Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Ghost Hunter's Guide to the Most Haunted Places in America by Terrance Zepke


Synopsis:
This book features a detailed discussion of the fifteen most haunted places in America. The reference includes thirty photographs, fun facts, and visitor information including accessibility, tips, addresses and websites.

Discover the history and ghosts who haunt these places:

Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum...where experimental lobotomies were performed.

Moon River Brewing Company...learn why no one is allowed to go to the top floor where the ghost resides.

Eastern State Penitentiary...where Al Capone spent nearly a year or maybe he's still there?

Shanghai Tunnels...where men and women were kidnapped and forced into servitude.

Waverly Hills Sanatorium...when TB patients died, their bodies were transported through a secret tunnel to an awaiting train.

Pirate's House...where pirate ghosts still demand rum.

Bobby Mackey's Music World...a brutal murder resulted in two hangings and at least three lingering spirits.

Colonial Park Cemetery...where thousands lie buried in unmarked graves.

Lincoln Theater...learn who "Red" was and why he remains here long after his death.

Belcourt Castle...find out why the ballroom is the most haunted room.

St. Louis Cemetery...learn why a voodoo priestess roams the cemetery.

Stone's Public House..dine in John Stone's old home if you dare!

Tombstone...there are 140 bullet holes, 26 deaths, and no telling how many ghosts inside The Birdcage Theatre.

Queen Mary...one psychic predicts there are at least 600 spirits on board.

Ohio State Reformatory...even though it has been closed for a long time, some prisoners remain incarcerated here.

My Thoughts:
A Ghost Hunter's Guide to the Most Haunted Places in America was a decently good reference book. The book had a few flaws. Improper grammar was used a few times. The author repeated herself quite a few times, which made the book tedious to get through at certain spots. For example, on page 110, the author talks about Boothill Graveyard. She explains how Boothill Graveyard got its name and states that 250 people are buried in the graveyard. On page 116, she repeats herself by saying the exact same thing. That's just one example out of many. However, I did enjoy hearing about all of the haunted places in America. They definitely caught my interest. My favorite one was Tombstone. Instead of just one place, it's a whole town that's haunted. Big-nosed Kate's Saloon sounds especially interesting. After reading about Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, OH (which isn't too far from where I live), I am hoping to visit it next year on Halloween. This is a perfect book for Halloween, with just the right amount of creepiness. 

I give A Ghost Hunter's Guide to the Most Haunted Places in America: 3/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: http://terrancezepke.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/terrancezepke
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/172178.Terrance_Zepke

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

Sunday, October 28, 2012

My Bookstore by Various Authors


Synopsis:
In this enthusiastic, heartfelt, and sometimes humorous ode to bookshops and booksellers, 84 known authors pay tribute to the brick-and-mortar stores they love and often call their second homes. In "My Bookstore" our greatest authors write about the pleasure, guidance, and support that their favorite bookstores and booksellers have given them over the years. The relationship between a writer and his or her local store and staff can last for years or even decades. Often it's the author's local store that supported him during the early days of his career, that continues to introduce and hand-sell her work to new readers, and that serves as the anchor for the community in which he lives and works."My Bookstore "collects the essays, stories, odes and words of gratitude and praise for stores across the country in 84 pieces written by our most beloved authors. It's a joyful, industry-wide celebration of our bricks-and-mortar stores and a clarion call to readers everywhere at a time when the value and importance of these stores should be shouted from the rooftops.Perfectly charming line drawings by Leif Parsons illustrate each storefront and other distinguishing features of the shops.

My Thoughts:

Reading My Bookstore will make you want to go to various independent bookstores and shop around. I think I bought about five books while reading this book. My Bookstore makes me excited to travel the country, or even the world and experience all the great bookstores. I thought it was kind of ironic, the book kind of bashes e-books, I got my copy from Netgalley and read it on my Kindle. It was very interesting hearing about all the different bookstores around the country. Although every bookstore was different, they all had one thing in common, every employee not only sells books but loves them as well. My favorite story was the story by Chuck Palahniuk, author of Fight Club. The comic that Daniel Handler and Lisa Brown made about The Booksmith was also very funny. This was a great book. I was happy to learn about more bookstores across the country. I can’t wait to visit them all one day. 

I give My Bookstore: 5/5.

Want to know where to buy this book?
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/my-bookstore-ronald-rice/1110856345?ean=9781579129101&r=1%2c+1&cm_mmc=AFFILIATES-_-Linkshare-_-GwEz7vxblVU-_-10%3a1&
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1579129102?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwgoodco-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1579129102&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2

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

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Crown Phoenix Blog Tour

Today on the blog, we have The Crown Phoenix blog tour. Also I have a review of The Night Watchman Express by Alison DeLuca, the first book in the Crown Phoenix series.



Synopsis:

Miriam Pearson’s father has died. Her guardians, The Marchpanes, take over her house and her father’s company. The strong-willed girl instantly clashes with their son, Simon. The Marchpanes hire a governess, Mana, to take care of her. Mana is black, and has magic powers. She and Miriam eventually become friends. With Simon and Neil, his friend, they uncover a plot by the sinister Barbara Cantwell to use Miriam’s father’s company for evil means.  Barbara is very beautiful, and at first, Simon is very attracted to her.

Once Barbara realizes that Miriam and Mana are on to her scheme, she forces the guardians to fire the governess.  Mana is hustled out of the house by the Marchpanes, but Miriam, Neil and Simon follow her to the Night Watchman Express.  However, Miriam and Simon are captured and put on the Night Watchman, bound for a sinister destination. Mana is loaded onto a boat headed to Big Star Island.

Neil manages to steal a boat and follow Mana’s captors to the island. A native girl, Riki, rescues him and brings him to her house.  She is spoiled and her mother has no control over her, but Neil manages to become her friend.  Her father forces him to stay with the family so Neil can be Riki’s companion and manage her wild behavior.

Neil learns about Atol, the king of the island, who seized power after the last monarch was killed. Atol is plotting with Barbara Cantwell to force the islands to produce drugs instead of bolemor wood, and he is also shipping his people out for use in human experiments.  Neil discovers that Mana is the rightful queen of the island, and is being held by Atol. Neil and Riki manage to rescue Mana, and they head back to the mainland to look for Simon and Miriam.

My Thoughts:
The Night Watchman Express was a decently good young adult novel. The cover of the book said that it was a steampunk novel, but I am not sure how. It just seemed like a fantasy novel to me. The book didn’t fully capture my interest at the beginning. However, once the Marchpanes arrived, the book got more interesting. It stayed interesting up until the incident with Mana. The second half of the book was a struggle for me to finish. It normally would have taken me three days to finish it. However, it took me almost a week. The plot for the second half was slow. It didn’t get exciting again until the end. I liked most of the characters. I couldn’t stand the Marchpanes. Virgil had a weak personality. He let his wife walk all over him. Theodosia was a horrible woman. She was rude, manipulative, and just plain nasty. She never did anything nice for anyone unless it helped her agenda in some way. My favorite character was Mana. I am envious of all of her powers. I also liked that she seemed knowledgable, and wise beyond her years. Although this book was hit or miss for me at times, I am excited to read book two, The Devil's Kitchen, to find out what is happening to Miriam and Simon. 

I give The Night Watchman Express 3/5.


Alison DeLuca is the author of several steampunk and urban fantasy books.  She was born in Arizona and has also lived in Pennsylvania, Illinois, Mexico, Ireland, and Spain.

Currently she wrestles words and laundry in New Jersey.

You can find out more about Alison DeLuca here:

And now, time for the giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you to First Rule PR for hosting the giveaway. Also, thank you to Alison DeLuca for sending me the books.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for review from First Rule Publicity from the author as part of a virtual book tour. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Seth's review of Breathe by Sarah Crossan


Synopsis:
Inhale. Exhale. 
Breathe. 
Breathe. 
Breathe . . .
The world is dead. 
The survivors live under the protection of Breathe, the corporation that found a way to manufacture oxygen-rich air.

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

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

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

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

Seth's Thoughts:

So here I am on a Sunday, after going through a caffeine binge, and I picked up Breathe. It appealed to me because it’s one of those sci-fi books where sometime in the past there has been a big catastrophe and the remaining human population is divided up into two groups. In this case, Breathe and The Resistance. 

Apparently sometime within the last eighty years or so, the world population got so large that they decided to cut down all of the trees to make room for everybody and feed them. The geniuses in charge were of the mindset that the oceans would sustain all the oxygen that was needed for earth. Surprise, the runoff from all the crops killed the oceans. So what happens when that happened? Well, states held lotteries for people to live inside of self-contained oxygen rich areas called Pods.

So time passes by and we start the story off inside of a tree museum. Yep, a museum for trees. The story is mostly evenly divided up between the three main characters Quinn, Bea, and Alina. There’s a semi typical three way romance triangle going on for a bit until the male lead makes his choice. The story progresses nice and smooth without a lot of dead spots. In fact, if I hadn’t been interrupted by my friends this book would have been done in one sitting. I liked the character development, I liked the plot device of the low oxygen, and I even got thrown on a minor loop on one occasion. I like not being able to predict a book one hundred percent of the time. 

Seth gives Breathe: 3.5/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: http://www.sarahcrossan.com/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/sarahcrossan
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sarah-Crossan/266594186686482
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4864330.Sarah_Crossan

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. Neither I nor Seth were compensated for this review.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Drain You Blog Tour


Today on the blog, we have a blog tour and a giveaway hosted by Mundie Moms and Hobbitsies. I will share what the book is about, my thoughts on the book, and then a giveaway. For the giveaway, there are several prizes you can win. You could possibly win one of 5 copies of Drain You autographed by M. Beth Bloom, $50 Credit at Wasteland, which is Quinn's favorite store, Pages from Quinn;s notebook, 10 bookmarks made by Quinn, and 10 90's mixtapes, also made by Quinn. 



Synopsis:
"Summer. The 90s. The rich, sun-bleached neighborhoods of the Los Angeles canyons. Enter Quinlan Lacey, a cool, bored, sarcastic, sexy 17-year old with a dull part-time video store job and a mild case of teen ennui. That is, until she meets the alluring, River Phoenix-esque James, and realizes the hills are alive with the undead. Inspired more by the early, dry L.A. short stories of Bret Easton Ellis than the current crop of serialized vampire fiction, the supernatural grunge romance, Drain You, narrates the headaches and heartbreaks Quinn undergoes in her quest to stay sane and cool and in love and alive."

You can find the Publisher's Weekly review of Drain You here.  "Bloom debuts with a languid, stylish novel that reads like a love letter to cult vampire flicks like The Lost Boys, the work of Francesca Lia Block, and Southern California in the 1990s." 




I love the book trailer!

Want to know more about M. Beth Bloom?
"Bloom's first short story “Love And Other Catastrophes: A Mix Tape” was featured in Story Quarterly and selected by Dave Eggers for inclusion in The Best American Nonrequired Reading: 2003 (Houghton-Mifflin), which he curates annually. Bloom is the founder of underground dance label 100% Silk (profiled here in LA Weekly) AND the producer/lead singer of the band LA Vampires (written up in The Guardian as well as Pitchfork and Fader). Her next book will be published through HarperTeen.

M. Beth lives on the east side of L.A. where she indulges in raw fooding, magazine subscribing, thrift shopping, Sunday matinee'ing, and ladies book clubbing." 

And now, the part that you've been waiting for, the giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you for stopping by the blog today to check out the blog tour. Good luck to everyone who enters the giveaway. A special thank you to M. Beth Bloom, for writing Drain You. Thanks Also to Mundie Moms and Hobbitsies for organizing the blog tour.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Blog Tour: Angels of the Knights: Fallon by Valerie Zambito

Today on the blog, we have a special blog tour and giveaway from author Valerie Zambito.

Synopsis:
When Fallon Angell died at the age of sixteen, her life changed forever. 

The hallowed world of Emperica is everything she had ever hoped for as a mortal—immeasurable beauty, unconditional love and light. But, with affection for humankind still burning within her, she joins the Knight Caste to train as an angel warrior. As a Knight, she will give up her wings and return to the place that killed her to use her unique powers to search out and destroy the evil Kjin that roam the earth. As a Knight, she will stop at nothing to protect the mortals in her care.

The elders warn her that the path she chose will be a solitary one. That she will not have the same bond with humans as she once did. But, as far as she knows, the elders had never met Kade Royce. 

When her duties place her in the path of this handsome former cop, emotions buried long ago rise to the surface and she is powerless to ignore the depth of her feelings for this young man. She knows instinctively that she has found what most people search their entire lives for. 

Ignoring the risks, she invites him into her world of danger, but soon their lives collide with explosive consequence. As a result, Fallon realizes with heartbreaking despair that she can no longer hide from the painful truth. In order for Kade to live, she must destroy him.

My Thoughts:

Angels of the Knights: Fallon was a great beginning to a new series by one of my favorite authors, Valerie Zambito. The book is about a girl named Fallon. One night, people break into her house and murder her and her family. She becomes an angel who is determined to stop all of the evil demons on earth, the Kjin. The caste system in heaven was a little confusing to keep straight at first. However, once it was explained more thoroughly  I picked it up quickly. I thought it was cool how Fallon's full name, Fallon Angell, sounds like fallen angel. The plot flowed smoothly. It was easy to understand, other than the caste system. I only found one grammar mistake. I wish that the book would have went into more detail about Fallon's classes. However, I understand that school wasn't important to Fallon. It was just a cover for her mission. The characters were well written. My favorite character was Father Tomas. I liked his attitude. He was always there to help Fallon. His faith was outstanding. After all the hardships he faced, he never turned his back on the Creator. If anything, it made Tomas even more devoted to him. I can't wait to read the next book in the series, Blane, and find out what happens next. 

I give Angels of the Knights: Fallon: 4/5.

Want a chance to win this book?

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Want to know more about the author?
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Valerie-Zambito-Author-Page/207290402664749
Twitter: http://twitter.com/vzambito

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

Monday, October 15, 2012

Seth's review of Poltergeeks by Sean Cummings


Synopsis:
15-year-old Julie Richardson is about to learn that being the daughter of a witch isn't all it's cracked up to be. When she and her best friend, Marcus, witness an elderly lady jettisoned out the front door of her home, it's pretty obvious to Julie there's a supernatural connection. 

In fact, there's a whisper of menace behind increasing levels of poltergeist activity all over town. After a large-scale paranormal assault on Julie's high school, her mother falls victim to the spell Endless Night. Now it's a race against time to find out who is responsible or Julie won't just lose her mother's soul, she'll lose her mother's life.

Seth's Thoughts:

This book packs a lot into its’ two hundred and eighty-five pages. It throws you out the door of a speeding car on the freeway and hopes you hit the ground running. From the very start, it established a fairly quick pace. The main story takes less than a week to transpire. Ugh, I am so used to slower moving books this was almost too much for me to handle. I’m more used to books in the seven hundred plus page area with seven or more titles in the series. I finished it in about two days time, though I admit that’s a bit slow for me. 

Julie Richardson, the main character, is a novitiate witch under the charge of her mother. They’ve chosen to not be a part of the local coven and as such Julie is a bit na├»ve when it comes to quite a few things in the political witch world. She introduces her friend Marcus to magic at an early age and he’s hooked. He becomes a steadfast, if meek friend of hers.

I loved how easily the story flowed. The only time I really put it down was when I went to sleep. The description of how magic works wasn’t especially hard to grasp. The characters seemed spot on for the age group, replete with all the teenage drama of school bullies and angst-ridden gothic girl who has a crush on the main male lead. 

To be honest, I’m a bit torn on how to rate this book. Admittedly I’m not a big fan of witchcraft or anything like it but this book caught my considerably fickle interest at least for a while. That in itself merits I take a bit of time to think it over. I suggest reading this book if you want a good, light, time killer of a novel. 

Seth gives Poltergeeks: 3/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: http://sean-cummings.ca/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/saskatoonauthor
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/saskatoonauthor
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2856107.Sean_Cummings

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Neither I nor Seth were compensated in any way for this review.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Seth's review of Rune by C.C. Rogers


Synopsis:
500 years after the banishment of wizards, the kingdom of Valheigh faces the unthinkable: the rediscovery of wizardry and the return of the legendary evil known as the Jinn. A vengeful wizard unleashes the most horrific curse of Jinn legend such that Prince Rune must either kill the woman he loves or die at her hands.

Seth's Thoughts:

What can I say about Rune? Well, lets start at the beginning. As soon as I opened the book to the first page, the art kind of made me do a double take. It just was not appealing from the beginning to the end. It’s hard to explain exactly what it was about the art I didn’t like. Suffice it to say it severely detracts from the story.

Ah, the story. Wow. I wish I could say it was somewhat original, but I can’t. It tries to be by jumping back and forth in time, but that only leads to more confusion on the readers part. The characters were lack luster and fully one dimensional. 

Seth gives Rune: 1/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: http://riverfiction.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ccrogers3d
Twitter: http://twitter.com/CCRogers3D
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3071709.C_C_Rogers
Google+: https://plus.google.com/116170601248786137291/posts

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

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Audition and Subtraction by Amy Fellner Dominy


Synopsis:
For as long as Tatum can remember it’s been:

Tatum + Lori = Best friends

They do everything together, including a yearly clarinet/flute duet for District Honor Band auditions. But when a new boy transfers to their middle school and their band, the equation suddenly changes to:

Lori + Michael – Tatum = One happy couple

With her best friend slipping away and her parents recently separated, Tatum’s life has turned upside down. Plus her good friend Aaron thinks that they are secretly boyfriend and girlfriend, all because of one little lie Tatum told. Accepting change isn't easy for Tatum, but just how much is she willing to give up to hold on to her friendship with Lori and life as she knows it? For Tatum, the best way to move forward may require a whole new formula . . .

My Thoughts:

Audition and Subtraction was a good middle grade novel. The book is about a girl named Tatum. Everything is changing around her and she doesn't like it. She can’t understand why everything can’t go back to the way it was before. She has quite a few bad changes in her life, but she also a few good ones too. This book has a good lesson for the readers. The lesson is, change is not always a bad thing. It might seem like the worst thing in the world when you are going through it. However, something positive almost always happens from it. Change can be a learning experience and lead to good memories, such as, Tatum’s mom being in the play. Tatum thought that it was one of the worst things to happen at the time, but it turned out to be a fun experience for everyone. The book was very well written. It made me laugh at times, and reflect at others. My favorite character was Tatum’s mom. She was a very strong woman. Instead of getting depressed after a separation, she went out and found something she enjoyed doing. I would recommend this novel to female students in fifth through eighth grade. I would also recommend it to anyone who has ever been in band. 

I give Audition and Subtraction: 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.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Starting From Here by Lisa Jenn Bigelow


Synopsis:
Sixteen-year-old Colby Bingham's heart has been broken too many times. Her mother has been dead for almost two years, her truck driver father is always away, her almost girlfriend just dumped her for a guy, and now she's failing chemistry. When a stray dog lands literally at her feet, bleeding and broken on a busy road, it seems like the Universe has it in for Colby. But the incident also knocks a chink in the walls she's built around her heart. Against her better judgment, she decides to care for the dog. But new connections mean new opportunities for heartbreak. Terrified of another loss, Colby bolts at the first sign of trouble, managing to alienate her best friend, her father, the cute girl pursing her, and even her dog's vet, who's taken Colby under her wing. Colby can't start over, but can she learn how to move on?

My Thoughts:

Starting From Here is a great LGBT novel. The novel accurately portrays what it’s like to be an LGBT high school student. I could definitely relate a lot to Colby. We went through a lot of similar situations in our high school careers. I thought it was cool that her school had an LGBT alliance. I wish that my school would have had one when I was in high school. It would have made things a lot easier. I felt a lot of pity for Colby. The only thing that seemed to be going right for her was her best friend Van. That was until she found Moe. Moe was her turning point. She became a lot happier. Towards the middle/ending of the novel, she became a selfish brat which quickly became annoying. I’m glad her attitude ended fairly quickly. Her attitude improved in the end, and mostly everything worked out for her. My favorite character was Van. He was kind, loving, sweet and funny. Colby was blessed to have a great best friend. I was glad Colby ended up with who she ended up with in the end. She needs someone that will treat her great. I will definitely read more of the author's work in the future. I think everyone should read this book so they can grasp what it's like to be different from everyone else.
I give Starting From Here 4/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: http://lisajennbigelow.com/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/lisajennbigelow
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4575294.Lisa_Jenn_Bigelow
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/lisajennbigelow

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

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Closure by Lissette E. Manning


Synopsis:
Love is supposed to be forever. Sometimes, we're not meant to keep it.

Ben Morgan thought he had it all - fame, fortune, a beloved wife, and a loving family. His work kept him out of the country for long stretches at a time, but he did his best to provide for those he loved. He never imagined that his being away so much would have severe repercussions. When his life starts to shatter and his wife walks away without another glance, he's left to deal with the pain and sorrow of the choices that he's made in the past.

My Thoughts:

Closure was an okay short story. At 15 pages, it only took a few minutes to read. My main problem with the story was that Ben’s wife, Ellie, was a complete jerk. She didn’t participate with his family. She was rude to his mother just because his mother didn’t like her. When she left Ben after being married to him for six years, she used half assed non-specific reasons for leaving. She didn’t even give Ben a chance to try to change. She just assumed he wouldn’t and left. Poor Ben was standing there shocked. He didn’t even know that his marriage was that bad off. Ellie waited until she got fed up with him then blew up and left. He was putting effort into the marriage by taking time off work to spend with her. Meanwhile, she was acting like an ungrateful stuck up bitch. I think this book would have been better with a different female main character. 

I give Closure: 2/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: http://www.simplistik.org/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LissetteElizabethManning
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4867044.Lissette_E_Manning
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/107364930822313313743/posts
Twitter: http://twitter.com/xLizzieBethx

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