Winners ANNOUNCED from the Author Interview/Giveaway

There was an author interview/giveaway on my blog running from October 16th to last night at midnight. The winners are:

Paperback: Sherry at Fundinmental

2 copies of ebooks: Judith Post and Adele Symonds

If the winners can please email me at Ravenaier (at) gmail.com, I would appreciate it 🙂

Please understand that the author Preeti Gupta does live in the NYC area, so it may take her awhile to be able to respond.

Congats and I hope you enjoy the book as much as I have!

Teaser Tuesdays: Born of Ashes by Caris Roane

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read

• Open to a random page

• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

 

My teaser comes from Born of Ashes by Caris Roane, page 229

Jean-Pierre stood off to one side, his arms folded over his chest, sentinel-like. Fiona glanced up at him.

It’s Monday, what are you Reading?

Currently, I’m reading Tales from Brookgreen: Folklore, Ghost Stories, and Gullah Folktales in the South Carolina Lowcountry. I have a few books on my TBR list this week.

I want to finish up Born of Ashes by Caris Roane, I started Dimensional Games writen by one of my friends Robert A Cerio. I was also recently contacted by a publisher to read a book, The Protectors by Bernard Lee DeLeo.

I’ll be part of a blog hop for DeLeo’s book, so expect to see the review on November 13th. This will be my first blog hop (not counting the Follow and Feature Fridays), so I’m excited about that.

For everyone in the path of Hurricane Sandy

Everyone out there in these areas, and the areas that are being affected by Hurricane Sandy, be careful and get prepared! Yes, I’m including myself in that, since I live right near Boston. We’ve cleaned up the backyard. We haven’t heard anything from the superintendent of schools yet about school closures, but I am expecting it.

I’ll still somehow get to work, and work in it. But everyone else, be careful, and check in afterwards!

REVIEW: Reintroduction by Kyle Timmermeyer

Title: Reintroduction
Series: Legend of the Elementals
Author: Kyle Timmermeyer
Published Date: March 10, 2012
Publisher: unknown
Format: ebook
Pages: 136
ISBN: 9781466050440
Copy provided by: author
Genre: fantasy, YA
Add to: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon / Smashwords
Rating: 2 1/2 stars

Synopsis: Ryan, Erin, Kris, and Jason are heroes defined by the villain, unwitting assistants in a cataclysm brought about by an old man who calls himself… Devidis. The four modern, international teens awaken deep within a jungle canyon, a prison in the post-apocalyptic empire established by the tyrannical Devidis. Surrounded by danger, the four Elementals quickly embrace their new-found super-powered control of the elements–wind, fire, water and stone–under the guidance of Sensei, an imprisoned freedom fighter who believes that Devidis’ near omnipotence is a clear sign that the world is a persistent illusion in the mind of its evil emperor. And so the Elementals are forced to come of age in an increasingly hostile land. Though supernaturally capable, they are faced with a frightening possibility: are their hopes, goals, powers, friends, enemies, surroundings and selves… all an illusion?  It’s “Final Fantasy meets X-Men” as worlds are torn asunder!

Review: I did receive a copy of this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Let’s start with the cover. It’s awful. It reminds me of something I would expect to find as the cover of a manga comic book. And perhaps that’s what the author wants. Just not my style.  But I’ve seen worse covers over better books so I still held out hope.

From the very beginning this book was confusing. What parent, a cop nonetheless, is going to bring his son to Japan from the US, to confront a madman who just flipped over a car and killed his partner? Especially when a huge natural disaster had just hit Japan?! Anyone remember the tsunami? What person in their right mind would willingly bring their child into a situation such as that to go after a madman? All of this defies any human instinct.

But let’s get beyond that, because then, logic goes way out the window when the son, Jason, meets up with another few kids, and finally confronts the madman (no adults present). The storyline goes from not quite logical to even worse as somehow they end up in a post-apocolyptic world where no one remembers the existence of basic geography such as the US, Japan, or any other county for that matter. And it deteriorates from there.

Now I’m not saying this is an absolutely awful book. It was an okay read. There were parts of it, specifically the middle where they were training, where it was pretty good. But the beginning and ending where just so out there as to make this book just a bad book.

Feature and Follow Friday!

Alright so I’m a day behind (aren’t I always?)…well, here goes:

Q: What writing device or trick most irritates you when reading a book? For example, if an author employs an omnipotent narrator that is sometimes considered bad form.

I’ve seen a few people complaining about Insta-love or para-mates, and I toally agree. You know what I’m talking about: two people meet and suddenly they are each other’s soul mate. I’ve seen this alot in some YA, and some of it is horribly done. The reader gets absolutely no feeling for a build-up of a relationship. One moment the two characters don’t know each other, the next moment they are inseperable, they know each other from past lives, they are all over one another. Its totally unrealistic.

HOWEVER…

It can be properly done. One very good form is how Caris Roane does it in the Ascension series. The scent is there, so the reader knows the two characters are soul-mates. But there’s the build-up in the relationship where the characters get to know one another (lots of boinking does occur while the hormones resolve one another), and finally realise that there’s more than just the physical relationship.

REVIEW: Alternity by Mari Mancusi

Title: Alternity
Series: none?
Author: Mari Mancusi
Published Date: October 19, 2012
Publisher: NLA Digital Liaison Platform LLC
Format: ebook
Pages: 236
ISBN: 9781620510131

Copy provided by: NetGalley
Genre: dystopian, YA
Add to: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon
Rating: 4 stars

Goodreads synopsis: Imagine waking up in a post-apocalyptic, nightmare world–and being told your whole life is but a dream. Skye Brown thought she was your typical teen–good grades, hot boyfriend, and an afterschool job that pays her to play videogames. But then she started having the dreams.
In her dreams, there is no Earth. Only Terra, a bleak, underground wasteland where people live in squalor and oppression. In her dreams, there is no Skye–only Mariah, a rebel leader fighting against a vile, dystopian regime. And then there’s Dawn, a handsome, but haunted solider who sees her as but an empty shell of the girl he once love–a betrayer he vows to hate forever, despite what she sees deep in his eyes.
Now, ripped between Dark Siders and club kids, the mundane and the mystic, Skye finds herself in a fight against time–to learn who she really is, where she belongs..and why. The shocking truth will have her questioning her own reality…and her hear.

Review: Look at that cover! Isn’t it gorgeous?! Yes, I’m a cover-whore, and I would have totally grabbed the book if it wasn’t already offered to me.

Its been awhile since I’ve read dystopian, so this was a good change of pace for me. The last dystopian book I read I was so disappointed in. This was a quick read that had me enamored from the first few pages. It didn’t feel like a dystopian book since it kept going back and forth from reality to reality. Was it sci-fi, fantasy, dystopian? You didn’t really know until the last 1/3 of the book.

The writing was phenomenal, I have absolutely nothing bad to say about it at all. There weren’t any really slow parts to it, and it didn’t go too fast. The story line, even with its twists was easy to follow. The twists were original and kept it fresh and interesting.

The ending was the only sort of disappointment. Could this continue on into a sequel? Yes. But at the same time, it closed enough where it could be a stand-alone book as well.

REVIEW: Finding Gaia by Kimberly Chapman

Title: Finding Gaia
Series: none ?!
Author: Kimberly Chapman
Published Date: July 9, 2012
Publisher: self-published by author
Format: ebook
Pages: 380
ISBN: 9781938702006
Copy provided by: author
Genre: fantasy
Add to: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes and Noble
Rating: 4 1/2 stars

Goodreads synopsis: Wealthy, handsome Jason Truitt appears to have it all: he runs an international conglomerate of environmental businesses and research facilities, he lives in a luxurious mansion…and he can’t die. But his uncanny health and failure to age keep him distanced from normal human life. For over a century he’s been searching for the one other person on earth he suspects is afflicted with the same condition. Like him, she has lived under many different names to keep her immortality secret, so in honour of her supernatural ability to induce plant growth by thought alone, he thinks of her as Gaia.

Finding Gaia, however, is only the beginning, for where he has used his talents toward prosperity, hers have brought loss, isolation, abduction, and unspeakable torture. She will need all that he can give to reclaim her own inner strength and rediscover who, what, and when she is.

Review: I received a free copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review. I’ve learned throughout the months that receiving books from authros for reviews can be either hit or miss. They can be either really good, or really bad. Most fall in the middle range. But this book was amazing. If you’re looking for massive romance, you won’t find it here. Its more fantasy with a romance sprinkled here and there in it.

The storyline was unique. The overall book is really well-written. In fact, I’m surprised the author self-published, instead of a company jumping at the oppurtunity. She’s really that good of a writer. I felt for the characters, and when it ended, it seemed like this should be continued. Immediately I put my Nook down and looked for the suthor’s website to see if there would be a sequel. No news of it though.

This book was absolutely amazing, and I couldn’t put it down. In fact at work, while a group of us were leaving, one of my friends remarked, “I can’t believe you can walk and read at the same time!”

It’s Monday — What are you Reading?

My pile has slowly dwindled down. I’m on the last 50 pages of Finding Gaia by Kimberly Chapman. Excellent book! I’m hoping to finish that today. After that, I have Alternity by Mazi Mancusi to read, then Tales from Brookgreen by Lynn Michelsohn. If I could get the first two read this week in between Girl Scout Troop meeting to run, trick or treating with the kids in the city square, and all the other myriad after-school activities they have, then I will consider myself well-read!

REVIEW: Loved in Pieces by Carla J Hanna

Title: Loved in Pieces
Series: Intentions Series
Author: Carla J Hanna
Published Date: Aug 31, 2012
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Format: ebook
Pages: 298
ASIN: B0094PE5WG
Copy provided by: Freebooksy
Genre: YA
Add to: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon
Rating: 2 1/2 stars

Goodreasds synopsis: A-list actress Liana Marie Michael struggles to find herself when Hollywood’s obsession with youth and power threatens to destroy her future.
While filming her seventh major motion picture, Liana Marie reveals her love for her childhood best friend, patient and compassionate Manuel Biro, a humble bus boy and student athlete. Shocked and thrilled to find he loves her in return, she tries living an almost normal life. All seems lost when her mother’s mistakes lead to harrowing consequences for mother and daughter. Fortunately, Liana Marie comes to understand that her success and the strength born from her love for Manuel are exactly what she needs to shape her uncertain future.

I received a copy of this book from Freebooksy in exchange for an honest review. When I read the blurb, it sounded fascinating. As I read it, the book became more and more of a chore to get through.
Gramatically, everything was good. That’s most likely why its getting 2 1/2 stars, instead of 2.

I found the storyline to be flat, and dragged out interminably. I couldn’t connect to the characters, or thier emotions. The only thing I found realistic was the idea that one pair of parents actually objected to a marriage between two teenagers, whether they are of legal age or not.
As soon as I finished, I asked myself if I cared about any of the characters. Nope. I didn’t care about Marie, not about Manny. I just didn’t care.
The book was as shallow as the Hollywood it was portraying.