Tuesday, September 2, 2014

When life's kicking your butt, how about a theme song? [9]


My friend Robyn from robgirlbooks tasked us with coming up with a theme song each month, and I love it! Music is a VERY big part of my life. This month Robyn has asked that we come up with songs that are oldies. I'm laughing so much because she went with this theme because it's her birthday month. I feel ya lady! Mine's 2 days after her's. This year I'm feeling the age too as my son started middle school and my nephew got married and had a baby of his own.

Zane's Choice:


Jaclyn's Choice:


What are your choices this month??

Monday, September 1, 2014

Re-Read Review: Dark Fever (The Fever Series #1) by Karen Marie Moning


Published: August 28, 2007 Dell
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Source: Purchased
Dark Fever by Karen Marie MoningGoodreads Summary

MacKayla Lane’s life is good. She has great friends, a decent job, and a car that breaks down only every other week or so. In other words, she’s your perfectly ordinary twenty-first-century woman. Or so she thinks…until something extraordinary happens.

When her sister is murdered, leaving a single clue to her death–a cryptic message on Mac’s cell phone–Mac journeys to Ireland in search of answers. The quest to find her sister’s killer draws her into a shadowy realm where nothing is as it seems, where good and evil wear the same treacherously seductive mask. She is soon faced with an even greater challenge: staying alive long enough to learn how to handle a power she had no idea she possessed–a gift that allows her to see beyond the world of man, into the dangerous realm of the Fae….


As Mac delves deeper into the mystery of her sister’s death, her every move is shadowed by the dark, mysterious Jericho, a man with no past and only mockery for a future. As she begins to close in on the truth, the ruthless Vlane–an alpha Fae who makes sex an addiction for human women–closes in on her. And as the boundary between worlds begins to crumble, Mac’s true mission becomes clear: find the elusive Sinsar Dubh before someone else claims the all-powerful Dark Book–because whoever gets to it first holds nothing less than complete control of the very fabric of both worlds in their hands…


“My philosophy is pretty simple – any day nobody’s trying to kill me is a good day in my book.” 


I haven't gone through this series in quite some time, and I don't have any reviews up for it so I wanted to give it another read through.

The Good


Mac on the surface is a girly-girl, Barbie reincarnate. She has the long blond hair, long tan legs, and loves the color pink (along with rainbow hues). However, she's shaken and stirred when she finds out that her sister has been murdered over seas. When Mac goes to Dublin, she literally has no one. She leaves behind grief-stricken parents who aren't really talking and comes to Ireland where she doesn't know a single soul. She's on a quest for vengeance though, so that's of little consequence right now.

Along the way, she meets some truly spectacular characters and sees things that are way out of her league of understanding. She learns of a dark world hidden from her in the small provincial town she grew up in. She's now surrounded with Fae, and boy are these guys scary. Moning's interpretation of the Fae are evil even though they are split into the two courts of Light and Dark (or Seelie and Unseelie), they are all bad. Moning provided such a deep and detailed world with numerous types of Fae, a catalog of mysterious characters, and objects of power with different abilities.

Mac ends up having to work with Jericho Barrons who is an all-around cocky, mysterious, oddly elegant, hard-angled, and truly Alpha male. One of the best things to me is that the characters of Mac and Barrons need a lot of work. They are very flawed in the beginning. Mac is a bit entitled and sugary sweet, and Barrons is too rough around the edges and doesn't care about anyone but himself. Watching Mac grow bit by bit was wonderful. She is still her sun-loving, bikini-wearing, rainbow girl deep inside, but she's also getting new sides to her that are amazing to read about. She's developing hard edges were she needs them. Barrons didn't really grow much in this one, but he has plenty of room for growth as a character and I love him anyway.



The Bad

The beginning was a bit on the slow side. Learning about Mac and her finding out the news about her sister was a little boring, but necessary. Then the trip to Ireland was well detailed for some world-building, but again, just slow. Things picked up dramatically after that though.



The Romance

This series is for an older crowd. There's not much romance to really speak of, but situations are mentioned in detail.


Conclusion

A great start for the series. The information of this abundant world isn't overwhelming, and is easy to grasp. The enigmatic characters make for good suspense because Mac doesn't have a clue who to trust. As a reader, you want her not to really trust anyone because it would be to her detriment. I love the intrigue, the unique world, the detailed and deep descriptions of the Fae, and just how scary they are. Excellent read that I recommend.




Excerpts


“Last night you said you wanted to know what to expect so you could better select your attire. I told you we were going to visit a vampire in a Goth-den tonight. Why, then, Ms. Lane, do you look like a perky rainbow?”

“Sometimes, Ms. Lane," he said, "one must break with one's past to embrace one's future. It is never an easy thing to do. It is one of the distinguishing characteristics between survivors and victims. Letting go of what was, to survive what is.”


“When insane things start to arrange themselves in sane patterns around you, you know you got problems.”  

“You, Ms. Lane, are a menace to others! A walking, talking catastrophe in pink!”  


“I love books, by the way, way more than movies. Movies tell you what to think. A good book lets you choose a few thoughts for yourself.” 


“I wondered what one wore to visit a vampire. The chic red sweater set didn't go so well with my darker hair, and I was afraid it might be construed as a flirtatious invitation to color me bloodier.” 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sunday Cover Scramble [82]


Let's have some fun! I am going to post covers on here every Sunday that are scrambled up graphically, making it hard to tell what cover it is. I would like your guesses on what cover you think I've posted. I won't answer you until I'm posting the next one to let you know if you are right, allowing others to guess as well. Some will be hard, and others may be easy. Let me know in the comments if you'd like some more hints and I'll offer some more if no one guesses it correctly.


I'm changing up the format a little bit! I am going to be pulling covers off the Most Popular Page on Goodreads.




Saturday, August 30, 2014

JC's Bulletin of the Week [2]


Welcome to my weekly Bulletin. This is a place where you will find what's going on at JC's Book Haven lately, what I've found around the blogger world, Book News, and any books that are releasing in the next week.


So ready for the Labor Day Weekend and an extra day off of work!! I hope you guys all have a great one.

Zane will have a science fair project coming up soon, so if you have any ideas for topics to pass along, please let us know!

I'm at that weird point that I'm sure every blogger experiences where I want to read EVERYTHING and I want to read them all at the same time. Not humanly possible, I know, but I am having a hard time picking what I want to read FIRST because there are just so many to choose from.

This week on the blog:

Sunday Cover Scramble
I reviewed Opposition (Lux #5) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Matt reviewed Twisted Reflections (Adventures of Alexis Davenport #2) by Shay West
Character Profile and Giveaway for Skyla Dawn Cameron's River
Matt reviewed The Only City Left by Andy Goldman

Also Matt celebrated his birthday on August 29th, so everyone stop by his review of The Only City Left on Friday and let him know Happy Birthday!


Jessica at A Great Read has a poll up for her Spooktacular Giveaway Hop hosted by I am a Reader, not a Writer. She's asking what book we'd like to see in the goodie bag. The choices are between Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, Dracula by Bram Stoker, Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake, The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey, Doomed by Tracy Deebs, and The Glass Casket by McCormick Templeman.

L.K. Hill posted 'Friday Funnies' with some hilarious pics to get your weekend started off the right way! 



Bewitched Bookworms has Ashley from Nose Graze discussing the Kickstarter project LitRate, an online community for book lovers. She needs your backings now if you are interested in this project! Today is the last day. Check out the deets here.

Did you guys know that Jennifer Armentrout was diagnosed with Retinitis pigmentosa? You can read the interview 'Catching Up with Bestselling Author Jennifer Armentrout'.

Once Upon a Time is coming back for Season 4 with the storyline of Frozen added in. Picking up fresh after the movie, Once Upon a Time will have Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, and some others (no Olaf though!) 
chilling things up on the show. 


  

    

     

    

    



Friday, August 29, 2014

Review: The Only City Left by Andy Goldman


Published: July 19th 2014 by Createspace
Genre: Apocalyptic,Werewolves,Ghosts
Format: ebook
Source: provided for honest review
Goodreads Summary

Eighteen-year-old Allin Arcady only wants one thing: to reach the Roof of the World and see the Sun for the first time in his life. The problem is, he's lost in the depths of the ruined planet-city called Earth, fleeing the horrors of his past.

When his past catches up to him, Allin is thrust into a science fantasy adventure in which he meets a race of genetically-modified cats, tangles with vengeful werewolves, and parlays with cyborgs. Along the way, Allin is forced to decide: will he spend his whole life running or take a stand against the forces that want to finish off the Earth once and for all?

Dad of course, hadn't liked the fact I was afraid of ghosts. First chance he got, when I was maybe eight or nine years old, he found one and forced me to approach it. "Say 'Hello' to it, Allin," he had said.


The Good

There are so many good things about this book for me. To be honest, when I got a few chapters in, it was like I was bitten by a zombie. There was no cure to stop it, the turn, I was now a fan. All I wanted at that point was to reach the roof of the world and it the sun as well. The book has some great fights as well as some fun races. I love the walking, talking cat people. Well most of them. The werewolves as bad guys work very well and I did enjoy how they were able to access the moonlight despite being underground in a hive-like city. There is plenty of other danger to avoid from other monsters to traps set by hungry people looking to lighten your load so you can travel easier. The Future underground city was descriptive and creepy.


The Bad

Honestly my only complaint is I want a book 2 in my hands already.


The Romance

The Romance in The Only City Left is between Allin and a young women named Tyena. The two of them have some complicated history but you can't help but root for them.


Conclusion

This is such a good book. I'm pretty sure there will be a book 2, and I'm dying for it. If there isn't a plan for one right now, I hope that changes. This book has a little bit of everything I need in a book. A good concept, good character development, strong protagonist and quirky sidekicks. Plus, it has a few bonuses, in particular an amazing environment in which the story takes place. I totally recommend this book to anyone that enjoys these things. If you’re on a cold streak, I really recommend The Only City Left as a bad book streak breaker. Trust me on this one.



Excerpts


Furry and child-sized. This was my rescuer?

"I knew exactly where to find you, Allin" Doyle yelled. "I did it once. I can do it again. Are you willing to live in fear until then?"

"How far to Pudlington?"
"Not very. The trick is to figure out where we are first."
"You're lost?"
"No, I just don't know where I am yet," Tumble said.
I failed to see the distinction.

A group of school-kittens led by an exasperated teacher jeered and waved at us, making kissing noises when they saw us holding hands.

Blondie's eyes bulged when he looked behind us and saw no safety in that direction. He skidded to a stop and asked, "Did you wake the dead? Idiots!"


"What's the fifth house?" I asked.
"Gods. Or as close to them as the Earth can afford nowadays."
"You met some gods. Right." So much for the truth.
He scowled at my sarcasm."I have a werewolf army and I came back from the dead, and you find it hard to believe I met some gods?"

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Character Profile and Giveaway: River by Skyla Dawn Cameron



Welcome to my stop on the River Blog Tour. For a list of tour spots and to find out more about River—including the first seven chapters free—at http://skyladawncameron.com/river/
Goodreads Summary

Defiant, nocturnal, moody–though River sounds like a typical teenager, she’s anything but. River’s a werewolf.

The life of an alpha female wolf was irrevocably changed the night she was attacked and bitten, and awoke confused, alone, and human. Three years later, thrust into a world where she doesn’t belong and living in foster care, River barely tolerates humanity and still doesn’t know who bit her or why.

But River isn’t as alone as she previously thought; someone’s been watching her, someone who holds the answers she’s been seeking. And though the human who changed her seems to be a step ahead of her at every turn, River is determined to beat his game and return to her pack and mate.

As if being stuck in a world she hates, with a life she never asked for, and faced with a destiny she doesn’t want wasn’t bad enough, River still must find a way to survive every human’s greatest challenge: high school.

eBook ISBN: 978-1-927966-02-0
Print ISBN: 978-1-927966-01-3

Release Date: August 25 (ebook), September 1 (print)


Buy Links



Nook and Kobo coming soon.

Character Profile


Pure white (though she was of the gray/timber variety), she was a newly risen alpha female in a large pack living in northern Ontario right up until the night she was attacked and bitten. She awoke in a human body.

That of a twelve-year-old.

Found by humans, no one knew who she was or where she came from—this naked and muddy little girl, who nearly drowned in a river trying to get away from people coming to her “rescue”—and she ended up hospitalized. No language skills, no understanding of what had happened to her or why, River was forced into life as a human.

Therapy. Speech work. Fine and gross motor skill development. Yet more therapy. 

Three years later, River lives in foster care as a fifteen-year-old human girl. She’s tall, lean, pale, with white-blonde hair and dark eyes that still betray the animal within her. She loathes human customs, from their unnecessary words that muddle up communication to factory farming (yes, she’s a vegetarian werewolf, though she’d chase down a deer and eat it if people wouldn’t keep stopping her), keeps her speech as monosyllabic as possible, and rejects the common teenage need to belong in favour of growling and glaring at everyone. 

Unable to return to life as a wolf, forced to be without her mate and her pack, tormented by the vague memories of the one who bit her and disappeared, River is convinced she’ll be stuck in a miserable human life forever.

Of course, as the novel begins, all that is about to change. 

About Skyla Dawn Cameron


Award-winning author Skyla Dawn Cameron has been writing approximately forever.

Her early storytelling days were spent acting out strange horror/fairy tales with the help of her many dolls, and little has changed except that she now keeps those stories on paper. She signed her first book contract at age twenty-one for River, a unique werewolf tale, which was released to critical and reader praise alike and won her the 2007 EPPIE Award for Best Fantasy. She now has multiple series on the go to keep her busy, which is great for her short attention span. She is also a proud Writer of Unlikable Female Characters™.

Skyla is a fifth generation crazy cat lady who lives in southern Ontario, where she writes full time, works as a freelance designer, stabs people with double pointed knitting needles, is an avid gamer, and watches Buffy reruns. If she ever becomes a grownup, she wants to run her own Irish pub, as well as become world dictator.

Visit Skyla’s site at www.skyladawncameron.com


- DVD/Blu-Ray combo of Ginger Snaps
- River poster print
- River tote bag
- wolf charm bookmark
- River postcard
- wolf charm necklace
- Animal Speak pocket guide version by Ted Andrews





a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Review: Twisted Reflections (Adventures of Alexis Davenport #2) by Shay West


Published: July 24th 2014 by Booktrope Editions
Genre: YA, Time Travel
Format: ebook
Source: provided for honest review
Goodreads Summary

Alexis Davenport is learning to come to grips with her ability to travel through time, but she still hasn’t been able to stop the evil Drifter and his Master from trying to alter the past.

When she travels back to ancient Egypt, Alex gets a most unexpected surprise; she meets someone who can help her figure out how to use her powers, another Traveler like herself.

But can Alex learn how to control her gift before Drifter finds a way to stop her from meddling in his Master’s plans?

"So you're the little bitch that's been foiling my master's plans. This is getting very troublesome."



The Good

Well I really liked how Twisted Reflections throws Alex a loop...a new traveler named Sean. This new traveler has a master and claims that masters seek out travelers. Where the hell is her teacher right? Drifter does a great job helping you root against him. Really like that in a villain.

The Bad

The Ending for Twisted Reflections just kind of arrives out of nowhere. It didn't feel like a cliff hanger as much as it felt like the word cap was hit and it was time to start book 3.

The Romance

Ah the romance, we get to see her first date and her first kiss. But is her first love her true love? Heck is it love at all? Shall we call it a crush? Hormones? Temporary insanity?

Conclusion

Overall I thought this was a great YA book. The adventure was enjoyable, the characters relatable and the villain hateable. This is a series I can see myself re-reading in the future just because I liked the characters and the concept. I just wish the ending of Twisted Reflections didn't feel so rushed.




Excerpts


Alex felt as though her heart would burst. She giggled and hugged him tight. He said girlfriend!

"Why didn't you ever tell me you were such a Freak?" The look of love changed to one of revulsion and fear.

"It's the master's tome. An ancient text handed down from Master to Master. Each one adds to it as they see fit. There are as many books as there are Masters."

Drifter pinched the bridge of his nose. "I'm thinking we need to stop this plan. The more I learn, the more I realize how much danger I'm in from this girl, And if she has help, then it's even worse for me."