Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Random Act of Kindness: March Edition

The girls at Book Soulmates started a very cool project. The concept is to post a wish list and someone might just send a gift to you! Of course, you might wanna be nice to and offer someone something from their wish list as well!

Random Act of Kindness

Here are the details, from their website.

Rules:

• Sign up each month you'd like to participate in.

• Show off your participation! Grab one of the buttons available :)

• Create a wishlist and post it in the Google Doc located in each R.A.K post for the month.

{Post on your blog, Amazon, where ever as long as there's a link to it.}

• If you choose to do a R.A.K for someone, check out their wishlist and contact that blogger for their address.

• At the end of the month, SHOW US YOUR R.A.K!

Make a post saying 'Thank You' to whoever granted one of your wishes and share it with us :)

OPEN TO EVERYONE!

Let's keep our International bloggers in mind and in our hearts.

Remember, there's always the Book Depository and they offer FREEshipping!

Last month I didn’t receive any RAK, hopefully March will be more joyous =)

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Here’s my wish list for this month ^^ I know it’s quite long, but you’ll have plenty to choose from!

If you wish to offer me something, just email me at TyngaUF(a)gmail.com and I will give you my mailing addy

  • Enslave Me Sweetly, Seduce the Darkness, Ecstasy in Darkness, Dark Taste of Rapture by Gena Showalter

  • Article 5 by Kristen Simmons

  • Beautiful Chaos – Kami & Margaret (pb pls)

  • Fallen in Love by Lauren Kate

  • Venom, Tangled Threads & Spider’s Revenge– Jennifer Estep

  • Frostbitten, Waking the Witch – Kelley Armstrong (I’d like the MM edition, to match my collection ^^)

  • Thirteen – Kelley Armstrong

  • Acheron by Sherrilyn Kenyon (MM please ^^)

  • Wrong Side of Dead – Kelly Meding

  • Wings of the Wicked – Courtney Allison Moulton

  • Wraith by Phaedra Weldon

  • Cold Sight – Leslie Parish

  • The Rift Walker -  Clay & Susan Griffith

  • Charlie Madigan series by Kelly Gay

I really hope you join the fun! I think it’s a great way to meet new bloggers as well as give a bit of joy in this world!

tynsig

Third Grave Dead Ahead by Darynda Jones


Third Grave Dead Ahead (Charley Davidson #3)Third Grave Dead Ahead by Darynda Jones

Books Stats:
Reading level: Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Hardcover: 310 pages
Publisher: St Martins Press
Release date: January 31st, 2012

Series: Charlene Davidson #3

Source: Personal Shelf

Reviewed by: Christine

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

Charley Davidson—grim reaper extraordinaire, private investigator . . . meh—is practicing her profession under the influence, caffeine and copious amounts of it, due to an extreme desire to induce insomnia. Every time she closes her eyes, Reyes Farrow, the part-human, part-supermodel son of Satan, is there. Only thing is, he's a tad peeved. She did bind for all eternity, so it's hard blame him. But 13 days without a wink is bound to bring out the crazy in a girl. So when she accepts a missing persons case, she discovers that her focus is sketchy at best. But a woman's life hangs in the balance, and Charley fights her ADD tendencies to find her.Together with the help of her fashion-impaired receptionist, Charley sets out to bring the bad guys to justice and to single-handedly make bloodshot, sleep deprived eyes the newest fashion trend.

The third book in Daynda Jones´s Charley Davidson series picks up right where the second book left us. Due to the events that happened at the end of the last book, Charley tries her best to avoid Reyes, even if it means no sleep in fourteen days.

All of you who know Charley also know that she is really funny even in a well rested state. But being sleep deprived makes her absolutely hilarious. There are so many funny quotes I could share with you, but trust me, it´s better you read the book yourself! Charley´s character definitely sets her apart from all those heroines you know in other urban fantasy or paranormal romance novels. Her sometimes random behavior and the fact that she does not take herself too serious are refreshing and endearing.

If possible, some of the secondary characters Darynda Jones has created are even more endearing than Charley. I have to admit that I have a huge girl crush on Cookie, who never pales in comparison to Charley.
After the last book, I was pretty excited to find out who was behind the mysterious email Charley got and boy was I surprised when I found out. I would have never ever seen that one coming!

There are several story lines in the book, one missing person case, one case that introduces a biker gang as new characters and the main story arc, concerning Reyes and Charley´s gifts. Like in every previous books, the missing person case is gripping and I can´t wait to see what Miss Jones has planned for the biker gang she introduces in Third Grave Dead Ahead.

But as always, I´m most fascinated by the relationship between Charley and Reyes. We get a few new tidbits about that as well as about Charley´s abilities in general. The end of the book is once more a huge turning point for her. She has to grow to deal with the aftermath of everything that happens in this book and I, for one, can hardly wait to see what´s up next for Charley.

By now, I guess you can tell that I loved this book. If you love paranormal stories that are truly funny without trying too hard, this book is a must read for you. If you don´t, I´m asking you to read it, because trust me, you will love it!

So, has anybody else fallen in love with this series? Do you enjoy those shirt slogans and bumper stickers as much as I do? Where is a sexy son of Satan when you need one? =)

Read an excerpt here.

chrisig_thumb1

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

“When I’m not writing” with Gail Carriger + giveaway!

Gail Carriger

The fangirl in me is *dying* today because Gail Carriger is visiting the blog. She’s the author of one of my favourite series, The Parasol Protectorate, a series of books that are this fantastic blend of steampunk, supernatural, and comedy of manners. There’s nothing out there quite like it, which is why I’m so sad that the final book in the series, Timeless, is being released in two short days. (I’m also edge-of-my-seat excited because I need to know what will happen to Alexia and company.) Thankfully, Gail is working on a steampunk adventure Finishing School series for young adults, Etiquette & Espionage, and a new Parasol Protectorate Abroad series set to launch in 2013.

Keep reading to find out what Gail does when she’s not creating these beautiful books and enter the giveaway to win the first four books in The Parasol Protectorate series. They’re a must for anyone who loves the supernatural, steampunk, and hats.

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I think many writers suffer from a plague. That plague is the great lengths we will often go to not to write. I fill up my day with hobbies, particularly at this stage of a book ~ about half way through, in an attempt to find something, anything, to do instead of write. Oh, I will get around to writing in the end but until then I . . .

Cook

Gail Carriger

I enjoy cooking not just for regular meals, but cooking events and historical recreations. A few years ago in my archaeology days, I translated some recipes from Latin and cooked a 7 course Roman meal. Since I'm on a deadline right now, I invited my best-girl cook buddy over and we prepared a 4 course Victorian supper for 10 out of a 1876 cookbook, just to see what the flavors were like. This is good research for my novels too, all of my protagonists are ladies fond of food. I spend an inordinate amount of time in my novels describing food, likening people to food, or hurling food about in an indiscriminate manner. I figure I better cook it once in a while to find out what it's really like.

Read

Gail Carriger

Like most writers I started out a reader. Unfortunately, these days, I only allow myself to read books related to my current project. As you can see, my current stack includes a Steampunk graphic novel, the Tricksters series by Tamora Pierce, and the nonfiction book Spy Cather by Peter Wright. This is because I'm working on the Finishing School series right now, which is four young adult books about a steampunk spy-training lady's seminary.

Mill hats

Gail Carriger

I love nothing more than getting out the hot glue gun and working on hat projects. I think it's the 3 dimensional creative art aspect of hats that I love so much. And when one is working on steampunk or Victorian hats, one can be quite outrageous with feathers and flowers and ribbons galore, a la Ivy Hisselpenny.

Tend houseplants

Gail Carriger

When I'm puzzling over a plot point or a fight sequence, I'll often wander about the house watering plants. I have an affection for orchids (they respond well to neglect) and a collection of fresh herbs which I use for cooking. They require watering and wedding and other attention, so provide a welcome distraction in my writing day.

Exercise

Gail Carriger

I have a standing desk but my profession is still a stationary one. I try to fit in some form of stretching and physical activity every day. Sometimes that is climbing on the bike with my laptop and heading off to the local cafe to write, sometimes it's bouncing about in front of the xbox to a dance game. I'm not good with gyms or standard activities like running, so I'm always hunting for a way to make sweating fun and goal oriented.

Undertake an art project

Gail Carriger

I like to use packing styrofoam to mount fabric and then paint on the fabric for large, lightweight art pieces to put up around the apartment. Earthquake country makes me uncomfortable with the idea of a heavy oil painting hanging over my bed! Plus, this way the painting matches my style and decor perfectly.

Sew

 Gail CarrigerGail Carriger

I wear tons of vintage and I like to modify thrifted clothing, which means I have to be able to repair and sew often. I almost always have a stack of clothing hanging behind my office door waiting on alterations or mending.

Plan outfits

Gail Carriger

Tied into this fashion obsession is the hours I spend fussing with creating and planning outfits for events and everyday activities. I'm obsessed. I haunt the fashion blogs and vintage photos for inspiration and the pick form my own closet to create a similar look.

Throw pots

Gail Carriger

I trained as an archaeologist and my expertise was in ceramic technology, but I also grew up a potter. As a result, I've done some experimental archaeology work with building and firing recreated kilns. The pots pictured above are the result of one of those firings. It was the firing where we proved an updraught kiln could get over 1100 degrees, a mile marker for the project. They remind me of where I came from and the life of an archeologist and teacher that I still miss, sometimes.

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Thank you for visiting the blog today, Gail! I don’t know how you find the time for all these cool hobbies and write as much as you do.

For more Gail, visit her website, blog, or Facebook page. You can also follow her on Twitter or check out her fashion blog. And if that’s not enough, you can also chat about The Parasol Protectorate on the Facebook group page.

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Learn more about The Parasol Protectorate (but only if you don’t mind spoilers since they’re sort of inevitable in the cover copy):

Gail Carriger Soulless Parasol Protectorate Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she's a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.

Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire -- and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.

With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London's high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?

SOULLESS is a comedy of manners set in Victorian London: full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking.

Jenn’s thoughts

Read an excerpt

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

Gail Carriger Changeless Alexia Tarabotti, the Lady Woolsey, awakens in the wee hours of the mid-afternoon to find her husband, who should be decently asleep like any normal werewolf, yelling at the top of his lungs. Then he disappears - leaving her to deal with a regiment of supernatural soldiers encamped on her doorstep, a plethora of exorcised ghosts, and an angry Queen Victoria.

But Alexia is armed with her trusty parasol, the latest fashions, and an arsenal of biting civility. Even when her investigations take her to Scotland, the backwater of ugly waistcoats, she is prepared: upending werewolf pack dynamics as only the soulless can.

She might even find time to track down her wayward husband, if she feels like it.

Jenn’s thoughts

Read an excerpt

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

Gail Carriger Blameless Parasol Protectorate Quitting her husband's house and moving back in with her horrible family, Lady Maccon becomes the scandal of the London season.

Queen Victoria dismisses her from the Shadow Council, and the only person who can explain anything, Lord Akeldama, unexpectedly leaves town. To top it all off, Alexia is attacked by homicidal mechanical ladybugs, indicating, as only ladybugs can, the fact that all of London's vampires are now very much interested in seeing Alexia quite thoroughly dead.

While Lord Maccon elects to get progressively more inebriated and Professor Lyall desperately tries to hold the Woolsey werewolf pack together, Alexia flees England for Italy in search of the mysterious Templars. Only they know enough about the preternatural to explain her increasingly inconvenient condition, but they may be worse than the vampires -- and they're armed with pesto.

Read an excerpt

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

Gail Carriger Heartless Parasol Protectorate Lady Alexia Maccon, soulless, is at it again, only this time the trouble is not her fault. When a mad ghost threatens the queen, Alexia is on the case, following a trail that leads her deep into her husband's past. Top that off with a sister who has joined the suffragette movement (shocking!), Madame Lefoux's latest mechanical invention, and a plague of zombie porcupines and Alexia barely has time to remember she happens to be eight months pregnant.

Will Alexia manage to determine who is trying to kill Queen Victoria before it is too late? Is it the vampires again or is there a traitor lurking about in wolf's clothing? And what, exactly, has taken up residence in Lord Akeldama's second best closet?

Jenn’s thoughts

Read an excerpt (on Facebook)

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

Gail Carriger Timeless Parasol Protectorate

Coming March 1, 2012…

Alexia Tarabotti, Lady Maccon, has settled into domestic bliss. Of course, being Alexia, such bliss involves integrating werewolves into London High society, living in a vampire's second best closet, and coping with a precocious toddler who is prone to turning supernatural willy-nilly. Even Ivy Tunstell's acting troupe's latest play, disastrous to say the least, cannot put a damper on Alexia's enjoyment of her new London lifestyle.

Until, that is, she receives a summons from Alexandria that cannot be ignored. With husband, child, and Tunstells in tow, Alexia boards a steamer to cross the Mediterranean. But Egypt may hold more mysteries than even the indomitable Lady Maccon can handle. What does the vampire Queen of the Alexandria Hive really want from her? Why is the God-Breaker Plague suddenly expanding? And how has Ivy Tunstell suddenly become the most popular actress in all the British Empire?

Pre-order: Amazon | Book Depository

You can also pre-order the Manga version of Soulless:

Gail Carriger Soulless Manga Parasol Protectorate Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she's a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.

Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire -- and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate. With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London's high society? Or will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?

Read an excerpt (on Facebook)

Pre-order: Amazon | Book Depository

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Want to get your hands on the first four books in The Parasol Protectorate? Gail is offering one (1) set of Soulless, Changeless, Blameless, and Heartless to a lucky reader.

To enter, obey the Rafflecopter!

Giveaway closes Monday, March 12, 2012.

Open internationally.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Do you guys have suggestions for who you’d like to see featured on the blog? If so, you can make your suggestions on this page. No guarantees that your favorite authors will be able to participate but we’ll try!

Authors, would you like to visit and share with us? Please email me at jennblogs (at) gmail (dot) com and we’ll set it up!

Jenn

Monday, February 27, 2012

Fate’s Edge by Ilona Andrews

Ilona Andrews Fate's Edge Fate’s Edge by Ilona Andrews

Book stats:
Reading level: Adult
Genre: Urban fantasy
Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Ace
Release date: November 29, 2011

Series: Edge #3

Source: Personal shelf

Reviewed by: Jenn

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

The Edge lies between worlds, on the border between the Broken, where people shop at Wal-Mart and magic is a fairy tale—and the Weird, where blueblood aristocrats rule, changelings roam, and the strength of your magic can change your destiny…

Born to a family of conmen, Audrey Callahan left behind her life in the Edge for an unmagical existence in the Broken. Audrey is determined to stay on the straight and narrow, but when her brother gets into hot water, the former thief takes on one last heist and finds herself matching wits with a jack of all trades.

Kaldar Mar is a gambler, a lawyer, a thief, and a spy with some unusual talents that guarantee him lucrative work. When his latest assignment has him tracking down a stolen item, Kaldar doesn’t expect much of a challenge—until Audrey turns up to give him a run for his money.

But when the missing item falls into the hands of a lethal criminal, Kaldar realizes that in order to finish the job and survive, he’s going to need Audrey’s help…

Ilona Andrews is one of my favourite authors, hands down. They (it’s a husband and wife team) create such delightful stories, filled with great characters, amazing plot lines, and crisp dialogue. They write two urban fantasy series -- the Kate Daniels books and the Edge series -- among other things. (You may remember my gushing from when I dared you to read Magic Slays, the first book in their Kate Daniels series.) 

The Edge series consists of three novels so far: (1) On the Edge, (2) Bayou Moon, and (3) Fate’s Edge, the book I’m writing about today. It’s difficult to talk about Fate’s Edge without referencing other books so I’m going to give you an quick intro to the series. Without further ado, may I present your rudimentary introduction to the Edge. (Feel free to skip down if you’re familiar with the series.)

The Edge primer

When this series debuted, the authors described it as “rural fantasy” -- it has the elements of urban fantasy but it’s not set in a city, it’s set in a more rustic setting. The basic premise of the series is that there’s a magical dimension that coexists with our mundane, non-magical one. So far, everything correlates with North America though the world may extend beyond this. The magical world is known as the Weird and it’s essentially an alternate America, splintered into feuding nations and baron states; the non-magical area is the Broken. The spots where the Weird and the Broken come together are known, rather transparently, as the Edge.

There are different kinds of folks who live in the magical dimension. Most people have a variety of magical abilities, including the ability to flash, where they generate a bright flash of magic. Flashing can be used for attack or defense and come in different strength levels. The strongest flashers flash white, the next strongest blue, etc. A lot of other people, particularly Edgers, often have other abilities, like cursing or, as in Audrey’s case, the ability to open any lock. There are also changelings. Changelings are treated differently, depending on what part of the Weird they live in. In Adrianglia, which roughly corresponds to the Eastern Seaboard from New York to Georgia, they’re second class citizens, forced into group homes and eventually the military. In Louisiana, the state that rivals Adrianglia, changelings are killed. Louisiana is not a nice place. In between Adrianglia and Louisiana is a place called the Mire, a swamp where people get exiled. All of the characters in the novels come from these areas.

With that established, let’s move on to brief explanations of who the main characters are in the first two novels. (Note: These summaries do absolutely no justice to the awesomeness of these books.)

On the Edge, our first taste of this world, tells the story of Rose, an Edger, and Declan, the Adrianglian blueblood who shows up in the Edge and eventually woos her. Declan and Rose re-appear in Fate’s Edge, along with Rose’s two younger brother, Jack and George, who are also prominently featured in On the Edge. Jack is a changeling and George is a necromancer, and they’re both back in Fate’s Edge. (If you want to know more about On the Edge, you can check out this post.)

The second book is Bayou Moon. Set in the Mire, this book is all about William and Cerise Mar. We met William, a wolf changeling, in On the Edge and now he’s front and centre because he heads to the Mire to kill Spider, one of the Hand. (The Hand is a group from Louisiana who are magically altered and creepy and Spider was responsible for massacring a group of changeling kids.) On his way, he meets Cerise, whose family is feuding with another Mire clan. One of Cerise’s relatives is Kaldar Mar, the main man in Fate’s Edge. Cerise and William also pop up in Fate’s Edge. (If you want more about Bayou Moon, you can check out this post.)

Alright, with that out of the way, I feel like I can talk about Fate’s Edge now. *phew*

Fate’s Edge just might be my favourite book in the series so far. There are a bunch of reasons for this but the main ones are Kaldar and Audrey. Individually, they’re  wonderful characters: Kaldar is handsome, loyal, burning for revenge, and slick as anything, and keeps a lot of himself hidden, while Audrey is so self-assured, smart, and capable, and I love her relationship with her raccoon, Ling the Merciless. (Most excellent pet name.) Audrey’s magical gift is also extremely cool. And believe it or not, these guys are exponentially more interesting when thrown together. Their initial meeting is brilliantly written! Audrey and Kaldar both know to use what they’ve got and run a good con so their relationship is characterized by moments of perfect sympatico, a lot of sparring, and an ample helping of chemistry. Watching them use their wits and wiles on each other, and then on their targets, and then on each other again makes for quite the roller coaster of a read!

It’s also great to see other familiar faces, like Jack and George, who have substantial parts in Fate’s Edge. They’re both such quirky dudes but there’s a special place in my heart for Jack, who struggles to find his place in society as a changeling. Changelings have such a different outlook on the world and it’s even more obvious with Jack than it was with William, who’s had more time to adjust to society’s expectations and limitations. Jack and William aren’t the only characters from previous novels to play a more central role in Fate’s Edge: they’re joined by Gaston, a member of Kaldar’s family that we met in Bayou Moon. I love it when authors weave main characters from previous books into other narratives and Ilona and Gordon Andrews have done it particularly well since you don’t actually need to remember these characters to enjoy the book (though it definitely helps!).

Another strength of the authors? Creating strong villains. Most authors do a wonderful job of creating compelling main characters but sometimes they can fall short with the bad guys. Not Ilona Andrews. Every challenge the characters face in Fate’s Edge is tough and the bad guys in question this time around are fearsome. Their leader is Spider’s niece and a Hound of Louisiana, meaning that she works directly for the Emperor. Needless to say, she’s not very nice. Nor is she pleased to be doing the work of the Hand but she’s loyal to her uncle and she’s stepping up to help him out. She’s also got a magically altered team with her and there are a few moments along the way where things get gruesome and dangerous. I love it!

I could go on (and on) but this post is already epic. Congrats if you made it this far! I’m going to wrap up by saying that Fate’s Edge is another killer installment in the Edge series and in the Ilona Andrews canon and that I’d recommend this series to anyone who loves a tight, twisting plot, complicated characters, and strong series mythology. I’ll be on tenterhooks till the next one!

Read an excerpt

Jenn

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Books for Sale!

I’ve been doing some cleaning in my shelves as they are overflowing now and there are some books I’d like to get rid of.

All the books are brand-new or like-new and we are a smoke-free house.

Price:

3$ + shipping for Mass Market and Trade paperbacks
4$ + shipping for HC
If you buy 3 books or more, you can choose 1 free ARC from the ARC pile.

The more books you buy, the more you save on shipping, it goes without saying =)

FYI - I’m from Canada, so while shipping is reasonable to US, shipping oversea might get expensive.

MM:

Glass Houses by Rachel Caine
The Dead Girls' Dance by Rachel Caine
Midnight Alley by Rachel Caine
Feast of Fools by Rachel Caine
Carpe Corpus by Rachel Caine
Lord of Misrule by Rachel Caine
Fade Out by Rachel Caine
Kiss Of Death by Rachel Caine
Green-Eyed Demon by Jaye Wells
Eternal Kiss of Darkness by Jeaniene Frost
Bloodlands by Christine Cody
Original Sin by Allison Brennan
Black Magic Sanction by Kim Harrison
Nice Girls Don't Date Dead Men by Molly Harper
Nice Girls Don't Live Forever by Molly Harper
Nice Girls don’t Have Fangs by Molly Harper 
Invisible Touch by Kelly Parra

Trade pb:

Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz
Masquarade by Melissa de la Cruz
Revelations by Melissa de la Cruz
The Van Allen Legacy by Melissa de la Cruz
And, Falling Fly by Skyler White
Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
Fallen Angel by Heather Terrel
Blue Moon by Alyson Noel
Evermore by Alyson Noel
Never Bite a Boy on the First Date by Tamara Summers

HC:

Generation Dead by Daniel Waters
Ascendant by Diana Peterfreund
Shadowland by Alyson Noel
Claire de Lune by Christine Johnson
She's so Dead to Us by Kieran Scott
Madame Tussau by Michelle Moran
Cleopatra's Daughter by Michelle Moran
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
Bloody Valentine by Melissa de la Cruz

ARC pile (1 free when you buy 3+ books)

Following Christopher Creed by Carol Plum-Ucci
The Isle of Blood by Richard Yancey
Goliath by Scott Westerfeld
Devilishly Hot by Kathy Love
The Cinderella Society by Kay Cassidy
Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
Zombies vs Unicorns by Holly Black
Falling Under by Gwen Hayes
Blood Rules by Christine Cody
The Vampire Next Door by Ashlyn Chase
Hounded by Kevin Hearne
To Walk The Night by E.S. Moore
The Dargon who Loved Me by G.A. Aiken

If you are interested, please FILL THE FORM.
Payment to be made via Paypal.

Thank you!

tynsig

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

cinder marissa meyer lunar chroniclesCinder by Marissa Meyer

Book Stats:

Reading level: Young Adult
Genre: Dystopian/Paranormal
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Macmillan
Release date: January 3, 2012

Series: Lunar Chronicles #1

Reviewed by: Stéphanie

Source: Library

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl…

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

This is a wonderful debut YA novel by Marissa Meyer that captured me right from the start. She was able to add science fiction and magical elements to a classical fairy tale that many of us grew up with. This book has been featured on the blog a few times already, so I decided to share my thoughts for my first review on Tynga’s Reviews!

Loosely based on the Cinderella fairy tale, the novel introduces us to Cinder as she's looking for a foot to replace the one that she's outgrown. As a cyborg, she is made up of many inhuman parts. Her leg, her arms. Even her central nervous system has been modified. I really admire the author's way of making her main character so different from other teenagers of this futuristic world. Not only is she a cyborg, but she’s also forced to be the breadwinner of her adoptive mother and sisters. She works as a mechanic in the town square instead of doing what other teenage girls might enjoy. I believe many young adults can associate with the all the restrictions and rules her adoptive mother places on Cinder. All she truly wants is to be independent and be seen as a normal girl, despite all her physical flaws.

“Cinder. How fitting. Ashes. Dirt. Filth.” I really like this quote where someone is describing Cinder’s name. Her name literally means ashes, but I think the author is trying to make us see past the literal sense and witness her eventual rise from the ashes. Cinder is learning who she is and what she can do, and I think this transformation will be monumental in the books to come.

It's interesting that Cinder meets Prince Kai right at the beginning of the book. As he enlists her help to fix his android, they engage in an odd relationship. Cinder feels attracted to him but remains distant. Prince Kai is intrigued by this unique girl. When he invites her to be his personal guest at a grand ball, he still doesn’t know that she’s a cyborg since Cinder is hesitant to reveal herself. The dialogue between these two characters feels strenuous at times, but overall I believe they make a nice and believable couple.

Just for fun, I wanted to make a short list of the similarities/differences between Cinderella and Cinder.Of course, both books have Princes: Cinderella has her Prince Charming and Cinder has Prince Kai. As for the Fairy God-mother, she is replaced by Iko, Cinder’s android and helpful friend. Cinderella works as a maid for her step mother, while Cinder works as a mechanic for her adoptive mother. Instead of losing a glass slipper, Cinder loses her new Cyborg foot. Cinder also makes a grand entrance and arrives at the ball in a fixed-up old car instead of a pumpkin. And, obviously, Cinderella finishes with a happy ending but in Cinder’s case, the end will follow in the next books of the saga.

Despite the similarities, one of the reasons I like this novel so much is because the author didn’t necessarily concentrate on the original fairy tale story line. It’s not all about finding the perfect prince. Yes, there were many similarities, but the author is also telling us the story of a futuristic Earth that is being threatened by the special and magical race of human beings living on the moon. There is also the other problem where many humans are dying from the infectious disease of letumosis.

I'm a sucker for a fairy tale with a good ending, but even if this one doesn't end like normal one, I think it's a great beginning to an entertaining saga. The merging of a fairy tale within a science fiction realm is original and refreshing. I can think of a few modern film adaption of Cinderella but nothing comes close to Cinder.

Overall, I highly recommend this book. And please, if you notice any other similarities between the fairy tale and the book, please let me know!

For those who enjoy free books from Amazon, the first five chapters of the book are available for free.

Read an Excerpt

 

stephsig

Saturday, February 25, 2012

In Our Mailboxes

IMM2

As always, a big thank you to The Story Siren for hosting In My Mailbox every week =)

Once again my In My Mailbox contribution is really an accumulation of books that I've acquired since my last post. I'd vowed to learn how to vlog before my next one but it hasn't happened yet, thanks to a pesky little thing called my dissertation. Unfortunately, I'm still low-tech so here's my February haul. (Some of them are e-books so they're not in the picture.)

Jenn's In My Mailbox

Bought:

Hidden by Kelley Armstrong (it finally came!)
Dark Time by Dakota Banks
Wicked Enchantment by Anya Bast
Witch Fire by Anya Bast
Empire State by Adam Christopher
Undone Deeds by Mark Del Franco
Cold Fire by Kate Elliott
Hard Magic by Laura Anne Gilman
Something Wicked This Way Comes by Kim Harrison
Black Wings by Christina Henry
Aftertime by Sophie Littlefield
Rebirth by Sophie Littlefield
Horizon by Sophie Littlefield
Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney
As Lie the Dead by Kelly Meding
Dead Man Walking by Stefan Petrucha
Grave Dance by Kalayna Price
Sins of the Demon by Diana Rowland
My Life as a White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland

For review:

Deliverance by Dakota Banks
Summoning the Night by Jenn Bennett
Darkness Dawns by Dianne Duvall
Night Reigns by Dianne Duvall
Dark Frost by Jennifer Estep
Black Howl by Christina Henry
Fated by Benedict Jacka
Daughter of the Centaurs by Kate Klimo
A Sliver of Shadow by Allison Pang
Shades of Gray by L.M. Pruitt
Shades of Desire by L.M. Pruitt


But don't go away yet because Christine also has some books to share:


In Christine's mailbox

For review:

Darkest Knight by Karen Duvall
The Hunt by Andrew Fukada
Sacrificial Magic by Stacia Kane
Raven Calls by C.E. Murphy

Darkest Knight Karen DuvallThe Hunt Andrew FukadaStacia Kane Sacrificial MagicC.E. Murphy Raven Calls

Jenn

Friday, February 24, 2012

Announcing Paranormal April Fools'

Paranormal April Fools

We are now one month away from our newest event, Paranormal April Fools! We've been hard at work getting things together and now it's finally time for the big reveal. Tynga gave you a sneak peek when she mentioned the event in her most recent In My Mailbox post so some of you may already be intrigued but I wanted to give you some more information to really get you excited.

Starting March 23, some amazing authors will be answering questions about their latest/upcoming releases or sharing wonderful stories with us, revolving around pranks. You'll learn about authors' memories of great pranks, read stories where characters get pranked, and more!

If that's not enough, we'll also have giveaways and reviews of many of the featured titles.

Curious about who's participating? Here's who confirmed their participation so far:

Aimee Agresti
Dakota Banks
Lyn Benedict
Jenn Bennett
Cassi Carver
J. N. Duncan
Bethany Griffin
Kim Harrington
Rachel Hawkins
Kevin Hearne
Christina Henry
C. C. Hunter
Benedict Jacka
Stacia Kane
Jackie Morse Kessler
Gini Koch
Theresa Meyers

And here are the titles we’ll be featuring and/or giving away:

Aimee Agresti IlluminateDakota Banks DeliveranceLyn Benedict Lies and Omens
Jenn Bennett Summoning the NightCassi Carver Slayer's KissJ. N. Duncan The Lingering DeadBethany Griffin Masque of the Red DeathKim Harrington Perception
Rachel Hawkins Spell BoundKevin Hearne TrickedChristina Henry Black HowlC. C. Hunter Taken At DuskBenedict Jacka Fated
Stacia Kane Sacrificial MagicJackie Morse Kessler LossGini Koch Alien DiplomacyTheresa Meyers The Slayer

Paranormal April Fools' will end on April 8th and the giveaways will close on April 15th, with the winners announced on April 17. Make sure you visit Tynga’s Reviews every day of the event to find out more about these great titles and authors, and to enter all the giveaways. Feel start to start following us (if you aren’t already) to make sure you don’t miss a thing!

It is going to be a fun-filled event and we hope you'll enjoy it!

Feel free to spread the news by adding our event button to your sidebar!

Tynga's Reviews
 

Jenn