Wednesday, April 28, 2010

On My Wishlist - Debut Author's Edition!

There are so many wonderful books coming out in 2010 and for some reason I seem to want them all! For those reasons, On My Wishlist posts for the rest of the year will be dedicated to upcoming 2010 Debut Authors!




On My Wishlist is hosted by Book Chick City :)

Release Date: May 1, 2010
(from Goodreads)
PROPHECY OF DAYS, BOOK ONE: THE DAYKEEPER’S GRIMOIRE is the story of Caity Mac Fireland, a girl from San Francisco whose parents drag her to an isle off the coast of Scotland to manage some family property. Caity finds that a Mayan relic is concealed there, intentionally left centuries ago by Mayan Daykeepers in an attempt to keep their profound knowledge about the year 2012 alive into the current era.
As she delves into this world of secret knowledge, Caity is helped along by a visiting family friend and Feng Shui master, Uncle Li; a Mayan elder named Bolon; and Mr. Papers, her pet monkey that communicates through origami. A handsome Scottish lad gets pulled into the intrigue, as do several other people with questionable motives and loyalties. Caity must weave together a tapestry of information in order to make her radical discovery, a mystery protected by an elite coterie of power-brokers who influence world events. Caity’s twenty-first century mind is put to the test as she tries to uncover the answer to an ancient riddle while trying to outwit this powerful group that will stop at nothing to control the secret, and her. 

So, what are you wishing for?

Help?

(insert picture of frustrated blogger here)

Anyone else having a b***h of a time inserting pictures into posts in Blogger this morning?

I am!

Anyone hear anything about updated 'features'?

grumble..grumble...grumble...grumble...

Ok - going to work now! Will try again later....grumble...

***UPDATE****
Thank you everyone for commenting / helping / grumbling along with me!

I think I know what my major problem was -- I have yet to update my Firefox browser on my home lap top. The upload feature doesn't seem to work with older versions (3.5 maybe?) ALSO - with the older browser, moving pictures around in my post wasn't really working at all!
I did some quick tests here at work (shhhh!!) with Firefox 3.6.3 and Chrome (Google's browser) and things seem to be working better.
Still don't know if I'm a fan of the new set up but I'll do more testing tonight!
Thanks again guys!!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Mini Review: Demon Chick by Marilyn Kaye


Title: Demon Chick
Author: Marilyn Kaye
Publication Date: September 2009
Book Acquisition: won an ARC from a fellow blogger
(from Goodreads)
Jessica may not have the warmest relationship with her mother, aspiring presidential candidate Margaret Hunsucker, but it still comes as a shock when she discovers that her mother has sold her to the devil. Will she have to spend eternity in hell with one of Satan’s minions, a demon named Brad? Brad takes pains to explain that they live in one of hell’s better neighborhoods, and he seems like a nice enough guy—but still! And things only get worse when Jessica learns the full extent of her mother’s evil plans. Can she and Brad come up with a plan to save the world?
These and other pressing questions are all answered in Marilyn Kaye’s delightfully satirical Demon Chick.

This book sat on my shelf for a while before I read it and it really is a shame because it was such an enjoyable book. You think your mom is bad? Has she ever sold your soul to the devil? Jessica's did. It was both horrible and a little funny. You see, because hell really isn't what she thought it would be. Well, at least not in the neighborhood that her demon keeper Brad lives in. I was very intrigued by the hell Kaye has presented. It really wasn't all that bad...but it wasn't all the good either. It's boring and dull - a place where you aren't expected to enjoy yourself. What I loved about Jessica is that she finds a way to make the most of it. 
A light, playful story about hell :) Oh - and with just enough romance to make it interesting. The ending was actually very sweet.
4/5 Stars

**In my Mimi Reviews I explore older, sometimes obscure books I have found in my travels and wish to share with my reader**

Monday, April 26, 2010

Book Review: The Owl Keeper by Christine Brodien-Jones


Title: The Owl Keeper
Author: Christine Brodien-Jones
Illustrations: Maggie Kneen
Publication Date: April 13, 2010
Tags: owls, magic, dystopian fantasy
Age: 10+
Pages: approx 304
Series: 1st in a series
Book Acquisition: ARC from Other Shelf Tours

My Rating: 5 / 5 Stars

(from publisher's website)
Maxwell Unger has always loved the night. He used to do brave things like go tramping through the forest with his gran after dark. He loved the stories she told him about the world before the Destruction—about nature, and books, and the silver owls. His favorite story, though, was about the Owl Keeper.
According to Max’s gran, in times of darkness the Owl Keeper would appear to unite owls and sages against the powers of the dark. Gran is gone now, and so are her stories of how the world used to be. Max is no longer brave. The forest is dangerous, the books Gran had saved have been destroyed, and the silver owls are extinct. At least that’s what the High Echelon says. But Max knows better.
Maxwell Unger has a secret. And when a mysterious girl comes to town, he might just have to start being brave again.
The time of the Owl Keeper, Gran would say, is coming soon.

My Review:
As what usually happens when I absolutely love a book, I'm having a hard time reviewing it! The Owl Keeper was pure magic and I wish I had my own copy to read again right now. Although I haven't seen it at my local bookstore yet, I'm sure I'll buy it as soon as I do. So good!

Fantasy stories are my all time favorite and lately dystopian novels have been giving my favorites a run for their money. The Owl Keeper is a perfect combination of the two. A dystopian fantasy with a hint of magic. Loved it!

Max is such a lovable character. His world is a mix of the chaos of society turned upside down and the simplicity of peace he finds when he is alone with his magical silver owl. I think the main reason I loved this one so much was that it was unpredictable. I really couldn't say what would happen next, but I was never disappointed.

For me, stronger then the pull of magic was the force of hope that the Owl Keeper presented. Max has a hard time keeping his but in the end, his strugles are worth it and I for one, felt his hope shining through the darkness.

I'm recommending this one to everyone. Fantasy, dystopian, magic fans and everyone else up down and in between.

Loved it!

Last thing - I'm really not one for book trailers but this one is just beautiful. You can check it out here on Christine's blog.

Linkage Love:
Delacorte Press
Author's Website

Other Reviews:
Wicked Awesome Books
Book Crazy
The Neverending Shelf
*if you would like your review added please leave me a link in the comments*

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Can't wait to get my hands on...

I've been wanting to do this for a while. Mostly because I'm a cover lover and seeing all those pretties in one post makes me happy! You can always find a running list of can't wait to get my hands on books on my sidebar but I thought I would point out a few for you today.

A lot of bloggers do posts like this - highlighting books they would love to read. Personally, I have been inspired by Kristi's Books To Pine For and New Reads, Kate's Book Discovery and Eleni's Up and Coming Release posts.

Hope you enjoy my little contribution to your ever growing Wishlists and TBR piles - As always, I'm here to serve ;)

Links and information taken from Goodreads

Couldn't find much info on this one but I absolutely love Richard Peck so this is a must have for me!

13 to Life: A Werewolf's Tale by Shannon Delany (June 2010 - St. Martin's Griffin)
Werewolves? Love it already :) And that cover!


The Julian Game by Adele Griffin (August 2010 - Putnam Juvenile)
"Adele Griffin’s riveting novel explores the issues of generation Facebook: the desire to be someone else, real versus online friends, and the pitfalls and fallouts of posting your personal life online for all the world to judge."

To Die For by Christopher Pike (September 2010 - Point)
Two classics by Pike in one volume - Slumber Party and Weekend. I loved these books as a teen - can't wait to get a copy of this new volume.


Twisted Tales Sleeping Beauty: Vampire Slayer by Maureen McGowan (October 2010 - Pickwick Press)
I've been reluctant to read the recent classics with a twist that have been flodding the market lately but this one really caught my eye. Why? Because part of the book is in the style of the "choose your own adventure" books I loved as a kid!

Rot & Ruin by Joanathan Maberry (September 2010 - Simon and Schuster Children's Pub)
Post-apocalypic, zombie-infested world? I'm there!

What do you guys think of my choices? I'll be doing more posts like this in the future - just another way to Share the Book Love!

Friday, April 23, 2010

In My Mailbox - April 24, 2010

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren :)

I've had a slow blogging week - it happens :) Couldn't skip IMM though since I bought A TON of books and got some other yummy treats in the mail. I just love sharing the book love!

Links are to Goodreads - trying something new since I realized how much I like it when other bloggers link it up. Makes it way easy to add all those lovely books to your wishlist ;)

For Review from Razorbill
The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
Mackie Doyle seems like everyone else in the perfect little town of Gentry, but he is living with a fatal secret - he is a Replacement, left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago. Now the creatures under the hill want him back, and Mackie must decide where he really belongs and what he really wants.
A month ago, Mackie might have told them to buzz off. But now, with a budding relationship with tough, wounded, beautiful Tate, Mackie has too much to lose. Will love finally make him worthy of the human world?

The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May and June by Robin Benway
Three sisters, three extraordinary, life-changing powers!
I hugged my sisters and they fit against my sides like two jigsaw pieces that would never fit anywhere else. I couldn’t imagine ever letting them go again, like releasing them would be to surrender the best parts of myself.
Three sisters share a magical, unshakeable bond in this witty high-concept novel from the critically acclaimed author of Audrey, Wait! Around the time of their parents’ divorce, sisters April, May, and June recover special powers from childhood—powers that come in handy navigating the hell that is high school. Powers that help them cope with the hardest year of their lives. But could they have a greater purpose?
April, the oldest and a bit of a worrier, can see the future. Middle-child May can literally disappear. And baby June reads minds—everyone’s but her own. When April gets a vision of disaster, the girls come together to save the day and reconcile their strained family. They realize that no matter what happens, powers or no powers, they’ll always have each other.
Because there’s one thing stronger than magic: sisterhood.  

The Eternal Ones by Kristen Miller
What if love refused to die?
Haven Moore can’t control her visions of a past with a boy called Ethan, and a life in New York that ended in fiery tragedy. In our present, she designs beautiful dresses for her classmates with her best friend Beau. Dressmaking keeps her sane, since she lives with her widowed and heartbroken mother in her tyrannical grandmother’s house in Snope City, a tiny town in Tennessee. Then an impossible group of coincidences conspire to force her to flee to New York, to discover who she is, and who she was.
In New York, Haven meets Iain Morrow and is swept into an epic love affair that feels both deeply fated and terribly dangerous. Iain is suspected of murdering a rock star and Haven wonders, could he have murdered her in a past life? She visits the Ouroboros Society and discovers a murky world of reincarnation that stretches across millennia. Haven must discover the secrets hidden in her past lives, and loves¸ before all is lost and the cycle begins again.

Thank you so much Razorbill!

From Around The World Tours
Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr










Bought:

The 39 Clues Book 8: The Emperor's Code by Gordon Korman
Click: One Novel, Ten Authors by David Almond, Eoin Colfer, Roddy Doyle, Deborah Ellis, Nick Hornby, Margo Lanagan, Gregory Maguire, Ruth Ozeki, Linda Sue Park, Time Wynne-Jones
Some Girls Bite by Chole Neil
A River in the Sky by Elizabeth Peters
Overclocked by Cory Doctorow
Thriller: Stories To Keep You Up All Night edited by James Patterson
Thriller 2: Stores You Just Can't Put Down edited by Clive Cussler
The Bone Thief by Jefferson Bass

So, what's in your mailbox?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

On My Wishlist - Tenners Edition!

There are so many wonderful books coming out in 2010 and for some reason I seem to want them all! For those reasons, On My Wishlist posts for the rest of the year will be dedicated to upcoming 2010 Debut Authors!
Go Tenners!

On My Wishlist is host by Book Chick City :)

What am I wishing for? Let's take a look!

Mistwood by Leah Cypess
Release Date: April 27, 2010
(from Goodreads)
The Shifter is an immortal creature bound by an ancient spell to protect the kings of Samorna. When the realm is peaceful, she retreats to the Mistwod.
But when she is needed she always comes.
Isabel remembers nothing. Nothing before the prince rode into her forest to take her back to the castle. Nothing about who she is supposed to be, or the powers she is supposed to have.
Prince Rokan needs Isabel to be his Shifter. He needs her ability to shift to animal form, to wind, to mist. He needs her lethal speed and superhuman strength. And he needs her loyalty--because without it, she may be his greatest threat.
Isabel knows that her prince is lying to her, but she can't help wanting to protect him from the dangers and intrigues of the court . . . until a deadly truth shatters the bond between them.
Now Isabel faces a choice that threatens her loyalty, her heart . . . and everything she thought she knew.

So, what are you wishing for?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Book Review: Forget-Her-Nots by Amy Brecount White

Title: Forget-Her-Nots
Author: Amy Brecount White
Publication Date: March 2010
Tags: flowers, magic, love, family
Age: 12+
Pages: approx 384
Series: ?
Book Acquisition: 1 ARC Tours

My Rating: 4 / 5 Stars

When someone leaves three mystery flowers outside her dorm door, Laurel thinks that maybe the Avondale School isn't so awful after all — until her own body starts to freak out. In the middle of her English presentation on the Victorian Language of Flowers, strange words pop into her head, and her body seems to tingle and hum. Impulsively, Laurel gives the love bouquet she made to demonstrate the language to her spinster English teacher. When that teacher unexpectedly and immediately finds romance, Laurel suspects that something — something magical — is up. With her new friend, Kate, she sets out to discover the origins and breadth of her powers by experimenting on herself and others. But she can’t seem to find any living experts in the field of flower powers to guide her. And her bouquets don't always do her bidding, especially when it comes to her own crush, Justin. Rumors about Laurel and her flowers fly across campus, and she's soon besieged by requests from girls — both friends and enemies — who want their lives magically transformed — just in time for prom.

My Review:

I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised by this book.I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about it since it's not the usual type of book I read. Flowers? Not really my thing but flower magic, I learned, is pretty awesome.

The setting didn't do too much for me - boarding school full of the usual suspects. But, Laurel as a character really drew me into the story. When we first meet her, she is unaware of her special talent. She really knows nothing of her family's past. I would have been more then frustrated if I were in her shoes. She takes everything that comes with a bit of grace - which I really liked.

If I had to pick anything about this book I didn't like it would have to be Laurel's age. Or rather, her maturity level. She is very young, but it was easy to forget this fact. I understand why Amy choose to make Laurel as young as she did when we first meet her but at times, I felt like I was reading about a much older teen. It doesn't take away from the story really, it was just a little bit of a sticking point with me when it came to Laurel and the relationships she both helps with and peruses while at Avondale.

Overall, I really liked this book. I wasn't able to find any information on a possible sequel but I would gladly welcome another story on the Language of Flowers. I would recommend this book to fans of good YA fiction and also to those who may like a bit of magic or fantasy in their stories - there is just enough in this one to really do the trick.

Linkage Love:
Harper Teen
Author's Website

Other Reviews:
Katie's Book Blog
GreenBeanTeenQueen
Ellz Readz
*if you would like your review added please leave me a link in the comments*

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Contest Winners!


All of my current contests have ended (sad!)
I'm adding a couple of new ones next week (happy!)

And - we have winners!

Need and Captivate Winner is:
Brittany J
If you see this before I email you, please send me your address (WilowRaven@yahoo.com)
A special thank you to everyone who said such nice and funny things. I'm so glad people like my blog :) I wish you all could be winners because you all rock my world!

Hex Hall Winner from Review-A-Thon contest:
Tina from Tina's Book Review
Mailed you the book yesterday - hope you get it soon because it was awesome!

Demigods and Monsters Winner:
Heather T
The publisher has mailed your copy - let me know if you don't get it soon!

Congratulations everyone!!

A big thank you to everyone who participated - I just love sharing the book love!!

There is a poll on the my sidebar (points to the right). Help me figure out which books to include in my next giveaway. If enough people vote more books will be thrown into the mix!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

In My Mailbox - April 17, 2010

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren :)

I'm really excited about what I got this week!

For Review from the publisher:
A New Dawn: Your Favorite Authors on Stephanie Meyer's Twilight Series Edited by Ellen Hopkins
(from Goodreads)
*Is Edward a romantic or a (really hot) sociopath?
* How is the Twilight series just like one of Shakespeare's tragedies?
* Who would you rather date: the guy who thirsts for your blood, or the guy who drinks out of the toilet?
You can't read Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series without wanting more- more romance, more suspense, just more of Bella, Edward, Jacob, and the rest of Forks, Washington. You aren't alone.
Join some of your favorite writers as they look at the series with fresh eyes, and fall in love with Bella and Edward, and their world, all over again.
Find out:
* How the literary vampire went from horror show to heartthrob
* Other Native American wolf myths, and how the Quileute werewolves compare
* What Bella and Edward's romance has to say about free will
* Why vampires and werewolves really shouldn't date, and what that has to do with Edward's insistence that Bella go to prom
With Essays From...* Robin Brande* Rachel Caine* Cassandra Clare* Rosemary Clement-Moore* Linda Gerber* Cara Lockwood* Megan McCafferty* K. A. Nuzum* James Owen* Janette Rallison* Ellen Steiber* Anne Usru 

For Review from the publisher via NetGalley
ebook of The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa
Goodreads page

So very excited about this one!







The items on the left are from Saundra Mitchell. Love the new graphics for Shadowed Summer! Thanks Saundra!
The items on the right are from Jaclyn Dolamore...won these somewhere....Thanks Jaclyn and unknown blogger! I love me the swag!

So, what's in your mailbox?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Book Review: Alex Van Helsing Book 1: Vampire Rising by Jason Henderson


Title: Alex Van Helsing Book 1: Vampire Rising
Author: Jason Henderson
Publication Date: May 4, 2010
Tags: vampires, vampire hunters, secret societies
Age: 12+
Pages: approx 224
Series: 1st in a series
Book Acquisition: ARC from Around the World Tours

My Rating: 5 / 5 Stars

(from Goodreads)
A descendant of legendary vampire hunter Abraham Van Helsing, fourteen-year-old Alex is stuck at boarding school near Lake Geneva, Switzerland, when he finds himself drawn into a web of paranormal intrigue. It turns out that Lake Geneva is also home to a secret school for vampires called the Scholomance—and now to a dangerous vampire clan lord known only as Icemaker, who’s using the Scholomance for his own dangerous endgame. With the help of his friends and of special agent Sangster, it’s up to Alex to fulfill his family destiny and stop Icemaker’s frightening plans once and for all.
Alex Van Helsing is a showstopping hero set to leap off the page—stake, naturally, in hand. Drawing from centuries of actual vampire lore and literature (and with a nod to zombies, too!), Jason Henderson delivers a breathlessly paced thriller that will captivate vampire fans as well as readers who loved Alex Rider.

My Review:
I need you to do something for me. I need to you try to remember a time long ago. A time before vampires sparkled. Back to a time when the word vampire inspired fear instead of  lust. Can you do it? If you can't, you need to read Alex Van Helsing. Ok, even if you can remember you need to read this book. Why? Because this book is freaken awesome!

I love evil vampires! Vampires are suppose to be evil. And what do we need once we have evil vampires? Vampire hunters of course. Woo hoo!

Alex really has no idea what is happening to him but he adapts quickly. Smart and resourceful, he's such a likable character. The world of vampires that Jason has created is both classic and unique. We get vampires who have no desire to act human. Vampires that are taken straight from the pages of myth and legend. But we also get secret societies, family secrets and hunters with a touch of the paranormal. Also, something I wasn't expecting - a literary mystery. What do Mary Shelley and Lord Byron have to do with modern day vampire hunting? You'll have to read Alex Van Helsing to find out!

I highly recommend this book to fans of good vampire stories. Alex, as a male protagonist, I feel would really appeal to younger male readers. Any fans of good paranormal young adult books would enjoy this one, in my humble opinion of course :)

Can't wait for book 2!

Alex Van Helsing Series:
Book 1: Vampire Rising (May 2010)
Book 2: ? (soon I hope!)

Linkage Love:
Harper Teen
Author's Blog

Tidbits:
*When writing this book, Jason used a ton of great sources including books about: Vampires, Dracula, Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, Zombies and Lord Byron -- I'm sorry, but that's just awesome!

Other Reviews:
Around the World Tours review page - as each of us gets the book, reviews will be posted to the Mr. Linky on this page.

*if you would like your review added please leave me a link in the comments*

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Book Review: Freaksville Book One by Kitty Keswick


Title: Freaksville Book One
Author: Kitty Keswick
Illustrations by: Val Cox
Publication Date: January 2010
Tags: werewolves, paranormal romance, second sight, ghosts
Pages: approx 290
Series: First in a series
Book Acquisition: ARC from Other Shelf Tours

My Rating: 2 / 5 Stars

(from Author's website)
The story is told through the sixteen-year-old heroine’s blog.
High school is hard enough when you’re normal. There’s peer pressure, book reports, the in crowd and the enormous zit that has a life of its own. Having a family whose skeletons in the closet lean toward the paranormal is not a topper on anyone’s list. Sophomore Kasey Maxwell is busy juggling the typical teen angst. Add visions, ghosts and hairy four-legged monsters into the mix and you get FREAKSVILLE. It’s a wonder Kasey has survived.
Every woman in the Maxwell family has the gift of sight. A talent sixteen-year-old Kasey would gladly give up. All she wants is a normal life. Shopping and talking about boys with her best friend and long-time sidekick Gillie Godshall consume her days. Until Kasey has a vision about Josh Johnstone, the foreign exchange student from England. The vision leads her into new waters, a lead in a play, a haunted theater…and into the arms of the Josh. Yet, both Kasey and Josh have secrets lurking in dark corners. Can Kasey’s new romance survive FREAKSVILLE?

My Review:
I feel bad giving this book such a low star rating but the truth is I just really didn't enjoy it. To sum it up, the main reason I didn't like Freaksville was that it was too full. What do I mean by this? Well, there was just too much going on. We get werewolves, and ghosts, people who can see the future, people who can see the past, ancient family feuds and faeries, immature teens and gushy romance. Even 2 or 3 of these elements might be too much for one plot to hold but all of them? It didn't work for me.

Another big reason I couldn't warm up to this book was the main character Kasey. She's 16 but throughout most of the book, her attitude hoovers somewhere closer to 12 or 13. I found her to be extremely immature.

One other thing I have to mention is the style of the book. I really just didn't get it. Each chapter starts with "Kasey's Blog Chapter *" and then follow with the name of what I assume is suppose to be a blog post. At one point in the book Kasey states that she loves to blog but would never post anything on it about Josh, her crush, then boyfriend. But, each chapter ends with 'Comments' made from what I can only assume are real people in her life. These people are reading about Josh - if each chapter is meant to be a blog post. Also, Kasey will talk about some fact, people will comment on it, but the people in her life don't seem to know this fact until Kasey tells them - sometimes chapters later. It was all very confusing to me.

My favorite character was Gillie, Kasey's best friend. She was so sweet and was there for Kasey when she needed her. I've read a lot of books with less then likable BFFs so Gilly was a breath of fresh air.

I didn't hate this book, but I can't say that I liked it either. There is a second book in the series, that I don't plan on reading, but I might be swayed depending on what reviews pop up. I'll have to wait and see.

Books in the Series:
Freaksville (January 2010)
Furry and Freaked (?)

Linkage Love:
Leap Books
Author's Website
Illustrator's Website

Other Reviews:
The Book Butterfly
Teens Read and Write
Good Books & Wine
*if you would like your review added please leave me a link in the comments*

Monday, April 12, 2010

Spoiler Free Review: Blood Feud by Alyxandra Harvey

 *Spoiler Free reviews are reviews of 2nd (or 3rd or 4th) books in a series with no fear of spoilers!*

Title: Blood Feud
Author: Alyxandra Harvey
Publication Date: June? 2010
Tags: vampires, family, magic, romance
Age: 12+
Pages: approx 272
Series: 2nd of The Drake Chronicles
Book Acquisition: ARC from Around the World Tours

My Rating: 5 / 5 Stars

Synopsis from Goodreads

My Review:
I have to say, when I first heard that Blood Feud would be following the story of two different characters I was a little upset. I loved Lucy and Solange and wanted more!  I really shouldn't have worried though because this book, just like Hearts at Stake, was awesome! Instead of Lucy and Solang, we get the alternating perspectives of  Logan, one of Solange's many brothers and Isabeau, a 200 year old vampire with a very interesting past.The Drake family really is unique - even among their own kind and I love them all!

We get a lot more background and history into their vampire world with Blood Feud.I found it really interesting to learn where some of the vampires in the stories came from. There were some pretty interesting tales.It was also a very well told story. The events of the book comprise only a couple of days but the story line never felt rushed.

Another thing I really liked was there even though Lucy and Solange weren't our narrators, they were still there and we still got a few tidbits about their lives and goings on. It wouldn't have made sense otherwise, since Blood Feud pretty much starts off right were Hearts at Stake ends.

I'm excited for book three. With so many characters Alyxandra really could take this series far - and I hope she does!

I recommend this series to anyone who enjoys YA vampire tales. I would also recommend it to those readers who might be turned off by all the human / vampire relationship books out there - Hearts and Stake and Blood Feud stand apart. They give us much more history and a lot less human / vampire swooning.

The Drake Chronicles:
Hearts at Stake (January 2010)
  (UK Title: My Heart Lies Bleeding)
Blood Feud (Summer 2010)
Book Three! (January 2011)

Linkage Love:
Bloomsbury Teens
Author's Website
The Drake Chronicles

Tidbits:
*It looks like both the paperback and hardcover versions will be available at the same time
*ARC lists publication date as August, Publisher's website says July but Amazon, Goodreads and the Author list it as June
*UK edition has the same name but with a different cover:

Other Reviews:
Around the World Tours review page - as each of us gets the book, reviews will be posted to the Mr. Linky on this page.

*if you would like your review added please leave me a link in the comments*

Sunday, April 11, 2010

In My Mailbox - April 10, 2010

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren :)

This awesome pile of books is brought to you by the Friends of the Library Book Sale! Woo hoo! I also got a couple of special books for some upcoming giveaways - but you don't get to see those ;)

Haunted: A Tale of the Mediator by Meg Cabot
Spellbound by Christopher Pike
Dates From Hell by Kim Harrison, Lynsay Sands, Kelley Armstrong and Lori Handeland
The Monsters: Mary Shelley and The Curse of Frankenstein by Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler
The Watcher by James Howe
Firebirds Soaring: An Anthology of Original Speculative Fiction edited by Sharyn November
The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke
Tales from Earthsea by Ursula K Le Guin

Also this week:

From Other Shelf Tours
Freaksville Book One by Kitty Keswick
(from Goodreads)

High school is hard enough when you’re normal. There’s peer pressure, book reports, the in crowd and the enormous zit that has a life of its own. Having a family whose skeletons in the closet lean toward the paranormal is not a topper on anyone’s list. Sophomore Kasey Maxwell is busy juggling the typical teen angst. Add visions, ghosts and hairy four-legged monsters into the mix and you get FREAKSVILLE. It’s a wonder Kasey has survived. 
Every woman in the Maxwell family has the gift of sight. A talent sixteen-year-old Kasey would gladly give up. All she wants is a normal life. Shopping and talking about boys with her best friend and long-time sidekick Gillie Godshall consume her days. Until Kasey has a vision about Josh Johnstone, the foreign exchange student from England. The vision leads her into new waters, a lead in a play, a haunted theater…and into the arms of the Josh. Yet, both Kasey and Josh have secrets lurking in dark corners. Can Kasey’s new romance survive FREAKSVILLE?

From Other Shelf Tours
The Owl Keeper by Christine Brodien-Jones
(from Goodreads)

Maxwell Unger has always loved the night. He used to do brave things like go tramping through the forest with his gran after dark. He loved the stories she told him about the world before the Destruction—about nature, and books, and the silver owls. His favorite story, though, was about the Owl Keeper.
According to Max’s gran, in times of darkness the Owl Keeper would appear to unite owls and sages against the powers of the dark. Gran is gone now, and so are her stories of how the world used to be. Max is no longer brave. The forest is dangerous, the books Gran had saved have been destroyed, and the silver owls are extinct. At least that’s what the High Echelon says. But Max knows better.
Maxwell Unger has a secret. And when a mysterious girl comes to town, he might just have to start being brave again.
The time of the Owl Keeper, Gran would say, is coming soon.

So, what's in your mailbox?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Read-A-Thon Check in plus other Saturday Fun!

Happy Saturday everyone! What a great Read-A-Thon Week it has been. It's not quite finished yet so there is still time to participate in the fun activities. Check it out if you haven't already! (Come on, there are prizes and everything!).

***The Neverending Shelf Read-A-Thon***
*Bookworming in the 21st Century: - Activity #1: Clutter and Hording Rehab
*Red House Books - Activity #2: Review-A-Thon
*The Neverending Shelf - Activity #3: Share the Blog Love
*Teens Read and Write - Activity #4: Clear Out the Pack Rat Mentality and the TBR
*A Passion for Books - Activity #5: Declutter the Blog
*La Femme Readers - Activity #6: 2010 Books that have Blown Me Away
 
Some more great fun is happening over at Princess Bookie's today as
Contest Craze 2010 is in full swing. Great contests all day long.


I'm getting some reading done, entering some contests and working on my In My Mailbox post that I hope to have up later today (or tonight)
Hope everyone is having a fabulous Saturday!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Read-A-Thon Activity #5: Declutter The Blog

 
Another great activity! 

Declutter The Blog is brought to you by A Passion For Books

As Casey says: "Today, I am hosting Activity #3: Declutter the Blog. In this activity, I want you to make some goals, pertaining to cleaning up your blog. This can include anything you would like, as long as it has to do with your blog. For example: sidebars, review and/or author lists, etc."

 Ok, here is my list:
  • Add favorite blog buttons to sidebar
  • Add tour buttons to sidebar
  • Work on adding pages
  • Update Book Review Title and Author lists and links
The Read-A-Thon ends Sunday night so there is still time to join in on the fun! Check out The Neverending Shelf for all the goings on and for more information.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Read-A-Thon Activity #3: Share the Blog Love


Welcome to Read-A-Thon day number 3!
Have you all been reading your brains out? I think I've been doing pretty well myself :)

Today's activity is brought to you by Kate and I think it's a pretty cool one.

From Kate:

With new blogs popping up all the time, it is so hard to keep track with them all. So for today's activity, we are going to share the blog love.

To complete today's activity you must:

    * Create a post sharing with us 3 blogs that you love. They can be new, old, or just underappreciated.

    * Your post should include the blog's title, url link, and a small blurb about why you enjoy this blog so much.

    * Leave link to your post in Mr. Linky (on The Neverending Shelf) so that we can all see your picks. And hopefully, we can all discover a few new blogs that we did not know about.

Non bloggers and participate as well - head over to Kate's for more info.

Here are my picks!

Good Books & Wine -- April is supper sweet and I really enjoy visiting her blog :) Her reviews are honest and her posts feel more like conversations.

Rhiannon Hart -- Rhiannon is an Australian Blogger and I have found that we share a lot in common when it comes to books - like good horror, dystopian, fantasy and paranormal stories. 

Book Rat -- Misty is fun and spunky and I'm pretty sure I've loved everyone of her posts.

Ok - I'm really bad and talking about why I like things (have you read my reviews? :) BUT these 3 blogs really are fabulous and you should check them out.

Share the Blog Love!!

On My Wishlist - Tenners Edition

There are so many wonderful books coming out in 2010 and for some reason I seem to want them all! For those reasons, On My Wishlist posts for the rest of the year will be dedicated to upcoming 2010 Debut Authors!
Go Tenners!


On My Wishlist is hosted by Book Chick City :)

Three Rivers Rising: A Novel of the Johnstown Flood by Jame Richards
Release Date: April 13, 2010
(from Goodreads)
Sixteen-year-old Celestia is a wealthy member of the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club, where she meets and falls in love with Peter, a hired hand who lives in the valley below, and by the time of the torrential rains that lead to the disastrous Johnstown flood of 1889, she has been disowned by her family and is staying with him in Johnstown. Includes an author’s note and historical timeline.
(from publisher's website)
Sixteen-Year-Old Celstia spends every summer with her family at the elite resort at Lake Conemaugh, a shimmering Allegheny Mountain reservoir held in place by an earthen dam. Tired of the society crowd, Celestia prefers to swim and fish with Peter, the hotel’s hired boy. It’s a friendship she must keep secret, and when companionship turns to romance, it’s a love that could get Celestia disowned. These affairs of the heart become all the more wrenching on a single, tragic day in May, 1889. After days of heavy rain, the dam fails, unleashing 20 million tons of water onto Johnstown, Pennsylvania, in the valley below. The town where Peter lives with his father. The town where Celestia has just arrived to join him. This searing novel in poems explores a cross-class romance—and a tragic event in U. S. history.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Read-A-Thon Activity #2: Review-A-Thon


Welcome!
Today I will be your host for activity #2 in the Clear Away the Clutter Read-A-Thon - a week long extravaganza hosted by the wonderful Kate of The Neverending Shelf.

I present to you: Review-A-Thon!

I don't know about you but I have a bunch of books that I would love to post reviews for - or at least get reviews started! 

I was thinking, what could I do during this wonderful Clear Away the Clutter Read-A-Thon week to help with this growing problem? Review-A-Thon was born and I would love for you guys to participate.
 
Just like the Read-A-Thon was meant to help make a dent in our massive TBR piles, this activity is here to help encourage you to work on getting your reviews in order.

Sign up below with your Review-A-Thon post and you could win a copy of Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins! There are other great prizes you can win as well - head over to The Neverending Shelf for all the details!

This activity really could be what you make of it. I'm going to make a massive list of all the books I want to post reviews for. I'm hoping to get a chunk of these reviews done - scheduling as many as I can out over the next couple of weeks. The others, I'm hoping to at least get started.

So what do you think guys? Are you up for the challenge(s)

Happy Reading and Reviewing Guys!

(p.s. - my first time using Mr. Linky so please let me know if it's not working!)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Monthly Reads and Challenge Updates - March 2010

Ok, this really isn't funny because April is NOT suppose to be here already! I mean, seriously guys? April? Month 4? I want a redo...what's that called in golf? A mulligan? I'm calling for a mulligan!

Didn't get nearly enough accomplished in March as I hoped. I'm probably being too hard on myself but it's so easy when I look around the house and see massive bookcases full of books, projects (both book related and not) in various degrees of completion and oh, laundry - laundry everywhere!

So yeah, I would like to redo March. I will go back in time, make some type of ill-advised deal with a fairy or daemon or ghost or soul scavenger or whatnot to gain some supper human mass organization skills and then kick March's but! I'll read every book on my TBR list, review every book read, finish challenges, start new ones, comment on every great blog post I read - oh, and bring out world peace!

What? It could happen.

Seriously though - I'm not one for regrets and one of my favorite things about books and blogging is that well, anything goes. I can read any book I want, post reviews whenever (or not) and know that there are other people out there with the same passion as I have for the written word. It's like one big cozy dysfunctional family :)

Ok - enough babble! On with the show!!

Books Read in March:
1.Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev
2.Teacher's Pet by Richie Tankersley Cusick
3. Deadly Little Secret by Laurie Faria Stolarz
4. Captivate by Carrie Jones
5. Switch by Carol Snow
6. Thirteen Days To Midnight by Patrick Carman
7. An Interactive Sherlock Holmes Mystery: The Crimes of Dr. Watson by Duane Swierczynski
8. The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong
9. The Witchy Worries of Abbie Adams
10. The Devouring by Simon Holt
11. Island Sting by Bonnie J. Doerr
12. Forget-Her-Nots by Amy Brecount White
13. Blood Feud by Alyxandra Harvey
14. Serenity: Those Left Behind Graphic Novel Vol 1 by Joss Whedon et all

Challenge updates:
2010 Debut Authors Challenge

8 books read so far!

Graphic Novel's Challenge

5/10

Support Your Local Library

Um...at least 20 / 75 but it's probably more...need to check!

Clear Away the Clutter

3 / 10