY daughter to date a "Michael", but he sure doesn't have the character and "spark" that Kaleb does. And through the first chapter of this book I found myself stewing over the fact that Emerson had chosen Michael and poor Kaleb, who obviously had feelings for her, was getting the short end of the stick.

All within the first few chapters, Kaleb's life looks pretty awful. His mother's still in a coma, his father is treating him differently after coming back from the dead, his friendship with Michael is strained, and he's got to sit there while the electricity goes in and out any time Michael and Emerson touch. Yeah. How can you NOT feel sorry for him?!

That's all just a part of what makes this story redeeming, however, because in the end, things don't end so badly for Kaleb. I won't say much else, but I definitely enjoyed the romance in this book. It wasn't forced, it put two very charismatic people together, and I can't wait to see where this goes!!!

As for the Jack/Cat part of the story, I think Ms. McEntire has more surprises in store for us. The first book, just skimmed the surface on what is REALLY going on with these two. But, in TIMEPIECE, we find out that Jack is not the only resistance that the Hourglass may face.

I'm so intrigued by this whole storyline now, that even without the love story in this book, I'd definitely want to read the rest of the series to figure out what happens next!

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

Pre-Order TIMEPIECE on Amazon.
Pre-Order TIMEPIECE on Barnes and Noble.
Check out Myra McEntire's Page.

Waiting On Wednesday[6]: Closed Hearts (Mindjack Trilogy #2) by Susan Kaye Quinn

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Title: Closed Hearts (Mindjack Trilogy #2)
Author: Susan Kaye Quinn
Publisher: CreateSpace
Publication Date: May 23, 2012

Blurb from Goodreads:
When you control minds, only your heart can be used against you.

Eight months ago, Kira Moore revealed to the mindreading world that mindjackers like herself were hidden in their midst. Now she wonders if telling the truth was the right choice after all. As wild rumors spread, a powerful anti-jacker politician capitalizes on mindreaders’ fears and strips jackers of their rights. While some jackers flee to Jackertown—a slum rife with jackworkers who trade mind control favors for cash—Kira and her family hide from the readers who fear her and jackers who hate her. But when a jacker Clan member makes Kira’s boyfriend Raf collapse in her arms, Kira is forced to save the people she loves by facing the thing she fears most: FBI agent Kestrel and his experimental torture chamber for jackers.

Why Am I Waiting?
The first installment, OPEN MINDS, was absolutely wonderful! I can't wait to see how Kira handles the consequences of doing the right and brave thing. People are going to be after her. I also can't wait to see more of Raf. I think this book will be fantastic!

The Glimpse by Claire Merle (3.5/5 Stars)

Title: The Glimpse
Author: Claire Merle
Publisher: Faber & Faber (UK)
Pub. Date: June 7, 2012
Acquired: NetGalley

Blurb from Goodreads:

Once you've seen into the future, can you change your destiny?
In a near future, society is segregated according to whether people are genetically disposed to mental illness. 17-year-old Ana has been living the privileged life of a Pure due to an error in her DNA test. When the authorities find out, she faces banishment from her safe Community, a fate only thwarted by the fact that she has already been promised to Pure-boy Jasper Taurell.

Jasper is from a rich and influential family and despite Ana’s condition, wants to be with her. The authorities grant Ana a tentative reprieve. If she is joined to Jasper before her 18th birthday, she may stay in the Community until her illness manifests. But if Jasper changes his mind, she will be cast out among the Crazies. As Ana’s joining ceremony and her birthday loom closer, she dares to hope she will be saved from the horror of the City and live a ‘normal’ life. But then Jasper disappears.

Led to believe Jasper has been taken by a strange sect the authorities will not intefere with, Ana sneaks out of her well-guarded Community to find him herself. Her search takes her through the underbelly of society and into the pits of the human soul. And as she delves deeper into the mystery of Jasper's abduction she uncovers some devastating truths that destroy everything she has grown up to believe, but she also learns to love as she has never loved before.

My Review:
Never having heard of this book before, I didn't really have any expectations. I think this was a good thing, because after reading some of the reviews, both positive and negative, after I finished the book, I think I may have been let down a little if I had read these before starting the book.

That being said, I really did think the whole plot of THE GLIMPSE was pretty original and because of that, there was a lot the Ms. Merle could have done (and still CAN do) with this series. But, in some ways, I feel like aspects of this book fell short. But before I talk about what I didn't like, let me talk about what I did like.

I really enjoyed getting to see both "worlds" in this story. As a reader, we get to experiece what life is like for the PURES and what life is like for the CRAZIES, who live outside a protected wall, in a rather vicious atmosphere. The Pures have their own schools, neighborhoods, etc... And most of them feel privileged and superior, while those living in the Community, labeled as "less-than", are doing their best to survive while being manipulated and mistreated by the government and each other. Not only do we get to see the Community, but we get to get a peak inside a mental-health facility where some of the ACTIVATED Crazies must live. Surprisingly, these facilities are not what they are supposed to be and the patients suffer abuse and torture at the hands of many.

Standing alone, I also really enjoyed all of the characters. I believe they all served some purpose in the telling of the story and made it richer. Whether they were there to make things harder for Ana and her friends, or whether they were written to help them. The characters were all written so well, that I can't help wanting to know a little bit more about them all, what makes them tick, what motivates them. And I believe there are many questions that are still unanswered. Hopefully, in the next installment, we'll get some of those answers.

Now, as for what I didn't like so much. The "love story". I feel like we're supposed to like and root for Cole, but we're not given enough reason why Ana would risk everything to be with him. Because there's also Jasper. And while we're left at the end, wondering how this will end for Ana, I can't help but feel like she's not making an educated decision. Don't get me wrong, I liked Cole, I'm just not sure if I can see why Ana would be so confident in their relationship. To me, a few passionate kisses doesn't justify a life-long commitment.

All that in consideration, I really do think this story is worth reading. I also can't help but think that the next installment will be stronger and better than this one.

My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars


Check out Claire Merle's Page.

Hourglass by Myra McEntire (3.5/5 Stars)

Title: Hourglass
Author: Myra McEntire
Publisher: Egmont USA
Pub. Date: June 14, 2011
Acquired: Purchased through Amazon

Blurb from Goodreads:
For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn’t there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents’ death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She’s tried everything, but the visions keep coming back.

So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson’s willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may change her past.
Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he’s around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should have happened?

Full of atmosphere, mystery, and romance, Hourglass merges the very best of the paranormal and science-fiction genres in a seductive, remarkable young adult debut.

My Review:
Have you ever read a book where you couldn't decided if it was great or whether you just wanted it it be great? Yeah, that's HOURGLASS for me.

I really did enjoy this book, though. In fact, I read it in two days (which for me, with four small children to take care of, is quite an accomplishment) because I just kept wanting to find out what happened next. I think Emerson is probably one of my favorite female characters. I do think that she was flawed--I found myself, quite frequently, yelling at her to get her head together in certain parts, but I can't say that I don't find myself doing that with most of the books I read. I think Emerson is strong, intelligent, and has a great sense of humor. Buuuuuttttt, when it comes to guys, I think she has a whole lot to learn!

I had a hard time with the way she sometimes would just throw herself at Michael. I get that because of her past, she's all about 'carpe diem' and all that, but I still feel like she should have kept a little bit more of herself locked away until she was sure of Michael's feelings. I will admit, however, that this is just MY opinion. I'm sure not everyone will agree with me here. I also feel like there was a whole lot of back and forth between Emerson and Michael. It just seemed as if we were supposed to just support their relationship, no matter how "off" it seemed, because they had "chemistry". Okay, I'm done harping on that. I will say that I liked how the DTR (defining the relationship) went at the end. Okay, now I'm REALLY done.

I really appreciated the time-travel aspect of the book. I am kind of a sucker for time-travel, and I think this one was done very well. I didn't get confused and have a "oh-my-gosh-I'm-SOOO-lost" moment, like I do with some time-travel stories. Ms. McEntire kept the science part of the story simple and easy to comprehend. And I am totally excited to see where she takes the story.

All-in-all, I would definitely recommend this book to those of you who enjoy time-travel, a spunky heroine, and some mystery. I'm really looking forward to digging into TIMEPIECE.

My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

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Check out Myra McEntire's Page.

The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden #1) by Julie Kagawa (5/5 Stars)

Title: The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden #1)
Author: Julie Kagawa
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pub. Date: April 24, 2012
Acquired: NetGalley

Blurb from Goodreads:
In a future world, Vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity.

Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.

Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them. The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked—and given the ultimate choice. Die…or become one of the monsters.

Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.

Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend—a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.

But it isn't easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what—and who—is worth dying for.

My Review:
Having read Ms. Kagawa's entire IRON FEY series, I pretty much already knew I was going to love this book. Plus, there were all the other review that I got a peak at, and I can honestly say, I was thrilled when I got my copy on NetGalley!

This book had EVERYTHING that I love most about young adult/paranormal stories. There are terrifying, evil vampires; not-so-evil vampires that are trying to come to terms with their vampirism, a sweet, against-all-odds romance, and what I REALLY love; a bad-ass, tough girl, who can put even the biggest of the men in their place.

Allison, even as a human, was a fighter and also very kind. In a world where it was kill-or-be-killed, she still managed to be rise above all of that and help others when they were in need. And in New Covington, where people are starving, this is a rarity.

After Allison's transformation, she faces all different types of evil. One of these is herself. She has to fight the bloodlust when around humans, while simultaneously trying to save their lives. She sets off trying to become a stronger vampire, physically. But, I believe Allison grows in ways she never could have as a human, stuck in New Covington.

The romance in this book is slow-building and I don't feel like it's unbelievable. There's something different about Allison and Zeke, and both of them recognize this in each other.

If you've read anything by Julie Kagawa before, then you know what an amazing writer and storyteller she is. If you haven't, well, I'm telling you--Julie Kagawa is an AMAZING writer and storyteller. Pick up this book. Pick up ALL her books!

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

Purchase THE IMMORTAL RULES on Amazon.
Purchase THE IMMORTAL RULES on Barnes and Noble.
Check out Julie Kagawa's Page.

Intern with the Vampire (Vampire General #1) by Kit Iwasaki (4/5 Stars)

Title: Intern with the Vampire (Vampire General #1)
Author: Kit Iwasaki
Publisher: Independant
Pub. Date: April 14, 2011

Blurb from Goodreads:
Human medicine is easy. On her first day at Grace General Hospital, new intern Aline Harman risks vampire infection, demonic possession, and having her heart torn out of her chest... and this from her colleagues.

Juggling transhuman politics only becomes more difficult when a patient's life is at stake. With a zombie to resucitate and a mermaid in critical care, Aline has her hands full. At least the doctors are good-looking.

My Review:
This book was much more novella than novel. But, that totally isn't a negative thing! I feel like I was reading an episode script for a paranormal version of a very popular hospital-drama.

In the beginning there's Aline, who is introduced to a world of paranormal creatures that she never knew existed. And while this is a big aspect of the plot, there's a WHOLE other realm here that we're involved in. There are patients, whose stories we become a part of and we get to see Aline and her fellow colleagues do their best as doctors to save lives while juggling explosive personal relationships amongst themselves. Sound familiar? Seriously, it's Grey's Anatomy on paranormal steroids. I love it!!!

Because this book is so short, and I don't like giving spoilers, I'll just say that there are some yummy doctors, some crazy doctor, and some I'm-not-really-sure-what-to-think-of-them-yet doctors. But, I will DEFINITELY be checking out the next installment of this awesome series!

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

Check out Kit Iwasaki's Page.

Glamorous Illusions (Grand Tour Series) by Lisa T. Bergren (5/5 Stars)

Title: Glamorous Illusions (Grand Tour Series)
Author: Lisa T. Bergren
Publisher: David C. Cook
Publication Date: June 1, 2012

Blurb from Goodreads:
When Cora Kensington learns she is the illegitimate daughter of a copper king, her life changes forever. Even as she explores Europe with her new family, she discovers that the most valuable journey is within. The first book in the Grand Tour series takes you from the farms of Montana through England and France on an adventure of forgiveness, spiritual awakening, and self-discovery.

My Review:
I am a huge Lisa Bergren fan. It's probably no surprise, then, that I absolutely LOVED this book! There was no time during reading this that I wanted to put it down. The whole idea of being a rich, copper king's illegitimate daughter without knowing it your whole life, that is SUCH an intriguing premise. And, Ms. Bergren, did NOT disappoint with the execution. I loved the characters in this book! Loved them! I think even the more "flawed" characters are redeeming, as the story goes on.

I really appreciate being able to relate to the main character in a book, and I completely did, with GLAMOROUS ILLUSIONS. I could FEEL the anxiety over Cora meeting family that she's never met before, right along with her. Family that, even she knows, has no reason to accept her. Cora is so human and real. Every time she reacted to a situation or something bad happened to her, I found myself thinking, "I could TOTALLY see why she would do/think/say that." Cora Diehl (Kensington) is a character that starts out strong and sure of what her future holds for her and then the unthinkable happens. Her life goes crazy, and she finds herself wondering and asking God what exactly is she going to do?! What does He have in store for her future? This whole book takes Cora on just a part of that journey.

There are moments when Cora is completely unsure of herself, and who she is, and desires most to be loved and accepted, but she also has such a profound moral compass that she's not afraid to do what's right. I could totally relate to Cora's struggles with faith and forgiveness, even though I've never had quite those same issues. Lisa T. Bergren wraps up a fantastic story with a very appropriate message. I can't think of anyone who couldn't take something away from this book.

I think it'll be a while before the next installment in this series comes out, so I guess I'll just have to keep myself occupied with TRIBUTARY when it comes out soon. :)

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

Pre-Order Glamorous Illusions on Amazon.
Pre-Order Glamorous Illusions on Barnes and Noble.
Check out Lisa T. Bergren's Website.

Waiting on Wednesday[#5]: City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments #5) by Cassandra Clare

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Title: City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments #5)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Publication Date: May 8, 2012

Blurb from Goodreads:
The demon Lilith has been destroyed and Jace has been freed from her captivity. But when the Shadowhunters arrive to rescue him, they find only blood and broken glass. Not only is the boy Clary loves missing–but so is the boy she hates, Sebastian, the son of her father Valentine: a son determined to succeed where their father failed, and bring the Shadowhunters to their knees.

No magic the Clave can summon can locate either boy, but Jace cannot stay away—not from Clary. When they meet again Clary discovers the horror Lilith’s dying magic has wrought—Jace is no longer the boy she loved. He and Sebastian are now bound to each other, and Jace has become what he most feared: a true servant of Valentine’s evil. The Clave is determined to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. Will the Shadowhunters hesitate to kill one of their own?

Only a small band of Clary and Jace’s friends and family believe that Jace can still be saved — and that the fate of the Shadowhunters’ future may hinge on that salvation. They must defy the Clave and strike out on their own. Alec, Magnus, Simon and Isabelle must work together to save Jace: bargaining with the sinister Faerie Queen, contemplating deals with demons, and turning at last to the Iron Sisters, the reclusive and merciless weapons makers for the Shadowhunters, who tell them that no weapon on this earth can sever the bond between Sebastian and Jace. Their only chance of cutting Jace free is to challenge Heaven and Hell — a risk that could claim any, or all, of their lives.

And they must do it without Clary. For Clary has gone into the heart of darkness, to play a dangerous game utterly alone. The price of losing the game is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she even still trust him? Or is he truly lost? What price is too high to pay, even for love?

Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunters in the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series.

Why Am I Waiting?
I have been following this series since the beginning and I haven't been disappointed by any of the books. So, if Ms. Clare keeps true to her past writing, this book will be a hit! Also, I kind of love Jace. ;)

Goings On

First off, if you check out my Contests & Giveaways Page you'll see that there's a givaway right now going on for a free t-shirt. This giveaway is from author, Ronda L. Caudill, who wrote BIRTHRIGHT: A NOBLEMAN NOVEL. I haven't read this book yet, but I have a copy that I'll be reviewing here shortly. Good luck!

Secondly, I'll be taking a break for about a week. I have a sort of vacation planned right now. So, the only posts that will be going up are the posts that I've already done and are scheduled to go up. I'll see you all back here soon!!

Inhale Flash Mob

INHALE, an urban fantasy romance by Kendall Grey, is now available in paperback and e-book for Kindle (MOBI) and Nook (EPUB). INHALE is the first book in the JUST BREATHE trilogy. Kendall is donating all profits from the sale of the trilogy to programs that educate people about whales and the challenges they face. Watch the video to find out why.

Kendall encourages interested readers to consider purchasing an e-book instead of a paperback. E-books save trees, cost considerably less, and bring in much more money for the whales.

Thank you for supporting INHALE, and most importantly, the whales that need our help.

Inhale Blurb:
Strangers in reality, inseparable in dreams…

After years of suffocating under her boss’s scrutiny, whale biologist Zoe Morgan finally lands a job as director of a tagging project in Hervey Bay, Australia. Success Down Under all but guarantees her the promotion of a lifetime, and Zoe won’t let anything—or anyone—stand in her way. Not the whale voices she suddenly hears in her head, not the ex who won’t take no for an answer, and especially not the gorgeous figment of her imagination who keeps saving her from the fiery hell of her dreams.

Gavin Cassidy hasn’t been called to help a human Wyldling in over a year, which is fine by him. Still blaming himself for the death of his partner, he keeps the guilt at bay by indulging in every excess his rock star persona affords. That is, until he’s summoned to protect Zoe from hungry Fyre Elementals and learns his new charge is the key to restoring order in the dying Dreaming. He never expects to fall for the feisty Dr. Morgan…nor does he realize he may have to sacrifice the woman he loves to save an entire country.

*This book contains graphic language, sex, and some violence. Not suitable for readers under the age of 18.
**The author will donate all profits from the sale of the JUST BREATHE trilogy to programs that educate people about whales and the challenges they face.

Kendall Grey Links:
Kendall Grey's Blog

Kendall's Facebook

Despicable Tweets



George Elder's Child of Destiny Blog Tour

George Elder, author of Child of Destiny, has stopped by my blog today with a special guest post on editing. Make sure you check out all the George Elder's links below! Also, I'll be posting a review for CHILD OF DESTINY after I get a chance to read it, sometime this summer!

On Editing Sci-Fi Stories
I love Lord of the Rings’ story line, but many literary professionals feel that the work needed a bit of editing. The same could be said of any number of Sci-Fi texts, including some of the classics. Of course, Sci-Fi has changed a great deal over the years, and the often gaudy literary style that typified early books are now seen as gouache. Yes, woe is unto the writer who uses too many “ly” words or adjectives. We now call such writing “pulpy,” as in the excess paper that is needed to find a home for the verbiage.
Mind you, some folks like that verbiage. Alas, a personal desire/taste cannot stand in the face of contemporary style’s winds—however those breezes may shift. I wish more writers would understand this basic truth, what we perceive as good or bad is context-bound. Hey, popular music, clothing, and literary style are ephemeral by nature. Styles change and evolve as time and shifting tastes dictates. Thus a writer’s words which are seen as the “perfect exemplar” of today may be regarded as the fodder of tomorrow’s humorists.  
​But that does not excuse writing that is poor is terms of grammar, syntax, word choice, and all that. I have a Masters in Writing from UNH and a Doctoral Degree in Communication from Penn State, but I can’t spell to save my life and my prose is certainly not the best. Yeah, I can spin a yarn, have good imagination, and possess a knowledge base that is probably more varied than most. I’m a former academic who knows that he does not “know,” so there is still a small bit of hope for me.
​For example, I know I need an editor in the worst way, and I honestly believe that almost all writers are in the same boat. Some of us fall in love with our words, but that doesn’t mean they should all be there! A trained set of eyes that is not invested in the text is a writer’s best friend. Those eyes can see what is invisible to authors. Our passages become like children, along with the natural reluctance to cast them adrift.
​But we have to let go, and herein comes the need to employ a person with the ability to help polish our work. When writing Genesis, I used three layers of editing—friends (including writers), an editor who proofed text books, and the publisher’s editor. I am sure some things slipped through the process, and much was changed. There were also disagreements along the way. For example, I like putting dialogue with action descriptions because we often talk while doing something, as in:

​“You’re an ignorant sot,” Anita said while glaring at George. “Can’t you see that word’s like ‘while” and ‘as’ will become redundant if you use this approach?” She paused, shook her head, and added, “It is possible to use clauses that separate words and actions, even if that interrupts what some call flow.”

Now my publishing editor recently changed a bunch of lines in Genesis Book 2 to coincide with the advice Anita just gave us, and I just about had a fit! I mean, I could feel something akin to the pain of childbirth setting in, and I’ve had kidney stones! What I saw was edited prose that went like this:

"Let’s be reasonable about this," Ragmor advised. Perhaps he had overplayed his hand.

Wherein, I wanted prose that expressed the ideas as thus:

"Let’s be reasonable about this," Ragmor advised, realizing he had overplayed his hand.

​Another example is: 

"And even Maglee’s name came to you." Ragmor stared through the pane. "So I suspect you also know what became of her."​

​Whereas I wanted:

"And even Maglee’s name came to you." Ragmor observed while staring at Kara. "So I suspect you also know what became of her."​

​The point is, these are stylistic choices, and I often opt to connect a bit of dialogue with a concurrent action. I like playwriting, where words and actions are intermixed by way of stage directions. I suspect my writing shows a bias toward this mixture, and some may find that annoying.
​When editing, it is essential to think about how others experience our text. Inevitably we must find a place of humility, and understand that we often cannot see the forest except for the trees. It is possible for an editor to be incorrect, but it is at least as likely, depending on the editor’s skill, that some good advice is offered that ought to be employed. In any event, I opt to accept an editor’s choices in most cases. 
​At the end of the day, the work has the author’s name, for better or worse. If the editor cannot explain why X, Y or Z should be changed, then stand by your work. However, if what the editor relates makes sense and is in line with current trends, go with the flow. It hurts me to say this because I detest going with the flow. Indeed, that advice violates every bit of who I am as a person. Yet if we become beasts of ego, our writing will reflect this—and our words will become pedantic and judgmental. We will pontificate on high without even contemplating that we could be wrong.

Synopsis of Child of Destiny:
The universe is nearing its inevitable end, everything is being rapidly devoured. The last hope of a dying universe is to awaken the Seeker, a legendary metaphysical being known only through ancient tales. The Seeker has the capacity to link the entire universe; they alone may be able to spark the rebirth of the universe.

Many of those that remain desperately want existence to continue. As the remaining races struggle to survive and fight over saving existence, lofty ideals give way to brutal pragmatism. Missions are sent out in search of the Seeker. One such mission encounters Kara an outcast noblewoman of the Labateen, a Stone-Age warrior culture. Kara is well versed in the Seeker’s litany, beyond what would be considered coincidence –to Kara the litany is simply the ways of God. Will Kara be able to help locate the Seeker?

Those who wish the universe to end in disorder, with no more than a whimper are not willing to sit by as others race to alter the end universe. As these opposing forces mount their defenses, racing to see their goals are achieved one question stands out…

Is Kara the key?

About the Author
Dr. George H. Elder has a Ph.D. from Penn State in Speech Communication and a Masters Degree in nonfiction Writing from UNH. He also has a very eclectic work and personal history. He has been a college teacher, custodian, upper-level scholar, drug addict, weight lifting coach, bouncer, and much more. He has authored numerous articles in the popular press and even a scientific text book that examines the neuropsychological basis of human communication. He has also addressed subjects such as philosophy, free speech, weight training, drug use, nutrient effects, street life, and a wide range of other issues.

His varied life experiences and education give him a unique and interesting perspective, and he often weaves philosophical insights and pathos into his texts. His books are action-oriented, but they do not have simplistic plots wherein good vs. evil or some other hackneyed approach is used. Instead, Elder employs plot shifts that allow the characters and readers to question the relationships we often take for granted. For example, a hero may do great wrongs while a species once perceived as malicious can be revealed to be honorable and wise. This offers refreshing and exciting perspectives for readers as they delve into Elder’s texts, for one never knows what to expect.

Purchase Child of Destiny on Amazon.
Check out George's Website