Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday


Lydia Kang

400 Pages

Expected Publication: December 26, 2013

When a crash kills their father and leaves them orphaned, Zel knows she needs to protect her sister, Dyl. But before Zel has a plan, Dyl is taken by strangers using bizarre sensory weapons, and Zel finds herself in a safe house for teens who aren’t like any she’s ever seen before—teens who shouldn't even exist. Using broken-down technology, her new friends’ peculiar gifts, and her own grit, Zel must find a way to get her sister back from the kidnappers who think a powerful secret is encoded in Dyl’s DNA.
A spiraling, intense, romantic story set in 2150—in a world of automatic cars, nightclubs with auditory ecstasy drugs, and guys with four arms—this is about the human genetic “mistakes” that society wants to forget, and the way that outcasts can turn out to be heroes.
This book sounds seriously awesome!! Set far in the future, plus a kidnapping, plus powers?? Um: count me in.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Morrigan by Laura DeLuca Book Blitz and Giveaway!!

by Laura DeLuca
Release Date: 11/08/12

Summary from Goodreads:
Shuffled from place to place in the foster system, Morrigan doesn't know the meaning of home. Plus, she is different. She has power over fire, the ability to move objects with her mind, and glimpse into the future. Just when she believes her life can’t get any stranger, she discovers her true identity.
Filtiarn, a knight with a dark past and a surprising secret, has been tasked with guiding the heir of Tír na NÓg through countless perils to be returned to her family. Once Morrigan has been reunited with her mother and grandmother, their triad can save the forgotten land of magic from being devoured by an ancient evil.

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About the Author
Laura "Luna" DeLuca lives at the beautiful Jersey shore with her husband and three children. She has been writing stories for as long as she can remember. Old high school friends would tell you she was always scratching in her notebook instead of paying attention in class and the children she used to babysit for always loved to hear her scary stories at bedtime. In addition to writing fiction, Laura is also the sole author of a popular review blog called New Age Mama. She is an active member of her local pagan community, and has been studying Wicca for close to eight years.

Author Links:
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Morrigan took out a white candle and a stick of dragon blood incense, and set them up in the corner of the room. She sat cross-legged, and leaned forward to light them. No matches were necessary. No lighter either. She simply touched her finger to the end of the wick, and with an iridescent spark, the candle flickered to life. It shone at first with a bright blue flame that gradually settled into a more normal orange. It was the same with the incense—another reason why she preferred not to have an audience.
She stared into the candle for a moment, and took a few deep breaths to clear her mind of all thoughts but those of the magic she intended to perform. Danu and Dagda sat on either side of her, instantly falling into silence, as though they knew she needed her complete concentration. Their energy beside her only seemed to add to the growing sense of power that charged the room.
Morrigan closed her eyes and began to shuffle the cards. As she did, she allowed her breathing to become more even. A silence filled the room as the rest of the mortal world fell away. Soon the only sound she heard was the light thump of her own heartbeat, echoed by the quicker, fast paced beat of the cats’ hearts. She wasn’t sure how much time passed as the cards slipped through her fingers. It might have been minutes. It might have been hours. When she allowed herself to fall into a trance, time became insubstantial, irrelevant.
The tarot cards were so old; the designs on the back were almost completely worn away. She had to shuffle gently to keep them from crumbling to pieces in her hands. Yet they held a power that she knew no newer cards could offer her. As she shuffled them, she focused her energy into them, silently requesting to be given the answers she was seeking.  She allowed the image of her mother to fill her mind. When she finally felt the cards had fallen into the order they were meant to be in, she placed the deck face down on the floor, and cut them with her right hand. Then, taking one last, calming breath, she lifted the top card from the pile. With a trembling hand, she laid it down and read it.
“Wheel of Fortune,” she said aloud.
In the center of card was a wheel. As she stared at the picture, that wheel seemed to turn clockwise. The movements made her feel slightly dizzy. The bedroom around her became more and more surreal.  The scene on the card became her reality. The figure of the sphinx that sat on top of the turning wheel looked so very real. It might have turned its head to look at her. Its lips may or may not have moved. Morrigan swore she heard a deep, resonating voice whispering the meaning of the card into her ear. Destiny approaching. An unexpected and sudden change was coming—change that could lead to good fortune.
It was the card of fate and karma returned. It meant that she needed to be prepared—to expect the unexpected. Morrigan knew the cards were telling her something was going to happen—and soon. Her destiny, whatever it was, was about to be realized. Even if it did bring fortune, it still scared her to death. She considered packing up the cards right then and there. Her rational mind had every intention of doing just that. Her hands didn’t get the message her brain was sending. Before she knew what she was doing, she had already flipped over the second card.
“The Empress,” she whispered. She exhaled deeply. “My mother.”
It was the only interpretation imaginable. Even as she said it, the pregnant woman, crowned with stars and adorned in a gown decorated with pomegranates, turned to her and smiled. She was no longer a vague featureless stranger, but the same woman Morrigan had sketched earlier that day—a face that mirrored her own. It was an older version of herself, which she saw in the reflection in the nearby full length mirror, had turned chalk white.
The Empress was a symbol of maternal power—of strong feminine influence. But could it mean that her mother was returning? She had never allowed herself to consider such a possibility. To dwell on something so unlikely would have been too painful. But now, with just the flip of a card, she found herself daring to dream. There was only one way to find out for sure. She had to keep going with the reading.
“Six of Cups.”
The third card in the spread represented her past, and even her immediate present. The six of cups specifically symbolized childhood, and she was, technically, still a child. But she had a feeling that her childhood was about to end quite abruptly. The cups in the picture were lined up across a high stone wall, each cup holding the memories of her past.
Her past. It was nothing but a childhood filled with longing—longings which were perhaps about to be fulfilled. She visualized herself taking each cup down from the wall, and pouring the troubling memories away. It was time to start fresh. A new world was about to open up for her. She had known it as soon as she had seen the image of her mother’s face. But what would that world be like? What was waiting for her in the future?
Morrigan turned over the fourth card.
“The Knight of Wands.”
The man on the horse carrying the staff had her baffled. Not because she didn’t know its normal meaning, but because as she stared at the card, it began to take on the physical attributes of the knight in her drawings. He had the same long dreadlocks, the same bewitching stare, even the same cocky smile. The familiarity did not cancel out the meaning of the card. The knight of wands was representative of a dark man filled with a kind of honey-tongued charm. He was also fiery and arrogant, a man with a definite possibility of a dark side. If the knight of wands was coming into her life, she knew she needed to proceed with caution.
She thought she was done with the fourth card, and was preparing to move on to the next, when once again, she found she had lost control of her body. This time, her hands refused to move, while her eyes forced their way back to the knight in the card. She watched as the long haired stranger began to move forward—wandering over various landscapes, some high mountains, some meadows and fields ripe for the harvest. He kept looking back over his shoulder, as though he were speaking to someone. He was on a journey, and he wasn’t alone. Morrigan didn’t need to see his companion to know who it must be.
So, her journey would soon begin, and she wouldn’t be traveling alone. She would have a guide. Whether or not that would be a good thing was another question best left to the cards to answer. The next card told her nothing she didn’t already know.
“The Moon,” she said. “Caution.”
It was a scary card. It warned of tricks and illusions. The two howling wolves that stood under the moon looked back at her menacingly, growling, showing their pointed fangs in a snarl. For the first time since she began the reading, Danu and Dagda made their presence known by lifting their heads and hissing threateningly in the direction of the beasts.
Even the cats sensed it. The journey she was about to embark on wouldn’t be all fun and family reunions. There would be obstacles and deceit, most likely from people she thought could be trusted. The moon was a sign that danger was certainly awaiting her. In was an ominous omen.
She hushed the hissing cats, and gave them each a gentle stroke to try to settle them down, though she was far from settled herself. Again she felt the urge to stop the spread. Her instincts were telling her that no good was going to come out of this reading. She was only going to scare herself. She should never have done it in the first place. When would she learn that sometimes it was best to let life play out without interference or prophetic warnings? Then again, she knew that to be forewarned might be her only advantage. So with more bravery than she felt, Morrigan flipped over the final card.
“No . . . .” she gasped when she looked down at the terrible, skeletal face. “Oh no.”
She should have known. She thought a part of her did know even before she glanced down at the gruesome scene—a skeleton with a scythe in a field of body parts. With the divination going in the direction it was, what else could be the final outcome?
“Death,” she whispered. “Death.”
She knew that in most cases, the death card was a symbol of personal transformation rather than literal death. But a deeper sense of understanding told her that this time the card was meant to be taken literally. She saw only glimpses and shadows in her mind. Brief flashes of faces, some familiar, like her mother and the knight—some still strangers, like a beautiful, almost angelic blonde woman in a flowing white gown. But around them all, including herself, she saw the shadows of death.
Morrigan felt decidedly shaky as she gathered up her tarot cards. She placed them securely in the bottom of her bag just as she heard the door downstairs slam shut. The reading hadn’t made everything as crystal clear as she had hoped, but one thing was certain. Her whole life was about to change.


Smudge stick with abalone shell, snake necklace, tumbled stones, incense, natural stone pendant and wood trinket box. (US only)

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Book Blitz Organized by:

Friday, October 25, 2013

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!
If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday


Aimee Carter

352 Pages

Expected Publication: November 26, 2013

For Kitty Doe, it seems like an easy choice. She can either spend her life as a III in misery, looked down upon by the higher ranks and forced to leave the people she loves, or she can become a VII and join the most powerful family in the country.
If she says yes, Kitty will be Masked - surgically transformed into Lila Hart, the Prime Minister's niece, who died under mysterious circumstances. As a member of the Hart family, she will be famous. She will be adored. And for the first time, she will matter.
There's only one catch. She must also stop the rebellion that Lila secretly fostered, the same one that got her killed, and one Kitty believes in. Faced with threats, conspiracies and a life that's not her own, she must decide which path to choose and learn how to become more than a pawn in a twisted game she's only beginning to understand.
This one sounds so mysterious and intriguing. I can't wait to dig into this one whenever I can manage to get my hands on it!!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Book Review: Gravity by Melissa West


Melissa West

284 Pages

Published December 18, 2012

In the future, only one rule will matter:

Don’t. Ever. Peek.

Seventeen-year-old Ari Alexander just broke that rule and saw the last person she expected hovering above her bed — arrogant Jackson Locke, the most popular boy in her school. She expects instant execution or some kind of freak alien punishment, but instead, Jackson issues a challenge: help him, or everyone on Earth will die.

Ari knows she should report him, but everything about Jackson makes her question what she’s been taught about his kind. And against her instincts, she’s falling for him. But Ari isn’t just any girl, and Jackson wants more than her attention. She’s a military legacy who’s been trained by her father and exposed to war strategies and societal information no one can know — especially an alien spy, like Jackson. Giving Jackson the information he needs will betray her father and her country, but keeping silent will start a war.

Intriguing. Charming. Different. Gravity was a book that I didn't expect much from, since I hadn't heard much about it. However, the story completely blew me out of the water with how fantastic it was. It was just. that. good. 

Ari is our main character, just a normal girl in her society. When she misplaces her patch, a special device that must be worn during the taking, a nightly ritual in which aliens literally taken special components from humans, her life changes forever. She peaks, going against the one fundamental rule of her world. When she sees a boy from her school hovering above her, she is shocked and terrified. This went against everything she'd been taught. 

Soon he enlists her help to stop a massive war that has been brimming between the ancients and humans for a long time now. At times lies are thrown about and it was hard to know who to trust, though I was actually a lot more skeptical of us humans than the aliens. The government in Ari's society is truly corrupt, and though the aliens look and act human they treat them like a disease, like we're better than them. It's as if they though humans were invincible.. so not true. 

Ari was great in her role of fighter. She was strong, but unlike other people in her class she questioned everything instead of idly sitting by while the world crumbled to pieces. It was clear throughout the story that many changes were taking place in her, both physically and emotionally. I guessed what was happening early on, and was right, but finding out was still a bit of a pleasant shock. 

Jackson was a seriously hot alien. He was arrogant, but it seemed to be a tough bad boy facade he put up instead of showing his true self. Only around Ari did he truly open up and be himself; a kind and thoughtful leader who wanted nothing more than to have a picnic under the stars with the girl he was falling in love with. 

Gravity had me riveted through each page, and it left on one hell of a cliffhanger. The sequel is already out and calling me name LOUDLY. Just another book to add to my quickly growing to buy list. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Book Giveaway: Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken

I accidentally got two copies of this beauty, both shiny and brand new. There's no point in me keeping both... so it's time for a giveaway!!!

Ruby never asked for the abilities that almost cost her her life. Now she must call upon them on a daily basis, leading dangerous missions to bring down a corrupt government and breaking into the minds of her enemies. Other kids in the Children’s League call Ruby “Leader”, but she knows what she really is: a monster. 
When Ruby is entrusted with an explosive secret, she must embark on her most dangerous mission yet: leaving the Children’s League behind. Crucial information about the disease that killed most of America’s children—and turned Ruby and the others who lived into feared and hated outcasts—has survived every attempt to destroy it. But the truth is only saved in one place: a flashdrive in the hands of Liam Stewart, the boy Ruby once believed was her future—and who now wouldn’t recognize her. 
As Ruby sets out across a desperate, lawless country to find Liam—and answers about the catastrophe that has ripped both her life and America apart—she is torn between old friends and the promise she made to serve the League. Ruby will do anything to protect the people she loves. But what if winning the war means losing herself?
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Book Review: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

City of Bones

Cassandra Clare

485 Pages

Published March 27, 2007

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder -- much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing -- not even a smear of blood -- to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?
This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know. . . . 
Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare's ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.
 City of Bones was a book I was really looking forward to digging into. So many people are fans of The Immortal Instruments series, my husband included, and I thought I'd fall head over heels in love with these books as well. While Clare managed to weave an interesting story, it didn't grip me in the way that I had hoped. Maybe my expectations were just too high.

We're introduced to Clary and Simon, two best friends going to a party club together one night, when Clary sees some pretty alarming sights that no one else can see. Immediately we are thrust into the world of the shadowhunters, and I appreciated getting to the action straight away. The first half of the book was smooth sailing for me, and the book was everything I could have hoped for. Mythical creatures, suspense and mystery. This book was perfect!

Then things just stopped adding up for me. Jace was, as many people have already pointed out, an asshole, but I had tried to ignore that. There was a point in the story that I began hating him, when he betrayed everything he stood for at the drop of a hat. Umm, Jace, that isn't cool. Don't you know better?

Another plot twist, involving my favorite couple in the story... well it took away any possible romance. These two things are what I think ruined the story for me, though I'm sure many people didn't mind these plot twists. I've been told to stick it out and hold on, so that I will do. Hopefully these things get resolved and Jace grows as a person. If he can do that, well this might be a great series afterall.

Book Review: Dearly Departed by Lia Habel

Dearly Departed

Lia Habel

470 Pages

Love can never die.
Love conquers all, so they say. But can Cupid’s arrow pierce the hearts of the living and the dead—or rather, the undead? Can a proper young Victorian lady find true love in the arms of a dashing zombie? 
The year is 2195. The place is New Victoria—a high-tech nation modeled on the manners, mores, and fashions of an antique era. A teenager in high society, Nora Dearly is far more interested in military history and her country’s political unrest than in tea parties and debutante balls. But after her beloved parents die, Nora is left at the mercy of her domineering aunt, a social-climbing spendthrift who has squandered the family fortune and now plans to marry her niece off for money. For Nora, no fate could be more horrible—until she’s nearly kidnapped by an army of walking corpses.
But fate is just getting started with Nora. Catapulted from her world of drawing-room civility, she’s suddenly gunning down ravenous zombies alongside mysterious black-clad commandos and confronting “The Laz,” a fatal virus that raises the dead—and hell along with them. Hardly ideal circumstances. Then Nora meets Bram Griswold, a young soldier who is brave, handsome, noble . . . and dead. But as is the case with the rest of his special undead unit, luck and modern science have enabled Bram to hold on to his mind, his manners, and his body parts. And when his bond of trust with Nora turns to tenderness, there’s no turning back. Eventually, they know, the disease will win, separating the star-crossed lovers forever. But until then, beating or not, their hearts will have what they desire.
In Dearly, Departed, romance meets walking-dead thriller, spawning a madly imaginative novel of rip-roaring adventure, spine-tingling suspense, and macabre comedy that forever redefines the concept of undying love.
Dearly Departed was a unique and memorable take on the subject of zombies, something I seem to have really gotten into lately. Our story follows Nora, a girl who blends in well with the rest of high society but is secretly just a bit different than all the other frou frou girls she goes to school with. Nora is tough and thinks for herself and has a fascination with the rebels and all areas of history - she's a free spirit and a character I truly loved.

The book was told from multiple points of view, and while I didn't particularly care for this in the beginning, the style quickly drew on me. By the last page I had really enjoyed hearing different bits and pieces of the story through multiples peoples perspectives, especially from that of Bram. Ah.. Bram. Such a... different tye of character. A zombie!

Now as if hearing a story told from a zombie's point of view wasn't cool enough, imagine thinking that said zombie sounded pretty yummy. Yeah, that was a new thought process on my part. He seemed very much alive thanks to the work of a very important and influential scientist in Nora's world. Because of him there are many perfectly intact, absurdly coherent undead men and women roaming around Dearly Departed, all spouting off their witty come-backs and such. It was amazing.

There were a lot of interesting twists and turns, and I really enjoyed every direction the plot ending up taking. I felt like I was immersed in multiple worlds at once; one being a post-apocalyptic society full of zombies both creepy and enchanting, another being Victorian society at its peak, and another being the future with vast amounts of highly advanced technology. Not many authors could have pulled off meshing these three worlds together, but somehow Lia Habel has managed to do it with grace and charm.  Looks like it's high time I invested in the sequel!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday

The Inventor's Secret

Andrea Cremer

336 Pages

Expected Publication: April 22, 2014

In this world, sixteen-year-old Charlotte and her fellow refugees have scraped out an existence on the edge of Britain’s industrial empire. Though they live by the skin of their teeth, they have their health (at least when they can find enough food and avoid the Imperial Labor Gatherers) and each other. When a new exile with no memory of his escape or even his own name seeks shelter in their camp he brings new dangers with him and secrets about the terrible future that awaits all those who have struggled has to live free of the bonds of the empire’s Machineworks.
The Inventor’s Secret is the first book of a YA steampunk series set in an alternate nineteenth-century North America where the Revolutionary War never took place and the British Empire has expanded into a global juggernaut propelled by marvelous and horrible machinery. Perfect for fans of Libba Bray's The Diviners, Cassandra Clare's Clockwork Angel,ScottWesterfeld's Leviathan and Phillip Reeve's Mortal Instruments.
I've been getting really into steampunk lately. This book looks right up my alley.. if only it were April!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

24-Hour Read-a-Thon Hour 10

Ten hours into the read-a-thon and I've finally finished a book! I've read 365 pages and am now done with Dearly, Departed. I'm going to bundle up and sit outside and start on City of Bones while my toddler runs around the yard. 

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!

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Friday, October 11, 2013

24-Hour Read-a-Thon

It's almost here! I'm so excited! The readathon is just 8 hours away and I'm off to bed in just a few minutes so I'm well rested for a day full of reading. I've prepared snacks: chocolate granola, granola bars, and fresh bread for peanut butter sandwiches. The hubby also picked me up some cherry coke and snickers, so I'm all set there as well. In the morning I'm making slow cooker mashed potatoes to go with the hamburgers hubby is making us for supper - a day full of good eats and good reads. 

Here's my possible reads - I'm already 100 pages into Dearly Departed. 

Wonderfully Wicked Readathon

The Wonderfully Wicked Read-A-Thon is a time when we all get together to dedicate the days of October 11-20 to as much reading as possible. You read as much as you can in order to get yourself a little further through that huge to-read pile! We know real life gets in the way and even if you can’t participate more than one day, you’re welcome to join in on the fun!
I'm hopping on the bandwagon pretty last minute here, but oh well. I figured this works out great with tomorrow's 24-hour read-a-thon, and I know I can get a ton of reading done!