Friday, August 31, 2012

Back to the Books Giveaway Hop

I am taking part in the Back to the Books Giveaway Hop hosted by I Am a Reader Not A Writer.  For this giveaway I am giving away your choice of a book $10 or less, as long as it takes places in a school, or involves students (ie. Vampire Academy, Born At Midnight, etc).  To enter, please use the rafflecopter form.  This giveaway is open internationally, as long as the Book Depository ships to your country.  Please check their website if you are not sure.

a Rafflecopter giveaway Don't Forget to enter in all the other giveaways hosted on other blogs as part of the tour. There are tons of chances to win!

Review and Giveaway: Never After by Jason Robert Macumber

Synopsis:  The world of fairy tales is twisted and corrupted. Two years after her entrapment and torture at the hands of the Seven Deadly Trolls, Snow White now works as an assassin for hire. Rude, crude and with her princess status long revoked, she has become a dark angel for the Ever After's damsels-in-distress.

A game of cat and mouse soon begins when two of the Deadlies, Pride and Wrath, return to exact revenge on the fallen princess for the murder of their brothers.

Armed with her trusty dagger carved from the magic mirror, Snow finds herself drawn into a conspiracy that involves an ancient relic from beyond her world's borders and the destruction of her world.

Taking perversion to a whole new level, NEVER AFTER is an estrogen-filled romp to save the Ever After as Snow slices and dices her way through beloved characters leaving no talking animal safe!

Review:  This story is no fairy tale.  It's not gum drops and lollipops and puppies.  There is no happy ending with rainbows and shooting stars.  Jason Robert Macumber embraces something dark and twisted in this gritty retelling of Snow White.  

There are no friendly dwarfs rescuing this princess.  Instead, Snow was tortured and held hostage by the Seven Deadly Trolls.  After Snow's escape (and lets just say their are casualties), she becomes an assassin for hire.  She becomes ensnared in a conspiracy all the while being hunted by the two remaining trolls dead set on revenge.  Will Snow survive this job?  Will she destroy the remaining trolls before they get her?  You'll have to read it to see for yourself.

The world building in this story is amazing.  It's a dark, twisted, fractured kind of world.  It takes some familiar scenes and makes them into ugly, scary places.  Snow is absolutely amazing.  Not only is she a fighter and a survivor, she is literally kick-ass.  I love her sense of humor and her sarcasm.  

The plot is well developed.  The language is realistic.  I do have to give a disclaimer that this book is not for my younger readers due to mature topics and crass language.  For my 18 and up set, read this book if you're into urban fantasy.  You won't be disappointed.

About the Author:   Jason Macumber has been writing since he could first hold a pen, weaving stories so grand his teachers would usually have to pull him back down to earth on more than one occasion. After beginning his writing career in the Young Adult genre, he found that the medium did not suit his more mature tastes and tones that were dying to rip free from the far reaches of his mind. Thus, Snow emerged and became a force to be reckoned and the Ever After Chronicles was born. He is currently living in Florida where he is finishing his graduate degree and punching out the sequel to NEVER AFTER in the company of his three dogs and one mischievous cat.

Genre: Dark Fairy tale/Fantasy  (Warning: Extremely Mature Content)
Publisher: Melange Books
Release Date: July 31, 2012


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Follow the rest of the tour:

August 13 - Introduction at VBT Cafe' Blog
August 15 - Interviewed at Lovely Reads
August 17 - Guest Blogging at Mass Musings
August 21 - Fun Facts & Author Fav Recipe at Writing Innovations E-zine
August 23 - Guest Blogging at Wise Words
August 27 - Guest Blogging at Immortality and Beyond
August 29 - Book Feature & Excerpt at BK Walker Books Etc.
August 31 - Review & Guest Blog at Waiting On Sunday To Drown
September 5 - Review & Guest Blogging at A Book Lover's Library
September 7 - Reviewed at Books, Books, and More Books
September 10 - Reviewed at All Things Books
September 12 - Interviewed at From The Mind Of Omegia
September 12 - Review & Guest Blogging at Silver Sleep
September 14 - Character Interview at The Bunny's Review

September 17 - Guest Blogging at The Golden Pen Review
September 17 - Review & Character Interview at Library Geek Girl
September 19 - Reviewed at Turning The Pages

September 21 - Review & Guest Blogging at Words I Write Crazy
September 22 - Review & Interview at Sky Rose Reviews

August RAK Wrap Up and September Sign Ups

RAK is a fun book related event every month.  To participate create a book wishlist and then sign up at  Then start looking through people's wishlists and sending off books.  To participate, you must send and receive.  It's a lot of fun.

August was a particularly fun month for me.  I sent and received a lot of books.  I'll start with what I received so I can give gratitude to those that sent me books.  Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

I want to send major thanks to @Luvdaylillies on twitter.  She doesn't have a blog for me to link to, but she sent me two books from my Amazon wishlist (I have my gift address in there) and I was surprised to receive

.  Thank you again @Luvdaylillies.  I was having a rotten day, and my package really brightened my day!

From @adsanders77 I received

From Amber at  I received:

From Sharon at I received:

From Barbara at I received:

From Temara @temarasheppard I received:

From Rain Maiden @RainMaidenJen I received:

Thank you again for all the gracious gifts.  I think this has been my best RAK month ever!

Now, for the books I sent out:

To Heather at  I sent:

To Mary at

To Barbara at

To Sharon at

To Laurie at

To Temara @temarasheppard



Thanks everyone!  And hope you have an excellent RAK in September.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Review & Giveaway: The Madly Series by M. Leighton

Book Synopsis for each book in the series:

Madly (Book 1)

Madly is your average nearly-eighteen year old girl—for a princess, that is.

Madly James is thoroughly enjoying her internship in the small town of Slumber when the unthinkable happens—there’s a prison break in Atlas, the magically-protected home of Madly’s race. A traitor has set free eight Lore, the spirits of what humans know as fairy tales, and they are making their way to Slumber to awaken their descendants. 

In order to save her home, the lives of her family, and all of humanity, Madly must learn to wield her exceptional powers and recapture the Lore before it’s too late and all is lost. But Madly’s only help are her two best friends and the Sentinel, Jackson Hamilton, that threatens both her heart and her destiny. Madly has loved Jackson as long as she can remember, but he is the one thing even a princess can’t have. Can she resist love to become the queen she was fated to be? Or can she find a way to have both?

This novelette introduces you to Madly and prepares you for the quest of a lifetime.

Madly & Wolfhardt

Madly is your average nearly-eighteen year old girl—for a princess, that is.

Madly James is thoroughly enjoying her internship in the small town of Slumber when the unthinkable happens—there’s a prison break in Atlas, the magically-protected home of Madly’s race. A traitor has set free eight Lore, the spirits of what humans know as fairy tales, and they are making their way to Slumber to awaken their descendants. 

The first spirit to arrive is that of Ulrich Wolfhardt, a man that was once obsessed with wolves and a young maiden he would follow through the woods. After a bite from a wolf, Wolfhardt’s obsession with the girl became an unnatural hunger and the young maiden’s grandmother cursed him with a fate worse than death. And now he’s back…with a vengeance and a bite that can infect others as well.

Madly must learn the identity of Wolfhardt’s descendant and stop him before he kills again and spreads his curse across the earth. But the only person strong enough to help Madly is Jackson, the Sentinel who vowed to protect her and the one person capable of breaking her heart. Can Madly resist forbidden love long enough to save the world from Wolfhardt? Or will she have to sacrifice her heart and her destiny to save the ones she loves? 

Madly & The Jackal

How deep does love run? Deeper than the ocean? Deeper than memory? Deeper than magic?

Following their plan to save Atlas, Madly and Jackson return the spirit of Wolfhardt to his prison beneath the sea. But even the best laid plans couldn’t account for the surprises they find. This time, Lore aren’t their only challenges. 

Madly is special in ways no one could have guessed and dark forces seek to control her. They want her power, but first they must weaken her. They need her beaten. Vulnerable. Near death. And alone. But that task isn’t an easy one with Jackson at her side. The strongest of their kind, the only way to separate Jackson from Madly is to destroy his love for her, to erase it from his mind. And his heart. 

Is it possible to steal Jackson’s love from Madly? Or is their love the only truly unbreakable thing?

My thoughts on the series:

The Madly series is a mermaid tale.  I love the names of the characters.  Our heroine is Madly and her friend is Jersey.  How cool are those names?  So unique too.  In the beginning of the series, Madly is interning in a small town called Slumber.  One day 8 Lores (what we simple humans refer to as Fairy Tales) are released.  They are headed to Slumber to stir up trouble and work towards destroying the human race.  

Through the course of the series, Madly, who is a mermaid princess, is trying to capture the Lores before they can destroy humankind.  At her side fighting are Jersey (her best friend), Aidan (her betrothed) and Jackson (head sentinel in charge of protecting madly).  Though Madly is betrothed to Aidan, she is struggling with her feelings for the hot and broody (just how I like ‘em).  Jackson is also Jersey’s brother.    Will Madly settle for Aidan, her betrothed, fulfilling her duty?  Or will she follow her heart and choose Jackson?  You’ll have to read and find out! 

The world-building in this series is amazing!  The characters are well developed and lovable.  Jersey and Aidan are both great supporting characters that add so much to the story.  Jackson has such strong ethics and is such a great guy.    You find yourself feeling bad for both he and Aidan.  I don’t want either one to be hurt! 

Madly is a strong-willed, determined female character who tries to balance doing the right thing with following her heart.  She struggles to catch the first Lores,  Wolfhardt and Jackal, in these two books.  There are so many complications, twists and turns along the way.  Family members are abducted.  Giant monsters get in the way.  Stopping the Lores challenges Madly and takes more out of her than she thought possible.  Each battle makes her stronger.  I like Madly, and I really got caught up her story.  She is a well done character and I can’t wait to see what further installments hold for our princess.

The author's playlist for the books can be found here:


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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Review: Never Say Never by Kailin Gow

Book Blurb: Never Say Never by Kailin Gow is a YA-Mature Contemporary Romance - Releases August 13, 2012.
What girl wouldn't want to be surrounded by the sexy guys from the hottest teen rock sensation in the country?  18-year-old Never "Neve" Knight, not only is surrounded by the hottest boys to hit the music charts, but she is the band's lead singer. As the band's lead singer and manager, Never formed and shaped the band to where it is today, a band on the rise and on the brink of being signed by a label. As one of the guys, she knew each of the band members since they were all snot-nose ten-year-olds. While her boys were the cutest guys and they would protect her like knights, she couldn't date any one of them and ruin the chance at being signed with the record label of her dreams. That changes when one of the band members suddenly drops out of the band, and in walks Danny Blue, with his dreamy blue eyes, hot body, and British accent. Suddenly, Never's solid world has turned to mush, and her rule for not dating one of her band members is seriously challenged. Can she keep her head straight and get her band signed with a label without losing her heart?
Age 16 and up for mature subject matter and sexual situations

Book Review:  Never (aka Neve) is the lead singer and manager of the band Never Nights.  She has made a vow to never date anyone in her band - one because she has known them all because they were ten years old and two because it would complicate her dreams of the band being signed to a record label and fulfilling her rock star dreams.  None of this is a problem until one of the guys drops out of the band and is replaced by Danny Blue.  Never has more trouble than ever following the rules with Danny on the scene.  She struggles throughout the book not to give in and fall in love or lust with Danny.  Does Never succeed in taking her band to rock star status or does she lose her heart to Danny?  Can she have it both ways? You will have to read Never Say Never in order to find out.  

I enjoyed this book, with it's music background.  Two of my favorite things are books and music, so it was a good combo.  The lead character Never is pretty cool.  She has a rock star dad, who has been an inspiration for her - however, she isn't riding into the music scene on her dad's shirttails.  Nope, Never is an independent girl who is bound and determined to show that she is good enough to do things on her own, her way, without using her dad's fame.  I have to admire at such a young age that she is aware that boundaries need to be set as far as dating within the band - and that she is keeping these boundaries, even though two of her band members want more from her.  It also makes it harder that she is surrounded by hot guys.  I also like that unlike a lot of YA books, Never has a good relationship with her parents and is comfortable talking to them about her life.

Danny blue is broody and mysterious.  Even though he is hot, I'm not really sure that I liked him.  He could relate to Never, but I liked Luc a lot better for Never. He seemed like a nice guy - easy going.  Her best friend Kyle also had a thing for Never, but he's pretty intense.  I'm not going to tell you who Never picks - that would take away part of the fun.

Overall, this was a quick, fun read, with lots of drama and lots of romance.  Never is a kick butt heroine in the music world and surrounded by a lot of testosterone.  I don't want to say too much and give anything else away.  I have to say this is probably my favorite of all the Kailin Gow books I have read so far.\

About the Author:  Kailin Gow is the author of over 100 books, with the majority of them for young adults. Her most popular series are:  The Frost Series, PULSE Series, Desire Series, Wicked Woods, Steampunk Scarlett Novels, and more.  A full-time author, she is also a producer, having worked in radio, television, and film.  She grew up in Southern California, lived in Texas and England, and had traveled extensively around the world.



Never Say Never

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Review & Giveaway: Painted Blind by Michelle A. Hansen

Synopsis:  Seventeen years old and agoraphobic, Psyche Middleton vows her dad will never see the risqué photos she took during a summer modeling stint abroad, but one of them ends up on a billboard in her Montana hometown. Now everyone—especially her dad—can see it. And yet, somehow, those are the mundane things in her life because she is about to fall unexpectedly, head-over-heels in love with Erik, a mysterious young man who rescues her from a crowd of admirers, and who she’s never actually seen because…he can make himself invisible.

As strange as this may seem, it’s about to get even stranger. Erik takes her to his palace in an idyllic kingdom, and she is swept into the beauty and culture of his world, but his affection has one condition: she may not see him. Overtaken, intrigued, and still not wholeheartedly believing he’s real, Psyche is going to have to decide if she can love him blindly; because if she can’t, she may lose him forever.

Review:  Let me start by saying wow!  This book was so different than anything else that I've read (in a good way).  I love retellings of Ancient Greek mythology, and Painted Blind is a modern version of the Psyche and Eros myth.  This retelling is so well done.  I literally read it in one sitting.  

I don't want to go into the story-line to much beyond the above posted synopsis.  I don't want to give anything away, and if you're familiar with Psyche and Eros, you probably have an idea of what is going to happen.  I will tell you about the characters, and about the writing though.

Psyche made a choice she is a little embarrassed about now.  We've all been there at some point - we're out of town on vacation and do something daring or out of know - the whole "what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas" kind of thing.  We don't expect it to catch up with us when we return home.  In Psyche's case, her behavior while out of town catches up with her in a big way!  Along with being daring, Psyche is also independent and fun.  She has normal teenage insecurities, but she's not one of those gorgeous girls that tries to get attention all the time by saying how ugly she is.  She's very real.  A normal teenage girl that a lot of us can relate to.

Erik, our hero, saves Psyche from her embarrassing moment.  He is mysterious and quiet.  We don't always know what he's feeling or thinking.  He wants a girl that will love him for who he is, and not what he looks like.  Trust is very important to Erik.  I can't tell you more about what happens without giving the story away.  Will Psyche keep Erik's trust?  Is Psyche the girl Erik is looking for?  You will have to read Painted Blind to find out.

The world building in this book is amazing.  The story-line is so well done.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  Psyche's character is well developed.  Erik, as I said is so mysterious, but that's kind of the point.  I like Aeas and Titus.  They are awesome secondary characters.  The grammar, dialogue and spelling are all impeccable.  Overall, this book earns 5 stars.

About the Author:  Michelle A. Hansen was raised in southeastern Washington. She earned her bachelor of arts degree in English teaching from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, and taught high school English for six years. She and her husband have four children. (my website & blog)  (my author facebook page)  (Painted Blind's facebook fan page) 

@michelleahansen (Twitter) 

Giveaway for US only:

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