(BookR) Storm Siren by Mary Weber

book-storm-siren

 

 

Cover: 

Book: ★★½

Pages : 341

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Publication Date: August 26, 2014

 

My Review:

The cover is beautiful. There is just something about the stark white hair that draws me in every single time. ( think Sarah j. Maas throne of glass)  I picked this book up as am eBook from my library as a precursor to the advanced readers copies of part two of this series that I have yet to review. The main character is Nymia, an elemental girl who shouldn’t even exist as everyone (in the book at least) knows elementals are only of the male persuasion. When you meet her she has been orphaned and passed on from owner to owner due to her inability to control her gifts, her most recent owner being a lady named Adora who promises to have her taught control if she will only agree to do whatever Adora wants when she wants. I have a love hate relationship with the end of this book, but overall it was a good book.

Description:

In a world at war, a slave girl’s lethal curse could become one kingdom’s weapon of salvation. If the curse – and the girl – can be controlled.

As a slave in the war-weary kingdom of Faelen, seventeen-year-old Nym isn’t merely devoid of rights, her Elemental kind are only born male and always killed at birth – meaning, she shouldn’t even exist.

Standing on the auction block beneath smoke-drenched mountains, Nym faces her fifteenth sell. But when her hood is removed and her storm-summoning killing curse revealed, Nym is snatched up by a court advisor and given a choice: be trained as the weapon Faelen needs to win the war, or be killed.

Choosing the former, Nym is unleashed into a world of politics, bizarre parties, and rumors of an evil more sinister than she’s being prepared to fight . . . not to mention the handsome trainer whose dark secrets lie behind a mysterious ability to calm every lightning strike she summons.

But what if she doesn’t want to be the weapon they’ve all been waiting for?

Set in a beautifully eclectic world of suspicion, super abilities, and monsters, Storm Siren is a story of power. And whoever controls that power will win.

 

About the Author:

Mary Weber (taken from her website)

I’m Mary. I write books and work with teens. I have tattoos. I love old souls and belly laughter. I live in California with my husband and kids, and I’m the author of the young adult STORM SIREN trilogy from Thomas Nelson / HarperCollins.

 

AND BETWEEN YOU AND ME?

I’m completely in love with story. Yours. Mine. Everybody’s. I believe our stories are woven like threads into the fabric of our skin, our blood, our breath.

If I could, I’d pull you up a seat on the porch, serve you tea with sugar cubes, and beg to hear YOUR story. The one which, at times, has maybe surprised you, and other times bored you, and if I could venture a guess, has more often than imaginable left you feeling bloodied.

I’d listen. And choke up for the broken bits because I am the biggest ugly crier you know.

And then, after a while, when your words faded in the summer breeze (because that’s all you could remember to tell), that’s the moment I’d nod. I’d set down my chipped teacup, look you square in the eye, and tell you that, from my perspective, I see a person of beauty. Because you’ve chosen to press on through the bitter and let the bravery refine you.

I’d tell you that, the way I see it, in spite of the broken or the failures or the excruciating hurt we’ve caused, or the hurt that’s been caused us, there is a soul of wealth inside you. Inside me. There is so much more to who we are and who we can impact with our Stories—whether we stay in a small town our whole lives, or travel abroad. Because we’re made to live great ones, aren’t we? Wild adventures in which we can exhilarate and ache with this world full of lovely people, knowing that despite the different locations or cultural settings or character quirks, our underlying fears and grief and hopes are similar. We’re on this journey together.

And when we embrace that?

We’re powerful. Beautiful. Unstoppable.

 

>>Find more by her here<<

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(BaubleR) Overdrive Media Console

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Rating:★★★★

My review:

This is a console that I truly do love and is always one of the first apps I download whenever I get a new phone. It enables you to take your library with you wherever you go as long as your library works with them and has the ability to do digital lending. It has a streamlined interface, is available across most devices (android, apple and web based) and lets you check out up to 10 ebooks, movies, audiobooks or mp3’s  at a time from your library’s digital collection, place a hold for a book that is currently checked out and create wish lists for books that you like. All you need to be able to use it is your library card or alternate login method allowed by your library, and an authorized adobe ID to enable you to read adobe protected PDFs.

 

>>Visit Overdrive.com and download the app by clicking here<<

 

 

(Opinion) My advice to self published authors

books

I would like to start this post by saying that I have never, and likely will never publish my own book. I am obviously not an expert on all facets of that particular world and all of the struggles you have to go through or money you have to spend to make your book a reality. I admire you for having the creativity and courage to put yourselves out there and take a risk. That being said, I read a lot (hence this blog), and a lot of those books are written by those who are self-published and in various stages of the writing process, which has lead me to write this post with the following suggestions.

  1. Beta readers

I know it has to be hard to be patient once you finish your manuscript. While you might find your excitement is hard to contain, and piracy is a large concern, it is in your best interest to have beta readers take a look at your book before submitting it to a blog for reviews. I would also like to suggest that those beta reader not be someone who has an emotional connection to you because while your husband/wife/brother/best friend are your biggest support system, they know you and are going to be more lenient in the feedback they give. (Let’s face it, after seeing you work so hard for the last week/month/year, no one wants to tell someone they care about that this particular chapter sucks.)

2. Knowing your audience

I know that this is your baby and it is finally a chance to show off how great you are at writing and you want to impress the world but it is important to write (or at least edit) with your ideal audience in mind.

Take for example, a children’s book with a target audience of two year old. This type of book should have more pictures than text and it should have just enough of a storyline to keep the child engaged, but not so much that you lose that child’s interest etc. etc.

I have read more than one book where there has been what seemed to be a pre-teen to young adult audience and it has seemed like the author has tried to incorporate every 5 star word from the dictionary that they could find. I have no problem with doing this once a chapter or so (some of my favorite books teach me something about a person or culture that I never would have known if I hadn’t picked up that book), but alienating your reader by forcing them to look up 3 words in a single page won’t make a bestseller.

3. Character/Setting details

It is very important to develop your characters and give them history and give the reader a mental image of what is going on around them…but it is also important to remember that your reader does not need to have every single detail of your main character, their history and the room around them drawn out for them in excruciating detail in the first two chapters.  I would suggest giving a general description of the setting, picking one or two details for the scene and character and keep it moving. You could also use a preface or family tree if you need the reader to know something important about a character or a group of characters early in the book. For me this lets me know that this is something that I need to know to understand the world/situation/scene that I will be reading.

Thank you for your time and consideration in reading this post. If you are an author or publisher and have a tip you would like to add or a question about what I mean, please send me a message or post it in the comment section.

(BookR) 29 By Nancy Pennick

 29

>>Read an excerpt or buy it here($2.99 for the kindle version)<<

Pages: 334

Cover: ★★★

Book:★★★★

Publishing Date: October 9th, 2015

**A FREE copy of this book was provided by the Author in exchange for this review**

My Review: 

The cover of this book made me think of the movie 28 days later so I was expecting it to be another zombie book. It’s not. It does however, have a unique story line, that draws you in and makes you feel like you have to know what happens on the next page. The main character is a girl named Allie, in her Junior year at high school. I personally found that the teenager in me identified with her on so many different levels:

*She has an older brother she barely gets along with and who does whatever he feels he needs to accomplish his own agenda

*She’s from a small town and longs to get away.

*She has a best friend who is a girl but is always a little closer to her male best friend

*Her ex Josh always seems to be around no matter what she does

Mrs. Pennick, being a former High School teacher herself, has plenty of anecdotes and knows all of the little details of the high school experience to bring the high school experience back to life and make you feel like you never left. If you read the description and it appeals to you, I really think you should give it a try!

 

 Description:

Allie Sanders thinks life in a small town can’t get any more dull and boring. She plans to escape after graduation. After a bad break-up, she wants to sail through junior year without distraction. Then the mysterious loner sits down in front of her in AP English. He’s the guy she noticed last year desperately trying to stay invisible. She wants to know his secrets.Suddenly her much older military brother, Doug, makes a rare appearance. He takes a special interest in her life. Suspicious of his motives Allie holds back, never really trusting him. Doug wants what she wants—the boy she has come to love. No way would she let that happen. She’d go against family and friends to protect him—and his secrets—even if it ends up breaking her heart.

About the Author:

Nancy Pennick

Nancy Pennick grew up and still lives in Northeast Ohio. After a career in teaching, she began writing young adult books. The Waiting for Dusk series includes a historical fiction prequel, Broken Dreams. The fantasy romance series has three books-Waiting for Dusk, Call of the Canyon and Stealing Time. The Swedish influences in the series come from her mother whose parents emigrated from Sweden.
Her new series-Twenty Nine-has slowly developed over time. Last Leap Year, an idea came to her and she created the characters and story based on that special day, February 29.
Nancy is married and has one son who helps her with all things technical. He created the video trailers for Waiting for Dusk.

(BookR) Rend the Dark By Mark Gelineau, Joe King

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>>Buy it here<<

Pages: 104

Cover: ★★★

Book:★★★¾

Excerpt:

The boy felt it before he saw it.

There was a chill feeling, different from the usual cold that filled the stone halls of the orphanage. That cold was familiar and simple. You felt it in your bones. You endured it by hovering closer to the kitchen fire before the matron caught you, or by sharing a blanket with your chosen brothers and sisters.

But this was different. This was a sharp-edged cold. Like the glitter that came off the knife they used to kill the goats. Like the ice that sheathed the old tree outside and made the branches snap off. He did not feel this cold in his bones, but in his very soul. And it made him want to whimper with fear.

He had tried to keep quiet. Already many of the other orphans were angry at him. The dancers and jugglers had them clapping and laughing, a rare treat for the forgotten children housed here.

Until he had begun screaming and pointing at one of the performers.

He had ruined the show, and the embarrassed matron sent the children off to their dormitories immediately. Their anger was palpable, a terrible thing he felt all around, and he could hear harsh whispers up and down the halls of the old fortress that served as the orphanage. “Crazy is at it again,” he heard. “The lunatic’s seeing monsters again.” He knew if not for his friends, he would have suffered that night.


 

Publishing Date: December 8, 2015

**A FREE copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for this review**

My Review:

This novella takes you through the harrowing journey of a group of acolytes trying to eliminate a suspicious band of thrives that has been spotted in the area of a small village. As always, Gelinaeu and King have created a world full of action and adventure through detailed imagery that keeps the action going, the only drawback being that you are ready to read the sequel as soon as the one you are reading is finished.

 Description:

The great Ruins are gone. The titans. The behemoths. All banished to the Dark and nearly forgotten. But the cunning ones, the patient ones remain. They hide not in the cracks of the earth or in the shadows of the world. But inside us. Wearing our skin. Waiting. Watching.

Once haunted by visions of the world beyond, Ferran now wields that power to hunt the very monsters that he once feared. He is not alone. Others bear the same terrible burden. But Hunter or hunted, it makes no difference. Eventually, everything returns to the Dark.

About the Authors:

Mark and Joe have been writing and telling stories together for the last 25 years. They share a love for the classic fantasy tales of their childhood. Their Echoes of the Ascended series brings those old epic characters and worlds to new life.

(BookR) The Lost Heir by Allison Whitmore

heir

 >>Buy it Here<<

Pages: 368

Cover: ★★★★

Book: ★★★

Publishing Date: December 8, 2015

**A FREE copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for this review**

My Review:

Isabella Foxworthy, the grand-daughter of noteworthy 1930’s actors is thrown into a situation where she must find and refortify the Violet Fire protecting her and her family’s hotel with the help of The Lost Heir. The first chapter was nice and there were portions that were good, (The author and co-authors did a really good job of describing the parts of Los Angeles the characters visited) and parts that weren’t so great (basically little to no development of the characters and how they fit into the story as it is weaved together. Case in point the character that the book is named after {The Lost Heir himself}. He seemed like more of an afterthought than anything as he just pops up from time to time and then disappears again. There were a lot of characters that seemed to just be thrown in to move the story along and were then dropped like a hot potato. Overall, I fell in love with the cover, was intrigued by the description and was sorely disappointed with what I actually read.

 Description:
Isabella Foxworthy was just another girl…until she learned she was an empath, able to read the energy of others. A secret world known as the Violet City lies beneath her family’s hotel in Los Angeles. Through this discovery, Isabella is catapulted into a whirlwind of magic, adventure, and danger. The Violet City holds the key to protecting her stability; her family hotel, her friends, and her very sanity. With morphlings, empaths, and fair folk also comes a powerful entity that twists her mind into knots, threatening everything she loves. Now, Isabella and her new friends—a guitar-playing jock, his gifted but neurotic brother, and a set of over-indulged twins—have until her 16th birthday to save her world with the help of someone who’s been lost for a very long time…the lost Foxworthy heir. But will they find him in time? And will he be a friend or foe?

 

About the Authors:

Allison Whitmore was born in Los Angeles and studied literature and writing at Long Island University. She spent several years teaching English and history after earning her master’s degree at Mount St. Mary’s University. Outside of writing and reading, Allison loves classic Hollywood films, and spending time with her family and friends. In 2011, she started working on The Lost Heir (Book I in The Diadem Chronicles) with two of her good friends, Erin Virginia and Grace Arden. She is grateful to have them along for the ride as she developed the characters and etched out the massive story world of the novel and the exciting series-to-come.

>>Find more about/By her here<<

The Co-Authors:
Erin Virginia spent the first years of her life in Tokyo, Japan before finishing her formative years in a suburb of Chicago. She attributes her wild imagination and her love of reading to her family. She loved working with her two best friends as the three of them created mayhem and magic with The Lost Heir in her new home, Los Angeles.
Grace Arden was born in Philadelphia. She has always lived in the imaginative world and grew up fascinated by dark stories, fantasy and romance. Grace plans to empower the world through her looking glass mirror perspective on life. She currently resides in Los Angeles.

(BookR) Tainted by Alexandra Moody

tainted

 

>Get it here<<

(FREE FOR NOW)

 

 

Pages: 194

Cover:

Book: ★★★★

Publishing Date: November 16th 2016

**a FREE copy of this book was provided for the purposes of this review**

My Review:

If you loved novels like Allegiant by Veronica Roth or Matched by Ally Condie, then you should enjoy this book that has been set in the future 17 years after a Meteor strike has forced whats left of humanity in bunkers underground. This book was fast paced and kept me guessing about what was going to happen next. There was one character, Ryan, Chancellor on the council that could have used a little more fleshing out but overall I thought this was a really good book and will be looking forward to reading the sequel.

 

Reviews by others:

‘PHENOMENAL! AMAZING! This book is perfect, solid writing at it’s best. Ms. Moody created a book you can’t put down.’
– Have You Heard My Book Review

‘The storyline was fast paced, engaging and tense.’

– I Love Smart Books

About the Author:

Alexandra Moody

ALEXANDRA MOODY is an Australian author who currently resides in London. She studied Law and Commerce in her hometown, Adelaide, before going on to spend several years living abroad in Canada and the UK. She is a serious dog-lover, double-black-diamond snowboarder and has a love/hate relationship with the gym. She can often be found on Twitter at @alexandranmoody and facebook.com/alexandramoodyauthor.

 

>>Find Here Here<<

(BookR) The Smells of other peoples Houses

Buy it here

Cover: ★★★★

Book: ★★★★

My Review

Bonnie -Sue Hitchcock’s exquisite attention to detail grabs you from the very first chapter (I was shocked really) as she takes you along with her through the struggles and triumphs of four young people growing up in a rural town in Alaska.  Ruth brought tears to my eyes and gran reminded me that perception is sometimes everything. She does a really good job of showing the transition between the understanding of a five year old to that of an adult. The book features many main characters (much like George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones) which I must admit is not normally my cup of tea. I would definitely recommend giving this one a shot!

Other Reviews

“…this is an exquisitely drawn, deeply heartfelt look at a time and place not often addressed. Hitchcock’s measured prose casts a gorgeous, almost otherworldly feel over the text, resulting in a quietly lovely look at the various sides of human nature and growing up in a difficult world.” —Booklist starred review

“Using alternating narratives, debut novelist Hitchcock deftly weaves these stories together, setting them against the backdrop of a native Alaska that readers will find intoxicating. The gutsiness of these four teens who, at heart, are trying to find their places in the world and survive against challenging odds, will resonate with readers of all ages.” —Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock was born and raised in Alaska. She worked many years fishing commercially with her family and as a reporter for Alaska Public Radio stations around the state. She was also the host and producer of “Independent Native News,” a daily newscast produced in Fairbanks, focusing on Alaska Natives, American Indians, and Canada’s First Nations. Her writing is inspired by her family’s four generations in Alaska.
**An Advance Readers Copy of this Book was provided to me for review purposes.**

(BookR) Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan

reing-of-shadows-sophie-jordan-book

>>Buy it here<<

Pages: 304

Cover: ★★★

Book: ★★½

Publishing Date: February 9th 2016

**An advanced readers copy of this book was provided for the purposes of this review**

My Review:
This is a book about a princess who’s parents are killed at the same time that a (seemingly never ending) eclipse throws the entire kingdom of Relhook into darkness and her struggles to survive. I was so excited to read this book, after enjoying the Firelight series so thoroughly. It was okay, but seemed to have more backstory than was really necessary and had some elements that I didn’t really understand. One of these things was the plot structure, everything seemed to happen in a matter of days, with a ton of backstory in the beginning and the end seemed to come in no time at all . Overall, I would have to say I was disappointed in this particular book. The climax was just a twist in the plot that I completely overlooked. That’s how insignificant it seemed. She did, however, end the story  leaving you wondering what was going to happen in the sequel, though it seemed more like she wrote for months and then just flipped back to a random page and decided it was going to be rewritten to fit the end of the first book than it seemed like it was actually a planned event. Hopefully Sophie Jordan will have filled out the story and have added a new plot twist or two in the officially released version. I doubt it, but hey… A girl can dream right? 

On a side note: The main character is blind, and I absolutely loved her and Sophie Jordan for bringing her to life. I imagine it wasn’t easy writing a book and not being able to rely on color and sight for accurate descriptions..

Description:

Destiny and darkness collide in this romantic, sweeping new fantasy series from New York Times bestselling author Sophie Jordan.

Seventeen years ago, an eclipse cloaked the kingdom of Relhok in perpetual darkness. In the chaos, an evil chancellor murdered the king and queen and seized their throne. Luna, Relhok’s lost princess, has been hiding in a tower ever since. Luna’s survival depends on the world believing she is dead.

But that doesn’t stop Luna from wanting more. When she meets Fowler, a mysterious archer braving the woods outside her tower, Luna is drawn to him despite the risk. When the tower is attacked, Luna and Fowler escape together. But this world of darkness is more treacherous than Luna ever realized.

With every threat stacked against them, Luna and Fowler find solace in each other. But with secrets still unspoken between them, falling in love might be their most dangerous journey yet.

Reviews by others:

“Effortless fantasy with high romance, REIGN OF SHADOWS keeps you intrigued until the final sentence.” (RT Book Reviews)

“Star-crossed romance smolders.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“Set in a dark, petrifying world of nightmares, and chock full of harrowing action, swoon–worthy romance, and a compelling, formidable pair of protagonists, REIGN OF SHADOWS was a thrill ride from start to finish!” (Sarah J Maas, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of the Throne of Glass series)

“There’s more than blindness to Luna, and her sightlessness is authentically depicted as an advantage at times and a vulnerability at others. This will appeal to readers drawn to romance.” (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books)

“An exciting and unique fantasy, full of suspense and romance.” (Jennifer L. Armentrout, #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author)

About the Author:

Sophie Jordan

Sophie Jordan grew up in the Texas hill country where she wove fantasies of dragons, warriors, and princesses. A former high school English teacher, she’s also the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Avon historical romances. She now lives in Houston with her family. When she’s not writing, she spends her time overloading on caffeine (lattes and Diet cherry Coke preferred), talking plotlines with anyone who will listen (including her kids), and cramming her DVR with true-crime and reality-TV shows. Sophie also writes paranormal romances under the name Sharie Kohler.

 

>>Find Here Here<<

(BookR)The Kings Mistress by Emma Campion

mistress

>Buy It Here<<

Amazon excerpt and Audible sample available

Pages: 352

Cover: ★★★

Book: ★★★½

Publishing Date: July 6th 2010

My Review:
One of the things that I love about historic fiction is you can make someone however you want whenever you write a book, which most historic fictions do. I personally love these books and this book in particular really captured my imagination. It’s always good to see a different point of view than that which has been fed to you. (Most of the time, as my AP history teacher always liked to point out, history is written by the victor; so you only end up getting half of the story.) Emma Campion tried her best to stay true to the time period, and give as much backstory as possible (It’s possible she gave a little too much). She starts the book with a 13 year old Alice getting ready to be married off to her 30-35 year old merchant husband. (It really makes me sick sometimes to think of myself at 13 marrying a 40 year old.) Then her husband disappears but leaves her with information about the current Queen which gives her the leverage to be taken into the Queens’ household as a wardrobe advisor. She eventually becomes (gasp) mistress to the king who bestows his favor upon her to the utter disbelief and chagrin of the other courtiers who feel she is too baseborn. She is someone who is vilified in her time period, shown to be nothing more than a gold digging prostitute who would stoop as low as prying the rings from the dead King’s fingers and Mrs. Campion gave her best shot at showing how her actions could have been made with the best of intentions and still have been judged in the worst possible way.

Description:

When had I choice to be other than I was? From childhood Alice Salisbury has learnt obedience in all things and at fourteen, dutifully marries the man her father has chosen for her – at the cost of losing the love of her mother forever and the family she holds dear.

But merchant Janyn Perrers is a good and loving husband and Alice soon learns to enjoy her marriage. Until a messenger brings news of his disappearance and she discovers that her husband had many secrets, secrets he didn’t want her to know – but which have now put a price on her own head and that of her beloved daughter. Brought under the protection of King Edward III and Queen Philippa, she must dutifully embrace her fate once more – as a virtual prisoner at Court.

And when the king singles her out for more than just royal patronage, she knows she has little choice but to accept his advances. But obeying the king brings with it many burdens as well as pleasures, as she forfeits her good name to keep her daughter free from hurt.

Still a young woman and guided by her intellect and good business sense, she learns to use her gifts as wisely as she can. But as one of the king’s favorites, she brings jealousy and hatred in her wake and some will stop at nothing to see her fall from grace.

About the Author:

Emma Campion

The King’s Mistress was Emma Campion’s first novel. Her second, A Triple Knot, about Joan of Kent, will be published in the US by Crown 29 July 2014. She has read and researched medieval history for many years, having studied for a Ph.D in Medieval and Anglo-Saxon Literature. She writes historical crime novels under the name of Candace Robb. She lives in Seattle.

>>Find Here Here<<