Saturday, March 24, 2012

White Witch by Trish Milburn

Witchcraft Is Her Family’s Business.No One Quits The Family And Lives To Tell About It. “Jax” Pherson has power, enough power to know her future will end in service to the dark coven her father controls. Unless she can stay hidden in a small community in the mountains of North Carolina. She must find a way to live without magic and deny the darkness she feels welling up inside her—the same dark power that fuels the covens around the world. All she wants is a normal life. A boyfriend. Friends. Some place to belong, but all too soon Jax’s barely begun new life hangs in the balance when she discovers that the boy she’s attracted to is sworn to kill her kind. He’s a hunter with good reason to kill everything that goes bump in the night. Even the most fleeting use of her power is tantamount to signing her death warrant and will bring both hunter and coven down on her. But can she walk away when her friends are threatened by an old evil? Something created by the magic of witches? Jax’s only hope of survival is to convince the boy she loves to forget everything he’s ever been taught and help her find a way to fight the covens. To believe there is some good in her.

My Thoughts:
White Witch was one of my favorite books of 2012 so far this year. First, I must state the obvious. This cover is absolutely beautiful. It's what drew me into the book and made me want to read it. I loved the story line, and thought it was very original. It's definitely not your typical witch story. Instead of embracing her powers and her life as a witch, Jax runs away from them. All of the characters in the book were mostly well written. I just wish we would have had a little bit more back story on Jax's family, such as her sister and her father. I must admit, I fell head over heels for Keller while reading White Witch. He's smart, sexy, strong, and intelligent. Even though Jax is a witch and he's a hunter, he was willing to overlook that because he loved her. The plot was well written also. It left the reader always hanging on the edge of their seat, wondering what would happen next and when Jax's family would come looking for her. The ending left off on a cliffhanger, and I can't wait to find out what happens next.

I give White Witch: 5/5.

Want to know more about the author?

I received this book from the publisher, Bell Bridge Books, via Netgalley and was in no way compensated for this review.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

DNF: The Demon Lover by Juliet Dark.

Since accepting a teaching position at remote Fairwick College in upstate New York, Callie McFay has experienced the same disturbingly erotic dream every night: A mist enters her bedroom, then takes the shape of a virile, seductive stranger who proceeds to ravish her in the most toe-curling, wholly satisfying ways possible. Perhaps these dreams are the result of writing her bestselling book, The Sex Lives of Demon Lovers. After all, Callie’s lifelong passion is the intersection of lurid fairy tales and Gothic literature—which is why she finds herself at Fairwick’s renowned folklore department, living in a once-stately Victorian house that, at first sight, seemed to call her name.
But Callie soon realizes that her dreams are alarmingly real. She has a demon lover—an incubus—and he will seduce her, pleasure her, and eventually suck the very life from her. Then Callie makes another startling discovery: He’s not the only mythical creature in Fairwick. As the tenured witches of the college and the resident fairies in the surrounding woods prepare to cast out the incubus, Callie must accomplish something infinitely more difficult—banishing this demon lover from her heart.
(Synopsis taken from Goodreads.)

My Thoughts:
I read this book for the 2012 ebook challenge. I wanted to like The Demon Lover so badly, but I just couldn't get into it. I think one of the reasons why is that the cover fools you into thinking it's a young adult book when it most definitely is not. It has a lot of adult situations and sex scenes in it. I will say one positive thing about the book though. The cover is absolutely gorgeous. I love how her blue dress looks with the background. As for the storyline, I thought it was horribly slow and boring. It took me about two weeks to get twenty-two percent through the story. During that twenty-two percent, the story just drags on and on. The only things that happen are the main character buys a house and gets a teaching job at the local college. Her demon lover makes an appearence a couple of times, but in my personal opinion, he isn't sexy. He's just kind of average and a little confusing. Sometimes she can see and sometimes he's like the wind. It makes the whole thing very cliche. I might try to pick up this book again sometime in the future, but for right now, it's going on my couldn't finish pile. I don't recommend it to anyone.
I give The Demon Lover: 1/5.
Want to know more about the author? (Juliet Dark is a pen name for Carol Goodman.)
I received this ebook from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Spoiler free review of Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she's made it out of the bloody arena alive, she's still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss. And what's worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe either. Not Katniss's family, not her friends, not the people of District 12. Powerful and haunting, this thrilling final installment of Suzanne Collins's groundbreaking The Hunger Games trilogy promises to be one of the most talked about books of the year.
(Synopsis taken from Amazon.)

My Thoughts:
I read this for the 2012 ebook challenge. Mockingjay is a superb finale to The Hunger Games trilogy. However, the book wasn't as good as the first two in the series. There was a few character deaths, but the way they died seemed very anti-climatic. I was expecting Katniss to be hurt a lot more over the person getting mauled by the muttations, but it didn't seem to bother her as much as I thought it would. Out of the new characters, I liked Boggs the best. The character I hated the most in Mockingjay surprisingly wasn't President Snow. I actually began to like him towards the end of the book. The character I hated the most was Coin. I disliked her attitude, the way she used Katniss, and what she wanted to do towards the end of the book. The plot had a lot of crazy twists and turns, but not as many as the previous books in the series. A lot of the plot twists in this book made me so mad I wanted to throw my Kindle when I was reading. Am I the only one that hopes Suzanne Collins writes a spin-off series about Katniss children with the man she chose? I thought the ending of the book was good, but it had so much more potential. Mockingjay was an incredible book, but it fell short of what I was expecting.

I give Mockingjay: 4/5.

Want to know more about the author?

I bought this book for my Kindle and was in no way compensated for this review.

Half Guest Review: Cuentos by Edwin Stark

For this review, I am doing something a bit different. Cuentos is a book of short stories, broken down into categories. The vampire and plain terror categories I read, but I tried to get into the science fiction short stories, and I couldn't finish it. Therefore, I will review the first two sections, and my fiancee will review the last.

A doomed vampire hunter. A kid trapped in the sewers with an undead thing. A town that could be yours… but hides a terrible, dark secret. A scary cosmic balance. A dead brother and his revenge beyond the grave. An unspeakable future and three eerie girls: all these elements lurk within Cuentos, this collection of eight short stories and two short novellas that may make you reconsider how you contemplate darkness… after you’re finished reading it.
Four of these tales are science fiction bordering the scary.

Kayla's review of Vampire and Plain Terror sections:
At first, I thought Cuentos was going to start out as a young adult short story book. Wow, was I wrong! The first story about the boy collecting cans seems like it could be read by older teens, but the rest of the stories are really graphic.One of the stories involves rape, but doesn't go into much detail. I liked most of the vampire stories. The one about the boy on his way to school had me very confused as to why it was in the vampire section. As far as I could tell, there were no vampires in the story. The plain terror section was pretty graphic and a little too much for my weak stomach, especially the second story. Although that would be my fault for reading it. The author states at the beginning of the plain terror section that if don't like gore, or have a weak stomach, to skip the story. The sad thing about the second story is that hate crimes still happen like that in different countries around the world. I loved how all of the stories tied together at the end, and you began to understand the characters a lot better. I can't wait to read more of the author's work in the future.

Kayla gives Cuentos: 3/5.

Seth's review of the Science Fiction section:
Cuentos had a few things I didn't like in it. The first, and most notable is that the grammar and spelling need a lot of work. The stories took me longer to read because in some parts I had to read a paragraph several times or it to make sense. The second is that the author wrote a lot of polygamist relationships in the stories. In two out of three sci-fi stories, there are two examples of men with three women. It makes the story seem a little tacky. The stories themselves were okay. They would have been better if they would have had an editor.

Seth gives Cuentos: 2/5.

Altogether, Cuentos rates: 2.5/5.

Want to know more about the author?

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

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Eat Your Heart Out by Dayna Ingram

A breakneck tale of kick-ass, wise-ass, sexy-ass lesbians and ZOMBIES, Eat Your Heart Out opens on what promises to be another tediously annoying day at Ashbee’s Furniture Outlet. Then the strip-mall calm of Nowhere, Ohio, is shattered by the sudden, simultaneous appearance of Renni Ramirez—hyper-competent star of the beloved Rising Evil B-movie franchise—and actual ZOMBIES, leaving Ashbee’s hapless staff and Renni trapped behind an automatic door they can’t lock. 

Can failed creative-writing student/apprentice store manager/eagle-eyed markswoman Devin escape the besieged furniture store to rescue her girlfriend? Will Renni’s experience slaughtering motion-captured CGI monsters save the day before the army bombs the town? Once bitten, how many zombies can a person expect to take out before succumbing to infection? Who is the mysterious Deus Ex Machina, and what is he doing with that bone saw? 

All of these questions and more whisper behind the scream of the single most important thing Devin needs to know in order to survive: is Renni a top or a bottom?
(Synopsis taken from Goodreads.)

My Thoughts:
Eat Your Heart Out is not your typical zombie book. It's about a lesbian and an actress, who is either bi-sexual or lesbian (I never figured out which one) trying to survive a zombie apocalypse. I liked most of the characters. The two characters I didn't like are Brad and Carmelle. Brad cussed way too much, and it got annoying after awhile. I didn't like Carmelle because she cheated on Devin, but Devin still wanted to be with her. My favorite character was Renni Ramirez. She was very kick-ass throughout the entire book, and had a great attitude. I can identify a lot with this novella. I also live in small town in Ohio. I think that's one of the reasons why I liked the story so much. Also, I love zombie and LGBT stories, so it was like getting the best of both worlds while I was reading it. The ending confused me a little. It was implied that Devin was immune to zombie bites, but it never came out and said it. The last sentence left me confused as well. I wasn't sure whether Devin stayed with Carmelle or ended up in a long distance relationship with Renni. My only other complaint about Eat Your Heart Out is that it had a little too much cussing in it for my taste. I recommend this book zombie fans looking for an original story.

I give Eat Your Heart Out: 4/5.

Want to know more about the author?

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

Friday, March 16, 2012

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Against all odds, Katniss has won the Hunger Games. She and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark are miraculously still alive. Katniss should be relieved, happy even. After all, she has returned to her family and longtime friend, Gale. Yet nothing is the way Katniss wishes it to be. Gale holds her at an icy distance. Peeta has turned his back on her completely. And there are whispers of a rebellion against the Capitol - a rebellion that Katniss and Peeta may have helped create. 

Much to her shock, Katniss has fueled an unrest she's afraid she cannot stop. And what scares her even more is that she's not entirely convinced she should try. As time draws near for Katniss and Peeta to visit the districts on the Capitol's cruel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. If they can't prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying. 

In Catching Fire, the second novel of the Hunger Games trilogy, Suzanne Collins continues the story of Katniss Everdeen, testing her more than ever before... and surprising readers at every turn.

My Thoughts:
Catching Fire was definitely a worthy sequel to The Hunger Games. The book has most of the surviving characters from The Hunger Games in it, along with a few new characters that the reader will find impossible not to love. There were several plot twists and turns which kept the book interesting and kept me awake reading until early in the morning trying to find out what happens next. Suzanne Collins writes a very shocking plot twist, and just when you think nothing else shocking is going to happen because she can't trump that one, she throws in another even more shocking twist to shake things up. I think my favorite controversial moment in the book is when Cinna makes Katniss' dress for her interview. I must admit, the ending of Catching Fire made me so mad, I wanted to throw it against a wall. I was completely dumbfounded and never saw it coming. I can't wait to get my hands on the final book in the trilogy, Mockingjay, and ind out what happens next.

I give Catching Fire: 5/5.

Want to know where to buy this book?
Barnes and Noble:

I bought this book at Half-Price Books, and was in no way compensated for this review.

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Vampire Patrons by Robert Gruett

The single greatest misconception about vampires is the notion they can't appreciate a good joke. So begins The Vampire Patrons, a comedic look into the dysfunctional lives of four vampires, all siblings, living in a modern-day world where vampires, werewolves, the undead, and human beings work and live side by side, tolerating each other as best they can. But all is not what it seems when a series of brutal maulings grips the city and the four find themselves piecing together a murder mystery over their weekly dinners together at a second-rate diner - that is, when they're not busy arguing amongst themselves.

My Thoughts:
The Vampire Patrons is a short novella. At about 100 pages, it took me an hour and a half to read. I was a little confused at first about The Blood Laws, such as what they were and how they worked. It turns out, they are explained in the middle of the book, and have no relevance to the story whatsoever. I think it would have made a lot more sense to put in a couple sentences about the laws in the beginning, instead of an interlude in the middle of the story. Freddie was my favorite character. His costumes and attitude were quite entertaining and made me laugh several times. There were a couple funny moments in the book, such as when the main character was pulling pranks at the office. The epilogue of the novella left me thoroughly confused. The murderer was never figured out, even though the reader was certain who it was at the end of the story. At this time, it is not clear if the author is going to create a sequel to The Vampire Patrons. If he does create a sequel, my rating of the novella will probably change. I recommend The Vampire Patrons to someone with a couple hours to kill.  

I give The Vampire Patrons: 2/5.

Want to know more about the author?

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

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. 

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister Primrose, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before — and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

My Thoughts:
Wow, The Hunger Games was an absolutely phenomenal novel. It's kind of a cross between Battle Royale and Lord of the Flies. The characters were all incredibly well written. I can't pick a favorite because I loved them all. Although, I must admit I sobbed like a baby when *SPOILER ALERT* Rue died. I think the concept of The Hunger Games is brilliant, and also a little scary. I could potentially see something like that happening in the distant future. The berries idea near the end of the games was a great idea. It left me completely shocked. I read the book in less than twenty-four hours. It completely captivated me from beginning to end. There was a lot of crazy twists and turns that kept me on the edge of my seat. I really hope that Katniss forms a relationship with Gale that turns out to be more than a friendship sometime before the final book. I can't wait to read book two, and find out what happens next. 

I give The Hunger Games: 5/5.

Want to know more about the author?

I purchased this book at my local Walmart, and was in no way compensated for this review.

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Meerkat Wars by H.S. Toshack

It's all very well helping a young meerkat who's been poisoned by a scorpion. But when you've made friends with the whole Duwara tribe of meerkats, and you discover that they're at war with the Utongo, you may find yourself involved in that too, even if you're only a little black-and-white cat. And when you realize that the two tribes are fighting because each one believes it lives under The One True Sun, then you may have to undertake a very dangerous journey to help them see things differently. You may have to go through The Gorge.
(Synopsis taken from Goodreads.)

My Thoughts:
The Meerkat Wars is a great novel for children and young adults. When I was asked to review this book, I was very excited because I love books about cats. I liked Sheena, the main character, and her wise negotiating skills. She uses her intelligence quite a bit to get out of rough spots with certain characters throughout the book. I liked all the characters in the book. Mondo was definitely my favorite character. I liked her spunkiness and ambition, and was quite sad when Slash killed her. The Meerkat Wars teaches a great lesson to children. It teaches a lesson about accepting the beliefs of other people, no matter how weird or far fetched they may sound. I recommend this book for older elementary kids, and also kids that are in middle school. It was fantastic, and I will definitely buy the other 2 novels in the series to read as well. The Meerkat Wars can be read as a series, with the first two books, or it can be read as a stand alone novel.

I give The Meerkat Wars: 4/5.

Want to know where to buy this book?

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

Giveaway: ARC of Bewitching by Alex Flinn

Since I hit 100 followers on the blog, and 200 on my Facebook page, I have decided to giveaway an ARC of Bewitching by Alex Flinn. I read the book, and thought it was incredible. Kendra was incredibly witty and kick ass. If you loved Beastly, you will definitely love Bewitching. The cover isn't the same as the final cover art.

Bewitching can be a beast. . . . 

Once, I put a curse on a beastly and arrogant high school boy. That one turned out all right. Others didn’t. 

I go to a new school now—one where no one knows that I should have graduated long ago. I’m not still here because I’m stupid; I just don’t age. 

You see, I’m immortal. And I pretty much know everything after hundreds of years—except for when to take my powers and butt out. 

I want to help, but things just go awry in ways I could never predict. Like when I tried to free some children from a gingerbread house and ended up being hanged. After I came back from the dead (immortal, remember?), I tried to play matchmaker for a French prince and ended up banished from France forever. And that little mermaid I found in the Titanic lifeboat? I don’t even want to think about it. 

Now a girl named Emma needs me. I probably shouldn’t get involved, but her gorgeous stepsister is conniving to the core. I think I have just the thing to fix that girl—and it isn’t an enchanted pumpkin. Although you never know what will happen when I start . . . bewitching.

The Rules
Want to enter the giveaway? There are a few simple rules.

  • Follow the blog via GFC. I will check to make sure you do follow the blog.
  • Leave a comment with your GFC name and email address. Please make sure it is a working email address.
  • US mailing addresses only
  • Giveaway ends April 17th
  • I will choose a winner using Once picked, the winner will have 48 hours to reply to my email with their mailing address or else I will pick a new winner.
Have fun and good luck!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

My Next Ten Books to Read and Review (#2)

The first time I posted a list of the next ten books I was going to review, it was fairly popular so I decided to do it again. I like the posting the lists because it gives authors a chance to see if their book is going to get reviewed soon. Also, it gives my followers a chance to check out the upcoming books I have to review, just in case they want to read a specific book with me or before I do. Authors, if you don't see your book on this list, don't worry, I will get to it sooner or later. I have a giant pile of 110 books to review, and it's still growing. I thank everyone for their patience. This does not include any ebook copies I have for review. I review them in between print books.

1. The Meerkat Wars by H.S. Toshack
This book looks so cute. I love the cover and the plot summary. It's a middle grade/YA novel and has some pictures so I'm hoping it doesn't take very long.

2. Eco Station One by Edwin Stark
I have my doubts that I'm going to like this one, but I'll give it a try. It's not my usual genre that I read. The author sent it with a book I requested.

3. Cuentos by Edwin Stark
I love short stories novellas. It's very short, so it should take about an hour to read.

4. Retribution by Kelsey Miller
One of the things that you'll notice if you pay attention to my blog is I love vampire books. I'm always looking for new vampire books to read. I'm not sure how long this will take to read.

5. Island Shifters: An Oath of the Blood
This book sounds really good. I've been wanting to read more shifter novels, and this sounded like a good place to start. Once again, I'm not sure how long it will take to read.

6. The Witch Awakening by Karen Nilsen
I love paranormal romance books, and thought the cover was pretty and the synopsis sounded good so I decided to give it a try.

7. Eat Your Heart Out by Dayna Ingram
Lesbians and zombies. Two of my favorite things. How could I say no? This book is short, so it should only take me a few days to read.

8. Bound by Fire by Ronald J. Craft
This cover looks amazing. It had been on my to read list for quite a long time now, so I decided to request a review copy.

9. The Caldecott Chronicles: Excerpt No. 1 by R.G. Bullet
There are two reasons I wanted to read this book. It's about zombies, which always makes me happy. Also, I wanted to know why the cat was in his pocket on the cover. This is another short one, so it should only take a day or two to read.

10. The Apocalypse Gene by Suki Michelle and Carlyle Clark
I've been wanting to read this book for a long time now, and can't wait until I can finally read it. I've heard a lot of great things about it.

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

Diary of a Part-Time Ghost by Vered Ehsani

In the first book of the ‘Ghost & Shadows’ series, fifteen-year old Ash wants nothing more than to be a normal kid and avoid trouble. And then his birthday gift transforms him into a ghost and zaps him back in time to the beginning of the American Revolution. If he thought that was bad, it’s about to get a whole lot worse. Armed only with an ancient history book and the quirky advice of an annoying mentor, Ash must rescue his ancestor from one danger after another, including an implacable enemy who controls the very shadows. What starts out as a brief experiment in time travel rapidly changes into a race for his very survival, and Ash is running out of time. Despite his efforts to stay out of trouble, Ash finds plenty of it as he must decide what his role will be in the shifting balance of forces. As he moves through one shadow- plagued adventure after another, Ash gradually discovers that true power lives in the most unexpected place: himself. Humorous and action-packed, Diary of a Part-Time Ghost will hold readers in its grip from the first sentence to the last.
(Synopsis taken from Goodreads.)

My Thoughts:
Dairy of a Part-Time Ghost was a bit confusing at times, but otherwise it was a good read. The yellow eyed man, Kali, confused me quite a bit. I'm not sure when Ash's mom let someone in the house, if it was Kali, his reflection, or something else entirely that was also evil and looking for the book. Also, the veil confused me a little bit. Ash was told not to bring Kali in the veil, but when he did, nothing happened other than Kali's true self was revealed. Hopefully the second book in the series will clear everything up and have quite a bit of answers. Other than the confusing parts, the book was written decently well. The plot kept me turning pages, wondering how Ash was going to get Sara and Samuel back to their father, and what type of trouble the group was going to come across next. I liked how the author used bits and pieces of actual history in the plot, such as The Boston Tea Party. The book taught me a few things I didn't know and had me looking up things online because I wanted to learn more. I liked almost all of the characters. The only character I didn't like was Ash's mom. I thought she was very naive, not noticing all that was going on around her. My favorite character was East Wind. I liked his sense of humor, and how he seemed extremely intelligent. I think he knew more about Ash and his ghost like abilities than what he acted like he knew. Throughout the book, the author includes parenthesis to state things that I thought were obvious already and didn't need to be said, which annoyed me a little bit while reading. This book was a decently good YA novel. I recommend it for fans of historical fiction and ghost stories. 

I give Diary of a Part-Time Ghost: 3/5.

Want to know more about the author?

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

Friday, March 2, 2012

Giveaway Winners!

I have chosen the winners of the Giveaway for Caribbean Calling by J.D. Gordon. The winners are:

  • Kara D.
  • DisneyMom
  • JulieJ
  • Pain SUX
  • Kristy
Thank you to everyone that entered. E-mails have already been sent out. You have 48 hours to reply with your mailing address so I can send it to the author and he can mail out the copies. I look forward to hosting more awesome giveaways in the future.