Friday, June 29, 2012

Reader's Choice! Tell me what you want!

I'm still in my hiatus for 1 more day, but I'd like to know some topics that you'd be interested in me talking about here on the blog. It can be about books, authors, blogging, you name it!



Thursday, June 21, 2012

Review Survey! Please fill out!


Sunday, June 17, 2012

In which I take a blogging summer vacation:

Hey guys.

If you saw my previous post about how I just haven't felt the compulsion to blog lately, you'll know that my blogging mojo is not at its best right now. For that reason, I've decided to give myself my own blogging summer vacation.

I'm taking all of June off from blogging, and will return July 1st.

I'm taking this time to refresh myself, and just not let the insanity of blogging take over my vacation. I'm going to spend it reading, because I've set myself a 50 book goal for this summer, and so far I've only read 1. I'm lagging far behind, and I want to have time to just read and not feel guilty that I'm not scheduling posts.

So, there you have it. I will return,  my lovelies, I promise. And I'm experimenting with finding my own voice right now. We'll see how it goes.

Until July! xoxoxoxoxox

Friday, June 15, 2012

To blog, or not to blog? That is the question...

I've written this post a thousand times, and I've deleted it a thousand and one. But, I'm just going to say it now.

I've lost the will to blog.

Well, that's actually not very accurate. I want to blog, so much, I have all these post ideas and everything is written neatly down in my planner, and it's all ready for me. But every time I sit down to get things done.... I open the post, stare at it for a few seconds, then close it again. I may write like 5 words, but the end result is always the same.

I have no idea what's gotten into me. I guess it really started when I was taking my final exams 2 weeks ago, and I just stopped blogging because I knew I wouldn't have enough time. But I kept telling myself "I'll get back to it when summer starts." And... I haven't.

I've also been in an enormous reading slump. I haven't read a word in weeks.

This is really troubling to me, because I love this blog. I've put so much effort into it, since I first started it 3 years ago, and I just don't want to see all of that go down the drain.

I don't know what to do. I've tried just staying away from blogging for a while, letting myself rest and rejuvenate, but that hasn't helped. I'm thinking that the only thing to do is just sit down and blog. Exert some self control and actually get things done.

Thoughts? I'd love some advice. Anything, everything.


TBR Showcase (3)

These are some of the books on my TBR pile that I plan on reading this summer.
Books:
Jealousy by Lili St. Crow
Defiance by Lili St. Crow
Hallowed by Cynthia Hand
Dreaming Awake by Gwen Hayes

Have you read any of those books? What did you think? Which ones should I move to the top of my list?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Review: The Girl in the Clockwork Collar by Kady Cross

The Girl in the Clockwork Collar by Kady Cross
Pages: 416
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Genre: YA Steampunk
#2 in Series
In New York City, 1897, life has never been more thrilling - or dangerous.

Sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne and her "straynge band of mysfits" have journeyed from London to America to rescue their friend Jasper, hauled off by bounty hunters. But Jasper is in the clutches of a devious former friend demanding a trade-the dangerous device Jasper stole from him...for the life of the girl Jasper loves.

One false move from Jasper and the strange clockwork collar around Mei's neck tightens. And tightens.
Review for the First Book

Check out my review for The Girl in the Steel Corset!

Review

HOLY DEAR SWEET DIETY OF YOUR CHOOSING.
This book
was
amazing.
If you read and loved the first one, then you won't be disappointed by The Girl in the Clockwork Collar. This book is quite different, in that it takes place in New York instead of London. Jasper has been kidnapped by a former associate of his, Reno Dalton. Now, we all know Jasper is pretty bad ass, so he shouldn't have a problem getting out of this situation, right? Except Dalton has something--or someone on Jasper. Mei Xing, the woman that Jasper loves. Now Jasper is at Dalton's beck and call, because Mei has a clockwork collar around her neck that will tighten and strangle her if Jasper even so much as breaths the wrong way. It's up to the gang to save him, and they hasten their way from England to come and find him.

Let me just start by saying my respect and admiration for Finley grew a thousand fold in this book. We all knew she was pretty kick ass and a total English ninja, but in this book her two halves have come together now. She's not so Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde anymore. Now Finley can control her strength, and she puts it to good use. In order to save Jasper, she infiltrates Dalton's gang by literally beating the crap out of ever tough guy that underestimates her in a fighting club. He's impressed by her, and asks her to join his crew. I just love strong heroines, so to see one as strong as Finley kicking some butt, and not needing to be saved by anyone else, is gratifying. I seriously applaud Kady Cross for making Finley into the character she is.
Although my greatest love in this series is still Jack Dandy, whom I regret to say was not in this book at all, I do have lots of love for Griffin. He's also pretty amazing, and what I love is, while he is ultimately a gentleman and a great guy, he also has a darker, more seductive streak in him. He's got some pretty cool powers of his own, which actually get him into lethal trouble quite a bit. Fans of Griffin's and Finley's romance can finally breathe a sigh of relief at the end of this book, although, trust me, it's only the beginning of them together. And it's a very long and frustrating path to get there.

There is some crazy stuff going on in this book!
It all revolves around Dalton and what he's planning, but there's some new steampunk technology that the gang is dealing with, as well as some other really spooky stuff that I think will be dealt with later on in the series (there are going to be 5 books in total!). The plot was fast paced, and there was always something going on. What I love is that Kady Cross doesn't give everything away immediately. There are pieces of a puzzle that need to be put together, and those pieces are given to you bit by bit.

Also, let me just say that I actually really loved Dalton, in a weird, he's evil but still hot kind of way. I'm a sucker for bad boys, and Dalton is just an unapologetically bad boy. There wasn't anything actually going on between him and Finley, it's all just a ruse to save Jasper, but still, a part of me wished there was.

Who Should Read This Book?

Calling all fans of any of the following genres:
  • Steampunk
  • Historical
  • Romance
  • Action
  • Adventure
  • Mystery
Yes, it's that versatile.

Memorable Quotes

"Word is Dalton likes rough girls."
* * *
"Don't you dare die. You have to live so I can curse you up and down for scaring me like this."
* * *
"The two of you are like a twister colliding with a mountain."

Read it for yourself!

Buy the Book
Amazon
Kindle: $11.24
Hardover: $12.23

Barnes and Noble
Nook: $11.24
Hardcover: $12.84

The Book Depository (Free shipping worldwide!)
Hardcover: $12.63


About the Author
Kady Cross is a pseudonym for USA Today bestselling authorKathryn Smith. She lives in Connecticut with her husband and a pride of cats. She likes singing with Rock Band on the 360, British guys, Vietnamese food, and makeup (she’s hopelessly addicted to YouTube makeup tutorials!). When she’s not writing Kady likes to catch up on her favorite TV shows, read a good book or make her own cosmetics.
Other Books by This Author

What Other People Say

A Cupcake and a Latte
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(Covers link to Amazon)

Saturday, June 9, 2012

{Blog Tour} Review + GIVEAWAY: Sirenz Back in Fashion

Sirenz Back in Fashion by Charlotte Bennardo and Natalie Zaman 
Pages: 288
Publisher: Flux
Genre: YA Greek Mythology
#2 in Series

It's Hell on heels--again

When Shar tries on a ring from Hades, it activates an obscure contractual clause that puts Shar and former-frenemy-now-friend Meg in Hades' service once more. Shar is whisked away to the Underworld to prepare a ball for Persephone, while Meg is sent to retrieve the errant soul of spoiled rich girl Paulina Swanson and send her to the abyss. Just when it appears the girls will be doomed to serve Hades for eternity, Shar meets two possibly helpful demi-gods who also happen to be gorgeous. Can the girls finally ditch the Lord of the Dead once and for all?
Quick Thoughts & Review for First Book

Check out my review of Sirenz!
This sequel has only solidified by love for this series... and Hades!

Review

Sophomore slump? Nope! Not for the Zaman and Bennardo duo! Sirenz Back in Fashion is just as awesome, and just has hilarious as the original. Plus, there's more Hades. Hades is always a good thing.

How about I just get my Hades fangirling out of the way? You see, he's the kind of character that may seem to only have one side at first. You may think Hades is just a vain man who's looking for a little naked play time with Shar. While that may be true, there's also something really lonely about him, and I think more than a little broken. He's a soul in need of mending, but no one will give it to him because he's the Big Bad Lord of the Underworld, so he puts up a devilish front to keep up with his image. I think he could really use some love..... AND I AM MORE THAN WILLING TO GIVE IT TO HIM. *a-hem*

Okay, that aside, I really loved this sequel. The moment I started reading it I knew that I would like it just as much as the first.
The same great writing and witty banter that endears us to the characters and gods in Sirenz are definitely still there. Except now we have some new myths thrown in, but I don't want to tell you which ones because that would majorly spoil the book. If you're really into Greek mythology, you'll probably be able to figure out the myths pretty early on in the story, but I thought it was really interesting how they threw those in there!

Who Should Read This Book?

Anyone that wants a funny as hell book. You don't even have to be into Greek mythology to love it, because everything is so modernized anyway. Plus, if you're a fan of Hades, or you think you'll be a fan (which you probably will) then just pick up the first one, Sirenz, and BECOME HIS FAITHFUL MINION.

Memorable Quotes

(Favorite quote from the whole book!)

"With you, there's chaos and infidelity and guilt and lust. THere's no love. I want that. And that's the one thing you can't give me."
The music ended abruptly. Hades, his eyes smoldering with some emotion, gently lifted by hand and kissed it chastely.
"I could give love. If someone ever wanted it from me."

--Char and Hades

Read it for yourself!

Buy the Book
Amazon
Kindle: $7.96
Paperback: $9.95

Barnes and Noble
Paperback: $9.95

The Book Depository (Free shipping worldwide!)
Paperback: $9.95


About the Authors
Nat: When not playing with pointed objects, Natalie Zaman is usually writing. She lives in central New Jersey with her family and several fine looking chickens.

http://nataliezaman.com
http://nataliezaman.blogspot.com/

Char: Lover of sparkly things, Char doesn't have as many shoes as she'd like, but wouldn't have time to wear them anyway with her three boys, husband, cat with issues, demented squirrels and insistent characters all demanding her time. She is represented by Natalie Lakosil of the Bradford Literary Agency and is hoping to get all her characters into print just so they'll be quiet.

http://charlottebennardo.com/
http://charlotteebennardo.blogspot.com/
Other Books by This Author


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GIVEAWAY
I have 2 really awesome Sirenz bookmarks to giveaway! They both have to do with the obvious star of the books... HADES!

If you'd like to win 1 of these 2 bookmarks, enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Friday, June 1, 2012

Review: Of Poseidon by Anna Banks

Of Poseidon by Anna Banks 
Pages: 342
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
#1 in Series

Galen is the prince of the Syrena, sent to land to find a girl he’s heard can communicate with fish. Emma is on vacation at the beach. When she runs into Galen—literally, ouch!—both teens sense a connection. But it will take several encounters, including a deadly one with a shark, for Galen to be convinced of Emma’s gifts. Now, if he can only convince Emma that she holds the key to his kingdom...

Quick Thoughts

LOVED IT! Of Poseidon was exactly what I was looking for in an undersea mermaid adventure (even though they don't like to be called mermaids in this book, haha.) Awesome characters, and an even more awesome mythology. It's a must read for me! Mermaid fans, unite!

Review

There was just so much that I loved about Of Poseidon that I don't know where to begin. This was a book that I picked up and started reading, and I couldn't stop once I had gotten into it. I finished it in one day--it was that freaking good.


It was told from two perspectives, that of Emma, who is a normal human girl-- or at least she thinks she is-- and Galen's POV, who is a Syrena prince... who basically hates humans. All Syrena do, which makes things a bit awkward when Emma smacks right into Galen. Except, there's something different about Emma, and instead of being repulsed by her, Galen is intrigued. Each time they touch, there's a literal spark between them, and that could only mean one thing... Could she be what he's been searching for?

The book starts out with quite a punch when, after bumping into Galen, Emma's best friend Chloe is attacked and killed by a shark. (Not a spoiler, trust me.) It also revealed something crucial about Emma and who she is, although it was pretty sad to read. I mean, her friend freaking got eaten by a freaking shark

I felt that Emma was extremely relatable! I loved her, because she felt like a real teenage girl to me, speaking as one myself. She was funny, and while she may not be entirely normal (normal meaning in the human kind of way) I still related to her. There was one time, though, that I was completely perplexed by what was going on. She freaked out at Galen's sister Rayna and they broke through a hurricane proof window while they were fist-fighting each other. It was a really crazy deviation from Emma's character, but I guess that was the point, right? It was to show, rather than tell, the changes that were happening to Emma. Still, that was some crazy shit.

Okay, you knew this was coming. It's time... FOR ME TO TALK ABOUT GALEN.
Holy sweet freaking hotness. Dat boy. Or should I say, dat mermaid? (Tee hee, Galen hates it when people call them mermaids.) Gosh, I never thought I'd say that a mermaid was hot, but damn Galen totally obliterated that notion. I mean, think about it, what can possibly be hot about a dude swimming around with a fish tale? When I think mermaid, I think this:

However, Galen makes it work! I think it really helps that we also see him in his sexy-fine human form a lot, so we get to know Galen as a person, not just Galen the Syrena, and the attraction transfers over. I loved the fact that there was some major sexual tension between Galen and Emma. While I was reading Galen tease Emma, even I was getting pretty hot and bothered!

I also have insane respect for Anna Banks, because she was able to take the mermaid concept and weave it into the colorful Syrena mythology that added something special to the story. As a mermaid enthusiast, I've read and seen just about everything, so I was delightfully surprised when I started Of Poseidon and I was smacked with a really unique story line. This ain't your regular The Little Mermaid schtick they're trying to sell you.

The plot was probably the only thing that I felt was lacking, because I saw the ending coming from a mile away. It's supposed to be this huge surprise, like, WHOA OMG WHAT? But, I figured it out about three-quarters of the way into it. That was a disappointment. And it's pretty obvious too. The whole book, the characters are thinking one thing, and they're so sure about it, but they never stop to consider the other possibility, which I did. And once I started thinking it over, it made so much sense to me. But, the ending is still a major cliffhanger, because you know that what happens right after it ends is so extremely pivotal to the ENTIRE FREAKING SERIES, that I could pretty much overlook the obvious plot.

I have to give an honorary mention to one of my favorite characters, Toraf, who is Galen's best friend. He was so funny! His bickering with Rayna (who is Galen's sister, if I haven't mentioned it yet) was great to read because it's that kind of relationship where you know they love each other so much, but Rayna doesn't want to admit it, so Toraf is adorable yet annoying to her, and it's just a cute arguing cycle. Haha!

Who Should Read This Book?

Anyone who is looking for a really great romance along with a unique mermaid story. If you're one of those people, BUY THIS BOOK! 


Memorable Quotes

“It's easy to remember, because dating rhymes with mating, and they're almost the same [...] So your mom thinks we're ma-- Uh, dating?”
* * *
Before I can pass by him, Galen grabs my wrist and pulls me to him, corralling me between his legs. Crushing his mouth to mine, he moves his hand to the small of my back and presses me into him. Since he was still shirless and I'm in my bikini, there's a lot of bare flesh touching, which is a little more intimate than I'm used to with an audience. Still, the fire sears through me, scorching a hot path to the furthest, deepest parts of me. It takes every bit of grit I have not to wrap my arms around his neck.
* * *
But everything about this kiss is wrong, wrong, wrong. If I had a brother, this is what kissing him would feel like. And then I feel something else. Hair-raising prickles all over. Like I'm about to get struck by lightning.
Then Galen--not a lighting bolt--slams into Toraf, wrenching our lips apart.

Read it for yourself!

Buy the Book
Amazon
Kindle: $9.99
Hardcover: $11.28

Barnes and Noble
Nook: $9.99
Hardcover: $11.28

The Book Depository (Free shipping worldwide!)
Hardcover: $13.49


About the Author
YA writer repped by Lucy Carson of the Friedrich Agency. My debut novel, OF POSEIDON, releases May 2012/Macmillan. I believe in Sasquatch.

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