Thursday, August 30, 2012

Rage Within Blog Tour: Interview with Mason + Giveaway

Today I'm very excited to be hosting a stop on the blog tour for Jeyn Roberts' new book Rage Within. Rage Within is the highly anticipated sequel to Dark Inside (if you haven't read it yet, I very highly recommend that you do so now). I now present to you a brand new interview with one of the characters from Rage Within: Mason. Be sure to read to the bottom of the post to enter to win an ARC of Rage Within!

1) What's the hardest part of living in such a fragmented world?
Mason: Sometimes I’ll wake up in the morning and swear that I hear Mom calling me down for breakfast. Or I’ll look at something, a street sign, couch, anything, and there will be a memory triggered by it. Hanging out with Tom down by the river. Giving my Mom a gift on her birthday. Taking a test. All these past life things. It gets really hard when you have these memories, only to remember that you’ll never have another memory with that person again. Sometimes I can almost convince myself that none of this is real but then something always snaps me back to the present. It’s not easy.

2) Who was the hardest person to lose in these events?
Mason: My Mom. It’s always been just the two of us. She raised me after my Dad died. She used to yell sometimes but mostly she was pretty cool.
She saved me in a way too. If it hadn’t been for her accident, I would have been in the gym. I think about that a lot. I’m glad in a way, she never got to see how horrible the world became. No one murdered her. At least what happened to her was quick. In a way, it’s better than all the rest of us.

3) Do you think any good has come out of recent events?
Mason: Good? Yeah, I guess so. I dunno. Sometimes I’m really glad that I’ve got some people to hang out with but most of the time I really wish I was alone. It’s easier that way. I’m tired of everyone dying around me. I’m beginning to think I’m cursed. But I’ve been with Aries and the others for a while now and no one’s died yet. So maybe I’m just being an idiot?

4) Of all the people you've met along your journey, which would you like to get to know better?
Mason: I wanted to get to know Chickadee better but that wasn’t meant to be. So yeah, Aries is pretty cool. We’ve been spending a lot of time together; I even got her out on my bike the other day. She’s got a really positive way of looking at things. She keeps it all together. That’s hard to do.

5) What would you consider your best decision in recent events?
Mason: I’m terrible at making decisions. Seriously, I am. But lately I’ve gone and done something that is keeping the group safe. It’s been a real sacrifice on myself, but it was the only thing I could do. Keep her safe. Keep them all safe. They’re better off this way.

The rest of the tour:
Aug 27 – Blog tour kick off at
Aug 28 – Lost in the Library blog - Q&A with Clementine
Aug 29 – Escaping One Book at a Time blog - Q&A with Michael
Aug 30 – The Bursting Bookshelf - Q&A with Mason
Aug 31 – Book Nerd - Q&A with Aries

Learn more about Rage Within.
Follow Jeyn Roberts' blog.
Like Jeyn Roberts on Facebook.
Follow @JeynRoberts on Twitter.
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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event held by Jill over at Breaking The Spine! It's all about those books you just can't wait for and are counting down the days till they come out.  

This week I chose:
Lullaby Harper only wanted a safe, normal life. But when her younger sister Gemma runs off with a dangerous clique of beautiful girls, Penn, Thea, and Lexi, everything changes. Vowing to get her sister back no matter what the cost, Harper must face dangers unlike any she's ever experienced. Fortunately, she has Daniel by her side, a gorgeous guy who's devoted to helping her find her sister—and who's immune to the girls' dark powers. 

While Harper searches for her sister, Gemma struggles to adjust to her new life.  Gemma's powers are growing by the day, and the longer she lives with her new "sisters," the harder it is to resist entering their magical world.  It's a realm both dark and beautiful, and where she's plagued by strange hungers and unspeakable needs.  Just as she's drifting far away from her old life,  Harper and Daniel find her...but no one can deny how much she's changed.  All she wants is to return to her family and the mortal world, but how can she do that when she's become something else entirely—and will they still love her once they learn the truth?

Prepare to fall under the spell of Lullaby, the second book in the Watersong series from New York Times bestselling author Amanda Hocking.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews to show what your book haul for the week looks like!

For Review:
Rage Within (Dark Inside, #2)

The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer, #1)It's Not Summer Without You (Summer, #2)We'll Always Have Summer (Summer, #3)

Authors are Rockstars Tour Post: Carrie Harris

Hello everyone! I'm very, very, very excited to be hosting a tour stop on the Authors are Rockstars Tour! Be sure to check out Two Chicks on Books and Fiktshun and thank them for being the masterminds behind this tour!

Well, I got lucky enough to get to host Carrie Harris for my stop in the tour. If you don't know who Carrie is, she's the amazing author behind the very popular book Bad Taste in Boys and it's forthcoming sequel, Bad Hair Day. Be sure to check her out on Twitter, too. Carrie is a rockstar to me because she successfully brought two typical YA topics together to create a book very unique that stands out on the YA market: zombies and high school. You can read more about Bad Taste in Boys here, and you can order it, too! 

On to the guest post...
Five Reasons You Should Read YA Zombie Books

I’ve lost track of the number of people who have said, “Oh, I’m so glad you got published, but I won’t be reading it because I don’t read zombie books.” And I’m all, “DUDE, WHY NOT?” because I talk in all caps, and because I just don’t get the not-reading-zombie-books thing. So without further ado, I’d like to present five reasons why you should read YA zombie books if you don’t already, or alternately, five reasons that you should feel superior to your fellow humans because you already do. ROCK ON WITH YOUR BAD SELF, ZOMBIE READER.

1. There is a wide variety of zombie bookage available. You don’t like scary bits? There is a zombie book for you. Want romance? There is a zombie book for you. Secretly think that the idea of zombies on roller skates is hilarious? ME TOO. WE SHOULD TALK. But seriously, not every YA zombie book out there is horror. You’ve got funny ones and post-apocalyptic ones and deep-thoughts-on-high-school-society ones—don’t write it off just because of the shambling dead.

2. It’s a scientifically proven fact that people who read zombie books are going to survive the zombocalypse. Actually, it’s not really PROVEN, but don’t you think it’s worth hedging your bets? Because unless you happen to be Rambo (and in that case I’m secretly thrilled that Rambo is reading my blog post—you stud you), you’re going to need every bit of zombie lore you can scrape up. When the bath salts hit the fan, you’ll be an indispensible part of the survival team.

3. Shambling corpses are HOT. Actually, I can’t even type that without laughing. I DON’T REALLY BELIEVE THAT. YOU DON’T NEED TO CALL THE MEN IN WHITE COATS. The only way zombies are hot is if you light them on fire with a flamethrower. And I would totally read a book about a guy who went around flamethrowering zombies and making snarky comments, and HE could be hot. This is a plot I can totally get behind. Also, I can’t believe I just made flamethrower into a verb.

4. All joking aside, zombie books have some really interesting things to say. They’re not just blood and guts and hot guys with flamethrowers. (Seriously, why hasn’t this happened yet?) Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry says some really crazy profound things about what it means to be human. I dare you to read it without getting a little emotionally overwhelmed.

5. Zombie books are FUN. And really, what’s wrong with that? Yes, sometimes I want the kind of read that makes me think, but other times? Other times I just want to go on a wild ride down an alley with a hot guy and a flamethrower. I want to giggle at the limbs falling off and the snarky comments of the protagonist who doesn’t believe what she’s seeing. Sometimes a good laugh is the best medicine.

I feel like I should sum up, but I’m speechless. I just googled “hot guy with flamethrower,” and I learned that they now make flamethrower gloves. FLAMETHROWER GLOVES, GUYS.

Um, yeah. Give a zombie book a try if you haven’t already. And somebody buy me those flamethrower gloves for Christmas.
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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event held by Jill over at Breaking The Spine! It's all about those books you just can't wait for and are counting down the days till they come out.  

This week I chose:
Don’t look at Them. Never let Them know you can see Them.

That is Ethan Chase’s unbreakable rule. Until the fey he avoids at all costs—including his reputation—begin to disappear, and Ethan is attacked. Now he must change the rules to protect his family. To save a girl he never thought he’s dare to fall for.

Ethan thought he had protected himself from his older sister’s world—the land of Faery. His previous time in the Iron Realm left him with nothing but fear and disgust for the world Meghan Chase has made her home, a land of myths and talking cats, of magic and seductive enemies. But when destiny comes for Ethan, there is no escape from a danger long, long forgotten.

My name is Ethan Chase. And I may not live to see my eighteenth birthday.

The Lost Prince (The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten, #1)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Calling all Musicians!

Love music? Want to have your's featured in a book trailer? If so, continue reading for a fantastic opportunity from Faber and Faber UK!


We are trying to find young musicians aged 13-18 years old to write the music for a promotional film. This film will feature a brand new epic trilogy that begins with Crewel, a book that is being simultaneously published in October by the US with much excitement. Aside from the winner's music being used for the final film, the winners will also be promoted through The Spark our new online creative community, the Facebook page for Crewel and a variety of online bloggers and websites. They will also receive £200 worth of iTunes vouchers and there will be two runners up who will receive £50 iTunes vouchers.

To kick things off, the first two people to submit their music or song wins £20 and the next four will win £15 iTunes vouchers. All of the information and entry details can be found here Entry deadline for the competition is 12 September.

Spark by Amy Kathleen Ryan

Spark (Sky Chasers, #2)Title: Spark 
Author: Amy Kathleen Ryan
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin 
Release: July 17, 2012
Pages: 309
Series: Sky Chasers #2

Waverly and Kieran are finally reunited on the Empyrean. Kieran has led the boys safely up to this point, and now that the girls are back, their mission seems slightly less impossible: to chase down the New Horizon, and save their parents from the enemy ship. But nothing is truly as it seems…Kieran’s leadership methods have raised Seth’s hackles— and Waverly’s suspicions. Is this really her fiancé? The handsome, loving boy she was torn from just a short time before? More and more, she finds her thoughts aligned with Seth’s. But if Seth is Kieran’s Enemy No. 1, what does that make her? 

In one night, a strange explosion rocks the Empyrean—shooting them off course and delaying their pursuit of the New Horizon—and Seth is mysteriously released from the brig. Seth is the most obvious suspect for the explosion, and Waverly the most obvious suspect for releasing him. As the tension reaches a boiling point, will Seth be able to find the true culprit before Kieran locks them both away—or worse? Will Waverly follow her heart, even if it puts lives at risk? With the balance of power precarious and the clock ticking, every decision counts… every step brings them closer to a new beginning, or a sudden end...

After loving Glow as much as I did, I went into this book with fairly high expectations. I know that sequels are often not as good as their predecessors, but I still hoped for the best. Though these expectations were not quite met, though  I did quite enjoy the book, wishing only that I had read it earlier.

This is a classic example of a cover switch midway through a series, though in this case, I think it was for the better. The old covers were nice, but the new ones suit the series much better, in my opinion. The new covers feature a much more futuristic look, even incorporating the windows from the spaceship into the design. It features a much lighter design than the original cover for Glow, making it stand out among the legions of dark YA covers. I really loved the hints of stars you could see throughout the cover, they brought it together nicely while giving it a si-fi look.

The characters in this series are very dynamic. They were in a constant state of change, though not all for the better. It was nice to see characters reacting accurately to the state of trauma on the ship, because in reality not everyone would rise to the occasion. Kieran was one of those people who didn't quite rise to the occasion, he started to become Waverly's worst nightmare. I loved how Kieran didn't end up becoming the idealistic boyfriend character, but a much more dark and undecided character just trying to make the best of the situation. Waverly was a great character, she was making the right decisions and trying to gain influence on the ship without staging a full on revolution. Seth was by far my favorite boy in the book, even though there wasn't a huge relationship between him and Waverly, but they definitely have great chemistry. The story was narrated by Kieran, Seth and Waverly. Seth and Waverly were my favorite points of view, Kieran's was a little bit on the political side, where Seth and Waverly were often nearer to the drama.

The story was the only element of the book that was lacking. It just seemed to get very slow at points, and it didn't cover all that much ground in the trilogy when it came down to it. It wan't bad or anything, but it just wasn't even up to the standards of the first book. The ending was a good one, it left off with a bit of a cliffhanger, leaving me dying for the final book once and for all. The writing was just as good, it featured the amazingly descriptive writing that the author brought forth in Glow, but the story just seemed to barely carry on. Nothing seemed to be of major importance in the grand scheme of things, just focusing on setting the plot up for a great finale.

The end makes me want the final book all the more. But, until then, I give Spark a 4/5 for falling under the notorious stereotype of sequels. I'd recommend it to fans of the first book or si-fi fans, or anyone who enjoyed the Across the Universe books.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews to show what your book haul for the week looks like!

Obsidian (Lux, #1)The Hidden (The Hollow, #3)JaneAngelfire (Angelfire, #1)
Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
The Hidden by Jessica Verday
Jane by April Lindner
Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Calling by Kelley Armstrong

The Calling (Darkness Rising, #2)
Title: The Calling 
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Publisher: Harper 
Release: April 10, 2012
Pages: 326
Series: Darkness Rising #2
Maya Delaney's paw-print birthmark is the mark of what she truly is -a skin-walker. She can run faster, climb higher, and see better than nearly everyone else. Experiencing intense connections with the animals that roam the woods outside her home, Maya knows it's only a matter of time before she's able to Shift and become one of them. And she believes there may be others in her small town with surprising talents.

Now Maya and her friends have been forced to flee from their homes during a forest fire they suspect was deliberately set. Then they're kidnapped, and after a chilling helicopter crash, they find themselves in the Vancouver Island wilderness with nothing but their extraordinary abilities to help them get back home.

In THE CALLING, the sizzling second book in the Darkness Rising trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong pumps up the romance, danger, and suspense that left readers of THE GATHERING clamoring for more.

First off, I'd like to give a massive, very grateful shout out to Kelley Armstrong who was kind enough to send me a ARC of the book! I've been lucky enough to have met her twice and both times it has reminded me why she is one of my favorite authors in YA. That being said, I had very high expectations for this book due to the fact that I have loved all of her past books and I live near where the book takes place. I'm very happy to say that the book blew away my expectations and was a sensational sequel.

The cover followed the theme of The Gathering's, with the same cover model, font, and an earring. The earring was slightly different than the one on the last book's cover, but it kept the theme nonetheless. Color-wise, it was a tad bit different, more of a purple color instead of the blue of the first book. I love the fact that the cover doesn't give anything about the book away, it just portrays some of the emotions Maya experienced during the duration of the book. Altogether, I really love these covers and I think they look great sitting side by side on a shelf together.

Maya was a hugely enjoyable character. She was strong and didn't back down or take the easy way out of situations. It was her determination that truly made me enjoy reading about her and from her perspective. All of Maya's friends were well developed and used to a good extent, and they were all important in the story in some way. Rafe was still my favorite guy in the series, but Daniel was a close second. I loved Kenjii and I'm glad he was brought into this book too, he added a nice touch to the story that kept the story down to earth.

The writing stayed up to the standards previously set by Kelley Armstrong, never wavering from the quality and descriptiveness. The plot was even better than in The Gathering because it didn't need to give out as much information, so the plot could move forward quicker. Within the plot there was a ton amazing action; it picked up with Maya and her friends being taken away from their homes in a helicopter away from any sense of normalcy. The story carried on with a crash and it simply accelerated from there, throwing many twists and turns to keep the reader on their toes. It also ended in a cliffhanger, leaving me wanting the last book of the trilogy right away.

As I said before, the end was a cliffhanger, leaving room for an amazing final book to the trilogy. I'd recommend this book to anyone looking for a different type of paranormal book, or someone who enjoyed any of Kelley Armstrong's past books, including her adult books. I give The Calling a 5/5.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

A Massive Thank You: Adrian Won!

Well, we did it! ADRIAN WON! Can you hear the choruses of 'We Are the Champions' in the background? It was a long, hard battle full of tough competitors, but in the end, he came out on top. I cannot thank everyone involved enough, but I'm going to try to thank those who really helped Adrian out on his path to victory. 

To start off I need to thank Jennifer from Some Like it Paranormal and Monica from Cover Analysis for being an amazing part of Team Adrian. They tweeted and promoted him like crazy, and without them I'm sure I would have lost my sanity in an early round. To add to their promoting, they also reviewed my advocating defense and helped add a ton of stuff to it. In all seriousness, I have no clue what I would have done without them. 

Team AdrianNext, I'd like to thank everyone who voted and promoted. In the final round there was over 23000 votes in total, with a 28 vote lead for Adrian in the end (that was the last I saw it at). That is insane! I saw posts on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and blogs; I'd like to thank everyone who used their profiles and sites as mediums to promote Team Adrian. 

Thank you to the lovely ladies at the YA Sisterhood for hosting the tournament for it's second year. I had a blast advocating and they did an amazing job hosting. They were super friendly and always had reminders sent before every match (thanks to Rachel at Fiktshun for sending those reminders!). 

In all the insanity, fun and hype that surrounded the Tournament, I really hope that we convinced a few people to give Richelle Mead's, and all the author's books, a try- they truly are wonderful. This was my second year as an advocate and I could not ask for a better outcome of the tournament. I hope people will be inspired to go pick up the books featured in the Tourney, I know I need to get a few! I also know I've missed a ton of people, but these are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head.

Finally: THANK YOU!

PS: I know I promised a giveaway, and I will do one soon. Please be patient with me, it should happen within the next two weeks!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews to show what your book haul for the week looks like!

For Review:
Rift (Nightshade Prequel, #1)Black City (Black City, #1)Breathe (Breathe, #1)We Sinners: A Novel
Rift by Andrea Cremer (Thanks to Penguin Canada!)
Black City by Elizabeth Richards (Thanks to Penguin Canada!)
Breathe by Sarah Crossan (Thanks to HarperCollins Canada)
We Sinners by Hanna Pylvainen (Thanks to Henry Holt and Company)

Stunning (Pretty Little Liars, #11)
Stunning by Sara Shepard

For the Last Time, VOTE ADRIAN!

The time has come- the time to help Adrian win the final round! Please click here to vote for Adrian in the final round! This is the time he needs all of your support (tweets, Facebook messages, Goodreads Events, ANYTHING!) so please spread the word. Voting closes tonight at 11:59pm EST (9pm PST). GO VOTE FOR THE BEST CRUSH!!! Thanks to everyone who helped get him to this point and thank you to everyone who goes and votes now!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event held by Jill over at Breaking The Spine! It's all about those books you just can't wait for and are counting down the days till they come out.  

This week I chose:
No description available.
The Rising (Darkness Rising, #3)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Once Again, Vote For Adrian!

Hello all! Thank you so much for voting for all of Adrian's rounds! I cannot express how much I appreciate it! Now, more than ever, he needs your votes to defeat his biggest challenge yet, so CLICK HERE TO VOTE FOR ADRIAN. Thanks!

Wake by Amanda Hocking

Wake (Watersong, #1)Title: Wake 
Author: Amanda Hocking
Publisher: St. Martin's Press 
Release: August 7, 2012
Pages: 309
Series: Watersong #1

Gemma seems to have it all—she’s carefree, pretty, and falling in love with Alex, the boy next door. He’s always been just a friend, but this summer they’ve taken their relationship to the next level, and now there’s no going back. Then one night, Gemma’s ordinary life changes forever. She’s taking a late night swim under the stars when she finds Penn, Lexi and Thea partying on the cove. They invite her to join them, and the next morning she wakes up on the beach feeling groggy and sick, knowing something is different.

Suddenly Gemma is stronger, faster, and more beautiful than ever. But her new powers come with a terrifying price. And as she uncovers the truth, she’s is forced to choose between staying with those she loves—or entering a new world brimming with dark hungers and unimaginable secrets.

This was one of the books of this year that I was most looking forward to. After reading the Trylle series earlier this year, I knew I wanted to read this book right away. Lucky for me, I have an amazing blogger friend Lindsay who gave me her ARC of it a little while back. I was really looking forward to this book because there aren't that many good mermaid books in YA books. I'm glad to say that I truly did enjoy this book, and that it's one of my favorite siren books out there.

Blue; the perfect color for the cover of this book. It uses the ocean for the majority of the cover and a bit of a rocky outcrop in the distance with a lighthouse on it. The sky is a simply gorgeous sunset of colors ranging from red to orange with clouds throughout, indicating a storm brewing. The large, full moon in the sky also gives the cover an eerie look due to all the mythology tied to full moons. Then there's the gorgeous typeset for the title added a nice, elegant touch to the cover, bringing it together nicely.

Gemma was a good character in the fact that she was well developed and I agreed with most of her decisions except for one (you'll have to figure out which decision that was by reading the book!) but other than that, she was an enjoyable character. Harper was a good character, too, but she wasn't very well explored. I'm sure in the next book she will get used more other than for a bit of narrating. The book was told from both the points of view of Harper and Gemma. The relationship between Gemma and Harper had the distinct fighting that often goes hand in hand with sisterly relationships. Both characters had a love interest, but I liked Harper's a lot more than Gemma's. Gemma's love interest was Alex, the boy next door that lacked a lot of personality. Harper's guy was Daniel, a cocky older guy who lived on a boat in the local harbor who would do anything for Harper. On the other end of the spectrum you had the sirens, who also were not all that explored, but I am really looking forward to reading more about them in later books. There was a whole range of secondary characters in the book as well, but even for the amount of them, they were all fairly well developed and were able to make you feel for them as much as the main characters could.

The writing was what made me want to read this book; I had enjoyed Amanda Hocking's writing in the Trylle trilogy and I knew that I would love it just as much in this book. It was the finesse that the author's writing style has that drew me in, but it was the extremely fast style of story that kept me interested.The plot was paced nicely with the only slow part at the beginning when all of the introductions happened. After that, it was smooth sailing with events immediately following each other. It was this speed that really contributed to the cliffhanger ending by making the book seem so short, leaving me wanting more right away.

This book was a great set up for the next book in the series, which I cannot wait to read when it comes out. I'd recommend this book to anyone looking for a mermaid book with some mythology or someone looking for a different style of paranormal book. I give Wake a 5/5.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Vote for Adrian: The ELITE EIGHT EDITION!

Hello again! Click here to vote for Adrian in his round now! Voting ends at 11:59pm EST on August 6, so get your votes in now! We're up against some fierce competition, but I know we can get to the next round! VOTE NOW!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews to show what your book haul for the week looks like!

For Review:
The Lost Girl

The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna

Friday, August 3, 2012

Shadows Cast by Stars by Catherine Knutsson

Shadows Cast By StarsTitle: Shadows Cast by Stars 
Author: Catherine Knutsson
Publisher: Atheneum 
Release: June 5, 2012
Pages: 464
Series: Yes

Old ways are pitted against new horrors in this compellingly crafted dystopian tale about a girl who is both healer and seer.

Two hundred years from now, blood has become the most valuable commodity on the planet—especially the blood of aboriginal peoples, for it contains antibodies that protect them from the Plague ravaging the rest of the world.

Sixteen-year-old Cassandra Mercredi might be immune to Plague, but that doesn’t mean she’s safe—government forces are searching for those of aboriginal heritage to harvest their blood. When a search threatens Cassandra and her family, they flee to the Island: a mysterious and idyllic territory protected by the Band, a group of guerilla warriors—and by an enigmatic energy barrier that keeps outsiders out and the spirit world in. And though the village healer has taken her under her wing, and the tribal leader’s son into his heart, the creatures of the spirit world are angry, and they have chosen Cassandra to be their voice and instrument…

Incorporating the traditions of the First Peoples as well as the more familiar stories of Greek mythology and Arthurian legend, Shadows Cast by Stars is a haunting, beautifully written story that breathes new life into ancient customs.

I was lucky enough to receive a copy of this book before I had even heard about it. I am so glad I did get it because it turned out to be an amazing book written by a local author. Even before I read it, I fell for the cover and the summary instantly. I'm glad to say that I really enjoyed the book and it's unique premise. I was also lucky enough to meet the author shortly after reading the book as well.

The cover is simply stunning. It was captivating and beautifully colored and a great representation of the book. It carried a very futuristic feel with the coloring while still looking down to earth with the large raven and forest the character is walking in. The font was also conductive to the futuristic look of the cover, and the coloring of the title was neat too, not just one color, but a gradient look. The whole thing came together very nicely, to be one of my favorite covers of the year.

The characters were great, but some of them weren't used as much as they could have been. My favorite character was Cassandra because she was a strong young woman who had a sense of who she was and she didn't ever treat others with disrespect. I found that her relationships with her brother and father weren't showcased as much as I wish they would have been. At the beginning of the book when the story consisted of just the three characters it was, but later on, when more characters were added the relationships already set up weren't as focused on. I also found that the secondary characters weren't developed to their full potential. This was the case with Bran, though he was the love interest, his character wasn't explored (though I'm sure it will be in future books) making his relationship with Cass odd and a tad bit unexplained. Madda was an interesting character that easily sunk her claws into my emotions quickly.

This book was full of bests, first the cover was one of the best I've ever seen, the main character was awesome and then it had some of the best writing I've read in a while. It was obvious that a huge amount of work went into the writing. It captured every sense with a ton of detail, whether it was the foliage in the setting or the noises around the characters. The story was almost as good as I had hoped it would be, it got a little sluggish in places though. By no means was it a poor story, it just wasn't as timed as nicely as I would have liked it to be. I also wish that the blood thing was used more, but I'm sure that it will be brought into the story in another book. The paranormal aspects of the book were unique as they were based on lore from this area of the world rather than just vampires and werewolves. The end was clean and tidy, it had some action leading up to it, and it wrapped the book up nicely.

The ending was one that left room for a sequel, but it ended on a fairly round up note. I can't wait to read whatever Catherine writes next, but until then, I give Shadows Cast by Stars a 4/5. I'd recommend this book for people looking for a well written book with a distinct futuristic feel while still maintaining a traditional feel.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event held by Jill over at Breaking The Spine! It's all about those books you just can't wait for and are counting down the days till they come out.  

This week I chose:

Asunder (Newsoul, #2)DARKSOULS
Ana has always been the only one. Asunder. Apart. But after Templedark, when many residents of Heart were lost forever, some hold Ana responsible for the darksouls–and the newsouls who may be born in their place.

Many are afraid of Ana’s presence, a constant reminder of unstoppable changes and the unknown. When sylph begin behaving differently toward her and people turn violent, Ana must learn to stand up not only for herself but for those who cannot stand up for themselves.

Ana was told that nosouls can’t love. But newsouls? More than anything, she wants to live and love as an equal among the citizens of Heart, but even when Sam professes his deepest feelings, it seems impossible to overcome a lifetime of rejection.

In this second book in the Incarnate trilogy, Ana discovers the truth about reincarnation and will have to find a way to embrace love and make her young life meaningful. Once again, Jodi Meadows explores the extraordinary beauty and shadowed depths of the soul in a story equal parts epic romance and captivating fantasy.

Guest Post by the Author of Sykosa

Let’s Dispense with the Games, I’m Desperate for You to Read My Book.

Dear Reader,
Recently at a dinner, Justin attempted to convince a woman to buy his book.
            Here is how it went.
“Hello there, my name is Justin Ordoñez and I’m passionate about life. I think knowing your life’s passion is important to feeling positive about the future. I’m positive about the future, and should you decide to read Sykosa, I want you to be positive about it, too. I’m new to the area—this publishing thing—so I’m looking for someone who will not only give Sykosa a shot, but also be chill with who she is. I’m a confident, self-assured person who always appreciates the good reviews, but never stresses over the bad ones, so don’t feel pressure to…”
Wait, maybe I shouldn’t have said “bad reviews.” It puts the thought in her head, doesn’t it? Let’s try this again. Or should I mention I like to travel? No, that’s ridiculous—everyone likes to travel, it’s all anyone ever says!
I can recover. Be confident about your writing!
“What I meant to say was I’ve had nothing but good reviews, everyone loves my writing, they’re hypnotized by it and they can’t believe how brilliant it is!”
Yikes, I sounded cocky there, didn’t I? That’s what she needs, isn’t it? Another cocky doofus who thinks he knows everything and tries to make it with her at the end of the night, even though she’s obviously kept waiting for the “save me” text from her friend, but can’t get it because the cell phone reception is so bad here. Well, I don’t want to be that guy who does that. I’m not that guy. Alright, I can fix this—the key is self-deprecating humor and admitting something embarrassing.
Okay, here I go.
“Recently, I turned thirty, and I discovered I was losing my long hair, but I decided to be proactive and get on the Rogaine—which makes me think, every morning and evening I put it on, of Ed Helms from The Hangover saying, “uuuuu-sing of the Roeeee-gaine, check!”—and it’s totally worked, my hair isn’t falling out anymore, some is growing back and…”
Geez, TMI there, right? I’m so bad at this, we’ve only been at dinner for five minutes and I’ve drank three glasses of water. I already have to go to the bathroom. I’ll have to go several times at this rate. She might conclude I have an enlarged prostate or something. She might assume my virility isn’t strong, that I’m unfit for mating—not that I’m thinking about mating! I mean, not to say I wouldn’t want to mate with her, of course I want to, she’s so beautiful! I just mean I wouldn’t make such an assumption. She’s an independent person and I know we’re going to have a spent a lot of time getting to know each other before we even reach that point. Besides, I’m only trying to sell her my book. That’s all. Okay, I can save this. I just need to subtly suggest how potent I am, and then show her how much I’m wanted, so to create an infuriating jealousy in her.
That’ll win her back.
“One thing you should know is I’m a popular dude, and I’m at a point where I can’t be held down. I gots tons of honeys running me down to read Sykosa. This isn’t ego spitting. It’s honesty. Don’t hate the player, hate the game! I gotta play the field. It’s me being honest with you, me showing you respect, when I say—yes—I want you to read Sykosa, but I also want all your friends, your enemies, your coworkers, your church friends, your Zumba classmates, your ex-lovers, your local bar friends, and your entire Facebook friend list to read Sykosa. I even want your mother to read Sykosa. That’s right. I want your mother and you to read it together. Yeah, your Moms and you—reading Sykosa and talking about it and doing it again and again! And I want you to pay me for it. I want you to go to whatever book merchant you prefer, then pay me for Sykosa.”
Oh, God! I sound like a pervert! And a prostitute! Oh, this is bad. This is so very, very bad, but not like sexy bad, I mean legitimately bad. This isn’t what I’m usually like. Okay, the key here is to be myself, that’s the key.
It’s okay, I can fix this.
“My name is Justin Ordoñez. I recently released a book called Sykosa (that's "sy"-as-in-"my" ko-sa). It’s a story about a sixteen year old girl trying to reclaim her identity after an act of violence shatters her life and the lives of her friends. It’s been described as ‘gritty, intense and definitely not a book I'll forget’ and ‘This book really snuck up on me. I would find myself thinking about it when I was driving or doing other things.’ Basically, Sykosa and her friends attend a weekend-long, unchaperoned party at Niko's posh vacation cottage, where Sykosa will confront Niko and her friends over what happened last year. She will also have to deal with her new boyfriend, Tom, and decide if this is the weekend she wants to lose her virginity to him.”
Whew, that’s it. I finished strong.
I think I might have a shot at getting a reader.
What do you think?

Hey! Justin Ordoñez wrote a book called Sykosa. It’s about a sixteen year old girl who’s trying to reclaim her identity after an act of violence destroys her life and the lives of her friends. You can find out more about Justin at his blog, You can also find Sykosa, the novel on Amazon.

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