Saturday, September 28, 2013

Stacking the Shelves 09/28/2013

Stacking The Shelves is a fun way to show off the books we received over the past week in the hopes that you will find something that you will be interested in reading. As always, it is in no way, shape, or form to be considered bragging or sticking out our tongues at other bloggers. 

I personally enjoy  reading comments from those that stop by and support Gizmo's Reviews and I make every effort to comment and visit back your blog in return. 

Received via NetGalley and/or Edelweiss

A HUGE THANK YOU! goes out to Harper Collins for White Listing me! 
I may have gone a bit overboard this week in downloading a FEW titles!

Thank you also to Harlequin Mira, Penguin DAW!

I apologize for not having links, but, I'm looking for an alternative besides Goodreads or Amazon to link these books to. I'm not backing totally away from Goodreads, but I definitely need a break from all the foolishness of the past week.








Friday, September 27, 2013

*Gizmos Review* Guest Post & Giveaway from Amanda Bonilla Author of Vengeance Borne

Welcome! Today, I am honored to have author Amanda Bonilla as a guest on my blog. She will be discussing books and her experiences as a writer. As some of you already know, she has a released a new book called Vengeance Borne which I really liked, and look forward to the sequel coming out sometime next year! If you haven't read Amanda's the Shade Assassin series, I would highly recommend that you do! It is one of those series that deserves a look at and I'm sure you will find it to your liking!

As an incentive, Amanda has also agreed to give away (1) copy of Vengeance Borne and this giveaway is open Internationally! Just leave a comment down below and we will draw the winner on Friday, October 4, 2013! 

Thanks so much to Shelley for hosting me today!

Books played a major part in one of the biggest turning points of my life. A lot of people don’t know this about me, but I was a very young mom. I took a year off from high school when my daughter was born and I remember feeling really lost. Teen pregnancy is often sensationalized, (thanks, reality TV) but I don’t think people realize how traumatic the instant transition from child to adult can be.

I wasn’t a troubled teen. I had decent grades, and I was always way too scared to get into much trouble. Getting pregnant in high school is sort of like starting from the top of the troublemaker list, anyway. ;) I had a supportive family and I was lucky enough to be in a relationship with someone who was responsible and ready to provide for a family. My husband had joined the Navy, and I was living at home with my parents and an infant. I felt totally detached from the world. Where did I fit in? I was still a kid, but I had all of these grownup responsibilities. My peers couldn’t relate to me anymore, and frankly, I couldn’t blame them for keeping their distance. A baby sort of brings the mood down when you’re trying to celebrate your youth.

My mom has always been an avid reader. For as long as I can remember, she’s had a book sitting on the end table. Historical romance and fantasy are her favorites. We had a bookshelf lined with paperbacks, the spines cracked and well-worn from use. Never having been an enthusiastic reader—let’s face it, when you’re forced to read curriculum-based material, you tend to rebel—I eyeballed her shelf wondering if I dare step into one of these imaginary worlds. I had A LOT on my plate. I needed an escape from reality, for a couple of hours, at least. So, I decided to give some of mom’s books a try.

The first book I pulled off the shelf was SHANNA, by Kathleen Woodiwiss. From the first page, I was hooked. Adventure, action, romance! A strong heroine and a swoon-worthy hero. What’s not to love? I spent that entire year reading pretty much anything I could get my hands on. I related to the stories, the characters, and their emotions. Reading was my lifeline. But something came from reading that I never expected: a desire to learn and achieve. Don’t ask me the hows and whys of it, because I still don’t really get it. Reading sparked something in me that hadn’t been there before. I wanted to fill my brain with as much knowledge as I could cram it with. And I wanted to write. I had so much admiration for these authors that I wanted to write stacks and stacks of books. I wanted to reach people through a good story the way that these authors had unknowingly reached out to me.

The next fall, I went back to school and finished the rest of my classes in one year. I was able to graduate with my class and I had better than decent grades. It still floors me to think of being that seventeen year old girl, daydreaming about writing a book someday. And now, twenty-two years later, I wonder: If reading hadn’t been such a huge part of my life that year, would I be the person I am now? I doubt it.

How has reading played a part in your life? Has an author or story touched you in some way?

Fated to Hunt…As the local hunter, and a ward of the Sentry, a secret organization dedicated to eradicating the forces of evil, Jacquelyn has been protecting the small town of McCall, Idaho for the past five years. The hours are horrible, the pay is nonexistent, she has to work with her jealous ex-boyfriend – and forget about quitting.  She’s in for life.

Destined to See…When a rugged drifter comes through town, Jacquelyn immediately knows what he is – an Empath who can read emotions and sense what others are thinking – even though it’s clear the handsome stranger has no idea what, or how powerful, he is…

A Town in Peril…When people in McCall start turning up dead, viciously ripped to shreds as if by a wild animal, Jacquelyn knows better. Furies are loose in Idaho and hell-bent on exacting revenge.  But against whom?  And for what purpose?  Jacquelyn has until the full moon to stop the Furies’ killing spree and save the people of McCall, figure out how to work with her ex – oh, and there’s a handsome stranger in town who’s in desperate need of some schooling…

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday 09/25/2013

"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----->Banishing the Dark by Jenn Bennett

I really LOVE this series and can't wait until the next installment comes out. I adore Cady, Lon, and Jupe. Plus, the ending to Binding the Shadows left me screaming in agony! 

Unfortunately, this cover was also leaked to Amazon prematurely which is a shame.

This happens all too often which may benefit readers, but it's not really fair to the author!

Nonetheless, I Banishing the Dark is my choice this week!

In this new installment in a beloved urban fantasy series, gutsy renegade mage and tiki bar owner Arcadia Bell faces the last danger standing between her old identity and a new future she desperately wants: herself.

After surviving a supernatural battle with Hellfire Club leader Ambrose Dare, Cady and her demon boyfriend, Lon Butler, journey across California to find the source of her mysterious Moonchild origins. But the further they travel, the stranger the revelations about her parents’ past occult lives. Can Cady keep what's rightfully hers, or will she have make the ultimate sacrifice to stop her murderous mother from crossing the planes?

Expected Publication: May 27, 2014 by Pocket Books

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

*Gizmos Reviews* Top Ten Best Sequels Ever

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they will post a new Top Ten list that one of the bloggers there at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join!

For a list of past and future Top Ten Tuesday topics and to find out more about Top Ten Tuesday, click here!

This weeks TTT topic is:
Top Ten Best Sequels

These really are NOT in any order. I absolutely loved them all, and could add
another 20-30 titles as honorary mentions! 

1. Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas

2. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

3. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

4. Rise of the Magi by Jocelyn Adams

5. The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa

6. The Ripple Effect by J.A. Saare

7.  Binding the Shadows by Jenn Bennett

8. Heart of Venom by Jennifer Estep

9. Blood Trade by Faith Hunter

10. Oath Bound by Rachel Vincent

Monday, September 23, 2013

*Review* Spirit (Elemental #3) by Brigid Kemmerer

*My Thoughts* 

"The first day you meet, you are friends. The next day, you are brothers." proverb on Hunters arm.

Spirit, the third novel in the Elemental series, takes us away from the Merrick brothers (Gabriel, Nick, Chris, and Michael) and focuses instead on 16 year old Hunter Garrity. Hunter is known as a fifth because of his ability to meld the spirit element (pure element) and his ability to control all four other elements. It also focuses on Kate Sullivan a girl with lots of secrets who comes to town and ends up entangled with the Merrick's and Hunter and may have her own skulls to bury deep into the woods. 

In all honesty, I liked this book more than I thought I would because of Michael Merrick. I adore him, as well as his girlfriend/firefighter Hannah. I like the fact that he opened up his doors for Hunter, and had the patience of a saint in dealing with Hunters angst, temper tantrums, and ulterior motives. I like the fact that he trusted Hunter enough to not only offer him a job, but to live under the same roof as the Merrick clan.

For series regulars, Hunter first appeared in Storm alongside Gabriel. I was a bit surprised when it was announced that he would be a primary character in Spirit. Hunter is still smarting and hurting over the loss of his father and uncle. He ends up having to deal with a very no-nonsense grandfather who I would have liked to seen get his comeuppance for being a bastard towards Hunter and not trusting him. He also doesn't know who to trust; the Merricks or the Guides for whom his father belonged.

I'm very surprised at the turn of events in this book, including the reappearance of psycho pyromaniac Calla Dean and her fate. I was even more so surprised at Kate's appearance and her characterization and what happens to her. After-all, you have Becca, Quinn, Layne, and Hannah who have stuck around and become part of the Merrick family of friends. I guess it can really get to the point where you have too many characters in a series.

Kate and Hunter's relationship can be summoned up in two words: Sexual Tension. All you have to do is read two particular scenes (one in the carnival, and another in Hunter's Jeep) to know that these two sizzle together when not trying to bash in the other's head or to outsmart and outmaneuver the other. But, there is also the fact that Hunter isn't a dumb person, and understands that there is more to Kate than meets the eye. 

If you continue reading after the credits, you will find a short novella called Breathless (Elemental #2.5). It features Nick, Adam, and Quinn. I hope to have a review posted soon on that story as well.

Next stop: Secret (Elemental #4) Expected publication: January 28th 2014 by Kensington Teen - This apparently is also Nick's story. We shall see!

*Recvd via Netgalley 04/03/2013* Released: May 28th 2013 by K Teen 

Title - Spirit (Elemental # 3)
Author - Brigid Kemmerer
Published by K-Teen
Released May 28, 2013
Genre - YA Paranormal

*Review* The Red Plague Affair (Bannon & Clare #2) by Lilith Saintcrow

The Red Plague Affair is book two in the Bannon and Clare series which features Archibald Clare (Mentath who relies on Logic and Reason) and Emma Bannon (Prime Sorceress who came from a very poor background). Both serve at the will of Britannia.

While Clare is playing a game of catch me if you can with Dr. Francis Vance, Doctor of Art, Mentath & Thief that is taking a huge toll on his heart; Emma is tasked by Queen Victrix to not only seek out traitors to the crown, but to also find a doctor (John Morris) who apparently has created a new form of plague that ends up being unleashed on Londinium (London).

The Red Plague Affair, set in alternate Victorian era, flip flops POV's between chapters after Clare and Bannon finally manage to realize that they need to be working together in finding a way to stop the plague from spreading, while also discovering a cure before it's too late. Apparently, this story takes place 2 years after the Iron Wyrm Affair and I didn't find it necessary to go back to read that book, or to say that you should probably read the first book first. 

I think readers will come away seeing that Clare and Bannon are clearly two different characters who go about things in their own unique way. While Clare is more logic driven and older, Bannon is like an iron fist who crushes Victrix's opponents without much of a concern about how others will feel about her. I do think, however, that we do see a bit of Bannon's consciousness coming out when she wonders how much longer she can serve Victrix's desires. 

One of the questions from The Iron Wyrm Affair still chips away at my brain: What is Emma's relationship with Mikal (Shield) and what is the mystery surrounding his origins? Here's hoping that it is better explained in the next book in this series. There is also the point of debate in this book that I am jumping on like other reviewers: How is it that Clare and Vance could survive so long after being exposed to the Plague? What exactly did Bannon do to Clare when he was suffering from the plague? What did Mikal do to Bannon when she fell ill? Is Bannon and Queen Victrix on the outs? Who was the mysterious Prime who appeared in the book, but was never revealed & why is he stalking Emma? Are we headed for a twisted 3 way love triangle between Mikal, Emma, and Bannon?

*Recvd via NetGalley 05/21/2013* Released: May 21st 2013 by Orbit

Author - Lilith Saintcrow
Title - The Red Plague Affair
Released by Hachette/Orbit
Published May 21, 2013
Genre - Steampunk, Historical

Friday, September 20, 2013

Stacking the Shelves 09/21/2013

Stacking The Shelves is a fun way to show off the books we received over the past week in the hopes that you will find something that you will be interested in reading. As always, it is in no way, shape, or form to be considered bragging or sticking out our tongues at other bloggers. 

I personally enjoy  reading comments from those that stop by and support Gizmo's Reviews and I make every effort to comment and visit back your blog in return. 

Received via NetGalley and/or Edelweiss
Thank you to Harper Voyager, Harper Collins, Atria Books, Montlake Romance, Harlequin Teen, Terah Edun, Scholastic Chicken House, J. Taylor Publishing & NAL Roc Trade!

Borrowed via Library System