Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Review of Fairy Tale in New York by Nicky Wells

Happy Tuesday!

Time to post a review of one of the most adorable holiday stories I have read for a long time!


Title: Fairy Tale in New York
Author: Nicky Wells
Publishing date: 10th of November 2014
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services Inc.
Pages: 100
Genre: Adult: Romance, Christmas Novella
Source: From the author in exchange for an honest review.

Summary:

New York. A restaurant near Park Avenue. It’s early evening, and dusk is falling. So is the snow. Jude and Carrie are merely killing time while they wait for their return flight to London. They don’t know yet that their life will never be the same.

When rock star Jude gets stranded in New York with his family on Christmas Eve, he has no idea that he is setting in motion a chain of events that will turn their Christmas into the most magical one yet…

No good deed goes unpunished, or so it seems to Jude and Carrie on the morning of the twenty-fourth of December. The previous day, they gave up their London-bound flights to someone in crisis. And now, a spectacular whiteout is grounding all planes, and Jude, Carrie, and baby Maya are stuck far from home.

Tired, hungry, and just a little panicked, Jude loads his family into a cab and returns to their hotel. But there’s no room at the inn, and not even a platinum credit card will make a difference. Snow is falling heavily, and the family is facing a very bleak night indeed.

How do you celebrate Christmas with no place to stay, no food, and no presents? Join Jude, Carrie, Maya and a cast of colourful characters in this fairy tale story of Yuletide in New York.

My review:

I have so far loved all the published books by Nicky Wells. I think her stories are well-written, heart-warming and uplifting. I have also read Nicky's last year's Christmas Novella: Spirits of of Christmas, which introduced both Jude and Carrie to the readers, but both novellas can be read as standalone. Fairy Tale in New York is an adorable read which gives you an instant feeling of true holidays and what Christmas should be about!

Even on 100 short pages, Nicky manages to create a story which has a great emotional value, includes a fascinating beginning, story building and plotting and a very happy ending. I really think the author is very skilled to put a believable and adorable story into a short novella. Job well done!

Imagine this! Jude and Carrie are in New York, hoping to get home to England for Christmas after Jude has been touring in US with his band, but instead they are stranded in the airport due to the snowstorm. When a gentlemen tries desperately to get home for the birth of his child, Jude decides to do a good deed and gives his ticket to the gentleman, understanding what it means if you miss the birth of your child. Not wanting to be apart for Christmas, Carrie and their kid Maya are staying in New York together with Jude.

Jude and Carrie are facing a hard situation where all the hotels are fully booked, no rooms available, they have a little kid with them and most of the stores are closed for the holidays. But as said, no good deed goes unpunished, right?

After meeting a friendly Italian cop and his family, miracles do happen and kindness will be well paid off with love and cheer.

Fairy Tale in New York was truly and genuinely good story. It's about what's important, it's about having and appreciating values, its' about finding solution to seemingly unsolvable situation, it's about giving and loving and last, but not least, it's a story about that love and goodness can conquer everything!


5 stars!

Happy reading!




 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Dear readers,

We would like to wish Merry Christmas to all of you!



We wish you Happy Holidays!
May you enjoy the Christmas time together with your families and loved ones!
Take some time off and enjoy it! Spend time for yourself and for people whom you deeply care for!


Sincerely,


Sunday, December 21, 2014

Review: Five Glass Slippers: A Collection of Cinderella Stories

Hi all!

I finally finished this wonderful Cinderella short story collection!




Authors: Elisabeth Brown, Emma Clifton, Rachel Heffington, Stephanie Ricker, Clara Diane Thompson, Anne Elisabeth Stengl
Title: Five Glass Slippers: A Collection of Cinderella Stories
Release date: 9th of June 2014
Reading level: FICTION – JUVENILE: Romance, Fantasy, Sci-fi, Fairy tail
Published by: Rooglewood Press
Pages: 429 in Kindle e-book format
Source: Bought from Amazon.com for Kindle

Summary:

ONE BELOVED STORY, FIVE EXCITING WRITERS
A COLLECTION TO CHERISH

What happens when Cinderella is so painfully shy that she cannot bear the idea of attending the royal ball? Or when the slipper fits . . . but on the wrong girl? What happens when Cinderella is determined to oust an imposter prince from her rightful throne? Or when she is a cendrillon miner working from a space station orbiting a cthonian planet? What happens when Cinderella, a humble housemaid, is sent with a message for a prisoner trapped in a frightening fairy circus?

Here is Cinderella as you have never met her before, wearing glass slippers and off on unforgettable adventures!



WHAT EYES CAN SEE: Elisabeth Brown

Painfully shy Arella begs her stepmother to let her stay home from the prince’s ball. But kindly Duchess Germaine is determined that her beautiful stepdaughter should be presented at court along with her own two daughters. So, dressed in a gorgeous gown and a pair of heirloom slippers, Arella catches the eye of the crown prince . . . and finds her life suddenly far more complicated than she ever desired.

BROKEN GLASS: Emma Clifton
The slipper fits . . . but on the wrong girl! Rosalind never once danced with Prince Marius at the ball, for she is in love with his brother Henry. If only Rosalind and Marius would stop bickering long enough to invent a scheme, perhaps the three of them can find the real mystery lady. But they must work quickly, for dark deeds are afoot, and the kingdom is poised on the brink of disaster.

THE WINDY SIDE OF CARE: Rachel Heffington
Alisandra is determined to have her rights. She knows that she is the king’s secretly dispossessed daughter, the true heir to the throne. Prince Auguste is an imposter, and if she plays her cards right, Alis will prove it to the world! That is, if charming Auguste doesn’t succeed in winning her heart before she gets her chance . . .

A CINDER’S TALE: Stephanie Ricker
It’s a dangerous life, yet Elsa wouldn’t trade this opportunity to work at Tremaine Station, mining cendrillon from the seething surface of planet Aschen. Nevertheless, when a famous deep space explorer and his handsome son dock their starcraft at the space station, Elsa finds herself dreaming of far galaxies beyond Aschen's blistering heat. There is no time for dreaming, however, when danger threatens the space station, and Elsa and her fellow miners are tested to the limits of their courage.

THE MOON MASTER’S BALL: Clara Diane Thompson
After her terrifying experience there several years ago, the one place young housemaid Tilly longs to avoid is Bromley’s Circus. But when kindly Lord Hollingberry begs her to deliver a message to the mysterious Moon Master hidden away among the circus dwellers, Tilly can’t refuse . . . and finds herself ensnared in a web of enchantment cast by the loathsome Mrs. Carlisle and her beautiful goddaughter.

Review:

What Eyes Can See by Elisabeth Brown

The idea behind this story is intriguing, very simple, yet the impact to the original fairy tale was profound. What if Cinderella didn't want to marry the prince and he found his eyes drawn towards someone else? Well, this is what happens in the first story. And here are some of my thoughts:

I liked the Cinderella character in this, she was shy, subtle, sweet, reasonable, realistic and to be honest, a quite logical and better choice.

The underlying message that personality is what counts and appearance as the single factor in deciding who to be with won't always lead to a happy end. I also liked that in order to be with someone you need to be friends and confidants first, love comes after trust is gained.

The dialogue was somewhat bland and simplistic. The storyline was strong, but the meat on the bones, which had to appear via dialogue, descriptions, etc, was lacking to me.

It was fun to guess along with Arella's family on what her exact reasoning was. She kept it hidden for quite a while and, I have to admit, it was a bit of a surprise to me when it was revealed. I didn't see that coming and I liked that. Otherwise, I found Arella to be a drag, because she was so passive and, unconsciously or not, acted like a victim.

While a fresh take, I wasn't very fond of the change in attitude towards Cinderella in this story by her stepfamily. The kind and caring stepmother and supportive stepsisters just felt fake. I need to have a specific villain in my fairy tale.

While the prince's determination to woo Arella was admirable, it got kind of stalkery soon.

2 stars!


Broken Glass by Emma Clifton

Another Cinderella who doesn't want her prince, well, not THAT specific one at least, she's actually interested in the OTHER one.

I adored the love-hate relationship and banter between Rosalind and Marius. They kept on going and going and I quite enjoyed how they were so wrong for each other that it kind of felt right. I always prefer such fiesty and energetic relationships, so compared with the first story, this certainly aroused my interest and held it firmly.

Rosalind was a great heroine, but quite different from the classical Cinderella type: headstrong, opinionated, lively, witty and fearless. I wish there were more Cinderella characters out there with her attitude and personality, it would definitely make them more exciting and fun to read about.

I also liked prince "charming" in this for the simple reason that he wasn't as perfect and 2D as he's usually portrayed. Henry was, however, such a bother, but I liked where he ended up and with whom, it made for another quite original aspect. The third brother was a compelling addition and made an intriguing contribution to the plot, nevertheless, I found him too vile at times.

I liked the little cameo ending to another fairy tale. It was an original twist I couldn't see coming, but loved it when I realized where it was going. The humor was also noticeable in this story and it even managed to bring a smile to my face several times. So well done!

As a con I can say that some relationships developed too quickly and didn't feel natural.

4 stars!


The Windy Side of Care by Rachel Heffington

I really liked the switched-baby plot of this story, the idea was fresh and original. Also, the palace intrigue and light political side added color and substance to the novella. The ending was also quite unexpected, so kudos for not going down the easy and predictable path.

The dialogue was undeniably witty and smart, I really appreciate well written and fun conversations that display the peculiarities of the characters and aren't overly general, dull and with sentences that don't tell you anything about the person who utters them.

Well, this story certainly delivered a quirky, opinionated, smarty pants and confident heroine. I usually welcome such main characters with open arms and I wouldn't have ever thought I'd say this, but this girl crossed the line of rude and slightly bothersome. I admired her determination and attitude, but she came across too haughty to really warm up to.

Something that felt off: Are there really so little people in the city and so little variation in looks that it's so simple and definite that one can determine one's parentage only based on looks? Well, there were some other factors as well, but appearance was emphasized and it felt slightly odd.

The basis for the romance was promising, with the prince falling in love with the girl who want's to get rid of him and Alisandra in turn developing feelings for the prince who just wants to be free of his princely life and duties. Then again, the romance moved too fast, it was basically, BAM, and they were in love.

3 stars!


A Cinderella's Tale by Stephanie Ricker

The setting is what makes this version extremely special, I mean how many Cinderella's in space have you come across? So, Cinderella has finally arrived up there and the outcome is intriguing, unique and has so much potential for more stories with this particular background and characters (I got a strong Star Trek vibe from it). It could even be viewed as a prologue to an actual main story to come. I really appreciated this original world the author had created and, even though, the novella was as short as the other four, it managed to form a new universe with so many fresh ideas and it simply felt incredibly detailed and fulfilling.

This story focused on friendship amongst the "cinders" and Elsa's companions were all big players in the plot. Each had their own characterization quirks so they didn't blend into this vague mash, but were full-blown characters themselves who contributed to the plot one way or another. The story was also heavier on the action side and there were several gripping action scenes.

I really liked the romance, even though, there wasn't really any substantial evidence to actually call it a romance yet. The story set the board, but in reality it was just a teaser to what was to come. I'm so glad this taking it slow and realistic take eliminated the love-at-first-sight and not actually getting-to-know-each-other-first-before-marriage trope that is really one of the only things that I don't like about my favorite fairy tail, if not done incredibly right, which it isn't most of the time.

As a con, I feel that Elsa got a little lost in the impressive setting and all the details, I didn't feel that she was a fully evolved character yet. She felt slightly 2D. Also, I felt that the fantasy elements in the form of faeries felt off and didn't go with the mood of the setting and with the sci-fi genre.

4 stars!


The Moon Master's Ball by Clara Diane Thompson

I really loved the mysterious, slightly scary and darkly magical atmosphere of this story. The creepy circus, the weird evil creatures, the secrets, the enigmatic Moon Master... the idea was again incredibly promising and the setting fresh and different compared to what you wold expect when you read anything based on Cinderella. During the first chapters, I had no idea how it even connected to the fairy tale at all, excluding some minor details of course. Also, the mystery on what was actually going on and who were the bad guys and who the good was skillfully created, keeping me guessing till all was revealed.

The romance was again a welcome change, because it didn't force two characters to fall in love with each other on such basically nonexistent conditions, yet it provides a promising beginning to the couple where the possibilities are endless. I didn't think the other male admirer for Tilly's attention was necessary, though, and I didn't see any real purpose for him. I was, however, really compelled by the Moon Master and was sad we got to learn so little of him.

However, this story again suffers under the too-intriguing-background issue and I felt that the full characterization of Tilly and Jasper both was left in the shadow of the plot and wasn't the main priority. I can live through a not so ideal setting as long as the main couple is intriguing and developed enough to keep my interest, if the situation is reversed, I'm not as satisfied. The latter is exactly what happened in this story. Nevertheless, it's a gripping novella, that tried to achieve something different and was more or less successful.

3 stars!

Overall:

This was a great collection with a great variety of Cinderella inspired short stories - a must for all Cinderella lovers!

LIIS

Friday, December 19, 2014

Manga Review: Tail of the Moon by Rinko Ueda

Hi all!

I'm also soooo behind on my manga reviews, but this should make up for it a little bit.




Author: Rinko Ueda
Title: Tail of the Moon
Volumes: 15
Release period: 2006-2009
Publisher: VIZ Media
Reading level: FICTION – JUVENILE: Historical, Romance, Adventure
Pages: around 200 pages in each volume 
Availability: Should be available with big sellers

Summary:

Sometimes it seems like Usagi is hopeless. Sure, she's good with healing herbs, but she's the granddaughter of the leader of a prestigious ninja village and she's such a klutz that she's never made it out of the kiddie class. Finally frustrated with Usagi's lack of progress, her grandfather sends her to marry a local lord and have lots of ninja babies. But the lord has no interest in her or her child bearing potential! After years of goofing around, Usagi is finally determined to reach her goals--she's going to become a ninja and capture her true love's heart!

Review:

Historical shoujo manga, and what I mean here is, with minimum fantasy elements and realistic as possible, isn’t in any way rare, but such manga seldom gets translated into English. I can at the top of my head name Kaze Hikaru (Japan), Red River (Anatolia), A Bride’s Story (Central Asia), Emma (England) and that’s it (there are of course more, but I just can’t remember any others). What makes the situation sadder is that historical shoujo manga isn’t as popular as it should be (how many people actually read or even know the four manga I just mentioned?). One reason for the low demand would be, I gather, the fact that the setting is Japan and, thus, it is foreign for a Western reader to fully understand or know anything about the details of Japanese history, but most (non fantasy) historical shoujo is in fact set somewhere in Europe, other or is very European in style, for example somewhat going to the last group, is Rinko Ueda’s other manga Stepping on Roses, which, unfortunately, is extremely soap opera-ish and melodramatic for my taste, but also, surprisingly, seems to be quite well read and well received compared to other historical shoujo. This is all, of course, understandable, but I for one wouldn’t protest if more shoujo with the background like Tail of the Moon’s could get green-lit.

The story basically follows the life of an amateur ninja (or kunoichi for female ninja) Usagi, who is pretty hopeless for most of the series and quite unbearable at times, though she is, as it turns out, a skilled medicine maker and catnip for guy (the small, cute and innocent act seems to really be raking it up). Her mission set by her grandfather is to have the children of a young, talented and respectable ninja leader Hattori Hanzo. Needless to say, there is a clash, because he’s simply way out of her league. Between rivals for the attention of either side (a really frequent and annoying shoujo cliché), turbulent political times, dangerous ninja missions, side stories, assassination plots, your usual couple miscommunication troubles, Usagi’s failure at being a successful kunoichi, etc, the couple of course falls in love.

This is a very action-packed and fast-paced manga with something happening all the time. But as with Stepping on Roses, I feel that there is too much drama at times, which comes at you with full force one incident/person/topic after another without any real breaks. For example, one guy is introduced and vying for Usagi’s attention, after things get more or less settled, someone else becomes a rival to Hanzo. I do, however, think that this manga excels at balancing the action and romance, not forgetting the latter amidst all the trouble and constant hindrances for our couple. The manga doesn’t forget that it’s essentially still drawn for girls despite the setting, so the love story part is strong and constantly at least on the semi-foreground. Also, in spite of Usagi falling for Hanzo quite quick and for seemingly shallow reasons, the actual coming together and the course of the romance is somewhat of a slow burn. There is always something coming between them and rather than it being annoying and stalling, I appreciated the wait and the further development these obstacles enabled their budding relationship.

I wasn’t a huge fan of Usagi, even though, she didn’t turn out to be as useless and as klutzy a troublemaker as I concluded during the first volumes. She had her charming sides, but her type of heroine, the innocent girl who everyone falls for, who is whiney, often messes everything up, being more of a burden who needs things done and saved often, and who is just bothersome with her bright eyes and naïve attitude, is not someone whose adventures I fully enjoy following. Still, she was an eager learner and volume after volume she became less of a strain to others and in the end I almost respected her, almost.

Hanzo was supposed to be all manly, brave, talented, serious and a true leader, but what made him actually attractive was his minor dorky side. There were several adorably funny snippets where he is shy, surprised, blushing, innocent, jealous, etc. Those glimpses were what made him more than a cardboard hunky hero. Amongst the various side characters I definitely have to mention Memezo, Usagi's little "brother," who was simply ridiculously squishy, cute, huggable, so hardworking and a small grownup (even more mature than Usagi at times). I especially loved his time and care for all his animal pals.

While the manga is fun and wacky and goes from one crazy situation to another, as I mentioned before, it might be somewhat difficult for Western readers to fully grasp the manga, especially due to the real life historical side. The story takes place during the Warring States period in Japan and thus, there are several historical figures from the infamous Oda Nobunaga to the supportive and kind Tokugawa Ieyasu to the hero Hattori Hanzo himself also having the same name as an actual famous ninja from that time, making appearances or even appearing as minor and major characters to the plot. I’m quite sure regular readers of shojou manga have no idea who and what all these important people, places and happenings are. Then again, not knowing that, for example, that the man whom Usagi helps is Akechi Mitsuhide, an actual person who once existed, doesn’t necessarily hinder in understanding what’s going on and, thus, it doesn’t leave any gaps for the reader. The extra knowledge would enricher the reading experience, but it isn’t vital.

The emphasis of the art of this manga is mostly on drawing the characters and the background is quite simplistic and not primary in any way. The faces of the characters are detailed, especially for the males, and boy are most of them drawn oh-so pretty looking. The author has this specific look to her men, so I’m quite confident that I can spot her work from a huge bunch. As a fault, I can conclude that, when taking away the hairstyle, the characters look very much the same (but this is nothing new in manga). From the amount of dialogue and different panels on pages, the manga falls somewhere in the middle, with some pages being cluttered with text and various action, but others being quite bare with one panel taking up the whole page. There was, however, quite a bit of humour, colourful and quirky characterization moments, all quite irrelevant of course, in smaller dialogue clouds and panels amongst the main storyline ones or in those panels in smaller size, that could easily be overlooked, but I found many of them hilarious. They were also somewhat responsible for making Hanzo so adorably dorky with his comments and outbursts.

Overall:

If you like historical, action-packed, on the longer side (with 15 volumes) and with romance full of hindrances manga with a naïve and bothersome heroine, who does improve her ways by a mile and you can follow her in this progress, then this series is for you!

3 stars!

More covers from the manga:

  

    

  


LIIS

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Review: Archangel's Shadows by Nalini Singh

Hi all!

I finally managed to read the next book in one of my favorite series.




Author: Nalini Singh
Title: Archangel’s Shadows
Release date: 6th of November 2014
Series: Guild Hunter #7
Reading level: FICTION – ADULT: Romance, Paranormal, Fantasy
Published by: Gollancz
Pages: 336 in Kindle e-book format
Source: Bought from Amazon.com for Kindle

Summary:

In the wake of a brutal war, the archangel Raphael and his hunter consort, Elena, are dealing with the treacherously shifting tides of archangelic politics and the people of a battered but not broken city. The last thing their city needs is more death, especially not a death that bears the eerie signature of an insane enemy archangel who cannot - should not - be walking the streets.

This hunt must be undertaken with stealth and without alerting their people. It must be handled by those who can become shadows themselves...

Ash is a gifted tracker and a woman cursed with the ability to sense the secrets of anyone she touches. But there's one man she knows all too well without a single instant of skin contact: Janvier, the dangerously sexy Cajun vampire who has fascinated and infuriated her for years. Now, as they track down a merciless killer, their cat-and-mouse game of flirtation and provocation has turned into a profound one of the heart. And this time, it is Ash's secret, dark and terrible, that threatens to destroy them both.

Review:

This is a wonderful series, it really is, with all the seductive and mysterious hunks, girls who are tough yet soft inside, lots of saving the world and, most important, after several instalments it’s still going strong. I’ve never been even slightly let down by any of the books, even though, the current one did feel somewhat like a filler.

The current story is another successful addition, though the love story for me was the weakest compared to all the previous ones, yet it still managed to be quite excellent and have its own charming points. The romance probably suffered due to the book basically having three main plotlines: Janvier and Ash’s dance around each other, the murder mystery and the ongoings of the rest of the characters from Elena to the Legion, who were introduced in the previous book.

The love story: I felt a lack of time in the spotlight for the relationship of the couple and I would have hoped to see more from their unconventional courtship, because it was alone adorably sexy how Janvier teased Ash and had her hunt him to the point where she finally got close enough, just to have his issues solved and the hunt for him stopped – repeating that pattern several times. Strangely enough, I don’t exactly feel that the romance wasn’t satisfying, didn’t manage to have me invested in the couple or didn't end appropriately and pleasingly. Obviously, not every love story needs its own book to be detailed, fulfilling and final. If it wouldn’t have been for the other two main plotlines, the story would have worked perfectly for a short novella.

The murder mystery: For some reason this side of the book reminded me of the InDeath series… It was quite exciting to follow Janvier and Ash roaming around the city’s dangerous, exclusive and secretive clubs, dark and threatening streets and meeting vampires whose intentions vary from lethal to friendly. It was a welcome change from the last book, where everything was on such a grand scale and the bets were as high as ever. In this book, the action is solely based on the ground and compared to the book before, it’s like a magnifying-glass has been taken to zoom in on what goes on behind the scenes. The villain wasn’t too hard to figure out, but the circumstances and the backstory with what was really going on was a fun puzzle to observe being put together.

The everything else: I really appreciated how this book enabled the reader to catch up, to a certain degree, with all the main players and get snippets from their off-time. There were sweet moments, funny moments, odd moments, etc, and you got to learn some fun titbits about your favourite characters. Personally, I can’t wait for Illium's story, but I have a feeling Naasir is up next with all the attention he got in this book, and let’s be honest, the various sides and information we were shown and given regarding him were quite promising. I, however, see him more as a cutiepie than a sexy something (it was a memorable scene where he offered to answer some of Elena’s questions regarding who or what he actually is), he was very childlike – playful and straightforward, but also extremely unpredictable.

Overall:

I really don’t want to say this because I might regret it, but it seems that you can’t go wrong with this series. Each book has all around good quality every time and it’s excellent at compensating for aspects that might not be as strong the current time with some other ones that draw the attention away from the minor faults. I can’t wait for the next book!

4 stars!

LIIS

Monday, December 15, 2014

Holiday Gift Exchange Book Lovers Blog Hop Giveaway! #Win books!

Happy Monday!


It's here!!!



Welcome to my stop at the Holiday Gift Exchange Book Lovers Blog Hop! It runs from 15th to 19th of December and you will see several bloggers and authors participating, giving away free gift. So you will have two in one, a wonderful free book from my blog and a chance to win 100$ Gift Card from amazon.




First, thanks to the author Kristie Cook, I am giving away Promise, the first book in Soul Savers series! It's one of my favorite paranormal romance series of all time! I have read all the books in the series and highly recommend it. The only thing you need to do, is to click on the link below the Promise picture and it will take you to amazon, where you can get the book free.


New Adult Paranormal Romance ** Mature Content ** Recommended for ages 16+ due to sexual situations and language 

First installment of award-winning author Kristie Cook's bestselling Soul Savers Series
Alexis Ames has a life full of promise...but not all promises can be kept.

When Alexis Ames is attacked by creatures that can't be real, she decides it's time she learns who she really is, with or without the help of her mother, who guards their family's secrets closely. After meeting the inhumanly attractive, multi-talented Tristan Knight, however, Alexis retreats behind her façade of normalcy...until she discovers he's not exactly normal either. Then their secrets begin to unravel.

Their union brings hope and promise to her family's secret society, the Angels' army, and to the future of mankind. But it also incites a dangerous pursuit by the enemy - Satan's minions and Tristan's creators. After all, Alexis and Tristan are a match made in Heaven and in Hell.


1st Place - 2010 Royal Palm Literary Award - Fantasy (Published) by Florida Writers Association


Besides that, today and only today, the other books in the Soul Savers series are only 0.99 cents! Check it out!

CLICK HERE!





Second, a general giveaway, hosted by the wonderful S.K. Willis - 100$ Gift Card from amazon!!!

Just enter the rafflecopter to participate!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Last, but not least, there are others participating in this hop. You can find the whole schedule HERE!
Thank you so much for coming by and let's share the love! Feel free to share this post on any social media channels as well.

Thank you!
Happy hopping!
Happy reading!




Review: Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini

Hi all!

I really have to start writing reviews faster!




Title: Starcrossed
Release date: 31st of May 2011
Series: Starcrossed #1
Reading level: FICTION – JUVENILE: Romance, YA, Fantasy
Published by: HarperTeen
Pages: 501 in Kindle e-book format
Source: Bought from Amazon.com for Kindle

Summary:

When shy, awkward Helen Hamilton sees Lucas Delos for the first time she thinks two things: the first, that he is the most ridiculously beautiful boy she has seen in her life; the second, that she wants to kill him with her bare hands. With an ancient curse making them loathe one another, Lucas and Helen have to keep their distance. But sometimes love is stronger than hate, and not even the gods themselves can prevent what will happen...

Review:

Unpopular opinion alert!

I have to admit, if I hadn’t read as much YA before taking on this book, then I would have definitely taken it more lightly and even liked the book, as it however stands, this was a compilation of clichés and plot devices that have slowly and steadily appeared on my “avoid at all costs” list. There was no love triangle – yet – but everything else I try to steer clear of was represented. So, I’m probably more harsher than I should be, but I can’t lie to myself.

Same old same old, is what comes to mind first. So let’s start with some of the aspects that didn’t have me singing for joy:

Helen, the heroine, was so gorgeous, but of course, didn’t see herself as this goddess, she was so over powerful that it was boring, but still needed constant protection and whined when she needed to train, and she was simply dull with a side dish of mopey, weird (the non-cute kind), insecure, childish and Mary Sue. How can a character, if we look at her stats: descendant of gods, awesome powers, dazzling looks, endless capabilities, such history and potential – be such a blob? She was the worse kind of special snowflake, a mixture of all the YA heroines I’m not fond of.

Insta love is a device that needs to disappear or at least be believable and try to come across slightly natural. In this case, I felt that it was too rushed and left me asking “Uh? When? What? How?” The romance, having started with such cliche-ness, I felt there was only one step from hating to endless love, no actual development and it didn’t leave space for the most important component, which is chemistry. There were some adorable moments between Lucas and Helen, I won’t deny that, but the overall atmosphere and course of their relationship wasn’t entirely original or exciting.

The we-are-siblings-and-thus-can’t-be-together-but-actually-aren’t trope needs to be buried deep deep underground. It just aids in stalling the plot and encourages love triangles. Also, adding here the we-shouldn’t-be-together-because-it-means-the-end-of-the-world is just too much for me to bear.

Please let’s also stop with the annoying, overly opinionated and obtrusive best friends, Claire was a wacko.

It’s not all bad though, there were some aspects that were quite intriguing, but were overshadowed by the bothersome stuff:

The overall plot and backstory of the book was actually quite decent and a fresh take on Greek mythology. Even me, who knows her Greek gods, goddesses and legends, and thus, is prone to read everything related to it, hasn’t encountered anything overly similar in other stories in regards to what aim and form the mythology took in this book. Then again, nothing really surprised me and I figured out several things before they, I'm guessing, were meant to be revealed.

I actually grew really fond of Hector. He seemed to be the only voice of reason, didn’t hesitate to act or tell things how they were and seemed to be the only one who actually DID something when needed. Pluss, his fate is quite intriguing and I hope I wasn’t the only one who saw potential in the end with him and “her”…

I quite liked the huge family dynamics and the big cast of characters as well.

Overall:

The idea had potential and the whole plot was so promising, but what can you do when annoying clichés dominate and the redeeming factors are scarce. I know that this is a very popular series and I’m in the minority, but I have to be honest, this book wasn’t for me.

2 stars!

LIIS

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Letter to Santa.

Dear Santa,

It's been a year and I miss you. ...

Your Elves just contacted me requesting me to write a letter to you. I know I'm late and for that, I am terribly sorry. Every year when the time comes to write to you, I am getting little shy, because both your Elves and you know, that I do have everything what I need. And then there is a question if I have been naughty or nice and honestly, I'm not going to lie to you, I have been mostly nice, but as well as your Elves and you know, I have done some naughty things, too. Can't have nice without naughty. I have no regrets. I know you know that, too!


I have a loving family. Both my own and the extended family, they take care of me, they make me laugh, they ground me if needed. They are always there for me. They remind me daily what a gift life is. They encourage me, they pick me up when I'm down and last, but not least me - they love me unconditionally and the love is mutual.

I have a work which I enjoy, I have passions and hobbies which I love and which give both energy, fulfillment and feeling that I am good at what I am doing.

So, you see, dear Santa, I have everything Of course, since the request from you and the Elves was urgent, I do have few wishes. Here it is.

I wish for people being nicer and more loving to each other. I wish people were more patient and not so hard on others and especially on themselves, because life is too short for it. I wish there was less sickness and less pain for those who are suffering, be it emotional or physical pain. I have seen it a lot this year and it is sad to see other people going through some awful things. Lessen their pain! Give them relief. Give them gifts and presents what matter! That's my wish.

Oh, and one last thing. White Christmas won't hurt either! That would be something for me!

And Santa, you know what? I am really looking forward to seeing you again. Think about it, less than two weeks.

Sincerely,


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Torment by Kristie Cook out soon! Pre-order NOW!

Hello everybody!!

Time to remind all of you, that one of my favorite authors, Kristie Cook is having a book birthday soon! Torment, the 6th book from the Soul Savers Series is going to be released on January 9th!!! I can't wait for you to be able to read it!

I can tell you, that I am already reading it... and it is AWESOME! Yes, a.w.e.s.o.m.e. So be ready and preorder it! All the links are available below!

The last, seventh book, Faith will be out February 2nd! I'm actually little scared, because I don't want this series to end. But like all the good things end, so does Soul Savers Series. Not to worry though! Knowing Kristie, I am sure she will be publishing many excellent books in the future.

If you haven't read the series yet, do it now, because it is far the best paranormal series I have read.



Torment (Soul Savers Book 6)
By Kristie Cook
January 9th, 2015


 He’ll torment her soul until she breaks…and humanity until it falls.

When the Daemoni expose their existence to the human race, all Hell breaks loose. Literally. Not only do they walk the world freely, attacking at will, but they’ve infiltrated the highest levels of power in the human world. World War III erupts between countries
and species, with Lucas, leader of evil on Earth, orchestrating it all. He even possesses direct control of thousands of human soldiers’ minds, putting himself in position to take over humanity.

Alexis, still young and inexperienced, must lead the Angels’ army to war. But every step she takes is trumped by Lucas, who single-handedly turns the humans against her Amadis. When Alexis and Tristan top every country’s list of Most Wanted Terrorists, they are forced to go underground to fight this war. And their first mission is to free the
human soldiers by breaking the link that allows Lucas to control them.

But the Four Horsemen have apparently arrived, bringing the world into the apocalypse. Can Alexis and the Amadis prevent Lucas from taking over humanity? Or is he truly the Antichrist, and the events tormenting the world part of an age-old prophecy that can’t be stopped?

This highly anticipated sixth book of the Soul Savers Series will leave readers in shock, begging for the final installment, Faith.





iBooks: http://bit.ly/1qRJTVZ


Soul Savers Reading Order:
#1 Promise (Free) 
#2 Purpose
#4 Power
#5 Wrath
#6 Torment – 1/9/2015
#7 Faith – 2/2/2015 



Find the series here.


Kristie Cook is a lifelong, award-winning writer in various genres, primarily New Adult paranormal romance and contemporary fantasy. Her internationally bestselling Soul Savers Series will be complete and all seven books available  by early 2015. She's also written a companion novella, Genesis: A Soul Savers Novella, currently available. Over 350,000 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, and Wrath peaking in the Top 10 on 5 international iBooks stores.

She has also written The Book of Phoenix trilogy, a New Adult paranormal romance series that includes The Space Between, The Space Beyond, and The Space Within. The full trilogy is available now.

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, a beagle, and a puggle, but spends many weekends with her three sons at UCF, cheering on the Knights.















Want to catch up on the rest of Soul Saver Series?  Click the link and it will take you to the Soul Saver Series Website where you can learn more about the books and where they are available.  
To get you started Book 1 Promise is Free!






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