Monday, April 30, 2012

Revived by Cat Patrick

Revived by Cat Patrick
Release Date –  May 1, 2012
Publisher Website –  Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 336 pages
My Rating- 4.5/5
**obtained from the publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
As a little girl, Daisy Appleby was killed in a school bus crash. Moments after the accident, she was brought back to life.  
A secret government agency has developed a drug called Revive that can bring people back from the dead, and Daisy Appleby, a test subject, has been Revived five times in fifteen years. Daisy takes extraordinary risks, knowing that she can beat death, but each new death also means a new name, a new city, and a new life. When she meets Matt McKean, Daisy begins to question the moral implications of Revive, and as she discovers the agency’s true goals, she realizes she’s at the center of something much larger—and more sinister—than she ever imagined.
When I started Revived I was expecting a more thriller feel, with some futuristic aspects tossed in.  I ended up with a very moving, touching novel that went much deeper than I as expecting.

Revived asks the question of what it would be like to cheat death. Daisy has cheated it more than once. She comes across as if she feels indestructible. This rang true to me. Here is a girl that has cheated death a few times, it makes sense that she wouldn’t fear it or be overly concerned with it.

A lot of the novel deals with the effects of cheating death and what that would do to a person. Daisy feels disconnected from death. It isn’t until she’s presented with a situation that Revive can’t fix that she fully understands. The anguish, pain, and eventual acceptance that accompanies a loss of a loved one is so fully invoked in this novel. You will feel each emotion along with the characters and your heart will break for them.

The science side of the story was intriguing and yet understated enough that it didn’t take away from the heart of the story. The mystery of what the agency really is, and what the true nature of the program provides the twists, turns and shocks in the story. While I did see the ending coming, I was ok with that because it is almost the secondary part to the story. It’s the characters who really shine in this novel, and the emotional journey Daisy is on.

Daisy is an instantly likeable character. She, for all that has happened to her, seems like a well adjusted, intelligent teenager that is just trying to blend in. She temps fate by putting herself in dangerous situations because she’s come to view life as something that is a given. Her determination to dig deeper into the program, and find answers when she first starts to feel something is amiss is admirable. 

Her relationship with Matt is sweet, cute, and exactly what you would expect for high school romance. It’s not some epic love at first sight. It’s a little flirtation that could turn into more. I liked reading about the struggle Daisy had with wanting to get closer, but also needing to keep a distance so that she would not jeopardize the program. 

The Revived drug, and the subsequent program isn’t something that is out of the realm of possibility.  The consequences of a drug like that being made public are easily and scarily imagined. Revived makes us think about life, death and what they mean to us. It’s a novel that is thought provoking, and ultimately makes you want to cherish life because it really is a gift. It also reminds us to recall the good times of loved ones who have passed away, because that is the best way to honour their memory.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

My Letter To Bethany!

When I decided to do the Masque of the Red Death event, I knew I wanted to include a letter to Bethany. Before I share that I am going to thank my inspiration for this post. Lindsay from Me on Books (who is super awesome) has written some great, gushy letters to authors on her site, so you should check them out. Full credit to her for this amazing idea.


I have been blogging for about a year and a half now. It was beginning to feel a little repetitive. I was feeling like I was in a bit of a book rut, and not overly inspired any more. I picked up Masque of the Red Death and immediately became hooked and engrossed in the story you created.

Masque of the Red Death was so different from anything that I've read in a really long time. It was refreshing, inspiring and it got me excited again. It reminded me of everything I love about reading and books. You can get so lost in the pages of one so completely. You can have wonderfully flawed characters that you still end up loving. I wanted to rush on to Goodreads and add so many quotes and passages to my favourites list.

You have created a book that almost demands you tell everyone about it once you are finished because you loved it so much. It inspired me to create a week long event to do just that. It wasn't enough for me to just tell my friends. It was a book I couldn't shake after reading.

So Bethany, I want to say thank you. Thank you for creating such a stunning world. Thank you for writing such a well written novel. Thank you for creating Will in all his tattooed, tortured sexiness, and thank you for helping me out of a reading slump. Most of all, I thank you for reminding me of the magic of getting lost in a good book.

New To My Book Closet

In light of recent events, I have decided to no longer do In My Mailbox. I am still going to be posting a weekly recap of books and other goodies that made their way into my home. It is, of course, inspired by The Story Siren's In My Mailbox post, as she came up with the original meme.

I decided to call it New To My Book Closet for now. As some of you may know, my cat Aria likes to eat books. She's crazy. As a result I have to put my books in a closet or she destroys them. I have an entire closet that is just for books so here is where I will highlight what is new to them this week.

Moving on to what joined the other books in my book closet this week. I won a contest Fiona Paul was hosting called "Where in the World is Venom?". Super fun scavenger hunt of sorts. She provided clues to a location where an ARC of Venom was hidden. I ended up being the first person to guess correctly and was sent an amazing prize pack. All my goodies this week are from that one prize pack. Thank you Fiona for hosting, and I can't wait to start Venom!

In the package were three books

Venom by Fiona Paul (goodreads)
Thou Shall Not Road Trip by Antony John (goodreads)
Perception by Kim Harrington (goodreads)

Other goodies include The Hunger Games soundtrack (!!!!), 2 Hunger Games bracelets, Godiva chocolate bar (milk chocolate and strawberry and it's awesome), Angry Bird gummies, cute stickers, and PEZ.

A huge thank you to Fiona for the contest and the amazing prize pack.

I also have an e-galley book for review

Timepiece by Myra McEntire (goodreads)

Thank you Egmont USA for letting me review this. Super excited to start it. 

So let me know what awesome things you got this week in the comment section! 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Clues for Book 2 - Masque of the Red Death

We know that Bethany Griffin was inspired by Edgar Allen Poe's Masque of the Red Death. I thought it might be fun to use Poe's story to try and gain some insight into what we MIGHT be able to expect in the follow up to Masque of the Red Death.

Poe's tale takes place at a Masquerade that Prince Prospero is hosting. It's a means to escape the Red Death and only a select few are invited. I believe we can safely expect to have some sort of Masquerade in Bethany's novel as well.

The Masquerade takes place in a suite made up of 7 rooms. Each of these rooms is decorated in a specific colour. Even the windows are made of stained glass in the same colour of the decorations.

Room 1 - Blue
Room 2 - Purple
Room 3 - Green
Room 4 - Orange
Room 5 - White
Room 6 - Violet
Room 7 - Black

Room 7 is unique in that the windows are stained not black, but a deep red. Again, this is such a huge part of the original story that I believe we will see different coloured rooms. I am quite excited as I think Bethany will expand on the themes and go into more detail for each room. I am not 100 percent sold on her using the exact colours, but I would bet the last one is black. Will the colours themselves mean something? My hunch is that yes, Bethany will make the rooms even more significant in her story.

The overall theme of Poe's story is death. Trying to avoid, or hide from death and it coming for you anyway. Prince Prospero dies chasing a masked figure that resembles Death himself (someone with the plague that is destroying the city) through the different coloured rooms. If taken literally this seems to imply someone with the disease getting into the party. I could see Bethany going that route. It may even be one of our beloved characters that Price Prospero follows to his demise. The ending of the story is quite sad as every single person at the party  meets their end. I am hoping that Araby survives to have some kind of happiness, but a tragic end would be fitting to her story.

The clock striking down the hour plays a significant role in the story. It's so distinctive and distracting that the band and the guests stop when it chimes. It feels them with a sense of foreboding. Will Bethany incorporate a clock? Will she use a countdown of sorts to increase suspense by having the characters working within a set time before something happens? I look at the clock as a reminder that the party guests are getting ever closer to death, time does not stand still even if you wish it to.

While there is no mention of romance in Poe's tale, the triangle between Araby, Will and Elliott is sure to heat up. I am looking forward to seeing what developments take place on that front. I am hoping for some kissing scenes!

The main thing we can surmise from Poe's story is that a Masquerade will be involved, different coloured rooms seem to be a given, and death will come calling. Excuse me while I go pray for Will's safety! ;)

Have you read Edgar Allen Poe's Masque of the Red Death? If so what clues do you think are hidden within?

Friday, April 27, 2012

My Masque Playlist

I am sure we've all been there, you're reading a book and certain characters, or scenes make a song jump into your head.

Here are a few of the songs I associate with Masque of the Red Death.

1 Something I Can Never Have by Nine Inch Nails

As soon as I interviewed Bethany and she mentioned this song I listened to it again. It may be the power of suggestion, but I totally think it fits. Each characters is kind of wishing for something they can't have. A world without the plague, someone who has died to still be alive, a reprieve from their own guilty conscience, etc. The fact that the world has crumbled leaving fading reminders of how it used to be.

2 Poison and Wine by The Civil Wars

This sort of reminds me of Will and Araby. The melody is very haunting as well which fits the story. The lyrics "you only know what I want you to" remind me of Will and his double life. His persona at the Debauchery Club and his real home life. The refrain of "I don't love you but I always will" also reminds me of Araby fighting her feelings. She is beginning to feel things for both Will and has had a crush on him for awhile, even though she's sworn to not feel these things.

3 Anthem for the Year 2000 by Silverchair

This song really reminds me of Elliott. His disillusionment of how the city is being ran, and the desire to stand up and so something about it. The lyrics allude to innocence and it being fragile "maybe we don't want to live in a world where innocence was so short" could also apply to the children who come into this ravaged world. They can't have a typical childhood due to the disease, they either die young or end up being very shut away from the world.

4 Gloomy Sunday by Kronos Quartet

Really I think the instrumental version is the best for what I am talking about. The melody of this song is so haunting and melancholy. I think it fits perfectly with Poe's writing and in turn this novel. The song is also about being so sad that a loved one died, and wanting to join them that it, I am sure, fits a lot of characters in Bethany's world.

5. Damned If She Do by The Kills

I feel like this is a very Araby song. "She come alive when she dying" is fitting because while everything is dying and crumbling around her she finds something to fight for. Her hazy time at the Debauchery Club fit the distorted melody as well. I also love the lyrics
"There's been a perception
Of sweet hearts passing through
Some of them left no trace at all
Some left her black and blue"
Sort of reminds me of Araby and how much her brother's death hurt her.

*some of the songs have coarse language if you are looking to download them*

Be sure to come back tomorrow where I will be talking about finding clues for book two in Poe's original story.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Guys of MASQUE - Will and Elliott

The steamy love triangle is Masque of the Red Death has provided two swoon worthy guys for Araby to grow close to.

Here is your chance to learn a little more about them and see a little eye candy at the same time!


Dark hair and eyes, ""Swirling tattoos cover his arms, climbing up from the collar of his shirt to twist around his throat, the ends hidden by his tousled dark hair" (ARC, Chapter 1, page 8)

How he meets Araby:

He works at the Debauchery Club she frequents

Selling points:

He's gentle, concerned, he looks out for Araby. He's also quite different than most people expect him to be. He has responsibilities that he takes very seriously, and is a pretty fantastic big brother

The Actor I selected:

Ok, so he has the wrong colour eyes and his hair is a touch too light but I totally picture Will looking somewhat like this. The actor's name is Grey Damon. He has that rugged, sexy quality I think Will possesses. 



Blonde, blue eyes, referred to as tall and lanky.

How he meets Araby:

He is the brother of her best friend and nephew to Prince Prospero 

Selling points:

He is very focused, wants a better future for the city, is passionate about what he believes in, and totally unpredictable.

The Actor I selected:

Max Irons! His hair is a touch too dark, but he is tall,and lanky. He also has an aristocrat look to him that suits Elliott perfectly.

Araby has a tough choice between these two equally compelling young men. Neither offer stability or safety. Each has shown that they are capable of hurting her, and yet each has shown that they do truly care. Desperate times call for desperate action and it's easy to see why they each one behaved they way they did.
Will Araby eventually find happiness with one of them? I can't wait to find out in the sequel!

What guy do you think Araby should choose? Let me know in the comments.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Masque of the Red Death Week Giveaway!

Now that I have told you how amazing this book is I am pretty sure you want to get your hands on a copy!

I am giving away one copy of the book (ordered from Book Depository) and some sweet Masque goodies. The giveaway is INTERNATIONAL.

Bethany has kindly provided some leather bracelets and bookmarks.

There will be 2 winners.

Prize # 1- A copy of the book, bookmark and bracelet
Prize # 2 - bookmark and bracelet

The bracelets are AMAZING and come with a quote from the book on them.

Thank you again Bethany for the goodies for giveaway.

You can enter by using the Rafflecopter form below! Good luck!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin
Release Date –  April 24, 2012
Publisher Website –  Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader
Pages - 320 pages
**obtained from the awesome Kristina @ Ladybug Storytime**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Everything is in ruins. 
A devastating plague has decimated the population. And those who are left live in fear of catching it as the city crumbles to pieces around them. 
So what does Araby Worth have to live for? 
Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery make-up . . . and tantalizing ways to forget it all. 
But in the depths of the club—in the depths of her own despair—Araby will find more than oblivion. She will find Will, the terribly handsome proprietor of the club. And Elliott, the wickedly smart aristocrat. Neither boy is what he seems. Both have secrets. 
Everyone does. 
And Araby may find something not just to live for, but to fight for—no matter what it costs her.
What if the air you breathe could kill you? Masque of the Red Death asks exactly that. A world where having access to a mask may just save your life and oblivion can be found at the Debauchery Club. Bethany Griffin has created something that captured me from the first page.

The writing is simply amazing. Bethany is able to weave a slower paced, and  intricate tale while providing some amazing imagery. There are so many quotes I love from this book. I could list a whole bunch. I fell for the writing with this simple, but effective sentence “I am beautiful, fake, shallow, incognito” (ARC, chapter 1, page 7). It sums up the allure of Debauchery Club with the grittiness underneath that exists in the city. I also love the line “The Debauchery District. The very name makes me shiver” (ARC, chapter 1, page 2). Simply put Bethany’s Poe inspired novel will satisfy fans of Poe’s writing while appealing to people who have never read him before.

Bethany has created a world so vivid and intriguing that I easily got lost in it. From the crumbling city, to the delectable Debauchery Club, and the apartment Araby lives, you will feel transported. The world is a mix of old Victorian and bleak futuristic that blends into a chillingly possible reality.

The characters are all wonderfully developed. Flawed, damaged and real. Each character will pull you in and push you away at the same time. Araby is selfish, haunted, and yet so completely fascinating. Her desire to escape by searching out oblivion in the decadence of the Debauchery Club is not only understandable, but relatable. This is a young woman who has had a lot of truly horrible things happen in her life, is facing a horrific plague, and is trying to keep people at arms length as self-punishment. I loved that she grew, changed, and challenged herself throughout the novel. The Araby we meet in the beginning is quite different from the one we leave at the end of the novel.

The triangle between Araby, Will and Elliott is well executed. Both Will and Elliott are captivating, intriguing young men and neither is perfect. They both have their faults, but that makes each of them more compelling. I am firmly Team Will! He’s sexy, tortured, subdued, and has a good heart (as well as some sexy tattoos). Elliott is more headstrong, reckless, and vibrant.It's easy to see how Araby drawn to both of them, and for different reasons. What makes this triangle unique is everyone is in desperate situations, and the characters often have to put more personal needs ahead of others. It rings true to the situation. I think both guys are on pretty equal footing and that is also a little unusual in this type of setting.

The ending of the novel kicks in with a quicker pace. While not a cliffhanger per say, there is enough unresolved to make you anxiously await the Masquerade that is sure to be in the sequel. I am looking forward to learning more about Prince Prospero as while I felt scared of him in this instalment, I don't think we've seen the full extent of how cruel he can be.

Bethany Griffin has created a world where the air you breathe could kill you, oblivion is something people strive for, and the unrest is growing. It will leave you with your breathe held and heart pounding. Desire is contagious says the tagline, so is anticipating what is sure to be an electric sequel once you’ve read this stellar novel.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Author Interview - Bethany Griffin

Welcome to day 1 one of my Masque of the Red Death event. Stopping by the blog today I have the author, Bethany Griffin for a fun Q & A about the book, the characters, and her writing.

1. Describe Masque of the Red Death in 3 words

dark, romantic, suspenseful.

2 Describe your novel's main character Araby in three words.

desperate, disillusioned, stronger than she thinks she is (cheated a bit on that last one)

3 What sort of research did you do for Masque of the Red Death? 

I read a few biographies of Poe, as well as reading The Masque of the Red Death multiple times, reading about Poe's life was what gave me the idea to set the story in a world right after his death. I did basic research about knowledge and terms from the time period, and then changed them to suit myself and the story.

4 How would Araby describe Will and Elliott?

She would describe Will as painfully good looking, and intimidating (at least in the beginning) she would describe Elliott as brash, arrogant, and driven.

5 What was it about Edgar Allen Poe's short story that inspired you?

The world, and the darkness, and the theme of not being able to avoid death.

6 Do you listen to a play list while you write? If so what is the one song you listened to the most while writing Masque of the Red Death. 

I don't actually listen to music WHILE I write, it distracts me. But I do usually have a playlist, for when I'm thinking about the book. If I had to pick an overarching theme song for everything I've ever written, it would be Something I can Never Have by Nine Inch Nails

7 Who is the first person that gets to read your writing?

Usually my husband, sometimes my real life critique group.

8 What is the last book you read that you would recommend to everyone? 

Wow, I don't think I would recommend any one book to everyone, a big part of my job is matching up books with readers and talking to kids about books.

9 If you could go back in time to any time period and any place, where and when would you travel to? 

It would probably be a waste to ask for a Nirvana concert since those happened in my lifetime, I just didn't get to go, the middle ages are my favorite time period, but you wouldn't really want to GO there, so how about Victorian London?

10 What has been the most surprising part of the publishing process?

Well, since I'm not actually a debut, the fact that I got a second chance? And an awesome one, at that!

Thank you Bethany for stopping by and answering my questions. Tomorrow I am reviewing Masque of the Red Death. It's one of my favourite (if not my favourite) book of 2012!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

In My Mailbox.....

This is a weekly meme hosted by the awesome Kristi at The Story Siren. It gives us a chance to showcase the books we got during the week.

I have two weeks worth of books to show you! My mailbox was pretty awesome this week.

*Can you spot my Mockingjay pin?!

My library book haul -

Hallowed by Cynthia Hand (goodreads)
A Touch Morbid by Leah Clifford (goodreads)

For review

Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson (goodreads)
I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga (goodreads)


Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross (goodreads)
Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally (goodreads)
The Magicians by Lev Grossman (goodreads)

A special thank you to Harper Collins Canada for Tiger Lily. I squealed and danced around when it was delivered. I am so excited to start this one. I adore Peter Pan (especially Tinkerbell) and I am curious to see the story from Tiger Lily's point of view!

A big thank you to Hachette Group Canada as well for I Hunt Killers. I have heard some amazing things and Kelly from KellyVision's review made me want to grab it immediately. Hoping to fit it in before I leave for NYC in about 6 weeks!

I won a Mockingjay pin from Chapters/Indigo. It's Canada's large bookstore chain. They had a contest when the movie came out on Twitter. The pin is awesome and I will be wearing it when when I go see Catching Fire!

The cover of Kill Me Softly is GORGEOUS! So stunning. I am excited to start this one. I have heard Catching Jordan is cute, so decided to give it a try.

What did you get in your mailbox?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Weekly Obsessions.....2 weeks worth edition!

The awesome Kelly at KellyVision started posting a weekly post highlighting whatever she happened to be obsessed with that week. I LOVE this idea, so much in fact that I will be doing it myself every Saturday.

Here are my obsessions this week:


So Many Book Trailers

Ok so there are a WHOLE bunch of book trailers I am obsessed with this week!

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

Entertainment Weekly has the exclusive for the trailer so I can't put the actual video in here yet.

You can view this insane and awesome trailer by going to this link -

Sebastian sure is evil. Also very scary with the whole world burning and everything. Yikes. I am scared for Jace now.

Immortal City by Scott Speer

THIS TRAILER! GAH! So amazing. Scott Speer is a director and you can tell he used his talents to make this. The actor they got for Jackson Godspeed - SWOON! Totally hot and exactly how I pictured him. It's got the right balance of glitz and grit that they book has. If it doesn't make you want to read the book I am not sure what will.

Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins

Sexy and a little gothic this trailer has made me want to get a copy of Sweet Evil immediately. I love the southern accent they use too!

The Immortal Rules trailer

I loved this first instalment of Julie Kagawa's new series. I think the trailer give you a good picture of how ravaged and destroyed everything is. Pick this one up for sure, it's a great read.

Amy Plum's new series news

Amy announced that she will be writing a two book series set in Alaska. The premise sounds amazing. Here is the official release details:
Author of the DIE FOR ME trilogy, Amy Plum’s JUNEAU, about a seventeen-year-old girl who has been raised to believe that her family, and the rest of their village, escaped World War III by moving to a remote area in the Alaskan wilderness – but when everyone in her village mysteriously disappears, she’s forced to set off in search of them, only to discover that her life has been a lie and there never was a third World War.
These will be released Summer 2014 and 2015 and I can't wait to get my hands on them.



As soon as Blake Lively's character says "Just because I am telling you this story doesn't mean I am alive at the end of it" I was hooked. It looks great and it's based on a best selling book. Part gangster, part sexy and part action means I am so there opening night!


BEA Autograph Schedule

I may have hyperventilated and screamed at this year's BEA autograph schedule. Bethany Griffin, Veronica Roth, Stephanie Perkins,and Kat Zhang are just some of the authors signing at BEA. My Wednesday is going to be pretty packed and crazy. I am looking forward to meeting so many amazing authors and getting to spend time with fellow book lovers.

So what you are obsessed with this week?

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden #1) by Julie Kagawa

The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden #1) by Julie Kagawa
Release Date –  April 24, 2012
Publisher Website –  HarlequinTeen
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages -  485 pages
My Rating- 4.5/5
**obtained from the publisher and Netgalley for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
In a future world, Vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity. 
Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.
Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them. The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked—and given the ultimate choice. Die or become one of the monsters.

Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad. 
Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend—a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike. 
But it isn't easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what—and who—is worth dying for.
It’s no secret I adored Julie Kagawa’s Iron Fey series. I love Julie’s writing and was thrilled to hear about her new series involving vampires. Julie has created a world where the stakes are high, and love might just be something worth living or dying for.

The world Julie has created will give you shivers. The cities have crumbled, a plague has decimated our population and vampires have decided to come forward as a means to help “protect” their food source.  For most humans the options are either to become a registered citizen and live under vampire control. You will have to provide them blood once a month and in return you are taken care of. Your other alternative? Be unregistered and live on the Fringe. You are not given any food, shelter, or other necessitates. You are also on constant alert of attacks from either other unregistered, or rabids, and this if of course you don’t die of starvation first. One of Julie's strongest abilities in writing is creating the world, and she has created one that feels chillingly real.

Allie is a character I loved immediately. Strong, cunning, and a survivor. Her life prior to the fateful meeting with a vampire is filled with danger, and struggle. She shows herself to be quite capable and a force to be reckoned with even before gaining super strength. She does not trust a lot of people, having been burned in the past. She is a little sarcastic and funny.

What I love most about Allie though is her journey. The Allie we meet at the beginning of the novel versus the Allie at the end has undergone many changes and with that her priorities and what is important to her have shifted. Her surprise and willingness to embrace this is one of my favourite parts of the story, and her character.

Zeke, a boy Allie meets become quite significant to Allie’s journey and Allie herself. Zeke is caring, determined, and pretty swoon worthy . The interactions between he and Allie will leave you exasperated, hopeful, and swooning all at the same time. There are some intensely romantic scenes in the novel that play out wonderfully in between lots of action, and meaty plot.

I adored Kanin, Allie’s maker. An intense, and driven vampire who offers Allie a chance to survive when all hope is lost to her. She snatches it and under his guidance becomes a katana wielding vampire goddess.  Kanin is someone I hope to see much more of in subsequent novels.I loved how different he was from most vampires, and feel like we just began to learn about him and his motives.

As dangerous as the world around Allie is the stakes are even higher once Allie becomes vampire and new foes are introduced. The body count is high and that means not everyone makes it to the end of the first act in this story. If this is any indication for what’s to come readers are in for a dangerous, action filled trilogy.

Immortal Rules is filled with tingling chills, heart stopping romance, kick ass action and Allie’s journey is just beginning. I, for one, am happy to follow her, and Julie, wherever they wish to take us next.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Friday Hops!

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. It's a great way to meet new blogger friends. This weeks question is:

Q: Fight! Fight! If you could have two fictional characters battle it out (preferably from books), who would they be and who do you think would win? about two people capable of amazing magic. Voldemort vs Gandalf. I think it might be a pretty epic showdown. I am not sure who would win, I would hope Gandalf though.

TGIF at GReads! is a weekly blog hop hosted by Ginger from GReads

This weeks question is

Book Blogger Influences: Has there been a particular book blogger who's influenced what you read? Share with us a review/book blog that convinced you to pick up a certain book.

I am so easily influenced to pick up a book. I add books all the time due to people raving about them.

Here are some of the bloggers who have turned me on to new books

Christy @ The Reader Bee

I adore Christy's reviews, and there have been numerous books that I have wanted to grab after reading them. I love talking about books with her and we tend to have the same taste. Her review style is wonderful  and she highlights the important the hotness of the kissing :)

Brodie @ Eleusinian Mysteries

Brodie's reviews are EPIC! Her enthusiasm for certain books (Storm for one) has made me add more books that I can count to my ever growing reading pile. If you haven't read her review for Insurgent or so immediately.

Kelly @ KellyVision

Kelly's review of I Hunt Killers literally made me run and get the book! I am dying to read it after her super amazing review for it! Kelly writes thoughtful, and insightful reviews that tend to make me want to read even more books.

Evie @ Bookish

Evie's reviews tend to make me chuckle. Her humour is an amazing part to her reviews. When she really loves a book she will make you want to read it for sure, and when she doesn't....well she's equally compelling the other way as well.

Happy Weekend!

The Girl in the Park by Mariah Fredericks

The Girl in the Park by Mariah Fredericks
Release Date – April 24, 2012
Publisher Website – Random House Children’s Books
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 224 pages
My Rating- 3/5
**obtained from the publisher and Netgalley for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
When Wendy Geller's body is found in Central Park after the night of a rager, newspaper headlines scream,"Death in the Park: Party Girl Found Strangled." But shy Rain, once Wendy's best friend, knows there was more to Wendy than just "party girl." As she struggles to separate the friend she knew from the tangle of gossip and headlines, Rain becomes determined to discover the truth about the murder. Written in a voice at once immediate, riveting, and utterly convincing, Mariah Frederick's mystery brilliantly exposes the cracks in this exclusive New York City world and the teenagers that move within it.
The Girl in the Park grabbed my interest initially due to the real life case it’s loosely based on. I hoped for an intriguing mystery set in an elite New York City private school. I felt the message of victims and how their character can come under attack to be the most important part of the book however.

The writing in the novel is fairly straight forward. I felt the middle and second half to be stronger than the first. It starts out a little slower, but quickly immerses you into the mystery of what happened the night Wendy was murdered.

The characters are all fairly realistic to a high school setting. You’ve got an array of young teenagers that make up various groups found in most high schools. I felt it harder to relate to relate to, or like any of the characters except for Rain though.

Rain is a shy, withdrawn character who I sympathized with. She has a cleft pallet and as a result is painfully shy. She had some speech issues that she corrected and it is made her self conscious about talking to others, especially other teenagers in her school. She is very determined to find out what really happened to Wendy, and she does start to stand up for herself and change throughout the story. Her desire to speak for Wendy is admirable and she really does care for her friend.

Being familiar with the case the novel is loosely based on may have helped me enjoy in the novel more. I was not able to guess the killer as a result. I was expecting it to be a certain character based on the real life case. Once the real killer is revealed the clues are quite obvious and I believe that someone not familiar with the case would be able to determine who it was early on.

The face that Wendy was torn apart for her “party girl” ways echoes what happens all too often in real life, and what happens in the real case. A woman may be made to feel she has done something to the provoke the attack. “What was she doing in a park that late at night and with a boy?”, “Why was she dressed in an outfit that revealing?” etc. These kinds of statements tend to blame the victim for behaviour that they really didn’t have anything to do with. It is wonderful to see this presented in a YA novel and I hope it gets teens and adults talking.

The confrontation that happens when the killer is revealed may end up being seen as anti-climatic to some. I am not 100 percent sure on how I feel about that part of the novel. Part of me felt it lacked a bit of “drama” but part of me thought it had a touch of realism to it.

All in all, The Girl in the Park is a well thought out murder mystery that puts it’s own spin on an age old formula and has a touch of realism that I hope will cause people to think.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday....Meant To Be

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My pick this week is Meant To Be by Lauren Morrill

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Meant to be or not meant to be . . . that is the question.

It's one thing to fall head over heels into a puddle of hazelnut coffee, and quite another to fall for the—gasp—wrong guy. Straight-A junior Julia may be accident prone, but she's queen of following rules and being prepared. That's why she keeps a pencil sharpener in her purse and a pocket Shakespeare in her, well, pocket. And that's also why she's chosen Mark Bixford, her childhood crush, as her MTB ("meant to be"). 
But this spring break, Julia's rules are about to get defenestrated (SAT word: to be thrown from a window) when she's partnered with her personal nemesis, class-clown Jason, on a school trip to London. After one wild party, Julia starts receiving romantic texts . . . from an unknown number! Jason promises to help discover the identity of her mysterious new suitor if she agrees to break a few rules along the way. And thus begins a wild goose chase through London, leading Julia closer and closer to the biggest surprise of all: true love. 
Because sometimes the things you least expect are the most meant to be.
This sounds so cute and romantic. I love the whole mystery text leading to a "goose chase" through London. I love when cities are such a huge part of a novel, and London is such an amazing city.

Expected release date - November 13, 2012

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tudor Tuesday! Gilt Teaser, Giveaway and Queen Anne Boleyn

Welcome to stop number two on the Tudor Tuesdays Gilt blog tour!

My queen, Anne Boleyn, is probably the most well known of Henry's wives. Her fate, and the impact of the marriage is a huge part of history. I am going to shed a bit of light of on Anne's story, her marriage to Henry and, of course, the events leading up to her unfortunate and tragic end.

Anne was brought into the Court of King Henry by her family. Her father Thomas Boleyn was influential at court. Anne's sister, Mary, is believed to have been one of Henry's mistresses prior to his persuing Anne.

Henry obviously fell in love with the vivacious Anne and was willing to do anything to be with her. He was married to Catherine of Aragon at the time. Anne refused to be just another of Henry's mistresses and insisted that if he wanted her that it be legitimate and that he marry her. She wanted to provide him with the heir that Henry so badly wanted.

Henry became consumed with finding a way out of his marriage to Catherine. He petitioned Pope Clement VII to annul the marrige, which was declined. The only way out of the situation was for him to take matters into his own hands. He declared himself head of the English church so that he was able to grant his own divorce. This was monumential as the Church of England was now serperated from Rome and under the King's control.

There were many who did not support the King's new marriage. Many of them specfically did not support Anne as Queen. She was not favoured by anyone still loyal to the beloved Queen Catherine whom they felt was the King's rightful and true wife. There were others who wished to see a woman from their own family wearing the crown. It made Anne's position precarious and a situation that was ripe for rumours, and scandal.

Anne's time was Queen was short, lasting just 3 years. Henry's desire to have a legitimate heir to the throne was growing. Anne was feeling the pressure and strain. She suffered miscarriages and and struggled to become pregnant after having their first (and only) child - a girl named Elizabeth. Elizabeth would go on to become one of the greatest monarchs in history.

The King, having grown increasingly desperate for a heir after having an accident that caused him to face his own mortality started to grow even more distant from Anne. The death of Henry's first wife left Anne desperate to provide a son. Henry would be free to marry again now that Catherine had passed away, and with nobody challenging the legitimacy of the marrige.  Anne suffered another miscarriage from the stress of Henry's accident, and with this her fate was sealed.

During this time plans were set in motion that would change everything - Anne was accused of "tricking" the King into marriage by witchcraft and committing adultery with Francis Weston, George Boleyn, Mark Smeaton, William Brereton, and Henry Norris. These young men ended up being executed for their perceived crimes against the King. It is thought that the charges against Anne were completely untrue, and that it was a means to rid Henry of a wife he no longer really wanted. A new girl had caught his eye - Jane Seymour. It is uncertain who started the allegations against Anne. Master Secretary Thomas Cromwell is thought to be involved, and he was asked by the King to invested Anne and the charges against her.

Mark Smeaton confessed after being tortured to being one of Anne's lovers. This sealed the fate of himself, Anne, and the other young men. Anne's fate was discussed by means of a trail that took place May 15 1536. She was found to be guilty of treason by means of adultery and plotting to kill the King with her "lovers".

Anne's sentence was carried out May 19, 1536. Henry extended the "courtesy" of having a French swordsman perform the execution. Anne was poised and acted like a Queen until the very end offering this speech before accepting her fate:
Good Christian people, I am come hither to die, for according to the law, and by the law I am judged to die, and therefore I will speak nothing against it. I am come hither to accuse no man, nor to speak anything of that, whereof I am accused and condemned to die, but I pray God save the king and send him long to reign over you, for a gentler nor a more merciful prince was there never: and to me he was ever a good, a gentle and sovereign lord. And if any person will meddle of my cause, I require them to judge the best. And thus I take my leave of the world and of you all, and I heartily desire you all to pray for me. O Lord have mercy on me, to God I commend my soul.
Henry married his next wife Jane Seymour shortly after Anne's death. They married May 30.1536. You will find out more about Jane at the next stop - Rebecca @ Reading Wishes next Tuesday.

Your GILT teaser at this stop features King Henry and is from one of my favourite scenes in the novel.
A servant thrust the box into my hands and I opened it slowly. Lying on a scrap of blue velvet was a chain of gold from which hung a single pendant of startling emerald.
“It’s beautiful,” I said.
“Come here, Kitty,” the king said, and I knelt before him.
“You are my wife’s closest friend,” he whispered. “She told me this when you arrived at court. I have never forgotten.”
“Thank you, Your Majesty,” I breathed.
“Remain a friend to her, Kitty,” the king finished. “She has many enemies at court.”
He no longer looked delighted, just old. Haggard.
“I will, your Majesty,” I said. Knowing, as I said it, it would mean betraying him.
Make sure to get your word for the scavenger hunt (featured in YELLOW) to enter to win one of 3 GILT prize packs. 3 people will receive a finished copy of the book, and some GILT bookmarks.

To enter fill in the Rafflecopter below (US ONLY) once you have the words to complete this sentence
In the ____ of King ____ VIII, who you ____ can get you in, but ___ you ____ can get you ______

Monday, April 16, 2012

Masque of the Red Death Event Annoucement

I may have gushed and squealed about this novel quite a bit. It's for a good read though - this novel is simply fantastic. So fantastic I am dedicating the entire week to promoting it.

Here is what you can expect

April 23 - Interview with Bethany Griffin
April 24 - My review of Masque of the Red Death
April 25 - Giveway Details!
April 26 - Will & Elliott: The Men of Masque
April 27 - My Masque Playlist
April 28 - What to Expect in Book 2: Using Poe's story to find clues
April 29 - My very gushy letter to Bethany

Hope you will follow along. I have some great goodies up for grabs including a copy of the book, amazing bookmarks, and leather bracelets!

The Selection by Kiera Cass

The Selection by Kiera Cass
Release Date –  April 24, 2012
Publisher Website –  Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader
Pages - 327 pages
My Rating- 4/5
**obtained from the publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in the palace and compete for the heart of the gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself- and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.
The first thing you’ll notice about The Selection is it’s oh so pretty cover. It really is one of the more beautiful covers of 2012 and I am sure it’s going to draw a lot of people in.

The best way to describe this novel is fun. It’s been touted as Cinderella meets The Bachelor and that’s not far off. It’s filled with pretty gowns, catty girl drama, and sweet romance. It’s the perfect fit if you’re looking for this kind of novel. 

I surprised myself with how quickly I become engrossed in this novel. I wasn’t expecting it, and honestly, I can see how it may not be the book for everyone. It has a specific genre and appeal but it’s clearly stated.

The writing style reflects the tone of the novel. Light, airy and it will keep you turning the pages. Kiera Cass packs a lot of start up plot details into the novel that will set up the sequels. There is the hint of them being taken in some (hopefully) intriguing directions. 

This has been called a dystopian. Not sure I agree and I think it may set some expectations on this novel that will cause people to end up not enjoying it. The only dystopian aspect is a caste system based on numbers with the higher number reflecting a higher status. It reads more like a fairytale than anything else. 

The character of America did infuriate me at times. She couldn’t make a decision at all. I did like that she finally decides to make herself happy and realizes that she may need time to figure some things about before she can fully commit to what that is.  There are times she shows herself as being smart and inquisitive and I hope her character continues to change and grow. Her realization that the life she always wanted may not be the life she ends up with rings true to her journey, as does her realization that she may be ok with this. I did like that she treated everyone the same, regardless of their class. 

Maxon is adorable. Patient, kind, a little awkward and seemingly very genuine. He made me enjoy the book so much more. He is under a lot of pressure, not just from the task of choosing a bride, but the rebel attacks that seem to be escalating. He’s got a lot of responsibility and just wants to make his parents and his country proud. It’s hard not to like him. 

Aspen is equally likeable. He cares about America a lot, but understands their situation. I may end up liking him more in book two if we get to know him more, but the connection isn’t there yet.

The romances in the book are very different. Aspen and America come from different caste levels in society and therefore have a forbidden romance of sorts. Their romance is filled with sneaked kissing, passion, longing and a hope for the future. Maxon and America, on the other hand, begin as friends. America has no desire to compete at first but quickly realizes that Maxon isn’t so bad and they start to build something that could be real. I liked the Maxon/American pairing so much more because you can see the trust, and genuine feelings being built. It’s not instant, not even instant attraction. They each break down barriers and misconceptions for each other. Aspen and America’s relationship comes pre-developed and I didn’t feel the spark as much as I did with Maxon. 

There are teases of unrest, rebels, and a larger political agenda storyline that I hope plays a larger part to the sequels in the series. The depth the story needs is added with this storyline. America proves herself quite perceptive  in these situations and as a result she is beginning to ask questions, think logically and has a desire to find out more. The secrets being kept from numerous people will hopefully come to light and could change everything.

This will be one of those titles that people will either really enjoy or dislike. I think a lot of it will come down to expectations the reader has going in. For me The Selection was a fun, romantic, sweet read that I’ll compare to eating a delicious treat. You’ll enjoy it, and immediately look for the another. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Fallen Angel by Heather Terrell

Fallen Angel by Heather Terrell
Release Date –  December 28 2010
Publisher Website –  Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader
Pages -  310 pages
My Rating- 2.5/5
**obtained from the library**

**************MILD SPOILERS******************

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Terrell delivers the first book in a dark, edgy new angel series about a girl drawn into an ancient conflict that threatens everything she knows, even the life of the boy she loves.
Fallen Angel offers an interesting perspective on angel mythology, however the characters were hard for me to relate to.

Ellie and Michael are the main characters in the story. Two teenagers who begin to suspect that they may be something more than human. I feel we did not get to know the characters that well. I could barely picture them, and I wish they had been developed more. This made for a disconnect that was prevalent throughout the entire book.

I really liked that Ellie and Michael are both equal. They both are going through the same thing, and they are both supernatural. Too often we read of the supernatural being in love with the human (or vice versa) so it was nice to see it from a perspective that we don’t often get to see. It made the relationship seem more natural, even though it happens very quickly.  The relationship is intense, passionate and consuming for both of them, and as with most YA novels there is an underlying element to the attraction.

The relationship between Ellie and her best friend Ruth seemed a little awkward and strange at times. Ruth was overly dependant on Ellie, scarily so. It could have been a interesting development to dive deeper in the psychological reasons behind Ruth’s behaviour, but it wasn’t fully dealt with or explained.

Fallen Angel has an really intriguing premise. The synopsis doesn’t give much away, but as I reading I could see the mythology the author wanted to incorporate. I though the Book of Enoch was a great touch, and wished that would have been explored more. The novel has a lot of vampire references and qualities.  Blood is a huge plot point, and the characters actually think they are vampires at first. Applying this mythology could have been very intriguing and unique, but in a way I felt the author really wanted to write about vampires. A large part of the book is Ellie and Michael trying to determine what they are and I feel the title gives it away to the reader. This made me less invested because I knew the end result.

While the promise of an interesting premise, and good mythology was there, I was hoping to dive deeper into the story. It left me vaguely wishing the novel focused on the angel aspect more. I do think the second book maybe stronger, and that a younger teen would enjoy this novel a lot more.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Cynthia Hand Guest Post

Stopping by today for the Angel Event is Cynthia Hand, author of Unearthly and it's sequel Hallowed. Cynthia has provided a guest post about why she wrote about angels. It's fascinating to see what drew an author to a particular subject!

Thank you Cynthia for taking part in this event.

 Why did I choose to write about angels? This is a question I get a lot these days, and I always feel a little funny answering it, because the truth is, there was never a clear, definitive moment where I said to myself, “you know what? I’m going to write about angels!” It just sort of came about organically.

The seed that became Unearthly was always Clara—I clearly started to hear the voice of this character, this girl who knew that it was her destiny to save a boy who she kept seeing in visions. (For the record, usually in life it’s not a good sign when you’re hearing voices, but as a writer that’s how it usually first comes to me, a voice that wants to tell a story. Call me crazy, but I can accept that kind of craziness. It’s worked out pretty well for me so far. ) So I started to hear Clara’s voice, and she began to tell me about this mission that she was on. Then I lit on this fantastic image of a forest fire, and once I had that, the story began to unroll itself. With the forest fire came the setting of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and with the setting came the character of Tucker, this other, more rough-and-tumble boy who captures Clara’s attention and complicates everything beautifully. So suddenly I had the who, the what, the where, and the when.

Now all I had left to do was think of the why. And write about the how.

The why led me to angels. First off, I knew that I wanted Clara to be special; I wanted her to be a modern-day, bona fide hero. But I also knew I wanted her to be human. I didn’t want her to be a vampire or a fairy or any other kind of wholly supernatural creature—even though I love reading those books; don’t get me wrong. I wanted her to have some unique problems, sure, but I also wanted her to have very normal, human problems. I wanted her to be a high school girl who gets completely tongue-tied around the boy she likes.

I kept mulling over the word “hero,” and then, in one of those freakish writerly flashes of inspiration, I remembered this one obscure little passage in the Bible that talked about heroes—the Nephilim, the offspring of angels and humans.

I’d been interested in the Nephilim since I was a little girl and read Madeleine L’Engle’s book Many Waters, in which the main characters travel back to the time of Noah where there are angels walking around on earth, and some of the angels have children by human women. This idea always fascinated me—what would it be like, I wondered, to know that you’re part angel, the blood of the divine running through your veins? It would be crazy, right? Maybe it would be cool, maybe you’d have all these neat powers, but it might also be a lot of pressure!

As soon as I hit on the Nephilim idea, I knew that’s what Clara was, and all the other pieces of my story tumbled right into place. Then I had loads of fun coming up with the rules and mythology of the new world I was creating. That’s where some of the real joy of writing comes from—it’s just wildly fun to invent all these cool things and see them play themselves out on the page. I also kind of fell in love with how the story immediately began to operate on two levels, the surface level where Clara faces all her real-life challenges, and another deeper, spiritual level where she is forced to confront all of the big questions of life, the “why am I here?” questions.

That’s the tricky thing about writing about angels—they are, at heart, a topic steeped in religious connotation. I never wanted to write a book that advocated any one religion or set of religious beliefs, but I also didn’t want to ignore the spiritual implications of the story. I did a lot of research on angels and their history, which was incredibly interesting stuff, but I also gave myself permission to take the pieces of information that lit up my imagination and leave the rest—to create a world that was fully Clara’s own. So in the end, I just wrote what happened to this particular girl and tried to make the situation as real as possible: if you found out you were part-angel, how would you feel about life? About the idea of God? About your duty to that God? About your place in the world?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Angel Eyes by Shannon Dittemore

Angel Eyes by Shannon Dittemore
Release Date –  May 29, 2012
Publisher Website –  Thomas Nelson Fiction
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages -   320 pages
My Rating- 3/5
**obtained publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Once you’ve seen, you can’t unsee. Everything changes when you’ve looked at the world through . . . 
Brielle’s a ballerina who went to the city to chase her dreams and found tragedy instead. She’s come home to shabby little Stratus, Oregon, to live with her grief and her guilt . . . and the incredible, numbing cold she can’t seem to shake. 
Jake’s the new guy at school. The boy next door with burning hands and an unbelievable gift that targets him for corruption. 
Something more than fate has brought them together. An evil bigger than both of them lurks in the shadows nearby, hiding in plain sight. Two angels stand guard, unsure what’s going to happen. And a beauty brighter than Jake or Brielle has ever seen is calling them to join the battle in a realm where all human choices start. 
A realm that only angels and demons—and Brielle—can perceive.

Angel Eyes, for me, was one of those novels that I ended up not having a particularly strong feeling about upon completion. It was what I liked to call a “middle” book. It’s one of those books that had some great aspects to it, but I couldn’t relate to the characters as much as I wanted to.

The writing was something that actually stood out. Shannon’s writing really shined during the “Celestial” parts of the novel. Celestial refers to the angel realm that humans can not see.  Her talent and the world she created was more evident in these sections. The author put just enough of her own spin on the  angel mythology to keep it fresh. The halo from the cover is an important part of the story and I enjoyed learning about it,  and it’s power. It was unique as I had not read an angel novel that dealt with halos prior to this one. The way the author made it apart of this story was interesting.

The characters were all fairly likeable. Brielle is a broken girl who has been through a lot when we first meet her. She feels she is responsible for something horrible that happened and moves back home to escape. I was really invested in this part of the story. The mystery of finding out what event had broken Brielle to the point she’s at when we meet her. Brielle slowly comes to terms with what happened and becomes stronger during the coarse of the novel.  Jake, the boy next door and love interest, is sweet and kind. I wish we would have gotten to know more about him. Hopefully that will happen in future novels in the series.

Brielle’s capability of seeing the angel realm changes her life and her acceptance of it happens quickly. I felt this made sense, as she has proof of the existence. It is not like she could ignore what she is seeing. It was great to bypass the entire acceptance part of it and instead of Brielle struggle with the impact it was going to have on her. What did she do with this new knowledge? What does it mean for her future? And most of all how would it impact her beliefs? These questions play a big part in the overall plot of the story and shape Brielle’s character.

This book may not appeal to everyone has it does have a large religious component to it. It’s one of the more “religious” angel novels I have read. You can tell the author’s faith is important to her and it is reflected in her writing. The novel’s themes of acceptance of faith, belief, and questioning why bad things happen are all important to the plot of the story and link into the religious nature of the story.

The ending left me curious about where the author will take this story in future instalments. While this book may not be for everyone, and I myself didn’t feel strongly one way or another about it upon finishing, the writing and mythology certainly make this author one I would read again.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Interview with Shannon Dittemore

Today I have Shannon Dittemore, author of the upcoming novel Angel Eyes stopping by for an Q and A. If you want to learn more you can view the Goodreads page, follow Shannon on Twitter or visit her website. Angel Eyes will release on May 29. Thank you for stopping by Shannon!

Describe Angel Eyes in three words

You can't unsee.

Cheating, right? I stole that from the book jacket, but it's a great summary of what's going on in Brielle's world. She sees things she can't unsee, learns things she can't unknow, and that's... well, that's a problem for her.

How would you describe Brielle?

Cold. Scared. Guilty. When we meet Brielle, she's just suffered a major loss and feels she could have prevented it. Now, if I were to describe Brielle at the end of the story, I'd use very different adjectives.

How would Brielle describe Jake?

"He's a stalker who has no business being gorgeous. And he's hot... I mean his hands, his hands are hot. Sheesh."

What would you say is the most unique aspect of your angel mythology?

I'm going out a limb a bit here because I've kept myself fairly sheltered from other angel books. Not because I dislike them, but because I'm still working on this trilogy and I've needed to keep my own world--and its rules--clear in my mind.

But, from what I have read, I'd say there are probably three things that set Angel Eyes apart. First of all, there isn't a single reference to the Nephilim in my books. The idea of angels marrying the "daughters of men" is not discussed as a reality or a back-story. I went another direction entirely and I hope readers will find the journey compelling.

Second, my source material, in nearly every way, was the Bible. I took liberties of course, creating my own characters with their own stories. But, I grew up fascinated by the angels of scripture and I've wondered what it'd be like to see them. What would it be like to talk to them, to understand their task here on earth. And wh+ile my stories are contemporary, I wanted my angels to be believable theologically. So believable that they could fly back into the pages of that big coffee-table Bible Grandma always had out. I don't know if I've quite accomplished that, but I hope I'm close.

Oh. And there's a halo. Yup, a halo. *zips lips*

What sort of research did you do for this book?

Well! I work with teenagers and young adults, and I have for years. Being a dedicated people watcher certainly helps. I also did some reading on the tragedy of child trafficking, which plays a bit part in this story. I do hope to learn more about this very real, very unsettling issue and I'd love to see young people doing what they can to fight it. And of course, the Bible and I are good friends. If you're a writer, it's impossible to get away from the phrase "write what you know," and I did my best to do just that.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Jessica Shirvington - Guest Post - Embrace Blog Tour

Today I am part of the ongoing blog tour for Jessica Shirvington's Embrace. I have Jessica stopping by with a guest post about her novel and setting.

If you haven't read this wonderful novel and would like a chance to make sure to stop by and enter the giveaway I am hosting.

You can learn more about Embrace over at Goodreads, follow Jessica on Twitter and visit the author website. Thank you Jessica for stopping by again during the angel event!

Where Are You From?
By Jessica Shirvington

In my first draft of EMBRACE (there were eight!), I didn’t set the city. I was in two minds the entire time. I suppose I was drawing on all the places I have been around the world. Although I now live in Sydney, when I started to write EMBRACE, my family and I had just moved back from six years living in London. And prior to that, I’d spent quite a lot of time travelling to many cities around the world – so much so, that when I was writing scenes in EMBRACE, I found myself thinking of different cities around the world and never being able to truly decided which one most suited Violet’s world.

In my second and third and fourth drafts, I chose different cities (I’ll never tell) from around the world and set Violet’s story there. But each time, it felt forced.

I wanted her to live in a city, as opposed to some small town where all these major apocalyptic events just miraculously found her. To be believable she had to be in a metropolitan environment, but which one?

In the end, the answer was … any of them, and none of them. It wasn’t that the cities I chose didn’t work; it was that in my mind I’d amalgamated them into what I needed for her story to work for me. So I made the decision to give that option to all of my readers and simply called her city, the City.

It isn’t the ‘done thing’ usually, but I believe for this story, it works. I want readers to be able to put this story where they know. If they live in a city, it can be there, if they live in a rural area, then it isn’t a stretch for them to imagine a city nearby. It is an element of control that I wanted to give to the reader.

That said, I like a little control myself … and I discovered that by giving this open setting for Violet’s hometown, it also opened up the possibility to use other locations around the world that would really pop off the page.

In ENTICED (the sequel, out in September!), Violet and her friends find themselves travelling to Jordan – on a quest to the place of Moses’ death – Mount Nebo. In EMBLAZE (book 3, out March 2013) they travel to the island of Santorini in Greece, which is small and stunning, and holds terrors that none of them are prepared for.

Each book I take the characters somewhere new and as I write the series, I have discovered how very important this is to me. I want my characters to go to the world, to find the problems and be part of the solution, rather than the fight always, and too conveniently, finding them.

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