Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Pick me up





TOP TEN THINGS THAT MAKES ME PICK UP A BOOK


Tough question. After much consideration, it seems that the same reason I will watch a movie matches why I would pick up a certain book over another.

1- Craving: Insurgent, for example, was a craving I had to fulfill. You wait so many months to find out what will happen to beloved characters, that it is a crime against self not to read a sequel.

2- Genre: Life happens. Sometimes I need a little romance or a horror story.

3: Favorite Author: Everyone has authors that they trust.

4. Cover: If it looks delicious, the more reason to read it,

5. Reviews: A reason I host a blog is because I enjoy discussing books with others. Seeing fellow bloggers adore a specific book makes me eager to read it.


Monday, April 29, 2013

Review: Demonglass


It's summer break, and Sophie is going to spend it with her Dad and Jenna in England. Which just happens to be where Archer is. Sadly, I didn't see the location switch. It felt like Sophie was in school again, with most of the book, taking place inside closed quarters.

A more fast pace rhythm would have come in handy. Sophie is such a rebellious and strong-willed character, that I was hoping she would get into a lot more trouble. Instead we meet a group of characters that will remain underdeveloped, like Nick and Daisy; hurt feelings without just cause; and an ending that will make your jaw drop and say ''she did not just do that!''

On the plus side, seeing Sophie try to establish a relationship with her Dad was bittersweet.

Hopefully, book number three heightens the stakes.





More from Hawkins

Friday, April 26, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday: Counting Notes

Parajunkee Alison Can Read



FEATURE & FOLLOW FRIDAY

Once you answer be sure to leave me your link so I can follow you back



Q: If Is there a question that reminds you of a book or vice versa? What is the song and the book?


If I were to produce the soundtrack of this book (wouldn't that be a swell job) I would include Trent Dabbs' Counting Sleep. Honestly, the lyrics should speak for themselves:

            Maybe it's just me
  Lately I've been counting sleep
      I had a little talk with time
     Till it turned its back on me

         And I can't unwind
                                                            I can't unwind

              Tell me everything it's on my mind
           I'll fall in line again
               Tell me everything will be alright
         I'm worried about nothing
               Tell me everything it's on my mind
         I'll fall in line again
            Is it me? Cause these days I've been counting sleep
             These days I've been counting sleep

         Sitting in this room
        Wondering how to carry you
    And all the voices they said
    Just to uncheck tonight

     So I figured out
   When trying is done

   Find out the wrong and make it right
    Well tell me if you're afraid of the side by side
   Yeah side by side


(sorry, the only video I could find was from the Vampire Diaries soundtrack. Shame on Dabbs for not having an official video)


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Review: The Immortal Rules



Are vampire evil demons who only care about blood, destined to live an immortal lonely life? Allison's vampire creator tells her that she'll "always be a monster. There is no turning back from it. But what type of monster you become is entirely up to you."

Allison has such will power it's impossible not to join her team. I was put off reading this book due to its big volume (it's big, 485 pages). Surprisingly, the pages kept turning themselves with all the action and romance imaginable. The characters were versatile and interesting. Like Jeb who was always hiding something. And Zeke, a
 love interest, completely worth it. I couldn't get enough. 





More from Kawaga


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Author Spotlight: Welcome Brando Ax




I'm trilled to be receiving author Brandon Ax today to promote his new YA novel, Elemental.

Sophia's mother disappeared when she was six, leaving behind a broken father and sleep disturbed by silent terrors. Now twelve years later, the nightmares that plagued her youth have suddenly returned. 

With dark creatures occupying her nights and a sense of restlessness consuming her days, all she wants is to finish school and get out of her small town as fast as possible. Everything changes when she is confronted with the realization that the shadowy beings from her dreams are real. The truth of this reality hits hard when someone she loves is killed. It would seem that anyone in their way is disposable. 

A mysterious boy named Aiden enters her life bringing with him all sorts of complications. They're drawn to each other, but their connection brings Aiden right into the path of her half-demon nightmares. With her father and several new friends put in the cross-hairs, Sophia must decide whether to let the shadows take her or stand her ground and fight. As the school year steadily moves closer to an end her decision may come with the cost of her life or worse -- the lives of those she cares about.



                   Find it on Amazon                                               Find it on Goodreads 


Hi Brandon, thank you for being with us. Please do tell, what inspired you to write this book?


It was a mixture of things really. I had been working on other projects when the idea of people who control the elements came to mind. I stored it as I often do with random ideas. Not long after that I had been thinking of writing a good female lead in a story, most of the prominent figures in my life were women which gave me a great respect for females in general. Somehow the ideas seemed to click together and I paired that with some things from my life, like my father leaving, you know all that good emotional stuff that makes us cling to some form of art later in life. 


Did you listen to specific songs while writing?


Oh so many. I love music and have it around almost at all times. If I can think back to when I was writing my first draft... I remember listening to Lights a good bit, she has a song February Air that was for sure on a loop. I even referenced it in the book in a small scene that said "I'd forgotten my jacket in the car and the February air was cold on my arms." Other than that I love to find covers of older songs or new that are done slower or just slightly different like Ellie Goulding's version of Your Song. AWOLNATION Sail has been playing a lot during revisions. Sorry I can get long winded about music so I'll stop myself. Really it just depends on the story I have such an eclectic taste.



Any advice for aspiring writers?


There is so much good advice out there. I think one thing is find your favorite author and go to his/her blog or website and just pay attention to the things they say, they made it for a reason. Past that just keep at it. All art is a matter of the more you do the better you get. We all start at different levels of talent and skill and over time we can develop it. No short cuts in writing just a lot of work.



What are you working on now -- or would you rather surprise us?


I'd love to share. Besides working on my house and the two kids and three dogs(lol) I have two things in the works. One is the Follow up to Elemental titled Ashes which should be out later this year. The other has the working title The Alchemist Son. It's a story about the worlds first murder detective, set in an almost pre-Victorian era fantasy world, I'm having tons of fun with it.



You can find Brandon Ax on:

Blog

Facebook

CreateSpace


Thank you for being with us Brandon, and good luck on all your future projects.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Review: Altered



Lacey stole a car and ends up in a juvenile detention center. Her Dad insists that leaving her there is for her own good. He doesn't visit or answers her calls. She's all alone until Taylor shows up. But who exactly is Taylor, and is he simply using her for his own ploy?

The book took off right away with lots of dialogue and no unnecessary narration. Despite knowing what Lacey did to get there, she seemed like a very sympathetic and sweet character. If life has taught her anything is that people shouldn't be trusted blindly, and it's good to see her doubt Taylor.  

I would've like to see her struggle more. Everything always seemed to come to place too fast. As to why Lacey is their only hope -- the question wasn't really answered. Guess I'll have to wait for book two to find out.



Thursday, April 18, 2013

Feature & Follow Friday: Don't Stop Believing

Parajunkee Alison Can Read



FEATURE & FOLLOW FRIDAY

Once you answer be sure to leave me your link so I can follow you back


Chris Colfer

Q: If you could hang out with any author (living) who would it be and what would you want to do?


I would pick Chris Colfer. Think about it. I'd be meeting a writer and an actor  That's like two for one. Not to mention we share a passion for music. We'd probably go karaoking with three pitchers of Sangria.



Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Review: Patience Princess Catherine


Catherine of Aragon may have been the princess of Spain, but she did not have an easy life. Or death, rumor is she was poisoned. We all know that she was betrayed by Henry VIII, but what brought on to this heartwrenching event in their marriage? Were Henry and Catherine ever in love? Well, that's where this book comes in. 

A Love Triangle

Arthur, Catherine & Henry

It travels from the love triangle from meeting Arthur to meeting Henry. Catherine was no Mary-Sue and her determination to remain in the Tudor family is remarkable. I enjoyed her battles with Dona Elvira and was surprised with the treatment she received from Spain. 

I recommend to every Tudor fan. 



Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Doctor Hunk






TOP TEN FEET COVERS


A few moths ago, I stepped on something sharp and ended up at the podiatrist. Ouch, is right. To make matters even more embarrassing, the Doctor was young, handsome and loved literature. I saw him earlier this week at the mall, and dedicate this choose your own top ten to him.





                      


                     


                                                             




Can't wait to read your top ten. Feel free to leave your link. Also: BookCupid is now on Facebook!!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Caught my Arrow # 12


Caught my Arrow is a meme similar to In my mailbox and  Stalking the Shelves featuring books that were purchased, borrowed or received that week.


Still waiting on my shipment from Amazon, but until then I received two books to keep me occupied and happy.


I borrowed Every Little Thing in the World from the library and received Scapemaker a YA/Fantasy novel from author Steve V. Cypert


What are you reading this week?

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Review: Shades of Earth


This is the last book of the Across the Universe trilogy and it did not disappoint. Elder and Amy finally get off the spaceship Godspeed  and begin their quest on Centauri-Earth. Not only are our beloved characters attacked in the first scene, but the first thing Amy does when they touch ground is run into the ship and wake up all the frozen passengers from Earth. Couldn't she wait five minutes??

You can imagine their reaction to Elder being the leader. I can't say I blame them, specially since Elder hasn't been in charge for long. And if this duality isn't enough to keep us on the edge of our seats, there is a third group that wants to control the planet. They are not alone.

I really felt for Elder in this one. He is so brave and ready to lead his people -- ready to make Amy proud. Beth Revis put so many obstacles in his way. Here's hoping she comes up with another trilogy as gripping as this one. If you haven't all ready, make sure you read book one, Across the Universe.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday: New York New York

Parajunkee Alison Can Read



FEATURE & FOLLOW FRIDAY

Once you answer be sure to leave me your link so I can follow you back


Chelsea Handler
Q: We are about to see a lot of posts and tweets about reader conventions, RT, BEA, ALA, and many more are starting soon. Which one would you love to attend? Where and why?


BEA in New York!! I saw pictures of last year's convention, and fell in a trance. I can even tell you what I would wear. Not to mention that this year's convention will be attended by Chelsea Handler and Veronica Roth.

Who's with me??

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Review: Fate's Fables



Imagine getting thrown into another world where your only means of survival is using your creativity. Both challenging and fun, T. Rae Mitchell created a wonderland that will delight many. 

The opening of the book was slightly confusing. In fact, it felt more like a prologue since we are introduced to someone other than the main character in a complete different setting. But the story quickly picked up when Fate took over. She is very direct and humorous, rewriting unexpected endings to the fables. 

One of the things that impressed me more about this book is the countless types of characters Fate encounters: Goblins, Trolls, Sorcerers, Fae ... the list is long. And if like me, you cannot live without romance, you will not be disappointed. His name is Finn and he has a Scottish accent. Prepare to be swooned.



Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Pre-Blogger Days



Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Pre-Blogger Days

BookCupid was started in December 2012 -- not so long ago -- which gives me an ample choice of books to pick from. So to make things interesting, I chose books that I read before I became a blogger that were out of my regular reading genre.






1. If I stay: Sad, depressing books always made me look the other way. But I received this one as a gift and was hooked from the first sentence. Since then, I am less selective.

2. Heist Society: Honestly, I thought this book would be more middle-grade, with a Nancy Drew raised by Robert De Niro type of character. Again, I was very wrong. This book couldn't be more exciting.

3. Going too far: I loved this book. It steered away from Mary-Sue clich├ęs and gave us a character that was sarcastic and strong.

4. Clockwork Angel: I read this one before City of Bones and fell in love with Cassandra Clare's writing. The book is pretty lengthy, but the pages turn themselves.

5. Lockdown: I couldn't put this book down; a teen locked in an underground jail for a crime he never committed.  Oh, what a plot.

6. Shark Girl: The very first poetry book I've read. Heartwrenching and poignant.

7. Midnight Sun: Okay, so I cheated by including a manuscript. But believe it or not, this is how I found Goodreads. There is a long petition in the discussion section for Stephenie Meyer to finish this book.


Can't wait to read your top ten.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Review: Level 2



What happens after we die? There are so many possibilities and Lenore Appelhaus gives us plenty. The idea of a second level, a sort of limbo between life and death, intrigued me and I was rooting for Felicia to get through the next level at any cost. 

But all she wanted was to find her boyfriend Neil. How could she have been certain that he was dead? And why did she refuse to view the memory of how she died knowing he was with her that day? Wouldn't you want to know how you died?  

I couldn't help feeling that the second part lacked depth. It was rushed. A lot of characters were introduced (Victoria was completely forgotten toward the end). And somethings like Felicia's hacking skills left me puzzled. 

Having said that, I would read book two and search for the answers this book did not offer.


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Feature & Follow Friday: Gobsmacked


                                         

FEATURE & FOLLOW FRIDAY

How lucky to be featured this week. I'm excited, and hyped, so let's get this show on the road. Once you comment be sure to leave me your link so I can follow you back.



Q: Have you ever read a book that you thought you would hate --? Did you end up hating it? Did you end up loving it? Or would you never do that? 

Oh, I judge -- and unlike Judge Judy I don't get paid for it. It's the cover or the length that sometimes gets me doubtful.

Last year, I helped a friend teacher organize a science fair, and to thank me a fifth grader gave me a copy of Stargirl. Neither the cover or the premise gave me an idea of what I was about to read. Had the student actually read it? I don't know. What I do know is that I loved it.

It's about loving yourself, not caring what others think. Something not easy to do in high school. I'm happy the student passed the book along and plan to do the same.



Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Review: Wild Children


Does a ten-year-old know right from wrong? The idea isn't that far-fetched. Children do need guidance but by then parents should've been able to provide them with some values. The problem is that as we start getting older, we will test many of them.

Wild Children is divided into acts, all staring a different character while rotating familiar faces. We experience what it feels to become wild -- half/human half/animal -- depending on the fault the child commited. And sometimes, like in the case of  Coo and Jinx, we see how they can make up for their mistakes.

I felt a strong connection with the characters, particularly Bray, as they are all well written and don't deserve what is happening to them. Although, I found the narrative too long, forcing me to put the book down at times, and wish more dialogue had been included instead. 



Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Crushes






Book Crushes, my favorite subject. This was a no-brainer. Here is my top guys that make me wish I was fictional. Each of them shares a very important quality I look for in a man.


Athletic: Dimitri Belikov from Vampire Academy. Imagine learning how to fight from a pro.
Respectful: Daniel Bianchi from The Gathering: He is the kind of friend you want to have by your side.
Funny: Fred and George Weasley from the Harry Potter series: A sense of humor in a man is always an important asset.  
Leader: Elder from Across the Universe. As the series progresses, so does his ability to lead a whole spaceship filled with people. Remarkable.
Protective: Four from Divergent.  What I like about him is that he is ready to help Tris but at the same time he doesn't try to control her. 
 Assertive: Jace Wayland from The Mortal Instruments series. He is not afraid to speak his mind and stand up for himself.

Reliable: Peeta Mellark from The Hunger Games. The way he is always there for Katniss makes me swoon. He has principles. 

Caught my Arrow # 11


Caught my Arrow is a meme similar to In my mailbox and  Stalking the Shelves featuring books that were purchased, borrowed or received that week.


Had a crazy week, filled with egg hunts, painting, and baking. Oh, yeah!! Sadly, I didn't get to purchase any books. But I did receive a surprise in the mail.


I received for review a copy of Altered by Shawnda Currie.



And borrowed Demonglass from the library.


What are you reading this week?