Sneak A Peek Saturday: BLACK HEART by Holly Black

Sneak a Peek Saturday is a feature that I like to indulge in because I cannot wait to read the tasty tid bits that are put out there for us ravenous readers to enjoy.

This last and final Saturday of the year I have selected BLACK HEART by holly black because this series is made of wicked awesome and each book is better than it's predecessor. I am sure fans of this series will love this tasty bit so, click on the book cover below and enjoy.




Cassel Sharpe knows he’s been used as an assassin, but he’s trying to put all that behind him. He’s trying to be good, even though he grew up in a family of con artists and cheating comes as easily as breathing to him. He’s trying to do the right thing, even though the girl he loves is inextricably connected with crime. And he’s trying to convince himself that working for the Feds is smart, even though he’s been raised to believe the government is the enemy.

But with a mother on the lam, the girl he loves about to take her place in the Mob, and new secrets coming to light, the line between what’s right and what’s wrong becomes increasingly blurred. When the Feds ask Cassel to do the one thing he said he would never do again, he needs to sort out what’s a con and what’s truth. In a dangerous game and with his life on the line, Cassel may have to make his biggest gamble yet—this time on love.


Happy New Year's Eve.

Waiting on Wednesday: GOD SAVE THE QUEEN by Kate Locke

Jill over at Breaking the Spine started this and I believe that it's awesome" This blog post is to alert those that visit about "the" book that we cannot wait to get our hands on.

As this year is coming to an end I have selected a book that I think is going to be absolutely amazing. God Save The Queen by Kate Locke is that book. An undead monarchy, Werewolves, Vampires and more. Now who can resist a storyline such as that? Not moi.


07/03/12
GOD SAVE THE QUEEN
The Immortal Empire, Book One
by Kate Locke
ISBN-13: 978-03161961230


Queen Victoria rules with an immortal fist.

The undead matriarch of a Britain where the Aristocracy is made up of werewolves and vampires, where goblins live underground and mothers know better than to let their children out after dark. A world where being nobility means being infected with the Plague (side-effects include undeath), Hysteria is the popular affliction of the day, and leeches are considered a delicacy. And a world where technology lives side by side with magic. The year is 2012 and Pax Britannia still reigns.

Xandra Vardan is a member of the elite Royal Guard, and it is her duty to protect the Aristocracy. But when her sister goes missing, Xandra will set out on a path that undermines everything she believed in and uncover a conspiracy that threatens to topple the empire. And she is the key-the prize in a very dangerous struggle
.

REVIEW: CROSSED by Ally Condie

CROSSED
by Ally Condie
Reading level: Ages 14 and up
Hardcover: 367 pages
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile (November 1, 2011)
Language: English
Source: BEA
Ratings: 2.5 star

In search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky - taken by the Society to his certain death - only to find that he has escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake.

Cassia's quest leads her to question much of what she holds dear, even as she finds glimmers of a different life across the border. But as Cassia nears resolve and certainty about her future with Ky, an invitation for rebellion, an unexpected betrayal, and a surprise visit from Xander - who may hold the key to the uprising and, still, to Cassia's heart - change the game once again. Nothing is as expected on the edge of Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than ever.

My Thoughts:

This year was filled with many novels that I was most eager to read and CROSSED was on the top of that very list. I had enjoyed it's predecessor with tepid enthusiasm yet Ally Condie's lyrical writing style and alternate utopia had me coming back for more.

As I return to this world it unfolds before me through two points of view: Cassia and Ky. I don't usually favor this approach but it worked well with how the plot progressed, adding depth and a bit of darkness that was displayed through Ky's POV. Initially through flashbacks the story brings forth Cassia's efforts to find Ky. Meanwhile the horrific conclusion to Ky's encampment comes to light and fuels his desire to find Cassia. When the inevitable reunion comes I did not find the happiness that I expected to be there due to their different ideas regarding the Resistance. Who will lead and who will follow? Only time will tell.

Upon finishing CROSSED I did not have the same intense feelings as I had with MATCHED. The poetic writing style that would sometimes take my breath away only seemed to cause a mild pause and it's current bleakness seemed faded and uninspiring. I wanted that darkness to cause more destruction, not sure why but I feel it would have added a bit of credibility to this new storyline. Also, the intensity of passion between the two main characters lacked the emotional quality that kept my initial interest but this current endeavour could not seem to stoke those same fires. What I did enjoy was this story's crucial twist that took me by surprise and lent a bit of mystery that intrigued me to want to read the next novel despite my lackluster desire for CROSSED.

I am not sure if fans of this series will be sold on this novel but it will be interesting to see if it will be enough to fuel further interest. I will return but with reservation and trepidation and hopeful resolution.


CROSSED Video Book Trailer

Review: DEARLY DEPARTED by Lia Habel

DEARLY DEPARTED
by Lia Habel
Hardcover: 480 pages
Publisher: Del Rey; 1St Edition edition (October 18, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0345523318
Source: Audible (very well done)
Rating: 5 stars
Love can never die.

Love conquers all, so they say. But can Cupid’s arrow pierce the hearts of the living and the dead—or rather, the undead? Can a proper young Victorian lady find true love in the arms of a dashing zombie?

The year is 2195. The place is New Victoria—a high-tech nation modeled on the manners, mores, and fashions of an antique era. A teenager in high society, Nora Dearly is far more interested in military history and her country’s political unrest than in tea parties and debutante balls. But after her beloved parents die, Nora is left at the mercy of her domineering aunt, a social-climbing spendthrift who has squandered the family fortune and now plans to marry her niece off for money. For Nora, no fate could be more horrible—until she’s nearly kidnapped by an army of walking corpses.

But fate is just getting started with Nora. Catapulted from her world of drawing-room civility, she’s suddenly gunning down ravenous zombies alongside mysterious black-clad commandos and confronting “The Laz,” a fatal virus that raises the dead—and hell along with them. Hardly ideal circumstances. Then Nora meets Bram Griswold, a young soldier who is brave, handsome, noble . . . and dead. But as is the case with the rest of his special undead unit, luck and modern science have enabled Bram to hold on to his mind, his manners, and his body parts. And when his bond of trust with Nora turns to tenderness, there’s no turning back. Eventually, they know, the disease will win, separating the star-crossed lovers forever. But until then, beating or not, their hearts will have what they desire.

In Dearly, Departed, romance meets walking-dead thriller, spawning a madly imaginative novel of rip-roaring adventure, spine-tingling suspense, and macabre comedy that forever redefines the concept of undying love.



My Thoughts:
Dearly Departed by debut author Lia Habel is just what the good doctor ordered. A fast-paced adventure filled with Zombies, romance and Steam punk elements that make this whimsical tale of true love from opposites sides of a beating heart, a brilliant read.


Dearly Departed is told from multiple points of view from pivotal characters, but the most memorable are Nora and Bram, the story's most unlikely of love pairings. The romance between these two characters is remarkably sweet and genuine, giving one the warm fuzzies.


Nora is a spirited orphan living with her aunt who is constantly reminding her that she is a spinster in need of a good man, but she can only think of the world that she is forbidden to explore. Bram is part of a secret government undead army created by Nora's father. After a near catastrophic event these two will cross paths and Nora will uncover a hidden secret that will seriously rock her world, but not before the two fall head over heals for one another. Meanwhile a seriously twisted mad man wants to expose and destroy the "secret" army and will stop at nothing until it is done.


Lia Habel did a fantastic job of creating a world that is well detailed, plausible and abundantly vivid with memorable characters that are well fleshed out (no pun intended) and entertaining to witness. I read the prologue I knew it would satisfy all the romantic goodness and adventure that I sorely crave and I was not disappointed. I highly recommend this delightful read to anyone seeking adventure, romance and something a bit more twisted than normal.

Merry Christmas!



Merry Christmas!
I  hope that everyone has a wonderful day filled with laughter and good cheer while being surrounded by their family, friends and loved ones.

Happy Holidays! 

Amanda Hocking's Trylle Series - Book Trailer and Images


SWITCHED… at birth: When Wendy Everly was six years old, her mother was convinced she was a monster and tried to kill her. Eleven years later, Wendy discovers her mother might have been right. She’s not the person she’s always believed herself to be, and her whole life begins to unravel—all because of Finn Holmes. Finn is a mysterious guy who always seems to be watching her. Every encounter leaves her deeply shaken…though it has more to do with her fierce attraction to him than she’d ever admit. But it isn’t long before he reveals the truth: Wendy is a changeling who was switched at birth—and he’s come to take her home. Now Wendy’s about to journey to a magical world she never knew existed, one that’s both beautiful and frightening. And where she must leave her old life behind to discover who she’s meant to become… 

From Amanda Hocking, million-copy bestselling author and internet sensation comes the Trylle series... it all begins with Switched, available everywhere 1.3.12. As a special gift to readers, Switched contains a new, never-before-published bonus story, "The Vittra Attacks," set in the magical world of the Trylle. The Trylle series continues with Torn, on-sale 2.28.12, and concludes on 4.24.12 with Ascend. Read an excerpt from SWITCHED and much more at: FACEBOOK

Can we say WOW!
She cannot keep her eyes off him
Would you go with him?
 

Jill over at Breaking the Spine started this and I believe that it's awesome" This blog post is to alert those that visit about "the" book that we cannot wait to get our hands on.

This week I have selected DIVINE INTERVENTION by Martha Brockenbrough initially because of it's interesting cover. It sort of reminds me of Heaven Can Wait (movie from a long time ago) but then I read the synopsis and knew that it was something that I would enjoy.


Now that you have my WoW I would like to know yours, my curious mind cannot help it.



06/01/12
DEVINE INTERVENTION
(formerly listed as TEN COMMANDMENTS FOR THE DEAD)
by Martha Brockenbrough
ISBN-13: 978-0545382137
Arthur A. Levine Books
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads


Heavenly writing, earthy characters, and humor that is wicked as hell.

Heidi is seventeen. Insecure. Unkissed. Unremarkable, she thinks, in every way but one: She has a guardian angel, Jerome, who whispers in her ear all day long, amusing her, confusing her, but hardly ever saying anything that might help her discover who she's meant to be.

Jerome is also seventeen (for the seventeenth year in a row.) There is only one thing he needs to do to graduate from heaven's soul rehabilitation program for wayward teenagers: Follow the 10 Commandments for the Dead, and in doing so, keep Heidi safe. Instead, he accidentally lets her drown.

Plucked from her body before she ever truly lives, Heidi wants more than anything to say goodbye to her family and best friend. Jerome, afraid he's going to be sent to the lowest level of Hell, wants to sneak her into heaven before he gets caught.
Neither realizes that Heidi has only 24 hours before her soul dissolves forever. And that might not be enough time for them to figure out how they were meant to live.

Sneak A Peek Saturday: FRACTURE by Megan Miranda

Sneak a Peek Saturday is a feature that I like to indulge in because I cannot wait to read the tasty tid bits that are put out there for us ravenous readers to enjoy.

This week I have selected FRACTURE by Megan Miranda because it is an amazing read that has received alot of great buzz and once you get a taste of the first few chapters you will understand why.

Just click on the book cover below to read chapters 1 and 2
By the time Delaney Maxwell was pulled from a Maine lake’s icy waters by her best friend, Decker Phillips, her heart had stopped beating. Her brain had stopped working. She was dead.
But somehow Delaney survived—despite the brain scans that show irreparable damage. Everyone wants Delaney to be fine, but she knows she’s far from normal. Pulled by strange sensations she can’t control or explain, Delaney now finds herself drawn to the dying, and when she meets Troy Varga, a boy who recently emerged from a coma with the same abilities, she is relieved to share this strange new existence. Unsure if her altered brain is predicting death or causing it, Delaney must figure out if their gift is a miracle, a freak of nature—or something else much more frightening….

Megan Miranda TOUR dates

Blog Tour: Review and contest for Tempest by Julie Cross



"That was all it took to fool me? My older self must be an idiot."




  • Publisher - Macmillan Children's Books
  • Publication Date - 6 January 2012
  • Age - Teen
  • Isbn: 978 0 230 7526 7 H/back

  • Jackson Meyer is hiding a secret. He can time-travel. But he doesn't know how he does it, how to control it or what it means. When Jackson, and his girlfriend Holly, find themselves in fatal danger, Jackson panics and catapaults himself two years into his past, further than he's ever managed before, and this time he can't find a way back to the future. All the rules of time-travel he's experienced so far have been broken and Jackson has no choice but to pretend to be his younger self whilst he figures out a solution. Jackson is tearing himself apart with guilt and frustration, wondering if Holly survived. He's also become the target of an unknown enemy force and it seems even his dad is lying to him. Jackson is racing against time to save the girl he loves, but to do that he must first discover the truth about his family and himself.
    And stay alive.

    Today - Jackson and Holly are in love
    Tomorrow - She will lie dying in his arm
    Yesterday - Jackson must undo it all

    Having read the synopsis for this novel I was totally on board to dive in and devour it. The concept of time travel is truly fascinating to me and I was eager to see how it would be addressed in this debut novel by Julie Cross. I am most happy to say that I found this novel most intriguing and unique among it's concept and delivery.
    TEMPEST centers on Jackson Meyer, the main character, who can time travel but the unique twist is that he does not require a machine and he can only travel within the time limits that he has existed on earth. So, he cannot travel into the future and hang with Michael J. Fox and the Delorean, but he can see loved ones that have passed on, which is a pivital point in this love story.

    I am not a big sci-fi fan and yet this story kept my interest and made it difficult for me to put down.  The concept of the storyline was well explained and easy to follow which I believe is crucial in a novel of this nature, otherwise I would have lost interest, but that was not the case. Along with the paranormal nature of this novel there is the continuing mysterious vibe and danger that grabs you and keeps the story from becoming overly sappy.

    Despite the novel having been promoted as a "Twilight-like" novel I found that it would appeal to an even greater genre of readers because it has a great paranormal scientific edge while at it's heart is the love story between Jackson and Holly and I know it is the magic ingredient that makes you NEED to know what happens next.

    TEMPEST is fast paced read while featuring characters that are memorable and well fleshed out while interrjected with a scientific paranormal edge that is unique and sure to ensare you.

    

    Links to find Tempest and Julie Cross online: Website / Twitter / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Goodreads

    Signed TEMPEST by Julie Cross Giveaway FORM
    and here are other opportunities for you to enter on other blogs participating in this blog tour. Good Luck!!

    Tempest by Julie Cross Blog Tour
    Hosted by Books Complete Me & Once Upon a Twilight
    December 5th – 16th, January 2nd – 6th
    December:

    6th: Andrea @ Reading Lark

               
               
    9th: Andye @ Reading Teen
               
    12th: Damaris @ Good Choice Reading
               
    13th: Savannah @ Books With Bite

    15th: Heather @ Fire and Ice
               

    January:
    2nd: Cindy @ Books Complete Me
               
    3rd: Christin @ Portrait of a Book
               

    5th: Stacey @ Page Turners Blog
              
    6th: Shannan @ Girls in the Stacks

    September 15, 2007 (12:05 a.m.)

    Waiting on Wednesday: THE LAST PRINCESS by Galaxy Craze

    Jill over at Breaking the Spine started this and I believe that it's awesome" This blog post is to alert those that visit about "the" book that we cannot wait to get our hands on.

    This week for my WoW I have selected THE LAST PRINCESS by Galaxy Craze (awesome name, right?) The cover for this upcoming novel is beautifully eerie and colorful, then I read the synopsis and was even further convinced that this novel had to occupy a space on my bookshelf of Dystopian reads.

    Now that you know my WoW, my curious mind wants to know what yours is.



    05/08/12
    THE LAST PRINCESS
    by Galaxy Craze
    ISBN-13: 978-0316185486
    Poppy
    Amazon, Goodreads


    Happily ever after is a thing of the past.

    The year is 2090.

    England is a barren land. Food is rationed. Oil has decimated the oceans. The people are restless.

    A ruthless revolutionary enacts a plan to destroy the royal family, and in a moment, the king is dead. His heiress, Princess Mary, and her brother, Jamie, have been abducted, and no one knows their fate. Princess Eliza Windsor barely escapes, and finds herself scared and lost in London's dangerous streets.

    With a mind for revenge and the safe recovery of her siblings, Eliza joins the enemy forces in disguise. There she is tempted by her first taste of independence -- and true love. Ultimately she must summon her courage and fight to ensure that she does not become... The Last Princess.

    BLOG TOUR: Guest Post and Contest LEGEND by Marie Lu

    Today I have the pleasure of being a part of the LEGEND Blog Tour and I am more than excited about my participation in today's post. Author Marie Lu has shared her technique of dealing with writer's block and at the same time demonstrated another amazing talent. I adore all that she has shared with The Tales of the Ravenous Reader blog and I hope that you take the time to check out this informative post about a rising new talent in the YA reading genre and participate in the contest that is included at the end of this post.
    Marie Lu Bio:
    Before becoming a full-time writer, Marie Lu was the art director at a video game company. She also owns the children’s brand Fuzz Academy. She was first inspired to write Legend while watching Les Miserables one afternoon, and wondered how the relationship between a famous criminal vs. a prodigious detective might translate into a more modern story. She graduated from the University of Southern California in 2006 and lives in Los Angeles, California.Visit Marie at ww.marielu.org


    LEGEND FACEBOOK EXPERIENCE

    Click here to read the first chapter of LEGEND

    And without further delay Marie Lu shares with us how she deals with writer's block. I am sure that you will agree with me that not only is she a talented author but she is an amazing artist as well.

    MARIE LU
    My Legend Artwork (or, my cure for writer's block)
    I suffer writer's block much more often than I care to admit. On these unpleasant occasions, after I'm done sulking in a corner with my emo hoodie on, I'll retreat into my (almost) foolproof writer's block breaker: drawing. Whenever you see me posting Legend-related artwork online, you can bet that I'm having a writer's block day. Indulging in a different form of creative media almost always helps me loosen the tangles that are preventing me from writing. So, today, I thought I'd share some of the art that I did in the past year that got me through the writing of both Legend and Legend 2 (which comes out in Fall 2012!):

    This is what I see in my head for the opening scene of Legend, when Day and Tess are watching the plague patrol make their way down the street. Minus the rain. That was
    just for dramatic effect. :) (Day and Tess drawn in Flash. Background commissioned from a small art studio.)

    Based on an early Legend scene, where June tries in vain to convince her brother Metias that taking her along onmissions is a good idea. As you can see, my Disney-ish side is sticking out here.

    A compilation of various sketches I drew of Day. Top left, Day being apologetic. Top middle, Day being mean. Top right, Day being...bewildered. Bottom sequence, Day flirting with some curly-haired girl.


    For some reason, this is everyone's favorite picture. I have no idea why.

    Probably the closest I've gotten to capturing how June looks in my head.

    I tried a more realistic sketch of how Day and June look in my head. Still not quite right...but I tried!

    I don't know about you guys, but I adored every single one of those images and the book trailer is pretty darn great and it makes me want to read this novel all over again. Thank you Marie for sharing your drawings on my blog and I cannot wait to read LEGEND 2.



    CONTEST Prize: I have one (1) prize pack to give away to a winner in the US. The prize pack includes:
    1 finished copy of LEGEND
    1 LEGEND button


    CONTEST Rules: Tell me which of Marie's Drawings do you like the best and why?
    1. Must reside in the US to receive this prize pack that is donated by the Publisher
    2. Contest ends December 26th 2011 at midnight PST
    GOOD LUCK!!

    In My Mailbox: December

    In My Mailbox lets you peek into the contents of my mailbox on a weekly basis. I am listing all the lovely books that I have aquired this week. If you would like to participate and have your own “In My Mailbox” post, you can find more information here on the Story Siren's blog, where it all began..(This post was inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie. This week produced some much awaited novel and I cannot wait to dig into them.


    For Review:

    Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama
    Of Poseidon by Anna Banks
    Struck by Jennifer Bosworth

    Sneak a Peek Saturday is a feature that I like to indulge in because I cannot wait to read the tasty tid bits that are put out there for us ravenous readers to enjoy.

    This week I have found an excerpt of EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO SURVIVE THE APOCALYPSE by Lucas Klauss. I am always a fan of interesting covers and this cover is so very unique and colorful that one cannot help but be drawn to it. The concept of this book sound like a great coming of age story with a guy that is just trying to find his place in life with a girl that he thinks has seriously "great boobs" once I read that part I had a good snerk and knew this was a book that I had to read.

    Just click the book cover below and you will understand why this book is getting such great press.


    01/03/12
    EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO SURVIVE THE APOCALYPSE
    by Lucas Klauss
    ISBN-13: 978-1442423886
    Simon Pulse

    Phillip's sophomore year is off to a rough start. One of his best friends ditches him for a group of douchebags. His track coach singles him out for personalized, torturous training sessions. And his dad decides to clean out all of the emergency supplies from the basement, even though the world could end in disaster at any moment...and even though those supplies are all Phillip has left of his dead mom. Not that he wants to talk about that.

    But then Phillip meets Rebekah. Not only is she unconventionally hot and smart, but she has seriously great boobs. And she might like him back.

    As Phillip gets closer to Rebekah, he tries harder and harder to turn himself into the kind of person he thinks she wants him to be. But the question is, can he become that person? And does he really want to?

    Review: POSSESS by Gretchen McNeil

    POSSESS
    Gretchen McNeil
    Reading level: Ages 13 and up
    Hardcover: 384 pages
    Publisher: Balzer + Bray (August 23, 2011)
    Language: English
    ISBN-10: 0062060716
    Source: Publisher

    Fifteen-year-old Bridget Liu just wants to be left alone: by her mom, by the cute son of a local police sergeant, and by the eerie voices she can suddenly and inexplicably hear. Unfortunately for Bridget, it turns out the voices are demons – and Bridget has the rare ability to banish them back to whatever hell they came from.

    Terrified to tell people about her new power, Bridget confides in a local priest who enlists her help in increasingly dangerous cases of demonic possession. But just as she is starting to come to terms with her new power, Bridget receives a startling message from one of the demons. Now Bridget must unlock the secret to the demons' plan before someone close to her winds up dead – or worse, the human vessel of a demon king.

    My Opinion:

    Possess is a cleverly crafted novel showcasing a young teenage girl that has the unique ability to banish demons back to hell. A read that is makes you question the movement in the shadows, the voices that surround you and the power of pure evil.

    Protagonist Bridget Lui, a Catholic school teen who is part Chinese, part Irish and can list her talents as an accomplished piano player and teen exorcist the later talent manifesting shortly after her father's murder.  Early on we witness Bridget navigate through an exorcism and although it isn't her first encounter with demonic forces it proves how green she really is. Yet, Bridget has a strength within her that is tested and proven as she battles the everyday hell that is called high school and an ambitious demon that wants to declare Armageddon on Heaven.

    Debut author Gretchen McNeil, has penned a suspenseful and refreshing paranormal novel in a market that is filled with repetitious paranormal stories. A frightening read that gave me the chills and made me want to say a few hail mary's and keep the lights on.


    POSSESS Video Book Trailer

    A Book You Cannot Miss: THE PROBABILITY OF MIRACLES


    “THE BEST COMING-OF-AGE NOVEL SINCE THE SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS.” –Les Morgenstein, Executive Producer of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movies




    « “Beautiful. . . Fans of Gayle Forman’s If I Stay (2009) and others will find hope and laughs amid tragedy.”
    —Kirkus, starred review

    « “A witty, clever, meaningful, kind of kooky life-sometimes-stinks-but-it’s-all-we-have tour de force.” –School Library Journal, starred review

    “Wunder gracefully balances comedy and tragedy in this debut novel.” – Publishers Weekly

    “An unforgettable read.
    You will cry, you will laugh, you will love it.”
    —Sarah Mlynowski, author of Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn’t Have)

    “The Probability of Miracles is a miracle itself—hilarious, wry, heartbreaking.”
    —Sara Shepard, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Pretty Little Liars and The Lying Game

    “I have to gush about this book.
    It was bittersweet, beautiful, and inspiring.”
    —5 out of 5 stars, BooksByTheirCover.blogspot.com

    Razorbill and Alloy Entertainment present one of the best received novels of 2011. Sparkling new talent Wendy Wunder’s debut novel, THE PROBABILITY OF MIRACLES (On sale December 8, 2011 / 9781595143686 / $17.99 / Ages 14 Up), tells the story of an unforgettable seventeen-year-old cancer patient named Campbell Cooper who finds hope, humor, and the strength to live life fully in the face of death. Told in Wendy Wunder’s fresh, satirical voice, Cam’s story is a perfect marriage of unexpected humor and tear-jerking realism.

    Wry, sarcastic, and practical-to-a-fault, Cam accepts her fate. But her kooky, fiercely-loving mother, a hula dancer at Disney World, does not. With Cam’s younger sister Perry in tow, they set off on a road trip from Orlando, Florida, to Promise, Maine, where it’s rumored that miracles happen. Cam is reluctant as ever to believe in the intangible, but when a mysterious envelope arrives containing a list of things for Cam to do before she dies, she finally opens her eyes to chasing a life well lived while she can.

    THE PROBABILITY OF MIRACLES brings readers through sweeping romance, dream-chasing adventures, and the realization that each day must be lived to the fullest. Wunder reminds readers that the probability of miracles in everyday life is strong if only we look for it.

    Wendy Wunder lives in Boston where she writes and teaches yoga. This is her first novel. And yes, Wendy Wunder is her real name. Find Wendy online at www.wendywunderbooks.com, www.facebook.com/wendywunderauthor, and www.twitter.com/wendywunder. Or visit the official website of The Probability of Miracles, www.probabilityofmiracles.com.

    THE PROBABILITY OF MIRACLES
    By Wendy Wunder
    On sale December 8, 2011 / A Razorbill hardcover / 9781595143686 / $17.99 / Ages 14 Up / 368 pages




    STAY TUNED BECAUSE AN AUTHOR INTERVIEW AND GIVEAWAY IS COMING SOON!!

    Waiting on Wednesday: Wonder Show by Hannah Barnaby

    Jill over at Breaking the Spine started this and I believe that it's awesome" This blog post is to alert those that visit about "the" book that we cannot wait to get our hands on.

    This week I have selected WONDER SHOW by Hannah Barnaby. This novel reminds me of THE NIGHT CIRCUS, of which I enjoyed immensly. Yet, this Circus themed read seems to have a darker edge that I find intriguing.

    Now that you know my WoW I would love to know what is yours? My curious mind wants to know.


    03/20/12

    WONDER SHOW


    ISBN-13: 978-0547599809
    Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
    Amazon, B&N, Goodreads


    Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, friends and neighbors, allow me to change your lives! Step inside Mosco’s Traveling Wonder Show! You’ve read about them in magazines, these so-called human curiosities, this tribe of misfits—now come and see for yourselves. We’ve got a gent as tall as a tree, a lady with a beard, and don’t miss your chance to see the Wild Albinos of Bora Bora! Ask Madame Doula to peer into your future (only two dollars more if you want to know how you’re going to die).  And between these covers behold the greatest act of our display—Portia Remini, the strangest of the menagerie because she’s a ‘normal’ among the freaks, searching for a new beginning on the bally, far away from McGreavey’s Home for Wayward Girls, where Mister watches and waits. He said he would always find Portia, said she could never leave . . .

    Oh, it’s not for the faint of heart folks. If you’re prone to nightmares or you’ve got a weak ticker, you’d best move on. Within these pages lies a tale of abandonment, loss, misfortune for the rich and glory for the poor (and a little murder doesn’t hurt). It’s a story for the ages, but be warned: once you enter the Wonder Show you will never be the same.

    REVIEW: THE IRON KNIGHT by Julie Kagawa

    THE IRON KNIGHT
    by Julie Kagawa
    Paperback: 400 pages
    Publisher: Harlequin; Original edition (October 25, 2011)
    Language: English
    ISBN-10: 0373210361
    Source: Net Galley
    Rating: 5 star

    My name—my True Name—is Ashallayn’darkmyr Tallyn.

    I am the last remaining son of Mab, Queen of the Unseelie Court.

    And I am dead to her.

    My fall began, as many stories do, with a girl…

    To cold faery prince Ash, love was a weakness for mortals and fools. His own love had died a horrible death, killing any gentler feelings the Winter prince might have had. Or so he thought.

    Then Meghan Chase—a half human, half fey slip of a girl—smashed through his barricades, binding him to her irrevocably with his oath to be her knight. And when all of Faery nearly fell to the Iron fey, she severed their bond to save his life. Meghan is now the Iron Queen, ruler of a realm where no Winter or Summer fey can survive.

    With the unwelcome company of his archrival, Summer Court prankster Puck, and the infuriating cait sith Grimalkin, Ash begins a journey he is bound to see through to its end—a quest to find a way to honor his vow to stand by Meghan’s side.

    To survive in the Iron Realm, Ash must have a soul and a mortal body. But the tests he must face to earn these things are impossible. And along the way Ash learns something that changes everything. A truth that challenges his darkest beliefs and shows him that, sometimes, it takes more than courage to make the ultimate sacrifice.

    My Thoughts:
    The Iron Fey series is by far one of my very favorite series and THE IRON KNIGHT is proof positive as to why that is so. Julie Kagawa has penned a story that has surpassed all of my expectations and wishes for a wonderful read and whose world  I am very sad to say goodbye to.

    For fans of the Fey series THE IRON KNIGHT was a bittersweet ending. Witnessing Ash go through hell and back to be with the woman he loves and swore to protect was heart wrenching. I could not get enough of witnessing Ash and Puck work together to accomplish every hard task while testing the boundaries of their friendship. I also enjoyed the return of master trickster, Grimalkin and newcomer, the big bad wolf. Together they comprise a band of unlikely dare devils, each with a personal stake in helping Ash accomplish his goal of attaining a human soul.

    Julie Kagawa created a unique world with her Iron Fey Series and while her this final novel is a darker endeavour than her previous novels,  it is by far the most satisfying and heart wrenching novel yet. The first half of this story returns us to the past adventures of narrow escapes and acts of heroic brilliance but when Ash reaches the end of the world he is pushed in a manner that changes him forever.

    While I enjoyed returning to this series I also felt an great sadness because I knew I would be leaving this world and these amazing characters. They have become a part of my life and I am ever grateful for the adventures that I have had the privilege to witness and enjoy. Thank you, Julie and I cannot wait for what you have in store for us next.

     THE IRON KNIGHT Video Book Trailer

    Sneak A Peek Saturday: CROAK by Gina Damico

    Sneak a Peek Saturday is a feature that I like to indulge in because I cannot wait to read the tasty tid bits that are put out there for us ravenous readers to enjoy. This week I have selected CROAK my Gina Damico. I have had my eye on this little gem and once I read the excerpt I knew I wanted to read this book right away. Now you can enjoy these little gem by clicking on the book cover below for a an excerpt to whet your appetite.

    03/20/12
    CROAK
    Croak, Book One
    by Gina Damico
    ISBN-13: 978-0547608327
    Graphia
    Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads




    Sixteen-year-old Lex Bartleby has sucker-punched her last classmate. Fed up with her punkish, wild behavior, her parents ship her off to upstate New York to live with her Uncle Mort for the summer, hoping that a few months of dirty farm work will whip her back into shape. But Uncle Mort’s true occupation is much dirtier than that of shoveling manure.

    He’s a Grim Reaper. And he’s going to teach her the family business.

    Lex quickly assimilates into the peculiar world of Croak, a town populated entirely by reapers who deliver souls from this life to the next. Along with her infuriating yet intriguing partner Driggs and a rockstar crew of fellow Grim apprentices, Lex is soon zapping her Targets like a natural born Killer.

    Yet her innate ability morphs into an unchecked desire for justice—or is it vengeance?—whenever she’s forced to Kill a murder victim, craving to stop the attackers before they can strike again. So when people start to die—that is, people who aren’t supposed to be dying, people who have committed grievous crimes against the innocent—Lex’s curiosity is piqued. Her obsession grows as the bodies pile up, and a troubling question begins to swirl through her mind: if she succeeds in tracking down the murderer, will she stop the carnage—or will she ditch Croak and join in?

    The Tour de Nerdfighting 2012

    News like this always makes me ridiculously happy!!!
    As quoted by John Green's Tumblr page
    "
    ANNOUNCEMENT: The Tour de Nerdfighting 2012
    In January of 2012, Hank and I (and the Katherine and occasionally the Yeti) will be going on tour to celebrate the publication of
    The Fault in Our Stars, and also because we haven’t been on tour together since 2008. These events will feature music, readings, hilarity, free posters, fancy programs, crossword puzzles, book signing, and many other things"

    TUESDAY, JANUARY 10TH - 7:00 PM
    WELLESLEY, MA
    Dana Hall School (45 Dana Rd., Wellesley, MA 02482)
    Hosted by the Wellesley Booksmith. More info here at their site or by calling 781.431.1160.

    WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 11th - 6 PM
    NEW YORK, NY
    Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway, New York, NY 10025 (Broadway & 95th)
    Tickets at their site or by calling 212.864.5400
    NOTE: Tickets are $25 (but do include a book), because everything is more expensive in New York.

    FRIDAY, JANUARY 13th - 7 PM
    BETHESDA, MD
    The Crystal Ballroom at the Bethesday Hyatt regency (7400 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda, MD 20814)
    Hosted by Politics & Prose - Tickets at 202.364.1919

    SATURDAY JANUARY 14TH - 6 PM
    RALEIGH, NC
    Ravenscroft School (7409 Falls of Neuse Road, Raleigh, NC 27615)
    Hosted by Quail Ridge Books - Tickets at 919.828.1588

    SUNDAY JANUARY 15TH - 7 PM
    ATLANTA, GA
    Presser Hall at Agnes Scott College (141 East College Ave., Decatur, GA 30030)
    Hosted by Little Shop of Stories - LSOS is apparently not ready for ticket sales, but they will be soon! I will let you know…

    (Then there will be events in Birmingham, AL and New Orleans, LA, but I don’t know when or where yet.)

    FRIDAY JANUARY 20TH - 7 PM
    PASADENA, TX
    Pasadena High School (206 South Shaver, Pasadena, TX 77506)
    Hosted by Blue Willow Bookshop - Tickets at 281.497.8675

    (Then there will be something in Austin.)

    TUESDAY JANUARY 24TH - 7 PM
    ALBUQUERQUE, NM
    KiMo Theatre (423 Central Avenue Northwest, Albuquerque, NM 87102)
    Hosted by Alamosa Books Tickets at 505.797.7101 or info@alamosabooks.com (Also, they have a facebook.)

    (Then comes a thing in Arizona, but I don’t know when or where.)

    THURSDAY JANUARY 26TH - 7 PM
    SANTA MONICA, CA
    Lincoln Middle School Auditorium, 1501 California Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90403
    Hosted by Children’s Book World. Tickets at 310.559.2665.

    FRIDAY JANUARY 27TH - 7 PM (yeah baby, I am sooo there)
    REDWOOD CITY, CA (San Francisco-ish)
    Fox Theater - Redwood City (2221 Broadway St., Redwood City, CA 04063)
    Hosted by Kepler’s. Tickets will be available starting next week.

    SUNDAY JANUARY 29TH - 7 PM
    PORTLAND, OR
    Bagdad Theater (3702 SE Hawthorne Blvd., Portland, OR 97214)
    Hosted by Powell’s Books - Tickets will be available soon.

    MONDAY, JANUARY 30TH - 7 PM
    SEATTLE, WA (Well, Lake Forest Park, anyway)
    The Third Place Commons (17171 Bothell Way Northeast, Lake Forest Park, WA 98155)
    Hosted by Third Place Books. Tickets will be available starting next week.

    That’s it for now! We hope you can make it to a stop on the tour de nerdfighting 2012, and we’re sorry again that we can’t go everywhere. But we’re really excited to see as many of you as possible IRL. I’ll turn on asks for the next couple days in case there are questions I can answer. DFTBA!

    “Reading is everything. Reading makes me feel like I've accomplished something, learned something, become a better person. Reading makes me smarter. Reading gives me something to talk about later on. Reading is the unbelievably healthy way my attention deficit disorder medicates itself. Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape; it's a way to make contact with reality after a day of making things up, and it's a way of making contact with someone else's imagination after a day that's all too real. Reading is grist. Reading is bliss.”

    Nora Ephron, I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman

    Tales of a Ravenous Reader

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    I am an avid reader from Northern California and if you are a publisher and would like to have your YOUNG or NEW ADULT book reviewed, please email me. I accept ARCs, as well as books that have already been released. I am also more than happy to do author interviews, guest posts, and contests to promote your book as long as they are in the Young and New Adult genre. Please check my review policy prior to sending me an email, thank you. curlyshoe(at)gmail(dot)com

    2014 Reading Challenge

    2014 Reading Challenge
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    Upcoming YA Bay Area Book Events

    I have compiled all the SF, bay area YA and NA events in this section. If you know of any events that I have failed to post, please let me know. Also, please keep in mind that some events may change and it is best to verify all events prior to attendance.

    2014

    OCTOBER


    KAT BEYER *Demon Catchers of Milan*
    Book Passage in Corte Madera
    Saturday, November 29 @ 3pm

    DECEMBER

    FRANK PORTMAN
    Book Passage in San Francisco
    Monday, December 15 @ 6pm

    JANUARY

    STACEY JAY
    Hicklebee's in San Jose
    Friday, January 2 @ 7pm

    FEBRUARY


    COURTNEY ALAMEDA Book Launch
    Kepler's in Menlo Park
    Thursday, February 5 @ 7pm

    What I am Reading Now

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