Kinx's Book Nook: June 2012

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (3)

Stacking the Shelves (3)

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

From the library:

Bought for my Kindle:


What did you get this past week? Please leave a comment and let me know.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Review: Trial By Fire

Title:          Trial By Fire (Raised by Wolves #2)
Author:     Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Publisher: Egmont USA
Released:  June 14, 2011
Format:     Ebook, 368 pages
Genre:       YA paranormal

From Goodreads:

There can only be one alpha.
Bryn is finally settling into her position as alpha of the Cedar Ridge Pack- or at least, her own version of what it means to be alpha when you’re a human leading a band of werewolves. Then she finds a teenage boy bleeding on her front porch. Before, collapsing, he tells her his name is Lucas, he’s a Were, and Bryn’s protection is his only hop.

But Lucas isn’t part of Bryn’s pack, and she has no right to claim another alpha’s Were. With threats- old and new- looming, and danger closing in from all sides, Bryn will have to accept what her guardian Callum knew all along. To be alpha, she will have to give in to her own animal instincts and become less human. And, she’s going to have to do it alone.

Trial by Fire picks up where Raised by Werewolves left off. Bryn is still the fiercely strong and independent character as she was in the first book. However, she faces some really difficult challenges being a new “human” alpha. She wants all “her” Weres to be independent as well. She won’t tell them what to do. She hated it under Callum and she won’t let that happen in the Cedar Ridge Pack. She is finding that the werewolf political atmosphere is not conducive to that kind of behavior. The Weres in her pack continually look to her for leadership and protection. She finds it hard to assume those roles. Ms. Barnes effectively portrays Bryn’s conflicts where you can empathize with her feelings.

However, Bryn has her inner circle that she can trust. Dev, Lake and Chase are right by her side. She relies on their loyalty and friendship when leading the Pack. However, when it is all said and done, she has to make her decisions alone. She learned from Callum how lonely it is to be alpha. What I find amazing about this character is that she has all this responsibility at a very young age. She still has to attend high school. But I guess that is what makes Bryn special. She is able to face each struggle with inner strength and courage. In the past, she has always been alone in her thoughts, but now she has her inner circle and the entire pack racing through her head.

There is more relationship development between Chase and Bryn. Chase is not consumed by the pack like Bryn is. As she grows in her alpha role, she starts to pull away from Chase. To him, the pack is Bryn and no one else. To Bryn, the pack is everyone under her protection. With their priorities in conflict, they struggle in the growth of their relationship.

Ms. Barnes has an interesting take on the werewolf world. In her world, Weres start to “change” at birth. Little babies change into little werewolf puppies. I think it makes the werewolf pack more of a family and something that has to be protected. Bryn would do anything to protect that family. Members of her pack/family include female Weres. She has more girls in her pack than any other. Other alphas want the girls to increase their numbers. In this society, werewolf numbers mean power. However, Bryn will not hand over any girl without a fight. This leads to an attack on her pack where Bryn rises as a true leader.

Besides the children and teens in Bryn’s pack, there are also a couple of adults who chose to accept her as alpha. Ali is human, Bryn’s adoptive mother and a member of the pack. She continually has struggles accepting the werewolf political structure. To her, the only thing that is important is to protect her children. She hates it that Bryn has so much responsibility on her shoulders. Ali wants to protect her (and her protect her she does!) but in the end she realizes that Bryn has to lead the pack. The other adult in the pack is Lake’s father, Mitch. His main priority is to protect Lake, one of the few female werewolves. The adults try to protect but have to take a step back to Bryn. This role reversal is very interesting in that Ali and Mitch, in the end, must accept Bryn as their leader and protector.

I have really enjoyed this series. I’m really looking forward to reading the next book, Taken By Storm, which was released on May 22, 2012.

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Follow Friday

Q: Birthday Wishes — Blow out the candles and imagine what character could pop out of your cake…who is it and what book are they from??

Vlad! I'm reading Once Burned right now.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Review: Angel Unprepared

Angel Unprepared (The Watcher Series #2)
Tamela Buhrke
Released on March 13, 2012

From Amazon:

Someone is killing fae and it’s up to the newly assigned and completely untrained Watcher Andi Andreas to find the killer. But when a vampire kidnaps Andi’s best friend Macy, a Voodoo priestess warns Andi that her friend’s very soul is in jeopardy. Frightened for her friend’s future, Andi prepares for pursuit.

Unfortunately, the leader of the Watchers, Andi’s Great-Aunt Eleni, commands the she forego her friend and forage for the murderer in the Fairy realm. With no choice but to follow orders, Andi is knighted by the Fairy Queen and bound to a magical sword. Forced to trust the queen’s prophetess, a sexy succubus who hankers for a taste of her, Andi soon finds herself bouncing between realms and through time, chasing a killer.

In Angel Unprepared, Tamela Buhrke picked the perfect title for this book due to the fact that Andi is completely unprepared for her new life as a Watcher. She keeps getting thrown into situations in which she is completely “unprepared” for. It is so much fun watching Andi experience on-the-job training. Ms. Buhrke does a great job mixing humor with suspense. You can really empathize with Andi’s frustration and sarcasm throughout the book. She realizes she is being kept in the dark and it drives her crazy. One of my favorite parts of the book is when Andi realizes she doesn’t know even how to do the simplest of spells which are taught to Watchers as children. She just wants to pull her hair out!

Relationships are further developed in this book. Andi’s relationship with her Great-Aunt Eleni is very complicated, but surprising. It is definitely going to be a love/hate relationship. Andi, also, has to come to terms with her friends. She has to handle her life as a Watcher without letting her friends about her new life. The dynamic between the three friends is hilarious. I love watching Joy going through her identity crisis. Once again you see the humor in this book. There is such good balance between the humor and the other darker aspects running through the book.

Andi’s love life is chaotic, with vampires, Watchers, Fae and succubus wanting her. Her connection to Esteban takes an interesting turn. It will take them to a place they never expected. I really like that Andi has turned her eye back to Frank. I will be interesting on how that relationship turns out. I will say the ending was great! 

I have to say that I find the Fae and the succubus pretty creepy. I probably could have done without the whole succubus thing. Not my cup of tea. But I liked how it enhanced Esteban’s character.  

I’m really enjoying this series. It’s fun, entertaining and suspenseful. I can’t wait for the third book.

Rating 4 out of 5 Stars

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Throwback Thursday!

Welcome to Throwback Thursday, a weekly meme hosted by The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books!

It’s the nature of book blogging to focus mainly on new releases, but there are thousands of great books out there that haven’t seen the “New Releases” shelf in years. We hope to be able to bring attention to some older titles that may not be at the top of the current bestseller list, but still deserve a spot in your To-Be-Read pile.

My Throwback Thursday:

Moon Called (Mercy Thompson #1)
By Patricia Briggs
Released 2006

From Goodreads:

Mercy Thompson's life is not exactly normal. Her next-door neighbor is a werewolf. Her former boss is a gremlin. And she's fixing a VW bus for a vampire. But then, Mercy Thompson is not exactly normal herself--she's a shape-shifter.

Why do I like it?

 Because Mercy Thompson is one of my favorite urban fantasy series. It has it all  with werewolves, vampires, witches and fae. Mercy is a great character, strong and independent. If you like a little romance with your UF, it has that too. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (3)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Here's what I'm waiting on with abated breath!

From Kelley Armstrong:

A war is brewing—the first battle has been waged and Savannah Levine is left standing, albeit battered and bruised. She has rescued her half brother from supernatural medical testing, but he’s fighting to stay alive. The Supernatural Liberation Movement took him hostage, and they have a plan to expose the supernatural world to the unknowing.
Savannah has called upon her inner energy to summon spells with frightening strength, a strength she never knew she had, as she fights to keep her world from shattering. But it’s more than a matter of supernaturals against one another—both heaven and hell have entered the war; hellhounds, genetically modified werewolves, and all forces of good and evil have joined the fray.
Uniting Savannah with Adam, Paige, Lucas, Jaime, Hope, and other lost-but-notforgotten characters in one epic battle, for a grand series finale.
Note: all hardcover editions are “collector editions,” which will include features such as author notes on the series and the post-13 Elena story “From Russia, with Love.”

Release Date:  July 2012

This is the last in the Otherworld Series. I'm so excited to see how it will end. A little sad too.

Liebster Award

Liebster Award: I feel overwhelmed

I was nominated by some very sweet bloggers, Ginger-read Reviews and Corrie the Book Crazed Girl. I feel very overwhelmed and giddy!

What is the Liebster Award??

Well, this award is for bloggers with fewer than 200 followers. Awardees get to share 11 facts about themselves, answer the 11 questions written by the person who tagged them, choose 11 more questions, and tag 11 more bloggers to answer those 11 questions.

 11 facts about me:

1.  I’ve been married for 8 wonderful years.
2.  I have two beautiful girls (7 and 4 years old)
3.  I have a dog (Layla) and two cats (Ella and Harry)
4.  I’m a HUGE Oklahoma Sooners fan
5.  For my day job, I’m an environmental attorney. I try to keep Oklahoma air clean.
6.  Love historical fiction, urban fantasy and some paranormal romance (as long as it’s not too sappy)
7.  All-time favorite author is Jane Austen.
8.  My favorite UF series is the Otherworld series by Kelley Armstrong.
9.  My favorite PNR series is the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness
10. My favorite historical figure is Eleanor of Aquitaine
11. My favorite candy is gummy bears.

11 questions for me:

1.  What “paranormal” being would be choose to be and why?
I would choose to be a werewolf. One of my first UF series that I read was about werewolves. I really love the freedom and power they represent.

2.  When did you start blogging?
I started in May 2012, just last month.

3.  How do you choose whether or not to read a book?
Goodreads is a great source for recommendations and review. Title is really important. I won’t read anything that has a crappy title.

4.  Name your favorite bookish couple. And why?
Elena and Clayton from Kelley Armstrong’s Otherworld series. I just love their dynamic.

5.  How did you come up with your blog name?
Kinx is my father’s childhood nickname for me. He still calls me that.

6.  Why did you start blogging?
Of course, I love to read and I read a lot. I wanted to do something that was just for me and my husband suggested I start a book blog.

7.  How many books are in your to-read pile?
I would say about 35.

8.  Do you usually read mainstream or indie authors?
In the past, I only read mainstream authors but since I have started bloggers, I have been introduced to some really great indie authors.

9.  Name a book that you could have done without reading? Any why?
I have to say the Twilight Series. Not very good writing and silly story.

10.  If you could teleport yourself into any fictional world, where would you go?
Harry Potter’s world. I would love to attend Hogwarts.

11.  If you could be any Character from a book, who would you be and why?
Elena Michaels (Otherworld) or Diana Bishop (All Souls) because they are such strong and independent characters.

My 11 questions to answer:

1.  What is your favorite UF series?
2.  Who are your favorite male and female literary characters?
3.  Why did you start blogging?
4.  How did you come up with your blog name?
5.  How long have you been blogging?
6.  What book can you read infinite times because you just love it?
7.  What “paranormal” being would you choose to be and why?
8.  How many books are in your to-read pile?
9.  Do you prefer ebooks or paper books?
10. If you could be any character from a book, who would you be?
11. Name a book that you could have done without reading?

Here are my tags:

Teaser Tuesday (2)

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!

What I'm Currently Reading:

Chapter 1:

Personally, I'd rather be a man magnet, or even a refrigerator magnet, but some things in life are out of our hands. Like now, for example, waking from a nightmare to the squeezing embrace of stony, cold arms.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (2)

Welcome to It’s Monday! What Are You Reading! This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from! Hosted by Book Journey

What Am I Reading This Week?

I just finished reading Tamela Buhrke's first book in the Watcher Series, Angel Unraveled and now I'm getting ready to dive into Angel Unprepared. This is a really fun series. I highly recommend it.

Coming out Tuesday is Once Burned by Jeaniene Frost. I have been waiting for this release seems like forever. Vlad is one of my favorite characters in the Night Huntress series. I'm really excited that he is getting his own series. 

Please leave a comment and let me know what you're reading this week! 

Stacking the Shelves (2)

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

Here are my kindle purchases for the week:

 Angel Unraveled by Tamela Buhrke. Already read. Loved it!

The Hunter and the Hunted by Kelley Armstrong. Collection of three stories from the Otherworld Series. It's great to read before 13 comes out in July.

 Angel Unprepared by Tamela Buhrke. This the second book in the Watcher Series. This is next on my TBR list.
Once Burned by Jeaniene Frost will be released on Tuesday. Can't wait!

Please leave a comment and let me know what you have added to your shelves!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Review: Angel Unraveled

In Angel Unraveled by Tamela Buhrke, I found a gem of a book. It's the first book in the Watcher series. I really enjoyed every page. It has very likable characters and fast-paced plot. As the title indicates, you might think this just another angel series. But, in fact, it has vampires and demons as well. Plus there there was a little tease for fairies and shapeshifters.

The story is from the perspective of Andi Andreas, psychic neophyte. She is not comfortable with what she thinks are her newly acquired powers. She continually fights with herself on how to live with her psychic abilities. I really like Andi. She is different from other urban fantasy heroines. She's not the typical hardcore warrior type that is often portrayed in many UF novels. Don't get me wrong, I do like those characters, but Andi is someone you can identify with. She gets frustrated, freaked out and completely overwhelmed with what she has to face. When Andi is thrust into the supernatural world she basically has a complete meltdown. Like with most people, she has a difficult time accepting it. However, eventually she does and finds herself trying to prevent a vampire and demon war.

Throughout the book, Andi is slowly discovering who she really is. Ms. Buhrke did a great job putting you in Andi's head. I felt every emotion throughout her journey. I felt her anger, distrust and confusion.

Another fun part of the book is the potential love interests. I found this is not your typical paranormal romance. It's not a boy meets girls kind of story. Andi has several suitors and she is attracted to them all, one more than others. Who will she end up with? Who knows! We will have to read more of the series to find out.

Overall, I really like the first book in this new series. Ms. Buhrke introduced some good characters and storylines. It will be fun watching the new stories unfold. Next up, Angel Unprepared.

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Hunter and the Hunted

Publisher: Penguin Books
Release: June 12, 2012
Format: Ebook, 101 pages
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Oh, how I love Kelley Armstrong's books! Right before the release of 13 (coming out July 24, 2012) she gives us a little teaser present with The Hunter and the Hunted. This collection contains two novellas, Stalked and Off-Duty Angel and plus a sneak peek of 13. All three are a great way to get ready for 13.

The first story is Stalked which was originally published in My Big, Fat Supernatural Honeymoon. Elena and Clayton are finally on their honeymoon and he wants to make it perfect for her. However, an annoying mutt gets in the way. These two are my favorite characters of the Otherworld series. To make this story even better, it's from Clayton's perspective. I really enjoyed watching him trying to protect Elena and give her a "normal" honeymoon. He is actually trying to respect human tradition which is pretty humorous. I love everything about Elena and Clayton and it was fun reading this little tale.

Next is a new story about Eve Levine, part-time ghost and part-time angel. Off-Duty Angel takes Eve on a little adventure while waiting for her lover, Kristof Nash, to get free from the otherworsly court. I always find it amusing that Eve always finds herself in some kind of mess and has to fight her way out. As I read this quirky tale, I'm finding that the infamous dark witch is slowly getting some scruples. Watching her decide between right and wrong is very entertaining. Eve has appeared in several of the Otherworld books and has had her own in Haunted. However, I have always pictured her mainly as Savannah's mother. Eve gave Savannah more complexity. However, I think Ms. Armstrong wrote this story to further develop Eve in time for 13. My guess is that Eve plays major role in the upcoming book.

Ms. Armstrong also included in this collection seven chapters of 13. After reading, I think she was a little bit mean giving us a tantalizing taste and then waiting until next month to give the rest. 13 opens with a bang! After reading just a few pages, I was completely hooked. I can't wait to find out how she concludes this series and probably a little bit sad that it's ending.

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Monday, June 18, 2012

How Angels Die

War is brutal. War is unfair. War is soul-wrenching. David-Michael Harding's How Angels Die is a thought-provoking portrayal of the French Resistance during WWII. What makes this piece of historical fiction different is that it is from the women's perspective. By reading this novel you will find that women freedom fighters played a huge role in the Resistance and sacrificed so much for France.

The story revolves around two sisters, Monique and Claire. Both are fighting the same war but in different ways. The pain and judgment both sisters put upon one another tears them apart. Mr. Harding lays out beautifully the dynamic between the sisters. The love is so apparent but it is caught up in this brutal and bloody war.

Family plays a huge role. War wrecks havoc on a once close and loving family. Everything is literally torn apart. You feel every brutal word that each person lashes out. Sides are chosen there is very little forgiveness. Only something extreme can bring this family together again. And something extreme does happen. I have to say that a few tears were shed while reading. Your heart breaks for this family.

Love runs throughout this book, whether it's from family or a lover. In the Resistance, you are expected to fight and possibly die for the cause, getting rid of the Nazis. However, most most sacrifices are for the people who you love. For the sisters, it's family. For others, it's a lover. My favorite line from this novel is that "Years as a sister gave way to the wants of a lover only to return to ties of blood." It says so much.

All of this makes for a beautiful but heart-breaking story. It is well-written and the characters are nicely developed. I really enjoyed this read.

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

I received this book as a gift from the author but it in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Throwback Thursday!

Welcome to Throwback Thursday, a weekly meme hosted by The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books!

It’s the nature of book blogging to focus mainly on new releases, but there are thousands of great books out there that haven’t seen the “New Releases” shelf in years. We hope to be able to bring attention to some older titles that may not be at the top of the current bestseller list, but still deserve a spot in your To-Be-Read pile.

My Throwback Thursday:
Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor
by Stephanie Barron
Published:  April 1, 1996

From Goodreads:

For everyone who loves Jane Austen...a marvelously entertaining new series that turns the incomparable author into an extraordinary sleuth!

On a visit to the estate of her friend, the young and beautiful Isobel Payne, Countess of Scargrave, Jane bears witness to a tragedy. Isobel's husband—a gentleman of mature years—is felled by a mysterious and agonizing ailment. The Earl's death seems a cruel blow of fate for the newly married Isobel. Yet the bereaved widow soon finds that it's only the beginning of her she receives a sinister missive accusing her and the Earl's nephew of adultery—and murder. Desperately afraid that the letter will expose her to the worst sort of scandal, Isobel begs Jane for help. And Jane finds herself embroiled in a perilous investigation that will soon have her following a trail of clues that leads all the way to Newgate Prison and the House of Lords—a trail that may well place Jane's own person in the gravest jeopardy.

Why do I love this book? Because it's Jane Austen. This is a great murder/mystery and historical fiction novel. It is such a fun read! This is only the first in the series. There are a total of 11 so far.If you love Jane Austen, you should really should give it a try.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Review: The Forever Girl

The Forever Girl:    Sophia’s Journey (Forever Girl Series #1)
Publisher:                Immortal Ink Publishing
Released Date:       May 2012
Format:                    Ebook, 350 pages
Genre:                      Paranormal Romance

The Forever Girl by Rebecca Hamilton is the first book in the Forever Girl series. I have to say that I’m not crazy about this book. I really had to struggle to get through it. I kept hoping that as I continued to read that it would pull me into its story. It didn’t. I will say that this book had an interesting take on vampires, witches and shape shifters. It is a very unique perspective of the supernatural world.

The story begins with Sophia trying to find your place in her community and life. She is a practicing Wiccan and is constantly harassed by the local fundamental Christians, which includes her mother. On top of the harassment, she constantly is hearing a buzz. To get rid of the buzz, she performs a positive energy ritual to dispel the noise. Instead of helping, the noises change into voices and get worse Sophia’s calls it her “curse.” The importance of her “curse” slowly (and I mean slowly) unveils itself in the story. I’m still unclear about the source of the voices. . My first issue was that it was not explained why the ritual unleashed more power. I had a hard time connecting the dots on why the ritual set certain things into motion. Sometimes I felt that some explanations were dumped on me in a haphazard way and it was difficult to understand how it relates to the overall series story.

There are several characters introduced in this book.  Sophia’s romantic interest is Charles. I found their relationship very uninteresting. I was not able to experience the buildup of their relationship. All of a sudden they were in love with really no development.  Sophia’s close friend is Ivory. I have to say Ivory is a bizarre character. Her relationship with Sophia was really unexpected and, to me, didn’t really fit with the story. It wasn’t uncomfortable; I just felt it was out-of-place. I had a very hard time connecting with these characters. To me, there was a real lack of character depth and development. Sophia’s attachment to these characters wasn’t really fleshed out enough. There was many times where I was scratching my head wondering why?

Sophia’s family issues were only, I felt, marginally touched upon. You don’t actually meet her father who Sophia seems to have a good relationship. It took me almost the entire book to figure out that her parents were still married. The way it was described I thought Sophia came from a broken home. It was really hard to grasp the family dynamic. Why did Sophia turn to the Wiccan practices? Was it due to her family pain or due to otherworldly reasons? More explanation of how the Wiccan religion actually affected Sophia’s life would have been appreciated. I didn’t really get that she was a devoted practicing Wiccan.

I really wanted to like this book, but in the end, I just couldn’t. My main overall problem was that I found the relationships to be under-developed and difficult to relate to. I hope that the next book in the series has more character development and depth.

Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars

Waiting on Wednesday (2)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My Waiting on Wednesay:

From Goodreads: 

Shadow of Night: All Souls Trilogy #2
Release Date:  July 10, 2012    

"Together we lifted our feet and stepped into the unknown"—the thrilling sequel to the New York Times bestseller A Discovery of WitchesDeborah Harkness exploded onto the literary scene with her debut novel, A Discovery of Witches, Book One of the magical All Souls Trilogy and an international publishing phenomenon. The novel introduced Diana Bishop, Oxford scholar and reluctant witch, and the handsome geneticist and vampire Matthew Clairmont; together they found themselves at the center of a supernatural battle over an enchanted manuscript known as Ashmole 782.
Now, picking up from A Discovery of Witches’ cliffhanger ending, Shadow of Night plunges Diana and Matthew into Elizabethan London, a world of spies, subterfuge, and a coterie of Matthew’s old friends, the mysterious School of Night that includes Christopher Marlowe and Walter Raleigh. Here, Diana must locate a witch to tutor her in magic, Matthew is forced to confront a past he thought he had put to rest, and the mystery of Ashmole 782 deepens.
Deborah Harkness has crafted a gripping journey through a world of alchemy, time travel, and magical discoveries, delivering one of the most hotly anticipated novels of the season.
My Take:
I literally can't wait for this book to be released. I just finished A Discovery of Witches for the second time. Check out my review. This is my most anticipated book of the year!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Teaser Tuesday

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!

Prologue:  The room was absolutely still. Occasionally an unconscious sniffle would erupt and seemlike an explosion of sound.

Monday, June 11, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?!

Welcome to It’s Monday! What Are You Reading! This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from! Hosted by Book Journey

What am I Reading this week?

I'm having a really hard time trying to get through this book. But I plan to finish tonight.

Next Up:

How Angels Die by David-Michael Harding This book was given to me by author and I'm really excited to read and review.

The Hunter and the Hunted by Kelley Armstrong comes out tomorrow. I'm a HUGE Kelley Armstrong fan. I can't wait to dive in.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Stacking The Shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!
Here is what I added to my shelves this week:



Please let me know what you have added to your shelves! 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Review: A Discovery of Witches

A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1)
Publisher:            Penguin Group
Released Date:   February 2011
Format:                Ebook, 582 pages
Genre:                  Paranormal Romance

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness is the first book in the All Souls Trilogy. I would have to say that is a paranormal romance (PNR) for the sophisticate due to the fact that it is not your typical PNR novel. I want to first point out that Ms. Harkness is a history professor at the University of Southern California and a wine connoisseur. She writes a great wine blog, Good Wine Under $20. All while reading this book; I craved some serious wine and wanted to know more about the history of alchemy. I can’t imagine the research it took to write this amazing novel.

Ms. Harkness created a wonderful character in Diana Bishop. She is a witch in deep denial. Diana has incredible innate magical power. However, in her mind, everything has a scientific and historical context. Magic really has no room in her life. She is intelligent, strong and independent. Then her life is turned upside down when in the Oxford Bodleian Library she calls up an enchanted alchemical manuscript, Ashmole 782. She feels it’s magic but doesn’t understand it. She sends it back to the stacks of the library. By opening the ancient manuscript, she has pulled all kinds of supernatural creatures to her. Quickly, she is surrounded by witches, daemons, and vampires. They all want the manuscript which could hold secrets to their existence. One vampire in particular has been looking for Ashmole 782 for centuries. Matthew Clairmont is a 1500-year-old vampire who has obsessed about the origin of his species. He would do just about anything to get ahold of that manuscript. He is secretive, controlling and powerful and he would change Diana’s life forever.

I love all the scientific, historical and alchemical references in the book. It’s the reason I call it a PNR for the sophisticate. Ms. Harkness’s description of all the alchemical illustrations is so vivid. To me, each image just jumps off the page. Just like her illustration descriptions, her use of wine in the story also enhances the imagery of the book. I love the aroma and the taste of each wine and I want to savor each drop. Her depiction of each wine really helps in describing each character, especially Matthew. I can see him savoring each sip of a deep, rich red wine. Each character has their own particular drink that they prefer and which fits each personality. Matthew loves wine. Diana drinks herbal tea. Aunt Sarah loves her whiskey as does Marcus. It really, for me, paints a wonderful personality for each character.

As I focus on the academic references and wine, at the heart of this book is a forbidden romance. I really enjoyed the portrayal of Diana and Matthew’s relationship. She is a witch who feels quickly while Matthew is a vampire who takes his time (he has all the time in the world). Furthermore, vampires and witches have hated each other for ages. They are not supposed to love each other. But they do and it works. You feel their passion, doubts and conflicts. You want a happily ever after, but will it happen for Diana and Matthew? Time will tell! Literally!!

Like any good book in a trilogy, it ended with one heck of a cliff hanger. I absolutely can’t wait for the next book, Shadow of Night. Its release date is July 10, 2012. I will buy it the minute it comes out.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Follow Friday!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My can't wait to read is:

Publication Date:  June 26, 2012

From Goodreads:

She's a mortal with dark powers...

After a tragic accident scarred her body and destroyed her dreams, Leila never imagined that the worst was still to come: terrifying powers that let her channel electricity and learn a person's darkest secrets through a single touch. Leila is doomed to a life of solitude...until creatures of the night kidnap her, forcing her to reach out with a telepathic distress call to the world's most infamous vampire...

He's the Prince of Night...

Vlad Tepesh inspired the greatest vampire legend of all—but whatever you do, don't call him Dracula. Vlad's ability to control fire makes him one of the most feared vampires in existence, but his enemies have found a new weapon against him—a beautiful mortal with powers to match his own. When Vlad and Leila meet, however, passion ignites between them, threatening to consume them both. It will take everything that they are to stop an enemy intent on bringing them down in flames.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Book Club Selection

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand is an amazing read. This is a true story of a WWII bombardier Louis Zamperini and his incredible journey from star athlete to suffering prisoner of war and finally to man at peace with his life. It is a truly inspiring tale of war and forgiveness. This book focuses on the Japanese and the War in the Pacific. I am more familiar with the German forces and the War in Europe. Louis’s journey really was an eye-opener for me. I never really comprehended how terrible the Pacific really was.

Louis was a bombardier on a B-24 bomber. He was part of a crew that flew several bombing missions targeting strategic Japanese-held islands. After one such flight, his plane crashed in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.  Louis and the pilot, Phil, were the only survivors. They were able to survive on a raft for 47 days.  They fought dehydration, starvation and sharks. That journey of survival would be an entire book in of itself. However, the raft was only the beginning. They managed to reach land in the Marshall Islands which was occupied by the Japanese and from there their horrific journey really began.

Louis’s treatment in the hands of the Japanese was appalling. Unlike the Germans, the Japanese did not adhere to the Geneva Convention’s treatment of prisoners of war. The prisoners were severely tortured by the Japanese guards. Ms. Hillenbrand was able to capture the horrific treatment of the Allied POWs. At times, I just wanted to close my eyes and deny that anyone could be treated that way. As I was reading, I kept comparing the POWs to the Jews in Europe. The POWs were routinely tortured, beaten, and executed at any given time. The Japanese even experimented on the POWs. As you read, you are shocked at their treatment.

Ms. Hillenbrand description of the Louis’s torment was heart-wrenching. With every blow he received, you felt a little of his spirit fading away. I find it really incredible that she was able to get Louis and the other men to open up to her and share their horrific stories.

The most compelling aspect of this book is the forgiveness that Louis is able to achieve. The author painted a picture of Louis as a tortured, broken and angry man when he returned from the War. It is truly amazing that Louis was able to feel any kind of forgiveness towards his tormentors. Ms. Hillenbrand vividly described Louis’s journey from total anger to total forgiveness. It is hard to fathom that kind of forgiveness.

After I finished reading Unbroken, I watched a 60 Minutes piece on Louis Zamperini and Unbroken. Both Louis and Laura Hillenbrand were interviewed. First, Louis is still with us at 95 years old and he still has that unbroken spirit. Second, it took seven years to write Unbroken. In all that time, Louis and Laura never met.  All of the interviews were conducted by phone. It is really remarkable that Ms. Hillenbrand was able to capture that confidence with Louis. If you enjoy historical nonfiction, I highly recommend this book.

Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars