Monday, December 31, 2012

Review - Opal (Lux 03) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

My last review of the year!

Title and Author: Opal (Lux 03) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication Date: December 11th, 2012
Paperback/Hardcover: 382
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
Find it at: Goodreads / Bookdepository

No one is like Daemon Black. 
When he set out to prove his feelings for me, he wasn’t fooling around. Doubting him isn’t something I’ll do again, and now that we’ve made it through the rough patches, well... There’s a lot of spontaneous combustion going on. 
But even he can’t protect his family from the danger of trying to free those they love. 
After everything, I’m no longer the same Katy. I’m different... And I’m not sure what that will mean in the end. When each step we take in discovering the truth puts us in the path of the secret organization responsible for torturing and testing hybrids, the more I realize there is no end to what I’m capable of. The death of someone close still lingers, help comes from the most unlikely source, and friends will become the deadliest of enemies, but we won’t turn back. Even if the outcome will shatter our worlds forever. 
Together we’re stronger... and they know it.
I’m a fan of the Lux series so of course I had to read Opal as soon as possible. The book did not disappoint me and even if I was hoping for a little more action, the sweet moments between Katy and Daemon  made up for it.
Opal picks up shortly after where Onyx ended. Dawson is back and, this time, Katy, Daemon and company need to come up with a plan to save the ones they love.
All my favorite characters are back and better than ever.
Katy is still a book enthusiast, which I love and I still think she’s a good main character. I especially like the fact she never lets Daemon have his way easily and always has a witty response ready for him.
Daemon is definitely still great. He can still be quite cocky, smartass and arrogant sometimes but, when he wants to, he also is sweet, protective and all around amazing. He really lets his sweet side show in this book.
The relationship between Daemon and Katy becomes more playful and sweet and less problematic. The banter between them is well-written and, as always, able to keep me entertained. The chemistry between this two is great.
We also get to see a different side of Dee in this book, which I though was interesting.
When it comes to the plot, it develops nicely and it’s full of interesting moments, curve balls and unexpected events. I must confess the ending didn’t surprise me that much but all the action kept me on the edge of my seat.
All in all I quite enjoyed Opal and thought it was a great continuation of the series. I can’t wait to find out what will happen next. The book is well-written, the plot is interesting and the banter and sweet moments between Katy and Daemon are fantastic.
If you have read Obsidian and Onyx you definitely need to read this book and if you haven’t started this series yet, what are you waiting for?

Rating: Somewhere Between Worth Your Time and Must Read (4 ½ Stars)


Friday, December 28, 2012

Cover Reveal - Date Me; Love Me; Hate Me by Jillian Dodd

    Cover Reveal -  Date Me; Love Me; Hate Me by Jillian Dodd

Jillian Dodd is revealing the next three covers in her Mature Young Adult romance series, The Keatyn Chronicles. The covers were designed by Okay Creations.

Title: DATE ME (Keatyn Chronicles, #3)
Expected released date: April 2013
Goodreads: Date Me


Title: LOVE ME (Keatyn Chronicles, #4)
Expected release date: September 2013
Goodreads: Love Me

Title: HATE ME (Keatyn Chronicles, #5)
Expected release date: January 2014
Goodreads: Hate Me

About the author:

Jillian Dodd grew up on a farm in Nebraska, where she developed a love for Midwestern boys and Nebraska football. She has drank from a keg in a cornfield, attended the University of Nebraska, got to pass her candle, and did have a boy ask her to marry him in a bar. She met her own prince in college, and they have two amazing children, a Maltese named Sugar Bear, and two Labrador puppies named Camber Lacy and Cali Lucy.
 She is the author of the That Boy Trilogy and The Keatyn Chronicles Series.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Guest post by Tony Viardo - CEO of Astor + Blue

Guest post by Tony Viardo - CEO of Astor + Blue 

Thank you Mr, Viardo for the post!
Astor +Blue Editions has put its entire first season’s list of e-book titles on a holiday promotional sale for $0.99 or $1.99.  The sale will continue through January 7, 2013:

Digital Publishing: The Grinch Who Stole Christmas?

So how many articles have we read about E-books and Digital Publishing this year? For anyone who generally follows the book world (rabid booklover, book-blogger, industry pro or casual reader), we’re literally inundated with the amazing numbers—“E-book sales up 125% (again) over the 175% they were up from last year’s 225% increase!”—and equally amazing technological announcements—“Next Fall, the new ZimWittyZoomDitty tablet not only updates your Facebook and Goodreads friends whenever you snort in disgust … it cooks dinner for you at the same time!”

This leads many to take at least casual stock of what’s going on/going to happen to the “Publishing World” as we know it.  And if your friends are like my friends (hardcore print book consumers), that stock is usually pretty morbid (sharp Greenwich Village angst not included): “Print books are doomed, so are brick-and-mortar stores.  Goodbye literary quality. Oh and some pajama-wearing techie living in a basement with a laptop is going to be the new Sulzburger; we’ll all have to bow down!” 

If you (or that good friend of yours) fall into the mortified category, my take (for what it’s worth) may come as positive news:  E-books are not, and will not be, the Grinch Who Stole Christmas; in this case, the “Print World’s” bacon. Now, as the owner of a “Digital First” publishing house (Astor + Blue Editions, my opinions may easily be written off as self-serving and invalid.  But bear with me for a minute… these are fact-based observations and I might just make sense (Someone tell my mom and dad).

As someone who earns a living from publishing, I have to follow numbers and industry trends as closely as possible.  And while some see doom and gloom for Print, I see exciting developments for both Print and E-book formats.  What do the numbers show?  Digital book revenue is skyrocketing, print revenue is declining.  Natural conclusion?  E-books are killing print books. But not so fast.  Historically, Print revenue has always seemed to be declining (even before E-books were invented), but that doesn’t mean the book market is dying or shrinking.

We have to remember that in fact the book market is growing. Readership always grows because population always grows.  Every year, new readers enter the vast pool of the club that is “adult readership,” (despite Dancing with the Stars). And every year more readers are being born and theoretically being inspired by Ms. Crabtree’s elementary reading class.  **So why the decline?  Readership grows gradually, but the sheer number of books and book vendors grow exponentially, showing an investment loss almost every year. (Basic statistics: the widening universe makes it look like a shrinking pie when it isn’t).

So what does this mean?  If you look at the numbers (historically), revenue for print books may have declined, yes, but not more than “normal,” and not significantly more than it did when there were no E-books around. (This is arguable of course, but the long term numbers do not show a precipitous drop-off). The yearly revenue decline, if there is one, can just as easily be written off to economic conditions as to E-book competition.  Bottom line:  Any drop in print revenue that may be caused by E-books are not significantly sharp enough to declare that E-books are destroying print book sales.  (Hence no Grinch).

What may be happening, and what I believe is happening is that a whole new market for E-books is developing, while the print book market growth, like Publishing as a whole, is still growing at a historically gradual pace. (Boringly flat).  Come up with your pet anecdote here, but I believe that more new readers are entering the market (who otherwise wouldn’t have) because of E-readers; existing readers are consuming more books (both print and e-book) than they did before; and while it would seem that a certain print title is losing a sale whenever readers buy it in E-book format, this is offset, at least somewhat, by the fact that more print titles are being bought (that otherwise wouldn’t) because of the extra marketing buzz and added awareness produced by the E-book’s cyber presence.  All of it evens out in the end, and I believe, ultimately fosters growth industry-wide.

So take heart Print fans, E-books are not the dark villain you think they are.  And here, I should correct my earlier analogy—that E-books are not the Grinch Who Stole Christmas.  They may actually be the Grinch…in as much as, at the end of the story, the pear-shaped green guy ended up not only giving all the presents back to the singing Who-villers, he created a flash mob and started a big party as well.

Link Your Reviews

We all want to promote our reviews, don't we? This is a way of letting other people know about them. Just leave a link to your review below.

Go visit the other reviews and let people know what you think about them!
This will is weekly feature posted on Thursdays. :)

2013 Finishing the Series Reading Challenge

2013 Finishing the Series Reading Challenge:

You can sign up for this challenge here.

It's a challenge for all those series books you started at some point and haven't finished.

Here are the rules guidelines.

1) All books that are part of a continuing series qualify (i.e. Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove, Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum, James Patterson's Alex Cross, etc. etc.)

2) It doesn't matter if you have 1 or 10 books in a series to complete it, it qualifies (i.e. if you only need to read one more Sookie Stackhouse book to complete the goal, that's fine) The goal is to complete a series from wherever you are up to until the last published book.

3) The qualification period is January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013. Books must be read during this time frame to count.

4) Take the button above and post about it. Use the Mr. Linky below to sign up and make sure you link it directly to your post about this challenge. (Note: I'm not going to be using the Finishing the Series Blog I created last year. I'm going to keep everything here.)

5) If you don't have a blog, that's fine. Just leave a comment to sign up and tell us what you are reading.

6) Any format of book counts - audio, ebook, etc.

7) You should choose the series you want to finish before the challenge begins, but it isn't necessary. It's fine to change series during the year - as long as you complete whichever series it is.

8) Choose a level....

Level 1 - Complete 1 series.

Level 2 - Complete 2 series.
Level 3 - Complete 3 or more series.

I signed up for level 3! 
01. Shades of Earth (Across the Universe 03) - Beth Revis
02. Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices 03) - Cassandra Clare
03. If I Should Die (Revenants 03) - Amy Plum

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Author Interview - Michelle Madow


Author Interview - Michelle Madow

1.  What would you say is the best part about being a writer?
My favorite part is sharing the stories I create with readers. I write down the stories in my mind because I want to share them with others, and knowing that people are reading (and enjoying!) those stories is so rewarding.

2. Before you begin writing it, how do you prepare for a book? What kind of research do you do?
First, I create character biographies, so I can get to know the important characters in the story better. A lot of time, plot ideas will come to me when I’m creating character biographies. Once I’m finished with the bios, I’ll outline the entire book. I’ll do a little bit of research while outlining, but I save the big research for while I’m writing the first draft. (For instance, I dug deep into the research about life in 1815 England after Lizzie, Drew, and Chelsea time traveled back to then in Timeless!)

I use the Internet to do my research. The most useful website for me while researching Regency Era, England, was this one. I also read fiction that takes place in the Regency Era while I was writing that portion of Timeless.

3. What can you tell us about Timeless?
In Timeless, Lizzie and Drew are haunted by the after effects of the spell Chelsea cast at the end of Vengeance. That spell had severe consequences (that Chelsea didn’t realize), but spells are irreversible. Therefore, the three of them need to work together to change what happened in their past lives!

4. What about the characters, Drew, Lizzie and Chelsea – what can you tell us about them?
Chelsea isn’t over Drew, and she blames Lizzie for destroying her relationship with him. However, there are bigger problems in Timeless, and the three of them need to get over their animosity towards each other so they can band together and do the impossible (time travel!) to save Lizzie’s life.

5. If the Transcend Time Series ever became a movie or TV series, who would you like to play your characters?
I love casting celebrities to play parts in my books! I see Remembrance working better as a movie than a TV series. I envision Taylor Swift as Lizzie, Drew Roy as Drew, and Megan Fox as Chelsea. I actually have a blog post (that includes pictures!) on my blog, and you can check that out by clicking here.

6. Would you have liked to live in the Regency Era or not really?
Yes and no. Yes because I love the dresses and the parties and the propriety people showed back then. No, because every day life back then wasn’t very exciting. It was much slower paced: They didn’t have cell phones, computers, and the Internet. Also, they didn’t have modern-day hygiene items like conditioner, toothpaste, washers/dryers, and daily showers! We have access to the world nowadays that people back then couldn’t dream of. So even though I wish I could attend elegant balls like the ones in the Regency Era, I prefer modern day times with the technology I’m used to.

7. What book are you currently reading and are you enjoying it?
I just started reading The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan. I love the Percy Jackson series and am definitely enjoying this book! 

8. Is there a book you could read over and over again?
There’s only one book I’ve read more than once—Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. I’ve read Twilight about three times. Other than that, I’ve never read a book more than once. I have hundreds of books on my to-read list, so I would rather read something new than read something again.

9. Quick-fire questions:
            Night or Day? Day to get work done, and night to hang out with friends! I always have more energy at night.
            Black or White? Black. My go-to outfit is a black top and jeans.
            TV Series or Movie? TV series, because it lasts longer!
            Winter or Summer? I live in South Florida, and I prefer the winter here, because it’s the perfect weather for going outdoors. (The summers here are brutally hot and humid.) If I lived in a place with real seasons, I would choose summer, because I hate the cold weather.
10. Is there anything else you would like your readers to know? What’s next for you?
First of all, thank you for your support of the Transcend Time Saga! When I published Remembrance, I had no idea what people would think, and the response I’ve received as been extraordinary. While Timeless is the conclusion to the Transcend Time Saga, I’ve got tons of other ideas for series’, and two other books completed (both are starts of their own series’!) I’m trying to go the traditional publishing route for my most recent novel, which is the start of a fun contemporary YA series. It’s being considered by publishers, so please please please cross your fingers for me!

Thank you, Carla, for having me on your blog for the Timeless blog tour!

IT'S A RACE AGAINST TIME. In Remembrance, Lizzie and Drew changed the course of fate so they could be together. In Vengeance, Chelsea set fate back on its original, deadly path. Now, strange things keep happening to Lizzie. Things that are omens of darkness to come. A curse has doomed her to die an early death, just as she did in her past life. To make matters worse, even if she can figure out who cast the curse, it's irreversible. There's only one option left for her to save herself. It's crazier than anything she's heard yet, and to do it, she'll need Drew and Chelsea's help. Because to make things right, they must go back to when it all began … and Lizzie discovers that the final events in her past life were more sinister than she ever imagined. Timeless is the final part of the Transcend Time Saga. The Transcend Time Saga is a Clean Romance suitable for anyone age 12 and up!

Quotes from Reviewers

"The combination of time travel, magic, and love makes Timeless an unforgettable page turner!"
-For Those About to Read

"Timeless had great twists, particularly towards the end. For something inspired by a Taylor Swift song, Michelle has come up with a great series!"
-Addiction to Words Reviews

"The Transcend Time Saga is a worthy rival of modern fairy tales. It has an essence of magic and spark that captivates you!"
-Becky's Barmy Book Blog

My Review of Timeless:

Remembrance Purchase Links: 
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository
Vengeance Purchase Links: 
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository

Timeless Purchase Links:Amazon

In celebration of the Timeless Blog Tour, I am giving away a Deluxe Transcend Time Prize Pack! This includes:
·         A signed paperback of Remembrance
·         A signed paperback of Vengeance
·         A signed paperback of Timeless
·         A gold Venetian mask

This giveaway is International.


About the Author

Michelle Madow was inspired to write Remembrance after seeing Taylor Swift's "Love Story" music video while a junior at Rollins College in Winter Park, FL. The song and video gave her the story idea about a high school girl reincarnated from Regency Era, England. She handed in the first chapter as a homework assignment for class, and when her teacher and classmates wanted her to continue writing, she decided to go for it. By the end of the school year, her first novel was completed!

Michelle graduated from the Park School of Baltimore in 2005, where she always took two English classes each semester. She graduated from Rollins College in 2010, cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English. At Rollins she was a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and a member of the International English Honor Society Sigma Tau Delta.

She received the Charles Hyde Pratt Award for Excellence in Creative Writing in 2010.
Michelle lives in Florida, where she is hard at work writing more novels for young adults.

Author Links
Official Website