Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday 56 - 30/4/2010

 Sweet Dreams, Miss England by Iris Blobel

Page 56, 5th Sentence

"He rang Charlie the next day, he just had to tell someone about her."

 Yes, women do tend to have that affect on guys don't they...

* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of Storytime with Tonya and Friends.
*Post a link along with your post back to Storytime with Tonya and Friends.
* Don’t dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

2010 12 x 12 Reading Challenge: April - hosted by One Persons Journey Through a World of Books

The Twelve by Twelve Challenge is an extension of National Just Read More Month. J Kaye had the awesome idea to run one every month with a different person hosting each one.

One Persons Journey Through a World of Books is doing April - click here to go directly to the challenge page!!!
I'm going to aim for 10 books in April.
  1. Taken By Storm - Angela Morrison - click here for review
  2. Midnight Pearls: A retelling of "The Little Mermaid" - Debbie Viguie
  3. Perfect Chemistry - Simone Elkeles - click here for review
  4. Venom - Joan Brady
  5. Embers - Laura Bickle - click here for review
  6. Hex Hall - Rachael Hawkins - click here for review
  7. Twilight: Graphic Novel Volume 1 - Stephanie Meyer & Kim Young
  8. Beautiful Creatures - Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
  9. Sweet Dreams, Miss England - Iris Blobel - click here for review
  10. Can You Keep a Secret? - Sophie Kinsella

    Thursday, April 29, 2010

    Discussion Questions: Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

    1. Sophie is abandoned by her father for her supposed protection. Do you believe there is anything that justifies abandoning your child? None at all. Abandoning your child is the lowest possible thing anyone  can do. If your child needs that much protection, stick around and protect it.
    2. Did Hex Hall remind you of any other series? Yes! Harry Potter and Evernight. Although it reminded me of the series Hex Hall was still completely unique.
    3. Normally when you think of Dark Witches and White Witches, you think good and evil. This series seemed to have a different take on that all together. It almost had an apathetic take on human life with only care taken if their secret might be revealed. Do you find this disturbing or real? I find it real, instead of some cliche dark vs light battle we had everyone on the same side for once working towards a common cause, the secrecy of their kind. Now, working together doesn't really seem naturally human BUT these people aren't human, so it's ok. I liked where it went with the dark and light, just a different branch of power, no stereotyping.
    4. Looking forward to the next book, or pass on it? Why? I am definitely looking forward to the next book, considering what happened in the end, I'm interested to see what happens in regards to Sophie and her powers. I originally thought this was a stand-alone book, and I think it would work ok like that too. A lot of strands in the story were wrapped up toward the finish

    Wednesday, April 28, 2010

    Vampire Academy: Spirit Bound - Teaser #1

    There are seven teaser trailers that Penguin Australia will be releasing over the coming weeks in the lead up to Spirit Bound hitting the shelves. I'm adding them to my Vampire Academy Week. And will be posting them in the lead up to that.

    Book Review: Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

    Review: Hex Hall
    Series: Hex Hall – Book 1
    Author: Rachel Hawkins
    No. Of Pages: 323
    Release Date: 3 March 2010

    When sixteen-year-old Sophie Mercer discovers she’s a witch, she imagines like will be full of magic, fun and...well...broomsticks! But her first attempt at a love spell goes disastrously wrong and, as punishment, Sophie is shipped off to Hecate “Hex” Hall, a reform school for witches, shape shifters and faeries.

    By the end of her first day among her fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like super-models, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tag-along ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person on campus and the only vampire.

    Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students and her only friend is the number-one suspect...

    My Thoughts:

    When I first opened Hex Hall I felt Harry Potter, by the middle I felt Evernight and by the end I felt something so spell bindingly interesting that it could only be unique.

    Hex Hall is a magical school for delinquents. Not all Prodigium (magical beings) go there, only the ones that place the magical world in danger of exposure, like a fairy flying to catch the school bus, a werewolf losing control and eating someone or in Sophie’s case, a love spell that caused her school formal to come to a crashing halt.

    Sophie is a unique character, she knows some of what she can do, and practises! But she has not reached her full potential just yet. Sophie is quite normal for being a witch; she doesn’t always have a snappy comeback and usually thinks of them after the fight is over. She gets scared like normal people do but can toughen up when the time comes.

    The secondary characters weren’t too fleshed out in Hex Hall but it didn’t take away from the story, the coven was a nice touch, Sophie wasn’t trying to be part of the bitchyness that came with who the coven were, no matter how many times they asked her to join, she continued to refuse. Watching the cat-fights between Sophie and Jenna and the Coven was interesting, and some of the pranks, although dangerous were quite unique.

    I loved how Hawkins took the time to give the history of witch hunts and of the Prodigium without making it boring, I devoured the history parts.

    The romance though, I’m not so sure. Archer Cross was described as “slender, almost to the point of skinny” and “strange guy who was not that hot”. I couldn’t understand how Sophie had a sudden flare up of emotion for him after being adamant about the not liking him factor, I mean, he’s not even hot...

    I devoured Hex Hall just because it was completely enchanting. Hawkins draws you into her world of mis-matched tables and psychotic gym teachers and won’t let go until she gives you the final curve ball at the end, which I did not see coming at all.

    Hex Hall would have been an awesome stand-alone book as it didn’t stick to normal YA clichés and didn’t leave you with an airy-fairy feeling at the end, but one that makes you think long and hard about possible repercussions of one’s actions and people actually getting their come-uppance in the end.

    I originally thought Hex Hall was a stand-alone, and with the ending (cliffhangerish) it left a lot of room for thought, but then I found out that there was a second book in what is supposed to be a trilogy. So we might get some whacked HEA after all.

    Others in this Series:

    Reviews by Others:
    I Just Want to Sit Here and Read
    Sarah's Book Reviews

    Available at:
    Book Depository

    Tuesday, April 27, 2010

    Book Trailer: The Karma Club by Jessica Brody

    Jessica Brody's The Karma Club came out yesterday in the US and sounds really, really interesting! Here is the synopsis from her site

    "Personally, I’m tired of waiting for the universe to get off its butt and start fixing stuff. I don’t want to wait around for Mason to get what’s coming to him. Or Heather Campbell, for that matter . . . I want to be there to see it happen."

    Madison Kasparkova always thought she understood how Karma works. It’s that mysterious, powerful force that brings harmony to the universe. You know—do good things and you will be rewarded, do something bad and Karma will make sure you get what’s coming to you. A sort of cosmic balancing act. 

    But when Mason Brooks, Maddy’s boyfriend of two years, gets caught tongue-wrestling with Miss Perfect Body Heather Campbell, and absolutely nothing happens to either of them—except that they wind up the hot new couple of Colonial High School, it seems like Karma has officially left Maddy in the lurch. That’s why Maddy and her best friends, Angie and Jade, decide to start the Karma Club—a secret, members-only organization whose sole purpose is to clean up the messes that the universe has been leaving behind. Whether they’re modifying Heather Campbell’s acne cream as part of “Operation Butterface,” or righting a few wrongs when it comes to Angie and Jade’s own slimy exes, they know they’re just doing what Karma should have done in the first place. They’re taking care of one another. 

    Sometimes, though, it isn’t wise to meddle with the universe. Because it turns out, when you mess with Karma, Karma messes back. Now Maddy must find a way to balance her life for good, even as everything around her seems to be toppling to the ground.

    Friday, April 23, 2010

    My Two Cents: Reviewing, it's not a contest!

    Reviewing, it's supposed to be fun but it looks like it's turning into a contest, which is sad to be honest because I thought I was joining a community of support.

    Reviewing isn't supposed to be stressful, or a contest. We're readers, most people would associate that with being quiet, calm, relaxed people. Not someone who tears their hair out because they haven't posted a review in a whole day or read a book in under two hours.

    But it seems the rivalry that some people are placing on book reviewing is going too far. Smack-talk, bullying, plagiarising, gloating and fighting. And it's becoming a problem.

    Review books aren't an entitlement when you start a blog, they shouldn't even be on your mind. ARCs are another thing that shouldn't be vied for. Followers, hello mr attention seeker, if you're going to be a twat about getting followers by holding fifty million contests, you don't deserve it.

    Blogging, reviewing, reading is all for enjoyment. Hell, I actually came across a blog the other day who admitted it didn't like blogging that much, or even really had time to read! What was the point of starting a book blog then?!?

    I think it's time for many people in this community to take a step back and really think about what they're doing and why. If you're doing it for attention, free books, fame and/or fortune then you have come to the wrong place, and stop making everyone else look bad by being greedy little pests and hounding authors all day long.

    Jealousy is pointless in a faceless community, our voices are our opinions of the books we read, not how many we have or how many of them are free. I don't get "free books" and I know many who don't, but we seem to be among the happiest, why? Because we haven't created a stress related environment surrounding our hobbies, we do it for fun.

    I am not perfect, I know that, I also fell into the trap surrounding the world of blogging when I started. I was putting more time into my blog then I was my work or my study, sometimes I still do, like right now. But I have reigned in the thinking that if I don't do it, I'll get into some sort of trouble or omg! some one might not like me.

    People aren't going to not like you if you don't post five times a day, people aren't going to not like you because you have two books that you didn't review straight away. No offence people, but I don't care if you don't post, I don't care if you don't read my posts, because I'm having my fun while I can. I'm reading, and I'm writing about it. Yeah it's nice to be congratulated on a nice looking blog because I put effort into maintaining it and keeping it nice, but pats on the back are not why I'm here, and if that's why you are, maybe you should go back to pre-school so we can have claps for you when you do something right.

    Thursday, April 22, 2010

    Awesome INTERNATIONAL Followers contest at Ex Libris!!!!

    The beautiful Stella at Ex Libris is holding an AWESOME giveaway over at her blog to celebrate her 50 followers!

    The more followers, the more prizes! So hurry on over and enter!

    Here is all the info:


    The Prizes - What you can win:

    For the paranormal romance lovers:

    Pleasure Unbound by Larissa Ione (#1st in the Demonica series)

    In a place where ecstasy can cost you your life . . .

    She's a demon-slayer who hungers for sensual pleasure-but fears it will always be denied her. Until Tayla Mancuso lands in a hospital run by demons in disguise, and the head doctor, Eidolon, makes her body burn with unslakable desire. But to prove her ultimate loyalty to her peers, she must betray the surgeon who saved her life.

    Two lovers will dare to risk all.

    Eidolon cannot resist this fiery, dangerous woman who fills him with both rage and passion. Not only is she his avowed enemy, but she could very well be the hunter who has been preying upon his people. Torn between his need for the truth and his quest to find his perfect mate before a horrific transformation claims him forever, Eidolon will dare the unthinkable-and let Tayla possess him, body and soul...

    For the Jane Austen lovers:

    The Man Who Loved Jane Austen by Sally Smith O'Rourke
    What if you found a 200-year-old love letter written from a fictional character to the writer who created him? And what if, next to that letter, was another addressed to this character . . . from the author herself? Truth may be stranger than fiction, but one woman is about to find out what happens when fiction becomes truth...New York artist Eliza Knight certainly did not realize it at the time, but her life changed when she bought the old, beat-up vanity table one lazy Sunday afternoon. Tucked away behind the mirror she found two letters, one sealed, but one already opened: May 12th, 1810. Dearest Jane, the Captain has found me out. I am being forced to go into hiding immediately. But if I am able, I shall still be waiting at the same spot tonight. Then you will know everything you wish to know. F. Darcy.

    For the crime and suspense lovers:

    Déjá Dead by Kathy Reichs (#1st book in the Temperence Brenann series)

    Forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperance Brennan has finally planned a weekend off to explore Montreal. But when an unidentified female corpse is discovered meticulously dismembered and stashed in garbage bags, her weekend plans--and her life--are turned upside down.
     (I have this one with a different cover, but I couldn't find that one on the net) 

    For the chick lit lovers:

    An Offer You Can't Refuse by Jill Mansell

    Lola has no intention of accepting when her boyfriend Dougie's snobbish mother offers her £10,000 to break up with him. Then she discovers a secret that makes her think again. Dougie would probably have broken up with her in the long run, and this way she can help one of the people she loves most in the world.
    Ten years later, though, when Lola meets Dougie again, her feelings for him are as strong as ever. But she broke Dougie's heart – and he's about to discover that she was paid to do it. She can never tell him the truth, so can she get him back? Well, Lola's very attractive and very persuasive. But even she's got her work cut out this time…

    For the romance lovers:

    Knight in My Bed by Sue-Ellen Welfonder

    As chieftain of the Clan MacInnes, Lady Isolde will do anything to protect her people -- including sacrifice herself to the enemy. Donall the Bold, laird of the hated MacLeans, lies locked in her dungeon awaiting execution. But rather than slay him, Isolde comes up with a daring plan to forge a lasting peace between their clans.
    Though Donall curses his beautiful captor, only a madman would refuse to savor the pleasures beneath that tantalizing aura of dignity and grace. But Isolde offers a mere covenant ... and Donall craves nothing less than total conquest. Vowing to steal her heart and take his freedom, the renowned warrior instead will find himself in a different kind of prison -- one made of sweet, decadent passion, and one he may never wish to escape.

    For the classic lovers:

    Frenchman's Creek by Daphne DuMaurier

    Bored with the frivolous life of the royal court, the captivating Lady Dona St. Columb retires to her country estate, leaving her dull husband behind in town. In countryside seclusion, she encounters the dashing French pirate who is responsible for sacking the Cornish coast.  

    The books come from my personal library, so I will be posting them. They are all brand new, except Déjá Dead, An Offer You Can't Refuse and Knight in My Bed, which I bought in second hand bookshops.


    - 1st winner will get their choice of book from the Book Depository up to 10 USD, or their choice of book from the above selection.

    - For every new 50 followers there will be a new winner (so at 100 followers, there will be 2 winners, and so on.), who will have their pick from the above mentioned books.

    This giveaway is open to all, so all international participants are welcome, you just have to be a follower of my blog!

    You can enter until 2 May 2010, the winner(s) will be posted during the week.

    How you can enter:

    To enter simply post a comment below with your e-mail address and a reading recommendation to me, telling my why I have to read that book. No recommendation, no entry.

    (You have to be a follower of my blog in order to enter, so if you aren't yet, then join on the left sidebar, below "Followers" with the little pics)

    You can get extra entries in the usual ways:

    +1 for tweeting this contest/sharing it on facebook/myspace/livejournal, etc. (+1 for every place you spread the word)
    +2 for following Ex Libris on Twitter/Facebook/Network Blogs (+2 for each one of them)
    +2 placing the contest on your sidebar
    +3 posting about the contest in an actual post on your blog
    +4 placing Ex Libris on your blog roll

    Wednesday, April 21, 2010

    Discussion Questions: Embers by Laura Bickle

    1. So if you had the chance would you have a pet elemental, even with the inconvenience of broken microwaves? Of course I would! I would just have to keep my laptop locked away in a cupboard but if it was anything like sparky, I would have one in a second. I was thinking about other creatures, not just a fire salamander. I was thinking about what could go with the other elements. Some sort of bird for air (duh!) like a hawk or an eagle or even an owl. Earth, hmm that could be anything really a burrowing creature would be good though, like a rabbit. Water is hard because so many creatures have fins, i was thinking maybe a frog, platypus or crab. Fire, I would want a salamander or a serpent, like a massive python would be sooo cool!
    2. What did you think about the relationship between, Brian, Anya and Drake?
    To be perfectly honest, I think Anya is a cheater, and the only reason Bickle put Brian in a coma was to get him out of the way so that Anya could sleep with Drake, which was pointless, and not have to worry about Brian finding out because oh, how convenient, he's unconscious for half the book. The demon Mimi was right, if Anya loved Brian she wouldn't have jumped in the sack with Drake. 

    3. Did the book make you want to visit Detroit or steer clear? 
    The book had an air of falseness, I didn't want to visit Detroit in the first place, and I still don't but Embers made absolutely no difference in regards to that decision. 

    4. A big part of Embers surrounds paranormal activity and the whole Scooby style system....What do you think of shows like Ghost Hunter, Paranormal State and the such? 
    Umm, Ghost Hunter? I will have to youtube that later. The Scooby style ghost hunting would have been good if there was some Scooby style ghost hunting...they did two. One at the start and one so she could end up with Mimi inside her, for the promise of ghost hunting, there wasn't much. 

    5. Do you believe in the paranormal world around us or chalk it up to complete fantasy and make believe?
    I have always wanted to believe in it, but I think that as much as I would like to, I don't. Sure I want to meet a demon, marry a vampire and have a werewolf as a bestfriend, all the while developing my kickass fighting skills and perfecting my magical powers but I think that now after wishing for so long and even dreaming that my boyfriend told me he was a werewolf, I don't think it's going to happen.
    I do however believe in Tarot, Destiny, Spirits and Auras.

    Tuesday, April 20, 2010

    2010 Speculative Fiction Reading Challenge - Courtesy of Book Chick City

    The 2010 Speculative Fiction Reading Challenge is courtesy of Book Chick City - click here to go directly to the challenge page!!!

    I'm going for Inquisitive level which means reading 3 books in this genre.

    I will continue to update as I read.

    1. Hush, Hush - Becca Fitzpatrick - click here for review
    2. They Call Me Death - Missy Jane - click here for review 
    3. Embers - Laura Bickle - click here for review

      My Two Cents: Plagiarism

      I love my "My Two Cents" posts. Why? Because they're mine. I came up with the idea back in January after the Magic Under Glass Scandal. And every time I have an opinion, I can use "My Two Cents". If someone stole my posts, not only would that hurt it would also be pointless.

      This what I don't get in regards to the plagiarising of book reviews, as an opinionated person myself I couldn't stand to take someone else's thoughts why? because they're not mine. A book review is an opinion of what you think of a particular book. Your thoughts, your take, your opinion. Not someone else's opinion.

      Book reviewing isn't a contest people, and it's becoming sad because it seems that a lot of reviewers are looking at it that way. It's not about having the most review books or the best reviews, I know I have neither and I am as happy as a kid in a candy shop, because I have given myself a reason to read, a reason to buy too many books. Everyone has their own reasons, they're mine.

      Onto how it feels to be plagiarised, because I have been, not here, but in a school writing contest. Being a writer and having that done got me very close to having an assault charge laid against me, because i was ready to kill someone.

      For writers and reviewers our reputations rely solely on our words, our ideas and our opinions. To have that stolen is absolutely shattering because to be honest, unless you have a thousand blogs ready to get on your bandwagon, you can't do much unless you have a helluva lot of proof.

      To have what you work on stolen and used without any permission or credit hurts. Hurts like being kicked in the guts multiple times and then being spat on for good measure just to make sure you really feel like crap.

      This post isn't for The Plagiarist, she has suffered greatly and is remorseful for her actions, those of us who know who it is aren't mentioning her name because she feels bad enough, and it will take along long time, if ever for her reputation to be restored.

      This post is for the people who haven't done it yet, who have yet to think it's a great idea to steal someone else's ideas and use them. Not only have we been taught in school, college/uni, work even that unoriginality is not only wrong, but in some cases illegal, it is also down-right lazy, rude and uncreative. We are creative people with opinions and original thoughts, if you can't have an original thought or opinion then you shouldn't be reviewing.

      I have said my piece, like it or not.

      Monday, April 19, 2010

      Book Review: Embers by Laura Bickle

      Review: Embers
      Series: Embers – Book 1
      Author: Laura Bickle
      No. Of Pages: 359
      Release Date: 30 March 2010

      Unemployment, despair, anger – visible and invisible unrest feed the undercurrent of Detroit’s unease. A city increasingly invaded by phantoms now faces a malevolent force that further stokes fear and chaos throughout the city.
      Anya Kalinczyk spends her days as an arson investigator with the Detroit Fire Department, and her nights pursuing malicious spirits with a team of eccentric ghost hunters. Anya – who is the rarest type of psychic medium, a Lantern – suspects a supernatural arsonist is setting blazes to summon a fiery ancient entity that will leave the city in cinders. By Devil’s Night, the spell will be complete, unless Anya – with the help of her salamander familiar and the paranormal investigating team – can stop it.
      Anya’s accustomed to danger and believes herself inured to loneliness and loss. But this time she’s risking everything: her city, her soul, and a man who sees and accepts her for everything she is. Keeping all three safe will be the biggest challenge she’s ever faced.
      My Thoughts:
      Embers wasn’t what it could have been.
      After an interesting start things started happening that were just plain odd, and not in a good way.
      The storyline about a fire investigator was intriguing, it’s just a pity that we had about two chapters of investigative work and the rest was filler.
      Anya presents as an interesting character, she is intelligent, quick-witted and gutsy. Anya is a Lantern, a fire elemental, and I just wish in one book involving powers that someone would actually be inquisitive enough to explore what they can do and be completely ignorant of them until halfway through the middle of the story. It became quite boring seeing how much Drake, the evil guy who is also a Lantern could do that Anya couldn’t.
      My favourite character would have to be Sparky, which would be inevitable for most people as he is a funny little creature who is like a playful puppy. Sparky is a salamander with a taste for electrical currents and a love for his plastic glow worm.
      The other secondary characters didn’t really fit in with the story, some were meant to, but others just didn’t work.
      Ciro was excellent, smart and dependable. Jules was annoying because he was an overbearing bible basher that took everyone around him for granted, he was too narrow minded to really fit in with what he was supposed to be doing. Max was a pointless character who caused too much trouble, not in a funny way though, in a what the hell are you doing kind of way. Max didn’t bring anything interesting to the table at all. Katie is a witch, but I kept getting the feeling that she was fake, for all of the magical beings around her she just didn’t square up with her massages and salt throwing, and yet she relied upon for her “talents”. She just didn’t really work as a character.
      Brian goes both ways for me; he’s almost a nerdy version of tall, dark and handsome. He also seems too good for Anya, and he was. He fell into a coma early into the novel, and it seemed like that was just so Bickle could get him out of the way while Anya consorted with other men whilst trying to convince herself she was in love with Brian.
      The sex scene was kind of pointless, and I’m a person who likes a bit of smut in her novels, but the fact that the love scene was lacking the love interest and was just a one-night stand with some dude was completely irrelevant.
      I have been taught when writing that if it doesn’t attribute to character development or the storyline, it’s not worth putting in. Bickle has obviously never heard this saying.
      I know I went on a lot about the characters, but they are what stood out to me this story. There was no storyline, it fizzled out in the first four chapters, it was all Anya, and it was boring.
      If I manage to snag a free copy of Sparks, from a sale or a contest, I will read it, but I’m not going to go out and buy it based on Embers.

      Others in this Series:

      Available at:
      Book Depository

      Sunday, April 18, 2010

      Book Review: Touch the Dark by Karen Chance

      Review: Touch the Dark
      Series: Cassandra Palmer – Book 1
      Author: Karen Chance
      No. Of Pages: 307
      Release Date: 6th June 2006

      Cassandra Palmer can see the future and communicate with spirits – talent that make her attractive to the dead and the undead. The ghosts of the dead aren’t usually dangerous: they just like to talk...a lot.

      The undead are another matter.

      Like any sensible girl, Cassie tries to avoid vampires. But when the bloodsucking Mafioso she escaped three years ago finds Cassie again with a vengeance on his mind, she’s forced to turn to the vampire senate for protection.

      The undead senators won’t help her for nothing, and Cassie finds herself working with one of their most powerful members – a dangerously seductive master vampire – and the price he demands may be more than Cassie is willing to pay.

      My Thoughts:

      I’m still unsure about this book.

      Touch the Dark was interesting; it had some intriguing twists and turns. But it’s not a pull-you-in-and-not-let-go-until-you-finish type of book. If I had something better to do, I would do it.

      Cassie is a good character, just good. She can communicate with ghosts and see people’s pasts. Which would usually make me squirm in anticipation and possibly drool, but Cassie as a person is a little boring, a whinger and slightly stupid. Not in a learn your lesson the first time type stupid. Cassie as a character without her powers over-shadows the entire book.

      The storyline is a pretty good one, one in which I would like to see unfold. It follows Cassie's journey from her secretive life in hiding from Tony, the mob boss master vampire who has been after her ever since she ran away from his house.

      In running she gets caught up with Thomas, her supposedly homeless roommate, who also turns out to be a master vampire. He takes her to the senate of the paranormal world.

      One thing that I absolutely love about Touch the Dark is the fact that it’s not just vampires in this, we get weres of every kind, mages, witches, fairies, ghosts and more. Although Touch the Dark is centred around vampires, there is obvious potential to explore the other species as we continue on in the series.

      The scenes in which Cassie was pulled back in time were interesting, but a little repetitive; I liked how Chance used the figures from history to help portray her characters. Jean-Paul was an over-bearing but interesting character; he was supposedly the infamous man in the silk mask. Then there was also Dracula’s brother Mircea who must’ve survived his fate brought to him in the Dracula books.

      Mircea started out as an interesting and likeable character, but then he also became over-bearing and quite annoying with his constant demands.

      Touch the Dark has a very interesting concept, and I will continue the series, but it’s not anything special. Hopefully, now that we have laid the ground work for the world the series will pick up.

      Also in this series:
      Claimed by Shadow
      Embrace the Night
      Curse the Dawn

      Available at:
      Book Depository

      Only a month until Spirit Bound!!!

      Dimitri gave Rose the ultimate choice. But she chose wrong… 

      After a long and heartbreaking journey to Dimitri’s birthplace in Siberia, Rose Hathaway has finally returned to St. Vladimir’s—and to her best friend, Lissa. It is nearly graduation, and the girls can’t wait for their real lives beyond the Academy’s iron gates to begin. But Rose’s heart still aches for Dimitri, and he's out there, somewhere.

      She failed to kill him when she had the chance. And now her worst fears are about to come true. Dimitri has tasted her blood, and she knows in her heart that he is hunting her. And if Rose won't join him, he won't rest until he's silenced her...forever

      As of this very second there is only a month left to go until Spirit Bound, the 5th book in the Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead goes on sale...OHMIGOD. I think I'm going to hyperventilate I am sooo excited!

      So as a lead up to the awesome event I am going to re-read the first four books and post their reviews...I could review them right now, but I really just want an excuse to re-read these absolutely awesome books!

      Feel free to join me in the Vampire Academy Reading Challenge beginning April 18th and ending May 18th. We are going to read:



      Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with an unbreakable bond to the earth's magic. She must be protected at all times from Strigoi; the firecest and most dangerous vampires - the ones who never die.

      The powerful blend of human and vampire blood that flows through Rose Hathaway, Lissa's best friend, makes her a Dhampir. Rose is dedicated to a dangerous life of protecting Lissa from the Strigoi, who are hell-bent on making her one of them.

      After two years of illicit freedom, Rose and Lissa are caught and dragged back to St. Vladimirs Academy, hidden in the deep forests of Montanna. Rose will continue her Dhampir education. Lissa will go back to being Queen of the elite Moroi social scene. And both girls will resume breaking academy hearts.

      Fear made Lissa and Rose run away from St. Vladimirs - inside the Academy's iron gates, their world is even more fraught with danger. Here, the cutthroat ranks of the Moroi perform unspeakable rituals, and their secretive nature and love of the night creates and enigmatic world full of social complexities. Rose and Lissa must navigate through this dangerous world, confront the temptation of forbidden romance, and never once let their guard down, lest the Strigoi make Lissa one of them forever...


      Rose Hathaway's got serious guy trouble. Her gorgeous tutor Dimitri has his eye on someone else, her friend Mason has a huge crush on her, and she keeps getting stuck in her best friend Lissa's head while she's making out with her boyfriend, Christian.

      Then a massive Strigoi attack puts St. Vladimir's on high alert, and the academy crawls with Guardians - including the legendary Janine Hathaway...Rose's formidable, long-absent mother. The Strigoi are closing in, and the Academy's not taking any risks. This year, St. Vlad's holiday ski trip is mandatory.

      But the glittering winter landscape and the posh Idaho resort only provide the illusion of safety. When three students run away to strike back against the deadly Strigoi, Rose must join forces with Christian to rescue them. Only this time, Rose - and her heart - are in more danger than she ever could have imagined...



      Rose Hathaway knows it's forbidden to love another guardian. Her best friend Lissa - the last dragomir - must always come first. Unfortunately, when it comes to gorgeous Dimitri Belikov, some rules are meant to be broken...

      But since making her first Strigoi kills, Rose hasn't been feeling right. Something dark had begun to grow in her mind, and ghostly shadows warn of a terrible evil drawing nearer to the Academy's iron gates. And now that Lissa and Rose's sworn enemy, Victor Dashkov, is on trial for his freedom, tensions in the Moroi world are higher than ever.

      Lying to Lissa about Dimitri is one thing, but suddenly there's way more than friendship at stake. The immortal undead are on the prowl, and they want vengence for the lives that Rose has stolen. In a heart-stopping battle to rival her worst nightmares, Rose will have to choose between life, love and the two people who matter most...but will her choice mean that only one can survive?




      The recent attack on St. Vladimir's Academy devastated the entire Moroi world. Many are dead. And for the few victims carried off by Strigoi, their fates are even worse. A rare tattoo now adorns Rose's neck; a mark that says she's killed too many Strigoi to count.

      But only one victim matters...Dimitri Belikov. Rose must now choose one of two very different paths: honouring her life's vow to protect Lissa - her best friend and the last surviving Dragomir - or dropping out of the Academy to strike out on her own and hunt down the man she loves. She'll have to go to the ends of the earth to find Dimitri and keep the promise he begged her to make. But the question is, when the time comes, will he want to be saved?

      When your done with those, and most likely still have time before the 18th of May, here is the first chapter of the fifth novel, Spirit Bound.

      Read the first chapter of Spirit Bound here.

      Link here if you are going to join me.

      Thursday, April 15, 2010

      Book Review: Taken by Storm by Angela Morrison

      Review: Taken by Storm
      Series: Taken By Storm - Book 1
      Author: Angela Morrison
      No. Of Pages: 304
      Release Date: 4th February 2010

      Leesie Hunt has many rules: No kissing. No sex. No dating outside the Mormon faith.

      When Michael Walden—a deep-sea diver who lost his parents in a violent hurricane—arrives in town, Leesie sees someone who needs her. They fall for one another, even though his dreams are tied to the depths of the ocean and hers to salvation above.

      Will their intense chemistry be too strong to resist?

      Leesie and Michael must make the hardest choice of their lives: whether to follow their beliefs or their hearts.

      My thoughts:

      This book draws you in and doesn’t let go, even though you really want to get out.

      Taken by Storm is good in the same way that it is bad. It depends how you look at it. It features Leesie, whose voice we hear through her poems and Michael whose voice we hear through his diving logs.

      Leesie is the Mormon ice queen, no-one touches her and no-one wants to go near her, although it is a game for the guys to see who can pinch her the most.

      Michael is the troubled orphan, who recently lost his parents and doesn’t really feel like living anymore.

      And so inevitably they meet and the story ensues. Leesie and Michaels relationship develops quickly in pages, but slowly over time which is hard to understand at times. But the time that it was given was ample and well-paced.

      They had their troubles with Leesie’s faith and Michael’s belief that love equals making love, which Leesie of course, does not agree with. So will it work?

      The simple answer is, no. There is constant bickering and tension between the pair. And it’s ironic, for being you’re not so typical YA romance, it is very close to a real life one. They don’t think in happily ever after in Taken by Storm they are more focused on how they’re going to deal with the upcoming dance, and keeping the “width of the lords book between them at all times”.

      When Michael got fed up during one of the “down times” and cheated, I instantly thought (a very nasty word) but then in thinking about it now, who wouldn’t? You’ve just broken up with your frigid girlfriend; you have built up tension and an easy chick waiting for you on the sideline.

      Leesie is a good person, don’t get me wrong but she could be quite annoying and easily led Michael on in things you really shouldn’t lead guys on with. For being a Mormon ice-queen who won’t stand to be touched by anyone let alone a non Mormon, her values rapidly fall to the side when it came to even the first couple of meetings with Michael, which I didn’t see as realistic. If you’ve had it drummed into your head for your whole life (and I have) it doesn’t just fall away that easily for some guy that you barely know and who is obviously trouble. It spells disaster.

      I think it was sad in a way that Taken by Storm didn’t go smoothly; it puts a damper on other inter-religious relationships. With the thoughts being so different when it came to Michael and Leesie it was like they came from two different planets.

      Michael had all the normal non-religious thoughts about all the rules being stupid, Leesie had her high moral ground and faith in God.

      Taken by Storm is an enthralling read, and even though it is sad in some ways, in others it is extremely happy; it also brings us out of the clouds of YA and shows us that not everything runs as smooth as one fight and then you’re betrothed for eternal life.

      Taken by Storm is realistic, and that is its best attribute, it takes a familiar storyline and puts a unique twist in it making it captivating and memorable.

      Also in this Series:
      Unbroken Connection
      Cayman Summer


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