Thursday, December 30, 2010

Half Moon/White Flame Blog Tour with Jordan Deen

After the awesome series opener, The Crescent, readers all over have been eagerly awaiting the second installment in the series, Half Moon. Just to make the countdown to release day go by faster and to get everyone even more excited, Jordan Deen has set up an amazing blog tour with some wonderful blogs for your guys to visit. There will be 11 total stops to make on the tour from December 10-January 11, ending with a final stop on Jordan's site on January 13th...release day!

The prize is Half Moon swag, a signed Half Moon ARC, a $25 Barnes and Noble gift card, and a leather bound bracelet. How amazing is that? So get in the game, join in on the fun and check out the tour calendar below so you can make each stop to enter for your chance to win those great prizes! To be entered, you will need to follow my blog and post a comment on the tour post (this one), easy right?

Now that you know the name of the game take a look below to read my review of Half Moon, and to check out my interview with Jordan when she stopped by for the tour to answer some questions.

Jordan Deen's Website (1/13) -- Final Stop and RELEASE DAY!!!

Review: Half Moon (The Crescent, #2) by Jordan Deen

"I’d been a fool for coming here with them, and now... no one would come to save me. The world that hid in the shadows of humanity was full of enemies."

Faced with death, Lacey Quinn ran away from the only family she’d ever known.

That... was just the beginning.

As the decision she’s made sinks in, Lacey struggles to fit in with the pack and find the key to bonding with her werewolf soul mate, Brandon. But, lies can only be concealed for so long.

Adjusting to a powerful new best friend, a twelve-year-old roommate with a nauseating Barbie fetish, and a lost love that won’t stop haunting her dreams, she knows she has no hope of having a normal future—ever again.

After a long talk with the dead mother she never knew, and an almost deal-breaking night out with Brandon, Lacey starts spiraling into the underworld—a place where all things are possible and everyone is out to kill her.

With mysterious legends of witches and sorcery marring her past and clouding her future, she quickly learns—werewolves aren’t the only ones lurking in the woods...waiting to claim her powers for their own.

The Mares? Well, they are the least of her worries.

The mystery and action started in The Crescent, but it must by the year for sequels, because this one proved by far to be even better than its predecessor. Half Moon has it all! The romance and chemistry makes you anxious for more. The tension and action will have you on the edge of your seat dying to know what will happen next. And the ending...while I was thrilled in some ways, Jordan managed to lay out more unanswered questions for her readers that will have me biting my nails until I get some answers.

With The Crescent we got to know Lacey and Alex pretty well. But for some reason despite Deen only giving us glimpses of Brandon I fell hook, line and sinker for Team Brandon. And in Half Moon I got my wish - we get to know him this time around now that Lacey has escaped with him and the rest of the Amanas, his family and pack. I really enjoyed the details readers were given in regards to Brandon and the rest of the pack.

Lacey's still trying to play catch up and figure everything out that's been dumped in her lap, but she's not alone this time. She's got a new best friend who rocks, Brandon will do anything for her and the Amanas are trying their best to point her in the right direction. There are a ton of obstacles, lots of pressure and even more doubts creeping in, but it's also a fantastic journey to experience! I loved it all and once again can't wait to see what happens next in Full Moon, the final installment in The Crescent series.

I gave Half Moon (The Crescent, #2) 5 shamrocks!!!!!

Author Interview: Jordan Deen

As part of the Half Moon/White Flame Blog Tour, Jordan stopped by to answer some questions...I was thrilled to have some answers to questions that were burning in my brain, let me know what you guys think...

Katelyn: What was your favorite scene to write in Half Moon? Were there any scenes you had more fun writing than others?

Jordan: Hi Katelyn, thank you so much for being part of the White Flame tour! Yes- the greatest part of writing 'Half Moon' has been the fight scenes. I loved visualizing all the wolves running through the woods. My favorite scene of the novel is towards the end when Lacey is in the truck. (You'll see once you read it) That is by far the best. But I'm interested to hear what parts were the readers favorites to read.

Katelyn: Are readers ever going to see an "official" mating/bonding ceremony in the series?

Jordan: Not necessarily. Bonding isn't necessarily like a wedding and I don't want the relationship between Lacey and Brandon to be too cliche'. I can't give away too much from 'Full Moon' - which will be the final novel in the series.

Katelyn: Can you tell us what was in the baby's dress? Or at least tell us if we'll find out in the last novel in the series?

Jordan: Yes. This isn't necessarily a spoiler because I won't give away what is in there. But, it is something important and it will be a big part of 'Full Moon'. :)

Katelyn: With Full Moon being the third and final installment in The Crescent series, can we hope to have the mysteries solved and the questions answered? (I've taken to nail biting again because I'm so anxious for some of these answers, lol)

Jordan: Hahahaha Do we need to find a support group? Yes, 'Full Moon' will have the return of some characters, introductions of new characters, and answers to lots of questions from 'The Crescent' and 'Half Moon'.

Katelyn: Will we get to see Lacey more fully embracing her other abilities?

Jordan: Oooh, this is the biggest question I've gotten about 'Full Moon'. You will be quite surprised by what Lacey can fully do. She has not yet begun to touch the tip of the iceberg of her talents. There is much, much more to come in that area for her.

Katelyn: I'm not sure if I want to know this or not but...will more pairs be mated? Will anyone succumb to the sickness?

Jordan: Yes, there will be more mating - (because you know I can't leave certain characters hanging like that) and I can't divulge about the sickness...but I will tell you there is serious heartbreak ahead for one main character.

Yowsers guys....if that doesn't leave you on edge and with a lot more questions I don't know what will!!! Thanks again for stopping by Jordan and for answering some of our questions!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Countdown: Romance Edition

Every now and then a girl as to just be a girl and swoon at every page in a romance novel. I love them. I know reality often doesn't work out the ways these novels do, fiction is fiction, but I am a total fan when introduced to a new romance. Romantic comedies always draw me to the movie theaters, but there's just no comparison to a romance novel. A reader's imagination, there's nothing quite like it. So here are a few that I'm looking forward to.

Countdown Pick #1: The Vespertine (The Vespertine, #1) by Saundra Mitchell (3/7/2011)

It’s the summer of 1889, and Amelia van den Broek is new to Baltimore and eager to take in all the pleasures the city has to offer. But her gaiety is interrupted by disturbing, dreamlike visions she has only at sunset—visions that offer glimpses of the future. Soon, friends and strangers alike call on Amelia to hear her prophecies. However, a forbidden romance with Nathaniel, an artist, threatens the new life Amelia is building in Baltimore. This enigmatic young man is keeping secrets of his own—still, Amelia finds herself irrepressibly drawn to him. When one of her darkest visions comes to pass, Amelia’s world is thrown into chaos. And those around her begin to wonder if she’s not the seer of dark portents, but the cause. 

As a Baltimore native I was super excited to hear about a book based in 1889 Baltimore. I'm very curious to see how Mitchell describes good ol'Baltimore and if I'll know the areas she references. But aside from my Baltimore geekdom, there's romance! Of course it's forbidden which only makes it that much better. I'm already in love with the idea of Amelia and Nathaniel together and book's not even out...what a romantic I am. So with home field advantage, a high stakes romance, and maybe a little bit of fortune telling thrown in, what more could you want in a 2011 debut?

Countdown Pick#2: Unearthly (Unearthly #1) by Cynthia Hand (1/4/2011)

In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees . . . .
Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy.
Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place—and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.
As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make—between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?
Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart.

Talk about your love triangle alert? If Hand's main character is thrown into a reality where she's part angel, I can only imagine that coming to grips with news like that would be enough to fill a girl's plate. Add a handsome and wholesome boy she's dreamed of (literally) and a boy, his polar opposite - tempting her at the same time, what do you get? An instant out of me for sure! I'll be curious to see if the part-Angel gives in to the temptation of a bad boy or if the nice guy doesn't end up finishing last...aren't you curious too? Did I mention it's a series opener too?

Countdown Pick #3: Half Moon (The Crescent, #2) by Jordan Deen (1/13/2011)

I'd been a fool for coming here with them, and now... no one would come to save me. The world that hid in the shadows of humanity was full of enemies.Faced with death, Lacey Quinn ran away from the only family she'd ever known. That... was just the beginning.As the decision she's made sinks in, Lacey struggles to fit in with the pack and find the key to bonding with her werewolf soul mate, Brandon. But, lies can only be concealed for so long. Adjusting to a powerful new best friend, a twelve-year-old roommate with a nauseating Barbie fetish, and a lost love that won't stop haunting her dreams, she knows she has no hope of having a normal future-ever again.After a long talk with the dead mother she never knew, and an almost deal-breaking night out with Brandon, Lacey starts spiraling into the underworld-a place where all things are possible and everyone is out to kill her.With mysterious legends of witches and sorcery marring her past and clouding her future, she quickly learns-werewolves aren't the only ones lurking in the woods...waiting to claim her powers for their own.

Now I will admit that I've already gotten the chance to read this (thanks to being a part of the book's blog tour) and it rocked! I included this one on the countdown for a bunch of reasons - but mainly because the copy I read was an electronic galley and I'm counting down until I can get my hands on a copy of my own! But I also wanted to include it because the romance and love triangle in The Crescent series gets turned up (more than a notch in this installment. It's romantic for sure, not to mention much steamier this time around. I melted the whole way through and was totally putty in Jordan Deen's hands!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Review: Shadowspell (Faeriewalker, #2) by Jenna Black

On top of spending most of her time in a bunkerlike safe house and having her dates hijacked by a formidable Fae bodyguard, Faeriewalker Dana Hathaway is in for some more bad news: the Erlking and his pack of murderous minions known as the Wild Hunt have descended upon Avalon. With his homicidal appetite and immortal powers, the Erlking has long been the nightmare of the Fae realm. A fragile treaty with the Faerie Queen, sealed with a mysterious spell, is the one thing that keeps him from hunting unchecked in Avalon, the only place on Earth where humans and Fae live together. Which means Dana’s in trouble, since it’s common knowledge that the Faerie Queen wants her – and her rare Faeriewalker powers – dead.

The smoldering, sexy Erlking’s got his sights set on Dana, but does he only seek to kill her, or does he have something much darker in mind?

Only a fellow reading fanatic would understand how excited I was when I got an advanced copy of Shadowspell in the mail for review the other night. It was like Christmas had come early, I was beyond elated. I immediately put aside the other book I was reading and dove right in! Jenna's writing was just as perfect and addicting as it was the first go around in Glimmerglass, but it felt more mature this time around. She was in the zone from beginning to end and I was hooked from page one.

Dana's problems in Glimmerglass pale in comparison to what she's faced with in this installment and I was rooting for her even more. Her drama with Ethan rears it's ugly head but things really get dramatic when the Erlking comes to Avalon with his huntsman following close behind. I finished the book unsure of my feelings for the Erlking. I think I actually like him, but I know I shouldn't? I guess I'm still kind of undecided on the subject. But Black did an amazing job of mounting the intensity and suspense of the story thanks to his entrance in the storyline.

Keane and Finn, Dana's mom and dad, and Kimber were all back and involved (even at times when they probably shouldn't have been) and were all awesome as was to be expected. And another great comeback...the hot posset! I was happy to see Kimber bring the cure all back into action, but felt bad that the girls were in need of the stress reliever. I think I'm going to whip one up myself when I got back to re-read the story, yum!

While the second installment was packed with action, anxiety, stress and yes romance, the ending left me at a crossroads. I'm sad, happy, curious and a little worried about Dana and her friends, but I'm hoping they can pull things together in the next and third installment in the Faeriewalker series, Sirensong, which comes out July 2011.

I gave Shadowspell (Faeriewalker, #2) 5 shamrocks!!!!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Countdown: Light and Fun Edition

While I'm a sucker for emotional dramas and enviable romances, sometimes a light and fun and easy read is just what I'm looking for. While it hasn't happened very often, sometimes I find myself in reading slumps or funks where nothing sounds so great or nothing manages to hold my attention. This is not a good thing and I try my best to get past these periods of time as quickly as possible because we all know, the TBR lists never really get shorter, they continue to grow and grow. These countdown picks of mine include debut authors that I've been anxiously awaiting, series continuations, and some old favorites (authors) that are bringing winners to the shelves I'm sure. Check it out!

Countdown Pick #1: Small Persons With Wings by Ellen Booraem (1/20/2011)

Ever since she was teased for believing in fairies, Mellie has adopted a strictly scientific and logical approach to life. But when her parents inherit her grandfather's inn, she learns that for generations, her family members have been fairy guardians. The fairies exchanged some of their powers for this protection but now they want their magic back. An evil temptress in disguise wants the magic too, and before she knows it, Mellie is turned into a frog, her grandfather is discovered alive, and her parents are trapped in an evil spell that only lets them see the truth (which can be awfully brutal). Thank goodness for Timmo - the cute boy next door - and Durindana, a fairy outcast, who help Mellie save the day and encourage her to loosen up her views on family, fairies, and friendship.

This is a hilarious, irreverent, and highly sarcastic take on fairies-who, by the way, just hate to be called fairies.

I've always been a big fan of fairies and yes I'm still a Tinkerbell fan. Now even though Booraem's book doesn't strike me as pro-fairie, it sounds like a whole lot of fun. Fairies, who apparently don't like to be called fairies? Who would have thought, right? I guess they have a complex or something. I've never read Booraem's previous work but from the looks and sound of this January release, I might be picking up her other books as well.

Countdown Pick#2: Demonglass (Hex Hall, #2) by Rachel Hawkins (2/15/2011)

Sophie Mercer thought she was a witch. 

That was the whole reason she was sent to Hex Hall, a reform school for delinquent Prodigium (aka witches, shapeshifters, and fairies). But that was before she discovered the family secret, and that her hot crush, Archer Cross, is an agent for The Eye, a group bent on wiping Prodigium off the face of the earth.

Turns out, Sophie’s a demon, one of only two in the world—the other being her father. What’s worse, she has powers that threaten the lives of everyone she loves. Which is precisely why Sophie decides she must go to London for the Removal, a dangerous procedure that will destroy her powers.

But once Sophie arrives she makes a shocking discovery. Her new friends? They’re demons too. Meaning someone is raising them in secret with creepy plans to use their powers, and probably not for good. Meanwhile, The Eye is set on hunting Sophie down, and they’re using Archer to do it. But it’s not like she has feelings for him anymore. Does she?

Now this one's got it all, vampires, witches, werewolves, and demons. So yes, it could fall into the fantasy countdown, but I found the first installment to be so easy to breeze right through and fun to experience that I put it under this countdown. Sophie's got a lot to deal with and accept, but Hawkins keeps things going at a steady pace and manages to not get to heavy for her readers at the same time. So don't let the title fool you, and mark your calendars for this release. I'm anxious to see if Archer really was trying to trick Sophie or if everything changed for him when he developed real feelings for her? They were real, right? Please, Hawkins, don't make me sad and be forced to change my mind about the fun and exciting world you've created.

Countdown Pick #3: City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4) by Cassandra Clare (4/5/2011)

The Mortal War is over, and Clary Fray is back home in New York, excited about all the possibilities before her. She's training to become a Shadowhunter and to use her unique power. Her mother is getting married to the love of her life. Downworlders and Shadowhunters are at peace at last. And—most important of all—Clary can finally call Jace her boyfriend.

But nothing comes without a price.

Someone is murdering the Shadowhunters who used to be in Valentine’s Circle, provoking tensions between Downworlders and Shadowhunters that could lead to a second bloody war. Clary’s best friend, Simon, can’t help her. His mother just found out he’s a vampire and now he’s homeless. Everywhere he turns, someone wants him on their side—along with the power of the curse wrecking his life. And they’re willing to do anything to get what they want. At the same time he’s dating two beautiful, dangerous girls—neither of whom knows about the other.

When Jace begins to pull away from Clary without explaining why, she is forced to delve into the heart of a mystery whose solution reveals her worst nightmare: She herself has set in motion a terrible chain of events that could lead to her losing everything she loves. Even Jace.

Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. The stakes are higher than ever in City of Fallen Angels.

Everyone was so excited (myself included) when The Clockwork Angel came out this year, but it wasn't enough. Readers all over need their shadowhunter fix and that means Jace and Clary. So hearing that the Mortal Instruments had another installment in the series coming out, almost sounded too good to be true... almost. Clare never has a hard time pulling you into her world and although the anticipation for this one is high, I'm sure Clare has once again risen to the challenge and will come out blowing us all away with her amazing talent, like always. I for one, cannot wait!

Countdown Pick #4: Bitterblue (The Seven Kingdoms, #3) by Kristin Cashore (release date unknown)

Eight years after Graceling, Bitterblue is now queen of Monsea. But the influence of her father, a violent psychopath with mind-altering abilities, lives on. Her advisors, who have run things since Leck died, believe in a forward-thinking plan: Pardon all who committed terrible acts under Leck’s reign, and forget anything bad ever happened. But when Bitterblue begins sneaking outside the castle—disguised and alone—to walk the streets of her own city, she starts realizing that the kingdom has been under the thirty-five-year spell of a madman, and the only way to move forward is to revisit the past.

Two thieves, who only steal what has already been stolen, change her life forever. They hold a key to the truth of Leck’s reign. And one of them, with an extreme skill called a Grace that he hasn’t yet identified, holds a key to her heart.

Finally! Now while I haven't seen or heard an official release date, and unfortunately there has been no cover art revealed, I think it's still scheduled for 2011, fingers crossed. I love a good number of books and series'. I like even more. But my list is not super long when it comes to books I love so much that I'll read them over and over and over again. Well, Cashore's first two in this series, Graceling and Fire fall into that very select category and I'm hoping like crazy that Bitterblue is not different. I'm very excited to learn more about all my old favorite characters, getting to meet new ones, and seeing where the journey will take them this time around. I imagine there's a lot of pressure and expectation on Cashore's shoulders but I cannot imagine her disappointing in any way, shape, or form...but can we please have a release date to look forward to? May at least a cover image?

Happy reading!!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Countdown: Fantasy Edition

The genre of fantasy has always been one of my favorites. Whether we're talking fairies, or fairy tales, I love it all. While paranormal fiction is it's own genre now, I still lump the vampires, werewolves, etc... into fantasy, at least where my tastes are concerned. So with there being so many amazing fantasy titles coming out in the near future, I thought I would share a few that I'm anxiously counting down until their release dates!

Countdown #1: Warped by Maurissa Guibord (1/11/2011)

Tessa doesn't believe in magic. Or Fate. But there's something weird about the dusty unicorn tapestry she discovers in a box of old books. She finds the creature woven within it compelling and frightening. After the tapestry comes into her possession, Tessa experiences dreams of the past and scenes from a brutal hunt that she herself participated in. When she accidentally pulls a thread from the tapestry, Tessa releases a terrible centuries old secret. She also meets William de Chaucy, an irresistible 16th-century nobleman. His fate is as inextricably tied to the tapestry as Tessa's own. Together, they must correct the wrongs of the past. But then the Fates step in, making a tangled mess of Tessa's life. Now everyone she loves will be destroyed unless Tessa does their bidding and defeats a cruel and crafty ancient enemy.

Stories of unicorns are few and far between. While I'm not completely positive they're features in the upcoming release, I'm hoping and thinking there's a good chance. It sounds to me like Tessa is going to have her work cut out for her with magic tapestries coming to life, the fates intervening and handsome nobleman crossing her path in this tale. I'm crossing my fingers that Guibord produces a book that will give me a really good fantasy genre fix and maybe a possible series in the making?

Countdown #2: Across the Universe by Beth Revis (1/11/2011)

A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder. 

Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone-one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship-tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming. 

While this book doesn't feature fantastical/mythical creatures, it features futuristic space age (think Star Trek) scenarios, which in my mind fits the fantasy mold. Characters are cryogenically frozen, control is in a dictator/big brother sort and conspiracies run amok. There is a possible romance in the background, but I don't think it's going to be the focus of Revis' work. Time is an issue and when you're dealing with future situations and worlds, anything is possible. I'm curious to see how far Revis will push the envelope? At the risk of sounding like an infinity and beyond!

Countdown #3: Nightspell (Mistwood, #2) by Leah Cypess (5/31/2011)

Here be ghosts, the maps said, and that was all.

In this haunted kingdom, ghosts linger—not just in the deepest forests or the darkest caverns, but alongside the living, as part of a twisted palace court that revels all night and sleeps through the daylight hours.

Darri’s sister was trapped in this place of fear and shadows as a child. And now Darri has a chance to save her sister... if she agrees to a betrothal with the prince of the dead. But nothing is simple in this eerie kingdom—not her sister, who has changed beyond recognition; not her plan, which will be thrown off track almost at once; and not the undead prince, who seems more alive than anyone else.

In a court seething with the desire for vengeance, Darri holds the key to the balance between life and death. Can her warrior heart withstand the most wrenching choice of all?

Who didn't love Mistwood? While this is a part of the Mistwood series, it is a stand alone companion novel. I found Mistwood to be very unique and can only hope Cypess infuses this companion with her style and flare. The idea and sound of ghostland is both intriguing and scary. I'm worried our main character will be forced to sacrifice too much for the sake of her family. I am also holding out hope for another dash of romance much like the series opener. While it didn't consume the first book, it was a nice addition and helped me form an attachment to the characters. I'll guess I'll just have to wait and see what Cypess churns out this time.

Countdown #4: Darkest Mercy (Wicked Lovely, #5) by Melissa Marr (2/22/2011)

The Summer King is missing; the Dark Court is bleeding; and a stranger walks the streets of Huntsdale, his presence signifying the deaths of powerful fey.
Aislinn tends to the Summer Court, searching for her absent king and yearning for Seth. Torn between his new queen and his old love, Keenan works from afar to strengthen his court against the coming war. Donia longs for fiery passion even as she coolly readies the Winter Court for battle. And Seth, sworn brother of the Dark King and heir to the High Queen, is about to make a mistake that could cost his life.
Love, despair, and betrayal ignite the Faery Courts, and in the final conflict, some will win . . . and some will lose "everything."
The thrilling conclusion to Melissa Marr's "New York Times" bestselling Wicked Lovely series will leave readers breathless.

I'm honestly not sure I'll survive this one. The description ends with, "Love, despair, and betrayal ignite the Faery courts, and in the final conflict, some will win... and some will lose everything." As much as I adore all the characters in this amazing series that Marr has created, I'm mainly concerned with Aislinn and Seth. I don't want them to be torn apart or to have to lose each other again. Haven't they been through enough? Marr spins such an amazing web of intrigue, romance and suspense that I'm sure I'll be amazed all over again, but I'm scared she'll go too far and crush the ideal world as well. Hopefully she can give them a happily-ever after in this final installment in the Wicked Lovely series.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Awakened Sneak Peek

The 8th installment in the House of Night series, Awakened, will be hitting the shelves on January 4, 2011. With such an exciting series, so many readers are anxiously awaiting the chance to see what will happen next with Zoe and her friends.

While the countdown is coming to an end, Macmillan has taken pity on us and posted a sneak peek of the first chapter for our reading pleasure. Head on over and get your House of Night fix!

Happy reading!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Dark Moon ARC Contest

Steve Feasey's Wereling series continues on February 1, 2011 when the second installment in the series, Dark Moon is released. If you haven't read Wereling yet, you can check out my review here or take a look at my interview with Steve here when he stopped by the blog. I've recently been given an advanced copy of Dark Moon to review and I can't wait to get started!

Even more exciting... the publishing company has generously offered up a copy of Dark Moon for me to give away! So fill out the form below and enter to win your own copy of Dark Moon. Contest ends January 1st at midnight and is for US/Canada residents only.

Happy Reading!!!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

In My Mailbox (34)

This is a meme that I first heard about from Kristi over at The Story Siren and immediately wanted to jump on board.

Here's what I got, what did you guys get this week?

For Review:

Memento Nora by Angie Smibert

Nora, the popular girl and happy consumer, witnesses a horrific bombing on a shopping trip with her mother. In Nora’s near-future world, terrorism is so commonplace that she can pop one little white pill to forget and go on like nothing ever happened. However, when Nora makes her first trip to a Therapeutic Forgetting Clinic, she learns what her mother, a frequent forgetter, has been frequently forgetting. Nora secretly spits out the pill and holds on to her memories. The memory of the bombing as well as her mother’s secret and her budding awareness of the world outside her little clique make it increasingly difficult for Nora to cope. She turns to two new friends, each with their own reasons to remember, and together they share their experiences with their classmates through an underground comic. They soon learn, though, they can’t get away with remembering.

Shadowspell (Faeriewalker, #2) by Jenna Black

On top of spending most of her time in a bunkerlike safe house and having her dates hijacked by a formidable Fae bodyguard, Faeriewalker Dana Hathaway is in for some more bad news: the Erlking and his pack of murderous minions known as the Wild Hunt have descended upon Avalon. With his homicidal appetite and immortal powers, the Erlking has long been the nightmare of the Fae realm. A fragile treaty with the Faerie Queen, sealed with a mysterious spell, is the one thing that keeps him from hunting unchecked in Avalon, the only place on Earth where humans and Fae live together. Which means Dana’s in trouble, since it’s common knowledge that the Faerie Queen wants her – and her rare Faeriewalker powers – dead. The smoldering, sexy Erlking’s got his sights set on Dana, but does he only seek to kill her, or does he have something much darker in mind?

Rage (Horsemen of the Apocalypse #2) by Jackie Morse Kessler

Missy didn’t mean to cut so deep. But after the party where she was humiliated in front of practically everyone in school, who could blame her for wanting some comfort? Sure, most people don’t find comfort in the touch of a razor blade, but Missy always was . . . different.

That’s why she was chosen to become one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: War. Now Missy wields a different kind of blade—a big, brutal sword that can cut down anyone and anything in her path. But it’s with this weapon in her hand that Missy learns something that could help her triumph over her own pain: control.


Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy #6) by Richelle Mead

Rose Hathaway has always played by her own rules.

She broke the law when she ran away from St. Vladimir’s Academy with her best friend and last surviving Dragomir Princess, Lissa. She broke the law when she fell in love with her gorgeous, off-limits instructor, Dimitri. And she dared to defy Queen Tatiana, leader of the Moroi world, risking her life and reputation to protect generations of dhampir guardian to come.

Now the law has finally caught up with Rose- for a crime she didn’t even commit. She’s in prison for the highest offense imaginable: the assassination of a monarch. She’ll need help from both Dimitri and Adrian to find the one living person who can stall her execution and force the Moroi elite to acknowledge a shocking new candidate for the royal throne: Vasilisa Dragomir.

But the clock on Rose’s life is running out. Rose knows in her heart the world of the dead wants her back… and this time she is truly out of second chances. The big question is, when your life is about saving others, who will save you?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Angel Star Contest Reminder and Updates!!!

Just a reminder that the Angel Star re-create a cover contest information can be found here and we've added an additional prize for the winner of this contest. Jennifer will still be giving the winner this great bracelet from the Clearwood Collection, inspired by Angel Star and now I've decided to also give the contest winner a copy of Lemniscate (Angel Star, #2) when it is released on March 21, 2011. So get on over to the contest and show off your creativity with your Angel Star cover. Voting begins December 31!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Countdown: Debut Author Edition

After participating in The Story Siren's 2010 YA debut author challenge, I discovered so many wonderful new authors. Some became instant favorites, some had me getting in my car to drive crazy distances for signings and the chance to meet them, and even more had me running to the bookstores to buy their new releases. So here are a few books who's releases dates I've got marked on my calendar and am counting down until they're lining the shelves by 2011 promising YA debut authors.

Countdown Pick #1: I'm Not Her by Janet Gurtler (4/1/2011)

"For the first time in my life, I didn't feel envy..."

Tess is the exact opposite of her beautiful, athletic sister. And that's okay. Kristina is the sporty one, Tess is the smart one, and they each have their place. Until Kristina is diagnosed with cancer. Suddenly Tess is the center of the popular crowd, everyone eager for updates. There are senior boys flirting with her. But, the smiles of her picture perfect family are cracking and her sister could be dying. Now Tess has to fill a new role: the strong one. Because if she doesn't hold it together, who will?

Janet Gurtler tests the bonds of sisterhood in this moving debut that readers of Jodi Picoult and Sarah Dessen will savor.

Goodreads says "Janet Gurtler tests the bonds of sisterhood in this moving debut," and that was enough to pull me in. I have one older sister that I'm extremely close to so I'm nervous that this book may be a little sad and potentially scary for me but I also think I may find myself unable to let go. I usually stay away from absolute tear jerkers (I have to be really in the mood for them) because reading is my break from everyday life and the stress that comes with it. Not to mention the fact that I have a tendency to be way to emotional about fictitious characters, but I want to give this one a go. Tess faces a scary reality; her sister is diagnosed with cancer and while that would be hard enough to handle, she also must be the glue that holds her family together, the strong one. I'll have my tissues ready, but the countdown has begun. (This book was formerly titled The Weight of Bones)

Countdown Pick #2: Wither by Lauren DeStefano (Chemical Garden, #1) (3/24/2011)

By age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years left to live. She can thank modern science for this genetic time bomb. A botched effort to create a perfect race has left all males with a lifespan of 25 years, and females with a lifespan of 20 years. Geneticists are seeking a miracle antidote to restore the human race, desperate orphans crowd the population, crime and poverty have skyrocketed, and young girls are being kidnapped and sold as polygamous brides to bear more children. When Rhine is kidnapped and sold as a bride, she vows to do all she can to escape. Her husband, Linden, is hopelessly in love with her, and Rhine can’t bring herself to hate him as much as she’d like to. He opens her to a magical world of wealth and illusion she never thought existed, and it almost makes it possible to ignore the clock ticking away her short life. But Rhine quickly learns that not everything in her new husband’s strange world is what it seems. Her father-in-law, an eccentric doctor bent on finding the antidote, is hoarding corpses in the basement. Her fellow sister wives are to be trusted one day and feared the next, and Rhine is desperate to communicate to her twin brother that she is safe and alive. Will Rhine be able to escape--before her time runs out? Together with one of Linden's servants, Gabriel, Rhine attempts to escape just before her seventeenth birthday. But in a world that continues to spiral into anarchy, is there any hope for freedom?

Now I have to admit that I've already had the chance to read this fantastic debut but couldn't leave it off the list, because I know how much everyone is going to love this one. DeStefano drew me into this one with the beautiful cover art, and I'm dying to post my review but have been asked to hold off until we get closer to the release date. So put this one on your wish list because you're going to want the other two installments in the trilogy as soon as you come to the last page. I've enjoyed a few of my first tries at dystopian set novels this year but they're still not my absolute favorites when I've got to choose between the genres on the shelves. But what I'll say is the summary of this book had me practically drooling I was so anxious to get my hands on this book and I can only imagine the explosion it's going to create among readers and reviewers come release day! If this is what DeStefano came up with for her first novel I can't even guess at how wonderful the other installments in the trilogy will be. And on that note, be sure to check back, because I've got an extra copy of Wither that I'll be giving away after the holidays!!!!

Countdown Pick #3: Entwined by Heather Dixon (3/29/2011)

Azalea and her younger sisters dance in the mysterious silver forest every night, escaping from the sadness of the palace and their father’s grief. What they don’t understand—although as time passes they begin to get an inkling of the danger they are in—is that the mysterious and dashing Keeper is tightening his snare with deadly purpose. Luckily, Azalea is brave and steadfast. Luckily, a handsome young army captain also has his eye on Azalea. . . . Lush, romantic, and compelling, this debut novel by Heather Dixon will thrill fans of Shannon Hale, Robin McKinley, and Edith Pattou.

While Dixon has a previous work on the shelves, this will be her Young adult debut. Again this is one I've been lucky enough to have had he chance to read and again another review that I can't wait to share with you guys. But alas, it's got to wait until closer to it's release date. So all I can really say is that if all fairy tale remakes were as rich and entertaining as this one was, I might not ever read anything else. Dixon's got major promise and will dazzle readers with her story of royalty, magic and intrigue. He words were something I can't describe really. They had an almost lyrical feel to them with how easily they flowed and not to mention how quickly she had me engaged and unable to put her pages down. Her characters are realistic but at the same time they had that fairy tale feel to them, where the girls are very lady like and proper and encompass all that a princess should be, and the men for the most part are charming and dashing and will ride to the rescue to rescue the damsels they love! It was great, I felt like a girl reading Cinderella for the first time, fantastic...can't wait to get copies for all my friends!

Countdown #4: Future Imperfect (Future Imperfect, #1) by K. Ryer Breese (4/26/2011)

Ade Patience can see the future and it's destroying his life. When the seventeen-year-old Mantlo High School student knocks himself unconscious, he can see days and decades into his own future. Ade's the best of Denver's "divination" underground and eager to join the heralded Mantlo Diviners, a group of similarly enabled teens. Yet, unlike the Diviners, Ade Patience doesn't see the future out of curiosity or good will; Ade gives himself concussions because he's addicted to the high, the Buzz, he gets when he breaks the laws of physics. And while there have been visions he's wanted to change, Ade knows the Rule: You can't change the future, no matter how hard you try. 

His memory is failing, his grades are in a death spiral, and both Ade's best friend and his shrink are begging him to stop before he kills himself.  Ade knows he needs to straighten-out.  Luckily, the stunning Vauxhall Rodolfo has just transferred to Mantlo and, as Ade has seen her in a vision two years previously, they're going to fall in love.  It's just the motivation Ade needs to kick his habit.  Only things are a bit more complciated.  Vauxhall has an addiction of her own, and, after a vision in which he sees Vauxhall's close friend, Jimmy, drown while he looks on seemingly too wasted to move, Ade realizes that he must break the one rule he's been told he can't.

The pair must overcome their addictions and embrace their love for each other in order to do the impossible: change the future.

Like with all debut authors, readers can never know what to expect when picking up their books. If I have only the cover image and cryptic summary on the back of the book to go by, I have to curiosity is totally piqued. It sounds like Ade's gift of seeing the future is also a little bit of a curse as well. And what addictions is Vauxhall struggling with? The little bit that the summary gives readers alone has me all anxious and tense so I'm thinking this is going to be a book I stay up late reading, just so I can find out what happens next. I guess I better be all caught up on my sleep before this one releases in April.

Stay tuned for another edition of the countdown and more fantastic reads to look forward to in 2011!


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