Friday, November 30, 2012

Born in flames - Review :)

Happy Friday :)
It's almost December!!! Can you believe it???
Only a month left in this year! And.... only 23 days until my birthday :)

Today I have a review for Born in Flames. I have to thank Candace for the copy of her book :)


Born in Flames (Born in Flames Trilogy, #1)
by Candace Knoebel


Red mirrored scales race up my arms as the haze of pain blurs my vision. My bones crack, breaking to realign. I scream. It is then that the realization of my unavoidable fate sinks in; I am of a dying race. I am dragon.
Aurora Megalos, orphaned and teetering on the edge of adulthood, thought finding her past would curb the sting of being an outcast. Having no memories of the time before she awoke on her foster mother’s doorstep, she yearns for the emptiness inside her to be filled. With her fellow orphaned best friend, Fenn, by her side, she has nothing to lose and everything to gain. But something powerful stirred within her that she couldn’t explain. Something wanted out.
In the dark of night, a crazed Seer, dubbed Mr.Creepy, erases everything she’s ever known with an impending prophecy. She now faces two paths. Return to her true home to protect a dying race against a growing evil, or stay hidden in the safety of our realm with a shot at a true love. With a vengeful Arch Enemy stopping at nothing to see her dead, she’s running out of time; a decision must be made. What would you choose?
 
 
FIND THE BOOK:
 
 



***** 
MY REVIEW.

My rating: 3.5/5

Born in Flames has the potential to be a great paranormal YA novel. It is a fast reading with an ending that definitely will leave you waiting for more.

Aurora has lived her life knowing she was different. After been abandoned by her parents at the age of ten, she is now living with her best friend Fenn. At eighteen she starts to witness changes in her life. When a mysterious man announces grave danger and a prophecy, things go crazy.

The book has its highs and lows. Let’s start with the plot: it is quite an original idea. Dragons and magic are a great source of ideas and in this book both of them are well described. It is easy to picture the dragons, the words really transmit the colorful and magnitude of these beings, and they are the best assets of the story. However, the first time that Aurora visits the other realm; we are bombarded with a lot of information. And we are as overwhelmed as she is.

The romance is the typical story of two best friends that fall in love. Aurora and Fenn are two friends that grown up together and now are living by their own. I wasn’t uncomfortable with the idea of two people who grown up together in a relationship, what bothers me is Fenn’s attitude. He should make the first move because Rory is so dubitative that he could get old waiting for her.
Aurora or Rory’s attitudes and actions were annoying! She is so voluble that it’s irritating to wait for seeing her make a choice. A point to her favor is that she deals with the entire changes very well and it’s easy to relate with her sometimes.

The development of the main action (the prophecy involving the coming of the full moon) is really fast. So you won’t get boring, because every new page brings little doses of the bad guys and a new discovery of Aurora’s destiny.

I would recommend this book to all the paranormal-romance-YA lovers. You will end up waiting for book two.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Tickle Me - Review

Well, it's time for a new review.

This time is the turn of a romance :) We all love a bit of romance now and then.
I want to thank Monica for sending a copy of her book :)

******
Tickle Me
by Monica Bouvier.


FROM GOODREADS.
Aphrodite Be Damned!
In this tale of wanton love, decadent seduction, and dangerous liaisons, we meet Alice—a quiet, meek woman who, at 29, has never been touched by a man, let alone experienced the piercing pangs of love’s bittersweet kiss upon the heart. Alice is obsessed with Greek Mythology, and early on, she resigned herself to the fact that Lachesis, the Fate who chooses our lot in life, destined her life to be one without love—that is until Erik, a mysterious admirer, surfaces.
Communicating at first solely online, Erik’s passionate poems and erotic love stories slowly break down Alice’s self-imposed wall of isolation. Throwing caution to the wind, they begin to share the most intimate of emails, awakening Alice’s innermost desires. She finds herself falling in love with Erik and in the possibility that he could be her one true love—her soul mate—despite the fact that they have never met in person.
Has Zeus finally heard her cries and granted Cupid, the offspring of Aphrodite, permission to hurl his arrow of love in Alice’s direction? Or, will she get caught up in love’s unscrupulous web of deception and deceit after the identity of her mysterious lover is revealed? How far will Alice venture to recapture love lost—real or imaginary? How far would you go?

FIND THE BOOK:
 ******
MY REVIEW.
 My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Tickle me has all the ingredients to be one great romance. It is a mix between a solitary woman, her passion for Greek Mythology and a mystery man. A book that keep you in the edge until the last page.

Alice has lived in the shadows, always in the sidelines of life dreaming with finding happiness. A 29-year-old woman living in Alaska with only a cat as her roommate, Alice is the perfect heroin for this story. Her life gives a 180 degrees turn when she starts to get emails from a hot mystery guy.

Erik is the name of this unknown gentleman who appears from nowhere and seems like the perfect man. With his poems, stories and romantic emails, he will drag Alice more and more into unfamiliar territory.

The story has its highs and lows. The base of it is intelligent, credible and quite real. Nowadays it’s really easy to stay in touch with any person around the world. So, a relationship that starts on-line feels real and interesting.

Alice’s evolution is one of the greatest things in the book. See her become a strong woman, confident and embracing her persona makes a good reading. And read the changes in her relationship with the world is a high point because we see a woman who used to be just a number, a name, a colleague, a work partner, transforming into a successful worker. This is really great to read.

However, there we some parts that were slow and some of the choices Alice made were hard to understand. For a woman who never takes chances, she takes the emails very well. And for me it was easy to discover Erik’s true identity. There are some keys during the book that lead you to the answer.

Another character that made the difference was Patty, the crazy best friend that helps Alice in this new world. She has a personality that is annoying at times but you like her anyway.

The ending was a good thing. It was not what I expected (specially the epilogue). Patty's “secret” left me speechless and the last pages were really breathtaking.

Overall, a good, solid romance with good characters and very well written.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Remember Me - Review

It's time for a new review.
I received a copy of this one by the author. If you like sc-fi and a bit of romance this book is for you!



Remember Me
by Brian L. MacLearn


ABOUT THE BOOK.
While mowing his lawn, a strange storm creates a black hole and pulls Andrew back through time to 1985, leaving behind his new wife and the life he always dreamed of.
With no way back he tries to create a life in the past. The technology in his cell phone promises to make him rich beyond his wildest dreams, but a brief encounter with his ex wife causes a ripple effect that erases his daughter from existence.
Now Andrew must try and survive the next 25 years in the hopes the black hole will reappear so he can travel back once more and save his daughter, and himself.
But making it twenty-five years is starting to seem less likely as he is plagued by bad luck. It's that all it is, or is "time" out to get him for meddling in the past?





FIND THE BOOK:



*******
 
MY REVIEW.

My rating: 3.5/5

By some mystery twist of fate Andrew has been transported 25 years into the past. Now he has to see his life move on without him and has to deal with the dilemma of interfere or not with the past. What would you do if you have the opportunity to watch your life all over again? Would you try to change the past?

Remember Me is one rollercoaster of emotions and science fiction. Since the moment a 50-year-old Andrew is living in 1985, things will never be the same. Debating himself in the endless question of how is presence will change the future, we see him taking some difficult choices.

Andrew is a mature man but it doesn’t mean he has all the answers. He is one of the more human characters I have ever read. With a profound desire of change the world for good, of making it a better place, his humanity is always present. However, there were a few chapters that didn’t made justice to his persona because it felt like he was taking the situation with an extraordinary calm, when in reality we learn after that he was really affected by it.

Once he decides to get in touch with people of his past we can see the future, as he knows it, become a blur in the horizon. You cannot expect to live without consequences even by the minimal step. And it is really interesting to read how his presence changed the reality.
This is a well written book with a solid background and a believable outcome. It counts with excellent characters that feel human and real and the perfect amount of action and science fiction.

My favorite part was the ending. I’m glad that it wasn’t what I expected and I loved the emotional charge it has. The final chapters and Amy’s story will definitely transmit a load of feelings that will touch you deeply.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Cover Reveal - Tobias' Story

Today it's time for the Cover reveal of: TOBIAS' STORY by Alison Davis.

You have to know that I love the cover, it's really interesting and beautiful.



Hanging From the Family Tree:
Tobias’ Story (#2)

 
 
ABOUT THE BOOK.

 Hanging from the Family Tree: Tobias’ Story, is a Young Adult fiction novel, based in a fictional English coastal town.

Hidden letters from 1812, the British Regency, tell the story of Alexander Ventus, member of a very rich and influential local family. Besotted with a local women, Elizabeth, who is deemed beneath him, he is forced into a marriage with another woman. Distraught she throws herself from a cliff.
 
Followed years later by Alexander, burdened by his guilt.
Alexander Ventus is Tobias’ great, great, grandfather, and there is an alarming likeness to their lives.  Tobias’ Story tells of his struggle to find his place in his family and to discover what it truly means to be a Ventus.




******

ABOUT THE AUTHOR.


Alison has been writing from an early age, stories, poems, novels, prose. After a 3 year sabbatical from writing she returned to her passion to write Whispers on the Wind: Ari's story.
 
Her first novel, Whispers on the Wind: Ari's Story, was published in August 2012 on Lulu.com. Hanging from the Family Tree: Tobias' Story, a companion/sequel to Whispers on the Wind, is to be published in November 2012
 
 
 
FIND MORE ABOUT HER:
 
 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sleeping Gods - Review :)

Hi everyone! It's been a while.
It's time for the review of book number 2 in the Lunangelique Series. I have to say that I'm falling in love more and more of this series.
I have to thank Kristin for sending me an ecopy of it, I ADORE YOU GIRL!
And I'm in love with this cover, IT'S BEAUTIFUL :)

You can check my review for book 1: HERE.

 
Sleeping Gods (Lunangelique # 2)
by Kristin R. Campell

 
FROM GOODREADS:
Alexis must pick up the broken pieces of her heart and pull herself together because she has a mission: To awaken the sleeping gods. When she is at the point of giving up, wearing her pretend smiles and feels like there is nothing left of herself, her friend becomes her savior. Patryck helps put Alexis back together again and in return Alexis sees him as something more than a friend…

Together with her brother, Alex, her father, Edmund, and a team of angels they make their way to Mount Latmos, to awaken the gods. But obstacles are in their way, one of them being Cole, the traitor, the one who shattered Alexis’ heart.
New friends and family she never thought she would meet will come to aid Alexis.

… And a love will blossom that will redefine the saying, “Love you forever.”
 
FIND THE BOOK:


 
******
 
MY REVIEW
 
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Is possible to forget your first love? Can you move on with your life after so much suffering? Would you wake up the gods if that will bring destruction?

These are all questions that Lexi has to deal with in the second book of the series. After been abandoned by Cole, Lexi is depressed, sad and almost living in automatic-pilot. After six months of going by life like a zombie she finally decides to move on with the help of Patrick.

Lexi and Alexander (her twin brother) will join forces with Edmund and his team of angels to free the gods from their sleep. The journey will be full of obstacles because many people want them to fail.

In book two we see a different Lexi. She has to learn to move on, to forgive and discovers new sides of her persona. While her heart is divided between two guys, she has to remember the independent girl she used to be. Is amazing to see her evolve into a really strong woman with the ability to accomplish anything she wants.

Patrick takes a more relevant role in Sleeping Gods but somehow he is a character that you don’t fully love. He seems like a good guy but deep down we all know what kind of person (or angel) he is. Edmund continues to be the overprotective father, taking decision for the rest and wanting to impose his will over others.

Cole, what to say about him? I’m team Cole since book 1 and this second part only made me love him even more. He is sweet but with a dark side and really cares for Lexi. He continues to be the person that brings the best of Lexi and that helps her through her most difficult moments.

The action in this book is amazing. Every chapter brings a new twist and you never know what to expect. And the tension between Lexi and the two guys is what this series needs.

Sleeping Gods will take you on a ride of emotions, will take you breath away and more than once will bring tears to your eyes. With an ending that will leave you at the edge of the seat waiting for part three this is a book you will love.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Chris Rakunas - Interview

Today I welcome Chris Rakunas, author of The 8th Doll an interesting thriller that involves the Mayan Prophecy.

Here is a just a little about the book.
Alex Guidry has been called to Mexico to help solve a ritualistic murder that has taken place on the grounds of an ancient Mayan temple. Is it tied to the multi-national company that is drilling for oil nearby or something greater?

The 8th Doll is a fast paced thriller that uses aspects of Mayan architecture, geology, and the 2012 apocalyptic prophecy to weave a story that will keep you turning pages until the last chapter.

READ MY REVIEW: HERE.
 
 
 
******
 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR.
(From Goodreads)
Chris Rakunas is the 2012 Silver Winner at the Dearborn Street Book Festival. A native of Southern California, he grew up in Costa Mesa, CA, later moving to Berekeley to attend the University of California. While earning a Bachelor's in Molecular and Cell Biology there, he was initiated into Pi Lambda Phi Fraternity, the first non-discriminatory Fraternity.
 
After living in the San Francisco Bay Area for 8 years, he moved to Los Angeles to attend USC's Marshall School of business where he earned an MBA.

Rakunas spent 6 months travelling the world after finishing business school, including time climbing the Great Wall of China, living on the steppes of Mongolia, traveling on the trans-Siberian railroad, hitchhiking through the Baltic states, and living in Istanbul. 

He is currently married and lives in Western Oklahoma where he teaches.


******
 
INTERVIEW WITH CHRIS. 
 

Ruth: I know that a trip inspired your book. What else took you to write the story?
Chris:  This book was different from everything else that I’ve written.  It was the first time that I didn’t want to write, but had to write.  While we were in Mexico, I came up with the idea for the story, but when we got home, I just kept thinking about it.  It was almost like an obsession for me, and writing the story was more about getting it out of my head than anything else.  I liken the experience to a tea kettle that’s on the stove – the longer it’s there, the more the pressure builds up inside, and the only way out is to have some release.  Instead of whistling, however, I had to put words down on paper.
 
Ruth: How long took you to write it?
Chris: The entire process was 2 or 3 months long.  I dedicated most of my time to writing the book, and I wasn’t sure if my publisher was going to have any interest in it.  This book is quite different from my first, Tears for the Mountain, which is non-fiction about the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.  However, when I sent it in, they responded right away that they were interested.

Ruth: Did you have to do a lot of research about Mayan History?
Chris: I was quite fortunate that I was in the Yucatan when I started thinking about the book, so the questions that I had were able to be answered right away.  It also made it easy for the setting of the story since I had pictures and videos of the locations I was writing about.  Just about every step in the story is a place that I’ve personally been.  The one thing that I actually was the least familiar with was the Mayan calendar itself and what the hype was about it.  That took several questions while we were in Mexico and then I also had to do some follow up research so that I could fully explain it in the book.

Ruth: What else besides the prophecy you find interesting about the Mayans?
Chris: I have a big fascination about their knowledge of astronomy.  Clearly it was an important piece of their lives, but the depth of their science in astronomy was unbelievable.  Even by today’s standards, some of the things they did were amazing.

Ruth: Would you like to have written more about what happened to Alex’s wife?
Chris: Funny that you mention that…the third book is entirely about what happens to her.  If you go to www.facebook.com/chrisrakunas, I have a picture of a castle there that is the scene for the book.  I won’t give away any details, but the story is going to be just as action-packed and fast paced as the first two books, and all of the details about her are revealed there.
 
Ruth: It is a fast novel. How was dealing with the timing of the action?
Chris: It takes a lot of planning to move through that much action in such a short space of time.   When I write, I tend to put down an outline that is around 10,000 words first.  That allows me to know when each event happens so that I don’t have continuity mistakes.  Without the worry of getting events in the right order, I’m free to focus on the smaller details in a scene that make it more rich – what the characters are feeling, what the scene around them is like, or what the air tastes like.  When I read, I love those sorts of details in a book.  It just makes the whole thing come off the page and become alive.

Ruth: Are you satisfied with the finished book?
Chris: I’m really happy with the job that Divertir Publishing did with the manuscript, and I really enjoy working with the folks there (Lisa Keele, my editor, and Dr. Ken Tupper, the publisher).  Now I just feel the pressure to finish up the series!

Ruth: Are you planning to write a sequel? (Because it surely feels like there is more to tell)
Chris: Yes, this is the first of a 4-book series.  I have completed the second book, The Eye of Siam already, and it is being typeset by the publisher now.  I’m not sure if it’s going to be released before Christmas, but I hope so.  I am working on the 3rd book of the series now and plan on finishing the 4th book by the end of next year. 
The books are not in chronological order, though.  The second and third books in the series are background on the characters.  One of the things that I enjoyed when writing The 8th Doll was referring back to things that had happened in the characters’ pasts, and I wanted to be able to expand on those past events more, so I decided to dedicate two full books to them.  The fourth book will wrap everything up and end the series.
After this series, I have another 6 or 7 books that I am thinking about writing.  A lot of what I have outlines for comes from places that I’ve travelled to and things that I’ve seen.  Sometimes a real life event can make a wonderful fictional story if you just change one or two little details.
 
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT CHRIS HERE:
******
Thank you Chris for this lovely interview :)

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Whispers of the Sprite - Review :)

I loved this book. I read it in a few days and now I have to wait for the sequel.
Thanks to Joanna for providing me with a copy.




The Whispers of the Sprite
by Joanna Mazurkiewicz


When Ania moves from London to Swansea city in Wales she is hoping that her life will get a bit more exciting, after all she is running away from her controlling mother to taste more freedom and feel more independent. Everything seems to be going the way she wanted until she almost dies while taking a quiet walk around the beach in the late evening.
When she opens her eyes, nothing seems the same...
She starts seeing people that no one else is able to notice. An enchanting looking man keeps following her and Ania’s life seems to getting more exciting than she ever wished for.
After the attack something changes inside her, she has been blessed with the new frightening gift of seeing and hearing sprites all around her... the magical creatures that only existed in folklore, myths and legends of Britain.
Gabriel is attractive and handsome but no ... he is not a vampire. He keeps coming back and Ania feels an instant connection between them but this might get her into more trouble. Supernatural romance is not on her mind right now.
Because he is forbidden to even touch her ... the line between the death and love has never been so thin and the sprites won’t stop whispering until ... she will choose to love or abandon Gabriel.
This is a young adult paranormal romance which includes violence and sexual scenes.
 
 
FIND THE BOOK:

 


 
******
 
MY REVIEW.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ania is finally away from her controlling mother. But the perfect life she was expecting is nowhere near. After being stabbed she starts seeing people that it supposed to not be there. Her life becomes a turbulent ride between someone trying to kill her and falling in love with a magical creature.

The Whispers of the Sprite is intriguing since the first sentence. The story drags you into the mind of Ania and we live the story through her eyes. A 22-year-old girl, going to University in Swansea (Welsh) and shares a house with three other people. Her roommate, Amy, is a bubbling girl, who likes to party and is very funny and loyal.

The story is complete with Gabriel, a sexy, self-confident, intriguing and magical man. He has one of the best personalities in the book. He is not like most men in YA novels; he is a bit romantic but he is not corny and despite he is arrogant and lacks humility you can’t help to love him.

Ania is a well described character, she feels real and her mind works like one of a young adult woman (I could feel relate to her). However, there were some times when I wanted to scream at her and ask her why? Why are you doing that? These feelings only made the book better.

The folklore behind the Sprites is easy to understand, but there were a few things that were hard to follow, like the all changeling myth (I understand most of it but I think it could be explained differently).

The tension between Ania and Gabriel, and their sexy relationship, makes hard to put down the book. It is not as romantic as other relationship but it is pretty intense.
The secrets, bad guys and magic in the book make the perfect mix for a great read. With the cliffhanger at the end you will end up waiting for more.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The 8th Doll - New Review

Happy Saturday! It is time for a new review.

I received this book from the author and have to say that I was surprised by it :)

THE 8TH DOLL
by Chris Rakunas
 

ABOUT THE BOOK.

Alex Guidry has been called to Mexico to help solve a ritualistic murder that has taken place on the grounds of an ancient Mayan temple. Is it tied to the multi-national company that is drilling for oil nearby or something greater?
 
The 8th Doll is a fast paced thriller that uses aspects of Mayan architecture, geology, and the 2012 apocalyptic prophecy to weave a story that will keep you turning pages until the last chapter.
 





FIND THE BOOK:



******
MY REVIEW.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When Alex is contacted by his old friend and is asked to go to Mexico, he doesn’t know what he is getting into. A geologist has been murdered and what is strange in the crime is that man has been beheaded following an old Mayan tradition.

Alex and Skips will join Maria (whose real name is Xochitil) and Jenkins to find the assassin. Their journey will take them to Mayan ruins, small hidden towns and they will face an ancient prophecy that predicts the end of the mankind.

The characters are well described and their dialogues are entertaining, funny and easy to understand. The book has the perfect amount of Spanish words to create the Mexican environment.

The story moves really fast, and it gives a sense of reality because it takes place in only a few days. And the action is perfect; you can feel the tension, the danger and the anxiety passing through the characters.

I love how the prophecy is used to create a story around it. We all heard about it, and even though it has a key part in the book not everything move around it.

The story is about more than finding the killer and prevent the end of the world. Is a story about friendship, finding love, trust in others, forgive our past and learn to enjoy life.

The ending was a bit weird to read. It is very well explained and it is believable but I don’t know if it was what I expected. However it fits perfectly to the story.

The 8th Doll is an excellent written book with good characters and an exciting ending. If you love a good mystery and extreme action this book is for you.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Vampyrnomicon - Blog Tour (Review)

Hi! It's time for a new blog tour stop.
As part of my stop I have a review for the book. Just keep reading to find out more.

Today is the turn of :

*****
 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR.

SCOTT M. BAKER.
Born and raised in Everett, Massachusetts (just outside of Boston), Scott M. Baker has spent the last twenty-two years living in northern Virginia. 
He has authored several short stories, including “Dead Water”, “Rednecks Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things”, “Cruise of the Living Dead”, “Deck the Malls with Bowels of Holly” (an alcoholic mall Santa battles zombie reindeer), and “Denizens.” 
His two latest short stories – “The Last Flight of The Bismarck,” about steampunk zombies, and “The Hunger,” a tale of cannibalism during a zombie outbreak – will both be released later this year in anthologies being published by Knighwatch Press.
Scott’s first zombie novel, Rotter World, which details the struggle between humans and vampires during a zombie apocalypse, was released by Permuted Press in April 2012. 
He has also authored The Vampire Hunters trilogy, which has been published by Pill Hill Press and received excellent reviews from Famous Monsters of Filmland and Fangoria, among others.
Scott has finished his fifth novel, Yeitso, a homage to the monster movies of the 1950s set in northern New Mexico, which is currently with a publisher, and is wrapping up his sixth novel, Hell Gates, the first in a series of young adult novels set in a world in which the realms of Hell and earth have merged. 
When he is not busy writing, Scott can either be found relaxing on his back deck with a cup of iced coffee, or doting on the four house rabbits that live with him.

VISIT THE AUTHOR'S WEBSITE TO FIND OUT MORE: GO HERE.
YOU CAN ALSO VISIT HIM HERE:
 *****
 ABOUT THE BOOK.

 
Within the vaults of the Smithsonian Institute lies the key to finding the Vampyrnomicon, the Book of the Undead, that contains the history and secrets of the vampires.  According to legend, whoever possesses the book can establish a vampire nation on earth – or destroy the undead once and for all.  With an opportunity to end the war against the undead so close, Drake Matthews is determined to find the book.  

But the vampires also want the Vampyrnomicon.  When Master Chiang Shih and her coven of the most powerful and dangerous vampires arrive in Washington to claim the book as their own, the hunters find themselves facing their most dangerous enemy yet. With the stakes so high, so is the ferocity of the struggle.
 
FIND THE BOOK HERE.



*****
 
MY REVIEW.
 
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Vampyrnomicon is an exciting and refreshing reading. It is an excellent return to the classic vampires, the bad and dangerous ones.

In this book we have the hunters, a group under the leadership of Drake a former policeman, a group that will go until the last consequences in order to kill all the vampires in the Washington area. Alongside with Jessica, a journalist, they will set on a quest to find an ancient book that contains the key to destroy all the vampires permanently.

The bad guys are leaded by an ancient vampire. Chiang Shih is an Asian woman (a millenarian vampire), with an interesting past and who is the personification of evil. Accompanied by a group of masters (the leading vampire of a coven), she will also follow the trail of the mysterious book.

The book is complete with the tension between Derek and one of the hunters, Alison, this tension only adds fire to the story, especially when Derek is with someone else.

A story that moves really fast, that changes the point of view to give a wider panorama and a more complete story. This book has the perfect amount of action, danger, romance, bad guys, sweet characters and an ending that will leave you wanting for more.

An excellent written book that reminds the greatest classical vampire writers, with great characters and sexy scenes this is a book that will not disappoint all the vampire lovers.

The story is compelling since the first sentence. And one thing worth mentioning is that it doesn’t matter if you didn’t read book 1, the story is easy to follow and you won’t be missing any relevant fact. However I think that the book gives you the encouragement to read the other books in the trilogy and you definitely will need to read book 3 to know the end of the story.

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Last Witch - Blog Tour Stop


Hi everyone!  It's time for my stop in THE LAST WITCH book tour.


 
 



*****

ABOUT THE AUTHOR. 
Debbie Dee recently moved to southern Idaho with her husband and three children where she is learning how to be a country girl in her favorite pair of blue heels. She adores fairy tales and happy endings, but secretly crushes on the bad guy now and then. As a dedicated musician who practices way too much, she never expected writing would sweep her off her feet until she jotted down a scene from a daydream, which turned into two scenes, which turned into a messy house and her first novel.
Since then she hasn’t been able to let a day go by without writing. 
 
 
VISIT DEBBIE HERE:

**** 
 
ABOUT THE BOOK.
 
For generations the Incenaga Witches have been forced to use their power to fulfill the wishes of others until they are drained of their magic and left to die. Desperate to protect his infant daughter - the last surviving witch - Emmeline’s father escapes with her to the forests where he vows to keep her hidden from the world and from the truth.
Sixteen years later, Emmeline is discovered and finds herself in the grip of a traitor who will stop at nothing to get what he wants, even if it means abusing her power until she dies. She is taken to a distant country and told she must marry the Crown Prince or her own country will be overtaken, its people slaughtered. But what sort of prince would marry a witch? And why would she be the difference between war and peace?
As she fights to regain her freedom, she is faced with a choice between a prince who offers a lifetime of security and a common gamekeeper who has no idea of her power, but offers his heart.
 But who do you trust when your power can be used against you?


FIND THE BOOK HERE:

 



*****
MY REVIEW.


My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What would you do if someday someone appear at your door and drag you away from home to marry a person you have never seen before? What if you discovered an important part of your life that has been kept as a secret from you?

Emmeline has never known that she was the last Incenaga Witch alive. When a group of men comes to her door claiming she has to go with them because she has to marry a prince, who she has been engaged with since a baby, her life is put upside down.

After being captured, she is kept captive in a castle and her powers start to grow. She meets a mysterious gamekeeper, who shows her beautiful places in the kingdom, the stables and keeps her company during her solitude.

Emmeline is a beautiful character, unaware of the potential of her powers, a very strong girl that only wants to be free, help her father and protect a prince she hasn't known yet, a proof of her good heart. We see her evolve and turn into a brave woman.

Of course we have a male character, Erick. He is a sweet guy, honest, handsome and with some secrets. But I have to say that at some points his secret identity was a bit obvious. However, his scenes and dialogues were funny, romantic and made the book greater.

The book counts with a really bad guy who is not afraid of hurting a girl just to get what he wants. The story is complete with treason, secret alliances, good fighting scenes and a good ending.

One of the best things is the rhythm of the story, which is very different to most YA novels. The book moves on with a strange and real timing. I love this fact because I didn’t know what to expect.

Debbie made an excellent job with this book, not only is very entertaining and make you feel a wide range of emotions, it also leaves you waiting for more.

Friday, November 9, 2012

DAY FIVE - THE DAY EIGHT SERIES WEEK

DAY FIVE.
ddddd
WEEKLY RECAP.
As you know this was a special week. I decided to honor THE DAY EIGHT SERIES, by Ray Mazza, by posting reviews of all parts and a great interview.
The week is almost over so it's time for a recap and give closure to this amazing week.
Here are the links to the reviews and the interview. Make sure to visit them and learn more about this series.
PART I: HERE.
PART II: HERE.
PART III: HERE.
INTERVIEW WITH RAY: HERE.


FIND OUT MORE ABOUT RAY MAZZA AND THE DAY EIGHT SERIES. GO HERE!
*****

How did I get to know about the series???

I read about the series in a Goodreads group, where the author put his books available for reviews.
I read what they were about and asked the author to send me a copy (I don't usually do that but the series sounded good and decided to give it a try).

Luckily, the author said yes! and he sent me copies of the books.
At first I didn't know what to expect, I usually don't read reviews, and the book descriptions said a few things. But after I started, I couldn't put it down.
I read one book after the other in just a week.

What is my opinion about the books? 

Well, if you have read my reviews you will notice that I really liked the books.
The Series is really original, intelligent, entertaining, and I enjoyed it so much that decided to do it justice with this special week.
Ray has a sentence in his acknowledgments that express his desire to change the reader. I honestly can say that I'm not the same as before (you never are after any book), and I really hope this series gets to as much readers as possible.
I hope you had enjoyed this week as much as I did :)


Happy Reading!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

DAY FOUR - THE DAY EIGHT SERIES WEEK

DAY FOUR.
ddddd
As you know I'm having a special week in honor to THE DAY EIGHT SERIES by Ray Mazza.
Today I have a special interview with the author of this amazing series.


Here are the links to the other posts, I have a review for each book.
PART I: HERE.
PART II: HERE.
PART III: HERE.


FIND OUT MORE ABOUT RAY MAZZA AND THE DAY EIGHT SERIES. GO HERE!
*****
INTERVIEW WITH RAY MAZZA,
AUTHOR OF THE DAY EIGHT SERIES.


ME: Why did you decide to write THE DAY EIGHT SERIES?
RAY: In high school, almost 20 years ago, I read George Orwell’s 1984. The main character, Winston, decides to keep a journal, “For the future, for the unborn,” when the mere act of even thinking about keeping a journal in his world was punishable by death. I was so moved that I began keeping a daily journal myself. This was an important moment for me because it’s when I got used to putting pen to paper not because someone told me to, but because I enjoyed it, because there were words in me that needed to be on a page.
I decided to write The Day Eight Series because I had a deep desire to share an engaging story with the world, but also to share ideas – ideas that might have the power to alter the way readers think about their world.
ME: What was your inspiration to write the story? And, how long did it take you to write it?
RAY: In college, I took an artificial intelligence class called “Cognitive Science.” I remember learning about an array of approaches to A.I., and thinking, “None of these approaches will ever create real intelligence.” They were like trying to recreate our world by painting it on a flat canvas. So I asked myself, “How would I go about creating true artificial intelligence? A.I. that is actually smart?” And that was the foundation for my story. (I have a longer blog post about it here, but it has spoilers.)

That was back in about 2000 when I had the idea. I started writing in November, 2005, for the NaNoWriMo. That got me 34,000 words into the story – enough that my wife could read it and tell me that I should keep writing when I’d been doubting myself (interestingly, she had been expecting not to like it). The entire series is over 186,000 words. It took me 5 years to write the full first draft, then another 18 months to get feedback, edit, and revise. It took me so long to write it because I had to juggle it with my full time job (as a video game designer on The Sims games) and also because I was learning how to organize and write a compelling novel at the same time.
ME: Why did you decided to divide the stroy into three parts? (A great decision if you ask me).
RAY: I’d originally written the series as one complete book, Day Eight. At 186K words, Day Eight was long – just slightly longer than Dickens’ Great Expectations. So the first reason I decided to break it up was to make it a more casual read, something that felt like it was moving quickly, and on Kindle the progress bar would tick-up fast. And the paperbacks are easier to hold.
The second reason was price. This let me charge very little for each part – especially the first part, which is $0.99, but also which I’ve given away for free on many occasions (over 10,000 people have downloaded it free, and it was the #1 Free Amazon Kindle Technothriller during Labor Day weekend). I want to be able to suck in as many readers as possible.
ME: Was it easy to imagine the kind of technology and resources that exist in the books?
RAY:
It wasn’t easy, but it was fun! The technology is grounded in reality. Most of it stemmed from research I’d read about (like optical & quantum computers), current physics knowledge (string theory, Planck’s constant), or just cool/scary technology that already exists (MKVs or eavesdropping by listening to interference from key presses on keyboards). Other aspects, like how Ezra’s world functioned and how she was able to manipulate it, or the bio-neural connectors – that was more pure imagination and daydreaming, sometimes me lying on my couch thinking for half an hour. Thinking about the bio-neural connectors and what it would be like for Nicole, the hit-woman, to experience super-fast brain activity – that was a delightful thought experiment.
One of the experiences I used from my own life was an interview I had with the NSA in college. I was interviewing for a computer science position. They told me, “People don’t work for us because of the salaries. They work for us because of the technology. Our computers are 10 years ahead of the industry.” That idea alone got me imagining what else might be out there already, and you’ll remember a similar line from near the end of Part 1, The Reborn.
ME: Did you find it hard to find the words to make it easy for the readers to understand the laws of physics and all the technological argument in the story?
RAY:
I was already picky about my wording of normal phrases. I was even more careful explaining the details of technology and physics. Sometimes a single, short paragraph would take me an hour to write, rearrange, and ultimately craft into what’s there now. One of my goals for The Day Eight Series was to introduce The Technological Singularity to the mass market. I wanted the average reader to have fun with these concepts of physics, computers, and AI without having to be a science geek (like me) or a Sci-Fi fan.
Some of the heaviest revision after getting draft readers was focused on the longer technical sections. I revised a lot and cut large chunks that went too deep into detail. And I mostly pulled it off – I’ve had readers telling me they never knew they’d like this kind of story. But the few pages where Ezra creates a bubble in her universe that begins to break down physics… that is still too detailed for some readers, but I was too in love with that section to chop it, and it makes the story and world much deeper for those who follow it.
ME: How was creating Ezra? How was the process of creating a super -intelligent being?
RAY: Creating Ezra was one of the aspects of Day Eight where I was most uncomfortable with my abilities as a writer. I mean, how do you write dialog for a being who’s 1000x smarter than anyone else? And how does she feel about being in a computer? And how does it feel to be at the mercy of us? What gave me hope was that she was ultimately human, and I wanted this human side to come through so that we could all relate to her and feel for her. 

I liked imagining how someone would live if they had total control over their environment and could change it with their mind – how would they have fun? What would they aspire to? And what would they think of us?
I also wanted to foreshadow Ezra’s eventual fate so that reading Day Eight a second time would be enjoyable in new ways as readers picked up on some her layers. For example, even her very first line of dialog in the prologue is significant.  

ME: Do you relate to Trevor in any level?
RAY:
Trevor is just a normal guy with a desk job. He’s pretty good at his job, but it’s not his lifelong dream. His personal life has its holes, down to the bonsai tree he can’t seem to keep alive in his apartment. He’s also no hero in the beginning – he’s definitely not a Jack Reacher type, but he wishes he were. And he’s searching for the meaning in life. I think this makes for a character that a lot of people can relate to.
And then he does something stupid and is thrown into the middle of an epic adventure that helps him become that hero, and also helps him understand what life means to him – it’s something we all fantasize about: being awesome and understanding life!
Personally, I used Trevor as a channel to explore my (somewhat absurd) desire to understand the meaning of life. Both externally – What is the meaning of existence? – and also internally – What is the meaning of *my* life?  And Trevor’s life reflects mine in small ways, too. Trevor shares my penchant for computers and programming. He lives in an NYC apartment roughly at the location I lived one summer. He listens to music I enjoy. And he can’t kill a spider.

ME: Allison is one of my favorite characters. How was it to write about a girl that is not completely human?
RAY: I loved it. I have a stronger emotional bond with Allison than any other character in the story. Sometimes I regret not writing more about her; I think there’s a completely great story that could have been told if I’d focused all three parts on her alone rather than diverging to Ezra and hitmen and conspiracies. In a way, I feel like I’ve neglected her like a parent neglecting a child. Near the end, when Trevor finally talks to her again and apologizes for not being around, that’s also me apologizing, channeling through Trevor.
My biggest challenge was to make her feel like a real child – particularly, a curious, timid, adorable child who the reader would worry about even though she’s “just a computer simulation.” One way I accomplished this was that I tried to make her more human than simulation. For example, when Trevor challenges her to a breath-holding contest, it becomes apparent that she can’t just stop breathing and be okay. She doesn’t know how to alter her simulation to, say, create oxygen in her lungs. So if she didn’t breathe, she would die. In fact, Allison behaves very much like a real girl.
And then to emphasize the simulation aspect of her and her limited world, I included details like the stylus that her father uses on the touchscreen to tuck her into bed at night.

ME: The story moves really fast. There’s only two weeks between the start and the end of the events. Was it something planed, something that just happened? And how was it to write events and turns that suit the timing?
RAY: The only pacing that was planned was once President Paxton gave the world his ultimatum, I knew I wanted there to be precisely 7 days until the climax, and resolve the story on the 8th day. This is where the title, The Day Eight Series comes from. It’s a biblical reference to the creation of Earth and life in 7 days, and the question is – what happens on the 8th day? Symbolically, what happens next, after humans?
It just so happens that the first half of the story fits into a similar timeframe as well, but this timing “just happened.” When I started writing, I’d been reading a lot of Dan Brown and Crichton, and it rubbed off on me. I wanted each chapter to be short and to move the story in a significant way – each chapter in my outline was based on an exciting event or discovery of knowledge. And I tried to end each chapter on an event that would leave readers eager to dive into the next one. My writing style also tends to show the moment-to-moment story rather than stepping back and telling the broader strokes. The combination of these things means that many pages add up to a short time span.
There were also many times when the story was just too slow, and I had to sit back and ask myself, What can I do right here to make it more exciting? For example, in Part 1, I previously had a scene where Hillary called Trevor and they spoke for the first time. There wasn’t a great reason for the phone call other than that I had wanted both of those characters to meet each other. So the phone call was boring, and even a bit awkward. In the rewrite, Trevor nearly destroys Allison by accident, and needs to call Hillary for help – so Trevor and Hillary’s first conversation is in the midst of havoc as they try to fix Allison’s program before she’s wiped out permanently. It’s much faster, much more interesting, and it serves the story well. That’s the difference between my early writing and my late writing.

ME: Did you have to do a lot of research to write a believable “world domination”  conspiracy?
RAY: Most of my research was for the chapters where Nicole, the hit lady, is planning to assassinate the president. I researched the Secret Service and how they handle presidential travel, standard issue weaponry, security details and protocols, what the agents wear, and so on. I’m sure I got myself on a few government watch lists. A lot of my other research was geographical, and I actually used Google Earth to get a good visual understanding of Florence.
ME: While I was reading the story I could imagine it as a movie. Do you feel the same? Have you ever thought about your books turned into movies?
RAY: Readers keep asking me, When is the movie coming out? So it’s funny that I don’t think it would be a good movie. The problem is that the climax is fought entirely in Trevor’s head, and I’m not sure how to show that on the silver screen in a serious, understandable way. And there are plenty of other cerebral parts which wouldn’t translate, like Ezra’s mental battle to understand Planck’s Constant and String Theory. On the other hand, it would be a great opportunity to get Jeff Goldblum or Morgan Freeman in a scientist role to explain everything. And if a studio approached me about movie rights, I’d definitely be interested.

ME: Are you happy with the result? I know that is important to you that the reader feels different after reading your book. Do you think that you have achieved that goal?
RAY: I’m very happy – it’s one of my most satisfying accomplishments. The reviews have been strong, and the comments have been better than I had ever expected. If I can entertain people, I’m happy. The times when I can get readers excited for the future or help them look at the world of science with a fresh perspective – those are the times I’m most satisfied. And I love it when a reader says, It blew my mind!
Oh, and I also have a crazy dream that if enough people read Day Eight, eventually when computers are powerful enough, someone will figure out the logistics of creating an A.I. with the approach in Day Eight… and then do it.
Of course, not everyone likes it. One reader was disappointed by the end of the series, calling it thinly-disguised religious propaganda. It hurts when someone misunderstands my book in a negative way, but it comes with the territory of exploring such ideas. I’m actually not religious. I use plenty of religious themes and symbolism in Day Eight, but it’s to deify computers and technology, to explore the doubts I personally have about God (through the eyes of Trevor), and to try to reconcile the eternal conflict between Religion and Science.
ME: Are you currently working on a new book? Can we know about what it is about?
RAY: It will be a while before I’m writing again. I need to concentrate on getting The Day Eight Series in more hands. But I’ve been collecting my thoughts for an idea I’m excited about. It might take place at a point in time where humans have become immortal. But it’s important to me that the average person can relate to my writing, so the setting would have to be familiar. I can’t say much more than that because I don’t know too much about it – but I do already know how it’s going to end. I know the twist that will hopefully spread an additional layer of meaning across the entire story.
*****


I want to thank Ray Mazza for such a fun interview :)

P.S.: Check out the other post to find out more about his books.

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