Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Giveaway: Rebel Heart by Moira Young Prize Pack!

giveaway

Thanks to Simon Teen have 2 awesome prize pack to giveaway! Each winner will receive a Dust Lands prize pack including a custom water bottle and copy of Rebel Heart, second book in the Dust Land series!

More about the series:

Blood Red Road (Dust Lands, #1)Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That's fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when a monster sandstorm arrives, along with four cloaked horsemen, Saba's world is shattered. Lugh is captured, and Saba embarks on an epic quest to get him back.

Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the world outside of desolate Silverlake, Saba is lost without Lugh to guide her. So perhaps the most surprising thing of all is what Saba learns about herself: she's a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. And she has the power to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization.

Rebel Heart (Dust Lands, #2)Nothing is certain and no one is safe in the second book in the highly praised Dust Lands trilogy, which MTV’s Hollywood Crush blog called “better than The Hunger Games.”

It seemed so simple: Defeat the Tonton, rescue her kidnapped brother, Lugh, and then order would be restored to Saba’s world. Simplicity, however, has proved to be elusive. Now, Saba and her family travel west, headed for a better life and a longed-for reunion with Jack. But the fight for Lugh’s freedom has unleashed a new power in the dust lands, and a formidable new enemy is on the rise.

What is the truth about Jack? And how far will Saba go to get what she wants? In this much-anticipated follow-up to the riveting Blood Red Road, a fierce heroine finds herself at the crossroads of danger and destiny, betrayal and passion.

Visit the Dust Lands website

Don't forget to enter the Rebel Heart giveaway hosted by SimonTEEN for your chance to win the first two books in the DUST LANDS trilogy by Moira Young.  The giveaway ends today. Enter here!

Now onto our giveaway!

All you have to do is fill the rafflecopter form below!
Open to Canada & US
Ends November 11th, 2012

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The Dark Light by Sara Walsh

The Dark Light by Sara Walsh

Book stats: 

Reading Level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 496 pages
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: August 28, 2012

Series: n/a

Source: Personal Shelf

Reviewed by: Lili

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

Mia is torn between two guys—and two worlds—in this epic, romantic fantasy.

Mysterious lights have flickered above Crownsville for as long as Mia can remember. And as far as she’s concerned, that’s about the only interesting thing to happen in her small town.

That is, until Sol arrives. Mia’s not one to fall for just any guy, but she can’t get Sol—or the brilliant tattoo on his back—out of her mind.

Then Mia’s brother goes missing, and Mia’s convinced that Sol knows more than he’s sharing. But getting closer to Sol means reevaluating everything Mia once believed to be true. Because Sol’s not who Mia thought he was—and neither is she.

The second I saw this cover I knew I had to have it! And let me tell you, I found this book to be entirely enjoyable, though the premise failed to give me a glimpse of the fantastical twists in the story. While the large tattoo on Sol’s back is clearly important, the premise made this seem like a twisted love story, not a fantasy story with a romance in it. Though I was pleasantly surprised with this series of plot twists, they were completely unexpected and I wish the premise wasn’t as misleading. If you’re expecting a love triangle, the premise is misleading as well. The love triangle is pretty much nonexistent because not even a third of the way through the book one of the love interests disappears and we never hear about him again and he becomes a loose end.

And that pretty much sums up my main qualm with the story—loose ends. The premise puts a heavy emphasis on a love triangle that is nonexistent. One boy is taken out of the equation, never to be heard from in the end. And the same type of situation can be found several more times throughout the story. While I love Walsh’s attempt to give us a happy ending that I so desperately wanted for these characters, she left a lot of plot holes and twists that were never fully developed or fleshed out which left me, as a reader, slightly upset at the end of the story. I feel like this book needs to turn into a series to truly answer all of our questions because there simply wasn’t enough room in all of the pages to cover everything.

My favorite aspect of this story is Mia and her characterization. She is so strong and determined to protect her little brother. She had to grow up young and has natural maternal instincts because of this, and I love that about her character. She’s easy to relate to and easy to respect. I also enjoyed Sol’s characterization. In the beginning of the book, his mysteriousness drew me in. Though he is incredibly cryptic at times, I never found myself disliking him. All secondary characters were pretty amazing as well. I could relate to almost all of them in some way, shape, or form and that is incredibly important to me as a reader.

But the aspect of this book that blew my mind was the imagination and creativity when it came to the plot. Despite my problem with all of the loose ends by the time I reached the end of the book, I couldn’t put this book down for the life of me. I don’t want to ruin the surprise fantasy twist, but it is something I never would have imagined. It blew me away and led the way for such an extreme level of creativity that I can’t help but respect. I was completely lost in Walsh’s world alongside Mia.

A great young adult debut, I would definitely recommend this one for the romance, adventure, and fantasy. While the book left me with a few questions, I couldn’t get enough of it. I will eagerly be awaiting Walsh’s future works.

Read an Excerpt 

 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

"When I'm not writing..." with Susannah Sandlin + giveaway!

Susannah Sandlin

I'm a big fan of this week's guest: Susannah Sandlin (a.k.a Suzanne Johnson). She's the mind behind a great new dark paranormal romance series called the Penton Legacy, in which vampires are forced to cope with a dwindling food supply thanks to a vaccine that has one small side effect: it taints users' blood and leaves them unpalatable for vampires. One vampire, Aidan Murphy, comes up with a unique solution: to build a community when vampires and unvaccinated humans co-exist and help each other. The first book in the series, REDEMPTION, came out earlier this year and Susannah is here to help celebrate the release of the second book, ABSOLUTION, by telling what she does when she's not writing as one stop on her blog tour.

Keep reading to find out what Susannah does to pass the time AFK and then enter the tour-wide giveaway! There are some awesome prizes to be had! :D

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Thanks to Tynga’s Reviews for having me here today! “What do you do when you’re not writing?” is a hard question to answer. Before I do, an explanation.

First, I can tell you what I used to do before I started writing fiction. I loved to quilt, particularly paper-pieced quilting. It always amazed me how sewing together hundreds of teeny-tiny scraps of fabric could become something much more than the sum of its parts. Here are a couple of my quilts. Until August of 2005, I had a little cottage industry going, making quilt tops and selling them on eBay to people who liked to quilt but not to piece the tops. I also worked full-time at a local university, and liked to run around on weekends to festivals and antiques shows and art events.

Susannah Sandlin QuiltSusannah Sandlin Quilt

Then came Hurricane Katrina. Oh, did I mention I lived in New Orleans?

Katrina blew a lot of us in different directions. I evacuated at the last minute, and when I was finally allowed to return home after eight long weeks, I began quilting again but my heart wasn’t in it. I started a daily blog where I bitched about recovery and anger and loss every day. Then I tired of navel-gazing and turned my angst to fiction instead. After more than twenty years as a journalist I wrote my first novel in 2009, building on my Katrina experiences. It was called Royal Street, and it became the first in an urban fantasy series, Sentinels of New Orleans, being published under the name Suzanne Johnson.

By then, I had the writing bug, big-time. While waiting for Royal Street to go through the publishing cycle, I turned my hand to paranormal romance and indulged my love of sexy alphas, urban fantasy, and vampires. The result, Redemption, became the first in the Penton Legacy series—book two, Absolution, just came out (the third, Omega, comes out in February). For my romance writing, I chose to use my great-great-great grandmother’s name, Susannah Sandlin. She’s probably spinning in her grave!

So…what do I do when I’m not writing? With two series going simultaneously, I’m writing a lot. I also write a daily book blog called Preternatura and hold down a full-time day job that involves, yes, writing nonfiction.

But lest I come across like a workaholic dullard, I have a few guilty pleasures:

*MUSIC. I’m a complete music junkie—at last count, my iTunes song count was near five figures, and I have more than a thousand vinyl LPs I have no idea what to do with. I have really eclectic taste, leaning toward alternative singer/songwriters. Slaid Cleaves, Chris Knight, and Gurf Morlix are favorites. I also get on obsessive tears where I listen to the same artist for, like, MONTHS without break. It’s kind of like auditory stalking! I spent nine of the last twelve months listening exclusively to Cajun artist Zachary Richard, and the last three months I’ve been obsessed with a French-Canadian artist named David Jalbert. Love him! I have earbuds in all day at the office, then crank up the tunes when I’m writing everything except first drafts, which require quiet for me. I only sing in the car—alone—since I sound alarmingly donkey-like.

*shuffles feet* I allow myself about an hour and a half of TV per day, and use my DVR to record…well, yeah…my favorite reality TV shows. Total brain mush. I somehow manage to squeeze in the biggies like Survivor and The Amazing Race, but really love culture-immersion shows like Swamp People and Ice Road Truckers. When I say I’m looking for my soul mate, a long-haul trucker who hunts gators in his spare time, people think I’m joking. Um….not really.

I have two furkids who were both rescues. Shane is a 25-pound Irish terrier mix and Tanker is a 90-pound behemoth of black chow-golden retriever. They’re both getting old (13 and 12), but are still the funniest dogs in the world.

Susannah Sandlin Dogs Shane and Tanker

And…that’s about it! When I’m not writing books…usually, I’m writing something else!

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Thanks for visiting us, Susannah, on the last day of your blog tour!

For more information about Susannah and her books, check out her website or follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

To see Susannah's other stops, click on the tour button below.

Susannah Sandlin blog tour

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Here's the scoop on ABSOLUTION:

Absolution by Susannah SandlinWith the vampire world on the brink of civil war over the scarcity of untainted human blood, battle lines are being drawn between the once peaceful vampire and human enclave of Penton, Alabama, and the powerful Vampire Tribunal. Mirren Kincaid once served the tribunal as their most creative and ruthless executioner—a time when he was known as the Slayer. But when assigned a killing he found questionable, Mirren abandoned the tribunal’s political machinations and disappeared—only to resurface two centuries later as the protector and second-in-command of Penton. Now the tribunal wants him back on their side. To break their rogue agent, they capture Glory Cummings, the descendant of a shaman, and send her to restore Mirren’s bloodthirsty nature. But instead of a monster, Glory sees a man burdened by the weight of his past. Could her magic touch—meant by the tribunal to bring out a violent killer—actually help Mirren break his bonds and discover the love he doesn’t believe he deserves?

Jenn's thoughts

Read an excerpt

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

You should also check out REDEMPTION, the first book in the series:

Redemption by Susannah SandlinFor vampire Aidan Murphy, life has never been so desperate. The vaccine used to treat a global pandemic has rendered human blood deadly to his kind, leaving them on the brink of starvation and civil war. In tiny Penton, Alabama, Aidan establishes a peaceful community of vampires and unvaccinated human donors. He dares to hope they can survive — until his estranged brother descends upon Penton and begins killing the humans. Determined to save his town, Aidan kidnaps an unsuspecting human doctor…and finds himself falling in love for the first time in nearly four centuries.

Dr. Krystal Harris thought she was coming to Penton for a job interview, but Aidan Murphy has other plans. Infuriated by his high-handed scheme to imprison her in the small town, Krys can’t ignore the attraction between them. But is it love? Or does her dangerous, charismatic captor want only to bend her to his will?

Jenn's thoughts

Read an excerpt

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

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giveaway

TOUR-WIDE GIVEAWAY

Kindle Paper White (or $100 U.S. gift card to Amazon, B&N, or Book Depository winner's choice)
5 signed print or audio copies of Absolution (winner's choice of print or audio)

To enter the giveaway, obey the Rafflecopter!

US only

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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

Absolution by Susannah Sandlin

Absolution by Susannah Sandlin Absolution by Susannah Sandlin

Book stats:
Reading level: Adult
Trade paperback: 327 pages
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Release date: August 7, 2012

Series: Penton Legacy #2

Source: Review copy from Bewitching Book Tours

Reviewed by: Jenn

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

With the vampire world on the brink of civil war over the scarcity of untainted human blood, battle lines are being drawn between the once peaceful vampire and human enclave of Penton, Alabama, and the powerful Vampire Tribunal. Mirren Kincaid once served the tribunal as their most creative and ruthless executioner—a time when he was known as the Slayer. But when assigned a killing he found questionable, Mirren abandoned the tribunal’s political machinations and disappeared—only to resurface two centuries later as the protector and second-in-command of Penton. Now the tribunal wants him back on their side. To break their rogue agent, they capture Glory Cummings, the descendant of a shaman, and send her to restore Mirren’s bloodthirsty nature. But instead of a monster, Glory sees a man burdened by the weight of his past. Could her magic touch—meant by the tribunal to bring out a violent killer—actually help Mirren break his bonds and discover the love he doesn’t believe he deserves?

As you may remember from my post last month, I really enjoyed REDEMPTION, the first book in the Penton Legacy series. ABSOLUTION, the second book, may just be better!

A quick reminder about the basic concept of the series: Vampires exist but most of the world doesn't know about them. They're in crisis because there was a vaccine that went out all over the world and one of its side-effects is that it keeps vampires from feeding on humans because they taste like ick. Penton is a small community founded by Aidan Murphy in which vampires and humans are aware of each other and live peacefully and rather symbiotically. It's a really interesting setting: the vampires are living in this sort of post-apocalyptic world but everything's business as usual for most of the planet.

In ABSOLUTION, Susannah Sandlin (a.k.a. Suzanne Johnson) puts one of Aidan's lieutenants in the romantic hot seat: Mirren, formerly the Slayer for the Vampire Tribunal, who faked his own death to try to find a new life in Penton. Needless to say, he's a complicated guy and it was a real treat getting to know him better. I really liked Mirren in his supporting role in REDEMPTION and he's even more enjoyable as the main focus!

The leading lady of the story is also a delight. I adored Glory. She and Mirren meet under terrible circumstances but she's not afraid of him, even knowing he's a vampire and knowing just how terrible vampires can be. In fact, she forces Mirren to lower his shields and accept him in her life when she's forced to stay in Penton for her own safety. Her interactions with Merrick, particularly those that take place shortly after she arrives in Penton, are delightful and I just couldn't put the book down. We learn so much about the inner workings on Mirren's mind! In fact, I was so hooked on their budding and sexy romance that I stayed up super late getting it finished because I needed to know just how they were going to get their Happily Ever After.

There are also some major developments in terms of the series story arc, with Penton's battle with Matthias and some parts of the Vampire Tribunal being brought to the fore. Susannah Sandlin's not messing around, folks, with the action or the steamy romance! The pace is quick and there are some amazing and unexpected scenes in ABSOLUTION. And the book ends in a way that has me dying to see what's going to happen next so I'm going to be on pins and needles until OMEGA, the third book in the Penton Legacy series, comes out! If you haven't given this series a try, I strongly urge you to head to the bookstore or jump online and order it because you definitely won't be sorry!

Read an excerpt

Jenn

Monday, October 29, 2012

A Trace of Moonlight blog tour: Guest post by Allison Pang + giveaway!

A Trace of Moonlight blog tour button

I'm over the moon (buh duh duh) about today's guest because it's Allison Pang, author of the Abby Sinclair trilogy. Her books are absolutely wonderful and I'm so excited that we're taking part in her blog tour celebrating the release of the third and final book in the trilogy, A TRACE OF MOONLIGHT, which comes out tomorrow.

One of the things I like best about Allison's books is how she manages to straddle the line between urban fantasy and paranormal romance. The Abby Sinclair trilogy has many of the elements associated with both genres and I wanted to see what she had to say on the differences between the two.

Without further ado, here's Allison's take on the subject!

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UF vs PNR

One of the questions I see being asked a lot is what the main differences are between Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance. Sometimes I think this is really more of a marketing issue – where a book is shelved can definitely influence a reader’s expectations. But these days it seems like the lines between the genres are blurring together.

While both genres certainly share a lot of the same elements – otherworldly powers or preternatural creatures, strong-willed heroines and tortured heroes - it can be hard to classify them correctly. The bottom line, though, is going to be the romance. Although UF stories *can* have romance, they don’t have to, whereas in a PNR, the romance *is* the story.

A Trace of Moonlight trading cards by DarchalaSo how do you tell if you’re reading a PNR or a UF with romantic elements? Often the key clue is the HEA (Happily Ever After). Romances are usually required to have one (and I’ve often seen reviewers lamenting the fact that the book they were reading *didn’t* have one – again – it can be hard if books aren’t labeled properly. ) But HEA or no, the main thing is the plot. If the plot centers around a couple and their quest to get together, it’s a romance. If you can take those romantic elements out of a story and the plot can still stand by itself, it’s a UF. Also, note that PNR books in a series will often focus on a different couple in each story – UF books will sometimes have a romantic arc that spans several books.

There are still plenty of books that seem to straddle this line (I’ve seen some reviewers and bloggers talking about labeling some books as UF-Romance to try to make sense of it) – my own included. That’s because when I originally wrote A Brush of Darkness, it was a PNR. Had an HEA and a *lot* more sex. >_< But after I sold it, the publisher asked if I could turn it into a UF – that meant toning down the love scenes and changing the focus of the plot. The secondary characters were beefed up, and the mystery elements fleshed out a bit more. And yes, there was no longer an HEA. I’m not sure how successful it was – I think that maybe there’s still too much romance for the average UF reader…and not enough for the average PNR reader, but overall I’m pretty happy with the mix.


So, what do you prefer to read? Clearly delineated genres, or books that seem to have multiple elements?

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Thanks for visiting us, Allison, and writing such a great post!

Want more Allison? You can find her online at her website or on Facebook, Tumblr, or Twitter. Allison also has a graphic novel project site with Irma 'Aimo' Ahmed called Sad Sausage Dogs that features a great story called Fox & Willow.

Click on the banner to see the other stops on Allison's tour:

A Trace of Moonlight blog tour button

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More about A TRACE OF MOONLIGHT:

A Trace of Moonlight by Allison PangDrinking from the waters of lethe and offering herself up as Faerie’s sacrificial Tithe …these just might be the least of Abby Sinclair’s problems..

Abby’s pact with a demon—whether or not she remembers making it—is binding, so she’d better count herself lucky that (in the words of a daemon who knows better) there’s nearly always a loophole. But her friends’ reckless attempts to free her, well intentioned though they may be, set off a disastrous chain of events. In no time at all, Abby turns her incubus lover mortal and gets herself killed, cursed, and married to an elven prince whose mother wants her dead. She might have even been able to recover from all that had she not lost the Key to the CrossRoads to her mortal enemy, who promptly uses his restored power to wreak havoc on the OtherWorld and put its very existence in jeopardy…

Only one person can make things right again, but to find her, Abby must place her trust in allies of mixed loyalties, and conquer her nightmares once and for all.

Jenn's thoughts

Read an (NSFW) excerpt

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

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giveaway

There is a tour-wide giveaway of 10 copies of A TRACE OF MOONLIGHT!

To enter the giveaway, fill out the Rafflecopter form below.

Open internationally

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Jenn

A Trace of Moonlight by Allison Pang

A Trace of Moonlight by Allison Pang A Trace of Moonlight by Allison Pang

Book stats:
Reading level: Adult
Mass market paperback: 400 pages
Genre: Urban fantasy
Publisher: Pocket
Release date: October 30, 2012

Series: Abby Sinclair #3

Source: Review copy from Bewitching Blog Tours

Reviewed by: Jenn

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

Drinking from the waters of lethe and offering herself up as Faerie’s sacrificial Tithe …these just might be the least of Abby Sinclair’s problems..

Abby’s pact with a demon—whether or not she remembers making it—is binding, so she’d better count herself lucky that (in the words of a daemon who knows better) there’s nearly always a loophole. But her friends’ reckless attempts to free her, well intentioned though they may be, set off a disastrous chain of events. In no time at all, Abby turns her incubus lover mortal and gets herself killed, cursed, and married to an elven prince whose mother wants her dead. She might have even been able to recover from all that had she not lost the Key to the CrossRoads to her mortal enemy, who promptly uses his restored power to wreak havoc on the OtherWorld and put its very existence in jeopardy…

Only one person can make things right again, but to find her, Abby must place her trust in allies of mixed loyalties, and conquer her nightmares once and for all.

Reading A TRACE OF MOONLIGHT was bittersweet for me. I really enjoyed the two previous Abby Sinclair novels and so I was eager to see what Allison Pang was going to do with/to Abby and her band of friends and lovers. The author has created incredibly real and complex relationships in this trilogy and I've been on the edge of my proverbial seat waiting to find out how Abby would get herself out of the pickle she put herself in at the end of A SLIVER OF SHADOW (that whole Tithe thing in the cover copy) and if she'd settle down with Talivar or Ion. The good news? Most of the big questions are answered. The not-quite-as-good-but-definitely-not-bad news? I wasn't as hooked as I've been in previous instalments.

A TRACE OF MOONLIGHT has everything I've come to expect from an Abby Sinclair novel: an unpredictable plot, fantastically fleshed-out characters, magnificent snark, and steamy romance. (In fact, the book opens with some very steamy romance, making the excerpt below NSFW.) The cover copy actually gives away a lot of the plot points, though it doesn't hurt the reading of the story since there's so much going on in A TRACE OF MOONLIGHT. Thankfully, part of this "so much" is also a satisfying amount of resolution for a couple of the big arcs of the series: will Abby choose Ion or Talivar, and will she ever fully control her abilities as a Dreamer?

To address the first big question: I was thrilled with how Allison Pang dealt with this. I loved the way both Ion and Taliver are portrayed in A TRACE OF MOONLIGHT because they both get to shine and you can really understand why Abby has feelings for both guys. I've always been a sucker for Talivar and his tragic story (which we learn more about!!) but Ion makes some incredible gestures in this book and I felt for him in a way that I never had previously. Relationships are such a key feature of this trilogy and the author really knows how to put the reader and the characters through the ringer, not just with Abby and her men but with other folks as well. Melanie and Nobu's relationship exemplifies the word complicated and the Charlie-Robert-Moira-Benjamin situation is enough to break your heart, never mind Abby's unusual relationship with her father (and her father's with the Queen).

For the second question: I also really liked how Abby grows as a Dreamer in A TRACE OF MOONLIGHT. She's been a little afraid of her gifts for a while now but she really steps up her game this time around. It's always fun watching a favourite character come into his or her own and I feel like Abby grows immensely in A TRACE OF MOONLIGHT.

Despite this, I wasn't as invested this time around. I usually enjoy a well-written finale, which A TRACE OF MOONLIGHT definitely is, but I felt a little disconnected from the story and I'm not sure why. Allison Pang's writing remains outstanding and I truly did enjoy reading this book but it's probably my least favourite of the three Abby novels. At first I thought it might be because this book is darker than the rest and Phin is not his usual snarky self throughout but I generally enjoy dark (urban) fantasy so I don't think that this is the case. I think it might be information overload -- there's a lot of story and a ton of Big Events in A TRACE OF MOONLIGHT!

While I didn't love A TRACE OF MOONLIGHT as much as the two previous Abby novels, this book is still an excellent finale for the trilogy. I may not be shouting at the skies but I really did enjoy reading A TRACE OF MOONLIGHT and fully recommend the series to you. This novel offers closure on many of the main questions in the trilogy and leaves open the possibility of exploring the world further since there's definitely not a nice, neat bow for all of the characters. I follow Allison Pang on her blog and Twitter (some might say "stalk", but I'm sticking with "follow") and it looks like she's open to the idea of coming back to this world and telling another character's story, so I've got my fingers crossed. I believe she mentioned Melanie, who I've always been interested in, so here's hoping that passing comment comes true!

Read an (NSFW) excerpt

Jenn

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Giveaway and Blog Tour: Gravity by Melissa West

Melissa West, Tynga's Review, Gravity, Gravity book tour, Itching for books

Today, I’m glad to be hosting one of the tour stops for Melissa West’s debut novel, GRAVITY. This series shows so much promise that I jumped at the chance to share this author spotlight and giveaway with you guys.

Author Spotlight

Melissa West, Tynga's Review

Melissa lives in a tiny suburb of Atlanta, GA with her husband and daughter. She pretends to like yoga, actually likes shoes, and could not live without coffee. Her writing heroes include greats like Jane Austen and Madeleine L'Engle. 

She holds a B.A. in Communication Studies and an M.S. in Graphic Communication, both from Clemson University. Yeah, her blood runs orange.

Follow these links to learn more about Melissa West:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Here’s a little more information about GRAVITY:

Melissa West, Tynga's Review, GravityIn the future, only one rule will matter:

Don’t. Ever. Peek.

Seventeen-year-old Ari Alexander just broke that rule and saw the last person she expected hovering above her bed — arrogant Jackson Locke, the most popular boy in her school. She expects instant execution or some kind of freak alien punishment, but instead, Jackson issues a challenge: help him, or everyone on Earth will die.

Ari knows she should report him, but everything about Jackson makes her question what she’s been taught about his kind. And against her instincts, she’s falling for him. But Ari isn’t just any girl, and Jackson wants more than her attention. She’s a military legacy who’s been trained by her father and exposed to war strategies and societal information no one can know — especially an alien spy, like Jackson. Giving Jackson the information he needs will betray her father and her country, but keeping silent will start a war.

Read my review

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

Tynga's Reviews Giveaway

There’s a tour wide giveaway going on! One (1) lucky winner will receive a signed copy of Gravity and swag.

U.S. only

To enter the giveaway, obey the Rafflecopter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Gravity by Melissa West

melissa west - gravity

Gravity by Melissa West

Book Stats:
Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Science-Fiction/Dystopian
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Release date: October 30th, 2012

Series: The Taking #1

Source: e-ARC provided by the publisher

Reviewed by: Stéphanie

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

In the future, only one rule will matter:

Don’t. Ever. Peek.

Seventeen-year-old Ari Alexander just broke that rule and saw the last person she expected hovering above her bed — arrogant Jackson Locke, the most popular boy in her school. She expects instant execution or some kind of freak alien punishment, but instead, Jackson issues a challenge: help him, or everyone on Earth will die.

Ari knows she should report him, but everything about Jackson makes her question what she’s been taught about his kind. And against her instincts, she’s falling for him. But Ari isn’t just any girl, and Jackson wants more than her attention. She’s a military legacy who’s been trained by her father and exposed to war strategies and societal information no one can know — especially an alien spy, like Jackson. Giving Jackson the information he needs will betray her father and her country, but keeping silent will start a war.

Don’t. Ever. Peak. That’s what caught my attention when I first heard of this book a while back. For some reason, that and the synopsis made me anticipate the release for months ahead of time. Now, after having read an ARC of the book, I’m still waiting for the release date because it feels like missed out on a lot of information by reading the advanced copy. I now have the urge to read the final edition because I really enjoyed the story, but it seems like something was missing from the story.

In the ARC, the story lacked a lot of world building and character details. I would have liked to have known more about the Taking, something that every Ancient does to their assigned human at midnight each night. It would have been nice to have more information, like why the Taking needs to happen, and why it needs to be done every night. Obviously, the Taking is when you’re not supposed to peek, and the main character Ari does just that, when one night, she can’t find the patch that prevents her from seeing who hovers above her for the Taking.

Also, more information about the Ancients would have been welcome. This alien breed that travels through trees and have control of plant life seems like an interesting species but very little is revealed about them in the ARC. More character development would have made the romantic relationship between the main characters, Ari and Jackson, more believable. Like in many YA novel, they fell in love too fast and I strongly believe the relationship should have been investigated a little more before there was any mention of love.

Reassuringly, the author has informally advised me that some changes will be made to the final edition and the revisions will enhance and polish the ARC I ended up with. In a way, it’s frustrating that I can’t tell you guys what I thought of the final edition, but you’ll have to take my word for it. Despite the negative aspects of the ARC, the story remains an interesting one and and I truly enjoyed reading about Ari and Jackson. Ari seems like a wonderful character, that is dedicated to helping the Ancients survive this war that could lead to a genocide. Her military training has made her the strong female that she is and she’s the reason the book kept me reading well into the night.

The right combination of aliens, science-fiction and dystopia makes GRAVITY very original. Personally, I like the fact that Melissa West didn’t add spaceships to her novel. Aliens and science-fiction don’t necessarily need them and it’s refreshing that she found a different way of having the alien characters travel to and from earth by other means. The story ends with a mean cliffhanger, which has me not only anticipating this book at the end of the month, but also anticipating the release of the other two books of the trilogy.

I leave you with these two questions: Do you think you’ll resist the temptation of this book? Will you peek?

0stephsig

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Stacking The Shelves [27]

 

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!

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Hey, everyone! This STS post is going to be a little different for me. I got called into work with no notice today, so I wasn't able to film a vlog and my preparations to get hit by the Frankenstorm has left me no time to take pictures, so I'm sorry for the weird format of this post! But yeah, I had an awesome week, so let's begin...

Every month I meet up with the amazing Nicole and Kristan because Nicole lives just ten minutes away from me and Kristan is an hour from us. We do huge book swaps because we can always give them back and it saves us some money. So, I want to thank them for giving me the awesome week! Check out this haul:

 
 

Bought:

The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

The Shadow Society by Marie Rutkowski

Gifted:

SIGNED ARC of The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

Temporary Swap:

Mystic City by Theo Lawrence

Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen

Sweet Shadows by Tera Lynn Childs

Dark Star by Bethany Frenette

What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang

The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron

Permanent Trade:

Cursed by Jennifer L. Armentrout

The Innocents by Lili Peloquin

The Dead Girls Detective Agency by Suzy Cox

What did YOU add to your shelves this week?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Fantasy Lover (Dark-Hunter, #0)Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Book Stats:
Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks
Release date: January 31st 2002

Series: Dark Hunter #0

Source: Personal shelf

Reviewed by: Tynga

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

Dear Reader,
Being trapped in a bedroom with a woman is a grand thing. Being trapped in hundreds of bedrooms over two thousand years isn't. And being cursed into a book as a love-slave for eternity can ruin even a Spartan warrior's day.

As a love-slave, I know everything about women. How to touch them, how to savor them, and most of all, how to pleasure them. But when I was summoned to fulfill Grace Alexander's sexual fantasies, I found the first woman in history who saw me as a man with a tormented past. She alone bothered to take me out of the bedroom and onto the world. She taught me to love again.

But I was not born to love. I was cursed to walk eternity alone. As a general, I had long ago accepted my sentence. Yet now I have found Grace--the one thing my wounded heart cannot survive without. Sure, love can heal all wounds, but can it break a two-thousand-year-old curse?

Julian of Macedon

Grace’s love – and sex – life leaves a lot to be desired since Paul abused her in college. Even though she’s a sex therapist. Her friend Selena is so worried about her friend’s four years of chastity that she decides to take matters in hands. Gypsy and believer, she forces Grace to summon a Greek love-slave named Julian de Macedone from a very ancient book. Took by surprise when the spell actually worked, Grace is stuck with a sex god who wants nothing but to jump her bones, for a whole month, until the spell fades.

Fantasy Lover is pure Paranormal Romance and even if you’ll find some humor here and there, don’t pick it up hoping for action or suspense of any kind, because you’ll be disappointed. That being said, I really enjoyed this quick and simmering read.

Grace and Julian are really great characters with troubled past, his worst than hers considering he has two thousands years of past. Getting to discover them and their motivations was a delight and their struggles sometimes heart-breaking. I even found myself teary eyed at a certain moment.

The Greek mythology was really interesting. I couldn’t tell you how accurate it is ‘cause I’m no expert but it was a refreshing lore. The plot line was also consistent and enjoyable, if not very surprising. Finally, the end put a balm on the characters wounds and the epilogue was enchanting.

It’s a good beginning to the series and I can’t wait to see where Sherrilyn will take us for the second round.

Read an excerpt

tynsig