Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Back to the Books Hop

Another great hop is under way hosted by I am a Reader, Not a Writer and Buried In Books!

I will have three prizes up for grabs.  Two of them will be books from my bookshelf that I am cleaning out and will be US only entry.  I will send them media mail, to try to save as much money on shipping as I can.  The third will be International, it will be your choice of book up to $10.00 (US currency) from the Book Depository.

While you are here, please enter the giveaway for Egypt: The Uprising. Click on the title and it will take you to the post.  It is for an eBook and runs through the 7th as well.  Starting on September 3rd I will be participating in a blog tour for Carol Oates book Ember.  There will be an ebook copy given away on this blog.  Make sure to come back and enter.

Here are the packages:

Package #1 is a collection of Christian fiction: (US only)

Prize package #2 is the Chronicles of  Faerie by O.R. Melling. (US Only)

Prize Package #3 (International if the Book Depository Ships to your country!)
Up to $10 (US Currency) from the Book Depository

Fill out the form below to enter.  There will be three winners.  You many enter all or one of the contests.  You must be 13 or older to enter.  If you submit an entry you are verifying that you are at least 13 years old.  There is one entry per person.  I have found that in blog hops it makes my life so much simpler if there are not multiple entries.  Keeping it simple and hopefully fun.  After the form you will find a list of all of the other participants.  Continue on your hop and have fun.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Crusade Series by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie

I just finished reading books in the Crusade Series.  The first book is a Novella that was written as part of an anthology, it lead to the creation of the series.  As of right now, there are only two books that are published.  Damned release date is today!  I am going to post my review in the order written.  You may notice that my ratings increase with each book.  I have the newer cover for Crusade at the top and in my review is the cover of the book that I read.  I think I like the newer better, it goes nicely with Damned.  I have kept the reviews as I reviewed them on Goodreads.  I like to get my thoughts down right away after reading the book.  It gives my impressions of the book as I read it instead being tainted by additional information in subsequent books.

Passing (Crusade Short Story)Passing by Nancy Holder & Debbie Viguie

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Genre: YA Paranormal
Source:  I purchased this on my kindle.

Description from Goodreads: "Passing" is the short story that launched the smash dark fantasy series, CRUSADE. 
The vampires have declared war on humanity--and they have won. Now it's New Year's Eve in Salamanca, Spain--and the Academy's graduating class of vampire hunters are taking their final exam--stake the Cursed Ones attacking in the fog, or die. Jenn has a fighting partner named Antonio de la Cruz...and he has a big secret...but Jenn's got a secret, too, and it nearly takes them both out. 

My thoughts:My advice would be to read this novella before you read Crusade. It is a fun start, but I couldn't get over the things that they changed from this novella to the series. It just didn't feel right to me and I was cringing. I read the note by the author's at the end and felt a little better.

This is a quick read, it took me less than an hour.  It is a great introduction to the series.  There is not content that I would feel uncomfortable in recommending this series to. Note that there is violence.

Crusade (Crusade, #1)
Crusade by Nancy Holder & Debbie Viguie

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Genre: YA Paranormal
Source: I purchase my copy.

Description from Goodreads: For the past two years, Jenn has lived and trained at Spain’s Sacred Heart Academy Against the Cursed Ones. She is among the few who have pledged to defend humanity or die trying. But the vampires are gaining power, and the battle has only just begun.

Forced to return home after death takes a member of her family, Jenn discovers that San Francisco is now a vampire strong-hold. As a lone hunter apart from her team, Jenn is isolated — and at risk. She craves the company of her fighting partner, Antonio: his protection, his reassurance, his touch. But a relationship with Antonio comes with its own dangers, and the more they share of themselves, the more Jenn stands to lose.
Then Jenn is betrayed by one who was once bound to protect her, causing her to doubt all she had held as true. To survive, Jenn must find the courage to trust herself — and her heart.

My thoughts: A group of six young adults trying to get past prejudices and cultural differences to form a cohesive unit to slay vampires.

Vampires have come out and pretty much control the world. They have taken over governments with the promise of changing the leaders into immortals. They terrorize humanity and basically governments and law enforcement turn a blind eye.

In Spain, a Catholic Priest has helped train and empower youth to take up the fight against the vampires. Father Juan used magic and his faith to form a group of hunters. Though he knows that he picked the correct people, they cannot seem to get their act together. There is a lot of animosity and bickering. Three of the group have supernatural powers. Two are warriors, and then there is Jenn.

The story revolves around Jenn. Her struggle to fit into the group and the betrayal of one she loves. She finds herself on a journey to save her sister, and in turn finds herself.

I enjoyed the plot line and the fast paced story. The first part left me with a feeling of deja vu. I can't figure out why. This is an interesting and great beginning to a series. I look forward to the second book, "Damned".

Damned (Crusade #2)Damned by Nancy Holder & Debbie Viguie

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Genre: YA Paranormal
Source: Simon and Schuster Galley Grab and the ebook version that I purchased.

Description from Goodreads: There is a fine line between love and sacrifice….

Antonio would do anything for his beloved fighting partner Jenn. He protects her, even suppresses his vampire cravings to be with her. Together, they defend humanity against the Cursed Ones. But tensions threaten to fracture their hunting team and his loyalty—his love—is called into question.
With an even more sinister power on the rise, Jenn must overcome her personal vendettas.
Antonio and Jenn need each other to survive, but evil lurks at every turn. With humanity’s fate hanging in the balance, they must face down the darkness…or die trying.

My thoughts: I read about 3/4 of the book from Simon & Schuster's Galley Grab, but then it expired on me before I finished the book. I then purchased the book (in the middle of the night) from an eBook store. One of the things that I love about eReaders. You can have instant access to books right when you need it.

This book follows the Salmanca team. They are trained at a Catholic campus in Spain. The team is loaded with strife. There is personal, family, cultural, supernatural, and emotional strife. The team can't get it together emotionally. The thing that they have in common is their desire to rid the world of the vampires. I do like that they were able to come up with a society that a Jew and a Muslim were able to work together and put aside their differences to save the human race. (Wish the world were more like that without a crisis to bring us together.)

It was wonderful that the author's included the personal struggles that the characters are going through. They showed us a glimpse of their past and what brought them together to hunt vampires.

I really enjoyed this book and had to purchase it in the middle of the night. My biggest regret is that I have to wait a year until the third book.

My overall thoughts: I am officially sucked into this series.  I feel that the story gets stronger with each book addition.  I am anxiously awaiting the final installment due in the fall of 2012.  In looking under the author's names for the books on goodreads, I discovered that I own the Wicked series that they teamed up together to write.  I like the way that their books in this series  have a great rhythm in the writing.  I am excited to read the Wicked series and see if they are just as good.  I just need to catch up on some reviews first....sigh.

Teaser Tuesday

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

          ~Grab your current read.

          ~Open to a random page.

          ~Share two "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page. (Sometimes I cheat a bit on this one and do a few more sentences.)
          ~Be careful not to include spoilers! (make sure that what you share doesn't give to much away.               You don't want to ruin the book for others.)

          ~Share the title and author, so the other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teaser.  :0)

Once again, I am in the process of finishing one book and beginning the next.  I am going to share the opening lines of Concrete Pearl by Vincent Zandri.

The naked man lies on his side along the edge of a steep trench.  The newly excavated trench reeks of exposed clay, the rich stench wafting up from the moist floor.

Monday, August 29, 2011

In my mailbox #31

In my mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren.  It's a way  let other's know about the books that we receive and may not be able to get to quickly.  It 's also fun to interact and get to know each other .  I love to get ideas for books to read from the pages that I visit.  I hope you see something fun or interesting  to read here as well.

This week I received eBooks to review.

Slayers by CJ Hill (Netgalley)
Shattered Dreams by Ellie James (Netgalley)
Prized by Caragh O'Brien (Netgalley)
Crave by Melissa Darnell (Netgalley)
Earth by Shauna Granger (Blog tour in October)

There is my week!  You can find more about the book by clicking on the title.  I am linking them to Goodreads.  What did you get in your mailbox or ebox?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Review: Tales of Little Bear and Little Buffalo

Tales of Little Bear and LitteBuffalo by Roy Naquin

Genre:  Middle Grade nonfiction
Source: Received to review from the author through Bostick Communications

Rating: 3 of 5 stars

Description from Goodreads: Adventures in the Wilderness!

Little Bear is a boy whose curiosity is matched only by his daring. He and his cousin, Little Buffalo, grow up in a changing world where they balance tradition - like earning the right to their own dugout canoes - with the form of a new local schoolhouse. Little Bear's father is the tribal chief, but that doesn't stop Little Bear from getting into mischief. From acts of great bravery to gestures of deep compassion, Little Bear and Little Buffalo put themselves heart and soul into every moment of their lives, with contagious joy and spontaneous wisdom.

Roy Naquin's beautiful storytelling retains the clarity, cadence, and humor of these delightful family stories told to him by his father and grandfather. Tales of Little Bear and Little Buffalo is a treasure for children and adults alike.

Beka's thoughts:    The book 'Tales of Little Bear and Little Buffalo'  is an interesting tale of two young Indian boys.  Through out the book the two have many adventures and get into trouble.  This book was written for ages eight to eleven, or older depending on what you want to read.  The story is told in first person, depicting Little Bear as the main character.  The way it is written is to the point and very easy to read and understand.  I give this book 3 out of five stars, and recommend it to 4th-5th graders, or anyone who wants a quick and easy read.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

"Egypt: The Uprising" in review ~ Blog Tour + a giveaway!

Egypt: The Uprising (The Battle for Maat, #1) Egypt: The Uprising (The Battle for Maat, #1) by Amira Aly

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Source: I received this book to review by partcipating in the blog tour organized by WOW (women on writing)
Genre: YA fantasy

Synopsis of the book: Aya is a teenaged girl trying to live through the Egyptian Revolution of January 2011 with her brother and aunt without getting swept up into the demonstrations and violence. But fate has something else in mind for Aya. What starts out as an attempt by Aya to drag her brother and his friends away from the demonstrations transforms into a battle with ancient Egyptian figures who have returned from the past to take control of modern Egypt. Can Aya learn enough about her mysterious past and powers in time to save her world from the evil threatening it?
Egypt: The Uprising in a fascinating combination of modern events, historical figures, secret organizations with magical powers, and adventure that keeps readers on the edge of their seats.

My thoughts: This is a very interesting book. It deals in depth with the relationship of Egyptian mythology and the unrest in Egypt. Amira Aly has cleverly crafted a plot line that combines the bloodshed of the revolutionists and the ancient sacrifice of humans.

Overall I really have to say how impressed I am with her book. The three rating is due to my ignorance. I am not as familiar with Egyptian mythology as I would like to be and sometimes I had a hard time keeping up with the deities and their role in ancient society. There is a ton of information packed into this relatively short book.

It is intriguing. I may have to do a little research on my own and re-read the book then. There is absolutely no reason not to recommend this book. If for nothing else, the strong female lead character and to learn more about Egypt and the recent uprising.

The slaughter of victims of the Government crackdown is hard to read. I admire those who gave of themselves to try to better their government.

About AmiraAmira Aly lived in Canada up until her first year in university when she moved to Egypt to study medicine at the University of Cairo. It seemed she was on the traditional route of a medical career working as an intern and teaching assistant in the surgical pathology department. But then she discovered the wonderful world of freelance medical writing. And who could resist its charms?

Egypt: The Uprising isn’t Amira’s first book. There was that picture book she wrote when she was five years old. Sadly, publishers didn’t recognize its brilliance but it was the first step on a life filled with a love of writing.

When she isn’t writing Amira likes to read her favorite authors Anne Rice, Stephen King, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. She also spends time dancing, playing video games, and eating her favorite food Molokheya (an Egyptian green soup). She’d like to squeeze in time to learn a fourth language. She already speaks English, Arabic, and French. Amira lives in Cairo with her husband, 7 year old daughter and 17 months old son. Her children would like to add a dog to that list but Amira, still traumatized by the loss of a pet turtle, has sworn off pets. That, and she knows she’ll be the one walking the dog even though everyone promises they will.

Where can you find Amira? 

Egypt: The Uprising Book Trailer:

For the giveaway!

I will be able to have one winner of an ebook copy of "Egypt: The Uprising".  There will be a total of two entries.  The first is to leave your name and email address in a comment.  You can earn a second entry if you tweet about the contest.  You must use the hashtag  #ETUAly. Remember that you must be at least 13 years old to enter.

If you want to copy and paste this example you may.  

Enter to win Egypt the Uprising at Bookworm Lisa #ETUAly

Please leave separate comments and the url for your tweet.  Leave your email address again with the tweet URL.  Winners will be selected using  The contest will run until September 7th.  I will announce the winner on the 8th and forward the name and email to WOW.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Teaser Tuesday

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

          ~Grab your current read.

          ~Open to a random page.

          ~Share two "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page. (Sometimes I cheat a bit on this one and do a few more sentences.)
          ~Be careful not to include spoilers! (make sure that what you share doesn't give to much away.               You don't want to ruin the book for others.)

          ~Share the title and author, so the other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teaser.  :0)

This week my teaser comes from Ember by Carol Oates.  I  am reading in ebook format, so the quote comes from page 31 or 32.

They trembled gently in the light breeze, thinning out to golden tips at the very edges.  Something about it reminded her of swans rising proudly from the water.

Monday, August 22, 2011

In my mailbox #30

In my mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren.  It's a way  let other's know about the books that we receive and may not be able to get to quickly.  It 's also fun to interact and get to know each other .  I love to get ideas for books to read from the pages that I visit.  I hope you see something fun or interesting  to read here as well.

My kids are back in school as of today!  That gives me a little bit of time to get my IMM up.  We had a very hectic weekend and I didn't post this on the weekend.  I am also playing catch-up.  I don't think I have posted an IMM for a couple of weeks. :0)  I am linking the titles with Goodreads and if I won from a blog I am linking the blog with the name of the blog.

E_Books won:

Huntress by Nicole Hamlett ~ Won from Texas Type A Mom
Kings and Queens by Courtney Vail - won from a member giveaway at Library Thing
Rippler by Cidney Swanson - won from a member giveaway at Library Thing
Children of the Elementi by Ceri Clark - won in a member giveaway at Library Thing

Hard Copy books won:

I won a box of books from Hott Books
Usually when take pictures on my phone and I add them to the blog, it catches which  direction they are taken and  posts them the correct way.  Not happening today. ;(

Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer (I purchased this one)
Amaryllis in Blueberry by Christina Meldrum~ won from Once Upon a Twilight

I think I'm done!  If I missed a couple, oh well.  Anyway... I hope you received lots of fun things in your ebox or mailbox.  Have a great day.

Friday, August 19, 2011

REVIEW of " Count Down to Love"

Count Down to LoveCount Down to Love by Julie N. Ford

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Genre: Adult romance
Source:  Received ecopy from the Publisher using NetGalley

Description from Goodreads: Abandoned at the altar, Kelly Grace Pickens finds herself left holding not only the bouquet but also the exorbitant bill for an A-list wedding. Homeless, a once promising singing career floundering, and her life bearing an uncanny resemblance to one of her country music ballads, she reluctantly accepts a last minute offer to appear on a reality TV show akin to the bachelor. Pitted against silicon-enhanced supermodels in four-inch heals, Kelly feels confident that she will be among the first would-be fianc├ęs to be excused. Only, when the mysterious bachelor from New York City, Dillon Black, invites her to stay, Kelly finds herself thrust into the vortex of a game she doesn’t have the first idea how to play. Nursing her hopelessly broken heart while avoiding the foils of her fellow contestants, Kelly is oblivious to Dillon’s affections as she wades through hurt and betrayal to discover, in the end, that she has landed firmly on both feet. 

Leaving behind Nashville’s Music Row for the majestic Grand Teton mountains, Count Down To Love takes readers on a journey from duplicity to sincerity as Kelly discovers that being true to oneself is the first step in finding happiness and everlasting love. 

My thougths: I think this will become my go-to book whenever my friends ask for a good romance book to read. I may have to purchase it first, so I can loan it to them. (My rational thinking about a good excuse to purchase my own copy!)  I started this book this morning and finished it at about 9 PM. I couldn't pull myself away from it.

My favorite part were the scenes between Dillon and Kelly during the making of the "reality" show. They were a hoot to read. I loved their interaction and that they had so much in common. The flirtation left me wanting more and the kissing scenes weren't so bad either.

Kelly however was having trust issues because at the beginning of the book she was left waiting at the alter for a groom who was a no show. I couldn't imagine the trust issues in falling in love with someone knowing he was dating and kissing other girls.

Anyway..... this is a clean and fun romance book. I give it my highest recommendation. I only give five stars to books that grab my attention so much that I literally do not care about a dirty house, kids running loose in the neighborhood, etc. I just need to read and find out what happens next.

Review of Witchlanders

WitchlandersWitchlanders by Lena Coakley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Simon and Schuster Galley Grab
Genre: Fantasy

Description from Goodreads: High in their mountain covens, red witches pray to the Goddess, protecting the Witchlands by throwing the bones and foretelling the future.

It’s all a fake.

At least, that’s what Ryder thinks. He doubts the witches really deserve their tithes—one quarter of all the crops his village can produce. And even if they can predict the future, what danger is there to foretell, now that his people’s old enemy, the Baen, has been defeated?

But when a terrifying new magic threatens both his village and the coven, Ryder must confront the beautiful and silent witch who holds all the secrets. Everything he’s ever believed about witches, the Baen, magic and about himself will change, when he discovers that the prophecies he’s always scorned—
Are about him.

My thoughts:
Ryder is a farmer on a rocky terrain. He is trying to get the crops in before the winter freeze and take care of his sisters and his drug addicted mother. She uses a plant to enhance her ability to cast bones and see the future.

The future she sees is grim. It foretells disaster and death. In an attempt to let her coven know, a message is sent using fire to call her coven to her. Her message falls on deaf ears and disaster ensues.

This takes Ryder on an adventure that he didn't want. Leading him to a future that was foretold, that he was unaware of.

In a parallel plot line, Falpian is a young man from a neighboring country. His country has a tenuous peace with Ryder's. It appears that was is brewing. It is through the efforts of Ryder and Falpian that it will be averted.

This book reminded me of the stories that I read growing up. It is fantasy at it's best. I enjoyed the plot that Lena Coakley created. She has taken witchcraft into a different form and I loved it. The cover is misleading.  This is not a book about a girl.  There is not romance in this book.  It is a pure adventure story.

It is told from the point of view of  two young men.  To me that is refreshing.  Most of the books on the market are geared to girls.  I think that this is a story that boys will like.  I know that my teenage son pretty much  shuns the world of YA Literature for the fact that it is too girly.  Thank you Lena, for creating a story that boys will like as well.

The message is wonderful.  It takes two enemies who become friends.  It shows how misunderstanding rent two different cultures and made them enemies.  I definitely recommend this book and best of all I can recommend it to everyone, it is a clean read.

I received this book to review from Simon and Schuster's Galley Grab. This book is scheduled to be released on August 30th.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Review of Quicksilver

Quicksilver by Joy Spraycar
Source: Received from author to review
Genre: Adult Paranormal
Rating: 3 of 5 stars

From Goodreads
: A recurring nightmare holds Serry Miller in its grip and has for most of her life. In spite of her fear of the man who becomes a monster, she's in love with him. Not only does she have nightmares while she sleeps, she's living in one with an abusive, alcoholic husband. When, Serry's drunken husband hit's Quinton Worthington's car, she sees the face of the man from her nightmares on a stretcher entering the hospital. When he looks at her and calls her by her name, she is plummeted into a life that she has only dreamed about. Quinton Worthington has suffered for over a hundred years. That's when his evil father ripped Serenity, the love of Quinton's life, from him. At the same time, he changed Quinton into a monster. When Quinton sees Serry's face in the hospital, he believes that Serenity has come back, and he will do anything to be with her. There's only one thing that stands in their way of having the life they want: Quinton's father.

Rachel's Thoughts:
I enjoyed this book overall. It was not the werewolf book I was expecting to read and that was a nice change. I did feel as though sometimes I was being told the story rather than shown it and the characters often spoke unrealistically. Another annoying flaw in the book was that the story felt over about two thirds of the way through the book and didn't immediately re-grab my attention. The story did pick up again and enjoyed the ending, which was fairly open ended without being a cliffhanger. I enjoyed the story with its nice mix of romance, action, and adventure.

I would not categorize this book as totally clean and would probably rate it for adults only but I didn't feel uncomfortable enough to make me stop reading. Overall, I would rate it 3 out of 5.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Teaser Tuesday

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

          ~Grab your current read.

          ~Open to a random page.

          ~Share two "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page. (Sometimes I cheat a bit on this one and do a few more sentences.)
          ~Be careful not to include spoilers! (make sure that what you share doesn't give to much away.               You don't want to ruin the book for others.)

          ~Share the title and author, so the other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teaser.  :0)

This week my teaser comes from  "Witchlanders" by 
.  I just barely started this book so I will be sharing the opening sentences.

Ryder woke to the sound of clattering bones.   A red curtain separated the sleeping area from the main room of the cottage, and he could see the faint flickering of candles through the fabric.