Friday, October 31, 2014

Feature and Follow (October 30th)

Gain new followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature and Follow!  -- but you have to know -- the point of this hop is to follow other bloggers also. I follow you, you follow me.

The Feature and Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read

Click here to join!

This week's question:

What books would you give to newbies in your favorite genre? 

Well, one of my favorite genre is historical fiction but I like it with a bit of romance and just a touch of the supernatural.  Is that even a genre?  I guess it would be called historical paranormal fiction romance... :)  

I would start someone off with two books.  The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley and/or The Physik Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe.  It would really depend on how much romance/paranormal people like. For the YA fans, I would go with A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb.

Hop along with us and have a happy Friday!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Review: Escape from Witchwood Hollow

This book came out today but I was lucky enough to be given a copy ahead of time in exchange for an honest review.  The cover is beautiful and the book was well-paced with interesting characters and a supernatural plot line.

Synopsis from Amazon:
Everyone in Arnn - a small farming town with more legends than residents - knows the story of Witchwood Hollow: if you venture into the whispering forest, the witch will trap your soul among the shadowed trees. After losing her parents in a horrific terrorist attack on the Twin Towers, fifteen-year-old Honoria and her older brother escape New York City to Arnn. In the lure of that perpetual darkness, Honoria finds hope, when she should be afraid. Perhaps the witch can reunite her with her lost parents. Awakening the witch, however, brings more than salvation from mourning, for Honoria discovers a past of missing children and broken promises. To save the citizens of Arnn from becoming the witch’s next victims, she must find the truth behind the woman’s madness. How deep into Witchwood Hollow does Honoria dare venture?

My Review:
I love books that revolve around witches and witchcraft, I always have.  This one was no exception.  It was fast paced and interesting to read.  I especially loved the other characters that she found in the forest who had been lost for so long. Each one from a different era with a different story. They were all fascinating and the individual stories flowed together nicely as we got closer and closer to the end.  

I both liked and disliked how the book finished.  I don't want to spoil it for anyone so I won't give away any specifics but I would have liked to see it done a bit differently.  There was however, a nice surprise as well.

All in all, this was a fun, engaging read. If you like witchy books, it is the perfect time of year to pick this one up.  

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Review: The Betrayed

Another exciting Heather Graham novel.  An engaging read that is full of ghostly fun and mystery.

Synopsis from Amazon:
One night, New York FBI agent Aiden Mahoney receives a visitor in a dream—an old friend named Richard Highsmith. The very next day he's sent to Sleepy Hollow because Richard's gone missing there. 
Maureen—Mo—Deauville now lives in the historic town and works with her dog, Rollo, to search for missing people. She's actually the one to find Richard…or more precisely his head, stuck on a statue of the legendary Headless Horseman. 
Mo and Aiden, a new member of the Krewe of Hunters, the FBI's unit of paranormal investigators, explore both past and present events to figure out who betrayed Richard, who killed him and now wants to kill them, too. As they work together, they discover that they share an unusual trait—the ability to communicate with the dead. They also share an attraction that's as intense as it is unexpected…if they live long enough to enjoy it!

My Review:
As always, Heather Graham doesn't disappoint.  I especially enjoyed The Betrayed because of my love for the story of Sleepy Hollow.  One of the features I love about all of her books is the history.  In this case, that included the story of the town and surrounding area during the Revolutionary War era, the people who lived at this time, and the traditions surrounding Washington Irving's beloved story.  The ghost of Irving himself even makes an appearance on a few occasions.

Our main characters don't stray from the norm.  Graham continues to give us the gorgeous FBI agent with special gifts and the "non" FBI agent who also has gifts.  They of course meet under horrific circumstances as someone is murdering people and taking heads in typical horseman fashion.  The Halloween season setting adds to the atmosphere as our Krewe of hunters tries desperately to get ahead of the killer.  The story is fast-paced, full of suspense, and truly hard to put down.  There is a bit more gore than usual but it isn't overwhelming and there were a lot of fun twists and turns.  I had fun trying to figure out who the killer was and was surprised once I realized who it was.  And of course, if you are a romance fan, you won't be disappointed. We get the added bonus of the two main characters getting together as is to be expected from this series.

This is a perfect read for the season.  Lots of ghosts, murder, and mayhem.  I'll be waiting for the next one!


Friday, October 17, 2014

Review: The Blood of Olympus

The Blood of Olympus is the final book in the Heroes of Olympus series.  I couldn't wait to open the book and begin the story but also felt a bit sad knowing that every page I read was bringing me closer to the end and there would be no 6th book to continue the adventures of these beloved characters.

Synopsis from Amazon:
Though the Greek and Roman crew members of the Argo II have made progress in their many quests, they still seem no closer to defeating the earth mother, Gaea. Her giants have risen-all of them-and they're stronger than ever. They must be stopped before the Feast of Spes, when Gaea plans to have two demigods sacrificed in Athens. She needs their blood-the blood of Olympus-in order to wake. 

The demigods are having more frequent visions of a terrible battle at Camp Half-Blood. The Roman legion from Camp Jupiter, led by Octavian, is almost within striking distance. Though it is tempting to take the Athena Parthenos to Athens to use as a secret weapon, the friends know that the huge statue belongs back on Long Island, where it might be able to stop a war between the two camps.

The Athena Parthenos will go west; the Argo II will go east. The gods, still suffering from multiple personality disorder, are useless. How can a handful of young demigods hope to persevere against Gaea's army of powerful giants? As dangerous as it is to head to Athens, they have no other option. They have sacrificed too much already. And if Gaea wakes, it is game over.

My Review: 
For me, Percy Jackson took over where Harry Potter left off.  I exchanged one group of heroes for another, hoping that I could enjoy this series as much as I enjoyed the Harry Potter books.  I did.  

This final installment of the series was fast-paced with almost non-stop action.  The chapters kept the usual format of switching point of view and none of the chapters were told by Percy or Annabeth. We read much of the story through the eyes of Jason, Reyna, Piper, and Nico.  I was sad at first that Percy and Annabeth weren't as prominent in the story, but once I got into the book, it didn't really matter as much.  I especially loved Nico's story and he is the character who I think grew and changed the most in the story, becoming someone who could finally see his self worth, be trusted, and a true ally to his friends. 

The mythological creatures in this book were fantastic, the quests exciting, and the ending satisfying.  It was hard to put down.  While I was pretty sure these characters would be able to save the world from impending doom, I often wondered if someone would have to be sacrificed for the greater good.  The anticipation for how the big battle would turn out in the end was almost tangible. The battle itself and its aftermath were totally worth the wait. No spoilers here though so you'll have to grab the book for yourself.

So now, I'm looking for another great book or series that can rival The Heroes of Olympus. Will I find one?  I don't know.  If you have any suggestions, please share.  I can truly say after finishing these books that Percy, Annabeth, Jason, Piper, Nico, Frank, Hazel, and all of the other wonderful characters Rick Riordan brought to life will always have a place in my heart and on my shelf, right next to Harry Potter.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Stacking the Shelves (October 11th)

Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

Since it is October, I'm going with a paranormal/fantasy theme for the month.  I just picked up two books that I've been waiting for and grabbed two more that I have had on my TBR list for a while:

The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan: 
This is the final book in the Heroes of Olympus series with Percy Jackson.  I can't wait to see how the series ends but I will miss Percy and his friends once it is over.  I'll try not to read it too fast.

The Betrayed by Heather Graham:
The Krewe of Hunter books can tend to be a bit predictable but I can always count on picking up one of these stories and enjoying it.  They are always fun and full of mystery.

Spellcast by Barbara Ashford:
I keep bypassing this one and I don't really know why.  I reread the teaser this weekend and decided this was the perfect month to read it.  It has some good reviews so I'm really hoping to enjoy it.

The Night Has Teeth by Kat Kruger:
Another one that needed an excuse to come out of my TBR pile.  Great reviews and goes perfectly with the month of October.

What did you stack your shelves with this week?


Monday, October 6, 2014

Cover Reveal: Gears of Brass

Gear up for GEARS OF BRASS!  

A world like ours, but filled with gears of brass, where the beating heart is fueled by steam and the simplest creation is a complex clockwork device.

Within this tome, you’ll find steampunk fairy tale re-tellings, as well as original stories that will send your gears turning.

Welcome to the steampunk realm, with eleven authors guiding your path. GEARS OF BRASS is a steampunk anthology published through Curiosity Quills.  It will be available for purchase on November 10, 2014.  Within the pages, you’ll come across clockwork inventions and steampunk-ified fairy tale retellings.  Eleven authors will guide you through worlds filled with airships, top hats, and corsets.

Meet the authors:

Jordan Elizabeth writes young adult fantasy for Curiosity Quills, including ESCAPE FROM WITCHWOOD HOLLOW which was published in October and the upcoming TREASURE DARKLY; she’s represented by the Belcastro Agency.

J. Million is the author of Last of the Giants and can always be found reading or writing.

Lorna MacDonald Czarnota is a professional storyteller and author of several books including, Medieval Tales That Kids Can Read and Tell, Breadline Blue, Legends Lore and Secrets of Western New York, Wicked Niagara, Native American and Pioneer Sites of Upstate New York, and Dancing at the Crossroads: Stories and Activities for At-Risk Youth Programming.

SA Larsen is represented by Paula Munier of Talcott Notch Literary and is the author of published short stories, community-interest stories, and magazine articles focused on children.

Grant Eagar is an Engineer who would take the tales he told his children at bed time, and transform them into fantasy stories.

Clare Weze is the author of The House of Ash (forthcoming) and the co-author and editor of Cloudscapes over the Lune.

Eliza Tilton: gamer, writer and lover of dark chocolate; author of the YA Fantasy, BROKEN FOREST, published by Curiosity Quills Press.

Heather Talty's stories have been featured in Enchanted Conversation, as well as her own fractured fairy tale site, Mythopoetical (

W.K. Pomeroy is a third generation writer who has published more than 70 short stories/articles/poems across many genres and styles, which now includes Steampunk.

Christine Baker is the author of Lana's End, The Guild of Dagda, and many more.

Natalia Darcy: a bookilicious reader, tea drinker and Zumba aficionado who enjoys playing cards against humanity and washing her hair with ice cold water.

You can get your steampunk fix before GEARS OF BRASS is released in November.  To enter for your chance to win a copy of GEARS OF BRASS, you will need to share the cover.  This can be on your blog, Facebook, Twitter… Each time you share the cover image, log it into Rafflecoper (#insert link) to record it. It will give you more chances to win.  The drawing for the winner will be held on October 27th.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review: The Silent Sister

For our fall book selection, I chose The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain.  I have now been a member of She Reads for over a year and I have NEVER been disappointed in the books that have been chosen.  The Silent Sister is no exception.  From the moment I picked it up, I knew it was a winner.

Riley MacPherson has spent her entire life believing that her older sister Lisa committed suicide as a teenager.  Now, over twenty years later, her father has passed away and she's in New Bern, North Carolina cleaning out his house when she finds evidence to the contrary.  Lisa is alive.  Alive and living under a new identity.  But why exactly was she on the run all those years ago, and what secrets are being kept now?  As Riley works to uncover the truth, her discoveries will put into question everything she thought she knew about her family.  Riley must decide what the past means for her present, and what she will do with her newfound reality.

My Review: 
I can always tell when I am going to love a book by how quickly I become engrossed in the story.  I was hooked on this one from the very beginning.  I'll try to avoid giving out too much information.  Riley is the main character, and she is devastated at the loss of her father.  As the reader, you can feel her sense of loss. As she begins talking to her father's acquaintances, she realizes that the fairy tale family she thought she had has some dark secrets.  She delves into the investigation of what really happened to her sister and we see several sides of her personality.  She is determined and shows inner strength when it's needed but is also vulnerable and naive, allowing the false information that others give her to sway her decisions and opinions. I was happy to see that she was eventually able to find enough willpower to stand up and do the right thing.

Danny, her brother, was a character I felt a strong pull towards. I think he was my favorite.  His struggle with PTSS after being in Iraq was heartbreaking and I wanted to reach into the book and make him believe in the world again.  Riley consistently tries to break through his walls and bring him closer to her and he keeps pulling away. 

Then we have Jade, whose actions caused her to choose between standing trial for murder, or doing something unthinkable that would cause heartbreak for everyone and change lives forever.  The story makes you think about the limits family members are willing to go to for one another in a desperate situation.

There are no real spoilers here but I will say that the plot was well written.  I had so many theories about what really happened to Lisa and I didn't get it right until just before the big reveal.  When I did figure it out, I was so excited at the new path the story was taking. I loved how part of the book was told by Riley and another part by Jade until they eventually came together.  And with each chapter, more secrets were revealed.  I was biting my nails with anticipation as the final events began coming together and the ending was a perfect blend of happy and bittersweet.