Monday, January 30, 2012

Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Author:Marissa Meyer
Publisher:Macmillan Children's Publishing Group
Imprint:Feiwel & Friends
Pub. Date:1/3/2012
ISBN:0312641893 (ISBN13: 9780312641894)

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . . 

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

(Summary and cover via Goodreads)


Cinder is many things, super mechanic and cyborg being some of the foremost. Because of her cyborg status, she is also considered second-class in her home of New Beijing. One day the very handsome Prince Kai comes to ask for her help fixing a treasured family android, and Cinder feels an immediate attraction for him. She soon has other things to worry about though, when her step-mother blames Cinder for the fact that Cinder's step-sister has caught the plague that has been decimating humans. When Cinder gets sent into a facility for testing plague antidotes (against her will), things get much more complicated. Cinder soon discovers that she is part of things much bigger than she ever realized.

When it comes to new takes on old tales, this is probably one of the freshest. A futuristic Cinderella story? I was intrigued immediately. The author does an amazing job of drawing you in from the beginning. Cinder is an awesome character. She is strong and brave and definitely my kind of girl. I didn't feel I got to know Prince Kai as much. I really wondered what drew him to Cinder in the first place, but overall I liked him. The politics in this book are a bit complicated, but I thought that was awesome. It made for a very interesting new layer of depth. I felt like the story really flew by, and I read it very quickly. Because the basis of the tale is so familiar, it helps to get you involved in the story and characters quickly.

I did have two slight negatives. One was that the twists or surprises weren't that surprising. The minute one particular plot point was mentioned, I knew where it was going immediately. The other was that I felt the ending was rather abrupt. I was a little disappointed there as I felt I didn't get as much closure as I wanted. I know it was setting up for more books, but I still felt like it could have been wrapped up a bit more. Those things aside though, I really enjoyed this book. I was hanging on each word, and I will definitely look for the next book. Very impatiently. I really want to see where it ends up. Fans of classic fairy tales and futuristic science fiction (along with sides of romance and political intrigue) will definitely like this book.

Book provided for review.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Blog Tour: Alienation by Jon S. Lewis

Welcome to the blog tour for Alienation!

About the book:
After his parents were killed in a car accident, Colt McAllister was drawn into a world he thought only existed in comic books-one where mind control, jet packs, and flying motorcycles don't even scratch the surface.

Along with his best friends Oz and Danielle, Colt is now training at the secret Central Headquarters Against the Occult and Supernatural academy. But strange accidents seem to follow him. . . even with the security of the school grounds. What first seems random soon turns deadly. But who is targeting Colt?

As the alien invasions increase in frequency and force, C.H.A.O.S resources are taxed to the limit and they're forced to utilize the new recruits. In the midst of battle, Colt will discover some startling revelations . . . about himself, his friendship with Oz, and why he has been chosen to defeat this alien attack against earth.

About  Jon:

Jon S. Lewis is the coauthor of the Grey Griffins trilogy (over 500,000 books in print) and the upcoming Grey Griffins Clockwork Chronicles. He also writes for the DC COMICS family of publishers. He resides with his family in Arizona. 

For more about Jon and the series, visit

Link to buy the book


Colt and his 2 friends Oz and Danielle are working hard. Earth has been invaded by aliens, and Colt is determined to stop them. He and his friends are headed to a special academy to train. Colt finds out that there are many secrets surrounding him though. One has to do with his ability to fight aliens, and one involved a threat on Colt's life. Colt must figure out what exactly he can do and who he can trust, and he needs to do ti as quickly as possibly.

This is a book that throws you into the action very quickly. I will say though, that I had a hard time getting into this book. I think there were two reasons for this. One is that it is a sequel, and there seems to be some assumption that you are familiar with the characters. I felt a little lost for a bit. The other thing is that this book reads very masculine to me. This is not a bad things at all, but it did make it a bit harder for me to relate to the characters initially. Once I did get into it though, the story flew by. Colt and his friends work through a lot of things, and it is very interesting to see how everything works out.

Although this is a what I would consider a "young adult" book, it is age appropriate for younger ages too. Sometimes when I read books for the younger crowd, I think that I wouldn't want my child read that until they were on the older side of teenage. This book though is very clean, and the violence is fairly mild. While girls may enjoy it too, I think it really will appeal to boys. Overall though, I enjoyed this book.

Book provided for review.

The invasion was only the beginning! Jon Lewis is celebrating the next adventure in his fast-paced C.H.A.O.S. series with an explosive giveaway!

One thrill-seeker will receive:
  • iPad2 with Wi-Fi
  • Copies of the C.H.A.O.S. novels, Invasion and Alienation
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends at noon on February 7th. Winner will be announced at the Alienation Facebook Party on 2/7. Jon will be hosting an Author Chat, giving away copies of the books and gift certificates to iTunes and! Don't miss a second of the intrigue!

Grab your copy of Alienation and join Jon on the evening of February 7th for an author chat, spy training (How much do you know about alien invaders?) and lots of giveaways. 

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter
Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP today and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 31st!

Be sure to check out all the stops on the tour (see the full list here). Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Blog Tour: Chasing Mona Lisa by Tricia Goyer and Mike Yorkey

Welcome to the blog tour for Chasing Mona Lisa!

About the book:
It is August 1944 and Paris is on the cusp of liberation. As the soldiers of the Third Reich flee the Allied advance, they ravage the country, stealing countless pieces of art. Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring will stop at nothing to claim the most valuable one of all, the Mona Lisa, as a post-war bargaining chip to get him to South America. Can Swiss OSS agents Gabi Mueller and Eric Hofstadler rescue DaVinci's masterpiece before it falls into German hands?

With nonstop action, Chasing Mona Lisa is sure to get readers' adrenaline pumping as they join the chase to save the most famous painting in the world. From war-ravaged Paris to a posh country chateau, the race is on--and the runners are playing for keeps.
Read an excerpt, watch a video and find out more here.  

About the authors:
Tricia Goyer is the coauthor of The Swiss Courier as well as the author of many other books, including Night Song and Dawn of a Thousand Nights, both past winners of the ACFW's Book of the Year Award for Long Historical Romance. Goyer lives with her family in Arkansas. For more about Tricia and her other books 

Mike Yorkey is the author or coauthor of dozens of books, including The Swiss Courier and the bestselling Every Man's Battle series. Married to a Swiss native, Yorkey lived in Switzerland for 18 months. He and his family currently reside in California. For more about Mike  and his other books visit 
Link to buy the 


As World War II is drawing to a close, France is very excited to be free of German occupation. The various French resistance groups are trying to find a place in this new France however. On top of that, just because France is rid of the Germans, it doesn't mean they are through with the Germans. One German in particular has hatched a scheme to steak the Mona Lisa as collateral for safe post-war life. OSS agents Gabi and Eric aren't going to let that happen. They will risk their lives to ensure that the pride of France is returned to her rightful home at the Louvre.

I really enjoyed this book. I love history, and this was a great combination of history and fiction. There was definitely a lot of action. I felt the authors did a fantastic job creating atmosphere. There was plenty of tension when people were put in danger, but there was also an amazing sense of celebration as France gained it's freedom. You could feel it pulsing from the pages. I almost wanted to start a parade to celebrate with them. I also found the various resistance groups so interesting. Their tugging for prominence and public support was fascinating.

The characters were great to read about. They had a fantastic mix of flaws with their good points. I loved that everything was not black and white, and that you got a real sense of the sacrifices some people had to make while under German rule. They were literally dealing with their lives. I also was intrigued by the stories of how the French hid their most valuable works of art to protect them from the Germans. It is so amazing how they knew to get things hidden away. Overall, this was a very fun book. People who love action, history, and art will find a lot of things to enjoy in this book.

Book provided for review.

Chasing Mona Lisa is the continuing tale of Gabi Mueller and Eric Hofstadler (first introduced in The Swiss Courier). This time the due are on a relentless quest to save the most famous painting in the world  - the Mona Lisa. You can help Gabi and Eric with your very own spy pack when you enter The Chasing Mona Lisa Giveaway!

One passionate protector will receive:
  • iTouch (The must-have device for any spy. Camera, Maps & Music.)
  • Starbucks Gift Card (For all those late nights.)
  • Moleskin Notebook (For those important notes.)
  • Invisible Ink Pen (Don’t want anyone reading those important notes.)
  • Chasing Mona Lisa by Tricia Goyer & Mike Yorkey (Great handbook and intriguing tale for any spy-in-training!)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends at noon on January 31st. The winner will be announced at the Chasing Mona Lisa Facebook Party on 1/31. Tricia and Mike will be hosting an author chat (on Facebook and Live from Tricia's website) and giving away their books and a Book Club prize pack! (Ten copies of the book for your small group or book club AND a LIVE Author Chat for your group with Tricia and Mike.)

So grab your copy of Chasing Mona Lisa and join Tricia and Mike on the evening of the 31st for an author chat, spy training (do you know how to pick a lock?) and lots of giveaways. 

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter
Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP today and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 31st!

Be sure to check out all the stops on the tour. You can see the entire list on the official tour page. Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Blog Tour: The Shadow of Your Smile by Susan May Warren

About the book: The Shadow of Your Smile
A beautiful blanket of snow may cover the quaint town of Deep Haven each winter, but it can’t quite hide the wreckage of Noelle and Eli Hueston’s marriage.

After twenty-five years, they’re contemplating divorce . . . just as soon as their youngest son graduates from high school. But then an accident erases part of Noelle's memory. Though her other injuries are minor, she doesn’t remember Eli, their children, or the tragedy that has ripped their family apart. What’s more, Noelle is shocked that her life has turned out nothing like she dreamed it would. As she tries to regain her memory and slowly steps into her role as a wife and mother, Eli helps her readjust to daily life with sometimes-hilarious, sometimes-heartwarming results. But can she fall in love again with a man she can’t remember?

Will their secrets destroy them . . . or has erasing the past given them a chance for a future? Read the story behind the story here:

About Susan:  Susan May Warren is an award-winning, best-selling author of over twenty-five novels, many of which have won the Inspirational Readers Choice Award, the ACFW Book of the Year award, the Rita Award, and have been Christy finalists. After serving as a missionary for eight years in Russia, Susan returned home to a small town on Minnesota’s beautiful Lake Superior shore where she, her four children, and her husband are active in their local church.
Susan's larger than life characters and layered plots have won her acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. A seasoned women’s events and retreats speaker, she’s a popular writing teacher at conferences around the nation and the author of the beginning writer’s workbook: From the Inside-Out: discover, create and publish the novel in you!. She is also the, a story-crafting service that helps authors discover their voice.
Susan makes her home in northern Minnesota, where she is busy cheering on her two sons in football, and her daughter in local theater productions (and desperately missing her college-age son!)
A full listing of her titles, reviews and awards can be found

Buy the book here.


Noelle and Eli have been through a lot in 25 years if marriage. They've wandered so far apart that they don't even know each other anymore. When Noelle has an accident though, she loses her memory. Suddenly she's forgotten the good and the bad over the last 25 years. As Eli and Noelle work together to get her adjusted to her "new" life, they try to rediscover her old life. They find that there were things they were both hiding. As they work together, they begin to discover that healing and hope is always there for those who seek it.

This book raised some great questions, the foremost being how would I react to my life if I forgot how I got here? For Noelle, she sees a very different life than she had imagined in college. Since she has forgotten how she got there, Noelle doesn't really understand her life. Noelle and Eli have both withdrawn from their lives, especially after the great tragedies they have gone through. As they worked to heal, they did it separately. This really added to their growing apart, not only from each other but also their sons. This was a family in a lot of pain. However, they discovered that by working together, it is possible to rediscover the love they once shared. This love is what will ultimately help with healing the many hurts they have.

There was also some sweet romance. Another theme running through the stories of various characters had to deal with ones dreams and wishes. As our lives take their various twists and turns, are we able to keep site of those dreams? Noelle and others had to work at this, but ultimately this helped them find happiness. Even if Noelle was never going to be a great artist, she was still able to find joy in her art. I think we could all stand to live a little bit of our dreams. This book was a great chance to reflect on many different aspects of life. It was a very interesting story and provided a lot of inspiration. I found myself wanting the best for all the characters. They are all likable, with a perfect mix of goodness and flaws. I think people looking for a great book that makes them think as well, this book will fit the bill.

Galley provided for review.

Sometimes love requires a little forgetting ... Come back to Deep Haven and find out what's been happening in your favorite quaint hamlet. If you're new to the Deep Haven series - this is the perfect book to start with - each book in the series is a stand alone story.

Susan is celebrating the release of The Shadow of Your Smile by giving away a prize pack worth over $200 from 1/9-1/28.

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A $200 Visa Gift Card (Use that to rekindle a little romance, treat yourself to a spa day, snap up those shoes you’ve been eyeing, or purchase a few great books!)
  • The entire set of Deep Haven Books 
The winner will be announced on 1/30/12 on Susan’s blog, Scribbles! Just click one of the icons below to enter and tell your friends about Susan's giveaway on FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning.

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Be sure to check out all the stops on the tour. A full list is found here. Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Scary image, yeah? This is a very real threat though. SOPA and PIPA are bills in the US House and Senate respectively. Proponents of the bills say they are supposed to combat piracy, however what they will really do is change the way the internet works. And not in good ways. We are joining together today to protest these bills and help give a real idea of what your virtual life could be like under the provisions of these bills. Many sites are going dark, and I contemplated that. However, I am participating in a blog hop right now, and I feel like going dark would be unfair to those people who set up the hop. So instead I decided to do a post about it.

If you want a great article about why SOPA/PIPA is so bad, check out this one. More than this, as a blogger I will be held responsible for every picture, every book trailer, every comment that ever gets posted on this blog! It's not unbelievable that someone could take offense to a review, post a comment with some copyrighted material,  and report my blog. My blog is then gone. I am held responsible for copyright infringement. And there is no due process or questions asked.

There are also technical issues with the bills. I'm no expert on that, but I am married to someone who is. To say he is not a fan of these bills would be putting it lightly. And he's not the only one who is concerned. When you have people like Google telling you this will be enormously bad for the internet as a whole, you need to step up and listen. Congress is messing with things that they have no clue about.

On top of all this, SOPA was shelved. This is a good thing right? Well, for now. However, the original sponsor is threatening to bring it back to life. PIPA is still alive and well at any rate. The amazing thing is that no one I have talked to even supports this bill. Republican, Democrat, or anything in-between, I have yet to see someone say anything positive about this bill except the members of Congress supporting it and their benefactors. Who are they? Big media. They are throwing a lot of money behind this bill to try and get it shoved through.

So what can you do? The biggest thing is to CONTACT YOUR REPRESENTATIVES! Check out this page to see who represents you. Call them, write them, let them know this is not acceptable. Also, join us today to raise awareness. Let everyone you know what we are up against. Another great site is It explains things way better than I ever can. If you are so inclined, you can read the entirety of SOPA as well. Everything you do can make a difference. Let's work together to keep the internet open and free.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Dreaming of Books Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Dreaming of Books Giveaway Hop!

I'm going to offer up

a $10 gift card or $10 in books from Book Depository (please ensure they deliver to your country)!

How do you enter?

-Follow on GFC 
-Follow on Twitter
-Like on Facebook
-Add to Google+ 
-Friend on Goodreads

You can do one or do them all!  Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below to enter, and be sure to check out the rest of the blog in the hop. Good luck!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Bloodstone Saga Tour

Welcome to the tour for The Bloodstone Saga!!

This is a series of books by Courtney Cole. I have a guest post an some info on the final book of the series, The Bloodstone Saga: My Tattered Bonds.

It is always darkest before the dawn. Harmonia has certainly found this to be true. She has faced more than any one person, goddess or mortal, should ever have to.

She has lost her soul mate time after time, lies and deceit have surrounded her and in fact, she has even been misled about her very identity. Yet she has always emerged with strength and grace. But now she will face the unthinkable. Her daughter has been taken and Harmonia will risk everything to get her back.

In this epic series finale, all will be revealed. The only question remaining is…Who will be left standing?

Find the book on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

About Courtney Cole:

Courtney Cole is a YA novelist who loves thunderstorms, cake batter and insane amounts of coffee. She wrote her first story at the age of 9, although thankfully it has remained hidden away in an old cedar chest beneath musty blankets. Her more recent efforts are much better.

Find her on her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Courtney has written a guest post about knowing when you're soul mates. 

You Know You're Soul mates When...

You know, this is an interesting question. But, it brings to mind one of the most romantic things I’ve ever heard someone say.

Several years back, I was reading an interview given by singer Rob Thomas (Rob—if you ever read this, please, pleeeease do a Matchbox 20 reunion album!) and he was talking about when he first got together with his wife, Marisol. He said after he kissed her for the first time, he knew right then that he would never kiss another woman. How romantic is that?? It makes my heart swoon. But I think it’s an accurate analogy of a soul mate. When you are meant to be with someone, you just know it. Your heart knows it. I’ve listened to my various friends throughout the years waffling back and forth over how they felt about their boyfriends— and my thought is… if you aren’t sure how you feel about someone, then they definitely are not “the one”. When you find the perfect person for you, you will know it. There will be no question.

When I first started dating my husband, there was an immediate connection. I couldn’t get enough of him- of being near him, laughing with him, talking with him, etc. And to this day, a decade later, I feel the same way. I think that’s how it should be. He feels like home to me. And that’s how you know when you’re with your soul mate.

Thanks! I know I certainly agree with those sentiments. 

Ok, I also have two giveaways for you today! One is a daily giveaway for the tour, and one is a grand prize giveaway. So first, the daily giveaway!

Today, Courtney is offering a signed bookmark and an authentic Greek drachma, necessary for paying the ferryman to the Underworld. 

All you have to do in leave a comment on this post! I will pick a random winner from the comments on Sunday, January 8th, and you will have 48 hours to get me all your info or a new winner will be chosen. This contest is open to people in the US/Canada. 

Now the grand prize is an awesome Kindle Touch skinned with the cover art from The Bloodstone Saga: My Tattered Bonds.

Pretty awesome yeah? All you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter widget. This giveaway is also for US/Canada residents and all rules can be found here.