FAIREST by Marissa Meyer – can we say awesome?


OMGosh, I finished it!  This! This beauty of a book! This way too short explanation of why Queen Levana is such a nasty, nasty person.

I started the book on the February 1 and finished it last night only because work got in the way and I couldn’t read straight thr0ugh. Ugh.  Anyway, I loved this book, though I have to say I was hoping for a bit more intensity, but I wasn’t disappointed in what I got.

I like that we get to see why Queen Levana is the way she is. We all know that no one is all bad or all good. We all have our flaws and life events that make us who we are.

I felt sympathy and sorrow for her. She endured so much at the hands of other people, all the things that break a soul, a spirit. Like all humans, all she ever wanted was to be loved. What she got was anything but.

I would have liked to have seen a bit deeper POV in Levana, I mean, really, really dig into her heart. Meyer touched on it a couple of times, and I have to admit, there was one part of the book where I actually felt a tear welling in the corner of my eye. Still, I didn’t get the gut-wrenching heart-ache I was expecting.

There are two characters I would have liked to have seen developed more as a pair – Evret and Sol. I would have liked to have seen Levana torn a bit more between her feelings for the two of them. I think Levana was capable of so much more compassion and love, but her desperation overshadowed it. I wish Meyer had made Levana a bit more sensitive so we could really see an internal battle within. There were times when Meyer brought me right to the edge, where I could see Levana about to be kind and caring … and then she yanked me back before it could happen.  I really wanted more internal struggle.

And poor Evret. I would have loved to have seen his character a bit more in the story. What a good, kind soul. And for someone who had such a huge part in Levana’s life, it felt more like he was a walk-on character.

I give Fairest 4 stars. Despite this being a filler novel, (actually more like a novella), I’m still a HUGE fan, and I’m really, really looking forward to the final story in the series, WINTER. I read the first 3 chapters that are at the end of Fairest. OMGosh!! Totally awesome!!!

So, there you have it. If you’re a Lunar Chronicles fan, you should really read Fairest. It will help you to understand Levana’s character so much more and will shed some light on how life, jealousy, rejection, pain, death and yes, even love, can change and mold us in profound ways and not always for the best.  We may not agree with or like the person she turned out to be, but at least now, we can understand it and hope that Winter, Cinder and Scarlet and their amazing male counterparts, can save the day…and the world in the end. I’m looking forward to finding out.

Cover Reveal: THE SURROGATE SEA by Danielle E. Shipley


Hi everyone!  Thanks for stopping by. Today, I’m sharing the cover for Danielle E. Shipley’s The Surrogate Sea, book 6 of The Wilderhawk Tales.

Check it out.

Title: The Surrogate Sea
Author: Danielle E. Shipley
Genre: YA Fairytale/Fantasy/Romance
Release Date: March 24th 2015

Surrogate Sea cover, front

And the blurb:

The Sea’s storm brought them together, and the Sea’s rules will keep them apart, unless the mute but melodious Muirigan can find another to take her place, freeing her to pursue the human man she loves. But when her plan collides with the schemes of the sly South Wind, a princess’s agenda to look for love in all the most fantastic places, and a prince whose head and heart have been long years at war, the result is a tragedy of errors from which the world might never recover.

The Surrogate Sea (Book Six of The Wilderhark Tales)

***

An enchantress’s curse turns a spoiled royal into a beast; a princess’s pricked finger places her under a hundred-year spell; bales of straw are spun as golden as the singing harp whisked down a giant beanstalk – all within sight of Wilderhark, the forest that’s seen it all.

You’ve heard the stories – of young men scaling rope-like braids to assist the tower-bound damsel; of gorgeous gowns appearing just in time for a midnight ball; of frog princes, and swan princes, and princes saved from drowning by maidens of the sea. Tales of magic. Tales of adventure. Most of all, tales of true love.

Once upon a time, you knew them as fairytales. Know them now as Wilderhark’s.

***

Add it to your Goodreads HERE!

About the Author:

Danielle E. Shipley’s first novelettes told the everyday misadventures of wacky kids like herself. …Or so she thought. Unbeknownst to them all, half of her characters were actually closeted elves, dwarves, fairies, or some combination thereof.

When it all came to light, Danielle did the sensible thing: Packed up and moved to Fantasy Land, where daily rent is the low, low price of her heart, soul, blood, sweat, tears, firstborn child, sanity, and words; lots of them. She’s also been known to spend short bursts of time in the real-life Chicago area with the parents who home schooled her and the two little sisters who keep her humble.

When she’s not living the highs and lows of writing, publishing, and all that authorial jazz, she’s probably blogging about it atEverOnWord.wordpress.com.

And This Week Only…

..In honor of the upcoming release of Book 6, you can get the Kindle e-book of Book One for just 99 cents!

That’s right – “The Swan Prince” Kindle e-book can be yours (or your friends’, or their friends’…!) at a delightfully discounted $0.99. Because while Book Six can absolutely be enjoyed on its own, the series is best experienced from start to end. ^_^

Which of the Wilderhark Tales covers have been your favorites so far? ^^ Sound off below!

Wilderhark Covers Lineup 2

Gods of Chaos – It’s a cover reveal!


Welcome to the Cover Reveal for

Gods of Chaos (Daughter of Chaos #2) by Jen McConnel

presented by Month9Books!

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

Gods of Chaos

The gods of chaos cannot be trusted.

When DarlenaAgara declared to follow Red Magic last fall, she had no idea what she was getting into. Since then, however, she’s had a crash course in danger, deceit, and destruction. In an effort to gain an ally, Darlena heads to Scotland in search of another Red Witch, but she didn’t count on the new obstacles (and crazy gods) that await her.

add to goodreads

Title: Gods of Chaos (Daughter of Chaos #2)
Publication date: March 31, 2015
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Jen McConnel

Chapter-by-Chapter-header---About-the-Author

Jen McConnel

Jen McConnel now lives and writes in the beautiful state of North Carolina. When she isn’t crafting worlds of fiction, she teaches writing composition at a community college. Once upon a time, she was a middle school teacher, a librarian, and a bookseller, but those are stories for another time.

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Chapter-by-Chapter-header---Giveaway

Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!

(Winners will receive their book on release day)

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SKIN GAME by Jim Butcher – Wow, what a mind-blowing read!!


Title: Skin Game
ISBN: 0451464397 (ISBN13: 9780451464392)
Published: May 27, 2014
Publisher: ROC

********************

Wow, this has got to be my favorite book of 2014, which surprises the heck out of me as I really thought CRESS by Marissa Meyer would top my list.

I don’t even know what made me pick up this book. Maybe it was that Clint Eastwood-like cover, or it could have been

THE BLURB:

Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only professional wizard, is about to have a very bad day….

Because as Winter Knight to the Queen of Air and Darkness, Harry never knows what the scheming Mab might want him to do. Usually, it’s something awful.

He doesn’t know the half of it….

Mab has just traded Harry’s skills to pay off one of her debts. And now he must help a group of supernatural villains—led by one of Harry’s most dreaded and despised enemies, Nicodemus Archleone—to break into the highest-security vault in town so that they can then access the highest-security vault in the Nevernever.

It’s a smash-and-grab job to recover the literal Holy Grail from the vaults of the greatest treasure hoard in the supernatural world—which belongs to the one and only Hades, Lord of the freaking Underworld and generally unpleasant character. Worse, Dresden suspects that there is another game afoot that no one is talking about. And he’s dead certain that Nicodemus has no intention of allowing any of his crew to survive the experience. Especially Harry.

Dresden’s always been tricky, but he’s going to have to up his backstabbing game to survive this mess—assuming his own allies don’t end up killing him before his enemies get the chance….

—————-

But I don’t think it was that at all. I opened up the book and started reading, and I couldn’t put it down.  Terry Pratchett fans – this book totally rocks over Discworld and I LOVE Discworld.

I can’t even begin to tell you how much I loved this book and I haven’t read any others in the series. Guess what.  I’m going back to the beginning and read them all because this author is that damn good.

I’m not going to give a review because this is one of these books, one of those series you have to read for yourself.  All I know is that I’m hooked.

What was your fave read of 2014?

 

FIFTEEN by Jen Estes – a review


Curiosity Quills recently offered me the opportunity to read FIFTEEN by Jen Estes in exchange for an honest review.  After reading the back cover blurb, I decided to take a chance on it as the premise really captured my attention.

Fiftee - Jen Estes cover

Fifteen, by Jen Estes

Genre:Contemporary Fantasy, Paranormal, Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult

Publisher:Curiosity Quills Press

Date of Release­­:January 15, 2015

Cover Artist:Conzpiracy Digital Arts

Goodreads

Description:

Legend has it if you die in your dreams, you die in real life. Fifteen-year-old Ashling Campbell knows that’s not true because when she closes her eyes each night, she doesn’t dream about public nudity or Prom dates. Instead, she’s catapulted to the front row of her future self’s execution – fifteen years from now – where monsters have taken control of her hometown and she, or rather, her 30-year-old counterpart, is their public enemy number one.

For three months and counting, it’s been the same dream… until an encounter with an antique dreamcatcher. Ash falls asleep to discover she’s no longer a mere spectator in these dreams – now she’s astral-projecting into the body of her future self. Each night, she goes on the run with a ragtag group of rebels – who have no idea she’s really a high school sophomore and not their noble warrior. She has to make it through each night so that she can wake up and find a way to change the future. For every action she does in the present day, she falls asleep to discover it had an equal impact fifteen years later. It’s up to her to manage her two worlds and make sure she’s still got a place in both.

My Review

I’m really torn over this book.  Part of me really, really loved it and the other part of me only liked it.

I thought the beginning started out kind of slow and I was wondering when the story would pick up. It didn’t take long before the first ‘dream’ sequence, and boy, did it catch my attention.  The monster in Ash’s dreams is wicked beyond wicked, and what happens to her during the dream is just too freaking weird and unsettling.

I’m really trying hard not to give spoilers away here but it’s difficult to talk about this book without giving something away.  Hmm, let’s talk characters.

There is this doctor in the book that is an oddly placed character.  Ash and her friend, Nadette’s, reaction to him seemed  too quick. They just went with him unknowing, unthinking, and it’s not like he was a young college kid, either. He’s an old guy, well, old to a couple of teen girls.  I thought this entire scene just unfolded way to easy. They were too trusting. Personally, I was kind of creeped out by the guy, the way he stood under a tree staring at the two girls, and yet they’re like “hey, baby.” It felt ‘off’ to me. It through my creep groove off.  However, I liked the character and I really enjoyed watching the way he helped Ash come to terms with her dreams.

Anyway, Ash’s relationships with Tate, Nadette and Skylar are all very typical teenager, and there is a strong YA voice when the three of them get together. I would have liked to have seen deeper characters, a little bit deeper POV with Ash and her feelings toward Tate. Don’t get me wrong. We know her relationship with him. We know how she feels about him. I just would have liked to have seen a bit deeper connection.

The settings are pretty typical – high school and college campuses. The scenes are easy to picture in my mind. The prose is fairly quick overall and engaging. The storyline and plot are easy to follow, but there are some twists and turns that are really quite nice.

There is a scene where Ash falls asleep in class that I would have liked to have seen developed a bit more. I think there would have been more reaction among the students. I really liked this first introduction into carrying things over from sleep to reality – one dimension to another. Very nicely done.

Bad thing is, I found myself wanting to get to the dreams instead of reading the story. At one point I found myself skimming because I thought it was taking too long to get to the dream scenes, which were becoming more and more intense and vivid. Ms. Estes knows how to write these villains and monsters, and even better, she knows how to weave them into reality. I can’t really say it’s the author’s fault I wanted to jump ahead. Then again, a slow enticement is much better than a WHAM! Know what I mean?

As for the end of the novel, Jen Estes knows how to end a book. I loved the twists and turns in the end and the last line was most excellent. It made me go “ooooo”. All I could think of is if I were Fifteen, everything she’d just been through would completely freak me out.

Overall, I wish there had been a tad more deep character development. Sometimes they felt flat to me and then in other spots, they were bopping all over the page. I didn’t like the ending with Tate and Nadette.  That really sucked and I would have liked to have seen a different ‘ending’ for them and Ash. Again, my preference and nothing the author did wrong.

Try as I might, it is really difficult to peg down score for this one.  It would be between a 3.75 and a 4.0. I think I’ll give a 4.0 because the creepy, wraithy kind of villain was just written so damn well. I could see him in all his ghoulishness.  At times, it was if he were standing right in front of me. *Shiver* And then to find out he’s really …

Nope, not going to tell you. You’re going to have to read the book to find out.

I give FIFTEEN 4 stars. It really does have a menacing, hair-raising storyline and I think most people who like edgy YA horror without going overboard, will love this novel. It is pretty intense for the most part, with a very interesting plot line.  I am happy to say this is the first book I’ve read in 2015.  Thank you Curiosity Quills Press and Jen Estes with starting out my year with a really enjoyable read.

About the Author

Jen

Jen Estes is the author of the Cat McDaniel Mystery Series and the forthcoming FIFTEEN (The Dreamwalker Diaries).

Born and raised in the Midwest, Jen had to choose between staring at corn or reading books. Corn husks just didn’t have the appeal of the Baby-Sitters Club, and so a bookworm was born. Reading later turned into writing and in 2011, Jen published her first novel. After releasing four books in the mystery genre, Jen finally gave in to the literary demands of her inner teenager with her YA debut, FIFTEEN (The Dreamwalker Diaries) with Curiosity Quills.  Jen lives in Illinois with her husband Nathan under the tyranny of their three cats: Wrigley, Ivy and Captain Moo.

She is an active member of the National Writers Union. When she isn’t writing, Jen enjoys sci-fi in all its mediums, attempting yoga, using her passport, watching baseball, and reading a good book. You can find Jen on the web at http://www.jenestes.com, on Tumblr as AuthorJenEstes and tweeting under @jenestesdotcom

Find Jen Estes Online:

Website | Facebook |Twitter| Goodreads

And the winner is …


Last week I ran a poll asking YA readers which method of reading they preferred: e-book or paper book.  The overwhelming response of you that voted was:

86.67% of you prefered paper books

and only

13.33% of you prefer e-book.

This is awesome information for a YA author to know and have in hand when looking at publishing contracts.  Despite the digital world, it seems most readers still prefer real books to hold in their hands.

And now, on to the super-duper prize giveaway …

One lucky person who voted in the poll has won their choice of either an e-book OR paperback copy of the YA anthology by J. Taylor Publishing – ONE MORE DAY.

OneMoreDay

And who is that lucky winner?  Why it’s

LAURA THOMAS!!!!

Whoo Hoo!  Congratulations, Laura and thank you so much for playing along. An e-mail has been sent to you with all the details.

Thank all of you for participating and playing along.  Keep coming back for more awesome giveaways going on throughout the year!!

LIFER by Beck Nicholas – A 5-Star Review


Lifer-Cover Over the past couple of weeks I had the pleasure of reading LIFER by Beck Nicholas. Now, most of you know I’m not a fan of Sci Fi. I like watching Sci Fi movies, but I’ve never been a big fan of reading the genre.  However, when Month9Books approached me with the opportunity to read a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review, I couldn’t pass it up.  I mean, look at that cover!  It’s amazing! And then when I read the blurb: Bourne Identity meets Under the Never Sky? Well, I couldn’t resist.

What is LIFER about?  Well, here is the blurb:

Title: LIFER
Publication date: December 16, 2014
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Beck Nicholas

Asher is a Lifer, a slave aboard the spaceship Pelican. A member of the lowest rung of society, she must serve the ship’s Officials and Astronauts as punishment for her grandparents’ crimes back on Earth. The one thing that made life bearable was her illicit relationship with Samuai, a Fishie boy, but he died alongside her brother in a freak training accident.

Still grieving for the loss of her loved ones, Asher is summoned to the upper levels to wait on Lady, the head Official’s wife and Samuai’s mother. It is the perfect opportunity to gather intel for the Lifer’s brewing rebellion. There’s just one problem—the last girl who went to the upper levels never came back.

On the other side of the universe, an alien attack has left Earth in shambles and a group called The Company has taken control. Blank wakes up in a pond completely naked and with no memory, not even his real name. So when a hot girl named Megs invites him to a black-market gaming warehouse where winning means information, he doesn’t think twice about playing. But sometimes the past is better left buried.

As Asher and Blank’s worlds collide, the truth comes out—everyone has been lied to. Bourne Identity meets Under the Never Sky in this intergalactic tale of love and deception from debut novelist Beck Nicholas.

MY REVIEW

What did I think about LIFER?

I have to say I was immediately captured by the author’s writing style. She has a beautiful way with words and they flowed so wonderfully well. Descriptions were clear but no cluttered. Characters were well flushed out, plots were crazy twisted and cleverly done. Settings…well I thought I was there in the thick of it all.

I love Asher.  She is one tough cookie and her character consistently grows throughout the novel. She’s not whiny. She is really a character you can root for. You want things to work out for her, and when she makes the character Davyd beg for Mercy … heart be still.  Fantastic moment in the book for me.

Blank (which is such a cool name for this character), is perfectly suited for Asher’s “other half” of this story. Like Asher, his past is shrouded in mystery, from the moment we are introduced to him, naked and unaware of who he is. Revelations come in short, intense bursts, and side characters like gorgeous Meg with her purple hair only make things more intense for Blank.

I don’t want to give any of the plot away in this story as it truly is a remarkable tale of space intrigue, deception, and mind-blowing twists and turns that will have you glued to your seat, turning the pages well into the wee hours of the morning.

If I have anything negative to say about the book, it would be that Asher and Blank have similar ‘voices’ to me, at least in the beginning. It irons itself out as the story goes and I became more involved with each characters’ personalities and life situation.  The similarities, however, were not enough to make me stop reading, which is the main thing.

I give LIFER five stars out of 5 because of its ingenuity and fantastic plot line. It really will take your breath away.

Thank you Month9Books for the opportunity to read it.

There is a Blog tour going on  for LIFER and all the info you need to know is below.  I hope you take the time to jump around and read all the posts and also have the chance to enter the giveaway.

ABOUT BECK NICHOLAS:

Beck-Nicholas-head-shot-248x300

I always wanted to write.  I’ve worked as a lab assistant, a pizza delivery driver and a high school teacher but I always pursued my first dream of creating stories. Now, I live with my family near Adelaide, halfway between the city and the sea, and am lucky to spend my days (and nights) writing young adult fiction.

Connect with the Author:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest

Lifer-Banner

Link to the Tour Schedule:

http://www.chapter-by-chapter.com/tour-schedule-lifer-by-beck-nicholas-presented-by-month9books/

Link to Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21816274-lifer?from_search=true

Purchase Links:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Chapters Indigo! | IndieBound

Giveaway Information:  Winner will be drawn January 16, 2015

·        Five (5) winners will receive a digital copy of  Lifer by Beck Nicholas (INT)

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The Darkest Day is here!


Today marks the release of DARKEST DAY by Emi Gayle!  I’ll have more on this final chapter in the 19th Year series on January 31, so mark your calendars to come back. In the meantime, swoon over the cover and then, go grab you a copy to keep you warm over the next few days.

Mac Thorne’s time as a Changeling is coming to an end.

It may have taken eighteen years, but Mac did finally manage to do what the Council wanted: she chose a teacher and renounced the in-between.

There’s just one last step. She must say goodbye to her human. Forever.

After being challenged in every way possible, Mac leaves what she thought would be the easiest task for the last possible moment. As midnight on July fourth draws near, though, she hasn’t found a way to give up Winn Thomas.

Nor does she want to.

With time running out, Mac stands at a literal crossroads. Choose Winn, and she’ll be stripped of the only family she’s ever known — vampires, dragons, and her favorite demon. Even her own mother. Accept her position on the Council and rule as an equal to her twelve peers, and she’ll forget Winn ever existed.

Independence and freedom have never before been so limiting.

In this final chapter of the 19th Year Trilogy, it’s time for Mac to decide.

Responsibility? Or Love?

The Darkest Day Blog Tour kicks off TODAY over at My Guilty Obsession. Be sure to drop on by to say hi and for the chance to win some great prizes.

DARKEST DAY is available NOW!