爵士娱乐华人_注册送

Showing posts with label young adult books. Show all posts

"The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall" Review

"The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall"
by Katie Alender
Publisher: Point
Release Date: Aug. 25, 2015

Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Summary from goodreads.com:

In this asylum, your mind plays tricks on you all the time…

Delia’s new house isn’t just a house. Long ago, it was the Piven Institute for the Care and Correction of Troubled Females—an insane asylum nicknamed “Hysteria Hall.” However, many of the inmates were not insane, just defiant and strong willed. Kind of like Delia herself.

But the house still wants to keep “troubled” girls locked away. So, in the most horrifying way, Delia gets trapped.

And that’s when she learns that the house is also haunted.

Ghost girls wander the halls in their old-fashioned nightgowns. A handsome ghost boy named Theo roams the grounds. Delia finds that all the spirits are unsettled and full of dark secrets. The house, as well, harbors shocking truths within its walls—truths that only Delia can uncover, and that may set her free.

But she’ll need to act quickly, before the house’s power overtakes everything she loves.

From master of suspense Katie Alender comes a riveting tale of twisted memories and betrayals, and the meaning of madness.
My Review:

This one took a long time before it really grabbed me, but once it did, I couldn't put the book down! What a  perfect creepy read for this time of year! The author takes a big risk and I really think it payed off and made for a very interesting and unique take on a ghost story. This story is super spooky at times, but in addition to the ghost story, there is a heartfelt message about the bond between families.

Since I love historicals, I love that even though this is a contemporary story, some of the ghosts lived 100 years ago. The storytelling really ties the past into the current story. There is interesting commentary on what it means to be 'troubled' both today and in the past, especially for women.

I loved the recurring theme of "everything is not always what it seems." I feel like this applied to the story over and over again. It was really eye opening and reminded the reader be open minded about everyone and everything, and not to take anything at face value.

You really have to read this one for yourself to truly understand the core of the book. I don't want to give any spoilers here, but know that this one really picks up speed around 20% into the book!


Main Characters: 5/5
Supporting Characters: 5/5
Setting: 5/5

Romance: 4/5

Uniqueness: 5/5
Cover: 5/5
Writing: 5/5


Bottom Line: The perfect read for a dark and stormy October night!


Grab this one right now for Kindle for only $2.99!! I'm not sure how long this price will last, so double check the price before you click buy!!


Disclosure: I received an e-copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Giveaway and Excerpt: "Redeemed"

To celebrate the release of Redeemed, the last House of Night book by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast, I am happy to feature an excerpt from the book, and a giveaway of a signed House of Night comic!


"Redeemed"
by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: Oct 14, 2014

Summary from goodreads.com:
In the final electrifying novel in the HoN series, Neferet has finally made herself known to mortals. A Dark Goddess is loose on Tulsa and the world. No single vampyre is strong enough to vanquish her - unless that creature has the power to summon the elements as well as the ability to wield Old Magick. Only Zoey Redbird is heir to such power…but because of the consequences of using Old Magick, she is unable to help. Find out who will win and who will lose in this epic battle of Light versus Darkness.
Excerpt


Excerpt #2:
Kalona streaked across the billowing thunderclouds almost in time with the lightning. The storm’s winds buffeted him, but Kalona took no heed of it. He had one duty, one responsibility, one edict from his Goddess. He would protect the people in need. No matter the cost, he chose to stand between Neferet and those he had come to value, even to love.
Suddenly, the clouds before him began to boil and change form until Kalona was staring into the glowing eyes of the White Bull. His body was an enormous cloud, his horns dripping with a rain of blood.
Though it has been eons since last we met, you are as predictable now as you were then. The voice blasted through Kalona’s mind. What mutually beneficial deal shall we make this time, Kalona?
“None, bull. Last time we met I rejected you in words, but not in my heart, nor in my deeds. Last time we met I allowed your Darkness to feed that which was weak within me and poison my life. This time I am different. This time I reject you in words, in heart, and in deeds.”
Really, Son of the Moon? Would you still reject me if I told you I had the power to restore to you everything you lost during the eons you have wandered the mortal realm?
“There is nothing you can give me that would be worth the price.”
But you haven’t even heard my price. It would be so very little in comparison to that which you have lost…

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1q3ybjP
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1qic7lO

GIVEAWAY RULES: The publicist has generously provided a signed copy of the "House of Night" comic book for a lucky reader of my blog!
All you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form below.
  • US only
  • Books will be mailed out by the publicist
  • Must be 18 or over 
  • Ends Nov 14
Thanks to everyone for entering! Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for this post

"Forbidden" Trailer Reveal and Giveaway!


Today, In the Hammock is hosting the trailer reveal for "Forbidden" by Kimberley Griffiths Little. The author is also sponsoring a fantastic contest!

On November 4th, HarperCollins unveils Forbidden, a seductive YA debut from award-winning middle grade author Kimberley Griffiths Little. Forbidden transports readers back in time to the deadly deserts and sweltering heat of Ancient Mesopotamia for a tale of danger, duty, and forbidden love. Jayden is on the brink of womanhood and betrothed to her tribe’s prince, cold-hearted Horeb. But when tragedy strikes, Jayden meets Kadesh, a mysterious visitor from the south who makes Jayden doubt everything she knows. Torn between loyalty to her tribe and the chance to escape her fate, Jayden must make a choice that will change her life forever.



Today, we are unveiling the Forbidden trailer for the very first time!



Kimberley is also offering a HUGE preorder giveaway from October 6th to November 4th (release day!) to celebrate. See below for full details on how to enter. 

This giveaway is provided for my readers by Kimberley Griffiths Little. The author is responsible for the running of the Rafflecopter and the prizing, I am simply posting the Rafflecopter with permission from the author. Please see her terms and conditions for rules.

TO ENTER:
  • You must preorder Forbidden through an online retailer or your local bookstore, then email a photo of your receipt to forbiddengiveaway@gmail.com.
  • Fill out the rafflecopter below
  • US/Canada Only
  • Ends at midnight EST on November 3, 2014
  • Optional entries: share the trailer on your own site or social media, follow Kimberley on twitter, and tweet about the giveaway (can be repeated daily for extra entries!)
  • Winners will be announced and contacted November 4th (release day!)
  • If the winner does not respond with their mailing address within one week, a new winner will be chosen.

PRIZES:


(1) GRAND PRIZE WINNER:

1. GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS by Rae Carson
2. CHAOS OF STARS by Kiersten White
3 Satin Belly Dance Skirt
4. Belly Dance 150-Coin Hip Scarf
5. Red Silk Veil (not pictured)
6. Red Middle Eastern Earrings
7. Belly dance DVD: Sensual Belly Dance with Blanca, a professional dancer (technique, choreography, and performances)
8. "Will YOU risk it all?" button (not pictured)
9. Set of 10 Book Club Cards
10. Jeweled bookmark (not pictured)



(1) SECOND PLACE WINNER:

1. GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS by Rae Carson
2. Red Middle Eastern Earrings
3. Red Silk Veil (not pictured)
4. Belly dance DVD: Sensual Belly Dance with Blanca, a professional dancer (technique, choreography, and performances)
5. "Will YOU risk it all?" button (not pictured)
6. Set of 10 Book Club Cards
7. Jeweled bookmark (not pictured)









(13) RUNNERS-UP WINNERS:

1. Red Middle Eastern Earrings
2. "Will YOU risk it all?" button (not pictured)
3. Set of 10 Book Club Cards
4. Jeweled bookmark (not pictured)










Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



About Forbidden: In the unforgiving Mesopotamian desert where Jayden’s tribe lives, betrothal celebrations abound, and tonight it is Jayden’s turn to be honored. But while this union with Horeb, the son of her tribe’s leader, will bring a life of riches and restore her family’s position within the tribe, it will come at the price of Jayden’s heart.

Then a shadowy boy from the Southern Lands appears. Handsome and mysterious, Kadesh fills Jayden’s heart with a passion she never knew possible. But with Horeb’s increasingly violent threats haunting Jayden’s every move, she knows she must find a way to escape—or die trying.



With a forbidden romance blossoming in her heart and her family’s survival on the line, Jayden must embark on a deadly journey to save the ones she loves—and find a true love for herself.

Set against the brilliant backdrop of the sprawling desert, the story of Jayden and Kadesh will leave readers absolutely breathless as they defy the odds and risk it all to be together.



Follow Kimberley:

About Kimberley: Award-winning author Kimberley Griffiths Little was born in San Francisco, but now lives in New Mexico on the banks of the Rio Grande with her husband and their three sons. Her middle-grade novels, When the Butterflies Came, The Last Snake Runner, The Healing Spell, and Circle of Secrets, have been praised as “fast-paced and dramatic,” with “beautifully realized settings.” Kimberley adores anything old and musty with a secret story to tell. She’s stayed in the haunted tower room at Borthwick Castle in Scotland; sailed the Seine in Paris; ridden a camel in Petra, Jordan; shopped the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul; and spent the night in an old Communist hotel in Bulgaria. You can visit her online at www.kimberleygriffithslittle.com.



Share your thoughts on the trailer in the comments!

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post, the author will provide prizes for the giveaway winner.

Giveaway and Review: "Destined for Doon"

"Destined for Doon"
by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon

Publisher: BlinkYA
Release Date: Sep 2, 2014
Source: sent by publicist


My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Summary from goodreads.com:
The second book in the popular new Doon YA series that takes on a classic story, Brigadoon, and spins it in a new way to give readers a fresh, modern experience.

In this sequel to Doon, Kenna Reid realizes she made a horrible mistake-choosing to follow her dreams of Broadway instead of staying in the enchanted land of Doon. Worse, she's received proof she and Duncan are meant to be, along with torturous visions of the prince she left behind. So when Duncan shows up and informs Kenna that Doon needs her, she doesn't need to think twice. But even if Kenna can save the enchanted kingdom, her happily ever after may still be in peril.
My Review:

I have been waiting (and waiting and waiting!) for the sequel to "Doon", since it was one of my favorite books of 2013. "Destined for Doon" did not disappoint! I absolutely loved it, in fact, as much as I enjoyed Doon, I enjoyed this one much more.

In this installment, we get to revisit Veronica and Mackenna, the two leads from the first book, as well as their handsome Scottish suitors, Jamie and Duncan. I really loved Mackenna in the first book and I was thrilled that the sequel focuses on her story, while Veronica takes on a supporting role. Duncan was one of my favorite book boyfriends the first time around, and he is just as fantastic in this book. The story is soooo romantic, I was absolutely swooning on the first few pages. I loved reading about Mackenna and Duncan's journey back to Doon and possibly back to each other.

There are darker forces at play in the second book. There is a dark plague taking over Doon that only Mackenna can see. This definitely adds a spooky and creepy element that was not there in the first book. I really liked this additional facet though, it made the book that much more intense.

Bottom Line: This sequel was definitely worth the wait! It's rare that a sequel is more fantastic than the original, but this is one of those rare gems!





GIVEAWAY RULES
The author has generously provided a copy of this book for a lucky reader of my blog.
All you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form below.
  • US only
  • Prizes will be mailed out by the author
  • Must be 18 or over 
  • Ends Sep 22
Thanks to everyone for entering! Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway



Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publicist in exchange for an honest review.

Tote Bag and Book Giveaway: "The Diviners" by Libba Bray

"The Diviners"
by Libba Bray

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Release Date: Dec 3, 2013 (paperback)


Summary from goodreads.com:

Do you believe there are ghosts and demons and Diviners among us? Evie O'Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City--and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It's 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult.
Evie worries he'll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer.
As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfurled in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho hides a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened....
Printz Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Libba Bray opens a brand-new historical series with The Diviners, where the glittering surface of the Roaring Twenties hides a mystical horror creeping across the country.



Visit the official website
Like the book on Facebook
Visit Libba’s author site
Follow Libba on Twitter

Watch the Trailer:








You can win the brand new paperback version of the book and an exclusive Diviners tote bag!

GIVEAWAY RULES
The publisher has generously provided a paperback copy of this book and a tote bag for a lucky reader of my blog.
All you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form below.
  • US only
  • Prizes will be mailed out by the publisher
  • Must be 18 or over 
  • Ends Dec 14
Thanks to everyone for entering! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclosure: Giveaway is sponsored by the publisher, I received a copy of the book in exchange for this post.

Review: "Doon"

"Doon"
by Carey Corp & Lorie Langdon

Publisher: Blink

Release Date: Aug 20, 2013
Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars

Summary from goodreads.com:

Veronica doesn't think she's going crazy. But why can't anyone else see the mysterious blond boy who keeps popping up wherever she goes? When her best friend, Mackenna, invites her to spend the summer in Scotland, Veronica jumps at the opportunity to leave her complicated life behind for a few months.

But the Scottish countryside holds other plans.

Not only has the imaginary kilted boy followed her to Alloway, she and Mackenna uncover a strange set of rings and a very unnerving letter from Mackenna's great aunt—and when the girls test the instructions Aunt Gracie left behind, they find themselves transported to a land that defies explanation. Doon seems like a real-life fairy tale, complete with one prince who has eyes for Mackenna and another who looks suspiciously like the boy from Veronica's daydreams. But Doon has a dark underbelly as well. The two girls could have everything they've longed for...or they could end up breaking an enchantment and find themselves trapped in a world that has become a nightmare.

DOON is loosely based on the premise of the musical Brigadoon, with permission from the ALan Jay Lerner Estate and the Frederick Loewe Foundation. Follow the journey at http://www.DoonSeries.com

~Destiny awaits!

My Review:

A YA book based on a musical? Yes please! This book was on my to-read list before I even read the complete description. And believe me, it did not disappoint! I loved the book, and I honestly can't wait for a sequel. I grew so attached to the two main characters, their love interests, and the romantic fantasy world of Doon.

Usually, I'm iffy on time-travel books, but this one was just done so well! The book is so romantic, and I was biting my nails the entire time, trying not to get too attached to either of the couples. Because I wasn't sure it was going to end with a happily ever after! No spoilers, you will have to wait and see what happens to these two star-crossed couples.

I loved that the book was told from both Veronica and MacKenna's points of view. Veronica definitely has a larger chunk of the story devoted to her, with MacKenna getting one chapter for every three of Veronica's. I may have been a bit biased towards MacKenna, she was the musical lover in the book after all! And I preferred her love story as well. But that didn't stop my from enjoying Veronica's parts of the story too!

The the girls were so different, I loved seeing Doon from two different viewpoints. I also liked that the reader was able to see two totally different types of love interests, without the dreaded love triangle! For me, I just fell in love with Duncan, he was head over heels in love with MacKenna and not afraid to show it! He was sweet, lovable, and always smiling, definitely my type of guy. Jamie was the brooding type for sure, and held back with his feelings for Veronica. Yes, it all was explained, and she generally called him out when he was acting like a jerk. It was kind of fun to see both kinds of romantic interests in the same book, something for everyone in a way.

I was swept away by the story, the romance, and especially the fantasy world of Doon in the Scottish mist.

Main Characters: 5/5
Supporting Characters: 5/5
Setting: 5/5

Romance: 5/5

Uniqueness: 5/5
Cover: 5/5
Writing: 5/5

Bottom Line: You don't have to know the story of the musical Brigadoon to enjoy this time travel romance. It was a great escape with two swoon-worthy romances!



Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

"Tempestuous" Review

"Tempestuous: A Twisted Lit Novel"
by Kim Askew and Amy Helmes

Publisher: Merit Press
Release Date: Dec 18, 2012
Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Summary from goodreads.com:
Recently banished, unfairly, by the school’s popular crowd, former “it girl,” Miranda Prospero, finds herself in a brave new world: holding dominion amongst a rag-tag crew of geeks and misfits where she works at the Hot-Dog Kabob in the food court of her local mall. When the worst winter storm of the season causes mall workers and last-minute shoppers to be snowed-in for the night, Miranda seizes the opportunity to get revenge against the catty clique behind her social exile. With help from her delightfully dweeby coworker, Ariel, and a sullen loner named Caleb who works at the mall’s nearby gaming and magic shop, Miranda uses charm and trickery to set things to right during this spirited take on Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

My Review:

This book was adorable and so much fun! I can see it being made into a great teen movie! It actually reminded me of another movie set in a mall, think "Paul Blart Mall Cop" if the mall were run by teenagers with no adults.

The book was complete read on its own, but I do feel like I was missing out because I have never read or seen "The Tempest" by William Shakespeare, the work that this book is based upon. I tried to find some info about the play online but I really couldn't come up with that many similarities without reading the play. But the absolute best part of the book, and other books like this, is that now I want to read the original work! Hopefully this series will introduce younger readers to classic books and encourage them to read the originals as well!

The story is a fun overnight romp at the local mall, with a lively cast of characters. Miranda and Caleb being handcuffed together was one of my favorite storylines. He really had that teen bad boy thing going for him, but it seemed like Miranda always took the lead! The fact that Miranda used to actually be one of the "mean girls" took that storyline to a level that you don't usually see.


Main Characters: 4/5
Supporting Characters: 4/5
Setting: 5/5

Romance: 4/5

Uniqueness: 5/5
Cover: 4/5
Writing: 4/5


Bottom Line: This book is a such a fun story, perfect for the next big teen movie! I'm definitely inspired to read the Shakespeare play, "The Tempest", now!

Giveaway and Review: "Notes from Ghost Town"

"Notes from Ghost Town"
 by Kate Ellison

Publisher: Egmont USA
Release Date: Feb 12, 2012
Source: ARC sent by publicist

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Summary from goodreads.com:

They say first love never dies...

From critically acclaimed author Kate Ellison comes a heartbreaking mystery of mental illness, unspoken love, and murder. When sixteen-year-old artist Olivia Tithe is visited by the ghost of her first love, Lucas Stern, it’s only through scattered images and notes left behind that she can unravel the mystery of his death.

There’s a catch: Olivia has gone colorblind, and there’s a good chance she’s losing her mind completely—just like her mother did. How else to explain seeing (and falling in love all over again with) someone who isn’t really there?

With the murder trial looming just nine days away, Olivia must follow her heart to the truth, no matter how painful. It’s the only way she can save herself.

My Review:

I really enjoyed this book much more than I thought I would! Usually books with this many issues are difficult for me to read, but this author did a great job of keeping things hopeful even in dire circumstances. I love that Liv really works hard to fix things for her mother, herself, and even her ghost best friend, Lucas. She is dealing with so much, but she never loses hope that things will get better, and tries hard to make it so. She never wallows in self pity or feels defeated. The tone of the book never felt depressing to me, and that is something that I pick up on whenever a book is the least bit depressing. I'm so glad I took a chance and read this book even though I had doubts that I would enjoy it.

I was caught up by the mystery in this book. It did remind me of the popular mystery tv shows, where there are many suspects to investigate before the real culprit is revealed. Even with this formula though, it wasn't predictable for most of the book for me.

The romance plays out really well. It's not your typical love triangle, since one of the players is a ghost. I think there is a lot of heart in this love triangle, and possibly Liv's decision has to more to do with herself and her own growth than it does about weighing the pros and cons of the boys themselves.

After I finishing, I really felt hopeful and satisfied. Then a while later, I realized that maybe there were some loose ends to be tied up. However, some of that may be because of  the style of suspect after suspect being questioned, so then after they were 'off the hook' we didn't really get to know the rest of their story. I can't really discuss the other loose end, because of spoilers, but it was just another thing to think about in the outcome.


Main Characters: 4/5
Supporting Characters: 4/5

Setting: 4/5

Romance: 4/5

Uniqueness: 4/5
Cover: 3/5 (the new cover is much less scary than the ARC cover though!)
Writing: 4/5


Bottom Line: A great mystery with paranormal elements. I don't think this one is as scary or intense as some other similar books are, and that made me enjoy the book much more.


Follow Egmont USA on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EgmontUSA
Follow Egmont USA on Twitter: @EgmontUSA
Follow Kate on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/KateEllisonBooks
 

Giveaway includes a hardcover copy of "Notes from Ghost Town" as well as a paperback copy of "The Butterfly Clues"






GIVEAWAY RULES
The publicist has generously provided a hardcover copy of "Notes from Ghost Town" as well as a paperback copy of "The Butterfly Clues" to a lucky reader of my blog.
All you have to do is follow my blog publicly and fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Please follow publicly or I can't tell that you are following :)
  • US/CAN only
  • Must be a follower to enter
  • Books will be mailed out by the publisher
  • Must be 18 or over 
  • Ends April 11
Thanks to everyone for entering! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Giveaway and Review: "Nobody"

"Nobody"
 by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Publisher: Egmont USA
Release Date: Jan 22, 2012
Source: ARC sent by publicist

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Summary from goodreads.com:

There are people in this world who are Nobody. No one sees them. No one notices them. They live their lives under the radar, forgotten as soon as you turn away.

That’s why they make the perfect assassins.

The Institute finds these people when they’re young and takes them away for training. But an untrained Nobody is a threat to their organization. And threats must be eliminated.

Sixteen-year-old Claire has been invisible her whole life, missed by the Institute’s monitoring. But now they’ve ID’ed her and send seventeen-year-old Nix to remove her. Yet the moment he lays eyes on her, he can’t make the hit. It’s as if Claire and Nix are the only people in the world for each other. And they are—because no one else ever notices them.
.

My Review:

Unfortunately, this book just wasn't for me. The lyrical, almost poetic, language and style was quite pretty, however it also reinforced the overall sad tone, and how bad the main characters felt about being nobodies.

At first, I felt like Claire had feelings that a lot of people experience at some time or another. She felt invisible to others, no matter how hard she tried.  I felt like she still wanted to try to overcome the invisible feeling though, and made an effort. But once Nix was introduced, this invisible, nobody theme became a little scary. It went from a somewhat familiar feeling that a lot of people experience, and was taken to a very dark place indeed.

The sci-fi world of nobodies, nulls, etc, was very in depth and detailed. Fans of science fiction would probably really enjoy this world that the author built.

The romance, unfortunately, is understandable. Of course, they would be drawn to each other since literally no one else pays any attention to them. That doesn't make it nice, though. Nix is scary as a love interest, he is trying to kill Claire, after all. It becomes obsessive for both characters, as well.


Main Characters: 2/5
Supporting Characters: 3/5

Setting: 4/5

Romance: 2/5

Uniqueness: 4/5
Cover: 4/5
Writing: 4/5


Bottom Line: This sci fi romance wasn't for me, but hopefully some others will enjoy the elaborate, alternate world.

Two videos featuring Jen talking about Every Other Day, which is releasing in paperback on January 22, the same day as Nobody:
 

Giveaway includes a hardcover copy of "Nobody" as well as a paperback copy of "Every Other Day"





GIVEAWAY RULES
The publicist has generously provided a hardcover copy of "Nobody" as well as a paperback copy of "Every Other Day" to a lucky reader of my blog.
All you have to do is follow my blog publicly and fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Please follow publicly or I can't tell that you are following :)
  • US/CAN only
  • Must be a follower to enter
  • Books will be mailed out by the publisher
  • Must be 18 or over 
  • Ends Mar 12
Thanks to everyone for entering! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Giveaway and Review: "Changeling" by Philippa Gregory

"Changeling" The Order of Darkness #1
 by Philippa Gregory

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: Jan 1, 2012 (paperback)
Source: sent by publicist

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Summary from goodreads.com:

Dark myths, medieval secrets, intrigue, and romance populate the pages of this first in a four-book teen series from the #1 bestselling author of The Other Boleyn Girl.The year is 1453 and all signs point to it being the end of the world. Accused of heresy and expelled from his monastery, handsome seventeen-year-old Luca Vero is recruited by a mysterious stranger to record the end of times across Europe. Commanded by sealed orders, Luca is sent to map the fears of Christendom and travel to the very frontier of good and evil.

Seventeen-year-old Isolde, a Lady Abbess, is trapped in a nunnery to prevent her from claiming her rich inheritance. As the nuns in her care are driven mad by strange visions, walking in their sleep, and showing bleeding wounds, Luca is sent to investigate and driven to accuse her.

Forced to face the greatest fears of the dark ages—witchcraft, werewolves, madness—Luca and Isolde embark on a search for truth, their own destinies, and even love as they take the unknown ways to the real historical figure who defends the boundaries of Christendom and holds the secrets of the Order of Darkness.

My Review:

This was a very unique book, and I enjoyed it a lot! I was pleasantly surprised by just how different of a story it was.

The characters were great and I can't wait to see them develop even more in the next books. My favorite character was Freize, Luca's servant. He was so funny, and had a heart of gold. I can only hope that he and Ishraq will patch things up in the upcoming books. Ishraq, Isolde's servant, was a very interesting character, too. She was wise and strong, in a quiet way. I liked Isolde, too, she was strong in her own right, especially considering everything that had happened to her to put her in her present circumstances. Luca has some growing to do, but his heart is in the right place. He's a bit over-confident, but it works for him, and he has good values.

I have to say that I enjoyed the second part of the book more than the first. The characters were definitely on two clearly separate adventures. The second adventure had a little bit more heart in my opinion. Also, I think I was more aware of where the characters stood in their points of view and values, instead of guessing. I love the format of the four characters heading off on different adventures in every book. I can't wait for the upcoming books in the series.

Main Characters: 4/5
Supporting Characters: 5/5

Setting: 5/5

Romance: 4/5

Uniqueness: 5/5
Cover: 5/5
Writing: 5/5


Bottom Line: A wonderful and unique take on YA, I can't wait to read the future installments of this new series.


You may be more familiar with the cover for the hardcover version of this book. I would say that, while I might have been more likely to pick up the first cover, I really think this new cover suits the story better.



Visit the Official Site
Watch the Book Trailer


Philippa Gregory is the author of several internationally bestselling novels, including The Other Boleyn Girl and The White Queen, and is a recognized authority on women’s history. She lives in the north of England with her family and welcomes visitors to her website, PhilippaGregory.com. Order of Darkness: Changeling is her first novel written for teens.

Find out more: http://www.philippagregory.com
 



Giveaway:

Is then pen mightier than the sword?
One winner receives:
·         Copy of Order of Darkness: Changeling
·         Victorian Rose Glass Pen Set



GIVEAWAY RULES
The publicist has generously provided a copy of "Changeling" The Order of Darkness #1, along with a calligraphy pen for a lucky follower of my blog!
All you have to do is follow my blog publicly and fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Please follow publicly or I can't tell that you are following :)
  • US only
  • Must be a follower to enter
  • Books will be mailed out by the publisher
  • Must be 18 or over 
  • Ends Feb 20
Thanks to everyone for entering! Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway




"While He Was Away" Special Edition Cover Reveal and Guest Post

  
by Karen Schreck

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: Jan 2013



Summary from goodreads.com:
One year--he'll be gone for one year and then we'll be together again and everything will be back to the way it should be.

The day David left, I felt like my heart was breaking. Sure, any long-distance relationship is tough, but David was going to war--to fight, to protect, to put his life in danger. We can get through this, though. We'll talk, we'll email, we won't let anything come between us.

I can be an army girlfriend for one year. But will my sweet, soulful, funny David be the same person when he comes home? Will I? And what if he doesn't come home at all?...

"A tender and honest examination of love, longing, and loyalty in the face of modern war."--Laura Ruby, author of Bad Apple

"While He Was Away is a wonderful love story with writing that is skillful and true."--Amy Timberlake, author of That Girl Lucy Moon



While He Was Away Walmart-Exclusive Cover Reveal
and How Inspiration Can Come From Anywhere:
Even a Trip to the Grocery Store and a Handful of Long-Lost Photographs

By Karen Schreck


I sometimes wonder what my mother would say if she knew that her story—one of the saddest, sweetest love stories I’ve ever heard—was retold in a new way in my young adult novel, While He Was Away.

Now Sourcebooks Fire is sharing the story yet again, in a second, exclusive edition, released nation-wide at Walmart.  The fact that Sourcebooks believed enough in While He Was Away to bring it to life the first time felt like a much-needed confirmation of years of hard work.  The fact that they are standing behind my book again in this way . . . well, it feels like a miracle.  I’m truly grateful.

I wonder what my mother would say to this incredible news? I like to think she would be grateful too.  I like to think she would be happy.  She wanted her story heard after all.  So much so that it was one of the last things she told me, just before she died.

One rainy night when I was fourteen, right before cancer left her to ill to talk, let alone drive a car, my mother said, “Come with me.  We’re going shopping.”  We drove to the little local market and wandered up and down the aisles, as she threw in a can of tuna, some dishwashing soap, and other little things we didn’t need.  We paid for these little things.  She looked anxious and tired, still she hadn’t said a thing; we hadn’t spoken a word.

It was only when we were parked in our driveway again that my mother said, “I was married once before when I was very young.  He died a hero in WWII.”

And that was that.  Soon after, she died.

I thought about my mother’s mysterious love story for many years.  I talked to relatives, found long-lost photographs.  The story took seed in me.  It flowered into a novel about a young women whose boyfriend leaves for the Iraq War.  In her loneliness, she seeks out a grandmother she’s never met, whose first husband died in WWII.  She seeks out a character inspired by mother.

A late night drive, a few words spoken in the dark.  Even things as simple as this can inspire a novel.




Thank you for stopping by, Karen!

Enjoy the cover, everyone!

"Cinders & Sapphires" Review

"Cinders & Sapphires" At Somerton #1
by Leila Rasheed

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: Jan 22, 2013
Source: ARC sent by publisher

My Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars

Summary from goodreads.com:
One house, two worlds...

Rose Cliffe has never met a young lady like her new mistress. Clever, rich, and beautiful, Ada Averley treats Rose as an equal. And Rose could use a friend. Especially now that she, at barely sixteen, has risen to the position of ladies’ maid. Rose knows she should be grateful to have a place at a house like Somerton. Still, she can’t help but wonder what her life might have been had she been born a lady, like Ada.

For the first time in a decade, the Averleys have returned to Somerton, their majestic ancestral estate. But terrible scandal has followed Ada’s beloved father all the way from India. Now Ada finds herself torn between her own happiness and her family’s honor. Only she has the power to restore the Averley name—but it would mean giving up her one true love . . . someone she could never persuade her father to accept.

Sumptuous and enticing, the first novel in the At Somerton series introduces two worlds, utterly different yet entangled, where ruthless ambition, forbidden attraction, and unspoken dreams are hidden behind dutiful smiles and glittering jewels. All those secrets are waiting . . . at Somerton.

My Review:

Finally, authors and publishers are catching on to the Downton Abbey trend! Many readers are starved to read more stories about the glittering era in which Downton is set, and finally more books are being published about this time and setting. Is it jumping on the bandwagon? Sure, but I am glad for it, and hope there are more to come. This book fits the bill for readers wanting more of this type of story.

At first, I will admit that I wasn't getting into the story. There was a prologue (I just don't like them) and the beginning chapters were very descriptive of the grand house and its day to day workings. There is one big "secret" that is terribly obvious from the beginning. Add to that a huge amount of characters and names to keep straight (a list at the beginning of the book may have been helpful), and I thought I was going to be disappointed.

However, very soon, the story took off in so many directions, that I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. The characters started to become very well developed, and most were not caricatures or stereotypes. They were well-rounded and seemed fresh, and also current even with the historical setting. New secrets started to emerge that I didn't see coming. I was quickly proven wrong in my initial misgivings about the book.

I can't wait to read more of this series, and I'm so glad that we will get to read more about these great characters. Rose was a bit too normal, or average for me. Sure, she was likable, but things just seemed to happen around her instead of her really taking charge. Ada was more interesting to me, with her hopes and dreams of going to a university. Also, the secondary characters were all extremely interesting and probably a bit more more unique and multi-faceted than the leads.

Main Characters: 5/5
Supporting Characters: 5/5
Setting: 5/5

Romance: 4/5

Uniqueness: 4/5
Cover: 5/5
Writing: 4/5


Bottom Line: The perfect read for Downton Abbey addicts!

Giveaway, Guest Post, and Review! "The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart"

 As part of the blog tour for The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart, I am happy to have the author stop by for a guest post, and a giveaway along with my review!

Review

"The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart"
by Leanna Renee Hieber

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: Nov 1, 2012
Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars

Summary from goodreads.com:
For Natalie Stewart, a normal life has never seemed so far away. Her only solace, Lord Jonathan Denbury, is wanted for murder. To clear his name, Denbury must return to England and assume the role of his demon doppelganger. But Natalie begins to doubt his true motives, especially as a new gentleman begins whispering in her ear. Natalie and Denbury may be able to visit each other in their dreams, but they can't escape the darkening shadows. Amid spontaneous explosions, friends turned enemies and dangerous secrets revealed, there's still a demon who has Natalie's scent, and someone is trying to resurrect the ultimate evil.

My Review:

This book is a great mix of historical, mystery, romance, and good deal of creepiness. I really enjoyed how unique this story is. The interesting and new story combined with the great characters really kept me turning the pages.

I haven't read the first book in the series, but wow, I really want to now. I want to see how Natalie and Jonathon met and fell in love, and I'd really love to see how his being trapped in a painting played out.

I wasn't sure about the demon angle to the story, but it ended up not being so bad for me, and I'm scared easily. It was more of a gothic, creepy tale, instead of shocking horror. Perhaps the fact that it was a historical story made the scary parts more gothic in tone and feel. Some of the dastardly plots reminded me of Frankenstein, which was another gothic, not horrifying, story.

Main Characters: 5/5
Supporting Characters: 4/5
Setting: 5/5

Romance: 5/5

Uniqueness: 5/5
Cover: 5/5
Writing: 5/5


Bottom Line: A great story with something for everyone, and the vivid cast of characters makes the story complete.


Guest Post
Now, I'd like to welcome Leanna Renee Hieber to In the Hammock for a guest post!

Here's Leanna!

Triple Talent:
by Leanna Renee Hieber  


It’s no secret that bestselling author Leanna acts, writes, and even combines the two to create a play.  Leanna describes what it’s like to be a working actress while also making a bestseller book.



I wear many different hats. And I don’t just mean cute little Victorian hats, though I do have quite a collection. I’ve always been a Jack of All Trades and it’s my varying interests that have kept me busy, employed in the arts and happy in always having a project or two to work on. The trick to doing anything well is time and discipline, it’s very hard to juggle theatrical pursuits and writing and promoting your books full time. I have to pick and choose and shift focus. While I was a full time professional actress on stage in various regional theatre productions around the country, my writing took a back seat. Today my writing is at the foreground and I do theatrical and/or film projects sporadically. The ability to shift focus from one priority to another depending on deadlines is a skill I’ve been trying to sharpen forever. The biggest challenge is self-discipline of one’s own time. It’s something I struggle with day in and day out. Storytelling is at the core of all my interests, and while I’m very selective now about the stories I tell and the mediums I use to tell them, I’m blessed to have several different avenues to pursue the stories that intrigue me. One of the most fascinating ways that my worlds have blended is in adapting my first novel into a musical theatre production with Broadway talent on board. My time as an actress and brief stints as a playwright made it easier for the production company behind the musical adaptation of The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker to approach me to be on the collaboration team. I’m uniquely suited as having experience in all these fields to weave a story together in an entirely new medium, a show. And it’s that process of adaptation and collaboration that then allows me to have fresh insights and new tricks to make an engaging story come to life when I return to my novels, such as THE TWISTED TRAGEDY OF MISS NATALIE STEWART.


Giveaway

GIVEAWAY RULES:

The publicist has generously provided a copy of "The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart" for a lucky follower of my blog!
All you have to do is follow my blog publicly and fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Please follow publicly or I can't tell that you are following :)
  • US/CAN only
  • Must be a follower to enter
  • Books will be mailed out by the publisher
  • Must be 18 or over 
  • Ends Sun Dec 2
Thanks to everyone for entering! Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

iFrankenstein Giveaway and First Chapter Preview

As part of the blog tour for iFrankenstein, I have a preview of the first chapter and a digital copy of the book for a lucky reader of my blog.

Here is more info about the book!
"iFrankenstein"
by Bekka Black


Release Date: Sep 16, 2012


Summary from the publisher: 


Frankenstein comes to life for the wired generation.

Following her critically-acclaimed iDrakula, award-winning author Bekka Black breathes life into a modern re-telling of iFrankenstein, using only text messages, web browsers, tweets, and emails.

Homeschooled teenager Victor Frankenstein is determined to write his own ticket to independence: a chatbot to win the prestigious Turing prize and admission to the high tech university of his choice. He codes his creation with a self-extending version of his own online personality and unleashes it upon the internet. But soon he begins to suspect his virtual clone may have developed its own goals, and they are not aligned with Victor’s. The creature has its own plan, fed by a growing desire to win darker and more precious prizes: unfettered power and release from loneliness.

As the creature’s power and sentience grows and its increasingly terrible deeds bleed over from the online world into the real one, Victor must stop his creation before his friends and humanity pay the ultimate price.
 


Website: http://bekkablack.com/
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Bekka_Black
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bekka-Blacks-IDRAKULA/216973029998?fref=ts
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3353633.Bekka_Black


First Chapter


Here is a peek at the first chapter so you can really see how different this book is!

(used with permission from publicist)



GIVEAWAY RULES:

The publicist has generously provided an e-copy of "iFrankenstein" for a lucky follower of my blog!
All you have to do is follow my blog publicly and fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Please follow publicly or I can't tell that you are following :)
  • US and Canada only
  • Must be a follower to enter
  • Books will be mailed out by the publisher
  • Must be 18 or over 
  • Ends Nov 18
Thanks to everyone for entering! Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
爵士娱乐华人