Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Review: The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Hi all!

The second book in one of my favorite trilogies last year :)




Title: The Runaway King
Series: The Ascendance Trilogy #2
Release date: 1st of March 2013
Published by: Scholastic Ltd
Imprint: Scholastic Children’s Book
Reading level: FICTION – JUVENILE: Adventure, YA
Pages: 324 in Paperback
Source: Bought from the Bookdepository

Summary:

He is king, but he has no power. He lives in a castle, but has no safe place. He’s won the throne – but keeping it will be the game of his life.

Jaron used to be a pauper. Then he was a prince. Now he is the prey. Jaron is finally in his rightful place as king. But with traitors in his castle and enemies at the borders, he is far from safe. Now he must go undercover on a dangerous quest to find the truth behind his family’s murder. Sometimes being first in line for the crown means being first in the line of fire. For Jaron to safeguard his crown and avenge his family, the hunted must become the hunter…

Review:

The first book in the series is one of my favorites from last year and the journey continues in the anticipated sequel for which I had impossibly high hopes for. And while it didn’t knock me over like the first one did – weep – this was still a highly entertaining adventure read with twists and turns galore.

I was prepared for the craziest directions for the story to take, but since one can never predict or even guess what goes on in our hero Jaron’s head, then that was the case with the whole story as well – the plot was a perfect reflection of the main character. What I thought would occur didn’t come even close to reality and what I couldn’t imagine possible happed like it was no biggie. How all the events were wrapped up and how impossibly difficult and inescapable situations found closure was awesomely unpredictable and exciting, but I have to admit that some solutions and actions came across slightly far fetched. But, I’ll turn a blind eye as long as Jaron manages to amaze me with his utter lack of self-care, fear and ridiculously crazy, not to mention dangerous with a small percentage of success, plans of his.

The plot itself takes off basically right after the first book and the atmosphere and state of Jaron’s kingdom is as unstable as ever with him having to make several scarifies and take on some daring and risky journeys to even attempt to patch things up. Of course, nothing and no one is as what they seem. The diverse intentions, hidden agendas and 180 degree turn overs with various characters constantly kept me on my toes. We are presented new settings and facets of this fantasy world each with their colorful people, rules and discoveries. And in the end, I didn’t even have time to let go of the breath I was holding since something, that will probably make up the major conflict of the third book, was introduced with a bang.

Other things I liked: The subject matter and situations were highly unsettling and dangerous, but I didn’t feel that I was reading a depressing middle age themed read. The pace was incredibly fast without leaving you considerable time to catch your breath so you just enjoy the ride without thinking too much into the setting. The action is nonstop.

Characters:

I worship Jaron, he’s incredibly unpredictable and reckless while managing to be exciting and charming without any effort. He is a master at strategies that most of the time seem like utter nonsense to others, but Jaron sees the (possible) outcome without having to go through the actual journey first. Or it can actually be that he’s just crazy and has endless amounts of luck – not that he is always left without any damage however. Still, he’s the boss. BUT, he came across a little too noble and goody goody in this book compared to the last and, while it’s great and that’s how he should be most of the time, I wanted to see him be more of a sneak and seemingly egoistic as in the first. Nevertheless, he’s by far one of my favorite adventure heroes.

From other characters, we were reunited with old favorites and met a lot of new faces as well. The dynamics of the three original prince candidates from the first book was still very much alive and interesting in this book, and it was fun to see how some aspects were concluded.

Overall:

Still, one of my favorite adventure YA series at the moment and I expect nothing less but dazzling awesomeness from the final book of the series. I’m waiting!




4 stars!

LIIS


Monday, April 29, 2013

Review: Wait For Me by Elisabeth Naughton

Hi all!

It has been a long time since I posted a review :) Time flies.






Title: Wait For Me
Release date: 21st of December 2011
Reading level: FICTION – ADULT: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 282 in e-book format
Source: Bought from Amazon.com for Kindle

Summary:
A woman without a past…

After a tragic accident left her with no memory, Kate Alexander struggled to fit in with a husband and world that didn't feel right. She’s had no reason to question what friends and family have told her, not until her husband is suddenly killed and she finds a photo of a young girl in his office. A girl who can’t be anyone but a daughter Kate didn't know she had.

A man desperate for a reason to live…

Ryan Harrison lost his wife in a plane crash five years ago. To cope with the pain of her loss, he dedicated himself to his job and to raising their daughter. Now a successful pharmaceutical executive, Ryan has everything a man could want—money, fame and power—but he’d give it all up in a heartbeat for just one more day with the woman he still loves.

Two lives about to converge.

As Kate begins to dig into a past she doesn't remember, evidence leads her to San Francisco and puts her on the path toward Ryan, a man who sees in her the woman he loved and lost. Kate feels a draw to Ryan, one she can’t explain, but is that feeling enough to convince her this is where she’s supposed to be? As Ryan and Kate search for answers, they uncover lies long buried, a passion hotter than either expected and a danger that threatens…even now…when the second chance they've both been searching for is finally within reach.

Review:

Well, this book basically had it all: crime, romance, suspense, action, angst, and more. It’s quite a decent romantic suspense book. Plot wise it was quite good, but I couldn’t fully enjoy this book due to the main couple who I simply couldn’t really warm up to. I didn’t find them likable to an acceptable degree even though both had their pros and cons, I just couldn’t find myself caring about them. BUT, Mitch rules, he was my shining ray of light!

Some other “meh” aspects: It took a lot of time to get to the core of the story, we were given many questions and mysteries in the beginning, but none of them started to unravel till deep into the book. The plot came across slightly farfetched as well. Not specifically the lost memory part, but everything around it regarding the who, why, how, when. Then again I’ve always had a soft spot for the lost memory plot so this compensated for some cons.

Good points: I couldn’t guess who the bad guy was so I was definitely intrigued and on the edge of my seat. There were some interesting twist and the questions kept the excitement alive through the story, despite the slow first part of the book. I thought the secondary romance was sweet and realistic. Compared to many other contemporary romance books I’ve noticed are coming out nowadays, this didn’t only have the story relay on lot and lots of sex. I was also fond of the general premise of the story, it was intriguing and promising.

Characters:

I didn’t like Kate much, yes, she tried to cope with such earth shattering revelations,  come to terms with what she thought was real and what actually was and tried to maneuver between lies and confusion to uncover the truth of her past and present as best as she could. But, I couldn’t completely root for her, there was something about her that rubbed me the wrong way. She behaved like I guess someone in her position would, but the way she acted overall, especially in her treatment of Ryan (not that he was better), her parents, Mitch, etc wasn’t my favorite. I understand that they were basically strangers to her, but she found it hard to trust them and acted kind of selfish in regards to them. I did, however, feel incredibly sorry for her and disgusted by her intimate relationship with her supposed husband, that has to mess with your psyche to know you were with and thought you had feelings for someone who turned out to be someone completely else. Respect to her for coping quite rationally with that. Her overall ability not to get overly depressed because of the revelations is praiseworthy. I also liked that she was passionate about her career.

Ryan had is good sides as well as some cons. I found his push and pull treatment of Kate slightly annoying, but luckily he got over it sooner than later. Him blaming her for brining him pain was also uncalled for, but maybe that’s just a phase for him coping with her having been alive all this time. Other than that, he was a handsome, wealthy and successful hunk, who really seemed to have loved his wife – what more can I say.

Mitch, the heroine’s brother, was charming and a bad boy hottie, but at the same time a great good and funny guy, I was really fond of him. Someone needs to have a serious chat with Ryan and Kate’s daughter!

Overall:

A good romantic suspense that has something for everyone’s liking. Interesting plot and a decent mystery/crime subplot. It has its issues, but nothing overly severe. Enjoy!





3 stars!

LIIS


Monday, April 22, 2013

Video Interview with Kristie Cook - the author of The Space Between and Soul Savers!

Happy Monday!



I posted a review of The Space Between by Kristie Cook yesterday which you can find here.



But I do have another surprise for you. Kristie also gave me an interview during my trip to London. I have been fan of her writing for few years now and finally I met her in person! I spent few days together with Kristie and her US production team and her UK team, called Kristie's Crew. It was a lot of fun and I think I made friends for life!

I was delighted that Kristie took time to get interviewed and here is the result. The interview was made at Treadwells Books in London.

Ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm welcome to Kristie Cook!




The Space Between

After a month-long dance tour through Italy, 20-year-old Leni Drago returns to Georgia to care for her great-uncle, only to find him gone, the home they shared empty and any evidence he ever existed wiped out. All that’s left is a journal she can’t open.

Jeric Winters has been searching for a piece of his past for over a year, only to reach a dead-end in Georgia. When an urgent and magnetic pull draws him out of his hotel room, he comes face-to-face with the beautiful dancer who’s been haunting his dreams day and night.
 
Jeric’s one to stay away froma bad-boy, hit-it-and-quit-it typebut Leni cant escape the fervent feelings between them. As their own existences begin to crumble around them and shadowy forms that are more monsters than men attack, they realize theres more to the connection between them than physical fascination.

To solve the riddle their lives have become, they must embark on a journey that requires them to face their pasts and release their true souls. And they must do it fastdark ones from another world are closing in, intent on killing them. Permanently.

Where to buy The Space Between:

amazon
amazon UK
Barnes and Noble
iTunes
Kobo



About Kristie Cook:
 
 
Kristie Cook is a lifelong, award-winning writer in various genres, from marketing communications to fantasy fiction. She continues to write the Soul Savers Series, a New Adult paranormal romance/contemporary fantasy, with the first four books, Promise, Purpose, Devotion and Power available now and the next book coming in June 2013. She’s also written a companion novella, Genesis: A Soul Savers Novella, currently available. Over 200,000 Soul Savers books have been sold, with Promise peaking at #54 on the Amazon Top 100 Paid list and at #1 in the Amazon Fantasy category.
The Space Between kicks off her second New Adult paranormal series, The Book of Phoenix.
Besides writing, Kristie enjoys reading, cooking, traveling and riding on the back of a motorcycle. She has lived in ten states, but currently calls Southwest Florida home with her husband, three teenage sons, a beagle and a puggle. She can be found at:

Author's Website & Blog: http://www.KristieCook.com


The Book of Phoenix Website: http://www.TheBookofPhoenix.com

Soul Savers Series Website: http://www.SoulSaversSeries.com


 


Thanks goes to Kristie for the interview, to Heather recording it and to Chrissi for making it all possible and to Claire for dealing with this huge file! I highly appreciate it!

I hope you enjoyed it! I certainly did! :)
Happy reading!



 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Space Between by Kristie Cook - Review and Giveaway!

Happy Sunday!


What better way to spend your Sunday, than to post about the author you adore. This is what I am doing today!!! I am participating in The Space Between blog tour. The Space Between is written by a wonderful person and author - Kristie Cook!

I just arrived back from London, where I had a chance to spend few days together with Kristie and her fantastic crew!

My stop includes a review of The Space Between, some information about the book and the author, and giveaways!

There is a history between me and The Space Between. Today I can tell you that I have read this book more than once. First time as a beta reader already few months ago and later also the edited and final version. I loved both reading experiences!!! I have worked with Kristie previously and I have read all her published books: Promise, Purpose, Devotion, Power, Genesis and now the first book in The Book of Phoenix. It's awesome writing all the way through from the very first book until the latest release!

Here it is!



Author: Kristie Cook
Title: The Space Between
Series: Book 1 in The Book of Phoenix
Publisher: Ang'dora Productions
Published: April 5, 2013
Pages: 368 in Paperback version
Genre: Adult: Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Mystery
Source: From the author in exchange for an honest review

Summary:

 When Life Falls to Pieces, Answers Lie in the Space Between
After a month-long dance tour through Italy, 20-year-old Leni Drago returns to Georgia to care for her great-uncle, only to find him gone, the home they shared empty and any evidence he ever existed wiped out. All that’s left is a journal she can’t open.

Jeric Winters has been searching for a piece of his past for over a year, only to reach a dead-end in Georgia. When an urgent and magnetic pull draws him out of his hotel room, he comes face-to-face with the beautiful dancer who’s been haunting his dreams day and night.
Jeric’s one to stay away froma bad-boy, hit-it-and-quit-it typebut Leni cant escape the fervent feelings between them. As their own existences begin to crumble around them and shadowy forms that are more monsters than men attack, they realize theres more to the connection between them than physical fascination.

To solve the riddle their lives have become, they must embark on a journey that requires them to face their pasts and release their true souls. And they must do it fastdark ones from another world are closing in, intent on killing them. Permanently.

**Mature Content** Recommended for ages 17+ due to sexual situations and language.

My review:

Warning: May include slight spoilers! (This is for you, Kristie! :) )

There are not enough words in English (and in Estonian which is my mother tong) to describe how much I loved this book. Kristie has done it again and written an awesome, magical and mesmerizing story! The plot is fantastic and the way she has waved it together is absolutely brilliant. Since I have read all her other books, I thought it might be difficult for her to surprise me, but she did it. Her storytelling skills are fabulous and I also found new things in her writing style.

There is lots of humor in The Space Between and I giggled and laughed out loud many times while reading the book and this is the side of Kristie's writing which I have not seen that strongly before - the book is in the same time funny and also thrilling! Besides that I was awed how good Kristie is at writing a mystery book, she grabs your attention from the very beginning and increases the tension and builds it step by step until your curiosity can't hold it anymore!

Wonderfully written story that you will never ever forget!

Plot:

The story begins with introducing you to Leni - a dancer, who is finally living her secret dream: she is dancing in a troupe in Italy. When on her way home to US, she meets a guy - Jeric - in the airport. It is a brief meeting, but it leaves behind so many unanswered questions. Why is there such a strong pull between them? Why is it so difficult for them to go separate ways?

Time shows, that Leni and Jeric meet again. In the meantime, Leni has arrived home to her great-uncle, and strange things start to happen. Leni's uncle has vanished and nobody seems to remember anything about her uncle and what's even worse - nobody seems to remember Leni either. The only item she finds, is a journal. Journal, which brings Leni and Jeric back together again and leads them to a journey which is beyond dangerous.

Their world changes when they finally find a way to open the journal. It takes them from Now to Then... and they meet with Jacey and Micah.

This is where I stop, because I'm afraid I will give away too much with my excitement! You need to read The Space Between yourself to find out what's going to happen.

I loved how the author changes between the point of views between the characters, there are a clear and distinct differences of voices of Leni, Jeric, Micah and Jacey. I also loved the two storylines Now and Then. Then takes you back to 80s which was fun to read because the author is doing an excellent work with describing the 80s with all its weird and funky lifestyle.

The most amazing part of the book is when the author decides to bring Now and Then together and I have to admit, that as much as I guessed, I never saw that coming!

Characters:

I am sure that you have already understood my fondness to the story. Have patience with me, because I LOVED the characters!  That is exactly what makes Kristie a great author - she puts as much effort to the plot as to the characters, you feel that she has given a lot of herself to balance between keeping the plot captivating and characters alive. She brings the characters alive, they are colorful, vivid, they have their flaws, but at the end of the day, you will love them! You will feel their happiness, their pain, their excitement, their horror - they are written with emotions and that makes this book one of the best I've ever read!

You will meet two set of main characters. Jeric and Leni and Jacey and Micah.

My favorite was Jeric. Jeric is a kind of man who many woman will love and probably hate for the same reason - he always gets what he wants and he goes for it. He uses the willing ones without any regrets and trust me, there are many of them who'd like to get just a piece of him! He is gorgeous, hot and a model. He has it all, except love. He never had a need or urge to change, because he hasn't have the right person to do it for. Until Leni comes to his life.

What I found the most attractive about Leni, was her courage. She was willing to take risks to get to the bottom of her faith and that is an admirable characteristic in a human in my opinion. Even when she is scared and scarred, she still raises and continues to live for what's dear to her.

Micah is a man any woman would be able to rely on. He is rock solid and stable and I loved that about him. Jacey is just adorable girl whom you will find easy to relate to and love!

They all have one thing is common - they have lost a lot in their lives and have quite big crosses to carry and they all struggle for one thine - the future!

Generally:

The Space Between is going to my 2013 favorite list. It is hands down the best book I have read this year, and I have read many good books this year already. The story is magical and it will haunt you long after you have finished it. It was amazingly written! I highly recommend it!


5 Flowers!

5 stars.

Thanks goes to Kristie for providing me with the review copy!

PRAISE FROM OTHER READERS:

"This is a completely new twist on the idea of a timeless love story with a paranormal twist unlike any other. The connection between the two characters is bone deep and resonates beautifully. I will never forget this novel." ~ Heather McCorkle, Author of the fantasy Channeler series

"Kristie has done it again! Her Soul Savers series is my favorite by far and yet The Space Between is easily the best book she’s ever written! It's dangerous, suspenseful, and smokin’ hot." ~ Marissa, Comfortably Read Book Reviews

"The Space Between is an amazing story of life, love and fates. Author Kristie Cook has you hanging on the edge of every page. This book stays in your head well after the last page." ~ Mindy, Forbidden Reviews


"A completely unique story with a paranormal twist . . . the perfect blend of romance and mystery with a phenomenal plot that will keep you guessing." ~ Jessica, Confessions of a Bookaholic

"I loved this book! The characters, the romance, the plot, the originality! It had everything to make it an amazing book!" ~ Kendall, Book Crazy


 

About Kristie Cook:
 
Kristie Cook is a lifelong, award-winning writer in various genres, from marketing communications to fantasy fiction. She continues to write the Soul Savers Series, a New Adult paranormal romance/contemporary fantasy, with the first four books, Promise, Purpose, Devotion and Power available now and the next book coming in June 2013. She’s also written a companion novella, Genesis: A Soul Savers Novella, currently available. Over 200,000 Soul Savers books have been sold, with Promise peaking at #54 on the Amazon Top 100 Paid list and at #1 in the Amazon Fantasy category.
The Space Between kicks off her second New Adult paranormal series, The Book of Phoenix.
Besides writing, Kristie enjoys reading, cooking, traveling and riding on the back of a motorcycle. She has lived in ten states, but currently calls Southwest Florida home with her husband, three teenage sons, a beagle and a puggle. She can be found at:

Author's Website & Blog: http://www.KristieCook.com


The Book of Phoenix Website: http://www.TheBookofPhoenix.com

Soul Savers Series Website: http://www.SoulSaversSeries.com





Where to buy The Space Between:

amazon
amazon UK
Barnes and Noble
iTunes
Kobo






There are actually two giveaways! And yes, you can enter for both giveaways!

Giveaway #1

Leave a comment below the post and you can win a $5 gift card to Amazon or Barnes & Noble – whichever the winner prefers.
To enter, kindly leave a comment and I will pick the winner randomly. Don't forget to leave your email, so I can contact the winner!


Giveaway #2

 

Kristie will be hosting a major giveaway on her site at the end of the tour for a $200 gift card or a swag bag full of goodies! To enter, fill the RC below!
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for coming by!
Happy reading!

 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Review: Rock and a Hard Place by Angie Stanton

Hi all!

A contemporary YA :)




Author: Angie Stanton
Title: Rock and a Hard Place
Series: The Jamieson Collection #1
Release date: 3rd of May 2011
Published by: Vanguard Management
Reading level: FICTION – JUVENILE: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 207 in Kindle e-book format
Source: Bought from Amazon.com for Kindle

Summary:

One day while watching the Interstate exit for her dad’s long awaited return, Libby’s life is rocked when Peter Jamieson steps off his tour bus and into her life. After a couple chance meetings with Peter, Libby breaks away from her rule abiding behavior and her life changes course.

Peter longs for normalcy away from the screaming fans who know nothing about the real him. He is amazed to discover Libby has never heard of him or his band. Soon their friendship turns to love. While Peter battles his family's growing interference so he can spend time with Libby, she struggles with her eccentric aunt who turns more bizarre each day.

Their lives are torn apart when Peter's family intrudes and Libby disappears. Peter’s desperate search for her comes up empty. Can they find their way back to each other while the world plots against them?

Review:

This was mushy angst for younger teens and with the addition of a boy group (The Jonas Brothers anyone?) this was right up the alley for teens daydreaming about their idols and the latter falling in love with an ordinary girl, who the reader can see as themselves. This had everything a “you” fanfiction would need, well, except the point of view constantly in the “you” person, which also makes me count my blessings because “you” fanfictions tend to be incredibly annoying (at least the ones I’ve come across).

While I had issues with the believability of the storyline: a famous hunky teenage rocker falling in love with an outsider in the blink of an eye, the endless series on unfortunate events Libby had to go through, the “bad” guys and their “hobbies”; in addition, the main characters were quite cliché, there were a lot of unnecessary turns the plot took, still, the story had it’s charm and was quite cute and gripping. So, I can honestly say that it was a sweet and simple book with issues like any other.

The first half of the story was following a typical pattern (girl meets boy, they try to make it work despite their differences), the second, however, stepped up its game and a lot of events started to happen, Libby grew a stronger backbone and, what’s more, I had no idea where the story would exactly lead our heroine next – which was great! Ok, so the end was pretty much set in stone as you would expect from a book like this, but it was fun to follow the path till the climax.

I have to, however, bring out that the romance didn’t really work for me in this story at all, part of it is due to the everlasting issue of insta love and such infinite passion coming about at such a young age so fast, but mostly, it was due to me not understanding what was it about Libby that made Peter want to approach her so boldly and keep coming back, given all the possibilities he might have. Her not “knowing” of him and this being such a breath of attractive fresh air is no substantial reason for me unfortunately.

Characters:

Libby irritated me in the beginning because she was negatively minded to mostly everyone except Peter, while him she perceived as perfect and shining and just too good for her. Come on, girl! She was smart, hardworking, managed to stay sane with her past and current conditions, and yet, she had the typical mentality of the outcast misunderstood tragic withdrawn shy girl who doesn’t have the courage or even want to put her foot down and say enough. Which she actually eventually did, so yay! for her. And while I grew to sympathize and even somewhat like her in the second part of the book, I could never really forgive her for one act she did in quite the beginning. If you have to do it, then at least do if for something with a better cause, that is more useful and necessary, that is essential to your being, etc, not for... THAT! The deed annoyed me to no end.

I can’t really hold anything against Peter, except him falling for Libby so quickly. He was a nice guy, squeaky clean of any vices and just so NICE and perfect and talented and polite and and and...

Overall:

It’s a sweet teen romance with hot superstars falling for non famous troubled teens. I suggest this to younger girls, or actually anyone, who dreams and is a fan of teen heartthrobs. The story has some issues, but it’s cute and light.



3 stars!

LIIS

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Hunted by Ednah Walters - Review and Giveaway!

Happy Wednesday!





Welcome to my stop at Hunted Blog Tour! This tour is organized by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and by the author Ednah Walters! My stop includes a review, giveaway, information about the book and author and some tour details.
Find out more about the tour here: Tour Schedule

Let's start with the review!

Author: Ednah WaltersTitle: Hunted
Series: The Guardian Legacy, #3
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Publishing date: 2nd of April 2013
Pages: 276 pages
Genre: YA: Paranormal, Romance, Fantasy, Angels and Demons
Source: From the tour organizer in exchange for an honest review





Hunted by Ednah Walters

Bran and Lil may have escaped an attempt to lure Lil to the dark side, and recovered the contracts damned people signed with Bran when he was a soul collector, but someone forgot to tell them that no one switches sides or cancels contracts without consequences.

Hunted by an unknown but powerful enemy, Lil, Bran and the Guardians must seek help from unlikely sources to avert total annihilation of the Guardians. When they finally face their enemy, one of them may have to make the ultimate sacrifice.







My review:

Hunted by Ednah Walters is the third book in The Guardian Legacy series and I have so far loved all the books in the series and I think Ednah Walters has done it again! Hunted is definitely a book you do not want to miss! In case you haven't started the series yet, I would highly recommend it to you!

Hunted picks up three month later where the second book - Betrayed - ended. You will meet Lil and Bran and other Guardians again. Lil managed to get away from the dark and evil, but the story is far from over. Bran has a binding contract as a soul collector and he needs to fulfill his tasks. When Lil and the team are searching for ways out, they need to cooperate with the weirdest and most unexpected allies ever. They don't know whom to trust and their path takes them to a strong and powerful enemy.

I was amazed by the storytelling skills Ednah Walters has... again. When you start reading a series where the first book is good, then your expectations are quite high for the sequels. I know my expectations were high and Ednah Walters managed to surprise me again. The story takes you from the very beginning and when you turn the last page, you feel you are holding your breath!!! And then you exhale and understand, that it was absolutely a fantastic book! Talking about endings, the last pages of Hunted will blow your mind away, so be prepared. It makes you want to get your hands into the next book written by her - and it would not matter which one it is!!!!

I loved the characters. I like the kick-ass side of Lil and Bran has definitely been my favorite character of the series. The most fun part of it is, that you don't get tired of them, because the author develops them; she does not leave you an option NOT to like them. Brilliantly created characters!

I loved it!



5 Flowers!
5 stars.


Purchase a Print copy for just $5.85!




Praise

All in all, Hunted is a very enjoyable read, especially for those who enjoy angel/demon books. This one has everything you want in an angel book while still maintaining its own distinct feel.
~TeresaMaryRose

This series is addictive.
~Author Kate Kaynak

AMAZING! There is not enough words to describe how much I loved Hunted. Ednah Walters has outdid herself if that is even possible.
~Megan McDade



Author Ednah Walters


I grew up reading Nancy Drew and Hardy boys mysteries, hence Stratemeyer influence, before I graduated to Mills & Boons (starting with Janet Daily's Shutter the Sky) and the rest is history.

I enjoy good love stories, tingly mysteries and wondrous adventures. When I finished my college and decided to be a stay-at-home mother, I devoured books like they were going out of production, until reading just wasn't enough. So I started to write.

I've written picture books, contemporary and romantic suspense, biracial/multicultural books, and finally YA fantasy. Awakened is the first book in The Guardian Legacy series. I'm working on book 2, tentatively named Betrayed. When I'm not writing, I do things with my family, five children or my darling husband of 18 years. I live in a picturesque valley in Utah, the setting for my series.



Website * Blog * Twitter * Facebook


 


Blog Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 4/28/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://www.iamareader.com and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Good luck and happy reading!



Monday, April 8, 2013

Movie Review - Oz, the Great and Powerful by Sam Raimi

Happy Monday!

I saw Oz, the Great and Powerful few days after the release and I have to admit, I had mixed feelings about it! I have always loved Sam Raimi's movies and the fact, that James Franco was playing Oz, was quite intriguing. Honestly, the mixture of of Sam Raimi's directing and the cast of fascinating actors made it interesting. Here is why.

(Let me remind you, that this review has not the same rating as in IMDB. I rate here from 1-5, where 1 is lowest and 5 is highest.)


Title: Oz, the Great and Powerful
Director: Sam Raimi
Screenplay: Mitchell Kapner, David Lindsay-Abaire
Based on: L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Production: Walt Disney Pictures, Roth Films
Genre: Adventure, Family, Fantasy
Length: 130 minutes
Starring: James Franco, Michelle Williams, Rachel Weisz, Mila Kunis, Zach Braff

Summary:


Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz. At first he thinks he's hit the jackpot-fame and fortune are his for the taking. That all changes, however, when he meets three witches, Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz), and Glinda (Michelle Williams), who are not convinced he is the great wizard everyone's been expecting. Reluctantly drawn into the epic problems facing the Land of Oz and its inhabitants, Oscar must find out who is good and who is evil before it is too late. Putting his magical arts to use through illusion, ingenuity-and even a bit of wizardry-Oscar transforms himself not only into the great and powerful Wizard of Oz but into a better man as well. Written by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures




My review:

What an entertaining movie it was!

Visuals and 3D graphics:

Let me start with saying, that I have not been able to watch 3D movies for few years after Avatar, where I got sick after just 15 minutes of watching the movie. I literally got seasick, my brain could not register the movements that quickly. So, I thought, I am one of the very few people who will never be able to see a 3D movie. A month ago, my friend, knowing my problem, suggested to face my fear and I went to see The Croods in 3D. I was prepared for the worst, but as you already can guess, I had no problems! When Oz got out, I simply needed to see it in 3D and I am so happy, that I did!

Anyway, the reason, I am mentioning seeing Oz, the Great and Powerful in this context is, that I loved the visuals of the movie. The settings which were created by the filmmakers, were so incredibly beautiful and colorful, that I was awed. The contrasts between the colors gave a very vivid picture of the world of Oz, it simply took me into the world of magic. Literally. It might be the side effects of finally being able to enjoy the art of cinematography (which I highly appreciate) in 3D, but I think it's probably more the graphic artists who did wonders with Oz.

Plot and script:

I have read the book(s) the story is based on, but I think this movie lived it's own life separately from the book. The script was not too far from the book, so don't get me wrong here. What I mean, is, that when I usually watch movies based on books, I keep comparing them in the back of my head - the original versus the script. I did not do that at all during the 130 minutes the movie lasted; filmmakers did not give me a chance to do that. They just swept my feet away, carried me through the plot without me being distracted enough to think, and gave me the experience which I truly enjoyed!

You meet Oscar Diggs, who is a circus magician with (let's be honest here) no ethics and during the escape from a guy whose woman Oscar has wooed, he ends up in a different world. It's a world with real magic and where real witches exist. Oscar gets a chance to save the Land of Oz and he grabs it to his own benefit. But as usually in fantasies, nothing really is as it seems. Oscar not only becomes the Wizard of Oz, he also learns a lot about himself and becomes a better person by the choices he makes.

A true Disney plot!

Cast:

When I first saw the trailer and realized it's going to be James Franco playing Oz, I had difficulties believing that. I was surprised by the choice because playing in a Disney movie as Oz did not seem very obvious role for Franco in my opinion. I was very curious to see how Franco performed.

He was a BRILLIANT choice! His smirky naughty smile, his way around the women, the sparkle in his eyes and also his tenderness was perfect. He did not play Oz, he WAS Oz, a natural born Oz! Oz showed a very different side of James Franco's talent and I am glad I got to see it.

Michelle Williams was a tad flat for my taste and it has nothing to do with her skills, but with Glinda as a character. I have never been a big fan of truly good witches and that's the reason behind it. She was too good to be an interesting character, too good to be true - even in a fantasy.

Rachel Weisz as Evanora and Mila Kunis as Theodora were the dynamic duo in the movie. I did not like much of the softer side of Theodora in the beginning of the movie, but I loved the darker and evil side of her. Mila Kunis did exceptionally well after the change Theodora went through. Her voice and body language changed and developed only to the better as the story went. Mila Kunis' role made me think of: Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned!

One of my favorite characters was the China Girl played (voiced) by Joey King. On of my favorite scenes in the movie was when Oz fixed her broken legs - I think it was a beautiful scene when they meet.

Last, but not least, I would like to mention that Zach Braff as Finley was lovable! The growing friendship between Oz and Finley was nicely developed. It was funny and heart-warming.

Dislikes:

I do love Disney movies. With that said, I think Oz, the Great and Powerful was little too sweet. I think, that a younger audience might love it, but for me personally the story was too sugarcoated. I would have wanted to see more balance between the good and the evil.

Favorite quote:
Oz: "Can you fight?"
Munckins: "No, but we can sing!"

 Generally:

Oz, the Great and Powerful was an entertaining movie with very solid visuals, captivating cast and a good story! I definitely recommend it, so if you haven't seen it yet, what are you waiting for?! It is a movie you would want to see in the theatre, it needs a good big screen and loud sound! Go and see it!


5 Flowers!
4 stars.

Thanks for coming by and happy movie watching!


 

Blue Hearts of Mars by Nicole Grotepas - Review and Giveaway!

Happy Monday!

Tour Schedule
Welcome to my stop at Blue Hearts of Mars Blog Tour! This tour is organized by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and by the author Nicole Grotepas. My stop includes a review, giveaway and information about the book, the author and blog tour.


Let's start with review!

 
 
Author: Nicole Grotepas
Title: Blue Hearts of Mars
Publisher: CreateSpace
Publishing date: 23rd of February 2013
Genre: YA: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 268 pages in e-book version
Source: From the tour organizer in exchange for an honest review
 


Blue Hearts of Mars by Nicole Grotepas


Retta Heikkinen knows the unspoken rule of society: love between androids and humans is forbidden. A simple enough edict until Hemingway Koskinen spends an evening charming her with his intense gaze, bewitching smile, and sparkling conversation that hints at so much more than the usual obsessions of high school boys. Rules were meant to be cast aside, especially when love beckons.

If only it were as simple as being in love.

Trouble is brewing, not just for Hemingway--for all androids. Secrets have been kept, lies propagated, and Retta soon discovers that a frightening future awaits thousands of androids if she doesn’t do something to stop it. Worse yet, she will lose the one love she’s ever endangered herself for: Hemingway.


My review:

I am discovering new things about myself while reading. Blue Hearts of Mars is a well-written book by Nicole Grotepas, which is thought awakening, fast paced science fiction for young adults. The more I read science fiction, the more I like it and Nicole Grotepas' novel definitely pushed me to explore more of the genre.

The novel takes us to the future where Mars is inhabited by humans and Androids. Retta is a human girl who meets an Android boy called Hemingway. They fall for each other and have to fight for their relationship, because Androids are not equals with humans. Far from it.

Without revealing the story and giving away any spoilers, both Retta and Hemingway need to face lots of obstacles and not only from people and Androids they know, but also from Retta's family.

What did I like about the story?
I liked the message, that you need to fight for what you are believing in. I truly enjoyed the writing style and the pacing, it was a page turner and the story made me want to know what is going to happen next. The action scenes were captivating and really well-written.
I think the ending of the book was fabulous, because it was not what I expected. I liked the surprise that the author gave to me as a reader.
I did love the characters, even though I have to say, that Retta was both lovable for her beliefs and also annoying sometimes. My favorite character was Hemingway. He was sweet, smart, hot and ... with the blue heart.
I think the title of the book is brilliant!

Dislikes:

There were few references to 21st century which I found awkward when the book was about 150 years to the future. I understood them, but it made me think, that the author did not think it through few times.

Generally:
Blue Hearts of Mars is a great book! The plot is unique, writing awesome and you will find some very lovable characters! I recommend it!


5 Flowers!
4 stars.

Thanks goes to the tour organizer and to the author for providing me with the review copy!


Praise

"Nothing like I've read before. A true original story! Everything is so well described. Now if they could make a follow up book and movie, that would be great!" ~Mrs. Z (Amazon)

"I was addicted to this book from the beginning. Life on Mars was very real and not at all a sci fi world I didn't understand . . . I found myself rooting for Retta and Hemingway from the very beginning. Easy reading, couldn't put it down and had it read in a weekend. Waiting for a sequel!" ~TNielsen (Amazon)

"The ending of this book is exceptional. While it was different from what I imagined, the way the author brought in a shocking revelation was amazing. I probably reread the last chapter 3 times letting it sink in and the meaning behind it. It was truly beautiful . . . I would love to see more of Retta and Hemingway!" ~Kat Meyer, (Goodreads)

"I love how the author populated Mars . . . so descriptive and comprehensive . . . I could clearly picture everything as if I was seeing the movie &/or was along for the ride. . . . Retta, the main character, is strong, opinionated, and a great champion for her cause." ~Megan (Amazon)

"I had been in the worst reading slump ever and came across this on Goodreads and thought I'd give it a try. Well, I was pleasantly surprised on how funny and exciting and mysterious it was . . . Mei, Retta's bff, had me laughing out loud quite a bit as well as Retta herself. I'd definitely hang out with those two." ~Deanneluvbooks (Goodreads)



Blue Hearts of Mars has made it to the quarterfinals of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award.

Readers are invited to download the excerpts (here) and rate and comment on the entries. So please, if you want to contribute, download and rate Blue Hearts! Your support is incredibly appreciated!


Or purchase the full version of the book here: Amazon




Author Nicole Grotepas

Nicole wrote her first fantasy novel in 7th grade on her mother's old Brother typewriter. It was never finished but it strongly resembled a Dragonlance plot and she's forever wondered what happened to the manuscript and Tonathan--the handsome elven protagonist. After living in Nashville where she worked as an editor, she returned to the Utah desert where she was raised. Nicole now lives near the Wasatch mountains with her husband. She writes and raises her son and three cats full time.





Tour Schedule



Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash (Internationally)
Signed Copy of Cinder & Blue Hearts of Mars (US only)
Ends 4/19/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck and happy reading!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Review: Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins

Hi all!

The usual dose of YA :)





Author: Wendy Higgins
Title: Sweet Evil
Series: The Sweet Trilogy #1
Release date: 1st of May 2012
Published by: HarperCollins Publishers
Imprint: HarperTeen
Reading level: FICTION – JUVENILE: Paranormal, Contemporary, YA
Pages: 464 in Kindle e-book format
Source: Bought from Amazon.com for Kindle

Summary:

Embrace the Forbidden

What if there were teens whose lives literally depended on being bad influences?

This is the reality for sons and daughters of fallen angels.

Tenderhearted Southern girl Anna Whitt was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She's aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger, but Anna, the ultimate good girl, has always had the advantage of her angel side to balance the darkness within. It isn't until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage and her willpower is put to the test. He's the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna.

Forced to face her destiny, will Anna embrace her halo or her horns?

Review:

Honestly, I really really liked this book, but there was something that made me uneasy, creeped me out, just felt fishy/odd and made me squirm, so I gave it 3 stars (for now at least). BUT, I'm definitely in for the second book of the series and as I mentioned I enjoyed this story tremendously and more than I thought I would.

Like: The premise and mythology of demons, angels and diverse sins was gripping, fascinating and unique. It was like discovering a new foreign world with its own set of rules and regulations. And it wasn't pretty, not even close. This leads to another part that this story had going for itself – the dark, evil and ruthless laws that govern this universe and the lives of demons and their offspring. It was quite hard to read about some of the things going on with the latter in regards to their "work" for the cause of their fathers and their sin – although nothing was described in detail, some of things revealed definitely bordered on adult lit. "Work" is such a nasty word in this book. I also have to give credit to this book for having a vague love triangle, which didn't feel like one to me at all, even tough, I've read the opposite from other readers’ impressions. I salute the author for creating a not so annoying and in your face triangle, where at least to me, the winner is clear, undisputable and deserving.

Me no like: The maturity and evilness that I was intrigued by was also the aspect that made me raise my eyebrows in disgust at times, thinking it too much. Also, knowing that the hero "worked" after developing feelings for the heroine, was a slight turn-off. Although, I have to admit he had his reasons, which really weren’t under his control. Also, the first part of the book was fast paced, intense and full of swoony goodness, the second part, however, lost a lot of its steam. The former had a goal and a climax, the latter I didn't feel had any purpose or clear plotline. I had no idea what to expect or where things were headed and it wasn't a positive thing in this book.

Despite my whining, I repeat, I really really liked this book, but it can, will and must get better! It has a lot of potential and fun aspects to explore, it's just that I was caught off guard with some of the parts I wasn't really wild about. Maybe they affected me so strongly due to the originality of the premise, who knows.

Characters:

Anna was someone I had a trouble liking. She was a goody goody girl who initially came across too stiff, too naive, know-it-all and better than you, maybe it wasn't her intention but it's how I perceived her. With the introduction of her wilder side I felt her clean persona to be fake since she was acting and somewhat enjoying the opposite. Then again, she can't fight her "sin" so I forgive her. I did, however, love her somewhat adult take on her relationship with Kaidan, especially in the second part. Yes, she acted a teenager, but a mature one at that, who wasn't overly delusional yet not a quitter either. Overall, she was a good girl who I'm hoping to warm up to in the upcoming books.

Kaidan was so bad that he was good! There were so many things wrong about him (his "work" being one) but the way he changed or tried to change and cared for Anna was incredibly sweet and swoony. I can't help but adore him if for nothing else then for those reasons definitely. His struggle was visible and you just had to root for him (I don't see any competition from Kopano, despite the latter having his own set of charms). One thing annoyed me and I can't believe I'm saying it, but, yes, a British accent is hot, but lets not overdo it and use it just to bring more sexiness to the heroes, too much is too much, Kaidan didn’t need it.

Overall:

Not entirely there yet, but I'm having high hopes for the rest of the series. I believe in you! An original and unusual YA read.



3 stars!

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