Friday, July 22, 2016

Review: Shadow Rider

Shadow Rider Shadow Rider by Christine Feehan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So good I had to read it twice!!!
Shadow Rider (Shadow, #1) by Christine Feehan
I'd expect nothing less from Christine Feehan author of the Carpathian Vampires and the Shifters series. What I liked best about this new series from her was the mafia feel. I'm not just saying that because the characters come off as all Alpha Male badasses (although that's in there too) but because the main characters are both Italian American, one actually does come off as mafia and the other-- well no spoilers here so we'll just say she'd be a great princess.

One of things we love about Christine Feehans books are the mysteries that invariably pervade every layer of her story telling and this new series is no different. What is different is the one of the main antagonist turns out to be Stefano Ferraro's own mother. I did not see that one coming and at all. This new book has twists and turns to keep you glued to the edge of your seat! That ending!!!! Christine we need book two like yesterday!!

View all my reviews

New Author Spotlight!! Caitlin Esther

Just in time for your weekend reading we have a new YA author for you all to check out. Her new book Oasis in the Clouds.
If you think the cover is awesome wait till you read the book. The main character Niri wakes up in a beautiful garden with no memory of who she is or how she got there she believes she's going to spend the rest of her life alone in this beautiful paradise..but come on!!! This is YA fiction you and I both know that's not gonna happen. 

Once of Niri's friends from the life she can't remember finds her and brings her out of the garden where she discovers that a powerful Wicca stole her memories. Now Niri has to fight to regain what was taken from her and save the kingdom. 

This is an action packed, fast paced read and it's the first book in what will be a series so no spoilers but don't expect everything to be wrapped up by the end of the book. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this story and I want to thank C. Esther for thinking of us when she reached out for a book review. The characters are so well developed you'll swear you can still hear them talking long after you finish the last page. Niri's journey through this first book is daunting and you'll find yourself cheering out loud and gasping in dismay as she discovers the powers that she didn't know she had. C. Esther doesn't skimp on the secondary characters either which sets her up in my humble opinion as a great story teller. Truly I can't decide which of the characters I like best and that almost never happens to me. As a lifelong reader I'm usually pretty set by the end of the first book on who I'm going to like and who I'm not but C. Esther makes it soo hard to pick a favorite that I find I just like them all. Also dragons!!! I have always been obsessed with dragons since I was a little girl I even have a collection of them from all over the world so how awesome was it that one of the secondary characters is a dragon! His name is Arach and he's the one that comes to warn Niri of impending danger. He is AWESOME!

If you have been a long time reader of our book review blog then you know that between the two of us I'm the one that LOVES the villians. A good villian is essential to a story like this and because I'm such a fan of the bad guy I'm also extremely picky about my ratings of them. I am beyond pleased to announce that you will love to hate the villain in this story. The Wicca Melody is delightfully wicked. She is so awful that you'll find yourself going mafia on this chick:
Oasis in the Clouds is a quick, fast read with loads of intrigue, dragons, fairies, a kingdom in turmoil and of course a heroine. You can pick it up at any of these fine online retailers and slip into another dimension this weekend. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Back at it again! Some Quick Reviews to round out the week.

It's been a busy summer for readers and we've been reading like our lives depended on it. I've rounded out my summer reading with some of the littler known authors that we've featured on our blog in the past.

First up is the lastest release in the Ghost Bird Series by C. L. Stone: First Kiss is the tenth book in this ongoing series and unlike the "The Healing Power of Sugar" First Kiss delivers on moving the story forward. The story stagnation appears to be at an end  with the 10th book. I found it a relief and a joy to read this one and get back to what makes this series so amazing in the first place. I'm very much looking forward to the next book in the series so we can learn more about Sang Sorenson and her dark and murky past. In book 10 of the series Sang is finally officially introduced to the Academy. What happens during that visit will leave you in tears. It's at the camp that we discover what all those traumatic events in the past books have done to Sang and you'll be shocked to find that it's not only showers she has a phobia of!! If you're new to the Academy series you can pick up the first book "Introductions" for free on Amazon. You can also visit C.L. Stones website for more information on both of her Academy series: Ghost Bird and The Scarab Beetle series. http://clstonebooks.com/




Second up on our list is book four in the Ancient Guardians series "The Awakening". For those of you new to our blog let me tell you that this author is one of the main reasons we got started in this direction of blogging. S. L. Morgan's Ancient Guardian series is so good it HAD to be shared with the world and thus this blog became a reality. That being said I was beyond excited to get the fourth and final book in this series. I couldn't wait to start reading it and Ms. Morgan did not disappoint. It was the best final book in a series I've read in a long time. This book took longer to come to the market because S. L. Morgan actually compressed books four and five together for one large final book. I couldn't tell the difference though and I mean that in a good way. The ending wraps up a lot of the mystery without any major cliffhangers except one tiny foreshadowing at the very end of the book. This foreshadowing makes this reader wonder if she's planning on a spin off series that focuses on the younger generation..hmmm? Now you know we pride ourselves on no spoilers with these reviews so I'll say this and no more, It's a wild, unpredictable ride all the way up to the very last page. You'll cry and gasp in outrage, shudder in fear, and rejoice in the end. All in all an excellent final book to an amazing adventure that I've been privileged to be a part of since book one.



Last but certainty not least is the latest book in the Courtlight Series Sworn to Sovereignty. This is book 8 in this series and book 9 is set to release July 29th. This series got me sucked in a few years ago and then we readers had to wait a really long time for the next book in the series to come out now we've gotten two of the three promised and the third should be out at the end of this month. YAY! The courtlight series follows Ciardis Weathervane as she first learns who she is and what she can do. Each book after that builds on the story and the mystery of the Weathervane clan. Ciardis faces many dangers and sometimes you'll be as frustrated as she is with all the court politics and near death experiences she faces. 
Terah Edun is a harsh, harsh, mistress. This series draws you in so fast that before you know it you've forgotten the world around you and the only thing that matters is where Ciardis Weathervane's life is going to take you next. No spoilers in this review because you can't give anything away without ruining the next book. I will say this each book in the series leaves you on a cliffhanger and begging for the next book. If you don't handle that kind of anxiety well then I would suggest waiting till the series is complete before reading the first book and you should also clear about a week from your calendar, stock up on snack foods and easy to prep meals, lots of water and forget any kind of outside social engagement because once you start you won't leave your house till it's complete. If you have kids this would be a good time to send them to grandma's house for a visit because you will end up in what my six year old refers to as "The Reading Trance".  

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Interview with Shannon Lee Alexander!




I wanted to kick things off with a fun question, so what is your favorite book of 2016 so far?

THE SERPENT KING by Jeff Zentner made me cry so much I leaked tears all over the copy I was borrowing from my daughter. It was the best kind of heartbreak and hope all in one beautiful book.

How do you come up with the names for your characters?


It sounds super cheesy, but usually they just tell me their names. Sometimes I’ll poke around on baby name websites, but even then, I’m just reading the names until one of them speaks to me. I don’t give it a whole lot of thought. I know some writers do, but if I get too hung up in names and meanings and whatnot, then things start to get too allegorical and prescriptive and the life just drains out of my stories.

Did you always want to be a writer?

I think somewhere in my subconscious I’ve always wanted to be a writer, but it seemed like a scary thing to want, so I convinced myself I wanted to be other, more sensible things, instead. I’ve always been a writer though. I’ve kept journals for as long as I can remember.

What inspires your writing?

I process my world and experiences through writing, so I’d say I’m inspired to write when there’s something I’m struggling to understand, like sickness, death, violence, and even love and relationships.

What was the hardest part writing “Life after Juliet”?

When I wrote LOVE AND OTHER UNKNOWN VARIABLES, no one had ever met any of the characters before. They didn’t bring to the book a set of preconceptions about how Charlie and the gang should act. Becca is a big favorite with LAOUV fans, I think because readers can easily see themselves in her. They’re very loyal to her.

I became paralyzed after a critique session of an early draft of LIFE AFTER JULIET. Everyone in my writing group agreed that Becca’s character wasn’t quite right in that draft, but they couldn’t agree on what I was doing wrong. There were ten different (and strong) opinions about how Becca would react to a single situation. I was baffled. I had no idea which Becca was the right one. And I really didn’t want to screw this up because everyone loved her so much! I needed to get it right!

It took a long time for me to figure out that no one knew Becca better than me, and that if I wrote her from my heart, then people would love her again.

Ignoring expectations and staying true to my creative vision was the key. Once I did that, the story unlocked itself.

What is your favorite thing about writing “Life After Juliet”?

I think Darby Jones is my favorite thing about writing LIFE AFTER JULIET. She evolved into a major character that I did not see coming! And I love her for it. I hope readers will love her, too.

Do you have any habits while writing? For example: a specific snack food you have to have or maybe music playing in the background.

I like to burn a candle with a wooden wick when I write. It makes a crackling sound that is good for white noise. I also like to have a cup of hot coffee or tea. My husband can tell if I’m having a good writing day if he comes home and finds cups full of cold coffee in my office. That means I was too busy writing to drink my coffee! And if I’m truly stuck, I need candy! Swedish fish are my favorite.

That being said, I try not to get stuck in routines when it comes to writing. I don’t ever want to use a habit as an excuse for why I can’t write. I don’t ever want to think, Well, I just can’t write today because there are no Swedish Fish in the house. I’d never get any writing done if I was always waiting for the perfect opportunity to write.

What is your favorite thing to do when you aren’t writing?

Besides hang out with my family, it’s reading. I love reading young adult and middle grade books.

What or Who were your biggest inspirations for the characters in Life after Juliet?

I had an amazing drama teacher in high school. She wasn’t the inspiration for Mr. Owens, Becca’s theater director because he’s an egomaniacal drama queen and my teacher always put us first. But her love for theater is something that inspired me in high school, and when I was looking for something to inspire Becca, I decided that was exactly what she needed.

What is your next project?

It’s set in a new place with new characters and a new, dark mood. It’s full of secrets and ghosts, and it’s going to be awesome—when I finally finish it.

What do you think is the most special thing about this world you have created?

 
I think the relationship between Becca and her older brother Charlie is beautiful. I absolutely love the way that they’ve opened up to each other and can depend on each other, too. Becca says, in LAJ, that before Charlotte they were like closed books on the same shelf. Charlotte opened them up and taught them to read each other.

What is the one thing you want readers to walk away from Life after Juliet with?

Grief is not a thing you “get over.” It changes you and becomes a part of you. And that’s okay because it means that you know how to love and be loved.

If could describe your book in five words, what five would you use?

Booknerd looks up. Finds life.


 Bio:
Shannon Lee Alexander is a wife and mother (of two kids and one yellow terrier named
Harriet Potter). She is passionate about coffee, books, and cancer research. She spent most of her time in high school hiding out in the theater with the drammies and techies. Math still makes her break out in a sweat. She currently lives in Indianapolis with her family.  

Find her at www.shannonleealexander.com


Link to Entangled Publishing Author Page
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Friday, July 1, 2016

Review of Since She Went Away by David Bell

Since She Went Away by David Bell

Thank you to Netgalley for a copy of the eArc.


Three months ago Jenna was 15 minutes late to meet her best friend Celia in the meeting place of their teenage years. Celia disappeared that night and hasn't been seen since. Jenna has been beating herself up because she was late, we soon find out that she was late because she caught her son with a bottle of alcohol, but she lied to the police about that. Jared her son is involved with a mysterious young girl named Tabitha.

As the mystery deepens and another young woman disappears and found days later dead, everyone begins to wonder what really happened to Celia and if she is connected to all the other things going on. When Tabitha disappears with her creepy dad shortly after breaking up with Jared. Things begin to get strange!

I have to say I really didn't know what to expect with this book, and I was totally sucked in from the first page. As I read I was hooked even more on all the different connections and the multiple mysteries, who took Holly, why was Celia's other earring found 3 months after the fact, who was Tabitha and her father. 

As it all began to unfold I won't say I was completely shocked by everything, but I will say I didn't see the ending coming until literally the end! I thought this was a great example of how you can know people but not really know them. How horrifying simple some explanations of why or how bad things happen. It had moments of having too much going on, but I did love how the author tied them all together and really had it all make sense! If you looking for a dark thriller than look no further! This will be a great late night read.