Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Vampire Diaries TV series one and book two.

The Vampire Diaries, book two; The Struggle by L.J Smith narrated by
Oooooooo Kkkkkk, so when I first started the series I was filled with hope. It was soon squashed like a bug.  Gillian, author of Guardian and Forever warned me that since my feelings towards book one is one of horrified disgust, I should probably stay clear from the rest. "It gets worse", she told me.  But I, friends, family and assorted readers, I am a masochist.  I need to know why this book series was made into one of the most popular TV series.  That and the fact that I have the first 6 books on audio, bought and paid for. 
So book two.  What to say, what to say.  It is well written.  Upon Elena's question as to whether Stephan has a reflection in a mirror he explains, blah, blah, blah "You are my mirror.'  Very cool sentence.  One! Very cool sentence.
So now you know the positive, here is the not so positive.
Here is the rest.  Remember the scene in the first series where THE BLOND goes all self pity and turns to Matt in a drunken stupor telling him that she is as shallow as a fish pond.  Well if she is as shallow as a fish pond then Elena, in the books is as shallow as goldfish bowl, those small, inhuman ones, the ones you can fill with the same amount of water as you would fill a cup of coffee with.  Bonnie is portrayed as dumb.  It really gets on my nerves; she has a sister, woo hoo.  Bonnie is about as flat as a piece of post it.  Her sister, seriously, I know why she is an only child in the series.  Now here is the one thing that gets on my nerves almost as much as Elena and her shallow goldfish mentality.  I do not get this.  So we have Elena, in her single minded pursuit of Stephan.  She wanted him, without knowing him, she got him.  So here is a question, when does want turn to a love that conquers all?  I have no idea, do you?
I gave book one a four star review.  I am now onto an epic question, does writing the worse possible characters in history as the hero's and heroins constitute a bad book?  Oh yes.  I give this a two star review.  One star for every good, positive point.  Stay clear.  On an island with only this book, use it to start a fire. 

The Vampire Diaries Season One.
So I only started to watch the series after I read book one.  Again on Gillian's word that the series is better than the book.  THANK YOU GILIIAN!  I struggled to get into the first 12 episodes.  Damon was in it, and I really liked Damon.  Elena was not a brat doll.  That was good.  Bonnie was smart and strong, really cool.  The blond was hilarious but the story had no grip on me.  I think I was watching it from the point of view of a reader, a reader who happened to hate the book.  So what happened in episode 12 and 13? I fell in love with the sexiest bad boy in Vampire history.  Stephan grew a back bone.  (It seems to be rather fluid though!  Now he has one, now he does not).  But when he gets one he gets to be real cool.  Bonnie got a life.  Matt, the boy next door started to become the axis point between good and evil.  The history teacher turned into Rick.  And Damon, ah Damon.  He keeps getting better.  He will kill his brother, others won't.  I love Damon.  I think he is sexy, smart, snazzy, stylish, good looking and droolworthy and I wish he would come and BITE ME! Any way he wants.  I will die happy!
So who would like this series?  Men ought to, Elena and friends are hot.  If you liked the first few seasons of Smallville, you would probably like the series.  Those who like modern music and adore TV series soundtracks.  This soundtrack rocks.  Woman, all women, between the ages of 2 and 92, forget the story line; forget the fact that is about supernaturals.  Forget the fact that these men might be young enough to be your grandson.  If you are a woman, has a heartbeat and can see the TV screen, then I can almost guarantee that you would at the very least find this show watchable.  At best, you will be addicted, remember the impulse to get posters of Teenage heart throbs and wonder why you ever thought you outgrew the poster on the wall phase.  So in all, for season one of the Vampire Diaries - I give it a one poster on the wall, a name scratched out on your pencil case, doodles with the word Damon repeated, a I have to watch my hair that night and last but not least a drool worthy star.  All in all, a five teenybopper rating. 
If you need to ask why I added this..... seriously.  Look at the man.

Sorry It seems as if  I picked up a stutter where this man is concerned!  But can you blame me?

Friday, May 25, 2012

Daughter of Iraq


Author info via Amazon
Revital Shiri-Horowitz is an experienced teacher and presenter to Jewish communities and audiences. Using her own life story and excerpts of her novel, Revital Shiri-Horowitz generates a warm and uplifting experience for the listener. Her overall mission is to connect her audiences to their roots so that they can be closer to themselves.
Revital Shiri-Horowitz was born and raised in Israel. As a kid, she wrote poetry and short stories. She's been writing in her journal almost every day since she was nine years old, and up to the time she met her husband, but never imagined that one day she would become a published author in more than one language, and in so many countries, and even continents.
Revital went on to earn a BA in Hebrew Literature and Geography from Tel Aviv University, an MA in Geography from Haifa University, and an MA in Hebrew Literature from Tel Aviv University.
She was an assistant professor of Geography in Haifa and Tel Aviv Universities, and has been an editor for Hebrew-language books.
Based in Seattle, Washington, and in Israel, Revital is the mother of four boys, married to Amnon for twenty years, writes poetry, runs a blog in "Haaretz," an Israeli newspaper, and is working on a second novel.
More facts:
* Born in Israel to Jewish Iraqi immigrants.
* Lived with a large extended Iraqi family, upon whom much of this book is based.
* Lived most of her life in Israel.
* Served in the Israeli Army.
* Earned BA's in Hebrew Literature and Geography from Tel Aviv University.
* Earned her MA in Geography from Haifa University.
* Earned her MA in Hebrew Literature from Tel Aviv University.
* Was an assistant professor of Geography in Haifa and Tel Aviv Universities.
* Taught Hebrew to foreign exchange students at Haifa University.
* Taught Hebrew in London, England to elementary school students.
* Has written diaries, poems and short stories throughout her life.
* Has edited a poetry book and children book in Hebrew.
* Has been married to Amnon for 20 years, and is the proud mother of four
boys between the ages of 18 and 7.
She loves to write and connect with people. Revital loves to travel and explore new places, and loves her dog Sheleg (snow in Hebrew).
Book blurb via Goodreads
“Daughters of Iraq” is the compelling story of three women from the same family. It is the story of emigration from Iraq to Israel as experienced by two sisters: Violet, whom we learn about through a diary she kept after being diagnosed with a critical illness, and Farida, whose personality unfolds through her relationship with her surroundings, and with herself. The third character is Noa, Violet’s daughter and a student, a young woman in her twenties who is searching for meaning. Noa embarks on a spiritual quest to the past, so that she can learn how to build her life in the present and the future

My review
So let's get something straight, I love reading fiction.  It is primarily my reading material of choice.  I am blond, shallow and easily entertained.  That said I am also not a total idiot.  So at times I really get lost in a narrative that opens up a new world to me.  The Daughters of Iraq is one such book. The narrative, coursing over generations, sometimes in diary form etc draws the reader into a life and a world I have little if no knowledge about.  For some reason or another it never occurred to me that Jewish people could live in Iraq, that Iraq did not feel the same pressure as did most of the world during WWII or any of the other myriad aspects addressed in this book. 
The characters in this book is utterly amazing, those touched upon in third person narrative etc all do so with an openness and a frankness that I really enjoyed.  These are not mass murderers; these are people, friends, family, and neighbors.  Their flaws although apparent and at times appalling (I had the world's worth of respect of Noa's grandfather) and their successes, which shone through, one thing remained true.  This is a story about real people, people who get mistreated by their spouses, who gets killed due to a bicycle accident.  People who will be remembered due to the way they dealt with life.  Something has got to be said about the everyday heroes who live, and prosper in life without being a hero with a cape.  I loved this book and would recommend it to any reader who wants to break free from the norm.  I give it a resounding 5 * review. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Pulse of Heroes by A J Sweeny Blog Tour Review

A. Jacob Sweeny holds a degree in History with an emphasis on Ancient Near East. Her immersion in world myths and her archaeological fieldwork provided the initial spark that led to the development of The Pulse Myth series which is a trilogy that includes Pulse Of Heroes, Of Blood And Pulse, and soon to come Pulse Genesis. Adding to this collection is a new series of novellas and shorts called- Pulse Historia. A Sword for- His Women available in kindle version is the first short. Besides writing, A. Jacob Sweeny loves to cook and Italian and Indian foods are some of her favorite cuisines. She has always been immersed in the literary world and will read anything from Shakespearian plays, philosophy and spiritual books, to comedy and modern thought.  She is a strong advocate for the protection of women and children worldwide. And is active in animal rights groups. She suffers bouts of writer’s insomnia, and is delighted to share those hours with her pug and two cats.
Pulse Of Heroes
Sometimes I will come across a novel which I classify as a rare jewel: a book that captivates me from beginning to end… an amazing story that it is impossible for it to not capture my heart and Pulse Of Heroes is a rare jewel. There are only two other series' that I consider rare jewels: the Twilight series, and Vampire Academy... I was wondering when the next book would come along that would really pull me in, make me feel emotionally attached to the characters, make me care about them in such a way that I would think about them weeks, months after I had finished reading the story and Pulse of Heroes did just that.
-Alishia, Treasured Tales For young Adults Blog-Page
I love this book! Move over Edward and Bella, a new power couple has hit the scene! Michelle and Elliot from Pulse of Heroes by A. Jacob Sweeny will give Stephanie Meyer's characters a run for their money! I have read so many books, and it takes a lot to knock my socks off but A. Jacob Sweeny did just that! With her original storyline and unforgettable characters she has an award winning series in the making.
-Dawn Hagan, I love Books Blog-Page
I have been waiting for a book to come along that has a new paranormal twist to it, Pulse Of Heroes is exactly that book! This book made me laugh, I wanted to slap characters, hide or cry out for help, and most of all it made me cry. Happiness, loss, pain, terror, and true love brought on an arsenal of tears that I couldn't stop no matter how hard I tried. I am absolutely on the edge of my seat for the next installment of this powerful moving series. I loved this book the same way I loved Twilight and The Hunger Games. The author signed my book "Enjoy the adventure and fall in love a little too". Her words were far shortcoming of what I experienced. Mirabolante the Italian word for astonishing is only cracking the surface of the multitude of words I really want to use.
-Anne, Paranormal Book Club
Of Blood and Pulse
My mind has been blown! Of Blood and Pulse is an epic and exciting continuation in The Pulse Myths series and I enjoyed every second of this phenomenal adventure.
It is every bit as magical as Pulse of Heroes, only better. It is rich with history that has been researched tediously which make the series even more outstanding, and enjoyable at the same time. A. Jacob Sweeny is one heck of a writer. She weaves a tale so vivid and powerful that I can see the things she describes in my head. Also, the already well developed characters become even more so. We get an insight into everyone's past, especially Elliot's, and we get to meet some new and very interesting characters. Of Blood And Pulse is the perfect mixture of romance, suspense, paranormal, and history, along with exquisite and lyrical writing. Definitely one of the best books I have read in 2012!
Kristina Haecker -Kristina's Books & More

Of Blood and Pulse by A. Jacob Sweeny did not disappoint. It picks up where Pulse of Heroes leaves off and Michelle and Elliot continue on their journey together. Sweeny's descriptive writing put me right back into the story without a missed beat. The lands, the history, it just comes alive! I am still in awe of the way the author manages to make the story flow while teaching me all about history. The excitement level of this book revs up the series a notch and the romance is also advancing, at a pace that makes the story believable, never leaves me wanting. New characters are introduced and each one is a living, breathing person to me. I find the balancing act of supernatural/paranormal world to human quite well done. You always believe in the story, the characters, and this is no easy feat. It's the little nuances that make this story evolve so well. While adventure, history and excitement are definitely evident, this story, at its heart, is one of true love. I can't wait until the next book!
Dawn Doyle
Oh Myyyy!! THIS NOVEL CERTAINLY HAD MY BLOOD AND PULSE RACING A. Jacob Sweeny has done it again! More mythology, more history, more characters and so much action I'm sure the kids on the pinball machines would get a run for their money. AJS will take you to places you have never been to and her descriptions were easily envisaged. Like a roller coaster ride she will take you on many twists and turns and have you guessing in which direction the author is taking us next. The romance certainly took on a new level, one that had my heart doing flips and my toes curling along with Michelle's. A must read series that will leave you gobsmacked, your heart palpitating, and have you anxious throughout. It will leave you contented, yet sheepishly grinning and also raising an eyebrow at the ending.
Can’t wait for Pulse Genesis!
Katrina- pageflipperz.blogspot.com
A Sword For His Women
A Sword For His Women is the brilliant story of how several of our favorite heroes from The Pulse Myth series meet and develop friendships that will last a lifetime. It is a tale that is riveting, haunting, as well as thrilling and fascinating. This novella really shows A. Jacob Sweeny’s talent and diversity as an author.  She can write a tender, romantic scene and then do a complete 360 and write about war and impaling people on sticks in detail. Here she gives us a dark and grimy truth that is horrifying at times, and yet you cannot put the story down. The Pulse Historia series a bit steamier than The Pulse Myth series, yet just the same, it has equally heartbreaking scenes. A Sword For His Women will leave you exhausted from feeling all the emotions that the heroes felt, as we get a glimpse into what they've been through in their long lives. This story will stick with you long after you have read the last word.
Kristina Haecker -Kristina's Books & More
First, let me tell you of the brilliance of A. Jacob Sweeny’s writing, as she literally can make history not only interesting but also completely enthralling. I loved reading about the events that have taken place in the past, and how the characters that I adore from The Pulse Myth series fit into them. This novella brings to light a time when battles were settled with swords and blood. It not only tells of these events, but also recounts how people suffered, lived, and flourished through such tragedies. I absolutely devoured this story and finished it in one sitting, all be it a short story, it is lacking not one single detail. Did you love Haden, Rion, Elliot, and Ando in Pulse Of Heroes/ Of Blood And Pulse? This story will only make you love them more.
Anne-Paranormal Book Club
The Pulse Myth series

E-mail: lyviavi@gmail.com

GOODREADS LINKS:
Pulse of Heroes:
Of Blood & Pulse:

A Sword For His Women: (Pulse Historia)

AMAZON LINKS:
Link that includes all works:

Pulse Of Heroes:                     
Of Blood & Pulse:
A Sword For His Women: (Pulse Historia)

B&N:
Link for both:

Pulse Of Heroes:

Of Blood & Pulse:


Book blurb via Goodreads
WINNER OF 2011 INDIE BOOK OF THE YEAR!!!! At Paranormal Reads!
A suspenseful, passionate, paranormal romance that sweeps through the emotions of first love and heartache as it traverses centuries and continents.

Michelle used to feel like she was behind in everything, especially school and relationships. Her great aunt from the old country says she is like a bland meal, "no salt or pepper". But in junior year, everything changes. Her father takes a position on the Town Council, a popular boy in school becomes interested in her, and most importantly, the Hekademos Learning Center, a private school for 'troubled' students, moves into her quiet neighborhood amidst the protests of the entire town.

After an embarrassing fall over the school wall, Michelle meets Elliot and her ordinary ‘bland’ life changes its course forever.

Elliot is no ordinary human. In fact, no one at the Hekademos Learning Center is. Beautiful and fierce, they have survived throughout the millennia by weaving in and out of human events. Through them, Michelle learns that history and myths from around the world are dotted with references to their kind. Michelle falls madly in love with the ever-striking and mysterious Elliot and, as much as he tries to fight it, he develops strong feelings for her as well. Although Elliot carries numerous painful memories from his many pasts, he disregards his own better judgment and the advice of his friends, and finds himself falling for Michelle‘s offbeat personality. Their feelings grow in intensity, but when History catches up with them, the difference between their life paths threatens to destroy any future that they might have had together.

Michelle learns that there are infinite shades of gray between black and white, and has to deal with the bundle of contradictory emotions called love. She has to trust her intuition in order to face the danger and uncertainty of being drawn into Elliot’s wondrous world. Ultimately, it is up to Michelle to make the split-second, life-altering decision that will either tear them apart forever, or give them another chance
My review

A lot of hype surrounds Pulse of Heroes, so it was with reluctance that I started reading the book.  In my experience hype usually equates to disappointment.  So I started on Pulse of Heroes, ready to be disappointed and soon find myself really liking Michelle, you really get to know her.  Really well.  Then enter the love interest - Elliot.  By now the reader has come to know Michelle well enough to no longer think of her as a snooty teenager.  She is extremely well behaved, well anchored and mature.  This came in very handy with Elliot in my point of view.  Because, people, I have always had trouble with a man that is a few hundred, or in Elliot's case a few thousand years old, who falls in love with a school girl.  Anybody able to say - pedophile. 

With the introduction of Michelle, her way of life, her maturity etc it becomes clear why Elliot would fall in love with his best friends great, great, great, great, great, great granddaughter.  So that nagging in my mind was relieved. 
Now the story gets interesting, Michelle gets drawn up in a life not known, at one stage in the book she thinks to herself that she wished she paid more attention in History class and I was laughing out loud.  I myself, share this misgiving. 
Life is however not easy, not even in fiction and Michelle gets caught up in a situation which very few of us would have handled differently or better regardless of our age.  Michelle is involved with another man, this man, abuses her mentally and later physically and then blames it on Michelle, who immediately thinks to herself, that he has a point.  A better description of an abusive relationship is hard to find. It is not a focus in the book or story but is rather masterfully interwoven with the rest of the story.  He isolates Michelle, convinces her that she is in the wrong and threatens her not with more violence but the withholding of his affection.  Brilliant.  I loved this part of the book and its very simplicity in the greater scheme of the book was brilliant. 

Another major plus in this book is the historical facts that are thrown in to enrich the characters as well as the story line.  I adored this facet and only wished that it was brought into the story line earlier. I give this book a 7 *** *** * review, I finished reading it last Sunday and could not wait to write the review and tell you all to go get your copy this is a must read.  Due to the blog hop, I had to wait.  It has been a very long week.  So now I have my chance, go, go get a copy, now.  It is an epic read and soooooo worth it. 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

S.P.I.R.I.T by Dawn Gray
About the author thanks to Goodreads
About this author

Growing up in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont was an ideal childhood and being exposed to the city life in Massachusetts helped twist my creative mind even more. Once old enough to venture out, my world expanded as I explored some of the most beautiful places in New England.

The Vampire Legacy series is based in and around the New London/Waterford, Connecticut area with its main basis at Harkness Memorial State park.

Original titled 'Prophecy: A Vampire's Legacy' The first book was started back in 1998 and became a seven book series that spanned numorous generations and countless centuries of the Deveraux/La Rouge clan, ending with the seventh book, finally finished in 2009, a decade later.

Raven, the first of the self-published books is a st...more
Growing up in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont was an ideal childhood and being exposed to the city life in Massachusetts helped twist my creative mind even more. Once old enough to venture out, my world expanded as I explored some of the most beautiful places in New England.

The Vampire Legacy series is based in and around the New London/Waterford, Connecticut area with its main basis at Harkness Memorial State park.

Original titled 'Prophecy: A Vampire's Legacy' The first book was started back in 1998 and became a seven book series that spanned numorous generations and countless centuries of the Deveraux/La Rouge clan, ending with the seventh book, finally finished in 2009, a decade later.

Raven, the first of the self-published books is a stand alone that revolves around a seeming mortal woman and a 200 year old Vampire. Together they search for the other half of Raven's soul, a woman who's spirit was believed to be lost back when he was a mortal. They meet every challange head on and share a heated romance that burns through two centuries of time
Book blurb thanks to Goodreads
When Samantha Ricketts finds herself placed in a town half-way across the country, her only worry is how did she get there, but when her life is saved by a handsome and mysterious man, the connection they feel is almost more than she can stand.

Zander Smith was only acting on his instincts and training when he moved the dark-haired woman to safety but what he got from his heroics wasn't the distressed woman he had thought he was helping but a fireball of fury that sparked a storm within himself.

Together they tap into the supernatural to uncover the mysteries surrounding the strange town they were slowly growing fond of before they became part of its history

Well I met Dawn in October 2011 and almost immediately decided that this is one of the nicest sweetest people I have ever met on Facebook.  She gifted me her book for review but . . .
So partly out of obligation, partly out of curiosity, mostly due to it being the right thing to do I started on S.P.I.R.I.T as a means of righting the wrong I have done her.
What a pleasant surprise awaited me, the book is fast paced, filled with two amazing characters, Samantha and Zander.  Both of them get to be known by the reader as fully fledged characters.  Zander a military man is part of an elite group.  Sam, a woman with some amazing memories and abilities is instantly attracted to Zander.  Truth be told, so was I.  This is a man’s man.  No sparkly stuff, no effeminate manners.  If I have any critique, it would be that Sam has one or two fainting spells to many.  But, again, if I were her, I would have run off, got into the cupboard and started to pray that when I wake up, all the things that go bump in the night is gone.
For those who like romance, you will love this book.
For those who like action, you will adore this book.
For those who like hot bedroom, shower and ... well i'll not be spilling to many beans ....scenes, you will fall in love with this story. 
For those who like paranormal, this will put the goose in your bumps.
It is truly a great, easy and LOGICAL read.  Some of you might be following my reviews; I have several pet peeves, fainting heroins in one.  Logic, even in the paranormal is another.  This book is filled with paranormal.  But it is explained.  It is delved into, questioned and reasoned out to the point where the characters can’t explain more.  So the paranormal aspect reads logically and naturally.  For me, this in and of itself would have awarded the book a 5 * review.  The fact that this is not all that is impressive regarding this book I feel free to give it a resounding 7 * review.  Go get.  You want to, trust me.
Contact Dawn at
Other eBooks at Smashwords:
Raven
The Vampire Legacy; The New Queen Rises

Friday, May 18, 2012

Book Review of Embrace by Stacey Rourke

Whether she likes it or not, eighteen year old Celeste Garrett has come to terms with being the Chosen One. She knew having a “normal life” would be tricky, between intense training sessions and epic... demonic battles, but she didn’t know at what cost it would come. That is, until a dear friend is harmed by the malicious forces hunting her.

Now, she’d like nothing more than to retreat into a hermit lifestyle to prevent anyone else from getting hurt. But startling revelations, amazing new abilities, and mortifying moments in front of insanely hot guys won’t allow time for that. Soon, Celeste finds herself surrounded by darkness and wondering who she can trust—if anyone.

Review 6 out of 5

Eighteen year old Celeste Garrett has to come to terms with being the Chosen One. She knew having a normal life would be tricky, but between the intense training sessions and fighting demons, she didn't realise what it would cost.
She meets two of the hottest men ever. Rowan, the blonde, blue-eyed demon and black-haired, green-eyed Caleb.
However, who can she trust when all is not as it seems?

This is the second book in The Gryphon Series by Stacey Rourke. I have been eagerly awaiting the release of this book since I read the first book, The Conduit. When I started to read this story, I found myself smiling in anticipation! I knew I was going to love this story, and I was right!
Celeste and her siblings, Gabe and Kendall, have been training very hard with their spirit guide, Alaina. Celeste has been shouldering alone the burden of her ex-boyfriend turning to the dark side. She has been trying to come up with a way of rescuing him, with very little success.
Whilst on a girls night out with her friend, Celeste meets five demons that have been sent to kill her. These are the nerdiest demons I've ever read about. I absolutely loved Stacey's descriptions of them! When I read what they called themselves, I laughed out loud!
Celeste's life gets even more complicated with the arrival of Rowan, a rebel demon who is trying to win his freedom. I found his character to be very interesting and full of charisma.
What can I say about Caleb? WOW, HE'S HOT! Hands off girls, he's mine! I love the combination of black hair, green eyes and an Irish brogue! I think if I had to fight Celeste for him though, I would definitely lose! I don't have supernatural powers, so it's an unfair fight to start with!
There are some startling revelations, and a few surprising twists that kept me riveted to the pages. I am now dying to find out what happens in the next book, as Stacey has quite evilly, in my opinion, left me dangling on a knife-edge due to the enigmatic cliff-hanger of an ending! I highly recommend this book, and series, as it is completely unique and a fantastic YA romance/ action adventure! - Lynn Worton

Monday, May 14, 2012

Passion by Lauren Kate

Blurb via Goodreads
Luce would die for Daniel.

And she has. Over and over again. Throughout time, Luce and Daniel have found each other, only to be painfully torn apart: Luce dead, Daniel left broken and alone. But perhaps it doesn’t need to be that way. . .

Luce is certain that something—or someone—in a past life can help her in her present one. So she begins the most important journey of this lifetime . . . going back eternities to witness firsthand her romances with Daniel . . . and finally unlock the key to making their love last.

Cam and the legions of angels and Outcasts are desperate to catch Luce, but none are as frantic as Daniel. He chases Luce through their shared pasts, terrified of what might happen if she rewrites history.

Because their romance for the ages could go up in flames . . . forever.

Sweeping across centuries, PASSION is the third novel in the unforgettably epic FALLEN series
.
My review
So I could not wait to get my hands on a copy of Passion, it was late to be released in South Africa so I started with a back log already, then I had to wait some more.  When at last I got around to reading it, I was very disappointed.  The story of Luce chasing answers starts off with a bang.  And it gripped me with almost the same Passion the previous two books in the series had. BUT. . . Yes, the but is big for me, but the story line got so repetitive I had to really put in an effort to get through the book. 
The book is well written, don’t get me wrong.  Many may love it.  I however, did not.  In my honest opinion she could tell the entire story and the reader can get the entire gist of the story by reading the first 70 pages and the last 50.  I might not have been this disappointed in the book were it not that I adored the first two so much.  But as it turns out, it did disappoint.  My love of the series however will have me attacking the fourth book in the series with vigor and hope.  I kept thinking what rating to give the book, since it is well written I can't live with a rating of 3 *.  But since I can't recommend that anybody read the entire book either I am at a loss.  So I am giving it a 4 * rating.  Based more on the hope of the fourth and the excellence of the first two than on the engaging factor of the third. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Broken by DM McDaniel

Broken by DM McDaniel
Blurb via Goodreads
Solomon is broken. Well, that is what her ex-husband told her numerous times after discovering she could not conceive. After catching her husband in bed with another woman, she returns to her hometown, Rock Hill, SC, and starts her life over as a medical biller hell bent to remain in her safe little bubble, ruled by her Siamese cat, Izzy.

Everything is smooth sailing in her protective bubble. Solomon is content to cut off her man-dar switch and live a life without worrying about a man breaking her heart...until a mysterious new neighbor moves into the house that has been vacant since her elderly neighbor passed away four years ago. Then a new physician starting at her office has his sights on her.

Both men know the secret behind Solomon's broken life. Will she be able to handle the news
?

My review
This book was gifted to me as a birthday present.  What a present it turned out to be.  The author starts her book with witty commentary on the life of a divorcee with emotional scars.  Intrigue soon finds her and with it danger.  But which of the sudden mysterious men in her life is dangerous? Might it be a man from her past? Might it be a woman?  The intrigue swifts to real danger and brand new challenges.  The wit and irony of the author in her dialogue however does not disappear.  I love this authors way with language and the characters interior dialogue had me snickering at times and at others laughing out loud.  This is truly a delightful read.  One warning though, although not an erotic novel a sensitive reader or a minor might not find this book appropriate.  I have no personal preference towards erotic or explicit writing but I was not offended or put off from the fact that the author wrote in a scene or two, hot enough to fog up your glasses! 
I love recommending good books to avid readers and with this one I discovered an entire new rating.  A seven star rating which in future will mean that I finished reading a book and could not wait to get to write a review so that I could tell everybody to go and read this book.  I absolute adored the story and can simply not wait until the sequel is written.  As a matter of fact, I am not following this author as a fan on Goodreads!  Why, cause I want to read her next book.  And so will you.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

The Vampire Diaries by LJ Smiths
About the author
L.J. Smith recently changed her name because she got tired of being one of a googolplex of Lisa J. Smiths. Her attempts to get people to call her by her new name have not, so far, been successful. Despite initial disappointments, she will not give up the fight! She also wonders if many people out there realize that “smiths” were revered in ancient times for their ability to take bits of rock and magically turn them into useful items like swords, maces, flails, daggers, dirks, spears, halberds, arrowheads, katanas, and, eventually, lead shot and brass knuckles. And spatulas. Spatulas used to be made of metal. For this reason, smiths were thought to be a wee bit uncanny, and it was a brave man or woman who crossed them. There are few who can face up to a really well-honed spatula—or, for that matter, to cutting irony, which in Ye Good Olde Days was made of real iron.

L.J lives in the Bay Area of California, where it is always sunny except when it rains. She has a cat and lots of books. She gets most of her ideas when she is asleep. She isn’t sure whether there is genuine magic or not, but she finds it fun to write about. She believes in the maxim, “An you harm none, do as you will.” (An means “as long as.”)

In February 2011, L. J. Smith was fired from Harper/Alloy; a ghostwriter will be writing the rest of the Vampire Diaries books.
Book blurb via Goodreads
A Love Triangle of Unspeakable Horror... Elena - Searching for the ultimate thrill, she vowed to have Stefan.  Stefan - Haunted by his tragic past, he struggled to resist her passion.
Damon - Driven by revenge, he hunted the brother who betrayed him.
The terrifying story of two vampire brothers and the beautiful girl torn between them.
My review
The Awakening book one
I was very negative about reading this series.  My negativity seemed to be reinforced the moment Elena came on the scene.  Her single minded male seeking, ego centric frame of mind is but one of my myriad pet peeves.  I simply cannot get used to a character who is so totally engrossed by men or partners if you would. Who is written as shallow and evil and then set as a heroin.  Why if you are writing a fictional character as the lead, do you write her as a petulant little brat?  She is fictional; you are allowed to make her likeable.  I promise. Elena, with her planning and scheming, at first sounded like one of the worst characters I have thus far come across. Through the entirety of book one, The Awakening did Elena not once redeem this image I have of her.  Her friends, Dumb and dumber is not much better but since they are not formed totally they do not seem that evil.  The men - well, what a sad state of affairs if the one person you like best in a book is the evil brother.  At least he is true to form.  I wish the book was badly written at least.  It is not.  It is Elena and her teenage angst which served to put me off the book.  What is worse?  I will now read all the books I have in the series.  It is such short books that I decided to keep on reading until either Elena redeems herself or to at least read a book where I have no affinity for any of the lead characters.  This said, up until last night, I never watched the TV series.  Since I have the first three seasons, I decided that I might as well torture myself to the extreme and watch the first episode in the first season.  Woe and behold, Elena is a sympathetic character and a stronger one in the TV series.  What was frightening is that most of book one was partly retold in the first 16 minutes of the show.  What I did like about the series though was the sound track.  Would I put off a dentist appointment to watch the rest?  Most assuredly, I hate the dentists.  Would I rather watch Chuck than the Vampire Diaries?  Naturally. What is remarkable is that this is the first time ever I prefer a series / movie to the original book.  I find this terrifying. 
My star rating…  If it were not for the fact that it is well written even if I think Elena is a twerp, I would have to give it a 4 * review.  Though I really, really wanted to give it a lower rating. 
L J Smith

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Anathema by Megg Jensen
Book blurb via Goodreads
Forget prophecy. Make your own destiny.

Sheltered from the outside world with no hope for escape, slave girl Reychel dreads her fifteenth birthday - when her master’s symbol is burned on the back of her bald scalp. Her best friend disappears the night before, leaving her to face the branding ceremony alone. She soon discovers nothing is as it seems when people desperate for freedom beg for Reychel's help.

Can Reychel learn to believe in herself
?

My review
I fell in love with the cover the first time I saw it.  I still adore it.  So when it became free on Amazon for a limited time I could not wait to download it.
I started to read it but found it a little hard to really get into the story.  I found the start of the book slow and overly detailed.  So why did I stick with reading the book? For the prose, Megg’s use of the English language is a treat all by itself.  She really does use nice words and has an ease of writing that is a pleasure to read. 
By the time the story itself gripped me, I was hooked on the prose.  It took a massively shocking betrayal to get me to get hooked to the story for real.  Reychel never acts like a 15 year old, she never faints, she never escapes her duties, and she is still very human in her doubts, her error of judgements and in her love. 
I ended up really enjoying the book and can recommend it to all YA paranormal lovers.
I give this book a 5 * review. 
About the author
Megg Jensen has been a freelance parenting journalist since 2003 and began writing YA novels in 2009. She co-runs DarkSide Publishing, is a member of SCBWI, and blogs about writing while juggling freelancing, volunteering, and family life. She lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband, two kids, and their miniature schnauzer, Ace.

For more information on Megg please visit her website at http://www.meggjensen.com/.
Book Review of The Earth Painter by Melissa Turner Lee

The Sculptor was alone. The world was gray, as it always had been.
And then the Sculptor said, “It is time…
Time for color,
Time for more,
... The beginning.”
With a word, three sculptures became aware. And they needed to paint.
There was Ocean, Sky, Land, and Life all painted into place.
Then it ended, just as quickly as it started. Then the painters were no longer needed.
But they were still…AWARE.
And it was in this awareness that the battle began. And continues.

When a self-conscious young woman discovers the boy in drama class is actually the immortal who painted the world into being, she becomes the target of another painter who could shatter not only her new sense of hope, but her world, as well.

Review 7 out of 5

After her father is made redundant, Holly Scruggs moves with her family back to her parents home town of Chesnee from Charleston. Starting at a new school is not easy and Holly is uncomfortable at making friends, so she reads her Kindle. When an error on her school schedule sends her to Drama Club, Holly is horrified. She notices a boy sitting on the stage, but no one else seems to. She finds out that Theo is an immortal who painted the world into being. When another painter targets Holly, will her world be shattered forever?

I LOVED THIS BOOK! I had read this book prior to Melissa being published, and I still think this book is AMAZING! The story is original and looks at the creation of Earth in a totally different way. What if there was a sculptor who had created the world, but he was alone, so he created the painters to literally paint the world with life?
I loved all the characters in the book. Holly is a teenager who has an overbearing mother and is always telling her that she is not good enough. Theo is the Earth painter, created to paint the plants and animals into existence. No one is supposed to notice the painters, but Theo is surprised when Holly can see him. I also especially liked Khai-Ree-Hloa-Theo, Theo's much put upon assistant painter. I felt sorry for him, because he had made one error long ago and Theo was still punishing him for it! Then there are the other painters, Fritz (Water) and Walden (Sky). The creator also made the Sciences : Physics, Chemistry, Geography, Biology and Astronomy. It's fantastic to have the sciences as people interacting with humans, who have no idea of their existence! It makes for extremely entertaining reading!
The way that Melissa has woven this story is totally magical! I was very sad when the story ended, as I wanted it to continue! Luckily it looks like there is a sequel planned, as there is mention of The Man Painter coming soon! I very highly recommend that you read this book, whether you are religious or not, because it is the most beautifully, and heartbreakingly, written piece of fiction I have read in a long time. - Lynn Worton

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Book Review of The Mortal Instruments: The City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

Clary is back in New York and life is good: she's training to be a Shadowhunter and is finally able to call Jace her boyfriend. But nothing comes without ...a price. When Jace inexplicably begins to pull away from her, Clary is forced to acknowledge that she herself has set in motion a chain of events that could lead to the loss of everything she loves. Even Jace.

Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. The stakes are higher than ever...

Review 6 out of 5

Clary is back in New York, training to be a Shadowhunter. Finally being able to call Jace her boyfriend is a great relief. However, Jace begins to distance himself from Clary. He has been suffering with nightmares, which terrify him, as he sees himself hurting Clary.
Meanwhile, Simon has issues of his own. The mark Clary placed on him during the battle in Idris is an ancient one that has hidden implications.
Can Jace overcome his nightmares? Will Simon's mark become a burden and a curse?

This is the fourth book in The Mortal Instrument series. It is another fantastically well written story by Cassandra Clare that swept me away!
Clary is finally happy: Her mother has recovered from her coma and is planning to get married to Luke, and Clary is able to call Jace her boyfriend. However, Jace is putting some distance between Clary and himself due to his nightmares.
Simon is struggling to keep his secret from his mother and decides to move out.
The Lightwood's are still mourning the death of Max.
There are some more characters brought into the story: Jordan, Camille and Lilith. These characters bring even more adventure and depth to the series. A character (who shall remain nameless) makes a surprise return. The ending finished on a cliffhanger that left me gasping! I have absolutely fallen in love with this series! It has gripped my imagination and left me wanting more! Luckily, my wish is to come true, as the fifth book, The City of Lost Souls, is due for release soon. I highly recommend this book, and series, to everyone who loves to read YA/YA Romance/Action/Adventure. Lynn Worton
Reign of Blood by Alexia Purdy

I was really lucky to receive a ARC of the book Reign Of Blood by Alexia Purdy.  Let me tell you it was a absolutely AMAZING book.  A vampire epidemic has hit Sin City, Las Vegas and April, her mother, and 6 year old brother seem to be the only humans left????
April is one kick ass teenager who fights zombie like vampires instead of planning her next date or picking a dress for prom.  After a unfortunate incident she meets with Miranda, Blaze, and Rye.  Together they learn things about one another and try to work together to help benefit one another.  What is the secret behind the biological makeup of April that has everyone wanting her.  The strength that she shows gives us the promise that in times of adversary we to may have a inner warrior.  I for one would definitely love to see more Ito this story.  It would definitely be one to be placed on my watch list.  This book was a refreshing change of pace from typical vampire books that have come out with the romance taking over the thrill of having a book increase your heart rate and keeping you glued to the pages as the story unfolds without predictability.  Please please Alexia continue we this wonderful story.  Definitely a 5 star plus book and when it is released I recommend you picking up a copy.  This book is now out to purchase. ~~~Lisa
My book review of
Forever by Gillian Joy

First off I have to say I have been a very bad girl. I have 4 book reviews to write but I just received the book Forever which is the second book in the Guardian Series. It keep screaming to me cause I feel in love with Hannah in the first book Guardian. I started and finished it in an hour tell you how FABULOUS it was. This story flows right from the ...ending of Guardian we don't miss anything. Hannah and Gabriel dance with their feelings once again what is your feelings on them being together. In my heart they are destined soul-mates Hannah needs to get over what she was led to believe. Hannah gets caught up in a drama involving the fairies and it somewhat distracts her from others trying to get her attention. She is afraid of what these Crustas want with her, will it cost her, her life or the lives of others? Are her children in danger should she tell her secrets? I can't wait for book three to see the story of Hannah and Gabriel continue. Definitely 10 stars run and get your copy you will not be disappointed. Gillian is a very talented storyteller who sucks you into the intimate world that he created and leaves you heartbroken in the end cause it is over.
~~~Lisa

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Book Review of Burden of Blood (Blood Burden Series) by Wenona Hulsey

A police officer in a sleepy county town..content in her denial.

She can hide her secret for only so long before an ancient grudge and the power hidden inside her burst... to life.

Dance with fierce warriors and Gothic fairies as southern tradition collides with Irish folklore. Nicole learns about love, heartbreak and The Burden Of Blood.

Review 5 out of 5

Nicole Keenan is a police officer in a sleepy county town. She is one of the best officers in the department. However, she is in denial about her secret "gift". All that is about to change when an ancient grudge catapults her into danger, and allows the power hidden within her to burst free. Her police partner, Luke has a few secrets of his own. Will Nicole be able to control her power to help the ones she loves?

This is a fantastic paranormal story that took me on a roller-coaster ride of action and adventure.
Nicole has been trying to deny and hide her ability to read the thoughts of those who plan to do harm. Undeniably, it does come handy in her line of work; As a police officer, her arrest record is impressive. She also finds out that she is the Granddaughter of a Fae Queen and a Warrior. When both her father and Kat are kidnapped to get to her, Nicole must dig deep to find the courage to use and control her powers.
Nicole is a fantastic character, full of confidence and kick-ass attitude. She is fierce in her loyalty and defence of her family and friends. She also has feelings for her partner, Luke, but she is doing her best to keep it purely business between them.
Luke is also a fascinating character. He is definitely handsome, but he has a secret of his own. He is a Warrior, sworn to protect Nicole. He also has feelings for Nicole, but respects her wishes to remain friends (for now).
There are some other characters that add depth to the story; notably Nicole's father and her best friend, Kat, and later on, the introduction of Rhys and Sage. I was a little bit disappointed as I got to the end, as I didn't want the story to finish. I am now looking forward to reading the remaining books in this series.
I do not recommend this book for younger YA readers, as there is profanity used. However, I highly recommend this book if you love a fantastic paranormal action/adventure/romance. - Lynn Worton
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Book review of Guardian by Gillian Joy
By Kim Castillo

Review 3 out of 5

First, let me say that I REALLY wanted to like this book. I started out liking the book. I thought the concept and idea behind the book were amazing, and a totally... different take on the policing of the paranormal community.

I liked Hannah until about 1/3 into the book. I stayed with the story until about 3/4 way in, then skimmed the rest of it, just to see what happens. The "triangle" (if you want to even call it that) between Jesse, Gabriel, and Hannah is lackluster. I found myself rooting for Gabriel to just give up on her. I think I yelled at Hannah in my head REPEATEDLY, to just go with the flow. But no, it's a book, and a fictional character... :).

I felt that some important parts of the book were missing. Without giving the story away too much, I felt that an entire part of Hannah's life wasn't told. And by not being told, two pretty major events just get skimmed over, and I was left confused, as there were, maybe, only 2 paragraphs that somewhat haphazardly summarized the events. I literally stopped reading the book, and just stared at the transitional paragraph muttering "WHAT?????".... Meanwhile, everyday events and thoughts were told in EXCRUCIATING detail.

By the end of the book, I was a little disgusted with Hannah, and found myself rooting for a final ending. But alas, there was somewhat of a cliffhanger, and apparently the story continues in Forever, the next installment of the series.

I hate to say this, because I LOVE series books, as well as anything Fantasy/Paranormal, but I probably won't be reading the continuation book to see what happens. I'll wait for the "CliffNotes" version and just read the summary.
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