Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wish List Wednesday (75)

Partners in Crime (Slueth or Dare, 1) by Kim Harrington, May 1, 2012. Published by Scholastic.
Whodunit?
When best friends Darcy and Norah have to create a fake business for a school assignment, they come up with a great idea: a detective agency! Darcy loves mysteries, and Norah likes helping people, so it's a perfect fit.
But then their pretend agency gets a real case. Someone is missing, and it's up to Darcy and Norah to take on the search. Unfortunately, there's someone else out there who doesn't want the two detectives stirring up any trouble. . . .
With the help of hidden clues, spy gadgets, and trusted friends, can Darcy and Norah crack the case in time?
Why: Mid-grade slueths, need I say more. I love whodunits, and the fact that it is also a MG read has totally grabbed my attention.
Special A 1 by Maki Minami, 2007. Published by Viz Media.
Her whole life, Hikari Hanazono has been consumed with the desire to win against her school rival, Kei Takishima--at anything. He always comes out on top no matter what he does, and Hikari is determined to do whatever it takes to beat this guy...somehow!

At age 6 Hikari lost to Kei in an impromptu wrestling match. Now, at 15, Hikari joins "Special A," a group of the top seven students at a private academy, for the opportunity to trounce the guy who made her suffer her first defeat.
Why: Special A just sounds like one of those books that leave you giggling your head off...most likely in  public.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (68)

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Guest Post: Piper Maitland (Author of Acquainted with the Night)

Today, I am happy to have Piper Maitland stopping by the blog. She'll be talking about the vampires in her latest book, Acquainted with the Night).
About Piper Maitland: Piper lives on a small farm in Tennessee with her family. She still watches old Dracula movies—minus the garlic around her neck—and she’s constantly thinking of ways to give the original myths a scientific basis. Right now, she is working on a sequel, A Requiem for Daylight, to be published by Berkley.

A Different Look at the Mythology of Vampirism
When I was a tiny girl, I watched Dracula on The Late, Late Show, and I got so scared, I slept with a crucifix and garlic pods. I’m not kidding. I felt safe in daylight, but I kept a stash of holy water in my bedroom drawer, just in case I ran into an immortal. For years, until I discovered boys, I thought vampires might exist, and I wasn’t taking chances.
Years later, when I was working on Acquainted With the Night, I wanted to address the myths—the blood drinking, the aversion to crosses, shape-shifting, and the inability to walk in sunlight—and give them a biological foundation.
The main character in AWTN, Caro Clifford, didn’t believe in vampires until her beloved uncle was murdered at an archeological dig site in southern Bulgaria:

One week ago, Caro’s biggest problem had been juggling her tour guiding job. Now her uncle was dead, the Kardzhali police thought she’d murdered a man, and she was stuck in a town with (maybe, possibly) vampires and a mad (but mortal) scientist named Jude.
"Isn’t there another explanation for the blood drinking?" she asked. "Like porphyria?"
"No, it’s vampirism," Jude said.
"I’ve been bitten once," Caro said. "In horror movies, it takes three bites, and that’s it, you become a vampire. So I’ve got two more bites to go, and I’ll turn into a ghoul?"
"It’s not the number of bites. It’s the number of stem cells that pass from the vampire’s body into yours. And how your immune system reacts."
Caro shuddered. Best-case scenario: Somebody was making people act like vampires, and a crazy man was trying to protect her from them.

My vampires can venture outside on overcast days, but they must wear sunblock and protective gear—and they can’t stay outside for extended periods. Their immune systems are hyperactive. Their ketonin is sensitive to ultra-violet rays, and any direct exposure to the sun will cause second and third degree burns. Also, light affects the eyes; it causes corneal abrasions—even blindness.
I have a BS in nursing. Years ago, I was a chemotherapy nurse. Now, I write full time, and I’ve lost my medical edge. Fortunately, I live with two scientists—a physician and a biochemist. Our dinner table conversations center around cloning, stem cells, MRSA, and H1N1. When we’re around our medical friends, the talk often turns to the future of science—and also the history of diseases. For a writer, this is great fodder for a paranormal novel.
Early on, I decided that I wanted to honor the myths, but I also wanted to give them a twist. Like most predators, the vamps in AWTN have a biological edge. They are physically attractive. Their brains are more developed than a human’s—some are quite gifted with telepathy. They are physically superior. They run faster, never become ill, and heal at an extraordinary rate.
Jude Barrett is a biochemist—a book nerd and vampire hunter. He’d worked at a pharmaceutical company in Yorkshire:
"I harvested stem cells from mouse embryos," he said. "The marrow is a rich site for hematopoietic stem cells. I made them grow into anything I wanted—skin, muscles, nervous tissues, livers I also induced mutations, which corrupted the genetic code. The mutated mice grew into adults. They were aggressive. Sensitive to light. Wouldn’t eat or drink—except they craved blood. The mutated mice bit the normal ones. Within hours, the bitten mice became like the others. I thought it was a virus. So I sedated the mice and took biopsies from various organs. I examined the tissues under the microscope. Nothing seemed out of order, except the specimens were loaded with stem cells."
But that’s not all. Every part of a vampire’s physiology is significant. They possess a unique hidrosis, which is the Greek word for perspiration. They emit an odor—some smell of ketones and others smell like menthol. It’s not a pheromone, but it mimics one. The odor affects a human’s brain chemistry, relaxing their muscles and generating a sense of calmness. It also has a bit of an aphrodisiac effect. This is, of course, helps them subdue their prey.
Here, Jude explains it to Caro:
"It’s similar to a terpene," Jude said. "I’m sure you’ve heard of Nepetalactone?"
"Catnip?" Father Aeneas asked.
Jude nodded.
"That would explain the aphrodisiac effect," Father Aeneas said.
"But my tabby was immune to catnip," Caro said. "Uncle Nigel was always setting out little herb-filled toys for Dinah. She ignored them."
Jude touched his nose. "Perhaps she lacked the olfactory receptor. Some felines have it, some don’t. It’s genetic."
Caro smiled. "What does bat-nip do to humans?"
Jude’s face went slack, as if he was offended by the comment. "It depends on the concentration," he said. "In large quantities, the molecule causes sedation and numbness, followed by euphoria and hypersensitivity."
"But I thought a vampire’s saliva had a toxin—one that caused paralysis in its prey." Caro wiggled her fingers, remembering how they had gone numb after she’d been bitten. "Surely I wasn’t anesthetized from breathing these souped-up ketones."
"I agree with Caroline," Father Aeneas said. "If the catnip theory is true, then people would faint whenever they got near a vampire. Sidewalks and train stations would be filled with paralyzed humans."
Jude lowered his eyebrows, flashing his I’m-Not-Good-at-Explanations look. "When the chemical is excreted by a vampire’s sweat glands, it evaporates and diffuses into the air and becomes less potent," he said, his clipped, controlled voice barely containing his passion for science. "If humans inhale it, they feel relaxed. But it’s fleeting. A high concentration of this molecule is found in a vampire’s blood and saliva. That’s why Caro was temporarily paralyzed. She was prey. And predators are made for survival. They stalk, pounce, restrain, and feed."
"Why don’t vampires succumb to their own chemical?" Caro asked. "Why doesn’t it paralyze them?"
"Is a spider killed by its own venom? Jude lifted one eyebrow. "An effective predator isn’t harmed by its own methods of predation."

Of course, I added more to the mythology. I wanted to explain why vampires are so attractive to prey. As an example, I compared them to cone shells (Conidae are very beautiful, but they’re also toothed and impale their prey, infusing them with venom). I also explain the origin of vampirism by comparing it to the emergence of Methicillin-resistent Staphylococcus Aurea—better known as MRSA, an antibiotic-resistant bug.

"I’ve been thinking of ways to explain the science of vampirism," Jude told Caro.
A shy grin flitted across his lips, as if he were giving her a bouquet of wildflowers instead of simplified information about stem cells. She hid her smile by taking a sip of tea..
"To create a strain, all you need is a petri dish filled with staphylococcus," Jude said. "Add penicillin. It will kill ninety-nine percent of the staph. Take the surviving one percent and culture them. You now have bacteria that are resistant to penicillin. Actually, the bacterium’s resistance is a defense mechanism. If you put the penicillin-resistant strain into a petri dish and apply erythromycin, the antibiotic will kill a majority of the bacteria. Culture the survivors, and you have an organism that’s resistant to penicillin and erythromycin. If you repeat this process ad infinitum, adding various antibiotics, you will eventually create a superior organism—one that’s resistant to all antibiotics. And it’s indestructible."
"You’re saying vampirism evolved like MRSA?" Caro set down her teacup harder than she’d intended and it clapped against the saucer.
"It’s evolution. Survival of the fittest. Vampires began in small numbers and multiplied. They’re adaptive. Strong, hard to kill. And they destroy the competing organism. Also, they’re still evolving."
"Into what?"
"We’ll have to wait and see. If we’re still around."

Acquainted with the Night by Piper Maitland, 2011. Publushed by Berkley.
The pages of history are written in the blood of the undead…

A woman’s quest for the truth…
A medieval icon that holds the clues…
An ancient book with the power to shake Christianity—and humanity itself…

Caroline Clifford’s bland life as a London tour guide flips upside down when her beloved uncle is brutally murdered at a Bulgarian archeological site. While traveling to recover his remains, she meets a man who corresponded with her uncle. Jude Barrett is a biochemist on a mission—to eradicate the world of vampires…

At first, Caro is dismissive of Jude’s beliefs, but she can’t ignore the signs around her—the human bites on her uncle, the strange men following her, the anguished cries after sundown. Strange anagrams on her uncle’s passport lead her and Jude to a cliff-top monastery in Greece, where a shattering revelation connects a relic Caro inherited from her parents to an age-old text on immortality—and an enigmatic prophecy that pits the forces of darkness and light in a showdown that could destroy them all…
Acquainted with evil…
You can haunt Piper at:
Twitter | Website | Blog | FB |

Monday, November 28, 2011

Audiobook Review: The Unwanteds

definitely left me wondering wThe Unwanteds (The Unwanteds, 1) by Lisa McMann read by Simon Jones, 2011. 7 discs ( ). Published by Simon and Schuster Audio. Source: Publisher for review.
Every year in Quill, thirteen-year-olds are sorted into categories: the strong, intelligent Wanteds go to university, and the artistic Unwanteds are sent to their deaths.
Thirteen-year-old Alex tries his hardest to be stoic when his fate is announced as Unwanted, even while leaving behind his twin, Aaron, a Wanted. Upon arrival at the destination where he expected to be eliminated, however, Alex discovers a stunning secret—behind the mirage of the "death farm" there is instead a place called Artime.
In Artime, each child is taught to cultivate their creative abilities and learn how to use them magically, weaving spells through paintbrushes and musical instruments. Everything Alex has ever known changes before his eyes, and it's a wondrous transformation.
But it's a rare, unique occurence for twins to be separated between Wanted and Unwanted, and as Alex and Aaron's bond stretches across their separation, a threat arises for the survival of Artime that will pit brother against brother in an ultimate, magical battle. 
First Sentence:
There was a hint of wind coming over the top of the stone walls and through the barbed-wire sky on the day Alexander Stowe was to be Purged.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

In My Mailbox (108) More Pretties Than I Know What to do With

In My Mailbox, inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie and hosted by The Story Siren.

Last week I went on such a reading binge that I completely forgot all about writing up an IMM post. Yes, I know I would put off writing them again, but the books were so good that I couldn't pull my nose out of them long enough to write one up.

This weeks IMM has- a ton- of books that have been stacked up either in my closet or in front of my bookcases that I have forgotten to mention. I will also- FINALLY- get around to picking winners for the two contests that have ended recently this week. To participants: I am super sorry about the lateness of announcing winners, but I have been super busy lately and completely forgot. :(

Hope ya'll will enjoy the awesome that is this weeks IMM.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Audiobook Review: Batman: The Lazarus Syndrome

Batman: The Lazarus Syndrome by Dirk Miggs read by Michael Gough, Garrick Hagon and Bob Sessions, 2010. 1 Disc (44 minutes). Published by AudioGo LTD. Source: Audiobook Jukebox/Publisher for review.
Michael Gough, Garrick Hagon and Bob Sessions star in this thrilling radio drama featuring the Batman.
'This is the Batman. Treat what you are about to hear in the strictest confidence - my associates must be protected at all costs. By night in Gotham City you knew me as the Batman. What you never knew was....'
The Batman is dead. Police Commissioner Gordon has received a recording by the Batman that reveals his real identity. But who is the occupant of Wayne Manor? It soon becomes a desperate journey into the background of Gotham City's famous vigilante to find out who killed the Dark Knight.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Fullmetal Alchemist 3

Fullmetal Alchemist 3 by Hiromu Arakawa, 2005. 192 pages. Published by Viz Media. Source: Borrowed.
Accompanied by their bodyguard, Alex Louis Armstrong, our heroes seek out their closest childhood friend, mechanic Winry Rockbell, to fix their battered "auto-mail" bodyparts. Soon their quest for the Philosopher's Stone takes them to the great central library, where the Stone's formula may be hidden...if the mysterious figure named Lust doesn't get there first! But the secret of the Philosopher's Stone may be even more frightening than the beings who guard it...
First Sentence:

There, all done.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wish List Wednesday (74)

Insignia by S.J. Kincaid, July 10, 2012. Published by Katherine Tegen Books.
IT'S WORLD WAR III.
THE ENEMY IS WINNING.
WHAT IF THE GOVERNMENT'S SECRET WEAPON IS YOU?

More than anything, Tom Raines wants to be important, though his shadowy life is anything but that. For years, Tom’s drifted from casino to casino with his unlucky gambler of a dad, gaming for their survival. Keeping a roof over their heads depends on a careful combination of skill, luck, con artistry, and staying invisible.

Then one day, Tom stops being invisible. Someone’s been watching his virtual-reality prowess, and he’s offered the incredible—a place at the Pentagonal Spire, an elite military academy. There, Tom’s instincts for combat will be put to the test, and if he passes, he’ll become a member of the Intrasolar Forces, helping to lead his country to victory in World War Three. Finally, he’ll be someone important: a superhuman war machine with the tech skills that every virtual-reality warrior dreams of. Life at the Spire holds everything that Tom’s always wanted—friends, the possibility of a girlfriend, and a life where his every action matters—but what will it cost him?
Why: Because it sounds absolutely thrilling! It also does not hurt that cover is so awesome and would make a nice addition to my collection.

Loveless 1 by Yun Kouga, 2006. Published by Tokyopop.

When 12-year-old Ritsuka discovers a posthumous message from his brother Seimei indicating he was murdered, he becomes involed ina shadowy world of spell battles and secret names. Togheter with the mysteirous Soubi, the serach to find Seimei's killer and uncover the truth begins!

But in a world where mere words have unbelievable power, how can you find true friendship and happiness when your very name is Loveless?
Why: I really enjoy fantasy type manga, and Loveless sounds like it could be a pretty fascination read.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (67) Inheritance Cycle Edition

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Jacob Have I Loved

Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson, 1980. 244 pages. Published by Scholastic. Source: Bought.
"Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated . . ." With her grandmother's taunt, Louise knew that she, like the biblical Esau, was the despised elder twin. Caroline, her selfish younger sister, was the one everyone loved.
Growing up on a tiny Chesapeake Bay island in the early 1940s, angry Louise reveals how Caroline robbed her of everything: her hopes for schooling, her friends, her mother, even her name. While everyone pampered Caroline, Wheeze (her sister's name for her) began to learn the ways of the watermen and the secrets of the island, especially of old Captain Wallace, who had mysteriously returned after fifty years. The war unexpectedly gave this independent girl a chance to fulfill her childish dream to work as a watermen alongside her father. But the dream did not satisfy the woman she was becoming. Alone and unsure, Louise began to fight her way to a place where Caroline could not reach.
Renowned author Katherine Paterson here chooses a little-known area off the Maryland shore tas her setting for a fresh telling of the ancient story of an elder twin's lost birthright.
First Sentence:
As soon as the snow melts, I will go to Rass and fetch my mother.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Cover Reveal: Battle Scars by Cesya Cuono

Morning lovelies. I am super excited to be able to reveal here on the blog the cover for the Battle Scars, the sequel to Elemental Reality, by Cesya Cuono.

Thanks to Jennifer at Revolution Publishing for the chance to show Cesya's new cover.
Battle Scars (Elemental Reality, 2) by Cesya Marae Cuono, 2012. Published by Revolution Publishing.

How do you carry on fighting for your family when you’re left scarred and broken? When your dreams are plagued by nightmares, how do you strengthen the armor needed to protect yourself again? Callie’s been defeated by the loss of her entire family. With the help of old and new friends, will she build her battle armor up and fight the evil hands of the Demons who threaten to destroy her new home? Or will her battle scars leave her too broken and empty to fight?

Persoanlly, I really like the cover for Battle Scars, especially after just finishing up Elemental Reality. which you can look for my review to come in December. =)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wish List Wednesday (73)

Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen, Febuary 14, 2012. Published by Walker Children's.

Many readers know the tale of Robin Hood, but they will be swept away by this new version full of action, secrets, and romance. Posing as one of Robin Hood’s thieves to avoid the wrath of the evil Thief Taker Lord Gisbourne, Scarlet has kept her identity secret from all of Nottinghamshire. Only the Hood and his band know the truth: the agile thief posing as a whip of a boy is actually a fearless young woman with a secret past. Helping the people of Nottingham outwit the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham could cost Scarlet her life as Gisbourne closes in. It’s only her fierce loyalty to Robin—whose quick smiles and sharp temper have the rare power to unsettle her—that keeps Scarlet going and makes this fight worth dying for.
Why: A girl posing as Robin Hood, with a mysterious past sign me up. I definitely cannot wait to get my hands of a copy of Scarlet because it sounds exactly like somethingt I would love.

Janes in Love (Plain Janes, 2) by Cecil Castellucci , illustrated by Jim Rugg, 2008. Published by Vertigo.


The second volume of the critically acclaimed series finds a group of high school girls each named Jane, who are anything but ordinary, playing cupid. Plus P.L.A.I.N. (People Loving Art In Neighborhoods) goes global once the girl gang procures a spot in Metro City Museum of Modern Art contest.

Why: Plain Janes was one fo the first graphic novels that I read, and I really enjoyed it. Plus I absolutely cannot wait to see what all the Janes' will get up to next.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (66)

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Blog Tour Review: True Grime



True Grime by Natasha Deen, 2011. 276 pages. Genre: YA Urban Fantasy/Mystery. Published by Blueberry Hill. Source: Parterners in Crime Tours/Publisher for review.
Grime cop and teen fairy Pepper Powder lives for one thing: protecting the human species from magical zealots who seek to eradicate them with Violent Illness of Unusual Resistance and Strength (humans call them “viruses,” but their mistake is understandable. The very young often get their words wrong.). When a terrorist leader releases a necrophage bomb, it not only decimates Grime headquarters, it turns Pepper into the magical world’s first fairy amputee—but she’s not going to let a little thing like a missing leg stop her. To catch her criminal, and prevent him from unleashing a VIURS in one of the human world’s biggest shopping centers, West Edmonton Mall, she goes undercover as a human. But once Pepper's theories of humanity collide with the reality of bullies, cliques, and environmental destruction, will she still believe humanity's worth saving?
First Sentence:

In The City, crime never slept.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Angel Sanctuary 2

Angel Sanctuary 2 by Kaori Yuki, 2004 (originally published in 2000). 192 pages. Published by Viz Media. Source: Borrowed.
The most insane creatures in the nine planes of heaven and nine planes of hell are all telling messed-up teenager, Setsuna, that he is the reincarnation of an angel. That wouldn't be so bad except that some of these beings are trying to kill him and others want him to lead them in a revolt against God! All Setsuna wants to do is keep a sister he loves away from the dangerous creatures that are trying to harm her. Unfortunately some of the worst harm can come from Setsuna's love, which threatens to bloom into full-blown incest! How can he protect her from himself?!
First Sentence:
Hey!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wish List Wednesday (72)

Legend (Legend, 1) b y Marie Lu, November 29, 2011. Published by Putnam Juvenile.

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths - until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills.
Why: I'm really liking all the dystopian books that have been released recently and Legend sounds like a nother great one.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon 1 by Naoko Takeuchi, 2011 (originally published in 2003). Published by Kodanshi International.


Usagi Tsukino is a normal girl until she meets up with Luna, a talking cat, who tells her that she is Sailor Moon. As Sailor Moon, Usagi must fight evils and enforce justice, in the name of the Moon and the mysterious Moon Princess. She meets other girls destined to be Sailor Senshi (Sailor Scouts), and together, they fight the forces of evil!

This new edition of Sailor Moon will feature:

- An entirely new, incredibly accurate translation!
- Japanese-style, right-to-left reading!
- New cover art never before seen in the U.S.!
- The original Japanese character names!
- Detailed translation notes!

This version of Sailor Moon will be completely true to original. Join us as Sailor Moon returns to the U.S. for the first time in years!
Why: I've been kinda of curious about the Sailor Moon series, and thought that with it being reprinted and being published with the characters original names as well that now would be a good time to try it out.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (65)

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Audiobook Review: White Cat

White Cat (Curse Workers, 1) by Holly Black read by Jesse Eisenberg, 2010. Time: 6 hours 41 minutes.  Published by Listening Library. Source: Free Download
Cassel comes from a family of curse workers — people who have the power to change your emotions, your memories, your luck, by the slightest touch of their hands. And since curse work is illegal, they're all mobsters, or con artists. Except for Cassel. He hasn't got the magic touch, so he's an outsider, the straight kid in a crooked family. You just have to ignore one small detail — he killed his best friend, Lila, three years ago.

Ever since, Cassel has carefully built up a façade of normalcy, blending into the crowd. But his façade starts crumbling when he starts sleepwalking, propelled into the night by terrifying dreams about a white cat that wants to tell him something. He's noticing other disturbing things, too, including the strange behavior of his two brothers. They are keeping secrets from him, caught up in a mysterious plot. As Cassel begins to suspect he's part of a huge con game, he also wonders what really happened to Lila. Could she still be alive? To find that out, Cassel will have to out-con the conmen.
My first audiobook review. *am nervous*

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Blog Tour/Review: The Frankincense Trail

In My Mailbox (107) All These Books I've Won (A Couple Months Worth)

In My Mailbox, inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie and hosted by The Story Siren.

So, I kinda haven't IMM'd any books that I have won from the last two months. Total fail on my part, but what can I say...I was busy.

Hope ya'll will enjoy this weeks batch of books. I've only included a few of the book covers this week; mainly those which are absolutely gorgeous, that I cannot resist looking at.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Audiobook Review: Hercule Poirot and The Capture of Cerberus & The Incident of the Dog's Ball

Hercule Poirot and The Capture of Cerberus & The Incident of the Dog's Ball by Agatha Christie read by David Suchet, 2011. 2 Discs (1 hr. 22 min.). Published by AudioGo. Source: Audiobook Jukebox/Publisher for review.
Long lost Christie stories found! This audiobook presents two recently rediscovered Hercule Poirot short stories by Agatha Christie. The stories were found inside 73 notebooks discovered at Greenway, Christie's family home in Devon, when the archive at the National Trust property was being established.
"The Mystery of the Dog's Ball" was eventually reworked into the novel Dumb Witness, but unlike other Christie short stories-turned-novels it remained unpublished. The other story, "The Capture of Cerberus" was written to complete The Labours of Hercules, a collection which followed the 12 cases Poirot chose to end his career. Christie eventually rewrote the story with the same title for that collection. David Suchet brings breathes new life into them here in this exclusive audiobook production!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Giveaway: Dark Eden

So a couple of weeks ago I received some fantastic goodies for one of my favorite books of the year, Dark Eden by Patrick Carman, to give away to you my lovely followers.

Since ya'll are all fantastic, there will be ten (yeah, you read that right) winners here on the blog. Don't ya'll feel special!
Dark Eden (Dark Eden, 1) by Patrick Carman, November 1, 2011. Published by Katherine Tegan Books.

Fifteen-year-old Will Besting is sent by his doctor to Fort Eden, an institution meant to help patients suffering from crippling phobias. Once there, Will and six other teenagers take turns in mysterious fear chambers and confront their worst nightmares—with the help of the group facilitator, Rainsford, an enigmatic guide. When the patients emerge from the chamber, they feel emboldened by the previous night's experiences. But each person soon discovers strange, unexplained aches and pain What is really happening to the seven teens trapped in this dark Eden?
Patrick Carman's Dark Eden is a provocative exploration of fear, betrayal, memory, and— ultimately—immortality.
You can haunt Patrick Carman at:
Twitter| Goodreads | Website | Dark Eden Website

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wish List Wednesday (71)

Shatter Me (Shatter Me, 1) by Tahereh Mafi, November 15, 2011. Published by Harper/HarperCollins.
Juliette hasn't touched anyone in exactly 264 days. The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal. As long as she doesn't hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don't fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war- and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she's exactly what they need right now.
Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.
Why: I think the premise sounds interesting, especially how Juliette has to choose between being a weapon or a warrior. Definitely curious to see where this book will go.

Captive Hearts 1 by Matsuri Hino, 2008 (originally published in 1999). Published by Viz Media.
Fate plays an unusual trick on a privileged boy in this adorable shojo!
Being carried around everywhere and having handsome Megumi act like a slave may seem ideal, but Suzuka just wishes he would stop. Can anything be done about Megumi's captive state? Or is Megumi doomed to see Suzuka as his master...forever?
Carefree Megumi Kuroishi was living a life of luxury until the day a girl named Suzuka Kogami walked into his life. All of a sudden, Megumi finds himself kneeling at Suzuka's feet and prostrating himself like a servant! What Megumi doesn't know (until that very moment anyway) is that his family is cursed to follow the orders of the Kogami family.
Why: I have really enjoyed all of Matsuri Hino's work so far, and am quite curious to check out some of her earlier work. Plus it sounds like it could be quite hilarious.  

Guest Post: Golden Eagle of The Eagle's Aerial Perspective

 Today I am delighted to have The Golden Eagle, of The Eagle's Perspective, over to talk about her love of the Inheritance Cycle books.
I hope ya'll will give her a warm welcome to the blog.

There are few series I would wait for (and impatiently!) over three years to finish, but the Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini is one of them. It’s one of the better YA Fantasy series out there, with an excellent cast of characters, a detailed setting, and a strong plot.

What drew me into the series was, I have to say, not really the promise of grand adventures or majesty or an excellent story: it was more the cover. (I know, judging a book by its cover—but I really had nothing else to go on at that point.) I love dragons, and any book that mentions them has got my attention.

Luckily, Eragon proved to be a worthwhile read. The first thing that struck me and drew me in was the main character, Eragon, and the supporting characters; Brom in particular, along with the apparent antagonists, the Ra’zac.

The second thing that attracted me to the series was the setting. Alagaësia, while it does have overtones of other worlds such as Middle Earth, is unique in its own way, with a range of cultures, people, and its own history.

The third? Plot. Throughout the Inheritance Cycle, the plot is strong—stronger than I would have expected, based on the beginning, which clearly pulled from other stories. But Paolini takes his series (particularly Brisingr) in new directions, and his writing too improves as time goes on.

All of those, of course, led me toward alternately feeling like throwing the book across the room (metaphorically) with frustration and happiness that the adventure wasn’t quite yet over—there was still more to come. There are so many questions unanswered at the end of Brisingr: the antagonist is still at large, a full-fledged war is about to begin, Eragon has discovered the secret behind his enemy’s power, and there’s the detail of his unrequited love, of course.
Those matters will, hopefully, be resolved in Inheritance. I’m looking forward to it.

What drew you into the Inheritance Cycle, if you’ve read it? If you didn’t like it, why not? And if you haven’t read it, have you ever come across other series where the plot, character, and/or setting started out similar to something else but changed over time?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Random Acts of Kindness (Oct/Nov)

Book Soulmates Alas, I epically failed this month (again) and did not get a chance to send anyone a RAK gift. I was really looking forward to finding some one to send an ARC to, but completely forgot with my busy schedule and with being under the weather.

I don't have anything to mention this month. =)

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'll be able to send out a RAK to at least one person this month.

A couple of books that I would be absolutely thrilled to receive are:
Blood Red Road by Moira Young
Runaway or Abandon by Meg Cabot  
The Familiars by Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson
The Secret Zoo & The Secret Zoo: Secrets and Shadows by Bryan Chick
The Gray Wolf Throne by Cinda Williams Chima


 

Teaser Tuesday (64)

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Are you a middle grade author, want your book to be spotlighted this year during the challenge on my blog? Than this post is just for you. All about Middle Grade Challenge

Sign up for the 2014 All about Middle Grade Reading Challenge.

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