Tuesday, April 22, 2014

*Waiting on Wednesday* Featuring Strange and Ever After by Susan Dennard

"Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at “Breaking the Spine”, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating....

This weeks choice is Strange and Ever After by Susan Denard!

I won't hesitate in saying that I love this series, and am eager to pick up this book and start reading soon! I love Eleanor and Crew, and hope that Susan gives these characters one hell of a final ride!

Perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare's The Infernal Devices series, this is the epic conclusion to Susan Dennard's trilogy that started with Something Strange and Deadly and continued with A Darkness Strange and Lovely. With supernatural forces, epic romance, and a mysterious Egyptian city, Eleanor and her team are set for an adventure they will never forget.
It has been a tumultuous time for Eleanor Fitt since life as she knew it in Philadelphia came abruptly to an end. While the Spirit-Hunters—Joseph, Jie, and Daniel—have helped her survive her brother's violent death and an invasion of Hungry Dead, Eleanor has lost just about everything.
And now, Jie is missing—taken by the evil necromancer Marcus. Eleanor is determined not only to get her back but to finally end this nightmare. But to do so, she must navigate the hot desert streets of nineteenth-century Egypt amid the rising Dead, her unresolved feelings for Daniel, and her volatile relationships with Joseph and Oliver, her demon. And it won't be easy. Because Allison, her friend from Philadelphia, has tagged along, becoming strangely entangled in Eleanor's mission.
It will take all of Eleanor's powers of black magic, and all of Daniel's and Joseph's trust, to succeed. But there will be a price. People will have to suffer the consequences of what Marcus has done, and what Eleanor, Oliver, and the Spirit-Hunters will do to stop all this deadly chaos.

  • Series: Something Strange and Deadly
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen (July 22, 2014)



*Top Ten Tuesday* April 22: Top Ten Characters Who Piss Me Off! :)

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week there is a new topic and we all share our thoughts on that topic! I decided it was finally time to jump on board with this wicked fun meme!

For this week on Top Ten Tuesday, the topic is:Top Ten Characters Who Piss Me OFF!! :O)

1. Clary Fray from the Mortal Instruments - Really? Must I really tell you why? This series should have been over at 3 books, but NOOOOOO, we needed 3 more to further push the agony, and frustration onto readers.

2. Bella Swan from Twilight - Do I really need an reason?

3. Zoey Redbird from the House of Night - Another one that needs no explanation if you have ever read this series.

4. Sookie Stackhouse (Sookie Stackhouse series) - Towards the end, every time I read one of Sookies books, I felt like pulling out every single hair from my head in frustration.

5. Edward Cullen - Yes, another Twilight hater. I just don't much care for the guy and all his broody, pouty, bullcrap.

6. Morpheus from Splintered series - Sorry to all those who found him swoon worthy. From the first moment I was introduced to him, I wanted to take out a hacket and cut off his wings!!!

7. Nash from the Soul Screamers series - I was going to add Kaylee to the list as well, but Nash totally made me see red. In the end, it really didn't matter, because I found the Kaylee & Todd happy ending to be perfectly acceptable.

8. Damon, Elena, and Stefan of the Vampire Diaries - I am speaking of the books as well as the TV show folks. I am washing my hands of both the books, and the TV show.

 9. Damon from the Kit Colbana Series - The reason he pisses me off is that he is constantly he-man you will do what the hell I tell you female, or else! Yeah, no thanks!

10. King Gaius and Magnus from the Falling Kingdoms series. Magnus has somewhat redeemed himself, but he still has a long ways to go before he impresses me. King Gaius is definitely one hard core villain, and I am hoping for a quick resolution to his fate.



Monday, April 21, 2014

*Entangled Teen Release Day Blitz! Featuring Rachel Harris & Brooklyn Skye

Today is release day for two amazing Entangled Teen titles and we are excited to share them all with you. There's a little something for everyone this month so read on to find out more about them.

All the digital books are on sale for just $.99 for a limited time so be sure to pick up your copy today before they go back to full price!


About the Book
Title: My Not So Super Sweet Life
Author: Rachel Harris
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Pub. Date: April 21, 2014
Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, B&N

Cat Crawford just wants to be normal—or at least as normal as a daughter of Hollywood royalty can be. And it looks like fate is granting her wish: she’s got an amazing boyfriend, Lucas; her fabulous cousin, Alessandra, living with her; and her dad planning his second marriage to a great future stepmom. That is, until her prodigal mother reveals on national television that she has something important to tell her daughter…causing a media frenzy.
Lucas Capelli knows his fate is to be with Cat, and he’s worked hard to win her over once and for all. Unfortunately, Lucas has his own issues to deal with, including a scandal that could take him away from the first place he’s truly belonged.

As secrets are revealed, rumors explode, and the world watches, Cat and Lucas discover it’s not fate they have to fight if they want to stay together…this time, it’s their own insecurities.

Well, and the stalkerazzi.


Follow the blog tour HERE!
(Starts 4/21)

Find Rachel Online:

 
  
About the Book
Title: Fragile Line
Author: Brooklyn Skye
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Pub. Date: April 21, 2014
Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, B&N

It can happen in a flash. One minute she’s kissing her boyfriend, the next she’s lost in the woods. Sixteen-year-old Ellie Cox is losing time. It started out small…forgetting a drive home or a conversation with a friend. But her blackouts are getting worse, more difficult to disguise as forgetfulness. When Ellie goes missing for three days, waking up in the apartment of a mysterious guy—a guy who is definitely not her boyfriend, her life starts to spiral out of control.

Perched on the edge of insanity, with horrific memories of her childhood leaking in, Ellie struggles to put together the pieces of what she’s lost—starting with the name haunting her, Gwen. Heartbreakingly beautiful, this poignant story follows one girl’s harrowing journey to finding out who she really is.

Follow the blog tour HERE!
(Starts 4/21)

Find Brooklyn Online:


Sunday, April 20, 2014

*Gizmos Book Reviews* The Hunt (Project Paper Doll #2) by Stacey Kade

**I received this book for free via NetGalley/Disney-Hyperion in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

*My Thoughts*

The Hunt is the second installment in the Project Paper Doll series and picks up immediately after the conclusion of The Rules. Although Ariane Tucker and Zane Bradshaw have managed to escape from the clutches of the evil megalomaniacs known as GTX, they are not out of the frying pan by any means. All it takes is one slip up, or mistake, and they are right back where they started.

The Hunt is told in the first POV by both Ariane aka GTX-107, and Zane, the second son of a belligerent and uncaring father and mother who ran away when things got too hot to handle. One of the obvious appeals for me in reading this book is the fact that Ariane is half human, and half alien and there may be others out there who may be like her. The whole idea that aliens really DID crash land near Roswell, New Mexico in 1947, and scientists are using the DNA of an alien to create a new form of life appeals to me on a geek level.

The second installment in a series is always an interesting one to sell to readers. Will it top the first book? Will it have the same intense action, suspense, and yes, romance? Will it just be a bridge between the first and third stories and therefore leave an awful taste in readers mouths with a cliffhanger ending so annoying grotesque, and heart breaking, that screams of pain, and books being throw across the room can be heard from miles away? 

Even though Dr. Arthur Jacobs isn't the main villain this time around, he isn't far from Ariane, Zane, or the readers minds. Ariane has been so ingrained with the message that she can't POSSIBLY have a happy life outside of Jacobs prison aka Laboratory, that she has a tendency of pushing people away instead of letting them help her. Ariane's continued belief that she's probably better off with Jacobs, rather than Zane, grated on my nerves a wee bit, and I hope we see an entirely different Ariane in the next installment. 

The Hunt introduces readers to a whole slew of secondary characters like Zane's mother Mara, Dr. David Laughlin (Laughlin Integrated Enterprises), as well as  Emerson St. John (Emerson's Technology) who makes a startling albeit brief appearance that I refuse to talk about under threat of severe violence against my body. With Ariane looking for others like her who were created with alien DNA, readers get a chance to meet her "siblings" in Ford, Carter, and Nixon, as well as the lengths certain scientists will go in order to make the perfect, indestructible, soldier. 

There are plenty of betrayals, curve-balls, and interesting dynamics that are hopefully leading us to the real meat and potatoes of this series; The Trials where Ariane and her "siblings" face the ultimate challenge of survival. I can only say this about the ending; please be prepared. You will definitely need a hug once you are done reading. 


Author - Stacey Kade
Title - The Hunt (Project Paper Doll # 2)
Published by Disney-Hyperion
Releases: April 22, 2014
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Format: E-Book 400 pages




Wednesday, April 16, 2014

*Gizmos Book Reviews* My Not So Super Sweet Life (My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century #3) by Rachel Harris

**I received this book for free from Entangled Teen in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

*My Thoughts*

At almost 190 pages, My Not So Super Sweet Life is the finale of the My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century series and brings together all the main characters from the previous two books into one final send off that is sure to be a hit with readers.

My Not So Super Sweet Life once again pulls SIXTEEN year old Cat Crawford back into the spotlight as the protagonist who has some outstanding issues to resolve regarding being abandoned by her own mother and trying to figure out why she was left behind so that she can have some sort of closure and move on with her relationship with boyfriend Lucas Capelli. 

Four Months ago, Cat met a gypsy girl named Reyna who sent her back in time 500 years to the SIXTEENTH century Italy where she spent NINE wonderful days meeting her descendants and cousins like Alessandra & Cipriano D’Angeli, and fell in love for the first time with a boy named Lorenzo before being returning to her own time. TWO months later, Alessandra had her own story and journey in A Tale of Two Centuries, and met the boy of HER dreams in Austin Michaels and decided to stay in the TWENTY-first century with Cat, her father, and soon to be stepmother Jenna, while exploring all the wonderful possibilities that lay before her. Possibilities she didn't have in the Sixteenth Century because of her sex.

I will say this about My Not So Super Sweet Life, Rachel Harris gives readers LOTS, and lots of awesomeness by the name Lucas Capelli who even has his own chapters. Lucas is the boy you wish your daughter would find and fall in love with and have lots of grand-babies that would turn out to be just like him. I, am, of course biased towards Lucas because he's from Italy! He is charming, and really does put his entire future into Cat's hands with his ultimate choices. He truly goes above and beyond the call of relationship duties to the point where I gasped at a certain day he spends showering Cat with love and affection. 

Cat has issues, issues that have been with her since the very first page of the very first novel in this series. She has issues with abandonment. She has issues of letting anyone get close to her or loving her because of those abandonment issues. She sometimes has a sharp tongue that needs to be slapped back in place and makes people back away from her. Thankfully for Cat, she has a remarkable father, and step-mom (Jenna) who takes a whole lot of grief from her, but refuses to back down or run away. Her cousin Alessandra is right by her side, and isn't going anywhere soon.

I think that My Not So Super Sweet Life does the best it can in wrapping up Cat's journey and the series in a way that won't leave you feeling like you've wasted any time in reading this series. In closing this trilogy, Harris introduces readers to a very curious character in Ransom Chase as well as an interesting twist to the story with an appearance by Reyna, the gypsy girl. Apparently, Ransom is Cat's half brother, and he definitely needs his own story, soon. His very presence changes the dynamics of Cat's outlook on life. I think Harris would be welcomed with open arms if she incorporated Reyna and Ransom into a solo story so that we aren't left wondering how they met, or what is in store for Ransom in the future, or whether or not he will find his own HEA.

Expected publication: April 21st 2014 by Entangled Teen

Author - Rachel Harris
Title - My Not So Super Sweet Life (Book # 3)
Published by Entangled Teen
Releases: April 21, 2014
Genre - YA, Contemporary, Romance
Format: E-Book 190 pages


*Gizmos Book Reviews* The Taking (The Taking #1) by Kimberly Derting

**I received this book for free from Edelweiss/Harper Teen in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

*My Thoughts*

"What if the life you are living is not your own?"

Right up front I will say that I am a science fiction geek who enjoys the possibilities that aliens really DO exist and are watching the silly humans on the Third Rock from the Sun make complete asses out of themselves. I loved watching shows like the X-Files, Falling Skies, Roswell, and Invasion just to name a few. I mean, think about it for a moment. The galaxy is HUGE, and EARTH can not be the only inhabited planet with semi-intelligent life on it. 

When The Taking was revealed on the Harper Collins catalog last fall, I immediately jumped on it like a puppy with a brand new squeaky toy. The Taking is the first novel in a brand new series by the author of the Pledge and The Body Finder series Kimberly Derting. The Taking is told in the first POV by SIXTEEN year old Kyra Agnew. Kyra, a star softball player who is looking forward to a bright future with her boyfriend Austin, suddenly finds that her world has been turned upside down after waking up FIVE years into the future after a blinding light appears and takes her away. 

The Taking is a quick story that takes place over a SEVEN day period, and ends on a rather interesting cliffhanger. The biggest issue I had with this story is the whole relationship dynamics between Tyler and Kyra. To me it just doesn't make sense but I won't be totally surprised to be the minority on this issue. Perhaps it is my generation, or perhaps it is just the fact that I can't get over the backgrounds of the two characters, or the fact that they jumped into romance quicker than you can lick the spoon after making Red Velvet Cupcakes, or the fact that in my mind, Kyra is doing the whole older cougar of the relationship despite the apparent lack of change to her body after being gone for FIVE years. 

Kyra is not the nicest heroine by any means but she does have logical reasons for her behavior and her actions, and her inability to truly trust anyone, including her own father who apparently has lost his godforsaken mind with alien conspiracy theories. Understandably, she can't truly be happy knowing that life as she knew it has moved on without her including her ex and ex-best friend who are now together as a couple, her parents who are now divorced and her mother who is raising a new brother who she treats like he is carrying a contagion ready to kill her at a moments notice. Then there are the so called RETURNED who Derting introduces. Hopefully there will be more about them in the next installment.

Readers will probably fall in love with Tyler because he is Kyra's only real crutch in this entire story. Tyler is determined, and truly cares for Kyra and loyal perhaps to a fault over his older brothers DICK move in being with Kyra's best friend Cat so soon after Kyra disappeared. Tyler's puppy dog crush on Kyra is perhaps the reason that ice cracks from around her heart, and she decides that there is nothing wrong with being with Tyler. 

The Taking is an interesting first novel that will hopefully only get better from here. There are so many different ways that Derting can go from here, that it will be fun to see how long I hold out before I start asking for the next installment in order to see what happens to Kyra and gang from here.

*Recvd via Edelweiss 11/06/2013* Expected publication: April 29th 2014 by Harper Teen

Author - Kimberly Derting
Title - The Taking (The Taking # 1)
Published by Harper Teen
Releases: April 29, 2014
Genre: YA, Science Fiction
Format: E-Book 368 pages



Tuesday, April 15, 2014

*Gizmos Reviews* Kristen Painter's HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN - chapter excerpt reveal!

Today, I am happy to be a part of a group of Kristen fans who are posting a chapter excerpt of her upcoming novel House of the Rising Sun (May 13, 2014). I will also be posting my review of this book on that same day, so, I hope you find your way back to check out my thoughts!

On with the chapter reveal!


Prologue

New Orleans, Louisiana, 2040

Why can’t we take the streetcar?” Walking home from church at night was always a little scary for Augustine, especially when they had to go past the cemetery.
“You know why,” Mama answered. “Because we don’t have money for things like that. Not that your shiftless father would help out. Why I expect anything from that lying, manipulative piece of…” She grunted softly and shook her head.
Augustine had never met his father, but from what Mama had told him, which wasn’t much, his father didn’t seem like a very nice man. Just once, though, Augustine would like to meet him to see what he looked like. Augustine figured he must look like his father, because he sure didn’t look like Mama. Maybe if they met, he’d also ask his father why he never came around. Why he didn’t want to be part of their family. Why Mama cried so much.
With a soft sigh, he held Mama’s hand a little tighter, moving closer to her side. Unlike him, Mama only had five fingers on each hand, not six. She didn’t have gray skin or horns like him, either. She didn’t like his horns much. She kept them filed down so his hair hid the stumps. He jammed his free hand into his jacket pocket, the move jogging him to the side a little.
“Be careful, Augustine. You’re going to make me trip.”
“Sorry, Mama.” The sidewalks were all torn up from the tree roots poking through them. The moon shone through those big trees with their twisty branches and clumps of moss, and cast shadows that looked like creatures reaching toward them. He shivered, almost tripping over one of the roots.
She jerked his arm. “Pay attention.”
“Yes, Mama.” But paying attention was what had scared him in the first place. He tried shutting his eyes, picking his feet up higher to avoid the roots.
Next thing he knew, his foot caught one of those roots and he was on his hands and knees, the skin on his palms burning from where he’d scraped them raw on the rough sidewalk. His knee throbbed with the same pain, but he wouldn’t cry, because he was almost nine and he was a big boy. Old enough to know that he must also control the powers inside him that wanted to come out whenever he felt angry or hurt or excited.
“Oh, Augustine! You ripped your good pants.” Mama grabbed his hand and tugged him to his feet.
“I’m sorry about my pants.” He stood very still, trying not to cause any more trouble. Mama got so angry, so fast. “My knee hurts.”
With a sigh, Mama crouched down, pulled a tissue from her purse, spit on it and began to dab at the blood. “It will be okay. It’s just a little scrape. And you heal… quickly.”
The dabbing hurt worse, but he kept quiet, biting at his cheek. He looked at his hands, opening his twelve fingers wide. Already the scrapes there were fading. It was because of his fae blood, which he wasn’t supposed to talk about. He dropped his hands and stared at the tall cemetery wall next to them. On the other side of that wall were a lot of dead people. In New Orleans, no one could be buried underground because of the water table. He’d learned that in school.
The wind shook the tree above their heads, making the shadows crawl toward them. He inched closer to her and pointed at the cemetery. “Do you think there’s ghosts in there, Mama?”
She stood, ignoring his pointing to brush dirt off his jacket. “Don’t be silly. You know ghosts aren’t real.”
The cemetery gates creaked. She turned, then suddenly put him behind her. Around the side of her dress, Augustine could see a big shape almost on them, smell something sour and sweaty, and hear heavy breathing. Mama reached for Augustine, jerking them both back as the man grabbed for her.
The man missed, but Mama’s heart was going thump, thump, thump. That was another fae thing Augustine wasn’t supposed to talk about, being able to hear extra-quiet sounds like people’s hearts beating.
“C’mere, now,” the man growled. Even in the darkness, Augustine’s sharp fae eyes could see the man’s teeth were icky.
Mama swung her purse at him. “Leave us alone!”
“Us?” The man grunted, his gaze dropping to Augustine. Eyes widening for a second, he snorted. “Your runt’s not going to ruin my fun.”
“I’m not a runt,” Augustine said. Fear made his voice wobble, but he darted out from behind his mother anyway, planting himself in front of her.
The man swatted Augustine away with a meaty hand.
Augustine hit the cemetery wall, cracking his head hard enough to see stars. But with the new pain came anger. And heat. The two mixed together like a storm in his belly, making him want to do… something. He tried to control it, but the man went after Mama next, grabbing her and pushing her to the ground. Then the man climbed on top of her.
She cried out and the swirling inside Augustine became a hurricane dragging him along in its winds. Without really knowing what he was doing, he leaped onto the man’s back. The hard muscle and bone he expected seemed soft and squishy. He grabbed fistfuls of the man’s jacket—but his hands met roots and dirt and shards of concrete instead.
Mama’s eyes blinked up at him, wide and fearful. She seemed a little blurry. Was he crying? And how was he seeing her when he was on the man’s back? And why had everything gone so quiet? Except for a real loud tha-thump, tha-thump, tha-thump, everything else sounded real far away. He pushed to his knees, expecting them to sting from his fall, but he felt nothing. And the man attacking his mother was somehow… gone.
“Don’t, Augustine.” She shook her head as she scrabbled backward. “Don’t do this.”
“Don’t do what, Mama?” He reached for her but the hand that appeared before him was too big. And only had five fingers. He stuck his other hand out and saw the same thing. “What’s happening to me, Mama?”
“Get out of him, Augustine.” She got to her feet, one trembling hand clutching the crucifix on her necklace. “Let the man go.”
He stood and suddenly he was looking down at his mother. Down. How was he doing that? He glanced at his body. But it wasn’t his body, it was the man’s.
“I don’t understand.” But he had an idea. Was this one of the powers he had? One of the things he was supposed to control? He didn’t know how to get out. Was he trapped? He only wanted to protect his mother, he didn’t want to be this man!
The storm inside him welled up in waves. The heat in his belly was too much. He didn’t understand this new power. He wanted to be himself. He wanted to be out. Panic made bigger waves, hot swells that clogged his throat so he couldn’t take deep breaths. The thumping noise got louder.
The man’s hands reached up to claw at Augustine, at his own skin.
Mama backed away, her fingers in the sign of the cross. He cried out to her for help. He was too hot, too angry, too scared—
A loud, wet pop filled his ears and he fell to his hands and knees again, this time covered in sticky red ooze and smoking hunks of flesh. The thumping noise was gone. Around him was more sticky red, lumps of flesh and pieces of white bone. All he could think about was the time he and Nevil Tremain had stuffed a watermelon full of firecrackers. Except this was way worse. And blowing up the watermelon hadn’t made him feel like throwing up. Or smelled like burnt metal. He sat back, wiped at his face and eyes and tried to find his mother. She was a few feet away, but coming closer.
“You killed that man.” She stood over him looking more angry than afraid now. “You possessed that man like a demon.” She pointed at him. “You’re just like your father, just like that dirty fae-blooded liar.”
Augustine shook his head. “That man was hurting you—”
“Yes, you saved me, but you took his life, Augustine.” She looked around, eyes darting in all directions. “Sturka,” she muttered, a fae curse word Augustine had once gotten slapped for saying.
“I didn’t mean to, I was trying to help—”
“And who’s next? Are you going to help me that way too someday?”
He was crying now, unable to help himself. “No, Mama, no. I would never hurt you.”
She grabbed him by his shirt and yanked him to his feet. “Act human, not like a freak, do you understand? If people could see what you really looked like…” Fear clouded her eyes.
He nodded, sniffling, hating the smell of the blood he was covered in. He didn’t want to be a freak. He really didn’t. “I can act human. I promise.”
She let go of his shirt, her lip slightly curled as she looked him over. “This was your father’s blood that caused this. Not mine.”
“Not yours,” Augustine repeated. Mama looked human but was part smokesinger, something he knew only because he’d overheard an argument she’d had with his father on the phone once. He’d learned other things that way, too. Like that his father was something called shadeux fae. But not just part. All of him. And he’d lied to Mama about that. Used magic to make Mama think he was human. To seduce her.
“I never want to hear or see anything fae ever again or I will put you out of my house. I live as human and while you’re under my roof, so will you. Am I clear?”
The thought of being without her made his chest ache. She was all he had. His world. “Yes, Mama.”
But keeping his fae side hidden was impossible and five years later, put him out is exactly what she did.




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