Thursday, January 31, 2013

January "Out of the Owl's Nest" Review

"Out of the Owl's Nest" is a monthly spotlight review centered on a book that I normally wouldn't read, in other words it is anything not typically supernatural/romance/fantasy YA. This month's spotlight review is:
ebooks, e-books, children's books, picture books
Title: Candy and the Cankersaur
Author: Jason Sandberg
Format Acquired: ARC from author for an honest review
Publication Date: June 18, 2012
Publishing House: Jason Sandberg
IBSN: 9780615655796

This is the sweet and funny tale of a young girl named Candy and her Cankersaurus Rex! Candy receives a dinosaur as a gift and is determined 
to train him to be a good pet. This playful homage to Syd Hoff will make all dinosaur-crazy boys and girls happy! Enjoy! 
As a bedtime story Picture Book it’s aimed for children ages 3-6.  As a read-alone Picture Book it’s appropriate for children ages 6-9.

I have never reviewed a children's book, so this is very new for me! I used to love reading children's books when I was a kid and I used to fall in love with the pictures. This book is no different. The illustrations are very eye-catching and if I was still a kid I would definitely enjoy looking at them while being read the story. This is one of those books that might just be a childhood favorite. I would read it to those kids I babysit, that's for sure.

The story itself was very cute and it also had dinosaurs, which is always a plus. I mean what kid doesn't like dinosaurs? If you're a parent looking for an inexpensive read for your child I would recommend Candy and the Cankersaur. It was just too adorable! A must read for pre schoolers and children a like.  

About the Author:
Jason Sandberg, born in Minneapolis in 1971, discovered the artwork of Jacob Kurtzburg in 1977 and soon acquired a love of drawing. He received a Scholastic Art Award before studying History and Studio Arts at the University of Minnesota from 1989 to 1993. Sandberg has had several exhibits in Minnesota and his drawings and paintings were published in various national indy art magazines throughout the 1990s. PREVIEWS magazine described his Pop Art as "base alternative art on mescaline." Critic and historian Scott McCloud classified his art as "uncategorizable," and Alternative Press Review described him as a talented artist who defies expectations.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #9

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

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:
Ashes on the Waves

Ashes on the Waves

By Mary Lindsey

Publication Date: June 27, 2013

Goodreads Summary:

Liam MacGregor is cursed. Haunted by the wails of fantastical Bean Sidhes and labeled a demon by the villagers of Dòchas, Liam has accepted that things will never get better for him—until a wealthy heiress named Annabel Leighton arrives on the island and Liam’s fate is changed forever.

With Anna, Liam finally finds the happiness he has always been denied; but, the violent, mythical Otherworlders, who inhabit the island and the sea around it, have other plans. They make a wager on the couple’s love, testing its strength through a series of cruel obstacles. But the tragedies draw Liam and Anna even closer. Frustrated, the creatures put the couple through one last trial—and this time it’s not only their love that’s in danger of being destroyed.

Based on Edgar Allan Poe’s chilling poem Annabel Lee, Mary Lindsey creates a frighteningly beautiful gothic novel that glorifies the power of true love

So what is your Waiting on Wednesday selection?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Teaser Tuesdays #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 am Currently Reading

"“Cool,” Leoros says. “Doesn’t it look like that stone in the movie Jurassic
Park? When they took the DNA out of that mosquito.”
She looks at her son in astonishment that he can remember these
things, but nothing of real importance, like his homework."

-The Emerald Tablet pg. 45

Saturday, January 26, 2013

DAC#5 Avenging Amethyst [Review]

Debut Author Challenge #5
Title: Avenging Amethyst
Author: Kaitlyn Price
Format Acquired: mobi provided by author for honest review
Publication Date: January 21, 2013
Publishing House: self published

What she discovers is nothing like she could’ve imagined. The stranger’s name is Felix, and he’s part of a race of creatures called Lovac. He tells Avery that she is a Lovac, too, and that they’re the distant descendants of the ancient vampire Nosferatu, along with two other races—the Nesmyr and Zhulik.

However, the Lovac are doomed to insanity, and nearly all of them lose their minds in their early twenties. The only way to be saved from the curse is for a Lovac to find their Dimidium, the one creature that can calm the darkness.

Nightmarish visions, kidnappings, and a lifestyle she never knew existed consume Avery’s life as she begins the search for her Dimidium and to get revenge for her mother’s death.

Ah! Another Debut Author for 2013. I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. I am very glad that I was able to read her Debut because it was surprisingly very good! I started off not really liking the book because I felt like main character was a bit flat. The story starts off with her witnessing the death of her mother, and then she runs away and all she can think about is the locked box that she has to get in order to run away. I just didn't feel like she grieved enough. I mean, if I just witnessed my moms death, the last thing on my mind would be to run away and get my belongings and a trunk from my house. It just didn't seem to make sense to me. Avery, the main character, does end up crying a bit later on, but I still just don;t think it is realistic the way she handled the situation. I think that this is one of the challenges an author faces when they start a story off with a death of a loved one of the main character. I have never been in Avery's shoes, so I don't know how I would react to the situation  but I still think it could have been written a bit better. Anyways, the rest of the story I did enjoy a lot. 

Vampires these days can be a bit overplayed, but the author mixes it up a bit by giving us three different kinds of vampires with three very different lifestyles. There is the Lovac, Nesmyr, and the Zhulik. They are presented in such a unique way, that I really didn't even really believe that I was reading about vampires at all. Although there are a lot of new concepts thrown at the reader, the author does explain them thoroughly so the reader will not be confused. I found myself embracing Avery's new world, just as much as she did herself. 

There is also another category of creatures in the story called Dimidium, and they are for the Lovac. Essentially, they are the soul mates of the Lovac so that they do not end up going crazy from the darkness. You would have to read this yourself to really understand the concept of this, but the gist is that Lovacs cannot be together, they must be with another race(their Dimidium) in order to survive. This presents a problem because Avery and Felix kind of have the hots for each other, but they are both Lovacs. I found myself feeling sorry for Felix because he really was a likable guy. Why can't he be Avery's Lovac, darn it? 

Overall, I found this to be a satisfying read. I loved the author's new take on vampires and I enjoyed the action in the story. Do I recommend? Uncertainly yes! Will I read the sequels? Most definitely!


About the Author:

Kaitlyn lives in Colorado with a house full of crazy animals.

She is a huge fan of vampires, and while they might be overdone, she will still continue to write about them and read any vampire book she can get her hands on.

Stacking the Shelves #1

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme first initiated by Tynga. This weekly segment will showcase the books/galleys/ARCs I've acquired/purchased/borrowed within the week.

This week I have received these from authors to read and review:

I won this book in a contest:

And I acquired these through Netgalley:

Friday, January 25, 2013

DAC #4 Ashes & Ice [Review]

Debut Author Challenge #4
Title: Ashes & Ice
Author: Rochelle Maya Callen
Format Acquired: ARC provided by author for honest review
Publication Date: February 4, 2013
Publishing House: C&C Legacy Publishing
ISBN: 9780988204218

She is desperate to remember.
He is aching to forget.
Together, they are not broken.
But together, one may not survive.

​Jade wakes up with no memory of her past and blood on her hands. 

Plagued by wicked thoughts, she searches for answers. Instead, she finds a boy who doesn't offer her answers, but hope. But sometimes, when nightmares turn into reality and death follows you everywhere, hope is not enough. 

LUST. LOVE. LOSS. Sometimes, all that is left are Ashes and Ice.

I finished this book within a few hours and it left me feeling... in awe. This story took me for a whirlwind and just didn't let me go. I started reading this book with a bit of skepticism because of the writing style. At first, I wasn't sure that I was going to like it because the writing reminded me of poetry. It was very whimsical and descriptive, and I wasn't sure if I liked it, but I kept reading despite this. I am really glad that I did! What I stumbled upon was a young adult book like no other that I have read in my life. This book was unique, and not just in the plot line. The emotion that spilled out of the pages captured my heart. Connor felt real sorrow, and I felt it with him. He was such an ordinary character that I found myself falling in love with him more than the typical macho guys we see in young adult books today.

Jade was another character all together. I kept reading solely to find out just what she was, I was intrigued throughout the book, and found myself frustrated when I didn't exactly understand who or what she was. The author presented her story in a way unlike anything I have read before. I guess I was just caught off guard in Jade's storyline, and I just didn't know what to think. At times I found myself thinking that maybe she was just mental, but what I found out in the end threw me for a whirl.

In the end, I found myself loving this book just because of it's uniqueness and deep emotions portrayed throughout the book. When I finished it, I just didn't know how to feel... and that's normally how I know when I have read a truly extraordinary book. Congratulations Rochelle, you definitely took me off guard on this one. This is a stunning debut that I would recommend to anyone looking for something unique in the young adult world.

I will be participating in the release day blitz for this book on February 4th, so look out for this if you're interested in reading Ashes & Ice.

About the Author:
Well, the short of it is: I grew up with a book under my arm. I frequently read until dawn by flashlight so that no one could see I was up by the light under my door. I scribbled stories in the corners of notebooks and was convinced I would be a novelist one day. And then *BAM* twelve years later it happened!

Hmmm, what happened in that twelve years? I entered high school at thirteen and promptly abandoned my stories and dreams of being a novelist for a path of study that I hoped would make me suitable for political office and would eventually land me in a big white house on Pennsylvania Avenue in D.C. My fervent passion for social & political justice fueled my studies and I did not read a single fiction book (unless my study required) until two years after I graduated college. I worked up to four jobs at a time. Only one stuck: behavioral therapy. I have been a behavioral therapist for the past 8 years and have focused on cases of severe mental illness and autism.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

[Review] Daughter of the Earth and Sky

This is the second book in the series, the first book's review, Persephone, can be found here.
Title: Daughter of the Earth and Sky
Author: Kaitlin Bevis
Format Acquired: mobi for kindle provided for honest review
Publication Date: December 21, 2012
Publishing House: Musa Publishing
ISBN: 9781619372436

Some vows can never be broken.

Persephone thought she could go back to her normal life after returning from the Underworld. She was wrong.
The goddess Aphrodite is born among the waves with more charm than she can control. Zeus is stalking Persephone and her loved ones, and Thanatos is no longer content with Persephone’s silence.

He wants her soul.

Persephone can’t tell anyone about Thanatos’ betrayal, and it drives a wedge between her and Hades. Her mother is still keeping secrets, and Melissa’s jealousy of Aphrodite threatens to tear their friendship apart.
Alone, Persephone turns to a human boy for comfort. But will their relationship put him in danger?
Sacrifices must be made, and Persephone must choose between her human life and her responsibilities as a goddess. If she doesn’t, she could lose them both.
But will either life be worth choosing once Zeus is through with her?

This book was simply amazing  I was pulled in from the beginning and I just couldn't stop reading. In fact, I ended up reading this in less than five hours! Persephone was good, but Daughter of the Earth and Sky was even better! Normally the first novels are usually the best in the series because the author puts more effort into them, but I felt that this book outweighed the original in many departments!

I loved the deeper relationship between Persephone and Hades in this book, and I watched it blossom into something amazing. I found myself smiling along many of the times that they were together. This story was jam packed with action, so it wasn't just a typical young adult romance book. I found myself yearning to find out what happened next and I just had to keep reading.

Persephone finds herself isolated in this book, but her character grows from this. She learns to accept and love her friends and family. Zeus also makes an appearance, and I never really found myself hating him until this book. Can't he just leave Persephone alone? Overall, I found this book enthralling and I cannot wait until the sequel comes out!


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #8

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

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Charm and Strange

By Stephanie Kuehn

Publication Date: June 11, 2013

Goodreads Summary:

Andrew Winston Winters is at war with himself.

He’s part Win, the lonely teenager exiled to a remote Vermont boarding school in the wake of a family tragedy. The guy who shuts all his classmates out, no matter the cost.

But he’s also part Drew, the angry young boy with violent impulses that control him. The boy who spent a fateful summer with his brother and teenage cousins, only to endure a family secret so painful it led three children to do the unthinkable.

Over the course of one night, while stuck at a party deep in the New England woods, Andrew battles the pain of his past and the isolation of his present. Before the sun rises, he’ll either surrender his sanity to the wild thoughts inside his mind or learn that surviving can mean more than not dying.

So what is your Waiting on Wednesday selection?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

[Review] Prince of Wolves

Title: Prince of Wolves
Author:  Quinn Loftis
Format Acquired: mobi for kindle 
Publication Date: June 29, 2011
Publishing House: self Published

Jaque Pierce was just an ordinary 17 year old girl getting ready to start her senior year in high school in Coldspring, Texas. When a mysterious foreign exchange student from Romania moves in across the street, Jacque and her two best friends, Sally and Jen, don't realize the last two weeks of their summer was going to get a lot more interesting. From the moment Jacque sets eyes on Fane she feels an instant connection, a pull like a moth to a flame. Little does she know that the flame she is drawn to is actually a Canis lupis, werewolf, and she just happens to be his mate; the other half of his soul. The problem is Fane is not the only wolf in Coldspring, Texas. Just as Fane and Jacque are getting to know each other, another wolf steps out to try and claim Jacque as his mate. Fane will now have to fight for the right to complete the mating bond, something that is his right by birth but is being denied him by a crazed Alpha. Will the love Fane has for Jacque be enough to give him the strength to defeat his enemy, will Jacque accept that she is Fane's mate and complete the bond between them?

I just.... no. I don't even know how to start on this book because it was just that bad. The writing was horrible, the characters were cheesy and not relatable, and the plot line was overplayed. Let me explain. The main character, Jaque, meets Fane (the so sexy werewolf) and they telepathically communicate the instant they meet. Bear, in mind they meet because she is looking through binoculars trying to find out the foreign exchange guy from Romania who is next door. After he talks to her in her head, she then proceeds to tell her friends. What do they do? They believe her. Hello... this is not realistic AT all. Jaque does freak out a bit, but then she just accepts that the hot guy next door can talk to her telepathically, and it's no biggie. Then later on she decides she wants to lay out on the lawn in a bikini, just because. Fane gets jealous and she then goes back inside after giving him a bow? Weird, okay... moving on. Jaque then finds out that she has these weird markings all over her back and they fit Fane's markings on his back like a puzzle. This is because they are true mates and blah blah blah. 

The rest of the story kind of goes like this...

Fane: I love you my Luna.
Jaque: I love you too.
Fane: We were meant to be together forever and ever and ever and ever.
Jaque: I trust you with my everything.
Fane: Let's bite each other and get this show on the road.

You get the picture right?

The plot thickens later on when another alpha decides that he wants Jaque to be his mate... you know just because. Apparently, girl werewolves can be claimed as property because they are so hard to come by these days. Right....

Anyways, Jaque and Fane declare their love after three whole days of PDA and then Fane fights over her so that he can be with his one true love. This book becomes very repetitive, very fast.

The plot was not the only thing I had a problem with. The whole book has so many writing and grammar mistakes it seems like it was written in a hurry with no editing whatsoever. Also, the jokes portrayed through dialogue are forced and very corny. Jaque tries to be a comedian... but really she can just stop.

The only reason I gave this book two owls instead of one was because of Jaque's friends Sally and Jen. Their dialogue was enough to keep me going. 

Overall I would not really recommend reading this book, but if you want to then by all means go ahead. Just prepare for an onslaught of PDA and lovey dovey ness.


Liebster Blog Award

I was nominated by three blogs, and since I am really honored to not be only thought of once, but three times I figured I should go ahead with the acceptance part. Thank you so much guys! I really do appreciate it! Simply Book was the first blog to nominate me, so I will proceed with her questions:

1. Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog and link back to the blogger who presented this award to you.
2. Answer the 11 questions from the nominator, list 11 random facts about yourself and create 11 questions for your nominees.
3. Present the Liebster Blog Award to 11 blogs of 200 followers or less who you feel deserve to be noticed and leave a comment on their blog letting them know they have been chosen. (No tag backs)
4. Copy and paste the blog award on your blog.

1.  If you could choose to live in one book, what book would it be?
If I could choose to live in one book, it would probably have to be The Vampire Diaries. I LOVE Mystic Falls, and Damon of course. Damon seriously though... who doesn't love him?

2.  You are on a deserted island, and you can choose ONE book.  What book do you take?
If I could only choose one book it would probably have to be Harry Potter (the full series in one book) because I love the series! I know this is technically cheating... but who cares. It is hypothetical anyways right? :)

3.  Why did you decide to start a book blog?
I decided to start a book blog because I love reading and I love to write. Also, every time I saw someones book blog I became jealous so I decided to start my own!

4.  Moment of truth:  Do you judge a book by its cover?
Unfortunately, yes. I know I shouldn't but it just always seems to happen. Sorry books that are awesome but have a blah cover.

5.  Your favorite book is about to be made into a movie.  How do you feel about that?  
Hmmm this one is hard. I like when my favorite books are made into movies because I love movies, but on the other hand I sometimes hate it. When I found out that Beautiful Creatures was being made into a movie I kinda felt a bit betrayed. I just don't like the craziness that surrounds the movies that are made from books. I like to be the  lone fan of the books.

6.  Where is your favorite place to buy books?
I love Barnes and Noble! I love being able to just relax and browse the books in the store, and maybe just sit and read for a bit. I am also currently obsessed with Amazon because of my new Kindle Fire.

7.  Who are your favorite book boyfriends?
Damon Salvatore definitely! Also, I love Draco Malfoy. Daemon from the Lux series comes in at a close third. (I kinda like the bad boys, oops)

8.  Which character would you love to slap and why? *We all have those moments*
I am currently reading Prince of Wolves, and the main character is just... ugh. Seriously. I am going to write a review soon and it is not going to be pretty.

9.  What was your favorite book that you had to read for school?
My favorite book from school was probably Wuthering Heights. Sometimes I do have a classics soft spot.

10.  What is your favorite thing about blogging?
My favorite thing about blogging is the creativity. I love being able to say what I feel and decorate my blog the way I want to.

11.  Which author are you dying to meet?
J.K. Rowling, hands down.
1. I am a junior in college and I just got back from studying abroad in Oxford, England. I LOVED it!

2. I am in love with my dog Hope. I saved her from getting euthanized at the county shelter, and ever since then she has been my cuddle buddy and my best friend.

3. I am obsessed with owls. My college dorm is decked out in them!

4. I want to go to school to be a pediatric oncologist.

5. When I was 14 I started writing a book. I recently found it and have since then started rewriting it.

6. I am in love with marble mocha mocciatos from Starbucks!

7. I am in a sorority at my university.

8. I am a biology major, and I have thought about so many times where I wanted to change majors but I have stuck with it!

9. I am in love/completely obsessed with accents. I love Irish, Scottish, British and Australian accents the most!

10. I have been to Ireland, Scotland, England, France, and Poland. I am somewhat of a travel junkie!

11. My lucky number is 11.

1. Oceana and Lisbeth @ Assorted Insanity
2. The Twins Read
3. Bookaholic Corner
4. Morgan @ Castles Made of Books
5. It's a Book Life
6. Say It With Books
7. Book Wyrming Thoughts
8. Bookshelf
9. The Social Potatoes
10. Patricia @ Night Readings
11. Cory @ Paper. Flutterby

1. If you could be anything what would it be?
2. Who is your literature boyfriend/girlfriend?
3. If you could be any character from any book who would you be?
4. Do you judge a book by it's cover?
5. What does your blog title mean/ why did you choose it?
6. What is the worst book you have read?
7. Have you ever written/read fanfiction?
8. What author are you dying to meet?
9. If you could travel to any place in the world where would you go?
10. Marry, Kiss, Kill- Draco Malfoy, Harry Potter, Ronald Weasley
11. Have you ever considered writing a book?

Saturday, January 19, 2013

[Review] Persephone by Kaitlin Bevis

Title: Persephone
Author: Kaitlin Bevis
Format Acquired: mobi for kindle provided for honest review
Publication Date: July 6,2012
Publishing House: Musa Publishing
ISBN: 9781619372436

There are worse things than death, worse people too.

The “talk” was bad enough, but how many teens get told that they’re a goddess? When her mom tells her, Persephone is sure her mother has lost her mind. It isn't until Boreas, the god of winter, tries to abduct her that she realizes her mother was telling the truth. Hades rescues her, and in order to safely bring Persephone to the Underworld he marks her as his bride. But Boreas will stop at nothing to get Persephone. Despite her growing feelings for Hades, Persephone wants to return to the living realm. Persephone must find a way to defeat Boreas and reclaim her life

I was given this book in exchange for an honest review from the author. I am starting to find that I enjoy Greek mythology books a lot. In fact, they are starting to become my favorite sub genre in Young Adult literature. This book was no exception. I loved the modern day spin on the tale of Persephone and Hades. I loved it even more that Hades is displayed as the good guy with the handsome looks and the mysterious qualities. I honestly think that Hades gets a bad rap, so I was thrilled that he was seen as a "swoon worthy" character in this novel.

At the beginning of the story, I found Persephone to be a bit whiny and somewhat annoying, but throughout the course of the book her character was very dynamic and her attitude and actions of the end of the story were heroic. She really did become a Goddess at the end. There were so many Greek characters in the story that I would have found myself lost if I didn't have my handy dandy kindle with it's own built in dictionary. I think that I found myself caught up in the story and enjoying it more because I was able to look up the Gods and Goddesses. I am not sure how I would have felt about the story without these handy tools.  

One of the difficult things that the writer faces in telling the story of Hades and Persephone is that she cannot make it as much of her own as I would have liked. Because Persephone is such a popular Greek Goddess her myth can only be so creative. I think that Bevis did meet this challenge in a satisfactory way. Overall, I did like this book and I will more than likely read the sequel.


About the Author:
I spent my childhood curled up with a book, and a pen. If the ending didn’t agree with me, I rewrote it. I’ve always wanted to be a writer, and I spent high school and college learning everything I could so that one day I could achieve that goal. I graduated college with my BFA in English with a concentration in Creative Writing, and am pursuing my masters at the University of Georgia.
My young adult fiction novel “Persephone,” will be released this summer. I also write for Athens Parent Magazine, and I have also published several short stories, my latest, Siren Song, is available on