Thank you for visiting Jagged Edge Reviews. We have a lot of exciting reviews, guest posts, cover reveals and book blitz coming up!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Big news!

So much is changing. Sad to say that there is always a month where i'm pretty much MIA on the blog. I think it will be right now because I am moving in with my boyfriend. I have two jobs, saving all my money and sadly I still have NO computer :// So sad. My phones not working and when im not at work im sleeping. Oh and my kindle is broken sadness! :/ SO I rarley carry around my books which means less reading.

Interview: Author of Curse of the Beast


Welcome to Jagged Edge!

Would you like to tell us a little about yourself?
I love the water, and all of nature for that matter. I really enjoy hiking and absolutely love to read, Getting lost in different worlds is exciting for me. I have two little girls and a hubby that keep me busy.

What inspired you to write?
A bad ending. I was on the last book in a series I really got into and at the very end the love interest dies to save the girl!!! I was so distraught, I cried for days. I know emotional craziness, but it was intense for me. I got the tears out of my system and got mad instead. It was in that moment that I said, “I’m going to write my own book and have it be exactly what I want, AND end the way I choose.” Lol.

What authors influenced you as a writer?
I think every author I read influences me, but the really strong ones are Patircia Briggs, Tamora Pierce, Stephenie Meyer, Dave Farland, J.K. Rowling.

What is your favorite quote?
“It’s all good.” And “Never give up.” And one that embodies both of those is, “When the caterpillar thought life was over, it turned into a beautiful butterfly.”

If you could jump in to a book, and live in that world, which would it be?
Ok, the first thought I had was a mermaid story, but the one I most recently read had a whiny heroine so I can’t pick that one. So, I’m going to go with The Immortals series by Tamora Pierce. Why? Because talking to animals and shifting into them would be awesome! Plus, the guy she falls in love with is handsome and a powerful magician. Yup. I’m sold:-)


What is at least one thing that every writer needs to have or do?
Read. It is so important to read in your genre. Also, taking writing courses will help you know your craft. I do this yearly at writing conferences. They are awesome:-)

Are your books different than your personal favorite books by other authors?
Yes, and here is why. I think that other books we read will inspire or help us write certain scenes. However, my book is very different from my personal favorites. They might have certain elements that I admire from my favorite books like the need to keep tension on every page or to make sure my characters are dynamic, but I make my story my own.

What led you to writing in this genre?
I love to read YA. It is just a fun age where there are so many choices to be made, and I enjoy the stories of first loves.

What is your favorite part of the writing process?
When an idea for a story first hits me is an amazing moment. The possibilities open wide before me, and I get very excited.

Least favorite part of the writing process?
My least favorite part is also the most rewarding at the end. Editing. By the time I’m finished editing my manuscript for the fifth time, I’m ready to never see it again. Lol. But the work is so worth it in the end. And yes, I do pick them up again to read and enjoy the final product.

What are you currently working on?
I am currently working on Star Cursed, book 2, in the Curse of the Beast series. I’m hoping to have it out in December!

Where readers can find you?
My Blog: Creative Thoughts
Facebook
Curse of the Beast Page
Twitter
Goodreads

LAST QUESTION:
Was there a question you wish I would have asked but didn't?
Where can we buy Curse of the Beast?
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Smashwords.com


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Blog Tour and Review: Red Leaves of the Living Token

Title: Red Leaves and the Living Token
Author: Benjamin David Burrell
Series: Red Leaves
Publisher:Red Earth Press
Publication Date: May 3, 2012
How Received: For Review
Rate: 3.5

Summary (as quoted from Amazon): Doctors tell Raj that his son Emret won't survive his illness. As Raj struggles to prepare himself and Emret for the inevitable, he's confronted by Moslin, his son's nurse, who's been filling Emret's head with fairytales about heroic quests and powerful disease curing miracles. Emret now thinks that all he has to do is find the mythical Red Tree from the nurse's stories, and he'll live.
In an attempt to protect his son from further emotional damage, Raj asks Moslin to stay away from Emret. He returns hours later to find them both missing.
He searches the fairytales for clues to where they may have gone and stumbles upon stories that, strangely, he already knows. He saw them in a vision just before his son
disappeared.


My thoughts:
Red Leaves and the Living Token is an interesting book.

The story follows three people: Valence, a complicated man who has a strong desire to hold the Token, a mysterious, glowing object that holds great power. Emret, a young boy with a serious illness that is destroying his life, and Emret’s father, Raj, who is just trying to make it through each day.

While Emret is in the hospital, his nurse, Moslin, tells him stories about something known as the Reds, or the Red Leaves, that could heal and cure his illness, and Emret starts to believe that there may be a way for him to survive. But Raj, knowing that the tale is based off fairy lore, is distressed at Moslin’s stories, believing that giving Emret that kind of hope is cruel and unfair, and soon demands that she stop telling the tale. When she refuses his wishes, Raj tells her that he will have her removed and request that she is replaced with another nurse.

On his next visit to the hospital, Raj finds not only his son missing, but the nurse as well. Unable to believe anything other than that Moslin has taken his son on a journey to find the mythical Red Tree from the stories, Raj goes after her, gaining not only knowledge about where they might have gone, but also the Token… And with it, new enemies. Enemies that will not only hesitate to destroy him, but also his son. As the stakes get higher, will Raj be able to overcome the obstacles?

I thought that this book was intriguing - it held some interesting, unique concepts, such as the fact that Raj is not a normal man (he’s a Zo, a fur covered creature, as is Emret), and neither is Moslin (she’s a Botann, a green limbed creature.) Everyone in this world is either a Botann, Zo, or Petra (a stone being).  However, I wasn’t as fond of the execution of the plot as I was with the ideas inside of it. At times I found myself re-reading passages to understand the story, and it was hard to follow the what was happening. If I'd been able to follow the plot better, I think I would've enjoyed it even more.

3.5/5
~Moujnir


This was only the 2nd stop in the Blog Tour - make sure to check out the rest of the stops on each of these cool blogs!


 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Review: Taste

Title: Taste
Author: Kate Evangelista
Publisher: Crescent Moon Press
Publication Date: April 30, 2012
Reviewer: Elisa

Summary: At Barinkoff Academy, there's only one rule: no students on campus after curfew. Phoenix McKay soon finds out why when she is left behind at sunset. A group calling themselves night students threaten to taste her flesh until she is saved by a mysterious, alluring boy. With his pale skin, dark eyes, and mesmerizing voice, Demitri is both irresistible and impenetrable. He warns her to stay away from his dangerous world of flesh eaters. Unfortunately, the gorgeous and playful Luka has other plans. When Phoenix is caught between her physical and her emotional attraction, she becomes the keeper of a deadly secret that will rock the foundations of an ancient civilization living beneath Barinkoff Academy. Phoenix doesn't realize until it is too late that the closer she gets to both Demitri and Luka the more she is plunging them all into a centuries old feud.(goodreads.com)

Review:  This book starts out right in the middle of things. Phoenix has fallen asleep in the library and misses curfew to get out of school. Anyone that misses curfew will be expelled, no questions. Somehow she finds a rescuer in one of the Night Students (they are all gorgeous by the way) who tells her she almost died and don’t come back. The very next night she decides to stay at school and blow through curfew so she can talk to one of the guys she met, she has questions.  It is funny, she has more fear on her meeting with the headmaster thinking she will be expelled, than when she confronts people who want to eat her flesh.

Wow, the pieces that fall together. The story that continues…the tastes of temptation these boys drop. Phoenix has an annoying habit of doing exactly the opposite of what is asked or demanded of her. It gets her in trouble at every turn, but it moves the story forward. And since it is a first person narrative, it makes it much more exciting for us readers! In fact, this girl wears her heart on her sleeve and everything she thinks pops out of her mouth, consequences be damned! But boy, it makes for a tense story.

There is a little bit of a love triangle for a time. There is intrigue in this world and something is wrong that they need Phoenix’s help to fix, so she is pulled into their world which is quite different from ours. They have a king and distinct and strict class system, are super strong and amazingly beautiful.

This book sucked me in from the first couple of pages and didn’t unhinge its jaws until the end. It was a lot of fun to read and nerve-wracking at times. That Phoenix couldn’t seem to do what was good for her got frustrating, but it worked. The romance was super steamy, yet they don’t do more than kiss. I loved it.

 - Elisa

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Jimmie Joe Johnson: Manwhore


Title: Jimmie Joe Johnson: Manwhore
Author: Lindsey Brookes
Publication Date: July 5, 2012
Received: Review
Reviewer: Kati


Summary: Fact is, just about every single female in Possum Hollow, Alabama--along with most of the attached ones--has enjoyed my services. And not just as an auto mechanic, if you know what I mean. With me, women know exactly what to expect. A sweet ride, and no promises.
But even a manwhore has rules. Like stayin' away from Baylee Jean Brown. As teenagers, Baylee Jean and I were hot and heavy. Then her Aunt Callie Rae warned me off, sayin' I'd never be good enough. Seeing as the women in Baylee Jean's family all have witch blood, and I figured Callie Rae was fixin' to do something unmentionable to my man parts, I agreed. But now suddenly, Baylee Jean--smart, sexy, wild--is all over me. She wants me bad--hell, who doesn't? But, if there's one woman who could bring a hound dog to heel, it might be her. . .


Review: What can I say Jimmie Joe really is a man-whore. But I'm shocked to say it just aint his fault. I loved this book I basically sat on the couch and didn't move till I read every page. I absolutely love books based in the southern states. I love the slang, the personality's, etc. This book is no exception. Amazing! Must read this book. It's got everything from witches to pet possums to Elvis impersonators. Must read, I swear it.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Review: Painted Blind

Title: Painted Blind
Author: Michelle Hansen
Publication Date: Jan 14, 2012

Reviewer: Kati


Summary: Seventeen years old and agoraphobic, Psyche Middleton vows her dad will never see the risque photos she took during a summer modeling stint abroad, but one of them ends up on a billboard in her Montana hometown. Suddenly, she is a hometown celebrity. 

At a street carnival she is rescued from a mob by a guy who has the ability to make himself invisible. He takes her to a palace in an idyllic kingdom, and she is swept into the beauty and culture of his world, but his affection has one condition: she may not see him. 

Psyche must decide if she is brave enough to love him blindly, and if she's not, will she lose him forever?


Review: I adored this book. But when I finished it I was half asleep and couldn't write the review but instead of just skipping it I want to say go out and read it! You know you wanna.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Tigers in Red Weather by Liza Klaussmann

Title:†Tigers in Red Weather
Author: Liza Klaussmann
Publisher:††Little, Brown and Company
Publication Date:††July 17, 2012
Reviewer:†Ethan

Summary: Brilliantly told from five points of view, with a magical elegance and suspenseful dark longing, Tigers in Red Weather is an unforgettable debut novel from a writer of extraordinary insight and accomplishment.

Review: Nick and her cousin, Helena, are two women searching for their place in the world. With the Second World War drawing two a close, both women find themselves ready to take on the rest of their lives. In author Liza Klaussmann's debut novel, "Tigers in Red Weather", readers are provided with the strong characterization of an intriguing family.†


Nick and her husband Hughes are finding it difficult to adjust to domestic life after the end of the war. They live in a small, Florida cottage where the repetition of their daily routines is taking a toll on them. Hughes follows the role that most men of the era do, consistently attending work to provide for his family. Nick, never much of a cook, finds it difficult to complete her daily tasks, and longs for something more.†


Meanwhile, her cousin Helena is starting her new life by marrying a Hollywood producer. After the unfortunate death of her first husband, who lost his life in the war, Helena finally seems to be on the path to her dream life. Unfortunately, the lights of her Hollywood marriage are not as bright as she thought. Her husband seems interested in only using her family’s money to fund his ill-fated project.†


Fast-forward ten years, and both Nick and Helena are mothers to Daisy and Ed respectively. The two women, along with their children and Hughes, are spending the summer at the family's coastal property, The Tiger House. Despite their age, both women long for a more interesting life. When Daisy and Ed stumble upon the brutally murdered corpse of a maid, the facade of happiness that the entire family has built begins to come crashing down.†


In this debut, reminiscent of "The Great Gatsby" in both style and substance, Klaussmann provides readers with a tale full of genuine characters and suspense, making this novel the perfect intellectual summer read. The story is broken into five sections, each narrated by a different main character, providing intimate insights into each person's thoughts, emotions, and motivations. Chronology became a bit muddied at times, especially when characters reminisce through flashbacks, but Klaussmann does a commendable job keeping the times labeled. There is a murder in the story, but the focus becomes more about the characters, the murder merely a means to explore the family dynamics. Overall, this novel has a great mix of historical setting, interesting characters, and narrative momentum. I definitely recommend this book as a strong summer read.†
-Ethan

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Review: That thing called Love

Title: That Thing Called Love
Author: Susan Anderson
Published: July 24, 2012
Publisher: Harlequin
Reviewer: KatiSummary: He’s the last man on earth she should want…
Review: I have begun to notice that almost every book I read has something that reminds me of something going on in my life or a person I know. It makes it so much easier to connect to a book that way. This book in almost every aspect reminds me of so much in my life. I loved this book all the way through. I want to know their life story. If they ever have kids, what their wedding will be like. If Max ever finds love, how Bailey and Austin work out, if baileys mom lives, etc. I want to know it all. This book is so captivating. It's an absolute must read for any ADULT romance readers!
For a guy she’s fantasized about throttling, Jake Bradshaw sure is easy on the eyes. In fact, he seriously tempts inn manager Jenny Salazar to put her hands to better use. Except this is the guy who left Razor Bay—and his young son, Austin, whom Jenny adores like her own—to become a globe-trotting photojournalist.
He can’t just waltz back and claim Austin now.
Jake was little more than a kid himself when he became a dad. Sure, he’d dreamed of escaping the resort town, but he’d also truly believed that Austin was better off with his grandparents. Now he wants—no, needs—to make up for his mistake. He intends to stay in Razor Bay only until he can convince Austin to return with
him to New York. Trouble is, with sexy, protective, utterly irresistible Jenny in his life, and his bed, he may never want to leave…

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Guest Post: Joy Castro


Writing as Wish Fulfillment

One of the great things about writing a novel is that you can endow your protagonist with qualities you wish you had.
Nola CÈspedes, the protagonist of my new thriller Hell or High Water, is a young, smart, sexy New Orleans reporter who investigates a serious crime story for the Times-Picayune three years after Hurricane Katrina.  Her sleuthing leads her into scary situations with dangerous people, and the book has been praised by Booklist, which gave it a starred review for the “skillfully paced suspense” that makes it “a ‘stay up way past your bedtime’ read.”
But beyond the suspense and action, it was fun to give Nola some of the gifts I don’t have.
For one thing, she’s a terrific cook, and alas, I’m definitely not.  For example, not long after we were married, my husband walked into the kitchen one evening to find me leaning against the counter, reading the New Yorker and eating cold ravioli straight out of the can.  It was a revelatory moment.
I remember, too, one afternoon when our son invited one of his friends to stay for dinner, and the boy instantly replied, “Who’s cooking?”  It’s a good thing to know one’s own limitations, but less lovely when the whole neighborhood knows them.
So it was fun to make Nola a natural genius in the kitchen.  She whips up flan, cold jamon soup, and other delights from her mother’s Cuban recipes with the flick of a casual wrist.  Since reading and seeing Like Water for Chocolate at an impressionable age, I’ve associated great cooking with earthy sensuality and seductiveness, so it’s a cruel blow to have no gifts in the kitchen.  To compensate, I gave them to my character.
Even more fun, I gave Nola some of the flaws I’m not brave enough to indulge.  Nola, for example, is gutsy (or reckless) enough to utter the kinds of bratty things I often think but do not say.
Shy and observant, a reader and watcher since childhood, I have an ongoing stream of social critique in my head, but I usually manage to restrain my out-loud commentary—in public, at least.  At my workplace, I’m even known for diplomacy.  (This shocks my husband.)
Nola, by contrast, mouths off about whatever crosses her path—usually without thinking first—and it’s fun both to let her rip and to render the trouble she gets into, whether she’s critiquing the racism at a plantation museum or talking back to her boss at the newspaper.  She calls it like she sees it, and the consequences are a cautionary tale.
I had a lot of fun writing Nola, and I’m excited that she survived the scary plot of Hell or High Water to star in a second New Orleans thriller, Nearer Home, which will be released next year.

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Last Minute by Jeff Abbott


Title:†The Last Minute
Author: Jeff Abbott
Series: Sam Carpa (#2)
Publisher:††Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date:††July 3, 2012
Reviewer:†Ethan


Summary: Sam Capra has one reason to live: to rescue his baby son from the people who abducted him. An ex-CIA agent, Sam now owns bars around the world as cover for his real mission-working undercover for a secret network as mysterious as it is powerful, while using his skills to find his child.
Now the kidnappers have offered a deadly deal: they'll surrender Sam's child...if Sam finds and murders the one man who can expose them. Teaming up with a desperate young mother whose daughter is also missing, Sam tracks his prey-and his son-across the country in a dangerous race against time, and must unravel a deadly conspiracy if he's to rescue the only person in the world that matters to him.
Review: To say that Sam Carpal is motivated would be an understatement. His ex-wife, who committed treason against the CIA and cost Sam his job with the "Special Projects", now lies in a permanent vegetative state. His former employers are actively pursuing him for his alleged crimes that occurred while trying to clean up the mess that his wife created. On top of that, a mysterious criminal group, the Nine Suns, has kidnapped his newborn son, Daniel. The only way Sam will ever see his son again is if he finds and murders the man who holds the evidence to expose the Nine Suns. If he fails to kill the man, his son will die. Like I said, motivation is an understatement.


To assist with this assignment, Sam is provided with a hacker, Leonie, whose young daughter, Taylor, has also been abducted. Together, they set out to hunt down the man who stands between them and their children. Emotionally conflicted, the pair struggles to come to terms with killing an innocent man, but they decide that they will do anything to bring their children to safety.†


Adding further conflict is Mila, Sam's boss with "The Round Table", a resistance group that he joined after his departure from the CIA. Mila wants to help Sam to find his son, but Sam has been given specific instructions that state only he and Leonie can pursue the evidence. When another force, which is searching for the mysterious Mila (she has a 1 million dollar price for her capture), begins to interfere with Sam's investigation, he is forced also try to protect her.†


Being Abbott's second novel to feature Sam Carpal, "The Last Minute" begins by picking up in the middle of action. While readers of the previous installment were probably ready for the action that begins in this one, I found it a bit slow to start. Without any character background at the onset, it was hard to really care about all of the opening action. Fortunately, the characters become more developed as the novel progresses, and I became thoroughly invested in their story. The character of Mila is particularly fascinating, and her background story of revenge left me craving more. Overall, Abbott doesn't stray too far from the typical thriller mold, but the novel is a very entertaining read.†
-Ethan

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Heat Rises by Richard Castle


Title: Heat Rises
Author: Richard Castle
Publisher: Hyperion
Publication Date: September 20, 2011
Reviewer: Elisa

Summary: Fast-paced and full of intrigue, Heat Rises pairs the tough and sexy NYPD Homicide Detective Nikki Heat with hotshot reporter Jameson Rook in New York Times bestselling author Richard Castle's most thrilling mystery yet.
The bizarre murder of a parish priest at a New York bondage club opens Nikki Heat's most thrilling and dangerous case so far, pitting her against New York's most vicious drug lord, an arrogant CIA contractor, and a shadowy death squad out to gun her down. And that is just the tip of an iceberg that leads to a dark conspiracy reaching all the way to the highest level of the NYPD.
But when she gets too close to the truth, Nikki finds herself disgraced, stripped of her badge, and out on her own as a target for killers, with nobody she can trust. Except maybe the one man in her life who's not a cop: reporter Jameson Rook.
In the midst of New York's coldest winter in a hundred years, there's one thing Nikki is determined to prove: Heat Rises.

Review: This is the third book by fictional TV character Richard Castle from the show Castle. Like the previous books, they pull situations and character relationships from the show into the novel. There are inside jokes and funny bits that Castle manages to insert, sometimes making me roll my eyes, which is just like the show! So if you like the show, and/or you like to read mysteries, you might like these books.
Castle’s Rook and Heat steam off the page. Their relationship works, it’s sweet and they make a good team. The layers to the mystery are difficult to peel back as roadblocks are thrown at every curve but Heat and Rook dig deeper and call in favors from people they can trust.
It ends with a shootout and some arrests and Heat kicks booty. But it is bittersweet as lives have been lost and people hurt. I am excited for the next book to see how Castle handles interpreting Season 4 into his novel. Good stuff. Because I love the show and these characters and basically think anything Nathan Fillion is involved in is awesome, I give the book 4 stars.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Guest Post: Luba Lesychyn


Guest post:
Chocolate On Film
By Luba Lesychyn
I love chocolate. And, I love film. So there’s no greater treat in my life than a film about chocolate. They are few and far between, and it was only by chance that I recently stumbled upon a charming French romantic comedy with chocolate as its central theme.

Directed by Jean-Pierre Améris, the 2010 film, Romantics Anonymous, portrays an awkward romance between chocolate factory owner Jean-René (Benoît Poelvoorde) who hires Angélique (Isabelle Carré), a gifted, but closeted chocolatière, to work as a sales rep for his company.

The pas de deux that ensues between  the two painfully shy and socially crippled characters is sweet and silly, occasionally steamy, at times politically incorrect, but overall freshly mirthful. Carré is particularly delightful as the humble master chocolate artist whose serious skills rescue Jean-René ‘s failing chocolate factory.

Although the film is syrupy and funny, for chocolate lovers like me, the tantalizing chocolate-making scenes are far too rare. I was hoping for another gem like Chocolat, which set the bar for movies about chocolate. Just thinking about this movie still makes me drool – not to mention that it stars Johnny Depp (ultra yummy) and Juliette Binoche (who doesn’t love her?).

But in other ways, Romantics Anonymous  can be said to be more satisfying than Like Water for Chocolate. Don’t get me wrong, this 1992 Mexican film is a brilliantly sensual movie about cooking. But save for one scene that involves making a mole sauce (composed of chocolate and chili), chocolate is not the star of the film (the term “like water for chocolate” is actually a metaphor for describing a state of passion).

So, Romantics Anonymous is most definitely worth those scenes that may send you running to your secret stash of chocolate. But even if this peculiar little film doesn’t have this effect on you, it’s so darned cute, I’m convinced it will elicit a few giggles.

Theft By Chocolate

Chocolate addict Kalena Boyko wasn’t prepared for this. Heading to work at Canada’s largest museum as an administrator, she hopes for quiet and uninterrupted access to her secret chocolate stash. Instead she’s assigned to manage the high-profile Treasures of the Maya exhibition with her loathed former boss, Richard Pritchard.

With no warning, her life is capsized and propelled into warp speed as she stumbles across an insider plot that could jeopardize the exhibit and the reputation of the museum.

After hearing about a recent botched theft at the museum and an unsolved jewel heist in the past from security guard and amateur sleuth Marco Zeffirelli, Kalena becomes suspicious of Richard and is convinced he’s planning to sabotage the Treasures of the Maya exhibition.

Her suspicions, and the appearance of the mysterious but charming Geoffrey Ogden from the London office, don’t help her concentration. The Treasures of the Maya seems cursed as problem after problem arises, including the disappearance of the world’s oldest piece of chocolate, the signature object in the exhibit.

Theft By Chocolate is inspired by a real-life and never-solved heist at a Canadian museum in the 1980s.

Author Info
 
Soon after finishing her graduate studies in history, Luba Lesychyn (le-si-shin) landed on the doorstep of Canada’s largest museum, the Royal Ontario Museum, where she worked for more than twenty years as an educator and consultant. Theft By Chocolate is Luba’s debut novel, though she has been amusing people with her writing since the age of eight. Her love of chocolate precedes this age and she has been in and out of chocolate rehab for most of her adult life. She currently works in the educational sector and teaches yoga in her home town of Toronto. When not writing or looking for her next chocolate fix, Luba can be found in dance classes, trekking to remote waterfalls in the mountain rain forest in Puerto Rico, running through the streets of Paris or doing any other number of calorie-burning activities that help offset the calories consumed in her chocolate intake.

Giveaways: copy of Theft By Chocolate and $150 Certificate
There are two chances to win!
1) Copy of Theft By Chocolate as ebook or print copy (winner’s choice). Answer this question in the comments section (be sure to provide your email): What’s your favorite film of all time and why? In five days, a lucky winner from this blog will win a free copy of Theft By Chocolate!

2) $150 Gift Certificate Giveaway
Do you love chocolate as much as Kalena, the heroine in Theft By Chocolate? Here’s your chance to indulge in $150 US worth! The Giveaway Grand Prize is a gift certificate to a delectable chocolate online retailer. Winner chooses from one of three sites: http://www.chocosphere.com/, http://www.hotelchocolat.co.uk/ , or http://www.dlea.com.au/ . To be eligible for the Grand Prize, enter the Rafflecopter below. Remember to sign up for Luba’s email announcements (worth five entries). On occasion she’ll send out exclusive announcements for special events, blog posts, giveaways and free swag! On July 31st, the winner will be chosen at random and notified via email.


Additional Links:
Luba's Site and Blog
Facebook
Twitter
Amazon
Attica Books (Publisher)

Monday, July 9, 2012

Review: Click: An Online Love Story

Title: Click: An Online Love Story
Author: Lisa Becker
Publisher: 
  Amazon Digital Services 
Publication Date: 
 March 29, 2011
Reviewer: Kati

Summary: Fast approaching her 30th birthday and finding herself not married, not dating, and without even a prospect or a house full of cats, Renee Greene, the heroine of Click: An Online Love Story, reluctantly joins her best guy pal on a journey to find love online in Los Angeles. The story unfolds through a series of emails between Renee and her best friends (anal-compulsive Mark, the overly-judgmental Ashley and the over-sexed Shelley) as well as the gentlemen suitors she meets online. From the guy who starts every story with "My buddies and I were out drinking one night," to the egotistical "B" celebrity looking for someone to stroke his ego, Renee endures her share of hilarious and heinous cyber dates. Fraught with BCC's, FWD's and inadvertent Reply to All's, readers will root for Renee to "click" with the right man.


Review: I'll be honest I did not expect all that much from this book so at least i knew i wouldn't be dissapointed. And in a way I wasn't. It wasnt overly cutesy. It wasnt completly boring. It had a good momentum. Memoriable dates. Slightly predictable of course its pretty difficult to make a surprising/shocking story theses days. I liked the book well enough. I totally agree with the disaster dates been there done that. If you like indie authors Lisa Becker is one to look into.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Review: The King of Cool


Title: The Kings of Cool: A Prequel to Savages
Author: Don Winslow
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: June 19, 2012
Reviewer: Ethan


Summary: Fast-paced, provocative, and wickedly funny, The Kings of Cool is a spellbinding love story for our times from a master novelist at the height of his powers. It is filled with Winslow’s trademark talents—complex characters, sharp dialogue, blistering social commentary—that have earned him an obsessive following. The result is a book that will echo in your mind and heart long after you’ve turned the last page.
Review: A couple years ago, Don Winslow made waves with his fast and edgy novel, "Savages", in which young drug "entrepreneurs", Ben and Chon, embarked in a war against a Mexican drug group who kidnapped their shared girlfriend, O. It was, arguably, one of the best thrillers of that year and even spawned a film adaptation by director Oliver Stone. Now, Winslow returns to this version of California in a prequel, "The Kings of Cool".

Review: The novel centers on two main stories, one taking place around 2005 and the other beginning in the 1960's. Both portions are presented in alternating sections until the two narratives meet in the latter portion of the book. The 1960's story tells the tale of young Californians experimenting with the various drugs of the time. A few characters, from various backgrounds, discover the potential business opportunities that these drugs posses, and become involved with the drug trade.


In 2005, Ben, Chon and O, are all recent high school graduates. Instead of following the traditional paths of their peers, they grow their own highly potent marijuana. As they become recognized for their superior product, their competitors begin to take notice. They are required to pay a portion of their earnings to their competitors in order to continue selling their drugs (think a kind of business tax). In the course of a couple of weeks, Chon receives orders to take his third deployment to the war in Iraq, O begins to search for her unknown father, and Ben is left to deal with the business. After his competitors murder a couple of his street peddlers, Ben must try to deal with the problem.


"The Kings of Cool" is the best thriller I have read this year. Winslow's unique writing style is the perfect vehicle for a story like this. His bare prose and timely observations provide a contemporary edge that breathes life into this unconventional tale. The characters are so convincing that you can't help but root for theses drug dealing criminals to beat out their competitors. The two story lines seamlessly weave together, all driving towards an ending with the perfect amount of twist and resolution. I thought that perhaps with all of the praise that "Savages" received, Winslow was somehow pressured into writing another novel with the same characters. Fortunately, he avoided the traps that many series authors fall in to, creating a story that felt naturally conceived and executed flawlessly. Do not wait to get your hands on a copy of this "must read" summer thriller.
-Ethan

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Cover: Witch Born


Brusenna thought it was finished.

She defeated the Dark Witch, saving the Haven Witches from imprisonment and death. She found love and a place to belong.

She was wrong.

Haven is not the sanctuary it appears to be. Even love is in danger of slipping away like water through cupped hands.

Some things can't be saved.

A new threat merges with the old as the Witches’ dark history begins to catch up with them. Only Brusenna knows the extent of the danger and how to stop it, though doing so might cost her everything.
 
Including her life.       
                              
Will Brusenna be required to make the ultimate sacrifice? 

Book Trailer: The Forsaken

Thought you might enjoy this! It's the book trailer for the debut YA novel, THE FORSAKEN by Lisa M. Stasse, coming July 10 from Simon & Schuster. 

Review: Blink


Title: Blink
Author: Lloyd Poast
Publisher: 
  Books to go Now
Publication Date: 
 May 17, 2012
Reviewer: Elisa

Summary: 
Loading-transLoading...
View a preview of this book onlineInsatiable (Insatiable, #1)Sick of vampires? So is Meena Harper.

But her boss is making her write about them anyway, even though Meena doesn’t believe in them.

Not that Meena isn’t familiar with the supernatural. See, Meena Harper knows how you’re going to die (not that you’re going to believe her; no one ever does).

But not even Meena’s precognition can prepare her for what happens when she meets—th
...more A teenage boy wanders into a mystical forest ruled by a gypsy goddess named Amaisia Moon. The forest changes with every blink or head turn and he discovers an ocean where dreams and nightmares literally come alive.  (goodreads.com)

Review: A very quick read as it is only around 12 pages long, but I really enjoyed this short story. I agree with some other reviewers that I saw on goodreads.com that it has an Alice in Wonderland feel to it, but to be clear, there is no rabbit hole. This is a little scarier as you simply need to be lured into a forest or really whatever portal Amaisia creates to tempt you in.  Once in, you are stuck in Amaisia's dream world unless you figure out the rules quick enough. The ocean creates new land and creatures from the inhabitant’s dreams and nightmares so things get a little wacky and scary but are always magical.
“You’re at both the end and the beginning of the world, Lance,” she said. “The ocean is a blank canvas for everything that is to come, and everyone who steps into the forest plays a hand in its creation. With every new thought, the tide moves out further, and the forest grows larger.”
This world could make a fascinating adventure/quest story or graphic novel.  I loved the writing, the characters and the setting. (Dave McKean would make awesome art for this story!)  I give it 4 stars because I really liked it (a lot!).
-Elisa

Friday, July 6, 2012

Review: Bloodline


Title:†Bloodline
Author: James Rollins
Series: A Sigma Force Novel (#8)
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: June 26, 2012
Reviewer: Ethan

Summary: In a thrilling masterwork that will make you rethink your perceptions of life and death, "New York Times" bestselling author James Rollins takes you to the edge of medicine, genetics, and technology, revealing the next evolutionary leap forward: immortality--a horrifying truth that is locked inside the "Bloodline"

Review: First time mothers are supposed to spend the nine months before birth in a blissful state of anticipatory preparation. With only a few weeks before the arrival of her newborn, Amanda is feeling anything but bliss. After discovering her husband's infertility, Amanda undergoes the grueling process of in vitro fertilization. A couple miscarriages later, she finally carries a healthy child. Despite all of this, she and her husband are fleeing for their lives. A few weeks ago, she received anonymous notification, indicating that the life of her child was threatened. Now, off the coast of Africa, the couple is aboard a yacht, fleeing for the safety of their child. Under the cover of darkness, a group of Somali pirates hijacks the ship, killing the crew, her husband, and kidnapping the pregnant Amanda. This story alone would be enough to capture American headlines, but there is one more detail that makes this an even bigger story. Amanda is the daughter of the President of the United States!


In "Bloodline", the latest installment in the popular Sigma Force series by author James Rollins, Sigma, a secretive US military group, is tasked with finding the kidnapped Amanda. Gray Pierce, field leader of the covert team, is dealing with problems of his own. His mother was caught in the crossfire of his previous mission, in which his pursuit of the elusive organization, The Guild, led to her murder, leaving his father, who is slowly declining into dementia, to live alone. †By straddling his protagonist with the guilt of his mother's death, Rollins turns what could have been a mindless super-human warrior into an everyman with genuine emotions.


Sigma enlists the help of a highly trained, army dog, Kane, and trainer, Tucker, to assist with the search. The sequences featuring the dog allow Rollins to flex his creative muscles, as he narrates entire passages from the perspective of the dog. Through this inventive method, Rollins successfully portrays the authentic relationship of trust between man and animal where the lives of both completely rests in the hands of the other.


As the investigation continues, the team uncovers a shocking connection between the kidnapping and the elusive Guild. Coming closer to discovering the motivation behind the abduction, Gray is fueled by both a desire to return the missing woman and unborn child safely to their family and by an urge to seek revenge for the brutal killing of his mother.


Despite being the eighth novel in the series, "Bloodline" has enough back-story to stand on its own. Writing with an authoritative confidence, Rollins provides the perfect combination of thrills, emotion, and fact. With an abundance of characters and story lines, he keeps the story sailing in the right direction, never allowing the focus to shift from the impending conclusion. His accessible language allows for a quick pace and an easy read that packs action, science, and intrigue into a smart and entertaining novel. 
-Ethan

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Review: Fat Cat


Title: Fat Cat
Author: Robin Brande
Publisher:  Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date:  Oct 13, 2009
Reviewer: Kati

Summary: You are what you eat. . . .
Cat smart, sassy, and funny—but thin, she’s not. Until her class science project. That’s when she winds up doing an experiment—on herself. Before she knows it, Cat is living—and eating—like the hominids, our earliest human ancestors. True, no chips or TV is a bummer and no car is a pain, but healthful eating and walking everywhere do have their benefits.

As the pounds drop off, the guys pile on. All this newfound male attention is enough to drive a girl crazy! If only she weren’t too busy hating Matt McKinney to notice. . . .

This funny and thoughtful novel explores how girls feel about their bodies, and the ways they can best take care of their most precious resource: themselves.

Review: You know by now I expected to be this amazing reviewer with all these followers. But to tell you the truth my reviews have been really sucky lately. I never put in enough information about the book of the characters. No information about the story line. I just book good must read. That's a real problem but I think I've lost my amazing reviewing technique and of course I never had an awesome spelling ability. And Just think I wanted to be an author one day... Maybe I should just stick to editing my friends storys... Anyways:

When I found the summary for this book on Amazon I was automaticly drawn to this book. I was not disapointed. I finished this book in maybe an hour. I loved every second of it. The characters are amazing. The feelings of the main character reflect my feeling so I connected with her. The book has lead me to think of topics I've never really thought about. Must read.

So as you can see I am still working on getting better at writing reviews I need my notebooks back so I can just write my reviews down then type them up like I use to... Oh boy.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Review: At The End


Title: At The End
Author: John Hennessy
Publisher:  CreateSpace
Publication Date: 
 April 23, 2012
Reviewer: Annie

Summary: Night 1: 12 billion taken.

Day 1: Confusion.

Night 2: 13 billion taken.

Day 2: Panic. 

Night 3: 13 billion taken

Day 3: The fight for survival begins.

In 2048, the human population borders 39 billion after the termination of the birth control industry, and the realities of overcrowding have sunken into the minds of the world, until billions mysteriously go missing. In the wake of civilization's collapse, a trio of teenage gamers from Washington struggle to endure. Maggy, a strong-willed intellectual leads Darrel and Félix, two shy geeks, on an expedition down the west coast, as they try to determine the source of humanity's downfall.

A YA post-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller.

Review:
This is a book in one of my favorite genres, post-apocalyptic, young adult, Sci-Fi thriller. And the author, John Hennessy, left me a personal note in the book which I thought was a great touch. So the book is off to a good start before I even started reading it!

I liked how this was a short quick read and it wrapped up the whole story by the end. The glimpse you had of the world they were living in before the abductions was also really good and I felt like it some of it could actually be in our future. I also enjoyed the narration switching between two of the main characters. I wasn’t as big of fan on Darrel, but I really liked Maggy and always enjoy seeing a strong female character. Also, almost all of the leaders mentioned in this book, whether it was the president or an army sergeant were all women which definitely wins points with me. I do think it started a bit slow, but one I got into the meat of the story I finished it in one sitting.

If you like YA dystopian or sci-fi and want a quick read that won’t throw you into a long epic saga, this is the book for you. And make sure to give it a chance past the first couple chapters because the story seems to wrap up pretty quickly as soon as you are into it.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Review: FAQ


Title: FAQ
Author: Buck Tanner
Publisher: 
 April 20, 2012
Reviewer: Kati

Summary: Have you ever wondered...

- Is my Russian Bride a spy?

- Do all vampires have erectile dysfunction?

- Why does the President keep a machete in the Oval Office?

- Why does my sex robot have a submarine piston in her vagina?

- Is my Genie an alcoholic?

- Why can't we eat soup at the Stonybridge Nudist Colony?

- Why is my unicorn attacking my dog?

- Are you sure Hitler is an anti-Semite? He seems like a pretty decent fellow.

Find answers to these questions and many more in...

Buck Tanner's FAQs: Volume One through Ten

Review: All the volumes of FAQ are funny in a very twisted way. Some of them you'll read and be like did they seriously just answer the question like that? The answer is... Yes, yes they did. Crazy right. This is not much of a review so read them for yourself.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Review: Wrong Side of Dead

Title: Wrong Side of Dead
Author: Kelly Meding
Publisher: Bantam

Publication Date: January 21, 2012
Reviewer: Kati


Summary: Barely recovered from her extended torture at the hands of mad scientist Walter Thackery, Evy can use a break. What she gets instead is a war, as the battered Triads that keep Dreg City safe find themselves under attack by half-Blood vampires who have somehow retained their reason, making them twice as lethal. Worse, the Halfies are joined by a breed of were-creature long believed extinct—back and more dangerous than ever. Meanwhile, Evy’s attempts at reconciliation with the man she loves take a hit after Wyatt is viciously assaulted—an attack traced to Thackery, who has not given up his quest to exterminate all vampires . . . even if he has to destroy Dreg City to do it. With Wyatt’s time running out, another threat emerges from the shadows and a staggering betrayal shatters the fragile alliance between the Triads, vampires, and shapeshifters, turning Evy’s world upside down forever.

Review: In all honesty I wish she would have chosen Phin. I loved him, even those these characters are not real I hope they continue on with wonderful lives. This book sadly was not everything I hoped it would be. It got to be a bit slow for me. I would read it and fall asleep. Took a long time to finish. If you are the type of person who reads a book at the end of  a long day this isn't exactly for you unless you want to fall asleep... of course that could have just been me. 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Review: The Blood Of Heroes


Title: The Blood of Heroes
Author: James Donovan
Publisher: 
 Little, Brown and Company
Publication Date: 
 May 15, 2012
Reviewer: Ethan

Summary: The gripping and definitive chronicle of the iconic battle that inspired a nation--a sweeping saga of 200 brave Americans who stood tall against an overwhelmingly superior Mexican force.

On February 23, 1836, a Mexican army thousands of soldiers strong attacked a group of roughly 200 Americans holed up in an abandoned mission just east of San Antonio, Texas. For nearly two weeks, the massive force lay siege to the makeshift fort, spraying its occupants with unremitting waves of musket and cannon fire. Then, on March 6th, at 5:30 am, the Mexican troops unleashed a final devastating assault: divided into four columns, they rushed into the Alamo and commenced a deadly hand-to-hand fight. The Americans, despite being hugely outnumbered, fought valiantly--for themselves and for a division of an independent Texas. In the end, they were all slaughtered.

Drawing upon newly available primary sources, THE BLOOD OF HEROES is the definitive account of this epic battle. Populated by larger-than-life characters--including Davy Crockett, James Bowie, and William Barret Travis--it is a dynamic story of courage, sacrifice, and redemption

Review: As a native of San Antonio, Texas, I have always been fascinated by the history of my hometown, and the surrounding areas. As a young child, I had the opportunity to visit the Alamo and the surrounding missions. I'm not sure about other states, but Texans are extremely proud of their history, so I have read and studied about the Battle of the Alamo in school and on my own for many years. Every once in a while, new details emerge, inspiring new versions of the story of the Battle that took place all those years ago. 

In The Blood of Heroes, author James Donovan presents a well-researched and gripping recollection of the events surrounding the Battle of the Alamo and the people who have become notable for it. Drawing on recently uncovered primary sources, Donavan introduces people at both ends of the war in the most life like portrayal I have ever encountered. Using both the spoken and written words of the men, Donovan provides a unique insight into the character of the men and their subsequent motivations for fighting, or not, in the war for Texas independence. 

Despite being a work of nonfiction, the story feels like a well-written novel, always describing interesting details while never sacrificing the pace of the action.  I found the descriptions of the weaponry used to be a fascinating insight into the tools that were used during combat of the time period (1836). The 200 Texans, severely under-armed and extremely outnumbered (the Mexican army had thousands), fought valiantly for 13 days. All Texans are familiar with the tragic fate met by the 200 men, but the details brought to light in this book allow fresh insights into the familiar story. Donovan has crafted what is sure to become one of the definitive collections on the Battle of the Alamo. 


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