Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Paranormal Summer Camp Kick-Off!

PSCbigParanormal Summer Camp starts tomorrow!! I hope you're all as excited as we are. We have some amazing authors sharing camp stories and answering questions about their latest/upcoming release. We also have some giveaways and reviews of many of the featured titles, so it's going to be a very busy month of August.

I hope you'll all show some love to these authors, who generously made room in their schedule to work with us and make this event possible.

Commenting on their posts is greatly appreciated!

To make sure you don’t miss anything, I've put together a master sheet of all of the Paranormal Summer Camp guest posts, interviews, reviews, and giveaways (including shipping restrictions), which you can find at the end of this post.

Here are some key guidelines you might keep in mind thorough the event:

- There is no limit on the number of unique giveaways you can win: You could potentially win a giveaway from each day. We won’t limit the number of giveaways each person can win.

- Shipping restrictions vary: some are US only, others US/Canada only, still others are open internationally. Please pay attention before you enter. =)

- Giveaways end on September 5th: All the Paranormal Summer Camp giveaways start the day they're posted and end on September 5th. All the winners will be announced on each respective rafflecopter form soon afterward. Don’t forget to come back and see if you’ve won!

- Extra entries: To have maximum exposure for our guests, you can earn extra entries (not mandatory) for each giveaway by spreading the word. Put your Twitter account to work!

**Please note that this schedule is subject to change.**
**Links will be added as posts go live.**

 

Date Type Author Giveaway Restrictions
1 S J. C. Daniels (aka Shiloh Walker) part of her blog tour  
2 I Kelly Gay 1 copy of Shadows Before the Sun INT
3 S Lisa M Stasse 2 copes of The Forsaken US only
4 S James R. Tuck 1 copy of Blood and Silver US & Canada
5 S Kat Richardson 1 copy Greywalker US only
6 I Veronica Wolff 1 copy of Blood Fever + swag US & Canada
7   Rachel Caine 1 copy of Two Weeks Notice INT
7 S K.A. Stewart 2 A Wolf at the Door INT
8 S Kira Brady 1 copy Hearts of Darkness US & Canada
9 S Molly Harper 1 copy The Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires US only
10 S Laura Anne Gilman 1 copy Dragon Justice INT
11 I Kendare Blake 1 copy of Girl of Nightmares US only
12 I Suzanne Lazear 1 copy of Innocent Darkness US & Canada
13 I Beth Bernobich 1 copy of Queen’s Hunt US & Canada
14 S Tiffany Trent 1 copy of The Unnaturalists INT
15 I Vicki Petterson 1 copy of The Taken US only
16 S Rebecca Zanetti 1 copy of Consumed US & Canada
17 S Diana Cosby & Erica Ridley 1 copy of Born to Bite US & Canada
18   Jay Kristoff 1 copy of Stomdancer US & Canada
19 S Jocelyn Davies 1 ARC & 1 finished copy of A Fractured Light TBD / Canada only
20 I Jamie Quaid 2 copies Boyfriend From Hell INT
21 I Jennifer Estep 1 copy of Widow’s Web US only
22 I Susan Dennard 2 copies of Something Strange and Deadly TBD / Canada only
23 S Nina Berry 1 copy of Otherkin US & Canada
24 S Cassi Carver ecopy of Shadow Rising INT
25 I Kristen Callihan 1 copy of Moonglow INT
26 S Linda Grimes 1 copy of In A Fix US & Canada
27 S C.J. Redwine 1 copy of Defiance Canada only
28 I Amanda Carlson 1 copy of Blooded INT
29 S Jess Haines 1 copy of Stalking the Others US & Canada
30 S Sophie Littlefield 1 copy of Hanging by a Thread US only
31 I Nalini Singh 1 copy of Archangel's Blade INT
31   Carrie Vaughn 1 copy of Kitty Steals the show US & Canada
S = story; I = interview

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!

You can help spread the news by adding our event button to your sidebar!

PSCsmall

tynsig

Random Act of Kindness: August 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 FREE shipping!

Here’s my wish list for this month ^^

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

  • Lover Reborn by JR Ward

  • Eon & Eona by Alison Goodman

  • Prized - Caragh M. O'Brien

  • Article 5 by Kristen Simmons

  • Fallen in Love by Lauren Kate

  • Wraith by Phaedra Weldon

  • The Rift Walker - Clay & Susan Griffith

  • Shadows Before the Sun – Kelly Gay

  • Endlessly – Kiersten White

  • Changeling Philippa Gregory

  • Biting Cold – Chloe Neill

  • The Iron Wyrm Affari – Lilith Saintcrow

  • Time Untime – Sherrilyn Kenyon

  • Thirteen – Kelley Armstrong

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

Monday, July 30, 2012

Pushing The Limits Blog Tour and Giveaway!

Hey, everyone! I'm so excited to have the opportunity to kick-off the PUSHING THE LIMITS blog tour! Both Noah and Echo are easily two of my favorite contemporary characters out there. They captured my heart and will just as easily capture yours. It takes a brilliant writer to write a book as powerful as this one, so I was so excited to learn that we were able to ask Katie McGarry a few questions about her debut novel, the moral of her story, and her journey to getting published.

So, without further ado, I'd love for you all to Meet Katie McGarry!

Pushing the Limitsdeals with themes of traumatic experiences, falling in love and self-discovery.  What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
 
That we are more than just the sum of our past and that, no matter the situation, there is hope.
 
My characters, Echo and Noah, are two teenagers dealing with very traumatic pasts. Each day, they wake up facing the dilemma of whether they’re going to let what has happened to them destroy their future, or whether they’ll permit love to heal their old wounds and scars.  You’ll need to read the book to discover which path they choose.
 
Of all the characters in Pushing the Limits, who do you relate to the most and why?
 
Overall, I’m a strange combination of all of them. If you take Isaiah’s loyalty, Beth’s insecurities, Lila’s devotion to friendship, Echo’s memory loss, and Noah’s unwavering love for the people around him, then you create me.
 
In your bio you describe your teenage years as the “best and worst” years of your life.  Did any of the “bests” and “worsts” inspire scenes and/or situations in Pushing the Limits?
 
Yes!  One of the best moments of my life was when a guy I was totally into refused to take me to a Homecoming Dance. “Devastated” just doesn’t do justice to what I felt.
 
I ended up going to the dance with a group of friends and right when another guy asked me to slow dance, the guy I was infatuated with showed up and told me he was a “jerk” for not taking me. I spent the rest of the dance with him. The roller coaster of emotions I rode that night made its way into the dance scene in Pushing the Limits.
 
As for the worst moments…I drew upon heart-wrenching events I experienced as a teenager to write some of the more emotional scenes in the book. Specifically, I called upon the grief of losing my best friend whenever Echo and Noah talked about their personal losses.
 
Pushing the Limitsis told in alternating chapters from both Echo and Noah; why did you decide to tell the story from two different points of view?
 
Because I wanted to write a love story and there are always at least two sides to a love story. In that moment when our eyes meet that gorgeous guy’s across the room, we wonder if he’s looking at us. I love having the opportunity to answer whether or not he really was.
 
As a debut novelist, what has been the one thing that has surprised you the most about the journey of having your story published/becoming a published author?
 
When I began my journey to become published, I was absolutely terrified of everyone: agents, editors, anyone who worked for a publishing house. The first time I ever pitched my book at a conference, I shook like a leaf in a hurricane. I have been happily surprised at how nice and amazing everyone has been. I’ve also been shocked by the amount of people who work on my book: editorial, marketing, PR, sales…the list is endless.
 
The second most surprising part of the journey is how large and how supportive the writing community is. I had no idea the number of book bloggers there are in the blogosphere and I have been blown away by how friendly and helpful they are.
 
What was the last great book you read?
 
Between Shades of Grayby Ruta Sepetys. This is a definite must-read! I cried several times during the book. Sometimes so much that I had to put the book down so I could properly sob. Ruta does an amazing job of combining grief and fear along with mingling just the right amount of hope.
 
What are you working on now?
 
I am currently working on the revisions for the companion novel to Pushing the Limits. The book is called Dare You To, and it tells the story of Beth, a secondary character in Pushing the Limits. Dare You To will be released in 2013.
 
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Before we keep sharing our amazing surprises, check out what PUSHING THE LIMITS is really about.

"I won't tell anyone, Echo. I promise." Noah tucked a curl behind my ear. It had been so long since someone touched me like he did. Why did it have to be Noah Hutchins? His dark brown eyes shifted to my covered arms. "You didn't do that-did you? It was done to you?" No one ever asked that question. They stared. They whispered. They laughed. But they never asked.

So wrong for each other...and yet so right.

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal. But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.

"An edgy romance that pulls you in and never lets go. I was hooked!"-Gena Showalter,  New York Times bestselling author of the Intertwined series.



- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Echo and Noah both attend the same high school, but that's where their similarities seem to end. Their paths cross however, when, on the first day of school after winter break they both meet their newly appointed school social worker. Katie McGarry wrote Pushing he Limits in alternating points of view, one chapter by Echo, the next by Noah. Check out the excerpts below, taken from the first chapters of Katie's debut novel. Every stop on the blog tour features new excerpts - the completely tour schedule can be found here.

Excerpt #1

Echo:

“My father is a control freak, I hate my stepmother, my brother is dead and my mother has...well...issues. How do you think I’m doing?”

That’s how I would have loved to respond to Mrs. Collins’s question, but my father placed too much importance on appearance for me to answer honestly. Instead, I blinked three times and said, “Fine.”

Noah:

Fresh paint and the scent of drywall dust made me think of my father, not school. Yet that smell slapped me in the face when I walked into the newly remodeled front office. With books in hand, I sauntered toward the counter. “’Sup, Mrs. Marcos.”

“Noah, why you late again, muchacho?” she said while stapling papers together. The clock on the wall flipped to nine in the morning. “Hell, this is early.”  Mrs. Marcos stepped around her new cherry desk to meet me at the counter. She gave me crap when I came in late, but I still liked her. With her long brown hair, she reminded me of a Hispanic version of my mother.

“You missed your appointment with Mrs. Collins this morning. Not a good way to start the second term,” she whispered as she wrote my tardy slip. She tilted her head toward the three adults huddled together in the far corner of the room. I assumed he middle-aged blond woman whispering to the rich couple was the new guidance counselor.

I shrugged and let the right side of my mouth twitch up. “Oops.”

Please visit Kristen Simmons Blog for the next excerpt from Echo and Noah.

  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
 
You can find the rest of the blog tour here to check out the other amazing excerpts!
 
Tuesday, July 31st * Book Bday* - Kristen Simmons Blog
Wednesday, August 1st - Total Bookaholic
Thursday, August 2nd - Sit Here and Read
Friday, August 3rd - Mundie Moms  
Monday, August 6th - Bookhounds YA
Tuesday, August 7th - I Read Banned Books
Wednesday, August 8th - Bethany Griffin
Thursday, August 9th - I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
Friday, August 10th - Kelly Creagh
 
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
 
 

Harlequin is graciously giving away one (1) copy of PUSHING THE LIMITS and a special blue ribbon to one winner in the US or Canada. This ribbon is extremely significant to the story! To enter, simply fill out the rafflecopter below!

Ends August 10th.

 


a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
Also, check out the amazing grand prize giveaway on Katie McGarry's blog here for the chance of winning a Kindle Fire in celebration of this wonderful blog tour!
 

 

Pushing The Limits by Katie McGarry

Pushing The Limits by Katie McGarry

Book Stats:
Reading level: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary/Romance
ARC: 384 pages
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release date: July 31, 2012

Source: Publisher

Reviewed by: Lili

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

"I won't tell anyone, Echo. I promise." Noah tucked a curl behind my ear. It had been so long since someone touched me like he did. Why did it have to be Noah Hutchins? His dark brown eyes shifted to my covered arms. "You didn't do that-did you? It was done to you?" No one ever asked that question. They stared. They whispered. They laughed. But they never asked.

So wrong for each other...and yet so right.

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal. But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.

Have you ever found yourself aching for the characters while you read their story? Literally, fighting back tears for them at times? I rarely find myself in such a position, but this is one of those books that put me in that position.  I went into this book knowing that it would make me feelbecause of how powerful the plot is. I was clueless as to what it would truly make me feel, but I was not expecting to experience such intense emotions for the characters. I ached, I soared, I wallowed right alongside them in this one, and I’ll even admit that McGarry was successful in making me shed a tear or two as I flipped pages at a lightning fast speed. Because of this, you’ll have to excuse me if my review isn’t entirely comprehensible because it’s rare that I’m truly rendered speechless.

This story alternates between both Echo and Noah’s perspectives. This is their story of falling in love while they hunt for lives that they deem normal. Both are going through the toughest times of their lives, both elicit strong emotions in their readers, and both are two of the most honest, vulnerable, and lovable characters I have come across in a long time. Both teens are pushed to their limits because of their personal problems. When they find each other, they find solace in the others embrace, only to realize that they both push each other even further. Their love is both a hope and a hindrance until they begin to truly open up and allow their love to conquer every negative thing the world has thrown at them and more. Their love story is most certainly a powerful one that will leave you breathless. Full of so much passion, this emotional ride of a romance can only be described as raw.

The descriptiveness and focus on emotional detail in this novel is what makes it so unique. You truly connect with Noah and Echo from the very beginning, and you find yourself loving the supporting characters as well, despite those that aren’t meant to be loved. Every face that makes an appearance in this novel will elicit some type of emotion from you, and that is a really important positive aspect of a book in my mind. Among the cast of supporting characters, Mrs. Collins really stuck out to me. I know, I know, their social worker isn’t one of those characters that you think you’ll immediately like, but aside from their love, she was like a ray of sunshine in what Noah and Echo considered to be their bleak world. The color only started to seep through when they accepted that Mrs. Collins was doing everything in her power to help them with their problems, enabling them to further their relationship and be more open with each other. Our world would be a much better place if we had a real Mrs. Collins out here somewhere.

Though I am primarily a paranormal reader, this is one contemporary read that will forever have a place on my favorites shelf. Tackling huge subjects like family trouble, divorce and re-marrying, death, abuse, drugs, sex, violence, love, the future, and letting go of the past, this is truly a bright and shining gem among young adult contemporary literature. I urge anyone of any age level with any type of preferred reading to try to find the time to sit down and read this amazing story for him or herself. You won’t regret it.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Megan’s Mark by Lora Leigh

lora leigh - megan's markMegan’s Mark by Lora Leigh

Book Stats:
Reading level: Ages 18 and up
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Massmarket paperback: 295 pages
Publisher: Penguin
Release date: May 2, 2006

Series: Breed #7

Reviewed by: Stéphanie

Source: Personal shelf

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

Cursed with the extraordinary power to feel other peoples’ emotions, Megan Fields has tucked herself away in a remote corner of New Mexico, working as a small-town sheriff’s deputy. She finds solace in the silence and heat of the desert. But when Breeds begin dying on her watch, Megan realizes that the secrets from her past can’t stay buried forever. Someone is out for blood—her blood.

An arrogant Feline Breed, Braden Arness broods with feral intensity. His mission to solve the mysterious murders brings him to Megan, a woman who accosts his senses like no other. Only with him can she let down her guard—and surrender to the insatiable hunger that wracks her body. But as they team up to hunt the elusive killers, Braden and Megan find themselves becoming the prey…

I’m quite behind on this series, but I still wanted to share my thoughts with you. Most of the books that I’ve read so far in this series have been very entertaining but for some reason, this one fell short. I assume that my expectations were too high, from the others that I’ve read, and after finishing it, MEGAN’S MARK became my least favorite of the series. I still highly recommend the whole series, especially if you like good romance with your paranormal fiction.

For those of you who have never heard of this series, the Breeds are basically a group of people who have been genetically engineered with human and animal DNA in a labs across the world. Their creators had in mind to create a species of superior killers and soldiers, and tried to keep them in captivity and beat the freedom out of each individual Breed. Obviously, the Breeds got tired of being mistreated and those who have freed themselves have joined together to fight against their common enemy, the Genetics Council.

When you pick up a Lora Leigh book, you’re guaranteed strong and virile men throughout. The main male character of this book is Braden and his possessive nature made me like him very much. His dedication to helping Megan was admirable and his ability to keep his distance when she needed it was perfect for the role of Megan’s mate. Megan is a woman that has always done everything for herself and even if she likes having Braden by her side, she still wants to be able to fight for herself. Together, they compliment each other very well and it created great romance. But that’s just it. Even if I really enjoyed all the romance, the book a bit of lacked action. Megan and Braden are known thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies, but both seemed more interested in staying home, in bed. Although there were some fight sequences, and they did get out of the house once or twice, some of these scenes didn’t amount to much. And it just didn’t feel thrilling enough for me.

Megan’ psychic abilities was also a low point for me. She’s supposed to be a strong and intelligent woman that went through intense training at the police academy. To me, someone with her dedication should have been able to find a way to control her ability without Braden’s help. And just because he was genetically engineered in a lab, it doesn’t mean Braden should have all the answers to her psychic abilities. I have a very hard time seeing the link between the two and how everything can be very hard for Megan to control one day, and then be very easy only days after meeting her mate. I think a little bit more attention should have been given to the description of the psychic abilities. The biggest low point for me, however, was the antagonist. His reason for attacking Megan and for doing the things he did was unrealistic, even for a blood thirsty psychopath.

Even if I listed a few things in the book that didn’t work for me, I have to hand it to the author; Lora Leigh knows how to write a good romance scene. She had me devour her book in no time, even if this book is my least favorite of hers. It definitively has me wanting more and I already have a few of her hot and steamy books waiting in my TBR pile.

0stephsig

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Stacking The Shelves [14] + Lily-Ann appearance!

STSmall_thumb[2]

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

Guidelines:

  • Create your own Stacking The Shelves post. You can use my official graphic or your own, but please link back to Tynga’s Reviews so more people can join the fun!

  • You can set your post any way you want, simple book list, covers, pictures, vlog, sky is the limit!

  • I am posting Stacking The Shelves on Saturdays, but feel free to post yours any day that fits you.

  • Visit Tynga’s Reviews on Saturday and add your link so others can visit you!

  • Visit other participants link to find out what they added to their shelves!

If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!

------------------

for Review:

The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron
Undead by Kristy McKay
Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Vampire Empire: The Greyfriar by Clay & Susan Griffith
Vampire Empire: The Rift Walker by Clay & Susan Griffith
Stalking the Other by Jess Haines

What did YOU add to your shelves?

tynsig

Friday, July 27, 2012

Endlessly by Kiersten White

Endlessly (Paranormalcy, #3)Endlessly by Kiersten White

Book Stats:
Reading level: Ages 13 and up
Genre: Paranormal
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release date: July 24, 2012

Series: Paranormalcy #3

Source: Harper Collins Canada

Reviewed by: Tynga

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

Evie's paranormal past keeps coming back to haunt her. A new director at the International Paranormal Containment Agency wants to drag her back to headquarters. The Dark Faerie Queen is torturing humans in her poisonous realm. And supernatural creatures keep insisting that Evie is the only one who can save them from a mysterious, perilous fate.

The clock is ticking on the entire paranormal world. And its fate rests solely in Evie's hands.

So much for normal.

Evie might be a 17 years old girl, but she’s been through a lot for such a young age. Abandoned by her parents, raised by a government agency to control paranormal beings, fighting for survival after every turn, while all she wants is a normal teenage life. She’s gonna have to wait a bit more though, because fairies and paranormal alike have other plans for her. They want her to open a gate to send them back to their world, but not everyone agrees with that plan, including Evie, and she could die in the process!

Endlessly is the last instalment in this great YA series and if you liked the previous books, you’ll enjoy that one as well. Evie is still her colourful, pink-loving, soft-cursing self and I once again enjoyed her bubbly personality. She faces terrible situations in this instalment but handle things more maturely than she ever did. Her growth wasn’t always tremendous within a book, but over the course of the trilogy it’s quite noticeable. Another character I loved in this final book is Reth. His attitude and actions were very often condonable, and this time is no different, but we learn about his logic and motivations and everything kind of make sense, in a twisted faerie-mind way.

The plot was action-packed and Evie had to face many challenges. She showed a lot of courage and determination and faces her destiny with great maturity. She tried really hard to work a happy ending for everyone and even though it’s not possible, she did what’s second-best. She allied with some very unlikely characters and I think it added some flavour to the action!

I loved the conclusion. It really was a perfect ending to this trilogy and I felt all mushy inside! Kiersten White did an awesome job of ending this instalment, and closing to loop of the series, bringing closure to her readers. Not everything is perfect for every characters, but everything feels right and I’m glad for it. To often I’m not please with the end of a series, but this time, it’s not the case.

The Paranormalcy series is a fun and colourful YA series I strongly suggest to paranormal lovers. Its highly lovable role-model main character, curse-free language is perfect for younger teenagers and just as fun for the older ones. I definitely recommend it :)

Read an excerpt

tynsig

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Daring You to Read… Touch of Power by Maria V Snyder

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Daring You To Read is a weekly feature here on Tynga’s Reviews where we dare you to read some of our favorite older releases (at least 6 months old). All the books/series we choose to feature are titles we adored and think you should give them a shot! We think it’s a super awesome way to discover that special book who might have slipped off your radar!

You’ve already read the book? Let’s us know what you thought!
You are accepting the dare? We’d love to know!
Have a dare of your own? Leave a comment ^^

This week I am daring you to read the first book in a series from an author I adored: Touch of Power by Maria V Snyder

Touch of Power is set in a world with medieval ways and a select few people with Magical skills, Maria laid the table for an epic adventure. I was completely engrossed by the dangerous atmosphere, with its characters trying to avoid ambushes from powerful enemies to reach a very specific goal. In fact, I was so compelled I read the whole book in one sitting, which is a rare feat for me.

The whole concept is amazing and every character is unique. You will enjoy loving or hating each one of them and if you’re like me, you’ll die for the next book to come out!

More about Touch of Power:

Touch of Power (Healer, #1)Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan absorbs their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honored for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Fifteen Realms, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos.

Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader, an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own, is unequivocal in his demands: Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince—leader of a campaign against her people. As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for. Because the price of peace may well be her life...

Read my review

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

So, will you take the dare?

tynsig

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Eona by Alison Goodman

Eona by Alison Goodman

Book Stats:
Reading level: Mature Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy
Hardcover: 637 pages
Publisher: Viking by Penguin Group
Release date: April 19, 2011

Series: Eon #2

Source: Library

Reviewed by: Lili

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

Finally able to embrace her true identity, Eona has already won a massive personal victory. However, a major battle still rages for control of the empire. After slaughtering his own family, High Lord Sethon has seized the throne. Left unstopped, his relentless ambition would leave the whole country in ruins.

Although she is new to her powers, Eona is now the resistance's only hope. She must learn to harness the mysterious strength of her Mirror Dragon if Emperor Kygo is to claim back his kingdom. Yet knowledge comes at a price. Who can she trust, and how long can she resist the terrible truth of her ancestor's prophecy?

In the second book of the stunning Dragoneye duology, Eona's quest for self-discovery leads her on a perilous and devastating journey in which ties of love, loyalty and legend are shaken to the core.

EONA is the perfect ending to Eon’s story. Full of non-stop action, betrayals, and plot twists that do not disappoint, it’ll be even harder to put this book down despite its longer length. All pacing problems and over-informed instances that were scattered throughout EON were corrected beautifully to make this book flow expertly. Goodman’s writing definitely improved in her second novel.

We meet very few new characters in this second novel, but the characterization for the characters (both old and new) is taken to a whole new level. We are forced to question where loyalties lie and what a character’s true intentions truly are. Nobody can be trusted, but everyone wants to trust and some will make the mistake of trusting the wrong person, jeopardizing their lives and the lives of those that are most important to them. In this now war-riddled world, something is always happening, and Eon and her closest allies are forced to run for their lives as they try to escape both the evil High Lord Sethon and the evils of the past that keep unearthing themselves.

As High Lord Sethon prepares to conquer the country to assert his power as forced Emperor, Eona must fight to save the rightful heir to the throne and Pearl Emperor—Kygo. With her identity revealed and her ever-growing power, she is finding it harder and harder to survive. Most importantly, her lack of training is going noticed by all and she may be forced to look for a teacher in the most unexpected and most unlikable of people to save the crumpling world around her. But first, she must save the Dragons. Even more dragon lore is woven into this story, making it incredibly easy to immerse yourself in Eona’s world and her special spirit world where the struggles of the Dragons are becoming more pronounced with every passing day. It is up to her to save them before it is too late. If she fails, they’ll be destroyed forever.

Because of all of this, you begin to learn a lot about Eona. While you connect with her in EON and will love her just as much in EONA, you begin to learn a lot through her in this novel. You begin to understand that trust is not something that can be bestowed onto everyone, just as you learn the true importance of distinguishing between good and evil. The epic conclusion to Eon’s story is riddled with morals and important life lessons that'll truly sink in as you read.

With Eona’s true gender revealed, the gateway to romance is now opened. And it’ll bring the most unlikely of suitors. Unfortunately, her worries over what others think and her inability to make romantic decision may take away from the plot at times. Even then, it is almost a welcomed distraction because the romance begins to build into some really interesting plot twists that’ll inevitably leave you wanting more.

Be cautioned, you cannot pick this book up unless you are willing to lose sleep. With such great length, you will read late into the night to finish it because you are so engrossed in Eona’s story. But also know, every minute of lost sleep will be worth it in the end. This is a tale that’ll stay on your mind weeks after you complete it.

Read an Excerpt

 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

"When I'm not writing" with Amanda Bonilla + giveaway!

Kylie Griffin

Our guest this week is Amanda Bonilla. Her debut novel, SHAEDES OF GRAY, came out in December and it's the first book in her Shaede Assassin series. This year, Amanda has published two more stories in the series, an e-novella called "When Shadows Call," which is a prequel, and the second Shaede Assassin novel, BLOOD BEFORE SUNRISE, which came out on July 3. She's taken the time to visit us as part of her blog tour to talk about what she does when she's not writing and to offer up a copy of her newest book as a giveaway. Welcome, Amanda!

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Thanks so much to Tynga’s Reviews for hosting me today! I’m so happy to be here!

It feels like I’m writing more than I’m not. And I know the hubs feels that way. ;) If I’m not working on a novel or short story, I’m chatting with readers on my Facebook page, or talking books with my friends on Twitter. Blog posts count as writing, too. In fact, most of my day from the time I get up to the time I shut my laptop down right before I go to bed, is spent on some facet of my career as an author. I have to remind myself to take a step back every once in a while. To leave my house and go mingle with people face to face. To enjoy a warm, sunny day or just sit and read. Finding balance can be tough for me. But there are things that I enjoy outside of writing, and here are a few of them:

Gardening

Amanda Bonilla garden

This is more the hubs’s baby than mine. But I love to help him with it. The garden is more than just functional. I think it’s beautiful and adds to the aesthetics of our property. Plus, it’s a great conversation point. Complete strangers have stopped by to look at the garden and our greenhouse because a friend told them about it. And it’s so great to have fresh veggies in the fall! The best thing about growing your own food is you know exactly what you’re getting. The worst thing about growing your own food is canning and freezing it. SO time consuming. But totally worth it in the winter!

The Beach

Amanda Bonilla lake

Okay, so I know to most people “the beach” is a trip to the ocean. But to me, the beach has always been the lake where I live. My family owns this great, old (I mean ancient) cabin that was built somewhere around 1910. It’s decorated in the reds, golds, and oranges, of the 70’s and is, for lack of a better word, quirky. But I’ve spent every summer of my life at that house and on that beach, and I don’t plan on changing my summer routine any time soon. There’s no phone, no cable, no internet, and yeah, I do occasionally go there to write. But with this view, can you blame me? I sometimes sit on the dock from sun up to sun down. And I’d swim all day, too, if I could keep my skin from getting waterlogged. I. Love. The. Beach!

Ice Fishing

Amanda Bonilla ice fishing

Okay, so this is one of those activities that I do maybe once or twice a year, and only because I love the hubs and don’t want him to be sad. Winters are loooooong where I live. We’re talking November to March. Sometimes April. In fact, we’ve had snow in July. So, you can either ski (which we do occasionally), ride snowmobiles (which is way too expensive), or you can go ice fishing. The hubs fishes. I just go for company. But since I hate, hate, hate the cold, I’m only good for a few hours. Then, I’m outta there!

Soccer

Amanda Bonilla soccer

Goooooaaaalllll! Our teen has been playing soccer since he was five-years old. He made the high school varsity team as a freshman, and the hubs and I couldn’t be prouder. We volunteer at team functions and go to every game, sometimes driving three-hours one way. I’m usually pretty reserved, but when I’m watching soccer, I yell and cheer like crazy. Jump up out of my seat. I’ve even called out a ref or two. But maybe I should save that story for another time. LOL.

Hiking

Amanda Bonilla hiking

Because of those long, nasty winters I mentioned earlier, most of our outdoor activities are crammed into the summer months. So from June to September, we try to get outside as much as we can. I’m lucky that I live in an area surrounded by lakes and acres upon acres of forest. We hike, pick berries, just soak up the sounds of the wind, birds and squirrels chirping at us, and the rush of water in the streams. Summer is my favorite season. I just wish it was longer here!

Amanda Bonilla hiking 2

What do you do when you’re not working or reading? Do you have a favorite season, place to visit, sport to watch? I’d love to hear about your favorite fun activities!

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What a great post, Amanda! Thanks for visiting us as part of your blog tour!

For more information about Amanda and her books, check out her website or follow her on Facebook and Twitter. You can also click on the tour badge to see where else Amanda is going on her tour!

Amanda Bonilla Blood Before Sunrise Blog Tour

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Here's the scoop on BLOOD BEFORE SUNRISE:

Amanda Bonilla Blood Before SunriseWhat you can’t see can kill you…

For months Darian and her Shaede guardian Raif have searched for the Oracle who attempted to overthrow the Shaede Nation—and kill Darian in the bargain. But now that they’ve finally found the half-crazed Oracle, for their efforts they are granted a possibility too painful for Raif to imagine, and too enticing for Darian to ignore.

Darian is determined to reunite Raif and the daughter he thought was dead, but her mission quickly proves dangerous when her lover Tyler is almost killed. And when a brooding and mysterious Fae warrior offers his guidance—at an extraordinary price—Darian finds herself willing to risk everything. As her single-minded hunt turns into an obsession, and she and Tyler grow further apart, Darian finds herself caught between the man she loves like a brother, and the man whose love she can’t live without…

Read an excerpt

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

You should also check out SHAEDES OF GRAY, the first book in the series:

Amanda Bonilla Shaedes of GrayIn the shadows of the night, Darian has lived alone for almost a century. Made and abandoned by her former love, Darian is the last of her kind – an immortal Shaede who can slip into darkness as easily as breathing. With no one else to rely on, she has taught herself how to survive, using her unique skills to become a deadly assassin..

When Darian's next mark turns out to be Xander Peck, King of the Shaede Nation, her whole worldview is thrown into question. Darian begins to wonder if she's taken on more than her conscience will allow. But a good assassin never leaves a job unfinished...

 

Stéphanie's thoughts

Read an excerpt

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

And don't forget about the prequel e-novella, "When Shadows Call":

Amanda Bonilla When Shadows CallThe envy of 1900s society, Darian is the rich, beautiful wife of a prominent Californian doctor—but her life is far from perfect. For years, Darian has suffered at the hand of her cruel husband and yearned for an escape—one that she knows to be all but impossible.

But when an enigmatic stranger comes to call, Darian finds herself charmed by his seductive smile and the inexplicable connection she feels. And when he makes her a thrilling—yet frightening—proposition, Darian must decide if she’s strong enough to abandon the mortal world she knows and answer the shadow’s call…

Purchase: Amazon

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giveaway

Amanda is kindly offering one (1) copy of BLOOD BEFORE SUNRISE to a lucky reader!

To enter the giveaway, obey the Rafflecopter!

US/Canada only

Ends Monday, August 6, 2012

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