Sunday, March 31, 2013

Random Act of Kindness: April Edition

Want to learn more about RAK? Visit the Book Soulmates blog!

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** Once again I decided to offer a custom button design ( 20$ value) to the first person offering me a RAK! Will you be the lucky one?**

My April wish list!

  • Pulse by Patrick Carman

  • Wraith by Phaedra Weldon

  • Thirteen – Kelley Armstrong

  • Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick (HC pls)

  • Fury’s Kiss by Karen Chance

  • Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock

  • Nameless by Lili St-Crow

If you wish to offer me one of those books, all you have to do is email me at Tyngauf AT gmail .com and I will give you my mailing addy. I moved this fall so make sure you don’t use my old addy if you’ve sent me something in the past :)

Thank you!

tynsig

Beast Behaving Badly by Shelly Laurenston

laurenston - beast behaving badly

Beast Behaving Badly by Shelly Laurenston

Book Stats:

Reading level: Adult
Mass market paperback: 420 pages
Genre: Paranormal romance
Publisher: Kensington
Release date: May 25, 2010

Series: Pride #5

Reviewed by: Stéphanie

Source: Copy from publisher

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

Ten years after Blayne Thorpe first encountered Bo Novikov, she still can't get the smooth-talking shifter out of her head. Now he's shadowing her in New York-all seven-plus feet of him-determined to protect her from stalkers who want to use her in shifter dogfights. Even if he has to drag her off to an isolated Maine town where the only neighbors are other bears almost as crazy as he is...

Let sleeping dogs lie. Bo knows it's good advice, but he can't leave Blayne be. Blame it on her sweet sexiness—or his hunch that there's more to this little wolfdog than meets the eye. Blayne has depths he hasn't yet begun to fathom—much as he'd like to. She may insist Bo's nothing but a pain in her delectable behind, but polar bears have patience in spades. Soon she'll realize how good they can be together. And when she does, animal instinct tells him it'll be worth the wait...

This is the type of book that gets me out of reading slumps. And I’ve been in a reading slump for a while now so I’m really glad I picked it up. BEAST BEHAVING BADLY is hilariously entertaining and I think a great addition to the series, of which I’ve only read two books. Now I’ll definitively have to read the rest of them, even if I did screw up majorly on the proper order. Even if it’s sold a a paranormal romance, it’s pretty heavy on the romance, although the main characters are shapeshifters and there is a background story about the shapeshifting world that hold the story in place. Acutally, I’m really glad the author concentrated on the romantic story because that’s why this was such a fun book and it’s also where the main characters, Blayne and Bo, were at their best.

I can see how Blayne could get on people’s nerves, but I think it’s her spazzy and crazy personality that makes her so loveable. Her obsession with great hair product, shinny things, red hockey skates, and getting a great deal, are things that I completely understand, even if I’m not remotely as crazy as Blayne. Her dedication to the ones she loves and to strange hybrid shapeshifters makes her a very humane and real character. As an unwanted hybrid wolf-dog, I think she identifies with whomever has been shunned by society, and tries to do everything she can to help those in need.

The other main character, Bo Novikov (a bear-lion) is Blayne’s complete opposite. Where she’s sloppy and random, he’s as neat as can be and OCD about every little detail surrounding his life. In my opinion, he’s a little too obsessed with time, but again, even if I’m can’t identify as a whole with Bo, I completely understand his need to have a schedule and to always be on time. As a hockey fan, I love seeing sports take major roles in novels, and the fact that Bo Novikov is a professional all-star hockey player makes this a match in heaven for me. I don’t know if it’s because I have an obsession with hockey players or simply because Bo is a tall, hot and muscled shapeshifter, but Bo made me drool through out the novel. What I admired the most about this alpha and ruthless male  is his protectiveness of Blayne, as she’s being hunted by humans that want to force her to fight in dog fights. And that alone makes him a worthy male in my book.

What makes this story so entertaining is undoubtedly the original characters. The book can certainly be read a stand alone because I personally didn’t mind it, but other characters from previous books definitively had some presence in the book. While heavy on the romance, the book did have a great story and the characters had to surpass quite a few ordeals to get to where they are. BEAST BEHAVING BADLY is a steamy, hilarious and wild read and should only be read if you want to laugh ridiculously and indulge in a hot romance.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Blog Tour: Bound by Elisabeth Naughton + Giveaway

Bound UPDATED Final Blog Tour Banner

I’m very happy to receive Titus (via Elisabeth!) here on the blog today for an interview :) Please Welcome him warmly!

Titus’s Interview

1.) What is the best and worst thing about being an Argonaut?

Doing what I’m told. I don’t like to follow directions.

2.) Knowing that the Argonauts are a tight knit family, who do you look up to the most?

Normally I’d say Theron but...well, you’ll have to read my book to find out why he’s not my
favorite person right now.

3.) When did you first discover your gift? Did you experience it as a child or did you grow into it? If you experienced it as a child, did you have to hide it or was it okay to be "out in the open" with
it?

Most Argoleans come into their gifts when they hit adulthood. Argonauts tend to realize their abilities sooner, sometimes as early as childhood. I’ve always been able to hear others’ thoughts. For a long time I thought everyone heard voices. It was only when I reached my teen years and picked up some of the thoughts of the girls around me that I realized I was unique. (And if they had any idea I knew what they were thinking...let’s just say I used that to my advantage whenever I could.)

The Argonauts have always known my ability to read others’ thoughts. They see it as a gift, I see it as a curse.

4.) Destiny, or pre-destiny, is one of the themes of the book. What was it like growing up knowing that you, Titus, were going to be an Argonaut? Did you ever see it as a burden? or was it always a privilege? Did you ever want to be anything else in your life (and if so, what?)?

Hm...that’s a deep question. My father was an Argonaut. I had the markings from the moment I was born. It wasn’t a choice--I knew someday I’d serve. As a kid, it seemed like an awesome gig. Getting to kick ass on a regular basis? Who wouldn’t love that. The older I get though, the harder it is to do what I’m told. (See answer #1)

What would I do if I weren’t an Argonaut? Probably have my nose in some book or holed up in my house inventing something or other.

5.) We tend to take for granted the simplest of things like a caress, hugs, shaking hands, giving a friend a high five or just holding the hand of the one you love. How have you dealt with not being able to touch others?

You don’t deal with it. You accept it. Dealing with it means setting yourself up for failure. It’s better not to think of the alternative.

6.) We know that you’ve said that your gift of reading minds isn’t all that its cracked up to be. In fact, you’ve clearly stated that its a curse. If you could have any gift, what would it be and why?

None. If I had the choice, I’d choose to be normal.

7.) How are you and the other Argonauts handling having a ‘larger family’’, specifically meaning that many of you have found your other half. Before it was “just the guys” now, not only are there women living with you all, but they are your soulmates and they are very independant and strong willed. How is that going for you all?

I like the girls. They chill the guys out. Especially Zander. Man, he was a bear for way too long. Most of the guys who’ve found their soul mates are way more stressed though when they’re in the field. That, I don’t like. I seriously don’t need their messed-up thoughts in my head.

8.) Speaking of larger family - the next generation of Argonauts is also being established. Zander’s and Callie’s son Max, who is now 10 years old and Demetrius & Isadora are about to become parents soon. How are you all getting ready to prepare them for their future? Is there an “School for Argonauts” or an “Eternal Guardian Academy”?

No school. The training is usually one-on-one, father to son. It’s usually the leader’s decision when to start training.

9.) Knowing the mercurial nature of the gods, how will you and the other Argonauts prepare for the next attack?

Very carefully.

10.) The Argonauts have been working with Nick, the Leader of the Misos’s colony, against your enemies. Could this be the start of something? Do you believe that the Misos and Argeoleans will be able to coexist in peace?

I don’t see why not. Nick’s an okay guy most of the time. Serious chip on his shoulder, but he pulls through for us when we need him. The wild card is the Council. They do not like the Misos at all.

titus teaser II v9 FINAL

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Thank you Titus for taking the time to visit us :)

About the book:

Bound by Elisabeth NaughtonTITUS—To most his gift seems like a blessing, but for him it’s a curse the other Eternal Guardians—those who protect the mortal realm from threats of the Underworld—seek to exploit. One he would gladly trade for the chance to be free…

Obsessed. Her touch is like a drug. From the moment he met her, Titus knew she was different. Even dangerous. Yet though his guardian brethren are convinced Natasa is working for Hades, Titus can’t stop thinking about her. Can’t stop fantasizing about her. Can’t stop craving the one thing he knows could lead to the downfall of his world.

Possessed. Faced with stopping Natasa or joining in her quest, Titus falls to temptation and is thrust into a world of lust, deception, and deadly treachery designed by the gods. Her touch—only hers—frees him from his bonds, but desire may just condemn him. Because before the end he’ll have to decide which is more important: duty and honor to those he took an oath to defend, or a woman who could very well be the biggest curse to them all.

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

giveaway

Tour wide giveaway prizes:

Bound Giveaway Collage II UPDATED

• 1 ebook copy of “Bound”
• Character Trading Cards
• 1 Eternal Guardian Bookmarker
• 1 Eternal Guardians Drink Coaster
• 1 Eternal Guardian logo Temporary tattoo
• 1 Bound Car Charm
• 1 Bound Keychain

Fill the form to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About Elisabeth:

Elisabeth-200x300I was never one of those people who knew they wanted to be an author at the age of six. I didn’t have imaginary friends. I didn’t write stories in my journal or entertain my relatives by firelight after Thanksgiving dinner. For the most part, I was just a normal, everyday kid. I liked to read, but I wasn’t exceptional at it. And when my teachers complimented me on my writing abilities, I brushed them off. I did, however, always have a penchant for the unique and absurd. And as my mother told me all throughout my childhood, I should have been an actress—I was a drama queen before my time.

Years ago, my husband bought me Scarlett: The Sequel to Gone With The Wind. If you ever saw the book, you know it’s a long one. I sat and read that thing from cover to cover, and dreamed of one day being a writer. But I didn’t actually try my hand at writing until years later when I quit my teaching job to stay home with my kids. And my husband? After that week of reading where I neglected him and, he vowed never to buy me another book again. Little did he Scarlett know I’d one day end up sitting at a keyboard all day drafting my own stories.

My writing journey has not been easy. I didn’t just sit down one day, decide I was going to write a book and voila! sell my very first attempt. As most authors will probably agree, the path to publication is filled with hours of work, pulling all-nighters I thought I’d given up in college, sacrifices, rejections, but a love I discovered along the way I just can’t live without. Instead of a big, thick book to read by lamplight (I do read much smaller ones when I get the chance), I’ve traded in my reading obsession for a laptop. And I’ve never been happier.

I’m one of the lucky ones. I have a wonderful family and fabulous husband who put up with my writing—and obsessive personality—even when life is chaotic. More than once my kids have been late to swimming or baseball because I needed just five more minutes to finish a scene. Their support and encouragement mean the world to me. I also have amazing friends and a support network I couldn’t survive without. So to all of you out there who have encouraged me along the way, sent me emails and fan letters, phone calls and congratulations, I just want to say, thank you. You make this whole writing gig that much more enjoyable. I truly wouldn’t be here without you.

Author Links:

Website | Twitter | Facebook

tynsig

Stacking the Shelves [49]

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

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Good morning everyone!

I want to apologize for the awkward vlog, again. This one is pretty short so won’t take too long to view.

Purchased

Misguided Angel by Melissa de la Cruz [Amazon | Book Depository]
Everneath by Brodi Ashton [Amazon | Book Depository]

For Review

The Ghosting of Gods by Cricket Baker [Amazon | Book Depository]
Beast Behaving Badly by Shelly Laurenston [Amazon | Book Depository]

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Ooohhhh! And don’t forget to check out Team Tynga’s Reviews’ 3000 Followers Giveaway! Click the image below now for all the awesomeness!

3000

What did you add to your shelves this week?

stephsig

Friday, March 29, 2013

The Calling by Kelley Armstrong

The Calling Kelley Armstrong

The Calling by Kelley Armstrong

Book Stats:
Reading level: Young Adult
Genre: Paranormal
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins US / Random House Canada
Release date: April 10, 2012

Series: Darkest Rising #2

Source: Random House Canada

Reviewed by: Tynga

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

On the heels of the wildly popular The Gathering comes the second in the "Darkness Rising" YA trilogy from NYT bestselling author Kelley Armstrong.

Maya Delaney's paw-print birthmark is the mark of what she truly is--a skin-walker. She can run faster, climb higher, and see better than nearly everyone else. Experiencing intense connections with the animals that roam the woods outside her home, Maya knows it's only a matter of time before she's able to Shift and become one of them. And she believes there may be others in her small town with surprising talents.

Now, Maya and her friends have been forced to flee from their homes during a forest fire they suspect was deliberately set. Then they're kidnapped, and after a chilling helicopter crash, they find themselves in the Vancouver Island wilderness with nothing but their extraordinary abilities to help them get back home.

Maya’s life was turned upside-down in The Gathering and things aren’t getting better in The Calling. Maya and her friends were shipped off their island to escape a forest fire, but the pilot isn’t heading to main land as he should. When the teens realizes the mayor was drugged they freak out and cause an helicopter crash. Something is wrong – really wrong- and so the teens flee the site and try to reach their parents, pursued by who knows who…

Finally some answers! The Gathering was all about questions, and The Calling finally brings some answers to the table. In the mist of a very traumatic event, the teens realizes someone is hunting them and they start to put one and one together. Daniel has always been able to rally people to his opinions, but what if there is more behind it? Sam gets weird vibes from some people, what is it about? And what of Corey’s migraines? Well, The Calling will give you the answers to almost all of those questions.

My favourite aspect of this second instalment was the fact that the teens took matters in their own ends. They are isolated in the forest, it’s freezing cold and they have to get back to civilization to get help.  Easier said than done and Maya’s and Daniel’s leadership was the only thing keeping them together. Maya is having a very hard time mentally though. Rafe fell off the helicopter minutes before it crashed, so she has to deal with this loss on top of everything. I was really proud of her for holding on and Daniel was simply amazing supporting her along the way.

Happening over the course of 3-4 short days (which seemed like a small eternity for our heroes), the plot really flew by. It was all about survival and finding answers in the process so the pace was fast and furious. I was really engrossed in the story and the different ambushes our young protagonists faced seemed very plausible in the midst of everything happening.

Kelley Armstrong included some reference to the events happening in the first trilogy (Darkest Powers) which makes me think we might re-visit some of those characters in the third and final book. It was nice to have a link to this first series and maybe Chloe and friends can help Maya and hers shed light on their remaining interrogations.

By the end of the novel I was totally breathless and I’m really anxious for The Rising. The teens aren’t out of trouble yet – far from it- and I must know what happens next. Some of them were captured, will we see them again? And what’s up with Nicole? I need to know!

The Darkest Rising trilogy is a great fit for younger teens, but adults will enjoy it too. Fans of the Darkest Powers trilogy will love this spin-off and if you haven’t read the first series, worry not, there’s no need to read it first. I strongly suggest you give Kelley Armstrong’s young adult books a try!

Read an Excerpt

tynsig

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Cover Love!

Good morning everyone! No Daring You To Read this week, very sorry! Stephanie has been very busy and it slipped her mind. Instead, I’ll grad to opportunity to show you some of the most recent cover reveals since it’s been 6 weeks or so since my last update :)

Happy viewing!

Resist (Breathe, #2)
Resist by Sarah Crossan
Breathe #2
Release date: October 8th 2013
A Radiant Sky (A Beautiful Dark, #3)
A Radiant Sky by Jocelyn Davies
A Beautiful Dark #3
Release date: September 24th 2013
Antigoddess (Antigoddess, #1)
Antigoddess by Kendare Blake
Antigoddess #1
Release date: September 10th 2013
The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines, #4)
The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead
Bloodldines #4
Release date: November 19th 2013
Under A Spell (Underworld Detection Agency, #5)
Under a Spell by Hannah Jayne
Underworld Detection Agency #5
Release date: August 6th, 2013
Cold Blooded (Jessica McClain, #3)
Cold Blooded by Amanda Carlson
Jessica McClain #3
Release date: October 8th 2013
Burned (Fever, #7; Dani O'Malley, #2)
Burned by Karen Marie Moning
Fever #7
Release date: Undetermined
Bound by Night (MoonBound Clan Vampire, #1)
Bound by Night by Larissa Ione
The Moonbound Clan Vampires #1
Release date: September 24th 2013
Dirty Magic (The Prospero's War, #1)
Dirty Magic by Jaye Wells
The Prospero's War #1
Release ate: January 2014
Tempt the Stars (Cassandra Palmer, #6)
Tempt the Stars by Karen Chance
Cassie Palmer #6
Release date: October 1st 2013
Harbinger (Book of the Order, #4)
Harbinger by Philippa Ballantine
Book or the Order #4
Release date: July 30th 2013
Ritual Magic (World of the Lupi, #10)
Ritual Magic by Eileen Wilks
World of the Lupi #10
Release date: August 6th 201
Perdition (Dred Chronicles, #1)
Perdition by Ann Aguirre
Dread Chronicles #1
Release date: August 27th 2013
Unchained (Nephilim Rising, #1)
Unchained by J. Lynn
Nephilim Rising #1
Release date: September 17th 2013

I think my favorite cover this time around is Cold Blooded by Amanda Carlson. And Fiery Heart was a disappointment for me. Love Richelle Mead but that cover just feels off to me :( Either way, I lot of those books will find their way into my shelves!

Do you have a favorite?

tynsig

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Breathless by Brigid Kemmerer

Breathless by Brigid KemmererBreathless by Brigid Kemmerer

Book stats:
Reading Level: Young Adult
Ebook: 65 pages
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Kensington Teen
Release date: April 30, 2013

Series: Elemental #2.5

Source:Netgalley

Reviewed by: Lili

Purchase: Amazon

Too many secrets. Not enough time.

Nick Merrick is supposed to be the level-headed one. The peacemaker. Since it’s just him and his three hotheaded brothers against the world, that’s a survival tactic.

But now he’s got problems even his brothers can’t help him survive.

His so-called girlfriend, Quinn, is going quick as mercury from daring to crazy. Meanwhile, Quinn’s dancer friend Adam is throwing Nick off balance, forcing him to recognize a truth he’d rather shove back into the dark.

He can feel it—-the atmosphere is sizzling. Danger is on the way. But whatever happens next, Nick is starting to find out that sometimes nothing you do can keep the peace.

I am normally not a novella girl, but when I saw BREATHLESS on netgalley I knew I had to have it because Kemmerer’s Elementals series is among my favorites. When I was accepted this afternoon, I began to read immediately, and I was not disappointed! So much so, that I simply had to review it as soon as possible. Let’s just say Nick Merrick, the brother that controls the air, has me breathing deeply to calm myself down after that doozy of a 65 page short story.

It’s very hard to hate Nick. Out of all of his brothers, he’s the one that has everything figured out. He’s the level-headed one to in comparison to his twin brother Gabriel’s fiery passion. But, what we quickly learn from this novella, is that there’s a lot more turmoil in his mind than one would think. Told in both Quinn and Nick’s point of views, it has me craving book four in the Elemental series that releases in early 2014. My one complaint is that I wish more was told in Nick’s point of view. While this was a dual pov novella, I was antsy for Quinn’s drama-filled antics to end so that I could see what else happened with Nick because Kemmerer dropped the mother of all plot twists on us. All I’ll say in this regard is new couple alert!

I have to say that my favorite part of this novella was that we realized our normally logical and sane Merrick brother is full of his own type of fire. The character growth was incredible. While I enjoyed Chris’s story in STORM, Gabriel’s experiences depicted in SPARK is among my favorite stories to this day. I never thought that any of the Merrick brothers would compare to the fiery turmoil and intense passion that is Gabriel Merrick’s life until we got this first-time glimpse into his twin’s head. Kemmerer managed to open up an entire world of possibilities in a mere 65 pages full of immense character growth and the beginning of a life altering journey. Our walking SAT book that is trapped by circumstance and secretly craves some passion in his life turns out to be a character more complicated than I could have ever imagined.

While book three in the Elementals series promises to be amazing as always, I can’t help but will the currently unnamed book four to be released, like, yesterday. Nick’s story must continue. If you are anything like me and normally avoid novellas, I highly recommend picking this one up due to the implications it will have on Nick’s future story. Kemmerer is a force to be reckoned with among the young adult fantasy genre. With the ability to create deliciously complex characters, she’ll always leave you begging for more and will easily claim a spot on your must-buy list for life. I know she definitely has a spot on mine!

Read an Excerpt

Lili

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

"When I'm not writing" with Jennifer Harlow + giveaway!

Jennifer Harlow This week, Jennifer Harlow is here to tell us what she does when she's not writing her next book. She's the author of a new paranormal book called WHAT'S A WITCH TO DO?, the first story in her new Midnight Magic Mystery series. WHAT'S A WITCH TO DO? is a bit unusual since it's protagonist isn't a butt-kicking twenty-something; instead, Mona McGregor is a plump forty-something High Priestess in the small town of Goodnight, Virginia.

Keep reading to learn what Jennifer does when she's not writing paranormal stories for Midnight Ink!

WINW_logo

Sometimes I feel like the most boring person on the planet. I am not and never have been one of those 24 Hour Party People who find themselves in strange apartments with no idea how they got there. I spent one night in college attempting to be this person but ended up watching two Frat boys playing beer pong for two hours wishing I was back at my dorm working on my novel. It’s gotten worse as I progressed to my current age, Forever 29. One of the things I love about being a writer is I can take my job anywhere and do it at anytime. I can work while I’m waiting at the dentist or on vacation the once I’ve officially taken one in years. Hello, my name is Jennifer Harlow, and I’m a boring workaholic. Vanilla aspires to be me. Sometimes I pray for a zombie horde to come through so I can chop them up with my machete or for a handsome, bleeding werewolf to show up on my doorstep but the UPS man barely even graces my porch. I save all my drama, all my best quips and love triangles for the page.

As a writer there is never a time when you’re not working. When you’re reading, or watching television or even talking to friends anything and everything can spark the muse or can be used in your work. And when I’m not writing that’s what I do. I read, I watch Stock illustration: Shopping Image ID: 1402492far too much television, and I talk to my family and friends. Those have been my hobbies since I was a child and forever will be. I did like to travel but since I quit my job to focus on writing I am the quintessential starving artist. The few times I do go anywhere I either drive and stay with friends or it’s for a work conference. I even had to curtail my other passion, shopping. So when I’m not writing, I’m still more or less working. I have discovered that the older I get the more I turn into a teenage boy. Zombies, super villains, mutants have all felt my wrath at least in video game form. Bloodlust inflamed, I translate that feeling to the page after I’ve eviscerated the bad guys.

Everything is material.

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Thank you for visiting us, Jennifer, as part of your blog tour!

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

If you want to get to know Jennifer even better, you can follow her blog tour. Click on the button below to see the rest of the stops.

What's a Witch to Do? Tour Button

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Here's the scoop on WHAT'S A WITCH TO DO?:

What's a Witch to Do? by Jennifer HarlowA suspenseful brew with a dash of passion

High Priestess might sound like an ’80s hair band, but its Mona McGregor’s life. She runs the Midnight Magic shop in Goodnight, Virginia, and leads a large coven. She’s also raising two nieces and hasn’t been with a man for fifteen years…until a handsome doctor takes an interest in her. But Mona’s life really heats up when Adam Blue, a sexy werewolf, arrives at her door. Adam informs her that someone wants her dead and he is there to protect her. Hell’s bells! When a demon begins stalking her, Mona has to suspect her coven members, and even her family.

With two handsome men and a determined demon after her, Mona teams up with Adam to find out who really wants her dead . . . and who really wants her.

Read an excerpt

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

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giveaway

There is a tour-wide giveaway of five (5) print copies of WHAT'S A WITCH TO DO?

US only

To enter the giveaways, obey the Rafflecopter!

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, March 25, 2013

Deadly Sting by Jennifer Estep

Deadly Sting by Jennifer Estep Deadly Sting by Jennifer Estep

Book stats:
Reading level: Adult
Mass market paperback: 384 pages
Genre: Urban fantasy
Publisher: Pocket
Release date: March 26, 2013

Series: Elemental Assassin #8

Source: Review copy from publisher via Edelweiss

Reviewed by: Jenn

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

The eighth hotly anticipated book in the Elemental Assassin series by New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Estep: it’s Gin Blanco's party—and you’ll cry if she wants you to.

Against her better judgment, Gin is coerced into attending a high society gala with the rest of Ashland's elite underworld. On display: the priceless art collection of her deceased nemesis, Mab Monroe, and an excess of crime boss swagger. While not comfortable in her fancy attire, Gin gets vastly more interested in the evening’s events when a group of thieves bursts in and tries to seize the valuable, dangerous gems. Facing a Die Hard-esque scenario in which she must free hostage partygoers while herself trapped in the museum, things get a little bit messy when the bloodshed begins. Let's just say that Gin should have chosen the red gown…

Jennifer Estep's Elemental Assassin is one of my favourite series, and has been since I picked up SPIDER'S BITE. The first first five novels take care of one major story arc - Gin's quest for revenge against Mab Monroe - and two subsequent novels deal with Gin's newfound infamy and past loves in both her and Owen's lives. In DEADLY STING, Owen and Gin are on the outs as a result of the events in WIDOW'S WEB and Finn tries to take Gin's mind off of things by dragging her to a fancy exhibit of Mab's treasures. Of course, Gin can't go anywhere without finding trouble and she finds herself in the middle of an elaborate heist. This isn't my favourite book in the series but it's still a strong entry and definitely worth a stop at the bookstore!

Before I go any further, I want to make one thing clear: you can’t read this post without getting some spoilers about previous novels so stop now if you're not all caught up!

I really liked the concept of DEADLY STING. I'm a big fan of heist stories and Jennifer Estep has done a great job of taking a stick-'em-up scenario and giving it a special twist. The heist itself is layered -- think The Usual Suspects layered -- and the stakes are quite high since many of Gin's loved ones are trapped in the museum. It all comes together into a great story filled with exciting action sequences, great emotional moments, and a few neat surprises. Gin faces a strong, clever foe and watching them match wits and fists were quite thrilling. I don't want to spoil anything for you so I won't talk about specific plot points but I will say that the story is clever and unexpected. There are some fantastic moments for Finn and the early chapter with the dress shop scene is perfect Gin.

Estep also manages to squeeze in some time for Gin to deal with her break up with Owen. The focus of the story is definitely on saving the hostages but Gin is forced to confront her feelings for Owen and the distinct possibility that their relationship might truly be over. Don't assume, however, that this means they're done for good because there is still some serious chemistry. Their connection continues to leap off the page, even with all of the distance between them. Owen and Gin are imperfect people, both completely exposed with all of their history, but I'm still rooting for them at this point.

If I'm not mistaken, DEADLY STING is the end of the second major story arc in the series, and HEART OF VENOM will bring something new. The book ends is a way that has me really revved up for what's sure to be another amazing novel from the talented Ms. Estep. This is one series that just keeps getting more interesting and I can't even begin to guess what might happen in the future.

Read an excerpt

Jenn

Sunday, March 24, 2013

3000 followers giveaway!

3000

That’s right, Team Tynga’s Reviews is about to hit 3000 followers. It’s quite an impression milestone I never thought I would reach when I started the blog almost 4 years ago. A lot happened in the meantime, Jennifer joined, then Stéphanie and finally Lili. I’m really glad I’m surrounded by such an awesome team. None of it would matter though if no one read the blog, so in the name of the entire team, I’d like to thank you all for being such amazing readers!

No better way to celebrate this achievement than having a giveaway so I put one together for you guys! Usually you don’t need to follow to enter our giveaways, but since it’s a follower giveaway, I’ll make it a requirement this time around.

First winner drawn gets to pick which prize they prefer, second winner gets the remaining prize.

  • Giveaway is open Internationally
  • Must be a follower
  • Giveaway ends on April 15th, 2013
  • To enter, fill the Rafflecoper form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

tynsig

Asunder by Jodi Meadows

jodi meadows, asunder, awesome cover, incarnate, young adult fantasy, dragons, sylf

Asunder by Jodi Meadows

Book Stats:

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 406 pages
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Harper Collins
Release date: January 29, 2013

Series: New Soul #2

Reviewed by: Stéphanie

Source: Personal shelf

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

DARKSOULS
Ana has always been the only one. Asunder. Apart. But after Templedark, when many residents of Heart were lost forever, some hold Ana responsible for the darksouls–and the newsouls who may be born in their place.

SHADOWS
Many are afraid of Ana’s presence, a constant reminder of unstoppable changes and the unknown. When sylph begin behaving differently toward her and people turn violent, Ana must learn to stand up not only for herself but for those who cannot stand up for themselves.

LOVE
Ana was told that nosouls can’t love. But newsouls? More than anything, she wants to live and love as an equal among the citizens of Heart, but even when Sam professes his deepest feelings, it seems impossible to overcome a lifetime of rejection.

In this second book in the Newsoul trilogy, Ana discovers the truth about reincarnation and will have to find a way to embrace love and make her young life meaningful. Once again, Jodi Meadows explores the extraordinary beauty and shadowed depths of the soul in a story equal parts epic romance and captivating fantasy.

Jodi Meadows blew me away last year with her debut release, INCARNATE, and while I really enjoyed this sequel, I think the first book of the series was just too hard to beat. In ASUNDER, we learn so much more about the fantastic world the author has created so I can’t really complain. Many of my question after book one were answered here, yet so many other questions arose. Jodi Meadows knows how to keep you interested because after ASUNDER, I’m definitively still hooked.

While I like that there are so many different and great characters, personally, I find them too numerous. Some of them are unmemorable and I just get confused when they are reintroduced after being “forgotten” for a while. However, the dynamic between the dominant characters is absolutely a win. Ana and Sam are simply adorable but I did find them a bit clingy. It’s almost as if they can’t be without one another and as the main character, Ana should have shown a little more independence and self-sufficiency. As a new soul, I understand she might not be as educated as the rest of them, but her naivety still bothered me. However, she made up for that by being very curious and inquisitive, which are qualities that a really admire. Sam is so patient with her and that makes me love him even more. Their romantic relationship might not be typical when you compare it to most YA novel, but I think that’s what makes it so interesting.

While most of the story is held in the city of Heart, it would have been nice to learn more about what’s beyond the city and beyond the country of Range. So many other beings and creatures exist this world, and while be do get some snippets from time to time, I’m really anxious to know more about this fictional world. I think Jodi Meadows is holding out on us and saving it for the end of her trilogy.

The imagery in this novel is one of my favorite parts. Not only is the world beautifully described, Jodi Meadows also has the talent of serenading her readers with musical scenes. Because music plays such a huge part in the characters lives, music and instruments have a near constant presence in the story. The only thing I regret is not being able to actually hear the amazing musical pieces, but the way the author describes them, it’s almost as if you can truly hear it through the emotions of the characters.

Overall, ASUNDER is an absolute win, even if I did prefer the first book of the series a little more. With a cover like this, I had to purchase a physical copy in order to add this gorgeousness to my shelves. It’s hard to imagine that this series will end in a trilogy next year, and while I’m looking forward to it, it will be sad to say goodbye to Ana and Sam.

stephsig

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Stacking the Shelves [48]

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

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Good morning everyone!

First I’d like to apologize for not recording a vlog this week. I just got back to work after 14 months (early pregnancy leave + maternity leave) and I’m still in the midst of getting used to the changes, hence no time to record aforementioned vlog.

This is 2 weeks of books:

For review:

A Turn of LightThe Rising (Darkness Rising, #3)What We Become (Those That Wake, #2)Infatuate (Gilded Wings, #2)

A turn of Light by Julie E. Czerneda [Amazon | Book Depository]
The Rising by Kelley Armstrong  [Amazon | Book Depository]
What We Become by Jesse Karp [Amazon | Book Depository]
Infatuate by Aimee Agresti [Amazon | Book Depository]

Julie will visit us next week so stay tuned!

I love Kelley Armstrong and can’t wait to read this last instalment in the trilogy :)

I don’t plan to read the last two books, I haven’t read the first Jesse Karp book and I didn’t like Aimee’s first book so I’ll try to find someone to pass them to.

Bought:

Frost Burned (Mercy Thompson, #7)

Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs [Amazon | Book Depository]

Love Mercy and can’t wait to read it!

What did you add to your shelves this week?

tynsig