Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Ringing in the New Year Giveaway Hop

Welcome to my stop for the New Year Giveaway!  What can we win today?  Well, how about a book of choice from Amazon/TBD (not to exceed $15).

Here are some 2014 book releases that I'm looking forward to:

How it works:
  1. This contest is open to everyone (international included - as long as Book Depository/Amazon ships to you).
  2. Entrant must be 13 years of age or older.
  3. Giveaway ends on Friday, January 31, 2014
  4. You can enter via the Rafflecopter form below. You must follow my blog via GFC/BLoglovin in order to enter.  You can also tweet and comment.
  5. Winner will be contacted via email and will have 48 hours to respond with logistics.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Prey by Andrew Fukuda

Genre:  YA Dystopian Vampire
The Hunt Series, Book 2

Description (taken from Andrew Fukuda's website):
For Gene and the remaining humans, death is just a heartbeat away. On the run and hunted by society, they must find a way to survive in The Vast, a barren wasteland devoid of life, all the while trying to elude the hungry predators tracking them in the dark. But death is not the only thing following Gene. He's haunted by the memory of the girl he left behind, Ashley June, especially as his burgeoning feelings for Sissy, the human girl at his side, begin to deepen.

When they discover a refuge of exiled humans living high in the mountains, Gene and his friends think they're finally safe. Led by a group of intensely secretive elders, the civilization begins to raise more questions than answers. Rules are strict, punishments severe, and young men are nowhere to be found. The more he learns about his new, seemingly happy home, the more Gene begins to wonder if the world they've entered is just as evil as the one they left behind. But as life at the refuge grows more perilous, he and Sissy only grow closer. In an increasingly violent world, all they have is each other . . . if they can stay alive.

I was a little weary about starting the second one since I could see this series either doing well or going terribly wrong.  So I thought I'd wait until the third was out, so I could finish it all.  Well, like the first book, I was pleasantly surprised with this one.

Gene, Sissy, and their little human gang are on the run from The Hunt.  Vampires see them as the last piece of human meat, literally.  And they will stop at nothing to eat them.  With the river leading their way to salvation and keeping the vampires at bay, they try to come up with a plan for when the river ends.  The Scientist gave them a plan within riddles of memory.  As they search for clues, they find the Land of Milk and Honey.  But with weird elders, too many girls and not enough boys, things seem a little off with this last piece of human civilization.  Is this really the Land of Milk and Honey or did the Scientist intend to lead them further in the journey?

While we don't deal with a lot of vampires in this book, we get to see humans.  And while we like to think of the goodness in our humanity, sometimes there's a terrible darkness when our "survive at all costs" gene kicks in.  But we also get to learn of this world's history, how the vampires came to be.  And it's so interesting.  But once again, towards the end, we get another curve ball thrown at us.  And that ending just kind of tears you apart.  You just think, "No no no, I need more."

Glad the third one is out.  Pretty happy I waited also.  I'll be grabbing the third one soon.

Challenges:  Dystopia Reading Challenge

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Visions of Sugar Plums by Janet Evanovich

Genre:  Adult Detective
Stephanie Plum Series, Book 8.5

Description (taken from Janet Evanovich's website):
It’s four days before Christmas and things are not looking merry for fugitive apprehension agent Stephanie Plum. She hasn’t got a tree. She hasn’t bought any presents. The malls are jam-packed with staggering shoppers. There’s not a twinkle light anywhere to be seen in her apartment.

And there’s a strange man in her kitchen.

Sure, this has happened to Stephanie Plum before. Strangers, weirdos, felons, creeps, and lunatics are always finding their way to her front door. But this guy is different. This guy is mysterious, sexy–and he has his own agenda. His name is Diesel and he is a man on a mission. Diesel is unlike anyone Stephanie has ever met before in her life. The question is, What does he want with her? Can he help her find a little old toy maker who has skipped out on his bail right before Christmas? Can he survive the Plum family holiday dinner? Can he get Stephanie a tree that doesn’t look like it was grown next to a nuclear power plant? These questions and more are keeping Stephanie awake at night. Not to mention the fact that she needs to find a bunch of nasty elves, her sister Valerie has a Christmas “surprise” for the Plums, her niece Mary Alice doesn’t believe in Santa anymore, and Grandma Mazur has a new stud muffin. So bring out the plastic reindeer, strap on your jingle bells, and get ready to celebrate the holidays–Jersey style. Visions of Sugar Plums–the world of Plum has never been merrier!

What a great way to get myself into the spirit of Christmas, right?  We've got Stephanie Plum who's too busy to buy a Christmas tree and too broke to buy Christmas presents.  Doesn't that describe us all?

Diesel randomly shows up in Stephanie's kitchen one day and decides to follow Stephanie around.  He's there as some muscle, to offer advice, to talk her into buying a Christmas tree, and to give the Plums something to talk about over dinner.  Meanwhile, Stephanie's trying to find Sandy Claws, the guy who skipped out on bail.  What crazy story follows her in this short tale?

This book was a super quick read and had lots of slapstick humor.  With Ranger being out of town on business and Morelli busy with work, we don't see too much of them.  Which is a nice breather.  It's kind of a fun tale to read right before Christmas to get yourself in the reluctant Christmas mode.  My only drawback is this book introduced supernatural themes that haven't been introduced before.  You can't do that to me and get away with it.  Gah!  But then again, maybe it's the whole aspect of Christmas: that has some supernatural part to it even though we ignore it.  I don't know; I'm reaching here.

A nice Christmas read.  And a quick plunge into Stephanie's world before reading the next novel.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

manda-rae's Haul

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

Another Saturday!  Although we're supposed to get about a foot of snow overnight.  So it'll be a day spent next to the fireplace.  I hope everyone has a good weekend before Christmas...


  • Christmas Tree Card from Kimberly at Turning the Pages (far left)
      • Kimberly set up this Christmas card exchange.  And I love sending and receiving Christmas cards (it makes me feel special to get stuff in the mail specifically for me - unless it's a bill).  Thanks Kimberly!
  • Foldout Snowmen Card from Dianne (top middle)
      • This card is by far one of the cutest.  It folds out to a family of snowmen.  And the front looks like there are a bunch of snowmen behind a door.  So cute!
  • Snowman Card from Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf (top right)
      • So pretty.  Looking at snowmen and snow.  It's pretty in the pictures.  But I'd rather not live in the cold where there's lots of snow (I'm obviously living in the wrong state).  Thank you!
  • Snowman Card from Erin at Quixotic Magpie (bottom left)
      • Again snow!  It looks so beautiful and harmless.  Yet, I'm dreading the snowstorm coming in tonight.  But the card's so festive and pretty!  Thanks!
  • Alaska Card from Squeak at The Alaskan Bookie (bottom middle left)
      • My first thought when seeing this card was "Mountains!"  I miss living by mountains.  The city of Anchorage looks so beautiful.  I must visit one day (most likely in the summer when it's warmer).  Thank you Squeak!
  • Snowman Card from Judy from Musings and Ramblings (bottom middle right)
      • Oh my goodness, it's like invasion of the snowmen this year.  That's a lot of snowman cards today.  They must be popular this year.  And pretty.  Thanks Judy!
  • Blue Snowflake Card from A
      • This handmade card is beautiful.  It's got glitter snowflakes!  And the envelope was actually sealed with a wax seal.  I've never gotten mail with a wax seal (it's the little things that make my day).  Beautiful!

From the Library:

For Review:

Death of the Body by Rick Chiantaretto
Growing up in a world of magic only to end up in our world.  How disorienting.  This one sounds like a fun one.  Thanks goes to Rick Chiantaretto.

The Heretic by Joseph Nassise
So this looks like pure urban fantasy without much romance.  It's going to be a little different from the things I normally read.  But I'm still crossing my fingers for a good turnout.  Thanks goes to Joseph Nassise.

manda-rae's Past Two Weeks

Book Blast and Giveaway:

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead

Genre:  Adult (or very mature YA) Paranormal Romance
Bloodlines Series, Book 4

Note:  Read the other books before reading the description below.  Just do it!

Description (taken from Richelle Mead's website):
In The Indigo Spell, Sydney was torn between the Alchemist way of life and what her heart and gut were telling her to do. And in one breathtaking moment that Richelle Mead fans will never forget, she made a decision that shocked even her. . . .

But the struggle isn't over for Sydney. As she navigates the aftermath of her life-changing decision, she still finds herself pulled in too many directions at once. Her sister Zoe has arrived, and while Sydney longs to grow closer to her, there's still so much she must keep secret. Working with Marcus has changed the way she views the Alchemists, and Sydney must tread a careful path as she harnesses her profound magical ability to undermine the way of life she was raised to defend. Consumed by passion and vengeance, Sydney struggles to keep her secret life under wraps as the threat of exposure—and re-education—looms larger than ever.

Pulses will race throughout this thrilling fourth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where no secret is safe.

I believe my doldrums for this series has ended.  The last two books were pretty much "meh" for me.  But this one: my heart was racing, emotions were high, and I wanted to tear the book into itty-bitty little pieces at one point.  All it took was Sydney getting over her aversion of vampires and falling madly in love with Adrian.  Funny how my outlook on the series changes once the protagonist gets over her issues.

The moment Sydney accepted the vampires in her life and the romance blossoming between her and Adrian, the Alchemists throw a curve ball at her.  They bring her sister into the mission to protect Jill, a Moroi princess.  While her sister is naive enough to blindly follow the Alchemists, Sydney's goal is to make Zoe think for herself.  But with her magical abilities growing and Adrian there to distract her, will she have enough time to change her sister's views?

I really enjoyed this book.  I finished it in two days.  In fact, I stayed up late at night finishing the book.  And I got so worked up that I couldn't sleep afterwards.  It just got better and better.  And then there was a moment where I thought, "Uh oh, what's the catch?  It can't be this good.  There's always a catch!"  Anyways, my only comments on this book is it begins to leave the young adult genre and enter the new adult genre.  Which I think is totally appropriate because the main characters in this book are 18 and 21.  So just keep that in mind if you're considering this series.

If you haven't picked up one of Richelle Mead's books, shame on you.  I suggest you start with Vampire Academy.  And maybe one day, you'll understand why Adrian is my fictional boyfriend crush...

Challenges:  Paranormal Reading Challenge
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...