Sunday, October 30, 2011

Cover Reveal: Betrayed by Ednah Walters

Ednah Walters, author of BETRAYED, has recently joined the Spencer Hill Press team. Together, they are editing and re-releasing BETRAYED. The expected publication is June of 2012. Keep reading for more information on the release as well as the cover and blurb. 
Title: Betrayed
Series: Guardian Legacy
Author: Ednah Walters
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press, www.SpencerHillPress.com
ISBN: 978-1-937053-18-5 (Trade Paper), 978-1-937053-19-2 (e-book)
Release Date: June, 2012

Here is the amazing cover and the blurb is below. =)




Blurb

Lil isn't just an average teenager. She's one of the Nephilim--the descendants of humans and angels--which gives her some serious psi skills and a mission for redemption. Just when Lil thinks she's found a balance between her normal life with human friends and her training to become a Guardian, she's warned that someone close to her will betray her. When the boy she loves starts acting strangely and one of her human friends acquires a supernatural ability, Lil begins to realize that someone is manipulating the people she loves... and won't stop until she's been lured to the dark side.
 


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Review: Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout

The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi-pure-bloods-have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals-well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures.Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1:Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden.Unfortunately, she's crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn't her biggest problem--staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is. If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck. (From GoodReads)

My Review:
Half-Blood is one of the more unique novels that I have read recently. Jennifer L. Armentrout brings creativity and a fresh voice to the YA genre. Her writing style and world-building was captivating. As I was reading, I was able to easily visualize the scenes. The setting is as much a character as Alex and Aiden. The setting is unfamiliar, yet one can clearly visualize it. The setting reflects the mood of the scene and helps to enhance it. I loved that the writing was new and different from other authors. It definitely stands out from the rest of the genre and will entice readers and hook them from the first pages. From the synopsis, I knew that this was one that would be enjoyed and I was not disappointed. When I receive my final copy, I know that this is one that I will be reading over and over.


The characters are easy to connect with and I found myself experiencing similar emotions to Alex.  She faces many trial throughout the story and it is only the beginning. She continually overcomes them even when she doubts herself and her abilities. She has a great personality and a feisty nature which is very useful to her situations. She is fun to grow with as the novel progresses and it will be interesting to see where her story goes in the future. The love interests are very entertaining. Aiden seems to be very serious, but as readers get to know him, they will discover another side to him. He is very interesting and a literary hunk. He is charming, attractive, strong willed, and caring. Seth, on the other hand, comes off as very annoying because that is how both Alex and Aiden perceive him, but I feel that there is much more to him than we have seen. I hope more will be revealed with the release of Pure next year. I am still firmly in Aiden's team though.


There is so much more that could be said about Half-Blood, but it really is one that must be read. I don't want to give away any spoilers so I won't say anymore. I do suggest reading Daimon before Half-Blood to better understand the opening scene of the latter.

A HUGE "Thank You" to Bethzaida at Bookittyblog for sharing her ARC and hosting a book tour that allowed me to read this story before its release. =) I am really grateful that she allowed me to participate in her tour.

Don't forget that you can leave comments and questions for Jennifer L. Armentrout on her blog as well as check out her other novels in the works. If you prefer to leave them here, then I will be happy to pass them along. I hope you will share your thoughts here as well. =)


--Raychelle

*Disclaimer: This review is based on the ARC version and not the final publication.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Cover Reveal: Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

In case you missed out on the awesome news, Jennifer L. Armentrout sold her novel, Obsidian, to Entangled Publishing.

The scheduled release date is currently December 6, 2011, so mark your calendars and schedule your pre-orders!

The captivating cover and official blurb are below.



Official Blurb:

Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, outhouses, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring. Until I spotted my hot neighbor with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something…unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marked me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and the mark he left on me has me lit up like Las Vegas strip to the bad guys. The only way I'm getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades. If I don't kill him first, that is.

And then things got really bad…

Check out the awesome countdown widget. =)



Information on Obsidian can be found on Goodreads as well as on Entangled Publishing's website.

You will soon be able to pre-order Obsidian from Amazon.

For more information please visit Jennifer L. Armentout's blog, Goodreads author pageTwitter, and the official Covenant series website (YA novel Half-Blood releases October 18, 2011).

--Raychelle

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Wolfsbane Giveaway Winner

Thank you so much to all who participated in the giveaway! I loved reading your responses. A couple of them even made me choke with laughter. =) I hope each of you enjoyed reading the other comments too. Don't be sad if you didn't win this time, there will be more giveaways soon!

And the winner, courtesy of random.org, is...


SARENA!

Congratulations Sarena! You did not leave your e-mail address, so please send me a message by Thursday at 12pm EST. Make sure you tell me whether you would like Nightshade or Wolfsbane and include your mailing address.

--Raychelle 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Movie Review: Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Directed by Doug Liman


A bored married couple is surprised to learn that they are both assassins hired by competing agencies to kill each other.  (Synopsis from IMDB)

Mr. and Mrs. Smith is a film about a married couple, John (Brad Pitt) and Jane (Angelina Jolie), who have grown bored with their seemingly normal lives. The reality is that they both have very exciting lives due to their profession, but they hide it from their spouse which is causing problems. John and Jane are assassins and their next target is each other. John is sent on a mission to find Benjamin Danz (Adam Brody). While Jane is also sent after Benjamin “The Tank” Danz, they do not know that the other is there. This is really a ploy to get them to go after one another. Once they realize who their real target is, the fun really begins. They are very dedicated to their profession and so they begin fighting. They destroy their house in the process, but soon realize the reason that they were married five (or six) years ago. Once John and Jane know that they are both assassins, their lives change. They are no longer bored with their married lives because they are no longer hiding behind fake personas.

The theme of Mr. and Mrs. Smith seems to be that pretending to be someone else only causes problems, while being one's self allows one to experience true happiness. The theme is reflected throughout the Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Once John and Jane know that they are rival assassins they are able to be themselves. They learn much more about the other and are able to become happy with their lives rather than bored. Throughout the movie there are times when it cuts to John and Jane talking with their marriage counselor. As the story progresses, viewers can really see the change in John and Jane's demeanor as they open up as much as they can without revealing everything. The difference between their first and their last session is incredible and paves the way for a promising future. Similar in theme to this film is The Whole Nine Yards, which is another great film.

The angle and lighting used throughout the film creates the feeling of being in the scene with the characters. It also allows viewers to really focus on what is happening in each scene. For example, during the fight between John and Jane at their home, viewers can see from the perspective of John at some points and from Jane at others. When they actually face each other there is a whole new element to the way the camera is angled. Also, when John and Jane are looking for the convoy with Benjamin Danz, the angle that is used allows viewers to focus in on certain aspects of the scene, such as both John and Jane, the scenery, and the convoy. As far as lighting, this film uses it to focus on specific characters or objects throughout the film and to create certain feelings. For example, when John and Jane are fighting at their home, it is dark outside and all of the focus is on what the two characters are doing and how they are using their skill and tactics to attempt to kill the other because of the concentration of the lighting on them. When John and Jane are fighting, viewers can see that although they are assassins they still care about their spouse. If they had shared their secrets earlier, then they would not have been tricked into trying to eliminate each other.
 --Raychelle

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Movie Review: A Clockwork Orange, Directed by Stanley Kubrick

In future Britain, charismatic delinquent Alex DeLarge is jailed and volunteers for an experimental aversion therapy developed by the government in an effort to solve society's crime problem... but not all goes to plan. (Synopsis from IMDB)


One of the films that I reviewed for my class was A Clockwork Orange. It is a very unique film that is based on the novel by Anthony Burgess. It is not the typical setting because it brings in many elements that create a futuristic feel. The props that were used really contributed to the feel of the film. Along with the props were the costumes and makeup design, which were very interesting and helped to create the feel. Malcolm McDowell, as Alex, would occasionally have a pattern painted on his right eye and the clothing was very different from the typical styles. Some were similar to the feel of the 60's or 70's (in my idea), but with a twist that made it also seem like they were in a future time. For example, one of the women in the film wore a type of leotard that resembled ones that were popular during the time the film was created.

The film, A Clockwork Orange, shows that free will is one of the most important attributes of a human being. The film focuses on the controversiality of removing free will and the effects that it can have. Both Burgess and Kubrick wanted to show that although forced reform may seem like a good idea, taking away a person's free will can do more damage than it's worth. Without free will, a person is more like a robot. The ability to choose the path to take, whether morale or not, is what makes people who they are. The editors at SparkNotes believe that the film also shows “the inherent evil of government because the government is only concerned with its own stability and tries to suppress free will. (SparkNotes Editors, 2005)”

My general appreciation for film was really enhanced from viewing A Clockwork Orange. It is artful and worthwhile to watch for the theme and techniques. Stanley Kubrick did a wonderful job writing the screenplay and directing the film. He really brings out the elements that make the story, such as the language, dress, and d├ęcor. I was stunned while watching this film due to all of the elements. The first time that I viewed this film, I had not previously read the book and had just stumbled upon the film. While viewing, I often found myself gaping at the screen because I found it so interesting and yet unbelievable. It is absolutely necessary to have multiple viewings of A Clockwork Orange to fully grasp the ideas being presented and to have a better experience.


A Clockwork Orange is enjoyable to watch because it is so unique and really brings life to the characters that Anthony Burgess originally created. The film is really ahead of its time as far as the set and costume design. It was very well designed and structured to give it the feel that many have come to enjoy. Although it is a controversial film, it is very enjoyable to watch how the story progresses and the characters change. The language is something that I find interesting as well because it is also different from other films. Many of the characteristics that make A Clockwork Orange a great film are due to the uniqueness that has been described.

--Raychelle

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Review: Exiled by M.R. Merrick

Chase Williams is a demon hunter in the Circle, or at least he was supposed to be. Failing to develop any elemental magic on his fifteenth birthday left him exiled in a world full of half-demons, and no hunters to protect him. When Chase discovers the Circle's plan to unlock a portal and unleash pure-blood demons into the world, he vows to stop them. Knowing he can't do it alone however, he accepts help from Rayna, a sexy witch with an attitude and a secret. As the pair attempt to stop the Circle, Chase realizes working with a demon is only half the battle. When they find themselves in the middle of the Circle's plan, it leaves one of them to decide what their friendship is worth, and the other's life depending on it. (From )  

My Review: Exiled is a very well written debut novel from M.R. Merrick. I found the story to be captivating and will leave readers wondering what will come next. Chase and Rayna's relationship is very interesting. Chase has grown up believing that all Underworlders are evil. Then Rayna enters his life and he is forced to re-evaluate all that he has ever known. Another hunter, who was presumed dead, tries to help Chase understand that the Circle has been corrupted and that they are not protecting the innocent as they claim.

I really enjoyed the relationships that M.R. Merrick creates in Exiled, the first in a series. He builds Chase's character from the introduction, as he is the narrator. Chase's mother Tessa is also a strong character and is Chase's rock. They rely on each other to get through. Rayna is a fascinating character. She has the eyes of a feline, but there is much more to her than meets the eye. Her feisty spirit is really fun to read as the story unfolds. The plot is definitely different because although it deals with demons and the mortal world, M.R. Merrick adds his own creative elements to the story to keep it unique and enjoyable to read. I definitely recommend putting this on your e-reader. You won't be disappointed.

--Raychelle

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Trying Something New

Hi everyone!

I have been taking a film course over the summer and have analyzed and reviewed a few films for the course. I will be sharing some of them to see what you think as readers of my blog. If you like my film reviews, I thought that I would share them every once in a while in addition to my book reviews. Please let me know what you think!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer







Mara Dyer doesn't think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.

It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.

There is.

She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love.

She's wrong.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer hits stores everywhere 9.27.11. Pre-order your copy here. Download the widget here. Enter to win an Advanced Reader’s Copy here.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Review & Giveaway: Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer

This thrilling sequel to the much-talked-about Nightshade begins just where it ended–Calla Tor wakes up in the lair of the Searchers, her sworn enemy, and she's certain her days are numbered. But then the Searchers make her an offer–one that gives her the chance to destroy her former masters and save the pack–and the man–she left behind. Is Ren worth the price of her freedom? And will Shay stand by her side no matter what? Now in control of her own destiny, Calla must decide which battles are worth fighting and how many trials true love can endure and still survive. (Synopsis from Goodreads


Do you remember that superbly written novel by Andrea Cremer? Yes, that one, the ever captivating Nightshade, in all of its amazing scenes and edge-of-your-seat goodness. Well, it has a sequel and it releases in less than a week! I'm sure you've heard of Wolfsbane by now, but if not, please stop reading and check out Nightshade first. My review isn't going to have spoilers for Wolfsbane, but you may find some from Nightshade. I will try to keep it as spoiler-free as possible.

My Review: Andrea Cremer has done it again! She has written another novel that can't be put down. With this epic sequel to Nightshade, she has done what many great authors before her have, which is to create a to-die-for sequel. Most sequels are the typical second book, the one that sort of ties up loose ends and answers questions from the first book while leading in to the third. Wolfsbane is definitely not one of those novels. Yes, it does have all of those elements, but Ms. Cremer gives the book a voice of its own. It is not just the second in the series, it is a beautiful, compelling novel, that leaves readers literally begging to read Bloodrose (the third novel). With the well written characters, and the one-of-a-kind plot, this series is bound to be one to top the charts and your reading piles.

Wolfsbane continues right from the end of Nightshade so readers are not missing any of the crucial scenes. Calla's strength and loyalty is put to the test many times during Wolfsbane. She has been taught that the Searchers are the enemy, but during the Samhain she learned to trust herself and began to uncover devastating secrets. She had always trusted the masters and they had always provided for the Guardians. When her world changes she must decide what is more important, fighting for freedom or living with the truth and knowing it is too late to change. When she makes her choice, events unfold that will change her life and those she loves forever. In Wolfsbane, she is determined to see her pack safe and unharmed and she is not prepared to face the reality of what remains. Shay is still the fun-loving guy that readers can't get enough of, but he has faced many changes of his own. Together they must decide how to move forward in their plans to reunite with Calla's pack. Readers are introduced to some spectacular new characters that are sure to work their way into your hearts. Prepare for Wolfsbane to tug at your heartstrings with the tragedies, laughs, and accomplishments that make this story so fantastic. I will admit that I got a little teary-eyed a couple times, but with the way Wolfsbane is written, it is hard not to get caught up in the emotions of the characters.

There really is so much more I could say about Wolfsbane, but it will not do the story or Ms. Cremer justice. This story demands to be read and offers so much in return. Readers will be thinking about Wolfsbane long after they finish the last page and will be eager to read it again. Bloodrose can not come soon enough, but with the good feelings will also be sad because Calla's story is to good to finish. I look forward to reading of her journey many more times. Hopefully we will see more of these characters in the future and I definitely can't wait to see what the future holds for Ms. Cremer. Maybe a new series? (wink wink)

 If you enjoy this series, why not tell her? Visit Andrea Cremer's blog or her website to leave a comment.

--Raychelle

Oh and since I believe that you NEED to read these wonderful novels, I will be giving away one of them to you. =) The giveaway will close on August 27 at 11:59 pm EST. The winner will be chosen on August 28.


To enter you need to leave a comment telling me why you love Nightshade, or if you haven't read it, tell me what interests you about the series. You also need to tweet, blog, or facebook about the giveaway and post the link with your comment. Please see my giveaway policy for other rules and details. 

Following not required but is appreciated. How else will you know about new reviews, giveaways, and cover reveals? =)



--Raychelle


*Note: I won this ARC from the author.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Review: Firelight By Sophie Jordan

A hidden truth.
Mortal enemies.
Doomed love.

Marked as special at an early age, Jacinda knows her every move is watched. But she longs for freedom to make her own choices. When she breaks the most sacred tenet among her kind, she nearly pays with her life. Until a beautiful stranger saves her. A stranger who was sent to hunt those like her. For Jacinda is a draki—a descendant of dragons whose greatest defense is her secret ability to shift into human form.

Forced to flee into the mortal world with her family, Jacinda struggles to adapt to her new surroundings. The only bright light is Will. Gorgeous, elusive Will who stirs her inner draki to life. Although she is irresistibly drawn to him, Jacinda knows Will's dark secret: He and his family are hunters. She should avoid him at all costs. But her inner draki is slowly slipping away—if it dies she will be left as a human forever. She'll do anything to prevent that. Even if it means getting closer to her most dangerous enemy. Mythical powers and breathtaking romance ignite in this story of a girl who defies all expectations and whose love crosses an ancient divide. (Synopsis from Goodreads)

My Review: I absolutely loved this book! The plot is fantastic. One doesn't often see such cleverly written novels about draki, or dragons. I was a little skeptical for that very reason, but there was something about it that made me take another look. I am very glad that I did. Sophie Jordan's writing style is very well developed. She has published other novels, but this her first in the YA genre. I think she has done a fantastic job at writing for teens. Firelight is a novel that could convert any a person who dislikes reading into one that cannot stop. It is really that good. Ms. Jordan dragged me into her fantastic world where I was held captive until the very end.  


 
The characters and love interests are very well developed. Jacinda is very strong and determined. She experiences many trials before she realizes that happiness may well be within her reach. She not only has to fight to preserve herself but also for her family and Will. Jacinda will do whatever it takes to keep her future bright and stay "alive." To do so, she has to have Will in her life, even if that means putting the lives of other draki in danger. Her development is important to the story and to the series and she is well on her way. Will is a fabulous love interest. I found myself cheering for him from the very beginning. When Will is first introduced to Jacinda, you know that he is not like his family. He is much different from them in many ways, but to avoid spoilers I will say that he is much more sympathetic and curious. Will really develops in this story and I can't wait to see how much of a role he plays in Vanish, the sequel. Cassian remains a mystery throughout the story. Sometimes he is possessive and uncaring, while oter times he is sincere and kind. He I the future leader of their pride and is a very strong draki. He wants Jacinda for himself. She is mostly uninterested, but is a little unsure of her feelings.

The epic tale will have readers' hearts torn in many directions and desperately awaiting the next book. The characters and relationships are eloquently built. Readers will find that they dislike some and love other right along with Jacinda, and with good reason. This story is definitely worth a trip to the bookstore or library to check out. You won't regret it.  I know that I will be reading this again (possibly twice) before the sequel, Vanish, is released.


--Raychelle

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Interview with Josephine Angelini!

I am excited for you all to be reading this post! I recently asked Josephine Angelini, author of Starcrossed, if she wanted to help me with my first author interview. She graciously agreed and I am so happy to be able to share her responses! I can't say enough about Starcrossed and Ms. Angelini. They are both fabulous! =) When I first learned of Starcrossed, I had just finished with the Iron Fey trilogy by Julie Kagawa and was thoroughly obsessed. Her writing left me craving more and thinking about it long after I had closed the last page. I knew Starcrossed would be good, but I didn't think it would have the same affect as Ms. Kagawa. I was very wrong. Ms. Angelini wrote a compelling novel with characters that were exciting and natural, not forced. It had all the elements that scream "bestseller" and "you can't put this down!" Ms. Angelini and HarperTeen had posted the first 100 pages for free. I made a bad decision when I decided to read it. I was hooked on Starcrossed and Ms. Angelini before I even made it to the 100th page. That last page had quite the cliffhanger. But, of course, you will have to read it to find out exactly what I mean. I couldn't wait to get my hands on Starcrossed after that. I just had to know what happened!

I was leaving for vacation the day that it released and I didn't know if I could make it without finding out the next scenes. Luckily, I stopped by my local BN and they had it out Monday, so I didn't have to wait. I quickly snatched it up and raced back to my car where I sat for a few seconds trying not to squeal with joy. I couldn't resist the urge to read it, so once my boyfriend and I arrived at his family's for a Memorial Day cookout, I delved in to Starcrossed. I tried not to get lost in the pages since we were with family, but it was impossible. The story is just so captivating and magical, and frankly quite heart-wrenching. It was such a beautiful story. I did finally force myself to put it down to eat and chat. I ended up reading it in the car on the way to our vacation destination, which gave me motion sickness, but it was so worth it! If you haven't yet purchased Starcrossed or if it is still in your TBR pile, I urge you to open this book. You will not be disappointed by this stunning debut by a wonderful author.

Now for the interview, which I hope you enjoy. =)

SR: *Did any of your family members play a role in the development of your
characters?

JA: All of my characters are based on people that I know, but as I develop each character
they become unique. What I borrowed from my family was more of how we all are
when we get together—usually in the kitchen! I tried to recreate the experience of
being in a large, nuclear family for the reader. I wanted to write scenes that would
bring the reader right into the Delos family.


*What inspired you to become a writer?*

I’ve always written. I’ve kept a journal since I was ten, but it took many years for
me to gain the confidence I needed to do it for a living. I always had people nudging
me in the writing direction, like my sisters, professors at NYU, and directors that I
worked with when I was doing a lot of theater in New York. My husband, especially!
When we first started dating about a million years ago he gave me a laptop, taught
me how to write screenplays, and said, “Just write”. So I did.


*You appear to be such a fun, outgoing, and interesting person and I can't
wait to meet you. How has your personality contributed to your experience as
a debut author and to the stories that you create?*

Aw, thanks Raychelle. I can’t wait to meet you too! I think my personality has
helped me as a debut author. I put myself through college waiting tables and
bartending and I think that made me very outgoing. I have no problem walking up
to people and introducing myself, which is sort of what your debut year is like. It’s a
lot of introductions.


*Are you very attached to your characters or are there some that you can't
wait to write out of the story?*

I get attached to them. I’m writing the third book right now and I know that when
I’m done I’m going to miss them all. But still, it’s fun to kill the bad guys!


*The second book is titled Dreamless. Can you tell us anything about it?*

It’s darker than STARCROSSED. A large part of the story takes place in the
Underworld, so there’s a grittier feel, and there is a lot more action. I also introduce
a new character named Orion in this book. I have a feeling you’re going to LOVE
him, Raychelle.


*Did you always want to write Young Adult fiction? Are there any other
genres that you would like to explore?*

I love writing YA fiction, but never say never, right? I guess if I had an idea that was
better suited to a different genre I wouldn’t stop myself from exploring it, but for
now I’m happy where I am.


*After your Starcrossed trilogy is completed, what would you like to work on
next? Do you already have something in mind?*

I do have something in mind. Before I started writing STARCROSSED I outlined a
different YA trilogy, but it was a bit too dark and intricate for my first novel. I’d love
to get back to that idea after I finish the third book.


*Is there anything new that you would like to share or a little known fact
about yourself?*

I prefer licorice to chocolate.

(Thank you Ms. Angelini for your kindness, generosity, and beautiful work. =) I look forward to your future novels. I have a feeling that you are right about Orion. =D I can' wait to see what his character entails.)

That's it for the interview. I hope you all learned something new. I know that I did. =) You can find out more about Josephine Angelini and her novels here as well as reach her blog. She also has a twitter account and a facebook page. She is also hosting a very generous giveaway on her blog. Pull out your best toga, grab your copy of Starcrossed, and snap a pic. You could win a Tiffany heart necklace, which is the necklace that the MC Helen always wears. I hope you take the time to thank her for her wonderful interview and enter her giveaway. She loves to see how Helen is spending her time across the globe.


--Raychelle

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Cover Reveals and Author News

First, some AWESOME news from Jennifer L. Armentrout, author of The Covenant Series (Daimon, Half-Blood, etc). Spencer Hill Press will be publishing Cursed, Jennifer's first book in a new series.  Here is the cover:
And the blurb:
Dying sucks--and high school senior Ember McWilliams knows firsthand. After a fatal car accident, her gifted little sister brought her back. Now anything Ember touches dies. And that, well, really blows.
Ember operates on a no-touch policy with all living things--including boys. When Hayden Cromwell shows up, quoting Oscar Wilde and claiming her curse is a gift, she thinks he’s a crazed cutie. But when he tells her he can help control it, she’s more than interested. There’s just one catch: Ember has to trust Hayden's adopted father, a man she's sure has sinister reasons for collecting children whose abilities even weird her out. However, she’s willing to do anything to hold her sister's hand again. And hell, she'd also like to be able to kiss Hayden. Who wouldn't?
But when Ember learns the accident that turned her into a freak may not've been an accident at all, she’s not sure who to trust. Someone wanted her dead, and the closer she gets to the truth, the closer she is to losing not only her heart, but her life. For real this time.

Also, here are some of the newest covers to be released. I think they are fantastic! They are so unique and creative. I absolutely love them. What do you think?



Saturday, July 2, 2011

Updates & "Stuff"

I thought since I have been behind with postings that I should fill you all in on recent happenings. First, I have several reviews to be posted this month. They include the Study series by Maria V. Snyder, Exiled by Matthew Merrick, Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer, Unearthly by Cynthia Hand, and several others. I have also contacted a special author about an interview. That post is almost ready. I just need to incorporate the questions and answers when she has time to respond. =) It is of course my first ever interview, so I am extremely nervous and excited. I think you should be very excited as well, but no need to spoil it. I must keep you guessing. ;) I will also be doing a giveaway of Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer towardthe middle of the month. I have a few cover reveals to post as well. I know they have been out for a couple weeks, but I think that a combined post of these covers will be good, especially if anyone has missed them. I have received some awesome swag and books in the mail recently, so I may include them in the Wolfsbane giveaway or I may do a separate swag giveaway. Any thoughts on that idea? That should be it as far as updates go right now. I am trying to finish up school (graduating in September) so if I am not posting frequently, I apologize. I will be posting more often once I have graduated since I will have much more time for you wonderful people. =)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Cover Reveal: Everblue by Brenda Pandos


Everblue, book #1 of Mer Tales
Publisher: Obsidian Mountain Publishing
Tentative Release Date: 7/31/2011
Follow Brenda on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Brenda-Pandos-Author/147707291958883
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11700785-everblue
Twitter: @brendapandos
Blog: brendapandos.blogspot.com

Best friends share everything with each other. Or do they? Seventeen-year-old Ashlyn Frances Lanski is tired of her boring, single life. Spending time with her best friend Tatiana, dreaming about kissing Tatiana's twin brother Fin, and swimming competitively are her only sanctuary. The girls plan to leave their drab lakeside town far behind for college. But when Tatchi fails to return home after a family emergency, and no one knows where the family has gone, Ash chooses to do something drastic to find them.
Ashlyn is about to discover what she’d thought to be true her whole life, wasn’t, and the truth, too fantastical to imagine. Secrets lurk beneath the deep blue waters of Lake Tahoe, secrets that will change Ashlyn's life forever.

Want to know more?
Check out Brenda’s blog at: http://brendapandos.blogspot.com



How amazing is this cover? I love it! It definitely sparks my imagination and makes me want to know more about it. The synopsis provides just enough to interest me in reading more, as it should. I am excited about this new series and hope that it proves to be a fantastic one.

As always, please feel free to leave your wonderful comments below. I love reading them. =)

--Raychelle

Friday, June 10, 2011

Myra McEntire Hourglass giveaway

Visit Myra McEntire's blog to read about her novel Hourglass and enter to win great prizes including a signed copy of the finished book!

--Raychelle

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Review: Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini

How do you defy destiny?

Helen Hamilton has spent her entire sixteen years trying to hide how different she is—no easy task on an island as small and sheltered as Nantucket. And it's getting harder. Nightmares of a desperate desert journey have Helen waking parched, only to find her sheets damaged by dirt and dust. At school she's haunted by hallucinations of three women weeping tears of blood . . . and when Helen first crosses paths with Lucas Delos, she has no way of knowing they're destined to play the leading roles in a tragedy the Fates insist on repeating throughout history.

 

As Helen unlocks the secrets of her ancestry, she realizes that some myths are more than just legend. But even demigod powers might not be enough to defy the forces that are both drawing her and Lucas together—and trying to tear them apart. (Synopsis from Goodreads)

I will try not to be super fangirly when writing this review, but I thought this book was uber fantastic! Yes, I said uber. Once you read this book you will understand why I chose that word. There are just no words to describe the awesome that is Starcrossed. The story is based on Greek mythology, or more specifically The Trojan War. Ms. Angelini definitely did her homework when writing this story. It is obvious to readers that she thoroughly researched the topic, but what is even more impressive is that she modernized the story in such a way that makes readers also want to learn more about it. She was able to convey her story in a way that reaches readers on an emotional level. Starcrossed is beautifully written. There are no "hangups" in the flow that would make one stop and question what was just read. I was so entranced with Starcrossed that I was depressed when I learned that I was over halfway through the book. I wish it was so much longer. Luckily, the second book in the trilogy, Dreamless, is already completed and will be released sometime in 2012. The sooner the better I say, because you can never get enough of this heartbreaking tragedy that Ms. Angelini has created. 

The plot is to die for, literally. Helen and Lucas are a power couple. There interactions are so real, but also so magical. When they first meet, they are overwhelmed by one another which leads to an altercation. No matter how hard they try, they cannot stay away from each other. Helen and her father have quite the relationship. Their interactions are quite comical, especially when they are alone. Her father, Jerry, is quite a character himself with his quirky comments. He knows how to help Helen, but also when he should drop the subject. He provides the support that she needs. The entire Delos family is something to behold. Each is dreamy and otherwordly. The descriptions of the characters creates such a vivid picture that it is almost as if the reader is in the scene watching it unfold. The setting is also given wonderful descriptions. Helen's Nantucket is as real to readers as it is to her.


As much as I love Lucas, I have to say that Hector may actually be my favorite character. He is tough, challenging, and of course full of pride,  but he also has a softer side. He delights in provoking Helen which I enjoy immensely. Jason and Ariadne are also very interesting. Evey character is given a wonderful personality even if it is one you hate, although I won't spoil it by giving names. I also loved watching Lucas and Jason. They had an understanding of one another that showed a deep bond. They didn't even need to speak to know what the other was thinking. I know there are other wonderful characters that I did not mention, but that is because I don't want to create too many spoilers.


I hope I didn't give too much away and that you all go out and buy this book NOW, because it is seriously that good. Josephine Angelini's debut is one that shocks and awes me. Starcrossed is a spectacular novel and an even more spectacular debut. Well, I hope I got everything that I wanted to say into this post, but if not, you may see an update tomorrow. =)


--Raychelle

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Starcrossed Giveaway Winner!

Thank you all for entering the Starcrossed giveaway! I wish I could give each of you a copy, but alas, I cannot. =( Congratulations to MrsBoswellsBooks, the lucky winner via random number generator. I will be emailing you shortly to get your mailing address. Thank you all for your responses and participation! There are some great new books out this year! =)

--Raychelle

Friday, May 27, 2011

Giveaway: Starcrossed, by Josephine Angelini

Hello dear readers. I know that I am still new to the wonderful world of blogging and am still getting established, but I really wanted to have a giveaway to celebrate the US release of Starcrossed on May 31st! I am super excited about this debut novel from Josephine Angelini! I read the first few chapters that were available for free and I have been thinking about it nonstop. The world that is created is surreal. The characters and setting offer a modern look at mythology and I believe that Ms. Angelini does a spectacular job bringing life to these characters. In just the first pages I felt like I knew the characters and was there watching from the sidelines. I applaud her for such a spectacular debut and can't wait to see what else awaits me in those pages. Dreamless, the sequel, will be released in 2012.

So now that I have gushed over Starcrossed even though I have not read all of it yet, on to the giveaway. I will be giving away a copy of Starcrossed to one lucky reader. All you have to do is comment on this blog post. Tell me what you think of Starcrossed and what debut you are looking most forward to this year. If you would rather tell me of a release that is not a debut, that is fine as well. You also need to tweet about this giveaway. Make sure you @ reply me (@raychellej). Good luck and don't forget to leave your email so I can contact you if you win. The winner will also be announced here on Tuesday, the official release day of Starcrossed.

Rules:
Must be over 13.
If under 18, you need your parents permission to enter, as you will have to provide your address so that I can mail the book to you.
US addresses only please.
(UPDATE: I have gotten a few questions about international entries. I was not originally going to ship international, but I have found that The Book Depository will ship for free so I am opening this giveaway to international entries as well.)

One entry per person
Giveaway ends Monday, May 30

You do not have to be a follower, but I would appreciate it. =)
Please do not leave your address in the comment box. If you win, I will contact you.

--Raychelle

Monday, May 23, 2011

Giveaway hosted by Lauren DeStefano


Wither is the first book in the Chemical Gardens Trilogy. I have not read this book yet, but I have read many great reviews. I plan to buy this book as soon as I am able. Wither has a unique plot and the writing by Ms. DeStefano seems to be eloquent from reading the excerpt provided on her website. She is hosting a giveaway on her blog in celebration of reaching 3,000 followers on twitter. The prize is none other than a personalized ARC of Wither and an ARC of Fever when it is printed and available. To participate, visit her blog, read the rules, and follow the instructions. Her blog can be found here.

Wither (as written on her website)

By age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years left to live. She can thank modern science for this genetic time bomb. A botched effort to create a perfect race has left all males with a lifespan of 25 years, and females with a lifespan of 20 years. Geneticists are seeking a miracle antidote to restore the human race, desperate orphans crowd the population, crime and poverty have skyrocketed, and young girls are being kidnapped and sold as polygamous brides to bear more children.

When Rhine is kidnapped and sold as a bride, she vows to do all she can to escape. Her husband, Linden, is hopelessly in love with her, and Rhine can’t bring herself to hate him as much as she’d like to. He opens her to a magical world of wealth and illusion she never thought existed, and it almost makes it possible to ignore the clock ticking away her short life. But Rhine quickly learns that not everything in her new husband’s strange world is what it seems. Her father-in-law, an eccentric doctor bent on finding the antidote, is hoarding corpses in the basement. Her fellow sister wives are to be trusted one day and feared the next, and Rhine is desperate to communicate to her twin brother that she is safe and alive. Will Rhine be able to escape–before her time runs out?

Fever (as written on her website)

A breeze rolls up from the water, and I realize at once how numb the cold air and wet clothes have made me. We should find someplace to stay, but where? I sit up and take in our surroundings. There’s sand and rocks for several more yards, but beyond that I can see the shadows of buildings. A lone freight truck lumbers down  a faraway road, and I think soon it’ll be dark enough for Gatherer vans to start patrolling the area with their lights off. This would be the perfect place for them to hunt; there don’t appear to be any streetlights, and the alleyways between those buildings could be full of scarlet district girls.

Gabriel, of course, is more concerned about the blood. He’s trying to wrap my palm with a piece of seaweed, and the salt is burning the wound. I just need a minute to take this all in, and then I’ll worry about the cut. This time yesterday, I was a House Governor’s bride. I had sister wives. At the end of my life, my body would end up with the wives who died before me, on a rolling cart in my father-in-law’s basement, for him to do only he knows what.

But now there’s the smell of salt, sound of the ocean. There’s a hermit crab making its way up a sand dune. And something else, too. My brother, Rowan, is somewhere out here. And there’s nothing stopping me from getting home to him.

On Sale February 2012

Both books sound fantastic and I can't wait to read them!

--Raychelle

Review: Shadow Days (A Nightshade novella), By Andrea Cremer

Shadow Days is a great prequel to Nightshade. This novella is 84 pages and contains a lot of information regarding Shay and his past. Ms. Cremer continues to amaze me with her imagery and character building. This novella allows readers to become more familiar with Shay and who he is/was before attending the Mountain School. Nightshade begins right where Shadow Days ends so readers are not going to miss anything. If you haven't read Nightshade yet, then I suggest starting with this fantastic prequel. If you have read Nightshade but missed out on this, then I recommend you read it anyway. It is a great story and it is from Shay's POV so you gain more of an understanding about him and his relationship with his Uncle Bosque. It is not repetitive to anything in Nightshade, although some situaions are briefly mentioned in the novel to provide a background.

Please visit this site to read Shadow Days and for information regarding the Nightshade series and Andrea Cremer. There are also several videos featuring Shay as well as the nightshade trailer.

Feel free to leave comments, questions, suggestions, and recommendations in the comment section. =)

--Raychelle

Friday, May 20, 2011

Cover Reveal: The Onyx Talisman By Brenda Pandos

The Onyx Talisman, third and final book in the Talisman trilogy.
Publisher: Obsidian Mountain Publishing
Tentative Release Date: 11/16/2011
Follow Brenda on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Brenda-Pandos-Author/147707291958883
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10233236-the-onyx-talisman
Twitter: @brendapandos
Blog: brendapandos.blogspot.com 

This cover is really unique. I love the color and the design. It offers a fresh look and it sets this book (and the series) apart from others. The scene depicted here really draws my attention and makes me curious about the plot and the characters. I have not had a chance to read the first two books, The Emerald Talisman and The Sapphire Talisman, but I can't wait to start! I am really excited to read this series and to see what kind of world Ms. Pandos has created (and the covers are just fabulous)! I hope you all enjoy this cover reveal.  Now go out and get yourself a copy of this book. Even if you don't read it, you can just stare at the cover. You should probably still read it though because you never know what you may find. New treasures lurk in every corner. A special thanks to Brenda Pandos for allowing me to participate in her cover reveal! =)



**WARNING SPOILERS**

All was perfect in Julia’s life until Nicholas had his vampire blood-lust activated by his mother Alora, her immortal enemy, turning him evil and bent on revenge. Heartbroken and out of choices, Phil and Julia ran away in the middle of the night, with Scarlett on foot, to Orange County to warn and plead Nicholas’ Godfather for help. Once arriving at Harry’s though, the local coven accosted them and they narrowly escaped.

After they returned home, there was a huge showdown between Phil, Nicholas, Scarlett, Alora, Katie and Julia. Alora almost got what she wanted—Julia’s vampire warding talisman—but Preston, Nicholas’ father, and Harry came to the rescue. They escorted Nicholas and Alora back to Beverly Hills, pledging to return Nicholas free from his blood-lust. But all Julia’s received in the past four months is a letter stating Nicholas missed her along with some song lyrics and promise of a quick return. That was a month ago.

Now Julia awaits Nicholas’ return with the Fab Five Coven: Phil and Katie—the sober vampires, Scarlett—the half-vamp/shape-shifter, and Tyler and Julia—the inducted humans. She’s stuck in Scotts Valley with Phil as her self-appointed chaperon and no way to return to Los Angeles to check on Nicholas. Only Scarlett and Julia know her fate ultimately involves the demise of all vampires, possibly including the ones she loves. When the time comes, will she even have a choice?

Find out in the final installment of the bestselling Talisman Series November 16, 2011!
Want to know more? Check out Brenda’s blog at: http://brendapandos.blogspot.com

So what do you think of the cover? Leave a comment and let me know. Then, be sure to head over to Brenda's page or her Twitter to let her know what you think. =)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Review of Nightshade By Andrea Cremer

http://www.daemonsbooks.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/Nightshade-Andrea-Cremer-Book-Cover.jpg Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she'll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters' laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything--including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice? From Goodreads Nightshade (Nightshade #1)

 
Andrea Cremer's Nightshade is by far one of my favorite books! It has so many elements that capture my interest. The characters are so real and the story is relatable. Readers will feel like they are a part of this world and are sure to find themselves sharing emotions with the characters. Calla Tor, the Nightshade Alpha, is such a strong character. She has always known that she will mate with Renier Laroche, and she has never questioned her destiny until a chance encounter that leaves her world changed forever. Renier Laroche, the Bane Alpha, is the perfect mate for Calla. He is a natural leader and commands the attention of everyone, including the human girls. Ren is naturally possessive of Calla, knowing that they are to be united soon. Shay is...well, what can I say about Shay? He is everything that readers hope for in a love interest. There are no words to adequately describe him, but I shall try. Shay is the light in Calla's dark. He is not afraid of Calla and does not back down from a challenge. He is funny, passionate, strong, and curious. Throughout the story, one learns a lot about Shay and I started to root for him as the story progressed. It is hard to choose between the two love interests because their personalities are practically opposites and Calla finds herself attracted to each in different ways. The young Banes and Nightshades are equally impressive. Each is unique and strong and brings another element into the story. 

Andrea Cremer's writing style is amazing. Each word is crucial in creating her world and she does so with such grace. This writing and the story has such a natural flow that I was immediately caught up in it. The plot something very different from other books (at least those that I have read and searched). As the story progresses and one learns more about the reality of the Keepers, the Guardians, and the Searchers, he or she will find that some secrets are more dangerous than others. The cliffhanger definitely left me craving more. It was kind of as if my world just stopped at that moment and couldn't pick up again until I had Wolfsbane. That is how great this story is. If you were debating on purchasing this book, I recommend that you do so. And fast! Wolfsbane will be released in July '11, so there is still sometime to fall in love with this book and Andrea's writing, as I have, before the second book is out. 

For an excerpt from Nightshade, visit this website (http://www.nightshadebook.com/) and it is also available on Goodreads. To purchase Nightshade please visit Barnes and Noble or Amazon. 

Please feel free to leave a comment and tell me if you would like to read this book, what you think about my review, or what you think about Nightshade if you have already read it. Also visit Andrea Cremer's blog to tell her how fantastic she is! She can be found here.
 


UPDATE: Keep an eye out for my review of Wolfsbane and your chance to win a finished copy!

Friday, April 22, 2011

A Letter to Ash

Hello All. I have recently started this blog because I love to read! I wanted to be able to share these books with others so that they have the chance to read some amazing books and find some fantastic new authors to enjoy. I will do my best to post a review each week, but I have many other obligations that may make me a few days late. I hope you all enjoy the reviews.

Now on to the purpose of this post. Julie Kagawa is having a contest on her blog. Readers may choose a character from her Iron Fey series to whom they may write a letter. The winner will receive a hand written letter from that character as well as a signed copy of The Iron Queen. No spoilers will be answered. Have fun with it if you choose to participate. =)

Dear Prince Ash, 

I hope that you are doing well. =) I have been reading about you and must tell you that I find your adventures to be truly amazing. When I was first introduced to Meghan, Puck, and yourself I knew that I had stumbled upon something unique and wonderful. I was immediately drawn into the stories and I could not get enough. They are dangerous, but full of passion and friendship. You, dear Ash, are the most captivating. You may be an Ice Prince, but you are full of fire. You exude strength and confidence throughout each adventure, even when you are faced with danger and the possibility of death. I commend you for your loyalty and dedication to others and to your commitments. So many humans do not possess either quality. I really could go on and on about how intriguing and exciting you are. Seeing as how you are not yet as conceited as Puck, I would like to keep it that way. I wouldn't want you to get a big head (figuratively speaking). I have many questions for you and maybe one day I will have to opportunity to ask you all of them. For now, I will try to keep my letter short as I have already been rambling about your greatness. I wonder about your future and as I am sure you do, but alas I know that even with your extraordinary Winter Fey abilities you do not know what awaits you in the future. If you have the time, then I would love it if you would answer some questions about your past. I would appreciate it greatly! =) My first question is one that I have had since reading about your latest travels and encounters with the Iron Fey. I know that you had a very serious relationship with Ariella and loved her very much. However, if she also felt the same then why did she not make you her Knight or did she release you so that you would be free to love again? If she didn't already (as I suspect) do you think she wanted to or had planned on it? Would you have accepted? Is there more about her that would like to share? I am interested in learning more about her if it doesn't make you too sad to discuss. Although you blame Puck for what happened, would you try to get out of the promise that you made if you were able? Would you ever really be friends again even if you did?I am also curious about Queen Mab's territory, N. It seems so beautiful and terrifying at the same time. I know you avoid the court because of the way they prey on the weak and manipulate them. You once said that Ariella was strong and that she never let them get to her. If it bothered you, why did you not take a stand? Would it be disobeying Queen Mab to protect Ariella or yourself even? Sage seemed different from the rest of the court as well. Do you think he would have helped you? Since we are already on the subject, were you and Sage close? Did you do many activities together? What are your favorite memories? Also, since you love to hunt and are quite an exceptional fighter, would you like to teach others? Even Meghan commented on your ability to teach a class with your knowledge and skill. What other hobbies do you have? Are you secretly very artistic? If so, I will not share that information with others. If you and Meghan had stayed in the mortal world, where would you have like to visit? Once you were able to have a place of your own, where would it be? What would it look like? I wish I was able to ask you more questions so that I could learn more about you. I hope that we can communicate again in the future. Good luck in your journey! May you find the answers you seek and the happiness you deserve. I wish you well, but I have a feeling you won't need it. =) Thank you for taking the time to read my letter. I know that you are busy and do not have much time to waste.

Sincerely,

A loyal follower and hopeful friend

Raychelle Smith <3

P.S. Would you please put in a good word to Julie Kagawa. She is having a contest and it would really make me happy if I won. I chose to write to you, Ash, because you are enchanting. You try to hide your emotions, but sometimes they show. You are a unique Fey and I hope you never change!