Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Blog Tour Book Review & Guest Post: Identity Break by Stifyn Emrys

 photo 17315273_zpsd5b3f068.jpgAuthor: Stifyn Emrys
Series: Identity Break #1
Publisher: Createspace
Release Date: February 1st 2013
My Rating: 4 cups
Source: review copy offered by author in exchange for an honest review
Blurb (from Goodreads):

How far would you go to find yourself?

Imagine everything you thought you knew about yourself turned out to be a lie, and you didn’t know who was telling the truth. Imagine you possessed a secret so dangerous that, if it were exposed, it would reshape the entire world. What would you do if that secret were your very identity?

In almost every way, Palo Vista seems like a typical California city, with office buildings, schools, and homes sprawled out across suburbia, filled with families making a life for themselves at the dawn of the new millennium.

But two seniors at Mt. MacMurray High are about to find out that nothing is as it seems. Jason Nix is a star athlete and honors student who can’t seem to remember anything about his childhood. Elyse Van Auten is a budding artist from a broken home whose father left her mother two years ago - or so she’s been led to believe.

Like most teens entering adulthood, Elyse and Jason just want to find out who they really are. For them, however, the stakes go far beyond their own personal quest. Join them on a journey of self-discovery that becomes a desperate fight for survival against enemies determined to conceal the truth … and find out what happens when that fight becomes personal.

The first installment of a new science fiction/adventure series for young adult, adult and new adult readers. Full of action, twists and surprises.

Breathtaking, fast, on edge. That's what comes to my mind right now when I think about this book. I think it really is amazing when a book can be like that. 

I loved the idea of this book, not knowing what the truth really is, always wondering if something is real or not. That idea is both thrilling and terrifying, but it's such a great combination within Identity Break. Then there's the fact that I could never really grasp what was going to happen next. From the first page of the book, I couldn't quite manage to say "ok, this is what will go on next" and be right. I loved that, constantly being surprised.

The book has many POV. Even though at times it was a little confusing, I thought it was a great way to show the full story, not just a side of it. It felt really good. But, like I said earlier, don't think that it can help you anticipate things. At least it didn't help me. One other thing that I loved about the multiple POV. Even though, like I said, I was a little confused, the thing that I noticed is that the POVs don't "bleed" into each other. You know how sometimes you think "wait, I was in X's head, now I'm back to C's POV or is this B's POV??". It didn't happen with Identity Break. I had a very clear image of when I was in each character's head. That was very, very good.

The characters are also very good, they sort of jump out the page, they're so vivid and at times they almost seem real. I really couldn't put this book down. And I cannot wait for the next installment in this series.

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I just started publishing books last year, so people may ask, “What the heck does he know about it? He’s a noob!”
I admit, it did take me three decades to get around to publishing my first novel, Identity Break . But I’ve spent my entire career writing and editing for newspapers, blogs and so forth.
Still, you might feel more comfortable taking advice from someone who’s been involved in fiction his entire life, so I’ll turn this over to Jason Nix, the protagonist of Identity Break. Here are his ten commandments of successful writing, in his own words:
1) Use active sentences. I’m on the football team, so I like action.
2) Write punchy. Get to the point, please. An action-adventure novel should have lots of action and adventure. Don’t make sentences so long I lose my way. I get lost in Identity Break a couple of times as it is, and believe me, it’s no fun.
3) Don't bore me with elaborate description. I just want enough info to make me feel at home. I can figure out the rest on my own. I’m not stupid, and if I wanted to look at pictures, I’d be watching TV. My girlfriend (well, I wish she were my girlfriend), Elyse, is an artist and knows how to draw pictures in her head. As for me, I don’t need a description of every flower petal or bird’s wing. Why would I? I have a photographic memory!
4) Keep the action coming. Like most good protagonists, I like a challenge. If you keep me sitting on my butt all day, I get restless. I am still a teenager, after all.
5) Make your characters (heroes and villains alike) charming. My nemesis, Pamela Throckmartin, is too charming for her own good. I could actually do without her charm, but I’m sure it’s fun to read about it. Just be glad you don’t have to deal with her personally.
6) Create characters your readers will relate to. Like me. I’m a star athlete with a genius-level I.Q. But underneath it all, I’m just like everyone else. Honest. (Wink, wink.)
7) Shun multisyllabic pomposity. Like that sentence. Just because you have a great vocabulary doesn’t mean you should flaunt it all the time. And yeah, I meant to say “flaunt,” not “flout.” I know the difference.
8) Have fun. But not at the expense of your favorite characters. Please! We have feelings, too (or at least we’re written that way).
9) Surprise the reader. Repeatedly. Make your readers say, "I should have seen that coming." Believe me, I didn’t see the twists in Identity Break coming. From my perspective, it would have been a lot easier if I had.
10) Don't write a dissertation, business proposal, résumé, abstract or legal brief. Write something you'd want to read! I’m graduating from high school soon enough. I don’t want to deal with that garbage until it’s absolutely necessary.

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 photo stifynemrys_zps7c609273.jpgStifyn Emrys is a journalist and educator who has written on subjects as diverse as history, religion, politics and language. He has served as an editor for fiction and non-fiction projects, and his first book, “The Gospel of the Phoenix,” was published in the summer of 2012. He has published four other books, including three non-fiction works and the children's fairy tale “Feathercap.” “Identity Break” is his first novel. He lives on California’s Central Coast with his wife (also an author), stepson, cat and dog.

 Connect with Stifyn!
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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Book vs Movie: Beautiful Creatures

About a month ago I decided to take a "trip" to my favorite bookstore. I didn't plan on buying anything, I just needed to ogle...oops... I mean look at some new books and pick them up and pet them and then put them back on the shelf and go home. Did that sound just as bad in real life as it did just now in my head? Yeah, I usually look like an idiot that can't decide on a book to buy whenever I go there. Anyway, that is so not the point. *smacks self*

Back to my story. I was just looking at some random books and for some reason Beautiful Creatures stood out. It is possible that the huge sign with "- 15%" helped with that, but I'm not sure LOL. All I know is that I saw Jeremy Irons and Emma Thompson on the cover (HUGE, huge fan of them both) and I said to myself that I need to see the movie. Of course, I then decided to buy the book and read it before watching the movie (it was difficult, because I so, so love Jeremy Irons and I needed to see the movie). But I made it *pats self on the back* I loved the book so much that I had really high expectations about the movie.

While I was watching the movie I was left a little disappointed. Don't get me wrong, if I could watch that movie again, I would, just to see that scene with Irons and Thompson (I swooned and I almost yelled "YEAH!" at the end. I didn't though :D) But the movie didn't have some pretty important scenes and some characters as well aren't in the movie.

Remember when I said I was a fan of Jeremy Irons and Emma Thompson? I am, I truly am. But at times I didn't think that the face managed the character in the book, you know what I mean? For example: Macon is such a dark, mysterious character. Refined, yet he can be a smart-ass. Smart, normal, yet I have no doubt that he has a lunatic side. Does this remind you of anyone? No? Alan Rickman anyone? I kind of thought Jeremy Irons was more fit to play Ethan's Dad. Don't get me wrong, Irons can be all of the above and more, but he seems too... gentle for this role. *hides from fans*

I was kind of expecting more from this movie. What happened with the pendant? And the visions? And Ethan's mom's BFF? And so many other little things, details that I wanted to see in the movie. I havn't yet read the other three books, but I have a feeling that these "little things" will be a lot more important than they seem.

OH! And another thing. And please don't throw something at me. On my copy of the book, right on the back cover, with proud letters, it says something about fans of Twilight and True Blood. Really? REALLY??? Twilight is vampires, True Blood is a TV show, nothing to do with Beautiful Creatures. Yes, I know True Blood is based on the Southern Vampires Mysteries series. But you can't really compare a TV show with a book. To me, at least, that's apples and oranges with a hint of bananas.

VERDICT: Book 1 - Movie 0

The book wins IMO.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

News and stuff

Hey peeps! Sorry for being absent lately. I've been having a hellish month and apparently May isn't going to be any different *pouts* I have some projects to prepare and a lot of studying to do. It all caught me by surprise and I didn't have anything prepared for the blog, but now that I have a week off I will work my ass off to schedule posts and read. That way you won't feel like I'm absent and I won't feel bad for every day I don't post.

One more thing. I'm not accepting review requests! Please read the "Review Policy" page BEFORE you email me with a request. I don't want to sound bitchy or annoy anyone, but please read that page. Yes, it is important.

If I think of anything else, I'll post it. I will try to be active on Twitter though, so you know I'm still alive LOL.

Happy Reading!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Blog Tour: Unbeautifully Loved by Emma Grayson & Giveaway

Unbeautifully Loved (Unbeautiful Life # 1) Blurb:
On the run from her dark and painful past, Lexie Todd is finally forced by her best friend Mollie into settling into a new place for the first time in months. Having been hurt in more ways than one in the past, the last thing Lexie is expecting or wanting is to meet someone as persistent and annoying but incredibly gorgeous as Lukas Gunn.
When an incident leaves Lexie banged up and rattled, Lukas knows there’s more to her than meets the eye as something is haunting her to the core making him nothing but determined to make her his and protect her from whatever it is that casts the dark painful shadow behind her eyes.
But when her past shows up and pulls Lexie back into the nightmare she already once escaped while leaving her closest loved ones in danger it’s up to Lukas to save her from her darkest nightmare relived.
Will Lukas be able to save Lexie? Or will Lexie succumb only having known what it’s like to be Unbeautifully Loved?

Meeting him changed my life. I never thought I’d meet someone who’d finally complete me like he did. Someone who finally made me feel whole and loved as much as he did. There’s always been a void in my heart, a void I thought I’d never have. I was in love, deeply in love, the kind of love that only comes around once in a life time, the kind you don’t want to live without and he didn’t even know how I felt. I’d waited too long and I didn’t know if I’d ever get to tell him.

The thought of him fizzled from my mind as my body shook from the cold under the thin sheet of a blanket that was wrapped around me. I was in shock, I could tell. I knew the signs. I winced as I moved; shooting pain licked my body in every direction. I knew a couple of my ribs along with my wrist were broken, and possibly something on my face, as pain swept over it and into my head. I raised my free arm up slowly, painfully, feeling my damp face as my hand found its way to the laceration on the side of my head, the source of only some of the pain. Unable to hold my arm up for much longer, it fell to the side throbbing and dangling off the edge of the bed. My body, it was beaten and bruised possibly more than ever before and I could feel myself slipping away, wanting nothing but to close my eyes and sleep, but it was the last thing I’d allow myself to do.

My mind was disoriented; I had no idea what day it was or how long I had been locked in this cold, dark place. Time was frozen, becoming nonexistent, and I was sure the days were just bleeding together. I thought about Finn and Mollie, hoping and praying they were safe because I didn’t know if I was going to see them again. The thought of that was unbearable. My eyes watered, nose burned and I felt like I couldn’t breathe.

Pull it together.


I didn’t know where I was, why I was even here or what caused him to do what he did to me. I felt like my life, my being, was being sucked right out of me. The abuse had taken its toll on my body and I had no fight left in me. All hope that I had earlier was beginning to fade away.

The door creaking open brought me back from my thoughts, my eyes snapped closed at the light that followed him in. I wanted to pull my blanket up to hide myself and hope it would make me disappear but I couldn’t and there was no point in trying. Looking at him you wouldn’t think any kind of malicious evil would consume him, but it did. It was written all over his face, in the grin he wore and the burning in his cold, dead blue eyes. A shiver ran through me as I thought of his eyes looking back at me, blank, filled with nothing but coldness and the brightness of those eyes forever gone. I’d never seen a pair of eyes so cold, or so hollow and dark, not even the pair I looked into years before compared to what I was seeing now.

He walked over to the side of the bed, no words said. His rough cold hands roamed over my hair down the side of my face and my body stilled as I wished him away. My eyes snapped shut not knowing what was about to come.

His hand slipped under the covers, gliding over my naked arm, stopping above my elbow, lingering there a moment before moving away and then my cuffed hand was free. His hand went back, gripping my arm tightly as he pulled me to a sitting position. Pain radiated through me as I let out a whimper. He pulled me to my frozen feet, my knees shook, feeling like they were going to give out, unable to support me. I felt myself sway to the side but his grip held me upright, tightly; his fingers dug into my arm, pinching my skin.

What’s one more bruise?

He started to pull me towards the open door, my eyes squinting, trying to adjust to the light. I didn’t know where we were going and I was sure it wasn’t going to be good and for the first time I was wishing to stay in the hole. I didn’t have any strength to fight him so I let him pull me, taking me wherever he was going.

Maybe I had it all wrong. Maybe it was meant to end here and meeting him, falling in love, having this emptiness I carried around finally filled, maybe it was only supposed to be... temporary.

Life had a way of playing cruel tricks on you.

This I knew.

Boy did I know.

I no longer saw the future with him as bright, happy and full of love; it was suddenly now empty, numb and full of complete and utter darkness.


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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Cover Reveal: Love at 11 by Mari Mancusi

 photo Loveat11amazonGRSmash_zpsc19e25bc.jpg
Title: Love at 11
Author: Mari Mancusi
Genre: Contemporary
Age Group: New Adult
Cover Designer: Okay Creations
Expected re-release date: April 24, 2013
Cover reveal organized by: AToMR Tours
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When Maddy graduated from Columbia University, she was ready to change the world. She'd get a job at Newsline, meet a nice guy, and live happily ever after with a real designer handbag on her arm. Five years later, she's stuck producing puff pieces for News 9 San Diego--where "if it bleeds, it leads." She's still single, her family's falling apart, and so is her knock-off Kate Spade.

Then Jamie Hayes walks through her newsroom door. The former filmmaker is everything Maddy has ever dreamed of. Creative, smart, sweet—and with eyes that could make a girl melt. The perfect guy…but perfectly unavailable. And the more Maddy tries to stay away—the further she starts to fall.

Now a secret scoop from her favorite knock-off purse guy has Maddy chasing a lead that could make her career. Or destroy it forever. How far is she willing to go to broadcast the truth? And will this breaking news lead to a happily ever after…or a broken heart?

Stay's the story of a lifetime.

  About the Author Mari Mancusi used to wish she could become a vampire back in high school. But she ended up in another blood sucking profession --journalism -- instead. Today she works as a freelance TV producer and author of books for teens and adults. When not writing about creatures of the night, Mari enjoys traveling, cooking, goth clubbing, watching cheesy horror movies, and her favorite guilty pleasure--videogames. A graduate of Boston University and a two time Emmy Award winner, she lives in Austin, Texas with her husband Jacob, daughter Avalon and dog Mesquite.
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Monday, April 8, 2013

Obsessed With Covers #7: Glamorous Illusions, Black and Blue, Lady Of Ashes

Y'all know how much I love a pretty cover. I think about...40% of the books that end up on my shelves (be they physical or digital) do so because of the covers. Call me shallow but you have to admit that a pretty, shiny cover will catch your eye faster than a dull, boring one. Two, simple rules that I'll follow:

  • 1, 2 or 3 (no more than 3, though) covers per week;
  • books should be new-ish; no more than 2 years old.
Oh, before I share the covers that made me drool or want to stare at them for hours and hours, I have to say something. This is a semi-original idea. Why semi? Because almost every book blogger has something similar. The only thing I came up with was the title. If by any chance there's another blogger with a similar feature with the same title, I assure you I'm not stealing your idea. I'm just THAT bad with titles. Believe me, I'd love to be smarter and have a witty name for this feature, but I don't. So, no copyright infringement/theft/steal or anything of the sort was desired. All I can say is sorry :P


So, here are the prettiest covers I've seen this week.

I love the colors in this cover. And I love that there's no one else in the cover besides the girl. Though it looks deserted, I'm curious about the "illusions". And the sky is gorgeous.

Glamorous Illusions by Lisa T. Bergren

 Wow! I love the sapphire blue and the fact that besides the black and white there's no other color. And she has blue lipstick! How cool is that!! Now want a blue lipstick *le sigh*

Black and Blue by Gena Showalter

I love how we can't see her face and I love the shapes and shadows behind her. I also love the foggy rays of sun and the red rose she's holding behind her. I wonder who she is. I need to read this book.

Lady of Ashes by Christine Trent

What pretty covers did you discover recently?

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