Friday, February 28, 2014

Through the Ever Night

I'm a little late in reviewing this book. I actually finished it several days ago, but this week has been crazy. I've got a really busy weekend ahead with school work, so I've been trying to prepare myself by getting all my busy work out of the way. Then I tried to go to an art show with a friend, only to discover once we got to the front of the line that it was a 21 and over event. So, first time getting turned away from somewhere because I'm too young. And I wasn't even trying to sneak in! But anyways, this week I read Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi.

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Aria has been ordered by Hess to find the Still Blue, the one place on Earth where Aether storms don't destroy the land. He holds as ransom Perry's nephew, and only remaining family, Talon. Perry meanwhile has become Blood Lord of the Tides, one of the youngest and least experienced. As Aether storms destroy his territory and larger tribes close in for the kill, he has to deal with his people not accepting Aria or his leadership.

Through the Ever Night is the sequel to Under the Never Sky. I greatly enjoyed the first book in this series, though it took a few failed starts before I finished reading it. I loved the idea of the heightened senses, as well as Aria adapting to being outside for the first time after spending a life in the virtual reality of the Realms. This book...well it was fun, quick paced. But it was definitely a middle book. As far as I can recall there were no huge revelations. However, this isn't a story where there are big mysteries, so that might not be a bad thing. It was a quick read, and I'll be ready to read Into the Still Blue when it's out in paperback. All in all, a nice palette cleanser between the 13th century annals about papal and national sovereignty that I've been reading this week.

Goodreads Rating: 3 Stars
Up Next: White Cat by Holly Black

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Infinite Potential Blog Tour

Today I have the pleasure of having Barbara Garren, author of Infinite Potential, a YA paranormal romance published through the Entranced imprint of Entranced Publishing (my employer)! Without further ado: Barbara Garren!

Okay, I was asked to share the top 5 things you never would have guessed about me. This might be painful, but here goes:

1. I’m deathly afraid of clowns, puppets, masks and heights. Not in that order. I don’t know where the fear of clowns, puppets and masks comes from. I have a friend who is a psychologist and she says it’s a combination of my complete transparency, coupled with the difficulty I have seeing past the subterfuge of others. I’m not sure – I used to love the clowns at the circus. As for the height thing – that’s interesting, considering fact number 2…

2. I learned how to fly an airplane before I learned how to drive a car. Flying doesn’t affect my fear of heights. I love flying. I grew up flying with my Dad and he taught my brother and I how to fly as soon as we were able to see over the nose of the plane! So, maybe it’s not really a fear of heights, but a fear of being on the edge, teetering on the precipice?

3. I began my career in the Navy as a welder. Really! I was darn good at it too! My grandfather taught me how to weld (a little bit) when I was a little girl and I love the magic of joining metal together. I’m a bit of a metal geek (okay, a LOT of a metal geek) and the whole process still fascinates me. I quickly moved on too inspection and testing after suffering a nasty burn welding on a pipe on a ship in the Bay of Oman, but that’s a story for another day!

4. My iPod would probably have you scratching your head in confusion. I have opera, operetta’s (Gilbert & Sullivan), classical music, country, pop, rap, new wave, rock and roll, heavy metal – you name it. Most of my playlists are a real mash-up of genre, rhythm and tone. Whatever sets the mood best! I tend to gravitate toward darker, more melancholy songs when I’m really in “writing” mode. It helps me reach all those feelings!

5. I am possibly one of the most socially awkward and shy people you will ever meet, I’ve just learned to hide it well. I drag my husband to all the professional social functions I’m required to attend and he pushes me into other types of events, but I’m quite the wall-flower at heart. I can never figure out what to say or do and am terrified of glomming on to the ONE person who talks to me and never letting them go! With that said, once I know you and feel comfortable with you, I’m a firm believer in tackle hugs!

Blurb:

Kelsi always Knows when bad things are coming, but even she never thought she’d lose her husband at only twenty-three. Since he died, she’s been living her worst nightmare.

Her nights are filled with dreams of a Dark Haired Man, but her days are full of guilt, because the Man fills her with longing and confusion, promising to give her all she needs, all she wants, all she feared she’d never have again.

If only the dreams would stay in her head where they belong.

Kelsi starts seeing the Dark Haired Man in her waking life, shadowing her wherever she goes.  And when her mysterious new neighbor, Aiden Hardt, knows about the Man in her dreams, Kelsi worries she can’t trust her own mind.

He’s not what he seems.

But even Aiden’s cryptic words don’t frighten her as much as the way she feels around him. Kelsi must sort through her emotions and figure out what’s real before she can ever hope to have a normal life again.


About the Author

Barbara was born and raised in Southern California, but left to explore the world courtesy of the U.S. Navy. After traveling the world, she forced herself to live a humble life in in San Francisco, New York and Norfolk, Virginia. She now calls San Diego home and you won’t pry her out with a crowbar.

She would be the first  to tell you her husband, Henry, is the inspiration for all the romance, and the real Charlie - who is as cute as he sounds in her books - is a terrorist. When not working for the U.S. Navy, she can be found running, reading or writing. She firmly believes a well rounded diet consists of coffee, scotch, chocolate, popcorn and Luna Bars. In that order. 

She's a graduate of CUNY and Penn State - and manages to write a decent line here and there despite those burdens. 

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Unravel Me

Oh my god. I was totally not planning on binge reading Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi over the long weekend. Yes, I had worked pretty hard last week so that I wouldn't be snowed under with work. But I still hadn't planned on getting swept away. Some background. If you missed my review of Something Strange and Deadly, you don't know that my SO and I waited too long to make reservations on Valentine's Day. What did we do instead? We took the money we would have spent on dinner and bought books instead. I got Unravel Me, Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi, and These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman. And today I finished off the first one. (spoiler warning: this is a review of a sequel and will contain slight spoilers)
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Juliette has joined the gifted outcasts of Omega Point, a secret rebel group planning to go against The Reestablishment. As she tries to master the power of her lethal touch, Warner and his men are scouring the area looking for the rebels. With her are Adam, one of the only people who can touch her without pain, and Kenji, the invisible boy who holds more power that Juliette could ever imagine. But things are never as simple as they seem. Juliette may have escaped the Reestablishment, but she can never escape who she is. She is a killer, a delicate flower with a deadly bite.

When I read Shatter Me I was on the fence about the writing style. The use of metaphor and imagery felt a bit heavy-handed at times. I loved the use of the strike-throughs, partly because I'd never seen them used in a novel before. I think at the end I liked it mostly for the ending (because oh my lord who saw that coming?), and I said I would read the sequel. Well holy hell am I glad I did. At 461 pages, Unravel Me is not a light middle novel. But it is seriously packed with information. It is not, as some second novels, filler until you get to the end. In this story you discover things about every single one of the major characters that are pivotal. And if the metaphors were heavy-handed in places I simply didn't care. Because I felt so bad for Juliette. And may I be one of the many to applaud Mafi on a seriously successful love V. I have no idea who I want Juliette to end up with, Adam or Warner. I will tell you this, though. There was one chapter so emotionally jarring that I had to set the book aside. I actually felt sick after experiencing anger, desire, pity, disgust, sadness. It was rough, guys. I can't wait for Ignite Me to come out in paperback.

Goodreads Rating: 5 Stars
Up Next: Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Something Strange and Deadly

Happy post Valentine's Day, everyone! You know what that means? Chocolate is on sale today! YAY! Ahem. Anyways. I hope ya'll had a great VD. Mine was exceptionally laid back, especially compared to last year (went to SF to hide from all the happy couples in my life. Seriously, they were everywhere). The SO and I waited too long to make dinner reservations, so instead we took the money we would have spent on dinner and got books instead. Needless to say, best VD ever! Also, yesterday I finished reading Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard. It took longer than normal because Cress came out after I started it.


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Eleanor Fitt desperately wants her brother Elijah to come home. She hasn't seen him for three years, and the Fitts, a respectable family in 1876 Philadelphia, are out of money. And something worse is on the loose. A necromancer has arisen, and now the Dead are walking in Philadelphia. Eleanor quickly gets wrapped up in a deadly game of intrigue with Clarence, a man her mother wants her to marry to save the family's reputation, and the Spirit-Hunters, the people charged with protecting the city from the Dead. Among the Spirit-Hunters are Joseph, a charming gentleman with the power to stop the dead, Jie, a young Chinese girl who hides as a boy to avoid be treated wrongly, and Daniel, a handsome inventor.

I heard so many great things about these books. And I was so excited to read a book about post-Civil War Philadelphia. And zombies. I haven't read any zombie books yet, which is my bad because there are apparently a ton of good ones out there. But honestly, I think this is one of the books that fell short of the hype for me. The setting wasn't as vivid as I would have liked, being a history nerd. Eleanor's relationships with all the characters seemed rushed and a little forced to me, especially with Clarence. Eleanor herself vacillated between being a proper young woman who blanched at shaking a man's hand without a proper escort, and swearing to maids and people of high society. It just wasn't what I was hoping for. I guessed the twist by the end of like 50 pages, which normally I don't care about but this time I did. But I can get over all of this. When books take place over the course of only a few weeks it's hard for the characters to get so invested in each other and make it look reasonable. The one thing that truly bugged me was the zombies. They were not scary. I wanted to be scared of them. I just wasn't. I've heard great things about the sequel though, so I shall forge on.

Goodreads Rating: 3 Stars
Up Next: Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Cover Reveal: The Queen of Zombie Hearts



Today is the day! The cover of Gena Showalter's THE QUEEN OF ZOMBIE HEARTS is here! We're so excited to be able to share this with you as it joins an already stunning set! Ready to see it? Not quite yet. Let's take a look a the first two covers in the series!

First there was ALICE IN ZOMBIELAND...



Then came THROUGH THE ZOMBIE GLASS...



Now get ready to EAT YOUR HEARTS OUT!!!




On-sale date: Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Add it to your TBR!  Goodreads

Pre-order your copy! AmazonBarnes & Noble
        

Blurb:

I have a plan.

We'll either destroy them for good, or they'll destroy us.

Either way, only one of us is walking away.

In the stunning conclusion to the wildly popular White Rabbit Chronicles, Alice "Ali" Bell thinks the worst is behind her. She's ready to take the next step with boyfriend Cole Holland, the leader of the zombie slayers…until Anima Industries, the agency controlling the zombies, launches a sneak attack, killing four of her friends. It's then she realizes that humans can be more dangerous than monsters…and the worst has only begun.

As the surviving slayers prepare for war, Ali discovers she, too, can control the zombies…and she isn't the girl she thought she was. She's connected to the woman responsible for killing—and turning—Cole's mother. How can their relationship endure? As secrets come to light, and more slayers are taken or killed, Ali will fight harder than ever to bring down Anima—even sacrificing her own life for those she loves.

About Gena:

Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of the wildly popular White Rabbit Chronicles, the Angels of the Dark, the Lords of the Underworld, and the Otherworld Assassins series.  In addition to being a National Reader's Choice and RITA nominee, her romance novels have appeared in Cosmopolitan and Seventeen magazine, and have been translated in multiple languages.  She lives in Oklahoma with her family and menagerie of dogs, and truly believes love conquers all.


Giveaway Details:

1 complete set of The White Rabbit Chronicles (first 2 sent as soon as the giveaway is over and the winner will get the first hardcover of book 3 when it's available!) US/Canada Only




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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Cress

It's been a week since Balancing Act came out. Can you believe it? Because I sure can't. For those of you who hadn't heard, you can now purchase Balancing Act for your e-reader here! When it's made it onto B&N I'll let you all know. I had a quiet release week in that I had a ton of work. I celebrated with my family, and then had a launch party that Saturday. It was amazing to see the turnout. It's incredible, being reminded of how much support I have. But that's a post for another day. Today I want to talk about this incredible book, Cress by Marissa Meyer.


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For seven years Cress has been trapped in a satellite orbiting Earth and forced to do Queen Levana's hacking. She fills her days with fantasy stories she makes up, and her favorite is of the romantic hero, Captain Thorne, the second most wanted fugitive on Earth. Cinder and Captain Thorne are on the run with Wolfe and Scarlet, and they're trying to elude capture long enough to stop the royal wedding. Their best hope lies in Cress. But when a disastrous rescue mission goes wrong, Cress finally has her freedom, but the little band is scattered across the worlds. They need to get back together in time to stop the wedding, and if they can, save the world.

I have loved both Cinder and Scarlet. Each POV has a distinctive voice, and the action never lets up. I felt so attached to Cress with her inability to cut her hair and her delusions about epic romances. These stories are loosely based on fairy tales, and this one was clearly based on Rapunzel. But I'm so glad it didn't stick to it super closely because we're closing in on when Cinder will have to take on Levana. Words can't describe how much I enjoyed this book. It jumps between so many characters, which I love, and the storylines are great. I finished it in about 2 days. Please can it be 2015 already so I can read Winter? Please?

Goodreads Rating: 5 stars

Monday, February 3, 2014

Balancing Act Release Day!!

It's here, folks! The day we've (I've) been waiting for since last year! Balancing Act comes out today! My debut novel which I have been working on since my freshman year of college, is now out there. I don't have the buy links yet, but I'll add them here once I have them.

This is so crazy. I'm actually a published author. My words will be read by other people for pleasure. Now I'm going to celebrate by working on homework and going out to a special dinner with my special fella and my parents. I hope ya'll enjoy Balancing Act as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Extra fun: Giveaway
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Have a great day :)