Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A guest post by Marion Croslydon and a giveaway!

Oxford Whispers by Marion Croslydon is on tour with AToMR Tours!

Lucky me, I get to help promote it! I have to say that the premise of this book sounds deliciously creepy. If you haven't had a chance to read it just yet, let me tempt you with it right now!

Madison LeBon is dead set against the dead.

Her fresh start at Oxford University is a brand new beginning. She finally has a chance to turn the page on her psychic powers and cumbersome voodoo heritage. Snakes, dolls, ghosts, and spirits: Farewell…

Not quite.

When the tragic lovers in a painting—the subject of her first history class—begin to haunt her, she must accept her gift before life imitates art. The lovers warn her against their own nemesis, a Puritan from the English Civil War. Unfortunately, said nemesis is now going all homicidal on Madison.

College becomes more complicated when she falls hard for Rupert Vance, a troubled aristocrat and descendant of one of the characters in the painting. With the spirit of a murderer after her, Madison realizes that her own first love may also be doomed…

So as you can see, this is clearly something that you need to place on your TBR. Click the links above to go right now! Oh, and if that wasn't enough to tempt you, Marion Croslydon herself is here with a guest post today. So I'll stop rambling and let her take it away.


The Paranormal in OXFORD WHISPERS 

By Marion Croslydon 

I have a natural inclination for the occult and magic. My maternal family has gypsy roots to start with, but my heroine Madison has an even more powerful heritage to deal with since she comes from a long line of Voodoo Queens and Voodoo Priestesses. Voodoo-ism has always fascinated me. There are so many misconceptions starting with the clichés derived from watching James Bond’s Live and Let Die too many times ;-) 

I was born in West Africa, where Voodoo originates. When I had to leave, aged four, I left a piece of my heart behind. Elizabeth was the name of my nanny. She looked after me as if I were her own, carried me on her back in the traditional African way. This proud and kind lady gave me one of my most precious possessions: a Voodoo gris-gris. It was a leather pouch with a small shell on top of it. She had hung it on a rough thread so that I could carry it around my neck. It was meant to protect me from evil spirits and bring me luck. 

The idea of mixing Madison’s Voodoo heritage with psychic abilities came to me when I visited Louisiana and New Orleans… and, to be honest, in obsessing about True Blood. The storyline in which Lafayette is possessed with the spirit of Mavis (Season 4) teased my imagination. If you read Oxford Whispers, you might not see the similarities with Lafayette, but that’s how my story was born somewhere in a remote corner of my imagination.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

In addition to being an author, I work as an entrepreneur, wife and mother-of-one but spend a good deal of time with books, DVDs and listening to my mp3 player; all for the sake of inspiration, of course.

My debut series, The Oxford Trilogy, has been a blast to write because I can indulge in my favorite types of music: Country and English rock.

My main goal as a writer is to make readers dream bigger and cause their hearts to beat a little faster.

Since my writing is all about sharing dreams and stories, I love connecting with fellow readers and authors.
Find Marion: Website / Twitter / Facebook / YouTube

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Book Review: Iron Hearted Violet

Media Type: Print Book
Title: Iron Hearted Violet
Author: Kelly Barnhill
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: Hardcover; 432
Release Date: October 9, 2012
Source: Library
Intended Reading Group: Middle Grade
Content Screening: Nothing of note
HDB Rating: 3 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Lovers of MG who enjoy a vivid fairy tale story.

Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Amazon / B&N

The end of their world begins with a story. This one.

In most fairy tales, princesses are beautiful, dragons are terrifying, and stories are harmless. This isn't most fairy tales.

Princess Violet is plain, reckless, and quite possibly too clever for her own good. Particularly when it comes to telling stories. One day she and her best friend, Demetrius, stumble upon a hidden room and find a peculiar book. A forbidden book. It tells a story of an evil being -- called the Nybbas -- imprisoned in their world. The story cannot be true -- not really. But then the whispers start. Violet and Demetrius, along with an ancient, scarred dragon, may hold the key to the Nybbas's triumph . . . or its demise. It all depends on how they tell the story. After all, stories make their own rules.

Iron Hearted Violet is a story of a princess unlike any other. It is a story of the last dragon in existence, deathly afraid of its own reflection. Above all, it is a story about the power of stories, our belief in them, and how one enchanted tale changed the course of an entire kingdom.

Here is a story that held such promise for me, and didn't live up to what I was hoping for. Still, Iron Hearted Violet did have a lot that made me smile. Princess Violet is a different than your normal fairy tale princess. With mismatched eyes, unruly hair, and a sharp wit, she's the girl you wish all other princesses were! I loved how Kelly Barnhill put emphasis on the fact that beauty isn't only outward, but more on that later.

The world that is built here is also interesting in its own right. Violet comes from a place created by multiple gods, both good and evil. The "mirrored sky" looms over head, and stories are the main source of entertainment. As the synopsis says: "After all, stories make their own rules." I liked that stories played such a big part in Violet's life, and that she was so good at telling them. It really brought it all to life.

What pushed me away was the way that the story was told and illustrated. Our narrator is rather unreliable, and slightly wimpy if I'm being honest. Then there were the illustrations. I don't think the illustrator got the message that Violet wasn't supposed to be  a perfectly drawn princess. It drove me crazy each time I saw her image and it looked like the exact opposite of what she was being described as. New illustrations please!

As I said, I was on the line when it came to this story. I was looking for a fairy tale and I got it. It just wasn't quite what I was hoping for. Still, I see a lot to love here, especially for younger readers! This would be a great book for a bed time story over a few weeks. All I know is that I would love to see more characters like young Violet. Bring them on.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Book Review: The Six Gun Tarot

Media Type: Ebook (ARC)
Title: The Six Gun Tarot
Author: R.S. Blecher
Publisher: Tor Books
Pages: Hardcover; 368
Release Date: January 22, 2013
Source: Publisher
Intended Reading Group: Young Adult
Content Screening: Mild Violence
HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Readers who enjoy gritty, dark stories with a wide cast of characters.

Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Amazon / B&N
Buffy meets Deadwood in a dark, wildly imaginative historical fantasy

Nevada, 1869: Beyond the pitiless 40-Mile Desert lies Golgotha, a cattle town that hides more than its share of unnatural secrets. The sheriff bears the mark of the noose around his neck; some say he is a dead man whose time has not yet come. His half-human deputy is kin to coyotes. The mayor guards a hoard of mythical treasures. A banker’s wife belongs to a secret order of assassins. And a shady saloon owner, whose fingers are in everyone’s business, may know more about the town’s true origins than he’s letting on.

A haven for the blessed and the damned, Golgotha has known many strange events, but nothing like the primordial darkness stirring in the abandoned silver mine overlooking the town. Bleeding midnight, an ancient evil is spilling into the world, and unless the sheriff and his posse can saddle up in time, Golgotha will have seen its last dawn…and so will all of Creation.

Something sinister is headed to the town of Golgotha, and every inhabitant can feel it. From the very first page, The Six Gun Tarot has an ominous aura about it. Add to this a population that contains everything from assassins to shape shifters, and you have a book with any extremely promising premise.

That being said, I was anxious to see where R.S. Belcher took this idea. The first half of the book was a little slow for me, but I kept in mind that it was building an extremely intricate backstory. Each character, and there are many, has something to contribute to the darkness that is steadily rolling in. The one downside to this is that all the little asides make it difficult to keep with the main story line. The POV often switches, which can be confusing.

I kept reading though and, as I neared the middle of The Six Gun Tarot, things really picked up. I found myself much more immersed during the second half of this story. Golgotha goes from being an odd town with interesting inhabitants, to a town trapped in the middle of a horror story. No spoilers here, but it is absolutely stunning even while being dark. I definitely felt like the slow beginning was worth it to get to this portion of the book.

Days later I still can't seem to classify The Six Gun Tarot. There are elements of mythology and horror, all tied up with historical events. This was a very different kind of read and, while it won't make my favorites shelf, I admire the ambition that R.S. Belcher shows. A vast story, with an equally large cast of characters, it was admittedly an intriguing read. Give this one a shot.

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Coming Soon on HDB... (1/27/13)


Starting out the week, a review of The Six Gun Tarot by R.S. Belcher. This was definitely an interesting read, see my take on it!


Tuesday brings another review, this time of Iron Hearted Violet by Kelly Barnhill. I so fell in love with this cover!


On Wednesday, I'll be sharing a guest post from Marion Crosly all about the Paranormal in her book Oxford Whispers.


More MG loveliness on Thursday, with a review of The Voyage of Lucy P. Simmons. Loved this book! Super cute, and I'll share the love :).

Can you believe it's already February as of Friday? That is so crazy! I'll be wrapping up the first reading month of the year, and doing a recap for all my challenges!


On Saturday it's all about a new blogger for the month of February! Blogger Backstage Pass is back, and it's your chance to meet a new blogger.

That's the week! Once again, happy reading!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Book Review: The Ripple in Space-Time

Media Type: Print Book (ARC)
Title: The Ripple in Space-Time
Author: S.F. Chapman
Publisher: Striped Cat Press
Pages: Paperback; 260
Release Date: February 1, 2013
Source: J.K. Communications
Genre: Science Fiction

HDB Rating: 3 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who enjoy Science Fiction with a pretty heavy emphasis on the science aspect.

Add it: Goodreads / Shelfari / Amazon / B&N
When the huge lunar Ultra Energy Laboratory is destroyed by a mysterious blast, Inspector Ryo Trop of the Free City Inquisitor's Office is called in to sort out who is responsible for the disaster.

Early reports imply that rogue moon miners are to blame but Ryo quickly discovers that a far more complex and sinister scheme is afoot.

With the help of a promising young Liaison Agent and a faltering Grad student, Ryo searches for clues and culprits in the corrupt and moldering feudal fiefdoms of the Warlords that dominate human affairs in 2445.

Ryo’s longtime friend, Biology Professor turned spy Malcolm Evans, suggests that the wave of space piracy that has recently vexed the Solar System could be connected to the obliteration of the lunar lab.

But why would reckless and marauding space raiders have an interest in a research facility?

The Ripple in Space-Time is set well into the future, in a time when the outer reaches of space have been colonized. The human race lives spread throughout the galaxy, and I can't deny that I was drawn in by the possibility of such a vast world of people. Through a mix of news reports and narrative, S.F. Chapman shares with readers a world where anything is possible. This is definitely what I enjoyed most about this book. Although I would have liked the opportunity to explore this universe a little more, it was very immersive in its own right.

The world is populated with some great characters. The problem is that there are so many that it is tough at times to keep them straight. This is helped with the addition of an appendix. However I felt like I really didn't get to know some of the characters as well as I would have liked. Ryo would definitely have to be my favorite though. The way he handles situations really makes him shine. 

What really hampered my total enjoyment of this book though was the writing style. The Ripple in Space-Time is extremely heavy handed in the science department, which is to be expected I suppose. I was okay with it for the most part. It was the overuse of adjectives and adverbs that really drove me crazy while reading. A sentence that could be written in 5 or 6 words would end up as a paragraph. It was maddening, and made it difficult for me to fully appreciate the story line. I see a lot of readers being turned off by this fact. Still, I can promise that the story itself is well worth your time.

Overall I felt good upon finishing The Ripple in Space Time. It did remind me of why I don't read a lot of Science Fiction anymore. You really have to be invested in the science behind the world that is being built to fully understand the whole story line. While there were definitely things that could have been done better, I enjoyed the story as a whole. Pick this up if you're a fan of Science Fiction.

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Books to Watch (1/23/13)

Are you READY my bookish friends? It's that time again!

Time to spotlight some books and hopefully add them to your ever growing TBR. Sit back and relax, while I share with you two books that I am loving and think you should too. 

One that's already out, and one that's coming up. Away we go!


This edition, it's all about URBAN FANTASY!


Since the 1970s humans have forced supernaturals to live in caged cities. Silver brands embedded in their foreheads identify them by species: a full moon for Vampires, a crescent moon for Shifters, a pair of wings for Fairies, and the list goes on, for each supernatural species has been tagged and categorized by humans.

Lanore Vesta is marked with a silver X, the brand of Mixbreeds, second-class citizens shunned by society. She stays to herself, revealing her ability to create fire only during emergencies. All she wants to do is graduate college and stop having to steal to survive. But when she stumbles upon a murder in progress, she catches the attention of a supernatural killer. Now all she wants is to stop finding dead bodies in her apartment.

Enlisting help from her Were-cheetah ex-boyfriend MeShack and a new mysterious friend named Zulu, she is steered through the habitat’s raunchy nightlife. But their presence sometimes proves to be more burden than help, as they fight for her attention.

While the corpses pile up, and the scent of blood fills the air, Lanore is left wondering: Will she find the psycho or die trying?

So, I already reviewed this and I have to say that I reread it recently. Verdict? Still AWESOME. I'm becoming more and more a fan of UF simply for the characters. Strong female and male characters abound in this genre. Plus you get a nice mix of sexytimes and kick-ass fights. Looking for your next UF read? Give Fire Baptized a shot!



(Out April 30, 2013)

It’s a homecoming, of sorts, for Jayné Heller—and she wants some long-awaited answers to her past, in this fifth book in the acclaimed Black Sun’s Daughter urban fantasy series.

After years on her own, Jayné Heller is going home to find some answers. How did the powerful spirit calling itself the Black Sun get into her body? Who was her uncle Eric, and what was the grand plan to which he devoted his life? Who did her mother have an affair with, and why? And the tattoo—seriously—what was that about?

Jayné arrives during the preparations for her older brother’s shotgun wedding, but she’s not the only unexpected guest. The Invisible College has also come to town, intent on stopping the ceremony. They claim an ancient evil is threatening the child that would be Jayné’s niece, and that the Heller family has been rotten at the core for generations.

The deeper Jayné looks, the more she thinks they might not be wrong. And behind them all, in the shadows of Jayné’s childhood home, a greater threat waits that calls itself the Graveyard Child...

I devoured the first four books in this series back in 2011 when the publisher was so kind as to send me the whole set. As my first UF series ever, I couldn't even fathom the awesomeness within! So imagine how excited I was when I found out that there is another book in the series, and it comes out THIS YEAR. Yup. I'd a happy girl. Are you a fan of female heroines who can kick ass?  Jayné Heller is perfect for you.


So, are you adding either to your TBR? Did I peak your interest? Shout out and, once again, thanks for reading!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Book Review: Shadows of the Hidden

Media Type: Ebook (ARC)
Title: Shadows of the Hidden
Author: Anne Riley
Publisher: Compass Press
Pages: Paperback; 340
Release Date: December 1, 2012
Source: Author
Intended Reading Group: Young Adult
Content Screening: Mild Violence
HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Readers who enjoy a good fantasy story with vivid characters!

Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Amazon / B&N
Natalie Watson doesn't believe her parents are dead, even though they disappeared five years ago. Discovering the truth about their fate is one of the only things that gets her out of bed in the morning. But after moving from her home in Georgia to her aunt's boarding school in Maine, solving the mystery of her parents' whereabouts is just one of several challenges she must face. When she's not fending off attacks from the popular kids, she puzzles over the rumors about a strange boy in her math class--one with fiery red hair who rarely speaks.

Despite suspicions that he murdered his sister a year earlier, Natalie finds it impossible to stay away from Liam Abernathy--especially when he confesses to knowing something about her parents. Soon she's following him into the forest, where things happen she doesn't understand...things that shouldn't be possible.

Natalie soon realizes her connection to Liam is deeper than she ever imagined, and not everyone she counts as a friend can be trusted. When she finds herself at the center of a centuries-old quest for immortality, she must work with Liam to stay alive--even if it means facing a truth about herself and her family that will not only shake her perception of herself, but of the entire world around her.

Another book to add to my list of those I am truly glad I accepted for review! Shadows of the Hidden was most definitely worth it. We meet Natalie at a difficult time in her life. With her parent's disappearance looming over her, it doesn't really seem fair that she should have to deal with normal teenage issues as well. Then she notices her classmate Liam sneaking off into the woods at night, which sets into motion quite the unbelievable and intriguing story.

I was amazed at how easily I fell into step with the characters in this book. Natalie is the type of character I adore. Sweet, strong, and honestly simple in her appearance and mannerisms. She's a wonderfully normal girl. I liked that the author gave Natalie this personality because it was believable. It made it easy to understand her! Still, the favorite character card definitely goes to Liam. Mysterious, sweet, and full of courage, he was a perfect partner for Natalie and I adored him.

Speaking of the story, it's a great one. I think Riley does a stellar job of keeping the plot moving. Always giving just enough to keep you guessing, and wanting to read on to find out where things are going. Mystery, and just a touch of magic, are turned into a rich tapestry of a story line. I couldn't keep myself from skipping ahead now and then to see if I was right about what was coming. I admit it. Although I would have liked a little more closure on certain aspects (no spoilers here!) I can't deny that I devoured this book.

I highly recommend giving Shadows of the Hidden a spot on your reading list. Fans of fantasy and science fiction will find elements to love here, as well as lovers of more contemporary reads. Kudos to Anne Riley for weaving such an epic tale. I can't wait to read more!

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Audio Book Review: On The Edge

Media Type: Audio Book
Title: On The Edge
   * Series: The Edge #1
Author: Ilona Andrews
Narrator: Renee Raudman
Publisher: Tantor Media
Format: Digital MP3
Duration: 12 hours and 8 minutes
Source: Library Download
Genre: Urban Fantasy

HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who like a strong female character and lots of magic to get lost in.

Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Amazon / B&N
Rose Drayton lives on the Edge, between the world of the Broken (where people drive cars, shop at Wal-Mart, and magic is a fairy tale) and the Weird (where blueblood aristocrats rule, changelings roam, and the strength of your magic can change your destiny). Only Edgers like Rose can easily travel from one world to the next, but they never truly belong in either.

Rose thought if she practiced her magic, she could build a better life for herself. But things didn't turn out how she planned, and now she works a minimum wage, off the books job in the Broken just to survive. Then Declan Camarine, a blueblood noble straight out of the deepest part of the Weird, comes into her life, determined to have her (and her power).

But when a terrible danger invades the Edge from the Weird, a flood of creatures hungry for magic, Declan and Rose must work together to destroy them, or the beasts will devour the Edge and everyone in it . . .

Narrator Review:
You know how I feel about Renee Raudman's voice, but I'll reiterate it just because I want to. It's amazing! The gritty quality her voice had in the Kate Daniels series is gone, and replaced with a much softer, much sweeter tone for Rose. I'm still amazed at all the things that this woman can do while reading. She brings this book to life!

Audio Book Rating: 5/5 - A Must Listen!!!


Book Review:
Well, it's official. I hereby declare my loyalty to the Ilona Andrews fan club. Those of you who follow my blog know that I loved the Kate Daniels series. Characters, plot, all of it was perfection. So of course when I ran out of those books I ran to get my hands on more Ilona Andrews goodness. I can honestly say that On The Edge totally sated my need for more. Another awesome series to get hooked on? Yes please.

As you might imagine, there are a lot of similarities between the two series. However what I loved about Rose, our heroine in this book, was that she is much more fragile than I expected. What sets Rose apart from the others in the Edge is her magical ability. Other than that she's a normal girl. Someone whose biggest concern is making sure her two younger brothers are well taken care of. I think that's what I loved most about Rose actually. She is so human, and it makes her that much easier to love.

Speaking of the Edge, Ilona Andrews has created an amazing world for Rose and her brothers to inhabit. A world that is in between. A magical world with a mix of normal people, evil beasts, and (of course) shape shifters. I have to tell you that I loved the story line that this took as well. On The Edge follows a much more romantic story line. It's almost like a fairy tale. Guy wants girl, works to gain her adoration, and cue a happy ending. Can I please have a Declan of my very own? Hot, dangerous, yum.

Ahem. Anyway as you can probably tell I wholly enjoyed On The Edge! My one qualm was that it ended much too soon, and I can't wait to get my hands on the next book to find out more about the Edge and everyone in it. This is pure, delicious, urban fantasy. The kind that promises the world and follows through with that promise. Long story short? Read it. You won't be sorry.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Falling For You Promo Post and Giveaway!

Falling For You by Lisa Schroeder is on tour with Modge Podge Book Tours!

When I was asked to help promote this book, I happily accepted. I've had Falling For You in my sights for quite a while. Actually, I'll totally admit that it was ever since I saw the cover. Gorgeous! Let me tempt you with the synopsis shall I?

Rae's always dreamed of dating a guy like Nathan. He’s nothing like her abusive stepfather—in other words, he’s sweet. But the closer they get, the more Nathan wants of her time, of her love, of her...and the less she wants to give.

As Rae’s affection for Nathan turns to fear, she leans on her friend Leo for support. With Leo, she feels lighter, happier. And possessive Nathan becomes jealous.

Then a tragedy lands Rae in the ICU. Now, hovering between life and death, Rae must find the light amid the darkness…and the strength to fight for life and the love she deserves.

I have to tell you that I'm completely enamored with the synopsis of this book. There are so many ways that I can see it going and, although none of them are good, they are all utterly intriguing. What will happen to Rae? I guess I'll have to read to find out!

Lucky for you, you can win this book and other amazing titles during the blog tour! Just enter below. Hurry though, you don't want to miss your chance. Good luck and happy reading!

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Hi! I'm the author of the young adult novel FALLING FOR YOU as well as the Oregon Book award finalist THE DAY BEFORE. My other YA novels include I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME, FAR FROM YOU and CHASING BROOKLYN, all published by Simon Pulse. If you've read one or more of them, thank you!

I'm also the author of two middle grade novels for 8-12 year olds: IT'S RAINING CUPCAKES and SPRINKLES AND SECRETS, both with Aladdin. A third book in this "series" will be released in 2013, called, FROSTING AND FRIENDSHIP.


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Book Review: Provex City

Media Type: Ebook
Title: Provex City
Author: Michael Pierce
Publisher: Self-published
Pages: Paperback; 324
Release Date: April 14, 2012
Source: Blog Tour
Intended Reading Group: Young Adult
Content Screening: Mild Violence
HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Readers who like a mix of magic, growing up, and mystery in their reading.

Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Amazon / B&N
Fifteen-year-old Oliver Grain begins his school year fighting off bullies, learning about the boy who committed suicide in his room, and trying to understand why his history teacher, Mr. Gordon, has taken such a personal interest in him.

Do you believe in ghosts? Do you believe you can make bullies simply disappear? Do you believe you can walk through walls?

Mr. Gordon tells Oliver: "When you truly believe anything is possible, you will be able to open doors where there were only walls." And one of those doors leads Oliver to Provex City, which puts him in far greater danger than he can possibly fathom.

I'm going to admit straight out that when I first started Provex City I was utterly confused. This book somehow manages to have a fantasy/sci fi feel while still walking in the contemporary genre. It's odd at first. Still, the more I read, the deeper I was pulled in. It was amazing.

As a very character driven reader, I really appreciated Pierce's writing style. Oliver is the main character and he is so beautifully built, so wholly fleshed out, that it's hard not to like him. His life is what you'd expect a normal teenage boy's to be. Family, friends, and of course girl problems. That is, until he finds out just how extraordinary he really is.

Which brings me to the one area I had a bit if issue with. Although I totally understand the need to suspend disbelief in a story like this, I still had so many unanswered questions after finishing. I would love to know more about Oliver's ability and definitely about the other world! Here's hoping for another book so I can sate my curiousity.

Despite any small issues I may have had though, Provex City ultimately ended as an enjoyable read for me. A bit of magic and a touch of romance, this kept me immersed. I definitely recommend you give it a shot.

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (1/16/13)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking The Spine! Each blogger spotlight one or more upcoming releases that they are eagerly awaiting.

This week I'm waiting on...

Cinder returns in the second thrilling installment of the New York Times-bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother and the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she has no choice but to trust him, though he clearly has a few dark secrets of his own.

As Scarlet and Wolf work to unravel one mystery, they find another when they cross paths with Cinder. Together, they must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen who will do anything to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner.
Releases February 5, 2013

I thoroughly enjoyed Cinder (you can see my review here) and I've been waiting eagerly to get my hands on the next book in the series! I can't wait to see what happens to the characters I loved, most notably Cinder herself. SO EXCITED! My turn on the library list can't come fast enough :).

What are YOU waiting for?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Book Review: Breathe

Media Type: Print Book
Title: Breathe
   * Series: Breathe #1
Author: Sarah Crossan
Publisher: Greenwillow
Pages: Hardcover; 373
Release Date: October 2, 2012
Source: Library
Intended Reading Group: Young Adult
Content Screening: Mild Violence
HDB Rating: 3 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Lovers of dystopian fiction. Readers who are okay with a little violence in their reading.

Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Amazon / B&N
Inhale. Exhale. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe . . . The world is dead. The survivors live under the protection of Breathe, the corporation that found a way to manufacture oxygen-rich air.

Alina has been stealing for a long time. She's a little jittery, but not terrified. All she knows is that she's never been caught before. If she's careful, it'll be easy. If she's careful.

Quinn should be worried about Alina and a bit afraid for himself, too, but even though this is dangerous, it's also the most interesting thing to happen to him in ages. It isn't every day that the girl of your dreams asks you to rescue her.

Bea wants to tell him that none of this is fair; they'd planned a trip together, the two of them, and she'd hoped he'd discover her out here, not another girl.

And as they walk into the Outlands with two days' worth of oxygen in their tanks, everything they believe will be shattered. Will they be able to make it back? Will they want to?

Bea lives in a world where breathing is no longer a right, but a privilege. The rich have ample amounts of oxygen, while the poor have to perform the most menial work to earn a minimal amount. I have to admit that I was totally drawn in by the world that Sarah Crossan built in Breathe. I settled in and prepared to find out what was in store for her characters.

That being said, there are some great ideas presented here. The concept of the POD world that Bea lives in is amazing. Watching her visit the only living trees left in the world, courtesy of course of the "generous" government, was heart wrenching. I couldn't imagine living in a world where being outside was a thing of the past. Sadly, there wasn't a lot of time spent here, and that was one of the things I had the most problem with. I had so many questions that were left unanswered when the action started picking up.

Then there were the characters themselves. While I liked Bea, she was pretty much the only one I actually felt anything for. Quinn is a rich boy through and through. It's hard to see past his spoiled exterior, even when he is being sweet. Plus, well, having two girls fawn over you is all well and good. Still, I can't deny I all but hated the way he treated Bea. Personal opinion, I know. This lackluster romance, this love triangle, just didn't work for me.

Breathe was a mixed bag for me, if I'm being honest. While there were parts of it that I was hooked into, the remainder of it really fell short for me. I'm a very character driven person. The fact that I didn't feel anything for Bea and her cohorts really made me sad. Give this a shot if you are a fan of gritty dystopian books.

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Author Spotlight: Jennifer McMahon

Today's Author Spotlight highlights the extremely talented writer, Jennifer McMahon! She is the author of multiple works, including those below. 

I myself have only read Dismantled, but just based off of that I can tell you that McMahon knows how to keep you reading. Her books contain the perfect mix of secrets, mystery, and lies. I've had her other works on my reading list for ages, and I'm eager to dive back into her world.

That being said, I take great pleasure in announcing that Jennifer McMahon has just released another book. On January 2, 2013 The One I Left Behind hit shelves! I, for one, believe that the cover fits beautifully with the rest. However it is the synopsis that truly drew me in.

Bestselling author Jennifer McMahon is back with a gut-wrenching mystery about an architect whose troubled mother has been found 25 years after being kidnapped-by a killer who is still on the loose.

The summer of 1985 changed Reggie's life. Thirteen, awkward, and without a father, she finds herself mixed up with her school's outcasts-Charlie, the local detective's son, and Tara, a goth kid who has a mental hold over Reggie and harbors a dark secret. That same summer a serial killer called Neptune begins kidnapping women. He leaves their severed hands on the police department steps and, five days later, displays their bodies around town. Just when Reggie needs her mother Vera-an ex-model with many "boyfriends" and a thirst for gin-the most, Vera's hand is found on the steps. But after five days, there's no body and Neptune disappears.

Now a successful architect who left her hometown behind after that horrific summer, Reggie doesn't trust anyone and lives with few attachments. But when she gets a call from a homeless shelter saying that her mother has been found alive, Reggie must confront the ghosts of her past and find Neptune before he kills again.

With her signature style, Jennifer McMahon portrays the dark side of adolescent friendship and introduces characters who haunt the imagination, along with a disturbing web of secrets, betrayals, and murder

This is sitting in the the top 10 of my current reading list! Perhaps I've prompted you to add it to yours as well? 

Check out more about Jennifer McMahon below and don't forget to check out all her books while you're at it. Happy reading!

I was born in 1968 and grew up in my grandmother’s house in suburban Connecticut, where I was convinced a ghost named Virgil lived in the attic. I wrote my first short story in third grade. I graduated with a BA from Goddard College in 1991 and then studied poetry for a year in the MFA in Writing Program at Vermont College. A poem turned into a story, which turned into a novel, and I decided to take some time to think about whether I wanted to write poetry or fiction. After bouncing around the country, I wound up back in Vermont, living in a cabin with no electricity, running water, or phone with my partner, Drea, while we built our own house. Over the years, I have been a house painter, farm worker, paste-up artist, Easter Bunny, pizza delivery person, homeless shelter staff member, and counselor for adults and kids with mental illness -- I quit my last real job in 2000 to work on writing full time. In 2004, I gave birth to our daughter, Zella. These days, we're living in an old Victorian in Montpelier, Vermont. Some neighbors think it looks like the Addams family house, which brings me immense pleasure.

Visit her here: Website / Goodreads

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Coming Soon on HDB.... (1/13/13)


Starting out the week is a post all about Jennifer McMahon's newest book, The One I Left Behind. Her writing is powerful, and I can't tell you how much I want to read this book!


On Tuesday I'll be reviewing Breathe by Sarah Crossan. A world where the oxygen isn't a right, but a privilege? Check out my thoughts on this book.


Waiting on Wednesday speaks for itself! Come see what book I can't WAIT to get my hands on!


Thursday you'll find a review of Provex City by Michael Pierce. A book from a boy's POV that is all about ghosts and mysteries? Yes please!


To further spread the promo love, on Friday I'll be sharing Lisa Schroeder's newest book, Falling For You with all of you!


Rounding out the week, it's a review of On The Edge by Ilona Andrews! I had a big Kate Daniels shaped hole, so I filled it with this series. I'll tell you this, it didn't disappoint!

That's it for this week! 
Hope to see you by and once again thank you for being a fabulous reader :).


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