Sunday, January 29, 2012

{Guest Post} Daniel Cohen - Masters of the Veil



Welcome to the unveiling of Masters of the Veil by Daniel Cohen. His novel releases on March 1, 2012 and is published by Spencer Hill Press. Anyone read Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout...same publisher.
Synopsis:

Life can't get much better for Sam Lock. Popular, good-looking, and with a future as a professional football player. Every guy at Stanton High School wishes he were Sam.

That is, until his championship football game, when Sam accidentally links with an ancient source of energy known as the Veil and reveals his potential to become a powerful sorcerer.

Sam is whisked off to Atlas Crown, a community of sorcerers who utilize the Veil as a part of everyday life. Once there, he trains beside a mute boy who speaks through music, an eternal sage who's the eyes and ears of the Veil, and a beautiful girl who's pretty sure Sam's an idiot.As it becomes clear Sam's meant for power magic-the most feared and misunderstood form of sorcery-people beyond Atlas Crown learn of his dangerous potential. An exiled group of power sorcerers are eager to recruit Sam, believing that he is destined to help them achieve their long-held goal. If they succeed, they could bring about the downfall of not only Atlas Crown. but all humankind.
**********************************************************************************

I'm super excited about this book because it contains two of my favorite things Magic and Football (I'm from Texas...so yes, we capitalize Football.)

Today we are going to meet Glissandro Thicket, a super cool character from the book, and learn a little about the magic he possesses.

*********************************************************************************

GLISSANDRO THICKET

Glissandro is a tall, lanky, curly-haired sorcerer on the brink of adulthood. He was born without the ability to talk, but he somehow (to the astonishment of the sorcerer community) found a way to speak through playing music on his horn.

Glissandro is truly talented, has a kind heart, plenty of wisdom, but he’s shy and lacks the self-esteem to shine as bright as he could.

Here’s Glissandro telling the story of how he came to have his horn:

“When I was younger, I was different from everybody else. Everyone else could speak, but I couldn’t. No one picked on me, but that made it worse, because that meant I had no one to direct my disappointment at—nobody but myself. I hated being different. It was easy enough to get my message across: I drew words in the air with my second-skin*. They came out sparkling gold, but I was still not the same. It wasn’t even the talking that bothered me; it was the singing. I heard others use their voices to create beautiful music, and I couldn’t. I tried to sing, but I ended up choking. I spent a lot of time in the woods and in the library by myself, thinking. One day I went deep into the library, deeper than I’d ever been, and found an old, moldy book in the wall. There was nothing special about it, and I don’t know why, but I knew I had to read it. Most of it was in a language that was spoken before my time, but some of it I could understand. That book taught me some dangerous things, one of them being how to do a dark drape**. I knew it was against the rules to change yourself with the Veil, but I wanted to sing, more so than I wanted to follow the rules.
"I went into the woods and reached far into the Veil, farther than I had ever gone before, and attempted to drape myself. I vomited because the pain in my head was unbearable. When I opened my eyes, there was a terrible creature before me. A skull-wolf, something I'd only read about and seen pictures of, but recognized immediately. It sank its teeth through my second-skin and deep into my hand. It was excruciating. It tried to drag me away, so I grabbed the horn on the bottom of its chin with my other hand and kicked it in the face to try and get away. I fell back, along with its horn. The skull-wolf ran away and everything went black.”

* A second-skin is a hand covering that allows a sorcerer to “grip” the Veil. Essentially, it’s how you do magic.

** A drape is a type of grip where you wrap the Veil around an object to give it magical properties.

I’m going to stop there because I don’t want him to give too much away :) Thanks everybody for taking an interest in my work!

***********************************************************************************

I want to thank Daniel for dropping by Better Read Than Dead today and giving us a glimpse into what we can expect in March. I can't wait!!!
 
Daniel A. Cohen was just your average business student. Microeconomics, finance, marketing… you name it, he had to do a PowerPoint presentation on it. One dark and stormy night, he was bitten by the radioactive realization that memorizing business jargon could possibly be the most boring activity known to man.

After gaining eagle-eye vision, abs that could grate cheese, and a talent for imagining things (including his cheese-grating abs), he wrote his first novel and began his epic battle against the formidable business jargon. He continues to fight the good fight by playing saxophone and writing YA fantasy, forever hoping his Veil trilogy will help inspire others to join his cause.



Saturday, January 28, 2012

{Review} Everneath by Brodi Ashton


Title: Everneath
Series: Everneath #1
Author: Brodi Ashton
Publisher: HarperCollins
Realease Date: January 24, 2012

Website  ǀ Twitter ǀ Goodreads ǀ Amazon ǀ Barnes & Noble

Synopsis:

Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she's returned- to her old life, her family, her friends- before being banished back to the underworld... this time forever.

She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can't find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.

Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there's a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he'll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen.

As Nikki's time grows short and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she's forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole's...


I very seldom look at reviews before I read a book. If I happen to glance at them, I might notice the average star rating or a generic comment...I avoid spoilers at all costs. Going into Everneath I was a little concerned because, no matter how hard you try, it's very difficult to avoid discovering other peoples opinions of books...especially as a book blogger who belongs to several book communities. I try really hard not to take other peoples opinions as my own and WOW, am I ever glad I didn't in this case. I was captivated before the first chapter ended.

The more mythology I read, the more I absolutely adore it. Brodi Ashton's take on the Underworld is amazing and a storyline I haven't often read. Her writing style is beautiful and flows smoothly. The novel is written in first person from Nikki's point of view, bringing her every emotion to the surface. My single negative comment is that I have a hard time following the "now vs. then" writing style that so many authors use today. Other than that...near perfection.

Nikki started off strong, refusing to forget about her life with Jack while attending the Feed. She managed to tether herself to the Surface and survive her time with Cole intact, a shock to Cole himself. When she first resurfaced, I was a little disappointed in her lack of responsiveness to her family and friends she had left behind. However, with further reading, I realized she had a reason to try to keep her distance.

I loved that no matter what, Jack refused to let her suffer in silence. The absolute beauty and humanity of their relationship brought a smile to my face. He believed in her and he stood beside her through everything, yet he wasn't Mr. Perfect.

Cole...well, what is there to say about Cole. He annoyed me to no end but I don't believe he ever outright lied to Nikki...at least not in this book. Cole is the trademark of a perfect villain...a whole lot bad and a tiny bit good. Just enough that I felt he possessed true feelings of love and pain once or twice. These feelings did not make me want to cheer him on though.

The one person I didn't have any feelings for what-so-ever was Jules. I can't quite determine why her character existed. She didn't really play even a basic "filler" role. She popped up here and there with nothing important to say or do. Maybe she'll play a larger part in the next book...who knows.

The mythology really drew me deep into Everneath, immediately. I enjoyed the way Ms. Ashton used Nikki's term paper as a symbol of the her growth from despair to hope. Mary provided the perfect delivery method for the mythology of Persephone, Orpheus, Eurydice, and Anchors.

So much about this novel screamed of brilliance. Definitely one I won't be forgetting any time soon. Bravo to you, Brodi Ashton. I can't wait for more!

TBR Intervention - Remembrance by Michelle Madow

TBR Intervention is a weekly challenge hosted by
Dani@RefractedLight , Ayanami@Whatever you Can Still Betray,
and April@Books4Juliet
The goal of this challenge is to help each other (fellow readers and bloggers) manage our enormous and constantly growing TBR (To-Be-Read) List. The rules are simple and everyone is encouraged to participate. It does not force you to commit to more than what you can manage to read in a week or so, but participants are encouraged to read at least one book within a week. You are free to choose the book you want to read and commit to this challenge. You may post your entry every Saturday, at the frequency of your choice--EVERY WEEK or EVERY TWO WEEKS. However, we will sponsor this event regularly every Saturday.



 


So last week I decided to attempt to read Remembrance by Michelle Madow and I DID IT! I enjoyed the book thoroughly and am so glad I gave it another try. I haven't posted a review but I will soon, probably tomorrow. It always helps to read more than 3 pages of a book. I think part of it was my mood when I tried to read it the first time around Christmas...I tend to be really depressed during the holidays and nothing makes me happy. LOL!

Anywhoo...Great Read!





So this week, I'm planning on reading...


Wither by Lauren Destafano. This book has been on my TBR since August 2011...about time for it to be dusted off and read!


Synopsis:

Obviously, something went terribly wrong. Genetic mutations have festered, reducing human longevity to twenty-five, even less for most women. To prevent extinction, young girls are kidnapped, mated in polygamous marriages with men eager to procreate. Sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery, a recent victim of this breeding farm mentality, has vowed to break loose from its fetters; but finding allies and a safe way out is a challenge she can only hope she will survive. A dystopian fantasy series starter with wings. Editor's recommendation.


And of course...don't forget to check out the YA Giveaway Hop! International if Book Depository Ships to you!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Young Adult Giveaway Hop


Yay! Nothing I like better than a giveaway hop...how about you? I'd like to thank Kathy at I'm a Reader, Not a Writer and Amber at Down the Rabbit Hole for hosting this wonderful giveaway. I hope everyone enjoys.

Well, here's mine...
$15 to Book Depository

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Click Read More for the complete list of Bloggers participating in this hop.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

{Review} Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer


Title: Bloodrose
Series: Nightshade #3
Author: Andrea Cremer
Publisher: Philomel (An Imprint of Penguin USA)
Released: January 3, 2012


Synopsis:

The Ultimate Sacrifice.

Calla has always welcomed war. But now that the final battle is upon her, there’s more at stake than fighting. There’s saving Ren, even if it incurs Shay’s wrath. There’s keeping Ansel safe, even if he’s been branded a traitor. There’s proving herself as the pack’s alpha, facing unnamable horrors, and ridding the world of the Keepers’ magic once and for all. And then there’s deciding what to do when the war ends. If Calla makes it out alive, that is.

In the final installment of the Nightshade trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Andrea Cremer creates a novel with twists and turns that will keep you on the edge of your seat until its final pages. A dynamic end to this breathtaking trilogy.


I read Bloodrose THE DAY it released, the very day, in one sitting. It has taken me the better part of a month to become impartial enough not to just sit down and write a scathing review about how badly I disliked certain things that happened. That wouldn't have been fair, because while there were things about this book that frustrated me, Bloodrose is a very well written book, with plenty of action and romance that kept me reading for eight straight hours, and any book that can do that...well, it deserves better than I would have given it minutes or even days after I finished tearing through it.

I needed to complain to my friends and anyone else who would listen. I needed to let all the events settle. I needed to step away and gain some perspective. Which is exactly what I did.

In the third and final installment of the Nightshade Series, Renier Laroche is now at the Academy and the sexual tension reaches an all time high. In order for Shay to complete his quests, he needs to be surrounded by people he can trust and strong warriors. Everybody knows Ren is the best there is, but can Shay trust him? Strangely enough...yes, at least in battle...now with Calla, that's a whole different story.

Calla calls top spot as the Alpha going into this final journey, stating she refuses to pick a mate until the war between the Searchers and the Keepers is behind them. The saying "easier said than done" takes on a whole new meaning in this case. Neither of the boys gives her a single moment of peace, each promoting their own agenda and Calla finds it hard to resist either of them. But Calla and her men aren't the only ones in love...many of the secondary characters finally find their homes.

The final battle is one of my favorite action scenes in any book. Pack mates are forced to fight one another, others reunite, and many will perish for the greater good. Those left standing may not be happy with their ultimate destiny...some will relish in it.

Many people will be heart-broken and maybe a little furious with the conclusion of the Nightshade Series. Honestly, I was mortified but I have the utmost respect Andrea Cremer's writing and her talent. She writes fascinating and complex characters and throws twists into plots like no one else can...well, she and Cassandra Clare run a close race in that arena. Things will happen that you never saw coming, and most of them, well...you'll just have to decide for yourself...

The actual story is not why Bloodrose isn't receiving a higher rating from me...it's more about the digression of the storyline throughout the series. Now...while Bloodrose was fast-paced and action-packed, I felt like everything I loved about Nightshade just disappeared during Wolfsbane and this installment. The underlying themes of fate, politics, and hard choices are what pulled me into this series initially...by the third book, the only thing left was a farce of political shortcomings. I feel like this series could have been so much more...I'm just not sure where it all went wrong.

Reviews to the rest of the series -
Nightshade
Wolfsbane
Bloodrose

Monday, January 23, 2012

In Leah's Wake - The UK Launch



So, not long ago I helped with a blog tour for In Leah's Wake...a brilliant debut novel by an independent author that is making waves across the reading world.

When asked if I would help with the UK launch, I said absolutely. Terri Giuliano Long has been kind enough to do a lovely guest post about her journey dealing with the publishing industry and her love for the blogging world.

So bloggers, when you feel like maybe you aren't appreciated...especially in the wake of the whole Goodreads debacle...know that there are plenty of authors who value what we do.

Enjoy this guest post!!!




 Did I mention a chance to win $50?

There is a Facebook competition that will run from 23rd January to 27th January on Terri’s Facebook page, under the ‘Photo Contest’ tab: (http://www.facebook.com/tglongwrites?sk=app_197602066931325).  There are two $50 Amazon gift certificates available: one for the best photograph and one for the best caption.  Entrants can take a photograph of themselves with their paperback copy of In Leah’s Wake or showing the book on their ereader or laptop, or perhaps get family members and/or pets involved!  For the really creative, why not recreate a scene from the book?


An Ode to Bloggers

Last May, a month or so after I began marketing my novel, In Leah’s Wake, a former agent told me that I would never sell 500 books. A rookie, I had no idea what to expect. When I published the novel, I’d dreamed of selling a 3,000 – 5,000 books, hoping healthy sales numbers would attract the attention of an agent or traditional publishing house for my next novel.

The agent had left New York, but she’d been in the business for a long time, and her words stung. I hung up the phone, heartbroken, depressed. Had I not been in the midst of my first blog tour, I might have pulled my novel off the market that day.

Determined to see the tour through, I soldiered on.  On the tour, I met wonderful, caring people, book bloggers, whose kindness buoyed and sustained me. 

Over the next few months, In Leah’s Wake appeared on hundreds of blogs. Bloggers opened their hearts and spread the word about this quiet literary novel. In August, In Leah’s Wake hit the Barnes & Noble and Amazon charts. Now, seven months after my talk with that agent, the book has been in the Amazon top 200 for over five months, and we’ve sold just shy of 80,000 copies.

Book bloggers rock! I don’t know how to say it any better. Book bloggers are the fairy godmothers and godfathers of the literary world. They invest their talent, their energy, and their time into reviewing and promoting books – and keeping dreams alive.

Even today, traditional media refuse to recognize or review indie books. In this very real sense, book bloggers are the heart and soul of the indie revolution.  Their vision, their energy, and their determination have enabled this amazing populist movement to take hold.

Today, we have the great good fortune of hearing the funny, poignant, intelligent voices of new authors from around the world - voices that, just a few years ago, might have been silenced by the gatekeepers of the old guard. These voices reach into hearts and minds, forging connections, uniting us in a community of readers and writers, searching for and finding, through words, the better part of ourselves. Because, truly, at heart, this is what reading and writing is all about.

Here’s to you, book bloggers! You are and always will be my heroes!

AUTHOR BIO

Terri Giuliano Long is the bestselling author of the award-winning novel In Leah’s Wake. Her life outside of books is devoted to her family. In her free time, she enjoys walking, traveling, and listening to music. True to her Italian-American heritage, she’s an enthusiastic cook. In an alternate reality, she might be an international food writer. She lives with her family on the East Coast and teaches at Boston College. In Leah’s Wake is her debut novel.

Website: www.tglong.com
Blog: www.tglong.com/blog
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tglong
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/tglongwrites

This week, Terri and Inspired Quill Press (paperback edition), launch a newly edited edition of In Leah’s Wake. The newly edited novel features a new chapter and several new scenes, adding new connections and insights, and tightens the book, cutting 60 pages – all while maintaining the integrity of the original edition.

For more information, please visit her website: www.tglong.com/blog or any of these retailer sales. (Your local library or bookstore can also order the book through major distribution channels.)

Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/In-Leahs-Wake-ebook/dp/B0044XV7PG/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1306533515&sr=8-3
Amazon Paperback: http://www.amazon.com/Leahs-Wake-Terri-Giuliano-Long/dp/1456310542/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1318690782&sr=8-1
Barnes & Noble: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/In-Leahs-Wake/Terri-Giuliano-Long/e/2940011264566?itm=1&USRI=In%2BLeah27s%2BWake
Indie Bound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780975453391


BOOK INFORMATION


IN LEAH’S WAKE
Terri Giuliano Long

Pages: 368
Format: Paperback, Kindle
ISBN: 1456310542
Publisher: CreateSpace/Inspired Quill Press
Website: www.tglong.com

***Newly edited by Sara-Jayne Slack, Inspired Quill Press***

The Tylers have a perfect life—beautiful home, established careers, two sweet and talented daughters. Their eldest daughter, Leah, an exceptional soccer player, is on track for a prestigious scholarship. Their youngest, Justine—more responsible than seems possible for her 12 years—just wants her sister’s approval. With Leah nearing the end of high school and Justine a seemingly “together” kid, the parents are set to enjoy a peaceful life…until everything goes wrong. Can this family survive in Leah’s wake? 

Margot Livesey, award-winning author of Banishing Verona, calls In Leah's Wake "a beautifully written and absorbing novel." 

When happens when love just isn't enough?

Recipient of the CTRR Award for excellence
2011 Book Bundlz Book Pick
Book Bundlz 2011 Favorites, First Place

Praise for In Leah’s Wake

"Sometimes scary, sometimes sad, and always tender."
Susan Straight, National Book Award finalist, author Take One Candle Light A Room

"In Leah's Wake is a beautifully written and absorbing novel."
Margot Livesey, Award-winning author of Banishing Verona

“Pulled me right along as I continued to make comparisons to my own life.”
Jennifer Donovan, 5 Minutes for Books, Top 50 Book Blog

“An incredibly strong debut, this book is fantastic on many fronts.”
Naomi Blackburn, Founder Sisterhood of the Traveling Book




Sunday, January 22, 2012

New Releases - Week of 1/23/12

Wow...another week filled with some fascinating reads. I've been waiting on a few these for months! 

Here they are!!!


Title: Fallen in Love
Series: Fallen 3.5
Author: Lauren Kate

What makes your heart race a little faster? Just in time for Valentine's Day, it's FALLEN IN LOVE, four wholly original new stories collected in a new novel set in the Middle Ages by Lauren Kate. FALLEN IN LOVE gives fans the much-talked about but never-revealed stories of FALLEN characters as they intertwine with the epic love story of Luce and Daniel. The stories include: Love Where You Least Expect It: The Valentine of Shelby and Miles , Love Lessons: The Valentine of Roland; Burning Love: The Valentine of Arriane; and Endless Love: The Valentine of Daniel and Lucinda.




Title: Everneath
Author: Brodi Ashton
Goodreads

Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she's returned- to her old life, her family, her friends- before being banished back to the underworld... this time forever.

She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can't find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.

Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there's a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he'll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen.

As Nikki's time grows short and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she's forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole's...


 
Title: Angel Fire
Series: Angel 2
Author: L.A. Weatherly
Goodreads

In Book Two of L. A. Weatherly’s wildly romantic, action-packed trilogy, the angels are back with a vengeance . . . and they don’t have heaven in mind.

In the wake of the Second Wave, the angel menace has exploded, and Alex and Willow are on the lam. Willow’s prophetic dream points them to Mexico City, where they connect with a fledgling group of angel killers led by the exotically beautiful Kara, an Angel Killer from Alex’s past. But the team remains suspicious of Willow, even after the more-experienced Alex takes over as leader, training them hard for a rush attack on the Seraphic Council, or “The Twelve.” This elite group of all-powerful angels is also under the scrutiny of Willow’s angel-father, Raziel, who has his own sinister plan to defeat them.

What Willow hasn’t told Alex is that there was also a mysterious boy in her dream, one she felt overpoweringly attracted to. When brooding, gorgeous Seb shows up in the flesh, he turns out to be another—possibly the world’s only other—half angel. He’s been searching for Willow all his life, and when Alex enlists this rival to help keep Willow safe, he can’t predict what chemistry will pass between them . . . or how far Willow might go to keep Alex safe. Will their love endure or spell doomsday for the human race?



Title: Forbidden
Author: Syrie James and Ryan M. James
Goodreads

She should not exist.

He should not love her.

Claire Brennan has been attending Emerson Academy for two years now (the longest she and her mom have remained anywhere) and she’s desperate to stay put for the rest of high school. So there’s no way she’s going to tell her mom about the psychic visions she’s been having or the creepy warnings that she’s in danger.

Alec MacKenzie is fed up with his duties to watch and, when necessary, eliminate the descendants of his angelic forefathers. He chose Emerson as the ideal hiding place where he could be normal for once. He hadn’t factored Claire into his plans. . . .

Their love is forbidden, going against everything Alec has been taught to believe. But when the reason behind Claire’s unusual powers is revealed and the threat to her life becomes clear, how far will Alec go to protect her?



Title: Diabolical
Series: Tantalize #4
Author: Cynthia Leitich Smith
Goodreads

Prepare for a hell of a ride as Cynthia Leitich Smith calls on characters from her previous novels - and conjures up new ones - for a climactic showdown.

When "slipped" angel Zachary and his werewolf pal, Kieren, arrive under suspicious circumstances to a mysterious New England boarding school, they quickly find themselves in a hellish lockdown with an intriguing assortment of secretive, hand-picked students. Plagued by demon dogs, hallucinatory wall décor, a sadistic instructor, and a legendary fire-breathing monster, will they somehow manage to escape? Or will the devil have his due? Best-selling author Cynthia Leitich Smith unites heroes from the previous three novels in the Tantalize Series - including Zachary's girl, Miranda, and Kieren's love, Quincie - along with a fascinating cast of all-new characters for a suspenseful, action-packed clash between the forces of heaven and hell.



Title: Life Eternal
Series: Dead Beautiful #2
Author: Yvonne Woon
Goodreads

Renée Winters has changed. When she looks in the mirror, a beautiful girl with an older, sadder face stares back. Her condition has doctors mystified, but Renée can never reveal the truth: she died last May, and was brought back to life by the kiss of her Undead soul mate, Dante Berlin.

Now, her separation from Dante becomes almost unbearable. His second life is close to an end, and each passing day means one less that she will spend with the boy who shares her soul.

Just when Renée has almost given up hope, she learns of the Nine Sisters—brilliant scholars who, according to legend, found a way to cheat death. She can’t shake the feeling that they are somehow connected to her dreams, strange visions that hint at a discovery so powerful, and so dangerous, that some will stop at nothing to protect it.

Renée thought she knew the truth about life and death. But there is a secret woven through history that holds the only hope for Dante and Renée. Unless they find answers soon, their time together is doomed to be cut short.



Title: Pink Smog: Becoming Weetzie Bat
Author: Francesca Lia Block
Goodreads

The girl in the mirror wasn’t who I wanted to be, and her life wasn’t the one I wanted to have.

Despite how much Louise insists, no one will call her Weetzie. It’s her dad’s nickname for her, but it won’t stay put. Neither will her dad. Charlie left Louise and her mom and he took everything with him: her family, her home—and her understanding of who she’s meant to be.

But Los Angeles is a city full of strange angels, and Louise embarks on a journey to sift through the smog of her heartbreak, to grow her own wings, to become Weetzie. 


Title: Getting Over Garrett Delaney
Author: Abby McDonald
Goodreads

Can a twelve-step program help Sadie kick her unrequited crush for good? Abby McDonald serves up
her trademark wit and wisdom in a hilarious new novel.

Seventeen-year-old Sadie is in love: epic, heartfelt, and utterly onesided. The object of her obsession - ahem, affection - is her best friend, Garrett Delaney, who has been oblivious to Sadie's
feelings ever since he sauntered into her life and wowed her with his passion for Proust (not to mention his deep-blue eyes). For two long, painful years, Sadie has been Garrett's constant companion, sharing his taste in everything from tragic Russian literature to art films to '80s indie rock- all to no avail. 


But when Garrett leaves for a summer literary retreat, Sadie is sure that the absence will make his heart grow fonder - until he calls to say he's fallen in love. With some other girl! A
heartbroken Sadie realizes that she's finally had enough. It's time for total Garrett detox! Aided by a barista job, an eclectic crew of new friends (including the hunky chef, Josh), and a customized selfhelp
guide, Sadie embarks on a summer of personal reinvention full of laughter, mortifying meltdowns, and a double shot of love

Saturday, January 21, 2012

TBR Intervention Challenge - Remembrance by Michelle Madow

TBR Intervention is a weekly challenge hosted by
Dani@RefractedLight , Ayanami@Whatever you Can Still Betray,
and April@Books4Juliet
 
The goal of this challenge is to help each other (fellow readers and bloggers) manage our enormous and constantly growing TBR (To-Be-Read) List. The rules are simple and everyone is encouraged to participate. It does not force you to commit to more than what you can manage to read in a week or so, but participants are encouraged to read at least one book within a week. You are free to choose the book you want to read and commit to this challenge. You may post your entry every Saturday, at the frequency of your choice--EVERY WEEK or EVERY TWO WEEKS. However, we will sponsor this event regularly every Saturday.

Since I'm currently starting all over...AGAIN, I don't have a book that I finished last week so this will have to do.

 
 
 
 
Ah, as April knows...I really suck at this. I'm trying again though. 
 
This week I plan on reading Remembrance because April assures me I should give it one more chance. It's been sitting on my TBR shelf and spending time on my Nook for several months now. I sat down once to read it and got bored instantly...*note - I only read about three pages.* I know, I know...that's not a fair chance...hence the reason I'm trying it again. LOL!

Wish me luck!!!!!!!!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Follow Friday - 1/20/12


The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it'll allow us to show off more new blogs! 

This Weeks Features:

Question: What's the craziest thing you've ever done to get your hands on any particular book?
Oh man...outside of showing up to the midnight release of Breaking Dawn or begging a publisher for a copy of an ARC (I didn't really beg, I just asked very nicely), I can't really think of anything. I mean I've entered contests and showed up to stores on release day and even had a friend send me a book I simply said I wanted to read, but those are boring every day type things.

I'm certain some of you around the blogosphere have done way more crazier things. I can't wait to get some ideas. LOL.

 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

{ARC Review} Hallowed by Cynthia Hand


Title: Hallowed
Series: Unearthly #2
Author: Cynthia Hand
Source: NetGalley
Publisher: HarperCollins



Synopsis:

For months part-angel Clara Gardner trained to face the raging forest fire from her visions and rescue the alluring and mysterious Christian Prescott from the blaze. But nothing could prepare her for the fateful decisions she would be forced to make that day, or the startling revelation that her purpose—the task she was put on earth to accomplish—is not as straightforward as she thought.

Now, torn between her increasingly complicated feelings for Christian and her love for her boyfriend, Tucker, Clara struggles to make sense of what she was supposed to do the day of the fire. And, as she is drawn further into the world of part angels and the growing conflict between White Wings and Black Wings, Clara learns of the terrifying new reality that she must face: Someone close to her will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning.


Until last week, I had not read Unearthly and I have to say I am saddened that I waited so long. I only read it so I wouldn't feel completely lost reading Hallowed but ended up falling for this series in a way I never imagined. When you hop around the blogosphere as much as I do, you find that certain books get more attention than others and that is a sad fact. Unearthly and Hallowed are two of the books I don't see tons of reviews for and it's a shame. I loved both these books but this review is for the second book in the Unearthly Series.

Hallowed begins shortly after we left Clara in Unearthly. Clara begins to have "dreams" involving deep sorrow and a cemetery. With the introduction to Black Wings she associates her visions to them but when she begins to note the things around her...she notices certain important people are missing from the gathering. Imagining the worst, Clara has to make a decision whether to tell these people they may possibly be dying or leave fate to take care of it. Knowing she isn't good at keeping secrets, she struggles more than some people would. And who knows...maybe there is a reason she can't keep secrets, some ingrained sense...or maybe not.

We learn more about the lore between the white wings and the dark wings in this installment. I loved knowing what made each "race" different. Seeing Clara's ability to deal with the Black Wing, Samjeeza, made me proud. Clara is a strong protagonist who shows her weaknesses from time to time. She has strong views on the way things should be, rebels against them, and then sometimes wishes she could redo things. Does anything say young adult better than the previous sentence? I didn't think so.

This time around...Clara faces an enormous loss. She will have to learn who they can trust and attempt to work things out with Jeremy, her brother. If there is anything worse than a teenage girl...it is only a stubborn teenage boy with a God-complex.

We get to see much more of Christian in action in Hallowed. He tries to be what Clara wants him to be with a great deal of difficulty. I enjoyed his role and his passion. I still love Tucker and I think he makes Clara happy in a teenage love sort of way. Christian is more like the rock she will always have to lean on...for now.

Ms. Hand throws a couple of zingers on the table this time around. I was shocked, saddened, and delightfully pleased. If you haven't added this to your TBR list...do so now.

Monday, January 16, 2012

{ARC Review} Fracture by Megan Miranda


Title: Fracture
Author: Megan Miranda
Publisher: Walker and Company (Bloomsbury Children's Books)
Source: NetGalley
Release Date: January 17, 2012

Website ǀ Facebook ǀ Twitter ǀ Goodreads ǀ Amazon ǀ Barnes & Noble
Synopsis:

Eleven minutes passed before Delaney Maxwell was pulled from the icy waters of a Maine lake by her best friend Decker Phillips. By then her heart had stopped beating. Her brain had stopped working. She was dead. And yet she somehow defied medical precedent to come back seemingly fine—despite the scans that showed significant brain damage. Everyone wants Delaney to be all right, but she knows she's far from normal. Pulled by strange sensations she can't control or explain, Delaney finds herself drawn to the dying. Is her altered brain now predicting death, or causing it?

Then Delaney meets Troy Varga, who recently emerged from a coma with similar abilities. At first she's reassured to find someone who understands the strangeness of her new existence, but Delaney soon discovers that Troy's motives aren't quite what she thought. Is their gift a miracle, a freak of nature-or something much more frightening?

For fans of best-sellers like Before I Fall and If I Stay, this is a fascinating and heart-rending story about love and friendship and the fine line between life and death.

Let's start by saying that I absolutely love this cover. It's not just a pretty picture or generic cover, it's prophetic. It says everything about Fracture. I would recommend getting this one in print, the cover alone is worth it...not to mention how amazing the story is. 

So now that I've covered the cover, let's talk about the writing. This is another one of those hauntingly beautiful love stories that weave their way into your heart and head, refusing to let go. Megan is a master at description, bringing the settings to life in a way very few authors have the can. Fracture is told in first person from Delaney's terrifying point of view, captivating you on her shocking adventure through life and death, then the return to life. You feel every bit of her fear, heart-ache, loss, pain, hurt, and betrayal as if it were your own.

Delaney spends eleven minutes submerged below ice only to awaken in a hospital room surrounded by doctor's who say she has no chance. She spends several days trapped inside her body, listening and feeling things around her, unable to let people know her brain is working. Finally breaking free, she finds that her best friend, Decker, has been by her side the entire time. Unsure of what this means, all she wants is to leave the hospital and prove to everyone that she is the same Delaney she was before the accident. This will be difficult to prove since she can literally feel the dead pulling her to and fro.

Let's count the reasons I love this book

#1 - Delaney faces repetitive loss...from her own, to her mother's withdrawal, to the friend she couldn't save. It's not always a deathly loss but so many things go tragically wrong that people around her disappear from her life, leaving her alone and unable to cope. She must continue to fight for her life even after she's survived a horrific drowning. Evil lurks all around her, always attempting to sway her but Delaney is a fighter and she is most definitely a survivor.

#2 - Decker and Delaney have been friends for what must seem like an eternity but now their friendship is strained. Delaney's accident has attracted the attention of Troy...someone who knows what it feels like to survive an unsurvivable accident. Decker walks a fine line...always wanting more than friendship and always afraid more will send Delaney straight into the arms of someone else.

#3 - The taboo subject of euthanasia. Troy believes that people who are dying should be put out of their misery. Of course, he doesn't ask their opinions...he takes matters into his own hands. Delaney is out to prove him wrong and stop him from his current course of action.

#4 - The serious twist of fate and Delaney's epiphany. I cannot go into this without spoiling the book so...

#5 - Fracture brings so many feelings bubbling to the surface that leaves you thinking for days. I can't imagine a more heart-felt and life-altering story.

*I was provided a free uncorrected ebook via NetGalley and Bloomsbury Children's Books in return for my honest review.

Teaser Tuesday - Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


Title: Hallowed
Series: Unearthly #2
Author: Cynthia Hand
Goodreads

Synopsis:

For months part-angel Clara Gardner trained to face the raging forest fire from her visions and rescue the alluring and mysterious Christian Prescott from the blaze. But nothing could prepare her for the fateful decisions she would be forced to make that day, or the startling revelation that her purpose—the task she was put on earth to accomplish—is not as straightforward as she thought. 


Now, torn between her increasingly complicated feelings for Christian and her love for her boyfriend, Tucker, Clara struggles to make sense of what she was supposed to do the day of the fire. And, as she is drawn further into the world of part angels and the growing conflict between White Wings and Black Wings, Clara learns of the terrifying new reality that she must face: Someone close to her will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning.

My Teaser:

His fire and mine combine, and it's greater than any forest fire, hotter than the hottest part of the flame. Any walls I've tried to build between us crumble down. His heart pounds beneath my palm...

What's your teaser?  

Thursday, January 12, 2012

I'm Taking a Short Hiatus

I will be taking a short hiatus from the blog. Only a week or so, but I wanted to let all of you know I haven't forgotten you. If I find time, I'll post a review or two. I've got some personal stuff I need to take care of but I'll be back!!!

 Be sure to stop over at Books4Juliet, my good friend April's blog,  and see the fun post we did about Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready...so exciting.



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Monday, January 9, 2012

Teaser Tuesday - Dearly Departed by Lia Habel

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted byMizB of Should Be Reading and it asks us to...
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


Title: Dearly, Departed
Series: Gone With the Respiration #1
Author: Lia Habel
Publisher: Del Ray, Imprint of Random House Publishing Group
Synopsis:

Love can never die.

Love conquers all, so they say. But can Cupid’s arrow pierce the hearts of the living and the dead—or rather, the undead? Can a proper young Victorian lady find true love in the arms of a dashing zombie?

The year is 2195. The place is New Victoria—a high-tech nation modeled on the manners, mores, and fashions of an antique era. A teenager in high society, Nora Dearly is far more interested in military history and her country’s political unrest than in tea parties and debutante balls. But after her beloved parents die, Nora is left at the mercy of her domineering aunt, a social-climbing spendthrift who has squandered the family fortune and now plans to marry her niece off for money. For Nora, no fate could be more horrible—until she’s nearly kidnapped by an army of walking corpses.

But fate is just getting started with Nora. Catapulted from her world of drawing-room civility, she’s suddenly gunning down ravenous zombies alongside mysterious black-clad commandos and confronting “The Laz,” a fatal virus that raises the dead—and hell along with them. Hardly ideal circumstances. Then Nora meets Bram Griswold, a young soldier who is brave, handsome, noble . . . and dead. But as is the case with the rest of his special undead unit, luck and modern science have enabled Bram to hold on to his mind, his manners, and his body parts. And when his bond of trust with Nora turns to tenderness, there’s no turning back. Eventually, they know, the disease will win, separating the star-crossed lovers forever. But until then, beating or not, their hearts will have what they desire.

In Dearly, Departed, romance meets walking-dead thriller, spawning a madly imaginative novel of rip-roaring adventure, spine-tingling suspense, and macabre comedy that forever redefines the concept of undying love.


My Teaser: Within my body another battle raged. I ignored it - the sharpness of my senses, the prickling of my skin. I kept my hands to myself.

***I rented this one from the library because I wasn't sure if I would like it or not, looks like I'm gonna have to buy it after all. 

{Cover Reveal} Untouched by Jus Accardo

I told you last week if you were missing Kale a little, that all you had to do was be patient a little longer and magically he appears. Those clear blue eyes call to me. This cover is absolutely amazing.



Title: Untouched
Series: A Denazen Novel 1.5
Author: Jus Accardo
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Release Date: February 21, 2012
Goodreads


*Thank you to Jus Accardo and Entangled Publishing once again for allowing Better Read Than Dead to participate in this extraordinary Cover Reveal.*

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Just Wondering - 5 Star Ratings

Just Wondering is going to be a weekly feature here at Better Read Than Dead. Each Thursday I will be addressing a different book blog related topic. Feel free to jump in with your opinion. Leave a comment or grab the button, write a post, and link back here.



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What is it about a book that makes it a 5 Star read?

This question is very subjective and it varies greatly from person to person. Many people believe that a book needs to be perfect in every aspect...spelling, grammar, world-building, character-building, and readability. Others can ignore minor spelling and grammar mistakes as long as the book pulls them in and captivates them in some way. I, myself, fall mainly into the latter of the two categories.

Most people notice I give a lot of 4's and 5's. I will go on record as saying that some of my 4's should probably be 3's but all of my 5's, well they remain 5's in my book. I read to escape from reality...sometimes reality truly blows. When I sit down with a book, I need to be immediately drawn into the world I am escaping into. The first thing I notice, the first thing that will drop a book to a 4, is a slow beginning. I don't need a lot of descriptive writing in the first several pages. I need a reason to keep reading, some event that makes me NEED to know more. If after thirty or so pages, this hasn't happened...the book will not be getting a 5.

The second most important thing to me is the characters. If I don't feel a connection to the characters, what is the point in reading the book. If I can't feel chemistry between the characters, then they are not believable and won't hold my attention. My brain rebels against fake characters, constantly chanting "quit reading, quit reading, quit reading." The majority of books rendering this problem do not get finished. Me caring about the characters and their well-being is half the mission of making me care about a book. Don't just tell me a character can do something and expect me to believe it. Prove that the character has the ability to read minds or cast love spells. Prove that the boy is worth the girls time. Prove the girl is worth the boys attention.

The book absolutely must make sense. If I have to keep flipping pages to figure out what the heck is going on...well, not a five. Tons of books use a before/after scenario...I'm fine with that, I even enjoy it; but, something has to signify the change between then and now. A scene break or chapter change. Something.

Spelling and grammar are definitely important parts of the reading experience; however, a few minor errors won't knock a book out of the running...as long as I can make sense of it. And...as long as I am captivated by the story, care about the characters, believe what the author puts out there, and I can follow the story in a logical manner.

So...basically, all that narrows down to these five things.
  • Immediately captivate me
  • Make me care about your characters
  • Prove to me that you believe what you write (Yes, I know this is fiction we are talking about but I am talking about the author's undying commitment to the story.)
  • Lay the story out so that it makes sense
  • Keep the spelling and grammar mistakes to a minimum 
Now, am I saying that any book I rate a four or below didn't meet these standards. Absolutely not. Some stories will stand out, be more captivating or go that extra mile, give it that extra "umph." Generally speaking, I love reading, anything and everything. I fall into books and live there while I am reading them. I read very few books that don't score at least a four. Partially because it is hard for me to read an entire book that doesn't call to me and while three is "above average"...average just isn't good enough for me.

What qualities about a book earns 5 stars in your opinion? 

And...every month I will be holding a giveaway. One of my followers, who leave a comment on one or more of my "Just Wondering" posts or link a post to the linky will win their choice of a newly released book from that month (or any book I review that month). Each contest will end at midnight, last day of month.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


{Book Tour} Seeds of Discovery by Breeana Puttroff


Welcome to the Seeds of Discovery Virtual Blog Tour! A gigantic thank you goes out to Tourz De Codex for including me in this spectacular event!
 
Title: Seeds of Discovery
Series: Dusk Gate Chronicles #1
Author: Breeana Puttroff
Published by Musefish Independent Press
September 16, 2011

Website ǀ Twitter ǀ Goodreads ǀ Amazon ǀ Barnes & Noble

Synopsis:

Quinn Robbins' life was everything she thought a teenager's should be. She has good friends, a family that she loves, good grades, and an after-school job she enjoys. And, she's just been asked out by Zander Cunningham, a popular football player and great guy. But one day when driving home after picking up her little sister from the baby-sitter's, she nearly hits a boy who, after running blindly into the street, mysteriously disappears. 

The mystery only deepens as she figures out who the boy is; William Rose, a reclusive, awkward boy from school who always has his nose in a pile of books. 


As she becomes more aware of his behavior it becomes more obvious how out of the ordinary William is and how hard he deliberately tries to blend into the background. This only intrigues her more and she finds herself working to find out more about him, and exactly where he keeps disappearing to.

On a whim one night she follows him and suddenly finds herself in a new world. One where William is a prince, literally, and she is treated like a princess. She also discovers that she is stuck; the gate back to her own world isn't always open.

Quinn finds herself smack in the middle of a modern-day fairy tale, on a course that will change her life forever.


Simply put...Wow! I have to honestly say that Seeds of Discovery was a supremely pleasant surprise. I don't think I would have ever read this book if not for this tour and I would have truly missed out. Many of you know that I review a great deal of independent writers. It is books like Seeds of Discovery that make me sad that I am cutting back on those for a while. This is truly a book to be devoured.

My first reaction to Quinn was that she needed to mind her own business and pay attention to the people already vying for her attention. However, as the story continues, it is obvious that her fate is intertwined with those in Eirentheos, especially Will and Thomas. She is smart, kind, and caring. I actually felt a little embarrassed for her at different times during the story but she was always brave and handled the unknown with the utmost grace. Her reactions weren't super-heroic but refreshingly teenagerish.

Quinn finds herself in another world...literally. This world is filled with the kindest people you will ever meet...well, with the exception of Tolliver who should probably be drowned. Quinn quickly becomes friends with William's entire family, much to his chagrin. Her and Thomas become inseparable...and I can see why. He is charming, funny, and outgoing. He is handsome.

Soon after Quinn arrives, her life becomes endangered. She is forced to travel the realm of this unknown world with William, Nathaniel, and Thomas. Children around Eirentheos have become deathly ill with a mysterious disease. William and Nathaniel are needed to tend to these children as they are healers. Little do they realize that Quinn will be invaluable in finding a cure for this strange disease - without even knowing it. She kind of has a intuition about these kind of things.

The only thing I can really say is I wish there had been more. The book was a fun and quick read and when I finished I only wanted more. More of Quinn, more of Zander, more of Thomas...oh how I love Thomas, more of William, more of everyone. Thank goodness Roots of Insight releases January 9, 2012.

And now for the giveaway...win an ebook of Seeds of Discovery by Breeana Puttroff.
 

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