Thursday, September 9, 2010

Hop & Follow Fridays!

This is a weekly event hosted by Jen at Crazy For Books. It's a chance to discover new blogs and to garner new readers for your blog as well.

Justify Full
This Week's Question ...

Post a link to a favorite post or book review that you have written in the past three months.

I don't know if it's my absolute favorite post or review, but I absolutely loved reading Paranormalcy and writing a review, sharing my love for it. So, I'm going to go with that one. You can read my review here.

To join Parajunkee's new feature and make now book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:

1. Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Host { } and any one else you want to follow on the list.
2. Follow our Featured Bloggers.
3. Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing.
4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments.
5. Follow Follow Follow as many as you can.
6. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love...and the followers.
7. If you want to show the link list, just follow the link below the entries and copy and paste it within your post!

Parajunkee's Question this week is...

eBook or Print?

I don't mind eBooks, but I'll be honest and say that I prefer to have actual printed books. If a book is really good, I'll get the eBook and the print - that way, if I'm off at my parents, I'll have the eBooks with me.

TV: Season 2, The Vampire Diaries

This is just a reminder to everyone that may be a fan that Season 2 of The Vampire Diaries starts up tonight on the CW.

Returning for its second season, THE VAMPIRE DIARIES is the story of two vampire brothers obsessed with the same beautiful girl, and battling to control the fate of an entire town. During season one, Stefan (Paul Wesley, "Fallen") and Damon Salvatore (Ian Somerhalder, "Lost"), returned to their hometown of Mystic Falls, Virginia, for very different reasons - Stefan was determined to get to know Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev, the upcoming film, "The Killing Game"), who bears a striking resemblance to Katherine Pierce, the beautiful but ruthless vampire the brothers knew and loved in 1864, while Damon was intent on releasing Katherine from the tomb where he believed she was trapped by a witch's spell all those years ago.

In the season one finale, Elena's uncle Johnathan (guest star David Anders) set a plan in motion that brought the Founder's Day celebration to an end amid chaos, destruction and death, and saw the return of the vengeful Katherine Pierce. Elena's troubled younger brother, Jeremy Gilbert (Steven R. McQueen, "Everwood"), was so devastated by the death of Anna (Malese Jow, "Hannah Montana"), the vampire who befriended him, that he lost all hope and took an overdose of pills. That same night, Tyler Lockwood (Michael Trevino, "Cane"), Matt Donovan (Zach Roerig, "Friday Night Light") and Caroline Forbes (Candice Accola, "Juno") were in a serious car accident while trying to escape the chaos in the town square, and Caroline was rushed to the hospital, her life hanging in the balance. The events of that terrible night will also have long-range effects on Bonnie Bennett (Katerina Graham, the upcoming "Honey 2"), the powerful witch who was Elena's best friend until the vampire brothers came between them; Alaric Saltzman (Matt Davis, "Legally Blonde") the vampire-hunter who has become an unlikely ally for Stefan and Damon; and Jenna (Sara Canning, "Smallville"), who has yet to discover the violence that occurred in her own home.

In season two, the appearance of the villainous Katherine in Mystic Falls will throw a wrench into the love triangle between Stefan, Elena and Damon, and the other residents of Mystic Falls must choose sides as they fall victim to a new breed of danger. New and unexpected friendships will be forged, allies will become enemies, and hearts will be broken. Stefan and Damon will be forced to face a villain more evil and diabolical than they ever believed possible.

Based on the series of books by L. J. Smith, THE VAMPIRE DIARIES is from Bonanza Productions Inc., Outerbanks Entertainment and Alloy Entertainment in association with Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios with executive producers Kevin Williamson ("Scream," "Dawson's Creek"), Julie Plec ("Kyle XY," "Wasteland"), Leslie Morgenstein ("Gossip Girl," "Private") and Bob Levy ("Gossip Girl," "Privileged").

For more information on CW's site about the tv show, go here.

For more information on the books that started it all, go here.

Trailers on Thursday

On a side note: I'm a guest over at The Unread Reader today for Missie's When I'm Not Reading feature. If you want to take a peek into my personal life away from reading, check out the post by clicking here.

Today, I'm going to share with you guys some trailers from some of the releases this week. Hope you enjoy!

New Releases

Review: Halo, by Alexandra Adornetto

Halo (Halo, #1)
by Alexandra Adornetto
Hardcover, 496 pages
Feiwel & Friends
ISBN: 0312656262
ISBN13: 9780312656263

Published August 31, 2010

Nothing much happens in the sleepy town of Venus Cove. But everything changes when three angels are sent from heaven to protect the town against the gathering forces of darkness: Gabriel, the warrior; Ivy, the healer; and Bethany, a teenage girl who is the least experienced of the trio. They work hard to conceal their true identity and, most of all, their wings. But the mission is threatened when the youngest angel, Bethany, is sent to high school and falls in love with the handsome school captain, Xavier Woods. Will she defy the laws of Heaven by loving him? Things come to a head when the angels realize they are not the only supernatural power in Venus Cove. There′s a new kid in town and he′s charming, seductive and deadly. Worst of all, he′s after Beth.

Halo, Halo, Halo … what to say?

I’ll start with the positive. It was a refreshing read that had a lot of promise to it. We’ve had a deal of fallen angels to come into the YA world as of late, but nothing about actual angels sent down from Heaven that have not fallen. It was a fresh idea and I applaud Adornetto on her research and tenacity to write such a book. The cover is also positively stunning.

Having said that.. I read this entire book and felt a little cheated. Bethany, the main character, is an angel sent down from Heaven with two other angels (Ivy, a seraphim and Gabriel, the archangel) to Venus Cove to help bring prosperity back to the town and basically keep the evil out. I found it very disturbing that I read over 300+ pages of an angel in a human body knowing her mission, and all I read about was Xavier and how perfect he is and how complete he makes Bethany feel. Did I mention that Bethany is an angel? Yes, she’s immortal - yet somehow, through the entire book, she plays this damsel-in-distress that cannot be without her knight in shining armor … who is mortal and very breakable compared to those that are immortal. When Xavier is not in the picture, we get to hear Bethany go on and on and on about Xavier. So, really, you never miss Xavier because he is always mentioned.

Looking past that, I just found Bethany as an all-out weak character. She’s a young angel, seventeen mortal years old, yet compared to regular mortals, she is still far superior. She’s spent her seventeen mortal years in Heaven looking down upon the Earth, so she knows the dangers - but she continues to defy every law, rule, and experience that she’s ever known. I don’t care that she’s getting used to her human form - she still has the same brain and she still knows all the consequences of all the actions she makes, and she still makes them. Gabriel and Ivy I would have loved to see more of, yet we’re trapped in Bethany-World where the main attraction is Xavier-Land.

And on a small tidbit of religious research: Michael is God’s second-in-command (so to speak), and it is said that he leads God’s armies. Gabriel is the messenger for God. I know I’m getting specific, but it seems as though Adornetto was getting her archangels a little mixed up. I’m not saying that Gabriel can’t kick major butt, but his image of being a warrior in this book really made me go cross-eyed for a moment.

The other characters … they were tolerable. I liked Xavier, despite all the non-stop dribble that I had to read about him. Molly … well, her character is definitely believable. Gabriel and Ivy stay true to whom they really were (thank goodness!). Oh, and the villain … was pretty much as cliché as it comes. He’s one of Lucifer’s minions, so of course he’s going to dress all in black and be all dark and mysterious, yet completely hot. And of course he’s going to fall for Bethany, because that’s just how it works out.

I find the climax to this story a little disappointing as well, especially when it came to Gabriel fighting. I won’t say anything more for risk of spoiling, but he seemed weaker than what he truly should be.

Like I said, this story’s premise was very promising, but I found it lacking in too many areas. A lot of people like this book, so please don’t take my opinion as gold. Try it out and make your own deductions about it.

The Verdict?

The cover and idea gets more credit this round. The supporting characters also helped with the score I was giving.

On a side note: My husband was very disappointed to hear that I had a book called Halo, only to find out that it wasn't a new book based on the video game.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Review: Almost To Die For, by Tate Hallaway

Almost To Die For (Vampire Princess of St. Paul, #1)
by Tate Hallaway
Paperback, 241 pages
NAL Trade
Published August 3, 2010
ISBN: 0451230574
ISBN13: 9780451230577

On her sixteenth birthday, Anastasija Parker's present winds up being the shock of a lifetime. When her mom referred to her absentee dad as a deadbeat it was actually half true -- he's a vampire. And a king, no less. A king who wants his daughter to assume her rightful position at his side. But, thanks to Ana's mother, the blood of a witch also runs through her veins....

Too bad vampires and witches are mortal enemies.

With her parents gearing up for an all out brawl over her destiny, Ana's about ready to scream. But things get even crazier when a male witch and a brooding bad boy vampire start vying for her affection. Then the barely leashed tension between the vampires and the witches starts to boil over, and Ana has to figure out once and for all if she wants to become heir to her dad's throne. And deciding your eternal destiny is a pretty big deal for a girl who just wants to get through high school.
I have to say the first thing that attracted me to this book was the cover. The two different colored eyes definitely caught my attention. Then -- “vampire”. As soon as I found out it was about vampires, I had to get it to see what it was all about!

I hate to say that Ana’s voice narrating the story took a few (fifty or so) pages to get used to. I understand writing first person POV like an inner monologue, but some of it was a little too immature for my taste. However, once I could look past that, I actually found her voice and made up words endearing to her character.

The other characters were well fleshed out and fun to interact with in the story. The bad guy was a douche, as expected. The best friends stayed friends, though there was definitely some tension in the story - as there is in real life with some friends some times. I have to say that I was a little surprised with Nik’s reaction to vampires, especially after he seemed bitter at first to know he had to follow in his father’s footsteps. So, when he went all anti-vampire, I was a little baffled. I loved Elias and can say nothing wrong about him - though, like Ana, my feelings for him conflict with Nik’s… as I heart them both equally.

I’ll have to say that the climax was a little anti-climatic for me. I thought it was good, but the author spent so much time building up the story to that point, it seemed very rushed and short… almost like an afterthought. I like more action in my climax - more airtime. However, this is the first book in a series, so maybe this book is just building to even more awesomeness in the next? I sure hope so!

The Verdict?

Waiting on Wednesday

by Cynthia Hand
Hardcover, 440 pages
ISBN13: 9780061996160

To Be Released: January 4, 2011

In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees. . .

Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what it is, though, isn't easy.

Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place--and out of place, at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.

As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make--between honesty and deciet, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?

I have to say: After reading Halo (Alexandra Adornetto), I'm needing some redemption in the "angels" department. I don't know if this will be it, but I'm willing to try.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

30 Days of Insight: The End

It is now past Day 30 of 30 Days of Insight, inspired by Lost in YA Wonderland. With one last big post, I'll post the remaining days left that I have neglected. Sorry for the inconvenience, but I thought this would be better than doing all of them in individual catch-up posts.

Day 19
A passage from a book that has touched you.

I think I find ways for a lot of passages to be meaningful. I can't quite recall them. I can say a book that has touched me is A Walk To Remember, by Nicholas Sparks.

Day 20
A band that you immediately liked and the song that made you like them.

Oooh, Deadstar Assembly had me at their cover of "Send Me An Angel", originally by Real Life. Then, the rest of their music kept me hooked. I love their sound! (Missy TidBit: I secretly have a small inkling of a crush on the bassist, The Dro.)

Day 21
Your favorite medium of art.

I lurrve (which is love to the umpteenth power) working in oil pastels! Their mixing capabilities compliment your every desire for shading and blending. They can also be blended as smoothly as you'd like, or stay as roughly textured as you wish.

Day 22
Someone you would give your life up for without question.

My husband, Nick. My parents. My godfather, who is like my second dad. I love them all so much that, if it ever came down to it, there'd be no doubt in my mind that I'd give my life up for them.

Day 23
Most awkward first impression you feel you've ever given.

The time my friend introduced me to her new friend and her husband, who happened to be my very first boyfriend who I was kind of serious about. It was pretty awkward.

Day 24
Something you did as a child that other people remember you for.

On one of my family trips to Montana to visit my uncle, I fell into the pool reservoir beside of the dam - which was nothing more than stale pond scum. The sides were cement and covered in slime, so I couldn't get out so my cousin had to go get help. She ran back to the house telling everyone I had falling into the dam, so everyone thought they were going to rescue a body. All I remember about it was being covered in leeches. Ugh.

Day 25
Something you would do if no one stopped you or if you knew you wouldn’t fail.

Write books. Lots of them.

Day 26
Your definition of love.

Just love, or true love? Love is complicated, yet the simplest thing to fall into. You can love many people. Love can manifest from a lot of things, from a common interest to just an instinct. True Love is that love that sets itself apart from regular love. True Love is that love that you feel for one special person. They're your other half. You're so similar, yet so different at the same time. You challenge one another. This love doesn't come easy, but once it's there - it's the easiest thing to stay in.

Day 27
Your definition of the meaning of life.

Experience. Life is your chance to fulfill all of your dreams, or at least attempt to.

Day 28
A moment you remember being completely happy in and a description of why you believe you were. What is your definition of happiness?

I think when I felt overwhelmed when I was laid off and unemployed. I was so down on myself, I felt like a huge disappointment. Then, I took out a peace of paper and wrote down all that I have been blessed with in my life. Once I realized just how fortunate I was, I had this huge wave of contentment to wash over me. Knowing what I have and what all I can do with that made me the happiest I've been in quite some time.

Day 29
What you live for.

Life. I live for the things I can experience with my time here on earth. Love. I live for the ones that I love and the ones that love me back.

Day 30
Ways you believe you have grown over the past thirty days.

Even though I haven't posted this religiously every day, it has actually helped me to become more disciplined with my posting. I've also gotten in touch with parts of me I may have forgotten that have been screaming for attention.

2010 Series Book Releases: September 5 - September 11

September 6, 2010

The Body at the Tower by Y. S. Lee (#2 in Agency)
The Counseling by Marley Gibson (#4 in Ghost Huntress)
The Truth Is the Light by Vanessa Davis Griggs (#4 in Blessed Trinity)

September 7, 2010

A Hand to Hold by Kathleen Fuller (#3 in Hearts of Middlefield)
An Artificial Night by Seanan McGuire (#3 in October Daye)
Assassin's Heart by Monica Burns (#2 in The Order of the Sicari)
Atlantis Betrayed by Alyssa Day (#8 in Warriors of Poseidon)
Beverly Hills Maasai by Eric Walters (#2 in Alexandria of Africa)
Buzz Off by Hannah Reed (#1 in Queen Bee mystery)
Chains of Fire by Christina Dodd (#4 in The Chosen Ones)
Cold As Ice by Sue Henry (#13 in Jessie Arnold)
Cross Your Heart by Michele Bardsley (#7 in Broken Heart, Oklahoma)
Deadly Daggers by Jim Lavene (#3 in Renaissance Faire Mystery)
Dexter is Delicious by Jeff Lindsay (#5 in Dexter)
Dragon Storm by Bianca D'Arc (#3 in Sons of Draconia (Dragon Knights II))
Driven to Ink by Karen E Olson (#3 in Tattoo Shop Mystery)
Getting to Happy by Terry McMillan (#2 in Waiting to Exhale)
Healer's Choice by Jory Strong (#3 in Ghostland World)
Immortal Sea by Virginia Kantra (#6 in Children of the Sea)
Last Dragon Standing by G. A. Aiken (#4 in Dragon Kin)
Liar, Liar by K J Larsen (#1 in Cat DeLuca Mystery)
Loco Motive by Mary Daheim (#25 in Bed-And-Breakfast Mysteries)
No Mercy by Sherrilyn Kenyon (#19 in Dark Hunters)
Riding The Night by Jaci Burton (#5 in The Wild Riders)
Royal Blood by Rhys Bowen (#4 in Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie)
Scoop to Kill by Wendy Lyn Watson (#2 in Mystery a la Mode)
The Darkest Hour by Maya Banks (#1 in The Kelly Series)
The Dragon's Mark by Alex Archer (#26 in Rogue Angel)
The High King of Montival by S. M. Stirling (#7 in The Emberverse)
The Spider's Web by Margaret Coel (#15 in Wind River Novels)
The Tale of Oat Cake Crag by Susan Wittig Albert (#7 in Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter)
The Thorn by Beverly Lewis (#1 in Rose Trilogy)
The Truth of Valor by Tanya Huff (#5 in Confederation)
The Witch of Hebron by James Howard Kunstler (#2 in World Made by Hand)
Tome of the Undergates by Sam Sykes (#1 in Aeon's Gate)
Trail of Blood by Lisa Black (#3 in Theresa MacLean)
Vampire Trinity by Joey W Hill (#6 in Vampire Queen)
Veil of Shadows by Shiloh Walker (#13 in Hunters)
Veil of Shadows by Shiloh Walker (#2 in Veil)
Vermilion Drift by William Kent Krueger (#10 in Cork O'Connor)
Vipers by Lawrence C Connolly (#2 in Veins Cycle)
What Distant Deeps by David Drake (#8 in RCN-Danial Leary)
Zero History by William Gibson (#3 in Bigend Books)

September 8, 2010

A Gift from Home by C H Admirand (#4 in Irish Western)
Cat Burglar Caper by Carolyn Keene (#27 in Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew)
Dark Moon of Avalon by Anna Elliott (#2 in Twilight of Avalon Trilogy)
Death on a Budget by Michael W Sherer (#6 in Emerson Ward)
Hazards of the Game by Norma Tadlock Johnson (#3 in Cedar Harbor Mystery)

September 9, 2010

The Dark-Hunters Vol. 3 by Sherrilyn Kenyon (#3 in Dark-Hunter Manga)
The First Wife by Tara Taylor Quinn (#1 in Chapman Files)
Wired by Robin Wasserman (#3 in Skinned)

September 10, 2010

Conquest Earth by William Manchee (#3 in Tarizon)
Proof of Life by Misty Evans (#3 in Super Agent)

September 11, 2010

Money or Love by Barbara Cartland (#3 in Pink)

2010 YA Book Releases: Week of September 5th

As per usual, click on picture to be directed to Goodreads. Clicking on the link takes you to Book Depository.

Teaser Tuesdays!

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB @ Should Be Reading.

· 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 author and title, too, so that the other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers!

Halo, by Alexandra Adornetto

“Hi,” he said with an open smile. “Nice night for a walk.” My brother and sister only nodded in response and didn’t move. I decided it was too impolite not to respond and stepped forward.

“Yes, it is,” I said. I suppose this was the first sign of my weakness—my human curiosity drew me forward. We were supposed to interact with humans but never befriend them or welcome them into our lives. Already, I was disregarding the rules of our mission. I knew I should fall silent, walk away, but instead I gestured toward the boy’s fishing reels. “Have you had any luck?”

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