Friday, July 30, 2010

Still Missing by Chevy Stevens

ON THE DAY SHE WAS ABDUCTED, Annie O'Sullivan, a thirty-two-year-old realtor, had three goals-sell a house, forget about a recent argument with her mother, and be on time for dinner with her ever-patient boyfriend. The open house is slow, but when her last visitor pulls up in a van she's about to leave, Annie thinks it just might be her lucky day after all.

But nothing could be further from the truth.

Through sessions with her psychiatrist, Annie retells the terrifying story of the year she spent captive in a remote mountain cabin. Interwoven is a second narrative recounting the aftermath of her escape and her struggle to piece her life back together.

This is another novel that is way off from my typical reads, but it looked interesting and I am thankful that Chevy allowed me to give it a shot. I originally contacted Chevy and she had her publicist send me the ARC.

This story is written based on a nightmare the author had. I can't even begin to fathom the feelings that she had, but I think that in writing this novel it had to put her at ease in some sort or another. As I began reading the story the song "Jesus Take The Wheel" by Carrie Underwood came to mind. The main character Annie has so many things that she is forced to overcome. Although Annie is fictional, her emotions and feelings portrayed throughout the story are so vivid that you're not just reading them, it's like you're feeling them yourself.

There's also a sickening reality to David's character. There are so many fucked up souls out in the real world which makes David so easily terrifying for any reader. The story is written in almost two combined novels in one. The sessions with Annie and her psychiatrist and the time after the fact ofher brutal and disturbing kidnapping. As you read, the novel weaves both points of view into one. When the pieces finally come together it was a shock at why and how Annie's events all came into play.

There were two scenes that I had taken note of. The first is the part when Annie and Luke hug. This is the first intimate moment after her tragic events. For me this scene had such an overwhelming surge of sadness. The second scene was when Gary & Annie have sex. I was particularly confused on this. I am not a victim of rape, a rapist, nor a psychiatrist. So I find it hard to believe fictional or otherwise that a rape victim would EVER want to have sex. The control thing made sense to me. The sex...not-so-much?!

If I were asked for a brief review (which we all know I don't do-often!) I would have to say this is one ROYALLY FUCKED UP novel worthy of a wonderful Lifetime movie adaptation! I thoroughly enjoyed it and it is written with such a profound no-holds-bar style of penmanship.

Favorite quotes:
"You can be as happy as you've ever been in your life, and shit is still going to happen. But it doesn't just happen. It knocks you sideways and crushes you into the ground, because you were stupid enough to believe in sunshine and roses."

" one is a lost cause, but I think that's bullshit. I think people can be so crushed, so broken, that they'll never be anything more than a fragment of a whole person."

Purchase novel here:

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Dead City by Joe McKinney

Battered by five cataclysmic hurricanes in three weeks, the Texas Gulf Coast and half the Lone Star State is reeling from the worst devastation in history. Thousands are dead or dying-but the worst is only beginning. Amid the wreckage, something unimaginable is happening: a deadly virus has broken out, returning the dead to life-with an insatiable hunger for human flesh...

Within hours, the plague has spread all over Texas. San Antonio police officer Eddie Hudson finds his city overrun by a voracious army of the living dead. Along with a small group of survivors, Eddie must fight off the savage horde in a race to save his family...

There's no place to run. No place to hide. The zombie horde is growing as the virus runs rampant. Eddie knows he has to find a way to destroy these walking horrors...but he doesn't know the price he will have to pay...

This is a novel I had contacted Joe in order of doing a review. He not only sent me Dead City, but also Dead Set (a zombie anthology), a bookplate for both Dead City & Apocalypse of the Dead (Dead City sequel due out later this year). I will also be posting our interview with Joe when I begin resuming my author interviews in a few months.

This is also my first zombie review! Without a doubt this story has one intense action introduction. It was a page turner that I just didn't want to put down. The great thing about this novel- is the fact Joe weaves in all of the major contents of what a novel truly needs to make it pop! Comedy, sadness, drama, horror, action. There was not one slow point in the entire book. I was on the edge of my seat in suspenseful horror.

I can't wait for Apocalypse of the Dead to come out. I typically am not that big of a fan of zombies, but I think Joe has twisted my arm. Thanks again to Joe for allowing me this opportunity. Stay tuned next week for the Dead Set review, and details on a Joe McKinney contest for the month of August!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Darker Dream by Amanda Ashley


In all his four hundred years, Rayven had never met a woman like Rhianna McLeod. She was a vision of light, of warmth, of everything he was not-nor could ever be. Doomed to live forever in darkness and solitude, he knew all too well the risk in getting close to her, yet he hungered for her with a fierce passion he swore he'd never allow himself to feel.

Rhianna's father had sold her to Rayven to put food on the table-so she had no choice but to go with the dark stranger. To her surprise, he gave her everything she wanted-the finest clothes, education, and the run of the castle-everything, that is, except his touch. For although she sensed danger beneath his soft-spoken manner, although even Rayven himself warned her away, she was drawn to this creature of the night, and loved him, as she would no other.

I was shopping in the store sometime early this month and as I passed the book section, I spotted Mandy's book! I couldn't pass it up so of course I bought it, adding to my ever growing collection of Amanda Ashley novels. The thing that I liked most about this story was it's historical fiction outlook. Something about former centuries lifestyles eats up my curiousity. Which is what makes this novel good, the subtle vampyrism is just the foundation of the story. It revolves more around the times and the relationship between Rhianna & Rayven than it does on vampyrism.

Rayven's compassion to save Rhianna from public embarassment is just the beginning of proof that he is not the monster he thinks of himself. He provides her with a life of any and every thing she could ever want, and even then things she couldn't even imagine! Bevins' loyalty is the counterpart of Rayven's compassion. A human who would do anything for the man, or shall I say vampyre whom saved his life.

You constantly read about male vampires, but I was so happy to read, even briefly, Mandy's female vamp Lysandra, Rayven's sire. Just as I was contemplating the relationship of cat and mouse between Rayven and Rhianna, two pages verbatim Amanda writes those exact words! Of all Mandy's vamps I've read about, Rayven seems to have the most trouble coming to terms with who and what he is. It's not the same but it comes close to Spike, Buffy the Vampire Slayer's, own personal demons. The ending was something I have hoped to read from so many vampire novels over the years, and I was finally given it!

I would have liked to read more on the wedding scene. It just seemed to short? The sex scenes were very minimal too, but in this novel it actually didn't take away from the story as you would think typical of Mandy's books. Hands down, no questions asked I of course loved this story. It has so many different things that you can find other great stories similarities: Romeo & Juliet, Beauty & the Beast, and it reminds me so much of the aura of Dark Shadows. A gothic vampire love story.

Favorite quotes:
"It was a pity that one so horribly cursed should be denied the one thing that might bring him happiness."

"I am never ill, my sweet. Only sick in mind and spirit."

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My Soul To Keep by Melanie Wells

As nasty as I knew Peter Terry to be, I never expected him to start kidnapping kids. Much less a sweet, funny little boy with nothing to protect him but a few knock-kneed women, two rabbits, and a staple gun...

It's psychology professor Dylan Foster's favorite day of the academic year- graduation day. And her little friend Christine Zocci's sixth birthday. But the joyful summer afternoon goes south when a little boy is snatched from a neighborhood park, setting off a chain of events that seem to lead nowhere. The police are baffled, but Christine's eerie connection with the kidnapped child sends Dylan on a chilling investigation of her own. Is the pasty, elusive stranger Peter Terry to blame? Exploding light bulbs, the deadly buzz of a Texas rattlesnake, and the vivid, disturbing dreams of a little girl are just pieces in a long trail of tantalizing clues leading Dylan in her dogged search for the truth.

This is the third book in a trilogy by Melanie Wells that I had requested in order of doing a review for. Unfortunately the publisher didn't care to respond to my inquiries not even a "sorry we don't do this." With that being said, I think I would have been able to enjoy this novel much more had I been able to review the first two in sequential order.

The opening of this story had a bright sense of humor that was only erupted by a lightning fast kidnapping and the beginning of a sad journey of characters. As I said above, this is definitely not one of them stand alone novels. I think to fully appreciate it you would have to start at the beginning. If you do, you would probably be able to understand more on Peter Terry. Is he a ghost? Demon? Figment of Dylan's imagination? Was he real- died and is now some kind of recurring stress factor????

Aside from the hippy humor, I realized quite quickly, throughout this novel, why it is that I am so obsessed with horror novels. The thought process is this: Other types of fiction can be so closely written to reality as is this story. It makes one fearful of what can actually and what does actually happen in the real world. In horror you have that safety in knowing that as morbid and graphic as the story is you know that in all of it's glory that it is PURELY fictional. Although this story does bring out a good topic that so many people religious or otherwise like to gnaw on. Do children have the capability of seeing things adults can not? Such as evil, good, angels and demons- literal or figuratively? I feel in my own beliefs there is no doubt that they do! Children just have this innate sense of knowing things that we as adults just can't grasp.

I felt the ending was one that can just take your breath away. For me as the book was drawing to a close, I felt as that moment when you lose your breath for so long, and then it suddenly comes rushing back at you with an overwhelming force. I really like this story. I only wished I had read books one and two first. I will without a doubt do that, hopefully soon!

Thank you again to Melanie for her kindness in allowing me to do this review for her.

Favorite quotes:
"Answering machines are secretly programmed to accept only messages from people you don't want to hear from."

"Love the hair. Hope you win!"

"My soul could use a can of Comet and some elbow grease."

Monday, July 26, 2010

Traffyck by Michael Beres

In the underground of contemporary Eastern Europe lies a treacherous world contaminated by more than Chernobyl radiation and industrial waste, As communism collapsed, the foothold of social order tolerated a lurking subculture of child pornography and human trafficking, Traffyck, as they say.

A former runaway and Kiev nightclub stripper, Mariya Nemeth pulls herself from the dredges of wretchedness to attend school and marries a man she believes has abandoned his shady past. But Mariya learns her husband's past is still his present. He is murdered, a consequence of sex trade operations.

When she convinces Kiev private investigator Janos Nagy to take the case, Mariya discovers the real passion of her life, a lover immersed in the romance of Gypsy culture. Meanwhile, a world away in Chicago, Lazlo Horvath, having solved the Chernobyl Murders decades earlier, senses trouble brewing for his protege and is drawn back to his homeland.

From Chicago's Humboldt Park to the Romanian Carpathian Mountains to the bleak abandonment of Ukraine, a frightening chain of events threatens countless lives when perversion, unacceptable to civilized society, is revealed.

Savvy, outraged, and linked by ancestry, Mariya, Janos, and Lazlo pierce the underbelly of Ukraine's sex trade where power is more important than human lives.

Thanks again goes to both Michael for sending me Chernobyl Murders, Traffyck and allowing me to interview him; and to the amazing people at Medallion Press (publisher) in allowing me to do this review.

This was the sequel to my previous review posting of Chernobyl Murders. However, I must first say, I think the Gypsy tricked me. This is supposed to be a sequel to Chernobyl Murders, but in actuality the "sequel aspect" is very minimal. It is titled as a Lazlo Horvath mystery, Chernobyl Murders. Yet Lazlo is not even a main character, at least not until the last 40 some pages. The novel has the intensity of Chernobyl, but not it's appeal.

In addition to my feelings on Lazlo, I had a few other hesitations in reading this story. I was confused at why a private investigator wouldn't report murders. It wasn't explained, and you think it would have been. I also think that there was just way too many characters in this novel to make a condusive and flowing story. The story just became too jumbled with too many people and too many things going on to really allow a reader to get a grasp on what the story really is focusing on. I think that there should have been a glossary of terminology (so should have Chernobyl Murders) to allow a reader to know what various foreign words meant. For me, I don't like to take time away from the novel I am reading to do research into what the story is talking about. It takes away from the story.

Overall this book wasn't for me. I really wished it could have been as much as I enjoyed the first! However I did take away knowledge and appreciate the effort that Michael has put into this novel. So many people take books for granted anymore and I believe authors such as Michael, should be praised for the time and effort they put into creating a novel for us readers- even if we don't like the outcome of the finished product.

Favorite quotes:
"If natural disaster fails, Earth uses religion, economics, and war to cleanse itself."

"Love is a double-edged sword."

Zombies Vs Vampires

Hey readers! Just wanted to drop a August I have many zombie & vampire reviews I will be posting. I thought it would be fun to just use it as a theme. (I will be posting a handful of other genres as well.)

Dead Set Anthology - Edited by Michelle McCrary & Joe McKinney
Dust - Joan Frances Turner
The Loving Dead - Amelia Beamer
Hater - David Moody
Dog Blood - David Moody
Frankenstein - Mary Shelley

The Vampire & The Virgin - Kerrelyn Sparks
Hearts At Stake: The Drake Chronicles - Alyxandra Harvey
Blood Feud: The Drake Chronicles - Alyxandra Harvey
I Am Legend - Richard Matheson
The Vampire Armand - Anne Rice

As soon as July's contest ends I will update the new one. For August you will have a chance to win a book plate of the upcoming sequel to Dead City, Apocalypse of the Dead by Joe McKinney.
(Picture will be uploaded later today!)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Web of Lies by Jennifer Estep

Curiosity is definitely going to get me dead one of these days. Probably real soon.

I'm Gin Blanco.

You might know me as the Spider, the most feared assassin in the South. I’m retired now, but trouble still has a way of finding me. Like the other day when two punks tried to rob my popular barbecue joint, the Pork Pit. Then there was the barrage of gunfire on the restaurant. Only, for once, those kill shots weren’t aimed at me. They were meant for Violet Fox. Ever since I agreed to help Violet and her grandfather protect their property from an evil coalmining tycoon, I’m beginning to wonder if I’m really retired. So is Detective Donovan Caine. The only honest cop in Ashland is having a real hard time reconciling his attraction to me with his Boy Scout mentality. And I can barely keep my hands off his sexy body. What can I say? I’m a Stone elemental with a little Ice magic thrown in, but my heart isn’t made of solid rock. Luckily, Gin Blanco always gets her man . . . dead or alive.

So this was the continuation in the Elemental Assasin's series. Something about this book just appears to read faster than its previous story, Spider's Bite. It even seemed as if it was written different as well. You can tell this in just the first two pages alone.

It took a chapter or so in Spider's Bite before the action began. In Web of Lies, it is instant! The great thing about Web of Lies is how Jennifer does a further story of characters touched upon in Spider's Bite, in addition to adding some new ones.

In Spider's Web I had remarked about how the culinary aspect was I feel as though I should say so in Web of Lies too. However something is different about it and it didn't seem to phase me as much this time around. Well, except for the fact this is the first novel I've read that makes my stomach growl and intrigues me at the same time.

Originally I had taken note of Roslyn, from Spider's Bite, not being featured. Just as I took note- two pages later there she is! Although she had a smaller stint in this story I was still happy to see her appear being the vampire addict that I am. I really enjoyed both the second interactions Gin (Spider) had with Jake & Macalister & Owen Grayson. I have to say I was a bit disheartened with Donovan's ending in the story. I hope he makes an appearance in Venom the third installment in the Elemental Assasins series.Speaking of Venom, I can't wait for it to come out. The excitement of Mab Monroe's possible take down by Gin's revenge is just swwwwwwwwwwwweet!

Overall I really enjoyed this novel much more than I did Spider's Bite, actually. The great thing of this series is how Estep generously recaps the previous novel. With her doing this it makes it possible to read the novels in either order. Thanks again to Jennifer for sending me both Spider's Bite & Web of Lies. This is a new and wonderful series I hope continues at a lengthy pace.

Don't forget to become a "Follower" on this blog to enter yourself into the July contest to win an autographed Jennifer Estep bookmark of your choice. I will be posting the winner August 2 along with an exciting interview with Jennifer!!!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Rain Village by Carolyn Turgeon

Young Tessa is a diminutive girl, far too small for farm work and the object of ridicule by both her own family and the other children in their isolated Midwestern community. Her father seems to believe in nothing beyond his crops, certainly not education for his misfit daughter. When a mysterious, entrancing librarian comes to town, full of fabulous stories, earthy wisdom and potions for the lovelorn, she takes Tessa under her wing, teaching her to read and to believe in herself, and a great new magical world of possibilities opens up. But even as she blooms, Tessa's father begins sexually abusing her. And then her mentor, who carries a dark secret of her own, drowns herself.

Tessa runs off, following Mary's footsteps, to join the circus as a trapeze artist, where she marries a loving man and finds a fulfilling new life for herself amid her new circus family. But she remains haunted by her past. And when a stranger from one of Mary's fabulist tales shows up, she risks everything to follow him to Rain Village where she might finally understand the meaning of her mentor's tragic secret.

Set in the early part of the 2oth century, steeped in emotional turbulence and down-to-earth wisdom, RAIN VILLAGE is an enchantment, pulling us into a world of mystery and possibility where love, friendship and loyalty might either destroy or set one free.

Although this novel came out a few years ago, before Godmother (see previous review posting) I felt compelled to do a review on it anyways. This eccentric story weaved religion, superstition and fairy tales with reality- and sometimes the reality isn't a pretty one! I think that any person faced with racism or even as an outcast will find this an empowering journey into their own psyche. There's just about every possible form of pain featured: physical abuse, sexual abuse, mental abuse...

Although the synopsis states Mary's suicide, the way the story is written you still feel like you were thrown a curve ball. This is when the story becomes interesting. Throwing you into the circus life. You get to know so many fun characters it's like meeting the cast of a real one. As I enjoyed Godmother, likewise did I enjoy this book too.

I did feel the first couple of chapters were slow flowing, but once you pushed past them you keep coming back for more. I also think the title seems a bit off? It's not until the last two or three chapters that you are really involved in Rain Village. Aside from that, this adult fairy-tale like novel is a heart warming tale of a young girl's journey to find happiness, love and most importantly a place to belong. Great summer read!

Favorite quotes:
"...People have a habit of doing that sometimes-just falling away, out of some lives and into other ones..."

"It's a good place this library. Like entering another world."

"A cup of tea can't change someone's heart, no matter how powerful the herbs in it are. But you make people believe in extraordinary things, and extraordinary things will happen."

"People try to shut out beauty wherever they can in this world, but it's a mistake."

"It is strange, how people drop out of your life, like tears. The way the whole world can shift and change, the way you can choose to remake it. Choose to become someone new."

"Love is an illusion, and there is a bitter nut at its core."

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

KLLRS by Phil Bowie

Hotshot pilot John Hardin has a dark history.

He and his beautiful Cherokee girlfriend, Kitty Birdsong, are enjoying life in the Great Smoky Mountains when Nolan Rader, a former BATF agent, emerges from John's violent past and demands help to save his younger brother, Clint Rader from the vengeance of an outlaw motorcycle gang known as the Satan's Ghosts.

A warped genius called Brain controls the Satan's Wraiths, an elite cadre of trained hitters within the worldwide gang, and Brain is privately conducting psychological research on Clint prior to killing him.

John must agree to help Nolan Rader or face exposure about his past- and the only way to find out what he must know to save Clint Rader is to infiltrate the biker gang. This leads him down a lethally dangerous path between the law and the outlaws, ranging from Canada to the Bahamas.

As events close in and the execution draws near, can John find some way to save Clint Rader before time runs out?

This is the third installment of the John Hardin saga that I had requested ARC's from Phil Bowie published by my friends at Medallion Press. The intensity is back full force in KLLRS, as it was in Guns. Personally I think that Guns & KLLRS were the better parts of the saga (Guns, Diamondback, KLLRS). If you're not a Bowie fan, you would miss out on the Lee Child (author) reference used. The ending was the equivalent to the best 4th of July fireworks display you have ever seen. It was mildly hilarious but definitely very suspenseful.

Things I fought with in this novel were small. Such as the scene with Keller, Engle & Rader. I had anticipated a more action-packed scenario. Another thing was the Campion family, it was never really explained. Or, I read over it. It just seemed as tho' the connection between Brain and the Campion's was undefined.

Favorite quotes:
"On the TV every ten minutes there is a pill for this or a pill for that. To help you sleep or stay awake or lose weight or love your woman. Can they show me a pill that does you no harm while it tries to do you a little good?"

"Memories are a wondrous part of the great gift."

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Shadow of the Moon by Rachel Hawthorne

I can feel every Shifter's emotions except Daniel's- the only one whose heart I long to know.

HAYDEN was born a werewolf, a Dark Guardian. But her ability to sense the feelings of fellow werewolves has made her life unbearable. She runs away, only to be tracked by charming, mysterious Daniel, a newcomer to the pack and the one Shifter immune to her powers. As she reluctantly follows him home, Hayden finds herself falling dangerously in love...

But even as her feelings for Daniel deepen, Hayden begins to wonder if he is who he claims to be. Where did he come from and why has no one ever seen him transform? When they stumble upon the body of a Shifter still in wolf form, her worries grow. Someone is killing her kind. Is her handsome tracker really a hunter? And is Hayden his prey?

This is another ARC I had requested, unknowingly the fourth in a series. I have yet to read the first three. Upon completing them I realized if the others read like this one, you don't have to read them in order like other saga's.

I have never heard of "harvester's," but it was a welcome surprise in the story. Typically with most werewolves they're always battling the same old vampires. That generic fight I believe is getting to be played out a bit too much. I think, also, that Daniel & Hayden's beautifully, complicated relationship is similar to imprinting (Twilight) but with a different twist to it. In the Dark Guardian's saga the couples don't find their mates until their first "shifting." Even then, the couples have the option to accept or deny the mates request to be paired.

Chapter seventeen was unexpected but predicted it was a ruse for the plot of the story. One complaint I had reading this was of the Dark Guardians themselves. It was never explained what they were guardians of or for. Another problem for me was that I would have liked to have read more on the werewolves, considering it is a series revolving around them. I would honestly like to have read about the characters Rafe, Connor, Brittany, Lindsey & Kayla. Something tells me tho that the previous books were featuring them.  This was a quick and thrilling read. I would definitely read the prior and hopefully latter books in this series if it continues.

Favorite quotes:
"Shoulds don't mean anything."

"I thought if you came to know me, to see what we had in common, that what was different about us wouldn't matter."

Monday, July 19, 2010

War Games: Kill Zone by Vicki Hinze

Psychologist Morgan Cabot commands a special military support team that provides a unique service. While they are highly trained for military combat, their special abilities don't require training- they are gifts. Dr. Cabot and her teammates, Taylor Lee and Jazie Craig, are "highly intuitive": they hear, feel, and see things that others can't.  They are the Special Abilities Team, and they function outside of normal protocol- and the American public can never know their existence.

The Secretary of Defense of the United States has called upon Cabot's team to stop Thomas Kunz, a sadistic terrorist who specializes in black market arms sales and intelligence brokering.

Kunz's brand of terrorism threatens the United States on multiple levels- his funding is infinite and his reach is global. His modus operandi, using doubles to infiltrate and gather classified information, puts him in a unique position to make the fears of every American citizen a reality.

Colonel Jackson Stern and his brother, Bruce, a biological warfare expert, have become Kunz's latest targets. When Bruce's wife is found stabbed to death, Jackson dedicates himself to a quest for the truth.

Will Morgan's team help Jackson uncover Kunz's secret plans before it is too late? Or will the most secretive terrorist organization in the world transform America into a terrifying and deadly Kill Zone?

This was a gift from Vicki that she sent along with an ARC of one of my previous reviews for her. I am not a war fan, or even a war fiction reader. However I want to thank Vicki for sending and autographing this novel. I am definitely not ungrateful for the gift. We all know how much I love to read! With that being said...

This is yet another Medallion Press novels I was happy to read for both the author and the company itself. The prologue was a bit overwhelming for me since I'm not into war. If you like terrorism, body doubles, psychological thrillers, espionage, etc, than you will enjoy this novel. I think it was a borderline novel, in my opinion, it wasn't disappointing but at the same time it wasn't that intense. (Maybe this is a biased decision on my part?)

There was a predictability factor with Laura's character which I knew from her first appearance. Chapter ten had me a bit confused. With all of the preventative security measures used throughout the novel, and Morgan's car being infested with bombs...why would Jackson and/or Morgan not think to search the rental car? Especially considering that they went off base to a non-secure location, and that they're highly trained special-op's? That just didn't make sense to me.

Taylor Lee was definitely my favorite character throughout the whole novel. She was adventurous, balls-y, and just a fun person to read about. I actually wished that Taylor was Morgan's character. Morgan was simply too blah for my tastes. The ending did leave an opening for the series to continue. Overall this book wasn't for me. Although as I stated above, if you're into war novels, this could be right up your "zone" (Pun fully intended.)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Betwixt by Tara Bray Smith


Beautiful Morgan D'Amici wakes in her meager home with blood under her fingernails. Paintings come alive under Ondine Mason's violet-eyed gaze. Haunted runaway Nix Saint-Michael sees halos of light around people doomed to die.

At a secret summer rave in the woods, these teenagers learn of their true origins and their uncertain, intertwined destinies. Riveting, unflinching, and beautiful, Betwixt shows a world as complex and compelling as any ordinary reality.

I wonder to myself, how could I have never heard of this novel before? Betwixt was released in 2007, somehow I wasn't given the memo!! I found Tara's book online. The story had a very mysterious and intriguing appeal to it. After I had contacted Tara she so kindly went above and beyond and mailed me the novel all the way from Germany! I can't express to her my deepest gratitude and appreciation in doing so.

Of all the characters in the story, I believe my favorites would have to be Nix, K.A., Ondine & Moth.
Nix I think I liked because of our mutual Native American heritage. There also seems to be a sense of aloofness, yet hidden maturity that he doesn't find the most convenient ways to use for his benefit. K.A. just was such a cute character. The whole little brother aspect, his genuineness and ability to see the good in almost everyone. Ondine was just a mystery for me, even up until the end. Moth was a very weird character. There were so many things about him that just weren't right. Yet when it comes down to it, he is one of the more appealing, stand-out characters throughout the novel, for me! I would like to say I liked Morgan. At first I did. As the novel progressed she took a downward spiral in my top fav's.

This book was simply unparalleled (sp?) to any prior YA novels I've read, when it comes to the way the characters speak. The speech was written with such precision- in that you can read the book and in reality hear teenagers and kids talk with the exact phrases and mannerisms she (Tara) has written. In part one things slowly began to roll and you know you're set for a big adventure. Although the feeling of adventure in part one was small, it was known.

Part two catapulted into that adventure without hitting the brakes. If a book could get a speeding ticket, Betwixt should. The adventure was one that I very happily didn't expect. (It wasn't any sense!) Part three was more of a clarification of Nix & Ondine's circumstances. Part four was almost like a preparation for an unforseen but possible battle? As for part 5, I was so intent and enthralled in finding out what happens next. Besides, it's the last section of the book it's not fair to give the "ending" away. This is definitely another book, hands down, that I can't wait to start the sequel.

Favorite quotes:
"They'd never had jobs. They didn't know what five hours of wiping steamed milk off every conceivable flat surface, including the ceiling, felt like. Cleaning toilets stuffed with tampons, making a macchiato four times for an eleven-year-old punk and his yuppie Medusa of a mother because he 'hadn't gotten it the way he likes it at home.' Spoiled brats."

"Neither brother and sister, nor Romeo & Juliet, but lovers all the same. It was as if they had found their other half, the wing that allowed each to fly."

"Yes, Dorothy, there are good witches. And bad witches. And ones who are fucked up."

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Plain Kate by Erin Bow

THE DRIZZLE HAD BROKEN INTO PATCHES AS THEY WALKED. As Drina scooped up the pale sand, Kate found herself standing in the smudge of shadow  cast by the deadfall. She had never before noticed the way shadows gave things weight, made them look heavy and real and connected to the ground. Without hers...
She edged into the light.
Her shadow looked strange and thinned. It seemed not cast against the ground, but floating above it, like a fog. What Linay had said was true. No one would notice this, at first. It was just an uneasy little change, like the half-felt movement of a boat that slowly induces a great sickness.

This is another part of my Debut Author Challenge. Erin has so graciously sent me a review copy and will be one of my future author interviews (resuming again in September). This is a fairy tale the way they should be told, not some Disney adaptation. It has that old fashioned feeling to it that gives the story more depth than it already has. A sense of horror, not of pleasantries. But I think above all that it is a story of family sacrifices.

I should have been able to piece together how the witch, rusalka, & the roamers all fit together much sooner than I actually did. Which shows that this isn't one of the "blah" books of 2010. The author has also included a glossary in the back, like some previous reviews have featured. Although I only wished she would have included a handful of other terminology as well. Some of it was very foreign to me and I couldn't decipher what the words meant even by reading the sentences. I can think of this book as one I would have read when I was a child. An exciting, yet scary, bedtime fairy tale. Thanks again to Erin Bow and Samantha Grefe from Scholastic Publishers for sending me this review copy. Congratulations again to Erin on the success of her debute novel.

Favorite quotes from this novel:
"The foolish will always treat you badly, because they think you are not beautiful..."

"...witches could not lie. People said that was the devil gave witches power, God bound their tongues to truth."

"But what is a body? Just a bowl for life. A bowl of breath."

"...because hope will break the heart better than any sorrow..."

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Diamondback by Phil Bowie

In 1838, soldiers came with bayonets to drive the Cherokees from their home in the Great Smoky Mountains. But not before the people managed to hide their gold mines. They kept their secret as they were driven like animals to the Oklahoma reservation. Many died on that infamous Trail of Tears, and their secrets died with them.

Now more than a century and a half later, solitary prospector Moses Kyle discovers one of the ancient lost mines. And disappears.

Among those seeking moses and his discovery are hot-shot pilot John Hardin and beautiful Cherokee biker Kitty Birdsong. Unfortunately also on the hunt in the misty folds of the Smokies is a murderous family clan rooted in the worst kind of evil, along with a group of cult members who are led by a fanatical snake-handling preacher, and who will do anything he asks of them.

When naked greed erupts into violence, John and Kitty find they must fight for their lives.

I want to thank Phil Bowie again for his generosity in sending me the John Hardin trilogy and the past interview. I was eager to continue John's story after finishing Guns. Guns was a jam-packed, suspense novel that even tho the story sounded amazing, I was hesitant to read due to my typical genre addiction- horror. I was pleasantly surprised that I was so intrigued by it and thankful Phil had sent me all three novels to do reviews on. Diamondback picks up where Guns left off.

I was happy to see that the Gaskills characters from Guns returned in this sequel. Moses Kyle, a new character, was a welcome addition. Like the Gaskills in Guns, Kyle was John's new "job" for lack of better words. When Moses disappears it is up to John to find out where he is and what happened to him. During Guns, you get a helicopter tutorial. In Diamondback you get a motorcycle one. It is evident that Mr. Bowie writes not only about fiction, but also of his own personal hobbies that he manages to incorporate in his stories without forsaking the heart of a novel.

While I did enjoy Diamondback, I feel that Guns was a better read and more suspenseful. Also, the beginning of chapter twenty-five felt like it was pulled directly from Guns and placed in Diamondback. The last bit of chapters were more intense than the majority of the novel, but they did end quite well. This leaves a great opening for the third installment, KLLRS.

Some quotes I found inspiring:
"We can only touch a rainbow with our minds."

"Got emotionally banged up in a long-term relationship, so I'm gun-shy."

"We live in a continuous miracle. Why do we forget that?"

Thanks again to Phil Bowie and all of the people at his publisher, Medallion Press. Both authors, and publishers alike strive to release so many amazing novels for people like us.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Darkscape: The Rebel Lord by R. Garland Gray





First I want to thank Ms Gray again for allowing me the opportunity to review a second book for her, in addition to the previous interview. I was immediately drawn to this book for its Star Wars-eque appeal. Like her Faery Faith series, she includes a glossary of various terminology to help understand what is going on. It is highly evident that the author has a clear attraction to Ireland and Scotland. You can see that from both the Faery Faith & the Darkscape novels.

One interesting concept was the fact even in the "futuristic" year 3187 the author writes of dementia still not having a cure. While we're on that topic, the medical science-technology talk was slightly confusing but it was pertinent to the story itself. Another thing confusing for me was the matrix robots premise. I wasn't sure if the robots were ROBOTS, or if they were humans with some kind of robotic enhancement? One character seemed as tho they were a robot, but had more humanity to them, as opposed to another who seemed fully robotic?

There was also a semi-rape type scene that was just too weird for me. As if rapes aren't weird enough, this put some pseudo-future-sci-fi twist to it that just wasn't right for me. As I was reading tho, I did find myself looking back at the cover to confirm the character descriptions. Typically I don't do this, so why I did, or why I even wrote down the notes I am not sure of?!

Had the author not continued the story into two more novels, I think the ending would have appeared quite rushed. I am looking forward to the continuation in this Scottish Star Wars like saga.

Some quotes from the novel:

"Desperation breeds foolishness..."

"Most things worthy are not easy."


Monday, July 12, 2010

Glimmerglass by Jenna Black

Dana Hathaway doesn't know it yet, but she's in big trouble. When her alcoholic mom shows up at her voice recital drunk, again, Dana decides she's had enough and runs away to find her mysterious father in Avalon: the only place on Earth where the regular, everyday world and the captivating, magical world of Faerie intersect. But from the moment Dana sets foot in Avalon, everything goes wrong, for it turns out she isn't just an ordinary teenage girl- she's a Faeriewalker, a rare individual who can travel between both worlds, and the only person who can bring magic into the human world and technology into Faerie.
Soon, Dana finds herself tangled up in a cutthroat game of Fae politics. Someone's trying to kill her, and everyone seems to want something from her, from her newfound friends and family to Ethan, the hot Fae guy Dana figures she'll never have a chance with...until she does. Caught between the two worlds, Dana isn't sure where she'll ever fit in or who can be trusted, not to mention if her world will ever be normal again.

This was another of my 2010 Debut Author Challenges. I thought there would be a hesitation but it jumped straight into the faery realm. The story managed to weave reality (modern day issues i.e. alcoholism, teenage rebellion) with myth. I actually learned of some new fae mythology because of this book- glimmerglass and spriggans. Reading wise, the story had a very subdued, laidback flow.

Originally I made a note that the first 100ish pages revolved around nothing more than a very tiny bit of everything else, but mostly filled with Dana's moving around from one safe place to another. It bugged me because it felt like THAT was the story when the story should have been more focused on other events. I also wanted an explanation of Dana's cameo. There was a brief glimpse at it, but basically you had to figure it out on your own.

This has been the first book this year that I have been stumped on. Typically I know right away if I reallyyyyyyyyyy love a book or I reallyyyyyyyyyy hate it. This novel, however, has me hesitant. I want to give the upcoming sequel a shot and hopefully that will give me an insight to whether or not I will pursue this new series any further.

Here are a few quotes I enjoyed:

"If lightning had shot from the heavens and struck me dead at that moment, I might have welcomed it."

" hurt so much more to leave if you let yourself care too much."

Friday, July 9, 2010

Spider's Bite by Jennifer Estep

My name is Gin Blanco. They call me the Spider. I'm the most feared assassin in the South - when I'm not busy at the Pork Pit cooking up the best barbecue in Ashland. As a Stone elemental, I can hear everything from the whispers of the gravel beneath my feet to the vibrations of the soaring Appalachian Mountains above me. My Ice magic also comes in handy for making the occasional knife. But I don't use my powers on the job unless I absolutely have to. Call it professional pride.

Now that a ruthless Air elemental has double-crossed me and killed my handler, I'm out for revenge. And I'll exterminate anyone who gets in my way - good or bad. I may look hot, but I'm still one of the bad guys. Which is why I'm in trouble, since irresistibly rugged Detective Donovan Caine has agreed to help me. The last thing this coldhearted killer needs when I'm battling a magic more powerful than my own is a sexy distraction...especially when Donovan wants me dead just as the enemy.

I happened to notice this book in a Wal Mart store sometime earlier this year when I was living in North Carolina. I contacted Jennifer and due to some publisher's limiting the amounts of books they send to their authors, she sent me the e-book along with Web of Lies (June 2010). Jennifer included a press release that also states book three in the series, Venom, will be released in October, 2010. As I browsed through her website I noticed she was offering bookmarks. Much to my surprise, she sent me I think 9 total. As you all have seen one of them is a result of this month's contest! In addition to all of that, she also allowed me the opportunity to interview her. On August 2 I will post the interview with the name of the winner of the contest.

The novel is based in Ashland, NC. As I read the novel it appeared to have so many of the same charateristics of Asheville, NC. I have a feeling this was her inspiration to base the novel on. This was an action packed book. The scenes were filled with bloody assassinations! Aside from the major Elementals, the story also featured vampire hookers, dwarf socialite beauticians, giants, and who knows what she may include in Web of Lies and Venom? The Elemental characters posess powers that are more interesting than your typical superheroes.

The tension between Gin, the Spider, and Donovan Caine was palpable. The culinary cooking sections were just....? It fit in with the story, but at the same time I felt that it was overplayed more than it should have been? As all books in series, or the great ones anyways, this one left you with a surprising ending to pave a way for the next book. This is a series I hope continues for a long time. If so, I can definitely see myself following the Spider's story in physical book format. The e-books are just not as convenient to read while traveling and various other family emergencies that I ran into. Thanks again to Jennifer for a new and interesting series that has grabbed my attention outside of my typical book reviewing.

Favorite quote from the book:
"Easy was for people too weak to suck it up and do what needed to be done. And I wasn't weak. Not anymore."

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Party by Tom Leveen

and school is done for the year. Everyone is headed to the
same party. Or atleast it seems thay way. The place is packed,
The beer is flowing. Simple, right?
But for eleven people, the reasons for being there are way
more complicated....

to confront my ex
to hook up (since that's what everyone expects)
to make a friend...any friend
to numb the pain
to finally talk to her
to piss off my parents
to say goodbye

I don't know where I found Tom's book originally. But I am thankful I did! This was another one of my 2010 Debut Author Challenges. This book put me in the mind of all the great teen movies from when I was in high school....Can't Hardly Wait, 10 Things I Hate About You, etc...and even The Breakfast Club.

My favorite characters in the story were Beckett, Morrigan, Azize, and Anthony. Beckett is a lonely-outsider. She faces so much due to her mother's sickness that it makes her become reclusive and even lose her best friend. I recall a lot of my childhood of feeling that same way. I was never a people person in school, and was very shy. No one would ever think so now, but I can definitely relate to Beckett for sure! Morrigan is another of my fav's. She is the rebellious one. Morrigan rebels to get her parents attention and a confirmation that her father does love her. I also have been in her shoes. When I was 14, my rebellion began for many reasons of my own. For the most part it all backfired of course! Azize was the second most character I related to, aside from Beckett. He faces so much prejudicism due to his ethnicity and skin color. When you are a minority such as myself it really makes you upset when you see people hurting others for the sake of ignorance. Anthony was the last character I related to. His brother was off in the war and wounded. Anthony took it hard and caused him to take a negative outlook on things. Again, I can relate to that as most people can. When something so devastating happens to you it is only normal to be afraid and create a defense mechanism.

I really enjoyed this refreshing and easily relateable novel. Tom's interaction with kids in his work life clearly shines through in his debute novel. I encourage you all to read it. There are other characters in the story you may relate to. Such as:Tommy, Brent, Daniel, Ryan, Josh, Max, and Ashley. All the characters have their own story to tell. Find out which ones you like. Which ones remind you of yourself.

Firespell by Chloe Neill


When Lily's parents decide to send her away to a fancy boarding school in Chicago, she is not happy. Lily's classmates are the ultrarich brat-pack type- and if that isn't enough, she's hearing and seeing bizarre things on St. Sophia's creepy campus.

The only thing keeping her sane is her roommate, Scout, but even Scout's a little weird- she keeps disappearing late at night. When a prank leaves Lily trapped in the catacombs beneath the school, Lily finds Scout, who's running from a real-life monster. Scout is part of a splinter group of rebel teens who protect Chicago from demons, vamps, and the gone-to-the-dark-side magic users called Reapers. She lets Lily in on her secret, even though Lily has no powers of her own...or at least none she's discovered yet.

You see even when your cell phone is "MIA," the camera phone function works just great! I took a pic of the book so I could remember to contact Chloe on doing a review. Much to my surprise she happily sent me a copy. One of the cool aspects for me in this novel was the name of a character, Marceline D. Foley. I have never read a book that featured my last name. It sounds lame, but to me I thought it was cool. Whatever to all of you haters! :)  The abruptness of Ms. Foley reminds me of Maggie Smith in Sister Act or even in Harry Potter.

The story read like the subtext of Buffy, without the kitchsy humor. I feel it has an amazing potential to become a tv series if the author chooses to pursue this into a series. The end leaves you with a suspended state. You're unsure if that was the end, or if there's more to come in the future. Hopefully it's the latter, because I would really be eager for a continuation in this story.

Thank you again to Chloe and Caitlin Brown from Signet/US Penguin Group Publishers for the opportunity to make this review possible.

Jennifer Estep Contest July 1-August 1

Hey readers! I enjoyed the last giveaway, so I thought of doing another. I've been reading like crazy trying to catch up with reviews. However I thought I should take time to do a post and include a picture of the contest prize options.

As I did with the last contest anyone who is currently a "Follower" is automatically entered into the contest. I want to welcome Tommy to the "Follower" gang. The rules are simple really and there is only one! Become a Follower! The contest will run from July 1-August 1. On August 2 I will do a post revealing the winner. The winner shall then select ONE of the three autographed bookmarks that Jennifer Estep has so graciously sent me.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Predestined by R Garland Gray


Abandoned at birth on the shores of a sacred loch, Bryna never knew her family or true heritage. She exists as a slave in the fortress of a Roman invader, her only friend an ancient, blind Druidess, Derina. Her life is bleak and without hope. And then Derina tells her she must rescue the prisoner in the dungeon.

Tynan lies naked, chained to a cold, stone slab, both body and mind tortured by the Sorcerer, evil ally of the Roman lord. The Sorcerer's purpose? To discover if this one, at last, might be the Dark Chieftain, the fulfiller of prophecy.

Even deeper in the dungeon, trapped by magical enchantment are the faeries. They await their liberator, the one who has been prophesied.

And the Dark Chieftain awaits a destiny of his own...mating with the territorial goddess...a union that will set the land, and many lives, aright.

First, however, he must gain his freedom and find her.

And Bryna is on her way to the dungeon...

This is another review from the great people at Medallion Press. I contacted Ms. Gray and she has since sent me Predestined & Darkscape: The Rebel Lord along with doing an interview. I wanted to review this book because of its large faery and fantasy background. I felt like I was warped into an alternate reality as I read. The cool thing about this book is that she writes with an ancient language that includes a dictionary reference guide in the back. Another thing I would like to note is that the author did a lot of research before she began writing it. So I guess you could say it is also a historical romance novel as well!

The sex scenes were more than sex, lust, passion, love. It is hard to explain, you just need to read it to understand what I am saying. I guess the simplest way is it is a form of enlightenment, and even that doesn't really come close to what it is. Most of the character "developments" were predictable, yet not disapointing.  The book, to me, is a reminder at how people (men, women & children) all matured at much earlier ages in life back in that era. So many things have been lost over those centuries passed.

I really and truly did love reading this book. I can't wait to read books two and three and continue in this magical journey. Thanks again to R. Garland Gray for her willingness to allow me in doing these reviews and interviews with her. Also another thanks to the wonderful people at Medallion Press, for being such a corteous and always eager group of people in assistance with my reviews.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Frostbite by David Wellington

Lost deep in the uninhabited forests of Canada's Northwest Territories, a young woman named Chey survives an encounter with a werewolf...but not without a scratch.
The instant those giant teeth sink into her flesh, Chey's old life ends, and she becomes the very monster that's haunted her nightmares for years. Even worse, if she's going to survive, she may have to rely on the very man-or wolf- who's doomed her to his fate.
When a team of hired killers descends on the forest, guns loaded with silver bullets, she is faced with an unimaginable decision: will she help these men sent to kill her enemy, or embrace the beast she has become?

I seen David's books somewhere on a website early this year. The cover art was so gothic, morbid and horror-ish that I knew I would love them. I emailed David for an interview/ARC request and he approved my request.

Wellington's story was written so descriptive and visual that is was not done in an over-whelming experience. He explains the details without having to use "page-filler," and still be true to the story. Every last detail included made this novel more compelling to read. Part two of the story was very much an edge of the seat page turner. Frankly his writing is unparalleled to any others I've seen. He wields his words into the most appropriate arrangement.

Part three was frustrating with Chey's circumstances that she finds herself in. I expected a little more climactic events, considering the previous acceleration of the story. Part four was as suspenseful as part two, if not more! The ending was a very agreeable one. It is hard to find an ending to a great book that I enjoy in this type of genre. David manages to do without disappointment or feeling like a part of the story just wasn't enough. I also liked how the author threw a curve ball at the ending. Either way his original ending or the one I had thought was coming, I am completely content with the way the story was finished.

My only complaints on the story was that part three could have had more to it. Also the character Lucie just seemed like she needed a more in-depth explanation. Thank you again to David for allowing me the opportunity to review his book and the ability to interview him. I truly did enjoy this experience.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Foodchain by Jeff Jacobson

Frank Winter has a gift. He can soothe and handle damn near anything on four legs. But his future career as a racetrack equine veterinarian is destroyed with one vicious kick to the head. Now, the men who financed his education want their investment back and Frank becomes the guy who has to get his hands dirty when a horse is worth more dead than alive.
But when a job goes bad and a horse dies on national television, Frank is taken to a rundown roadside zoo where the animals aren't just hungry. They're slowly starving. And Frank is on the menu.
After finding refuge in an isolated small town ruled with near absolute power by Horace Sturm, Frank sees a chance to make some quick cash. Sturm's got his own problems, though. There's a tumor in his head the size of a golf ball and his thirteen-year-old son has brought nothing but shame and embarassment to the family name.
Under a brutal summer sun, Frank organizes a series of exotic animal hunts through the ranches and backyards of Whitewood, hoping to end the animals' starvation quickly and painlessly. But he seriously underestimates the madness lurking under the surface of the desperate town. Nor does he truly understand the depth of hatred in the decades-old feud between Sturm and the Glouck family. And he definitely doesn't anticipate falling for nineteen-year-old Annie Glouck.
While Whitewood crumbles into a ghost town full of bones, blood, and gunpowder, vicious predators and hunters with itchy trigger fingers stalk the empty streets. It's survival of the fittest as the hunts escalate into death matches between exotic animals and Frank must decide where he stands on the fine line between predator and prey.

This was a very gory-graphically detailed novel with an A rating and a B rated sense of morbid-disturbing humor. If you're offended by homosexuals, bestiality, brutality, vulgarity and bloodfests, it's safe to say this book isn't for you. PETA would have a frenzy over this book. It is classified as the mystery genre. However, I think it was mistitled. Although I can't think of any title it would fit into properly since it has so many variables it deserves its own category.

When I first heard of the novel I was under a misperception that the animals were some sort of re-animated corpses. Upon viewing the cover art I was even more confused until I finished the book. The John Wayne western cover-art just seemed out of place at first. After further reading I had a more appreciative outlook on it.

There were a few things I had problems with as I read Jeff's novel. Firstly the people aafter Frank was like a brief glimpse. They were built up so much only to never be heard from again. In all of the mayhem in this story it would have been a cool twist to add a bit of feasible drama into the mix. Secondly I think there were some parts that were over-indulgent, but it is fiction. So I guess that is more of a matter of opinion than a reader's problem? Aside from being in the animal field, the fantasy of the story was fun. I'm just thankful this wasn't based on actual events. LOL! Another issue I had was with Annie & Frank's relationship. It was too confusing without remotely making sense. He wants her. He doesn't. He wants to have sex. He doesn't. Bi-polar much? Something more substantial would have been better I think. Like a confirmation of what way the relationship was going. (I can't spoil too much of the details without giving away the story.)

The ending was filled with murderous rage and revenge. Yet still there was nothing with the people after Frank featured in the beginning of the story. Overall I really did enjoy the novel. Jeff is a promising author. I hope to see more from him in the future. It was a great honor to be able to do this review for Jeff. Stay tuned for his interview.

2010 Books I've Read

ARC & Review Books I've Read In 2010:

Everlasting Kiss- Amanda Ashley
Everlasting Desire- Amanda Ashley
Gonville: A Memoir- Peter Birkenhead
The Accessory- James G Hutchison
Dragon's Lair- Ally Blue
Oleander House- Ally Blue
What Hides Inside- Ally Blue
Fireflies- Ally Blue
Me, Myself & Why- MaryJanice Davidson
If I Stay- Gayle Forman
Saint Iggy- K.L. Going
Nothing- Robin Friedman
Blonde With A Wand- Vicki Lewis Thompson
Chick With A Charm- Vicki Lewis Thompson
Demonfire- Kate Douglas
Forget Me Not- Vicki Hinze
Firespell- Chloe Neill
Princess For Hire- Lindsey Leavitt
The Beautiful Between- Alyssa B Sheinmel
Frostbite- David Wellington
Moonshine- Alaya Dawn Johnson
Shiver- Maggie Stiefvater
Linger- Maggie Stiefvater
Split- Stefan Petrucha
Epitaph Road- David Patneaude
Guns- Phil Bowie
Diamondback- Phil Bowie
Chernobyl Murders- Michael Beres
Voices of Dragons- Carrie Vaughn
Foodchain- Jeff Jacobson
Darkscape: the Rebel Lord- R. Garland Gray
Faery Faith: Predestined- R. Garland Gray
Party- Tom Leveen
The Summer of Skinny Dipping- Amanda Howells
Glimmerglass: A Faeriewalker Novel- Jenna Black
The Secret Life of Bees- Sue Monk Kidd
The Magician's Nephew- C.S. Lewis
The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe- C.S. Lewis
Lord of the Flies- William Golding
Undead & Unwed- MaryJanice Davidson
Plain Kate- Erin Bow
Betwixt- Tara Bray Smith
Shadow of the Moon: A Dark Guardian Novel- Rachel Hawthorne
War Games: Kill Zone- Vicki Hinze
KLLRS- Phil Bowie

Books I've Read In Spare Time:
Halloween Night- R.L. Stine
One Evil Summer- R.L. Stine
Goosebumps: Say Cheese and Die- R.L. Stine
Conversations With J.K. Rowling- Lindsey Fraser


Just an update for myself to keep track of what ARC's are on their way.

Currently Reading:
Plain Kate- Erin Bow (Finished)
Betwixt- Tara Bray Smith (Finished)
War Games: Kill Zone- Vicki Hinze  (Finished)
KLLRS- Phil Bowie (Finished)
My Soul To Keep- Melanie Wells
Shadow Of The Moon: A Dark Guardians Novel- Rachel Hawthorne (Finished)
Traffyck- Michael Beres
Rain Village- Carolyn Turgeon
I Am Legend- Richard Matheson
Web Of Lies- Jennifer Estep

Reviews Need To Read:
Dead City- Joe McKinney
Dead Set: A Zombie Anthology- Michelle McCrary & Joe McKinney
Dust- Joan Frances Turner
The Loving Dead- Amelia Beamer
Still Missing- Chevy Stevens
A Darker Dream- Amanda Ashley
The Vampire & The Virgin- Kerrelyn Sparks
The Feathered Serpent 2012- Junius Podrug
My Ultimate Sister Disaster- Jane Mendel
Water Ghosts- Shawna Yang Ryan
Blindsided- Priscilla Cummings
Hater- David Moody
Dogfood- David Moody
Hearts At Stake- Alyxandra Harvey
Blood Feud- Alyxandra Harvey

ARC's Coming In The Mail:
Past Midnight- Mara Purnhagen
Lightborn or Darkborn or both?- Alison Sinclair
We Were Here- Matt De La Pena
Down Among The Dead- Robert Gregory Browne
Six Rules of Maybe- Deb Caletti
Wormfood- Jeff Jacobson
Redheaded Stepchild- Jaye Wells
The Mage Is Black- Jaye Wells
Unholy Ghosts- Stacia Kane
Feed- Mira Black (possibly author's choice since the book she sent was ruined at the UPS in the flood)
A Twisted Ladder- Rhodi Hawk

Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

Their eyes, human eyes in wolf skulls, remind me of water: the clear blue of water reflecting in the spring sky, the brown of a brook churning with rainfall, the green of the lake in summer as the algae begins to bloom, the gray of a snow-choked river. It used to be only Sam's yellow eyes that watched me from between the rain-soaked birches, but now I feel the weight of the entire pack's gaze. The weight of things unknown, things unsaid.

Again I want to express my gratitude towards both Maggie and her people from Scholastic Press for allowing me to do the reviews for both Shiver and now for Linger. The first thought on this stpry was the continuation of "The Wolves of Mercy Falls." I anticipated learning of the mysterious Cole. You had so much to ponder on with this ellusive character. Sexy. Mysterious. Rebellious. Another great thing I enjoyed was the fact one of my favorite characters from Shiver returns as a lead character in Linger, Isabel. She is quite bitchy, pretentious, and yet with all of the hardships dealt to her- she learns to grow up and become more of a mature and responsible person.

In Shiver, I was preturbed by the temperature settings at the beginning of each chapters. I was thankful in Linger that they weren't there. I was a little disheartened to find that Olivia was not featured almost at all in Linger. With such a strong ending with her character in Shiver, I expected more to her story in Linger. I also felt that there was a vagueness to a character's details of being a wolf or not being a wolf? Maybe that is due to the author's story plan for the third edition in this series? Some parts I also felt like they could have been left out, almost like they were a "filler." Such as the talk of one character clipping their toe-nails? ....

The last 100-ish pages for me was frustrating to read for fear at which way the story would turn. Overall I really did enjoy this story. This is going to be a new series that I feel Twilight fans such as myself can indulge in and not feel betrayed. Maggie creates such interesting characters, with a whole new purpose to werewolves. I am quite impatient for the third installment and see myself reading these books over again throughout the year.

There were quite a few quotes I loved from this book. However only one really popped out at me.

"But love isn't quantifiable on paper..."