Sunday, June 29, 2014

Release Event | Eruption by Christina Mobley @chrissy3680

Book Title: Eruption
Series: The Vangretta Curse #3
Author: Christina Mobley
Release Date: June 29, 2014
Genre: YA Fantasy
Presented by:As You Wish Tours

To celebrate today's release of Eruption (book 3), Elementris (book1) is FREE on Amazon Kindle!!


When you love someone more than yourself, protecting them is all that matters; it is all there is...

Snow one minute and blazing temperatures the next, horrific storms everywhere, and Ava has no idea what’s causing it. Desperate for answers, she turns to the past. An ancient diary reveals the truth about Element Island and the true origins of those born of the Element. Everything she thought she knew is wrong. Destiny is coming for her unborn child.

Ava’s fairytale has quickly turned into a nightmare. No one can be trusted. Friendships will be tested, and lives will be lost. As nature and destiny collide, a child that will change everything is born. The eruption will mark the beginning and the end, and the battle has just begun.



Caslan had drawn a strange symbol on the sand in front of her before moving around to stand at her back. “Say these words.” he instructed, the words whispering against her neck as his warm breath tickled the tiny hairs there. Her skin tingled and her heart started to race. “Rub the crystal with your thumb. You’re going to make that baby float,” he said.

Brea laughed, “Yeah, right.”

“You will,” he said against her ear. “Say these words. “Rise up, dance for me, Harinick awlet manicuine, and visualize it. Concentrate on the symbol.” The words rolled off his tongue, making him sound like he was from a different time.

Brea closed her eyes, feeling a strange prickling sensation in the palm of her hand. It felt like it had fallen asleep and was trying to wake back up. Caslan reached for her hand and pried her fingers open. She looked down at the crystal that lay in her palm. Colors flashed within it.

“Say the words and look at the symbol. Make the crystal weightless.”

Brea took a deep breath. “Raise up, dance for me, Harinick awlet manicuine.” She leaned forward and concentrated on the symbol. The symbol turned black and then caught fire. The crystal rose from her hand and floated above the flaming symbol. Brea wanted to scream. She couldn’t believe what she was seeing. The crystal spun higher and higher until it was right in front of her face. It hovered there, spinning like it weighed nothing at all.

Caslan took her chin in his hand and kissed her. His kiss was not careful it was all-consuming and feral. She knew she should fear the strange sensations he was causing her to feel, but it was so amazing. She’d never felt more alive; out of control, yet completely free. His hands moved over her body and suddenly she didn’t want there to be any space between them. She wrapped herself around him as he lowered her to the sand. She heard the crystal drop beside them. He was breathing fast, just like hers. He propped himself up on his elbow, looked at her, and grinned. “I told you that you could do it.”

“You did that.” She accused, a little disappointed that he seemed to want to talk.

“No,” he denied. “That was all you. You did that.”

“Did I really?” she asked, feeling a little better about the talking thing, amazed at what she had done.

He leaned in and, touching her lightly, slowly traced a path over her shoulder and down her arm before he responded, “You did.”

Christina Mobley is a married, mother of four, who spends her days caring for her children. She grew up in Florida, living on the banks of the St.Mary's river, and as a child always had a fascination for storms and the power they wield. The Vangeretta Curse series was inspired by that fascination.


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Review | Relic by Douglas Preston

Title: Relic
Author: Douglas Preston
Length: 484 Pages
Released: November 2007


Just days before a massive exhibition opens at the popular New York Museum of Natural History, visitors are being savagely murdered in the museum's dark hallways and secret rooms. Autopsies indicate that the killer cannot be human...

But the museum's directors plan to go ahead with a big bash to celebrate the new exhibition, in spite of the murders.

Museum researcher Margo Green must find out who-or what-is doing the killing. But can she do it in time to stop the massacre?

At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.

Intriguing, Disgusting, Crazy Story....and yet, I liked it. I could have done with a few hundred less curse words, but you sort of understand that these guys are having an all around bad few weeks here. Sure, the characters are a bit flat. The monster in the basement is kinda cool. Characters that grown and change are always a plus, but if you've got enough action to distract you, overlooking that sort of thing becomes easier.

Definitely not a children's story, though I suppose parts of it were too ridiculous to be anything but a story. This is my first experience with Preston and Child. Pendergast's a typical detective type, but he still ends up winning most people over by the end.

Speaking of the end, it's predictable but believable. (See what happens when you don't pay scientists well enough. :-)

Friday, June 27, 2014

Review | The Maiden's Bequest (MacDonalds / Phillips Series) by George MacDonald

Title: The Maiden's Bequest
 (MacDonalds / Phillips Series)
Author: George MacDonald
Length: 288 Pages
Released: April 1985


MacDonald's genius as a storyteller is seen once again in this moving, inspiring story of Alec Forbes and his friend Annie.

Orphaned as a child, Annie's special friendship with Alec is a source of strength and security which sees them both through many difficulties in their nineteenth-century Scotland.

Alec and Annie eventually are separated by circumstances when he leaves to study medicine at the university. There he meets beautiful Kate and falls helplessly in love. But she rejects him in favor of an arrogant upperclassman. Alec bitterly blames himself for Kate's eventual despair. How will he come to recognize that peace and tranquility, hallmarks of Annie's life, come from within?

True Romance At Its Best!

Alec and Annie are two rare characters that have depth and life to them. They're not perfect, but they grow, learn, change, and mature as the story progresses. The story isn't all that complicated or intricate, but the characters are compelling. The unjust and the just have their ups and downs. Revenge is had but proven bitter. Love provides a shield against some storms yet no shield for others. I think one thing I enjoyed about the book was its simple beauty. The passages were well written. There were no sections where I thought the author was just being plain lazy with a description.

It's a bit tough to read at times, dense packing of words and all that, but it's well worth reading. Child safe, too, if you're so inclined to share with teens and younger children with very high reading skills.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Review | Death Troopers: Star Wars by Joe Schreiber

Title: Death Troopers: Star Wars
Author: Joe Schreiber
Length: 303 Pages
Released: June 2011


When the Imperial prison barge Purge–temporary home to five hundred of the galaxy’ s most ruthless killers, rebels, scoundrels, and thieves–breaks down in a distant, uninhabited part of space, its only hope appears to lie with a Star Destroyer found drifting, derelict, and seemingly abandoned. But when a boarding party from the Purge is sent to scavenge for parts, only half of them come back–bringing with them a horrific disease so lethal that within hours nearly all aboard the Purge die in ways too hideous to imagine.

And death is only the beginning.

The Purge’s half-dozen survivors– two teenage brothers, a sadistic captain of the guards, a couple of rogue smugglers, and the chief medical officer, the lone woman on board–will do whatever it takes to stay alive. But nothing can prepare them for what lies waiting aboard the Star Destroyer amid its vast creaking emptiness that isn’t really empty at all. For the dead are rising: soulless, unstoppable, and unspeakably hungry.

Features a bonus section following the novel that includes a primer on the Star Wars expanded universe, and over half a dozen excerpts from some of the most popular Star Wars books of the last thirty years!

Short version of my review: short, flat, needlessly disgusting, stupid book

The cover is cool. The book itself is short, which turns out to be a blessing. The plot is boring. The characters are 2-D. And the prose reads much like the beginning of this review, except for the colorful parts where it's describing things like a laser beam going through someone's head with enough force (and torque) that blood and gristle goes flying all over the room.

I thought a Star Wars based horror story would be an interesting twist on things, but this is a pathetic attempt at story-telling. Get it from a library if you must torture yourself with this. The inclusion of Han and Chewie was just so they could bill it as star wars. Even those iconic characters felt very flat; they had none of the usual wit or banter that has become part of their character.

Spoiler alert - I don't mind characters dying in a book, but I mind if I don't care about them enough to have any emotion whatsoever about them dying. The main characters are dummies too. For example, one sees his undead brother coming towards him and starts saying things like: Hey, it's me, your brother. (Instead of sensibly running like heck the other direction.)

Good pts: it is different. They tried something new, I give them lots of credit for doing that. I just wish they would bother making it a good story at the same time. Some people will like the book; that much is obvious. I just think some of the same people might feel gipped if they part with $20 for the pleasure.
For those of us who care about such things, there are a few mistakes in the book, which is forgivable in an ARC, but the version I read wasn't an ARC.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Spotlight | The Island: (The Island Series #1) by Jen Minkman

Title: The Island
(The Island Series #1)
Author: Jen Minkman
Length: 138 Pages
Released: January 2014

‘I walk toward the sea. The endless surface of the water extends to the horizon, whichever way I look.

Our world is small. We are on our own, and we only have ourselves to depend on. We rely on the Force deep within us, as taught to us by our forefathers.

If I were to walk westward from here, I would come across a barrier – the Wall. Behind it, there are Fools. At least, that’s what everyone says.

I have never seen one.’

Leia lives on the Island, a world in which children leave their parents to take care of themselves when they are ten years old. Across this Island runs a wall that no one has ever crossed. The Fools living behind it are not amenable to reason – they believe in illusions. That’s what The Book says, the only thing left to the Eastern Islanders by their ancestors.
But when a strange man washes ashore and Leia meets a Fool face to face, her life will never be the same. Is what she and her friends believe about the Island really true?

Or is everyone in their world, in fact, a Fool?

(Disclaimer: this novella contains a few references to the famous sci-fi movie Star Wars which are pivotal to the plot. None of the characters in The Island are in any way related to the characters in the movie.)

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Spotlight | Planet Urth (Book 1: Planet Urth Series) by Jennifer Martucci

Title: Planet Urth
(Planet Urth Series: Book 1)
Author: Jennifer Martucci
Length: 284 Pages
Released: September 2013


The world has changed. It’s dangerous, deadly. Inhuman creatures rule the planet. Animals have mutated. The land is hostile. But it’s all I’ve ever known. Hunger. Fear. Panic. Those emotions are my reality. They are my every day. I am Avery, and I am seventeen. My father died a year ago. Since then I’ve been responsible for my eight-year-old sister, June.

I worry we are the only humans left.

Humans have been hunted for centuries, to the brink of extinction. I must fight each day to protect my sister. It is the reason I wake, the reason I breathe. But how long can I go on fighting? How long will it be before they find us?

More than two hundred years into the future, human beings are an endangered species. The planet has been battered by war, its inhabitants plagued by disease and death. Few humans survived and remained unaffected. Most changed dramatically and evolved into something else entirely. Irrevocable alterations caused by chemical warfare have created a new species. North America is in ruins and has been overtaken. Humanity has fallen at the hands of mutants known as Urthmen.

Seventeen year-old Avery is alive and unchanged. But she has not been immune to the harshness of the new world. She has lived on the run for much of her life, in terror.

After losing her father, Avery is the sole guardian of her eight-year-old sister, June. Avery is now charged with June’s safety as well as her own, a nearly impossible task.

Forced to hide deep in the forest and away from the cities overrun by Urthmen, Avery and her sister are constantly hunted. Danger awaits them at every turn. They fear they are the only human beings left, that they are the last of their kind.

But are they truly alone?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Review | Ring of Fire (Century Quartet, Book 1) by Pierdomenico Baccalario

Title: Ring of Fire
(Century Quartet, Book 1)
Author: Pierdomenico Baccalario
Length: 306 Pages
Released: September 2009


Every hundred years, four kids from four cities must save the world.

Rome, December 29.

A mix-up with their reservations forces Harvey from New York, Mistral from Paris, and Sheng from Shanghai to share a room with the hotel owner’s daughter, Elettra. The four kids discover an amazing coincidence—they all have birthdays on February 29, Leap Day. That night, a strange man gives them a briefcase and asks them to take care of it until he returns. Soon afterward, the man is murdered.

The kids open the briefcase. In it they find a series of clues that take them all over Rome, through dusty libraries and dark catacombs, in search of the elusive Ring of Fire, an ancient object so powerful that legend says even a Roman emperor couldn’t control it.

In the first book of the Century quartet, Italian author P. D. Baccalario begins a mystery that will take four cities and four extraordinary kids to solve.
- From the Hardcover edition.

Interesting cover, decent concept, but awkward, very much so. I wonder how people reading it in Italian feel about the writing, but this version is as stiff as a board. The dialogue is so dull I might be tempted to read a calculus book over this.

I really can't fathom how a reputable publisher like Random House let out something this shoddy. Then, they have the gall to try to get $16.99 for it. Go make your local library buy it if you must read it, but do yourself a favor and go grab a Harry Potter book or something with half-way decent writing.

Every character sounded the same, be they young, old, male, or female. The exception might be the aunts, who sounded similar to each other. The whole mysterious society type appeal fell flat on its face around page 3.

I did slog through it, but I don't think I really gained anything from it. Mostly, I was just bored through the process.