Saturday, April 28, 2012

Book Review: Everlong by Hailey Edwards (Re-read)


Author: Hailey Edwards
Series: Daughters of Askara #1
My Rating: 5 cups
Blurb (from Goodreads):

The most damaged heart can fly with the right pair of wings.
Madelyn’s life is far from fairytale perfect. She is second in line for the throne of a corrupt, brutal monarchy. Or at least she was until her dark guardian sacrificed his life to hide her safely in a realm of infinite possibilities.
For years she’s lived among a colony of escaped slaves as her guardian’s widow. Even in this simple life, though, nothing is as it seems. Her hero kept a secret—a younger brother named Clayton Delaney. Warrior, winged demon…and the man who now wants to lay claim to her heart.
No longer cast in his brother’s shadow, Clayton meets all obstacles head on, including one named Maddie. His infatuation with her reaches the breaking point when she undergoes a royal rite of passage, going into heat and pushing them both over the edge.
Just as Maddie learns that some risks are worth taking, she discovers that her guardian may be alive. And she’s forced to make a choice between the man she’d thought she loved, and the demon willing to lend her his wings.

You know what I love? A book that's very good the first time you read it and even better when you read it a second time. This week I'm doing more rereading than I had planned. That's probably because I've got a case of goldfish memory (or it's going to be a full moon soon or something :P). Anyway, for some reason, the only thing I remembered from Everlong was a scene full of suspense and me wanting to scream each and every time a certain demon appeared in front of Madelyn.  Ok, there was another scene, but that I HAD to remember. I mean, how could I forget that one with the hot male, wet shirt and dishes and...oh my! *fans self*

Like I was saying, I really loved Everlong. I know I say this a lot, but I do love unique approaches and new worlds. Everlong definitely has that. And what's really good about it is that you don't see a stereotype anywhere. I've never read about winged demons (*sigh*) so I was very happy (and in love, yes!) when I read about Clayton and the other hot demons.

The thing I liked above anything else is the way you get to see the relationship between Maddie and Clayton evolve before the hot sex happens. Probably because of Maddie's story, but I really loved that we get to see that. Also, it gives Clayton a chance to prove that he loves Maddie for her, not for some physical, hormonal thing.

Speaking of Clayton. Can I swoon now? The guy is not only hot and funny, he also has a lot of charm. But the thing I liked most about him was that he didn't try to copy Harper. He didn't try to become someone other than himself and I loved that. And his feelings for Madelyn are so strong and powerful that he'd be willing to do anything for her, including letting her be with another man if that's what makes her happy. That makes him even more manly in my eyes. I loved that about him. Also, the man has wings :D

Maddie broke my heart a few times. Made me want to kill her stepdad more than once. And torture her mom. See, that's another reason I loved this book and I'm sure a lot of readers can agree. It's one thing to say "oh, this character had some really bad stuff happen to them, I'm so sorry blah blah blah" and it's a very different thing to feel what the character feels and to want to jump inside the story and kill a few bad guys. For me, while I do get captivated by a book, it's not something that happens very often, that besides my mind that gets captivated by the story,  my actual emotions are "present" there also. So that's another reason to love Everlong.

So if you love paranormal/fantasy, you should really try this series :)

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Cover Love (15)

Rabid Reads - Cover Love

This feature is hosted by Carmel @ Rabid Reads. The rules are very simple. Choose a cover (or two, or three), preferably new-ish, and share what you like about it. Grab the graphic or don't just so long as you link back.

My pick this week:

Princess of the Silver Woods (Princess, #3)

I'm sorry I'm late. My brain is weird this week. But anyway...

This cover is so beautiful. And if you watch the Once Upon A Time TV show, you probably know the very cool twist they put to Little Red Riding Hood's tale. So I'm really, really imagining this cover to be perfect for that type of view of the classic story. I don't know for some reason, the girl on the cover manages to look cute and scary at the same time. I for one plan on reading this book :D

So what about you? What cover do you love this week?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Re-read Book Review: Dance With The Devil by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Dance with the Devil (Dark-Hunter, #3)

Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon
Series: Dark Hunters # 3
My Rating: 5 cups
Blurb: (from Goodreads):

Zarek's Point of View:
Dark-Hunter: A soulless guardian who stands between mankind and those who would see mankind destroyed. Yeah, right. The only part of that Code of Honor I got was eternity and solitude.

Insanity: A condition many say I suffer from after being alone for so long. But I don't suffer from my insanity-I enjoy every minute of it.

Trust: I can't trust anyone...not even myself. The only thing I trust in is my ability to do the wrong thing in any situation and to hurt anyone who gets in my way.
Truth: I endured a lifetime as a Roman slave, and 900 years as an exiled Dark-Hunter. Now I'm tired of enduring. I want the truth about what happened the night I was exiled-I have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Astrid (Greek, meaning star): An exceptional woman who can see straight to the truth. Brave and strong, she is a point of light in the darkness. She touches me and I tremble. She smiles and my cold heart shatters.
Zarek: They say even the most damned man can be forgiven. I never believed that until the night Astrid opened her door to me and made this feral beast want to be human again. Made me want to love and be loved. But how can an ex-slave whose soul is owned by a Greek goddess ever dream of touching, let alone holding, a fiery star?

There's something about a tortured hero that makes my heart pound. It's not that I'm happy they're tortured. It makes me sad and then angry at the people who hurt the poor guy. But I love to see how the author manages to save him and find the perfect mate for him. So it's not a surprise that I loved Zarek and his story.

It was heartbreaking to read it and some of Zarek's memories made me want to cry and cry. I was so happy to see Astrid manage to look beyond his initial response to her and to be able to push all his defense mechanisms out of the way and discover the real Zarek, the tender lover, the hero, the guy with a noble heart, the man who would risk his life to save everyone around him.

The one thing I always see in Kenyon's books is that she manages to show how different people see the same scene, the same person or action in a very different way. It's the same with each and every character. You can never really know what you'll see next. So if in Night Embrace  you read about a cruel, crazy Zarek, in Dance With The Devil you see the good side of him, the one incapable of hurting someone for no reason, the person who, despite everything that has been thrown at him, is still trying to find the goodness in people. And it's the same thing with each character in this series.

As always, more questions pop up as you read the series, and it's what keeps it interesting. Behind the love stories, you have an incredible world to discover and it's a world that I truly adore.

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Monday, April 23, 2012

Book Review: Fighting the Devil by Jeannie Walker

Fighting the Devil: A True Story of Consuming Passion, Deadly Poison, and Murder

Author: Jeannie Walker
Source: review copy offered by the author
My Rating: 4 cups
Blurb (from Goodreads):

A Texas millionaire rancher discovered his wife and bookkeeper had stolen thousands of dollars from him. After he demanded the money back, he started getting sick. While in the hospital, doctors were mystified as to how an otherwise healthy, energetic man could become so deathly ill. The dying man told everyone within earshot that his wife and bookkeeper were killing him. The man's wife said her husband was hallucinating from drugs the doctors were giving him. The millionaire rancher succumbed in the hospital while strapped down to his bed with restraints on his hands and feet and tubes in every orifice. After the rancher died, an anonymous caller tipped off the police. The widow was the sole beneficiary of the estate and a $350,000 life insurance policy. A week before the man's death, a teenager visited the rancher's home and became deathly ill after he drank juice that was in the rancher's refrigerator. Two years after the millionaire's death, a bottle of arsenic was found in a storage locker rented by a woman under an assumed name. The millionaire's ex-wife, the mother of his children, became a sleuth to help solve the murder. No one could have predicted the aftermath with its strange twists and unexpected results.

Every now and then I feel the need to read a book based on reality. Non-fiction if you like, though my head tells me non-fiction has more to do with text books, exams and sleepless nights. But what do I know? Anyway, like I said, sometimes I need to read something autobiographical.

I have to say, Fighting the Devil wasn't what I expected. I was expecting suspense, drama, some really intense moments, maybe a little scary scenes. What I didn't expect was to be so emotional while I was reading. From sadness to anger, love, hate, fear, pity, revolted, I felt them all. I wasn't expecting that or the fact that I couldn't put it down.

The story is, I think, one of the saddest I've read this year. It's even sadder because it's true. I always get amazed by some people's cruelness and greed and their lack of compassion and conscience. It's something that to me is extremely disturbing sometimes. Of course, I did get to read about murder cases, so it's not exactly news to me, but it is still a little weird and sad.

The only thing I felt was a little too much were the religious references or the little scenes around that subject. But that's just because I'm not an overly religious person.

If you like non-fiction, true crime stories, you should try this one. It's a book that won't let you put it down.

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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Winner: Behind Closed Doors by Sherri Hayes

Thank you all who entered the giveaway to win one ebook copy of Behind Closed Doors by Sherri Hayes.

The winner is:

  • Kelly
Congratulations! I will send you an email as soon as possible. Please respond to my email in 72 hours (3 days) or I will choose another winner.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Blog Tour Review: Social Punk by Monica Leonelle


Author: Monica Leonelle
Series: Socialpunk #1
Source:  review copy provided by the author
My Rating: 4 cups
Blurb (from Goodreads):

Ima would give anything to escape The Dome and learn what’s beyond its barriers, but the Chicago government has kept all its citizens on lockdown ever since the Scorched Years left most of the world a desert wasteland. When a mysterious group of hooded figures enters the city unexpectedly, Ima uncovers a plot to destroy The Dome and is given the choice between escaping to a new, dangerous city or staying behind and fighting a battle she can never win.

I have to say, Socialpunk surprised me a lot. From the moment I read the prologue for the first time, I was thrown into a very unique world that I never thought I could go to. The take on world, reality and Earth that you find in this book is completely new to me. I think it's very daring to take that path, but I do believe the author made a great job.

It's a very fast-paced novel and I felt that every page brought something new. I loved that it really kept me on the edge of my seat and it was really engaging.

What I loved most was that beneath the danger and the suspense, I realized this book was full with teenagers. I saw a lot of typical teenage behavior in what Ima and Dash and all the other characters did and I loved that. I mean, you could see the angst, the impulsiveness characteristic to people so young. It made me really connect with the characters. There were some moments when I felt that Vaughn was a little too quick to change his mood, but then again he is a teenager.

I loved the idea with the comic book. Sort of a new way to show a prophecy. If you accept that a piece of stone with something carved in it can tell you when the world's going to end, why not believe a comic book can do the same, you know?

What took me completely by surprise was the ending. I did not see that one coming, I swear. I was reading and the next moment I'm staring at the screen wanting to scream "WHAT?" Sort of like when you're watching a very engaging episode and before you know it the big black screen with the "TO BE CONTINUED" thing comes up. I can't wait to see what's next. I'm actually very, very curious.


Monica Leonelle is holding a giveaway. You can enter by using the Rafflecopter widget below. Good Luck!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Cover Love (14)

Rabid Reads - Cover Love

This feature is hosted by Carmel @ Rabid Reads. The rules are very simple. Choose a cover (or two, or three), preferably new-ish, and share what you like about it. Grab the graphic or don't just so long as you link back.

My pick this week:

Werewolf in Seattle by Vicki Lewis Thompson

There's just something about a cartoonish cover. I know, I know,  I've said it too many times, but I can't stop myself. This is really a cover that catches my eye.

So, what cover caught your attention this week?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Book Review: The Binding by L. Filloon

The Binding

Author: L. Filloon
Series: Velesi Series #1
Source: review copy provided by the author
My Rating: 5 cups
Blurb (from Goodreads):

Two nights after her eighteenth birthday, Lily is attacked while out jogging, but is saved by Tharin Lunar, a Sidhe prince. When she discovers that her attacker is her own brother, Lucas, who disappeared four years ago, Lily refuses to believe that her brother would truly hurt her and becomes determined to find Lucas and bring him home. Lily finds that Lucas’ disappearance is somehow tied to Tharin; so when he informs her that she is his betrothed and must return with him to Velesi, fulfill a treaty between their families and unite the two strongest clans through their marriage, Lily agrees. However, she’s not going to Velesi for a wedding, but to bring home her only family, Lucas.
On their journey to the borders of Velesi, the realm of the Thirteen Clans, they’re pursued by a Sidhe assassin group call the Ange, meet with an ogre crime lord that ends badly, deal with a sleazy troll motel manager, and when they discover that there’s a bounty on their heads, they must keep one step ahead of every assassin, bounty hunter and low-life criminal in Velesi.
Protecting Lily has become the biggest challenge of Tharin’s life. Lucky for him he has help in the form of his twin brother, Tolan, Lily’s best friend Julia and his three bodyguard cousins.

If there's one thing I love more than anything is a good fantasy book. The Binding was, in my opinion, more than just "good". It was more than great, actually.

The first thing that caught my attention was that we don't have just one perspective, but two. The book is written in first person, but we get to see Lily's and Tharin's take on the action, alternatively. That's where I, as a reader, tip my hat to the author. Seriously. As a reader that's weary of books written in 1st person, it was so refreshing not having to worry about that. Because you get two views on the same scene (or almost the same), it's like actually seeing the entire picture, like having eyes on the back of your head also and seeing every little detail around you.

The world we find in The Binding is new, fresh, surprising. Out of all the supernatural creatures, elves are the least used, so it was a nice change to see them as the main species in a story. You also find ogres, orcs, demons, wizards, wolves and a few other creatures I've never encountered before.

The characters were amazing. Lily, the heroine, managed to surprise me a lot. Just when you think you have her figured out, she does or says something that changes everything you think you know about her. She can be both strong and weak, she can be fair and she can overreact at some point, she can be happy and sad. The one thing that is constant through the entire book is that she's an extremely friendly person. And when she cares about someone, she'll do whatever it takes to protect them, even if it means endangering herself. I liked her friendship with Julie. It's one of those really rare friendships and I for one haven't found them in a lot of the books I've read.

Tharin was a very interesting hero. I'm sure that if the book was told only from Lily's perspective, I would've wished to smack him a few times. But since I got to be inside his head, see why he said the things he said, why he acted in a certain way, I can't imagine a better hero. And I liked that Tolan, his twin brother, wasn't as perfect as I first thought. There were times when I laughed alongside Tharin at his brother's behavior. So don't think that one twin is flawed, while one is perfect. They both have faults as they have moments of utter perfection. That, in my opinion, makes this characters real, it gives the idea of layers upon layers and it just made me want to uncover everything about them.

I loved the ending. It made me groan and scream in frustration, but the cliffhanger is AMAZING! I think it's best if I say there are at least two cliffhangers, not just one. I am impatiently waiting for book two.

If you like fantasy, paranormal, young adult, you should definitely try The Binding. You won't be disappointed!

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Friday, April 13, 2012

Follow Friday (15)

Welcome to Follow Friday hosted this week by Parajunkee and Alison!
The main idea behind FF is just to go see a bunch of new blogs you may never have seen before, and follow the ones you like (and they’ll follow you back!) It’s a total win/win, so take a peek around!

This week’s question is:

Q: What is one book that you would be nervous to see a movie adaption of because you think the movie could never live up to the book?

I think I'd be nervous about all the books I love to have a movie adaptation. I think there are very few movies that are just as good as the books they're based on. I think I might be more comfortable with a TV show adaptation if the book in question is part of a series. Then again, there's a certain TV show (that I'm not going to name for fear of flying projectiles thrown my way :P ) that ruined the books for me, so I think it's a very difficult thing to make a good movie/TV show while staying true to the book(s).

What about you?

Interview & Giveaway: Sherri Hayes

Please welcome Sherri Hayes to Ruby's Books. She stopped by today to talk about her newest book, Behind Closed Doors (read my review here)


* Thank you for stopping by, Sherri. Tell us a little about yourself.

Thank you for having me Ruby. A little about myself… I’m thirty-five years old, and live with my husband and three cats in Ohio. Behind Closed Doors is my third published novel and I am currently busy editing my fourth novel, Need, which will be out July 26th, and writing my fifth, Red Zone.

* When did you decide to become a writer?

It wasn’t a planned thing exactly. I never had dreams of being a writer growing up. I did, however, have stories constantly floating around in my head. About five years ago, I put my first story to paper so to speak, and posted it on line. The response floored me to say the least, and eventually led me to writing my first novel, Hidden Threat.

* What inspired you to write Behind Closed Doors?

The ideas for my stories typically come from many different places. Behind Closed Doors started with a book cover I’d seen at a store. I never picked the book up, but the cover was of a winding country road. It made me think of someone moving to a new town to start over. After that, my imagination took over. Who was moving to a small town and why?

* I saw that Gage's story is the next one in the series. Can you give us an idea about what to expect from his book?

Although Gage’s story isn’t due out until February of next year, I’m already in the midst of writing it. At twenty-six, Gage is a professional football player and the baby of the family. We only get a glimpse of him in Behind Closed Doors, but there is a lot going on there that he hasn’t shared with his family. His lady is Miss Rebecca Carson; an FBI agent. Let’s just say there should be some fun times ahead. ;)

Oh, I can imagine it will be very fun :D

* What's your favorite book?

My favorite book? You know that’s a cruel thing to ask a reader, right? Lol. If I have to pick one, it would most likely be Voyager by Diana Gabaldon. I love how she is able to weave so much history into a story and still make it captivating. Plus, who doesn’t like Jamie Fraser?

Yes, I know it's a little cruel LOL

* What do you do when you're not writing or reading?

Lately I haven’t had a lot of time to do much of anything else, but I can sometimes be found out in the woodshop helping my husband or trolling antique malls.

* What is the hardest part of being a writer?

The hardest part of being a writer is figuring out how to balance everything. Writing itself is only a part of being a published author. There is also marketing and blogging and editing that have to be done among other things.

* What are you reading now?

I’m currently reading Lover Unleashed by J.R. Ward.

I hope you like it :D

* Last movie you saw.

The last movie I saw in a theater was The Vow with Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum.

* If you could be any one of your characters, who would you be and why?

Whenever I get asked this question, I cringe just a little. I tend to put my characters through the emotional wringer, so most of the time I’d rather not be like them. If I had to pick one, however, I would probably have to say Cali from Hidden Threat. Aside from the fact someone is trying to kill her, her life is pretty good. Plus, she has a hot ex-military man in Matthew. I’d just rather not have her past and what it took to get her to where she is today.

* Thank you for stopping by!

Thanks for inviting me. :)


Giveaway Time!!

Behind Closed Doors (Daniels Brothers #1)I have one ebook copy of Behind Closed Doors to give away. All you have to do is fill out the form below. Comments are welcome, but you have to fill the form to enter the contest.You have until Friday (April 20) to enter. I will announce the lucky winner on Saturday, April 21. Be sure to check back here to see if you won. I will be emailing the winner as soon as possible to let him/her know how to claim the prize.

This giveaway is open internationally!

NOTE! Winner must respond to my email in 72 hours, or a new winner will be chosen.

Please read the Giveaway/Contest Policy before entering.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Dirty Little Secret (7)

Dirty Little Secret is a weekly meme hosted by Under The Covers.

The rules are simple:

1. Be a follower of Under the Covers.
2. Create a post in your blog taking the meme image and copy instructions.
3. Answer the weekly question.

For more information and for signing up, go to the Under The Covers blog.

This week's question:

If you had 600 million dollars to spend, what would be the first thing you bought?

Oh my. What wouldn't I do with so much money??! Ummm...The first thing huh? I'd go find (and buy) my dream house: it's on the beach, with a special room just for my books - a reading room if you like (before you ask, yes, I have even the perfect idea for how that room should look like. I might even share my idea someday if you like :p ). In a perfect world, there would be a huge forest behind that house and I'd have enough money to have a wolf. I know normal people want a dog, not a huge wolf, but I never claimed to be normal (seriously, I'd insult the normal people if I said I was one of them :P)

Anyway, that's my answer. What's yours?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Early Book Review: The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

The Immortal Rules

Author: Julie Kagawa
Series: Blood Of Eden #1
Source: Netgalley
My Rating: 5 cups
Blurb: (from Goodreads)

In a future world, vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity.
Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.

Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them. The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked--and given the ultimate choice. Die...or become one of the monsters.

Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.

Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend--a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.

But it isn't easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what--and who--is worth dying for.

This book blew me away. It really did. It was one of those books that keep you so focused on the story, that you don't even feel the need to move. You start reading and the sun is up in the sky and after about an hour, you lift your head up and realize it's dark outside and you check the watch and you realize hours and hours have past since you started reading. It's one of those books that make you want to read each and every sentence and really pay attention to what you're reading.

I loved Allie. She was a very complex character. What I loved about her was that you could see two different sides in her. She could be both fearless and scared, tough as nails and tender, she could mourn the loss of a friend and choose to kill another vampire just to save her human friends. I liked that about her. It made her look multidimensional. Of course, she has her bad moments, she makes some not so smart decisions, but everyone does. The fact that she's not perfect makes her even more like-able in my opinion.

I also loved the world presented in this book. It was my very first dystopian book and it made me ask myself why I waited so long to try this genre. It was amazing. I liked the fact that vampires weren't as indestructible as they normally are represented. They were just as powerless as the humans when it came to those zombie-vampire creatures.

Another thing that I liked was the fact that the author didn't take the easy, predictable way out. There were moments where I expected certain characters to do or say a certain thing and I was 100% sure they'd do it. And when those things didn't happen, it was so refreshing. It was amazing how each and every time I expected something to happen, those things didn't. Each page of this book was full or surprises and I loved that.

The book has it all: horror, action, suspense, romance, a little drama. Of course, I'm hoping we get to see Allie's vampire dad, Kanin, again.

I really can't wait for the next book to come out. I will probably reread this book soon, because I need to return to that world. And until I get my hands on the second book, what am I to do?

Recommended: If you like vampires, YA, fantasy, paranormal, horror, you name it, this book is for you. I do believe this is one of the books you HAVE to read.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Winners: The Awakening of Leeonwyn Blake by Mary Parker

Thank you all who entered the giveaway to win two ebook copies of The Awakening of Leeowyn Blake by Mary Parker.

The winners are:

  • Cean
  • Darlene
Congratulations! I will send you an email as soon as possible. Please respond to my email in 72 hours (3 days) or I will choose another winner.

Teaser Tuesday (19)

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 this week is from The Immortal Rules by Julie Kawaga:

The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden, #1)

“Jeb regarded me with no expression. "Do you believe in God, Allison?"
"No," I said immediately. "Is this the part where you tell me I'm going to hell?"
"This is hell," Jebbadiah said, gesturing to the town around us.

I love this book! I'm about to finish it. I can't wait for book 2!

What's your teaser this week?

Monday, April 9, 2012

Cover Love (13)

Rabid Reads - Cover Love

This feature is hosted by Carmel @ Rabid Reads. The rules are very simple. Choose a cover (or two, or three), preferably new-ish, and share what you like about it. Grab the graphic or don't just so long as you link back.

My pick this week:

The Immortal Rules

I've heard so, so much about the Iron Fey series, I feel like I HAVE to read that series. But back to the cover of The Immortal Rules. I love her blood-red eye and her blood tear. If that's not enough, I love the font of Blood Of Eden. And the air of complete creepiness that this cover has. Or that's how I feel. Or maybe I'm biased because I'm hoping the world would stop moving and the clock would stop ticking long enough for me to finish this book. Oh, and wake up tomorrow and have the second book out already. I don't think I can wait an entire year for the second book *sniffle*

What's your pick this week?

Book Review: An Untimely Love by Tendai Huchu

An Untimely Love
Author: Tendai Huchu
My Rating: 3 cups
Source: review copy offered by the author
Blurb (from Goodreads):

Love can find us in the most unusual of circumstances. This is what happens to Khalid Patel, a terrorist, when he falls in love with Smokey, a feisty and independent young woman who was to be Britain's first female suicide bomber. On what is meant to be his day of martyrdom, his violent worldview is thrown into turmoil. We share his thoughts as Death and Duty become irrevocably and movingly entwined with Love and Life.

I've never read a book where terrorists or suicide bombers were the main characters before. I have to say it was a really interesting perspective and I was actually surprised.  I liked Khalid's story and to see how he grew from the suicide bomber from the beginning of the novel to the man who sacrifices his freedom and happiness to save thousands of innocent people at the end of the book. The reader gets to see how Khalid transformed from an ordinary student to a trained terrorist.

For a while the story goes back and forth between Khalid preparing, along with his three other partners, to arrive at the train station and Khalid's past, where we see him learning to fish, to start a fire, to make bombs, to practice target shooting. Somewhere along the way, he falls in love with Selina "Smokey" Ashraf and they get married on their way to the train station. After that, the story focuses on Khalid, his struggle to kill the man who destroyed his life and, later, to find and rescue Smokey.

What I liked about the book was that it was filled with action and suspense. There is never a dull moment in this story. There were also moments where Khalid's internal struggle felt so raw and real, it was almost like it was right there in front of me.

What I would've liked to see more was the relationship between Khalid and Smokey, how they first met, how they fell in love. It didn't feel like this was a love story, even if it was doomed from the start, but more like it was Khalid's story and the story of his redemption.

Aside that, the book was really interesting.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Happy Easter!!!

Hey everyone! It's just past midnight in my neck of the woods, so I wanted to wish you all Happy Easter. I hope the Easter Bunny will bring you lots pf prezzies and happiness and anything you desire! 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Follow Friday (14)

Welcome to Follow Friday hosted this week by Parajunkee and Alison!
The main idea behind FF is just to go see a bunch of new blogs you may never have seen before, and follow the ones you like (and they’ll follow you back!) It’s a total win/win, so take a peek around!

This week’s question is:

Q: Have you ever bought a book BECAUSE of a bad review?

No, to be honest. Besides the fact that I rarely read reviews before I read the book, I believe that reviews are very personal. I've lost count of how many books I loved and others hated or books I couldn't care less about (and some I actually regret buying, let alone reading) that others loved them.

What about you?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Dirty Little Secret (6)

Dirty Little Secret is a weekly meme hosted by Under The Covers.

The rules are simple:

1. Be a follower of Under the Covers.
2. Create a post in your blog taking the meme image and copy instructions.
3. Answer the weekly question.

For more information and for signing up, go to the Under The Covers blog.

This week's question:

Now that Lover Reborn has come and passed, what book are you most looking forward to?!

Um...I know it sounds weird, but I didn't even thunk about this before. Huh...must be the weather. Anyway, looking through my "impatiently waiting for" list, I see the new Dark Hunter book, Time Untime. *sigh* Is it August yet??

Time Untime (Dark-Hunter, #22)

What about you? What are you impatiently waiting for?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Cover Reveal

So I was doing my daily blog lurking and I found this awesome new cover *drum roll please* :

That's right, a knew hot cover from the awesome Lorelei James for her series of sexy, bad boy cowboys, Rough Riders. We still have to wait until June 26th for the book *pout* But at least now we can ogle and drool at this very cool, very sexy cover. 

Wednesday Chatter #1: When to read reviews

Wednesday Chatter is a weekly feature at Ruby's Books where we'll be talking about anything and everything related to books and reading. Click here if you want to see what we talked about in the previous weeks

Since I'm a very chatty person (and yes, I ramble a lot. There, I said it) I thought it would be a good idea to start this feature. I was also curious if I'm the only one feeling a certain way about... well, bookish things.

This week's topic is about reviews and when to read them. 

A few days ago I was talking with a friend of mine about book blogging and book reviews and, knowing I enjoy writing reviews, she asked if I also read reviews. I have to admit I am a very weird person. Though I enjoy writing reviews about the books I read, I am very particular about the reviews I read. That doesn't mean I don't read them at all, I do read reviews. But I read them only after I've read the book in question.

I realized it was better for me not to read reviews ahead of time when I was very young. I was about 13 years old and me and a very good friend from school (let's call him D) were doing a The Three Musketeers read-along. D is a booklover since he was very very young, so by the age of 13 he was a really fast reader (I think even know, he reads a lot faster than me, if that's possible). So, of course, he was about 3-4 chapters ahead of me. Every day for about...two weeks, while we were taking the subway on our way home, we would talk about what we read the day before and change opinions and arguing about what would happen next. At some point, I realized D wasn't playing fair, because he already knew what was going to happen. So I, curious as ever, started begging him (more like nagging) to tell me what was going to happen and tell me his what he thought about it. That ruined the book for me and I could never finish it. 

I realize that what D was giving me was a huge pile of spoilers instead of a review, but for me, it's basically the same thing. As soon as I read someone else's opinion about a book, my feelings change even before I started reading it. I notice things I probably would've ignored otherwise, while other details are lost to me. 

The main reason I do like to read reviews is because I want to see if someone else spotted the little details that I did, or to see if I'm the only one hating/loving certain things about the book. 

If I stumble across a review for a book I've never heard of before, I will read a small part of it. So my brain gets something along the lines of

I loved this book because....(skip this part, skip it, skip it!); I didn't like the fact that (skip, skip, skip). Recommended to fans of (insert genres or similar books).

What about you? Do you read reviews before or after you've read the book?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Interview & Giveaway: Mary Parker

Please welcome Mary Parker to Ruby's Books. She's the author of The Awakening of Leeowyn Blake, a YA fantasy novel that I loved loved loved (read my review here)


Welcome! Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I live in Middle Tennessee. I love to read anything and everything, as long as it’s fiction. I love to cook and I love to bake, but I’m not crazy about eating sweets, so I end up baking goodies for my friends. I started writing as soon as I was able to hold a pencil. I’m spontaneous and have been known to do some crazy stuff from time to time. I tried college for a while, and worked on several different majors, but I just didn’t enjoy it. I started waiting tables to support myself while writing my first novel.

What's your favorite book?

I don’t have a favorite. There are just too many. My favorite book is whatever book I happen to be reading at the time. Some of my favorite authors include J.K. Rowling, Ray Bradbury, George Martin.

What made you want to write fantasy books and why young adult?

Young adult, simply because I am a young adult and I think I can get into the head of a young adult. Fantasy, because I write what I love to read. I’m always daydreaming about a world that is far more mysterious and magical than the world we live in.

Do you plot before starting to write your books, or do you just wait to see where the story takes you?

I would love to say I was organized enough to plot in advance, because I’m sure I could make the story far more complex if I did. But I’m just not. I’m more of a ‘go with the flow’ kind of writer. I like to create the characters and then follow wherever they choose to lead me.

What inspired you to write The Awakening of Leeowyn Blake?

The character of Leeowyn has been with me forever. I had a dream about her when I was quite young, and I wrote it down. Of course that story change significantly over the years, and when I got inspired to write the novel it was only natural to cast Leeowyn in the lead role.

How would you describe Leeowyn?

I would describe her as ‘average.’ At least that is how she would describe herself. As we know she is anything but average. She is a typical teenage girl that has to deal with normal teenage girl stuff. Then she discovers these powers and the responsibility that goes along with them. Now she is thrust into a role of having to deal with not only normal stuff, but extraordinary stuff. She is tasked with saving not only her world, but several other worlds.

I'm very anxious to see what happens next. Could you give us a small idea of what will happen in the future with Leeowyn and her friends?

There is quite a bit in store for Leeowyn and her trio of friends. They travel to new realms, they are exposed to new dangers and they are stretched beyond what they think they can endure. Of course a great deal of the story involves the unknown, so I can’t give away too much without revealing the secrets that make the story so intriguing.

If you could be any one of your characters who would you choose and why?

Oh, Leeowyn. Not because she is based on me at all, but she is the kind of person I would want to be.


Giveaway time

I have two (2) e-copies of The Awakening of Leeowyn Blake to give away. All you have to do is fill out the form below.Comments are welcome, but you have to fill the form to enter the contest.You have until Monday (4/9/12) to enter and I will announce the lucky winners on Tuesday, next week (April 10). Be sure to check back here to see if you won. I will send an email to the winners and tell them how to receive their prize. 

NOTE! Winners must respond to my email in 72 hours, or a new winner will be chosen. 

The Awakening of Leeowyn Blake (The Kahl'Nar Saga, #1)

Monday, April 2, 2012

Cover Love (12)

Rabid Reads - Cover Love

This feature is hosted by Carmel @ Rabid Reads. The rules are very simple. Choose a cover (or two, or three), preferably new-ish, and share what you like about it. Grab the graphic or don't just so long as you link back.

My picks this week:

Bitterblue (The Seven Kingdoms, #3)

This cover reminded me of Harry Potter and the winged keys from Sorcerer's Stone for some reason. I also love the blue-violet gradient and how you can see her eye through the key chain. Makes her look like she (or is it a he?) is spying on someone :P

Innamorata di un angelo

I got this book about a month and a half ago. I was in a little bookshop in town and the cover drew my eye and it was like it was whispering "Buy me! Buy me!!". So I did. I think it would also be my first book with an angel as a hero. In love with an angel (loosely translated) sound actually good. I hope I'll manage to read it and tell you what it's all about :D

What are your picks this week?

Book Review: Behind Closed Doors by Sherri Hayes

Behind Closed Doors (Daniels Brothers #1)

Author: Sherri Hayes
Series: Daniels Brothers #1
My Rating: 4.5 cups
Blurb: (from Goodreads):

Elizabeth Marshall spent the last nine years doing all the things she was supposed to do. She went to a good college. Married a man with a promising future. Elizabeth even had a nice house in a respectable part of town. There was even the promise of 2.4 kids in her future. From the outside everything looked picture perfect.

One night, six months ago, the world she lived in came crashing down. Her husband dead and her friends gone, Elizabeth moves to the small town of Springfield to start a new life for herself where no one knows who she is or anything to do with her past.

Christopher Daniels enjoys the simplicity of his bachelor life. After his divorce three years ago, he swore off women. He has no desire to change that philosophy.

When Elizabeth Marshall moves into the apartment below him in the small Victorian house, she makes him begin to reconsider the motto he’s lived by for the last three years: women are trouble. She is everything is ex wife was not and it doesn’t help that she is his wet dream come to life.

He is determined to resist her charms, however when someone starts sending threatening messages to Elizabeth, he finds himself in the role of protector. Can he protect Elizabeth and still be able to resist the pull she has on his body and his heart?

Behind Closed Doors is a great book and an amazing first book in a series. I think the first thing that drew my attention as I was reading the book was that the action wasn't rushed. I didn't at any moment felt like things were happening too fast or too slow or that they were forced. It felt sort of natural for things to happen at a precise moment and it was a really good thing.

I liked Elizabeth so much and my heart was breaking for her the entire time I was reading about her past. I liked the fact that in the end she finds closure and she gets to move on with her life with a man that really loved her. Elizabeth had that innocent air about her that I like a lot for some heroines. Not naive, but innocent, despite her past.

Chris was a very interesting hero. I liked the fact that he wasn't the type of guy who jumped to conclusions and the fact that he wanted to protect Elizabeth even before they got romantically involved. And I loved that he was always reassuring her, trying to make her feel wanted and precious without telling her that her insecurities were foolish. I also liked that he had sexy brothers *grins*

Behind Closed Doors has a lot of the themes I love, like mystery, romance, suspense and, my personal favorite, the story about second chances. It was a very sweet story and I am really curious about the other Daniels brothers. I really can't wait for their stories.

It was the first book by Sherri Hayes that I've read, but I know for sure I'll keep reading her books.

Almost Perfect photo Image33.png

March In Retrospect

I can't believe March is over. It seems like time flew by, even faster than in February. I've discovered some new series this month and some new authors. So it was a good month :D

Here are the books I read in March:

  1. Lover Reborn by J.R. Ward
  2. Bitten by Kelley Armrstrong
  3. The Awakening of Leeowyn Blake by Mary Parker
  4. Curbchek by Zack Fortier
  5. Death On Heels by Ellen Byerrum
I'm also making some progress on my Dark Hunter series rereading "marathon". I also remembered some important details in the earlier books, which helped me understand some of the things that happened later in the series. 

Here are the reviews I've written in March:

Reading Challenges Progress:

  1. TBR Pile Reading Challenge 3/20  
  2. New Author Challenge  10/25 
  3. 100 Books In A Year Reading Challenge 17/100
  4. Women Of the Otherworld Series Challenge 1/13
  5. Chick Lit Challenge 1/12
It was a good month. Not exactly what I wanted, but I hope I'll catch up this month. How did you do in March?

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