Monday, July 30, 2012

ARC Review: What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton

How can you talk about something you can’t remember?

Before the ski trip, sixteen-year-old Cassidy “Sid” Murphy was a cheerleader (at the bottom of the pyramid, but still...), a straight-A student, and a member of a solid trio of best friends. When she ends up on a ski lift next to handsome local college boy, Dax Windsor, she’s thrilled; but Dax takes everything from Sid—including a lock of her perfect red curls—and she can’t remember any of it.

Back home and unable to relate to her old friends, Sid drops her college prep classes and takes up residence in the A/V room with only Corey “The Living Stoner” Livingston for company. But as she gets to know Corey (slacker, baker, total dreamboat), Sid finds someone who truly makes her happy. Now, if she can just shake the nightmares and those few extra pounds, everything will be perfect... or so she thinks.

My Thoughts:

What Happens Next was an earth-shattering book. The emotions in it were very raw. I cried several times while reading the book. What happens to Sid is always a tough topic to deal with. I think the author did a fantastic job conveying the emotion of what a victim goes through. The whole book had me captivated from the beginning to end. There wasn't a boring moment. The ending of the book was great. I was sad when it ended. I wanted to know more about the characters and what happens in the future. I wasn't ready to let them go. However, it seems like What Happens Next will be a stand alone novel. I liked most of the characters. The only one I didn't like was Kirsten. She dropped Sid for a stupid reason, and only came back to her because she needed someone to listen to her. I loved Corey. He saw all the problems Sid had and knew she was broken, but he was still her friend when she didn't have any others. I loved this book. It was mesmerizing at times, and heart breaking at others. It made me smile, cry, laugh, and get angry at times. Every book should make you feel this way, but it's only the excellent ones that do. What Happens Next can definitely be included in that category. This is Colleen Clayton's debut novel, and she did a wonderful job. Based on What Happens Next, I will read anything she writes in the future. 

I give What Happens Next: 5/5

Want to know more about the author?

I received this ARC from the publisher for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

ARC Review: Blind Spot by Laura Ellen

There’s none so blind as they that won’t see.

Seventeen-year-old Tricia Farni’s body floated to the surface of Alaska’s Birch River six months after the night she disappeared. The night Roz Hart had a fight with her. The night Roz can’t remember. Roz, who struggles with macular degeneration, is used to assembling fragments to make sense of the world around her. But this time it’s her memory that needs piecing together—to clear her name . . . to find a murderer. This unflinchingly emotional novel is written in the powerful first-person voice of a legally blind teen who just wants to be like everyone else.

My Thoughts:

First of all, I must say something about the gorgeous cover. I love all the different colors in the eye. The contrast of the dark eye-lashes, and eye on the pale skin drew me in right away. I have mixed feelings about the book though. The story line was fantastic. It drew me in until I finished it at about 3 a.m., reading it in just four hours. I'm going to try to make this rant as spoiler free as possible. The ending really made me mad. I thought Tricia, as a character, deserved a better ending than that. I hated all the characters aside from her. She dies, so she's not even in the book for that long. The main character is a horrible person who only thinks of herself. Mr. Dellian was a complete douchebag. He kind of redeemed himself at the end, but I didn't like his reasoning for treating Roz the way he did. No one deserves to be treated that way for any reason especially by a teacher. Heather got annoying after a while. Jonathon was a jerk. Greg wasn't too bad, he just needed some better judgement skills. I loved Tricia and her quirky personality. She was definitely my favorite character. I could identify with her randomness and strangeness. Other than the characters, I really liked the book. I will most likely read more of the author's work in the future. 

I give Blind Spot: 3/5.

Want to know more about the author?

I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Haunted Moon by K.B. Miller

Before Lilyann stepped into her destiny to lead the coven, there was another powerful Moon witch...her grandmother. 

A teenage witch-to-be in Galway, Ireland, Leeny Moon was prepared to take her rightful place in the circle along side of her family. That was until she witnessed firsthand the forthcoming nightmares she would be expected to face, vampires.

The fight between good versus evil begins here...

Blessed Be~ 

My Thoughts:
Haunted Moon was a great novella. The beginning of the book started off a little slow. However, after the first vampire attack, the book got much better. Haunted Moon is a prequel to Compulsion. Based on how much I liked Haunted Moon, I will definitely read Compulsion. There were a couple of grammar errors that I found. Other than the beginning of the book, the plot flowed smoothly. I loved the way Haunted Moon ended. It set up a plot for Compulsion perfectly. I thought the idea of witches fighting vampires was interesting. The reader often sees the two in YA novels, but rarely in the same novels. The characters were very well written. I liked all of them. Colleen was a little whiny, but she redeemed herself towards the end of the book. I really liked Haunted Moon, and can't wait to read Compulsion. 

I give Haunted Moon: 4/5.

Want to know more about the author?

I received this book for free from Amazon. I was in no way compensated or this review.

A Life Aligned with Mary Magdalene by Renee Michelle Christian


Mary was born an American army brat in Germany. Her ancestors originated from Paris, France.
The family moved back to the United States with her at a young age of three years old. She grew up a troubled child with the war’s rippling effect on her family. In her teenage years, her life became aligned with Mary Magdalene as suggested by a stranger. Each decade that passed, she was reminded of her similarity to Mary Magdalene in terms of her appearance and character. Through a near-death experience, her views on life are changed forever.
She dreamed of meeting her Prince Charming from another land since her childhood days.
Following a life of trauma, she finds herself suddenly standing before the man of her dreams—a man she had met twenty-seven years prior and longed to be reunited with. A spiritual sensation takes over, and as independent and resourceful as she is, her longings for deep and lasting intimacy supersede any selfish inclinations.
Mary was the first person to arrive at these different locations; she was by no means the only witness, named by any of the authorized gospels as a witness to Jesus’s crucifixion, His burial, and the discovery of His tomb to be empty. Could her soul have longed for Jesus since she lost Him at an early age by such violence and controversy? Could her lifelong desire to unite with Prince Charming be her Jesus in the flesh so that she might rest her soul? Or could modern-day Mary have been a student of Mary Magdalene who has come to prepare the way for Mary Magdalene’s second coming in balance of man and woman, Jesus and Mary?

My Thoughts:
A Life Aligned With Mary Magdalene was a good novella. It sounds like it would be a Christian novel, but due to an f-word , I wouldn't consider it such. However, it was a very good book. In the book, Mary finds out that she is a lot like Mary Magdalene. She also has a spiritual awakening through Jesus Christ. The meeting scene was a little confusing. I didn't understand what was going on until a few pages into it. It was interesting hearing about Mary's life as a prostitute. The pimp was a bit scary at times. I felt bad for Mary, but I didn't understand how she could let him treat her the way he did. I also didn't understand why, in her next relationship, she knew the signs that her boyfriend was being abusive, but still went back to him everytime. I liked this book. The story of Mary was very inspiring to me. She had a very rough life, but she still made the best of it. I am excited to read the next book in the series when it is released. I can't wait to find out what happens between Mary and her Prince Charming.

I give A Life Aligned with Mary Magdalene: 3/5.

Want to know more about the author?

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Swag Giveaway Winners

Giveaway Winners!

The giveaway winners have been chosen. Congratulations to Crystal, Jen, Amanda, Gisele, Joella, Molly, Delphina, and Devyn. The emails have been sent out, and you have 48 hours to respond. Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway. Also, thank you to everyone for your continued support of the blog. It means more to me than you will ever know.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

My Next Ten Books to Read and Review

Hello everyone. I haven't done one of these in a long time, so I figured I would updated you with where I am in my reading pile. This does not count ARCs, which will be read and reviewed a few days before the release date.

1. Dark Side of the Mirror by R.L. Austin
I've heard a lot of good things about this book, and can't wait to start it. It should take me a few days to read.

2. Shadows by Michael Duncan
This book looks really good. It sounds like a fantasy book, and I've been looking for a good fantasy book to read. It should take about a week to finish

3. Awakening by Karice Bolton
I'm finally getting closer to starting this. It seems like I've had this book in to-review pile forever. I have the old cover version of the book, which is black and red. I'm uber excited for this one so it should only take a couple days to finish.

4. Dark Before Dawn by Stacy Juba
This is also another book I'm looking forward to starting. I haven't been able to find a lot of books about physics. I've read some of the author's other works and loved them, so I hope I love this as well.

5. The Seventeenth Pocket by Hargus Montgomery
This is a longer book, so it will probably take me a bout a week or two to read it. I've heard a lot of great things about it, and I hope it lives up to my expectations.

6. The Spirit Box by J.H. Glaze
This cover is creepy, yet awesome. I'm glad I finally get to start this book sometime in the near future and see what all the hype is about. I've met a lot of bloggers that love this book.

7. A Season of Eden by Jennifer Laurens
I am a sucker for student teacher relationships in books. I took one look at the synopsis and the cover and knew I absolutely had to read it. I've read some of the author's other works, and I love her writing style.

8. Fresh Start Summer by Beverly Nault
I haven't read a lot of  mysteries in the past. I feel that I need to read more to broaden my reading genres and followers. This will be a nice break from the books I usually read.

9. The Portal by Alan Zendell
I read the synopsis of this on Goodreads, and thought it sounded like something I would like. I'm pretty excited to read it, and learn what the portal is.

10. The Return of Innocence by Duane Simolke and Toni Davis
This looks to be a quick, fun read. The cover is beautiful. I was very excited to learn that the novel had dragons in it. It should take a couple of days to read.

Have you read any of these books? If so, comment and let me know what you thought of them.

Drain You by M. Beth Bloom

Every night I'd lie there in bed and look out at the hills behind our house, listening. I knew there'd be consequences.

Actions meant reactions. Sunrises meant sunsets. My fear was too permanent, lasting longer than eyeliner, something I wore every day and didn't wash off.

Quinlan Lacey's life is a red carpet of weird fashions, hip bands, random parties, and chilling by the pool with her on-and-off BFF Libby. There's also her boring job (minimum wage), a crushed-out coworker (way too interested), her summer plans (nada), and her parents (totally clueless). Then one night she meets gorgeous James, and Quinn's whole world turns crazy, Technicolor, 3-D, fireworks, whatever.

But with good comes bad and unfortunately, Quinn's new romance brings with it some majorly evil baggage. Now, to make things right, she has to do a lot of things wrong (breaking and entering, kidnapping, lying, you name it).

There's normal, and then there's paranormal, and neither are Quinlan's cup of Diet Coke. Staying sane, cool, in love, and alive isn't so easy breezy.

My Thoughts:
Drain You is very hard for me to rate. I loved the story line. It held my attention and was a lot of fun to read. However, it had quite a few flaws. The biggest flaw for me was the irresponsible parenting. Seriously, who tells their teenager, "Be back whenever, I don't care"? When Libby (the main character's best friend) is gone for days at a time with her boyfriend, her mother doesn't care at all or do anything to stop the behavior. Most of the parents in the book, like the Sheets' parents, are gone for long periods of time. The second thing that bothered me about the book was that the 90's references seemed cliche. It almost seemed the author would randomly throw one or two in, then would shortly after forget she was writing in the 90's time period. I understand that people used cool, dude and like quite a bit in the 90's but I don't think they used it that much. I don't want to hear the word cool again for quite a long time. Other than those few things I liked the book. I finished it in just a few hours because I couldn't put it down. I liked most of the characters aside from Libby. I could not stand her. I thought she was a whiny, ungrateful person. She was also a horrible friend. I liked James, but he made me mad because of the whole 'I'm going to sleep with you then leave and not tell you where I'm going or when I'll be back' thing. OH! This brings up my other thing I had against this book. I'm not a big fan of sex in young adult books, and although the scenes weren't overly descriptive, they were still there. My favorite character was Whit. I liked his attitude. I also like that he kept Quinn happy no matter what she was going through. I liked Drain You, but I didn't love it. I reccomend it to fans of paranormal romance and for older YA (16+).

I give Drain You: 3.5/5.

Want to know more about the author?

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Charlotte Markham and the House of Darkling by Michael Boccacino

Debut novelist Michael Boccacino invites readers into the world beyond the realm of the living in Charlotte Markham and the House of Darkling, a Victorian gothic tale of the strange and supernatural. But all who enter this house must beware--for there is a price to pay for visitors who wish to save those they love. The story of a British governess and her young charges seduced by the otherworldly enticements of a mysterious mansion in the forest following the inexplicable death of the former nanny, this Tim Burton-like tale of dark fantasy is a bewitching treat for fans of horror and paranormal fiction, as well as readers who love creepy gothic tales and mysterious shadowy English manor houses. Not since Suzanna Clarke introduced Jonathan Strange to Mr. Norrell, and Neil Gaiman's Coraline crawled through a secret door into a twisted and sinister mirror world, has there been a journey as wondrously fantastic and terrifying as Charlotte Markham's adventures in the House of Darkling.

My Thoughts:
Charlotte Markham and the House of Darkling was an interesting book. It was definitely different than what I usually read. The beginning of the book caught my attention right away. I read the first sentence of the book and knew I was going to love it. The middle of the book got boring at times, especially with all the politics being talked about. The ending left me a little frustrated because the reader never gets a direct answer about what happens to Charlotte. It left off with the reader drawing their own conclusions. I liked most of the characters. The only one I didn't like was Mr. Whatley. He creeped me out. I loved the rest of the characters. My favorite was Lily Darrow. She sacrificed everything to see her children one more time and give them a proper good-bye. I loved this book. I reccomend it to readers looking for a different twist to paranormal supernatural novels.

I give Charlotte Markham and the House of Darkling : 5/5

Want to know more about the author?

I received this book from the publisher, William Morrow, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Guardian by Heather Burch Book Trailer


Vigilance. The mission to safeguard Nikki Youngblood depends on the fragile alliance of two half-angel, half-human guardians, both struggling with intense feelings for the girl who has been assigned to their care. Mace, steadfast and deeply in love, wants to protect Nikki at all costs, while Raven's loyalty to Nikki finds him advocating for her independence and battling his own darker inclinations. At the same time, Nikki finds it harder and harder to choose between the two heavenly beings she may never have. Dangers intensify, and tensions between Mace and Raven flare as the purpose of their mission becomes clear. Can their defenses hold up to master manipulator Damon Vessler and the powerful secret he holds regarding Nikki's heritage? Can anyone protect Nikki from her true purpose and destiny?

Release Date: October 9, 2012

And now... the moment you've all been waiting for... the book trailer.

I've been excited for the book to come out ever since I finished Halflings last year. What do you guys think of the trailer?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Girls' Ghost Hunting Guide by Stacey Graham

What was that noise? The cat? The wind? 
Little brother stealing a peek at your diary?
Or is it a ghost?
The Girls' Ghost Hunting Guide will help you identify the creepy crawlers from the spooky spirits, the howling winds fromt he haunting phantoms. And with this guide you can learn from real experts how to investigate and contact your very own ghosts!
Everything a girl needs for a night full of fun, including:
• Spooky urban legends to set the mood
• Must-have stuff for your ghost hunting kit
• Pointers for leading the best-ever ghost hunt
• Tips for writing your own ghost
• With fun quizzes, games, recipes, and more!
So gather your friends if they are brave enough, grab a flashlight, and go investigate!

My Thoughts:
The Girls' Ghost Hunting Guide was a fun book. It's a non-fiction middle grade novel that teaches how to hunt ghosts. It also teaches how to document ghost sightings. It is a little creepy to think about tracking ghosts, but it sounds like fun to try. I like the fact that the author uses interviews with professional ghost hunters to validate everything she says. The ghost hunters also give their opinions on which tools and methods they like best. From the first page of the book, the author's wit and humor had me chuckling. Included at the end of every chapter are short ghost stories. I think my favorite ghost story was Screaming Skulls o' Doom. This was a fun, quick read. I recommend it for girls twelve and older that are interested in supernatural things.

I give The Girls' Ghost Hunting Guide: 5/5.

Want to know more about the author?

I received this book from the publisher, Sourcebooks, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

ARC Review: Blood and Silver by James R.Tuck

Deacon Chalk normally has no trouble telling innocent victims from real monsters. So protecting an abused pregnant were-dog is a no-brainer...until a vicious lycanthrope leader and his brotherhood target Deacon, other shape-shifters, and any humans in their way. Suddenly, Deacon is outnumbered, outgunned, and unsure who - or what - to trust. The only edge he has left is a weapon hungry for his soul and his most savage impulses. And using it will exact a price even this hell-raising hunter fears to pay...
(Synopsis taken from Amazon.)

My Thoughts:
Blood and Silver was a good sequel to Blood and Bullets. Based on the first two books, I am loving the Deacon Chalk Occult Bounty Hunter series. There were a couple things that bothered me about this book. First of all, the author was very repetitive. He told the story of how he met Kat, then a few chapters later he would tell it again. He also used the expression "moved like quicksilver" throughout the book several times. I will be happy if I never have to hear the word quicksilver again in my life. Otherwise, I loved the book. I didn't want it to end because it will probably be a long wait for the next book in the series. I liked hearing about all the different types of weres, or lycanthropes. My favorite was the T.Rex-were. The plot was interesting and kept me turning pages. Deacon was able to lessen a few past issues in this book, which made me glad. The issues are still there, but he is slowly moving on. He's been through a lot of bad things and deserves to be happy. All of the character's on Deacon's side from the first book return, along with a few new ones. I was very upset at the author for letting me get emotionally attached to characters then killing them off or almost killing them. My favorite new character was  Sophia. She had plenty of reasons to give up and quit fighting. However, she pulled it together for her unborn babies. Minus a few flaws, I really liked Blood and Silver. I can't wait to read the next book in the series when it is released. I recommend this book for readers who have read Blood and Bullets. However, due to language, violence, and a sex scene, I recommend it for adult readers who are not squeamish. 

I give Blood and Silver: 4/5.

Want to know more about the author?

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Shimmer by Alyson Noel

Having solved the matter of the Radiant Boy, Riley, Buttercup, and Bodhi are enjoying a well-deserved vacation. When Riley comes across a vicious black dog, against Bodhi’s advice, she decides to cross him over. While following the dog, she runs into a young ghost named Rebecca. Despite Rebecca’s sweet appearance, Riley soon learns she’s not at all what she seems. As the daughter of a former plantation owner, she is furious about being murdered during a slave revolt in 1733. Mired in her own anger, Rebecca is lashing out by keeping the ghosts who died along with her trapped in their worst memories. Can Riley help Rebecca forgive and forget without losing herself to her own nightmarish memories?

My Thoughts:
Shimmer was a decently good sequel to Radiance. I think I liked Radiance better though. Shimmer started off kind of slow and boring. It took about fifty pages before I really got into it(for page counters that's a third of the book). Riley has matured a bit more than the first book. We get more of a glimpse into her life when she was still alive. I was also excited to be able to learn Bahdi's story. The book finally gave a lot of information about him. There were a few plot holes and spelling errors. When I read the book, I had a hard time liking any of the characters. Even though Riley matured, she still has whiny, bratty tendencies which make her annoying at times. I couldn't stand Rebecca, one of the new characters. She was a spoiled brat and a horrible person. Riley took pity on her after hearing all of her story, but I couldn't. The prince seemed weird and freaky at first. However, towards the end, I felt bad for him. After hearing Bodhi's story, I felt sad. For someone to have to go through that guilt and suffering is horrible. He was so caught up in his own grief that he didn't realize it wasn't his fault. I wasn't very impressed with this book, but I will continue this series because it is a short read. I recommend this book for people who have read Radiance.

I give Shimmer: 2/5.

Want to know more about the author?

I rented this book from the library. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Cinderella Smith: The More the Merrier by Stephanie Barden


Okay, okay, "vexylent" isn't a real word! Cinderella Smith made it up as a combination of "very" and "excellent." But Cinderella and Erin are hard at work learning to spell real words, because whoever wins first place in the spelling bee gets to pick the theme of the class party!

Speaking of words, Rosemary T. has been using some pretty mean ones lately. So Cinderella decides to give her the silent treatment. But Cinderella's aunt Flora tells her that it's time to have a "what's what" with Rosemary.

Will Cinderella be able to say, and spell, everything she needs?

My Thoughts:

Cinderella Smith: The More the Merrier was a wonderful sequel to Cinderella Smith. Things continue to get worse in regard to Cinderella and Rosemary T's friendship. Cinderella's aunt Flora gets introduced in this sequel. I liked her aunt a lot. Quite a few of the things she said and did made me chuckle. In this book, it finally feels like Cinderella is starting to have more friends on her side. She still gets bullied quite a bit by the Rosemarys, but she has a lot of people that stick up for her as well. She starts to make friends with the smart boys. The plot was a lot better than the first book. The purple potion that Cinderella and Aunt Flora me laughing pretty hard. As this book is about Cinderella participating in a spelling bee, parents could use it as an educational tool with their child while the child has fun reading and learning at the same time. I liked The More the Merrier a lot better than the first book in the series. The only thing that bothered me were a few grammar misusages. The author was writing from the point of view of Cinderella (who happens to be a third grader, prone to grammar errors). I recommend this book for girls that have read the first Cinderella Smith book. 

I give Cinderella Smith: The More the Merrier : 4/5

Want to know where to buy this book?

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Cinderella Smith by Stephanie Barden

Cast off by her old friends, Cinderella agrees to help a new student deal with the stepsisters she will soon have, and meantime, a former friend tries to prevent Cinderella from dancing the lead in their tap recital. Illustrations.

My Thoughts:
Cinderella Smith was a cute children's book. The book is about a girl nicknamed Cinderella because she loses shoes so often. It brought back a lot of childhood memories. The book reminded me a lot of the Junie B. Jones series I used to read when I was younger. The plot was interesting. I went through some of the same things when I was a kid that Cinderella went through. I took a lot of ballet and tap dance classes as a child. Thinking on it from a younger person's perspective, I think they would really enjoy the book. I didn't care for most of Cinderella's friends. They seemed like they liked to bully her and make fun of her. Cinderella just took the bullying, and didn't do much about it. I liked Erin as a character. She always helped out Cinderella, and became a good friend to her. She never made fun of or talked bad about her. Mr Hansen and Ralph made me chuckle. The illustrations were cute. They helped to flesh out the characters in my head, made them seem more real. I recommend this book for girls ages eight and up. I also recommend this book for fans of the Junie B. Jones series.

I give Cinderella Smith : 3/5.

Want to know more about the author?

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Guest Post with Emily Walker

All about Outlines
First of all Kayla, thank you for having me!
I am somewhat of an unconventional novelist. Some writers will start at the beginning and go to the end, but I sometimes stray. I may think of something that should happen in the twentieth chapter and write it down writing backwards from there. This is not always the case, but it does happen to me a lot. I blame my overactive mind and the fact that I just want to get it all out before I lose it.

I am fascinated by the concept of outlines. Should you do them? How should you do them? These questions run through my mind, so I decided to research outlines for this guest post that Kayla has so graciously allowed me to write. I hope that you will learn something from it.
I always outline my stories and lots of times it is on a piece of paper while I am riding in the car to the store or to some errand. My boyfriend doesn’t like to drive so I will be sitting there plotting out a whole story scribbling furiously and talking to myself. I guess it is a good thing that he loves me, because this seems crazy to me.
Let’s talk about what an outline does for a minute.
· It helps you picture the way you want your novel to go.
· It helps you work out plot points and character's purposes.
· It helps you "brain dump" this is a term I use often because I feel like I have to get it all out of my head and onto paper.
· It helps you get the creative juices flowing.

There are some authors who just sit down and start writing. I think having a plan helps you avoid plot holes and work out situations before you start writing out long chapters that you will have to change later.
The first thing I do is write a summary. It can even be just a couple of sentences but it helps me lay out what my purpose is and what will happen in my novel. Now that I have that out of the way I write down everything I want to happen in the novel. Important events, twists, and whatever will move the characters forward.
There is no right way to do an outline; you should just do it the way that works for you. You do not have to be really detailed as long as you start to create the bones of your masterpiece. You can go back and add what you need to later. You can break down the characters and break down each chapter if you want. It is up to you how detailed or not detailed you want your outline, but I do think that it is necessary for the success of your novel and sanity.
Thanks for reading!
Emily Walker

I want to thank Emily Walker for stopping by the blog today. If you would like to know more about Emily and her books, here are a few links to check out:

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Guest post with Shay Fabbro, author of Dangerous Reflections and Twisted Reflections

Ahhh, it's spring and love is in the air!

And with all of nature in full bloom, it got me thinking about that first blossom of love that we felt when we were younger. You know the feeling:  your heart goes pitter-pat, your palms get all sweaty, all of a sudden you're tongue-tied, you grow two left feet in the span of 0.5 seconds, and if this special someone actually spoke to you, you'd either faint, run, or throw up.

Usually this first love (aka crush) happens during middle or high school, although there can be a much less intense version that occurs during elementary school. However, this usually ends up with the little boy pushing the little girl down and she quickly changes her mind. It takes a certain maturity level (and yes, I say this with all sarcasm) to be able to really understand your feelings enough to get a serious crush on.
I explore this idea in my YA series, Adventures of Alexis Davenport. Alex meets the boy of her dreams on her first day at her new school. Not too shabby, eh? He's blonde, tall, and just the most gorgeous thing she's ever seen! Best of all? He likes her favorite band!
*Cue angels singing*
She is convinced that they are meant to be together.
Thing is, he really doesn't even know she exists, except when he needs help with homework. *rolls eyes* Isn't that how it always goes? And to make matters worse, he's dating the head cheerleader, who torments Alex every chance she gets.
So what's a poor girl to do? Pine away in silence? Bide her time, hoping he will figure out how perfect they are for each other? Forget him and move on?
Who was your first crush? How old were you when you first spotted he/she from across the room? Did anything ever come of it? I'd LOVE to hear from you!
Leave a comment for your chance to win a free autographed paperback copy of Dangerous Reflections! Contest Ends July, 23, 2012.
Of course, Alex has much more on her plate than just boys ;)
She's dealing with an absentee father, living in her aunt's guesthouse, and traveling through time.

Check out Dangerous Reflections, and Twisted Reflections, books one and two of the Adventures of Alexis Davenport series to see how Alex handles all of the craziness in her life!
Connect with Shay through her website, Facebook page, or tweet with her!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Dangerous Reflections by Shay Fabbro

Alexis Davenport wants to go home. She hates her new school, her mother for moving her away from her friends, living in her aunt's guesthouse, and her father for walking out.

To make matters worse, Alex is haunted by the images of strange girls reflected in her mirror. It is bad enough juggling homework, a relentless bully, boys, and a deadbeat dad.
Now, she must save the world from an evil presence hell-bent on changing the past - and our futures. Who knew her A+ in history was going to be this important?
(Synopsis taken from Goodreads.)

My Thoughts:
Dangerous Reflections was a great YA novel. It was about Alex, the main character, time traveling when she sometimes looked in a mirror. The plot was very well written. There were no plot holes or spelling errors. My favorite thing about the book was even though it was a work of fiction, the reader can still learn something about history. Alex travels to many different time periods. My favorite time period that she traveled to was Venice, where she was a courtesan named Anastasia. I liked some of the characters. Other characters, I didn't much care for. I didn't like Beau, Catelyn, or Amy. They had attitudes and personalities that rubbed me the wrong way. My favorite character was C.C. I loved her fun attitude. She seemed to always be able to turn a glum situation into something fun. I really hope Paul and Alex become a couple in the future. I think they would make a good match for each other. I can't wait to read book two, Twisted Reflections, and find out what happens to Alex when she time travels to Egypt. I really hope she inhabits Cleopatra's body. I'm also curious to see how she will stop Drifter for good. I recommend Dangerous Reflections for fans of YA, historical fiction, and paranormal/supernatural novels.

I give Dangerous Reflections: 5/5.

Want to know more about the author?

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Guest Post with Julius St. Clair

Starving Artist by Julius St. Clair
I remember the first time I was actually starving. It was at the Olive Garden. You know the place…unlimited soup and salad. Breadsticks. Delicious plates that consist of either chicken parmigiana, or meatballs over penne pasta.
The problem is, I wasn’t dining there.
I was the waiter. 
And nearly every day I was bombarded with the same series of agonizing questions from my esteemed guests: “This isn’t what you want to do all your life, is it?” “When are you going back to school?” or my personal favorite, “Do you love your job?”
Who was to know that I was a 22-year-old, fresh out of college with a bachelor’s degree in English, and the only job I could find was as a waiter at my local restaurant. I had only been there a year and a half by this time, but I was starting to feel the hunger pains, watching the economy get worse, and my chances at a more fulfilling life getting bleaker by the day. You see, all I could think about, all that haunted my days and kept me tossing around at night was the fact that I was so…HUNGRY
To write.
 Not to say the aromas of the almighty dollar didn’t tantalize me from time to time, but for the most part, I just wanted to write. That is what drove me, and kept me alive. Often I would imagine myself sitting at a wooden desk, scratching away at a red and black notebook I acquired from Staples as the world crumbled around me in apocalyptic fashion. As my doom drew near, I would scribble even faster and swing my hand across the page with the intensity of a painter’s brush because I needed to hurry. Before my life ended, I needed to complete the story!
To put it simply, I love writing. For me, it’s more of a therapy for my soul than a declaration to the world. First and foremost I write for myself, about what I’m passionate about and about what entertains me, and then afterwards, I get so excited that I try to share my joy with others like an overzealous Christian with tracts in hand. If I had my way, I would sit down at a table and write forever…
But unfortunately, life would not have it so.
See, life wants me to be an adult…with bills, and responsibilities.
So writing, my craft, my first love, has become increasingly difficult to spend time with over the years…
Maybe it started when I finally got a teaching position that demanded my full attention. Maybe my storytelling slacked when grading papers and filling out behavior intervention reports took its place. Perhaps it was when my occupation became so tiring and stressful that I would rather come home and turn into a zombie in front of a television screen, than go back to the characters I created. Those old friends who still begged me, and pleaded me to finish their tale.
Years went by, and I felt that familiar rumble once again.
Somehow, deep down, I was getting HUNGRIER.
And so one day, I decided…that I was done with fasting altogether.
So guess what?
Now, I am a full-time author…
Crazy, right?
I mean, who gives up a career and a steady paycheck while having a family to feed in this economy? Seriously, you would have to be clinically insane
Or at least very hungry…
Sure, I still get looks of disbelief or borderline contempt from those who still continue the daily grind. Of course, my very supportive wife worries that if this career as a novelist doesn’t work out, I will have to revert back to the miserable zombie teacher who once roamed her halls. Naturally, most people I talk to do not sympathize with my attempt to secure my dream job and believe I should beg for my old teaching position. 9 out of 10 people probably think I’m an idiot…
And maybe I am.
But you know what?
I will tell you one thing…
I am quite full.
I would like to thank Julius St. Clair for stopping by the blog today. If you would like to know more about Julius or his works, here are some links to check out:

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Unwords by unauthor

I have asked my friend, Stephany Blackston, to stop by the blog today and review The Unwords. I received the book, but I couldn't get into it so she agreed to review it for me.

With the use of an unusual, modern poetic verse and enhanced with provocative, artistic imagery, The Unwords take full advantage of their author's lack of identity and almost inhuman levels of introspection, as they set out to inform, to educate, to criticise and hopefully inspire, by pushing the reader out of his comfort zone and into a world in which so many things have already been left undone...but nothing will be left unsaid.

Psychology, poetry, philosophy, linguistics and social sciences blend together with the arts, as the author partners the reader through a disturbing, thought-provoking journey in which education, relationships, religion, politics and social behavior are stripped down to their bare foundations and deconstructed through the eyes of a man who has no name, no face, nothing to gain...and absolutely no reason to lie.

Stephany's Thoughts:
The Unwords brings a philosophically provocative point of view. The definition of the title seems to be the unspoken. Thoughts that have become taboo only through the social assimilation that every person wishes not to recognize in themselves. From the trauma of psychological isolation to the social acceptance of blame, every word echoes the nearly six years the author has taken to compile this book. Contemplating themself, and everyone else coexisting (or lack thereof) on this planet we call earth, and this reality we call home.

Stephany gives The Unwords: 5/5.

The Unwords are available for purchase only through their official website.
Check out the official blog for The Unwords:

There is not much known about the author, who wishes to keep his anonymity.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. Neither Stephany or I were compensated for this review.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Bane by Trish Milburn

To protect those she loves from herself, Jax will leave them all behind. She'll risk everything in a desperate search for answers. 
Jax Pherson fled the darkest of covens and from her own father's evil. For a brief moment, her courage was rewarded. She found everything she'd ever wanted. A normal life. An amazing boyfriend. An envy-worthy best friend . 
But her past put them all in danger, forcing a confrontation with the dark covens. In a life-and-death battle to save those she loved from the covens, Jax gained staggering power. Power so intense, so dangerous, she fears the darkness that now dwells inside her like a living thing. 
If she can't control the power, she may yet become as evil as the witches she conquered. 
With her friend Egan, Jax leaves all she's built and heads for the one place that might hold the answers she desperately needs to hold back the darkness-Salem, Massachusetts. Her research unearths a shocking discovery: the Bane, a secret group of witches dedicated to thwarting the covens. 
Jax desperately needs their help in her fight against the covens, but finding the Bane is easier said than done and takes all her skills and courage. As Jax gets closer, her dark powers begin to rise and control her actions. If she succumbs to the darkness, Jax may have as much to fear from the Bane as the evil covens and the determined hunter on her trail.

My Thoughts:
Bane was an incredible sequel to White Witch. The beginning of Bane starts where White Witch left off, right after the coven battle. Jax is trying to find answers about how to defeat the coven for good. The plot was incredible, and kept me on the edge of my seat. I finished the book within a couple of hours. I didn't take any breaks from reading because I couldn't put it down. There were no plot holes. The setting of Salem, Massachusetts was ingenious and added a lot to the plot. The Salem Witch Trials have always fascinated me and the book made me want to research and learn more about them. The world that the author creates is stunning. I loved hearing about the different types of covens and witches. There were a few new characters in Bane, along with some of the characters I have grown to love from White Witch. My favorite new character is Sarah. I love all the mystery surrounding her. She seems very intelligent and powerful in her own way. I can't wait to read more about her in the next book. The ending of Bane knocked me off my feet. It was very raw and emotional and powerful. Bane was definitely one of my favorite books of 2012. I need book three now to find out how the series ends. 

I give Bane: 5/5.

Want to know more about the author?

I received this book from the publisher via Netgalley for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.