Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Review of Revamp by Beck Sherman

Revamp By Beck Sherman
Genre: Horror  
ISBN: 9780985732707
ASIN: B007Q4LK9I  
Number of pages: approx. 439
Word Count: 162,024

News reporters scrambled. This was the biggest story to come along in weeks.
They called it a blackout.
The last one was in New York City in 2003, but this one was different, special, because the grids in six major cities across the country had been fried, kaput, see-you-next-Sunday. Everyone with some jurisdiction blamed each other, and when there was no one left to blame, terrorism rode in on its gallant steed.  
It was the media’s fault. They were so busy stuffing fanatical Muslims with a penchant for Allah and decapitations down the American citizen’s throat, that they never saw it coming. I guess I shouldn’t be too hard on them.
They were partially right.
It was terror after all, but a whole new kind. And when the lights came back on, things had changed. 

The dark had brought us visitors. 

Book Trailer

Review:  Revamp is everything that a good book should be.  It's lengthy without being overwhelming or over descriptive.  It's engrossing.  It's a combination of dystopian and horror that works for those above (or over) the Twilight age.  The vampires in Revamp aren't your overplayed, oversold vamps from pop culture.  Beck Sherman has given them a new spin - and new weeknesses.

The characters Beck Sherman writes about aren't all likable.  Some of them I really couldn't stand.  But I found them to be believable in the situations they were in, and after the circumstances that they had been through.  You do get to know Emma very well, and she is a character that I did like, and that I could really relate to.

I think those of you looking for a good, new horror book, Revamp is just what you need.  So read it, and let me know if you are appropriately terrified.

  Author Bio: Beck Sherman was born and raised in Massachusetts, studied undergrad at Syracuse University, has a master’s degree in photojournalism from the University of Westminster, London, and when not writing, enjoys exploring abandoned insane asylums and photo-documenting the things that go bump in the night, when they’re kind enough to pose.

Revamp Lyric Drop by guest author Beck Sherman & GIVEAWAY

When I wrote Revamp years ago, I was inclined to put music in it. I am a big music lover and if Stephen King could do it, why not me? As I committed my book to one final edit, I realized that due to copyright laws the song lyrics had to go, and that made me sad. Music plays such a big role in people’s lives and classicizes scenes in movies. “In Your Eyes” and Lloyd Dobler holding the boombox outside Diane Court’s window, “Stuck in the Middle With You” and Mr. Blonde dancing around the bloodied cop, “Old Time Rock and Roll” and Tom Cruise sliding across the floor in his underwear and Wayfarers, “Tiny Dancer” and the sing-along on the Stillwater tour bus. All of these scenes were boosted by the songs that accompanied them. Their relationship was and still is symbiotic, hear the song on the radio and think of the movie, spot an actor or clip from the movie and think of the song.

In the end, I let my writing stand alone and waved adios to the song lyrics, but to me they’ll always be in there, and now, here they are for you, too. Whether being played over a car stereo or sung by a character, here are the songs of Revamp:

Song1 - “Perfect” by The Smashing Pumpkins

The sped-up slow song playing in the after-hours club during Josie’s fateful night out, that has a high Josie trying to recall the song’s name.

Song2 - California Love by 2pac

Sung by Josie as she gets beautiful.”

Song3 - Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy) by John Lennon

Emma confesses she’s a planner at heart and contemplates John Lennon’s advice. “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”

Song4 - My Way by Frank Sinatra

Originally sung, later hummed by Myers as he prepares to “examine” Emma.

Song5 - “La Guitarra by Los Autenticos Decadentes

Playing over Rojas’ car stereo when he comes to pick up Cooper. He tells Cooper, “You know, boss, this song here is the story of my life.” Not revealed in the book, it’s about a man with an unruly spirit who only wants to play his guitar and make music, despite his family’s objections.

Song6 - “Staying Alive by the Bee Gees

The “tinny version of a Bee Gees song” playing over the delivery truck radio during Seven’s escape.

Song7 - “Setting Sun” by The Chemical Brothers

Playing in Club Vein when Emma gathers the courage to walk across the dance floor through a sea of vampires.

Song8 - “It’s So Easy” by Linda Ronstadt

Ironically hummed by Emma while she searches the closet to find items for her escape pile.

Song9 - “My Boyfriend’s Back” by The Angels

Blasting over the mod vampires’ car stereo as Emma passes on the motorcycle.

Song10 - “Walking in LA” by Missing Persons

“I had heard that nobody walked in LA, but that had all changed. Vampires walked. Vampires walked in LA.” (Emma Spade in Revamp)

Song11 - “Sympathy for the Devil” by The Rolling Stones

Lyrics originally quoted by a vampire character in Revamp to introduce himself to Emma. “Let me please introduce myself, I’m a man of wealth and taste.’ I’ve always wanted to say that.”

Song12 - Midnight Special by Creedence Clearwater Revival

The record played by a vampire character in Revamp as he tells Emma his story, and the record that later serves an unconventional purpose. (Note: The “Midnight Special” chorus lyrics were the only ones I was able to keep in. The chorus has been used and reused for almost a century and was thought to have originated among prisoners in the American South. The chorus lyrics from the original folk song differ by one word from the Creedence version.

Let the Midnight Special
Shine her light on me
Let the Midnight Special
Shine her ever-loving light on me

About Beck Sherman:
Beck Sherman was born and raised in Massachusetts, studied undergrad at Syracuse University, has a master’s degree in photojournalism from the University of Westminster, London, and when not writing, enjoys exploring abandoned insane asylums and photo-documenting the things that go bump in the night, when they’re kind enough to pose.
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July RAK Wrap Up & August Wishlist #RAK

For the month of July I sent out 3 books as RAKs.  I didn't receive any this month - maybe next month :)

I sent out the following RAKs:

Breana @ The Book Pixie

Meg @stuckonreading

Christopher Feinmore

If you would like to sign up for August RAK please go to Book Soulmates to sign up, then put a post on your blog with your wishlist.  Be sure to send as well as receive.

My August Wishlist is:

Stacking the Shelves (#1)

I have decided to retire In My Mailbox and start fresh with Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga's Reviews.  Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme that serves as an oppertunity to showcase the books you've received in the last week. So without further ado - here is my first Stacking the Shelves post.  This is my list for the last several weeks since my last post:

For Review
Amateur Angel by Karri Thompson
Pretty Unlikely by Emily Hodson

Changeling by Yasmine Galenorn

For My Kindle
Bite Me by Parker Blue
Twin Souls K.A. Poe
Unstrung by Neal Shusterman
Immortal by Gillian Shields

For Book Club
Bossy Pants by Tina Fey

Leviathan by Scott Westerfield
House of Dolls by Francesca Lia Block
Fool by Christopher Moore
Blood Red Road by Moira Young
The Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff
Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton
Witches of East End by Melissa De La Cruz
The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephanie Meyer

From Amazon
Firespell by Chloe Neill
Fury: A Memoir by Koren Zailckas
Dragon's Oath by P.C. & Kirsten Cast
Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann
Red Glove by Holly Black
The Girl In the Clockwork Collar by Kady Cross

What did you stock your shelves with this week?

Monday, July 30, 2012

Review & Giveaway: Unbound (Spell Series #2) by Lola James

Toni went from being a doctor, to the lover of a god in an instant. Remembering who she was, she's now torn between her past self and her current love. Ben is stunned when Toni leaves and at the arrival of his long lost love, Catherine, but her arrival doesn't eradicate Toni from his mind. Unlikely allies will team up to get Toni back from the Lord of the Underworld, Hades, but it's not Hades they need to worry about.

“She knew I was a vampire.” I dropped my head as astonishment casted over Kevin’s face. “It is my fault she is with Hades, I’ll take that blame.” I swallowed the lump in my throat that formed around my next words. “Do it, take me this pain away from me!” Kevin pressed the stake hard to my chest, and I closed my eyes, preparing to die.

In a flash, Catherine tackled Kevin to the ground, knocking the stake out of his hands. Dawn screamed and I picked up the stake with the swiftest of movements and drove it through Catherine’s back. She turned to ash while still atop Kevin whose eyes widened in shock.

We looked at one another, both bewildered, in the moment before I offered my hand to help him from the floor. Dawn eased closer toward us. As Kevin brushed Catherine’s dust off him; then he picked up his stake, and returned it to his back pocket. Kevin stared at me for a long moment before he gave a nod. "For now, vampire."

This book is only $1.99 on Amazon.

In Unbound, we pick up in Toni's life where she realizes that she is really Antoinette and that she is Hades lover.  I have to say I'm a little surprised.  When I read the first book Bound to Remember, the cliffhanger at the end of that book left me thinking that Toni had become evil and didn't care about anything else.  Not the case.  Toni is the same sweet Toni we knew, but more confused about her love life than ever.  All her old memories of her time with Hades and her life in Ancient Greece come rushing back.  Old friends are enemies.  More recent friends have hidden sides.  The mysterious Joanna puts in an well as a whole cast of the Greek Gods and Goddesses with all their bad behavior.  Unbound has a lot of twists and turns.  Will Toni be able to decide which of the three men vying for her love that she wants to be with?  Will she retain her true self?  Will Persephone succeed in her evil plans?  You'll have to read and find out.

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