Thursday, January 31, 2013

Cheryl Rainfield does it again! Put STAINED on your TBR list!

Cheryl Rainfield has a fantastic ability to write stories that evoke deep emotions. I can't wait to read her newest endeavor, STAINED. Check out the description...

In this heart-wrenching and suspenseful teen thriller, sixteen-year-old Sarah Meadows longs for "normal." Born with a port-wine stain covering half her face, all her life she’s been plagued by stares, giggles, bullying, and disgust. But when she’s abducted on the way home from school, Sarah is forced to uncover the courage she never knew she had, become a hero rather than a victim, and learn to look beyond her face to find the beauty and strength she has inside. It’s that—or succumb to a killer.

Cheryl often draws on her own sad and abusive history to provide a knowledgeable and realistic sense to her storytelling. STAINED is no different. We have a bit of a wait as it won't be released until November 13, 2013. In the interim, if you haven't already, get acquainted with Cheryl by reading one or more of her other novels listed below. I personally have read SCARS and HUNTED and they kept me glued to the pages. You can put the author's name in the search box on this blog and read an interview I did with her.

Stained: Sarah, a teen with a port-wine stain, is abducted, and must find a way to rescue herself. 
Parallel Visions: Kate sees visions of the future--but only when she has an asthma attack.
Hunted: Caitlyn is a telepath in a world where having any paranormal power is illegal. Monica Hughes Award finalist
Scars: Kendra must face her past and stop hurting herself before it's too late. GG Literary Award Finalist, YALSA's Top 10 Quick Picks. 
Toodles, y'all!

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Hunger Game with vampires? OK, I'm in! Get ready for The Prey (book 2 of The Hunt trilogy) by Andrew Fukuda

Book One
Have you begun this series yet? It sounds awesome. A good vampire story still gets my attention. Check out the description of book one, The Hunt:

Don’t Sweat.  Don’t Laugh.  Don’t draw attention to yourself.  And most of all, whatever you do, do not fall in love with one of them.
Gene is different from everyone else around him.  He can’t run with lightning speed, sunlight doesn’t hurt him and he doesn’t have an unquenchable lust for blood.  Gene is a human, and he knows the rules.  Keep the truth a secret.  It’s the only way to stay alive in a world of night—a world where humans are considered a delicacy and hunted for their blood.
When he’s chosen for a once in a lifetime opportunity to hunt the last remaining humans, Gene’s carefully constructed life begins to crumble around him.  He’s thrust into the path of a girl who makes him feel things he never thought possible—and into a ruthless pack of hunters whose suspicions about his true nature are growing. Now that Gene has finally found something worth fighting for, his need to survive is stronger than ever—but is it worth the cost of his humanity?

Book Two
Now read about the follow up in book two, The PREY, that releases 1/29/13 by St. Martin's Griffin...

With death only a heartbeat away, Gene and the remaining humans must find a way to survive long enough to escape the hungry predators chasing them through the night.  But they’re not the only things following Gene.  He’s haunted by Ashley June who he left behind, and his burgeoning feelings for Sissy, the human girl at his side.
Their escape takes them to a refuge of humans living high in the mountains.  Gene and his friends think they’re finally safe, but not everything here is as it seems.  And before long, Gene must ask himself if the new world they’ve entered is just as evil as the one they left behind.  As their enemies close in on them and push Gene and Sissy closer, one thing becomes painfully clear: all they have is each other…if they can stay alive.

I've been wanting to read this series for a while and I'll finally get my chance to dig into it. I can't wait! You can get a head start on reading both books by going to You'll be able to read the first 80 pages of The HUNT and the first three chapters of The PREY. The first page of The HUNT made me gulp! LOL...



Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Happy Release Day! SHADES of EARTH--Book Three of the ACROSS the UNIVERSE series by Beth Revis

Book Three
I remember when the publisher raved about this series--Across the Universe--during a writer's conference. I was so intrigued, I emailed him and begged for an Arc. God bless him, he actually sent it to me. He certainly wasn't exaggerating. I loved that first book. The concept and focus--Sci-Fi romance--was fresh and different in YA. I raced through the second book and couldn't wait to read the third. Check out the description:

Amy and Elder have finally left the oppressive walls of the spaceship Godspeed behind. They're ready to start life afresh--to build a home--on Centauri-Earth, the planet that Amy has traveled 25 trillion miles across the universe to experience.

But this new Earth isn't the paradise Amy had been hoping for. There are giant pterodactyl-like birds, purple flowers with mind-numbing toxins, and mysterious, unexplained ruins that hold more secrets than their stone walls first let on. The biggest secret of all? Godspeed's former passengers aren't alone on this planet. And if they're going to stay, they'll have to fight.

Amy and Elder must race to discover who--or what--else is out there if they are to have any hope of saving their struggling colony and building a future together. They will have to look inward to the very core of what makes them human on this, their most harrowing journey yet. Because if the colony collapses? Then everything they have sacrificed--friends, family, life on Earth--will have been for nothing.


The story took a different tone than I expected. I mean, it got down-right scary. Those creepy dinosaur-like birds were no joke. And the plotting...I'm telling you, Beth Revis is a master storyteller and plotter. As an aspiring writing, I was blown away with where she took the story...all the twists and turns...the deaths! Yup. She didn't hesitate to kill off a lot of people. Of course I won't tell you who, but I was shocked more than once. I was beside myself toward the end. I felt sad, mad....I was like: "No. She didn't. I can't believe she did that."

I won't say more than that. If you haven't read this series, you should. It is superb and deserves all the accolades it receives. Truly, you can't help but enjoy it!

Toddles, y'all!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, January 13, 2013


The only film I've seen Jennifer Lawrence act in is The Hunger Games. I had no intention of seeing Silver Linings Playbook, a comedy-drama, but my interest was peaked when Lawrence was nominated in the Best Actress category for an Oscar. I'd heard good things about her (Winter's Bone), so I decided to see what all the fuss is about.

I didn't even know this had been a book first. I'd never heard of it. Check out the description...

Pat Peoples, the endearing narrator of this touching and funny debut, is down on his luck. The former high school history teacher has just been released from a mental institution and placed in the care of his mother. Not one to be discouraged, Pat believes he has only been on the inside for a few months––rather than four years––and plans on reconciling with his estranged wife. Refusing to accept that their apart time is actually a permanent separation, Pat spends his days and nights feverishly trying to become the man she had always desired. Our hapless hero makes a friend in Tiffany, the mentally unstable, widowed sister-in-law of his best friend, Ronnie. Each day as Pat heads out for his 10-mile run, Tiffany silently trails him, refusing to be shaken off by the object of her affection. The odd pair try to navigate a timid friendship, but as Pat is unable to discern friend from foe and reality from deranged optimism, every day proves to be a cringe-worthy adventure.

I must say, Lawrence does have a real range of acting ability. She was impressive in the role of Tiffany. I'm glad I went. I think so much more of her as an actress now, then I did after The Hunger Games. I liked her then and she was fine as Katniss, but I really like her now! She showed more depth. She loses herself in the role and expresses a plethora of emotions. Lawrence plays crazy real Cooper was no slouch either. As Pat Peoples, he's definitely kicking it up too. He didn't get nominated, but I would say he and Lawrence were equal in what they brought to their characters. Anyone who's worked with the mentally ill will definitely identify with the goings-on in this film.

 I was pleasantly surprised to see Chris Tucker of the Rush Hour movies. I haven't seen him in a while. He's usually playing some kind of comical, off-the-chain, funny character. I was happy to see him tone it down and play it a little more straight for a change. He plays the role of Danny, the best friend to the Bradley Cooper character. They both were locked up in the same psychiatric hospital. Tucker was funny, but not in his usual slap-stick kind of way. He did say that the director had to make him control himself and not take things too surprise there. Nice to see he's got some acting range as well.

Silver Linings Playbook was well done, I'd say, for all involved in the project. Go see it. It's well worth the time.


Bradley Cooper and Chris Tucker

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Book Review: The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton. It's a keeper!

I have several Kate Morton books on my shelf and I have yet to read them. I am fascinated by the covers. They look so delicious and promise entry into another world--one that is historical and lush--I couldn't resist buying them. I had the opportunity to receive an e-galley of The Secret Keepers, so that became my first Kate Morton novel to be read.

Check out the description...

During a party at the family farm in the English countryside, sixteen-year-old Laurel Nicolson has escaped to her childhood tree house and is dreaming of the future. She spies a stranger coming up the road and sees her mother speak to him. Before the afternoon is over, Laurel will witness a shocking crime that challenges everything she knows about her family and especially her mother, Dorothy.
Now, fifty years later, Laurel is a successful and well-regarded actress, living in London. She returns to the family farm for Dorothy’s ninetieth birthday and finds herself overwhelmed by questions she has not thought about for decades. From pre-WWII England through the Blitz, to the fifties and beyond, discover the secret history of three strangers from vastly different worlds—Dorothy, Vivien, and Jimmy—who meet by chance in wartime London and whose lives are forever entwined. 

Now, I'm a big fan of description--especially of lush surroundings. Let me tell you, Kate Morton is an avid describer to say the least. In the beginning of the book, I felt a bit overwhelmed with the detail--and that's saying a lot for me. I was becoming a bit worried that maybe her storytelling was not for me (what was to become of those three other books of hers on my shelf?!?). Not to worry! The story starts slowly, but I beg you to hang in there. You won't be disappointed. This story has so many marvelous twists and turns. I thought I knew where the tale was headed, but Morton totally pulled the rug out from under me! As the story progressed, I was flying through the pages trying to figure out what was going on and if I was right. This woman is a master storyteller. I was really amazed at her plotting and the intricacy of the story. Kate Morton is a real literary talent.

I wish I could tell you more, but the beauty of the story is in the discovery, in it's unfolding. I fairly yelped near the end when a major secret was unleashed. I had to read a section a couple of times to make sure I was understanding it correctly because I couldn't believe what I was reading. The author totally turned the story on it's head--awesome!

The Secret Keepers was released October 16, 2012 by Atria Books.

I can't wait to get to her other stories on my shelf!

Happy New Year, ya'll!