Thursday, August 21, 2014

Review: Storm Siren by Mary Weber

Title: Storm Siren
Author: Mary Weber
Series: Book One in the Storm Siren Series
Published By: Thomas Nelson/Harper Collins (August 19, 2014)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: 3.5 Stars!

Book Description:
“I raise my chin as the buyers stare. Yes. Look. You don’t want me. Because, eventually, accidentally, I will destroy you.”

In a world at war, a slave girl’s lethal curse could become one kingdom’s weapon of salvation. If the curse—and the girl—can be controlled.

As a slave in the war-weary kingdom of Faelen, seventeen-year-old Nym isn’t merely devoid of rights, her Elemental kind are only born male and always killed at birth — meaning, she shouldn’t even exist.

Standing on the auction block beneath smoke-drenched mountains, Nym faces her fifteenth sell. But when her hood is removed and her storm-summoning killing curse revealed, Nym is snatched up by a court advisor and given a choice: be trained as the weapon Faelen needs to win the war, or be killed.

Choosing the former, Nym is unleashed into a world of politics, bizarre parties, and rumors of an evil more sinister than she’s being prepared to fight . . . not to mention the handsome trainer whose dark secrets lie behind a mysterious ability to calm every lightning strike she summons.

But what if she doesn’t want to be the weapon they’ve all been waiting for?

Set in a beautifully eclectic world of suspicion, super abilities, and monsters, Storm Siren is a story of power. And whoever controls that power will win.






There was no way after seeing all of the glowing reviews for this going around the blogsphere that I was going to say no to it. Add in the fact that this wasn't a mermaid or siren story (something I sadly have a love hate relationship with) and I was completely sold on starting this. I just knew it was going to be more than a pretty cover. After all, how could all those 4 and 5 star reviews be wrong?

Thankfully they weren't wrong, at least not completely. . This was so much fun and I seriously I liked it more than I thought I would in fact. My only real complaint and reason why I wasn't completely in love with it was because of the lack of world building. Things needed to be explained just a bit more. Terms were thrown out at us and names of places but that was the extent of our knowledge about them and sadly our explanation but you know what, in the end it was okay because the rest of the book was so entertaining that I could ignore the lack of other things. 

I enjoyed Nym, Breck, Collin and Eogan so much. Each of their stories came out little by little, nugget by nugget and I really enjoyed knowing more about them.

I loved the world that we did get to see, what was explained about the people and about Nym and Collin's powers and what being an Elemental meant to not only Nym but the others as well.

Overall this was a fun exciting read that was filled with all things magical with just enough hint at a romance to keep you guessing and wanting more.

I do have to warn you though that there is quite the nasty cliffhanger at the end, so be prepared for it, I wasn't and I almost (almost) wish I would have waited to start this one when book two was closer to being released.




*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

WoW Pick of the Week



Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It is a chance to share those new releases were are super anxious to get our hands on and read.


I recently (finally!) started this series and it has been every bit as good as it promised to be so of course when I saw a story all about the queen, I couldn't resist choosing it for this week's book pick.



Release Date: January 27, 2014

Book Description:
In this stunning bridge book between Cress and Winter in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles, Queen Levana’s story is finally told.

Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who is the fairest of them all?

Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now. 


Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes full-color art and an excerpt from Winter, the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series.



*Amazon*

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Clear Your Shelf Giveaway Hop


It has been way too long since I have participated in one of these hops hosted by I Am A Reader Not a Writer and Book Hounds

I have a ton of books that need good homes so for this hop I will be picking two winners (first winner will get first choice and then second will get to pick from what is left)! Sadly do to shipping expenses this giveaway will be open to US residents only. 

I really appreciate all of my followers and all of the comments I get each day. I love reading them and knowing that there are so many wonderful people just like me out there that have a huge love of reading,  so I am keeping this hop simple to enter. Simply be a follower of this blog via Bloglovin' and you will be entered to win.

Here are the books I have to offer up, hopefully you see something you like. 

ARC Paperback Copy of Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott



Hardback Copy of Copperhead by Tina Connolly



ARC Paperback Copy of Independent Study by Joelle Charbonneau



Paperback Copy of Quick Fix by Linda Grimes


ARC Paperback Copy of Face of Death by Kelly Hashway


Hardback Copy of Invisible by James Patterson


Paperback Copy of The Sharp Time by Mary O'Connell



Hopefully you see something you like and good luck to everyone who enters!! And once again, thank you to all of my wonderful followers!!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Excerpt Post: Two Empty Thrones by C.H. MacLean



Today I have author C.H. MacLean  to tell us a little bit about his latest new book, Two Empty Thrones.



With her powers growing every day, fourteen-year-old Haylwen Rightad thinks she’s safe in the magical forest. And now that she finally has the friends she always wanted, what is there to be afraid of?

But she’s not out of the woods yet. Old enemies rip through her beloved forest, threatening to haul Haylwen and her newfound friends away. Their safety shattered, Haylwen and her friends are suddenly at each other’s throats. Is the friendship she worked so hard for already ruined, or is there another, unseen enemy at work?

Haylwen and her brother must unmask this mysterious enemy before they can fight it off. But even if all their enemies are destroyed, the King of the magic users will stop at nothing to ensure he’s still in power when the dragons take over the world. And he’s hidden an enemy where Haylwen would never think to look.

If no one is what they seem, who can she trust?




About the Author:



To young C. H. MacLean, books were everything: mind-food, friends, and fun. They gave the shy middle child’s life color and energy. Amazingly, not everyone saw them that way. Seeing a laundry hamper full of books approach her, the librarian scolded C. H. for trying to check them all out. “You’ll never read that many before they expire!” C. H. was surprised, having shown great restraint only by keeping a list of books to check out next time. Thoroughly abashed, C. H. waited three whole days after finishing that lot before going back for more.

With an internal world more vivid than the real one, C. H. was chastised for reading in the library instead of going to class. “Neurotic, needs medical help,” the teacher diagnosed. C. H.’s father, a psychologist, just laughed when he heard. “She’s just upset because those books are more challenging than her class.” C. H. realized making up stories was just as fun as reading, and harder to get caught doing. So for a while, C. H. crafted stories and characters out of wisps and trinkets, with every toy growing an elaborate personality.

But toys were not mature, and stories weren’t respectable for a family of doctors. So C. H. grew up and learned to read serious books and study hard, shelving foolish fantasies for serious work.

Years passed in a black and white blur. Then, unpredictably falling in love all the way to a magical marriage rattled C. H.’s orderly world. A crazy idea slipped in a resulting crack and wouldn’t leave. “Write the book you want to read,” it said. “Write? As in, a fantasy novel? But I’m not creative,” C. H. protested. The idea, and C. H.’s spouse, rolled their eyes.

So one day, C. H. started writing. Just to try it, not that it would go anywhere. Big mistake. Decades of pent-up passion started pouring out, making a mess of an orderly life. It only got worse. Soon, stories popped up everywhere- in dreams, while exercising, or out of spite, in the middle of a work meeting. “But it’s not important work,” C. H. pleaded weakly. “They are not food, or friends, or…” But it was too late. C. H. had re-discovered that, like books, life should be fun too. Now, writing is a compulsion, and a calling.

C. H. lives in a Pacific Northwest forest with five cats, two kids, one spouse, and absolutely no dragons or elves, faeries, or demons… that are willing to be named, at least.

His latest book is the YA fantasy, Two Empty Thrones.

For More Information




Excerpt:
Haylwen heard a crash, the distant sound of breaking wood. She started walking, and then heard the sound of a chainsaw. She picked up the pace. Nacia was gesturing to the twins, who looked confused, then angry. They started running, sprinting past Haylwen. By the time Haylwen got to the farmhouse, the boys were standing next to Feabee on the porch, the three of them looking like thunderclouds.

Nacia ran over to stand with her mother, Topaz, just inside the door. They looked so much alike, one just an older version of the other, a mirror through time. Haylwen drifted to stand by her parents off to the side, while Cadarn stood by himself to the side of the porch. Everyone was looking down the path, to where the sounds of crashing branches and large motors were gradually coming closer. Feabee made an occasional gesture to the twins to let them know what the rest were hearing.

Haylwen blanched at a particularly loud crash, wincing. Her father looked at her questioningly. “They are trying to help, and it is hurting them,” Haylwen

whispered. Her father held his questioning look for a moment. His eyes popped wide and suddenly narrowed as he heard what she’d said. He looked into the forest briefly and then turned and started to say something to Haylwen.

He was drowned out as a large, olive-green truck crashed through the last of the branches, leaves and twigs caught in its grille and hanging from the roof rack. It looked like some savage beast, a destroyer of trees. It revved its engine and then growled its way up the slope to stop halfway up. It backed off the dirt road onto the grass as a shiny black SUV quietly rolled out from the mangled tunnel of trees. After the SUV passed it, the truck threw itself in a roaring spin that threw chunks of green and mud behind it to block the road out. It sat there, engine still growling. The smell of diesel rolled up to the house.

The SUV pulled off the road and drove across the rolling lawn, leaving crushed grass in its wake. It stopped with the passenger side at the very edge of the farmhouse porch. The passenger door opened and a tall man in a charcoal suit stepped out, directly onto the porch.

With his blond hair chopped short, it took Haylwen a moment to recognize him. “Mr. Johansen,” she whispered, clutching her father and sliding behind him. Her ex-principal was here? A wave of fear washed over her, carrying memories of when he had grabbed her—the feel of his hands on her neck, the chemical smell of his car as he’d stuffed her in.

“You have nothing to fear from him,” her father said in a quiet, but stern, voice, tension rolling off of him.

Haylwen’s mother, Crystyn, leaned over, turning to look Haylwen in the eye. “He will never touch you again, I promise.” Crystyn stood, taking a couple of firm steps to stand a bit ahead of Haylwen and her father. Abrennin twitched away as Crystyn moved past him, like he had gotten a shock. He gave her a brief look of surprise and confusion, but she wasn’t paying attention.

“May I help you?” Feabee said. “You realize this is private property.”

Mr. Johansen took a step toward Feabee, a reddish hue seeping from him. Haylwen’s guts clenched. He was going to use magic to hurt Feabee!

Abrennin whispered something and then choked. Haylwen's stomach twisted more, realizing what her father’s choking meant. With me and Cadarn here, our parents’ Oath is in effect. Mom and Dad can’t use magic. Her parents might protect her from a physical attack, but what about a magical one?

Feabee shot Abrennin a wide-eyed look and he nodded once. She blinked, then her jaw muscles jumped as a green glow slipped around her. Haylwen squeezed

her father’s hand, a question. He smiled thinly and squeezed back. Of course, Feabee could use magic!

“I have information that you are willfully transgressing against federal law,” Mr. Johansen said. Haylwen gave a little gasp as a red arc shot from Mr. Johansen, a striking snake, to bounce off Feabee's green shield. “You are harboring fugitives, aiding and abetting criminals.” Another red snake slithered along the ground, trying to work its way under Feabee's shield.

Feabee shook her head with a smile.

“You think truancy laws are less important than any other?” Mr. Johansen said loudly, standing a bit taller. “We must make sure the children of society are safe.”

“My paperwork is in order and has not expired,” she said.

“Perhaps, but it only lists three students,” he sneered.

Haylwen looked over to Cadarn, sharing the look of guilt and fear that this was about them. Haylwen felt her fear twist into anger. Feabee, Nacia, and the twins were going to get in trouble because of her! She looked up at her father, who just held her hand and shook his head slightly.

“Actually, I submitted updated paperwork, which was received two days ago,” Feabee replied.

“And I was sent to confirm the information was accurate. We have the right to do an inspection for classes equal to, or larger than, five,” he said.

“There is no such law,” Feabee retorted, eyes narrowing.

“Law? Oh, I guess you didn't see the express invitation to an inspection on the forms you completed?” he sneered. His red bubble pulsed. Several snakes struck as he said, “The forms you signed authorized the right of inspection with acceptance. We must make sure there is actual learning, to prevent child neglect.”

Feabee threw apologetic looks at Haylwen's parents. “Invitation? I didn't see…” Her green shield was weakening under the repeated attacks.

“You understand that the neglect laws include all students, correct?” The red intensified, and the attacking snakes grew in number. “Under the child abuse and neglect statutes, we have the authority to take all of the children into custody immediately,” Mr. Johansen said.

Haylwen watched as the green glow started to show tiny spots of black, gaps in the shield. Two more red snakes quickly shot out from Mr. Johansen, squirming against the black spots, trying to force their way in. Feabee looked resigned, trapped. Haylwen felt her father try to say something, but he tensed and choked.

“You have no authority here.” Haylwen gave a small gasp, hearing her mother's voice with such power. “You will take your polluting trucks and leave immediately.” Crystyn stalked across the porch to stand ahead and to the side of Feabee, making Mr. Johansen shift to face her. Haylwen glanced up at her father, who was breathing easier. His face was an odd combination of confused and proud.

Mr. Johansen looked over Crystyn's head, following where she had come from to see Haylwen and Abrennin standing there. He gave a little smirk, a twisted look of revenge.

“Ah, Mrs. Rightad. I see where your vandalizing daughter gets it.” Several thick red snakes slowly approached her mother. “If I leave, it will be with your truant children...”

A white glow erupted around Haylwen's mother. Haylwen squinted, slightly blinded as the white glow around her mother flared even brighter, engulfing the snakes, obliterating them.

“You will leave with nothing,” her mother said in a tone that sent shivers down Haylwen's spine. Her mother had locked eyes with Mr. Johansen. Though he was at least a foot taller, he seemed to shrink with each passing moment, while Haylwen’s mother seemed to grow. The white glow increased in intensity and size, washing like waves against the receding red of Mr. Johansen. “If you ever come close to either of my children again—”

“I did nothing, I have witnesses,” Mr. Johansen interrupted, momentarily straightening, the red pushing against the waves.

The white flared again, and Mr. Johansen took a step back. He had only the slightest hint of red around him now, flickering.

“You have nothing to withstand a mother protecting her child,” Haylwen heard her mother say, as another blinding flare of white pulsed out. Mr. Johansen took another step back, stumbling, withering even more under her fierce gaze.

Crystyn pointed her finger toward the SUV as another pulse of the white light washed over Mr. Johansen. “You and your agent's invitations are revoked!” Haylwen's mother nudged Feabee, who nodded once.

Mr. Johansen slid backward down the stairs, banging into the SUV, scrambling to open the door and get inside before being sucked away. He slammed the door closed, and the SUV's idling engine roared, tires spitting grass and dirt in every direction. Everyone was pelted, but Haylwen noticed not a fleck hit her mother.

The SUV bounced down the hill as the olive-green truck tore out of the way. The black SUV disappeared into the tunnel as the truck spun around, engine roaring, tires clawing the ground, making a new set of wounds in the grassy field. A cold shiver crawled up Haylwen's legs, tightening around her throat, as she looked at the ruined lawn. Even after the smell of exhaust had drifted away, the wounds were mocking proof they weren't safe. It was only a matter of time.



Monday, August 18, 2014

Blog Tour and Book Review: An American Girl in Italy by Aubre Dionne


Welcome to my stop on the An American Girl in Italy blog tour! This was such a cute and fun read, I hope everyone will take the time to check it out and enter the fun giveaway as well. :)


An American Girl in Italy by Aubrie Dionne
182 pages
An Italian paradise is the last thing she wants… but the one thing she needs!
Surely any girl would kill for the chance to tour Italy’s most famous cities for the summer? To experience the warmth of the Tuscan sun, the culinary delights of the pizzerias and caffés and to stroll along the cobbled streets of the City of Love itself… Any girl apart from ambitious oboist Carly Davis that is! For her, the Easthampton Civic Symphony’s latest European tour is one massive inconvenience. She can’t even put her smartphone down long enough to snap a picture of the Coliseum. Only, there’s one Italian attraction that Carly hadn’t quite expected to be a part of the tourist route…
Tour guide Michelangelo is as dark and delicious as Carly’s morning espresso. And when she needs a few lessons in the language of love to land her an important gig, he’s a more than capable tutor.
 But with her promising career back in Boston, can Carly really afford to lose her heart in Italy?

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N

 
About the Author:
Aubrie Dionne is an author and flutist in New England. Her books have received the highest ratings from Romance Times Magazine, as well as Night Owl Reviews and Two Lips Reviews. She has guest blogged on the USA Today Happily Ever After Blog and the Dear Teen Me blog and signed books at the Boston Book Festival, Barnes and Noble, and the Romance Writers of America conference. Her writings have appeared in Mindflights, Niteblade, Silver Blade, Emerald Tales, Hazard Cat, Moon Drenched Fables, A Fly in Amber, and Aurora Wolf. Her books are published by Astraea Press, Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Publishing, Inkspell Publishing, Lyrical Press, and Gypsy Shadow Publishing. When she’s not writing, Aubrie teaches flute and plays in orchestras.

 Website | Blog | Twitter

 

Giveaway:

3 winners get an Italy themed notepad (US)

a Rafflecopter giveaway




These types of reads are always so much fun and so perfect for this time of year.

Short, adorable reads that you can easily consume in one single setting that will leave a smile on your face and those warm fuzzy feelings in your heart.

Carly was a fun character and I loved how focused and serious she could be and then how reckless and flirty she could be whenever Michelangelo was around and threw her off her game.

Their romance was a sweet one filled with fun interactions and smile inducing banter. It was hard not to like them and be rooting for them to figure it all out and end up together.

Overall this was the perfect summer read and I look forward to seeing what else this author comes out with in the future. 









*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by an outside source. I was not compensated for this review.*

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Mini Review: The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

Title: The Fault In Our Stars
Author: John Green
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Dutton Books (January 1, 2012)
Source: Purchased
Genre: YA Contemporary
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.









I knew reading this book was going to be ugly, ugly as in REALLY ugly.

No, no, not the story or the writing, those were beautiful. Beyond beautiful really, they were gorgeous.

No, the ugliness came all from me. Ugly as in, now my eyes are red and swollen and my face is a mess and I may have gone through a whole box of tissues and yet still managed to chock out a laugh every now and then ugly.

Gosh I loved this story, because after all, as the story goes, pain, is meant to be felt. 

What does one say about a masterpiece?

I loved Augustus, I loved Hazel and I would like to believe that I am a better person because of them. Because I was able to read their story, to share in their love for one another.

I still can't really express all I felt while reading this story or all the I feel now that it is over other than to tell you, it was a beautiful one to behold. An emotional one and one I do not regret reading, not for a minute, ugly tears or not. Swollen eyes or not.

Thank you John Green for writing something so poignant and wonderful. 





*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by an outside source. I was not compensated for this review.*

Friday, August 15, 2014

Blog Tour; Review, Giveaway and Guest Post: A Cursed Awakened by Cecy Robson





I am so very excited to be a part of the blog tour for Curse Awakened. The Weird Girls series is by far one of my most favorite UF series and I just adore Cecy. Not only is her writing phenomenal but she is a serious sweetheart as well. 
When I was offered the chance to host a guest post from her, I jumped. 





Release Date: August 18, 2014
Published By: Love Swept
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Series: Novella in the Weird Girls Series
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Book Description:
Discover Cecy Robson’s sensational Weird Girls series—or return to where the magic first began—with this eBook original prequel novella about four sisters coming to grips with their unique supernatural powers.

Celia Wird shouldn’t possess the ability to transform into a tigress. Her three sisters should never be able to burst into flames, heal wounds, or transform common objects into deadly weapons. And yet they do.

Before they were born, the Wird Sisters were cursed by a spell that was intended to destroy them, not endow them with extraordinary powers. The sisters’ magic is untamed and explosive at best, and time is running out for them to take command.


Vampires have targeted Celia’s sweet, tragically human ex-boyfriend Danny. The sisters rush to his aid, but in order to take down the vamps, first they must face their dark past and break a spell that’s screwing up their powers. Except this curse wasn’t meant to be broken . . . and the witch who cast it isn’t done toying with them yet.





*Amazon*Barnes and Noble*





Excerpt

(from Chapter One)

“Um, Celia, you said what you and Danny had was ‘sweet.’”

I continued to fiddle with the sticky lock, trying to pull the key out without breaking it. “That’s right.”

“Well, forgive me for being nosy, but didn’t you and he . . .”

I withdrew the key, blushing a little, though it was probably hard for others to tell given my olive skin tone. Sex with Danny had consisted of awkward hand movements and one or two thrusts. Not exactly the stuff of bedroom legends. In all fairness, that was almost seven years ago, back when I was seventeen, he was nineteen, and neither of us had any experience. “We did, but it’s not like it was love or anything.”

Emme didn’t seem to understand, mostly because she still had her heart set on happily-ever-afters. “Then why did you do it?”

“I thought it was time.” I walked down the two little wooden steps. “It was a stupid reason, but I’m glad it was him. He was good to me. He was good to all of us.”

I must have spoken loud enough for Taran and Shayna to hear. Taran knitted her dark brows, drawing attention to her startling blue eyes. “He was, until he dumped you when he left for Stanford. Damn it, Ceel. I’m still pissed at him for that. I mean, you were totally Bambi. Danny? Hell, he was a walking Bullwinkle at best.”


I opened my mouth to argue, but Taran was sort of right. Danny was a lot of things: adorable, kind, and smart enough to get into Stanford for biochemistry. And it still hadn’t been enough. He wasn’t strong, physically or emotionally, not really. My weight topped out at a little over a hundred pounds, yet I could knock his lanky frame and a few linebackers on their asses. In Danny’s defense, he didn’t possess the inner beast I did. But maybe that was my problem. I was too Hulk and he was too human.


About the Author:




CECY (pronounced Sessy) ROBSON is the Penguin Random House New Adult author of Once Perfect, Once Loved, and Once Pure, and the award-winning author of the Weird Girls Urban Fantasy Romance series. A self-proclaimed professional napper, Cecy counts among her talents a jaw-dropping knowledge of useless trivia, the ability to make her hair big, and a knack for breaking into song despite her family's vehement protests. A writer, registered nurse, and mother living in the South, Cecy enjoys spending time with her family and silencing the yappy characters in her head by telling their stories. 

Website
Facebook 
Twitter




I absolutely adore this series and the very fact that Ms. Robson gave us this much appreciated look into the sister's lives before the beginning of book one, is a huge testament to not only how wonderful a writer she is but what an awesome series this is. This is a must read for any fan. There is just so much more in this than you could have asked for or hoped for. 

I loved learning more about the girl's relationship with Danny and just how far back it goes. Not only that but we get a very small background on his family as well as how he got involved in all the paranormal stuff that we later learn he researches so well and knows about. What he was like in college, which lets face it, was pretty fabulous to get. And if that wasn't enough, we get the girls background on their strange and kooky powers and their even stranger and mysterious family life before the opening of book one. 

I won't go into too much detail but this was a fabulous addition to the series and one that I am so happy Robson gave us. There was a lot packed into this tiny little story and it makes me even more excited for A Cursed Boodline






*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*




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