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."


Monday, August 25, 2014

Review: Opposition (Lux #5) by Jennifer L. Armentrout


Published: August 5, 2014 Entangled Teen
Genre: YA, Paranormal Fantasy
Format: ebook
Source: Purchased
Goodreads Summary

Katy knows the world changed the night the Luxen came.

She can't believe Daemon welcomed his race or stood by as his kind threatened to obliterate every last human and hybrid on Earth. But the lines between good and bad have blurred, and love has become an emotion that could destroy her—could destroy them all.

Daemon will do anything to save those he loves, even if it means betrayal.

They must team with an unlikely enemy if there is any chance of surviving the invasion. But when it quickly becomes impossible to tell friend from foe, and the world is crumbling around them, they may lose everything— even what they cherish most—to ensure the survival of their friends…and mankind.

War has come to Earth. And no matter the outcome, the future will never be the same for those left standing.

Holy Luxen, Arum, Hybrid, and Origin Babies Everywhere!

This is that sad time when a series you love is coming to an end. I rush through it because I have to know how everything is wrapped up, and then I'm disappointed because I don't have anything left to enjoy with these characters that I love so much.

The good news here is, if you have read and finished Opposition, Armentrout posted an extra little thank you to fans to read here. Please only read it if you have completed the series though as there will be major spoilers.

The Good

In the beginning of the series, I was astonished at how I was reading a book about aliens that didn't seem at all about aliens. Have you ever tried to describe this series to someone that hasn't read it? They give you that look that says 'are you crazy?' However, I fell in love with the quirky, fiery book blogger and the sarcastic bad-boy next door. Throughout the series, the alien plot line has been brought out in bits and pieces so as not to be sprung on me all at once. Then, before you know it, there is Opposition, full of all-things alien, and I adored it.

Dual POV is something that I cherish when done correctly, and it was used to great effect here. Everything has been flipped on it's head and the characters have to make due in a bad situation any way that they can. They are hit with blow after blow, and just keep on kicking. Armentrout is not afraid to kill off characters (which I think is fantastic!!), so the ones left are generally grieving while having to get back up and kick some serious tail. With all that, the hilarious dialogue I've come to love in this series, is still alive and well.

While it's always a bit depressing to see a favorite series end, the action was there in the writing, and I could truly tell that the characters were battling for their lives. The wrap-up was very well done and I can say with certainty that I enjoyed every part of this series.


The Bad

While so many fantastic and detailed fight scenes are in Opposition, all through-out the story, there is one in particular that I felt could use a little more umph! You will see what I mean when you read it.


The Romance

Daemon being a huge prick in the beginning of the series, and the slow-burn romance that these two went through, made for a very interesting romance in the midst of The Lux Series. In Opposition, my heartstrings were pulled from every angle with what these characters went through. Kat is a stick of dynamite, and Daemon is explosive as well. Mix in some jealousy tendencies from the two, and Opposition is a bomb that's been waiting to go off.


Conclusion

A great ending to an amazing series. A truly fantastic read from start to finish. I enjoyed all the added drama, action, and wrap-up. No cliff-hanger here, folks. Most definitely recommended.



Excerpts


“You're broadcasting your thoughts so damn loudly I feel like I need to go sit in the corner and start rocking, whispering Daemon's name over and over again."

“I think lots of things are brilliant ideas. Like nuclear weapons, zero-calorie soft drinks, and blue jean vests," he replied. "That doesn't mean we should nuke people, or that diet drinks taste good, or that you should run out to a local Walmart and buy a jean vest. You people shouldn't always listen to me.” 

“She tipped her head back and started laughing, and I started picturing people twerking - everyone in the limo. Quiet Luxen dude. Rolland. Sadi. All of them bent over, butts in the air, looking like damn fools.” 

“Every part of my body ached. Things went from oh crap to FML in a matter of seconds. We were seriously screwed every which way from Sunday.” 

“The entire city had gone dark.” 

Lotho glanced over his shoulder at me. "Look at you and your big, bad self. Rawr."

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sunday Cover Scramble [81]


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 23, 2014

JC's Bulletin of the Week [1]


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.


I'm re-reading some series that I read before I started my blog. I'm in the mood to revisit these books, and I haven't written any reviews for them so I'm mixing them in with the other books I'm reading that I haven't read yet.

I'm also working on a redesign that I'm really excited about! Too bad it will take a while to get completed. I feel like every little picture I'm working on is taking weeks.

Zane is beginning middle school on Monday! EEEEK!

This week on the blog:

I reviewed Silver Shadows (Bloodlines #5) by Richelle Mead
Heena reviewed Freak Show (Episode 1: The Nightshade Cases) by Patti Larsen
Matt reviewed Dangerous Reflections (The Adventures of Alexis Davenport #1) by Shay West
A game of 'Who Said It?' for my free week on the Harry Potter Moment of the Week post


Jennifer Bielman has moved to WordPress with a redesign and new URL! Formerly Reading and Writing Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, and Romance, she is now:

Bad Bird Reads

Alisa and Aidan from Picture Me Reading are now back in action and you can find them at:



For those of you who have read Opposition, Jennifer L. Armentrout posted an extra goodie! Please make sure to only read it if you've finished the last book though or you will be spoiled.

Penguin posted a letter to fans of the Bloodlines series by Jennifer Almon, editor of Silver Shadows