Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Debut Authors 2011 Challenge Books Preorder

A little while ago, I posted that I signed up for the 2011 Debut Author Challenge.
I expect it to be awesome and well, I couldn't wait so I have preordered some of the books I have chosen to read for the challenge.




More specifically:

1. Wake Unto Me By Lisa Cach
2. XVI by Julia Karr
3. Falling Under By Gwen Hayes
4. Fallen Angel by Heather Terrell
5. The Demon Trappers: Forsaked by Jana Oliver
6. The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney
7. Birthmarked by Caragh M. O'Brien
8. Born At Midnight By C.C. Hunter


So, what books have you preordered for the challenge? Whgat books have you already receivied as ARCs you lucky girls (and boys?) :P

~ Kelly ~

Review: The Forest Of Hands And Teeth by Carrie Ryan

The Forest Of Hands And Teeth by Carrie Ryan


Summary:

Mary lives in a village where the rules are set by The Sisterhood. It is a rural community and life is hard and precious because this village is surrounded by fences to keep the Unconsecrated out (which are what we would call "zombies"), although sometimes Mary thinks they are there to keep the villagers in.
Mary loses both her mother and father to this scourge and the pain is unbearable. Consumed by guilt and keeping her mother's stories of the sea beyond the village as a compass, Mary wants to know what lies beyond the fences and in this journey there's a man she loves, his brother who loves her, her brother and her practical best friend all with their own dreams and losses.

Review:
{I'm feeling a little under the weather, so this review might suck, but here it goes}

I finished this book about two weeks ago and I must say I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I love dark books, that is why I really adore reading Urban Fantasy novels, but I also have a soft spot for Zombie, Vampire, Werewolf, Ghost and any monster stories.

When I found out that this book was about Zombies, I really had to read it. And I didn't regret it.

I might be the last person who read this, it's quite a popular book, but I cannot recommend it enough to anyone who hasn't read it yet.

The book follows the story of Mary. She is a girl who has grown up In a city that is surrounded by a forest swarming with zombies, called “ The Unconsecrated” in this book.
It is not clarified how this “plague” really started, but somehow we get the impression that it was due to man.

The Sisterhood is the “authority” in this town, a religious coven of some sort that is bent on maintaining the balance and keeping people afraid of leaving the city, and in this way keeping people safe from the threat of the Unconsecrated that are outside the borders.
Actually, there are special Guardians that make sure the fences that prevent the Unconsecrated from entering the city are still holding, because the zombies had broken in in the past.
Actually, Mary's brother is a guardian.
She lives with her mother and brother, because her dad got turned into an unconsecrated, causing major distress in their family, while her mother seems unable to live with his loss.
Which is why she eventually lets herself get bitten by approaching the fence and they eventually have to let her out of the village and join the zombies.

Mary blames herself because she wasn't there to stop her mother and she knows that her brother will blame her too.
Mary is in love with Travis, a boy she has grown up with and it seems that he has feelings for her too, but it is Harry, his older brother who eventually professes his interest towards her, leaving Mary torn. Mary also has a friend named Cassandra.

The book really starts with her brother turning her away after losing their mother, leaving her with the option of joining the Sisterhood, since no one had asked her for marriage yet.
Mary is terrified and even comes to the point that she would accept even Harry's proposal should he ask for her, but he doesn't and she learns that Travis asked for Cass.

Heartbroken and terrified, Mary realizes that the Sisterhood know a lot more than they let on about the origin of this plight and even make sure that no one ever knows the whole truth.
It isn't until, Travis is hurt in combat and brought in the Church to heal, that Mary sees him again and even though they don't talk about it, it becomes apparent that they love each other and Travis only asked for Cass, because he didn't want to hurt his brother who loves Mary.

Then one night, Mary sees a girl come through the forest and into the Church and realizes that what her mother told her of a life and a whole world outside the boundaries, a world entailing a sea, as immense and as blue as the sky and Mary gets obsessed with it.
Of course, after the village is attacked, the four of the flee and soon after her brother and his wife join them and we follow their journey...

I'd rather not tell everything about the story, but it's enough to say that it is magical.

Once again, I have to say that I was impressed by this book. It was written in a beautiful language, in one that immediately made you sympathize with the protagonist and her friends and got you really invested in them.

You really had to see them survive and see them get happy and not feel lonely anymore, but the whole premise of this book is dark, is about survival in difficult times, so there was a sense of danger always looming overhead and a sense of urgency.

Funny, how it was only when I was a few pages from the end, that I realized the book was really coming to an end. I mean nothing was really resolved and there were only like 20 pages left.

That is not to mean that the book felt unfinished or incomplete somehow, although I have to admit that I would have liked to know what happened to Cass and Harry, after Mary left and found the other guy.

I know the book was about Mary, but she was a bit over-obsessed about getting to the sea, to the point that she overlooked other people's feelings and safety. She had to get there no matter what and everyone, Harry, Travis, Jebb, Cass; everyone loved her and it was hard to say no to her. She was like a force of nature, a femme fatale even during this and kinda selfish, too.
Which is what really rubbed me the wrong way in the end.
Even though she was selfish, I was hoping that all of them could have a better ending, which wasn't the case.
I just felt a little disappointed with Mary because she never looked back. I know they were hard times and people should be tough, but that was kinda harsh.


Verdict: Overall, a very enjoyable read, one I could not put down. In fact I took it with me at work and almost missed my bus stop, more than once, because I was busy reading! *g*


Rating:
4 Stars (amazing read, chilling and powerful)

Find Carrie Ryan: Site, Blog , Goodreads

Buy The Forest Of Hands an Teeth on: Amazon, BookDepository, Play.com

~ Kelly

Contests Around The Blogosphere [January 13th]

Slowly getting back on the horse! XD

Here are some contests I came across in the past couple of days!
Check back as I will be adding more as I find them.

INTERNATIONAL
250 Follower Giveaway at SnifflyKitty ENDS TONIGHT
Win a Signed Copy of Suzy Davis's Amber Frost at Blkosiner's Book Blog
Win Imogen's Rose Portal Book 1 at I'm A Reader Not A Writer
Win Tom Olbert's Unholy Alliance at Suburban Vampire
Win Knight Angels Books 1 and 2 by Abra Ebner at I'm A Reader Not A Writer
Win A Signed ARC Copy of The Forest Of Adventures at I'm A Reader Not A Writer
Win 13 To Life by Shannon Delaney at Forever Young Adult.
Win Keeper by Kathi Appelt
Win a Signed 1st Edition copy of The Lost Saint
Win a e-copy of all of Tina Folsom's Novellas
Win The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney
Win The Last Queen by C. W. Gortner at On The Tudor Trail
5 Copies of The Iron Witch Giveaway INT + UK



USA/UK
Win a Born A Midnight Prize Pack at Blkosiner's Book Blog
Delirium ARC Giveaway at Resugoreads
Blogging Success Summit Contest
Robin Kaye's 'Yours For The Taking' at Romantic Crush Junkies
Prom & Prejudice Review & Giveaway at GreenBeanTeenQueen
Dreamfever Discussion & Giveaway at Smexy Books
Win Nocturne by Syrie James at Suburban Vampire
Salvaged by Stefne Miller Giveaway at I'm A Reader Not a Writer
Win Command Influence by Robert Shaines at I'm A Reader Not A Writer
Audiobook Giveaway of Wolves of Andover at I'm A Reader not A Writer
Win Bloodthirsty by Flynn Meaney at World Of Book Reviews
Drought by Pam Bachorz Giveaway at I'm A Reader not A Writer
The Target by Bill Bowen Giveaway
Winning Mr. Wrong by Marie Higgins Giveaway
The Girl Who Ran With Horses by David Michael Giveaway
Giveaway of 2 audio copies of Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Shiff
Win Tick Tock by J. Patterson at CMash Loves To Read
Win a 10$ itunes gift card at The Book Cellar
Great Shakespeare-related Giveaway
Real Wifeys: On The Grind by Meesha Mink Giveaway at Lori's Reading Corner
Win The Latte Rebellion by Sarah Jamila Stevenson at Holly Cupala's blog


**Various Giveaways

Sunday, November 28, 2010

New Contests 29-11-10

Goodmorning everyone.

Thanks to new followers! XD
I know it may not seem huge because everyone has like a gazillion followers, but I managed to get 30 followers without doing anything, so yay! :)

Anyways, I have a couple of reviews to post and I think I'm going to make a "In My Mailbox" post, because I have a lot of new books coming my way! :)
For now, here are contests I found around the blogosphere.
*Sorry, I'm too busy to write the blog hosting the giveaway next to the contest. Just click and you will see!

INTERNATIONAL
150 Followers Giveaway ends tomorrow!
Moira Rogers Interview & Giveaway
Swag Contest
Saphiqque ARC Giveaway
Christa Henry Interview & Giveaway
Win The Lost Saint by Bree Despain
Evangeline Collins Interview & Giveaway
Win a Silver Vintage Pine Cone Necklace
Elaine Viets Interview & giveaway
Win a Signed Nightshade ARC
Win The Perfect Tree by J.P. Barnaby
Jennifer Rardin Giveaway
Extravagant Ebook Giveaway
Give Me Identity Giveaway - 9 Books
Free Ebook of Death Machine
Jessica Lee Interview & Amazon GC Giveaway
EGiftCard Giveaway Extravaganza
Kieran Kramer Interview & Giveaway
Toni Lo Tempio Interview & giveaway
Win Books by Kathryn Erskine
Gini Koch Interview & giveaway

US/CAN/UK
Zombies Vs Unicorns giveaway
Duchess Of Sin Giveaway
Everyone Wins An Ebook
Gratitude Giveaway ends tonight
Win Born To Bite by Lynsay Sands
Win Day Of The Dragon by Rebecca York
Win In The Dark Of Dreams
Mega Giveaways
[UK ONLY] Win Towers Of Midnight by R. Jordan & B. Sanderson
Win Wither
Win The Last Saint by Bree Despain
Simon & Schuster Mega Pack Giveaway
Win Ivy & BEan: What's the Big Idea?
Win Vixen by Jillian Larkin
Win A Signed Copy of Eternal Kiss Of Darkness

~ Kelly~

Review: The Miracle Inspector by Helen Smith

The Miracle Inspector
Genre: Dystopian/Thriller/(Sci-Fi?)


Summary: Lucas and Angela - almost 25, almost 21- could be your regular, every day couple, but they are not. Because they do not live in a regular, everyday world, either.
This is the future and it is not a nice one. At least not if you are a woman.
The world spun dangerously out of control, so much that terrorism is perhaps the worst fear imaginable and exactly for that women are not allowed to do anything work, go out unaccompanied etc)unless they are with their husbands.
Everything is controlled and supervised and to this purpose there are Ministries overseeing almost every aspect of life. Lucas is the Inspector of Miracles. That is, he investigates every report he receives about miraculous events.
He is well-off. Life for him and his wife, is not as hard as it is for others, but still, how much can a person endure when he doesn't have his freedom?

Review:
Helen Smith kindly offered me a copy of her book to review and I am so grateful and thrilled that she did, because I loved it - so thank you Mrs Smith :D
I can't believe I hadn't discovered this little gem before! *g*

I must admit I was surprised by how much I liked this book.
Not because I didn't like the summary I read, but, mainly, because it's been a while since I read something in this genre and I thought that given the fact that I'm too used to vampire and shifter stories, I was too "ruined" (*g*) to thoroughly enjoy it. I was wrong.

Helen Smith's writing reminded me of Ruth Rendell's and Kathy Reich's writing...
Even Patricia Highsmith's writing.
I know they do not write in exactly the same genre, but I loved this straightforward, matter-of-fact delivery.
Short, blunt, powerful sentences that force you to picture their deeper suffering, instead of actually describing it.

In other words, it is more like: "She felt bereft and sick" rather than elaborate description of emotions, which is actually great, because I often found myself filling the blanks and my heart constricted at the thought of all the emotions the character must have felt. And I'm sure that is what the author was going for. For us to feel.

And the dry humor and slight sarcasm lacing the descriptions and the thoughts of the characters was brilliant. I loved it, it must be an English thing! :P

At first, I found myself feeling sad, because it was shown that Angela and Lucas loved each other, but they had fallen into this comfortable silence, this detachment due to life being so controlled and they had stopped really communicating.
It was like there were so many things they wanted to tell each other, but they didn't. They both held back, each one for their own reasons.

Angela is bored, unmotivated and she wants something more from her life. I totally sympathized with her, because if anyone deprived me of the right to get educated, to vote, to make my own decisions to demand my voice to be heard, I would certainly rebel. Angela couldn't though. Anyone who rebelled was detained for questioning and was never heard of again.

Lucas isn't satisfied with his life, either. His life, especially his work life has become a routine. He might have more than one cases every day, but the people who reported the events always turned out to be people who only wanted attention, charlatans or needy and he came to tire of them.

Lucas was hard not to like as a character because trapped though he was in his own semblance of freedom, he truly loved his wife and always worried whether she was safe or happy. He would and did go to extremes to ensure her happiness and for that he deserves praise. He was more appreciative of women than other men of his time, even though he did "experiment" or entertained the thought of "experimenting" with a colleagues wife.
Generally, Lucas often startled me with his thoughts, but I guess it is utterly realistic. We all happen to have fleeting thoughts that can be mean or illogical or inconsiderate. But, once we think more maturely about the issue at hand, we make the right choice.

The secondary characters were also important and enjoyable. From Jesmond - the pseudo-rebel who wrote the lyrics to what would become the emblems of the fight for freedom (and who also suffered an unjust death), to Jason Prince - the poet with the heart of gold who thought it his duty to help whom he considered Jesmond's family to get out of the city and from Maureen, the woman who reported her own personal miracle which was none other than her sweet, disadvantaged daughter Christina.

Helen Smith did a really good job at keeping a steady pace in her narrative and I enjoyed how each chapter was tied to the previous one even though after the middle of the story each chapter referred to another character. It was a nice tough and I think it made the book more intriguing.

Towards the end, I was more and more affected by the book to the point that when a village man helped Angela find refuge in another city without asking for the price she thought, I was in tears.
The word was in ruins morally speaking, no amount of control could fix their souls, it could only force them to comply, it could only dictate their actions and not their feelings, but still it was so depressing and moving.

I loved the little sunshine of hope all through Angela's, Maureen's and Christina's journey to liberty, even with all that darkness. It helped me restore some sense of faith in mankind and humanity.

The ending was bittersweet and I have to admit that although in the beginning I wasn't expecting it, as I read on, it was the only thing that seemed possible and fitting.

Notable Description/Scene:

"Those flowers are lovely, Arthur. Very English, like your name. Like seasides and countrysides."
"Long time since either of us have seen the sea, I'll bet."
"You can go down to the sand on the Thames at low tide, near London Bridge. Have you seen them do it?"
..."Yes. Not the same though, is it, sir? That saltiness in the air as you lick your ice cream. The sound of the waves, kids laughing, sand castles, going home to put on after-sun cream."

He didn't say whether he‟d seen it on a documentary on TV or whether he remembered these things from his childhood. He was older than Lucas, perhaps he remembered it.
Lucas took the flowers and the scent almost overwhelmed him. He could have stood there and cried, looking at the man, Arthur, with his English name, his not-especially gay attitude to floristry and his distant memories of a better life, when people had thought nothing of going to the sea side and buying ice creams for their kids."


Verdict:
A very powerful futuristic, dystopian thriller. This book was a slow burner in the sense that it takes some time for you to fully immerse yourself into the world Helen smith created. But once you do, it swallows you whole like quick sand and doesn't let you go.
It's been quite some time since I last felt this sense of imminent danger and well, this kind of sinister feeling, this urgency... I actually feared for the character's safety and I think you will find the whole thing stunning

Rating:
4 stars. {Lovers of the genre will devour it. If you are new to the genre you might find the story slow to start, but read on and you will totally love it}

Find Helen Smith at: Site , Goodreads , Blog

Buy "The Miracle Inspector" on Amazon

~ Kelly

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving +Contests

First of all, Happy Thanksgiving to everyone who celebrates it!!
May you all have a great one.

We don't celebrate it in Greece, but it is a wonderful, sweet and thoughtful celebration! :)

Okies, things have been hectic for me lately!
I still have quite a few reviews to post. Namely for: Hush, Hush by B Fitzpatrick, Angel's Blood and Archangel's Kiss by N. Singh, Hunted by The Others by J. Haines and I am almost through Helen Smith's "The Miracle Inspector".
I will post the reviews soon!
For now, here are several contests I found online! :)

INTERNATIONAL
Flash Thanksgiving Giveaway at Good Books and Good Wine
Thanks For Some Laughs Giveaway at Books By Their Cover
Favorite Things Giveaway at I Swim For Oceans
Extravagant Ebook Giveaway at Electrifying Reviews
XVI Book Tour & Giveaway at Victoria Schwab's Blog
Enchanted Ivy Giveaway at Holly Cupala's Blog
XVI Book Tour& Giveaway at Kim Harrington's Blog
Turkey Tales Giveaway at All Things Urban Fantasy
Win a Mermaid Bookmark at Fire and Ice Photo
3 Books Giveaway at Lust Budget Productions
Archangel's Consort Arc Contest at Nalini Singh's Site
Divergent Arc Contest at Veronica Roth's site

US/CAN/[AU]
Green Beaver Review and Giveaway at My Sideways Gravity
Forever Thanksgiving Giveaway at Smexy Books
Bellydance DVD at Simply Stacie
Matched Book Tour& Giveaway at Bloody Bookaholic
Win All Immortals Series Books at Bloody Bookaholic
Paranormalcy Contest
Happy Thankgiving Giveaway at Blkosiner's Blog
SteamPunk Contest at Candace's Book Blog ends tonight

Take care all,
Kelly

2011 Debut Author Challenge

It's just a week or something that I created this blog, so this is the first time I'm doing this, but I am so excited! XD

I'm totally signing up for the 2011 Debut Author Challenge, hosted by The Story Siren. Will you? :P

Check it ΗΕΡΕ

2011 Debut Author Challenge participant information:
The objective of the DAC is to read at least twelve novels from Young Adult or Middle Grade Authors. While twelve is the minimum, there is no maximum limit! I encourage readers who can read more than twelve to do so!
Anyone can join.
You don't have to be a blogger, and you don't have to live in the United States.
You do not have to have an blog written in English to participate.
You can join at anytime. The challenge runs from January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2011

Qualifying books:
- Books must be a Young Adult or Middle Grade novel.
- DO NOTE: Just because a book has a teen character or is about a teen, does not mean that it is necessarily a Young Adult novel.
- This must be the authors debut with a release date in 2011.
- If an author has a previous novel published under adult fiction/nonfiction or children's fiction/nonfiction, they can still qualify for the challenge if they are releasing their YA or MG debut.

Here's the List of Books I will Be Reading (Ideally- depending on time and money *g*):
The {*} indicates that I didn't find them on BookDepository

1. WARPED BY MAURISSA GUIBORD
2. UNEARTHLY BY CYNTHIA HAND
3. XVI BY JULIA KARR
4. TIMELESS BY ALEXANDRA MONIR
5. THE FALSE PRINCESS BY EILIS O'NEIL
6. ACROSS THE UNIVERSE BY BETH REVIS
7. THE WATER WARS BY CAMERON STRACHER
8. CHOKER BY ELIZABETH WOODS
9. ANGELFIRE BY COURTNEY ALLISON MOULTON
10. A TOUCH MORTAL BY LEAH CLIFFORD
11. HAVEN BY KRISTI COOK
12. HERE LIES BRIDGET BY PAIGE HARBISON
13. DARKNESS BECOMES HER BY KELLY KEATON
14. THE IRON WITCH BY KAREN MAHONEY
15.FORSAKEN BY JANA OLIVER
16. WAKE UNTO ME BY LISA CACH
17. WITHER BY LAUREN DESTEFANO
18. ENTWINED BY HEATHER DIXON
19. CLARITY BY KIM HARRINGTON
20. FALLING UNDER BY GWEN HAYES
21. BORN AT MIDNIGHT BY CC HUNTER
22. ENCLAVE BY ANN AGUIRRE
23. BLOOD MAGIC BY TESSA GRATTON
24. MEMENTO NORA BY ANGIE SMIBERT
25. STARCROSSED BY JOSEPHINE ANGELINI
26. FALLEN ANGEL BY HEATHER TERRELL
27. AWAKEN BY KATIE KACVINSKY
28. MOONGLASS BY JESSI KIRBY
29. HOURGLASS BY MYRA MCENTIRE
30. DIE FOR ME BY AMY PLUM
31. DIVERGENT BY VERONICA ROTH
32. AFTER MIDNIGHT - LYNN VIEHL??
33. VICIOUS LITTLE DARLINGS BY CATHERINE EASER
34. BREATH OF ANGEL BY KARYN HENLEY ??
35. HEREAFTER BY TARA HUDSON
36. POSSESSION BY ELANA JOHNSON
37. ASHES, ASHES BY JO TREGGIARI?
38. BAD TASTE IN BOYS BY CARRIE HARRIS!!! ??
39. THE NEAR WITCH BY VICTORIA SCHWAB
40. HALF-BLOOD BY JENNIFER ARMENTROUT
41. ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD BY KENDARE BLAKE ??
42. THE UNBECOMING OF MARA DYER BY MICHELLE HODKIN ??
43. BROKEN WINGS BY HELEN LANDALF ??
44. DEARLY DEPARTED BY LIA HABEL ???
45. THE DARK INSIDE BY JEYN ROBERTS ???
46. THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS BY RAE CARSON
47. A BEAUTIFUL DARK BY JOCELYN DAVIES??

Monday, November 22, 2010

Contests November 22nd+

Here are some contests I have found around the (book) Blogosphere

* Most, if not all, gratitude giveaways end on November 28th


International
Win Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta at Escape in A Book
Win Academy 7 by Anne Osterlund at forever Young (Adult)
Win Need by Carrie Jones at Forever Young (Adult)
Win Fallout by Ellen Hopkins at Forever Young Adult
Win Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins at Forever Young (Adult)
Gina Gordon Interview & giveaway at Smexy Books (ends tonight)
Christy English Interview & giveaway at Book Girl of Mur-y Castell
Christine Schulze Interview & Giveaway at I Swim For Oceans
Cynthia Eden Interview & Giveaway at Ramblings From A Chaotic Mind
Lena Goldfinch Interview & Giveaway at Tales of Whimsy
Gratitude Giveaway at Little Squeed
Scott Nicholson Interview & giveaway at Magic Faerie's Paranormal Review
Win a The Iron Queen Arc at Julie Kagawa's site!
Tyger Tyger Necklace Giveaway at Imagination in focus
Win Demonglass at Novel Thoughts
Rachel Aaron Interview & giveaway at SciFiGuy.ca
Win A Copy of Believe (FB contest) at Sizzling Hot Books
Win a Special Gift Set at My Sideways Gravity
Gratitude Giveawayat I'm A Reader Not a Writer
Gratitude Giveaway at YA Bookie Monster
Mini Bookcharms Giveaway at Candace's Book Blog
Maggie Shayne Interview & Giveaway at Larissa's Bookish Life
Win Hush Money by Susan Bischoof at Reena's Blog
100 Followers Giveaway at
Miss Page Turner's City of Books
Win A Signed Copy of Elle Jasper's Afterlight at The Bookaholics
Jenny Pox by J.L. Bryan Review & Giveaway at Supernatural Snark
Dee Carney Interview & Giveaway at Book Lover's Inc
Cindy Pon's Silver Phoenix Contest at her site! :)
Jennifer Rardin related Giveaway at Not Really Southern VampChick
Need by Carrie Jones Giveaway at Forever Young (Adult)
Turkey Tales Giveaway at All Things Urban Fantasy

=========================================
US/CAN
Oogy by Larry Levin Audiobook Giveaway at BookHounds
Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card Giveaway at Parajunkee's Blog
Joelle Anthony Interview & Giveaway at Mundie Moms
Laura Griffin Interview & Giveaway at Michelle and Leslie's Book Picks
Paranormalcy by Kiersten White Review & Giveaway at Vampire Book Club
Forever Romance Giveaway at Hanging With Bells
Win The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova at BookHounds
Gratitude Giveaway at Book Snob
Annexed by Sharon Dogar Review & giveaway at Lost For Words
The Monstrumologist + The Curse Of The Wendigo Giveaway at Good Books and Good Wine
Cate Of The Lost Colony Giveaway at The Bookologist
The Monstrumologist & Curse Of The Wendigo Giveaway at SciFiGuy
Leon Gildin Review & Giveaway at Lori's Reading Corner
Interview & giveaway with Skyler White at Anna's book Blog
Win A Copy of Genesis at YA Reads open to AU and NZ
Kersten Hamilton Interview & Giveaway at The Dark Eva
Win James Patterson's Sundays At Tiffany's at Frazzled Book Nommer
Lydia Dare Interview & Giveaway at Bok Addict Patti
Jillian Larkin Interview+Vixen giveaway at Daisy Chain Book Reviews
Ryan Jacobson Interview & Giveaway at There's A Book
Win a 15$ Amazon Gift Card at Emmy's Boos and Rawrs



~ Will Be Adding More

Review: Finding Sky by Joss Stirling

I've been cleaning non-stop the whole weekend so I was MIA. I did finish Hunted by The Others by Jess Haines though and will post the review today or tomorrow. Here is an older review, I had posted on Goodreads! :)

Finding Sky By Joss Stirling
Reading Level: YA/Paranormal


Summary:
Sky is your regular every day girl NOT. When she was little she was abandoned by the one who had her and she was made to believe she was evil, a nuisance and unworthy of love. Her whole childhood is mysterious as she doesn't remember anything.
The English, artistic couple that adopted her, though quirky, loved her and gradually made her come out of her shell.
She is plagued by nightmares still, but after moving to a new place in US and making new friends, she thinks things will go better.
Then she sees Zed, a fellow classmate, sexy and mysterious who seems to dislike her as much as she dislikes him. Never mind that he is gorgeous, Sky keeps her calm, till she finds out that the two of them are connected in a way neither of them had imagined. They both have supernatural powers.
Apparently, people with supernatural abilities like telepathy, telekinesis etc, are called Savants and for each of them there's only one person in the whole world they should spend their life with, otherwise they will wither away and die.Sky is Jed's soulfinder.
But finding your soulmate doesn't come without its costs and dangers and Sky is about to find out...

Review:
I finished this book last month. It might have taken me 3 days, but that was mostly due to prior engagements I couldn't get out of.
I caught a special edition of this book at play.com, with an extra poster, which was lovely and I do think the cover is really nice. That is what drew me to it, initially.
When I started reading it, I didn't know exactly what to expect, but it didn't disappoint.

As a non-native English speaker, I always rejoice at the opportunity to read a book that is written in "decorative language", with lots of descriptions and adjectives etc, but this book was written in a simple way.
Yet, it didn't make it any less enjoyable.

Actually, I found myself smiling and grinning every other page mostly.
It was THAT fun. Sky is so familiar. It could be you or me. That's how normal she seems.

I liked the situations Sky got herself into and how real her reactions and her peers' reactions were to everything. She felt really normal...
But she wasn't..exactly normal.

Sky is a girl who has no memory of her past. She just knows it wasn't pleasant and that whoever had her, left her because she was bad and undeserving of love.
She also had a unique ability, gift if you may, to be able to sense and see the true feelings of everyone around her. Their auras as she said.

Each emotion has a different color and no one can hide.
This ability gave her a compass, which she used in order to keep herself safe.

She was adopted by Sally and Simon, an English couple of artists who were kind and patient enough to take her in, when she barely spoke.
It took her a lot of time to come out of her shell, but she did.

When they moved to Colorado, Sky didn't know what to anticipate, but she made friends easily, Tina and Nelson, mostly.
Then, there was this dark, broody boy with a relatively ambiguous reputation.
The bad boy. Zed.

Every girl lusts after him, and Sky finds herself fascinated, but he is too mysterious and dangerous for her taste, so she tries to dismiss it.

I actually liked that about her. I mean it was a completely natural reaction.
I liked the fact that she kept her cool and even though she wanted him, she didn't like him. I loved that distinction and I loved that she was straight with him, as well.

It's only during a soccer game that the secret is revealed.

Zed is a Savant and tries to help her telepathically in a situation, without knowing that Sky is a telepath too and could hear him. Actually, not even Sky knew it!
It appears that Savants are people with several abilities, like telekinesis, or pyrokinesis , or healing...

But after that, Zed tells her she is his "Soulfinder" - his absolute soulmate for eternity- and he knew that because: "When a Soulfinder speaks telepathically to her partner, it's like all the lights coming on in a building. And he told her: {when you talked to me}You lit me up like Vegas".
Sky is unconvinced and gives him a hard time, because predetermination isn't something she likes, but, gradually, she comes to realize that they do share a deeper connection that cannot be explained. They really are soulmates.

Throw in a family of evil Savants wanting to take revenge against the Benedicts (Zed's family of 9) for solving crimes for the Police, brainwash etc and you have a very exciting novel.We also do find out some things about Sky's past, but it is pretty unclear so we need a sequel!!!

I'm eagerly waiting for the next one! :)
Please let there be a next one! :P

Verdict:
A very fun, definitely YA (it is too light for anything else)novel with believable characters and good plot. Even though it wasn't that exciting and a page-turner, you still wanted to know what would happen next.
I think everyone who likes light-hearted paranormal novels will enjoy this.
Mature readers of "heavier", more serious stuff will probably not find it very satisfying.

Rating: 3.5 Stars (Entertaining and will still grab the sequel if there's one) XD

Find Joss Stirling: Site // Goodreads

Buy Finding Sky at: Amazon // BookDepository // Play.Com

- Kelly

Friday, November 19, 2010

Book Bargains of the Day

We all love books. That is why they are there for. To be luuuved!
But what if you have bought sooo many lately that you have hardly any money to spare?
do you wait till next month? No :P
You find bargains. Books that are so inexpensive, you can't resist them, no matter if you have bought a gazillion more just days before!

* Click title for book info!

Here's what I found:At Book Depository (free shipping in 90 countries)

Deadly Fear by Cunthia Eden at 3.93 euros/5.49 USD


SMASHWORDS.COM


Human Blend by Lori Pescatore for 2.99 euros at Smashwords.com


Immortal for 0.99 euros by Lauren Burd at Smashwords

Review: Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers

Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers
Genre: YA/ Paranormal
*Already posted a while ago at my goodreads account.

Summary:
Frannie Cavanaugh is your regular, good Catholic girl. She is pretty normal and conventional and comes from a loving family, while her quirky, unusual friends bring balance.
It all changes when Luc, a mysterious guy, enrolls at her school and for th first time ine her life, Frannie feels her reservations and inhibtions crumble, as the attraction and the pull she feels towards him increase.
What Frannie doesn't know though, is that she is far from normal - on the contrary she is essential to the fight between heaven and hell and both sides want her BADLY- and that Luc is an agent from Hell sent to "tag" her hell.


Review: I can't even begin to describe how excited I was to receive this, after I ordered it from BookDepository.
It wasn't just because everyone had been talking about this book, but also because it really seemed like "my kind" of book. A book I would totally enjoy.

I did highly enjoy this book. It was written in a straightforward and highly personal way. I really liked how it was written in Frannie's and Luc's point of view. Really refreshing and it really gave you a feel of the characters and made you sympathize with them and even more than that.. actually care for them!

In Personal Demons, Frannie, the protagonist, is a high-school girl with two best friends, Taylor and Riley. She is still trying to find her place in the world, yet she is quite calm, collected and self-resilient. She is a character you can't, but like, because you get to experience everything through her eyes and because her words are actually the words of a high-school girl.

The dialogues and the thoughts of everyone in this book ARE exactly what they are supposed to be. {I think it is among the things I enjoyed the most about this book. How real and exact it felt.}

Furthermore, I particularly loved the author's descriptions (very evocative) and associations of feelings with scents.. Like Warm Chocolate is love and Ginger is lust...
So there's Frannie...
Enter Luc. A new student at her school, whom we immediately get acquainted with as a demon from hell, sent by Lucifer himself to "tag" Frannie's soul.
Luc knows that Frannie has an important gift, but he wasn't told any details about it, so he mostly speculates.. at least till the middle of the book. XD

Luc has been around for like seven millennia, ergo he knows exactly what sin to play Frannie with. Lust.. She is after all, a 17-year-old girl, with hormones raging.
He is doing a really good job at that.
Frannie feels the undeniable pull towards him and the attraction is powerful...AND it goes both ways...

It isn't long till Luc realizes that he is falling in love with his target and on top of that, Gabriel, an angel sent from Heaven to save Frannie and tag her soul for Heaven, comes along and is just as hot. He is a formidable opponent and competition for Frannie's attentions.

Frannie is at a loss. Where Luc is fire and passion, Gabe is calmness and safety. What's a girl to do?

No guy makes it easy for her and she is left feeling lost and confused. For a little while she tries to put a lid on all those feelings and stop being so emotionally vulnerable but, I'm happy to say that Luc won her over and she completely transformed him...

I have to stop here because if I reveal anything more, I will ruin the magic of this book. :)

But, I have to admit, that I didn't see Frannie's power coming and I had no idea she could be this powerful...like mind-blowing powerful, yet subtle.

Verdict: A really cute book that has everything you want to read in a light-hearted book. Cute protagonists, a dash of humor, romantic situations, dilemmas... It has everything and for that I think everyone who reads YA with a dash of paranormal will appreciate the beauty of this book.

Rating: 4 Stars. Only because I would want to read more/something from Gabe's pov too. There was lack of Gabe! :P

Find Lisa: site // blog // goodreads

Buy Personal Demons at: Amazon // Book Depository // Play.com

- Kelly

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Review: Dark Time by Dakota Banks

Dark Time by Dakota Banks
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Assassin

I picked up my copy of "Dark Time", because as soon as I read the book description I went all "Squeee, this must be a fantastic read". Furthermore, the cover has a woman holding "Sais", the weapon Elektra Natchios - my first and favorite assassin- favored in Daredevil's comics and I have always thought the weapons were awe-looking! *g*

Summary:
It is 1692 and pregnant Susannah Layhem is waiting for her husband Nathan to come back from yet another day's hard work. Her joy is cut short when in the middle of the night, her fellow-villagers come to take her away, because she has been accused of witchcraft - an unforgivable "crime" at that period. Taken from her home and thrown in a dungeon awaiting execution, after her rushed trial - where not even her husband believed in her innocence, she feels rage spring in her heart. She knows that the woman who instigated this, is after her husband and is also desperate for the life of her child.
Neither of their lives is spared and while she is being consumed by the flames, burnt at the stake, Susannah strikes a bargain with Demon Rabishu, who promises her superhuman strength and speed (as well as other skills) enough to get her revenge, in exchange for an eternity of servitude as his personal assassin.
Susannah agrees and in the centuries to come she becomes Maliha Crayne aka "The Black Ghost" - the most feared of assassins, self-healing and ruthless.
Fast forward a few centuries and she is now Marsha Winters, a pulp-crime fiction writer, rich and popular and has also defied Rabishu, after realizing that her victims are not evil people, just nuisances to him. She refuses to cross the line and kill an innocent child and for that Rabishu - bound by the contract he made her sign- reluctantly concedes that there is a way out of her contract, but it would mean her gradually losing all her supernatural gifts and aging disproportionately after each life she saves in order to tip the scale. Let the Dark Time begin...


Review: With an extensive summary like that, you'd think that this is the whole thing. Well, think again, because you are in for an exciting journey.
Yes, Maliha wants to redeem herself and tip the scale, so much that even though she is now mortal, she will risk her life even though dying would mean going straight to Rabishu's hellish, torturous hands as the fine print of her contact states. And for that she helps whoever she can. For the past 50 years she has tried to set things right for as many people as she could making fiercely loyal friends in the process. Friends like Randy, Amaro, Yanmeng and Hound, who prove themselves invaluable to her existence and psyche.

Using what's left of her supernatural gifts, her cunning and looks, Maliha while seeking her next case, stumbles across a threat that could cost millions of lives. A threat in the face of the powerful businessman Greg Shale, whose superficial charitable work masks corruption, a hunger for power and technology aimed at eradicating whole cities for purposes of terrorism and imperialism. Setting her plan in motion, she meets Agent Jake Stackman and mutual attraction ensues. Neither of them acts on it, though, and it just might be Maliha's last chance, as mortals and immortals (sent by Rabishu) alike, hunt her down.

I have to agree that the beginning of the book left me a bit unsure. The sentimental in me wanted to see a little more description regarding her feelings and her torment, her disillusionment when she was accused and imprisoned and not even her husband helped her. Not that it wasn't evident, but I thought that it lacked the length needed to convey it evocatively.

The feeling receded, though, and soon the story picked up and I enjoyed Maliha's dry sarcasm and wit and her bravery in the face of danger. I guess it came naturally to her, as before making her rebellion she was Ageless and immortal, but still, very perilous situations she put herself in just to redeem herself, because if she died (now that she could) she would be forever a slave to the demon.

I thought her interactions with her friends were endearing, because even though she kept them in the dark regarding her true nature (to keep them alive) and made comments about them in her head (which often caused me to giggle), you could sense how devoted she was.

The love interest, Jake, was delicious and quite mysterious (we know there's something hidden in his past)and his actions were totally plausible. I really liked him and I'm eager to find out more about him in the next book.

The fighting scenes were great. I could almost seem them play like a movie in front of my eyes and that was an added appeal to the book.
And, of course, the villains were well-defined and intolerable. You were happy Maliha killed them! :P

Even though, Maliha is hardly a saint herself- on the contrary she has killed hundreds, not caring who they were or whether they had committed a crime- it's hard not to sympathize with a character fighting for redemption, having to overcome obstacles us mere mortals don't have to. We can all relate to her, because we have all done things we are not proud of and try to make them better.

Notable Description/Scene:
“Master Liu, I was sent to you by Rabishu.”
They stood silently, in the rain. Finally, Susannah pulled back her traveling robe’s hood so that he could see her clearly.
“A woman. The demon sends me a woman to train?” There was scorn in his voice.
Susannah was tired, wet, cold, and hungry. Having scorn heaped on her inflamed her anger, both at the man in front of her and at Rabishu, who had sent her to wander far from home.
He was only ten feet away. She lunged at him, using the speed Rabishu had granted her. Instead of grappling with him, Susannah found herself on the ground, looking up into the falling rain, blinking. She quickly rolled away, came to her feet, and tried again. This time she threw a knife at him.
He casually picked it out of the air and stuck the blade in his thigh. Blood poured down his leg, washed to the ground by the rain. He pulled out the knife and in a smooth motion sent it flying inches from her head to thunk deeply into a tree behind her. She saw that his wound was rapidly closing.
“You’re Ageless!”
The corner of his mouth curled up in another gesture of scorn. “Did you think you were the only one?”


Verdict: A great start to a new series, packed with action and likable characters you sympathized with. The wit and the banter makes this a very enjoyable book for anyone loving the Urban Fantasy genre and Assassin-related fiction. In short, Maliha kicks butt and you savor it! :P

Rating: 4 stars... Exciting UF with unstoppable action!
I subtract half a star, because that was an eeeevil, eeeevil cliffhanger and also, because in the beginning, there were jumps from one time period to another, without clear indication!!!

Find Dakota Banks: Site // Blog // Goodreads

Buy Dark Times on: Amazon // BookDepository

Also, check out this contest:



- Kelly

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Around the Blogosphere [16/11/10]

Here's some contests and interesting stuff I found around the book-blogosphere, yesterday and today! :)

~ Will Be Adding More within the day. Please check back :)

Contests

USA/CAN/[UK]
Barbara Delinski Guest post & giveaway at Always With A Book
Win A Like Mandarin ARC at YA Highway
Lauren Brown Interview & giveaway at Lauren's Crammed Bookshelf
Rick Yancey 2 Books Giveaway at SciFiGuy
The Secret Society of the Pink Crystal Ball Giveaway at Word For Teens
Caridad Pineiro Guest Post & giveaway at Paranormal Haven
The Monstrumoligst and The Curse of The Wendigo Giveaway at Parajunkee's View
Mrs Miracle Review & giveaway at BzzingMom
Fear The Reaper: 15 Weeks of AngelFire Giveaways by the awesome Courtney Allison Moulton herself!!!
Shadow Hills by A. Hopcus Giveaway at Candace's Book Blog
Annexed Review & giveaway at Lost For Words
The Monstrumologist & The Curse Of The Wendigo Giveaway at Good Books and Good Wine
The Monstrumologist & The Curse Of The Wendigo Giveaway at All Things Urban Fantasy
Echoes by Melinda Metz giveaway at The Book Scout
Win a Team Jace T-Shirt (MI) at LaFemmeReaders +check HERE


INTERNATIONAL
350 Followers Giveaway at I Read Banned Books
Christina Brooks Interview & giveaway at Among The Muses
Alice Clayton Interview & giveaway at Book Addict (Patti)
Hogwarts Mouse giveaway at VVB32-Reads
Harry Potter Week Giveaway
Treat For Zombie Fans: Win Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and The Dawn Of The Dreadfuls at The Book Butterfly
Suzanne Barrett Interview & Giveaway at Sizzling Hot Books
Matched & The Replacement ARC Giveaway at A Blog About Nothing
Scott M. Baker Interview & giveaway at Suburban Vampire
Tyger, Tyger Necklace Giveaway at Parajunkee's View
Angie Frazier Interview & Poster Giveaway at The Thoughts of A Book Junky
Dead Politician Society at Daisy Chain Book Reviews
Win A Copy of Torment or Paranormalcy at The Book Fairy's Haven

** Daron Fraley Interview & Giveaway at I'm A Reader Not A Writer
** New Monthly Giveaway at JoJo's Book Corner

CHECK OUT: Posts of Interest
Review of Deadly Intent by Kylie Brant at Smexy Books
Pauline Holyoak Guestpost at Fang-Tastic Books
Larissa Ione Message Regarding Jennifer Rardin at Strange Candy Reviews
Lauren Kate: When I am Not Writing Guest Post at Tynga's Reviews
Imogen Rose Guest Post at My Blood Approves
Stacey Kennedy Interview at Paranormal Romantics
Joanna Karaplis Guest Post at Steph Su Reads
Paranormalcy Review at The Mountains of Instead
The Walking Dead Thoughts at Graeme's Fantasy Book Review
Phillipa Ashley Interview at Love Romance Passion
Interview with Gini Koch at The Book Pushers

- Kelly

Review: Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
Reading Level: YA/ paranormal
(crossposted from my goodreads)
I recently picked up this book and the next in this series: “Linger”, because I had heard so much about it. I had heard it was like the Twilight Saga for werewolves, so I had to read it.

Summary:
Shiver tells the story of a girl, Grace, who after an attack by wolves when she was 10-11 years old, she, somehow, feels drawn to one of them, because that particular wolf in a way saved her life from the others.
It also tells the story of Sam, a boy who has turned into a wolf, because their destinies are intertwined.
In this “mythology”, after a wolf bites you, you turn into an actual wolf, not a werewolf and you keep your own eyes, even in your wolf form.

That is how Grace knew who the wolf was, at least on a subconscious level.
Growing up, she could always sense and sometimes see this wolf, watch her from a distance, which intensified her “obsession” with wolves, an obsession that earned her some mocking comments by her best friends, Olivia and Rachel.

Grace is fascinated by wolves after her attack, due to their power, their unity and their solidarity, whereas, Sam falls in love with her and is fascinated with her, not only because of who she is – what he could have been, normal – but also, because after the bite, Grace doesn't turn into a wolf.

After, a wolf attack in the town, the people of the town decide to hunt down the wolves and Grace tries to stop them for fear of “her” wolf getting hurt.
Sam does get hurt and ends up on her front porch, naked and bleeding.
Grace recognizes him instantly and helps him.


Review:
That is when the real story starts. With Sam and Grace actually starting a relationship, on a deep emotional level and Sam going against the clock, since he is only human when it is warm and a wolf all through the cold seasons.

Apparently, the curse is that eventually, he will turn into a wolf one time, and never turn into his human form again and for some reason it is happening to Sam now, even though he is too young, only 18.

I have to say that I adored the writing style. I really loved how the story was narrated by Sam and Grace and it was really emotionally intense to read everything through their points of view.

It made you feel for them, since you saw what they saw, smelled what they smelled, felt what they felt.

I loved the description Stiefvater used. It was really delightful. I loved the adjectives and every single word, was accurate and precise and poetic.
Her words were haunting and it just made reading this book, an incredible reading experience.

Even though it was kind of weird to have a girl be obsessed by the same thing that almost killed her, wolves, while reading this book, you didn't mind, because you were in Grace's head and in her head it made sense, so you accepted it.

Of course, it is not entirely implausible for something like that to happen. A lot of people share a morbid fascination related to dangerous or questionable things such as death, knives, bodily functions etc.

I also loved how it wasn't exactly like love at first sight. I mean, of course, the whole connection started because Sam – in his wolf form- looked in Grace's eyes, so that was kinda instant, but nothing really happened for years.
They spent years watching each other from a distance and, after everything, it really was like they had known each other for years, because they had.

Sam watched her day and night, hidden in the shadows.

Their love story was very convincing and haunting and you could feel the urgency with which they tried to stay with each other. because they knew they didn't have a lot of time.Sam would turn back into a wolf in only a little while and it was uncertain as to whether he could ever come back.

I cannot wait to finish the second book now, which I have already started! XD

Notable Scene/Description:
"I giggled, completely unlike me, and Sam laughed because he knew it. I was drunk with
Sam. I let him walk me down the stark concrete block to The Crooked Shelf, a little
independent bookstore; I hadn’t been there for a year. It seemed stupid that I hadn’t, given
how many books I read, but I was just a poor high schooler with a very limited allowance.
I got my books from the library.
“This is a Grace-shop, right?” Sam pushed open the door without waiting for my answer.
A wonderful wave of new-book smell came rushing out, reminding me immediately of
Christmas. My parents always got me books for Christmas. With a melodic ding, the shop
door swung shut behind us, and Sam released my hand. “Where to? I’ll buy you a book. I
know you want one.”


Rating: 4.5 Stars: Fascinating book (wow, I did use this word a lot in this review), anyone would enjoy.

Find Maggie Stiefvater: Site // Blog // Goodreads

Buy Shiver at AMAZON // BOOKDEPOSITORY // PLAY.COM

- Kelly

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Around The Blogosphere

I was a bit MIA for the past few days, and that was because I was really exhausted and due to the Elections in Greece.
Thankfully, they are over now so I have some time to relax. *g*

I wasn't able to check around my fave book blogs, so I have no notable entries to add, but I will share some giveaways I have found.

CONTESTS/GIVEAWAYS



INTERNATIONAL

Cover Vs Cover Giveaway at The Thoughts of A Book Junkie.
Share your opinion on US&UK editions of known books and get a chance to win the edition of your choice!
Howling at the Moon/Wolf Giveaway (Jewelry) at Not Really Southern VampChick
Interview & giveaway with Jesi Lea Ryan at The Book Vixen

USA/UK/CAN
Win The Vampire Academy Series by A. Noel at Dark Faerie Tales
Shadow Hills by A. Hopcus Contest at The Book Cellar.
Win Stronger Than Sin by C. Pineiro at A Moment With Mystee.
Harriet Reisen giveaway at History Fic Chick
Leah Clifford Contest
you can win an ARC and name a character for her second book!
To Nourish And Consume Giveaway at From The TBR Pile
Unstoppable in Stilletos Giveaway at Simply Stacie
18th Birthday Giveaway at the Book Pixie
A Christmas Carol Pop Up Book giveaway at BookHounds


You still have time to enter:
The MockingBirds Giveaway // The Clockwork Angel Prize Giveaway

Check:
Interview with Author Stacey Kennedy
Reading Challenge of YA Fiction of the 80's and 90's at the Book Vixen
~ will Be Adding More as I find them! :)
- Kelly

Review: Where The Rain Is Made by Keta Diablo

Where The Rain Is Made by Keta Diablo
Reading Level: Mature


Summary:
Ethan Gray is a Dog Soldier, a Cheyenne fighter. That is when he is in 1864, because when living in the present day he is an Assistant Curator at the National Museum of American Indians. And so he is Meko aka I Am The Wind, because he has the ability to transform into a crow and at the disposal of the Cheyenne Council he travels back and forth in time, in order to help best serve the interests of the tribe, which is currently under attack from the Americans claiming their land.

It is during this period (1864) he meets Francesca DuVall, who lives with her father and brother, after her mother passed away. Life is hard in these new lands and she is told she is safer if she poses as boy instead of letting it show she is a woman. So, when Meko attacks, he has no idea she is a woman, but when he does, he does what a Dog Soldier can do. He takes her as a loot. What he doesn't know, though, is that she will end up being more important to him than anything...


Review:
I won this book at a contest at Amanda's Blog Not Really Southern VampChick and for that I humbly thank both Keta Diablo and Amanda. I'm so glad I had the chance to read this.

I knew that I was going to love this book, ever since I read it had to do with Indians.
I am not ashamed to admit that I'm a daddy's little girl and ever since I was little, I used to watch "Westerns" with my dad.
John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, Gregory Peck, Gary Cooper are only a few of the actors I know because of that.

These movies always fascinated me. It was great to see how the Indians lived, the struggle over the land, the compromises and the fights. Plus, all the love stories that sprung form all that. Between Indian Women and white men or Indian Men and white women. Love has and always will transcend all boundaries and biases.

So, imagine my excitement when the protagonist of this book is an Indian and a time-traveler at that. It's like two things that I love greatly (Indians+Paranormal), all tied up for me with a neat, little ribbon.

Meko is strong, brave, selfless, noble and very sexy. It is always welcome to find protagonists like him.
I loved his dedication to his race and sometimes I felt he was giving too much of himself just to accomplish that. It was like he had no human substance in the eyes of the Council and that angered me.
He should be allowed some happiness. According to the council, Cesca was a distraction.
But it was evident from the start, that from the moment he laid his eyes on her, he wouldn't let her go and actually went to great lengths to make her love him and accept the Indian way of living. He wanted to keep her with his people and made her his wife.

Cesca, on the other hand, is a delightful heroine. She is strong-willed and brave, not willing to give in to him, because - initially, at least- she thought him to be an Indian, a "Savage" only there to attack and kill her people.
It was only after spending some time in the village as a "prisoner", that she finally realized that Indians wanted peace, they were just defending themselves.
Although, she only agreed to stay there, in order to have Meko spare her brother's life, she came to love everything about the Cheyenne and Meko.

Their love story flowed nicely and plausibly and I loved the pace and the build up.
The story was well-researched and well-presented.
Keta Diablo flawlessly describes the way of life of the Cheyenne and I quite enjoyed the mentions of specific rituals that they had and words from their language, rendering "Where The Rain Is Made" an amazing page-turner and a heart-warming take of love in the face of perdition and destruction. (We all know what happened to the Indians at the time)

Actually, I loved the description in this book. It may be that I'm not a native speaker and I'm easily impressed (*g), but the language was something that drew me in immediately and made the reading experience so much better.

Notable Scene/Description:
...Ribbons of scarlet and midnight black detonated behind his eyes before a rush of blood surged through his brain. The hammering began, slowly at first with a gradual ascent to volatile. Fascination gripped him when his arms went numb and shifted into massive, black wings. Soon his spine launched into spasms, every beleaguered ligament and muscle stretching as if ripped from their vertebrae. The familiar burning in his chest spiraled up his throat, spreading outward like a white-hot flame.
The power of the raven to surged through his veins. He tumbled through a dark tunnel faster than a meteor falling from the sky, struggling to emerge on the other side.
Brother to the open sky, ally to the distant sun, he’d soar above the clouds to where the rain is made.


Verdict: An amazing love story that will move you and make you tear up, set against a background of chaos and war, but for that so much more intense and unforgettable.
Now, WHERE is the NEXT book? XD

Rating: 4.5 Stars {Instant Classic}

Find Keta Diablo: Site / Blog / GoodReads

Buy the book from Amazon

- Kelly

Review: Bound By Deception by Christa Paige

Bound By Deception by Christa Paige
Reading Level: Mature

Summary: Anna belongs to a special people, whose female such as herself, undergo a specific blood ritual when mature enough to mate. Each male who wants to claim her, must offer up his blood in a cup and after examining it -but not tasting it- she needs to choose just one to spend eternity with him. Intense though it is, if she makes a bad choice and they are not genetically compatible, she will suffer the consequences. She will die at drinking from the cup. So, when her brother makes a suggestion, she follows it...

My Review: I won a copy of this book at The Romance Reviews and for that I wish to thank the site and the author Christa Paige who was kind and generous enough to send me not only "Bound By Deception" but also "Bound By Rebellion", although I had only won the second book!

The book is only 41 pages long, so I had the pleasure of reading this at work on my break! Needless to say, I was hardly in the mood to work afterwards... I'd rather... *censored*
The book follows Anna, member of a special race/tribe of people who had underwent a genetic mutation in the past and they now are what we would call "Vampires", although in this "mythology" vampires don't seem malevolent and are persecuted by humans.
In their society, every woman mature to breed must choose a life mate from the ones who wish to claim her. Anna, is lucky enough to have three. She doesn't know who they are, though, and she must choose without seeing but from the cup of their blood they present her with. She is free to smell and examine the cup, but she is not to drink from any of them, because drinking means that this is which she chooses. Let alone the fact, that if she makes a bad choice there's a chance that she will perish because her mate is not genetically compatible.

Naturally, Anna is overwhelmed by the significance of this and when her brother makes a suggestion that she should choose the second one, she does just that and drinks from the second cup. What she doesn't know though, is that the blood belongs to Dimitri. A man she had always wanted, but had given up on because he was much older and a player.

This might sound pretty typical, banter-kind-of-love, but let me tell you, it is not.
The writer manages a superb and very enjoyable description of feelings and emotions and it made it a delight to read.

Anna is vulnerable but strong, she is not afraid to speak her mind and that's always good in a heroine and Dimitri is your typical Alpha male, strong, brave, kind of cocky, but very much in love with her and tending to her needs. All her needs, if you know what I mean! ;)

Their attraction is undeniable (and sizzling hot), but there's always people who don't wish their happiness, namely Sergei and it is amazing how complete this felt despite its shortness.
Not that I would mind reading more of them. On the contrary!!
Needless to say that I'm SO reading the next one on the series asap!

Their love scene must be the best and most realistic scene I have ever read and I was craving chocolate after reading this! *g*
Good thing, I always have extra chocolate in my office. XD

Notable scene:
Trailing her gaze up, she looked at his neck. Couldn’t take her eyes off the way his throat worked with some kind of emotion. She realized he held the reaction perilously under control. That same wildness she had sensed during the ceremony remained within him still. Sliding her tongue out, she moistened her dry lips, recalling what he tasted like.
If she were to drink from him again, right now, would he be as enjoyable in the flesh?


Verdict: A short and gripping read, sexy and heart-warming. Totally recommended to anyone.
Rating: 4.5 Stars

About the Author:
Christa Paige: Site // Blog // Goodreads

Buy the book from: Amazon

- Kelly

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Around The Blogosphere [11/11/10]

I think I will be doing my first book review in this blog today! Heeh! I never thought I'd see the day! Heee, that was what my Goodreads account was for! :P

Anywhoo, here is a new list with contests and interesting stuff around the blogosphere!

USA
The Monstrumoligist and The Curse of The Wendigo Giveaway at Book Faery
John Herrick Interview & giveaway (Author of "From The Dead") at Book Noise
Interview & giveaway with Angela Morrison at Blkosiner's Book Blog
The Replacement Excerpt & Bracelet Giveaway
Merilyn Monroe's Fragments Audiobook Giveaway at From The TBR Pile
Shadow Hills By A. Hopcus Cover Reveal & giveaway at Ramblings of A Teenage Bookworm
Prisoners in The Palace Giveaway at the Book Cellar


INTERNATIONAL
C. Fern Cook Guest Post & Giveaway at Wicked Readings by Tawania
Interview and giveaway with authors Heather Poinsett Dunbar and Christopher Dunbar at Paranormal Haven
AfterLight Giveaway at Bitten By Books (ends tonight)




ALSO CHECK OUT
Review of Once Bitten,Twice Shy by J. Rardin at Not Really Southern VampChick
A contest Roundup courtesy of the Vampire Book Club :)
When I'm Not Reading with the awesome Angela from DarkFaerieTales.com at The Unread Reader
Celebrate Nikki's 100th post at Ramblings From A Chaotic Mind
Guest Post with Author Tia Nevitt at Writing the Witchy Way
Pet Lovers Giveaway at Two Little Cavaliers
Steampunkery Convention List
Say Anything Game Giveaway

~ Will add more as I find them! Sorry for duplicates, it's a work in progress atm! ;)