ENTICE COVER REVEAL

Today, I am happy to participate in the ENTICE COVER REVEAL. How could I not when the cover is smokin' with eerie beauty and wings:) So, what do you think of the new cover. I know I cannot wait to read this next installment from Jessica Shrivington.
Click on the book cover for the first TWO chapters of ENTICE

Seventeen-year-old Violet Eden’s is back! With a destiny is to protect humans from the vengeance of exiled angels it becomes clear that it won’t be easy as even her partner, Lincoln, is hiding something.  And now she has to learn to live with her feelings for him while they work together to stay alive and stop the exiles from discovering the key to destroy all Grigori.  It isn’t easy. Especially when the electricity between her and  Phoenix ignites and she discovers his hold over her has become more dangerous than ever.  Violet's power will be pushed to the extreme with a race halfway across the world to find the one artifact that could tilt the balance of power between Angels and Exiles.  And the ultimate betrayal will be exposed.

Check out Jessica’s brand new video blog post where she sits down with a cup of coffee and invites us into her home.  From her favorite chair to her love of befriending characters in a series, Jessica chats with us about her perfect setting for a good read!  

Exciting News!!  Jessica Shirvington will be traveling to the U.S for a two-week national book tour for ENTICE starting September 18.  Keep an eye on www.embracetheseries.com for more details.

Why Not Your Mother's Book Club is made of AWESOME!!

Being a blogger takes a lot of time and hard work. It is not an easy task but we do so because of our increased interest and dedication. Many of us who blog about books do so because we adore everything related to books; we want to read them, review them and discuss them with anyone who is willing to listen. Despite our adoration and dedication our efforts can sometimes be overlooked and unappreciated, but that is not the case with NYMBC aka Not Your Mother's Book Club. For those of you not from the San Francisco, bay area and familiar with this amazing organization I will share with you what this group is all about.

Books Inc., the West’s oldest independent bookstore, started Not Your Mother’s Book Club with one big idea: to bring the best writers in the world to the best readers in the world. And we're not REALLY a club. That's just our name, and really, what's in a name? We're actually just an inclusive bunch of PASSIONATE readers who get to hang out with the coolest authors on the scene!
We throw parties, eat snacks and read, read, read, read, read...
We also have a lot of fun ... and we invite you to join us.
Yay books!

Sound too good to be true? Believe it or not NYMBC at Books Inc. is just that good. Not only do they have an amazing staff that love to discuss books and make you feel like part of their family but they also have the best book signing events in the area. Their attention to detail at each event is clearly evident and the snacks are always delicious and welcome. Not Your Mother's Book Club has been under the leadership of Maggie Tokuda-Hall (The BEST person ever!) for the past few years and she is now taking this group in a new direction, one that utilizes and encourages the YA book bloggers from all over the bay area. 


Bloggers are now asked to participate by interviewing some of their best-loved authors, thus giving us an opportunity we might never have otherwise and in the process we also get to promote our favorite book store. NYMBC has a BLOG that not only informs everyone about upcoming events but it also posts those reviews and interviews from local bloggers and these posts are also shared on their FACEBOOK page thus creating exposure for both parties involved. 

NYMBC+BLOGGERS=WIN-WIN
Tara, Me, Mindy, Patricia, Jaime, Debbie and Jean with Bree Despain,Cynthia Hand and Brodi Ashton
 Tara with Brodi Ashton post interview. Note the cheesymccheese grin:)
 
Brodi Ashton and Tara from Tater's Tall Tales

 Please check out her HAWT interview and Giveaway.

Patricia and Jaime during their interview with Cynthia Hand
Patricia and Jaime of Two Chicks on Books with Cynthia Hand
 Please check out their interview plus Giveaway.

I love this picture of Mindy and Bree
Mindy of Magical Urban Fantasy Reads with Bree Despain




I had to add this picture because it was so cute
Anna from Literary Exploration with Jandy Nelson, Kevin Emerson, Daisy Whitney, Cat Patrick and Jay Asher


A few pictures to show you how NYMBC knows how to throw a party
A Bucket of Awesome Event
A very bloody evening
Crowns fit for a Printz

If you are not a blogger please do not feel left out because NYMBC presents attendee's with opportunities to win books and swag before and during events. If interested (and how could you not be) please checkout @NYMBC on twitter, FACEBOOK , BLOG or by attending one of their future events.



Thank you, Maggie for making us all feel like family :)
and for loving books as much as we do



Waiting on Wednesday: BLESSED by Tonya Hurley

Jill 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.

Since I am always on the lookout for a read that is a bit grittier with an edge that I cannot forget I was intrigued by this upcoming trilogy from Tonya Hurley. My godchild adored the Ghost Girl series so I am eager to see what Tonya is going to present this time. Now you know my WoW, share with me yours.

09/25/12
BLESSED
Blessed Trilogy, Book One
by Tonya Hurley
ISBN-13: 978-1442429512
S&S BYR, 400 pages.
Amazon, B&N, Goodreads
"...The trilogy—a contemporary, supernatural romance that is a reimagining of the martyrdom legends of three saints—will be edited by executive editor Zareen Jaffery; the inaugural novel will be published in July 2012.

Hurley says that her inspiration for the trilogy grew out of her fascination with martyr stories. To create The Blessed, she drew from the legends of St. Lucy, St. Cecelia, and St. Agnes, who were martyred at a relatively young age. “The legends of these martyrs are among the first real YA stories that we have, and I thought it would be interesting to reimagine them in a modern, romantic context,” she says. “These are infamous tales that are so gruesome and so profoundly beautiful at the same time—and so empowering.”

The author views The Blessed, which centers on three teenage girls in Brooklyn who must determine who is good and who is evil in the battle for love and for their own souls, as a “natural next step” for her as a writer. “The story deals with some of the themes in ghostgirl, but it is grittier, more grown up, and probably more Quentin Tarantino-esque—which I’m very excited about.”..." 
-- from Tanya Hurley's Website.


Read an excerpt:

"One by one they arrived at the church and evening fell. In the order in which they’d originally come.
Lucy.
Cecilia.
Agnes.
All out of breath, and filled with foreboding. Looking over their shoulders. They met only a little unexpectedly in the vestibule and smiled empathetically at each other. No hugs or air kisses. No words. None were necessary.
“You felt it too, right?” Lucy said to them.
They knew what she meant. It was a pull at the center of their being. A sense of purpose beyond themselves.
Agnes explained to them about their namesakes. The legends of their saints and the influential role they played. Their martyrdom.
“I told you, I’m not religious.” Lucy said.
“Virgin?” Cecilia said. “That let’s me out.”
“That’s not the point. It was a different time.” Agnes rebuffed. “It’s about realizing what’s most important, what you are meant to be, meant to do. And what you are willing to sacrifice for it. They gave all they had for what they believed in. Gladly. A love, a duty, a calling beyond themselves.”
“Oh, yeah, and what is our calling?” CeCe asked.
“I don’t know, but whatever it is, I believe it’s something we can’t do alone.” Agnes insisted." -- Excerpt from Hollywood Crush.

Review: MONUMENT 14 by Emmy Laybourne

MONUMENT 14 by Emmy Laybourne
Hardcover: 294 pages
Publication: June 5th 2012 by Feiwel & Friends
ISBN: 0312569033 (ISBN13: 9780312569037)
Source: Publisher
Rating: ♥♥.5
 
Your mother hollers that you’re going to miss the bus. She can see it coming down the street. You don’t stop and hug her and tell her you love her. You don’t thank her for being a good, kind, patient mother. Of course not—you launch yourself down the stairs and make a run for the corner.
Only, if it’s the last time you’ll ever see your mother, you sort of start to wish you’d stopped and did those things. Maybe even missed the bus.
But the bus was barreling down our street, so I ran.
Fourteen kids. One superstore. A million things that go wrong.

In Emmy Laybourne’s action-packed debut novel, six high school kids (some popular, some not), two eighth graders (one a tech genius), and six little kids trapped together in a chain superstore build a refuge for themselves inside. While outside, a series of escalating disasters, beginning with a monster hailstorm and ending with a chemical weapons spill, seems to be tearing the world—as they know it—apart.

My Thoughts:

MOUMENT 14 by Emmy Laybourne seemed to be the darker edged read that I always favor. A freak incident of nature begins a cataclysmic chain of events forcing an unlikely group to house up in a local superstore. All the possibilities with that scenario were too tempting to resist, so as soon as this book reached my hands I eagerly devoured it.


This story moves at lightening quick speed and it only takes a few pages before all hell breaks loose and progresses from there. First beginning with a hail storm of doom and escalating onward to the catastrophic release of chemical war far. The events leading to the everyone being housed in a superstore are believable but what happens inside is a bit off. Considering that the world was falling apart outside I found that too much emphasis was placed on foolish drama between the characters that I could not seem to care much about. I think that part of that reason is because they all seemed to embody the stereotypical group of teens Yet, none were properly fleshed out, especially its main POV character Dean. I feel that he was supposed to represent that smart, shy and impossibly sensitive individual but his subsequent actions belied that belief.

Aside from the speed of this storyline I enjoyed the different take on how the chemical spill affected the population dependent of their blood type. It was original and well delineated and it added that bit of extra fear that seemed to crank things up an notch (as if they other catastrophic events were not enough). Yet, for all the horrible things that seem to accompany these events there is really a low death toll in this novel.  It is uncharacteristic with this type of storyline and I kept waiting for the shoe to drop but it never did. What did catch me of guard was the twist at the end. I was truly not expecting it and despite my initial reluctance I am curious as to what will happen next.


If you are interested in a read that has alot of teen angst while dealing with an impossibly difficult situation then this may be the read for you.


Review: OF POSIEDON by Anna Banks

OF POSEIDON by Anna Banks
Hardcover: 336 pages
Published: May 22nd 2012 by Feiwel & Friends
ISBN: 1250003326 (ISBN13: 9781250003324)
Source: Audible
Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Galen, a Syrena prince, searches land for a girl he's heard can communicate with fish. It’s while Emma is on vacation at the beach that she meets Galen. Although their connection is immediate and powerful, Galen's not fully convinced that Emma's the one he's been looking for. That is, until a deadly encounter with a shark proves that Emma and her Gift may be the only thing that can save his kingdom. He needs her help--no matter what the risk.

My Thoughts: 

In the past year there has been a plethora of paranormal underwater reads washing up on book shelves everywhere, but non have been as amazing as OF POSEIDON by Anna Banks. This debut novel is the most perfect Summer read, full of romance, laughs, mystery and non-stop adventure. 

As I began reading OF POSEIDON I knew I was in for a great time because I was instantly hooked after reading the first paragraph.  I laughed out loud and adored Emma's inner dialogue of embarrassment and could not wait to see how this story was going to progress.  I was not disappointed especially when Emma proved to be a less than ordinary girl with the best amount of sass. The most memorable moments exhibiting that sass are whenever Emma and Galen together, especially when she is trying to understand her inherently blossoming abilities.  It is like a tidal wave of emotions crashing all around me and I only wanted more. That "more" came in the supporting cast that was spot on brilliant; from Galen's sister Rayna (also full of sass), his assistant Rachel (a woman with a questionable past) and Emma's take no prisoner's mother and together they made this story such a pleasure to read.


Although the ending held no surprise for me, I could not care in the least because this story was such a blast to read.  Fast paced with a storyline that was well depicted, I adored every wave of mystery, romance and pure comic relief that OF POSEIDON. I cannot rave about this book enough, and if you want a real treat you should listen to it on audible.


 

FATED BLOG TOUR



Strange things are happening to Daire Santos. Crows mock her, glowing people stalk her, time stops without warning, and a beautiful boy with unearthly blue eyes haunts all her dreams. Fearing for her daughter’s sanity, Daire’s mother sends her to live with the grandmother she’s never met. A woman who recognizes the visions for what they truly are—the call to her destiny as a Soul Seeker—one who can navigate the worlds between the living and dead. There on the dusty plains of Enchantment, New Mexico, Daire sets out to harness her mystical powers. But it’s when she meets Dace, the boy from her dreams, that her whole world is shaken to its core. Now Daire is forced to discover if Dace is the one guy she's meant to be with...or if he’s allied with the enemy she's destined to destroy.

Read an Excerpt
Today Alyson Noel is visiting Tales of The Ravenous Reader blog to talk about the research that she did for her new Soul Seekers series, FATED. 


Alyson Noël Blog post on Researching THE SOUL SEEKERS series

I did a lot of research while writing both THE IMMORTALS and RILEY BLOOM series, and the inspiration for THE SOUL SEEKERS was born from there. During my reading, I kept coming across themes of Shamanism, and was so intrigued by the concepts, I knew I wanted to create a new series where I could continue to explore those ideas.
The first book, FATED, introduces Daire Santos, a sixteen year old girl who lives a fairly glamorous and global life with her Hollywood make-up artist mother. Surrounded by celebrities and raised on movie sets around the world, Daire has never lived in any one place long enough to make a real friend, or attend a real school—she’s never experienced the sort of “normal” life that most teens are used to. But all of that changes when the visions that have haunted her for years intensify in a way that can no longer be denied, and she’s sent to live with the grandmother she’s never met, but who recognizes the hallucinations for what they really are—the calling to her destiny as a Soul Seeker—one who can navigate the worlds between the living and the dead.

Research has always been one of my favorite parts of the writing process. Not only does it help create a more authentic world for my books, but it also allows me to study the kind of subjects I’ve always been interested in. For THE SOUL SEEKERS, the research is ongoing, but so far I’ve read a lot of books on Shamanism, mysticism, ancient spiritual practices, ancient myths and legends, etc. I also took a three-day “Introduction to Basic Shamanism” class that was taught by a female shaman. The class was truly fascinating, and I had some amazing experiences that definitely found their way into the books. In addition, I made a few trips to the beautiful state of New Mexico where I interviewed local teens about what it’s like to grow up there, as well as a Native American about life on the reservation where he lives. 

The first time I visited New Mexico—over a decade ago—I fell in love with the landscape and it’s remained one of my favorite places ever since. With its rugged setting, mystical legends, rich cultural mix, and Native American influence, it was a natural fit for the world of THE SOUL SEEKERS. So I created the fictional town of Enchantment and placed my story there.

I’m fascinated by all forms of myth and mysticism, and Shamanism, being one of the most ancient practices, seemed like an interesting world to explore. Though, to be clear, the mythology I’ve created for THE SOUL SEEKERS, does not prescribe to any one belief system. Rather I’ve cribbed together various concepts I came across during my research and tweaked them for my own storytelling purposes. So while, Daire Santos’ lineage began as Shamans centuries ago, Daire is now known as a Soul Seeker- a new generation of Shaman.

While a student can learn the practices of Shamanism through extensive study, the title of Shaman can only be bestowed by the community in honor of the quality of healings provided. So while Daire Santos is one of a long line of Seekers, in order to claim the title, she will have to prove herself of its worth.

For more info on Alyson and her series visit: http://www.alysonnoel.com/ and friend her on https://www.facebook.com/soulseekersseries  to receive updates, participate in contests and more.

Review: EVERNEATH by Brodi Ashton

EVERNEATH by Brodi Ashton
Hardcover: 370 pages
Published: January 24th 2012 by Harper Collins / Balzer + Bray
ISBN: 0062071130 (ISBN13: 9780062071132) 
Language: English
Source: Audible (purchased)
Rating: ♥♥.5

Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she's returned- to her old life, her family, her friends- before being banished back to the underworld... this time forever.

She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can't find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.

Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there's a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he'll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen.

As Nikki's time grows short and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she's forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole's...

My Thoughts: 

Greek mythology has always held my interest and mystified me and no other story has captured my attention more than that of Persephone and the underworld. So,  when EVERNEATH by Brodi Ashton surfaced to earth I knew that I could not pass it up.


I truly enjoyed the beginning of this novel for it seemed to convey Nikki's initial sense of confusion and disorientation of being in the underworld quite well. Because of that initial introduction I felt that I was in for a powerful read, yet as the story progressed It seemed to loose it's hold on me. I believe that one of the main reasons is my lack of concern for Nikki's dilemma because I could not seem to care for her character and no matter how much I tried I could not seem to change my mind. Whom I did like was Nikki's ex-boyfriend Jack, he seemed honest and unwavering in his relentless devotion to Nikki and almost too good to be true. That is why his ultimate sacrifice did not seem to surprise me in the least. 


Because I enjoy Greek mythology I found that the mixture of Greek and Egyptian lore in this story to not conjoin well together. I appreciate a well demonstrated plot twist but it was not convincing enough for me. What I did enjoy was the introduction of Cole's band the Dead Elvis's for whenever they appeared you know that mayhem was sure to follow and it seemed to take the dismal edge off of Nikki's desperate actions.


Despite my lack luster appeal for this read, Everneath is well paced and it showcases a myth that is an addicting read. I only wished that I enjoyed it more than I did.


Bay Area Book Event: A VERY STEAMY EVENING

Hello, bay area YA book lovers. Tonight @NYMBC is hosting A VERY STEAMY EVENING event with some AAAAAMAZING authors. 


As always with any Not Your Mother's Book Club events you will have a great night full of books, authors, fun and well....you will have to attend to find out. Remember if you cannot attend you can always call the book store in advance and have books signed for you.

Waiting on Wednesday: DEARLY, BELOVED by Lia Habel

Jill 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.

OMG!!! Just look at the new cover for Lia Habel's Dearly, Beloved novel. I adored Dearly, Departed and cannot wait for this sequel to make it into my ravenous hands. Zombies, romance and corsets, what more can girl ask for?

DEARLY, BELOVED 
by Lia Habel 
On Sale: September 25, 2012 
Hardcover Pages: 496 
 ISBN: 978-0-345-52334-1
 


Can the living coexist with the living dead

That’s the question that has New Victorian society fiercely divided ever since the mysterious plague known as “The Laz” hit the city of New London and turned thousands into walking corpses. But while some of these zombies are mindless monsters, hungry for human flesh, others can still think, speak, reason, and control their ravenous new appetites.

Just ask Nora Dearly, the young lady of means who was nearly kidnapped by a band of sinister zombies but valiantly rescued by a dashing young man . . . of the dead variety.

Nora and her savior, the young zombie soldier Bram Griswold, fell hopelessly in love. But others feel only fear and loathing for the reanimated dead. Now, as tensions grow between pro- and anti-zombie factions, battle lines are being drawn in the streets. And though Bram is no longer in the New Victorian army, he and his ex-commando zombie comrades are determined to help keep the peace. That means taking a dangerous stand between The Changed, a radical group of sentient zombies fighting for survival, and The Murder, a masked squad of urban guerrillas hellbent on destroying the living dead. But zombies aren’t the only ones in danger: Their living allies are also in The Murder’s crosshairs, and for one vengeful zealot, Nora Dearly is the number one target.

As paranoia, prejudice, and terrorist attacks threaten to plunge the city into full-scale war, Nora’s scientist father and his team continue their desperate race to unlock the secrets of “The Laz” and find a cure. But their efforts may be doomed when a mysterious zombie appears bearing an entirely new strain of the virus—and the nation of New Victoria braces for a new wave of the apocalypse.

Lia Habel’s spellbinding, suspenseful sequel to Dearly, Departed takes her imaginative mash-up of period romance, futuristic thriller, and zombie drama to a whole new level of innovative and irresistible storytelling.**


**Synopsis from Random House**

CHANGELING by Philippa Gregory



Philippa Gregory, author of the beloved The Other Boleyn Girl, will be publishing her first teen novel with Simon Pulse! Changeling, the first book in the Order of Darkness series, goes on sale next Tuesday, May 29th.

Italy, 1453. Seventeen-year-old Luca Vero is brilliant, gorgeous—and accused of heresy. Cast out of his religious order for using the new science to question old superstitious beliefs, Luca is recruited into a secret sect: The Order of the Dragon, commissioned by Pope Nicholas V to investigate evil and danger in its many forms, and strange occurrences across Europe, in this year—the end of days.
Isolde is a seventeen-year-old girl shut up in a nunnery so she can’t inherit any of her father’s estate. As the nuns walk in their sleep and see strange visions, Isolde is accused of witchcraft—and Luca is sent to investigate her, but finds himself plotting her escape.

Despite their vows, despite themselves, love grows between Luca and Isolde as they travel across Europe with their faithful companions, Freize and Ishraq. The four young people encounter werewolves, alchemists, witches, and death-dancers as they head toward a real-life historical figure who holds the boundaries of Christendom and the secrets of the Order of the Dragon.
Simon & Schuster has created a very special widget for this momentous occasion. As a special treat, the Changeling widget has a sneak peek and once the widget is shared 500 times, they'll reveal the next chapter in the book! 
So help spread the word! You can find the widget & embed code here: http://www.orderofdarkness.com/widget/ and don't forget to follow S&S on Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest for the latest updates!

Review: STRUCK by Jennifer Bosworth

STRUCK by Jennifer Bosworth 
Hardcover: 373 pages
Published: May 8th 2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux BYR (first published April 26th 2012)
ISBN: 0374372837 ( ISBN13: 9780374372835)
Publisher Info: http://us.macmillan.com/struck/JenniferBosworth
Source: Publisher
Rating: ♥♥♥.5


Mia Price is a lightning addict. She's survived countless strikes, but her craving to connect to the energy in storms endangers her life and the lives of those around her.

Los Angeles, where lightning rarely strikes, is one of the few places Mia feels safe from her addiction. But when an earthquake devastates the city, her haven is transformed into a minefield of chaos and danger. The beaches become massive tent cities. Downtown is a crumbling wasteland, where a traveling party moves to a different empty building each night, the revelers drawn to the destruction by a force they cannot deny. Two warring cults rise to power, and both see Mia as the key to their opposing doomsday prophecies. They believe she has a connection to the freak electrical storm that caused the quake, and to the far more devastating storm that is yet to come.

Mia wants to trust the enigmatic and alluring Jeremy when he promises to protect her, but she fears he isn't who he claims to be. In the end, the passion and power that brought them together could be their downfall. When the final disaster strikes, Mia must risk unleashing the full horror of her strength to save the people she loves, or lose everything.
My Thoughts:

STRUCK by Jennifer Bosworth is a highly charged read that will electrify you. A story that is filled with heart stopping moments of suspense and action.


Once I began reading STRUCK I did not want to stop. They mystery that was Mia Price and her attraction to lightning was addicting. I wanted to know more about her especially when two overly zealous opposing groups seemed to be hell bent on acquiring her for their factions. It was all too creepy and mysterious and I enjoyed how both sides were portrayed in a manner that kept me from making a clear choice on who was good or evil. Many stories mistakenly give that element of surprise too easily but Jennifer Bosworth did a fine job of showcasing them both.


I also enjoyed the basic reality of destruction that was portrayed in this story along with the supernatural element that was always hovering in the background. The reactions and actions of the people dealing with mass devastation seemed genuine, but I somehow envisioned that it would be a bit more chaotic, desperate and violent. Amongst all chaos you see Mia try her best to keep it together and keep her family safe while trying to hide the fact that she is permanently marked from her lightning addiction.  I could empathize and understand her struggle as both cults seemed to relentlessly infiltrate her mind, body and home.


I was not fond of the religiously zealous cult that was portrayed in this read. It made the story a bit heavy at times and although it fit well with the storyline it was not something that I cared for. Yet, it did make for a compelling read.


STRUCK is a good read that will keep you entertained until the very last word. It will captivate and electrify you.

 

Review: SHADOW AND BONE by Leigh Bardugo

SHADOW AND BONE by Leigh Bardugo
Hardcover: 368 pages
Expected publication: June 5th 2012 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
ISBN: 0805094598 (ISBN13: 9780805094596) 
Source: Publisher
Similar Reads: Seraphina, The Gathering Storm,  
Rating:  ♥♥♥♥
 
Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.
Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.
Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha…and the secrets of her heart
 
My Thoughts:
 
Of all the FIERCE READS novels this year Leigh Bardugo's SHADOW AND BONE has been my most eagerly awaited read. I believed the concept of this story to be intriguing, infused with darkness and romance that I always crave.

When I began reading SHADOW AND BONE I became immediately invested within this story. I could conceptualize this raw and unexplored world of Ravka and wanted to know more. Especially when it came to the inner domain of the Grisha population and their customs, wardrobes and specialized talents. Leigh Bardugo did a good job of bringing this world to life on the written page, making it visually rich and tactile.
 
Alina Starkov proved to be the most reluctant of heroines, sequestering a power that she could not command or comprehend. It is her journey into the world of Grisha and her ultimate acceptance of her power that keeps you riveted to the page. But she isn't the only character that keeps you entranced. In fact, this book has a whole slew of characters that are memorable and endearing but I could not seem to get enough of The Darkling.  He dominated every scene that he was involved in and despite his obvious wickedness I still wanted more.
 
Despite my adoration for this book I felt as if I was lightly treading into this new territory and wished to be deeper ensconced within it. I will also expected a grander finale to this novel because I felt that the build up was leading to something of epic proportions but it didn't quite reach that level. Yet,  I was still glued to my book for dear life and could not be disturbed until the very last word. 
 
SHADOW AND BONE is a fine FIERCE READ That will keep you entertained and eagerly wanting more. Be sure to see Leigh Bardugo and the other amazing authors on this tour.
 

Are You Ready for the FIERCE READS?



Staring this month Tor is having a tour consisting of their debut Young Adult authors from Mac Kids and they will be hitting the road on the Fierce Reads tour
Fierce Reads consists of:
The tour circuit will begin with some individual book launches, then come together into a cross-country jaunt! Check out a list of the cities where they’ll be stopping below the cut.

Saturday May 12, 3:00pm: The Last Bookstore, Los Angeles, CA
Jennifer Bosworth’s Struck Book Launch
Tuesday May 22, 7:00pm: Books-A-Million, Destin, FL
Anna Banks Of Poseidon Book Launch
Monday June 4, 7:30m: Skylight Books, Los Angeles, CA
Leigh Bardugo Shadow and Bone Book Launch
Tuesday June 5, 7:00pm: Mrs. Nelson’s Toy & Bookshop, La Verne, CA
Fierce Reads Authors
Wednesday June 6 ,7:00pm: Mysterious Galaxy, San Diego, CA
Fierce Reads Authors
Thursday June 7, 7:00pm: Books Inc, San Francisco CA
Fierce Reads Authors ( I will be here)
Friday June 8, 3:00pm: Copperfield’s Books, Petaluma, CA
Fierce Reads Authors
Friday June, 8 7:00pm: Kepler's Menlo Park, CA
Fierce Reads Authors
Saturday June 9, 6:30pm: Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park, WA
Fierce Reads Authors
Sunday June 10, 4:00 pm: Village Books, Bellingham, WA
Fierce Reads Authors
Monday June 11, 7:00pm: King’s English Bookstore, Salt Lake City, UT
Fierce Reads Authors
Tuesday June 12, 7:00pm: Provo Library, Provo, UT
Fierce Reads Authors
Wednesday June 13 12:00 am: Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX
Fierce Reads Authors
Thursday June 14 7:00 pm: Anderson’s Bookshop, Naperville, IL
Fierce Reads Authors
Friday June 15 6:00pm: Schuler’s Books, Lansing, MI
Fierce Reads Authors
Saturday June 16 4:00pm: Barnes & Noble, Pensacola, FL
Fierce Reads Authors
Sunday June 17 4:00pm: Oblong Books & Records, Rhinebeck, NY
Fierce Reads Authors
Monday June 18 6:00pm: Books of Wonder, New York, NY
Fierce Reads Authors
Thursday June 28 7:30pm: Mysterious Galaxy, San Diego, CA
Leigh Bardugo for Shadow and Bone **

I am very excited for this tour because I have read all of these books (reviews coming this month) and have enjoyed them all. I cannot wait to meet all of these authors and I will be blogging and promoting the tour at the @NYMBC event on Thursday, June 7, 7:00 pm. It will be a fun night so please come and visit and enjoy a night filled with great books, amazing authors and the best book store ever.

**Information aquired from the FIERCE READS/TOR page**

Sneak A Peek Saturday: DARK KISS by Michelle Rowen

Sneak a Peek Saturdayis 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. I am most excited about today because this week I have selected DARK KISS by Michelle Rowen for my Sneak A Peek. I have always enjoyed Michelle's novels and now she has a new series that is hitting the book shelves this month and now you can get a scrumptious morsel to whet your appetite. Just click on the book cover below and if you enjoy, please pre-order on any of the links below.

ISBN-13: 978-0373210473
Harlequin Teen, 304 pages.

I don’t do dangerous.
Smart, uber-careful, ordinary Samantha – that’s me. But I just couldn’t pass up a surprise kiss from my number-one unattainable crush. A kiss that did something to me – something strange. Now I feel hungry all the time, but not for food. It’s like part of me is missing – and I don’t know if I can get it back.
Then there’s Bishop. At first I thought he was just a street kid, but the secrets he’s keeping are as intense as his unearthly blue eyes. If he’s what I think he is, he may be the only one who can help me. But something terrifying is closing in, and the one chance Bishop and I have to stop it means losing everything I ever wanted and embracing the darkness inside me.
“Gorgeous angels, suspense and romance…this book has everything I love.” –Richelle Mead

Review: GILT by Katherine Longshore

GILT by Katherine Longshore
Reading level: Ages 12 and up 
Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: Viking Juvenile (May 15, 2012) 
Language: English 
ISBN-10: 0670013994
Source: Publisher
Rating:  ♥♥♥♥

When Kitty Tylney's best friend, Catherine Howard, worms her way into King Henry VIII's heart and brings Kitty to court, she's thrust into a world filled with fabulous gowns, sparkling jewels, and elegant parties. No longer stuck in Cat's shadow, Kitty's now caught between two men--the object of her affection and the object of her desire. But court is also full of secrets, lies, and sordid affairs, and as Kitty witnesses Cat's meteoric rise and fall as queen, she must figure out how to keep being a good friend when the price of telling the truth could literally be her head.

My Thoughts:

Set in the golden age of the Tudor monarchy, GILT by Katherine Longshore is a true gem of a read. A novel that is riveting and all consuming, brimming with courtly debauchery and intrigue that will leave you breathless.

As I read GILT I was instantly drawn to Kitty and her utter devotion and unfailing friendship to Catherine Howard. At times I would would scream "Whyyyyyyy?" because Catherine was a true opportunist, utterly conniving and beguiling. Yet, she was the sun that Kitty and her friends orbited around and when she left their household their world plunged into darkness. So, when the opportunity arises for the girls to reunite they all jump at the chance, and who wouldn't? Being a part of the the king's court was everything. Kitty is Catherine's best friend and confidant but that loyalty comes at a very steep price and she quickly realizes that what she truly longs for is life far away from courtly trappings. Unfortunately this realization comes too late as Catherine's unsavory actions bring on her demise and she is helpless to alter the doomed course that will surely meet them all.

 I truly enjoyed this novel and could not put it down. I was deeply consumed by it's storyline and although it is set in a world that has long past I could feel it's tentacles of secrecy and lies envelope me. Witnessing Kitty's inner turmoil kept me glued to my book and I could not seem to get enough even when I wished that things would have worked out differently.  Yet, I cannot change history :) which brings me to another aspect that I enjoyed about this book is Katherine Longshore's obvious research and attention to detail.  She did a fine job of bringing  the Tudor monarchy to life; the secrecy and lies, the assignations and duplicitous alliances along with the sumptuous wardrobes, jewels and manners of that time.

*slightly spoilerish* The only quibble I have with this novel is that I had wished for a Kitty to have had a happier ending. I wanted her to be with her heart's desire because I was so convinced that it would be a great pairing. In dreams I see it happening :)


GILT is a must read for anyone that craves a great historical read. It is a novel well worth your time and you will not be disappointed.


Bay Area Book Event: GILT LAUNCH PARTY

 
May 19, 5 pm
GILT
launch party!
The Avid Reader

617 Second Street
Davis, CA 95616
Tel: (530) 758-4040



It is always an honor to go to a book event in the bay area, but it is an even greater honor when you attend an event for a local author.  Katherine Longhsore is having her book launch at THE AVID READER in Davis for her debut GILT. If you're in the bay area and want to meet a great author who has penned a fantastically riveting with regal drama and seduction then you need not look any further.
In the Tudor age, ambition, power and charismatic allure are essential and Catherine Howard has plenty of all three. Not to mention her loyal best friend, Kitty Tylney, to help cover her tracks. Kitty, the abandoned youngest daughter of minor aristocracy, owes everything to Cat—where she is, what she is, even who she is. Friend, flirt, and self-proclaimed Queen of Misrule, Cat reigns supreme in a loyal court of girls under the none-too-watchful eye of the Dowager Duchess of Norfolk.


When Cat worms her way into the heart of Henry VIII and becomes Queen of England, Kitty is thrown into the intoxicating Tudor Court. It's a world of glittering jewels and elegant costumes, of gossip and deception. As the Queen's right-hand-woman, Kitty goes from the girl nobody noticed to being caught between two men—the object of her affection and the object of her desire.


But the atmosphere of the court turns from dazzling to deadly, and Kitty is forced to learn the difference between trust and loyalty, love and lust, secrets and treason. And to accept the consequences when some lessons are learned too late.

Review: IN HONOR by Jessi Kirby

Reading level: Ages 14 and up
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers (May 8, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1442416971
Source: Publisher
Also Read: The Sky is Everywhere, Amy and Roger's Epic Detour, Hold Still
Rating:  ♥♥♥.5



Hours after her brother’s military funeral, Honor opens the last letter Finn ever sent. In her grief, she interprets his note as a final request and spontaneously decides to go to California to fulfill it.

Honor gets as far as the driveway before running into Rusty, Finn’s best friend since third grade and his polar opposite. She hasn’t seen Rusty in ages, but it’s obvious he is as arrogant and stubborn as ever—not to mention drop-dead gorgeous. Despite Honor’s better judgment, the two set off together on a voyage from Texas to California. Along the way, they find small and sometimes surprising ways to ease their shared loss and honor Finn’s memory—but when shocking truths are revealed at the end of the road, will either of them be able to cope with the consequences?

My Thoughts

In Honor by Jessi Kirby is about Honor, a teen aged girl who decides to follow through on an unknowingly last request made by her brother Finn before his unexpected death. This story is emotionally charged and it will make you cry, laugh, cheer and then cry some more but you will never forget Honor's journey.

It is not often that I indulge in a contemporary novel, but upon hearing so many good things about IN HONOR I knew that I had to make an exception and was glad that I did. This novel had a remarkable way of putting things in perspective, of making me appreciate those loved ones that are near and remember those that have passed. 

I was only a few pages into this story when I had to grab my box of kleenex. Yes, I knew the subject matter of this novel was heavy and I expected to shed a few tears, but Jessi Kirby was able to make me audibly sob. I could understand Honor's grief so clearly that I could feel the weight of it settle in my chest making it difficult for me to breath. It was through this understanding and sadness that I wanted her to throw caution to the wind and fulfill her quest, even if it meant that she was forced to take her brother's estranged best friend Rusty, along for the ride. While on this journey together they try to mend this fragile rift between them while coping with their loss but before their journey reaches it's inevitable conclusion certain truths are voiced and feelings are expressed. These bits of truth and emotion are what makes this story special and I will always remember it.

Despite the fact that I enjoyed this read I did have a momentary eye roll over the obvious comparison to a certain entertainer that is a big idol now-a-days. I just about threw my book across the room near the end and then breathed a sigh of relief on the last few sentences but it still somehow seemed slightly unsatisfying. Yet, I don't see how it could have worked out any other way :)

IN HONOR is a good read dealing with the pain of loss and the journey to healing.

Waiting on Wednesday: PRODIGY by Marie Lu

Jill 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.

I adored LEGEND and when I finished I only wanted more. Too bad that we have to wait until next year for the following novel PRODIGY, but all good things come to those who wait. 

Coming January 29, 2013
Prodigy
Legend, Book Two
by Marie Lu
ISBN-13: 978-0399256769
Putnam Juvenile, 384 pages.
Read an excerpt
Find it on Amazon, B&N, Goodreads
--from books.usatoday.com

"Where are they going for the sequel? Not Disney World — Las Vegas. 
Military-trained whiz kid June and Robin Hood-esque Day met in the first book, and now are off from Los Angeles to Sin City in Prodigy (G.P. Putnam's Sons), out in bookstores Jan. 29. The Elector Primo of the Republic has died, with his son assuming power over what's left of the USA's West Coast as it teeters on full-blown chaos. June and Day join up with Patriot rebels so they can rescue Day's brother and head east for the Colonies. In order to help, though, the rebels want June and Day to kill the new Elector, who may be a step up from his dad."

Review: CITY OF LOST SOULS by Cassandra Clare

CITY OF LOST SOULS by Cassandra Clare
Reading level: Ages 14 and up
Hardcover: 544 pages 
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books (May 8, 2012) 
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1442416866
Source: Audiobook
Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥


The demon Lilith has been destroyed and Jace has been freed from her captivity. But when the Shadowhunters arrive to rescue him, they find only blood and broken glass. Not only is the boy Clary loves missing–but so is the boy she hates, Sebastian, the son of her father Valentine: a son determined to succeed where their father failed, and bring the Shadowhunters to their knees.

No magic the Clave can summon can locate either boy, but Jace cannot stay away—not from Clary. When they meet again Clary discovers the horror Lilith’s dying magic has wrought—Jace is no longer the boy she loved. He and Sebastian are now bound to each other, and Jace has become what he most feared: a true servant of Valentine’s evil. The Clave is determined to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. Will the Shadowhunters hesitate to kill one of their own?

Only a small band of Clary and Jace’s friends and family believe that Jace can still be saved — and that the fate of the Shadowhunters’ future may hinge on that salvation. They must defy the Clave and strike out on their own. Alec, Magnus, Simon and Isabelle must work together to save Jace: bargaining with the sinister Faerie Queen, contemplating deals with demons, and turning at last to the Iron Sisters, the reclusive and merciless weapons makers for the Shadowhunters, who tell them that no weapon on this earth can sever the bond between Sebastian and Jace. Their only chance of cutting Jace free is to challenge Heaven and Hell — a risk that could claim any, or all, of their lives.

And they must do it without Clary. For Clary has gone into the heart of darkness, to play a dangerous game utterly alone. The price of losing the game is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she even still trust him? Or is he truly lost? What price is too high to pay, even for love?

Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunters in the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series

My Thoughts 

SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!!! CITY OF LOST SOULS just blew my mind. I will admit that it's predecessor tore at my heart and it left me a bit disillusioned but that has all changed with Cassandra Clare's newest creation.



Passion. Family. Blood. Betrayal. Love. 

No one writes a more evocative and consuming tale than Cassandra Clare. It only took a few pages and I was immediately enthralled with this story, just like seeing a long lost friend, those feelings of euphoria and wonder completely taking over. I wish I could go into splendid detail of all the things that make me want to grab my book and smother it in kisses, but that would not be fair.  What I will say is that I adored how this story explored previous relationships and how love could make us do things that we would never think possible. There are some heart squeezing moments in this novel both beautiful and bittersweet (get lots of tissues because you will need it) and it is what Cassandra Clare does best. Her innate ability to grab hold of our emotions and hold them hostage until the very last words is what she does best besides creating an amazingly intelligent and kick ass storyline that had me tied up in knots.... Ahhh!!! how can she does this to me. If you're a fan of this series and have not read it, then you need to get it NOW! and if you have not read this series then you need to start ASAP. I need the next novel now so that I can put my heart at ease.
 
I am emotionally spent and yet I crave more, surely I possessed. 
 

“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

JULY

DEBORAH HARKNESS-THE BOOK OF LIFE
Book Passage in San Francisco
Wednesday, July 30 @ 12:30pm

DEBORAH HARKNESS

Copperfield's Petaluma
Wednesday, July 30 @ 7pm

AUGUST

RACHEL DEWOSKIN
Book Passage in San Francisco
Monday, August 4 @6pm

GAYLE FORMAN, NINA LACOUR & JANDY NELSON
Books Inc. in San Francisco
Wednesday, August 6 @ 7pm

ANN AGUIRRE, VERONICA ROSSI and CORRINE JACKSON
Book Passage in Corte Madera
Friday, August 8 @ 7pm

MEETYA@DIESEL with MICHAEL GRANT
DIESEL Bookstore in Larkspur
Thursday, August 14 @ 7pm

SEPTEMBER

STEPHANIE PERKINS
A Great Good Place for Books in Oakland
Sunday, September 7 @ 4pm

STEPHANIE PERKINS
Books Inc. Opera Plaza in SF
Monday, September 8 @ 7pm

SARAH J. MAAS and VERONICA ROSSI
Kepler's in Menlo Park
Friday, September 12 @ 7pm

WENDELIN VAN DRAANEN and MARK HUNTLY PARSONS
Kepler's in Menlo Park
Wednesday, September 17 @ 7pm

GRETCHEN MCNEIL and ANNA CAREY
Books Inc. San Francisco
Thursday, September 18 @ 7pm

JANDY NELSON and NINA LACOUR
A Great Good Place for Books in Oakland
Tuesday, September 23 @ 7pm

OCTOBER

LAUREN OLIVER
A Great Good Place for Books in Oakland
Wednesday, October 1 @ 7pm

LAUREN OLIVER
Book Passage in San Francisco
Thursday, October 2 @7pm

LAUREN OLIVER and JANDY NELSON
Kepler's in Menlo Park
Thursday, October 2 @ 7pm

RICK RIORDAN (ticketed event)
Fox Theatre in Redwood City
Wednesday, October 15 @ 7pm

CORY DOCTOROW and JEN WANG

Mrs. Dalloway's in Berkeley
Thursday, October 16 @ 7:30pm

MARIE LU
Face in a Book in El Dorado
Thursday, October 16 @ 7pm

GARTH NIX and MICHAEL GRANT

Kepler's in Menlo Park
Thursday, October 23 @ 7pm

What I am Reading Now

and this too.....

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