Sunday, September 29, 2013

Book Review: Beneath by H.B. Moore

Back Cover Blurb
genre: international thriller, short story
Chalice Stratford's hands won’t stop shaking, and not only is she required to give up her medical practice, but she’s forced to enter the witness protection program since the serial killer who brutally scarred her is still at large. Working in a museum in Bordeaux, France, the last thing she expects is to be abducted in a museum theft gone wrong. Omar Zagouri, the man behind the heist, is not who she expects, and Chalice soon learns he might be the one man who can put her demons to rest.

My Review
4 of 5 stars
I read Finding Sheba before reading this short story, so I was a little surprised that Beneath took place before Finding Sheba chronologically, even though it was released after. 

Beneath was fast-paced, with just enough about the characters to make me eager to find out more about them. I kept expecting Chalice to somehow connect to a character in Finding Sheba, but to my memory she isn't connected to that story at all. If she is, she was such a minor character I no longer remember her. That disappointed me because she is such a fascinating character. I really hope that there is more about her in the future!

I loved seeing Omar in action, and from someone else's pov. At first I was so confused as to why Omar decided to help Chalice, but then I decided--because I've read Finding Sheba--that it's just something Omar would do. 

This is a great teaser story for Finding Sheba. It introduces you to Omar and his job, and is an exciting nibble that has you dying for me.

Photobucket

Monday, September 23, 2013

Book Review: A Portrait for Toni by Annette Lyon

Back Cover Blurb
genre: contemporary romance
Toni has no idea what she’d do without her best friend, Carter. Who else would she be able to vent to about her parents, her job at the dance studio, or her latest relationship woes? When Toni’s father lands in the hospital, Carter, as always, is there for her.

That is, until he starts questioning Toni, saying he thinks she has an eating disorder. Then she starts dating Clint, the hot new guy at the studio, and somehow that puts a deeper wedge between her and Carter. When she’s hospitalized after an on-stage collapse, and Carter stupidly starts in with advice about food and weight, she sends him away—then instantly regrets it.

One night after a performance, Toni tries to mend the hurt between them. Instead of finding Carter, she stumbles onto proof that he has feelings for her that go way beyond those of a friend. Toni is left with the very real prospect of losing Carter forever, unless somehow she can return his feelings—but that’s impossible.

Isn’t it?


My Review
4.5 of 5 stars
I have always loved this author's work, and she didn't disappoint with this one! Carter's love for Toni--and Toni's oblivion to his feelings--instantly drew me into the story. I was rooting for this couple from page 1. I was also taken in by the evidence of Toni's eating disorder, and felt my worry for her grow with each chapter.

I love the emotional and romantic tension between Carter and Toni throughout the story. I felt for Carter! He was a perfect leading man. He always kept Toni's needs and feeling at the forefront of his thoughts and actions, and he was such a great best friend to Toni. I also loved Toni's reaction when she found out about Carter's feelings--it was so believable, and so not the typical romance-novel reaction to a confession of love. 

I felt like Toni's eating disorder was, for the most part, dealt with very well. It brought up some of the very real issues and concerns that those dealing with a disorder struggle with on a daily basis. I do wish that the matter hadn't been solved quite so neatly. I would've loved to see Toni's struggle with bulimia intensified even more. I also really wish there was an epilogue to this story--I loved Toni and Carter (and their relationship) so much, and I just wasn't ready for the book to end!

A Portrait for Toni was a feel-good novel that left me with a happy sigh as I turned the last page. I felt a real emotional depth in the story, and felt myself close to tears a few times. This might be my new favorite book by this author. 
Photobucket

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tuesdays in Twinland: Toddler Bed Mishaps

Maybe you remember last week's post where I talked about the need to switch the twins to toddler beds. Well, we made the switch. We did it on a Friday night, so that Neil would be home to help with the twins should they be...difficult.

7 p.m. rolls around. Bedtime. We put the twins in their beds, kiss them goodnight, and shut the door.

That's when the party began.

8 o'clock. 9 o'clock. 10 o'clock. 11 o'clock. The party is still going! Finally, at midnight--five hours after they are usually asleep--we went in, cleaned up all the toys, and got them down again. I have no idea when they went to sleep, because after that, me and the hubby did.

So sometime after midnight the twins went to sleep. They were awake by six o'clock the next morning. My children, who usually sleep 11 to 12 hours a night, had slept barely six.

And we had family pictures that morning.

The pictures actually turned out great, despite the crankiness and sleep depravity all of us were experiencing.

With our mission complete, we took the crankies home for a much-needed nap. We put them down, and they were so exhausted they went to sleep without much of a problem. The hubby and I also laid down for a little shut eye. Some time later, the twins woke up. We heard them on the baby monitor, playing gleefully and revealing in the freedom of toddler beds.

Then Thing 1 started crying. More like screaming. Sometimes Thing 2 will sit on Thing 1's head, so hubby went in to take care of the situation. He'd barely walked in the door before he called for me to come. I walked into the nursery.

And there was shattered glass. Everywhere.

The Thing had somehow broke a picture frame that had been hanging on the wall. The frame was completely busted. The glass was shattered. And we never heard a crash. I had no idea how they managed this.

I quickly took the crying twins upstairs (they wanted to "help" Daddy pick up the glass) and out of the danger zone so Neil could clean up the aftermath. Upstairs, with the help of the grandparents, we assessed for damage. There were some small cuts here and there, but nothing major (thank heaven). I have no idea how they weren't more seriously injured.

Leaving the twins with the grandparents, I went back downstairs. Unknown blood spatters were found on the ottoman for the rocking chair. The ottoman fabric was also cut in quite a few places. How were they not seriously injured?

That's when the real toddler-proofing of the room began. We had already put a lock on the closet door (so they wouldn't scale the shelves) and on their dresser (so they wouldn't pull out all the clothes every time they were in there). We had removed the shelf from the bookcase (after they pulled it out about three times). We had put only non-sharp, non-choking-hazard toys in their for their enjoyment (stuffed animals and duplo legos). But after vacuuming up all the glass, we went through and removed all the picture frames from the walls. All the knick-knacks from the high-up shelf I was sure they couldn't reach. After they opened all the diapers and pulled out all the wipes, those got stored in the closet instead of on the changing table, too. And, just last night, we also took away the expensive blinds and replaced them with cheap curtains made from old sheets. We also might have to remove the toddler beds and just leave a mattress on the floor soon--they are somehow managing to break the springs in their bed.

Toddler beds have definitely been a new and interesting experience. It didn't take long for them to adjust, thankfully--about four days. Now they're back to their normal sleeping schedule, more or less. They usually go to bed without playing. However, they don't sleep as long now--about 10 hours at night and about 2 hours at nap time, as opposed to 12 hours and 3 hours. I don't know how much of this is due to toddler beds, and how much is due to them just getting bigger and not needing as much sleep. And the other night we woke up at 1 in the morning to find their mattresses off their beds, and every toy in their room pulled out while they happily played. But we're adjusting.

Now for the next phase: taking away the bottles when they go to bed...

TWIN MOM TIP: Remove everything from your twins' room before switching to toddler beds. Everything. Just trust me on this one.

Photobucket

Monday, September 16, 2013

Guest Post: BIG is Beautiful by Kelly Martin

I'm so happy to have Kelly visiting today to talk about her new book, BIG is Beautiful. I am so excited about this book, and can't wait to read it. Stay tuned for my book review when life calms down and I can carve out some reading time. :)
_______

I want to thank Lindzee for having me on her blog today to talk about my new bestselling book, BIG is BEAUTIFUL.

BIG is a personal book for me. It was probably the easiest I've ever written. It sort of just-- came out. Like Brittany, I'm not the smallest person ever. Unlike Brittany, I never had a Kendra Moses to taunt me about it.

And unlike Brittany, I never had a Matt Taylor to tutor me in Math (and the fine art of kissing ;) ).

My goal with BIG is to first of all entertain. While it does deal with a heavy subject (body issues, eating disorders), it is funny. Brittany's internal dialogue cracks me up. There are still scenes I laugh at. And the love story between her and Matt--- swoon! My other goal is to show girls that it's okay not to be the skinniest. The main thing is to love yourself no matter what. If you can't, no one else can either.

I love Brittany and Matt. I hope you do too.

Back Cover Blurb
The seven worst words ever spoken came out of Brittany Gregory's mom's mouth at breakfast, "I signed you up for math tutoring." Sure, she probably needs it (probably nothing, she'll fail without it), but the thought of having to stay in that school longer than she had to every day makes her sick. It's not the school's fault... just the few jerks inside.

Brittany's tutor is none other than Matt Taylor, senior quarterback-- all around hottie. At first, she's shy around him because, hello, Matt Taylor! But as he shows more and more unexpected kindness toward her, Brittany softens around him.

Unfortunately for Brittany, Matt's former girlfriend, the beautifully wicked Kendra Moses, has tormented Britt since eighth grade about her weight. In an unusual moment of brains, Kendra realizes Brittany's initials spell B.I.G.-- a hilarious (to the cheerleader) irony since Brittany isn't the smallest girl at school.

With the Red Ball (Valentine's Dance) approaching, Brittany has to decide if her growing feelings for Matt are real, or if he's secretly been playing a part in Kendra's game all along.

Excerpt
After I stepped off of the bus, I slung my backpack over my shoulder. Feeling the cold morning chill pelting me, I zipped my new coat higher around my neck and tried to cover every bit of exposed skin I could. I must have slowed or shifted or done something to tick off the guy behind me because he decided to take it upon himself to yell loudly and with much annoyance, “Move it, Big. I know you have a lot of blubber to carry around. Give the rest of us a break, would ya?”

And there it was. The first use of my nickname today. It wouldn’t be the last. My name at school was Big like Jillian’s name was Jillian and Kendra’s name was Kendra… well, some people called Kendra other names besides Kendra, but never in front of her face, and never with a crowd around.

Of course, like always, snickers followed. You’d think my peers would get tired of it by now. It had been the same thing, the same taunting by the same jerks since I was in eighth grade and got a little bit on the chunky side. I’d never be a supermodel, but I wished they would give me a break! My entire life didn’t revolve around eating. I didn’t eat fast food every night and sit around like a log. Grandma Duke on my mom’s side had been big boned, and I supposed I inherited the dreaded gene from her. Having never seen my biological father nor his side of the family, I had no idea if I’d been doubly cursed.

Man, I sounded like a whiner.

“Big!” Caleb, the guy behind me, tapped me hard on the shoulder like I was deaf. Guess he thought I was too fat to hear. Guess I’d start walking slower… guess it was on purpose. Oh, to have the control.

“Move it! I have a class to get to.” He pushed me out of the way so hard I slammed against the brick wall. It was enough force to scuff the top of my right hand. Little droplets of blood beaded out of the scrapes.

“Can you even fit through the door?” He laughed, not taking a second look back at the girl leaning against the building in shock. I’d been made fun of before, laughed at, shunned, but I’d never been pushed. Never had physical evidence.

A steady stream of my fellow students walked by me, some giggling and some just ignoring me. Others looked sad for me, which strangely was worse. I felt a hand on my shoulder which surprised me. My head shot up, and when I saw who it was, my mouth went instantly dry.

Matt Taylor.

The Matt Taylor!

“You okay?”

I couldn’t make my lips work. Matt Taylor, senior football star (star was too little of a word. Matt was a legend at Easton, leading the team to the first ever 2A championship in December) stared down at me. His pale blue eyes were soft. “Are you hurt?”

I still hadn’t spoken, just stared at him like I’d never seen a guy before in my life. I’d seen them before, had seen Matt before, but I’d never talked to him. Finally, blood ran back into my brain and I shook my head, forcing myself to stop acting like a stupid groupie. “Yeah, I’m fine. Sorry to block your way.”

“You’re not.”

Sure. “Anyway. Thanks for stopping.”

He smiled, showing his famous dimples. I was so gawking at him. “No problem. I’ll see you later.”

“Okay.” I watched him walk through the double doors and snapped out of my daydreaming when the ten minute bell rang. I started walking then hesitated. See me later? We didn’t have any classes together.

Buy Links

Author Bio
Kelly Martin a southern girl who writes... a lot. She is the author of the bestsellers SAINT SLOAN and THE DECEPTION OF DEVIN MILLER. Her first novel, CROSSING THE DEEP, won the Grace Award for best Young adult novel. By day, she is a teacher. By night, she has her hair in a bun and her fingers on a keyboard. She loves God, is addicted to chocolate, and would rather write than sleep. Kelly loves a good mystery and believes in Sherlock Holmes.

Social Media Link

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Book Review: Feudlings in Flames by Wendy Knight

Back Cover Blurb
genre: YA urban fantasy
Ari thought being in love with her prophesied nemesis sucked. But being responsible for her best friend's kidnapping? It sucks worse.

Ari and Shane thought they’d beaten Fate and ended the three-hundred year war plaguing their people. They thought love had won. But they were so, so wrong.

Instead of graduating high school like the normals, they’re in a battle to save Charity – Shane’s cousin, Ari's best friend, and the seer who might hold the key to ending the war for good. To do that, they’re forced to accept help from a boy they aren’t even sure they can trust. He’s powerful and knows spells even Ari’s never heard of, but he’s also secretive and has a past he’s determined to keep hidden . Add to that the fact that he has his sights set on Ari, and Shane would rather do without his help.

Ari has bigger problems than mysterious boys and their strange powers. The powerful Edren Family is hunting her brother, and she can't very well save him or Charity while they’re constantly being attacked by her own people. To stop the raids, she has to take the fight to them. But if she starts hunting the family that raised her, what kind of monster will she be?

Fate still waits for the death of one by the hand of the other.


My Review
4 out of 5 stars
Feudlings in Flames is book two in the Fate on Fire series. First of all, can I say how much I covet Wendy's covers? I have been obsessed with all of them! This one matches the other two covers in the Fate on Fire series so well.

I have to preface this by saying I had already read 60% of this book when Wendy and I used to be in a critique group together. I read this 60% before ever reading Feudlings. Word to the wise: this is not one of those series where the books should be read out of order. Because I had already read so much of it, I didn't exactly have "fresh eyes" on this version of the story since I had read a previous draft. That being said, I liked Feudlings in Flames the first time around, but now--having read Feudlings--I love it!

Feudlings in Flames starts off with a bang and keeps ramping up the tension for the rest of the book. The stakes are incredibly high to begin with, and that makes this a real nail-biter! 

I loved spending so much time in Charity's point of view and getting to know her better as a character. I also really enjoyed Tristan (talk about an intriguing character!) and the way he creates challenges to Ari and Shane's relationship. There were also quite a few twists that caught me off guard towards the end, which I loved! And the ending? Pure poetry?

I did miss the setting of the school in Park City in this book...I loved that about book one, but it wouldn't have made sense as a setting for this book so I can't really complain. :) I also felt like the ending was simultaneously too rushed and too dragged out. Without giving anything away, I thought the story was finished and that the author had left it wide open for a book three. And then, suddenly, the book wasn't finished and the ending suddenly appeared. I would've liked the last scene slowed down a bit, because I enjoyed that part of it so much. There were also quite a few typos which got a little distracting, but I loved the story so much I almost didn't care.

The Fate on Fire series is great for teenagers and adults alike. It's super clean as far as content and language--something I would have no problem giving a young teen to read. This series is so much fun. The characters are full of heart, the plot is compelling, and just when you think you have things figured out, you're caught off guard. Another great book by Wendy Knight!

You can read my review on Feudlings (book one) and Feudlings in Sight (short story) if you're interested as well.

Buy Links
Feudlings (Fate on Fire book 1)
Amazon * Astraea Press * B&N

Feudlings in Sight (Fate on Fire short story)
Amazon * Astraea Press * B&N

Feudlings in Flames (Fate on Fire book 2)
Amazon * Astraea Press * B&N
Photobucket

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Spotlight: Feudlings in Flames by Wendy Knight

Anyone who follows this blog knows I adore Wendy, and I adore her writing. I'm so pleased to announce her newest book, Feudlings in Flames!

Back Cover Blurb
Ari thought being in love with her prophesied nemesis sucked. But being responsible for her best friend's kidnapping? It sucks worse.

Ari and Shane thought they’d beaten Fate and ended the three-hundred year war plaguing their people. They thought love had won. But they were so, so wrong.

Instead of graduating high school like the normals, they’re in a battle to save Charity – Shane’s cousin, Ari's best friend, and the seer who might hold the key to ending the war for good. To do that, they’re forced to accept help from a boy they aren’t even sure they can trust. He’s powerful and knows spells even Ari’s never heard of, but he’s also secretive and has a past he’s determined to keep hidden . Add to that the fact that he has his sights set on Ari, and Shane would rather do without his help.

Ari has bigger problems than mysterious boys and their strange powers. The powerful Edren Family is hunting her brother, and she can't very well save him or Charity while they’re constantly being attacked by her own people. To stop the raids, she has to take the fight to them. But if she starts hunting the family that raised her, what kind of monster will she be?


Fate still waits for the death of one by the hand of the other.

Excerpt from Feudling in Flames
"No no, Hunter, it curves this way." Ari stood back, watching with a frown, and then jumped back in. "Imagine in your mind what you want the spell to do. Tie your emotions to your spells."

Shane watched her guide Hunter and tried again on his own. "Close, Shane, but like this," Ari reached out, holding his hand as she led him through the motion. He felt the flames racing through his blood react to her touch and sparks flew from his fingers, igniting the spell. It hung, burning, in the air, a bright blue curlicue thing. "Perfect," she whispered, still holding on to his hand.

"Maybe, but does it work?" Tristan's voice was flat and uninterested, but Shane could hear the animosity running under the words.

"We don't have any targets set out. He can't test it." Ari shook her head, and still holding Shane's hand, made a quick swiping motion through the spell, dissipating it.     "Try again." She let go of his hand and stepped back, watching expectantly.

Shane tried, once, twice, and three times. He couldn't get it quite right, but neither could Hunter, which made him feel better, and Tristan wasn't even trying.

"It's okay if you can't do it, Shane. There are a lot of other powerful spells she uses that will be much easier for you to master," Will said.

Ari vehemently shook her head. "No. He can do it. Just give him a minute!"
Shane kept his attention focused on the spell in front of him, but he couldn't stop his grin.

Ari believed in him.

He burned the spell into the air again, trying to replicate the one Ari had drawn, but it fizzled into a mass of smoke. The spell had to ignite to actually do anything. He groaned in frustration, tipping his head sideways to look at Ari. "What am I doing wrong?"

She bit her lip, studying him for several seconds. "When you did it the first time, what were you thinking?"

Shane paused, dropping his hand that was still poised in the air. "Umm… I was thinking we were gonna die and I had seen you throw that spell so I knew it was possible. It just happened."

Author Bio
Wendy Knight was born and raised in Utah by a wonderful family who spoiled her rotten because she was the baby. Now she spends her time driving her husband crazy with her many eccentricities (no water after five, terror when faced with a live phone call, etcetera, etcetera). She also enjoys chasing her three adorable kids, playing tennis, watching football, reading, and hiking. Camping is also big: her family is slowly working toward a goal of seeing all the National Parks in the U.S.

You can usually find her with at least one Pepsi nearby, wearing ridiculously high heels for whatever the occasion may be. And if everything works out just right, she will also be writing. 

Social Media Links

Buy Links
Photobucket

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Tuesdays in Twinland: Climbing Out of the Crib

Last Thursday, we had the bug guy come to spray the house for bugs. The twins were just waking up from their naps, so I quickly unlocked their doors (keeps them entertained for a minute to open and close them since they're right next to their cribs) and ran around the corner before they could see me (if they see me, it's all over). Then I slipped into the restroom to use the facilities before we left to run some errands while the bug spray dried.

Imagine my surprise when I heard the pitter-patter of little feet running down the hallway. Soon, there were little fingers reaching under the bathroom door.

And I knew. I just knew. Thing 2 had escaped from his crib. He'd already done it twice before, but both attempts had ended in falling and so he hadn't tried since.

But this time he had escaped. And was uninjured. And was running wild through the house, while I was, um, indisposed. 

I quickly finished my business, and found Thing 2. "Mama!" he exclaimed. And he had the most adorable grin on his face, and was so proud of himself.

"Did you climb out of your crib?" I asked.

He just giggled.

I followed him into the nursery, where a very put out Thing 1 demanded to be let free as well. And the nursery was a disaster. All the wipes had been pulled from their container. The diapers were strewn about. Thing 2 had enjoyed his freedom.

The bug guy arrived, and we left the house to run errands. Fast forward to bedtime. Thing 2, arush with the thrill of his new-found freedom, escaped his crib no less than four times in our attempts to get them to go to sleep. It only took two hours.

Fast forward again to the next morning. I woke up, and all was quiet in the nursery. So I took a shower. Things were still quiet. Since my kids are never quiet when awake, I got ready for the day. By this point, it was 8:30 and the quiet was starting to be suspicious. So I went into the nursery, and sure enough, Thing 2 had gotten loose and wreaked destruction on everything in his path. The books were strewn about, the shelves all pulled out of the bookcase. The changing table pad was in the middle of the floor. Blankets were everywhere, and he'd pulled things out of the dresser. Thing 2 proudly wore his tennis shoes, clearly ready for the day. Thing 2 had kindly provided his brother with shoes (their favorite thing to play with) to keep him occupied.

I was a little worried how nap time would go today, but they went to sleep without an issue so hopefully...

We've switched them to toddler beds now. It's been a rough transition--one I'll probably be writing about again. Hard to believe my little boys are so big.
Photobucket

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Tuesdays in Twinland: Spaghetti-O's

With each day, Thing 1 and Thing 2 get increasingly independent. In some ways, I love this. They are getting to be awesome helpers. I love that they now follow simple commands, like "go put your clothes in the laundry basket" or "go get your shoes." I love that they want to walk instead of being carried most of the time (they are heavy!). I love that their little personalities shine through so much now.

Sometimes, though, it's just a pain in the butt. Like a few weeks ago, when Thing 2 insisted on wearing the green shirt (which is usually Thing 1's color). All day I kept getting them mixed up and having to remind myself they were in opposite colors.

But the most hilarious situation of all happened at lunch last week. It was one of those let's-hurry-through-lunch-what's-easiest days. I pulled out a can of spaghetti-o's and the bag of chicken nuggets and asked, "What one do you want to eat?" Thing 2 promptly chose the spaghetti-o's, grabbing them out of my hand. He and Thing 1 started fighting over them.

Spaghetti-o's was the clear choice. I tried to grab the can from the twins' hands, but they weren't letting go. So I gave up and grabbed the other can of spaghetti-o's from the pantry. I opened them with a can opener, and tried to feed it to them.

Oh no. They weren't having that. They were going to open the can by themselves. They pulled the can opener out of the drawer (they broke that child lock off and now they can reach inside the drawer) and tried to open it themselves.

And, well...it's really more fun if you just watch the video. Yes, I've decided to share a rare video of the twins. It's too hilarious not to.



After this, I put them in their high chairs, and Thing 1 proceeded to throw a ginormous fit that ended with both kids throwing their bowl of spaghetti-o's on the floor and refusing to eat lunch because they hadn't opened the can themselves.

Oh, and if you're wondering why they're practically naked, it's because they're such messy eaters it's just easier to let them eat in only a diaper. Less work for mommy. :)
Photobucket

Spotlight: B.I.G. is Beautiful by Kelly Martin

I haven't had a chance to read this book yet, but it looks fantastic! I really enjoy this author's writing and can't wait to sink my teeth into this one.

Back Cover Blurb
The seven worst words ever spoken came out of Brittany Gregory's mom's mouth at breakfast, "I signed you up for math tutoring." Sure, she probably needs it (probably nothing, she'll fail without it), but the thought of having to stay in that school longer than she had to every day makes her sick. It's not the school's fault... just the few jerks inside.

Brittany's tutor is none other than Matt Taylor, senior quarterback-- all around hottie. At first, she's shy around him because, hello, Matt Taylor! But as he shows more and more unexpected kindness toward her, Brittany softens around him.

Unfortunately for Brittany, Matt's former girlfriend, the beautifully wicked Kendra Moses, has tormented Britt since eighth grade about her weight. In an unusual moment of brains, Kendra realizes Brittany's initials spell B.I.G.-- a hilarious (to the cheerleader) irony since Brittany isn't the smallest girl at school. 

With the Red Ball (Valentine's Dance) approaching, Brittany has to decide if her growing feelings for Matt are real, or if he's secretly been playing a part in Kendra's game all along.

Buy Links
Photobucket

Monday, September 2, 2013

Book Review: Rising by Holly Kelly

Back Cover Blurb
genre: YA mythic fantasy
In a war between the humans and the inhabitants of the sea—humans will lose. Xanthus Dimitriou—the most lethal Dagonian to rise from the ocean—is on a mission to save mankind from annihilation. But first there’s one small thing he needs to do. Kill a young woman in a wheelchair.

Killing her doesn’t start out as part of his plan. He entrenches himself deep in the human world. Aligning himself with his enemies, he prepares to send them to Triton to face their punishment. Then Sara Taylor rolls onto the scene. Xanthus knows at once she’s a criminal. And her crime? Being born. She’s a human/Dagonian half-breed, an abomination. Killing her should be an easy job. All he has to do is break into her apartment, slit her throat, and feed her body to the sharks. Simple, right? Wrong. If only she weren’t so beautiful, so innocent, so sweet... Saving the world may have to wait. It appears he has a woman to save. But protecting her may cost him his own life.


My Review
4.5 stars out of 5
I really enjoyed this book and found myself neglecting life so I could squeeze in another chapter. :) There were some really unique and interesting details in this novel that really helped the world building. I was fascinated by the social structure of the Dagonian society (I agree with Sara, they need a women's rights movement!). The whole men-can-smell-fertile-women thing was interesting, and reminded me a little bit of Twilight (in a good way).

I loved Xanthus as a character. He was the perfect hero--strong, handsome, and protective. I loved watching Sara come out of her shell with Xanthus's influence in her life.

I appreciated the challenges Sara encountered as a wheelchair-bound individual, and I enjoyed seeing her struggles in the human world. But I really liked the Dagonian world! The author gave enough of a description that I had a very vivid picture in my head, but not so much description that I grew bored.

Towards the end of the novel, the dialogue grew oddly stilted at times, and I felt like Sara broke character a bit too much. It may have been intended as a character arc, but it was too abrupt and swift for me. There were a few grammatical issues as well. Overall, however, this book was a story that kept me up late at night reading and had me hiding away in my bedroom to finish while my husband took care of the kids. A fantastic debut novel! I can't wait to see what this author comes up with next. I really hope there will be more stories set in the Dagonian world.

Rising is set to release on September 6, this Friday! Start saving your pennies, because this one is worth buying.

I received a free ARC of this novel in exchange for my honest review. 
Photobucket

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Book Review: The Deception of Devin Miller by Kelly Martin

Back Cover Blurb
One month ago, seventeen year old Devin Miller wrecked while intoxicated— or so she’s told by the sightly ticked off blue-eyed boy when she wakes up from a coma. The only thing Devin remembers is the darkness holding her down and the voices-- some happy, some upset, and one very agitated. She can't remember her name, her age, where she lives, or who in the world the blue-eyed boy is. But he knows her and against her better judgment, she offers to pay him for his memories so she can trick the ones closest to her into thinking she's fine. 

That is her first mistake.

When Devin gets home, the deception is harder than she thought. People she doesn't know keep talking to her. Trey (the blue-eyed boy) doesn't show up like he said he would. And the police want to talk to her about her involvement with the car accident. Plus she keeps seeing flashes of the wreck, but none of them make sense. What would a red plastic cup have to do with anything? And why can't she seem to trust the people she is supposed to trust the most?

Facing DUI charges for a wreck she can't recall, Devin fights to remember exactly what happened the night of the crash: something the real driver desperately wants her to forget permanently.

Who is really doing the deceiving?


My Review
4 of 5 stars
I immediately loved the premise of this book, and it sucked me right in. Amnesia, the brooding bad-boy, and some seriously shady characters with a lot to hide--what's not to love? I thoroughly enjoyed Trey as a character, and loved watching his and Devin's relationship evolve. I also loved watching Devin slowly discover her past and find out about herself through others--and work to change herself when she didn't like the picture that was forming.

As a general rule, I am not a fan of flashbacks, but I thought the author handled them very well in this story. Instead of skim-reading them so I can get to the real story, I found myself hanging on every word of the flashbacks. The author also walked the fine line between withholding enough information to keep my interest and withholding so much I get frustrated very well. I was in suspense the entire book, dying to find out what was going on, but just as I'd start to almost get frustrated, one of my questions would be answered.


There were quite a few grammar errors and the writing could've been tightened up quite a bit. I thought everything resolved a little too neat and tidy at the end. I would've liked there to be more of a personal cost to the characters in the story for their actions. But the story was fantastic and I enjoyed every second of reading it. Now I'm going to track down the other books this author has published!
Photobucket