Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Leap Into Books Blog Hop

We're hopping around for Leap Day.  Thanks I am a Reader, Not a Writer and Jinky is Reading for hosting this hop.

Today I have the privilege of having a giveaway that is sponsored by an author.  Fun London will be giving away 5 smashwords codes for the book "The Wonderkind."

Description of the book:
Robbie, the 12-year-old son of a wealthy businessman, does whatever he wants regardless of the consequences. When he falls over the rail of a Mediterranean cruise ship, he finds himself in the amazing underground world of Sutala. Robbie meets Lea and many of the Wonderkind who are all that remain of an ancient and powerful race. Lea introduces Robbie to the hups, the luminescent bees and a magical waterfall that changes him forever.

Enter using the Rafflecopter form!

Review of "Haven" by Kristi Cook

Haven (Winterhaven, #1)Haven by Kristi Cook

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Source: I purchased this one
Genre: YA Paranormal with Romance

Book Description from Goodreads: Violet McKenna thought she was just crazy when she had a vivid vision of her dad's murder. Her life started falling apart when her premonition came true. She's had flashes of other events too. The problem was nobody believed her until she found a new school: Winterhaven.

My thoughts: This book reminds me of a few books that I have read. While there are similiarities.  It does take on it's own life and conclusion.

It is about a girl, named Violet, who goes to boarding school. She feels attracted to this particular school when her step-mother moves to New York City. She finds out that it is not a typical boarding school. Only students with paranormal talents want to go there. She has dreams/visions where she sees the future. The dreams are only about people she is emotionally attached to. Her dreams/visions always come true. She saw the brutal murder of her father, but was unable to stop it.

At school she finds herself attracted to the brooding, unattached, doesn't want to be attached to anybody, smart boy named Aidan. He has many of his own secrets to keep.

As in this kind of book, there is the good vs. the evil of species. This book does have action at the end, a show down between forces. What they are? I am not going to say.  You should read it for yourself to find out.

I did enjoy the book. It was a fun read. There is content that needs a warning for all readers who are sensitive to the material. There is profanity, with a couple of drops of the "f" bomb. There is material that is not overly descriptive but sexual in nature.

The second book,  "Mirage", is due out in June of this year.

This is my February read for:

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)

I am at home today and not at work because I am sick.  I thought my fellow employees would  prefer it if I stayed home, lessening the chance that they would get a horribly sore throat.  So instead, I thought   that I would do a little work on my  blog today.  I went to find my last Teaser Tuesday post and realized that I hadn't posted one yet for the month of February.  Woops!  The month get by me very quickly.

My teaser today is taken from the first paragraph of  Golden Blood by Melissa Pearl.  I  started reading it today,

Her hands were shaking and still rippling with pins and needles.  She  bunched them into fists and shook them out before attempting her buttons again. Her fingernails shown gold, but that would only take another moment to fade.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Looking at the book "Dark Lullaby"

I recently received a book review request, and to be honest I am behind and scheduling months in advance.  This one looked interesting and I thought I would share information about it with you.

It sounds kind of dark and spooky.  Probably one that you don't want to read when you are alone. :0)

Here is a blurb about the book: At a trendy Turkish tavern one Friday night, astrophysicist Gabriel Diaz meets a mysterious young woman. Captivated out of his senses by her physical perfection as well as her views on good and evil, he spends the next several days with her. After a while, however, he begins to notice a strangeness in her—her skin’s abnormally high temperature, her obsession with milk products, her child-like and bizarre behavior as she seems to take pleasure in toying with his conscience. 

The young woman, Kamilah, invites him to Rize, Turkey, where she claims her family owns a cottage in the woods. In spite of his heavy workload and the disturbing visions and nightmares about his sister’s baby that is due to be born soon, Gabriel agrees to go with her.

But nothing, not even the stunning beauty of the Black Sea, can disguise the horror of her nature. In a place where death dwells and illusion and reality seem as one, Gabriel must now come to terms with his own demons in order to save his sister’s unborn child, and ultimately, his own soul..

About the Author: Mayra Calvani writes fiction and nonfiction for children and adults and has authored over a dozen books, some of which have won awards. She’s a reviewer/columnist for Blogcritics Magazine, Midwest Book Review and Latino Books Examiner. Her articles, stories and interviews have appeared on numerous publications both in print and online.

In addition, she regularly offers writing workshops at SavvyAuthors.com. When she’s not writing, reading, editing or reviewing, she enjoys traveling and spending time with her family. She lives in Brussels, Belgium. Visit her website at
http://www.MayraCalvani.com. For her children’s books, visit http://www.MayrasSecretBookcase.com.

You can purchase it as a Kindle copy for $2.99.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Blog Tour of "Awaken (The Patronus)" by Sarah M. Ross with my review.


Awaken (The Patronus)

Awaken (The Patronus) Book Description: Lucy Donovan was supposed to have a weekend of fun in the sun, celebrating her upcoming graduation from college. In a split second, everything changed. A drunk driver ended Lucy’s mortal life.

Lucy opens her eyes to a world she never imagined possible and a new destiny: as a Patronus, a guardian of spirits. Adjusting to her new role and abilities while negotiating this confusing realm will test her limits and push her further than she ever dreamed she would go. From wayward spirits who don’t want her help to soul stealing vampires, and even a stuck-up British royal, Lucy must brave them all to save one spirit she can’t bear to lose.

Further complicating her confusing life is an inexplicable yet growing connection she feels to a member of her team, Max, whose mysterious behavior leaves her both confused and intrigued.
Waking up dead was just the beginning of her problems. Lucy’s death is about to become the greatest adventure of her life.

Buy it - Kindle, Paperback, Nook, and Smashwords

My thoughts: Sarah M. Ross has a fresh voice  and story to add to  the paranormal realm of books.  Her writing is imaginative and intriguing.  She has a very creative story and has presented it in a captivating manner.

Lucy is off to have a fun weekend.  She doesn't know what happens to her when she wakes to a strange room and unfamiliar people. She soon discovers that she was in an accident and she has passed away.  Her body was brought to another realm and revived.  The process took 5 months.  She is now a Patronus.  The job of a patronus is to protect the souls of the newly dead and bring them to a safe spot where they can wait to receive judgement.

The job has some serious danger involved.  The vampires, werewolves, and fairies all want to steal the souls before they are taken to the waiting area.  These paranormal creatures are dying out and take the souls to increase their numbers.

She finds herself working with a team.  There are several teams that cover areas all over the world.  They have a rough job, but they have a great rapport in the team.  They are friends and very supportive of each other.  It doesn't hurt that one of the guys is incredibly handsome and makes  her heart flutter.  His name is Max and she is instantly drawn to him.  There is some secret. There and a reason, but no one wants to give her the information she craves.  She knows her feelings and sudden attraction are  not normal.

This book is very engaging and easy to get lost in.  I liked the characters.  I really liked Lucy and Max.  They have an undeniable chemistry.  I would only recommend this book to those who are 16 or older.  The main characters range in age from 22 to over 900.   The ending is abrupt and lets you know that this is the beginning of the story.  The next book is scheduled for later this year. There is swearing and the use of the "f" bomb. There is also a near rape.

I received an electronic copy of this book to review by participating in this blog tour.

Author Sarah M Ross is working with Promotional Book Tours to bring you an incredible Prize pack. She is offering up:

For 25 entries in the contest sign up for her newsletter to learn about new books coming out and contests.

Go HERE to sign up for the newsletter
Fill out the form to enter to win!
You can use  this link to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the Tour!

Feb 20 - Mandie http://ereadingonthecheap.com

Feb 21 - Adelina http://matterofcents.net

Feb 22 - Celeste http://organicmommytoday.com

Feb 23 - Anne http://www.upstateramblings.com

Feb 24 - Jessica http://www.crossroadreviews.com

Feb 25 - Jen - http://www.craftylife.net

Feb 26 - Lisa http://lisaisabookworm.blogspot.com

Feb 27 - Christine http://more4momsbuck.com

Feb 28 - Shawnna http://www.cutthemcoupons.com

Feb 29 - Dina www.myunentitledlife.blogspot.com

Mar 1 - Laura http://daybydayinourworld.com/

Mar 2 - Emily http://emilysfrugaltips.com/

Mar 3 - Linette http://kidsfunreviewed.com

Mar 4 - Michelle http://moneysavvymichelle.com

Mar 5 - Laura www.wheelndealmama.com

Mar 6 - Cecile http://www.theshoppingduck.com

Mar 7 - Phaedra http://identitydiscovery.blogspot.com

Mar 8 - Mandie http://mommyreadstoomuch.com

Mar 9 - Felissa http://twolittlecavaliers.com

Mar 10- Theresa http://www.mymommysworld.com

Mar 11 - Olivia http://www.blog.thisnthatwitholivia.com

Mar 12 - Amber http://www.jadelouisedesigns.com

Mar 13 - Dawn http://www.alifeunscripted.net

Mar 14 - Susan http://www.susiebhomemaker.com/

Mar 15 - Karen http://practicalfrugality.blogspot.com

Mar 16 - Heather http://savingfor6.blogspot.com/

Mar 17 - Jessica http://sewcraftable.blogspot.com

Mar 18 - Stephanie http://beautybrite.com

Mar 19- Jessie http://momvantage.net

Mar 20 - Dawn http://www.slopswap.com

Mar 21- Kathy http://www.beentheredonethat.com/

Mar 22 - Melissa http://mychaoticramblings.info

Mar 23 - Terri http://www.terrislittlehaven.com

Mar 24 - Digna http://autumnbluesreviews.blogspot.com/

Mar 25 - Krista http://www.http://www.beentheredonethatwithkat.com/heavenlysavings.net

Mar 26 Brandy http://giveawayblogdom.com

Mar 27 - Mandie http://takingtimeformommy.com

Mar 28 - Erin http://www.forhimandmyfamily.blogspot.com/

Friday, February 24, 2012

Review of "The Catastrophic History of You and Me" by Jess Rothenberg

The Catastrophic History of You and MeThe Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: ARC tour
Genre: YA fiction
Publication Date: February 1, 2012

Book description from GoodreadsDying of a broken heart is just the beginning.... Welcome to forever. 

BRIE'S LIFE ENDS AT SIXTEEN: Her boyfriend tells her he doesn't love her, and the news breaks her heart—literally. 

But now that she's D&G (dead and gone), Brie is about to discover that love is way more complicated than she ever imagined. Back in Half Moon Bay, her family has begun to unravel. Her best friend has been keeping a secret about Jacob, the boy she loved and lost—and the truth behind his shattering betrayal. And then there's Patrick, Brie's mysterious new guide and resident Lost Soul . . . who just might hold the key to her forever after. 

With Patrick's help, Brie will have to pass through the five stages of grief before she's ready to move on. But how do you begin again, when your heart is still in pieces?

My thoughts: The book begins with Brie's heart literally breaking into two when her boyfriend, Jacob, breaks up with her. After hearing the words "I don't love you" she feels a searing pain and dies.

Life after death is nothing like she imagined it would be. She finds herself on a bus being taken to one of her favorite pizza restaurants. It is filled with teens who also have died and are hanging out and enjoying pizza.

Patrick calls himself "the resident lost soul". He helps Brie seek revenge on Jacob. As she starts to see her family and friends things are not as they should be. Her death had a very negative impact on several people. In the course of revenge she begins to go through the grieving steps and just maybe she can help her friends and family find peace.

I had fun reading this book. I read it in a little over a day. I loved Jess Rothenberg's writing style. There are many puns that I was giggling at. Brie is just a very loveable character and Patrick was the perfect sidekick to help her along. Between the two of them they come up with mischief and mayhem. They are adorable.

My only content warning is moderate profanity. There is also a little sexual innuendo.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Blog tour ~ Review of "Summer of Secrets" by Charlotte Hubbard

Summer of Secrets by Charlotte Hubbard

Source: Received to review due to my participation with Pump Up Your Book Tours
Genre: Religious (Amish) Romance

Book Description: (from Pump Up Your Books Tour Page) SUMMER OF SECRETS introduces Miriam Lantz, Amish owner of the Sweet Seasons bakery cafĂ©, along with her twin daughters Rachel and Rhoda—but wait! When a tattooed, spiky-haired Goth girl turns out to be their long-lost sister, Plain lives get changed in a hurry.
Miriam explains the way Rebecca—now known as Tiffany—got washed away in the flood of 1993 and why the bishop at that time insisted Miriam and her husband keep it quiet. Now a widow, Miriam is realizing her dream—her mission—of feeding people, yet the current bishop, Hiram Knepp, insists she sell her bakery…and marry him. As more secrets surface the Lantz triplets and their mother stand united as a family “fer gut and forever” as Rachel plans her wedding.

My thoughts:  I enjoy  books of faith where the characters are able to maintain their faith in the face of trials.  The Amish people are intriguing and amazing in my point of view.  I enjoyed that this book takes a look at their way of life and explains some of their traditions and everyday life.

The book has some feisty and lovable characters.  While the situation behind the book seems odd, it does flow and becomes believable.  Miriam Lantz lost one of her daughters down the river in a flood.  She assumes the worst and believes her daughter is dead.  They do not seek help with law enforcement, because their religious leader said not to. Then there is the family that found her not looking for her biological family. The unconditional faith they have in their leader is hard to comprehend on some levels. But learning of their culture does help.

While it seems a strange background, I can understand the grieving mother and the joy she discovers in finding her lost daughter.  The other two girls have varying degrees of acceptance and rejection.  Then of course, the temptation of Rachel's beau with her newly discovered sister. I have heard stories of how the Amish are a forgiving people.  I think this book illustrates that thought.

I have basically talked about the daughters.  Miriam is faced with some decisions of her own that are life altering.

Anyway, lots of plot twists and learning to understand others. I enjoyed this book.

This book is being offered in a giveaway at Goodreads.  Clink on this link and enter.  It closes on March 7, 2012.  Ten copies are available.

About Charlotte Hubbard: Drawing upon her experiences in Jamesport, the largest Old Order Amish community west of the Mississippi, longtime Missourian Charlotte Hubbard writes of simpler times and a faith-based lifestyle in her new Seasons of the Heart series. Like her heroine, Miriam Lantz, Charlotte considers it her personal mission to feed people—to share hearth and home. Faith and family, farming and food preservation are hallmarks of her lifestyle, and the foundation of her earlier Angels of Mercy series. She’s a deacon, a dedicated church musician and choir member, and when she’s not writing, she loves to try new recipes, crochet, and sew. Charlotte now lives in Minnesota with her husband and their border collie.
To find out more about Charlotte or her work please visithttp://www.CharlotteHubbardAuthor.com  (picture and information from Pump Up Your Book's Tour Page)  You can also find an excerpt by clicking on the link.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Review and (US) Giveaway of "What's Wrong With Me?" by Daree Allen (Blog Tour)

What's Wrong with Me?: A Girl's Book of Lessons Learned, Inspiration and AdviceWhat's Wrong with Me?: A Girl's Book of Lessons Learned, Inspiration and Advice by Daree Allen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Genre: YA Self Help (Non Fiction)(Memoir)
Source: Received from the author to review.

Description from Goodreads: What's Wrong With Me?: A Girl's Book of Lessons Learned, Inspiration and Advice is an empowering self-help book for older teen girls in which the author weaves her memoir from 20 years of journaling with lessons that still ring true for girls today, about such topics as accepting their identity, adopting a healthy body image, dating relationships, dealing with toxic friends and family members, avoiding or delaying premarital sex, building self-esteem, developing a positive attitude, dressing for success, setting goals, spending money wisely, handling anger and depression, and embracing their singleness, discovering their life purpose, and keeping God first

My thoughts: This is a very interesting book. Daree has had many life experiences that she is willing to share and help young women learn from. It is interesting to me that girls/women all over the earth share may common insecurities. We wonder "What is wrong with me?"

Daree has taken some tough issues and presented them in a very positive fashion. She tries to show women that they can overcome life's obstacles. Mainly with the help of a very loving and understanding God. Her book shows girls that they can succeed and do better.

This book is written from her experience of growing up a black girl and some of the teasing that she received from her school mates. I can't totally relate to her experiences, but I can definitely understand and associate it to my own experiences.

I really think this is a great book for girls to read. It can help them in their relationships with family, God, abuse, body image, significant others, sex, finances, and many more areas.

Thanks Daree for writing a book that helps girls and is uplifting.

About Daree Allen:
Daree Allen is a technical writer and motivational speaker.  In her spare time, Daree likes reading and writing (yes, for fun!), watching movies, turbo-kickboxing, Zumba, bowling, dancing (especially line dances) and hanging out with friends.  She resides in Atlanta, Georgia, with her daughter, Kala.  Find her online at www.Dareesinsights.wordpress.com and www.DareeAllen.com.  (Information copied from the back cover of the book.)

I am giving away the copy of the book that I received to review to one commenter.  This book has a strong message for girls and I would love to have it get into the hands of someone who could really benefit from the message.  If you are needing help (yes, it's a good message for teens on up), or know someone who could use the advice, or you are curious and want to read it.  Leave a comment with your email address.  This contest will end on March 7th at 12:00 am.  This contest if for US addresses only, because the cost of shipping internationally is high.  You must be 13 or older to enter.  For my complete giveaway policy, see the upper far right sidebar.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Review of "Scary School" by Derek the Ghost

Scary SchoolScary School by Derek The Ghost

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Received from the author to review
Genre: Middle grade fantasy/paranormal

Description from Goodreads: You think your school's scary?
Get a load of these teachers:
"Ms. Fang," an 850-year-old vampire
"Dr. Dragonbreath," who just might eat you before recess
"Mr. Snakeskin"--science class is so much more fun when it's taught by someone who's half zombie
"Mrs. T"--break the rules and spend your detention with a hungry "Tyrannosaurus rex"
Gargoyles, goblins, and Frankenstein's monster on the loose
The world's most frighteningly delicious school lunch
The narrator's an eleven-year-old ghost
Join Charles "New Kid" Nukid as he makes some very Scary friends--including Petunia, Johnny, and Peter the Wolf--and figures out that Scary School can be just as funny as it is spooky.

My thoughts:  For any middle grader reader who loves: ghosts, vampires, zombies, dragons, and monsters, this is the perfect book for them.

Derek the Ghost had an unfortunate incident at Scary School. He spends his days watching what is going on at the school. The student body is made up of both humans and monsters. The teachers are all monsters. The thought behind letting humans into the school is you will learn better and be more motivated to excel if you are afraid to loose a limb or your life by getting an answer wrong.

Derek describes the student body and their stories. He lets the reader know what is unique about the individuals. He even tells stories about the teachers. Some of the chapters lean to the gross side.

The story culminates with the Ghoul Games. Scary School gets to host other schools of monsters in the games. The students get to decide what contest they want to be involved in and they will be matched by monsters. If you loose a game, the victor gets to eat you.

Getting to know the students was very interesting and fun. Despite their individual problems, they are very good kids.

For an eleven year old ghost, I would say that Derek is a pretty good author. :)

There is a website for this book.  The second installment of this series comes out in June. Go to http://www.scaryschool.com/.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Winners of the Books With Love Hop

The winners of the Valentines Books With Love hop have won "The Kissing Tree" by Prudence Bice.  They are:

Entry #255Dinda L.  - the book from the book depository
Entry #52Lisa M. - kindle edition