Friday, May 31, 2013

Review: Clutch (I am Just Junco #1) by J.A. Huss

Publisher: September 16th, 2012 Science Future Press
Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopia
Format: Kindle
Source: Won from Bookworm Brandee!
Goodreads Summary
How long can you lie to yourself before it all comes apart?

In 2152 the avian race is on Earth looking for something stolen from them decades ago – their genetics. At the center of the search lies the Rural Republic; a small backwards farming country with high hopes of military domination and a penchant for illegal bioengineering.

19 year old Junco Coot is the daughter of the Rural Republic’s ranking commander. She’s the most foul-mouthed, wildly unpredictable and ruthless sniper the Rural Republic has ever trained. But when her father’s death sparks a trip into forbidden places, she triggers events that will change everything she knows to be true.

As an elite avian military officer, Tier’s mission is to destroy the bioengineering projects, kill Commander Coot’s daughter, and return home immediately. There’s just one problem. Junco isn’t who she claims to be.

With no one to trust, not even herself, Junco must confront the secrets of her past and accept her place in the future, or risk losing herself completely.

CONTENT WARNING - The I Am Just Junco series is NOT young adult and contains A LOT of bad language and violence, so know that before you buy or download during a freebie promotion.

"Do ya trust me, darlin?"

I met J.A. Huss a while back because she is a blogger too and wanted to read her series I Am Just Junco when I found out about it. I was lucky enough to win Book 1 and 2 from Bookworm Brandee.

The Good

First, I would like to comment on how great a character Junco truly is. She is Just Junco and is apparently at war, but didn't know it right at first because the action packed ride this book takes you on goes through Junco regaining memories in a most interesting fashion. She is a no-holds-barred type of character who has a potty mouth that others (mainly Tier) really take offense to and she knows how to wield a weapon.

The story is so interesting. There is a lot going on here! The world built is incredible and well-delivered.  The technology (like Junco's talking sentient house) is so much fun to read about. She is really put through the ringer in the book. It starts off with a funeral and a car crash and just gets crazier by the second. There are aliens with wings here that are called Avians and a lot of soldiers in this story. She is often what I consider a woman in the middle of a boy's club. Aren is someone that she has known for quite a while and you can tell that she seems more comfortable when he is around. It seems like this is the case for some of the other soldiers that she knew. I will be the first to tell you that from the reader's perspective, I didn't really care for Aren.

Tier is a fantastic character. He is an Avian that shows up basically out of nowhere and continues to keep showing up and asking for her trust. I will admit that it seemed like she was going to tell him that she trusted him, but I don't think the words would make it out very well because she just didn't know. I didn't know if she could trust him either because to be honest, he seems like he could be good or bad (and very good at either). The two of them together was a lot of fun. They are pretty different, but there is a lot of chemistry there. He so often says the words 'darlin' and 'sweetheart', so I immediately thought that he was a chauvinist, but that went away pretty quickly.

The Bad

I was a little bit confused at times because as I said there was a lot going on. It was a lot easier with the great revelations that surfaced and information given later on in the book so it all ironed itself out, but even though I was immersed in the action of Clutch, I would sometimes wonder where the story was going.

I thought the reaction to the character of Moju was very odd. Junco immediately let all guard down for him and this didn't seem to be in line with her character in my opinion. She just seemed to accept things a little too easily I guess? I'm not sure, it just sat a little weirdly with me.

The Romance

There's not much romance to mention. Tier and Junco have a great chemistry around each other and it hints at more in future books. Also, Aren and Junco have history but I didn't feel the chemistry between the two of them in the same manner.


This is a great book. Even if you don't read a lot of science fiction, I think you could get into it. I guess it's because she reminds me so much of an urban fantasy heroine in the world of technology and aliens.  There is excellent action, fantastic characters, great twists and turns with revelations and the world-building was very well done. Absolutely recommended.


“Is that how ya treat someone who saves yer life? Shoot them?"
I snort."Saved my life? I must have missed that one while I was sleeping."
"Except ya weren't sleeping, Junco. You were unconscious."

"Oh, my sweet Jeremiah!" That face cannot belong to me. I have a giant gash that runs from my scalp and down to my right ear that has leaked blood all over one side of my hair, plastering it into a half helmet-like configuration.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday [20] - Blogger Friend Love

Alison Can Read Feature & Follow

This is a weekly blog meme hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read.

Here are the general rules to Follow Friday:
1. Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Hosts and any one else you want to follow on the list
2. Follow our Featured Bloggers - This week's feature is: Mad Hatter Reads and The Fiction Conniption
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!
8. If your new to the follow Friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!

This week's question is: What blogger would you most like to meet in real life? Tell us about him or her.

Honestly, this is such a hard question. I would love to meet SOOOOO many of the bloggers I've been lucky to discover, even some that really have no idea who I am just because I have so much respect for them.

I've already told Robyn Jones that we will meet someday and maybe catch an episode of Psych or The Voice together. I know that Rivie and Bookworm Brandee would be a lot of fun to have along on the trip as well as Lexxie if we can get her across the pond. I would love to meet everyone that helped out with the first tour I hosted for Robyn and Soul Bender.

It would be a blast to see an Ilona Andrews and Gordon Andrews panel with Jennifer Bielman. Maybe a Julie Kagawa or Cassandra Claire panel with Lee. Would love to talk mythical creatures with Melissa, and do something fun with the kids with Brandi. Parajunkee and Alisa are both artists that I would love to talk shop with.

OK fresh off a baseball game doing this post, and I KNOW I'm leaving off great bloggers. Including Jessica who was one of my very first followers, and made me feel so welcomed to the blogging community. She's always involved in a lot of great memes, and I know we'd have plenty to talk about so she be a blast to meet.

There really are just too many, and if I left you out, I am so sorry. Please check out my 'Blogs I Love' section because I would adore meeting anyone listed there. Also, I'm always up for making new connections and becoming better friends with any of my current readers. I have loved becoming a part of the blogging community, and to be honest I haven't personally found a blogger that I dislike yet. You're all awesome :D

My list with blog names:

Jessica @ aGREATread
Robyn @ robgirlbooks
Rivie @ bookshelf
Brandee @ Bookworm Brandee
Lexxie @ [un]conventional Book Views
Jennifer Bielman @ Reading and Writing Urban Fantasty and Paranormal Romance
Lee @ Rally the Readers
Brandi @ Blkosiner's Book Blog
Parajunkee @ Parjunkee's View
Alisa @ Picture Me Reading
and so many more

If you are a new follower, I prefer being followed by Bloglovin, email, and twitter. Thank you!

Blog Tour: The Trickster's Totem by H.B. Bolton - Reviews by Zane

Welcome to my stop on the Trickster's Totem by H.B. Bolton Tour hosted by CBB Book Promotions. I would really like to thank H.B. Bolton who wrote Relics Of Mysticus and Candace from CBB Book Promotions for working it out for Zane, my 10-year old, to review the first two in this series for this blog tour. I would also like to thank Zane for doing what, in my opinion, is an excellent job reviewing them! He wrote them by himself. He's done an interview with me before, but these are his first reviews.

Book 1 of Relics of Mysticus
Goodreads Summary

Evan and Claire Jones are typical teenagers, forced to go with their parents to yet another boring museum ... that is, until something extraordinary happens to make their day a little more than interesting. After following a strange little creature into a closed exhibit, Evan and his older sister, Claire, discover the Serpent’s Ring, one of the magical relics formed from the shattered Mysticus Orb. Purely by accident, they have awakened its powers and opened a portal to Sagaas, land of ancient gods. 

Before the siblings can comprehend what has happened, the Serpent’s Ring is wrenched from Evan’s hand by an enormous fish and flown back to Aegir, the Norse god of the sea. Evan and Claire, accompanied by a band of unlikely heroes, must retrieve the Serpent’s Ring before Aegir uses its immense powers to flood all the lands on Earth.

For Middle Grade readers and higher 
Fans of: Percy Jackson Series

"I assure you, it is safe."

 I received this book from the author for an honest review.

The Good

I really like the magic aspect of this book. Not only are they in a magical realm with magical creatures, but the ring gives them magical powers. I also really like the characters in the book. There were two over-excitable imps named Barfel and Dunkle. There is an immortal dragon slayer named Sigurd, and there is a gorgeous mermaid named Lazonia.

The Bad

I thought and thought for about half and hour before deciding that there was nothing bad to mention in The Serpent's Ring.

The Romance

Evan and Lazonia have great chemistry and by the end of the book they are an official couple. Claire and Sigurd didn't have as much chemistry as the others, but you could tell that they were truly in love.


I REALLY enjoyed this book. I am definitely adding this to my list of favorites.

Book 2 of Relics of Mysticus
Goodreads Summary

Life has returned to normal for fourteen-year-old Evan and his older sister, Claire. That is until Dunkle, a clever but stinky little imp, pays an unexpected visit to their school. He has come to take the siblings back to Sagaas, the mythical realm of the gods. Once again, a Relic from the ancient Mysticus Orb has fallen into the wrong hands. Only Evan and Claire, with their unique mystical abilities, can help find it.

Through the power of the Trickster’s Totem, a coyote trickster has escaped. His laughter echoes throughout the realm, as he spreads mischief and mayhem. He burns an entire crop of popcorn, carves his grinning image into sacred artifacts, and things really get interesting when he shape-shifts into Evan’s friends.

Claire and Evan must capture the Trickster, retrieve the Totem, and be careful not to become sidetracked by robotic Steampunk animals, “sweet” pixie-like Pains, and a problematic mermaid … all while dodging Mothman-like aces. Most surprising, Evan discovers the true reason dragons exist in the Native American Spirit World.

For Middle Grade readers and higher 
Fans of: Percy Jackson Series

"Do you have something more important you should be doing?"

 I received this book from the author for an honest review.

The Good

I said that I liked the characters in the other book and this time I enjoyed the fact that Bolton brought some new interesting characters into the mix. There was a snarky mermaid named Amadahy. There was an immortal Native American named Chayton. There was even an extremely awesome dragon named Khel. I especially enjoyed the uniqueness of the bad guy specifically in the end.

The Bad

I didn't like that there wasn't really any of Sigurd or Lazonia because I really enjoyed both of them in the The Serpent's Ring. I also didn't like that Claire flirted with Chayton even though she was still dating Sigurd.

The Romance

Other than some flirting by Claire with Chayton, there isn't any to mention with this one.


Another amazing book. This was an awesome story with an unique bad guy and some interesting newbies.

About H.B. Bolton:

A magical part of H.B. Bolton’s childhood was being swept into worlds of enchanting characters, fantastical creatures and extraordinary powers—simply by picking up a book. As a mother and a teacher, she was compelled to create imaginary worlds of her own in order to share them, not just with her children, but with all children. H.B. Bolton lives in Florida with her supportive husband and two highly spirited children. Shh, can you keep a secret? Not only does she write books for the young-at-heart, adventurous sort who yearn to dive into a good young-adult fantasy story, she also writes spellbinding, heart pounding women's fiction. These particular books are written under the name Barbara Brooke, but that's another story, altogether.

Books by H.B. Bolton:
The Serpent's Ring (Relics of Mysticus, Book One)
Breaking Down (a short story)
Hungry (a short story)
Coming May 1, 2013
The Trickster's Totem (Relics of Mysticus, Book Two)

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Pinterest / Amazon

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Blog Tour Guest Post: Rahima Warren

Guest Post by Rahima Warren author of Dark Innocence: Book One of the Star-Seer's Prophecy

I don’t really know how they do it. Who? Those organized souls who write books by using outlines and plans, plotting and character sketches, or even computerized writing programs. I confess I’m not one of them. Heck, I didn’t even plan to be a fantasy writer. I always wondered how these odd creatures called writers could write such wonderful stories. Never thought I’d be one of them.

Nope. There I was, back before the turn of the century, minding my own business, seeing my psychotherapy clients, and exploring new ways to help them by working with dreams, symbols, and free creative expression. But life is full of zigs and zags! Little did I know that I was waking up my own creativity, too.

One day, I wrote a little short story in my journal. That story was like the proverbial crack in the dam. A torrent of passionate, creative energy shattered the whole darn dam and swept me off to my laptop! Next thing I knew, I was neglecting the laundry and my poor husband, and was sneaking off to continue writing the story every chance I got. It was the only way I could find out what happened next. And it was FUN!

I had no idea of where the story was going. I had no plot or plan. It was a right brain/intuitive process for the entire first draft of what turned out to be a trilogy (The Star-Seer’s Prophecy). That’s still how I work on editing Difficult Blessings, Book Two of the trilogy.

How do I go about this kind of writing? To get started writing, I grab a cup of Earl Gray tea – hot. (Sorry, geek girl here couldn’t resist – but you know resistance is futile, don’t you?). Next, I light a candle to the Goddess of Creativity, who sits on my altar. Then I take a few slow, deep breaths, and let myself sink down into my inner world of fantasy and imagination.

I allow the main character – his name is Kyr, by the way – to take up residence in my imagination, and to be in charge of the story. In my work as an expressive arts therapist, I learned to trust the free, creative expression of the unconscious, no matter how dark or ugly, and to ignore the inner judge/critic. So I just sort of “listen” to Kyr, feel how he is feeling at this point in the story, and write whatever I “see.” Pretty much an intuitive approach.

Well, I admit that in the editing process, I do sometimes use my left/logical brain to make sure things make sense. Gosh, for the first time ever, I recently went through Book Two and made an outline, of all things! And I confess it’s harder to get myself to sit down and edit than it was to write the first draft, when I had that incredible creative flow going. However, the entire story lives in my imagination, and I can re-enter that world whenever I make time to sit down and edit. And it’s still fun!

What is your approach to writing? Logical/Left Brain? Intuitive/Right Brain? How do you get yourself ready to write?

ABOUT Dark Innocence: Book One of the Star-Seer's Prophecy by Rahima Warren

The “twin-souled dark innocent,” Kyr, is a youth born and raised to blindly carry out the Soul-Drinker’s brutal commands. At first, Kyr’s one desire is death, the only escape from the Soul-Drinker’s hellish rule. Just when he is about to get his wish, the secret Circle rescues him. Now he has to choose between the familiar easy path of despair and death, or the hard path of healing, living, and a greater destiny, about which he knows nothing. How can a slave who has known only evil, pain and obedience choose to become a man of courage and compassion, and fulfill the Star Seer's Prophecy?

A Grand Prize Giveaway of a Custom Jumbo Tote Bag with your choice of fan art, chosen from here:, plus other goodies, including a signed copy of Dark Innocence for one lucky winner, shipped to anywhere in the world!

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Author Rahima Warren

Rahima Warren is the author of Dark Innocence: Book One of the Star-Seer's Prophecy, a deep, rich novel of the healing journey. With Master's degrees in Clinical and Transpersonal Psychology, she was in private practice as a licensed psychotherapist for over 20 years. In 2006, Rahima retired to focus on her expressive painting, creative writing, and spiritual studies.

In her work with clients recovering from abuse, she was awed by the human capacity to heal, and to reach new levels of forgiveness, wholeness and happiness. She also learned to trust the psyche's own process. This enabled her to allow a dark and mysterious story to flood forth unhindered: Dark Innocence: Book One of the Star-Seer's Prophecy.

Rahima is a third-generation native of California and resides with her husband in Northern California, where she periodically chases squirrels off the wild bird feeders, and deer away from her roses. Her life-long love of fantasy is her parents' fault: they left sci-fi & fantasy magazines with fascinating cover art lying around the house.

Find the Author: Goodreads | FacebookWebsite | Twitter | Read an Excerpt | Pinterest

I'd like to thank Rahima for taking the time out to give us this great post!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Review: The Progeny by Ashlynne Laynne

The Progeny by Ashleynne Laynne
Publisher: February 1, 2012, Novel Concept Publishing
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Format: Kindle
Source: Gifted by author for honest review
Goodreads Summary:

Ascher questions the purpose for his existence and which world he truly belongs to: the human world or the vampire world. Two months from sealing to Ursula— a prearranged union to a woman he abhors — he’s at his wit’s end. He knows if he calls off the sealing, the Romanian clan will strike with deadly force, but he cannot see eternity with a cold empty shell of a woman like Ursula.
Just when he thought life was complicated enough, he meets Shauna— a beautiful, bi-racial human wiccan — and immediately develops an unshakable attraction to her. She makes him feel alive and vital despite his origins and Ascher makes a decision that turns his immortal world upside down.

Hello Bloggers!!!!  Before I get into my actual review, I would like to give a special thanks to Jaclyn!!  She has done such a wonderful job with her blog.  Jaclyn has lots of talent and quite frankly I don't see how she does everything she does.  Just wanted her to know I respect and admire all her hard work.   Now back to our regularly scheduled program…..

“No fate other than the one I choose.”

Let me preface my review with the fact that I generally do not read many vampire/fantasy books.  Not really my genre.  There are a few I really enjoy, but just not a fan in general.  Regardless of the book I am reading, however, I always keep an open mind.  Since I love to read, I give all books a good chance.  Now that being said, did I like this book?  Yes I did.  Did it just amaze me and blow me away? No.  If you are a fan of the genre though, it is defiantly worth checking out.    Ascher is a peculiar character in that he has human emotions, the warmth of a human, and the heartbeat of a human.  On the flip side, he is also very much vampire.   He runs a bar with his Dad and 3 brothers.  They are all full blood vampires.  The half-human thing sometimes causes family tension among the brothers.   Shauna is employed to work at this bar.  Upon seeing her and smelling her scent, Ascher couldn’t stay away.  She has what is known as the trinity.  She is a virgin, vegetarian, and does not drink alcohol which makes her blood irresistible.  There is also more to her than meets the eye.  There are things about her even she don’t know or understand herself.  Ascher is destined to seal with Ursula in just a few weeks.  He has been struggling with the idea of whether he is in control of his destiny or if he is predetermined to live the life chosen for him.  Shauna makes him question this more.  If he does not go through with the arranged sealing, it could mean war and death for his family.  

What you can brag to your mama about:

I liked the flow of the story and the flow of the character development.  I thought Laynne did a good job at portraying the story and characters without feeling like she was just telling you about it.  They really truly just developed.   I liked that even though Ascher is the only half-human vampire in his family, the brothers and dad get to show the fact they have emotions too.  Even though they probably wouldn't like to admit it.  They are fiercely protective over their family and loved ones. Even though Ursula is the bad guy in this story, I like her character as well.   Jealousy and greed can make a woman do crazy things.  Ironically, I think she might have been my favorite character.  Even if she was despicable. 

There is also plenty of action and there is some suspense when it comes to trying to figure out if Katy is ok, what is Gabe's motives, etc.

What mama was talking about when mama said knock you out:

This may just be me and the fact I am not a huge vampire book reader.  But it seemed to kinda follow the pattern and mold of the other vampire books I have read.  Is this really a bad thing?  Maybe not as it seems to be working for all the other books as well.  But it was something that did not make this book stand out in a major way when I finished it.  While the book is in no way a bad book, it didn't just have any major standing out points.  I also didn't relate well to Shauna.  It may have just been a Melody thing.  I just couldn't really relate to her.   I am super close to my sister like she is.  But other than that totally unrelatable to me.  She just didn't really engage me much.   To be honest I didn't care either way what happened to her.


I did enjoy The Progeny.  It was a mix of romance, greed, jealousy, and a little old fashion violence.  I would have liked for the love of Ascher's life, Shauna, to be a little bit more relatable.  Not sure what it says about me that I related more to the mean evil chick than the sweet virgin chick.   Excuse me while I go pray for my soul! LOL

Monday, May 27, 2013

Review: Gameboard of the Gods (Age of X #1) by Richelle Mead

Publisher: June 4, 2013 Dutton Adult
Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Dystopia
Format: ebook
Source: Netgalley for honest opinion
Goodreads Summary
In a futuristic world nearly destroyed by religious extremists, Justin March lives in exile after failing in his job as an investigator of religious groups and supernatural claims. But Justin is given a second chance when Mae Koskinen comes to bring him back to the Republic of United North America (RUNA). Raised in an aristocratic caste, Mae is now a member of the military’s most elite and terrifying tier, a soldier with enhanced reflexes and skills.

When Justin and Mae are assigned to work together to solve a string of ritualistic murders, they soon realize that their discoveries have exposed them to terrible danger. As their investigation races forward, unknown enemies and powers greater than they can imagine are gathering in the shadows, ready to reclaim the world in which humans are merely game pieces on their board.

Gameboard of the Gods, the first installment of Richelle Mead’s Age of X series, will have all the elements that have made her YA Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series such megasuccesses: sexy, irresistible characters; romantic and mythological intrigue; and relentless action and suspense.

A Lethal Bodyguard and Shadowy Phantoms

This is probably the hardest book that I've had to review so far. I have put it off for days, and finally I had to pull out a rating system and do this the mathematical way instead of just rating from my heart like I usually do. Normally, books are easy for me to rate: I love them, I like them, they were meh, etc. This one was a so-so book for me personally. I went into it with way too many expectations and that's my fault. I love Mead's previous works the Vampire Academy series and the Bloodlines series which are both YA. She has a way with characters and surprises that I enjoy. This is an adult book and I will go ahead and forewarn everyone that IMHO this is nothing like the previous books that I have read of her's as far as story and the way information was given. Also, for some reason, I had a Hunger Games-like picture in my head after reading the summary (but involving Gods) so again that's on me for having expectations that I shouldn't have and isn't what the book is about. Now let's get to the review.

The Good

The introduction of Justin was my favorite part. Although there were a lot of questions surrounding the beginning with both characters Mae and Justin, I really enjoyed the meeting of the two in Panama. I like seeing action, strength, and paranormal and I got to see all of this when Mae and Justin first met. Mae is stronger than most people so to me this is really the most paranormal or magical aspect I got out of the book other than some talking ravens. I'll get to that later. She did remind me a little of Rose and you may hear some others comment on this, but I liked this about her. She is very strong, stubborn, and gorgeous, but that's really where the resemblance ends. Justin has addictions, laziness, is a womanizer and will inexplicably break out and help a weaker younger female. Sound familiar? These were my favorite parts of the story.

Justin and Mae are good together. I really like the scenes that have the two of them getting along and must admit that when they are the chemistry is off the charts.

There was another part where a lady attacks Justin in a bathroom causing Mae to fight her in quite a great battle scene. I enjoyed this as well.

The Bad

My greatest dislike was that the book needed too much explanation, and I still didn't feel like I got enough to understand what was happening. I will admit that for most of the book, I was confused. I was confused about the way the world worked in general. I was confused about why some people were considered Patricians or Plebians. Mae is a Patrician, a Praetorian, and a Nordic. It gets confusing understanding all the nuances of what these words mean or why she is even considered being them. I didn't even really understand what a Praetorian was even though I did understand that everyone in the world was afraid of them because they healed quicker and were faster and stronger than anyone else. I was confused about why half the world seemed to leap forward so much (with cars that drive themselves) and the rest leaped backwards (with needing a chaperone to go on a date and arranged marriages). I was confused about WHY Gods would suddenly be interested in running the lives of people on Earth. As you can tell, most of the story, I was scratching my head and not really clear about what was going on. This could have just been me being dim-witted and may not affect others in the same way.

There are talking ravens. Doesn't really sound like that big of a deal, but I didn't find out why they were there or what their purpose held until quite a bit into the story. They just appear, and you are supposed to accept them for what they are.

I don't really understand the reason for Tessa or Justin's sister and nephew as part of the story at all. I also didn't really grasp the need for Dominique who is greatly disliked through the whole thing, but turns out helping a little at the end. There are so many characters that we dive into their back-stories and learn a ton about that really fed nothing into the plot that I could tell. Maybe they will be bigger parts in the future books?

The Romance

The book starts out strong with a romantic meeting and very nice chemistry between Justin and Mae, but they quickly learn who they are and that they are lying to each other and it fizzles faster than you can say (in Paris Hilton's accent), "That's Hot!" While I spent most of the rest of the book hoping for a reconciliation, there are numerous factors at work keeping these two apart. I hope for more in books to come.

Also, there is a sexual assault to watch out for.


In my opinion, it was neither good or bad. There was a lot left to be explained and a lot more potential to be explored between the characters. I'm not in love with the plot of the book yet because I just don't understand it. I do think there is hope for the rest of the books in the series to go somewhere good. Justin and Mae have the ability to be really great characters, and I do intend to read the next one just to see where it all leads.


“But today? There was no walking away. Today, she was walking toward death, and that scared the hell out of her. Not much else did these days." ARC location 23

"Her hair is like winter sunlight, suggested Magnus, almost sounding lovesick as he whispered in Justin's mind. Still, it wasn't a bad comparison. Not quite gold, not quite platinum." ARC location 189

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sunday Cover Scramble [18]

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 the end of the day to let you know if you are right, allowing other to guess as well. Some will be hard, and others may be easy. If you need hints, I will only post covers of series talked about on my blog previously. Here we go:

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Sidekick Saturday [24] - Bad Guy Turned Good

Sidekick Saturday
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! 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 this week's type
• Share a picture (if possible) 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
• Put your link in the Linky thing and comment

WARNING - THERE MAY BE A FEW SPOILERS IN THIS POST. Only read on if you have read The Hollows Series or if you do not mind being spoiled.

This week is Bad Guy Turned Good

My choice is Trent Kalamack
The Hollows by Kim Harrison
OK Please forgive me - I know this isn't the best picture I've done, but I had to do it on my lunch break at work because Zane had a double header Friday night. I promise, Trent is much more handsome than this.

Trent is introduced as a councilman that Rachel wants to take down so that she can get the I.S. death threat off her head. She finds out that he is dealing in brimstone so she sneaks into his office to get proof. On one of her excursions, she is a mink and he locks her in a cage in his office and then puts her in rat fights to teach her a lesson. To the reader, he seems ruthless and cunning and downright vicious at times throughout the series. Later on, he ends up fighting right beside her and is one of her most trusted allies. It takes a lot of books and a lot of pages before this happens, but he ends up being one of my favorite characters in the series. He will do anything for the people that he cares about which are few in number. I think he may also be a very misunderstood character, as we find out thanks to some chapters that Harrison provides us from his point of view. Even Rachel misunderstands him so often and thinks his motives are different than they are. 


My breath slipped from me, almost a groan. Trent Kalamack. The obscenely successful, smiling businessman, ruthless bio- and street-drug lord, elf in hiding, and pain-in-my-ass-extraordinaire Trent Kalamack. Right on schedule. "Why is it you show up only when I need money?”

“Rachel knew what she was doing. And when she didn't, she could improvise on the fly, coming up with options that left a lot of collateral damage but usually only hurt herself, not the people around her. It was one of the things he would never admit that he admired about her.”

“Come work for me, and I’ll tell you.”
My eyes went to his. “You are a thief, a cheat, a murderer, and a not-nice man,” I said calmly. “I don’t like you.”
He shrugged, the motion making him look utterly harmless. “I’m not a thief,” he said. “And I don’t mind manipulating you into working for me when I need it.” He smiled, showing me perfect teeth. “I enjoy it, actually.”

“I’m not going to pick her up and carry her screaming to the basement,” Trent said. “It’s a workday. Besides, she has a crutch.”

“Crutch or no, she’s hurt!” Ceri protested.

“I mean,” Trent said intently, “she can hit me with it if I do something she doesn’t like.”

“Memories of ice and Trent surfaced, and I wrapped my arms around my middle. I had saved him, and he had saved me. What was wrong with us?”

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Thursday, May 23, 2013


So I spent some time this past week worried over my own family that lives in Oklahoma although now I know they are all safe and sound, and I know others have too. Not only that, but the devastation that was left and the people's lives that will never be the same is so large of a number.

If you would like to offer aid, I know that here in Texas the schools and churches are taking donations and are having blood drives. You can check your local paper to see what kind of drives your area may be participating in. WARNING: If you are receiving automated phone calls from the Red Cross, they have said this is a scam and that they are not calling anyone asking for donations. You can go to their website to donate.

Please take a look at E.J. Wesley's blog where he goes into more detail about the scope of the loss and offers links that you can go to for donations. -> A Hard Day

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday [22] - The Twixt

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Indelible (The Twixt #1) by Dawn Metcalf

Indelible (The Twixt #1) by Dawn Metcalf
Publisher: July 30, 2013 by Harlequin Teen
Genre: YA Paranormal Fantasy

Goodreads Summary

Some things are permanent.


And they cannot be changed back.

Joy Malone learns this the night she sees a stranger with all-black eyes across a crowded room—right before the mystery boy tries to cut out her eye. Instead, the wound accidentally marks her as property of Indelible Ink, and this dangerous mistake thrusts Joy into an incomprehensible world—a world of monsters at the window, glowing girls on the doorstep, and a life that will never be the same.

Now, Joy must pretend to be Ink’s chosen one—his helper, his love, his something for the foreseeable future...and failure to be convincing means a painful death for them both. Swept into a world of monsters, illusion, immortal honor and revenge, Joy discovers that sometimes, there are no mistakes.

Somewhere between reality and myth lies…


Review: Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer

Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer
Publisher: February 5, 2013 Feiwel and Friends
Genre: Science Fiction, YA
Format: Kindle
Source: Purchased

*Please note that it is very hard to review books past the first one in the series without having any spoilers at all. I will try to keep it as spoiler free as I can, but if you haven't read the first book in this series, you may just want to read that review instead of continuing with this one.
Goodreads Summary
The fates of Cinder and Scarlet collide as a Lunar threat spreads across the Earth...

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She's trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she'll be the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn't know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother's whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

The fates of Cinder and Scarlet collide as a Lunar threat spreads across the Earth...

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She's trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she'll be the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn't know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother's whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner. 

What Big Teeth You Have

Cinder was a tale about a cyborg with an awful stepmother, two stepsisters, and a dead father making her story on the bare surface similar to that of Cinderella. Other than that, Cinder is her own person entirely with a completely different man to woo and thankfully more concerns than just him.

Scarlet allows us to meet some new characters that I'm sure you can guess are drawn from the story of Red Riding Hood. Scarlet is a regular teenage girl with crimson hair, a red hoodie, and a gun. Her grand-mere is missing and she receives help from a character named Wolf to search for her. That's where the similarities end for that retelling. 

The Good

In this installment, we go deeper into Cinder's past and really begin to unravel why she is the way she is and who had some parts to play in this. She also begins to unlock some memories of her own on this journey. It was great fun for me to watch the dots connect together and to have Cinder become more of a completed character. I know we will continue to learn more throughout the series because I don't think Meyer is done with revelations, but for where we are now it feels right.

Next, I have to talk about how much I love her characters. When you have a lot of strong female characters, you have to be careful to make them unique. Right now, there are two strong main female characters with more to come. Scarlet and Cinder are both strong, independent female characters and thankfully unique enough to tell them apart. In my opinion, Cinder has more snark and insecurity and Scarlet is rash yet confident and bold. I am shown Scarlet acting first and asking questions later on occasion. After a while, she mentions that this is a trait she should curb. Cinder is strong in a lot of areas. I guess really I would call her resilient, but she is still scared. She is also brave due to all she does even though she is afraid.

Two more male characters in this story are Wolf and Captain Thorne. Where Cinder and Scarlet are similar with small but important characteristics that make them different, all the men so far are vastly their own.  Wolf is an enigma. Even by the end with all that happens in the story, I feel like I don't know all that's going on with him. He's very difficult to read whether he's good or bad throughout the story and Scarlet moves from distrust to a resigned collaboration, to trust, and back often due to all that unfolds. I really like his character a lot. He's very good-looking, strong, and incredibly mysterious.

Then, there is Captain Thorne who can be quite frustrating. He's self-assured, a known criminal, girl crazy, and provides good entertainment. He also drives Cinder crazy and there is not much nice said between the two.

The world of Luna is still a mystery, but I learned a lot more about the people from there and also about Queen Levana who is a baddie made of pure evil sauce. I don't see a good side or any pity for this character and I like how horrible she is and the rampant chaos she causes.

The world they are on now is shown through negotiation talks with Emperor Kai and other world leaders. When he finds out Lunars have been moving in and hiding among them, he definitely is not happy, so he seeks to ramp up security. The story is well-told. The way it switched between character's POV was spaced well and kept it entertaining. I am incredibly interested in where it's all going because of how this one ended.

The Bad

Emperor Kai for now was predictable, but there were enough surprises in other areas that it didn't matter.

The Romance

Cinder and Emperor Kai's budding romance was left in tatters at the end of the last book. In this story, Scarlet and Wolf have a pull towards each other and it's definitely fun to watch the chemistry battle the walls that are up between the pair.


I know  Cinder was hit-or-miss with some due to world-building, explaining technology better, or missing back-story, but honestly this is a series that I adore and has been added to my list of favorites. I was given more information about Cinder's past, and more insight to what should happen in the future. The characters are easy to become attached to and root for and the relation to the fairy-tales I love is just the icing on the cake. A series that shouldn't be missed if you like YA Science Fiction.


“A relieved grin filled up Thorne’s face. “We’re having another moment, aren’t we?”
    “If by a moment, you mean me not wanting to strangle you for the first time since we met, then I guess we are.” 

“She sighed, annoyed at her restlessness. “So,” she said, disrupting Wolf in another backward glance.
“Who would win in a fight—you or a pack of wolves?”
He frowned at her, all seriousness. “Depends,” he said, slowly, like he was trying to figure out her motive for asking. “How big is the pack?”
“I don’t know, what’s normal? Six?”
“I could win against six,” he said. “Any more than that and it could be a close call.”
Scarlet smirked. “You’re not in danger of low self-esteem, at least.”
“What do you mean?”
“Nothing at all.” She kicked a stone from their path. “How about you and … a lion?”
“A cat? Don’t insult me.”
She laughed, the sound sharp and surprising. “How about a bear?”
“Why, do you see one out there?”
“Not yet, but I want to be prepared in case I have to rescue you.”
The smile she’d been waiting for warmed his face, a glint of white teeth flashing. “I’m not sure. I’ve never had to fight a bear before.” 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Teaser Tuesday [16] - Just Junco

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

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

Clutch (I Am Just Junco #1) by J.A. Huss


"Is that how ya treat someone who saves yer life? Shoot them?"

I snort. "Saved my life? I must have missed that one while I was sleeping."

"Except ya weren't sleeping, Junco. You were unconscious."

Clutch - Just Junco #1 - by J.A. Huss
Goodreads Summary:

How long can you lie to yourself before it all comes apart?

In 2152 the avian race is on Earth looking for something stolen from them decades ago – their genetics. At the center of the search lies the Rural Republic; a small backwards farming country with high hopes of military domination and a penchant for illegal bioengineering.

19 year old Junco Coot is the daughter of the Rural Republic’s ranking commander. She’s the most foul-mouthed, wildly unpredictable and ruthless sniper the Rural Republic has ever trained. But when her father’s death sparks a trip into forbidden places, she triggers events that will change everything she knows to be true.

As an elite avian military officer, Tier’s mission is to destroy the bioengineering projects, kill Commander Coot’s daughter, and return home immediately. There’s just one problem. Junco isn’t who she claims to be.

With no one to trust, not even herself, Junco must confront the secrets of her past and accept her place in the future, or risk losing herself completely.

CONTENT WARNING The I Am Just Junco series is NOT YOUNG ADULT. This series contains foul language and graphic violence.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Wings of Arian by Devri Walls special .99 price - Today Only

Wings of Arian (Solus #1) is on special for one day only - Today, May 20th - 99 cents for Wings of Arian: The Solus Trilogy , Nook at Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and possibly Itunes.

Wings of Arian (Solus #1)

Wings of Arian by Devri WallsPublisher: April 24, 2012 Stonehouse Ink
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy
Goodreads Summary

Kiora thought she had never heard a lie until she was sixteen. But she was wrong. Her entire existence was based on nothing but. She thought that evil did not exist. Lie. That magic was not real. Lie. And that the land of Meros was all there was. One more lie.

With Aleric telling her that evil is knocking on the door and that she is the only one who can stop them, she has a choice to make. Refuse, or start the wildest most painful ride of her life.
She reluctantly dips her toe into her new existence of magic and threads, dragons and shapeshifters, and the person who wants to take control of it all: the evil Dralazar.

However, this journey was never meant to be hers alone. She will be accompanied by a Protector. To her disbelief, and utter irritation they name the hotheaded, stubborn, non -magical, (albeit gorgeous) Prince Emane. They will have to trust each other with their lives, but right now Kiora would settle for a non hostile conversation.

And now it comes down to this, If you had never heard a lie, would you know when you heard one? Is knowing good from evil innate? Kiora finds herself having to decide who lives and who dies on those very questions.

Emane came to her after dinner with two swords and handed her one.

“What is this for?” she asked, as the weight of the sword jerked her arm to the ground.

“I have decided you need to learn how to fight,” he said, laying his blade across his hand, examining it.

“You have, have you?” She grunted, trying to wrench the sword back up.

“Well, Aleric and I decided.”

Emane shrugged, dropping the sword back to his side. “If I do get separated from you and you happen to run out of magic, you need to be able to defend yourself. I have already spoken to the Guardians and they have promised to make you a sword that is your size. But for now, we will practice with these.”

“Emane, I don't even know how to hold one of these things.”

“Lesson number one, it is called a sword.”

“All right, a sword,” she said, placing a hand on her hip. “Problem number two, I can’t lift it.”

“Try,” he said, jerking his head towards her sword.

Rolling her eyes, she grabbed the hilt, struggling under the weight of it, managing to pull it up a few inches before the weight dragged her back down to the ground. Emane burst out into laughter, taking it out of her hands.

“Well worth it!” he grinned, shouldering her sword. When she looked at him confused, Emane leaned forward as if telling her a secret, “I really just wanted to watch you not be able to do something.”

“Are you serious?” she sputtered. “You gave me that sword just to laugh at me? Did you even talk to Aleric?” Her face flushed.

“Of course I talked to Aleric.” Emane was trying to stifle his laughter but it wasn't working. “And I am going to teach you to fight.” He buried the swords into the ground so that they were standing straight up. “But we normally don't start with those. He pulled out two wooden swords he had stashed behind a tree. “Normally we start training with these,” he said, spinning them around in an arc before presenting her with the much smaller, much lighter wooden sword.

She snatched it out of his hand. “You really are a jerk, you know.”

“Hmmm,” he said smirking, tossing his sword from one hand to the other. “I'm happy with jerk. It’s much nicer than what you used to call me.”

“You're that too.” She half grinned.

“Nope, we have downgraded to jerk and I am keeping it.” He started circling around her. “First things first, you need to protect yourself. I will try to get past your guard. If you block me, you win. If I get past your guard, I win. And,” he drug out. “I will expect to be paid with a kiss.”

“What do I get if I win?” she asked.

Emane took advantage of the question and jabbed in quickly, connecting with her arm. “One kiss for me,” he winked, backing out again.

“That was cheating!” she objected.

Emane swung around the blade, lightly connecting the flat side of the sword between her shoulder blades.

“Two kisses for me.”

“Oohhh,” she growled. “You are an arrogant horse’s ass!” She took a protective stance and blocked the next blow.

“Nice job.” He danced around her and connected with her opposite shoulder. “Three kisses for the horse’s ass,” he gloated. “Come on, Kiora, you have to move your feet.” His eyes glinted mischievously.

She started to move and circle, following his lead. She blocked blow after blow, but missed at least one out of every three. “Come on, Emane,” she complained. “Take it easy on me. It’s my first day.”

“I am taking it easy on you,” he laughed. “You’re terrible!”

“Thanks a lot,” she said, trying to force a glare at him. “You’re not exactly encouraging.” She lifted her sword to block another shot.

Pushing his sword down over hers, he leaned in, “I actually like the fact that you’re terrible, more kisses for me.”

Kiora heard a few snickers from behind her and noticed that the camp was turning up to watch the training session. Pushing back, Emane jabbed in and caught her in the stomach.

“Hey!” she yelled, doubling over.

“That’s at least fifteen kisses, I am losing count.” Spinning in a wide lazy circle, he asked the spectators, “Anyone want to keep track for me?”

“You...are, such a...”

“Uh-uh,” he said, shaking his finger at her, “we have little ears amongst us, watch your language.”

“Jerk” she yelled.

“That’s better.” Emane swung again and she soundly blocked.

It went on like this for longer than she had wanted. The crowd cheered when she blocked a shot and they counted kisses when Emane made it past her guard. And they laughed at every joke he made, which only encouraged him.

“Please,” she gasped. “I am dying, can’t we take a break?”

“Breaks are for girls!” He taunted her, dancing around her with the stupid, albeit gorgeous, grin plastered on his face.

“I am a girl, Emane.” He moved in to take another shot, which she barely blocked. “I mean it, Emane, I am going to cheat if we don't stop.” He raised his sword over his head. With a flick of her wrist she swept his feet out from under him. He reached for his sword, but with another flick of the wrist, the sword slid across the ground out of his reach. She dropped to her knees, putting her sword to his neck, “Do you yield?”

The crowd was in hysterics. Emane stretched his neck looking around. “How many kisses am I owed?” he shouted to the crowd.

“Seventy-two,” the answer came.

“Hmmm, seventy-two kisses,” he put both arms behind his head. “That should be enough. Yes, I yield.”

“Thank heavens!” Kiora collapsed on the ground next to Emane as the crowd cheered and laughed with approval.

Emane rolled over and leaned on his elbow, looking down at her through half-open lids. “I think the Lady should pay up.” He leaned down and kissed her. “One down, seventy-one more to go.” Emane jumped to his feet and offered her a hand up. “All right, folks, that’s it for today.” There were some moans and groans as the crowd dispersed.

“You are shameless, you know that?” she said, brushing off her pants.

“So you tell me.” He threw his arm over her shoulder. “Let's go get something to drink.”

Wings of Arian (Solus #1) is on special for one day only - Today, May 20th - $. 99 cents for Wings of Arian: The Solus TrilogyNook at Barnes and NobleKobo, and possibly Itunes.

About Devri Walls:

Devri Walls lives in Kuna, ID with her husband, two kids and one very bouncy lab. After suffering from an abundance of creativity with not enough places to put it, she turned to writing. Which in the end, turned out to be exactly where she should have been putting it all along.

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