Thursday, November 29, 2012

Magick by Trish Milburn


Synopsis:
The covens are coming for her.

But is she a White Witch or a Dark Witch? In a war for control of the witch world, the answer will save-or doom-everyone she loves.

In White Witch, Jax gained friends she'd die for and a staggering power that threatens them all.

In Bane, Jax did the unthinkable and killed a supernatural hunter to protect her friends. She found herself lost in darkness and prisoner to the Bane, a secret society of witches sworn to prevent the use of the dark magic.

Now, in Magick, the powers of Jax and her friend Egan have been magically bound by the Bane. She must convince the Bane she can learn to control her power and become a White Witch in truth. She's their only hope now that the dark covens have called a Conclave with one purpose-to kill this generation's White Witch and anyone who has ever stood with her. If Jax can't amass an army of her own, rebuild the trust of her friends and boyfriend, and find the White Witch's elusive weapon against the dark, it may be too late.

My Thoughts:

I have a love/hate relationship with Magick. I loved it because it was a great book. I hated it because it meant one of my favorite series was coming to an end. However, if a series has to end, it couldn’t have ended a better way than Magick. The plot had me absolutely captivated and astounded. Most of the plot twists I didn’t see coming at all. When Jax was working on suppressing her dark magic and bringing forth her white witch powers, I was on the edge of my seat. It was very suspenseful. I was excited to learn more about Sarah. I really liked her in Bane, the second novel in the series. Also, it was interesting to learn more about the Bane and Coven history. I love the world that Trish Milburn created. It’s so detailed and wonderfully written. It makes me wish that I lived there. The book has all of the characters that we know and love with a few extras. My favorite new character is Sean. At first, he was an evil villain. However, he ended up redeeming himself and becoming a great character. I wish that the author went into more detail about the new characters. I’m hoping that she writes a spin-off series about the gang’s time in high school. Either that, or about hunting witches around the world. 

I give Magick: 5/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: http://www.trishmilburn.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Trish-MilburnTricia-Mills-Fan-Page/441289945240
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TrishMilburn
Pintrest: http://pinterest.com/trishmilburn2/
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1335180.Trish_Milburn

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

Scars by Cheryl Rainfield


Synopsis:
Kendra, fifteen, hasn't felt safe since she began to recall devastating memories of childhood sexual abuse, especially because she still can't remember the most important detail-- her abuser's identity. Frightened, Kendra believes someone is always watching and following her, leaving menacing messages only she understands. If she lets her guard down even for a minute, it could cost Kendra her life. To relieve the pressure, Kendra cuts; aside from her brilliantly expressive artwork, it's her only way of coping. Since her own mother is too self-absorbed to hear her cries for help, Kendra finds support in others instead: from her therapist and her art teacher, from Sandy, the close family friend who encourages her artwork, and from Meghan, the classmate who's becoming a friend and maybe more. But the truth about Kendra's abuse is just waiting to explode, with startling unforeseen consequences. Scars is the unforgettable story of one girl's frightening path to the truth.

My Thoughts:

Before I begin my review, I feel I should start with a warning. This book is not for the faint of heart. It deals with a lot of dark issues such as cutting, sexual abuse, and mind control. It is disturbing and even mind blowing at times. This book is classified as Young Adult. However, even though the main character is a young adult, I think it should be classified as Adult or New Adult. Due to the graphic nature of the book, I would recommend that it’s readers be 18 or over. Having said that, the book was fantastic. It completely captivated me. I had seen it around a few times, but had never had time to read it. Now, I am kicking myself for not reading it sooner. The plot was brilliant. It was so emotionally raw at times, I had to sit there and let my brain process what was happening before moving on. It was absolutely heart breaking to hear Kendra’s thought process about how her abuser tormented her. The part of the book where he teaches her to do something was almost too much for me and I read gritty books like this quite a bit. It was earth shattering and painful. I really liked that the author added an LGBT theme to this book. I love reading LGBT books. Social issues and LGBT are two of my favorite genres so I was excited that the author put them together. 

The characters in Scars were great. A few of them creeped me out but that is what made them interesting. My favorite character was Meghan. I liked how she stuck by Kendra even after finding out all the things that Kendra was going through. I also liked her bad ass 'I don’t care what anyone thinks of me, I am going to do what I want’ attitude. I will definitely be reading anything the author writes in the future. 

I give Scars: 5/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: http://www.cherylrainfield.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/cherylrainfield
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cheryl.rainfield.fan.page
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3305514.Cheryl_Rainfield
Pintrest: http://pinterest.com/cherylrainfield/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/110346500530502745039/posts

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

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Coffin Club by Ellen Schreiber


Synopsis:
When Raven returns to Hipsterville's cryptic goth haunt, the Coffin Club, she discovers a secret door to another disco-"The Dungeon"-that is inhabited by vampires only. Raven learns that the nefarious Jagger Maxwell has welcomed the vampire clan into the club and has gained the popularity he missed in Romania. He is poised to take over Hipsterville, until a new vampire named Phoenix challenges him for control of the Coffin Club. Unbeknownst to Alexander, Raven becomes caught up in the clash, entranced by the hypnotic vampire culture of the Underworld.

My Thoughts:

The Coffin Club is the fifth installment in the Vampire Kisses series. While this book was good, I didn’t like it nearly as much as the first four books in the series. The Coffin Club felt like a filler book for the middle of the series. While we learned some important information, most of it seemed like things like the reader could have lived without knowing. The plot didn’t bring any new problems left unresolved for the next book. All of the problems were over with by the end of the book. A couple of new characters were introduced, but it doesn’t seem like they will be in any of the future books. My favorite new character is Onyx. Her fangs with a stud in them are bad ass. She also has a fun personality and is a great friend to Raven. Raven’s aunt Libby is always a fun character. I enjoy the novels with her in it immensely. Even though this book was a little bit of a disappointment, I am excited to pick up the next book in the series, Royal Blood. 

I give the Coffin Club: 3/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: http://www.ellenschreiber.com/home.htm
Twitter: http://twitter.com/ellenschreiber
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ellen-Schreiber/112889228802218?created

I traded for this book with another blogger. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Lenobia's Vow by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast


Synopsis:
The second in the enthralling new mini-series of novellas from the #1 bestselling authors of the House of Night, Lenobia's Vow tells the gripping story behind the House of Night's enigmatic riding instructor – and one of Zoey’s closest allies against evil

The House of Night is an international publishing sensation; with almost 12 million books in print, and an incredible 120 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, the series has taken the world by storm. Now, the excitement continues as the Cast mother-daughter duo shares the back stories of a few of the House of Night's most important – and mysterious – characters. The second of the House of Night Novellas brings us Lenobia, the strong, beautiful horseback riding instructor, who guides Zoey through some of her darkest hours, and has a dark secret buried in her own past...
In a small southern town at the turn of the century, young Lenobia is developing into a beautiful young woman with ideas of her own. But when she is Marked as a fledgling vampyre, her world turns upside down, and she is drawn to the musical streets of New Orleans. There, she learns of the city’s dark underbelly, ruled by powerful black magic. As Lenobia experiences her first love – and loss – and discovers a passion for horses to sustain her, she must come face-to-face with Darkness itself. And she may not escape without scars.

My Thoughts:
For all of those who have followed my reviews since I have starting blogging, you know I am not a big fan of the House of Night series. The first four books were great. After that, the plot and writing style just keep getting worse and worse. The novellas are no exception to this. I was definitely interested to hear more about Lenobia’s back-story because she is one of my favorite characters. However, I was disappointed. The plot didn’t really hold my interest at all. The only reason I even finished reading the book was because the story was so short. The plot went from boring to confusing when The Bishop became involved. He would have been a great antagonist had he been better written. As it was, I am not sure if he was vampyre with an affinity for fire or just some creepy old dude with super powers. I often wonder why I still waste my time reading this series. I guess I will suffer through until the end of the series, which is only a couple books away. Either that or until I get horribly fed up with it. 
I give Lenobia’s Vow: 1/5.

Want to know more about the House of Night series?
Website: 
http://www.houseofnightseries.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/houseofnight

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

Monday, November 26, 2012

Tilt by Ellen Hopkins


Synopsis:
Three teens, three stories—all interconnected through their parents’ family relationships. As the adults pull away, caught up in their own dilemmas, the lives of the teens begin to tilt….

Mikayla, almost eighteen, is over-the-top in love with Dylan, who loves her back jealously. But what happens to that love when Mikayla gets pregnant the summer before their senior year—and decides to keep the baby?

Shane turns sixteen that same summer and falls hard in love with his first boyfriend, Alex, who happens to be HIV positive. Shane has lived for four years with his little sister’s impending death. Can he accept Alex’s love, knowing that his life, too, will be shortened?

Harley is fourteen—a good girl searching for new experiences, especially love from an older boy. She never expects to hurdle toward self-destructive extremes in order to define who she is and who she wants to be.

Love, in all its forms, has crucial consequences in this standalone novel.

My Thoughts:

Ellen Hopkins has once again written a great novel. Then again, I don’t think I have ever read a bad book written by her. Tilt follows the teenagers from Triangles and gives their point of view. The book would be quite confusing to read if you haven’t read Triangles. However, I think you could read it as a stand alone if you had to. The plot was smooth. The point of view switching was a little confusing at first but got easier to understand the further the book progressed. I loved how the reader got to see Shelby’s point of view at the end of Shane’s chapters. Mikayla and Shane’s stories were quite interesting. I didn’t really care for Harley’s story but it was necessary to the plot. I though it was cool how everyone’s story came together at one point or another. I would love it if the author would write a sequel. I would like to know more about what happens to Alex and his disease. I would also like to know how Mikayla deals with being a mother. 

I give Tilt: 5/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: http://www.ellenhopkins.com/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/EllenHopkinsYA
Tumblr: http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/ellen-hopkins
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ellenhopkinsya
Pintrest: http://pinterest.com/ellenhopkinsya/
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2821144.Ellen_Hopkins

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

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Seth's review of Goth Girls Don't Taste Like Chicken by Robert Tomoguchi


Synopsis:
A tale of two goths caught in the epic and cosmic struggle for identity as goth club socialites and low paid employees of a greasy fast food joint.

Okay, maybe that's a bit much. 

In the words of the story's narrator: "This is gonna be a story about this time we went to a goth club and almost got killed by some weirdo and then almost killed somebody else, and in the process discovered that goth girls don't taste like chicken. Not one bit."

Seth's Thoughts:

This is a very short story clocking in at just past fifty pages. Goth Girls Don't Taste Like Chicken starts out a bit slow. The writing style fits pretty much how I assume a goth person thinks. That or a person who is pretending to be goth. Which I suspect is the case with the main character.

It’s a quick fun read and I would go so far as to recommend it to anyone who wants an easy fun fiction read. I really enjoyed the book.

Seth gives Goth Girls Don't Taste Like Chicken: 3/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: http://www.rtomoguchi.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/RobertTomoguchi
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6441174.Robert_Tomoguchi
Twitter: https://twitter.com/deadponies

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

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Rockoholic by C.J. Skuse


Synopsis:
She's got it bad, and he ain't good -- he's in her garage?

"I'm your biggest fan, I'll follow you until you love me..." 

Gonna have to face it: Jody's addicted to Jackson Gatlin, frontman of The Regulators, and after her best bud Mac scores tickets, she's front and center at his sold-out concert. But when she gets mashed in the moshpit and bodysurfs backstage, she's got more than a mild concussion to deal with. By the next morning, the strung-out rock star is coming down in her garage. Jody -- oops -- kind of kidnapped him. By accident. With a Curly Wurly candy bar. And now he doesn't want to leave. 

It's a rock-star abduction worthy of an MTV reality series...but who got punk'd?!

My Thoughts:

Rockoholic was an interesting book. The plot kept me captivated until the end. The British slang terms got a little confusing. At the beginning, they took away from the story. The further I progressed into the story, the more they were reused and I think I got a general understanding of what most of them mean. The story focuses on Jody who is in love with Jackson, the lead singer of The Regulators. There is a small problem with that. Jackson doesn’t know she exists. When she gets a chance to go to a Regulator concert, she kidnaps Jackson with the help of a Curly Wurly bar. The book got a little silly at times, but in a good way. It made me chuckle quite a few times. I think the book accurately portrays withdraw and detoxing. Although, I wish the author would have given a little more detail about the process. I liked most of the characters. At first I couldn’t stand Jackson. Towards the end of the book he redeems himself and becomes a cool person. My favorite character was Mac. I liked how loyal he was to Jody. Even though he could have walked away from the epic mess Jody got him into, he still helped her out. He was very passionate in everything he did. He put 100 percent into his acting and his relationships with friends and family. The book will definitely make you want to watch Rocky Horror Picture Show, whether you’ve seen it or not. I recommend this book for anyone who has ever wanted to meet their favorite celebrity. 

I give Rockoholic: 4/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Tumblr: http://ceejaytheauthor.tumblr.com/
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3188620.C_J_Skuse
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CeejaytheAuthor

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

Friday, November 23, 2012

Fang Girl by Helen Keeble


Synopsis:
Things That Are Destroying Jane Greene’s Undead Social Life Before It Can Even Begin:

1) A twelve-year-old brother who’s convinced she’s a zombie.
2) Parents who are begging her to turn them into vampires.
3) The pet goldfish she accidentally turns instead.
4) Weird superpowers that let her rip the heads off of every other vampire she meets.(Sounds cool, but it doesn’t win you many friends.)
5) A pyschotic vampire creator who’s using her to carry out a plan for world domination.

And finally:
6) A seriously ripped vampire hunter who either wants to stake her or make out with her. Not sure which.

Being an undead, eternally pasty fifteen-year-old isn’t quite the sexy, brooding, angst-fest Jane always imagined....

Helen Keeble’s riotous debut novel combines the humor of Vladimir Tod with Ally Carter’s spot-on teen voice. With a one-of-a-kind vampire mythology and an irresistibly relatable undead heroine, this uproarious page-turner will leave readers bloodthirsty for more.

My Thoughts:

After finishing this book, I’m still not sure how I feel about it. Parts of it were really funny. Other parts of the book seemed like they were trying hard to be funny and just sounded stupid. I thought the idea of a vampire not needing blood because she can get it from the person she is bonded too seems a little silly. Also, a normal vampire wouldn’t return to her parents after returning from the grave. Other parts were funny. I got a chuckle out of Ebon playing rock band. At first, I thought Brains the fish was a little ridiculous. Farther into the story, he actually becomes quite funny. He also proves himself as a worthy asset to the group. I liked most of the characters. Jane’s mom got a bit annoying at times. It was confusing for a while trying to decipher who was good and who was evil. However, I think I mostly got it figured out in the end. My favorite character was Ebon. I liked his personality. He was mostly serious and business like. However, when he broke that shell he turned out to be a total nerd. From the way the author ended Fang Girl I am assuming there will be a sequel. I will definitely read the sequel but it’s not one I am eagerly awaiting. 

I give Fang Girl: 3/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: http://www.helenkeeble.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorHelenKeeble
Twitter: https://twitter.com/helenkeeble
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4835790.Helen_Keeble

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

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

VABT Blog Tour: The Adventures of Tilda Pinkerton by Angela Shelton

Today on the blog, we have a special blog tour, and a review of The Adventures of Tilda Pinkerton by Angela Shelton.


Synopsis:
A modern Mary Poppins in space.

In the middle of cosmic danger, the electrifying secret that Tilda Pinkerton, the magical hat maker, hides from the children she teaches - becomes her most miraculous gift, securing the safety of the planet she crashes on.

--

Somewhere out in the Sombrero Galaxy, Tilda Pinkerton–mystical maker of mysterious, magnificent, magical hats–is being hunted by the Keeper of Darkness.

Yet Tilda simply does not recall, at all, after taking a tremendous fall.

No one on Ooleeoo, where Tilda crash-landed, knows she is from another planet. Only Star Jumper Randy can tell her—but he’s light years away, frantically searching for his missing love, desperate that without her, the entire galaxy soon may be lost.

Even in the middle of cosmic danger, Tilda loves to create hats, for which she has a rare and uncanny knack. All who receive them sparkle, in fact—and spark their innermost talent. With a Tilda hat, people can suddenly do whatever they dream of, causing brilliant ideas to grow madly.

With Gladys the toad, who thinks she’s a cat, and Frank the fish, who lives in her hat, Tilda must discover who she is and what her enemy wants from her so badly.

But the Mayor of Moodle has other plans, including a ban on all wearing of hats, everywhere on Ooleeoo. His dark and forbidding actions seem to coincide with something unworldly, threatening all with a nameless dread and slowly blacking out the sky. With Ooleeoo itself turning upside down, how can anyone survive?

In this first in a series of Tilda Pinkerton adventures, Tilda must fight the battle of her life and risk all—even the galaxy and stars—by revealing her most electrifying secret.

My Thoughts:
At first, The Adventures of Tilda Pinkerton was confusing. I had no idea what the heck was going on. However, after a few chapters, the book became clearer to me. Then, I started to have fun reading it. The book was good after I got into it. I thought it was cool how the author had the definitions for some of the bigger words at the bottom of the page. Quite a few of the words I knew. The ones that I didn't know, I would have been lost i not for those definitions. I also thought it was creative how the author used names for her characters that relate to what they do. For example, Louie Luminferous invents things to do with lighting. My favorite character was Tilda. She was a very interesting person. She helped people follow their dreams, and increase their talents by making hats for them. Even when Max was forbidden to wear a hat, Tilda made him one anyways because she knew it would make him happy. The Adventures of Tilda Pinkerton was a decently good book. I recommend it for children twelve and older.

I give The Adventures of Tilda Pinkerton: 3/5.


Want to know more about the author?
Website: http://angelashelton.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AngelaSheltonFanPage
Twitter: https://twitter.com/angelashelton
Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/angelashelton
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1087385.Angela_Shelton

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


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Michael West Spook House Blog Tour


Today on the blog, we have a special excerpt from Spook House by Michael West.

Synopsis:
There are some places in this world that go far beyond any normal definition of “haunted.” These places are so evil, so diabolical, that they become gateways to Hell itself. The Fuller Farm is one such place.

It is said that old man Fuller conducted unspeakable acts, blood rituals and human sacrifices, all in an attempt to gain the ultimate knowledge, the ultimate power. And then, he was killed–horribly murdered on his own lands, leaving the house to stand as a vacant monument to his wickedness. But once a door is opened, it can never really be closed.

Now, the stars are right. The gateway is ready to once more unleash unspeakable horror upon the town of Harmony, Indiana. And this will be one Halloween that they will never forget!

Excerpt from Spook House:
Hicks hurried back up the stairs, hearing the old wood creak.  When he reached the kitchen, he turned his light back on the steps, saw his own shoe prints amid the others, but his pointed both ways.  It was a mystery. 
Or a big practical joke.  The paw prints could’ve been faked.  Stone could’ve walked down there, dropped his stuff, then slipped on some kind of costume before he ran back up here to – 
What?  Wreck his own car?  Scare his girlfriend out of her mind, to the point that she tasered his ass when the joke went too far?    
It made no fucking sense.
Hicks lifted his flashlight to the ceiling, still needing to check out the second floor.  He moved quickly down the hall, searching for a staircase.  Along the way, his light washed over sawhorses and other bits of construction equipment, and when he finally found the landing, his beam caught something else.
Building permits. 
They were hung on the wall with strips of duct tape, protected in plastic sleeves that glowed in his light.  The licenses had been issued to the Harmony Indiana Fire Department, and they detailed electrical and structural work that was planned for the next month and a half.  Hicks gave them a quick read, and he found something at the bottom of one of the forms that gave him pause.             
Description of work: Temporary use for haunted house from 10/13/2012-10/31/2012 and occupy per plans.
This place was going to be a Halloween attraction?  Really?  Hicks had heard all the horror stories about this place, and he didn’t buy into supernatural bullshit, but still ... turning the sight of real-life tragedy into some cheap spook house?  It seemed wrong to him, disrespectful, like dancing on somebody’s grave.
A thump.
It came from upstairs. 
Hicks whirled, lifted his light and gun toward the sound.  The stairs bent around a corner.  He proceeded with caution, one step at a time. 
And then he was in the upstairs hallway, his gun like an extension of his own hand, a metal finger pointing the way.  Half a dozen doorways lined the walls, presumably leading to a like number of rooms.  Some rooms lacked doors, while in others, the doors stood wide open.  The only closed door belonged to the room at the end of the hall.
Of course.  Perfect.  
He crept down the hallway, pausing to check each of the side rooms as he went. They were all empty; bare floors, bare walls.  Within those walls, however, he could hear movement – a sound he knew well from his city beat.  Rats.  Scampering around in there, hidden behind the dingy floral wallpaper.
This isn’t the city.  It’s probably just a family of cute little field mice.
Probably, but it still gave him the creeps.
Through the boarded slats of the front windows, he saw the red and blue strobes of his cruiser.  So close, yet so far away.  Part of him wanted to run for it, but that part was being drowned in adrenaline.
You wanted excitement.
He nodded to himself and marched on.  The door at the end of the hall grew larger, closer, until he could reach out and touch the tarnished knob.  He gave it a push and it opened easily.  He waited a moment before advancing. 
Rusted bedframes leaned against the walls like metal skeletons, and the floor sat buried beneath mounds of black trashbags.  Hicks opened one of the bags to look inside.  Old habits died hard.  He’d made some pretty good busts in his day by looking through meth house trash. 
The bag stank of ammonia. 
Hicks holstered his Glock and reached into the bag.  He grabbed a wad of fabric, then brought it out into his light.  He drew out the corner of an old tablecloth with a delicate, lacy trim.  Baby mice clung to it.  Tiny.  Naked and pink.  Their eyes still tightly shut.  They were anything but cute.
“Jesus!”
He dropped the fabric and stepped back, watching as the little animals hit the floor and moved away from his light like mutant slugs; their tiny arms and legs pushing and pulling them to safety beneath the mound of Hefty bags.         
“Jesus,” he muttered again.
His radio sounded, startling him.  “22-06?”
“We regret to inform you that your husband died of a heart attack.  But don’t worry, ma’am, we’ll be sure to honor his memory by using the story in ads for our new haunted house.  That’ll really pack ‘em in!”    
Hicks snickered to himself, then took a breath and keyed his radio.  “Go ahead, 22-06.”
“22-06, what’s the situation on your 10-91V?” 
“Ten-four.  Just completed my sweep.  Request 11-41 for female, approximately thirty years of age, suffering from post-traumatic shock.  Unable to locate second victim.”
“Ten-four, 22-06.  Sending EMS unit your way.”
“Ten-four.” 
Officer Hicks backed out of the room, calming down, his heartbeat slowing as he descended the stairs.  He headed back outside to wait for the ambulance and Miami County Animal Control.  As he walked away, he glanced back over his shoulder at the darkened doorway. 
What would the fire department charge for admission, he wondered, and why would anyone pay to go in there?
 To be continued…




Michael West is the critically-acclaimed author of The Wide Game, Cinema of Shadows, Skull Full of Kisses, and The Legacy of the Gods series. He lives and works in the Indianapolis area with his wife, their two children, their bird, Rodan, their turtle, Gamera, and their dog, King Seesar.

Every Halloween, he turns his garage into a haunted house.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A big thank you goes out to Michael West for writing Spook House and Seventh Star Press for letting me be a part of this blog tour.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Awaken by Sarah M. Ross


Synopsis:
Lucy Donovan was supposed to have a weekend of fun in the sun, celebrating her upcoming graduation from college. In a split second, everything changed. A drunk driver ended Lucy’s mortal life.

Lucy opens her eyes to a world she never imagined possible and a new destiny: as a Patronus, a guardian of spirits. Adjusting to her new role and abilities while negotiating this confusing realm will test her limits and push her further than she ever dreamed she would go. From wayward spirits who don’t want her help to soul stealing vampires, and even a stuck-up British royal, Lucy must brave them all to save one spirit she can’t bear to lose.

Further complicating her life is an inexplicable yet growing connection she feels to a member of her team, Max, whose mysterious behavior leaves her both confused and intrigued.

Waking up dead was just the beginning of her problems. Lucy’s death is about to become the greatest adventure of her life.

My Thoughts:

After having this book for quite a while, I wish I would have made time for it earlier. I had a lot of fun reading Awaken. The story was your average afterlife story with quite a few twists. Incorporating vampires into the story made it a little more interesting. I like how the author gave a lot of back story about the Patroni and the characters in general. However, as much as I loved the book, it had a couple of flaws. The copy of the book that I received had quite a few spelling and grammar errors which kind of took away from the story. This might have been fixed when the book was updated. The second issue I had with the book, some people might consider a good thing. Lucy and Max’s relationship reminded me of Edward and Bella’s relationship in Twilight. Max and Lucy instantly fell in love when they met. Max is very protective of Lucy and doesn’t want her to do quite a few things for fear she will get hurt. However, unlike Bella, Lucy is a kick-ass heroine. She stands up for what she wants and won’t take no for an answer. She’s not going to let a man boss her around and tell her what to do. I think we need more heroines like Lucy in YA literature. Later in the book, you learn why Lucy and Max fall in love at first sight. It’s a cool explanation and makes up for their over the top love. The ending of the book left off on a crazy cliff hanger. I am dying to find out what happens next in Avenge. 

I give Awaken: 4/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: http://www.sarahmross.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SarahtheAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/sarahtheauthor
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5447785.Sarah_M_Ross

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

Sunday, November 18, 2012

ARC Review: Empty by K.M. Walton


Synopsis:
Dell is used to disappointment. Ever since her dad left, it’s been one let down after another. But no one—not even her best friend—gets all the pain she’s going through. So Dell hides behind self-deprecating jokes and forced smiles.

Then the one person she trusts betrays her. Dell is beyond devastated. Without anyone to turn to for comfort, her depression and self-loathing spin out of control. But just how far will she go to make all of the heartbreak and name-calling stop?

My Thoughts:

In Empty, K.M. Walton paints a very disturbing image on what it is like to be a high school student with an eating disorder. Ever since Dell's parents split up, her life seems to be tumbling down around her. She’s losing her best friend, her dad doesn’t want to spend any time with her, and her mom is addicted to prescription drugs. Worst of all, Dell can’t seem to stop eating. Even after she is full she takes comfort in eating more. Since her parents separated, she went from a size ten to a size twenty-four. I felt quite a bit of pity for Dell. She had no self-confidence whatsoever. Not only did her classmates make fun of her, she also made fun of herself. She would moo and act like a sumo wrestler just to get the attention of the other students. She went through a lot of bullying and ridicule. Dell’s best friend Kara is an absolutely horrible person. She isn’t a friend at all. When Dell was getting picked on by the other students Kara didn’t stick up for her. In fact, Kara laughed right along with the rest of the students. She didn’t care about Dell enough to believe her when something horrible happened to her. She also didn’t care enough to get Dell the help she obviously needed. All Kara did care about was becoming popular. This book definitely made me feel sad and sympathetic. The ending was absolutely heart-breaking. However, if it was written any other way it wouldn’t have been as good. I think the author definitely sent a very powerful message with the way she ended the book. I will definitely be reading more of K.M. Walton’s work in the future. 

I give Empty: 5/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: http://www.kmwalton.com/
Blog: http://skateorbate.blogspot.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cracked-fan-page/225425247511173?sk=wall
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KMWalton1
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4515355.K_M_Walton

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

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Seth's review of In a Fix by Linda Grimes


Synopsis:
Snagging a marriage proposal for her client while on an all-expenses-paid vacation should be a simple job for Ciel Halligan, aura adaptor extraordinaire. A kind of human chameleon, she’s able to take on her clients’ appearances and slip seamlessly into their lives, solving any sticky problems they don’t want to deal with themselves. No fuss, no muss. Big paycheck.

This particular assignment is pretty enjoyable... that is, until Ciel’s island resort bungalow is blown to smithereens and her client’s about-to-be-fiancĂ© is snatched by modern-day Vikings. For some reason, Ciel begins to suspect that getting the ring is going to be a tad more difficult than originally anticipated.

Going from romance to rescue requires some serious gear-shifting, as well as a little backup. Her best friend, Billy, and Mark, the CIA agent she’s been crushing on for years—both skilled adaptors—step in to help, but their priority is, annoyingly, keeping her safe. Before long, Ciel is dedicating more energy to escaping their watchful eyes than she is to saving her client’s intended.

Suddenly, facing down a horde of Vikings feels like the least of her problems.

Seth's Thoughts:

I was a bit reluctant to read this book at first. As you might know, I don’t typically read these sort. I'm more of a Dark Tower kind of guy. The premise, I have to admit was interesting. Shape shifters doing odd jobs around the world for clients ranging from a woman who doesn’t want to deal with her mother in law, to spooks working for the CIA.

The story however suffers from typical triangle romance syndrome. I really can’t begin to say exactly how much I dislike triangle romances in books. The main character seems to be a fair representation of a twenty something entrepreneur. She's struggling with a start up company and overbearing family. Her client she has to work for seems a bit on the richer not so smart side of her adaptation is accurate, though that might be her own personality coming through. Things heat up quick when her cottage explodes. Kidnappings ensue, several times in the book. Also, a trip to Sweden occurs. Nationalistic Vikings hell bent on distributing body wash to people to the point they will kill for it. It’s a bit far fetched at times, but so is the whole ‘I can touch you and then turn into you whenever I want’ thing.

On the whole I didn’t mind reading this book. It’s a fun read with just the right amount of pacing. The characters are engaging even when the story isn’t and vice versa. 

Seth gives In a Fix: 3/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: http://www.lindagrimes.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/linda_grimes
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5029662.Linda_Grimes

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

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Blog Tour: Snow Whyte and the Queen of Mayhem by Melissa Lemon



Today on the blog, I have a review of Snow Whyte and the Queen of Mayhem by Melissa Lemon as part of the Snow Whyte and the Queen of Mayhem blog tour.


Synopsis:
Stuck in her family's apple orchards, Kat's got plenty of work to do and only pesky Jeremy to help. But when Jeremy convinces her to run away, Kat will discover that nothing---and no one---in her life is quite what it seems. Wonderfully reimagined, this is the magical tale of Snow White as you've never read it before!

My Thoughts:
I love fairy tale re-tellings, especially if they are about Snow White or Cinderella. Snow Whyte and the Queen of Mayhem has become my favorite Snow White re-telling. Out of all off the re-tellings I've read, this one is the most imaginative. While it sticks to the original tale in some aspects, such as Snow Whyte having black hair and being friends with the seven dwarves, the book also has it's own originality. The queen is Kat's (Snow Whyte's) mother, not her stepmother. Snow Whyte is just a nickname, not Kat's actual name. These are just a few of the original things the author uses. The originality adds a lot to the story. It spices up the book and keeps the story line interesting. This is definitely not your grandmother's version of Snow White. The plot was wonderful. It blew my mind at times. When I read several of the plot twists, I thought "Where the heck did that come from?!". The characters were all well written. There wasn't a single character that I didn't like. Even though the queen was a horrible, heartless wench, for some reason I didn't hate her. I think I pitied her more than anything. I loved this book. It was definitely one of my favorite books of 2012. I am excited to read Melissa Lemon's other book, Cinder and Ella. I will also read any other re-tellings she does in the future.

I give Snow Whyte and the Queen of Mayhem: 5/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: http://www.authormelissalemon.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/authormelissalemon
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Melissa_Lemon
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4830336.Melissa_Lemon

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

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Seth's review of The Wisdom of the Shire by Noble Smith


Synopsis:
In The Wisdom of the Shire, Noble Smith sheds a light on the life-changing ideas tucked away inside the classic works of J.R.R. Tolkien and his most beloved creation—the stouthearted Hobbits.

Drawing on The Lord of the RingsThe Hobbit, and other tales of Middle-earth, Smith shows how a snug Hobbit-hole is actually just a state of mind and how even the smallest person can have the valor of a Rider of Rohan. He explores subjects dear to a Halfling's heart, such as beer, food, and friendship, as well as more serious concerns, such as courage, living in harmony with nature, and good versus evil.

How can simple pleasures such as gardening, taking long walks, and eating delicious meals with friends make you significantly happier? Why is the act of giving presents on your birthday instead of getting them such a revolutionary idea? And how can we carry the burden of our own "magic ring of power" without becoming devoured by it? The Wisdom of the Shire holds the answers to these and more of life's essential questions.

Seth's Thoughts:

This book was much like reading all of the Lord of the Rings books and The Hobbit in one setting, in a vague overview sort of way. The author obviously put a lot of thought and time into making this book. Most people who have read the series have probably picked up on many of the Wisdoms albeit not in as direct a way.

I have a few points that I got a little hung up on. The first is that the ARC I received seemed to not be complete based upon the table of contents. It seems to be missing approximately twenty or so pages. I understand this is something that may happen from time to time with an ARC. The second point that bugged me was the constant rehashing and reusing of the same situations to squeeze different meanings from the same event.

This book left me a bit uplifted at the end, and despite the gripes I have over it, I think I will hold onto it. It might even have earned itself a place next to my LotR series. Which if you know me, I take seriously. Very seriously. I wish I could say more about this book, but honestly I am a bit on the tired side and you can learn all you need to by flipping through the chapters and reading the wisdoms at the end of each. 

Seth gives The Wisdom of the Shire: 3.5/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: http://www.shirewisdom.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Wisdom-of-the-Shire/246886975429669
Twitter: https://twitter.com/shirewisdom
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/910909.Noble_Smith

I received this ARC in the mail from the author in exchange for an honest review. Neither Seth nor I were compensated for this review.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Blog Tour: The Tragedy of Knowledge by Rachael Wade


Synopsis:
The Battle Comes Home.

After arranging a hopeful but risky alliance during their visit to the Amaranthian realm, Camille, Gavin, and the resistance don’t have much time to recover from their failed mission. Forced to create a new strategy to achieve their goal, they embark on a different mission—one that possibly holds the missing key to their quest for victory, and their deadliest one yet.

As they attempt round two to restore peace and freedom for their kind, they must rely on help from the living, the bayous, and beyond to decipher allies from enemies, good magic from bad, and whether the source claiming to lead the way to their destiny can be trusted. Racing against the clock to solve the mystery of their fate, they find the battle has come right to their doorstep, and this time, everyone must pay a price.

My Thoughts:
Once again, Rachael Wade has written a brilliant novel. The Tragedy of Knowledge was a great conclusion to the Amaranth series. The book picks up where The Gates left off. The main characters, Camille and Gavin, along with the rest of the gang need to try to find a way to destroy Samira and Gerard and the vampire curse. This is my favorite book in the series. The plot was very intricate.It made me laugh at times, and was heartbreaking at others. I was upset when a certain character died. The character was a minor character, but their death still left a big impact on me because o the emotional way it was written. I only found one mistake in the book. The characters were all the same characters we know and love with the addition of Gerard. I don't really care for Gerard. The reader can tell he was well written because he creeped me out and left me with chills long after I finished the book. The ending of the book was heartbreaking. However, it was a wonderful ending that tied everything up at the end. Anything else wouldn't have worked as well. The Amaranth series will always hold a place in my heart, long after the series is finished. It will definitely be something I re-read many times. Thank you Rachael Wade for creating a magical world for me to get lost in time and time again.

I give The Tragedy of Knowledge: 5/5.

Make sure to keep an eye out at Kayla's Reads and Reviews facebook page, for a chance to win bookmarks autographed by Rachael Wade.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: http://www.rachaelwade.com/
Facebook: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4831558.Rachael_Wade
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RachaelWade
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4831558.Rachael_Wade

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

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead


Synopsis:
Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.

Sydney would love to go to college, but instead, she’s been sent into hiding at a posh boarding school in Palm Springs, California–tasked with protecting Moroi princess Jill Dragomir from assassins who want to throw the Moroi court into civil war. Formerly in disgrace, Sydney is now praised for her loyalty and obedience, and held up as the model of an exemplary Alchemist.

But the closer she grows to Jill, Eddie, and especially Adrian, the more she finds herself questioning her age–old Alchemist beliefs, her idea of family, and the sense of what it means to truly belong. Her world becomes even more complicated when magical experiments show Sydney may hold the key to prevent becoming Strigoi—the fiercest vampires, the ones who don’t die. But it’s her fear of being just that—special, magical, powerful—that scares her more than anything. Equally daunting is her new romance with Brayden, a cute, brainy guy who seems to be her match in every way. Yet, as perfect as he seems, Sydney finds herself being drawn to someone else—someone forbidden to her.

When a shocking secret threatens to tear the vampire world apart, Sydney’s loyalties are suddenly tested more than ever before. She wonders how she's supposed to strike a balance between the principles and dogmas she's been taught, and what her instincts are now telling her.

Should she trust the Alchemists—or her heart?

My Thoughts:

The ending of The Golden Lily made me angry. Richelle Mead hinted most of the book that two characters liked each other, and were going to get together, only to have it come crashing down at the end. Needless to say, I was very upset. Otherwise, the book was fantastic. It was definitely worth the agonizing wait. The book mostly sticks to the characters we know and love from Vampire Academy and Bloodlines. However, a new character named Brayden is introduced. I thought he was a jerk. Hopefully he won’t be in the rest of the series. The plot had me guessing up until the very end what was going to happen. I didn’t see any of the plot twists happening until they did, which made the book fun to read. It’s impressive to see how much Sydney has matured from the Vampire Academy series until now. She can actually make friends with the Moroi and Dhampirs without caring much about what the alchemists think. Actually, all of the characters have matured in their own way. Even Adrian has matured, which is something I never would have thought possible before. I am eagerly awaiting the next book in the series, The Indigo Spell. February 2013 can’t get here quick enough for me. 

I give The Golden Lily: 5/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: http://www.richellemead.com/
Blog: http://blue-succubus.livejournal.com/
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/137902.Richelle_Mead
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/richellemeadfanpage
Twitter: http://twitter.com/RichelleMead

I bought this book from the bookstore because I wanted to read it.. I was in no way compensated for this review.