Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Happy Leap Day! Review of Destined (House of Night #9)

Happy Leap Day everyone!!  Looks like we need to hunker down and prepare for some stormy weather around here.  It is rather breezy out there this afternoon with thunderstorms on the way...  What a way to say good-bye to February!

I've been so busy editing and working on the house, I have gotten so behind on reviews!  I'm going to try to catch up a bit this week.  I also have a feature with Nancy Straight, author of Meeting Destiny, coming up this weekend...

Enjoy your last day of the month of love! :-)

Destined (House of Night #9)
By P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
ISBN:  9781905654864
Published October 25, 2011
Available Format:  Hardcover, Paperback, ebook, Audiobook

My Rating: ★★★★

Goodreads’ Synopsis:  Zoey is finally home where she belongs, safe with her Guardian Warrior, Stark, by her side, and preparing to face off against Neferet, which would be a whole lot easier if the High Counsel saw the ex-High Priestess for what she really is. Kalona has released his hold on Rephaim, and, through Nyx's gift of a human form, Rephaim and Stevie Rae are finally able to be together—if he can truly walk the path of the Goddess and stay free of his father's shadow…

But there are new forces at work at the House of Night. An influx of humans, including Lenobia’s handsome horse whisperer, threatens their precarious stability. And then there’s the mysterious Aurox, a jaw-dropping gorgeous teen boy who is actually more—or possibly less—than human. Only Neferet knows he was created to be her greatest weapon. But Zoey can sense the part of his soul that remains human, the compassion that wars with his Dark calling. And there’s something strangely familiar about him… 

Will Neferet’s true nature be revealed before she succeeds in silencing them all? And will Zoey be able to touch Aurox’s humanity in time to protect him—and everyone—from his own fate? Find out what’s destined in the next thrilling chapter of the House of Night series.

All too often, any series with this many installments is going to fall flat at some point.  Just how long can you continue the plot—the battle against good and evil.  At some point we want the bad guys to just die already, right?!? 

While I can certainly find faults in Destined, and this book is certainly not as exciting as the beginning of the series, it was still a great read.  I love the introduction of Aurox and the struggle between his humanity and the evil purpose he was created for.  It is very much the same with Rephaim as he grows accustomed to his nights as a human and days as a bird. Another great development is Kalona leaning more toward the good side as he teams up with Rephaim and Zoey to go against Neferet. His proposal near the end of the book was one of the most exciting aspects of the entire story! J

Of course, there is love, and now I am dying to read the novella about Lenobia!  I’m really interested in learning more about her background and seeing what might come in her future.  And, there is sadness, which turns out to be a rather happy ending anyway. 

Enough with being cryptic so I don’t give too much away… ;-)  Destined is a great installment of the House of Night seires.  Yes, it leaves us hanging again, of course, but I think it kind of boosted my interest in the series again.  I’m really looking forward to book ten and seeing where the Cast ladies take us from here.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Women Scorned

Women Scorned
By:  Angela Alsaleem
ISBN: 9781936564385
Expected Publication:  April 13, 2012 by JournalStone
Available Format: Hardcover, Paperback, ebook

My Rating: ★★★★★

The publisher includes this disclaimer in its synopsis: This book is intended for adults and contains extreme violence, torture and graphic murder scenes. You have been forewarned.  For some, this just serves to pique curiosity even further, but if any of those things bother you, do NOT take this warning lightly because it is very, very true!

Camilla has been brutally murdered and left on the side of the road when a mysterious, shadowy figure emerges and touches her bloody, lifeless body. Suddenly, Camilla is ‘alive’ again with a taste for revenge, not just for herself, but for all those women who have been mistreated, abused, murdered in much the same ways. Camilla is both tortured and propelled by her nightmarish visions as she seeks out her victims one at a time.  The spirit that possesses her is also being sought out—by a dark cult bent on intertwining the living world with the evils of the spirit world.  Thrust in the middle of it all is Libitina, a struggling pathology student with a bit of a disconcerting side of her own.  She may be the only thing standing in the way of the cult and the demon horde waiting just on the other side of the doorway to our world.

Women Scorned is probably not something I would have picked up had I not proofread it for JournalStone.  But, I have to say, despite it being terribly disturbing, it is a fantastic horror novel.  The horrors of this story aren’t necessarily the things that go bump in the night. I’m talking about a walking dead, badass woman seeking big time revenge kind of scary…  Creepy, woman-child with a taste for torture kind of scary.

There are some truly twisted characters involved in this book, from the possessed murder victim, Camilla, to the green-eyed witch bent on instructing others of the ‘pleasures of pain’, to the evil behind it all. So many instances in the story I was completely grossed out, gasping, literally covering my mouth with my hand—but at the same time, I was drawn right in, sitting on the edge of my seat waiting to find out what happens next, how it all ties together, and if the characters will get what is coming to them in the end.  And that is not a guarantee…

What is guaranteed is that you are going to find yourself cringing, but you will connect with so many of the characters, maybe even when you think you shouldn’t.  There is a real story beneath it all, and all the disjointedness in the beginning, switching between seemingly unrelated points of view, will come together in a big way. Once you get sucked in, you’ll find you just can’t put it down.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Aftershock Blog Tour: Author Interview with S Ravynheart and SERIES GIVEAWAY!

Hey y'all!  I have another special treat for you on this terrific Tuesday :-)!  S. Ravynheart, co-author of the Rise of the Unseelie series is here today to answer some of my questions as part of the Aftershock Blog Tour.

Ravynheart and Archer are no strangers to Gathering Leaves.  You can find my interview with Archer from the Cursed Blog Tour HERE and a special blog hop for the End of the World Blog Tour HERE
Now, on to the fun stuff...  Don't forget to enter to win the complete Rise of the Unseelie series after the interview!

Author Interview
S. Ravynheart
Rise of the Unseelie Series

GL:  Please tell us a bit about yourself.

SR:  There isn’t a whole lot to tell about myself really. I’m a fairly new author, although from the way I have role-played, mostly in chat rooms, I have been told numerous times that I should be writing stories. I finally decided to go for it when Archer told me his plan to write and invited me to co-create The Sidhe line together.

GL:  Now, tell us a little about the Rise of the Unseelie Series.

SR:  Rise of the Unseelie is about the major conflict going on in the urban fantasy world we have created. This series is one of three companion series with interweaving story lines. The Rise of the Unseelie focuses on the Unseelie point of view. It starts off following Donovan as his world is literally ripped apart. In the aftermath of the disaster, he discovers that there is an entire new generation of Sidhe who have been raised in the earth realm who have no training and no idea what it even means to be Sidhe. These young earthborns are being hunted down by vampires, wizards and unscrupulous races of fey who want to steal their blood and magic. Donovan is determined to rebuild his race, starting with these inexperienced and abused earthborns.

GL:  Can you give us a little Sidhe/Fey/Seelie/Unseelie/etc. 101 lesson?  Just some short definitions/characteristics that can help some of us keep them straight. :-)

SR:  The term ‘fey’ refers all of those who are descended from the first realm of fey, which was lost over ten thousand years ago. All of these races are part magical and part physical. So ‘the fey’ encompasses many fantasy races, including the Sidhe, other races of elves, fairies, Changelings, goblins, pixies and dwarves, just to name a few. The Sidhe is the ruling class of fey and possess far more magic than any of the others. All other races of fey are considered 'lesser fey’ by comparison. Among the Sidhe there are two groups, Seelie and Unseelie. While the Seelie are referred to as the light court and the Unseelie as the dark court, this should not be confused with their morality. Being of one court or the other does not make one inherently ’good’ or ’evil’. If the Sidhe were to attend a modern day high school, the Seelie would be the preppy kids doing everything they can to appear smart, clean-cut and perfect,  while the Unseelie would be the ones with ripped jeans, rock music blasting on their MP3 players and the ‘I don’t care what you think of me’ attitudes.

GL:  I love that comparison!

GL:  I already know Donovan is your character.  Tell us about him and how you are alike.

SR:  Yes, Donovan is “me”, in many aspects. Like just about everyone, I have had life throw things at me that knocked me off my feet. Donovan is the side of me that dealt with those situations. Getting back up, dusting myself off, and going on about my way, becoming more determined to finish what I had started.

GL:  Does Donovan have a better love life than Lugh?

SR:  Love? *chuckles* The Sidhe rarely fall in love. Now sex life, mmmm well, you’ll have to read the stories to find out the answer to that one.

GL:  *raises eyebrow with evil grin* 

GL:  Is there a character that you just really dislike (but is probably essential to the storyline)?

SR:  There are a couple actually, although neither of them appear in Rise of the Unseelie. They both only make brief appearances, but they are essential to the stories that they are in. Rico, from the Touched series, and Manannan, from the Champion of the Sidhe prequel. They both don’t care about who they hurt to get what they want.

GL:  Do you prefer the fantasy world or life in the human world?

SR:  Hahaha Fantasy! Definitely! In the fantasy world I don’t have to work. Money is never an issue. There are always cool adventures to take part in, or at least tag along and watch. Plenty of reasons to prefer the fantasy world over the real one.

GL:  If I were one of the earthborn fey, what are the most important lessons you would teach me?

SR:  The first thing you need to understand is that Donovan is the only thing between you and a very nasty death. Respect that. Stick with him, learn to use your magic to the best of your abilities, and you’ll discover for yourself just what it means to be Sidhe. What it means to be the pinnacle of magic personified. When you are ready, you will learn to stand with Donovan as a defender against all those who would prey upon the fey.

GL: I doubt I'd have much trouble sticking with Donovan :-)...

GL:  How is it working with Archer to create this world? 

SR:  Absolutely wonderful! Every time we go out to lunch together, or just hang out, we talk about what should happen next in the stories. We have so much fun that we always end up grinning and laughing like mad. One of us will toss out an idea and the other will pick it up and run with it. We find ways to weave plot threads back into the main story, coming up with some fantastic twists.

GL: So when I can I join you for lunch??? ;-)

GL:  Does everything usually flow pretty smoothly or have you guys ever butted heads over something in the series?

SR:  Archer and I haven’t ever really fought over the stories. If there is any butting of heads, it’s with the characters, and I have to say they can be pretty hard headed.

GL:  You make great book covers.  Do you have any formal graphic design training? 

SR:  I taught myself how to use Photoshop, and I used it for over a decade, but now I am in school for a degree in Computer Graphic Design.

GL:  Very cool!

GL:  Favorite quote?

SR:  “That which does not kill you, only makes you stronger.” These are the words Donovan lives by as well.

GL:  Preferred gaming format and why? :-)

SR:  That is not an easy one to answer. I will game on Xbox. In chat rooms. Or even tabletop (yes, I ran my own D&D group at one time). Between all of these different ways to play, I always prefer RPGs first and foremost. I love being fully immersed in the story, feeling like I am actually in the game, not just playing a character. That is also why I write the way I do. I want the reader to feel like they are standing next to Donovan, physically hearing his voice, just as I feel like I am physically there as I write each scene.

GL:  Well, you do a GREAT job of that! 

GL:  What are you guys working on now?  What do we have to look forward to?

SR:  We are working on the edits for the third book in each of the three series. Defender of Magic: Champion of the Sidhe #3 is coming out in March. Eyes of Magic: Rise of the Unseelie #3 is coming out in April. Enchanted: Touched #3 is going to be out in May. We will be seeing the repercussions from the raid on Danu’s temple (which occurred in Addicted: Touched #2) spilling into both of the other two series.

In Eyes of Magic, we’ll be seeing more of the earthborn Unseelie as they continue to learn about their magic and heritage. We’ll get to know more about the mysterious Tiernan Kilgrave. Those who fell in love with Malcolm from Scars of Silver will be glad to see him back in a prominent role in this book. And Donovan will be leading the way to strengthen the Unseelie and discover secrets Lugh would much rather he didn’t know. 

GL:  I can't wait to get my hands... err... eyes on these!  Thanks so much for being here today!  You guys are ALWAYS welcome!!!

Where you can buy the book:

Where you can find the guys:

Now, for your chance to win the complete Rise of the Unseelie series...  Good Luck!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Feature: Aftershock Blog Tour - Aftershock by SA Archer & S Ravynheart

Happy Monday Everyone!  I hope you all had a great weekend... 

This week I'm hosting the Aftershock Blog Tour with some of my favorite guys, S.A. Archer and S. Ravynheart.  This time, Ravynheart is in the spotlight, and he'll be dropping by tomorrow for a little interview.  He was also our guest last week on JournalJabber, so be sure to go back and have a listen at that as well!

Today, I'm sharing my review of Aftershock. This time we get to meet Donovan... yum!  (Check out this "casting call" to put a face with the sexy name: Jhaer/Donovan Casting Call)

Aftershock (The Rise of the Unseelie #1)
S.A. Archer & S. Ravynheart
Published October 28, 2011 by Ravynheart Publishing
Available Format:  ebook
My Rating: ★★★★ 1/2

Aftershock takes us back to End of the World, but this time the story is told from the perspective of Jaher, leader of the Unseelie Elite.  When the fey mounds collapse suddenly, Jaher uses his earth power to survive, only to find himself (along with so many others) without a home.  Changing his name to Donovan, he tries to establish a place for himself and a haven for the fey, including the earthborn.

I think Donovan has some really endearing qualities that show in this story.  He wants to help his brethren. At the same time, he has that bad boy vibe that I find irresistible, naturally. :-) I’ll definitely be keeping my eye on him…

Archer and Ravynheart have a laidback and riveting writing style and are expert world builders.  There is a level of authenticity that they give to the fantasy, probably attributed to years of roleplaying, something that no doubt requires amazing creativity and imagination.  The action is fast-paced and the characters are all very well fleshed out, especially considering how short each book is, which I love! 

We get a pretty good setup for the future of the fey, wizards, vampires, etc.  I’m very excited to continue all these series and see how they all tie together and what becomes of all the characters I love so much.

I still find Cursed my favorite so far, and ONLY due to my personal preferences did I knock a half star off the rating.  I do like Aftershock better than End of the World, and I think it has something to do with the move from the mounds to the urban side of things, which had me hooked in Cursed

Lugh or Donovan?  I can’t decide.  But, do I really have to choose???

Don't forget to stop by tomorrow, February 21, 2012, for Ravynheart's Q&A session!  

Friday, February 17, 2012

The World Among Us Blog Tour: Character Chat with Beth Ann Masarik plus GIVEAWAY!

Happy Friday Everyone!!!  Guess what we're doing this weekend???  MORE work on the house (wah, wah, wah...).  But, when it's all done, it'll be worth it!

Today I have a super special gal with us for her blog tour.  Beth Ann Masarik is pimping out her novel, The World Among Us, this month.  Beth Ann has previously hung out with us here at Gathering Leaves.  You can find my review and her interview HERE.  I'll also have a review for "Moon Spirit" very soon!

Beth Ann has a special treat for us today, so I'll shut up and give her the floor!  Enjoy!

Thank you for having me on the blog today, Cassie!  Today, I am here with one of the main gods, Gaia.  She and I will be chatting a little bit about why I haven’t written much lately and about me and cosplaying and role playing.
Now, on to the chat!

Helios had just finished his trail across the sky and was now set in the East.  Ironically, that was where my bedroom happens to be, and so the light from his sun shining in my window woke me up.  It was so bright that I didn’t even see the light that appeared before me.  Instead, Gaia appeared in my room, and as I was just coming to, I jumped at the sight of her.  She RARELY ever visits me and immediately, I became scared.

“Do not be afraid, my child,” she said in a voice that sounded like a heavenly melody.  “I’ve come to wish you safe travels.”

Well, that was nice, I thought.  As my vision became clearer, I found her sitting on my bed.  She was about my height, give or take an inch, with long, sunshine colored hair and beautiful hazel eyes.  Her skin was flawless, and she wore a gorgeous, floor length toga that was decorated with gold and silver.  She looked much better than I did.  My hair was messy from bedhead, and I had sleep in my eyes.  What was worse, I probably had bags under my eyes from lack of sleep.  Oh, and did I mention that I was also in my night shirt?  Yeah, attractive huh?  I immediately blushed from embarrassment.

“I hear that Helios is going to keep Maryland warm for you,” Gaia said as she looked at the sun.  “He was afraid that you would freeze in that Sailor Jupiter costume you are going to wear.”

I smiled and looked in the same direction.  “I’ll have to remember to thank him some day.  I was beginning to worry if I’d be warm enough. It is, after all, the middle of winter.”

“I know,” she said softly.  “Is your costume finished yet?  I’ve seen you’ve been staying up very late again with your friend Robin.”

“I think it is done, but I haven’t tried on the finished product yet.”

“Do you like how it came out?” she asked.

“I absolutely LOVE how it’s come out!  It was all completely hand sewn (no machine involved), which makes it extra special,” I beamed.  “Robin is the best.”

“I have to agree with you on that.  Are you excited to be cosplaying as a girl?”

“YES!” I exclaimed.  “I’ve been wanting to cosplay as Sailor Jupiter for years, and now I’ve finally got the chance to.  Plus, it’s my first costume where I DON’T have to wear a wig.  I HATE wigs.  They are so itchy,” I complained.
“I wouldn’t know, but I could imagine that they are,” Gaia said with a warm smile.

There were a few moments of awkward silence, when Gaia stood up.  “Well, I will let you get back to your chores.  It looks as if you still have quite a few before you go in an hour.  I am looking forward to seeing your pictures and videos after the convention.”

“Thank you, Gaia.  I promise that when this convention is over, I will try to get back to fiction writing and writing about you guys.”

“I know,” she said with another smile.  “Good-bye for now, Beth.  I will see you again soon.  Be safe.”  With that, Gaia teleported back to Mount Olympus.

Well, there you have it folks!  That was a short & sweet chat with Gaia.  She couldn’t stay long because I really do have chores to do before I go to Katsucon.  Is anyone going to be there?  It’s in Baltimore, MD and one of the best conventions I’ve ever been to.

Here is a picture of the almost complete costume.  It’s missing a couple of things, but you get the picture of what it looks like.  It was made by Robin Sussman J.

And now, folks, I am offering up a personalized mug, a keychain, and an ebook of The World Among Us.  All you have to do is follow the instructions in the rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveawaySo cool, Beth!  Thanks so much for this great post and your awesome giveaway!  Have a blast at Katsucon & take lots of pictures!! :-)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

I know I'm late!  For some of you, V-day is long over...  But I still wanted to wish everyone a super Happy Valentine's Day!  Hope your sweetie was good to you and if you don't have a sweetie, at least you had a great day and found lots of reasons to smile :-)!

I've been super busy at home this past week, so things have been slow here, I know.  I'll have a couple blog tours coming up later this week and early next week, so be on the lookout for some fun stuff!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Finding My Escape by Fran Veal

Finding My Escape
By:  Fran Veal
ISBN: 2940011464119
Published August 13, 2011
Available Format: ebook

My Rating:  ★★★★★

Seventeen-year-old Hannah Jordan stumbles upon something no person should ever have to face—the murder of her parents. When Hannah awakes after having tripped and hit her head, she cannot remember exactly what happened that fateful evening, other than walking into her dark home and hearing her mother's pleas for her to run away. She knows the murder was much more than a simple home invasion, and with the help of her best friend, Matt, she sets out to discover exactly why anyone would want to take her mother and father away from her.

As she dreams, Hannah suddenly begins visiting a strange new world, a world her new friend, Josh, explains is very real and very dangerous for Hannah. Josh isn't completely forthcoming about the details, but Hannah begins to suspect there is something very important she is missing about the land of Valeria. 

I was actually really impressed with this book. The writing style is easy and captivating. The plot flowed nicely. I was immediately drawn into Hannah's life and was able to relate to her (despite the awful things that have happened in her life). I LOVED the idea that she visits this other realm in her dreams, and I liked the little element of mystery, brought full circle by the twists at the end of the book.

I think this is a fantastic YA novel, with a little bit of paranormal, a little bit of romance, and a little bit of mystery mixed in. I think the author does a great job mixing all the elements and leading the reader on the search for answers.  The paranormal aspect wasn't so far-fetched as to be completely unbelievable, so it gave the story a much more authentic feel.

There could have been a bit more explanation about what her parents did that made them a target. Is what Hannah dreams about really the motive for the killer? I think some of the loose ends will probably be tied up in the next book of the series, My Way Out—which I am very much looking forward to!

Pretty much all of you know, I'm an Alabama gal, so having this story set in the south, in places that I am very familiar with, was just an extra bonus for me! Where can I get a house like Aunt Laura's? J

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Feature: Guest Post by Alyssa Reyans , author of Letters from a Bipolar Mother

Happy Wednesday, everyone!  Today, Alyssa Reyans, the author of Letters from a Bipolar Mother, is taking over Gathering Leaves...  Alyssa has a great guest post for us, so everyone kick back and enjoy!  Stay tuned after the post for details about the book...

My schedule has been so packed, I haven't had a chance to read this one yet, but be on the lookout for my review VERY soon!

Welcome Alyssa!!!

I’d like to thank Cassie for allowing me to take over her blog today. I’m new to the whole blogsphere and guest posting so getting to take over another person’s blog makes me feel like I’m way cooler than I really am. At first, I wasn’t sure what to write about so I tried to think of all the advice I’d been given when I first decided to write my memoir. I thought of all the sites I read and debates on whether it’s one space or two after the period, but then I realized there is so much about writing a memoir, or being a writer in general, that you don’t read about on those sites. So I thought I’d share that with you instead. Things like:

1. How you have to figure out which table to sit at during lunch time.

I know you’re thinking I’ve lost my mind, but you remember the feeling. Walking into high school, seeing all the cool kids paired up, looking around hoping someone makes eye contact. Feeling awkward, thinking “will anyone like me?” Well that’s exactly how you’re going to feel the second you click publish on your book.  You’re instantly sucked back in time to a 16 year old with zits going “please god let me someone let me sit with them”.

2. You’ll change your clothes a million times, but you’ll still have nothing to wear.

You remember the big dance? The cute boy finally asked you out, and you run home to try on every single piece of clothing you have only to declare, “I have NOTHING to wear!” When you’re writing you go through that exact same thing, except instead of dresses, you try on every word in the dictionary. You’ll sit thumbing through your thesaurus, trying out different words and phrases. Trying to make sure you pick something that’s up to date and current, but not too over the top. Just the perfect outfit (word). Then after trying on everything you own, you finally find the perfect dress (word). Only to head out to the big dance (publisher) and realize…

3. Someone else’s looks better/costs more/is flashier

So after you pick out the perfect dress (words), you’re ready to go to the dance (publish). But when you get there, you look around at all of the other girls (writers) and realize they are way prettier than you. So you slink back in a corner and watch them twirl around the dance floor (climb the best seller’s list) while you sit on the bleachers with all the other wannabes.

I figure by the time I get finished publishing my series, Chronicles of a Fractured Life, I’ll have regressed back to being a toddler, but I promise if Cassie lets me come back I’ll use a bib and won’t drool on you too much. As a thank you to Cassie for letting me visit, I’ve made my book, Letters From A Bipolar Mother” free on Amazon.  So if you’d like a free copy, then head on over and download yours. It’ll be free to download from Feb. 8th-9th.

Thanks so much, Alyssa!  You are certainly welcome anytime :-).

Head over to Amazon now and get your FREE copy of Letters from a Bipolar Mother while it lasts!!!

In Letters from a Bipolar Mother, Reyans tells the story she's never been able to tell her children: of how she lost them in a battle with her own mental illness. she shares with them - and the world - what the mind of a woman suffering bipolar depression looks like, how the darkness she battled on a daily basis almost won, and how, years later, she found the courage to claw her way out of the abyss.

Covering a span of five years, Alyssa Reyans shares both her pain and strength in a struggle against an incurable illness that many women today also share.

You can find Alyssa on her website also.  Head over now and learn more about her and her work.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Spaces Between by Martin Gibbs

The Spaces Between
By: Martin Gibbs
ISBN: 9781465915672
Published June 17, 2011
Available Format:  ebook

My Rating:  ★★★★★

Amazon Synopsis:  Three strangers find themselves together on a strange adventure—though not to find a magic ring or save the world. One is desperate to learn magic from an exiled and dangerous warlock in the far north. Unknown to them, an idiot man-child is close behind them, guided by the spirits of the dead. All fight desperately to survive the wilderness, demonic bats, elite assassins, and their own bumbling in this dark yet offbeat fantasy adventure.

The Spaces Between is truly a 'classic' fantasy—with an interesting array of characters, action, adventure, humor—everything you expect to find in a brilliantly written, fast-paced tale by a truly talented author. I love a story that can have me sitting on the edge of my seat from page one, weaves the lives of so many different characters together seamlessly, and even has me laughing from time to time.

The use of the different 'knots' in the story was very interesting and just added another dimension to the already amazing book.  If you are a fantasy lover, you are sure to find this novel entertaining and charming.

Monday, February 6, 2012

End of the World by SA Archer

Hey there, folks!  It is Monday, isn't it???  So sorry I'm late on this--we'll just say I had some technical difficulties today ;-).  Last week, Mr. Archer stopped by with a fun sneak peak at his Champion of the Sidhe series.  You can go back and check out the blog hop HERE.  Be sure to leave a comment on EACH piece of the prequel to enter to win the ENTIRE series!  Today, I am sharing my review of End of the World, the first installment of the Champion of the Sidhe series.  We'll be hearing from Archer and Ravynheart again in a couple weeks, so be on the lookout for that!

End of the World (Champion of the Sidhe #1)
By:  SA Archer
Published October 28, 2011 by Ravynheart Publishing
Available Format:  ebook

My Rating: ★★★★☆

Goodreads' Synopsis:  The day Lugh, Champion of the Sidhe, has long fought for finally manifests—all Sidhe unified under one Court. No more Light versus Dark. No more wars. Brothers, one and all. But on the day that should be celebrated as their greatest triumph, treachery brings his world crashing down, literally. Now, if he can’t find a way to stop it, no fey will survive.

Well, hello, Lugh… very nice to meet you! J I am super excited to be starting this new series by Archer. I can't wait to see how all the series intertwine with each other. This first installment of the Champion of the Sidhe series takes us more into the real world of the fey/Sidhe, rather than the urban darkness of the Touched series.  I will admit that, so far, I am actually preferring the Touched series, but it is nice to kind of go back and get a little more information about all the creatures that exist in our world in Cursed.

I love where Archer is taking us, and I love how these series are broken up into shorter installments and they are all related to each other. This was definitely another quick, entertaining read, and I was certainly left wanting to continue the series!

Saturday, February 4, 2012


By: EJ Dabel
ISBN:  9780983613176
Published January 5, 2012 by Sea Lion Books
Available Format:  ebook

My Rating: ★★★★☆

Goodreads' Synopsis:  On the streets, they call fifteen year old orphan Isaiah Marshall the “Indestructible Diamond”. Isaiah is the leader of the “Redrovers”, a group of teenage misfits consisting of his friends Jeremy, Monty, and Pipsqueak, but when they trespass into “Kaliber Academy” to get even with the arrogant Jason Ollopa, they are in way over their heads.

Principal Webb enrolls them into the High School and Isaiah soon learns about the existence of the gods of the Ancient World. Because the gods have refused to fight the last War for fear of the Mysterious Dark, the Powers-that-Be have stripped them of their spiritual bodies and given them mortal, teenage forms.

Isaiah discovers he's not only a god, but that he's the child of the Greek goddess Metis, the son destined to overthrow his cruel and sadistic father Zeus, the Darkener of the Sky, and become the greatest god in all the Pantheons.

Isaiah is thrown into a world where the democratic Olympians, war-mongering Norse, Gothic Celts, firstborn Egyptians, the enlightened Hindu, the animal-like Aztecs, the martial artist Asians, the intelligent Babylonians, the great spirits of the Native American Indians, and the fierce Finnish will war against one another for the greatest of all prizes: the Dominion.

I truly loved the basis of this story—all the different gods from all the different pantheons forced to live in present times in the bodies of teenagers. Talk about some punishment! I'm a big fan of mythology, although I don't know nearly as much as I wish I did. I was able to recognize many of the characters in this novel, and I even learned a thing or two as well. 

I appreciate how Isaiah was able to overcome his 'disability' and kind of begin to grow into his own toward the end of the story. I think there was a little conflict in that he was this tough kid living on the streets, thrown into this crazy new world, yet he has such a difficult time manning up to face the gods. Maybe that was just his true nature, however; many tough guys aren't really so tough deep down inside. And it is obvious that Isaiah has a tremendous amount of adversity to go through, before and during this story.

I did receive an advanced copy of this manuscript for review, so I am assuming that is why I picked up on so many errors—mechanical, grammatical and content-wise. Honestly, it was a bit distracting at times. It's always hard for me to take my editorial cap off anyway. But, I really tried to pull out the story for what it was rather than focusing on all the surface issues. At any rate, it did not fail to entertain me, and I certainly want to know how Isaiah fares as the story continues.

EJ is one of the nicest guys I have corresponded with, and he obviously has a truly creative mind. I am definitely a fan (of Sea Lion as well), and I can't wait to check out all his work in the future!