Wednesday, November 30, 2011

2012 Releases: January 31 - Feb. 6, 2012

Home Front by Kristin Hannah
Release Date:  January 31,2012

From Goodreads:  From a distance, Michael and Joleen Zarkades seem to have it all: a solid marriage, two exciting careers, and children they adore.  But after twelve years together, the couple has lost their way; they are unhappy and edging toward divorce.  Then the Iraq war starts.  An unexpected deployment will tear their already fragile family apart, sending one of them deep into harm’s way and leaving the other at home, waiting for news.   When the worst happens, each must face their darkest fear and fight for the future of their family.  An intimate look at the inner landscape of a disintegrating marriage and a dramatic exploration of the price of war on a single American family, HOME FRONT is a provocative and timely portrait of hope, honor, loss, forgiveness, and the elusive nature of love.

 Destiny and Deception (13 to Life #4) by Shannon Delaney
Release Date:  January 31, 2012

From Goodreads:  The sensational fourth novel in the 13 to Life series sees Jessica and the Rusakuvas fighting to overcome one of their biggest challenges yet--the possibility of a cure for lycanthropy.   With the threat of the mafia seemingly gone and the company's headquarters in Junction destroyed, Pietr Rusakova is adjusting to being a normal teen and Jess is realizing normalcy may not be what she wanted after all. But both Jess and Cat know the truth--that normal can't be taken for granted. Their precious cure isn't permanent--and when a new danger stalks into their small town, Alexi decides he must overcome his issues with the mother who abandoned him to be raised by wolves and make a brand new deal to save his adopted family.

 New Girl by Paige Harbison
Release Date:  January 31, 2012

From Goodreads:  They call me 'New Girl'...

Ever since I arrived at exclusive, prestigious Manderly Academy, that’s who I am. New girl. Unknown. But not unnoticed—because of her.

Becca Normandy—that’s the name on everyone’s lips. The girl whose picture I see everywhere. The girl I can’t compare to. I mean, her going missing is the only reason a spot opened up for me at the academy.   And everyone stares at me like it’s my fault.

Except for Max Holloway—the boy whose name shouldn’t be spoken. At least, not by me. Everyone thinks of him as Becca’s boyfriend…but she’s gone, and here I am, replacing her. I wish it were that easy. Sometimes, when I think of Max, I can imagine how Becca’s life was so much better than mine could ever be.

And maybe she’s still out there, waiting to take it back.

 Incarnate (Newsoul #1) by Jodi Meadows
Release Date:  January 31, 2012

From Goodreads:  NEWSOUL
Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why.

Even Ana’s own mother thinks she’s a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she’ll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are suspicious and afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame?

Sam believes Ana’s new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana’s enemies—human and creature alike—let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else’s life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all? 

 Tangled (Torn Trilogy #2) BY Erica O'Rourke
Release Date:  January 31, 2012

From Goodreads:  Constance started to keen as the air around us began to thrash and twist, the caustic scent of ozone burning my nose. As I watched, her dark gold hair began to lift and kink into knots.

“I’m here. It’ll be okay.” It was the last thing I said before my best friend’s little sister went supernova in the second-floor girls’ bathroom, taking me with her.

A month ago, Mo Fitzgerald risked her life to stop an ancient prophecy and avenge her best friend's murder. Now, she only wants to keep her loved ones safe. But the magic—and the Chicago Mob—have other plans.

Mysterious, green-eyed Luc is back, asking for help—and a second chance. Colin, her strongest protector, is hiding a shocking secret. And inside Constance, the magic is about to go terribly wrong. Tangled in a web of love and betrayal, Mo must choose between the life she's dreamed of and the one she's destined for.

Angelina's Secret by Lisa Rogers
Release Date:  February 1, 2012

From Goodreads:  As a child, Angelina spent years in counseling learning that Josie, her imaginary friend, wasn't real, but it turns out her childhood friend wasn't imaginary after all.Now Angelina has to accept she's either (A) crazy or (B) able to see ghosts. Wanting to believe in her sanity, she chooses (B) and welcomes Josie back into her life. But even Josie can't help her deal with Shelly, the spirit of a confused teenager, and things go very, very wrong.When Angelina finds herself in a psychiatric hospital, she faces a choice: she can spend the rest of her life pretending to be someone she isn't, or she can embrace who she is and take a chance that she may never get to go home.

  Susanna Loves London by Mary Hogan
Release Date:  February 1, 2012

From Goodreads:  Goodbye, NYC! Hello, London! Susanna jets off to the UK to score an international scoop for Teen Scene magazine and dazzle her boss with her cunning, skill and wit.

 Hollow Pike by James Dawson
Release Date:  February 2,2012

From Goodreads:  Something wicked this way comes... She thought she'd be safe in the country, but you can't escape your own nightmares, and Lis London dreams repeatedly that someone is trying to kill her. Lis thinks she's being paranoid - after all who would want to murder her? She doesn't believe in the local legends of witchcraft. She doesn't believe that anything bad will really happen to her. You never do, do you? Not until you're alone in the woods, after dark - and a twig snaps... Hollow Pike - where witchcraft never sleeps.

 Harbinger by Sara Etienne
Release Date:  February 2, 2012

From Goodreads:  When sixteen-year-old Faye arrives at Holbrook Academy, she doesn’t expect to find herself exactly where she needs to be. After years of strange waking visions and nightmares, her only comfort the bones of dead animals, Faye is afraid she’s going crazy. Fast.

But her first night at Holbrook, she feels strangely connected to the school and the island it sits on, like she’s come home. She’s even made her first real friends, but odd things keep happening to them. Every morning they wake on the floors of their dorm rooms with their hands stained red. Faye knows she’s the reason, but what does it all mean? The handsome Kel tries to help her unravel the mystery, but Faye is certain she can’t trust him; in fact, he may be trying to kill her—and the rest of the world too. 

 Beneath a Meth Moon by Jacqueline Woodson
Release Date:  February 2, 2012

From Goodreads:  Laurel Daneau has moved on to a new life, in a new town, but inside she’s still reeling from the loss of her beloved mother and grandmother after Hurricane Katrina washed away their home. Laurel’s new life is going well, with a new best friend, a place on the cheerleading squad and T-Boom, co-captain of the basketball team, for a boyfriend. Yet Laurel is haunted by voices and memories from her past.

When T-Boom introduces Laurel to meth, she immediately falls under its spell, loving the way it erases, even if only briefly, her past. But as she becomes alienated from her friends and family, she becomes a shell of her former self, and longs to be whole again. With help from an artist named Moses and her friend Kaylee, she’s able to begin to rewrite her story and start to move on from her addiction. 

 This One Time with Julia by David Lampson
Release Date:  February 2, 2012

From Goodreads:  The story of Joe, a boy who can fall in love but can’t grow up

After Joe’s parents died, he stopped growing up. He doesn’t know where his money comes from. His diet consists primarily of cheeseburgers from McDonald’s. He plays basketball on the level of a pro, but he has only ever played on the streets.

Then his brother disappears, and Julia shows up. Joe falls in love with Julia as quickly as his twin brother, Alvin, did. And like Alvin did before him, he runs away with Julia to her parents’ hotel. There, he’s so blinded by her seductive, dysfunctional family that he can’t see the truth of his brother’s disappearance … until he accidentally stumbles upon Alvin’s killer.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Scarlett Dedd by Cathy Brett

Scarlett Dedd by Cathy Brett
Publisher:  Delacourte Books for Young Readers
Publish Date:  August 14, 2012
ISBN:  978-0385741750   
Pages:  288

I received this book from in exchange for an honest review.

What a fun, cute story!  It's not often that you come across a book for YA with such delightful illustrations!  Cathy Brett is not only an awesome author but a fine illustrator.

The story follows Scarlett as she talks about how she managed to find a few friends even though her family is dirt poor and they all wear second hand clothing and buy the outdated food at the grocery store.  Her friends share her love of gory movies and movie making.

One day Scarlett is reminded of a fieldtrip that she has to go on as part of her History class.  She decides she is absolutely not going, no matter what.  But she knows if she isn't actually ill, her parents will make her go.  So she gets a book on mushrooms and tries to find some to make her 'just a little' sick.  However, she fails to read the entire thing and ends up cooking a mushroom dinner that's toxic.  Unfortunately, she doesn't get time to take care of the dinner before she succumbs and her family ends up eating it too!  Now, she's STILL stuck with them!

Scarlett comes across as a typical teen - somewhat self-centered and doesn't think things through, with some snarky humor.  She and her friends have very definite personalities as do her parents and brother.  I laughed so much while reading this book!  I read it in the airport and on a flight, so got a few odd looks, but it really is that funny!

Scarlett learns how to use her ghostly skills in some pretty funny ways and she enjoys scaring the bejesus out of her friends.  She even learns that she can blog!  However, she's lonely and misses her friends, so she thinks (with a little push from another ghostly blogger) that she should kill them so they can all hang out again.  While not her best idea ever, she does come up with some pretty interesting ideas on how to off them.  Of course she eventually realizes that it's not ok to off your friends just because you're a lonely ghost.

The only thing that bothered me...and it could be because of my poor vision (even with glasses):  some of the pages are done in a very cute manner like putting the words in a spiral or having them look like they've been left in the rain.  I had a really hard time reading those couple of pages.  Otherwise this is an amazing book and I'm glad the author left it open in the end so that there could be a second one!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Books Out This Week: Nov. 28 - Dec. 2, 2011

Only one book out this week...that I could find, anyway.  How weird!!

Legend (Legend #1) by Marie Lu
Release Date:  November 29, 2011

From Goodreads:  What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths - until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Farsighted by Emlyn Chand

Farsighted by Emlyn Chand
Publisher:  Blue Crown Press
Publish Date:  October 20, 2011
ISBN:  978-0983930808  
Pages:  224

I was intrigued by FARSIGHTED, as the main character (Alex), is blind and I wondered how the author would do with that perspective.  I was pleased to find that she does a lovely job with it - all of Alex's other senses are brought into play and the descriptions are wonderful.

Alex is a blind teenage boy, a sophomore in high school.  He discovers that he has second sight and is really freaked out by it.  He works with a psychic from New Orleans who has recently moved to the area with her daughter, Shapri.  Shapri also has a talent, but she's fighting it tooth and nail.  He also befriends a girl from India, Simmi, that recently moved to his town and who also has a gift.  The two girls and Alex must learn to work together and accept their gifts.

Overall, I do like the story.  It's different and that's always a welcome change in the YA world.  The only thing that bothered me is that on occasion the language seemed rather stilted, mostly the conversation.  I checked to make sure that the author's first language is English (it is) and so I wondered if it is because some of the main characters are from places with strong accents (India and New Orleans).  Perhaps she was attempting to capture that tone?  I do know that conversation is one of the hardest things to write.

THE BOOK:  Alex Kosmitoras may be blind, but he can still “see” things others can’t.  When his unwanted visions of the future begin to suggest that the girl he likes could be in danger, he has no choice but to take on destiny and demand it reconsider. Get your copy today by visiting’s Kindle store or the eBook retailer of your choice. The paperback edition will be available on November 24 (for the author’s birthday).

THE CASH PRIZES:  Guess what? You could win a $100 Amazon gift card as part of this special blog tour. That’s right! Just leave a comment below saying something about the post you just read, and you’ll be entered into the raffle. I could win $100 too! Please help by voting for my blog in the traffic-breaker poll. To cast your vote, visit the official Farsighted blog tour page and scroll all the way to the bottom. Thank you for your help with that.

THE GIVEAWAYS:  Win 1 of 10 autographed copies of Farsighted before its paperback release by entering the giveaway on GoodReads. Perhaps you’d like an autographed postcard from the author; you can request one on her site.

THE AUTHOR:  Emlyn Chand has always loved to hear and tell stories, having emerged from the womb with a fountain pen grasped firmly in her left hand (true story). When she’s not writing, she runs a large book club in Ann Arbor and is the president of author PR firm, Novel Publicity. Emlyn loves to connect with readers and is available throughout the social media interweb. Visit for more info. Don’t forget to say “hi” to her sun conure Ducky!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Books Out This Week: November 21 - 27, 2011

The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
Release Date:  November 21, 2011

From Goodreads:  It's 1996, and less than half of all American high school students have ever used the Internet.

Emma just got her first computer and an America Online CD-ROM.

Josh is her best friend. They power up and log on--and discover themselves on Facebook, fifteen years in the future.

Everybody wonders what their Destiny will be. Josh and Emma are about to find out.

 Belle's Song by K.M. Grant
Release Date:  November 22, 2011

From Goodreads:  When Belle meets Luke, son of an alchemist and Scribe to the famous poet Chaucer, she is determined to travel with him to Canterbury on a pilgrimage. She hopes for a miracle: that her father will walk again. She also hopes to atone for her own part in his accident. It is a time of unrest across the country and the young King Richard II is just hanging on to his throne. A malign character on the pilgrimage suspects Chaucer of treason and slowly winds Belle into a political intrigue. At the same time, the impulsive Belle is drawn towards both Luke and to Walter, the wealthy son of a Knight. But Walter himself is in love with Luke...As the uprising against the King starts to draw pace and the web of intrigue around Belle and Chaucer tightens, Belle and her friends must risk everything to save their country and themselves...

 Unleashed (Wolf Springs Chronicles #1) by Nancy Holder & Debbie Viguie
Release Date:  November 22, 2011

From Goodreads:  The Wolf Springs Chronicles introduces readers to a town of secrets and the new girl who's about to start believing in werewolves.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Do you see what I see?

Darker Still: A Novel of Magic Most Foul 
by Leanna Renee Hieber


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Voices by Zach Hebert

Voices by Zachariah Hebert
Available in ebook only on Smashwords for $2.99

I generally do not read stories that are not available in print copies.  I hate to review something that not everyone can have access too and let's face it, not all of us have some sort of e-reader.  That being said, I actually asked to read this. 

The book is a series of interconnected stories about a group of young adults, I'm thinking in their early twenties.  I loved all the layers and how one story led to another and pretty soon you're totally caught up, wondering when the last guy is going to show up again. 

Zach Hebert's writing is delightful and captivating.  I think that while beginning with an ebook is good, he should definitely find an agent.  I would love to see an entire novel by Mr. Hebert.

His characterizations are full-bodied and the people seemed quite real.  The characters have a depth of emotion that are satisfying and I found myself caring about what happened in the next story and how this last character was going to figure in the final gathering.

Definitely worth picking up - watch for Zach Hebert, I think we'll be seeing more of him!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Lens and The Looker by Lory S. Kaufman

The Lens and The Looker by Lory S. Kaufman
Publisher:  Fiction Std.
Publish Date:  March 16, 2011
ISBN: 978-1936558025
Pages:  336

It's the 24th century and three teens are so spoiled and lazy that they refuse to learn the lessons their elders wish to teach them.  They don't seem to care how their world came to be the way it is.  They are sent to History Camp - a reenactment of some of the roughest periods in our history.

The three teens - Hansum, Shamira and Lincoln - come in with poor attitudes and just get worse when they begin to use a genie to help them disrupt things.  Suddenly they're whisked off (kidnapped, really) to the REAL Verona, Italy in 1347.  When things go wrong and their kidnapper is killed, the teens are stuck in 1347 alone and must quickly learn life lessons.

The boys are apprenticed to a lensmaker and Shamira becomes a kitchen girl.  I think that the way the author handles the general issues that come up are wonderful - he really gets across the feel of how difficult life was in 1347, compared to now.  The lensmaking process is fascinating and explained in a very thorough manner.

The addition of a romance for Hansum with his master's daughter, really adds to the story.  Will he even WANT to go back to the 24th century if he has to leave Guilietta behind?

Definitely a good read for the younger set of YA.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

2012 Releases: January 24 - 31, 2012

The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe
Release Date:  January 24, 2012

From Goodreads:  It starts with an itch you just can't shake. Then comes a fever and a tickle in your throat. A few days later, you'll be blabbing your secrets and chatting with strangers like they’re old friends. Three more, and the paranoid hallucinations kick in.
And then you're dead.
When a deadly virus begins to sweep through sixteen-year-old Kaelyn’s community, the government quarantines her island—no one can leave, and no one can come back.
Those still healthy must fight for dwindling supplies, or lose all chance of survival. As everything familiar comes crashing down, Kaelyn joins forces with a former rival and discovers a new love in the midst of heartbreak. When the virus starts to rob her of friends and family, she clings to the belief that there must be a way to save the people she holds dearest.
Because how will she go on if there isn't?

 Switched (Trylle Trilogy #1) by Amanda Hocking 
Release Date:  January 24, 2012

From Goodreads:  When Wendy Everly was six-years-old, her mother was convinced she was a monster and tried to kill her. It isn't until eleven years later that Wendy finds out her mother might've been telling the truth. With the help of Finn Holmes, Wendy finds herself in a world she never knew existed - and it's one she's not sure if she wants to be a part of.

 Hallowed (Unearthly #2) by Cynthia Hand
Release Date:  January 24, 2012

From GoodreadsFor months part-angel Clara Gardner trained to face the raging forest fire from her visions and rescue the alluring and mysterious Christian Prescott from the blaze. But nothing could prepare her for the fateful decisions she would be forced to make that day, or the startling revelation that her purpose—the task she was put on earth to accomplish—is not as straightforward as she thought. Now, torn between her increasingly complicated feelings for Christian and her love for her boyfriend, Tucker, Clara struggles to make sense of what she was supposed to do the day of the fire. And, as she is drawn further into the world of part angels and the growing conflict between White Wings and Black Wings, Clara learns of the terrifying new reality that she must face: Someone close to her will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning. 

 Life Eternal (Dead Beautiful #2) by Yvonne Woon
Release Date:  January 24, 2011

From Goodreads:  Renée Winters has changed. When she looks in the mirror, a beautiful girl with an older, sadder face stares back. Her condition has doctors mystified, but Renée can never reveal the truth: she died last May, and was brought back to life by the kiss of her Undead soul mate, Dante Berlin.
Now, her separation from Dante becomes almost unbearable. His second life is close to an end, and each passing day means one less that she will spend with the boy who shares her soul.
Just when Renée has almost given up hope, she learns of the Nine Sisters—brilliant scholars who, according to legend, found a way to cheat death. She can’t shake the feeling that they are somehow connected to her dreams, strange visions that hint at a discovery so powerful, and so dangerous, that some will stop at nothing to protect it.
Renée thought she knew the truth about life and death. But there is a secret woven through history that holds the only hope for Dante and Renée. Unless they find answers soon, their time together is doomed to be cut short.

 There is no Dog by Meg Rosoff
Release Date:  January 24, 2011

From Goodreads:  Meet your unforgettable protagonist: God, who, as it turns out, is a 19-year-old boy living in the present-day and sharing an apartment with his long-suffering fifty-something personal assistant. Unfortunately for the planet, God is lazy and, frankly, hopeless. He created all of the world's species in six days because he couldn't summon the energy to work for longer. He gets Africa and America mixed up. And his beleagured assistant has his work cut out for him when God creates a near-apolcalyptic flood, having fallen asleep without turning the bath off.

 Bloodrose (Nightshad #3) by Andrea Cremer
Release Date:  January 24, 2011

From Goodreads:  Calla has always welcomed war. But now that the final battle is upon her, there’s more at stake than fighting. There’s saving Ren, even if it incurs Shay’s wrath. There’s keeping Ansel safe, even if he’s been branded a traitor. There’s proving herself as the pack’s alpha, facing unnamable horrors, and ridding the world of the Keepers’ magic once and for all. And then there’s deciding what to do when the war ends. If Calla makes it out alive, that is. 

 Forbidden by Syrie James & Ryan M. James
Release Date:  January 24, 2011

From Goodreads:Syrie joined forces with her talented son Ryan to co-write her next novel, Forbidden. The book is about a 16-year-old girl who comes into unusual powers, only to discover that she's half-angel... and her entire existence is forbidden.
Alec MacKenzie is fed up with his duties to watch and, when necessary, eliminate the descendants of his angelic forefathers. He chose Emerson Academy as the ideal hiding place where he could escape and be normal for once. He hadn't factored Claire Brennan into his plans...
Their love is forbidden, going against everything Alec has been taught to believe. But when the threat to Claire's life becomes clear, how far will Alec go to protect her?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Beautiful Miscellaneous by Dominic Smith

The Beautiful Miscellaneous by Dominic Smith
Publisher:  Atria Books
Publish Date:  June 2007
ISBN: 978-0743271233
Pages: 327

This book is an excellent reason why you should look at some of the older books out there.

The story starts out at one point (as most do!), goes backward and then forward.  A lot of authors try this and make it very confusing, but Mr. Smith did it very well and the book is beautifully written.

Nathan's father has always been sure that Nathan is a scientific genius just waiting for that 'spark'.  Nathan is sure he's just average.  there are study sessions, competitions, quizbowls - Nathan is sure his father has never been proud of him.  His father is sure that Nathan just needs that AHA moment.

Then there's an accident and Nathan falls into a coma.  When he wakes his brain is rewired and he now has synesthesia - when he hears a sound or word, it induces the visualization of a certain color.  He can now memorize anything at all.  Ofcourse his father sees great possibilities in this, but it just makes Nathan confused.  He's sent off to an institute to live with other savants - psychics, healers, musical genius'.

It's a wonderful story of sons seeking their fathers approval and fathers expecting to see themselves (or better) in their sons.  The characters are so very real that you may doubt that it's fiction.  But it is.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Books Out This Week: Nov. 7-13, 2011

The Daughters Join the Party (Daughters #4) by Joanna Philbin
Release Date:  November 7, 2011

From Goodreads:  In the third Daughters novel, The Daughters Take the Stage, Hudson found her own place in "the family business," aka: show business. Now, for the first time, readers will meet Emma Conway, daughter of a powerful New York State Senator.
Emma has never fit into the sweater-set-wearing world of her political family, opting for purple hair and Chuck Taylors to keep herself out of countless photo ops, but when she accidentally lets her father's presidential plans slip on national television, Emma finds herself thrown into the spotlight. Facing pressure to be the perfect First Daughter-in-training, Emma must learn to speak up for herself and for what she believes in. Thankfully, she has her new friends and fellow daughters - Lizzie, Carina, and Hudson - to help her along the way.

 Little Women and Me by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Release Date:  November 8, 2011

From Goodreads:  Emily is sick and tired of being a middle sister. So when she gets an assignment to describe what she'd change about a classic novel, Emily pounces on Little Women. After all, if she can't change things in her own family, maybe she can bring a little justice to the March sisters. (Kill off Beth? Have cute Laurie wind up with Amy instead of Jo? What was Louisa May Alcott thinking?!) But when Emily gets mysteriously transported into the world of the book, she discovers that righting fictional wrongs won't be easy. And after being immersed in a time and place so different from her own, it may be Emily-not the four March sisters-who undergoes the most surprising change of all.

 Faking Faith by Josie Bloss
Release Date:  November 8, 2011

From Goodreads: After a humiliating "sexting" incident involving a hot and popular senior, seventeen-year-old Dylan has become a social outcast—harassed, ignored, and estranged from her two best friends.
When Dylan discovers the blogs of homeschooled fundamentalist Christian girls, she's fascinated by their old-fashioned conversation themes, like practicing submission to one's future husband. Blogging as Faith, her devout alter ego, Dylan befriends Abigail, the group's queen bee. But growing closer to Abigail (and her intriguing older brother) forces Dylan to choose: keep living a lie or come clean and face the consequences.

 Inheritance (The Inheritance Cycle #4) by Christopher Paolini
Release Date:  November 8, 2011

From Amazon:  Not so very long ago, Eragon—Shadeslayer, Dragon Rider—was nothing more than a poor farm boy, and his dragon, Saphira, only a blue stone in the forest. Now the fate of an entire civilization rests on their shoulders.
Long months of training and battle have brought victories and hope, but they have also brought heartbreaking loss. And still, the real battle lies ahead: they must confront Galbatorix. When they do, they will have to be strong enough to defeat him. And if they cannot, no one can. There will be no second chances.
The Rider and his dragon have come further than anyone dared to hope. But can they topple the evil king and restore justice to Alagaësia? And if so, at what cost?

 Sparks: The Epic, Completely True Blue, (Almost) Holy Quest of Debbie - S.J. Adams
Release Date:  November 8, 2011

From Goodreads:  Since sixth grade, Debbie Woodlawn has nursed a secret, heart-searing crush for her best friend, Lisa. Side by side, they watched countless 80s sit-coms and took vows of premarital chastity. But Debbie's never really been a fan of Full House or abstinence rallies, and all those years of pretending go down the drain when Lisa hooks up with the most boring guy at school. This earth-shattering event provokes Debbie to do the unthinkable: confess her love to Lisa.
But first, Debbie embarks on a holy quest guided by the two founding—and only—members of a wacky, made-up faith called the Church of Blue. Their fast-paced, hilarious adventure leads to nudity in a church coat closet, an unexpected kiss in a cemetery, and eye-opening revelations about someone Debbie's been ignoring far too long—herself.

 Don't Expect Magic by Kathy McCullough
Release Date:  November 8, 2011

From Goodreads:  Delaney Collins doesn't believe in fairy tales. And why should she? Her mom is dead, her best friend is across the country, and she's stuck in California with "Dr. Hank," her famous life-coach father—a man she barely knows. Happily ever after? Yeah, right.
Then Dr. Hank tells her an outrageous secret: he's a fairy godmother—an f.g.—and he can prove it. And by the way? The f.g. gene is hereditary. Meaning there's a good chance that New Jersey tough girl Delaney is someone's fairy godmother.
But what happens when a fairy godmother needs a wish of her own?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Far from the War by Jeffrey David Payne

Far from the War (book 1) by Jeffrey David Payne
Publisher: Roche Harbor
Publish Date: July 24, 2011
ISBN: 978-0983732204
Pages: 366

FAR FROM THE WAR is about the worst things you can imagine happening if the US broke out into civil war.  It's also about the tenacity of people, mainly a 17 year old girl, Esther.

Esther is from Orcas Island, Washington and wins a chance to be a Congressional Page in Washington D.C.  Shortly after beginning her new job, a coup is accomplished by some political and military leaders.  Esther and two other Pages decide to go home and they head out to the airport.  Upon reaching the airport, they find that there is only one seat available and have to make a difficult decision.

Throughout the book it's hard to decide which side is in the right as they both so firmly and desperately believe that their side is the right one.  I'm sure it's that way in any war, civil or otherwise.

Esther's journey was often heart wrenching but so similar to stories that you read about people who have lived through a war zone that it comes off as very real. This is not a general book, Mr. Payne explains exactly what is going on, how it looks, feels, smells, etc.  There are some scenes that were gruesome, but entirely necessary for the story.

Things of interest:
- romance - some, innocent and sweet, very little physical description
 - language - not much, more tone than words
 - events - death, dismemberment, rape, amputation

I've read a few reviews that said they felt Esther came across as much older than 17 and that the romance happened too quickly.  I think that we all know a 17 year old who feels more comfortable with adults, and knows what they are doing and where they are going.  It's not that unusual.  Also, getting stuck in a war zone would certainly mature you in a hurry.  As for the romance - it's wartime!  Historically, there are a lot of quick romances and hurried weddings during wartime. Couples are worried that they may never see each other again.

I think that all history and political science students should read this.  It really gives a great feel for what could happen in a civil war in the US.  What things would shut down, how people would act, the entire thing.  The more I read, the more disturbed I became.

Do yourself a favor, pick this book up, read it, then share it with a friend.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

2012 Releases January 15 - 21, 2012

Never Eighteen by Megan Bostic
Release Date:  January 17, 2012

From Goodreads:  Austin Parker is on a journey to bring truth, beauty, and meaning to his life.  Austin Parker is never going to see his eighteenth birthday. At the rate he’s going, he probably won’t even see the end of the year. The doctors say his chances of surviving are slim to none even with treatment, so he’s decided it’s time to let go. But before he goes, Austin wants to mend the broken fences in his life. So with the help of his best friend, Kaylee, Austin visits every person in his life who touched him in a special way. He journeys to places he’s loved and those he’s never seen. And what starts as a way to say goodbye turns into a personal journey that brings love, acceptance, and meaning to Austin’s life.

 Halflings by Heather Burch
Release Date:  January 17, 2012

From Goodreads:  fter being inexplicably targeted by an evil intent on harming her at any cost, seventeen-year-old Nikki finds herself under the watchful guardianship of three mysterious young men who call themselves halflings. Sworn to defend her, misfits Mace, Raven, and Vine battle to keep Nikki safe while hiding their deepest secret—and the wings that come with.

A growing attraction between Nikki and two of her protectors presents a whole other danger. While she risks a broken heart, Mace and Raven could lose everything, including their souls. As the mysteries behind the boys’ powers, as well as her role in a scientist’s dark plan, unfold, Nikki is faced with choices that will affect the future of an entire race of heavenly beings, as well as the precarious equilibrium of the earthly world.

 Getting Somewhere by Beth Neff
Release Date:  January 17, 2012

From Goodreads:  Four girls: dealer, junkie, recluse, thief.

Sarah, Jenna, Lauren, and Cassie may look like ordinary girls, but they’re not. They’re delinquents whose lives collide when they’re sent to an experimental juvenile detention program on a farm in the middle of nowhere. As the girls face up to the crimes they committed, three of them will heal the wounds of their pasts and discover strengths they never dreamed they had. And one, driven by a deep secret of her own, will seek to destroy everything they’ve all worked so hard for.

 Truth (XVI #2) by Julia Karr
Release Date: January 17, 2012

From Goodreads:  Nina Oberon’s life has changed enormously in the last few months. When her mother was killed, Nina discovered the truth about her father, the leader of the Resistance. And now she sports the same Governing Council–ordered tattoo of XVI on her wrist that all sixteen-year-old girls have. The one that announces to the world that she is easy prey to predators. But Nina won’t be anyone’s stereotype. And when she joins an organization of girls working within the Resistance, she knows that they can put an end to one of the most terrifying secret programs the GC has ever conceived. Because the truth always comes out...and the consequences can be deadly.

 Stolen Away by Alyxandra Harvey
Release Date:  January 17, 2012

From Goodreads:  For seventeen years, Eloise Hart had no idea the world of Faery even existed. Now she has been abducted and trapped in the Rath of Lord Strahan, King of Faery. Strahan was only meant to rule for seven years, as Faery tradition dictates, and then give up his crown to another. But he won't comply, and now chaos threatens both worlds.
The only one who can break his stranglehold on the Faery court is his wife. . . Eloise's aunt Antonia. Using Eloise to lure Antonia, Strahan captures his wife, desperate to end the only threat to his reign. Now Eloise must become the rescuer. Together with her best friends Jo and Devin, she must forge alliances with other Fae, including a gorgeous protector named Lucas, and Strahan's mysterious son, Eldric-who may or may not betray them.

 Enshadowed (Nevermore #2) by Kelly Creagh
Release Date:  January 17, 2012

From Goodreads:  While Varen remains a prisoner in the dream-world, Isobel is haunted by his memory. He appears to her in her dreams and soon, even in her waking life. But is she just imagining it? Isobel knows she must find a way back to Varen. She makes plans to go to Baltimore. There, she confronts the figure known throughout the world as the Poe Toaster—the same dark man who once appeared to Isobel in her dreams, calling himself “Reynolds.” Isobel succeeds in interrupting the Toaster’s ritual and, in doing so, discovers a way to return to the dream-world. Soon, she finds herself swept up in a realm which not only holds remnants of Poe’s presence, but has also now taken on the characteristics of Varen’s innermost self. It is a dark world comprised of fear, terror, and anger.
When Isobel once more encounters Varen, she finds him changed. With his mind poisoned by the dream world, he becomes a malevolent force, bent on destroying all—even himself. Now Isobel must face a new adversary, one who also happens to be her greatest love.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Of Light and Darkness by Shayne Leighton

Of Light and Darkness (Light and Darkness #1) by Shayne Leighton
Publisher:  Decadent Publishing
Publish Date:  June 26, 2011
 Available as an e-book
484 KB

Finally, a vampire that acts like a vampire.  I mean, Valek needs blood to survive and he doesn't hid it and he doesn't hesitate to do what he has to do to get it.  Valek rescued a human child about twenty years ago and now she's all grown up and doesn't look at Valek as a father figure anymore.  She's realizing that he's quite the catch and is ready to take on the challenge of being with a vampire.  Charlotte is no wimpy girl, she holds her own against werewolves, elves, vampires and witches.

The setting for the story is inside and just outside of Prague, a city that seems to be getting a lot of attention in new releases lately.  I think it's history lends itself to lots of paranormal stories, it's wonderful to visit someplace new!  There are cities called "Occult Cities" where all the magical folks live and they aren't allowed to leave their cities, the elves passed that law.  But if vampires don't leave, they can't feed.  For years, Charlotte has done the initial hunting for Valek, but now the elves are out for her too.

Of course Valek and Charlotte can't just fall in love and live happily ever after.  The elves are the light-bearers in this universe and they've decided to destroy all the vampires as they are hateful and live in the dark.  The biggest problem is that the next in line for the throne is Aiden, an elf who grew up with Charlotte and who is infatuated with her and determined to keep her from Valek.

The setting for the story is inside and just outside of Prague, a city that seems to be getting a lot of attention in new releases lately.  I think it's history lends itself to lots of paranormal stories, it's wonderful to visit someplace new!  There are cities called "Occult Cities" where all the magical folks live and they aren't allowed to leave their cities, the elves passed that law.  But if vampires don't leave, they can't feed.  For years, Charlotte has done the initial hunting for Valek, but now the elves are out for her too.

This is the author's debut book and I think she's done a delightful job.  My e-reader let me know that my tv was lonely as I was reading this book instead of watching tv during primetime. :)  I think that's a good indication of how wonderful the story is...I gave up watching Big Bang Theory just to finish it. ;)