Thursday, December 18, 2014

Cover Characteristic - December 18th, 2014 - Vintage

Cover Characteristics is hosted at  Sugar and Snark.  Here are the guidelines for how it works if you want to join in:

Each week we will post a characteristic and choose 5 of our favorite covers with that characteristic. If you want to join in and share your 5 favorite covers with the weeks particular characteristic, then just make a post, grab the meme picture (or make your own) and leave your URL in Linky (so we can visit).
You don’t even need to participate, just stopping by and saying hi would be great! Don’t forget to stop by the other participants!

I always try to pick books I've already read, in no particular order.

This week's characteristic:
Vintage (I'm not sure exactly what fits this, so I'm going with old fashioned clothing)

 Actually any of the books in this trilogy have great covers

 Another trilogy with great covers for this characteristic



Those are the first 5 that I came up with when I looked through my "Read" books list on Goodreads.  But they're all fun ones I think. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Mania (The Night Walkers #3) by J.R. Johansson

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where we spotlight upcoming releases that we're eagerly awaiting.  Again it's another series that I'm excited for there to be another book in.  I enjoyed the first two, Insomnia, and Paranoia.  Here is the blurb from Goodreads for this 3rd book:

Jack and his half-brother Parker have no time to mourn the loss of their father, Daniel Chipp. With an attack by the body-stealing Takers imminent, the pair must put aside their grief and track down the ingredients of Daniel’s formula—one that will rein in the power-hungry Takers—to keep their family and friends out of danger.

Their only hope lies in a puzzle their father left behind, a riddle where each brother unknowingly possesses a piece of the solution. The puzzle sets them on a deadly path, spiraling between reality and the world of dreams where nothing and no one can be trusted entirely. And when Parker finds himself deep in the fray between the Takers and the other Night Walkers, it’s up to Jack to complete the formula and save his brother’s life.

I'm very excited to read more about this family and what they will do with their abilities.
 What book are you eagerly anticipating this week? 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Promo: Lunar Passing by Rachel Deagan

Lunar Passing (Book 2 of the Caged Moon Series) by Rachel Deagan
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance

As if in slow motion, the world spun. The front fender of the truck slammed into us from behind, and everything lurched forward. Bags, arms, clothes, sailed by my head. The muffled sound of screams were lost somewhere in a tumultuous roar as the van hit a pothole, and we began to roll. Cold metal crushed in on me, and the splintering sound of gunshots echoed in my ears…
Several months had passed since the murders in the old farmhouse and secrets had been revealed. Too bad a cover up in this day and age, hadn’t been exactly so easy.

About the Author:
Rachel Deagan
Rachel grew up in small town Massachusetts where she spent most of her time writing about strange paranormal creatures instead of paying attention in class. She has always been considered the ‘dreamy’ one with her head in the clouds, but it has all been worth it. Rachel, now, is YA Author of both The Caged Moon Series, and The Prophecy.
Twitter: @racheldeagan

The Giveaway:
2 paperback copies -US only, and 5 e-copies of Lunar Passing by Rachel Deagan.
a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Book Excerpt:
“What are you doing here?” Aaron asked, standing in the doorway at the side of the room marked Staff Only. I hadn’t heard the main door open behind me, nor had I felt the cold draft of air that would have been pulled in with him. So he was already here, before me. The thought sent goose bumps down my spine. “Liam said for everyone to stay put, so we wouldn’t be seen.”
“I should be asking you the same thing,” I said, trying to front an air of self-confident bravery. “Why are you here then?”
A devious smile rose across his lips. “I don’t take orders from my brother. Apparently, you don’t either. I admire that.”
My stomach felt sick. How could he think that I would ever be on his side about anything, especially in defiance of Liam? “He loves you,” I blurted out, trying to refrain from shaking. I was so upset. “How dare you.”
“Oh, please. Don’t go getting your panties all in a bunch. You really need to learn how to relax.” He shook his head, and closed the staff door behind him. “I was teasing, Charlotte, but that aside, what are you doing out here?”
My wolf wanted to claw and scratch him. He had some nerve. “I don’t need to be telling you anything,” I said, slipping the envelope into my pocket while he closed the staff door behind him.
“Well, good then.” He smiled in a way that made me want to growl. “Then I don’t have to tell you, what I’m doing either.” He winked, moving past me to the main door leading to the curb outside. “We have a truce.”
“Wait,” I said, and he paused, lifting a brow. “What are you talking about? Why were you in the office? That’s staff only.”
“Now, come on, Charlotte. I thought we had a deal.”
“I never agreed to anything, and you don’t exactly have a great track record. Did you do something to the guy who works here? Where is he?”
Aaron shrugged, extending his arms with mocked innocence.
I sighed. “Fine, I was going to mail a letter to my parents to tell them I was okay. I didn’t want them to worry.”
“Thank you,” he said with a smile. “That’s all I wanted to know.” He turned back to the door, swinging it wide. The cool air nipped at my skin, making me shiver.
“Hey,” I said, stomping up to him, “that’s not fair. I told you what I was doing. Now you have to.”
“Why?” he asked with a chuckle. “You really are fun to mess with though,” he teased with a grin. “The look on your face is great.”
God, I hated him. I tried to stay calm.
“Did you do something to the man who works here?” I demanded through my teeth, barely containing the coiling fury building inside me.
He licked his lip and then leaned in close to me, his breath tickling my ear. “I ate him.”

Monday, December 15, 2014

Review: The Murder of Adam and Eve by William Dietrich

First, thanks to Burrows Publishing and Netgalley for allowing me to read an e-galley of this.  It was okay.  As I look back at it, it probably was a little better than I thought.  The idea is an interesting one, I just got a little bored at parts. 

The main character is a 16 year old boy named Nick.  Thanks to his new substitute history teacher, he has tried to do some research on an old military fort out on a nearby island.  But once he gets out there, something strange happens when he goes into what looked to be a blocked tunnel. All of a sudden he blacks out. When he wakes up, everything seems different.  There are no noises of other people, boats, airplanes, etc.  But he runs into a girl named Ellie, who tells him that she's been recruited by some aliens named the Xu in order to try to convince them that humans are worth saving.  They talk about how humans have destroyed the planet and are violent and don't deserve to continue.  In order to prove that humans are worth saving, Ellie and Nick are sent back to prehistoric time to where the scientific "Adam" and "Eve" are.  And they must save them before the Xu get there and kill them. 

At first they are just out in the wilderness, and they must survive among the lions and other animals, like snakes, and even hyenas.  They must figure out how to get food.  And after doing that, then they must find this Adam and Eve.  And once they've done that, they must figure out what they can do to prove they deserve to live.  But Ellie and Nick have a lot of different ideas about how to do this.  Ellie wants to hide the ancestors, while eventually Nick feels they will have to stand up and fight.  And when it seems things may be right the way they should be, both Nick and Ellie will have to beware of the other possibly betraying what they want.  In the end, decisions will be made, and the Xu will move on leaving humans to continue to prove their worth.  Nick will learn what kind of a person he is, and what he needs to do in order to help the human race.

The descriptions of the animals and the landscapes was beautiful and very vivid.  But at times this is where I got bogged down in the story, and I got to where I was skimming along to get to the point where they would find the Adam and Eve. And once there, I definitely got interested in how things would turn out.  How would they save Adam and Eve?  And with the time travel, I just wondered how in the world would they be able to get away with everything they did and showed those people without totally messing up the future that Nick and Ellie came from.  At the very end of the book I liked how the author had a bit of information about the real science and history of the time period talked about, as well as the Earth's history.  It was refreshing to see all of it put out there, and the author to point out what things he'd taken liberty with for the sake of the story. 

So, a good read, definitely a journey story, not a road trip though, no roads back then.  But so much was beautiful reminders of nature and a much simpler time.  Even while reminding us how good things really are today, even with all the bad stuff.  I also liked that while the aliens did talk about the bad things humans had done to the planet, I didn't feel a lot of preaching like there often is on that subject.  All in all, I would recommend it for people who enjoy a bit of time travel along with true-ish history and through provoking ideas.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? - December 15th, 2014

This weekly meme is sponsored by Book Journey, and we talk about things we read last week, and our plans for what we'll read this coming week.

Last week:

My reading has just not been good lately!  No time it seems.  Too much going on.  Plus, I had started an egalley last week that I had trouble getting into and ended up DNFing, Unlovely by Celeste Conway.  I got 50 pages into it, and it still hadn't really grabbed me, so I set it down to read something else.  My goal is two reviews a week, so I did at least meet that.
  Currently Reading:

My current read is an e-galley that I'm not really pumped up about.  I'm waiting for something to pay off in the end.  I do intend to finish it before I go to bed tonight.  I'm ready to move on to my next read!  I had hoped to be done with this book last night, but I kept falling asleep and as I was holding my Nook up above my face as I was in bed reading, I kept hitting myself in the nose when it fell.  

This week:

So, I am getting around to an ARC that I have been so excited about ever since my manager at the bookstore where I work part time gave it to me.  And then I hope to get through some other e-galleys quickly.  So again, this is a tentative plan, although I'm sure the first two on the list I'll get at least one of them done and the other started by the end of the week for sure.
 The last two are both ones that are published on January 6th I believe, which I have a bunch of e-galleys that will be published on that day that I need to get to!  So I may be reading two e-galleys for every physical book or ARC that I read until I get a bit more caught up on those e-galleys.  Plus, I'll be starting the COYER Challenge on Saturday, so that will fit in with that as well.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Stacking the Shelves - December 13th, 2014

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.  It is a way for us to share the new books we have collected.  This was a pretty good week, as I got one of my Secret Santa gifts, and also a surprise ARC in the mail!

I ended up signing up for two Secret Santas through two different blogs.  So far I've sent both, but only received one.  Which is okay since I just got one of mine sent today!  But my first one I received was through The Broke and The Bookish Secret Santa, and it was actually someone I knew, I'd traded with her on YA Book Exchange in the past.  And can I say that she totally spoiled me?  Before I get into all the books she got me, let me share all the extra stuff in the box.

There were two magazines, a Chinese DVD of the first four seasons of The Big Bang Theory, lots of really good smelling soaps and lotions and hand sanitizers, some candy (which I've eaten some already), a candle, and some cute undies!  So a big thank you goes out to Mia of M and Em Read.  Now for the books she sent me!

Three awesome books I've been wanting! Thakns again Mia!!  You 're an awesome Secret Santa.  

Surprise ARC:

It's a big thick one!  I've read one other book by this author, and it was a pretty good one.  I know that I will probably want to order this for my school library after I read it as well.  Thanks to Scholastic Publishing for this one.

E-galleys from Edelweiss:

Three really awesome ones from Edelweiss this week.

E-galley from Netgalley:

 As you can see, I got a couple Holocaust books this week.  And then The Last American Vampire I'm really excited about.  I got to meet the author this summer, and I'd hoped to get an ARC of it, but all I got was an autograph in the first book.  So I"m very excited for this e-galley.

Free e-book:

The first one was free, sounded interesting, so I downloaded it.  The 2nd one I've seen around, and it sounds okay, but when it was free I went for it. 

So a pretty good week!  I've still got another Secret Santa gift that should be coming, and I'll be asking for some books for Christmas as well.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Review: The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

This is an ARC I was lucky enough to get at BEA.  I didn't get to meet the author unfortunately, but still was able to get ahold of the ARC, and I'm glad I did.  I believe this is the first book by this author that I've read. But now I know that I need to read more!  And not just because there was a dachshund in the book. 

The main character is Hazel.  She and her brother live in a town where the forest nearby has a glass casket with a horned boy inside of it.  Now this glass is impossible to break.  People have tried over the years.  And it's not just the boy in the casket, there are fairies and other types of creatures in the forest.  For the most part their tricks are just scary, mostly harmless. Although if you are a tourist and don't know the rules, things might happen to you.  Deadly things.  Hazel and her brother Ben have lived in a house near the forest their whole lives.  They've gone to see the boy in the casket all the time.  Told him their secrets, fallen in love with him, both of them.  Before Ben was born, their mother painted a picture of one of the fairies, and the fairy woman blessed Ben to be musical.  When one of the fairies attack Hazel, he is able to play music in a way that saves her, and then they kill the fairy. They decide from that point on that they will hunt fairies.  At least they do until Ben questions his control of his musical ability.  So Hazel makes a deal so that Ben is able to get scholarships to go to a school where he wants to go to learn to control his music.  They move away from the forest.  Only things don't quite go as planned, and they move back, with Ben not wanting to play music ever again. 

The fairy folk don't just grant wishes like that without taking something in return.  And what Hazel had to promise was 7 years of her life. Which as a child she figured meant she'd die 7 years early, or at least they'd come from the end of her life.  But when the prince is broken out of the glass box, and the fairy begin attacking the town in different ways, she learns that maybe the 7 years will be taken in a much different manner than she could have ever expected.  Together with the freed prince, and a changeling that has been raised as a human, along with his human brother, (a great story!  But read it for yourself), they must figure out what they can do to save their town, Fairfold, from the Alderking and his plans. 

Such a great story.  Hazel is the knight, she will fight for her friends and family and town.  Ben is a great character as well.  Jack, the changeling, love him!  And the prince, Severin, is perfectly written.  A really great story, and I'm so glad it was my introduction to this author's work. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Best of 2014 Giveaway Hop

I feel like this was a great year for books, and so I thought this would be a perfect giveaway to take part in. Thanks to Mary at Bookhounds and Kathy at I Am a Reader for hosting this hop.  Since the year is 2014, I decided to let you pick from 14 of my favorite books.  This will be international for anyone that the Book Depository delivers to.  Here are your choices:


Now, a couple of these are the latest in a series, so in that case you can pick an earlier book in the series if you win.  Fill out the Rafflecopter, and then jump to the other locations in the list below that.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Waiting on Wednesday - Illusionarium by Heather Dixon

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where we spotlight upcoming releases that we're eagerly awaiting.  My choice this week is actually one that I saw on Book Munchie's WOW a few weeks ago.  It is by an author that I really enjoyed her first book, Entwined, Heather Dixon.  Now that one was a retelling of a fairy tale, but I don't think this one is from the blurb on Goodreads.  But I'm still eager to read it, I'm sure in part due to it's beautiful cover.  Here is the info:

What if the world holds more dangers—and more wonders—than we have ever known? And what if there is more than one world? From Heather Dixon, author of the acclaimed Entwined, comes a brilliantly conceived adventure that sweeps us from the inner workings of our souls to the far reaches of our imaginations.

Jonathan is perfectly ordinary. But then—as every good adventure begins—the king swoops into port, and Jonathan and his father are enlisted to find the cure to a deadly plague. Jonathan discovers that he's a prodigy at working with a new chemical called fantillium, which creates shared hallucinations—or illusions. And just like that, Jonathan is knocked off his path. Through richly developed parallel worlds, vivid action, a healthy dose of humor, and gorgeous writing, Heather Dixon spins a story that calls to mind The Night Circus and Pixar movies, but is wholly its own.

I'm sure I'll be picking it up as soon as I can.  How about you, what are you eagerly anticipating this Wednesday?