Monday, July 28, 2014

Review: Perfection by J.L. Spelbring

First thanks to Spencer Hill Press and Netgalley for allowing me to read an e-galley of this title.  It actually came out this July, at least in the US.  And I think the sequel, Flawed, which I also have an e-galley of, comes out in August.  So it is nice having them to read together.  Although I tend to read an e-book/galley then a physical book, so as to try to keep up on all my TBR piles, both real and virtual.  So I will be reading the sequel after the book I'm reading now.  Anyway, I was intrigued by the synopsis of this book.  It is dystopian for sure, but it is also an alternate history story, something I haven't read much of, but have always been intrigued.  This one is set in a world where Hitler won the war.

The main character is Ellyssa, and she was created by who she calls her father, Dr. Hirch.  He is planning to complete Hitler's dream of the perfect Aryan pure race.  And so he is creating children in his laboratory, at The Center.  Not only are they creating the perfect children, with special traits, they are also training those who are "almost" perfect to be the police force, basically a present day Gestapo.  The story begins with Ellyssa running away from the Center.  She's found something in the files that she isn't supposed to read that make her not want to be a part of all of the testing and plans.  It all began when she heard a young man saying "Kansas City" to her as he was being dragged down the hall.  But he wasn't saying this out loud, it was in her mind.  And he did this several times, until she knew that he was dead, killed as other Renegades were.  Renegades are the people that wouldn't be part of the Pure Race.  In this alternate time, people are blond, different shades, and only Ellyssa's white blond hair is really the "perfect" color.  Blue eyes are the norm, as well as the light color skin. 

Of course as soon as Ellyssa is found to be missing, they send out one of their Gestapo detectives, Ms. Petersen.  So now she is on the run.  She finally is able to get away and get on the train, she knows she must head to Kansas City.  That is where the boy told her.  But soon someone figures out she is on the train, and so now she must jump, even though the train is still going at normal speed.  She isn't really concerned, as her advanced physical traits should help her to make it off with as little injury as possible.  Unfortunately it isn't that easy, and she does become injured.  Not only that, she had to leave all her food and supplies on the train.  She trudges along, until finally she can go no more and sees a small ghost town.  I believe it is called Deepwater in the book.  When she stumbles into a store and thinks she will hide there from those chasing her, she runs into some renegades. And while her superior fighting skills help her at first, she is knocked out and taken back to their camp. 

This is where she meets Rein and his brother Woody.  The leader of this group of Renegades is named Jordan, and if he can accept her, then the rest of the group should too.  But as she grows to know them, and see just how wrong what her father was doing, she also knows that she is now putting them in danger, since she is being looked for.  And she doesn't know the lengths that her father will go to to get her back.  But knowing what the final plan is according to the files she found, she only knows she must protect these people, all people, and that will mean going back to the Center.

Definitely a good read.  I was very interested in how things were working.  I would like to know more about the actual society, maybe some more of the history of the time period between the end of the war and "today".  We did get some information later on in the story, which in a way, I kind of like now that I think about it after finishing the book.  When I started I felt like I needed to know more about what happened to make her run away.  But the way it was worked into the story was really pretty great.  As Ellyssa let down her guard and learned more about the world and people outside of her home, we also kind of learned more about her.  I will be interested to read the sequel and see what will happen after where we left off.  And, as I have lived in Missouri my whole life, I love that this story is set for the most part in so many Missouri places!  Places I've lived or been.  For instance, they talk about Warrensburg, and that's where I went to college!  So, I was hooked from that point on.  Plus, partly in Chicago, I am a big fan of the city Chicago.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Stacking the Shelves July 27th, 2014


Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.  It is a way for us to share the new books we have collected.  Several things this week to share, not a bad week.


 Free Nook Books:

I feel like I've seen this one talked about, either on other blogs, or as an e-galley somewhere, but it sounded good, and was free, so I grabbed it!

Purchased e-book:


If you have followed me and read some of my posts about favorite books, you're sure to have seen me post about the Meg series by Steve Alten.  It is one of my favorite series.  I was looking on Goodreads to make sure of which one was first in the series, because for some reason I don't seem to own the first one.  And then I saw this prequel e-book.  It was only available on Amazon, so I ordered it for my Kindle app.

Purchased books:

Now, I will admit that the cover is what got me to pick up this book, I love cupcakes.  And while there was one time that I spent most of my book money on this "chick lit" type of book, I didn't ever grab it.  Until, I was in the bookstore I work at part time on Friday, celebrating our location's 10th anniversary, and of course I couldn't resist wandering through the books while I was there.  And I found this on the bargain table, so for the $4.98, plus my 30% employee discount, I couldn't pass it up.  

ARC from bookstore where I work:

This was one I'd really wanted to get at BEA, but just gave up on even trying to get through the Harlequin lines as they were always so long, and I would have had to pass so many other books I wanted up.  Imagine my surprise and excitement to see it laying on the table at the bookstore when I was there this past Friday, free for the employees to take and read. 

Won:




I won this from Ensconced in Lit during their blogoversary celebration!  It actually was mailed directly from the author, along with a couple bookmarks!  I've heard great things about this series, so was glad of the opportunity to get my hands on the first one.


Speaking of blogoversaries, mine is coming up the 2nd week of August, and I've been reaching out to authors for swag or other prizes such as books.  So keep up with my blog so you can be sure to enter for those prizes along with a gift card or prize from The Book Depository for my international followrs.  No e-galleys this week for me as you can see, which is probably okay as I have so many I need to read right now anyway!  So what did you add to your shelves, virtual or real, this week?

#ReadOn July 26 4pm Est. #Interview @amytalkington @diannesalerni & @maureenmcquerry #Giveaway via @CrossroadReview












Spreecast.com Event Link:  http://sprc.st/p11gu




Dianne  Salerni Links/Bio/Cover/etc:





Twitter:


Goodreads:


Website:


Eighth Day Buy Link Amazon:



Author Bio:


Dianne K. Salerni is an elementary school teacher living in Chester County, Pennsylvania with her husband and two daughters.

Dianne's first novel, We Hear the Dead (Sourcebooks 2010), recounts the true story of Maggie Fox, a teenaged girl credited with the invention of the séance in 1848. A short film based on We Hear the Dead and titled The Spirit Game premiered at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.

Her second novel, The Caged Graves (Clarion/HMH 2013), is inspired by a real historical mystery in the mountains of Pennsylvania and was named a Junior Library Guild Selection and a Best YA Historical Novel for 2013 by BookPage.

The Eighth Day, the first book of a middle grade fantasy series about a secret day of the week, is due to be released by HarperCollins in April, 2014.

Dianne received her Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Delaware. She subsequently earned a Master's in Language Arts Education at the University of Pennsylvania before taking a job teaching in the Avon Grove School District. She has now been teaching fourth and fifth grade at Avon Grove for over 20 years.

About the book

In this riveting fantasy adventure, thirteen-year-old Jax Aubrey discovers a secret eighth day with roots tracing back to Arthurian legend. Fans of Percy Jackson will devour this first book in a new series that combines exciting magic and pulse-pounding suspense.
When Jax wakes up to a world without any people in it, he assumes it's the zombie apocalypse. But when he runs into his eighteen-year-old guardian, Riley Pendare, he learns that he's really in the eighth day—an extra day sandwiched between Wednesday and Thursday. Some people—like Jax and Riley—are Transitioners, able to live in all eight days, while others, including Evangeline, the elusive teenage girl who's been hiding in the house next door, exist only on this special day.

And there's a reason Evangeline's hiding. She is a descendant of the powerful wizard Merlin, and there is a group of people who wish to use her in order to destroy the normal seven-day world and all who live in it. Torn between protecting his new friend and saving the entire human race from complete destruction, Jax is faced with an impossible choice. Even with an eighth day, time is running out.

Stay tuned for The Inquisitor's Mark, the spellbinding second novel in the Eighth Day series.



From the Back Cover:

When newly orphaned Jax Aubrey awakes to a world without people the day after his thirteenth birthday, he thinks it's the apocalypse. But then the next day is a regular old Thursday. Has Jax gone crazy? What's going on?
Riley Pendare, Jax's sort of clueless eighteen-year-old guardian, breaks the news: Jax just experienced the Eighth Day, an extra twenty-four-hour period between Wednesday and Thursday. Some people, like Jax and Riley, have the ability to live in all eight days. But others, like Evangeline, the teenage girl who's been hiding in the house next door for years, exist only on this special day.
At first it's awesome to have a secret day. But as Jax gets to know the very guarded Evangeline, he discovers that she is the sought-after key to an ancient spell rooted in Arthurian legend. And Riley—who forgets to pay bills and buy groceries!—is sworn to keep her safe from those who want to use her to eliminate the seven-day world and all who live there.
Jax tries to protect Evangeline, but with his new friend's life on the line, as well as the threat of human destruction, he is faced with an impossible choice: trigger a real apocalypse or sacrifice Evangeline.
With a whole extra day to figure things out, it couldn't be too hard . . . right?

Other books by this author buy links:





Maureen McQuerry/Links/Bio/Covers/etc.





Website: http://www.maureenmcquerry.com/


Amazon Buy Link:


Maureen McQuerryAuthor Bio:
Maureen decided she wanted to be a writer when she was six. If that failed she wanted to be a detective. Poetry was her doorway into fiction writing.
Fiction includes: The Peculiars (Abrams/Amulet 2012) A YASLA and Bank Street best book, and the Time Out of Time duet: Beyond the Door, May (Abrams 2014) and The Stone of Destiny. 

About the Book:
With his love of learning and the game of Scrabble, Timothy James feels like the only person who understands him is his older sister, Sarah, and he’s fairly certain nothing interesting will ever happen to him. But one night, while his parents and sister are away, the door opens, and mythical creatures appear in his own living room! Soon, a mystery of unparalleled proportions begins to unfold, revealing an age-old battle of Light against Dark, and Timothy must embark on a quest to prevent the Dark from controlling the future and changing the past. But he can’t complete the quest alone. Timothy has to team up with his sister and the school bully, Jessica, to face an ancient evil, and in the process, this unlikely trio discover they are each more than meets the eye.  Other Books by this author:   


 





Amy Talkington




Twitter:

http://www.twitter.com/amytalkington

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7135390.Amy_Talkington
Website:

Book Buy Link Amazon: 



Amy Talkington

Biography

Amy Talkington is an award-winning screenwriter and director living in Los Angeles. Before all that she wrote about music for magazines like Spin, Ray Gun, Interview, and Seventeen (mostly just as a way to get to hang out with rock stars). As a teenager in Dallas, Texas, Amy painted lots of angsty self-portraits, listened to The Velvet Underground and was difficult enough that her parents finally let her go to boarding school on the East Coast. Liv, Forever is her first novel.


Visit her website www.amytalkington.com, @amytalkington on Twitter, and on Tumblr.



About the book:

When Liv Bloom lands an art scholarship at Wickham Hall, it’s her ticket out of the foster system. Liv isn’t sure what to make of the school’s weird traditions and rituals, but she couldn’t be happier. For the first time ever, she has her own studio, her own supply of paints. Everything she could want.


Then she meets Malcolm Astor, a legacy student, a fellow artist, and the one person who’s ever been able to melt her defenses. Liv’s only friend at Wickham, fellow scholarship kid Gabe Nichols, warns her not to get involved, but life is finally going Liv’s way, and all she wants to do is enjoy the ride.

But Liv’s bliss is doomed. Weeks after arriving, she is viciously murdered and, in death, she discovers that she’s the latest victim of a dark conspiracy that has claimed many lives. Cursed with the ability to see the many ghosts on Wickham’s campus, Gabe is now Liv’s only link to the world of the living. To Malcolm.

Together, Liv, Gabe, and Malcolm fight to expose the terrible truth that haunts the halls of Wickham. But Liv must fight alone to come to grips with the ultimate star-crossed love.


You can see my review of Liv, Forever HERE.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Review: Amity by Micol Ostow

Thank you to Egmont USA and Netgalley for allowing me to read an e-galley of this title.  Unfortunately, while it had some definitely scary parts to it, very horror movie like,  I wasn't necessarily as thrilled with it as I had hoped to be.  You see, I recently looked into the whole Amityville Horror stories, more about this after my summary. 

This story takes place in two different time periods, with two different families.  It starts out even with a letter from the oldest son of the first family, one he's writing to his twin sister.  His name is Connor, and his sister's name is Julianna, or as her father calls her, Annie, but she prefers to be called Jules.  Their father is abusive, at least he is to their mother, as well as their younger brother Abel.  Connor seems to take after his father with the anger issues.  And it is possible that is what saves him and his twin sister from their father.  They have moved to Amity because of issues his father has had with money it seems.  Moving out there is not what the twins really want to do, but it is better not to complain in front of their father.  Because complaining will lead to someone getting hit, their mother or their younger brother.  But moving there, something changes about Connor.  The house seems to be calling to his "bad" side.  Even causing him to get mad at his twin, something he's never really felt about her. 

The 2nd family moves in 10 years later.  There are two kids in this family, a brother and his younger sister.  Luke and Gwen's family have moved there for some family reasons as well.  It seems Gwen has had mental problems, that have caused her to even be in an institution for a while.  And the family felt it would be better for her to have a new start.  Gwen is saying and trying to act like she is better.  But she still sees and feels things like before.  Her Aunt Ro is the only one who really understands her, but her parents don't really appreciate what her aunt seems to condone.  Gwen feels the house is talking to her.  But it's not just her.  Her older brother Luke seems to be affected as well.  He gets really kind of spaced out, and abrupt.  Very similar to Connor, ten years before.  And things seem to be happening all over again.  Gwen sees a ghost, of a girl named Annie, who seems to want to help her. 

We go back and forth in time, the viewpoints of Connor and Gwen are how we get the story.  There are some great scenes that I could totally see in a horror movie, and so in that way it is a very scary book.  And if you don't know a lot about the actual Amityville Horror reality and background, and this sounds good to you, you can probably stop with my review right here, and go enjoy a good scary book.  Otherwise, if you want to read what my problems with the book/story are, you can go on.  But don't let it keep you from reading, like I said, it is a good scary story.

When I mentioned in the first paragraph about how I'd recently looked into the whole background of the real place called Amity, it was mainly because of Lorraine Warren, and her involvement in the original "haunting." I had read the original Amityville Horror book years ago before I looked into this, as well as watching the movie.  But now I know that many people say it was all a hoax because of those involved who have come back and said they lied.  Now it's not that issue that bothers me, it is the things that have been proven to not be true.  Such as the land being a Native American burial ground.  Or that a famous man, thought to possibly be a witch during the Salem Witch Trials lived there.  And the other thing, that it was a insane asylum at one time.  All these things were used in the story as possibilities of what the reasons were for all the hauntings or mysterious events that happened there.  I'm not saying that using one of them would have been that bad or bothered me too much. Just that the author pulled in all three misleading ideas, seemed a bit of a cop-out to me.  But as I said, if you didn't know all those things, then you would enjoy it because those things are very eerie and make for a good back story.  Sorry, I guess I may have just ruined that for some people.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Four Houses by Victoria Scott E-book Released!





I am so happy to share with everyone that one of my favorite authors, Victoria Scott has released a former short story she has extended and added detail to.  It is available on Amazon, Nook, and iBooks.  And because she is so awesome, she is even having a giveaway for a digital copy of Four Houses, along with an autographed copy of The Warrior.    I've included the Rafflecopter for you to enter, as well as links for where you can buy Four Houses in case you just can't wait to win it, and must read it now!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Buy Links:
Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/n9t5lqp
Nook: http://tinyurl.com/ms6hcc9
iBooks: http://tinyurl.com/odute2q



Victoria Scott
www.VictoriaScottYA.com


Review: Unbreakable (The Legion #1) by Kami Garcia

I have been waiting such a long time to read this book.  I had hoped so much to get an ARC of it, and didn't.  I made sure it was one that I purchased at the high school library where I work though, because the Beautiful Creatures series is so popular, and this is by one of its authors.  So it is one of the books I checked out from my library this summer.  I knew it was about ghosts, but wasn't exactly sure what to expect when I picked it up.  But I'm glad I did, because I really enjoyed it.

The main character is Kannedy Waters.  She's lived alone with her mom for a long time, since her father left when she was a little girl.  Then one night she finds her mother dead.  Now she is alone, and her choices are to go live with her aunt, who she doesn't like, or go off to boarding school. She chooses boarding school, but stays with her best friend until she is ready to leave.  She decides to stay one last night in her house, even if she is alone.  And that is when a spirit attacks her, and she realizes that her mother didn't just die, she was killed by the same spirit.  The only reason Kennedy survives is because two boys, Jared and Lukas, identical twins, break in and save her.  They then convince her to go with them, and since she has nowhere else to go, she goes with them.  It turns out that She is one of the final five descendants of the five members of the Legion of the Black Dove.  At least that is what she is told by Jared and Lukas.  There are two others, all hiding out in a big warehouse.  They are all kind of ghost hunters you could say. But they need to find the pieces of a weapon that they have been told is the only one capable of destroying a demon the original founders released on the world.  They will each develop their powers that contribute, and as they become full members, a mark will show up on their arms.  Throughout the whole time, Kennedy still isn't quite sure she belongs.  As she can't imagine her mother would have actually been a part of something like this and not told her.  Of course both Lukas and Jared are attractive, and both seem to have an interest in her.  Jared in his quiet, brooding way, but who seems to be there when Kennedy needs someone to talk to, and he seems to understand.  Lukas in his very friendly, welcoming way.  The two brothers seem to have a grudge against each other.  Something that may lead to more problems for the group down the line.

So, of course I could tell there would be the love triangle right away.  So that was a bit annoying.  But other than that, I really enjoyed the book.  The ending was not a "cliffhanger" exactly, but definitely left me needing to read on, and know how will they end this big demon catastrophe, and save the world, as well as just how does Kennedy fit into all of this.  Was her mother really a part of the group?  All things that I'm sure will be answered further into the series, and I know the second is going to be available very soon, if not already.  So I'll be on that soon!  I did get to meet this author at the RT Convention in May of 2013. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

#ReadOn July 26 4pm Est. #Interview @amytalkington @diannesalerni & @maureenmcquerry #Giveaway via @CrossroadReview












Spreecast.com Event Link:  http://sprc.st/p11gu




Dianne  Salerni Links/Bio/Cover/etc:





Twitter:


Goodreads:


Website:


Eighth Day Buy Link Amazon:



Author Bio:

Dianne K. Salerni is an elementary school teacher living in Chester County, Pennsylvania with her husband and two daughters.

Dianne's first novel, We Hear the Dead (Sourcebooks 2010), recounts the true story of Maggie Fox, a teenaged girl credited with the invention of the séance in 1848. A short film based on We Hear the Dead and titled The Spirit Game premiered at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.

Her second novel, The Caged Graves (Clarion/HMH 2013), is inspired by a real historical mystery in the mountains of Pennsylvania and was named a Junior Library Guild Selection and a Best YA Historical Novel for 2013 by BookPage.

The Eighth Day, the first book of a middle grade fantasy series about a secret day of the week, is due to be released by HarperCollins in April, 2014.

Dianne received her Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Delaware. She subsequently earned a Master's in Language Arts Education at the University of Pennsylvania before taking a job teaching in the Avon Grove School District. She has now been teaching fourth and fifth grade at Avon Grove for over 20 years.

About the book

In this riveting fantasy adventure, thirteen-year-old Jax Aubrey discovers a secret eighth day with roots tracing back to Arthurian legend. Fans of Percy Jackson will devour this first book in a new series that combines exciting magic and pulse-pounding suspense.

When Jax wakes up to a world without any people in it, he assumes it's the zombie apocalypse. But when he runs into his eighteen-year-old guardian, Riley Pendare, he learns that he's really in the eighth day—an extra day sandwiched between Wednesday and Thursday. Some people—like Jax and Riley—are Transitioners, able to live in all eight days, while others, including Evangeline, the elusive teenage girl who's been hiding in the house next door, exist only on this special day.

And there's a reason Evangeline's hiding. She is a descendant of the powerful wizard Merlin, and there is a group of people who wish to use her in order to destroy the normal seven-day world and all who live in it. Torn between protecting his new friend and saving the entire human race from complete destruction, Jax is faced with an impossible choice. Even with an eighth day, time is running out.

Stay tuned for The Inquisitor's Mark, the spellbinding second novel in the Eighth Day series.



From the Back Cover:

When newly orphaned Jax Aubrey awakes to a world without people the day after his thirteenth birthday, he thinks it's the apocalypse. But then the next day is a regular old Thursday. Has Jax gone crazy? What's going on?
Riley Pendare, Jax's sort of clueless eighteen-year-old guardian, breaks the news: Jax just experienced the Eighth Day, an extra twenty-four-hour period between Wednesday and Thursday. Some people, like Jax and Riley, have the ability to live in all eight days. But others, like Evangeline, the teenage girl who's been hiding in the house next door for years, exist only on this special day.
At first it's awesome to have a secret day. But as Jax gets to know the very guarded Evangeline, he discovers that she is the sought-after key to an ancient spell rooted in Arthurian legend. And Riley—who forgets to pay bills and buy groceries!—is sworn to keep her safe from those who want to use her to eliminate the seven-day world and all who live there.
Jax tries to protect Evangeline, but with his new friend's life on the line, as well as the threat of human destruction, he is faced with an impossible choice: trigger a real apocalypse or sacrifice Evangeline.
With a whole extra day to figure things out, it couldn't be too hard . . . right?

Other books by this author buy links:





Maureen McQuerry/Links/Bio/Covers/etc.





Website: http://www.maureenmcquerry.com/


Amazon Buy Link:


Maureen McQuerryAuthor Bio:
Maureen decided she wanted to be a writer when she was six. If that failed she wanted to be a detective. Poetry was her doorway into fiction writing.
Fiction includes: The Peculiars (Abrams/Amulet 2012) A YASLA and Bank Street best book, and the Time Out of Time duet: Beyond the Door, May (Abrams 2014) and The Stone of Destiny. 

About the Book:
With his love of learning and the game of Scrabble, Timothy James feels like the only person who understands him is his older sister, Sarah, and he’s fairly certain nothing interesting will ever happen to him. But one night, while his parents and sister are away, the door opens, and mythical creatures appear in his own living room! Soon, a mystery of unparalleled proportions begins to unfold, revealing an age-old battle of Light against Dark, and Timothy must embark on a quest to prevent the Dark from controlling the future and changing the past. But he can’t complete the quest alone. Timothy has to team up with his sister and the school bully, Jessica, to face an ancient evil, and in the process, this unlikely trio discover they are each more than meets the eye.  Other Books by this author:   


 





Amy Talkington




Twitter:

http://www.twitter.com/amytalkington

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7135390.Amy_Talkington
Website:

Book Buy Link Amazon: 



Amy Talkington

Biography

Amy Talkington is an award-winning screenwriter and director living in Los Angeles. Before all that she wrote about music for magazines like Spin, Ray Gun, Interview, and Seventeen (mostly just as a way to get to hang out with rock stars). As a teenager in Dallas, Texas, Amy painted lots of angsty self-portraits, listened to The Velvet Underground and was difficult enough that her parents finally let her go to boarding school on the East Coast. Liv, Forever is her first novel.


Visit her website www.amytalkington.com, @amytalkington on Twitter, and on Tumblr.



About the book:

When Liv Bloom lands an art scholarship at Wickham Hall, it’s her ticket out of the foster system. Liv isn’t sure what to make of the school’s weird traditions and rituals, but she couldn’t be happier. For the first time ever, she has her own studio, her own supply of paints. Everything she could want.


Then she meets Malcolm Astor, a legacy student, a fellow artist, and the one person who’s ever been able to melt her defenses. Liv’s only friend at Wickham, fellow scholarship kid Gabe Nichols, warns her not to get involved, but life is finally going Liv’s way, and all she wants to do is enjoy the ride.

But Liv’s bliss is doomed. Weeks after arriving, she is viciously murdered and, in death, she discovers that she’s the latest victim of a dark conspiracy that has claimed many lives. Cursed with the ability to see the many ghosts on Wickham’s campus, Gabe is now Liv’s only link to the world of the living. To Malcolm.

Together, Liv, Gabe, and Malcolm fight to expose the terrible truth that haunts the halls of Wickham. But Liv must fight alone to come to grips with the ultimate star-crossed love.


You can see my review of Liv, Forever HERE.



a Rafflecopter giveaway