Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Hemlock Veils Book Blitz

Hemlock Veils
Release Date: 11/25/14
Swoon Romance

Summary from Goodreads:
When Elizabeth Ashton escapes her damaging city life and finds herself in the remote town of Hemlock Veils, Oregon, she is smitten by its quaint mystery; but the surrounding forest holds an enchantment she didn’t think existed, and worse, a most terrifying monster. The town claims it vicious and evil, but Elizabeth suspects something is amiss. Even with its enormous, hairy frame, gruesome claws, and knifelike teeth, the monster’s eyes speak to her: wolf-like and ringed with gold, yet holding an awareness that can only be human. That’s when Elizabeth knows she is the only one who can see the struggling soul trapped inside, the soul to which she is moved.

Secretly, Elizabeth befriends the beast at night, discovering there’s more to his story and that the rising of the sun transforms him into a human more complex than his beastly self. Elizabeth eventually learns that his curse is unlike any other and that a single murderous act is all that stands between him and his freedom. Though love is not enough to break his curse, it may be the only means by which the unimaginable can be done: sacrifice a beauty for the beast.

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About the Author
Though Jennie Davenport was raised throughout the Midwest, she now lives in the little desert mining town of Bagdad, Arizona, where six guys beg for her constant attention: a husband, three young, blond sons, a German shepherd with a name much mightier than his disposition (Zeus), and a black cat named Mouse. When she isn’t trying to run her home with as little casualties as possible, Jennie loves snuggling with her family, laughing with her friends, delving into brilliant entertainment of any vein, and playing outside. Despite the way being a writer is in her blood, and the wheels of her writerly mind are constantly turning, Jennie likes to think that in another life, she would have been a Broadway star. Or an American Idol finalist.

Jennie lives for the fall, and not just because of her adoration for the NFL (Go Broncos!). In her perfect world, she would have the springs, summers, and falls of Colorado, and the winters of Arizona—someplace where the climate and weather would allow her to go on a trail run all year round. But even though she prefers the pines and mountains, she is a devoted fan of all nature, from sandy beaches to woodsy cabins, and all are her greatest inspiration. She believes nature is one of the best healing remedies, with a magic all its own.

Jennie’s passion for writing is the way she survives, and is as vital to her sanity as oxygen, caffeine, food, and music. Even before she began writing it, well-told, original, and character-driven romance was always her weak spot. Add the paranormal or magical realism element and she may never make it back to reality. 

Author Links:
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Monday, November 24, 2014

Mommy List: Christmas Books for Kids

The Mommy List @ KaysePratt.com

Christmas books? Yeah, I got those. And I love all these activity to keep kids busy or for moms to kick back and watch Hallmark movies with. In no particular order:

 Picture of Advent Calendar to Color
1. Advent Calendar to Color. With smaller areas to color, this advent calendar is great for an older child (think 7). Any mom who loves to color will love this one as well!

Picture of Busy Santa Book
2. Pull-Back Busy Santa Book. I LOVE all Usborne's pull back and wind up toy books. My baby girl loves to play with them and they are always great entertainment for visiting friends. A Christmas version would be great under the tree. 

Picture of Christmas Drawing Doodling and Coloring
3. Drawing, Doodling and Coloring for Christmas. Can you tell I like to color and doodle? Also great for mom, I would recommend this one for kids about 5 or 6. Check this one out as well :)

Picture of Book of Bible Stories (C/V)
4. Bible Stories. This combined volume (meaning several stories in one) has over 200 pages, adorable illustrations and comes with a read-along CD. Um, YES. Ages 2+

Picture of Christmas Stories for Little Children
5. Christmas Stories for Little Children. A collection of six stories featuring stories of fake Santas, stolen diamonds and a best-dressed Snowman competition. Perfect for cozying up with and reading aloud on cold winter nights. This one is actually going under the tree for Baby Girl this Christmas! 

What do you think?? Adding any of these to your Christmas lists this season??

Atlantis Rising Cover Reveal

Atlantis Rising
Release Date: 01/06/15
Entangled Teen
352 pages

Summary from Goodreads:
I am different. I have always been different, but no one can know or my life will be in danger. So I hide in plain sight, wearing drab clothes and thick glasses and trying to be invisible. I’m so good at hiding, no one has ever noticed me. Until Ian…the mysterious and oh-so-cute boy I know I need to avoid.

Now I have been seen. And more terrifying still, I am wanted—by those who would protect me and those who would destroy everything and everyone I love. But if they’re all terrified about who I am, wait until they see what I can do…

About the Author
Gloria Craw grew up in the desert southwest, inspired every day by the wide skies and rich colors around her. After high school, she attended the University of Utah where she majored and got a degree in anthropology. These days, she lives in the ‘burbs’ just outside of Seattle, Washington where she is the shepherd of a husband, four daughters and a very hairy dog. 

Author Links:
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Feuds Review

This review is part of SciFi Month, hosted by Rinn Reads and Oh, The Books
Feuds (The Feuds, #1)
Feuds by Avery Hastings
Visit the Author's website HERE
Publisher: St Martin's Griffin
Publishing Date: September 2, 2014
Goodreads Summary:
In this breathless story of impossible love, perfection comes at a deadly cost.

For Davis Morrow, perfection is a daily reality. Like all Priors, Davis has spent her whole life primed to be smarter, stronger, and more graceful than the lowly Imperfects, or “Imps.” A fiercely ambitious ballerina, Davis is only a few weeks away from qualifying for the Olympiads and finally living up to her mother’s legacy when she meets Cole, a mysterious boy who leaves her with more questions each time he disappears.

Davis has no idea that Cole has his own agenda, or that he’s a rising star in the FEUDS, an underground fighting ring where Priors gamble on Imps. Cole has every reason to hate Davis—her father’s campaign hinges on the total segregation of the Imps and Priors—but despite his best efforts, Cole finds himself as drawn to Davis as she is to him.

Then Narxis, a deadly virus, takes its hold--and Davis’s friends start dying. When the Priors refuse to acknowledge the epidemic, Davis has no one to turn to but Cole. Falling in love was never part of their plan, but their love may be the only thing that can save her world...in Avery Hastings's Feuds.
I received this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Buy the book HERE.

My Thoughts:
Let's face it: the cover is what drew me in. I'm a sucker for a good ballerina and this one calls out to be read. But this cute dance element is about all that I found to save this novel.

'Feuds' reads as a futuristic Romeo and Juliet complete with insta-love, imminent war/battle, and crazy decisions to fake suicide. Add in a manufactured drug, a designer-baby generation, and a dash of Fight Club and you have 'Feuds'. Unfortunately, it was just all too much for the author and story to take on.

Our main character, Davis, didn't have enough 'oomph'. She was one dimensional, shallow, and although she shows more compassion than her fellow Priors, Davis' heart is selfish. Some may argue that this is the nature of a Prior but I find it just doesn't make for a good female, main character. Cole felt a tad more real, like a favorite pair of jeans, but the plot flew by too quickly to appreciate him and his role. And the FEUDS play too small a role to appreciate it being made the title of the book.

'Feuds' was not a favorite book of mine by any means. However, it wasn't poorly written enough for me to 'DNF'. I managed to read through it quickly and had my interest held well enough. Once I realized the Romeo and Juliet storyline I was interested in reaching the end of the story to see how it would play out. Hastings did do a good job of setting up for the second book; this novel's ending leads to the possibility of a better second novel.

Overall, the characters needed more development, Davis and Cole needed to slow down the relationship a *wee* bit, and the world needed so much more time to be truly appreciated. I could recommend this one to someone looking for futuristic Shakespeare tragedy with a slight ballet theme. Only 2 stars from me. I'll keep my eye out for something else to fit the bill.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Storm Siren Review

This review is part of SciFi Month, hosted by Rinn Reads and Oh, The Books
Storm Siren (Storm Siren, #1)
Storm Siren by Mary Weber
Visit the Author's website HERE
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publishing Date: August 19, 2014
Goodreads Review:
“I raise my chin as the buyers stare. Yes. Look. You don’t want me. Because, eventually, accidentally, I will destroy you.”

In a world at war, a slave girl’s lethal curse could become one kingdom’s weapon of salvation. If the curse—and the girl—can be controlled.

As a slave in the war-weary kingdom of Faelen, seventeen-year-old Nym isn’t merely devoid of rights, her Elemental kind are only born male and always killed at birth — meaning, she shouldn’t even exist.

Standing on the auction block beneath smoke-drenched mountains, Nym faces her fifteenth sell. But when her hood is removed and her storm-summoning killing curse revealed, Nym is snatched up by a court advisor and given a choice: be trained as the weapon Faelen needs to win the war, or be killed.

Choosing the former, Nym is unleashed into a world of politics, bizarre parties, and rumors of an evil more sinister than she’s being prepared to fight . . . not to mention the handsome trainer whose dark secrets lie behind a mysterious ability to calm every lightning strike she summons.

But what if she doesn’t want to be the weapon they’ve all been waiting for?

Set in a beautifully eclectic world of suspicion, super abilities, and monsters, Storm Siren is a story of power. And whoever controls that power will win.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Check out the book here.

My Thoughts:
Oh man have I dropped the ball. I have lost all pretense of organization in all aspects of my life. Poo. So... I thought I posted a review on this book a while ago, in September, when I finished reading the book. But I didn't. And so here it is (I apologize Mary Weber!!):

Somehow our main character, Nym, has escaped certain death as an Elemental but is being sold as a slave...yet again. Nym is a dangerous slave because she doesn't know how to control her powers and all too often things go very, very wrong.

Yes, yes, and more yes. The reader is thrown into a new world where slavery is quite regular and magic is eliminated at birth. Weber moves along at just the right pace to help us understand the world and how it works. Instantly we know Nym's status and see large glimpses of her personality. Too often for me lately, I get thrown into a new world and have NO idea what is going on. I hate the struggle of trying to figure out what's what or just DNF-ing. No problems like that here in 'Storm Siren' though!

As you read through each chapter, it is like layer after layer is slowly revealed. Like a flower slowly blooming. Weber does extremely well on maintaining her storyline and is consistent in her characters. The story progress slowly (but not obnoxiously so) until right near the end when the action truly explodes.

The big action scenes felt a bit muddled and written at a slower pace than I am used too. I was able to take the time to read each word and sentence fully without losing the overall pacing. Usually in fight scenes, my eyes are flying across the page carried from one sentence to the next paragraph to the end of the scene until the very end where I have no idea what truly happened. Was I able to slow down and enjoy 'Storm Siren's action more because I was already in love with the book or was it more writing magic from Weber?

I'd have to recommend this to the reader who loves fantasy, a great writer, and a jaded Elemental trying to atone for her mistakes. 4.5 stars from me.

PS: Check out the GORGEOUS cover for Siren's Fury!!