Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Dragons Away!

Dragons Away!
by K.D. Berry

It seemed like such a good idea at the time ... a wager with the devious, dangerous and probably quite deranged King Davkosh of the Southern Realms. Half the kingdom staked in a race between mystery contenders. Ten leagues, point to point as the –er– crow flies. 
Drewdop the Illusionist is quick to point out the flaws in this plan and is tasked with a secret spy mission - to find out just what kind of invincible champion Davkosh has training at home.

Travelling in magical disguise causes unforeseen complications for Drewdop, while his half-ogre bodyguard, in the guise of a beautiful woman, certainly turns a few heads.

But Drewdop soon discovers that the great race is the least of their worries. Davkosh's glamorous, fiery and ruthless queen, Gunora, is massing an army ready for attack whatever the outcome.

Meanwhile, deep in the dark forest, one of Davkosh's elite royal messengers is facing his own perilous destiny - how to become the world's first and only surviving dragon rider...

5 Stars

This is the second book I have read by K.D. Berry and it was just as good this time around. Both books take place in the same "world" but can be read as stand alones, but your going to end up wanting to read both of them anyway. I would suggest to read this one before you picked up Growing Disenchantments just because some of the same characters show up in both books.

I really liked all the characters and felt like I got to know them really well and was rooting for the good guys and scowling at the bad ones. I liked the added element of the dragon, you really don't find many books with dragons in them and  I like reading about something that isn't seem very often. Thinking about it there is pretty much a little bit of every classic fantasy species in here, and it all worked really well.

This book is defiantly a rib tickler. So many crazy things happen that your pretty much reading with either a little bit of a shocked look or chucking a little to yourself. Its hard to explain the feel of this book, its like watching a Monty Python movie. . .everything is just a little bit silly all the time or you can't believe that that just happened. 

The plot moved a long at a really great pace, I never felt that anything was happening to fast or to slow. Its told from a few different point of views and has that "we all start at different parts and meet up eventually" thing going on. This is done really well, I love reading books from different point of views, it makes the story more interesting to me to see everything from different angles. 

I think what really made me like this book though is how lighthearted it is, though there is some troubling things going on you never really get the feeling that anyone is down. . .well except for Depressed. If things start getting a little tough something happens to lighten the mood up. I'm pretty sure I had a smile on my face the entire read, and I'm sure I looked pretty crazy as well especially when I would laugh out loud.

Would I recommend this book? Yes, I had a lot of fun reading it. . . .and I love when I have fun reading.

Cover Release of Drop Dead Demons

Have you ever started reading a book and after the first page just knew you were going to love the entire read? It doesn't really happen for me often, though it may seem like that if you go through my reviews. There is very few books that I really fall in love with to the point that as soon as I'm done reading it I hurry up and run to my computer to see if the next one is out yet, and when it isn't don't forget about the book after reading a million other ones a long the way.

Well of those books for me is Demons at Deadnight by A. Kirk and E. Kirk, one of the very few YA books that has really caught my attention. So like any good reader when I seen that the next book wasn't out yet I cried a little inside. Once I was done crying I checked for author web pages and went full on stalker for a little bit. I would check and check and check to see if any new information was coming out, and low and behold this very morning I got a very exciting email from the Kirks. The cover for the next book Drop Dead Demons has been released! Yay! You know when the cover comes out that your not going to have to wait very long before the book comes strolling along. . . that is the most exciting part for me, especially because I got to read the synopsis for the book as well as look at the great cover. Now I'm pretty must foaming at the mouth to read it.

Now your probably all like "Okay Angie, we all know you tend to get excited easily but lets get to the point now." Well the point is I get to show you all the amazing cover! Get yourself ready for it cause here it comes.

Seventeen-year-old Aurora Lahey has figured out why everyone is trying to kill her...now she just needs to figure out how to stop them.
Between all the hell-hired assassins and secret society traitors hunting her down, Aurora didn’t think life as the Divinicus Nex could get worse.

Sure, she's discovered some lethal powers of her own. Plus, six sexy, super-charged, demon-hunting Hex Boys are watching her back. And yes, Aurora doesn't mind running into the muscled arms of the hottest one—and he’s not complaining either.

But when a seductive stranger with questionable motives delivers a deadly ultimatum, Aurora and the Hex Boys plunge into a do-or-die hunt for a legendary treasure that will either finally shift power in their favor or unleash hell on earth.

Pursued by demons of mythical proportions, Aurora and the Hex Boys race deeper into a shadowy world of a centuries old mystery and brutal conspiracy, where no one and nothing is what it seems. Where love and betrayal go hand-in-hand, and trusting the wrong person not only breaks your heart, but can get you killed.

Hiding her Divinicus Nex status from those chasing her, lying to her pretend-wish-he-were-real boyfriend, dodging demons, breaking into tombs, hunting her blackmailer, and passing Physics...Aurora could do that in her sleep.

Or more likely, die trying.

So if you have been checking my blog out (and if you haven't I'll forgive you just this once) you will actually find that I've mentioned the first book Demons at Deadnight quite a few times, so you can only imagine how awesome it is for me to not only know that the next book is going to be coming my way but to be able to help with the cover release. So my many internet friends I'll give you a heads up on what to expect from me next now. . .The review for Demons at Deadnight, its floating around a couple different spots and I'll pull it over here for you and of course as soon as I find out the release date for Drop Dead Demons I'll pass the info over to all you wonder people as well.

If you would like to know more about the wonderful authors just follow the handy little link I'm about to give you to their blog. . . .

I really love links. . .they are fun

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Psycho Within Us (The Psycho Series Book 2)

Psycho Within Us (The Psycho Series Book 2)
by Chad Huskins

Psycho Within Us continues the chilling tale of the Dupré sisters, along with the psychopathic Spencer Pelletier, as he hunts down members of the Russian mob. Kaley and her sister Shannon are trying to piece back together their lives, but once again find themselves drawn into the pain and madness of Spencer's mind. But is it his doing? Or is there something darker lurking between worlds? A Prisoner searching for cracks in his cell.

5 Stars

This book is pretty intense, so many different things are thrown at you. In the back of my mind I knew that what I was reading is considered fiction with a splash of fantasy thrown in, but I just couldn't get over the fact that a lot of the things mentioned and seen are things that actually happen. It has the same feel as the first book to me. . .like seeing a car crash and knowing I should look away before I saw something I really didn't want to but at the same time not being able to take my eyes off of it. 

Spencer was a seriously messed up person, but at the same time I couldn't help but like him and root for him and hope that things would work out and he would make it to the end alive. It almost makes me feel like I'm a bad person, but at the same time I got the feeling that just maybe there is something deep inside of him that is doing what is he doing for more then selfish reasons and that in his own twisted way cares about Kaley and respects her just enough. That we really aren't seeing the entire picture when it comes to him.

Kaley. . .I don't even know where to start with her. She feels like she is constantly changing while trying her hardest to hold onto the things that make her who she is. Her story is a sad one, and you almost feel at times shes going to fail and just give up, but she always pulls through somehow and has an amazing inner strength.

Everything is told from many different point of views, and this is once again done amazingly. You hear from different people that are all moving in the same direction and experiencing different things that all affect each other in different ways. It all twines together seamlessly. 

If anything I feel like this book was more gruesome then the first one. In the first one you are exposed to something horrible and in this one you see what being exposed to that horribleness can do to a person. You see the way kids can be cruel to each other just to make themselves feel better. What a little girl will do to try and save the things that matter to her. Its like looking at the underside of life the dark part of things that we all pretend aren't really there. 

The one thing I want to learn more about is Kaley and Shannons "charm" I want to know how it works and what exactly the others are. I got just enough to want to learn more about them. 

Would I recommend this book? Yes, both of these books are amazing in their own ways. I will be waiting to hear more from the Psycho Series.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Midnight Squad: The Ties That Bind

Midnight Squad: The Ties That Bind
by: J.L.M. Visada

Hi, I'm Daphne Dinkly. All of my friends call me DD. My fans call me a hero, but that's really not true. I'm a coward, and to be honest I'm also a traitor. The real heroes are my friends. They saved the day. I'm just the girl that switched sides at the last possible second. I had my reasons for why I betrayed them, and under the same circumstances I'd probably do it all again. I'm not proud of that. The reality is that I should be rotting in a Supermax prison right now as a terrorist, but my best friend Joseph stepped in and convinced everyone that I was some sort of double agent. He's the big scary looking muscled up guy with the cute butt that you want to just grab with both hands and squeeze for all your worth. That booty of his tempts me almost as much as leftover cheesecake, but unfortunately for me his booty already belongs to Penny. She's that gorgeous redheaded vampire that you might have seen doing commercials for energy drinks, and that new line of lingerie. When she's not making commercials marketing Midnight Squad clothing, drinks, ice cream, and even condoms. She's either playing World of Warcraft, or doing sexy things to Joseph that we probably shouldn't discuss here in this introduction.

We weren't always famous. The world didn't even know about vampires, werewolves, witches, and ghosts until my friends showed up and saved the day from an evil jinn's attempt at taking over the United States. After my friends saved the day the world learned about Joseph "Grim" Reaper, the newest member of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. He's actually become The Death. He's got a horse and everything. He even lets us ride it. Then there's Penny, his beautiful vampire girlfriend. Danika, the lesbian werewolf dating Joseph's sister Niki. Janine, the very flirtatious ghost of a nun. Finally there's Katy. She's this super powerful gothic witch. Together we used our newfound fame to form Midnight Squad. Joseph and the girls do all the commercials, and meanwhile in my free time I get to do research and development projects for anything that suits my fancy. Money, fame, and great friends. Now if I could just get a date everything would be practically perfect.

Of course there is a reason why no one knew about vampires, werewolves, and all the stuff that goes bump in the night. That reason is an organization that calls itself The Darkness. They want to keep the world ignorant of things like my friends, and they'll do whatever it takes. When The Darkness comes after you, they don't leave survivors...they leave examples.

4 Stars

This is one of those books that I was nervous to start reading. I really enjoyed the first one and knowing before hand that it was going to be told from a different point of view is what got me. I liked hearing about things from Grims perspective but hearing from DD was just as good. It gives you a chance to really get to know the inner workings of a different character and to see Grim in a different light as well.

Your going to find all the same stuff this time around as well. . . Love, religion, betrayal, comedy, etc. . I really don't know how Visada can fit all of it into one book and still make it work. I do feel that I have to warn people that the religious side is a little stronger this time around. To me this isn't a big deal at all, but I can see how some people won't like it. I find it to be a odd combination myself, but I get it at the same time. . .hard to explain that one.

There is a lot of growth with everyone here also. You might have thought you knew everyone pretty well after the first book, but there is changes to each one. Some big ones and some small. I really like how well we got to know DD, I feel that she wasn't really there the first book. . .but we learn a lot about her and why she did the things she did the first time and you see how someone can change to be something better by being around people that love them no matter what. Its like a little life lesson is thrown in there when it comes to DD.

I sat and really tried to think of a way to classify this book. . .to stick it into a nice little category but just couldn't. I wanted to call it so many different genres but nothing really fits this book good at all, its just a little bit of everything all mixed together and it works really good. I'm getting a lot of different genres that I really love put into one book.

There is a lot of really good references thrown around in there to. Some really made me laugh, but anyone that makes room for Killer Clowns From Outer Space is great. I have more then one of them highlighted because they made me laugh out loud.

I have to say that in order for you to enjoy this book you need to keep an open mind. This book won't be for everyone, and I'm sure a lot of people might not like a lot of what goes on it in. I say this in hopes that if you are warned a head of time you won't feel like you wasted time or money here. If you can go into this book knowing there is going to be some things that are shocking you will enjoy it more.

The only complaint I have this time around is that I felt towards the end things dragged a little. I like a fast moving plot and was getting that, but after a while I felt that I had to keep waiting for something minor before everything got going again. I get this because when you have as many characters as this you need to make sure everyone is getting the attention they need, but after I while I just wanted to know what the real deal was and to get to it.

I feel that there is going to be any other book coming as well. Once again everything is wrapped up nicely, but there is a little opening there that Visada could take to have us all coming back again to hear from Grim and the rest of the gang.

Would I recommend this book? Yes, I'm a fan of J.L.M. Visada's work and look forward to seeing more from him in the future.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Judging a Book by its Cover

This is my example of a pretty cover
hiding a bad story. . .I really didn't
like this one.
Does the cover of a book really matter?

I really started to think about this the other day. To me it used to. . .I would see a book with a beautiful cover and start drooling and nothing would be able to stop me from reading that book. But then I got my first e-reader a few years back and I started to come across. . .how do I put this nicely. . .unattractive book covers. I would avoid these books like they had the plague and if I read them they would somehow reflect the way I myself looked.

Then one day I had an internal conflict. . .the cover was so horrible but the book sounded so interesting, and that saying "Don't judge a book by its cover" came to me and I cracked and got the book. It has been all down hill from there. I had never really understood that saying until I got that e-reader. . .I never come across a truly ugly book cover before than. 

Some of my favorite books have the most awful covers. . .they literally hurt your eyes to look at them, and some of the books I hated the most have covers that are amazing.

I feel like the cover of a book is a trick now to me. . .I can never really tell what I'm getting myself into anymore.

So now I ask you. . .Does the cover really matter?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Rewind

Well I'm surprising myself here by actually keeping up with this. My plan is to actually do them early. . .now the trick is to actually remember to post them. This meme is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish so if your interested in doing one of your own just visit them first.

So this weeks topic is. . . .Rewind: pick a past topic you missed or one you want to revisit. Well since I have only done this once before I had plenty of topics to pick from. I picked. . .Top Ten Characters I Would Crush On If I Were Also A Fictional Character. Now I don't know if I'll actually be able to come up with ten characters for this but I'll do my bestest!

Dex Foray. Of course he is going to be my number one in this. If you have ever read The Experiment in Terror books you will of course whole heartily agree with me on this.

Jack Kursed. Which ironically is the name of the book he is in as well. I probably really shouldn't love him like I do, but there is just something about him that awesome.

Eli Monpress. You can first find him in The Spirit Thief. You really won't come across anyone else that is as cocky as him.

Josef. He is also first found in The Spirit Thief. He is pretty bad ass, with his awesome swordsmanship. You can imagine that I really loved reading these books if I have the two main male characters on this list.

Lynx. He is in Indigo & Iris and I believe is crazy. But I still put him on my list anyway. . .makes you wonder about me now doesn't it.

Heller. Another name that is the title of the book as well. Not sure what to say about him. . .he is pretty much the same as all the others. Strong, silent, jerk. . .but looks out for his own.

Nathaniel Lyons. You can find his greatness in Nefertiti's Heart. I have something for those strong silent type guys in books.

Jayden Hex. You can find him in Demons at Deadnight. Good for me he isn't much of an ass. Though he isn't the main love interest in this book he really stuck out to me. . .he had that whole I'm a nerd thing going on.

Dréoteth. Named for the book he is in. Another character that I probably shouldn't love but totally do.

Vain. From The Dark Man. . .I'm looking back at this little list I'm making and I'm starting to think I like assholes in books. . .I just know I love when I come across a character that can be a jerk on the outside but really is a softy on the inside.

So I was actually able to come up with ten guys. That was pretty surprising to me. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Princess of Death

Princess of Death
by Renee Travis

Enter the world of Sumerian mythology...

Ereshkigal was born in the dark, destined to have powers over death and destruction. As the princess of a land divided into light, grey, and dark, she will never be queen. Instead, her parents dote on her younger sister Ishtar, who was born in the grey land. 

After meeting an intriguing demon prince, Ereshkigal embarks on many adventures including visiting a haunted plantation, an attack by zombies, and defeating an evil sorceress. These trials lead her to start a revolution to free her land of darkness from the stifling oppression brought on by the grey and light.

4 Stars

I have to say it was fun reading about someone that loved such creepy things and didn't care what people thought. It wasn't even weird accepting Ereshkigal, its clearly explained that is just how she is, and that she can't really help it. She was pretty awesome, tough when she needed to be but showing just enough insecurity to make her seem more real. 

The world building was amazing. . .I ate up every bit of information I could get. The author imagination is truly great to be able to come up with so many different things to make everything seem so real. I really liked the P.O.T.s, it was really interesting learning exactly what they were and how they came to be. 

The general plot of the book moves along at a quick pace, there is enough going on to keep you reading and wanting to know what it going to happen next. Just when you think the book might be coming to an end something else pops up to keep you going just a little longer. Sometime this can get annoying in book but here is was a nice way to tie up lose ends and to not leave us all hanging on certain things.

I have to say the only thing I didn't like was how fast Ereshkigal and Nergals relationship moved. It is nothing really against this book, and it is explained on Nergals end of things. . .its just that I like for relationships to progress. . .I felt that they didn't know anything about each other before they starting making out. It bothered me a little bit and took away from the story for me. I know others won't be bother to much by this, but I am personally finding it harder to enjoy romantic elements like this.

Would I recommend this book? Yes, the world that Ereshkigal lives in is really something amazing. . .its worth reading just for that. . .add in the rest of the story and you have a great book on your hands.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Interview with Julie Lemardy

I was recently contacted by Julie Lemardy with the request to do an interview to help make people aware of the charity she has started up. The charity is for Alzheimer's Disease and Heart Disease. She is collecting poems for an anthology called Poems with Heart.

I myself have never been affected by either of these diseases but know that they are something that can be very traumatic to family members. If you want to find out more information on both diseases you can visit the Alzheimer's Disease Association web page and American Heart Association web page by clicking on the names.

What made you want to start this charity?
"Heart problems run rampant in both my family and my husband’s family. My grandmother practically raised me. She had heart disease which caused a series of heart attacks and a pace maker needed to be implanted. Then I watched her deteriorate when she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. 
Finally, when my husband’s brother, William Smith, died at age 42 I decided to do something more than a memorial. I wanted to bring awareness to heart disease and Alzheimer's disease through an informative blog. The poetry anthology will be released in February 2014 in celebration of American Heart Month with all proceeds to go to charity."

Will you be contributing any poems to Poems with Heart anthology?
"I am a freelance writer, poet, and member of the Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group. More than likely I will pen a poem to contribute."

Where can people go to donate to your cause?
"Donations will be raised through purchasing the anthology when it’s released. I may setup donations via merchandise if I run into any expenses along the way. I have considered, for example, making up bookmarks, bumper stickers, and other memorabilia for donations. So far I’ve been tremendously lucky to have people donate their time and talents. Writers and graphic artists have kindly used their talents to support this undertaking."

What is the easiest way to submit a poem to be added to the anthology?
"I would urge anyone considering submitting to visit the Poems With Heart Charity Project page on the blog for submission guidelines."

Are you also taking cash donations?

Can anyone make a poem to be put in the anthology?
"Whether a poet is published or unpublished does not matter. Anyone can submit a poem for consideration following the submission guidelines."

What charities are the donations collected going to?
"The American Heart Association and the Alzheimer’s Association"

Can you list some of the authors that have already donated poems to the anthology?
"Jericho Brown, Helene Cardona, Terri Kirby Erikson, A.C. James, Judith Skillman, and Emanuel Xavier will be featured in the Poems With Heart anthology. I will be adding authors to the blog as I receive submissions. I’ve also been in contact with public figures regarding using their notoriety to sponsor this charitable cause. When I receive concrete information that I can share regarding this I will be posting it on the blog."

If you would like more information on Julie's charity you can visit her blog called Poems With Heart. There you will be able to find out more on Alzheimer's Disease and Heart Disease as well as different information on the anthology Poems with Heart. If you have a blog of your own it would be great if you could find a way to help support Julie's charity, its for a great cause.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Growing Disenchantments

Growing Disenchantments
by K.D. Berry

Just when he'd been looking forward to another quiet night delving into mind-bending arcane lore and mentally wrestling with the deepest magicks, along came this mysterious thief to disturb him. Why was it nothing in Ragonnard's life ever went to plan?

Rather than turn her in to the law (or into something else), the young sorcerer offers Ganfrey a deal - steal a portrait from the palace for him. 

But it's no ordinary portrait. For 500 years it's been a magical prison for Syranax, the most powerful sorcerer in history. His enchanted Amulet was entombed with him, and Ragonnard wants it. More than anything.

In releasing the Amulet, Ragonnard unleashes a devastating sequence of sorcerous events, the like of which has not been seen for hundreds of years. And, no, things definitely don't go to plan.

Ned Merrivel is a time traveller from the future. His job is to sort it out when it all goes wrong and save the world somehow. If only he can find a pair of trousers first.

5 Stars

This has been one of the most amusing books I have read in a really long time. It actually took me a few chapters before I could switch gears into a less then serious read. Your not going to find any angst filled teenagers discovering new powers in this YA book. Honestly I feel like a lot of the younger generations might not understand a lot of the humor in this book. Not saying that I'm that old myself, but I grew up in a house that watched movies like "Young Frankenstein" and "Monte Python and the Holy Grail" so I fully appreciated it. Needless to say if you like those movies you will really like this book.

Its told from quite a few different point of views, and this is done masterfully. No confusion at all when it switches. Its one of those books where you hear from a few different people who all eventually meet up with each other at some point. 

There is a very small romantic element in the book. I have to admit I like when there is a little romance thrown into my reads. But it in no way is the main focus, its just kinda there making you happy. 

Everything that happens in the book is pretty much border line insane, and there is a lot of really good puns thrown in there. Normally I don't put quotes in my reviews but I actually laughed out loud when I read this one. . .and honestly you won't really understand it unless you read the book, but its pretty great.

""Everyone says that," sniggered Velasco. "I'm glad you were imp-pressed."

I was in my kitchen making a cup of coffee when I read that part. . .I laughed so loud I scared my cat (though she is a little on the spazzy side).

Things get a little serious towards the end, especially when the battle is going down, but there is still some humor thrown in every now and again to keep you smiling. I would really like to see a book number two at some point. Though everything did wrap up really nice I still would like to hear more about Ganfrey and Ragonnard. 

Would I recommend this book? Oh yeah, it was very entertaining and if you are looking for a light, carefree read this is the book to pick.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Eville Protection Plan

The Eville Protection Plan
by Holand Peterson

UEL Inspector Daniel Hammett thought he could handle anything thrown his way. That was before meeting the unforgettable Serene Necrosia, a woman whose ambitious invention nearly decimated the town of Eville (as well as the entire world for that matter). 

Hammett, along with his partner Raphael Vega, are now tasked with escorting Necrosia and her two employees, Alex and Moody, halfway across the world to UEL Headquarters. But nothing is ever easy with Serene involved. The Cosa Nosferatu (vampire mafia) is still desperately trying to snatch the wily inventor before it’s too late. An old nemesis prowls the shadows. Even Hammett’s own organization is riddled with spies working for the enemy. Worst of all, Hammett must endure the company of the insane Necrosia the entire way. This is going to be hell.

Strap in for a wild ride full of danger, intrigue, romance (?), adventure, explosive action, sexy goblins, improbable science and more weirdness guaranteed to keep you laughing and on the edge of your seat from start to finish.

This is The Eville Protection Plan.

5 stars

I know I have mentioned the Eville series before and how much I loved the books. Normally I get nervous when I end up reading a series, mainly because some where along the way I tend to stop being interested in it. Thank goodness this hasn't happened with this series. This book was just as amusing and fun to read as the first two books.

I want to say there was a few point of view shifts going on in this book, but really it was more that the story would take a different turn and we would hear about someone else. Where in the first book it was more Alex's story its now evolved into everyones story now. 

Serene is still my favorite out of everyone, I almost wish she was a real person because she is so strange. I also really liked that I learned more about Vega this time around, though I do still want to know why he doesn't talk. I have my own theory's on this, but to really know would be awesome. 

I still feel bad for Alex though but for all that he went through and is still going through he is starting to figure out what is important to him in life. I like that he is still pretty much the same scared and spazzy person but at the same time is growing in different ways. 

Hands down my new favorite this time around was Fabio. I want to say so much about him but it would really ruin the awesomeness of him for everyone if I did. Just know that he is pretty amazing. 

The story itself was good, it wasn't as crazy as the first two books but there is still a few really crazy twists thrown in there. Some things I really didn't see coming at all, and some are pretty sad. But everything still happens in the most unusual ways possible, and Serene is constantly adding humor to everything. 

These are the kind of books that makes you wish that places and people you are reading about really where hiding somewhere in the background of your life.

As a total side thought when I seen the cover I was really wondering what it was all about. . .I now know what it depicts. . .look forward to finding that out for yourself. 

Would I recommend this book? Hell yeah, I love these books and will be waiting to get my hands on book four.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Books I Read Before I was a Blogger

So I keep seeing this all over the place and thought that I would give it a shot. Honestly I can't say that I'll actually remember to do one of these every Tuesday but this weeks topic I could do no problem. If your interested in giving it a shot yourself just visit The Broke and the Bookish, got to give credit where credit is due.

So this weeks topic is: Ten Favorite Books I Read Before I was a Blogger. The problem I'm having here is just picking ten books.

Demon at Deadnight by: A & E Kirk

Its been a while since I even looked at this book but every time I see it I remember how much I really enjoyed reading it. It is a whole lot of awesome.

Eville by Holand Peterson

Ha! That is the best way to explain this book in the shortest possible way. Funny as all get out.

Dark House by Karina Halle

This book was the start of a series love affair. I stalk the authors pages contently to see when the next book in the series will be released. That is saying a lot because I tend to avoid series or just forget about them because I read to much.

The Host by Stephenie Meyer

One of the only books you will ever hear me say I have read more then once. Its been said before and I'll say it again, the beginning is super confusing but if you push through it everything will make sense, I promise.

If you want to know if I liked the movie. . .the answer is a huge no. I was clued into the suckness of it when me and my husband were the only people in the movie theater a few days after it came out. It was all down hill from there.

The Spirit Thief by Rachel Aaron

If your looking for a new and interesting read this is your book. I had so much fun reading this book and it is one of the only series I have ever actually read to the end (you read that correct. . .all the books are out so you don't have to wait forever like I did).

Psycho Save Us by Chad Huskins

Disturbing. Best word for this book. I compare it to seeing a horrible car accident and not being able to look away. Your horrified at what is going on but can't stop reading because you need to know what the out come will be.

The Queens Blade by T.C. Southwell

I really loved this book. I love assassins and with the added affect of familiers made for a really interesting read. It has been years since I read this book and it still comes to mind.

Heller by JD Nixon

This is another of those funny books. A lot of really outragous stuff happens all the time. But there is still a serious side to things.

Isle of Wysteria: Make Like a Tree and Leaf by Aaron Lee Yeager

I will admit I only picked this book up because of the title. It make me laugh a little and I thought it would be worth checking out. It totally was, another of those books where it is a completely new idea.

Jack Kursed by Glenn Bullion

This book is crazy good. Its part of a series but I ended up reading them out of order, and honestly if it wasn't for Jack I don't think I would have ever read the books at all. He is just such an asshole and it is pretty much awesome.

I think I have actually featured a few of these book before. They are just so good they had to be put on here twice.

Ghost Hand

Ghost Hand
by: Ripley Patton

Olivia Black just discovered that her ghost hand, a rare birth defect, can do more than light up a room. It can reach into people and pull things out. Things from the darkest depths of the human psyche never meant to exist in this world. 

Olivia can pickpocket the soul. 

But she can’t control her ability, or the strange items it extracts, and the only thing between Olivia and the men bent on taking the power of her hand is a boy she barely knows and doesn't trust.

4 Stars

I love when I read something new. Ghost Hand has that, never before have I come across something like PSS before.

I have to say one of the things I liked the most about this book was that Olivia didn’t fall head over heels for the “hot guy” in the book. She was distrustful of the things he wanted her to do, and even though it might have caused her a little more aggravation at times it was so nice to see a girl not go all goopy over a guy, even if he might have the answers to some of the questions she had.

I liked Olivia a lot; she stood up for herself and didn’t like it when people lied to her. She has it pretty tough in this book, but doesn’t let anyone push her around. She would fight for the things that mattered to her.

PSS (Psyche Sans Soma) was interesting to learn about. It was explained so that it is easily understandable. What Olivia’s ghost hand could do was interesting in and of itself, I would have like to learn more about why her hand did that, but we knew as much as she did so I didn’t feel like I was being left in the dark. I was learning the same things as she was, and she didn’t put up with secrets.

I also liked how Olivia’s best friend Emma was with her, a lot of times in books author’s have what I like to call “so called best friends” these are friends that I feel are put in the book just to add more characters. Emma wasn’t like that, she came across as someone that Olivia really trusted and the two of them made for a good combination.

I’m not too sure how fond I am of Marcus; I want to not like him for a lot of different reasons. But he does redeem himself at times. I have a love/hate thing with him really. He does something to make me like him, then something else to make me not like him. Though I can understand why he is the way he is, I just wished he could have gotten it all out at once instead of dragging it on, especially since it seemed everyone else knew what was up with him except for Olivia. I can see how a lot about him would make for a suspense filled read, but for me it was on the annoying side.

The CAMPers were a nice touch to the book. Where there is something as rare as PSS there is sure to be people that don't like it. To take something that is seen as just an organization that doesn't like PSS and turn it into a secret organization that hunts people down with it was believable. It hits on the aspect that people can be ignorant when it comes to things they don't understand, and it wasn't hard to believe that they would go as far as they did with some things. It kept the book interesting, and really made me wonder what they would end up doing next.

Would I recommend this book? Yes, I love when I read something new and there was new stuff all over the place in this book.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Author Interview With Tyler Jolley and Sherry Ficklin

I have had the pleasure of interviewing authors Tyler Jolley and Sherry Ficklin about their up and coming book Extracted (The Lost Imperials #1).  I am very excited about this book, I have a very big soft spot for anything steampunk. Not a lot of people even really know what steampunk is and it is hard for me to explain, but anytime I find something in this genre I jump all over it. Add time travel and I'm just about drooling all over the book waiting for it to come out.

I was informed about Extracted (The Lost Imperials #1) by Tyler, we just so happen to be part of the same group on Goodreads. I had asked if anyone knew any good steampunk books and he told me about his. I just about cried when I seen it wasn't going to be released until November. But being the good sport that I am I sucked it up and put it on my to-read list. So when I had the opportunity to interview Tyler and Sherry I took it. To me it was the perfect way to keep myself excited about their book and to learn more about them as authors at the same time.

Extracted (The Lost Imperials, #1)Welcome to the war.

The Tesla Institute is a premier academy that trains young time travelers called Rifters. Created by Nicola Tesla, the Institute seeks special individuals who can help preserve the time stream against those who try to alter it.

The Hollows is a rogue band of Rifters who tear through time with little care for the consequences. Armed with their own group of lost teens--their only desire to find Tesla and put an end to his corruption of the time stream.

Torn between them are Lex and Ember, two Rifters with no memories of their life before joining the time war.

When Lex’s girlfriend dies during a mission, the only way he can save her is to retrieve the Dox, a piece of tech which allows Rifters to re-enter their own timeline without collapsing the time stream. But the Dox is hidden deep within the Telsa Institute, which means Lex must go into the enemy camp. It’s there he meets Ember, and the past that was stolen from them both comes flooding back.

Now armed with the truth of who they are, Lex and Ember must work together to save the future before the battle for time destroys them both…again.

After reading that how could you not be interested in this book? Everything about it has me turning into a fan-girl.

Now onto the fun part!

-When and why did you first start writing?
"Sherry- I’ve been writing since high school. As a reader, I think writing was the next logical step for me. I started publishing just sort of to see if I could. I wanted to share my stories with the world. Seeing your name on a book cover for the first time, let me tell you, it’s amazing."
"Tyler- Well it all started when I got stressed.  I was sitting around my senior year of dental school waiting to take my state license board.  I got done with all my dental school requirements in February 2002 but I didn’t take boards till May of that year.  So there I was stressed and daydreaming like crazy.  My mind is always wandering and I’m always making up story lines.  I told my wife Jeena about some of my “crazy” story ideas and she told me to write them down.  Even though my college route was all science classes, at least I knew how to type.  During those months the epic story of Neto Lexan was born and I became less stressed.  It was the best thing for me.  Shortly there after I saw an interview with Nicholas sparks and he said that he first started writing to pay off student loans.  I was sold.  Writing to pay off all my school debt.  Genius."
-What is the hardest aspect of writing for you?
"Sherry- Editing. I tend to go over and over it so many time, it sort of feels like the magic is gone. I don’t get that feeling back until someone else reads it and gets excited about it. Then it’s exciting for me again."
"Tyler- I have to agree with Sherry, editing is tough.  We have some of the best Editors, yes two editors and they have been great." 
-What do you find is the best part of writing a book?
"Sherry- There are a LOT of best parts. The initial idea is so exciting, then when you finish your first draft. Then, holding a published book, that’s pretty special. No, wait I know. The best feeling so far was when I got my first piece of fan mail. I was like, OMG, this is for ME! Lol."
"Tyler-For me it is getting lost in a world that exists in my mind and then seeing it on paper.  I’m now an orthodontist and periodontist and still day dream constantly during my work day.  The plots and story ideas are flow like water.  Luckily I haven’t been so lost in thought that I’ve drooled on one of my patients."
-What do you think makes a good story?
"Sherry- I think a real character—flaws and all—Is what makes a good story. I will forgive a lot of plot holes for a character I love. Also, I really like when a book can make me suffer. I want to cry! But then, I want a happy ending too."
"Tyler- At first I thought it was the creation of an awesome world.  Something that would be appealing to the eye, like watching a movie.  Even though world building is super important, I agree with Sherry.  Soon I learned that the more interesting the characters the better the story and how they interact in the world."
-Is it difficult to co-write a book with someone?
"Sherry- I think that would depend on the person. I was very lucky to not only find Tyler, but to write a story with him. We balance each other very well. He is strong in places I’m weak and vice versa. Writing with him is easy."
"Tyler- I have to say writing with Sherry has been very rewarding.  She knows the craft on a different level than I do.  We wrote alternating chapters bouncing ideas off of each other.  I’m sure there are people out there that haven’t had that experience.  But with us, it has been awesome."
-Do you ever experience writers block and if you do does it help to have a co-writer when this happens?
"Sherry- Yes and yes. I get writers block, or maybe just a general feeling of this isn’t working. It defiantly helps to have someone to bounce ideas off, someone who knows the story and characters as well as you do. Most of our better ideas come when we are just having lunch and tossing out ideas at each other."
"Tyler- Having Sherry in the arena with me really helps with the ole blockage.  Brainstorming lunches once a week really helps.  It’s a good thing we live in the same city."
-How did you get interested in writing a Steampunk book?
"Sherry- I wasn’t. I didn’t even know what Steampunk was really, until I was knee deep in the initial outline. As it evolved, I knew there was this vintage aesthetic to it, being a time travel story. Only later was I introduced to the idea of Steampunk. It just sort of fell together, the way the best things seem too."
"Tyler- I had heard about it but didn’t quite understand the genre.  When Sherry presented it to me I was excited and intimated all at the same time.  The cool thing is we wrote Extracted with the vintage flare and great gadgets, but it was written how a typical teenager would talk and act.  Very fun."
-How did you come up with the idea for Extracted?
"Sherry- Initially I wanted to do a story about Anastasia Romanov. I think I was watching a documentary or something. I did an initial outline, and then scrapped it. Did more research. Plotted more ideas. I realized pretty quickly it wasn’t just her story, that it was her and her brother. But no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get a feel for him in my head. I knew Tyler from his book Neto Lexan so went to him. Sort of a hey, I have this idea. Are you interested in co-writing? He came up with some ideas for Lex—I mean he connected with the character right away. It was perfect. Kismet."
"Tyler- The initial idea came from Sherry.  When we decided to write it in a Steampunk world my mind started coming up with all sorts of cool stuff.  I was nervous Sherry wouldn’t like anything I was writing, but she was excited with all the initial world creation."  
-How did you think of the title?
"Sherry- We didn’t. Initially we tried a few things, but none really worked. It was our Editors that came up with the title. As soon as we heard it, we just laughed and laughed. (Since Tyler is an Orthodontist, we figured it was fitting) Funnily, when he announced the title, most people thought he’d written a dental paper or something."
"Tyler- It is oddly fitting for an orthodontist and periodontist to have a book called Extracted.  For the sake of the fan, fortunately it isn’t about teeth.  Our characters don’t even brush their teeth.  Our Editors came up with it.  It references kids being plucked from time to become Rifters in a time stream war." 
-Can we expect to see a lot of neat little gadgets and machines and can you give us a small preview of one of them?
"Sherry- One of my favorite gadgets from the book is a ring that the Tesla kids use called a Babel Stone. It’s made from a piece of the tower of Babel and a mini electromagnet. It allows them to speak and understand any language. We don’t see much of it in book 1, but we see it used more later."
"Tyler- Ok my turn.  Sherry talked about something awesome that the Tesla kids use.  The Hollows have a DNA Detector that they use to find lost kids in the time stream.  It acts by “sniffing out” the DNA of someone.  Kinda like a time stream blood hound.  Lots of great gadgets in Extacted."
-What was your inspiration towards using time travel in this book?
"Sherry- Well, in doing my research I came across something I found interesting. Years ago they exhumed the bodies of the Romanov family and their servants. Two bodies were missing. Anastasia and Alexei. Then years later in another location, they found fragments of remains they think belong to the missing children. So my question was, why? Why were they found so many years later? Why were they found so far away? My nerd brain flew right to time travel."
"Tyler- The inspiration was from what Sherry said above.  I think the blend of Steampunk and time travel is something very unique.  It hasn’t been used too frequently.  On the other hand, we had to make up very strict rules about how our characters time travel.  There were some times we would have to re write some scenes so that it would fit perfectly in the time travel rules we made up."
-I see the name Nicola Tesla and can’t help but want to ask if Tesla Coils will play a part in this book?
"Sherry-There is some. A lot of Tesla’s history is explored in the second book. He really is the person who discovers the time travelers. It kind of kills him not to have those abilities himself. We see a lot more of this in book two."
"Tyler- We love using history loosely in this book.  Tesla coils are a part of that and his NYC laboratory.  There are many fun historical events or inventions we try to put a Steampunk spin on them so that they will fit perfectly in Extracted."
-I love the cover of the book can you tell us who designed it?
"Sherry- Lisa Amowitz designed the cover. Let me tell you, it was crazy! I thought the publisher was going to throttle us. I mean, it’s hard to please one author, much less two authors and two editors. I bet we went through 30 covers before Lisa stepped in and rescued us. She nailed it. As soon as we saw it we were both like, yes. This is our cover."
"Tyler- Holla!!  Lisa rocks!"
-Do you have any advice for other writers?
"Sherry- Just keep writing. Don’t get discouraged. It can be hard, especially when you are just starting out, but if you love writing, I mean LOVE writing, then just keep doing it. Trust your gut, and trust your voice."
"Tyler- With perseverance one will find luck.  Also the hardest thing is to get the whole manuscript done.  Just work through everything without being too nitpicky and get the whole on paper.  Then you can do our favorite part, EDITING."
Now I'll be posting handy dandy little links all over the place to make your internet stalking easier. I've already put in all the work, and have about 20 taps open all over the place.

Can't forget this one. . .

And what is this? I got a little surprise while jumping tabs all over the place. . .

I'll be checking out Tyler and Sherry's other books while trying (and most likely failing) to be patient for Extracted (The Lost Imperials #1) to be released, so you can expect to see more of them on my blog.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Rebellion: Rising Book 2

Rebellion: Rising Book 2
by: Laura Josephsen

Lachlan's had a rough summer. First, the girl he shares a painful history with didn't remember him. Then Brenna, the woman he loves, showed up after seven years away and wants nothing to do with him. To top it all off, he almost died with the rest of his people when soldiers invaded his country.

Now the enemy could be using Lachlan's people as assassins. When Brenna leaves to find the truth, Lachlan invites himself along.

As Lachlan struggles to rebuild the trust he lost with Brenna, they unravel the dark secret their enemy has worked long and hard to hide--and its consequences for them are greater than they could have known.

5 Stars

I have to admit I was a little scared going into this book. I absolutely loved the first book, and I wasn’t so sure if I would like this one. My fears were all for nothing, if it is even possible I loved this book so much more.

This book is darker then the first one. We really get to see how torn and broken these people are, and we watch them slowly start to mend. It was an amazing process to read, I really cared about what was going to happen to them, and really rooting for the good things in their lives. This book took fictional characters and made them into real people for me.

I liked how even though we were in Lachlan and Brenna’s head this time around we still heard about Mairwyn and Alphonse and what they were doing to help in the war that was going on. They were still major players even if we didn’t know everything from their point of views.

The dynamic of Brenna and Lachlan worked amazing. Brenna was strong and fearless, and Lachlan was more compassionate though didn’t lack in protecting himself. The banter they had between them was a good way to lighten the mood at times as well. It helped the book to not take such a strong turn towards the dark.

The plot is insane, I don’t want to give anything away, but dang did it twist you up inside when you found out the things that were going on. And as much as this book was about fighting a war it was also a love story, as well as healing past wounds.

I went through so many different emotions while reading this book, hope, hate, love, fear. . .it is all there depicted brilliantly. I high doubt anyone can read these books without feeling every single one along with the characters.

The epilogue was a great way to wrap everything up nice and neat; I would have been so disappointed if I didn’t find out what happened to some of the different people. It also made me wonder if there are plans for another book or not. From the way this one ended it could go both ways, and honestly I would love for these books to continue and maybe get a few different character points of views as well.

Would I recommend this book? Yes a thousand times. I would recommend both of them, they are great reads.
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