Wednesday, January 30, 2013

SILVER WHITE Book Blast!!!

Silver-White by Shawn Underhill

“The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep.”
~ Robert Frost

*Evie’s family has been holding out on her …

Big time.

On an unexpected visit to her grandparents’ house in New Hampshire’s secluded North Woods, the sixteen-year-old literally runs into the truth of the long-hidden family secrets, and finds herself thrust without warning into the clandestine world of the Great North Pack—a wild and exhilarating world of rugged beauty, heart-pounding adventures, and long nights running under a sea of stars … but as she’s set to discover, a world also fraught with potential dangers lurking in the shadows.

 "Simply put, this book was amazing. I've read more fantasy novels than than I can count, but this one is certainly one of the best. The heroine isn't some wishy-washy pansy that screams at everything, and the focus of the story isn't on some unbelievably beautiful teenage girl who suddenly becomes the biggest, baddest member of her species falling in love with some big, bad, sexy member of her newfound species. It's about a girl becoming something she never knew existed, finding her place within the pack family she values more than ever before, and an age-old feud that threatens everything she loves." ~Morgan

Purchase ~ just .99 cents

Author Shawn Underhill

Shawn is a part-time writer from New Hampshire, where he spends his free time hiking in the mountains, camping, racing dirt bikes, or anything else that keeps him outdoors. Dogs are his very favorite people. He is also the author of the novel All Things Different.

BookBlast $100 Giveaway
$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 2/13/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Michelle Zink Guest Post and Info about Her New Adult Paranormal Series!

All Grown Up

I started writing YA in 2005. Over the next two-and-a-half years, I wrote six YA novels before selling the Prophecy of the Sisters trilogy to Little Brown in 2007. For a long time, YA felt like the most natural thing in the world, and I didn’t really pause to question why I loved it so much or why it came so easily to me.

The thing I’ve always loved most about writing is that I’m never “done.” There’s never a point where I sit back and think, “Yes! I’ve mastered it!” I didn’t feel that way with YA, either (and I still don’t!). But by 2012, I’d written eleven YA novels, and while I still loved it, I began itching for a new challenge. I wanted to feel, well, SCARED again. Scared in that, “Oh, shit, I really don’t know what I’m doing” kind of way, because it’s only when I’m that scared that I feel like I’m really growing.

I’d outlined two companion novels for A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS (March 2012), but my publisher decided not to run with them. I toyed with the idea of self-publishing, but after awhile, I started wondering what a NEW Temptation world would look like. Namely, one set in the modern world with a cast of slightly older characters. I became excited by the possibilities, and when an opportunity to write for Swoon Romance, a small up-and-coming digital publisher, presented itself, I knew right away that I’d be writing a whole new set of TEMPTATION stories with hot guys, danger, intrigue, and the kind of sexytimes that would never fly in YA.

And the fact that I’m a single mother of four teenagers who hasn’t dated in five years may or may not have played a part in my decision to go there. ;)

Still, it was a challenge. I was so used to my YA “voice” that it took me awhile to find my footing. The sex scenes were the hardest (no pun intended - lmao!). It took me two full days to psych myself out enough to write the first one between Scarlet and Rowen in TEMPTATION’S HEAT. When I finally got started, I kept thinking, “Is it okay for me to say this? How about THAT?!”

But after awhile, I really found my groove. I was still a little terrified, still a little unsure, but I was also having FUN. Pretty soon, I was living in my new dark and sexy TEMPTATION world every bit as much as I did when I was writing my YA books.

And maybe, just maybe, hoping for my own Rowen Black.

I hope you guys enjoy Rowen, Kane, and Ivan as much as I do!

Click read more for information about the Shadowguard Series!

Monday, January 28, 2013

OMEGA by Susannah Sandlin Promo Stop!

Hey guys, I am super excited to share this series with you!

Penton Vampire Legacy, Book 3
Susannah Sandlin

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Date of Publication: February 5, 2013

ISBN: 978-1612183596
ASIN: B0073XV3L2

Number of pages: 328
Word Count: approx. 88,000

Amazon       Barnes & Noble        Book Depository

Book Description:

The bloody war between the Vampire Tribunal and the defiant scathe of Penton, Alabama, rages on, forcing its residents and their bonded humans to retreat into the underground fortress of last resort: Omega. There, Will Ludlam is charged with the care of Penton's humans, though he longs to fight alongside his vampire brethren. He knows the risks: as the renegade son of the Tribunal's vicious leader, Will's capture could doom the resistance.

Yet he is determined to prove his worth to his adopted scathe, to his vengeful father and to former US Army officer Randa Thomas, his beautiful, reluctant partner. Randa has little faith that a former member of the vampire elite has what it takes to fight a war. But as their enemies descend upon Omega, Will's polished charm and Randa's guarded heart finally give way to the warrior within.

Fans of Susannah Sandlin's Penton Legacy are sure to devour this long-awaited third installment of the steamy paranormal series.       

The Penton Legacy, Book 2
By Susannah Sandlin

Release date: October 9, 2012
Publisher: Montlake Romance

Book Description:

With the vampire world on the brink of civil war over the scarcity of untainted human blood, battle lines are being drawn between the once peaceful vampire and human enclave of Penton, Alabama, and the powerful Vampire Tribunal.

A Scottish gallowglass warrior turned vampire in the early 17th century, Mirren Kincaid once served the Tribunal as its most creative and ruthless executioner—a time when he was known as the Slayer. But when assigned a killing he found questionable, Mirren abandoned the Tribunal’s political machinations and disappeared—only to resurface two centuries later as the protector and second-in-command of Penton. Now the Tribunal wants him back on their side—or dead.

To break their rogue agent, they capture Glory Cummings, the descendant of a shaman, and send her to restore Mirren’s bloodthirsty nature. But instead of a monster, Glory sees a man burdened by the weight of his past. Could her magic touch—meant by the tribunal to bring out a violent killer—actually help Mirren break his bonds and discover the love he doesn’t believe he deserves?

It’s a town under siege, a powerful warrior in a battle with his past, and one woman who can make the earth move—literally—as the Penton Legacy continues.

Book One Penton Legacy series
By Susannah Sandlin

Following a worldwide pandemic whose vaccine left human blood deadly to vampires, the vampire community is on the verge of starvation and panic. Some have fanned into rural areas, where the vaccine was less prevalent, and are taking unsuspecting humans as blood slaves. Others are simply starving, which for a vampire is worse than death—a raging hunger in a creature too weak to feed.

Immune to these struggles—at first—is Penton, a tiny community in rural Chambers County, Alabama, an abandoned cotton mill town that has been repopulated by charismatic vampire Aidan Murphy, his scathe of 50 vampires, and their willingly bonded humans. Aidan has recruited his people carefully, believing in a peaceful community where the humans are respected and the vampires retain a bit of their humanity.

But an unresolved family feud and the paranoia of the Vampire Tribunal descend on Penton in the form of Aidan’s brother, Owen Murphy. Owen has been issued a death warrant that can only be commuted if he destroys Penton—and Aidan, against whom he’s held a grudge since both were turned vampire in 17th-century Ireland.  Owen begins a systematic attack on the town, first killing its doctor, then attacking one of Aidan’s own human familiars

To protect his people, Aidan is forced to go against his principles and kidnap an unvaccinated human doctor—and finds himself falling in love for the first time since the death of his wife in Ireland centuries ago. 

Dr. Krystal Harris, forced into a world she never knew existed, must face up to her own abusive past to learn if the feelings she’s developing for her kidnapper are real—or just a warped, supernatural kind of Stockholm Syndrome in which she’s allowing herself to become a victim yet again.

Susannah Sandlin’s REDEMPTION is the first in the Penton Legacy series. Book two, ABSOLUTION, will be out September 18, and book three, OMEGA, on December 18.

About the Author:

Susannah Sandlin is the author of paranormal romance set in the Deep South, where there are always things that go bump in the night. A journalist by day, Susannah grew up in Alabama reading the gothic novels of Susan Howatch and the horror fantasy of Stephen King. (Um…it is fantasy, right?) The combination of Howatch and King probably explains a lot. Currently a resident of Auburn, Alabama, Susannah has also lived in Illinois, Texas, California, and Louisiana.

 Click "read more" to read a teaser from Omega!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

CRIMSON FLAMES Cover Reveal!!!

Cover by PhatPuppy Art ( )

Book Details:
Crimson Flames (The Crimson Series#2)  by Ashley Robertson
Half-vampire Abby Tate is determined to learn more about the sorceress powers that were awakened inside her when she was turned into a vampire—making her a whole new hybrid species. There’s a group of rogue vamps banding together and forming a Resistance against the vampire governing body, The Head Council, and Abby’s newly discovered powers are the key to the Council’s victory. Now the Resistance will do anything possible to remove the hybrid threat, and with no other options, Abby is forced to rely on the aid of the Council, yet can she trust the very vampires that hunt for her human lover? And even worse, can she fight the unwelcome attraction that’s growing between her and one of those ancient vampire rulers?

Author Bio:
Ashley Robertson resides in sunny Orlando, Florida and loves reading and writing about everything urban fantasy and paranormal romance. When she isn’t writing you’ll find her spending time with family and friends, training in her home gym, traveling and exploring new places, drinking fine red wines, and making gourmet coffees with her Nespresso machine. Visit her website to learn about her upcoming releases, guest blog posts, and featured giveaways at:

Author Links:
Crimson Groves (The Crimson Series#1)  by Ashley Robertson
Abigail Tate was a normal human girl—until the day Bronx the vampire barges into her life and turns her against her will. Held captive while forced to deal with never-ending cravings for blood, Abby prays for a way to escape. Only when an opportunity arises, it’s with the aid of an innocent human named Tyler—except vampires are forbidden to interact with the unbitten. But Abby quickly learns this human has secrets of his own...secrets that can either help her or get her killed. Only Abby soon discovers that she is the one with the biggest secret of all. 

Good Reads:

Click "read more" to get a sneak peek of Crimson Flames!

MIND GAMES by Kiersten White

Mind Games
Kiersten White

Rating: A+
Release Date: 02/19/13
Fia was born with flawless instincts. Her first impulse, her gut feeling, is always exactly right. Her sister, Annie, is blind to the world around her—except when her mind is gripped by strange visions of the future. 

Trapped in a school that uses girls with extraordinary powers as tools for corporate espionage, Annie and Fia are forced to choose over and over between using their abilities in twisted, unthinkable ways… or risking each other’s lives by refusing to obey.

In a stunning departure from her New York Times bestselling Paranormalcy trilogy, Kiersten White delivers a slick, edgy, heartstoppingly intense psychological thriller about two sisters determined to protect each other—no matter the cost.

My thoughts on the book:
I'm kind of in love with Mind Games. As someone who had lukewarm feelings, at best, for the Paranormalcy series, I was pleasantly surprised with this novel. White shows that she is to be taken seriously in this dark and captivating series debut. Mind Games is nonstop action and suspense. The writing is dark and twisted, the plot is captivating and beautifully executed, and the characters have the depth that was lacking in the Paranormalcy series. I love the concept of this series, where the supernatural intersects with organized crime, creating a truly terrifying world, and I cannot wait to see what happens next. 

This book is not for the weak. It's not lighthearted and funny, like the Paranormalcy series. There are some intense and extreme mental and emotional issues being dealt with, and the plot is complicated and intricately woven. If you don't pay attention to every little nuance, things will feel broken, disjointed, and illogical. However, if you follow the story closely and you pay attention, you will be extremely rewarded at the end. 

Fia, one narrator/sister, is a complicated and mentally unstable character. She is deeply scarred and permanently broken, and that's okay. Somehow, she still manages to be strong and willing to sacrifice for others. Even though she's an assassin, she still hangs onto her humanity (although it's tattered), and she does what she has to do to protect those she loves. I really admired her vigilance in this novel. Many times her actions show who she is more so than her thoughts. White really gives the reader nothing in this installment. You have to figure everything out on your own, using your own deductive reasoning skills, and I loved it. 

Annie, the second narrator/sister, is blind. She often gives an opposing view on things, which can confuse the reader if you're not paying careful attention to the characters' actions. I feel that Annie is not only literally blind, but blind to the intentions of those around her as well. She seems to misjudge everyone she meets. I felt bad for her, but she was not my favorite character. The more she tried to help, the worse things got. 

James is pretty amazing, and oddly enough, I really loved him. Usually I hate characters named James (long story), and he seems to operate with questionable morals often. However, I really feel that he's a good guy deep down. I can't wait to learn more about him in the next installment. Adam is also an interesting character, but he was just too "soft" for my tastes. I'm looking forward to seeing what part he plays in the larger scheme of things, though.

I just can't say enough good things about this book. The ending was my favorite part of the entire thing... not because it was over, but because it was so shocking! I was surprised and impressed with how expertly White crafted the last couple of chapters of the story. It wasn't a cliffhanger and it tied up many loose ends, but left room for an awesome sequel. I cannot wait until the next book comes out!

Overall, this is a book you don't want to miss. It has assassins, spies, espionage, government corruption, two hot guys, and a touching sisterly bond. How can you not love this novel?! 

Pre-order Mind Games today!

Stacking the Shelves #23

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by  Tynga's Reviews! This meme showcases the books received, bought, or checked out from the library over the course of the past week. 

For Review:
Double Crossed
By: Ally Carter
Macey McHenry—Glamorous society girl or spy-in-training?

W.W. Hale V—Heir to an American dynasty or master thief?

There are two sides to every coin. Whether these two can work together is a tossup.

Born into privilege, Macey and Hale are experts at mingling with the upper class. But even if they’ve never raised an eyebrow at the glitz, neither teenager has ever felt at home with the glamour.

When Macey and Hale meet at a society gala, the party takes a dangerous turn. Suddenly they’re at the center of a hostage situation, and it’s up to them to stop the thugs from becoming hostile. Will Macey’s spy skills and Hale’s con-man ways be enough to outsmart a ruthless gang? Or will they have to seek out the ultimate inside girl to help?

The worlds of Heist Society and the Gallagher Girls collide in Ally Carter’s fast-paced, high-stakes and tantalizing new story. Get a behind the scenes glimpse as Ally delivers an irresistible thriller that is full of her signature style and savvy twists.

From the Library:
Spider's Bite
By: Jennifer Estep
My name is Gin, and I kill people.
They call me the Spider. I'm the most feared assassin in the South — when I'm not busy at the Pork Pit cooking up the best barbecue in Ashland. As a Stone elemental, I can hear everything from the whispers of the gravel beneath my feet to the vibrations of the soaring Appalachian Mountains above me. My Ice magic also comes in handy for making the occasional knife. But I don't use my powers on the job unless I absolutely have to. Call it professional pride.
Now that a ruthless Air elemental has double-crossed me and killed my handler, I'm out for revenge. And I'll exterminate anyone who gets in my way — good or bad. I may look hot, but I'm still one of the bad guys. Which is why I'm in trouble, since irresistibly rugged Detective Donovan Caine has agreed to help me. The last thing this coldhearted killer needs when I'm battling a magic more powerful than my own is a sexy distraction...especially when Donovan wants me dead just as much as the enemy.

Web of Lies
By: Jennifer Estep
Curiosity is definitely going to get me dead one of these days. Probably real soon.

I'm  Gin Blanco.

You might know me as the Spider, the most feared assassin in the South. I’m retired now, but trouble still has a way of finding me. Like the other day when two punks tried to rob my popular barbecue joint, the Pork Pit. Then there was the barrage of gunfire on the restaurant. Only, for once, those kill shots weren’t aimed at me. They were meant for Violet Fox. Ever since I agreed to help Violet and her grandfather protect their property from an evil coalmining tycoon, I’m beginning to wonder if I’m really retired. So is Detective Donovan Caine. The only honest cop in Ashland is having a real hard time reconciling his attraction to me with his Boy Scout mentality. And I can barely keep my hands off his sexy body. What can I say? I’m a Stone elemental with a little Ice magic thrown in, but my heart isn’t made of solid rock. Luckily, Gin Blanco always gets her man . . . dead or alive.
By: Jennifer Estep
What kind of assassin works pro bono?

It’s hard to be a badass assassin when a giant is beating the crap out of you. Luckily, I never let pride get in the way of my work. My current mission is personal: annihilate Mab Monroe, the Fire elemental who murdered my family. Which means protecting my identity, even if I have to conceal my powerful Stone and Ice magic when I need it most.

To the public, I’m Gin Blanco, owner of Ashland’s best barbecue joint. To my friends, I’m the Spider, retired assassin. I still do favors on the side. Like ridding a vampire friend of her oversized stalker—Mab’s right-hand goon who almost got me dead with his massive fists.

At least irresistible Owen Grayson is on my side. The man knows too much about me, but I’ll take my chances. Then there’s Detective Bria Coolidge, one of Ashland’s finest. Until recently, I thought my baby sister was dead. She probably thinks the same about me. Little does she know, I’m a cold-blooded killer . . . who is about to save her life.
Tangled Threads
By: Jennifer Estep
I’d rather face a dozen lethal assassins any night than deal with something as tricky, convoluted, and fragile as my feelings.

But here I am. Gin Blanco, the semi-retired assassin known as the Spider. Hovering outside sexy businessman Owen Grayson’s front door like a nervous teenage girl. One thing I like about Owen: he doesn’t shy away from my past—or my present. And right now I have a bull’s-eye on my forehead. 

Cold-blooded Fire elemental Mab Monroe has hired one of the smartest assassins in the business to trap me. Elektra LaFleur is skilled and efficient, with deadly electrical elemental magic as potent as my own Ice and Stone powers. Which means there’s a fifty-fifty chance one of us won’t survive this battle. I intend to kill LaFleur—or die trying—because Mab wants the assassin to take out my baby sister, Detective Bria Coolidge, too. 

The only problem is, Bria has no idea I’m her long-lost sibling . . . or that I’m the murderer she’s been chasing through Ashland for weeks. And what Bria doesn’t know just might get us both dead. . . .

Spider's Revenge
By: Jennifer Estep
Old habits die hard. And I plan on mur­der­ing some­one before the night is through.

Killing used to be my reg­u­lar gig, after all. Gin Blanco, aka the Spi­der, assassin-for-hire. And I was very good at it. Now, I’m ready to make the one hit that truly mat­ters: Mab Mon­roe, the dan­ger­ous Fire ele­men­tal who mur­dered my fam­ily when I was thir­teen. 

Oh, I don’t think the mis­sion will be easy, but turns out it’s a bit more prob­lem­atic than expected. The bitch knows I’m com­ing for her. So now I’m up against the army of lethal bounty hunters she hired to track me down. She also put a price on my baby sister’s head. Keep­ing Bria safe is my first pri­or­ity. Tak­ing Mab out is a close sec­ond. 

Good thing I’ve got my pow­er­ful Stone and Ice magic — and my irre­sistible lover Owen Grayson — to watch my back. This bat­tle has been years in the mak­ing, and there’s a chance I won’t sur­vive. But if I’m going down, then Mab’s com­ing with mat­ter what I have to do to make that happen.

Tiger Lily
By: Jodi Lynn Anderson
Before Peter Pan belonged to Wendy, he belonged to the girl with the crow feather in her hair. . . .

Fifteen-year-old Tiger Lily doesn't believe in love stories or happy endings. Then she meets the alluring teenage Peter Pan in the forbidden woods of Neverland and immediately falls under his spell.

Peter is unlike anyone she's ever known. Impetuous and brave, he both scares and enthralls her. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland's inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. Soon, she is risking everything—her family, her future—to be with him. When she is faced with marriage to a terrible man in her own tribe, she must choose between the life she's always known and running away to an uncertain future with Peter.

With enemies threatening to tear them apart, the lovers seem doomed. But it's the arrival of Wendy Darling, an English girl who's everything Tiger Lily is not, that leads Tiger Lily to discover that the most dangerous enemies can live inside even the most loyal and loving heart.

From the New York Times bestselling author of Peaches comes a magical and bewitching story of the romance between a fearless heroine and the boy who wouldn't grow up.

Dead and Buried
By: Kim Harrington
A haunted house, a buried mystery, and a very angry ghost make this one unforgettable thriller.

Jade loves the house she's just moved into with her family. She doesn't even mind being the new girl at the high school: It's a fresh start, and there's that one guy with the dreamy blue eyes. . . . But then things begin happening. Strange, otherworldly things. Jade's little brother claims to see a glimmering girl in his room. Jade's jewelry gets moved around, as if by an invisible hand. Kids at school whisper behind her back like they know something she doesn't.
Soon, Jade must face an impossible fact: that her perfect house is haunted. Haunted by a ghost who's seeking not just vengeance, but the truth. The ghost of a girl who ruled Jade's school — until her untimely death last year. It's up to Jade to put the pieces together before her own life is at stake. As Jade investigates the mystery, she discovers that her new friends in town have more than a few deep, dark secrets. But is one of them a murderer? 

Revolution 19
By: Gregg Rosenblum
Twenty years ago, the robots designed to fight our wars abandoned the battlefields. Then they turned their weapons on us.

Only a few escaped the robot revolution of 2071. Kevin, Nick, and Cass are lucky —they live with their parents in a secret human community in the woods. Then their village is detected and wiped out. Hopeful that other survivors have been captured by bots, the teens risk everything to save the only people they have left in the world—by infiltrating a city controlled by their greatest enemies.

Revolution 19 is a cinematic thriller unlike anything else. With a dynamic cast of characters, this surefire blockbuster has everything teen readers want—action, drama, mystery, and romance. Written by debut novelist Gregg Rosenblum, this gripping story shouldn’t be missed.

By: Sherrilyn Kenyon
Go to school. Get good grades. Stay out of trouble. That’s the mandate for most kids. But Nick Gautier isn’t the average teenager. He’s a boy with a destiny not even he fully understands. And his first mandate is to stay alive while everyone, even his own father, tries to kill him.

He’s learned to annihilate zombies and raise the dead, divination and clairvoyance, so why is learning to drive and keep a girlfriend so dang hard? But that isn’t the primary skill he has to master. Survival is.

And in order to survive, his next lesson makes all the others pale in comparison. He is on the brink of becoming either the greatest hero mankind has ever known, or he’ll be the one who ends the world. With enemies new and old gathering forces, he will have to call on every part of himself to fight or he’ll lose everyone he cares about. Even himself.

By: Sherrilyn Kenyon
Nick Gautier’s day just keeps getting better and better. Yeah, he survived the zombie attacks, only to wake up and find himself enslaved to a world of shapeshifters and demons out to claim his soul.

His new principal thinks he’s even more of a hoodlum than the last one, his coach is trying to recruit him to things he can’t even mention and the girl he’s not seeing, but is, has secrets that terrify him.
But more than that, he’s being groomed by the darkest of powers and if he doesn’t learn how to raise the dead by the end of the week, he will become one of them...

Joey was really excited about this one...

Saturday, January 26, 2013

THE UNQUIET by Jeannine Garsee

The Unquiet
Jeannine Garsee

Rating: B
Received through ARCycling!
Sixteen-year-old Rinn Jacobs has secrets: One, she’s bipolar. Two, she killed her grandmother. 

After a suicide attempt, and now her parents' separation, Rinn and her mom move from California to the rural Ohio town where her mother grew up. Back on her medications and hoping to stay well, Rinn settles into her new home, undaunted by the fact that the previous owner hanged herself in Rinn's bedroom. At school, her classmates believe the school pool is haunted by Annaliese, a girl who drowned there. But when a reckless séance goes awry, and terrible things start happening to her new friends—yet not to her—Rinn is determined to find out why she can’t be "touched" by Annaliese...or if Annaliese even exists. 

With the help of Nate Brenner, the hunky “farmer boy” she’s rapidly falling for, Rinn devises a dangerous plan to uncover the truth. Soon reality and fantasy meld into one, till Rinn finds it nearly impossible to tell the difference. When a malevolent force threatens the lives of everyone she cares about--not to mention her own--she can't help wondering: who should she really be afraid of?

Annaliese? Or herself?

My thoughts on the book:
The Unquiet creeped me out! I was not expecting it to be so scary. Honestly, I thought this was a book about mental illness and a girl who thought she saw ghosts, and maybe it is. The ending is unclear. The vague synopsis gave nothing away about how scary this book truly is. If you like scary stories, you'll love this book. If you don't, I'd steer clear of it, if I were you. I had to sleep with my light on after reading it (like a child, haha), and I enjoy horror stories. However, since I wasn't expecting things to be so creepy, I wasn't prepared. I did enjoy this novel, though and would recommend it to those brave souls who read horror novels.

The character development in this novel was a little lacking. I bought into the idea that Rinn was bipolar and that she was not a reliable narrator. However, she wasn't very interesting. I saw memories of the bipolar behavior, and she acted that way when she went off her meds, but I still didn't feel any unstable emotions from her. I felt more like it was getting told to me instead of shown. I think that is because Rinn's details lacked any sensory descriptions. No hearts racing, no shortness of breath, etc. Nothing to make you think she was feeling anything other than normal and just relaying a message. The language could have been much more descriptive in the case of feelings. 

I also didn't buy into Rinn's and Nate's relationship 100%. I never felt like they actually fell in love. I mean they made out a lot and they argued a lot. I never saw anything that really screamed "love" to me, though. I felt like that aspect was forced. Again that was probably because of the lack of description when it came to emotions. There was no instalove, but the love itself just wasn't believable. 

The horror aspect of the novel was "shown" extremely well, though. I could picture every terrifying thing that Annaliese did. There was one part that literally made my skin crawl. This part of the book was fully-developed and executed nicely. I enjoyed the hints and the mysteries surrounding who Annaliese was going after next. I figured out relatively early on why she was doing what she was doing, but what actually happened to her was more horrific than I ever could have imagined. I would have been mad, too, but I don't think I would have reacted the way she did. But I'm not a ghost... maybe they think differently.

I also enjoyed the fact that people on medications that alter the brain couldn't be affected by the ghosts. That raised the question of did anti-depressants/anti-psychotics/seizure meds/etc. actually balance chemicals in the brain or did it just cut off connection with the ghostly plane, enabling the person to function "normally." In other words, were people with mental illnesses simply more sensitive to ghostly contact? That question was never really answered, and I kind of was annoyed by that. I like definitive answers at the end of my books because otherwise, I'm a bit unsettled. I know that was the effect that Garsee was going for, but still, I don't like to be unsettled. The ending was also almost like a cliffhanger. I'm sure that was done to further the unsettled feeling. I'm not sure if a sequel is planned or not, but if there is one, I'll definitely read it. 

Overall, I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to those who love horror novels and are looking for something different. Garsee deals with issues such as bullying and mental illness, but also puts a terrifying, paranormal spin on these issues. This is one book you won't want to miss. 

Order The Unquiet!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Follow Friday #30

This is a meme hosted every Friday by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read, where book bloggers answer a question each week and check out how others answered it. It's a cool way for bloggers and viewers to connect and learn more about each other!

If you can't follow via GFC, then please follow via NetworkedBlogs or e-mail! :)Please state in the post if you're a new follower or old follower. If you don't tell me that you are following, then I don't know that you are. Therefore, I'll not follow you back. I would like to follow each and every one of you back, so it is important that you clearly state that you are following me and not just stopping by. When someone says, "just saying hi!" or "just hopping through!" then I have no idea if you are following or not. That means that I may or may not return the visit, depending on how much time I have. The people who state they are following me will definitely get a visit and follow back. Also be sure to leave a link back to your blog, otherwise I won't know where to go to follow you! Thank you.

Q:  What is the last book that kept you up late into the night just to finish it?
A: Everbound by Brodi Ashton

Thursday, January 24, 2013

LEVEL 2 by Lenore Appelhaus

Level 2
Lenore Appelhaus

Rating: C-
Three levels. Two loves. One choice. Debut novelist, Lenore Appelhans has written a thrilling otherworldly young adult novel about a place that exists between our world (Level 1) and what comes after life (Level 2).

'I pause to look around the hive - all the podlike chambers are lit up as the drones shoot up on memories ... I've wanted to get out of here before, but now the tight quarters start to choke me. There has to be more to death than this.'

Felicia Ward is dead. Trapped in a stark white afterlife limbo, she spends endless days replaying memories, of her family, friends, boyfriend ... and of the guy who broke her heart. The guy who has just broken into Level 2 to find her.

Felicia learns that a rebellion is brewing, and it seems she is the key. Suspended between heaven and earth, she must make a choice. Between two worlds, two lives and two loves.

My thoughts on the book:
I had high expectations for Level 2, and while those hopes weren't completely crushed, they weren't met nor exceeded. Level 2 is an okay book with an incredibly unique premise. The main character, supporting characters, lack of character development, and poor execution kept this from being an A read for me, but the idea and weirdness surrounding Felicia kept me reading. While this isn't one of my favorite books of the year, I am interested to see what Level 3 is like. 

Felicia is a drab character. She doesn't have much of a personality, yet guys supposedly fawn all over her. I don't get it. I mean she may be pretty (I couldn't see her, though the girl on the cover is kinda creepy looking with that make-up), but her personality SUCKS. Yes, it's completely believable that two guys love her *eye roll*. Only if those two guys have no depth, which I guess they don't because they're pretty drab, too. And one is a Christian goody-goody. Not the recipe for a best seller, in my opinion. The Christianity aspect and the "goodness" of Neil really turned me off. I mean what people choose to believe is their business, but I don't want to read about virtuous, boring characters. Yawn. 

The concept of the net and everything to do with Level 2 is pretty intriguing, but the execution kind of sucks. I mean I had no idea what was going on and I was curious because, let's face it, this place is weird. However, the idea kind of fell apart, and I didn't feel like the author even knew exactly where she was going. The whole ending made no sense whatsoever. I mean I get it, I know what happened, but a hint or two would have been nice, that way it didn't feel like the whole thing came out of nowhere. 

Also, the world-building was kind of nonexistent. I still have no real idea what Level 2 looks like or what it feels like to be there. I have no idea how people "plug in," though I assume it has something to do with their hands. The "addiction" sequences and the weaning off parts don't show any form of withdrawal, but rather tell about it. The entire world was very abstract, and I would have preferred more clear cut imagery, such as what the "plugging in" consoles actually looked like, felt like when rested upon, etc. As it stood, even though the narrative is first person, I felt like an outsider looking in. Also the parts in which Appelhaus attempted to show were in Felicia's hokey memories, which were not half as bad or touching as the author hoped. The "bad" memories made me think the girl needs to get a real problem. Only one is truly horrifying, but she views that one from outside her body because she's too weak to deal with it. That means that I felt like an outsider twice removed. Way too much telling and no showing for that one. The "good ones" are idiotic and childish, even though the dialogue was more adult (Appelhaus loved her GRE words that no teenagers use) Not good. 

Overall, I'd say check this one out from the library before you buy it. The idea is intriguing, and the plot is mysterious enough to keep you reading, but the execution, writing, characterization, and world-building are sub-par. Nothing in this book is complex, everything is just vague. I can handle complicated, but vagueness is irritating.

Want to buy Level 2?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

DANCE OF SHADOWS by Yelena Black

Dance of Shadows
Yelena Black

Rating: F
Release Date: 02/12/13
Dancing with someone is an act of trust. Elegant and intimate; you're close enough to kiss, close enough to feel your partner's heartbeat. But for Vanessa, dance is deadly – and she must be very careful who she trusts . . .

Vanessa Adler attends an elite ballet school – the same one her older sister, Margaret, attended before she disappeared. Vanessa feels she can never live up to her sister's shining reputation. But Vanessa, with her glorious red hair and fair skin, has a kind of power when she dances – she loses herself in the music, breathes different air, and the world around her turns to flames . . . 

Soon she attracts the attention of three men: gorgeous Zep, mysterious Justin, and the great, enigmatic choreographer Josef Zhalkovsky. When Josef asks Vanessa to dance the lead in the Firebird, she has little idea of the danger that lies ahead – and the burning forces about to be unleashed...

My thoughts on the book:
Dance of Shadows is just dull, for lack of a better term. The synopsis sounds great, and the concept is amazing. However, the execution is terrible. The pacing is off, the characters are one-dimensional, and the writing is sub-par. I started this book expecting a unique and intriguing novel and ended up bored to death and irritated. 

Vanessa is one of the dumbest characters I've ever read. Not to mention she has no personality. She insists on doing stupid things repeatedly when the answers are right there in front of her. She trusts the wrong people constantly, she can't figure out ANYTHING for herself, and to top it all off, she's obscenely bland. She is an awful character, and I found her impossible to relate to OR root for. I can't even remember most of the other characters names. Justin is also bland, and he doesn't stand out, and neither does Zep. Josef is pretty much a carbon copy of Justin and Zep. There is not a single character in this book that has a personality. The lack of character development is unbelievable. 

The pacing for this book is extremely slow. The world-building and place development are non-existent. The writing is awful, and the author seems to love the smell of sweat... yuck. Thinking about some of the supposed steamy scenes still makes me nauseous because of all the sweat sniffing and such. If I hadn't been to NYC several times, then I would have had no idea what the city looked like. Black tells us NOTHING about New York. I certainly didn't feel like I was there, which is probably a good thing, considering all the sweat. 

Overall, I'd recommend this book to my worst enemy, and that's about it. It's seriously bad. The only redeeming aspect is the concept, which the author completely destroys with the horrible writing, lack of character-development, and lack of world-building. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

NEVERFALL + EVERBOUND by Brodi Ashton Reviews and Giveaway!

To celebrate the release of one of my most anticipated books of 2013, I am posting a review to the novella, Neverfall, told from Cole's perspective along with my review of Everbound. Also, I am offering one lucky winner e-book copies of Neverfall and Everbound!

Brodi Ashton

Rating: A
A thrilling new novella from the author of the Everneath series!

Jack is trapped for eternity in the Tunnels while Nikki has managed to evade Cole's grasp . . . for now. But Cole is more desperate than ever to find answers about Nikki, his best chance for taking over the throne of the underworld. How did she survive the Feed? Can Cole find another Forfeit like her who can survive it too?

Cole's quest leads him to the other side of the world, to a mysterious, dangerous society known as the Delphinians, whose price for information might be higher than Cole can pay—a price that could destroy Nikki. But when Cole attempts to steal the answers instead, his mission ends in disaster. Faced with centuries in a Delphinian dungeon, Cole is confronted with questions he's been too scared to ask himself: Is he really obsessed with the throne—or is he obsessed with Nikki? And can she really give him a new beginning as the Everneath's king . . . or will she instead bring about his tragic end?

My thoughts on the book:
Neverfall is an intense and short read from Cole's perspective. While this novella didn't totally win me over to team Cole (for some reason I have a soft spot for Jack), I do appreciate the fact that Ashton didn't feel the need to make Cole a completely sympathetic and perfect character, once we got to know him better. I love Cole, and I think that he's a fantastic character. However, I really wish he'd get over his selfishness. He made some improvements during this novella, and I look forward to see how he handles things in the future. For now, I'm holding off on deciding whose team I'm on. Regardless of my indecision, this novella is fast-paced and full of suspense. I enjoyed learning more about Cole and the world of the Everneath. It was also interesting to learn about the Delphinians. Overall, this is an excellent novella that adds to the series. 

Order your e-copy of Neverfall today!

By: Brodi Ashton
Rating: A+
Nikki Beckett could only watch as her boyfriend, Jack, sacrificed himself to save her, taking her place in the Tunnels of the Everneath for eternity — a debt that should’ve been hers. She’s living a borrowed life, and she doesn’t know what to do with the guilt. And every night Jack appears in her dreams, lost and confused and wasting away.

Desperate for answers, Nikki turns to Cole, the immortal bad boy who wants to make her his queen — and the one person least likely to help. But his heart has been touched by everything about Nikki, and he agrees to assist her in the only way he can: by taking her to the Everneath himself.

Nikki and Cole descend into the Everneath, only to discover that their journey will be more difficult than they’d anticipated — and more deadly. But Nikki vows to stop at nothing to save Jack — even if it means making an incredible sacrifice of her own.

In this enthralling sequel to Everneath, Brodi Ashton tests the bonds of destiny and explores the lengths we’ll go to for the ones we love.

My thoughts on the book:
Ashton does not disappoint with the second book in the Everneath trilogy. Everbound hooked me on the first page and did not let me go until the very last word. I read it entirely in one sitting. Every time I tried to put the book down to do something, within a couple of minutes, I'd pick it up and start reading again. I just had to see what would happen next. This novel is full of surprises, adventure, and romance. Somehow, it's even better than Everneath. This is one sequel that can't be missed! 

There wasn't a ton of character growth in this book, but I felt as if I got to know all of the characters much better. I think Nikki grew some just because she was no longer running from things. She faced everything head on and was braver than any person her age (male or female) should be. I really respected her for that. She fought for what she wanted and what she believed in. Sometimes her thoughts were a bit immature, but she is a teenager, after all. More often than not, though, she was strong and mature beyond her years. 

I also enjoyed getting to know Cole better. Some of his actions surprised me, and some of them were typical Cole. I wish I'd gotten to know Max more because he was there a lot, but he wasn't really "active" in the plot. I would have liked to have known more about him, especially after reading the novella. A few new characters were introduced as well, including the queen and another of Cole's friends named Ashe. I'm looking forward to learning more about them in the next book. 

The plot was well-written and held a lot of surprises. I liked that Nikki's dad was present, but she just didn't care. She did what she wanted, consequences be damned. Because of that, the novel had a more realistic feel to it than a book with the typical missing parents does. The ending really shocked me, and I can't wait to see what happens next. 

Most of the story took place in the Everneath, and Ashton did an excellent job of describing that world. It seems like a scary place, and the fact that Nikki was willing to brave all of that in the hopes of finding Jack (she wasn't even sure if she could find him) showed how much she loved him. Some horrific things happened in that world, and by going through it with Nikki, I felt that I came to understand the Everliving a bit better. One would almost have to become numb to survive such horrible things constantly. Also, after seeing how awful humanity was for hundreds of years, I can understand one losing empathy. 

Overall, I'd recommend this book (and series) to anyone. If you love Greek mythology, paranormal YA, or paranormal romance, then this series is for you! 

Order your copy of Everbound!