Saturday, June 29, 2013

Book Blast + Giveaway: The Ixeos Trilogy by Jennings Wright

The Ixeos Trilogy Blast

Ixeos Trilogy by Jennings Wright



Book One of the Ixeos Trilogy: Ixeos
The McClellands are enjoying a lazy summer vacation at the beach when they are lured from our world into Ixeos, an alternate Earth. Finding themselves lost in a maze of tunnels under Paris and surrounded by strangers, they discover that they have been brought to Ixeos for one purpose: to take the planet back from humanoid aliens who have claimed it. With the aid of the tunnels and a mysterious man named Landon, the teens travel the world seeking the key that will allow them to free Darian, the long-imprisoned rebel leader. But the aliens aren’t the only problem on Ixeos — the McClellands have to deal with brutal gangs, desperate junkies, and a world without power, where all the technology is owned by the aliens, and where most of the population has been killed or enslaved. The worst part? There’s no way home.

Buy The Book:

Ixeos Rebellion 800 Cover Reveal and Promotional

With rebel leader Darian free at last, the humans and outsiders on Ixeos must find a way to join forces and defeat the Firsts. The problem? All slaves are tracked with GPS, the Firsts are the only ones with power, and roving gangs hate the rebels just as much as they hate the aliens. As Darian and the outsiders from Earth travel the globe through the mysterious tunnels in Paris, they learn that the Firsts are preparing to launch another wave of biological warfare. With a transporter that will allow the aliens to target any city, anywhere on the planet, the rebels know they must stop them at all costs. As things get more dangerous on Ixeos, the outsiders find that they’re pushed to their limit. Will they fight for freedom, no matter the price?

Buy The Book:



Find The Author:
Born and raised in Rockledge, Florida, Jennings spent her early years reading anything she could get her hands on, when she wasn’t spending time in and on the water. She won a prize in the 6th grade for her science fiction stories.

Jennings attended the University of the South and the University of Tampa, graduating with a B.A. in Political Science, and almost enough credits for B.A.s in both English and History. She spent time over the years doing various kinds of script doctoring, business writing, editing, and teaching writing, but mostly having and raising her family, homeschooling her children, owning and running a business with her husband, and starting a non-profit to Uganda.

Thanks to a crazy idea called NaNoWriMo Jennings got back into creative writing in 2011 and hasn’t stopped since. She’s written four novels and a screenplay in less than a year, with more ideas on the drawing board. She currently lives in North Carolina with her husband, also a writer, and two children, and travels extensively.


The Giveaway
Ships to US Only | Must be 13+ To Enter
North Face Backpack
Phase 10
GIANT Jawbreaker
Paracord Bracelet
Water Bottle
Pocket Atlas
Tiny Flashlight
Fruit Stripe Gum
A Deck of Cards Called “Don’t Die Out There”
The Book of Potentially Catastrophic Science: 50 Experiments
To come (not pictured):
IXEOS: Rebellion
IXEOS Black Long Sleeve Tee Size L

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Friday, June 28, 2013

The Art of Wishing by Lindsay Ribar

The Art of Wishing by Lindsay RibarReading Level: Ages 12 and up
Hardcover: 314 Pages
Release Date: March 21, 2013
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers
Narration: First Person: Margo
Genre: Paranormal/Genies
Challenge: Paranormal/Debut Challenge
Source: Library

The Art of Wishing Series:
Book One: The Art of Wishing
Book Two: The Fourth Wish (2014)
Book Three: Untitled

Order On Amazon: Hardcover
Order On Barnes and Noble:
Hardcover and Nook

Goodreads  Website  Twitter
 Add To Goodreads
Goodreads Synopsis:

He can grant her wishes, but only she can save his life.

Margo McKenna has a plan for just about everything, from landing the lead in her high school play to getting into a good college. So when she finds herself in possession of a genie's ring and the chance to make three wishes, she doesn't know what to do. Why should she put her life into someone else's hands?

But Oliver is more than just a genie -- he's also a sophomore at Margo's high school, and he's on the run from a murderer. As he and Margo grow closer, she discovers that it will take more than three wishes to save him.

A whole lot more.

My Review:

When I opened this book for the first time, I was eager to get into the heart of the story, because come on, how often do we see novels written about genies? I was expecting all sorts of magic, some really cool world-building, and well, as embarrassed as I am to say this, something along the lines of Aladdin and flying carpet rides. However, I was disappointed by the first chapter and ended up putting it down before anything really magical began. Months later, I decided to give it another go, bracing myself for nothing other than more disappointment. Fortunately, I was completely wrong! Despite the fact that I'm usually not into books of this sort (More contemporary than paranormal), I was charmed by the simple yet undeniably compelling plot The Art of Wishing had to offer.

Margo, the protagonist, was a character that I truly admired throughout the whole novel. She's the type of girl who you'd want to aspire to be one day. Strong, brave, pure-hearted, and determined to keep everyone around her safe. Unlike most YA protagonists, especially the ones who are 100% human, she didn't take on that tone of a damsel in distress. Despite the fact that she was fighting against something otherworldly, she didn't back down or plead with the villain to let her go, instead, she took matters into her own hands and did something about it.

Although it took me a while to get into the pacing of the story, once I did, it was nothing but smooth sailing from there. After I reached the third or fourth chapter, I was a goner. No matter how many times my parents attempted to cajole me out of my reading hole or pry the novel from my hands, I just wasn't able to set it down. Every word demanded my complete and undivided attention. The plot was pretty simple in itself. There weren't any long drawn-out explanations or any intricate world-building. There was a bit of genie history included, if I remember correctly, but the whole description lasted all of one or two pages. Essentially, all you had was the villain, the heroine, and the good guy. There were, of course, more characters than that, but those three were the most significant and the whole story revolved around them. Since I'm used to huge, convoluted, and twisted plots that need to be carefully read in order to be understood, The Art of Wishing was like a refreshing breath of air to me.

A lot of people on Goodreads who reviewed this book before me had said that the relationship between Margo and Oliver was an Insta-Love connection, something that I was deeply dreading as I read on. However, I'd have to disagree. Although their relationship progressed a little quicker than most, they didn't fall in love at first sight. Margo was attracted to him, as any girl would be, because he was hot, not because she felt this instant soul-felt connection to him. There's a huge difference between attraction, which was quite understandable in Ollie's case, and love. Anyways, the romance that they did have was absolutely, freaking adorable. I literally lost track of the amount of times I said "AWWWW!" while reading this story. It's drastically different from the romances I'm used to with steamy make out sessions and broody bad boys, but I loved it all the same!

Overall, I was really surprised by how much I ended up enjoying this book! Although the plot was pretty simplistic, I still found myself enjoying every second of it. The romance was a breath of fresh air and completely different from what you find in most YA novels nowadays. Instead of a dark and mysterious love interest with a tortured past, we have one that's cute, funny, awkward, and charming. I recommend The Art of Wishing to anyone who wants a quick and fun read with just a touch of supernatural.

Favorite Quote:

“...Oh God. I'm one of those girls."
"What girls?" he asked, perplexed.
"Those girls. The ones in all those books and TV shows. Some dumb high school girl falls in love with some supernatural guy, and he's all, 'Behold, I am five million years old!' and she's all, 'Oh my god, how can you ever love pathetic little me!' and he's like, 'Because of destiny!' or whatever. It's just so...ew. You know?” 
-The Art of Wishing by Lindsay Ribar

Heroine- 5/5
Romance- 4.5/5
A little too fast, but adorable nonetheless.
Action- 4.5/5 Slow in the beginning,
but it definitely picked up pace.
Writing- 4/5
Comedy- 4.5/5
Overall- 4.5/5

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Feature and Follow (32)

Feature and Follow is a weekly meme hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee!

Preferred Follow Method: Either Networked Blogs or Bloglovin :D
If you could follow me on Facebook or Twitter, I would be happy to return the favor.
Just leave your links below! :D

What is your preferred reading format? Hardcover, ebooks, paperback, etc.?


The universal question, eh? Well...I don't exactly have a preferred reading format, because there are a countless number of pros and cons for each one. Hardcovers are amazing, because they give you easier access to flip back and forth between pages, in case you missed something important. In addition to that, there just so darn pretty! I have literally found myself staring creepily at certain covers for absurd amounts of time without even realizing it. On the downside, hardcovers are a bit expensive. =/ Ebooks are way easier to carry around and cheaper, but at the same time, they don't give you the same feeling of satisfaction you get when reading from a physical copy. Well at least for me anyways. Maybe I'm just weird. xD

Don't forget to enter my Early Blogoversary Giveaway!

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Book Blitz: By Blood by Tracy Banghart

About The Book:
Release Date: February 18, 2013
 Add To GoodreadsSeries: By Blood #1
Genre: YA Paranormal

By Blood by Tracy BanghartFor 17-year-old Emma Wong, spending a summer in England should be a dream come true. Gorgeous scenery? Check. Lots of hot guys with accents? Yes, please.

Throw in an estranged mom, annoying new stepdad, and drooling baby half-brother, and it’s a disaster even her favorite cherry red leather jacket can’t fix. Even worse, there’s (hot) live-in research assistant Josh to contend with. The only thing more embarrassing than drunk-kissing him hours after they meet? Knowing he’ll be witness to her family’s dysfunction all. summer. long.

But when Emma meets a mysterious girl who happens to be a Druid, her vacation suddenly promises to be far more intriguing than she anticipated. Powerful rituals, new friends, an intoxicating sense of freedom...and Simon, the sexy foreign stranger she was hoping for. It’s all a perfect distraction from dirty diapers and awkward family dinners.

Trouble is, intriguing doesn’t often mean simple. And Emma is about to discover just how not simple her life really is.

By Blood is a novel about the ways that blood can bind us to others 
– or tear us apart.

About The Author:

Tracy E. Banghart is a cheesy movie–loving, fantasy football–playing (go Ravens!), globe-trotting Army wife who began “practicing” her craft at the age of five, when she wrote her first story. She loves visiting the international friends she met while pursuing her MA in Publishing and spends a portion of every summer at her family’s cabin in Canada, where she finds inspiration and lots of time to relax on the dock. She lives with her husband, son, two lazy dogs and one ornery cat. When not writing or spending time with her family, she is on a mission to bake the perfect cupcake.

Find The Author:
Website ! Goodreads ! Facebook ! Twitter )

“This time we’ll each invoke the element of nature we want to draw strength from. Each of us will make an offering—” Simon pointed to the empty bowl. I swallowed. “—and then I’ll close the circle by submitting our offering to the universe.”
I didn’t have a clue what he meant by that, but the last ritual had been pretty easy to follow.
He opened the Grove the same way he’d done before, flashing the sword at East, South, West, and North, and invoking each of the four elements. Again, I felt the tingle of the living Earth beneath my feet. The air was much clearer tonight; a gusty breeze rustled through the watchful trees and set Simon’s candle flickering.
Again, Simon said, “Now that we have called on the elements, we may proceed with the work of the Grove.” And Harrison, Simon, George and Molly purified the circle by air, fire, water and earth.
We’d started tonight’s ceremony later, and long shadows played against our faces. Bryna’s hair flamed in the glow of the setting sun. Tonight felt different; there was an edge to the anticipation. Ash wasn’t smiling. But we were all waiting, tensed to see what would happen next.
Simon set the bowl with the votive on the ground and held up the flask and the sword. “I invoke the spirit of flame to infuse this Grove with strength.” His voice was strong. He took a sip from the flask and then walked to the center of the circle. “By my blood,” he said and nicked his palm with the blade.
I watched a thin trickle of blood drip into the bowl. My face felt hot. When Diana and I were ten, we made ourselves blood sisters, pricking our palms with needles and squishing the tiny drops of blood together. That had been fun, silly even. We’d giggled through the whole thing.
This—this felt real. There was real power in the words Simon said, in the drops of his blood in that bowl. I breathed deeply, watching in fascination as Simon resumed his place and handed Ash the flask and sword. She wiped the tip of the blade against her bare leg and took a drink from the flask.
When she spoke, she did it with authority. “I invoke the spirit of all warm living, breathing things to give this Grove strength. By my blood.” A few more drops of cherry red blood fell into the bowl.
“I invoke the spirit of unyielding stone.” George hissed when the sword slid against his skin.
“I don’t know if I can do this,” Molly declared, looking askance at the sword. But in the end, she invoked the spirit of spring – rebirth, she said – and made a little cut on her palm with a squeal.
It was my turn next. I felt the weight of the sword in my hand, looked down to see my white dress shimmering in the gloom of twilight. What strength did I want from the earth? What power did I wish I had? As I thought, I stepped to the center of the circle and took a gulp from the flask – the flavor was different this time. Spicy, dark. Like red wine, but sharper. It left a coppery taste, like blood, on my tongue.
Suddenly, I remembered the calm I’d felt Saturday, meditating with Ash. The flow of my breath, inhalation, exhalation like waves. “I invoke the spirit of the sea,” I said, and my voice didn’t shake. “By my blood, I ask the ocean to lend us its strength.”
Quickly, so I didn’t have time to think, I swiped the tip of the sword against my skin. The cut burned, but it was shallow and only a few drops of blood leaked out. I stepped back to my place and passed the flask and sword to Harrison.
“I invoke the spirit of air,” he said, gesturing to the incense in the bowl at his feet. I could smell the sandalwood faintly; it mixed oddly with the spicy dark flavor in my mouth.
Bryna went last, and she cut herself the most deeply. I gasped at the small stream of blood as it flowed into the bowl. She invoked the spirit of thunder.
I pressed my palms together and felt the sting of my cut; it had almost stopped bleeding, but I didn’t want to get blood on my dress.
Walking to the center of the circle, Simon held the blood-filled vessel up to the sky. “By earth, air, water and fire,” he said, his voice ringing, “and by our blood, we invoke the strength of flame, of living, breathing things, of stone, spring, and the sea. We invoke the strength of the very air around us and in our lungs, and we invoke the strength of thunder.”
As he said the words, a great gust of wind blew through the glade, whipping my hair off my face. I could almost feel the earth shift beneath me, almost hear the faint rumble of thunder in the distance. My mouth was full of the taste of blood, and my skin shivered under the touch of the wind.
For a moment, we all stared at each other, our eyes wide.

Did that just—what was that?

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Promo Post: Shudder by Samantha Durante

About The Book:
 Add To GoodreadsRelease Date: June 15, 2013
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal

It's only been three days, and already everything is different.

Paragon is behind her, but somehow Alessa's life may actually have gotten worse. In a wrenching twist of fate, she traded the safety and companionship of her sister for that of her true love, losing a vital partner she'd counted on for the ordeal ahead. Her comfortable university life is but a distant memory, as she faces the prospect of surviving a bleak winter on the meager remains of a ravaged world. And if she'd thought she'd tasted fear upon seeing a ghost, she was wrong; now she's discovering new depths of terror while being hunted by a deadly virus and a terrifying pack of superhuman creatures thirsting for blood.

And then there are the visions.

The memory-altering "stitch" unlocked something in Alessa's mind, and now she can't shake the constant flood of alien feelings ransacking her emotions. Haunting memories of an old flame are driving a deep and painful rift into her once-secure relationship. And a series of staggering revelations about the treacherous Engineers - and the bone-chilling deceit shrouding her world's sorry history - will soon leave Alessa reeling...

The second installment in the electrifying Stitch Trilogy, Shudder follows Samantha Durante's shocking and innovative debut with a heart-pounding, paranormal-dusted dystopian adventure sure to keep the pages turning.

Find The Book:

About The Book:

Samantha Durante lives in Westchester County, New York with her husband, Sudeep, and her cat, Gio. Formerly an engineer at Microsoft, Samantha left the world of software in 2010 to pursue her entrepreneurial dreams and a lifelong love of writing. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Jerome Fisher Program in Management & Technology, Samantha is currently working full time for her company Medley Media Associates as a freelance business writer and communications consultant. The Stitch Trilogy is her debut series. Learn more about Samantha at

Find The Author:


Enter the Giveaway HERE!!!

Monday, June 24, 2013

A Castle of Sand by Bella Forrest

A Castle of Sand by Bella ForrestReading Level: Ages 13 and up
Release Date: June 26, 2013
Publisher: Self-Published
Narration: First Person:
Sofia, Derek, Ben, Lucas
Genre: Paranormal
Challenge: Paranormal Challenge
Source: Author

The A Shade of Vampire Series:
Book One: A Shade of Vampire
Book Two: A Shade of Blood
Book Three: A Castle of Sand

Order On Amazon:
Order Links Will Go Live On June 26th

Goodreads  Website  Twitter
 Add To Goodreads
Goodreads Synopsis:

No synopsis is available at this time.

My Review:

I wanted to enjoy this more, I really did, but unfortunately, my wants were left unrequited. Part of the reason was because I just wasn't in the mood for a book solely focused on the romance, which was my fault entirely. I ignored the little voice in my head that told me to wait just a little bit longer to open the novel, and became disappointed because of it. The other reason was because the protagonist, Sofia, just seemed to continuously annoy me throughout the second half of the novel. If you know me at all, you would know that characters, especially important ones, either make it or break it for me. In my opinion, there the most important piece of a story, and if I find them lacking, then I know, without a doubt, that I won't be able to enjoy the rest of the book, no matter how interesting the premise or writing may be.

I liked Sofia as a character for the first half of the book. She was compassionate, loving, and always put others before herself. In addition to that, she was also the only person who would ever stand up to Derek, even when his humanity switch was flipped, and actually get out of the situation more or less unscathed. That's what I admired about her most, she wasn't afraid to voice her opinions, even if it meant risking her life because of it. 

However, once I reached the midpoint line, I started getting annoyed with her. She often forgot how much pressure was on Derek's shoulders and expected him to do something about a problem immediately, despite the fact that even she couldn't think of a better alternative, one that was feasible anyways. And then she took on the tone of a damsel in distress, always waiting for her brave knight to swoop in and save the day. I know that she probably couldn't have done much against a vampire, considering their strength and speed, but she could've at least tried to learn and defend herself. I'd rather see her try to devise an escape plan or attempt to fight back instead of constantly break down in tears or beg the villain to let her go. If the human hunters were able to learn how to not only defend themselves, but hunt vamps as well, I'm pretty sure that Sofia should be able to learn basic defense.

As you all know, I'm not a huge fan of romance by itself. Even though the past two installments were romance-driven, I enjoyed them, because they were still pretty fast paced. However, for some reason, I just couldn't get into this one. I felt detached and removed from the plot, and I couldn't seem to get interested enough to care about what happened. The action was slow, and I found myself skipping pages more than once. However, if you're more interested in the romance aspect than the action aspect, you'll probably find this book much more fascinating than I did.

I didn't have any issues with the writing style. If you've read Bella's last few books, you would know that she usually writes a novel in multiple POVs, as she does in A Castle of Sand. Although this isn't a easy feat to accomplish, Bella transitioned from character to character flawlessly. In this book, we see through the eyes of Sofia, Derek, Ben, and Lucas, although the latter two were seen less often. There were a few places where things were a bit confusing or could've used more explaining, but those times were few and in between.

Overall, I didn't enjoy A Castle of Sand as much as I hoped I would. This installment was based more on the romance than anything else, and although it was undoubtedly well written, I just couldn't bring myself to care. The pacing dragged for me, and I found myself skipping pages more often than not. The writing style was more or less the same, with constant switches in POVs that transitioned perfectly. Even though this wasn't my cup of tea, I would recommend this novel to people who are more interested in a romance-driven plot than an action-driven one. I have no doubt that A Castle of Sand will get some really high ratings, unfortunately, I just wasn't in the mood for it at the moment.

*An ARC was provided by the author 
in exchange for an honest and thoughtful review.

Heroine- 3/5
Romance- 3/5
Action- 2/5 Was slow, 
but sped up a bit at the end.
Writing- 4/5
Overall- 3/5

Promo Post + Giveaway: Champions of Power by Samuel Odunsi Jr.

About The Book:
Release Date: June 24, 2013
 Add To GoodreadsGenre: Science Fiction
Series: Age of the Aura #1

Champions of Power by Samuel Odunsi Jr.

The Blessed Galaxy has no other name. After being gifted with the Auras—five great powerhouses of celestial creation—the title was a suitable fit. For millennia, the governing bodies have ruled their respective reaches of the Galaxy while harnessing the might of the Auras. But now they face the threat of a calamity, from an unlikely source, that could shake the lives of all.

Lowen Sars, a devout man of science, decides to take on the burden of saving the Galaxy’s people once he learns of the calamity. But he soon realizes that the role of a hero was a calling not meant for him, even with his sudden promotion. In his process of self-discovery, Lowen begins the fateful saga of not only the Blessed Galaxy, but also the kingdom in possession of the corrupt Aura.

Read more behind the story here!

Find The Book:
(Note: Download this for free on Amazon from June 24th to June 28th.)

Book Trailer:

About The Author:
Samuel is an American-born child of Nigerian immigrants with a unique upbringing. His various influences in martial arts, movies, television, and literature over the years have helped him develop his story, Age of the Aura. With his different perspective, Samuel’s hope is to bring an original science fiction tale to those that enjoy the genre.

Find The Author:
Goodreads ! Website ! Twitter )

Book Reviews for Phase 1:

The Indie Book Review 
A Book So Fathomless - "3.5 out of 5" 
Beth Art From the Heart - "4 out of 5" 
Voracious Reader - "3 out of 5" 
Sadie S Forsythe -"3 out of 5" 
Nik's Picks - "4 out of 5" 
Dee's Reads -"3 out of 5" 
My Cozie Corner - "5 out of 5" 
Confuzzled Books - "4 out of 5" 
Cheryl's Book Nook - "4 out of 5" 
The Guide to Good Books - "5 out of 5" 
Paranormal Sisters - "3.5 out of 5" 
Books With Leti Del Mar - "3 out of 5"


Goodreads Book Giveaway

Champions of Power by Samuel Odunsi Jr.

Champions of Power

by Samuel Odunsi Jr.

Giveaway ends July 24, 2013.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Friday, June 21, 2013

Feature and Follow (31)

Feature and Follow is a weekly meme hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee!

Preferred Follow Method: Either Networked Blogs, Bloglovin, or GFC. :D
If you could follow me on Facebook or Twitter, I would be happy to return the favor.
Just leave your links below! :D
Activity: Favorite Literary Quote


There are so many! Here's a few of them from my favorite books. 
You can find more on my Quotes page. xD

"Sometimes the greatest tests of our strength are situations that don't seem so obviously dangerous. Sometimes surviving is the hardest thing of all."  
-Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead

“A person can be educated and still be stupid, and a wise man can have no education at all.” -The Runaway King by Jennifer Nielsen

"Beautiful face. Beautiful body. Horrible attitude. It was the holy trinity of hot boys."
-Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

"What's up with hotness? I wonder. He looks like someone definitely broke his crayons." -Inescapable by Amy A Bartol 

“You really need to work on intonation when you use sarcasm. That way people will know when you’re being an asshole.” -Smokeless Fire by Samantha Young

“We are far too screwed up for a goddamned love triangle.”  
-The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Don't forget to enter my Early Blogoversary Giveaway!

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Trailer Reveal + Giveaway: Debt Collector by Susan Quinn

Debt Collector by Susan Quinn

About The Book:
 Add To GoodreadsSeries: Debt Collector Serial (8 Installments Released)
Genre: NA Future-Noir

What's your life worth on the open market? 
A debt collector can tell you precisely.

Lirium plays the part of the grim reaper well, with his dark trenchcoat, jackboots, and the black marks on his soul that every debt collector carries. He's just in it for his cut, the ten percent of the life energy he collects before he transfers it on to the high potentials, the people who will make the world a better place with their brains, their work, and their lives. That hit of life energy, a bottle of vodka, and a visit from one of Madam Anastazja's sex workers keep him alive, stable, and mostly sane... until he collects again. But when his recovery ritual is disrupted by a sex worker who isn't what she seems, he has to choose between doing an illegal hit for a girl whose story has more holes than his soul or facing the bottle alone--a dark pit he's not sure he'll be able to climb out of again.

The first three episodes of the Debt Collector serial are collectively the length of a short novel, or 152 pages. These are the first three of nine episodes in the first season of The Debt Collector serial. This dark and gritty future-noir is about a world where your life-worth is tabulated on the open market and going into debt risks a lot more than your credit rating. Episode 4, Broken, releases 4/17/13. For more about the Debt Collector serial, see

Find The Book:
(Note: Episode One Is Currently Free)

About The Author:

Susan Kaye Quinn grew up in California, where she wrote snippets of stories and passed them to her friends during class. Her teachers pretended not to notice and only confiscated her stories a couple times.

Susan left writing behind to pursue a bunch of engineering degrees, but she was drawn back to writing by an irresistible urge to share her stories with her niece, her kids, and all the wonderful friends she’s met along the way.

She doesn’t have to sneak her notes anymore, which is too bad.

Susan writes from the Chicago suburbs with her three boys, two cats, and one husband. Which, it turns out, is exactly as a much as she can handle.

Find The Author:
Website ! Goodreads ! Facebook ! Twitter )

Book Trailer:

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Reboot by Amy Tintera

Reboot by Amy Tintera
Reading Level: Ages 12 and up
Hardcover: 365 Pages
Release Date: May 7, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Narration: First Person: Wren
Genre: Dystopian/Paranormal
Challenge: Paranormal/Debut Challenge

The Reboot Series:
Book One: Reboot
Book Two: Unknown (2014)
Book Three: Unknown (?)

Order On Amazon: Hardcover
Order On Barnes and Noble:
Hardcover and Nook

Goodreads  Website  Twitter  Facebook
 Add To Goodreads

Goodreads Synopsis:

Five years ago, Wren Connolly was shot three times in the chest. After 178 minutes she came back as a Reboot: stronger, faster, able to heal, and less emotional. The longer Reboots are dead, the less human they are when they return. Wren 178 is the deadliest Reboot in the Republic of Texas. Now seventeen years old, she serves as a soldier for HARC (Human Advancement and Repopulation Corporation).

Wren’s favorite part of the job is training new Reboots, but her latest newbie is the worst she’s ever seen. As a 22, Callum Reyes is practically human. His reflexes are too slow, he’s always asking questions, and his ever-present smile is freaking her out. Yet there’s something about him she can’t ignore. When Callum refuses to follow an order, Wren is given one last chance to get him in line—or she’ll have to eliminate him. Wren has never disobeyed before and knows if she does, she’ll be eliminated, too. But she has also never felt as alive as she does around Callum.

The perfect soldier is done taking orders.

My Review:

"5 Years Ago, I Died.
  178 Minutes Later, I Woke Up."

Well....I was, and still am, confused about my feelings towards Reboot. Since I decided to skip out on reading reviews, I was left to my own devices to try and figure out which direction this story would take. My guess? Way. Way. Off. I should've expected something more zombie related, considering the slogan/saying on the cover pretty much screamed "The Walking Dead," but for some reason, that thought never crossed my mind. Despite the obvious signs, I was still expecting some sort of science fictiony based novel that focused on scientists who somehow devised a method to upgrade humans with a "Reboot" that allowed them to run faster and have quicker reflexes than the average person. I feel sort of stupid now.

Wren, the protagonist, was one of the main reasons why I got so confused by this book. I went into it expecting a cold-hearted, detached soldier who was ruthless in her decisions and actions, because she didn't have any emotions to get in the way. And she was like that, to a certain extent, just nowhere near the extent that I expected. Even before Callum, love that name by the way, walked into the scene, she still retained a wide range of emotions from her past human life. Maybe I'm imagining things or reading too much out of situations, but one thing I definitely know for sure is that the statement, "No. There was no human left in me," was completely false. And when Callum did come into the picture? *Facepalm* She completely lost her Reboot personality and transitioned into someone who blushed every time her crush was around.

The intriguing premise was the only reason I kept on reading. It was so interesting, innovative and unique. This is, essentially, a zombie story, but to be honest, it didn't feel like it. Trust me, if it did, I would've been running the opposite direction, screaming like there was no tomorrow. Zombies freak me out like no other, and I'm pretty sure that I would rather stab myself repeatedly with a pencil before picking up another Zombie related book. I digress, anyways, Reboot had a theme that I've never encountered before, and considering how many YA books that are out in the world today, that's saying something. Amy is incredibly talented with world-building and weaving together an intricate world, down to the details of the very houses in the slums of Austin. Any author can describe surroundings, pff even I can do that, but very few are able to describe it in such a way that would leave you with the image seared into your brain even once you've finished.

I wasn't a huge fan of the romance. The love interest, Callum, was a decent guy. He had his admirable moments, and I liked the fact that he held tightly to his morals. However, he did seem to be lacking in the self preservation department. Sometimes I just wanted to scream at him to be just a little bit more subtle in his methods of defiance, instead of openly insulting the very people who could call his elimination. Rebel? Of course, but please do so in an intelligent manner! Even though something said or done can fix the here and now, it doesn't always fare well in the long run. Although he irritated me a lot, I was still fine with their romance, at least until they escaped their prison. Nothing irks me more than when two people start making out while there fleeing for their lives.

Overall, Reboot was not what I expected. The premise turned out to be way off from what I originally thought, but what I found instead was so much more enthralling. The characters all took me off guard as well,  but this time, they didn't end up surprising me in a good way. Wren was nowhere near as badass as the synopsis made her out to be, and she still retained many of her human emotions, even after her Reboot. She was the same as any other Reboot girl, and I still don't see what made her so important. Not sure if I'll read the sequel when it releases, but I might give it a shot if I have some free time on my hands.

Heroine- 2.5/5
Romance- 2.5/5
Comedy- 3/5
Action- 3.5/5
Overall- 3/5

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
Reading Level: Ages 12 and up
Hardcover: 448 Pages
Release Date: June 4, 2013
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Narration: First Person: Alina
Genre: Fantasy/Magic
Challenge: Paranormal Challenge

The Grisha Series:
Book One: Shadow and Bone
Book Two: Siege and Storm
Book Three: Ruin and Rising (2014)

Order On Amazon: Hardcover
Order On Barnes and Noble:
Hardcover and Nook

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Darkness never dies.

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. She can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her–or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.

My Review:

Definition of Epic:
(courtesy of the Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

1. Of, relating to, or having the characteristics of an epic.
2. Extending beyond the usual or ordinary especially in size or scope.

This novel was the very definition of Epic. (Well the second definition of epic, scratch the first one. xD) In fact, Siege and Storm was so phenomenally well written that the definition of epic doesn't even do the book justice. I've been wanting to rave about this novel to anyone who would listen for weeks, and even after this long period of time, I still can't even begin to contemplate what Leigh has brought to the table without having to fight the urge to fangirl obnoxiously. I really wish I got the chance to review this book immediately after I read it to blow your mind with all the fascinating details, but unfortunately, things came up, and I had to force myself away from the blogging world in order to study for my final exams. Ehh, better late than never, right?

To start with, I want to talk about the romance. I was surprised by how much I actually enjoyed the relationship aspect of this book, considering the fact that I'm more of an action junkie than a romance one. I know some of you guys are a bit skeptical with all the reviews that talk in depth about yet another love interest, but don't freak out just yet. Trust me, I was hugely skeptical as well. After reading so many love triangle/angst fest stories, I've given up all hope of them ever amounting to something good. There's always a few exceptions, but for the most part, I'm sick of them. When I heard there was going to be a love square, I nearly facepalmed, but I still had faith that Leigh would be able to twist it in a way that would make it all work out in the end. She did! She's the first author I've ever encountered who was able to write a love square and have it go off without a single hitch! I really don't know how to describe it, everything just fell into place perfectly. You'll see what I mean once you read the book.

The Love Interests: 

First up we have Mal. Now don't get me wrong, I deeply respect him as a character.....just not so much as a love interest. Yeah, I know that Alina and Mal have known each other for practically their entire lives and can read each other without so much as a single word exchanged, but Mal doesn't really understand Alina, at least not in the Grisha sense. Their not compatible for each other, because they both experience different situations in different ways. Mal thrives in normal, day-to-day living and can charm anyone into liking him through his sparkly personality alone. Meanwhile, Alina slowly dies inside without the use of her power, living in the mundane part of the world where people can see her, but no one really gets her. And vice versa, minus the power part.

I'm not sure if The Darkling is still considered a love interest after this novel. After what he did to her, I don't understand how she could ever see him as anything but a cold-hearted monster. He has his moments where his humanity shines through, but those moments are few, and overpowered by the amounts of evil he's committed. On the other hand, I do see why Alina is drawn to him. There both considered anomalies in their world since there the only ones of their kind. No one better understands the heavy burden on Alina's shoulders than the Darkling himself. They both experience the same sort of soul-deep loneliness that no one else can even begin to fathom.

I will leave the last love interest, Stur, a mystery to you, because there is a sort of twist with him that I don't want to risk giving away. At the moment, I don't really have a team, but when push comes to shove, I'm edging towards Stur. We'll just have to see where the last installment takes us. :)

Now onto Alina, the protagonist of our story. I loved Alina even more than I loved her in the first novel! Although she was a strong and brave character, she still had her weaknesses, which made her all the more real to me. Thankfully, she still kept her hilarious wit, and I enjoyed reading up on the playful conversations she had with Mal. There were brief periods of time where she lost herself to the malicious feelings of greed and darkness that a certain amplifier induces, but instead of it being a turn-off for me, I felt that much more intrigued by her character, because it gave her a depth that I rarely see in YA heroines nowadays. She wasn't the perfect heroine who always did the right thing and would willingly sacrifice herself in a heartbeat, but instead a brave heroine who tried her hardest to take the right path, yet still had faults and often made mistakes along the way. What made her a truly great character was that she learned from those mistakes and became a stronger person because of them.

The action was fast-paced and felt even more involving than the first installment, which I didn't even think was possible.  Every page was chock full of action, mystery, and intrigue. Every answer only created more and more questions. Siege and Storm was literally the only book that was able to break my strict no-reading-until-the-exams-are-done rule. I started off telling myself that I would only read two itty bitty chapters. I mean, what harm can it do really? Yeah, it really didn't work out as I planned. I ended up finishing the book within 4 or 5 hours, which just helps support the fast-becoming fact that I have absolutely no restraint when it comes to anything pertaining to books, well good ones at least.

Overall, Siege and Storm is a definite MUST-READ. Even if you get a little squeamish with love triangles, or squares for that matter, I still strongly urge you to give this a try. The only advice that I have to give is to make sure you set enough time aside to read this novel in one sitting, because once you start, you won't be able to stop.

Cover- 5/5
Heroine- 5/5
Romance- 6/5
One of those rare cases where
a love triangle/square...actually works!
Action- 6/5
Comedy- 5/5 Loved the playful conversations between
Stur, Mal, and Alina.
Writing- 5/5
Overall- 6/5