Saturday, November 30, 2013

Review: The Legend of the Blue Eyes by B. Kristin McMichael

reviewIt's been a few months since I've read a YA paranormal. I MISSED YOU!!! The Legend of the Blue Eyes is an intriguing tale about night humans. It's nice to read a books that doesn't refer to them as vampires and werewolves and all the classes of night humans have different names. It was exciting to read about each of them; what their powers were, what they need to survive and some of their weaknesses. The main character Arianna can't remember her life before she was taken in by her aunt and uncle. She has many unanswered questions about her life before and can't seem to get any answers. Soon enough she finds out she's not quite human and her whole life has not been what she believed. I'm glad she isn't one of those characters that whines about her newfound heritage and powers. Yes, she's a little hesitant at first, but who wouldn't be. Character growth is absolutely essential for me when reading and Arianna proves to be worthy.

As far as the romance goes, I thought it would be another teeny bopper love triangle. Oddly enough it works for me. For her kind it's completely acceptable to have multiple "keepers." I'm trying so hard to keep this spoiler free so I'll leave it at that. I will tell you that she's better behaved than I would be. Turner can call me anytime LOL.

The world building is phenomenal! It kept me glued to the pages, wondering what would happen next. I couldn't help but love all of these characters. The book does end with a few unanswered questions, which is totally fine by me. What good would a series be if it's left with a satisfactory ending anyway? You've got to leave em hanging!!

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author
Originally from Wisconsin, B. Kristin currently resides in Ohio with her husband, two small children, and three cats. When not doing the mom thing of chasing kids, baking cookies, and playing outside, she is using her PhD in biology as a scientist. In her free time she is currently hard at work on multiple novels. Every day is a new writing adventure. She is a fan of all YA/NA fantasy and science fiction.

 


http://www.bkristinmcmichael.com/


https://www.facebook.com/bkristinmcmichael


https://twitter.com/bkmcmichael


https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6889132.B_Kristin_McMichael

Monday, November 25, 2013

Book Review and Giveaway: Give Me Hope (Reason #2) by Zoey Derrick

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An Angel is he...

From the first moment he saw her, MIKAH BLAKE was seized by an inexplicable need to protect Vivienne Callahan, a fragile but fiery young woman who’s awakened a slumbering power within him. With his encouragement, Vivienne has begun to turn her life around, and things seem to be heading in the direction of a slow but certain happily-ever-after. But that happy ending is side tracked by a rising evil that is determined to destroy her.

When her dark past comes back to claim her, Mikah is caught in a whirlwind of events that lead him down a path he was born into but never understood. Until now.

Can Mikah save Vivienne? Will his love be enough? Will he be able to control his angelic powers and use them to protect his newfound love?

***Content Warning***
While this book does not have physical sexual acts involved, it does however have implied sexual acts, impending sexual acts, and serious discussion regarding past trauma to a PTSD Survivor.

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review
I want to start out my review by warning any potential reader that book one of the series should be read first for the reader to really understand book two.

Ex-boyfriend and con, Riley, has snuck into Vivienne’s apartment and beaten her to a pulp. Riley is the son of a wannabe politician and business man who is bent on covering his son’s evil doing. Carrying Riley’s baby and knowledge of his crimes, Vivienne is a liability he is willing to cover up at any cost, including her life.

Micah is the first to discover Vivienne nearly dead in her apartment. In cahoots with the police detective that was charged to keep her safe and failed, Micah is hell bent on bringing Riley into police custody using all the tools at his wealthy disposal. The supernatural elements of this angelic and realistic romance start to literally pop up on Micah’s sexy back. Between hearing voices, seeing insanely amazing future dreams and events starring Vivienne, and hearing of his mythical heritage rock Micah’s world. While Vivienne heals and Micah makes plan to help her ease into a better future, her feisty personality and will to live cause him to fall further in desperate love.

I loved having the second story in the series given in Micah’s voice. It’s easy to say he’s a very dreamy prince charming and the plug in this second book making him supernatural only makes him more delicious. I look forward to continuing their love story.

authorZoeyDerrick



It is from Glendale, Arizona that Zoey Derrick, writes stories as hot as the desert sun itself. It is this passion that drips off of her work, bringing excitement to anyone who enjoys a good and sensual love story.
 Not only does she aim to take her readers on an erotic dance that lasts the night, it allows her to empty her mind of stories we all wish were true.
 Her stories are hopeful yet true to life, skillfully avoiding melodrama and the unrealistic, bringing her gripping Erotica only closer to the heart of those that dare dipping into it. The intimacy of her fantasies that she shares with her readers is thrilling and encouraging, climactic yet full of suspense. She is a loving mistress, up for anything, of which any reader is doomed to return to again and again.

ONLINE LINKS:


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Friday, November 22, 2013

UtopYA Con 2014 @UtopYAcon #UtopYAcon

BLK_Off_BloggerYup....I've died and gone to heaven!! This was a huge surprise to me this afternoon ^^^. I wish you could see the huge Cheshire Cat grin I've had on my face since I found out this afternoon. In case you've missed the memo, UtopYA is THE convention for women writers of supernatural YA & NA fiction and their fans. It's truly an experience that every reader should have. You can check out UtopYA Con>>here<< and be sure to like their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/UtopYAcon. This years theme is ALIENS!!!


Check out the other Official Bloggers of UtopYA


Delphina of Delphina Reads Too Much


Toni of My Book Addiction


Heather of SupaGurl Books


Kathryn of TSK, TSK, What to Read?


You can buy tickets to UtopYA Con 2014 here:


http://www.eventbrite.com/e/utopya-2014-tickets-on-oct1st-registration-7219041347


I hope to see you all there!!


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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Make Your Blog Pretty #1: Block Quotes



Hey everyone! I talked about doing one of these posts a while ago and never got around to it.If you have a tutorial that you'd like me to cover, comment below or shoot me an email at [email protected]!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Review: Controlling the Dead by Annie Walls

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Love zombies? Strong plot lines? A machete wielding heroine who paints? WHY have you not read this yet? Walk… run… hurry and go buy this book! Kansas and her buddies return for more zombie butt kicking and heart wrenching action in book two of The Famished Series by Annie Walls. Kansas has survived her horror and is trying to heal. She juggles her feelings for Rudy and Mac while trying to rescue just about everyone around her except for her broken self. After traveling with Reese to New Orleans to talk Voodoo with the local priest, Kansas will later earn a surprising gift for her troubles of visiting later in the story.

Returning to the boisterous and rowdy community, Kansas spends the majority of her time lost in booze and trying to recover. Forced into a week of healing, the story shoots off as Kansas starts scheming to save others while fighting her attraction to Rudy. As the group leaves to find the disturbing evidence of those infecting innocents, the band of friends suffers losses and gains equally.


I love, love, love this author’s writing style. Her supporting characters have vivid personalities and their stories intertwine perfectly with the main plotline. I enjoy the author’s easy flow of details and describing a horrorific world without being overly dramatic or gory. Kansas is an easy character to like and a fun, if damaged heroine.



heather

 

 

 

 

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Author of dark fantasy and sub-genres of horror. Voracious Reader and Googler. Lover of dark humor. Horror Buff. Zombie Apocalypse Enthusiast. Loyal Cracked follower. Pinterest Addict. Wife of adoring husband. Mother of a six year old Bruce Wayne. Cook. Maid. Kisser of boo-boos. Ultimate Time Waster. Perfect Procrastinator. Lolly Gagger. Trubie. Cake Decorator. Tea Drinker. Sculpey Sculptor. Girl Gamer. Perfectionist in the art of Facebook stalking. And now, God help me, a blogger. Oh yeah, and a twitter, twatter, tweeter. Well yeah, I'm one crafty bitch.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Book Review & Tour: Enchanced by Courtney Farrell

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Michelle and Seth, brother and sister, are the offspring of the lineage that created The Institution. The Institution’s purpose? Breeding genetically perfect specimens and culling those below standards. Immune to disease, insanely intelligent, and bred to withstand any human weakness, the Enhanced rule the world after the war. Norms, those without genetic engineering and “wild bred,” are kept outside of the wall and used as servants or for sources of amusement. Michelle, Seth, and their band of friends’ worlds are about to end. Seth and his best friend Brian are kicked out of the gated community and forced to band together with a clan or norms. Michelle and her friends race to find out why the boys were sent away and discover previous unknown powers. Discovering love, hate, and the true nature of being human, Enhanced is a fun romp in the dystopian genre.

This book could definitely be included on a “must read” list for young adults who love a bit of sci-fi or dystopian in their reading regiment. Besides a few curse words here and there, the book deals with natural teenager/young adult dilemmas like love, lust, growing up, and raging against adults. I never felt the book halted on the action and the characters had clearly defined personalities. The market is swamped with this genre, but this book holds its own in the saturated market.

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excerpt




Brian could go no farther. Below him, Carissa rounded the corner, sticking close to the only home she ever had.


“Carissa!” he shouted. She hesitated, looking up, and then shook her head at him.


Brian waved wildly. “Wait!” That threw him off balance and he windmilled his arms, trying to stay on his feet. Fresh pigeon droppings made the metal slick, and the Institute’s star athlete failed. He slipped and crashed hard onto the broken pavement Outside. Pain exploded through his knees and back, but he struggled to his feet almost immediately. Bloody abrasions covered Brian’s forearms and knees. Pain screamed from the crushed knee, triggering an animal instinct to hide. He backed into the shadow of one of the little Norm hovels that lined the alley.


He took a deep breath to call Carissa’s name again, but a flash of blue in his peripheral vision stopped him. A couple of Augment security guards lurked in the alley outside the gate. Cooking fires made the air gray with smoke, giving the place an eerie feel. Brian concentrated, trying for a pain block, but these things take a focused mind. He limped around the corner, finally forcing himself into a shambling run. Carissa slipped along ahead of him like she didn’t even touch the ground.


Brian did his best to catch up, but he never got any closer. The cull entered a sunny stretch and he suddenly saw why. Carissa ran for her life, pursued by a man in blue. Pain from Brian’s shattered knee shot up his leg, slowing him down, but he wouldn’t give up. Ahead, the blue uniformed man dropped to a crouch and pulled out a crossbow equipped with a laser sight. Ignoring his injuries, Brian pounded down the alley.


The cull must have seen the little red dot dancing along the wall, because she stopped running and turned around to face her hunter. Sunlight caught her hair, turning it to gold. She spread her arms like an angel, and the bolt took her in the heart. Carissa fell more gracefully than any cull had a right to, dead before she hit the ground.


“No!” Brian screamed. He turned on her murderer. The Augment security chief knelt in the dirt with a second bolt already fixed in his crossbow, aimed right at the boy’s chest. For a moment, neither one moved.


Brian didn’t want to know, but he had to ask.  “Do you,” he gasped for air and spit out blood. “Do you kill all the culls?”


The man’s face crumpled, making him look decades older. “Them fancy genes of yours, they don’t want ‘em mixing with the common folks’.”


“They? Who gave the order?” But Brian already knew.


“Salomon.”


“So there’s no colony of Imperfects…that’s just what they tell the culls, so they go quietly.”


The security chief nodded, his weathered cheeks streaked with tears. “I told ya, boy. Givin’ her food wouldn’t matter none.”


The Augment unexpectedly pivoted the weapon in his hands and held out the stock. Brian snatched it away and leveled it threateningly. The chief clambered to his feet, gripping his knees like an old man, and straightened up to stand at attention. His blue eyes locked fearlessly on Brian’s brown ones. Brian froze, and the man gave him an encouraging nod.


                “Go ahead, son. Do me the favor.” The chief slowly lifted his arms and held them out, just like Carissa had. Strangely, that little movement saved his life.


                Brian couldn’t pull the trigger. Instead, he swung the bow savagely against the Institute wall, beating it over and over until it flew from his hands. Then he walked away, leaving the Institute security chief alone with the body of the first girl he ever loved. At the corner Brian turned and looked back.


“Are y’ gonna tell ‘em?” the chief called down the alley. His voice echoed strangely from the ruins of the old city. “Are y’ gonna tell’em, or will you let ‘em hope?”



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Courtney Farrell was once a molecular biologist, but her habit of daydreaming destroyed far too many experiments. As it turned out, writing down the movies behind her eyes was a lot more fun than lab work. Courtney is the author of fourteen nonfiction books for young people, mostly on social and environmental topics. She lives with her family on a Colorado ranch where they support a barn full of freeloading animals, including a fat draft horse and a bunch of crazy chickens. Enhanced is her first novel.


ONLINE LINKS:




Thursday, November 14, 2013

Book Review: World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks

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I've committed the ultimate reader sin- I watched the movie before I read the book it was based on. Based is used loosely in my opinion. This book was engaging and just real enough to scare the living crap out of me. If zombies swarmed, this book would be fact and not fiction. I synopsis revolves around the oral histories supplied by survives around the world who are interviewed by the author. From American to Antarctica, the history of the world destruction slowly unravels. The book touches on human greed, determination, and our ultimate need to survive whatever is thrown at us. The different viewpoints provided by the interviewees introduce the reader to the various responses of each country and culture's response to the undead take over. I was lucky enough for to listen to the audiobook version. It was glorious and made the creepy, holy crap is this real?! factor, so much closer to home than if I had been creating the voices in my head. Each character has an authentic accent and it's so REAL. I highly recommend the audio version. It's like listening to the oral history of world war survivors and reliving the scene through the painful chords of their personal voice.

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author069de03ae7a00082127ff110.L._V192227666_SX200_



The New York Times bestselling author of The Zombie Survival Guide and World War Z, Max Brooks has been called "the Studs Terkel of zombie journalism."
He lives in New York City but is ready to move to a more remote and defensible location at a moment's notice.
Max Brooks's The Zombie Survival Guide formed the core of the world's civilian survival manuals during the Zombie War. Mr. Brooks subsequently spent years traveling to every part of the globe in order to conduct the face-to-face interviews that have been incorporated into World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Importance of a Book Cover

Whoever says that they don't judge a book by its cover is a liar. What's the first thing you see when you're browsing for books on Amazon? Not the synopsis, the cover. You see a lovely thumbnail of a book that could potentially be your next favorite one. I'm gonna be honest....if I see a book cover that looks hit, I will pass right over it. If by chance I've read the synopsis and liked it then I would consider buying it. Most of the time it's a no unless I've heard good things from other bloggers/readers.

Just because you have Gimp/Paint/Photoshop does not mean you can make a good cover...unless you're professionally trained. I may play around with it but there's no way in hell I'm making a book cover and charging someone for it. There are a plethora of cover designers ranging in different prices that can give you a kick ass cover for your budget. I'll even name a few! Regina Wamba of Mae I Design, Victoria Faye of Whit & Ware, Sarah Hansen at Okay Creations, Alivia Anders of White Rabbit Designs, Eden Crane Design, and Claudia at Phatypuppy Art. I can go on forever but you'd kill me.. I'm sure there will be plenty of people who would wish me bodily harm after reading this post. Anyhoo...there is this great site you can check out that has services for indie authors http://indie-visible.com/.

Here's some examples of what not to do/have as a book cover. I don't want to say that I don't mean to offend people by posting these because that's exactly what it's going to do...offend. I wont ever apologize for my opinion and I'm entitled to my own. I was going to post a bunch that were just terrible but that would be over kill...That would make me a bully. I figured I would post a few and make it a "what not to do" kinda sitch.

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There might be a story behind why this cover is so simple, but I think it's boring and the typography doesn't help.


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This just looks like CGI Barbie


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The smoke/fog whatever just makes it worse


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I'm all for blending but this just didn't work out. Too much going on


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Again with proportions. Would have been a good cover if Hulk wasn't so large


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I came across this one in my travels. You can clearly see there was no skill in making this cover. This model is low resolution and still has white background. I'm sure it was supposed to look electrifying but it just looks tacky.


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This just looks like a stock photo with a transparent color overlay and simple typography.  There's nothing that stands out about it.


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And the dreaded deja vu....it sucks but it happens.


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I wont post a cover of this, but the half naked torso?? Please leave that shit alone. I will not buy it for that cover alone....unless it's got some sexy shiz and everyone wants in his pants.




Love everything about this cover EXCEPT the typography.....yes, that ruins a cover for me. DON'T USE IT!!


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