February 28, 2013

review ~ hotblood (house of slide #1) by juliann whicker

Hotblood (House of Slide, #1)Title: Hotblood: A House of Slide Novel
Author: Juliann Whicker
# of Pages: 298
Published May 10, 2011
Genre: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Romance, Paranormal
My Copy: Kindle edition
Average Rating: 3.94 / 5.00
My Rating: 4.00 / 5.00

Add to Goodreads

Goodreads Synopsis

He stole a kiss from the wrong girl…
Left without a soul, 17-year-old Dariana Sanders waited to die. There was nothing left to live for, nothing to feel besides the aching cold that never stopped. Her parent’s marriage was in shambles, and her brother, the only one who understood, the only one who knew how to make the cold go away, was gone forever. The only thing Dariana knew with absolute certainty was that nothing could possibly be right again. Enter Lewis Axel Nialls. Luckily for her, impossible is right up his alley. He can save her from the forces that wish to destroy her. Of course who’s going to save him, from her?

My Thoughts

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through a read and review group on Goodreads.

From the very start, I knew this was going to end up being one of those books I absolutely adore. The premise was different, and I couldn't wait to begin reading it! Right away, I was drawn right into the story. Darianna is a character with whom I immediately connected. She has an interesting family, to say the least, and is facing not only realistic everyday problems but supernatural ones as well. I loved how Darianna became kick ass, going out to hunt and discovering a dark side of herself.

I didn't like Darianna's uncle, Satan, at first, but he grew on me and ended up becoming one of my favorite characters. He was in a foul mood quite a bit in the beginning and is completely reckless, but he's hilarious! It became obvious to me how much he loves and cares about his niece. The dialogue he had with Darianna and other characters was a riot--completely hysterical!

I was ambivalent towards Darianna's mother--I don't understand how she can be okay with what Darianna's brother did to her. She didn't know how to deal with her daughter and came across as cold and unfeeling. Darianna's father seemed to be an absentee dad who didn't care about his daughter, but then you find out why he wasn't able to stay. I didn't agree with his decision to leave, but I understood why he did it. I only wish he had been in the book more.

I don't know what to think of Lewis--was he a good guy? Was he a bad guy? There was so much action with twists and turns around every corner. I absolutely cannot express enough how much I loved this book! I'm excited to find out more about him in the next installment of this series. With the way the book ended, I have no idea what to expect for the next one, and I'm dying to find out what happens next!

Purchase the book: Amazon    Barnes & Noble    IndieBound

Juliann WhickerFrom Smashwords:

Juliann Whicker was raised with chickens, goats, and a cow named Mrs. Mooley who everyone (neighbors included) chased down the street in a small college town. She now lives in Southeastern Ohio with her four children, husband, and all the ticks and poison ivy a soul could crave.

Find the Author

February 25, 2013

Cover Reveal ~ Imaginable by J. Meyers

I'm so excited to be a part of today's cover reveal! From J. Meyers, the author of the Intangible series, comes the unveiling of her next novel in the series, Imaginable, due out April 2013!

Ta da! It's absolutely gorgeous! I love it!! 

Twins Sera and Luke Raine’s unusual abilities are growing. Sera is healing vampires now, making them human again. And, at times, Luke can actually change the future he Sees.
But Sera’s healing has dangerous consequences, and though Luke is altering the outcome of more visions, he can’t control them yet.
Now Sera is in danger as the dark creatures of the Realm seek to use her. As Luke struggles to master his gift in order to save his sister, he discovers even more about his powers.
And what he learns just may put him in greater danger than Sera has ever been.
Get on the Mailing List!
You know, the wonderful people on J. Meyers’ New Release Mailing List are the first to find out when a new book comes out. If you’d like to join them, sign up here. She won’t ever share your address, and will only email you when a book has been released or is newly available.
~The other books in the series~
Intuition (Intangible, #0.5)
"Intuition" (Intangible #0.5)
Indomitable (Intangible, #0.75)
Indomitable (Intangible #0.75)
Intangible (Intangible, #1)
Intangible (Intangible #1)
   I canNOT wait to get my hands on Imaginable (Intangible #2)!! How about you?     

Stacking the Shelves #1

Hey everyone! First of all, I want to thank all of my followers--new and old. Without all of you, I would basically just be talking to myself, lol. I'm grateful for all of you, and to show my appreciation, I'll be holding my very first giveaway coming up soon. Stay tuned! :D

Today is my very first Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga's Reviews. Just wait until you see what I got this week!

I went to Half-Price Books and bought the following seven books:

My copy of this book is in hardcover, and it was on sale for ONE DOLLAR! $1! A hardcover copy!! :D
My husband and kids also bought books at the store, but I forgot to take photos of them, lol, so I am including pictures from Goodreads. :)
My husband's purchase:
The Star Trek Encyclopedia

He got a crazy good deal on this one, too. Originally $60, it was marked down to $7!!!

My ten-year-old daughter picked out this book: 

Sailor Moon SuperS, Vol. 1

She finished it today, and I'm definitely planning on reading it as well.

My three-year-old son picked out this book:

Rock with Mickey: Guitar Book

We've read this several times already, and we just bought these Saturday evening. :) It's one of those books I really enjoy reading to him, and as I mentioned the other day, he's a huge fan of Mickey. Plus, it has music! :)


I received this pin from The Hippie after reading Snowflake Obsidian: Memoir of a Cutter and participating in the Snowflake Project. I love it so much! <3 I'll post my review of the book plus let you know what the Snowflake Project is all about and how you can participate also.

I also bought these two ebooks from Amazon:

The Haunting Season 

Leaving Paradise

Well, that's it for me this week. You can tell who has the book "problem" around here, lol. I say it isn't a problem; however, my family does. I guess they feel this way because everywhere you look in our house there are piles and piles of books. I tell them all I need to do is get organized. That's all. :D

I'd love to know what you guys stacked your shelves with this week! Let me know in the comments and link me up to your post! :D

February 22, 2013

Feature & Follow Friday #1

Alison Can Read Feature & Follow

I'm so excited to finally be joining Feature and Follow Friday!! This is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read where they each feature a fellow blogger and ask a question which can be answered by participating bloggers. If you aren't already following the two hosting bloggers, please visit their blogs to follow them, the bloggers they're featuring, and enter your own blog in the linky. Hop around to other blogs - find new blogs to follow and gain some new followers as well. :D

Q: We always talk about books that WE want. Let's turn it on its head. What books have you given other people lately?

I gave my friend's niece Zombies vs Unicorns for her 13th birthday, and she devoured it right after she got it. She absolutely loved it!!

I just gave my husband Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues (White Trash Zombie #2) by Diana Rowland. He liked the first one, and he told me this one is even better than the first.

I gave my daughter Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer. She's 10 and in fourth grade. She gets to read this book for school credit. I was so excited when she told me that! For Christmas my husband and I bought her a Monster High book, and every time I go to a used book store, I buy her Baby-Sitter Club books. :D

Every time I go to used book stores, I also buy my son, who's three, books. He loves anything to do with rockets right now, oh and Mickey Mouse. I take him to the library every week for story time, where the teacher reads stories, we sing songs, and make a craft at the end. He loves it!!

How about you? Have you given anyone a book lately?

February 21, 2013

Dissolution: Volume One Kickstarter

Today I would like to help spread the word about author and illustrator Indi Martin's paranormal graphic novel, Dissolution. Below you'll find all the information about this Kickstarter and how you can get involved, too. Enjoy!

 Kickstarter Project Live Link:
 Information from the Dissolution: Volume One project page:
Summary: Exploring the questions of life after death, the realm of the supernatural, and how characters' lives unexpectedly interweave.
What is Dissolution?
What if there is another world, just beyond our own? It's there, it's footfalls are in sync with ours, but just slight enough that we fail to notice--and if we do, it's a barely-perceptible scratching noise that makes our hair stand on end. A shadowy movement out of the corner of our eye. The smell of roses where there is no reason for them to exist. A heartbeat whose source cannot be traced by our human ears. A world we fail to notice--but most definitely notices us. Now, imagine the veil being lifted and that world revealed at last--would you cling to your sanity or feel it slip between your fingers?
2012 saw a creative flowering of several projects in which I was involved as an illustrator. I decided that I needed to make time for Dissolution, which I first wrote as a 300+ page novel in 2005. I wanted to see it in color, in images, give the characters faces to go with their names, and above all, SHARE the story so that others could see it too. I established a website in September of 2012 where I could share comic pages (and random thoughts/recipes) weekly.  
Can I see any samples of your work?
Samples? Heck, you can go see exactly what you'll be getting! Well, the first half of it or so. Visit Dissolution , I update weekly with a new page! The printed version you are backing encompasses the first 48 pages of the story, far more than the website currently displays, but it's all set and ready to go and you hopefully will be able to tell from what's already available if it's a story that piques your interest! There are also several pages shown below, at the bottom of this write-up. Warning: There IS some mature content (language violence, nudity) in this story!  
What is the money going to be used for?
I will print a run of at least 200 copies of Volume One--the first 48 pages of Dissolution. If I get more backers, I will print more copies! That may seem like a small amount, but I am excited to even start with that. In addition, funds will cover merchandise included in tier level rewards--t-shirts, stickers, mini-buttons, and art prints. If there is a little left over, it will be funneled into purchasing an artist's booth at one of our local (or close-to-local) conventions (Shooting for one of the following: April 6-7, 2013 - Planet Comicon (in Kansas City); June 21-23, 2013 - Trek Expo; or July ?? 2013 - Tokyo in Tulsa).
Why should I pay for it when it's free online? 
This is a savvy question, and one that I struggled with in creating this Kickstarter. It's true, Dissolution is free and viewable online--there aren't even any ads on the website. However, I can think of three reasons why you might choose to back this project in spite of that!
  •  Dissolution: Volume One will cover the first 48 pages of the story.
You will notice that there are nowhere near 48 pages on the site yet. This is because I've been building a backlog in preparation for this printing, and yet have kept my online updating to once-weekly. Backers will be WAY ahead of online readers when it comes to knowing hwat happens and where the story is going!!
  •  By supporting this project, you are also supporting the continuation of the story in all its forms.
Being able to print and market Dissolution is a dream come true--and it means that the website will be going strong for a long time in the future! A successful project here tells me that enough people are interested in the story and art that it is vital to continue.
  •  You are an amazing person who likes to support authors and illustrators by purchasing their work.
This can't be overstated. People who choose to back art and literature in spite of it being available online are among my favorite people (along with Jacques Cousteau, Michio Kaku, Georgio Tsoukalos and Neil deGrasse Tyson--what a list to join!). Seriously though, it's a big deal--your decision to back my project humbles me, and I thank you. "But wait," you may say. "I WILL be ahead of the story--but then I'll have to wait SOOOOO long for the website to catch up!" Ah, but I've got you covered! If this Kickstarter is successful, I'm considering moving to faster updates--updates aiming for the reveal of the end of Volume One online (page 48) to correspong to the offer of Volume Two in the future. Backing this project will mean faster reveal of the storyline in TOTAL, for those online and in print. EVERYBODY wins! But especially you. Because you get to hang out with Kaku, deGrasse Tyson, Tsoukalos and Cousteau in my head.
Who are you?
Hi! My name is Indi Martin. I write, I illustrate, I don't sleep as much as I should. I've been drawing and writing all of my life--I actually have several completed novels, but am generally too much of a perfectionist to be happy enough with them to shop them around. Though I've done a lot of illustrating for projects, I still consider myself amateur simply because I have never been paid--or paid much--to complete them. My largest and longest dream has always been to someday make a living--even a super-meager one--through my creative endeavors! I love to Geocache in my spare time (I'm "Starbuck2011" in the Tulsa Area Geocachers group!) and really bliss out when I find high terrain--high difficulty caches first! I don't consider myself an "avid" hiker, but I'd love to be. I took some time out from life to hike the Appalachian Trail a few years ago and completed about 1000 miles of it--considering I had never actually camped out more than one night at a time prior to that, I'm glad the risk paid off and I grew to love it!  
Do you have any of those nifty Stretch Goals?
I DO!!!!
$4,000: ALL BACKERS (no limit!) will receive a PDF File of the Novel-So-Far--see how the graphic novel differs from the actual written version, and read everything that didn't make it in.
$5,000: Character cards! All backers above $15 will also receive trading cards of the characters that have been revealed so far--their profile and description, their connections and potential motives.
$6,000: TO BE REVEALED if we break $5k!
Explain these tier level rewards, would you?
I'd love to!
  • PDF Copy of Dissolution: Volume One - All backers at all levels receive this, and you don't have to wait for everything else. I'll send this to all backers' emails as soon as funding is successful. This is a high-resolution digital copy of the first 48 pages of the story - and I'm so excited to share it with you!
  • Printed Copy of Dissolution: Volume One - This will be a 48 page full-color perfect-bound comic book printed on 60# high-bright pages with a 80# glossy full-color cover. I will cry tears of joy when I first hold one in my hand, no lie. But I promise I won't send you the tear-stained copy. Unless maybe you want it. Weirdo.
  • Signed Print Copy of Dissolution: Volume One - Exactly what it sounds like!
  • Sketch-Cover Variant Copy of Dissolution: Volume One - These are limited (only 25 available), and have a slightly longer fulfillment date. This is because I will hand-draw and hand-ink each cover myself. You will have a one-of-a-kind (not even one of 25, because every one will be different!) item, and I will work tirelessly to fulfill these on time. As I mentioned, I don't sleep as much as I should. ^_~
  • Mini-Buttons - 1.5 inch buttons with a cool Dissolution splatter-logo
  • Stickers - 4.5 x 3 inch tri-color vinyl stickers so you can sport your Dissolution swag anywhere that you can stick a sticker!
  • T-Shirts - 100% pre-shrunk cotton men's style tees
  • Art Prints - 9x12 inch matte print of the Dissolution cover
  • Custom Art Prints - Whatever you want, I will pencil, ink, and color, then send to you in a lovely 9x12 inch matte print!
Tier Level Rewards:
Pledge $1 or more
Pay what YOU think it's worth! Backers at this tier receive a PDF copy of all 48 pages in Volume One! You've backed my project and I am eternally grateful!
Estimated delivery: Mar 2013

Pledge $6 or more
PDF copy + sweet Dissolution sticker! Swag on!
Estimated delivery: Apr 2013
Add $3 to ship outside the US

Pledge $12 or more
Enjoy a PDF + print copy of Volume One! I will also send you a personal thank-you email and list you as a backer on my website!
Estimated delivery: Apr 2013
Add $5 to ship outside the US

Pledge $18 or more
PDF copy + print copy of Volume One + awesome mini-button + sticker! Show off your Dissolution swag! I will also send you a personal thank-you email and list you as a backer on my website!
Estimated delivery: Apr 2013
Add $6 to ship outside the US

Pledge $25 or more
PDF copy + a SIGNED copy of Volume One + mini-button + sticker, and a personal thank-you email! You'll be listed as a SILVER backer on my website!
Estimated delivery: Apr 2013
Add $6 to ship outside the US

Pledge $50 or more
PDF copy + a SIGNED copy of Volume One + awesome T-Shirt + mini-button + sticker + a personal letter from me thanking you for your support! AND you'll be listed as a GOLD backer on my website! WHEW!
Estimated delivery: Apr 2013
Add $10 to ship outside the US

Pledge $75 or more
PDF copy + a SIGNED copy of Volume One + awesome T-Shirt + mini-button + sticker + 9x12 matte art print + a personal letter from me thanking you for your support! AND you'll be listed as a GOLD backer on my website!
Estimated delivery: Apr 2013
Add $10 to ship outside the US

Pledge $125 or more
PDF copy + SKETCH COVER VARIANT of Volume One + standard print copy + sweet T-Shirt + mini-button + sticker + 9x12 matte art print + personal letter from me thanking you for your support! AND you'll be listed as a PLATINUM backer on my website!
Estimated delivery: Jun 2013
Add $10 to ship outside the US

Pledge $250 or more
PDF copy + signed print copy of Volume One + sweet T-Shirt + mini-button + sticker + CUSTOM REQUEST 9x12 FULL COLOR matte print of whatever you request! + a personal letter from me thanking you for your support! AND you'll be listed as a SUPER DOUBLE $UNOBTANIUM backer on my website! (Fulfillment on all pieces except the custom art will be completed separately in May 2013).
Estimated delivery: Aug 2013
Add $12 to ship outside the US

Sample Comic Images (all images will be higher resolution through KS link, and links to 
 original image on the Dissolution site are included):  
Page 13

Page 20


February 19, 2013

review ~ delusions (the affinity #2) by christina smith

Delusions (The Affinity, #2)
Title: Delusions (The Affinity #2)
Author: Christina Smith
# of Pages: 360
Published September 7, 2012
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
My Copy: Kindle edition from the author for review
Average Rating 4.50 / 5.00
My Rating: 5.00 / 5.00

Add to Goodreads

Goodreads Synopsis

Can Fate be wrong? When all signs point to a certain someone, do you just blindly follow whether you like them or not? What if that person turns out to be someone you hate? Could Destiny be so cruel?

Lisa Miller is a typical seventeen-year-old, busy with family, work, friends and...revenge. Her last summer in high school should be spent having fun. But ever since Logan Tate played a prank on her two years ago, she doesn't have much of a social life, instead, spending her free time trying to get even.

Unfortunately Logan's not making it easy for her; he's trying to convince her that he has changed. But she is not fooled by his charming personality, and stunning good looks. No one can change that drastically.

Things aren't much better at home. Ever since her father left a year and a half ago, she refuses to speak to him, causing tension with her mom and sister.

As if she didn't have enough problems, someone is sending prank emails and phone calls, mysteriously knowing about the dreams she's been having. Who would do such a thing, and how could they know?

My Thoughts

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

This book was an emotionally powerful read, and I loved every minute of it. It was difficult for me any time I had to put it down, and all I could think about was how soon I could get back to reading it. Every time I was able to pick it up again, I was pulled back into Logan and Lisa's story as if I had never left.

Logan really grew on me in this book. In the first book, I wasn't a fan of his--he seemed arrogant and snarky. In this book, however, another side of him is revealed without his personality getting lost , and I had suspected a more vulnerable side was probably there all along, just covered up with arrogance. I liked that the relationship between Logan and Lisa slowly simmered and was allowed to blossom over time. It gave me time to root for the relationship, care about them and want them to be together. I liked the idea of soul mates and how Christina Smith infuses that idea with her own unique twist.

Lisa's friend Kelly is wise for her age and such a loyal friend. I really liked her, and the advice she gave Lisa was spot on. As for Adam and Ethan, I thought it was cool how tight knit the four of them are. Since I read the first book, I already loved Sara and Lucas. There weren't any characters I wasn't interested in knowing more about--they were fleshed out and seemed like real people, not just characters.

There was a message behind the story that resonated with me--life is too short to hold onto anger and grudges. Live life in the now, let go of regrets, and move on. Logan had learned this and wanted to help Lisa learn to let go, but throughout the book she insisted on holding a grudge against him and her father. She lied and kept secrets from Logan instead of talking to him about what was bothering her, leaving him completely confused with her hot and cold behavior. I was so frustrated with her! I just wanted to tell her to allow herself to get over the past and move on, but I know from experience it isn't that easy, which made the story even more realistic.

I loved this book! There was a little of everything--the funny, the sad, the  was a story that resonated with me and will stay with me for a long time. I highly recommend this book, and if you haven't read the first one yet, you definitely have to read it as well.

My review of the first book, Fated Dreams (The Affinity #1), can be found here .

Purchase the Book: Smashwords    Amazon     Barnes & Noble

Christina  SmithAbout the Author

I grew up in Kingston Ontario, Canada, and after getting married, moved to a small rural town in the country. I live here with my husband Brad, two kids Josh and Megan, and our dog Bailey. Even though our house is peaceful, surrounded by nature and the occasional deer, I'm still a city girl at heart. I miss civilization, and visits with my mother and two sisters.

My Young Adult Fantasy books include:

Fated Dreams # 1 in the Affinity series
Delusions # 2 in the Affinity series

Riley's Curse, A Moon's Glow, Prequel, Novella
Riley's Secret, A Moon's Glow Novel #1

My adult contemporary Romance Books include:

Finding Abigail

Find the Author:  Website    Goodreads    Twitter

February 18, 2013

review ~ fated dreams (the affinity #1) by christina smith

Fated Dreams (The Affinity, #1)
Title: Fated Dreams (The Affinity #1)
Author: Christina Smith
Pages 339
Published: March 1, 2012
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Paranormal
My Copy: Kindle edition for review
Average Rating: 4.03 / 5.00
My Rating: 4.00 / 5.00

Add to Goodreads

Goodreads Synopsis

Do you believe in true love? Sarah Samson didn’t until she met hers. But for Sarah, meeting the guy of her dreams came with a price. On the outside Sarah looks like she has it all, friends, a loving family, and a hobby she's really good at. But if you look closer, Sarah's keeping secrets, from everyone in her life, even... Lucas. A boy she hardly knows, but still feels a connection with.

Life would be perfect, if it wasn't for the constant feeling that someone is following her. She feels a presence everywhere she goes, work, home, her dreams.

She suddenly finds herself wrapped up in a dangerous mystery that started eighty years ago involving two tragic deaths. After several attempts on her life, she and Lucas realize they must solve it before history repeats itself.

My Thoughts

I signed up to review this book through the group We Love YA Books at Goodreads.

I really loved this story of Sarah and Lucas. At first they're adversaries with Lucas being anti-social and a jerk for no apparent reason to Sarah. Sarah on the other hand has two close friends and is a friendly person. Lucas soon thaws out, and they begin dating immediately.

I did think their relationship happened too quickly--there wasn't a slow build up but rather they instantly fell in love. It must have been due to the dreams they had about each other. I was surprised how much time they began spending together, which was just about every single day. I wondered why their parents weren't worried about them becoming so serious so quickly.

I really loved Sarah's parents. Her dad was nervous when she began seeing Lucas as most dads are when their daughters begin to date, and he reminded me a lot of how my dad reacted when I first began dating in high school. There were so many parts that had me laughing--not all of the book was serious. I liked how generally relaxed her parents were and how much interest they have in their kids' lives, although Sarah's brother wasn't usually around much. I was just really endeared to Sarah's mom and dad.

The fact that Sarah and Lucas were having the same dreams was so eerie and mysterious. I hated having to ever put this book down! I looked forward to when I'd have time to start reading it again--the mystery growing around Sarah and Lucas kept me turning the pages. Immersing myself into the story was so easy and so interesting. I read every time I had a chance.

Whenever I thought I knew what was going to happen next, the story would take off in a new direction, leaving me guessing right up until the very end. This book is more than just a simple mystery--the story will appeal to readers of many different genres. I definitely enjoyed this book and will recommend it to others!

Buy the book:  Amazon   Smashwords   Barnes & Noble

Christina  SmithAbout the Author (from Goodreads)

I grew up in Kingston Ontario, Canada, and after getting married, moved to a small rural town in the country. I live here with my husband Brad, two kids Josh and Megan, and our dog Bailey. Even though our house is peaceful, surrounded by nature and the occasional deer, I'm still a city girl at heart. I miss civilization, and visits with my mother and two sisters.

My Young Adult Fantasy books include:

Fated Dreams # 1 in the Affinity series
Delusions # 2 in the Affinity series

Riley's Curse, A Moon's Glow, Prequel, Novella
Riley's Secret, A Moon's Glow Novel #1

My adult contemporary Romance Books include:

Finding Abigail

Find the Author:  Goodreads   Website   Twitter

Come back tomorrow when I'll be reviewing Delusions (The Affinity #2)! :D

February 15, 2013

Dissolution Blast + $10 Amazon Gift Card

Hey everyone! I was recently invited by fellow blogger Thinks Books  to help support Indi Martin's upcoming graphic novel, Dissolution. Think is organizing her first Blast for the Dissolution Kickstarter Launch on February 20, 2013. Let's help out Think and Indi Martin!! :D
Head on over to Thinks Books here and sign up. Everyone who signs up is entered to win a $10 Amazon gift card. You must enter your information into the Linky provided in the post. Invite your friends! Everyone you know! The more the merrier!
You don't have to review anything. Think will supply all information and materials needed. If you have any questions, you can contact her through her email provided on her blog or through Goodreads.
So do you wanna help out?? I am!! See you there! :D

February 14, 2013

review ~ black valentines: a love story by barrymore tebbs

Black Valentines
Title: Black Valentines: A Love Story
Author: Barrymore Tebbs
# of Pages: 66
Published: March 5, 2012
Genre: Gothic, Romance, Horror
My Copy: Kindle edition purchased by me
Average Rating: 4.00 / 5.00
My Rating: 5.00 / 5.00

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis from Goodreads

A chance meeting with an old friend brings wounded war veteran Clive Dahl face to face with the most beautiful woman he has ever seen. Laura Balfour is kind and she is gentle, and most of all she judges him by his character, not his appearance. Laura is blind.

She also has a sister, and once he meets Lydia, nothing in Dahl’s life will ever be the same.

From a posh London drawing room to a dockside opium den to a fog enshrouded country estate, this shocking tale of obsessive love and depraved desires takes the reader on a mesmerizing journey into the very heart of darkness.

Black Valentines, a 20,000 word novella, is recommended for adults only. It is not for the faint of heart.

My Thoughts

This novella was written so well in the style from the 1800s that I felt like I was reading the work of an author who lived during that time period. I loved the heavy gothic atmosphere in which the story takes place. I didn't know what was going to happen with the characters, what they were going to do, where the story was going--and I couldn't stop until I found out. You'll never guess how this story ends--I'm still in shock. I'm definitely looking forward to reading more by this author!

Purchase the novella:  Amazon 

About the Author (from Goodreads)

Barrymore TebbsI am a writer of Gothic fiction, combining elements of horror, romance, and the psychological thriller.

My style draws as much from the films of Hammer Studios, Roger Corman's Poe Cycle, and the classic Universal Monster movies, as it does from modern Gothic writers from Shirley Jackson to the late, great Michael McDowell.

I am also a photographer and PhotoShop artist - I make my own book covers.

If you like stories set in old dark houses , with plenty of inclement weather and peopled with characters with deeply fractured psyches, you might enjoy one of my Gothic thrillers!

Find the Author:  Website  Facebook

February 8, 2013

review ~ fire in the blood by dale ibitz

Fire in the Blood (Last Moon Rising #1)
Title: Fire in the Blood (Last Moon Rising #1)
Author: Dale Ibitz
# of Pages: 256
Published May 1, 2011
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
My Copy: PDF provided by the author for review
Average Rating: 3.95 / 5.00
My Rating: 3.50 / 5.00

Add to Goodreads

Goodreads Synopsis

Global warming is playing havoc on Earth, and when 17 year-old Haley tumbles to a parallel world, she discovers that Earth’s issues stem from a war between the Eyids, the gods of nature. Because her necklace is a stone that holds the power of the Air Eyid, Haley is called upon to stop the war

But Haley has a problem. Actually, two problems. One named Tuggin, and one named Ian.

Both lie to her. Both have secrets. And neither are who they say they are. With her stone of power, Haley’s forced to make a choice that will decide the fate of all the worlds. But who should she trust, who should she fight, and who is the one with fire in his blood bent on betraying them all?

My Thoughts

Haley is a typical junior in high school who finds out on her seventeenth birthday that she actually isn't so typical after all--there's more to who she is than she could have ever imagined. Falling through a portal, she ends up in another world.

I thought the idea behind the story was really creative--gods of the elements begin fighting, and this is what begins the global climate change on Earth, while the people on Earth are making it worse. This idea was what drew me to read this book in the first place, and I thought it was an original and interesting idea. The synopsis definitely made me want to find out more.

In the first half of the book, not a lot happens--mostly there's set up of the story, introduction of the characters, many mentions of events in the past before the book begins, but it was a slow buildup for me. From halfway through the book to the end, however, I was riveted. There was plenty of action and suspense to keep me hooked. If the first half of the book had been as exciting as the second half and not been so slow, I would have rated it higher.

Haley is spunky and tough, and I really liked her. She was the only character I felt I really got to know. There weren't many characters that I connected with--there isn't much background given for any of them, and I would have liked to know more about each of them, especially Tuggin, the other main character. I want to know more about him and what makes him tick.  I did like how I was kept in suspense along with Haley--who should she trust? Who is lying to her? Who is telling the truth? This could be why the characters weren't more fleshed out--if they had been, it might have killed the suspense.

So much information was introduced in this book that it was difficult for me to keep up with all of the names for the different places and characters and had to keep looking back for reference. There are a few things I'm still confused about, for instance, why the gods began fighting and what happened to the stones. I'm hoping for some answers in the next book. I was happy with the way this book ends and suprised by the way it ends. It sets up perfectly for the next book in the series.

Buy the Book:  Amazon   Smashwords   Barnes & Noble  

Dale IbitzAbout the Author:

Dale Ibitz was born in Oxford, Connecticut, grew up in the state of Washington, and then re-located back to Connecticut as an adult. Always a lover of books, she spent much of her childhood reading, visiting the library (her best friend’s mother was a librarian…how convenient), and writing. She majored in English at Central Connecticut State University, and while Dale holds a full-time day job where she’s immersed in the dry life of writing contracts, she’s been writing young adult fantasy and mid-grade contemporary for seventeen years (on the side, of course).

Dale’s a fan of hiking and the outdoors, seriously good writing, and she never, ever starts the day without chocolate and coffee (preferably together). Music inspires her, and she likes to listen to alternative metal. When she listens to lyrics, she finds herself imagining stories behind the words…it’s a great writing exercise.

Dale is, by nature, a klutz and has years of funny tidbits of real-life comical events which she (ahem) constantly seems to stumble in to. These tidbits have a habit of finding their way on to the pages of the books she writes, injecting a little humor to her writing.

If you were to visit Dale’s house, you'd meet her husband, 2 kids, their dog Lea (most people simply refer to her as The Beast...and for good reason), their kitten Luna (affectionately known as Loony Luna), a gaggle of ducks, and a flock of hens ruled by a tyrannical rooster they call The Stump, or Stumpy. How he got his name is a long story...maybe she’ll tell you sometime.

Find the Author:  Goodreads   Website  

February 7, 2013

review ~ breed of innocence by lanie jordan

Breed of Innocence (The Breed Chronicles, Book 01)
Title: Breed of Innocence (The Breed Chronicles #1)
Author: Lanie Jordan
# of Pages: 286
Published: July 4, 2012
Genre: Young Adult, Demons, Fantasy, Paranormal
My Copy: Kindle edition from the author for review
Average Rating: 4.32 / 5.00
My Rating: 5.00 / 5.00

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Goodreads Synopsis

Six hours ago, men in dark suits and sunglasses came looking for me.
Four hours ago, they offered me training to hunt the things that killed my family: demons.
Two hours ago, I joined their secret organization—the CGE.
Now… All I have to do is survive demon-hunting school.

The classes won’t kill me, but the finals might.

My Thoughts

At the age of sixteen, Jade Hall is offered an education along with a job as a demon slayer by a mysterious organization called the CGE (Consortium of Genetic Engineering). She's had a rough life being shipped from foster home to foster home after losing her family to tragedy, and so without any real stability in her life it's difficult for her to trust anyone.  It was refreshing to see a character in a YA novel who has been in the foster care system--young adults reading this book who live in foster homes or group homes can relate to Jade's background.

I found myself drawn to Jade right away--there are so many positive qualities about her such as her sense of humor, courage, and strength. Jade is determined to hunt down and kill the demon who killed her family, but she isn't reckless about it either. She knows it's important to learn how to hunt and kill before she starts her search for revenge. I'm all about demons--they scare the hell out of me, and there were plenty of tense, scary moments!

I loved the relationship between Jade and Linc and the way it developed over time. The dynamic between them was different and unique. Their banter was so clever, made me laugh, and just fit situations so perfectly! I found myself chuckling loudly more than once. They're easygoing together, and best of all, they're equals; Jade isn't a girl who needs a guy to save her--she's tough all on her own.

Felecia is the kind of character I love to hate. Felecia acts like she's tough and is a bully, but when it really comes down to it, she's a coward. Like a lot of other girls Jade has encountered in the various foster homes she lived in, Felecia does her best to provoke and bully Jade out of jealousy. There really was no other reason for Felecia to have such a vendetta against her, and this actually is a realistic situation among teenage girls unfortunately.

The young adults chosen by the CGE all have a rare genetic anomaly that the CGE wants to study, but can the organization be trusted? Are their intentions pure, or is there something more sinister going on? I went back and forth with this--I couldn't decide if they want to help Jade and the others, or if they just want to use them to further their own agenda, whatever that may be. I tend to distrust large organizations that make a high profit, and it just seemed to me something insidious going on. Isn't there usually some sort of underlying evil in every organization in fiction? This could turn out to be the exception or maybe not.

I absolutely loved this book! It was so awesome in every way! There isn't anything about this book that I didn't like. I was captivated, enthralled, and I want more of this story and the characters.

Purchase the Book: Amazon     Barnes & Noble    Smashwords  

About the Author (From Goodreads) :

Lanie Jordan writes stories. Sometimes her characters drive her crazy, but then she gets her revenge by making their lives more difficult. Fictional payback is fun.

She loves reading, writing, watching TV, and listening to the same songs for months on end. The WWE is a not-so-secret secret obsession of hers, and she vows to one day write a story about wrestlers, just so she can claim watching it is for research.

Dean Winchester from Supernatural is one of her all-time favorite characters. Her friends would probably tell you she’s obsessed with all things Dean/Supernatural; she’s not, really. She just loves them a little. Okay, so it might be a tad more than a little, but if anyone ever finds out she’ll claim it was a blatant lie and that aliens wrote her bio.

And while she’s on the subject, she does believe in aliens and ghosts and things that go bump and boo in the night. You won’t find her admitting that she’s seen any of those things, of course, cause let’s face it, who would believe her? But she writes about them. And demons and angels and weirdo people who do weirdo things.

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The next book in the series is coming out soon!! I can't wait!!
Breed of Envy (The Breed Chronicles #2)
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Breed of Envy (The Breed Chronicles, Book 02)

February 6, 2013

IWSG #6 ~ February 2013

First Wednesday of Every Month

I think I missed last month's IWSG post, eep! Don't kick me out guys, lol. This group is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. I'm so happy to have been referred to this group by my friend and author, Michael Pierce. Thanks to both of you! I've met and made friends with many cool writers and have been able to share my feelings and worries about the process without fear of judgement.

I must admit that I haven't touched my NaNoWriMo novel since the end of November, but after watching the movie Young Adult starring Charlize Theron (which, by the way, is completely mislabeled as a comedy, lol) I've got the motivation to tackle Violet again. My two main concerns with this work are that by the time it's ready to be edited and published, zombie novels will have gone by the wayside, and I don't feel like I have direction--I'm kind of aimlessly wandering around.

There were days when my characters would show me a new side of themselves, or my plot took a completely different route than I had anticipated. Those days were awesome. Those days were when I felt like this whole writing thing is so easy and awesome and so right for me. Then I'd have those times where I barely could crank out 500 words, let alone my goal of 2,000 or 2,500 for the day. I know this happens to a lot of writers, and I empathize--it sucks!

I'm just going to forge ahead, and if it ends up being a novel that can't be published, then oh well. I had a blast writing it. :D

February 5, 2013

review ~ indomitable by j. meyers

Indomitable (Intangible, #0.75)

Title: Indomitable (Intangible 0.75)
Author: J. Meyers
# of Pages: 50
Published: December 22, 2012
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
My Copy: Kindle edition from the author
Average Rating: 4.34 / 5.00
My Rating: 5.00 / 5.00

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Goodreads Synopsis

Perhaps the most dangerous person to gain unimaginable power is the one who feels oppressed.

And full of wrath. For very good reason.

My Thoughts

I received a copy of this story from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Wow! This was a hard hitting, emotional punch in the gut kind of read. I've always been curious about Jonas's backstory and by taking a look into his past, I was given a lot of insight into his present actions and motivations. What he went through in his human life before becoming a vampire was shocking and knowing similar events happened in real life during that period of time in this country is difficult to read about let alone imagine. I couldn't help but shudder.

I can completely see how Jonas becomes the way he is now, and he's become even more likable to me. I've always had a soft spot for him. The action alternates between the past and present, and you can see how his past has affected him. There isn't much diversity in the YA genre, in my opinion, and so it's refreshing to have a major character such as Jonas of a race other than white--he's African American. He's intriguing, conflicted, and complex, and I just really love trying to figure him out. He's an enigma--there are so many layers to him just waiting to be peeled back...I love it!

This is an action-packed, fast paced story that gives us a look from Jonas's perspective and tides us readers over until the next novel comes out. I'm counting down the days in the meantime!! :)

Other books in the series:

Intuition (Intangible, #0.5)
"Intuition" (Intangible 0.5)
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Check out my review here

Intangible (Intangible, #1)
 Intangible (Intangible #1)
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Check out my review here

 Purchase Indomitable: Amazon    Barnes & Noble    Smashwords

About the Author

J. Meyersj. meyers grew up in Vermont, spent three years in Germany when she was a kid, and now lives in Central New York. When she's not reading or writing, she's chasing after her four kids, exploring the outdoors with her family, baking sweet treats, and forgetting to make dinner. Intangible is her first novel.

Find the Author:

February 4, 2013

review ~ phoenix feather by angela wallace

Phoenix Feather
Title: Phoenix Feather
Author: Angela Wallace
# of Pages: 242
Published: May 19, 2011
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy
My Copy: Kindle edition provided by the author in exchange for an honest review
Average Rating: 4.00 / 5.00
My Rating: 4.00 / 5.00

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Goodreads Synopsis

Aidan Quinn is not entirely human. Every hundred years, she bursts into flame and is reborn from the ashes. Now she’s a grad student in Seattle, weary of these repetitious life cycles and grieving a lost love.

An obsession is born. Detective Bryan McCain is trying to solve the serial murders of young women with red hair. When his brother, Trent, starts dating a potential victim, Bryan has to pour everything he has into catching the killer, without losing himself in the process.

Aidan’s heart has been broken many times, but she just might have a little left for dashing fireman Trent McCain. Little does she know, the killer is on the hunt for a phoenix, and he’s getting closer.

My Thoughts

I was so thrilled to read this book!! The synopsis made this a must read for me, and I love the concept of the story. Aidan is a phoenix--a mythological creature that lives, dies, and rises from the ashes to be reborn into a new life. She meets a firefighter named Trent, and after much hesitation on her part, they begin dating. It's difficult for her to get close to people when she knows she'll keep on living after they die. I found it interesting that a woman who bursts into flame then is reborn from the ashes has fallen for a firefighter. :)

The pace at which their relationship grew was perfect--it wasn't too fast nor was it too slow. They complemented one another, and it seemed like this was the most genuine relationship Aidan has had throughout her many lives. I cared about these characters and absolutely adored them together. And what a stand up guy Trent is! He's there for Aidan when she needs him most, even when he didn't know her that well. Phoebe and Chris are twins and Aidan's best friends. Trent is immediately accepted by Phoebe and Chris and fits right in with them. I really liked the dynamics between the four of them. Trent is definitely swoon worthy, and they all cared about each other so much, they were like their own little family.

Trent's brother, Bryan, who's a cop, begins investigating a string of murders where the victims are all red heads. The killer is searching for the phoenix. A few times in the book, you're inside the mind of the killer. I wanted to know a little more about him, not to the point where he would become a main character, just more behind his motivations and knowledge.

This book explores life and death, and I like books that have me thinking beyond the story itself. I think that though it would be tempting to experience historical events and not have to worry about death being permanent, there are too many cons for me.

As a phoenix, Aidan deals with loneliness and fear of becoming close to people because she knows she'll die and come back, but they won't be here any longer. She's had to watch so many of her loved ones die--that would be too high of a price to pay for me. No more coming back to start a new life--I couldn't take all the grief and continually starting over. I wouldn't want to become attached to people only to miss them when they die and have to come back without them.

This was a beautifully told story that really tugged on my heartstrings and will tug on yours, too. I loved these characters so much, I felt like they were my family as well. I'm left wanting more!

Purchase the Book:  Amazon   Barnes & Noble (not yet available on Barnes & Noble but will be soon)

About the Author:

Angela WallaceAngela Wallace has been penning adventures ever since she was sucked through a magical portal as a child. What she saw and whom she met gave birth to exciting and complex fantasy worlds where defying the laws of physics was a bonus. She has since come back down to earth, only to discover this mortal realm has magic of its own. Now she is quite at home in the world of urban fantasy, though believes that love, faith, and hope are of a stronger magic than fire wielding and sorcery. She loves gun-toting good boys, and could have been a cop in another life except real blood makes her queasy. She’ll have to stick to solving supernatural mysteries. Language is her pleasure, whether it’s weaving words on a page or lassoing linguistics into translations as a sign language interpreter. Angela is currently working on the next book in her Elemental Magic series.

You can find her at her blog:

February 3, 2013

~coming up on the blog~

Hey everyone! I have a lot coming up for you guys this week and wanted to give you a preview of what I have planned. :D Last week I was pretty quiet here, and I'm trying to get better at scheduling posts ahead of time. I want great content here for y'all to read! :)

I know many of you bloggers have started doing this, and I think it's a great idea. I'm not trying to copy or steal anyone's ideas, so if you feel I have, please email me and let me know. Thanks!

Coming up this week:

Monday: Review of Phoenix Feather  by Angela Wallace

Tuesday: Review of "Indomitable" by J. Meyers

Wednesday: Insecure Writer's Support Group post

Thursday: Review of Breed of Innocence by Lanie Jordan

Friday: Review (Not sure what book yet :D )

February 1, 2013

Review ~ Larimar: Gem of the Sea by Christine E. Schulze

Title: Larimar: Gem of the Sea
Author: Christine E. Schulze
Release date: August 17, 2011
Pages: 40
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

My Rating: 


Captain Michael Biekert is notorious for being the youngest captain to sail as much as he has, charting discoveries of new lands and species. He's also notorious for landing his men in adventures they hadn't counted on--adventures involving cannibalistic mermaids and such.

When Michael decides to search for the legendary underwater city of the Larimar people, he doesn't account for the adventure that follows. Rescued from shipwreck by a mysterious, beautiful young lady who walks on water and carries a singing sea shell around her neck, he soon finds himself reunited with an old friend once though lost to him and fighting to save her people from an ancient evil.

I received a copy of this story from the author in exchange for an honest review.

I was immediately drawn into this story--Michael's character played a large role in that. He's brave and puts the safety of his crew before his own, and I really admired that about him. He gave up a life of luxury as a prince to become an explorer. I wanted to know about their past adventures before the one they embark on in this story. They sounded exciting and dangerous and would make for awesome reading!

Natalie was also a character I loved. She was dreamy and mystical, and I really appreciated the relationship between Michael and Natalie because it was different and special. I did find myself rooting for them to get together; I just couldn't help myself! I'm a sucker for romance. :)

This story was beautiful, a little dark, and magical. I loved all of the elements that were incorporated into the telling, and I highly recommend reading this. It was completely original and extraordinary. :D

Larimar: Gem of the Sea, is a story from The Legends of Surprisers Books II and III, published 2010.

About the Author

Christine E. Schulze has been creating books since she was too young to even write them in words. Her collection of YA fantasy books, The Amielian Legacy, is comprised of series and stand-alone books which can all be read separately but which weave together to create an amazing fantasy. She hopes to inspire readers throughout the world with these books by publishing in both traditional and electronic formats to make them available to all readers.

Christine has published several stories with Calliope and Kalkion magazines. She has also published several Fantasy and Christian Fantasy books which are available at various online retailers, as well as publishing several eBooks via Writers-Exchange.

Her latest and most exciting ventures include her publications with Old Line Publishing, Bloodmaiden and Lily in the Snow, as well as The Chronicles of the Mira with Writers-Exchange in both paperback and electronic forms. She is also the newest and proudest author at Book By You, a publisher specializing in personalized books, and is happy to release Song Quest, Black Lace, and Dark Embrace with them.

Christine currently lives in Belleville, Illinois in her first and most thrilling apartment.

Connect with Christine E. Schulze

Website |  Goodreads Amazon | Shelfari