Friday, September 28, 2012

BRIGHTEST KIND OF DARKNESS by P.T. Michelle Blog Tour and Giveaway

We are honored to be a stop on this wonderful tour!  These books have some gorgeous covers that I could basically just stare at all day!  This is going to be a jam packed post full of all sorts of goodies!  You can read our friend, Beth's review of Brightest Kind of Darkness here and her review for Lucid (book #2) below.  Today we will also have an excerpt from book #2 and the trailer reveal!  Plus, there is an awesome giveaway!  How awesome is all that?!?!

Brightest Kind of Darkness (Brightest Kind of Darkness, #1)


Nara Collins is an average sixteen-year-old, with one exception: every night she dreams the events of the following day. Due to an incident in her past, Nara avoids using her special gift to change fate…until she dreams a future she can’t ignore.
After Nara prevents a bombing at Blue Ridge High, her ability to see the future starts to fade, while people at school are suddenly being injured at an unusually high rate.
Grappling with her diminishing powers and the need to prevent another disaster, Nara meets Ethan Harris, a mysterious loner who seems to understand her better than anyone. Ethan and Nara forge an irresistible connection, but as their relationship heats up, so do her questions about his dark past.

Read an excerptAmazon | Barnes & Noble

Lucid (Brightest Kind of Darkness, #2)LUCID: BRIGHTEST KIND OF DARKNESS, BOOK 2

Once Nara combines her prophetic ability with Ethan’s power to outsmart Fate at his own deadly cat-and-mouse game, she’s more determined than ever to help Ethan learn the meaning behind the raven sword tattoo that suddenly appeared on his back after their confrontation with Fate.
During her quest to uncover the tattoo’s secrets, Nara enlists the help of some new friends and discovers her own surprising connection to Ethan.
While Nara digs deeper into the mystery, her desire for answers leads her down a dangerous path full of powerful and ruthless enemies. Swept into an age-old battle, Nara quickly learns that keeping one’s enemies close can be a necessary evil, making an intangible enemy she can control far more preferable to the human enemies she can’t. 

Read an excerpt
Amazon | Barnes and Noble


When I finished reading Brightest Kind of Darkness, I kept swiping my Kindle trying to turn to the next page.  I never wanted it to end.  So when I got my copy of LUCID, I locked myself in my bedroom and told my husband not to bother me.  To say this book was on the top of my most anticipated sequels list, was quite the understatement.

Nara is as likeable and relatable as ever.  She develops more as a character and takes some unexpected paths along the way.  I enjoyed seeing her relationships grow and deepen while keeping in the normal high school life.  Her quest for knowledge brings some twists and turns that left me stunned. 

Much to my disappointment, Ethan is not in a big section of the book.  I absolutely fell head of heels in love with him in the first book, so I was very sad when he left to reconcile with his parents.  But, the fact he wanted to do that is yet another reason why I absolutely adore him.

Speaking of adoring male characters, I was so glad when Drystan the mystery man with the English accent appears.  He is full of intrigue and secrets that will leave you stunned.

All in all, I enjoyed the book.  It is a good sequel that perfectly sets up the next book.  It'll keep you wanting more and anticipating the finale to this marvelous series. 


P.T. Michelle is author of the young adult series BRIGHTEST KIND OF DARKNESS. When P.T. isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading or taking pictures of landscapes, sunsets and anything beautiful or odd in nature.

LINKS: Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest | Newsletter

And, here is the excerpt from Lucid:

10 ebooks of BKoD/Lucid (INTL)

1 SIGNED paperback of Brightest Kind of Darkness (US ONLY)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Poison Princess by Kresley Cole

Poison Princess by Kresley Cole
Release Date:  10-2-2012
ARC received from Simon & Schuster at ALA
Reviewed by:  Middle Sis Jenn
The Sisters Say: 

Copy of How to Survive the End of the World As We Know It:   $11.56 on Amazon

Survival Kit including backpack, water, liquor, energy bars:  $39 on Amazon

Trekking across a post-apocalyptic wasteland with a gorgeous Cajun:  Priceless

 #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole introduces The Arcana Chronicles, post-apocalyptic tales filled with riveting action, the dark mysticism of Tarot cards, and breathtaking romance.She could save the world—or destroy it.

Sixteen year old Evangeline “Evie” Greene leads a charmed life, until she begins experiencing horrifying hallucinations. When an apocalyptic event decimates her Louisiana hometown, Evie realizes her hallucinations were actually visions of the future—and they’re still happening. Fighting for her life and desperate for answers, she must turn to her wrong-side-of-the-bayou classmate: Jack Deveaux.

But she can’t do either alone.

With his mile-long rap sheet, wicked grin, and bad attitude, Jack is like no boy Evie has ever known. Even though he once scorned her and everything she represented, he agrees to protect Evie on her quest. She knows she can’t totally depend on Jack. If he ever cast that wicked grin her way, could she possibly resist him?

Who can Evie trust?

As Jack and Evie race to find the source of her visions, they meet others who have gotten the same call. An ancient prophesy is being played out, and Evie is not the only one with special powers. A group of twenty-two teens has been chosen to reenact the ultimate battle between good and evil. But it’s not always clear who is on which side….

Words cannot describe the amazing-ness of this book!  It is by far my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE of 2012!  And…I get to meet her at ATBF next week!  *Dances around the room singing You know you make me wanna SHOUT!* Prepare yourself for an insane amount of gushing.

I just loved Kresley Cole’s world—bathed in desire and passion, filled to the brink with unknown forces, and laced with poison and death; Kresley’s post-apocalyptic world won’t just bring you to the edge of a cliff—it will throw you right over, straight into a game of chess.  A game where checkmate means much more than game over.

I have never read anything like Poison Princess.  This book centers around the end of the world, but its not global warming or an alien invasion or the like that caused this catastrophe.  No, it’s much more than that…and it’s happened before!  That’s all I’m going to say about the “apocalypse” because you’ll have to find out for yourself.  But what’s even more unique is that certain characters are the embodiment of tarot cards.  Yes, that’s right—you have Death, the Empress, the Magician, The Fool and so many more!  I just love that she has brought these cards to life—given them a driven purpose—one that will drive them all to complete and utter desolation.

The prose was perfect!  I wouldn’t change a thing.  Kresley was poetic when she needed to be, yet rugged and grotesque when the moment required.  My absolute favorite part of the book was when someone said (I won’t tell you who), “The last two monarch butterflies are thousands of miles apart and flying away from each other.”  ARC pg. 280.  I just love this quote because it shows how delicate our world is—how one decision, which way to fly, which road to take, which boy to kiss—can destroy you, or save you.

Evie, the heroine, is probably my favorite ya heroine!  At first she’s this little rich girl who is slightly curious about the rugged Cajun that just enrolled in her school.  But as the world quickly goes to hell, she builds a rugged shell and becomes the tough, in your face, Empress she is destined to be.  It was so much fun to see her grow into a warrior.  Kresley does such an amazing job using words to mold her into something more than a girl—an Arcana.  Forever changed by loss, immersed in a world full of secrets, and forced to come to grips with her heinous future;  Evie’s journey to truth will sweep you away.




“At that moment, I was dying for the Cajun boy to kiss me…I had to know what the look in his eyes promised.”  ARC, pg. 75

Jackson is so unbelievably rugged.  Translation:  HOT!!!!!  Another translation:  Heart-breaker.  Another translation: Savior?  He shows up just as Evie’s world plummets into an abyss, and he manages to drag her up and out of it.  His raw sexuality just oozes off the page, and there were so many moments when I wanted to snap my fingers and trade places with Evie!  He is charming, not so romantic, but 100% pure bad-boy.  His body language is smoldering with heat, his words are dripping with sex, and his actions are obsessed with protecting Evie.  He’s perfect—in every way!

Have I gushed too much?  Don’t judge me!  Just a bit more.






One of the many “evil” Major Arcana make their appearance in this book, and I’m sure the rest will show up in Book 2.  I loved Death—revenge, hatred, anger, passion, darkness—all rolled into the ultimate killing machine who has only one goal:  KILL THEM ALL.  He will send a shudder down your spine and your heartbeat with quicken whenever this Arcana is near.  And now—Death’s vengeful eye is fixed…on Evie.  And let me tell you, this makes for some amazing scenes and visions!   And his words—laced with threats and hints of what the future holds!  He’s such a great villain, and I love that he’s not the only one!

So….I’ll wrap it up!  This book had the most unique concept I have ever come across in YA.  Every chapter held a new surprise and the ending left me speechless.  But not for long—within a day of reading it, I had loaned it to my neighbor (who LOVED it) and then my mother (who also LOVED it).  The ending is a cliffhanger, but not one that will make you angry or frustrated.  It’s one that will make your pulse quicken with excitement for what’s to come.

This book was perfect!  Perfect I say!


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. It spotlights books that have not yet been released, but ones that you should pre-order today! This week's book that we are anxiously awaiting is DANCE OF SHADOWS by Yelena Black.  DANCE OF SHADOWS releases on February 12, 2013 from Bloomsbury USA Childrens.


Vanessa Adler isn’t so sure she really belongs at the School of American Ballet. But dance runs in her family. It’s been a part of her life for as long as she can remember. Her grandmother and mother were prima ballerinas, and her older sister Margaret was, too. That is, until Margaret mysteriously disappeared from school three years ago. Vanessa is heir to the family’s gift and the only person who can fulfill her sister’s destiny. She has no choice.

But she never could have guessed how dangerous the school is. The infamous choreographer, Josef, isn’t just ruthless with his pupils, he guards a sinister secret, one in which the school’s dancers—prized for their beauty, grace, and discipline—become pawns in a world of dark, deadly demons.
I just love the sound of this book!  I have been a ballet fan since watching the movie Center Stage when I was younger, and I am so excited for a paranormal YA book to focus on ballet--and the demons that control a school of ballet!  AH!  Just sounds so unique and enticing.  Plus, LOOK AT THAT COVER!!!  It's gorgeous--one of my favorites for 2012.  February can't get here soon enough!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone

Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone
ARC received from Disney Hyperion
Release Date:  October 9, 2012
Reviewed by:  Middle Sis Jenn
The Sisters Say:  Sweet, Sincere, and Stunning
Anna and Bennett were never supposed to meet: she lives in 1995 Chicago and he lives in 2012 San Francisco. But Bennett's unique ability to travel through time and space brings him into Anna's life, and with him, a new world of adventure and possibility. As their relationship deepens, they face the reality that time might knock Bennett back where he belongs, even as a devastating crisis throws everything they believe into question. Against a ticking clock, Anna and Bennett are forced to ask themselves how far they can push the bounds of fate--and what consequences they can bear in order to stay together.
Fresh, exciting, and deeply romantic, Time Between Us is a stunning and spellbinding debut from an extraordinary new talent in YA fiction.

Heartwarming and Heartbreaking—Tamara Ireland Stone’s debut novel, Time Between Us, will carry you to another world, where the boundaries of time and space don’t exist and all you’re left with is the here and now.  Our past, our present, our future is an intricate web—push too hard, and it might break apart; but push just enough, and you might end up exactly where you’ve always wanted.

I liked the idea of Tamara’s time travel—it was similar to The Time Traveler’s Wife.  Anna and Bennett are 17 years apart, which might as well be an eternity.  But, with Bennett’s time travelling gift, he is able to jump into the past to meet Anna.  From the moment they meet, things begin to unwind, in both a good and a bad way.  Watching them both struggle through the revelations of truth was sincere, and at times, it brought tears to my eyes.  That is a big deal—I’m not a crier.  And I usually don’t like books that wring out such emotions, but I was pleasantly surprised with this book and I’m definitely glad I read it

The book did start out slow—in fact, I was 100 pages in before I felt like the book really started.  But from that point, I couldn’t turn the pages quick enough.  I have always been intrigued by time travel—especially the paradoxes like…if I go back in time, can I see myself?  And then, will there always be 2 of me in the past?  You know, the Star Trek kinds of questions that will just leave your brain running in circles until you start wondering if the truth really is out there!  I enjoyed seeing how Tamara approached those subjects—enjoyable and educational, in a sci-fi sort of way.

Anna was your typical girl who meets boy, falls for boy, finds herself in an unbelievable situation.  I was not overly impressed with her because I truthfully didn’t see personality markers that were memorable.  Don’t get me wrong, I still liked her, but I’m just not sure if, a month from now, I’ll remember her name.  I’ll remember her story, her feelings, but probably not much else.

However, Bennett…now he I will remember.  He is broken, guilty, and struggling to decide what is best for not only his future, but his family’s and Anna’s.  It’s a huge weight to be put on his shoulders, and seeing him through Tamara’s words, I felt like I could feel that weight.  He’s also cute and knows just what to say, so that’s a plus!  I love his mystery, and Anna describes him perfectly when she says, “The boy with secrets, who still has one more to tell.”  ARC, pg. 162  If only there were more Bennett’s out there—and not just because I want to go to Cinque Terre!

Tamara’s write was tight and cohesive, and the story flowed from the page.  I loved the times when she got philosophical about life and the future—it was poignant and thought-provoking, and I wish there were more of those moments. 

Content:  Perfect for middle grade, teenagers, and adults!

So…I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes from the novel:

“You can take me anywhere.  Or nowhere.  But wherever you are in this world, that’s where I want to be.”  ARC pg 269

If you’re a fan of contemporary romances that will tug at your heartstrings, but leave you with a smile on your face, then Time Between Us is for you!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Cover Reveal: LOSING IT by Cora Carmack

So, first off, I have to say that I LOVE THIS BOOK!!!! And, I'm in all honesty not saying that just because Cora is near and dear to my heart!  I devoured this book with an abundance of squeeing, melting, and daydreaming!  I am so thrilled that we are hosting the cover reveal and blog tour for Losing It!  Isn't this cover absolutely breathtaking also?  If you love New Adult novels, then you need to put this on your TBR! Trust me on this guys!!! (Be sure to add the book on goodreads!)

A little note about New Adult literature: If you're unfamiliar, we view New Adults as a transitioning time between the teenage years and adulthood.  They deal with a character's first experiences being out on their own in the real world.  Many of these books are crossover novels between YA and Adult fiction.  The age recommendation would be 18 and up.  We're actually starting up a new feature on our blog called "Not So YA Day" on Fridays to focus on New Adult books we love! We hope you enjoy it! 

LOSING IT by Cora Carmack releases in ebook format on October 16th!

Here's a quick blurb about the book: 

College student Bliss Edwards is sick of being the only virgin among her friends. She decides the best way to deal with the problem is to lose her virginity quickly and simply— a one-night stand. Her plan turns out to be anything but simple when she chickens out and leaves a gorgeous guy alone and naked in her bed. Already embarrassed, it only gets worse when she arrives for her first class of her last college semester, and recognizes her new Theatre professor. She’d left him naked in her bed about eight hours earlier. 

Please note: LOSING IT is New Adult, NOT YA. It is recommended for readers 18 and up. 

About the author: 

Cora Carmack is a twenty-something writer who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She’s done a multitude of things in her life-- boring jobs (like working at Target), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She loves theatre, travel, and anything that makes her laugh. She enjoys placing her characters in the most awkward situations possible, and then trying to help them get a boyfriend out of it. Awkward people need love, too. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

OPAL by Jennifer L. Armentrout Cover Reveal

No one is like Daemon Black.
When he set out to prove his feelings for me, he wasn’t fooling around. Doubting him isn’t something I’ll do again, and now that we’ve made it through the rough patches, well... There’s a lot of spontaneous combustion going on.
But even he can’t protect his family from the danger of trying to free those they love.

After everything, I’m no longer the same Katy. I’m different... And I’m not sure what that will mean in the end. When each step we take in discovering the truth puts us in the path of the secret organization responsible for torturing and testing hybrids, the more I realize there is no end to what I’m capable of. The death of someone close still lingers, help comes from the most unlikely source, and friends will become the deadliest of enemies, but we won’t turn back. Even if the outcome will shatter our worlds forever.
Together we’re stronger... and they know it.

Who else is dying for this book?!?!?!  I know I can barely contain myself!  I am still floored by the amazingness that was ONYX!  If you just crawled out from under a rock and haven't read this series, then I IMPLORE you to do so immediately!  You will honestly never be the same, and you like the rest of us, will become slightly obsessed with Jennifer L. Armentrout!  Plus, it doesn't hurt that Pepe and Stella are just so dang gorgeous!!!  So let's celebrate this cover reveal and the awesomeness of JLA by just staring at this cover all day!!!


USA TODAY Bestselling author, Jennifer L. Armentrout, lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing, she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell, Loki. Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She also writes adult romance under the name J. Lynn.

Find Jennifer on Twitter Facebook GoodreadsWebsite Blog

Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson

Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson

ARC received from Harper Teen at ALA
Release Date: 10-9-2012
Reviewed by:  Middle Sis Jenn
The Sisters Say:  A thrill ride from start to finish—full of haunting secrets and forbidden desire
 Nothing ever happens in Norway. But at least Ellie knows what to expect when she visits her grandmother: a tranquil fishing village and long, slow summer days. And maybe she’ll finally get out from under the shadow of her way-too-perfect big brother, Graham, while she’s there.

What Ellie doesn’t anticipate is Graham’s infuriating best friend, Tuck, tagging along for the trip. Nor did she imagine boys going missing amid rumors of impossible kidnappings. Least of all does she expect something powerful and ancient to awaken in her and that strange whispers would urge Ellie to claim her place among mythological warriors. Instead of peace and quiet, there’s suddenly a lot for a girl from L.A. to handle on a summer sojourn in Norway! And when Graham vanishes, it’s up to Ellie—and the ever-sarcastic, if undeniably alluring Tuck—to uncover the truth about all the disappearances and thwart the nefarious plan behind them.

Deadly legends, hidden identities, and tentative romance swirl together in one girl’s unexpectedly-epic coming of age.

I loved Valkyrie Rising.  LOVED IT!  It was the perfect escape from reality—one where I could become more than a mere mortal, kiss the forbidden guy, and fight the ancient gods.

I know I’ve mentioned before that I love Norse mythology, but I think its worth mentioning again—especially with the recent flux of ya books focusing on Norse these days.  But Valkyrie Rising rose to the top for me.  I like that the mythology can be twisted—who are the good guys?  Valkyries?  Odin? Loki?  It depends entirely on the book you read.  In Paulson’s case, Odin is the bad guy—along with his crew of blond bombshell Valkyries.  When Ellie finds out that she’s a Valkyrie, she must decide whether to join the misfit group, or stand up and lead the charge against them.

I’ve never been to Norway, so I loved how Ingrid painted her setting—tiny villages where the majority of people are fishermen, beautiful jutting cliffs over the fjords where cascading waterfalls are a natural setting, rough waves out on the waters where the men spend their lives.  It was brilliant and made me want to jump on a plane and go straight to Oslo!

I enjoyed watching Ellie discover herself.  At the beginning of the book, she’s Graham’s little sister.  The girl no one notices, the girl who needs protecting, the girl who stands in the shadow.  However, once Ellie goes to Norway, her old persona is thrown straight into the fjords to never be seen again.  Here, she discovers her truth, and as a result, her power.   Paulson writes Ellie with an internal monologue that really shows you how she struggles to contain the violence of her Valkyrie side.  This gives us a more personal side of Ellie and it shows us that she is still all too human.  I liked this vulnerability because it didn’t feel like it was “Bam!  Now I’m a superhero,” a mistake I think too many ya books make.






Adding Tuck to my book boyfriends right away because WOW!  Tuck is charming, in that, I’m undressing you with my eyes sort of way.  He is popular, smart, witty, and every girl is putty in his hands.  He talks in innuendo, and when you add his words to those gorgeous eyes and that stop-you-in-your-tracks smile, and Tuck becomes the perfect ya guy.  I fell hard for this guy!  He was so cocky and arrogant, but at the same time, you could really see how much he cares for and desires Ellie.  The problem?  He’s Graham’s best friend, and Graham is super over-protective, so Tuck says nothing can happen.  Tear.  But, that doesn’t stop the sexual tension and desire from leaking onto every page!  This romance was sweet and intoxicating—if only there was more of it!

Ingrid did such a great job with the minor characters, too.  I loved Graham.  I don’t have a brother and I always wanted on to watch out for me.  Graham was the epitome of what I used to wish I had—he’s popular and smart, athletic, and protective to a fault.  While I can see why his protectiveness would be a huge problem, I couldn’t help but want to wrap him in a bear hug!

And Loki….

I LOVED Loki!  He is such a trickster, but he does it with such arrogance and raw sexuality that I half found myself wishing he would kiss Ellie!  I know, don’t judge me—but he was striking and addicting—everything you would expect a god to be.  He rides the line between good and evil, which, in my opinion, makes the perfect dark hero (or villain)…whichever he turns out to be!

This is a stand-alone novel, which, while refreshing because we don’t have to wait a year for the next book, was still slightly upsetting because the characters were so good I wanted more!  Plus, there’s the fact that the bad guys are immortal—so a portion of the ending felt undone to me.  But I guess that’s the price you pay when you write with mythology where the bad guys can never really be defeated.  While Ingrid says this is a stand-alone, it was definitely left where another book could be written in the future—if she chooses to grant our wishes and give us more Tuck!

Final judgment:  Full  of great romance (wait till you read the rooftop scene), conniving yet unforgettable tricksters, and suspense that will keep the pages turning, Valkyrie Rising is a MUST READ!  

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Cover Reveal Sign Up

Hey friends!

We're holding sign-ups to participate in a COVER REVEAL for a Indie New Adult Contemporary Romance. If you're unfamiliar-- New Adult works bridge the gap between YA and Adult fiction. This particular book is recommended for readers 18 years of age and up! The reveal will be this MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 24TH.

You can learn more about the book at the Goodreads page here.

Fill out the form below if you're interested in participating!

Waiting on Wednesday: Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. It spotlights books that have not yet been released, but ones that you should pre-order today! This week's book that we are anxiously awaiting is ETIQUETTE & ESPIONAGE by Gail Carriger.  ETIQUETTE & ESPIONAGE releases on February 25, 2013 from Little Brown and Company.


It's one thing to learn to curtsy properly.  It's quite another to learn to curtsy and throw a knife at the same time. Welcome to finishing school.

Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is the bane of her mother's existence. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper etiquette at tea--and god forbid anyone see her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminnick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. She enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

But little do Sophronia or her mother know that this is a school where ingenious young girls learn to finish, all right--but it's a different kind of finishing. Mademoiselle Geraldine's certainly trains young ladies in the finer arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but also in the other kinds of finishing: the fine arts of death, diversion, deceit, espionage, and the modern weaponries. Sophronia and her friends are going to have a rousing first year at school.

First in a four book YA series set 25 years before the Parasol Protectorate but in the same universe


I have been watching for this one since I first saw people bringing home ARCS from BEA.  (I'm super jealous by the way.)  It focuses on a girl a little younger than what I am used to reading (she's 14, I usually like the 16-20 range), but the synopsis just sounds so intriguing, that I still am dying to read it.  I love the idea of assassins--in fact, if I found a genie and got one wish, it would be that I had the bad-a kick butt skills of an assassin.  It would just be fun to wield that kind of power--don't judge my maniacal side.  Anywho, I think this one sounds great and I am anxiously awaiting it!

P.S.  If you have a copy--I'd love to borrow it or trade for it!


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Teaser Tuesday: Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB over at Should Be Reading!
To participate all you have to do is:

•Grab your current read
•Open to a random page
•Share "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
(make sure what you share doesn't give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)

Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson
October 9, 2012
Harper Teen


"Up close, Tuck had his own gravitational pull.  It tempted me forward until my nose and forehead rested against his throat.  I heard his sharp intake of breath, his surprise, but I couldn't help myself."  ARC, pg 100
"'Can't help it if I'm the only one keeping my eyes on the big picture?' Loki flashed a condescending smile.  'The best poker players are patient.  They wait until it's a hand they know they can win.'" ARC, pg 212

"It was impossible to imagine ever letting him go, and from the way his body wrapped around mine, I knew he was thinkiing the same thing."  ARC, pg 259


I just couldn't bring myself to narrow it down to 2!  There were just too many great scenes to choose from!  I loved Valkyrie Rising--it was full of suspense and romance!  I read it in as close to one sitting as I was able (without letting the 1 year old run wild).  Tuck's charming innuendo and Loki's mysterious ruses kept me turning page after page.

If you're a fan of mythology, sweet romance, or fast-paced action, then be sure to check this one out!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Romeo Redeemed by Stacey Jay

Romeo Redeemed by Stacey Jay
ARC received from Delacorte BFYR via Edelweiss
Release Date:  10-9-2012
Reviewed by:  Middle Sis Jenn
The Sisters Say:  Sinister and Sharp
All will be revealed for fans who have breathlessly awaited the sizzling sequel to Juliet Immortal. This time Romeo takes center stage and gets one chance, and one chance only, to redeem himself.

Cursed to live out eternity in his rotted corpse, Romeo, known for his ruthless, cutthroat ways, is given the chance to redeem himself by traveling back in time to save the life of Ariel Dragland. Unbeknownst to her, Ariel is important to both the evil Mercenaries and the love-promoting Ambassadors and holds the fate of the world in her hands. Romeo must win her heart and make her believe in love, turning her away from her darker potential before his work is discovered by the Mercenaries. While his seduction begins as yet another lie, it soon becomes his only truth. Romeo vows to protect Ariel from harm, and do whatever it takes to win her heart and soul. But when Ariel is led to believe his love is a deception, she becomes vulnerable to Mercenary manipulation, and her own inner darkness may ultimately rip them apart.
Romeo Redeemed is the sequel to Juliet Immortal, only this time, the story is told from Romeo’s point of view.  Romeo is tasked with making Ariel fall in love with him.  And what happens if he succeeds?  He gets to be an Ambassador of Light.  While there were definite flaws throughout the book, it truly did live up to its name and redeem Romeo in my eyes.

There were parts of this story that were really interesting, and I enjoyed getting to see inside Romeo’s head.  I found myself feeling sorry for him, even after his centuries of evil-doing.  Now is he a character that I will remember after a year or two?  Probably not.  While it was enjoyable to read about his struggle, I do not see myself thinking back to this book much in the future.

What did I enjoy?

The best thing about Romeo Redeemed is the game of cat and mouse that is played between Romeo and both the Mercenaries and the Ambassadors.  The game is full of suspense, and you will constantly be wondering who are the true bad guys.

Ariel was also intriguing—she’s so full of anger, yet she wants to be good.  However, at times, that anger takes full control of her and she loses herself.  I really feel for her after seeing the way she is treated at school and by her “friends,” and I don’t blame her for not trusting people.   I did find the parts of the book where we see her point of view a bit unreliable, though.  Of course, this could have been a conscious decision by Stacey so that the suspense stayed at a high level.

What are the book’s flaws?

The major flaw I saw was with the short moments where we are transported back in time to see Juliet.  There are only a hand full of times where we see her, and you don’t know what the heck is going on until the book is almost over.  We saw that she ended up happy in Juliet Immortal, but when we first see her in Romeo Redeemed, everything has changed and she is back in the tomb and the Friar won’t let her out.  It took me a while to figure out that the timeline had been messed up by Nurse.  I think Stacey should have done something to make this more clear so that when Juliet pops back into the action, you aren’t left wondering what is happening.

I also felt the ending was rushed—we got to see inside Romeo’s head in a sort of epilogue, but we don’t see anything about Juliet’s future.  I don’t know if a new one is expected (although I don’t know where a next novel would be able to lead), but I felt like Juliet’s part of the story was left unfinished.

Overall, I enjoyed the book enough to finish it, although it did take me a few days.  Most books I am able to finish in a day or two, but I had to space myself out with this mainly to keep from getting too frustrated with the characters and the holes in the story. 

Fans of Juliet Immortal should read this just so they can see Romeo’s inner workings—we see why he did the things we did, and we see a side of him that is never shown in Juliet Immortal.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Entice Blog Tour and Giveaway

Today is ENTICE ME DAY!!!! It's a day of celebrating this amazing series with fans and of course Jessica Shirvington herself!  Visit the Entice Me Page for exclusive sneak peeks, awesome giveaways and a LIVE author chat with Jessica Shirvington!!!

Entice (Violet Eden Chapters #2) by Jessica Shirvington
On Shelves Now
Reviewed by: AmyG (big sis)
Sister's Say: Engaging, Electric, and Epic

Entice (The Violet Eden Chapters, # 2)
Violet Eden is Grigori - part angel, part human. Her destiny is to protect humans from the vengence of exiled angels. Knowing who to trust is key but, when Grigori reinforcements arrive, it becomes clear everyone is hiding something. Even Lincoln. The only thing Violet does know: Phoenix's hold over her is more dangerous than ever. The race to find the one thing that could tilt the balance of power brings them all to the sacred mountains of Jordan, where Violet's power will be pushed to the extreme. And the ultimate betrayal exposed.

This is what I looked like after I finished Entice:

1 minute after:

2 minutes after:


3 minutes after:

And 4 minutes after:

Yes, all of these!!!  As those of you who have already read Embrace know, it was amazing!  But Entice is in a category all it's own!  I don't even have to words to describe how I feel.  All I know is I have read A LOT  of books, and this one is definitely one of the best!!! Do you hear that people??? ONE OF THE BEST!!!

This is a pretty long book, and Jessica doesn't waste one word of it.  This book is heavy on plot and does not leave you wanting for anything.  Everything put onto the pages of this book is important.  If something was mentioned in Embrace or the first chapter of Entice be ready for it to have some significance by the last page.  There are bloody battles, gruesome fights, deadly betrayals, ancient mysteries, glorious revelations, epic kisses, and broken hearts leaving no time for boredom.  This isn't a plot that has been regurgitated over and over.  It's imaginative and takes you to places that you would never expect!  Ms. Shirivington uses common knowledge of biblical angels, but twists and turns it into something new and frankly surprising! 

The twists and turns of the plot lead the Grigori all the way to the ancient and mysterious lands of Jordan.  They are in a race with dark angels to discover the one thing that could give them power over each other.  If the dark angels find it, then it could be the end of the Grigori forever.  However, this isn't just a normal race.  They can't just walk into the mountains of Jordan to find what they need.  They must push all their Grigori powers to the limits and that of course can't happen without some serious repercussions.  Trust me, no one will leave those mountains the same!

Jessica introduces new characters this time around and delves even deeper into old favorites.  New sides are revealed to both Lincoln and Pheonix that will haunt you for days and possibly weeks after.  Both are more flawed than you can possible imagine, yet you will find yourself drawn to them more than ever.  And, in walks a group of new Grigori that are amazing!  All of them add a new dynamic to the group of Grigori that make them feel like more of a family.  And, I have to say a little extra about Spence!!! He's witty and impulsive and so much fun. I loved him so much and here's hoping that there is much more of him in future books!

I know I had a big dramatic description at the top, but in all seriousness, this is one of those books that sticks with you for days.  You will find yourself remembering bits and pieces only to be awed even more as you think on them.  I am notorious for being able to guess plots and endings.  I have ruined many a book or movie for friends and family unintentionally.  But let me say, that is why this series is so wonderful!  I was completely shocked by so many things that happened!  It sucked me in, cut my heart in two (several times) and left me satisfied but in pieces at the end.  Go read this book!   

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Friday, September 14, 2012

Defiance by C.J. Redwine

Defiance by C.J. Redwine
ARC received from Balzer & Bray (Harper) at ALA
Release Date:  8-28-2012
Reviewed by:  Middle Sis Jenn
The Sisters Say:  Dangerous, Daunting, and Delicious!

Within the walls of Baalboden, beneath the shadow of the city's brutal leader, Rachel Adams has a secret. While other girls sew dresses and obey their male Protectors, Rachel knows how to survive in the wilderness and deftly wield a sword. When her father, Jared, fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector, her father's apprentice, Logan--the same boy Rachel declared her love for two years ago, and the same one who handed her heart right back to her. Left with nothing but a fierce belief in her father's survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself. But treason against the Commander carries a heavy price, and what awaits her in the Wasteland could destroy her.

At nineteen, Logan McEntire is many things. Orphan. Outcast. Inventor. As apprentice to the city's top courier, Logan is focused on learning his trade so he can escape the tyranny of Baalboden. But his plan never included being responsible for his mentor's impulsive daughter. Logan is determined to protect her, but when his escape plan goes wrong and Rachel pays the price, he realizes he has more at stake than disappointing Jared.

As Rachel and Logan battle their way through the Wasteland, stalked by a monster that can't be killed and an army of assassins out for blood, they discover romance, heartbreak, and a truth that will incite a war decades in the making.

I had been eyeing the cover of Defiance for months, and when I got a chance to read it I might (emphasis on the might) have jumped up and done a happy dance while singing, “I’m so excited and I just can’t hide it!”  Then for a moment I got distracted by Saved By the Bell memories, but soon I was right back to dancing for joy about it!!  It already had so much buzz around it, and I knew it was going to be one of this year’s biggest books.

From Chapter 1, I was completely drawn into C.J.’s world—I mean, it was a world with ancient roots yet filled with powerful technology.  It was like a world out of the 1800s was snatched up, thrown through a wormhole and ended up in an alternate future reality where danger from evil tyrants, wandering highwaymen, and immortal beasts is the norm.  C.J.’s writing is rich with imagery and as you read, you are lifted from your world and thrust into her’s—be careful or you might never want to return!

I loved how dynamic her characters were.  It is very rare that I have an extreme emotional reaction while reading a book.  I run the everyday gamut of emotions—happiness, sadness, jealousy, etc, but it is truly a feat for me to embrace such strong emotions and let them take over just from a book.  But, C.J. did it with the Commander.  His evil is rivaled only by Voldemort or Sebastian in my opinion.  As I witnessed his despotic actions, I could feel my hands closing into fists and I quite literally wished I could jump into the book just to punch him in the face (with brass knuckles).  Every move he makes is methodical and calculated; every word he says is dipped in cruelty; and every feeling he shows is laced with manipulation. 

Rachel, her heroine, is feisty and tough.  I will admit, she is a typical bad-a heroine who is forced to grow up too fast.  While she is unique in her own way, she does resemble other many other heroines we see in ya literature.  That didn’t really bother me, though, because while she started out like many other heroines, she ended up in a completely different place.  Many of today’s heroines go through something brutal and then hide away into themselves—Rachel fought back with every fiber of her being, and I enjoyed watching her character struggle and rise against.

I really loved Logan.  He’s strong and convicted, and tries not to let anyone get in his way.  I love the way he stands up to the Commander even when he’s in a losing situation.  It makes him all the more admirable and I found myself rooting for him to just grab the Commander and shove his face into the ground!  He is the perfect mix of anger, love, strength and weakness; and I can’t wait to see what is in store for him in the next books.  Plus, he’s a hottie—which always makes a book better!  I’m slightly jealous of his attraction to Rachel—and I can’t wait for more scenes to make me even more jealous!

The only thing that bugged me about the book was the length of the wilderness scenes.  At times I felt like they just went on too long after we had already got the point that they were alone, scared, and hurt.  While some of those scenes were too long, I wish the ending climax would have been longer.

A Warning about Content:  I would rate this Mature-YA because of the violence in the book.  It is very descriptive with murder and death, and there were times when I was bothered by how grotesqueness of some of the scenes.  Besides the violence, everything else would be fine for any teenager.

With all that said, I really enjoyed reading this book.  C.J. creates a world where violence is the foundation and people cower in fear of a murderous tyrant.  The fear that this world instills is real and palpable, and she really opened her imagination up to me.  She creates a world full of black and white, light and dark, where evil is easily seen, yet fear and tolerance keeps it in power.  I love that her heros are just the opposite, not white or black, but riddled with shades of grey.  I loved C.J.’s world, and I can’t wait to push through the wilderness with her again in the future.