Thursday, June 30, 2011

Amnesia Labyrinth volume 1

Amnesia Labyrinth 1 (rated Older Teen 16+) story by Nagaru Tanigawa & art by Natsumi Kohane, 2011. 192 pages. Published by Tor/Seven Seas. Source: from publisher for review. 
When high school student Souji Kushiki, an academic achiever and talented athlete from a well-to-do family, returns home from summer vacation, he finds that his sisters Harumi, Youko and Saki have changed. Their strangely clingy behavior borders on the inappropriate and bizarre, yet Souji just brushes off their mysterious conduct at first.
However, when Souji arrives at school the next day, he learns that, during the summer, three students were murdered by an unknown culprit. Are the victims linked, and could Souji’s sisters have anything to do with the murders?
With the help of his cheery and spunky new girlfriend Yukako Sasai, straight-laced Souji is about to venture into a mysterious world that might just be the death of him.
Look for my review of volume 2 of Amnesia Labyrinth either next week of the week after that. :)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wish List Wednesday (53)

Whispers from the Dead by Joan Lowery Nixon, 1991. Published by Laurel Leaf.
Only Sarah senses the horror.
The minute she steps through the doorway of her family's new home, Sarah feels a smothering cold mist, and hears the echo of a scream and a heartbreaking whisper in Spanish, "Help me!"
Sarah feels compelled to find out who is trying to reach her. But can she uncover the mysteries of the past before terror strikes again?
Why: I've actually read this one before, but it has been a few years. What I do remember is that Whispers from the Dead just completely blew me away when I read it for the very first time, and I would love nothing better then to be able to re-read it whenever I wanted to.

Love*Com 1 (Lovely*Complex) by Aya Nakahara, 2007. Published by Viz Media (Shojo Beat).
Risa Koizumi is the tallest girl in class, and the last thing she wants is the humiliation of standing next to Atsushi Otoni, the shortest guy. Fate and the whole school have other ideas, and the two find themselves cast as the unwilling stars of a bizarre romantic comedy duo. Rather than bow to the inevitable, Risa and Atsushi join forces to pursue their true objects of affection. But in the quest for love, will their budding friendship become something more complex?
Why: Because this series is seriously funny, and I've only read the first four volumes of it.

Press Release + Cover for The Seventh Throne by Stephen Zimmer

Thanks to C.C. at Seventh Star Press, ya'll get to see the new cover for Stephen Zimmer's The seventh Throne (book three in the Rising Dawn Saga). 
Seventh Star Press is proud to unveil the title and brand new cover art for Stephen Zimmer's third Rising Dawn Saga novel: The Seventh Throne.

A bold, ambitious series that pushes the boundaries of urban fantasy, The Rising Dawn Saga has gained a steadily growing, very dedicated following since the debut of The Exodus Gate in spring of 2009. Showing the epic-scale possibilities of urban fantasy, the series draws heavily upon mythical and supernatural lore, weaving it into a modern day tale of a world tilting swiftly towards a dystopian nightmare.

Readers who have been journeying along in the Rising Dawn Saga will need to hold on to their seat, as a conflict of cosmic scope escalates rapidly.

They will join the human soul Friedrich as he accompanies the powerful Avatar Enki into the depth of the Abyss, to discover the fate of Erishkegal, who crossed the Veil to spare a horde of outcast Nephilim ages ago. It is a quest that will take them to the brink of hell itself, but it is one that may hold astounding revelations.

Elsewhere, martial law is installed across the UCAS during the outbreak of a deadly virus, and the onset of a war to the far east that threatens the stability of the entire world. The imposition of a diabolical technology looms, as centuries-old organizations in the service of Adonai race to confront the looming menace.
Gregory Andreas, an ex-marine, leads a budding resistance to the authoritarian government, as Dagian Underwood, the mastermind behind the oncoming Living ID technology, reaches out to the dark realm of Set to gain the help of an ally with a rare, formidable ability. Seth Engel and his teenaged friends venture forth once again to seek proof of spreading rumors; this time of rounded-up townspeople being herded into large detainment facilities close to Godwinton.

Even the shapeshifting An-Ki are caught in the maelstrom of uncertainty, as Godral and their others of Sargor's clan struggle to find their place in the strange modern world, and Uria leads his renegade new clan into the unknown. His path leads to an encounter with a mysterious individual possessed of supernatural powers; who expresses the desire to be his guide.

Threads intertwine as the dangers increase, and nowhere is safe as the things of the material and non-material worlds clash. The Seventh Throne will leave the reader hungry for the next installment, after a revelation of tremendous magnitude culminates the latest Rising Dawn Saga adventure.
"I am very excited about this installment, as with three books out in the Rising Dawn Saga I can really show readers how I build a series," Stephen Zimmer commented. "Everything builds, and threads that may have seemed ambiguous in the earlier books pay off in droves. For the dedicated reader, I have worked hard to bring a level of range and depth that can be explored again and."

As with the previous Rising Dawn Saga books, readers can expect another full set of Matthew Perry illustrations, with eight brand new ones included in the regular edition of the book. The extensive Matthew Perry body of artwork produced for The Rising Dawn Saga is, without a doubt, highly unique in the publishing of fantasy works today, regardless of major press or small press classification.
(Taken from Seventh Star Press'  press release) 
Updates and additional information can be obtained at the official site for Seventh Star Press, at http://www.seventhstarpress.com/, or at the author's site at http://www.stephenzimmer.com/
You can read the full press release HERE.

I am planning on diving into The Exodus Gate, which I cannot wait to read, as soon as I finish reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. So ya'll should get to see my thoughts on it in the next few weeks. :)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (46)

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!


I think I have already done one teaser for Secret, Silent Screams, but have decided to do another in honor of finally writing/publishing my review of it. You can see my thoughs on it HERE. Hope ya'll enjoy it. :)
We went to an awful rundown neighborhood, where some guys were sitting outside a bar and we asked them if knew somebody who'd sell us a gun, and they just laughed at us. But one guy followed us down the street to the car and told us he'd come up with a gun for us if we'd make it worth his while. page 105 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Secret, Silent Screams

Secret, Silent Screams by Joan Lowery Nixon, 1989; 180 pages. Published by Dell Laurel-Leaf. Source: Bought.
Is Barry's death the latest tragedy in a string of suicides at Farrington Park High School? Or is it murder? Marti is sure her friend Barry didn't take his own life, but no one will believe her except Police Officer Prescott. But opening an investigation takes time, and Marti is determined to find her friend's killer soon. Because even now he could be planning his next crime....

Hehe, I accidentally inverted the numbers in the year it came out, which is actually 1989, not 1998. :(

First Sentence:
Marti Lewis shivered as she opened the door to the Farrington Park police station.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

In My Mailbox (93) Books I Forgot Last Week + Some

In My Mailbox was started by Kristi of The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie. Sadly the only books I order are those that are hard to find. The following books are from the library and bookstores.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Toradora volume 1

Toradora 1 (rated Teen) story by Yuyuko Takemiya art by Zekkyo, 2011. 192 pages. Published by Seven Seas. Source: from publisher for review.
Ryuji Takasu has learned the hard way that appearances can be deceiving. Despite his inwardly sweet personality, his unintentionally sharp gaze and aggressive features give him the air of a delinquent thug, putting his chances at making friends, let alone a girlfriend, next to zero.

It’s Ryuji’s first day in junior high school and it seems as if things are looking up. He gets to sit in between his only friend, Yusaku, and, more importantly, the girl he’s secretly crushing on, Minori Kushieda. But just when he thinks the stars are aligned in his favor, he unwittingly crosses the most feared girl in school, Taiga Aisaku, making her onto his arch enemy. To top it off, Taiga has moved in right next door to Ryuji and happens to be Minori’s best friend! Can this school year possibly get any worse?!
I loved Toradora so much that I have trouble putting into words why I liked it so much. So please bare with me in this review cause I'm likely to ramble on.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wish List Wednesday (52)

The Burning Bridge (Ranger's Apprentice, 2) by John Flanagan, 2006. Published by Philomel.
Bracing for a final clash with the evil warlord Morgarath, the Rangers rally the kingdom's allies, and Will is chosen, along with his friend Horace, as special envoys to nearby Celtica. But the simple mission soon takes an unsettling turn - the Celticans have disappeared, their town abandoned. The scheming hand of Morgarath, it seems, has been far from idle. He has found a way to bring his legions over the once impassible eastern mountains and is planning to ambush the king's army in a rout. Now with help many miles away, Will and Horace are the only ones standing in the way of the dark lord's plans.They have shown great skill and courage in their training, but how will they fare in the face of true evil?
Why: I loved The Ranger's Apprentice so much that I cannot wait to start on the rest of the series. At this point I'm hoping to start putting the rest of the series on hold from my library. *keeps fingers crossed that they have all the books* You can see my thought on Ranger's Apprentice -> HERE.

Hollow Fields 1 by Madeleine Rosca, 2007. Published by Seven Seas.
Located on the outskirts of Nullsville and run by the insidious Engineers, Miss Weaver’s Academy for the Scientifically Gifted and Ethically Unfettered — also known as Hollow Fields — dedicates itself to raising the next generation of mad scientists and evil geniuses! Classes include Live Taxidermy, Cross-Species Body Part Trans-plantation, and Killer Robot Construction. For their own survival, students must master their lessons quickly...the student with the lowest grades at the end of each week is sent to the old windmill for detention—and so far, no child has ever returned.


Once thought to be a shoo-in for detention, recent transfer student Lucy Snow has come into her own at Hollow Fields thanks to Doctor Bleak—a mysterious box-like artifact that Lucy found in the library. Now with Doctor Bleak on her side, can the duo uncover the mysteries of the windmill and reveal the scope of Miss Weaver’s evil plans before its too late?
Why: Hollow Fields sounds like a slightly creepy, yet hilarious read. Plus the artwork looks interesting. :)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (45)

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!

This weeks teaser is taken from Happy Birthday to Me by Brian Rowe. You can also see my thoughts on Happy Birthday to Me -> HERE. Enjoy. :)

I stumbled toward it and rested my hands against the wall for support. I looked at my wretched new face again, one that was supposedly going to be transforming on a daily basis into one of a crotchety old man. page 109.


Monday, June 20, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me

Happy Birthday to Me (Birthday Trilogy, 1) by Brian Rowe, 2011. 316 pages. Source: From author for review.
Seventeen-year-old Cameron Martin has a huge problem: he’s aging a whole year of his life with each passing day!
High school is hard enough; imagine rapidly aging from seventeen to seventy in a matter of weeks, with no logical explanation, and with prom, graduation, and the state championship basketball game all on the horizon. That’s what happens to Cameron, a ...more Seventeen-year-old Cameron Martin has a huge problem: he’s aging a whole year of his life with each passing day!
High school is hard enough; imagine rapidly aging from seventeen to seventy in a matter of weeks, with no logical explanation, and with prom, graduation, and the state championship basketball game all on the horizon. That’s what happens to Cameron, a popular pretty boy who's never had to face a day looking anything but perfect.
All Cameron wants to do is go back to normal, but no one, not even the best doctors, can diagnose his condition. When he finds love with a mysterious young woman, however, he realizes his only hope for survival might be with the one person who started his condition in the first place...
First Sentence:
The nightmare was real.
Happy Birthday to Me was a good read, but it had some points which drove me crazy while reading, which I have covered further down in my review, but regardless of a few...character flaws I found this to be a quite enjoyable read.

One of the things I liked best about Happy Birthday to Me was the pacing. The writing was quick and snappy and the story just rolled on from pretty much page one. The fact that the story had a quick pace definitely made it hard to put down because with each finished chapter I was left wondering what would happen to Cameron.

As for the actual plot, how and why Cameron is rapidly aging, I found it to be intriguing and fascinating as to how it came to be.
I think the author, Mr. Rowe, did an excellent job with the unraveling of the mystery to Cameron's condition, even though I was able to guess pretty early on what happened to Cameron.

I think the creepiest thing about this book would have to have been Cameron's dad and his obsession with looking perfect. It completely gave me the creeps...especially with what he did to Cameron after he started rapidly aging. I want say anymore about it, so you'll just have to read it for yourself to see what I'm talking about.

Cameron, gosh, I could not stand him in the book for the longest time (don't worry, he's not so bad by time the book ends). He came across as a humongous, callous jerk through out the first bit of the book (when he was still normal). His lack of moral fiber and decency made him a hard character to tolerate, so I admit I was glad when he was no longer the "golden boy" and started to fall from grace. Luckily, the trials in which he found himself seem to been the swift kick he need towards being a better person.

The thing that sticks out most in my mind about Happy Birthday to Me (or what I liked best in this book), was that by the time I finished reading it Cameron had grown so much as a character. He went from one I could barely stand to being a fairly decent human being.

What I didn't like about Happy Birthday to Me, in short, was all the swearing and how (for the majority of the book) Cameron was always trying to pressure his girlfriend into sleeping with him. These two things very nearly made me want to put the book down and call it quits, but in the end I'm glad I didn't.

Final Verdict: All in all, Happy Birthday to Me is unique read filled with plenty of plot twists. I am definitely looking forward to seeing where the story goes and what will befall the characters in the next book.

Happy Birthday to Me earns 4 out of 5 pineapples.



Dear FTC: This book was received for an honest review. all thoughts expressed are those of the reviewie (me) and were NOT influenced in any way by outside forces.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

In My Mailbox (94) I'm Finally Going to Know How it Ends!!!

In My Mailbox was started by Kristi of The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie. Sadly the only books I order are those that are hard to find. The following books are from the library and bookstores.


Won:
Deception (Haunting Emma, 1) by Lee Nichols, 2010. Published by Bloomsbury USA Children's Books.
Originally I started out with an ARC of Deception, and after reading the first few pages realized that I really liked it. So after I won Lee Nochols indie twitter contest I decided upon a finished copy of Deception.
Thanks, Lee Nichols (cannot wait to finish it).
Library:
Vampire Knight 1 by Matsuri Hino, 2007. Published by Viz Media (Shojo Beat). 
I love this series and just felt like re-reading the first volume. You can see my thoughts on Vampire Knight 1 HERE.
Alice 19th 3: Chained by Yu Watase, 2004. Published by Viz Media (Shojo Beat).
Alice 19th, this series rocks! I'm already up to the third volume, but I'm going to have to re-read the first one, which requires getting it from the library again, before I review it.
Bought:
Inside the Illusion (Everworld, 9) by K.A. Applegate, 2000. Published by Scholastic.
 Inside the Illusion is so good! I'm reading it right now. Its also the first book in the Everworld series where Senna is the narriator, which is making it really interesting. :)
Entertain the End (Everworld, 12) by K.A. Applegate, 2001. Published by Scholastic.
Not only did I find book 9 I also found the very last book in the series, Entertain the End. I am very much excited that I'll finally now how this series ends, plus I now own the whole thing.

 Well, I do believe that that is it for me this week in books. I'm actually kind of glad it was a slow week, because I can finally make a dent in my library TBR and regular TBR. Hope ya'll have had a great week as well.

Around the blog this week-
Reviews:
Deceived by the Others (H&W Investigations, 3) by Jess Haines.
Peach Girl 1 by Miwa Ueda.

Memes:
Teaser Tuesday (Deceived by the Others).
Wish List Wednesday (Chime and Library Wars 1)

Guest Post:
Linda Hawley, author of Dreams Unleashed, stopped by to talk about writing a clean trilogy .

Readathon:

Saturday, June 18, 2011

SiS Read (End Credits)

And thus another readathon draws to a close. *I miss it all ready*
Hope everyone had as much fun as I did. :)

Here's what I read in the last two days:
Gateway to the Gods
Fairy Cube 1
Toradora 1
Brave the Betrayal
Alice 19th 3: Chained
Vampire Knight 1
Gaba Kawa
Amnesia Labyrinth 1

First of all, give us an end-of-read-a-thon status update.
Books read 8
pages read 1,547

Time read: 11 hours

What is your favorite book you read during the read-a-thon? That's a tough one...maybe Toradora volume 1. It was just so funny.

Did you participate in any mini-challenges? Which ones? I only had time to participate in two; they are: Name one book you think should be taught in school, grade of your choice (my answer), and favorite and least favorite movie adaptation of a book (my answer).
Which mini-challenge was your favorite? I liked the book to movie adaptation one best.

What has been your favorite thing about the read-a-thon? That would have to be all the reading I got done, even though I didn't get to read as long as would have liked to.

Are you satisfied with how much reading you got done? Did you do more than you expected? Less? Yes and no, I am happy with what I did accomplish, but feel that had I had the time I could have met my goal of 10 books.

What did you think of the updates? Too close together? Didn't like the time limit?
Since I didn't have much time to be on the computer the past two days I'm not sure if the updates were to close together, but I'm not really a fan of the time limit thingy. Because by the time I was able to get on the window for doing an entry had passed.

If you could change one thing about the read-a-thon, what would it be?
That's easy, have NOTHING interfere with my reading time.
Would you participate in another read-a-thon hosted by Squeaky Books? Why or why not? (Again, I won't cry if you say "no")
Yes! I love readathons and cannot wait for the next one.
Any last comments on the read-a-thon? Thanks for putting together such a lovely readathon, Enna Isilee. :)

I'm tired and am calling it a night, so ya'll will have to wait till after church tomorrow for my IMM post this week.

Sis Readathon (Final Update)

With the readathon drawing to a close I wanted to this last update and challenge.

Challenge:
If you could live in the world of one book, which would it be and why?


I'd like to live in the world from The Hero and Crown by Robin McKinley. I've just always had a soft spot for fantasy worlds and think it would be..well at least not boring.  
•Total Books Read: 7
•Total Pages Read: Will tally it in morning
•Books Read Since Last Update: 2
•Pages Read since last update: No idea
•Total time read: I'm thinking maybe 8.5 hours once its all said and done
•How I'm currently feeling: Itchy eyed (still being bothered by allergies).
I have read
Gateway to the Gods
Brave the Betrayal

Toradora 1
Fairy Cube 1
Vampire Knight 1
Alice 19th 3: Chained



I can't remember the name of the last one, but I'll add it in the morning. :)

SiS Readathon Update + Mini Challenge

I am so far behind in my goal. The ballgame last night was great, but took up around FOUR hours of my reading time, plus my allergies got so irritated that I ended up taking a benadryl and sleeping for like 12 hours. But I am ready to make up for lost time today.

Books read:
Gateway to the Gods
Fairy Cube 1
Toradora 1
Brave the Betrayal
Alice 19th 3: Chained

Now reading:
Inside the Illusion
Vampire Knight 1

Total Books Read: 3
Total Pages Read: 660
Books Read Since Last Update: 1 1/2
Pages Read since last update: 292
Total time read: 6 hours
How I'm currently feeling: Hoping to make up for lost time.

Total Books Read: 4
Total Pages Read: 868
Books Read Since Last Update: 1
Pages Read since last update: 108
Total time read: 7 hours
How I'm currently feeling: Hungry. :)

Total Books Read: 5
Total Pages Read: 1068
Books Read Since Last Update: 1
Pages Read since last update: 208
Total time read: 8 hours
How I'm currently feeling: Still hungry, waiting on dinner. 

Mini Challenge:
Name one book you think should be taught in school, grade of your choice.
The Count of Monte Cristo, why, because I like it that's why. I'm too foggy brained at the moment to come up with a better reason. I guess 11 or 12th grade for when it should be taught. :)

Friday, June 17, 2011

SiS Readathon Mini Challenge 1 + Update

favorite and least favorite movie adaptation of a book.
That's easy! The Harry Potter movies because they are simply amazing and the casting was brilliant. I could go on and on on the ways the the HP movies were amazing but I won't (can't wait to read the last three HP books).

I hate to say this, ut my least favorite movie adaptation of a book would have to be Eragon. It just fell considerably flat, which is sad since the (if done right) would have made for an excellent movie. The only character I thought they really cast well was Brom the rest were just kind of meh.
Finished:
Gateway to the Gods (176 pages)
Fairy Cube 1 (192 pages)
Currently reading;
Brave the Betrayal (half done)
Toradora 1 (starting)

Total Books Read: 2
Total Pages Read: 368
Books Read Since Last Update: 2
Pages Read since last update: 248
Total time read: 4 hours
How I'm currently feeling: Excited to embark on my next book choices.

Total Books Read: 2
Total Pages Read: 468
Books Read Since Last Update: 1/2 a book
Pages Read since last update: 100
Total time read:  6 hours
How I'm currently feeling: Busy! Getting ready to go to a ballgame. :)

Spring Into Summer Read-A-Thon (Start)

Morning, readathoners! I'm going to keep this short so that I can take full advantage of my reading time.

These are the books I plan on trying to get through over the next two days:
K.A. Applegate- Gateway to the Gods, Brave the Betrayal, Inside the Illusion, Understand the Unknown, Mystify the Magician, and Entertain the End. 6 books

Fairy Cube 1- Kaori Yuki, Hollow Fields 1-3 -Madeleine Rosca, Vampire Knight 1- Matsuri Hino, Alice 19th 3: Chained- Yuu Watase, Toradora 1- Yuyuko Takemiya & Zekkyo, Amazing Agent Luna 4-5- Nunzio DeFilippis & Christina Weir, Amnesia Labyrinth 1&2- Nagaru Tanigawa. books 11

17 books in all is my goal. I hope to update her and maybe two more posts today. :)

Starting book(s):
Gateway to the Gods and Fairy Cube 1

I'll update the little list thingy below as the day wears on.

Total Books Read: __________


Total Pages Read: __________

Books Read Since Last Update: __________

Pages Read since last update: __________

Total time read: __________

How I'm currently feeling: Sleepy!
Good luck to all. :)

Guest Post: Linda Hawley (Author of Dreams Unleashed)

Today I am pleased to introduce ya'll to Linda Hawley the author of Dreams Unleashed. I really loved the fabulous guest post she has written for my blog, and am eagerly awaiting the chance to read Dreams Unleashed (when it comes out in paperback). Hope ya'll will give her a warm welcome.
These characteristics have made their way into the pages that you read. My head is filled with stories, and The Prophecies trilogy is only the first that's on paper. Book 1 was published May 2011, Book 2 will be published Summer 2011, and the final book will be published December 2011.
  Writing The Prophecies trilogy is one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life. Many of the plots and subplots of the trilogy came from my own life experiences as a vivid dreamer, an Air Force veteran, a former employee of a certain government agency, a corporate citizen, a wife, a mother, and a news junkie.
   I could tell you all about my education, experiences as a freelance writer, and a bunch of other professional stuff, but do you (the reader) really care about that? My guess is that you care more that I write compelling novels that take you into a new world, if only for a short while. 
Topic: Writing a “clean read” trilogy.

Today in this guest blog I’d like to talk about what it’s like to write a “clean read” as an author, and why I did it.

First, we need to look at the genre I’m writing in. The Prophecies trilogy is classified as dystopian. TheFreeDictionary.com defines dystopia as: “An imaginary place or state in which the condition of life is extremely bad, as from deprivation, oppression, or terror.” This awareness of this genre has been increasing the past couple of years. Besides my novel, Dreams Unleashed, being dystopian, it’s also been classified (by book reviewers) as a paranormal thriller, and a suspense novel. All of these genres usually include a good deal of profanity, and sexual aggression.
I wanted to write a strong trilogy without any profanity, nor sexual aggression, nor premarital sex. Why? I believe that we (authors) have been using these things as a crutch, instead of relying upon strong characterizations, plots, and our writing skill itself. It takes a lot more thought and skill for an author to craft a scenario where two characters have a conflict, without using the profanity crutch. Some would argue that people do actually cuss when they’re angry. I would say that some do—but not all. The truth is that for half the reading population (including tweens, teens, and adults) profanity is offensive. I specifically didn’t include sexual aggression or premarital sex for the simple reason that I wanted anyone—of any age—to read my stories. Because of my dedication to this, I have had a good following from teens who are reading Dreams Unleashed.

Now…with all that I’ve just stated…I must say that the main character, Ann, does have a Taser (actually more than one), and she does use it in her defense!

You would think that with my swimming against the tide (when it comes to writing a “clean read”), that I would take some heat from book reviewers, right? Well…not so far. I’ve had only positive feedback from book reviewers, who have said that nothing was lost by making it a “clean read.”

I am a fan of the old Alfred Hitchcock suspense and psychological thriller movies. He would withhold information to persuade an audience. Hitchcock didn’t show it all, but instead let the viewer come to their own conclusions. I’ve taken his approach and applied it to my trilogy, to create suspense. I haven’t given it all away. I certainly have kept it clean, allowing my writing skill to stand on it’s own merit.

I hope that you—the reader—will appreciate how I have fleshed out the characters in Dreams Unleashed, and that you will be hooked enough to want to read the rest of the trilogy.

Thank you for reading my stories,
Linda Hawley

Thanks Linda!
I (for one) am beyond excited that Dreams Unleashed will be a clean read. I'm not a fan of swearing and sex in the books that I read and would be ABSOLUTELY thrilled to find more books that DON'T have either of those things. :)

Dreams Unleashed (The Prophecies, 1) by Linda Hawley, 2011).
It’s the future year of 2015, where technology governs life. No one on the globe is free from being tracked through government RFID. The worldwide underground organization, GOG, is the one group equipped to fight against citizens’ loss of privacy. Ann Torgeson is a technical writer working for a tidal energy company—living a seemingly normal life in the Pacific Northwest—when her vivid dreams turn real. Is her training as a paranormal CIA agent when she was nineteen years old now altering the doorway between her subconscious and reality? When Ann starts to dig into her past, her present begins to unravel, leading the reader through events that twist and turn everything upside down. Question everything you know is essential in this dystopian trilogy.
You can read a free sample of Dreams Unleashed at Amazon

Follow Friday (4)

Q. Genre Wars! What's your favorite genre and which book in that genre made it your favorite?
Without a doubt my favorite genre is fantasy; although there is more than one book that made it my favorite. My love of fantasy books started when I ran across two different authors through the library, Anne McCaffrey and Jane Yolen. The first books I read by them were Harper Hall trilogy (Anne McCaffrey) and The Pit Dragon trilogy (Jane Yolen), both series were just so well crafted and amazing that I quickly became hooked on the genre.

Cannot wait to see what everyone else had to say about this week's question. Happy FF to all. :)
Things of interest on ye olde blog this week:
This week I reviewed Deceived by the Others by Jess Haines and Peach Girl 1 by Miwa Ueda.
You can also see what I found tease worthy from DbtO on my Teaser Tuesday post. Lastly, you can see what books I'm wishing for this week on Wish List Wednesday.
Oops, I nearly forgot this piece of news- wait for it- later today ya'll can check out a lovely guest post by...you'll just have to check back at 10:00 am (est) to see who stopped by this week.

You can also vote for what I'll read/review in next months edition of Vintage Reads. There are two fabulous YA/MG fantasy choices to choose from. If you do vote, THANKS so much (it will definitely make my day since so far there's only be one vote.)
Vote HERE.  ^_^

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Peach Girl volume 1

Peach Girl 1 by Miwa Ueda, 1998. 184 pages. Published by Tokyopop. Source: Borrowed from library.
It's not easy being beautiful. The envy, the jealousy, the vicious rumors spread by your best friend. That's life for young Momo. While everyone thinks that Momo is a wild party girl, the reality is that she is shy and honest. Can Momo confess her love to her classmate Toji, or will her best friend Sae steal him away. It's a bittersweet drama of growing up and fitting...moreIt's not easy being beautiful. The envy, the jealousy, the vicious rumors spread by your best friend. That's life for young Momo. While everyone thinks that Momo is a wild party girl, the reality is that she is shy and honest. Can Momo confess her love to her classmate Toji, or will her best friend Sae steal him away. It's a bittersweet drama of growing up and fitting in that will charm girls everywhere.
Before my review starts, I just wanted to share with ya'll a quote that popped into my head while I was reading Peach Girl volume 1. Enjoy.
Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.

Sun-tzu Chinese general & military strategist (~400 BC)
Story:
When I first picked up Peach Girl I didn't know what to think, mainly because the cover was just kind of...icky 90s tastic, but the interior art wasn't nearly as bad (thank goodness).

One of the most interesting things (to me) in Peach Girl was the twisted frenemy-ish relationship between Momo (the MC) and Sae (her evil "bestie"). I thought it made for an interesting twist because usually the MCs "enemy" is not within the same social circle as the hero/heroine.

While the whole frenemy aspect was interesting, what I really enjoyed was how Peach Girl was more about Momo's struggle for people to realize that even though she may look like a party girl, she's not; along with how detrimental "poisonous friendship" can be.
Peach Girl was a nice mix between serious and laugh out loud funny.
The funny thing about Peach Girl was the lengths in which Momo went in her effort to become paler (she apparently tans really well). I just couldn't help but laugh, especially since she was doing it all because she over heard the boy she likes saying he doesn't like super tanned girls. Needless to say I found it funny.
Now, with that in mind you would think that there wouldn't really be any serious situations in Peach Girl, but there are because Momo has to deal with the petty barbs that her classmates make at her expense and with a best friend who main goal is to take everything/everyone she has her eye on.

Character(s):
Momo is definitely a miss understood character, and for that I liked her. She ended up being one of those characters for me that I couldn't help but like, especially since she had so much negativity directed at her and yet she continually tried to rise above.

If evil had a name it would be Sae from Peach Girl. She was down right rotten and horrible; frankly, she put most female antagonists to shame with her vindictiveness and the lows in which she'd sunk just to make poor Momo miserable.

Artwork:
I actually almost didn't pick up Peach Girl because I wasn't to hot on the cover art, but I decided to give it a go anyways.
The artwork was so so, not to spectacular, but then again not horrible. Although, once I finally got into the actual story it was easy to over look the slightly dated look of the characters hair and wardrobe and just enjoy an excellent read.

Final Verdict: Peach Girl knocked my socks (I finally found an excuse to say that *hehehe) off with how good it was.
I enjoyed Peach Girl 1 so much that I have already checked out the next two volumes. :)  

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wish List Wednesday (51)

Chime by Frannie Billingsly, 2011. Published by Dial.
Before Briony's stepmother died, she made sure Briony blamed herself for all the family's hardships. Now Briony has worn her guilt for so long it's become a second skin. She often escapes to the swamp, where she tells stories to the Old Ones, the spirits who haunt the marshes. But only witches can see the Old Ones, and in her village, witches are sentenced to death. Briony lives in fear her secret will be found out, even as she believes she deserves the worst kind of punishment.



Why: I have seen some great reviews on Chime, which has totally got me wanting to read. Other than that, what really drew me to Chime is the first sentence (I read it at B&N) and the cover; they both piqued my interest.

Library Wars: Love & War, volume 1. by Kiiro Yumi, 2008. Published by Viz Media.
In the near future, the federal government creates a committee to rid society of books it deems unsuitable. The libraries vow to protect their collections, and with the help of local governments, form a military group to defend themselves—-the Library Forces! Iku Kasahara has dreamed of joining the Library Defense Force ever since one of its soldiers stepped in to protect her favorite book from being confiscated in a bookstore when she was younger. But now that she’s finally a recruit, she’s finding her dream job to be a bit of a nightmare. Especially since her hard-hearted drill instructor seems to have it out for her!
Why: The title alone was enough to catch my eye, then once I read the synopsis I knew that it would make my list of books I want.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Teaser Tuesday *ARC Edition* (44)

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!

Time for another Teaser Tuesday. This weeks teaser is from my ARC of Deceived by the Others (ARCs of subject to changes prior to release).
Hope ya'll will enjoy the teaser! You can also check out my thoughts on Deceived by the Others -> HERE.
The angry were stopped, staring back at me, his eyes taking on a subtle greenish luminescence. When he spoke, I took note of the hint of upper and lower fangs peeking between his lips. page 113.

Monday, June 13, 2011

ARC Review: Deceived by the Others

Deceived by the Others (H&W Investigations, 3) by Jess Haines, July 1, 2011. 352 pages. Published by Zebra. Source: from author for review.
Shiarra's relationship with sexy werewolf Chaz is somewhat unconventional. Still, after a few bumps, Shia is ready to get serious. That means meeting family - or in this case, bringing Chaz's entire werewolf pack along for a rollicking full-moon weekend in the Catskills. Soon after they arrive, threatening notes appear, warning Chaz to go home. Then, their cabin is ransacked. Shia starts digging to find out whether it's the work of teenaged werewolves or something more sinister. As rumours about her vampire connections arouse the pack's hostility, Shia has to contend with other, potentially fatal dangers.
Even though I've only been able to read the second and (now) third book in Jesss Haines' H&W Investigations, I have found them to be quite enjoyable and quick reads.

Deceived by the Others picks up just just weeks after the end of Taken by the Others,  and throws the reader straight back into Shia's dangered filled life, which was cool that there wasn't this giant lapse of time between books.
While I was really excited about getting to read DbtO I was sceptical, why, because the main premise of the book was Chaz and his pack of weres. Admitally, I'm not the biggest fan when it comes to werewolves, I don't know why but I generally don't like werewolf characters.
With that in mind, I liked their role in DbtO because I felt that their presence did wonders to ratchet up the aire of danger and tension.

What really drew me into the DbtO was the writing and pacing (even though it started out a bit slow). I feel that this book is one of those that while it may start out slow, is one that by the time you get to the last page will leave you wishing it hadn't flown by so quick. Ms. Haines' writing is just as sharp and hard hitting as her MCs, Shia's, tongue when she uses barbs to hide her fear.
While this is an amazing read, I warn you that the ending is a MAJOR cliff-hanger that will ahve you wanting the next volume aat hand as soon as you finish.

There are few characters that I am able to say that I absolutely abhor, but after finishing (actually before I even finished it) DbtO Chaz quickly climbed his way near the top of the list. Gosh, I just wanted to kick him somthing fierce (his personality is the perfect example of why I don't like weres).

This might sound weird, but my favorite scene in the Deceived by the Others was when Shia was laying into Chaz and totally chewing him out. The reason that's my favorite scene was because I was glad that she stood up for herself and wasn't going to let him get away with what he did. I totally have your attention now, don't I? Too bad, so sad that's all your going to hear about this from me. *laughs evilly*

Content wise (or least favorite thing about Deceived by the Others):I only had to skip maybe a page and a half in DBtO do to some...well scandalous behavior. There was also a lot of swearing, but I don't think nearly as much as in Taken by the Others.

Final Verdict: Deceived by the Others was a gripping page-turner (I probably looked very intent as I read it...in public).

Deceived by the Others earns 4 out of 5 pineapples.

H&W Investigations:
Hunted by the Others
Taken by the Others
Deceived by the Others (July 1, 2011)



Dear FTC: This ARC was received (from the author) for an honest review. All thoughts are those of the reviewer (me) and in no way influenced by outside forces.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

In My Mailbox (93)

In My Mailbox was started by Kristi of The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie. Sadly the only books I order are those that are hard to find. The following books are from the library and bookstores.
Won:
Tempest Rising ARC by Tracy Deebs, 2011. Published by Walker Books for Young Readers.
I have loved the last couple of mermaid books I've read, so I'm really looking forward to reading Tempest Rising when I get a chance.

A big thanks to Bailey of IB Book Blogging for Tempest Rising.

Review:
Amazing Agent Luna Omnibus 2 (volumes 4&5) by Nunzio DeFilippis and Christina Weir, 2009. Published by Seven Seas. 
I love this series and cannot wait to read volumes 4&5. You can see my thoughts on the first Amazing Agent Luna Omnibus HERE.
 
Toradora 1 story by Yuyuko Takemiy; art by Zekkyo, 2011 . Published by Seven Seas.
Toradora sounds like it's going to be hilarious. I'll let you know what I think about in the next couple of weeks.
 
Amnesia Labyrinth 1 story by Nagaru Tanigawa; art by Natsumi, 2011. Published by Seven Seas.
I've read the first few pages of Amnesia Labyrinth and so far like what I've read. It also sounds like its going to have a pretty complex story line, so I'm real excited about that.
 
Amnesia Labyrinth 2  story by Nagaru Tanigawa; art by Natsumi Kohane, 2011. Published by Seven Seas.

I'd like to thank Leah, of Tor/Seven Seas, for the awesome review copies. I'm looking forward to reading each of them.

Library:
Alice 19th: Inner Heart 2 by Yu Watase, 2002. Published by Viz.
Oh my gosh, the first volume was amazing, so I immediately ordered the second one as well.
 
Fairy Cube 1 by Kaori Yuki, 2007. Published by Viz Media.
I actually just randomly ordered Fairy Cube from the library, and have absolutely no idea what to think about it yet. Will let you know when I read it.  
 
Angelic Layer 3 by Clamp, 2001. Published by Tokyopop.
Angelic Layer is a pretty cute read so I decided I might as well continue on since my library had the next volume. 

I do believe that that is it for me this week in books. I hope ya'll will stick around over the next few weeks to see my thoughts on what I got. Hope ya'll ahve had a great week in books as well. :)

Currently I am re-reading the entire Harry Potter series in preparation for the upcoming premier of the last movie. *tears of sadness* 

In other news:
You can see what has been reviewed this week-> I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter, Redheart by Jackie Gamber, and Black Butler I by Yana Toboso. 
You can also cast your vote for what I'll read in July for Vintage Reads. This month two fantasy books are battling it out, see options HERE

Friday, June 10, 2011

Follow Friday + Winner of Vampires Rule




Q. The magic book fairy pops out of your cereal box and says "you and your favorite character (from a book of course) can switch places!" Who are you going to switch with?

That's an easy one, I would switch places with Aerin from The Hero and the Crown in a heartbeat. I just love the world that Robin McKinley created, plus who couldn't use a dash of danger and adventure.
I know, I said I'd announce this earlier...well I forgot. Don't worry I have a most excellent excuse on hand, I was re-reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

And the lucky winner is............

Michelle @ The True Book Addict

Congrats, Michelle! I'll be emailing you later tonight or early tomorrow (be sure to check your spam box).

In other news around the blog. This week I posted 3 reviews, which is more then I usually do. I absolutely loved all three books that I reviewed on the blog this week, so please feel free to check out my thoughts on them.
Also voting for July's Vintage Reads book is now open, you can cast your vote HERE (the theme is fantasy for July). I hope ya'll will stop by and vote...I actually managed to get it early this time and not a single person has voted yet. *gives sad face*

They were:
I'd Tell You I Love You, But Than I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter (this was May's Vintage Reads pick).
Redheart by Jackie Gamber
Black Butler I by Yana Toboso

Winner will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Black Butler 1

Black Butler 1 by Yana Toboso, 2007. 192 pages. Published by Yen Press. Source: Borrowed from library.
When a terrible fire claims his parents, Ciel Phantomhive must step up as the head of his father's company and as Earl Phantomhive. It would be a lot for the young boy to handle were it not for his faithful butler, Sebastian. Ever at Ciel's side, it seems there's little Sebastian can't do, whether it's saving a dinner party gone awry or probing the dark secrets of London's underbelly. He's almost too good to be true...or at least, too good to be human...
Story:
The reason I picked up Black Butler was because I had seen the first episode and wanted to do a comparison between the two, and let me just say there isn't much different between them. The only real difference is that ones in color with sound and the other isn't.

Who'd ever think that having a butler as the main character would make for such a great read...not I. But Black Butler was just amazing and Sebastian and Ciel were a brilliant pairing as master and servant. as I got closer to the end of the volume their relationship began to make sense because you learn the why/how of their...deal.

WhatI found most surprising about Black Butler was how much action and suspense there was. There were a few times where I would read faster just because it was like, gah, what's going to happen to him is he going to be okay.

The thing I'm looking forward to most about the next volume is why Ciel is refered to as the Queen's watchdog.
Characters:
Sebastian, gosh, there are NOT enough words to efficiently describe him, but I'll try. Sebastian is like one one of- if not- the most interesting characters I have read about. He made the job of being a butler seem so epic. I loved how mysterious Sebastian came across and how he would get kind of snarky with Ciel.

Ciel made for a really interesting character even though he was only...not very old. Ciel is a very odd character, almost more so than Sebastian. Personality wise he's a very remote and distant character, who acts a lot older then he actually is. I'm really looking forward to learning more about his past in the next volume...if I can get my hands on it.

Not much to say about the rest of the cast of characters because they were just there as comedic relief to the dry humor of Ciel and Sebastian.
Artwork:
Black Butler is one of the few times were the cover art (see above) and the art inside the actual book are in line with each other. What you see on the cover is pretty much what you'll get in the manga, which means 192 gorgeous pages to draw you even further into the story.
The art work is definitely a win in Black Butler for its sharp clean details.

Final Verdict: Black Butler is a creepingly good read. I ♥ it!

Black Butler earns 5 out of 5 pineapples.

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