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Friday, October 28, 2011

Interview with Shayna from EARTH

I interviewed Shayna, the main character from Earth by Shauna Granger, and here are her answers to a few of my questions below:

1.  What is it like being a magic user in a world where pretty much everyone around you doesn't even believe in magic?

It’s a little strange, kind of like finding out you’re the last one in your class who still believes in Santa. I know I’m lucky to have other magic users around me; as I got older (especially dealing with high school), it became very clear to me why a lot of magic users who don’t understand what powers they have, or don’t have people around them to help them with it, slowly go insane one way or the other.

2.  What are the best and worst parts of having magic?

Hmmm, as far as my magic goes, the best part is my elemental abilities, being so in tune with the Earth and getting to see other magical creatures like faeries, gnomes, stuff like that. But my empathetic magic makes being around so many other teenagers that much harder. Each one is like a tiny tornado of anger, hormones, stress and erratic bursts of happiness. It’s a little much to deal with.

3.  If you could change one thing in your life, what would it be?

I wouldn’t mind being a few inches taller, haha! Really though, I don’t know if I would change anything. I could do with a shorter time in high school, but at least it’s almost over. I think if I changed anything I would miss out on something I would regret. I don’t know if Steven and Jodi and I would’ve ended up such close friends if we didn’t all have the bond of magic. I try not to tempt Fate.

4.  How hard is it to keep your magic secret from the majority of the people around you?

Most days, now that I have better control of it, it’s not so hard. But there are still days where I know my other classmates think I’m a freak because I have a hard time being in crowds of unknown people; all of those unknown emotions just wreak havoc with my empathetic abilities. Really, how many teenagers do you know who need someone to hold their hand just to go to the movies or to a restaurant with friends? That came be pretty lame some days. But I am glad we live in Southern California; since my elemental magic is tied to the earth there have been a couple of panic induced earthquakes that would’ve been hard to explain otherwise. I guess that could also fall under the category of “worst parts of having magic” and “what would you change in your life.” Hopefully I’ll get that under control before someone catching me doing it on one of those damn cellphone cameras and it’s all over the web.

To win an ebook of Earth, leave a comment with your email address on this post! Giveaway ends on Oct. 30.

Comment on every blog’s post to be entered into the Grand Prize for a signed print copy of soon to be released Air and bookmark! Second Grand Prize is a signed print copy of Earth and a bookmark!

REVIEW: The Legacy of Kilkenny by Devyn Dawson

The Legacy of Kilkenny is the story of Abel Casey, an ordinary boy until the stunning Pru Phelan came to town and introduced him to his destiny. Pru had a vision that the Great Wolf was born and he can be found in Piedsville, Oklahoma and his name is Abel Casey. Pru's main assignment? To kill Abel... at least make his family believe he is dead. The Great Wolf is expected to become the leader of all packs. As Abel starts training he begins to have abilities of a werewolf, he hasn't shifted and he doesn't want his family to believe he is dead. Will he be able to convince the pack that he can protect his family. Just when everything seems to be going okay, Abel's sister Allie meets a new guy named Arien. Arien isn't any guy, he is a vampire and he knows the Phelan pack has found the Great Wolf, he wants to know who it is and he is threatening to turn Allie into a vampire if they don't tell him who it is. Allie is already moody, will she contract the Human Vampiric Virus (HVV)? Abel wants a relationship with Pru, but she only has eyes for her bodyguard Oakley. The story will have you cheering for the good guy.... hating the bad guy... dream of the sexy werewolves and love to hate the vampire Arien. The multiple scenarios may be too much to bear for our newly unshifted werewolf Abel, can he save his sister? Will he find love? Will Pru be able to fulfill her assignment? Will Allie become a vampire? Who will be brutally murdered? Enjoy this page turning supernatural story.

Book: The Legacy of Kilkenny by Devyn Dawson
Release Date: June 11, 2011
Format: eBook
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Young Adult
Series: The Legacy Series, #1
Obtained: As part of a book tour
Rating:PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket1/2 (3.5 Zombies)

I loved reading about the main characters, Pru and Abel, and seeing how they interacted with each other and their circumstances in The Legacy of Kilkenny. The characters, more than anything else, made this book for me, and I'm definitely looking forward to reading more about them in future books.

The many conflicts involved in the characters' lives added some awesomely frustrating suspense to the book and had me reading at all hours of the night.

The Legacy of Kilkenny was a very fast-paced, entertaining read that I recommend to any fan of supernatural thrillers of the young adult variety. Check it out whenever you're in the mood for a real page-turner.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

GIVEAWAY: Destined by P. C. & Kristin Cast

About "Destined":

"...Zoey is finally home where she belongs, safe with her Guardian Warrior, Stark, by her side, and preparing to face off against Neferet – which would be a whole lot easier if the High Counsel saw the ex-High Priestess for what she really is. Kalona has released his hold on Rephaim, and, through Nyx's gift of a human form, Rephaim and Stevie Rae are finally able to be together – if he can truly walk the path of the Goddess and stay free of his father's shadow…"

1. To enter, leave a comment telling me either who your favorite House of Nigh character is and why (no big spoilers for the more recent books, please!), or your favorite Halloween read if you haven't read the HoN books yet. Make sure to leave your email.
2. Giveaway ends on Nov. 5 at 11:59 p.m.
3. Entrants must have a valid address in either the United States or Canada.
4. Winner must respond to notification email within 24 hours or a new winner will be selected.

Thanks for entering! Good luck!

Monday, October 24, 2011

REVIEW: Ink by S. J. Davis

“It’s a good day to die.”
My mother holds my arm fiercely.
“But as you grieve for me, listen for
the voices.
Then, you must get the ink.”

Sparrow stumbles between two worlds,
light and dark, love and hate, what is real
and what is in her mind.

When her mother dies on the Reservation,
Sparrow’s world is shadowed with anger
and narrowed by pain. The voices arrive,
but are they real? And how can a tattoo
make her stronger?

Book: Ink by S. J. Davis
Release Date: September 1, 2011
Format: eBook, Novella
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Young Adult
Series: Not sure if this is part of a series
Obtained: As part of a book tour
Rating:PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket (4 Zombies)

I really enjoyed the Native American mythology that was explored (however briefly) in Ink. It was a lot of fun to read about some of Sparrow's customs and beliefs that seem so strange to someone like me, who hasn't had much exposure to Blackfoot culture, but come so naturally to her.

Ink had a dreamy, vague style of writing which I really liked. It fit the story well and made it feel like a Native American tale, more than an account of a teenage girl's life. I'm not sure I would enjoy this type of writing in most other stories that I like to read, but I think it worked really well with Ink.

I definitely hope that there will be a sequel, because I would love to see what happens next in Sparrow's tumultuous life, but Ink ended on a point where it could go either way and not be disappointing. I was pleasantly surprised at how good it was, and I look forward to reading more of Davis' work.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

REVIEW: Mind Over Monsters by Jennifer Harlow

Paranormal heroes take on zombies in this funny and thrilling debut 

Very few people know the truth about Beatrice Alexander. She's no ordinary schoolteacher with a fondness for classic movies. Beatrice can move objects with her mind, an embarrassing and dangerous skill that she's never learned to master—or embrace. After nearly killing her brother by accident, she joins F.R.E.A.K.S. The Federal Response to Extra-Sensory and Kindred Supernaturals is a top-secret offshoot of the FBI that "neutralizes" ghouls, trolls, and other monsters threatening humanity.

Beatrice has no desire to become Buffy the vampire slayer. But F.R.E.A.K.S. offers training to control her power. Also, she doesn't feel like such a freak next to the other supernatural members, including a cute former detective who's a werewolf and an unbearable vampire determined to seduce Beatrice. Despite a natural instinct to flee from hideous, bloodthirsty zombies, Beatrice must prove herself on her first mission to find a cunning necromancer.

Book: Mind Over Monsters by Jennifer Harlow
Release Date: October 8, 2011
Format: Paperback
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: A F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad Investigation, #1
Obtained: As part of a book tour
Rating:PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket (5 Zombies)

When I first picked up Mind Over Monsters, it was mainly because my tour date was coming up and I needed to get it read and reviewed in very little time. I read the back and had no idea why I'd decided to join this tour, because it looked insanely terrible and very much not my thing. The cover was ugly and the book didn't sound great. I was unexcited, to say the least. When I opened up Mind Over Monsters, the first thing I saw was that Karen Chance, the author of one of my favorite UF series, had read and loved it, but I still didn't think it was going to be great. Then I started reading.

Mind Over Monsters is one of the best UFs I've read in a long time. Beatrice, the main character, wasn't some badass jaded monster killer, but she was still amazing and totally frickin' awesome. I loved loved loved reading about her adventures, and all of the wonderful side characters she shared them with.

The love interest, Will the werewolf, was shy and sweet and loveable with a stubborn streak a mile wide, and I couldn't help but fall in love with him along with Beatrice. Oliver the vampire created a sort of love triangle thing that I wasn't quite on-board with until the end of the book, but I'm having a hard time deciding between the two now that I've read the entire book.

If you're looking for a great mystery and fantastic characters, you have got to pick up a copy of Mind Over Monsters ASAP!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

REVIEW: Spirit Seeker by Jamie Haden

Life is strange and difficult for the granddaughter of a shaman. Sixteen-year-old Talisa Santiago was born in the desert underneath the full moon in January-the wolf moon. However, she left the desert with her mother when she was a young girl. She remembers bits and pieces of her past but it isn't until she and her mom move to a remote barrier island off the coast of North Carolina that she feels fate has finally called-secretive and mysterious he stands alone on the edge of the bank. Her friends tell her to stay away; she hears rumors that he is dangerous. Still, she can't resist. Whether Talisa realizes it or not, she knows a thing or two about boys like Jag Chavez. Fate is funny that way. For the first time in her life, Talisa meets kids just like her-Native Americans who know the ways of the spirit. The closer she gets to Jag, the more she realizes he is hiding a dark secret. He may have the markings of the Thunderbird, but he is named for the powerful Jaguar. Together they embark on a journey that will haunt her forever.

Book: Spirit Seeker by Jamie Haden
Release Date: August 26, 2011
Format: eBook
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Young Adult
Series: Talisa Santiago, #1
Obtained: As part of a book tour
Rating:PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket (4 Zombies)

I really enjoyed reading Spirit Seeker, and I loved the supernatural storyline as well as the actual characters. Sometimes supernatural books can get to be somewhat repetitive, what with the vampires and werewolves and vampires, but Spirit Seeker was really different.

My favorite part of Spirit Seeker has to be the Native American mythology. It was so cool learning about all of the myths and legends that Talisa has grown up being told, and I'm definitely going to stop by the library in the near future and take a look at some more Native American literature. I thought that that aspect of the book was really fun and original, and I can't wait to find out more.

Talisa herself wasn't my favorite character, but I didn't hate her either. She just didn't stand out too much to me, especially surrounded by a cast of amazing secondary characters. I hope she gets to be more of an enjoyable character in later books, which I can definitely see happening after witnessing her growth throughout this book.

Overall, Spirit Seeker was a pretty awesome book, and I'm really looking forward to reading the second when it comes out!

Monday, October 3, 2011

REVIEW: The Vampire Way by Derek Clendening

Eighteen year old Rick Thompson is a marked man. When Damien Masonite comes to his school, he knows something is up. And when his friends start falling to vampire attacks, he knows that he and his girlfriend Laura are next. The quest to understand immortality, true love and undying friendship compromise his safety even more. Can he keep his best friends, his true love and keep his mortal life?

Clendening has created somewhat of a subtle emotional firestorm in The Vampire Way. This story understands the desperation of young dreams and the price some may pay to attain them. Engaging, tightly written and poignant, this tale must be sought after for those who love the bloodsucker genre!

--Benjamin Kane Ethridge,
Bram Stoker Award winning author of BLACK & ORANGE

Book: The Vampire Way by Derek Clendening
Release Date: April 20, 2011
Format: eBook
Genre: Horror/Young Adult
Series: The Vampire Way, #1
Obtained: As part of a book tour
Rating:PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket (3 Zombies)

I loved how The Vampire Way juxtaposed everyday teenage (and human in general) struggles with the horror movie scenario of being on a vampire's bad side, but I didn't like the characters as much as the concept. I had a hard time relating to them individually, rather than the events that they were going through.

Rick, the main character, didn't get quite as much page time as I would have liked, though I genuinely enjoyed reading about him for the most part. For a main character, I would have expected that he would narrate the story much more often than he did, but the characters Damien, John, and Bobby told so much of the story that it was kind of hard to see who the main character was without the GoodReads synopsis.

I haven't read many horror novels, but as far as movies go, this book was definitely not bad, if a bit typical. Not great characters, but realistic problems as well as those that come with the horror genre; fast-paced without a huge deal of development; sometimes quite frightening, in the best way possible; and short, but definitely fun. If you're a fan of the horror genre, I would recommend this book, especially with Halloween coming up at the end of the month :)