Sunday, 30 November 2014

Eternal (Shadow Falls: After Dark #2) by C.C. Hunter (Review)

     Badabababaaa I'm lovin' it! (*Gasp* She just made a McDonalds reference!) I know, I know. But it just seemed very accurate description for Eternal. It's addicting as McDonalds food minus the health risks. In this continuation of the Shadow Falls: After Dark series, Della's career in FRU and relationships with Steve and Chase takes on whole new lights. With a new ghost demanding she and Chase work together to save two young vampires. Eternal's addicting and interesting dialogue had me chuckling and on the edge of my seat from page one to the very end. Once again C.C. Hunter very pulled off a great paranormal young-adult novel. I could not put it down for a second. Eternal had me crying and giggling, wrapping me around C.C. Hunter's thumb. I believe she is a natural born story teller, and can't wait for the next installment of this series. I happily give Eternal four and a half out of five stars!

Reborn (Shadow Falls: After Dark #1) by C.C. Hunter (Review)

   I am a large fan of C.C. Hunters previous Shadow Falls series, so I had a large amount of excitement to read the beginning of the follow up series staring Della, a vampire attending Shadow Falls camp. This story starts after the finish of the original Shadow Falls series, and fluidly transitions into the views and life of Della. I simply LOVED Reborn! Its constant twists and turns, and romantic moments twisted up my emotions, and I could simply not put the book down. I believe that C.C. Hunter has developed the perfect formula for creating a great paranormal young-adult novel. I simply adore the character development and the imagery. I could see the story reeling before my eyes and casting me into the universe of vampires, were-wolves, witches, ghosts, fairies, and protectors. I without a doubt recommend this heart stopping suspenseful novel. I happily give Reborn the esteemed and much earned rating of four and a half stars out of five!

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons (Review)

      Thank you Kristen Simmons, for creating this gorgeous piece of Young Adult literature. The Glass Arrow touched my heart and roused my mind. The Glass Arrow transports the reader into a complex world where women have once again become property, and a fertile women is becoming a rare thing to see. Where women are auctioned to the highest bidder and are raised to be docile, one girl keeps the fire and fights for freedom with the help of a mysterious boy. No matter what they do, say, or treat her like; she will always be wild and free. Nobody can tame this dame as she fights for the freedom taken away from her. Fans of Blood Red Road will simply adore this novel, with its slightly dystopian feel and kick-butt independent heroine. I completely recommend this book. It is a must-read in my opinion! I lovingly give The Glass Arrow FIVE OUT OF FIVE STARS!!
*Advanced Readers Copy Review*

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Getting to Know the Authors: Featuring Mary Elizabeth Summer!

Mary Elizabeth Summer is an instructional designer, a mom, a champion of the serial comma, and a pie junkie. Oh, and she sometimes writes books about teenage delinquents saving the day. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her daughter, her partner, and her evil overlor–er, cat. 

What has she written?
Mary has just published her debut novel Trust Me, I'm Lying.
Blurb of Trust Me, I'm Lying:
Fans of Ally Carter, especially her Heist Society readers, will love this teen mystery/thriller with sarcastic wit, a hint of romance, and Ocean’s Eleven–inspired action.
Julep Dupree tells lies. A lot of them. She’s a con artist, a master of disguise, and a sophomore at Chicago’s swanky St. Agatha High, where her father, an old-school grifter with a weakness for the ponies, sends her to so she can learn to mingle with the upper crust. For extra spending money Julep doesn’t rely on her dad—she runs petty scams for her classmates while dodging the dean of students and maintaining an A+ (okay, A-) average.
But when she comes home one day to a ransacked apartment and her father gone, Julep’s carefully laid plans for an expenses-paid golden ticket to Yale start to unravel. Even with help from St. Agatha’s resident Prince Charming, Tyler Richland, and her loyal hacker sidekick, Sam, Julep struggles to trace her dad’s trail of clues through a maze of creepy stalkers, hit attempts, family secrets, and worse, the threat of foster care. With everything she has at stake, Julep’s in way over her head . . . but that’s not going to stop her from using every trick in the book to find her dad before his mark finds her. Because that would be criminal. 

Now On to the Interview!!
1) How old were you when you started writing, in your opinion?
I started writing for fun in elementary school, 5th grade or so. But I went through great, years-long stretches without writing a word. I didn't start writing seriously until about 2005, which was several years after I graduated college and realized that if I didn't make time for writing, I'd never get a book published. I've given up a lot of other interests and hobbies to have enough time to devote to learning the craft. It's not easy, but there's nothing I'd rather do.

2) What do you want a reader to gain from reading your works?
Great question. It's hard to pick just one thing. In fact, I'll cheat and pick three. 
First, I want readers to gain an understanding and empathy for people who are unlike them--people who may have come from rough backgrounds or had crap to deal with their entire lives--to increase their own capacity for compassion and give people the benefit of the doubt, even people society would deem criminals. Everyone was a vulnerable little kid at some point in their lives. Everyone makes mistakes, especially when they are deprived of necessities that most of the rest of us take for granted. 

Second, I'd like readers to come away with an appreciation for all the shades of gray there are between black and white. People are complicated. Their motivations are mixed, never expressly good or wholly bad. And even the worst people can do brave and heroic things. 

Third, I want readers to be 100% entertained. I don't believe in literature for its own sake. If there's no story, then what's the point? Even if there is a story and it's not exciting, then why I did I just waste ten hours of my life reading it? I want to be chased, torn apart, rebuilt, and torn apart again when I read. So that's what I want my readers to experience.

3) What are your three top suggestions on becoming an author, or being a pleasure writer?
One: Read a LOT. Know what's already out there and find a way to twist the genre to make it your own. Reading will teach you more about writing than anything else (besides writing itself).
Two: Write a LOT. That book The Tipping Point talks about a certain number of hours you have to put into something before you get really good at it. That is so true for writing. I've written three other novels before the novel that finally got published. You have to be willing to do that work before you're good enough.
Three: Develop a thick skin for criticism. You will get criticism, and you will need it. You will be grateful for it, even when it stings like a hornet hopped up on Chemical X. And you will get it your entire career--from critique partners, from agents rejecting your queries, from editors rejecting your manuscript, from book critics who don't get your book, from readers who pick apart every word you ever wrote. So turn it around. Own it. Develop a taste for it, so you know when it's sound advice and when it's bullsh*t. If you can do that, you'll make it, and you'll actually enjoy the ride.

Bonus #Four: Follow other writers, agents, and editors on Twitter and pay attention to what they say. You'll be inundated with every free piece of writing and publishing advice you could ever need. Twitter: best kept author-making secret. Do yourself a favor and get on Twitter now while you're writing your first, or fifth, or fortieth, book.

5) What is your favourite novel, why?
Oh, jeez. You don't really expect me to answer that, do you? That's so hard. *thinks* I guess I'll pick Catseye by Andre Norton. I've reread it a million times. I think I like it so much because the characters are so sympathetic, and the bonding that happens between them is so believable, and the odds against them seem so impossible, and the world so alien. It's just everything. I love it. But there are so many other ones that blew me away, that I cart around with me every time I move because I couldn't imagine living without them. Keeper of the Isis Light, Fahrenheit 451, A Wrinkle in Time, The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, Remember Me, Watch for a Tall White Sail, The Ship Who Sang, Jane Eyre, Eight Cousins. Someday I'll make a list and post it somewhere.

6) Who is your favourite author, why?
That's just as hard! There are so many amazing ones to choose from. I guess I'll pick Andre Norton to go along with the previous answer. She was an incredibly prolific author, but the quality of her stories was always amazing. And she was a female sci-fi author back when that was almost impossible. I really admire her, and I love all her stories. Whenever I read them, it's like she's reaching into my soul, ferreting out my deepest desires, and transmogrifying me into a better person. If my books do half that for my readers, I'll consider my career a success.

7) What are your favorite pass times besides writing?
Reading, singing, organizing stuff (I know, I'm weird), eating, going to wineries, hiking. I don't do much of any of those right now, but I have in the past and I will again once I'm done with all my deadlines. ;-)

8) Who in your life do you credit your imagination to the most?
Probably my dad. He's a painter, a writer and reader, a dreamer. He's brilliant, and he gets excited by all the world has to offer. He passed that excitement down to me, along with the confidence that absolutely nothing is too difficult to accomplish.

9) What are the top five things on your bucket list?
Finish book 3 in the Trust Me series. (and hopefully many other books)
Go to my daughter's college graduation. (a bunch of years from now--she's only 4 at the moment)
Go wine tasting in France. (I'm not picky about region)
Save up enough money for a comfortable retirement. (I'd probably better get started on that)
Fly somewhere first-class. (for obvious reasons)

10) What is your funniest childhood memory?
I once poked myself in the eye with an umbrella. It hurt a lot, but in retrospect, it probably looked pretty funny.

11) To the youth of today, if you could tell them one thing, what would it be?
Be kind. To yourselves, your family, each other. It's not always easy, but it will ultimately make your lives amazing. I have everything I have because I was nice to people. Kindness is often overlooked for things like confidence, ambition, intelligence, and bravery. All those things are necessary and great, but kindness opens doors that no other quality can. And it's rarer than it should be. So that's my advice. Be kind. Always.

Under My Skin (Immortality Strain #1) by Shawntelle Madison (Review)

       What would you do if the one thing we all take for granted is taken away from you? What would you do if you have to battle for control of your own body? For Tate, a teenager, this becomes her life. After being selected for an “honoured” position, she quickly discovers the dark truth of the all-powerful Guild the controls her country.  Under My Skin has the reader asking large questions of concepts like “the ends justify the means” and contemplating what gives a life value, and who has the right to it.  I felt this novel had a very smooth feel to it, and did not linger too much on pointless detail. There is definitely much room for improvement with the resolution, due to giant gaps in what happened to others the reader would be curious about. This conundrum most definitely would leave the reader less then satisfied as they would finish the novel, as it did me. I give Under My Skin the rating of three and a half out of five stars.
*Advanced Readers Copy Review*

Duplicity by N.K. Traver (Review)

     Very impressive. While I started this novel, a few friends and I threw out theories on what the title means in the way of the story, and what was going to happen. We even went as far as to search the meaning of duplicity in plural dictionaries. All of our theories were wrong. Not one of us got even close to getting it right. That is an impressive feat, because surprising and intriguing a reader is half the battle of writing a good book, and is extremely difficult to do in a world of “seen that, been done already.”. Since I want you too to experience Duplicity the way I did, I will refrain from anything even remotely like a spoiler. What I can tell you is that it is quite individual. I recommend this book to YA lovers, and if you are a fan of SI-FI I recommend this book two times more. Since I can’t go into any detail without spoiling something juicy, I’ll just tell you the rating. Duplicity gets the honored rating of four out of five stars! 
*Advanced Readers Copy Review*

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Getting to Know the Authors: Featuring Sara Raasch!

Sara Raasch has known she was destined for bookish things since the age of five, when her friends had a lemonade stand and she tagged along to sell her hand-drawn picture books too. Not much has changed since then — her friends still cock concerned eyebrows when she attempts to draw things and her enthusiasm for the written word still drives her to extreme measures. Her debut YA fantasy, SNOW LIKE ASHES, the first in a trilogy, comes out October 14, 2014 from Balzer + Bray. It does not feature her hand-drawn pictures.
Want more of Sara, go to:

What has she written?
She has just released her first novel Snow Like Snow!

       Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now the Winterians' only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter's magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.
      Orphaned as an infant during Winter's defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians' general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend and future king, Mather—she would do anything to help Winter rise to power again.
       So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore their magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she's scaling towers and fighting enemy soldiers just as she's always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn't go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics—and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.
      Sara Raasch's debut fantasy is a lightning-fast tale of loyalty, love, and finding one's destiny.

Now onto the Interview!

1) How old were you when you started writing, in your opinion?
I've always been a writer. Even as a child, before I could really "write," I'd make horrible little picture books. It's always been in my blood! 

2) What do you want a reader to gain from reading your works?
The main theme of SNOW LIKE ASHES that I hope comes across (especially in the whole trilogy) is the idea that you are enough, on your own, without any outside influences. If people come away from my series believing that, I will be a happy author :)

3) Who is your favourite author, why?
My favorite author is Sharon Shinn, particularly for her Twelve Houses series. She's an adult fantasy author, and WOW. I read her books as a teen and totally fell in love with her world building and characters, and to this day, reading that series feels like home.

4) To the youth of today, if you could tell them one thing, what would it be?
Exactly the message of SNOW LIKE ASHES -- that they are enough as they are. It was a lesson that took me a long, long time to learn, so I hope through my book and just life in general they will come to realize how freaking awesome they are on their own!

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Suspicion by Alexandra Monir (Review)

   This book is very attention grabbing with its espionage and betrayal. It's complex mystery holds the readers attention and fires their imagination. I really enjoyed the complexity in Suspicion, because when everything connects in a story, my mind explodes. One of my only complaints about this book is the story length distribution. I believe the rising action in this novel took just a wee bit too long. It got to the dreaded point of boredom. It is a definite chance of a drop read. (Drop read: a book so boring the reader drops it like it's hot, and never finishes the book) Which would be sad, because if you can survive the lump of boredom, it definitely becomes worth it with it's on-slot of surprises and twists that you will never see coming. So if you start reading Suspicion, hold in! It will all be worth it in the end. I give Suspicion the esteemed four out of five stars!
*Advanced Readers Copy Review*

Monday, 17 November 2014

Getting to Know the Authors: Featuring Kendare Blake!

      Kendare Blake is an import from South Korea who was raised in the United States by caucasian parents. You know, that old chestnut. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Business from Ithaca College and a Master’s degree in Writing from Middlesex University in London. She brakes for animals, the largest of which was a deer, which sadly didn’t make it, and the smallest of which was a mouse, which did, but it took forever. Amongst her likes are Greek Mythology, rare red meat and veganism. She also enjoys girls who can think with the boys like Ayn Rand, and boys who scare the morality into people, like Bret Easton Ellis. - See more at: 

What has she written?
She has written: 
Anna Dressed in Blood,
 Girl of Nightmares,
Mortal Gods,
 Shadowhunters and Downworlders: A Mortal Instruments Reader, 
Sleepwalk Society, 
When Gods and Vampires Roamed Miami, 
and Violent Ends.

Now onto the Interview!!
1) How old were you when you started writing, in your opinion?
 Well...I wrote my first "novel" in seventh grade. But it was super crappy. That would be the start though. My stuff didn't become publishable or right after?

2) What do you want a reader to gain from reading your works?
 Enjoyment. A few characters to have fun spending time with, or perhaps to care about. Sometimes there are things I'd hope readers thought about, but that's never the sole intention. If something they read made them reflect on the world around them, or on themselves, that would be neat.

3) What are your three top suggestions on becoming an author, or being a pleasure writer?
Being an author and a pleasure writer should overlap as often as possible. Read a lot. And, don't forget to write. It's weird how many questions I get about writing from people who simply haven't started writing. Such questions are hard to answer!

4) What is your favourite novel, why?
I never pick favorite novels. Or if I do, I pick a different one every time. This time I'll say...Revolutionary Road, by Richard Yates.

5) Who is your favourite author, why?
 I never pick those either. Or if I do, I pick a different one every time. This time I'll say... Karen Russell. Or Holly Black.

6) What are your favorite pass times besides writing?
 Reading! And eating. Also traveling, watching movies and good TV, hiking, playing tennis, hanging with animals.

7) Who in your life do you credit your imagination to the most?
 Not to get all McConaughey on you, but, myself, I guess. Because my imagination is sparked by many things. Random things, and random people. No one person turns on the creativity more than any other. Ok. Maybe Caitlin R Kiernan. Or Milan Kundera. Or Bret Easton Ellis.

8) What are the top five things on your bucket list?
Ride a Friesian horse, or a Lusitano. Eat in a ridiculously fancy restaurant, like The French Laundry. Spend relaxing holidays in the South of France. Learn to play the piano, or the guitar. Shit, I need one more...order a really delicious chocolate theme cake, for one of my books.

9) What is your funniest childhood memory?
Um...I was sleepwalking once and apparently thought the neighbor kid who was sleeping on the couch was my worst enemy. They say I shouted nonsense at him as he slept and then slapped him silly. I of course, remember none of this.

10) To the youth of today, if you could tell them one thing, what would it be?
I guess...that I don't have anything to tell them that they'd believe. They're going to have to figure it all out on their own, in their own time. But not to worry. That's half the fun.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Misty Falls (Benedicts #4) by Joss Stirling (Review)

    *Squeal!* I LOVE Misty Falls. Joss was playing my heart strings like a master musician in the orchestra, and had me wrapped around her finger in this thrilling love story of Misty Falls. Misty Falls is the fourth installment of the Benedicts series. In a world of savants (people who have special powers and soul mates, known as soulfinders) Misty seems to have drawn the short stick. In a world where her friends and family can bend fire and see the future, the lack of ability to lie seems quite lame. One day, everything in her life changes with the meeting of her soulfinder, and with a killer on the loose, danger and intrigue is in the air.  I loved Misty and Alex in this novel. They were an amazingly adorable couple that had me constantly sighing happily.  My favorite part of this novel must definitely be the shock and mystery of the identity of the killer. (Don’t worry, no spoilers) I most definitely congratulate Joss for her new and once again successful novel, and can’t wait for the next one to come out and play my heart! I most definitely recommend this book to all (Especially romance lovers)!  I give Misty Falls the honoured and hard to get FIVE STARS!!!

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Deadly Pack (Deadly Trilogy #3) by Ashley Stoyanoff (Review)

   This is the third installment of the Deadly Trilogy. I love Ashley Stoyanoff’s voice as an author in these books. It’s very strong and unique, making for a smooth and clean read. Deadly Pack is a novel about werewolves, their two new pack leaders Jade and Aiden, and the danger of the cougar pack plotting against them. This book has had very good transition into its action and serious scenes, you could almost say it was seamless. Now, I did have a big problem with this book, which was the morally questionable actions (for example, being by-standers to murder and abuse) of the main protagonists.  As a pack, and in the pack dynamic, there are some things done that I can’t see a normal person just standing by and let happen. This most definitely takes away a lot of relatability from the pack and their leaders. Relatability can make or break a book, and unfortunately for Deadly Pack, it broke this book. It just maintained bearable status. I give this book two stars.
*Advanced Readers Copy Review*

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Beneath Scarlett Valley (Scarlett Valley #1) by Kerr-Ann Dempster (Review)

     What is the meaning of this story? Is there any? I tried to even pull out the classic "True love trumps all" theme, but the love relationship is so sparse and un-romantic that I can't. As I've said before, a good romance can go a long way to improving a story; and the opposite is true too. I believe the lack of romantic development took a lot away from the story. In addition, there was not much character development for ANY of the characters. Those were the downsides of the book, the upsides are the interesting theme of Furor's and the discussion of immortality and if it is worth it. In addition, this book was not an extremely lengthy read. There was some definite strong internal conversations and thoughts that the readers are privy to. In the end though, I still am so half and half about this book. It was not good, but it was not bad. I give Beneath Scarlett Valley the most accurate rating to match how I feel about this book. Two and a half stars.
*Advanced Readers Copy Review*

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

The Walled City by Ryan Graudin (Review)

 The Walled City was not what I was expecting at all. But that is not necessarily a bad thing. I went into this book expecting a dystopian-like feel and twenty-four seven action. Instead, I read a story about three youths who were in some way or another, sucked into living in the slums of The Walled City. Dai, a boy wanting to redeem his way back home. Mei Yee, a girl taken to the slums to be a prostitute, dreaming of freedom and the sea. Last but not least, Jin, who followed the truck taking her sister into the walled city, determined to save her no matter the cost. This story truly touched my heart with Jin’s strength, love and courage. It gave the reader a vision of how good a person can truly be in a terrible situation. I also adored Jin’s cat Chma. I felt like the loyal and loving companion of Jin was a perfect touch. I believe that the presence of Chma was perfectly placed in the story, to preventing it from becoming incredibly depressing or sad. I truly believe that this is a great book, and that it is quite beautiful, but in retrospect, it had one to many boring moments and was very depressingly sad to boot. I give it three and a half stars.
*Advanced Readers Copy Review*

Monday, 3 November 2014

The Not So Public Library Anniversary Party!

   Be Prepared! Coming March 8th 2015, there will be giveaways, Giveaways, GIVEAWAYS! This will be a monumental celebration of my first anniversary of The Not So Public Library, and being a YA reviewer. I will being giving away books, swag packs, signed bookmarks and other awesome treats. In addition to that epicness, there will be phenomenal YA authors guest staring and chatting with all of ya'll. Some will even be speaking to you guys as their characters!! Mark this awesome event on your calendars and be there!
Link to Party here!