Saturday, February 22, 2014

Stacking the Shelves (5) + Book Forecasting

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews featuring the books we got this week.

Another quiet week, but I got something exciting! It's a YA Dystopian and by a favorite author of mine.


Publishing Date: February 26th 2014 (though the edits are just done, I'm not sure how accurate this date is)
Blurb from Goodreads:
In the first book of the new futuristic dystopian series from author Lisa T. Bergren, the chosen remnants must work to redirect humanity’s course.

The year is 2095. Gifted teens known as Remnants have been chosen and trained to act as humanity’s last hope to rectify the horrors that are now part of everyday life.

The Community has trained these teens as warriors and assigned them Knights of the Last Order as protectors. Together, they are a force that will be difficult to bring down.

But the Sons of Sheol, of course, are determined to do just that. As the Remnants begin their mission to course-correct humanity by saving and protecting key individuals, their enemies move to stop them, placing the entire world in peril.

Bestselling author Lisa T. Bergren presents the first book in her new YA futuristic dystopian series—The Remnants Novels—fitting in with the current dystopian trend in the marketplace.

I won this a while back and was just gifted a copy through Netgalley by Lisa herself a few days back cause the edits are just completed. I LOVED The River of Time series to bits, the early reviews are pretty dang good and I'm starting to really dig the Dystopian genre, so I'm pretty hyped about Remnants: Season of Wonder.

There's been some pretty amazing releases so far for 2014, and there are a few more this two weeks that I wanna do special mentions for. I'm pretty out with new releases nowadays, but these are just some of the books I've been salivating for for weeks/months/a year.
My most anticipated releases according to release date:
Publishing Date: February 24th, 2014
Zombies, Horror, Romance, Action, Boomz
Blurb from Goodreads:
***A Standalone Horror Romance coming February 2014***

A note about this book: Donners of the Dead is set in 1851 – couples were often thrust into marriage together with short courtships, racism was widespread and not overly frowned upon, and women had little to no rights. What wouldn't fly in today's day and age was unfortunately the norm back then - it is worth keeping that in mind when reading this book.

Jake McGraw was unlike anyone I’d ever known. He was brash, rude, unapologetic and arrogant; chauvinistic, close-minded, and terribly stubborn. He was built like a tree, tall with a hard chest and wide shoulders and hands that looked like they could wrestle a bear. He was a cigar-chomping, scruffy-faced, beast of a man. I was pretty sure I hated him. And I know he hated me. But among the flesh-eating monsters in these snow-capped mountains, he was the only thing keeping me alive

The year is 1851 and pioneers in search of California gold are still afraid to travel on the same route as the tragic Donner party did years before. When the last wagon train to go into the Sierra Nevada mountains fails to arrive at their destination, Eve Smith, an 18-year old half-native girl with immense tracking skills is brought along with the search party, headed by an enigmatic former Texas Ranger, Jake McGraw.

What they find deep in the dangerous snow-covered terrain is a terrifying consequence of cannibalism, giving new meaning to the term “monster.” While the search party is slowly picked off, one by one, Eve must learn to trust Jake, who harbors more than a few secrets of his own, in order to survive and prevent the monstrosities from reaching civilization.
Just look at that cover... So desolate and perfect. And we get legit zombie romance without the risks of any zombies falling in love with their food this time!!

Publishing Date: February 25th, 2014
Demons, Gargoyles, YA, Romance, JLA (Goodreads link)
Blurb from Goodreads:
One kiss could be the last.

Seventeen-year-old Layla just wants to be normal. But with a kiss that kills anything with a soul, she's anything but normal. Half demon, half gargoyle, Layla has abilities no one else possesses.

Raised among the Wardens—a race of gargoyles tasked with hunting demons and keeping humanity safe—Layla tries to fit in, but that means hiding her own dark side from those she loves the most. Especially Zayne, the swoon-worthy, incredibly gorgeous and completely off-limits Warden she's crushed on since forever.

Then she meets Roth—a tattooed, sinfully hot demon who claims to know all her secrets. Layla knows she should stay away, but she's not sure she wants to—especially when that whole no-kissing thing isn't an issue, considering Roth has no soul.

But when Layla discovers she's the reason for the violent demon uprising, trusting Roth could not only ruin her chances with Zayne…it could brand her a traitor to her family. Worse yet, it could become a one-way ticket to the end of the world.
Instead of angels vs demons, we have GARGOYLES vs demons, plus lots of romance? Slay me.

Publishing Date: March 8th, 2014 (IT'S FINALLY WITHIN EYEBALLING RANGE)
Ninjas, Star-crossed Lovers, YA, Romance, f-ing favorite series of mine (Goodreads link)
Blurb from Goodreads:
Rileigh is ready to celebrate.

Things have been quiet (as quiet as life can be for a reincarnated samurai), she's graduating high school, and her boyfriend, Kim, has finally regained his lost memories. But the urge to celebrate is short-lived when she realizes that if Kim can remember, chances are her (im)mortal enemy, Sumi, can remember as well. Sure enough, it's not long before the reincarnated ninja attacks Rileigh and her friends. But in the aftermath of the fight, Rileigh discovers that Sumi has performed an ancient ritual that allows her to switch bodies with Rileigh . . . and it's draining her ki. Hunted by the Network (who believe Rileigh is Sumi), Rileigh must track the vengeful ninja down before her own powers completely vanish.
One of the only proper ninja romances out there but this series is my one and only <3.

Other notable releases:

(Covers lead to Goodreads) 

I usually only follow or feature books that I myself will actually read, so for a more comprehensive list of releases this coming week, you can refer to Giselle's Fresh Batch post every week at Xpresso Reads. It's amazing and very easy to follow. :))
Any super anticipated reads this week or the next? :)

A Letter from Josh + Giveaway: Magic Within by Sara Fitzgerald

Magic Within
by Sara Fitzgerald
Publisher: Champagne Books
Publication Date: February 2014

Nancy, a purple-haired witch, has never fit in with the kids in town. She has always felt something was deeply wrong with her. When Josh, her best friend, is attacked by a werewolf, Nancy seeks a potion to save him from the werewolf curse within him. But Josh’s fate--werewolf or human--is his to decide, when the potion is injected during his transition at thefull of the moon.

Nancy, too, must make a choice. Her mother, her best friend, and a steadfast young man all see the magic within her. Can she finally accept who she is and give love a chance?


Sara Fitzgerald
About the Author

Sara Fitzgerald is a best selling author for Champagne Books. She lives wtih her husband and daughter in the Rocky Mountains. She loves romance, writing, reading, walking her dog and spending time with her family.

Connect with Sara:
Author's Website | Goodreads

Other Works of the Author:
and many more
(Covers lead to Goodreads)

In the blackness of the night, Josh growled from deep inside his body. The pain was intense. More than anything he’d experienced. He gasped and stared at the alluring full moon. His body violently twisted.

He looked at his contorted hands; claws were forming. He was changing into a werewolf. This couldn’t be possible. He never even tasted human flesh and yet he’d always envied the power and freedom of Eric. To have no restraints. Nothing to constrain his behavior. Pure freedom.

“No!” he screamed into the night. Not him. Yet the stupid darkness had always appealed to him. He had even wanted to be a bloodsucker. Did evil lurk within his soul? Was this his fate? To be changed into a monster?

He frantically looked for Nancy, Nick and his sister. They were floating barely above him on the broomsticks. Horror flooded their faces, and tears filled his sister’s eyes.

Samantha dipped her broom lower. “No, Josh, please don’t do this.”

Nick raised his gun. Nancy quickly pushed it down.

Josh’s body quivered. “Kill me.”

A Letter from Josh…

(Click to enlarge the letter)

Liked what you've read?

Sara is giving away an ecopy of MAGIC WITHIN to one reader here at A Bookalicious Story. Giveaway is international and will end March 8, 2014. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you for visiting!

Friday, February 21, 2014

ARC Review: Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen

Publication Date: April 1st, 2014
Finished Date: February 16th, 2014
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Format: eARC
Series: The Malediction Trilogy #1
My Rating: 3.5/5

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Author's Website
Blurb from Goodreads:
For those who have loved Seraphina and Graceling comes another truly fabulous fantasy...

For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the trolls to their city beneath the ruins of Forsaken Mountain. Time enough for their dark and nefarious magic to fade from human memory and into myth. But a prophesy has been spoken of a union with the power to set the trolls free, and when Cécile de Troyes is kidnapped and taken beneath the mountain, she learns there is far more to the myth of the trolls than she could have imagined.

Cécile has only one thing on her mind after she is brought to Trollus: escape. Only the trolls are clever, fast, and inhumanly strong. She will have to bide her time, wait for the perfect opportunity.

But something unexpected happens while she’s waiting – she begins to fall for the enigmatic troll prince to whom she has been bonded and married. She begins to make friends. And she begins to see that she may be the only hope for the half-bloods – part troll, part human creatures who are slaves to the full-blooded trolls. There is a rebellion brewing. And her prince, Tristan, the future king, is its secret leader.

As Cécile becomes involved in the intricate political games of Trollus, she becomes more than a farmer’s daughter. She becomes a princess, the hope of a people, and a witch with magic powerful enough to change Trollus forever.
My Review

STOLEN SONGBIRD is rather like an amalgamation of Hobbit The Movie and Alice in Wonderland, telling of young Cécile's unwitting abduction to Trollus, homeland of the trolls, beneath the Lonely Forbidden Mountain, a magical tale full of intrigue, deceit and whimsical, off-with-her-head monarchs. As her debut book and start to a new fantasy series, STOLEN SONGBIRD's pretty amazing!

A (not so brief) Rundown

Under the fallen rocks of the Forbidden Mountain is rumored to be home to a whole city of a mystical species - the trolls. To enter Trollus, one must navigate the labyrinth of tunnels and evade the sluag, a slug-like creature that nullifies troll magic and strikes fear even in the hearts of the mighty trolls. It is said that Trollus contains piles of gold and riches (ahem Erebor), but many who ventured in never returned.

Cécile de Troyes is a farm maiden of Goshawk Hollow but with the voice of an angel. During a trip home from the city one day, she came upon an old friend but was kidnapped and brought to Trollus to marry the troll prince, Tristan de Montigny. Apparently, the trolls were cursed centuries ago by a human witch to never be able to step foot out of the mountain and a prophecy was told that a marriage between the troll prince and human girl with hair like fire, blue eyes and an "angel's voice" will break the curse.

But it didn't.

Cécile has always dreamed of the romantic wedded life her friends have gossiped wistfully about, but Tristan is far from a loving husband. He is one of the most handsome dudes she has ever laid eyes upon but he is also crude, rude, mostly cold and always confrontational. He picks fights with her at every opportuninty and sleeps on the couch. But in the darkness of the gardens where Cécile goes to sing to calm her riotous emotions, Tristan lets down his guard enough for her to see another side of him - the kind, gentle and loving side.

As Cécile comes to know, Trollus is not just about the amazing architecture and beautiful glass gardens (no sunlight). Humans and half bloods with little or no magic are seen as little more than slaves and any small misstep gives their owners the right to sentence them to be left in the tunnels to be sluag fodder or anything the owner sees fit. A rebellion is brewing and the factions are not clearly delineated. Tristan may seem like an insolent brat six out of seven days, but Cécile knows there is defeinitely more to him than he's showing. What does he do in the early hours of morning, sneaking out of their room and palace? Where does he factor in in the rebellion? And what has any of it to do with her?

My Thoughts

Kudos to the author for her effort to reimagine trolls - from 3m, club-swinging, wart-covered monstrosities (I'm thinking of the one in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone) to an intelligent, magic-wielding race. Some look human (just 10000000 times more beautiful), but some are disfigured and some not even remotely human-looking. However apart from that, the concept is really just taking the characteristics of Shakespeare's faries and naming them trolls. Jensen's trolls can't lie which makes them experts at the art of manipulating words, their promises are binding, their thank-you's are favors to be repaid, they have True Names which enables full control over the troll whose name is known, and one of the side characters, Anäis  (yes, their names have lots of squiggly-wiggly or dots on top of their alphabets) mentioned that the name for their people isn't trolls, it's "Fai--" then she stopped herself. Well now, it's not that difficult to complete her statement now.

So I didn't really buy the "fresh" new idea of trolls.

But the plot is full of political intrigues, deceptions, and dangers for our protagonist that I was pretty invested in her story. It may be subjective though because like the Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, STOLEN SONGBIRD is about Cécile finding out about trolls, their issues (the social discrimination and off-with-your-head variety) and her transformation from scared maiden to strong woman who found love and her determination to help in the rebellion. There is a sort of non-ending at the end, a sort of closure but we're not even close to the true ending. Just like how Bilbo and the dwarves were dropped off some god-forsaken cliff in the middle of nowhere and the Lonely Mountain was a speck in the horizon and the show ends. Yeah, something like that.

Not to say that it wasn't a good read (Goodreads, haha), Jensen had a very descriptive, simple yet witty style of writing. I loved the typical, easy countryside way of life at Goshawk's Hollow (Gordric's Hollow?!?!), the terror Cécile felt when she was in the sluag tunnels, the awe she felt at Trollus and her heartbreak when she thought that she was doomed to have a loveless marriage. There were quite a few secrets revealed along the way and plot curves dished out, and the alternating POV, which most of the time serves only to unveil secrets early and lessen suspense, worked pretty well here.

The characters!!! Apart from Tristan and Cécile, I thought that the secondary cast of characters were pretty fleshed out. We get to see glimpses of who each of them were really like and all of them had their own distinct personalities - there is mysterious but fiercely loyal Marc with a face split in half, each half having handsome features but freaky when seen as a whole; the Queen and her sister Duchesse who are joined together at the back so one of them has to walk backwards; the twins Vincent and Victoria who're constantly competing to see who should be Baron/Baroness of their house though their competitions are mostly jokes (like archery but with only one foot on the ground and with blindfolds on).

I don't want to spoiler anything more, but I'd definitely recommend this to fans of YA Fantasy. It's got the complicated political drama, the whole-new-world feel and magical boomz of a good fantasy, it's just that I felt that the plot and emotional development were dragged out too much that sometimes it felt like we were going in circles and the ending didn't give enough of a closure for me.

That said, though, there was a tiny part near the end that hinted at a parallel world that lives alongside Trollus and the outside world. This series is heading in a very promising direction with lots of action, suspense and romance, so yes, I will be picking up book 2 to see where Jensen takes Cécile and the rest of the crew.

~eARC courtesy of Netgalley and Strange Chemistry. Thank you!~

My Rating

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

{Late Post} Stacking the Shelves (4)

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews featuring the books we got this week.

Another quiet week, but I received some really cool swag from Dani Harper which I requested some time ago but I didn't know if she would send overseas, so yeah I was super excited when I saw a package in the mail last week. :DD

Sorry for the lousy lighting and positioning! I'm still super busy cause of my crazy 10 hr/day new job so it's midnight now and I'm tired. But anyway, YES THAT'S the newly released cover for Storm Bound!! So I'll be doing another coolio swag giveaway again. Maybe when Storm Bound releases? ;)
Status Update
As for books I've read, I've read Haze by Paula Weston, The Almost Girl by Amalie Howard and the ARC of Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen releasing on April Fool's Day this year. Stolen Songbird and Haze were pretty not bad! Both 4 stars each but The Almost Girl was. AWESOME. I'm not sure why the reviews on Goodreads aren't as boomz as I thought it would be, and there are a surprising number of 1 star reviews. Well, it's a 4.5-5 stars to me. <3 Haha, now I just gotta find time and some brain juice to do up my reviews.
Non-bookish stuff: The remaining rest time I spend on this new Korean drama called The Inheritors/The Heirs. It's a very exaggerated love triangle drama involving super rich high schoolers and this poor female protagonist. Haha, it's the sort of thing that I let my inner-princess indulge in once in awhile. It's pretty not bad, and the casting is SUPERB. See trailer below.

Ok, it's a super bad and uninformative trailer, but the show's much better. :))
My Reading Pile for this week will include:
Scarlet #2 (the long awaited sequel)
Blurb from Goodreads

Scarlet’s true identity has been revealed, but her future is uncertain. Her forced marriage to Lord Gisbourne threatens Robin and Scarlet’s love, and as the royal court descends upon Nottingham for the appointment of a new Sheriff, the people of Nottingham hope that Prince John will appoint their beloved Robin Hood. But Prince John has different plans for Nottingham that revolve around a fateful secret from Scarlet’s past even she isn’t yet aware of. Forced to participate at court alongside her ruthless husband, Scarlet must bide her time and act the part of a noblewoman—a worthy sacrifice if it means helping Robin’s cause and a chance at a future with the man she loves. With a fresh line of intrigue and as much passion as ever, the next chapter in Scarlet’s tale will have readers talking once again.

Star Thief Chronicles #1
Blurb from Goodreads

She might only be twenty-three, but Renna Carrizal is the most notorious thief in the galaxy. There’s just one problem – all she wants is to get the frak out of the business.

But when Renna rescues an injured boy from the warehouse she’s casing, she finds herself on the run from the mob instead of enjoying retirement on a garden world. Turns out, the kid was a plant to lead her to MYTH, a top-secret galactic protection agency.

MYTH needs Renna’s special skills, and they make her an offer she can’t refuse – unless she'd like to spend the rest of her life on a prison ship. To make sure she does her job they shackle her with a MYTH watchdog, the handsome but arrogant Captain Finn.

A former mercenary-turned-galactic-hero, Finn happens to have his own dirty secrets. Secrets that Renna wouldn’t mind uncovering for herself. Together, they discover an experiment to develop illegal cybernetics that will create an unstoppable army. The intended target? The human star fleet.

Now Renna must use her skills as the Star Thief to pull off the biggest job of her career – saving the galaxy. And herself.

As you can see, it's all about the thieves this week. ;) I'm only going to add 2 books to my immediate TBR for now cause I'm a mood reader and my this pile tends to change almost every alternate day. So yeah. :)

Any good books recently read? What's on your immediate TBR pile now?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Book Blitz + Giveaway: RecruitZ by Karice Bolton

RecruitZ by Karice Bolton
Afterworld #1
Publication date: December 27th 2013
Genres: New Adult, Post-Apocalyptic


Scientists are the new rock stars. The infection has been contained for nearly three months, and the world is celebrating. But humans are still dying. Rebekah Taylor has seen it firsthand. Her husband was killed right in front of her by the very creatures that humans were told they no longer had to fear.

Rebekah is determined to find out who is responsible for the death of her husband and the obvious cover-up. Fueled with revenge, she begins to find answers that lead to one frightening conclusion. The apocalypse might be over, but the battles are just beginning.
About the Author
Karice Bolton lives in the Pacific Northwest and is a writer of Young Adult and New Adult books. She loves to read anything and everything. She also enjoys baking, skiing, and spending time with her wonderful husband and two English bulldogs.

Books currently available:
*Beyond Love Series: Beyond Control (Book 1) Beyond Doubt (Book 2) Beyond Reason (Book 3) – Feb. 28th
*Afterworld Series: RecruitZ (Book 1)
*The Witch Avenue Series: Lonely Souls (Book 1), Altered Souls (Book 2), Released Souls (Book 3) Shattered Souls (Book 4)
*The Watchers Trilogy: Awakening (Book 1), Legions (Book 2), Cataclysm (Book 3), Taken Novella (Watchers Prequel)
*The Camp

Karice would love if you stopped by her blog or FB page to find out the latest news on giveaways and upcoming releases, or you can just send her an email. She loves hearing from her readers and responds as soon as she can.

Author's Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

Excerpt #1
“We can’t run. They’d totally get us before we got away,” I said, hoping he’d correct me, tell me that we had a chance.

He didn’t.

He slammed his fist into the steering wheel and looked over at me. When the outbreak happened, we never looked back. We were always on the move, running from the disease that took our families and friends. That was the key to survival. Never stay in one place. Always stay on the move. Now we had nowhere to move. I glanced over at Gavin and saw the fear in his eyes. Even with everything we’d encountered, his eyes had never held this amount of terror.

“Babe, whatever happens…”

“Knock it off,” I said.

“We have nothing to fight them with, and a horde this size needs a distraction.”

“Don’t you dare,” I hissed, shaking my head. The fear was pulsing through me at an unstoppable rate. “We didn’t live through the outbreak to die now.”

I gritted my teeth, grabbed the civilian anti-zombie kit from under my seat, unzipped it, and looked for anything inside that might help. We were instructed to drop these kits off at government collection stations. I was grateful we never got around to it.

Gavin held down the ignition and reverse buttons at the same time in a vain attempt to override the safety sensors.

“Damn it,” he muttered.

“Try rebooting the car. Turn it off and take the key out. Give it a few seconds and slip the key back in. Maybe if you pop it in reverse before the car can sense the zombies, it’ll let us reverse,” I directed.

He nodded, biting his lip, and turned off the engine allowing the moans of the horde outside to be heard. I took a deep breath and looked out my window that was now completely blocked by tattered shirts and non-oozing wounds pressed against the glass. It would only be a matter of time before they began to break through the glass. The moans turned into a chorus of humming.

“One-Mississippi-two…” Gavin’s words wrapped around me.

I prayed silently to the same God I’d prayed to many nights before. He listened then and I hoped he’d listen now.

I grabbed two knives that were in the kit and flipped the blades open, locking them in place. The anodized orange handles were larger than the actual blades. Not comforting. I handed one to Gavin.

“There’s still a Louisville Slugger on the floor behind us,” Gavin said. His brown hair was cut short. That was one of the first things he did after we were vaccinated. A haircut and a shave to celebrate our survival. He still looked young but not as young as we both did before the outbreak.

I slid toward the center console, crawling as far from the passenger window as I could get. Gavin’s breathing was heavy, and I felt the heat rolling off him as he continued to struggle with what we were facing.

I dug around in the bottom of the bag for the zombie deterrent. My hand clasped around the ADD, also known as the Audible Distraction Device, and I dropped the kit to the floor.

The car rocked back and forth as the number of beasts grew on both sides, creating a trance-like rhythm that was terrifying.

“Grab the bat,” Gavin instructed, his voice low.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Cover Reveal + Giveaway: The Queen of Zombie Hearts by Gena Showalter

Today is the day! The cover of Gena Showalter's THE QUEEN OF ZOMBIE HEARTS is here! We're so excited to be able to share this with you as it joins an already stunning set! Ready to see it? Not quite yet lets take a look a the first two covers in the series!

First there was ALICE IN ZOMBIELAND...


Now get ready to EAT YOUR HEARTS OUT!!!





On-sale date: Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Add it to your TBR!  Goodreads

Pre-order your copy: AmazonBarnes & Noble
Official book description
I have a plan.

We'll either destroy them for good, or they'll destroy us.

Either way, only one of us is walking away.

In the stunning conclusion to the wildly popular White Rabbit Chronicles, Alice "Ali" Bell thinks the worst is behind her. She's ready to take the next step with boyfriend Cole Holland, the leader of the zombie slayers…until Anima Industries, the agency controlling the zombies, launches a sneak attack, killing four of her friends. It's then she realizes that humans can be more dangerous than monsters…and the worst has only begun.

As the surviving slayers prepare for war, Ali discovers she, too, can control the zombies…and she isn't the girl she thought she was. She's connected to the woman responsible for killing—and turning—Cole's mother. How can their relationship endure? As secrets come to light, and more slayers are taken or killed, Ali will fight harder than ever to bring down Anima—even sacrificing her own life for those she loves.

Thoughts: It looks intense! Haha, and a really cool rendition of the Queen of Hearts. She does look a little insane huh?

About Gena:

Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of the wildly popular White Rabbit Chronicles, the Angels of the Dark, the Lords of the Underworld, and the Otherworld Assassins series.  In addition to being a National Reader's Choice and RITA nominee, her romance novels have appeared in Cosmopolitan and Seventeen magazine, and have been translated in multiple languages.  She lives in Oklahoma with her family and menagerie of dogs, and truly believes love conquers all.

Giveaway Details

1 complete set of The White Rabbit Chronicles (first 2 sent as soon as the giveaway is over and the winner will get the first hardcover of book 3 when it's available!) US/Canada Only

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Stacking the Shelves (3) + Cover Reveal + Giveaway + Interesting Book Finds *Phew*

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews featuring the books we got this week.

It's been SOOOOOOOO quiet lately that I only got one book last week. But oh what a super incredible book I can't wait to get started on it. It's the first ARC (advanced reader's copy) I have requested on Netgalley in a super long time - bout 2 years - and the first time I'm requesting from this publisher. This publisher has championed many popular books and they're quite popular (and I go on random hiatus) so I wasn't sure if I would be approved. SO YES, not a small amount of squealing ensued when I received the approval email.

Netgalley eARC

Series: The Malediction Trilogy #1
Expected Publication: April 1st, 2014
Publisher: Strange Chemistry/Angry Robot Ltd
Blurb: For those who have loved Seraphina and Graceling comes another truly fabulous fantasy...

For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the trolls to their city beneath the ruins of Forsaken Mountain. Time enough for their dark and nefarious magic to fade from human memory and into myth. But a prophesy has been spoken of a union with the power to set the trolls free, and when Cécile de Troyes is kidnapped and taken beneath the mountain, she learns there is far more to the myth of the trolls than she could have imagined.

Cécile has only one thing on her mind after she is brought to Trollus: escape. Only the trolls are clever, fast, and inhumanly strong. She will have to bide her time, wait for the perfect opportunity.

But something unexpected happens while she’s waiting – she begins to fall for the enigmatic troll prince to whom she has been bonded and married. She begins to make friends. And she begins to see that she may be the only hope for the half-bloods – part troll, part human creatures who are slaves to the full-blooded trolls. There is a rebellion brewing. And her prince, Tristan, the future king, is its secret leader.

As Cécile becomes involved in the intricate political games of Trollus, she becomes more than a farmer’s daughter. She becomes a princess, the hope of a people, and a witch with magic powerful enough to change Trollus forever.

Preorder: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

Status Update: Just finished Haze by Paula Weston and The Almost Girl by Amalie Howard over the last 3-4 days. LOVED tAG, Haze was not bad but wasn't a favorite. tAG is almost a fave. I'm a quarter into SS and I'm kinda digging it so far.

This is supposed to be posted Feb 11, 9am EST, but that EST suffix is screwing with me so I'm just going to post it 24hours after Feb 11, 9am here in Singapore.

The Shadow Prince
Mortal Enchantment series #0.5
Expected Publication: March 25th, 2014
Publisher: Phoenix Reign Publishing
Blurb: Every sacrifice has consequences.

Sixteen-year-old Rowan has spent most of his life living among the mortals—learning to control the element of fire, impatiently awaiting the day his vengeful mother, Queen Prisma, will abdicate her throne. When he finally returns to Avalon for his coronation, his mother insists he must first prove his loyalty to the court by completing a secret mission:

Kill Kalin, the half-human, half-elemental daughter of the air court king.

Willing to do anything to remove his mother from power, he agrees to sacrifice the halfling. He returns to the mortal world with his best friend, Marcus, determined to kill the princess. But as he devises a plan, he starts to question whether or not he's capable of completing such a heinous task. And what price he will pay if he refuses?

This prequel novella will be FREE and available on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble on March 25, 2014!

About the author:

Stacey O'Neale

Stacey O'Neale started her career in publishing as a blogger turned publicist for two successful small publishers. She loves to write stories with swoony paranormal heroes, snarky heroines, and lots of kissing.

When she's not writing, she loves blogging and fangirling about books on twitter. Occasionally, she leaves her computer to go outside.

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

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It's been awhile since I've last browsed through Netgalley, but here are some interesting finds:

- Stolen Songbird by Daniella L. Jenson (Strange Chemistry/April 1st, 2014)
- Enmity by E.J. Andrews (Harlequin Enterprises Australia/April 1st 2014)
- Dangerous by Shannon Hale (Bloomsbury USA Children's Books/March 4th 2014)
- Dancing with Dragons by Lorenda Christensen (Carina Press/March 17th 2014)
- Blades of the Old Empire by Anna Kashina (Angry Robot Ltd/Jan 7th 2014)

There were a few others like Donna of the Dead by Alison Kemper and Knight Assassin by Rima Jean but I can't seem to find their URLs. Oh wellz, Rachel (Fiktshun) does this Netgalley finds thing regularly and she includes contemporary romance too, click HERE to see. I'm pretty narrow when it comes to ARCs cause I try to be strict with myself to reduce my DNFs, so yeah, her list would be more comprehensive. :)

(And I don't know how she does it but she's really super up to date with all the releases even though she's so busy. *kowtow*)

What'cha guys reading currently and any recent awesome finds??

Review + Giveaway: Blood Warrior by H.D. Gordon

Publication Date: September 5th, 2011
Finished Date: January 9th, 2014
Publisher: Self-published
Format: eBook
Series: The Alexa Montgomery series #1
My Rating: 5/5!

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Author's Website
Blurb from Goodreads:
When her home is attacked by murderous vampires, 17-year-old Alexa is forced to leave her mother for dead in order to save her sister. She soon learns that she is the last known member of an elite race of supernatural Warriors, and is thrust into a world full of vampires and werewolves who all seem to regard her as some sort of savior. Meanwhile, Alexa battles a monster within herself that seeks to gain control; a monster that seeks blood.

The hidden city she finds herself in appears perfect, but Alexa's instincts tell her that all is not right within its walls. When she is asked to attend a school of fighters, whose exams consist of gladiator-style competitions, she must decide who she can trust among the smiling faces. And, when she meets Kayden, a vampire she feels undeniably drawn to, she must decide if she can trust herself.
My Review

My Summary **May contain minor spoilers**

Alexa Montgomery suffers under the strict tutelage of her Mother outside of normal schooling - in the arts of battle and combat. It's exhaustive, it's scary and it's painful. Her Mother turns into this unfeeling predator when it's time for one of her lessons. Alexa is also made to run to school with her younger sister, Nelly, every morning even though the bus passes by their house. It's annoying, but who'd dare bring it up against her Mother?

Unbeknownst to her, Alexa's being trained to come into her powers as a Sun Warrior, strongest of all the races but also hunted to extinction years ago. During an attack by Lamias - a breed of vampires that are ruled by instinct, who look beautiful though they have shark teeth, and are aggressive things that crave blood - Alexa makes the heart-shredding decision to save her sister by leaving her Mother and taking her sister into the woods and to a safe place her Mother pointed out to her just a day before.

With some help from a friend and a contact, they manage to arrive at Two Rivers - a lush and beautiful city behind tall walls surrounded by two rivers that curves around the walls. At Two Rivers, Alexa, Nelly and a friend meet Wolf-sons, Searchers and Brocken vampires. They are assigned to dorms with their respective species but since Alexa is the one of a kind, she is sent to live and train with the Brockens who serve as the city's warriors. Alexa's a sort of celebrity there, being part of a legendary race, but is she the only one that senses something is amiss in the city? Why is their form of entertainment gladiator-style blood sports? Why are there only healthy, young, good-looking people in the city? Many people she has come to meet seem to believe that she'll be some sort of savior - but what do they need rescuing from?

My Thoughts

I. Love. Alexa. I wouldn't go so far as to say she is completely unique in her badass-teenager-who-can-kick-asses-three-times-her-size way, but she's cool. She had this way about her that was very relatable; Her anger and despair when shit hits her fan makes her more human and I come to empathize and connect with her.

Gordon's style of writing helps too. It's reminiscent of Jennifer L. Armentrout's style, that colloquial, witty, off-hand kind of feel, but with a little something more that makes it unique. Every chapter is jam-packed with tension and action, and it always ends in a way that compels your fingers to flip the page. It's addictive and you can never get enough of it. Right now I'm itching to pick up the next instalment, HALF BLACK SOUL, but I shall resist because it is midnight.

At the beginning, we are introduced to Alexa's borderline-tyrannical Mother - not to say that she doesn't care for her daughters, but she's just a little on the harsh and crazy side for a mother - and her sweet younger sister, Nelly. Nelly isn't trained to fight like Alexa, but she isn't oblivious to the things around her. She knows how hard Alexa's trainings are, and she's always there for her. She's like this little angel with a contagious smile and innocent way about her. The sisterly bond between them gives another dimension to this story and it was really heartwarming to see the kind of loyalty they inspire in each other.

The secondary cast that we are introduced to later on includes Wolf-son, Jackson, a classmate from her human high school, the handsome and charming boy that befriends and sticks up for her even when she was shunned by her other schoolmates (and who is funny and has this mid-western drawl); Kayden, the intense, stoic, protective Brocken vampire warrior that, believe it or not, is more kickass than our little Sun Warrior heroine; Tommy, rich, resourceful and laidback Brocken classmate; Camillia, mysterious Queen of Two Rivers; Daniel and some other Two Rivers citizens. Other than Alexa and Nelly, the other characters weren't developed quite as much as I'd liked, but I believe that we'll be given more insight into each of them throughout the series. But from what I've read so far, they're all growing a little on me.

There were certain loopholes and issues that weren't addressed in the novel, however. The biggest question that bothered me the most was, if there was a walled city (complete with two rivers as moats), why isn't it on the map, and is that even allowed in the US?? Wouldn't the government probe, and wouldn't the media be all over it like white on rice? There were also quite a fair bit of grammatical errors, but since BLOOD WARRIOR was self-published (salute to you, H.D!) and really the story was just so fast-paced and awesome that they didn't bother me as much as it would have it they appeared as frequently in most other novels. Testament to the brilliance of BW.

It's been ages since I've last read a YA UF novel that's hooked me so completely, and I don't remember ever shelving another self-published book as a favorite, but BLOOD WARRIOR definitely is. I've gotten very wary and cynical when it comes to love interests because I've been reading too many jerkfaces and insta-attractions recently, and too many typical aloof beautyfaces that they all just blend together, but I actually gave a damn about Kayden and Jack.

I wouldn't say that the introduction to BW was the best I've ever read, but the story itself is amazing. I was looking for a kickass heroine much like Alexa Hollen in Defy by Sara B. Larson cause I was suffering from AlexaHollenWithdrawalSyndrome, and BW had the closest blurb I could find at the time and it did not disappoint. (Though I still prefer Defy over BW, BW is good in its own UF ways.)

P.S. Y'know how the council that runs Two Rivers is made up of two men and three women? I mean, Go, Girl Power! It's usually a one female or all male party up on the foodchain, so hi-five, H.D!

My Rating

I was so excited after I read BLOOD WARRIOR that I immediately wrote down my review for it (cause I didn't want the fresh feels to fade) and emailed H.D. to request for her to do a guest post and giveaway on the blog. I wanted to share this book with all of you cause even though it's been released for some time already, some of you might not know such a superbly crazy good book is out there (like me till now, sighzzz) so yeah, share the love and all.

H.D. is VERY generously giving away three (3) paperback copies of BLOOD WARRIOR to three US ABS readers. Giveaway is open to readers with a US address and ends Feb 26th, 2014.

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Cyp's Abbreviation Dictionary

DNF = Did Not Finish
HEA = Happily Ever After
PNR = Paranormal Romance
UF = Urban Fantasy
YA = Young Adult

Erotica Reference

BDSM = Bondage/Discipline, Dominant/Submissive, Sadism/Masochism
f/f = female/female
m/f = male/female
m/m = male/male


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