Hello and Welcome!

Red House Books is going through a bit of a update!

I've always had a pretty clear vision of what I wanted this space to be but I've been detoured from my path by...lots and lost of other people's opinions and ways of doing things...

I'm committed to this little chunk of the interweb but I've also branched out into other places so! Now it's time to think of Red House Books as more of a hub of all things me! And Me is a hell of a lot of book love!

Stay tuned!


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Book Review: Seeking Spirits by Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson

Title: Seeking Spirits: The Lost Cases of The Atlantic Paranormal Society
Author: Jason Hawes, Grant Wilson and Michael Jan Friedman
Publication Date: 2009
Genre: Non Fiction Paranormal
Pages: 273
Series: 2nd book by the authors
Publisher's website: Pocket Books
Book Acquisition: bought new paperback

For the first time ever, Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson, founders of The Atlantic Paranormal Society (T.A.P.S.), share their most memorable and spine-tingling early cases -- none of which has ever appeared on television. Beginning with the previously untold experiences that sparked their passion for ghost hunting, Jason and Grant's bone-chilling investigations uncover:

• A Connecticut woman who seems to exist in two places at once
• A little girl whose invisible playmate retaliates
against her father's punishments
• A man overcome by an evil entity as Jason and Grant survey his home
• A distraught woman who dreams of paranormal events
before she experiences them...and much more!

Jason and Grant didn't always have the fancy scientific equipment and experienced team that fans now watch on their smash-hit television show. As they share their hair-raising first experiences, they offer essential tips for budding paranormal investigators -- including how to use an electromagnetic field (EMF) meter and an infrared camera, determine if a supernatural phenomenon is good or evil, and deal with spirits. Whether you're a skeptic or a believer, these fascinating and frightening true stories will keep you up at night!
(from PaperBackSwap)

If you read my review of Jason and Grant's first book - Ghost Hunting - then you know that I am a huge fan of the show! I was not disappointed with this, their second book. This book was awesome! I say that as a fan but also as someone who enjoys a good ghost story.

Jason and Grant are very passionate about what they do. They are also very compassionate. Everything they do they do because their ultimate goal is to help people. People like them who have had paranormal experiences that they can't explain.

I think I have seen just about every episode of their show so I really liked that this book contained cases that were never on TV. Most are older cases, before Jason and Grant teamed up with the Syfy Channel.

In particularly liked the Introduction by Grant in which he shares with us a personal experience he had in his young. It's a pretty cool story and I'm thankful to him for sharing it with us.

Overall, this book was a really good read for me. I would recommend it to anyone who is a fan of ghosting hunting or the paranormal in general.

5/5 stars

Other Books by the Authors:
Ghost Hunting by Jason, Grant and Michael -- MY REVIEW
The Ultimates: Tomorrow Men by Michael Jan Friedman
Wolf Man: Hunter's Moon by Michael Jan Freidman

Linkage Love:
Ghost Hunters on the Syfy Channel
The Atlantic Paranormal Society (T.A.P.S.)
Michael Jan Friedman's site

New Years Resolutions!!!

Kristen's post over at Bookworming in the 21st Century got me thinking about New Years resolutions. How do you guys feel about them? Every year I think I have set a few for myself but never seriously thought following through on them. This year I hope will be different! I'm trying to be realistic about my goals.

SO! With that said, in the new year I hope to:

1. Spend more time blogging - this includes getting my reviews posted within days of finishing the book (instead of weeks). Also, spend more time commenting. I'm having a hard time organizing my Google Reader with all my blog subscriptions so I might look into another type of reader soon. What do you guys use?

2. Get my household more organized - plain and simple

3. Eat better, exersise more - we got a Wii Fit this year - hoping the fun factor will help!

4. Ebay! I sold a ton of stuff last year and need to clean out more of my house.

5. Manage my finances better - I've gotten into the habit of waiting way too long to pay bills!

6. Last but not least - READ MORE!

I know there are more things I really want to get done this year but I think this is a good start!

What do you guys think?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Monthly Reads - November 2009

So...um....November has been gone for a while. Did you see it? Ooops! Too slow...
Seriously - where did this fall go?!?!

Obviously this post is waaaaaaayyyyy late but my OCD has kicked in and I couldn't possibly post a December Monthly Reads without having November.

Sweet sweet November, oh how I miss thee...


Here's the dirt:
  • Return to Labyrinth II by Jake T. Forbes
  • Return to Labyrinth III by Jake T. Forbes
  • Never Cry Werewolf by Heather Davis
  • The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong
  • The 39 Clues Book Five: The Black Circle by Patrick Carman
  • The 39 Clues Book Six: In Too Deep
So! Not too many this month! One of these days I'll actual post reviews in the month I read the book!! hahahahahahahaha

Holiday Wishes + Contest Reminder

Hey everyone!
For those of you that celebrated Christmas I hope you had a wonderful holiday!
I was away visiting family which is always an adventure. On the plus side, I got a ton of books read :)
Just got home late last night so we are settling in, clearing the snow, trying to find places for all the presents my little one got.

I have off the rest of the week (you can hate me a little - it's ok) so I'm hoping I'll have lots of time for some really great posts I have planned. I know, I know, I have been saying that for a while.
One thing I have learned about my blog is that it is patient. Always here, always waiting, never complaining. I'm hoping you, my wonderful followers are the same!

Until those promised posts are up here's a reminder:


Up for grabs are two copies of The Naughty List by the wonderful Suzanne Young.
I'll be announcing the winners this weekend.

For all of you planing on celebrating the New Year - be happy, be careful and be safe!

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Secret Santa + Prize Winnings + Happy Holidays!

I'm going to be out of town for the holidays and wanted to send out some thanks before I get going. First up is my second Secret Santa!

A great big THANK YOU goes out to Casse from CatholicKittie
She sent me a book from my wishlist - Life As We Knew It plus some yummy chocolate and the cutest card!

I also got an amazing prize pack from Briana from The Book Pixie

I won: an ARC of Give Up the Ghost, Vampire Academy, UK copy of Hush, Hush, Werewolves by Jon Izzard and Vampires by Joules Taylor
PLUS Briana included some swag, candy and Christmas ornaments.
How nice is that!?

Sorry to say, this will (probably) be my last post until after Christmas. I'll be visiting family out of state and I don't know how much time I'll have! I'm going to desperately try to check in on the blogs I follow and hopefully comment here and there.

Expect some big things from me come the New Year. I have some awesome things planned, including a multi-book, multi-winner contest.

I hope everyone out there has a safe and happy holiday!
See you all soon!!!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

In My Mailbox - December 19, 2009

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren :)

This IMM is a little more then a week's worth as I didn't have a chance to post last weekend. I got a ton of great books though that I'm really excited about!

For Review:
ARC of The Returners by Gemma Malley
Release Date: March 2010
(from Amazon)
London teenager Will Hodge is miserable. His mother is dead, his father’s political leanings have grown radical, and his friends barely talk to him. To top it off, he’s having nightmares about things like concentration camps. Then Will notices he's being followed by a group of people who claim to know him from another time in history. It turns out they are Returners, reincarnated people who carry with them the memory of atrocities they have witnessed in the past. Will realizes that he, too, is a Returner. But something about his memories is different, and with dawning horror, Will suspects that he wasn’t just a witness to the events, he was instrumental in making them happen. Set in the near future, with the world on the verge of a new wave of ethnic cleansing, Will must choose to confront the cruelty he's known in his past lives, or be doomed to repeat it . . . again.

For Review:
ARC of Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore
Release Date: December 2009
(from Amazon)
Nimira is a foreign music-hall girl forced to dance for mere pennies. When wealthy sorcerer Hollin Parry hires her to sing with a piano-playing automaton, Nimira believes it is the start of a new and better life. In Parry's world, however, buried secrets are beginning to stir. Unsettling below-stairs rumors swirl about ghosts, a madwoman roaming the halls, and Parry's involvement with a league of sorcerers who torture fairies for sport. Then Nimira discovers the spirit of a fairy gentleman named Erris is trapped inside the clockwork automaton, waiting for someone to break his curse. The two fall into a love that seems hopeless, and breaking the curse becomes a race against time, as not just their love, but the fate of the entire magical world may be in peril.

Bought New:
Nightlight: A Parody by The Harvard Lampoon
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod Eight Grade Bites and Ninth Grade Slays by Heather Brewer

Bought Used:
Skinny by Ibi Kaslik
Peeps by Scott Westerfield
The Tale of Emily Windsnap by Liz Kessler
Emily Windsnap and the Monster from the Deep by Liz Kessler

From PaperBackSwap:
I was a Teenage Dominatrix by Shawna Kenney

Do you guys like the Amazon widget? Much faster then loading in individual pics.

So, what's in your mailbox?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

News, Thanks and Musings

So, I haven't done one of these posts in a while (Ok - so I have only actually done 1 :)
BUT! It's time for some more:

*My current contest ends December 31st - enter to win 2 copies of The Naughty List by Suzanne Young here! One lucky winner will also win some sweet swag provided by Suzanne herself - it arrived last week:

*If you have never heard of Kristen and her awesome blog Bookworming in the 21st Century you have got to check it out! Kristen is a wonderful person and this month, in honor of her birthday she is holding a Birthday Bash Mega Contest- with 25 winners! I absolutely love Kristen's blog and I know you will too :) I'm giving away a copy of Tithe by Holly Black for Day 12- check it out!

*A big thanks to Suzanne for sending the above mentioned swag! I can't wait for you guys to read her book :)

*This is my first holiday season blogging and I just couldn't resist participating in in these two great Secret Santas. I loved Secret Santa when I was a kid!

I already received my package from this one :) I incorrectly stated where they came from in an IMM post a few weeks ago -sorry! My Book Bloggers Holiday Swap gifts came from Jennifer at Crazy For Books. What did she send me? Two awesome books from my wishlist!

Beastly and Prom Nights from Hell
Thank you so much Jennifer!

Haven't received my Secret Santa one yet but there is still time - hey - not like I would complain if it came after the holidays :)

*December has been a pretty hectic month for me and my blog as suffered :(
I'm sorry I haven't been posting as much as I would like to. I have a ton of great reviews in the works! I also haven't been keeping up on my memes as much as I would like. Booo!!!
So, how do you guys make time to blog? Do you schedule it into your daily routine? Whenever you have time? Only on certain days? I would love to know!

*So, like I have said, I have a bunch of stuff planned for my blog. I'm thinking once the holidays are done with I'll have (a little) more time :)
One thing I'm hoping to get up and running soon are series review postings. I love book series and I want to highlight them - not sure what I'll call these posts yet so stay tuned!

*Last but not least! I'm planning on another contest for the new year - books yet to be determined. All I know for sure is that there will be more then one book and more then one winner :)
Want to earn a early extra point? Comment on this post and help me with the following :
Blog Buttons...um...how do you make them?

Kudos to all of you who read this entire post - I'm usually not this wordy :)
Ok - it's time to make more Christmas cookies!

Happy Reading to everyone!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Book Review: Ghost Hunting by Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson

Title: Ghost Hunting: True Stories of Unexplained Phenomena from The Atlantic Paranormal Society
Author: Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson with Michael Jan Friedman
Publication Date: 2007
Genre: Non-Fiction Paranormal
Pages: 273
Series: 1st book
Publisher's website: Pocket Books
Book Acquisition: used paperback copy from BookMooch

The Atlantic Paranormal Society, also known as T.A.P.S. is the brainchild of two plumbers by day, paranormal investigators by night: Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson. Their hair-raising investigations, fueled by their unique abilities and a healthy dose of scientific method, have made them the subject of a hit TV show: the SCI FI Channel's Ghost Hunters.
Now their experiences are in print for the first time. as Jason and Grant recount for us, with the help of veteran author Michael Jan Friedman, the stories of some of their most memorable investigations. The men and women of T.A.P.S. pursue ghosts and other supernatural phenomena with the most sophisticated scientific equipment available - from thermal-imaging cameras to electromagnetic-field recorders to digital thermometers - and the results may surprise you. Featuring both cases depicted on Ghost Hunters and earlier T.A.P.S. adventures never told before now, this funny, fascinating, frightening collection will challenge everything you thought you knew about the spirit world.
(PB back cover)

First off, need to say it, -- I love the show Ghost Hunters on Syfy! If you have never seen it, you're missing out.

In this, their first book, Jason and Grant share with us some history of their organization as well as some of their more well known cases that have appeared on the show. Whether you believe in ghosts and the paranormal or not, one thing that stands out from this book is the overwhelming compassion that Grant and Jason bring with them to their investigations. They very much stress the fact that the driving force behind the reasons they do what they do is to help people. They aren't looking for ghosts - they are looking for people in need.

This book was great. From watching the show I was familiar with a lot of the cases they talked about but what I really loved was the inside look I got about the people involved with T.A.P.S.
Jason and Grant have really taken ghost hunting to a new level. They approach it from a scientific stance. They rely on hard evidence - not feelings like a lot of others in their line of work do.

If you have any interest in ghosts or the paranormal I think you would really enjoy this book - even if you have never seen the show.

5 stars!

Other books by Jason and Grant:
* Seeking Spirits: The Lost Cases of The Atlantic Paranormal Society

Other books by Michael Jan Friedman:
*The Ultimates: Tomorrow Men
*Wolf Man: Hunter's Moon

Other websites of interest:
*Syfy channel Ghost Hunters
*The Atlantic Paranormal Society
*Michael Jan Friedman's site

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Book Review: Blue is for Nightmares by Laurie faria Stolarz

Title: Blue is for Nightmares
Author: Laurie faria Stolarz
Publication Date: November 2003
Genre: Teen Fiction
Age: not specified
Pages: 283
Series: 1st in a series
Publisher's website: Llewellyn Worldwide
Author's website: www.lauriestolarz.com
Book Acquisition: received a paperback copy via BookMooch

"I know Your Secret..."
Stacey's junior year at boarding school isn't easy. She's not the most popular girl at school, or the smartest, or the prettiest. She's got a crush on her best friend's boyfriend, and an even darker secret that threatens to ruin her friendships for good.
And now she's having nightmares again. Not just any nightmares - these dreams are too real to ignore, like she did three years ago. The last time she ignored them, a little girl died. This time they're about Drea, her best friend who's become the target of one seriously psycho stalker.
It started with weird e-mails and freaky phone calls. Now someone's leaving Drea white lilies - the same death lilies that have been showing up in Stacey's dreams. Everybody thinks it's just a twisted game...until another girl at school is brutally murdered.
There are no witnesses. Worst of all, no one has a perfect alibi. With everyone as a potential suspect, Stacey turns to the one secret weapon she can trust - the folk magic taught to her by her grandmother. Will Stacey's magic be strong enough to expose the true killer, or will the killer make her darkest nightmares come true?
(from back cover of pb)

This book was pretty cool. Stacey is a pretty likable character. The folk magic she practices seemed very true to life.
A few things about this book I didn't really like though. One was Stacey's friends - they all seemed very shallow, very fake, and not very friendly. He best friend Drea treats her with disrespect and has absolutely no compassion for what she is going through. I'm not sure her character was meant to come off this way though.
The other thing I didn't like so much was the predictability of the book. I had pretty much figured out the bad guy from an early start. It was however, exciting to see Stacey put the pieces together in the end.
I have the next 3 books in the series and I am looking forward to reading them. Stacey is a character pretty unlike any character I have come across in a while and I'm interested in seeing where she goes and what she discovers about herslef and her abilities.

Series Info:
Blue is for Nightmares (2003)
White is for Magic (2004)
Silver is for Secrets (2005)
Red is for Remembrance (2005)
Black is for Beginnings (2009)

Other books by the author:
The Touch Series: Deadly Little Secret (2008) and Deadly Little Lies (2009)
Project 17 (2009) -- I read this one and loved it! Check out my review here.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

In My Mailbox - December 6, 2009

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren :)

So - December is busy to say the least! In past years I don't think I managed to get one book read! I'm trying to fix that this year. It helps that I keep getting such awesome books!

It's pretty late and I should have been in bed a few hours ago so I'm doing a quick list this time around :)

WON - from Tina at Fantastic Book Review
A Signed Copy of Devil's Kiss by Sarwat Chadda

WON - from Kate at The Neverending Shelf
The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent
Ghost Hunting by Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson
Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

What's in your mailbox?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Contest Time! +Supper Special Birthday Wishes!


To who you ask?
To the wonderful and talented Suzanne Young!
Woo hoo! Let's all sing!
um..well, maybe you guys could sing - not sure you would want to hear me do it!

Her debut novel, The Naughty List, is due out in February.
I was lucky enough to receive an ARC and I finished it this week. I loved it!
I'm holding off on a review as I'm saving it for the 2010 Debut Author Challenge. It's going to be my first review of the new year so stay tuned!

To celebrate this joyous occasion I am holding a contest!
There will be two winners:

Winner 1 will get my ARC of The Naughty List AND some super cool swag from Suzanne!

Winner 2 will get a brand new copy of the book once it's released!

Contest is open to US residents 13 and older.
Ends on December 31st 11:59EST

I'm trying something new for this contest by using a form for entry. Only your name and email address are required but there are ways to gain extra points. Please ask if you have any questions.


ok - the form looks a little weird but it should still work! You can't see but the second line ends with "you might have to scroll down to see the button"

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

2010 Debut Author Challenge!

This wonderful Challenge is being hosted by The Story Siren
Join us!

The objective of this challenge is to read a set number of Young Adult (YA) and Middle Grade (MG) books from debut authors published in 2010.
There are some rules and regulations that you can read all about in Kristi's information post (linked to above).

I'll update this post as I add, subtract, read and review my challenge books. Not sure how many I should start (or end!) with so to I'm listing as many books as I have info on and that appeal to me. This post will grow and flow over the next year and there will be a link to it on my sidebar - check back for updates as the year goes on!

Sites to help in the search of books:
2010 Book Odyssey / The Tenners 
Debut Author Info Post
Class of 2K10

What books to I want to read? Um...all of them I think :) 

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Book Review: The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong

Title: The Summoning
Author: Kelly Armstrong
Publication Date: July 2008
Genre: Young Adult Urban Fantasy
Age: 12+
Pages: 390 pb
Series: 1st in the Darkest Powers Series
Publisher's website: HarperCollins
Author's website: www.kelleyarmstrong.com
Book Acquisition: bought new paperback

She sees dead people - and they see her.
Chloe Saunders used to have a pretty normal life. But that changed on the day she met her first ghost. Locked up in Lyle House, a group home for troubled teens, she finds out that there's more to the home's teen residents than meets the eye. Will Chloe be able to uncover the dangerous secrets of Lyle House...or will its skeletons come back to haunt her?
This thrilling first volume in the supernaturally charged Darkest Powers series by international bestselling author Kelley Armstrong will keep readers awake well into the darkest time of night.
(back cover of paperback)

This one was sitting on my shelf a while and I only just got a chance to read it. I wish I hadn't waited so long because I really enjoyed it! Why? For a couple of reasons, which I will now share with you :)
I love ghost stories but if one is not careful, they can come out way too cheesy. No worries though because Chloe's ghosts contain zero cheese. Some creepy crawlies and a few heebie geebies but that's just the way I like them.
*The reality factor:
Chloe feels like a very real person. She makes mistakes, she gets angry and scared. Her reactions to what she experiences are very realistic in my opinion and this adds a layer of detail to the story that I found very enjoyable.
*First person narrative:
I think stories told in the first person can get a bit of a bad rap. I know people who don't like them because you are only getting one characters view point through out the story. While this is usually true, I don't think it takes away from the overall story, if done well. In the case of The Summoning, it is done well. As a reader, we are only privileged to Chloe's knowledge. There are so many unknowns in her world and discovering their secrets as she does really moved the story along for me. I couldn't wait to turn each page and find another piece of the mystery (and maybe some of the other mystery - oh, and then a piece of the puzzle I didn't even know was missing!)

Overall, I very much enjoyed this book. I'm glad it's a series and I really cannot wait to find out what happens to Chloe. The only point I might have a small problem with is the twist at the end...not sure how I feel about that but I'm reserving judgement until I read the others in the series.

Darkest Powers Series (which is listed as a trilogy on the author's website)
1. The Summoning - July 2008
2. The Awakening - May 2009
3. The Reckoning - April 2010

Some other books by the author:
*Otherworld Series - Paranormal Suspense Adult series that take place in the same world as the Dark Powers series
*Angelic (2009)

Some other websites to check out:
*Publisher Author Page
*Fantastic Fiction Author Page (great list of all Kelley's books)

Monday, November 30, 2009

In My Mailbox - November 30, 2009

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren :)

So! I was away most of last week visiting the family for the holiday but I had some wonderful surprises waiting for me when I got home!
I'm also happy to say that I didn't buy one book last week. Wonder how good I'll be this week ;)

For review from the publisher
Prom Night From Hell by Meg Cabot, Kim Harrison, Michele Jaffe, Stephenie Meyer and Lauren Myracle

In this exciting collection, bestselling authors Meg Cabot (How to Be Popular), Kim Harrison (A Fistful of Charms), Michele Jaffe (Bad Kitty), Stephenie Meyer (Twilight), and Lauren Myracle (ttyl) take bad prom nights to a whole new level - a paranormally bad level. Wardrobe malfunctions and two left feet don't hold a candle to discovering your date is the Grim Reaper - and he isn't here to tell you how hot you look.
From angels fighting demons to a creepy take on getting what you wish for, these five stories will entertain better than any DJ in a bad tux. No corsage or limo rental necessary. Just good, scary fun.

For review from the publisher
Beastly by Alex Flinn

I am a beast. A beast. Not quite wolf or bear, gorilla or dog but a horrible new creature who walks upright — a creature with fangs and claws and hair springing from every pore. I am a monster. You think I'm talking fairy tales? No way. The place is New York City. The time is now. It's no deformity, no disease. And I'll stay this way forever — ruined — unless I can break the spell.
Yes, the spell, the one the witch in my English class cast on me. Why did she turn me into a beast who hides by day and prowls by night? I'll tell you. I'll tell you how I used to be Kyle Kingsbury, the guy you wished you were, with money, perfect looks, and the perfect life. And then, I'll tell you how I became perfectly... beastly.

Signed copy from the Author
Cold Streak by Lewis Aleman

Enter Laura's World...
Her family is brutally murdered, and she finds herself on her knees praying for things she never could have imagined. Her dark journey of revenge takes off as she hunts her family's killers, while being chased down by a troubled detective, his lovelorn partner, and an inner voice that grants her no peace. Her quest lures her through an explosive music scene, down unlit alleyways, to the edge of a towering church rooftop, and into the nightmarish landscape of her own mind. Will she get her justice before time runs out? Will her own lust for vengeance consume all that is left of her in the process?
Jump into the book and become part of the story.

Links are to Amazon and descriptions are from PaperBackSwap

So, what's in your mailbox?

News and Updates

Hello All! Did you have a good week last week? I did! It was full of family and turkey! Also quite full of my Dad's dial up internet...painful...I am so spoilied by my high speed!

I do have an In My Mailbox post planned for tonight. I came back to find some very nice packages waiting for me and can't wait to share them with you!

I also have come great ideas for some awesome contests so stay tuned.

Reviews will be posted on a more regular basis. I am determined to be more organized!

In the mean time, could you take a look at my new poll? (points to the left)

Hope you all are having a great Monday...hehehe :)
I'll be back later!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Audio Book Review: Jinx by Meg Cabot

Title: Jinx
Author: Meg Cabot
Publication Date: July 2007
Genre: Teen Fiction
Age: 12+
Pages: 272
Series: no
Publisher's website: Harper Teen
Author's website: www.megcabot.com
Book Acquisition: NH Public Libraries Downloadable Audio Books

The only thing Jean Honeychurch hates more than her boring name (not Jean Marie, or Jeanette, just . . . Jean) is her all-too-appropriate nickname, Jinx. Misfor-tune seems to follow her everywhere she goes—which is why she's thrilled to be moving in with her aunt and uncle in New York City. Maybe when she's halfway across the country, Jinx can finally outrun her bad luck. Or at least escape the havoc she's caused back in her small hometown.
But trouble has definitely followed Jinx to New York. And it's causing big problems for her cousin Tory, who is not happy to have the family black sheep around. Beautiful, glamorous Tory is hiding a dangerous secret—one that she's sure Jinx is going to reveal.
Jinx is beginning to realize it isn't just bad luck she's been running from. It's something far more sinister . . . and the curse Jinx has lived under since the day she was born might just be the only thing that can save her life.
(from publisher's website)

This was my first Meg Cabot book and I'm sorry to say that I wasn't overly impressed. I didn't hate it mind you, but I didn't love it either. First off, the description? It makes the book seem much more interesting then it really is. Basically, a girl from a small town is sent to live with relatives in big, bad New York city. Her cousin is a bitch and tries to make her unhappy...stuff happens...the end.
Only thing - Jinx? Not actually unlucky. The things that happen to her? Not very terrible at all. She is pretty, kind, people like her, her family loves her, she's talented, and smart....um....I didn't really see the whole "curse" thing going on.
There is more to the story then that...but not much more. My main problem with the story was the premise. We are told Jinx is unlucky, she thinks she is, she acts like she is...but...well...her luck? Not so bad. Not wonderful but, overall? Not so bad either.
I don't know, I might give Meg Cabot another shot but maybe not...what do you guys think?

I give this one 2 out of 5 stars.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

In My Mailbox - November 22, 2009

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren :)

So - I only got a couple of books this week and I'm way late in posting this so I thought I would share just one book with you.
One awesome book :)

For Review:
The Mark by Jen Nadol
Pub Date: January 2010

(from Amazon)

Cassandra Renfield has always seen the mark—a glow around certain people reminiscent of candlelight. But the one time she mentioned it, it was dismissed as a trick of the light. Until the day she watches a man awash in the mark die. After searching her memories, Cassie realizes she can see a person’s imminent death. Not how or where, only when: today.
Armed with a vague understanding of the light, Cassie begins to explore her “gift,” seeking those marked for death and probing the line between decision and destiny. Though she’s careful to hide her secret—even from her new philosophy-obsessed boyfriend—with each impending death comes the temptation to test fate. But so many questions remain. How does the mark work? Why is she the only one who sees it? And finally, the most important of all: If you know today is someone’s last, should you tell them?

So, what's in your mailbox?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Cover Love - The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan

One of my most anticipated 2010 books is Carrie Ryan's The Dead-Tossed Waves, the sequel to The Forest of Hands and Teeth - which I loved!

I've seen a few covers floating around and wanted to know what you guys think. Random House shows this one for the hardcover:

I like it ok but it's not my favorite. There is just something I'm not quite jiving with...

Then there is this cover which Random House has as the "Unabridged Audiobook Download"

I like this one better. It's more inline with the hardcover image from The Forest of Hands and Teeth.

And then there is this one:

I have no idea where this one came form. It was the first one I saw and as of today the only place I have found it is on LibraryThing. This one is my favorite. Not sure why but I really like the simplicity of it.

The Dead-Tossed Waves will be released in March 2010 and I cannot wait!
So, which cover do you guys like best?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

On My Wishlist

This new meme is hosted by the fabtabulous Book Chick City.
Every Wednesday I'll post books from my wishlist to share with you.

If you would like to post your own On My Wishlist, please check out Book Chick City's original post and use this week's Mr. Linky to share the love!

Share the book love baby!

The 7 Souls by Barnabas Miller and Jordan Orlando
Pub Date: July 2010

Mary expected her seventeenth birthday to be a blowout to remember, courtesy of her best friends, fellow New York City prepsters Amy and Joon, and her doting boyfriend, Trick. Instead, the day starts badly and gets worse. After waking up in a mortifying place with a massive, unexplainable hangover, Mary soon discovers that nobody at school is even aware that it's her birthday. As evening approaches, paranoia sets in. Mary just can't shake the feeling that someone is out to get her--and, as it turns out, she's right. Before the night is over, she's been killed in cold blood. But murder is just the beginning of Mary's ordeal. Her soul gets trapped in a strange limbo, and she must relive the day of her death through the eyes of seven people--each of whom, she finds, had plenty of reasons to hate her. As Mary explores the mysteries of her world, discovering secrets that were hidden in plain sight while she was alive, she clings desperately to the hope that she can solve her own murder, change the past, and--just maybe--save her own life. With its blend of suspense, horror, fantasy, and realism, 7 Souls is an adrenaline rush of a thriller.

Ash by Malinda Lo
Pub Date: September 2009

In the wake of her father’s death, Ash is left alone to pay off his debts in the service of her own step mother. Consumed with grief, her only joy comes by the light of the dying hearth fire, re-reading the fairy tales her mother once told her. In her dreams, someday the fairies will steal her away, as they are said to do. When she meets the dark and dangerous fairy Sidhean, she begins to believe that her wish may be granted.
The day that Ash meets Kaisa, the King’s Huntress, her heart begins to change. Instead of chasing fairies, Ash learns to hunt with Kaisa. Though their friendship is as delicate as a new bloom, it reawakens Ash’s capacity for love—and her desire to live. But Sidhean has already claimed Ash for his own, and she must make a choice between fairy tale dreams and true love.
Entrancing and romantic, Ash is an empowering retelling of Cinderella about the connection between life and love, and solitude and death, where transformation can come from even the deepest grief.

Gateway by Sharon Shinn
Pub Date: October 2009

As a Chinese adoptee in St. Louis, teenage Daiyu often feels out of place. When an elderly Asian jewelry seller at a street fair shows her a black jade ring -- and tells her that "black jade" translates to "Daiyu" she buys it as a talisman of her heritage. But it's more than that; it's magic. It takes Daiyu through a gateway into a version of St. Louis much like 19th century China.
Almost immediately she is recruited as a spy, which means hours of training in manners and niceties and sleight of hand. It also means stealing time to be with handsome Kalen, who is in on the plan. There's only one problem. Once her task is done, she must go back to St. Louis and leave him behind forever...

(descriptions are from PaperBackSwap and books link to Amazon)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Book Review: The Supernaturalist by Eoin Colfer

Title: The Supernaturalist
Author: Eoin Colfer
Publication Date: May 2004
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
Age: 10-14
Pages: 288
Series: no
Publisher's website: Hyperion Books for Children
Author's website: http://eoincolfer.com
Book Acquisition: NH Public Libraries Downloadable Audio Books

In the not-too-distant future, in a place called Satellite City, thirteen-year-old Cosmo Hill is unfortunate enough to come into the world unwanted by his parents. And so, as are all orphaned boys his age, Cosmo is dipped in a vaccine vat and sent to the Clarissa Frayne Institute for Parentally Challenged Boys -- freight class.

At Clarissa Frayne, the orphans, called "no-sponsors," are put to work by the state, testing dangerous products that never should be allowed near human beings. By the time the no-sponsors are sent to their cardboard utility pipes, given their nightly meal pack, and finally fall asleep, they are often covered in burns, bruises, or sores from the work of the day.
Cosmo Hill knows that he must escape, even though he has no idea what might be waiting for him on the outside. He plans for the moment when he can make a break. When that moment finally comes, he nearly dies while escaping. But he is rescued by a gang of "Supernaturalists," a motley crew of kids who all have a special psychic ability -- one that Cosmo is about to learn he has as well. They "see" supernatural Parasites -- tiny, translucent creatures who feed on the life force of humans. The Supernatuarlists patrol the city at night, finding and blasting the Parasites to try and save what is left of humanity in Satellite City. Or so they think. The young hunters soon find themselves caught in a web far worse than they could have imagined, embroiled with private police, illegal racing gangs, and a corporation cover-up, until they discover a horrifying secret that will force them to question everything they believe in.
(from publisher's website)

I loved this book! If you've never read anything by Colfer, well, you should :) And The Supernaturalist would be a good place to start. The world of the Supernaturalist is pretty unique but at the same time, believable. Technology prevails but the same basic human needs, wants, hopes and desires, are the leading forces that drive people's lives.
The characters were very likable. Especially Cosmo Hill. I'm drawn to young, male protagonists and Cosmo doesn't disappoint. I think this would be a great book for young boys. There is adventure and danger. There is also some sadness, but it fits with the story.
The ending is open to a sequel but The Supernaturalist is a stand alone novel - which I like. My imagination was able to fill in the blanks :)

The audio book that I listened too had a narrator with a wonderful accent! It totally added to the story.

4 out of 5 stars

Saturday, November 14, 2009

In My Mailbox - November 15, 2009

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren :)

Didn't post last week as I was feeling icky and I didn't get that many books. So, of course, I had to make up for it this week! hehe
Trying something new this week by including descriptions (taken from Paperback swap). It will make for a longer post but I thought it would be nice. I personally like descriptions on other people's posts -helps me decide if it's a book I want to read or not. I'm not good at fancy formatting so the pictures and layout maybe a little wonky :)

My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent -- Something is wrong with Kaylee Cavanaugh.She doesn't see dead people but...She senses when someone near her is about to die. And when that happens, a force beyond her control compels her to scream bloody murder. Literally.Kaylee just wants to enjoy having caught the attention of the hottest guy in school. But a normal date is hard to come by when Nash seems to know more about her need to scream than she does. And when classmates start dropping dead for no apparent reason, only Kaylee knows who'll be next...
I have seen this book talked about a lot and couldn't resist any longer :)

Everwild by Neal Shusterman --Nick "The Chocolate Ogre" and Mary Hightower battle for the fate of Everlost in the thrilling second book in Neal Shusterman's Skinjacker Trilogy.

You can read my review of the first book in this trilogy, Everwild, here. I loved it!

After by Francine Prose -- The shootings in Pleasant Valley were fifty miles away, but at Central High a grief and crisis counselor is hired, security is increased, and privileges are being taken away. No one knows why.If you break the new rules the punishment is severe. And the rules keep changing every day. School feels like a prison. It's for their protection, yet fifteen-year-old Tom Bishop and his friends learn that things are far more sinister than they seem. Students and teachers begin disappearing. There's no way to stop it. Nationally best-selling and acclaimed author Francine Prose has written a haunting novel about what happens when protection goes too far and what it means to have freedom extinguished -- in the name of safety.

Interworld by Neil Gaiman and Michael Reaves -- Joey Harker isn't a hero. In fact, he's the kind of guy who gets lost in his own house. But then one day, Joey gets really lost. He walks straight out of his world and into another dimension. Joey's walk between the worlds makes him prey to two terrible forces -- armies of magic and science who will do anything to harness his power to travel between dimensions. When he sees the evil those forces are capable of, Joey makes the only possible choice: to join an army of his own, an army of versions of himself from different dimensions who all share his amazing power and who are all determined to fight to save the worlds. Master storyteller Neil Gaiman and Emmy Award-winning science-fiction writer Michael Reaves team up to create a dazzling tale of magic, science, honor, and the destiny of one very special boy -- and all the others like him.

Igraine the Brave by Cornelia Funke -- Princess Igraine dreams of becoming a famous knight just like her great grandfather, but the truth is, life at the family castle is rather boring. Until the nephew of the baroness-next-door shows up. He's got a dastardly plan to capture the castle and claim as his own the wonderful singing spell books that belong to Igraine's magician parents. To make matters worse, at the very moment of the siege, her mom and dad botch a spell, turning themselves into pigs! Aided by a Gentle Giant and a Sorrowful Knight, it's up to Igraine to be brave and save the day--and the books!

Half Moon Investigations by Eoin Colfer -- Fletcher Moon has never been like other kids. For one thing, he has had to suffer the humiliating nickname "Half Moon" because of his short stature. But the real reason Fletcher is different is that ever since he was a baby, he's had the nose for sniffing out mysteries. And let's just say, it's not a skill that has been appreciated by many people, including his own family. That doesn't bother Fletcher, though. After graduating at the top of his Internet class, he is officially certified as the youngest detective in the world. He even has a silver-plated detective's badge to prove it. Everything is going along fine until two things happen: a classmate hires him to solve a crime, and his prized badge is stolen. All signs point to the town's most notorious crime family, the Sharkeys. As Fletcher follows the clues, evidence of a conspiracy begins to emerge. But before he can crack the case, Fletcher finds himself framed for a serious crime. To clear his name, he will have to pair up with the unlikeliest of allies and go on the run from the authorities. Fletcher has twelve hours to find the guilty party -- or he is the guilty party.

Triskellion by Will Peterson -- Following their parents' bitter divorce, Rachel and Adam are sent from their New York home to stay with their grandmother. But the quiet English village where their mother was born is a sinister and unsettling place. Is there a genuinely dark heart beating beneath the thatched roofs and the picturesque village of Triskellion? Buried: The bodies...the secrets...the TRUTH. Against a brooding background of very real danger, the two outsiders follow clues on an archaeological adventure with a startling paranormal twist. In a community where many terrible secrets lie hidden, the villagers of Triskellion have a great deal to protect.

From: Amy at Addicted to Books
The Vampire's Assistant by Darren Shan -- Darren Shan is just an ordinary schoolboy who loves to ride bikes and hang out with his three best friends. Then one day Darren and his friends stumble across an invitation to visit the Cirque Du Freak, a strange and mysterious freak show. Almost as if by destiny, Darren wins a ticket and what follows is his horrifying descent into the dark and bloody world of vampires. This is Darren's story. New movie edition features the first three books--Cirque Du Freak, The Vampire's Assistant, and Tunnels of Blood-- bound up in one volume!

A Signed copy from: Tina at Fantastic Book Review
Rowan of the Wood by Christine Rose & Ethan Rose -- Rowan of the Wood, a Finalist for the 2008 National Best Books Award in the Young Adult Fiction category, tells the story of a young boy Cullen who meanders through the redwood forest every day on his way to school, losing himself in books and fantasy worlds full of elves, fairies, and wizards. He loves to escape to these magical lands because reality for him is not fun at all. Cullen and his two misfit friends, Maddy and April, are terribly unpopular amongst the other kids, and they regularly endure ridicule and bullying. Cullen's life changes incredibly one day when he uncovers an ancient magic wand that is inhabited by a powerful wizard, Rowan. Inadvertently, Cullen releases Rowan from the wand and finds himself possessed by the wizard, with a great power and an obsessive need to find a lost love. When danger is near, Rowan emerges from the frightened child to set things right. He and Cullen try to understand what has happened to them, only to discover a deeper problem. Nearly fourteen centuries ago, Rowan and his bride Fiana were separated on their wedding day. Rowan manages to survive, trapped in time, until Cullen releases him from the wand. Fiana uses dark magic to stay alive as she continues searching for Rowan. Over the centuries, Fiana descends deeper into the darkness becoming something evil and eventually giving up her search...until a young boy brings Rowan back to her.
A signed copy of the sequel - Witch on the Water by Christine Rose & Ethan Rose
These two came with an awesome swag item as well :)

So, what's in your mailbox?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Blog Tour: Random Magic by Sasha Soren

This tour stop is brought to you by Other Shelf Tours

Random Magic by Sasha Soren
Release Date: January 2010 (although it looks like Amazon has it available now)

From Amazon:
When absent-minded Professor Random misplaces the main character from Alice in Wonderland, young Henry Witherspoon must book-jump to fetch Alice before chaos theory kicks in and the world vanishes. Along the way he meets Winnie Flapjack, a wit-cracking doodle witch with nothing to her name but a magic feather and a plan. Such as it is. Henry and Winnie brave the Dark Queen, whatwolves, pirates, Struths, and fluttersmoths, Priscilla and Charybdis, obnoxiously cheerful vampires, Baron Samedi, a nine-dimensional cat, and one perpetually inebriated Muse to rescue Alice and save the world by tea time.

Honesty alert! I didn't finish this book. Time, happenstance, circumstances being what they are - it just didn't happen. (Ooo - I bet Winnie could come up with a cool explanation for the exact reason why or why not this did (or didn't?) happen) hehe.
So, with that said, any thoughts or opinions of mine that I share here are based on about half the book.

Now, with that said, there is one thing I know for certain about Random Magic -- it sure is random and quite a bit magical :)

While it's not really my cup of tea, I really do think there are others out there would very much enjoy it. If this makes any sense, I think it's too random for me. It's the kind of book I would have to read from begining to end without stoping once. I found myself getting lost by the storyline each time I picked it up again to read some more. The writting style reminded me of an author named Mark Leyner. I read his books in the same way - in one sitting - and they are pretty random :)

So! Rather then going by my word on this one, I urge you to check out the multiple links, blinks, blurgs and blurbs I have listed below.

A big thank you goes out to Kate from The Neverending Shelf for founding Other Shelf Tours and for all her hard work!

Another shout out to Sasha for her enthusiasm and love for Random Magic. I wish you nothing but the best!


Book Trailer - love the spunky music on this one!

Sasha Soren's website

Random Magic blog site

Amazon link - also available for the Kindle

Other Shelf Tours Main page and Random Magic page

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Book Review: Everlost by Neal Shusterman

Title: Everlost
Author: Neal Shusterman
Publication Date: August 2006
Genre: Young Adult
Age: 12+
Pages: 320
Series: 1st in the Skinjacker trilogy (2nd book Everwild due Nov 2009)
Publisher's website: Simon & Schuster Childern's Publishing
Author's website: www.storyman.com
Book Acquisition: NH Public Libraries Downloadable Audio Books


Nick and Allie don't survive the crash, and now their souls are stuck halfway between life and death in a sort of limbo called Everlost. It's a magical yet dangerous place, where bands of lost souls run wild and anyone who stands in the same spot too long sinks to the center of the Earth.
Frightened and determined, Nick and Allie aren't ready to rest in peace just yet. They want their lives back, and their search for a way home will take them deep into the uncharted areas of Everlost. But the longer they stay, the more they forget about their pasts. And if all memory of home is lost, they may never escape this strange, terrible world.
(publisher's website)

I really really really liked this book! The world of Everlost is a fascinating place. What I loved most about it was it's sense of order. There are rules in Everlost and those that discover these rules either use their knowledge for their own purposes or use it to help others. Even though these lost souls are only children, they must still find their way.

I also really liked the characters. Each one is different and unique. Each one has their own story.
What I didn't expect was how moving this story was. Each character we meet is a dead soul, lost on his or her way. Where were they heading? We don't know, but being stuck in Everlost takes it's toll on everyone. Among these challenges, friendships are made. People who might have never been friends while alive, find themselves working together, helping each other in this strange scary land.

Everything ties itself together in the end BUT there is still so much more of this story to tell! I'm so happy it's a trilogy. I actually couldn't wait and went out and bought the second book, Everwild, this week - hehe.

5 out of 5 stars.