REVIEW // “Bloodmark” by Aurora Whittet

11 Dec

It’s mid-December and the holidays are quickly approaching!

By some miracle I survived November. I even have 50,000 words to a novel to show for it! Despite “winning” NaNoWriMo, my novel is not finished. I see that as a good thing though, 50,000 words novels for me are typically not long enough. I know I have many places to go back and add details, change things, work on my characterizations, but I’ll save that for after the New Year!

In other news, I’m still up to my eyeballs going through the backlog of submissions for the YA publishing company I work for. Who know acquisitions would be such hard work! I’ve closed the doors to new submissions until I can get caught up, hopefully by mid January, if not sooner.

I did however, find the time to read a book for pleasure. The following review I received a request for in my email and it sounded like my kind of book. Once NaNoWriMo ended I dived right in!

“Bloodmark” by Aurora Whittet

3 Stars “I Liked It”
Young Adult Paranormal Romance

“Bloodmark” is the first in the Boodmark Saga by author Aurora Whittet and follows the story of a young Irish werewolf princess named Ashling.

From the start I liked the character Ashling. She has lived a life sheltered by her mother and brother. From a young age she is sent away from her fathers territory and, unlike all other werewolves, she is not branded at birth with the Bloodmark of her pack. Due to her abnormal upbringing, she doesn’t really play by the rules. In Ashling’s world women are subordinate to the men. Because the werewolves don’t age like humans, many of them are thousands of years old and refuse to change with the time. Having grown up away from most of her pack, Ashling was able to grow up with the freedom to think for herself.

Despite liking Ashling’s character, I had a hard time getting into the story. It wasn’t until Ashling was sent away yet again, this time to America, that I started to get into the story. The character Grey is introduced and immediately he and Ashling hit it off. To be honest, I found the beginning of their romance too quick and cheesy for me. I have a hard time buying into Insta-Love, and that’s what they had.

The end of the story did bring me around again. I loved the ending and it leaves the door open for book two, “Bloodrealms.” This book has a satisfying ending in my opinion, but I really do want to find out what happens next.

Now, this book did have its flaws. I felt some of the characters lacked consistency. Also, the story is told from Ashling’s POV and yet she tells us visual things that she can’t possibly know. Additionally, there was at least one dream sequence that came out of nowhere and there was no real segue out of it, leaving me confused and trying to figure out what I missed.

The two other things that I wished were different was calling Ashling’s species “Werewolf.” I wish they had some other name because they’re not true werewolves that change only on the full moon. I’d compare them more closely to the “werewolves” in the Twilight Saga, although the moon does play some role in the Bloodmark werewolf lore. The other thing being the “Bloodsuckers” — the enemies of the werewolves. The name implies vampires, which they’re not, but they sort of are. I just wish they had a different name because I totally rolled my eyes when I came to these villains in the book.

I also don’t care much for the cover. To me it doesn’t scream YA, I feel it would fit an adult novel a little more. It’s nice, it just doesn’t do it for me.

Overall I think that Ms. Whittet is a promising writer with a good story on her hands. If you can look over some of the inconsistencies and Insta-Love I think you’ll enjoy this young adult werewolf romance.

** A copy of this book was provided by the author free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

*** Fun fact – the author of this book is from Minnesota, just like me!

 

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REVIEW // “Waiting For Dusk” by Nancy Pennick

6 Nov

Right now I’m up to my eyeballs in writing!

It’s November which means it’s time for National Novel Writing Month – NaNoWriMo for short.
For those of you not familiar with NaNoWriMo, people who dream of being writers set forth to torture themselves for a whole month. This torture hopefully results in 50,000 words that mostly make sense and make up the first draft of a novel. The goal is to write 1667 words every day for 30 days to reach the ultimate 50,000 word goal.

I am participating for the 4th year. I gave it a shot in 2009, 2010 and 2012. (I skipped 2011 since I had a 2 month old baby at the time!) For the first time ever I am right on track and thrilled beyond words. Someday I hope to see my book featured on book review blogs!

If you’d like to follow my progress you can check it out on the sidebar and also right at the NaNo website here: http://nanowrimo.org/participants/faerietears

So, because I’m tying up all my time in NaNoWriMo + regular work + my weekend job, I’m going to share with you a review that I have on my Goodreads account from September. I’ll see about getting the review for the sequel written up soon as well.

Without further ado………………….

Review MAY contain minor spoilers – nothing I don’t think you’d guess just from reading the synopsis though!

 

“Waiting For Dusk” by Nancy Pennick

4.5 Stars // “It Was Amazing”
Young Adult / Fantasy

When I first picked up “Waiting For Dusk” and started reading, I was sure I wasn’t going to like it. The first couple of chapters were kind of boring and Katie was just irritating. But oh boy am I glad I stuck with it! After those first couple of chapters, once the story got going, I was SUCKED in!

When Katie complains about being bored because all of her friends have “abandoned” her for summer vacation, her mom gives her a book to read. Katie isn’t too thrilled, she hasn’t read a book that wasn’t required for school in forever.

However, Katie does read the book then falls asleep… and wakes up in 1927!

I’ll start with what I did NOT like about the book:
As I said above, the story didn’t grab me right away. I love a book that hooks me from the first chapter or, even better, the first page!
I also didn’t really care for Katie’s attitude, she acts like a typical teenage brat – which is fine – except that I don’t think an 18 year old mature boy, like her love interest is, would be into that.
I also thought that the characterization of Tyson was strange. I get the importance of his character arch, but it just seemed to come out of nowhere, I feel like Katie should have had a clue about how he felt about her considering they’d been best friends since they were 8. He came on too strong. But hey! Maybe I just didn’t like Tyson! I also wish there had been more interaction between Katie and Drew before they begin professing their love for each other, it is implied that weeks have gone by, but we don’t really SEE much of that interaction. I wanted to read more about their courtship.

What I DID like about the book:
While a lot of the story was predictable, it was still very fun and there were still twists that I did NOT see coming! I loved the supporting cast in 1927. I can’t put my finger on it, but there was something in this book that just grabbed me and would not let go. I literally spent almost an entire day laying in bed reading this book, getting up only to feed my child and change her diaper. I read it aloud to her when she craved my attention, because I couldn’t put it down.

If you have read the Time Travelers series by Caroline B. Cooney (Both Sides of Time, Out of Time, For All Time, Prisoner of Time) you will LOVE the Waiting for Dusk series. It’s got a lot of the same elements without repeating the same story that Cooney told. I would happily have both sets of books on my bookshelf.

I’m looking forward to reading Call of the Canyon, the second in this series, because the end of Waiting For Dusk left me craving more. (OK, who am I kidding? I literally finished this book and then went and downloaded the second onto my Kindle!)

Buy It Here: http://www.fireandiceya.com/authors/nancypennick/WaitingForDusk.html

Add to Goodreads Here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17279864-waiting-for-dusk

***Note: This book is published by the company I work for, but I stand by my review that this is an awesome book!

REVIEW ~ Into the Deep (#1) by Missy Fleming

22 Oct

“Into the Deep” by Missy Fleming

5 Stars “It Was Amazing”
Young Adult / Fantasy

*** This was an ARC and will be released Wed Oct 23 at the publisher’s website as well as Amazon Kindle. Other vendors to follow.

I am a huge fan of Missy Fleming’s book “Happily Never After” so as soon as I had the opportunity to get my hands on the ARC for her new novel, “Into the Deep”, I jumped at it. I abandoned the other 3 books I was reading and dove right in.

On the outside, Into the Deep is the story of Zoey, a young girl who has just turned 16 and discovered she’s actually the daughter of a mer-king. This story is so much deeper than that though.

This story tells the tale of a young girl learning to accept who she is, flaws and all. When Zoey was six years old she was attacked by a shark and lost her leg. She’s spent 10 years learning to adapt to a prosthetic leg, but has never felt whole. She always felt out of place and awkward, like a spectacle among her peers. Becoming a mermaid allows Zoey to become comfortable with her body, and in finding love with her mermaid form, she also comes to love and appreciate her scarred human form.

This is also a cautionary tale to humanity about the destruction of our plant, especially our oceans. The emotions Zoey experiences as she witnesses first hand the pollution to our oceans is tragic. I could really feel her pain.

But don’t worry, this is not overly in your face PSA’s! I feel Zoey’s emotions, but I don’t feel the author shoving the message down my throat.

I can’t say enough good things about Missy Fleming’s writing. There was a scene near the beginning of the book, where Zoey is at the aquarium and something scary happens, and had I not been laying in bed reading, I would have been on the edge of my seat!

Also, have no fear, there is a touch of romance. The first merman Zoey meets is Nerio and be still my heart, I have a crush! He’s a guard in Zoey’s father’s kingdom and therefor, not an acceptable merman for her.

There’s also Xander, an acceptable match, as his family is second in power to Zoey’s. Their match would be one the kingdom would rejoice over. Xander made me a little uncomfortable at first, he felt like the popular boy at school who’s nice to the shy awkward girl, and she feels like he must be playing a trick on her. Especially compared to Nerio who was so honest and genuine. After reading about Xander a bit, it danwed on me just who he reminded me of – Adrian from Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series (but less mentally unstable!) His level of confidence can be overwhelming.

And, amidst the boy drama, Zoey also has a step-mother and half-sister who are cold to her and won’t even acknowledge her presence if they don’t have to. And the oceans? Yeah, they’re rising in both temperature and level, causing disastrous effects to both the humans on land as well as the inhabitants of the sea. The cause is a merwitch named Calandra who is taking over the kingdoms of the ocean one at a time, will Zoey’s kingdom be next? Will her people be able to stop the witch?

The ending? Yeah. You’re going to love/hate it. Pretty much everything Zoey has known her entire life has changed. You think you know where it’s going and then BAM! Ms. Fleming pulls the rug right out from under you. I can only keep my fingers crossed that the next book gets written asap. I need to know what happens next.

The only negative thing I can say about the book is that there was some repetition of Zoey’s thoughts, but not enough for me to dock a star or even half a star.

Five stars.

Buy It Here: http://www.fireandiceya.com/authors/missyfleming/intothedeep.html (Oct 23, 2013)

Add to Goodreads Here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18689912-into-the-deep

***Note: This book is published by the company I work for, but I stand by my review that this is an awesome book!

** Secondary Note: I designed this cover, though I can’t take credit for the awesome mermaid, I did do the text layout and added the dolphin. 

“The Bleeding Crowd” ~ Winner!

17 Sep

Hello! I am back to announce the winner of the free e-book copy of “The Bleeding Crowd” by Jessica Dall!

*drum roll please*

After consulting random.org, the winner has been chosen….. Congrats to Kelsey K!  Check your email!

"The Bleeding Crowd" by Jessica Dall ~ Winner

“The Bleeding Crowd” by Jessica Dall ~ Winner chosen by Random.org

In other news, recreational reading is at a standstill at the moment. I’m still working on the third book in The Lying Game series. I’m currently wrapped up in reading new YA/NA submissions for Fire and Ice YA/NA Books and re-designing aforementioned website. I’m very excited about the submission I’m currently reading and wish I could share more details! I’m hoping to finish reading it in the next few days and get the author signed to a contract, then I’ll be telling the world about this great YA book!

Be sure to subscribe to the blog if you have not already so you won’t miss any updates!

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COVER REVEAL: “Wide Open” by Shelly Crane

16 Sep

Shelly Crane is the author of the amazing “Significance” series. Her latest release is called “Wide Awake” and though I haven’t had the privilege to read it yet, the cover for the sequel, “Wide Open” is gorgeous and I’m happy to show it off to you all. I really need to get my hands on “Wide Awake!”

REVIEW ~ The Lying Game (#1) by Sara Shepard

4 Sep

“The Lying Game” by Sara Shepard

4 Stars  “I Really Liked It”

Cover Art: I like it. It’s simple, somewhat mysterious and interesting. Not the coolest cover I’ve ever seen, but definitely eye catching. I like that the whole series follows the same trend with the same girl.

The Lying Game is not necessarily a very well written or in depth book… but it is highly addictive.

I honestly didn’t expect to really like this book. I had seen part of, if not the whole, pilot episode of the TV series and did not particularly care for it. Now however, I think I may need to give it another shot!

Emma Paxton was a foster kid, stuck in the system after being abandoned by her mother. After happening upon a video of a girl on the internet who looks exactly like her, she sets out to find the twin sister she never knew existed. She contacts the girl in the video, Sutton Mercer, via Facebook and receives a message telling her to meet her. Emma hops on the first bus out of town, ready for her new life to begin.

What Emma doesn’t expect is to become trapped as a replacement for her Sutton, who has mysteriously gone missing – except nobody believes Emma, after all, who would believe a girl with a police record a mile long? A girl who founded a secret club called The Lying Game.
To make things worse, Emma receives threatening notes telling her she’d better keep up the act or she’s in for it.

I can’t really relate to any of the characters in this book, and normally, that pulls me right out, but The Lying Game kept me booked. Sutton and her friends are those evil girls in school that you can’t turn your back on. They pull pranks and drink and party and are just not the kind of people I would hang out with. However, Emma is not at all like those girls so watching her take Sutton’s place in life and having to act just like Sutton is quite the adventure.

I got this ebook from the library and as soon as I finished, I checked the ebook of the second book in the series, “Never Have I Ever” which I actually liked MORE! (Review on that one coming very soon.)

I highly recommend this series.

REVIEW ~ The Bleeding Crowd by Jessica Dall

27 Aug

“The Bleeding Crowd” by Jessica Dall

5 Stars “It Was Amazing”

“The Bleeding Crowd” is a dystopian New Adult novel that brings a new spin on feminism.

Dahlia is a young woman who has never seen a man before in her life. Her world is dominated by females and the men are kept locked away in “camps” and are only allowed out for the “physical needs” of the women, and for procreation. Most women don’t give them a second thought.

When we meet Dahlia she has just turned 20, the age at which a woman is allowed her very first encounter with a man. Five men are essentially put in a lineup in front of her, behind a two way mirror, and she has to pick one. Dahlia has no interest in men whatsoever, so she simply chooses one who is attractive enough and closest to her own age.

That’s not to say that Dahlia is a lesbian, oh no, all women are tested early on in life and if you are a lesbian you are quickly removed from society and sent to train to be a guard at the men’s camps because, obviously, lesbian’s cannot be corrupted by the men. Right?

Enter Ben, he has been chosen by Dahlia and is hers to be called upon for booty calls whenever she wants for a set period of time, before she is required to switch him out for “another model.” (Wouldn’t want any of the women to get too attached now would we?). Ben is a rebel, looking for anything to help the cause. However, he falls for Dahlia. Hard. But will Dahlia fall for him? Will she give up everything to be with a man? Fight for a cause she’s not sure she believes in?

I loved this book. The dialogue is cleaver and witty. When I wasn’t reading this book, I was thinking about this book.

I loved the relationship between Dahlia and Ben. At one point, I chucked to myself because what popped into my head was the Taylor Swift song “The Way I Loved You” – specifically the lines “but I miss screaming and fighting and kissing in the rain and it’s 2 AM and I’m cursing your name, you’re so in love that you act insane and that’s the way I loved you.” I think that about sums up their romance. They are both so stubborn, if they’re not fighting, they’re loving.

The other character that I really loved was Jude, Ben’s best friend. I’m not sure exactly what it is about him that I enjoyed so much, but I’ll tell you this, I wouldn’t mind reading more from his point of view!

The world itself is nicely built, I felt like this could in fact be a reality if humanity let things to that far.

To sum things up, If you like Dystopian NA (New Adult) romances, this is the book for you.

*** NOTE: This book does contain swearing and sexual content. Nothing graphic, but it is certainly for 18+

***Note: This book is published by the company I work for, but I stand by my review that this is an awesome book!

Buy it here:  http://melange-books.com/authors/jessicadall/bleedingcrowd.html

 

WIN IT:

For one entry, leave a comment below!
For bonus entries, do the following steps and leave the info in your comment.

1. “Like” me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BooksYesPlease (2 entries – comment with your FB name)

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3. Add the book to your Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18392122-the-bleeding-crowd (3 entries – comment with your Goodreads name OR link to your Goodreads profile)

4. Follow my blog! (Click the FOLLOW button!) (2 entries – Be sure to tell me which email you signed up with!)

I will pick a random winner on or shortly after September 16, 2013.

Good luck!