Monday, August 27, 2012

Cover Reveal: Blood Fuge by E. J. Wesley

Cover work by Sketcher Girl, LLC -

What's the Story About?

Some folks treated the past like an old friend. The memories warmed them with fondness for what was, and hope for what was to come. Not me. When I thought of long ago, my insides curdled, and I was left feeling sour and wasted.”

Jenny Schmidt is a young woman with old heartaches. A small town Texas girl with big city attitude, she just doesn’t fit in. Not that she has ever tried. She wears loneliness like a comfy sweatshirt. By the age of twenty-one, she was the last living member of her immediate family. Or so she thought…

“We found my ‘grandfather’ sitting at his dining room table. An entire scorched pot of coffee dangled from his shaky hand. His skin was the ashen gray shade of thunderclouds, not the rich mocha from the photo I’d seen. There were dark blue circles under each swollen red eye. A halo of white hair skirted his bald head, a crown of tangles and mats. Corpses had more life in them.”

Suddenly, instead of burying her history with the dead, Jenny is forced to confront the past. Armed only with an ancient family journal, her rifle, and an Apache tomahawk, she must save her grandfather’s life and embrace her dangerous heritage. Or be devoured by it.

BLOOD FUGUE by E.J. Wesley, is the first of the MOONSONGS books, a series of paranormal-action novelettes. At fewer than 13k words, BLOOD FUGUE is the perfect snack for adventurous readers who aren’t afraid of stories with bite. Available wherever fine eBooks are sold September 2012.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Random Tidbits

Looking over my last several posts I noticed that they are all reviews. It almost looks like I've been binge reading or something. Well, I have. But I have a good reason. I'm supposed to get my edits for Blood Bound in a few weeks. *Squeee!* Depending on how horribly shredded my MS is, I may not be able to touch another book (or blog page) for a while. *Shudders*

But reading isn't the only thing I've been doing. I promise. I've written and submitted a few short stories to various places. They all have long waiting periods before they'll tell me anything, so here I go again. I hate waiting.

And finally, I'm getting to see some cover mock-ups now, and let me tell you: Seeing my name on the cover (even if it is just a picture) is pretty darn awesome. So, since the entire point of a cover is to catch a potential reader's eye, what do you think? Should the cover be a scene from the book, something that makes you think "Oooh, that's pretty/creepy/interesting," or something else entirely?

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Review: Endlessly (Paranormalacy #3) Kiersten White

Evie's paranormal past keeps coming back to haunt her. A new director at the International Paranormal Containment Agency wants to drag her back to headquarters. The Dark Faerie Queen is torturing humans in her poisonous realm. And supernatural creatures keep insisting that Evie is the only one who can save them from a mysterious, perilous fate.

The clock is ticking on the entire paranormal world. And its fate rests solely in Evie's hands.

So much for normal. Goodreads

I'm not going to lie. I read this one a lot slower than necessary because  Endlessly is, well, the end. And when I read the last page there was a tear in my eye, not because it was sad (well, maybe a little) but because it is really over. Okay, on to the review.

Kiersten White is amazing. Se is my hero. I want to write just like her when I grow up. I am a (obviously) a huge fan of the Paranormalcy series. I love that Evie is a little pouty and selfish, obsessed with pink and her boyfriend, and, an actual teenage girl. So many times I read YA stuff that feels way too adult, in both characters and situations. Mrs. White has proven that you can write a lighthearted, clean, real teen book, and have it shoot to the top of the best seller's list. 

Endlessly tied everything together very nicely, with lots of action, kissing, and Tasey. I loved that most of the characters from the first two books made an appearance, and that the ending, in a way, was just a new beginning. Now, I've always been creepily attracted to Reth, so the way he was portrayed in this book made me happy.I really want so say more, but without spoilers, I can't.

As far as weak points, there really weren't many. It was a little frustrating that Evie spent a lot of time ranting about being manipulated, yet it kept happening right up till the last page. But, alas, that is the nature of the fey.

Bottom line: Read. This. Book. But do it slowly, to savor the end.

Rating 5/5 stars

YA notes: None

Monday, August 20, 2012

Review: Abandon (Abandon #1) Meg Cabot

Though she tries returning to the life she knew before the accident, Pierce can't help but feel at once a part of this world, and apart from it. Yet she's never alone . . . because someone is always watching her. Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back.

But now she's moved to a new town. Maybe at her new school, she can start fresh. Maybe she can stop feeling so afraid.

Only she can't. Because even here, he finds her. That's how desperately he wants her back. She knows he's no guardian angel, and his dark world isn't exactly heaven, yet she can't stay away . . . especially since he always appears when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him most.

But if she lets herself fall any further, she may just find herself back in the one place she most fears: the Underworld.  Goodreads

I actually finished this book several days ago, but it's taken me a while to get my head around it. There is something darkly beautiful about the way Meg Cabot re-tells the story of Persephone. I was hooked from the first page, and I couldn't put it down.

Now, there are a lot of negative reviews over this book, and I can sort of see why. Pierce is not a roll-with-the-punches street-smart beauty queen type of girl. At times she was incredibly frustrating, selfish, and more than a little disturbed. But somehow my inability to connect with her actually worked for this book. It left me wondering "Who says the main character has to be strong to be great?" Pierce has been through a lot. She technically died, her best friend committed suicide, her parents are in a messy divorce, and, oh yeah, Death is stalking her. Honestly, I'd have a few mental stability issues as well.

The love/stalker story is really just starting off, so I'm withholding judgment on that front. There were plenty of twists and turns, mysterious characters, and about a thousand different ways the story can go from here. If  I could ask Meg one question, I's ask what is up with the tassels. Other than that, I loved it and  you can bet I'll be picking up the next book in the series.

Rating 4/5 stars
YA notes: language 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Review: Hemlock, Kathleen Peacock

Mackenzie and Amy were best friends.

Since then, Mac's life has been turned upside down. She is being haunted by Amy in her dreams, and an extremist group called the Trackers has come to Mac's hometown of Hemlock to hunt down Amy's killer:

A white werewolf.

Lupine syndrome--also known as the werewolf virus--is on the rise across the country. Many of the infected try to hide their symptoms, but bloodlust is not easy to control.

Wanting desperately to put an end to her nightmares, Mac decides to investigate Amy's murder herself. She discovers secrets lurking in the shadows of Hemlock, secrets about Amy's boy-friend, Jason, her good pal Kyle, and especially her late best friend. Mac is thrown into a maelstrom of violence and betrayal that puts her life   at risk. Goodreads   

This book left me with mixed feelings. It is a new and interesting take on the werewolf theme, a little darker and more frightening than most of what I've read. Some of the decisions Mac has to make are really tough, and the right answer is hardly ever clear. I found myself wrapped up in several scenes, wondering what was going to happen next. Dream-Amy is super creepy, and the ending pretty much guarantees that readers will come back to see what happens next.

But I had several problems with the story line. I really didn't get how Mac-who is now trying to solve a murder the police couldn't figure out-seemed to know absolutely nothing about her supposed three best friends, even though they'd been together for years. Not surprisingly, she knew even less about the other people in her town. And then there is the love triangle. Yes, it is cliche, and no, that doesn't automatically make it bad. What makes it bad is that Mac continually points out that it is cliche and stupid. In my opinion, common plot lines exist because they work, we readers like them. But the author's job is to put their own twist, some angle of uniqueness on it, not point out that they are copying what millions of books and movies have done before them. *done with rant* While thinking about this review, I also noticed several holes in the plot. They didn't immediately jump out at me while I was reading, but they are definitely there. In the end, it was a good book that could have been great with a little more effort.

Rating 3/5 stars

YA notes: Mild language, mild suggestive content. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Review: Blood Moon (Drake Chronicles #5) Alyxandra Harvey

When the vampire tribes convene for the rare Blood Moon ceremonies, Solange’s fight with her feral nature, a mysterious stranger, family secrets and forbidden magic put all of the Drakes in danger.

The POVs are: Solange, Lucy and Nicholas.  Goodreads. 

Wow. When did my lighthearted Drake Dramas go all dark and creepy? I think I like it.  :)

This is by far the darkest of the Drake Chronicles. There is a mass gathering of less-than-nice vampires and their blood-slaves, Solange dumps Kieran and is shutting herself away from her whole family, and Lucy joins the Helios-Ra. And these aren't even the  strange parts of this book!

Unlike the other Drake books, there is no new romance, just lots of secrets and a major cliffhanger ending. It's almost impossible to say more without some major spoilers, so I will just say this. I loved this book. I didn't want it to end, and now that it has I am impatiently awaiting the next one. Alyxandra Harvey, if you're reading this, get off my blog and go write! I need to know what happened to a certain someone, like, now. Thanks.

Two minor complaints: There is a whole lot about the Blood Moon that goes unexplained. I'm pretty detail oriented, so that bugs me. But not as much as this cover bugs me. The Drake Chronicles are not steamy romances, and Blood Moon is even less romantic than the other books. There is a lot of sarcasm, knives, and blood. One kiss. So I don't get it. But I also know the author probably didn't get much say in the cover art, so I won't hold it against her. :)

Rating 4.5/5 stars
YA notes: mild language

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Love Story

I'm as bad as any girl about getting all giggly about a good romantic sub-plot. Every awesome novel about a girl does NOT have to have a gorgeous guy tagging along, but it helps :)

Lately, however, I've noticed a disturbing trend in the books I've picked up. The guy that the main character is drawn to is bad. Not bad as in "on opposing sides of the war" bad, (that's kinda fun, actually) but bad as in lies, manipulates, and ignores her. And in most cases, the seemingly intelligent MC knows this, but "loves" him anyway.

Now, in all fairness, these are usually the beginnings of a series, and I'm confident that by the last book, jerk-boy will turn over a new leaf, realize what he has, and deserve her. My problem is that, in real life, that rarely happens. You're more likely to end up with a jerk who doesn't respect you. Please don't get me wrong. I know people can change, and I know girls don't really fall for someone because they act like the butt-head turned nice guy in the novel they are currently reading. But I am worried that if we keep making this behavior look attractive, or even "normal," more and more girls will start to believe that's the way it's supposed to be.

So, am I overreacting? What if the love interest from your favorite novel was real? Would you date him, or let your daughter? I know the bad boy plot is here to stay, but should we really be okay with our heroines following them blindly because "they'll change" eventually?  Thoughts please.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

To Tweet or Not To Tweet?

We all know that social media, and the internet in general, is a huge time suck. BUT, it is also a great way for  a new author from a small press to get her name out to a lot of people. I enjoy blogging and my facebook page because I think they make me feel real and accessible. I love that. I want people to be able to tell me what they think, start conversations, etc. Goodreads is super awesome. It's a whole website dedicated to books. How could it not be? Yet I know as my book's release date gets closer I'll need to do more, so I'm asking: What do you recommend? Twitter? Tumblr? Something else? What is the best way to connect and still have time to actually write?