Wednesday, December 19, 2012

WinterHaven Sleigh Tour: The Magic Of Christmas & Giveaway



Today Living Fictitiously is excited to join the WinterHaven Sleigh Tour hosted by WinterHaven Books. This week, we are posting our favorite Children's, Winter or Christmas story. To see who else is on the sleigh, go to WinterHaven Sleigh Tour for a list of participating blogs.
The Night Before Christmas: A Magical Cut-Paper EditionMy favorite Christmas story is The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore. I grew up with my dad reading this to my sisters and me every Christmas. We always had a big Christmas party, and he would gather up all the kids and read The Night Before ChristmasThe Magical Cut-Paper Edition, with illustrations by Niroot Puttapipat did not come out until much later, but I love it.

This book was first published in 1825 and was titled Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas. It's a classic, and I can't wait to be able to read it to my own kids one day. (I have to have some first!)

If you'd like to purchase this addition, you can do so HEREWhat are some of your favorite Children's, Winter, or Christmas stories? Tell us in the comments.



As part of The Magic of Christmas, WinterHaven Books is hosting a give-away that will include two book bundles to be shipped to an elementary school or library of the winner's choosing. The winner will be offered a few options and they can choose what 2 bundles and location to ship to within the United States. Good luck and happy holidays!

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Monday, December 17, 2012

The Best Gift I Ever Got! GUEST POST by AJ Aalto

Today, Living Fictitiously would like to welcome AJ Aalto as our guest today! I am super excited to see what she has for us because, well, not only is she the AWESOME author of the AMAZING Touched, The Marnie Baranuik Files book 1, but she is totally crazy and fun! I think you are all really going to enjoy this. First, a little bit about Ms. Aalto:


AJ Aalto is the author of Touched, first in the paranormal mystery series The Marnie Baranuik Files. Aalto is an unrepentant liar and a writer of blathering nonsense offset by factual gore. When not working on her novels, you can find her singing old Monty Python songs in the shower, eavesdropping on perfect strangers, stalking her eye doctor, or failing at one of her many fruitless hobbies. Generally a fan of anyone with a passion for the ridiculous, she has a particular weak spot for smug pseudo-intellectuals and narcissistic jerks; readers will find her work littered with dark, imperfect creatures, flawed monsters and oodles of snark. Touched is available for Kindle or Nook.
AJ cannot say no to a Snickers bar, and has been known to swallow her gum.

So, without further ado.... I give you.... Ms. AJ Aalto!!!

The Best Christmas Gift I’ve Ever Received

When I was young, I grew up in a home where dad worked and mum stayed home and raised the kids; my mum usually picked out all our Christmas presents and dad paid. When I was 13, however, my dad went and picked out a gift for me on his own: a Stephen King novel. If my memory serves, it was Skeleton Crew. My mum was properly horrified, but I was over the moon. I was finally old enough to read grown-up horror novels, this gift said, but not only that: I was finally old enough to brave & enjoy the same kind of scares as my dad, and that was just awesome.

AJ Aalto’s TOP 5 Gift Ideas

I love to give homemade presents; when you put thought and effort into your gift, it shows. With that in mind, I’d like to share with you my top 5 gift ideas for the holidays.

1. Imperviousness. Did I mention that I craft Undergarments of Invulnerability in my barn? Because I totally do. They’re only $65,000/pair (save 10% if you buy my book) and come in green, yellow, and Super-Villain grey. Made from pure Crazanium. The good news is: they don’t have a single side effect…they have TONS of side effects (ex. headaches, drowsiness, hot flashes, cold flashes, festering boils, foaming at the mouth, sudden onset Tourette’s syndrome, bouts of random maniacal laughter, delusions of grandeur, and eternal damnation of your soul.) Undergarments of Invulnerability make spiffy gifts for the whole family.

2. Anti-Haunt Spray. This is also something I make in my barn, from super-special condensed “magic air-flavoured air” that ghosts just hate. But AJ, you say, I don’t need or want Anti-Haunt Spray; no sane person does! Well, that’s where you are mistaken, Erroneous McWrongpants. Everybody needs this. Localized residential hauntings are at an all-time high (based on no studies done anywhere by anyone) and I don’t doubt for a second that your home absolutely lousy with ghosts. If you’re not on my Christmas list this year, you better see about getting’ yourself some Anti-Haunt Spray.

3. Get Out of Burglary Free coupon! Upon receipt of this coupon, I promise that I will NOT break into your home for one (1) whole month, even though I totally dig your new lamp, and think it would look better in my bedroom. This coupon applies to one person per household. A popular gift! People always give me a queasy sort of smile when they receive one.

4. Paranoid Fantasy of the Month Club. A crazy upgrade from your run-of-the-mill Jelly of the Month Club. I like to spoil my giftees with only the very BEST paranoia, and achieve this by targeted, dedicated stalking with unpredictable shifts in intensity (new and improved, now with extra-crunchy weirdness!) For some reason, people don’t seem to appreciate this gift much, but it’s SUPER-fun to give.

5. Books. I genuinely, for realsies, buy a shitload (more than a basket but slightly less than a bushel) of books as gifts, especially over the holiday season. 80% of the gifts under my Christmas tree right now are suspiciously book-shaped. It’s the gifts that AREN’T shaped like books that you wanna worry about.
*****
Ok, so I officially can't stop laughing! Thank you so much for joining us AJ! That is definitely the BEST "Top 5 Gift Ideas" we have ever had! You all can find AJ online at her website www.ajaalto.com and connect with AJ on Facebook or Twitter.
If you guys haven't read the first book in AJ's The Marnie Baranuik Files you DON'T want to miss it!  I definitely recommend it as a gift for anyone who loves Supernatural and Urban Fantasy but is looking for a new twist. You can purchase TOUCHED, Book 1 in The Marnie Baranuik Files on Amazon or B&N.com. You can check out my review of TOUCHED  here.
As a special gift to all of our followers, two, that's right, 2 winners will receive an e-book of Touched! This giveaway is international and you must be at least 18 years old to enter! This is an adult book with adult themes. The giveaway will run from Dec. 17, 2012 until Midnight Dec. 31, 2013. Just enter through the Rafflecopter form below.

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Friday, December 14, 2012

IT'S HERE! Free Souls (The Mindjack Trilogy #3)

Free Souls by Susan Kaye Quinn
(Book Three of the Mindjack Trilogy) Now Available!
When your mind is a weapon, freedom comes at a price.
Four months have passed since Kira left home to join Julian’s Jacker Freedom Alliance, but the hole in her heart still whistles empty where her boyfriend Raf used to be. She fills it with weapons training, JFA patrols, and an obsessive hunt for FBI agent Kestrel, ignoring Julian’s worries about her safety and repeated attempts to recruit her for his revolutionary chat-casts. When anti-jacker politician Vellus surrounds Jackertown with the National Guard, Kira discovers there’s more to Julian’s concerns than she knew, but she’s forced to take on a mission that neither want and that might be her last: assassinating Senator Vellus before he can snuff out Julian’s revolution and the jackers she’s come to love.
All Mindjack stories available on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, and iTunes (Note Free Souls is not yet available on iTunes)
Early Praise for Free Souls
“Quinn paints a picture of a not-too-distant America where politicians inflame the hatred of one section of the populace for another—all for their own gain—and you worry that her world is not so far off from our own.”
Dianne Salerni, author of We Hear the Dead, The Caged Graves, and the forthcoming The Eighth Day
"Free Souls starts with a bang and doesn't let up. Like a mash-up of all your favorite science-fiction adventures from Star Wars to The Legend of Korra, it blends nonstop action, nail-biting escapes, and great romance. I absolutely loved it! A great series conclusion—a must-read."
Leigh Talbert Moore, author of Rouge and The Truth About Faking
“Susan did it again. Free Souls was WOW! I expected Kira to step up to her role as heroine but not like this. Surprises kept coming until the very end which tied up more loose ends than I knew existed. Warning: Don't start reading until you have time to finish. I didn't want to put Free Souls down for a second. It's that kind of book.”
Sher A. Hart, Goodreads Review
Interview Susan's over at Amy Saunder's blog today (12.14.12), answering questions about how she came up with the mages' abilities, what kind of mage she would be, and all about her future works. Digital Box Set Since Free Souls is out, there is now a Digital Box Set of the Mindjack Trilogy for those of you who want the whole series!
Available on AmazonBarnes&Noble
Mindjack Origins Collection Want more Julian? Wondering how Sasha's ability really works? Looking for EXCLUSIVE DELETED SCENES from Free Souls? This collection of novellas, scenes, and other goodies is for those craving a bit more of the characters and drama of the Mindjack series.
Includes: Mindjack Novellas Mind Games (Raf's story) The Handler (Julian's story) The Scribe (Sasha's story) TWO EXCLUSIVE DELETED SCENES from Free Souls (published nowhere else!) PLUS Mindjack flash fiction, an (imaginary) conversation between Raf and Julian, and other goodies for readers who want just a little bit more of Kira, Julian, Raf, and the Mindjack crew.
Available on AmazonBarnes&Noble
 
Read my reviews of the Mindjack Origins collection HERE!
ENTER TO WIN one of FIVE ecopies of the Mindjack Origins Collection
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Thursday, December 13, 2012

ARC GIVEAWAY: PRODIGY by Marie Lu

MERRY CHRISTMAS and Happy Holidays to all our wonderful followers! We have a special Christmas giveaway for you, a much coveted ARC of Prodigy by Marie Lu! This is book 2 in the LEGEND series, and it won't be released until the end of January! And here's your chance to win and early copy. Just enter through the Rafflecopter form below. US only, but don't worry, we have an international giveaway coming up too.

Prodigy
By Marie Lu
Coming January 29, 2013

June and Day arrive in Vegas just as the unthinkable happens: the Elector Primo dies, and his son Anden takes his place. With the Republic edging closer to chaos, the two join a group of Patriot rebels eager to help Day rescue his brother and offer passage to the Colonies. They have only one request—-June and Day must assassinate the new Elector.

It’s their chance to change the nation, to give voice to a people silenced for too long.

But as June realizes this Elector is nothing like his father, she’s haunted by the choice ahead. What if Anden is a new beginning? What if revolution must be more than loss and vengence, anger and blood—what if the Patriots are wrong?
   





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Review: CLOSED HEARTS (Mindjack Trilogy #2) by Susan Kaye Quinn

Closed Hearts (The Mindjack Trilogy book #2)
By Susan Kaye Quinn
 
When you control minds, only your heart can be used against you.



Eight months ago, Kira Moore revealed to the mindreading world that mindjackers like herself were hidden in their midst. Now she wonders if telling the truth was the right choice after all. As wild rumors spread, a powerful anti-jacker politician capitalizes on mindreaders’ fears and strips jackers of their rights. While some jackers flee to Jackertown—a slum rife with jackworkers who trade mind control favors for cash—Kira and her family hide from the readers who fear her and jackers who hate her. But when a jacker Clan member makes Kira’s boyfriend Raf collapse in her arms, Kira is forced to save the people she loves by facing the thing she fears most: FBI agent Kestrel and his experimental torture chamber for jackers.




Review:
I went into reading this book knowing that I would love it, because well, I loved Open Minds!  However, I was so enthralled by Closed Hearts that I couldn't put it down! There are some AMAZING new characters in Closed Hearts and it softened the loss of a certain character in Book 1. If you haven't read Open Minds you have no idea what I'm talking about, but if you have... I think you know which character I mean. Anyway, moving on.

Kira's not as driven at the beginning of this book. She's in hiding. Yep, the brave girl from book 1 is hiding. But, I can't really blame her. She just wants to keep her family out of trouble and a certain best friend turned boyfriend safe. Unfortunately, in Kira's world that can only last so long. The action come fast and the danger ratchets up as Kira finds herself in the middle of a clan of revolutionary jackers. Only these jackers are different in more ways than one.

I loved how the action carries throughout the book, and Kira and her new friends have so much to lose. The stakes are higher (if you can imagine that) and the consequences are harsh. When old and new characters collide, Kira's forced to make some hard decisions, and in the end... well, not everyone is the same. You really don't want to miss this follow up to the amazing Open Minds! And when you've finished Closed Hearts, you can learn more about 2 of Susan's new characters in her Mindjack Origins short stories The Handler and The Scribe.
Read Chapter 1 of Closed Hearts here.


Buy Closed Hearts:
Ebook at Amazon (and Amazon UK) and Barnes and Noble
Paper copies available at Amazon or get signed copies from Susan's website
*******

REVIEW: Mindjack Origins 1-3 by Susan Kaye Quinn

Mind Games (Mindjack Origins #1) (prequel to Open Minds)


Raf, a regular mindreader, is in love with Kira, the only girl in school who can't read minds. Raf struggles to keep his thoughts about her private, but secrets are something that only zeros like Kira can keep. As he works up the nerve to ask Kira to the mindware Games, his friends have other games in mind for him.

*Mind Games is a short story (5,000 words or 15 pages).


 


Review:
I absolutely loved Open Minds, but Mind Games was so much fun to read. To actually get inside Raf's head, and see how he was really feeling and what he was really thinking about Kira was awesome! This is one that you can read either before or after Open Minds without ruining anything. It's technically a prequel, so if you haven't read Open Minds yet, go ahead and read this one first. If you have read Open Minds, and I really hope you have, you definitely don't want to miss the chance to get Raf's perspective. It was a quick read that was more than worth the time! And it made me even more of a Raf fan.

You can read my review of Open Minds here.
****
DANGER! IF YOU HAVE NOT READ OPEN MINDS AND CLOSED HEARTS THERE MAY BE SPOILERS BELOW!
 
The Handler (Mindjack Origins #2) (between Open Minds and Closed Hearts)

It's time for Julian Navarro to fulfill the mission left to him by his dead parents: to spark a revolution that would allow mindjackers to live freely in a mindreading world. While his ability allows him to mentally control the instincts of others, Julian wants to win jackers to his cause with words, not weapons. But when his first recruit has a secret--and bloody--history, Julian has to decide how far he'll go to ensure his revolution isn't snuffed out before it starts.

*The Handler is a short novella (9,000 words or 30 pages).


Review:
Julian is a new character introduced in Closed Hearts, and I liked him immediately. Even though I wasn't exactly sure what he was trying to accomplish. But that is Julian's specialty! He's a charmer. Well, he has a brilliant way with words, although, it doesn't really work so well with Kira. But that's neither here nor there. The Handler takes place between Open Minds and Closed Hearts, but don't read it before you've read both Open Minds and Closed Hearts. It does contain some spoilers.

I really liked this short story because I got to see inside Julian's head. In Closed Hearts I was constantly asking myself if this guy was for real, because lets face it, Kira's had some pretty bad luck with jackers. But in The Handler we see more of where Julian is coming from. We learn more about his history and his relationship with his sister Anna. We see his passion and his weakness and I totally fell for him. He's so kind hearted. You certainly don't want to miss this one!
 BUY THE E-Book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Kobo
****
The Scribe (Mindjack Origins #3) (between Open Minds and Closed Hearts)
Twenty-three-year-old Sasha is in search of a mindjacking Clan that won’t force him to use his unique skill—he can’t face the prospect of erasing any more souls. A revolutionary Clan leader offers him a chance to serve a higher purpose, but Sasha’s wary that it’s only a trick to use his ability. When a beautiful female jacker seeks refuge with them, and her former Clan leader wants her special skill back at any cost, Sasha has to decide if there are any causes worth the cost of using his ability one more time.

 *The Scribe is a short novella (12,000 words or 40 pages)
 
 
Review:
Now this one is my FAVORITE of the short stories! I pretty much wasn't much of a fan of Sasha in Closed Hearts. The Scribe completely changed my mind about him! In this story we learn just what Sasha does exactly and how he ended up with Julian. There's a very important history here, and I have to admit, Sasha completely won me over!
 
I learned so many important things about him like why he's so protective of Ava, what happens in his head when he scribes, and how he actually feels about using his power. I enjoyed every word, and I am most looking forward to his part in Free Souls. Another bonus of The Scribe? We learn more about Ava!
BUY THE E-Book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Kobo
****
Check out my review of Closed Hearts.
And on Friday.... WE HAVE A VERY SPECIAL COVER REVEAL FOR FREE SOULS!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

WinterHaven Sleigh Tour: Letter To Santa



Today Living Fictitiously is excited to join the WinterHaven Sleigh Tour hosted by WinterHaven Books. This week, I am writing Santa a letter for my book wish that I hope to receive this season. To see who else has written to Santa, go to WinterHaven Sleigh Tour for a list of participating blogs.




What books are you hoping to receive this Holiday Season? Share them in the comments. Some additional books I'm hoping to receive this year are:

The Savage Grace by Bree Despain

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch

A Million Suns by Beth Revis

Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

BLISSFUL LIES Blog Tour & Giveaway


Today, Living Fictitiously is excited to be a part of the Blissful Lies blog tour hosted by Tribute Books.

Paperback copy provided by
Tribute Books for review.
Blissful Lies
By Jennifer Brown Thomas
Publisher: Helm Publishing
ISBN: 9780985048839
Pages: 234
Release: January 3, 2012

Things are often not what they seem in the decadent lifestyles of the rich and famous. Life can be messy and at times people do what feels wrong, because in the end it may turn out to be the best decision ever made. A close bond between 5 lifelong friends, now of college age, find the limits of their relationships are tested when multiple secrets and lies begin to surface, which ultimately leave them wondering if it is all too much to move forward as the family they once were. Forbidden love, drug dealing, date rape, betrayal, cheating, and more begin to unravel the strong ties between friends. Can they overcome secrets which warrant a very difficult life altering response?
 
Review:
 
Talk about "lifestyles of the rich and famous!" This book is packed with wealthy, trust-fund babies and scandal! Who doesn't love scandal? I have to admit, when I first opened Blissful Lies I wasn't sure that it was going to be something I was super interested in, but WOW! It sucked me in right from the start. The main focus is an illicit relationship that threatens to destroy a marriage, multiple friendships, jobs, and social standing.
 
These kids have been inseparable for years, and each one has money. Lots of money. They all think that nothing could tear them apart, but money can't protect you from lies. The overall story was great! It kept me intrigued and guessing enough to not want to put the book down. The kids relationships with each other were believable and the writing was good.
 
My only complaint is there were a few times when word choice and grammar were incorrect (I have an English degree and this is a pet peeve of mine) but it didn't take away from the overall story. If you aren't OCD about grammar like I am, you probably wouldn't even notice. There were also a couple of instances where details didn't match with prior information, but these were minor.
 
Overall, I would definitely recommend Blissful Lies to anyone who is a fan of contemporary fiction. It will appeal to young adults and adults alike, and if you like scandal then this is certainly a book for you. 
 
 
 

 
 
About the author:   
At just 25 years old, Jennifer Brown-Thomas is a celebrated book author and movie director. Her first novel, Blissful Lies, combines both of her passions.
At the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, she presented Blissful Lies (the movie) starring Emmy award winning actress, Leann Hunley. YTINIFNI Pictures is working to bring the film to DVD and on-demand television this spring.

Jennifer is a married, Texas Christian University graduate and mother of one. Her newest venture, LBT Enterprises, is set to launch a fragrance, a children's clothing line and more.

Watch for more novels from Jennifer - the next on its way is Vindictive Grounds. In February, Jennifer will begin directing the film version of this novel. She says, "It definitely has more of the explicit sexual contact comparable to Fifty Shades of Grey."
 
****
Did you catch that up there in the "About the author" section? Blissful Lies is going to be a MOVIE! It will be available on DVD in April 2013 as well as some TV on Demand channels. Visit the Movie Website here. See the pretty movie poster below!
 
And the movie trailer!
 
 
LINKS:
BUY THE BOOK
Amazon (paperback) 
Barnes and Noble (paperback)
 
Movie Info

Find Jennifer Brown-Thomas
TwitterBlog
Goodreads

Trubuite Books
Website
Facebook

Blissful Lies
blog tour site
http://blissful-lies.blogspot.com/


 
****
Oh wait! I almost forgot. We have a very special giveaway for you too! Be watching for more novels from Jennifer - the next on its way is Vindictive Grounds. In February, Jennifer will begin directing the film version of this novel. She says, "It definitely has more of the explicit sexual contact comparable to Fifty Shades of Grey."

For our blog tour giveaway, one grand prize winner (and a guest) will win a visit to the set of the film, Vindictive Grounds, among a host of other fabulous prizes!
 
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Monday, December 10, 2012

Hating Heidi Foster by Jeffery Blount

PB provided by The
Cadence Group for honest
review.
Hating Heidi Foster
By: Jeffery Blount
Pages: 105

From the Author:

As Hating Heidi Foster begins, Mae McBride stands by on a riverbed watching as her mother offers up the ashes of her father to the river's fast moving current. She thinks of the great loss in her life and the cause of that loss. She thinks of Heidi Foster, her best friend since second grade.
Heidi Foster is home alone listening to music through her ear buds when fire sneaks into her bedroom and she has nowhere to run but her closet. There she waits for the painful end she knows is about to happen, but she is saved by Eddie, the father of her best friend. Heidi makes it out of the burning house, but Eddie does not. When Mae finds out, she blames Heidi for not being smart enough to get out of the house. She blames her father for putting Heidi ahead of her. She blames her friends for taking Heidi’s side. She begins to unravel amid that blame and her uncontrollable and atypical anger.
At the same time Heidi is beset by guilt, falls into depression and stops eating properly. She is wasting away physically and emotionally while waiting for Mae to let her back into the friendship that she misses so dearly.
Mae, consumed by her hatred of Heidi, the confusion regarding her father’s motives, the perceived desertion of her friends and her mother’s grief, loses more and more of herself.
What could possibly bring these two teenagers back to each other? A miracle?

****
Review:
Hating Heidi Foster is a very endearing and heart wrenching story filled with pain, anger, and the miracle of forgiveness. The story is centered around fourteen year old Mae, who is struggling to come to terms with the events that led to her father's death. Afterall, how do you forgive your father for dying while saving your best friend? And how could you possibly forgive that best friend for being the reason your father is gone?
The author does a great job of showing Mae's anger and resentment toward both her father and Heidi. She constantly struggles with how to handle herself and her feelings. She pulls away from her friends and blames everyone for taking Heidi's side. While Mae's anger festers, Heidi's despair grows. I really wish the book had shown more of Heidi's suffering instead of simply hearing about it from other characters. I think that would have been more powerful, but also, the "hearing" all Mae gets and is a huge part of the way she reacts. She's so blinded by hate, that she can't see what's really happening to her best friend or the true importance of her father's decision.
When Mae finally finds the answer to why her father did what he did, she begins to find her own answers amid the various stories of those who witnessed his heroic actions. And ultimately, she has to decide... if she has to live without her father, can she afford to live without her best friend?
This is a great book for young girls and their friends to read together. It focuses on the value of friendship, and how healing is not an individual action but is best learned with those we love most. If you are looking for the perfect gift for your daughter or grandaughter this Christmas, consider Hating Heidie Foster. It will bring a smile to her face, and love to her heart.
****
Buy Hating Heidi Foster on AMAZON

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

WinterHaven Sleigh Tour Review: PERSEPHONE by Kaitlin Bevis


Today Living Fictitiously is excited to join the WinterHaven Sleigh Tour hosted by WinterHaven Books. This week, we are posting our choice of a Winter Book Review. To see who else is on the sleigh, go to WinterHaven Sleigh Tour for a list of participating blogs.

Today, we have a review of Persephone by Kaitlin Bevis! I was trying to decide what winter themed book to feature for this Sleigh Tour, and as soon as I started reading Persephone I knew this was the book! So first, the cover and blurb.


Persephone
Publisher: MUSA Publising
Ecopy provided by YA Bound for review.
Persephone (Daughters of Zeus #1)
By: Kaitlin Bevis

There are worse things than death, worse people too.

The “talk” was bad enough, but how many teens get told that they’re a goddess? When her mom tells her, Persephone is sure her mother has lost her mind. It isn’t until Boreas, the god of winter, tries to abduct her that she realizes her mother was telling the truth. Hades rescues her, and in order to safely bring Persephone to the Underworld he marks her as his bride. But Boreas will stop at nothing to get Persephone. Despite her growing feelings for Hades, Persephone wants to return to the living realm. Persephone must find a way to defeat Boreas and reclaim her life.




Now, maybe you can tell from the beautiful cover and the blurb how Persephone fits the "winter" theme. How much better does it get than the god of winter?!

Moving along now. I really enjoyed this book. It is an ancient Greek myth brought to present day Georgia and Bevis has masterfully woven the past with the present. Many of the characters, events, and themes have been lifted from the original Greek myths. Some of them I was unfamiliar with but along with the contemporary spin and the creative alterations to account for the new time period the story flowed very well.

The relationship between Persephone and Hades was particularly interesting. There are elements that align with the traditional myth, but I like Bevis's characters much more. Persephone is more humble and kind and Hades, while he has his flaws, is not an evil, controlling, bastard. Bevis's characters are much appealing in this way and I rooted for them every step of the way. Even the minor characters were brought to life with insecurities, friendship, and emotion.

If you enjoy Greek mythology and like adaptions, this fresh spin on the Persephone myth should be on your TBR list. I can't wait for the next installment of the DAUGHTERS OF ZEUS! Daughter of the Earth and Sky will be out December 21st!

*****

As part of the festivities, WinterHaven Books is hosting an international give-away that will include a copy of Dash & Lily's Book of Dares (Signed by Levithan and Cohn) and a copy of Let it Snow to four lucky winners. Good luck and happy holidays!

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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

REVIEW: The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch

You can review the synopsis for The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch by reading below, via Goodreads.

 
In an America devastated by war and plague, the only way to survive is to keep moving.

In the aftermath of a war, America’s landscape has been ravaged and two-thirds of the population left dead from a vicious strain of influenza. Fifteen-year-old Stephen Quinn and his family were among the few that survived and became salvagers, roaming the country in search of material to trade. But when Stephen’s grandfather dies and his father falls into a coma after an accident, Stephen finds his way to Settler’s Landing, a community that seems too good to be true. Then Stephen meets strong, defiant, mischievous Jenny, who refuses to accept things as they are. And when they play a prank that goes horribly wrong, chaos erupts, and they find themselves in the midst of a battle that will change Settler’s Landing--and their lives--forever.
 
The thing about this book, The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch, is that I can actually see an epidemic like this happen in the near future. While it's a dystopian of sorts, it has some events that are life-like. It's kinda scary to read a book about war and disease and then think to yourself, "Oh my God. This can actually happen!"
 
While the writing style of the author is mediocre- I say that because it would definately cater to a younger crowd, the premise behind this story is frightening.  After the loss of Stephen's hateful grandpa, he and his father traveled the deserted land and woods which suffered from the eleventh plague, a disease that was released by China in the midst of war, killing most of the population. There was no government, there was no military. Those that were left, it was up to them to survive, to trade goods, to not get murdered by rogue survivors. Stephen was almost not so lucky.
 
Geez, to imagine a world like this. To face reality while you live in fear in a world full of doom. To imagine children trying to survive this, and poor Stephen who had his late Grandpa in his conscience, constantly filling him up with fear and telling him to only live for thyself. But maybe that's what kept Stephen and his dad alive for so long. It just sucks to have been robbed of your childhood in order to survive.
 
After a bad run in, Stephen came upon other travelers who he questioned whether he could trust, or not. He ended up in Settler's Landing and making some friends... something that he didn't understand existed. Eh, he had an enemy as well. He also meets Jenny, a chinese girl who was adopted and rescued. She was bullied because of her ethnicity, so the girl was tough.
 
Stephen learns what humanity is in a world of chaos. But a new war awaits them. There is a great morale behind The Eleventh Plague. Can you learn to trust when the world is so full of hate?
 
Kimberly

REVIEW: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

You can review the synopsis for Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor by reading below, via Goodreads.

 
Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with
monsters
that may or may not be real; she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?
 
^^^ Do you see that up there? How can you NOT want to read this by the creepy, good synopsis?^^^

Who are you? What are you? Blue hair, inked body, demons, angels, heaven... er, hell? It's all unknown and so dang interesting, you just have to keep reading! Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor is a very artsy story full of discovery, portals that lead to dark secrets, wishes, TEETH, abandonment, betrayal, war, love, hope, magic, and etherealness... and that's now all. It's like half paranormal and half fantasy.

This book is like no other that I've read. Now, it was a bit hard for me to get into and continued to be until halfway through, but at the same time, I could NOT get enough. I can't explain it. I'm not sure if it was because it was so intense or what, but what I do know, is from the moment I opened her up I was thrown into some vivid world with like characters from the old Tom Cruise movie, Legend. That's exactly what I envisioned as I read DoSaB... this beautiful, scary world full of these mystical characters and sometimes unearthly surroundings. I mean, this author has some MAJOR visionary and imaginative talent going on! This is a book that I'd definately like to see turned movie just to have the sight of it. With that said, I absolutely praise this book.

I actually listened to this book via audio book while on my commute to and from Birmingham, AL to visit my cyberBFF/blogging partner, Britney (I live in Louisiana). The narrator ROCKED this book, yo. Her accents were impeccable. I'm still mimicking her.

Karou (who I imagined as a young Katy Perry minus cupcakes and fireworks) was raised by a man with horns who casted her out. But was it for her own protection? While she's surrounded by humans, she knows there is something different and powerful about her and definately knows she wasn't raised in the like of a normal household. She also knows when she wishes, they come true. She also wants to know who and what she is. She doesn't want to be lonely anymore.

Ahhhhhhhh-kiva came in, this hot seraph with a gaze that will turn you into flame, and sweeped me, I meant Karou off her feet... in many ways, wait not that way- or maybe, but that's not what I mean. There's a few problems though. And one of them is that their worlds collide. Can Akiva, who is full of fierceness and misery, help Karou discover herself?

Peace is lost amongst the differences of their people and it's a fight between their two worlds and their love could be the battlefield (cues Bat Benatar). This story has so much hope and love once lost, but found. And it also leaves you with a wretched ending, leaving you longing for the next book- OUT NOW, Days of Blood and Starlight, like right this second!

Kimberly

REVIEW: Let It Bleed (WVMP 3.5) by Jeri Smith-Ready

You can read the synopsis for Let It Bleed, book 3.5 in the WVMP Radio series by Jeri Smith-Ready via Goodreads below.


 
BLOOD IS THICKER THAN SLAUGHTER

Con artist-turned-radio-station-manager Ciara Griffin hopes to settle into a normal un-life as a fledgling vampire, with the help of her immortally hot fiancĂ©, grunge DJ Shane McAllister. But she has bigger problems than finding a sane blood donor and a new home for those boxes of mac ‘n’ cheese. Ciara’s best friend mourns her like she’s dead instead of undead, and her own maker clearly wishes she’d never been born (again). Worst of all, the WVMP crew calls a Code Black: hippie vampire DJ Jim has murdered a pair of humans—humans who share Ciara’s true last name.

That’s when trouble rolls out the red carpet, straight into Ciara’s life. At Shane’s first live concert, Ciara finds herself face to face with her Irish Traveller cousins, a not-so-welcome family reunion that might hold the key to Ciara’s anti-holy blood. Jim’s spiral into madness makes Ciara an unwilling prize in his deadly feud with Shane. As Ciara clings to what’s left of her humanity, she’ll need her new vampire strength—and old con artist cunning—now more than ever.

Let's start this off with a fan-girly moment... I  L O V E  J E R I  S M I T H - R E A DY ! ! !

Okay, I feel better.

WVMP Radio series by Jeri Smith-Ready is one of my favorite ADULT series. But I mean, it's Jeri Smith-Ready who wrote it, so of course it's one of my favorite series! Go click on the WVMP Radio link real fast for more info on the series and more short stories. You can also see me and Britney's previous reviews on book 1: Wicked Game, book 2: Bad to the Bone, and book 3: Bring On the Night, by clicking their titles. And to see something really out of the box... a video I made for Bring On the Night's release (total dorky fan moment that I'm not ashamed of) by clicking here.

The Ciara (KEER-ah) saga along with the infamous vampire DJ's continue in book 3.5 of WVMP Radio by Jeri Smith-Ready. This is crucial to read before the last book *sniffles because all good things must come to an end* Lust For Life, released 11/27/12. We get a glimpse of Ciara's transistion and it's not all cookies and cupcakes adjusting to her new UNlifestyle ---> even though she has the ever loving, alphabetizing CD and spice sorter, dishwasher organizing, compassionate, says all the right things, thigh biting, jean jamming, guitar playing, alt rocking vamp DJ <--- (Phew, kinda got carried away there)... Shane McAllister by her side.

But, friendships are tested and bonds grow stronger. Unexpected visitors arrive with more to follow with some revelations. And one of my all time favorite 'throwed off' characters continues his batshit crazyism and he's really gotten himself into a EFF of  a pickle this time! Oh, and wait til' you find out what compulsive disorder Ciara has!!

Oh man... our boy Shane, he makes quite a first appearance in this book. Okay... I have to tell you, I'm sorry-- but he shows up in a tux and tousled hair. OMG, OMG! Totally fuck-worthy, I meant, I meant tux-worthy, or let's combine it and fux-worthy... yes, yes... that's it!.

Yet again, Jeri has another rightous playlist going on, each song jam up with each chapter. So, if you haven't already... go read these books super stat because the last one just came out.

One more thing. I  L O V E  J E R I  S M I T H - R E A D Y !! (P.S. I promise I'm not a stalker... or am I <--- KIDDING!)

Kimberly


Sunday, November 18, 2012

COLONIZATION Blog Tour and Book Excerpt w/ GIVEAWAY

Welcome to the COLONIZATION Blog Tour hosted by Inkspell Publishing! If you remember, we posted the cover reveal for COLONIZATION a few months ago, and now we have a book excerpt for you! Oh, and stay tuned because there's a giveaway too! 
 
“Forbidden love on a paradise planet that’s anything but paradise...Dionne’s Colonization will keep you guessing.” – Cherie Reich, author of Defying Gravity

Blurb:
Finding a new home has never been so dangerous.

Andromeda has spent all seventeen years of her life aboard a deep space transport vessel destined for a paradise planet. Her safe cocoon is about to break open as Paradise 21 looms only one month away, and she must take the aptitude tests to determine her role on the new world and her computer
assigned lifemate. As a great-granddaughter of the Commander of the ship, she wants to live up to her family name. But, her forbidden love for her childhood friend, Sirius, distracts her and she fails the tests. The results place her in a menial role in the new colony and pair her with Corvus, “the oaf”.

But when Andromeda steps foot on Paradise 21, her predestined future is the least of her worries. Alien ghosts from a failed colonization warn her of a deadly threat to her colony. And when Sirius's ship crashes on the far ridge in an attempt to investigate, she journeys to rescue him with Corvus.

Andromeda now must convince the authorities of the imminent danger to protect her new home. What she didn't expect was a battle of her own feelings for Sirius and Corvus.

Can she save the colony and discover her true love?

You can buy the book at:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Inkspell Publishing


******
 
About the Author:

Aubrie Dionne writes science fiction fantasy with romantic
elements. Her writings have appeared in Mindflights, Niteblade, Silver Blade, Emerald Tales, Hazard Cat, Moon Drenched Fables, A Fly in Amber, and Aurora Wolf. Her books are published by Inkspell Publishing, Entangled Publishing, Lyrical Press, and Gypsy Shadow Publishing. She’s also a professional flutist in New England.

Please visit her website: http://www.authoraubrie.com
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2964057.Aubrie_Dionne
Blog: httphttp://authoraubrie.blogspot.com
Twitter: @authoraubrie
*****
And now we have a special little glimpse at COLONIZATION for you.
 
"The wallscreen beeped behind us and flashed the words Incoming Message. Mom took up my job at the food congealizer. “Go see what it is, honey.”
  
I jogged into the family room and clicked on the main screen. As I read the words, I
froze. Life Assignments for Class Omega.
Oh, no. When my grandpapa had announced they’d be speeding everything up at the meeting last night, I didn’t think it’d be the next day. My insides tightened and I felt sick and goose-bumpy all at once. Half of me wanted to run into my room and hide, and the other half yearned to get it over with and press the damn button."

***** 
GIVEAWAY: Look what we have for you! That's right, this gorgeous locket could be yours. Open to US, UK, and Canada residents only. Just enter through the rafflecopter form below. (Giveaway sponsored by Inkspell Publishing. Living Fictitiously is not responsible for for delivering prize or selecting winners)

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway