Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Release Day! Book Review and Giveaway! Wildefire by Karsten Knight

AS OF 8/1/11

Wildefire by Karsten Knight
Simon and Shuster

Release Date: July 26, 2011

Young Adult

ISBN-10: 1442421177

ISBN-13: 978-1442421172

Fantasy/ Paranormal

400 pages
Wildfire is the YA debut of Karsten Knight and several factors set it apart: Being a young man distinguishes Knight in a crowded young adult genre that is bursting at the seams with female writers. His decision to write from a female point of view adds to the interest level. He also pays homage to diversity by making his protagonist Polynesian—now that’s an ethnic group we don’t hear much about.

Wildefire follows Ashline Wilde as she goes through one of the toughest years of her life. She thinks things are bad enough as she tries to find her place in the pecking order at her high school as the lone Polynesian, and comes to terms with a cheating boyfriend.

But then things, as they often do with teens, soon quickly spiral out of control. Her runaway sister returns, exhibiting a violent streak that Ash could never have imagined before she left. Then her sister’s involvement in the death of a student traumatizes Ashline and sends her packing to a private school across the country to start life afresh.

As she makes new friends and a new romance comes into bloom, Ash is sure she’s made the right decision to leave her old life behind—until she discovers that she’s a volcano goddess and her new school is full of gods and goddesses. This has to be more than coincidence, but what does it mean? Ashline and her classmates are determined to find out. Ash’s sister, Eve makes a surprise visit and things go from bad to worse in short order. Another death isn’t far behind—and Ashline has to decide where her loyalties lie.

Karsten Knight easily captures a teen girl’s voice, doing so with snap and wit. He writes a crisp, tight tale, propelling the reader through the narrative in a linear and forthright manner while exploring a fresh mythology. There is a far amount of violence in this story, but it isn’t anything that the teen audience can’t handle. As a romance junkie, I would have liked more of the romantic element to have been explored in the story, but I'm hopeful for the sequel. A guy did write this; afterall, and maybe he put in as much of it as he could stand...lol...

The author ends the first installment of this trilogy with a surprise ending that begs to be continued.

I'm giving my ARC away. If you're interested in receiving it, just leave a comment that answers this question: How much romance do you like in your YA novels? Don't forget to include your email so you can be contacted if you're the winner. That is all. I'm busy over the next week, give or take some days, so I haven't decided when this giveaway will end. I'll just announce a winner from the people who have entered up to that point.

Giveaway open to residents of the US and Canada only.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

My Selection for Waiting on Wednesday: Hades by Alexandra Adornetto

Book Two
Waiting on Wednesday is the weekly meme started by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It's a great opportunity to learn about new books and discover what folks are eagerly anticipating. This week, I'm looking forward to reading Hades, the second book in the Halo trilogy by Alexandra Adornetto. I had the pleasure of meeting her last year when she spoke about her book and writing career in a Manhattan library. She's a lovely girl from Australia who was only seventeen years old. I interviewed her for my blog (see 11/01/10 post). She was touring the US and fell in love with the American South. She's attending a Southern college now.

Book One
The first book in the series, Halo received mixed reviews in the blogosphere. Some bloggers really panned the book. It seemed some folks had a great time making sport of the story and saying how awful it was written. That's why I was so surprised to learn that it made the New York Times bestseller list! I LOVE this story. It was my favorite read of last summer. It's a nice, thick novel and I stretched out comfortably and devoured it. I even slowed down so I wouldn't finish it too quickly. It just tickled me to read some of the unfavorable reviews when I was enjoying the story so much. Sometimes you have to suspend your beliefs and go with the fantasy, people. It's fiction and a lot of what we read doesn't make sense. Let's see where the story is headed in the second book...

Even the love of her boyfriend, Xavier Woods, and her archangel siblings, Gabriel and Ivy, can’t keep the angel Bethany Church from being tricked into a motorcycle ride that ends up in Hell. There, Jake Thorn bargains for Beth’s release back to Earth. But what he asks of her will destroy her, and quite possibly her loved ones as well. Can he be trusted in this wager? And what does Jake have Xavier believing about Beth’s fate that may result in an act of betrayal that will leave Bethany – and readers – wondering if Xav is so good after all?

I don't know about the rest of ya'll, but I'm looking forward to sinking my teeth into Hades. Anyone brave enough to join me...lol...?

Hades releases August 30, 2011 by Feiwel and Friends (McMillan)


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins still in hardcover. Why?

I'm a late comer to the Hunger Games trilogy. I resisted reading it because it was so popular; I couldn't believe anything was that good. I'm a bit of a reading rebel at times. I'm not ashamed to admit I was wrong--terribly. I finally succumbed to the pressure and bought it. It is awesome! I'm on to book two and I find it very strange that Catching Fire is still out in hardcover. It released in 2009 and the last book of the trilogy, Mockingjay is out. Why isn't Catching Fire out in paperback yet? Even the first book, Hunger Games is out in paperback form. I've never noticed this in a series before. Catching Fire will be two years old in September. What's the holdup? I've downloaded the kindle edition, but still like to have a physical book in my hands, especially of my favorite reads. I buy a lot of books and I depend on the paperback to save money. What about you? Does anyone have any ideas about what's the deal with this hardcover/paperback situation? If you do, fill me in. I'm curious.

Monday, July 18, 2011

And the Three Winners of Blogfest 2011 are...

Wow. I'm amazed at the response my little giveaway had. Thank you so much. I'm humbled that you all thought so much of the prizes and had so much enthusiasm about them. Again, thank you. Let's not wait any further than, shall we. The winners of Blogfest 2011 are...

Grand Prize winner is Evie!!!

First Prize winner is Denise Z!!!

Second Prize winner is Faith, Hope and Cherry Tea!!!

Please email me with your addresses, girls. If I don't hear from the winners in 48 hours, others will be chosen in their place.

Until the next giveaway, my friends...


Friday, July 15, 2011

Three Day Giveaway: Books and Bling during Blogfest 2011, July 15-17. Three Winners for this!

Welcome To Blogfest 2011!!
This is an awesome opportunity to explore lots of blogs easily. The master list of blogs is located at:  http://www.ajourneyofbooks.com. They are all GIVING AWAY A VERY SPECIAL BLOGFEST GIVEAWAY  (For Three Days Only: 7/15-7/17) .
Each blog will have a link and take you to the next five blogs you should visit. When you are finished here, please go to the links listed at the end of this post to continue your blogging treasure hunt!

If you see something that interests you on any of our participating blogs, you can bookmark that site. Later, when you have more time, you can discover all that it has to offer. 

*** There is also a massive BlogFest 2011 grand giveaway! *** 
Head on over to http://blogfest.ajourneyofbooks.com  and click on the Tracking Site link to head to our own exclusive tracking site.  Once there you can register with a valid email address (to be used solely for the purpose of contacting the winner).  This site will allow you to track your progress through BlogFest 2011!  You can log on from anywhere at any time and continue where you left off.  The best part is that every blog that you visit and mark off through this tracking site will give you one entry into the massive giveaway!  We have a great collection of books, goodies and other swag that is looking for a new home!
Now, here are the particulars of MY GIVEAWAY and RULES:

Grand Prize
I like to keep it simple folks. For a chance to win the Grand Prize, the First Prize and the Second Prize, leave a comment with your e-mail or some way to contact you. That's it! What could be simpler? I don't require you to become a follower, but if you think this is a place you'd like to visit in the future and keep track of the goings-on here, I'd be honored. Winners are chosen randomly, so when you enter, there is no guarantee which prize you'll win.  The giveaway is open to residents of the US and Canada only. Sorry guys, but it gets expensive. The winners will be announced July 18th. Let's go over the lovely prizes:
Grand Prize
The Grand Prize consists of a hardcover edition of the YA book, The Ivy that the publisher sent me. It's the first book of a trilogy. Book two released in March. It's about a girl entering Harvard and all the craziness she has to juggle with snotty girls, cliques and hot boys.  The authors are both Harvard graduates. Part two of the Grand Prize consists of two charm bracelets. One gold toned and the other silver toned. I love to collect antiques and they have old, vintage charms on them.            
First Prize

First Prize
The First Prize consists of the YA ARC, Vixen, the first book of a trilogy. There's a lot going on in this story! It's set in the twenties and there's a forbidden interracial relationship, illegal drinking and girls being very naughty. The sequel comes out this summer. The First Prize winner will also receive a goldtoned charm bracelet. It includes some charms made of mother-of-pearl and an enameled fish!                                                                                                   

The Second and final prize consists of the hardcover edition of the novel, The Secret Life of Bees. This winner gets a silvertoned charm bracelet as well!
First Prize
First Prize
All the winners will receive Beautiful Creatures/Beautiful Darkness swag.

Now, you can move on to the next five blogs listed below. Have fun and I hope you'll stop by again!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

My Selection for Waiting on Wednesday: All You Desire by Kirsten Miller

Book Two
It's been a while since I've posted a Waiting on Wednesday choice and I've certainly missed it. You know how it is, life outside of the electronic one, takes over. I made a special effort to make it back this week! There are so many good books out there...too many in fact. I'll never get them all read, but I do my best. WoW was started by Jill over at Breaking the Spine and it's a great way to learn what are the highly anticipated reads.                                                                                   

This week, I'm looking forward to All You Desire by Kirsten Miller. It's the second book in The Eternal Ones trilogy which is out in paperback this week. This book holds a special place in my heart because it's the first ARC I ever received and I got it directly from the publishing head, Ben Schrank while attending a writers conference. This YA series has an original spin as it deals with two lovers struggling to be together through time and reincarnation is a big hook in the plot. Let's see where book two, All You Desire picks up the story...
Book One

Haven Moore and Iain Morrow have been living a blissful life in Rome, an ocean way from the Ouroboros Society and its diabolical leader. But paradise is not to last. The mysterious disappearance of Haven's best friend, Beau, sends the pair running back to New York, where they encounter the Horae, an underground group of women who have spent centuries scheming to destroy Adam Rosier. Only they can help Haven uncover the secret to Beau's whereabouts in one of her past lives. But their help comes at a price: Haven must infiltrate the Ouroboros Society, charm Adam Rosier, and lure him into a trap. It's a plan the Horae believe will save the world - but Haven and Iain fear that it may destroy the happiness they've been chasing for two thousand years.

Aren't the covers gorgeous? They just reek of old-fashioned romance. Have you read the first book, The Eternal Ones?                                                     

All You Desire releases August 9, 2011 by Razorbill (Penguin)


Monday, July 11, 2011

Book Review: FURY by Elizabeth Miles. Umm...an unexpected delight.

I received an ARC of FURY and I couldn't have been more surprised. It's the debut novel of Elizabeth Miles. I so, enjoyed this story. I'm a total romance junkie, so if that's not a big part of the plot, I tend to be somewhat disappointed. I had no idea what FURY was about initially, but the cover drew me in immediately and I had to check it out. Let's look at the description:

Sometimes sorry isn't enough....
It’s winter break in Ascension, Maine. The snow is falling and everything looks pristine and peaceful. But not all is as it seems...
Between cozy traditions and parties with her friends, Emily loves the holidays. And this year’s even better--the guy she’s been into for months is finally noticing her. But Em knows if she starts things with him, there’s no turning back. Because his girlfriend is Em’s best friend.
On the other side of town, Chase is having problems of his own. The stress of his home life is starting to take its toll, and his social life is unraveling. But that’s nothing compared to what’s really haunting him. Chase has done something cruel...something the perfect guy he pretends to be would never do. And it’s only a matter of time before he’s exposed.
In Ascension, mistakes can be deadly. And three girls—three beautiful, mysterious girls—are here to choose who will pay.

Since this story is not particularly romantically focused, I wasn't sure I would be that into it. I couldn't be more wrong! I was into this story, totally. Miles pulls the reader through a fantastic mystery and I'm happy to say, there's an undercurrent of a romance brewing under the surface, waiting to be discovered! It's clear that Em has been a very naughty girl, so I could understand why she may be due a little revenge coming her way. Chase; on the other hand, I wasn't so sure. I thought I had missed it or maybe the author had, as I didn't find him to be that bad of a guy and didn't understand why he was a target. Well, without giving away any spoilers, everything isn't as it first appears and Miles hasn't missed a beat. She knows just what she's doing and the reader will find out all in good time.

I'm not really a mystery kind of girl, but I raced through the pages to find out what was going to happen next! Who are these three girls and what the heck are they about?! This was a great story and it ended in a way I wasn't expecting. I definitely have to read the sequel to learn what's going to happen next. You can't go wrong with this novel. Fury is one to add to your list. Kudos to Elizabeth Miles. She does scary good.

FURY releases August 30, 2011 by Simon and Shuster.


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

And the Winner of The Stormchasers by Jenna Blum is....

Thanks for your thoughts, guys. So, without further ado, the winner of The Stormchasers is...

Ann, who's cozy in Texas!!!

Congrats Ann. Please email me with your address so I may pass it on to the publisher. If the winner doesn't respond in 72 hours, another will be selected in her place. The winner was chosen randomly using Random.org.


Friday, July 1, 2011

Book Profile and Giveaway: The Stormchasers by Jenna Blum

Giveaway now closed as of July 6, 2011.

With all the crazy weather we're having across the country and the world, this book couldn't be more timely. As a therapist, it also raised my interest level. The Stormchasers by Jenna Blum follows the saga of fraternal twins Karena and her brother Charles as their lives takes a deadly and devastating turn.

How far would you go to protect a sibling-and at what cost to yourself?

As a teenager, Karena Jorge had always been the one to look out for her twin brother Charles, who suffers from bipolar disorder. But as Charle
s begins to refuse medication and his manic tendencies worsen, Karena finds herself caught between her loyalty to her brother and her fear for his life. Always obsessed with the weather-enraptured by its magical unpredictability that seemed to mirror his own impulses- Charles starts chasing storms, and his behavior grows increasingly erratic . . . until a terrifying storm chase with Karena ends with deadly consequences, tearing the twins apart and changing both of their lives forever.

Two decades later, Karena gets a call from a psychiatric ward in Wichita, Kansas, to come pick up her brother, whom she hasn't seen or spoken to for twenty years. She soon discovers that Charles has lied to the doctors, taken medication that could make him dangerously manic, and disappeared again. Having exhausted every resource to try and track him down, Karena realizes she has only one last chance of finding him: the storms. Wherever the tornadoes are, that's where he'll be. Karena joins a team of professional stormchasers-passionate adventurers who will transform her life and give her a chance at love and redemption- and embarks on an odyssey to find her brother before he reveals the violent secret from their past and does more damage to himself . . . or to someone else.

If you'd like a chance to receive this book, just leave a comment that answers this question: Do you know anyone who suffers from a mental illness? Don't forget your email. That is all. The giveaway ends July 5, 2011. Giveaway open to residents of the US only at publishers request.