Saturday, July 26, 2014

Sidekick Showcase [86] - LOYAL AND YELLY


Sidekick Showcase, previously known as Sidekick Saturday, is a weekly bookish meme, hosted here by Jaclyn at JC's Book Haven. There are many secondary characters that are as great as the primaries. In some cases, the sidekicks actually steal the show and you like them better than the heroine or hero. Maybe they didn't have enough page time for how great they were. Anyone can play along! I will post my Sidekicks on Saturday, then whichever day during the week that you would like to post yours, you can put your link in on my page. Just do the following:

• Choose a sidekick *or someone other than the hero or heroine* that you would like to put in the spotlight that fits in the week's topic
• Share a picture (if you can) and information about the character
• Give the title and author of a book the character can be found in
• Please don't include too many spoilers when describing why the character is such a great sidekick
• The day of your post, put your link in below and grab the code for your post so you can see the others that post their's throughout the week as well

Topic ideas for August:
Artistic, Musical, Twins, Humanitarians, have or should have a motorcycle, Adventurer

My choice is Ironhorse
The Iron Fey Series by Julie Kagawa

Ironhorse picture created by Jaclyn Canada

IRONHORSE IS A FEY, A LARGE BLACK METAL HORSE WITH GLOWING RED EYES AND FIRE IN HIS BELLY, THAT IS ACTUALLY INCREDIBLY HONEST. He also really likes to yell so all his dialogue is in caps. He is a lieutenant for Machina and is an enemy to Meghan and group in the beginning of the series. He's beyond loyal to the point where sacrificing himself for his cause is not a problem for him. I found him to be a character I greatly enjoyed in this series. 

Quotes:

“Right. The Briars. Just a second, Princess. Hey, Rusty,” he called, motioning to Ironhorse, who pinned back his ears, “why don’t you walk ahead of us, huh? I want your big ugly ass where I can see it.”



“WORRY NOT, PRINCESS,” Ironhorse said, and I gaped at him, not believing my eyes. Where a horse had been, now a man stood before me, dark and massive, with a square jaw and fists the size of hams. He wore jeans and a black shirt that bulged with all the muscles underneath, the skin stretched tight over steely tendons. Dreadlocks spilled from his scalp like a mane, and his eyes still burned with that intense red glow. “YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY ONE WITH A FEW TRICKS UP YOUR SLEEVE, GOODFELLOW,” he said, a faint smirk beneath his voice. “NOW, GO. I WILL BE RIGHT BEHIND YOU.”



“STOP!” Ironhorse bellowed as Puck immediately pulled out his dagger, shoving me behind
him. “I DID NOT COME HERE TO FIGHT, ROBIN GOODFELLOW. PUT YOUR
WEAPON DOWN AND LISTEN TO ME.”
“Oh, I don’t think so, Rusty,” Puck sneered, as we began backing toward the
edge of the village. “I have a better idea. You stay there until we get to Oberon, who will rip
you apart and bury your pieces so far apart you’ll never get put back together.” 


Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Friday, July 25, 2014

Soul Twister Blog Tour: Review, Character Bio, and Giveaway

Welcome to my stop on the Soul Twister (A Touched Girl #3) by Robyn Jones Blog Tour!

Soul Twister (A Touched Girl Novel #3) by Robyn Jones
Published: July 2014
Genre: Paranormal Romance

Goodreads Summary:

Months into recovering from the bloody events that took place in Soul Bender, Anna Pierce is ready to get back out there and fulfill her self-crafted destiny. Sadly, no one in her life feels the same way. The emergence of buried memories and out-of-the-blue powers send her straight into regular sessions with the school counselor. If only she could talk about her overly protective vampire boyfriend or the real threat posed by former friends turned enemies or her new guide who makes her former guide look like a bowl of sunshine. Anna has a lot going on, but at least she's too busy to think about her first Christmas at Ella's.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22324884-soul-twister?from_search=true


The Good


Anna is still that one-of-a-kind girl. Not only does she make everyone around her fall in love with her, but she does it to me as well. She is extremely quirky, loving, and forgiving.

In Soul Twister, she is visiting a counselor due to insistence. She needs to get past what happened in the last book. Thankfully, she has a ton of family, friends, and vamps that are willing to help her with that. The counselor sessions are some of the funniest parts.

The characters are great. I love every one of them, even the ones I really should hate. Trent grew on me a little more in this one. I've always loved Betsy and her glorious snarky nature that's now rubbing off on Anna. 

It was interesting reading about her doing these normal things like searching for college and going to school dances in the midst of her supernatural life. There were definite supernatural influences at all of those events though.

The Bad


I do get annoyed with how flirty Anna is with all the other guys in her life other than her boyfriend. She's really a kissing girl. It's ingrained on me to hate cheating, so this side of her is difficult for me to read, even if Peter is working to accept it.

The Romance


First, I have to say that I'm so glad Ella has her boyfriend, Ted. It's such a sweet grandma relationship. I also really love Peter and Anna together. They make gah-gah eyes to each other one minute, and stop talking to each other the next minute. It feels like an honest, loving relationship.

Conclusion


The characters are a lot of fun, and it's hard not to love every one of them. The story is interesting and draws the reader in. Jones is great at making the reader really care about what's happening. Recommended for Paranormal readers.

Excerpts

“Peter and I are about to play a game. Don’t help him.”
“Game?” crazy Shopgirl asked.
“A hunting game,” Peter answered. His voice had a new quality to it. He caught me staring and instead of smiling, he held my eyes. “First one wins the bite. I’m going to win, Anna.” (Soul Twister)


I pulled him as close to me as our partially clothed bodies would afford. When I heard him moan and not growl, I whispered how much I wanted him, all of him. It was just the two of us as the world faded away. 
“No more boys in your room!” Ella’s angry voice shattered our tropical magic land. I turned and looked at her with pure bliss stamped on my forehead I was sure of it. 
“Sorry, Ella.” I knew she wanted me off my boyfriend’s lap, but she was standing right there. If I stood up now, she’d see my scars, and it would be just as upsetting for her as it was for Betsy.
“Anna, get off his lap now.” I heard Betsy laughing and then running to the room. 
“Oh, that is so hot.” Peter kept his head facing the opposite direction from our onlookers, but I felt his stifled chuckle. 
“Ella, if you step out, I’ll get dressed.”
“You’re shy now?” (Soul Twister)


At the front door, the smell of too many vampires hit me. How many were in Peter’s house? It was candy land in there. The door opened just as I reached it. If Jared had been the one standing there, he would have imitated my girly yelp. Peter took one look at me and growled.
“I was hoping to clean up here,” I said, soaking in the sight of his beautiful face.
“You’re bleeding.” The various stings just started making their appearance. It was easy to lose track of injuries in the middle of a skirmish.
“So may I come in?” 
“We’re having a meeting.” It was my turn to growl. He didn’t want me to hunt. I had to. He would not win this argument. I decided this was as good as any place to have it out. My fists settled on my hips. Through his anger and worry, I caught a glimmer of amusement. Maybe it was the porch light bouncing off the yellow flecks in those dark eyes, but I decided it was a smile deep down he tried to hide. (Soul Twister)




Character Bio: Peter

Name: Peter Davis

Description: Shoulder length straight dark hair, rich light brown skin, according to Anna smells like peaches and the ocean, she likes the bursts of yellow in his dark eyes

Common quirks: Anna makes him blush

Family: None (who are still alive)

Girlfriend: Anna Pierce without question no matter their current status

Hobbies: Making out with Anna, hunting evildoers, watching over Anna

Favorite stress reliever other than making out with Anna: hunting, drinking, draining

Quote: “I know you, who you are, your favorite things. I know what makes you dance and twirl, what makes you clap and squeal.”
“I do not squeal.” I went to slap his chest, but it was bare and hot and so soft, so instead I stroked it. He laughed until I kissed that chocolate brown skin.
“You squeal and giggle and blush like any other girl in love. You love me, Anna. So much.”




For a limited time, the First 2 Touched Girl novels are on sale for $.99 at Amazon!

Purchase Links:     Soul Walker |    Soul Bender |    Soul Twister




About Robyn Jones:


I laugh when people fall down. It's a glitch in my programming, but even my mom has suffered this quirk. I have a BA in Studio Art from the University of Puget Sound. My boys make me laugh every day. I steal pens; I try real hard not to. I collect those free bookmarks at the checkout counter at libraries. I've had more stitches than anyone I know. I love stories; writing them, reading them, watching them. You can email me at robgirlbooks@gmail.com.


Blog / Twitter / Goodreads

Giveaway: 8 Winners!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Review: Win the Rings by K.D. Van Brunt


Published: May 7, 2014 Evernight Teen
Genre: YA, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Shapeshifters
Format: ebook
Source: Purchased
Goodreads Summary

Jace has been the property of the U.S. Army since they found out about her when she was five, and now she has become one of its most valuable weapons. But Jace is not the only one of her kind. Gray is one too, but with the help of his sister, he has spent most of his sixteen years hiding from the Army. Now, the Army has found out about Gray and they cannot allow him to roam free. Operating on the theory that it takes one to catch one, Jace is send out with a special ops squad to hunt Gray down. But Jace is not the only one pursuing Gray, and the competition is after her too. What ensues is a desperate chase through city after city as duty and honor collide with love and sacrifice.

"It's simple. If things go bad, Nia over me. Promise?"


The Good


Where to start? I love the characters, so we'll start with them. The writer lets us get to know them just enough so we can like them and form opinions about them, but not get smothered in their life story. He also does a really good job of balancing enough characters to fill multiple scenes in multiple locations without drowning you in names that you just don't care about. Not once did i find myself having to back track to try and remember who someone was and how they related to the story line. Which is important to me when you have so many named faces. I thought he did an outstanding job in this aspect of the book.

I love how their power works. Not only do they take the form of who they shift into but they get thoughts and memories and can even pull items that are in their pockets through the contact into their own pockets.

I do want to touch on two characters in particular, Jace and Grey. Jace, because she just may be one of my favorite female bada**** of all time. I love how she doesn't look for trouble, and in her own way she even tries to give those who mess with her a way out. But when they push, or are too dumb to see the gesture for what it is, she goes full on. Cobra Kai and shows no mercy. Then with Grey, you have this kid whose grown up on the run with his older sister. They've survived by stealing from dishonest people. Kind of the Edward Cullen 'only eat serial killers and rapists' motto. And it works for them, but Grey still tends to make mistakes as he is only sixteen. The thing i like about Grey is he comes off as the crafty, sarcastic look-out-for-the-little-guy type even if it means he gets hurt in the process. The possibility of Jace and Grey teaming up, her the fighter and him the sneaking street-smart mouthpiece, with equal billing intrigues me to no end.

I loved the pace of the story as I was able to pick it up and read right through to the end in two sittings. Would  have been one, but work got in the way. I never found myself hoping he would just get on with it. It's not cover to cover action, but at the same time, it had the potential to have a fight break out at any given moment which I enjoyed. He did have a few surprises for me with some of the characters. One in particular he got me to like and root for where before I thought I didn't care for them at all. Yeah i didn't see that one coming. While he has the obvious good and bad guys, he did a phenomenal job mixing in the hidden mole or moles leaving you wondering who will betray who. Plus, I'm wondering what other abilities will show up since we've seen more than shape-shifting already.

The Bad

My gripe is how easy Jace understood relationship issues. I get she leads the girls and had for a long time, but she didn't really like them and did distance herself from them. Most of them seem to dislike her. So with her growing up in the army's care since she was 5 years old and never having been in a relationship or seemingly having an interest in one, she handled their problems like an old pro. Small gripe and something she may have picked up from the old leader before she graduated, but it still read off to me just a bit.

The Romance

Well in book one, it's more about the love than the romance. While there are a few short relationships, the only one that stands out is the brother/sister relationship of Grey and Nia. So as I said, not really romance but love does effect a good portion of the choices made in the book. I really like the way he handled it as well. The way Nia treats Grey feels so natural it's as if the writer just observed a brother and sister in this situation, but I'll assume he doesn't know anyone on the run from the law, and if he did that they didn't invite him along to observe them just for his book. Let me just end this part by saying the brother and sister bond is something I look forward to the most in the next book.

Conclusion

Money well spent. I would recommend this book in a heartbeat to anyone that enjoys the paranormal/fantasy genre. I'm really looking forward to the next book in this series and seeing how the characters develop. Win the Rings has become an instant favorite of mine. It's worth reading over and over again. Until part 2 is out, I'll just chill on this cliffhanger he left us on. Don't worry there's plenty of room for you to join me.




Excerpts


"Just tell me, are you like an alien, like that salt monster on Star Trek?"

"Shifters are valuable. There are groups that would pay an arm and leg to get one."

"I try to skim, and I'm good at skipping over the bad stuff in their minds, but still I've seen too much pain and agony that people store up inside. I've seen brutality, abuse, infidelity, and more. Everyone has skeletons locked away in their closet- one skeleton in my closet is that I'm a Peeping Tom." 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Excerpt of LOST IN STARLIGHT by author Sherry Soule


When Romeo and Juliet Go Intergalactic!

Today author, Sherry Soule has some exciting news to share with us! She just published a brand new novel, LOST IN STARLIGHT (paranormal romance with a Sci-Fi concept). 

To help promote this interstellar love story, Sherry is doing this guest post to share the news with fellow booklovers. 
Enjoy one her favorite character moments!

Hayden’s expression warms. “You’re a fascinating girl, Sloane.”

I flash him a smile. “You have no idea.”

He reaches out and his large hand holds my smaller one for a brief instant. My heart starts bouncing around my ribcage like a ping-pong ball. I lean back. Safety in distance.

“Besides a love of scary movies, hanging in graveyards, and eating cheeseburgers, what do you like to do?” he asks.

“I don’t know…stuff like reading graphic novels or shopping with my friends. And sometimes I like to stay up late and watch zombie flicks while munching on popcorn. The usual.”

“A lot of people are into vampires right now. So why are zombies your favorite?”

Ah, a topic I love chatting about!

“They just are. I mean, sure, vampires are way cooler, but zombies are so much creepier. Bloodsuckers have nothing on flesh eaters when it comes to giving me a good scare. I think it’s because vamps are mythical creatures, and in an apocalyptic scenario, zombies actually seem much more realistic and scientifically possible.”

“You have an apocalypse emergency plan ready?”

 “Oh, yeah. Learned all I need to know by watching The Walking Dead.” I wink at him. “I always kind of figured if there was an actual virus outbreak it would be like a form of rabies. Makes more sense, you know? I have a pack full of stuff in our garage, several bottles of water, some non-perishable food, first aid supplies, duct tape, Army knife, and a blanket. Even mapped out an evacuation route from my house to the woods.”

Hayden shifts and turns toward me. “I’m impressed. You can definitely join my survival team.”

“Ha! You can join mine. The control-freak in me has to be the leader. If you’re cool with that, then we can join forces.”

His lips twitch into a slight smile, his eyes crinkling at the corners. “So, which Walking Dead character would you be?”

“Michonne—duh! That chick is just all kinds of badass samurai.”

He shakes his head, that small smile still gracing his lips. “Do you even know anything about handling swords?”

“Nope. But I’m a quick study.” I twirl my straw. “What about you?”

“Ah, Carl is freakin’ hardcore. But I guess, Daryl, because he’s more of a rebel and survivalist. And that crossbow? Awesome.” 

High school is tough. Romance with a sexy alien—even tougher.

Star reporter Sloane Masterson knows she has one helluva story when she witnesses hottie Hayden Lancaster bending forks with his mind.

Like any good journalist, Sloane sets out to uncover the truth, even if it includes a little stalking. When the superhuman feats start to pile up and the undeniable heat rises between them, Hayden has no choice but to reveal his secret: he’s an alien hybrid.

They’re as different as night and day—she’s a curvy, purple-haired, horror junkie and he’s a smoking hot, antisocial, brainiac—yet the intense fascination between them refuses to go away. Even at Hayden’s insistence that dating each other is “off limits” and dangerous, their fiery attraction threatens to go supernova. 

Now Sloane’s dealing with creepy government agents, ├╝ber snobby extraterrestrials, and a psycho alien ex-girlfriend out for revenge. After a crash course on the rules of interstellar dating, Sloane must decide if their star-crossed romance is worth risking her own life....

Buy LOST IN STARLIGHT



Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Review: City of Heavenly Fire (Mortal Instruments #6) by Cassandra Clare


Published: May 27, 2014 Margaret K. McElderry Books
Genre: YA, Paranormal Fantasy
Format: ebook
Source: Purchased
Goodreads Summary

In this dazzling and long-awaited conclusion to the acclaimed Mortal Instruments series, Clary and her friends fight the greatest evil they have ever faced: Clary's own brother.

Sebastian Morgenstern is on the move, systematically turning Shadowhunter against Shadowhunter. Bearing the Infernal Cup, he transforms Shadowhunters into creatures out of nightmare, tearing apart families and lovers as the ranks of his Endarkened army swell.

The embattled Shadowhunters withdraw to Idris - but not even the famed demon towers of Alicante can keep Sebastian at bay. And with the Nephilim trapped in Idris, who will guard the world against demons?

When one of the greatest betrayals the Nephilim have ever known is revealed, Clary, Jace, Isabelle, Simon, and Alec must flee - even if their journey takes them deep into the demon realms, where no Shadowhunter has set foot before, and from which no human being has ever returned...

Love will be sacrificed and lives lost in the terrible battle for the fate of the word in the thrilling final installment of the classic urban fantasy series The Mortal Instruments!

So much magic, Clary thought, and nothing to mend a broken heart.


This is the ending to a series that I quite enjoyed.

The Good


All the characters that I've come to love through the course of the series get their time to shine in City of Heavenly Fire. All of them have a conclusion of some kind, whether it's death or a Happily Ever After. I appreciate knowing how all of them turned out. Like the 3rd installment, the main group is in a different setting for the majority of the story. All the places they visit are well-detailed and pull me in like I was there myself.

The plot kept my interest. The villain this time around is phenomenal. In the first few books, the group is up against Valentine, a Shadowhunter who is driven by ideas of grandeur. He was obsessed with ruling and ridding the world of Downworlders (vampires, werewolves, fae). Now, the group faces Sebastian, who is a Shadowhunter with demon blood. Sebastian, to me, is far more terrifying. He doesn't even have the capacity for love or empathy. He truly doesn't think like a human, even an evil one, at all and he wants to destroy the entire world.

There was a nice twist thrown in that I didn't see coming. I thought I knew what was going on. There was no way it could have played out the way that I was reading it, but I had no clue. I love being tricked.

The Bad

There are a few characters that show up over and over again that were never in any of the previous books. I was getting really agitated with the story switching to their POVs because I was not invested in their outcome. I finally realized that Clare must be using these characters in her next book. I did a quick Google search, and that was confirmed.

The Romance

There are some huge breakthroughs and setbacks in the relationships in this story. Jace and Clary thankfully got to spend an entire book together so that was absolutely fantastic. It was a great change to get to see their dynamics while actually in a working relationship. Simon and Isabelle, however, had some huge setbacks. I won't spoil there, but it definitely made for some interesting drama while reading. Alec and Magnus? Well, you'll have to read to find out.

Conclusion

So glad that I got to see how each of these characters end their time in the spotlight. Clare isn't afraid to kill someone off, and in the same paragraph give someone else an HEA. The twists and turns were fantastic, but the repetition of characters I hadn't seen before was boring. The villain is phenomenal, and the suspense was real. Recommended.




Excerpts

"Heroes aren't always the ones who win," she said. "They're the ones who lose, sometimes. But they keep fighting, they keep coming back. They don't give up. That's what makes them heroes."

"So what's their plan, hitting Sebastian over the head with Jace until he passes out?"

"Valentine Morgenstern nearly wiped out the Shadowhunters, and his son is twice as clever and six times as evil. And he will not come alone."

He doubled over. Something hot had lanced through him, through his shoulder down through his guts, like a spear of fire. He hit the ground on his knees, crying out.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Welcome to Heena and Matt

Hey everyone! I'd like to introduce two new reviewers for JC's Book Haven. I'm so excited about them joining! It will really help me out with all the review requests. Please join me in welcoming Heena and Matt:


I’m a 23 year old curious soul. I live in Pune, Maharashtra, India.

I’m married. I have a very loving husband who is an infinite source for my strength.

I studied for two years in engineering college (Electronics & Comm. Engineering). I hated it, dropped out, and got a B. Com. degree. I've also done 3D Animation Film Making from Big Aims. Leaving engineering is the best decision I've ever made. And so, I've made a promise to myself to never ever do something that I don’t really like, no matter what.

I am an avid reader and being opinionated serves me well to be a reviewer. I read & review pretty much anything that is Adventure, Apocalyptic, Classical, Crime, Dystopia, Factual, Fantasy, Horror, Literary-Fiction, New Adult, Paranormal, Philosophical, Romance, Science-fiction, Suspense, Thriller and Young Adult and any new genre that I might find interesting, except political and erotica.

I’m exceptionally difficult to offend, and I have few scruples about what I read, so as long as the fiction falls loosely within the mentioned categories, I’ll be happy to review it!

I am quite bold regarding the reviews. I don’t have a problem saying anything from “I just didn’t like it", to “This book was awful”! I don’t care, because for me it’s very important to be honest about my views. Besides, I feel obligated to give an accurate review.

Besides reading, I love writing, singing, baking, watching random movies, cartoons, sleeping, etc. I love dancing more than anything and my dream is to learn all forms of dance.

I love dogs, specially German Shepherds and I'm strictly against animal abuse!

I like playing action-adventure games on Play Station (PS-3 and PS-4) and some favorites are God Of War  (series), Infamous (series), Batman (Arkham series) and Sly Cooper. I love f.r.i.e.n.d.s. and Sienfield the most.

I do believe that books are better than movie adaptations. And trust me GoT (ASOIAF ) books are way better than GoT TV series!

I'm a football lover and my favorite teams are Germany and Netherland. My favorite clubs are- Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

I’m a Hindu Rajput. I don’t mention that often because that’s not the point, but probably my faith impacts my opinion on certain novels.

So there’s a little more about me… in case you were wondering, and maybe you weren’t.



Connect with Heena: Twitter | Goodreads






How to explain me? My name is Levis Matthew Ely, and I go by Matt...it's just easier. I grew up a navy brat, where either I was moving, or my friends were so I had plenty of time to read while trying to make new ones. I grew up Adventuring with Edgar Rice Burroughs (Conan, John Carter, Tarzan) and Louis L'Amour (the Sackett's, Talon's and Chantry's). Then around Age 11, I Stumbled onto Dragonlance and Forgotton Realms. I slowly transitioned into a more sci-fi realm with Enders Game and Star Wars novels.

Well, it all leads to what you have here today. I love to read pretty much anything that can grab my attention and hold it. I prefer sci-fi or supernatural, but crime, thriller and horror have all found their way onto my shelf more then once. Combine some of those together, and I'm more than likely gonna dive in and give it a read. In the last 5 years, the only series I didn't finish on purpose, if you can believe it, is Game of Thrones. Yeah I know, burn the witch.. But hey, it just wasn't my cup of tea.

Genres I enjoy include:
Paranormal
Science Fiction
Thriller
Horror
Crime
Western
Fairy Tales
Dystopia
Cyberpunk
Demons
Angels
Alternate Universe
Steampunk
Space Opera

Other then reading, I do enjoy sports, as well as tv shows like Once Upon a Time, Big Bang Theory, Face Off and Lost Girl. I enjoy all types of music. I'll listen to just about anything. I graduated in 1993 or there about, it's been so long (j/k i know when). I have a nice desk job at a company I enjoy working for. So all in all, I have no complaints. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

Connect with Matt: Goodreads


I'm also working on a blog re-design so you will see that soon.
I'm really happy with my concept and what I have so far.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sunday Cover Scramble [76]



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.