Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Ohh baby it's cold outside!!

I can't speak for my friends below the equator or heck even below the Mason Dixon Line but here in St. Louis it's cold, cold, cold! Too cold to be outside unless you're one of those winter people that loves the bracing air and icicles in your lungs, ok that last part may be an exaggeration, the point is people it's freaking cold outside!

I'm originally from the deep south and my blood is thin it's not used to this cold, wet, weather no matter how many years I've lived in St. Louis. The only consolation to cold weather is warm houses and time spent indoors curled up under throw blankets with hot chocolate and marshmallows. My only other consolation is it's reading season!

This weeks blog is dedicated to my favorite past time, READING! I know this blog is for Independent Authors and I have quite a line up of those as well but I thought I'd share some of my top picks for November reading along with a short blurb about the book. Who knows maybe you'll find one or two you'd like to add to your own reading list.

1: THE LUXE, By Anna Godbersen
Short Synopsis: Manhattan, 1899: In a world of luxury and deception, where appearance matters above everything and breaking the social code means running the risk of being ostracized forever, five teenagers lead dangerously scandalous lives. This thrilling trip to the age of innocence is anything but innocent. 

All right I confess this is a little outside my norm but I need to break away from paranormal for a bit. I mean I love a good werewolf story as much as the next gal and yeah vampires are kinda cool too but every once in a while I just want to read a really good fluff piece with a bit of mystery and this one sounds like it fits the bill!

2: SNOW LIKE ASHES, By Sara Raasch
Short Synopsis: Game of Thrones meets Graceling in this striking fantasy tale of dark magic, dangerous politics, and discovering your true self.  Sara Raasch’s debut fantasy is a lightning-fast story of loyalty, love, and controlling one’s destiny.
Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. The Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been searching for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild their kingdom ever since.
Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, Winter’s future king—she would do anything to help Winter rise to power again. So when scouts discover the location of half of the ancient locket that can restore their magic, Meira decides to go after it herself—only to find herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics, and to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.

HELLOOO Game of Thrones referenced alongside Graceling I didn't need to know anymore but then they went and put that awesome description together and yeah I'm totally done for. I'm hooked like an addict and I need to read this book!!

3: THE DARKEST MINDS, By Alexandra Bracken
Short Synopsis: When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that gets her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government 'rehabilitation camp.' She might have survived the mysterious disease that''s killed most of America''s children, but she and the others have emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control. Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones. When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. Now she''s on the run, desperate to find the one safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can''t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents. When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader

What needs to be said on this one?! Dystopian world, plague, romance, mystery, heart pounding action, if this were a movie I'd predict it to be a blockbuster! I'm so excited to read this one and am counting down the days till I can get my grubby paws on it.
4:THE BROKENHEARTED, By Amelia Kahaney
Short Synopsis: Perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer's The Lunar Chronicles and Marie Lu's Legend series, Amelia Kahaney's The Brokenhearted is a gorgeous, gritty, and imaginative take on the superhero story. Anthem Fleet, talented ballerina and heir to the Fleet fortune, has always been closely guarded by her parents in their penthouse apartment. Lured by the handsome and dangerous Gavin, Anthem is drawn into the dark and exhilarating world on the wrong side of town. But when the couple runs into trouble, Gavin goes missing and Anthem winds up dead . . . only to awaken in an underground lab with a bionic heart ticking in her chest. Now she can run faster, jump higher, fight better. But the only thing that matters to her is getting Gavin back. And when she uncovers the sinister truth behind those she trusted the most, she is determined to use her new found powers for the ultimate revenge.

I have to say I'm not as excited to read this one mostly because I was not a fan of the Lunar Chronicles. That being said the books synopsis sounds far more entertaining than the reference they give to the already established Marissa Meyer's series so I'm crossing my fingers and hoping for the best on this one.

5: RED QUEEN, By Victoria Aveyard
Short Synopsis: Graceling meets The Selection in debut novelist Victoria Aveyard's sweeping tale of seventeen-year-old Mare, a common girl whose once-latent magical power draws her into the dangerous intrigue of the king's palace. Will her power save her or condemn her?
Mare Barrow's world is divided by blood—those with common, Red blood serve the Silver- blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities. Mare is a Red, scraping by as a thief in a poor, rural village, until a twist of fate throws her in front of the Silver court. Before the king, princes, and all the nobles, she discovers she has an ability of her own.
To cover up this impossibility, the king forces her to play the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks everything and uses her new position to help the Scarlet Guard—a growing Red rebellion—even as her heart tugs her in an impossible direction. One wrong move can lead to her death, but in the dangerous game she plays, the only certainty is betrayal.

Ok I mean read that synopsis! You know this book will probably kick major ass when the two books they reference are Graceling and The Selection. Both of those books were A-Mazing! So I'm super excited to read the Red Queen. 

These are my top five picks for my November reading list. This is by no means the only books I'll be reading this month, after all none of these author's are independent authors and I need to stay faithful to my blog readers and fellow I.A. Authors. 

Do you have a book you'd like me to read and review or an author you're in love with and want to share them with the world? Drop me a line in the comments section and I'll feature them in December's review blog.

Monday, November 3, 2014

I have a new Author for you!

Aileen Erin

I know this is a relativity new review blog for Independent Authors and I hope, so far, you're finding these reviews helpful. My friends and I love to read and we love to discover new or new-ish authors out there that have taken the bold and scary decision to self-publish. In my search for something new I took a chance on an Amazon recommended title; Becoming Alpha. I don't usually take Amazon on up on it's recommendations as it's been known to steer me more wrong than right but it was Halloween, I was off work, my kids were occupied with the Fraggles and I was desperate, so I took Amazon up on their suggestion and am I glad I did. So Aileen Erin whoever you sweet talked over at Amazon for that recommendation this reviewer thanks you.

I've read so many stories, from so many authors and genre's that sometimes they just blur together as reading trends move from one genre to the next. The stories that really stand out are the ones with unforgettable characters like Ilona Andrews and her Kate Daniels or Chloe Neill and her Chicagoland Vampires. No matter the genre great characters drive and move the story they are what make us fall in love with a particular series or novel. It's no secret, or shouldn't be a secret any longer, that I love a great, strong, witty, heroine and when given a choice those are the types of characters I gravitate to reading more about. I discovered this need early on in my life when I read a Wrinkle in Time and it was further watered by Jane Austin and the Bronte sisters and Aileen Erin gives one hell of a heroine in this series of hers. I also love that the main character is of mixed race and Aileen gives a very accurate picture of how children of mixed races generally fair in our American Society. I won't go into too much of that here in this blog to avoid getting on any soap boxes.

Now onto my favorite part! Have you ever fallen so in love with a stories concept that you just couldn't shake it and thought to yourself "Self, it would be so absolutely awesome if the elements from this story were paired with the elements from that story and oh! oh! oh! what if these characters met?!" If you haven't had that conversation with yourself then I'm genuinely sad for you. I have those thoughts all the time but then I do talk to myself a lot so, ya know, there's that. In this new-ish series, and I say new-ish because there are three books out in the series now and two more coming next year so clearly I missed the opening season of this series. Oookaay back to the point in this series we meet a young 17 year old mexican/american girl moving from LA to Texas. Talk about a culture shock and the reason for the move becomes apparent when you find out that the girl has social issues because of her special ablities. Tessa is a descendant of the powerful bruja clan and she's been raised away from her relatives in an effort to protect her from them. You'll find out why she needs protection by book two so I'm not going to go into that yet. All you need to know about Tessa is that she's had to grow up being socially isolated with no friends because every time she touches someone or touches things that others have touched she gets flashes of their past and sometimes of their present. This has made touch in general a no no for Tessa. She has a strong family support and you'll come to love them as much I do. Her mom is strong and supportive of her and her dad is like the best dad ever! Seriously wish I had had a dad like him growing up. Her only real friend through out her entire life has been her older brother and he's pretty bad ass himself. Tessa is excited for this move. She's ready to leave LA behind and everyone who knows her at school as that "weird kid". She sees this move as a way to start over in a new place among people that don't know her or her special abilities. She's determined to fit in and she's somewhat successful until one fateful party and one fateful kiss.

She's drawn to Dastien, one of the St. Ailbe's kids. He's two years older than her and all she knows about him at first is that he's an instructor at the St. Ailbe's school. She's warned repeatedly by her parents and by Mr. Dawson to stay inside at night and the kids at school warn her about staying away from the St. Ailbe's kids. That doesn't happen as I'm sure you can figure out but I'm not going to ruin the story by telling you how that comes to pass. It's one of my favorite scenes in the book anyway and you should have the pleasure of reading it for yourself.

What makes this book and the other two that follow it are the careful mixing of new and old story ideas and the great character develop the author has put into her work. I was excited to keep reading and be able to pick out elements from different genre's that she has melded so seemlessly into her world that it just worked! If you love the Quinn Loftis series and the Christine Feehan worlds you'll love this series. They have a lot of elements in common but with a unique twist that makes Aileen's world so different and exciting. It's not just another werewolf story or coming of age tale it's all of those things and then some.

You can get her books pretty cheaply at Amazon and I promise you it's worth the cost of a few bucks to be transported into this world.