Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Waiting On Wednesday #84!!


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted at Breaking The Spine  that spotlights those can't-wait-to-get-my-hands-on-them books that we are eagerly awaiting!

What am I hopping-impatiently-till-it-downloads-to-my-kindle this week? Burning Kingdoms by Lauren DeStefan!!




Goodreads Summary:

"Danger descends in the second book of The Internment Chronicles, from the New York Times bestselling author of The Chemical Garden trilogy.

After escaping Internment, Morgan and her fellow fugitives land on the ground to finally learn about the world beneath their floating island home.

The ground is a strange place where water falls from the sky as snow, and people watch moving pictures and visit speakeasies. A place where families can have as many children as they want, their dead are buried in vast gardens of bodies, and Internment is the feature of an amusement park.

It is also a land at war.

Everyone who fled Internment had their own reasons to escape their corrupt haven, but now they’re caught under the watchful eye of another king who wants to dominate his world. They may have made it to the ground, but have they dragged Internment with them?"



Why am I eagerly awaiting Burning Kingdoms? Well, the first book was so intriguing and then the end left us with a curve ball and I cannot wait to read where the story will take us next!

What are you all (im)patiently awaiting this week?

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Xpresso Book Tours Book Blitz & Giveaway: Aurora Sky: Hunting Season by Nikki Jefford!!


 Hello everyone!!

Welcome to release week's Book Blitz for Aurora Sky: Hunting Season by Nikki Jefford, organized and hosted by Xpresso Book Tours!

Let me introduce you to the book and author!



Hunting Season by Nikki Jefford
(Aurora Sky: Vampire Hunter #4)
Publication date: March 3rd 2015
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult

Synopsis:
Better to be a hunter, not prey.
Ever since her partner was kidnapped, Aurora Sky has been on a personal mission to get him back. To do that she needs the vampire responsible for destroying her life.
In order to have a snowball’s chance at success, she’ll have to team up with her most loyal friends—including a certain vampire in black with a provoking talent for distraction.
Old cravings aren’t easily quenched, nor past passions. With knowledge comes danger and Aurora is at risk on all sides.




https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21806047-hunting-season







There's also a very cool promotion going on for preorders and release week purchases! A free bonus story all about Dante!


Night of the Living Dante (Cover by Najla Qamber Designs)

Dante has just been assigned Aurora Sky's mentor. Before they meet, he goes on a mission in the Alaska Interior with his old partner and informant, Janine. Full of thrills, chills, and... Dante!
Bonus story at the back of Hunting Season on all pre-orders and release week sales. Ends: March 9. Don’t miss out on Dante’s mission.













 About the author:

 Bookaholic, nature girl, and animal lover.

Nikki Jefford is a third generation Alaskan who found paradise in the not-so-tropical San Juan Islands (WA) where she is, once more, neighbors with Canada in a town without a single traffic light.

She married the love of her life, Sebastien, while working as a teaching assistant in France. They reside with their Westie, Cosmo in Friday Harbor.

Loves fictional bad boys and heroines who kick butt.









Monday, March 2, 2015

Last List Blog Hop: Q&A with Bree Despain!!



Hello guys!

Today I'm extremely pleased to take part of the Last List Blog Hop for the Egmont USA authors organized by the awesome ladies at Cuddlebuggery! Isn't that banner a beauty? Done by the Cuddlebuggery ladies too!

When I heard about the closing of Egmont USA I was extremely sad because so many authors were gonna be left high and dry with books they had worked so had end up unpublished, so when I found out that this blog hop was taking place, I didn't want to miss it.

I'm hosting Bree Despain for a Q&A session and I'm also showcasing the two books of her Into the Dark series, one published, one to be published if all goes well on May 12th!

And I'll have have a giveaway for a signed copy of The Shadow Prince open international by then end of the post!!



The Shadow Prince by Bree Despain

Haden Lord, the disgraced prince of the Underrealm, has been sent to the mortal world to entice a girl into returning with him to the land of the dead. Posing as a student at Olympus Hills High—a haven for children of the rich and famous—Haden must single out the one girl rumored to be able to restore immortality to his race.

Daphne Raines has dreams much bigger than her tiny southern Utah town, so when her rock star dad suddenly reappears, offering her full tuition to Olympus Hills High’s prestigious music program, she sees an opportunity to catch the break she needs to make it as a singer. But upon moving into her estranged father’s mansion in California, and attending her glamorous new school, Daphne soon realizes she isn’t the only student in Olympus who doesn’t quite belong.

Haden and Daphne—destined for each other—know nothing of the true stakes their fated courtship entails.  As war between the gods brews, the teenagers’ lives collide. But Daphne won’t be wooed easily and when it seems their prophesied link could happen, Haden realizes something he never intended—he’s fallen in love. Now to save themselves, Haden and Daphne must rewrite their destinies. But as their destinies change, so do the fates of both their worlds.

A pulsating romance of epic proportions, Bree Despain’s The Shadow Prince will leave her fans breathless for the next book in the Into The Dark series.


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16150914-the-shadow-prince



The Eternity Key by Bree Despain

Scheduled for release on May 12, 2015
Fan-favorite author Bree Despain continues her modern-day romance trilogy inspired by the Greek myth of Persephone and Hades with this second book in her Into the Dark series. 

Haden Lord, the disgraced Prince of the Underrealm, has chosen love over honor and will do everything in his power to protect Daphne Raines, the human girl he was supposed to bring to the Underrealm. Haden’s choice is put to the test as the Skylords and a figure from his past arrive in Olympus Hills with a plan that could destroy all of the realms.

Embracing her destiny as the Cypher, Daphne begins to understand the immense power of her musical ability to control the elements, but she must come to terms with her feelings for Haden and what she must sacrifice in order to protect him and her friends.

Believing the Key of Hades is the only thing that can stop the Underrealm Court from releasing the monstrous Keres on the mortal world, Haden, Daphne, and their friends set out to find the Key before Persephone’s Gate opens again on the spring equinox.


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18053984-the-eternity-key?ac=1





 Q&A with Bree Despain


1.- Greek mythology has been used as inspiration many times before, but how did you choose to go the route with the lords of the Underworld and finding the Oracle? It was such a great mix of Hades & Persephone and also Eurydice & Orpheus! Did you choose the myth first? Or did the idea for the story came first?

 The idea for the book came from the Death Cab for Cutie song "I will follow you into the dark." I used to be obsessed with the song and would play it on a loop. To me, it's a song about following someone into the unknown for the sake of love. I found myself pondering over who would do such a thing. I'm a big mythology buff so it was only natural this line of thinking led me to both the Persephone and Hades myth and the story of Eurydice and Orpheus. Both are about people who ventured into the unknown. And then I started thinking about what it would be like to be someone who had to ask someone else to follow them into the dark. What a difficult task! This brought me to my main character, Haden, and the rest of the story came from there.


2. - How did you choose music to be Daphne's main motivation and the way for Haden to connect with her? I really enjoyed to see their relationship developing with music as common ground.

 The musical aspects of the story came from the Orpheus myth. I love that Orpheus was able to use music as a superpower and I wanted to explore that with Daphne's character. She's also partially based on a relative of mine who relates to the world almost completely through music and sound--it's kind of like a form of musical OCD. My relative is very talented and passionate about music and I wanted to find a way to use this aspect as an advantage rather than a disability. On the flip side, Haden comes from a world where music is forbidden, but in order for him to get to know Daphne, he needs to "meet her where she is" so to speak, and has to delve into her musical world in order to get to know her. I liked the idea of adding a forbidden aspect to what he is doing, even though to us, learning how to sing or play a guitar would seem pretty innocent. In order to get close to Daphne, he has to slowly turn his back on the way his world has taught him to be a man.


3.- The way the Lords of the Underrealm are structured reminded me a lot of the Spartan society, was that a conscious choice on your side or something that developed organically?

 Yes, I definitely drew on the Spartan society for influence when creating the Underlords. I really loved the idea of writing about a character who has been trained to be a warrior from a very young age, and taught to suppress his emotions in favor of being stoic. It was even more fun to take that character and plunk him down in the middle of a modern day high school and see what happens!  


4.- I have the ARC of book 2 in my Kindle and I'm really looking forward to read it since I cannot wait to see what's in store for the characters since they're now on the run from two factions! Are they meeting any new allies to balance things out a bit? Any new Greek myths being introduced?

 Yes to both! Let's just say that I had some fun with the myth of Psyche and Cupid in this book.  (I couldn't resist since there is a Valentines dance that plays an important part in the plot.) 


Thank you so much for your answers, Bree!

 Thank you for the great interview questions! Each one was very thoughtful!


 About the author:

Bree Despain is the author of the Dark Divine trilogy and the upcoming Into The Dark trilogy.  Bree rediscovered her childhood love for creating stories when she took a semester off college to write and direct plays for at-risk, inner-city teens from Philadelphia and New York. She currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with her husband, two young sons, and her beloved TiVo.









Giveaway

I'm gonna keep things very simple this time for the giveaway! It's offered by Bree herself and it's a signed copy of the first book: The Shadow Prince.

And YES! It's open INTERNATIONAL! 

All you have guys to do is answer the following question in the comments!:

What is your favourite Greek Myth? And why?



 

Mark This Book Monday: ARC Review of Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop!!!

Hey again guys!

The second Mark This Book Monday entry of this week is one of my recent favourites and a series that has also become a firm all time favourite!

I was beyond surprised and giddy when I was approved for this one by Penguin via NetGalley (THANK YOU!!) and as an ARC it counts as part of my 105 Challenge and my books for review category!





Vision in Silver (The Others, #3)Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Another absolute winner. What a series this is shaping up to be! Everything gets bigger and the stakes get higher but at the same time everything gets more personal and intimate! The next book cannot come out soon enough!

I must warn you all that I might end up spilling some spoilers about book 1 and 2 and probably even don't realize about it, so if you haven't started this series SHOOOO GO GRAB THE FIRST TWO BOOKS AND READ THEM! I can promise I'll try my best to not spoil anything about this one, but just in case, tread with caution!

After The Others taking things into their own hands (and paws and other apendages) and making sure the cassandra sangue were freed from their prisons and the Controller being no longer a threat, they're left with the question of how to care for the girls that have been treated only as property, have been bred and raised for prophecy and have been kept away from the outside world all their lives. And the Other and their allies are utterly unprepared to help them and deal with them.

That's where our Meg, the only cassandra sangue ever to space and make a life for herself out there is the only one that can help. Her coping mechanisms and ways to deal with stimuli and change and new things will become the template for the Others and the Inuit to help the rest of the cassandra sangue to survive.

But that's not our only plot point, we still have the Courtyard politics and the way they interact with the humans in the city and their newly formed "human pack" consisting of Meg's friends and to some extent the police task force that always interacts with them. And seems that the terra indigene have decided that they will make sure to show humans that they will protect those that treat them fairly even from their fellow humans.

We also get a deeper look at the plan hatched by the Humans First and Last movement and that's possible thanks to the personal connections that detective Montgomery unwittingly had. The plot thickens as the adagio goes and not only we discover the lies that most of the population has been fed the past months but also the reasons for the lies, how they made those lies real and although we can't know for sure yet, the suspected reasons behind it all. There's corruption, lies and murder all around the fanatism of the HFAL and their way of branding those that are not part of their movement with the "wolf lover" as a slur and as a way of discriminating against them reminded me a bit of the Nazi branding of the Jews.

It seems so easy for the humans to forget that the world they're living in is shared with the Others, but only because the Others allow it. Those living in big cities forget that not far from the city limits they're nothing but prey. We learn so much more about the whole world, from how the Others are situated around the human settlements, to a lil of information of those areas that are really wild and untouched in any way by the humans and where some of the wildest terra indigene live, those that have no knowledge or regard whatsoever for the humans.

I love how Merri Lee and Ruthie become real friends for Meg and how they help her understand her way of dealing with things as a cassandra sangue, and how they are so supportive of her. I love how they form the "human pack" and they become respected by the terra indigene for that. Simon decides that since he's got experience with humans that respect the terra indigene and want to interact with them as more than just a curiosity, he needs to protect them and show how that's a new way for both species to live.

We have two new characters added to the already extensive cast, two cassandra sangue, Jean and the girl that loves colours. Through them both we learn some new tidbits about the cassandra sangue, new ways to see their perspective about their gift/curse and the way to try and live in a place where all the rules and truths they were told no longer apply. I don't know how Anne Bishop does it, but all the characters from main to secondary are so nuanced and so well constructed! None of them seem like fillers at any point!

And the relationship between Simon and Meg... it must be one of the slowest burns in a series but it's just so right for them! The pace couldn't be faster and still be true to the characters! Simon is terra indigene and he needs to accept that he might care for a human which is a huge shift on perspective for him. And Meg... Meg is so scared of change, so unsure about everything about the outside world. Baby steps in the only way for them to progress, and I really love how they end up asking for advice about their relationship to couples, even if they don't realize what kind of advice they're really asking for!

I was immensely lucky to read this book in advance, but oh boy, this those final revelations and ultimatum, the wait for the next book is gonna be absolute torture.

This series achieves a very rare feat in which each books keeps getting better than the previous one, keeps progressing the plot and making it more complex, offering more world building, developing characters and adding new ones that never fill like fillers. All the stars to this one!!



View all my reviews

Mark This Book Monday: The Return by Jennifer L Armentrout!!

Hello there!

Happy Monday guys! This week I'm quite excited because I'm finally seeing my apartment for the first time! And to start the week right I'm having the first entry for this week's Mark This Book Monday!

This first book is counted towards two of my challenges, its the very first book counted towards my 2015 Mythology Reading Challenge (finally!!) and also counted towards my 2015 Releases category in the 105 Challenge!







The Return (Titan, #1)The Return by Jennifer L. Armentrout

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


The Covenant series was my first forey into the JLA books and given that they deal with Greek mythology and have great humour, amazing chemistry and romance and plenty of action and political intrigue!

Alex was a great main character and I was a Team Aiden through and through, so when I heard that we were getting a spin-off with Seth as a main character, I was both very excited to go back to the Covenant world and a bit wary wondering about what Seth we'll get to see.

We meet Seth still on a bit of a self-hate spiral, focusing only on doing what the Gods tell him and seem to revel on the bloodbath. Then he gets a different mission from our favourite and most irritating god, Apollo. He needs to protect a human and bring them to safety. And that becomes the biggest challenge he could have ever imagined!

I wasn't Seth's biggest fan on Covenant but I really become to appreciate him now that we get to see his POV. How broken he is after all his actions and how he feels like he deserves whatever torture comes his way and he fights and kills to ignore the pain. And his journey is quite an unexpected one!

We meet Josie in college, where she is trying to keep up with her school work while dealing with the news of her mother's relapse into her mental health issues, and then she's thrown head first into a world she never knew about, fighting for her life and getting her head to wrap around the fact that she really isn't going nuts and her mum really was not crazy.

Seth is not the only character we meet again, because of course Apollo is back, and I must confess I have a big soft post for him! Every interaction between Seth and Apollo ends up being hilarious one way or another, and Apollo always manages to make me smile/snort/giggle. We also meet Deacon and Luke again, and I'm so happy that they're there for both Seth and Josie, even if they might have not been Seth's biggest fans at some point.

Josie is such a trooper! She understandably freaks about her new life and does a few stupid things here and there, but nothing difficult to understand while she's still wrapping her head around about her new situation, and I love how she wants to take some control back into her own hands, and she decides to train and learn how to fit.

The interactions between Seth and Josie have a fantastic back and forth and amazing banter and oh boy, the chemistry those two have... scorching!! JLA knows how to write romp scenes for sure because oh boy!! *fans self*

This was a fantastic first book for the new series, and I'm quite looking forward to see what will come next, and hoping we'll meet a few more old friends along the way. Very well deserved 4 stars for this one!



View all my reviews

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Saturday Pages: Pointe by Brandy Colbert!!!

Hello guys!

This week's Saturday Pages comes a lil later than usual because I finished this book so late last night that I was too tired to write the review upon finishing it and I needed to let the whole book sink in a bit.

It is February's Alyssa Recommends book and since that is one of the categories in my 105 Challenge, it is counted towards it, as well as my 2015 Debut Author Challenge, since it was a 2014 debut.







PointePointe by Brandy Colbert

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Pointe was one of my Alyssa Recommends books, and this month I felt like reading it, because I've been more drawn to anything and everything with ballet references as of late.

Theo is a normal teenager on the surface, dedicate to her love for ballet and doing well enough at school, going out to parties with her friends, and with one or two not so unhealthy habits. But very soon we see there's so much more in the past that we don't know, and the fa├žade of Theo doing well starts crumbling once a ground-shaking event happens, her best friend Dononvan who was abducted/kidnapped 4 years ago, when they both were 13, has been found and returned home.

With Donovan's return and the revelation of who his captor was, Theo has her world shaken to the foundation, and she finds herself slipping to an already known spiral for her, the same one she fell into 4 years ago, when her then boyfriend left without a trace and her best friend disappeared.

This book deals with a lot of tough subjects and doesn't pull any punches when it comes to bad language, eating disorders, sexual relationships, drug usage, rape and abuse. It also has positive relationships with friends and parents, safe environments and a main character that undergoes a lot of growth all through the book.

Theo is not a perfect character by any means, she has many unresolved issues and the one that requires more work is the fact that she doesn't see herself as a victim, even if her eating disorder was a desperate bid for control when she felt she had none, she always kept her secret and she refused to think that there was anything wrong with it, and once it really sinked in for me what had been going on between her and her "boyfriend"... I felt like I had been punched!

This book is definitely gritty and shows us a face that might one to ignore, the fact that teenagers do have sex, that even regular good teenagers that do have a drive and love for something so demanding like ballet can still do drugs occasionally, can be at risk in ways their parents can't suspect no matter how they try to protect them, and one of the best lessons from this book is how Theo's parents may not know what is going on, but they do take action, they are there for her daughter and remind her of that, they're not oblivious, but if you don't feel like you need help or if you don't know if you deserve the help... you are the one that will need to take the first step and you need to confide in someone at some point.

Despite what a tough book this is, it ends with a lot of hope, with Theo being the one to ask for help once she realizes she needs it, Theo learning to be strong enough on her own and not expecting someone else's appreciation to make her special. She decides that no one can heal her unless she does it herself, and that is a wonderful message of hope.

A brilliant debut, so tough, beautiful and poignant, very well deserved of 4 to 4.5 stars for sure! I'll be looking forward for more books from this author!







View all my reviews

Friday, February 27, 2015

Friday Reads: Mrs Frisby and The Rats of NIMH!!

Hey there guys!

Happy Friday! This week's Friday Reads is once again this month's The Midnight Garden Classic MG & YA book! I'm so very happy to continue with this challenge and even more since this month for the first time, it was a re-read for me too!





Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (Puffin Modern Classics)Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I continue to take part of the Classic MG & YA challenge hosted by the ladies of The Midnight Garden and this month's book was for the first time since I joined, a re-read!

I read Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH when I was still in primary school and I think it was one of the first books I got from the public library as opposed to getting it from my school's library.

To be perfectly honest I didn't remember all that much about the book, to my shame, even if of course I knew I had read it and a very general idea. But once I started reading it I kept remembering the feelings that the book evoked in me, all those years ago!

Our main character is Mrs Frisby, a widowed mouse that is taken care of her four children on her own, and finds herself in a very tough position, where she needs to find a way to move to her summer house without it costing her the life of her younger & frail and sick child, Timothy. She finds herself getting help from unexpected allies, like a crow and an owl and finally the most unique and intelligent rats.

I remember being extremely fascinated by the rats and their past and I was equally fascinated this time around! It's fantastic how based on reality the whole labs of NIMH were, with the trials of different serums, the control group, the learning techniques with the mazes. How they were rather smart animals to begin with and how they began to improve and become more and more intelligent, plotting and planning and learning to read. I have a serious soft spot for characters in books that love reading!

I loved how strong a character our Mrs Frisby was! She was tough and kind and brave and knew how to get over her fear to do what she felt was right! The book was full of wonderful lessons like how kidness can be returned to you tenfold, how you need to make something of your own instead of simply taking the easiest way out, and it never felt preachy, which is quite an achievement!

This book really made me cheer for the rodents and hope for an alternative society of intelligent beings that were not humans. I must say that thinking about it now, this book is plenty dark and scary with the themes it deals with, but the main feelings I remember were of fascination and wonder!

A great book that was a lovely re-read for me! 4 well deserved stars!



View all my reviews

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Reader's Lounge Book Club February: The Boy Next Door by Katie Van Ark!

 Hello guys! This Thursday is a special kind of Thursday, because I'm having an extra review included since this month is shorter and I don't have enough days to get everything done!

I'm having the review for February's book for my book club, The Reader's Lounge Book Club and also an ARC that I got from NetGalley! Thank you so much Emma for being amazing!

Since it's an ARC it's also part of my 105 Challenge and part of my books for review category!







The Boy Next DoorThe Boy Next Door by Katie Van Ark

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


The Boy Next Door was February's book for the Reader's Lounge (the book club I'm part of) and even though I started following pace, I ended up finishing it too fast because I needed to know what happened!

I found it a fun and quick read, that kept me turning the pages because I wanted to know when Gabe would finally get his shit together, and what was going on with Maddy's dad!

I absolutely adored everything that was about ice skating in this book, the training, the choosing of a new program with the choreography and the music. I've always loved watching ice skating (even if I cannot skate on ice or otherwise to save my life) and I know all the terms pretty well, so it was super easy to follow those parts of the book, and I feel I was as excited as Maddy to try for the triple Axel!

The relationship between Maddy and Gabe was alternatively sweet and frustrating for me. I liked that Maddy was proactive and knew what she wanted, but I really was irritated that Gabe kept on going on the secret thing and she went along with it. I was glad to have Gabe's POV because it kept me from wanting to punch him, because I could see how torn he was and how he thought he wasn't good enough for Maddy.

If the book would have only been about the skating and their relationship, it would have been enough, but then we had some added drama with Maddy's dad, and I feel like it was too much. It's also quite puzzling that give my line of work, I didn't guess what was going on at all!

What I really liked was that despite the drama and the hot and cold, both sounded like rather real teenagers, and I'm glad that the book was very sex positive, presented as something natural and showing how important consent and being sure about what you want is.

Not so in love with this one as I was with January's book, but very much worth the read for all the the ice skating bits! 3 to 3.5 stars to this one!




View all my reviews