Sunday, March 31, 2013

Review: Sever by Lauren DeStefano

Published date: February 12th, 2013

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Pages: 371 (hardcover)

 Time is running out for Rhine in this conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Chemical Garden Trilogy.


With the clock ticking until the virus takes its toll, Rhine is desperate for answers. After enduring Vaughn’s worst, Rhine finds an unlikely ally in his brother, an eccentric inventor named Reed. She takes refuge in his dilapidated house, though the people she left behind refuse to stay in the past. While Gabriel haunts Rhine’s memories, Cecily is determined to be at Rhine’s side, even if Linden’s feelings are still caught between them.


Meanwhile, Rowan’s growing involvement in an underground resistance compels Rhine to reach him before he does something that cannot be undone. But what she discovers along the way has alarming implications for her future—and about the past her parents never had the chance to explain.


In this breathtaking conclusion to Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden trilogy, everything Rhine knows to be true will be irrevocably shattered.



There were so many moments in Sever (in all of the Chemical Garden novels actually) that I was just totally and utterly stunned into silence, dumbstruck with awe.  Lauren DeStefano’s writing is so tragically beautiful that all you want to do is laugh while you're crying, smile while your whole world changes. Lauren's play on the novel's mood reminds me of a playwright's skill. Melancholy and agony of the heart seems to wrap itself around Sever as we see the seeds planted in the other books in the series finally come into fruition.

Looking back at the journey that has been The Chemical Garden Trilogy, I see how much I really have enjoyed it. Really really have. The emotional investment I have in these books is staggering. My feelings were tossed here and there like a rag doll in this last novel though. After this, I have decided that I really HATE endings and wish that this series could have gone on into infinity. While unrealistic, I will always hope for it. I guess that's testament to how great these books are, how much I absolutely love them.

I see this book much as I see a waterfall. From a distance, it's beautiful and wonderful. But once you’re under its pounding embrace, it's suffocating. Over feeling. Starting Sever, I didn't think about how much I loved all of these characters, these places contained here in this book. There's so much that happens. Things I wanted to happen, thing I didn't. Lauren manages to put the right amount of drama in with all of the action.

Latelyif you haven't noticedI've been reading a lot of other genres. Mostly because the dystopian novels that have become so popular are starting to really bore me. Not only are the settings exactly the same in every freaking novel, but the characters as well. Rhine is not like those characters. She is lyrical with her thoughts, a ponderer of the things around her. I have often thought she was a lot like me in that way. Her thoughts are much like mine whenever I'm in a melancholy, nostalgic, or even anxious mood. She sees the things around her with a different set of eyes than others, eyes that really see what's around them. I find that that's what I like most about her.

All good things eventually end as they often day, so I will forgive Lauren for not expanding the series this one time. I’ll never regret deciding to pick up Wither that day. I just hope people have the chance to do the same. xx


Friday, March 29, 2013

Cover Reveal: Of Silver and Beasts (A Goddess Wars Novel) by Trisha Wolfe


Of Silver and Beasts (A Goddess Wars Novel)
Release Date: June 1, 2013
Genre: New Adult Dark Fantasy
Cover Reveal Organized by: YA Bound
Cover Designed by: Steven Novak

In the sand-covered queendom of Cavan, the goddess once saved a young Kaliope’s life, preventing the mercury her father attempted to hide in her blood from reaching her heart. Now, a cybernetic clamp filters it, but the silver streaks swirling faintly beneath her skin are a constant reminder that she’s different.

When nineteen-year-old Kaliope is chosen as head of the Nactue Guard, she becomes the sworn protector to her empress. In the midst of an invasion on a neighboring land, Kaliope is placed in charge of guarding Prince Caben, the last heir to his kingdom. But when they’re attacked by the feared Otherworlders, Caben and Kaliope are abducted and taken below to a realm where they must fight for their life in a caged arena. 

Kaliope struggles to protect her princely charge, keeping him and herself alive while battling inhumanly opponents, and trying to save the stolen, sacred relic that will restore her empress’s life force and all of Cavan. And if she can somehow awaken the goddess within her, she may save what’s most important.






I open my mouth to say something comforting, but I’m unsure of what. In this moment, I’m reminded that I know little about him. Other than the sarcasm and desire to understand nothing of my queendom, he hasn’t allowed me past the surface. But then, I have my own walls, hiding things I’d never want him or any other to know. And I understand that need to hide them. You can’t trust anyone.

“Caben…” I start, but still can’t find the right words. He lowers his hand from his face, never taking his eyes off the glinting water top. 

“You’re right,” he finally says. “Let’s find the access to Lilly’s section.” A hollow pang hits my chest, and I’m not sure why. Something in his voice sounds lost, broken. I imagine the gears around my heart spinning faster, trying to keep up with my racing heart. When he sidesteps me, I reach out and grab his arm. “Caben, I didn’t mean—” 

“It’s fine, Kal,” he snaps. “We have work to do.” 

“No, I’ve said something to offend you.” I drop my hand, but keep close to him, not allowing him to leave my side. Goddess, trying to understand the male brain is harder than anything in protector training. I’ve heard people say that you have to tip-toe around a woman’s emotions, but a man’s ego is every bit as fragile, if not more so. He releases a heavy breath through his nose and walks back to the pool. He sits down along the edge and rolls up his pants, then slips off his boots. 

“I honestly don’t think Bax or his goons will be returning tonight.” He sinks his bare feet into the water and sighs. Glancing at the back of the cave, I plant my hands on my hips. We don’t have time for indulgencies, but the prince is still my charge. If it were my empress, I’d give her anything she’d ask for. Allow her as much time as she needed to collect herself. I have to watch over his mental state as well as protect him, so I try to push the pending need to find Lilly aside and sit down next to him. “Here,” he says, turning his hand out near my crossed feet. “You have to feel this.” A smile tugs at the corner of my mouth.

 “I can remove my own—”  

“Have you never been pampered a day in your life?” he asks, lifting an eyebrow. “I know that the Nactue are fierce and will put a hurt on any man for touching them. But try to relax.” 

“Is that the rumor in Perinya?” “What?” I bite my lip, suddenly regretting my blurt. “Nothing. Never mind.” From the corner of my eye, I see his lips pucker into a pinched smile, as if he’s trying not to. 

“Ah,” he says, like he’s made some great universal connection. “Well, there are many whisperings about the Nactue. Some I dare not repeat for fear I’d leave here missing a limb, but that’s one, yes.” He takes my booted foot and begins to unlace it. “I’ve heard that the empress’s protectors are untouchable—forbidden to give themselves to men. And that they’ll snap a man’s neck just for making an advance.” My mouth drops open. 

Appalled, I counter, “That’s not true.” 

“All right,” he says, as if he hasn’t just insulted my very existence. “It’s only rumors. Things men jaw about in pubs. The unattainable woman is a fantasy, Kal. Don’t be offended.” 

“Unattainable?” I grit my teeth, trying to maintain my composure. “Tell me, prince. Do men in your country just go around bedding every woman they can in order to keep them compliant?” I shake my head. “If their fantasy is a woman that would have nothing to do with them, it seems to me it’s their way of feeding their egos after being rejected.” His eyes widen. 

“No! How does your brain come up with these—” He bites off his words, his lips thin as he presses them together. “Look, it was a joke.” I nod, many times. 

“Another joke. I’m glad that our hard work and sacrifice is amusing to the men of Perinya.” Caben lets out another sigh and slowly pulls off my boot. His warm fingers skim my calf as he inches up my pant leg. “Just stick your foot in,” he says, then adds lower, “while I stick mine in my mouth.” Unexpectedly, I laugh. 

“At least it’s now clean,” I say. “Would you like some help getting it to your face?”



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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Blog Tour + Giveaway: I Kissed a Dog (Werewolves of the West, #1) BY Carol Van Atta


I Kissed a Dog (Werewolves of the West, #1)
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Fantasy
Published Date: 10.20.2012

Where to Buy: Amazon, Kindle, B&N,

Nook, + Kobo.




 Chloe Carpenter isn't like other women. She can communicate with animals. A gift she unwrapped following one of her frequent dances with death.


   In her otherwise wacky life, she's finally found a semblance of sanity working at the Plum Beach Wildlife Park, where her unique talents can make life or death differences for the animals in her care. That semblance is shattered when a new veterinarian roars into the park in his spiffed up sports car and sets his golden gaze on her. If she had her way, he'd roar right back out.

  Problem: He's her new coworker and he's saved her life twice - in the past twenty-four hours.

  Zane Marshall, Enforcer for the Pacific Pack of purebred werewolves, has a job to do - figure out who or what is mutilating the young men of Plum Beach.

  With orders to find the woman who talks to animals, he accepts a position working alongside the fiery Chloe Carpenter, a female who ignites his interest far more than he ever expected. Remarkably, she's the one elusive female with potential to bring meaning and passion to his empty existence.

  Problem: She despises him.

  Together, they're forced to unravel a mystery of supernatural proportions, a murderous mystery with eternal implications for everyone. In the process, they discover opposites really do attract.

  Major Problem: Zane is pledged to another woman, and she'll do anything to keep him from Chloe.





Like most authors, Carol Van Atta is no stranger to the written word. She penned a short novel at age 12. (somewhat frightening illustrations included), and had a creative writing piece published in her high school newspaper (about David Bowie’s Diamond Dogs LP). Yes, she’s an ex-80’s rocker chick.

    She has contributed to several popular inspirational anthologies and devotional books, and lives in the rainy wetlands of Oregon with one terrifying teen (another in college) and a small zoo of animals. She is taking an undetermined hiatus away from inspirational writing to delve into her darker side. It is rumored that this genre-jumping occurred after Carol discovered two suspicious read marks on her neck, and experienced an unquenchable urge to howl at the moon.



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Release Day Blitz: The Grimm Diaries by Cameron Jace







Grimm Diaries by Cameron Jace 
Prequels 11-14 
Publication date: March 28th 2013 
Genre: YA Fantasy/Fairy Tale



Happy Valentine’s Slay by Wee Willy Winkie:
The real Sandman Grimm sheds a light on what happened in Jawigi, and tells about how some of the teens in Sorrow spend their Valentine’s Day. 


Children of Hamlin by the Devil:
 The Devil tells the story of the Piper of Hamlin, who he really is, the historical events he witnessed, and his relationship to Ladle Rat. Most of all, why they call him the Black Death. 



Tooth & Nail & Fairy Tale by Jack Madly:
 Jack Madly stole a sack full of baby teeth from Bluebeard’s enchanted castle, which reminds him of when he first met the Tooth Fairy when he was a child; a memory he wishes to forget. 



Ember in the Wind by the Little Match Girl:
 All the Little Match Girl wants is to sell her matches so she uses the money to eat and find  shelter from the cold. But no one in the cruel city of crowded London helps her. Eventually, she learns something about who she really is, and it changes her life forever. 


Jar of Hearts by the Queen of Sorrow:
 The Queen of Sorrow, still trapped in the Dreamworld summons Cassandra, the fortuneteller, to ask her about the identities of Lost Seven. The problem with Cassandra is that she’s cursed that her predictions will never be believed. The Queen is still determined to believe her, but it will cost more than she can bargain for.



Wonderlander, Neverlander, Unicorn-chaser, enchanter, musician, survived a coma, & totally awesome. Sometimes I tell stories. Always luv the little monsters. I write young adult paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and science fiction mostly. The Grimm Diaries series is a seven book saga that deals with retellings of fairy tales from a young adult POV - it connects most of the fairy tales together and claims to be the truth about fairy tales. I live in San Fransisco and seriously think circles are way cooler than triangles.

Cameron's Website // Twitter // Goodreads // Facebook


From Snow White Blood Red:


Dear Wilhelm Carl Grimm,


She is not that giddy, naïve, and helpless princess she pretends to be. Please don’t let her fool you with her innocence if you see her sing to the birds in the forest. Resist her charm from bringing joyful tears to your eyes, and shield yourself from her devious beauty before she deceives you into wanting to kiss her awake. It'll  be a kiss of death. Your death. That’s how she fooled the Huntsman, Prince Charming, and me, her birth mother.
I still remember the original script of the fairy tale, the one you wrote in 1812. It clearly stated that she was my own flesh and blood daughter. I don’t have the slightest idea why you altered it fifty years later.
What was the point of turning me into an evil, narcissistic, and heartless stepmother, blinded by jealousy and envy of the young princess?
For years, I have been looking forward to telling you the truth about her, but you were impossible to reach.
I am glad I found your brother, Jacob. He told me that you wanted to tone the stories down so children could sleep better at night, instead of having nightmares about the Queen who sought to eat her daughter’s heart and liver.
Shame on you, Wilhelm.
You, of all authors, knew why I wanted to kill her. My actions were justified. I was trying to save my kingdom from her wrath, before everything we loved was destined to an end. The same way you had to rewrite the true fairytales after cursing us, so the War of Sorrows would end forever after.
Night after night, and year after year, parents fed their children false bedtime stories, until your lies grew into inescapable memories. Your happily ever after lies, Wilhelm, shaped the so called fairy tale world.
I wondered why you didn’t burn the original scripts, instead of rewriting them. You must have figured out that sooner or later someone would dig up the truth and expose you. Altering it was the smarter solution. You let children believe that the bites were resurrecting kisses, and that torturing glass coffins were made for sleeping beauties, waiting for a prince to come and kiss them awake.
A wise man once said that the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he was someone else. You did the same with us, Wilhelm. You turned us into pastiches of the immortals that we really are, and made it harder for us if wanted to persuade the world otherwise.
I know that you did it to save us from her. And I appreciate how you concealed our real names, or we would have ended up like Rumpelstiltskin, tortured by those who knew of his real name.
But sometimes, I can’t help but wonder why no one ever questioned why I was called the Evil Queen, and why I was never given a real name in the books.
Was I so superficial to the world, so stereotypical and mundane? Why was I treated as if I were the monster of the week?
You know what I think? I think that the world never got the time to hate me. It just wanted to hate me long before it met me.
If I tell those who detest me about the true nature of their little princess, would they ever care about me half as much as they care about her?
I know that deep inside, they adore me. They like the way I talk, walk, dress, and even the way I kill.
They are just afraid to admit how much they love me. I am the Snow White Queen, strong enough that I don’t need anyone’s pity or love, because I am loved by the greatest and most majestic heart in the world:
Mine.




Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Cover Reveal: Before You Go by Clare James


Before You Go by Clare James
Expected Pub: April 1, 2013
Cover Designer: PhatPuppy Art



Forgiveness is the only option, but can she learn to forgive herself? 

Paralyzed by the past and terrified of the future, Tabitha Kelly is broken. 

After a public sex scandal at her college, Tabby moves to a new city with a new school, convinced she can start over. But she soon realizes the changes are not enough. Tabby must take action to help her heal and move on from the past. 

And though it sounds crazy, she believes a one-night stand is the best way to take back what’s hers. If she can choose where, when, and most importantly, who … maybe she can regain control. 

First, she needs a willing participant. 

She finds more than that when she meets Noah Adler. 

Unfortunately, she can’t go through with it. And when she tries to forget about the plan–and the guy—it becomes impossible. 

Noah quickly weaves his way into her new life and her heart. But as he comes dangerously close to discovering her secret, Tabby’s at risk of losing it all. 

Clare James spent her childhood, writing, reading, and dancing. Not much has changed since then, except she can no longer get up on toe shoes like she once could. And don’t even ask her to go into the splits because she may never get back up. 

A new adult and contemporary romance writer, Clare loves a happy ending. She lives in Minneapolis with her two leading men—her husband and young son. BEFORE YOU GO is her debut new adult novel. 

Clare's Website // Twitter

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Promo + Guest Post: Fate War: Alliance by E. M. Havens



Fate War: Allianceby E. M. Havens
Genre: Sci Fi Romance / Steampunk
Date Published: 2/25/13

  Prince Cole meets Samantha when she walks down the aisle. Though she seems like the polished women he is familiar with, there is something different. She is complicated and full of mystery. Her dowry comes with a promise of air ships and mech capable of defense against their common enemy and for his country to survive, he must unravel her secrets. It is only when each accepts their destinies can they save their people from the plans of the Fate Sovereign.











Haven's Website // Twitter // Facebook



A Day in the Life:


My day starts early, sunrise usually, with a guinea sitting on my window air conditioner, pecking the glass like crazy. Stupid bird wants to be fed. After I throw a pillow at it and fail to scare it away I finally get up. I wake up the kids.  Well, I tell them to get up, then go feed our menagerie. Then I come in and feed our inside animals, kids included.  Of course they’re still in bed, so I tell them to get up more forcefully.  Most people call it yelling.

After breakfast I get the kids started on schoolwork.  Then I sit down to check all my media sites, blog, facebook, twitter, goodreads, and amazon. Then I yell at the kids again to do their work.

Next I do a load of dishes and clean the countertops. This is followed by kindergarten math with my youngest. They’re so fun to teach at that age. I then plead with the older ones to do their work instead of fighting.

I take a little break and review a chapter for a critique partner, then it’s back to house work. A load of laundry and cleaning the living room is in order.

Now it’s time for lunch and I threaten the older kids with bodily harm and grounding for life if they don’t finish their work. After lunch I do more schoolwork with the youngest followed by another review for a critique partner. More house work. It’s about the time of day for a mental break down from the teenagers so I cry and beg them to finish their work. Have I convinced you to homeschool yet?

Now it’s dinner time, for both humans and animals.  The family works together to help with the animals and we eat or go to town for various activities –  boy scouts, 4h, dance, church. If it’s Monday or Wednesday I get a few hours to myself to work on my own writing.

Now it’s bedtime for the kids, and one more animal feeding. It’s concentrated mommy and daddy time after 9, the best part of the day. Now wasn’t that exciting? 


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