Sunday, July 31, 2011

In My Mail Box (5)


In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren where us bloggers can talk about the books we bought or received this week.

Last week I received In My Mail Box:

All of these NetGalley books were actually received last week, but I forgot to include them in my IMM #4.  Just means more to show off this week, right! ;)

Hunting Kat by PJ Schnyder - Ebook/NetGalley
 Lost Voices by Sarah Porter - Ebook/NetGalley
The Sleepwalkers by J. Gabriel Gates - Ebook/NetGalley
Necropolis by Michael Dempsey - Ebook/Netgalley

Current Cover for Necropolis




This week I received:

This past Wednesday was my birthday, so thanks to my awesome, amazing big sister, I got these awesome books!


Gifted:




Contests:

I won an awesome bookmark swag pack from Donna Huber from The Writers Coffee Shop for participating in the Once-Upon-A-Read-A-Thon.  Thank you Donna!

Aren't they so pretty?  Twenty-three in all!

Two were signed by their authors!  :D

Thank you to Vikki at ComaCalm's Corner and Matt Xell for this E-book copy of Tower of Parlen Min which I won.

Ves Asirin wins a trip to the Tower of Parlen Min. There, with 19 other children, he competes in the Sword Challenge; a series of puzzles and tasks, for $12 million. As fantastic and glorious as the tower seems to be, Ves finds that it keeps a dark and secret history that he has been connected to for over 150 years, a secret that will define his destiny ... if he can escape 'The shadow'.


 
 






 
Thank you to Elizabeth Scott for this copy of her book Between Here and Forever which I won.

Abby accepted that she can’t measure up to her beautiful, magnetic sister Tess a long time ago, and knows exactly what she is: Second best. Invisible.

Until the accident.

Now Tess is in a coma, and Abby’s life is on hold. It may have been hard living with Tess, but it's nothing compared to living without her.

She's got a plan to bring Tess back though, involving the gorgeous and mysterious Eli, but then Abby learns something about Tess, something that was always there, but that she’d never seen.

Abby is about to find out that truth isn't always what you think it is, and that life holds more than she ever thought it could...(Goodreads Description)


Thank you to T. Murphy for this copy of Sherrilyn Kenyon's Infinity which I won.

At fourteen, Nick Gautier thinks he knows everything about the world around him. Streetwise, tough and savvy, his quick sarcasm is the stuff of legends. . .until the night when his best friends try to kill him. Saved by a mysterious warrior who has more fighting skills than Chuck Norris, Nick is sucked into the realm of the Dark-Hunters: immortal vampire slayers who risk everything to save humanity.

Nick quickly learns that the human world is only a veil for a much larger and more dangerous one: a world where the captain of the football team is a werewolf and the girl he has a crush on goes out at night to stake the undead.

But before he can even learn the rules of this new world, his fellow students are turning into flesh eating zombies. And he's next on the menu.
As if starting high school isn't hard enough. . .now Nick has to hide his new friends from his mom, his chainsaw from the principal, and keep the zombies and the demon Simi from eating his brains, all without getting grounded or suspended. How in the world is he supposed to do that? (Goodreads Description)


For Review:

Thank you to Kim Weiss and HCI Books for this copy of Dark Territory by J. Gabriel Gates and Charlene Keel.

In the quaint town of Middleburg, an abandoned train yard and old railroad tracks form the dividing line between two rival gangs—the posh, preppie Toppers and the working-class Flatliners. When Raphael, the leader of the Flatliners, falls in love with Aimee, a Topper girl, the rival gangs prepare to do battle . . . but not with guns and knives. Their martial arts training dictates a strict code of honor, which all of the gang members adhere to. The only hope for peace between the rival gangs lies within the giant X formed where the railroad tracks cross. The awesome power contained in the X sends the Flatliners and the Toppers on a mystical quest to fight against malevolent forces that threaten the existence of Middleburg—and maybe the world.






What did you guys get this week? :D

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Book Retail Therapy (11)


Book Retail Therapy is a bookish meme to show off purchased books that satisfy everyone's compulsive book buying. 
To learn more about this meme click here.

This past Wednesday was my birthday, need I say more?  That's the best reason excuse to spend money on books ever! :D  And to Satisfy my book hoarding nature I bought these awesome books this week:



Married with Zombies by Jesse Petersen
Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer
The Crescent by Jordan Deen 
Secrets and Shadows by Shannon Delany

Married with Zombies is a dystopian novel.  I'm not much of a zombie fan but it sounds to hilarious from the blurb on good reads and the reviews I've been reading around on blogger to not read it for myself.

Wolfsbane is the sequel to Nightshade, and I've been dying to read this!  I'm a fan of the original cover designs, but I gotta say the green on black is very eye catching to me.

The Crescent is another shifter/werewolf novel that I've been wanting to read.  And because I'm a complete shifter/werewolf nut I just had to get it.

Secrets and Shadows is the sequel to 13 To Life.  I enjoyed the first so much and I have to see how things panned out with Jessie, Pietr, and Sarah.

What books did you guys by this week?  Leave me and link and I'll be sure to check yours out!





Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Book Review: 13 To Life by Shannon Delany

Source: Purchased
Format:  Paperback
Released: June 22nd 2010
Published by: St. Martin's Griffin
Page Count is 308 pages
 
Everything about Jessie Gillmansen’s life changed when her mother died.

Now even her hometown of Junction is changing, and mysterious, dark things are happening. All Jessie wants is to be normal. But showing a hot new guy around Junction High, she’s about to discover a whole new type of change. Pietr Rusakova is more than good looks and a fascinating accent - he’s a guy with a dangerous secret. And his very existence is sure to bring big trouble to Jessie’s small town. 

It seems change is the one thing Jessie can’t avoid…
(Description from goodreads.com)

Werewolves, hot men, and a snarky strong female lead?  Yes, definitely yes.   

13 To Life was an enjoyably fun, exciting read and the characters were colorful with great personality.  Not many books, YA books specifically, find a nice way to slowly reveal the supernatural aspects of their plots, usually they just dive right in.  What I loved about 13 To Life was that everything about the main plot to the side stories was paced wonderfully.  Nothing was rushed or hurried in this book - except for one scene, when Jessie and her two girlfriends went to Pietr's house for the first time.  It was a little confusing and I had to reread those few pages.

Jessie is the leading lady of the novel.  She's strong willed, even though she lost her mother, determined, and clever.  She's always thinking and asking the questions that move the story along.  Jessie is someone I can relate with a great deal.  She loves to write, she's got her "Wall of Weird" with crazy newspaper clippings, she raises horses and rides, and she use to shoot semi-professionally with her rifle.  She's also suspicious of the Rusakova family, but not in a begrudging way.  She's more curious then anything.  And who wouldn't be curious about Pietr Rusakova?  He's good looking, sarcastic, funny, has a sexy accent, and has his bed room walls covered in books!  He also looks out for Jessie and goes out of his way to make her happy even if it makes him miserable. 

The romance between Jessie and Pietr was another thing that was excellently paced in 13 To Life.  What was also great about it was it wasn't so serious like in other novels.  I'm looking at you Twilight.  They went from irritable dislike, to understanding allies, to friends, to "I like you like that."  It was sweet, endearing, and what they both needed to fix the broken pieces of themselves.

It's not often that I really love with side stories mixed in with the main plot or the side characters, but Jessie's friends, Amy and Sophia were fun to read about and not at all stifling like other side characters.  I even liked Sarah and her recent love of words and reading, but as time went on...I couldn't help but see her evil side rear it's ugly head.  I'm a little terrified of her now for Jessie's sake.  I'm expecting her to be a fairly excellent antagonist in the series.


Great plot, great characters, and great writing!  With so much excitement at the end I can't wait to pick up the second book in this series.


This novel counts towards the following challenges:
Parajunkee's Shifter Challenge

Sunday, July 24, 2011

In My Mail Box (4)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren where us bloggers can talk about the books we bought or received this week.

This week I received In My Mail Box:


Cinderella: Ninja Warrior by Maureen McGowan - Paperback
 Sleeping Beauty: Vampire Slayer by Maureen McGowan - Paperback


The Blackberry Bush by David Housholder - Paperback

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Book Review: Unmasqued, An Erotic Novel Of The Phantom Of The Opera by Colette Gale

Source: Purchased
Format:  Paperback
Released:  August 7th 2007
Published by: NAL Trade
Page Count is 352 pages
 
One of the world's most beloved stories as it has never been told before, Unmasqued is a novel of breathtaking historical erotica.

His exquisite obsession...
Christine Daaé heard rumors of the hideous Phantom said to haunt the great Opera House in 19th-century Paris. But its youngest and brightest star knows something no one else does-the truth. For in the darkness she thrills to the deep velvet timbre of his arousing voice, and quivers to the soft strokes of his leather-gloved fingers. He is real. Her inspiration. Her Ange de Musique. Her liberator.

Her erotic awakening...
Condemned to the catacombs below, Erik has desired his obsession from the shadows, careful to keep his identity, and his secret, in the dark. Only he understands Christine's extraordinary talents and her beauty. Only he can pleasure her like no man has before. But his sensual power comes with a price-and a risk to everyone who stands between them. For Christine too is succumbing to her most forbidden and dangerous desires-and to the Phantom who's making them all come true.
  (Description from goodreads.com)


Unmasqued is an erotic novel re-telling the tale of the Phantom of the Opera with Erik, the opera house phantom, being the misunderstood and sometimes villainous hero.  The story follows Erik lurking in the shadows as Raoul, the Vicomte, attempts to court the beautiful Christine.  This worries and angers Erik, because Christine's talent not only attracts Raoul, but his elder brother Philippe, the Comte, as well.

I have never read a novel with a serious BDSM motif before.  The sexual control and dominating nature of the characters is very different from what I'm use to reading.  It was exciting at times and others it was a little terrifying.  Erik's character controlled Christine, it seems, out of self preservation more then anything.  He was to afraid to let Christine see the hideous half of his face, so controlling her sexually allowed him to be with her and remain in control.  Christine definitely shows that she was more then happy to oblige her strict tutor in more then singing lessons, because even though Erik tied her up, pleasured her, and essentially forced himself on her, he never really forced anything.  It's difficult to describe their relationship in the beginning.

Phillippe was a whole new character, no, monster I think is more accurate.  His twisted sexual desires went farther then I what I was comfortable reading the first time around.  There were moments where I was generally appalled at Phillippe's dark, twisted behavior to where I had to put the book down.  The last three quarters of the novel were like this.  Thank God there was a happy ending or I would have given Unmasqued a drastically lower grade.

I have never read the original Phantom of the Opera, or seen the musical film adaptation.  From other reviews I have read, this book is greatly similar to the musical version.  I've seen both good and bad critiques because of this.  Many people were irritated that this wasn't historically accurate, others were excited by the romantic change up.  For me, the whole point of a re-telling is to entertain and that is exactly what Unmasqued did for me.  I was entertained.  I was also shocked.  So much of this book was new territory for me and I think that is what I enjoyed most about it.  I'm curious to see about what other twisted re-tellings Ms. Gale has in the works.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Book Review: Sex and Stupidity (A Collection Of Short Stories) by K. Syrah

Source: From The Author
Format:  Ebook, PDF
Released:  July 6th 2011
Published by:  Kindle
Page Count is 38 pages
Buy It:  Smashwords | Amazon
 
A collection of short stories about women, mostly written in tragic satire.

From a young woman marginalized in the workplace, to a strong woman's destructive forays into a rape culture, a woman's dedication to a husband driving her to insanity with his loss, and another woman's quest to make a man love her, these short stories portray the pitiful, pathetic ways that women are put upon in today's society. Marginalized, abused, and sometimes driven into madness.

A show that the job of feminism is no where near done yet.
(Description from goodreads.com)

Sex and Stupidity describes the tales of four very different and very unique women.  In I’m Not That Young, the first woman is strong willed, unabashed, and in a position of authority over an opinionated, older, male subordinate.  Her inner monologue that follows is both unimpressed and disgruntled towards this man who thinks himself better and more experienced then her because she is younger.  Appearing calm on the outside in her leadership position, I can't help but feel that she wanted nothing more then the give him a swift kick in the gut for insulting her intelligence, which I surely did as I kept reading.

In No White Light, the devotion Mrs. Roe shows to her husband on his death bed was heart breaking.  I felt like I was invasive as the reader, intruding on a private moment.  It was upsetting to read about her loneliness and being separated.  I was angry how it ended.  Separated by death not once, but twice!

In One Of The Boys, a strong minded solider, Rachelle, was always one of the guys.  She grew up with them, rough housed with them, fought with them.  She never liked prissy women who flippantly threw around the word "rape".  It did nothing but ruin the trust of women being in the Army.  Those women were nothing but liars, whores, just trying to cover their asses.  Until she herself became a victim.  I was unnerved by the familiarity of this story I've heard from female soldiers before.  So quickly everyone looked down on her for something that wasn't her fault.

I was a little disappointed in the last short story, To Make Me Love You.  Although it was greatly written, I couldn't help but dislike the immaturity and nativity of Angelina's character.  I have no qualms about a woman moving fast with a man, but to find out he was seeing someone else, being introduced to her, and still trying to keep him satisfied even though it was obvious she was just a fling to toss aside was irritating.  I don't like manipulative men.  I like women who put up with them even less.

K. Syrah's writing style is intricate, intense, and beautiful.  Each story was thought provoking and held something all of its own.  I can't wait to see what else K. Syrah has in the works.


Sex and Stupidity was given to me by the author K. Syrah in exchange for an honest review.  This in no way affected or influenced my review for the novel.  If you would like to contact me about my rating or review please email me at amateurvoice.kp (at) hotmail (dot) com.

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