Sunday, 30 June 2013

You Are Mine (Mine #1) by Janeal Falor


You Are Mine (Mine, #1)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Serena knows a few simple things. She will always be owned by a warlock. She will never have freedom. She will always do what her warlock wishes, regardless of how inane, frivolous, or cruel it is. And if she doesn’t follow the rules, she will be tarnished. Spelled to be bald, inked, and barren for the rest of her life—worth less than the shadow she casts.

Then her ownership is won by a barbarian from another country. With the uncertainty that comes from belonging to a new warlock, Serena questions if being tarnished is really worse than being owned by a barbarian, and tempts fate by breaking the rules. When he looks the other way instead of punishing her, she discovers a new world. The more she ventures into the forbidden, the more she learns of love and a freedom just out of reach. Serena longs for both. But in a society where women are only ever property, hoping for more could be deadly.


You Are Mine by Janeal Falor

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


You Are Mine (Mine, #1)(Source: I won a copy of this book. Thanks to author Janeal Falor.)
17-year-old Serena has long put up with her father’s beatings and rules, no matter how unfair, but now she’s being sold off to the highest bidder, and she can’t help but worry that things are about to get worse.

Serena lives in a world in which men have magic and are called Warlocks, whilst women are a commodity to be traded. Serena is the oldest of 14 girls, a fact that her father is not happy about – there is much more prestige in having powerful sons rather than daughters who are unable to use magic. At the age of 17 a daughter’s power is tested though, and they are then sold as brides. The more powerful girls reach a much better price, as their husband stands to gain that magic for himself once they are joined.

Serena is found to have a lot of power, and a husband is quickly found for her. Serena hates being treated like a commodity, but that is the way things are and there is nothing she can do to change it.

On meeting her husband-to-be though, Serena finds that as expected she doesn’t like him, and is worried for the future. She’s even more concerned though when her fiancée is killed during a tournament and ownership of her is transferred to the man who killed him.

Zane is a large man from a land called Envadi, and Serena has long been taught that the Envadi’s are barbarians, and she can’t help but worry that his punishments will be worse even than her father’s. Is this ‘out of the frying pan into the fire’? Only time will tell for poor Serena.
Should Serena fear Zane though? Are the Envadi really barbarians? And must a woman always be owned?



I really enjoyed this book, it reminded me a bit of ‘The Selection’, and I loved the mystery of not knowing what would become of Serena.

Serena was in fact quite a quiet girl, but also a brave one. She had spent most of her life taking punishments for things that were not her fault to save her 13 younger sisters, as her father believed in punishing his possessions as he saw fit.
I felt bad for her when her ownership kept being transferred, and when she had no idea what would happen to her, but I also wondered which was really worse – would her new husband beat her the way her father did? Would he rape her?
When Serena was introduced to her husband-to-be Thomas I hoped that maybe she had lucked out and got a man who would be nice to her, although unfortunately that didn’t seem to be the case. I hoped the same thing again when her ownership was transferred to Zane, and was glad when it seemed he wasn’t into punishments the way her father was.

Serena did like to bend the rules, although at times it seemed less about her being rebellious, than being naïve. I did like the way she would suddenly speak up for herself or make some kind of comment that her father would have beat her for, but I also thought that at times she was fighting for the wrong things, and that her rebellion could be put to much better use.

Zane was a much better man than Serena’s father, or her original intended Thomas. I hoped all the way through that Serena would actually develop feelings for Zane, as he was so much better for her than anyone else. That being said though, there wasn’t really much romance in this story.

I thought the idea of ‘ownership’ of women was a pretty shocking one, and I’m sure no woman would really want to be owned that way. The way that the women were traded and sold, and ownership transferred along with possessions was terrible, and the way that women who were no longer wanted were ‘tarnished’ and used as slaves so that the husband could get himself a more desirable wife was also just bad!

I did like the storyline in this book, although at times I did think it could maybe have moved a little quicker. I did think that it was pretty original too, and the only thing it really reminded me of was ‘The Selection’, although I think that was more to do with the pretty dresses, and Serena bending the rules a bit, rather than the storyline.
I really did like this though, it’s nice to read a fantasy story where there pretty dresses, and no map required! I will definitely be looking out for the sequel when it comes out.
Overall; a beautiful fantasy story about Warlocks and a girl who will fight to no longer be owned.
8 out of 10.




Cover Reveal - Fire by T. G. Ayer




Title: FIRE
Series: The Hand of Kali Series
Volume: 1
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Publication Date: (expected) July 2013
Format: Paperback, E-Book
ISBN-10:  TBA 
Publisher: Infinite Ink
Pages: 350
Add on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17264568-flame 
DESCRIPTION:
Normal people sneak out to a party and have fun. Maya Rao ends the evening by incinerating the guy who attacks her.
Nik Lucas, sexy, new in town and totally forbidden, happens to walk in on her. Normal guys would run for the hills. Nik knows a whole lot more than he's telling.
Maya doesn't believe the gods are real, doesn't waste her time with mere mythology. But when gods, demons and hellhound's become the new normal and wielding fire becomes her new skill, she must decide what it is she really believes.
Can Maya accept that normal is something she will never be because it isn't normal to be
...the Hand of Kali.

EXCERPT:
Fear spun Maya around on stricken feet. To defend her back perhaps. She just felt less vulnerable facing her attacker, where she could see his next move. He barreled straight at her. And for all her training in martial arts, she did the one thing her dad always said never to do. She ducked her head and hid her face with her hands. Hands out, as if she could fend off this vicious attacker merely with the soft skin of her palms.
Maya felt the heat before she saw it.
Byron was on fire. A living column of shimmering orange flames. She couldn't breathe. Was afraid to breathe. How did that happen? She glanced around the bathroom as panic filled her veins, her fear taking on a whole new level of hysteria. She had to put the fire out.
She turned to the faucet to fill her hands with water. And froze. In the mirror she saw the burning reflection of Byron disappear. Byron was there one moment and gone the next. Only a few burnt shards of fabric left to say he was ever there. But she remembered the last thing she'd seen before Byron became nothing: brilliant blue eyes turning a frighteningly blood-red.
And Nik, holding the doorknob, staring at the empty space on the floor behind her.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
T.G. AyerI have been a writer from the time I was old enough to recognise that reading was a doorway into my imagination. Poetry was my first foray into the art of the written word. Books were my best friends, my escape, my haven. I am essentially a recluse but this part of my personality is impossible to practise given I have two teenage daughters, who are actually my friends, my tea-makers, my confidantes… I am blessed with a husband who has left me for golf. It’s a fair trade as I have left him for writing. We are both passionate supporters of each other's loves – it works wonderfully…

My heart is currently broken in two. One half resides in South Africa where my old roots still remain, and my heart still longs for the endless beaches and the smell of moist soil after a summer downpour. My love for Ma Afrika will never fade. The other half of me has been transplanted to the Land of the Long White Cloud. The land of the Taniwha, beautiful Maraes, and volcanoes. The land of green, pure beauty that truly inspires. And because I am so torn between these two lands – I shall forever remain cross-eyed.


CONTACT DETAILS:









amzn.to/QECLcY








Viral Nation by Shaunta Grimes


Viral Nation
Blurb (from Goodreads):
After a virus claimed nearly the entire global population, the world changed. The United States splintered into fifty walled cities where the surviving citizens clustered to start over. The Company, which ended the plague by bringing a life-saving vaccine back from the future, controls everything. They ration the scant food and supplies through a lottery system, mandate daily doses of virus suppressant, and even monitor future timelines to stop crimes before they can be committed.

Brilliant but autistic, sixteen-year-old Clover Donovan has always dreamed of studying at the Waverly-Stead Academy. Her brother and caretaker, West, has done everything in his power to make her dream a reality. But Clover’s refusal to part with her beloved service dog denies her entry into the school. Instead, she is drafted into the Time Mariners, a team of Company operatives who travel through time to gather news about the future.

When one of Clover’s missions reveals that West’s life is in danger, the Donovans are shattered. To change West’s fate, they’ll have to take on the mysterious Company. But as its secrets are revealed, they realize that the Company’s rule may not be as benevolent as it seems. In saving her brother, Clover will face a more powerful force than she ever imagined… and will team up with a band of fellow misfits and outsiders to incite a revolution that will change their destinies forever.


Viral Nation by Shaunta Grimes

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


Viral Nation(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to PENGUIN GROUP Berkley, NAL / Signet Romance, DAW, Berkley Trade, and Netgalley.)
16-year-old Clover is looking forward to starting school at ‘The Academy’, when because of her dog, she instead gets sent to ‘The Company’ and gets enlisted instead.
Clover is autistic, and for some reason the people at ‘The Academy’ believe that she will be well suited to being a ‘Time Mariner’ – someone who goes two years into the future and brings back news to the present day on a regular basis. Clover isn’t sure about her new job, but she doesn’t really have a choice in the matter.

When she sees a friend in the future and he helps her, and then gives her important information about her brother, she’s not sure what she’s supposed to do.
Her brother West is going to kill someone, which means he’ll get arrested for it before it actually happens. The problem is that even though they’ve got warning, he can’t go into hiding because he needs ‘The Suppressant’ a daily injection that stops people from dying of this deadly virus.
Why is West going to kill this girl? Can they save her? And can they save him?



This book just bored me, and Clover was so whiney it was annoying.

Clover irritated the hell out of me. I don’t mean to be nasty to someone who has a disability, but she just wouldn’t stop whining! She just went on and on and on, about the stupid dog, about the stupid academy, about anything(!) until I just wanted to slap her. I mean seriously – stop with the whining! Please!

The whole going into the future, finding out who will commit a crime, and then arresting them beforehand reminded me really strongly of the film ‘Minority Report’, and I didn’t really like that either. Talk about robbing people of their own free will! If you don’t give people the chance to change, then they never will.

There was too much going on in the storyline for me – the virus, this whole academy/company thing with Clover, the visits to the future, the blo*dy dog, the possible murder and a whole heap of other stuff. The problem was that I just felt nothing for the characters (other than them annoying me), and really didn’t feel anything but boredom and annoyance over the storyline, which made this book seriously hard work for me.
The ending was a little bit more interesting, but it did end with what seemed very much like the opening for the next book. Suffice to say, that I will not be reading any more of these, I’ve had enough.
Overall; a post apocalyptic, ‘Minority Report’ like YA mystery, with a really whiney main character.
4 out of 10.


Stacking the Shelves - June 30th 2013

STSmall_thumb[2]



Been having a real effort to get some review books read this week! Haven't done too bad! I'm taking part in a challenge on Goodreads next week so I needed to get some of these read first!

Books Read:

The Maze Runner (Maze Runner, #1) Of Triton (Of Poseidon, #2) Undertow (Dragonfly, #2) The Edge of Never (The Edge of Never, #1) Gemini Rising The Rules of You and Me This is W.A.R Time Between Us (Time Between Us, #1) Touching Evil (Leila Marx, #1) Viral Nation Transcend Some Quiet Place Dirty Little Secret White Trash Beautiful (White Trash, #1) Blaze (or Love in the Time of Supervillains) Prophecy of the Most Beautiful (Oracle of Delphi, #1) Earth (Akasha, #4) 2:20 (#1 Timeless Trilogy)



Books Gained:



Once We Were (The Hybrid Chronicles, #2)
Relentless: A Dark Prophecy Novel


1. The Silver Chain by Primula Bond -
Thanks to HarperCollins UK, Avon, and Netgalley.
2. Infinityglass by Myra McEntire -
Thanks to Karen at Media Masters Publicity, Egmont USA, and Netgalley
3. Aquifer by Jonathan Friesen -
Thanks to Zonderkidz-Books, Zonderva, and Netgalley.
4. Once We Were by Kat Zhang -
Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss!!!
Can't tell you how excited I am for this one!!!!
5. Time After Time by Tamara Ireland Stone -
Thanks to Disney Book Group, Disney-Hyperion, and Netgalley.
6. Relentless by Molly M. Hall -
 Thanks to Reading Addiction Blog Tours

Saturday, 29 June 2013

A Shade Of Vampire (A Shade of Vampire #1) by Bella Forrest



A Shade Of Vampire (A Shade Of Vampire, #1)Blurb (from Goodreads):
On the evening of Sofia Claremont's seventeenth birthday, she is sucked into a nightmare from which she cannot wake.

A quiet evening walk along a beach brings her face to face with a dangerous pale creature that craves much more than her blood.

She is kidnapped to an island where the sun is eternally forbidden to shine.
An island uncharted by any map and ruled by the most powerful vampire coven on the planet. She wakes here as a slave, a captive in chains.

Sofia's life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn when she is the one selected out of hundreds of girls to join the harem of Derek Novak, the dark royal Prince.

Despite his addiction to power and obsessive thirst for her blood, Sofia soon realizes that the safest place on the island is within his quarters, and she must do all within her power to win him over if she is to survive even one more night.

Will she succeed? ...or is she destined to the same fate that all other girls have met at the hands of the Novaks?



A Shade Of Vampire by Bella Forrest

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars


A Shade Of Vampire (A Shade Of Vampire, #1)(Source: Downloaded for free from Amazon.co.uk, and the author requested I review it.)
Sofia is annoyed when her best friend Ben forgets her seventeenth birthday, but that is the last of her problems when she finds herself drugged and kidnapped, and transported to an island run by vampires.

Newly awoken Derek Novak is vampire royalty, and has spent the last 400 years sleeping. Five kidnapped girls are brought to him when he awakes, and the hunger begins to pound. There’s something about Sofia that he’s instantly attracted too, but instead of drinking her blood, he names her as his, and forbids anyone else from touching her.
Is Sofia happy to be Derek’s though? Is there any way to escape the compound? And will she ever get back to her old life?


This was an interesting fast-paced vampire story, but the attraction between Sofia and Derek was unexplained.

Sofia and Derek were both alright characters. Sofia mainly wanted to get back to her normal life, while Derek was suddenly thrust back into his normal life.
The attraction between Sofia and Derek was instantaneous, and this wasn’t really explained. Was it just lust? Was it love at first sight? Was it fate? Not sure. I have to say though that for a vampire who hadn’t had blood in 400 years, he was extremely restrained! As much as he was attracted to her, he also wanted to keep her safe, which seemed a little unusual in the circumstances.
There wasn’t a great deal of romance in this book; there was the instant attraction, and then a period where Sofia and Derek became friends, but that was all. Derek was quite restrained though when he had Sofia sleeping in his bed!

I liked the storyline in this book, and it was fast paced. I did wonder if Sofia was suffering from Stockholm syndrome at the end though as she began to have feelings for Derek too and was defending him and getting him gifts! I suppose that could also be seen as her falling in love with him though.
Overall; an interesting YA vampire story.
7 out of 10.


Release Event and Giveaway - Omission by Taryn Plendl

This giveaway is sponsored by author Taryn Plendl.



Title: Omission
Author: Taryn Plendl
Release date: June 24, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: New Adult/Adult
Event organized by: AToMR Tours

Book Description:
o·mis·sion
-Something left out, not done, or neglected.

Strong and resilient, Payton has always been able to pick up the pieces of her tragic life and move on, but not without hesitance when it came to letting others in. Until recently, she’s done it alone, but now there’s Garrett, and he wants nothing more than to be in her life. She is finally finding it easier to leave the hurt and fear behind her for good.

Harboring secrets of his own, Garrett knows it is best to stay away from Payton, but knowing and doing are two different things, and he just can’t seem to stay away from her.

An unexpected encounter brought Garrett into Payton’s life. Mutual attraction and eventually love has kept him there, but will secrets and lies prove to be too much for them both? What happens when Payton's past comes back to haunt her? Will this tear them apart forever?

About the Author
I am a wife to my soul-mate, loving mom to two girls who have the amazing ability to make me both laugh hysterically and want to pull my hair out within the same five minutes, and mommy to a fifteen year old rescue dog who is thirteen pounds of pure man!
I'm an autism advocate, dreamer, and Indie Author of Contemporary Romance. I believe in "Happily Ever After", and love living vicariously through my books.
Instead of turning into a pumpkin at midnight, I turn into an author, creating my stories when the house is quiet. I read at least three books a week and know every Disney Junior theme song, and can belt them out with the best of them.
Author social media links:




Sweepstakes ‘Giveaway’ per blog: 

(1) eBook of Omission. eBook will be gifted from Amazon only by the author. Open to countries that can accept gifted eBook from Amazon. Value of eBook is $2.99 USD. 


a Rafflecopter giveaway



Excerpt

“Are you okay?” Garrett sat back next to me and wrapped his arms around me. I was shaking. Maybe I was cold, or maybe it was just a release from my body—maybe some sort of relief. I’d never told anyone what I just told Garrett. I never expected anyone to care.

“The wounds can heal, but the scars will still be there, along with the memory of how they came to be, you know?” I whispered.

“This is why you have that wall built up around you.” He pulled me in closer.

I turned and looked up at Garrett and smiled. “Yeah, I guess so, but sometimes walls aren't built to keep people out ... sometimes they are built to see who is strong enough to bring them down.”

Garrett’s swollen hand caught my attention. “We should get some ice on that.” I stood up and held out my hand. We walked inside and up the stairs to my apartment. His hand was already starting to bruise, and I could see the scabs from what must have been the wall incident Lucas mentioned.

I grabbed the ice and sat next Garrett on the couch. I pulled his hand into my lap and placed the ice on it, watching as he grimaced. “You really should stop beating up signs and walls.” He laughed and leaned in, kissing me softly on the lips.

“Thank you for trusting me, Payton.” He cupped my face in his hands, kissing me again—softly.

“Hey, do you remember those kisses we shared before? The ones that can cause you to forget where you are or what you were doing? The kind you don't want to end?” I watched him nod and smile. “May I have another one, please?”

“What kind of guy would I be to refuse you that?”