Wednesday, August 31, 2011

August - R.A.K. Wrap-Up!

Book Soulmates
 
This month I received Fairy Bad Day and Zombie Queen of Newbury High from Aislynn




And I gave away these:

The DUFF to Kelsey



and

Forgotten to Hayley


(I also sent some to Aislynn, but I'll put those in next month's because they haven't arrived yet...and some are surprises. :D)

Did you receive or give anything this month???

Happy Reading!!!

♪♫ Ambur

Review: The Glass Man ( A Lily Gray Novel #1) by Jocelyn Adams

Source: Received an ebook from publisher for an honest review.
Publisher: J.Taylor Publishing
Release Date: Already Released.
Visit its page on the publisher website: The Glass Man

Description:
Lila Gray is just a human — at least that's her mantra when she accidentally topples a building or bends a paranoid local's gun into modern art. That she can sense and control the minds around her doesn't prove anything, either. Unwilling to put others at risk, she hides in the wilderness from the beautiful creature who hunts her, one who sees her as his ultimate prize.

Alone, the egocentric Glass Man can kill with a thought. Mated with Lila, he's a supernatural weapon prepared to annihilate the humans he loathes.

Caught in the Glass Man's latest scheme, Lila is plunged into a hidden fae realm, faced with a secret birthright and a forbidden romance.

With the Glass Man threatening everyone she loves, can Lila accept who she is in time to end his bloody reign? Or will she succumb to his dark power and become the vehicle of destruction for the human race?



First, I want to say that I am a BIG fan of books with fae (faeries, fairies, fey, whatever you wanna call 'em...I like 'em ;D) in them, so I absolutely loved the whole fae aspect of The Glass Man, and I think that Jocelyn did a fabulous job with creating her own fae world. It was inventive, and had an incredibly descriptive and vivid backstory. One of the biggest things I loved about this book was that the main character, Lila, is pretty much figuring it all out right alongside of the reader, which I always love in a story.

The characters were fantastic in The Glass Man. There was the fierce and tough heroine, Lila, and the big baddy, Parthalan, who was creepily attractive (translation: dude is a psychopath...yet, seriously attractive, and I mean SERIOUSLY haha) and quite the douchebucket, if I do say so myself. Then there was Liam...awww, I loved me some Liam, and Garret was just so sweet. :D I also loved Lila's memories of her mother. Overall, the characters of The Glass Man were fantastic, and well developed...there wasn't a flat character in the bunch. They could have practically walked right off the page...although in some cases with the creepier ones, I'd be terrified if they really did. *shudder*

While I loved most of this book, there was one aspect that bothered me. Lila was constantly saying things about having choices and decisions, and pretty much being in control of everything that happens in the decision maker's life...yet when it came to a big part of the book where choosing was involved, Lila herself stated that there was no choice. Now, I could understand what she meant in that part of the book, but it still bothered me. For such a fierce character to say something so contradictory to what she'd been saying before, I couldn't help but feel confused. However, in the cases where choices aren't really choices, let's be honest, they usually are and we just say there aren't any so we feel better about the decision we've made. So, I chose to interpret it as Lila made a choice she didn't want to make. Also, just to be clear, this wasn't the type of thing that bothered me enough to actually dislike the book. In fact, I really liked it, but it did bother me during the moment, and I just needed to let it out. :P

Another great part of The Glass Man was all of the action. It was awesome! It was intense, and the to add onto that, the magic throughout the story was completely amazing. Lila has some serious skills! :D This book is more of an adventure story, but it is also sensual, a little erotic, and a lot fantastical. It does have some sex scenes, and there are swear words, so it might not be the most appropriate book for younger readers, or ones who don't like that sort of thing, but if you do like it *waggles eyebrows* then this is definitely a book for you. ;)

Jocelyn Adams has created an amazing world in The Glass Man, full of vivid characters and settings. It's incredibly easy to lose yourself in this book, and trust me, you will want to lose yourself and you will enjoy it. :D

Are you a fan of fae stories?
And I'm curious, how do you feel when a character does something that bothers you?
Do you let it fester, or do you try and move on like I do, and continue to enjoy the story?

Happy Reading!!!

♪♫ Ambur

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

SWEET VENOM 2 Title Hunt!

Sweet Venom's cover...what do you think will Sweet Venom 2 look like?
 
Well hello! You might be here for the Sweet Venom 2 Title Hunt, or you might not! Either way, if you want you can begin the Title Hunt right here.

If you don't have all the details yet, you can go to Tera Lynn Child's BLOG, where she will have the entry form as well as an explanation of how to do the hunt, and links for the hosts' blogs.

Now, here is what you've been waiting for...

My letter is....

S

In case you're curious, the prizes for this hunt are five signed copies of Sweet Venom, and a grand prize of a $50 bookstore gift card. The hunt is also open INTERNATIONALLY! So, yay! Everyone can participate! :D

Once again, you can find details, links, and the hunt's form, here: http://teralynnchilds.blogspot.com.

Happy Reading...and Happy Hunting! :D

♪♫ Ambur

PS. Tour Hosts are also allowed to enter the hunt, so if you're a host also, feel free to get your hunt on! ;D

Teaser Tuesday (41)

Teaser Tuesdays at Should Be Reading

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title and author too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teasers:

"There's no way I can get my fangs in through any of the armored parts of his body. My best chance is the spot where the neck meets the exoskeleton."

- Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs, p. 130
(Taken from ARC copy - pages and quotes could change.)

Well that’s what I’m reading, so what are you reading?

Happy Reading!!!

♪♫ Ambur

Monday, August 29, 2011

Elemental Reality Blog Tour: Review!

Source: Received an ebook for the Elemental Reality blog tour from Publisher.
Publisher: Revolution Publishing
Release Date: Already released.
Number of Pages: 260 (Paperback) - also available in ebook form.

About the book, Elemental Reality (Elemental #1):
When Callie Pierce was ten, her mother disappeared without a trace. On the eve of her disappearance twelve years later, the earth seemingly comes alive. The elements speak to Callie, and that's only the beginning. Everything she has ever known was a twisted fabrication to protect her. Now the truth is set free. Callie and her sister are more powerful than any Faerie ever born. Now they have to use their powers to save their mother and family from the evil hands of fate that threaten to tear them apart. Welcome to her elemental reality.




I've read stories with Feries in them before, and of course, like most children, I've watched Peter Pan. Meaning I've met Tinkerbell...well, the Faeries in Elemental Reality are nothing like Tinkerbell. They aren't tiny, and they don't have pixie dust. :P

That being said, Elemental Reality was incredibly unique. Cesya has created a world where Faeries are subdivided by gender. The males are Conjurers, and the females are the ones you'd call Faeries. I don't want to spoil anything so I won't tell you what the differences are, but I will tell you that they both have awesome powers where they can control either one element, or multiple elements. In this story, there are five elements, and I loved how they were described with the powers, it was awesome! :D Along with their powers, Faeries/Conjurers also have soul mates, each Faerie has a soul mate in a Conjurer and vice versa. I thought that was pretty cool. :D

Now, onto the characters. I loved Callie. Her full name was Callista, which is a bit of a mouthful, and to be honest, I think Callie suits her much better...or perhaps Kitten suits her best. You'll just have to read it to figure out about the whole "Kitten" thing though. I am sooo not spoiling that for you. I also loved Oli...oh boy am I ever a sucker for accents, and Australian ones are definitely one that I have a particular weakness for, and I loved the slang that he used, so freaking adorable! :D I also loved Callie's best friends, Ady and Emery, their relationship was so awesome, and I loved their inside jokes. I was also impressed that Cesya managed to make me feel like I was on the inside of their "inside" jokes, especially since Elemental Reality isn't that long, but in only 260 pages she managed to make me feel as if I knew them, and that I was one of their best friends too. :)

The settings were fantastic! I loved how they were described. From the bar scenes, to the scenes in the Faerie city, to the scenes in Callie's own house. They were fabulous, and once again, I felt like I was there within the story. Elemental Reality was an easy read, with a very smooth flow, and it's one of those books that you can definitely devour within a sitting or two. Cesya did a fabulous job with this story, and I, for one, am anxiously awaiting the next book! :D

Are you a fan of books about Faeries?
Do you prefer the Tinkerbell type, or like it when authors mix it up?
And lastly, does Elemental Reality sound like the type of book you'd like to read?

Happy Reading!!!

♪♫ Ambur

Paradise 21 Blog Tour Winner!



I'm going to make this winner's post short and sweet. :D

The winner of the giveaway for my tour stop of the Paradise 21 Blog Tour is...



She has chosen to receive Spring Maiden! :D

--------------

Congratulations, Jeanne! I hope you enjoy your prize!

Happy Reading everyone!

♪♫ Ambur

Elemental Reality Blog Tour: Guest Post by Cesya MaRae Cuono


 Guest Post Topic: The Elements (In General/how Cesya brought them into her story)

I researched the elements before I wrote about them but I didn’t want the elements in my book to be similar to other myths. I’m sure all or most of you know about the cartoon/movie Avatar: The Last Airbender. They have four different nations: earth, fire, wind, and water. But only the people of that nation can possess that element. Aang (main protagonist) was the only one who was able to control all four elements though. That’s the concept I wanted for my story but I didn’t want the Faeries and Conjurers to control just one element. Yes, some do control only one but it’s a lot stronger because they have the element strength from both parents. I wanted my mythical beings to not only manipulate the elements but also conjure them. I think it sets them apart from other Faerie novels out there. And with the Conjurers being the male counterparts to the Faeries is completely different. The Demons are a different story altogether. They’re at war with the elemental cities because that’s where a five all elements are the strongest in that land. The Demons can only possess the element that is strongest in the place they inhabited. But there is one element the Demons can’t posses without having all five but I’m not telling you which one. Let’s just say they want that element so bad they’ll kill for it. This is probably the hardest guest post I had to do because I don’t want to give too much away to those who haven’t read my novel yet. So I brought the elements into my story by letting them run wild. Okay, not wild but I let them have the strength needed to outshine other stories about the elements or Faeries. At least in my mind I think this concept outshines other stories. But I’m biased so you can’t really ask me. Did I go off on a tangent? I really hope I didn’t stray too far from topic. Um, enjoy my off-topic post?

 
About the author: 

Cesya MaRae Cuono hails from a small town in northeastern Pennsylvania. She is a graduate of Alvernia University where she majored in Business Administration and also received her certificate of Multi-Media & Production makeup from Cosmix School of Makeup Artistry. You can find any updates from Cesya on her websites.

With that said, she'd like to leave you with this advice: Ideas pop into your head at the strangest of times. Don't let them go. Write them down right away and try to make a story out of it. Who knows, it may be worth while.


 (Info. taken from Goodreads.)

Ways to follow Cesya: Blog | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook

About the book, Elemental Reality (Elemental #1):
When Callie Pierce was ten, her mother disappeared without a trace. On the eve of her disappearance twelve years later, the earth seemingly comes alive. The elements speak to Callie, and that's only the beginning. Everything she has ever known was a twisted fabrication to protect her. Now the truth is set free. Callie and her sister are more powerful than any Faerie ever born. Now they have to use their powers to save their mother and family from the evil hands of fate that threaten to tear them apart. Welcome to her elemental reality.


---------------

I don't think Cesya went off topic, I think she did a great job, especially without giving away too much. What do you guys think, does Elemental Reality sound like a good story to you, and did Cesya's guest post make you want to read it even more?

Happy Reading!!!

♪♫ Ambur

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? (42)

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? at One Person's Journey Through a World of Books

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?, is a bookish meme hosted by One Person's Journey Through a World of Books, where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It’s a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list. So hop on over to Journey and join in...and leave a comment here so I can check out what you are reading.


Books I Read Last Week:

I thought So Yesterday was a fantastic story! It was a quick read, and had some amazing characters...plus it really made you think, and it leaves you wondering what "cool" really is. :)

I absolutely love love loved this one! :D This book is gonna stick with me for a while, it was fabulous! :D Melina Marchetta wrote a magical story with Jellicoe Road. It's well written from the start, but for me this book had a gradual build. I just found myself getting more and more involved in the story until I was completely enthralled. I also loved the characters, and the dual aspect of this story, where it was almost as if you were reading two stories at once. Plus, there was Jonah Griggs....*sigh.*

I really liked this one. My review will go up a little bit after this post, so I'm not going to give everything away, but I will say that I thought this story was one-of-a-kind. Cesya took her faeries to a whole knew level. First, she made her male faeries, Conjurers, while the females were Faeries, so they had different abilities, and they also each had soulmates that were their counterparts from the other gender which was pretty cool. Also, once again, just like in Jellicoe Road, there was a sexy boy with an Australian accent, Oli. ;)


Reading Now:
I'm on a couple of chapters into this one. I've been reading it during my breaks at work, and I like it so far. :D


Books I Want to Read This Week:
I received this ARC a while ago, and it sounds fantastic! Plus, I love the cover and the little tagline on the front. :D

I know! I still haven't read this one...*hangs head in shame.* It's been sitting on my shelf for a while now, and I am finally going to read it and discover what the conclusion to this series is...will Ever and Damen get their happy ending...or happy forever I guess? I'll just have to read it and find out...seriously, please don't spoil it or I'm gonna sit here and go "nah, nah, nah! I can't hear you!" haha


And what are you reading???

Check out One Person's Journey Through a World of Books to see what others are reading. :)

Happy Reading!!!

♪♫ Ambur

Sunday, August 28, 2011

In My Mailbox (7)

In My Mailbox at The Story Siren

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren, and inspired by her friend, Alea of Pop Culture Junkie. It's a way to share the books that you've received over the past week. They could come from the bookstore, the library, a friend, your mailbox or wherever. It gives us all a chance to showcase the books that we've gotten, and maybe give others an idea for the book they want to read or buy next. :)

For Review:

With Good Behavior (The Conduct Series #1) by Jennifer Lane (Paperback - sent by Publisher - Omnific Publishing)
Reckless Magic (The Star-Crossed Series #1) by Rachel Higginson (Ebook - sent by Author)

Both of these sound like great stories. I'm definitely excited to read them. :D

---------------

From NetGalley:

The Butterfly Clues by Kate Ellison
Dancergirl by Carol M. Tanzman
The Last Rising (Curse of the Phoenix #1) by Rachel Firasek
Second-Guessing Fate by Claire Robyns
Highland Sanctuary by Jennifer Hudson Taylor
Slayers by C.J. Hill
Liesl and Po by Lauren Oliver
Stick by Andrew Smith
Saving June by Hannah Harrington
The Betrayal: A Novel on John Calvin by Douglas Bond
The Sweetest Thing by Christina Mandelski

...Yes, I totally went overboard with NetGalley titles again this week...I'll never find enough time to read all these, but I like having them there, so I can read and review when I have time. :)

---------------

Bought:

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher (The Book Depostiory)
Cryptic Cravings (Vampire Kisses #8) by Ellen Schrieber (The Book Depository)
Once a Witch (Witch #1) by Carolyn MacCullough (The Book Depository)
Red Glove (Curse Workers #2) by Holly Black (The Book Depository)
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (The Book Depository)
Bloodlust (The Vampire Diaries: Stefan's Diaries #2) by (The Book Depository)
Phaedrus by PLATO - School book...woo hoo school (not really :P) (The Book Depository)
Everyone Loves a Hero by Marie Force (Amazon Kindle Store)
Dark Swan Bundle Pack (Books 1-3) by Richelle Mead (Amazon Kindle Store)
The Wrong Path by Vivian Marie Aubin du Paris (Amazon Kindle Store)
Hidden Gem by India Lee (Amazon Kindle Store)
Virals (Virals #1) by Kathy Reichs (Wal-Mart)

Lots of my books from The Book Depository came in this week, which was awesome! :D Phaedrus was the only school one I ordered, but the rest were all buys because of deals, except Once a Witch, I bought that one so I could read Always a Witch, and know what was happening. :P I also bought a few Kindle titles this week, and a book from Wal-Mart...Virals! It's out on paperback, and I thought why not. It's a really good deal (30% off at Wal-Mart, plus my employee discount :D), and I want to read it. :D

---------------

Received in R.A.K (Random Acts of Kindness):

Zombie Queen of Newbury High by Amanda Ashby
Fairy Bad Day by Amanda Ashby

Both of these books were sent to me by Aislynn from Knit, Purl, Stitch...Read and Cook! Thanks again, Aislynn! :D

---------------

I've been a bum the last few IMM's and forgot to thank people, but not this week. :D So, thanks to Omnific Publishing, Rachel Higginson, NetGalley, The Book Depository, Amazon, Wal-Mart, and of course, Aislynn! :D

Now, what did you all get this week?
Leave a link if you have one, I'd love to see your mailboxes, too. :D

Happy Reading!!!

♪♫ Ambur

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Review: Shut Out by Kody Keplinger

Source: Received an ARC from Hachette Book Group Canada for an honest review.
Publisher: Poppy
Number of Pages: 273 (Hardcover)
Release Date: September 5, 2011

Blurb from Goodreads:

A contemporary reimagining of the Greek play, "Lysistrata," in which high school senior Lissa decides it's time to end her school's ridiculous sports rivalry once and for all by starting a hook-up strike.



I read The DUFF before reading Shut Out, so I wasn't surprised when I read it...couldn't put it down, and absolutely fell in love with it!

Kody Keplinger has a way of writing characters that are so realistic that you genuinely feel like you've met them and personally know them, after reading about them. Her dialogue is fresh, completely realistic, and when I read it I'm constantly left thinking things like: "I'm pretty sure I've actually HAD that conversation with my friends before." She has a way of weaving a story which seems like it would be simple, but when it's all put together it creates one powerhouse of a story. If you haven't read a book by Kody Keplinger yet, you're completely missing out!

I'm a reader who loves her characters. If I don't like the characters, I generally don't like the books. In Shut Out, I never had that problem at all. Lissa, the main character, was insecure, yet she was full of sass. She had a douche (excuse my use of the word douche...it just happens to be one of my favourite words to use when complaining about guys...it can also be substituted for jerk if you prefer) of a boyfriend, and I was seriously so proud of Lissa for how she handled the different situations that Randy put her through. So freaking proud...I may have even actually said "You go girl!" while reading. :P

Now onto the yummy and awesome-tastic Cash, who was so awesome I just added a -tastic when describing him. He was smart, about most things anyways, and just all around amazing. The chemistry between Cash and Lissa was so amazing, and I found myself gushing over every single moment that they were together. I loved that Cash was more than just a jock too. He's a soccer player...which seems like it shouldn't be a big deal, but in Lissa's school, it is. Instead of there being rivalries with other schools, they have a rivalry within the school. The soccer and football teams endlessly torment each other, and it even leads to violence. It's even gotten to the point where the players don't even remember why their whole rivalry started.

Now onto the whole idea of the book itself. It's loosely based off of the Greek play "Lysistrata" by Aristophanes where the women of Athens are getting so fed up with the violence going on around them during a civil war that they decide to go a sex strike, which is led by Lysistrata. Now, I haven't read this play, but after reading Shut Out, I definitely want to. Lissa hadn't actually read Lysistrata, it's Cash who initially introducing the play to her (I know! He's smart too...seriously awesome-tastic I tell you!). She starts the whole hook-up strike because she's fed up with her boyfriend, Randy, placing more importance on the rivalry than he does on their relationship. She's also fed up with the violence after a soccer player gets injured after one of the football teams "harmless" pranks. Lissa manages to get a bunch of the girls on her side, and she leads them, just like Lysistrata did, and she helps keep them from caving in to their boyfriends. Then the boys start fighting back.

I absolutely loved Shut Out, if that wasn't already obvious. I loved the idea, the way it was written, and the characters. This story was hilarious, and I encourage everyone to read it! I really don't think you'll be disappointed!

If you want to get yourself a copy of Shut Out, it comes out on September 5th. :)

Happy Reading!!!

♪♫ Ambur

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (40)

Teaser Tuesdays at Should Be Reading

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title and author too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teasers:
"Jonah Griggs.

Not just a name but a state of mind I never want to revisit, although I do keep him at the back of my mind for those times I get my hopes raised about something. So then I can slap myself into reality and remind myself of what happens when you let someone into your sacred space. Jonah Griggs is the second reminder to never ever trust another human being."

- Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta, p.54

I let my teaser run a little long today...I figured that I'd include "Jonah Griggs." into the first longer sentence. :P haha What about you? Do you have a teaser to share?

Happy Reading!!!

♪♫ Ambur

Monday, August 22, 2011

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? (41)

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? at One Person's Journey Through a World of Books

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?, is a bookish meme hosted by One Person's Journey Through a World of Books, where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It’s a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list. So hop on over to Journey and join in...and leave a comment here so I can check out what you are reading.


Books I Read Last Week:

Yay! I finished Dust and Decay this week! :D I'm still regretting putting this one down before. I got myself in a funk, but hopefully now I'll be out of it. ;)


Reading Now:

 I didn't touch this one this week, but I'll get to it. Hopefully this week. :)

I'm loving this one. :) It's a pretty fast paced story and I love that. Plus, it isn't super long, so I feel like I'm getting lots of reading done. haha


Books I Want to Read This Week:
This is the only one I'm going to "plan" to read this week. haha It's for a blog tour, and it looks really interesting, so I'm definitely excited to start it. :D

---------------

Clearly I didn't get very much read this week. Unfortunately I worked mostly closing shifts this week, so that took up a lot of my free time...plus I watched a bunch of movies with my mom this week. We watched Jane Eyre, Soul Surfer, and my dad watched Priest with us. Oh and I finally watched the season 2 finale of Glee...I'm kind of glad I didn't watch it right away. I knew I'd be annoyed. :P

So what are you reading???

Check out One Person's Journey Through a World of Books to see what other people are reading. :)

Happy Reading!!!

♪♫ Ambur

Saturday, August 20, 2011

In My Mailbox (6)

In My Mailbox at The Story Siren

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren, and inspired by her friend, Alea of Pop Culture Junkie. It's a way to share the books that you've received over the past week. They could come from the bookstore, the library, a friend, your mailbox or wherever. It gives us all a chance to showcase the books that we've gotten, and maybe give others an idea for the book they want to read or buy next. :)

For Review:
 Elemental Reality (Elemental #1) by Cesya MaRae Cuono
 Fated Encounter (A Holloway Pack Mini) by J.A. Belfield

I actually got Fated Encounter last week, but I forgot to put it on my IMM, so I decided to put it on this one. :)

From NetGalley and GalleyGrab:
  You Are My Only by Beth Kephart (NetGalley)
 Lie by Caroline Bock (NetGalley)
 Shattered Dreams: A Midnight Dragonfly Novel by Ellie James (NetGalley)
 Fake Me a Match by Lauren Barnholdt (Simon and Schuster GalleyGrab)
 Past Perfect by Leila Sales (Simon and Schuster GalleyGrab)
 The Pledge by Kimberly Derting (Simon and Schuster GalleyGrab)

In case anyone's curious, The Pledge is not this month's GalleyGrab newsletter, but the link to it is floating around twitter, and if you tweet at me, I'd be happy to send you the link, too. :)

Won:
 Shine by Lauren Myracle (from EarPhoria)
  Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz (from Pure Imagination during blog tour)
Children of the Elementi by Ceri Clark (from LibraryThing)
  Rippler by Cidney Swanson (from LibraryThing)
 The Thirteenth Chime by Emma Michaels (from The Itzel Library
  The Water Wars by Cameron Stracher (from Raincoast Books' newlettter
  Haunted by Joy Preble (from Raincoast Books' newlettter)
 I'm Not Her by Janet Gurtler (from Raincoast Books' newlettter)
  If I Tell by Janet Gurtler (Liz who sent Raincoast Books prizes tossed this one in as an extra :D)

I've had a spring of luck over the last little while, and these are some of the awesome goodies I've gotten! :D

Bought:
 The Craving (The Vampire Diaries: Stefan's Diaries #3) by (bought at Walmart)
 iDrakula by Bekka Black (bought on Amazon's Kindle Store) - on sale right now! ;D

I'm slowly trying to get all of Stefan's diaries, but I ended up buying the 3rd one first because it was the only one at Walmart, and I ordered the second one on The Book Depository...now I just need Origins! haha

Well that was my mailbox this week, what was yours like? :D

Happy Reading!!!

♪♫ Ambur

Friday, August 19, 2011

Paradise 21 Blog Tour: Review and GIVEAWAY! (Giveaway Closed.)

Photobucket

Source: Received ecopy of book for a Kismet Book Tour.
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Release Date: Already Released.
Number of Pages: 247 (Paperback)
Visit Paradise 21's Tour Page on Kismet's website for more information.

About Paradise 21 (Goodreads Page) Paradise 21 at Entangled Publishing

Aries has lived her entire life aboard mankind’s last hope, the New Dawn, a spaceship traveling toward a planet where humanity can begin anew—a planet that won’t be reached in Aries’ lifetime. As one of the last genetically desirable women in the universe, she must marry her designated genetic match and produce the next generation for this centuries-long voyage. But Aries has other plans.

When her desperate escape from the New Dawn strands her on a desert planet, Aries discovers the rumors about pirates—humans who escaped Earth before its demise—are true. Handsome, genetically imperfect Striker possesses the freedom Aries envies, and the two connect on a level she never thought possible. But pursued by her match from above and hunted by the planet’s native inhabitants, Aries quickly learns her freedom will come at a hefty price.

The life of the man she loves.



Review:

I wasn't sure what to expect when I started reading Paradise 21. I knew it wasn't going to have Earth as its setting, and that somehow Aries was going to meet a handsome man named Striker. I knew these things from the blurb on Goodreads, but they didn't prepare me for this book...at all! Instead, I was wowed by a book that was way more than I expected. I expected to like it obviously, or I wouldn't have signed up to read it for a blog tour, but I definitely didn't expect to get as wrapped up in this story as I did. When I finished Paradise 21, I was honestly upset that it was over...I was like "I want to more!!!" :P

Now that I have professed my love for this book, it's time for some details. The characters were fantastic. Aries was amazing! The fact that she'd grown up on a ship where they basically discouraged any type of original thought didn't deter her at all. She was amazing; smart, determined, thrifty, and selfless when those that she loved were at risk. I have to admit, I love seeing heroines who use their heads, and when they don't like what it's saying, they follow their heart. Then there was Striker...oh my, my, my. If I ever try and land on a strange planet from my cramped life on a spaceship, I hope I find a space pirate like him...now I know what you're thinking, "That won't happen...seriously...ever!" And, you know what, you're right! It won't, but a girl can dream, can't she? :P 

Along with Striker and Aries, were Barliss, Aries' betrothed, Tiff and Drifter, Striker's ex-crewmates, and a few newbies thrown in. I'll admit, I was not a fan of Barliss. He was heartless, and was willing to do anything to get his way. He was basically a 40-something bully who was doing it all in the name of the cause. Tiff and Drifter, were also pretty selfish. They staged a mutiny on Striker, and abandoned him on Sahara 354...which I guess turned out alright, since that's where he met Aries. ;)  I also really liked Loot, who was rescued by Tiff when he was little, he was just so darn sweet, and so loyal. :)

I thought the story itself was fantastic! Aubrie did a fantastic job crafting the world of Paradise 21. I felt it was realistic, and it the perfect amount of descriptive. Hopefully you understand what I mean by that. haha I'll clear it up though, just in case. By saying Paradise 21 was the perfect amount of descriptive, I mean that it wasn't overly descriptive, which frankly bores me after a while, or not descriptive enough. It was just right. I felt like I could actually picture the world around Striker, and Aries, and it was as if I was really there.

Along with the characters, and descriptions, I loved the romance of this story. I was definitely a fan of Striker and Aries, and I loved them together. The whole concept of choice was huge in Paradise 21, too. It made a big impact on me. Aries grew up on the New Dawn, where everything was chosen for her. Her job, her husband, and all other choices were decided for her based on the fact that they had an obligation to pass on their unique genetic code. Their whole lives were lived as machines basically, and their main operative was to mate, and pass on their DNA so that a generation in the future would reach the ship's destination, Paradise 21. I loved that Aries was fighting so hard to have choices, and that she was so passionate about being able to have them at all, it was kind of inspiring, and makes you think about how we kind of take the fact that we have choices for granted. Ergo, I loved that Paradise 21 made me think, and examine my own choices. It's always nice when a book blows away your expectations...and Paradise 21 definitely blew mine out of the water...or should I say into outer space. ;)


Book Trailer:



About Aubrie Dionne:


Aubrie is an author and flutist in New England. Her stories have appeared in Mindflights, Niteblade, Silver Blade, A Fly in Amber, and several print anthologies including Skulls and Crossbones by Minddancer Press, Rise of the Necromancers, by Pill Hill Press, Nightbird Singing in the Dead of Night by Nightbird Publishing, Dragontales and Mertales by Wyvern Publications, A Yuletide Wish by Nightwolf Publications, and Aurora Rising by Aurora Wolf Publications. Her epic fantasy is published with Wyvern Publications, and several of her ebooks are published with Lyrical Press and Gypsy Shadow Publishing. When she’s not writing, she plays in orchestras and teaches flute at Plymouth State University and a community music school.

TOUR STOPS:


Thursday, August 18th - Books Like Breathing / Character Interview, Aries
Friday, August 19th - Burning.x.Impossibly.x.Bright / Guest Post, Character Building: Challenges and Rewards

Tuesday, August 23th - The Fiction Enthusiast / Guest Post, Paradise 21: the twenty first planet capable of sustaining life
Wednesday, August 24th - Bewitched Bookworms / Author Interview
Thursday, August 25th - The Book Faery Reviews / Guest Post, What Makes Space Opera So Awesome?
Friday, August 26th - The Well-Read Wife / Guest Post, Pirate names: learn the crew of the Morphic Marauder


GIVEAWAY!


As part of the Kismet Book Touring's Tour for Paradise 21, each stop is giving away a signed postcard and one of Aubrie's previous works , which one you win is up to you. To enter, all you have to do is fill out the form below. This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL and lasts until the end of the tour on August 26th (at 11:59 PM Mountain Standard Time). The winner will be chosen using Random.org and they will have 48 hours to claim their prizes. To enter, you must also be 13 years or older.

To enter to win the three necklaces that Aubrie made (picture to the left), all you have to do is comment on one of the participating blogs' Paradise 21 tour post (you can find all the stops under Tour Stops right above this giveaway in this post) and you'll be entered in the giveaway for the necklaces. Winners will be announced on Aubrie's blog at the end of the tour. 

To enter to win the signed postcard and an ebook, just fill out this FORM.

*GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.*

Are you looking forward to reading Paradise 21? Have you read it already?
Any thoughts you'd like to share? :)

Happy Reading!!!

♪♫ Ambur

Paradise 21 Blog Tour: Guest Post: Challenges and Rewards of Character Building by Aubrie Dionne

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Challenges and Rewards of Character Building

When I started writing about six years ago, setting, tone, and imagery were my strong points. Not characters. At. All. My characters were too perfect. I was afraid to give them flaws: afraid my characters would be….dum dum dum….unlikeable.

But in doing so, I made them too perfect and un-relatable. Flaws are what make us human, and how we deal with our flaws makes us who we are.

For me, the challenge of character building was giving my characters flaws they’d have to grapple with, and in the end, overcome. It wasn’t easy.

In Paradise 21, Aries is unable to put others in front of her own wants and needs, to serve the purpose of the greater good. She overcomes this flaw when she meets and falls for Striker, and ultimately puts his life above her own, winning his love in the process.

The rewards of character building are watching my characters grow and using their character arcs to further the plot. When I get it right, everything falls into place like I’ve just figured out some giant puzzle. It’s amazing.

What is the most interesting character flaw to read/write about?

About Aubrie Dionne:



Website / Blog

Aubrie is an author and flutist in New England. Her stories have appeared in Mindflights, Niteblade, Silver Blade, A Fly in Amber, and several print anthologies including Skulls and Crossbones by Minddancer Press, Rise of the Necromancers, by Pill Hill Press, Nightbird Singing in the Dead of Night by Nightbird Publishing, Dragontales and Mertales by Wyvern Publications, A Yuletide Wish by Nightwolf Publications, and Aurora Rising by Aurora Wolf Publications. Her epic fantasy is published with Wyvern Publications, and several of her ebooks are published with Lyrical Press and Gypsy Shadow Publishing. When she’s not writing, she plays in orchestras and teaches flute at Plymouth State University and a community music school.



TOUR STOPS:

Monday, August 8th - A Journey of Books / Guest Post, Where Aubrie got the idea for Paradise 21
Tuesday, August 9th - Paranormal Opinion / Guest Post, Paradise 21: Space Pirates with a Chip on Their Shoulder
Wednesday, August 10th - The Great, The Good and The Bad / Guest Post, Sci fi terminology in Paradise 21
Thursday, August 11th - The Magic Attic / Character Interview, Striker
Friday, August 12th - We Fancy Books / Guest Post, The baddies in Paradise 21

Monday, August 15th - My Bookish Ways / Author Interview
Tuesday, August 16th - Oodles of Books / Guest Post, Luggage in Space
Wednesday, August 17th - Mission To Read / Guest Post, Creating your own world: Positives and Negatives
Thursday, August 18th - Books Like Breathing / Character Interview, Aries
Friday, August 19th - Burning.x.Impossibly.x.Bright / Guest Post, Character Building: Challenges and Rewards

Tuesday, August 23th - The Fiction Enthusiast / Guest Post, Paradise 21: the twenty first planet capable of sustaining life
Wednesday, August 24th - Bewitched Bookworms / Author Interview
Thursday, August 25th - The Book Faery Reviews / Guest Post, What Makes Space Opera So Awesome?
Friday, August 26th- The Well-Read Wife / Guest Post, Pirate names: learn the crew of the Morphic Marauder

 -----------------------------

Visit Paradise 21's Tour Page on Kismet Book Touring's website for more information. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Review: Abandon by Meg Cabot

Source: Received a reviewer copy from Scholastic Canada for an honest review.
Publisher: Point
Number of Pages: 320 (Hardcover)
Release Date: Already released.

Blurb from Goodreads:


New from #1 New York Times bestselling author Meg Cabot, a dark, fantastical story about this world . . . and the underworld.

Though she tries returning to the life she knew before the accident, Pierce can't help but feel at once a part of this world, and apart from it. Yet she's never alone . . . because someone is always watching her. Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back.

But now she's moved to a new town. Maybe at her new school, she can start fresh. Maybe she can stop feeling so afraid.

Only she can't. Because even here, he finds her. That's how desperately he wants her back. She knows he's no guardian angel, and his dark world isn't exactly heaven, yet she can't stay away . . . especially since he always appears when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him most.
But if she lets herself fall any further, she may just find herself back in the one place she most fears: the Underworld.




I love pretty much any story that is associated with mythology, and Abandon was no exception. I thought it was a fabulous story, and this was also my first time reading anything by Meg Cabot. I'll definitely be reading more from her in the future. :)

I thought that Abandon was an interesting twist on the myth of Persephone and Hades from Greek myth. For anyone who is unfamiliar, the myth goes something like this. Hades is all alone in the Underworld, so he kidnaps Persephone for his wife. Zeus actually let him take her, but her mother, Demeter, was not pleased, and she made Hades let her go. However, while Persephone was in the Underworld she ate some seeds from a Pomegranate. Zeus had said that Persephone could return home if she were as pure as she was when she went to the Underworld, but since she'd tasted the fruit of life (a.k.a the Pomegranate ---but, most likely a metaphor for something else ;P), she was not allowed to return completely, but Zeus let her come back every Spring. This was one of the myths that the Greeks sed to describe the seasons, Spring occurred because Demeter was rejoicing at having her daughter back, and Winter would occur when she was grieving the absence of her daughter. If you want to know more, you can google it, there's plenty to learn! :D So anyways, Abandon is similar in some ways to the myth of Persephone, yet also completely different. To begin with John, the aforementioned "he" in the book's blurb is not Hades, and Pierce isn't a goddess, she's just a regular girl who is wealthier than most. ;P

I loved the chemistry between the characters of Abandon, and I loved how Meg drew in details from mythology, while also giving the story her own unique spin. I especially loved what she did with the Furies. As a main character, I thought Pierce was fantastic. She was easy to relate to, and I could definitely sympathize with her out of control emotions. John was mysterious, and at times frightening. The only thing I wasn't a fan of with John was his name. I couldn't help but think that it was such an unoriginal and boring name, especially when compared to Pierce. Honestly, that was my biggest complaint though, and when a character's name is the only thing you can have to complain about, the book must be pretty good. :P

I loved the action, the intensity, the flashbacks, and pretty much everything else with Abandon. The mystery elements were amazing, and I loved how certain details unveiled throughout the story. I also loved the setup. There wasn't just one simple chapter explaining how Pierce's accident occurred, or of how she'd originally met John. It was told over a span of the book, and I liked that. It was realistic. It was as if Pierce were letting her guard down and she couldn't help but remember those things.

Overall, I thought that Abandon was a fantastic story! One that mythology fans, and also people who are unfamiliar with mythology, will enjoy. Meg Cabot has taken a classic Greek myth and twisted it into a story of her own, and the results are amazing! I definitely recommend that you read this one, or at the very least, that you look into it! ;D

Are you a fan of mythology?
If you are, what's your favourite myth?
Also, have you read Abandon yet? What did you think?

Happy Reading!!!

♪♫ Ambur

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (39)

Teaser Tuesdays at Should Be Reading

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title and author too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teasers:

"We headed back to my house to do research. I could feel us getting closer to the anti-client, the degrees of separation dropping like Becky Hammon's free throws."



- So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld, p.159

That's my teaser for this Tuesday, do you have one you'd like to share? :)

Happy Reading!!!

♪♫ Ambur

Monday, August 15, 2011

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? (40)

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? at One Person's Journey Through a World of Books

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?, is a bookish meme hosted by One Person's Journey Through a World of Books, where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It’s a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list. So hop on over to Journey and join in...and leave a comment here so I can check out what you are reading. All links for book titles go to Goodreads. :)


Books I Read Last Week:
I loved this one! It was amazing...but be warned it is a major tearjerker! I don't think I stopped crying for a good 15 minutes after finishing it, and if you're read this one, or are planning to read it, make sure to check out Angela's blog she has an unpublished epilogue to Sing Me to Sleep on there that was just perfect!

 Paradise 21 (A New Dawn #1) by Aubrie Dionne
    This was an awesome story! :D I really enjoyed reading it, and I'll be posting my review of it on Friday, so be sure to check that out. :D
    I also really liked this one. The characters were great (usually ---I did want to shake them sometimes :P), and it was definitely a steamy and inventive read. ;) I'll be reviewing this one a bit closer to its release date, so I'm think late August. :)
    Loved this one! I only wish it had been longer...I didn't get nearly enough of Sean's POV *insert dreamy sigh here*. I loved getting to read Sean's perspective in this scene, and I can't wait to tell you all more about it in my review, which I'll be posting on September first...along with a giveaway of Darkness and Light, which I reviewed just a couple of weeks ago...if you didn't read that review, I'll sum it up. It was amazing! The main duo/couple, Sean and Jem, had some fiery and feisty chemistry which reminded me of Clay and Elena from Kelley Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld series. :)



    Reading Now:
     So, I read a few pages of this one, but not much. It's getting closer to this one's release date, so I'm going to try and finish this one soon. :)
    I'm kind of floating in the water with this one. It hasn't really captured my interest, so I keep reading like one or two pages at a time. I'm thinking the next day I have off I will sit myself outside (if it's nice anyways :P) and just try and get absorbed into this one. :)
    A few months ago I read the first few chapters of this one on Scott Westerfeld's website and really liked it. My copy came in from BookCloseOuts.ca and I couldn't resist reading from where I left off...well I skimmed a bit first to reacquaint myself. :P


    Books I Want to Read This Week:

    I haven't read a Tera Lynn Childs book yet (even though I have a few sitting on my shelves just waiting to be read), but I can't wait to start this one. It sounds fantastic. It has mythology, an amazing sounding description, and that pretty pretty cover all tantalizing me and tempting me to read it...so read it I shall! :)
    I almost started this when I got it in the mail the other day, but I shook myself and stopped. I want to try and finish some of the ones I'm already reading, so I'll try and hold off on this one until I finish at least one...somehow I don't think that will happen. :P


    And what are you reading???

    Check out One Person's Journey Through a World of Books to see what others reading. :)

    Happy Reading!!!

    ♪♫ Ambur