Thursday, August 30, 2012

Author Interview and Giveaway: Chastity by R Rodriguez

In this post, you will find an interview with R Rodriguez and a giveaway for her second novel in the Eternal Beloved series.

Note:  You do not need to have read the first book in her series to enjoy the second; they are from different character's points of views and the stories do not build off of each other.

Interview with R Rodriguez

Q:  The story starts with Chastity's mother's funeral. If you had to pick some famous (or not famous) last words to be remembered by, what would you say?
A:  “I lived intensely and loved immensely.”
As long as I was loved in the world and I loved back, that’s all that matters to me.

Q:  As Chastity grew up, we found out that she was more of a tomboy than a girly-girl. She didn't play with dolls; instead, she climbed trees and played a lot outside. What was one of your favorite pastimes as a kid?
A:  I was just as restless. I liked to play outside a lot and do a lot of exploring. Roller skating year round, even in the freezing cold, was one of my favorite childhood activities. I did play with Barbie dolls too, though. I liked their fashion and furniture. I especially liked that they had a boyfriend. I’d spend hours setting up their home and making up stories for them. Then I’d record the dialogue between my dolls on a cassette recorder I had.

Q:  Chastity drives a cherry red Jetta which I'd think would be awesome to drive while in high school.  Do you have a dream car that you'd like to be seen driving in?
A:  If I was in high school, I would love to have a Jetta. That’s why I gave Chastity this fabulous car! Mini Coopers are also cute high school cars. As an adult, I would love to drive around in a black Mercedes Sedan. It’s such an elegant car.

Q:  If you had to pick an actor or a well-known star to represent Jared, who would you pick?
A:  Jared was actually Jared Leto circa his Jordan Catalano days in my head the whole time. Here’s the exact picture of how I saw him in my head.

Q:  Chastity takes a Spanish class in high school. Do you speak any other languages besides English?
A:  I am Puerto Rican, so I speak Spanish. I also speak some Italian. I need to practice so I can become more fluent, but I do read it well and understand it.

Q:  Chastity encounters various characters throughout the novel including Amelia, Mayor Stevenson, Gavin, Susie, Kyle, Sloan, Jared, and Christopher. If you could only use five words, how would you describe each character?
A:  Amelia - A mentally ill witch
      Mayor Stevenson - A mean politician without morals
      Gavin - A conceited jerk
      Susie - The spoiled evil half sister
      Kyle - A poor insecure outcast
      Sloan - A lost soul
      Jared - The surprise under the cover
      Christopher - Another politician without morals

Q:  What is your favorite movie and why?
A:  This is a hard one because I love many movies. My dad once owned a movie theater so I’ve been in love with movies since I was a little girl. I think my all- time favorite movie would have to be Titanic. It was such a moving and vivid take on the tragedy that it made me almost hyperventilate when I witnessed it on screen. Rose’s and Jack’s love story was also amazing. I also thought Avatar was extremely meaningful. I sense a theme here… They both had the same director. I especially enjoy movies made from books. I like to read the books first, of course, so I can compare the director’s vision with my own imagination.

Q:  Chastity obtains a degree in Music Theory. What was your degree in?
A:  I have a Master’s Degree in Education in the Teaching of English as a Second Language. I’m also a full time English teacher and tutor for the Puerto Rico Department of Education.

Q:  Jared has a pet bulldog named Tonka. I have a dog named Gizmo. Do you have any pets? What are their names?
A:  I do. I love dogs!!! I have a mixed breed named Cody.

Q:  Chastity's favorite song isThis is War by Thirty Seconds to Mars. What's your favorite song?
A:  My favorite song is Bittersweet Symphony by The Verve. I love Thirty Seconds to Mars’ music so I thought about it a lot during the writing of this novel. I had also just gone to their concert here in Puerto Rico when I was in the middle of writing it. I enjoy music very much. It inspires me during the writing of my novels. You can view a video playlist of the songs that inspired Chastity on you tube.
(manda-rae:  I love Bittersweet Symphony by The Verve.  And the last song in the play list is one of my favorites:  Promiscuous by Nelly Furtado.)

Chastity Playlist

E-Book Giveaway

Congratulations goes to Heather at The (Mis)Adventures of a Twenty-Something Year Old Girl!

Ms Rodriguez is giving away an e-book of Chastity to one of my lucky readers.  Click here to learn more and read my review.  Now onto the details:

  • This giveaway is open internationally.
  • Giveaway ends on Saturday, September 15.
  • You can enter via the Rafflecopter form below.  You can enter by doing one of the following:
    • Free entry.  Just click enter to enter.
    • Like R Rodriguez' Facebook page.  Click like and then enter.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Chastity by R Rodriguez

Genre:  Adult Contemporary Romance with a Paranormal Spritz
Eternal Beloved Series, Book 2

Description (taken from Goodreads):
Chastity Ann Chadwick is a self proclaimed teenage femme fatale who lives in the small sailing town of Seaport Harbor. She’s a boy eater who uses pleasure to numb the pain of her unfortunate circumstances. Little does she know, she’s on a certain path to self destruction when one of her romantic escapades gets out of hand. Life as she knows it will never be the same. Her only solace comes from an unanticipated liaison with the new mysterious guy in school. Her hopes are shattered when she realizes her newfound life is not what it seems. She will only find redemption by searching for her own truth.

First off, this series is a series that you can read in any order.  You do not have to read the first one before the second.  And personally, I enjoyed the second more than the first.  These books are filled with beautiful romance and bittersweet passions, and I came close to crying with this second one.

I can't really describe my favorite parts of this book without ruining it for you.  So let me start off with the setting and the people.  Chastity is in Seaport Harbor (a touristy town) with influential neighbors and a broken family.  While in high school, she's captain of the cheerleading squad and the queen bee, but she hasn't quite learned how to put an effort into making lasting friendships.  She's dating Gavin, the football quarterback while secretly longing for Sloan, Susie's boyfriend.  Did I mention that Susie is her worst enemy?  And then the mysterious new guy, Jared, shows up one day.  And we all want to know more about him, like how he fits into all of this.  Add a few dark family secrets, hurt, betrayal, and other angry emotions, and we got an interesting ride ahead of us.

In the beginning, this book is full of feeling like a contemporary romance.  We're going to live through Chastity's life.  Her mistakes are going to come out, and we're going to feel for her.  I didn't like Chastity initially because she was everything I wasn't in high school.  But boy did she grow on me!  And you really get to feel her human emotions throughout the book.  And there is a blossoming romance that is super beautiful.  But circumstances keep preventing this romance.

And then there's a moment in the book where everything you knew just burned up in flames.  We get a new twist, a new truth.  And it made me like the book even more.

I believe fans of contemporary reads would most likely enjoy this one.  If you like reading about drama, I definitely recommend this.  And I'd say pick this one up before the first in the series (because I liked this one more).

Thanks goes to R Rodriguez for providing me with a review copy.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Until I Die by Amy Plum

Genre:  YA Paranormal Romance
Revenant Trilogy, Book 2

Description (taken from Amy Plum's website):
Kate and Vincent have overcome the odds and at last they are together in Paris, the city of lights and love.

As their romance deepens there’s one question they can’t ignore: How are they supposed to be together if Vincent can’t resist sacrificing himself to save others? Although Vincent promises that he’ll do whatever it takes to lead a normal life with Kate, will that mean letting innocent people die? When a new and surprising enemy reveals itself, Kate realizes that even more may be at stake—and that Vincent’s immortality is in jeopardy.

Hmm,  I'm mixed with this book.  I've come to the conclusion that when it comes to romance, I much more enjoy the pursuit instead of what happens once the couple's together.  Because once they're together, things can become slightly boring.  And while I would day the beginning of this book was slightly boring, the ending was a spectacularly event-filled ending that wowed me.

This is a second book in a series.  Kate and Vincent are together; so there's no romantic chase there.  If anything, we see their struggles as any paranormal/human romance would face.  And we delve deeper into Revenant lore, which is just so cool to learn about.  And then towards the ending, everything picked up immediately.  And then the ending claimed.  And I felt like I was at the edge of the cliff with someone ripping my heart out and tossing it over.

Even though I found this book predictable, I still have to say the ending made it for me.  And I have a prediction for the next book which is based on a technicality in this book (you'll have to message me if you want to hear it).  As far as recommendations go, I'd recommend this series.  Wait for the third and final book to come out, and read them back to back.  I'll be eagerly waiting to pick up the trilogy once the third and final one is out.

Challenges:  Sensational Seconds, YA Mythology, and Young Adult Reading Challenges

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly post hosted by Breaking the Spine, and it spotlights upcoming books that we as readers are anxiously awaiting...

Black City by Elizabeth Richards
Genre:  YA Paranormal Romance
Elizabeth Richards' website
Expected publication date:  November 13, 2012
Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads

Description (taken from Elizabeth Richards' website):
In a city where humans and Darklings are now separated by a high wall and tensions between the two races still simmer after a terrible war, sixteen-year-olds Ash Fisher, a half-blood Darkling, and Natalie Buchanan, a human and the daughter of the Emissary, meet and do the unthinkable — they fall in love.

Bonded by a mysterious connection, that causes Ash's long dormant heart to beat, Ash and Natalie first deny and then struggle to fight their forbidden feelings for each other, knowing if they're caught they'll be executed —but their feelings are too strong.

When Ash and Natalie then find themselves at the center of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to pull the humans and Darklings back into war, they must make hard choices that could result in both their deaths.

One word: vampires!  And that cover?  Holy crap!  It's gorgeous...

Monday, August 20, 2012

Glitch by Heather Anastasiu

Genre:  YA Science Fiction
Glitch Series, Book 1

Description (taken from Heather Anastasiu's website):
Zoe lives in a world free of pain and war. Like all members of the Community, a small implanted chip protects her from the destructive emotions that destroyed the Old World. Until her hardware starts to glitch.

Zoe begins to develop her own thoughts and feelings, but nothing could be more dangerous in a place where malfunctions can get you killed. And she has another secret she must conceal at all costs: her glitches have given her uncontrollable telekinetic powers.

As she struggles to keep her burgeoning powers hidden, she finds other glitchers with abilities like hers, and together they plot to escape. But the more she learns about beauty, joy, and love, the more Zoe has to lose if they fail. With danger lurking around every corner, she’ll have to decide just how much she’s willing to risk to be free.

Zoel's world is definitely different and weird.  I can't imagine being controlled by a computer chip.  Some sort of human-machine hybrid although you're not much of a machine, just controlled by one.  Kind of reminds me of Star Trek's Borg beings.  And then of course, there's a bit of paranormal in here.

Did this book work for me?  I'm not sure.  There were a couple of things that bothered me.  One, I wasn't too convinced of the romance in this book.  There's two lines that bothered the crap out of me initially.  In the beginning, Zoe says she'll never trust boy-interest who shall remain nameless.  And then later on when she confesses her love for him (after knowing him for about a day), she says she's always trusted him.  I guess it took a while for this romance to grow on me.  I did like it in the end.

Another thing that bothered me, the characters seem like little kids in grown bodies.  Granted, they've never felt emotion before, so what did I expect?  I don't know.  Acting like kids kind of bugged me.  But it means there's definite room for character development and growth in the book.  And Heather excelled with this.

Definitely a weird book for me.  But it does have great potential.  And it is a really good ending.  Sets it up nicely for the second book.

Quote I loved:
     "Fell in love?" I frowned.  "Love makes you fall?"
     "Love is like gravity?" I was still puzzling out the concept.  "It sounds violent."

          ~p 112

Thanks goes to St Martin's Griffin and Netgalley for my review copy.

Challenges:  Debut Author Challenge and Young Adult Reading Challenge

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Ripper by Amy Carol Reeves

Genre:  YA Historical Paranormal
Ripper Series, Book 1

Description (taken from Amy Carol Reeves' website):
In 1888, following her mother's sudden death, seventeen-year-old Arabella Sharp goes to live with her grandmother in a posh London neighborhood. At her grandmother's request, Abbie volunteers at Whitechapel Hospital, where she discovers a passion for helping the unfortunate women and children there.

But within days, female patients begin turning up brutally murdered at the hands of Jack the Ripper. Even more horrifying, Abbie starts having strange visions that lead her straight to the Ripper's next massacres. As her apparent psychic connection with the twisted killer grows stronger, Abbie is drawn into a deadly mystery involving the murders, her mother's shadowed past, and a secret brotherhood of immortals—who'll stop at nothing to lure Abbie into its "humanitarian" aims.

When Abbi begins her volunteer work, she meets some interesting characters.  There's William, the annoyingly brilliant physician who just knows how to push Abbi's buttons.  And then there's Simon who is one of the nicest and caring physicians at the hospital.  Also Dr. Bartlett, Abbi's boss and mentor while at Whitechapel Hospital.

And then we mix these characters plus a dash of paranormal in with the sensational Ripper brutalities.  And what do we get?  Why this book of course.  But I don't know if it worked for me.  I loved the story telling from Abbi's point of view, and I was able to like the characters a lot.  However I couldn't really mix it with the Ripper action.  There's two scenes that I wasn't able to get over because they hung me up horribly.  One was a romantic scene and the other was an action scene.  I guess I had a hard time believing those scenes.

Anyone who likes young adult fiction and Ripper lore should pick this one up.  Just remember, it's Ripper lore which means there is some gore (but not a lot).  And while I enjoyed the book and had some issues, there are probably a lot more readers out there who enjoyed this read.

Challenges:  Debut Author Challenge and Young Adult Reading Challenge

Saturday, August 18, 2012

manda-rae's Haul

Stacking the Shelves consists of books we received in the last week, hosted by Tynga's reviews.

Today (Friday - it'll be yesterday by the time this is posted) has been a super long day for me.  It started at two in the morning for me.  I had to go to work really, really early in order to make my closing appointment.  And now for the exciting news: my husband and I are proud homeowners now.  A long and exhausting day ends with a good note.  Now we'll be spending the next week moving things into the house.  And maybe one day, I'll be able to unpack all of my books that have been sitting in boxes for years.

For Review:

  • Libyrinth by Pearl North
    • Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads
      • A book regarding librarians in a fantasy world.  It sounds curious to say the least.  And I didn't notice until I received the cover, but there's a little guy sitting on the girl's shoulder; kind of creepy if you ask me.  The third book is coming out in a couple of weeks, so I thought I'd check this series out.  Thanks goes to Tor Teen for my review copy.

From the Library:

  • Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
    • Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads
      • When I first heard about this book, I was a little hesitant because Tiger Lily plays such a small roll in Peter Pan.  But then I saw some good reviews (and some not-so-good ones) and wanted to know more.  I mean, I am a fan of Peter Pan.  I annoy my husband because I like to watch Peter Pan every once in a while.  So, I thought this book might be perfect for me because I'll get a new twist to one of my favorite tales.

manda-rae's Past Week


Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Calling by Kelley Armstrong

Genre:  YA Paranormal Fantasy
Darkness Rising Series, Book 2

Note:  Please read The Gathering before reading the description for this one.  And please be aware, my review is going to contain what some would consider a spoiler.  So don't read my review if you want to be completely surprised (but you probably should've caught on in the first novel anyways).

Description (taken from Kelley Armstrong's website):
Maya Delaney’s paw-print birthmark is the sign of what she truly is—a skin-walker. She can run faster, climb higher, and see better than nearly anyone 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. Plentiful action and romance in this second installment in the Darkness Rising series will keep readers enthralled to the last page.

Note:  I tried hard to remain spoiler-free but failed...

Honestly, I don't really remember the little details from the first book.  Yes, I remember the main characters:  Maya, Rafe, Daniel, Nicole, Sam, etc.  Yes, I remember the main theme and how the first one ended.  But the subtle details and connections that were forming, yeah I can't recall those.  So, this book didn't really feel like a true second for me.  And I quite enjoyed this one.

First off, we're not going to see much of Rafe in this book.  Which was a total downer for me because I remember liking him in the first one.  But the awesome friendship between Daniel and Maya?  It's awesome, and I'm so happy to finally see a novel that doesn't have a love triangle and actually emphasizes the guy friend without the boyfriend material.  (Cue record ripping noise.)  Wait a second, I must not have read that far into the second book.  Yeah, once I finished it, I had to amend my thoughts.  Things started clicking, and I realized like Maya, I had not picked up on the subtle hints and clues.  And if you haven't figured it out, go read the book (I'm sorry, but I don't think I can spell it out for you - and who knows, I might be wrong with my assumption anyways).

But what I really loved was the mystery behind the characters' developing powers.  We don't even find out what all of them are (which kind of left me hanging).  And woah, I could gush and gush about these powers, but I glued my mouth shut to keep me from ruining it for you.  And how things from the first novel tie into this one.  Oh, and things from Kelley Armstrong's first YA series also tie into this one.  And the fact that we're in the same world as her adult Women of the Otherworld series (I should stop while I'm ahead).

Anyways, Kelley Armstrong is one of my favorite authors.  And I believe her books will keep you entertained.  However, if you're like me, you may want to wait until the whole series is out before reading them.  Otherwise, you forget the minor details.  Definitely recommend this book for paranormal fans out there...

Challenges:  Sensational Seconds and Young Adult Reading Challenge

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Waiting on Wedneday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly post hosted by Breaking the Spine, and it spotlights upcoming books that we as readers are anxiously awaiting...

Ironskin by Tina Connolly
Genre:  YA Fantasy
Tina Connolly's website
Expected publication date:  October 2, 2012
Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads

Description (taken from Tina Connolly's website):
Jane Eliot wears an iron mask.

It's the only way to contain the fey curse that scars her cheek. The Great War is five years gone, but its scattered victims remain -- the ironskin.

When a carefully worded listing appears for a governess to assist with a "delicate situation" -- a child born during the Great War -- Jane is certain the child is fey-cursed, and that she can help.

Teaching the unruly Dorie suppress her curse is hard enough; she certainly didn't expect to fall for the girl's father, the enigmatic artist Edward Rochart. But her blossoming crush is stifled by her own scars, and by his parade of women. Ugly women, who enter his closed studio...and come out as beautiful as the fey.

Jane knows Rochart cannot love her, just as she knows that she must wear iron for the rest of her life. But what if neither of these things is true? Step by step Jane unlocks the secrets of her new life -- and discovers just how far she will go to become whole again.

Honestly, the cover sold me.  And the description just makes me think of rich fantasy awesomeness.  I hope it's good!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Top Ten Book Romances That You Think Would Make It In The Real World (outside the book)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly post hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's post is Top Ten Book Romances That You Think Would Make It In The Real World (outside the book).

Ooh, this one should be interesting.  So does this mean romances without paranormal weirdness involved?  Say vampires being human?  Hmmm....  I don't know.  I kind of like the vampire sexiness.  Oh boy.

Cat and Bones
The Night Huntress Series by Jeaniene Frost
Mmmm...  Bones, he's another hot one.  I don't know how it'd work out with him being human though.

Eugenie and Dorian
The Dark Swan Series by Richelle Mead
Nevermind the fact that Dorian's a fairy.  He's hot...

Eve and Michael
The Morganville Vampires Series by Rachel Caine

Kate and Vincent
Die for Me Series by Amy Plum
Technically, this couldn't work without the paranormal aspect because Vinent would have died about fifty years before Kate was born.

Lena and Alex
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Although being in a world where love is normalness, I'm not sure all the emotions between Alex and Lena would be experienced.

Mia and Adam
If I Stay Series by Gayle Forman
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!!

Nikki and Jack
Everneath by Brodi Ashton
She so would have gotten back together with him eventually (because he's a keeper).

Rose and Dimitri
Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead
Although I'd take Adrian over Dimitri any day.  I think Rose is missing out...

Stephanie and Morelli
Stephanie Plum Series by Janet Evanovich
Oh wait, they're set in the Jersey real-world.  Hmm, after considering this, I might want to cross out Morelli and add Ranger.  Or maybe I should just save Ranger all to myself...
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