Monday, April 30, 2012

Review: Guardian by Rachel Morgan

Guardian by Rachel Morgan
Pages: 55
Publisher: Self-published
Genre: YA Fantasy

1. Receive assignment.
2. Save a life.
3. Sleep.
4. Repeat.
Protecting humans from dangerous magical creatures is all in a day’s work for a faerie training to be a guardian. Seventeen-year-old Violet Fairdale knows this better than anyone—she’s about to become the best guardian the Guild has seen in years. That is, until one of her assignments—a human boy who shouldn’t even be able to see her—follows her into the fae realm. Now she’s broken Guild Law, a crime that could lead to her expulsion.

The last thing Vi wants to do is spend any more time with the boy who got her into this mess, but the Guild requires that she return Nate to his home and make him forget everything he’s discovered of the fae realm. Easy, right? But Nate and Vi are about to land themselves in even bigger trouble—and it’ll take all Vi’s training to get them out alive.
I received Guardian for review, and since it was such a short novelette, I just decided to read it one night. I thought it was good, nothing particularly special. I am a fan of books about faeries, and I liked how Rachel Morgan created her world and her fey. But, as is the case with most novellas/novelettes that I've read, there could be so much more! I think if the story were full length, or at least twice the size as it is now, that it could be something really fantastic. There is a lot that can be added, and the plot in general can be majorly slowed down. There isn't enough time for the events to unfold.

Plus, there is some pretty major insta-love in here, which is unfortunate, because I really dislike insta-love. I mean, they don't actually say the words, but they just start kissing out of nowhere, and I just sat there while reading saying to myself "Where did that come from?"

It's a pretty short little novelette, it only took me about 45 minutes to read it. It's not a bad read, insta-love aside, I just feel like there was so much room for growth and improvement, and this little novel had so much potential! There was plenty of action though, so I was never bored. I did want to know what would happen next, and I was really curious as to why everyone was after Nate.

I liked Vi and Nate both, I just felt like I didn't get to know them very well. I also really enjoyed the whole Guild set up, and the thing about the fey being guardians for humans. It's an interesting take on fey.

If you want something quick and enjoyable, then definitely read Guardian. I give it 3 out of 5 stars.

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Want to read the book for yourself? Check out the links below!

Amazon
Kindle: $0.99

Sunday, April 29, 2012

{Blog Tour} Excerpt post + GIVEAWAY: Survival by AM Hargrove


Survival by AM Hargrove
Pages: 295
Genre: YA Paranormal
#1 in Guardians of Vesturon Series

"Maybe I was caught between the two worlds. I was having serious trouble distinguishing fantasy from reality."
While on a backpacking trip in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, nineteen-year-old Maddie Pearce finds her world has been thrown into a vortex and is madly spinning toward the impossible. Abducted by a mad psychopath, Maddie narrowly escapes with her life. But that is only the beginning. Her mysterious rescuer introduces her to a world that Maddie has difficulty accepting as reality. Will this strikingly gorgeous stranger be the key to her future or will she return to her mundane world, scarred from her experience? Follow Maddie as she is forced to make difficult decisions that carry her to mysterious places.
Today, I'm so excited to be the first tour stop as part of the Survival blog tour. As part of the kick off, I have  an excerpt from the book! As well as a giveaway, but that's farther down. Here is the excerpt:

Then, unexpectedly, three brightly glowing melon-sized balls of light came soaring across the dark sky. When they were a few feet away, from me, they elongated into long thin slivers. Moments later, the slivers expanded and then took form into three indistinct shapes.

I kept blinking my eyes, not trusting what I was seeing. I was positive I was hallucinating. This must be what happens right before you die.

Then, the indistinct shapes morphed into three men—three very tall, powerfully built men. They were identical in that they were all dressed alike—wearing black hooded cloaks that fell to their ankles. The hoods hid their faces, but I had the strangest feeling they were there to help me.

Eventually, I could understand words and phrases from the voices I was hearing.

“Serious injuries.”

“How long?”

“Does she know?”

“Fell…”

“Arrows… “

I was still fading in and out, but the hallucinations were disturbing. I couldn’t quite discern them. I heard one of the men saying something about a scanner. Then, I heard a high-pitched sound. After that, there were more discussions about injuries. I assumed they were speaking of my injuries, but I was so befuddled I wasn’t sure of anything.

I must have been crying because one of the robed strangers brought a hand to my face and gently wiped my tears away.

He whispered, “It is ok, Madeline! We are here to care for you.”

“Who are you?” I struggled to get the words out, as it had become increasingly more difficult for me to breathe.

Then, my senses were assaulted with the scent of an earthy pine forest—deep and luscious, the type of scent, that you could only experience hiking in the woods after a rain, when everything is moist and damp. It was simply wonderful; I just wanted to continue inhaling it, enveloping myself in the heady aroma. It was extremely soothing, almost a sensual feeling. I didn’t stop to think it was unusual, all of these sensory encounters. My mind couldn’t focus on any particular thought. I was simply… there. Was I still alive? Had I lost my mind?

“Madeline, we are going to have to move you, but do not worry. We have given you something for the pain, and we will take great care not to cause you too much discomfort,” the man said.

“Where are you taking me?” I whispered. “I’m really scared,” I pathetically squeaked out.

“We know.”

Whoever spoke tenderly placed a warm, soothing hand against my uninjured cheek. I felt a soft, gentle touch that somehow soothed me.

“We are taking you someplace safe… where you can heal. We are here to help you.” I felt this savior take my hand and hold it firmly, passing his strength to me.

I tried to lift my head, but I didn’t have the strength anymore. Then, I started feeling a sense of numbness wash over my body, and my pain began to ease tremendously. I think they had given me an anesthetic for the pain. Then, I felt myself being lifted, but I couldn’t open my heavily weighted eyes. I felt the comforting cocoon of darkness return.

What an awesome excerpt! Are you excited to read Survival now? Well, great because it's FREE! Yep, Survival is free for every e-reader, everywhere, always and forever. :)

Download Survival
Smashwords (for every other e-reader)

Now for the giveaway! If you'd like a copy of the sequel to Survival, Resurrection, then leave a comment below with your thoughts on what Survival will be like. Leave your email! 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

New Feature!: What's My Story?

In light of all that has happened recently concerning a certain blog and plagiarism, I've decided to discontinue doing In My Mailbox. Instead, I'm going to start my own feature, called What's My Story? (Get it? Because my blog is What's Your Story?.... okay, lol.)

In What's My Story, I'm not limiting myself to just the books I got for the week. It's be almost like a 'week in review' feature, where I'll link to any reviews and posts that went up that week, any blog tours, author interviews, guest post, ect, that I participated in, and the books I read. It'll also contain my TBR for the following week.

To keep up my original schedule, before all of this happened and I had to take IMM out of it, I've decided to post What's My Story on Sundays.

What do you guys think?

Review: Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter

Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter
Pages: 304
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Genre: YA Greek Mythology

Kate Winters has won immortality. But if she wants a life with Henry in the Underworld, she'll have to fight for it.
Becoming immortal wasn't supposed to be the easy part. Though Kate is about to be crowned Queen of the Underworld, she's as isolated as ever. And despite her growing love for Henry, ruler of the Underworld, he's becoming ever more distant and secretive. Then, in the midst of Kate's coronation, Henry is abducted by the only being powerful enough to kill him: the King of the Titans. As the other gods prepare for a war that could end them all, it is up to Kate to save Henry from the depths of Tartarus. But in order to navigate the endless caverns of the Underworld, Kate must enlist the help of the one person whom she would really rather not meet. Henry's first wife, Persephone.
Okay, this is going to be an interesting review.

If you read my review of the first book, The Goddess Test, you will see that I wasn't a fan of that one. I gave it 3 stars, and had hopes that the second book, this one, would be better.

And here's where it gets really tricky.

I'm not sure where I stand on Goddess Interrupted. I liked it better than The Goddess Test in some aspects, but then I hated it in others. I guess it's because I'm so close to Greek mythology, and just really close to the myth of Hades and Persephone in general because it's my favorite myth and the one that I've researched most heavily.

I'm not really going to dwell on how there are so many inconsistencies between the actual Greek myths and the gods and goddesses in this story, because it's not worth it, and most of the people reading this book probably aren't as focused on that aspect. I'm simply saying that they just don't match up. (For instance, if Demeter arranged the marriage between Persephone and Hades as she did in this book, then how would the creation of winter ever have come about? The whole point of that is Demeter grieves over the loss of her daughter once she finds out that Persephone has been taken behind her back and she lets the whole world die as a way to strong-arm Zeus into forcing Hades to return Persephone.)


Those issues aside, I liked this story better in the aspect that now we're finally getting some action! Cronus, the king of the Titans, is breaking out of his prison in the Underworld and if that happens, well, everyone is dead. Everyone, gods and goddesses included. So, now we have an actual purpose instead of just "I have to save Henry from fading away because he's wallowing in a thousand years' worth of self pity!" Except, Kate never gets to actually do anything. I get it, she's young and inexperienced, but everyone is shielding her from the problems. Let her fight, dammit! Teach her, show her how to tap into her potential power! She's a goddess now, she can take it!

However, Kate herself annoyed the everliving crap out of me. Persephone is brought back into the picture, which spells trouble for Kate and Henry's relationship, because Henry is still madly in love with Persephone. So, I did empathize with Kate a lot, whenever they would show Henry and Persephone together, and Henry was basically making googley eyes at Persephone. I understand how much that must hurt, and Kate had every right to feel that way. But there just came a point when I wanted to yell, "Stop whining, and fight for your man!" Kate complains that Henry hasn't kissed her once since she returned. Well, you know what you should do? Grab him by the fucking hair and KISS HIM. Show him that you're his wife now, not the annoying blonde bitch, and he needs to remember that. I wanted Kate to confront Henry, and she did, but not with the authority I had hoped. She lets him turn the situation around on her, making her feel bad for him ignoring her, and she should have stood her ground and not caved.


Which brings me to my next point. Henry. I like him in general, and I think he's a good representation of Hades, but in this book I swear I wanted to get a freaking crow bar and smash him over the head with it. He was so cold to Kate! There were a few gestures, a hand on her back here, an arm on her waist there, but it's like I said earlier, did he kiss her? Nope. Did he make love to her? Not once. (Well, until Kate finally blows up on him at the very end.) She's his freaking wife, and he's treating her like she isn't even there! I understand that he's stressed, but come on. And what the fuck about Persephone? There's one scene between him and Persephone that Kate witnesses, that I swear, if I was Kate, I would've divorced Henry's ass right then and there. I really have no sympathy for Henry in his 'tortured unrequited love' for Persephone, because honestly, you can't pine after someone who won't love you for so long. For a while, you can grieve over the loss of her love, but you just have to pick yourself up and find someone who will love you. And he did! In Kate! And yet he treats her like crap. Ugh, men.


Even though we saw very little of Cronus, I found him really interesting, and I want to see what happens with him. He seemed to have a... fixation with Kate, and really want to know where that goes. I feel like that will be a very important aspect in the next novel, and something that will greatly influence the course of the future plot.

I have to give Aimee Carter credit, though. She knows how to write a freaking cliffhanger. That ending alone was SUCH a cliffhanger, that even though I'm not fond of this series, I honestly need to read the next book just to find out what happens. I can't not continue now, after it ended like that.

I'm not going to give this book a starred review, because I'm not sure what to give it. So, I'll just leave it at that.
-----------------------------------------
Want to read the book for yourself? Check out the links below!

Buy the Book
Amazon 
Paperback: $9.99
Kindle: $7.69

Barnes and Noble
Paperback: $9.99
Nook: $7.69

The Book Depository (Free shipping worldwide!)
Paperback: $9.77


Friday, April 27, 2012

Team Luxen Ladies!



Have you heard about Daemon Invasion? Do you want to take part, and be in an elite street team that does fun missions to earn prizes like swag, and cool team kits?

THEN JOIN MY TEAM, THE LUXEN LADIES! :D 


My team has been filled!



And here are the Luxen Ladies themselves!

Ivy
Blog: Ivy Reads
Twitter: @IvyReads
Tumblr: SuperStar

Daphne
Twitter: @lvngbooks
Tumblr: Loving Books
Facebook: Loving Books

Racquel
Twitter: @purplebull7

Anna

Emma
Twitter: @framingstars

JJ
Blog: JJ iReads
Twitter: @jjireads
Facebook: JJ iReads

Lindsay
Twitter: @Linsday_mead

Krista

Haley
Twitter: @PassingPages

Amber
Twitter: @almybnenr

GIVEAWAY!

Guess what? To celebrate Daemon Invasion, I'm giving away an INTERNATIONAL copy of Obsidian!!

To enter, leave a comment about what you would do if Daemon was your boyfriend. Remember to include your email! 

Members of the team Luxen Ladies get an extra 5 entries into the giveaway, and I have 2 spots left open, so get those emails in! First come, first serve!

Review: Descended by Blood by Angeline Kace

Descended by Blood by Angeline Kace
Pages: 263
Publisher: Accendo Press
Genre: YA Paranormal

Brooke Keller is a high school junior who has never spent much time living in one place. She is finally in a town long enough to almost snag the boy of her dreams, until her life is threatened after killing a fanged man in his attempt to kidnap her. Brooke begins a dangerous journey in an effort to find out who is after her and how to stop them. In a world with powerful and prejudiced vampires, Brooke must tap into the side of her that she never knew existed at the risk of losing her life in order to save it.
This book has been getting quite a bit of love from the bloggers I read regularly, so I decided to buy the paperback of it. I was looking for something quick the other day, so I just picked up Descended by Blood. I have to say that I was underwhelmed by this book. It didn't turn out to be what I thought, and unfortunately I didn't enjoy it as much as I had hoped I would.

When I started Descended by Blood, I was actually really into it because there was an adorable budding romance with a boy that Brooke has been majorly crushing on for years, Jaren Matthews. Angeline Kace had a good writing style, not the best and still a bit unpolished in some spots, but it carried the story along well. The book opened with quite a rush, and that grabbed me. I liked where things were going in Brooke and Jaren's relationship a lot, and I really liked Jaren! He was sweet, and really caring, and honestly the ideal guy for any girl. But then they hit a snag in the road, namely a vampire assassin that tries to kill Brooke, and all of that goes out the window. Then things happen at lightning speed, and then we're introduced to Mirko, another vampire who is assigned to care for Brooke.

Here's where I have the problem.

I hate love triangles in general (see my post in which I explain, in various gifs, why). But, I can put up with them if that girl isn't actually dating either of the boys and is just trying to make her decision. But in Descended by Blood, that's not the case. Brooke is literally oscillating between both boys, kissing one in one scene, and then the other in the next. I really just don't jive with that. I hate when people string along others just because they're indecisive. It's literally the ultimate form of douchebaggery. So it irritated me when Brooke would be all, "Oh, wow, Mirko is so hot!" and then in the next train of thought be like "But I still love Jaren, I can't decide who I want to be with more.... so I'll just be with both of them!"


I think the really funny (and unbelievable) part was that both boys went along with it! They were just like "I'll fight for you, and I won't give up, Brooke." Ummm, what? Last time I checked, no boy I know would ever let themselves be used like that. It's honestly demeaning to both of them. You're either with one, or with neither, but you can't have both. That's something that really annoyed me about Brooke, and I really wish the love triangle would have been handled differently.


On a more positive note, I did very much like the vampires in this book. Unique vampires are hard to come by now a days, and I love it when authors do their research and build a complex mythology around their vamps. That was pretty cool. I liked that they had like these special abilities, and it was interesting to see Brooke learning how to enhance hers.

I'm still undecided as to whether I'll read the second. I guess I'll wait a while after it comes out, and see some of the reviews on it. I give Descended by Blood 2 out of 5 stars.
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Want to read the book for yourself? Check out the links below!

Buy the Book
Amazon
Kindle: $2.99
Paperback: $7.99

Barnes and Noble
Paperback: $7.99

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Review: Shaken by Susan Hatler

Shaken by Susan Hatler
Pages: 255
Publisher: Self-published
Genre: YA Paranormal

High school junior, Kylie Bates, can suddenly read minds. When she touches people’s hands, she’s able to see their deepest thoughts. As if that’s not freaky enough, her dad sends her to help hottie detective, Sam Williams, track down a missing girl. Way too much pressure, especially for a girl who can’t watch Scream without getting nightmares.

Then, finding the missing girl leads to much more than Kylie’s prepared for. Like discovering that her dad has been lying to her. That she has a family she never knew about. That the girls have powers similar to hers. Oh yeah, and that someone is out to get her.

When the detective’s teenage wanna-be-cop cousin, Trip Williams, approaches Kylie at school insisting she help him solve the case, she discovers Trip might be the only one she can trust, and the only one to help her unravel the secrets behind her mysterious gift.
Words cannot even begin to describe just how much I LOVE Shaken by Susan Hatler! It's the kind of book you don't come across very often in YA. It was just so, so good.

Where do I even start? I'll start with the main character, Kylie. The main character is always a make or break thing for me. If the main character isn't good, the book isn't good. But I really liked Kylie! I found her easily relatable as a teenage girl, dealing with boy and best friend troubles. And when she found out things were getting weird for her, she didn't freak out or lose control. She handled everything really well.

This book actually threw me for quite the loop! I had no idea where it was headed, and the ending completely took me by surprise. I did not see it coming at all, and usually I'll have an inkling of where books will go. I have to give Susan major props for that!

Okay, let's get to my favorite part of this novel...

TRIP!


Oh, I do love Trip! He was perfect, there honestly isn't anything I could say about him that the gif above doesn't already. I knew from the moment we first met him that he was going to be sexy as all hells. But, whoo boy!

I need a sequel RIGHT NOW!

I give Shaken 5 out of 5 stars.
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Want to read the book for yourself? Check out the links below!

Buy the Book
Amazon
Kindle: $3.99 (free for prime members)

Barnes and Noble
Paperback: $8.99


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

DAEMON INVASION!



Over the last couple of weeks, you’ve heard us talking about the upcoming #daemoninvasion and we’re so excited to finally share with you what is going on.
Really excited.

The beautiful and uber cool models, Pepe Toth and Sztella Tziotziosz, who grace the Lux covers, will be joining us in the United States!  You heard right.  They are flying here, from Hungary to spend a few days as Daemon and Katy! While they are here, they will be working with Vania, from VLC Productions (the team behind Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments, Melissa de La Cruz, Kimberly Derting, Moira Young, Kami Garcia and Margret Stohl, Hillary Duff, Lauren Destefano, and many, many more authors’ book trailers), to film book trailers for the Lux Series.

During the filming in Atlanta, they will be accompanying us on tour! What does that mean? You get to meet them. In the flesh. They will be participating in the signings and events. At those signings, we’ll be giving away signed posters, photos, and other swag. There will also be meet and greet events you can join in on.

At each signing, there will be advanced copies of Onyx given away!

And to top things off (as if this isn’t enough, but we don’t do anything small), there’s something very, very exciting in the works! It involves advanced copies of Opal, water, and a little destination known as the Bahamas.

I am not kidding.

This will be epic.

Aare you excited? I am! This tour is going to be so, so much fun, and I’m so thrilled that Pepe and Sztella are a part of it. We owe them a huge thank you and a giant welcome making the 16 hour flight to meet the readers of the Lux Series.  You!

Daemon Invasion Signing and Event Schedule
June 8th
FoxTale Book Shoppe
Woodstock, GA
3:00pm
June 10th
Barnes and Noble
St Johns Town Center
Jacksonville, FL
3:00pm
June 13th
Barnes and Noble
Waterford Lakes Town Center
Orlando, FL
3:00pm
June 14th
Barnes and Noble
The Palladium at City Place
West Palm Beach, FL
4:00pm

DO YOU WANT TO BE A PART OF DAEMON INVASION?
Here's how! I need 10 people to be part of my team. You need to have a blog and/or goodreads account, and a Twitter and Facebook would be really great too. What does the team do? It takes part in some really fun and exclusive missions for Daemon Invasion, and also gets some fun goodies like SWAG! :D 

If you want to be a part of my team, EMAIL ME RIGHT NOW at whatsyourstorybookreviews@gmail.com

Remember, I can only have 10 people, so it's on a first come first serve basis. You need to really want to be on the team, and be completely willing to participate. Trust me, a lot of fun stuff is coming from this team, and I'll explain it all to you in the email!

Don’t forget to visit Jennifer L. Armentrout’s blog to win a signed set of Half-Blood and Pure  in celebration of her adult romance release, Tempting the Best Man, under pen name J. Lynn.  It can be purchased here.





Waiting on Wednesday (14)

Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Being connected to Daemon Black sucks…
Daemon’s determined to prove what he feels for me is more than a product of our bizarre connection. I’ve sworn him off even though he’s running more hot than cold these days. But against all common sense, I’m falling for him. Hard.

Our relationship issues aren’t out biggest problem…

The Department of Defense is here. If they ever find out what Daemon can do and that we’re linked, I’m a goner. So is he. And when a new boy shows up a school with a secret of his own, things get complicated fast. I need to choose between my own instincts and Daemon’s.

But then everything changes…

I’ve seen someone who shouldn’t be alive. Daemon’s never going to stop searching until gets the truth. What happened to his brother? Who betrayed him? And what does the DOD want from them—from me?

No one is who they seem. And not everyone will survive the lies.

Do I even need to explain why I want this book? I don't think so. 

DAEMON BLACK! 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

On plagiarism and the YA community

I've decided to just jump in with my two cents on this whole The Story Siren plagiarism matter. Unless some new development comes to light with this situation, this post is the last I plan to say on that matter, either here, or on Twitter/Facebook.

For those of you who don't know, here's the post from one of the bloggers that Kristi plagiarized giving the explanation and evidence.

You know, a few months ago, something similar happened with some other bloggers at Paranormal Night  Owl reviews. That blog no longer exists, but basically these two girls were massively plagiarizing many other bloggers and peddling the reviews off as their own. Once this was found out, very many bloggers were up in arms and were determined to shut Paranormal Night Owls down. Completely. They contacted publishers and informed them of the plagiarism, and they even boycotted the blog. 

Not one person stopped and said, "Wait, guys, we should just forgive them for what they've done."
Edited for clarification(Thanks to Rachel for explaining!) The two girls who ran the PNO blog were repeat offenders. They plagiarized under different blogs names twice before Paranormal Night Owls, and the first time it was found out, it was dealt with between the girls, and the bloggers affected. Then they did it again, were caught and then stopped. Once more they tried, hence PNO, and at this point the victimized bloggers had had enough. (The full story is below in the comments.)

So, my question to you is, why is everyone saying this for Kristi? Why is she so special, that she should be treated differently than anyone else that decides to plagiarize? 

I've been a victim of plagiarism, and let me tell you, it sucks. A lot. It hurts to know that someone stole words that you wrote and worked hard on, and was getting credit for them. So I sympathize very much with the victimized bloggers, and I understand why they're so angered. Really, I do.

Also edited, to include my own experience with plagiarism. A few months back, I received an email from another blogger telling me that one of my reviews had been stolen--word for word--and posted on another blog. By the time I became aware of what was going on, there were many bloggers already in action trying to get this girl shut down, and it worked too. I saw my review up on her blog. MY REVIEW. And I was so intensely angry. Luckily, the blogger that had contacted me had taken care of getting this girl to stop, and the reviews were deleted off of Goodreads, and the plagiarizer shut down her blog. 


I guess what I'm trying to say with this PNO reference, and the reference to my experience with plagiarism, is that both times, the bloggers who were victimized took action to have the offender shut down. Literally, shut down. I'm just wondering why people are taking it so easy on Kristi, and I'm saying that it's because of her status as like this 'uber YA blogger'. 

And no, I don't think we should just "forgive and forget" what Kristi did, because what she did wasn't right. And if it were anyone else, I know that people wouldn't have those same sentiments. If you had a bum and Madonna in the same room, and they both committed theft, shouldn't they get the same punishment? Or should you go easier on Madonna because of who she is, and maybe because she'll publicly say sorry? (Which to be honest, I don't buy into Kristi's 'apologies' because they just sound like she's trying so hard to deflect the blame from herself.) No, you shouldn't give Madonna special treatment over the bum, and we shouldn't give Kristi special treatment either. 

And what I find really funny is everyone is saying "She's human, she makes mistakes!" Of course she does! But copying numerous posts from other people--and making it really obvious once you stop and compare them--is not a mistake. One thing is to type a weird word because your finger slips, and you publish it without meaning to. That's a mistake. But after you spend 30 minutes on a blog, several times over, in fact, it stops becoming a mistake and instead becomes something very intentional. Kristi knew very well what she was doing, because she did it several times.

Which brings me to my next point. Another thing many people are saying is that "she should get a second chance." Do you guys realize that she's already had a second chance, and a third, and a fourth? She had a second chance when, after she posted the first plagiarized post, she decided to plagiarize another, and another, until she had a grand total of 6 plagiarized posts. 

SIX. 

Are you still going to tell me she made a mistake? That she didn't mean to? That she's sincerely sorry for what she did? Because if she really was sorry, she wouldn't have done it in the first place, or she at least wouldn't have done it more than once. But guys, she's a repeat offender. Multiple times over. 

The worst part of all this, I feel, was she lied about it. She lied, blatantly and tried making it sound like she was some innocent little bystander who just accidentally wrote down the same stuff as someone else. She said she had never been to the blogs she plagiarized, and once proof was shown that she spent copious amounts of time on them, she changed her story to "I didn't recognize them at first, but yes, I did read those blogs." I won't link to her apologies, because I don't want to associate with her blog anymore, but they're there.

So, I will no longer read her blog. I unfollowed her on Twitter, Formspring, Facebook, and Goodreads. I don't condone plagiarism, and in my opinion, I don't support her being a blogger anymore. Someone made a good point that if she were a journalist, she would never get another job again. And it's true, because that stuff follows you. This whole thing has really angered me, because, like many people, I looked up to Kristi so much. I loved The Story Siren, and now that's gone. It'll never come back, either, because once my trust is gone, it's gone

Feel free to post your thoughts below, but be aware, I don't tolerate flaming or bullying, either towards me, Kristi, or any other blogger. Those comments will be deleted. I love talking with others who have opposing views, though, so if you'd like to share your side, please do so! :) 

Review: The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
Pages: 485
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Genre: YA Post-Apocalyptic Paranormal

In a future world, Vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity.
Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.
Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them. The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked—and given the ultimate choice. Die… or become one of the monsters.
Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.
Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend—a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.
But it isn't easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what—and who—is worth dying for.
Okay, wow. This book. This book.


If you've read the Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa, then you already know what a wonderfully talented writer she is. But, you might look at The Immortal Rules and say to yourself, "Vampires? Oh, they're so over done. I'll just still to the fey."

I'm here to tell you that vampires are not overdone. At least not Kagawa's vampires.

I really don't know how I'm going to explain the love I bear this novel to you guys, but I'll try. From the moment I started reading The Immortal Rules, I wasn't in my world anymore. I swear I was transported to a post apocalyptic world, where a virus has run rampant through the human population, and now the vampires are in control. People live in crumbling cities, and even though the world as we know it has ended, there are still two things that you can't avoid--death, and taxes. Except instead of money, you pay your taxes in blood. If you miss a payment, they'll come and collect.


Okay, is that freaky, or what? I really wasn't expecting a book this powerful, or dark, from Julie! There's no sugar coating anything-- people are dying, being ripped apart by vicious rabid vampires that are basically a science experiment gone wrong. I loved the grittiness of it. There was this layer of darkness spanning the whole novel, because as I was reading, I knew that this wasn't going to be a happily ever after fairy tale ending. And even though I was biting my nails in anticipation and anxiety, I loved that aspect of it.

There was a part in the middle that lagged. It was rapid fire, all action, BAM BAM BAM! And then Allie just fell into a sort of routine for a while. The story was still interesting, because there was this tension building that obviously has to snap at some point. Allie has to blend in with these humans, some that she comes to care for deeply, but she's faced with the dilemma of where to get her next blood fix from. Could she feed from these people that have taken her in so quickly?

I really liked Allie as a main character. She was logical, and made some really difficult decisions. When faced with certain death and given an option, she chose what most everyone would have chosen, which was to rise again as a vampire. But she had grown up hating the vampires her whole life, so it was really interesting to see her grow as a person, dealing with the fact that she was what she hated so much. The concept of drinking blood disgusted her, but what choice did she have? And even though she tried to remain as human as possible, the simple fact of the matter was that she wasn't human anymore, and pretending to be only got her into more trouble.

There are some other really fantastic characters in this novel that I really want to read more about, such as Allie's vampire sire, Kanin. I actually developed a bit of a crush on him! I'm sad that we didn't have much time with him, but I'm certain that he'll make a bigger appearance in the future books. And, how can I possibly forget Zeke? Oh, I loooooved Zeke! Even living in a world where hope is a foolish notion, he holds onto it. When others are thinking only of survival, he's making sure that everyone in his group is taken care of to the best of his ability. I immediately fell for him, and I want him and Allie to be together somehow. The romance wasn't overpowering, and it definitely took a back seat to the story, which I liked because Zeke and Allie didn't let their feelings for each other get in the way of their responsibilities to the others who depended on them.

Another thing I really loved were the vampires. They're really not anything different than your typical Dracula-esque vampire. They have many of the same weaknesses--sunlight, wooden stakes, and fire--but Julie Kagawa did put her own original touch to her vamps. I don't really even know how to describe it, it's something that you'll have to read for yourself.

Overall, I give The Immortal Rules 5 out of 5 stars. This book is awesome! You need to read it!!

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Want to read the book for yourself? Check out the links below!

Buy the Book
Amazon
Hardcover: $11.55
Kindle: $10.19

Book Depository (Free shipping worldwide!)
Hardcover: $14.24

Barnes and Noble
Hardcover: $11.55
Nook: $10.19


Monday, April 23, 2012

Author Interview: Chelsea Cameron

Chelsea Cameron
Hey, I'm Chelsea, a YA writer from Maine. Lover of things random and ridiculous, Jane Austen/Charlotte and Emily Bronte Fangirl, Red Velvet cake enthusiast, obsessive tea drinker, former cheerleader and world's worst video gamer.I also can't tell my left from my right, hence the name of this blog.
1. What inspires you? Art? Movies? Music? Other books?

Completely random things inspire me. A lot of my book ideas come while I'm driving, almost asleep, or in the shower. The idea for Nocturnal came from an ad for Desperate Housewives, if you can believe that. They showed a hand plucking an apple off a tree. And then I saw Peter, one of the characters in Nocturnal. And that was it.

Songs inspire me a lot after I've started writing, or sometimes when I'm searching for where to go with a story. Taylor Swift, Linkin' Park, Neon Trees, Radiohead, The Civil Wars... I could go on and on. Music is a huge part of my writing. Other books inspire me with envy :)


2. What is your writing process like?

It's nuts. It makes complete sense to me, but probably wouldn't work for anyone else. When it comes to my writing environment, I love noise and chaos. Ideally, I'd have the television on something mindless, like Seinfeld re-runs or infomercials. Then I get Pandora on my iPod and crank it up. I can't have silence, I have to have something to tune out. Which makes no sense, but that's how I operate.

I write my first drafts fast. My record is two weeks, but I'd love to pull a Kiersten White and write a book in nine days, but so far, no dice. After I've finished that, I let it sit for at least two weeks. Then I do what I call a 'nuclear' pass. Killing everything I don't like, putting in more details, fleshing out characters. This takes a while. Then I usually go through at least three drafts before I print it out and read it out loud. I also scramble the pages up and edit that way. Once that's all done, I do one final pass. It's taken me several years to figure this process out and what works for me. I'm always changing and evolving.


3. Which of your characters is your favorite? Why?

Oh dear, that's like picking favorite children. I don't have kids, but my characters feel like my kids. I love Ava, because she's so sarcastic and I'm so comfortable with her voice. We'd be friends if she existed outside of my head. Peter is interesting, because his voice is so different. It's dark and deep and poetic. But I love getting lost in it.

Can I just say they're all my favorite?


4. If you inserted yourself into your novel, describe your character.

Oooo, good question. I'd probably be the one in the back saying, "you probably shouldn't do that." I've always been the cautious one when it comes to doing crazy things. I'd be the funny but boring friend who always has your back.


5. Name two YA characters that you love so much you wish you’d written them yourself.

DAEMON BLACK. DAEMON BLACK. DAEMON BLACK. OMG, I love him so much. For those who don't know, he's the love/hate interest in Jennifer Armentrout's Obsidian. He's a jerk, but a super hot one.

And for the second? Albus Dumbledore.


6. If you could have one super power, what would it be? Why?

The ability to blink and get from place to place. I've always wanted to travel, but just haven't been able to. I'd love to be able to blink and be in the Czech Republic or London or Bali. And if you forgot something, you could just blink yourself home.


7. What’s your biggest goal to achieve in your career as an author?

I would love to make someone feel about my book the way other authors have made me feel. That almost depressed feeling you have when an amazing book is over and you close it. I want people to want to re-read my books because they love them so much. That would be totally worth it :)


8. What is your next project?

I just released the sequel to Nocturnal, Nightmare. Next up is Whisper, a non-ghosty ghost story. It's more of a romance than anything. I'm hoping to have that out at the end of May. I plan to release at least six books this year, so stay tuned!


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Thank you for joining me on my blog today Chelsea! :) It was great interviewing you!


Saturday, April 21, 2012

{Blog Tour + Giveaway}: Author Guest Post- Heather Hildenbrand


Whisper by Heather Hildenbrand
Genre: Actually, not entirely sure
Publisher: Accendo Press

The Cherokee believe when a person dies, their soul is reborn. Life is repeated. An endless cycle of lessons to be learned, love to be found, destiny to be fulfilled. For the past six months, in every flower, every bird, I’ve imagined my parents, relieved of their human forms.

Now, after five months at the Skye View Wellness Center, it was summer. A time for parties and friends, but that’s the last thing I want to do. So when my best friend Erin convinces me to attend a bonfire at Eagle Point, I can’t handle the crowd full of sympathetic stares or drunken class clowns who would use my tragedy as a way into my heart – or my pants. The solitude of the woods offers an escape, until I stumble upon a boy, unconscious and bleeding, his pockets stuffed not with identification but with poetry illustrating the beauty of dying. I’ve seen enough death. I will not leave this boy’s side.

Even after he wakes, when the only thing he can remember are visions of events that haven’t happened yet…
Animal lover – Fact. I do love animals, although it’s probably not on the level of Whisper’s passion. My sister, though, was a lot like that. She wanted to be a vet when she grew up and actually worked as a vet tech for a few years before the injuries got to be too much. You get attacked a lot when you’re trying to give a crabby cat an IV! I know they look cute, but they’re mean when they’re scared!

#rawr

Actually, when my sis got the rough draft for Whisper and began reading (my sis is one of my BEST beta readers) she called me and was like “ummm, there are a LOT of similarities from our childhood in here! Even me and the vet thing!” Yeah, sis, I know. #onpurposedoll

GIVEAWAY!
If you want to win an ebook of Whisper, leave a comment saying what your favorite animal is. Remember to put your email! 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Review: The Secret of Spruce Knoll by Heather McCorkle

The Secret of Spruce Knoll by Heather McCorkle
Pages: 338
Publisher: Compass Press
Genre: YA Fantasy/Paranormal

Following the tragic death of her parents, Eren Donovan moves to Spruce Knoll to live with an aunt she’s never met. Little does Eren know the entire town of Spruce Knoll is filled with “channelers”—a magical group of people who immigrated to the small Colorado town when they were driven out of their own lands.

Channelers are tied to the fate of the world. As the world slowly dies, so do they—and they alone have the power to stop the destruction of Earth. Soon, Eren learns she not only lives among them, but she is one. When she meets local boy Aiden, his charm convinces her that being a channeler may not be all bad though.

As Eren and Aiden’s relationship develops, so too does a mystery in Spruce Knoll. The town holds many secrets—and many dangers. It soon becomes apparent that the untimely death of Eren’s parents was no accident and that her life might be in danger too. Only time will tell if Eren can embrace her unwanted power and protect the only family she has left.
Wow, The Secret of Spruce Knoll honestly blew me away! There is just so much to love about this novel. In fact, I don't think there was anything that I didn't like, that's how good it was.

Let's just start out with the main character, Eren. She was very level headed, which I liked because a lot of girls in YA seem to lose it once things get crazy. Even though she had to deal with the pain of her parents' death, she still made the best of her new living arrangements with the aunt she had never met. In fact, I absolutely loved Eren's family! Her aunt, grandfather, uncle, and cousin were such great characters, even if some were only there for a few scenes. I really hope to see more of them in future books! It's not often that families play a big part in YA novels, so it was really nice to see that in here.

And the romance! Mmmm, Aiden is certainly very sexy. He's sweet and lovable, but also strong and very protective of Eren. The two of them make a fantastic couple, and even though there was a bit of insta-love, I can overlook it because they worked so well together.

I also loved the concept of Channelers! It's something like a witch, but not exactly, and it's extremely unique in YA. I'm really interested to learn more about the Channeler heritage/mythology, because it's so interesting.

Overall, I give The Secret of Spruce Knoll 5 stars! A definite must read!

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Want to read the book yourself? Check out the links below!
Buy the Book
Amazon
Kindle: $4.99 
Hardcover: $19.95
Paperback: $12.99

Barnes and Noble
Nook: $ 4.99
Hardcover: $ 19.95
Paperback: $ 14.95

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

YA Boys I Love {with lots of gifs} (2)

I've decided to change this feature up a bit, and instead of featuring tons of boys in one, I'm going to devote  one post for each lovable YA boy. That way they get their fair share and don't have to share the spotlight. :)

Today's Sexy YA Boy is.....

Tucker Avery from Unearthly!

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?
Please wait a moment while I swoon.


Holy sweet tea trays and blueberry muffins, that boy is HOT. I'm actually angry with myself for not reading Unearthly sooner! It's actually funny, because when I first started Unearthly, I was team Christian all the way. But, then, Tucker became the sweetest, sexiest man ever, and I just couldn't resist his southern charm!

And I do have a soft spot for nice southern gentlemen.



Oh, yummy.

If I were to cast Tucker in a hypothetical Unearthly movie, I think my pick would be Lucas Till. I mean, come on, look at that boy! He's like Tucker incarnated!
He comes with a cowboy hat and everything!
You're welcome.
This is actually how I imagined Tucker in my mind while I was reading.

So, if by some cosmic miracle, Tucker Avery is reading this, I just have one thing to say...


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Review: She Smells the Dead by EJ Stevens

She Smells the Dead by EJ Stevens
Pages: 165
Publisher: Sacred Oaks Press
Genre: YA Paranormal
First in series

It's the beginning of senior year and Yuki's psychic awareness of ghostly spirits is threatening to ruin her life. Her ability to sense spirits of the dead isn't glamorous like on TV. SHE SMELLS THE DEAD. Yuki is being visited in her dreams and suspects that her friend Calvin is involved in something strange. Will Yuki be able to save the spirits and herself?
She Smells the Dead by EJ Stevens was a quick, enjoyable read. It wasn't amazing, but I liked it. I guess I just wasn't really impressed with any of the characters or the plot in general. The ending felt like the middle of the story to me, and there could have been so much more! I do have the second novella in the series, so I'll be reading it to see what happens.

I did like the main character Yuki, and her friends Calvin and Emma. (Calvin becomes a bit more than a friend later on.) Yuki was cute, with her goth outfits and quirky attitude. She's been smelling the dead for a while now, so she's used to it. By the way, I love the concept of smelling the dead. It's an interesting new take on the whole psychic schtick. Calvin and Yuki's relationship was cute, and I loved their interaction together. I'd really like to see their relationship grow in the future books.

Plot-wise, as I said before, I felt like the book ended just when the plot started rolling. It was relatively short, only about 80 something pages on my Nook, so I flew through reading it. Once I came to the last page, I felt like the story should have continued, so I was disappointed.

I do like EJ Stevens's writing style, and just from this I know I'll be a fan of her work. She Smells the Dead was a good book, I just felt it could have been better. I give it 3.5 stars, bordering on 4. I'll absolutely be reading the second book, though.

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Want to read the book for yourself? Check out the links below!

Buy the Book
Amazon
Kindle: $2.99
Paperback: $9.99

Barnes and Noble
Nook: $2.99
Paperback: $9.99

Monday, April 16, 2012

TBR Showcase (1)

I've seen a few bloggers do something like this, and it looks kind of fun, so I decided to do my own spin on it!

TBR showcase is a feature in which I take 4 or 5 books off of my to be read pile and, well, showcase them here on the blog. Then you guys can comment on if you've read these books and what you thought of them, and maybe you'll help me bump these books up to the top of my TBR!

This week's books are...


Books:
Fair Coin by E.C. Meyers
Haven by Kristi Cook
Supernaturally by Kiersten White
Incarnate by Jodi Meadows
Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini

Have you read any of these books? Which one should I read next?
Let me know in the comments!


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Review: False Covenant by Ari Marmell

False Covenant by Ari Marmell
Pages: 250
Publisher: PYR
Genre: YA High Fantasy
#2 in the Widdershins Adventure series
GOODREADS

A creature of the other world, an unnatural entity bent on chaos and carnage, has come to stalk the nighttime streets of the Galicien city of Davillon. There’s never a good time for murder and panic, but for a community already in the midst of its own inner turmoil, this couldn’t possibly have come at a worse one.

Not for Davillon, and not for a young thief who calls herself Widdershins.

It’s been over half a year since the brutal murder of Archbishop Wil­liam de Laurent during his pilgrimage to Davillon. And in all that time, Widdershins has truly tried her best. She has tried to take care of Genevieve’s tavern and tried to make a semihonest living in a city slowly stagnating under the weight of an angry and disapproving Church. She has tried to keep out of trouble, away from the attentions of the Davillon Guard and above the secrets and schemes of the city’s new bishop.

But she’s in way over her head, with no idea which way to turn. The Guard doesn’t trust her. The Church doesn’t trust her. Her own Thieves’ Guild doesn’t trust her.

Too bad for everyone, then, that she and her personal god, Olgun, may be their only real weapon against a new evil like nothing the city has ever seen.
After reading Thief's Covenant, the first book in this series (my review), and absolutely loving it, I had very high hopes for False Covenant. I was already a loyal fan to the series, even having only read one book, but False Covenant changed my status from "loyal fan" to "die-hard, I need every book Ari Marmell has ever written, obsessed-fan-girl."

Continuing with his witty writing and already rock solid fantasy world, Ari Marmell created what has to be the perfect sequel. All of my favorite characters--Widdershins, Julien, Renard, and even Olgun-- grew exponentially. From the first page, there's intrigue and mystery, and a whole lot of sneaking around where Widdershins is concerned. That's one of the things I love, that Shins is never sitting still, never slowing down. There's always something that needs to be done, some problem to solve, or some aristocrat to rob. I think the best way for me to express how I felt when I was reading False Covenant is through this gif:


It's a major page turner! Literally, my eyes were glued to the pages, and there wasn't a single thing that could tear me away. I even sat at my kitchen table eating dinner while reading. I got some weird looks from my family, but it was totally worth it!

There were some really great changes in this book, character-wise. In the first book, there were slight promises of romance, but nothing actually happened. But in this one, things happen. And I loved it! The romance wasn't overpowering at all, or even extremely prominent in the story, but it was there, and it was sweet. Of course, it just made the ending that much more painful.... but, I digress. The same old characters are still as lovable as ever, such as the sneaky and witty Renard. There are some new characters introduced that I'd like to get to know more of, so I'm eager to read the third book and see if things go where I think they will. And what can I say about Widdershins? Her and Olgun are still the most amazing non-romantic couple ever. I love their interactions together, even if Olgun never actually talks. Plus, Widdershins is still such a badass. There need to be more female protagonists like her in YA! If you mess with her or someone she cares for, she will beat you down, much like this:


And there's a new, and much creepier antagonist in this book! Just reading about him gave me goosebumps. It amazed me how Ari Marmell managed to give even the bad guy a really interesting and dynamic personality, instead of just making him "the evil dude." I actually really enjoyed reading the scenes with him.

Finally, the ending. The ending. I think it is in equal measure the best and worst part of the book. The best because it was so emotional, at least for me, that I had to put the novel down for a moment to compose myself before I kept reading. The worst because.... because.... WHY ARI MARMELL? WHY?  THERE COULD HAVE BEEN ANOTHER WAY! *sobs*


Overall, I give False Covenant a solid 5 out of 5 stars. This is a series not to be overlooked. It has everything a fan of fantasy could possibly want, and even those afraid to venture into high fantasy will love it. Anyone looking for a great story, check out the Widdershins Adventures novels.

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Want to read the book for yourself? Check out the links below!

Pre-Order False Covenant
Amazon Barnes and Noble Book Depository
(Free shipping worldwide!)
Hardcover: $11.29 Hardcover: $11.29 Hardcover: $13.35

Want to read the book that started it all? 

 Buy Thief's Covenant
Amazon Barnes and Noble Book Depository
(Free shipping worldwide!)
Hardcover: $12.71
Kindle: $8.19
Hardcover: $13.03
Nook: $8.39
Hardcover: $13.35

Friday, April 13, 2012

$0.99 Kindle Books (4)

Books can get pretty pricey, which is why it's always exciting to find great books that are priced relatively low. And how much lower does it get than 99 cents?? I've come across these fantastic novels all for $0.99, so if you've been looking for something new to read, check out the books below!




I haven't read any of these yet, but I will be buying these on my Kindle soon!

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