Thursday, November 28, 2013

Fall of Night by Rachel Caine

Genre:  YA Paranormal Romance
Morganville Vampires Series, Book 14

Note:  This is the fourteenth book in a series.  While I avoid ruining plots in the current book I review, the description below could spoil earlier books' plots.

Description (taken from Goodreads):
Thanks to its unique combination of human and vampire residents, Morganville, Texas, is a small college town with big-time problems. When student Claire Danvers gets the chance to experience life on the outside, she takes it. But Morganville isn’t the only town with vampire trouble...

Claire never thought she’d leave Morganville, but when she gets accepted into the graduate program at MIT, she can’t pass up the opportunity. Saying good-bye to her friends is bittersweet, especially since things are still raw and unsettled between Claire and her boyfriend, Shane.

Her new life at MIT is scary and exciting, but Morganville is never really far from Claire’s mind. Enrolled in a special advanced study program with Professor Irene Anderson, a former Morganville native, Claire is able to work on her machine, which is designed to cancel the mental abilities of vampires.

But when she begins testing her machine on live subjects, things quickly spiral out of control, and Claire starts to wonder whether leaving Morganville was the last mistake she’ll ever make...

We see Claire leave her current surroundings behind for a new segment of her life.  Finally, the town of Morganville and the vampires in it are all behind her.  Or so we all thought.  Needless to say, a girl can leave Morganville, but you can never take the Morganville out of her.

I must admit while Claire is experiencing MIT and a world without vampires, her life becomes super boring.  There was more than one moment in the first half of the novel where I started to nod off.  We don't get the best introduction to new characters or a new setting.  It's more of a 'we're in a world without vampires and we don't have to fear them, but we're still going to be thinking about them even though they're not here' type of thing.  And Shane?  Why does Claire like him?  Is it bad for me to hope he dies in the crossfire soon?

Once the vampires came back to the scene, everything started to pick back up.  And we did get introduced to new faces which also helped.  I enjoyed the action, but I'm beginning to not really care for the human characters, especially Shane.  Whatever Claire sees in him, I want to gag every time I read about it.

Will I be reading the next one?  Of course because they're back in Morganville.  But Morganville's changed slightly.  I'm hoping the last book ends with a bang (and I won't shed any tears if Shane dies)!

Challenges:  Paranormal Reading Challenge

Monday, November 25, 2013

With all my Soul by Rachel Vincent

Genre:  YA Paranormal Romance
Soul Screamers Series, Book 7

Note:  This is the final book in a series.  Reading on will potentially ruin earlier plots in the series...  Read at your own risk.

Description (taken from Rachel Vincent's website):
What does it mean when your school is voted the most dangerous in America?

It's time to kick some hellion butt…

After not really surviving her junior year (does "undead" count as survival?), Kaylee Cavanaugh has vowed to take back her school from the hellions causing all the trouble. She's going to find a way to turn the incarnations of Avarice, Envy and Vanity against one another in order to protect her friends and finish this war, once and forever.

But then she meets Wrath and understands that she's closer to the edge than she's ever been. And when one more person close to her is taken, Kaylee realizes she can't save everyone she loves without risking everything she has.…

Soul Screamers, the last thing you hear before you die...

The final book in a series.  Oh so good.  And now it's all over.  This was a really fun series to read.

Is it just me, or does it seem like the romance has gone a little over-the-top ever since Tod got involved and Kaylee doesn't have to sleep at night.  I know I'm getting besides the point, but it seems like at the end of the chase, I become a little exasperated with the romance.  Don't get me wrong.  The romance is sweet, cute, and everything someone would want.  I guess I just got over it.

Kaylee is ready to get rid of the hellions once and for all.  She wants to pit them one against another to get them out her life once and for all.  But her anger has begun to attract another hellion: Wrath.  How on earth will Kaylee get herself out of this mess while protecting her friends and family?

This book had a sweet ending!  I'm sad to see it all end, but I'm so happy Kaylee and her loved ones got the ending they deserved.  Now I need a new series to keep me occupied...

Challenges:  Paranormal Reading Challenge

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

Genre:  YA Science Fiction
Reckoners Series, Book 1

Description (taken from Brandon Sanderson's website):
There are no heroes.

Every single person who manifested powers—we call them Epics—turned out to be evil.

Here, in the city once known as Chicago, an extraordinarily powerful Epic declared himself Emperor. Steelheart has the strength of ten men and can control the elements. It is said no bullet can harm him, no sword can split his skin, no explosion can burn him. He is invincible.

It has been ten years. We live our lives as best we can. Nobody fights back . . . nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans who spend their lives studying powerful Epics, finding their weaknesses, then assassinating them.

My name is David Charleston. I’m not one of the Reckoners, but I intend to join them. I have something they need. Something precious, something incredible. Not an object, but an experience. I know his secret.

I’ve seen Steelheart bleed.

This book is set in a world where a random star shows up in the night sky.  And this star gives off these bizarre powers that turn ordinary people into Epics.  At least that's the theory.  This world is suddenly possible for a Superman to emerge, but instead, we get brutal, powerful men wanting more power.  And it turns the world ugly really quickly.

In Newcago, David has grown up an orphan.  He remembers a time before Steelheart's reign, a time when there was still sun light.  But it's all gone now.  And he wants revenge.  He wants to kill Steelheart.  But the only way to do that is to get in league with a band of people who make it a hobby of killing Epics: the Reckoners.

Honestly, I thought this book had a great concept.  But David as a person annoyed the crap out of me.  His really stupid metaphors, his incomplete thought process; I felt like it was an eight year old in a teenager's body.  And then the bits of attempted romance just made me roll my eyes.  I guess this book looked really good, but it rubbed me the wrong way.  However, there are plenty of plot twists to keep you interested.  I missed one major one, and it could have been redeeming enough to recommend this to others.

If you're a science fiction fan, you'll probably like this.  If you're some one who doesn't care for romance or enjoys watching a five-year-old attempt romantic notions, then this one's for you.  I guess I can't pull the romance part out of my brain enough to enjoy a good sci-fi....

Saturday, November 23, 2013

manda-rae's Haul

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

This week was my husband's birthday.  And we celebrated it on Friday by doing a lot of fun stuff.  Has anyone seen Catching Fire yet?  It is amazeballs!  Better than the first!  Go see it!


  • Allegiant by Veronica Roth
    • Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads
      • This was a birthday present for my husband that would also benefit me.  We haven't read the last book in the series.  And I know everyone is gushing about how amazing this series is.  But the ending of the second book was a major turnoff for me.  I'll still be reading the end of the trilogy though (after my husband's read it of course - it was his birthday present after all).
  • The Fall of Five by Pittacus Lore
    • Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads
      • Another birthday present for my husband.  He's really into the Lorien Legacies.  Me, they're books, and they're entertaining.  So why not.  After all, I have to have something I can discuss with my husband, right?
  • Twice Tempted by Jeaniene Frost
    • Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads
      • A book my husband bought me.  And I'm excited to read it.  The hot and heavy romance.  I'll probably be reading it next.
  • The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead
    • Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads
      • Another book my husband bought me.  We have this deal where if I work out three times a week for two weeks, he'll buy me a book.  I hate working out and would rather sit on my butt and read.  But it seems getting a new book is enough motivation to get me exercising.

From the Library:

  • Unsouled by Neal Shusterman
    • Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads
      • The end of a fun trilogy for me.  I want to read it.  This is one of the dystopian trilogies out there that I don't think gets enough voice out there in the media world.  I love this series and would tell anyone who likes dystopian novels to try Unwind sometime.

manda-rae's Past Two Weeks




Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Ancient Codex by Louise Herman

Genre:  Adult Urban Fantasy
Split Blood series, Book 1

Note:  My review contains spoilers because it's the only way I can explain my thoughts.  So read at your own risk.

Description (taken from blog tour):
When Faith’s mother starts organising the second stage of her arranged marriage to wizard, Damien, Faith knew she needed to escape, so she used her school as a place to retreat.

Throughout her after school duties, she meets the intense, alluring Rohan, who changes her life forever.

With his ice cold skin, transfixing eyes and enchanting voice, Rohan took hold of Faith’s heart and soul as soon as they looked at each other.

She knew it was wrong.

There were from two different circles and if the Elder’s found out, the consequences would be catastrophic for all involved, but the more time they spent together, the stronger they’re love grew, until one day someone sees them...

Will their love be strong enough to combat their conflicting mythical needs? And what will they do when Faith is dealt a life threatening blow that forces her to make a heartbreaking decision?

I have to tell you before I start my review that I did not much enjoy this book.  And my biggest reason is it wasn't what I expected.  This book is labeled young adult, but it's as much young adult as Breaking Dawn is (but the latter had three prior books that could help prove its claim for young adult).

This book starts out by introducing us to a world of witches, vampires, fairies, and werewolves.  Each group (or circle) sticks to their own, and they all agreed early on that they would keep a shaky truce by staying away from each other.  Faith is in an arranged marriage, and she feels suffocated by her circle and family.  She meets Rohan, a vampire, and they rebel by falling in love.  The only problem is there's a whole bunch of people pissed by this concept, and they're out to get them.

This book spans many years, so it moves quickly.  But it doesn't do a whole lot of setting up the story.  You just get glimpses of the circles (or paranormal creatures), and we get a feeling that things are the way they are just because (don't go questioning things or you'll upset the balance).  And you know me.  I need the background, the history, and an understanding before I can get into the story.

Anyways, back to the moving quickly.  Every romantic-notion falls perfectly into place between Rohan and Faith.  And then she ends up pregnant.  Wait, hold up.  Wasn't this a young adult book?  I did not expect to read a book about pregnancy when I picked this one up.  And it completely turned me off.

This book was a mess in my head.  It wasn't something I could easily enjoy, and I think it was because I had different expectations when I first started reading this.  All I can say is read more reviews before you pick this one up.

Thanks goes to Loiuse Herman and Fiery Fantasy Book Tours for providing me a review copy.

Challenges:  Paranormal Reading Challenge

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Once Burned by Jeaniene Frost

Genre:  Adult Paranormal Romance
Night Prince series, Book 1

Description (taken from Goodreads):
She's a mortal with dark powers...

After a tragic accident scarred her body and destroyed her dreams, Leila never imagined that the worst was still to come: terrifying powers that let her channel electricity and learn a person's darkest secrets through a single touch. Leila is doomed to a life of solitude...until creatures of the night kidnap her, forcing her to reach out with a telepathic distress call to the world's most infamous vampire...

He's the Prince of Night...

Vlad Tepesh inspired the greatest vampire legend of all—but whatever you do, don't call him Dracula. Vlad's ability to control fire makes him one of the most feared vampires in existence, but his enemies have found a new weapon against him—a beautiful mortal with powers to match his own. When Vlad and Leila meet, however, passion ignites between them, threatening to consume them both. It will take everything that they are to stop an enemy intent on bringing them down in flames.

Is it bad that I want to deny reading these books because they're always stored in the romance section?  What's with that?  They should be in the paranormal/sci-fi section.  All the other paranormal romance is over there.  Why can't this one be there also?  Agh...  I'm a non-admitted romance lover (of the paranormal kind which only makes me more bizarre).

Once the vampires discover Leila's abilities, she becomes entwined with them.  With the main goal of staying alive, she must learn quickly who to trust and who to betray.  But when she puts her trust in Vlad, she doesn't realize he's a vampire with a history.  And he's also an arrogant prick.  (Just don't say that to his face.  Or think it for that matter.)

Talk about steaminess...  This book was awesome.  I don't understand why I waited so long to read this one.  Jeaniene Frost is one of my favorite authors, and it's because she can describe the best romantic tensions, the best lust moments, and you get where I'm going with this.  But I do have one buzz kill.  I can't stand Vlad.  Like the body, hate the guy (How can you even like a body when it's only in your head?  Yeah, Jeaniene Frost is that good).

If you're a paranormal romance lover and haven't picked up Jeaniene Frost, start with her Night Huntress series and read the books in order of publication.  My star ratings go according to Jeaniene Frost's other book ratings (otherwise this would be a 5 star).  I'll be picking up the next one soon...

Challenges:  Paranormal and TBR Reading Challenge

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Pure Textuality Convention News

14PTC 750 Banner

We have two big announcements for the 2014 Pure Textuality Convention!!!

First, the schedule of events is finally posted!! Q&A panels, several book signings, author workshops, an awards ceremony, a cosplay contest, and a HUGE PARTY!!!
This is one event you're not going to want to miss!!!
Our second bit of news is a doozie!!
The first 40 people to register have the option to get their tickets to the Rubbin' Elbows cocktail party for FREE! That's right! You save $50.00 on your registration just by registering early! Act quick! Those 40 registrations are going to go FAST!



Friday, November 15, 2013

Interview: Split Blood Series by Louise Herman

Welcome to my stop for the Split Blood series by Louise Herman presented by Fiery Fantasy Book Tours.  The second novel in the Split Blood series will be available on November 30.

'This or That' Author Interview:  Loiuse Herman
*Images taken from Google search*

Q:  Vanilla or Chocolate?
A:  Chocolate, definitely

Q:  Deep blue sea or Outer space?
A:  Well since I’m often told my head is always in space, I think I would prefer to try and find my home planet in Outer Space! lol

Q:  Driving or flying?
A:  I get car sick very easily so flying makes travelling easier for me

Q:  Mountains or Beach?
A:  Beach, I love the sun!

Q:  Vampire or werewolf?
A:  Hmmm slightly more difficult but I would probably say vampire’s have a slightly more classy edge!

Q:  Ice cream or cake?
A:  Cake! Ice cream gives me ‘brain freeze’!

Q:  Rock music or country music?
A:  Rock music all the way (sorry mum! Lol)

Q:  Glass half empty or half full?
A:  I tried to be positive so I’m a glass is always half full type of person.

Q:  Early bird or night owl?
A:  Night Owl…I’m definitely not a morning person!

Q:  Platinum or gold?
A:  Definitely Platinum!

Author Bio
I currently live in Yorkshire, England, and have always enjoyed writing stories which would take people to different, magical worlds.

Along with writing, I also love to indulge in my confectionery addiction - pear drop sweets and am a fan of 80s Fantasy films such as 'Legend', 'Dark Crystal' and 'Labyrinth'.

I also adore Guillermo del Toro for his direction on the fantasy film, 'Pan's Labyrinth', which epitomises the theme of my books - fantasy escapism, strong female heroines, unique magical side characters with their own explosive, taboo secrets and deliciously dark situations, which have a new style of distinctive paranormal conclusions.

I use my passion for fantasy films, and music, to help me create my unique YA, Fantasy stories and I have been able to use these passions to enhance my stories even further by attaching music onto my stories on Wattpad, which helps the reader be further immersed into my fantasy worlds.

The Ancient Codex by Louise Herman
Genre:  Adult Urban Fantasy
Split Blood series, Book 1

Description (taken from blog tour):
When Faith’s mother starts organising the second stage of her arranged marriage to wizard, Damien, Faith knew she needed to escape, so she used her school as a place to retreat.
Throughout her after school duties, she meets the intense, alluring Rohan, who changes her life forever.
With his ice cold skin, transfixing eyes and enchanting voice, Rohan took hold of Faith’s heart and soul as soon as they looked at each other.
She knew it was wrong.
There were from two different circles and if the Elder’s found out, the consequences would be catastrophic for all involved, but the more time they spent together, the stronger they’re love grew, until one day someone sees them...
Will their love be strong enough to combat their conflicting mythical needs? And what will they do when Faith is dealt a life threatening blow that forces her to make a heartbreaking decision?

We were helping put away the paints Mrs Baxter had used in her last lesson to express how colours can change the mood, appearance and message of a piece of art, when Dara walked in to get some pencils. ‘Hi ladies - slogging away as usual, I see! Are you doing this to get a higher grade? If you are, move over and let me get in on it!’ she joked as she pushed Lily aside and started helping to tidy her section. As Lily nearly fell to the floor, we all started laughing and Dara helped her up.

Mrs Baxter came in and gave Dara an extra task to do before she went back to her own classroom; with that she bade us farewell and we continued to clean the room.

Busying myself washing the pots, I almost didn’t notice Lily’s bright red face as her gaze seemingly froze, focused on the door. ‘Did you hurt yourself?’ I asked, concerned that maybe Dara had nudged her too hard. ‘No, no. I’m okay,’ Lily responded as she snapped out of her daydream and started to look for something else to clean. I tried to ignore it, but her manner had changed.

She was quieter than usual and she seemed distant and slightly upset. ‘Lily, it’s clear that something’s not quite right,’ I broached the subject as I sat her down and cupped her hands in mine. ‘We’re supposed to be friends. You know you can tell me anything,’ I added quietly, just in case we weren’t alone.

She looked around the room to check she was safe but just as she was about to speak out, she shook her head and responded, ‘Really it’s nothing.’

Sensing she was lying, I continued to question. I followed her around the room and refused to let it go until I saw a slightly brighter Lily - the Lily that I knew and enjoyed being around. ‘I won’t let this rest until you tell me.Maybe I can help?’ I supposed as I spun her round to face me. This was my big mistake.

The room went dark and the once-clear skies turned gloomy and sinister. Wind began to howl at the now shaking windows of the room and her face immediately morphed from that of a young, beautiful, dainty girl to that of a red-eyed hag with veins pulsing, radiating electrical bolts with her every move. The room began to shake and the door was slammed shut as I tried to escape.

The rage seemed to be very specifically limited to the classroom; no one came to help me when I screamed, so I sat down on the floor and thought whether I could possibly use my own powers to save me from this banshee.

She came towards me, firing bolts at the tables, disintegrating everything in her path, and was finally stood face to face, in front of me.

With my head between my knees, I could feel the energy pulsing from her as I raised my arms to create a force field around myself.

I stood up, ready to fight back, but was distracted when I found she wasn’t attacking me. Instead, she just stood there and began to cry. Without moving or speaking, I watched, waiting for her fry me; she merely fell to the floor and with her crying, she began to flood the floor around her.

The torrent of tears showed no sign of ceasing and I realised that if I didn’t do something quickly, we would drown with minutes. ‘Please don’t cry. What’s wrong, Lily?’ I begged as she finally started to resemble the pretty teenager I remembered.

I went over to hug her and was relieved she responded in kind and didn’t try to attack me.

She looked round and assessed the damage, as if reading my mind. ‘Don’t worry about it. That was one of the first spells I learned - mum is always trying to get me to clean my room when I really just want to go out,’ I joked, as I convinced her I could use magic to put the room back to normal before anyone came back.

With her head in my arms, we sat on the floor in silence for a few minutes, waiting. When I could bear it no longer, I delicately broached the topic again. ‘So, do you want to tell me why you went psycho-fairy on me?’ I laughed, attempting to lighten the mood. She chuckled in response, and lifted her head to look at me.

I backed away slightly as I nervously waited for her answer. ‘I’m sorry I’m just finding this fairy stuff really hard. Sometimes when I’m stressed I can’t control it. Normally I’m fine, but-’ she confessed, leaving me with more questions than when I started.

I paced myself and allowed her to get herself back together before I continued. ‘What made you so stressed? Was it me?’ I asked as I quickly whispered my spell. I prayed it had worked and the room was back in order.

She shook her head and came over to give me a hug and apologise for scaring me.

After confirming I was okay (I said that I just cared about her wellbeing), she looked me in the eye, cupped her hands around my head and said gravely, ‘You are my best friend. I’m so happy to have met you - but you cannot help me with this. I don’t want to get you involved.’

I looked at her with a puzzled expression and tried to assure her I would always be there for her, at which she turned away from me: ‘We are from different circles and have different problems. You want to get out of your circle because you are sick of your life revolving around marriage. I can’t cope with being in my circle because they won’t accept me for being the person I am’.

Sick of the riddles, I began to get annoyed and didn’t realise that I’d snapped slightly at her. ‘And who are you?’

Before I could apologise for my tone, she spun round and faced me with a stony, determined glare, and went on: ‘I’m a gay fairy. I’ll be sent away - or worse - if I express my feelings for Dara.’

Before I could wipe the shocked expression from my face, Mrs Baxter entered the classroom, thanked us for our hard work and dismissed us. Stunned, shaken and dazed at my best friend’s revelation, I silently walked out a pace or two ahead of Lily, leading us straight into a group of foreboding vampires.

A group of four boys stood in our path, refusing to move. I could sense this wasn’t going to be an easy one to escape. ‘So, what are you two doing alone together? Are you the rebels of your circles?’ one of the boys mocked glancing at the other three. They all started to edge closer.

I looked at Lily and was surprised to see her standing her ground and refusing to move back. Feeling considerably less confident than my compatriot, I grabbed her hand and prayed for Mrs Baxter to come out and ask us to help her with something she had forgotten to do.

But there was nothing.

The boys continued to ridicule us for being without our circle members. With every word, they edged closer to us until our backs were tight against the hallway wall and I could feel the breath of the ringleader on my cheek. ‘What do you want from us?’ Lily asked boldly, as the ringleader opened his mouth - we both saw the shine of the daggers.

They all laughed as the fear began to show on our faces; they poked and jibed at us like we were pieces of meat from their latest kill.

Seeing the ringleader’s eyes glow an intimidating yellow, I knew at this point I would never see my family again. I closed my eyes and began to sob helplessly; I had missed the new drama that was occurring around me.

Prying myself from my blind, fearful state, I felt a flurry of air and slowly opened my eyes just in time to see the ringleader go flying, as if in slow-motion, through the air and clatter into the row of lockers on the opposite side of the hallway.

He lay there for a few minutes, dazed and confused, as his followers went to help him up.

Unable to see the cause, I grabbed Lily and took advantage of our release from these blood-suckers and, trying to ignore the sounds of battle behind us; we kept our heads firmly down and ran towards the main exit.

Just as I put my hand on the door handle to make our break for freedom, all went silent.

I simply couldn’t go through the door without looking over my shoulder.

‘Don’t look back! Open the door!’ Lily screamed frantically as tried to drag me through the exit. Nevertheless, I turned my head slowly to catch a glimpse.

It looked like a battleground.

I could not see the casualties through all the blood but I knew from my research of vampires in ‘The Ancient Codex’, it would take a lot more than tears of the skin, deep wounds or even oceans of blood to kill such resilient beings.

I was satisfied that we were out of harm’s way but somehow my mind jolted back to self-defence as I felt something on my shoulder.

I grabbed Lily, pulled her close towards me and without warning a force field formed around us, expelling the hand - and the person it was attached to - to the back of the hallway, ‘GO!’ Lily screamed. This time, I didn’t look back and we ran all the way home.

My priority was to make sure Lily got home first. To avoid being seen together, I dropped her to the edge of the woods and left her to walk the rest of the way, casting a protection spell over her to ensure she arrived safely. ‘You won’t say anything about what I told you, will you?’ she pleaded as I gave her a hug and reminded her of the strength of our friendship.

Walking the rest of the journey alone, I was nervous - cautious and suspicious of the slightest sound or movement.

Not only was I shocked that I could form a force field more than once, but that it had the power to kill whatever tried to attack me.

With this realisation, I began to feel a smugness come over me. I let down my guard and focused on what new spells I could try when I got home. With my mind distracted for a minute, the next thing I knew, I was off my feet and thrown to the side of the road.

I hit my head on a tree and was left unconscious for a few minutes. After using my other senses to force my way back into consciousness, I assessed my new surroundings. I could feel the crunching of leaves beneath my hands and the sound of running water in the far distance.

My eyes were gradually focusing on a tall, black figure in front of me, splashing water on my face. The water shocked me back into reality and I could see the cause of my disorientation.

He was 5 feet 11 inches, of a muscular build, with short jet black hair and a creamy white complexion.

He helped me sit up, seemingly very concerned for my health as he assessed my eyes and limbs for damage. ‘I’m so sorry if I hurt you, but I guess we’re even now,’ he joked as my sight came back to normal and I saw this beautiful vision before me.

‘We’re even?’ I mumbled as I got back to my feet and looked around to see if there was anyone else nearby.

I raised my hands to defend myself, which seemed to amuse him even more. ‘Whoa there!’ he continued, ‘Put those guns down. I’m not here to get blasted by you again. I just wanted to check you were okay.’ I looked at him, still apprehensive of his kindness. When I finally felt happy there was no one else waiting to pounce, I lowered my hands. ‘Who are you?’ I asked, watching his every move like a hawk.

He walked towards me, put his hand on the lower area of my back and ushered me to walk through the woods with him. ‘I’m the one who helped you out back there. Is that how you thank all your rescuers?’ he joked as I looked at him with a scowl on my face.

‘I didn’t need rescuing. I could have sorted them out myself,’ I retorted as I batted his hand away and picked up my pace slightly.

My walk got ever faster and I soon broke into a run.

I ran so fast I could no longer see this mysterious stranger; I only slowed down when I saw my house ahead.

Walking through the undergrowth, I was tripped by a branch wrapped around my ankle and as I tugged and pulled at the vine, I was lifted in the air and freed from its grasp. ‘Why are you making it so hard to get to know you?’ he asked as he smiled at my attempts to push him away.‘Maybe it’s because you sweep in, try to rescue me - even though I had it under control - and now you’re stalking me without even telling me your name. Excuse me for being a bit apprehensive,’ I spat as he laughed, and I realised who or what he was … Why was he fighting his own kind?

This thought swept through my brain for a second before he read my mind and he confessed, ‘Sorry. My name is Rohan and, yes, I’m one of them - in appearance only. I just want to get to know you because I remember seeing you at school a few years ago and you seemed pretty cool back then. I wondered if you were still the same!’

I couldn’t believe this was the boy who risked his kind being exposed when we first started school by using his powers on that Namuh. I was intrigued, desperate to know more. I needed to know where he’d been and why this vampire wanted to risk it all to speak to me.

It was overwhelming, stupid of him but as much as my mind screamed its disapproval, I was curious about this mystifying being. I nodded my agreement and, with that, he kissed my hand and we vowed to find a way of spending time getting to know each other without getting caught or putting our families at risk.

Without admitting it, the sheer touch of his lips on my shaking hands made me shiver from head to toe and I knew, no matter how much I denied it, I was starting to develop more than just a thirst for knowledge about this unusual vampire.

I knew I was in trouble.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Gratitude Giveaways

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

Image taken from Google Images.

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 Saturday, November 30
  4. You can enter via the Rafflecopter form below. You must follow my blog via GFC/BLoglovin in order to enter.
  5. Winner will be contacted via email and will have 48 hours to respond with logistics.
Don't forget to check out my other giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sia by Josh Grayson

Genre:  YA Contemporary
Expected publication date:  November 20, 2013

Description (taken from Goodreads):
When seventeen-year-old Sia wakes up on a park bench, she has no idea who or where she is. Yet after a week of being homeless, she’s reunited with her family. At school, she’s powerful and popular. At home, she’s wealthy beyond her dreams. But she quickly realizes her perfect life is a lie. Her family is falling apart and her friends are snobby, cruel and plastic. Worse yet, she discovers she was the cruelest one. Mortified by her past, she embarks on a journey of redemption and falls for Kyle, the “geek” she once tormented. Yet all the time she wonders if, when her memories return, she’ll become the bully she was before…and if she’ll lose Kyle.

Have you ever looked at your past and wished for a second chance to do the right thing?  Don't even look at your distant past, consider the last week.  Were there some bad choices, things you did that hurt people, stuff you wish you could have done differently?  Sia has a case of fugue amnesia where she gets just that chance to start everything new.  But she has the old, mean-girl-her overshadowing her every step.

First off, what is fugue amnesia?  According to Wikipedia, it's a disorder where someone forgets his/her personal identity, including memories, personality and other characteristics.  And Sia suffers from this.

The story begins with Sia not remembering who she is.  With no memories, she has no way of protecting herself and finding shelter.  And the streets of Los Angeles are not kind to the homeless.  After spending a week living the homeless life, her parents find her.  As she begins to be introduced into her normal world, she finds she wasn't the nice, naive girl that she's become.  Will people's memories of who she was prevent them from getting to know the new her?  Can Sia overcome the shadow that her past has become?

This book makes you feel good.  Or it makes you want to think that everyone has a little bit of good in them no matter how mean they might be to you.  I guess it gives you hope.  I really enjoyed it, and I had a smile almost the whole time reading this.  Because if a mean-girl like Sia can change her ways and overcome her meanness, can't we all?

If you've got an afternoon, go read this one.  It'll make you happy.

My favorite quote:
True friendship is when two friends can walk in opposite directions, yet remain side by side.
     ~p 108

Thanks goes to Josh Grayson for providing me a review copy.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Impostor by Susanne Winnacker

Genre:  YA Paranormal Mystery
Variants Series, Book 1

Description (taken from Susanne Winnacker's website):

Tessa is a Variant, able to absorb the DNA of anyone she touches and mimic their appearance. Shunned by her family, she’s spent the last two years training with the Forces with Extraordinary Abilities, a secret branch of the FBI.

When a serial killer rocks a small town in Oregon, Tessa is given a mission: she must impersonate Madison, a local teen, to find the killer before he strikes again.

Tessa hates everything about being an impostor—the stress, the danger, the deceit—but loves playing the role of a normal girl. As Madison, she finds friends, romance, and the kind of loving family she’d do anything to keep.

Amid action, suspense, and a ticking clock, this super-human comes to a very human conclusion: even a girl who can look like anyone struggles the most with being herself.

This is a quick read that introduces you to a world where some people have special abilities.  Tessa can appear to be anyone she touches, and she gets the chance to help her team solve a mystery by impersonating a dead girl.

Tessa has had a tough life finding rejection from those closest to her.  So it's hard in the beginning to fit into Madison's life where she has loving parents, friends, love interests, basically anything a girl could want.  But once Tessa gets comfortable in Madison's life, she has to begin to unravel her personal life and try to find the killer.  Sometimes, it would have been easier for Tessa to forget who she was and become Madison.

This book's a really good introduction to a new and fun series.  Sure there are books involving people with special abilities, the good side versus the bad side, but this was fun to read.  My only complaint is it wasn't long enough.  And the love story was kind of exasperating.

I'm looking forward to learning more about Variants and see who Tessa's going to become next.

Challenges:  Paranormal Reading Challenge
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