Wednesday, September 30, 2015

WoW Pick of the Week

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It is a chance to share those new releases were are super anxious to get our hands on and read.

I really enjoyed Dennard's debut series Something Strange and Deadly and when I saw she had a new series out, all about witches, I was ecstatic! I adore witches and with Dennard's writing combined with an element I already love, I just know it is going to be great.

Book Description:

On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a “witchery”, a magical skill that sets them apart from others.

In the Witchlands, there are almost as many types of magic as there are ways to get in trouble—as two desperate young women know all too well.

Safiya is a Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lie. It’s a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born. So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires.

Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her—but she cannot see the bonds that touch her own heart. Her unlikely friendship with Safi has taken her from life as an outcast into one of reckless adventure, where she is a cool, wary balance to Safi’s hotheaded impulsiveness.

Safi and Iseult just want to be free to live their own lives, but war is coming to the Witchlands. With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and ship’s captain) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must fight emperors, princes, and mercenaries alike, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Review: Terminal by J.L. Bryan

Title: Terminal
Author: J.L. Bryan
Series: Book Four in the Ellie Jordan Ghost Trapper Series
Published: May 4, 2015
Source: Copy Provided by the Author (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy
My Rating: 4 Solid Stars!

Book Description:
Ellie Jordan and her apprentice Stacey investigate a house in an elaborate planned community that was only half-built before it went bankrupt, leaving an instant ghost town with only a few residents. The entity haunting this house is a banshee that feeds on sadness and misery.

Unfortunately for Ellie, this is no simple haunting, but just one symptom of the cursed land on which the suburban community was built. The old railroad line running through the nearby woods might just be a conduit for lost souls, including dark spirits with ill intentions toward the living. Ellie soon finds herself facing one of the most complex and difficult hauntings she’s seen in her career. 

With the exciting installment that was the third book in this series, I immediately dived right into this one. I so wasn't ready to leave Ellie's world yet and I wanted more of everything. 

More creep factor, more horrific stories, more learning about our bunch of ghost detectives and especially, more of what is hopefully going to be a spicy romance for Ellie. I just wanted more.

I'm happy to say that Bryan delivered. I got everything I was expecting, in fact, this series has quickly moved up to my must buy and read every single book ever written list. Yes don't mock, I really have a list like that.

This series just keeps getting better and better and with so much now on the line for the team both in work and their personal lives, I can't wait to see what Bryan does with them next. I will be diving right into book five in no time.

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

Monday, September 28, 2015

Review: The Crawling Darkness by J.L. Bryan

Title: The Crawling Darkness
Author: J.L. Bryan
Series: Book Three in the Ellie Jordan Ghost Trapper Series
Published: February 5, 2015
Source: Copy Provided by the Author (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy
My Rating: 5 Stars!

Book Description:
Ghost removal specialist Ellie Jordan must face a dangerous, shape-shifting entity that she and Calvin have encountered once before, with tragic results. The spirit has the power to reach into the minds of living and feed on their fears, taking the shape of their worst nightmares, and it has awoken in search of new victims. 

Now Ellie must try to succeed where she and her mentor failed before, and try to defeat the twisted and powerful old ghost before it can claim another soul for its collection.

I already really liked this series when I started Crawling Darkness but this new installment ramped everything up. It was scarier, creepier, more dangerous, and honestly, just down right fun. I completely adore this series now and I can't wait to read more.

Once again Ellie is stuck in a bad situation, where the ghosts keep getting nastier except this time, this ghost is about as nasty as they come and one she has encountered before and that encounter, wasn't pretty. 

We meet some new faces and get to know the old ones even more. Learning Stacey and Calvin's stories, and even more about Jacob, was so much fun even if those stories were sad heartbreaking ones.

I love this team and the chemistry they all have is amazing. 

Once again this is a story you do not want to read in the dark or maybe not even alone during the day. It brought chill bumps to my eyes and more than once had me looking around at things I thought I saw move from the corner of my eye. To say this brought out the slightly paranoid side of me, might be an understatement. 

Bryan wows us with his words and elegant but scary as all heck writing and immerses us in Ellie's world full of all things that go bump in the night. And before we know it, we are trapped there and don't ever want to escape. 

Another fabulous creepy installment in the Ellie Jordan Ghost Trapper series.

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

Release Day Blitz: Shattered Hearts by Tiffany King!

Book two in Tiffany's Fractured Lives Series is out today and just look at that cover! 

Released: September 28, 2015
Book Two in the Fractured Lives Series

Book Description:
From Tiffany King, USA Today Bestselling Author of A Shattered Moment, comes book 2 in the Fractured Lives Series. 

A Shattered Heart is the story of Kathleen "Kat" Darby who discovers that although you can run away, you can never escape the ghosts from your past. 

Physically, Kat Darby walked away relatively unscathed from the tragic car accident on the night of her high school graduation. Emotionally, her scars run much deeper from the loss of two of her best friends and her longtime boyfriend, Dan. Unable to face the constant reminders of the person she thought she would love forever, Kat leaves for twelve months to study art in France before returning home to start her life again. 

Life in Florida proves more difficult than Kat anticipated with remnants of the accident still lingering. The only solace she can find is in her love for art until she runs into Brian, the younger brother of her deceased former boyfriend. Finding they can lean on eachother, Kat and Brian find comfort in their emotional common bond. When an unexpected romance develops, Kat must decide if she is willing to face the ghosts from her past in order to love again. 

Purchase Links:

About the Author:

USA Today Bestselling author Tiffany King is a lifelong reading fanatic who is now living her dream as a writer, weaving Young Adult and New Adult romance tales for others to enjoy. She has a loving husband and two wonderful kids. (Five, if you count her three spoiled cats). Her addictions include: Her iphone and ipad, chocolate, Diet Coke, chocolate, Harry Potter, chocolate, zombies and her favorite TV shows. Want to know what they are? Just ask. 

Friday, September 25, 2015

Review: The Many Lives of John Stone by Linda Buckley-Archer

Title: The Many Lives of John Stone
Author: Linda Buckley-Archer
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Simon & Schuster For Young Readers(October 20, 2015)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Historical/Fantasy
My Rating: 2.5-3 Stars

Book Description:
An English teen questions all she knows about aging when she encounters a set of journals that date from the present back to the reign of King Louis XIV in this blend of contemporary and historical fiction from the author of the acclaimed Gideon trilogy.

Stella Park (Spark for short) has found summer work cataloging historical archives in John Stone’s remote and beautiful house in Suffolk, England. She wasn’t quite sure what to expect, and her uncertainty about living at Stowney House only increases upon arriving: what kind of people live in the twenty-first century without using electricity, telephones, or even a washing machine? Additionally, the notebooks she’s organizing span centuries—they begin in the court of Louis XIV in Versailles—but are written in the same hand. Something strange is going on for sure, and Spark’s questions are piling up. Who exactly is John Stone? What connection does he have to these notebooks? And more importantly, why did he hire her in the first place?

The Many Lives of John Stone is an unusual book. Told in multiple dimensions and through two main characters, it is a story unlike any other I have read.

With a very slow start and a writing style truly unique in voice, it took me a bit to get into it but once there, it wasn't hard to read on and want to know the rest of the story. 

Sadly this was not a time travel story but rather you traveled back in time through the entries of a diary, and while somewhat disappointed at that, I did enjoy the diary entries.

It was fascinating to learn about court life in France and the history buff in me couldn't help but gravitate towards those entries more than anything else. Especially as the story unfolded and we really got to know who John Stone is.

While sometimes wordy in description, the story did have a unique take on the overall plot of the story and in the end, I did end up enjoying this more than I initially thought I would. 

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Review: We'll Never Be Apart by Emiko Jean

Title: We'll Never Be Apart
Author: Emiko Jean
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: HMH Books For Young Readers (October 6, 2015)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Mystery/Thriller
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:



That’s all seventeen-year-old Alice Monroe thinks about. Committed to a mental ward at Savage Isle, Alice is haunted by memories of the fire that killed her boyfriend, Jason. A blaze her twin sister Cellie set. But when Chase, a mysterious, charismatic patient, agrees to help her seek vengeance, Alice begins to rethink everything. Writing out the story of her troubled past in a journal, she must confront hidden truths.

Is the one person she trusts only telling her half the story? Nothing is as it seems in this edge-of-your-seat psychological thriller from the debut author Emiko Jean.

I adore stories where the narrator is unreliable or where things aren't quite what they seem and in We'll Never Be Apart, Jean manages to portray both elements of unreliability and the feeling that you know a twist is coming. That things aren't quite right and at any moment they will turn for the worst. 

Woven with sly hints and foreshadowing as the story progresses from Alice's point of view to her journal entries, this was done well. Captivating as much as it was interesting, this was a story that I quickly read in a few short hours. 

And while I did see the ending coming, the twist for what it was, this was still a really fun read that is worthy of the YA mystery thriller title. 

I had a lot of fun with this and the characters were both engaging and well fleshed out. I would pick up another book by this author without hesitation in the future.  

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Promotional Post: Sanyare by Megan

As most of you may remember I recently read and review Sanyare by Megan Haskell and was so impressed with it, see my review HERE for those of you that might have missed it.

I couldn't resist this opportunity to tell you that for today only, her book Sanyare, will be on sale for the low price of only $.99 which is a huge steal so don't miss your chance to grab this while you can!!

Also, with Something Wicked right around the corner once again this October, she will also be doing a guest post all about the fun pixies and a fabulous giveaway so don't miss that either! You guys are going to love this fun series. It has so many wonderful elements that I love in fantasy and a whole unique spin on those paranormal creatures we all know about and love.

Title: Sanyare
Author: Megan Haskell
Series: Book One in the Last Descendant Series
Published By: Trabuco Ridge Press (February 16, 2015)
Source: Copy Provided by the Author (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: Fantasy

Book Description:

When friends become enemies and enemies become friends, who’s left to trust? 

Trained as an elite fighter and educated in the ways of the elves, Nuriel “Rie” Lhethannien has worked decades to be accepted into the High Court messenger service. It’s a simple enough occupation, but in a realm where humans are treated as little better than slaves, it’s a position she’ll do anything to protect. 

On a routine delivery in the Human Realm, Rie is attacked by assassins from the enemy Shadow Realm and framed as a traitor. Facing execution at the hand of an unmerciful king, she evades capture and crosses the portal into enemy lands to prove her innocence. 

Surprising allies arise from the shadows, assisting her search and uncovering secrets she didn’t know she kept. With the risk of discovery lurking at every turn, Rie must use every weapon in her arsenal — and some she didn’t know she possessed — to uncover the truth behind the attack. Along the way, she discovers she might not be as human as she was led to believe, and her heritage could be more dangerous than she ever imagined.

About the Author:

Legend has it, I was born with a book in my hands. When I was a kid, my mom would ground me from reading in order to get me to do my chores. To this day, I can readily ignore the real world in favor of the imaginary one lurking between the pages of my current addiction. My dad — also an avid reader — introduced me to Tolkien in my late elementary years, and I never looked back. I love escaping to worlds where magic and monsters are real, especially stories with kick-butt heroines and dangerously attractive heroes. 

Despite my voracious book appetite, I didn’t start creative writing until I was working as a number cruncher in a big accounting firm. With an hour plus commute by train every day, and a demanding left-brain occupation, I needed a mobile creative outlet. A pen and paper are about as mobile as it gets! As the pages began to fill, I quickly moved onto a tiny laptop, and a writer was born. Now I get to create my own fantasies!

I currently live in Southern California with my wonderfully supportive husband, two daughters, and a ridiculously energetic dog. 


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Review: These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly

Title: These Shallow Graves
Author: Jennifer Donnelly
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Random House (October 27, 2015)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Historical Mystery/Thriller
My Rating: 3.5 Stars

Book Description:
Set in gilded age New York, These Shallow Graves follows the story of Josephine Montfort, an American aristocrat. Jo lives a life of old-money ease. Not much is expected of her other than to look good and marry well. But when her father dies due to an accidental gunshot, the gilding on Jo’s world starts to tarnish. With the help of a handsome and brash reporter, and a young medical student who moonlights in the city morgue, Jo uncovers the truth behind her father’s death and learns that if you’re going to bury the past, you’d better bury it deep.

If there is one thing you can count on with me, is that I love to read about the 19th century. I have said it many times before but there is just something to be said about a strong minded, strong willed feisty girl living in a time when she wasn't suppose to be anything but quiet, well bread, and demure. 

Throw in a irresistible murder mystery, a handsome rogue and it was a story that was doubly hard for me to say no to. 

I'm so glad I read this. I really did enjoy every single thing about it but especially Jo herself. She was everything I was hoping she would be from the synopsis, strong, fierce, brave, feisty, determined, and a woman that wasn't to be shunted and locked away.

And while this wasn't quite the creepy read I was seriously hoping it would be based on the cover, it did have it's suspenseful moments and I did thoroughly enjoy it. 

This was well written, easy paced, character and mystery driven and just enough romance to keep you interested. I do wish the ending hadn't been quite so open ended with a few things left to the imagination but it also left it open to a possible sequel, which I truly would love to see and read.

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

Monday, September 21, 2015

Review: Dr. Mutter's Marvels by Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz

Title: Dr. Mutter's Marvels
Author: Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Gotham (September 4, 2014)
Source: Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: Biography/Historic (Fictionalized)
My Rating: 4 Stars

Book Description:
A mesmerizing biography of the brilliant and eccentric medical innovator who revolutionized American surgery and founded the country’s most famous museum of medical oddities

Imagine undergoing an operation without anesthesia performed by a surgeon who refuses to sterilize his tools—or even wash his hands. This was the world of medicine when Thomas Dent Mütter began his trailblazing career as a plastic surgeon in Philadelphia during the middle of the nineteenth century.

Although he died at just forty-eight, Mütter was an audacious medical innovator who pioneered the use of ether as anesthesia, the sterilization of surgical tools, and a compassion-based vision for helping the severely deformed, which clashed spectacularly with the sentiments of his time.

Brilliant, outspoken, and brazenly handsome, Mütter was flamboyant in every aspect of his life. He wore pink silk suits to perform surgery, added an umlaut to his last name just because he could, and amassed an immense collection of medical oddities that would later form the basis of Philadelphia’s Mütter Museum.

I can honestly say I have never read a book quite like this one before. 

Fiction and fact, blended together so seamlessly that it is sometimes hard to tell them apart. To know when something was fictionalized from dramatic sake or because it really happened.

Either way, this book was quite interesting. No, quite fascinating and dare I say, even fun?

Once again I find myself in unfamiliar territory with this read. Something I never would have picked up on my own but truly enjoyed. 

I confess that I knew nothing about Dr. Thomas Mutter but am now quite curious about his life work and all the medical advances he made throughout his career. In fact, I would love to visit Philadelphia and see the museum that was erected in his honor and all the oddities that live there. 

The author did a fabulous job blended the fact with the fiction and making this read not only somewhat mesmerizing, but entertaining as well. I truly had fun learning about this remarkable professor and doctor and all that he had to offer the world, some of which, is still practiced today.

If you are looking for a different kind of historical read, then this is the read for you. 

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

Friday, September 18, 2015

Review: Dreamland by Robert L. Anderson

Title: Dreamland
Author: Robert L. Anderson
Series: Stand Alone w/Possible Sequel
Published By: HarperTeen (September 22, 2015)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
My Rating: 3 Stars

Book Description:
Odea Donahue has been able to travel through people’s dreams since she was six years old. Her mother taught her the three rules of walking: Never interfere. Never be seen. Never walk the same person’s dream more than once. Dea has never questioned her mother, not about the rules, not about the clocks or the mirrors, not about moving from place to place to be one step ahead of the unseen monsters that Dea’s mother is certain are right behind them.

Then a mysterious new boy, Connor, comes to town and Dea finally starts to feel normal. As Connor breaks down the walls that she’s had up for so long, he gets closer to learning her secret. For the first time she wonders if that’s so bad. But when Dea breaks the rules, the boundary between worlds begins to deteriorate. How can she know what’s real and what’s not? 

Anderson's debut novel Dreamland is an imaginative read that after only a few short chapters piqued my interest and quickly made me want to know more about Dea and what she could do as well as the dream world itself. 

This turned out to be more than just a fantasy read. In fact it is woven with mystery after mystery and even became a bit creepy as Dea became more and more immersed in the dream world and all that entailed with the monsters, men, and other beings that inhabited it.

The heart of the story was in the dream world itself. In Dea's abilities and what they all meant. And while some things were explained, not everything was. I do wish the author would have spent a bit more time fleshing out the fascinating world and what it all meant, especially with the twist towards the end, but overall, this was a fun and interesting story that was perfect to read over a weekend or in a few hours in between books for something fresh and different. 

The ending was a bit abrupt but I am guessing that is because this will be part of a series, considering all that was left undone and unsaid, at least, I certainly hope so. 

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Review: Crossed by Eliza Crewe

Title: Crossed
Author: Eliza Crewe
Series: Book Three in the Soul Eaters Trilogy
Published: August 17, 2015
Source: Purchased
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:
War is here.

Full-scale war has erupted between the Crusaders and demons and even Chi has to admit isn’t going well. Like any sensible rat, Meda’s eager to abandon the sinking ship but, unfortunately, her friends aren't nearly as pragmatic. Instead, Meda’s forced to try to keep them all alive until the dust settles.

As the Crusaders take more and more drastic measures, the tables turn and Meda suddenly finds herself in the role of voice of sanity. No one is more horrified than she is. When old enemies reappear as new allies and old friends become new enemies Meda has to decide—again—whose side she’s really on.

And then the Crusaders decide that Meda should go to Hell. Literally.

Can't a monster even catch a break?

This has to be one of my most  favorite, underrated series out there. Meda is the ultimate anti-heroine that you can't help but fall in love with. From her bad girl ways to her snarky sarcastic humor, she truly is a lovable character that warms your heart as much as she terrifies you with her evil ways.

I have loved this series from the very beginning and that love has only grown with each new release and I was so very excited to see how Crewe would pull it all together and more than anything, I couldn't wait to see how our evil lovable half demon, would handle it all. 

Crewe pulled this off beautifully. I had so much darn fun reading this that it truly was hard to put down. Laundry could wait. Cleaning the house could wait, heck blogging was put on hold, all so I could race to the end and see how it came togther, and let me tell you, I don't regret it at all. I loved the way it ended. 

The whole last installment just worked. It worked for the characters, it worked for the arc of the storyline and most of all, it fit with what I pictured for Meda and what her future, what her destiny would ultimately be.

I couldn't be happier with what happened and with the way it ended. I don't want to say more because I think I might have already said too much but let me at least say this, if you love a good anti-heroine, someone born to be bad but lovable. Meda is your girl. This series, is your series. Read it, love it, devour it. You won't regret it. 

Wonderful writing, wonderful characters, and a very satisfying conclusion all make this one heck of a trilogy. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

WoW Pick of the Week

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It is a chance to share those new releases were are super anxious to get our hands on and read.

I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am for this last installment in the Red Rising series. This series took me by surprise with how much I loved it. I never expected to love this genre and I do, so much now and I owe a lot of it to this series and Brown's amazing writing abilities. I am so excited you guys! I can't wait! Have you tried this series yet? If so, what did you think?

Book Description:
Born a lowly Red in the mines of Mars, Darrow lost his beloved wife to the treacherous Gold overlords. Vowing to fight for the future that his wife believed in, Darrow joins a secret revolutionary group and is remade into a Gold so that he can infiltrate the ruling class and bring them down from the inside. Now, after years of hiding amongst the Golds, Darrow is finally ready to declare open revolution and throw off the chains of oppression. Nothing in Darrow’s world has been easily won, and this final fight will be the most harrowing of all.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Review: The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich

Title: The Dead House
Author: Dawn Kurtagich
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Little Brown Books for Children (September 15, 2015)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Horror/Thriller
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:
Over two decades have passed since the fire at Elmbridge High, an inferno that took the lives of three teenagers. Not much was known about the events leading up to the tragedy - only that one student, Carly Johnson, vanished without a trace...

...until a diary is found hidden in the ruins.

But the diary, badly scorched, does not belong to Carly Johnson. It belongs to Kaitlyn Johnson, a girl who shouldn't exist Who was Kaitlyn? Why did she come out only at night? What is her connection to Carly?

The case has been reopened. Police records are being reexamined: psychiatric reports, video footage, text messages, e-mails. And the diary.

The diary that paints a much more sinister version of events than was ever made publicly known. 

One thing that can be said about this time of year, is that it is full of wonderful creepy, crazy stories and The Dead House, definitely fits in with that description. 

This book was, to say the least, unique in every way imaginable. From the content, to the setting, to the unreliable narrative to the secondary characters that can't be trusted. Where everyone's sanity is questioned and the mystery itself it just that, mysterious and sometimes hard to decipher. 

It has been hours since I have finished this and my thoughts and feelings are still all over the place. I'm not quite sure what to think about it all. From Kaitie to Carly, to Ari to Brett, it was all just weird, but, in a really good, crazy, messed up, kind of way. 

Told from journal entries, to interviews, to video footage, this truly was an interesting read with the twisty narrative and facts that were every bit as unreliable as the two main characters. Possession, ghosts, curses, murder, and danger, are just a few of the plot twists waiting for you inside this read.

Creepy and imaginative and sometimes downright scary, this definitely kept my on my toes and flipping the pages. And even though my thoughts and feelings are still a big jumbled mess, I will say that this was a fun and entertaining read that kept me wanting more as much as it did guessing. 

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*