Friday, September 30, 2011

Review: Blood of Requiem by Daniel Arenson

Long ago stood the kingdom of Requiem, a land of men who could grow wings and scales, breathe fire, and take flight as dragons. Requiem ruled the sky.

But Dies Irae, a tyrant leading an army of griffins, hunted Requiem's people, burned their forests, and shattered their temples. Requiem fell. This ancient land now lies in ruin, its halls crumbled, its cries silenced, its skeletons littering the burned earth.

In the wilderness, a scattering of survivors lives in hiding. The griffins still hunt them, and every day promises death. Will Requiem's last children perish in exile... or once more become dragons and fly to war?


Feuding brothers, humans that can shift into dragons, armys of men riding griffins, love, hate, jealousy and forgiveness. Blood of Requiem pulls all these elements together and makes this original fantasy world come to life.

Benedictus is king of Requiem. He is also Vir Requis, which means he can shift into dragon form. Many of the people of Requiem are able to do this. Dies Irae, older brother of Benedictus, can't shift. This is why his younger brother is king instead of him. The story starts off with the slaughter of all the Vir Requis and Benedictus being cast out by his younger brother.

The conflict in this book is really between the two brothers. There is bad blood, jealousy and envy that has had years to grow and fester. It takes place on such a large scale because Benedictus and his army can shift into a dragon and Dies Irae can command the griffins and uses them for his own army. It escalates into a war that wipes out almost all of the Vir Requis.

I kept finding myself really wanting to feel sympathy for Dies Irae. His father put him down and embarrassed him simply because he couldn't change into a dragon (bad parenting 101). He always felt like a failure, and that quickly turned into unquenchable anger. Who wouldn't be mad about that? But in the end I had to give up on feeling sorry for him because he placed the blame on everyone but himself. We can't change the cards we're dealt, but we can play them however we want. A lot of people grow up in abusive or negative homes, and they can choose to wallow in self-pity and rage OR they can make the choice to be stronger for it, to live well in spite of their upbringing. I must say that it makes for a character I loved to hate!

I really liked the idea of humans being able to shift into dragons. While in their dragon forms they are still able to think and talk like humans. How cool would that be? Soaring across the skies, moving through the clouds. Very cool!

Fans of fantasy will want to check this one out!

Publication Date: May 17, 2011

Genre: Adult, Fantasy

Source: Thank you to the author, Daniel Arenson, for my review copy! Check out his website at

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Follow Friday 9/30

Follow Friday is hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee's View. Check it out and join in!

This Week:
Q. What book that hasn't been turned into a movie (yet) would you most like to see make it to the big screen, and who would you like cast as your favorite character?

A. The first book that came to mind was The Mephisto Covenant. I recently read this and loved (LOVED) it. Strange that this should be the question this week because I kept thinking I had the perfect person to cast as Jax. Jax and Sasha are the main characters in the book. He is dark-haired, manly and hot. Sasha is blonde-haired, pure and beautiful.

I had fun casting these roles :-) Here we go

Sasha: AnnaSophia Robb

Reason: She has such an innocent, ethereal beauty. I also like the idea of casting someone that isn't already a household name.

Jax: Tyler Hoechlin

Reason: Well for one, he is exactly how I pictured Jax in the book, stubble and all. He would have to wear dark contacts, but that's easy. He is currently on the MTV show Teen Wolf . . . which I don't watch . . . it just happened to be on TV, and I just happened to not turn the channel while it was on. *sheepish grin* Just take a look at that picture! Do I need another reason?

This was just an extra picture I found while browsing. Your welcome :-)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Interview with Author of Suspense: Jason Letts

About the Author:
Jason Letts is an author of young-adult fiction. In addition to Suspense, the first book in The Spencer Nye Trilogy, he has written the Inevitable Trilogy and the Powerless series. Outside of writing, he cultivates diverse interests in such fields as distance running, cooking, traveling, fortune telling, hiking, kayaking, and competitive napping.


My Tower of Books: I know that story ideas can come out of some pretty random thoughts and circumstances. What inspired the idea for your novel, Suspense?

Jason: I've been reading so many stories where there is some evil empire oppressing the characters of a book, and it got me thinking about what a story would be like where there was absolutely no pressure like that. In the future world of Suspense, people are free to do whatever they like all the time, and most of them live very peaceful lives. Spencer doesn't, and so everything you read about her in the book is something she consciously wanted to have and makes a statement about her. That it's a darker,action-packed book is all the result of her decisions, not any kind of tyrannical government begging for people to overthrow it.

MToB: The characters in your book are always in touch with Connect. How often do you check your own social networks?

Jason: Waaaay too often. Doing stuff like this is part of my job, and getting out there and talking about books is something I love doing anyway, but it was easy to imagine that part taking over to the point where people couldn't imagine living without them. I'll admit that I'm not much of a phone person though, so when I'm out and about I rarely take it with me.

MToB: If you could step into the shoes of one of your characters from Suspense, who would it be?

Jason: Good question, and a difficult one to answer, because I can relate to a lot of the struggles that the characters go through. Spencer just has a fundamental disgust with a lot of how her world works, but when she gets her chance to change it she really can't think clearly about whether or not things would be better. Jetta and her desire to overcome her body and find a way to eliminate its weakness. Cleary and the difference between acting and being real.

MToB: Most writers are also avid readers. Was there a particular book or author that inspired or influenced your writing?

Jason: I have been on a serious Dystopian jag for a while now, going back to classics like 1984 and more recent ones like Divergent and Enclave. I think it's possible to take inspiration from any kind of fiction though. Right now I'm reading George R. R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series, which is epic fantasy told from multiple viewpoints. It's very elaborate and completely compelling.

MToB: Do you listen to music while you're writing or do you prefer silence?

Jason: I'm actually someone who doesn't listen to music while writing, mostly because it would distract me from focusing on what I'm seeing in my head, but I do listen to a lot of music when I'm brainstorming either on the couch or out running. For Suspense, I got into a really good vibe with a Japanese artist named Tommy Heavenly6 and an anime (I never watched anime while I was living in Japan) called Gintama. If you are feeling a bit adventurous, you can check out this and this video. Bizarre, huh?

Thanks so much to Jackie for giving me this space! I hope your blog continues to be successful and you keep finding plenty of great books to read!

Suspense, the first book in my new YA (16+) Dystopian trilogy can be found at Amazon, BN, itunes, and Smashwords


Thank you, Jason, for participating and for adding your own touch to things with Casting Call. I loved reading Suspense, and it was great working with you!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Casting Call with Jason Letts, Author of Suspense

Time to play Casting Call with author of Suspense, Jason Letts!

Jason came up with this Author/Blogger picture game, and I really loved this idea. We chose characters, settings and objects from the book and found pictures of what we thought they would look like. Then we compared them side by side and added our thoughts on the pictures.
Jason's pics are on the left, My Tower of Books' on the right. Ready to play?

1. Spencer NyeJason: Spencer is a short, stringy blonde with an extra dose of angst. Finding someone who's exactly eighteen would be tough, and I'll admit I'm not that familiar with a lot of the younger stars these days. I almost went with Hayden Penettiere, but she was maybe a little too cute. So I went with Kirsten Dunst, and this picture in particular makes it hard to tell whether she's about to crack into a smile or a snarl.

My Tower of Books: "Somehow he understood the most basic element of what it meant to be me, that the default feeling in my heart was the urge to scream." Spencer tells us this early on in the book and it spoke volumes to me about her. The first thing that struck me about this picture was the girl's face. It is strangely accurate to how I viewed her, and even how she's described in the book, although obviously she's not animated :-)

2. Spencer's Claw-tipped gloves

Jason: Because Spencer isn't that strong, she wears claw-tipped gloves and shreds her enemies to pieces. Most of the clothing in the story is described as "tech" clothing, with a lot of synthetic fibers, but I think the actual claws protruding from the ends of her fingers would look like these. She's able to do a pretty decent amount of damage with them, and they seem to sink into skin very easily.

MToB: This isn't exactly how I pictured her gloves, but it's close. I thought of them as being more delicate, but no less deadly.

3. The Chateaux

Jason: For their protection, all of the ultra-famous Idols live in a place where mobs of fans can't get to them. This place is called The Chateaux, and it's located by the edge of a cliff on a secret island. It's a large complex of towers, courtyards, and gardens. My idea of it is something like this, though perhaps a bit bigger.

MToB: Again, not quite how I envisioned it. This is my take on The Chateaux. I see it as being a bit more open and sprawling.

4. Jetta Renoir

Jason: Spencer's best friend, Jetta, is a cyborg with a number of unique physical characteristics. She has replaced one of her blue eyes with an artificial green one that can give her better sight, her joints have metallic bands running through them to keep her limbs together, and she has implants under her skin for various other reasons. All this together is an attempt to overcome feelings of inadequacy about her body. After some exhaustive searching, I really don't think there's a picture out there that does her justice. I chose this one because it looks kind of cool, but Jetta isn't a robot that looks like a person. She's a person who has had a lot of modifications done to herself. I guess you'll just have to read the book to see what we're talking about!

MToB: This picture was as close as i could get with Jetta. If the black lines were a bit more angular instead of flowing, and also if they were silver based and gave off an electronic glow, then that would be more like my vision of her.

Check back tomorrow for my interview with Jason Letts!

Suspense, the first book in his new YA (16+) Dystopian trilogy can be found at Amazon, BN, itunes, and Smashwords!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Review: The Mephisto Covenant by Trinity Faegen

Sasha is desperate to find out who murdered her father. When getting the answer means pledging her soul to Eryx, she unlocks a secret that puts her in grave danger—Sasha is Anabo, a daughter of Eve, and Eryx’s biggest threat.

A son of Hell, immortal, and bound to Earth forever, Jax looks for redemption in the Mephisto Covenant—God’s promise he will find peace in the love of an Anabo. After a thousand years, he’s finally found the girl he’s been searching for: Sasha.

With the threat of Eryx looming, Jax has to keep Sasha safe and win her over. But can he? Will Sasha love him and give up her mortal life?

I've seen some very mixed reviews for this book. It seems people either loved it or hated it. I personally fall into the 'loved it' category. This felt like such a guilty pleasure to read. If I could handpick all the things I love in a book, this is it. It's got a cool story, a smoking hot guy, love, and a lot of wonderfully, tasty angst.

Sasha and Jax have one of my favorite types of relationships. He's protective with just the right amount of jealousy and posessiveness(too much and he'd just be an unlikeable creeper). He gives her the freedom to choose what she wants to be and who she wants to be with, even if it kills him sometimes. Sasha is sweet, a little naive at times and strong in her own right. Seriously, I wanted to re-read almost every interaction that they had together. My only problem with Sasha was I wanted to tell her to stop thinking so much and kiss the dark haired, stubble-chinned, son of Hell right in front of her!

There were alot of stand out scenes that I 'eeked' over. There's one scene in particular that might be my favorite diatribe in any book. I won't give anything away, but Jax and Sasha are talking to Phoenix (one of Jax's brothers) about finding love and he goes off on this hilarious tangent. I think I read it no less than five times :-)

I am SO(oooooo) looking forward to the next book in this series. This author is now on my 'consume all things written by this person' list.

Publication Date: September 27, 2011
Genre: YA, Paranormal, Romance
Source: Thank you to Egmont USA and Netgalley!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Review: Suspense by Jason Letts

Spencer Nye can’t control the rage bubbling under her skin over the world around her. The trouble is, by the year 2102, the world has solved most of its great problems. Without hunger, war, greed, or even money, people obsess over the glamour of the Culture Industry and its mega-celebrity Idols, who vie for followers over the social networks of Connect.

But Spencer discovers there is plenty to fix within the Idols’ competition for more popularity. She becomes a diehard and promises to do anything to help her Idol, a dreamy movie star named Cleary Mintz, bring his vision of hope and purpose to the world. When she stumbles onto a threat against his life, she’ll have to fight harder than she ever thought possible or lose the man who means more to her than any other.

Books like this one are why I wanted to start a book blog in the first place! I had never heard of this author and wasn't sure what to expect. I seriously loved this book! The title, Suspense, really has a double meaning. It's the nickname of the heroine, Spencer Nye, plus the story is full of suspense from beginning to the end.

The plot is amazing. The world the characters live in is one where everyone is constantly connected to their social network by nodes implanted in their heads. It dominates most every part of how they exist. There are machines that create everything from food to clothing, money is unnecessary, everyone is equal, transportation is instantaneous (wouldn't that be nice!). With all the worries of survival taken care of, the population exists for the pursuit of happiness and following the Idol of their choice. Which as it turns out, is more cutthroat than you might think.

I always feel conflicted about technology and social networks because they make it easy to stay connected, but how does being so dependent on them really affect us? Suspense portrays a future that isn't all that unbelievable. How often do you check your social networks in a day? Have you ever been in a room full of people on their smartphones and not one person is speaking to another?

That isn't the only reason I thought it was great though. Spencer Nye is such a likeable, yet flawed, heroine. She doesn't always make the right choices but her heart is in the right place. Plus, I like a character that isn't afraid to stop asking questions and kill the bad guys already! Spencer's romantic interests seem pretty clear cut when you first start reading, but take an unexpected and awesome turn! Original and crazy!

I can't wait to read the next one!

Publication Date: September 3, 2011
Genre: YA, Dystopian, Sci-fi
Source: Thank you so much to the author, Jason Letts, for the review copy.

Follow Friday and Hop 9/23

Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read. Check it out and join in!

This week's question:

Q. Do you have a favorite series that you read over and over again? Tell us a bit about it and why you keep on revisiting it?

A. Well, I've read Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series an ungodly number of times, especially considering how many books there are (still not quite complete). It's an adult fantasy series (minus the elves and dwarves) that is pure genius, and the characters are just awesome.

Then there are the Sookie Stackhouse books that I love reading over and over. I love this series for so many different reasons (Eric) and never get tired of reading them. While I'm talking about vampie books...I also love re-reading the Night Huntress series by Jeanine Frost. Talk about some steamy stuff :-) Bones rocks my world, haha!

...And....Twilight. Whatever, you know you've read them a billion times too :-)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Teaser Tuesday: The Mephisto Covenant by Trinity Faegan

Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Should be Reading. Check out the rules and join in!

Melanie was still less than a foot from her, close enough to punch, close enough to see the glue sticking her fake eyelashes to the real ones. She leaned in just a little and whispered, "Go on, I dare you. I can see you want to."

Page 84

What's your Teaser?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Review: Forbidden by Ted Dekker and Tosca Lee

A terrible truth has been revealed to one man: the entire human race has been drained of every emotion except one— fear. To bring life back to the world, Rom must embark on a journey that will end either in his own demise or a reawakening of humanity. But to bring love and passion back into existence will also threaten the powers of the world with the revolution and anarchy that had nearly destroyed them previously.

After happening upon a journal through strange circumstance, Rom's world is shattered. He learns that humanity long ago ceased to "live," that it exists today in a living death of emotions. In a terrible risk, Rom exposes himself to the vial of blood folded into the old leather of the journal. His change is fearful and fraught with mind-bending emotion. A once-pious observer of the Order's passionless statues, he is filled with uncontrollable impulses. He is filled with love.

He is undone, terrified, and alone in the desolate world.

There are two things I know before I ever open up a Ted Dekker book: It will be good and I will be entertained. Written with author Tosca Lee, Forbidden is no exception.

A world devoid of all emotions except fear is the only way of life the population can remember. They have been saved from the Chaos of emotions by the strict principles of Order. Lacking the driving force to even care if what they are told is the truth, everyone believes they are better off.

Enter Rom. Rom's world is turned upside down when a crazy, old man entrusts him with an important package. He accepts without really knowing why he agreed in the first place, and from that point on he is on the run for his life. Through the contents of this package Rom's mind is opened up to the emotions so forbidden by Order. He sees what a shadow of life he was living before and will stop at nothing to help the rest of the world eventually LIVE again.

As you can imagine, a person who has only experienced fear has a lot of catching up to do. Love, anger, joy, jealousy, sorrow, greed, pain, hope, passion. What is love without pain? Hope without despair? Joy without sorrow? Sometimes it's worth the bad to also have the good.

A great story with an ending that really surprised me! Didn't see it coming.

Publication Date: September 13, 2011
Genre: Adult, Dystopian
Source: Thanks to Hachette Book Group/Center Street and Netgalley!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Contest Craze: Lucky Number 7

Princess Bookie's Contest Craze is in full swing! The Elloitt Review is hosting a mini challenge. It'll be fun to see what everyone comes up with!!!

1. Open a book you are currently reading.
2. Turn to page 7.
3. Count to the 7th word.
4. If the word is an article (a, an, the, etc), go to the next real word.
5. Type the word into a Google Images search, and select a picture that you can stand.

Create a blog post with the following information:
1. Picture of book
2. Book title and author
3. 7th word on 7th page
4. Randomly selected picture
5. Link to this post and Princess Bookie's Contest Craze.

Book of your choice from The Book Depository up to $10.

Open to anywhere The Book Depository ships to.
Giveaway Ends September 25th.


Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
7th word: add

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Review: Ashfall by Mike Mullin


Under the bubbling hot springs and geysers of Yellowstone National Park is a supervolcano. Most people don't know it's there. The caldera is so large that it can only be seen from a plane or satellite. It just could be overdue for an eruption, which would change the landscape and climate of our planet.

Ashfall is the story of Alex, a teenage boy left alone for the weekend while his parents visit relatives. When the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts unexpectedly, Alex is determined to reach his parents. He must travel over a hundred miles in a landscape transformed by a foot of ash and the destruction of every modern convenience that he has ever known, and through a new world in which disaster has brought out both the best and worst in people desperate for food, water, and warmth. With a combination of nonstop action, a little romance, and very real science, this is a story that is difficult to stop reading and even more difficult to forget.


I was really looking forward to reading this book. I love books, movies, tv shows, video games, etc. that are in post-apocalyptic settings. Ashfall exceeded my expectations even though I had set them pretty high. This book feels so real that I kept forgetting it wasn't actually a first-hand account of actual events.

It's written from the view-point of a teenage boy named Alex and starts off with him giving us a small glimpse into what his life is like 'pre-eruption', as it is called in the book. I was hooked from the very first paragraph. For the most part, we get to know Alex as he adapts and survives in a world that is strange and dangerous. His family was out of town when the eruption happened, and he makes a promise to himself that he will find them. The eruption forces the remaining population into a survival situation. The results are what you could actually expect when there is no law and nobody to keep the peace. Alex sees and experiences some horrible things.

It is no small feat for him to travel hundreds of miles on foot across a now-dangerous landscape. Just reading about how physically exhausting the actual walking (and skiing) across the deep ash and snow made me feel Alex's pain. Eventually he happens upon a girl, Darla, and her mother. Alex is on the verge of death when he stumbles into their barn. His relationship with Darla grows and thrives even in the cold, harsh world they have found themselves in. They end up saving each other, not just from physical harm but from the mental devastation of living through something so life-changing.

I literally could not put this book down, and was sad to come to the last page. Luckily, there is another book coming out in Fall 2012, Ashen Winter. I can't wait to immerse myself back into the world that Mike Mullin has created.

Publication Date: October 14, 2011

Genre: Young Adult, Post-Apocalyptic

Source: Thank you to and Tanglewood Press.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Follow Friday 9/16

Follow Friday can be found at Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read. Check it out and join in!

This Week:

Q. It's that pesky magic book fairy again! She has another wish: What imaginary book world would you like to make a reality?

A. This will probably be a very popular answer, but I don't care! I would want to make the world of Harry Potter a reality. Well, as long as I'm not a boring muggle in this world. I think it would be so exciting to take classes at Hogwarts, use magic, fly on broomsticks, chat up Hermione Granger, and drink me some Butterbeer! I have to add that I'd like this to be the HP world after the whole Voldemort fiasco :-)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Review: Tankborn by Karen Sandler

Best friends Kayla and Mishalla know they will be separated when the time comes for their Assignments. They are GENs, Genetically Engineered Non-humans, and in their strict caste system, GENs are at the bottom rung of society. High-status trueborns and working-class lowborns, born naturally of a mother, are free to choose their own lives. But GENs are gestated in a tank, sequestered in slums, and sent to work as slaves as soon as they reach age fifteen.

When Kayla is Assigned to care for Zul Manel, the patriarch of a trueborn family, she finds a host of secrets and surprises—not least of which is her unexpected friendship with Zul's great-grandson. Meanwhile, the children that Mishalla is Assigned to care for are being stolen in the middle of the night. With the help of an intriguing lowborn boy, Mishalla begins to suspect that something horrible is happening to them.

After weeks of toiling in their Assignments, mystifying circumstances enable Kayla and Mishalla to reunite. Together they hatch a plan with their new friends to save the children who are disappearing. Yet can GENs really trust humans? Both girls must put their lives and hearts at risk to crack open a sinister conspiracy, one that may reveal secrets no one is ready to face.

Tankborn was a breath of fresh air for me to read. So unique, I never thought 'Oh, this is like such and such book'. It was well-written and it sucked me in from the beginning. I also have to give a shout out to the author for doing some awesomely organic world-building! If that makes sense :-) I could tell there was a rich history behind the unique setting but was never bombarded with information. I really liked that although this was a wonderfully created world, there was no learning curve. It was just very natural, seamless and easy to read.

Tankborn takes place in a future where the population has moved to a different planet that is very similar to Earth. As a result of this evacuation, an archaic caste system was set in place to keep the Trueborns at the top and the Lowborns at the bottom. That is until the GENs were created. GENs were grown, not born. And they were grown with certain skills to help them in serving their Trueborn masters.

The story is told by three different characters, one of which is male, and I enjoyed reading all of them. There was never one of those 'Not this one again' moments. No weaknesses there. I loved the quiet strength of the two GEN characters, Kayla and Mishalla. Their sweetly innocent love with two boys that are not GEN is seen as scandalous in their world. Yet they are pulled together despite there differences and prejudices. Both couples' love develops in such a real and pure way that it made me enjoy these two plotlines so much.

Did I mention the seriously cool plot? Well, I can't say much or I'd give it away, but suffice it to say that it's genius.

Publication Date: September 15, 2011
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopian
Source: Thanks to Lee and Low Books and Netgalley!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Review: Stuck in Neutral by Terry Trueman

Shawn McDaniel is an enigma and a miracle—except no one knows it, least of all his father. His life is not what it may seem to anyone looking at him. Not even those who love him best have any idea what he is truly like. In this extraordinary and powerful first novel, the reader learns to look beyond the obvious and finds a character whose spirit is rich beyond imagining and whose story is unforgettable

I'm not sure exactly what to say about this one. It's a super short, little book that is filled with some heavy material. I read it in less than an hour, but I will be thinking about it for a long time to come.

It's written from the perspective of a smart, funny boy...that happens to have cerebral palsy. The author gives you a glimpse into the 'what if'. What if those we see as 'retarded' are fully developed people, trapped in a body that won't cooperate? What if they are misunderstood by everyone they know? Invisible and forgotten, just wanting to be loved and express their own love.

Although this boy had plenty of reasons to complain and to even hate his life, he doesn't. He loves his family, takes pleasure in the small things, accepts the way he lives his life, and forgives people for treating him different.

A small glimpse into the confusion and conflict that parents of special needs children face daily. The boundless love that a parent has for their child, no matter the outer packaging.

Publication Date: October 1, 2001
Genre: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction
Source: My own tower of books

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Follow Friday and Book Blogger Hop 9/9

Follow Friday can be found at Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read. Check it out and join in!

This Week:

Q. Have you ever wanted a villain to win at the end of a story? If so, which one?

A. Hrrrm. I don't know if I necessarily root for the bad guys, but sometimes they can be so bad that they're good. You know what I mean? Especially hottie type bad guys :-)

Book Blogger Hop is hosted at Crazy For Books. Join in the fun!

This week:

“Many of us primarily read one genre of books, with others sprinkled in. If authors stopped writing that genre, what genre would you start reading? Or would you give up reading completely if you couldn’t read that genre anymore?”

My answer:

I normally like to read YA or Adult Paranormal. I would never stop reading completely. I have no idea what I would do if I didn't read! I would probably just read contemporary fiction in YA and Adult.

Review: Blood by K. J. Wignall

I do not remember being bitten. I wish I did, for then I would know the creature who did this to me and I would have a purpose, to track him down and repay him for the poisoned gift he gave me. Back in the Thirteenth Century, Will was destined to be Earl of Mercia, although he never lived to inherit his title. In the centuries that follow, Will has led a lonely life, learning to deal with whatever the present day throws at him, always searching for answers but never finding any. Until this time, when he awakens after a 20-year-slumber, hungry for the blood that sustains his undeath, when it appears that he is finally getting a glimpse at why he exists. He does indeed have a destiny, and an enemy, but revealing that fate will be a matter of trust...

Blood starts off with a first person narrative from the main character, Will. I think these snippets that are found throughout the novel are some of my favorite parts. It let me see what was going on with this character and helped me connect with him a bit more.

The relationship between Will and Eloise fell kind of flat for me. I felt like a lot of their conversations were vehicles to present the reader with information about the story that could have been shown in a more engaging way.

All this to say, I liked reading Blood, thought the story idea was a cool and interesting, but the pacing and character interactions kept it from being something I could really gush about.

I should add that the end of the book gives you a glimpse into what will be happening in the next installment, and it makes me think the next one might be a funner read. The setting alone makes me think it will be more enjoyable. I will be interested to read book two and see how things develop. If you are a fan of vampire fiction, which I am, I would say to definitely give it a try.

Publication Date: September 27, 2011
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Vampires
Source: Thanks to Egmont Books and Netgalley.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Review: Stolen by Lucy Christopher

Sixteen year old Gemma is kidnapped from Bangkok airport and taken to the Australian Outback. This wild and desolate landscape becomes almost a character in the book, so vividly is it described. Ty, her captor, is no stereotype. He is young, fit and completely gorgeous. This new life in the wilderness has been years in the planning. He loves only her, wants only her. Under the hot glare of the Australian sun, cut off from the world outside, can the force of his love make Gemma love him back? The story takes the form of a letter, written by Gemma to Ty, reflecting on those strange and disturbing months in the outback. Months when the lines between love and obsession, and love and dependency, blur until they don't exist - almost.

After finishing this book I feel like I've been on such a roller coaster ride of emotions. Which is exactly what is happening throughout the story with the main character, Gemma.

The synopsis describes the books perfectly. Here are the facts: girl captured by a guy stalking her since she was 10, taken to an abandoned and isolated location, forced to live with her captor. That information doesn't really scratch the surface of what this book really is. I don't know if I've ever read a book where I have experienced the same ups and downs of the main character. Simply amazing. Riveting.

If someone had told me that I would find myself wishing that Gemma would fall in love with the handsome kidnapper, I would have scoffed. But that is exactly what happened. He may have problems, but he's caring, loving and devoted. All the makings of true love, right? I found myself conflicted and confused about how I could so easily brush aside the bad things that her captor, Ty, did and secretly start rooting for him.

I feel like I just read something important and have been changed in some indefinable way. A one of a kind book, in my opinion, and I can't get it out of my head. I wish I could see this on the Big Screen.

Publication Date: May 4, 2009
Genre: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction
Source: My own tower of books

Friday, September 2, 2011

Blog Tour: Stanley Seagull by Cathy Mazur and Colleen Gedrich

Meet a young seagull named Stanley. Follow him as he wanders far from home and tries to find his way back. Join Stanley on his journey as he learns how humans affect the balance of nature.


While reading this book I definitely had my children in mind. What parts would they like the most? What pictures would they want to look at just a little longer before turning to the next page? This is a sweet story with super cute illustrations.

Poor Stanley Seagull gets himself into a pickle by not listening or paying attention to what he is told. Luckily, with some help, he eventually finds his way back home. I felt so bad for Stanley getting stuck in the dirty, smelly landfill when all he really wants is to go back to the beautiful beaches and open skies he calls home.

This book presents a great opportunity to share time reading with very small kids and also to discuss some of the themes in the book with ones that are a bit older. It would be perfect to read together with your kids before bed.

And if you are wondering which picture my kids would like the most, it's probably the one where a hotdog gets snatched off the grill. :-)

To learn more about this book visit:

Author Cathy Mazur (left) and Illustrator Colleen Gedrich (right).

Publication Date: June 27, 2011

Genre: Children's Fiction, Picture Book

Source: Thank you to Tribute Books for letting me participate in this tour!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Follow Friday and Book Blogger Hop 9/2

Feature and Follow Friday is a meme hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read. Check it out and join in!

Q. If you could change the ending of any book (or series), which book would you choose? Why and to what?

A. I'm actually having a hard time answering this. The only time I think I'd like to change the ending of a book is if it's a book I didn't really like at all. And in that case I'd really be wanting to change more than the ending! If it's a book I really like or even love then I'm pretty accepting of whatever the author chose for the ending.

Of course, Romeo and Juliet did pop into my head. I wouldn't actually want the ending changed, but it's just so cruel! On one hand, the plot of this story is so tragically genius that it would be worthless if it were changed . But on the other hand...what would have happened if Romeo DID get that message and knew that Juliet wasn't really dead? What then, I ask? It would be a more pleasant way to end this tale, albeit less buzzworthy.

Stop over at Crazy for Books to find out more about this fun meme! Then join in!

This week: “What are you most looking forward to this fall/autumn season – A particular book release? Halloween? The leaves changing color? Cooler temperatures? A vacation? (If your next season is other than fall/autumn, tell us about it and what you are most looking forward to in your part of the world!)”

Answer: I am looking foward to two big things this Fall. First, cooler weather. Actually, I would settle for weather that isn't straight from the bowels of Hades. I live in Texas, and have been here for more than a decade, and this summer has been the worst I can remember (and I was hugely, enormously pregnant last summer...and it just doesn't compare to this year). It's like being snowed in but in reverse. Plus, I'm ready to start wearing jeans, sweaters, boots and scarves again!

Second, for some reason I am ridiculously excited about Bath and Body works starting to put out their fall scents. I am like a junkie at that store from fall through Christmas. I like getting all the little mini lotions in all the scents, and then I line them up on my dresser and admire them. I love being able to pick and choose which yummy smell I'm going to wear each day.
What are you looking forward to?